Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Abinadi Supports Proposition 8

April 20th, 2012 by Adam G.

Support for Proposition 8 isn’t compassionate or kindly, we are told. Teaching that same-sex acts are immoral is not brotherly or charitable, some say. There are those, even in the Church, who imply that if Jesus were here, he would take aside people with deep sexual impulses that departed from the norm, give them a fatherly pat, gaze soulfully into their eyes, and tell them to get their freak on.

Mormon advocates for gay marriage and for normalizing sexual behavior can certainly quote scripture for their purposes. There is no end to scriptures on kindness, love, tolerance, and other good things. Applying them to gay marriage is hamfisted, but even so it puts faithful Mormons in the awkward position of seeming to explain away scripture. One way around this awkardness is to point out that gay marriage advocates are rightly willing to be “unkind” on premarital sex or adultery (held immoral by the Church, practiced by swathes of the American population), or racism, greed, violence, or any other number of things that also have deep roots in fundamental human impulses but that lack deep roots in contemporary American liberalism.

Another way is to do the thinking and reasoning necessary to give an informed and thoughtful response based on scripture. Shattered Glass, an article in the FARMS Review, gave just such a response to a “but God loves us” argument from a Mormon opponent of the Church’s position on Proposition 8. Said the opponent,

Why would God allow his children to be born homosexual? Because God loves all his children, none is better—or worse—than another. “And God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.”

Gregory Smith’s faithful response was very good. I liked its combination of informed scriptural discussion and real world practicality:

No one disputes that God loves all his children; he is no respecter of persons (2 Chronicles 19:7; Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; 1 Peter 1:17; Moroni 8:12; D&C 1:35). A reading that implies divine endorsement of homosexual acts, however, must pass too lightly over the fact that creation was declared “very good” after the creation of two genders who were given the command to “be fruitful and multiply,” but before the fall of Adam and advent of a telestial world (Genesis 1:28–31). The context does little to justify homosexual attraction or acts as either directly caused by God or desired by him—unless one argues that Adam and Eve had homosexual desires in Eden. There are innumerable things that God now permits in a telestial world—babies born deformed or mentally handicapped, people with genetic predispositions to violence or alcoholism, Huntington’s disease or schizophrenia—that only a sadist or fool would call desirable or “good” as final goals or states. While being thus afflicted is neither a sign that God does not love us nor a cause for moral condemnation, the fact that God permits such states can hardly be used as an endorsement of them. How would Compton react, I wonder, if I suggested that God allows the existence of homophobia—and that it therefore ought to be approved or even encouraged since God loves homophobes just as much as everyone else, and besides, everything that God has made is “very good”? Compton wants to cry that all is not well in Zion and yet ironically insists that all is well in the telestial world—at least as it pertains to sexual orientation.

That’s a good example of how rewarding it can be to do the hard work of giving a scripturally-faithful response to opponents’ scriptural arguments used to advance non-scriptural ends.

Recently, however, I ran across an even better example in the Book of Mormon. Abinadi went to King Noah and his priests and condemned their lifestyle–their high living and their concubines. He didn’t sugarcoat. Here’s an excerpt :

Thus saith the Lord, it shall come to pass that this generation, because of their iniquities, shall be brought into bondage, and shall be smitten on the cheek; yea, and shall be driven by men, and shall be slain; and the vultures of the air, and the dogs, yea, and the wild beasts, shall devour their flesh.

3 And it shall come to pass that the life of king Noah shall be valued even as a garment in a hot furnace; for he shall know that I am the Lord.

4 And it shall come to pass that I will smite this my people with sore afflictions, yea, with famine and with pestilence; and I will cause that they shall howl all the day long.

