The Standard of Liberty Voice
A publication of The Standard of Liberty Foundation
July 26, 2008, #39
My Conversation about Homosexuality with a Student Journalist at Brigham Young University,
By way of introduction, a while back, after submitting a piece to a publication called BYU Political Review calling for articles, I received an email requesting a meeting. I met with two young men in the Harold B. Lee Library on campus. They told me it was an intriguing topic but they had some concerns. The following is my recollection of an interesting and revealing conversation which my wife wrote down the very day it took place. (She says I’m pretty good at remembering conversations.) It was mostly with one of the students who was more vocal than the other. Make of this what you will. To us, it is representative of the attitude some Church members hold concerning sexual immorality and how it relates to lawful marriage and temple covenants. Unfortunately, such people are caught up in popular philosophies that sound attractive and foster complacency. And even more unfortunately, many of this group are in positions relating to publication and communication such as those I dealt with during this entire interaction.
Student: I see you mean well and I support your right to pursue what you believe in. But I completely disagree with your point of view. Still, if you can give me an article more about people who struggle with same sex attraction rather than the homosexual agenda in our culture, I think I can get it published. But I have one caveat.
Steve: Sure, I could do that. What’s your caveat?
Student: I would put a statement at the beginning of your article saying that I, or we, as the editors, disagree with the point of view of the following article.
Steve: Well, then I’m not interested. If you put that at the beginning of my article it would prejudice people against it before they even read it.
Student: All right. I’ll drop it.
Steve: Okay. Now, tell me about your disagreement with my point of view.
Student: I know lots of people who are gay. Many of my friends are gay. I have a sister who is a lesbian. One of my friends who’s gay has been so mistreated. He’s been disowned by his family, treated disrespectfully by his bishop, and has contemplated suicide. In fact, he says he’s been suicidal for years.
I believe there are many orientations of affection. Men are attracted to men, women are attracted to women, men and women are attracted to each other, and people fall anywhere in between.
Steve: Oh, you’re talking about the sexuality “spectrum” Kinsey came up with in the 1940s. I don’t believe there is any good healthy sexual orientation other than the one prescribed by God’s laws, man and woman being attracted to each other. Anything else is just spoiled sexuality.
Student: Well, I believe people are born with their attractions and tendencies. I think people’s varying attractions for one another are all part of God’s plan for us on this earth.
Steve: How do you know that they’re born with it?
Student. They said they were.
Steve: So there’s no objective test for homosexuality. It’s all based on a person’s self-identification. It’s the way they feel so they say they’re gay.
Student: Well, yeah. A person feels attracted to a person of the same sex so they decide that they must be gay.
Steve: Yeah, a lot of people say, ‘I’ve been gay for as long as I can remember, in fact, I was born gay.’ The fact is, none of us remembers our feelings at birth, so none of us can say we were born gay. . .
But I’m concerned about what you’ve just told me about your friend, how he’s been suicidal for years.
Student: You’re concerned?
Steve: Well, yes! If you say your friend has been suicidal for years I’m concerned, and I would hope that you are, too, that he might carry that out. If you care about your friend, the very first thing you should do is try to convince him to get into therapy as soon as possible. Because if someone says they are suicidal, something is wrong and they need some treatment. A person who wants to kill himself is not in his right mind. There’s something there, depression or some other emotional or mental illness. When people with homosexuality are suicidal it’s not because their church or society does accept or approve of their sexual preferences. People kill themselves because something is terribly wrong in their head. So, they need help.
Student: Well, I think aversion therapy and reparative therapy ought to be outlawed. I know a number of people who have tried to change and they were happier when they quit trying to change than they were while they were trying to change.
Steve: Aversion therapy doesn’t sound good to me either, but as regards to reparative therapy, what’s wrong with fixing something that’s broken? There are thousands of people who have successfully changed their thought patterns concerning sexuality as a result of therapy. And the research has shown that the more highly motivated people are the more likely they are to succeed.
As far the as the Church is concerned, we make a distinction between acting out with the physical body and just having the thoughts, feelings, desires, fantasies, etc. As members of the Church if we do something with our bodies that’s identified as a sin, we can be disciplined or lose our membership. However, there’s no Church discipline involved for what goes on inside us, in our minds and in our hearts. But as followers of Christ, that doesn’t excuse us.
I want to remind you of what Jesus said, ‘If a man looks upon a woman to lust after her, he has committed adultery with her already in his heart.’ The same goes for homosexual desires. The same principle applies. If a man is lusting after another man, or a woman after another woman, they’ve committed the sin already in their hearts.
Steve: Well, I just go back to what Jesus said.
