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TOmNossor

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About TOmNossor

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  1. Well, perhaps in addition to failing to stake out a position of truth that didn't fail to love, I failed to present to you something I thought was based mostly on reason and less so on emotion. I hope to post some things to Mark tomorrow and I am afraid that I cannot refrain from poking on Gray's latest post, but mostly I want to retreat from this debate until I feel less yucky. Charity, TOm
  2. California Boy, I am sorry. I am the sounding brass and tinkling cymbal. I am sorry. I set out to express a position without hurting people and I have failed to do that. I truly do believe that you can and are likely to do fabulously raising your family. I am sorry. Charity, TOm
  3. I have no need to close the thread. I read through Rory’s thread on New Mormonism. I think it helped me understand your position better. I want to explore it some more. Let me start by saying that my wife would say my hair is brown with some gray. If you and Rory had lunch with me, would you Rory and I KNOW that my hair is brown and gray? Would it be true that my hair now in 2018 is brown with some gray? Does God know that my hair is brown with some gray? If you and Rory and I had lunch together for months and every day I ordered water with lemon and I told you that I never drink anything other than water with lemon. Could you know that I would order water with lemon next time we had lunch? Could you have faith that I would order water with lemon next time we had lunch? Would this faith be associated with your past experiences of our lunches? Would it be associated with my profession that I only drink water with lemon? Or would it be both? Would it be possible to say that reason and faith directs you to the belief that I will have water and lemon? Now, you and I agree that God the Father has flesh and bone. We agree that God can do things that we do not understand. He can communicate to us interpersonally without speaking words that could be heard by our friends who are sitting next to us in the pew. But, I would think that we both would reject that God is ultimately unknowable and so transcendent that we only experience His energies. We can get to know Him. Can we know what color His hair might be? Can we observe how He answers our prayers as we have lunch together for months and “hear” Him tell us that He will always meet us for lunch and answer our prayers? Can we know that he will answer our prayers tomorrow at lunch? Can we have faith He will answer our prayers tomorrow at lunch? Would this faith be associated with our past experiences of God at our lunches? Would this faith be associated with God’s “covenant” with us that He would answer our prayers at our lunches? Would it be possible to say that reason and faith direct us to the belief that God will answer our prayers at lunch? I hope these questions give you some jumping off point to educated me. I am still of the opinion that there is a place for “faith and reason.” I am still of the opinion that folks who do not use faith and reason can retreat to good social action and in the name of love accept all kinds of things. Charity, TOm
  4. I cannot solve these with word definitions absolutely intact. I think your case that True vs. analogical in this context creates a conflict. That something is known with certainty but is obscured seems problematic too. I will give it a shot. I think I will lean towards the idea that faith and reason should go together, but I will explore this with you. JPII might mean: There are facts that are true that are known. The way those come to be known is through likening the transcendent with things we experience in our world through analogies. There are aspects of the Trinity that are known through the image of the 3-leaf clover. There are aspects of the Trinity that are known through the common Trinity shield, “is God, is God, is God, is not ….” The Trinity is true and some folks come to know this. These analogies help express what is known, but like all analogies can be pushed too far. TOm says: I do not actually subscribe to the idea that the Trinity can be known in the human mind because I think if you push to hard you get to violations of the law of non-contradiction, at least if you wish to rule out my views of the Trinity and all the other views that have been declared heretical by the Catholic Church. JPII might mean: That certainty is a product of faith and contact with God. That when our rational mind tries to pin down EXACTLY what this certainty is, our human limitations obscure it. By analogy, you might be certain that you have a powerful beast in the cage, but because a curtain obscures your view you are unsure if it is a lion, tiger or bear. TOm says: Not too much. I will repeat the quote from Arch Bishop Chaput: Perhaps I should offer Faith and Rationality. I think we can think deeply, faithfully, and rigorously about our faith. I think we “take refuge in humanitarian feelings and social action.” We immerse ourselves in loving others and subordinate truth to love. These are things that I was thinking about. I will reply more to your next post. Charity, TOm
