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Church leadership post for an openly gay Mormon
Mitch Mayne, who is openly gay, hopes his newly assumed Mormon leadership position will increase understanding.
September 24th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

Church leadership post for an openly gay Mormon

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - Early on in life, Mitch Mayne knew exactly who he was.

He would race home from school to watch reruns of “Star Trek” and swoon over his crush, Captain Kirk. At 8, after his parents converted, he was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a faith he embraced. Even after he drifted away from the LDS Church following his parents’ divorce, he came back to Mormonism on his own in his mid-20s.

It is where he feels spiritually at home, irrespective of the fact that, for the past 10 years, he’s been openly gay.

“I’m a man that lives in two worlds that a lot of people don’t think intersect,” Mayne said. “Both sides of myself exist in me. It’s part of my DNA, part of my makeup.”

Actively Mormon and openly gay: It's the sort of combo that might leave people wondering. After all, the LDS Church teaches that homosexuality, specifically if same-sex attractions are acted upon, is a sin. And the church has actively backed measures to ban same-sex marriages.

Now, Mayne finds himself in the spotlight as he embarks on a journey he says “belongs to all of us.” In mid-August he was selected, or called (as Mormons say) by local church officials to serve in an LDS Church leadership position in San Francisco.

Mayne’s appointment may have generated attention, but he’s not the first gay Mormon to assume a leadership role in the church.

In Seattle, Washington, and Oakland, California, gay men have reportedly served in LDS Church leadership roles, Peggy Fletcher Stack wrote in her piece about Mayne in The Salt Lake Tribune. What makes Mayne unique, Stack said, is that he "may be the first local LDS leader to announce his orientation over the pulpit.”

Late last month, from the pulpit, Mayne revealed - to anyone who didn't already know - who he is:

"I am a gay Latter-day Saint.

"I don't want pity. To pity me is to make me a victim. I want understanding. To understand me is to love me as an equal.

"I don't want tolerance. If I am tolerated, I am disliked in some way. I want respect as a fellow striving child of God - an equal in his eyes.

"I don't want acceptance. To accept me is to graciously grant me the favor of your company. To accept me is to marginalize me with the assumption that I am less than you. I am your peer. I am neither above you nor below you."

Mayne shared these words during a farewell address to the Oakland ward he long attended, amid an announcement that he would be leaving because he had been named the executive secretary to the bishop of the Bay Ward. It is a role in which he'll offer administrative help but also take part in shaping congregational work.

“While that’s not a big accomplishment in and of itself,” Mayne said, “it is a remarkable accomplishment for the simple fact that maybe for the first time, a man was called to a priesthood leadership position not in spite of the fact that he is gay, but partly because he is gay.”

For those unfamiliar with LDS Church vernacular, a ward is essentially a congregation or, to use Catholic terminology, a parish. Various wards fall under the auspices of a stake, the rough equivalent of a diocese. In this case, the Bay Ward is one of three wards that make up the San Francisco Stake.

The LDS Church, which entrusts local leaders to determine local callings, does not pay clergy, nor does it send would-be bishops to seminary. So Mayne, like the bishop who called him to serve, is a volunteer who works for the church on top of his full-time corporate communications job.

Don Fletcher, an ophthalmologist, said that when he was called last month to serve as the bishop and leader of the Bay Ward he wanted to make sure every Latter-day Saint in his ward knew they were welcome, including the vast majority who weren't showing up. Of the 950 members on the books, only 150 were appearing in the pews.

Because the Bay Ward serves a geographic area in San Francisco that includes the famously gay, rainbow-flag-waving Castro neighborhood, it stands to reason that a segment of those not attending church are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

Among those who have been absent are members who grew up steeped in Mormonism, faithfully served as missionaries and have families still active in the church. For Fletcher, making members of the LGBT community feel comfortable enough to walk through his congregation's doors is personal.

Fletcher has a gay family member with AIDS and says he has seen firsthand how isolating that can be in the Mormon world.

“I love my church and have a lot of faith, but culturally we haven’t done a good job in dealing with people who are gay when they face life challenges,” whether that be coming out, depression or struggles with suicide or illness, Fletcher said. “I wanted to address it in the ward I live in.”

The response in his ward, and from other Mormons he has heard from, has been nothing but positive, "uniformly, no exception," the bishop said. And, he added with a laugh, in the past month he’s broadened his own knowledge – or, rather, his lingo base - learning about “the ‘Moho community,' Mormons who are homosexual. That was a new one to me.”

