Same sex marriage considered apostasy

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university
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Re: Same sex marriage considered apostasy

Post by university » 09 Nov 2015, 10:18

churchistrue wrote:I'm sure this is pretty rare, because polygamy doesn't usually work this way. But what would happen in a situation that's analogous to the most common scenario with the new same sex parent policy?

Wife1 and Husband1 are married. Normal, active LDS, non-polygamous marriage and family.

Wife1 and Husband1 have a couple kids early in their marriage. Get divorced. Standard Utah custody arrangement. Husband1 gets kids every other weekend plus one night a week. Husband1 gets involved with FLDS church, converts, and takes on a couple wives.

Now child is baptism age. He's gone to church his whole life. This polygamy thing with his dad is kind of new and weird, but they figure it all out. Husband1 is excommunicated from LDS church but is a good dad, gets along with his ex, Wife1 is really big into Mormonism and Husband1 doesn't want to mess with that, so he sends the kids to LDS church when he has custody either by themselves or he attends with them.

Would the church really not allow these kids to get baptized? It's probably rare, but it has to have happened at least a couple times. I wonder how it's handled.
I wonder as well.


This is my biggest problem with this new policy. And this is what I feel will tear families apart the most.

I have word from a reliable source of a young woman being sent home from her mission because one of her parents is gay and "cohabitating" with the same-sex partner. I've also read similar accounts from gay parents about their child's baptism now being called off even though it was scheduled for the upcoming weeks---even though they were supportive, even though the other parent is who is taking the child to church every week. These kids have gone to church their whole life and probably will continue to with their straight parent (or will they? Will they stop coming because they feel so cut off from everything?). But now they're cut off from all those rights of passage in the church because the church is trying to "protect" them? Bogus.

Seems like a lot of people, especially when defending this policy, are imagining a scenarios where there is a same-sex couple and adopted children. The policy seems to fit a lot nicely into the box they've created in that situation. However, the policy is not written in a way that is limited to that scenario. People forget that. Additionally, people are forgetting that even if a parent is no longer living in a same-sex cohabitation scenario, even if they "repented" years ago, that child cannot have access to any of the official rights of passage: no baptism--no Priesthood--no nothing until they turn 18 and get approval from the First Presidency (I'm a little iffy about needing to move out in that scenario, I'd have to read it again). So much for repentance.

I really feel the Church leadership has overlooked so much with this policy and it's a testament to the fact that despite their insistence that they are, they're really not listening to gay members and the families of gay members. Truly, the haven't listened. "Being gay" is not a religious community. Believe it or not, even the First President in the Bishopric might decide to come out and live with a partner in a few years. There are gay members dispersed all throughout our congregations, we just don't see them. And this policy will have horrible implications for a child of parents going through a divorce because of this.

If they have considered these implications and moved forward with this policy, they are being cruel.

This policy straight-up is about protecting straight church members who buy into the "gay marriage is an abomination" rhetoric. Church Leadership may even believe that it is primarily about protecting children of gay families, but it's not. This policy is going to hurt so many people. It's creating artificial consequences for entering into same-sex relationships that punish entire families for the "sins" of the gay members.

Ann
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Re: Same sex marriage considered apostasy

Post by Ann » 09 Nov 2015, 11:13

DarkJedi wrote:
On Own Now wrote:
Ann wrote:There's been talk of the Q12/First Presidency taking action after unanimous agreement, and I've been trying to picture it. Because this really feels like a no-confidence vote in the gospel I thought we taught. Do we trust bedrock truths and concern for the one to help us in these times? At least one person voted no, and they moved on to consider other options. We ended up with what feels to me like a Byzantine, lesser-law policy that assumes the worst.

The other hard thing about it all is that it (at least for now) deflates my optimism about the new members of the quorum.
Couple of thoughts. I'm not sure that they all vote the same way. I picture it being more like once the vote is understood to be a majority, all get on board. Also, it's doubtful that this was put the Q12 prior to conference. I work in the business world. It would be impossible to roll out a change to something as crucial as the CHI in a matter of a month.
I think what Ann is referring to OON is the fairly oft repeated idea that the Q15 don't move forward without unanimity. I'm not sure they vote in a legislative sense, either, but I do think they have the opportunity to voice their thoughts and opinions and to "sustain" any action. I can see the new junior members perhaps being unsure of their roles and acquiescing (as you say perceiving a majority and going along).

