Thursday, October 15, 2009

What a month

Esquire magazine has an article claiming that the reason for the vampire craze (i.e. Twilight) is that there are, evidently, a whole bunch of young women who want to have sex with hot young gay men.

Harry Reid has publicly criticized the LDS church for their involvement in proposition 8 in California.

And now me thinks all is not well in Zion. What with Hollands chest beating "the Book of Mormon is true - damnit" talk in general conference. And Dallen Oaks, in his recent speech at BYU-Idaho, pretty much declaring that Mormonism is the new black. I thought gay was the new black. What if you're both Mormon and gay, do they cancel each other out? People a whole lot smarter than me will have to figure that one out.

I think the LDS church is feeling the weight of their decision to oppose gay marriage in California and to rally the troops in helping to get proposition 8 passed. I think LDS church leaders truly do not grasp why the church is under so much criticism of late. Rather than doing some serious self reflection to consider the consequences of their actions - they are digging in and claiming that their civil rights are being violated. More and more I'm becoming convinced that the LDS leadership just don't 'get it'.

I know a lot of you came to that conclusion a long time ago - some of us are just slow, OK? Seriously, I keep clinging to the notion that maybe the problem is just with me. And, they're making it harder and harder to see it that way.

The LDS church has been criticized and persecuted since it's inception. We've heard all our lives that we're not christian, that Joseph Smith was a fraud, that we're followers of Satan. We thrive on such persecution. So what's different now? Are we OK with religious persecution? But political persecution - that's just not fair?

In my gut I just feel there is something more going on than just criticism and persecution. Perhaps the LDS church leadership is disturbed and unnerved by recent signs and trends. I'm certainly not 'in the know'. It could be tithing receipts are down - but that could be blamed on the economy. Perhaps requests to have membership removed is at an all time high. Maybe missionary baptisms are down and/or the inactivity rate is up. I don't know. We'll never know for sure since the church is extremely secretive about such things. But, it sure seems like there is something going on ...

11 comments:

D-Train said...

"I know a lot of you came to that conclusion a long time ago - some of us are just slow, OK?"

I know I thought I had come to this conclusion a while ago (OK, really only about one year ago), but Oaks comments still just about floored me. I really thought that they would start to realize the error of their ways, but recent actions seem to indicate the opposite. It seems that they are so entrenched in denial right now and now they are acting like a defensive six year old who cannot admit a previous mistake and move on.

Jesse said...

Hi Abe:

I’m a new reader of your blog. Short bio: I live in Redmond, Washington; I’m 51, more or less raised in the church (part-member family), return missionary, etc.; inactive for the last ten years or so; single, never married; most definitely gay.

For me, Prop 8 was sort of the tipping point regarding the church. After my mission, church attendance started to become more of an obligation than anything else. As I came to realize my mission didn’t cure the gay out of me (and for some reason I thought 25 was some magic age when everything would turn out okay – I think it was something Brigham Young may have said about anyone 25 and not married or on a mission was a menace to society; but I could be making that up?), I started to become more and more distant in my feelings for the church. I had developed a casual “you ignore me, I’ll ignore you” attitude with the church regarding my gayness. I wasn’t out, I was active for many years, played the organ in sacrament and the piano for the choir forever, but hadn’t really given the fact that I was gay much serious thought. The conflict, guilt and self-hate were (and still are) there, but I was starting to explore a little.

But through it all the church had seemed a reasonable voice in my life. A stable influence. The words of our leaders seemed so reasonable and loving.

But Prop 8 changed that. Suddenly I felt nothing but negativity from the church, spewing lies and hatred regarding me. What had I done to deserve this? I thought I was a relatively good person. At first I shrugged it off. But when I heard blatant untruths and unfounded scare tactics coming from the mouths of general authorities, my confidence in the church was shaken to its core. No longer can I look at the general authorities as anything other then men who may or may not have the spirit in their lives. (You may notice my subtle rebellion of not using “general authorities” as a proper noun!) For the first time in my life I’m seeing the church first as a corporation, and second a source of spirituality. It seems to be more interested in image than substance. The general authorities seem to be a conglomeration of old, rich (and mostly) white guys who are living an insulated life in Salt Lake, far removed from the rest of the world.

Anyway, I could go on but there doesn’t seem to be much point.

I plan on trying to answer your “Where are you in your journey” post soon.

Thanks.

Jesse

marriedtoamoho said...

"a whole bunch of young women who want to have sex with hot young gay men."
Yep, that about sums me up! Is that wrong?

MoHoHawaii said...

The following table may clear things up:

Monson 82
Packer 85
Perry 87
Nelson 85
Oaks 77
Ballard 80
Scott 80
Hales 77
Holland 68
Eyring 76
Uchtdorf 68
Bednar 57
Cook 69
Christofferson 64
Andersen 58

You can't expect a group of octogenarians who are accountable to no one (and surrounded by yes men) to "get it." It shouldn't really be a surprise that they have an unrealistic view of the situation. Dallin Oaks's latest remark is just evidence of what we already knew.

Abelard Enigma said...

I really thought that they would start to realize the error of their ways

I think, in their minds, they haven't done anything wrong and are truly perplexed as to why some people think they did.

I plan on trying to answer your “Where are you in your journey” post soon.

Jesse, welcome to the Mormon queerosphere. If you have a blog, send me a link and I'll add it to my list of family.

Yep, that about sums me up! Is that wrong?

Um, I suppose not. But, I guess it also explains why Twilight is so popular among gay men.

You can't expect a group of octogenarians who are accountable to no one (and surrounded by yes men) to "get it."

I think that last part (surrounded by yes men) is key. You can't get into the GA inner circle any other way.

Hidden said...

Abe,

Please speak for yourself! I whole-heartedly and with passion to match will die by my conviction that Twilight is THE worst perversional aberration to ever mar reputable literature.

Alan said...

What Hidden said!!!!!!

Evan said...

Hey! Some of us are even slower. I still can't honestly state where I stand. I don't know anymore...

And I'm glad I wasn't the only one who felt a negative atmosphere around Holland's talk.

Abelard Enigma said...

Hidden, Alan - I've actually never read any of the Twilight books nor seen the movie; so, I can't comment on it's literary quality.

Evan - I don't really know where I stand either ...

Grant Haws said...

I wonder what it means if you are gay, Mormon, and black. Does Dallin Oaks explode at the thought?


Anyways, I definitely feel a similar tone from church leadership..there is a new sense of desperation. But not a desperation to share the gospel, rather a desperation to hold their ground. I definitely think that Church leadership underestimated the effect of Prop 8, and that could have something to do with it...after years of the Church largely flying under the radar, suddenly they are in the middle of a lot of bad PR.

Joan said...

marriedtoamoho said...

"a whole bunch of young women who want to have sex with hot young gay men."
Yep, that about sums me up! Is that wrong?


LOL. Me too, me too.

The whole, thing, Abe has me really disturbed and confused. I have no idea where I am going with regards to the church. (sigh)