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Mormons label same-sex couples as apostate
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Old 11-07-2015, 02:27 AM
Kheldarson Kheldarson is offline
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Default Mormons label same-sex couples as apostate

...and their children can't be baptized or blessed until 18.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/07/us...smtyp=cur&_r=1


On the one hand, fair enough. It is within their right and purview to take a harder stance on this topic. They've interpreted their scriptures and teachings and found this to be in alignment with the morals they wish to teach.

On the other, dear Lord. This feels draconian. Not only for the impossible choice it places on LGBT believers, but for the fact that it punishes children. And not only that, in order for the children to join the church, they have to denounce their parents. It just feels awful all around and highly unequal since they allow, apparently, for heterosexual couples living in sin to remain in the church and allow their children to be baptized. Why the difference?
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Old 11-07-2015, 02:46 PM
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jedimaster91 jedimaster91 is offline
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Think about it this way: what kind of pressure and confusion would be placed on a child who's learning one thing and church and seeing the complete opposite at home? What contention might that cause when the child wants to live according to church teachings, but their parents choose not to? I've seen it happen with "less serious" matters like smoking or alcohol abuse and it tears these kids apart. The church would rather keep the peace within the family unit than have these kids get baptized and make covenants and promises they may not be able to keep until they are legal adults and can truly understand the ramifications of their decision. Someone also brought up an interesting legal point for divorced parents. If one parent enters into a same-sex marriage and the other does not, but still gets the child baptized, the gay parent can argue on legal grounds (they put it much more eloquently than I can) to change the custody agreements. And who is caught in the middle? The child.

This really isn't a new policy; the definitions have just been expanded in reaction to recent legal cases. Children from polygamist families and converts from non-Christian faiths (specifically Muslims and Jews as I recall) have had similar restrictions for years. It is also church policy to have consent from both parents before a child is baptized and for non-biological children to be legally adopted before getting baptized. And really, the clarification to include same-sex marriages shouldn't surprise anyone. The LDS church has made no secret of its stance of same-sex relationships from the get go. Entering a same-sex marriage flies directly in the face of church teachings and as such is apostate. That's what got a few people very publicly excommunicated recently. You're allowed to have a different opinion and encouraged to question and find your own answers, but when you start trying to drag other people with you and blatantly go against church policy and teachings, that's a problem.

No one is saying LGBT people and their children are not welcome and not loved. They can still attend activities and meetings and be our friends and neighbors. But the promises and covenants made at baptism require certain criteria be met and by definition, a same-sex couple does not meet those requirements. The church doesn't want to put their children in a position where they would have to choose between family and church. When Mr Jedi was first called as a Bishop, one of the warnings he was given was to not let his church duties supersede his family obligations. Family always comes first. It is central to LDS doctrine. Leadership has seen a potential conflict between church and family, and while we believe church membership and ordinances to be essential to salvation, they are making it clear that a stable, loving family is more important. And they want these precious children to be ready and absolutely sure of the decision they make regarding whether or not they want to be members of this church.

And the way I read it, the child just has to denounce the lifestyle, not their parents. They don't have to stop associating with or loving their parents, but they do have to recognize and accept that the parents are living contrary to church teachings. Unwed couples are encouraged to either get married or live separately before they're able to get baptized as well.

A lot of the membership of the church is struggling with this announcement. It can be difficult to reconcile one's religious teachings and personal conscience when they get to be at odds with each other. I definitely don't envy Bishops and Stake Presidents who are going to be bearing the brunt of this.
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Old 11-08-2015, 01:43 AM
flybye023 flybye023 is offline
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Excellently written, Jedimaster. There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about this. I came across this article which I think clarifies some things.
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:12 AM
Gravekeeper Gravekeeper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flybye023 View Post
Excellently written, Jedimaster. There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about this. I came across this article which I think clarifies some things.
I was cautiously optimistic until he referred to same sex marriage as a "popular trend" and equated being gay to smoking. Then invoked the specter of the government forcing churches to marry gay people.
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Old 11-08-2015, 01:48 PM
s_stabeler s_stabeler is offline
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it's also worth noting that this is a religious issue. Unlike marriage, where there are significant secular implications- hence why I have always maintained that gay marriage should be legal, at least for civil marriages- baptism is a purely religious matter.(which is why the specter of churches being forced to marry gay people is actually a more valid argument this time- being forced to allow gay people to baptise their kids by the government would be government interference in a purely religious ceremony.)

