The Church of Latter Day Saints, more familiarly known as Mormons, has just released new rules regarding LGBT members and their children. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders have been declared apostates and will not be allowed to belong to the church. Well, okay, churches are allowed to set their own rules even if they are mean and narrow-minded. But that is nothing compared to how innocent children will be treated. Normally Mormon children are blessed as infants and baptized when they are about 8 years old. No more. From now on, the offspring of LGBT parents cannot be blessed nor baptized until they turn 18 and then only if they:
- Disavow the practice of same-sex relationships.
- No longer live with gay parents.
- Get approval from their local leader and the highest leaders at church headquarters in Salt Lake City.
Of course, this wouldn't mean anything to me since I'm not religious. I'd tell the church to go to hell. End of story. I can't imagine belonging to a church that believes in a God who would condone such cruelty. I can't imagine parishioners who would deny their own parents for the sake of such a church.
But I know not everyone is like me. Some families have been members of the same denomination for generations. They have put their faith in their church and its leaders. All their friends belong. It is the center of their social lives. They have been taught that the church is the ultimate arbiter of all things moral since they were old enough to comprehend.
So what happens if a child dies at ten years old and has been neither blessed or baptized? Do Latter Day Saints believe that child goes to heaven or hell? Who would want to simply hope for the best for their children until age 18, praying that nothing terrible happens in the meantime? What parents would want to think their child would turn on them on their 18th birthday.
So the church puts its would-be members on a torturous path of church or family. It is a travesty of what church is supposed to represent to mankind.
Of course, the Mormons aren't the first to do this. Many fundamentalist denominations have convinced parents to beat their gay children or shun them or send them for "conversation therapy" which brutalizes vulnerable kids who are born "different".
I'll never understand it. Your children or your church is no contest at all as far as I'm concerned.