Monday, June 17, 2013

Unless One Loves the Truth

I have just read a little Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), the mathematician, scientist, and Christian apologist, from his Thoughts, musings about man's nature and truth and God and divine redemption. They are terribly lovely thoughts, and applicable then as now, as are all everlasting truths.

" The truth is so obscured in our day, and falsehood so firmly established, that unless one loves the truth one cannot even know it."

"Man is but a reed, the weakest in nature, but he is a thinking reed . . . All our dignity consists then in thought . . . Let us strive then to think well; that is the foundation of all morality."

"How hollow is the human heart, and how full of corruption!"

"We run heedlessly over the edge of the precipice, after placing something before our eyes to keep ourselves from seeing it."

"He who does not see the vanity of the world is very vain himself.'

"One does not grow bored with eating and sleeping every day, for hunger is reborn, and drowsiness; otherwise one would grow weary of them. Thus without the hunger for spiritual things one would grow weary of them."

"Never does one do evil so fully and so gaily as when one does it as a matter of conscience."

"Not being able to bring about what what is just should be strong, men have decided that what is strong is just."

"There are only three sorts of people; those who serve God, having found him; those who put forth every effort to seek him, not having found him; those who live without seeking and without having found him. The first are reasonable and happy; the last are foolish and unhappy; the middle group are unhappy and reasonable."

"God alone is [man's] true good; and since he has turned away from him, it is a strange thing that there is nothing in nature which has not served on occasion to take his place---stars, firmament, earth, elements, plants, cabbages, leeks, animals, insects, calves, serpents, fever, plague, war, famine, vices, adultery, incest. And since he has lost the one true good, everything in its turn may seem to him to be the good, even to his own destruction, although so contrary to God, to reason, and to nature all together."

"What will become of man? Will he be like God or like the beasts? What a frightful distance!"

"The immortality of the soul is a thing of such great importance to us, which concerns us so deeply, that one must have lost all feeling to be indifferent about knowing what the truth is in the matter.. . . This neglect astounds and horrifies me; it is for me a monstrous thing."

"For Christian faith is almost exclusively concerned with establishing these two things: the corruption of nature, and redemption through Jesus Christ."

"There is no shame except in having no shame.'

"A unit added to infinity in no wise increases it, any more than does the addition of a foot to an infinite measure. The finite disappears in the presence of the infinite, and becomes pure nothingness. So too our mind before God; so too our justice before divine justice."

"Jesus Christ is the object of everything, and the center toward which everything tends."

"[Man's] main maladies are pride, which separates you from God, and lust, which ties you to the earth."

"If you are united with God, it is through grace, not because of your nature. If you are humbled, it is through penitence, not because of your nature."

"There is enough light for those who wish only to see, and enough obscurity for those of a contrary  nature."

"All that is important for us to know is that we are wretched, corrupt, separated from God, but [can be] redeemed by Jesus Christ."

"To lead into error is to place man under the necessity of concluding and following an untruth."

"We owe a deep debt to those who warn us of our faults."

"It is good to be wearied and tired by the vain search for the true good in order to hold out our arms to the Liberator."

Thank you, God, for timeless truths.

Friday, June 14, 2013

If Being Gay Isn't About Sex

Incredibly, it could be that some people don't actually realize that gayness is about sex. After all, 11-year-olds are coming out to celebrations and parents are identifying their 2-year-olds as gay. How can little children know anything about sex? It must just be who people are.

Wrong. It is about sex. Naughty sex. Fake sex. Gay sex. Harmful, disease-spreading, life-shortening gay sex. That's what it's really about. That's what the phony "identity" is based on and what the lifestyle encourages and leads to. Why don't people realize this?

They don't realize it because the gay movement has done a great job of disguising homosexuality. They have done this purposely and systematically, as recorded in black and white in numerous publications such as After the Ball and "The Overhauling of  Straight America." Through relentless political pressure on scientific, academic, government, and religious entities they have made a proclivity for homosexual sex a respectable ethnicity and homosexuals a victimized minority group deserving special treatment. They have fooled the public with trumped-up discrimination charges. They have distracted the public with hyped-up stereotypes: Men who really like clothes, music, acting, dancing, art, beauty are probably gay. Gays are smart, creative, glib, talented, sweet, kind. The formerly unspeakable vice known as homosexuality is now inextricably associated with rainbows, goodness, Broadway musicals, high IQ, civil rights, equality, morality, philanthropy, love, children, marriage, even Jesus Christ.

It's a huge deception.

