Please Be Advised: The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You

In this age of technology where every move can be tracked, every decision monitored and every foible illustrated and remembered as bits and bytes of data, it is so difficult to raise your hand and admit “I made a mistake, I goofed, I am sorry.” Alcoholics Anonymous, and the LDS Church’s repentance process both state that admittance is the first step. Being able to stand up and say, “Hi, I have a problem,” is often what is necessary as the first step to recovery. C.S. Lewis puts it a better way when he stated “We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

Right now the Church is in denial about its double standard concerning the GLBT community both inside and outside its membership as has been made clear by recent events on Main Street Plaza in Salt Lake City. This hypocrisy can be seen by how the church continues to state that it holds all to the same standard when incidents have shown otherwise. President Gordon B. Hinckley, in his discussion on Larry King Live regarding homosexuality stated ”If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are.” The Church’s official statement regarding the incident last week said the same thing and yet two people were singled out because one of them gave his partner a peck on the cheek.

The hypocrisy, whether known or unknown, has gone on long enough and it is time for an intervention. I am calling on all members and allies of the Salt Lake GLBT community, whether you are an active member of the church, an inactive member, or have had no relationship to the church, to help in giving the church an opportunity to discover and bring out their double standard into the light of day. After all, “Sunlight is the greatest of disinfectants.”

I am fine with a Church that is bigoted, that is repulsed by a community of people, as long as they are honest about their stance and not try to hide behind the guise of tolerance. If the Church wishes to alienate a population of its members and its flock, then they need to do so. If their goal really is tolerance and one standard, however high or low, then they need to enforce it across the board with equality. What I am not fine with are hypocrites.

I feel very much like Christ must have when, in Matthew 23, He declared woe unto the Pharisees who “outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within … are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” Our community of allies and members needs to help the church correct its course because, as President Uchtdorf has stated, “The difference between happiness and misery … often comes down to an error of only a few degrees.

We must stand like Ghandi, and bear what must be borne, for “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” We must show, publicly, that we see the double standard and are calling it out. We must show public displays of affection throughout the city and throughout Church property until they realize that 1. We are not going away, and 2. They are like King Darius who followed the advice of his princes and counselors whose plot was to destroy Daniel, they are following the advice of men who are resentful and bigoted against the GLBT community to the detriment of Heavenly Father’s children.

We must stage this intervention on behalf of the church not by protesting en masse outside Temple Square, but by entering it, Main Street Plaza, and the Joseph Smith Building in twos and fours and then publically showing affection for one another in a manner that for any straight couple would be entirely appropriate. We must continue this every day until they see and understand the error of their hypocrisy. We must help them to understand that nearest exit is behind them.