Mormon Inquiry

Mormon Inquiry


Gay marriage petition

posted by Dave Banack

At the Salt Lake Tribune, “Petition urges LDS Church to soften stance on gays,” reporting efforts of a collection of LDS and ex-LDS to lobby the LDS Church by delivering a petition reproving its stand on Prop 8. According to the article, “The committee plans to deliver the petition to top LDS leaders Nov. 4, the first anniversary of Prop 8’s passage.” The headline is somewhat misleading — the LDS Church has already softened its stance on gays within the Church. What the petitioners want is for the Church to change its opposition to gay marriage in particular.

The article reports that some Mormons feel a need to choose between the LDS Church and their gay children. I understand that some people feel this way, but it is not the Church that forces such a choice. LDS parents don’t have to choose between the Church and grown children who go inactive. They don’t have to choose between the Church and grown children who choose to smoke. They don’t have to choose between the Church and grown children who hook up or sleep around. Why should they have to choose between the Church and grown children who are gay?



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martin

posted June 27, 2009 at 5:00 pm


I agree people don’t have to go inactive because they have a gay child but I think your comparison is otherwise faulty. Though both are addictive, smoking is a personal choice as is permissive behaviour. The evidence I have seen is clear that many who have same sex attraction can not overcome that. If you had a gay child what advise would you give? Could you have lived celibate for all your life? I think you have to answer yes to the second one if you are going to advise your child to do soI agree people don’t have to go inactive because they have a gay child but I think your comparison is otherwise faulty. Though both are addictive, smoking is a personal choice as is permissive behaviour. The evidence I have seen is clear that many who have same sex attraction can not overcome that. If you had a gay child what advise would you give? Could you?



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thomasALEX

posted June 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm


Homosexuality is not something you choose, like smoking. So people shouldn’t have to choose against their faith, just because they love their children.



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Martin

posted June 27, 2009 at 6:08 pm


Sorry my cut and paste did not work properly. My comment should have read:
I agree people don’t have to go inactive because they have a gay child but I think your comparison is otherwise faulty. Though both are addictive, smoking is a personal choice as is permissive behaviour. The evidence I have seen is clear that many who have same sex attraction can not overcome that. If you had a gay child what advise would you give? Could you have lived celibate for all your life? I think you have to answer yes to the second one if you are going to advise your child to do so. Could you?



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Nate W.

posted June 27, 2009 at 6:19 pm


LDS parents don’t have to choose between the Church and grown children who go inactive. They don’t have to choose between the Church and grown children who choose to smoke. They don’t have to choose between the Church and grown children who hook up or sleep around. Why should they have to choose between the Church and grown children who are gay?
Because the Church has never spearheaded a campaign to make smoking, fornication or inactivity illegal. Also, while the other examples you cite are about activity, homosexuality is about identity. There is no way to be an openly gay person in the Church. That is why the Church’s stance makes parents feel that they have to choose.



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Dave

posted June 27, 2009 at 10:28 pm


Nate, thanks for the comment. There are thousands of parents who are active LDS and who have gay children or siblings but who remain on good terms with them. They obviously don’t feel compelled to choose between the Church and their family members. This idea of being compelled to choose is just the way some people narrate their own decision process in a way that minimizes their own role and makes them seem like a victim rather than an adult who makes his or her own choices.
Why can’t people just take responsibility for their own choices or decisions on this issue rather than pretend the Church “forced” them into this or that action? How about: “I oppose the LDS position on gay marriage and it is a very important issue to me because I have a gay child, therefore I choose to terminate my membership in the LDS Church.”



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Kate OHanlan MD

posted June 27, 2009 at 11:21 pm


Why does the LDS church choose to vilify an innocent trait?
The American Psychiatric Association confirmed that all sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, and has no relation to ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, or to contribute to society.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychiatric Association endorsed civil marriage for same sex couples because marriage strengthens the mental and physical health and the longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents, and seniors.
When America’s premier child and mental health associations endorse marriage equality, there remains no ethical reason to discriminate against gay people and their children. 3% of every generation, of every culture, in every state, of every country will grow up and realize that they are gay. The question that we need to ask ourselves is: what are we doing to make our world a safer and more welcoming place for ALL CHILDREN?



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Dennis

posted June 27, 2009 at 11:25 pm


Dave,
I agree with pretty much everything you’re saying. I would like to say, though, that I’m not sure if it’s accurate to say, “What the petitioners want is for the Church to change its opposition to gay marriage in particular.”
Now, I of course would not be surprised if most of the petitioners do in fact want this change, but in terms of the petition itself, I don’t think your claim is justified. The petition has clearly taken pains to not imply that the Church should change its moral position on homosexuality or even its political position on gay marriage. In fact, it many ways the petition probably is a good effort on behalf to wanting to raise the level of discourse in a spirit of mutual respect.
However, I do think that the whole “you owe us an apology” rhetoric is a problem. The notion of petitioning for an apology is silly (“well, OK, I’ll apologize, but only because of your petition”). It would be better for the petition to address certain grievances and request for the Church to respond to these grievances. Moreover, the petition states that apology is needed on both sides–but they offer nothing forward in terms of the other side’s apologies. Is this just a subtle way of saying “we need to apologize (and by we, I mean you)”?



