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LDS Church Donates $25K to Affirmation (Re: Suicide Prevention Training)

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4 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

 The stated reason for the policy was to mitigate family conflict, and yet anyone could have predicted it would do the opposite.

I disagree "anyone could have predicted it" because the way the knowledge of the policy was shared with the public was not part of the plan.  It might have drawn a very different reaction among most people if it had been made public in a different way.

If one assumed it would be leaked and clarification was delayed for 5 days so there was panic that all children with a gay parent would be affected and that would be the first impression of the policy many/most members and non members had, I think predicting the negativity would have been reasonable.

However, in 2015 leaks weren't such givens as they are now and I suspect the policy was meant to be rolled out with more detail and training provided.  The delay with clarification adds to my suspicion the policy had been made public unintentionally and significantly early.  This appears to have happened before as somethings have been apparently accidentally released too soon in one form and then edited when released in their final form (some seminary info didn't end up using some samples, for example).  It seems likely an easy tech mistake to make, where new drafts are put in place so as to make easy access for those doing editing, making sure the tech works, getting final approval from the committee and anyone providing oversight in the context the final product will be presented...one click keeps it private and only accessible to the accessors and editors and the other puts it into public viewing or it is possible a tech misunderstood instruction not to publish as instruction to publish, or was given no instruction at all when given the update and assumed that meant it was to be made public (this is speculation based on the slow reaction of PA and the Brethren to the leak of the Handbook info as well as what appear to me to be similar cases). 

So any prediction of future conflict the Brethren were making was likely based on having more control over the timing and the context of the info presented with the policy.  If it was very clear from the beginning that the policy would be limited to the families of very few married gay and lesbian couples that had full custody of their children and their children were attending church (most likely to make grandparents or exspouses happy), while I think there would have been much sympathy, I think the horrified gut response would have been much, much less, especially if comparisons to polygamy families and real life examples of such of both immediate and longterm effects were given alongside the release, thus showing how it would actually worked rather than leaving it to be portrayed by either one's imagination or by those creating the worst scenarios possible.

While I realize it is likely most members were not aware of the polygamy restriction, if antis believed it could be used to make the Church look bad, I have no doubt they would have used it.  That they didn't suggests they realized that many would see it as a reasonable approach.  I suspect the Brethren were aware of the ongoing, almost century long reactions to the polygamy restriction and lack of interest by the general public as well and extrapolated potential family conflict from those examples as the best predictor of reactions to a new, almost identical policy for married gay couples.

I heard prior to the policy release quite a lot about conflict in families where the still believing exspouse or grandparents wanted children to be baptized, but gay parents did not.  Removing that bone of contention from families in the case would lead imo to a prediction of less family conflict, not more.

And given that the gay marriage is a sign of apostasy policy was released at the same time and is often linked in people's minds with the children's policy, I don't think one should assume all family conflict occurring now is a result of the children's policy, which actually affects a very small number of children while the apostasy policy affects any homosexual member who contemplates their future.  More likely the family conflict occurring now is among those not directly affected, but between those who want more acceptance of homosexual relationships and those who accept the Church's position as appropriate.

Considering everything, I think your claim of easy to predict is wrong.  I also think it only takes into account short term reactions and not the longterm (think century long similar to the polygamy restriction).  It is still relatively new and adjustment is ongoing.  Once it gets past the people who had the expectation of baptism, etc. for their children or grandchildren, the shock response will fade and the conflict triggered by that will as well.  Other factors of longterm awareness of the policy will also, imo, lessen the emotional response which in turn lessens conflict, thus shifting the balance to preventing new conflict in the families most immediately affected by the policies.

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4 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

As I said, I'm talking about situations that had been resolved amicably prior to the policy change. The new policy introduced new and rather charged factors into these situations, with predictable results. 

But, enough said. My opinion about the policy is pretty well-known around here. 

Change often does trigger conflict.  People then adjust and it no longer is change, but the way things are done for the next generation.

