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Everything posted by Daniel2

  1. Well... it looks like Dan Reynold’s days as a member of the LDS Church are numbered... I realize most conservative members will adamantly disagree with his conclusions about members driving change, but whether or not you agree with him, Reynold’s seems to be representing a cultural wave that the church will have difficultly holding back as the older generation passes and the younger ranks assume leaderships positions. As many of us have said repeatedly, for the younger generation, attitudes about LGBT acceptance seems to be mirroring interracial acceptance of the current/previous adult generations. On a movie nerd note: I’m still stunned he got the likes of Hans Zimmer to score his film. Wow!!!
  2. A “driving force” is different than a “single source” because while a driving force is a primary cause, there can also be other secondary/lesser sources that also affect/influence an outcome. While Mormonism was the main cause of my own suicidiality, there were other secondary social, emotional, and interpersonal factors that also played out. I won’t go into them all here, but years of therapy helped me explore and understand myself and process those factors. From my perspective, your rejection of my earlier analogy by questioning whether or not I actually believe/accept the reality of the religious tennents of Mormonism when listening to Mormons’ testimonies after asking them what they believe?’ is misguided as an attempt to counter my suggestion to believe individuals’ own words about the nature of the causes of their own personal suicidiality. There is world of difference between believing claims of an external-but-Faith-based reality vs. accepting individuals’ descriptions of their own personal, internal thoughts, drives, and motivations. Also, I reject the notion that my full-examined and professionally-guided processing of my own motivations can easily be dismissed merely as some ‘personal narrative’. Psychology and psychiatry are not pseudo-science and are based on empirical science and medical research. A main reason many religious people seem to reject them is because they don’t match their own religious narratives and beliefs, not the other way around.
  3. I didn’t say, nor do I believe, that there’s a single cause, and I fully support the medical consensus as such. And yes, people on this board regularly rebuff the experiences that I and others share in attributing the driving force to Mormonism, suggesting that it’s actually our sexual orientation that’s the cause. Your previous post of the article criticizing the Mamma Dragons’ approach echoes that same sentiment.
  4. The values I learned from Mormonism were the driving factor in my own suicidal thoughts and feelings during my twenties. Many gay LDS me I know report the same thing. An LDS man I knew and dated committed suicide because, as he told me in his final months, he knew he would never change and he’d rather end his life that continue sinning even more and end up even worse off in the eternities due to sexual sin. So many of us have shared our stories about suicide due to Mormonism. While suicidal thoughts or drives aren’t experienced by all gay Latter-day Saints (and that’s great for those it hasn’t), I do not understand why the experiences of those of us who have struggled with suicide due to religious beliefs are so vigorously rejected and denied. Our realities may cause discomfort, but that doesn’t negate the validity of our shared experiences. Mormons often urge non-Mormons to seek out actual Latter-day Saints when wanting to learn accurate truths about Mormonism instead of “anti-Mormon” sources. Why won’t Mormons believe and accept the accounts given by gay men and women about our experiences with religiously-induced suicidal thought and self-destructive behaviors...?
  5. I don't see any prioritization of sexual orientation over other forms of identity, nor do I believe I am advocating for such. I am advocating in favor of the concept that sexual orientation in so far as it relates to the gender between spouses be treated equally as other protected classes such as religion and gender. I also don't see how I am advocating that sexual orientation "deserves more rights" than religious belief. Can you elaborate on how you believe that's what I'm suggesting?
  6. Thanks for posting these. I was aware that D.C. had some protections (which I assume are in place to protect our nation’s capital as the location where divergent and competing political ideologies intersect and collide), but I wasn’t aware of Seattle. Obviously, there’s no nationwide federal anti-discrimination protections afforded to political affiliation as a protected class, and I was thinking more along the lines of a recent (April 2018) Federal Judge’s ruling in NYC allowing discrimination based on political affiliation:
  7. Everyone, All the attempts to compare this case to either denying cakes celebrating abortion, those in polyamorous relationships, or musicians denying the use of their copyrighted music to political rallies are entirely irrelevant because neither politicians, polyamorists, nor those who get abortions are legally held to be protected classes qualifying under anti-disscrimination protections (on the basis of their politics or experiences with polyamory or abortion alone). Gender does qualify, and, increasingly, so is sexual orientation as those cases continue to wind their way through the court system. In exactly the same way that musicians can legally deny the use of their music to a broad variety of consumers they disagree with, Mr. Phillips can likewise deny services to politicians, or on the basis of abortion, or on the basis of the vulgarity or offensiveness of any given message. But none of us can discriminate against members of a protected class. And I stand by my previous assertion that attempts to muddy the waters by drawing false equivalencies, no matter how eloquently stated or documented, definitely qualifies as sophistry, even when said individuals object to being called out on It.
  8. I understand the sophistry of your and Masterpiece lawyer’s argument, but I’m skeptical that it’s legally valid, especially since the appeals court just ruled against Nibs & Brush—a company that’s in the business of actual writing (in this case, invitation calligraphy)... From what I understand, SCOTUS was silent on that line of thinking, and ruled in favor of Phillips only on the basis of the alleged ‘animosity’ towards his Faith based on the comment made by one committee member. But I recognize that cakes may be different than words, so the standards may be different in the two cases. And of course, SCOTUS may likely ultimately choose to weigh in on this new Nibs & Brushes case and overturn it (or they may choose to ignore it and let it stand, or take it up and affirm this appellate court’s decision).
  9. Wow.... start a new job and be gone for a few weeks and look how much I have to catch up on!!! I will be reading through the thread, but a couple of thoughts after having made it to only the first few pages (and understanding I’m behind already): The narrow ruling outcome letting off Masterpiece but leaving intact non-discrimination law isn’t surprising to me and was the one identified as the most likely outcome based on most sources I read, even though I disagree with that ruling. I just saw this article cross my social media before I came to MD&D. The link to this AZ ruling is embedded in the article below:
  10. Daniel2

    Service animals/therapy animals

    As others have mentioned, while most people only think of seeing-eye dogs when they think of 'service animals,' such working dogs often perform unseen functions which humans are incapable of. Examples would include alerting and protecting a person who has epilepsy who is about to have a seizure, alerting a diabetic when blood sugar reaches high or low levels, or calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack. None of those functions qualify under 'emotional support' categories, and even if a machine could be used to perform some of the functions (such as an insulin regulator), the ADA still considers the dog to be an extension of the person and doesn't allow the law to prescribe a non-service-animal-related treatment over another; it expects public accommodations to respect the choice of the disabled individual in how they handle their disability. I've appreciated learning in this thread that churches are exempt from the requirements of the ADA and are entirely free to set their own boundaries regarding access with service animals... so, the LDS church is entirely within it's right to restrict service animals in temples. As I mentioned before, I just find that unfortunate as I think it displays a lack of understanding and compassion for truly disabled individuals who rely on their service animals for the support they need.
  11. Daniel2

    Service animals/therapy animals

    As I understand it, the ADA is very broad with the intention of protecting those most vulnerable—namely, the disabled. Many disabled are living on the lower end of the income brackets, and not all are able to qualify for grants or other means by which to pay for commercially-trained service dogs, which are quite expensive and often require getting on a wait-list. The ADA requirements for service dogs allow the disabled or other non-professionals to train their own dogs personally or through non-commercial means, because ADA guidelines (again) are broadly applied to protect those most vulnerable. Requiring all individuals with disabilities to register and maintain any ongoing type of registration of their service animals is considered to be prohibitive for those who would otherwise benefit from service animals. Of course, that broad application allows abuses by those individuals trying to pass off their pets as service animals. However, there ARE limits to even service animal access, such as the animals being aggressive to those around them. There will always be problems for individuals seeking to skirt around any law, but in the case of the ADA, the law strives to protect accessibility for and the needs of the disabled first and foremost. The law also limits business owners’ ability to ask too many questions to avoid privacy rights around individuals’ able-ness classification and not being unduly badgered about their disability, especially in light of the fact that not all disabilities are visible, just as not all of service dogs’ functions are visible or observable (i.e. seizure alert dogs, etc). Finally, if service dogs were required to be officially registered in some fashion, that would be tantamount to requiring a government registry on the basis of a protected class (by entension of said registry being on the basis of being disabled as a requirement for even having a service animal in the first place). Typically, any government requirement to register on the basis of race, gender, religion, or any other disabled class is frowned upon....
  12. Daniel2

