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Kirby: My surprise at finding that I belong to a gay church
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I don't know how much more conservative a religion could be than the LDS Church. The list of things I'm not allowed to do as a Mormon ranges from smoking cigarettes to shooting orphans.

It's a full-time job just trying to be this conservative, especially for Mormons with short attention spans like mine. And full fellowship borders on sensory deprivation.

Fortunately we have leaders to show us the way, good and honest men so conservative that a microscopic examination of their DNA might reveal a genetic marker for neckties.

I was therefore completely surprised last Saturday when I attended President Gordon B. Hinckley's funeral and discovered that some Christians consider us a gay church and - brace yourselves - that President Hinckley was an enabler of homosexuals.

According to demonstrators outside the LDS Conference Center, the church does not do enough to suppress homosexuality. Protesters carried signs accusing us in the most pejorative terms of supporting gays.

One placard featured an illustration of a sex act between two males and the words "fag church."

Sorry about that. But I figure you need to know just how stupid it was getting, because it was about to get even stupider.

When asked what President Hinckley had done that enabled homosexuals, one woman said it was because the leader of the LDS Church preached that God loves all his children, including the gay ones.

That's it? God loves all his children, and that makes us a gay church? She emphatically nodded an increasingly smaller head.

Wow. Talk about having my mind opened. I couldn't stop marveling over the fact that if this woman had a valid driver's license, there's really no reason chimpanzees couldn't file a class-action lawsuit and get them, too.

The LDS Church as a gay church would be a surprise to gay Mormons and their families. It's also surprising to Mormons like me who don't have much of an opinion on the matter and don't plan on getting one either.

According to other personal friends of the Savior who had invited themselves to the funeral, Mormons aren't even Christian.

Such ecclesiastical-based fault finding isn't limited to just fools and loons of other faiths. I hear it in my own church from time to time, casual but heartfelt pronouncements about what other people believe and whether they could possibly be happy doing it. I did it myself back when I was a genius.

If religion is a deeply personal matter, it should do a better job of staying there. If your religion is more about making you a better person than it is about making other people worse, it's probably the right one for you.

rkirby@sltrib.com

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