Last November’s policy change in which gay church members are now considered apostates and their children cannot be blessed, baptized, or advance in the priesthood, has been dubbed POX (Policy Of eXclusion). One of our readers wondered why the POX was allowed to move forward, and gave some options. What to you think?
Of course, I don’t know the real reason as no one who knows has told me. However, in the absence of real knowledge, people make up their own reasons — nature abhors a vacuum and all that. The original posting asked, “What [d]o you think?”
I think the policy makes sense. It is similar to (or exactly like?) the long-standing policy on ordinances for children of polygamous relationships. Generally, adults are allowed to make a decision to receive Church ordinances. Church members can ask for ordinances for their children. Abdul from Arabia, with his four wives, cannot by policy be baptized into the Church, and he and his wives cannot present a child for baptism. However, that child can present him- or herself for baptism upon achieving adulthood. The Church does not recognize polygamous marriages and does not treat with polygamous persons, even where polygamous marriages allowed under civic law. Similarly, the Church does not recognize same-sex marriages and does not treat with persons in formalized same-sex marriages, even where same-sex marriages are allowed under civic law.
At least, this is how I have it figured out, and it makes sense to me. As with any policy, there will be some instances where its application will cause some dissonance, and there may be some fine-tuning of the policy as time passes. But the good news is that once a child from such a marriage is an adult, and can treat for him- or herself, then the ordinances of the Church are available upon request. I’m glad for that.
For me the policy makes NO sense. When it first came out and people compared it to the exclusionary policy of children of polygamists, I did not know about the other policy. Neither one makes sense. They are both wrong and should be removed from the handbook. If it stays, the Church will find itself once again on the wrong side of civil rights and human rights, just as it did with the priesthood ban.
Neither the Pox not the polyox make sense to me. No one but a child’s parents should be making these decisions for a child. For the church to take the decision making power from the parent demeans the role of parent. Also, it’s silly that a married gay couple get exed, but a singled, sexually active gay individual doesn’t. Then there is the mess it creates for families with shared custody of children between parents in different living situations.
I have a feeling the reasons for the Pox are complex and we don’t know half of them.
I’m unable to comment sensibly.
I’m still waiting for more information.
Well since the church can’t possibly be wrong it’s obviously because God hates gays!
I don’t think it’s God approved, but I do think it’s all of the other reasons combined plus fear of litigation.
The comparison doesn’t make sense to me because at least one of the parents is active…especially when one of themy is active
to avoid liability
The only things worse than the policy was the (1) immediate back tracking on the policy a few days later and (2) the labelling of the policy as revelation by RMN. This was a road crash from start to finish.
A friend keeps telling me that the policy gave the church “Street Cred” on an international level. So many countries are very anti-LGBT. The church’s stance made those countries much more accepting of the church. For my friend, it is an easy price to pay in order to get missionary access into new territory. For me, it is equivalent to leaving one little lost lamb to die alone in the hills in order to keep the other 99 safe. It is not Christian.
Yes the church seems to cater to “Street Cred” but oddly only internationally, they’re far above being influenced domestically.
…or on second thought…maybe international street cred is simply a reverse engineered apologetic offered in an attempt to placate a public relations nightmare…sort of the Tapir of gender relations if you will…a finger in the dike perhaps?
JI It’s funny how you can’t seem to figure out leaders reasons, but always seem to find others dishonest. Leader worship much?
There is no need for bullying or dishonesty. Do you have anything to say on the subject of the original posting?
Yes ji there is no need to bullying and dishonesty. Stop it.
Ji – I find it somewhat concerning that I see some people argue, like you have, that the pre existing policy on polygamous families somehow justified or validates the establishment of the POX. Think of how this might be if some argued this connection in similar policies. Women, racial minorities, disabled people and – heaven forbid – religious minorities – like the LDS Church.
Elder Oaks, at every step, is having a go at people who would seek to “exclude” the rights of the church in matters of religious freedom. What’s good for the goose…..
Perhaps the church would have been wise to take Stephens position above.
On a related point – after I recovered from the initial shock of this disgraceful policy, I wondered why the church would do such a thing based upon what I am sure they know about what the youth and young adult demographic broadly feel about LGBT issues.
On one hand they want to stem the tide of young people leaving, and then slap them in the face with a policy that creates such a discord with their social beliefs and positions.
I said in high priests once that allowing gay people to marry did not take anything away from my marriage, that I felt it was a social and not a religious issue and that either way I cared not. I was literally laughed out of the conversation. Now I don’t give a crap what others think of me. But many younger people may. I feel for those who struggle to reconcile the beauty that is is the gospel with the atrocious and unnecessary decisions like this one….
The original posting asked for the opinions of W&T readers. I shared my opinion without challenging anyone else’s opinion. I also shared that I do not know anything in any official sense. I haven’t justified or validated anything. However, it does seem to me that while the Church opposes polygamous and same-sex marriages, it doesn’t oppose women, racial minorities, or disabled people — thus, your comparison is inapt.
The only bullying and dishonesty here is yours. Please stop it. I know I bested you a few threads ago by telling the truth, and apparently that has caused you to feel great animosity towards me. I am hopeful that I can share my opinion at W&T, and you can share yours, without any personal attacks. Any reader can make his or her own conclusion on whatever the subject matter is. Even so, I am sorry for so antagonizing you — that was not my intention — my only intention was to honorably engage in the exchange of ideas.
Please post links to the threads where you told the truth.
I’m not interested in resurrecting old threads — they are there for anyone to read. Here, we’re talking about what has been called the policy on exclusion.
