"Homesexuals CAN Change..," A giant step backwards for the

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Rix
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"Homesexuals CAN Change..," A giant step backwards for the

Post by Rix » 20 Sep 2009, 08:50

This morning in the Salt Lake Trib, Elder Bruce Hafen made some very direct, definite comments that are just wrong, IMHO. He spoke at the annual Evergreen conference...the link is:

http://www.sltrib.com/lds/ci_13377659

I think this is a huge step backwards for the church -- on so many levels. First, almost all in the scientific and medical fields disagree with his assertion that it CAN be changed. He calls it "politically motivated." This issue is such a hot spot today, the very least the church should be doing is to remain silent if they don't know how to address this critical issue. Any outsider will see this as outdated, and will view the church as behind the times wrt medical research.

Secondly, it is sooooo hurtful and damaging for our gay brothers and sisters. It continues to reinforce their guilt and shame that they feel from the previous teaching that it is sinful and wrong to have SSA feelings. Depression and suicides will continue; families will continue in their conflicts when they have gay sons and daughters -- they love them, but know they have been that way since birth. Their very testimonies and faith have huge contradictions since they believe most of what the church leaders teach, but feel torn between their experience with their family members, and what they hear from the pulpits. It is tearing the church apart!

Sorry for the directness, but I hope this issue will be addressed by calmer, sound, and truly inspired minds in the church office building from an attitude of love and acceptance for all of God's children -- as he created us.

:cry:
Überzeugungen sind oft die gefährlichsten Feinde der Wahrheit.
[Certainty (that one is correct) is often the most dangerous enemy of the
truth.] - Friedrich Nietzsche

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that. -- Joseph Campbell

Poppyseed
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Re: "Homesexuals CAN Change..," A giant step backwards for the

Post by Poppyseed » 20 Sep 2009, 09:19

I don't know whether Gay-ness (can I say it that way?) can change or not. I tend to think in general terms that it can. I might even say that because of the spectrum of things there might be some that can and some that can't. The reason I think this is because it seems that there are lots of people who "change" their sexual preferences. We've got bisexuals and asexuals and those who experiement based on the feeling of the moment and those who were one way one year and one way the next. And then a whole other school of thought that discourages the labels to begin with and that we should express our sexual behaviors with whomever we love. I even wonder if we all have some SSA woven into all of us in some tiny degree. Seems like a lot of agency at play here.....not just biology.

Peoples sexual feelings change all the time. Being a middle aged female, I have experienced the fluxuations of emotions and sex drive as hormones continue on their roller coaster pursuits. And it is also clear to me that our sexuality is not only a biological process as emotions and attitudes and thinking processes impact things. So I think there is some argument that people can change. Could sexual orientation change based on ones thinking or even ones experience?? I think may be it can and does.

I have talked to someone who said they did change and that they understand why gay people feel they can't. I talked to another who said he could change a great portion of things, but not all.

In the end though, the church is not asking people to "change" their physiology. They are asking them to discipline their behavior and sexual desires. This is an invitation and mandate for everyone. And everyone who comes to Christ is asked to "change".

No matter which way we land on this, I hope that we can see more to understand and less to be so easily hurt by everything.
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” --old Chinese proverb

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Rix
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Re: "Homesexuals CAN Change..," A giant step backwards for the

Post by Rix » 20 Sep 2009, 10:39

Poppyseed wrote:I don't know whether Gay-ness (can I say it that way?) can change or not. I tend to think in general terms that it can. I might even say that because of the spectrum of things there might be some that can and some that can't.
Medical science understands this much more than some realize. Yes, some are more "able" to steer their SSA than others. It has to do with the hormonal environment during critical times in utero. We are still learning why the "switch" to regulate the mix of testosterone and other hormones is different for each child, but we are quite certain that this is what determines sexual attraction. Think of it simply as a spectrum between 0 and 100% attraction to one sex. Some are very close to 100%, others closer to 50%. Those that are less "gay" have more capacity to remain "straight" than those closer to 100% either way. This explains why some claim to have "changed," and why some fluctuate at times. Their are certainly environmental factors that play into it, which is consistent with the spectrum process.