I am confused by something you said, though. You said that rolling out a new policy like this in a month is impossible yet you don't think it was voted on prior to conference. Conference was a month ago - how could they have rolled this out without having a vote before conference if it takes more than a month? I'm just trying to understand what you're saying. I do agree that it normally takes more than a month for a fairly major change like this to get published, although with modern technology handbook changes are not what they used to be. I also think the church tends to work especially slow at policy changes. Are you really trying to say these changes were agreed to before conference and it has just taken this long publish (in which case the new guys had no say)?
What I should have said was that regardless of how it all went down I am less optimistic now about the new apostles. Their involvement could be anywhere on the spectrum. On the other hand, maybe one of them will be in a unique position to comfort those that stand in need.
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nibbler
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Re: Same sex marriage considered apostasy

Post by nibbler » 09 Nov 2015, 11:20

I know these guys can't be fired from their jobs or anything but it might be hard to step up and stage manage the new grizzly bears on the first day of the job. The new guys may feel the need to build some social capital before making their marks. Heck of an issue to be a sideliner on but...
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Re: Same sex marriage considered apostasy

Post by DarkJedi » 09 Nov 2015, 11:31

nibbler wrote:I know these guys can't be fired from their jobs or anything but it might be hard to step up and stage manage the new grizzly bears on the first day of the job. The new guys may feel the need to build some social capital before making their marks. Heck of an issue to be a sideliner on but...
That's pretty much what I was trying to say earlier. I recognize this is different, but my first few high council meetings I was very cautious about making waves and often kept my more heterodox/unorthodox opinions to myself. That wore off after a while when I realized that my opinions were as valid as anyone else's - and when I realized that my opinions were accepted, valued, and even shared. I no longer fear going up against the most orthodox/black-and-white thinkers there.
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Re: Same sex marriage considered apostasy

Post by Heber13 » 09 Nov 2015, 12:06

I have been offline for several days, but just got done reading through this thread and appreciate everyone's responses.

I think my first reaction on this topic was denial...basically seeing it is wrong and it will not hold up, it will change in time. But I know that is insufficient because it is real and I feel sorry for families affected by this and all the members that will retrench unloving opinions based on this.

I have wondered if something like this was in the works for some time, and if perhaps a new set of apostles made this possible to go through as opposed to before some others keeping it from advancing. Otherwise, I wonder, why now? What prompted this? Sometimes new leaders have zeal that is well-intentioned but short-sided.

I don't support it. A 5th Sunday lesson on it would be disastrous unless the goal is to stir up the ward (which would be fun, but maybe not productive).

The whole thing feels like policy and business-like administration...not christ-like ministering to individuals and personal needs and circumstances. It just feels wrong and it makes me sad. It violates AoF#2 principles for baptism, and increases problems for the church, no matter how much lipstick they put on it.

There are better ways to achieve their goal. I will not be introducing the topic in my ward, but I am preparing thoughts that should anyone in my ward bring it up in classes, I will not be able to stay silent on my feelings on the matter. We'll see if I have any social capital left.
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Re: Same sex marriage considered apostasy

Post by Roy » 09 Nov 2015, 12:20

I have read a bunch about this new policy. Most of what I am reading does not appear to get to what I believe to be the heart of the issue.

I am a business man. Where I work we have a policy where no outside organizations or individuals can post signs or solicit. This means that you can't put up a sign for a fundraiser for children with cancer or ask your coworkers to buy a candy bar for your kid's soccer team. This policy is to protect against unions. The reasoning goes that if we allow these kinds of postings and solicitations then we would be hard pressed to deny similar practices from individuals trying to organize the labor force. Management does not want a union.

