The Church of Jesus Christ ofLatter-day Saints surprised some of its members this week by rescinding a baptism ban for children who belong to same-sex couples.
It’s a shame a church ever instituted a baptism ban against children.
There’s no valid reason to penalize children of same-sex couples. That’s true regardless of the church’s position on same-sex marriage, same-sex couples or homosexuality in general.
They can’t control what their parents do. They can’t control who their parents are attracted to.
Nevertheless, back in 2015, the church decided that children of same-sex couples would not be allowed to be baptized until they reached the age of 18. When they turned 18, they’d have to disavow homosexual relationships to be baptized.
In other words, they’d have to speak out against their own parents’ relationships.
That’s not exactly an easy position, I would imagine, for anyone to face.
The rules changed again this week.
With the change, those children can now be baptized as long as their parents approve and acknowledge that the children will be taught church doctrine.
It’s important to note here that the church is not changing its official doctrine on homosexuality or same-sex marriage.
But the change also dictates that people in same-sex relationships will no longer be considered “apostates.” An apostate is one who either teaches false doctrine or publicly defies church leaders. Anyone branded an apostate can be kicked out of the church.
The church, formerly known as the Mormon Church before deciding it wanted to ditch the “nickname” and go with its full name, definitely took a step in the right direction when it comes to trying to build unity.
But even so, some LGBTQ groups were upset that an apology did not accompany the change.
Still, the change — even without an apology — is better than nothing, I should think.
A message from the church’s First Presidency, the governing body, did include this:
President Dallin H. Oaks instructed that the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to love and treat all people with kindness and civility — even when we disagree.
I wish all Christians, no matter which denomination they consider themselves part of, would be willing to stop and acknowledge that much.