In Powerful Video, Neon Trees Lead Singer Says Blood on Church’s Hands
In a powerful video posted on his Facebook page Tuesday, Neon Trees lead singer Tyler Glenn, an openly gay former Mormon, blasts the church for allegedly causing young LGBT members to commit suicide.Â
As we reported Wednesday, Utah’s youth suicide rate nearly tripled from 2007 to 2014, and Glenn claims five young LGBT Mormons have taken their lives in the last week alone. In the video, which is addressed to Mormon church leaders and has been viewed 342,000 times, Glenn displays shows photos of two of the victims (below), “Stockton” and “Wyatt,” as well as an image (above) from one of their funerals. (An online obituary for Stockton “Bubba” Powers confirms that he died June 27 at 17 and was a member of the LGBT community.)
“I want you to say their names and remember their photos,” Glenn says, fighting back tears.Â “[Church President] Russell Nelson and the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is blood of your members of your hands. Please donâ€™t let this be a summer of more gay suicides. Please make a space for your gay members. Please tell them they are OK and theyâ€™re made in the image of God and theyâ€™re not flawed. Please stop telling them that they are abnormal. Please, please, please, how many more? How many more?â€
Glenn references the church’s horrific new anti-gay policy announced inÂ November, which Nelson later said was a revelation from God. The policy declares same-sex couples apostates and barring their children from being baptized. Glenn says in the eight months since the policyÂ
“Dear Russell Nelson, you spearheaded this policy in November, and you and your colleagues claim to speak directly to and for God. As his mouthpieces on this Earth today, you have yet to respond to the confusion, chaos and disruption that you have caused so many current and former members of your church, both queer and straight alike,” Glenn says.
“You’ve had months and a public conference satellite-broadcast to the world in April,Â and youâ€™ve yet to give light to the actual darkness that so many of your members are living in currently,” he says, adding that he served a mission for the church, which he says is “flawed” and has “no space for me.”Â
â€œThere is either no God, or God isnâ€™t speaking to you,” Glenn says. “Maybe itâ€™s both, but you have a responsibility to speak to us.”Â
Coincidentally, the church did finally respond Wednesday to reports about Utah’s skyrocketing youth suicide rate, which is now more than double the national average.Â
“Suicide is tragic, no matter the explanation or circumstance,” the church said in a statement, according to Salt Lake City’s KUTV.com. “Our hearts ache for those who face such tragedy among those they love. The Church is actively pursuing ways to help, including online resources and local leader training, and we encourage communities to continue to partner on prevention and intervention. Every soul is precious.”
â€” Heidi Hatch (@tvheidihatch) July 6, 2016
As we’ve mentioned, the Utah Department of Health didn’t initially mention the church’s anti-LGBT teachings as a possible factor fueling the youth suicide epidemic.
Instead, the health department’s Andrea Hood cited things likeÂ lower oxygen levels due to high altitudes, loose gun restrictions and “aÂ western, rugged mentality of self-reliance.” Now, Hood says the health department has considered the possible LGBT connection, but apparently dismissed it.Â
“We have been closely watching our rates since various events that happened in Utah relating to the LDS church,” Hood said. “We have not seen an increase tied to those announcements.”
The main problem with this statement, of course, is that many Mormon families don’t report their loved ones’ suicides as LGBT-related because they want to avoid the associated shame from, well, the church and its members. Again, LGBT youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, with those who are rejected by their families over eight times more likely to do so.Â
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Trump Calls Mt. Rushmore Story ‘Fake News’ — but Then Says It ‘Sounds Like a Good Idea’
President Donald Trump attacked CNN and the New York Times for their story that the White House reached out to the governor of South Dakota about Trump being added to Mt. Rushmore. He claimed it was “fake news” but then proceeded to mischaracterize what the report actually said.
“This is Fake News by the failing @nytimes & bad ratings @CNN. Never suggested it although, based on all of the many things accomplished during the first 3 1/2 years, perhaps more than any other Presidency, sounds like a good idea to me!”
The report doesn’t say that he or the White House suggested the idea, it reported that the South Dakota governor created a mock-up of Mt. Rushmore with Trump’s face on it.
