Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bubbling over

I've had something on my back-burner for SO LONG that it's left permanent scorch-marks. 

Finally, thanks to an article in, by THIS woman, I did something I've meant to do, oh, for the past 22 years. (And I should also note here that I'm basically plagiarizing her letter with few edits of my own).

IMO, Proposition 8 is probably nothing more than a bump in the road on the way to authentically unbiased, unprejudiced civil rights for just means it will take a bit longer to get there. And for people who might have never otherwise thought about it, this experience has hopefully made them think about whether they want to live a life exemplifying hate or love. 

However, for me, Prop 8 is significant as a catalyst for something I've needed to do for a long time:

Member Records Division, LDS Church 
50 E North Temple Rm 1372 
SLC UT 84150-5310 

This letter is my formal resignation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

As of November 4, 2008, I terminate my membership. 

The LDS church has participated in a hate-filled political campaign against the rights of families in California and other states, and this is the catalyst for my action. 

Please remove the name Rebekah Waffle (birth date: March 16, 1970) from the records of the LDS Church immediately — as dictated in the General Handbook of instructions. I understand that my resignation from the church cancels the effect of baptism, withdraws the priesthood (not applicable to me as a woman), and revokes temple blessings. I hereby withdraw my consent to being treated as a member and any tacit consent membership implies that I might be subject to church rules, policies, beliefs and disciplines. As I am no longer a member, I want my name permanently and immediately removed from the membership rolls of the LDS church. 

Please promptly complete the form “Request for Administrative Action”, and forward it to the appropriate Stake President. You will need to send me a letter telling me that you have done so. Further, I formally demand that the 30-day holding period be waived, and that the Stake President forward this letter and the form to the Office of the First Presidency as soon as he receives it. 

I will not participate in church court or disciplinary council, as I am no longer a member. I do not wish to be contacted by anyone except by mail confirming that my name has been removed from the records. This includes home teachers, visiting teachers or any church leadership attempting to visit my home or contact me by telephone.

I do not condone your church’s overt encouragement of members to campaign against the civil rights of others. While I have other beliefs at odds with Mormon teachings, it is this issue which has finally given me the push I needed to withdraw my membership. 

Rebekah Waffle
November 15, 2008

I should add here that I have a large adoptive family. I am the only non-Mormon out of my parents, 3 siblings, their spouses, 20 nieces and nephews, their spouses (the ones who are married) and 2 great-nephews. My parents are old and love their church. My siblings and their kids are not old and love their church. 

At least one member of my family reads this blog semi-regularly, so whenever I post about my whole round-and-round about God, Mormons, dinosaurs and wizards and peepstones and loving everybody no matter who THEY love, I know that I've got at least one person from that world who might (repeatedly and consistently) be offended by me. And, goatess, I love your support and the fact that you never huff off and don't return. It's important to me to work through what I need to work through, even in a public forum, but I always feel bummed that it might seem unkind or ungrateful to a family I genuinely love. This matter, though. I'm not sure how it will be taken. 

In my mind, it's a formality. I haven't been much of a Mormon for the past 20+ years other than my obsession with how that's shaped my worldview. I can't see it as making much difference, but sometimes I'm surprised by what matters to other people and what doesn't. Maybe they'll see it as a way to make change, or start a dialog. Or maybe they'll see it as a gross insult. Hard to know. And it may not come up at all. But, for what it's worth, it's the sole thing that's held me back until now.


Amy said...

How does it feel to cut that tie with such officialism? You know I support you. One of my oldest friends grew up in the church and is still reeling from her retreat from it. I imagine that letter felt extraordinary to write!

Did ya send it yet?

*clinks mugs*

Love ya

angstmonkey said...

You have my total support and admiration. I know MY support in removing yourself may seem like an agenda but it isn't. Atheists don't recruit! (JOKE)

Mama Nomad said...

I think it was pretty important that you make it official just for your own sake of processing the ever-present *past*. No doubt you have a deep and great love for your family, I've always heard you speak so kindly of them, but this blog is about YOU.

*another mug raised*

goatess said...

Ant Bee, I'm glad that you don't feel like you need to censor your blog or monitor what you write because of me. And I never feel huffy or offended. To be honest, it's nice to find out about your opinions about religion, etc. I always have been curious to know how you felt about your upbringing, but I never felt like I could ask you (for fear that you would feel offended or worried that I was trying to convert you). I guess that's one of the great things about blogs; one can write (and voyeuristically read!) in perhaps a more uninhibited fashion.

I think it's important that you are following your convictions. And what a better place to write about your convictions than a blog that is about YOU (like Mama Nomad said).

I'm just glad that you haven't written a formal letter to disassociate yourself with your familial crazies! :)

Korin said...

Like everyone else, I offer my total support and admiration. I think you're an awesome human. :D

goatess said...

Even though I consider myself to be a blog voyeur (!), I do not consider myself a spy or tattletale. If you ever want to share anything about this letter (or anything else) with the rest of the family, then I'm sure you will. It's not my place to do so.

bernthis said...

Wow, that is amazing!!! As a Californian who voted NO! I too am just disgusted that any group can perpetrate such hate. I know we haven't "met" yet, first time here, but I am very proud of you.

Hedro said...

Wow, Rebekah. I can't even begin to tell you how proud I am to know you! I too, completely support, look up to, and admire you for this!

Another mug in the air!


Saucy said...

Very proud of you for taking a stand and putting it to paper - making it official. This issue is one of civil rights and liberties, freedom and all that the USA was built upon.

At the risk of sounding sappy, what the world needs now, is love, sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of.

Jodi Mardesich said...

hey! congrats on sending your letter. it felt so good for me. how are you feeling? let me know what kind of response you get. i haven't heard anything yet...


Lee said...

Years ago, I was a member of the Presbyterian church. When the church passed a degree declaring that gay and lesbian people could not hold the priesthood in the church, I promptly sent them my formal letter of resignation. I was by far not the only one to do so, and I think this made a good statement. I'm really glad I did this.

I'm proud of you for doing this, too! Another mug to clink, here.

By the way, can my husband use your letter to have HIS name removed from the LDS rolls???