Tuesday, November 10, 2009

In the middle

My effort to find the happy medium tends to isolate me. Life seems to usually generate two main schools of thought in any given subject. I see correct principles in both sides of the story and therefore, end up in the middle. That makes side A and side B both dislike me because I am not in whole agreement with them. Case in point, the Church and homosexuality issue. There are those that think the Church should condone the act, and those that think the Church shouldn't (and they think it doesn't) condone anything relating to the practice.

Recently, WA state had a measure on their ballot, called the "Everything but Marriage Act." Although I didn't get my mail in card in and therefore didn't vote, I probably would have supported this measure. There are people I know that think I am completely wrong in doing so. I can be arrogant sometimes in thinking that I figure the Church out pretty well and am in sync with it more than most others. Whether it be good or bad, my confidence got another boost recently...

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705343558/Gays-get-Mormon-support-in-SLC.html

For those that think the Church doesn't approve gay rights...
"In a rare public appearance before Salt Lake City lawmakers Tuesday night, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supported two proposed ordinances protecting gay and lesbian residents from housing and employment discrimination."

For clarification on where the Church stands...
"The church supports this ordinance because it is fair and reasonable and does not do violence to the institution of marriage,"

Because I believe that the greatest attribute anyone can have is kindness, the following was the best quote of the night...
"I represent a church that believes in human dignity, in treating others with respect even when we disagree — in fact, especially when we disagree."

11 comments:

Cody said...

I also was glad to see the church release this statement. It is in harmony with what they have said previously and isn't a case of the church taking a new direction. Just because we as a church disapprove of homosexuality and want to protect the definition of marriage doesn't mean we can't help pioneer rights for same sex couples. That has been one of my frustrations from some church members throughout the whole prop 8 process. Some members confuse the church's stance against same sex marriage as a stance against gays in general and as a result refuse to pass laws protecting same sex couples, like civil unions.

Loyd said...

The Salt Lake Tribune had a larger article about it with more information about the meetings between Church leaders and leaders of homosexual organizations that precipitated yesterday's announcement. It's quite interesting and strikes at potential cynicism of the announcement. You can read it here: http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_13758070 .

And there was some reasons to be cynical. A year ago a memo between Elder Oaks and other Church leaders written a decade ago was leaked in which Oaks argued that allowing civil unions (though being something they'd rather not have) might be the best way to prevent SSM. His main reasoning was that by giving the gay community small rights they might be able to appease them and not be required to give them any more than they absolutely must. Such reasoning seems to indicate that the giving of rights is not an indication of charity for homosexuals, but rather of self-protectionism.

While I agree that this isn't necessarily indicative of the Church changing in a new direction, there really isn't too much evidence that the Church has ever been going in this direction--at least in a public manner.

However, if we look at the Church's history in a broader sense, then this is certainly a different direction than the Church was a few decades ago when it taught that being gay was in itself a selfish sin, regardless of one's actions. the Church has certainly taken a different direction since then, and perhaps yesterday's announcement indicates a continued trajectory away from the Church's much more conservative approach to homosexuality.

Carson Calderwood said...

The medical community itself had a different view of homosexuality a few decades ago. They thought they could cure it with electrical shocks to the genitalia.

Loyd said...

I don't think electroshock therapy for reversing homosexuality was ever widely accepted by the psychiatric community and that it's limited acceptance sharply declined in the early 60s.

That's all besides the point though. Medicine is supposed to be influenced by contemporary science. The Church is supposed to be influenced by God.

You can't make a fair comparison between medicine and the Church, without the diminishing the role that divine inspiration and revelation play.

Carson Calderwood said...

For someone who said once that they know more about church history than President Hinckley, I'm surprised you would say that. Since when did the church make all decisions perfectly in line with God's will the first time and not have to work anything out on its own? I know you are not a TBM that believes in the infallibility of prophets.

Loyd said...

Did you erase my comment about your appeal to INCREMENTALISM, or did it not post? Assuming that your last comment mirrors the language of that post, I'm assuming that you saw it.

I'm not someone who believes in the infallibility of the prophet. Not sure why you added TBM in there.

I'm not claiming that the Church is perfect, but you can't simply point to the failings of science to vindicate the Church, when you and I both know that the Church is supposed to have a higher source of truth.

Carson Calderwood said...

That comment was posted on the SSM thread.

Loyd said...

haha. whoops. i didn't think you were the censoring type (or that the comment was censorship worthy).

Here is the comment on the proper thread:

One more thing... For someone who has repeatedly appealed to INCREMENTALISM, shouldn't you be worried about laws and announcements such as this. This is, afterall, one step closer to all your children being forced into gay marriages.

(and yes, the last part is said tongue-in-cheek--though is anything ever said tongue-out-of-cheek?)

Carson Calderwood said...

Clever :)

Anonymous said...

you might find this writer interesting.

http://cornellsun.com/section/opinion/content/2009/11/18/different-paths-same-idea

Shelley said...

Well, amen to that last quote.