This past week the blogworld spent a lot of time exploring that mysterious region we inhabit — not completely in the orbit of the CoJCoL-dS, but not totally outside the Mormon community either. Back before the Internet, it was so easy for members to divide the world into three neat-and-tidy categories: faithful Mormons, anti-Mormons, and people who haven’t learned about Mormonism (yet). Now what counts as “anti-Mormon” is a matter of heated debate! Now who’s in the club? While some are thinking of resigning or drawing lines in the sand, others are wondering if it might be worth it to stay LDS.
The biggest point of confusion seems to be whether people are happier in the CoJCoL-dS or out of it. Then there’s the whole question of who even qualifies as Mormon. Can you call yourself Mormon if you’re religiously liberal (and perhaps don’t agree with the lessons in the manual or prefer the old-fashioned naked version of the temple Initiatories)? What if you use marijuana?
But, even the CoJCoL-dS were to change, would we go back? This question isn’t so hypothetical this week! In the wake of the Prop. 8 court ruling (among other good news), an LDS General Authority (Marlin Jensen) apologized for Proposition 8!!! It turns out that Mormons in California had spent a lot of effort discussing the effects of Prop. 8 and meeting with people “who may have been particularly wounded or troubled by Prop. 8.”
But don’t worry folks — hell hasn’t frozen over and the pigs aren’t flying yet! The CoJCoL-dS is not officially apologizing to everyone in general for their institution’s political shenanigans. It’s been clarified that it was just a “personal” apology by one guy (who just happens to be a G.A., but was “speaking as a man” for this), and who only apologized to a select group of people (eg. not to you, dear reader). Even as non-Mormons have a hopeful message for gay teens, the LDS conclusions about homosexuality haven’t changed.
Despite Elder Jensen’s [personal] apology, other LDS leaders haven’t given up on Prop. 8. Elder Oaks made some Constitutional arguments against the ruling. And FAIR LDS claims it’s a “myth” that “large numbers of people are resigning from the church because of Prop 8,” (then, in hopes of proving themselves right, they exclude anyone who they consider to have already “left in spirit” before the Prop.8 fiasco). Read the comments on fMh for some excellent discussion of how something like Prop. 8 can be a critical factor pointing a once-loyal Mormon towards the exit door, without it being the only factor. And once that testimony’s really gone, it’s well-nigh impossible to get it back.
Ah, traditional marriage! You know, the institution where ladies can’t decide whether they need to be performing their “marital duties” (with or without getting stuff from their husbands in exchange). Luckily the men (and sasquatch) have their traditional morale sheep. And if you want to learn more about really traditional Mormon marriage, just watch TLC’s new reality show! On a related note, check out Personal Failure’s discussion of a study which
identified three factors of child sexual abuse as having their roots in the use or misuse of Judeo/Christian tradition: (1) patriarchalism places the man as head of the family and the owner of his wife and children; (2) boundaries between various sexual activities become confused because all sex is considered sinful; (3) sexual activity within families is hidden behind a curtain of secrecy.
That’s it for this time — I hope you (and your not-necessarily-traditional families) have a great week!! 😀