Open Thank You letter to Bill Reel
Bill is going like a lamb to the slaughter.
Four years ago, my husband and I reached out to Bill and his amazing wife Amanda and invited them out to Las Vegas to meet with progressive Mormons. They came with no hesitation in order to help us navigate the choppy and scary waters of our faith crisis.
He listened to our pain, he validated us, he mourned with us and he showed us love.
We saw his soft warrior-like heart and knew he was a safe person to send others to.
We did send others and he held space for them and took on their pain. Countless times we would reach out to him late into the night, for hours on end, just to be validated. We know many of you have as well.
Now he will be cutoff from those that need to hear his wise and kind voice the most.
Some might say that he gets what he deserves for pleading with the church for change. Maybe. But doesn’t change really happen when strong people provoke or challenge that which is wrong and hurts others?
Bill has put on his pads and uniform and went out to play the game publicly.
Those of us on the sidelines have been cheering him on and now he will be ejected from the game. He has made himself public even at the risk of losing close relationships with family and friends.
We love you Bill and Amanda and stand with you through this barbaric and medieval excommunication process.
Why Mormon church? Why do you cutoff good people like Sam Young, John Dehlin, etc when they simply point out the pain and trauma? Where is our agency to mourn with those that mourn?
Who’s next ? Gina Colvin, Lindsay Hansen Park?
Patrick Mason for saying we’ve overloaded the truth cart?
Greg Prince for saying the church’s LGBT policy must change?
Richard Bushman for saying the dominant narrative is not true?
Does a good, healthy, and vibrant organization do that when people point out where it can improve?
This will be painful to watch Bill go through, and I hope we can show him some love over the next couple of weeks.
I thought it might be supportive to Bill for us to tell him which episodes were our favorite and maybe why they touched us.
3 Mormon discussion podcast episodes that helped me the most were:
Our Bad Days
Patrick Mason interview.
Please comment with your favorite Episode.