Make it this great article on Salon: America in not a Christian nation. I have so much to say about this, but don’t have the time to write it all down right now. Just read that article.
Months ago, Kevin and I decided to stop attending the LDS Church over their support of anti-gay rights legislation. This probably doesn’t come as a shock to most of you, but it actually is a really big deal.\
We talked to the kids about this and they understand as best as they can. We are planning to continue to pray when we want, draw inspiration from the Scriptures, abstain from alcohol, disavow divorce, avoid sleeping with hookers, refrain from becoming crack addicts, and basically try to be good people. We told our families and the news was probably met with much disappointment. (My parents aren’t members of the Church but I know they are saddened to hear about our struggles.)\
We have been struggling with this particular issue for years. The Church isn’t going to change its mind regardless of what we think. While the Church has seen numerous changes in the past, its handling of this issue seems different.\
I joined the Church over 15 years ago and expected it to be a lifelong commitment. There have been times when it has been rough and times when it has been great. It is difficult to do everything the Church asks, but it felt like a worthy struggle. Kind of like marriage. Or, the typical idea of marriage where there are fights and happiness and bad times and good times and all that. (Kevin and I aren’t like that though, and marriage has been much better than I ever anticipated, but that is a post for another day). Since my commitment to the Church was supposed to be lifelong… I sort of feel like I am getting divorced. As much as I decry divorce in most cases, there do exist times when it is acceptable and even prudent.\
I hate the idea of being ex-Mormon. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. But, I can’t stand the thought of continuing to attend and support the LDS Church.\
Objectively, I am thankful that the Church got me through my college years. Maybe I just needed it then and “don’t” now. (Though I am not sure it is possible to not need a church, a community.) It helped me make decisions that kept me safe. It gave me many opportunities to grow and lead and learn and teach. It gave me friends who felt like family and family who felt like friends. It gave me purpose and direction in my life at a critical point between adolescence and adulthood. It led me to Kevin.\
I don’t know what this decision means for my future, my marriage, my kids’ futures, and I am honestly worried about it. I don’t know how to teach the kids to abstain from premarital sex and alcohol without the Church to back me up. It’s not that I think either of those two things are inherently EVIL! Just that… there is just so much unnecessary heartache attached to those two activities that I want to protect my kids from.\
I can’t imagine going through something like this without Kevin feeling the same way I do. I am not sure how that happened, but I am really grateful for it.\
ETA- Some people/media are choosing to bring up other issues with the Church, since it is a hot topic right now. I don’t like this and don’t want to hear [other] bad things about the Church.
I listen to a lot of podcasts on my commute. The Heretics episode of This American Life hit close to home this week. I’ve been grappling with my faith now for a while, and there’s so much other stuff going on in my life right now that I keep pushing it into the background. But, this episode, about a Pentecostal minister who no longer believes in Hell and how his personal religious transformation affected those around him and his congregation, has been keeping me thinking.\
I am a heretic now. I’ve been one in a lot of little ways for a while, but certainly not publicly, and not in any serious way. But now? I’m sure I’ve crossed the line, and I’m not sure what that means exactly. Unfortunately, right now, I don’t have time to figure it all out. But you should go listen to the show. It’s a good one.
The rest of the pics are here. Unlike most other events I attend, I spent more time “present” than taking pictures. The stories from committed couples, many of whom have been together for decades, were both inspiring and heart-breaking.\
To me, this isn’t about whether or not homosexuality is right or wrong, it’s about allowing people to pursue their happiness, a right this country was founded on. Their love is no threat to my marriage or anyone else’s. These people are our neighbors, relatives, friends and fellow citizens. They deserve to share their lives and enjoy the same rights that married heterosexual couples enjoy. They deserve the public recognition of their love that I enjoy with Jen.\
The rest of the arguments are cover for something else, whether it’s ignorance, hate or some other motive, it doesn’t matter. Treating people as something less than full members of society for who they love is wrong.\
I’m really glad we went, and I’m so proud of Jen for getting up in front of a bunch of strangers and telling them how sorry she was for how our church has treated them by supporting Prop 8 in California, Prop 2 in Florida and the measures in Arkansas and Arizona. This won’t be the last time we protest, I’m sure. I’m just hoping we can march in Savannah next time.
