23 May 2007

When Maquis Met Sacher

they would have made a cute couple but what gifts do you bring to their baby shower?

Every so often someone of the Mormon persuasion wonders why those who question the faith choose to remain in it. The mere act of “questioning faith” is seen as an inherent division between Mormons and everyone else. Those who question are seen to be disobeying the laws and failing to listen to what God’s men are saying.

But what happens when the Men of God say something that isn’t true? What happens if they something untrue over and over again? Let’s also suppose that this untruth is about you.

I’m not the only Moho to have been accused of being selfish, afraid of men, confused about my gender, and a sinner by nature. Blanket statements viewed as gospel by the church at large because the faithful are largely afraid to challenge any notion whatsoever.*

I question, I complain, and I confront. Through it all, I maintain my faith in The One True Church. I proclaim these truths to be self-evident, God loves His children today as much as He did in ancient times when He sent His prophets to lead the saints away from the false and foolish things of the world. He sent us to Earth to prove our valor and build our eternal families; the most precious of all things. He protects us, teaches us, guides us, and to this end, has returned the prophets to us.

What is it that keeps homosexuals like myself in a faith I know to be true but returns my devotion with fear, misunderstanding, and hatred? Some have suggested the answer is masochism, the pleasure (or gratification) of having pain or suffering inflicted upon myself.

It’s a difficult notion to dispel. Certainly, the church is the most real and beautiful thing in my life. It’s also true that the church is the source of my life’s greatest sadness, self-doubt, and pain.

I don’t believe it’s a masochistic desire that binds me to the church. I remain because of my desire to be a part of a marvelous work and a wonder even if there is pain attached. Besides, on a larger scale, pain is just a part of life. We seek to minimize pain but it remains our constant companion. Why should I expect the church to be different than everything else in this world?

I’ll conclude by stating that if it is, in fact, a masochistic desire that binds homosexuals to the church then I would like to point out that every abusive relationship has someone who dishes out the pain. You can fault the victim for always coming back for more but that doesn’t excuse a sadist who selects a group to paint as foolishly short-sighted, society’s enemy, and a danger to the children. An aggressor who then, like any good sadist, congradulates himself for getting the abused to keep coming back. Wielding promises of salvation and brandishing threats of hell, he seeks to prove his compassion by sheer force of love.

But that’s only if you believe in I’m a masochist.

*Untruths, every one. And just because one of those descriptors might apply to somebody, somewhere doesn’t make the idea behind them any less ridiculous.


good tune


Tolkien Boy said...

I personally think gay men can find enough sorrow in the world without forcing themselves to stay in the church to make sure they suckle enough pain.

Maybe a better reason to stay in the church is, as you've pointed out, that you believe in it, come Hell or high water.

Abelard Enigma said...

playasinmar, you are an enigma. Maybe YOU should take on the persona of Edward Nygma :)

Nectar said...

Concerning your untruths, I would agree with you. They are untruths. My question is, are these untruths widely believed in the Mormon Church? I know that the General Authorities teach that these untruths are in fact untruths. So, if some members of the Church are uninformed it is because they haven't taken the time or trouble to inform themselves.

Perhaps it seems to you that most members of the Church believe in these untruths. That could be your perspective. From my perspective, someone who has always been considered straight and has been active in the Church all of his 60 years of life, few people believe those untruths.

You probably didn't want to hear that.

iwonder said...

Unfortunately, nectar, my short time on earth has shown me many, many evidences that many in the church unfortunately believe these untruths and cling to them even when presented with evidence and arguments to the contrary. I have found that until confronted with the issue head on, most people continue to believe these things.

playasinmar said...

Welcome to my blog, Nectar! Feel free to say anything at all. This is a Free Speech Zone.

playasinmar said...

Sure, these untruths aren't what is taught currently. That can always change because the church can always change. Nonetheless, it is true these untruths aren't the current, official church position.

Fact is I don't interact with the GAs on a regular basis I interact with the members. Far, far too many believe these things and it's the church's teachings that led them to these conclusions.

And let us not forget, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." (Martin Luther King Jr.)

Danish Boy said...

I think for myself it is more the feeling that the church is true and as such I cannot follow the path that my mind wants to take. Besides like you said we really can't escape pain. It is pretty much inevitable. I guess we needed this type of adversity in our lives because maybe it was the only way that heavenly father could humble us enough to rely on him for strength and support. That's just what I feel.

Nectar said...

Thank you for the welcome.

EvadingOdd said...

I believe in a just God because of Pascal's wager, and I believe in the Church because it makes the most sense of any God-of-justice faith I've found thus far. Plus there's the spiritual element. Perhaps we are just very forgiving.

And as long as "The Miracle of Forgiveness" graces the MTC bookstore shelves and "To The One" is in the BYU archives, those untruths will be a part of this religion.

MoHoHawaii said...

Let’s also suppose that this untruth is about you.

I love your blog, P. Keep it up.

I found it easiest to drop the masochism and cognitive dissonance and go my own way. This is not for everyone, I know. It worked for me, even though I still sometimes miss singing hymns at 1/2 of the indicated tempo.

playasinmar said...

And a chorister who may as well be swinging her arm in a big circle for all the good she's doing with nobody paying attention. :)

MoHoHawaii said...

This reminds me of one of the early warning signs... the small sideways puff of smoke as the rocket lifts off from the launch pad that indicates much, much bigger trouble to come.... I was the ward chorister all through my high school years.

playasinmar said...

My first ward calling (I was thirteen or fourteen) was Ward Chorister. Weird.

iwonder said...

And as long as "The Miracle of Forgiveness" graces the MTC bookstore shelves and "To The One" is in the BYU archives, those untruths will be a part of this religion.

Unfortunately, I completely agree with you, Evadingodd. My issue is not so much with (higher) church leaders, but with anyone that shuts their mind so tight they won't allow anything new in. Unfortunately this applies to many, not necessarily most, but many church members.

even though I still sometimes miss singing hymns at 1/2 of the indicated tempo.

Shut up, shut up, shut up, SHUT UP! I HATE, and loath, and despise the fact that Mormons cannot, for the life of them, ever, EVER sing up to tempo, or play the organ/piano to tempo. It fills me with such rage that they make every song a funeral dirge. It makes me want to die. (Sort of.)

And I was chorister in the MTC. hmmmm.

MoHoHawaii said...

P.-- Yes, it is weird. As far as I'm concerned this drives the final nail in the coffin of the nature versus nurture debate. Honey child, you are either born to be a teenage ward chorister or not.

iwonder-- Just to be clear, I was speaking ironically about tempo. Every gay chorister knows the evil of sluggish hymns. 'Nuff said. If I were in charge of instituting reforms, I think I would be tempted to fix the music problem before tackling the issue of greater SSA acceptance.

Mr. Fob said...

Hm. I've never been the chorister, and in fact I have no musical talent or even the ability to recognize tempo at all. Does this mean I'm kicked out of the club?