I've been thinking about the things that happened on Sunday. On one hand, I feel good about being able to open my home to help a family which has been uprooted from their home. But, something else happened Sunday that is really starting to bug me.
In PEC meeting, before church, our bishop read a letter he received from church headquarters. It was warning us of letters and/or emails we might receive from a Dale Callahan. It seems he has started a letter writing campaign to LDS leaders, members, and missionaries in California urging them to vote 'No' on proposition 8. It went on to explain that they do not know if he is a former member of the church or if it's an assumed name he is working under. It pointed out that he does not represent the church and then ended saying any coorespondence we receive from Dale Callahan should be ignored.
I don't have a problem with the church pointing out that this Dale Callahan does not represent the church and that the views he is expressing are contrary to those expressed by the church. These are simple statements of fact. But, to tell us to ignore him seems petty. We are counseled to study the issues and vote with our conscious. But, are we only supposed to study things that come from the church and people who agree with the church. Are we supposed to simply ignore anybody that expresses any opposing points of view?
Needless to say, after our bishop read this letter a discussion ensued. My bishop wanted to clarify "so, if you vote no that means you are FOR gay marriage - in other words, you are against the family proclamation." Other brethren in the room were saying that this is truely a sign of the last days. One brother said that this person was obviously a former member of the church because no active member would ever express views like this.
As the discussion continued - I sat there in stunned silence. I truly did not know what to say or how to react. I felt very uncomfortable to say the least. I felt like an outsider. I was no longer sitting in a council of brethren united in purpose - I was the enemy. Me, and others like me, are the modern day Korihors - seeking to bring down the church. If only they knew what evil was lurking in their midst.
Today I am feeling melancholy - I feel so conflicted. As I pointed out in my last blog post, Mormon's are good people. Most members of the church will bend over backwards to help someone in need - apparently only so long as you keep homos away from them. Evidently we are of no consequence. If we express views supporting gay marriage then we are to be simply ignored. Studying political issues does not include listening to anything we have to say.
I feel like we're tolerated only so long as we keep our secrets to ourselves so that the general membership of the church can go on in blissful ignorance because, obviously, we don't have any of -those- people in the church. Hmmm, that sounds eerily similar to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran when he said "We don't have any gays in Iran."