A LDS chain letter just got to me through my brother. He was upset by it and wanted to share his response, which was supportive and loving (This is the younger of my older brothers, not the brother who’s a bishop). In short I was touched to know exactly where he stood, but even more so appreciative to know he’ll stand up and say it and that he wanted to make sure I knew he would.
I went through bits of the letter on isocrat.org, but this blog is more about the personal. In short, it’s a deceptive, strange and kind of sad attempt to garner support for Proposition 8.
Anyway, the letter is written by a Sharon, who I don’t know from Adam (or Steve). But the person who spread the letter is a person in the periphery of my extended family. We see them here and there. I don’t care to address them directly and will put my energy elsewhere. I don’t think it’d do much good to confront such people anyway.
But my brother has entered the fray, and is now a couple letters into it. Furthermore, this letter was also sent to my parents and other family, and they’ve gotten upset as well. They are sending out a letter of their own to everyone on the long string of emails listed, which will include family closer to us. The man who sent the letter to my brother is a man on his 3rd marriage, and a guy who my parents know to have physically abused his children; they also tell me his current wife has been convicted of fraud, some pyramid scheme. So you can guess how personal this could get, now that the first stone has been thrown.
I can’t blame my parents for getting personal, though. I’d be upset if a guy I knew was spreading the message that equal treatment of my son’s family is somehow an insult to marriage and a goal of the Devil. I guess I’m just wary of how these things spread and grow in a family. Will my siblings or parents get too heated? Will other siblings or cousins take the other side and defend this guy?
And yet, another part of me is admittedly beginning to want to get it all out, get it over with, to stop the sublimating and self suppression on all sides and have our trial by fire. I want to know who we can trust and who is just being polite to our faces; I need to know to whom in my family my family is family (I think if you read that again it might make sense). Maybe it's naive, but I suspect, while it may hurt, we'd all get through one intense big event closer and better for it, instead of second guessing through all these little things.
Maybe we should do it at the family Christmas party ;-) (or maybe :-\).
I guess all families have fault lines. I just fear each little event like this, a chain letter from a guy I hardly know, could cause the tremors that lead to the earth splitting for our extended family. Or maybe it's the start of the refining reaction we need. Or maybe it’s just a flash in the pan.