  5. “People like me!” Good gosh! This is pure emotion. TOm is beating up on the kind and loving man California Boy. This is dehumanizing and is not an argument. Never mind that I explained I would welcome you to worship with me today AND on a future day when perhaps the church changes its position on SSM (in case you cannot worship with me today because of the current church position). I also said: I would bet on you being extraordinary if I gambled and there was a market. But, I am “people like me.” You do not have to use reason to arrive at your positions that is ok. You will win most arguments with most people by using emotion. You are in fact winning in real life. That being said, I am suggesting that members of society at large and members of LDS society should not abandon the evolved or historical or revealed truths associated with the importance of marriage and family for emotional appeals that do not align with rational arguments. You relying upon emotional appeals makes me think my assessment of this is more likely to be right than I thought before. Now, probably for the emotional strength of this, you said that I am “so eager to cast gay families as being so inferior to straight families as if straight marriages are so successful over gay marriages.” If I understand what you have said, then you do not understand the preponderance of evidence (studies that both of us have provided and reasoned arguments) in this thread or what I am trying to say. My purpose is far more muted and success IMO does not require me to denigrate “gay families as being so inferior.” Every one of your studies argued that rearing of children in SSM results are no better or worse than non-SSM rearing results. The studies I sited argued that ON AVERAGE children reared in SSMs have more problems (emotional and other problems) than children reared in a family with their biological mother and father and that these results meet statistical tests to indicate that sample sizes and detected differences are statistically significant. Furthermore, there is evidence that the methodologies involved in your studies, errors in identifying SSMs (this was a really dopey error done by folks that I cannot think really wanted to present real data), errors in sample size (having a direct impact upon what sort of differences would be statistically significant), and errors in self-selection bias; created the evidence of parity (without these errors the averages differ by statistically significant amounts – not axe killer vs. Mother Teresa amounts, but statistically significant amounts). That being said, I told you to be an extraordinary SSM father so that you can achieve parity (or hopefully and LIKELY better than parity, because parity as you point out sucks in all parts of the world), precisely because I do not think of gay families as being SO INFERIOR. My muted purpose is to argue that the IDEAL is that children are raised by their biological mother and father in a stable home. My daughter is not part of the ideal, but I will do what I can (and stay out of the way of my wife as she does GREAT things) to help my daughter do better than parity. The data from your studies and my studies can only mean that this IDEAL rearing on average (ON AVERAGE) is better for children than SSM rearing. This is one of the reasons that this rearing by biological mother and father is the ideal. There are others reasons have nothing to do with church or God that the ideal is as I describe and our studies do not address these. Furthermore, I suggest that as a society and as a church we should teach the ideal and emphasize the ideal. We can then make allowances for divorce, adoption, single parent homes, SSA folks who may enter into SSM. These allowances should be designed to ameliorate potential pitfalls identified when the ideal is not possible/achieved. But, the IDEAL will not change because nobody lives a perfect life. “Be ye therefore perfect, eventually,” not “be completely satisfied with less than perfect because perfect is just too hard.” I am so unemotional about all of this. I really do not care that you referred to me derisively as “people like you.” I wanted to talk about this without causing pain or opening old wounds. I truly would welcome you into my ward and I will gladly sit next to you now or when/if the CoJCoLDS changes its position on this. I am sorry for the mistreatment that I expect has happened for you. I don’t know how your “coming out” affected your life, your parents, and others. I love my uncle and my nephew and a handful of friends. My uncle is married and comfortable in his skin, my nephew not so much. I cannot erase hurt and pain, but I know someone who can. Jesus Christ died for those with SSA and those without SSA. I hope you find peace and threads like this do not cause you pain in the future. Charity, TOm
  6. I wanted to quickly respond here (I thought I should argue before I agreed so ...). It was because of something you said long ago that I have ceased to speak of homosexual and heterosexual people (except when I slip up or when I am trying to shock folks by calling myself a dirty "ro" or a "breeder"). I would welcome a pullback from our current cultural view of sex and attraction. I cannot see how that will come about, but I appreciate your perspective as a historian. I am only slightly removed from being a fish who doesn't know what it means to be wet! Charity, TOm
  7. I think the reason we jettisoned solid research in this area is because we have deified sex. It is a god for us. When homosexuals were nicely in the closet sex was still our god. We wanted guilt free, child free, disease free, consequence free, ... sex for ourselves. Now that homosexuals rudely stepped out of the closet, anyone who desires to be remotely consistent must fully embrace homosexual sex OR reject society’s views on sex altogether. When I looked closer at the church’s view it was obvious that they were fairly consistent in rejecting society’s view on sex altogether. The Catholic Church is still quite good at this too, and they were once better. I believe folks in committed SSM are likely closer to God than folks who move from opposite sex partner to opposite sex partner with no commitment. That is why I started my answer to Stemmelbow with comments about how sex was incorrectly viewed by our society. From this incorrect view it is ridiculous to deny homosexuals their sexual desires just because their tastes are different than ours, such is arbitrary and capricious. We already demanded our birth control so we could have sex without children so it is just the same for folks who engage in same sex sex only they do not need contraception, bully for them! If we do not decide that: Sex is unitive and procreative there is no good response to many of the ills that befall us because of the perversion and deification of sex. Charity, TOm P.S. I am doing a lousy job at not making this all about SSM!
