Excommunication Regarding Outspoken Sexual Matters

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DarkJedi
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Re: Excommunication Regarding Outspoken Sexual Matters

Post by DarkJedi » 29 Apr 2021, 11:47

SamBee wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 07:25
DarkJedi wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 06:05
Psychologists will tell you that pornography is not an addiction but can be a compulsory behavior.
Psychologists go with prevailing trends, in this case sexual license. As I always remind people, they used to class being gay as a mental illness, now they class homophobia as one. All to do wth societal fashions. Promiscuity used to be classed as satyromania and nymphomania, now you're classed as abnormal if you don't lean in that direction, and marriage is almost seen as aberrant. Soap operas and music push that message too. So I don't even see their claims as very scientifically based.
That's because like all science we learn new things all the time. That's what science is. You clearly don't buy that psychologists are scientists and maybe not even professionals and I wholeheartedly disagree (although Sheldon Cooper may agree - but he thinks MIT is a tech school and not an actual university). They spend years studying and practicing like other professionals. Where's your doctorate? What proof do you have other than your own anecdotal evidence? (And no, homophobia is not in the DSM and homosexuality has not been in there since 1973 - decades before the church gave up on "conversion therapy" and 5 years before the church ended the priesthood ban.)
I've seen and heard evidence that the Big P is indeed an addiction for some people. Even if we see it as a "compulsive behavior", that sounds like a bit of a euphemism for borderline addictive behavior in this case. The problem is that the LDS use the addiction label too widely.
Always a good defense when you can't argue with the truth, although I do agree the church (more specifically some church leaders and members) does apply the label too widely.
The wide free availability of the Big P online ensures that certain aspects are well hidden. Twenty years ago, some people spent serious money on it - that's a sign of addiction, as is the amount of time some people spend with it. (You're talking hours and hours here in some cases.) So there's a difference between someone who occasionally sneaks a peak at it, and someone who is spending thousands of dollars or hours on it. Lockdown isn't helping.
It's OK to say the word here and anywhere else - they say pornography in General Conference. The amount of time one spends might be a sign of compulsion/compulsory behavior, but not necessarily an addiction. It doesn't take very long to shoot up with heroin which is an addiction and has little to do with time spent.Tobacco addicts do spend a fair amount of time smoking or chewing but often while doing other things and they can usually manage going several hours without a "fix." Again time has little to do with it. Alcohol is pretty similar to tobacco. In all of those cases, and others, there is a physical need for the substance - that's an addiction. Yes, there is a difference between someone who sometimes takes a peek at porn and someone who spends hours - but if you asked most active church members (especially women) in Utah if there was a difference you'd get a pretty resounding no and both would be addicts. The truth is, some people have the time and money to spend on it and it does no harm, much the same as gambling. I live close to a casino - close enough to walk if I wanted. There are people who can afford to go there and blow money and still pay all their bills and do other leisurely activities, and there are those who can't do that. It's only harmful to those who can't afford to do it (and either way it benefits me because my taxes have significantly decreased and services increased since the casino opened). If gambling or porn are not affecting one's means of living and general well being it makes little difference how much money or time they spend on it as indiviudals. We all waste time doing things like watching TV and posting on web forums but it doesn't matter as long as someone's not going to lose my job/livelihood or family because of it. In other words, if it affects your quality of life and health anything could be harmful (too much TV, too much sports, too much whatever) but otherwise it's likely not harmful.

If you want to know why the church is struggling with keeping Millennials and Gen. Z, you don't have to look much farther than these issues. They're not interested in Kimball's Miracle of Forgiveness or Oaks' BYU shock therapy. It's not 1973, it's not 1983 (thank goodness in both cases), it's a whole new world. The church will catch up in 20-30 years.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Arrakeen
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Re: Excommunication Regarding Outspoken Sexual Matters

Post by Arrakeen » 29 Apr 2021, 17:17

The fact that such a large percentage of people view pornography kind of undermines the church’s narrative about how addictive or dangerous it is. For every person whose life is destroyed by it, there are hundreds who use it and still have normal, productive, happy lives. But the church likes to use the whole “crocodile” metaphor about how once it grabs an unsuspecting victim escape is nearly impossible.

I also disagree with how the church likes to portray pornography as some sort of brand new social plague. It’s been around forever, and some of the earliest known artwork is things like sexual figurines. So really pornography has been around since before even the development of written language. It might even predate religion.

And then there’s the whole issue with masturbation. There are good arguments for why pornography can be harmful, but I’ve never seen a convincing argument that masturbation hurts anybody. Mostly the idea that sexual feelings before marriage are always bad, which I think is a pretty damaging idea, especially for youth dealing with raging hormones. And especially when you tell your bishop about it and they bring up the “sin next to murder” stuff.
DarkJedi wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 11:47

If you want to know why the church is struggling with keeping Millennials and Gen. Z, you don't have to look much farther than these issues. They're not interested in Kimball's Miracle of Forgiveness or Oaks' BYU shock therapy. It's not 1973, it's not 1983 (thank goodness in both cases), it's a whole new world. The church will catch up in 20-30 years.
Yeah. In one of my mission apartments we found a copy of Miracle of Forgiveness and read a few pages. We reacted with a mix of amusement and horror.

