a dilemma in communication in which a person receives two or more conflicting messages and one message denies the other, a situation in which the person will be put in the wrong however they respond, and the person can't comment on the conflict, or resolve it, or opt out of the situation.Double bind theory came about when studying schizophrenia and proposes that symptoms of schizophrenia are an expression of contradictory patterns of interaction in the family - for example, a child growing up in a home where a parent verbally tells a child that they love them but their non-verbal communication says that they wish the child were gone out of their life.
I still need to give this more thought, but there are some unresolvable conflicts in my life.
- I am a gay man who is heterosexually married to a woman.
- I yearn for an intimate (though not sexual) relationship with a man; but, I also love my wife and want to maintain an intimate relationship with her and not do anything to hurt her.
- I want to remain active in the LDS church (which has a largely homophobic culture) and I want to be part of a church family that loves and accepts me, and others like me, for who and what we are and not who we pretend to be.
One thing that sure seems like a double bind is how the LDS church regards homosexuality.
Formal doctrine and teachings tells us that merely having same sex attraction is not a sin - it's only when we act on those attractions that we sin. We are taught that people with same sex attraction are treated the same as everyone else and are held to the same standards as everyone else. Yet, the LDS church has policies and practices that send a different message.
- The whole mess in California with the LDS church abandoning its normal position of political neutrality and encouraging members to donate their time and means to support proposition 8 banning same sex marriage via a constitutional amendment. Out of all of the political issues in our society - why pick this one to take a stand on?
- While modern church teachings separate attraction from behavior, when a person confesses to their bishop, they are often counseled to read "The Miracle of Forgiveness" which doesn't make that distinction and refers to homosexuality as "the abominable and detestable crime against nature"
- We're told it's OK to be gay - but we're not supposed to call ourselves 'gay' or 'homosexual' preferring politically correct terms like 'same gender attracted'. Is there any other group of people in the church who are told to not refer to themselves by culturally accepted jargon?
- We're told it's OK to be gay - but we're not suppose to exhibit homosexual attributes or flaunt our homosexual characteristics (I don't even know what that means).
- Whenever we are planning an activity that involves costumes, it seems we always receive explicit instructions that guys are not allowed to wear costumes depicting them as girls. Does anybody really believe that putting a dress on a boy will turn him into a homosexual? And, why aren't girls dressing like boys equally disdained?
- According to the general handbook of instructions, if a young man fornicates heterosexually, he has to wait at least 1 year before he will be allowed to serve a mission. If he fornicates homosexually then he has to wait at least 3 years - and then only if the transgression occurred in his teenage years. If a young man has a homosexual experience after graduating from high school then it is extremely unlikely he will ever be allowed to serve a mission, regardless of the circumstances.
- We're told that a homosexual who commits to living church standards is eligible to hold any calling in the church. Yet, it's not hard to imagine that a person with publicly known homosexual attractions would never be put in a position working with young men. Even if he were, it's not hard to imagine certain parents going to the bishop with their concerns. Yet, I don't get the sense of similar concern about a Lesbian working with young women.
- According to the general handbook of instructions, church records are to be permanently notated for repeated homosexual transgressions - yet there is no such notation required for repeated heterosexual transgressions.
- we are loved
- we are disgusting
- we are treated as equals
- our sins are far worse than all others
- we need to love and accept ourselves for who we are
- we need to hide our true selves and repress our feelings
- homophobia is not becoming of a good latter day saint
- anything remotely associated with homosexuality is repulsive
- we respect the beliefs of others
- except if they're queers