Friday, April 14, 2017

Coming Out is an Excuse, Part 3

Another comment from Anon:

What am I healing from? When I was a small child I could recognize that I had some of these feelings. I would also here rhetoric like that often used in your page here- claiming that those is this situation are ill or evil. Growing up hearing those things I came to believe I was somehow fundamentally broken as a person.

I needed healing from that belief. I wasn't struggling not to cry for myself when I read your writing. I was hurt because I worried for others in my situation who are hiding this out of shame and fear- terrified they are not ok. These people could find your writing and have those fears validated.

God is not a massage therapist, he is a heart surgeon- but not the kind that cuts other's hearts. He heals them.

Dear Anon,

So glad you are still reading. We totally get where you are coming from.

First, small children do not sexualize themselves in any way unless they are abused. Untampered-with children recognizing they have gay sexual feelings is a false idea pushed by today's homosexualists. Don't buy into it. Children, including you, are born innocent about sex and sexuality. Sexuality, biologically and sociologically, develops later in life, during and after puberty, hopefully in healthy ways with exposure only to proper role models and true principles. So when you were a small child you couldn't have had sexual feelings, including gay feelings (which are sexual), unless you were abused in some way and so, taught bad ideas. (Sexual abuse comes in many packages. Short of actual molestation, it can take the form of peer abuse, language, inappropriate exposure, etc.)

So let's make this clear. Sexuality is learned, proper or improper, healthy or unhealthy. We are very sorry the culture around children today is teaching and modeling ideas that are sexually abusive and prohibit proper sexual development. Surely, you cannot deny that this is occurring.

Maybe you are confusing gay sexual feelings with a yearning for same-sex acceptance/friendships or an early gender nonconformity. Maybe people called you sexualized names when you didn't even know what those words meant. Nobody should base their life on what they did or felt as a child, what their harmless interests were or are, or the unkind names ignorant people called them. For example, children of either sex yearning for or loving  same-sex friends or liking either girlish or boyish toys/activities have nothing to do with sexuality. These are normal developmental phases that kids grow out of. The problem is how our wicked culture today has sexualized them.

"Sissies" and "tomboys" used to grow up to be normal, healthy, happy husbands and wives, fathers and mothers. Now many of them never grow up and decide to self-identify as gay. Now that is sad.

You seem to be saying people teased you for being effeminate or gay. But you weren't homosexual, not as a child (unless you felt that way because someone abused you and messed up your healthy sexual development). So what really happened is that people used rhetoric that hurt you for being you yourself, immature and undeveloped as you were and we all are when young, and you later turned that into being teased or bullied for being gay. It often happens that people who choose to self-identify as gay, rather than search out why they are burdened and and obsessed with same-sex sexual attraction, recast past experiences to validate their present choices. We hope this clears that up.

 About being "fundamentally broken." While we should all be taught that our souls are of immeasurable worth to God, and be treated as such (which doesn't always happen because we're here on earth where there is opposition in all things), it's not a bad thing to understand one's fundamental brokenness or vulnerability to sin and error. It's actually good.

Christianity is based on the principle that every human is fundamentally sinful and broken as a person. It's called the fall and it happened to Adam and Eve and is inherent in us all, also referred to as the natural man. This is why God sent His Son, Jesus Christ. It's very important to understand this. People who do not are not real Christians. It is a modern sophistry to reject this principle and whine about unkind people making you think you are broken. Of course you are. Every human being needs Christ to make them whole, that is, clean and forgiven through humility, repentance, and reliance on Christ.

The gospel is about our immortal souls. How we react to things beyond our control, how we school our human desires and tendencies, who we give credit to, what we worship, who we rely on, these sorts of things are what will determine the fate of our souls.Christ is not so much about our temporal needs as our spiritual needs. Our eternity. People get this mixed up. They want Christ just to be about the now, things that we humans can see and hear and touch. But ultimately that isn't what he is about.

You are saying we at SoL are hurtful because we point out God's laws. We are just the messenger. You are arguing with God's "rhetoric," not ours. His Love is more far-reaching and far-seeing than human love. He wants us to give us everything He has, the riches of eternity.

You will never get anywhere with that victim mentality. Nobody can have control over your soul unless you let them. If you have been abused, you must face it and get help. The Spirit will teach you of your great worth to God. You can pray about it, and you'll soon know how precious you are to God.

We understand where you got these incomplete and false ideas about both homosexuality and religion. It's too bad that God has been turned into merely a temporal friend who requires nothing of us rather than what He is: our Heavenly Father who is giving us a great, difficult test and wants to give us all He has. God and Jesus must be taken whole. There is much required of us if we want to come to Jesus. When we know the truth we are obligated to share it and warn others, in our own sphere of influence. (Again, you do not have to enter this sphere; no one is forcing anyone to read this blog.) Each of us must submit our hearts to be broken (or cut open) in order to be made whole---through repentance and faith in Christ.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I love you, I love you, I love you?

