This evening, while doing a bit of light reading in my 2008 copy of the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, I came across a passage that deals with issues regarding the relations of the church and the state.
In Paragraph 164C, one finds the UMC’s statement on church and state relations. It says:
The United Methodist Church has for many years supported the separation of church and state. In some parts of the world this separation has guaranteed the diversity of religious expressions and the freedom to worship God according to each person’s conscience. Separation of church and state means no organic union of the two, but it does permit interaction. The state should not use it’s authority to promote particular religious beliefs (including atheism), nor should it require prayer or worship in the public schools, but it should leave students free to practice their own religious convictions. We believe that the state should not attempt to control the church, nor should the church seek to dominate the state. The rightful and vital separation of church and state, which has served the cause of religious liberty, should not be misconstrued as the abolition of all religious expressions from public life.