Will this hateful rhetoric continue once Boyd K. Packer has passed on?

(Pat Bagley cartoon distributed under license to Main Street Plaza)

Top LDS Apostle Boyd K. Packer: Mormons will always oppose Satan’s counterfeit marriages (transcript attached below)

The age of homophobes is over. They are a throwback to a different age, when people were ignorant of the realities of sexual identity. When Anderson Cooper, a CNN reporter, can openly mock a homophobe (Andrew Shirvell) on the air, you know the age of homophobia is over.

I’m certainly not wishing death on anyone, not even someone as hateful as Mr. Packer; that would be almost as mean as saying what he just did in conference. But I think he is the ring leader among the octo- and novo-generian leadership of LDS Inc. opposing same-sex marriage. There are probably at least a few younger apostles who are either sympathetic or at the very least indifferent to the issue of same-sex marriage (e.g., Henry Eyring and Dieter Uchtdorf strike me as being possible candidates, though they could probably never say so publicly like Marlin Jensen did recently). I’m guessing the current situation is kind of like the blacks and the priesthood situation – a couple of crotchety old holdouts are keeping the leadership from being just 20 years behind the times. Once those holdouts kick the bucket, progress!

I won’t wish for Boyd Packer to die. But I have to wonder what changes will occur when he finally does kick it.

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P.S. Former Student Review staffer and current friend of Main Street Plaza, Eric Ethington (who links to MSP from his blog, Pride in Utah), talks to FOX13 in the second half of this report (Eric’s interview starts at the 1:35 mark):

‘Tough Talk’ on Homosexuality from an Old and Tired Mormon ‘Apostle’ …

ABC4 reports that more than 400 have signed up on Facebook to protest in Salt Lake City (now over 500 600 1,100 as of this posting):

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Transcript:

We raise an alarm and warn members of the Church to wake up and understand whats going on. Parents be alert, ever watchful, that this wickedness might threaten your family circle. We teach a standard of moral conduct that will protect us from Satans many substitutes and counterfeits for marriage. We must understand that any persuasion to enter into any relationship that is not in harmony with the principles of the Gospel must be wrong. In the Book of Mormon we learn that “wickedness never was happiness.” Some suppose that they were “pre-set” and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and the unnatural. Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember, He is our Father.

Paul promised, “God will not suffer you to be tempted above what ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” You can if you will, break the habits and conquer the addiction and come away from that which is not worthy of any member of the church. As Alma cautioned, we must “watch and pray continually.” Isaiah warned, “Wo unto them that call evil good and good evil, that put darkness for light and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

Years ago, I visited a school in Albuquerque. The teacher told me about a youngster who brought a kitten to class. As you can imagine, that disrupted everything. She had him hold up the kitten in front of the children. It went well until one of the children asked, “Is it a boy kitty or a girl kitty?” Not wanting to get into that lesson, the teacher said, “It doesnt matter, its just a kitty.” But they persisted. Finally one boy raised his hand and said, “I know how you can tell.” Resigned to face it, the teacher said, “How can you tell?” And the student answered, “You can vote on it.”

You may laugh at the story. But, if we’re not alert, there are those today who not only tolerate but advocate voting to change lives that would legalize immorality. As if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God’s laws of nature. A law against nature would be impossible to enforce. For instance, what good would the law against – a vote against – the law of gravity do?

There are both moral and physical laws irrevocably decreed in Heaven before the foundation of the world that cannot be changed. History demonstrates over and over again that moral standards cannot be changed by battle and cannot be changed by ballot. To legalize that which is basically wrong or evil will not prevent the pain and penalties that will follow as surely as night follows day.

Regardless of the opposition, we are determined to stay on course. We will hold to the principles and laws and ordinances of the Gospel. If they are misunderstood, either innocently or willfully, so be it. We cannot change, we will not change the moral standards. We quickly lose our way when we disobey the laws of God.

Transcript courtesy of BrinkleyBoy @ r/exmormon

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profxm

I'm a college professor and, well, a professional X-Mormon. Thus, ProfXM. I love my Mormon family, but have issues with LDS Inc. And I'm not afraid to tell LDS Inc. what I really think... anonymously, of course!

151 thoughts on “Will this hateful rhetoric continue once Boyd K. Packer has passed on?