Apparently an openly gay man who is a stake executive secretary in Florida calling himself  Nerdy Gay Mormon has recently written about an incident on his blog and facebook about how a year ago or so a visiting General Authority (a member of the Seventy) treated him especially lovingly. His article has gone viral. We take the story with a grain of salt; maybe he has embellished it to make it sound more dramatic---some people think lying is actually good if it gets their point across better. But so far this little vignette has not been refuted or corrected and there seems to have been several witnesses.

To make a long story short, Nerdy Gay says the GA visited his stake and showed him special attention and affection, touching, full-body hugging, whispering “I love you” threes times in his ear. He treated him this way because Nerdy told him he was gay. And no, he didn't treat anyone else like this. Nerdy goes on to say that in his talk the GA said that church members who think homosexuality is a sin are unkind and need to be corrected.

Boy, if this story is true it sure sounds like homosex is not just welcome, it's more than welcome in our midst. And again, that means traditional values are not welcome. Apparently, good old family values, which come from God, are now unkind and need to be corrected.

We have tried to get in touch with this GA to find out if this story is true as Nerdy has told it, but to no avail. A substitute secretary was no help. So they can't leave messages? Then his real secretary said she would tell her boss about our question. When we called again several days later she said she had not informed him about our question (whoa, what?  secretaries are running the church?), but we could talk to this other man---who turned out to be in the security department!

So you call up a church office building which has telephones which get answered and if you have a question they don't like they refer you to Security? (This has actually happened to us more than once.) This man did not know anything about the incident; he had not checked into it. We told him we just wanted to know if this happened as this guy said it did on social media gone viral that our grown children are incredulous about, or not? He made an excuse that there is too much material out there for them to deal with. We wonder what people do in that building and what the priorities are. Something that goes viral is pretty important. He presumed to warn us not to let our “faith” suffer because of stuff on the internet, as if this was his prepared statement whenever people have uncomfortable questions. Here he seemed to mean faith in the church institution. We assured him our faith was in the Lord Jesus Christ, so no, it wasn’t suffering. What we needed was to find out if this event had not occurred as related by Nerdy Gay Mormon, hoping that we could assure our children and friends that no, our church members and leaders don’t act this way and say these things. As fifth and sixth-generation, tithe-paying, service-doing, temple-going members it would seem we have a right to know what our leadership is publicly saying and doing; otherwise there is no leadership. The security guy said he’d check it out but probably not get back to us. Say again?  

All it takes is for this GA to say if this happened as reported or not. It isn't rocket technology. But he is unavailable. Permanently. At least to us. Make of that what you will. We say, it must be true, or he doesn't mind if it isn't entirely true and everybody thinks it is. In other words, he wants to be thought of as entirely pro-gay, which is entirely anti-traditional values. Otherwise he'd surely deny or at least clarify it.

It’s like, in this time of instantaneous communications, we’re not supposed to wonder about anything we see, whether it’s true or false or exaggerated or whatever. They aren’t going to tell us what is true or false and we’re not supposed to discern, as if we are made of straw or wood, as Thoreau put it. Well, God didn't make us unthinking lumps, he gave us functioning minds and hearts, and we do not live in a vacuum. The world around us is hugely pro-homosex. What is happening is that church members are swallowing this churchy story, hook, line, and sinker. Because of this unchallenged viral story homosexuality is being further accepted among church members. This must be what the church wants to have happen, or they would say something.

When things are unclear or uncharacteristic or inconsistent like this from the top, it ends up that members are always having to second guess or conjecture or surmise, based on whatever they happen to want, or what they see in front of them. This is happening all over with regards to the gay/transgender Boy Scout thing.When a church does and says nothing, when they don't correct errors made in public, people make their own various surmises, i.e. no leadership; and the house is divided into innumerable parts. That's what the word anarchy means: no leader.

If we had a child struggling against porn addiction and homosexuality right now, this stuff coming from within the church---Nerdy's story, the way the church isn't correcting it, the positive way members are responding on social media---would be very discouraging and destructive. We guess it's just more of this new brand of welcoming homosexuality into our midst.

No one seems to care that in seconds you will come across lewd porn on this stake exec sec Nerdy Gay Mormon's blog. Our security guy said he couldn't do anything about that. Well, that is dismissive and not true. There is something called church discipline. People get in trouble all the time, but not Nerdy Gay Mormon apparently. At the very least, this GA should know that pornography and lust is what he is encouraging, and what is being promoted, if he doesn't refute it. This lewd stuff is part and parcel of the gay lifestyle.

A little reading of Mormon gays’writings on blogs and comments reveals emotional illness, narcissism, obsession with male genitalia, sex as a prioritized 'need,' and the erotic sexualization of even the most casual human gestures and interactions. Indeed, Nerdy Gay’s interaction with a handsome church leader reads like a cheap gay romance novel. Suddenly there he was framed in the doorway, and stuff like that. Gross! It's gross no matter who is doing it. Decent people don't think of strangers in this way.

Also, what is this detail about how these stake offices have their own bathroom? What does that have to do with the story unless Nerdy has some preoccupation with bathrooms and what homosexuals commonly do in them? 

