If you could change one thing about the church, what would you change, and why?
No, you don’t have the power to change the church. But there’s value in making your voice heard anyway: to you, to others who share your issues but think they’re aberrant, and maybe even, eventually, to people in leadership positions:
No issue is too small or too large. We’re looking for letters from ordinary people: active members, inactive members, former members—even never-members, if they’re so inclined. We want the threshold for participation to be low; you’re welcome to include identifying information or not. Your letter needn’t be eloquent or well researched, just thoughtful and sincere. It can be a single paragraph or a memoir.
Our goal is to collect a significant body of letters and group them by topic so they can be easily searched. So far we’re at a grand total of two. And we don’t believe that’s because there are only two outliers out there who feel there’s something in the church that’s worth rethinking.
Some of you are wondering why we have the gall to suggest God’s one and living church change some—any—of its policies. If your view is that the church is unwaveringly inspired in all of its particulars, from the top echelons to the local leadership, this website is not for you; do us both a favor and don’t click on the link. You have nothing to fear from us malcontents: if God has a firm grip on the helm, rest assured it won’t be possible for a ragtag team of disgruntled souls to capsize the boat.
On the other hand, like me, you may be convinced religion is a human enterprise that, at its best, touches the divine. But since the leaders don’t give a hoot what we in the peanut gallery think, why bother throwing away a half-hour composing a letter?
It’s easy to participate in a culture of learned helplessness; in fact, the church encourages this approach. But if no one, inside or out, ever articulates any concerns, the church will have no motivation to reevaluate how its policies affect people. Seven long decades separated the Seneca Falls convention from the ratification of women’s suffrage. Most nineteenth-century suffragists threw their energy behind a project they never saw bear fruit in their lifetimes, but their actions paved the way for privileges that American women now take for granted. Even when change happens on a glacial scale, there’s value in adding your voice to the chorus of those whose hopes for the church exceed their experiences in it. At the very least, it’s therapeutic to articulate your concerns and find likeminded souls.
- 6 February 2012