In short, while I find the decision deplorable, it is their decision. ( I would, however recommend gay people decide if this means that they would prefer to be a member of a different Church. If you feel strongly enough about this, it might well be a sing that the Mormon Church isn't actually the Church for you. There ARE other Churches available ( off the top of my head, the Anglican Church may be a better fit- especially since they even have at least one gay bishop, IIRC)

Basically, the article makes a good point- that all this is is treating the kids of gay people like the kids of any other sinner- that they have to be of an age where the kid can legally decide to be different from their parents. Also, they require people being baptised to uphold the teachings of the church- NOT to renounce any particular person ( that's Scientology)
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Old 11-08-2015, 10:00 PM
Gravekeeper Gravekeeper is offline
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Originally Posted by s_stabeler View Post
(which is why the specter of churches being forced to marry gay people is actually a more valid argument this time- being forced to allow gay people to baptise their kids by the government would be government interference in a purely religious ceremony.)
Which would never happen. My point was its a bogeyman that church's trot out whenever The Gay(tm) walks by.


Quote:
Originally Posted by s_stabeler View Post
Basically, the article makes a good point- that all this is is treating the kids of gay people like the kids of any other sinner- that they have to be of an age where the kid can legally decide to be different from their parents. Also, they require people being baptised to uphold the teachings of the church- NOT to renounce any particular person ( that's Scientology)
My problem with this is that the other "sins" mentioned ( smoking, drinking, etc ) are legitimately damaging things which a person can stop doing. Being gay is harmless and part of who a person is.

Telling your parents "I love you, but you smoke" is quite a bit different then "I love you, but you love each other".
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Old 11-09-2015, 01:17 PM
s_stabeler s_stabeler is offline
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which is why the Church wants to wait until the kid is old enough to decide for themselves

Ultimately, however, the point of the article is that this is not actually something new- it's juts that the Mormon Church, since gay marriage is now legal, needed to differentiate people in gay marriages from people who are "living in sin" which is how they treated it before. At no point are the Mormons doing anything that affects anyone who isn't part of their religion- or wants to become part of their religion- so it is legitimately their choice. (furthermore, as i said before, the ruling says that you have to affirm that you won't marry someone of the same sex. It doesn't require you to say anything to your parents at all, even if they are in a gay marriage.

Do I agree with their position? No. But they do have the right to hold that position, since they are not imposing their belief on anybody else.
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Old 11-09-2015, 04:20 PM
Shangri-laschild Shangri-laschild is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimaster91 View Post
Think about it this way: what kind of pressure and confusion would be placed on a child who's learning one thing and church and seeing the complete opposite at home?
Here's the problem with that, children from same sex homes and polygamist homes have different restrictions than everyone else. Most kids just need the permission from both their parents. If your parents sell drugs, the same could be said about the pressure considering how strict Mormons are about not even smoking or drinking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flybye023 View Post
Excellently written, Jedimaster. There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about this. I came across this article which I think clarifies some things.
I had actually already seen that article and was unimpressed by the Mormon spin on things. Several of the explanations counter themselves for one thing. I've seen a lot of the arguments on both sides of this from my Mormon friends and from the LGBT or ex mormon friends and I'm fairly unimpressed.
Myth #1 - I'm not really sure how custodial battles enter into this when both parents have to agree to let the child be baptized anyway. Oh and since children from broken homes that don't involve same sex couples don't have the same restrictions on them, that argument doesn't hold much weight.
Myth #2 - It does in fact treat the children of LGBT couples worse than the children of other sinning couples.
Myth #3 - "This policy protects children in specific family situations from a variety of repercussions by requiring they wait until they are an adult before joining the Church." So only children of same sex relationships are at risk for those things?
Myth #4 - You actually have to denounce your parent's lifestyle. Either that's going to cause trouble or it's not. If it is going to cause trouble then they are disregarding it and trying to use word play to get it to sound not as bad. If it's not going to cause trouble then why would it cause trouble in the homes enough the mean the children can't join yet?
Myth #5 - this is what I meant about one myth argument countering another. This goes into how both parents have to consent to the child joining to prevent families from being destroyed. So back to myth #1 argument, why is it a problem exactly?
Myth #6 - fair enough, Mormons have a long standing tradition of trying to keep out any and all even slightly "undesirables" so why would this be any different and it is their right. However it does make all their olive branches to the LGBT community fairly laughable and considering some wards were allowing members in same sex relationships, this now shoves those members out suddenly.
Myth #7 - not a big one but I would make the small argument that it does make me respect some of my friends less for buying into this which I'm not enjoying. And it brings up a lot of old emotions about how much the church punishes those who are different even when they are following all the rules.
Myth #8 - win or lose, they are a church and can believe whatever they want. However the fact that they keep doing shit like this and then trying to make a huge thing about how they are sooooo LGBT friendly is getting to be quite a joke and then need to just pick a stance and stop.
Myth #9 - semantics to try and make it sound better.

