Prop 8 Fallout: Where Do We Go From Here?
(Note: Comments that stray into condemnation for people who either support or disagree with the prop will be deleted.)
So it looks like Prop 8 is going to pass. The Mormon church has successfully flexed its political muscles and has helped to eliminate the opportunity for certain people to marry. Yay. Way to go.
So where do we go from here? Not only are there now deep divisions within our wards, but there are also hurtful divisions now between us and our neighbors. I don’t know how it’s been in your area, but in mine it’s been pretty brutal. Pro 8 people making comments in Sunday School about how this issue was a way to separate the wheat from the tares within the Church, while sitting next to people they know full well are opponents of the proposition. People getting their temple recs pulled because of their opposition to Prop 8. (Since when did Prop 8 become a temple rec question? ) Mormon parents in leadership positions rejecting their children and refusing to speak to them because of the children’s disagreement on this political issue.
The wounds run deep within our Mormon community, and I’m afraid they run even deeper in that of our neighbors. Have you seen this youtube video called ‘Home Invasion’? It makes me ill to think that this is the way our neighbors now view us. View me.
And here’s a clip from Jon Stewart about Mormon involvement in the proposition.
So how do we go about healing the rifts between us Mormons and our socially progressive neighbors who believe gay marriage is a civil right? Are we bound to become blacklisted and boycotted once again as our society shifts its thinking on this issue (think civil rights era when certain basketball teams would refuse to play BYU) ? What can we do to mediate the anger and hurt our neighbors feel because of our involvement in Prop 8, neighbors who want the legal protections of marriage as they raise their families?
I don’t have many answers, and I certainly don’t have much of a sphere of influence in my Mormon community. But I am the humanitarian director in my ward, and I’m toying with these ideas (which would probably get nixed by my leaders).
-organizing Mormons to participate in a local AIDS walk
– teaming up with a local gay friendly church to volunteer in our community – like doing a beach cleanup or a food drive
And on a more macro level, I’m sure hoping the Church will try to repair our reputation by getting involved in causes that are Christian and humanitarian and huge in scope. How about denouncing the genocide in Darfur and organizing to send tons of food and supplies to the victims and refugees there? How about designing a program where each stake or ward adopts a village in a struggling country and supplies it with food, clothes, and money? (I am well aware that the Church already does send some humanitarian aid around the world, but I’m looking for some new ideas and huge projects that could overwhelm the memory of our involvement in this last political season.)
What are your ideas? How do we go about healing these wounds, both as a Church and as individuals?