Saturday, January 10, 2009
Then You Go And Cut Me Down
I love this comic so much because it describes a very real awkwardness in a lighthearted way. There is an awkwardness in what the Church currently offers homosexuals. If you strip away all the emotion of prop 8 and all the personal turmoil and history you may have and just look at what the Church offers to those that are already living a gay lifestyle, its kinda funny. We talk so much about gays who grow up in the Church and who must make extensive sacrifices--but what of those who grow up as Unitarians in LA, fall in love and marry in Boston, and raise a family there? What about those good people, established in their homes and families, who answer the door and find two Mormon missionaries?
To be baptized, they would need to get divorced. Who takes the kid(s)? If they believed in the Church, but decided not to get divorced, then they are told they will be angelic, but ministering, servants of others whose marriage is more holy than theirs. How awkward is that? No wonder the Church took such a strong stance on proposition 8. The more secure, stable, and common gay families become, the more awkward and obvious this situation is.
I think then, that it is fair to say that the Church doesn't want to recruit these gay families. The Church doesn't want them to join the Church. It's message is certainly not enticing to them, and the process to join is not possible without destroying their family.
It reminds me of something an old man in Glendale told me while I was on my mission. He said that when he was a missionary in the 60's, he was taught not to teach African Americans because they couldn't hold the priesthood or go to the temple and it wasn't time to bring them the gospel yet. He was taught that if a black man or woman answered the door, he was to say, "Oh excuse me, I thought this was the Jone's house," and the person at the door would smile and say, "Oh no, they live three doors down." There weren't really Jone's three doors down, but this was the way to avoid a conflict or awkward situation.
Is this how missionaries in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Canada, Spain, etc. are trained now in relation to gay families? I can really understand why the Church would be so afraid of gay marriage. And yet, I can also see how the Church has really fenced itself into a corner on this one. At some point, gay marriage will be established in major places of the world, and the Church will be missing a major group of people that it could proselyte to. There will be a large group of people to whom the Church will not be able to bring its gospel.
But that's just it. All the evidence says that the Church doesn't want to bring the gospel to those people. It's an interesting train of thought to consider. And it does beg the question, what are the implications of this thought on gays who grow up in the Church? Does the Church want gay members at all?