Thursday, October 8, 2009

Gays in the Church? Let's Think It Through.

So often in today's nonjudgmental, PC culture, we simply do not think things through. Here's an example.

There are perilous ideas circulating in our Mormon culture, such as that it's perfectly okay to come out as gay as long as you don't fully act out, that gays can't help their particular sexual feelings, that these people need Church support for their homosexuality, and that homosexuality can be chaste. (And by the way, go ahead and substitute the terms SSA, same-sex attracted, or same-gender attracted for the word gay, if you like. These are the trendy terms some LDS are publicly promoting and adopting perhaps to give the appearance of setting themselves apart from the world and the controversial politics of homosexuality. Don't be fooled. This is an attempt to soften sin and is a self-serving deception. The homosexual orientation is wrong and harmful whether you are a member of the Church or not and whatever you call it.)

We know these ideas have been stated in so many words by a few leaders, but the total opposite is also stated in our scriptures and by prophets and has never been retracted. Take The Family: A Proclamation to the World which states that all of us are either male or female and our assigned gender roles have both temporal and eternal significance. Take President Kimball's The Miracle of Forgiveness which states homosexuality as a sin in thought and deed that must be overcome in no uncertain terms. Take numerous speeches and talks by apostles. Take the word of God. For every word affirming gayness that can be quoted from a leader, we can give you many, many, many more from the completely opposite viewpoint. It becomes obvious that we must each be taught by the Spirit of the Lord to know the truth on this issue. Of course this is what we should be doing anyway about everything.

Let's think further about homosexuality and the like being accepted in the Church, about gays being chaste, and about gays, however celibate, interacting and serving in the Church. Many mind-boggling questions arise, so many we can't write them all here. But here are a few off the top of our heads:

-When individuals are emboldened enough to publicly proclaim the self-determined gay or SSA label as a personal identity, whether they realize it or not, aren't they joining a highly politicized and radical sexual movement which offers limitless support for unlimited inclinations? Won't they tend to spread their espoused ideologies with others in the Church? (Faithful and otherwise healthy people who are troubled with sexuality problems do not identify or pronounce themselves as gay or SSA. They keep their problems relatively private, get help in overcoming them, and don't give up. They do not wish to be coddled or treated differently than others, nor do they associate with those who have their same problem. This goes for their families too.)

-Endowed latter-day saints covenant to keep their appetites, desires, and passions within God's boundaries. Is a homosexual appetite, desire, or passion within God's boundary for sexuality? Is it chaste to desire to commit sodomy? How do we teach inner chastity to those who claim they are gay/same-sex attracted? How do endowed self-determined gays keep this temple covenant when their identity is based on sexualizing those of their own gender? How do we teach about marriage in the Church when we do not allow gays to get married to each other? Mustn't we teach strict, life-long celibacy to gay Mormons and at the same time encourage marriage, sexuality, and family to straight Mormons? Will gay Mormons think this is tolerant and accepting?

-Some gay Mormons are getting married to the opposite sex so they can receive temple blessings and have families. Still, they claim their sexual desires are oriented toward those of their same sex. How does this work with the marriage relationship? As in adultery, isn't lusting after someone other than your spouse unfaithful? Are gays exempt from adultery in thought or deed while everyone else is not?

-When individuals insist that they are gay wouldn't it seem logical that they have explored and nurtured homosexual ideas and practices, and continue to do so through self-labeling, lusting, associations, support groups, same-sex porn, chat rooms, blogging, writing books, etc. ? And don't they have to keep this up in order to justify their choice to come out? Doesn't anything we hold in our minds expand? Is this chaste?

-Should openly gay males be called to serve as Scout and Young Men leaders and publicly proclaimed lesbians as Young Women leaders? How about Primary teachers? What about self-determined gay kids and gay adults on overnight activities, at youth conferences, scout campouts, girls' camp, and in rest rooms and dressing rooms? Do parents of straight kids want gay kids bunking with their kids? Should two male gays or two lesbians be in the same tent/dorm room? Is this appropriate or safe? How many leaders will turn a blind eye to these risky and unseemly situations?

-How about college dorms and housing at church schools? Do same-sex attracted people room with those of their same sex? Isn't that just like opposite-sex people rooming together? Should we put gay males and lesbians together then? Is that appropriate? How about married housing? Won't gay "married" couples insist on being allowed to live there?

-What about when self-proclaimed gays or SSAs (who supposedly claim they are chaste) serve full-time missions? Do you assign these males male companions when they say they can't help sexualizing their own gender? Is that fair or safe for anyone? Would parents go along? Again, this is presumably like putting males with females. How about lesbians? If we are going on each person's self-determined sexual preference, wouldn't it seem more appropriate to assign a gay male and a lesbian as companions rather than a gay person and a straight person? But is that really appropriate? What will such companionships model to investigators? What will openly gay missionaries exemplify? Will gay missionaries demand to be open about their sexual identity and teach false doctrine?

-How young should we go when accepting or acknowledging self-identified gayness in our ward members? Young adults? Teenagers? Primary children? What if parents proclaim that their child is gay or transgender when he's just a toddler? Must we respect their assessment? (This actually happens. We're not making it up.)

