In a piece of news that surprised precisely no one, the Pew Report has revealed that Mormons are the most conservative religious group in America.
More Mormons (60 percent) identify themselves as conservatives than any other religious group; they also lead every other group in GOP party identification (at 65 percent)–much higher than the general population in both categories.
Actually, I was a bit surprised. Only 65 percent Republican? Back in my Utah days, it felt like 95 percent. I’ll bet the Republican numbers are low because there’s a further 25 percent comprised of John-Birch-birther-Ron-Paul Independents who think the Republican party isn’t Constitutional enough.
Out of the remaining 10 percent, subtract the usual 8 percent Unaffiliated/Don’t Know, and you’ll have 2 percent left. That’s the elusive Liberal Mormon.
You’ll find more than a few liberal Mormons behind this effort to reconcile LDS Church leadership with gay people. As of today, it has — wow — all of 1,360 signatories. (For comparison, this is an order of magnitude less than this petition to consider Michael Jackson for a Nobel Peace Prize.)
We the undersigned, in the spirit of love and peace, earnestly seek to create a climate for reconciliation between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and gays and lesbians who have been affected by the policies, practices and politics of the Church. We recognize that issues surrounding sexuality and gender orientation are complex; that understanding of these matters has evolved, especially over the past several decades, and are continuing to evolve as scientists, therapists, theologians and others continue to explore and ponder their meaning and significance; We believe that people of good will may have differing views about homosexuality, while maintaining amicable relationships.
Lovely sentiments, a noble goal, and a complete waste of time. Why would church leadership want to reconcile with gay people? Their fiercely conservative membership is convinced they speak for god, and when god’s on your side, negotiation is impossible. Enter a dialogue with gay people, seriously? Those people want to destroy society. Oh, sure, the church will have to walk back all that homophobia someday, but that’ll be a long time from now, and Mormons will claim it was never official church policy anyway.
You have to love Mormon liberals, but you have to feel sad for them. True, they haven’t completely off-loaded their conscience onto church leadership. But that only means that their post-Dark-Ages political leanings puts them at odds with other Mormons, including church leaders, who wonder why they’re not ‘following the prophet’. So they have an uneasy relationship with a church that distrusts them for their intellectual independence.
I want to see a better relationship between the LDS Church and gay people too, but it’s not going to happen by church members politely petitioning for it. It will happen when Mormons with a conscience refuse to support the church financially or numerically with their membership.