The LDS Church's top leadership, and by extension many Mormons sitting in pews, heavily supported the campaign behind Proposition 8, the 2008 California initiative to ban same-sex marriage, which is currently tied up in the state’s high court.

Church doctrine says members should avoid sexual relations until marriage, which only can exist between a man and a woman. But the church’s involvement in the Prop 8 battle, and the Mormons who financially fueled the effort, created rifts in wards, spawned protests outside LDS temples and pushed some members, likely already on the churchgoing fence, out the door.

The Oakland First Ward, which Mayne attended for more than a decade, held a series of meetings to help heal those post-Prop 8 wounds. He said he sees his new church position in San Francisco’s Bay Ward as an extension of such bridge-building and a positive evolution from where he once was. The appointment will allow him to do extensive outreach in the LGBT and Mormon communities.

“It’s been hard to be a gay Mormon,” Mayne said. In the course of his life, he said he came out "no less than three times to bishops and stake presidents, and each time I was pushed back into the closet. … This is an opportunity to take my own pain and challenges and make it an opportunity to help. How can I not do that?”

He and Fletcher have already seen dividends from Mayne's calling. On a recent Sunday, Fletcher said he looked out to see seven formerly absent members take their seats in the pews because Mayne is there.

“I talked to a couple that hadn’t been to church in 20 years,” Fletcher said. “I’m not reinventing doctrine. I’m just trying to put in place what Jesus Christ would have us doing. … Even if you’re in a gay relationship and have no interest in living all the commandments, you’re still welcome in church, by all means.”

The development has stirred up discussion far beyond California. In one week, Mayne said, his personal website, which links to a blog in which he writes openly about who he is, received 30,000 views from 67 countries.

“I’m not a lone wolf on this,” he said. “I just happen to be a face of it. … There is a place for everyone at our savior’s table.”

But not everyone is as confident that Mayne’s calling will make a difference.

“I’m conflicted about this,” said Eric Ethington of Salt Lake City, the founder of the LGBT blog PRIDEinUtah.

“On the one hand, I view this as a positive step forward for the church, a church that has a history of extreme persecutions against the LGBT community,” he said. “But on the other hand,  I worry about LGBT people … because the church teaches you that you cannot reach your full potential and have full acceptance in the church unless you marry someone of the opposite sex.”

Ethington was raised in the LDS Church and says he was kicked out of the house when he came out at 17. He later closeted himself and married a woman in an LDS temple, only to divorce a couple of years later after realizing he was kidding himself.

“I can’t share (Mitch’s) optimism, but I share his hope,” he said. “Whether the church is ever going to change its policies, that’s a question for (LDS Church President) Thomas Monson. But one thing I hope the church will do, and maybe Mitch can help with this, is educate local leadership. Some kids are gay. … And that’s OK.”

Ethington pointed out, though, that Mayne, who was in a longtime monogamous relationship until a year ago, was only able to get his church calling because he’s not currently with someone.

“If he falls in love again and wants to be with that man, he won’t be allowed to serve,” he said.

Matt Mosman, a high councilor with the San Francisco Stake, said that if Mayne were to find himself in another romantic relationship, there would be an expectation that he would step down.

But the expectation that Mayne will abstain from premarital sex while in a leadership role, Mosman added, is no different from what would be expected of a single man who is not gay.

“The idea that a gay man who is not currently active in a gay relationship could serve actively in a high-ranking calling – that is a policy in the Mormon church that you could argue has been around since the church’s inception,” said Mosman, who works in corporate development.

For now, Mayne looks forward to his service and to promoting conversations and understanding. He will not, however, commit to a life of celibacy and hopes, “for all my gay brothers and sisters,” that same-sex marriage will someday be an option.

“I’m not saying I have an intent to go out and sin,” he said. “Here’s where I am; I am able and willing to serve. But I don’t have a crystal ball and don’t know what the future holds.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Homosexuality • Mormonism • Same-sex marriage

soundoff (1,700 Responses)
  1. Joshy

    I am gay and Mormon and in church today. I support any steps towards helping gay and lesbians Mormon's feel more loved and needed at church. I hope this topic will be discussed more to educate the general populace about gay person's and to help gay youth in coming out and dealing with depression as the bishop in the article stated. I know a lot of good gay Mormon's who could be treated better at church and other's who would come to church if things for them are improved at church. Hopefully, this topic will get attention at General Conference.

