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The Matthew Gong Letter


pogi

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36 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

You said he talked about it nearly every year. That's not true. 

The trend is that he talks about it every year, with a two year hiatus every three years.  We can squabble about the word "nearly" if you want, but I don't see the point. 

50 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

That's six talks out of 20, or 30 percent. It's still not close to "the majority."

Again, we have all moved on, but yet again you keep going back to it...

52 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

By all means, check them out. And I hope you report your results either way.

Everything else checks out.  Good job.

52 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

It's not eight out of the 10 years, as you claimed in your last post. 

I was wrong about 8 out of 10, my mistake.

55 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

And it's only six out of the total 20 talks -- not "the majority" as you initially claimed.

Oh wow.    ...seriously Scott, you need to let it go.

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4 minutes ago, Calm said:

I think it more likely to motivate leaders to provide clearer instruction on the Church's position while avoiding personal extrapolating (I see the examples from 2006 of family behaviour as likely extrapolating).

I think that needs to be considered in context. It was a Q and A, and the specific question had to do with how parents could show love to their gay children without unintentionally endorsing behavior they don't approve of. I believe Elder Oaks made an honest effort to be responsive to the question while making it clear he was only giving suggestions that would not apply in every situation. I believe some parents might find his suggestions helpful depending on the circumstances.

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3 minutes ago, pogi said:

The trend is that he talks about it every year, with a two year hiatus every three years.  We can squabble about the word "nearly" if you want, but I don't see the point. 

Again, we have all moved on, but yet again you keep going back to it...

Everything else checks out.  Good job.

I was wrong about 8 out of 10, my mistake.

Oh wow.    ...seriously Scott, you need to let it go.

Since last night, my posts on this subject have only been in response to those from you and seekingunderstanding. If you let it go, I will.

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31 minutes ago, Calm said:

I think the connotation of "extreme" means most will interpret the teachings are seen as unreasonable as opposed to thinking it in terms of limits.  Perhaps a better word would be absolute.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/extreme

The four examples they use include three---the ones about feelings---that are implied to be irrational:

 

I get that communicating ideas clearly is important, but I clarified that my use of the word was in terms of limits - several times.  That should be good enough.  If we are going to come after each other, insisting they use the "better" or "best" word, we are never going to get anywhere.  Language is messy.  It is not a science. It means different things to different people.  When a person clarifies what they mean, the issue should be dropped. 

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5 minutes ago, pogi said:

The trend is that he talks about it every year, with a two year hiatus every three years.  We can squabble about the word "nearly" if you want, but I don't see the point. 

Again, we have all moved on, but yet again you keep going back to it...

Everything else checks out.  Good job.

I was wrong about 8 out of 10, my mistake.

Oh wow.    ...seriously Scott, you need to let it go.

Some people prefer to see a clear admission of making a mistake along with an apology and an expressed desire to try to never make that mistake again, rather than to hear them say things like "you need to move on" and "let it go" and "everybody else has moved on but you".

I know, I know, it can be a ;little bit humbling, sometimes, but God is such a stickler for details and and he is usually so nice about everything that I don't mind owning up the fact that I make mistakes, when I realize them, and trying to never make them again.

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31 minutes ago, Calm said:

I can think of behaviours and positions about homosexuality that are further on the spectrum though, as in criminalizing homosexual behaviour or punishment involving physical abuse including death.

Ok, I give up.  I retract it.  I should have said "absolute".

 

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8 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Since last night, my posts on this subject have only been in response to those from you and seekingunderstanding. If you let it go, I will.

Are yo somehow suggesting that me and seekingunderstanding are the ones who keeps bringing it up and you are just responding?  Sorry bro, you aren't throwing this one on me.  I am only responding to your relentless attacks on something that I thought we settled long ago.  Correction - I will let it go when you do. 

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8 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Some people prefer to see a clear admission of making a mistake along with an apology and an expressed desire to try to never make that mistake again, rather than to hear them say things like "you need to move on" and "let it go" and "everybody else has moved on but you".

I know, I know, it can be a ;little bit humbling, sometimes, but God is such a stickler for details and and he is usually so nice about everything that I don't mind owning up the fact that I make mistakes, when I realize them, and trying to never make them again.

Serious people? This is getting really annoying.  I didn't make a mistake!  I made a statement that needed clarification.  

This was his response to my clarification.

Quote

 I acknowledge and welcome your clarification.

Which is why I am surprised at the ongoing jabs.  To bring it up, over and over again even after acknowledging and welcoming my clarification, justifies me in saying "let it go". 

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8 minutes ago, pogi said:

Serious people? This is getting really annoying.  I didn't make a mistake!  I made a statement that needed clarification.  

That counts as a mistake to some people.  Believe me, i have learned that from my own personal experiences here.

8 minutes ago, pogi said:

This was his response to my clarification.

Which is why I am surprised at the ongoing jabs.  To bring it up, over and over again even after acknowledging and welcoming my clarification, justifies me in saying "let it go". 