Shortterm...yes, I see it as easy to predict conflict would go up, but I doubt that the Brethren were just considering short term reponses and instead were thinking along the lines of what family conflict would be like in 25 or 50 years or even a century (like the polygamy restriction).  The judgment would be in that case 'will the longterm benefits out weight the short term costs?'.

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5 minutes ago, Calm said:

I disagree "anyone could have predicted it" because the way the knowledge of the policy was shared with the public was not part of the plan.  It might have drawn a very different reaction among most people if it had been made public in a different way.

If one assumed it would be leaked and clarification was delayed for 5 days so there was panic that all children with a gay parent would be affected and that would be the first impression of the policy many/most members and non members had, I think predicting the negativity would have been reasonable.

However, in 2015 leaks weren't such givens as they are now and I suspect the policy was meant to be rolled out with more detail and training provided.  The delay with clarification adds to my suspicion the policy had been made public unintentionally and significantly early.  This appears to have happened before as somethings have been apparently accidentally released too soon in one form and then edited when released in their final form (some seminary info didn't end up using some samples, for example).  It seems likely an easy tech mistake to make, where new drafts are put in place so as to make easy access for those doing editing, making sure the tech works, getting final approval from the committee and anyone providing oversight in the context the final product will be presented...one click keeps it private and only accessible to the accessors and editors and the other puts it into public viewing or it is possible a tech misunderstood instruction not to publish as instruction to publish, or was given no instruction at all when given the update and assumed that meant it was to be made public (this is speculation based on the slow reaction of PA and the Brethren to the leak of the Handbook info as well as what appear to me to be similar cases). 

So any prediction of future conflict the Brethren were making was likely based on having more control over the timing and the context of the info presented with the policy.  If it was very clear from the beginning that the policy would be limited to the families of very few married gay and lesbian couples that had full custody of their children and their children were attending church (most likely to make grandparents or exspouses happy), while I think there would have been much sympathy, I think the horrified gut response would have been much, much less, especially if comparisons to polygamy families and real life examples of such of both immediate and longterm effects were given alongside the release, thus showing how it would actually worked rather than leaving it to be portrayed by either one's imagination or by those creating the worst scenarios possible.

While I realize it is likely most members were not aware of the polygamy restriction, if antis believed it could be used to make the Church look bad, I have no doubt they would have used it.  That they didn't suggests they realized that many would see it as a reasonable approach.  I suspect the Brethren were aware of the ongoing, almost century long reactions to the polygamy restriction and lack of interest by the general public as well and extrapolated potential family conflict from those examples as the best predictor of reactions to a new, almost identical policy for married gay couples.

I heard prior to the policy release quite a lot about conflict in families where the still believing exspouse or grandparents wanted children to be baptized, but gay parents did not.  Removing that bone of contention from families in the case would lead imo to a prediction of less family conflict, not more.

And given that the gay marriage is a sign of apostasy policy was released at the same time and is often linked in people's minds with the children's policy, I don't think one should assume all family conflict occurring now is a result of the children's policy, which actually affects a very small number of children while the apostasy policy affects any homosexual member who contemplates their future.  More likely the family conflict occurring now is among those not directly affected, but between those who want more acceptance of homosexual relationships and those who accept the Church's position as appropriate.

Considering everything, I think your claim of easy to predict is wrong.  I also think it only takes into account short term reactions and not the longterm (think century long similar to the polygamy restriction).  It is still relatively new and adjustment is ongoing.  Once it gets past the people who had the expectation of baptism, etc. for their children or grandchildren, the shock response will fade and the conflict triggered by that will as well.  Other factors of longterm awareness of the policy will also, imo, lessen the emotional response which in turn lessens conflict, thus shifting the balance to preventing new conflict in the families most immediately affected by the policies.

You are more hopeful than I am. Part of me thinks the policy will discourage gay members to marry someone of the opposite gender, but then in a weird way it might make them more likely to do so. 