Student: I’m not sure we understand the scriptures when it comes to homosexuality.
Steve: Look, the end goal of male homosexuality is sodomy. That’s what the fantasies come down to. Like the scriptures say, men lying with men.
Student: Some heterosexuals do that, too.
Steve: That certainly doesn’t make it right, does it? The human body does not safely accommodate it.
Student: Well, same-sex attraction is about love. And there’s a whole lot more to love than just sex.
Steve: All right, let’s talk about attractions. You two guys are attracted to one another, but it’s not a sexual attraction. When two males are attracted to one another and it’s not sexual or romantic, it’s something else such as simple admiration, friendship, or family. So then let’s take a look at homosexual attraction, or same-sex sexual attraction. What makes it different than what you have here? The only difference is not love, but sex, which for men with men means sodomy.
Help me understand what you mean by saying that love between two people of the same sex involves more than sexual activity. Aren’t you talking about friendship then? As we’ve said, two people of the same sex can have friendship without sex. What constitutes romantic same-sex attraction apart from sexual activity?
Student: Well, you want to be with them, you want the best for them, and things like that.
Steve: Yes and that’s called friendship. But what does romantic mean?
Student: (no comment)
Steve: It seems to mean you want to be with them, you want the best for them, and you also want to touch, kiss, hold one another. Is that right?
Student: (no comment)
Steve: If that’s all part of romantic homosexual attraction, then my question is, to what end? Where are you headed with this relationship? If you, a man, are in love with a girl and you want to hug and kiss and hold her, and marry her, what is the next thing that occurs? When you get married you immediately begin a sexual relationship as well. Before you get married there is a desire for that sexual relationship. You hold off until marriage because you love and respect her and God says you can’t do it until you’re married. But the desire is there. And the result is sexual intimacy. For the male homosexual romantic relationship, that means sodomy.
Students: Well, yeah, there’s no denying that people love to have sex. I’m sure my sister has really great sex with her lesbian partner.
Steve: Would you like for your sister to overcome that lesbian attraction she has? Do you hope that someday she’ll renounce that or leave that lifestyle”
Student: I guess that would be up to her, but she says that’s just the way she is, so it’s not something she could choose not to be.
Steve: Okay, so let’s say, for the sake of your argument, that your sister is naturally and irretrievably lesbian. Do you think she should be able to or allowed to marry her same-sex partner?
Student: Yes, I think she should be able to get married.
Steve: All right, if you believe that, then do you believe the Church should perform so-called same-sex marriages, and marry her to her partner?
Student: Yes, I think they should.
Steve: Well then, if you think that, do you think she should be able to be sealed to her lesbian partner in the temple?
Student: That’s where I kind of flinch.
Steve: Wait. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t flinch. If your sister should be able to marry outside the temple, she should be able to be sealed inside the temple.
Student: I know. It causes me a lot of thought.
Steve: It shouldn’t cause you any thought. You’ve just got to decide. It is right or wrong? Look, let’s take the eternal view. Sealing in the temple is performed to what end? Do you agree with me that we’re sealed in the temple in anticipation of gaining our exaltation?
Steve: Then, again I ask you, if two men or two women are to be sealed to one another in the temple, I want to know what the hoped for outcome of this union is.
Students: (Blank stares)
Steve: We’re taught that Heavenly Father’s work and glory is our immortality and exaltation. But what is it that He offers us in this state of exaltation? I’ll tell you. It’s eternal increase. So, you tell me how two men or two women have any increase. It’s contrary to everything we’re taught about what Heavenly Father has in store for us.
So here’s the point. Women sexually attracted to each other and men sexually attracted to each other is outside God’s plan for us. And we’re living in a world that’s extremely dangerous when it comes to personal religious beliefs. There could come a time when a law is passed in our country that requires churches to perform marriages for any two people who present themselves to be married, whatever their gender. If that kind of law ever gets passed in our country, will the Church have to perform those marriages?
Students: Yes, I guess so.
Steve: Will the Church want to perform those as sealings in the temple?
Steve: So, hypothetically speaking, the Church will say, we’ll have to do these same-sex marriages because the law requires us to do it just like we do for opposite-sex couples. So we’ll do them in the Relief Society room. And we’ll continue sealing opposite-sex couples in the temple.
Now, as soon as the Church performs one of those same-sex marriages in the Relief Society room, what will happen? Somebody will file a law suit saying that the Church is discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation by not allowing same-sex couples to be sealed in the temple like everyone else. The word will spread and the homosexual activists across the country and the world will sue the Church, perhaps out of existence.
