Last post on the "And I'm a Mormon!" series. Please note that in this section, I tackle social justice issues in the Church that essentially precipitated my loss of faith. I do not mince words here. You have been warned.
Do Mormons believe in the equality of men and women?
No. But most Mormons will tell you they do, just that men and women have "different roles". When it comes down to it, however. . .
- Women are taught that they have "separate roles" on this earth from women and that men are to preside in the home.
- Women are excluded from the highest leadership quorums of the LDS Church, on basis of their anatomy.
- Women are taught that our male God has a wife but we are not permitted to know more about her, pray to her, speculate about her, write about her, etc., at the risk of excommunication.
- Women, but not men, are required to veil their faces in the temple in order to petition God.
- Women make covenants to hearken (defined as given respectful attention) to their husbands, while husbands are not required to do the same for their wives. The phrase used to be "obey," but was changed in in the 1990s.
- In the temple, women are told that they will serve under their husbands in the eternities.
- Women are told that they need to be married to be taken "through the veil" and into God's presence. Men are not taken "through the veil" by their wives.
- The LDS Church expended significant money and effort to defeat the Equal Right's Amendment in the 1970s.
"Separate but equal" didn't work for the blacks during segregation, and it doesn't work for women in Mormonism.
How can we stop the influence of pornography?
By no longer guilt-tripping and shaming people who look at it. This creates far more problems and "addictions" than it fixes. Looking at pornography occasionally does not constitute an addiction. I'm not saying pornography is a good thing. But I have seen what the church's approach to healing people from the "addiction" of pornography has done to good people.
What is the Church's attitudes towards homosexuality? Why is same-sex marriage important to the Mormon Church?
Similar to many, many fundamentalist Christian groups, the LDS Church teaches that homosexual actions constitute a severe sin (in the case of Mormonism, they are a sexual sin that is second only to murder in severity). Generally speaking, the bar that constitutes "homosexual activity" is considerably lower than that which constitutes "heterosexual activity". Mormonism rejects homosexual activity within marriage, and actively works to disallow gays from having the legal right to be wed. In addition, you would be hard-pressed to find a Mormon bishop that would be ok with a gay man having a boyfriend, even if they kept the heterosexual version of the law of chastity (in other words, could kiss, make out, hold hands, etc.) Indeed, gay Mormon men who get married to their partners are excommunicated.
The Mormon Church also teaches that the there is a "War on the Family" instituted by Satan, and that gay marriage is part of Satan's plan to "destroy the family".