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Chris G.

posted June 27, 2009 at 11:29 pm


What happens if I have a strong genetic propensity for multiple partners? What about a strong genetic propensity for severe physical violence, etc….
Trying to assume that genetic preferences excuse or condone behavior is good for arguments, but bad for personal responsibility, and really does put one in a defensive position for quite a number of exceptional situations.
From what I understand, there are numbers of heterosexuals who live celibate lives because they aren’t married or have chosen not to get married. Depending on your view that can be good or bad, but I don’t think it is easy to say the standards don’t come across clear.



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Mal

posted June 27, 2009 at 11:29 pm


This upsets me. i grew up in a place where America was the country where love was good, peace was good, and, try as i might, i cant understand why gay marraige is an issue for such a country, i guess that is belguim now. it just tears me up inside. i may be young, but i am old enough to know that being gay is not wrong, and who you love does not decide if you are good. i hope that the church does change its stance, because coming from a catholic school, i dont know how much negativity about the subject i can take.
good luck with your petition
M



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Maria

posted June 28, 2009 at 1:53 am


I saw several posts commenting that homosexuality cannot be compared to practices such ans smoking or permisive behavior because homosexuality is not a choice. The Chuch’s position on homosexuality is not about desires or attraction that a person involentarily feels but rather what the individual does with those desires. There is nothing inherently morally wrong with experiencing a same sex attraction; what matters is what one does (mentally or physically) with that attraction. Continually dwelling on and therefore cultivation such thoughts is a form of mental choice to indulge in homesexual behavior. This then may lead to the choice to live a homosexual lifestyle. THe key in this issue (and others such as smoking or permisive behavior) is action. We act towards self mastery or towards self slavery. That action is a choice; we sucome or overcome. Each person’s struggles are different. There is a equal place in the chuch for all who are working to master thier weakneses. There is an equal place in the chuch for those who are gay but they must choose to take it.



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Nate W.

posted June 28, 2009 at 1:58 am


Dave,
I had a nice long response, but beliefnet’s verification program ate it. So I’ll summarize:
I admit that there are LDS parents who can manage to continue having a good relationship with their gay children. I don’t think that anyone would argue otherwise. However, just because some people have navigated a minefield doesn’t mean that it isn’t a minefield or that it shouldn’t be cleared. I know many LDS parents who have good relationships with their gay children. I also know many who have left the Church or have disowned their children.
As I mentioned previously, this is not a matter of a simple disagreement about politics. The rhetoric surrounding same-sex marriage paints it as an existential threat to both the institution of the family and the Church itself. Gays also view objections to same-sex marriage through a broader lens of anti-gay rhetoric that objects to their very existence. In a battle for your existence, a fence-sitter is as good as an enemy. It is admirable that some have found a way to accommodate both sides in their life, but it’s arrogant to tut-tut about those who have not been able to find such a position.
The Church does not need to change its doctrine or policy to clear this minefield. A shift in rhetoric would help turn this issue into just another political dispute that family members can argue over at Thanksgiving dinner rather than lose their parents or children over.



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George Robinson M.D.