I'm letting it go now.  Will you let it go now?  Let's both just walk away right now from this and let it go now.  What do you say?  Oh wait, better to not say anything else about it, or even related to it, otherwise some people may think you haven't let it go, yet.

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

I wouldn't call it sinning, but my memory is Elder Holland often speaks about some variation of faith crisis, doubt.

First, his approach is a much more compassionate style directed at the people struggling rather than a defensive approach against their doubts, which I appreciate.  But, I also doubt that 30% of his talks are on the subject.  Do we see it mentioned 6 years out of 10?  

Edited by pogi
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There have been a fair number of comments about how Elder Oaks has an extreme focus on the 'same-sex sin.' 

However, I wonder if you study Elder Oaks' talks, I would suspect that he discusses the law of chastity in other areas just as much or more so than same-sex sins. For example, he discusses pornography quite a bit. Also, he discusses pre-marital (opposite-gender) sex issues frequently, such as "co-habitation" (just writing the word co-habitation makes me think of Elder Oaks).

I really wonder if there is just a less vocal lobby against the church's stance on pornography and pre-marital sex, compared to same-sex issues. Also, people are less 'offended' and 'hurt' when the apostles discuss these other things, even though many of the same people argue that the church is out-dated on these issues as well and are opposed to pretty much all aspects of the law of chastity.

Does anyone want to do a count of Elder Oaks' discussion of other aspects of Law of Chastity versus Same-sex issues? Or even better, maybe we should do a survey of how many instances per conference pornography is brought up v. same-sex issues, to see just how much more that is discussed.

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25 minutes ago, pogi said:

First, his approach is a much more compassionate style directed at the people struggling rather than a defensive approach against their doubts, which I appreciate.  But, I also doubt that 30% of his talks are on the subject.  Do we see it mentioned 6 years out of 10?  

I thought we wanted to let this go and “move on”.

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2 minutes ago, Ahab said:

I can see what he means, though, I think.  You're taking about penalties for people who engage in that behavior, but at the basic level there is either right or wrong with "I don't care" in the middle.

We fall into the camp of - it is always wrong for people of the same sex to have sexual relations (intercourse) with each other, even if 2 people of the same sex are married by some law of the land.  We are on that end of the spectrum.

Penalties are imposed by those with viewpoints though, viewpoints being composed of more than one idea/concept.  There are a variety of viewpoints that share the concept homosexual behaviour should never occur.  They should not, imo, all be grouped under the label "extreme" especially since "extreme" has connotations of irrationality in many of its usages.

Pogi is dealing with one very precise position point imo...whether or not homosexual behaviour should occur.  Imo, there are few contexts where homosexuality is considered solely on that basis.  When having discussions, it is possible to focus on one concept at a time.  But I see that as a rare behaviour in actual interactions (family dynamics, for example, will involve things like how the family communicates, how much the family values unity or peace, relationship factors that go back to childhood, personalities all intertwining with whatever belief is held about the appropriateness/morality of homosexual behaviour).

Rather than a linear spectrum, perhaps it would be better to represent positions on homosexual behaviour (whether it should or should not take place) as a Venn Diagram with two interlocking circles, one part being fully allowing behaviour with variations on how supportive others should be (variations can range from giving it elite status over heterosexual behaviour to ignoring it along with heterosexual behaviour as irrelevant to public policymaking), the middle being allowing some forms of homosexual behaviour while not allowing others, the last part being those who see homosexual behaviour as inappropriate in all cases, but vary as to what reactions should be (ignoring it completely as up to the individual to understand the prohibition and control themselves up to imposing death).

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1 hour ago, Ahab said:

I can see what he means, though, I think.  You're taking about penalties for people who engage in that behavior, but at the basic level there is either right or wrong with "I don't care" in the middle.

We fall into the camp of - it is always wrong for people of the same sex to have sexual relations (intercourse) with each other, even if 2 people of the same sex are married by some law of the land.  We are on that end of the spectrum.

Three positions aren't really a spectrum in my view.

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

It was a Q and A, and the specific question had to do with how parents could show love to their gay children without unintentionally endorsing behavior they don't approve of

It was a Church PA interview, not an off the cuff or news agency interview.  Do you believe that Elder Oaks would have not been consulted prior to the interview about what topics should be discussed, what questions asked?

I think if Pres. Oaks had thought it inappropriate to have that type of question, the question wouldn't have been there.

Quote

while making it clear he was only giving suggestions that would not apply in every situation. I believe some parents might find his suggestions helpful depending on the circumstances.

I agree, but I also think he could have added examples where there was more expression of love and acceptance of the individual, such as a family who had discussed their position about chastity with a child who clearly understood it and therefore they were not concerned about sending mixed messages, were in fact comfortable about welcoming their child and partner into the home for family gatherings and even having them stay over with a commitment during that time from all the adult family members to avoid any sexual behavior with their partners as a compromise for asking the gay partners to refrain while in their home.

Edited by Calm
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21 minutes ago, Calm said:

Penalties are imposed by those with viewpoints though, viewpoints being composed of more than one idea/concept.  There are a variety of viewpoints that share the concept homosexual behaviour should never occur.  They should not, imo, all be grouped under the label "extreme" especially since "extreme" has connotations of irrationality in many of its usages.

