If you’re interested in Mormon news, you already know the change in policy to no longer let children of same-sex couples get a name and a blessing, get baptized or go on a mission until they: reach 18, move out of the house, denounce same-sex unions, and get permission from the First Presidency. And now we hear from Elder Christofferson why they felt the need to do this. It’s to protect the children, I tell ya! Because having loving same-sex parents who, for whatever reason, want to let their children participate in the LDS church, will make the children have to choose between their parents and the church. So why not the same ban for children of ex-Mormons? Or children of murderers? Or children of any mixed-faith household? Or children of unmarried parents? Won’t those children also have to choose between the church and their parents? The point is, parents already have to give permission for their minor children to be baptized. Why not let them join the church if that’s what their entire family decides?

Here are some of the gems people wrote on my Facebook wall about why I’m wrong on this subject:

  • “The church has always welcomed everyone. The crux of this issue is around apostasy. Minors in the home of apostate parents of any kind don’t have the support system they need in the home. Lastly, if an LDS gay couple chooses to raise a child, they are the ones denying their child blessings, not the church.” So why not ban children of other apostates? Ex-Mormons, inactive Mormons, sinning Mormons, etc.
  • Nominated for the Just Turn It Off Award: “There has never been a sin so glorified as homosexuality. We as a society acknowledge that Murder, Theft, Rape and dealing drugs are sins. There is no confusion. Homosexuality in every instance differs in that society itself teaches it as a valued trait, a noble deed to which to aspire. Homosexuality is a popular sin Expressed as “Free Love” and “Pride”. How can we expect a child to recognize this sin when not only society praises its so called “virtues” but the home in which they are nurtured parades it. This is why in my opinion the church has decided to postpone the baptisms of these individuals, more evidence that Christ truly values our individual salvation, and not only pushing unprepared individuals into the waters of baptism.”
  • “As for not baptizing children of gay families until they are of age….I can’t even imagine where this would ever realistically be a scenario. It just seems like a hypothetical that would never happen. And if it did l think there’s no doubt it would put the children in a difficult position.” And yet, I know a lesbian couple who have a son on a mission. It was their choice to let their son grow up in the church, and he did grow up in the church and is now serving a mission. Now a child in that same situation will never get to grow up in the church if the family wants to.
  • A recently returned missionary told me I need to use Moroni’s promise to know the prophets are making the right decision. The God I believe in would never be so exclusionary. I have prayed and pondered (but not yet ponderized) this topic and I have no doubt where God wants me to be on this.

So if the church is only excluding the children of same-sex parents, why aren’t they worried about the children of other apostates? There is one other group they exclude in the same way: polygamists. The church has had that ban for years on polygamist families because they don’t want anyone at church who has sympathies whatsoever for polygamy. Now the same is true for gay marriage. Today we have zero doubt where the church stands on this. But the only thing the church is trying to protect is itself, not the children of same-sex couples. They want to keep the church as pure as possible in its 1950’s-era conservatism. Meanwhile, society moves on and probably a lot of non-Mormons are looking at this fight in Mormondom and wondering: “Why are they fighting about this? Are there people who are still afraid of gay marriage in 2015?” Oh yes, there are. And if you’re one of them, you ought to consider joining the LDS church! You will find lots of people there who share your views on how terribly sinful it is for a man to act on his God-given instincts to be committed to another man. As for me, people think homosexuality is a sin are not my people. I was born into this religion, but this religion follows a bigoted God that I want nothing to do with. My God is a God of love and acceptance. To each his own.


Comments

Suffer the little children to come unto me…oh wait, but not THAT kid — 7 Comments

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  2. First off saying that the church is homophobic or that they hate gay people is just wrong. For thousands of years, gods doctrine has been that homosexuality is a sin. Just because it’s 2015 now it doesn’t mean that now gods law has expired or something. The church doesn’t follow social trends just because they are politically correct. We don’t cater to everyone just because they exist. Secondly, lets be realistic here… You are making an issue out of a non issue… About 4% of the population is gay and about 500,000 of those estimated 9 million LGBT people are married, making up 0.001 percent of the population. Out of that 0.001 of LGBT people who are married, who knows what percent of that have children. Them after that, they then want their child to be baptized in the LDS church. This must affect less the 50 people on the face of the planet. See, non issue. Plus all of the situations that arise are of people who have divorced and their kids live in between homes and their dad has married another man or something. Situations such as those will be personally dealt with by members of the priesthood. I know this from talking with stake presidents, bishops and high priests. Plus, no one seems to be mentioning that the kids and their parents are allowed to come to all church activities but they cannot be baptized while living in an environment that is contrary to the teachings of the church. And that argument about murderers and rapists is just disgusting, you should be ashamed to spew that garbage. Do you think that there are children just living with murderers, rapists and other criminals? NO! c’mon… do you know what happens when you murder or rape someone and get convicted? You get put in prison and you lose custody of your children, and they are put in the care of other law abiding family members. Honestly, are you really comparing murders and rapists with people in same sex marriages? I know the church isn’t. BTW did you know that elder Christopherson’s brother is gay? This topic is close to him with him and i doubt he is some monstrous bigot that wants to kill all of the gay people. The obvious reason behind the decision to make children from same sex marriages wait to get baptized until they are 18 is to avoid having contention within their families. If a kid got baptized, went through primary and young mens or womens, learning about the plan of salvation and learning about how a married man and woman would be in heaven together would confuse the child and cause contention at home with his own parents who he loves very much. Learning that they will not be able to be an eternal family would devastate the child. Also the teachings at home would conflict with the churches doctrine causing even more confusion for the developing child. Allowing a child from a same sex marriage get baptized before he was 18 and out of the house would make him choose between his parents and the church. Why would you want to make a child do that? If the child really felt that the church was right for him and he studied the doctrine and agreed with it, is it unreasonable to make them wait until they are 18 and can make a conscious decision? the church isn’t afraid of gay people in fact you should read the material that has recently come out telling church members to treat LGBT people with respect and love.

