Friday, November 13, 2015

LDS Church: Married Gays Are Apostates Deserving Punishment // LDS Church: No Baptism to Children with Gay Parents // LDS Church to Adult Children of Gays: No Church Membership/Baptism Until You Publicly Reject Your Parents // Updated Policy Below!

(Originally written on 11/06/15): Are you gay or lesbian or a married gay or a married lesbian and want to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Do you have kids? The LDS Church wants to remind you: "We don't want you."

For example, the LDS Church has updated the LDS Handbook of Instructions (a manual for LDS bishops and stake presidents) to include members who "are in a same-gender marriage" as apostates. LDS Church leaders are to pursue church discipline for apostates.

Additionally, the LDS Church has made the decision to exclude children whose parents are living in a same-sex household from being blessed as babies or from being baptized. It doesn't matter if the child's parents are married or not:
In a major policy announcement, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says children living in a same-sex household may not be blessed as babies or baptized. The decision, which was released Thursday, takes effect immediately, LDS church spokesman Eric Hawkins told 2News.

"A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not receive a name and a blessing," the policy reads.
If you are the child of gay parents and still want to become baptized within the LDS Church, this will only be permitted after you have turned "18, disavow the practice of same-sex cohabitation or marriage, and stop living within the household." Even then, you would need to get special approval before getting baptized.

Back in 2004, the United Church of Christ came out with its infamous "Bouncer" Ad. People from other denominations -- heck, people from within the UCC itself -- were furious with this message:
"Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we."
They were absolutely furious. CBS refused to air the ad because they had a policy against advocacy advertising and the Bouncer Ad promoted same-sex marriage. Somehow. I am still annoyed with CBS after it allowed Focus on the Family to air an anti-abortion ad featuring Tim Tebow during the Super Bowl just a few short years later.

But they were upset with the indirect accusation that churches turn away gay people. Of course, they immediately told me that they love all sinners and hate all sin. In other words, break up your family if you want to come here. But we welcome you!

And yet time after time, we see examples of church communities going out of their way to turn away and disenfranchise LGBT people and same-sex families. Today, it's the LDS Church and its decision to specifically include us in its list of apostates and its decision to refuse baptism to our children until they repudiate their own parents.

Last week, it was the Christian church leaders of Houston, TX, who successfully rallied against an anti-discrimination ordinance that included sexual orientation and gender identity using visceral images of men in dresses and child predation. Before that, it was the latest in a string of Catholic churches that fired a lesbian teacher. Before that, it was a Christian private preschool that expelled a child because he has two mommies.

I attend a Christian church most Sunday mornings. I love my church family. There is no question that my family is loved, affirmed, included, and welcomed.

But I'm tired of the larger Christian Church and its ongoing hostility towards LGBT people and families. I'm tired of their inability to figure out the horrible public relations nightmare that they create for themselves when they reject sacraments for babies of gays or when they insist that they must reject their parents in order to become saved. I'm tired of their collective shock that most LGBT people literally hate the Church. And I'm tired of their collective inability to figure out where that hatred is coming from.

The Christian Churches of the world say they don't have Bouncers at their doors? That's bull! They just don't have the honesty to admit it.

Updated on 11/13/15: This policy change was horribly received. Most people don't care if gay members are treated badly by the Church (LDS or otherwise), but they get offended when kids are turned away or turned against their families.

Scores of LGBT people and allies have railed against the new anti-gay family policy and the have promised to quit the LDS Church. (Personally, I'm not holding my breath on that promise).

But people are upset enough that the LDS Church leadership has issued updated information about this policy change:

So they won't reject the kids of gays who've already been baptized or blessed. And they will only reject the kids of gays when their gay parents are their primary parents. If they are splitting custody with their straight parent, then they will allow them to be baptized or blessed.

Seriously people. Leave the LDS Church. They don't want you or your kids. There are better churches that you can join, if that's your thing. And non-LDS people get to wear nicer underwear.

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