posted June 28, 2009 at 2:06 am


The LDS church has not softened its stance or changed its position on homosexuality or gay marriage. Nor will they. I have friends that are gay and LDS and I know their struggles. The LDS church is not taking any rights from lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual people. The purpose of marriage is to raise the next generation to further society and mankind. Granting marriage rights to gays is giving them financial incentives and “society’s blessing” for their sexual orientation. How can we grant approval to these sexual orientations and not all the other sexual orientations. What about the NAMBA association. Lets grant them rights as well, they just want to have sex with young teenage males not children. England has lowered the age of consent for sex to 16. So some NAMBA relationships would be legal in England. There was a young man in the state of Washington that was given jail time for having sex with a dog. He was a member of a group called “furries” They are just oriented to animals. He obviously has feelings for this dog, it was his dog. He is just oriented to his dog just like gays our oriented to men, lesbians to women. That is his orientation. He cant help hit? If you read Dr OHanlan’s comment from the American Pediatric and Psychiatric Societies “all sexual orientation is natural biologically induced” What about pedophiles, they are just naturally inclined for children. Michael Jackson is a homosexual who liked boys. Can we deny this group of men and young boys or women and young girls the right of marriage as well. The Netherlands has legalized gay marriage. The average marriage in a gay marriage there lasts 18 months. In the United States even with our high divorce rate the average marriage lasts 10 years. The vast majority of gay relationships are transient relationships. There is a gay family member that comes to my wife’s Christmas reunion each year. Each year he brings his new boyfriend to the reunion, and they announce they are getting married. In the last 10 years he has brought eight different guys. This is the reality of gay relationships. Gay couples have a much higher percentage of their income that is expendible. They can go on more vacations, out to eat more, drive nicer cares because they dont have to spend all their money on children. On the other hand married couples spend all our time working to raise our kids, put them through school and provide for them. All our kids will be paying for their medicare. The LDS church has not taken any right away from gays, lesbians, transgenders, and bisexuals. There is no point in giving tax breaks, government benefits, pensions, health insurance to someone just because of the way you have sex. Gay marriage will increase our taxes, increase our insurance premiums, and clog our already over crowed courts with continual divorce proceedings. You will see gay men marry another gay man with HIV so he can get health insurance after a year. Gay men will marry a gay man from other foreign countries so they can come to america. They will then go on having sex with their different partners. The gay illegal immigrant will pay his wife or husband a couple hundred dollars a month so he can stay in a america. An old gay guy will marry a young gay guy, so the young one then gets pension. A gay veteren marries another young gay and this young guy gets military benefits. These are just some of the scenarios that will happen. The LDS church did not take away any rights from gays. They can do whatever they want, with whoever they want, any way they want. Over 50% of the state of California felt that marriage is between a man and a woman.



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Jonah

posted June 28, 2009 at 3:16 am


Marriage is for procreation and procreation only. We should therefor not only do everything in our power to fight homosexual marriage, which cannot produce children, but also not allow the marriage of a couple who is medically proven to be infertile. Furthermore- once a woman who is already bound by marriage reaches the age of menopause and can no longer bear children- her marriage should be invalidated. This is Gods law- not man’s. Historically- marriage has never been about property, dowry, status, or the transfer of land rights- it has been about procreation. And it must continue to be such.



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Martin

posted June 28, 2009 at 8:31 am


Dave, I agree that you are not compelled to choose between the church and a gay family member but by opposing civil unions in California so strongly it does make it more uncomfortable for members in such a position. A lot also depends on the attitude of your ward and stake members. If you often come across negative stereotyping of gays it is going to be a lot harder to not make a choice.
Kate, I completely agree with your comments. Unfortunately I do not understand why the church sees civil partnerships as a threat to marriage. They seem to have had no negative impact in Europe. The threat to marriage comes from the acceptance that it is valid to sleep around and that marriages probably will not last with consecutive relationships being the norm. Civil partnerships I would have thought would make it less likely for people to sleep around.
Nate, I agree largely with your comments. Mal, I sympathise with your comments.
Chris, Yours is the best argument. So I guess you would tell your child to be celibate – you have not answered whether you could be. , Maria, similarly if you had been brought up in a parallel universe where God had decreed that hetrosexuality was wrong, you would have made the adjustment to living a gay livestyle I take it.
George, bad time to be slamming Michael Jackson. One should never speak ill of the recently dead especially when there is no proof. You should know better. Yes I agree the age of consent in England is too low and should be raised and that many gay relationships are transient with too much emphasis on hedonism. It is not suprising with that cultural background that many civil partnerships do not last, but surely that is an argument for providing more support to partnerships and encouraging gays away from self-destructing permissive relationships. I would not be jealous of the benefits gays can get. They can’t easily have children and that is the joy of most hetrosexual relationships.
Jonah, Have you been resurrected or something? I thought your view only existed in the dark ages. But if you are correct why have families? They are very inefficient. Put all the child bearing women in dormortories and artificially inseminate them. That would be far more efficient. Sorry but I give your viewpoint no credibility at all.



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jake

posted June 28, 2009 at 7:46 pm


Haha! You guys are all nuts!



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Chris G.

posted June 28, 2009 at 8:11 pm


Martin – I don’t think I would tell my child to necessarily be celibate, only accept the consequences (real, imagined or unlikely) of any decision they make. I have a number of family members who have never gotten married and have lived strong moral lives commensurate with their choices. As one who got married quite late in life, a significant challenge is fully embodying one’s choices and associated consequences. Whatever path one takes, don’t live with regrets and don’t assume there is ever a perfect solution.
I suspect this latter point is what irks me so much. Assumptions that external factors can create environments free of quandries.



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Martin

posted June 28, 2009 at 10:03 pm


Chris, Thank you, I think that is a good point. There are few easy paths in life. Everything has consequences.



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Chino Blanco MD

posted June 28, 2009 at 10:15 pm

Todd Wood

posted June 28, 2009 at 10:37 pm


Here in Idaho Falls, didn’t LDS business tycoon, Frank Vandersloot, lead the way with billboards against homosexuality?
This petition is really something, Dave.



