Thursday, November 19, 2015

NY Times on Mormons "Leaving the Church in Droves" and the Alternative, Churches That "Embrace All People": A Message U.S. Catholic Bishops Refuse to Get

I shared the following with my circle of Facbook friends today, and thought I'd now post it here: 

The NY Times editorializes today about the reaction of Mormons who are "leaving the church in droves" after it enacted a new policy punishing the children of same-sex couples. As the editorial notes, those leaving the church say "they no longer feel at home in an institution that so resolutely excludes a segment of the population that has become increasingly visible, legally protected and socially accepted in America."

It also notes that if Mormons leaving their church want to find church homes that "embrace all people," those are increasingly to be found.

I fully understand the choice many Mormons are now making it. I'm making the same choice vis-a-vis my own Catholic church. I'm too near the end of my life journey to spend more time in a religious community that tells me I am unwelcome, that my humanity is disordered and that I am less human than straight people. The U.S. Catholic bishops have continued with the hate rhetoric at their national meeting, speaking of same-sex marriage as an "intrinsic evil" that good Catholics should keep in mind as they cast their votes in elections. "Don't vote for anyone who supports abortion or same-sex marriage," they continue to tell Catholics. Which is to say," Vote Republican."

No other moral criteria — concern for the poor, support for the extension of healthcare coverage to many indigent citizens, welcoming the stranger — count for them. I've had it with the Catholic community, and with the silence of many "good" Catholics who stand by and let these "pastoral" leaders attack their family members and friends who are gay. I'd rather spend what's left of my life in a religious community in which people welcome, support, and love me.

As a footnote to that statement: though mainstream media headlines have been reporting that "hundreds" of people attended the rally last Saturday in Salt Lake City and officially resigned from the LDS church at the rally, the event organizers have reported that the numbers at the rally exceeded all their expectations. The attorney helping people resign officially from the Mormon church, Mark Naugle, has reported that he processed 1,830 resignation documents on Saturday, most of them from people who came to the rally. 

Our Catholic friend Ms. Purgatrix Ineptiae of the National Catholic Reporter threads, who enjoys seeing LGBT folks and those who love them bullied from her Catholic church and from the LDS church, has scoffed about this figure in comments at NCR. "A drop in the bucket," she gloats.

She seems unaware that insiders report that the LDS church had already lost about a million members following revelations that it had used donations from the faithful to attack gay citizens in California in the prop 8 battle, and strip those citizens of the right of civil marriage. Maybe churches that hate and attack gay folks will thrive in the 21st century. Maybe they'll attract lots of true believers who are energized, as Ms. Ineptiae is, by such ugly energies.

Maybe. Maybe they'll succeed in convincing the world that this behavior emulates the behavior of Jesus, too, and that it proceeds from the heart of Jesus' message of good news for the world, as the U.S. Catholic bishops want to convince us.

And maybe pigs will one day lift their wings and fly, too.

I'll soon be digging out the cute little flying pig that a kind reader of this blog sent me last year, and giving it an honored place on our Christmas tree — when we obtain such tree close to Christmas.

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