  8. And I was merely quoting Timothy Keller (I did use quotes, but I didn't specify who I was quoting). Charity, TOm
  9. Some more because I can used google scholar too: Children in three contexts: Family, education and social development Sotirios Sarantakos https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/children-australia/article/children-in-three-contexts-family-education-and-social-development/BA0DB5DC62B9E7D955454A5BB165F7F8 This paper addresses many of the studies that conclude no differences and question aspects of them. A Review and Critique of Research on Same-Sex Parenting and Adoption Walter R. Schumm http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0033294116665594 This one mentions that many previous samples seem to have only included a small set of Lesbian couples (possibly due to self-selection bias), but that when this randomized sample was used there was a large difference among results for Lesbian couples and with the greater sample differences appeared as compared to opposite sex couples. How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study MarkRegnerus https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000610 Here form Canada: High school graduation rates among children of same-sex households Douglas W. Allen This study seems very interesting. I pointed out that children are not born to SSM couples and logistically this creates issues for society. It would seem that such logistical jostling also creates issues for children. Much (but not all) of the less optimal results observed in this study are theorized to come from the jostling not the same-sex parenting.Psychosocial Well-Being in Children of Same-Sex Parents: A Longitudinal Analysis of Familial Transitions Daniel Potter and Emily Potter http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0192513X16646338 Let me conclude this mess with this statement. My argument for emphasizing the ideal family is based on the ideal. I think the more compelling data currently suggests that there are structural disadvantages for children of SSMs. That being said, there is zero reason that a pair of committed fathers cannot overcome much of these issues. A handful of the studies I found suggested that the equivalence results you cited were a product of extraordinary same sex parents self-selecting for inclusion in studies. Be an extraordinary SSM parent! Charity, TOm
  10. You already cited your study once. And I acknowledged that Sullins was Catholic (though I didn't know he was a priest as that was not part of Google Scholar). I will offer you a lot more papers however shortly. That being said, I made a good deal of arguments that do not rely upon data from your favorite researcher or my favorite researcher. Remember in this field 70-90% of studies are not repeatable. In general all but one of your studies is of the type that typically is not repeatable. I think the argument from reason are valuable in addition to the studies. ALL the data you share only argues for parity. If your studies are right and mine are wrong, then all you have shown is the same sex marriage does not help or harm children. We still have the logistical jostling, the role model availability, and something I have not mentioned the questions about absent parents that arise. My position is not that SSM cannot raise healthy children, it is that it is harder. My position is not that my adopted daughter should not be adopted, only that the IDEAL would have been for her parents to have not been drug addicts (arrested for non-drug related crimes in one or both cases). The ideal is that children are born and reared by their biological parents in a stable home. I do not need the CoJCoLDS or follow the prophet to see this (not anymore at least). Here are more studies (surely some of which are not by Catholic priests). Charity, Tom
  11. CB, First, let me applaud the inclusion of a number of studies suggesting that same sex parenting produce children that are not less well adapted than children raised by non-same sex parents. This is not mere EMOTION. It does argue for a parity in that in and of itself it attempts to respond to one of the arguments I make, but it is a step in the right direction IMO. I will get to your studies shortly, but first let me discuss what you have written before that. The sentence you bolded actually went with the first sentence being how I previously viewed this issue. That being said, I am a LDS because of faith AND reason. In response to pure emotional arguments, I have claimed that my reasons for believing in the teachings of LDS authorities will trump emotionalism. I referenced the CHANGE in church teaching concerning the United Order (a higher law) in order to suggest that PRAGMATIC reasons might result in a change in the church’s teachings concerning SSM, and that this change would not mean that the church was WRONG all along, it would only mean that the church must deal with the situation on the ground. One day the higher law (if you will) that involved the teachings against SSM may be replaced because it is too damaging to those who have SSA (and the church) to continue to teach the higher law. If that day comes, I will not curse church leaders and I will gladly welcome any folks who previously felt they could not worship with me because of their SSA and/or SSM. Because the success of this “pragmatic solution” will be undermined by me reminding my new