This is a guest post by Jacob Hess, PhD, author of A Third Space: Proposing Another Way Forward in the LGBT/Religious Conservative Impasse. Jacob is also on the board of the National Coalition of Dialogue & Deliberation. He blogs at Unthinkable.cc
Standing in the middle of 30,000 people, it’s hard – even impossible – to imagine that something could be wrong with what’s happening. It’s even more difficult to imagine that such passionate work may, in lasting ways, make things worse for the very teens we’re all worried about.
But, for reasons outlined below, that’s exactly what I believe is happening with Dan Reynolds’s Love Loud festival – an initiative so the rage that Utah businesses and political leaders, Mormon celebrities, and increasing numbers of millennials have come to rally behind it, with messages like this:
“Love is love. Stop hate. Spread kindness and acceptance. Prevent suicide. Start saving lives”
How could anyone possibly be concerned with such a cause? What kind of a heart of darkness is required to question a call to love more loudly?
Our non-conversation. The terms of our prevailing “conversation” about love, sexuality, faith, suicide and identity these days don’t leave much space for disagreement:
- “Are you going to be a loving person?”
- “Are you compassionate, inclusive, and accepting?”
- “Do you care about civil rights and equal justice?”
- “Are you willing to discriminate and hold onto bigotry?”
- “Do you really care about gay kids taking their lives?”