Still, Trump pivoted to suggest it’s “a good idea,” and posted a White House photo from July 3, of his face aligned with the others on the mountain.
This is Fake News by the failing @nytimes & bad ratings @CNN. Never suggested it although, based on all of the many things accomplished during the first 3 1/2 years, perhaps more than any other Presidency, sounds like a good idea to me! https://t.co/EHrA9yUsAw
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2020
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2020
Trump Swears Dems Are Calling Him Begging to Negotiate on the Stimulus — but He ‘Got Everything He Wanted’ Already
President Donald Trump side-stepped Congress to pass his own stimulus bailout with a series of executive orders. Now, however, he’s claiming Democrats are desperate to negotiate with him on the coronavirus bill.
Speaking to the press while leaving another vacation weekend in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump said Democrats are “calling him.”
“They’re much more inclined to make a deal now than two days ago,” Trump said.
It’s unclear which Democrats he spoke to, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn’t indicate she spoke to the president during interviews with the Sunday morning talk shows.
Trump also said that he’s been “personally” involved in negotiating the bill. In reality, it was his chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. So, Trump had to correct himself, saying he was involved “personally, you know, through my representatives.”
Neither Trump nor the White House or the GOP has clarified why negotiation is needed with Democrats if Trump already fixed everything through his slate of executive orders. It seems to fly in the face of Saturday’s press conference and the slew of headlines that followed.
Very curious which democrats called and who they called. https://t.co/wYs6dL1J9D
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) August 10, 2020
Trump offers a contradictory remark about his involvement (or lack thereof) in negotiations about a new coronavirus stimulus bill: "I've been involved personally. You know, through my representatives." pic.twitter.com/HPHKEIgH1w
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 10, 2020
Trump says federal govt can pay 100% or 75% of extra unemployment benefits, it’ll depend on the state. Each state can apply, and may pay all or a portion of their $100 toward the $400 weekly benefit, he said, per @justinsink. https://t.co/hIH6IvNqa1
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) August 10, 2020
‘Angry’ Trump Michigan Voters Admit They Want ‘This Nightmare to End’ in November
President Donald Trump’s Michigan supporters are abandoning their 2016 pick for Vice President Joe Biden as the election comes closer.
In a series of interviews on MSNBC Sunday, revisited voters they’d met earlier in the election cycle in Kent County.
Katey Morse and her husband were both working full time, and their kids were in school back in March, but things quickly changed as the coronavirus spread throughout the country. Luckily, she and her husband didn’t lose their jobs, but they, like many parents, are struggling to do virtual school for their kids.
“I’m turning into more of an angry person than I’ve ever been in my life,” she said about how she feels politically, noting that it makes her sad. “I’ve just got a countdown to November now, and I’m hoping we’ll wake up from this nightmare we’re in.”
She later explained that she was attracted to Trump in 2016 because he was a businessman who she thought would make the right decisions. But she’s now watching business leaders make those right decisions and Trump making the wrong ones.
Hal Ostrow once called himself “politically homeless,” but now things have changed for him too.
“I think we’re seeing it on a daily basis — this delegitimizing of pillars of our society, of institutions of government, everything from COVID testing to choices we’ve got to make for our kids. And there is just a void of leadership at the top,” he said.
Ostrow also explained that the “law and order” message from Trump isn’t really effective because the kind of “law and order” Trump wants isn’t resonating with suburban voters.
Morse agreed, saying, “we’re not 1950s housewives anymore. We’re educated, strong women, who are trying to raise families while working full time out of the home. So, to make a statement saying, we’re going to be — to defund the police and we’re going to be overrun in our communities by all these bad people, it’s ludicrous!”
Jerry Stepanovich was a Trump voter who was parroting the language the Trump used about the “witch hunt” against him. Now things have changed.
“Some of his statements, some of the buffoonery,” he said as a reason for his diversion from solid Trump supporters. “Some of his actions and also when he said, ‘we’re going to knock this right down,’ that’s — that ain’t gonna happen.”
When asked what he would have done differently, he said Trump’s “blasé” attitude claiming “yeah, we’ll take care of this,” is what Stepanovich found questionable. “The bravado — that’s kind of irking me right now.”
See the clip below:
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