Friday, April 27, 2012

Bewildering, Bothersome News

So I don't actually write things like this on the blog very often anymore, for a few reasons, but things have sort of piled up in the last few weeks and I think it's worth getting out there, albeit semi-briefly.  Of course I'm not one to shy away from talking about heavy or socially relevant issues, but I have lately been trying to avoid stirring up the pot unnecessarily, stepping back from things that will negatively affect my self and future and family, and focusing instead on doing what I can in venues and ways that will actually make a difference.

Having said that...

First things first, this happened.  (I couldn't even find a balanced description of the event, which makes sense since the event itself was evidently hardly balanced.)  There are so many problems with this, I don't even know where to start, so I won't get too deep into it.  I will say that when I posted the link on Facebook, bemoaning the fact that my beloved BYU is not the place it once was (if it ever was??), and wondering when it became such an overt and blatant breeding ground for unchecked propaganda, I was even more disturbed with the response from my supposedly like-minded friends than I was with the actual event.  It was unbalanced and propagandistic and refused to acknowledge alternatives to simply accepting this as part of your identity.  I just don't understand how people can't realize what this means.  Of course it was a departmental event, but the part is the whole, and unfortunately this reflects very poorly on BYU and the Church, at least for people who still believe in and follow the word of God regarding this subject.  You know, the people who don't give standing ovations for the poor kids in the panel who said God made them a certain way and as soon as they leave the horrid confines of BYU they are certainly going to live out the lifestyle with which they so adamantly and blindly identify.

Second things second, by now many of the very few people who read this blog will have discovered this little piece.  (I'm purposely not embedding the actual video because I don't want the wretched thing to show up when I look through my blog.)  When this came to my attention, my eyes went wide and my jaw dropped.  Bear in mind that I have had issues with the entire It Gets Better campaign as it is (I find it extremely elitist and emotionally manipulative, and isn't really getting to the core issues at all, but is more a platform for widespread propaganda), and have seriously considered breaking ties with beloved and important institutions because of their participation in it, and then here this bomb drops from my own beloved BYU.  Again, so many things wrong with this.  I mean, from the sound of it, it DOESN'T get better!  What's the message of this video?  That if you feel something that you don't believe is right and true, or something that you have been taught all your life isn't right, you just deal with it until you're in a position in life that you can accept it and act on it?  THAT'S when it gets better?  When you can abandon or modify the word of God just so you can experience some backward notion of who you are?  And base your identity entirely on your behavior and self-labeling?  I also resent the implication that people who disagree are sheltered and naive and stupid and intolerant.  Oh yes, and bigoted (oh, how I have come to loathe that word... don't those who throw it out realize how easily and completely it's turned directly around?).  Where's the tolerance for the other point of view?  Honestly, if I had seen that video while I was a young and impressionable and thoroughly confused college student, it would have shaken my belief system's foundation to its very core.  This video probably would have driven me to self-destructive thoughts.  (How's that for having the opposite effect?)  I could go on and on about this, but I shall proceed.

Finally, briefly, in response to that video along came this.  When I first saw it, it was even a little more shocking than the previous one.  How sad, these people are being used for and/or participating in a propaganda film. How much more manipulative could it possibly be?  I mean, aside from all the idiotic things these poor people say, am I seriously supposed to think it's sweet that they are bearing testimony of false doctrine?  In the sacred and holy name of my Lord and Savior, no less?  Who lived and died so people could overcome any and all temptations through His all-encompassing Atonement?  Like they said in the video, I also hope the poor confused people who watch that video see themselves as who they really are, and don't identify themselves entirely as their behavior, ignoring the hopeless ideas preached therein.

Then, of course, there's the whole issue of the terroristic threat that was mailed via the United States Postal Service directly to my parents' front door and into my dad's very hands...  This from the side that demands tolerance and love.

