I also have to confess to a great amount of skepticism as I read the news reports and the official announcement - a stupor of thought if you will. Something just doesn't smell right about all of this. Here are some of the thoughts that have been floating around my head the last 12 hours (in no particular order)
- Why is supporting non-discrimination so historical in the first place? As followers of Jesus Christ - shouldn't that be part of our very nature?
- "The church supports these ordinances ... because they are fair and reasonable and do not do violence to the institution of marriage" - does this bother anyone else? PR departments do not speak indiscriminately - every word they utter has been carefully thought out beforehand. To settle on the word "violence" suggests that this whole affair is distasteful and deemed a necessary evil.
- "Participants in the secret meetings ..." - huh?!? Does this mean that Utah law does not require open meetings in matters of public policy and interest? Secret meetings and the unanimous vote suggests a carefully crafted collusion - which is illegal between commercial businesses.
- Why now? And the timing - soon after the trailer for "8: A Mormon Proposition"- seems more than coincidental.
I previously blogged about my thoughts that all is not well in Zion - and this just strengthens my feelings. I think the aftermath of proposition 8 has affected the LDS church more they they will ever admit to. I think there is a growing consensus that the church may have stepped over the line when it became actively involved in pushing the passage of proposition 8 in California. I think they've seen this in increased letters requesting membership removal and falling activity rates, baptism rates, etc. And, I think they see the forthcoming documentary "8: A Mormon Proposition" as just stirring up the pot even more. I see this move as a preemptive strike to help the straight membership feel better about other church policies and activities aimed at opposing the GLBT community; and, it gives them ammunition to use when criticism against the church increases - which it will undoubtedly will when "8: A Mormon Proposition" is released.
Maybe I"m wrong - and I sincerely hope I am - but I just don't think this portends to a new kinder and gentler approach.