    September 25, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • daplumper

      you need to take your nasty diseased butt out of the pew and get back on the street corner. you are not a mormon. You just want to be one. You are not worthy of taking sacrament.

      September 25, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Josh, ignore the bigot's of this world. They really are not worthy of anyone's time and only base what they think to be true on 2000 year old stuff that says you are wrong for having been born the way you are. I'm guessing the people making these bigoted comments would never take time to get to know you and find out that you are not a bad person. A great many of my friends are gay/lesbian and they are treated with the same respect and dignity that my hetero friends are.

      @daplumper: you are a bigot...Josh did not make a choice to be gay, he was born that way and you are not the professional who has studied this issue to say otherwise. So do the world a favor and stfu!

      September 26, 2011 at 4:49 am |
  2. TruthSeeker

    I am gay myself. I was also mormon... until I read this blog: 20truths.info

    My gay brothers and sisters, please, leave the abusive and dishonest spouse that is the church. It gets better!

    September 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Joe da Mormon

      you are a liar. You can't be a mormon and gay. You can be either/or. And, for all you gays out there, it won't get any better. Show us your pain. Self-immolation is great way to express your suffering.

      September 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • Observer

      TruthSeeker,

      Ignor comments from morons. Their bigotry is ending due to education. The future is obvious. Don't let the cavemen get to you. Their days are numbered.

      September 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      "Self-immolation is great way to express your suffering."

      Do you have any idea as to what the he.ll you just said??? Since you apparently are a clueless moron and have no clue...the definition of Self-immolation refers to setting oneself on fire, often as a form of protest or for the purposes of martyrdom or suicide.

      What an ignorant thing to say!! I'm not trying to single TruthSeeker out here but it is due to people like you that the bigotry still exists against this. Truthseeker is not committing any crime nor is s/he harming anyone. At least they were honest enough with themselves to face the reality and not hide any more.
      You can't know what TruthSeeker is/was...many many many people sit in those pews every Sunday who are gay...you just don't know it b/c people like you make it difficult for them to be who they are freely.
      There's nothing you can say that would convince me that you have a point. My best friend is gay and I can't imagine life without him and his husband...so get to know a gay/lesbian before you pass judgment. And answer this...if it were your child, what would you do?

      September 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Redneck louie

      gay is one horrible awful misabuse of a word to describes awhat is agoin on thar taint gay atoll gay is happy and carfree not two guys a swappin spit

      September 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • WMP

      "Observer", I am a highly educated man, who do not support a gay lifestyle. Am I a bigot? If you say I am a bigot, then it is people like you who only respect those who agree's with you and that is bigotry.

      September 25, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • *frank*

      There are several things wrong with your post but I won't tell you what they are.

      September 25, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • tallulah13

      WMP, should you replace the word "gay" with "black" would you consider that a bigoted statement? The evidence, both scientific and anecdotal says that being born gay is no more a choice than being born black. Therefore, you are opposed to someone who wants to live the life that they were born to live. Unless you have a reason for discrimination that is based on real evidence and not your religious beliefs, you are a bigot.

      However, if wanting equal rights for all humans makes me a bigot, as well, so be it.

      September 25, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Observer

      WMP,

      No one is asking you to "support" the gay lifestyle anymore than they'd ask you to "support" another religion or "support" your favorite team's biggest rival. What is asked for here is equal rights. You know, just like you'd allow for Americans of another religion or fans of a rival sports team to have equal rights to their American life. That's where the ignorance and bigotry come in.

      September 25, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
  3. DRE

    @ Reality. You seem like you know Jesus personally, as if you've actually walked with him, heard him speak, watched him perform his miracles. Has all of your knowledge of him come from first hand experience? Or from an incomplete, over translated record, known as the Bible? Maybe you received your low opinion of Jesus from other disbelievers and you are merely continuing the tradition of skepticism and hate. That is what this world needs; people who spread hatred and negativity. Continuing in that vein will definitely help the world overcome its amazing problems.

    September 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Stan

      No way. Bible is loaded with hate, even god killing whole races. Also Christian god will send you to torture in hell forever if you disagree or just don't believe. What a bass-tur-d your god is.

      Care to try again?