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Alex M.

posted June 29, 2009 at 12:38 am


Today’s LDS derive their entire identity from hating homosexuals; it is now the entire basis for Mormon distinction in American society. It is documented fact that LDS families are torn and ordered to abandon their gay children. Obedience and tithing are the only values in Mormonism. Is that Why it is so easy for Mormons to lie and dissemble?



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Nate W.

posted June 29, 2009 at 12:54 am


Alex M:
Link please? Otherwise (and I’m saying this as an openly gay man who, while being critical of the Church’s stance on gay marriage, has a perfectly wonderful relationship with his extremely active LDS parents), stop making $#!+ up.



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Brad

posted June 29, 2009 at 2:09 am


Thank You Nate. Alex was out of line. What idiot would fall for his first line anyway. “Today’s LDS derive their entire identity from hating homosexuals…” He just really makes things worse.



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Pat

posted June 29, 2009 at 3:27 am


Maria, your post is laughable. Let’s talk about the ‘weaknesses’ of homosexuality. See the ‘weaknesses’ you speak of are qualities when speaking of a heterosexual. You know that pesky wanting a witness in your life, a person to love and whom loves you. Wanting an emotional, spiritual and physical relationship with a person you love more than anyone else. You freely admit that homosexuality is not a choice but then say their human desire to love and be loved is immoral. Yes how dare they ‘dwell’ on their need for companionship. The LDS church says they mustn’t act on their feelings because it is evil especially outside of marriage and then you won’t let any of them, members of the LDS church or otherwise, get married. You are all quite wacky. How about you keep your nose out of their business and I’ll stop trying to get the political machine known as organized religion taxed like the bigotted business it is. All of your railing against a minority group of by and large good people and fellow American citizens is becoming quite tiresome and has always been quite disgusting.



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Hie to Kolob

posted June 29, 2009 at 8:51 am


Utah’s teen homelessness and suicide are way above the rest of the country, and it’s attributable gay teens kicked out of their homes into homophobic Mormon “paradise.”
Then there are the enablers of the cult, closet cases and others who continue to lie to protect the LD$: We don’t hate gays, we just you know want them to disappear and be miserable quick about it.



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John Mansfield

posted June 29, 2009 at 9:54 am


Hie to Kolob, you are repeating a false non-fact regarding Utah’s teen suicide rate. Querying the WISQARS fatal injury database, I found that for the five-year period 2000-2004, the annualized rates of suicide per 100,000 for males 15-24 in Rocky Mountain states were: Utah, 124; Wyoming, 172; Colorado, 127; New Mexico 187. The rates for all those states was much higher than national averages, but was can be seen, Utah is not worse than neighboring states in this matter.



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John Mansfield

posted June 29, 2009 at 10:14 am


I wrote the wrong numbers in the above comment. The above comment has the suicide rates per 100,000 for males 15-24 for the whole five-year period 2000-2004. For annualized rates, those numbers need to be divided by five. The annualized rates are: Utah, 24.9; Wyoming, 34.5; Colorado, 25.4; New Mexico, 37.3.



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Michael

posted June 29, 2009 at 10:18 am


I think Pat hit it right on the mark. Let’s stand back and look at the big picture for a moment. Gays and lesbians make up around 5% of the population of the world. They were recognized as human beings by our Saviour Jesus Christ (Matthew 19:12). They have needs for companionship and love like everyone else. The only difference is they are wired differently.
At this point we have no idea how this wiring fits into the full plan of salvation. It has never been addressed through scripture study or revelation. Those of us that are blessed with this orientation know that it is something not chosen and something that feels very natural to us.
Granting the right to civil unions or marriage is not going to affect 95% of the world’s population. And it sure as heck is not going to impact the vast majority of children on this planet. The greatest negative impacts in a child’s life come from divorce, adultery, alcohol, drugs, out-of-wedlock births, lazy parenting, selfish parents, abusive parents, and parental permissiveness.
However, all of those negatives are ignored by the critics of gay equality. If 95% of the children in the world are at-risk from those items, why is not 95% of our time spent lambasting selfish divorces, absentee parenting, out-of-wedlock births, and all the other ills visited upon innocent children by their parents? Why are these children not taken away from such unfit parents?
BECAUSE, that would mean that anti-gay critics would have to confront themselves and their straight neighbors and family members. That would mean they would have to heap social scorn and shame upon those people they are close to. That would mean they would have to abandon their straight children that bring babies into the world without having followed the Lord’s requirements for marriage and fidelity. That would mean they would have to blame themselves when their children turn out selfish, self-absorbed without any testimony of the Restored Gospel. They will continue to make their excuses and justifications why the children are better off with their parents divorced.
Oh! The hypocrisy of it all!!!!



