Mormon Homophobia, part 3891 27 July 2007Posted by Todd in Commentary, Gender, Homosexuality, Mormonism/LDS Church, Sexuality.
According to the Deseret News, the Mormon church has released a new pamphlet about so-called “same-gender attraction.” The church’s choice of awkward phrasing notwithstanding, the pamphlet rehashes the standard anti-gay but cloaked in love language as usual. The argument is thus (see if you can follow along):
1) you cannot achieve salvation unless you have an “eternal family” which requires a heterosexual marriage
2) god may never tell us why some people have strong “same-gender attraction”, but we know it’s bad, so don’t ever give in to it
3) if you live a good life (i.e., and never have gay sex), god will reward you in the next life
4) our bodies are sacred, therefore we must only have sex in a monogamous (the irony still escapes the church’s PR machine) heterosexual marriages
5) sexual desire does not justify acting on the behavior, which is immoral. Sex is evil. I mean sacred. Yes, sex is sacred. Don’t do it. It’s immoral.
6) giving in to “same-gender attraction” gives only an illusion of happiness; real happiness comes from self-control (read: denial and deprivation); the urge for “same-gender physical contact” will diminish when real emotional needs are met (because sexual contact is not a real need).
7) if you have a strong testimony of the Gospel (mormonspeak for witness or knowledge), then you will not act on your “same-gender attraction”
8 ) so you see, the Mormon church treats all its members the same, because heterosexuals aren’t allowed to have sex until they’re married either! God really does love us all!
9) if you are “same-gender attracted,” you should stop worrying about it, because it’s beyond your control at the moment; instead you should focus on things that matter, like working for the Mormon church or reading your scriptures or serving the needy
10) grow a good garden: you see, this is an analogy, where our lives are like a garden; if we grow good things, we’ll have a good garden; so it is with our lives. If you are “same-gender attracted”, then you should dive into church service and cultivate friendships with people who do not “flaunt” their homosexuality, but keep it hidden away in shame. If you meet people who are openly homosexual, run from them, er, dig them out of your garden. Homosexuals are like weeds in your garden.
11) Just to be safe, do not under any circumstances develop a close friendship with someone of the same-gender, because Satan will tempt you to make it sexual, and nothing could be worse than having sex with someone of the same-gender whom you love
12) pornography is bad. child molestation is bad.
13) remember, if you suffer from “same-gender attraction,” as long as you never act on it or openly display it or flaunt it like a homosexual weed, you can be a full member of the church! See! We love you! Our geriatric Fuhrer has told us so in bland and banal terms in a great and spacious building during our world wide conference wherein we say the same bland and banal platitudes vetted by our Department of Information Clensing and broadcast throughout all the world because god gave us technology so that we could spread. See? God loves you despite your same-gender attraction!
14) As you struggle to live a lie by remaining in the Mormon closet, be sure not to burden other people with your pain and depression and problems, least of all your priesthood leaders. Instead, it is your own responsibility to suffer in silence alone with the Lord. We love you!
15) God has his arms open to all his children, even to weeds like you. Our Geriatric Fuhrer has even said that we sympathize with you, you so-called homosexual!I don’t even have the strength to comment.
It’s so exhausting to read this drivel and to even begin to contemplate the effects this is having on young gay people around the world in the Mormon church. How can they not see the horrible emotional and psychological damage this does to people who have done nothing wrong. I’m not posting the link to the pamphlet because I don’t want to be linked to the church’s website, but you can follow the link from the Deseret News article.
Arguments for Bush’s Impeachment 22 July 2007Posted by Todd in Commentary, Politics, War & Terrorism.
On Bill Moyers’ Journal last week, Moyers interviewed two people, one Republican and one Democrat making the case for impeachment (watch it here). Although it’s obvious to me that we’ve been lied to and that this is the most cynical executive of the 20th century [editor: oops! 21st century] and possibly in the history of the country, I had been on the fence about impeachment. After hearing these arguments, however, I am swayed. Impeach now.If the rational arguments aren’t enough for you, then just watch this primer of Bush Administration lies [Hat tip to Juan Cole, scholar of the middle east and brilliant commenter on the Iraq War, for this clip.]Why are these people still in office? Why aren’t there massive protests in the street? Why isn’t this criminal of a president being egged and boo’d at every single one of his appearances? Why the hell has Nancy Pelosi, my representative, said that impeachment is off the table? What the hell is going on in American democracy?
States Rights Is Not the Answer 13 July 2007Posted by Todd in Democratic Theory, Gay Rights, Gender, Inequality & Stratification, Multiculturalism, Race & Ethnicity.
In debates about abortion, gay rights, multiculturalism in general, the U.S. by virtue of the Constitution’s devolution of powers leaves open the argument that such decisions should be left up to the states to decide. However, for democratic societies, this leaves open the possibility of differentiated equalities depending on the state you live in. [The E.U. is currently having this problem with abortion (i.e., Ireland and Poland) and gay rights (i.e., Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania), where individual member-states are picking and choosing which of the human rights conventions they want to adhere to.]
When a group of people is set apart as a class by the society and fundamental human rights are taken away, your democracy is at best, “in process” and at worst a failure. Either you agree as a society that women/gays/ethnic minoriteis are FREE and EQUAL, or you don’t. Making it a “state based” issue means that you as a society have agreed that women/gays/ethnic minorities aren’t EQUAL and do not deserve EQUAL PROTECTION throughout your entire society.
In the U.S., kicking abortion to the states is a cop out to appease anti-abortion moderates who would be happy being able to control their own little backwoods corner of the world. And it leaves women out in the open without universal protection under the law, where their very status as citizens, their ability to choose their own embodied destiny, is not equal throughout the ‘democracy.’
As gay marriage is basically a state-issue at this point, notice how gay couples who travel to different states magically lose their standing once they cross the border, how companies who use out-of-state insurance are not bound by in-state laws requiring same-sex spouses by covered, how power of attorney and wills have to be made separately and strongly despite having a state-level union, because no other state is obligated, thanks to Bill Clinton’s caving to the fuckhead Gingrich on DOMA, to recognize the rights of gay citizens.
To be even more stark here, consider the state-by-state solutions to SLAVERY and JIM CROW.
State-by-state solutions on questions of the equality of citizens are by their very nature the source of inequality, the disenfranchisement of entire groups of people who then are confined to certain states that grant them a simulacrum of freedom and equality.
Contextualizing Economic Facts 12 July 2007Posted by Todd in Blog, Commentary, Economy.
Dean Baker is the resident economist over at The American Prospect, and he writes an amazing blog called Beat the Press, wherein he takes the news coverage of economic issues and picks it apart for factual and contextual errors. Fascinating stuff.
I also love Paul Krugman, but the morons over at the NYTimes.com make you pay to read their columnists.