      September 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  4. Bo

    I have to do most of my posting on my cell, however occasionaly I do get to the library and get a PC. So if i made a post and some one rplies and i want to counter reply, how do I do that?

    September 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • FYI

      Bo,
      Click "Reply"... then... -continued next post...

      September 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • FYI

      then find the original post and click "Reply" again

      September 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Stan

      When you are posting in your cell, make sure the guards are distracted.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  5. HeavenSent

    God hates Mormons. And we know what else he hates.

    September 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Observer

      Ignorant hypocritical supporters?

      September 25, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Adelbrain

      He hates ME ! HAHAHA

      September 25, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  6. EricG

    Doesn't anyone believe in God anymore?

    September 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • John Richardson

      What a silly question.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  7. Jazzy

    I wonder what most Mormon's truly think about him being gay!

    September 25, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Stan

      "mormon" "think". Can't put those together in real life.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Lin

      If you want to know what a Mormon thinks about a topic, ask one.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
  8. Richard S Kaiser

    1. Of Fractal Cosmology does lay the fruits of complexity’s understanding and binds together many untaught verses of Gospel Scripture that many people plainly overlook due their inadvertency to consider them worthy to understand in forthrightedness. In GOD, are all things created and made manifest and held with an affirmation beyond many a person’s abilities for comprehensive attenuations. GOD’s Body is the material Cosmos of the Celestial and GOD’s Holy Spirit is the vastness of the Sea of Nothingness whereupon floats all mannerisms of immeasurable amounts of celestially made universes. Our universe is but one of perchance trillions or even much greater amounts. The Celestial Universes are GOD’s material Body and HIS Holy Spirit is the Sea of Nothingness.

    2. Not only is GOD ever building HIS Body and stretching HIS material Being outwardly upon HIS Cosmology’s Spiritual Sea of Nothingness, GOD allows and has given His Sons (Gods in their own righteousness sakes) their needs to build things accordingly with miniature universes we know of as being “cellular” in our nature of understanding Life‘s compositions. We, our bodies, are as cellular encapsulations wherein each cell of the body is but a miniature universe and our bodies are as but a singularized and miniaturized Cosmos but, as such, we are unlike the grander scale or shape of the ever being built, Celestial Cosmos, the Body of GOD that floats aimlessly yet in due purposefulness upon the Heavenly Sea of Celestial Nothingness, GOD‘s Holy Spirit.

    3. Fractal Cosmology declares that inwardly things are as a sameness upon outwardly things and are only differentiated by their size. The Prime example is that a single atomic-sized “nebula” is equal to, in shapeliness, upon that of an individual celestialized stellar nebula. There are two rather distinct branches of Fractal Cosmology. One branch is Celestial Cosmology. The other distinct branch is Cellular Cosmology. Fractal Cosmology is the Mother of these two branches of Cosmological variances for, without Fractal Cosmology, there could be nothing of materialization and there would be only a Sea of Nothingness.

    4. Therefore These three threads of Material Cosmological Variations are the needed sprouts for things of material values to be and become spawned from the Sea of Nothingness which not only stretches itself outwardly around the Cosmos of Celestial Relativity but also inwardly does this Sea of Nothingness stretch itself around the Cosmos of Atomic Relativity. These voids of Nothingness are the Oceans and Seas and Rivers and Ponds and Streams and Creeks of the Holy Spirit and cannot be separated.

    5. Cellular Cosmology is a clustered and congruent makeup of atomized seismographic nebulas into being manifested as Celled Life Formations. From the most simplest of Life being a single celled organism to the most complex cellularized formations of Life such as mankind are all containing a diversity of, and as, Atomically Established Cellular Organisms living for the most part in harmony together. Each cell is a differentiating complexity of uniformed divisionings amid and due the Inner Made Cosmos of Atomic Nebulas by which all Celestial-Based Life is so made and construed and in conglomerations thereof. Without the complexities of Celestial Opulence, Cellular Aggregates of Atomized Emulations of Life would never occur or be manifested. GOD’s Embodiments of Celestial Universes gives rise to Celestial-Based Cellular Life-Creations wherever possible upon Celestially Opulent places likened our Earthly Heaven‘s manifested Life Formations.

    September 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Observer

      That's an interesting way to try to use science to explain a book that nearly completely ignored science and when it did, it usually claimed that science was wrong (physics, biology, geology) as well as math (is pi equal to 3 yet?). All of your THEORIES could have been part of the Bible if true, but instead we get talking serpents and unicorns.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Stan

      "Celestially Opulent" sounds like name of a certain...