coreligionists of the older higher law, I will not do this and neither will the church eventually. If that day comes, I hope you will embrace me, because I will welcome you (as I would today anyway). This is all very unemotional for me and I hope you participate in these discussions without great psychological stress. I am not sure what church you desire to belong to, but I do not want to belong to the one that accepts this form of argument. Because there is “no where in the world” where the ideal is the reality we should teach the non-ideal instead of the ideal. It is a factor and it is important. The church to which I belong teaches “Be ye therefore perfect, eventually” -Elder Holland! This is the perfect (in the here and now even, but he is a prophet, seer and revelator so it is prolly God’s perfection) balance between the unattainable “be ye therefore perfect, now, always, immediate” and “be ok because perfect is too hard.” I do not want to attend either of those churches. Are you sure you think your “no where in the world” position isn’t something you would like to abandon? I believe you are mistaken. Pastoral love dictates that the church meet those with SSA where they live. It is “truth without love” that say, “Here is the truth, get in line …” I say, I love that little girl in the youtube video and I would love her if she wasn’t a “ro” like me too. But, I will love with truth. So, I offer some ways to lessen the pain associated with SSA. Things I would do as a “ro” if I lived in the youtube world. The parallel I drew earlier is the tools councilors give those with Aspergers syndrome to cope in the world of neurotypicals. There are even tools given to intelligent clinical psychopaths that help them negotiate the world of neurotypicals without being a serial killer. Let me note something. Those with Aspergers syndrome are never viewed as immoral. I wish to apologize for everyone and anyone who has communicated that having same sex attraction makes you or anyone immoral. I even feel a strong desire to say that I sin differently than you do, but let me also say that does not change what sin is and to suggest it does would be untrue. So, I do not deny that having SSA is a challenge with which I do not have to deal. I do suggest that everyone has challenges. And that you and and I have no way of knowing whose challenges make living the gospel harder yours or mine. But I wish to acknowledge that having SSA makes living the gospel harder than not having SSA. Thank you very much for your studies. First, I wish to state that if there are SSA folks who cannot enter into loving relationships with the opposite sex AND cannot enjoy the loving relationship with their same sex partner without declaring the sex must be part of it, then stable same sex sexual relationships are superior for society than the “hook-up” culture prevalent within youth (with and without SSA) today. Now, let me offer two other responses. 1. If the studies choose by you represent truth, it is still true that society and the church must and should value opposite sex marriages more than same sex couples. The societal cost of producing children for SSM couples and placing them in a SSM home is greater than that for producing children in opposite sex marriages. The ideal still should be the traditional family raising their biological children. 2. Now, I have a lot to say about your studies. a. Before questioning data and evaluating the limited data you shared, I wish to argue that society needs children to grow and learn how to be in a relationship that produces and rears children. The role model limitations present in same sex couples are obvious. They may be overcome because of the extraordinary nature of the SSM that choose to rear children as compared to the broad spectrum of traditional marriages that produce children occasionally on accident (another non-ideal). But, I would argue that two absolutely average same sex parents would not teach the gender roles for opposite sex marriage as well as two absolutely average opposition sex parents. This is an argument based on reason not data. b. Before questioning data and evaluating the limited data you shared, I wish to argue that the funding for many/most of your studies and the prevailing views in the psychological community should be recognized. The Lesbian Health Fund and many/most of the funders and researchers began their studies looking for a certain result. In a field were between 70-90% of studies are not repeatable, this is a big piece of data. c. Now, all but one of your studies was limited by self-selection of the participants. d. All but one of your studies was limited by extremely small sample sizes. e. The only study not so limited only “demonstrated normal outcomes in school.” Other studies have shown that the majority of outcomes in school come from two factors, genetics and socioeconomic factors. The above 5 things do not mean there is no value in your study, but I do think they limit it. Likewise the below studies are not rendered useless because they are done by a Catholic professor. Here is the abstract and conclusion from a 2010 study precisely for the purpose of addressing the SMALL and self-selected nature of your studies. Its findings are here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2500537 Dr. Sullins has also dug into the methodology for many of the studies you quote. One you mentioned possibly classified 