Não somos ratos de laboratório: um convite aos líderes da igreja
9 de abril de 2019
Submetido à Afirmação após a reversão de A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Últimos Dias de suas mudanças de política de novembro de 2015 que proibiam filhos de pais LGBTQ de serem abençoados e batizados e caracterizavam membros da igreja que se casavam pelo mesmo sexo como apóstatas. Essas mudanças se tornaram conhecidas na comunidade LGBTQ Mórmon como a "política de exclusão", "política de exclusão" ou "PoX". No dia seguinte ao anúncio da reversão desta política, Nathan Kitchen, Presidente da Afirmação, convidou todos os que estivessem dispostos a compartilhar seus sentimentos autênticos e todas as suas histórias de pesar, raiva, alívio, tristeza, felicidade, confusão, o que quer que seja que esteja ao redor a rescisão desta política. “Como presidente da Afirmação, quero ter certeza de que a Afirmação não esconde você ou suas histórias à medida que avançamos”, escreveu Kitchen em seu convite. Se você tiver reações ou uma história para compartilhar sobre a reversão da política de exclusão, envie para [email protected]. Você também pode leia outras histórias e reações à reversão da política de exclusão.
On November 5th, 2015, the world ended.
I was studying abroad in Jordan at the time. In Jordan, as in much of the Middle East, the weekend is Friday and Saturday, instead of Saturday and Sunday, with Friday being the day people went to mosque or church.
It was late Thursday night, and I was checking Facebook before going to bed, knowing I had church in the morning. Then I saw the news. A friend posted a copy of the leak in an LGBTQ Secret Facebook group. At first, we focused on the news that we were now considered apostates for the crime of getting married. I had been trying to reconcile the two largest portions of my identity, and my tentative plan had been to marry a woman but still remain as active in the Church as I could. It tore my heart in two to see the Church so viciously reject that tentative compromise.
Then someone put together what the policy would actually mean for our children, saying, “I think this part is even worse.”
If being called an apostate broke my heart, attacking my future children destroyed my foundation.
I think I stayed up until 4 in the morning, messaging, processing with my LGBTQ friends who were thousands of miles away. Less than 12 hours after first hearing the news, I was sitting numbly in a Church pew as people sang hymns and bore testimony of God’s one true church. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t bring myself to take the sacrament.
Over the next few months, I attempted to resuscitate my testimony, but by February 2016, I could no longer consider myself a believer.
After all this suffering, how am I supposed to rejoice now that the policy has been ripped away, as suddenly as it had been issued? Yes, it’s objectively good news that I won’t have to decide between resigning or excommunication while also shopping for wedding dresses. But I find myself facing the same question I did that horrible Thursday. Why?
I’ve watched faithful Mormons wrestle with similar questions: Why was this policy issued? Why was it revoked? How can a policy explicitly described as revelation be reversed just 3 ½ years later? Did God or men create the policy? Did the Prophet make a mistake?
One of the most common, and agonizing, answers to these questions is the policy and its reversal gave the Brethren experience so they can understand better how to treat LGBTQ members. This explanation and iterations of it–ranging from treatises on prophetic fallibility to the simple admonition to trust–have flooded my social media feed and conversations with faithful Mormons.
How do these explanations comfort those who see these men as God’s mouthpiece? How can you sustain them as prophets of God if they needed to learn the agony this policy would cause by testing it when all needed to do was ask even the most devout of us would be enough to know how devastating the policy would be? What does it say that it is not enough for your leaders to empathize with those different from them, they must see the trauma—and the public outcry—first-hand? How is it enough to say “I trust the Prophet” or “the Lord works in mysterious ways” when our hearts and bodies are strewn across this battlefield of righteousness?
Pessoas LGBTQ não são ratos de laboratório. Não somos lições objetivas. Não somos testes abraâmicos. Somos pessoas reais com vidas reais e corações reais e famílias reais e fé verdadeira. Quando as pessoas mais poderosas de uma organização usam seus elementos mais vulneráveis para “ganhar experiência”, a organização está fundamentalmente quebrada.
The good news is that the grace of Christ can heal all brokenness. How often across all our scriptures has the Church—including its leaders—been called to repentance? How often have prophets admitted their own sins?
Therefore, I plead with the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve to have faith in the power of Christ’s grace and His Atonement to heal the brokenness in the Church that millions love and have sacrificed for. All my life, I have been taught that apostles and apostates alike rely on the Atonement’s transformative power and that it is powerful enough to heal the deepest of wounds.
Until the day the Church admits its own brokenness and has the faith and courage to change, I fear the wound this policy caused will never heal. I fear this wound has already become infected.