1.) Seventeen year old Jimmy is being raised by his mother, Anne, and her live-in boyfriend, Steve. Jimmy meets the missionaries, starts attending church, and before long, wants to be baptized. In this scenario, by all accounts, the LDS church would baptize Jimmy.
2.) But in the event that Anne has *legally married* her partner - but the partner just happens to be a woman - the LDS church will no longer baptize Jimmy.
So in (1), Jimmy receives baptism even though his mother is living in sin; but in (2), Jimmy is refused baptism even though his mother lives in a legal marriage, and Jimmy had absolutely nothing to do with his mother's decision. The difference is that in (2), Anne's partner, despite being a legal spouse, has a vagina instead of a penis.
Already at this point, two things come to mind:
"We believe that men will be punished for their own sins..." (LDS Article of Faith #2); and LDS Apostle Dieter Uchtdorf's announcement in 2013 that "regardless of your circumstances, your personal history, or the strength of your testimony, there is room for you in this church".
Needless to say, with their recent policy, the LDS church is clearly holding applicants for baptism responsible for the decisions of their parents, and in effect, "punishing" them by refusing baptism. And Uchtdorf's statement now looks indisputably like the PR hot air it always was. Even the starry-eyed dimwits still fawning over this gasbag will have to admit that now.
But let's go back to clarifying exactly what the new LDS policy would look in real life.
3.) Let's say that Jimmy was abandoned by his troubled mother Anne at age seven, and he had no family to speak of. Concerned for the welfare of their little neighbour friend, and having heard some disturbing stories about kids in foster care, the two female university students sharing the duplex next door (Leigh and Susan) take him in.
When Leigh and Susan talk to Jimmy about entering foster care a few weeks later, he starts crying and begs them not to send him away. A visit with a foster care worker only heightens Jimmy's apprehension, and leaves the two students even more concerned. That week, a story breaks about a boy beaten severely by a foster care parent in a nearby city. In the end, Leigh and Susan - best friends and focused on career rather than finding husbands - decide to keep on raising Jimmy together. Ten years later, they are all still together. Leigh and Susan have had a few boyfriends off and on, but each has been content being unattached, and their work schedules allow one of them to always be home with Jimmy as he grows.
But now, when Jimmy meets the Mormon missionaries and applies for baptism, the LDS church baptizes him, even though he has been raised by two women. It's just that the two women have not touched each other's private parts.
Here is a fourth scenario. Let's say that everything in Scenario 3 was the same, except that when Leigh and Susan adopted Jimmy, they *were* lesbian lovers. However, after two years, Leigh and Susan just weren't "feeling it" anymore - their love had grown cold - and all sexual intimacy between them had stopped. But...they had already taken in Jimmy, so they decide to keep on living together and raise him.
In this scenario, the LDS church would *not* baptize the 17 year old Jimmy, *even though for the previous six years, Leigh and Susan would have had exactly the same type of relationship (friends only) that they had in Scenario 3.
A final scenario: Jimmy's divorced mother legally marries a hermaphrodite named George. Together they raise Jimmy. I assume in that case, the LDS church would baptize Jimmy. BUT...I also assume that if Anne's partner simply went by the name "Georgina" instead of "George", the LDS church would *not* baptize Jimmy - even though George/Georgina's genitalia were the same.
Maybe the weirdest thing of all in all this is that many of the very men making these policies, themselves descend from the offspring of NON-LEGAL "marriages" between some early Mormon man and two, three, five, ten, twelve or more wives.
This weird, convoluted, unfair policy directive comes from men who claim to be Planet Earth's sole recipients of divine revelation.
In any case, this policy has exploded in the Mormon church's face, and now, they are stuck: if they don't change it, the outrage will continue, with literally thousands of people resigning over the coming weeks, and the church being legitimately criticized for holding baptismal applicants responsible for decisions they had nothing to do with. This policy makes Mormonism look outrightly bigoted and unfair.
But if they *do* change it now, they look weak - as though they caved in to public pressure...as though the policy was wrong all along, which can't help but raise questions about all those "revelation" claims church leaders make.