You bested me??? By not answering questions???? Wow, you are delusional!!!
What has caused the animosity is (1) your continual implication that my comments are dishonest, (2) your refusal to justify your ridiculous positions, (3) your continual leader worship in that you always give them the benefit of all doubts, and never give me any benefits of any doubt.
Seriously you are delusional.
I’ll leave you alone, so long as you quit calling me (or anyone who disagrees with you) as dishonest. If not, prepare to be bullied. Because calling someone dishonest is fightin’ words, and I’m not going to be bullied by you with continual dishonest accusations.
If you want a peace treaty with me, then be peaceful. Because I view comments like 13 as your attempts to bully, and I will not stand for it. It’s really funny to bully someone and then complain about being bullied.
JI, in reviewing an old post (linked below), I said to you:
Let’s go back to that. Quit incorporating the word “dishonest” in your comments. I’d like you to cut the name calling and go back the way you used to comment.
LDS Aussie, you’re welcome to play groundhog day with JI, but I’ve already complained that the Polygamy policy is just as ungodly as the POX.
I’ve said my peace. This policy is evil, ungodly, and wrong. The brethren will be called to account for this God-awful policy.
Church lawyers decided that having a written (and enforced) policy ridding the church of all married gay people was just tidier. If those pesky gentiles ever say “You have to treat married gay people like everybody else.” they can say “What married gay people? We don’t have any!” They had to pretend POX was a “revelation” after the fact, because nobody was taking it seriously as a mere handbook policy change. That’s how serious it is. The LDS church was badly burned in 1879 and 1978 and they’ve been paranoid ever since. Why? Because being forced to bend to the will of government and society makes them look weak and threatens their control over the church.
** sips tea **
Mormon Heretic is offended by my no.13, but fails to acknowledge that my no. 13 came after his no. 12.
** returns to tea **
** sips vodka **
doesn’t care about ji’s silly arguments
** takes a swig **
I hope you talked to your bishop after drinking that tea about your dishonesty. Maybe I’ll just call you “tea drinker” from here on….
MH – in relation to ji’s comment I was expressing that arguing the exclusion one group of people (children of polygamous marriages) – a stupid policy – does not make doing it to another group any easier to swallow. I’m happy for people to agree with the policy, but it needs to stand on its merits. It would be analogous to excluding Australian aboriginals during the negro priesthood and temple ban and saying “well we already ban negros, so, what’s your problem??” Christofferson made this same argument in that embarrassing and forced media conference. If you like the policy – like it. Don’t like it because it just mirrors past poor policy settings.
I’m still mostly in a state of disbelief on POX. As in ‘How could they?’
I’m still shocked over it, too. I tend to think it’s because they didn’t have any other options to combat the rising acceptance of gay marriage, but I also think they seriously underestimated how many active LDS people have gay family members.
Kirton Mc lawyers saw CA recognizing non parents as being held liable in parental alienation cases. So it and 99% of the church’s policies are about limiting liability.
jpv– do you have a source?
I would like to see a policy that we comply with local law. So if Oakland mandates SSM then the Oakland Temple celebrates them. Etc.
Here’s the problem: From its inception, the LDS church has run afoul of public policy. Mormons were expelled from society for this, and eventually founded an isolated theocracy in Utah. During its, shall we say, formative years, the LDS church solidified this theocracy and integrated it into an authoritative, top-down structure. But society encroached upon the island, and Mormons were forced to comply with public policy. Now there’s a sort of schizophrenia at the top. The leaders want to exercise their former autocratic style and have a perfect theocratic society outside the church, but neither the members nor society are large are having any of it. Thus, you have old men at the top trying to pretend they have authority they no longer have and a shell church gelled around authority that no longer exists. Now the LDS church can only hope to pacify the membership and civil authorities by treading carefully, sticking with inoffensive platitudes… and employing lots of attorneys.
It’s always about liability. Nothing more and nothing less.
The larger an organization, the more powerful-directly or indirectly- it’s political capital, the more fervent its adherents, the more conservative its views, the deeper its coffers, the more it proclaims itself an authority, the more liable it is to lawsuits.
High schools used to be quite conversative… Well funded… Authoritative… And capable of influencing large groups. A few lawsuits that threatened the funding later they have changed philosophical approaches and political alignments (i didn’t see any principles screaming at the microphone at the RNC the way I saw it at the DNC).
I think it’s about legal liability — and it feels right to them because they don’t see how LGBT people fit into the plan of salvation, in particular, eternal marriage and eternal increase.
I just don’t understand. I expected that when marriage equality was law the leadershp would realise they were out of step and take the opportunity to say we obey the law, and move on.
If they accept marriage equality there is no problem with the plan of salvation. I see it quickly becoming the case that those who are homophobes will be included with those who are racist, and dismissed as nutters. This will be a big problem for graduates of BYU who will be excluded from many jobs, as problems. Not religious discrimination just the same kind of discrimination you would have if you found out a potential employee was a member of the KKK? Even if it changes in 10 years it will still be a problem for a long time.
Leaders are victims of their own cultural biases and THOUGHT they had to do something to combat acceptance of same sex marriage.
Executive overreach — an inability to leave well enough/bad enough alone.
Back in my corporate days when people would fly into my office with their hair on fire over a rumored or actual situation involving the private lives of their peers, I would respond, “Unless they’re scaring the horses, it’s none of my business.”
I’m late to this but I find it odd that those who lament the POX when it comes to same sex marriage, apparently have no qualms about the POX as it also applies to polygamous marriages.