11 January 2011

ARG: The Family- A Proclaimation to the World (Part 2)

Okay, this is the second installment of my thoughts on "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." I will discuss the first two paragraphs of this document:

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

Remembering that this whole statement is considered a "guide" and not a "revelation" by modern-day prophets, I will still approach this document as if it held weight as for reasons people believe homosexuality is bad.

In the first paragraph, it says nothing about homosexuality. It does say that marriage between man and woman is ordained of God, but it doesn't say that marriage between man and man or woman and woman is evil. It also says that the family is ordained of God, but does not specify what that family looks like. So I would have to say I agree full heartedly with those two statements.

Having said that, consider this: Say a woman was deceiving her husband during their time dating. Lets say that she led him to believe that she was a committed member of the church and believer in Christ. In fact, however, she never intended to stay in the church or raise a family in it. He, on the other hand, believed that she was on the same page and, like himself, was fully committed to the gospel. They get married in the Temple. A few short weeks later, the wife informs her husband she is leaving the church and doesn't want her family to be raised in it. They divorce. Now this was a man and a woman, married in the temple. Was it ordained of God? This is a true story. It is the story of one of my mission companions.

Another short story: A child grows up in an abusive home. His parents are a danger to his life. In order to survive, he literally has to run away. But his mother and father were his biological parents.  Do you think that kid will smile at the news that he can be with his family forever?? No. Not a chance. That would be his hell.  Was this family ordained of God?

My point here is that just because it states that marriage between man and woman is ordained of God and family is ordained of God doesn't mean that EVERY marriage and EVERY family is ordained by him. With the same reasoning, I would argue that just because it says that these two institutions are ordained of God, it doesn't mean that others are not.

Okay, now the second paragraph. First of all, I think that the wording is interesting. All humans- BOTH MALE AND FEMALE- are created in the image of God. Does anyone else find that interesting? How can both be in the image of God? I mean, we obviously have different parts right? Hmm... just something to think about, but I have no argument with it. Nor do i have a problem with the idea that God loves all of us.

One argument that is used against homosexuals that bothers me A LOT is a phrase within this paragraph. That phrase is "Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose." Okay. That is fine. Being gay doesn't mean that I want to be a girl. I recognize and accept that I am a man and that it is part of my identity. I am in no way trying to reject that. So I have no argument with this either (when it comes to myself).

But now lets consider some people that don't fit inside this box we've so easily divided in half, females on one side, males on the other. What about those individuals with nondescript genitalia? What about those with both? How do you determine their gender? Does it need to be determined? Can you imagine being one of those individuals and reading this statement? Where do they fit in? What do you tell these people? In this document we are saying that gender is an essential characteristic, yet there are many who cannot be classified into male or female.

So my point is, first this idea of gender being an essential characteristic isn't any reason to justify the idea that homosexuality is inherently wrong. Second, obviously this document isn't all-inclusive and leaves out some individuals who God loves just as much as the next person.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your sympathy about the game. (Seems to be the story of my life lately.)

I remember where I was when I first heard the Proclamation for the family- I was sitting in a chapel, in England, with my friend, who was also my girlfriend. She was sitting with her family, I was on the back bench, with other people. I remember how physically ill I felt as the proclamation was read from the pulpit. I loved her, she loved me, we had a relationship, and we we were being told in front of the whole world that what we felt, had, and were was wrong. It was pretty difficult on me.

Through the ensuing years, as an active member of the church, I sat through many meetings where the proclamation was discussed. Each time got collectively harder than that very first time.

Again, another stellar post. I like your complete thinking on things. :)

Love and respect, always.

(My word verification for this was "mudoph"- would that be Rudolph's twin brother? LOL)

Steven Lester said...

You might remember that telling comment made by some idiot general when he said something to the effect of, "Kill them all, and let God sort it out!" Well, indeed. As imperfect as all of us are here on Earth, while we make our judgements about everything under the sun, which are based upon the best data and deep feeling that we can muster, but which still is never up to the task fully, God had better be around to sort it all out, or we're up the creek. He views everything from an Eternal perspective, based upon what tremendous love and perfect laws dictate, a viewpoint that we here on Earth can only guess at. We so often believe that what takes place here during mortality will affect the perfection that exists on the Otherside, but it can't. We go from imperfection back into perfection, dust ourselves off, and go back to where we were before (the environment) so much wiser than before, but once again immersed in the love that is so thick there that it is practically the atmosphere itself. None of us have anything more than an inkling of what that is like. Accountability, yes. Damnation, no...especially for the baptized Christian who has not committed the unforgivable sin. Families sealed in the Temple have even an easier path to exaltation, for the sealing is for eternity itself (and I can prove this).

Even as Conference talks are now generated by committee or even by ghost writers, so was this Proclamation. It is very poorly written, declares very little in a straight-forward manner, and serves only to muddy the waters rather than to clear them of confusion. Why do people have to read it over and over just to get a handle on what it is trying say? Because it is high school trash. More uninspired claptrap from the Brethren. Cluttered, with practically everything unexplained or unexpanded upon. I would give it a "C" if some student offered it to me for grading.

The key to the riddle of being made either male or female lies within the true definition of what is The Image Of God, which apparently has nothing to do with gender, but is exactly the same for both. Your guess is as good as mine. The light of intelligence is in both. Both feel the same range of emotions. Whatever would be in both if neither were cultured by societal mores and expectations that seek to differentiate the two genders. This is why simple statements that are filled with questions need to be defined further, which is exactly what I would have written on the paper just before returning it to the student for a much-needed rewrite.

You are right to tear it apart. It needs it. The mindless robots just crowd around it and look blankly at the words without confusion, but you don't, which is much to your credit, my friend.

Just what is The Image Of God?

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