On many PBS stations both Monday night and Tuesday night they aired a show called "Mormons".
I'm not going to get into a religious argument with anyone over their beliefs especially since I am Catholic and plenty of people still think we worship the Virgin Mary in place of God. Many of my Protestant friends complain about all the "get up and sit down " activity in the mass and dozens more can't get behind the holy water and making the sign of the cross.
I will have to say that I find it incredible that a man named Joeseph Smith had a visitation from an angel one night who led him to some golden plates that he believed were heaven-sent. I also find it difficult to understand why Bringham Young saw fit to issue an order that led to the massacre of a group of Arkansans at Mountain Meadow. Now this murderer has a University named after him. That is not the only blood the Mormon church has on their hands though. Huge numbers of gay men and women have committed suicide because the Mormon church has them so under the power that they would rather die than be found to be gay.
I found out about this years ago when I was a little kid. My dad had a close friend that he had lost touch with and he wanted to locate this man again. The last my dad had heard from him, he was married and had several children. He was a professor of music in Utah and belonged to the Mormon Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints.
My dad often talked of this person and told us what an incredibly wonderful and unselfish man he was.
My dad "Googled" his name and was horrified to find that many years ago in 1976, he had committed suicide because he was outed as a gay man and the church was about to excommunicate him.
In the Mormon church, excommunication not only effects the member but the entire family since they believe marriage and family are given to you for all eternity.
The man drove a short distance from his home and put a bullet in his heart. NOT IN HIS BRAIN MIND YOU, IN HIS HEART!
Thirty years later, his grandson, who was also gay killed himself as well on the exact date his grandfather did.
Both men were bright, well educated musicians described by all who knew them as extraordinary people.
That is not the end of the story. There is an organization called "Affirmation" made up of gay Mormons who are trying to prevent this self-slaughter.
I have two recommendations to anyone who is interested. First, watch the movie called "Latter Days" available from NetFlix and Blockbuster and then visit the web site called www.affirmation.org/suicides
This all amazed me as I prepared to do a paper on religion in America for school. I know the Catholic church is against homosexuality as are most churches but the Catholic church does offer a group for gay Catholics called "Dignity". They do not excommunicate you for being gay nor do they share it with the parish and force you into an embarrassing demise.
At www.affirmation.org/suicides you will see a horrible list of people who have ended their lives because they were gay and under the scrutiny of the Mormon Church.
There is a lot more I could say about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints but what's the point. I think this one issue is the biggest scarlet letter they could possibly wear. It even outweighs the issue of polygamy which is no longer supposedly an issue since the Mormons have decided that Joseph Smith and Bringham Young were wrong about this one thing. Of course they believe the rest of the hogwash they threw at them. Suddenly those two blond boys on the bikes with the white shirt and the black ties don't look so innocent anymore.
"Hello sir, we're Mormon missionaries. Can we interest you in a life of self torture?"
"No! I'm gay, Go away!"