I look at this new policy from that same perspective and I believe that church leadership does too. The quotes are from an article found here: http://lds.net/blog/buzz/lds-news/myths ... ys-policy/

I do not agree with much of what the article says but it is the only place that I have found so far that at least addresses the legal issue
Adultery and fornication are both grounds for excommunication. Up until the legalization of same-sex marriage, those who participated in same-sex relationships could receive church discipline under either of these other grounds.
The Church respects the law, and now recognizes same-sex marriages as legal, even if still sinful. Because of this, same-sex relationships could no longer be penalized as fornication requiring their addition to the definition of apostasy.
This is a problem. Very soon we could have people in gay marriages that are active in the church. (imagine that someone like Mitch Mayne where to get married to someone of the same gender tomorrow.) Is there any question in the TR interview that would prevent such a person from attending the temple to do endowments or baptisms for the dead? How can we draw a hard line in the sand to prevent this kind of scenario? I imagine that this is THE big reason for the addition to the apostasy definition.
If anything, this action is a response to protect the Church from the recent Supreme Court ruling. By categorizing same-sex relationships as apostasy, the Church puts itself in a strong legal position should a same-sex couple sue in order to be married by a bishop or in the temple.
I do not think it reasonable to fear that gay people would sue to get married in the temple and actually believe that this is an element of fear mongering. There seem to be very strong protections on the division of church and state that would protect this from happening. However, I could see people suing for other reasons. Suppose that I am in a gay marriage and am enrolled at BYU - should I not have access to married student housing? Suppose that I work for one of the enterprises in the business arm of the church and am in a same sex marriage - Should my spouse be covered under my medical plan? Can I legally be fired for getting same sex married? In my mind declaring such unions as apostasy helps to keep such problems from happening. You cannot have access to married student housing and are probably kicked out of BYU because your marriage is a continuing act of apostasy. You cannot have a same sex spouse on the insurance because your marriage is a continuing act of apostasy. You can be fired for getting same sex married because to do so represents an act of apostasy. There could be hundreds or thousands of legal questions regarding how same sex married couples need to be legally treated in church run businesses and universities. For me this is THE other big reason for this policy. This policy helps to answer all these questions and protect the church legally. Charity and love have nothing to do with it - this is business.

But why the stuff about not baptizing the kids until they turn 18, etc. etc?

I am not as confident on this part. I speculate that it 1) helps to reinforce that we see same sex marriage as the antithesis of all that is good and holy in the church (remember this can be helpful for legal reasons) and 2) fits in nicely with established precedent. We already have children of polygamists and some Muslims that must follow this policy for specific reasons unique to those groups. Rather than create a new policy for the children of gay marriages it might be smarter and more legally defensible to shoehorn them into this already established category of people.

In summary, for me all this talk of protecting children vs. punishing children is actually a distraction from the much more straightforward reasons for this policy. I do not like this policy but at least from this perspective I can better understand it.
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Re: Same sex marriage considered apostasy

Post by On Own Now » 09 Nov 2015, 13:08

DarkJedi wrote:
On Own Now wrote:I am confused by something you said, though. You said that rolling out a new policy like this in a month is impossible yet you don't think it was voted on prior to conference. Conference was a month ago - how could they have rolled this out without having a vote before conference if it takes more than a month? I'm just trying to understand what you're saying. I do agree that it normally takes more than a month for a fairly major change like this to get published, although with modern technology handbook changes are not what they used to be. I also think the church tends to work especially slow at policy changes. Are you really trying to say these changes were agreed to before conference and it has just taken this long publish (in which case the new guys had no say)?
Thanks, DJ. I actually meant the opposite of what I typed: that it had to have been done before conference. I've edited my post. I had the same thought as Ann yesterday - concern that the new guys allowed this to happen and went along with it as one of their very first actions as Apostles. But, when I thought about it more, I realized that that is very unlikely. The 'vote' (if any) by the Q15 would have happened earlier than conference, I'm sure.

