Losing My Religion

“Rifts in the Mormon Family: What Just Happened?”
University of Chicago Divinity School

Since Nov. 5, 2015, when the Mormon Church was outed for an LGBT policy they tried to sneak into leadership handbooks without anyone’s notice, I’ve been struggling to write something cohesive about what just happened to the religion of my childhood.

The above article is the best thing I’ve read on the matter in the last 2 weeks, but it’s insufficient to characterize what this has really done the global community of Mormons of any kind. WHAT THE FUCK? is all we’re left with. If good Mormons swore.

This affects all of us, the disenfranchised and the devout.

I haven’t gone to church in 24 years, but it hit me so hard I’m at a loss for how to address it. If you care to have any understanding of what just happened to the Mormon Church and why I, too, finally removed my name from the records at the rally mentioned in the article, please read it. Perhaps because the writer isn’t emotionally invested, he’s better able to capture it.

If you’ve been reading me for awhile, you know that anger is the first thing I feel when confronted with any type of challenge. I learned early that anger is easier to feel than pain, and it was a natural fit for a strong-willed personality such as mine. But this deception by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has absolutely broken my heart, and all I feel is deep, throbbing sorrow. I’ve been emotional and profoundly sad for 2 solid weeks.

I can no longer lend my name to an organization that injures and alienates people. I was never able to believe the doctrine, but this is the first I’ve seen them, firsthand, as intentionally deceptive and ungodly. I always gave them the benefit of the doubt: “They really believe it’s true and, however flawed the behavior of mankind is and will be, what they do is meant to lead with love and be like Christ.”

I was wrong. This is just hate. They hid it, then scrambled like hell when buried exclusionism was exposed. It hurts to find out you’ve been duped. A knowing deception is more bitter than an accident of good intention.

It’s all bullshit. And they know it! This is simply a tactic to prevent the normalization of homosexuality among the rank-and-file of the LDS Church. And what of the many years when leaders recommended various reparative therapies to LGBT people, including marriages which produced the very children the church is now disavowing?

When REM’s “Losing My Religion” was released in ’91, I was scandalized and utterly tortured by it. Not only was blasphemy one of the greatest songs ever (still), I’d been struggling for years already, fearing for my eternal soul: I could not reconcile myself to the absurd claims of LDS dogma (later to all claims of all religions). It was as though I’d been found out. When the song played among peers, I acted as though I didn’t hear it at all. Alone, I turned it full-blast and sang like God Himself was listening. “Answer that! Tell my why, HOW, it’s true! Can’t you hear me? I’m losing my religion!”

I didn’t want to. My parents are well-meaning and honest. Educated, intelligent. They’re flawed, nice, every-day folk. They wouldn’t sell me a false bill of goods. Ultimately, I accepted that we arrived at different truths. And that was fine.

This isn’t.

I believe in something, but not orthodoxy. Right now I’m pretty pissed off at mine.

Good-bye, little Mormon girl. One voice matters and yours belongs only to you now.

trying to be like jesus

The Brethren changed the handbook for lay-leadership, barring the children of gay people from baptism until age 18 – if they disavow their gay parent(s) – AND DIDN’T TELL THE MEMBERSHIP! It was leaked on Nov. 5, 2015.

notary

Local attorney, Mark A. Naugle, offered his services for free. It can be a real hassle leaving the Mormon Church. This simplified the process and gave it gravitas. Notaries were also on hand, at no charge, for good measure.

robert and me

It was a beautiful Fall day with my friend Robert.

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