Last Friday’s edition of The Salt Lake Tribune included a story titled, “Gay BYU filmmaker ready to tell his story,” by Peggy Fletcher Stack (July 8, 2011). The article is about Kendall Wilcox, yet Ms. Stack appropriates Mr. Wilcox’s quandary to proclaim the mantra upon which she seems fixated: Hasten the day when the LDS Church is no longer hopelessly obstinate and desperately non-progressive.
The instances of irony in the article are numerous. One example is a statement attributed to the Portland-based accountant/associate producer on Wilcox’s film:
“When we get lost in the polemics,”Hastings says, “we end up missing the point, not ministering to those who are in real need.”
While occasionally this happens, of the individuals who consider themselves homosexual, how many are not accepting the ministering that is proffered? It’s important to remember that those who minister are not to be confused with a concierge or valet.
Perhaps, he [Wilcox] reasoned, he could change the debate’s tone from rage and vitriol to one of respect and empathy.
Much, if not most, of the debate’s tone of rage and vitriol is coming from homosexual advocates. The message emphasized by the church’s leadership is one of respect and empathy.
And this, at the conclusion of the article:
But such couples, he adds, indicate that the time is ripe for this documentary.
“We are at a positive tipping point that so many members of the LDS community have been hoping for,” he says. “There are so many closeted, loving and kind Mormons who are dying for their culture to shift just enough that they can come out and say they love and support their homosexual brothers and sisters.”
And they can affirm, he says, that they also love and support their religion.
Not unlike the also-challenging and complex issue of illegal immigration, some LDS members have chosen to disregard the counsel of their leaders who are clearly communicating in ways that can be and sometimes are drowned out by the din and disregard of individuals more intent on telling than on listening.
The LDS culture has shifted and is continuing to shift: Members can and do say they love and support their homosexual brothers and sisters, and they affirm they also love and support their religion. What the culture does not, and cannot, say is: “Whatever you may choose to do, go ahead and declare yourselves exempt from the laws of cause and effect; immune from the immutable consequences of your choices and behavior.” To endorse that fiction would be neither prudent nor compassionate.