    Service animals/therapy animals

    Again, service animals are viewed to be extensions of the disabled individual and are neither pets (the noun) nor should the be petted (the verb) unless given permission. They are working animals and should not be distracted by others, especially since their functions are not always visible or observable. I would encourage bishops presiding over congregations including individuals with a service animal (or any disability, for that matter) to take the time to consult with their disabled ward members and effort to help educate all other ward members on proper etiquette involving the disabilities.
  13. Daniel2

    Service animals/therapy animals

    I am a bit surprised to see that the church doesn’t allow service animals in the temple or recorded/broadcast meetings (presuming that disqualifies such disabled individuals from attending General Conference...?). I can certainly understand not allowing therapy or emotional support animals, but service dogs are widely considered to be an extension of the disabled individual themselves and identified as such by the ADA, I believe...? (Sounds as if churches are exempt from ADA regulations, I would guess as private/non-public entities?) In my view, saying that temple workers are able to assist attendees in lieu of the skills of a service animal displays an unfortunate lapse of judgement and a misunderstanding of the needs of disabled people who truly rely on service animals and he services said animals provide.
  14. This also brought to mind the following recent Deseret News Article (sorry--I know this is slightly off topic, but the timing is pleasantly serendipitous, when considered in light of the Church's movement away from Scouting):
  15. While the history may be backwards (and a comment on the historical timeline of the divergent organizations wasn't within the scope of my previous comments), the impression I had (as you say) wasn't far off the mark. Again, it wasn't my intent to suggest the BSA is comparable to the ideologies of those other alternate organizations---to my sensitivities as a young boy, then a youth, and later a young man unaware of 'which came first,' the similarities were still notable, significant, and somewhat unsettling.
  16. I agree. My comment wasn't meant as an endorsement of the loss of those types of activities, and like you, I lament the fact that kids get far too much 'screen time' and not enough 'go outside and play, ride bikes, explore woods, build dams, climb trees, skin knees, get lost and find your way back, skinny dip in lakes/rivers, work together to create tree houses or forts, chop wood or whittle, set up and take down tents, build campfires, learn responsible citizenship, learn to be social, defend others, stand up for one's convictions in a setting of one's peers, etc.' time. There are things that affect character and development that are definitely lost.
  17. I know that for US-based Latter-day Saints, this is a BIG deal. I was raised as an active LDS kid in the US Military community overseas (in Northern Europe, mostly) until i was 18, and Scouting was NEVER part of our LDS young men's activities. My brothers and I dabbled in Scouts in one of the military branches we were associated with for a time, and I enjoyed the camping and merit badge aspects.... but it folded because of lack of interest. Our Young Men group went camping a lot, and did some "scouts type" activities, but we never had the ceremony, merit badges, or pomp and circumstance associated with Baden Powell's organization, which always struck me as oddly military-ish... like... Starship Troopers or even (and I don't mean to invoke Goodwin's law here, so please understand I'm not meaning it in that way) reminiscent of youth groups organized by dictators (a.k.a. Hitler Youth or communist parties), only with an American flair. Don't get me wrong, I know the ideologies are VASTLY different---but the uniforms, the patches, the scarves and advancements.... it was all a little weird when I moved to the states and found out how enmeshed the LDS church's youth were with Scouting in America. In my early days at BYU after moving to the states for the first time, I was somewhat put off by the obsession with whether or not I'd earned an Eagle Scout status.... it was something that was either asked or bragged about by my roommates in interviews for on-campus jobs, and it was frustrating to have to keep explaining that where I came from, earning an Eagle Scout status wasn't even possible, since we didn't have troops. It seems to me that BSA as it's been formerly is a vestige of the past and could use streamlining. That said, I'm not sure youth today are interested enough in it's merits for the organization to survive, even with streamlining. As society has moved into the modern era, the risks of overnight camping, the litigiousness, legalities, and liabilities associated with adult leaders sleeping near/with youth and the occurrences of abuse also seem to be a contributing factor.
