Straight to Hell……

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?

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About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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25 Responses to Straight to Hell……

  1. azteclady says:

    The God I believe in *is* love–and not just for me and those who look, think, behave, or believe like I do.

    Other people’s God… not very often, from what I see.

    Like

  2. mommysix says:

    I find it almost laughable that they are now saying that homosexuality is not a chosen life style; they’ve come a long way, baby. I am the proud mom of six, 5 strait and one beautiful daughter with a very loving companion that I consider to be my daughter-in-law. Raised in the church, seminary president, laurel class president and now she breaths the same air, her blood flows red and they don’t want her in their church. Well, she doesn’t want to be there either. Believe me, by excluding people from their church sure makes it appear as though their god doesn’t like everybody doesn’t it. Perhaps we should all sing, there is beauty all around when there’s love at home, unless your child is gay, there is joy in evey sound but don’t let them in to pray. Sorry, I try to keep a sense of humor – you can’t change them – just keep on shaking your heads.

    Like

  3. Natalie says:

    Actually, mommysix, I’m an eternal optimist. They HAVE changed, and by God, I believe they WILL change, if we keep poking at them.

    This IS a big step. It’s just not big enough. Not enough to get over the big, mucky mire. Will we see it soon. Nope.

    The problem, of course, is not just Mormonism. It belongs to much of mainstream Christianity. And it needs to change.

    Like

  4. Cele says:

    My husband’s uncle married us in a civil ceremony. As a person he was interesting to chat with, as an ordained minister he was provocative.

    Discussing the laws handed down by God to the Jews in (what Leviticus?) he said what many forget (Okay almost everyone, but whose counting?) is that God handed down these laws before Christ. TheCrucifixion of Christ countermaned the dead of those sins. Christ died to cleanse us of our sins. I found it to be very interesting reasoning. Are we to believe that if the Bible says, Jesus died for our sins, and through him we shall be saved. Doesn’t that mean all sins?

    And if God sets down laws, Jesus forgives us of those sins, then who in the heck does some elder, minister, reverand, priest, pope, or president think he is? Capable of superceding the promise of Christ? I don’t think so.

    Judge not, lest ye be judge yourself. I like to think that means what it says. If you judge in hate, so in hate shall you be judged.

    Like

  5. Natalie says:

    azteclady,

    the world needs more of you.

    Like

  6. Natalie says:

    Cele, Mormons do not believe in the grace of God. They believe in salvation by works.

    And you know, I’m wondering…. WHY are Mormons so obsessed with marriage? Why is that so important?

    Like

  7. Cele says:

    Interesting question Natalie. Provocative. I love that word. Why are Mormons so obsessed with marriage?

    While I personally believe marriage is a deep, binding (I’ve been married 3 times) commitment between two people (hopefully in love), I see how the vows and bonds of marriage can be twisted into bondage. Women in Christian, Muslem, and Jews cultures (many others as well, but not all) are taught 1) to save yourself for your husband 2) to become a good wife 3) follow your husband as needed. I use to love the story of Ruth. Our generation has learned that women can and need to be dependent upon themselves, to not wait for or expect a man to do it better – there are no white knights, and it’s not fair to expect the men in our lives to be white knights. But in cultures that twist the basis of marriage, it be comes the tool in which a man can hold absolute sway over a woman, command and control very her thought and mood, to get what he wants.

    That sway of commanding power today is tentative at best. But in the Mormon culture and society it is still a power that is wielded through marriage. Dominance and submissiveness. Mormon marriage (from what I have seen) are not partnerships in life, but a male dominated Heirarchy. Take away the marriage and what sway or command does a man have over a woman?

    And before anyone doubts my thought on the bonds of marriage. Each time I got married it was in belief it was forever. I do believe in marriage. My ex’s just didn’t believe in a long marriage to me.

    Like

  8. azteclady says:

    Natalie, thank you–I’m afraid I came across as a selfrighteous, holier-than-thou twit but… my image of God is why I am ‘a recovering Catholic, thank God.’

    As far as I, personally, am concerned, most organized religions have agendas that have little to do with God’s will and way too much to do with prejudice and an urge to separate ‘the chosen’ from ‘everyone else’–the latter being bound to hell for the most part.

    The saddest consequence is that too few people analyze the hidden principles of their religious system from the point of view of humanity–do my beliefs alienate any of my fellow human beings? do my beliefs foster a feeling of superiority over anyone? do my beliefs encourage me to close my mind and my heart to my neighbors?

