I can count on one hand the number of times I've stood at the pulpit on the first Sunday of the month, in front of an entire congregation, with my sole intention being to share what's in my heart and to testify what I know to be true.

For some, it takes little more than the fact that it's Fast Sunday and thus another opportunity to humble brag to get up from their pew and talk for an extended period of time about how blessed they are to go on vacation/look down on others/uphold an oppressive patriarchal society. For others, it takes a fair amount of courage to stand up and share personal, sacred experiences and perspective.

One of those brave souls is making headlines, which isn't exactly a common trajectory of fast and testimony meetings.

Savannah is a 12-year-old girl that came out to her congregation earlier this month. Standing at the pulpit, reading from a notebook, she testified, her voice unwavering, that she knew God made her just as she was; no mistakes were made, from her freckles to the fact she's gay.

She spoke of how important it is to care about others, especially when they are different. Still reading from the notes she'd so thoughtfully prepared, she declared her dreams to have a career, fall in love, get married, and have a family.

Then her mic cut out.

For those unfamiliar, the pulpit is controlled by one of the leaders of the congregation sitting behind it. They are able to move the pulpit up and down to accommodate height differences between speakers, adjust the volume, and, apparently, turn it off completely should the message being delivered be unwanted.

I've sat through many messages that were off-base, offensive, and outright inaccurate, and I've never once witnessed a mic being turned off. I've never even seen a speaker being tapped on the shoulder and asked to sit down.

That's not to say it hasn't ever happened, but what happened to this twelve-year-old-girl-- a child-- doesn't usually happen to adults.

It isn't typical

It isn't okay.

Given the church's official stance on homosexuality,* it isn't entirely surprising. The church maintains that "same-sex attraction" is acceptable, but acting upon that attraction constitutes sin. After a leaked policy change in 2015, gay members now stand to be excommunicated, apostates, cast into outer darkness. Should their children wish to be baptized, they must wait an additional ten years beyond the normal baptismal age, and the ordinance is to be performed only after they denounce their gay parent.

Would Savannah's mic have been cut if she'd simply stated that she felt same-sex attraction, and not called herself gay or made her plans to marry a woman and have a family known?

I don't know.

I do know that, had I been there and watched a brave child be humiliated and sent back to her seat during what could only be a vulnerable, deeply important moment for her, I would have stood.

I don't know the last time I made my way to the front of the chapel to stand at the pulpit-- I haven't been to church in months as it is-- but I would have walked up. There is nothing that could have kept me from saying what needs to be said.

This is what I would say:


I thought Fathers Day was this weekend all week long. I took my kids shopping and ordered things just in time to make it for Sunday. I don't know why I checked the date, but I did, and realized that Fathers Day is actually next week. So now we'll spend our weekend pulling weeds, grocery shopping, and doing laundry instead of celebrating. I'm sort of thinking we should celebrate two weeks in a row.

Here's a few links I enjoyed in case you're trying to avoid weeds and laundry, too.

We know the importance of self care, but if you need a little help getting there, here are twenty-five cheat sheets for taking care of yourself like an adult.

There are far too many stories of black students being sent home from school or otherwise disciplined for simply wearing their natural hair. This is why it needs to stop.

Raising a son alongside daughters, I agree with these ideas on how to raise a feminist son.

I'm always in need of a good book list. I'll probably choose some from this summer reading list filled with books that advocate for inclusion and social justice. I'm also looking forward to going through books on this list of one hundred books about women and religion.

Can we clear up macaron vs. macaroon? Here's how you should be saying it.

Have you ever wondered who played Barney and what it was like? Wonder no more.

Manspreading has been banned on buses in Madrid. Worth the read for the comments alone.

Yes, it's real- white Jesus can join your engagement photoshoots in Utah. (It doesn't mean he should.)

I used to work in one way back in the day, so I can vouch for the accuracy. If call center employees were honest, your phone calls to customer service would sound a lot like this.

Probably, definitely, making these almond butter chocolate chip cookies. You know, since it actually isn't Fathers Day so I won't be making my husband's favorite.


Let's talk about the Paris agreement.

Unless you'd rather talk about the Comey hearing, which yes, we should discuss.

But first, the Paris agreement.

Are we surprised our commander in chief wants out? Uh, not at all.

Really, I don't think there's anything he could do that would surprise me (other than resign, maybe). Still, his decisions and complete lack of logic and reason continue to leave me shaking my head. By that I mean swearing, because seriously, what more can he do?

Don't answer that. That isn't a question I want to know the answer to.

The good news is, there's still a lot we can do to stand up to him, especially in regard to his short-sighted opposition to curtailing climate change. Because, while he says he will cease implementation immediately, his power is somewhat limited.

Unless he signs an executive order eliminating the ozone layer. (For the love, could he try?)

Here's what you can do right now to work toward reducing greenhouse emissions yourself, since our wise leader fails to see the importance.

trees with text to reduce greenhouse emissions