However, so that no one confuses this explanation with blind acceptance, I will also say that it is very likely that the presiding bishopric was involved in this change to the CHI. So, two prominent individuals of late likely were in on it, though to what extent is hard to say: Gary E Stevenson and Gerald Causse.
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Re: Same sex marriage considered apostasy

Post by LookingHard » 09 Nov 2015, 13:13

Roadrunner wrote:Last night had a long heart-to-heart with my dear wife who is very orthodox. Told her I thought a possible outcome is release from bishopric and another possible outcome is loss of temple recommend. My fear is that she will leave me and take the kids because - after all an unworthy and apostate husband is a divorce in the eternities because I didn't honor my temple covenants. She assured me over and over that wouldn't happen and I believe her that she wouldn't leave me. I've also told my orthodox parents about this and they are supportive. My wife's parents are uber-orthodox and know half of the Q15. I can't wait for that next family meeting.

My conundrum is this - do I have the guts to actually go through with a public release and some degree of public humiliation for me and my family or do I toe the line and hope for a revision? Only I can answer this - but I hope the answer is that I do what I feel is right. I've decided that I cannot publicly support nor enforce this policy unless I have significant discretion. I feel peace that standing up for my personal values is the right thing and I have decided I will attend church and support my wife if the SP is hardline.
You and me both. I have been in several bishoprics and if I were still a counselor I think I would be telling my bishop that I don't feel I can support this and if he has to release me so be it.

I am not going to leave right now over this. I have a few items that make it worth staying until about this time next year - or at least very costly to leave until then. And I don't think I will resign. I am going to take a sabbatical and cut way back on church meetings and church assignments.

One thing I WILL NOT do is turn around to the church and flip it off. That will do nothing but make all the TBM's sure that I am possessed of the devil. I am going to try and be as loving as possible and show how hard it was coming to this conclusion. I want to help others - in the church, out of the church, nothing to do with the church. If someone wants to stay in the church, I will be praising them and encouraging them and even comment on the things that the church does good. That seems like the Christ-like thing to do.

And I don't plan on telling many about how I really feel - my wife, my previous bishop (who I consider a good friend and generally progressive), and a little to my bishop (but only enough so he knows where I stand). I still have to figure out what exactly I am going to say (which won't be much). I will allow my wife to continue paying tithing on our entire income and will support any of my kids on a mission. And when I do tell some people, I am going to tell them I had to look into moving forward with the real prospect of losing my wife, my kids respect, most all of my friends, my house, my good neighborhood, the good will of my in laws. Just what Roadrunner is saying. I feel almost like some of the converts from my mission that were disowned. I am going to be as sure of this move as I asked my converts to be. Like I have mentioned before. I feel I have been duped before, and dog gonnit - I am not going to be duped the other way (i.e. the angry exmo that can't say anything good about the church).

I am not making any drastic steps anytime soon, but these last changes are making it where I can't just say "stay in for a few more years and see your son get married and THEN decide." I am having too many issues with depression and emotional turmoil over this.

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Re: Same sex marriage considered apostasy

Post by churchistrue » 09 Nov 2015, 13:31

I'm thinking about the polygamy/gay marriage comparison. The church is wanting us to believe they view the two in similar ways and are applying the same standard.

Let's look at what is different between polygamy and other families where the parents are not active LDS but we baptize their kids if we have consent.

1. Polygamous families were encouraging their kids to get baptized and go on missions (not sure why--help me out here--i guess it was just to get the spiritual experience of a mission?) but hold onto their fundamentalist/polygamist ideas and later come back to it.
2. The church has a PR problem where non-LDS associate polygamy with the church so this was a way to show there's a strong boundary and we are very anti-polygamy.

Neither of these apply in any way to children of same sex parent.

The stated logic of interfering with custody, alienating child to parent, etc, none of that is unique about polygamy or gay marriage families. All that logic holds true for any part-member, non-member, or even less active family. A kid at 11 years old is going to hear that his parent isn't going to heaven no matter the situation: his dad is gay, Catholic, atheist, drinking alcohol, shacking up, doesn't hold TR, whatever. It's the exact same logic.

So the situation with same sex parent is totally dissimilar to polygamy and extremely similar to non-member/part member families where children are allowed to be baptized with consent of parents.
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LookingHard
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Re: Same sex marriage considered apostasy

Post by LookingHard » 09 Nov 2015, 13:59

Go listen to a thoughtful faith podcast. It is putting forward some possible legal underpinnings driving this


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