65% of its same sex couples incorrectly meaning that they were really opposite sex couples. I think there is a great deal of difficulty in citing these studies on both your list and mine. The Sullins’ study was the only one that cited confidence intervals and the necessary statistical test to give one some confidence that it is not among the 70-90% of psychological studies whose results cannot be obtained repeatedly. Here is a list of Dr. Sullins work: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=2097328 All that being said, Society needs opposite sex couples to produce children. These children must then be placed in a home and raised. For SSM couples to be successful, there is much more logistics required. Society needs the children to learn how to become members in opposite sex couples so that they may produce children. While extraordinary same sex parents can compensated for the structural disadvantages in their relationship, this is not the ideal. I really do not think the COLD reasoning of this situation suggests that same sex couples are as valuable to society and the church as opposition sex couples. I just think removing emotion from this question makes the TRUTH obvious. Inputing emotion, means that I must love you (which is easy for me as I love that little girl in the video). I must make allowances for your differences. I refuse to condemn you and I consider my sins 100x as bad as yours (they may be much worse than yours objectively, but subjectively I really care far more about mine). Still, I think we need faith and truth, emotion and reason, …. Charity, TOm
  12. I agree with you that Catholicism is very wedded to the “truth once delivered.” There is also a profound anti-pragmatic streak in Catholic thought that is absent in LDS thought. This is one of the reasons I think Pope Francis’ actions are so problematic. If Buttiglione is right (and I have seen little REASON for the CHANGES other than his), Pope Francis is acting pragmatically because society has changed so radically. My pointing to Arch Bishop Chaput and through him to Fides was to invite LDS to enthrone reason with faith rather than rely upon emotion to determine how we feel about issues of controversy between the church and society. I like your semantic comment. Newtonian mechanics were/are true in the sphere in which they were discovered and described. Relativistic mechanics is necessary in other spheres. That being said, I believe God knew about relativistic tweaks to Newton’s positions when Newton was writing and experimenting. That is why I want God’s truth. Now, I think the CoJCoLDS has a strong pragmatic streak. I think the best thing for the church and society would be if people recognized how perverted our views of sex has become. If they then realized how vital the IDEAL family is to the success of society and the church. They then reasoned from this ideal while still LOVING those who do not and/or cannot live the ideal. It seems impossible that society will walk this path. I believe the church is lead by revelation, that being said, I think the abandonment of the United Order was revelation too. It seems quite possible to me that if society does not re-enthrone reason and the family, eventually the pragmatic solution will be for the church to embrace SSM. I think God is a pragmatist and will lead the church down this path if necessary. I do not know what that will look like, but it will not undermine the reasons I believe the church is lead by revelation so it will not be something that causes me much stress. Charity, TOm
  13. It is precisely my point that it does not come down to that at all. I am willing to grant that there are truths that I accept on faith and the opposition to same sex marriage was once one of those. But even then, it is faith and reason that directed me to believe that the leaders of the church are uniquely chosen to lead us through this fallen world. I will not abandon their prophethood and declare them mistaken when I feel like sinning, especially when reason is on their side. I do not understand the ins and outs of why Christ had to die to forgive my sins, but I accept this on faith. This is different than my feelings on ice tea or alcohol. I follow the prophet because of faith and reason. Actually church positions do change. I do not think any church members think that the United Order was evil and should never have been tried. This changed. I think it very possible that if there is not a re-enthrownment of reason (with emotion and faith) within our society and/or within the church, this policy will change. The appeal to emotion is just too strong. The thinking to evaluate is just to ponderous. It is easy to say “marriage equallity,” but it is harder to demonstrate that same-sex marriages do not have the same societal benefits as do stable families that produce and rear their biological children. That was a beautifully written paragraph. It contained truths and appeals to emotion. That being said, the ideal is and should be for children to be produced in loving stable relationships and then be raised by their biological parents. To take the institution of marriage and say that the ONLY way those with SSA can have the great things you espouse is if they are allowed to participate in SSM is not true. There are many other options that do not undermine the truth that as a church and a society we must preserve. The stable family is