    Mostly, it seems to me, the majority of devoutly religious people derive a profound sense of well-being–extreme case of the warm fuzzies–from being “the chosen” and feeling justified in looking down to ‘all those heathens’ who are damned for eternity simply for not being Catholic/Mormon/Jewish/Muslim/(fill in the blank). I mean, it’s not being a conceited asshat if I’m saved by virtue of having been born X while you are not because you were born Y, is it? It’s God’s will!

    Are there exceptions? Hell, yes, plenty! There are many people whose practive is incredibly superior to their theory, and whose lives remind me that God *is* love. But for the most part the truly good people on earth are also modest, going about their lives quietly, not considering themselves superior to anyone. And so, it’s the loud who are seen and heard, and who give religions their bad names.

    Like

  9. Cele says:

    well said Aztec

    Like

  10. Howy says:

    Are you gay if your partner has had extensive gender alteration surgery? Cause if you’re not – I’m going for it! That way she would understand me.

    Nat, a fart is only fine art if it’s timed-release, directional strike. Weddings are my favorite canvasses. Appropriate too.

    Fuck all those close minded jerks. Was that clear?

    Like

  11. Will says:

    LOL! Interesting way of looking at things Howy =D

    Like

  12. kd says:

    I just scanned the LDS article. I found it tedious. It looks like the primary reason they put up this post was to stave off criticism. Poking at the Mormons does coerce change. The old LDS policy of tossing gays to the wind wasn’t all that Christian of them, now, was it? Of course, if Joseph Smith’s “revelation” is not absolute truth as he claims, then the LDS aren’t Christian.

    Cheap shots aside, I am sympathetic to what the LDS Church is trying to do. Mainstream culture is being really brutal right now to young women (and young boys). The far left (Material Dialectics, Evolutionary Psychology, etc.) denies free will. They have decided that people are nothing but a nexus of sexual impulses. These new secular ideologies have trained their adherents to think of everyone else as items of sexual conquest. The number of little boys and little girls who are being molested by adults in this modern culture is probably ten to twenty times greater than in the repressed society.

    NOTE: I went to college in the Bay Area in the early 80s (just as AIDS was breaking out). I actually attended lectures where the speaker advocated that teachers help children explore their sexuality. Icky in the extreme. This ideology has taken hold in Africa. Here is a BBC report on teachers spreading AIDS in Africa. Apparently about 12% of the teachers in Subsaharan Africa have died of AIDS, many of them infected their students.

    20 years from now when the number of students who’ve been molested by public school teachers comes to light, I suspect that there will be a big backlash against the public schools.

    I am sympathetic to the conservative cause in this liberated age because, by finding a good way to spin morality, they could help keep adult hands off the private parts of kids.

    I don’t think the LDS article did a very good job arguing for the conservative moral view. It came off as thinly veiled holier-than-thou prejudice. The heart of the Christian view is not simply being holier than thou. It is an authentic desire to create a society where we are being the best people possible.

    This is my understanding of the Conservative Christian view: The view starts by holding respect for life in highest esteem. It is helpful to contrast the early Christian Church to the Romans who practiced female infanticide. Apparently the doctor would look at tha baby’s equipment. If it sticks out the baby the would live; otherwise the would flush the useless females. Archeologists have even found piles of baby girl bones still lodged in Rome’s sewers. There was about a 2 to 1 ratio of boys to girls in the last days of ancient Rome.

    The early Christians hated infanticide. They also noticed that people who slept around died horrible deaths. Christians concluded that the primary purpose of sex was to produce children. They also decided that the primary purpose of marriage was raising children. If you are not specifically looking to raise children, you really shouldn’t be engaged in sex, and why waste your life being miserable in a marriage?

    The ancients really did not expect people to be happy in marriage, but they expected married couples to be devoted to raising the kids. It is not until the modern era that we developed the absurd idea that marriage was supposed to make people deliriously happy for life. The mormons tried to extend the deliriously happy myth to eternity. People who expect marriage to make them deliriously happy are more likely to get divorced.

    Looking at the make up of this Christian society, you see that it did not force everyone into marriage. They had all sorts of options for people who did not want to get married. Notably, people could become leaders of society by becoming priests and nuns. Also, you will notice that many of the best thinkers of Europe were unmarried Christians. Unlike the LDS Church that tosses people to the wind when they don’t fit the mold, the early Christian church was trying very hard to have positive roles for the unmarried. The caveat, since unmarried were not seeking to create children, as they were not engaged in producing children.

