[Mromon theology states] God loves all his children equally, therefore all must be capable of the heterosexual marriage required for the highest rewards, therefore homosexuality is not divinely created or approved, therefore it must be a mistake or a temptation to be fixed or resisted, at the peril of losing one’s eternal reward. Gay people “suffer” and “struggle.” They are not whole.
This is how most Mormons interpret their scriptures, and this is why it will be nearly impossible for the Mormon church to accept gay people with full equality without abandoning its own theology.
In the past, gay Mormons were excommunicated just for coming out. Now, policy is that it’s OK to be gay, but one must never “act on it.” ....The church defends its ban on gay sex as consistent with “one standard of morality” for everyone, namely, no sex outside marriage. This disingenuously ignores the fact that straight single Mormons always have hope of finding “the one,” but a faithful gay Mormon does not. Their church demands that they remain single, celibate, and lonely throughout their lives; if they do, they’re told God will “fix” them and later on give them every blessing they didn’t have in this life.
But to a growing number of people like myself, raised Mormon but proud of being gay, this is no incentive at all. We should live a cold, lonely life, with the “heavenly” reward of being turned into something we never wanted to be anyway? No thanks. We’ve realized that, given the way the Mormon church has framed this issue and painted itself into a doctrinal corner, there was no reconciling the church and its demands with a happy life and the chance for the kind of love God intended for us. Nor do we think the Mormon church either trustworthy on these issues or capable of reforming itself to achieve true equality.
Increasing understanding is fine, but the only thing that will stem this tide is a theological re-write so monumental that it could fracture the church. I think the leadership will play to their base, choose doctrinal consistency, and accept the ongoing loss of all the talent and devotion gay members could otherwise contribute. There just aren’t enough gay Mormons to force them to do otherwise.
I’m grateful for much in my Mormon upbringing. I wish my Mormon friends well. My path lies elsewhere, with new faith, new friends, new family. It’s been better than I could ever have imagined.
Friday, May 25, 2012
WIll Mormons change towards gays? Don't count on it
Part 2 following from last week: an ex Mormon considers his former church.