Posted by: Loran Blood | December 2, 2012

Latter-day-Saints and the Homosexual Cause Célèbre

A pattern has long ago emerged in which we may see that a number of LDS who have moved to the Left, or come to the Church from the Left in other areas, appear to continue moving in this philosophical direction even from within the constraints, demarcation lines, and boundaries placed upon personal philosophical predilections by the gospel and the teachings and standards of the church, and tend to continue moving – and attempt to move the Church and its members –  to the Left and from what some are tempted to think are tertiary issues to ever more fundamental aspects of Church teaching, including those relating to core concepts of morality and the impact of what we might call the morality structure of a people upon the larger culture.

It has always struck me as quite singular that anyone who considers him or herself a “faithful” or “practicing” LDS and who would claim “faithful” status as a disciple of Christ and his restored gospel would be on the opposite side of a debate regarding the complete redefinition of the concepts of marriage, family and gender, concepts so foundational to an understanding of who we are, why we are here, and the nature of our potential and destiny as eternal beings as identified in modern revelation and articulated by modern prophets and special witnesses of Christ.  Not far behind this (of course) are deep confusion regarding the nature of a free, constitutional republic, the original intent and purpose of the Constitution, the meaning of the concept of “rights”, and the moral structure of “freedom”.

For most “faithful” Latter Day Saints (given the full connotations of that term in a Church context), one would think it enough that both the scriptures and the living oracles of the Lord have spoken, from time immemorial, in a unified voice against homosexuality (and all forms of sexual deviation from the laws of God regarding human sexual relations), and warned that a people who accept and support “abominations” of this kind, when that acceptance and support reach a critical mass of the population are “ripening” in iniquity, and are setting themselves up for the disintegration of their society. The Book of Mormon warns us repeatedly in clear language to be cognizant of various “secret combinations” in the last days and to be mindful of their power and influence, lest they begin to dominate society. This would include, as a matter of course, ideological or political forces seeking the overthrow of the Constitution and the Judeo-Christian foundation of civil society, as well as its political/economic basis.

This is all moot, apparently, for some, for whom trendy notions of “oppression” and “social justice” (a code-like term that carries a great deal of baggage unrelated to the euphemistic “rights” talk so common to this and other related subjects) are the definitive shove under the bus for the gospel when it presses too hard against the great and spacious building’s garden gates.

So I’d just like to offer my perspective and some clarifying observations on the issue, yet again, for consideration in the hope that, at least those sitting on the fence of this issue will be moved to move in a positive direction – toward the Ensign of the church, and away from the “political correctness” of the great and spacious house of mirrors.

Among the core arguments made by LDS supportive of homosexual marriage, which are not at all at varience with similar arguments made in the secular world, are:

1. There is a “right” to homosexual marriage in the constitution (assuming also an implied right to marry qua marriage for heterosexuals) that is being denied by opponents of homosexual marriage.

2. A continued and stubborn conflation of the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s with the homosexual marriage movement (a movement that only dates from roughly the middle of the 90s as a public concern).

3. Anecdotal claims, perhaps definitive for anyone unfamiliar with the longstanding social science knowledge regarding the Gay subculture, or who has lived in areas, as I have, with a visible and concentrated homosexual subculture, that most homosexuals are in “loving relationships” that precisely parallel heterosexual married relationships and which in x number of cases, are more committed and monogamous than heterosexual ones.

4. A continuing implication, if not outright accusation, that anyone opposing homosexual marriage could not be doing so as a matter of deep, thoroughly considered principle, but only out of ignorance and hatred rooted in unenlightened and unsophisticated bigotry.

Let’s make a few brief points about the above.

A. From both a gospel and a generalized western Judeo-Christian perspective, “homosexual marriage” is an exercise in oxymoronity that it would be difficult to eclipse (“social justice” is a strong runner up) even given our present culture’s continuing paroxysms of linguistic self flagellation we know as “political correctness”. But, as LDS, we may as well go all the way and stick rigorously to the restored gospel in its fullness, which is, after all, the basis upon which all derivative concepts are based.

Homosexuals cannot “marry” each other in any intelligible sense because the term “marriage” both denotes and connotes only one thing: a union of a man and a woman (The very rarely allowed and highly controlled/regulated practice of plural marriage in the OT and among a small minority of LDS in the 19th century being the only exception to this general principle) for the purpose of their exhalation in the Celestial Kingdom, the bringing of the Father’s children into mortality, and an eternal posterity in the eternal worlds.

Homosexuality, aside from its being an “abomination” comparable in all respects to premarital and extramarital sexual immorality in seriousness, frustrates and subverts each and every one of these purposes, both mortal and eternal.

Homosexual marriage is, then, a self negating concept, even if it can quite easily be subjected to a breaking on the rack of political correctness such that the meaning of its terms take on different colorations once enough semantic ligaments have been torn and joints pulled out of place.

B. Skin color and other similar characteristics are a matter of DNA, and completely outside the control of the one who inherits them. Homosexual behavior, “Gay” identity, and the dynamics of the “Gay” subculture are choices, values, value systems and, in the case of the various Gay personae, mannerisms, modes of speech and dress, and roles played in homosexual relationships and culture, cultivated and practiced self identities. There is nothing about such forms of culture or personal definition to which the constitution speaks or to which majorities within a culture must pay obeisance.

