Tuesday, June 22, 2010

About that Prop 8 documentary

This past weekend my husband and I went to see the movie, 8: The Mormon Proposition. We knew it hadn't gotten the greatest reviews, but we didn't care. We were going to see it no matter what. We need to know exactly who is out to hurt our gay son and by extension, our family. We need to know the enemy. This issue is just too important to us and fully understanding the forces behind Proposition 8 is the first step in securing everyone's right to marry the person they love. And though we pretty much knew who the villains were going to be, we didn't realize just how far right-wing religious zealots would go to achieve their goal of crushing gays and lesbians, their families, and the families (like ours) who love them. We also didn't realize how much money, manpower, and dirty rotten lies they were willing to invest in order to enshrine their religious beliefs into California's laws.

We expected the theater to be pretty empty, but much to our surprise, it wasn't. In fact there was a pretty large and diverse crowd, including many straight couples like ourselves. And I suspect they were there doing exactly what my husband and I were doing, finding out just how deep the involvement of the Mormon Church in Utah was in stripping the gays and lesbians in California of rights that everyone else has.

I thought I knew all the gory details, but I was wrong. I was horrified at just how deceitful and dirty these so-called religious people were willing to get to achieve their goal of defining marriage to exclude anyone who does not meet Mormon leadership's approval. The level of hate, cruelty, and deception went beyond anything I could have imagined. I sat in that theater vacilating between seething rage and shock. Watching the amount of time, money, energy, and methodical planning that went into getting this hateful Proposition passed was almost more than I could take. I am ashamed to say this, but my hatred for the Mormon Church (and the Catholic Church, which played a sneaky in-the-shadows role) has grown exponentially after watching this documentary. These so-called men of God are nothing but evil, mean bigots.

But there is something else in this documentary that upset me even more than the millions of dollars and nasty tactics used to pass Prop 8 and that is the complete and unquestioning faith that most Mormons have in their prophets. The threat of being thrown out of the Church was used to extort millions from the church's members and judging from the millions upon millions that started immediately rolling into California, I'd say it is quite an effective threat. Commands from on high are certainly obeyed. Questions apparently do not get asked. Doubts do not see the light of day. Checks are written for the amounts demanded regardless of whether one can afford it or not. The Mormon faithful blindly obeyed.

But I just have to ask: what about those Mormons who have gay children, or gay friends, or gay co-workers, or gay loved ones? They were certainly asked to give too. The answer is, they gave. And they gave until it hurt, just like everyone else. And that is why one of Utah's dirtiest, but best kept secrets is the very high number of homeless gay and lesbian children living in the streets and sewers. They are discarded like trash because that is what a good Mormon (and for that matter Evangelical) family must do to remain in good standing in these Houses of Hate that pass as churches.

My mind reels at the idea of any parent shunning their child for being gay. I simply cannot imagine throwing my child to the street like trash because some bigot on a stage in a mega-church or temple tells me that my child is evil, nor can I fathom blindly trusting someone who tells me my child or anyone else's child is not worthy of the same rights everyone else enjoys. But I can tell you what I would have no problem imagining (because I did it) and that is dumping any church that is loaded with hideous bigots who spend the kind of money, energy, and resources that the Mormon church spent to get this hateful proposition passed. Imagine how much good all that money and energy could have accomplished had it been spent differently. But no, it was spent to hurt others and strip them of rights. And that my friends is not good Christian love, it is pure evil. Share


Tracy said...

You should read UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN by Jon Krakauer. These realizations would be less of a shock if you knew how often any infraction or questioning (like about abuse or abduction or murder or dress code) is treated with the threat and action of excommunication. Children kick out their parents, parents kick out their children... bizarre. I read that book with a chill, a sweaty brow, the hairs on the back of my neck standing up, a metallic taste in my mouth, and a generalized nausea that lasted for weeks.

Those people scare the shit out of me. Because they just say, "God told me" and then that's the end- there's no human reasoning or logic or compassion that counteracts what they perceive as god's wishes.

Seething Mom said...

I'm not sure I am in the right frame of mind to read anything about the Mormons right now. I experienced much of the same feelings you described when you read UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN. This movie deeply disturbed me. I just have to wonder -- how many families have to be destroyed before people wake up and realize how much damage is being done in the name of God.