Friday, August 12, 2011


I mentioned in my first entry that the process of my leaving the LDS church began when I was forced to confront the impossible combination of being gay and Mormon.  There seems to be growing attention to gay Mormons generally, which is a good thing I think.  Pretending they don't exist just perpetuates all the problems.

There also seems to be growing effort toward figuring out how to be gay and Mormon at the same time.  As I said before, this is impossible without each gay Mormon killing off part of themselves.  The LDS church won't allow anything else.

The church is a whole culture.  It can occupy virtually every waking moment if you let it.  It's very good at creating social networks and communities and feeling part of the group is hugely important.

This characteristic of Mormonism is so ingrained that it shows up even in the gay Mormon groups.  Probably augmented by the fact that gay Mormons rightly feel persecuted by--ironically--the spiritual heirs of those who were violently persecuted themselves for their own alternate lifestyles.

So it's been a very interesting process for me to . . . I don't know, "watch myself," I guess, as I get further away time-wise from LDS membership and participation.  I look in now and again on all the kerfuffle going on with some gay Mormon groups, on the new people that keep popping up, the new stories I read (so many of which follow the same basic scripts I've already seen), I see new initiatives and new efforts to try to "build bridges" and "promote empathy" and "increase understanding" and such stuff.  No doubt their sponsors believe wholeheartedly in such efforts as worthy and charitable.

And as a lifelong product of all that groupthink, I am surprising myself by my reaction.  I used to care passionately about all that stuff because I clung so tightly to the religious teachings that made it necessary.  I guess logically I shouldn't be surprised that, having realized the religious teachings aren't trustworthy, I should care less and less about all these "reconciliation" efforts.  Maybe it's just the fact that culturally I'm so used to being part of at least one religious group that I'm not accustomed to being indifferent.

But that's about where I'm at.  I look at all that furious activity by all these well-meaning people, many gay and Mormon, many straight allies, and I smile, and I think "fine, it's their time and their lives.  It's all futile but they're entitled to try."  I don't bother reading a lot of the blogs anymore, nor do I spend as much time on the Facebook pages.  It's all just different actors, but same plot.  Eventually the current crop will disperse, some will realize what I did and just move on with happier, healthier lives, some will want to stay stuck but will run out of steam and their activity will fade, and new actors will take the stage and go through another iteration of the same story.  And the LDS church will be unmoved, because it has no choice.  It has totally boxed itself in on the gay issue and no "reconciliation" worth having is possible unless it totally re-writes its theology.  And that's not going to happen.

If somebody chooses to stay there regardless, that's up to them.  Personally I think it's far healthier to leave an organization that relentlessly seeks to deny some of its members the hope and happiness it just as relentlessly urges on others--as long as they fit the pre-approved demographics.  I'm seeing the results in my own life.  Far more tranquility, satisfaction, peace, calm, joie de vivre.  And I'm caring less and less about all that furious activity by gay Mormon reconciliation advocates.  The "Mormon" is less and less a part of my life, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that anything affiliated with it is less and less compelling, or interesting.  Intellectually, perhaps, when I choose to look in on it.  But not nearly as much as I used to.  I have my own life, my own friends, my kids, new relationships to pursue, new things to learn, a new job to focus on, a new religious community, new opportunities for service to others.  I guess I just don't need all that other stuff anymore.

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