The Mormon church seems puzzled by negative public reactions to their support for Prop 8 and other anti-gay laws. Their follow-up statements urge love and understanding while failing to understand that their own actions promote hate and discrimination.
Mormons are a powerful voting block and can generally be counted on to get behind the church’s position–whatever it is. Members take literally the call to support the brethren in every word. However, there are some who dare to say the church is wrong on this issue, and they are putting their own membership on the line — even leaving the church as a result.
Lisa Derrick at FireDogLake tells us Mormons Losing Members Over Anti-Gay Campaigns
While the Mormon Church hierarchy was responsible for organizing millions of dollars and thousands of hours of manpower to pass California’s Proposition 8 and Arizona’s Prop 102, the church’s tactics haven’t sat so well with some of its members–including families, members with Mormon heritage going back 150 years, and gay members—who began speaking out in July on the website signingforsomething.org.
Since July almost six hundred LDS Church members have expressed their disapproval and/or resigned. In October a copy of the site’s petition and emails were delivered to the Mormon Church headquarters, but the site is still accepting signatures and letters, since this is an issue that won’t go away.
A visit to the SigningForSomething web site reveals passionate and sincere expressions from members who sadly are leaving their faith. Here’s an example:
This issue has pretty much torn me apart. I have been so saddened by the Church’s involvement with this Proposition. . . . I cannot understand how they would think it even remotely okay to interfere with the civil rights of other citizens.
Of course, with some 8 million members, what’s the big deal about some 600? I think the big deal is that those are only the ones who are willing to state publicly what they feel in their hearts. There are many more who are hurting for their own family and friends who are being discriminated against by the church’s actions, but who are fearful of saying so publicly. It provides such an internal conflict for them as they truly are devoted to their faith, but they also believe the church is wrong on this issue.
As for the church’s puzzlement over its fair exercise of free speech and participation in the process, perhaps I can help them to understand. They hold tremendous power in their ability to organize grassroots activity and to raise huge sums of money. When the church calls, the membership responds en masse. While other churches may hold the same political opinions, no other church has anything close to the Mormon machinery needed to have a real political impact.
Those both inside and outside the church look with dismay at the way the church has wielded its power particularly in California’s Prop 8. It’s not a fair fight and so far Goliath has managed to step on the rights of David. Time will tell whether that power play will win out in the end. With rights at stake, even Goliath can be felled.