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Chris G.

posted June 29, 2009 at 10:44 am


I find the “keep your nose out of our business” argument really uncompelling. Large culturally diverse societies function on finding an adequate balance between homogeneity and individual freedom. Arguments that fail to show, at least an awareness to actual complexity, do little to engender true conversation and end up coming across, ironically, bigoted.
Pat – I thought democracy was about letting people talk about and vote for their personal view points, regardless of what the majority thinks about them. Hopefully we don’t go down the road of “approved” thought and speech. I fully support your, or anyone else’s actions to remove the tax exempt status of religions. Similarly I hope you support other people’s positions concerning rules they feel are in the state’s best interest. Few positions are absolute, they are usually spandreled to a whole paradigm of thought whose implications are poorly served through bigoted stereotyping.
Polemics are a tool, that while fun to wield, usually cuts both ways.



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Chris G.

posted June 29, 2009 at 10:57 am


Michael, I believe older marriage laws and societal/religious morals were exactly about some of things you describe. I think most religious groups spend much more than 95% of their time confronting such issues. Out of 100 Sunday School lessons and topics, how many do you think are on those issues, and how many are on homosexuality? Most religions are about improvement from the inside out. The strawman skin being attacked while conceivable is rather thin upon pragmatic inquiry.
I suspect the whole debate has a lot more roots than denying/conveying certain legal rights. What actions should a state, religion, or group do to promote healthy family relationships within the bounds of “stay out of my business” people seem to be promoting.



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Michael

posted June 29, 2009 at 11:02 am


Dave,
To address the topic of your post more directly, LDS parents do feel a need to choose between their gay and lesbian children and the Church for one very simple reason: The Church’s position on homosexuality requires that their gay children remain celibate and companionless for their entire lives without any hope of experiencing love with another person during this mortal probation.
If you sat down and spoke with these parents, they would like to know where homosexuality fits into the plan of salvation. For them, the standard answers don’t make sense. Their son or daughter was raised responsibly and has maintained the Lord’s standards throughout their adolescence. They do not sleep around and they do not seek to justify their lusts. They only want to find someone they can love and with which they can build a committed relationship.
All (normal) parents desire for their children to be happy and to have a loving relationship upon which to build their life. Just because their children are attracted to the opposite sex does not mean they should be denied this right.
The frustration comes in not receiving straight (pardon my pun) answers from the Church on homosexuality and the plan of salvation. Give thought to the following explanations. First, it was a mental disorder that needed to be treated. Then, it was a question of “choosing the lifestyle” and willfully sinning against the Lord. Third, it was a biological/mental error that can be corrected by shock-therapy and counseling (think Evergreen). Now, it is an unchosen attribute that must not be acted upon.
There is more to the story of homosexuality than we know. Just as there was more to the issue of polygamy than we knew until Joseph asked his question and got Section 132. Just as there was more to the story of blacks and the priesthood than the offensive and trite justifications taught for decades.
A very simple question needs to be asked of the Lord – “Where does homosexuality fit into the plan of salvation?” “Is the attraction a natural part of the universe or is it an aberration that needs to be corrected in the next life?” “Does the Lord require homosexuals to remain celibate during their entire mortal probation?” “Will we suddenly be changed to heterosexuals in the twinkling of an eye when we pass through to the spirit world?”
For those of us dealing with this issue, the basic questions have never been answered. The justifications and explanations provided ring hollow and are offensive to our sense of reason (and of faith). Scriptural references are selective, out-of-context, and applied incorrectly.
The issue of homosexuality and the Restored Gospel has have been fully addressed in an honest and forthright manner.
“We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.”



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Hie to Kolob

posted June 29, 2009 at 11:07 am


@John Mansfield: all the states you mention are Jello Belt with higher than average LDS population, and therefore higher than average teen homelessness and suicide. Utah also leads the nation in online pornography subscriptions, in prescription after diagnosis of Axis I mental illness, and of course in births per sister wife.
I know that apologetics is Mormons specialty, but there’s no getting out of the fact that Mormonism is a tithe-cult that profits by hating on others. Today Mormons hate gays, in the 1970s they hated blacks, next decade they’ll find someone else and pretend they were always polygamous–oops, I mean in favor of same-sex equality.