  1. It is now, because you seem quite rational Jonathan, but I read everything else in this line of discussion, which lead me to beleive the contrary. I’m sorry. Theres at least one. But be objective. Look at both sides, look at the scientific evidence presented for both cases. Don’t assume its in born and unchangeable, if there are people who have gotten past it, and now identify themselves as heterosexual. Change comes from within, from those willing to change. Again, i didn’t think I’d keep posting, but its forefront on my mind. Bleh, I’m going to get to my homework now. Hahahaha!

  2. About 15 years ago a study was done in Canada about declining church attendance in all mainstream churches, and the surprising finding was that the churches who were bending over backwards to accommodate one and all, changing long-standing doctrines and policies in an effort to be more inclusive were actually driving people away. When folks want religion, it seems, they want something that will stick to its guns, not be all milquetoast and wavering.

    Just because intolerant churches keep members better than tolerant ones, doesn’t make them right. If anything, it demonstrates that it takes courage to do the right thing and teach tolerance instead of just giving the religious folks what they want.

    So instead of saying, well, lets forget about the slavery part, we should say, lets forget about the bible because its clearly written by someone whos ideas are bigoted and part of a shameful past.

    I wouldn’t recommend forgetting about the Bible — it is important for historical and literary reasons. However, I think it should not be revered as a moral guide (see here).

  3. GAD, I’ve looked over the evidence and weighed it in my mind. The weight of the evidence supports that biological factors outside of an individual’s control play a role in determining sexual orientation. Sexual orientation change efforts do not work and can cause deep psychological damage when people internalize homophobia.

    Even if some people apparently change orientation (although it has been suggested that these rare individuals were actually bisexual and therefore acting within their orientation, not changing it (and most of those who seem to have changed actually go back to homosexuality in the long term)), that doesn’t change that there are some individuals who cannot change orientation.

    If the LDS church expects all homosexuals to attempt to change their orientation or curb their need for companionship and intimacy, then it is expecting at least some people to do the impossible. It is setting up its believers (many of them impressionable children) for failure which results in them believing they are fundamentally unworthy and unlovable. That is cruel and deserves to be opposed from within and without of the LDS church.

    Good luck on your homework. 😉

  4. I think it’s unfortunate that the CoJCoL-dS has decided to select their leader via race to the grave (“last one in is Prophet!”).

    1. It makes it hard to discuss who would make a good leader without it being a discussion of who dies before whom.

    2. Even faithful Mormons grant that not all the prophet’s direction come straight from God. Waiting until people are fit for the nursing home before putting them in charge is obviously going to affect the type of leadership you get.

  5. Yeah, witness the kerfuffle at FMH when someone expressed hope that Packer would die before becoming president of the church. I don’t like wishing people dead, but because of how the church has set it up, since I hope Packer never gets to be president, I am forced to hope he dies sooner than Monson.

  6. Speaking of “legalizing immorality,” take a look at how the “family values” guys vote when the topic is rape: video.

    By coincidence, that one showed up in my reader right after this video about the “It Gets Better” project. Watch them back-to-back, like I did. It’s an interesting contrast…

  7. Gad, while researchers are looking at all kind of factors that might contribute to sexual orientation, every single one of them considers homosexuality a biological trait that cannot be changed.

    Here is a summary of the existing research:
    http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/sexual-orientation.aspx

    Packer is wrong about the nature of homosexuality. Rather than looking at the facts, he begins with dogmatic assumptions and then deduces this and that. Unfortunately, the evidence contradicts his reasoning.

    A humble person would accept that and change his or her opinions accordingly. That takes a lot of courage.

  8. Yeah, witness the kerfuffle at FMH when someone expressed hope that Packer would die before becoming president of the church.

    I was just reading that thread — it inspired my comment. 😉

    because of how the church has set it up, since I hope Packer never gets to be president, I am forced to hope he dies sooner than Monson.

    By the same token, if you want him to be president, you’re saying you want Monson to die first…

  9. @GAD 98: Im sure [Packer]d let us know [if he were gay], thats the point. But he hasnt. If he has, id be happy for him.

    Oh, so you know how GA’s always behave? You know what’s in their hearts? And they’re always open and forthcoming about their personal struggles? Members always get details on GA’s sex lives? We’re wrong to speculate about their behavior and motivation based on what we’ve seen of them and others who take similar [wide] stances, but you are SURE Packer would let us KNOW if he was gay?

    WHY are you sure?

    @Belaja 100: Brand somebody a sinner? said Faust. Dont be surprised if you get clipped a good one in the face. And, I might add, brand somebody immoral, unnatural, an abomination? Why clutch your pearls when people react to that? What the hell did you think was going to happen? It isnt that people just cant leave it alone. Its that the church is going around searing people with a pretty nasty branding iron and expecting them to take it quietly. And playing the victim when people end up kicking back.