By any stretch, homosexuals already have, and have long had, the very same unalienable rights that I enjoy. Their sexual orientation provides no compelling argument for any others (just as skin color, gender, or ethnic background do not) and marriage, by definition, being neither a right nor a concept logically and conceptually congruent with homosexuality, is not in any case a conceptual category within which the concept “homosexuality” can make any sense.

3. Anecdotal claims aside, homosexual relationships have long been known to involve severely disproportionate rates of social pathology such as drug and alcohol use and suicide, and feature startlingly aggressive rates and forms of promiscuity and sexual predation (what one could only call, especially in urban areas a kind of hyperpromiscuity).

The popular attraction within much of the male homosexual subculture for young boys, including boys well underage (the culture of the “chicken hawks”), is well known.

4. Following long established precedent in other areas of Korihorism (and its attendant Kultursmog), the assumption is made that no principled opposition to homosexuality exists. All that exists is philistine ignorance and bigotry. In such an environment, all one really has to do to win a debate is call a name.  This, however, has been the central technique of the Left, with a few exceptions, for the entirety of the late 20th century, regardless of the subject or issue at hand.

Now Korihor, as we remember, is the man who asserted that, whatever it is that we do, “it is no crime.”  It is he who argued that humans are alone in a morally neutral and ethically empty cosmos in which each man or woman is the measure of all things.  Although this philosophy has existed, in one form or another over recent cultural time, under various names and sometimes closely focused on specific areas of the human condition, today it is mostly associated with a rather vague yet, at the core, cohering body of thought known as postmodernism.

Homosexuality is a particular psycho-sexual developmental path that affects a tiny minority of the human family and which, because of its unique and inherent psychological, cultural, and spiritual dynamics, is inharmonious with both the restored gospel and the many elements of it scattered and integrated within the fundamental assumptions and foundations of western society, as well as the framework upon which other societies have been based.  It cannot be assimilated within the Judeo-Christian social, moral, or cultural superstructure upon which a viable social order in the western classical liberal sense – a free, open, ordered, rule of law, equality under the law and unalienable  individual rights-based political and social structure – is founded.  It can, to be sure, exist parallel to and partake of, to the limits and within the boundaries marked by the concept of unalienable rights and the severe limits placed upon the state to encroach upon the private, personal behavior of others by the core concepts of a limited, constitutional republic, the fundamental protections and restraints placed upon others as to direct interference with its various practices, but it cannot be assimilated within that sociopolitical form; it – not homosexuality or same-sex attraction itself as a core feature of the human experience – but homosexual culture, practices, and politics as a viable alternative to the traditional western nuclear and extended family and its privileged central place as the nucleus of civilizational viability, cannot be understood as having an “equal” status, either before the law or as a matter of civilizational imperative, to heterosexual marriage and traditional family structure.

Homosexuals can, and do, of course, go before the law and stand before the constitution as individuals with the very same rights, duties, and responsibilities as citizens and moral agents as I or any other citizen as individuals.  The problem arises, and has arisen over the last forty years, however, when homosexuals go before the law as homosexuals (or, in other areas, as blacks, or woman, or Hispanics, or “the LGBT community,” or “the poor,” or combinations of officially or ideologically deputized grievance groups), this becomes a much more serious cultural and political problem.  This same problem appears along a number of other political dimensions (the now infamous “hyphenated” American minority) but stands out so starkly when homosexuality is the subject of such political compartmentalization because homosexuality itself, as a body of sexual practices, attitudes about human sexuality, and as an essentially anti-nomian subculture grounded in the “gay” sexual identity,  presents us with direct challenges to the very legitimacy of the core assumptions and principles underlying western civilization, and American society in particular.  That question of legitimacy; the question of the inherent legitimacy of the concept of family, gender and gender relations, and the purpose, proper expression, and boundaries of human sexuality may once have been only philosophical, but in just a few decades has become political, and deeply politicized, with all that implies for the content and quality of discourse and debate about it.

Long ago, the homosexual right movement, and later, the gay marriage movement, came to understand and adopt the language of “rights” in its battle for the depriveledging of Judeo-Christian sexual and gender norms and the conventionalization of homosexuality and its subcultural attributes.  That, of course, is a process that began in the late sixties in a number of areas, in which the legitimizing of the homosexual lifestyle and its associated culture was itself a sub-element in the larger and more spacious sexual revolution.

One present front of the culture wars – the battle to redefine marriage and family so that these concepts cease to denote or connote a conceptually specific state of affairs, but can now be used to describe any state of sexual affairs involving x number of persons living together (for the moment) for whatever sexual/emotional/psychological reasons – is one of those fronts in which there is no fundamental concession to be made and no real basis of “getting along.”

Homosexuals can essentially live in the manner they so choose, of course.  Outside of religious or philosophical objections (that exist strictly within the realm of persuasion in the marketplace of ideas), they can live together, engage in whatever practices they like, and absorb, as those who have pursued  avant garde heterosexual lifestyles since the heady days of the “summer of love,” the various consequences these kinds of lifestyles entail.  The problem we face as a society is not the presence of homosexuality within it per se, but the attempt, as the Kinsey-inspired sexual revolution before it, to redefine and recreate the culture in its own image.

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