      ...house in New Orleans...

      Richard, share soma what you bin smokin.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Yet another Steve

      Schizophrenic much?

      September 25, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  9. Richard S Kaiser

    1Cr 4:5 "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God."

    Only with added light and high magnification can the “hidden things of darkness” upon inner space be revealed. Only by capturing light by time and telescopic magnification can one see the far away outer space “hidden things of darkness” and still; one cannot see but a short distance upon the closer outer space phenomenon while much of outer space “hidden things of darkness” will never be seen by our prying eyes. Both places of “hidden things” are of one accordance and revealing sameness, ergo which one is imitating the other or are both things of the hidden darkness mimicking each other simultaneously?

    September 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Norbert The Antimatter Dragon

      Richard S, re "added light and magnification", way to misunderstand the tools of astronomy. Nice loading up of your posts with GCE`s too. Quite remarkable. Too funny, also, how you use your misunderstandings of science and your shallow interpretations thereof to try to support the sky fairy blanket nonsense that you cling to so dearly.

      You can start your reading here http://www.holysmoke.org/cretins/cre.htm

      September 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ Norbert The Antimatter Dragon wrote, "Richard S, re "added light and magnification", way to misunderstand the tools of astronomy."

      I wrote, "Only with added light and high magnification can the “hidden things of darkness” upon inner space be revealed."

      I also wrote, "Only by capturing light by time and telescopic magnification can one see the far away outer space “hidden things of darkness”

      September 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Ben

      Errr, uh, Richard, we know what you wrote. Unfortunately, you chose to write it again.

      Google on `gross concept error`.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ Ben,,,

      @ Norbert The Antimatter Dragon wrote, "Richard S, re "added light and magnification", way to misunderstand the tools of astronomy."

      TAD misqouted me in his butchering statement in thyat I did write no such thing as TAD above so stated,,,,,,,

      September 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  10. Reality

    Gay or straight, Mormonism is still a business cult fronting as a religion !!! And it was founded by one of the great con artists of all time, one Joe Smith with his mythical horn-blowing friend Moroni.

    Next topic !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Toby

      I have news for you-they are all cults. Nothing distinguishes Christianity from Mormonism from Scientology except the size of their membership and how widely subscribed their ideas are in mainstream society. I prefer Christopher Hitchens observation that religions "are all equal glimpses of the same untruth."

      September 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Norbert The Antimatter Dragon

      Toby, I think Reality gets that. Not news to him, but surely to much of the rest of the readership here.

      September 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  11. Richard S Kaiser

    Veritas wrote on Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm, stating, "I'd say that religious people are most likely more prone, or at least as prone, to suffering from addictions than agnostics/atheists. I don't care about religious believers as long as they don't try to influence our government and laws, but that is exactly what fundamentalist religious interest groups are doing. If we look at our world today and that in the past, we can see clearly that where religious groups are/were in power freedom, well being, and people suffer.

    All people are subject to physical and/or psychological addictions. For a man to want a man or a woman to want a man or even one to be "bi" could be due their social conditioning and not likely due their DNA as many psycho-socialists dare to insinuate. Finding blame is a moot conditioning. Live up to one's clamouring habitualness whatever the case(s) may be. Only then, will GOD have at you!

    September 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Norbert The Antimatter Dragon

      Actually, your "god`seems to "have at us`all the time, given all the natural disasters that you believe he is responsible for. Must be a pretty nasty berk, that god of yours.

      http://www.holysmoke.org/cretins/cre.htm

      September 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Norbert The Antimatter Dragon wrote on Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm, "Actually, your "god`seems to "have at us`all the time, given all the natural disasters that you believe he is responsible for. Must be a pretty nasty berk, that god of yours."

      All people are subject to physical and/or psychological addictions. For a man to want a man or a woman to want a man or even one to be "bi" could be due their social conditioning and not likely due their DNA as many psycho-socialists dare to insinuate. Finding blame is a moot conditioning. Live up to one's clamouring habitualness whatever the case(s) may be. Only then, will GOD have at you!