So yes, all of this has been disheartening, but at the same time, conversations have arisen from these things that have caused people to finally pay attention and think and realize what's going on (and what has been going on for years, right under their noses, though much more quietly).  Some people were posting and praising those videos without even watching them!  (They just looked at it and thought it had a good message, so shared it without even thinking about it or doing the proper research.)  People have thanked me for standing up for the right thing, to which I reply with thanks, but also encouragement to stand up themselves.  Silent dissent is as good as assent, and they think their agenda is gaining greater ground than it really is, because most people just sit silently by and pretend it's not happening (this could be for many reasons, but none of them are very good, not even the fear and friends and family will disagree with your stance...  Whose approval are we more concerned about gaining here?).  Bear in mind that this blogpost is a mere snapshot of my many thoughts regarding these recent happenings, but it's something at least.  Regarding this issue, I think most of the time I think people really do have their heart in the right place, they simply aren't thinking things through.  I do love everyone, and of course I have friends and acquaintances and associates who have feelings of same-sex attraction (why do people always assume that if you take this stance then you obviously don't know any gay people?), and of course I have done my research (the opposite of which is another assumption people make when you take this position), that's not what this is about.  Love does not equal permissiveness, and love has never meant you just accept everything and let people do whatever they want.  I love my fellow man too much to keep quiet when God's plan is being so actively and systematically challenged.  There is a big picture here, and these little things are not baby steps, they're giant leaps.  The slope just keeps getting more and more slippery.


  1. I didn't know what to think when I saw a few of my friends posting the video. I don't think I really understand it. I think they are trying to say one thing when they really are saying another. It gets better when you overcome your trials - not when you decide to give up.

  2. Sar, I was confused and upset to see so many friends supporting the video as well. How can people be so blind to what is really being said? It made me so sad to see how many people were taken in. I hope there are many others that see it for what it really is.

  3. "I also resent the implication that people who disagree are sheltered and naive and stupid and intolerant."

    This summarizes one of the main reasons why this whole thing frustrates me so much. It hurt when I expressed my opinions about all these incidents (I haven't seen that last video, or even know what it's about. I will count myself grateful), and I would be ganged up on and called the "bad guy." But when has following Christ's teachings and preaching the truth on this earth ever been easy? It has been this way forever. We still need to do our best and never give up, though. I'm just not surprised at the reactions is all.

  4. Oh, Drew! I'm so glad that you wrote this! I seriously have been bothered by this whole campaign for weeks now, and have wanted to call you up so badly to get your take on the subject, you having the opinions that I know you do. It breaks my heart that people feel alone and confused and rejected, but I like what you said about the attacks turning the other way. Isn't that what we feel when we are told to stop believing what we believe or we are bigots? I'm also confused about where the whole thing is going, and what we are supposed to believe at the end... that it's okay to act on your same-gender attraction? Should people marry those of the same sex? I don't think so. It's okay to be who you are. It's okay to understand yourself and your temptations and weaknesses, painful as they are. But we are in the midst of a test to qualify for godhood, here! And godhood innately carries with it some very serious quallifications-- one of which is procreation, plain and simple. If you do not procreate, you cannot be a god. That is what I believe, and that is what our religion teaches. So yes, you can give into sin, you can give into temptation. You can embrace it and love it and indulge it to the utmost degree, but you cannot become a god. That's why it makes people sad. That's why it makes them disappointed and hurt and ache for you when you do wrong. (Realize I mean "you" generally, referring to all of us). It is like saying, "I am no good at studying for tests, so I'm just going to wing this one, and if I end up with a C, then so be it." It's called giving up, giving in, and it's sad. I have flaws of my own, temptations that set heavily upon my heart and mind... but I want so badly to pass this test. I want to make my Father proud. And I don't care what the world thinks. My heart aches for those who don't have this same attitude.

    Anyway, thank you for your thoughts. I'd like to hear more of them sometime.

    1. So couples with fertility issues can't reach Godhood? How about People that despite their best efforts never marry?

  5. I agree with your assessment that this "movement" feels it is gaining a lot more traction than it really is. At some point, those with a shallow understanding of what this is really about will be presented with the true nature of these ideas, and will flatly reject them. The lipstick will eventually wear off this pig.

    Also, some of the information coming from that panel is astounding. An article I read said that one young man ended up marrying a woman he was friends with, but felt no romantic inclination toward. So their solution? Give her libido-reducing drugs. That's the answer?!?

    Really, same-gender attraction must be a very difficult trial to live through, but I firmly believe it isn't an inherent part of anyone and can be managed and overcome with dedication, commitment and ample helpings of the divine power of the Atonement. I sincerely hope those who feel afflicted by this don't give up and accept themselves as someone defined controlled by their temptations. They are children of God. They don't have to wait for it to get better, they can make it better.

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  7. I agree with you, Drew. Heaven help us.