Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Elder Hafen, Come Out of the Closet!

Homosexuality doesn't really bother me so I've always been perplexed by those who are really bent out of shape over the threat of homosexuality to our society. It's as if they think that it's infectious and that by accepting or tolerating it we will encourage its spread. Instead we need to fight it and battle it. After all, any guy could fall prey to the temptations of easy, promiscuous homosexual sex, right? If society says it's okay then think of all of the guys that would stop chasing those icky women and marrying them for reproduction and eternal exaltation.

I know a few of you out there are going, well duh. Of course.

I have news for you. You're at least a little crooked and definitely not completely straight.

Take, for example, the following quote from Elder Hafen, a Mormon General Authority.
In other words, before puberty, boys are typically more interested in other boys than in girls. Then their interest gradually shifts to girls, but a few boys don’t make this transition. Often these boys are emotionally sensitive, introspective, and, especially among Church members, perfectionistic. When puberty hits this group, they can be sexually aroused by many factors. When these factors include other boys, they can become fixated on the fear that they are “gay,” especially if they have male sexual experiences, including male pornography. Then their fixation can block their normal emotional-sexual development.
Now, maybe I'm not your typical heterosexual male, but this doesn't even begin to describe my romantic or sexual interests at ANY point in my life, especially in the years immediately preceding and during puberty. I remember my first crush in first grade on Becky Wolf to this day. My second crush was on my attractive, young, single second grade teacher. Many others followed and by the time I entered junior high I was fairly well entranced by all things female. At no point do I remember ever having even a passing attraction to other males much less being more interested in other boys than girls.

So, my question for Bruce Hafen and Boyd Packer, who he was quoting is if this was their experience? It apparently was also the experience of other anti-homosexual religious and political figures such as Ted Haggard and Senator Larry Craig. They seem terrified of the acceptance of homosexuality because they themselves can easily see themselves succumbing to their own homosexual temptations and without legal and religious proscriptions can see how it would spread.

I had a conversation about this with a friend at work a while back. He was laughingly telling me about a friend who was describing how he could see how easy it would be for a man to become gay and that he could imagine how that could be a temptation that needed to be resisted. Of course, this was pretty laughable to both of us.

Again, maybe I'm way off here and maybe I'm abnormal among heterosexual men, but while I can concede that it may be attractive to some men, I simply can't imagine it. I don't remember ever making a choice about my sexual orientation and frankly find male homosexual sex icky. No offense, but no thank you. It's not hygienic or anything, I just can't imagine being intimate with a man.

Anyway, this whole need to resist the temptation to be gay, repent, be fixed, etc. seems rather like fighting the need to eat or drink water or meet other basic physical needs. The apparent classification of sex by the church as some kind of completely optional, unnecessary physical activity that can be overcome seems pretty unreal to me. Are they gay or frigid? Would they really like to live their lives without any sex or physical bonding with another human being that they find attractive? What would that make their life like? Because that's what they're asking of their homosexual members. For all I know, that's the way they feel about sex with their wives.

The rest of the article is pretty sad that basically asks the gay members he was addressing to repent of their sins (not that their same sex attraction itself is a sin, he points out) and seek the healing power of the atonement to help them either celibate for the rest of their lives or functional heterosexuals who resist their temptations (because what they feel is not their natural state, but a mental illness that can be treated) and be made whole and heteorsexual either in this life or the life to some. Hallelujah!

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