Sunday in Outer Blogness: Gay marriage persecution edition!

Sunday in Outer Blogness

It’s been more than a week since gay marriage has been the law of the land in the US, and all of the old rifts have been opening up and pouring all over the Interwebs:

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.

Runtu offered a calming list for those who are worried that the decision may take away their freedom. Others tried reasoning:

I have on several occasions seen Latter-day Saints baffled by the reaction of many gay people to their position. We’re not out to do you harm, they say. We’re just protecting society. But that leaves gays classified as those from whom civilization needs to be protected—an unenviable position.

And logic:

I mean, technically, those of us who reject homophobia are being “intolerant” 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! It’s patently ridiculous.

And evidence:

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 world–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.

On the other hand, open acceptance of homosexuality in society has advantages and disadvantages, like losing your alienation.

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.

Of course, life goes on in the CoJCoL-dS. They’re still having problems with race and with alienating the less orthodox.

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.

In fun, Saturday’s Warrior continues to provide enjoyment, and please enjoy some fun stuff like new hymns!

I hope those in the US had a happy Independence Day yesterday! And to all, happy Sunday!!

8 thoughts on “Sunday in Outer Blogness: Gay marriage persecution edition!

  1. cohabiting opposite-sex couples can now be baptized!! You won’t hear much about this because it only applies in the Philippines

    WOW.

    You are absolutely right: this is huge.

    I remember my favorite DL mocking the very idea that such accommodations could ever be sought or granted, even on much smaller matters, like tea and the Word of Wisdom. It was the first time I saw him be a stupid dick–I couldn’t believe he was refusing to acknowledge all the times official doctrine and practice had been changed.

    Really interested to see where this goes from here, if it goes anywhere at all.

  2. Cohabiting opposite sex couples is not a new issue for the Church. It was an issue in places like Colombia in 1972, and while I could be mistaken, I think the policy was that those couples had to receive approval from the mission president but they could be baptized if they got that approval.

  3. @2: do you have more documentation on that?

    Obviously, couples have cohabitated for about forever, and mere cohabitation is not and has never been a sure sign of impermanence–hence the existence of the common-law marriage. Nor, since the advent of easily acquired divorces, is marriage a sign of permanence–in recent decades, “Children born to married parents in the United States were more likely to experience their parents’ breakup than were children born to cohabitating parents in Sweden.” (Andrew J. Cherlin, The Marriage Go-Round) You would think that in a country like Sweden where baptisms are so rare and cohabitating relationships so stable, there would be a policy that cohabitation is not an impediment to baptism, but I bet there isn’t, both because the problem so rarely comes up (who actually wants to join the church there anyway?), and because the white leaders of the church find something unseemly about an unmarried affluent white couple that doesn’t bother them so much about an unmarried less secure brown one.

  4. Polygamy will be a big problem for two reasons.
    First, no one wants it, especially the women.
    Secondly, polygamy can be defeated in a court, it can be proven to be harmful to families and children. And that forms the basis for banning polygamy.

    So……

    SSM doesn’t harm the family but polygamy does, church founders, based on revelation, practiced polygamy. Let’s not forget polygamy in the afterlife.
    This doesn’t look good, it’s all backwards.

    How does a PR representative or missionary explain this one?

  5. @3 Interesting example with Sweden.

    The CoJCoL-dS wants to draw this bright-line distinction between “married sex” and “unmarried sex”, but there’s no clear, universal way of distinguishing the two that makes sense across all cultures and time periods. Given that “Children born to married parents in the United States were more likely to experience their parents’ breakup than were children born to cohabitating parents in Sweden”, the church’s stark, simple, universal rules about couples and families start looking quite inadequate.

  6. #3 Holly, the only documentation is my memory. Divorce was illegal in Colombia then, so people would just split up and move in with somebody else. If I remember right, if those relationships were long term they could sometimes get approval for baptism.

  7. Further “documentation” from my own memory: I remember an Institute teacher in the ’80s (don’t remember the year, but that was the only decade I went to Institute) saying something similar, but he didn’t specify a country — just that it was somewhere in Latin America. I took such flexibility as further evidence of the church’s inspiration.

  8. @6 & @7–fascinating.

    I guess it’s all less remarkable when you think about how the church exerts greater control over civil and temple weddings where laws allow it, and just doesn’t when laws don’t.

    Except that there’s also the meanness factor–the nastiness of forcing couples to choose between having everyone they love at their wedding and being sealed. The church doesn’t seem to need to be so very nasty about all aspects of marriage and love and relationships in other countries. You’d think it would finally get around to not being so very nasty at home.

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