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Now you might have missed this news, what with the attacks in Paris and the childishness in the universities, but breaking news: The Church of LDS believes homosexuality sinful. Gasp! Who knew such beliefs lurked deep in their ways? Oh wait, everyone. Still, last week, that didn’t stop a few thousand from making a scene over a recent policy: the church will not baptize children of same-sex couples until they turn 18 and denounce same-sex marriage. So of course my social network feed exploded in outrage, of which I’d estimate 10 percent came from actual Mormons.
The latest news is that recently a few thousand made a public stand to quit the church, with at least 1,500 showing up in person, and another 2,000 (approximately) sending in legal representation to affect the same. (Side note: my lovely wife Amanda is unimpressed by sending your lawyer to submit your resignation. As she knows, you just need write a letter saying that you’re out.)
In my skepticism, I’d wager that few if any of those making this stand are seriously active in the church at all. I have a good friend who is very active in the “Ordain Women” movement and publicly denounced this decision by the church, but she remains equally active in her church. This likely was just a convenient excuse for those leaving to do so while making oneself look important.
The church responded, expressing that these individuals should reconsider this decision as there would be eternal consequences. This was met by mockery from the social progressives. “When threatening people with eternal damnation doesn’t work anymore, you know you’ve lost them.” Again, this doesn’t impress my lovely wife any, as she received similar warnings when she wrote that she was leaving the church. Naturally, leaving the LDS because one has converted to mainstream evangelical Christianity is less exciting (no colorful rainbow flags or news coverage), but the message was essentially the same: “Reconsider!”
I’ve never been Mormon, and I disagree quite a bit with the Church of Latter Day Saints, but here I turn and stand in their defense for a moment. Rather than trying to divide, the church is actually trying to consider all involved while remaining true to their doctrine. “Family is Forever” is a major concept within the church, so pitting children at the age of eight against their same-sex parents creates problems in many ways.
This policy is similar to that when dealing with children of Muslims: don’t cause familial strife. Wait until the child is of majority age and allow them to make the decision then. As for the “threats of eternal damnation” – well those are hardly such. Those religions that believe in the hereafter also tend to believe that one’s actions now will have consequences in one’s afterlife. The reply is a compassionate warning: don’t just consider the present, consider eternity. Understanding that there are rather nasty consequences for apostasy according to their beliefs, it’d be far crueler to say, “Okay, bye guys. Enjoy the Outer Darkness!”
That doesn’t matter to the social progressive. When you’re on the right side of history, you don’t have to argue or even listen to others. You just get to demand everyone embrace your ideals right now. Like the Huffington Post, you know that things are far more complex and that it takes smart, enlightened Social Progressives to figure things out. We religious types just need to take a back seat and let them drive.
Of interesting note is the second bullet point: How is the lay leader of a local Mormon congregation to make this determination when courts and lawyers find [shared custody] challenging?
For decades social progressives have told us that they have a better way, but they have taken a simple concept like marriage and made it so complex that it now supposedly requires lawyers, judges, and associated experts to puzzle out just what is a family and who is a parent. This is the aftermath of no-fault divorce, cohabitation, and shared custody. We can only expect more headaches and issues with same-sex marriage. And we have a bevy of legal experts and politicians in the wings ready to sweep in and confuse the issue even more, and then tell us that we’re too inexpert to understand the real complexities of what makes a family.
In our debates over same-sex marriage, I have stated that if a word can mean anything it will soon mean nothing. We’re finding that marriage and family as a cultural and social institution are quickly approaching nothing, and it’s the legal carrion crows that are picking over the remains. Only in the religious sense will those words maintain a sense of meaning. That is why the social progressives attack the attempts of religious leaders to negotiate and deliberate this morass.