In 2004, the United Methodist Church passed a resolution forbidding their convention to meet in a city with sports teams that have Native American nicknames because such nicknames are offensive. Until recently, the UMC had been planning to hold their 2012 convention in Richmond, Virginia. That is, until somebody pointed out that the nickname for their minor league baseball team was the Braves.
This is about politics: nothing more and nothing less. When the church (and particularly large demoniations) get sidetracked on political issues such as this, they lose their effectiveness as ministers of the Gospel. Suddenly the church becomes defined by the political stances that they make instead of lives lived according to Scripture.
I'll admit that I am biased since I lived in Richmond for nine years. It's a great city and a tremendous loss in not being able to host the convention. But the greater loss may be for the UMC and other denominations like it that make boneheaded political decisions such as this one. I cannot understand why they chose to focus on this one issue and turn their backs on many more pressing moral issues that have a greater affect on our culture.
In the end, the UMC is not the first large denomination to make a minor political issue a major point of contention. They certainly won't be the last, either. That is truly a shame.