Monday, September 15, 2008

Responding to Carol Lynn Pearson, Part 1 of 2

After my recent letter to the Salt Lake Tribune on gay rights, the paper published a few follow-up letters, including this one from Carol Lynn Pearson, who wrote the original editorial that pushed my buttons. I'll go ahead and respond to her here on my own blog, in two posts (I'm trying to reduce post lengths to increase readability):
There is something that may not be well understood by Brother Christopher Bigelow and many others ("Suicide and sodomy," Forum, Aug. 26). The work that needs to be done on behalf of our gay Mormon brothers and sisters pertains to all of them, no matter what decision they may make regarding their sexuality.

Hmm, I’m not sure what she means by “work.” I think families need to do more work to find a way to keep loving their members who choose the gay lifestyle, even if some tough love needs to be part of the equation. But if she’s talking about the church needing to do more “work” to accommodate people who choose sodomy, I think the only work the church needs to do in that case is keep holding the line on this sin, while still making those who are striving to abstain from sodomy feel fully welcome at church--or those who, at the very least, admit they should be striving to abstain.

Think of a tree. One branch is those who choose celibacy and maintain LDS Church requirements. Another branch is those who enter into a gay partnership. Another is those who decide to marry someone of the opposite sex. But all these branches share the same trunk, and it's clear that in general we do a terrible job helping these young people through the experience of confronting their homosexual feelings, no matter which branch they ultimately choose.

One of these things is not like the other. I don’t get why Carol Lynn sees all three of these options are being pretty much equal. I think the church needs to keep making it crystal clear that entering into a gay relationship is not a valid option. It has consequences, such as getting disfellowshipped or excommunicated. We don’t welcome gay couples who want to come to church together and flaunt their sinful lifestyle. We welcome people with same-gender attraction who want to resist the temptation, even if they’ve already sinned or are still sinning.

Tomorrow: The conclusion of my response to Carol Lynn

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder how well Sister Pearson's tree analogies play with Jacob 5 :)

While there may be a great deal of patience for wild branches, at some point pruning is necessary for the health of the tree.