not as prevalent as it once was. The deification of sex (without any SSA aspects) is a large part of this, but SSM and the celebration of SSA is another step in the wrong direction. As a society (and a church) we need to promote stable families that produce and rear children with a mother and father in the home. This is more likely to produce children that thrive than any other structure. So what are the options for someone with SSA? As I already said, if I lived in the youtube world and I had faith in Pope Joan or President Rachael M. Nelson, I would try to enter into a SSM. If I could see the rational (not just bald emotionalism) for entering into the SSM, I think that would improve my chances of success. But, I do not prescribe this for everyone. I believe living celibately with your same sex partner is in alignment with the gospel today. I am certain that if Pope Joan allowed this in the youtube world, I would be willing to give it a shot too. This would not be the ideal, but in the real world being married to me is not the ideal, I guarantee it. Our challenges are our challenges and we work with God to deal with them rather than try to deny what reason and faith tell us is the ideal. And, as long as we have departed from the ideal, there is some type of civil union or handshake agreement with all the sex one can desire. This is again not the ideal, but it does not communicate to society or the church that marriage is only about being in a loving relationship and has nothing to do with producing and raising children in a stable house with a mother and father. As a society we have left behind the idea that couples should marry and then have sex and children. That they should stay together till death or for eternity and raise those children. This is not a position that is celebrated in our society and ever step away from it is damaging to society and the church. I hope you read my response to Stemelbow. I do not believe EVERY point follows from every other point and it cannot be attacked, but I do believe it brings more reason into this discussion than your paragraph. I do not know if you participated in an opposite sex marriage. I do not know if being married like that is/was as difficult for you as being married to me is for my wife. I do not know you and if I did I would not condemn you as an individual for choices you made and make. But, at this point, I think the position of faith and/or reason is that SSM will have limited benefits and great costs for the church and society. Your position appears to be in alignment with your faith, but I want to both faith and reason. Charity, TOm
  14. I didn't get to read it, but I was thinking we would disagree in some ways. I still believe that the ground of truth is in the mind of God. While I interact with the world as I see it and you interact with the world as you see it, I think we are called to align or will with God's to have "all knowledge" in common with God. We should know what He knows. Charity, Tom
  15. Thank you. I can respond to that. I hope this does not solely become a SSM thread, but I do think it is a prime example of people using emotion without reason. I was once someone who reluctantly supported the church’s view of SSM but without any passion or certainty. This is a wonderful piece of same sex marriage propaganda and I really enjoyed it and felt deeply for the fictitious characters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ROXTFfkcfo&feature=youtu.be If you refuse to return to a reasoning position after watching it, please do not. I truly feel for that little girl. I love her and I hate what those homosexual jerks did to her. I wish to never be part of the jerks! That being said, my mind has CHANGED from where I once was. It was in part due to Rabbi Sacks and some other interaction with Catholic thought that I became a CONVINCED by reason in the church’s position. SSM is one of the more obvious areas in which I think society is busy inviting folks to love without truth. Most of society atheist or not believes that woman (and men) should not be sexual toys devoid of humanity. Sex trafficking is wrong! Much of society believes that prostitution and pornography is wrong. I think it very defendable that for the same reason that sex trafficking devalues woman (and men) removing their humanity to make them play objects, so does prostitution and pornography. So does sex for entertainment on primetime TV. So does teenage sex for fun and conquest. So does sex for advertising on billboards and in magazines. There is a small additional problem with human trafficking absent in SOME of the “lesser” offenses against the full humanity of those sold for sex. That is that human trafficking entails zero choice and the rest of these MAY entail some aspects or most aspects of choice. Some will celebrate the freedom of the willing prostitute and the porno star. Many of us will celebrate the “hot” news anchor or the buff shampoo model. But, I submit part of the problem with Weinstein’s sexual exploits is that he paid for sex in ways that make us uncomfortable and his job was to select sex workers in ways that make us comfortable. I do not think this is too much of a leap. Those who "let" Weinstein do what he did, made a choice. Then they didn't talk about it. We all think this is wrong. This is my emotional plea to see that attitudes about sex in our society are profoundly distorted. Let me try