Annapurna is the Hindu goddess of food: The Mother Who Feeds

Annapurna is the Hindu goddess of food: The Mother Who Feeds.
"In this world, apart from our spiritual practice, there is no other place or power that we can rely on." Supreme Master Ching Hai

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Is "taking it on faith" the way you want to live?

I've been saddened, again, by current events. Facebook is a great place to stay in touch, but in my case, it's also the place where I learn about things going on in the LDS faith, as I would otherwise have no other contact to keep me informed, if it weren't for my handful of Mormon friends.

Normally I'm okay with not knowing who the current "Prophet" is, or what the latest news is on scouting or missionary work, etc. I have two very good friends who have children on missions, and if I have the desire to know about that world, I can check in with them. But seeing the memes mocking the latest handbook entry for LDS leaders led me to investigate things a little more closely.

Facebook and anti-LDS are screaming from the top of the nearest building that the "Mormons are ostracizing the children of gay couples in the church, and not allowing them to be baptised unless they renounce gay marriage."
I've read the actual entries from the LDS church on this, and the news is actually old news. 

Children of non-members aren't allowed to be baptised until age 18 either, because the church's stance is that they don't want to create division within the home, having parents who are non-members be in conflict with an underage child who might be living differently than the people who pay their rent and cook their food. I can see the logic in this. The church is taking that same stance, albeit newly spelled out, for the children of same sex couples and calling it "protection."

The actual wording in the handbook states that in order to be baptised, the children of same sex parents "
must simply affirm the Church’s teachings about sexuality and marriage. To quote the new handbook change, “The child accepts and is committed to live the teachings and doctrine of the Church, and specifically disavows the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage.”

So, lets talk about that wording. According to the Webster's Dictionary, to 'disavow' is to: 

Full Definition of DISAVOW:

1: to deny responsibility for: REPUDIATE

2:  to refuse to acknosledge or accept: DISCLAIM

Now while the children of gay parents are not responsible for their parent's behaviours, they are, in fact, part of a family. Most likely a loving family where the parents just happen to be the same gender. Simply committing to live the teachings of the church and denying that their family is a good, loving, nurturing, healthy family, is asking them to deny and disown the very core of who they are. And many of my friends say they "just have to take this on faith?"

How, can I ask you, could you ever ask anyone to do this? How could you tear apart your family for a religion who says the act of loving each other is a sin? No gay person, who cohabitates or who is married, can be a fully participatory member of the church. ONLY if you put aside your nature, give up the essence of who you are on a genetic level, and choose a life of celibacy, can you be allowed to participate in full church membership. 

So forget about the dusty remnants of years gone by, that horrifically edited collection of stories put together by a group of men, designed to scare the shit out of anyone left living who reads it (aka: THE BIBLE) for a minute. Let's talk about science. Let's talk about life. Every gay person I know has known in their soul, from a very young age, exactly who and what they were. This is not learned behaviour, as my nephew will tell you. Born of goodly parents, and supplied with a pious mother who lived the gospel to the letter despite an inactive husband, she raised him up to be a missionary man, and a loving father. She got a beautifully androgynous, incredibly talented dancer and gay man for a son instead. This is something that takes place on a genetic level people! It is not a choice. 

I have another friend who is openly gay, openly married to a woman, who is the father of four children, and who is so in love with Mormon doctrine that he has forsaken his own PERSON to live the faith. A hard choice to be sure. But doable, if only on paper. He will gladly tell you that he struggles with same sex attraction on a daily basis. And yet he loves his god and will not go against the doctrine of the church. But what if one of his daughters decided she was gay? How would that change him when it came down to letting her live life true to her own person?  Would he encourage her to take his path? Or would he want her to be happy? Because as the mother of five kids, I just want them to be happy; bottom line.

So, do I agree with this latest edict from my once-assigned (I didn't choose, so I call myself a Mormon, assigned from birth to live in a religion that didn't suit me) church? No. Oh, HELL NO. I think it's horrible. It's tantamount to abuse. And it infuriates me and at the same time saddens me that so many of the people I respect and love, who are still members, think they just have to "take this one on faith." Faith in WHAT? What about faith in the brain you were given? The brain that lets you know when something is wrong. If you feel in your gut this is wrong, what else is wrong? There are choices out there, and support of this atrocity doesn't have to be part of who you are or what you believe. Can you not support this and still be a member? I don't know. But the question is this: why would you want to?

1 comment:

  1. This has not made me happy either. I am a mormon, but a gay marriage supporter. I've done a lot of reading over the past couple of days and feel like I understand why the church felt like it needed to make this decision...but I still don't like it or fully agree. Probably because I'm at odds with how the church deals with LGBQT in general. Your questions as to whether you are allowed to support gay marriage or not support the church's most recent decision and still be a member in good standing? The answer is yes. Elder Christofferson, one of the apostles has said so. (His brother is gay.) And for what it's worth, though I have a HUGE testimony of faith...I still hate it when people say you have to just "take it on faith." Use your brain, people! Faith is an important part of the equation...but it is exactly that, an equation, not the sole answer. You have to think for yourself and insert equal parts logic and science as well as faith!

    Bryan's knee-jerk reaction when he heard the news was to say, "That's it, I'm resigning my membership!" I don't think he actually plans to do that. But I haven't told you yet....he doesn't believe in the church anymore. He only comes to church because he knows it is important to the rest of us and he likes being together as a family. He's very much in the process of leaving. (Doesn't pay tithing, doesn't wear garments, no temple recommend, doesn't really believe in prayer, etc.) It's been a rough year for us. But our marriage is solid and if anything, we are closer than we've ever been despite the differences in belief, solely because of how incredibly honest and open we've been with each other during all of these long and hard and raw discussions we've had. It's a long story so I won't get into here in this comment. But it's been something I've been meaning to tell you for a long time.

    Regardless, my own views and beliefs have been changing somewhat...I see things now in different ways. Less in black and whites and more in grays. I'm nowhere close to leaving the Mormon church. I still find much that is good and wonderful. But I think the shifts in me are good ones. I'm looking at each aspect of my testimony or faith and deciding what I'm doing because I really want to, because it is meaningful to me, and what I'm doing solely because it's just what I've always done...and making changes. But though I don't agree with the church in some things, and have questions and concerns about others, I still love it. And if Joseph Smith made up the whole thing, my opinion he made up a pretty damn good church. I'm very much a Christian and I like worshiping on Sunday. Even if this ends up not being "the one true church" (I haven't officially decided yet...still overall believing it is because I want it to be) I can't see that the catholics, protestants, baptists or methodists are any better. This is where I am happy. Plus, my cute Rebekah out on her mission in England...oh my goodness, I'm so proud of her! She is thriving and I've never seen her so happy.

    Anyhow, long comment, sorry! Maybe I should've sent it in an email. But there you go. Information and my two cents and all sorts of other ramblings. :) Love you, my friend! And admire you so much!!!