    That’s a terrific story. Thanks.

  10. 96 – I’m not sure if GAD is still here and commenting, but I wanted to respond to this. I can’t speak to mormons specifically, but a local cookie business was recently written up (possibly losing their business license) because they refused to make rainbow cookies for a coming out day celebration. So yes, this type of thing happens all the time. The difference is that the tipping point has happened. Forty years ago, no one would have blinked twice over a group not having a cookie order fulfilled. It would not have been a news story.

    The argument over prop.8 and property is interesting. Isn’t taking away property exactly what prop. 8 did to families? GLBT people who aren’t married can’t inherit property if one spouse dies. Or visiting a spouse in the ER? Married hetero couples have many, many advantages – some of which they don’t even realize they have. So to your argument about property – yes, it was as if mormon (and others in CA who supported yes on 8) took away rights and property from GLBT people.

    For the record, many of us here (and elsewhere) denounced the graffiti and any destruction of property of the mormon community. Just as I don’t assume that all mormons supported prop. 8, I also don’t assume that everyone approved of the actions of a few.

    But boycotting businesses is a perfectly acceptable form of protest, one that has been around for quite some time (since the days of boycotting sugar to protest slavery).

  11. To everyone who keeps arguing with GAD that homosexuality is a “biological trait” and therefore Packer should stop his rhetoric, I just have to say that Mormon leaders considered the biological argument long ago and have since decided that whether or not it’s biological, people have control over their behavior. The reason I say this is because talking about biology will fall on deaf ears since Mormons put theology over science. So, the idea that it’s about love rather than scientific fact will have more credence in the long run. Most of the GAs, in fact, don’t expect people to change their orientations, but to simply adapt to the Mormon lifestyle, which everyone can do. The question is whether they should.

  12. Good point, Alan. But that is part of the problem with Packer’s speech. He is denying what other Mormon leaders have already acknowledged.

    To paraphrase a Mormon slogan, denial has never led to happiness.

  13. Alan,

    Some people, like we see in this thread, are still claiming that orientation is a choice. BKP said as much in his talk.

    Also, the biology angle is an important part of the love argument. If a person can’t change their orientation because it is biologically determined, then telling them that their orientation is immoral and unnatural and less worthy than heterosexuals means that they will always be immoral and unnatural and less worthy. That’s a heartbreaking, cruel thing to tell a child.

    That’s like telling a little child, “You are so ugly. You will always be ugly. No one will ever want you. You are such a freak!” That is the antithesis of love.

  14. Jonathan,

    Exactly, which is why church leaders can’t say that an orientation is biologically determined. You have to get into these guys’ heads. If you read through Dallin Oaks’ stances on this topic, he says whether or not orientation can be changed, behavior is important (whereas Packer probably still thinks it can be changed through behavior). No leaders have said it can’t be changed, because of how this makes people “naturally immoral” and even the scientific community would never say its 100% unchangeable, but rather that it’s highly unlikely (putting things in terms of 100% is unscientific). Personally, I think all the sciencey talk obscures the real issue, which is that being gay is a normal variant of human sexuality and not to be shunned.

  15. Agreed.

    I guess I was never really trying to talk to LDS leaders. They won’t listen to me. I’m hoping that my LDS friends will. Maybe they can make their wards and stakes less toxic. And maybe they can get their leadership to keep their uncharitable opinions to themselves.

  16. The reason I say “get into these guys’ heads” is because their source material has a lot of rich content that frames the current discussion, and well, Mormon correlate. If you help people realize why their leadership thinks the way it does, rather than throwing out arguments that their leaders have already taken stances on (such as the biological one), then it creates an intellectual disjoint between the people and the leadership. The leadership are forced to adapt if they wish to remain leaders.

  17. I don’t know of a specific example, but the premise is simple. If you empower a population with the context of both sides of an argument (say, biology versus choice), rather than just argue one side or the other, then that works better.

  18. Or rather, I thought the argument for choice was presented by the LDS church, therefore no need to present it.

    I think I really need an example. Sorry to be dogged about it, but if you can’t think of an example, then I have no hope to come up with one.

  19. Boyd Packer has condemned even celibate gays as evil, and then claims that God wouldn’t make people gay. It’s words like his that drive Mormon teenagers to suicide.

    In fact, according to the Book of Job, God has inflicted righteous people in terrible ways to show that they still loved Him. The children who teased Job because of his afflictions were eaten by dogs sent by God.

