I found the guest commentary on Mother's Day, May 8, by Warren Blumenfeld regarding heterosexism and revelation ("The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: heterosexism and revelation") to be inaccurate and offensive! Like many others, Blumenfeld tries to paint with one large brush the entire LDS Church as being homophobic because it doesn't accept homosexual behavior as "natural and moral," as his soapbox demands.
He should be commended, however, for correctly quoting the LDS position at the beginning of his article, even if he mocks it for the remainder. He even diverges from his primary theme for a brief moment, as common to most anti-Mormon rhetoric, to claim that the LDS Church "keeps all women in a second-class status well under that of men." That last statement alone shows Mr. Blumenfeld's profound ignorance of LDS theology and is clearly offensive to the many strong LDS women I know who would gladly refute this ridiculous statement!
He went on to share anecdotal evidence that LDS members cause suicides by their shunning of gay people and their families, and even quotes a BYU professor who, after hearing his speech, supposedly committed to him with "a tone of deep sincerity" that he would take his message back to the BYU campus.
And what is Blumenfeld's message? He concludes that the LDS "revelation" on sexuality and gender expressions has indeed hurt and damaged real people, and he asks how many more will kill themselves before the LDS Church leadership receives "divine revelation" to grant full rights and privileges to homosexuals.
Well, I have news for you Mr. Blumenfeld -- that isn't going to happen! While you have every right to disagree with the LDS Church's position on homosexuality, you expose your own bigotry and hypocrisy by accusing and condemning those who have beliefs different from your own. You demand tolerance and acceptance of your beliefs by Mormons and yet you cannot tolerate or accept their beliefs. Apparently, your brand of theology or philosophy doesn't include right and wrong, good and evil, or natural and unnatural, unless you transpose them for your own purposes. I submit that there are indeed absolute truths as opposed to moral relativism.
Yes, there are natural consequences to breaking God's commandments and violating time-tested values regardless of whether you believe in God or not, and, unfortunately, those consequences can be very painful and personal. However, I would submit that many more people are helped by heeding the counsel of LDS and other religious leaders to avoid the pitfalls of immorality than those who are "hurt" as you describe -- and they are "real people" too!
The LDS Church has made it clear that they condemn any immoral behavior, whether homosexual or otherwise -- not the individual. The church treats both homosexuals and heterosexuals who transgress exactly the same. We in the LDS faith understand that the "worth of a soul" is great in the eyes of God and are taught to never shun anyone; however, condoning immoral behavior to lighten one's guilt is not the answer! Having standards and doing our best to live up to those standards helps individuals, families, and communities to become stronger.
There is no question that LDS members, like most everyone in society, should become more tolerant of homosexuals and could learn to be more sensitive and compassionate toward everyone with behaviors different than our own. Basically we all need to become better human beings -- I get that. However, "tolerance" is much different than "acceptance." Accusing a group of people of being prejudiced and discriminatory simply for not accepting a particular behavior as "natural" or "healthy" is inaccurate and wrong. Most people I know are tolerant and do not care what people do in their private lives so long as it doesn't directly impact others negatively, but this isn't about that, is it?
Liberals will not stop until every behavior they want is not only "accepted" but embraced by society, with government sanction and special privileges no less, so as not to hurt anyone's feelings or damage their self-esteem. They will never be satisfied until right and wrong are blurred so much that they cannot be distinguished. The tactics of telling tragic stories and then making villains of those with a different perspective will gain sympathy with those who are easily influenced by emotion rather than principle, but there are many of us who will continue to stand firm. While many other religions and organizations have already yielded to public pressure on this issue, the LDS Church will never do so.
I found it interesting that Mr. Blumenfeld belittled the idea of "revelation" throughout his article; however, if there were ever a time on earth when there was a desperate need for "divine revelation" from God, isn't today that time? For anyone who is looking for and willing to see a revelation from God on this very subject, I encourage you to read "The Family -- A Proclamation to the World" by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Despite ever growing criticism from many sides, I have never been more proud to be a member of this great church which serves as an anchor in a sea of shifting values!
Dahl lives in North Ogden.