the straw what broke my back

So, as some of you know (like probably anyone who has ever stumbled upon this blog) my politics lean pretty far to the left (thought this has never been a blog about politics), and I was raised LDS (not that this has ever been a blog about church/religion either). I have made comments about both in the past because they are parts of who I am and parts of my path to who I will be. I know some people think that they are two things that really shouldn't be discussed (that it's not polite - and a lot of times it isn't!), but to me there would be a certain amount of dishonesty involved if I just pretended to have no opinions. I've never been one of those people who felt that everyone's got to agree with me, or even that you have to agree with me to be my friend - we just have to respect each other as people. Respectful disagreement is always possible - and a difference of opinion does NOT make one person smarter or stupider than the other - does not make one inherently good and the other inherently bad.

But to choose to belong to an association / group / organization of any kind that has taken a severe turn in a direction you cannot support is a totally different thing. To associate, civilly, with a person (despite what the McCain campaign would have us believe) is NOT an endorsement of everything they think and feel. But to self-identify as something, to attend meetings, to give money .... that IS a rubber stamp.

It's been a long time since I've physically been to church. Some people reading this (my mother included) are likely to think that is the problem - that if I'd been more 'active' I'd have had less of a struggle staying in the church. I strongly and respectfully disagree with that - if I'd gone more I would have done this MUCH sooner since it's the going that has always turned me off of it. The more abstract a component of my life it has remained, the harder it has been for me to admit to myself that I don't agree with it, don't believe in it, and don't belong there (and don't want to).

I have had a hard time with a lot of things the church has done / been doing lately - most specifically the Proclamation on the Family (a document I personally disagree with very strongly). But the thing is - that's a religious document. In this country any church can release pretty much any document it wants. And while I was offended by the solidifying of the major right turn embodied by the Proclamation .. it was, nonetheless, within the rights of the church to issue it as both a statement and a guideline for adherents. Involving the church HEAVILY in the political process in California to pass Proposition 8, however, is a whole other ball of wax!

I am deeply offended - though not surprised - by the position the church has encouraged on this issue. But to actually cross the line they have crossed in this election is baffling! I don't see how they can possibly keep their tax-exempt status after this, though they will of course ... all the politically active religions do (deep sigh for the total lack of separation between church and state in modern America).

I could go on and on about the actual issue of 'gay marriage' - but I'm sure you can tell where I stand and I'm sure there's nothing I can say that would change anyone's mind about it, so what's the point? But I am stunned that people have now actually voted to remove a civil and human right from people who had it (however briefly). Other than the removal of Asian Americans to internment camps in WWII, I'm not sure we've ever been in the position of stripping rights from people before. I mean, we have a long history of denying them altogether - but granting them and then stripping them? That seems more the milieu of Nazi Germany and the Taliban! My only hope is that the courts will straighten it out (as they have in the past when the California electorate has gone wacky with an unconstitutional mob-rule stance).

Prop 8 is not the one and only reason for the theme of this post. My affiliation with the church has been dangling by a thread for years and years. And a couple months ago I suddenly had this magnificent epiphany that anything I would not join NOW I probably shouldn't continue to be part of. That I only TRY to stay LDS because it's what I was raised .... and that that is NOT enough!

But the point of this post, and the thing I am so flabbergasted by, is the nakedly aggressive influence of the church on the outcome of Prop 8. For me, that is one step too far, one too many lines crossed, and one too many things to be totally ashamed of about the church for me to have anything to do with it anymore. To preach an ideology I disagree with is bad enough - and has made me uncomfortable FOR YEARS - but to move that into action is just too much for me.

So I quit, officially, and I leave them to it. Let them drive off down the road to the right without me. Let them insert themselves into politics in a way I feel strongly should be deemed unconstitutional (no matter who does it). I will not go with them - not any further. I will never attend another LDS meeting in my life, I will never pay them tithing again in my life, I will never self-identify as LDS again in my life (though I will admit that I was raised in it because that is the truth). It hasn't fit right for a long time, and I'm officially done trying to make it work. IMHO, the leadership of the church, and anyone who agrees with it, has/have completely lost the plot. So I shall seek it elsewhere!

It's been like trying to stay married to someone you don't like and don't agree with on pretty much any/everything - whom your parents picked out for you when you were 3 months old. Well, I've had it and I'm done struggling with it - I divorce it!

note: I have disabled comments on this post but not because I don't care what people have to say. If you have something you want to say, feel free to e-mail it to me (my address is at the top of the sidebar), but I did it because this one and only post is not meant to be a conversation - it's meant to be a declaration (of independence). Future posts will return to regular broadcasting standards :)
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