If this did not happen, it showcases the erotic pornographic homosexual mindset of Nerdy Gay Mormon/a stake executive secretary, and shouldn’t somebody help him? But if the church leader really did do all this flattering and special touching, for heaven’s sake, why?  G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) said, “All healthy men, ancient and modern, know there is a certain fury in sex that we cannot afford to inflame . . . ” Why would anybody who really cared about Nerdy Gay go out of his way to do something that could incite or encourage his self-determined gay identity and lusts? Why not just treat him like everybody else and play down the preoccupation with sex and sexuality?

How about the following quotes (apparently now shredded in wastebaskets)?

"If someone seeking your help says to you, . . . 'I am gay,' correct this miscasting. Heavenly Father does not speak of his children this way and neither should we. It is simply not true. To speak this way seeds a doubt and deceit about who we really are."
--Bishop Keith B. McMullen, 2010 Evergreen Conference

“ The most wicked of lies is that they cannot change and repent and that they will not be forgiven. That cannot be true. They have forgotten the Atonement of Christ.”
--Boyd K. Packer, May 2006

“Too many Latter-day Saints today somehow believe they can stand with one hand touching the walls of the temple while the other hand fondles the unclean things of the world."
-- Bruce C. Hafen, "Your Longing for Family Joy," Ensign, Oct. 2003

President Spencer W. Kimball reminded us that the prophets “constantly cry out against that which is intolerable in the sight of the Lord," including homosexuality, both in lust and physical acts.  He continued: “That such things should be found even among the Saints to some degree is scarcely believable . . . ” 

“The homosexual rights movement was born out of a desire to be tolerated. Through the years it seems to have morphed into a crusade bent on forcing all of society, even conservative churches, to accept and celebrate homosexuality as natural, normal and healthy.”
--Kelly Boggs, in Baptist Recorder, 11/6/13

"As a practical matter, being an open homosexual is indistinguishable from proclaiming a belief that homosexual acts are morally innocent. After all, if one accepted the traditional view that such acts are morally impermissible, one would ordinarily keep one’s inclination to them to oneself." (Emphasis ours.)
--Carson Holloway, "The Boy Scouts' Doomed Compromise."

"For Christians to accept some kind of validity with respect to homosexuality is for those same 'Christians' to turn on the Lord Jesus — whose arms are open to welcome homosexuals out of their identity, out of their habits, out of their former life, and into His liberating Grace."--Michael Glatze, ex- homosexual, in Renew America, 5/12/2010

"Recently, the [Mormon] church has called openly gay individuals to responsible positions in the church — persons also permitted to attend the church's temples, available only to the most 'worthy' members. Church leaders say such callings are limited to non-practicing 'chaste' gays — an oxymoron that reveals leaders' naïveté, since by any reasonable definition, a homosexual is someone engaged in the gay lifestyle, not someone who merely thinks about it, or long ago gave it up."
--Renew America article about Mormons and Boy Scouts by Stephen Stone

Note 5/27/2017
 We heard back from the Security guy. He said that everything happened exactly as Nerdy Gay Mormon writes on his [pornographic] blog. Make of that what you will. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Can Evil Be Exaggerated?

We have recently been instructed from the pulpit not to "exaggerate the evil in the world." Come again? Janice grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Steve on the opposite coast. We never thought the evil of homosexuality would reach into our home in Utah and hurt our young family. But it did, through the internet. And it was really bad. Are we exaggerating it? Does the evil today---the insidious propaganda, the intimidation and false teaching and sexual immorality---that boldly marches into our schools and our courts and our entertainment and our communications and our churches and our very homes, that threatens our religious freedom, need any exaggerating?

Can evil be exaggerated? Isn't evil a done deal? Isn't evil bad no matter how much of it there is, no matter where? Doesn't evil proliferate when good men do nothing?

It's like saying, don't exaggerate your cancer. It's not that bad, you don't have it except in certain spots. Don't dwell on it. It's not all that important. You can bet a cancer patient, at least one who wanted to keep living, would not appreciate that attitude. It's like saying, don't exaggerate the 60 million needlessly slaughtered unborn human beings since Roe v Wade. How can you exaggerate a real number?

No, you can't exaggerate something self-evident. It's there. It exists. Evil is by nature evil. It has no variants. We're living in a time when unborn babies are brutally destroyed. You can see photos of these tiny dismembered, decapitated humans. Sixty million unique humans killed because of irresponsibility and selfishness. Pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry; this soul-killing material is available to children, kids are making and sharing porn of themselves. Hedonists are parading in our city streets with little children present. Sexual immorality is being introduced and taught to school children. Children are being abducted into sex slavery. These evils are real, they are actually happening. They need zero exaggeration. These pervasive evils, were they happening to only one person, are horrible as is. 

Those who have been personally harmed by the evils of today, in being fined, in being fired, in losing their businesses, in being demonized, in being shunned, in losing one's innocence, in being lured into hedonism and misery and illness and death, in losing one's children, in having an abortion and intensely regretting it, should find any softening or whitewashing of these highly popular evils highly offensive. 

