Sunday in Outer Blogness: Gay marriage persecution edition!
But it really struck me when members of my own family start making posts about it. And some of the things they posted really really upset me. All the while I had to sit there and not say a word. If I had commented on their posts, or changed my picture to one with rainbows. Then I would have gotten nothing but hate and drama from my family. But I want to speak out, and I hope some day soon that I will be able to. And not just on this blog, but to speak out as who I really am.
I have on several occasions seen Latter-day Saints baffled by the reaction of many gay people to their position. Weâ€™re not out to do you harm, they say. Weâ€™re just protecting society. But that leaves gays classified as those from whom civilization needs to be protectedâ€”an unenviable position.
I mean, technically, those of us who reject homophobia are being â€œintolerantâ€ of that worldview, but by that logic, anyone who is against racism, any political party, alien conspiracy theories, the Greek or Roman gods, or any other idea are bigots! They are trying to stretch the word bigot to include anyone who disagrees with anything, ever! Itâ€™s patently ridiculous.
Latter-day Saints frequently opine that the Church could not have been organized in 1830 in any other nation in the world. This is probably true. Most of the nations of Europe had official state Churches and did not permit organized dissent. But precisely because Jefferson and Madison won the church-state battles of the previous generation, America was a secular state. The result was the most religiously diverse society in the worldâ€“one in which a religion as transgressive as early Mormonism could survive, and, in a very short time, thrive.
Mocking was also a popular option:
Since God, conveniently, speaks exclusively to to the leaders of our church, we know that the only legitimate marriage is between a man and a woman who are sealed in the Mormon temple for time and all eternity. – The woman cleaving exclusively to one man, and the man cleaving temporarily to one woman. That is, until the next life when he may have conjugal relations with hundreds, perhaps thousands of wives.
It is in this wholesome environment that God intended children to be born and raised.
However, I think the most spot-on analogy of this whole conflict is Michael Austin’s Love the Banker, but Hate the Bank: A Plea for Tolerance and Understanding for Our Brothers and Sisters Involved in Usury.
Not that this persecution-fest is all about the Mormons — apparently a Catholic group came up with something worse!
The CoCJoL-dS itself sent all wards a letter explaining that gay marriage is still against the rules. Some advise that if it hurts, deal with it. Alternatively, you can just interpret it however you like. Here are some responses to the letter.
Sadly, the CoJCoL-dS couldn’t find a photo of a family that actually opposes marriage equality for their press release. The CoJCoL-dS also posted a press release to announce that they donated $2,500 for homeless LGBT youth in Utah — which seems a small sum, considering how much they contributed to the problem. ExMormons responded with a gofundme campaign — in which a handful of random people donate more money than the wealthy corporate church (it’s at nearly $7000 as of this writing).
The funniest moment was when the church youth magazine, The New Era, (accidentally?) chose some timely cover art — an array of Mormon temples in different colors — and apparently so many Mormons though it was fake (like the rainbow-lit SLC temple image) that it got blocked on facebook.
And, even though your right to believe in and practice traditional marriage isn’t really at stake, there are good reasons why traditional marriage is increasingly unpopular. And as far as Biblical marriage is concerned, it’s hard to imagine that anyone who has read what the Bible commands is actually in favor of it.
It looks like gay marriage has defeated its long-time nemesis, Boyd K. Packer. His death was apparently reported first on the exmo reddit, and, wow, do the exmo redditors not like that guy!! Don’t have a look if you’re one of the people who thinks one should be respectful of the dead for at least a couple of days. But there’s a lot of raw anger at this man whose words hurt so many people, especially the youth.
Now that gay marriage is legal in the US, the next item on the Mormon agenda is polygamy! One triad in Montana is applying for a license. Or, if you believe the Bible, the next item is for gay people to go door-to-door, demanding to have sex with Christians.
On a more serious note, here’s an inspiring example of how to talk about difficult subjects with your kids.
In other marriage news, Nearing Kolob reported on the biggest (silent) doctrinal change in years — cohabiting opposite-sex couples can now be baptized!! You won’t hear much about this because it only applies in the Philippines:
The area presidency recently released a new rule that as long as two people have been living together for 5 years or more, they are allowed to be baptized, just because it is really hard for people here to get married or to get a divorce.
This is huge — not only because it shows how flexible the “law of chastity” can be (according to the convenience the CoJCoL-dS), but also because it illustrates how nonsensical it is for the church to base their definition of what constitutes a grave sin on secular laws that the church can’t control and which vary from one country to the next.
In scripture study, it appears the Nephites are as brilliant at exploring as they are at military strategy. The Bible offers some really useful advice for our day on matters like slavery. At least it also has good(?) stuff like the atonement:
It can’t reasonably be anyone other than God. So now we have a situation where God wants to throw you in prison, and Jesus intervenes. But Jesus and God are supposed to be on the same side. Instead, they’re playing good cop / bad cop. Why the games? This situation, which we all seem to have been railroaded into at birth, is a set-up.