Saturday, January 11, 2014


The attitude we're supposed to be adopting is "respect" for people who have different beliefs and identities than we do (as if we are generally disrespectful which we are not). This is fine, but it only goes so far. All human beings have boundaries for tolerance, much as people nowadays hate to admit it, in a thousand ways. We don't tolerate plenty of ideas and behaviors, just as we don't tolerate a murderer entering our house and killing our children. There are plenty of dishonest, harmful, and dangerous positions and acts that our society has decided to punish. People say and do some awfully bad things. So if we espouse this blanket "respect" for all, the word ceases to have meaning.

First let's get one thing straight. I value all people as children of God--that's wishing the eternal best for them -- but some children of God, what they say, what they do, what they stand for, what they want, do not  deserve my respect. Any sort of evil is not deserving of respect. We've gotten so soft on right and wrong, so careful about people's perceived "rights," that we won't even protect innocent children from out-and-out wickedness, as in the case of allowing easily-accessible pornography in our society. 

I am a mother whose child was hurt by homosexual pornography and older male homosexuals. In no way am I going to act as if I "respect" the porn-peddlers and predators who influenced and exploited my child. No, I don't "respect" people who boldly proclaim a perverse sexual identity, who seduce younger people, or who  campaign to teach this debauchery to children and youth. In fact, if I ever met up with one of those who abused my kid, I might have to be held back. My husband certainly would. (Our son was just over 18 so there was nothing we could do.)

More generally, when it comes to randomly crossing paths with openly proud self-proclaiming gay or whatever people, I'm not going to be rude, but I'm certainly not going to flatter and coddle them. And I'm not going to "include" them in my social circle and certainly not in my church. "[T]he good shepherd . . .commandeth you that ye suffer no ravenous wolf to enter among you, that ye may not be destroyed" ( Alma 5: 60). In other words, we are not to admit unrepentant sinners into the church because they will undoubtedly lead others astray. Their names are supposed to be "blotted out." Now don't get me wrong. I'm not talking about people with sexuality problems and addictions who are humble and privately getting help and resisting wickedness, as our son did on his journey back to reality, health, truth, and forgiveness. I'm talking about those who make their sin a public identity, who go about proclaiming that there is no sin, that there is no need for repentance, which pretty much puts them in the category of Korihor and his ilk, the Book of Mormon anti-Christs.

Yes, we're all sinners. But there are sinners who are repenting continually (turning to God for correction and forgiveness) and sinners who are not. Hugh Nibley put it this way: The righteous are the ones who are repenting. The wicked are the ones who are not. 

If we really respected these people, in the true sense of the word, as in wanting the eternal best for them, we would never pretend they deserved the sort of blind, blanket respect we talk about so much these days, as if they are thinking, feeling, and doing nothing wrong. We would warn them in no uncertain terms of the danger they were in, if we had any true respect for them at all.

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