The priests responded by suggesting that Abinadi was violating the scriptural injunction to say nice things to people :

And it came to pass that one of them said unto him: What meaneth the words which are written, and which have been taught by our fathers, saying:

21 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings; that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good; that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth;

22 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion;

23 Break forth into joy; sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem;

Abinadi’s response is classic . He is not cowed or intimidated. He expounds the scriptures and the law, starting with the basic Ten Commandments and ending with the Atonement . Abinadi’s ferocious attack on sin was only the necessary prologue to a sermon on the Savior.

Most of his opponents are arguing in bad faith, of course, so they respond by burning him. But even one of his opponents, Alma, believes. And we may also assume that many others, bystander-listeners, may have also had their hearts touched.

Where is the love and the kindness in the Church’s teachings on gay marriage? As with all commandments, it is in the wide open arms of the Savior, who forgives the penitent, makes whole the flawed, and knows and comforts every tear.

Comments (39)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , ,
April 20th, 2012 11:43:40
39 comments

Vader
April 20, 2012

Good stuff, Adam.


J. Max Wilson
April 20, 2012

Thank you for this, Adam. Your Abinadi example is very instructive.


Michael
April 20, 2012

Very well written and appreciated. I must note that the end of the first paragraph had me laughing.


Geoff B
April 20, 2012

Sometimes I fear the burning will come sooner than later.


Iggy Montana
April 20, 2012

Very nicely stated and well thought out.
Thanks a ton for this idea, Adam.


Bruce Nielson
April 20, 2012

Thank you for this post and thoughts, Adam.


Vader
April 20, 2012

Geoff,

I fear the same. I do not know if I am the stuff of which martyrs are made. I am afraid I will soon find out.


teelea
April 21, 2012

I’ve always enjoyed Abinadi’s frank and open way of saying things. In particular, his reference to “spending your strength with harlots”, if you stop to consider the physical/biological implications of that phrase, is not a very “nice” thing to say. But sometimes that’s what’s needed to get through to certain people.


Jettboy
April 21, 2012

The irony is, of course, that he was burned to death for not saying nice things. Certain actions by “say nice things” tolerance advocates comes to mind.


rameumptom
April 23, 2012

Adam, great post. It helps us to ensure that people cannot justify sin. Many have natural predilections (alcoholism, sex addictions, violence), but that does not mean God condones us giving in to such predilections. It was Isaiah that warned us about calling good evil and evil good. And yet, here we are.
Harold Bloom noted that Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed for homosexuals living in the cities, but for their trying to force their sins upon the innocent (such as angels and virgins). Today, we see such being imposed upon us by those who should instead develop faith and learn to overcome weaknesses. After all, God gave us weaknesses to make us humble so that we might repent. Now, we have people trying to take their weakness and push it as a strength for others to accept and embrace.

Those who stand forth against sin are always threatened, and sometimes killed by the wicked. But they have their own spin on things.


Karim R
April 25, 2012

Adam, this is weak. Abinadi is like pro-traditional marriage folks…because he says stuff that sounds harsh? I totally agree that God giving us commandments does not make him less loving or kind. That’s not a very difficult argument to make. Consider for a moment though, that you’re born gay (which the Church fully acknowledges is possible). Consider the life ahead of you. No possibility of having an intimate relationship with someone – no possibility of the companionship of a marriage partner. If you put yourself in their shoes, what would you do? You can not act on your attraction for women – and can never have a real relationship with one – let alone marriage. What would you do? Saying that people just need to trust God more is bunk. People are committing suicide! b/c they would rather die than live in the world that the Church is asking them to live. That’s worth pondering over. Saying that people shouldn’t have equal protection under the law for an innate desire to be COMMITTED to a person of the same sex (a desire that the Church admits is totally possible) is not the same as lighting Abinadi on fire. You’re not a martyr. Its a shame that you would taint the man’s name by comparing yourself to him.


John Mansfield
April 25, 2012

If I were complaining about the weakness of someone else’s arguments, I don’t think I would attach to the complaint suicide threats and absurd equal protection distortions, but I’m not a supporter of any-sex marriage.


