Mormon Torture

Okay, you can ask anybody. I’m usually the stand-up-for-Mormons-guy. I hate when people say “some of my best friends are gay” so I won’t do a version of it here.  But I have loved and do love some very fine folks who are LDS and no, I’m not talking about Glenn Beck. (Him I just have to pray for and make sure I never, ever hear his voice.) During the whole Prop 8 war, I’ve always tried to make peace and get Mormons and Queers to find common ground. I talked to any member of the LDS church who would listen about why I felt that separating church and state was a great idea and why it actually plays into the best interest of their church. I try not to talk shit about what they believe even though from the point of view of a country boy raised in the South and in the Church of Christ, it has sometimes sounded like Scientology to me. Plus, even though Salt Lake is less than half Mormon, one can’t move around throughout “Zion” without constantly seeing, hearing and feeling the church’s influence. And sometimes, as with spending all that money to deprive Adam and me equal civil liberties, they act in a way that is counter to everything that Mamma and Daddy taught me about what it means to be a Christian. Still I try to hold good thoughts about them. Anytime I see evidence of the church headquarters trying to control state or national politics, I just think of my good Marine buddy, LCpl Bliss- a good ole Mormon boy who loves me like a brother and I him. I think about our new neighbors who are just about as sweet as people can be. They get dressed up every Sunday morning and walk down to the end of the block to the LDS ward house to go to church. They don’t seem to have any problems with the fact that Adam and I are married. Mostly, where Mormons are concerned, I try to do what I learned in church– love, and don’t judge.
Then we went to friend’s for dinner last night.
I knew a little bit of her story but over the (fine) meal she presented, she also opened her heart and “bore her testimony.” And what a story it was! Oh my God I thought I’d been injured by some of the teachings of the church I grew up in! I cannot believe what these people go through. For about a half an hour, we sat and listened as she told us the events of her life as a lesbian growing up in the Mormon Church. My heart broke for her, and for all who have had the burden of that experience. I know that Mormons come from a position of misunderstanding and not maliciousness (in most cases). I know that they act on a misguided belief system when it comes to a lot of issues especially around gender and sexuality but STILL!

Somewhere right now, a young Mormon lesbian or gay kid is wracked with emotional pain from the torturous existence of growing up in a religion that ultimately says “change or be cast out.” May God have mercy on those parents, they know not what they do.
And I pray that those kids are able to survive it until they can get out and learn the truth. Hang in their kids. You’re sweet and perfect just as God created you.  You have a whole new family just waiting for you who loves you just as God does which is AS YOU ARE.

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