Pogi is dealing with one very precise position point imo...whether or not homosexual behaviour should occur.  Imo, there are few contexts where homosexuality is considered solely on that basis.  When having discussions, it is possible to focus on one concept at a time.  But I see that as a rare behaviour in actual interactions (family dynamics, for example, will involve things like how the family communicates, how much the family values unity or peace, relationship factors that go back to childhood, personalities all intertwining with whatever belief is held about the appropriateness/morality of homosexual behaviour).

Rather than a linear spectrum, perhaps it would be better to represent positions on homosexual behaviour (whether it should or should not take place) as a Venn Diagram with two interlocking circles, one part being fully allowing behaviour with variations on how supportive others should be (variations can range from giving it elite status over heterosexual behaviour to ignoring it along with heterosexual behaviour as irrelevant to public policymaking), the middle being allowing some forms of homosexual behaviour while not allowing others, the last part being those who see homosexual behaviour as inappropriate in all cases, but vary as to what reactions should be (ignoring it completely as up to the individual to understand the prohibition and control themselves up to imposing death).

Let's try this poll style, to try to keep this simple:

Should sexual relations (intercourse) ever take place between people of the same sex?  In other words, are there any circumstances when it would ever be morally good?

a) No

b) Yes

c) I don't know and I don't care.

 

If we wanted to go deeper into this issue we could then talk about what our options might be if or when people answered yes to that question, such as:

a) shoot them, or kill them by any other means

b) ignore them with the attitude that if i don't see it then I can at least pretend it isn't happening

c) throw a party for them, even if you think they shouldn't be having sex with each other

d) try to teach them about all of the negative consequences that will result from that choice

e) ship them off to some other planet where they can do that without you ever having to worry about having to see them doing something like that.

edited: oh, and one more option I just now thought of:

f) try to  teach them that their life would be much better if they just went straight instead of being gay or lesbian

Edited by Ahab
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54 minutes ago, Ahab said:

That counts as a mistake to some people.  Believe me, i have learned that from my own personal experiences here.

Not all mistakes require apology.  Why are you speaking for Scott anyway? Do you think I offended him by using hyperbole (something he acknowledged that he uses on occasion as an effective tool in language - I doubt he apologizes for using it) in stating "the majority" instead of the actual 30%?  Does my lack of apology for using hyperbole, even after he acknowledged and welcomed the clarification justify his continuing jabs?  Who should be apologizing here?   If he really is looking for an apology (I don't think he is), perhaps an apology from him is warranted too for accusing me of using "hostile criticism" towards President Oaks.  He has not retracted or apologized (despite my asking), or even attempted to defended his accusation.  He has been mysteriously silent on the subject after I asked for a retraction.  Think of the connotation "hostile criticism" has - that puts me on par with John Dehlin and others.  Good grief!  I am not unfriendly to President Oaks, and I am certain he would not view me as a hostile critic, but have been very respectful throughout.  Smac has even thanked me for it.  So who really should be apologizing here?

54 minutes ago, Ahab said:

I'm letting it go now.  Will you let it go now?  Let's both just walk away right now from this and let it go now.  What do you say?  Oh wait, better to not say anything else about it, or even related to it, otherwise some people may think you haven't let it go, yet.

Is this some kind of childish mind-trick?  You initiated this, not me!  If a comment is directed at me, I deserve a response.  You have commented.  I have responded.  The slate is now cleared.  Do you want to continue on this dance?  If you lead, I may or may not follow. 

Edited by pogi
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19 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I thought we wanted to let this go and “move on”.

I am responding to a comment directed at me.  I deserve a response.  This is a totally different issue anyway. 

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

Ok, I give up.  I retract it.  I should have said "absolute".

 

:friends:

You are a good man, Pogi.

Edited by Calm
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18 minutes ago, Calm said:

Three positions aren't really a spectrum in my view.

2 ends and the middle ground.   That's all that any spectrum involves.

We are either good or we are evil or we are somewhere in the middle.  That's the whole spectrum as far as we are concerned.  Hopefully we're closer to good than to evil and we're working on becoming perfectly good.

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1 hour ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Edited my post too late. Not worth it, but nowhere have I “accused” Elder Oaks as being “fixated” on the topic. Thanks. 

You didn’t use the word, no. But you were complaining that President Oaks talks about the subject more than other Church leaders. To me, it seemed you were agreeing with Pogi that he “fixates” on it. 

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52 minutes ago, pogi said:

First, his approach is a much more compassionate style directed at the people struggling rather than a defensive approach against their doubts, which I appreciate.  But, I also doubt that 30% of his talks are on the subject.  Do we see it mentioned 6 years out of 10?  

He definitely has a gentler style, imo, adapted at least to members' reactions in general.  I have read some stuff from exmormons who have painted him as harsh, dismissive (not saying I see him that way) so that may have inflated my perception of how much he focuses on it.

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