A neat comeuppance, in my books. Maybe there is something like Cosmic Justice - if even just a wee bit - after all.
Reading your extremely well thought out and well written post, Tal, and coming to your last sentence, I immediately flashed on what was once a frequent refrain spoken by the "wise one" character [mother/grandmother/grandfather/family doctor/minister/Andy Hardy's judge father...] in homey, family-friendly, and meant-to-be-uplifting films...
..."The Lord works in mysterious ways."
Given the last few days, I finally, and at last, feel ;) the deep inner truth of this hallowed and historical film dialogue.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/10/2015 03:08PM by tevai.
I can see the leadership weaseling away from fallout when they inevitably have to change or remove the new policy. Because they never announced it as revelation or even read it over the pulpit, they can just stealthily "update" it again because inspiration.
John and Mary get married in the temple. A year later they have Jimmy. Shortly thereafter Mary catches John with a man. They divorce and Mary has full custody. Both remarry,Mary to a devout Mormon and John to his male lover. Even though Mary has full custody, John still sees Jimmy occasionally and Jimmy visits from time to time. When Jimmy is eight, can he be baptized?
Here's the text of the pertinent (well, it's really impertinent but you catch my drift) portion of the recent change:
"Children of a Parent Living in a Same-Gender Relationship 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.
A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may be baptized and confirmed, ordained, or recommended for missionary service only as follows:
A mission president or a stake president may request approval from the Office of the First Presidency to baptize and confirm, ordain, or recommend missionary service for a child of a parent who has lived or is living in a same-gender relationship when he is satisfied by personal interviews that both of the following requirements are met:
1. The child accepts and is committed to live the teachings and doctrine of the Church, and specifically disavows the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage.
2. The child is of legal age and does not live with a parent who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship or marriage."
There ya go. In my opinion, in Bona Dea's scenario, nope. No baptism. Not until "of legal age". Certainly not at age 8.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/10/2015 05:55PM by Bruce A Holt.
ALso wonder if the reasons why father and son dont see each other much and their feelings for each other would be factors in Jimmy's baptism.Perhaps it would be allowed if Jimmy has been taught to dislike his dad, not allowed to see much of him or if dad is a deadbeat who isnt interested. Now suppose Dad and Jimmy love each other, but Dad lives in Hong Kong and Jimmy lives in Utah. Neither parent can afford frequent trips and phone calls and computer chats are difficult because of time differences. Would Jimmy be baptized then?
"Maybe the weirdest thing of all in all this is that many of the very men making these policies, themselves descend from the offspring of NON-LEGAL "marriages" between some early Mormon man and two, three, five, ten, twelve or more wives."
Yeah and from a nevermo perspective, the funniest thing too.
Probably not so funny if you're stuck in the middle of it, I know.
I think the REAL reason for the policy is to stop all gay people from going to church. If you are gay you will be excommunicated. If you are gay and you have a child that is Mormon and you bring them to church, your child will be humiliated until the child no longer wants to attend. I bet that if the gay parents don't bring the child to church the child will be allowed full membership.
They might as well put signs up at all chapels saying "All Welcome. Except Gays", but then people might think they are homophobes, which they totally aren't. They love gay people. They once met someone who once met someone who knew someone that was gay. They just happen to think that gay sex is a sin worse than genicide. Nay, worse than having anchovies on your pizza. Ew, gross! What was I talking about? Oh yes, they totally love gay people. You can be gay, and have gay feelings, and as long as you live a lonely celibate life you can have all of the happiness that the gospel brings. Except for temple marriage, and the joy of raising children, and you can't get into the highest level of the Celestial kingdom, but other than that, gay people totally enjoy all of the blessings that everyone else does. Except serve as a bishop because you have to be married for that. Totally NOT homophobes. No gays.
If only a prophet could have warned the Q15 that all these complications and difficult questions were about to be raised...
I mean, sheesh! Could it be any more obvious than it is right now!?! 15 guys with an inside track to the almighty and clearly the lard didn't give one of them a heads-up that things were about to get sticky in his church.
The "radio's" out of tune. Somebody in the COB must be stealing office supplies or something because the message is breaking up. ;-)