Sure we appreciate the good and beauty of this world the Lord created for us, but that doesn't make the evil of our day less real or our obligation to call it out and resist it any less important. Where does it say in the scriptures that we should play down the evil around us? Where does the Lord ever say that? The Lord, in fact, tells us to recognize and repent of the secret evils in our very hearts. In no uncertain terms the scriptures warn us against even the appearance of evil, against thinking there is no harm in a little sin. We're warned to be watchful, to beware of the devil's flaxen cords, to recognize and call out evil.

Failing to stop evil leads to more evil. The pervasiveness and insidiousness of evil should actually wake us up and increase our vigilance. We mustn't close our eyes, ears, and mouths. It's only monkeys that do that. We must open our eyes, ears, and mouths. We must discern clearly between good and evil. We must not equivocate. We live a good life and trust in the Lord. We act like Christian soldiers and make whatever sacrifices necessary to be God's servants.

If those who are supposed to warn us of the evils of our time are telling us the evils of our time aren't really that bad, that we shouldn't confront them with all our energy, what will be the obvious results? We will relax our diligence, we will turn less to the Lord, we will ease up on discerning between good and evil. We will breathe a sigh of relief, be lulled into carnal security, take pride that all is well in Zion, and ---- embrace the evil all around us. Yes, that is what happens. That is what is happening. Evil triumphs when we shrug our shoulders at it, close our eyes to it, pretend it's not so much or so bad. Human history is rife with this reaction and the destructive results.

Diligence in confronting evil is often made fun of in popular culture. Remember in The Music Man when the town is in an uproar because of the new pool hall? We got trouble, they say, and we chuckle. We chuckle because everyone knows the game of pool is not evil in and of itself. Many people have pool tables in their homes. It is the human tendencies to vices, evils such as idleness and gambling commonly associated with a pool hall that the townspeople were wary of. And they weren't exaggerating. Did you know that prohibition was pushed on society by women who were wives and mothers, not because of the evils of drink (many nice people drink alcoholic drinks), but because of the prostitutes seducing husbands at saloons and ruining families? Prostitution is always bad. They weren't exaggerating this evil.

Some things are not evil of themselves---like a game of pool or a fermented drink. It's the human  vices and sins, often associated with some things, that are evil. These are the seven deadly sins--- pride, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, sloth, and greed---things that are evil all the way through, in every situation, at all times, in all places. That's the sort of evil exponentially going on in the world today. No embellishments necessary.

Let's make sure we define evil correctly and give it absolutely no allowance. Evil is always the same. It has no nuances. It cannot be exaggerated. It's either present or not.

If you don't think there has been a shift---in tone, in emphasis, in purpose---read this quote from Gordon B. Hinckley, 2004, from "In Opposition to Evil." Do we hear this much today? What are we hearing instead?

“The tide of evil flows. Today it has become a veritable flood. Most of us, living somewhat sheltered lives, have little idea of the vast dimensions of it. Billions of dollars are involved for those who pour out pornography, for those who peddle lasciviousness, for those who deal in perversion, in sex and violence. God give us the strength, the wisdom, the faith, the courage as citizens to stand in opposition to these and to let our voices be heard in defense of those virtues which, when practiced in the past, made men and nations strong, and which, when neglected, brought them to decay.” 

Back in the 1950s short story and novel writer Flannery O'Connor wrote, "My devil has a name, a history, and a definite plan." She said that perhaps in these permissive times all a writer with Christian concerns can do is point out that there is evil in the world. And now, we are to the point where churches are telling us to not worry about evil so much.

What a time we're living in, when we're told to be careful not to exaggerate the very real and vast dimensions of our time.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Homosexuality Welcome, Family Values Not So Much

So, we're told officially that homosexuality is now welcome in our congregations. Forget the Boy Scouts---it's everywhere now.

Big problem.

Well, there are many problems and potential dangers regarding this development, but here's one problem that has already affected people like us. If homosexuality is now welcome in our midst, anything anti-homosexuality must be unwelcome. Yes, it's true. To borrow from the late Robert Bork, these two opposite worldviews (sexual immorality vs. sexual morality) cannot peacefully co-exist. One worldview will be preferred (showcased, taught, encouraged, praised) and the other harmed (de-emphasized, ignored, shunned, punished).

Note: If you are one who insists that Mormon gays are or can be sexually pure, please note that here at SoL we make no distinction between openly claiming the homosexual identity, homosexual sex acts, and everything in between. All are pro-gay acts. All are endorsements for the behavior. All are sinful. Just ask any honest gay, Mormon or otherwise.

In the not-so-distance past sexual morality was preferred (showcased, taught, encouraged, praised) in the church. There has been a decided shift. In the last fifteen years or so many things have been done and said, and not done and not said, and done and not undone, and said and not unsaid, that indicate what worldview is now to be preferred, and it isn't the conservative family values/scriptural/gospel worldview. We could write a book about the insidious flaxen cords that have been woven around people's necks that have led to the present state. Today in the church some of the big sexual-related sins have been softened to the point of making excuses, turning a blind eye, acceptance, and even embrace: abortion, pornography, masturbation, heterosexual lust, homosexual lust, homosexuality in general, transgenderism. Apparently, throwing Young Women baby showers for unwed teens was only the beginning.     