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Michael

posted June 29, 2009 at 11:15 am


Chris,
I would argue that we, as Latter-day Saints spend nowhere near 95% of our time on these items. I taught Gospel Doctrine for two years and Elders Quorum for two years. The issues of divorce, irresponsible parenting, adultery, fornication, etc. were never directly addressed.
We also never had anyone speak up in those classes about using politics to solve those problems. But we sure did have numerous comments about how the homosexuals are leading society down the road to hell.
We always seem to stress that marriage is the ultimate love between a man and a woman and then turn around and use the procreation argument when justifying a ban on gay marriage. Which is it? Is marriage a celebration of love or is marriage a vehicle to raise children?
If it is solely for procreation then stop feeding the romantic prince and princess version to our youth (and just to address your expected request for an example for this last sentence check out the multi-stake dance for 22 stakes held in Arizona this year which was titled “A Knight for a Princess”).
Let’s get real and honestly address the purpose of marriage in terms of the Restored Gospel and the Plan of Salvation. And then let’s put our actions where our mouth is and craft our Church culture and policies around that purpose. No softening of our stance on divorces due to selfishness. No acknowledgment of illegitimate births. No quick forgiveness for acts of youthful fornication (for the straights that is – the gays are ex’ed and denied permission to go on a mission).
If a couple cannot have children then why are they getting married? For companionship and love? Well doesn’t that also apply to gays and lesbians?
It is the inconsistency and hypocrisy that leads to frustration.



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John Mansfield

posted June 29, 2009 at 11:55 am


So, in Hie to Kolob‘s mental world, merely living in a state where 3% of the population is Mormon, such as Colorado or New Mexico, is enough to drive young men to suicide, and that 3% is all it takes, because the effect isn’t any stronger in Utah where 2/3 of the people are Mormon.



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Rahm

posted June 29, 2009 at 11:56 am


Members of the LDS church all struggle in figuring out how to come to grips with same-sex issues, and all will go about it in their own way. The church’s directive on same sex marriage is simple and is found in the proclamation on the family, which is a central doctrine of the church. Specifically: that “Gender is eternal”, that “sexual relations are only authorized within the bonds of marriage”, that “children are entitled to a mother and father”. This was published to the world in 1995, well before President Clinton signed the “Defense of Marriage Act”. What is interesting about the homosexual community is that in their shout for diversity, they overlook the fact that homosexual relationships are the LEAST diverse type of relationships there are. It is the diversity of gender and the sexes that gives marriage its vitality and that provides the best, and most balanced environment for children.
Men and women are governed not only by genetic predispositions, but by environmental AND spiritual predispositions as well. Those so vehemently in favor of homosexual rights speak only of genetics while rejecting the environmental and spiritual.
It is interesting that nobody recognizes the increase in “experimental behavior” in the highly impressionable teen community as the result of a constant bombardment of hyper-sexualized images and constant homosexual advocacy/popularity in the media. Instead, people simply chalk it up to years of repressed homosexual tension in teens that could never, until now, be released. What??? The fact that so many teens call their homosexual behavior “experimental” should be evidence enough that kids are only trying it because they have been told that it is good, or that it is cool by someone else, NOT because they have some overwhelming genetic predisposition to it. But environmentalism can lead them to the same outcome as genetics. I’ll go one better, the new “gay” is “bi-sexual”. I mean, why limit your options at all, right? The only problem with that is it voids the whole genetic predisposition theory for a large segment of the gay community… (I am not denying the existence of genetic predispositions in general)
But everyone speaks of the evils of “lock step” religious indoctrination, while these same people refuse to recognize that people are already being indoctrinated every day! I am surprised at how homogenous and “lock step” the ideas of promiscuity and “free love” are. The “church of hedonism” teaches basically love = sexual freedom, and anything other than this is repression.
We will all draw our line of constitutional rights in the sand at a different point. Gays want to be included, polygamists want to be included, maybe multiple couples living together would like to be included, perhaps a man and his brood of animals would like to be included to obtain constitutional “rights”, after all whose to say what constitutes love? But that is the whole point. You are not legally prevented from loving any of these people/things, but should that love automatically translate into marriage?
My line in the sand says no, it does not.



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Chris G.

posted June 29, 2009 at 12:00 pm


Wow, in the Elders’ quorms I have attended we never really had a lesson that wasn’t about “divorce, irresponsible parenting, adultery, fornication, etc”. Similarly the situation based style of Gospel Doctrine lessons lends themselves to discussing moral issues surrounding personal accountability and responsibility – albeit without clearly articulated labels.
“We also never had anyone speak up in those classes about using politics to solve those problems. But we sure did have numerous comments about how the homosexuals are leading society down the road to hell.” – Yes it is funny how people use the exception as a way of conceptualizing and discussing larger issues. You may like some of Scott Atran’s work on quasi-counter factual beliefs and how they tend to be the most memorable type of meme. I suspect the inordinate focus on such a small issue has something to deal with how people take a stand on larger issues.
I think you make a very good point where asking whether marriage is about love or procreation. I come from an angle that sees marriage history from a procreation angle (ie sins, laws, morals, etc were used to buffer real consequences of sexual impropriety). The problem is love and procreation can’t be cleanly separated. Attempts at separation, are to my way of thinking, doomed to one extreme or another. Thus I think people miss the boat when they say marriage is entirely about love and companionship or vice versa.
“If a couple cannot have children then why are they getting married” – I think this is the logical end of the argument. If marriage is really about families then you are right in seeing a need to delineate those who intend to have kids from those that don’t. Personally I think the whole celebration side of marriage has gone way overboard (somehow two people who have been living together for 10 years with 3 kids, just doesn’t strike me as the same type of event as two chaste twenty somethings tying the knot).
I think the problem is that while clear delineations are nice and suit our rational sides, they are not always the best way to go. Sometimes the ugliness of dynamic tension is more appropriate than technocratically pure compartmentalization. No matter which way things go, someone will always get screwed. Reductionist approaches hide the skeletons in the closet. As long as people don’t have rose colored glasses – and try not to pass them on, I am fine.