some reason: Wether you believe in God or godless evolution, humanity is at the top of the earthen peeking order. All species survive through reproduction. Above a certain level of complexity this reproduction is sexual. Above a higher level of complexity this reproduction includes child rearing. Many species leave the child rearing to a single parent usually the female. Some (generally ones with more complex development) include both the male and the female in child rearing. Numerous studies have shown that human child rearing in a stable home with a man and a woman who are raising their biological offspring is better for child development. This is the ideal. For the human child this is more important than for the mouse or the dog. Human’s are in general far more helpless for far longer than lower animals. The human brain is so large, human babies must be born at a less developed stage due to passing through the birth canal so they require more physical care than most other animals. In addition this human social interaction requires rearing with love and touch (see Russian orphanage studies). Human mental development requires much more support than for lower animals. The reason (wether it is God or evolution) that sex developed and produce the bonding effects that same sex couples covet is to facilitate the continuation of the species. Sex is unitive and procreative. Sex is unitive and procreative. Sex is unitive and procreative. To engage in sex without acknowledging its purpose either because an opposite sex couple NEVER wants children or because one is “just having a good time” is to psychically cleave the human person be removing either the unitive or procreative aspects of sex developed evolutionarily or through God’s hand. The consequence of this are legion. The evils of sex trafficking. The likely evils of prostitution and pornography. The breakdown of the stable family. The kids who grow up without touch or without love or without a solid role model and all the damage this does to our society. I have adopted my daughter and I cannot express how wonderful this is. But this is not the ideal. The ideal would be for her biological parents to have made different choices (probably different choices long before she was conceived as they were quite in bondage by then). As a society and as a church we should teach the ideal is the ideal and do the best we can when we and/or those around us fall short. Love is the guiding force, but reason is important too. The above set of ideas is why I am no longer a reluctant supporter of the Prophet of God’s position. I love that little girl in that youtube video just like I love my family and friends who because of their SSA and choices have experienced similar things in the world we live in. I am emotionally pulled toward them and never march up to them and say, “you are a dirty breeder” or you “just a homosexual.” But as best I can tell reason indicates to me that the church’s position of SSM marriage is correct. And, it the other side of this question seems to be largely about compassion for those with same sex attraction. It is an emotional appeal. Compelling, yes, but primarily emotion. I like to compare the way we treat folks with SSA with the way we treat folks with Aspergers syndrome. One who has Aspergers does not pick up well on social queues. They feel estranged from the humans. Coping mechanisms are isolation or superficial interaction (like on message boards). But councilors do not tell those with Aspergers that they were “made that way” and should not enter into deep and meaningful relationships. This is because those with Aspergers need love too. If they can overcome their desire for isolation/safety and learn coping mechanisms that enable them to form meaningful relationships, they will have MORE happiness than if they choose isolation. Since as a society we do not worship peculiar social queues and … like we worship sex there is not a prevalent move within psychiatry to create isolated bubbles for those with Aspergers. I do not think we are in a society that can ask those with SSA to enter into loving heterosexual relationships. This is not a pragmatic solution for most. But we can still teach that this is not the ideal and this is not marriage. Or maybe this is no longer pragmatic either. The evidence of problems for folks who embrace a homosexual lifestyle MAY be only due to the horrible way they are treated, but it seems unlikely. I think a very reasoned position is that there would be challenges for those with SSA who entered into heterosexual relationships, but if society had not departed from a right understanding of sex these challenges would be less than the challenges they face in the most accepting of societies today. If I lived in that youtube video and believed President Rachael M. Nelson was the prophetess with the same conviction I believe now, I would give it a shot (I know many on both sides would not). Still for most in our society attraction and sex are too important for them to embrace a partner that is of the wrong sex in their mind. That boat sailed long ago. So, that is LONG. I am sure there are issues here and there and I am not sure I can demonstrate every piece of data is accurate, but I lean in the direction that overall it is a reasoned view as contrasted to the emotional view I am invited to embrace. Charity, TOm
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