Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Note to Affirmation

Sure, I know, Affirmation, we haven't interacted much and so who am I to chime in, right? Nevertheless, if you didn't see coming what came back to you from the LDS church in reaction to your press conference yesterday, someone needs to bring this dynamic to your attention. Maybe you did and just went on anyway; I don't know.

I get where you're coming from, I think. It'd be frustrating to have my anxiously awaited meeting with my religious leaders postponed indefinitely, even as the same church is finding much time and effort to make bold political moves against our families in California. And you're right, "You can't just walk in and say, 'Hi, President Monson, here we are.' " I'm sure it's frustrating, to have that wall in an area so important to you.

You are also right to think "
six or 12 months can be an "eternity" in the lives of individuals struggling to resolve their sexuality and their faith." You feel that urgency; I do too. In that time, yes, another kid may kill themselves and you feel, even if you know it's naive, you can help that, if only they'll listen. I know such feelings, how they motivate, but also how they can blind us to sad political realities and push that time out even further. You feel it; you feel like it has to be done yesterday. But they don't. To them, they aren't harming people and so there's no urgency for them to change, and this imbalance of drive can be used against you.

Please, now, tell me if I'm off base here, or if the media misreported what has occurred. But fact is, you are weak and they are strong. You are, on average, unpopular, and they, well, for many here, are the most moral, most compassionate, and simply super awesome organization on this entire planet. What I don't get is how you could think you could still hold your meeting without them and not be effectively slapped down, and in that very useful rhetorical style we Utahns possess.

The members of the LDS church didn't hear your concerns. Of all you said, both sides only got a tiny sound bite on the news I watched (KSL), and the LDS church's statement fit into a sound bite and they knew best how to use it. All the members heard was their church tell us, in effect, that Affirmation doesn't care about gay issues as much as the church does. It sucks, I know, but it doesn't matter how wrong you feel that is. Affirmation doesn't think "issues surrounding same-gender attraction deserve careful attention." Affirmation would rather go for shallow "public posturing." That was the message they got out to the masses, and they did it through your efforts. Like facing some judo master of PR, your momentum was used against you.

I hope I'm not coming off as harsh, and, no, I don 't direct, know how to, and wouldn't want to direct a large group such as Affirmation. I may be completely ignorant here, and hope to be told if I am. It just seems you jumped right into the losing role of this PR game. Why? Does it just seem that way and there's a reason to which I'm blind? Did you not see this coming? Did you try to head off this likely response in your news conference and it just didn't get reported? Am I totally off base in thinking it'd just be best to have stuck with your sunstone speeches and cancel the Monday "meeting"?

Yours confusedly and, maybe, somewhat accusingly (but you'll forgive that, right? :-)),
Your brother in Same-Sex Attraction,


Mr. Fob said...

Like facing some judo master of PR, your momentum was used against you.

What a beautiful metaphor. Pure blogetry.

Scot said...

Ah, thank you Ben.

If you're still out there, can anyone from Affirmation shed some light here? I really want to understand how such a decisions came about and to get the full story.

I can't seem to find much on their site either. Two blog searches for Affirmation recently came here and a couple from web emails too. So it seems like someone from them may have been through. Let me know.

Silus Grok said...

Another loss by Affirmation.

The entire affair — from them positioning this as a "meeting with Church leaders" (as opposed to what it really is… a meeting with Church social services people) — to this botched attempt at gamesmanship. It's it's counterproductive.