Thursday, April 26, 2012

Anybody Can Be, Nobody Has to Be

A standard argument in favor of embracing the gay identity is that it is not chosen. We agree that under certain conditions, anybody can be tempted towards same sex sexual attraction. But let's think this through. If a desire or temptation corresponds with wrong or harmful acts, whether we choose it or not doesn't really matter. What matters is if we realize it for what it is and choose to conquer it.

Do we choose a craving for chocolate? Or a feeling of anger? Or a wicked unkind thought? It seems like we don't. It's just our human nature. The more important and relevant question is, what do we do with these passions? Do we proclaim ourselves hopeless chocolate gluttons? Raging lunatics? Devils? Is that just who we are? Is it okay, even special? Of course not.

If we're serious about health, order, and goodness, what we do is regulate ourselves. If we're religious that means we turn to God. We work at getting our hearts changed. It's humbling and may be hard work, but we keep at it. If we're serious about God, health, order, and goodness, there is no giving up or giving in to the weakness.

What's missing in the LDS gay argument we see being swallowed by and emboldening so many these days, is this question:

If this condition or identity, whatever you want to call it, is so difficult, if it upsets family and conflicts with one's religious beliefs and prohibits a normal life, if these things are as important to them as they let on, whether a person felt they chose it or not, wouldn't they try to get help? Instead of clinging to trendy  poilitically-charged notions about human sexuality and seeking validation through pornography and gay-affirming individuals and groups, wouldn't they choose to educate themselves from all sides, seek out the best professional help available that fits their religious views, turn to God for motivation, courage, and faith, and never give up? Wouldn't their families support them in conquering their problem? 

That's what is so exciting about God's gift of agency. Whatever life deals us, we're free. We're free in our minds and hearts, no matter what. We can choose what we want, and if we truly desire to overcome this or that temptation, if we truly give it up to the Lord, we can be free of it. Because we are weak human beings, it may take time, it may creep up on us, we might get discouraged, it may cause us annoyance, regret, or sorrow, but if we keep truly striving and keep putting the Lord first, a current temptation can become ancient history, freeing us to make improvements in other areas.

Problems arise when people don't really want to give up their unrighteous passions. Sin, even in our minds and hearts, is pleasurable. We get something out of sin or we wouldn't make it a part of us. As foreign as it may sound to those who have been trained toward healthy heterosexuality, same sex lust is pleasurable to those who have learned and continually nourish such thought patterns.

Claiming the gay identity has a great deal of power and support these days. It gets a person a lot of attention and opens up all kinds of passes and possibilities, especially if one is proud, unrepentant, and completely ignores the above truths. In fact, the gay movement has done a great job of stifling discussion on important life issues such as the possibility of overcoming homosexual tendencies. It has done such a good job that ex-gays are denigrated and dismissed. Yes, one can self-identify as gay to rousing applause, but if one self-identifies as ex-gay, here come the tomatoes.

We at SoL are here to present an opposing view to the world's current opinion, that is, that the gay identity is unnatural, disorderly, and harmful. Homosexuality is taught and spread, usually to unwitting young people. We submit that sexual feelings are just feelings, and feelings can be suggested, nurtured or rejected, and can change directions all the time. Whether you feel as if you chose the feelings and desires or not, you can choose to resist and reorient them toward rightness and an orderly, normal life.

Anybody can be, nobody has to be.

No comments: