Friday, February 1, 2008

Hello to a Broken World

from a draft written on Tuesday, January 29, 2008:
I need to be writing my essay right now, but I have too much on my mind and I need to get it off my mind, so I am blogging.

Item Number One. President Hinckley. I love him. I love him in part because of how much change he brought to the Church. Even before he was the prophet, he brought significant changes to the Church that helped it become more accessible to other members and that helped it become more like what I believe God intended the Church to be like. I hope future prophets continue with that wonderful legacy.

Item Number Two. The news of President Hinckley's death came at a bad time. Mormon Enigma asked, "What were you doing when you got the news about President Hinkley?" This question has a funny answer, one that I'll keep to myself. That's not what I meant by bad time though. It came at a bad time because that day I was feeling more anti-Mormon than I ever thought I could feel. Why?

Item Number Three. One of my friends from home who went on his mission at the same time as me told his parents this past week that he was leaving the Church. His parents exploded and said he had to attend church or they wouldn't financially support him. Romulus and Remus (also friends from home) came out to their parents, and their parents reacted somewhat similar to mine. Not ideal. Contrast that to Draco's coming out to his Lutheran parents and to his brother. His family, though also believing homosexuality is wrong and against all they were taught and believed, reacted with love and support.

Item Number Four. There is something downright disgusting about something that makes people react with so much hatred, fear, devastation, helplessness, etc. to someone who announces feelings or beliefs that are different than their own.

Item Number Five. I am jealous of those people with families who don't have that disgusting something, whatever it is you think that causes that disgusting something. Right now, I am trying hard (well not too hard) not to view the Church as the common thread.


draco said...

Oh man- I'm really tempted to quote another scripture here, but I'm afraid it might come across the wrong way.

I have been extremely lucky and blessed and grateful with regards to my family's reactions. I wish that everyone could have such a positive experience. But I'm sure all hell will break loose when my extended family of scary Lutherans (scary is just a nice way of saying bombastic, hard-core, shove-it-down-your-face) finds out about me. Especially my pastor aunt! So it's not just Mormonism that does it to people- but I certainly think that Mormonism can foment whatever "it" is. Maybe ultra-conservatism? Intolerance? *winces- Bigotry?

draco said...

Here's what my thesaurus says under "bigot"

(v) be partial, contradistinguish, disfavor, favor, hate, incline, judge, segregate, separate, set apart, show bias, single out, treat differently, victimize,
(n) bug, crank, diehard, doctrinaire, dogmatist, enthusiast, extremist, fanatic, fideist, fiend, flag-waver, freak, jingoist, maniac, monomaniac, mule, no-neck, nut, opinionated person, partisan, persecutor, pig, puritan, racist, red-neck, relisher, sectarian, segregationist, sexist person, stickler, superpatriot, zealot

Please don't think that I'm assigning all of these words to your parents- yikes! I'm just saying that the Mormon church seems to pop out plenty of people that fit one or more of these descriptions. *winces again. The church can also foster very Christ-like behavior and help some people to become better people, however, so I'm not going to say that it's all the church's fault.

One of So Many said...

That's all I have to say about it. ;)

Christopher said...

Yes, I have heard nightmarish stories from a few members who have come out to their families.

But it's not always the case. Everyone in my family that I've come out to (including my wife) have been loving and supportive. And several acquaintances I have from my stake who have come out have also recieved lots of support and understanding from their families.

I don't believe the common thread to be the church when comparing unpleasant family reactions.

Maybe it's being American and Mormon, because us Canadians Mormons seem to be pretty tolerant...

Just kidding. (mostly)

draco said...

Can I have Canadian pride even if I'm an American, Christopher? Or maybe Canada could just annex Washington State?

[kɹeɪ̯g̊] said...

Draco, Why don't you just move to Canada? It's pretty awesome.

Christopher, if you don't mind me asking, where in Canada do you live? I'm from Edmonton, originally, but now live in SLC.

Neal said...

I invite all of you to come to the South where I live and announce to just about any Christian demonination here that you're Gay. You'll quickly find that Christian doesn't necessarily mean Christian!! You'll likely get an ear full of hell-fire and damnation! In some places, you'll likely be beaten (after services, of course).

So let's not pick on the Church unduly here. Just because some have had negative experiences doesn't mean we all have. I've had both. Its clear those who react negatively are not listening to the message the Brethren are teaching on this subject.


draco said...

Thanks for the invite Neal- but I think I'll just go to Canada instead ;)

Neal said...

You'll never get my Ruby Slippers if you go to Canada....


Christopher said...

Draco, I officially bequeath you with honorary Canadian citizenship, if you'd like it. You can have all the Canadian pride you want. I believe there is a Canada pride group somewhere at BYU, as well, if you need a support group. Sadly, however, it has not yet progressed to a completely open status with its own Canadian Pride parade full of maple leaf rainbows and sequins, but it's a work in progress.

And for kengo, I grew up in Mormonlandia, Alberta. It starts with an R and ends with aymond. I used to live in Edmonton for school, but I have retreated back since.

Peter said...

Neal, if a group of people is racist, you can't just say, "Well if you think that's bad, you should visit the KKK."

Yes, southern Evangenlicals are obnoxiously homophobic and very cruel about it, but that doesn't excuse Mormons.

draco said...

Okay Neal- maybe just a quick stop...

Neal said...


The Church doesn't teach homophobic doctrine. Quite the opposite if you look at it objectively. The fact that members haven't caught on yet is just a cultural issue. It will happen in time.

Evangelicals, on the other hand, actively and vigorously preach homophobic extremism. These are the most dangerous sort.

And who knows, you might find a few Canadian homophobes if you look around a bit, Aye?! I'm sure they're there, lurking in the Permafrost!


My faith in you is restored!! You'll love our 70 degree February weather. :)