My point is that medicine and psychology understand this. It's not really debated much anymore. Of course ongoing research is helping us learn the factors that manage the uterine environment, but it is clearly a biological process. The "choice" only comes, as it clearly is for us hetero folk, as to whether to act on the natural urges we are born with. And unless you believe like some religions do that lifetime celibacy is appropriate, the "urge" is extremely strong for either "God-given" reasons, or simple evolutionary necessity that continuation of the species is ultimately important for us...and to criticize and shame those that do exactly the same as we married, heteros do regularly is so damaging to our interpersonal relationships that it smacks of denial and hate-filled politics rather than the unconditional love that we claim to profess.

Again, sorry for my passion in this area...

:oops: :cry:
Überzeugungen sind oft die gefährlichsten Feinde der Wahrheit.
[Certainty (that one is correct) is often the most dangerous enemy of the
truth.] - Friedrich Nietzsche

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that. -- Joseph Campbell

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bridget_night
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Re: "Homesexuals CAN Change..," A giant step backwards for the

Post by bridget_night » 20 Sep 2009, 10:47

Here is the link to the exact talk the GA gave at this years Evergreen conference held this past weekend:

http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng ... attraction

I like and agree with parts of it. My own therapist and her husband, a psychiatrist, (non lds) believe it is fluid for some and not for others. The copy editor of my book, has been able to change his sexual feelings. He is happily married with children, and is now a bishop. But, he told me his whole story and it was a very difficult journey. Richard Cohen, author of "Coming Out Straight' wrote the foreword to my book. He claims to have changed his feelings and says he has helped many others. I have known him for some time and he has been a good friend to me. I know he was inspired when he wrote my foreword and has tremendous compassion for gays. I took my son to one of his seminars and it was very lovingly done, and my son thought so too, but I definitely do not agree with some of his techniques or that change is possible for everyone. I have been to 4 Evergreen conferences, and there is much good there. One, it helps other lds gays no they are not alone and there are many like themselves and parents are taught to love unconditionally. Some of the latest studies I have read by Spitzer, and Yarhouse seem to show about 15% can change enough to live a happy heterosexual life. Dr. Throckmorton, a phsycologist I am friends with who has changed his beliefs over the years on this issue and supports the APA's latest findings. He is someone I respect on this topic and so do many gays.

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20 ... index.html


But, I know a large percentage who cannot change and these people deserve to live a full life. I believe in a person's right to self -determination. So, for those who want to live as a gay person they should be allowed that right. For those who have a same-sex attraction but want to live by their religious beliefs or not live as a gay person they should have those rights as well. My son wants a gay relationship and so I respect that. My son said, "I don't mind if the church believes homosexuality is wrong, I just want them to allow me equal rights and stay out of this politically. I also would like them to be kinder to gays."

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Rix
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Re: "Homesexuals CAN Change..," A giant step backwards for the

Post by Rix » 20 Sep 2009, 10:48

Poppyseed wrote:I In the end though, the church is not asking people to "change" their physiology. They are asking them to discipline their behavior and sexual desires. This is an invitation and mandate for everyone. And everyone who comes to Christ is asked to "change".
Sorry, I wanted to address this too. I understand this is the position of most of the church leaders today. Yes, it is an "invitation" and a "mandate" today. And most leaders would also say as you did that to be "Christlike" is to accept their position.

But so was the positition of the church previously that plural marriage was essential for exhaltation; and that the blacks were in fact a cursed race. These are not the teachings today, so I have hope that our leaders will continue their pleas to the Lord to understand this dilemna just as they did with the previous challenging issues. As their position has softened recently regarding whether "being gay" is a sin (as I understand it, it was, but no longer), but only "acting" on it is, I think it is possible that we will see other changes in teachings in the future to allow love to prevail.

I don't expect it soon...but someday?!
Last edited by Rix on 20 Sep 2009, 10:58, edited 1 time in total.
Überzeugungen sind oft die gefährlichsten Feinde der Wahrheit.
[Certainty (that one is correct) is often the most dangerous enemy of the
truth.] - Friedrich Nietzsche

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that. -- Joseph Campbell

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Rix
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Re: "Homesexuals CAN Change..," A giant step backwards for the

Post by Rix » 20 Sep 2009, 10:55

bridget_night wrote:
I like and agree with parts of it. My own therapist and her husband, a psychiatrist, (non lds) believe it is fluid for some and not for others.
The spectrum theory I explained above is consistent with this. Those that are somewhere closer to 50% have a greater ability to steer one way or the other. The way I look at it is that if you turned the table and told me that I should become attracted to men, and that it was "wrong" to be attracted to women, I highly doubt that any therapy you could do with me would change my feelings. Like most of the gays I know, I was strongly attracted to women at a very young age, and I doubt I could change that.