Vader
April 25, 2012

“Saying that people just need to trust God more is bunk. People are committing suicide! b/c they would rather die than live in the world that the Church is asking them to live. ”

Adam quoted Greg Smith on a long list of very bad things other than same sex attraction that are part of the world in which God is asking us to live. It seems to me that you are asking for a special exemption for same sex attraction from the problem of evil.

Suicide has long been regarded in creedal Christianity as the ultimate rejection of God’s grace, hence, a mortal sin. I’m not sure that that concept is or should be totally absent from the restored Church’s attitude. Put another way, the fact that some persons commit suicide does not prove that God’s grace was not extended to them in their challenge. It may only mean that they rejected that grace.

Hard words, I know. But I speak as someone who sees “no possibility of the companionship of a marriage partner” for myself, though for reasons other than intractable same sex attraction. It is not a pleasant challenge, but if I reject God’s grace in this matter, I believe the multitude of Abinadis who have met even greater challenges will stand as witnesses to condemn me at the bar of Christ.

I do not believe your third to last sentence says what you intended it to say. But for the rest, we have seen temples forced to temporarily close, chapels vandalized, and Church members forced out of their careers for refusing to bless relationships that we believe will ultimately harm both them and the communities in which they live. The martyr comparison is not so far off.


Karim R
April 25, 2012

John, Vader, I bring up suicide as an instructive example of how SSA is not even close to the same as many of the other “sins” or difficulties” that we encounter as mortals. If there was evidence that severe depression was linked to homosexuality, then we’d have a talk about how God feels about suicide. But, there is no string of fully out homosexuals committing suicide – only the ones that are asked to choose between their family/community/Church participation/way of life and a desire that is as powerful and innate as any heteros desire to procreate. That people would rather die than make that choice, really should give us pause.


Adam G.
April 25, 2012

The suicide canard is a modern blood libel.


Vader
April 25, 2012

I am finding myself thinking about the folks who once immolated themselves over U.S. foreign policy. I see some interesting contrasts with Abinadi’s fiery end.


Adam G.
April 25, 2012

I fear the Vietnamization strategy must have been somewhat gay-insensitive.


Anonymous
April 25, 2012

Why, do we think, closeted members of the Church sometimes take their lives? Could it be that it is because the dominant media culture tells our youth that sexual activity is the sum total of their identities? Where were these rashes of suicides prior to the moral decay of the past 50 years? I think those who raise the suicide issue are placing the blame on the wrong side of the argument.


Bookslinger
April 25, 2012

To quote annegb, “Oh cry me a river.”

I take issue with the complaint and intimation that celibacy is impossible or unfair. Many millions of people in today’s world, in the LDS church and out, various people in many different faiths and people of no faith, live lives of celibacy.

Whining and complaining about being expected to be celibate is not justified.

I also take issue with statements and implications that homosexuals (at least homosexual men) want stable monogamous relationships. Monogamy and stability are rare among male homosexuals. The desire to get married is very rare among male homosexuals. Multiple sex partners and short-term relationships among male homosexuals are their norm.

Prior to the AIDS crisis, the CDC had studies that showed the average number of lifetime partners of gay men in the United States was well over 1,000. Since the AIDS crisis, the numbers are still in the hundreds. And that’s just the average.

Most psychologists know full well the various factors that can cause boys to turn out to be homosexuals. If there is a “born that way” contingent, it is a small minority.


Adam Greenwood
April 25, 2012

Books,
don’t take the bait that if there is a ‘born that way’ contingent, the gospel’s teaching of fall and atonement is false.
I expect that most male homosexuality has congenital origins.


Vader
April 25, 2012

There considerable evidence that there is such a thing as congenital same sex attraction. It’s a cross I’m glad I don’t bear, and I am deeply sympathetic with those who struggle with it. I admire any who overcome it. I believe that leading an honorable celibate life is one way of overcoming it.

