Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just Saw My Bishop

...for something not gay related. It could happen.

He wanted to release me from the best job I ever had in the church: Gospel Doctrine teacher. I guess my tenure was up. Either that or someone ratted me out for disguising my caffeinated beverage as a flower arrangement and sipping from a tulip periodically. But this isn't about me. Its about you! What do you think of me? (If you are really gay man, you can name that movie)

I respect the guy. I have had good luck with bishops - for the most part. Only once did I have a bishop spend more than an hour giving me examples from his lengthy and amorous past to prove to me how gay he was not and would never be. In my sorted BYU youth I had a bishop put me through the handbook ringer for a year to get back in full fellowship, and after a year of doing everything he told me that the stake president, whom I had never met, wanted me to go another year. At that point I went off the deep end and almost didn't make it back. But I did.

My current bishop was a neighbor of mine before he was called, and is still living several houses down from me. Having him as a neighbor has been a blessing, and not in the way you might think. You see, I think of him as my friend and neighbor first, and a bishop second. I remember him mowing his lawn in his plaid shorts and his white legs. I remember his silly Halloween decorations that the neighborhood killer dog ate and left for yuck. I remember he is a guy first, and a bishop second.

Most bishops are. Being guys, they bring to the table what they are, and sometimes what they are not. Trying to do things by the spirit doesn't always work so well for guys. We are all learning. How is the Lord going to get things done here without using guys like my neighbor?

I would want him to give me a break if I were in his boring black lace ups, cause I wouldn't get everything right by a long shot.

With all the horror stories of how insensitive bishops can be (and I have seen some Lou-Lou's on the Internet) I just wanted to let men and non men who are reading here to know that the bishops are on our side, and by us I mean people who could use a bishop, and by that I guess I mean me. He wants to help.

Yours may want that, too.


  1. I am waiting for that bishop to come along. Mine now scares me. :)

  2. Interesting. Maybe bishops have come a long way. I know it made my father grow in ways that made him very uncomfortable, but our discussions about homosexuality changed dramatically after he became bishop, it changed his world view and no longer wanted to fight about whether it was normal or not.
    My last interactions with a bishop were a chief reason I left, he was a nice enough guy, but wouldn't give me a calling in the singles ward because, as he stated, there weren't any. This despite my begging for a calling. I was faltering and knew I needed to feel useful. The other thing he said to me and this pushed me over the edge- At the time I had a lot of male friends who were coming out to me. I was fresh from my mission and reconnecting with college friends. It was freaking me out that nearly every guy I knew was gay, and that they were seeking me out to let me know. In my naivete I went to my bishop to discuss this - not because I thought it was wrong but because I wanted to understand and get some perspective on this flood of men in my life who were coming out. Anywho - he told me that if I wanted to be a worthy temple recommend holder - I did- that I would have to stop associating with these men- unless I was willing to work to bring them back into the fold. hmmm, I haven't had a temple recommend since.

  3. My Bishop's son chose me as the first person to come out to. Not because I'm gay (I'm still firmly in the closet) but probably because we had built a relationship over many years of me serving in YM callings with him.

    A year later, after the Bishop's son had also told his parents, I sat down with him (my Bishop) to discuss it. Sadly, the Bishop believes that gay people in the church are doomed to live difficult and sad lives.

    Yes - that's actually his official position on the matter even though he knows that he has a gay son. He just believes that his son will have to struggle through this life, maybe marry a woman, maybe stay celibate. Either way, he acknowledges that his son will never really experience true happiness. I respectfully told him that I thought he was wrong.

    I love that Bishop. He is an incredible person in so many ways but I lost a great deal of respect for him because of that. I don't know how any father can resign himself to the belief that his own son should live an unhappy life.