    Boyd Packer you’d better listen for the sound of barking. The Hounds of Hell will be after your black soul.

  20. oh my… I feel so WHINEY. I am gay. Gay and I just can’t stand it that people won’t redefine marriage to help me feel better about myself. Whine whine whine..

    oh whine whine… I just know that if only I was allowed the fiction of pretending to be married while still whoring around in gay clubs with strangers. whine whine whine…

    Mean ol’ Boyd Packer shouldn’t tell it like it is that way. It just makes me feel so.. Whiney. I just can’t grow up… I guess I’m destined to live my whiney, immature, boy-cuddling, apostle hating life.

  21. I’m Mormon. Mormon and I just can’t stand that people exist who are different from me and refuse to be ashamed of it. I can’t stand it that people won’t hide who they are or live by my standards in order to make me feel more comfortable and never have to question my beliefs or challenge my assumptions, or face the fact that I’m a massive bigot.

    Those mean old gays should just shut up and let me tell them exactly what rights they do and do not deserve. Everyone should treat my religious leaders with deference and never criticise what they say, even when they demean and dehumanise millions just for being different. All Americans should accept my church’s narrow definition of marriage, and forget the fact that we’re being massive hypocrites and ignore how we redefined traditional marriage and got discriminated against for it.

  22. Oh my, I am feeling so bitchy and whiney today.

    My real name is Craig and I am a gay whiney loserman and I post back and forth to myself because I have no self respect and don’t really like anything decent about life or this world. Full of self loathing… and hating apostles who just tell it like it is, all I can do is hate ….

    and whine whine whine…

  23. PS I like how the troll tries to make “boy-cuddling” sound like an insult when that’s one of the best things about gay men. Just my opinion … don’t judge. Also, it’s totally hot.

  24. “I like how the troll tries to make boy-cuddling sound like an insult”

    And it’s interesting how once again the anti-gay troll has said the gayest thing of anybody on the thread. (What straight guy would think of “boy-cuddling”?) It’s like they can’t talk about gay issues without letting their real feelings show through somehow or other.

  25. How is boy cuddling an insult? I am just a gay whiner. If I sound gay, its because I am… But I whine about it cause that’s how I am. Constantly. And I piss and moan because the Mormon Church won’t bend to my wishes. If only they would just bend over and let me have my way with them, then maybe I wouldn’t feel so bad. God, I hate myself. And I hate the Apostles….. who insist on telling it like it is.

    Whine whine whine whine whine…..

  26. Here is my substantive comment:

    We Whiners hate it when we are confronted with the truth about ourselves.

    We run around upset and then set up blogs on the internet to whine about how people abuse us and gather other whiners around us to all join together in our mutual misery and to celebrate our hatred of the people who we do not like. But we do it all in an atmosphere of openness: “Lets all be free and open and accepting of our mutual negativity”.

    That’s my substantive comment.

    We whiners want to have our cake and eat it too. We want to criticize everyone we dislike and think oppress us, but we can’t stand it when we get criticized for being EXACTLY WHAT WE ARE.

  27. The ‘CODE” This man has lost his core ability to connect with God – EGO is his choice. His stature is small and his sexuality itself,ambiguous. I believe he understands though resistence.

  28. Don’t you know I’m still whinin
    better than I ever did
    Looking like a true mainstreeter,
    feeling up a little kid
    I’m still whinin after all this time
    Picking up the tricks of whinin hard by comin to this site
    I’m still whinin
    yeah yeah yeah
    I’m still whinin
    yeah yeah yeah

  29. The best part is that people who advocate immorality are about 99% more likely to suffer from sexually transmitted diseases and poor relationships. No, this isn’t an actual statistic, so don’t be ignorant and tell me to fact check. It’s just logic (If dudes were meant to sleep together, they wouldn’t have to adopt. If it was right to have sex outside of marriage, you probably wouldn’t get chlamydia).

    Have fun with your AIDS and divorces, guys.

  30. No, this isnt an actual statistic, so dont be ignorant and tell me to fact check. Its just logic

    Hmm, in the question of logic vs. ignorance: Which one goes with fact-checking & actual evidence, and which one goes with pulling absurd, invented statistics out of the air?

  31. Will this hateful rhetoric continue once Boyd K. Packer has passed on? Sadly, yes, for at least another 60 years (I’m assuming Naranjas is 12 years old with a life expectancy of 72). Speaking of relationships, I feel sorry for his media naranja.

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