Let's not turn this into a Yes vs. No debate on Prop 8. We've all been there, done that. What I am interested in discussing, however, is how important our image is as Mormons and as a church.
Ironically, today I was able to catch up on Skype with my best friend since kindergarten, who came out as a lesbian a few years ago. We chatted a bit about some things we were mulling about in our lives, among them spirituality and our love of writing. I told her about my blog and even directed her to an essay I wrote regarding Prop 8 in another forum. To be honest, it felt good. I've thought about our friendship a lot throughout the whole gay marriage ruckus and often felt like I should address this delicate issue somehow. I don't want to be a part of this "image" that I fear we have become as Mormons -- thanks to the media, warped accounts, selective information, and unfair criticisms from those who dislike the Church and its policies, but, saddest of all, the fact that there is truth behind a lot of it.
Most interesting in the article linked above was this particular paragraph:
"What I hear from my community and from straight progressive individuals is that they now see the church as a force for evil and as an enemy of fairness and equality," said Kate Kendell, executive director of the San Francisco-basedShe's right. Regardless of where you stand on this issue, as a Mormon, this . Kendell grew up Mormon in Utah. "To have the church's very deep and noble history telescoped down into this very nasty little image is as painful for me as for any faithful Mormon.""nasty little image," as she calls it, is painful. Many in the Church will say that it doesn't matter, that "the work will go forward," while others almost seem to relish in it, having their persecution complex reignited and becoming virtual "martyrs for morality." But maybe image does matter. Isn't that what PR people are for?
Church spokeswoman Kim Farah claims:
"In reality the Church has received enormous support for its defense of marriage."Maybe so, but I can guess where that support is coming from and it worries me in terms of where all the Church's growth will be coming from in the future.
And we think that Mormons have a conservative Republican image now?
How will it be when we've alienated virtually every progressive out there with this scary, anti civil rights image? Whether or not that is true is a whole other debate, but it's certainly becoming our image -- at least in America -- and I think that it will require investigators of the Church to really work hard at looking at the issues from a balanced, fair perspective in order to figure out what the Mormon religion is really about, as opposed to our image as a church. And how many will be able to do that? So, how much does image matter to you as a Mormon? Do you care about any of this? Why or why not?