SSA may be congenital, but all homosexuality is facultative. My sympathy is somewhat tempered towards those who no longer struggle with SSA because they have surrendered to it. I bear them no malice but I hope I would have the strength to make a different choice if I was in their position. I have quite a bit less sympathy for those whose surrender to SSA is more in the nature of a defection.

I don’t know where the balance lies in numbers between congenital and facultative same sex attraction, though I’ve seen indications that the number of facultative lesbians is increasing because of changes in our culture. It also seems clear that there is such a thing as facultative male homosexuality, particularly in dysfunctional all-male institutions, such as prisons and some English boarding schools. C.S. Lewis alluded to the latter in some of his autobiographical writings.


Bookslinger
April 25, 2012

Vader: actually no, there’s not “considerable evidence” that there is such a thing as congenital SSA. The only such related evidence so far are links to effeminism in males, not SSA. The claims of so-called “evidence” are more suppositions which rely on the false rejection of factors (noted below) that were politically (not scientifically, nor by consensus of APA members) dismissed in the 1970′s.

Adam, I have no notions that “born that way” is connected to, or reflects upon, the gospel.

I urge you to read the opinions (based on decades of research and studies and experience) of psychologists who are over 60 years old and were schooled prior to the 1970′s removal of homosexuality from the DSM. (Or casually talk to psychs you may run into.)

That move by APA was not voted on by the members. It was a political decision by its administration. (References to it are on Wikipedia and elsewhere.)

If anything, “born that way” is in the vast minority. Childhood sexual experience (most often abuse), grooming by an older homosexual, failure to develop past a certain aspect of a childhood emotional stage, and failure to bond with the father, are still cited by older psychologists (and some younger ones) who haven’t bowed to PC-ism.

There have been some studies showing linkage between hormone levels in the mother during pregnancy and effeminism of the male child. Yet effeminism doesn’t always lead to or equate to homosexuality/SSA, though there may be social factors that link them. Such as a father rejecting an effeminate son, and that failure to properly bond being the proximal factor/cause in the son’s homosexuality.

A friend and I once compared notes about the out-of-the-closet gay men that we knew, and we both noted that over half of them had been sexually abused as young children by older men or teens. And of course that was just the ones who were open about the abuse. I suspect it was even a greater percentage.

First sexual experience has an enormous imprinting effect. That alone may lead to homosexuality/SSA, whether the experience was child molestation (involuntary) or consentual experimentation as a teen or young adult. And especially if it’s in conjunction with other factors.

In my mission we had an investigator who was slightly effeminate, didn’t have a good relationship with his father, who was befriended and groomed by an older man who went on to seduce him. The young man didn’t see it coming, because the older guy was so “nice” to him. And even afterwards, the preparation, progression and grooming had been so seamless, he didn’t appear to realize how manipulated he had been.

The politically incorrect fact is that most homosexuals are not “born that way”, so they have to be “made” or “recruited.” And that last is another ugly fact: many (not all, likely not even most) gays do recruit.

Sometimes it’s grooming from child years, like Jerry Sandusky did, getting them gradually used to more and more touching so they don’t realize when the line is crossed until it’s too late.

Did you read the news about a psychologist who warned authorities that Sandusky’s behavior towards children many years ago was classic pedophilic grooming behavior?

More than once I’ve been told by young adult men that they were hit on by older men who came out of prison wanting to continue homosexual acts. It was like it was right out of an episode of Law & Order.

Same Sex Marriage is not about getting gays married off. VERY few gays really want to marry. Promiscuity is part and parcel of male homosexuality.

SSM is being pushed because it is the essence of official approval by the state of homosexuality and homosexual behavior.

Therefore, SSM removes the last societal barrier (outside of religious proscription) against homosexuality. It opens the door for more recruiting and “making” of gays via sexual experimentation, and first-sexual-encounter imprinting. “Try it, you’ll like it!” “There’s nothing wrong with it.” “Hey, why not?”

