Sunday, December 09, 2012

The Mormon Church's Seriously Flawed "New Policy" On Gays

It is unclear what motivated the Mormon Church's announcement of a new policy towards gays but it is at best a half way measured and still condemns gays to a life of loneliness in order to remain in the Church's good graces.  On the positive side, the Mormon Church has half way caught up with modern science and medical and mental health knowledge and admitted that (1) being gay isn't a choice, (2) sexual orientation is not changeable, (3) advises against shaming and rejecting gays and lesbians, and (4) recommends that gays not marry opposite sex spouses and try to be straight.  But then, in nearly the same breath, the Church basically says "so what" to this new found acceptance of reality and commands that gays and lesbians "remain chaste" and never act on their God given sexual orientation.  All because the bitter old men in Salt Lake - like their Catholic counterparts in Rome - refuse to face the fact that the ignorant writings of nomadic herders in Palestine of 2500+ years ago - which were mindlessly regurgitated by the Apostle Paul, a legalistic Pharisee - are simply wrong.  If the alleged "new policy" is an attempt to improve the Mormon Church's image, one can only hope the PR effort falls flat on its face.  A piece in Think Progress by my blogger friend Zack Ford looks at the disingenuous bullshit emanating from Salt Lake.  Here are excerpts:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has published a new resource addressing the issue of homosexuality that has some commendable changes, but many of the same stigmatizing problems as before. Framed under the title of “Love One Another,” the new collection of text and video testimonies advises the following important improvements to how Mormons understand and respond to gays and lesbians in their lives:
  • NOT A CHOICE: “The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them.”
  • DO NOT SHAME OR REJECT: “We recognize in each other our common needs for intimacy and companionship and can discuss them without shame or rejection.”
  • NOT A DISEASE: “Attraction to those of the same sex, however, should not be viewed as a disease or illness. We must not judge anyone for the feelings they experience.”
  • GAYS SHOULDN’T TRY TO FAKE IT: “Unlike in times past, the Church does not necessarily advise those with same-sex attraction to marry those of the opposite sex.”
Indeed, these improvements over blatant ostracization and condemnation could very well save the lives of many young people and help keep families together. However, with this approach, the Mormon Church has essentially only caught up to the “hate the sin, not the sinner” approaches of the Catholic Church and many evangelical Christians, which are still incredibly problematic.

According to the new guide, gay Mormons can only stay members of the Church if they practice chastity, forcing a choice between a life with love and a life with faith. The acknowledgment that sexual orientation is not malleable is worthless if individuals are still shamed by “sin” to repress that sexuality — often through ex-gay therapy — and spend their lives alone. There’s also something insulting about the Church’s suggestion that maybe gay people will be lucky enough to marry someone of the opposite sex in the next life .  .  .  .  It is sadly ironic that the Church is using the frame of love to justify depriving individuals of love, and even sadder that this can be called an improvement over its previous position.
The Bible continues to be the source of misery and degradation for millions around the world because power hungry and psychologically damaged men cannot face the fact that their "faith" is no better than a house of cards.  They cannot tolerate anyone or anything that makes it objectively obvious that the Bible is untrue on many matters and issues.

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