  18. Thanks so much for sharing all of the above, Kllindley. I appreciate your extension of good faith, and am both sorry and saddened that you had to pause in questioning the safety of this board. I hope I haven't contributed to that concern, but if I have, I'd love to hear feedback on how to better contribute in ensuring we all can feel comfortable in sharing our thoughts here as a safe forum to do so. I can appreciate, understand, and also fully support your and all of our abilities and freedoms to approach the philosophical/spiritual nature of homosexuality according to the dictates of our own conscience and belief. It wasn't my intention to call that into question earlier, so I appreciate you elaborating in explaining the differences by which you approach the nature of attraction from a philosophical/belief-based paradigm vs. an empirical/secular approach. As far as your approach to balancing your own personally-held religious beliefs vs. how you feel attractions should be treated in the public square, as well as your acknowledgement that from all data available thus far, there appears to be no measurable differences between the nature, development, and capabilities of heterosexual and homosexual attractions and relationships--as well as a personal conviction to treat all people and relationships with equal dignity--you not only have my agreement, but also my deepest respect. Thank you again for going out on a limb, being vulnerable, and sharing. And if you ever run for President, can I be your VP? lol Daniel
  19. Hey, Kllindley, Based on the context of our conversation and your response above, I'm curious: from the context of the nature (i.e. the determinative factors and/or immutability of sexual orientation) as related to conversion/reparative therapies that have been discussed in this thread, do you believe the attractions of gay and/or lesbian individuals are fundamentally different from the attractions of straight individuals? If so, can you elaborate how you believe the nature of straights’ attractions are different than the nature of gays’ and lesbians’ attractions?
  20. I'm not sure I understand your last sentence above... can you elaborate on how "the attractions gay and lesbian people feel are fundamentally different" than those felt by straight people...? (or was that tongue-in-cheek? lol).
  21. Well said. And in my experience, it's best (as in most polite, respectful, and an exercise in the golden rule) to refer to others' self-identity as they refer to themselves (also as you say) on a personal level. That is, even though I may find the term "same-sex attracted" or "experience same-sex attraction" distasteful or inadequate, I understand and respect others' decision and comfort to so self-designate. And even though others may find my terms of "gay" to be distasteful or inadequate, I hope for the same understanding and respect in my husband's and my choice to so self-designate. And as always, Kllindley, I appreciate your thoughts and approach on this entire issue. Though we come from different paradigms, I appreciate the mutual respect and striving to understand and avoid behaving disagreeably, whether or not we agree.
  22. I think a man (straight or otherwise) can say that a female actress "isn't his type" and comment that her body type isn't one he's "drawn to".... in fact, I echoed it in my response to Bluebell (and actually, I even agree with her that while I can appreciate and even admire his attractiveness, I'm not drawn to the body-type of men of Mr. Hemsworth stature, either). Did you find her post unfairly sexist or offensive from a male perspective...?
  23. That's exactly what I say about Jennifer Aniston!
  24. The problem I have with the term "same-sex attraction" is that it's reserved for individuals who experience attractions to members of their own gender in a way that is NOT used by individuals who experience attractions to members of the opposite gender. Except as a foil when engaging with gays or lesbians, I've never heard a straight person: a) object to being described as "straight" on the basis of their attractions to members of the opposite sex, b) refer to themselves by saying "I experience opposite-sex attraction," c) avoid using the concept of "be-ing" (as in, a state of existence) 'straight', as opposed to something they 'have' or merely 'experience.' The implication being they "are" straight as a comfortably innate self-identifying characteristic. In every case, I've heard straight people say "I'm straight" or the VERY different "I'm attracted to women." NOTE the significance of the words "I'm"--an abbreviation of "I AM," and nothing like "I EXPERIENCE..." or "I HAVE..." The term "I AM" is a state of being. A state of existence. It adds legitimacy to "straight" people's experiences and identity as "straight" people who "are" straight. The avoidance of the term "gay" or to say "I'm attracted to men" is significant, and delegitimizes one's identity in a very different way than is afforded to "straight" people. In sum, I think most heterosexual men are able to acknowledge that women who aren't their own wives are attractive, but I've never heard one say, "Wow... Look at HER--I'm experiencing attraction for her!" Most would simply say, "I'm attacted to her," or "I find her attractive," or "She's HOT." And to me, the difference in language is significant as the implications underlying it.
  25. Does anyone not find Chris Hemsworth attractive?! lol Same question about Jennifer Aniston.... is there anyone alive that doesn't find her attractive....?! lol