Letter: United Methodist social goals overshadow single speaker

I was disappointed but not surprised by the commentary by Cal Thomas on May 3, titled, “Clinton’s ‘social gospel’ works for Democrats.”

It was apparent from his opening sentence that he was not going to be an objective reporter and write about what actually happened at Assembly 2014, but was to make it into a political speech.

United Methodist Women is the mission arm of the United Methodist Church with emphasis on helping poor women, children and youth.

We are a religious organization and not a political organization. We have members who are Democrats, Republicans and independents. We represent over 800,000 members worldwide.

Assembly is held every four years. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was invited to speak because she is a United Methodist and she believes in programs that we support. She was given the theme and the scripture on which to speak. Our theme, “Make it Happen,” and the Gospel Scripture came from Mark 6:30-44.

She talked about her faith and how it has made a difference in her life. She not only accepted our invitation, but she came at her own expense.

Thomas opened his commentary with comments about former vice presidents Al Gore and Walter Mondale, which had nothing to do with Assembly or what Clinton said. He even made a statement that, “Under the social gospel of Mrs. Clinton, does it follow the government should buy water skis for the needy?” Statements like that try to minimize helping those who are really in need.

The purpose of my response is to let people know that Assembly is more than about one speaker.

In addition to the former secretary of staten, we had several other speakers who Thomas did not mention. Assembly opened Thursday with Ubuntu Day of Service, where thousands of women came to the Louisville community to assist nonprofit and religious agencies in everything from painting, gardening and cleaning to making sewing kits for the United Methodist Committee on Relief and many other projects. On Friday, Assembly opened with more than 70 workshops. We prayed, sang songs and praised God together.

After reading this article, it was apparent to me that Thomas does not support the social principles of the United Methodist Church.

However, from many of his comments, he knows little about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I pray he would consider attending Assembly in 2018.

Edna Brown Hickman

president, South Central Jurisdiction United Methodist Women

Baton Rouge