In an article by TIME news, it is explained how the United Methodist Church votes to strengthen bans on same sex marriage and gay clergy. This church, which is America’s second-largest Protestant denomination, recently met at the end of February of this year 2019, to discuss the strengthening the faith’s divisive bans. There seemed to be an about even split in the church between the percentage of delegates that supported the ban and delegates that did not. Many Reverends around the nation and the globe stated how this so-called “Traditional Plan” is going to hurt and negatively impact the Church significantly. One went so far to even say that the church “will lose an entire generation of leaders in America.” The intention behind the “Traditional Plan” is to increase the discipline against those engaged in defiance creating a more hostile, divisive environment. Even though, as TIME news points out, the Methodist church has increased in pro-LGBT clergy the ban remains strong and in place.
It is interesting to recognize why and to what extent this decision is a reflection of the church’s values. There appears to be a great tension and divide in the church even though this ban has been apart of the church for years now, yet just with no enforcement. I’m curious as to what prompted this movement to greater enforcement when it seems like it would do more harm than good. This is a significant example of how religion and modern progressive ideas clash.