When it happened, after I verified that it wasn’t a joke, my first thought was hope that this didn’t cause problems for the families I know in that situation. Unfortunately, my worry was correct, and it has caused ongoing conflict in a number of families I know. I don’t think the passage of time changes much, as gay people in the church will likely continue to marry the opposite gender; if those marriages fail, the conflict is going to be there because it discourages an amicable agreement for the children to be raised in the church. 

I’m tired of being accused of irrationally and emotionally attacking the church. I am simply expressing what I see. I respect your opinion, but I don’t agree. 

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3 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

I think you are misunderstanding me. I am talking about conflict within individual families over who raises the kids and how. The policy changed the calculus for a number of families I know, and in every case it introduced conflict. 

In what specific ways?  Shared custody families are not affected by the policy, only full custody of married gay parents.  Are you suggesting there were many spouses and grandparents who were okay with gay parents getting full custody before that after the policy were not?

The only families I know are shared custody and their children were not affected.

Edited by Calm
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3 minutes ago, Calm said:

In what specific ways?  Shared custody families are not affected by the policy, only full custody of married gay parents.  Are you suggesting there were many spouses and grandparents who were okay with gay parents getting full custody before that after the policy were not?

That’s exactly what I mean. I know at least 5 or 6 families where that is the case, including one in my extended family. 

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3 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

That’s exactly what I mean. I know at least 5 or 6 families where that is the case, including one in my extended family. 

Very interesting.  I have never encountered that situation myself and haven't heard about it happening online.  It would be valuable to know how often this has occurred.  I will adjust my own estimation to a higher frequency as I realize my current situation probably slants to less exposure.

The new policy definitely would increase family conflict among the adults in this case, imo.  I have no problem believing that.  And the children would be aware of the conflict most likely and that would be damaging to them.  Whether awareness of conflict among their loved ones would cause more pain and mental and emotional turmoil than being the ones having to deal directly with the conflict ( being taught conflicting principles in their home and at church) likely depends on the child.

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17 hours ago, Calm said:

Do you like it when others tell you how you think and feel and believe rather than allowing your own words to convey your ideas?

Neve mind.  It is probably better I don't comment.

We have continual threads on this topic and continual complaints about your negativity towards other posters. Please rethink your approach.

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On 7/11/2018 at 10:08 AM, smac97 said:

I am glad to hear about this.  I wonder if other private donations to this initiative are possible.

Thanks,

-Smac

This was a good question.  "LDS Foundation" is LDS philanthropies.   If you go to https://www.ldsphilanthropies.org/ and click on Donate Online, you can go to categories and search by name or number.  For example, "Cougar Club Legacy II - ($25,000 initial gift OR $1,500 renewal))", or "Scholarships for Under-represented Students - BYU", or "J. Reuben Clark Law School – Class of 1985", "Cougarettes Alumni Replenishment Grant – BYU" etc.  I sent an email to my contact there, to ask about donating directly to the "LGBTQ Suicide awareness training" initiative.  Here's what he said, (not privileged or confidential info), 

>>>"When I check the LDS philanthropies list it has 505 different fund categories.  I saw recently that LDS philanthropies donated $25k to Affirmation for suicide prevention training.  How can I donate to this specific category?  LGBTQ suicide prevention training for CES, Bishops, Youth leaders?  "

>>>LDS philantropies response:  "The Church makes many donations to other organizations or efforts but they are not departments/accounts that we are given the charge to raise funds, so this is not something anyone can specifically donate towards.

Thanks for taking the time to contact us."

Looks like the church has no specific fund allocation at least from the 505 different categories listed under LDS philanthropies to donate to.  Therefore, we should make donations directly to Encircle and Affirmation.

https://encircletogether.org/donate/

https://affirmation.org/donate/

Encircle has an outreach initiative to religious communities:  3.  Firesides - Religious Outreach  The fireside program aims to provide outlines for various types of LGBTQ related firesides that Encircle members could go speak, or simply provide to a bishop or stake president to be implemented by them.  The hope is they begin the discussion of how to better serve the LGTBQ church membership.  
4.  Bill Bradshaw research
Encircle has collected from Bill Bradshaw's 30 years of research around homosexuality and will be putting into three booklets to be distributed to the community.  These booklets will demonstrate that being LGBTQ/SSA is not a choice. 