Some people fool themselves into thinking being gay isn't about sex. Yes, church leaders adn administrators have voiced this view. Really? Well, if being gay is not about perverse sexuality, if it's just about some people's harmless talents, interests, mannerisms, and platonic same-sex affections, why is everybody making such a big deal about it then? It's nothing! People have all sorts of different interests and traits and talents. Lots of people get teased and bullied. Some are excluded for all sorts of reasons, bad and good. So why is so much changing because of it? Why does gayness get to be its own huge powerful political issue? Why all the controversy if gayness is so ordinary and innocuous? Why is so much money behind it? Why all the law suits? Why all the policy changes? Why all the legislation about so-called discrimination and hate? Why the demand for so-called same-sex marriage, since marriage is understood to include sexual relations? Why the legitimization of  gay parenting/families? Again, why are some people's harmless personality traits and interests and attractions suddenly a reason to create a specially-privileged political minority group that is causing chaos in every aspect of our society and culture, including trumping other people's constitutional right to live their religious convictions?

The reason is, gayness is not about harmless personality traits and interests. It's not about including people who are different, it's about embracing something different, something bad. The whole movement is about promoting Godlessness by way of promoting unlimited sex and sexuality. Activists have deceptively and cleverly targeted, intimidated, infiltrated, degraded, and attacked every established institution you can think of---education, business, entertainment, marriage, family, church, boy and girl scouts, government---to force further legitimization and acceptance of  homosexual sex. Lots of people see how evil this is, and so we have a huge conflict. The conflict concerns God and goodness versus man and wickedness. The two worldviews, God and Godlessness, cannot freely co-exist. That's why gayness is so extremely controversial. It's the anti-God deviant sexual component. Sadly, many who join this parade are mere pawns: damaged, vulnerable, indoctrinated, deceived, prideful, vain, foolish, immature, young. They need to be warned of the dangerous and iniquitous nature of this oversexed perverse mindset and lifestyle because no matter how innocently it begins, it will rapidly degrade into depravity. Increasingly, for their own self-serving reasons, leaders and parents and friends are not warning young people who are being drawn into homosexuality and the like. Thus it has become a case of the blind leading the blind.

Don't be fooled. The embrace of all forms of limitless sexuality including homosexuality as normal, healthy, and harmless is a very big deal, for children, for individuals, for families, for churches, for society, for freedom, for health and safety and order, for posterity, and for our immortal souls. It is a symptom of deep moral and spiritual blindness and rebellion against nature and against God.    

When the Night Cometh

Yesterday I was talking with one of the most intelligent and humble followers of Christ I know. And yet one of the most basic principles of the gospel sounded surprising to her; it was "something she hadn't thought of." It happened like this:

She said she is troubled with the acceptance of homosexuality but that she takes comfort in the fact that the Church does not allow the acting out of homosexuality. She had the impression that being gay must be some sort of mental or emotional disorder beyond one's control, so we have to allow for it.

Let's address the latter first. The LDS Church has recently officially announced (see its new stance that a self-determined gay identity (of any age apparently) is neither a disease nor a disorder,  and not sinful of itself. It follows that we are to believe homosexuality is healthy, normal, and righteous. So her impression of it being a disorder is not in line with what the Church is now saying.

Now about the acting out. If we insist that acting on homosexuality is bad, but claiming it as a permanent identity is fine, we are being dishonest. We are side-stepping the truth. If the blueprint is good, why can't we build it? If it's good for a man to study to be a doctor and earn his degree and take on the label Doctor, why can't he treat patients? The truth is, what's good in practice is good in principle, what's bad in practice is bad in principle. Once a principle is embraced, the acceptance of its practice inevitably follows by default. Indeed, nowhere in the Church do we find any definition of acting out, and as such acting out is already being accepted on one level or another. For instance, people we see as healthy who publicly claim homosexuality as a proud identity is a form of acting out. They are obviously thinking and doing all sorts of things to keep these feelings inflamed and to feel justified in them.

Worst of all, we aren't caring a whit about these people's immortal souls. If it's evil to act on homosexuality, it's evil to desire to act on it. Something that leads to something evil is evil itself. Even if a person is ill, evil is still evil. Saying there is nothing wrong with same-sex sexual attraction is encouraging gay people to "desire to do evil all the day long." And if the desires of their hearts are evil, evil will be restored to them. We shouldn't want this to happen to anyone! This is the gospel principle that had not occurred to my friend.

It's all beautifully explained in Alma 40, 41, and 42, and referred to in many other places throughout the Book of Mormon, Bible, and the other Standard Works. It is the law of restoration that states that after this life all things will "be restored to their proper order . . . evil for evil . . . good for that which is good." 

"Therefore , all things shall be restored to their proper order, every thing to its natural frame . . . the one raised to . . . good according to his desires of good; and the other to evil according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh . . . evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish" (Alma 41:4,5, 12).

Surely, any church of Jesus Christ should make the immortal souls of men its first priority.
-Janice Graham

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Follow Me, Boys! : Gone With the Wind

by Janice Graham

The other night the sweet old 1966 movie Follow Me,Boys! happened to be on TV.  (This movie was based on a novel by McKinlay Kantor, God and My Country, 1958.) I saw this movie in the theater when I was 12 and it had a huge effect on me. My maternal little heart ached for Whitey, the lonely, troubled, courageous boy played by young Kurt Russell, whose life is changed by the Boy Scout program and a childless couple.