And so, brethren, it’s an extremely dangerous world for us. That’s why at the Standard of Liberty we keep track of what’s going on in our culture. To think same-sex attraction is harmless and innocuous is to deny the facts. You have to think these things through.
Well, it’s been interesting to talk with you. I’ll get my article to you soon.
After being told to shorten, tone down, depoliticize, and then repoliticize my article over a period of three months, and after being given a number of the same type of excuses and delays we’ve received from other media, the final revision was summarily rejected for publication by BYU Political Review. Here are the two proper length depoliticized and repoliticized articles I submitted, neither of which was published.
The New Homosexuality
Not long ago those few who engaged in homosexual behavior kept it private. Everybody, including the people practicing it, knew it was a deviance from rightness, normalcy, and good health. With the sexual revolution of the 60s, the practice spread. In the 80s the world found out homosexual behaviors could be deadly. Incredibly, a few decades later, notwithstanding the health risks that continue and multiply, it is perceived as anything from innocuous to highly fashionable to God-given. It is excused in polite family company, softened by church leaders, lewdly paraded in our city streets, awarded in the media and academy, protected in our public policies and courts, and taught to our children in public schools.
We can trace this evolution to “The Overhauling of Straight American,” a.k.a. “the homosexual bible,” a 1987 manifesto which outlined a master plan. Main points include: “Step 1: Talk about gays and gayness as often and as loudly as possible. Step 2: Portray gays as victims. Step 3: Give protectors a just cause. Step 4: Make gays look good. Step 5: Make the victimizers look bad. Step 6: Solicit funds.” A thick book, After the Ball, followed in 1989. There was nothing true or virtuous here, only propaganda meant to manipulate the public’s emotions for the purpose of winning societal sympathy and acceptance for unspeakably bad behavior.
As to their success, don’t many now perceive “gays” as special, discriminated against, bullied, a minority deserving special treatment and unimagined privileges such as gay marriage? Don’t many people believe homosexuality is inborn without the benefit of scientific proof? Don’t a growing number of LDS believe those afflicted with SSA live lives of quiet desperation? Yes, and generally, these are all great deceptions. When it comes to sexual proclivities, if a person is healthy he is not any kind of victim. We choose our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Every healthy person has the power to choose, and to alter, his thoughts and feelings. You won’t hear this is in the news: a new study tracking reparative therapy for those with unwanted homosexual tendencies reports high success rates (Jones and Yarhouse, 2007).
Enter: Michael Glatze. Michael was the founder of a magazine for young, “gay” males. The magazine won great praise and awards. He himself lived the lifestyle for 16 years. Recently, he decided he wanted out and got religion – the LDS religion. And now he’s trying to undo some of the damage he did. He’s also being threatened and persecuted by people who were once his friends. He said, “Homosexuality, delivered to young minds, is by its very nature pornographic. It destroys impressionable minds and confuses their developing sexuality.” And “Homosexuality prevents us from finding our true self within. We cannot see the truth when we are blinded by homosexuality.” And “Now I know that homosexuality is lust and pornography wrapped into one. I’ll never let anybody try to convince me otherwise, no matter how slick their tongues or how sad their story. I have seen it. I know that truth.” He says that people are not homosexuals; they are heterosexuals with a homosexual problem. He reveals the truth that homosexuality is “completely a fabrication.”
Please note that this article is not about sins of the flesh but about something C. S. Lewis called much worse: spiritual sin, the sin of deception which is at the heart of the gay movement. Homosexuality is being portrayed as normal, inevitable, brave, honest, healthy, even tasteful and refined, when it is just the opposite of all of these. The deception being practiced on the world concerning the nature of homosexuality, where it affects children and youth especially, is the worst thing about it. Because of this clever deception, we are blinded to the fact that the homosexual movement is an attempt to replace God and His laws and enslave young people by exploiting the sexual instinct through pornography and propaganda. The homosexual movement, which we are now excusing, embracing, dignifying, celebrating, protecting, and preferring, is a means to a much more diabolical end.
Sir John David Michaelis in 1814 said, “If [sodomy] once begins to prevail, not only will boys be easily corrupted by adults, but also by other boys, nor will it ever cease; more especially as it must thus soon lose all its shamefulness and infamy and become fashionable and the national taste; and then . . . the national weakness . . . Whoever, therefore, wishes to ruin a nation, has only to get this vice introduced; for it is extremely difficult to extirpate it where it has once taken root because it can be propagated with much secrecy . . . and when we perceive that it has once got a footing in any country, however powerful and flourishing, we may venture as politicians to predict that the foundation of its future decline is laid .”
There is nothing new about homosexual behavior. What’s new is good people’s almost unwitting embrace of it.
Copyright 2007 by Standard of Liberty Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.