Sunday, October 4, 2009
No Going Back?
Here is an email we received from an LDS publishing company, Zarahemla Books, and our response.
> Date: Thu, 1 Oct 2009 16:25:24 -0700
> Subject: 11-Year-Olds Coming Out?
> From: email@example.com
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Primary-age kids coming out to their friends? Deacons and Beehives
> attending gay dances? This article from the New York Times about
> students coming out in middle school shows that this isn't as far-
> fetched as many people may wish.
> Coming Out in Middle School
> "Reading this article underscores just how ill-prepared we are as a
> Mormon culture to try to help kids deal with this," states Jonathan
> Langford, author of No Going Back, a new coming-of-age novel about
> a gay Mormon teen.
> "We're still playing catch-up from when most LDS kids who experienced
> same-sex attraction were in denial until after their missions. The
> greater openness of today's society means we can't afford the luxury
> of waiting until our kids have a firm spiritual foundation before we
> try to address this."
> No Going Back is only $11.53 at Zarahemla and Amazon (regularly
Dear Jonathan Langford and Zarahemla Books,
Please correct me if I'm wrong. You seem to think, as the world does according to the article you have cited, that there is only one way of looking at this issue, as if teenagers, even 11-year-olds, know all about human sexuality and do not need to be taught the proper way to think and feel concerning the power of procreation or even corrected when they get on any one of many wrong paths (which is pretty easy to do in our oversexed culture). It is strange that you talk as if this is not a controversial issue, especially when there is no biological test for homosexuality. The only way we know a person is "gay" is if he "comes out," and here it appears you are trusting that 11-year-olds (physically, mentally, and emotionally immature and inexperienced human beings) can make this momentous judgment that will greatly affect their future if you believe, as I think you do, that homosexuality is innate and immutable.
In fact, most young people who experience same-sex sexual attraction outgrow it naturally. If you ask young people if they would be involved with same-sex sexuality if we didn't live in an oversexed, gay-affirming culture, you (and they) would be very surprised that their honest answer would more often than not be no. This is an acquired, not an inborn, identity, just as proper gender roles and heterosexuality must be modeled and taught. The question for us is, which will we teach and support? Ultimately, these two worldviews cannot peacefully co-exist within an individual, a church, and a society.
Can you possibly have missed the public celebration of homosexuality in our nation's culture and schools, even elementary schools? Incredibly, you say we are failing to support individuals (you mention there may even be Primary kids, Beehives, and Deacons) with same-sex sexual attraction in the Church. I agree that we are at a loss, but my view is the complete opposite of yours. Churches are fast going the way of the world by turning a blind eye to the actual behavior that is practiced, by watering down God's law of chastity, and by accepting and embracing homosexuality as an identity, rather than teaching the everlasting gospel principles of sin, true repentance, and divine love and redemption toward making us new creatures in Christ.
What about the effect of same-sex porn, which is a huge industry? (Surely you know that adolescents can be turned on by anything, including males or females acting out sexually among themselves.) Are parents asking the kids who come out what they have been looking at, who they have been talking to, what they spend their time thinking about and doing? An 11-year-old who comes out could very well be unusually and unhealthily preoccupied with sex and sexuality. This can have many causes. Children are easy prey to secret sexual predators and are easily exposed to pornography and propaganda which can wreak havoc with their developing sexuality. They may be caught up in the political correctness and trendiness of "gayness." They may just want some attention. They may be using this as a way to rebel, or test their parents' unpopular convictions. What a travesty it is when well-meaning (or predatory) adults jump on this adolescent bandwagon and celebrate a phase that will soon pass or that can be healed and corrected. Every parent knows that their 11-year-old is not capable of adult decisions. Sex is a serious thing. It hurts people unless it is channeled in the one healthy direction.
We have a son who as a young teen was lured into homosexual porn on the internet and acted out homosexually to a degree with older men in his late teens. At 19, he came to us for help in overcoming these unwanted behaviors, thought patterns, and feelings. He turned back to the Lord, got excellent professional help, went on a mission at 25, and now at 28 is married to a lovely girl. He has written a book about his experience into and out of homosexuality coming soon entitled Captain of My Soul. This is a true coming-of-age story of a young man's social, physical, mental, and spiritual progress.
If your book matches your sympathies, your book is fiction in more ways than one.
Standard of Liberty Foundation