06 November 2008

The Play About Henry

A very interesting and perceptive observation from a non-Mormon's review of "Missa Solemnis, or The Play About Henry", which tells the story of Stuart Matis:

"It's important to remember that Mormon hatred of gays is not just homophobia: it’s an increasingly crucial part of an all-encompassing theology, a theology that is, to its adherents, perfect and infallible. Yet that theology stands in direct conflict with human biology, an all-encompassing system of beliefs in its own right."

I think this observation raises two points.

First, it does a pretty good job of capturing the essence of why the Church has such a tremendously difficult time with the whole issue of homosexuality. Spun in slightly more orthodox LDS language, the point is that many (and I believe this includes many in the top leadership) see homosexuality as by definition a threat to the plan of salvation. It simply cannot be squared with LDS theology. Yet its biological existence and persistence can't be denied either. This is the fundamental contradiction facing the Church, one I believe will never be overcome by anything less than new revelation.

Two, if, as Robert Burns said, one of God's gifts most desirable is the ability to see ourselves as others see us, then this observation above should make all Mormons--especially those in California and Church HQ--stand up and take notice. To this reviewer, "Mormon hatred of gays" and "Mormon homophobia" are self-evident. It's hard to believe the talk when they don't walk the walk.

I think for years many of us believed our own PR that we were becoming completely American mainstream. Now, in light of Mitt Romney's campaign and the aftermath of Prop 8, it appears that the Mormons haven't moved quite as far in public perception as they would like to have thought. And it seems clear that many people aren't buying the line about acceptance of gays in the Church either.

To read the complete review of the play, click here.

5 comments:

invisible said...

I hope people in the Church do see it. I t sounds amazing! But it will most likly be labled a lie put out by the Devil to make the Church look bad.

Mike said...

I agree with your definition of why we struggle so in the church as homosexuals. We cannot place on the back burner that which for ages has been ignored and been ashamed of. I too cannot see any true resolution in the conflict until we receive more revelation than merely 'God doesn't want to let gays in California get married or be considered in a marriage relationship.'

I would have to disagree with Robert Burns, at least for myself. I don't want to know what bigots and others who fear and oppose homosexuality would think about me if they knew of my struggles. It would be far more detrimental than any positive effect that I could have on them in sharing my experiences with them.

I feel that the greatest gift that God could give me right now in my life would be personal revelation to myself or organizational revelation to the prophet as to the eternal nature of the challenges with which I have been blessed.

I can only hope that it would give me increased hope, determination and acceptance to live His plan that I so choose to follow.

Yet for the time, I can only choose to live by blind faith, hoping that one day I will be relieved from trials that I cannot imagine vanishing.

Really, how could something so integrally 'me' evaporate in the twinkling of an eye? Answer me that, dear Lord and then will I be able to more fully fulfill my responsibilities as thy son with increased passion and conviction, knowing thy plan for me more clearly.

Z i n j said...

Alan..we need to take a hard look at ourselves. It may be painful. Apparently the GA's will not... as spoken. These are great men no doubt but like myself I need to look at what culture I am a part of. Is this a good place where all people and diversities of humans can sit at the same table? Is there compassion and unconditional love? We each can do our part,,,however the church must also brave the waters.

Scott said...

I feel that the greatest gift that God could give me right now in my life would be personal revelation to myself or organizational revelation to the prophet as to the eternal nature of the challenges with which I have been blessed.

Agreed, with the caveat that regardless of whether or not the Prophet receives any revelation on this for the Church, I'm going to need the personal revelation. I'm afraid that at the moment I don't trust the word of the brethren on matters pertaining to homosexuality.

Beck said...

"...And it seems clear that many people aren't buying the line about acceptance of gays in the Church either."

Really? You think so? It's all lip service with nice words from leadership stating acceptance, and actions stating disdain. Most members are not being able to get their heads around an idea contrary to the "Plan". Until there's another avenue planned, a side street or a crooked path in that diagram of circles and arrows called the "Plan of Salvation", it ain't goin' to happen.