Yes, we could write a book about the shift toward sexual immorality in our church culture in general. But right here we'll show on a personal level how the sexual morality worldview is now being de-emphasized, ignored, shunned, and punished, and how the leftist sexual immorality worldview is being showcased, taught, encouraged, and praised. Here are some off the top of our heads.

Janice was uninvited to speak, after being asked to speak at a monthly ward elderly ladies' luncheon, because she was going to talk about her gently-worded children's book, Me Tarzan, You Jane (the truth about male and female, romantic feelings, and marriage, pretty much the Family Proclamation).

Visiting teachers lectured Janice in our living room on the fine art of lesbian parenting and acceptance of premarital sex.

In classes at church our comments testifying of the sinfulness of human nature, of Christ as our Redeemer, of the spiritual nature of the scriptures, and other basic truths are often ignored, explained away, and even mocked.

A member of our stake presidency blasted us with, "I would never tell my lesbian sister that she was doing something wrong!"

A bishop told us our eternal salvation was at stake if we didn't attend our ward even if homosexualism was being freely preached from the pulpit. (As seen on facebook, several well-known people in our ward are outspoken supporters of gay marriage, and who knows what else, so we are sure it will happen sooner or later.)

We were instructed by high-ups not to hold a tiny rally in a public park near BYU highlighting the Family Proclamation near a big LDS pro-gay rally going on.

We were interviewed and videoed -- but our family's story about overcoming homosexuality was cancelled before it even got to the TV News station.

Our gospel-centered, highly endorsed book, My Darling From the Lions, testifying of repentance and change---accepted by Deseret Book because of the coming news story---subsequently denied us proffered advertising options (to be paid for by us) and took our book off the shelves at Deseret Book; even people who asked for it were turned away. We guess they threw our books in the dumpster out back.

Our son's book, Captain of My Soul, endorsed by LDS experts, was summarily rejected by Deseret Book. As far as we know D.B. publishes and now sells only gay-affirming books, even though Sheri Dew wrote in a letter to us many years ago that they would be producing books showing other views.
It hasn't happened.

And there are plenty more, too painful to share. 

Please note that these are only our own personal stories. There are many, many people who have common sense, who uphold and strive to keep God's laws for sexual purity, who actually believe in the scriptures, who know that homosexuality is sinful and disgusting and dangerous. So multiply instances like the above by thousands. And the way things are going, it's only going to get worse.

We don't know what all the fuss is coming from the gay-affirming Mormons. They are welcome! People like us are not! Our advice to them is to just keep not telling what gays actually think about or do sexually. Keep all the mental and emotional illness and child sexual abuse and drug abuse and pornography and violence hidden. Apparently nobody much cares anyway. It's only the appearance of things that seem to matter. What gays need to do is just continue to appear to be put-upon and/or churchy and you'll probably get what you want, here on earth anyway. But you won't be satisfied, even then. This is how evil works. It never stops. But of course we hope you stop. We pray you will be brought to repentance and turn back to God, for your own sakes and for the sakes of those around you.

You think the church is still anti-gay? Think again. Let's remember that perception has a great influence, no matter what is actually officially written or said. It is for several reasons, intimidation and misinformation being a few, that perception of homosexuality within the church has shifted. When once a person would be excommunicated or disciplined or admonished or swept under the rug for shameful homosexuality, now open gays are welcomed, no questions asked, or not very many. What an about-face!

When was the last time you heard of a Mormon gay being disfellowshipped? Apparently they don't even get their temple recommends revoked. Most just quit coming to church. But of course we're supposed to want them in church, that is, with zero talk of warning or discipline or repentance going on. Come on in. Bring your lusts. Bring your same-sex sex partner; why not? Introduce yourselves around. Partake of the sacrament. Make comments in class. We'll give you a position. We welcome you one and all.

Really? Here's what the scripture says: "And those that would not confess their sins and repent of their iniquity, the same were not numbered among the people of the church, and their names were blotted out." Mosiah 26:36. Scripture goes on to say that unrepentant sinners must not be welcomed into the church because the unrepentant will lead the people of the church into sin. This means that unrepentant sinners, for example, proud, out, unrepentant self-identifying gays, must not be welcomed into the church, whatever that looks like. Well, not anymore. We steadfast family-values types are the ones being marginalized now.The way things are playing out is proof that they are winning, which makes us the losers.

Imagine what influence a popular openly gay person, encouraged and supported in a local congregation, perhaps teaching and leading and traveling and camping---with vulnerable youth--can have. It doesn't matter if they act out in more graphic ways in private or not. The acceptance of open gayness represents the normalization and legitimization and advocacy of homosexual behaviors.

And let's not forget that open homosexuality compromises all sex-segregated places and gatherings in the church. Welcomed openly same-sex attracted individuals will be using bathrooms,showers,  locker rooms, dorm rooms, missionary accommodations, etc. that apply to their biological sex. Straight persons will have to do private things in the presence or close proximity of others who publicly claim to be sexually attracted to their same sex. So much for propriety, modesty, and feeling safe in those places. These places have now lost the primary reason they exist. These places are meant for straight people, divided by sex, male and female. They cannot decently also accommodate gay people, whether there is one gay or two or they are all gay. Gays shouldn't share these types of accommodations with anybody, straight or gay.  If you want to get technical, the gay man should use the women's bathroom, and vice versa. And that wouldn't be right either. Truth be told, women don't want men of any stripe in their private spaces, and men don't want women in their spaces either. And any parent that wouldn't want their young son to have to urinate in front of a female would certainly not want him to have to urinate next to homosexual man.

