Thursday, March 7, 2019

Connections: UMC Hardening vs. Queer People to Catholic School Barring Child of Gay Couple to Failure of Utah Bill Outlawing "Conversion" Therapy to "Pro-Life" Administration Caging Children

I offer you today these selections from items I have been reading lately, because — to my way of thinking, and I am hoping you'll agree — there's a common theme here. These stories interlink:

Sarah Elizabeth Smith, A Queer Reflection on the UMC Decision:

But this is what happens when Churches don't talk about real life things. When churches sweep things under the rug. Disregard people’s humanity and "pray for them." What the hell is that going to do? The church leaves LGBTQ people to die. Total exclusion and cut off from spiritual and communal connectivity. As if we are a disease or a virus to get rid of and somehow everything will be better. The problem is that we aren’t the problem. The church is the problem.

Kirstjen Nielsen just doesn't give a shit. Testifying before a House committee on Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary expressed no remorse for the recent deaths of two migrant children under federal immigration custody, or the images of separated children being held in cages. Rather, Nielsen's retort was that these cages weren't cages at all. 
"Sir, they're not cages!" she claimed. "We're not going to go through the semantics," Homeland Security Committee chair Bennie Thompson responded. "I saw the cyclone fences that were made as cages, and you did too. All you have to do is admit it. If it's a bad policy, then change it. But don't mislead the committee. Do not mislead the committee."

Catholic grade school in Kansas has barred a same-sex couple from enrolling their child in kindergarten. 
The move sparked a petition, which has now been signed by around 1,000 people, calling on leaders of St. Ann Parish and School in Prairie Village to reconsider, The Kansas City Star has reported. 
The signatories—including many members of the parish—addressed the petition to Archbishop Joseph Naumann and Superintendent Kathy O’Hara. 
"One of the many reasons that we choose to send our children to St. Ann is the welcoming culture, which is central to the original ministry of Jesus Christ," the petition read. "We are proud to be a part of a community that readily supports our neighbors and friends when they are in need."

The sponsor of a proposed ban on conversion therapy in Utah watched colleagues dismantle his bill on Tuesday and replace it with an alternative that he says would do nothing to stop the widely discredited practice of trying to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ youth.

Keep in mind as you read about this debacle that the teen suicide rate in Utah is nearly the highest in the nation — and it has climbed dramatically in recent years. It has everything to do with the ugly way in which the LDS church treats LGBTQ people.

Treating your queer children as misbegotten and evil in a culture that places huge value on family and on being saved in family units is particularly destructive to their well-being. Casting them out of family and community can be a death sentence.

Nor does this apply only to Mormons. Other religious communities practice similar demonization and exclusion of queer people including the children of same-sex couples. This behavior exposes the claim of many such Christian communities to be "pro-life" as totally bogus.

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