Yesterday I stumbled on a post my friend, and soon to be “business” partner (for lack of a better term — it’ll make sense in the weeks to come) posted on FB. It was a link to an HBO documentary created by Dan Reynolds, lead singer of Imagine Dragons.
Reynold’s documentary traced the months leading up to his LoveLoud concert which took place in Utah last summer. My heart broke for him as he muddled through all the roadblocks to holding a music fest to bring together those with opposing views. It was heart breaking to watch the pain he was dealing with loving his religion (Dan is a practicing Mormon) and seeing the pain policies within his church are causing people; especially young people.
The suicide rate among 10-17 year old youth in Utah has tripled in the last decade. The correlation here is that that is right about the time the political mess of Prop 8 was at it’s height. Followed several years later by the November 2015 church policy on how to “minister” to children of same-sex marriages…coincidence? I think not.
This notion that others are “less than” because of who, or how, they love has always been a tipping point for me. When I was in my faith crisis back in 2014-2015 the November 2015 change in church policy was literally the straw that broke the camels back. It was the first time I voiced my discontent to Frank. The policy prohibits children living in same-sex households from fully participating in the church through receiving ordinances available to all other believers. These children may join the church when they reach 18, but only if they disavow same-sex marriage and are not living in the home of those living a same-sex “lifestyle”. They claim to have implemented this to show love and compassion for these children. What it actually does is ostracize them from their church friends and family. When they cannot be baptized (which is a HUGE right-of-passage for every eight year old in the church) they stand out from their friends. How do they explain to their other 8-year old friends that they cannot be baptized because they have two moms without feeling like their moms are “bad” people. I am so tired of the shaming this engenders. I was so outraged when this was released. This was the final undoing for me. And until now I haven’t spoken out due to what I deemed “respect” for my friends who are still faithful followers. I’m tired of keeping silent. I’m tired of being counted in the group that doesn’t speak out for any number of reasons.
Some don’t want to rock the boat, others don’t want to stand apart from the crowd. Some don’t want to deal with what it means at all b/c it will force them to dig into what they actually believe and feel. So, they remain silent and the epidemic of depression and suicide grows. I’m tired, exhausted even, from doing the same. I think this policy is wrong. I could go on and on about why. But I’ll save that for an upcoming “project” I’m working on. For now, I just want to voice the words. This is wrong. and I’ll leave it sit right there for a bit. Like a million pounds just lifted from my chest. The weight of silence takes its toll. I refuse to be silent any longer.