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Rahm

posted June 29, 2009 at 12:01 pm


Members of the LDS church all struggle in figuring out how to come to grips with same-sex issues, and all will go about it in their own way. The church’s directive on same sex marriage is simple and is found in the proclamation on the family, which is a central doctrine of the church. Specifically: that “Gender is eternal”, that “sexual relations are only authorized within the bonds of marriage”, that “children are entitled to a mother and father”. This was published to the world in 1995, well before President Clinton signed the “Defense of Marriage Act”. What is interesting about the homosexual community is that in their shout for diversity, they overlook the fact that homosexual relationships are the LEAST diverse type of relationships there are. It is the diversity of gender and the sexes that gives marriage its vitality and that provides the best, and most balanced environment for children.
Men and women are governed not only by genetic predispositions, but by environmental AND spiritual predispositions as well. Those so vehemently in favor of homosexual rights speak only of genetics while rejecting the environmental and spiritual.
It is interesting that nobody recognizes the increase in “experimental behavior” in the highly impressionable teen community as the result of a constant bombardment of hyper-sexualized images and constant homosexual advocacy/popularity in the media. Instead, people simply chalk it up to years of repressed homosexual tension in teens that could never, until now, be released. What??? The fact that so many teens call their homosexual behavior “experimental” should be evidence enough that kids are only trying it because they have been told that it is good, or that it is cool by someone else, NOT because they have some overwhelming genetic predisposition to it. But environmentalism can lead them to the same outcome as genetics. I’ll go one better, the new “gay” is “bi-sexual”. I mean, why limit your options at all, right? The only problem with that is it voids the whole genetic predisposition theory for a large segment of the gay community… (I am not denying the existence of genetic predispositions in general)
But everyone speaks of the evils of “lock step” religious indoctrination, while these same people refuse to recognize that people are already being indoctrinated every day! I am surprised at how homogenous and “lock step” the ideas of promiscuity and “free love” are. The “church of hedonism” teaches basically love = sexual freedom, and anything other than this is repression.
We will all draw our line of constitutional rights in the sand at a different point. Gays want to be included, polygamists want to be included, maybe multiple couples living together would like to be included, perhaps a man and his brood of animals would like to be included to obtain constitutional “rights”, after all whose to say what constitutes love? But that is the whole point. You are not legally prevented from loving any of these people/things, but should that love automatically translate into marriage?
My line in the sand says no, it does not.



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Michael

posted June 29, 2009 at 12:20 pm


“I think the problem is that while clear delineations are nice and suit our rational sides, they are not always the best way to go. Sometimes the ugliness of dynamic tension is more appropriate than technocratically pure compartmentalization. No matter which way things go, someone will always get screwed. Reductionist approaches hide the skeletons in the closet.”
Exactly! So why don’t any of the church members articulating on this issue take into account the complexities and craft our cultural discussion in a more enlightening manner? Why does it always come down to illogical and non-reasoned rebuttals that rely upon inaccurate references to scripture or avoidance of the love / procreation fallacies? Why does Evergreen still use false science and nuanced half-truths to lead young men and young women into believing they need to become straight?



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Michael

posted June 29, 2009 at 12:33 pm


Rahm,
With all due respect, the Proclamation on the Family has not been sustained as doctrine or scripture. It is purely a proclamation.
It also does not define what it means by gender. Is there a difference between gender and sex? If gender mean man or woman then what actually does that mean in an eternal sense? If you don’t reach the highest degree of the celestial kingdom, they why do you need your sex organs? Does gender mean the level of your masculinity?



