OK petals, before I start ragging on Boyd K. Packer, I have to tell you about the funniest visual image I have seen in a long time.
There I was, butching it up at Tire World on Third West, waiting for the truck to come down off the hydraulic lift, when something across the street made me do a double take. American Bush has installed solar panels on its roof!
I know, I know, I couldn’t believe it either! First the LDS Church rolls out their new energy efficient Stake Centers, and now the strippers at American Bush have gone eco-friendly. To which I have to say, “you go, girls!” Al Gore must be “discernibly turgid” with pride. Having such an incredibly broad range of conservationists makes it official. So, as of 1:28 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010, I’m calling it: Energy Conservation is now officially mainstream!
Oh, by the way, for those of you gay men who don’t know what American Bush is, it’s a hetero tittie bar, not a variety of shrub rose. And slightly off topic, but not really surprising: my spell checker doesn’t recognize the word “tittie”… hmmm, I wonder why?
Anyhow, cherubs, let’s talk about the elephant in the living room. Boyd K. Packer. Just when you see some long overdue softening of the LDS Church’s harsh anti-gay policies, and you think it’s safe to let your defenses down, some General Authority slash suicide bomber comes along and blows up the entire GAY/LDS peace process.
I can’t help but feel I am partially responsible for Boyd’s incendiary rhetoric. I have watched him spout off anti-gay screeds for decades, and I have never challenged him. Typically, I have just rolled my eyes and ignored his rants as the product of an angry, obsessed, self-righteous and self-entitled mind. Maybe I should have said something, or done something, way before his Conference Talk of Mass Destruction ever happened. Maybe I should have protested when they built the LDS Wall around downtown, or when they enforced the blockade against the Utah Woolen Mills. Maybe I should have laid down in front of the bulldozers when they started building LDS Settlements on South Temple and pushing out the native liberals.
I could have stopped this escalation, and now, muffins, I can no longer stay quiet. This man needs a gay reality check, and pronto!
Why the urgency, petals? Because Boyd K. Packer is not just some random white, aging, LDS homophobe, “His Hatefulness” is the next in line to become the leader of the LDS Church and assume the role of prophet, seer and revelator (or, as I like to term the Mormon Pope, “The MOPE”). This means Packer’s extreme anti-gay biases and tirades will instantly become the official policies of the LDS religion, which their unthinking membership automatically affirms and enforces.
That’s super scary on so many levels, not the least of which is Packer’s obsession with and hatred of all things gay.
I pity any LDS family with gay children, or young gay or lesbian LDS members who will have to grow up under that kind of hateful pressure. Much of Packer’s adult life has been dedicated to the oppression and isolation of gay people in the LDS Church. To the LDS faithful, Packer’s anti-gay stances are what define him. Now, in our community, if anyone was so fixated on a single point, we would recognize it for what it was, and call it what it is. A fetish!
It’s been really interesting watching the LDS Church’s non-response to the “Gays Can and Must Change” controversy. If you’ve noticed, the church has not tried to walk the issue backwards at all. Which tells me that someone, somewhere in the Church Administration Building wanted Packer to lob this grenade out there. Their other response has been to hide behind Packer’s code words and pretend that he never directly said hateful things about gays and lesbians (which technically he didn’t, because the remarks were so wrapped up in that monotone passive-aggressive LDS code-speak that only the faithful can decode). What’s that old adage about Mormons smiling to your face while they stab you in the back?
Anyway, cupcakes, at the end of the day, Packer has done us all a huge favor. He has proven that all of the image softening, cosmetic policy changes and mediation between the church and the gay and lesbian community was simply a public relations “pink wash.” After Prop 8 the glare of the international media spotlight was on the church, so they took token steps to quickly patch up their image. They didn’t change policies for the better, or make life safer or more tolerable for their gay members and their families; they just massaged the public image of the LDS Church and hoped that people would forget. That tells me exactly where their priorities are, and sadly how worthless and disposable they think their gay members and their families are. Heavy sigh!
You can see Ruby Ridge and the Matrons of Mayhem in all of their polyester glory at Third Friday Bingo (every Third Friday of the month at 7 p.m.) at First Baptist Church (777 S. 1300 East).