Friday, November 20, 2015

I guess Elvis has returned from the grave....

Just a few more thoughts running around in my head...which I wanted to voice on virtual paper.  The recent "clarification" of the new policy of the church has done little to stop the criticism nor the pain created from their handbook change.  I have talked to several believing friends about their feelings of the change. Their response has been the church's reason; "the protection of the children".  I cannot fathom the pain this policy has caused to children of the LGBT community nor to the parents  themselves.  Even many believing members are struggling with this change.  This policy has been the final straw for many fence sitting members to resign.  I  understand the struggle to leave the church.  It is not easy nor would I wish it on anyone, but I am so happy I did it. 

I just wanted to vent about this policy and the new class of member it created.  As an apostate, it seems weird and surreal to think that my children can progress and move along in the church but a believing gay person, who is living with his/her spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend cannot.  If I didn't resign from the church, I should have been kicked out.  It would have been a matter of time. I came to the conclusion that it was all a lie. I ranted and posted things online. I was active on ex-Mormon chat groups and sites.  I debated my bishop in his office for over an hour toward the end of my belief.  I was becoming more outspoken and vocal about the church and its teachings/policies/doctrine.  Considering all this, my kids could still be baptized, ordained to the priesthood, and even be on the records of the church.   My gay neighbor, sorry you are out of luck.

I have since gotten to a better spot.  I don't feel the anger as I once had.  I have "moved on". But I don't think one can totally and completely "move on"....we all can slip back into the anger phase.  We are all human.  But to be honest I am not angry about this handbook change, only sad by this whole circus.  I am married to a beautiful wife who is a complete believer, my children are active and fully participate and believe in the church. We are doing the best we can to navigate my faith change.  We have grown as a family and are dancing around the elephant in the room. 

The point of this post is to show that if the church was really concerned about the children, they would apply the same policies to my children and their situation. They are hearing that their father, who is not perfect but a good person and father, is wrong, mistaken and lost.  I know it has and will continue to confuse them. But the church doesn't apply the same rules and restrictions to my family as it does to my neighbor who is gay.  The gay members are a new class of members.   The church has created a new caste system.  And I, in all my apostate "ness", is on a higher level than my gay friends.   I know it all comes down to perspective but the rules should apply to of us fellow apostates.

Dave Johnson
Salt Lake City, UT

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I had to dust off the keyboard to write one more entry....

I know this topic has been discussed multiple times over the last week. It has been picked up by the AP.  There are many blogs and podcasts that are far more articulate than mine.  But borrowing a Mormon phrase, " I would feel remiss if I didn't tell how I feel..".  In all seriousness, I am completely floored by the latest "disaster" created by the Mormon church.  Who is in charge of the Mormon church?  What the hell is going on downtown?  It is almost as if Jesus really isn't in charge..... mmmm, interesting thought.  This organization has shaken the bee's nest instituting this policy. People are upset, and rightly so. This decision is showing what the Mormon church really is; an out of date, uninspired, ethnocentric and bigoted "good old boys club".  Run by a group of men out of touch with what is really happening in people's lives.  They are surrounded by "yes" men that will roll out the red carpet and hang on every word spewed out of their mouths, as if God Himself has issued it.  And now look at the fallout.

I must be clear, the church has every right to decide who can stay and who must be kicked out.  But when innocent children are involved, the gloves come off.   The church, in an attempt to lessen the damage, has claimed it is for the children. The ironic thing is that many of the people affected by this policy  were created by the church. This occurred  when the church  pressured gay men and women to marry the opposite sex.  They claimed it would help them "overcome" their same sex attraction.   What a complete disaster.  I will state that 20 years ago, the LGBT movement wasn't well accepted or even completely understood. But if God really is charge, I'm sure he would have directed his spokesperson to  not push marriage for these people.  But I am only guessing because I am not a prophet.

To claim that children of gay parents will be protected by waiting to be baptized, or progress in the priesthood is an attempt to save face.  Why does  it only apply to children of a gay parent?  Or a polygamist child? (Again, started in Utah by the Mormons). What about the child of a rapist, an abuser, criminal, drug addict, prostitute, etc...the list is endless. If it is so important to have children wait, why not let all children wait until they are 18.  I don't know one 8 year old  being baptized, mature enough to really understand the commitment he/she is agreeing to.  They say they can still come and participate.  Yes as an outsider.  They are still hearing the anti-gay rhetoric.  Only they are now looking in from the outside.  It shows that they are not welcome.

In my opinion this policy will basically cause two things....1. Further isolate these children who were raised in the church and paint an even bigger Scarlet Letter on them.  2. Force closeted gays to stay in the closet because now their decisions impact the well being and church status of their children.  This policy is indefensible.  I also feel for the members who have to justify and support this policy.  This is a train wreck, pure and simple, and there will be extensive collateral damage.  Pray for the children.

Dave Johnson AKA C.S.
Salt Lake City