Mormons Building Bridges to Nowhere

The following is my response to the Dec 26, 2012 post on the "Mormons Building Bridges" website, entitled Where Two or Three are Gathered… I include it here because I do not know how long it will be allowed to remain in the comments on that site.

First of all, I would like to address the notion that organizations such as this are about "promoting love, tolerance, and respect." If that were true, and you truly advocated love, tolerance and respect for ALL PEOPLE - including those who disagree with homosexuality - you would refrain from using politically loaded, judgmental terms like "homophobic." This is not in the Spirit of Christ.

The term “homophobia” was coined in 1972 by George Weinberg and has evolved from signifying a rejection of one’s own homoerotic desires to being understood as a means to challenge heterosexuals’ reactions to and beliefs about gay and lesbian persons (Herek, 1994).  While there is no universally agreed upon definition of homophobia, the term now connotes an implicit demand that those who do not fully affirm homosexual behavior and the political goals of gay activists should themselves be the objects of concern and viewed as potentially deviant and morally condemnable. The problem with this usage has been well summarized by O’Donahue and Caselles (2005): “It is most unfortunate when scientists attempt to pass implicit or explicit pejorative evaluations of individuals holding certain open and debatable value positions as part of their science” (p. 82). The shortcomings of the terminology of homophobia have led to it being largely abandoned in academic circles, but its ongoing rhetorical and political effectiveness ensures that accusations of homophobia will continue to be a prime weapon in the cultural debates over the moral, legal, and political status of homosexual behavior. (Source)

Secondly, I would like to share some of my own findings regarding the mother's claim above that homosexuality has been scientifically proven to be genetic. I did a lot of personal research during the Prop 8 debates here in California. This quote, from one of my Prop 8 blog posts, sums up my findings:

Several misconceptions and outright falsehoods are being perpetuated to mold public opinion about homosexuality. These misconceptions and falsehoods are the entire basis for the argument that gay marriage is a civil right.

They are:
A) That 10% of all people are gay. This number was contrived from a study done by Kinsey in the 1940's which has since been proven false by several other studies, and by duplication of the original study with a larger sample group. Proper studies have shown the number to actually be less than 2% worldwide.

B) That people are born gay. No study has ever shown any such thing. A few studies have been presented out of context and said to suggest such findings, but even the authors of the studies, themselves gay, publicly declared that their studies showed no such thing. On the contrary, science has shown that there are specific incidents and experiences in early childhood that can cause an individual to develop same sex attraction. Therapy is available, and recovery is possible, just like for every other mental disorder. One study that is presented out of context is the one in which a certain area of the brain appeared to be different in gay subjects than straight subjects. The study's author stated expressly that this did not prove anything, and other studies have shown that certain behaviors can actually CAUSE such differences in brain development. The gay subjects of the original study had been sexually active for years prior to the study.

In an even earlier blog post, entitled What About Civil Rights? Is This Discrimination?, I included the following:

Is homosexuality "innate and immutable?" 
This question is best answered in the words of Dr. A. Dean Byrd, an expert on homosexuality:
[S]cientific attempts to demonstrate that homosexual attraction is biologically determined have failed. The major researchers now prominent in the scientific arena- themselves gay activists -have in fact arrived at such conclusions.

You can read the entire article, and another by the same author, here:

    The Innate-Immutable Argument Finds No Basis in Science

    Born That Way? Facts and Fiction About Homosexuality,

Although a politically popular notion, it is simply untrue to assert that homosexuals are born gay.

The National Association for Research and Treatment of Homosexuality also has a brand new article on the subject, entitled Politics rather than science continues to drive public perceptions concerning homosexuality, which I encourage you to read.

Lastly, I find it interesting that faithful (I assume) Latter-day Saints, like some represented here in these comments, would find it so easy to assume a stance that is in opposition to the Gospel. What I am hearing is "we believed in the Gospel, but then one day one of our family members said they were gay and now we don't believe the Gospel anymore." I realize this is a simplistic representation of a more complex issue, but the complexity only comes from our own unwillingness to accept truth, as outlined in the scriptures, let alone modern leaders. None of this should be new to any of you:

In Moses 1:39, God tells us that "this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."

In order to receive eternal life, we must obey all of God's commandments, including the original ("Be fruitful, and multiply," Gen. 1:28).

Genesis 2:24 further defines that commandment by specifying its confines: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

D&C 131:2-3, in discussing the three degrees of exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom, tells us that "in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it."

D&C 132:4 further explains: "...behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory."

Damnation means nothing other than to have your eternal progress stopped.

This is not merely a matter of simply allowing gay marriage in temples, for the degree of exaltation they cannot obtain includes the ability to have "an increase," or descendants. If our goal in life is to become like our Heavenly Father, then we must shun anything that will keep that from happening. And, since all that God does is to bring children into existence and attempt to guide them to perfection, we are not becoming like God if we are pursuing goals that do not lead us to this end.

I understand the struggles of people who experience same-sex attraction. It is a difficult road to walk. Clarity of vision, and devotion to truth, however, will make this path straighter and easier to walk and, unlike embracing homosexuality, enable those sufferers to be freed from their suffering and find peace in Christ. And, ultimately, to achieve the preferred end result for ALL of God's children - to become like Him.
Opposition to homosexuality does not mean that people like myself hate gays. On the contrary, we love them, and want the best for them, as we understand it and as the Gospel defines it. There is no excuse for hatred, but neither is there an excuse to accuse others of hatred that does not exist.
The very fact this organization would march in a parade that promotes pride in homosexuality further undermines its claim to be reaching out to "their LGBT brothers and sisters." Pride is a sin, and pride in sinfulness prevents people from repenting.