Two examples from this week serve as examples as to how much of a problem the LDS church faces regarding the black and LGBTQ communities.
It was the most funniest headline I can remember: “Utah officials unsure why youth suicide has nearly tripled since 2007.”
Sounds like these public servants haven’t cracked open “Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.”
According to the Huffington Post, the study results include:
– In 2014 (the year the most recent data is available), the percentage of Mormons in a U.S. state is associated with a higher level of youth suicides in that state. This relationship holds even after statistically controlling for other potential causal factors of suicide such as elevation (altitude), rates of gun ownership, rates of serious mental illness, rural vs. urban, state spending on mental health, and a variety of demographic and socioeconomic factors.
– None of these factors are associated with an increase in levels of youth suicides in a state between 2009 and 2014 except for percentage of Mormons in a state. Further analysis finds that this relationship is due solely to the increase in youth suicides in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming – the three states with the largest Mormon population in the country.
(Of course, the Mormon church’s campaigning and rhetoric against the LGBT community spiked starting in 2008, with Proposition 8. For a reminder of that awful season, watch “8: The Mormon Proposition.”)
Tyler Glenn, the Neon Trees singer, made a plea in early July about the most recent five suicides, putting the LGBTQ number around 40. (He talked about the own psychological damage the church has inflicted upon him, a gay man who grew up in the church.)
On July 7, a black woman, who once converted to Mormonism, said through sobs that she has been damaged by being told that she is a descendant of Satan’s minion Cain and that she was only so valiant in the life before this one.
As I cried with her, I was astonished at the same time to realize how heartless I was that I taught those same things as a Mormon missionary to black children of God. But I’m not going to shame myself over that. I was simply parroting what I was taught.
This experience also offers that those psychologically destructive doctrines have not passed from the church, and that Bruce McConkie, who created these doctrines, and other church leaders have been horrible for their followers.
Overall, in these experiences, I’m ashamed to call myself straight and ashamed to call myself white. (Hell, I’d already been ashamed to call myself male.)