Secularism Won and it’s a Good Thing Too

This is what I posted on Facebook yesterday:”I was so saddened today to hear that my support of the LGBT community is translated as opposition to The Church’s stance on same-sex marriage. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have come out celebrating this as a civil rights issue, not as a marriage issue. I have seen children of “good LDS families” homeless and wandering the streets, and worse, suicidal because they would rather face death than face their families with a truth they cannot change. I celebrate this as a member of the church because it has opened the door to closed minds.” I was even more saddened that only one of the sweet, supportive comments came from an LDS friend. And then one of my former-LDS-gay friends posted this:

Secularism Won and it’s a Good Thing Too

(Sorry, you will have to click on the blog title because I accidentally reposted into the wrong blog, and it wont let me repost a second time.)

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Congratulations!

Now EVERYBODY is free to marry the person of their choice.

Screenshot 2015-06-26 11.12.25

I learned about it on Facebook. I get more accurate news there, even if it is wildly conflated along party lines. The nice thing about Facebook is that I get both points of view, nearly simultaneously, and it is so much easier to get a clear picture that way.  After all, there are many sides to every story.

So this morning I got the post from a gay friend first. Next I heard from a conservative relative, and following that, this from my visiting teaching partner:

Screenshot 2015-06-26 12.08.33

Here is the complete text from the LDS Church’s press release:

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledges that following today’s ruling by the Supreme Court, same-sex marriages are now legal in the United States. The Court’s decision does not alter the Lord’s doctrine that marriage is a union between a man and a woman ordained by God. While showing respect for those who think differently, the Church will continue to teach and promote marriage between a man and a woman as a central part of our doctrine and practice.”

I don’t know my new partner well, and the conversation that followed proved it.

I couldn't have said it better.

I couldn’t have said it better. And so in the spirit of the day:

  #ProudtoLove

Mister Gloomy, you don’t belong here!

A few thoughts on depression from my son, Jake Barrett, and his good friends Andy and Taylor Checketts. The three of them make up the band Waiting For Compromise:
Sometimes misery seems to follow you everywhere you go.

This song is available for purchase on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and more.

About the Music:
Jake Barrett: lead vocal
Andy Checketts: guitar/backup vocal
Taylor Checketts: piano/backup vocal/audio mixing
Bass, drums, cellos, and ambience were added using Logic Pro X.

About the Video:
Directed by Andy Checketts and Taylor Checketts.
Filmed and edited by Andy Checketts.
-Cast
Man: Braden Randall Gubler
Mr. Gloomy: Collin Jones
Man with mirror: Andy Checketts

Consider yourself hugged

Oh, there are so many things I want to talk about today. I am so behind on my posts that I am full of things I want to write to catch myself up. And even though I haven’t really addressed issues such as abortion, gun control, housing for homeless, climate change, or feminism yet, I have decided to talk about something I talk about  a lot. Something that is near and dear to my heart: homosexuality.

Some of my family members agree in spirit, that homosexuality is not a choice; but none of them have any interest in joining any sort of campaign showing support to gay people. I can understand those who are afraid that their ward members might not understand, but this is not the case with my family members who live nearby. The reason for their reticence is very simple. As my conservative neighbor, who agrees with them, says, “I don’t march around telling people I’m straight; why do they need to march around telling people they’re gay?”  Wow. If it were only that simple.

Imagine this scenario. You were born with blonde hair. You grew up with blonde hair.  When you look in the mirror, you see blonde hair.  You can dye your hair and pretend that your blonde hair doesn’t exist, but deep down you know that your hair is blonde. People tell you that it’s not true, that you’re not really blonde. They tell you that they disagree with you about being blonde. They tell you that a loving Heavenly Father would never allow any of his children to be born blonde, and that you can stop being blonde if you pray hard enough.  People make fun of you, they tell blonde jokes and threaten to hurt you because you are blonde. They tell you that being blonde is a sin, and that you absolutely MUST give up your blondness if you ever want to go to heaven.

Yes He does.

You want those people to understand that what they say is not true. You want them to understand that you HAVE tried to pray your blonde away. You want them to understand that you’ve died your hair black, but the blonde roots keep coming back. You want them to understand that their words hurt. You will never tell them that you once thought that the only way to get away from your blondness was suicide. You have studied your scriptures, listened to general conference, and prayed, and there is one thing you KNOW for sure. God doesn’t care that you’re blonde, he loves you unconditionally.

I don’t exactly know what a gay person goes through, but there is one thing I know. I was loud and awkward as a kid.  I’ve worn glasses since I was two, and sometimes my clothes weren’t as stylish as the ones the other kids wore.  And now that I’m older, I’m fat too. I do know what it’s like to be bullied. I know the frustration of having studied hard and come to a true knowledge of a much-debated subject (like evolution and climate change), only to be told that despite my education, I’m STILL wrong. And yes, Molly, I even know what it’s like to have a firm knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a deep understanding of His love for me, only to be told that I am not Christian because I am Mormon, or that I am leading people astray because I actually believe in any sort of god or book of religion.

It hurts to be misunderstood. It hurts to have loved ones tell you that you don’t know what you are talking about even though you know that you do. I have never been truly suicidal, but I do know that I would have been if had lived in a situation where so-called Christian family members teased, bullied and preached against me because I couldn’t see without my glasses.

I get it. I know why they have gay pride parades.  It’s the one time when GLBTs can be surrounded by others who are like them and have a chance to show that they deserve respect because they are human beings–and hopefully, they will be heard. I want gay people to know that it is NOT Christian to judge someone or say hurtful things because they are different. I want them to know that even though I am a Mormon, I never would have voted for proposition 8. I want to give them a hug and try to reassure them that there are Christians and Mormons who truly understand.

There is a gay pride parade in Salt Lake this Sunday, and I REALLY want to march with Mormons Building Bridges, or at least to help run the hugging booth.  I normally ride the train into SLC because our only car has black transmission fluid (it’s supposed to be red). We were told that the transmission would last longer if we don’t change out the fluid, and we really do need to wait until August so that we can get a good loan on a good car. But the train doesn’t run on Sundays. Family members who live close by just don’t see the need to go. My visiting teacher is marching with her family in the parade on Sunday, but her car will be full of family members, so I can’t ride along.

Blogging is my only way to participate this year, so I decided I’d better do it loud and proud. I’m a Christian. I’m a Mormon. I’m trying to be like Jesus, and love everyone just as he asked me to do. I hope you hear me.

Consider yourself hugged.

*** “Molly Mormon” is a term often used to refer to Ultra-Conservative Mormons who adhere strictly, and often blindly, to misunderstood or outdated teachings of the LDS church.