This has been quite a difficult week. I generally try to get the week’s news down to a manageable list of links, but there has been so much going on that this could take a while…
By now you’ve surely heard that the First Presidency of the CoJCoL-dS has issued a “clarification” to the disastrous new policy. I put “clarification” in scare quotes because it was obviously a change in policy, and it’s not really any clearer than before.
It would have been nearly impossible for them to stick to their guns on this policy — with all of the stories coming in about adorable, innocent kids in joint-custody families getting denied ordinances. Not to mention the increase in suicides (see here for help). Yet, while the “clarified” policy neutralized the largest block of faithful, church-attending, photogenic victims, it still treats committed gay couples as worse than murderers and punishes some kids for their parents’ “apostasy”, which doesn’t sit well:
And I canâ€™t help but think that there is something to the notion this only became a problem when it affected straight people.
One of my frustrations from the beginning with this has been the sense that theyâ€™re not saying straight out what their intentions are, that theyâ€™re waving their hands in the direction of protecting children while aiming at something else. And that something else, I strongly suspect, is doing what is seen as necessary so that gay families wonâ€™t feel welcome at church. I feel like thatâ€™s a cynical thing to say, and that bothers me. But Iâ€™m not persuaded of any other read on the situation.
And since the CoJCoL-dS is incapable of admitting to errors, they had to make the Newsroom announcement as passive aggressive and blame-projecting as possible. Because… that’s such a great way to garner sympathy…? Most popular gems included the following:
The episode demonstrates clearly the dangers of drawing conclusions based on incomplete news reports, tweets and Facebook posts without necessary context and accurate information.
One difficulty was a general lack of understanding of the Handbook itself
Because it is a policy and procedural manual, the Handbook is not written in language that is necessarily contextual or explanatory.
The nerve of some people misunderstanding your secret handbook that you never told them about! Or thinking that you ought to openly announce it to the members when you change policies that might affect their salvation (or at least their standing in the church) instead of silently slipping them into the restricted handbook. Now they’ve released a new essay explaining the secret handbook, so, naturally, none of this is the church’s fault.
But can the CoJCoL-dS recover? Or has it finally dealt its own credibility and moral authority a fatal blow? (Out of sheer lack of foresight?) It looks like the big tent is over and a whole lot of people have finally had it with the church. About 1500 resigned in a single event. The Deseret News wishes them good riddance.
“You can’t stay with us. You are welcome to visit but you know how I feel. Your relationship is not of God.” Each word hit me like a rock.
I responded in a rather flat voice, “I didn’t ask to stay at your house. We had already planned to stay in a hotel. I’m not sure why you felt the need to say what you just did Mom. Was that a passive aggressive way of continuing to show that I need to repent?”
From Uomo Nuovo:
NOT WORTHY ENOUGH. Even though I have been active ever since joining the Church. Even though my wife and I have made huge financial sacrifices in adopting these children. Even though we have been paying tithing consistently for over 20 years. Even though, in every respect except the payment of a full tithe, I consider myself worthy enough to perform these ordinances, and I would have been considered such â€“ prior to the adoption of this new policy.
From Dad’s Primal Scream:
This doesnâ€™t look like it will affect you now, but someday you may be required to say you disavow me and move out. I think thatâ€™s a horrible position to put a child in and I want you to know that I love you unconditionally regardless of what you ever decide to do. Thereâ€™s nothing you can do or say that would change this love I have for you.
I love your brother serving a mission now and each one of you girls. Iâ€™ll love and accept you no matter what you are pressured to say or do in the future, and I will never let this sort of thing stand in the way of my love for you.
Iâ€™m just sad that you are put in this situation.
And life goes on. Gay people aren’t the only ones getting excommunicated. We have a new hymn parody. In scripture study, let’s explore some bad logic in the BoM and learn what the New Testament says about slavery!
Stay safe, take care of yourself and others, and I wish you as peaceful a week as possible…