      Quit your selective wants in attempting to fractualize,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, In my saying,,,"Live up to one's clamouring habitualness whatever the case(s) may be. Only then, will GOD have at you!" I am rather bluntly stating to show GOD or GOD's first Son who eventually became the Lord Christ Jesus what you are made of and in so doing HE or His first born Son will have at you! Don't blame GOD for this earth;s calamitous ongoings. She, (Gaia) does such to her own needs and to put the blame upon my perceptions of GOD does show to me how vain the likes of you really are!

      The GOD who is the Material Cosmos of all Celestialized Universes and HIS Spiritedness is the Holy Seas of Nothingness, needs no celestial based organism(s) such as mankind to further HIS Growth. HE has His Sons to build things anew upon the outward plains of Cosmic Relativity. We, our bodies are as specks upon a speck within a speck, and too small to be of any significance to GOD!

      September 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Stan

      Richard you bin smokin a bit much o that "material cosmos". Did you grow it yourself? Cosmic, dood, cosmic.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ Stan

      Only the finest "cigars" money can buy,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 🙂

      September 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  12. DASFUEHRER

    @Veritas

    LOL, I think i just pee'd my pants in the name of Richard S kaiser's Lord!!!

    September 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Norbert The Antimatter Dragon

      Oh, come on. God designed us to pee so we`d always be able to put out fires if we need to. Not because we need to get rid of waste that our imperfect digestive systems that he designed can`t handle, via a tract that is very susceptible to infection and disease.

      September 25, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ Norbert The Antimatter Dragon

      At least you got the right name in proclaiming "God" our body's designer and not GOD. Your perplexisms and infantile crusader like endorphanisms of postured humor ain't worthy of even a pluggged nickel let alone a wooden one,,,,,,,,

      September 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Stan

      RichySK, too far up on the high mighty perplexisms yo. I think you got a bit of big words little man goin on there and some big inhalations. Come on down and lay off that hard stuff. Reality sits waiting for you down on the surface of the confabulous superhydrated terestrium yo.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  13. Jazzy

    If you are gay, why would you even want anything to do with the Mormon church? They are the most judgmental group of people I have ever encounterd. They will deny it of course! I have liived by them and worked for and with them for years. Not the most accepting of people that don't agree with their thinking!

    September 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • bs

      That is sadly true of many religions. Gays and others frequently stay in the religion of their youth not because they believe in its dogma or doctrine but because they are "at home" with its spirituality. They further recognize that much of their dogma and doctrine are man-made and have little to do with the spirituality of their faith. Frequently they are "claiming ownership" of the spirituality and tradition to which they know they have as much right as anybody else in the congregation.

      September 25, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Good handle you chose bs and so is your post.

      Amen.

      September 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • DRE

      Who is being judgmental now?

      September 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Answer

      @Heavensent

      You could never accept a negative opinion of your own supported views. The typical christian mentality. There is nothing new about your kind. Just f'n die. Kill yourself and go with your god already.

      September 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  14. Birdwatcher1

    There is one reason, and one reason alone that the LDS church is pursuing these new channels now, and that is so as to appear acceptable to the public at large, so that Mitt Romney will have a shot at being elected president. By doing what they are doing they open the door to GLBT citizens who otherwise would have an objection to a Mormon president. This is SO hypocritical, as an openly gay person in a relationship would never be allowed to serve in the LDS church. What a bunch of two facers. Just like Romney.

    September 25, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  15. Jennifer Kelley

    Wow! Could we as a society actually be growing out of our black and white judgemental ways and into a world where grey can comfortably exist? I am saddened that a relationship for Mr. Mayne necessitates being fired from his position but his appointment gives me some hope.

    We are limited by our own personal "umvelt" (the culmination of all of our experiences that lead us to the views we hold). It is not until we are able to see the world from someone else's view that we can truly welcome diversity in all of its forms.

    September 25, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Yes, it looks like we are still on our painfully slow trudge towards civilizing ourselves. Very slow, but still some progress to report.

      September 25, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • equalrights for all

      as a mormon, i have to say: I don't want romney in office. It's got nothing to do with his religion. He was the gov of a liberal state. Therefore, he is a liberal. I would just as soon as elect a kennedy into the office. Nope. It might be about getting more mainstream, but it's not about Romney.I doubt he could carry UT. In the primary, he probably won't. As long as it isn't that one guy that just won in florida. We've had enough of black power this past presidency, and now we are teetering on the edge of collaps due to programs started by the first black president, Bill Clinton. Enough! Let's get some whites in there!

