UK-based Methodist Church advises against the use of gender terms

(A church building)

In a bid to avoid using gender terms, the Methodist Church in the United Kingdom has released an Inclusive Language Guide which frowns at Methodists using terms such as husband and wife.

According to the aim of the guide, which was released this month, such gender terms are not the reality of many people.

The guide, which was made available to The Christian Post, read, "As Christians, we need to have the courage for conversations that can sometimes be difficult, to recognize that we sometimes exclude people, to listen with humility, to repent of any hurtful language and to take care with how we listen and what we say or write, in the spirit of Christ which will be updated every six months.

“There is infinite variety in the way that God’s creation is expressed in human life and ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ are examples of terminology that may sound inoffensive but it makes assumptions about a family or personal life that is not the reality for many people.”

In the place of ‘husband’ and ‘wife’, the guidance offered suitable alternatives of words such as parent, partner, child, and carer as suitable alternatives.

In addition, the guide listed comprehensive group of people with whom Methodists are advised to use sensitive and inclusive language when addressing.

The guide frowns at using ageism terms like ‘old people’, and embrace anti-racist language by encouraging use of ‘ethnicity’ instead of ‘race.’ They should also avoid language that negatively emphasizes a person's immigration status or English skills.

Methodists are advised to tread carefully with their terminology when addressing ‘disabled and neurodiverse people’ and those with mental illness. Antisemitic and Islamophobic rhetoric are also discouraged.

The guide emphasized that the U.K.-based Methodist Church makes use of the language that is inclusive of LGBT+ people. It also advised using the language an individual prefers, including the pronouns by which they choose to identify.

The guidance added, "Using the language that individuals use for themselves shows that we care as a Church and that we affirm them as a child of God.”

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