Bush Administration Should Address Environmental Health of Children
Bush Administration Should Address
Environmental Health of Children

NOTE: The following is put in the "iffy" category for one main reason, and that is the fact that lots has been said by UMC Bishops and officials of certain boards, including the GBCS, about the welfare of children and caring for them. This is all well and good, but a question yet to be answered honestly and directly by these same people is why they have drawn a boundary line at the entrance to the womb. You'll notice that they even talk about "environment" and the well being of children, but never about the safe environment of the womb being violently invaded and the occupant dismembered and discarded as though he/she is on an equal level of unwanted garbage! And this is at a rate of over 1 million unborn children per year! Note the quote at the end about "preservation and protection of human life from environmental health hazards" -- of course, this doesn't apply to the "health hazards" of many unborn children in the womb! Hence the reason Mr. Winkler's remarks more than qualify for the "iffy" category! cdh


July 25, 2001

Contact: Jaydee Hanson (202)-488-5650


A Statement by Jim Winkler, General Secretary

The General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church is happy to join with the Childrenís Environmental Health Network to evaluate the Bush Administrationís actions regarding the health and safety of children.

The health of children has long been a major concern of The United Methodist Church. Two hundred and fifty years ago, Methodismís founder John Wesley campaigned for an end to children working in coal mines. He campaigned for clean water and against air pollution, understanding that clean air and water were key to health. In his 1760 sermon, "On the Use of Money," he advised his followers to earn all the money they could unless by doing so they would harm another or themselves. Wesley specifically urged his followers not to work in the arsenic and lead industries.

Today, children are still not protected from poisons such as lead and arsenic as well as they should be. The President of the United States has a key role in determining how well children in the United States and around the world are protected. Standards for heavy metals, pesticides, and other dangerous substances must be set at a level that will protect all children. Children who are poor or are ethnic or racial minorities are more likely to be exposed to these dangerous substances, but all children are at risk.

We believe that President Bush and his administration should consider the special needs of children when protecting the population from environmental health hazards. We call on the Bush Administration to set environmental health standards that consider the special vulnerability of children, as well as the cumulative and multiple effects and specific pathways that affect children. The Administration is urged to implement research strategies to investigate childrenís health. It is also important to provide the tools to help families protect their children from environmental health threats.

The United Methodist Church Bishops have declared that caring for children and ending poverty is the major initiative of the Church. Our General Conference, the only body that can speak for the whole church, declared in a May 2000 resolution on "Environmental Health and Safety in Workplace and Community" that "The preservation and protection of human life from environmental health hazards is a fundamental responsibility of government." Today, we are urging the current administration to join us in this key commitment for simple justice for all Godís children.

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