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.