    This tendency to channel gays into the priesthood was a big problem in the sexual revolution. Gays who had become priests were caught between tradition and the modern sexual revolution that demanded they explore their sexual instincts. I suspect that this is why there was a spike in sexual molestation by priests in the 70s.

    To make the problem worse, the gay lobby was so strong in the 70s that any time the Catholic Church would try to discipline a priest for molesting children, the gay lobby would pound on them.

    I think the Catholic Church’s problem with gay priests was different than the LDS Church’s molestation problems. The Catholic Church snookered gays into thinking same sex attraction was a calling to serve God. This set up guaranteed that a generation of priests living through a sexual revolution would molest children.

    In contrast, the LDS Church was setting up a cult system where the patriarch would have absolute authority over those unfortunate enough to be born in the clan. Joseph Smith didn’t just set up one generation for failure, he was creating institutionalized oppression.

    BTW, I suspect that Joseph Smith and the early mormons saw themselves and polygamy as being “progressive”. Polygamy was like a mini-sexual revolution. With polygamy, women can mate with the rich powerful men in the clan. Conversely, the rich and powerful men were free to have sex with multiple partners.

    A large number of things bearing the label “progressive” are like this. One or two generations into the progressive revolution, we find out that the progressive ideologies created a regressive reality.

    I know several people in the New Age community who have just discovered polygamy. They think they are the absolute most spiritual, forward thinking people ever to grace the planet earth. My guess is that these new open polygamist cults will be every bit as oppressive as the FLDS within a few generations.

    Ooops, I guess I just earned myself the label of “close minded jerk” in Howy’s book.

    Like

  13. Kris says:

    Interesting. I’ll have to go look at the article.

    As an aside…Mormons are so “obsessed” with marriage because they believe in the eternal nature of families. “Families are forever”. I am not so sure that is a bad thing.

    K.

    Like

  14. kd says:

    Cele, I agree that there is something romantic about the idea of a love that lasts eternity.

    When you expand the idea into a religion that promises to give you power over your family for eternity, it just gets weird. The family that you get on earth becomes your power base in heaven. It’s sick, sick, sick. This is what produces things like Bryan David Mitchell and Warren Jeffs who are willing to do awful things thinking that it will make them powerful in heaven.

    The religion is intriguing for that generation that converts with dreams of being patriarchs with progeny worshipping them. Its hell for the following generations that will be stuck forever subordinate to the patriarch.

    It seems to me that this thing where the promise of a marriage is realized after life leads to a miserable life here on earth. The patriarchs in the polygamist cults that still practice Mormonism as Joseph Smith taught it do horrible things like cast away excess boys, reassign wives. Force illiterate 13-year-old girls into loveless oppressive marriages.

    The traditional Christian view that marriage is about raising kids actually seems much more tenable to me.

    Like

  15. Cele says:

    Well put kd, and I have to agree…it may be romantic to expect a love and a marriage that will last eternally. But if you live with a bitchy person, a hateful person, a self serving person that love won’t last long.

    Like

  16. Suyo says:

    WHY DO WE ALL LIVE IN THIS ALMOST SQUARE STATE? IF THERE IS A HELL THESE HOMOPHOBIC, SCAREY DO-GOODERS ARE ……TRUST ME….GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL WITHOUT PASSING GO.

    Like

  17. Natalie says:

    Hey, SUYO! Good to see you posting again! We must have been having email troubles posting, because I haven’t heard from you in a while.

    Like

  18. Kandi says:

    Marriage is so important because it is in the bible. It also states that sodomy is a sin and even talks about homosexuality. If everyone were gay we wouldn’t have kids anymore except by artificial means. Does God really want that for us? I have nothing against homosexuals. I love them as anyone else, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with what they do or that it is right.

    Like

  19. Howy says:

    Kandi (with an “i”),

    AHHHHHHH! Murder, mayhem and polygamy are also in there. Are those things equally important?

    Why is fiction written by MEN about GOD so all encompassing for some of you?! Geezo Peezo, it just plain pisses me off how moronic some people can get over religion. It’s ALL baloney. Every religion, every book of magic tales and every cult are produced for one thing and one thing only, CONTROL. If they told you to dress in leathers and take the whip there wouldn’t be a land animal left with hide!

    That said, anyone wishing to join my new religion can start lining up now. When I decide what our credo is I’ll let you know.

