The Mormon university BYU has fired a professor and church member, Jeffrey Nielsen, for writing a thoughtful op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune that questioned the Church of Latter Day Saints’ condemnation of gay marriage, as well as its commitment to the “traditional” union of one man and one woman:
As a member, I sustain the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as LDS general authorities; however, I reject the premise that they are thereby immune from thoughtful questioning or benevolent criticism. A perfect God does not require blind obedience, nor does He need unthinking loyalty. Freedom of conscience is a divine blessing, and our privilege to express it is a moral imperative….
As for the statement by church leaders that God has ordained marriage to be a union between a man and a woman, I find it quite troubling. It sidesteps the role of polygamy in past and future church teachings. It seems to me that if church leaders at one point in time, not very long ago, told members that the union of one man with several women was important for eternal salvation, but now leads them to believe that God only recognizes the union of one man to one woman, then some explanation is required…. God is not the author of incoherence or injustice, but we humans often are.
Somebody give this man a job. (Hat Tip: Daily Dish)
UPDATE: Jeffrey Nielsen’s letter to supporters can be found here.
I have also been thinking about my children, who I love unconditionally — yes, I said unconditionally. As every loving parent, I want to work for a world worth inheriting by my children and future grandchildren. We often worry about personal worthiness in the church. Do we measure up to the standards the brethren set for us? But I have never really worried about that. I have never wondered if my children were worthy enough for the church. What I worry about is whether the church is worthy enough for my children. So ultimately, I’m not worthy of either praise or blame. I’m just an ordinary, flawed human being who wants a better world for his kids. So, I’m just like you.