The LDS Church recently posted an “interview” with Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church, and Elder Lance B. Wickman, a member of the Seventy. The “interview” was performed by a member of the Church’s public affairs staff, who remains unnamed throughout the “interview.”
The subject? The Church’s stance on same-sex marriage.
I wanted to read it and be angry, but it just made me sad. I have friends who are gay–in particular, my friend Suzy–but I’ve never believed my heterosexuality made me better than anyone else. However, I’ve LONG been aware it sure as hell has made my life easier. In fact, I’ve read stories of suicide attempts, and marriages destroyed by the revelation that one of the spouses was gay, and realized that I really have it easy. I’m married to a man–a strange creature, to be sure. But society does not frown on this relationship. Despite the fact he has an affinity for duct tape, NASCAR, and thinks the ability to clear a room with one fart is a fine art. Surely this should be some egregious sin? I suppose, if you take out the “ine” a fart is, indeed, fine art. I, on the other hand, need a gas mask on certain evenings. Women are not so amused by bodily functions. And much more fun when it comes time to shop. And when I feel the need to cry, they just GET it. I have, at times, cursed my heterosexuality because it seems that it would be easier to be partnered with someone who understands when you say, “Wouldn’t a mani-pedi just make this whole evening better?”
Have you ever listened to Melissa Etheridge or kd lang sing? I’m telling you, those girls have the CORNER on passion. A constant craving? Wow. They must know something they are not telling us straight girls, and it is pissing me off. I think we are getting shortchanged, but you can’t change your sexuality. Right?
Back to the Church interview. In short, the two leaders basically said they don’t believe homosexuals make an active choice to be attracted to someone of their own gender; they don’t advocate programs that try to “change” the sexual orientation; that in fact, homosexuality is a “challenge” that a person faces.
This is definitely an about face from years past, when they even engaged in shock therapy down at BYU, trying to cure homosexuals of their “depraved” attraction.
I would like to think it’s a step forward, progress, but truly, is it?
Let’s examine the Church position.
1. Homosexuality is not a choice. The member did not choose this affliction.
2. Homosexuality cannot be changed.
3. Homosexuality will never be accepted by God or the Church.
4. Homosexuality is a challenge, and in fact is a handicap.
5. Parents cannot condone a gay child’s behavior.
In other words, the only life a homosexual–someone who did not choose this orientation and cannot change it–is one of lonely celibacy and service to the LDS Church. If they should choose to act on these “inclinations,” they are sinning “abominably” and will never, ever, ever, be accepted. Not by the Church. Not by their parents. Not by God. Even if the child is in a monogamous homosexual relationship.
One of the true joys of life comes from relationships. These, of course, are not all sexual, but for a church that DEFINES itself by the institution of MARRIAGE–and you certainly can’t say that the LDS Church does NOT, since they ESPOUSE MARRIAGE ABOVE ALL ELSE–to say that certain people are doomed to a lonely, solitary life, without marriage, is nothing less than horribly cruel.
The LDS Church, as we discussed before, DOES teach polygamy as a tenet, and still believes it will be practiced in the Celestial Kingdom. Several of its authorities are practicing “spiritual polygamy” even as we speak. A man can have a lot of wives. Women cannot. Have wives, of course. But also lots of husbands. That’s something that is reserved for STRAIGHT, WHITE, HETEROSEXUAL MEN.
That’s the only real norm for Mormons. Yes, yes, I know they did away with that whole ban on blacks holding the priesthood, but that doesn’t make it go away.
Discrimination and racism issues aside, where does this leave gay people? Pretty much out in the cold. You cannot marry, you cannot seek relationships with those you are attracted to, you cannot seek relationships with those you aren’t attracted to because it isn’t fair to them. But you can serve the Lord. And then go home to your house or apartment, feed your animals, and thank that same Lord for making you GAY and thereby sentencing you to a lifetime of loneliness. Because did God not create EVERY human?
God is supposed to be love. Where did that get lost along the way?