Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Who would Jesus house?

The LDS Church recently came out in support of a nondiscrimination law in Salt Lake City. They said, effectively, that everyone deserves a place to live. Reactions, as you may recall, were mixed.

Then this post on lds.net came to my attention. A person asked the following question on the LDS forum:
I'm somewhat confused on what to do right now. I am currently living in an apartment with 3 bedrooms. My roommate (The one moving out) that has the bedroom with a private bath is the room a 2 gay guys want to rent. ...

The gay couple will be in the room in the front of the apartment. Separate bathroom, but we all share the laundry room which is in the closest of their room.

The guy I met is really nice and he agree to not show affection and such...

... but what to do?

Before ceding the floor for comments the poster ended with something rather surprising:

I feel like I need to follow the Church non-discrimination stand on this one. They recently supported that in Utah...

Wow! Wow! Wow!

But then he hesitated:
... but I want to be careful.

In other words, "the Church told me not to discriminate in housing, but I'm still scared of gay people because I know they are bad, so please, LDS Forum members, tell me what I should do."

You can read the comments on the thread if you're interested; the majority were benign.

I don't know about you, but as weird as this is I see it as progress. When the Church makes a stand the members notice and change their behavior. The opinions of LDS leaders are enormously influential among the rank and file. This is why the Church's support for basic civil rights for gay people was an important, meaningful step. Congratulations to all those in Salt Lake who worked for it.


Sabayon said...

Oh noes! Not gay laundry! Soon the cupboard will be full of fabric softener and wool-wash and you know I even hear the gays separate their wovens, knits, and delicates into separate loads. Guys shouldn't have delicates!

Okay, I had to get that out. Seriously who worries about sharing their laundry room with gay people. That said, it really is quite pleasantly surprising to hear the church actively supporting a non-discrimination clause, and the fact that it is apparently inspiring church members to consider not discriminating is definitely a positive sign.

J G-W said...

Yes... Amazing how something so seemingly infinitesimal could have such a profound effect on how LDS folks will think about this issue.

The lesson here is that there are really no such things as baby steps. Progress is progress is progress.

TGD said...

Because so many people in the church are locked into needing an authority to make their decisions for them, it comes as no surprise to me that we are seeing a shift in some people's "personal" beliefs.

I hope that the leaders of the church eventually grasp, and take responsibility for, the things they say and do.

They could start with an outright, complete, no excuse apology and denouncement of the decades past of demonization of gay people. It is still a core part of the belief system of the membership. But so far their efforts to soften the language as of late has done nothing to soften the hearts.

But then comes their official support for non-discrimination clause in Salt Lake City. I'm glad they came to their senses with this. However, it was still loaded with other harsh language ("...does not do violence to the institution of marriage...") that only stands to shift the fear of gay people to other issues rather than eliminate that fear altogether.

They have the power to instill fear or love. Do they really understand the difference? I don't think they do.

MoHoHawaii said...

Hi Sabayon,

You scoff, but haven't you ever heard of COOTIES??????

Hi J G-W,

I'm with you on this.


Thanks for commenting. At its worst, Mormonism acts like an authority cult. It's scary to watch Chris Buttars turn his head around 180 degrees when the Brethren say boo. The level of group think is astonishing.

I'm certainly not holding my breath waiting for any apologies. The Church acts in self-interest and certainly not in the interest of the disenfranchised. It's overall record on issues of social justice (poverty, race, women's issues, etc.) is abysmal. It's really a shame.

BB said...

This is great that the Church's stance announcement gave him pause to think rather than simply saying no. Progress is taking a step and then another.

MoHoHawaii said...

Hey BB,

Thanks for stopping by!