The Methodist Sexual Revolution

United Methodism’s governing General Conference, meeting currently in Charlotte, N.C., is enacting a sexual revolution within what used to be, until very recently, America’s third-largest religious group.

So far, in legislative committees, later to be ratified in plenary, delegates by wide margins are disconnecting sex from marriage or even monogamy. Until now, the United Methodist Church officially taught that “sexual relations are affirmed only with the covenant of monogamous, heterosexual marriage.”

But the proposed revisionOK’d by 75 percent in committee, says we “affirm human sexuality as a sacred gift and acknowledge that sexual intimacy contributes to fostering the emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being of individuals and to nurturing healthy sexual relationships that are grounded in love, care and respect.”

That’s it. No mention there of marriage or monogamy. Instead, it celebrates that sexuality is “expressed in wonderfully diverse ways.” And, “We affirm the rights of all people to exercise personal consent in sexual relationships, to make decisions about their own bodies and be supported in those decisions.”

You can contrast the old United Methodist sexual teaching with the new proposal here. The new wording comes from an official recommendation from a denominational commission that crafted updated “Social Principles” for the church.

Click Here To Read More (Originally Published at World Opinions

Mark Tooley is president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy and editor of IRD’s foreign policy and national security journal, Providence. Prior to joining the IRD in 1994, Mark worked eight years for the Central Intelligence Agency. A lifelong United Methodist, he has been active in United Methodist renewal since 1988. He is the author of Taking Back The United Methodist Church, Methodism and Politics in the 20th Century, and The Peace That Almost Was: The Forgotten Story of the 1861 Washington Peace Conference and the Final Attempt to Avert the Civil War. He attends a United Methodist church in Alexandria, Va.