Tuesday, November 16, 2010

If Only, If Only...

A recent article concerning the LDS community and their recent stance on homosexuality states that...

"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.



  1. I don't normally criticize you, Cal, but you seem to have misrepresented the article. Your quote from the article suggested that they church ought to adjust to the "realities of the world". In your next paragraph, you changed that to "whims of the world".

    I think there is a significant difference there.

    The realities of the world are that, for the most part, homosexuality is NOT a choice and it is NOT something we can change. The church has finally started to do a better job in accepting and teaching those realities but the message hasn't yet filtered through to all the members. I was in a meeting on Sunday in which a sister insisted that homosexuality was nothing more than a choice and that she was teaching that to her kids in response to gay/lesbian acquaintances they made at school.

    But, the Brethren have created a little problem for themselves in accepting the reality that homosexuality is not a choice. If it's not a choice, then being gay can't be a sin. Okay, yeah, they got that part. But it it's not a sin and it is part of who we are then why is it a sin to act on those urges.

    I know, I know... here's where people pull out the genetic tendency towards alcoholism vs drinking alcohol. But there is a difference.

    We, in the church, taught and continue to teach that our sexuality is a God-given trait meant to foster in us the desire to find a spouse and create a family. We also teach that sex is meant for more than just procreation... it is meant for enjoyment and to bring spouses closer together. Don't believe me... check the latest version (2010) of the Church Handbook of Instructions - it's right there in all it's official corporate glory.

    So here's the rub: Why is heterosexual orientation meant to be brought to full fruition for the purpose of pleasure and intimacy, but our homosexual orientation is meant to be buried and stifled?

  2. Amen to what Jeff in Colorado said.

  3. I nether disagree or agree. I am just glad you are creating a place for us to talk. First thing, I think that it’s silly for the original reporter to say that the GAs sat down in a meeting and decided to send mixed messages. They sent out a message that they thought was clear. Second, it is also clear the statement that the church does not now, and very rarely/never follows the whims of the world,(From Mr. Thompson) and the statement that the church does not does it adjust policy to coincide with changing "realities" of the world. Both are true and are not mutually exclusive.
    Cal doesn’t seem to be doing anything but reporting on what was said in the press release given in response to the announcement of the new handbook.
    Mr Thompson is the messenger here.