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Rahm

posted June 29, 2009 at 1:29 pm


Michael: As a source of doctrine in and of itself, it has not been sustained. But that is because it does not need to be on a doctrinal level. There is no expansion or new revealed truth in it that we did not have already. The Proclamation is, to be precise, a reiteration of doctrines that have already been revealed. This reiteration and summary was approved and authorized by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the 12 Apostles.
As the church’s website states:
“The proclamation [on the Family] clearly states doctrine that promotes the sanctity and divinity of the family in a society where families are continually being undermined.”
If you are sincerely asking the question, and that is how I will respond, I would say that the term “gender is eternal” explains that the differences between men and women are deeper and more profound than hormone therapy can compensate for. In other words, because gender is eternal, lopping off one’s genitalia or growing breasts does not change one’s actual gender. And just because one man is more like Kip from Napoleon Dynamite and another is closer to Rex, does not negate one’s “mannish-ness”.
But that is not official doctrine either…



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Michael

posted June 29, 2009 at 1:37 pm


Thanks Rahm for your explanation.
So, to continue our train of thought, if we accept that gender is something deeper and more profound than just genitalia, how would it negate the ability of homosexuality to exist (not resorting to the procreation item again)? Why does homosexuality go against gender? I can still be a masculine man and be gay, can’t I? Or does gender REQUIRE that we are attracted to the opposite sex? If that is the case then we are back down to defining gender only by sex and genitalia, are we not?



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Owen

posted June 30, 2009 at 10:57 am


Ok, this is probably totally off topic, but what the heck is Matthew 19:12 about?



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Michael

posted June 30, 2009 at 11:17 am


Owen,
There is a theory out there that certain types of eunuchs (known as “natural” eunuchs) are in reality, gay men. Babylonian, Jewish, Greek and Roman law all referred to natural eunuchs versus man-made eunuchs. The theory holds that with the ascendency of the Catholic Church in the fourth and fifth centuries A.D. the definition of eunuch was purposely changed so as to not make unmarried priests appear to be effeminate men. By labeling a eunuch as a castrated man, you eliminate the possibility that the unmarried priest would be thought of as a natural eunuch.
Those men that had fully functioning genitalia and were not damaged down there but still could not get a woman pregnant were considered natural eunuchs. You must remember that in antiquity they knew nothing of sperm and eggs. They only knew that a man generated heat in his body when he was with a woman and that heat had the ability to create life through his orgasm. That is why men were considered the givers of life. It was a very masculine definition of procreation compared to our feminine based definition today. Because eunuchs could not generate enough heat to have an orgasm with women, they were considered sterile and not fully masculine.
This is in contrast to the man made eunuchs which are the castrated or damaged men that we think of today.
Babylonian, Jewish, Greek and Roman law separated their laws based upon whether a man was a natural eunuch or a man made eunuch. Natural eunuchs were allowed to adopt older male children or young adult men to serve as heirs to their name and to inherit all they possessed. Man made eunuchs, slaves, women, and other second class people were not permitted to pass on their possessions, name, and title in the same way. It was all about posterity, heirs, inheritances, etc. Which is why you see such an emphasis on these things when you read the Old and New Testaments (as well as in our Temples).
We don’t think in those terms today but they were the norm for most of the history of our world.
Both Matthew 19:12 and Isaiah 56 give glimpses into how eunuchs fit into the plan of salvation. I just wish the Saviour had elaborated a little more.



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Toms River

posted June 30, 2009 at 12:01 pm


Look, the promotion of traditional heterosexual marriage is everywhere—even on this week’s Bachelorette program (see marriagenewsnow dot com review). It’s in disney movies, it’s everywhere. So why can’t gays just accept that the norm is what it is and move on? The Mormons are right on this one.



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Michael

posted June 30, 2009 at 12:12 pm


Dear Toms River,
Where were you when slavery was the norm? Would you have argued the same about traditional slavery which was the norm from the days of Babylon until the 1800’s?
Would you have told the slaves to just accept that is norm is what it is and move on?



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Mark N.

posted July 1, 2009 at 4:24 pm


If it’s promoted in a Disney movie, it must be true.



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Your Name

posted July 2, 2009 at 3:30 pm


Toms River is just another shill trying to get some hits for his anti-equal marriage liesite. Ignore them.



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Basil the Basilisk

posted July 2, 2009 at 6:32 pm


The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.
Martin Luther King



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Troy Wynn

posted July 17, 2009 at 8:01 am


The principle reason gays want gay marriage is that it publicly affirms that they are not “other.” But making such a statement is not the purpose of marriage.
Oppose gay marriage!



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Cordia Harris

posted July 27, 2009 at 10:11 am


Once the christian world agrees to tell the truth about Homosexuality and its relationship to God, and back it up with scripture, Maybe this will help with many questions some gays and non gays have about why it is wrong in the eyes of God and his Son to be homosexsual.Until then we might as well let it all rest. Fear of the truth dominates the world, that is why many souls will be lost.
Town Cryer



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Jason Echols

posted July 29, 2009 at 6:20 am


Cordia, the Christian world has had 2,000 years to tell the truth about homosexuality. Maybe the answer is not as obvious as you imagine. Certainly, all Christians are not on the same page with you. Perhaps you might ask yourself why, rather than just wishing away the controversy.



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