That's how most gays are...and why I think it is sad our uneducated culture continues to shame them for the way they were born. THAT doesn't seem Christlike to me!
Last edited by Rix on 20 Sep 2009, 10:59, edited 1 time in total.
Überzeugungen sind oft die gefährlichsten Feinde der Wahrheit.
[Certainty (that one is correct) is often the most dangerous enemy of the
truth.] - Friedrich Nietzsche

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that. -- Joseph Campbell

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bridget_night
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Re: "Homesexuals CAN Change..," A giant step backwards for the

Post by bridget_night » 20 Sep 2009, 10:57

[quote="RixBut so was the positition of the church previously that plural marriage was essential for exhaltation; and that the blacks were in fact a cursed race. These are not the teachings today, so I have hope that our leaders will continue their pleas to the Lord to understand this dilemna just as they did with the previous challenging issues. As their position has softened recently regarding whether "being gay" is a sin (as I understand it, it was, but no longer), but only "acting" on it is, I think it is possible that we will see other changes in teachings in the future to allow love to prevail.

I don't expect it soon...but someday?![/quote]

I hope so too Rix. This has not been an easy journey for me because, like most parents, I wanted my son to be able to be straight and live a 'normal' life. But, I am left handed and do quite well too.

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Rix
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Re: "Homesexuals CAN Change..," A giant step backwards for the

Post by Rix » 20 Sep 2009, 11:10

bridget_night wrote: I hope so too Rix. This has not been an easy journey for me because, like most parents, I wanted my son to be able to be straight and live a 'normal' life. But, I am left handed and do quite well too.
Yes, same for me...as my sister and MANY close friends have lived lives that have helped me to understand that THEY ARE NORMAL -- FOR THEM. It is the rest of us that have been molded to believe otherwise. I hope and pray that we can come to understand that WE are the ones that have to change our attitudes toward what is normal. And not.

I consider your left-handedness to be a NORMAL variation. To think otherwise would be MY problem.
Überzeugungen sind oft die gefährlichsten Feinde der Wahrheit.
[Certainty (that one is correct) is often the most dangerous enemy of the
truth.] - Friedrich Nietzsche

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that. -- Joseph Campbell

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Bruce in Montana
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Re: "Homesexuals CAN Change..," A giant step backwards for the

Post by Bruce in Montana » 20 Sep 2009, 11:26

This is such a challenge for SSA individuals as well as their families.
There have been numerous studies that show biological propensities to do a lot of things, some even criminal. IMHO, that does not excuse acting upon it. We all have different "crosses to bear" and I feel the Church has taken a more-than-fair position on it that doesn't need any further "caving in". No one is criticizing anyone for being gay, for having SSA, or for the way the individual feels....these people are our brothers and sisters and children of our heavenly father. However, when they choose to act upon these inclinations, then they are doing wrong and there is no need for the Church to be any more tolerant of these acts than there is to become more tolerant of pre-marital heterosexual sex.

Wrong is wrong. There is no gray area in this situation.


My opinion only of course...
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
-William S.

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Rix
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Re: "Homesexuals CAN Change..," A giant step backwards for the

Post by Rix » 20 Sep 2009, 11:45

Bruce in Montana wrote:... However, when they choose to act upon these inclinations, then they are doing wrong and there is no need for the Church to be any more tolerant of these acts than there is to become more tolerant of pre-marital heterosexual sex.

Wrong is wrong. There is no gray area in this situation.

My opinion only of course...
Of course...as is the opinion of many people.

I would like to ask you a question, Bruce. Assume you are as you are (I assume you are "attracted" to females?), and you are told by your church leaders that you should not act on your "urges," ever in your life, to have sex with a woman. EVER. And you could never marry a woman.

Would you feel that YOU are wrong to have that desire? Even if the "scriptures" told you it was wrong?

I know it is hard to put yourself in that position; maybe you believe it is an impossibility. I believe it is EXACTLY that way for most LGBTs. But, of course, that is MY opinion...

;)
Überzeugungen sind oft die gefährlichsten Feinde der Wahrheit.
[Certainty (that one is correct) is often the most dangerous enemy of the
truth.] - Friedrich Nietzsche

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that. -- Joseph Campbell

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