      September 25, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @equal rights for all

      God... I hope that your 'moniker' vs. your 'posting' was purely for sh!ts and giggles...? 😯

      Peace...

      September 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  16. bs

    The basic problem with religion is the arrogance that with 100% certainty they know the mind of God. This belief, in and of itself, seems to be sinful and heretical. The one constant theme throughout most religions when you actually look at their origins and their pure spirituality stripped of all dogma and doctrine is a theme of love and caring. From that standpoint religion is not bad...it is good. Unfortunately the sin of hate, greed, prejudice and bigotry has creeped in and is the source of close minded hatred towards other religions, towards gays, sometimes towards women, towards other cultures..........Regardless of your religious affiliation, I cannot imagine a God that would vote against love and acceptance of our gay brothers and sisters.

    September 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • ts23

      It's not heretical in as far as God himself has given his mind to his profits to be known, intentionally. That's the point of divine revelation. God wants us to know his mind, but is kind enough not to give us more than we are capable of living up to.

      September 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Flash

      "God wants us to know his mind, but is kind enough not to give us more than we are capable of living up to."

      Well, for an alleged All-Knowing being, he has sure done a cr@ppy job of it... unless you want to add All-Sadistic to 'his' attributes.

      September 25, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • YourGodIsAFraud

      ts23, with "profits" you have nailed the real motivation for your religion.

      September 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Well, well, well bs. I thought the ranks of the non-believers would never get that Jesus' truth (the Bible) explains all life has to offer. His teachings explain what happens when focusing on the unrighteous route vs the righteous route.

      You almost got it. Closer than any of your ranks on here.

      Amen.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Answer

      @HeavenSent

      "I thought the ranks of the non-believers would never get that Jesus' truth (the Bible) explains all life has to offer."

      What explanations about life have you lead? Have you even skimmed below 20 feet of the ocean's depth's? What about figuring our math and how we can use math to reach the skies? You know the sky right? Looking upwards – how far can you see? Have you only used your eyes or are you not familiar with technology that can help you cross the distances to other cosmos? Preach your fancy rhetoric you cretin.. that is all you are good for.

      You have zero capacity to even understand that you have no clue to the total depth of the universe and yet you preach that you have seen all of god's visions? F-u-c-k-i-n-g moron!

      September 25, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  17. kittymom56

    Grrrrrrr, snarl, snappppp, drool. I'm a mentally deficient Christian who hates atheists. I plan to lope over to the next pack of atheists, and others posing a threat so I can make snacks out of them. Then, for some post prandial entertainment, I plan to take out an abortion clinic.

    After all, that is what every single Christian in the entire world does. By the way, don't forget we who call ourselves Christians would include Mother Teresa, if she were still alive.

    September 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Even when trying to write a joke, atheists are still carnal dry bones.

      Amen.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Yeah, but at least we HAVE a sense of humor.

      Amen.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      HeavenSent had hers removed during her recent lobotomy. She's "recooping". That's why she's on here day and night instead of actually doing the work Christ gave his followers.

      That's her excuse, anyway.

      September 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  18. danfromsac

    A gay Mormon makes as much sense as a black Klu Klux Klan member or a Jewish Nazi.

    September 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Matthew

      RIght, because Mormons obviously want to kill gays. *Shaking my head*

      September 25, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
  19. ironman1995

    wake up reason,try and practice what you preach,in Jan of 1964 Elder Delbert L Stapley wrote a letter to Gov George Romney, yes Mitt's father, then Gov of Mich. In Oct of 1963 Elder Hugh B Brown wrote and read a statement at General Conf, under the pressure of protests in Salt Lake,the statement was full support for Civil rights, the two months later Elder Ezra T Benson made statements against civil rights, calling it " phony, then one month later Elder Stapley warning fellow Mormon, Gov Romney, i share this because these 12 men and first presidency should be acting as one, they did not,iam not anti Mormon,i have been in the church since 1975, when i read Elder Stapleys letter, i was shocked, it sounded like a letter from Gov George Wallace, or David Duke, not an a Apostle of the so called TRUE CHURCH, OR ONLY TRUE CHURCH, iam free now of the half truths

    September 25, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • MormonChristian

      You refer to a letter from Elder Stapley and a few others. I've never, EVER heard of this and cannot find a reference anywhere. Name your sources. I can tell you as a lifelong member (over 50 years old), I've heard racism condemned on the part of the Mormons.

