I recently fell in love with the musical Waitress (having already been in love with Sara Bareilles for years). For me, music is like scripture, in that a song can mean something different to me every time I hear it. I was driving to work early one morning listening to the Waitress soundtrack on repeat–it’s what I do–and I reached the song “Everything Changes.” It comes near the end of the show and helps wrap up what is a surprisingly chaotic storyline. Continue reading
In the few years I have spent weaving in and out of the gay Mormon world, I’ve tried to regularly step back and see myself from a distance, and ask the questions an outsider would ask. One question that has come up many times is “What do you want?” It has come up many times because I’ve never been able to answer it completely.
As long as I can remember, I’ve lived in tension between wanting to be part of something bigger–a cause, even–and wanting to curl up in bed and read a book. I’ve read some great books recently. Continue reading
I’ve been contemplating recently what it means to be a hero. As usual I’m trying to figure out what to make of myself, but in particular I’ve just finished reading The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker. In his book, Becker argues that the overriding fear of every person is death, and that we try to fight off that fear by being heroic. Religions, he says, are hero-systems. They teach us how to matter. Continue reading
I know many people who are both faithful believers and empathetic friends to gay Mormons. They see the complexity of the decisions their friends face and wish it were easier. Many of them even understand their gay friends’ lives could be happier, more stable, and even more fulfilling if they were permitted to seek same-sex relationships with the blessing of the Church. But their faith, founded upon real spiritual experiences, leads them to support the Church in its current policies and teachings.
I’m thinking of each of you. Continue reading
By now it seems virtually certain to me that the Mormon Church will eventually bless same-sex romantic relationships. Not everyone agrees, and that’s ok, but for me the “if” question has passed. The “when” and the “how” questions still loom large, but the “what then” question is the one currently poking at me. Continue reading
Someone somewhere decided spirit could be trusted but body could not. I don’t know who decided it. I suspect it had to do with St. Augustine and something about the Greeks (that is to say I’ve heard things but not remembered them).
For me, body is surely at least as divine as spirit. Neither is perfect, but in Mormon thought they will both eventually be. If God can speak to my spirit, God can also speak to my body. I was built to resonate with good things, in body and in spirit. I trust them both. When I cry and when I laugh it is a meeting of both in celebration or mourning. Continue reading
When news broke in January that Daniel Ruettiger, the Notre Dame footballer who inspired the movie Rudy, had joined the Mormon Church, few could have predicted it would start a fad. Some religious scholars are beginning to believe that might be the case. Since “Rudy’s” baptism, in the first quarter of 2017, at least 56 nationally recognized athletes, actors, and other performers have taken the Mormon baptismal plunge, reports Dr. Mitch Edmonds of the Organization for Religious Statistics. According to Edmonds, that represents a 341% increase over the previous peak in 1912, when the entire cast and crew of the film Tell Me, Truly joined the Church during its promotional tour.
Among the A-listers joining Mormonism already in 2017 are Oprah Winfrey, talk show host, actor, producer, and CEO of her namesake network, OWN, and Ellen DeGeneres, actor, talk show host, and voice actor who provided the voice for Dory in Disney’s animated films Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. Continue reading