My heart breaks when I think of the future heartache of today’s parents who are pushing for SSM. In 10 or 11 years many of those same parents are going to have teens whose first sexual encounter is homosexual, and it’s going to hit them like a ton of bricks, because their children will not have exhibited homosexual or SSA markers previously. They will realize that after the umpteen million messages their children received over the previous 10 years from society, mass media, and education establishments that “there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality”, their teens will actually have internalized that, and therefore will NOT automatically rule out homosexual relations in regards to their own sexual behavior.


Vader
April 26, 2012

I concede that at least some homosexuality arises from molestation. I have a relative who was forcibly sodomized as a teenager and thereafter became a homosexual.

You concede that effeminacy in males may be congenital. My experience is that every homosexual I know was previously effeminate. It may well be that the great majority of effeminate males go on to develop a heterosexual orientation, but every homosexual I have known at all well was effeminate. This includes the sodomized relative, who was distinctly effeminate long before being raped. Very likely the rapist selected him for that very reason.

Homosexuality is not a simple phenomenon, but I do think there is considerable evidence that congenital factors play a role. Though, as Adam says, that doesn’t invalidate the Gospel doctrines of agency and accountability.


Adam G.
April 26, 2012

Boosklinger,
thanks for the information.

My own view is that there is a considerable body of evidence that SSA has a congenital component: twin studies, the studies showing increased likelihood of SSA for younger brothers, the evidence showing that homosexuals tend to have hypermasculine mental tendencies in some ways and feminine mental tendencies in other, the study suggesting increased fertility in near-relative females of homosexuals, etc. I would also add the considerable testimonial evidence from homosexuals that they “always knew” that they were gay. While this kinds of evidence has lots of problems, we shouldn’t discount it entirely. Its not proof, but it is evidence.

I understand you to be saying that effeminacy is congenital, and that’s all these studies are picking up on. But I don’t think humans compartmentalize this way. If “effeminacy” is normally distributed, you’d expect there to be a tail of men who are very effeminate, to the point of being attracted to men just like women are.

If you are suggesting that “effeminate” males are targeted by homosexuals for child abuse, and then become homosexuals themselves, and repeat the process, then where did the original homosexual come from.

Partly I suspect some congenitality because I have a model of choice where I have a hard time seeing someone choosing to do something that they didn’t have some kind of attraction towards.

Finally, I do agree that there’s an element of imprinting and/or abuse that plays a significant role.


Bookslinger
April 26, 2012

(Adam, again, if I go too far or get too explicit, please delete.)

What, you’ve never heard of “leather-daddies”? There are both “butch” and “femme” types among male homosexuals as there are more commonly known among lesbians.

The current public narrative about gays, exemplified by such as the apparently well-adjusted clean-cut and publicly respectable Neil Patrick Harris and Ellen Degeneres, leaves out much of modern western historical homosexuality: the closeted homosexuals and bisexuals who experimented with homosexual behavior out of curiosity (or while in prison), and the powerful depraved sensations of it trap them.

(I think Spencer Kimball mentioned something like this in Miracle of Forgiveness. There’s also a book/article by a Catholic bishop or priest who, based on what he learned by taking confessions from thousands of people, concluded that only a small percentage of homosexuals were true homosexuals, the rest got trapped via experimentation and falsely assumed they couldn’t stop or get out of the lifestyle.)

As more detailed histories of many Hollywood stars come out, some of the leading men of the golden age of Hollywood fell into that trap by experimentation.

The story of your relative also illustrates the cause/effect question in regards to the connection between effeminacy and homosexuality. Did the teenager’s effeminate “gayness” attract the rapist, or did the imprinting effect of the encounter facilitate the turn to homosexuality?

If peers and society constantly tell boys that their effeminacy means they’re homosexual, wouldn’t a large portion, almost all, be influenced into believing it? Don’t most children live up to what they are constantly told?

It’s already known that girls who are heterosexually molested/raped as children have a high tendency to be heterosexually promiscuous.

