Monday, May 11, 2009

Yesterday

"The saints in California saw more than their share of persecution for simply being Mormon, what with defacing temples and all"

"The prop 8 crowd is a god-less bunch. Sure, there are a few who try to mingle scripture with the philosophies of men - but, for the most part, they are god-less"

"At work, if you have a manager who is of that persuasion and they find out you are a Mormon - your job could be in jeopardy."
The lesson topic for priesthood meeting yesterday was "Responding to Persecution with Faith and Courage" - and these were a few of the comments I heard from others.

And while others sat their nodding their heads in agreement - I sat there stoic and silent, feeling more and more isolated from the men who should be my brethren. Reflecting on the irony of listening to a lesson on dealing with persecution while feeling persecuted by those in the room around me.

I am ashamed at my inability to think of something to say to counter these statements. Hindsight is always 20-20; and, I can think of things now that I could have said then. But, now it is an opportunity lost.

I've been fortunate. Homosexuality is a topic I've seldom heard discussed in my ward. Plus, it was mother's day - I was not prepared for this discussion. I sat there wondering what these men would think if they knew someone of that persuasion was sitting in their midst. Would they reject me as readily as they do the prop 8 crowd if they knew that I was one of that crowd.

I guess one advantage of being so deeply closeted and able to blend in is that I find out what others truly think - no matter how ugly. A disadvantage of being so deeply closeted and able to blend in is that I feel increasingly isolated and alone among those who profess to be my friends.

12 comments:

Ezra said...

*HUG* I wish you didn't have to feel that way.

Joe Conflict said...

That experience is one of those reasons I don't go to priesthood meeting lately.

They never think about how the churches choices make homosexual members feel.

The LDS church is too used to being the persecuted one. They can't possibly see the other side.

playasinmar said...

-No temples were defaced.

-America permits god-less people to exist and forbids the god-more crowd from leaning on them.

-How ironic, now the Mormons and the gays are seeing who can be out-persecuted. Winner takes all, presumably.

Grant Haws said...

The persecution complex in the Church is one that I have a hard time stomaching. It is just so ridiculous and has no real foundation.

Beck said...

Welcome to the rest of the church's priesthood meetings. It's about time your ward got into the groove... :(

kevin said...

I was sad I didn't get in on this lesson. Mostly because I would have brought up the fact that there is a difference between persecution and opposition.

Tedd Johnson said...

It makes me sad that you have to go through that. I have to say, people like you make me proud. I am a faithful LDS, and I've been standing up against prop 8 the entire time. I wish more LDS would follow the doctrine they claim to believe and be more tolerant themselves.

I refuse to get into the "is homosexuality a sin" argument, simply for the fact that it doesn't effect me. the question should be even easier: did not jesus say love they neighbor? (in the case of those who absolutely say homosexuality is a sin: did not jesus say love the sinner?)

I'll be adding your blog to my RSS reader, look forward to seeing what else you have to say.

Cheers,
Tedd Johnson

Evan said...

I'm sorry, Abe. Sometimes I feel like the effects of Prop 8 are starting to subside, but unfortunately it is not so for some of us.

I remember when we had that similar lesson a little less than a month ago. I did what I could to steer the conversation away from Prop 8, and it worked, but I'm sure something like that is harder to do in a ward.

In a couple of weeks, there is a chance that Prop 8 could be overturned... I am not looking forward to that event. If it gets overturned, I am sure we'll hear more concerning it at church.

I'm sick of it. I wish we, as a moho community, could do more.

October Rising said...

what a great topic for mother's day too. kind of ironic.

Alan said...

I'll confess that I've not been to priesthood meeting in a while and frankly don't miss it (lots of business travel is a good excuse too). My HP group are all basically good brethren and I didn't hear much discussion on this topic before the election, and none afterward. But I felt increasingly isolated from them nonetheless because I saw their enthusiastic support for Prop 8. And even when you have a testimony of gospel basics it is really hard to keep participating when you feel like everyone around you is hostile underneath that polite surface.

You're lucky I wasn't at your meeting, Abe. I would not have been able to keep silent. I would have chastised them for their judgmental attitude, their unfounded sense of persecution, and their rumor-mongering. For their failure to live up to principles of Christian behavior.

Scott said...

"At work, if you have a manager who is of that persuasion and they find out you are a Mormon - your job could be in jeopardy."...

... and at work, if you have a manager who is of the Mormon persuasion and they find out you're gay, how secure will your employment be?

... especially here in Utah, where we have no legal recourse if we're fired on such grounds, and where attempts to correct that oversight are regularly and routinely squashed in the (undeniably Mormon-influenced) legislature?

Ned said...

Abe, I also want to send a big *HUG*.

Yesterday I only attended Sacrament meeting, then spend the next couple of hours with my sister visiting my Elderly Mom. Chances are we had the same discussion in my HP group. I'm glad I wasn't there, but sorry that you had to hear what you did.

In all of this, I am finding a new aspect of my testimony. I used to think that maybe someday the church might change. Now that seed is growing. I no longer think it is a matter of if, but of when.
I used to think, if a change comes it won't be for 50 years. Now I think, I even believe, that it will come sooner.

If you're looking for some good readin on the subject, check out Alan's latest blog.