All the single ladies (and men)…the Mormon church is not “for” you
After my previous post asking why we can’t have a pro-women Mormon theology, I read and commented on a post by Hawkgrrrl contrasting a church of duty with a consumer church. My comment was as follows:
I’m not exactly driven to go to church, but it’s not because there aren’t rock concerts or small prayer groups. It’s because on any given Sunday, it will probably be boring and utterly irrelevant to my life circumstances punctuated with moments of absolute offensiveness.
I think there is conceivably a value to learning how to hear offensive things without even blinking…learning how to regulate internal blood temperature, as it were…but then i realize that baffling things happen in life without seeking it out in a church.
My thoughts really are that, for some folks, the LDS church experience can be very relevant and interesting to their lives. I mean, when it comes to building white picket fence families with husband, wife, and 2.5 kids (ok, let’s be real…there will be more kids), LDS church teachings are admirable. But when someone doesn’t fit that mold in any of a number of ways.
Over at By Common Consent is a guest post: Thoughts from a Mid-Single Mormon. And while I sympathize and hope that things can become more welcoming and inclusive, at the back of my mind is the thought:
This church simply isn’t for you.
In the post, Jennifer remarks:
I go to church to renew my relationship with God, feel spiritual and reverent, and sing hymns with moving lyrics—not to play musical chairs and have my singleness make me feel less than who I really am in this world. I know I am not alone in feeling it a challenge to be single in a family-oriented church.
However, the last few works I’ve quoted really say it all. The LDS church is a family-oriented church. This isn’t just a “practical” consideration, but a theological one. Renewing one’s relationship with God, feeling spiritual and reverent, and so forth, is altogether tied with seeking, building, and growing a family (and not just any kind of family at that.)
But even on a practical level, the LDS church’s practical ethics and politics are very much tied up with a view that families (and not just any kind of family) aren’t just a theological good, but a social one. So, all of the research on lowering fertility rates, children born out of wedlock, folks staying single longer, and so on are all seen as societal problems to be prevented or solved.
To this end, the church will not — unless something radically changes — “celebrate” singleness, as the author wishes. Whether by choice or by circumstances, singleness will be seen as less than because it will be seen as not fulfilling one’s reason to be on this earth. (P.S., this is something all same-sex attracted Mormons need to know.)