Where do I start. It's been over a month since they read the letter in Sacrament Meeting encouraging members to support Proposition 8. A week before they read the letter, I had already read a copy of it, and even before that, I expected a letter of some sort. I remember all too well the Prop 22 days. I was only 17 at the time, but I remember clearly a couple Sundays when things got pretty nasty. I propose right now that we suspend Testimony Sunday until after November.
But anyway, I guess I am writing this to just vocalize my thoughts and feelings about the whole thing. My first reaction to the letter being read was sadness. I was surprised at how emotional I got as they read the letter. For the first time in my life, I felt like the church and belief system that I had always lived and loved, was now working against me. I remember sitting there next to my room mate, Pete, and just feeling sick to my stomach. I was surprised at how much it hurt. I suddenly felt like an outsider being attacked. But instead of an enemy, it was the faith that had brought me so much joy and peace, was suddenly overwhelming me with anxiety and sorrow. To give the bishop credit, he read it tactfully, and sat down without adding anything else. I went home that day with a lot on my mind.
A couple weeks passed, and I, perhaps naively, hoped that that was the last of it that I would have to hear. I suspected that in a family ward more would be said/done on the subject, but I kind of hoped that in a singles ward, where people are occupied with so many other things, that that would be the last of Prop 8. It was mentioned here and there again in passing, but nothing much was ever discussed on the subject.
Then yesterday in Sacrament Meeting the High Councilor and his wife were both asked to speak on the subject. To give them credit, they did it in a very tactful, and roundabout way. Perhaps the Bishop/Stake President asked them to tread lightly knowing that there are a number of people in the ward who are gay or struggle with SSA, SGA, or however they define themselves. But despite even the best intentions, I was hurt. I felt like I was being attacked. I'm being asked to support a cause which will only cause more pain and sorrow among people who are gay. This type of rhetoric in my opinion only further encourages hate and discrimination. I know the Church officially discourages these types of behaviors, but something has to be said for how the members act and why they apparently feel that it is okay to treat others in the hateful and disrespecful ways that they sometimes do.
During their talks, I again felt surprised at how hurt I was and how sad I was. The speakers really were trying to be tactful, but the underlying message was still there. When Sacrament Meeting ended, I made a beeline for the door. I didn't make it far before a couple of people in the ward stopped me to ask me how I was doing. I put my sunglasses on to hide my eyes which were starting to tear up. I ended the conversations with them as soon as possible, and then headed out the door. By the time I got to my car I was pretty shaken up. I really was having a hard time with this. I went home and went back to bed. I felt sick.
After a good long nap yesteday, I woke up feeling a lot better. I know that nothing was meant to be offensive, but I guess I just wish the Church would just let the issue be. I have no doubt that the vast majority of the members of the Church would support the amendment regardless, so why must they be so vocal in their support of it?
Today seemed like it was going to be better until I got an email from the ward indicating that tonight's FHE was going to be given by the Bishop and that it would be a special presntation on Prop 8. Ugh. OK, not that I always go to FHE anyway, but suddenly the anxiety was coming back. I just wish they wouldn't turn this into a "moral issue." What about every other moral issue that the Church remains silent on. Oh well, in a few months it will all be over. And if Californians vote how I hope they do, things might be a little different in a few months.