(May 28th, 2012)
WARNING! This post may be considered highly controversial, not necessarily because of the subject matter (which I see as rather basic, where moral issues are concerned), but because of the highly charged political atmosphere in which we live, an atmosphere in which freedom of speech is often given a back row seat when it deals with political talking points (especially when one denounces the sophistries of powerful and well-funded lobbies). If you are easily offended by topics that may not fit your political views, feel free to refrain from reading this post.
I was recently talking with a friend of mine (who shall remain nameless, since I do not believe in flaming others online, not that I would choose to do so even if I did believe such to be appropriate) and our conversation turned to the topic of the presidential race. We are both leaning toward voting for Obama, largely because of Romney's trickle down economic policies (the idiotic idea that the rich have a magical saturation point, at which they burst like a piņata and shower money rain down upon the masses below). Trickle down economics doesn't work, and it's never worked (as President Obama recently pointed out), and, to make matters worse, our economy has always been the worst when we tried to implement trickle down economics. That being said, I was expressing my concern and mild annoyance over Obama's recent statement in defense of same-sex marriage.
I suppose I should have seen an argument coming, since this is a highly politically charged issue, but my friend is a very intelligent woman. I just assumed that she, like me, would have spent countless hours researching this and would have come to the same conclusion I did, namely that homosexuality is a *le gasp* choice. Note that I didn't say it's an easy choice, nor did I say that so-and-so was going to "the bad place" for their choice. I don't feel that I have the right to determine the final state of anyone's soul or to presume to judge what that final state should be. The topic I'm addressing today is choice, not the eternal consequences of homosexuality. (For those who understand the doctrine of exaltation and it's relation to "the new and everlasting covenant", i.e. eternal marriage, the consequences should be blatantly obvious. For those who don't, the amount of catch-up learning required, and faith in the words given, would surpass what I could reasonably expect any reader of my blog to amass in such a short time.)
The topic of choice may seem obvious to those of my faith (Choice and Accountability is a value taught to our young women when they turn 12, so I'd imagine most adults in my religion are familiar with the concept as well), but I'm finding it an increasingly rare doctrine among those of other faiths and nigh-nonexistent among those with no strong religious beliefs. For some unfathomable reason, many people have convinced themselves that, in order for a choice to actually be a choice, it must be an EASY choice. Hard choices simply don't count. That's akin to going into a college Biology final and saying to the teacher, "Look, I need to take this final exam to get a good grade in this class, but, I'm warning you, if any question on this test is harder than, 'Is a rabbit a mammal or a reptile?' then I will declare this test invalid and demand an A." For those of you not in college, I can assure you that this method would not gain you any leeway in the classroom (and might just get you kicked out of your final). To extend the analogy, if you got together with a big group of other students to protest the teacher's oppression of your right to 'grading equality', they'd probably laugh you out of college.
This is essentially the same idea as those behind "marriage equality" (or, as many others call it, "degrading sexual indulgence"). The first point they bring up is that they are not male or female, but another set of genders. When they can show that they have neither X nor Y chromosomes, and that they cannot produce offspring with X or Y chromosomes, then I might give some level of credence to their assertions, though likely the only pale attempt at this that they can make is that they have a diseased chromosome or that a rare part of the population are YY. There are treatments for such diseases and chromosomal errors, treatments that have been in place for decades. Any first year Biology student could tell you that, if Homosexuality really were caused solely by genetic defects, the genetic disease would eventually peter out due to its lack of ability to produce viable offspring. Instead, the rates of homosexuality seem to be on the rise. Furthermore, the same-gender attraction lobbies have gone to great lengths to prove that same-gender attraction is not a disease or mental illness. This leaves only one option open to them... *drum roll please*
CHOICE! Yes, choice, that word that is the bane of all those who would excuse their difficulties by saying that "there is no sin" or similarly, that sin is relative, which makes absolutely NO sense. Sin is the betrayal of God's laws by one who knows the laws they are breaking and is capable of choosing for themselves (i.e. one who is not mentally ill or under the age of 8 years old). If God's law is "relative" then no sin could exist (because there would always be someone who said an act wasn't a sin). As for knowing the laws of God, I don't think there are too many people in the US who don't realize that homosexuality is a sin. It's what Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for. (Goodness, they were so degenerate in their sexual indulgence that the people of Sodom even tried to homosexually rape ANGELS!) At the very least, they surely realize that homosexuality violates the commandment given from God to Adam and Eve to "multiply and replenish the Earth" (to say nothing of "thou shalt not commit adultery", which was understood to mean that they were not to indulge in any sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage, which are defined in the scriptures as a man leaving his family and cleaving to woman that husband and wife may be one flesh).
