20 July 2010

No More Of This!

I am sad and angry this morning at the news that Todd Ransom has taken his own life. Another promising young man who apparently crumbled in the face of the homophobia and hopelessness that the Mormon Church seems unable to avoid forcing on its gay members.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The rhetoric from Salt Lake about love and acceptance is either not getting through to the rank and file or else it's a sham. I hear it but it doesn't match the reality. And the reality is that the LDS Church's inability to figure out this issue is costing lives. It pressures its gay members to sacrifice all hope of the happiness it urges everyone else to seek and devotes all its resources to. But not for God's gay children. For some reason the Church can't explain (they try, but it's insufficient guesswork), gay people must deny themselves all love, intimacy, and the greatest joys of human existence just because of who they are, not because of what they do, or else (in the Church's opinion) face severe eternal consequences. And if they are honest about who they are, they face social ostracism, exile, bigotry, hate, and worst of all, pity. Well-meaning but clueless straight Mormons chant a chorus of "love the sinner but hate the sin" and have no idea how patronizing they sound, with the result--as demonstrated by Todd--of increasing the hopelessness.

Sorry, that's not good enough. The low priority inconsistent messaging from church HQ continues to allow a culture of soft (and sometimes overt) bigotry to flourish as if it were God's will, with lives like Todd Ransom's as ongoing collateral damage. It is wrong, wrong, wrong. Surely the Savior weeps with Todd's family and friends today as He contemplates what drove Todd to such utter despair. Surely the "Saints" of the Mormon Church should hide their heads in shame that their church and their attitudes have produced yet another such tragedy. What will it take for the suicides to stop?


Reina said...

You are a very powerful writer. I was crying when I finished reading your post. I hope you don't mind if I share a link to this post on my Facebook.

Bror said...

This is terrible and bothers me greatly.

Tim Trent said...

I don't, didn't, know Todd. I don't know if you know, knew, Todd. But I would like to pass a hug from a total stranger through your blog to those he loved and those who loved him, hoping that, in some small way, it helps..

LDS Brother said...

Another notch on bigotry's bed post.

Pablo said...

I feel so sad and so angry. But I refuse to lose hope. Not hope that the church will change. I have no idea about that. The hope I speak of is hope that gay mormons, young and not so young, will find strength to realize our worth in this world, regardless of the degree of supposed "worthiness" assigned to us by the church.

Thank you for your eloquence Rob. I'm going to take some time to mourn from afar with Todd Ransom's family, to remember those others whose lives have ended as his and to process how I feel. I've already begun a post in my mind. For now, I simply bow my head and say amen.

J G-W said...

Nothing seems enough in the face of this.

MoHoHawaii said...

There's blood on the hands of LDS Church leaders with each successive death.

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