The following was originally posted on Uncommon Dissent.
Yeah, I’m chipping in again. Janelle has been bugging me to blog something for weeks (or months, I’ve lost track). I’ve been busy with new hobbies though–I’ve published three new R packages in the past few months, am preparing a fourth, and have a cool new wood lathe that I love playing with (more on that another day).
But the events of this week in Mormondom were almost too big to let go. I was ready to just let it pass, but I’ve come across too many statements from people frustrated by the many people they that are saying “I wasn’t okay with the Church’s new policies, either. But then I prayed about it, and now I am. Perhaps you should pray, too.”
Well, guess what…I did. I have. And I still feel the same way I did when I prayed about this four years ago. (yes, I was contemplating how we should respond to gay couples years ago. Why are you all so late to this party?) My conclusion: this policy stinks. I’m not okay with it.
If you care to know why, here’s what I wrote to a friend on Facebook about it
I think all this talk about the children is a side show. Let me rephrase the thing that really bothers me about this. Regardless of whatever kind of relationship a human being is living in, they are in need of Christ. Full stop. That puts conservative religions in a tough spot, especially as the evidence builds that homosexuality has genetic causes. How do we bring gay men and women into the fold when their natural disposition is toward something we consider a sin? I can live with working with a gay person who is seeking the fellowship of Christ and saying that I don’t understand how all of the complexities will work out in eternity. It’s uncomfortable and deeply unsatisfying. But it’s the reality of life. If there is a gay person out there who is willing to tolerate all of those uncertainties, then we should throw open our arms to do everything we can to help them develop a relationship with Christ. This policy is a stiff arm. This policy sends the message that we don’t even want to try. We don’t care about a gay’s relationship with Christ any more. Damn them all to hell! That’s why I hate this. And I’m ashamed of this church for doing it.
Yes, I still feel that way.
For all of you people out there who agree with me, it’s okay to feel that way. I refer you to what I wrote in February of 2013. Enough said.
For those of you who don’t agree with me, that’s fine too. But before you start harping on me about following prophets and seeking confirmation from the Lord, and all that stuff you’ll use to tell me that the only right conclusion is to agree with the Church, let me point out that our own scriptures establish a pattern of revelation.
Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart. Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.
As it turns out, in my mind and in my heart, I feel that this policy is wrong. So bear with me while I hold confidence in what the Holy Ghost is revealing to me and I’ll bear with you while you hold confidence in what the Holy Ghost is revealing to you. Deal? Good. Done.
In the meantime, I’m not completely sure what the best way to invite gay families into our church is. I’m not 100% sure my ideas would work. It’s a messy, complicated, challenging situation. But I’m confident that we should be willing to work with any and all souls who wish to come to Christ, regardless of what their sins are. Anything less is unbecoming of a disciple of Christ.