No, it doesn't much matter what any handbook says because we're told that member homosexuality issues will be left up to local leaders' discretion.  Here we see that there are no absolutes then, no real right and wrong, no real evil, no real good. Each local leader, however uneducated or misled or intimidated on this issue, can deal with homosex (and pornography and every other sexual sin) however he wants. Maybe some bishops will call the gay person into their office and ask if he's involved in anything immoral (which of course he is), and maybe the gay person will lie or become offended and the bishop intimidated. Maybe some bishops won't call them in or ask them anything. There are so many variables. But chances are, when it comes to homosexuality especially, local leaders will take the welcoming instruction and run with it, so as to avoid any unpleasantness, so as to look "good, enlightened, compassionate,"so as to support leaders, so as to get along with the world, so as to avoid any law suit.

But we know this: "With encouragement and recognition comes escalation" (CSI Cyber, 2015). We already have leaders who are homosexualists and open gays serving in important callings. It won't be long before, or more probably the time is now arrived, that a bishop, stake president, and on up, may be an open homosexual himself, even if married to a woman in the temple. Yes, they call it mixed-orientation marriage. It just has to be believed or assumed that they are not acting out. But of course they are. Same-sex attraction has to be fed, by fantasizing and lusting and pornography and associations, or it goes away. Let's remember that decent people keep their sexual attractions limited to their spouse. (And that's not the same as noticing beauty or attractiveness in a nonsexual, unselfish, impersonal way, the same way people truly appreciate fine art. Lust is a different thing entirely, a lewd, out-of-bounds, sexual response.) And of course theses gays would be homosexualists too, seeking to push acceptance of homosexual behaviors in all their varieties on everyone, or they wouldn't make it public.

"As a practical matter, being an open homosexual is indistinguishable from proclaiming a belief that homosexual acts are morally innocent. After all, if one accepted the traditional view that such acts are morally impermissible, one would ordinarily keep one’s inclination to them to oneself." (Emphasis ours.)
--Carson Holloway, "The Boy Scouts' Doomed Compromise."

Open homosexuals and homosexualists do not condemn any gay behaviors. They never talk about chastity. Have you ever heard them do so?

And how about transgenders? This is on the gay list, the LGBTQI list. Gay-affirming Mormons include everybody in the alternative sexuality alphabet soup. Trangenders usually seem to be homosexual, meaning attracted to their same biological sex, so in reality they are same-sex attracted. They are supposed to be welcome, too. Prepare for male and female imposters, in all varieties of cross-dressing/sex hormone additives/manipulating surgeries, infiltrating not only our general  meetings but every sex-segregated venue and activity and program of the church:  Missions, Priesthood meetings, Relief Society, Young Men, Young Women, Achievement Days, Cub and Boy Scouts, camping trips, youth conferences, church school dorms, church school sports; chapel, temple, seminary etc. changing rooms, locker rooms, rest rooms, and ordinance rooms.

These people are all about pushing some really sad and nasty stuff, all of it, and they are supposed to be welcome in our churches, no questions asked. Wow. And those of us who know it's all wrong are supposed to go along with our mouths shut. We have been told we are "incorrect and unkind."

Yes, Mormon gays are increasingly labeled and perceived as victimized, wholesome, harmless, special and wonderful, even spiritual, and, don't forget, welcome. Conservative Mormons are increasingly labeled and  perceived as right-wing fringe, going inactive, unChristlike, hateful, dangerous, and, don't forget, unwelcome. These perceptions are winning the day, in the world and in the church. (If you don't believe us call the church office building and ask somebody's secretary about homosexuality being welcomed into the church. You will be referred to the security department posthaste and maybe even threatened with legal action---yes, for a sincere, civil telephone call.)

We don't think all members are conscious of this shift. They just do as their leaders sort of . . . kind of . . . seem to be doing . . . because of some of the things they do and say . . . that look and sound pretty much like homosexuality is . . . they guess . . . supposed to be particularly welcomed. Amid such uncertainties and contradictions, humans tend to take the easy route, the path of least resistance, the worldly way. They love to be flattered and assured, they love to feel relevant and important, they love to be told that all is well in Zion. Have they forgotten this scripture?

"And others will he [the devil] pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well---and thus the devil cheateth their souls, ,and leadeth them away carefully down to hell." 1 Nephi 28:21 Sure haven't heard this scripture lately.

Here at SoL we obey God, not human beings. We believe in God's unchanging standards. We are not  blown about by every wind of doctrine. We rely on Christ for our salvation, not an evolving institution.

