Tuesday, November 16, 2010
If Only, If Only...
"Rather than just embracing homosexuality and adjusting their religious beliefs to the realities of the world, they (The General Authorities) have decided that it is alright to send mixed signals and tell young women and men that it is alright to be something, but they have to hide that they are. Such attitudes lead to really idiotic and even very dangerous behaviors such as hooking up with complete strangers for sex, and a tendency to do drugs and alcohol. It even leads to suicides.
Normally I don't criticize these articles - my thought process being that any exposure is good exposure and we can change mind with all kinds of tools. Miss information isn't a tool, however. The church of Jesus Christ doesn't follow the whims of the world, nor does it adjust policy to coincide with changing "realities" of the world. Also, No one gay or straight is being asked to hide who or what they are. There are no secret underground meetings for gays and Mormons so that the general populace is not offended. And third, following moral standards set by the prophets in conjunction with coming out with Same Gender Attraction - as those LDS now call it does not make one prone to suicide. We are saddened with all those who choose to end their life, and we pray to have created personal and lasting relationships with those considering it.
It also states that celibate lesbian and gay Mormons who are worthy and qualified should be allowed to have callings or church assignments, and to participate fully in the temple,” according to Peggy Fletcher Stack of the The Salt Lake Tribune. This version of the handbook repeats what Mormon leaders have been saying recently, making it more clear for members and interested others to understand.
This is not a new stance. David Pruden of Evergreen International, support group that aims to help LGBT Mormons live by the church’s standards, noted that in the past, if a lesbian or gay Mormon told his bishop about her or his same-sex attractions, that the bishop may have called a “disciplinary council.” He also said “Many bishops didnt understand something that was new and possibly foreign to them.
Pruden believes that the new language “will bless people by making it easier for them to come forward.”
Mitch Mayne, an openly and actively gay Mormon, feels that the changes are “baby steps in the right direction”. “At least the handbook takes the damning terminology out of it.” Mr. Mayne did note that so long as the Mormon church continues to make homosexuality something that is “subversive, taboo” that Mormon gays will have sex in parks and truck stops. He stated “We wrap being gay in so much shame and shame brings acting-out behaviors.
Are these comments contrary to anything read before on the matter? If there is a cap placed on a behavior, will there be some to try to go around, or through it?
Prohibition, anyone? Utah Fireworks? Outside food in theatres?
There will still be close encounters in park restrooms, or in a bathroom at the Y. Having free agency means that there may be a lot not to write home to mama about. There will also be those who feel that they are "less that" and our job will be to get to these people and give them needed support and love. With the new words comes more acceptance that we are all sinners, and that my sin my be just as weighty as yours.