      I personally am against any form of discrimination and my Mormon friends share the same mindset. While we struggle like many do to live our values, our vision is to love all people equally. We are not all of one political orientation – you will find Mormons on all part of the political spectrum (Harry Reid to Mitt Romney).

      September 25, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      ironman1995, yes, it's the same ole, same ole "DO AS WE SAY, NOT AS WE DO" reality. They know it cost money to take control freaks to court. Are you game to play the backroom boys?

      Amen.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Observer

      HeavenSent,

      "DO AS WE SAY, NOT AS WE DO". That sure sums up the Bible. God said "thou shalt not kill" and then gave a long list of things to kill people for. The Bible says incest is wrong and yet God used it as his prefered method to populate the earth TWICE. What hypocrisy.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  20. Bo

    I can understand that Christins are concerned and want to save their atheistic friends from the destruction of hellfire and lead them to a more glorious after-this-world life. And it seems atheist are not interested in the here after, but what terriable disastrous thing is atheists trying to save and offering Christians, that they should want to change their beliefs? It certainly can't be a better life in this world because we all more-or less enjoy enjoy the same amenties. A good home, insome cases a luxurious home (at least some of my wealthy friends have very nice homes) a nice car, vacations, crusies, sporting events, etc. So I don't know what they have that a Christian doesn't have or can have , unless it's a hang-over from the night before or a nicotine hack, or a craviing for another drug induced high, and that's not something I want.

    September 25, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Veritas

      I'd say that religious people are most likely more prone, or at least as prone, to suffering from addictions than agnostics/atheists. I don't care about religious believers as long as they don't try to influence our government and laws, but that is exactly what fundamentalist religious interest groups are doing. If we look at our world today and that in the past, we can see clearly that where religious groups are/were in power freedom, well being, and people suffer.

      September 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Observer

      Bo,

      What atheists and agnostics have is far less hypocrisy. They are not trying to force their beliefs on others in schools and government buildings like so many Christians do. They are also not so likely to deny fellow humans equal rights like many Christians do.

      September 25, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Norman

      well, ignorami, atheists actually have a lot you dont have-they have reason and logic free ffrom hateful bigotry which is found in ALL religion-its Ok to think we only have this life-logically, its probbaly true that we just see black qand it all ends at death-taht way, we appreciate and love more in this lifetime if this is all we get. Religion fuels hatred toward gays which is morally and spiritually wrong. Alos, you can believe in God and not hate gays-teh bibel was written by man-that is indisputable

      September 25, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Bo, you are self-righteous and smug, but you are only telling half the truth. You accuse atheists of all sorts of sins while blatantly ignoring that just as many christians are drug addicts, alcoholics and smokers. While you're listing sins, you might as well admit your own hypocrisy.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Bo, atheists get conditioned through their egos to jump on the bandwagon of control freaks that insist on bringing in the NWO.

      Amen.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Bo

      @ verirs 1:24 I said I did want any adctions, so what kind of adctions are you talking about, The only adiction that I can think of having is loving people.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Bo

      To all---I don't know how it is, but it seems to me that you people know only fanatic Christian or maybe you just don't want to hear anything that is religious. If that's the case, you sure on the wrong blog

      September 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Bo

      @ HevenSent, excuse my ignorance, but what is, NWO

      September 25, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • tallulah13

      "So I don't know what they have that a Christian doesn't have or can have , unless it's a hang-over from the night before or a nicotine hack, or a craviing for another drug induced high, and that's not something I want."

      Bo, these are your words. You are lying if you say that christians do not suffer from these same problems. You are also lying if you say that these things are common amongst atheists. This was a rude, blatantly false and hypocritical statement, and you should be at least contrite to your god, even if you don't have it in you to apologize to those you actually offended.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Bo

      @ tallulah I feel you are being abusive, with oput cause. I really believe that you are making acusations you can't justifiy. Anytime that you find persons that are drug abusers and calling themselves Christian is one of a couple things, they are really tring to quit (I know some like that, they use tobacco and they really want to quit, and I believe they will do it.) or they are hypocrits. And you called me a hypocrit, how do you justifiy that statement, what am I doing that is hypocritical, or are you just a blowhard.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Bo

      @tallulah, With the exception of my family and very few others, I hardly know any others that call themselves Christian except in my own church. In that sort of way I'm an isolationist.

      September 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Bo

      computer time out, gota go, will see you later on my cell

      September 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.