So what do those of us who actually believe in Christ and the scriptures and good and evil and sin and all those true but highly unwelcome beliefs do as our church continues to move left? We certainly can't run our families that way. And yet the true doctrines are still there., We at SoL are done raising our children so it is pretty easy for us to put some distance between us and what is going on. But we feel especially sorry for younger parents of growing families who can see the way the wind is blowing and must somehow maneuver their children through these spiritual land mines.

We do know this. This life is not a dress rehearsal. We are choosing life or death in very real spiritual ways. There are eternal principles in play. People everywhere, in high places and low, are exercising their God-given agency, making their choices, deciding their loyalties, worshiping their chosen gods.

As for us, our personal spirituality and testimonies of Christ have been much strengthened because of all that is happening. Our faith has become our way of life, rather than a set of institutionalized efforts and performances. We think and talk about the Lord everyday. We apply the scriptures to our daily lives and everything occurring. We continually repent. We love God first. We pray more and pray better. We pray for our church and churches everywhere. We wish the eternal best, God's greatest spiritual gifts, for everyone, including those who no longer welcome us, those who actually hate us, and everyone in between. We seek the Spirit for truth and guidance. Come what may, we put our trust in the Lord. It's a beautiful life. God's is a terribly lovely Plan.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

"Diversity" is Destructive: People are the Same in the Most Important Ways

In the last three decades or so our society has been inundated with the idea of  how important and valuable the easy-to-see differences between human beings are. It is called multiculturalism, diversity, anti-discrimination, inclusiveness, pride, kindness, compassion, even love. No, it's not enough to see these differences with our eyes. We must appreciate them, praise them, embrace them, even idolize them. We mustn't see that some differences are prideful or ignorant or irresponsible or self-destructive or criminal or anti-Christ or even suicidal or murderous. We're to close our eyes to the elephants in the room. We're to pretend the naked emperor is wearing beautiful clothes. Many people feel a great moral superiority by pushing this thoughtless, politically correct notion of the value of ostensible human differences on everyone else in spite of what idolizing these differences may result in.  

Now, by some arbitrary measure, if somebody is thought to fail to realize the huge value of these varieties of human identities, in this brave new world he is compelled to take a training course, as in "diversity training," or is lectured nonstop by his or her betters on "kindness," "love" and "compassion." If the long-held, traditional, ordinary way you believe and live centers on anything that appears to contradict any of those applauded varieties, you're in trouble.

So let's think this through. What are the criteria used to define these differences? What is behind this push for dividing humankind? And where will it get us?

It seems to us that the criteria for valuing these differences are only skin-deep. They are based on how people look or present or proclaim themselves. It's all about the most superficial things: appearance, skin color, ethnicity, language, talents, handicaps, sex, sexuality, clothes, personality, their words, their opinions, you name it. Everything you can discern with the senses. Nobody stops to think what is underneath these differences, whether it's true or healthy or worthwhile or whether it's false or destructive or worthless.

We get what's behind it. We get that liberals (churches included) want to fill people's felt needs. They exploit what makes people tick, what they care most about, what appeals to their emotions and senses, what makes them feel better about themselves. Such as, the world is too fractured. Let's get together. Sure we're different but let's embrace our differences. Let's just serve. Just love. Just forgive. Just be patient. Just be respectful. Sure it sounds so nice. But this isn't reality. There are bad things and bad people in the world. There is a devil and he has a name, said Flannery O'Connor.

What's more, Christianity isn't based on sociology. Embracing all those 60-something "genders" will not unite us or make the world a better place. In this evil world we're living in, more evil than it's ever been, where people are trying to raise their children, ignoring or embracing evil, in favor of getting along, are evils themselves. When in the history of humankind, where in the scriptures, where in classic literature does it ever happen that playing up and embracing any and all human differences as normal or wholesome or harmless or worthwhile unites people or brings them closer to God and goodness? Where in the Book of Mormon are all those '-ites a good thing?

Where will this embrace of differences get us? Incredibly, this over-the-top "noticing" of these  variations is supposed to make us all "equal." Yes, we're supposed to play up our differences, which is supposed to make everybody feel equally important. But it's counterintuitive. It's the opposite that is true. While it's interesting to learn and understand about human varieties, we must also discern between good and evil, health and illness, order and disorder, safety and danger. Our universal, God-given, potential ability to discern these things is more important than any differences we may have.

Keep in mind as you read that this loving-our-differences thing only goes so far in this world today. That's the thing about liberalism. When you peel off a few layers you can see that it contradicts its own most vehement talking points. For instance, while we must accept the dozens of different "genders," we must also pretend that male and female (the only two actual sexes) are not different at all. What? And when any of these issues---alternative sexual orientations, sexuality in schools, terrorism, illegal immigration, abortion, gun control, threats against religious freedom---suddenly hit too close to home, some liberals finally start to think things through and change their spots.

Apparently, people think this inconsistent, ostensible pretending is supposed to get rid of every human prejudice and rule, from rudeness to racism, from right to wrong, and turn society into an earthly heaven or utopia. This is not happening and never will. This is earth and we are human beings and there's no way around these facts. What's happening is that human beings are reducing themselves to the lowest common denominator. Everybody is supposed to be made to feel equal based on the most superficial, unimportant characteristics of human beings. It's supposed to be totally okay to be yoked with unbelievers--unequally yoked. There's nothing about absolutes here, nothing about virtue, nothing about truth, nothing about improvement, honesty, goodness, purity, or nobility. It's just humanism at its basest. Selfish. Shallow. Stupid. Humans reduced to their lowest form are not great human beings, inside or out.