    Howy

    Like

  20. Oh, I can’t believe you creatures are saying these things. The Book or Mormon makes it perfectly clear that being gay is sinful. Why its communist. I think all terrorists are gay. We should be fighting against being gay in support of our troops, especially on 911.

    I will pray for you all, especially the gay ones.

    Molly the Mormon

    Like

  21. kd says:

    Howy,

    Your absolutist mantra that ALL RELIGION IS ABOUT CONTROL is a piece of crap. I used to buy it, then I realized that the nontheists have a far worse record for doing bad things to their fellowman than the Christians.

    Yes much of religious writing is about CONTROL. A great deal of anti-religious literature is about CONTROL as well. Control over others was the primary theme of Machiavelli. Anti-religious efforts like Communism spent a great deal of time trying to debunk religion because religion stood between them and the absolute power they desired.

    Reading history (especially of the west) it seems that a great deal of religious writing and soul searching has been specifically about escaping control. Core elements of Christianity like the golden rule and the believe that morality transcends politics can lead to a less controlling society.

    A lot of religion has been invented to try to escape control. Conversely some of the greatest attacks on religion have been by MEN who were seeking absolute control.

    Again, Machiavelli’s distaste for Christians was that they did not seize power with the absolute force with which he thinks power aught to be ought to be seized.

    Most of the worst oppressions of the west have actually come from the hands of people who took Machiavelli’s position that the Prince must appear to be religious without actually being religious.

    Your absolutist proclamation is bogus because the question of power is largely relative. A better statement is that both religious and anti-religious philosophies control people in different ways and to different degrees. Some religions and philosophies are worse than others. It seems to me that the polygamist cults are worse than mainstream Mormonism, while Mormonism is a bit more repressive than your typical run of the mill Christian religion.

    Like

  22. Howy says:

    KD,

    Crap? On paper the wholesome cooing of most religions is comforting. People practicing religion corrupt those every time. Eventually they end up fear based. One pure church is all I ask. Science works out much better for me. Plus, I never mentioned that non-theists were without corruption. Jumping to a Machiavellian defense is a bit extreme but I think you made my point. Go baa somewhere else, no sheep allowed in this pasture.

    Howy

    Like

  23. kd says:

    I’ve thrown a couple decades into studying the foundations of math and science. I had completely dismissed all religion. The problem I’ve found is that when you try to raise science to the role of religion that you end up with subprime solutions.

    The Machiavellian defense really is not that extreme. Machiavelli is considered by many to be the father of political science. Machiavelli is carefully studied and lauded by both the far left and far right. If you were to delve into the study of the scientific control of peoples, you would find most all roads lead back to Machiavelli.

    Both Communism and Fascism were experiments in scientific states. Of course, the science behind both systems was terribly flawed. Regardless they ended up committing atrocities of a Biblical proportion.

    Today, people who try to rule by “science” end up playing the exact same fear games as you say is the core of religion. A good example here are the people who want to use the threat of global warming to dictate how one organizes a local community.

    People claiming to be the epitome of reason follow intellectual fads like sheep. Examples here are the legions of professors who worship Freud and Chomsky.

    Rodney Stark’s investigation into the growth of Mormonism has found that the biggest convert base for the group is children of people raised with no religion. A person might reject their Lutheran heritage because they feel it is not scientific enough. When children and grandchildren reject their parent’s non religion, they head for the most extreme religion they can find. Personally, I’ve found many people going into witchcraft (not just wiccanism but full head on, spellcasting and curse style witchcraft).

    The problem I’ve found in studying foundational mathematics is that neither mathematics nor science serve well as their own metaphysics. You cannot scientifically derive the statement that respect for human life should be the core of science. Science says that if carving up live babies leads to more knowledge, then sharpen the scapels and dig in.

    Recently, I’ve been exploring the idea that just maybe, core Christianity might have the elements that you need in metaphysics. There are several things in this tradition like the respect for life, a big emphasis on individual morality coupled with forgiveness for transgressions, etc.., that serve quite well as a foundation for society.

    It is my opinion that raising science to a religion undermines science and does not lead to a better society. Many of the ideas that I think should be in a metaphysics exists within Christianity. There is also a lot of superfluous fluff.

    Like

  24. Howy says:

    Ho hum . . . rather pedantic. My suspicion is when people see you approaching there’s a group butt clench.

    Like

  25. Cele says:

    I have to say, not being of a scientific nature, that many of the parallels that kd made between Christianity and metaphysics are real. I know many Christian / wiccans, including my daughter. Thank you kd for a very well thought out essay.

    Like

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