For those reasons, I made it a point to reach out to the Church when I started as CEO at the Anti-Defamation League. In 2019 I spent three days in Salt Lake City as a guest of the Church. I used the visit to press the Church and elected officials to support a new hate-crimes bill that would protect Utah’s LGBTQ community. The trip ended on a positive note when the Church announced it would do just that.
I am certain that our communities would benefit from more engagement in the years ahead.
CEO and National Director, Anti-Defamation League
New York, N.Y.
Thank you for your frankness about our faith and the beauty and flaws that exist within our culture and history. Reading your article made me reflect on who I am and the decisions I have made for my family, faith, and career. I also struggle with the history of polygamy, the priesthood and temple ban for Black people, and the impact of our doctrine on LGBTQ members. This internal wrestle continues, but your article provided a sense of peace and comfort that I really needed.
I appreciate the perspective from one “born in the covenant” about a religion that is often skewered by outsiders. But the assertion that the Church moved toward a message of kindness and acceptance of its LGBTQ brothers and sisters after 2008 ignores some of the most exclusionary and hateful messaging from a modern Church in America. Your readers are owed the full historical picture when considering the LDS Church and its significant impact on American history and culture.
I haven’t been an active LDS member for more than 40 years. I belong to a large family, and none of them, including my late father, has ever tried to persuade me to go back. My personal sticking point was that the Church pretty much wants all women to live just one life: that of wife and mom. I have never had the slightest desire to become either. Your article, though, sums up the reasons for the Church’s success, and its appeal to so many. You’ve done a great service here for members and nonmembers alike.
Salt Lake City, Utah
The Making of a Model Minority
Indian Americans rarely consider what they have in common with other nonwhite Americans, Arun Venugopal argued (January/February).
I came to this country in 1980. Over the past 40 years, many Americans looking at our GPAs, our GRE scores, and our salaries have told me, “Indians are smart.” And many Indians have believed this. But we know (as Venugopal points out) that we are an unrepresentative sample. I came, like many people, from one of the Indian Institutes of Technology, which seemed purpose-built to send students abroad for graduate study. Most of us never went back. We married, had children, and sponsored our parents so that they could come and babysit.