    • Hey, good to you see you again John! Welcome back. 🙂

      Brigham Young taught that the penalty for a mixed-race marriage should be “death on the spot.” Prophets between BY and SWK taught racist theories about why blacks were denied the priesthood. Now today in the church’s essay on race and the priesthood, it says the church disavows all the racist theories and teachings of the previous prophets. Prophets through John Taylor taught you couldn’t get to the highest part of the Celestial Kingdom without entering into polygamy. The temple endowment used to contain a section on how Adam was God until later prophets decided it was wrong, and they pulled it out. The point is, prophets can get things wrong, and spectacularly so. Jesus somehow never mention homosexuality in the Bible, Book of Mormon or D&C. Paul mentioned it in the New Testament, but he also demanded women keep quiet in church and that men having long hair was wrong.

      As for only affecting 50 children–you couldn’t be more wrong. I know a lesbian couple who have a son on a mission. Under the new rules that never would have been allowed. I have two women in my ward each with an LGBT child. Those children look at how LGBT are being treated, and they realize the church has no place for them, and now they no longer want to go to church. I suppose you’ll celebrate that fact to keep the church pure. Just because you don’t personally know any LGBT who associate with the church doesn’t mean there aren’t any. If the parents and the child agree with the child being a member, why stop it? That rule was already in place, that the parents have to agree with it. I just don’t believe it’s fair to have a one-size-fits-all policy and single out a particular class of people who are simply living with their God-given instincts.

      When did I say the church wants to kill gay people? No one is saying that. That’s called a straw man argument.

      The church’s own manual says church discipline *may* be required for murder, rape, abuse, etc. It says church discipline *must* be required for same-sex marriages. So yes, the church does consider two committed, loving, same-sex partners to be worse than murderers, rapists and abusers. Sad but true.

      Telling people that they are apostate for being in a committed relationship, and telling them their kids aren’t welcome in full fellowship, is hardly treating them with love and respect.

      And here are some more real world examples of the pain this is causing: http://janariess.religionnews.com/2015/11/10/mormon-boy-denied-priesthood-ordination-because-his-mom-is-living-with-a-woman/

  3. Could you get any specific examples of the prophets saying those things? It seems that when people bring up examples such as those they always come from some other source. Like a man who left the church then years later recalled Brigham Young telling him something. I have never found any quotes from Brigham Young saying that people in mixed race relationships. While yes many of the early prophets were inherently racist, it’s not like there was an alternative in the times. Everyone was racist. While this does not make it right, you cannot expect that in the 1800’s the LDS church to be the patrons of civil liberty and to be at the forefront of social justice. Hell, the U.S government and people were just as racist if not more racist than the LDS church. The church specifically was against slavery calling it evil. While you might know someone who this affects, you cannot say that this miniscule change in policy ( yes, the church has always been against same sex relationships), will affect many people. If I was a conservative capitalist who wanted to lower taxes, I would not vote for Bernie Sanders. And if I was gay and wanted to get married and raise a family, I would not look to raise them in the LDS church who would view my relationship as an apostasy. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s definitely not a one size fits all policy. If you happen to be in that situation, you need to talk to your bishop or stake president , they will handle it as they see fit. The handbook is a guideline, it always has been. It think you are mixing up being LGBT and being in a same sex marriage. They are very different in the church’s eyes. The church welcome people who are LGBT with open arms. I just read a publication by the church on it very recently. If you want it I could probably find it. The thing I remember most from it is it said” We should love our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and treat them with the love and respect that they deserve”. While the church has never and will never accept same sex marriage as acceptable for it’s members, it will respect people who are LGBT. I’m sorry… The church does not think that gay marriage is worse than murder, rape and abuse. You get excommunicated for that and you can never repent from murder. I think you need to use your thinking cap for this one. That argument is sick and a blatant lie. Just because the church doesn’t accept something it doesn’t mean that they would prefer murder or rape over it. Who do u think we are? Do you really think anyone in the church thinks that murder is better than gay marriage? That is B.S and I refuse to accept it.

    • The Brigham Young quote that mentions mixed-race marriage deserves death:
      “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.”
      —Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 10, page 110

      Here are some more BY quotes I’ve found: http://indiemormon.com/index.php/brigham-young/

      You’re right, LGBT folks will no longer want to be part of the LDS church. I actually do know folks who were trying to stay in the church because they love it. I have a lesbian friend who lives in Seattle and is planning on marrying another woman, and was hoping she could stay in the church. Now she knows she will be getting excommunicated when she gets married. Did Jesus chase off anyone that the scribes and Pharisees considered sinners? No, he spent time with them, which frustrated the ruling class of the Jews.

      Here’s why I think the LDS church thinks gay marriage is worse than murder, rape, abuse, etc, via Handbook 1:
      When a Disciplinary Council May Be Necessary
      Serious Trangression
      …It includes (but is not limited to) attempted murder, forcible rape, sexual abuse, spouse abuse, intentional serious physical injury to others, adultery, fornication, homosexual relations (especially sexual cohabitation)…

      When a Disciplinary Council Is Mandatory
      Apostasy
      As used here, apostasy refers to members who:

      4. Are in a same-gender marriage.

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