Troubled boys have always been welcomed into scouting. But quite suddenly things have changed. Now a certain group of boys with one particular trouble have been officially singled out and publicized while being welcomed into scouting, but they aren’t to be treated or thought of as troubled. Their trouble is off-limits to any sort of moral or emotional or spiritual or psychological correction or counseling or help. Instead, what has been thought of as an unspeakable vice for millennia is suddenly to be given respect as if it is a virtue. These are boys of any age who have decided they are same-sex sexually attracted, homosexual, “gay,” have adopted this proclivity as an identity, and are proudly making it public.

At a time when a boy should be dreaming of camping, hiking, boating, and tying knots, our oversexed culture has got him dreaming of male-on-male romance, that is, sex. Let's quit pretending being gay is about stereotypical mannerisms or talents or choice of entertainment or hobbies. It's about harmful ideas about sex, a perverse misuse of the procreative power. Every child and parent needs to know what gay is really about and where it leads. This self-determination is not based on science or professional diagnosis or anything authoritative at all. It is only based on the very immature, impressionable, and perhaps rebellious and/or damaged individual's current thought patterns and preoccupations.

Tragically, none of the horrific causes of homosexuality are to be taken into account. We are to ignore the very real probability that these boys may have serious underlying disorders, and/or that they may very well have been initiated, abused, pornographied, and trained into gayness and gay activism. The fact that some boys go through such a stage and grow out of it is not taken into account either. Parents aren’t to wonder or worry that their vulnerable and curious young sons might be influenced by gay peers or older gay boys who are their admired patrol leaders.  Instead, Boy Scout troops everywhere are to institutionally encourage and cement homosexuality into mixed-up boys and allow them to model it and recruit other boys. Apparently, boy scouts, parents, and leaders everywhere are to immediately earn their proverbial gay sensitivity merit badge!

Thinking of the misery and longing of Whitey, the motherless young character in the movie whose father was an embarrassing drunkard he nevertheless loved and tried to protect, who wanted so badly to just fit in with the other boys, I can’t think of anything more despicable than pretending a troubled boy isn’t troubled and at risk. It amounts to psychological, moral, and spiritual abuse, and in the case of developing homosexuality, a form of sexual abuse. As proud “gay” boys are welcomed into scouting as gay, authority figures are contributing to the delinquency of minors by ignoring the causes of wayward sexual development, encouraging their disorder, and marking them for an exploitive, fruitless, abnormal, dangerous, and predatory lifestyle.

We submit that BSA leaders know homosexuality is a bad deal in any form. Among other things, they are apparently rationalizing that gay boys need scouting so they can have one good influence in their messed-up lives. It sounds oh so nice but it’s intellectually dishonest and it won’t work. You can’t sink a ship to save a ship. You can’t abandon right principles in order to promote right principles. Institutionally embracing and forcing on others the perverse sexual identity these boys claim is not the way to help them. It will only aid them in their destruction, put other boys in harm’s way, and undermine the entire institution.

As C. S. Lewis warned, all institutions run by human beings end up sooner or later doing the polar opposite of what they were originally intended to do. Bingo for the Boy Scouts of America. So much for pledging to be "morally straight."

It was with a great overlying sadness that we watched Follow Me, Boys the other night. In this sweet movie the characters were nowhere near perfect and caused a lot of trouble for each other, as always happens, but the public conscience had a firm hold on proper living. Excellence and virtue, founded on belief in God, were the unspoken goals for everyone. In the midst of problems and pain, good was known as good and evil was known as evil and all authority figures were dedicated to and acted according to this knowledge. In one generation the values portrayed in this movie (and most all the movies and books our country has produced up to recent times) have been turned completely upside down. 

What a sad day this is for boyhood and for the family in general, and for individual boys, parents, and youth leaders in the trenches who have been placed in a very difficult and cruel position. Not only are confused “gay” boys being thrown under the bus, it’s everyone else, too. You see, it’s not the “gays” who are being bullied and marginalized and shamed today. It’s those who wish to stand for the good and the true. What a sad day this is for those institutions formerly founded on and devoted to traditional, God-based values who have bowed to the relentless pressure of contemporary society, compromised their principles, betrayed the trust of their members, and gone the way of this wicked world.
-Janice Graham

P.S. I've heard Hollywood is doing a remake of Follow Me, Boys! with John Travolta. Hmmm. How timely. Brokeback Mountain for kids? Want to make a bet that it portrays the opposite values of the original book/movie, whether explicitly or implicitly? I certainly hope not, but some people just can't leave anything good alone. They have to turn it evil. What a disaster.