Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Latter-day Samaritan

Buckley has been asked by his ecclesiastical leaders to forsake his faith. He has responded that he will not deny his faith and his heritage. He knows that love is not a sin. Buckley understands that God created him in his image.

In spite of Pauls teachings that privilege celibacy, Mormons understand the power of the sex drive. We know that most people will have sex. Hence we tell them to get married early.

Behavioral codes have to accomodate reality, not the other way around. The fact is that homosexuality is a natural phenomenon. Homosexuality occurs across a wide variety of species including primates.

Furthermore, no species relegates procreation to volition. For humans that manifests itself in the sex drive.

It is not only unjust and unfair to deny humanity's sexual nature to individuals who happen to be created with a different sexual orientation. It's futile.

Most people will have sex. Homosexuals are people. Therefore homosexuals will have sex.

People who do not recognize that are in denial. Even if motivated by the best intentions, this mindset has negative consequences, which include physical violence against homosexuals in the form of bodily injury and homicide. There is also symbolic violence against homosexuals by way of humiliation, marginalization and scapegoating.

Symbolic violence may lead to self-destructive behaviors when gays cannot reconcile their religious commitments and their sexuality. In some cases that means suicide. In others it means that gays act according to the negative image that Mormon society and doctrine prescribes for them.

Bad ideas have consequences. How do I know it's a bad idea? Because the notion that homosexuality is a sin destroys our children.

There is no reason why there needs to be another Stuart Matis. We only need to take responsibility for our ideas instead of blaming God.

Nobody is innocent. We are all responsible when it comes to the power of bad ideas.

Fortunately, Buckley is a pretty strong guy. He bears his cross with dignity. The way we treat him pains him. But in the end, Mormon culture will be better thanks to Buckley's strength. I am grateful for the opportunity to support him. I wish I would have supported Stuart Matis.

In my eyes, Buckley is a Good Samaritan of our generation. He doesn't see himself that way. He just wants to be a good Latter-day Saint. But one cannot say that as a gay Mormon man without helping the weary, burdened, and injured that we encounter on our community's paths.


Blogger RoastedTomatoes said...

I feel sorry for Buckley and wish that we as a Mormon community had a better response for people in his situation. I haven't yet heard of an approach to changing this that could work... Confrontational approaches cause the Mormon leadership and membership to lock down, and subtler modes of persuasion will take generational turnover to succeed.

Perhaps patience, then, is the answer for our community as a whole. In the meanwhile, for specific individuals like Buckley, I'm afraid I have nothing to offer but my sorrow and my prayers. (And he certainly has those.)

Blogger Hellmut said...

There's a lot to that, RT. The problem is that our children are suffering in the meanwhile. I feel for Stuart Matis' parents who did not know what to do anymore.

Anonymous Equality said...

"Behavioral codes have to accomodate reality, not the other way around." I like this at first glance but wonder how broadly it can be applied. Adultery, for example, is a reality and is related to the procreative impulse, but should moral codes against adultery be abandoned? Note that I am not comparing homosexuality to adultery qualitatively but only using adultery as an illustration of where I think the above statement might have to be adjusted somewhat. If the "reality" is immoral should moral codes bow to that reality? Or should "reality" in such instances accommodate behavioral codes?

Blogger Hellmut said...

That's a fair question, Equality. Thanks for raising it.

I am concerned reality in the sense of observed behavior but in the sense of human nature. In this case, the relevant property of human nature is the sex drive.

Since marriage provides a legitimate outlet for the human sex drive, adultery is a problematic behavior.


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