 

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17 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

That’s exactly what I mean. I know at least 5 or 6 families where that is the case, including one in my extended family. 

Are you saying that, for example, divorces are now more contentious than before, and that the wives of homosexuals who previously would have walked away from their children are now sticking to the custody fights in order to ensure earlier baptisms? 

If so, I've gotta tell you, I'm more than merely sceptical.

If not, then what?

Edited by USU78

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26 minutes ago, blueglass said:

This was a good question.  "LDS Foundation" is LDS philanthropies.   If you go to https://www.ldsphilanthropies.org/ and click on Donate Online, you can go to categories and search by name or number.  For example, "Cougar Club Legacy II - ($25,000 initial gift OR $1,500 renewal))", or "Scholarships for Under-represented Students - BYU", or "J. Reuben Clark Law School – Class of 1985", "Cougarettes Alumni Replenishment Grant – BYU" etc.  I sent an email to my contact there, to ask about donating directly to the "LGBTQ Suicide awareness training" initiative.  Here's what he said, (not privileged or confidential info), 

>>>"When I check the LDS philanthropies list it has 505 different fund categories.  I saw recently that LDS philanthropies donated $25k to Affirmation for suicide prevention training.  How can I donate to this specific category?  LGBTQ suicide prevention training for CES, Bishops, Youth leaders?  "

>>>LDS philantropies response:  "The Church makes many donations to other organizations or efforts but they are not departments/accounts that we are given the charge to raise funds, so this is not something anyone can specifically donate towards.

Thanks for taking the time to contact us."

Looks like the church has no specific fund allocation at least from the 505 different categories listed under LDS philanthropies to donate to.  Therefore, we should make donations directly to Encircle and Affirmation.

https://encircletogether.org/donate/

https://affirmation.org/donate/

Encircle has an outreach initiative to religious communities:  3.  Firesides - Religious Outreach  The fireside program aims to provide outlines for various types of LGBTQ related firesides that Encircle members could go speak, or simply provide to a bishop or stake president to be implemented by them.  The hope is they begin the discussion of how to better serve the LGTBQ church membership.  
4.  Bill Bradshaw research
Encircle has collected from Bill Bradshaw's 30 years of research around homosexuality and will be putting into three booklets to be distributed to the community.  These booklets will demonstrate that being LGBTQ/SSA is not a choice. 

Affirmation sent me a message with the following:

Quote

Just go to https://affirmation.org/donate/ and choose "Suicide Prevention" under the options for how you would like your donation to be used.

Thanks,

-Smac

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14 minutes ago, USU78 said:

Are you saying that, for example, divorces are now more contentious than before, and that the wives of homosexuals who previously would have walked away from their children are now sticking to the custody fights in order to ensure earlier baptisms? 

If so, I've gotta tell you, I'm more than merely sceptical.

If not, then what?

I'm saying that I know several cases in which families are revisiting (often acrimoniously) previously amicable divorce settlements because of the policy change. I'll give you the example from my extended family, a couple with two children. When the kids were 4 and 2 (I believe), the mother had some sort of breakdown and spent some time in a psychiatric hospital. When she was released, she left the husband and kids to move in with a man she met in the hospital. They divorced, and the husband, still active LDS, was granted full custody. A couple of years later, he came out as gay, and some time later, his boyfriend (later husband) moved in with him and the kids. He had agreed with the mother's parents to raise the kids in the church, so he took the kids to church every Sunday (his husband was not LDS and didn't go with them). This was fine until the policy change. By this time, the mother had left her boyfriend and moved in with her parents, who began legal proceedings to get full custody for themselves or for the mother, and the main reason was that they wanted the kids to be baptized and raised in the church. They were unsuccessful in their attempts, and he still has custody of the kids. Oddly enough, he still takes the kids to church, even though they are ineligible for baptism and he is an apostate. So, the net result is that these kids are likely to be raised LDS (but not baptized), and the previously amicable relationship between the father and his in-laws has been severely damaged. 

