Nov 12 2008
I’m disappointed and ashamed to be a member of this church right now. This isn’t the first time I’ve found my beliefs to be in opposition to teachings from the Church leadership. And while this disconnect has often led me to seriously consider removing my name from the records of the Church, I’ve always believed there was more good to be done by changing people’s minds from within the flock than without. I’m not sure I feel that way anymore. When I talk with individual members of the Church, I see overwhelmingly that they find love and tolerance to be more natural outpourings of their faith than hatred and bigotry. I wish I could understand, in any rational sense, the reasons a Christian would want to deny an entire group of people something that they themselves hold so dear. My Mormon upbringing always taught me that the things I value most in my life ought to be shared. I’ve heard all the arguments that are based on fear and hatred and wish I could understand how so many good people would choose this path over a path of love and acceptance. I know there are aversions to homosexuals, fear of people trying to force gay marriage into LDS temples, and rampant misunderstanding of “nontraditional” families. But none of these are reasons for a church to interfere with a civil constitution. I know our country doesn’t really separate church and state, so I’m rarely surprised to see the two commingled. But this time my lack of surprise carries with it a deep disappointment and regret that good Mormons reached for their pocketbooks (out of fear? out of blind duty? out of hatred?) rather than pausing to question what a financial contribution might actually mean. Right now, my membership is in a very tenuous state. I have loved and respected and identified with members of this church my whole life. But I couldn’t feel more disappointment and distance from those who fought so hard to pass this amendment. And why are they standing quietly by as families around the world are torn apart by poverty, war, famine, environmental injustices, AIDS, or any number of social and political issues that seem so much larger and truly threatening to families? This isn’t a version of Christianity I recognize or want to be a part of.