This morning I was reading news on the USA Today app on my iPhone when I came across this headline, Methodists defeat gay-related membership policy, with the lead sentence:
United Methodists have defeated amendments that would have made church membership open to all Christians regardless of sexual orientation and furthered the creation of a new, U.S.-only governing body, according to the denomination’s news service.
I was surprised to hear the news on the constitutional amendments first through USA Today and not from any denominational source. I was also surprised that the decision had been made so soon, I was under the impression that it would be several more months until the final tally was known as votes were still taking place around the world.
I found the article from the United Methodist News Service under the headline: U.S. conferences disapprove structure proposal. According to the statistics in this article:
- 29% of annual conferences in the United States have not reported results of voting.
- 67% of annual conferences in the denomination have not reported results of voting.
According to the article, “For a proposed amendment to be ratified, two-thirds of the aggregate number of voting annual conference members must approve.” The results from the US don’t matter. What matters is the entirety of votes from across the globe. Two-thirds of annual conferences in the denomination haven’t even reported their votes yet.
You have to be joking. The UMNS really published a story with data this incomplete? Unfortunately, yes.
The United Methodist News Service wrote a story too soon from one side of the story with incomplete data.