 

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11 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I'm saying that I know several cases in which families are revisiting (often acrimoniously) previously amicable divorce settlements because of the policy change. I'll give you the example from my extended family, a couple with two children. When the kids were 4 and 2 (I believe), the mother had some sort of breakdown and spent some time in a psychiatric hospital. When she was released, she left the husband and kids to move in with a man she met in the hospital. They divorced, and the husband, still active LDS, was granted full custody. A couple of years later, he came out as gay, and some time later, his boyfriend (later husband) moved in with him and the kids. He had agreed with the mother's parents to raise the kids in the church, so he took the kids to church every Sunday (his husband was not LDS and didn't go with them). This was fine until the policy change. By this time, the mother had left her boyfriend and moved in with her parents, who began legal proceedings to get full custody for themselves or for the mother, and the main reason was that they wanted the kids to be baptized and raised in the church. They were unsuccessful in their attempts, and he still has custody of the kids. Oddly enough, he still takes the kids to church, even though they are ineligible for baptism and he is an apostate. So, the net result is that these kids are likely to be raised LDS (but not baptized), and the previously amicable relationship between the father and his in-laws has been severely damaged. 

 

I smell missing data. Too facile that grandparents decide to get involved solely because of baptismal age. 

Fact is, father introduced a new reality. Twice. 

Under the best of circumstances that morphing status quo would create enormous pressures, and we'd have to suspend too much disbelief to assume that there's no prima donna making things worse.

So, yeah, not enough data for a reasoned analysis.

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1 minute ago, USU78 said:

I smell missing data. Too facile that grandparents decide to get involved solely because of baptismal age. 

Fact is, father introduced a new reality. Twice. 

Under the best of circumstances that morphing status quo would create enormous pressures, and we'd have to suspend too much disbelief to assume that there's no prima donna making things worse.

So, yeah, not enough data for a reasoned analysis.

It's entirely possible there's "missing data," but I don't know what that would be or how material it would be. I just hear from my family members that things had been quite amicable until the policy change (the new reality changes having long preceded the policy change). And knowing the father, I don't think he's the prima donna type. But fair enough. I don't expect you to agree with me. It seems to me that, as you say, adding a new reality (especially one this fraught with implications) is going to affect any family arrangement. In this case, pretty much everyone in the extended family agrees that the policy change had a major effect. You can choose to dismiss that. 

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23 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

It's entirely possible there's "missing data," but I don't know what that would be or how material it would be. I just hear from my family members that things had been quite amicable until the policy change (the new reality changes having long preceded the policy change). And knowing the father, I don't think he's the prima donna type. But fair enough. I don't expect you to agree with me. It seems to me that, as you say, adding a new reality (especially one this fraught with implications) is going to affect any family arrangement. In this case, pretty much everyone in the extended family agrees that the policy change had a major effect. You can choose to dismiss that. 

I won't dismiss that.  But the divorce also could have had a "major effect."  And the father's "new reality."  

But is anyone excoriating the father for his choices?  The wife and her choices?  The father and mother for their divorce?

All of these things (and probably more we don't know about) had "major effect{s}."  There were many different authors of these "effects," but only one of them is getting ripped stem to stern: the LDS Church.

I think that is what is creating some heartburn here.  People like you are allocating 100% of the responsibility for intra-family conflicts on the Church's policy (more specifically, the Church itself).  And yet there is virtually no discussion of A) how much acrimony has been created because of hystrical and vitriolic reactions to the Church's policies (as compared the enactment of the policy itself), and B) the reality that such intra-family conflicts pretty much always have a multiplicity of factors involved, as USU78 is pointing out (and as you appear to be conceding).