Here's an additional interesting thing, it's not just children currently living with same sex parents. If your parent in the past lived with a same sex partner then you still can't join even if you're not still in that environment. Or even if you're living with your father and your estranged mom is living with a woman and consents to you joining, it doesn't matter, you still can't join.

And this isn't just that they can't join till they are 18. When they turn 18 the first presidency still has to approve the baptism. Either children from different types of homes are being put in a bad situation if they are baptized or they aren't. The argument doesn't work if it's only against a few select groups. I had an under 18 year old friend who I would bring to church all the time and he came very close to joining the church. Never was his parents living together (whether they were married or not) or their religion brought into it. From what I understand, at most the if your parents are practicing a different religion, there will be a conversation but you won't be banned till you're 18 so it's not at all the same.
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Old 11-10-2015, 01:03 PM
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Rapscallion Rapscallion is offline
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I actually don't have a problem with the LDS church doing this.

From an atheist standpoint, and someone not invested in events, for me the effect is twofold. Firstly, doesn't affect me. It only affects those who wish to be part of the congregation. Secondly, it shows to good effect how much the religious bodies twist and turn to try and justify their unsubstantiatable claims, casting further doubt in the minds of any querying onlooker as to the veracity of their core claims.

Why would any sensible person want to be a member of a voluntary grouping that didn't want them?

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Old 11-10-2015, 10:17 PM
LewisLegion LewisLegion is offline
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Quote:
“What kind of pressure and confusion would be placed on a child who’s learning one thing at church and seeing the complete opposite at home?”
What kind of pressure and confusion is placed on a child who’s learning at home to love everyone and treat everyone with respect, and that God loves ALL His children- then to go to church and find out that while they claim to be following God, they’re doing the exact opposite?

Quote:
“What contention might that cause when the child wants to live according to church teachings but their parents choose not too?”
Since at age 8 the child is considered accountable for his own choices and has his own free will, why is this any different than any other child that wants to get baptized into the church but their parents choose not too?

Quote:
“The church would rather keep peace in the family unit-“
No. The church would rather keep certain people it considers unsavory out of the church, including their children, and try to deny them the blessings of God- rather than love and accept everyone God loves and accepts, according to God’s teachings. This isn’t the first time they’ve done it. And it won’t be the first time they suddenly change their mind and doctrine later on down the track.

Quote:
“This really isn’t a new policy;”
Until gay people started getting rights and the church panicked and put out the Proclamation on the Family, it wasn’t policy at all. And it isn’t doctrine either. There’s not a single word against homosexuality in the BoM, Doctrine and Covenants, or the Pearl of Great Price.

Quote:
“The LDS church has made no secret of its stance of same-sex relationships from the get go.”
They also made no secret of their stances against other minorities until they suddenly changed stance and then pretended their original stances never existed.
It’s not the fact that this is a surprise, it’s the fact that it’s NOT a surprise and it’s a crappy thing to do regardless. They're not justified in what they're doing just because it's not a shock.

Quote:
“Entering a same-sex marriage flies directly in the face of church teachings and as such is apostate.”
Yet, nothing about it at all is mentioned in any of the actual church scriptures, nor is it in keeping with a loving God. Nor is it justification to make the children ‘apostate’ and punish them for the ‘sins’ of their parents.

The church is either inclusive or exclusive. God is inclusive, the Church has only made it clearer that they’re Exclusive.

