22 January 2010

A Visit From Mr. Bigelow

The handful of frequent readers of this blog will remember that a while back I had an exchange with Mr. Christopher Bigelow, formerly on staff at the LDS Church flagship magazine The Ensign. He wrote at length some things about being gay that I thought were quite provocative. I replied here on my blog and asked him a series of questions.

Mr. Bigelow has now responded, and I will be posting each of his points of discussion in a series. As I promised him, I will post each of his statements 100% as he said them, without any change or amendment.

Here's the format. First will be Mr. Bigelow's original statement. Second will be my questions to him in response. Third will be his latest reply. Mr. Bigelow's words will be italics.

1. Homosexuality is "one of the most dangerous issues of our generation, with the potential of dividing our society as catastrophically as the slavery issue did back in the nineteenth century, if not more so."

Why do you consider it dangerous? Dangerous to what? Do you really believe it will generate armed conflict within the United States before some general consensus can be reached? What "more so" do you foresee that is worse than actual civil war?

I believe violence of various kinds will increasingly occur against those who resist the gay movement. With slavery, the status quo was slavery, and then reformers built up momentum to abolish it, and we ended up in the Civil War to decide it. In that case, the status quo was wrong and the reformers were right. With homosexuality, it's the opposite situation. The status quo has been a taboo against gay behavior, and now reformers are trying to get society to accept and embrace it, and I think it will lead to increasing conflict. And because our civilization has become more weak and permissive and immoral since the 1960s, I think the gay reformers will gain the upper hand on swaying public opinion, but a minority core of the religious will resist, and the situation could break out into actual violence, or certainly other forms of persecution and reverse-discrimination. I don't think it will be a formal civil war like the one in the 1860s because I think the big majority will be on the side of gay rights and our society just wouldn't do that kind of thing again, put on uniforms and fight against each other in an organized military way, but it will be an informal civil war on all kinds of fronts. We're already pretty much in an ideological civil war in our country, and the venues for battle will continue to increase.

By the way, I think discriminating against gay behavior is the correct thing for society to do to maintain the taboo and discourage people from giving in to their same-gender attractions. But we shouldn't discriminate against those who acknowledge they feel the temptation and want to resist it.


Max Power said...

I think discriminating against gay behavior is the correct thing for society to do to maintain the taboo and discourage people from giving in to their same-gender attractions.

And this is why the Mormon church has become less and less appealing to me, to the point where I'm about ready to remove myself from the membership. I cannot be a part of an organization with group-think like that (you know that the majority of members would whole-heartedly agree with his statement). They never want to think of it from the perspective of the gay person and the emotional havoc attitudes like this will wreak on those who are struggling with reconciling their homosexuality with the church. People like Mr. Bigelow are the most heartless, most judgmental, and most un-Christlike people that exist in the world today. People like him are the reason that Christianity went through periods like the Inquisition, allowed slavery to flourish, and exposes it's extremist face in the form of Nazism. And if people like him gain too much political power in this country, I fear for my life and freedoms.

I'm a fan of the Mormon cosmology, but not of the institution nor the people.

El Genio said...

The statement that Max quoted is truly frightening. Whatever happened to letting people worship "how, where, or what they may"?

Christopher Bigelow said...

I'm not at all impressed with or touched by your ad hominim attack, Max Power. There's such a thing as righteous judgment, and enabling gay sex is bad. But we should certainly have compassion for those who struggle with same-sex attraction and help them resist it, not give in. As with any other addictive, counter-productive vice.

Max Power said...

Please explain to me exactly how homosexuality is an "addictive, counter-productive vice".

I lived for 33 years struggling, depressed and ultimately suicidal, before accepting my homosexuality. Once I accepted it as a part of my core being, and quit listening to statements like the one you've just made, I was able to live my life with happiness and actually become a productive member of society. My life has never been better or more productive than it is right now.

Christopher Bigelow said...

Max Power: Remember, I'm coming from the Mormon perspective. Do I really need to explain why homosexuality is counter-productive from that viewpoint? Like, how it prevents someone from properly multiplying and replenishing the earth by having and raising children under the right circumstances? Like, how it diverts "gay" people from becoming as much like their Heavenly Father as possible, which is the main purpose of life? HF certainly is not gay, so choosing to live gay is counter-productive to the purpose of life.

As far as "addicting," I personally believe that gay sex functions as a vice, and the more you do it the more it takes you over and defines your identity and cements you in a sinful lifestyle. I believe that, like other addictive behaviors, persistent gay sex warps people and actually changes them on all levels, physically, spiritually, emotionally, etc.

I don't pretend to know how accountable each individual is for his same-sex problems in this life, but I cannot fathom homosexuality being an eternal characteristic that will survive the resurrection. The thought makes reason stare; there would be no logical point to it in the grand scheme of things. God did not create a separate "special" class of children to take this alternative path.

Also, I'm sure that if a person feels enough stress over this problem, it's probably a great relief to leave the Church and just follow one's carnal/secular bliss. I bet such "happiness" can appear to last for years and years. But eventually, perhaps not until the afterlife, reality will set in and the gay person will feel bad for missing the opportunity for heterosexual exaltation, the only kind possible. Even if all a gay person can do is exercise faith that his problematic desires will be taken from him in the afterlife, that is the only way for eternal happiness. There is absolutely no chance of full eternal happiness through gayness; one way or another, it's somehow gotta be renounced and repented of. To say anything else is absolutely incompatible with Mormonism and always will be.