Friday, December 14, 2012

Mormon bridge builders are building a bridge to nowhere...

Today I’d like to write about those Mormons who want to “build bridges” to the gay and Lesbian community, whatever that means.

I know that there are some active members of the Mormon Church who sincerely desire to make a place at the table for LDS homosexuals. I love them and salute them for their courage.

But let’s be frank. Most of those who are anxious to “build bridges” to the gay world are interested in making room for LGBT people only on their terms without any real intention of recognizing them as honest partners in the family of Christ.

To the vast majority it’s quaintly acceptable to show “understanding and empathy” for the “terrible pain and suffering,” gays must endure. For these people it’s also tolerable to sit next to “a person with same-sex attraction” in Church or maybe even allow “one of them” to lead the music in Sacrament Meeting.

The irony is that these same people will decry the "gay lifestyle" and be “damned” before they even consider allowing “homos” to be legally married or (choke, gasp, sputter) adopt children.

Let me begin with my bottom line: I really don’t understand what building bridges is all about. (When I think of “building bridges” I think of Alaska’s “bridge to nowhere,” a boondoggle that would have cost taxpayers $398 million had it been built… a lot of capital without much return—not a wise business decision.)

To me “building bridges” is an entirely wrong metaphor and as a result, is a journey to nowhere. It implies compromise based on some degree of understanding. It implies settling for something less. It implies limiting my ambitions and desires to a level that is acceptable to someone else, but not to me.

I don’t want compromise and I will not settle for less than the whole. I will never understand or accept bigotry and condescension even in the smallest degree. As a result, I refuse to accept what most of these “bridge builders” have to offer.

From my perspective supporting gay rights in or out of the Church is a black or white issue. Either I am going to be respected and treated with dignity as a gay man or I am not.

As Christ so appropriately taught, “Whoever is not with me is against me... (Matthew 12:30).” (For those atheistic socialists out there, Vladimir Lenin said it even better, “…each man must choose between joining our side or the other side. Any attempt to avoid taking sides in this issue must end in fiasco.")

No, I’m not interested in building bridges any more than I’m interested in settling for less than I deserve. I deserve to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness just like everyone else. When bridge builders are willing to acknowledge that, then we can talk.


  1. Amen brother, amen! I don't have to settle for second (or less) class.

  2. I couldn't agree more. I haven't been able to quite articulate why the "bridge" idea doesn't resonate with me either but I think you've done a good job here.

    How many LDS members would tolerate or feel loved and accepted if they were told by some other Christian, "We love you and want to increase understanding between us, but we can't pretend that we accept your chosen lifestyle. God has clearly determined that it is against His will for you. We will accept you as you struggle with this Mormon challenge and have hope that you'll see the light in the next life. Oh, and please just don't act Mormon."

    Then, create a website that pretends to showcase "Every" viewpoint except leave out the one's who are happy, active Mormons.

  3. I saw someone call the new website "icing on a dirt cake", and the bridges are kind of the same thing. Appear nice, but don't actually BE nice.

  4. I definitely understand and sympathize with your thoughts. There are many who are not interested (in the least) at understanding about gays. Acceptance is more vocal than action. But, I have to admit that there have been a lot more talk about things in the last few years.

    10 years ago, most Mormons believed that even "being gay" was a sin, completely a choice, and one of the worst sins. 20 years ago, most parents would boot their kids or send them to shock therapy (supported by many in the Church). The Church line was for people to get married to get rid of their gayness.

    I don't know how much further things will go ... or if they'll move backwards at some time. But, I do know that things are looking brighter. I know dozens of LDS people here in Washington who voted FOR gay marriage. I know some brave parents who are able to have a conversation about same sex attractions with their kids. BYU students openly created a "It Get's better" video. The list goes on and on ...

    What I think is most interesting and probably most damning are the people who are telling us how easy it is to just get married and have a family and stay active and happy. It has caused a lot of people I know think that it is the solution for everyone. It isn't.

    Thanks for the post. P.S. I love dadsprimalscream's analogy, too. ... A lot.

  5. Aren't you involved in the circling the waggons thing? I'm trying to decide how your comments here reconcile with your inviting North Star SSAers to participate so prominently on the program at your last evernt. I can't get a read on you C.D. Care to clarify?

    1. The mission of Circling the Wagons is to "[invite] LGBTQ/SSA Mormons and their families and allies to step beyond historic divisions to establish a shared space where all who have ever self-identified as Mormon can speak truthfully and respectfully."

      In other words, our purpose is to gather individuals from all quarters of the LGBT community and invite them to sit together and talk. It doesn't mean that we must all agree or that it's necessary for us to reach consensus. It does mean that we have opportunity to enhance understanding and mutual respect.

      Personally, I have tremendous respect for individuals with whom I have significant disagreement on principle. Our discussions, while often failing to change minds, are always enlightening and at the least educational. In the end, I understand them better and with that understanding am more likely to view them as a friend rather than the enemy.

      With regard to CTW's invitation to Steve Frei and Josh Weed, while I may not agree with some of their positions, I no longer view them as the boogeymen I thought they were before the conference. That is what we are trying to accomplish.

      Hope that helps.