What I Would Say To My Bishop About Prop 8
(Painting: The Marriage by Casey Matthews)
It’s been a difficult month for me at church, since I am terribly saddened by the Church’s decision to mobilize the rank and file members against what I see as a civil rights issue. I also have a deep moral conviction that my duty as a Christian is to reach out my arms in love to those who are most despised, most rejected, and most vulnerable in our society.
I see Prop 8 as pushing these vulnerable neighbors away, as drawing ‘us vs. them’ boundaries. as telling them that they are not worthy of the same privileges as we are. I cannot be a part of something that is so hurtful. You may remember Stuart Matis, the LDS boy who shot himself in the head outside his ward building during the Prop 22 days because he felt like there was no hope for him, no place for him in the church he was devoted to. How many Stuarts are there in our ward? How many parents and siblings and friends of homosexuals are there in our ward, whose spirits are violated every time they go to church to worship, but instead have to listen to political statements that are hurtful to them and their loved ones?
I understand that you are just doing your job and that you believe that advocating for Prop 8 is the right thing to do. I can respect that. But please understand that there is a significant minority who are filled with angst over this issue. Please be mindful of this minority when you and your counselors speak from the pulpit, and please understand that it is not in spite of Christ, but because of Him, that we have come to decide to vote no on Prop 8.
I’m afraid I’ve personally reached my breaking point. Now that the real mobilization has begun, I simply can’t bear another Sunday of political announcements, talks, and constant references to the proposition in Relief Society lessons. Until this election is over, I will not be attending our church. Instead, I’ll be going to the United Church of Christ, a wonderful place that opens its arms to gay people.
I’m looking forward to November when I’ll be able to rejoin you at church services.
What would you say to your church leaders about Prop 8?