Arrakeen
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Re: Excommunication Regarding Outspoken Sexual Matters

Post by Arrakeen » 29 Apr 2021, 17:23

I also think it’s interesting that while the rhetoric often compares pornography to drug addiction, the way the two are treated is often different. I have seen people bring up that they are a recovering cocaine addict, and people react with support and view it as an unfortunate and difficult circumstance for them to be in. But then pornography use in my experience is more often viewed as a moral failing. Which to me suggests that people do at some level understand the issues to be fundamentally different and attribute more control to a porn “addict” than to a drug addict.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Excommunication Regarding Outspoken Sexual Matters

Post by DarkJedi » 30 Apr 2021, 05:30

Arrakeen wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 17:17
The fact that such a large percentage of people view pornography kind of undermines the church’s narrative about how addictive or dangerous it is. For every person whose life is destroyed by it, there are hundreds who use it and still have normal, productive, happy lives. But the church likes to use the whole “crocodile” metaphor about how once it grabs an unsuspecting victim escape is nearly impossible.

I also disagree with how the church likes to portray pornography as some sort of brand new social plague. It’s been around forever, and some of the earliest known artwork is things like sexual figurines. So really pornography has been around since before even the development of written language. It might even predate religion.

And then there’s the whole issue with masturbation. There are good arguments for why pornography can be harmful, but I’ve never seen a convincing argument that masturbation hurts anybody. Mostly the idea that sexual feelings before marriage are always bad, which I think is a pretty damaging idea, especially for youth dealing with raging hormones. And especially when you tell your bishop about it and they bring up the “sin next to murder” stuff.
DarkJedi wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 11:47

If you want to know why the church is struggling with keeping Millennials and Gen. Z, you don't have to look much farther than these issues. They're not interested in Kimball's Miracle of Forgiveness or Oaks' BYU shock therapy. It's not 1973, it's not 1983 (thank goodness in both cases), it's a whole new world. The church will catch up in 20-30 years.
Yeah. In one of my mission apartments we found a copy of Miracle of Forgiveness and read a few pages. We reacted with a mix of amusement and horror.
Part of the thing is I don't personally know anybody whose "life has been destroyed" by porn. And the only people I know (I'm talking 1 couple) who have had a marital issue in relation to porn has mostly been church driven - if the church hadn't made such a big deal blowing porn addiction out of proportion she wouldn't have been worried about his eternal well being. (They are still together and while I don't know this family super well I do know that they lead an average life, they both work, he hunts, fishes and does woodworking, etc.) I know this is just the microcosm of my own ward and there are likely situations that are more private and I know nothing about (that's a good thing, I'd rather not) - but I think I would know about divorces, separations, etc., because they're obvious (and they're not there).

Fortunately MoF is out of print. Unfortunately there are still lots of copies around and many of the generation who are bishops (Boomers) subscribe to it's antiquated and erroneous ideas. Masturbation does not make one gay. I actually find it mildly interesting that the masturbation question is no longer asked in pre-mission interviews, yet there's still a stigma attached to it by the puritan factions of the church even though they've all done it.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Old-Timer
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Re: Excommunication Regarding Outspoken Sexual Matters

Post by Old-Timer » 30 Apr 2021, 07:04

Admin Note:

Let's be VERY careful about disparaging an entire profession and rejecting what their work has taught them. It is easy to forget that we don't know each other in real life, so we don't know who we are rejecting and belittling when we make sweeping statements.

Finally, there is a critical difference between addictions and compulsions, to professionals in the field, but the nuance is lost easily on those outside the field. This isn't the place to argue about the distinction. We focus on faith and religion here, so let's avoid continued technical analysis and fine-detail, scientific discussions or arguments. What we have at this point is enough.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Roy
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Re: Excommunication Regarding Outspoken Sexual Matters

Post by Roy » 30 Apr 2021, 20:23

Thank you old-timer. I agree.

It has been my experience that we are not the only church treating pornography as an addiction (rather than a compulsion or unhealthy coping mechanism). It is a truism that we proclaim our special and unique status, and by doing so we follow all the other churches that do likewise.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Doubter
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Re: Excommunication Regarding Outspoken Sexual Matters

Post by Doubter » 06 May 2021, 11:18

I just flat out disagree with the idea of excommunication because it doesn't help anybody. I believe the church is now and always has been wrong to excommunicate people . Christ never kicked anybody out except in the temple, it is not his way.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Excommunication Regarding Outspoken Sexual Matters

Post by DarkJedi » 06 May 2021, 14:32

Doubter wrote:
06 May 2021, 11:18
I just flat out disagree with the idea of excommunication because it doesn't help anybody. I believe the church is now and always has been wrong to excommunicate people . Christ never kicked anybody out except in the temple, it is not his way.
I agree that excommunication or "withdrawal of membership" is generally not helpful and does not help people "repent." And I agree that it's not God's way. I believe God's love, grace, and mercy are perfectly unconditional.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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