Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Mormon Church and Being Gay

I came across this story (read it at this link) regarding a subject that has garnered much attention around the state of Utah where I now live and I found it rather interesting. 

Twice a year, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (The Mormons) hold what they call General Conference Weekends where there are many speeches and sermons given by church elders and various leaders on any number of subjects dealing with Mormon theology, culture, and other issues relevant to the church and its members.

Well on October 3rd, during the latest General Conference, the second highest ranking member of the Mormon Church hierarchy, Boyd K. Packer, gave a sermon affirming the Christian and Mormon teaching that the practice of homosexuality is immoral and a sin.  Needless to say, this caused a huge uproar in Salt Lake's fairly sizable gay community, and indeed throughout the nation.  Many folks have decried and protested the sermon and have asked the Mormon Church for a retraction of Elder Packer's comments accordingly.

Now as any of you know that have read my blog, I am definitely not Mormon but rather am devout in my Catholic faith.  That being said, I admire and share many of the same moral beliefs and teachings that my Mormon brothers and sisters espouse.  Scripturally, the Bible is clear that homosexual acts are immoral and sinful.  There is no room for debate on this fact.  That the Mormon faith or any other religious faith based on the Bible would thus unequivocally affirm and state this truth should not be surprising to anyone accordingly.

That being said, having proclivities towards same sex attraction is not the sin.  It is acting upon those urges that brings us out of communion with God, just as knowingly turning away from His wishes in any matter is sinful and similarly disconnects us from communion with Christ. 

My personal opinion is that there is likely a genetic or biological component in many gay folks that fosters this same sex attraction.  I will leave the "normalization" of the gay lifestyle in current American culture that almost encourages confused or troubled teens and young adults to explore if they are "gay" as a separate issue for future discussion.  What I am speaking of is those people that have had this attraction since they first became aware of their own sexuality.

Acting out on these urges is typically quite self destructive and often leads to a lifestyle that finds much discontent and lack of harmony.  I would submit that this is because one has turned his back on God's admonition against homosexuality.  One has committed sin.

If one had a predilection towards alcoholism in one's family, would it not be best to simply avoid alcohol if one finds that the consumption of such in moderation is just not possible?  Just as someone that has such a biological component towards alcoholism knows this is true deep inside, they are often in denial and partake of that which ultimately causes them conflict and trouble in their lives.  Similarly, I suspect such is typically the case for many of our gay brothers and sisters that act out on their homosexual attractions as well, despite the ultimate sorrow and discontent that doing so causes them.

Now I absolutely condemn those that would ostracize, ridicule, or engage in hateful speech or actions towards gay people, or indeed towards any person that is "different" from what we think the norm should be.  Indeed, Christ tells us to hate the sin, but love the sinner.  And we are ALL sinners in some form or the other. 

Far better to reach out in love and compassion towards our fellow man and woman that are burdened with gay proclivities than to persecute them.  That is not what Christ would do and although I am certainly unworthy and fall far short of His will quite often, that is nevertheless what I try to do as well.

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