This new world order comprises a hazy, lazy sort of "love," a superficial, self-serving "kindness," a fraudulent "compassion" based on radically individual outward appearances. There is very little discernment on things that really matter. Most often, the things that really matter don't even enter into the discussion in our schools, in our governing bodies, in our sciences, in our churches. It's all about the most superficial things, whatever can be discerned with the senses. Sure we say we are all God's children, and yet we don't talk much at all about God, His will, and His rules. Nothing about the value of each soul to God apart from every appearance. Nothing about good or evil. Nothing about those deadly invisible flaxen cords. Nothing about evil influences leading people astray. Nothing about heaven or hell. At least these things are not emphasized. At all.

It seems to us that the more society insists that we are all different (which is racist among other things), the more our unchanged samenesses stand out. As in:  there is both good and bad in people, we all experience pain and evil in the world, every human problem cannot be solved, we're all going to die and be judged.  

Yet even churches are picking up on this dividing and valuing of the human race according to human criteria. The LDS church public relations department is evidently on this track. "I'm a Mormon" commercials celebrate a Mormon Harley Davidson motorcyclist, ballerina, comedian, and fashion exec. Meet the Mormons, two films produced by the church, show Mormons of all stripes, a black Mormon bishop, a Costa Rican kickboxer woman, the tatooed girl (who has a book or two out), the 1948 candy bomber, entertainers from Tokyo, a horse trainer, and a teen mom. Then there's, treating us to stories about Mormon gays as perfectly wonderful and normal.

If you can stomach it, see the videos the church put out about pornography addicts. Apparently they are victims and we're supposed to pity and appreciate their victimhood. There's no judging here between good and evil, between lust and sexual purity. You see, these people are just who they are. Porn addicts. Everybody has their different challenges. That's just the way it is and we're all supposed to make people's particular, current, imagined, even self-appointed, differences the things that matter most. Remember Bruce Jender and TransRachel? Oh, and now there's a one-minute video in the Social Media Shareable Videos section of the LDS Media Library. It's called "We Don't Need to be the Same to be One." Here is most of the audio:

He [God] made everything different.. . No two people are the same. . . We look different. We sound different. We act different. We believe different. But we can different and still be together. We can be kind. We can be patient. We can not judge. We can forgive. Over and over again. Because we don't have to be the same. To be one. We are all God's children.

We get it. But there are problems. Problem: is this religion? At best it sounds like psychobabble. At worst it sounds like a kindergarten propaganda chant for some socialist regime. Out of our differences we can become one? How so? We're all different so let's point these differences out so we can then ignore them and all be the same good people. Yikes. Not only is this incomprehensible, but religion is about the welfare of the immortal soul, not temporal differences or even sociology. Religion is about our relationship with God first, each other second. Religion is based in God's standards of right and wrong, inside and out. And we are supposed to judge right from wrong, truth from error, good from evil.

Another problem: What do they mean by being one? Apparently, the definition of "being one" means appreciating all the differences between us, which is the opposite of being one. News flash:We are supposed to be of one heart and mind. Yes, we are supposed to believe the same way on important things. God's children? Yes. But that's not where Christianity ends; it's barely the beginning. God loved us so He sent His Son.  One way we are definitely all the same is our fallen human condition. We aren't perfect. We need a Savior. Hello? Anybody out there?

Notice how the emphasis is on how we should be kind and accepting because we are different. This is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not by a long shot. Why not make commercials, movies, books, and videos about how there is good and evil in the world, how our human condition makes us all sinners, how our temporal bodies house immortal souls, how we will be judged by a merciful God who provided a Savior, how these truths unite us and cause us to best help and forgive one another and grow spiritually in the process, how people are all the same in the really important, transcendent ways, how people can choose to believe in Christ, how these essential realities apply to people's everyday lives, how the Lord's solutions are the ones that work best and the ones that really matter?

What about our samenesses? Isn't it the universality of human nature that unites us all? Scripture and all classic literature is based on the universality of human nature, deep down. Yes, everybody, regardless of "gender," race, personality, talents, efforts, appearance, socioeconomic status, education, position, beliefs, opinions is a fallen human being. That's why classic literature is classic---because through the millennia, through the centuries, we can still relate to it.

When in the history of humankind, where in the scriptures, where in classic literature does it ever happen that embracing any and all superficial human differences as normal or wholesome or harmless or worthwhile unites people or brings them closer to God and goodness?

Quoting Dickens in Barnaby Rudge, 

"I cannot talk to you sir," replied Lord George in a loud voice, and waving his hand in a disturbed and agitated manner; "we have nothing in common."

"We have much in common---many things---all that the Almighty gave us," said Mr. Haredale; "and common charity, not to say common sense and common decency, should teach you to refrain from these proceedings. . . "