Friday, February 6, 2009

Is it just me?

I think that maybe I like to overanalyze some things, trying to tag things to a definition or tie something down to a category so that I can make better sense of things in my life. It is in this light that I am trying to define a shift that I am sensing.

I am noticing a trend here in our corner of the blogging world. I haven't been posting much, but I am keeping up to date on my old faves and learning about new people.

I am noticing that there are thought processes out there concluding that living same gender attraction isn't the sin they once believed; the idea that living the lifestyle of SGA is more God approved than what we once thought, or as the conservative population of the world sees.

I would imagine that there have been many who have come to this conclusion long before now, and have made the appropriate changes that occur with the new belief system. I guess I just feel the the change with those with whom I have gotten to know since I have started blogging.

Does anyone else sense this change in the wind, or has it been there for a while and have I just been oblivious to it? Or am I imagining things? Tell me what you think.


Beck said...

I don't know who you are referring to, but speaking for myself, I find my views changing. The more I understand myself, the more I realize that this world is not as black-and-white as I thought. I find myself becoming much more tolerant, compassionate, understanding, and sympathetic, empathetic, loving, etc. to those who serious choose a path different from my own. This does not mean that I'm preparing myself to make that same choice or take that same path. What it does mean is that you (whoever you are) don't really know me, and therefore it is difficult to be judged for the decisions I'm making. As such, I don't want to judge those who make difficult choices different from me. I find myself much more willing to accept others who are taking a different path, and I feel an affinity with those who seek wisdom, and yes, even the whisperings of the Spirit, in different ways.

As I've come to be more compassionate toward myself (I used to hate and despise myself), I've become more compassionate toward others.

I don't think the altering or changing my perspective of compassion for others and seeing the wisdom and "spirit" in their choices, has weakened my resolve to still follow my own internal wisdom and spirit to do what I feel is right.

It's just not so cut-n-dry anymore about believing "my way or the highway" approach to this very complicated issue.

I'd be interested in your view and what you are really trying to say here...

MoHoHawaii said...

Life is a difficult journey. Not everyone has the same capabilities or makeup. People rarely make life-changing decisions lightly. I try to refrain from judging.

I would like to see more reconciliation between the various camps. What brings us together is more important than what divides us.

Abelard Enigma said...

Anytime you have a group of people, the group dynamics will create a group personality. Given the volatility of the queerosphere - as people are constantly leaving while new people are joining - the group personality is constantly evolving.

So, it is quite possible that the current collective group personality is one that is more accepting of same sex relationships than in times past. But, that doesn't necessarily indicate a trend. As more people move on and stop blogging and are replaced with fresh voices - it could very well swing in the opposite direction in 6 months, or not.

However, like Beck, I feel I, personally, am more accepting of same sex relationships now compared to where I was 2 or 3 years ago. I'm still not comfortable with the stereotypical promiscuity that gay culture is known for - and I don't think I ever will be. But, I don't have any problem accepting a committed monogamous same sex relationship - and I support those that we have here in the queerosphere and am glad they have found happiness.

Is a committed monogamous same sex relationship eternal, in the same sense as marriages solemnized in the temple - no. Can a committed monogamous same sex relationship be acceptable to God? That is between the same sex couple and God - I'm not going to be so arrogant as to try to tell God what relationships he can and cannot accept. If a same sex couple sincerely believes that their relationship is acceptable before God - then that's good enough for me.

Kengo Biddles said...

You're not alone in feeling the change, and this isn't the first time I've seen things shift like this, Mike.

Hidden said...

But there are those of us who aren't changing, and aren't shifting too. We just aren't as vocal because we have less to justify. And some of us are nigh unfindable for the criticism we receive for doing the unthinkable - continuing strong and refusing to follow the shifting winds.

Sean said...

Nothing is static or unchanging. Not even the "word of God." If that were the case we sure as heck wouldn't even have the New Testament.

I don't think that it is about turning a blind eye to accepting everything, but understanding those who are different an loving them unconditionally for who and what they are.

cal thomp said...

Mr. Beck said - "I don't think the altering or changing my perspective of compassion for others and seeing the wisdom and "spirit" in their choices, has weakened my resolve to still follow my own internal wisdom and spirit to do what I feel is right".

I agree. I can understand where you are coming from without having to make the same choices

Bubby said...

I am excited to have found your blog, so much of it resonates with me.
I am a married man with 2 kids who is now exploring what my underlying sexual attraction to men really means to me.

I hope you will write more.

Brad Carmack said...

I can relate to your post.