The repetition of the sexual behavior that was part of the trauma can be a coping mechanism. It’s an attempt to assure themselves that what happened was not in itself a bad thing.

Cultural/social pressure for earlier and earlier sexual encounters is now a bigger factor, but up until recently, if a girl was sexually promiscuous by age 17, or even in any way sexually active at an earlier age, you could almost bet that she had been sexually molested.

Here’s another ugly-truth tidbit I’ve learned from victims, counselors, and read about: sometimes, regardless of the age of the victim, the rapist/molester will knowingly and successfully “push the right buttons” and cause the victim to experience a degree of sexual arousal, even though the rape is forcible, and whether spoken by the rapist or not, the cruel taunt that the victim hears is “You must have liked it!” A further guilt trip that can mess up the victim for life. A girl can be made to believe she’s a slut, and goes on to live that belief. A boy can be made to believe he’s homosexual.

That’s also why even a consentual first time sexual experiment that is homosexual is dangerous. If the more experienced partner “pushes the right buttons”, the experimenter will likely assume that since it “turned them on” that they must have been born homosexual.


Bookslinger
April 26, 2012

Actually, my last comment was directed at Vader, not Adam. Adam posted while I was composing my comment.

And thanks to both on the correction for “effeminacy”. “Effeminism” didn’t look right.


Bookslinger
April 26, 2012

Adam, molestation is only one of the main factors or causes. The other two that old-style psychologists point to are failure to bond with the father, and failure to mature past a certain early childhood stage.

If the latter two are valid, that can explain the “always knew” testimony of many gays.

As to the “first gay”, one could only speculate, and perhaps draw parallels with the first murderer, or the first to commit any particular sin.

As Spencer Kimball pointed out, many people are enticed by depravity and sins of all kinds, give in to the temptation and try it out, and end up trapped, or bound by Satan’s chains.

Sex, whether sexual acts and contacts, or the passive viewing of pornography, is pretty much habit forming for most people, and perhaps more so for men than for women.

I think it safe to say in this religious context that ultimately the father of all sin is Satan. Though of course that is not to say that “the devil made me do it” is a valid excuse.

I assume that Satan uses all methods at his disposal in order to get as many people as possible to sin in as many ways as possible as often as possible. Hence the complexity and many-faceted reasons why people commit any particular sin.

And, what more convenient way to hedge up the road to repentance than to convince people they were “born that way” and can’t change. Hence, the _chains_ of Satan.

On the bigger issue of congenital causes or influences, yes, our chemical makeup, and the very DNA that controls every cell in our body, especially the cells and their myriad connections within brain, certainly plays a huge part in our lives.

There is certainly friction between congenital, biological and chemical causes or influences toward sinful behavior and agency. It could be said that there is friction between all external influences and agency. But then, that is one of the keys of agency, to be tempted or enticed.


Adam Greenwood
April 26, 2012

Bookslinger,
my main problem with your other two explanations is that I can’t sneer enough at old-style psychology. You’d practically need to light off a dynamite keg of evidence underneath me to get me to admit, even grudgingly, that any of those guys might have even accidentally said something true.


Bookslinger
April 26, 2012

This is not to suggest that you need to see a psychologist, but if possible, casually discuss concepts of “what makes a boy turn out homosexual” with an older (55 years old or older) professional psychologist or psychiatrist who has conservative political leanings (and who therefore would be less susceptible to liberal group-think).

Although more and more psychological “things” are now discovered to have congenital (“nature”) factors, the near total absence of public discussion of “nurture” factors in regards to homosexuality has given people many a false impression.

If you can, please casually discuss such things with psychs associated with LDS Family Services.

In the last 30 years our society has been quick to excuse all sorts of criminal and anti-social (and also things that would otherwise be called sinful) behavior via attributing that behavior to things that happened in the person’s childhood, and that we, as a society, should therefore be compassionate and tolerant towards perpetrators who are in reality the victims.

