Wednesday, May 28, 2008

New Age Correspondence


Michael said...

Thank you for these videos. I have recently joined the blog arena and have found your blog. Listening to the videos, I found strength. I have been struggling with my testimony and my church membership lately. I am trying to find out how God could create me and then condemn me. However, I know that there are many, many, many others who have felt the same way. I too have been searching for my truth and happiness. I feel like God put us here to have happiness. I don't know if I have found it yet, but I am searching. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for posting these videos.

MohoInTx said...

You make some very valid arguments. The 2nd video hit it home for me when you do the compare and contrast. (If you are inconsiderate, you need to be nice. If you are gay....)

In a different level, I have discussed that a few times. What is so wrong with having a healty same-sex relationship? How is that a threat to families? How is that an abomination in God's eyes? Some people make these claims, and it is something I struggle with understanding.

One of my favorite blogs is Cogs. Everyday, he is proving to these people against gay marriage and adoption that his family works. I can sincerely feel the love and inspiration when reading some of his entries.

I have a hard time believing that he is going to be punished for what he is doing in the afterlife. He is making the most out of his life. He is using his talents to be a great father and raise great kids. Isn't that something the Lord wants from us, especially when it comes to the Mormon faith? Unfortunately to some, it is invalid because of his faithful relationship with his husband.

Great videos again. I appreciate them :)

MoHoHawaii said...

Nice videos. Thanks.

Yeti said...

Hey stripping Warrior....There is one thing I don't get. Why does gay mean automaticly that the church is suddenly not true. All of the stories seem to end the same with leaving the church, no longer believe almost atheistic. Without the gay issue you would still be there. So this doesn't make sense. You said "The cost of staying in the church to me emotionally and I STRESS spiritually did not seem to matter much to her" What cost? The church should be healing and supportive. I'm confused!! Even if you felt compelled to forge this bond with another man...that shouldn't mean that the church is suddenly not true or healing. And then why do you feel you have to have this bond? Can you survive in a meaningful way without it? Or at least until a prophet has the courage to go to the Lord over this issue?

Clark said...

Yeti, well I can't speak for others who have chosen to leave the church, but let me put it to you like this: you be celibate. I'm assuming you are heterosexual. So for you-- you don't get a wife, children, sex, intimacy, or a family. All you have are home teachers now. We'll see how long you are happy and fulfilled in the church.

This is of course simplistic and partially a joke. Depending on how much joy you derive from your mormon worship you might be able to sustain a life of celibacy in the church if that is what you really want. But I don't want that, and as it has been clearly revealed to me, God doesn't want that for me either.

There is a lot missing from the equation that you have presented-- ie "I'm gay=the church is suddenly not true". Its more like once I realized that the church is wrong on the topic of homosexuality, it makes you look more critically at the church's history and claims.

If you are truly confused and curious as you say, then I suggest you ask questions of people like myself and be open to our answers and our experience. If, however, your motive is to try to show me my "error", change my views, or invalidate them in any way, then I simply won't enter that dialogue with you. I think it would be contentious at best. I honestly and truly respect any person who chooses to believe fully in mormon doctrine and thought. I respect and love my family most of whom are active and happy in the church. I don't believe the church is the only true church on the face of the earth. I don't disbelieve the church simply because I realized that I am a gay person. There's a lot more to it than that.

You pose some pretty serious questions in your response. I'd be happy to answer them if I felt like you sincerely wanted to hear what I have to say. If you'd like to know more about my experience or the experience of other gay mormons in and out of the church, there are a lot of places where you can hear people's stories and forums where you can ask questions. I'd be happy to help you.

Michael: Thank you so much for your response! I too have struggled to put God in a box where He is someone who can't accept a same sex relationship based on love and respect.. but I've always been frustrated. My frustration ended when I discovered that He does not belong in that box! He's so much greater than I'd believed.. which leads me to Mohointx: I know exactly what you mean. The longer I look frankly at the situation, the more ridiculous it seems to my spirit that there is a punishment involved in loving ANYTHING or ANYONE. This is LOVE we are talking about. Building a family is a noble and edifying endeavor REGARDLESS of how or with whom it is done. Thats what I see, and I see it clearly.

and to the hawaiian Moho-- Mahalo!