Today only, Amazon has Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog soundtrack for only FIVE BUCKS. That’s flippin’ sweet! (Jen, don’t buy it, I already did).\
Also, this protest against Prop 8 in California is super-awesome. I love it when people are creative and funny in the face of what now seem to be pretty insurmountable odds.
Lawrence Lessig provides a great argument against Proposition 8. It’s reasoned, has a sound legal backing (because, he’s Lawrence Lessig), and is profound in its simplicity. It perfectly echoes my own feelings on it, and does a great job of dissolving the rationale for the proposition without insulting those who support it. Great great stuff. Please watch it.
1. The broken pipe isn’t actually going into the house in Va, so yay! They won’t have to tear up the house to fix the problem. This means the estimate was a lot higher than the actual bill will be. Phew. “Tonight we eat like the lower middle class to which we aspire.”\
2. Speaking of food, our grocery store finally got in some decent-looking strawberries. I don’t think I have seen any since we’ve moved here. They’re usually bruised and old looking, ewww. Even though these ones were more expensive than usual I bought them, because- yum- strawberries! Double, yay. Max then ate them ALL at breakfast the following day. I guess he was missing out on the strawberries too.\
3. The house we’re renting is for sale (as you long-time readers will know), making our situation here unstable. But! There have already been a couple of offers from people wanting to keep us as tenants, so triple yay. I am guessing at this point that the bank would rather take one of these bids than foreclose, but I don’t actually know the dollar amounts involved, so homelessness is still a possibility.\
4. Every once in a long while, Kevin will be sort of grumpy for a few days, only I won’t really notice it until he is suddenly in a good mood. Well, the same thing happened to me! After being a complete cranky-queen on wheels for the last month, I surprised myself by singing along to a commercial on the tv. (Me being in a bad mood isn’t all that unusual, just that I was surprised to find myself not in one.)\
5. In a PMS-fueled rage, I cleaned the house last night and it was awesome. I couldn’t sit still long enough to fold laundry, but I did scrub and mop and sweep and wipe, etc, etc. I guess PMS is good for something. Then I sacked out on the couch with the brownies I had made earlier in the day and watched some bad tv. What’s up with this lame season? (Oh wait, this is an all good gnews post, so never mind about that.)\
6. I have been a member of the LDS Church my entire adult life and almost half of my total life. It has been great, fulfilling, enlightening, fun, and has helped me grow spiritually, emotionally, and socially. I have had some of the most amazing experiences that are directly linked to the church and the gospel. I am forever grateful for the opportunity I had to meet Kevin, marry him in the LDS Temple, and become part of the Lawver family.\
While I disagree with the church’s support of Prop 8, I don’t have bad feelings for the church, the leaders, or its members. I have not written ill of the church, except to express my disagreement on this one issue, and don’t plan on it.\
So, there is this guy who started a website and wrote a really rational petition to the leaders of the church from members asking for the withdrawal of the church’s support of Prop 8. As for how he went about getting his message out there? I in no way sanction that or anything else about him. All I know is that I agree with the petition, believe that gays should have equal rights to marriage, adoption, government benefits, et al.
More from me-\
I get that the LDS church wants to silence dissents, but this guy isn’t speaking out about church doctrine. The petition states: We affirm the LDS Church’s right to define doctrine and policy for its own members. So, let the church proclaim all it wants about whatever. Let the church dictate the actions of its members, bestowing religious privileges only upon whom they see fit. But when it comes to denying civil rights to others? I just can’t support that all. Doctrine and Covenants 134:9 states, “We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government…” So, yea. There ya go.\
See the petition here: Signing for Something.