Quote:
“No one is saying that LGBT people and their children are not welcome and not loved.”
That’s exactly what they’re saying. They’re not welcome as they are, they’re not loved (not the same as STRAIGHT people anyway) as they are, and they’re unworthy…according to the Church…for God’s love and blessings because of how they are. Something God never, ever actually taught or demonstrated.

Quote:
“They can still attend activities-“
Why? To be reminded they’re not good enough? To be reminded they’re second class in the eyes of the church and are merely being 'allowed' to be there but not actually fully included? To be reminded that while the Church preaches that God loves and includes everyone, the Church itself doesn’t practice what it preaches?

Quote:
“A same-sex couple does not meet those requirements.”
Those are the requirements of man, not God. I don’t recall God ever saying “I love everyone…except them. Ick.”

Quote:
“Family ALWAYS comes first-“
Not according to the Church. According to the Church STRAIGHT family always comes first. The church is willing to toss out families from what it considers eternal blessings and requirements for salvation in exact contradiction of what they claim God wants, instead of examining its own policy…remember, not doctrine, POLICY.

Policy is not made by revelation, it’s made by men.

Quote:
“Leadership has seen a potential conflict between church and family.”
And in such a conflict, family should take precedence. You claim family takes precedence, but that’s not what the church is doing. They’re making the CHURCH precedence, not family. If the Church comes into conflict with family it is the CHURCH that needs to be examined and changed, not the family.

Quote:
“They are making it clear that a stable, loving family is more important.”
No, they’re making it clear that they think that gay couples and their children are not and cannot be stable and loving families.

Quote:
“And they want these precious children to be ready and absolutely sure of the decision they make regarding whether or not they want to be members of this church.”
And yet, this is one of the few times they insist upon that. If they truly wanted this, this would apply for all children in the church, and all children in the church would have to wait until they were eighteen before they could be baptized.

Quote:
“And the way I read it, the child just has to denounce the lifestyle, not their parents.”
What LIFESTYLE? Point to me two gay couples that have the identical lifestyle. They’re not saying they have to denounce a non-existent ‘lifestyle’, they’re saying they have to denounce the fact their parents are gay and love each other, despite how stable and healthy and committed and deeply in love their parents are. Or they have to announce that they themselves are not gay. It's not the 'lifestyle' that is being rejected- there IS no 'lifestyle', it's a myth. It's the people.

Quote:
“They don’t have to stop associating with or loving their parents-“
They just have to say they believe that their parents and their parents love isn’t as good as straight people and straight people’s love and that their family is somehow not real, or is lesser, or doesn’t ‘count’ as a family, because.

Quote:
“Unwed couples are encouraged to either get married or live separately before they’re able to get baptized as well.”
Unwed straight couples are ALLOWED to get married according to the church, it’s not an equivalent comparison.

Quote:
“A lot of the membership of the church is struggling with this announcement.”
Why do you think that is? Could it possibly be because the membership knows and recognizes what true family and love actually is, and the church doesn’t seem to be able to? Is it because the membership doesn’t see any reason that a gay couple or their children should be excluded from God’s blessings but the church keeps insisting that they should be?

The congregation also struggled a lot with the Church not allowing minority members to hold certain offices or hold certain powers either. Guess which one was right?

Quote:
“It can be difficult to reconcile one’s religious teachings and personal conscience when they get to be at odds with each other.”
No, it’s pretty easy if you believe in a loving God of any kind. Which one is in keeping with love? Whichever one isn’t is the one that is in error.

Quote:
“I definitely don’t envy bishops and stake presidents who are going to be bearing the brunt of this.”
They put themselves in that position and if they don’t want to be in it, they don’t have to be. Gay couples and their children didn’t ‘put’ themselves into any position, they’re being outcast for no other reason than they exist.

Quote:
“That all this is treating the kids of gay people like the kids of any other sinner-that they have to be of an age where the kid can legally decide to be different from their parents.“
Except it’s not, because EVERYONE is a sinner, including the most straight-laced Mormon couple you’d ever find, and baptism is at eight for every other child in the Church. THEY can’t legally decide crap. If the church wanted to wait until the kids are old enough to decide for themselves, what they should be doing is changing the baptism age across the board to 18 instead of 8. Otherwise, they’re only interested in singling out a particular group of kids and are hiding behind rhetoric.
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