If we agree that SSA and homosexuality are complex multi-faceted things, then we should not limit ourselves to the “choice versus born-that-way” dichotomy.

If family-life and childhood experiences have such a profound influence on a wide range of both normal and criminal/anti-social outlook and conduct, why do we (collectively) assume that those same experiences don’t have any influence on sexual orientation?

I hope rameumptom is reading this thread and weighs in with his years of observations from his work in the criminal justice system.


Adam Greenwood
May 10, 2012

Apparently there is more than one suicide trump card. There are now two ultimate sins: homophobia and teenage abortions.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/299637/pro-life-parental-involvement-laws-reduce-teen-suicide-rates-michael-j-new


Damon B.
May 13, 2012

This is all fine and good — for religions to teach, believe, and practice — the problem is, the nation is not a religion. It’s a country that allows the free exercise of religion. Stop worrying about other people’s righteousness. In the words of Brigham Young from “Developing Christlike Attitudes toward Others” in “Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young”…. “Serve the Lord, and try not to find fault with each other [see D&C 88:124]. Live so that you will not have any fault to find with yourselves, and never mind the faults of your brethren, for each person has enough of his own to attend to.” It’s fine to go out and preach the gospel, and provide the law to those whose hearts have been prepared by the Lord. In no way does the Lord force us to obey. Abinidi’s audience in the court was a completely different matter — Jesus was much the same. He taught all with love and patience, but to the leaders, the learned, the hypocrites, the was very harsh. I believe as Latter Day Saints we are often the ones in most need of rebuke — we feel our understanding makes us better than others, and we feel a right to judge, as if we were righteous for KNOWING the truth, when we know that there are none that are ‘good’, save one. For us it is asked that we continually forgive — we do not forgive when we are harsh to sinners. We are not Abinidi, and homosexuals are not Pharisees.


Vader
May 13, 2012

Damon, I am happy to leave the gay community alone. The problem is that they won’t me me alone. They’re coming to me demanding that I sanction their relationships by extending them the status of legal marriages. And if I refuse, they are prepared to vandalize my places of worship and drive me out of my career.

It is one thing to ask us to be tolerant and forgiving of those around us. It is quite another to demand our connivance in their ongoing transgression.


Adam G.
May 13, 2012

I’m no expert in Bible codes, but I can’t see how you get the mopral “[s]top worrying about other people’s righteousness” out of the Abinadi story.


Tom O.
May 14, 2012

Damon’s point is a non sequitor; unless, of course, he is saying that people whose personal political views and choices are informed by their religious beliefs don’t have the right to vote their conscience.

Whenever SSM has been subject to a public vote, it has lost, NC being the most recent case. Should those votes not count because voters’ choices were likely informed by religious views? Or is Damon only interested in condemning those he disagrees with?


Vader
May 14, 2012

There is a certain inconsistency in berating people for berating people.


Tom O.
May 14, 2012

Vader, but the people being berated aren’t even berating other people, they are voting their conscience. Seems like for some people, democracy is a good thing only so far as the voters make the “correct” choice.

I’m sure for some, SSM should be shoved down those backward hillbillies’ throats by unelected judges, and they will revel in the anguish. But if these folks want legitimacy and civil peace, they will recognize that the only healthy way for SSM to be legalized, if at all, is by the voice of the people.


Bookslinger
May 14, 2012

Vader, the inconsistency is resolved when one can internalize the belief that some people are more equal than others.


Adam G.
May 16, 2012

Bookslinger
May 31, 2012

I finally found some primary source material to use as a reference to many of my comments on the subject. A 1978 article by Dr. Charles Socarides:
http://www.narth.com/docs/annals.html

The section titled “Historical Review” describes how the decision to remove homosexuality from the DSM was mainly a political one. Please read, at the least, from that point through the end of the article.

Some might not agree with Dr. Socarides, but at least the article gives some needed historical background to the discussion of homosexuality, and to the evolution of societal views.

The endnotes point to more primary sources on the history.

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