I meant to have a go at
Palpatine His Holiness tramping all over Britain with all of his geriatric nannies in their dressing gowns, but this seemed a bit more urgent.
There has been plenty of outrage over the latest visit by a prominent LDS general authority to Evergreen International, the ex-gay “we’re not officially affiliated with Mormonism wink wink nudge nudge say no more” group. Last time it was denying any genetic component to homosexuality. Now it’s denying that the term “gay” should be used at all:
“If someone seeking your help says to you, ‘I am a homosexual,’ or, ‘I am lesbian,’ or, ‘I am gay,’ correct this miscasting,” McMullin said. “Heavenly Father does not speak of his children this way and neither should we. It is simply not true. To speak this way seeds a doubt and deceit about who we really are.”
The LDS Church seems to be firmly entrenching as policy its position that homosexuality is some kind of birth defect, one which will be purified in the next life, like bad teeth or Tourette’s. The Church Office Building may have declared war on homosexuality, but lots of Mormons in and out of good standing with LDS, Inc. don’t feel motivated to enlist.
I don’t know what chance this stands of gaining traction, but I want to throw an idea out there: let’s be good Mormons and share what we know what is true. Let’s stand for truth and righteousness and tell people that we Choose The Right:
This image is my idea of a way that Mormons all along the spectrum can proudly share what they believe. Feel free to take it and put it on your blog, a t-shirt, whatever. It would be my hope that people who saw this image would hear it speak a thousand words. Words like:
I’m a Mormon. Maybe I attend church, maybe I don’t. Maybe I believe in the LDS Church, maybe I don’t. But I’m still a Mormon, and I am proud of my heritage. I’m also proud to be gay-friendly. I support the right of every individual to conduct their private life as they see fit without receiving undue judgment from friends, family, and society. I believe this because it’s the right thing to do, and choosing the right is important to me.
I’m humble enough to acknowledge that old religious beliefs about sexuality, gender, and societal roles have been undermined by the evolution of our society, scientific research, and the personal experiences of countless people who had to compromise who they were to meet arbitrary standards of behaviour. I am not too full of stubbornness and pride to acknowledge that in the past my culture’s understanding of LGBTQ people was biased by the environment I was raised in, but now I know that they are not that much different from me — sometimes they are me. People grow and change, and so do cultures. Mormons believe in eternal progress, and that means we should always be pushing for a more pure understanding of human nature and work to find the truth with honest hearts and open minds.
Regardless of my own sexual orientation, I will stand up for the rights of all people to live their lives freely without being abused or being treated like second-class citizens. I do not believe that there is one template for happiness in life that every person needs to follow, and that the diverse experiences of good, kind people add to the richness of my life.
I will stand up to fight fear and bigotry with reconciliation and truth, even when that viewpoint is not popular. I am committed to ending violence against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, especially the violence these people sometimes do to themselves. I will do my best to let LGBTQ individuals know that they have value, are loved, and have an important place in this world. I will share the truth that every life lost to self-denial, violence or suicide means that the world is a slightly less beautiful place.
I will stand up to leaders who perpetuate bigotry, even if they are leaders of the faith system I follow. I believe that equality is a principle that no religious system can compromise, and it’s an easy choice for me when having faith in my leaders conflicts with things I know in my heart to be true.
I’ll choose the right. Will you?