In the law, there is a legal concept called "but for causation."  See here:

Quote

Sine qua non (/ˌsni kw ˈnɒn, ˌsɪni kwɑː ˈnn/;[1] Latin: [ˈsine kwaː ˈnoːn]) or condicio sine qua non (plural: condiciones sine quibus non) is an indispensable and essential action, condition, or ingredient. It was originally a Latin legal term for "[a condition] without which it could not be", or "but for..." or "without which [there is] nothing". "Sine qua non causation" is the formal terminology for "but-for causation".

...

In legal matters, "but-for", "sine qua non", causa sine qua non,[9] or "cause-in-fact" causation, or condicio sine qua non, is a circumstance in which a certain act is a material cause of a certain injury or wrongdoing, without which the injury would not have occurred. It is established by the "but-for" test: but for the act having occurred, the injury would not have happened.

Folks like you have, for years now, been characterizing the Church's policies as the "but for" cause, the sine qua non, of intra-family conflicts (as you put it: "this policy has introduced conflict into what had been amicable relationships").  Folks like you have been accusing the Church, essentially saying that "but for" the 2015 policy changes, "the injury would not have happened."  That's unfair.  It's inaccurate.  It's wrong.

There are many, many factors in play, some or all of which have contributed to intra-family conflicts.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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23 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

It's entirely possible there's "missing data," but I don't know what that would be or how material it would be. I just hear from my family members that things had been quite amicable until the policy change (the new reality changes having long preceded the policy change). And knowing the father, I don't think he's the prima donna type. But fair enough. I don't expect you to agree with me. It seems to me that, as you say, adding a new reality (especially one this fraught with implications) is going to affect any family arrangement. In this case, pretty much everyone in the extended family agrees that the policy change had a major effect. You can choose to dismiss that. 

Did I dismiss anything?

I'm simply sceptical of facile explanations for complex problems, especially when the facile explanations live cheek by jowl with antiMormon advocacy.

Edited by USU78

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1 minute ago, USU78 said:

Did I dismiss anything?

I'm simply sceptical of facile explanations for complex problems, especially when the facile explanations live cheek by jowl with antiMormon advocacy.

My LDS family members are not advocates of Anti-Mormonism. 

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Just now, jkwilliams said:

My LDS family members are not advocates of Anti-Mormonism. 

Did I say they were?

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8 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I won't dismiss that.  But the divorce also could have had a "major effect."  And the father's "new reality."  

But is anyone excoriating the father for his choices?  The wife and her choices?  The father and mother for their divorce?

All of these things (and probably more we don't know about) had "major effect{s}."  There were many different authors of these "effects," but only one of them is getting ripped stem to stern: the LDS Church.

I think that is what is creating some heartburn here.  People like you are allocating 100% of the responsibility for intra-family conflicts on the Church's policy (more specifically, the Church itself).  And yet there is virtually no discussion of A) how much acrimony has been created because of hystrical and vitriolic reactions to the Church's policies (as compared the enactment of the policy itself), and B) the reality that such intra-family conflicts pretty much always have a multiplicity of factors involved, as USU78 is pointing out (and as you appear to be conceding).

In the law, there is a legal concept called "but for causation."  See here:

Folks like you have, for years now, been characterizing the Church's policies as the "but for" cause, the sine qua non, of intra-family conflicts (as you put it: "this policy has introduced conflict into what had been amicable relationships").  Folks like you have been accusing the Church, essentially saying that "but for" the 2015 policy changes, "the injury would not have happened."  That's unfair.  It's inaccurate.  It's wrong.

There are many, many factors in play, some or all of which have contributed to intra-family conflicts.

Thanks,

-Smac

I'm not excoriating anyone for their choices. Where are you getting that? And I am absolutely not putting 100% of the responsibility on the church. Again, why would you say that?

