Went to church Sunday for the first time in a while, and as I sat on the last row of metal folding chairs, a few things occurred to me. [This may not, by the way, be a great post to read if you are having testimony trouble. I should note here that I have a testimony of the Gospel and the Church, but I do see a difference between the two and believe that the Church's leaders are mortal men who have to struggle to find the Truth, just as we do.]
-Had I been born blind, would I have a different idea of my sexuality than I do now?
-Both Alan and Abelard have recently blogged about something I too have long felt: presently the Church has no place for us--culturally, theologically, what have you. Heavenly Father does, but clearly the Church does not: to Church teachings a gay Mormon is a pesky counterexample, an inconvenient loose end that doesn't neatly fit into our current understanding of God's Plan. The Church simply doesn't know how to explain or what to do with us, as evidenced by its erratic and contradictory counsel for its gay members and their families.
-Homosexuality affects an estimated one in every four families in the Church, and probably 2-5% of members are gay. You'd think that the Church would be pretty clear about an issue that far-reaching (any other issue that prevalent would likely be a common theme for GenConference talks). But in actuality "SSA" is rarely mentioned, much less discussed. When it is, there's no guarantee it will be accurate or Christian (the Hafen talk and Elder Oaks's advice to parents of gay children come to mind). Frankly, this is because 1, the Church clearly does not yet have the full truth on the matter (see above), and 2, they don't want people to see their cluelessness. Imagine what would happen if the entire Church was aware of its meandering record on homosexuality (from instant excommunication to conditional membership, electro-shock to celibacy, reparative therapy marriage to discouragement of MOM, choice to unchosen, curable to 'possibly not overcomable', et al). In other words, the Church stays (relatively) quiet to save face, and when parents, families, and bishops are left to their own devices (that is, prejudices and ignorance), who pays the price? Sorry if I seem resentful, but it is what it is. We're talking lives here--which state, again, has the most suicides among men 19-24?
-That being said, maybe I've actually caught a gigantic break here. While I don't see marriage to a woman any great prospect, I'm under no delusions that a gay relationship would be a picnic, either. Judging from the kind of son and brother I am now, I don't know if I would be a good father or husband (to a man or a woman). Sometimes I think I've seen all of marriage I want to--that I'm actually lucky to be one of the few Mormons off the hook, if you'll allow me to be so bold. I know I speak from profound inexperience here, but maybe celibacy wouldn't be so terrible for me. I like being alone, I would have the Church, I could have my dogs and maybe some neices and nephews. I realize I'd have to be married in the next life, but hopefully I won't be resurrected as a psychopath. :)
[...This is partially tongue in cheek, of course, but partially my genuine feeling on the subject.]