Just my rambling thoughts about being gay and Mormon

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bunch of Amateurs

Today on Radio West, Doug Fabrizio interviewed Jack Hitt, the author of a new book, "Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character." In the book the author explores the idea that amateurs have had a significant influence on the success of America, primarily because they drive change. He cites many examples of where an organization with a vested interest in some field is significantly disrupted by amateurs who can see the plainly obvious things that the institution has become blind to (my words, not his). 

It struck me that several of the authors main ideas can also be applied to gay rights and acceptance of gays, particularly within the Mormon church.  
  • Amateurs are willing to look wider for truth because they have no vested interest 
  • Amateurs get to the simple truth and the right answer because they have to pressure to conform to the institutions idea of "correct"
  • Institutions create a bubble of belief (you see what you want to see) 

When you look back on LDS church history there are many examples of ideas that were created by lay members (amateurs), not the general church leaders, that later become important parts of church practice.  These ideas include: 

  • Primary
  • Giving blacks the priesthood
  • Relief Society
  • The Welfare Program
and many many others.  In fact, most of the church programs were originally ideas generated by individuals or groups of members. The general church leadership has been much less creative and less able to solve the day to day challenges in the lives of members.

It will be the same with the acceptance of gay marriage. It will come from members who see the obvious truth that gay members are blessed in a unique way and they should not be penalized for being who they are. When enough members feel this way, it will become part of the church.

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