Yeti said...

Clark, I'm just disheartened to see so many bright young vibrant kids left hanging out there. A friend of mine recently committed suicide. Another acqaintance went off the deep end. I saw on a TV documentary "intervention" the story of a BYU returned missionary who left & fell into the drug aspect of gay life. A friend of mine I learn through evil whispers has a gay son. These individuals should be active participating contributing members of the Church if it indeed is Christ's Church. If not then I guess it doesn't matter. My concern is to make sure these young people can find their place in the church & in life. Why should an act of nature be a condition of love. I need to push this issue. Now thats rambling a bit but I think I have a personal responsibility to push for absolute inclusiveness. I'm a big Hugh B. Brown fan. He certainly sought for and encouraged members to have a voice on spiritual / social issues. That's sort of where I'm at.

MoHoHawaii said...

This isn't my blog, but maybe Clark won't object if I jump in and weigh in on Yeti's comment.

Yeti, the examples you give are tragic, and these kinds of things do occur. They are not necessarily the most common outcome for gay Mormons, but they do occur more frequently than one would like. And, yes, the Church has blood on its hands.

I too am an admirer of Hugh B. Brown, and I applaud your effort for absolute inclusiveness in the Church.

Not everyone's path includes organized religion, but for the many who do find religion a comfort, human decency argues that there should be a welcoming place for them, even if they happen to be gay. I am convinced that welcoming gay people into the church will be a grassroots effort. Individual members and individual bishops will make this change happen. Thank you for your effort.

Yeti said...

Clark...How do I express to my quorum members/ friends etc. that we as members have a responsibility to right a wrong when most members shudder at any sign of individualism against the tide of authoritarian patriarchy. Thanks Yeti

Clark said...

Hey Yeti-- thanks so much for your recent response and also your question. Honestly it makes a big difference to even have people like yourself in the church right now.. and by people like yourself I mean someone who is aware that some people are different, that God made us to be individuals and we all have a distinct journey to take while we are here on earth. Some active LDS people know this very well, some are learning it now, but there are many who still don't know. I recently met up with one of my mission companions and his wife. Prior to that meeting (I was meeting her for the first time) my companion said that the two of them were always fighting about the nature of homosexuality any time it came up. Because he met me and listened to my honest story about who I am as a person, he changed his view on what it means to be gay. His wife, before meeting me insisted that gay people must choose to be the way they are, and that it is unnatural etc. After talking to me for about 30 minutes she just burst into tears because she felt the honesty and sincerity of my story and my heart. She said she felt she could never see this issue in the same way because she had met me.

I share this story to illustrate a point-- mormons have already figured this out, and they use it frequently. That is, they share their true feelings about a subject in all sincerity. Everyone knows that bible bashing does not work to convert people to the gospel, what works is honest and clear testimony about how your life has been changed by living the Gospel etc. Well, I would say that the same is true with this question you ask. The more you debate with nay-sayers about the importance of individualism in the church, the fact that homosexuality is not a mental illness, not a choice but truly a valid expression of human sexuality, the more they will debate back and use stupid scriptures from Leviticus (while ignoring the rest of the book to their great convenience) and tell you all about Sodom and Gomorrah (as if you hadn't heard-- by the way also a total misread about what those scriptures are really about, but that's another story) and it will be counterproductive. At the same time, if you firmly share from the heart how you feel about gay people, or any people for that matter-- it will always make more of a real impact. Maybe they won't agree, maybe they won't change, but they will most likely listen, and that's something. I encourage you to share your perspective bravely, lovingly, and with pure intent. Thank you for being a person who is willing to think about others.

PS mohohawaii.. please jump in anytime. You know how much I love and respect you, and I love your perspective. Thanks!

Yeti said...

thanks for the help..peace brothers

Captain Midnight said...

Hey, I just found your blog. I loved reading your "story" and it reminded me of what I've been going through, and where I'm currently going in life. It's good to see that there are other people out there who are expressing what we go through every day. Thanks!