Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My thoughts after reading the Weed blog and also many other stories/articles on the subject of homosexuality

*This post is a follow up to my previous post two posts ago.  They are codependent blog submissions, so please don't read this one if you didn't read the first one first.

       I have seen post after post from my facebook friends about the story of the Weed Family (the homosexual mormon in a traditional marriage with kids who has made it work well). Though I do find the Weed Family's story inspiring and believe they have found happiness every bit as much as they portray in their blog post... I think that everyone (especially LDS people) should be just as mindful of the hundreds of times that gays attempting to be in traditional boy/girl marriages ends poorly. And please know that I write "poorly" in lieu of extremely heart-breaking and graphic stories of what normally happens to people who live lives of suppressed sexual energy.

I also appreciate these thoughts from our current church leaders:

From Elder Holland: "In doing so, recognize that marriage is not an all-purpose solution. Same-gender attractions run deep, and trying to force a heterosexual relationship is not likely to change them. We are all thrilled when some who struggle with these feelings are able to marry, raise children, and achieve family happiness. But other attempts have resulted in broken hearts and broken homes.".
This church article also speaks on the subject and states that traditional marriage is rarely the path to be taken:

"President Hinckley, faced with the fact that apparently some had believed it to be a remedy, and perhaps that some Church leaders had even counseled marriage as the remedy for these feelings, made this statement: “Marriage should not be viewed as a therapeutic step to solve problems such as homosexual inclinations or practices.”
     It would appear to me, just from my FB feed alone (I truly think I saw at least 30 people post a link to the weed story), that many mormons are holding the weed story up as a standard to shoot for. As a suggestion to those in the church who find themselves tempted to lead a homosexual life. Or perhaps even as proof that mormons know how to be gay AND straight at the same time, as long as you want it bad enough. I have read a few blogs lately written by people who inferred the same thing as I did after seeing the majority of their mormon friends post the link. Many people who have actually GONE THROUGH similar relationships as the weed's now feel obligated to point out that the weed's situation and success is rare. Many of these stories I've read are depressing stories. This one, I really found to be enlightening on the subject however. I really suggest you read it:
In Which I Feel Compelled to Start a Blog Because of a Club and a Unicorn…

     So for me, I just hope we can show support to those in need of it. I would never condemn those who choose the path of the Weed Family by any means. If both parties are totally game to commit to the compromises that such a marriage requires, then I would wish them well and I hope their efforts are rewarded and satisfying. However, I do have more fear of the results in that situation than for someone who is homosexual and recognizes that a traditional marriage would not be a path that could ever work for them. For those people who know that they are innately homosexual and could not feign any form of heterosexuality... what should we as church members advise/support? Are we supposed to expect a life of celibacy? Well, if that is what that person feels God wants them to do, then I would support that as well. But what if someone really feels like they have done all that they can, and God is sending them on a different path?

     I recently watched this entire podcast by Benji Schwimmer on Mormon stories and it is the most beautiful and inspiring (though emotionally trying) thing I have read/listened to in years. I already knew and loved Benji from the show and I was really touched and grateful that he shares his story with us so candidly and truthfully. I believe every single word and detail and was deeply moved.

     So do I think homosexuality is a sin? According to prophets, I suppose it is. Do I personally view it as an abominable sin? I think it can be, and that is why prophets have spoken against it. But so can heterosexuality. It can turn into an absolute abomination. Studies and research suggest that the abominable side of sexuality rears its ugly head more often among homosexual relationships. I can't deny those facts, but could this be caused by the fact that until the last decade, anyone who was homosexual was more or less forced to live a life of nonacceptance, spiritual damnation, suppression, depression, suicidal thoughts, and social ostracism? Mankind by nature, when held under such circumstances for a long period of time, is bound to lash out in inappropriate ways. So, I dont know. With all of the seemingly very well-intended people who are finally sounding their voices about the fact that they are innately gay and that they truly have no choice in the matter AND that they want nothing more but to be monogomous and spend their lives with the person they love in the same fashion that heterosexuals would... I personally think we should let them make that choice. That is my personal opinion, however. And yes, it does not align perfectly with doctrine as set forth by prophets. If it truly is the case that the entirety of homosexuality is completely and utterly an abomination against the fabric of the eternities, then I suppose "it is what it is". It is incredibly cruel though, that that be the case, yet SOOOO many of God's children are born into bodies which are innately programmed to destroy their eternal progression. There must be a better way. The God I believe in must have a plan for those people too. It isn't one he has shared with us yet, but you know what? God hasn't shared A LOT with us. So I will just assume that God will speak to people afflicted with homosexuality individuality and hold their hand down the path that he wants for them.
     Many faithful people believe that God would prefer homosexuals to just suck it up and live celibate, lonely, and quite possibly miserable lives until they die and that they will be rewarded for their sacrifice in the afterlife. To that I quote 2nd Nephi 2:25:
 25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
     I believe that God wants us to be happy IN THIS LIFE as well as the next. Trials and tribulations will come. We are asked to deny any natural sins within us to the extent that we can. God is there to guide those who fall into the realms of "special circumstances". He will work it out with them in due time.
     Many people find it necessary to try to lump supporting the LGBT movement in with universal approval pedophilia and marrying animals or something. But those really aren't in the same ballpark in my opinion.  All civil and church punishments should ABSOLUTELY stay in place for anyone who deviates from consensual, age-appropriate relationships. But for people who just want to lead normal lives but with a partner that happens to be the same sex? I just don't see the harm there. Not to mention that by continuing to shun those who are homosexual, we are excluding/damning roughly 10-15% of the current population (depending on which study is cited).

    What it comes down to is that it is THEIR choice. People who are unfortunate enough to be homosexual and also God-fearing/believing have enough on their plate to deal with. They know what the scriptures say, but that does not always change what they feel in their hearts or what they feel God is personally telling THEM. So I can only conclude that our only role as heterosexual followers of Christ is to love one another unconditionally. This includes LGBT. Does that mean you need to be bffs? Absolutely not. Do you need to invite people into your home whom you do not trust? Absolutely not. It just means that we should try to show love and support in any way we can and not put ourselves in a seat of judgement. Accept people for where they are in their journey. It is not for us to tell them what God thinks of their sexuality. That's totally up to them and God alone.

Of all of the things said in the Weed blog, this is what holds truest to me:


… If you know and love somebody who is gay and LDS (or Christian), your job is to love and nothing more. Let go of your impulse to correct them or control them or propel them down the path you think is right for them. Do what you need to do to move past that impulse. Do not condemn the choices your loved one makes. Love. Only love. Show your love in word and deed. Embrace them, both literally and figuratively. I promise they need it—and they need to feel like they can figure out this part of themselves in a safe way without ridicule and judgment. It’s what Christ would do. It’s what your loved one needs. Accept them. Love them. Genuinely and totally.