So many people try to say that homosexuals can't help it. They are born that way. Unless someone can provide an example of homosexual babies being born while actually committing a homosexual act (not the parents - the BABY), then no, a baby cannot be born homosexual. Even if they were born in a pose that resembled such an act, I doubt the act would have any sexual significance to the infant. You can be born with homosexual tendencies, it is true, but what you choose to do with them is a totally different matter. Predisposition is not destiny, and all the rhetoric used to convince those with such feelings that they have no choice is nothing more than the confusing mists the Adversary of Mankind sends to lead the hearts of the children of men astray into forbidden paths until they are lost. I didn't say such choices were easy. All of us face difficult choices and struggles in our lives. That's how we grow. Thus, though a baby can be born with certain tendencies, they choose whether to indulge them or not, and, only if they choose to indulge those tendencies, do they become a homosexual.
A related point is the assertion many in the same-sex marriage lobbies make that refusing to allow same-sex marriage is akin to refusing to allow interracial marriage in the South 50 years ago. The problem with this analogy is that homosexuality is not at all akin to a race. Race, hair color, height etc. are all in-born traits over which no choice can be exercised because no action is involved. Homosexuals, sports fans, video gamers, cross-stitchers, writers, and so on are all NOT ethnic groups because an action is involved. If that action is not taken, they cannot merit the label. If a person never chooses to play a video game, they cannot be called a video gamer. If a person never writes, they can't be called a writer. If a person never chooses to engage in a relationship with someone of the same gender, they can't be called homosexual, no matter what tendencies they might struggle with.
Complicating this choice is the lure the Adversary (Devil) uses to draw people into a trap they may never escape in this life, a more powerful form of the same lure used to draw people into pornography (an addiction so powerful that it requires professional help to escape). Marriage requires two very different genders to learn to work together, but homosexuality make an end-run around this, allowing same genders the much easier task of bonding to those more like themselves. Then, they solidify the relationship by choosing to engage the very procreative powers they are misusing by choosing a partner they cannot procreate with, solidifying a partnership that can't lead them to grow like a heterosexual pairing can. The more they choose to indulge these impulses and allow the impulses to dictate their identity, the more they become that identity and the harder it becomes to break away.
Thus, legalizing sex-gender marriage hurts those with same-gender attraction far more than the rest of us who do not suffer with that temptation, but it does open a door for more and more young people, especially those who find courtship difficult or unfulfilling, to a relationship that can never progress beyond the physical attractions to which they've sold themselves and that can never lift the participants the way heterosexual marriage can.
Those who actually believe that "all you need is love" should sober up with some stark marriage statistics. Somewhere around half of first marriages end in divorce, and, I'm sure, if you asked each and every one of those millions of couples, on their wedding day, if they loved each other, most would say "Yes". The love most people think about when asked this question is hormonal love. It's born of passions (often lust) and has no lasting power to change behavior in positive ways. Thus, you can "love" someone but be totally unwilling to make the kinds of changes and compromises necessary to blend your lives into one home. Eventually, such dissidence often leads to divorce, or worse, the subjugation of one spouse to the other, another form of relationship with no future (and also one that harms both participants). Hormonal love is not enough, and real love, when it actually exists, is far more reasonable and uplifting. If you think that such love can form between two people so caught up in the throes of indulging hormones that they do not care about the harm they cause to another soul by encouraging a relationship that harms them both, I'm afraid I'll have to beg to differ. "Real love" puts the spouse first, not your own desires.
In short, allowing same-sex marriage hurts everyone involved. It hurts those who struggle with same-gender attraction by encouraging actions that will only bring heartache in the end. It hurts our youth by opening up a door for them to avoid the uncomfortable heterosexual courtship process and skip straight to the sex part. It hurts those who believe in traditional marriage by belittling the marriage covenant, equating it to a mere excuse to sleep with someone. It has nothing to do with equality (and grossly belittles the actual sorrows bigotry causes), and trying to enforce an unnatural equality on two very unequal lifestyle choices causes an avalanche of other unpleasant societal issues (such as frivolous lawsuits for those who refuse marriage services to same-sex couples who want to play house and call it marriage, people boycotting theme parks because of "gay pride" days, and political ramifications that drive a large percentage of Christian voters into the camp of the "trickle down economy" advocates, just to name a few).