Tuesday, July 7, 2015


"The church is always trying to get other people to reform; it might not be a bad idea to reform itself a little, by way of example."
--Mark Twain

In my last post, "FUDGE PACKER," I wrote about my frustrations in dealing with my Mormon friends and family over the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. In my frustration, I changed my Facebook profile picture to a satirical photo of an anti-gay Mormon leader, Boyd K. Packer, whose words have contributed to prejudice against homosexuals which has forced many gay Mormon teens to live on the streets and, in some cases, to suicide.

The conversation which has resulted from my picture has been exhausting and frustrating. In the instances where I was misrepresented and stereotyped by people I care about, which were many, I became angry. Like, "screaming at the top of my lungs while riding my motorcycle to work" angry. But amid the madness and anger I was also bolstered by the supportive words of many people.

I want to share some of the more positive comments I received, some through private messages for fear of a similarly deteriorating conversation on their own pages.

[friend from high school]:
"Matt you are awesome, from the time I first got to know you, you are a hell of a wrestler and even more, a hell of a man! I agree with you who are we to judge how another human being lives their lives"

"Thank you Matt! You're what's right with the world"

[friend from high school]:
"Matt, may I just say, your bravery is remarkable. Thank you."

[same person, private message]:
"I need share my sincere gratitude for you. You get it. Life, God and all that we are here for. I never really knew you before as young people, but I am so glad to know you now. I guess I didn't understand me either then. Sad to see him say he think he knew me in high school...and to see him be a victim of circumstance. You truly have remarkable things to say and I've shared them with my Wife tonight. Keep it up friend."

[friend from BYU]:
"Matt! This pic is genius! You are hilarious. It's the perfect mix of pointed and poignant!"

[friend from BYU, private message]:
"Yeah, I was just reading the great debate and thought it was pretty crazy that he passed away in the middle of it. I'll say the conversation has been interesting. I took the picture more as satire, as you explained but I don't usually get offended (or dissappointed) by facebook posts"

[friend from high school]:
"I have to admit that I have been reading your profile pic discussion and I think it's really nice to see that you are willing to stick with your own beliefs and you provide very sound reasoning to back it up. I know that you are facing a lot of opposition regarding your profile pic choice but the discussions that have resulted from it can only be a good thing. The evolution of change regarding peoples views on these types of subjects is a very slow process but an open dialogue, with well thought responses, will only speed up the process of love and acceptance for all. Thank you."

[a religious leader from my youth]: 
"The whole discussion has definitely been interesting. I tend not to get too wrapped up in stuff like this. I like to keep up on current events, how the world turns and how we are responding to it. I can definitely see both sides of the discussion. I really think that when it comes down to it we have to remember we are children of a loving father in heaven. With that said we also need to remember that we need to treat others as such. - - - I will also add that I have fond memories of my interactions with Matt. He is a hard worker, dedicated and loves his family, friends and (I am sure not much has changed) always shown respect for those around him. In this case some have chosen to be offended. As [F] has said it has opened up a line of discussion and I do believe that in any instance that can not hurt. One of the beautiful things about this country is that you can stand toe to toe and discuss / argue different points of doctrine, policy, law and what have you without retribution. I think that Matt has some points that are worth looking into. I may not agree with his stance but I can respect it and show respect to him as he has owned it. That takes a certain type of courage and shows fortitude. Lastly - I will add that the doctrine has not changed. The attitudes of society and the members of the church has changed in recent years. I think as a whole the members of the church are slowly able to look past peoples short comings and see them as people. I think as a whole we are becoming more honest and less apt to discriminate. I despise the phrase "hate the sin love the sinner". I will in this instance say that the gospel doesn't define people by their struggles. We we define people by who they are. What they do. We all struggle with something. Our daily choices and how we choose to live with/ overcome what pulls us in different directions is what defines us. Are we compassionate, are we accepting, are we humble, are we teachable, are we kind, are we trying to be like Christ? Matt you definitely opened a can of worms, There is still a lot to be discussed with regards to doctrine, culture and how things are changing."

[friend from high school, private message]:
"I'm not a religious person and would not venture to take a stance in the conversations happening regarding your profile picture. However, I've read the threads and would like to commend you. Not just for taking what I believe to be the just position, but for eloquently articulating your thoughts to an audience who disagrees with your sentiment, and maintaining a level of civility while doing so."

[relative, private message]:
"First of all, I friggin love your profile pic. Second of all, thanks for not taking it down. I think it's actually makin a lot of people think, me included. Anyway, it's been pretty epic reading your discussion thread, it's pretty crazy how insensitive a lot of people have been, in the name of good Christianity. I'm not commenting on the picture just because I know [C] doesn't want anything to blow up before the wedding and all... It's taking a lot of will power.... But anyway, just wanted to let you know that I think the pic is some awesome satire and really I appreciate you not backing down. Me personally, I absolutely do not have the guts to post a picture like that. So thanks for saying things a lot of people like me don't have the courage to say. I think you've really shown a lot of character, it's just a Facebook post, but it seems that a lot of your close friends are letting it completely warp their perspective of the quality of individual you must be. I've read nothing but respectful comments from you and obviously it's a subject you've taken time to actually educate yourself on, both sides of the issues. Anyway, this subject hits a personal note with me for a lot of different reasons but seriously, just wanted to say thanks for starting an insightful discussion and absolutely not backing down."

[relative, private message]:
"Nice! Yeah, ive seen a lot of posts of people being offended by being called bigots and use that to say our side is the unloving one. Your picture is about as 'in your face' as his homophobia is. People call out public statements of public figures all the time so its hypocritical to say his church power makes his opinions immune to debate. Plus the picture was relevant to the world views he stood for and opened up a discussion about the significance of his influence. it wasnt just making fun of him for being an old fart or something so its not even a personal ad hominem attack."

I have no regrets.


I posted a link to this on a post a while back, but I feel it applies to this post as well. For those of you who want to see truly offensive satire of religion, click here [WARNING, very graphic. NSFW].

And, I'm just gonna leave this here...:

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