IF THIS ISN'T THE LAST STRAW

I was recently reminded of a conversation I had with a friend a little over a year ago. We were discussing our church and the struggles we faced there. The conversation turned to what would have to happen for us to leave, with the general consensus being that the church would have to be doing more harm than good.

At the time, I was trying really hard to stay. I wasn't questioning whether or not I should leave, but rather what I needed to do to remain active. It wasn't easy, but I was committed to making an effort.

Shortly after that conversation, the handbook policy was leaked and later elevated to revelation status.

My questions changed. I was no longer asking how do I stay, but why.

I'm well aware of my church's past. It isn't one I've made excuses for, but one I've grappled with and have really yet to reconcile (and I'm only talking about the past sixty years). I'd hoped that earlier poor decisions and mistakes would provide greater understanding moving forward, but I can't say I believe that's the case.

To me, the policy joined the ranks of other particularly heinous, damaging decisions made at church headquarters, and it wasn't to be the last.

On Friday, I read that the LDS church filed an amicus brief in a Supreme Court case regarding the rights of transgender students in schools on the grounds that it threatens religious liberty.

My initial reaction as I read was I'm done.

They've gone too far.

Again.

I sat with the news all weekend and wondered, if this isn't the last straw, what will be? How much worse can it get? Do I want to find out?

I'm not waiting to draw a line as to what I will stand for and what I will stand against.  I know what I believe to be right and true. I voice my opinions and concerns, but are they heard? And if they are, does it even make a difference?

I believe that the church's recent decisions are damaging and will impact many (this is proven time and again).

I believe their political involvement, despite empty claims of neutrality, is incredibly harmful.

But I no longer believe that I can weigh the harm they do against the good any more than I can say that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is synonymous with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The gospel of Christ cannot facilitate harm or hurt.

The Church as an institution can, and it does. Repeatedly.

There is a difference between the two. To me, it is as glaring as it is painful.

I don't know that there will be one single thing that triggers my exit. I can't find a way to measure the good against the bad, because they come from two different sources. But I can say that the door is open and I'm running out of reasons to not walk through it.

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