-Will lesson manuals, groups, and organizations all have to be changed so as to accommodate those with alternative sexual orientations? Won't there be an outcry of discrimination if they aren't?

-How about self-proclaimed gays in leadership and teaching positions on all levels? Will these individuals keep their unorthodox and radical views toward sexuality to themselves or incorporate them in their associations, meetings, teachings, and administrations?

-If we accept gayness, don't we have to let gays get married? In our chapels? Or in our temples? Won't all or some of them demand totally equal treatment? Will the Church get in trouble for discriminating against gays if they don't give them all the same opportunities for blessings and ordinances?

-What about bisexuals? Where do they fit in?

-And transexuals? How do we accommodate them? For instance, do we let an obvious male dressed in women's clothes speak from the pulpit and hold leadership positions? Does he attend Relief Society or Priesthood meeting?

-What about transgendered people, those who claim they were born with the wrong gender and have surgeries and hormone treatments to "change" their biological sex? Will a man who claims he has changed his male gender to female still hold the priesthood? Will "women" then be priesthood holders? If not, how is it revoked? Will these "women" attend Relief Society? How about women who claim they are really male? Won't they have to be taken seriously and be given the priesthood?

-What about how we distinguish between the two sexes in so many ways in our auxiliary programs, dress standards, and in the temple? In order to fairly include gays, will we have to make sweeping changes so as to pretend there are no differences between the two sexes and no specific gender roles such as fatherhood and motherhood?

-What should parents teach their children about the self-proclaimed gays in their ward who are outspoken or who are their teachers? Should they teach them that homosexuality is perfectly natural and normal?

-Does anybody really believe that gays don't act out this self-determined sexual identity? How do we define acting out? Isn't coming out acting out? How about masturbating, lusting, same-sex porn, chat rooms, phone calls, meeting, hanging out, "dating," associating with gay-affirming groups and individuals, or reading, testifying of, speaking or writing about, or teaching anything pro-gay? Don't all these behaviors encourage and nurture same-sex sexual attractions including the desire to commit sodomy? Are people doing these things to be considered faithful, orthodox, and sexually pure?

Clearly, embracing the gay identity and ideology, whether ostensibly standing against the physical behaviors behind it or not, would prove problematic in carrying out the outward everyday functions of the Church organization. (The welfare of our individual immortal souls may well be affected also but is a different and much more important topic.) In fact, our whole way of life would change. God-given gender roles, gender distinctions, and sexual morality would be things of the past. If there is to be no more careful distinguishing between the two sexes, all situations that used to retain such order would become inappropriate, unseemly, embarrassing, immodest, and even dangerous. We could not rely on any safe, orderly place and chaos would ensue.

And yet we don't think this essential issue through because that might get us into trouble with other humans. We want to be thought of as open-minded, tolerant, big-hearted. Is being politically correct and popular worth abandoning doctrine, truth, safety, order, normalcy, and God? This is what Flannery O'Connor had to say about it 50 years ago. "In the absence of faith now we govern by tenderness. It is a tenderness which long since cut off from the person of Christ is wrapped in theory. When tenderness is detached from the source of tenderness its logical outcome is terror."

Think about it.


Matt said...

Very well put. I could not agree more. Thanks you for this.

SGraham said...

Here is a comment by Paul Skousen. We are publishing it with his permission.

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Skousen
To: Standard of Liberty
Sent: Friday, October 09, 2009 5:34 PM
Subject: Re: "Gays" in the Church? A new SoL blog post.

Very, Very nice job. Thank you so much for your kind efforts to keep the questions and issues out there for all of us.

I'm now towards the end of finishing up one of dad's books he didn't complete before passing away called "The Cleansing of America." It's depressing and that's why he didn't want it published until "the time was right." We as a family feel that time is upon us, so we're getting ready to print it.

Your comments are right along with points he makes including the cleansing that begins "in my house," namely the Church. The gay movement certainly falls into that category of tacit acceptance before full-fledged acceptance follows, as you point out. And he discusses that with quotes and scripture. It will be a short book but a good one, I think!

Again, thank you for standing strong, this is a rough time and if we're going to be the staff upon which the nation leans, Obama and his no-belly peach prize, among other nonsenses going on, must not stop us from going forward as anticipated and fully expected by prophets of old and new.....

All the best, again!


Spencer said...

Thanks for this, I fully agree. "Chastity" is the restraint to proper spheres of appropriate, natural, creator-endowed desires. Homosexuality is not just another challenge to chastity, but an inherent perversion as well. People should have their free agency, but as a corollary of that same agency they can not expect conformity and twisting of others' religious believes to become more compatible with their chosen form of self-definition.
This idea that homosexuality is a normal or biological "challenge" that God gave some and wants them to overcome is a very widespread false principle that is circulating practically unchecked. It has been expressly denounced and yet persists because of its ability to bridge a gap for many LDS people between Church doctrine and the worldly beliefs which are apparently much more important to them in the final analysis.
Spencer W. Morgan