Howdy! Would you like to guest post the below?

Thank you,

Brad Carmack
2011 JD/MPA Candidate

Title: Homosexuality: A Straight BYU Student’s Perspective

1) President Packer’s general conference talk
2) The recent rash of suicides by gay teens across the country, accompanying “It Gets Better Project,” and current suffering of my homosexually oriented brothers and sisters
3) My coauthor, from whom I have received much help and inspiration, wants it out sooner than later
These are the reasons why I am releasing my book now. I preferred to wait until Homosexuality: A Straight BYU Student’s Perspective was groomed and edited further; however, it is not my book alone. Heavenly Father helped me write it, and I believe He would have me release it rather than keep it on my hard drive while I spend months making minor improvements. This book is destined to relieve some of the suffering of my homosexual brothers and sisters, though I don’t yet know by how much. Stuart Matis, shortly before committing suicide on the steps of an LDS chapel on February 25, 2000 in Los Altos, California, wrote to his family: “Perhaps my death ... might become the catalyst for much good. I'm sure that you will now be strengthened in your resolve to teach the members and the leaders regarding the true nature of homosexuality. My life was actually killed many years ago. Your actions might help to save many young people's lives."

So here it is- my 165-page magnum opus to date, in raw .docx and .pdf form (google doc:
Non gmail users, in .pdf only: I invite your feedback as I’m still in the later editing stage. Summary of the book below.

My promise to the open-minded reader is that you will be touched, you will learn things you had never considered, and your views on same-sex marriage and homosexuality in the LDS church will likely change voluntarily.

-Bradley Carmack

Brad Carmack said...

Summary: The book has two parts: 1) homosexuality (chapters 1-3) and 2) same-sex marriage (chapters 4-7).

In chapter 1, I argue that church members should have great compassion for homosexually oriented members of the church because of the personal difficulties they experience as a result of their orientation and how the Mormon community typically responds to that orientation. I quote a number of studies and give voice to the experiences of many LDS homosexually oriented people.

In chapter 2, I explore causation, detailing both the religious voice and the scientific consensus. Elder Oaks noted how appropriate this type of an inquiry is: "The Church does not have a position on the causes of any of these susceptibilities or inclinations, including those related to same-gender attraction. Those are scientific questions — whether nature or nurture — those are things the Church doesn’t have a position on." I detail 60 statements by church leaders on what causes homosexuality. On the scientific side, I discuss 32 separate subjects to juxtapose two opposing hypotheses for the causation of homosexual orientation: 1) biological factors such as genes and pre-natal hormones, and 2) factors such as infection, molestation, and choice. Some examples of the evidence addressed: homosexual men have, on average, measurably and significantly different ratios of the second to fourth digit of their hands than their heterosexual counterparts. The anterior commissure of their brains is gender shifted away from the heterosexual male norm and toward the heterosexual female norm. Their limb:trunk ratio is similarly gender-shifted, as is their performance on visio-spatial tasks, third interstitial nucleus (a region of the brain thought to be directive of male-type sexual behavior) size and density, left:right brain hemisphere ratio, brain response to sex pheromones, cochlear sound production, thalamic response to female faces, verbal abilities, physical aggressiveness, expressiveness, and childhood gender conformity to name just a few.

In chapter 3 I examine how changeable sexual orientation is by considering relevant church doctrines and looking at the empirical evidence on both sides.

In chapter 4 I show why homosexuals can reproduce, contrary to popular belief, and note that they are no different from inherently infertile heterosexual couples as to their reproductive capacity.

In chapter 5 I argue why, assuming for a moment that homosexual behavior is not sinful, it makes a lot of moral sense to support LDS same-sex marriage. For instance, I show how important family is to mortal experience and point out that celibacy does not provide a family experience, while same-sex marriage does.

Chapter 6 contains rebuttals to common anti- same-sex marriage arguments, many of which are deeply flawed.

Chapter 7 applies Elder Oaks's recent speech on the Constitution. Many church members have said that Judge Walker should not have heard the Perry v. Schwarzenegger (Prop 8) case, but instead should have let the voice of the people of California decide the matter. I show why this view is antithetical to our constitutional system of governance.

In closing, I explain my motivations for writing and make invitations to the reader.


Brad Carmack is in his last year of the JD/MPA program at BYU. He majored in Biology, performed clerk assignments for Justice Joel Horton of the Idaho Supreme Court, and is currently a teacher’s assistant for Human Resources Law and Bioethics. Brad also regularly participates in USGA [Understanding Same Gender Attraction], an unsponsored BYU student talk group.