The Mormon Church continues to experience fallout over its anti-gay policies. The Guardian, this week, highlighted Lila Steffensen’s walk away from the Church:
Steffensen was conflicted at the time, and years later, she stopped going. But she remained a member of the Mormon faith up until last week when she decided to officially cut ties with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS): on Saturday, she participated in a “mass resignation” from the Mormon church, one of more than a hundred people to file formal paperwork at a public event.
“I don’t want to be attached to the church any more, and I don’t want them to count me,” said Steffensen, 26, who works in sales. “I don’t want to be part of something that is a big con that mentally abuses thousands of people … I want to be able to say, ‘No, I’m not a Mormon’.”
Since November of 2015, when LDS leaders passed an anti-gay policy barring children of married LGBT couples from being baptized, the Mormon church has experienced a steady mass exodus, according to critics of the faith.
The controversial rule, adopted after same-sex marriage became legal in the US, said that if Mormon children of gay parents wanted to be baptized, they would have to denounce same-sex cohabitation and leave their family’s house when they turned 18.Protests erupted, and within several weeks, Utah attorney Mark Naugle had helped more than 2,600 people file resignation papers.
Naugle – who left the church 15 years ago and now runs a website called QuitMormon.com – said that as of Monday, he had processed nearly 12,000 resignations since the mass departures began in November. Boosted by formal quitting ceremonies, like the one in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, Naugle said he now completes roughly 100 to 250 resignations a week.
“America is becoming less religious, and so is the state of Utah,” said Naugle, 31.
As I said yesterday, many Churches build themselves and their god up as the source/arbiter of love. Yet it’s very, very telling that in order for love/equality to win, these Churches must lose.
And while mass exoduses are less documented in other religions, I can’t imagine fundamentalist churches with their anti-gay stances are doing much better, particularly among the young.
In other news, when religion puts people in a position to choose between their family and that religion over something as arbitrary as genitals, it saddens me that people feel such pressure from religion they often make the wrong choice.