In this second episode examining the new policies regarding LGBT women and men and children, Brad Kramer, Nancy Ross, and Rob Vox join Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon for several rounds of speculation that tries to understand some of the possible reasons behind the changes. Applying insights from sociology, anthropology, and other fields of inquiry, they discuss issues such as group boundary maintenance (both in terms of membership and doctrine) and the re-establishment of leadership authority within the church (especially re-centralizing some of it instead of leaving it in the hands of local leaders), as well as efforts to continue to band alongside allied religious groups in efforts to preserve long-held definitions and categories, and to fight modernizing forces within society and find the ideal position in tension with fast-moving social changes. They discuss whether some of the impetus comes from efforts to head off or lessen potential liability in certain types of lawsuits, especially as possible reasons for labeling those in same-sex marriages as being in “apostasy” and adding barriers to their children participating in church rituals. In later sections they discuss ways in which the leadership might back off and mitigate at least some of the most extreme consequences from these changes that are now beginning to reveal themselves, and finally each panelist shares much more personally about their own wrestles since the policy changes came to light, as well as changes, if any, in their own determinations regarding their engagement with Mormonism going forward.
Please listen and then share your reactions, questions, and ideas in the comments section below!