I have been consistent in saying that, in keeping with common sense, a radical change in the calculus of an agreement, such as a divorce, is going to have an effect. Does that mean it's the only factor? No, obviously not. You don't help yourself by grossly overstating my position. I do not understand the "all or nothing" approach here, as you seem to be unwilling to acknowledge that the policy change could have any effect at all in a family's relationships. 

Edited by jkwilliams

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3 minutes ago, USU78 said:

Did I say they were?

I kind of guessed who was being accused of that. Oh, well. It's a good reminder of what you think.

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2 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I'm not excoriating anyone for their choices. Where are you getting that? And I am absolutely not putting 100% of the responsibility on the church. Again, why would you say that?

You are correct.  I am attributing to you generalized observations from many critics of the Church.  I apologize.  You have been generally critical, but also even-handed in your approach to this issue.

2 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I have been consistent in saying that, in keeping with common sense, a radical change in the calculus of an agreement, such as a divorce, is going to have an effect. Does that mean it's the only factor? No, obviously not. You don't help yourself by grossly overstating my position. I do not understand the "all or nothing" approach here, as you seem to be unwilling to acknowledge that the policy change could have any effect at all in a family's relationships. 

Again, I apologize.  My comments are accurate as to generalized complaints about the Church's policies by critics, but I should have been more circumspect in addressing your specific treatment of this issue.

Thanks,

-Smac

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7 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I kind of guessed who was being accused of that. Oh, well. It's a good reminder of what you think.

Caution is indicated: remember that somebody posted a reference to the irrational and bigoted  DeGeneres piece accepting unexamined a 100% but for causal relationship between LDS/Christian doctrine in re homosexual marriage and teen suicides. 

That's what I had in mind. Unreasoned, irrational, hyperbolic, kneejerk demonization of Mormons and things LDS occurs and will continue to occur no matter what.

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5 minutes ago, smac97 said:

You are correct.  I am attributing to you generalized observations from many critics of the Church.  I apologize.  You have been generally critical, but also even-handed in your approach to this issue.

Again, I apologize.  My comments are accurate as to generalized complaints about the Church's policies by critics, but I should have been more circumspect in addressing your specific treatment of this issue.

Thanks,

-Smac

Thank you. This is obviously an issue that people feel passionately about. I have a good friend who is about as staunchly LDS as they come (he wrote a long rebuttal of Jeremy Rennells a while back, for example). But he has been openly and unapologetically opposed to the November policy change, maybe even more so than I have been. We generally don't talk about church issues because our opinions are so far apart, but we have talked about this issue because he feels he can talk to me about it without being judged or attacked as he is with LDS friends and family. I feel for him because he genuinely hurts inside because of the policy. It's been almost three years, and his position hasn't changed, as mine hasn't, yet he and I have been routinely accused of knee-jerk reactions and "not letting the policy play out." 

Maybe I should just go back to my policy of not talking about this subject anymore. I've pretty much done that with my family, except family members keep bringing it up in the context of the situation I talked about. Even then, I just try to listen and empathize. 

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I think the deeper problem, one of them anyway, is the growing tendency to react poorly when someone expresses belief or action in a way we would not, and is opposed to how we see the world (or the Church, etc...). To use your example, jk, about your good friend being judged or attacked, or at the very least encountering enough perceived hostility from Church members that he feels so. The tendency to react strongly, because of our passion (very much borderline overreacting), is, in my opinion, tearing the fabric of our relationships and society. You can see this in politics, and in the Church. I think the reaction to the Church's donation highlights this. I think this thread is the perfect example of the need for more meekness in all people according to their need and circumstances.

We get heated so easily when we feel like our dearly held values or positions are under attack when in reality the other person is just trying to share their experience and the way they see things. It all too easily warps into a form of contention and immediately the adversary takes advantage and drives us further apart from each other (and by extension, I think, the Spirit).

I think this donation is wonderful, and while I haven't ever had a good impression of Affirmation it is gratifying to see that we are still able to find unity on important issues like this.

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