The 8 things I’d like to ask

I know…I have resigned my membership. So why do I care about the new Mormon church policy update that impacts LGBT Mormons? Why bother stressing about it if I don’t even belong or believe?

Because this was my faith community for 46 years. Because it was how I was raised. Because I have active believing children (and now grandchildren), parents, a sister, extended family and friends that do continue to believe and participate. Because the Mormon church continues to impact those relationships. I have a gay brother whose married to a wonderful man and they’ve been together for a lot of years. During my faith transition, I reached out and made many friends online and became aware of their struggles and pain. I’m a Mama Dragon, even if I don’t have any gay children myself, because LGBT issues have impacted my life. I’ve received private messages over the past couple of years about what it means to be gay in the Mormon church. I have listened to stories of unimaginable pain and anguish. And the most basic reason is because I’m human and I care about people.

So I’ve examined this policy, as currently written (with no clarification issued yet), and engaged in a lot of discussions. While doing this, I’ve compiled a list of questions – questions that the video the church released with Elder Christofferson left unanswered. Here they are:

#1 – Since the primary reason for the policy given by Elder Christofferson was to protect the children from mixed messages, how does this policy accomplish that when it only bans them from saving ordinances while allowing/encouraging them to attend church? If this is the primary concern, why not ban them from attending our church services all-together until they’re 18? How does the church reconcile the mixed messaging happening for children in other families that are living in situations where parents are living in ways that don’t align with church doctrines/policies? Like non-members, those engaged in sexual activity outside of marriage, those with addiction issues, those living with partners but unmarried, those that have left the church, apostates, etc. If the church is trying to prevent mixed messaging or family conflict, why aren’t these same rules applicable for all children under age 18? Are they still working on policy updates for those children/families as well? Because there are many children currently participating in the church the hear messages that conflict with what they hear and see at home.

# 2 – Does the church anticipate that the children of gay parents will still attend church with these new rules? Do they hope that grandparents, family members and friends will continue to bring these children to primary, church and youth activities? Will the church be encouraging that? If so, how does the church envision this experience working for both those children and the adults teaching primary/YM/YW? Because the messaging will be the same. And they won’t be able to fully participate in some things (baptism, blessing/passing the sacrament, temple trips, ordinations). Does the church plan on altering the manuals to help teachers and leaders prepare for these situations and how to make the children feel truly involved/included?

# 3 - Since baby blessings are not a saving ordinance, and viewed as a celebration of a child’s birth, and are done for children whose parents are inactive/non-members, why is this different for children with gay parents? The reason given, during the video, was it creates a membership record and starts ward responsibilities for that child. But that happens with other children, as well, whose parents may not even be attending or believe (and living in situations where mixed messaging will happen). Is the church concerned about having the gay couples names on the certificate of blessing? Or in the church system listed as a family unit?  If so, why? Wouldn’t the church want primary/ward leaders and members to reach out to these children, just like they do for inactive families?

# 4 - Why is the church just now enacting these changes when same-sex marriage has been legal in roughly 20 other countries for anywhere between 1 year and more than 10 years? The total church membership in those countries is about 2.5 million. The church has said this is to protect children and families. Was the church concerned about the children and families in these other countries as well? And, if so, why did they wait until marriage laws changed in the U.S. when this is a global church?

# 5 –  How does the church view support of same-sex marriage for members now? In this interview with Elder Christofferson in March 2015, he stated:

“Our approach in all of this, as (Mormon founder) Joseph Smith said, is persuasion. You can’t use the priesthood and the authority of the church to dictate. You can’t compel, you can’t coerce. It has to be persuasion, gentleness and love unfeigned, as the words in the scripture.”
There hasn’t been any litmus test or standard imposed that you couldn’t support that if you want to support it, if that’s your belief and you think it’s right,” Christofferson said after a Jan. 27 news conference.

We have individual members in the church with a variety of different opinions, beliefs and positions on these issues and other issues,” Christofferson said. ” … In our view, it doesn’t really become a problem unless someone is out attacking the church and its leaders — if that’s a deliberate and persistent effort and trying to get others to follow them, trying to draw others away, trying to pull people, if you will, out of the church or away from its teachings and doctrines.

The current policy update states that children with gay parents, in a same-sex marriage, will need to disavow this practice in order to be baptized or serve a mission. Does that mean regular members can support it, but children with gay parents can’t? What about after they are baptized and 18 years old? Or after they return home from their mission? At that point are they allowed to support it like the rest of the members?

# 6 – Now that the church has included same-sex married couples in the definition of apostasy/apostates, are the temple recommend questions going to be altered to reflect this? Especially the question that asks:

“Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?” 

Does this mean belonging to a group like Mama Dragons is a violation of this? Since they support their children and others that live with their partners or get married? What about parents who support their gay children that are doing this? What about being a member of a LGBT support group that supports these as valid options like Affirmation?

# 7 – We’ve heard rumblings that there will be some clarification or additional training coming forth to help expand on this written policy. If this is the case, and the church was planning on doing this from the start, why didn’t Elder Christofferson mention this during the video? The video was released late the following evening and the media and online discussions had been happening for 24 hours. Many people were upset, confused, surprised and honestly shocked at this update and wording. The church would have been well aware of this by the time they began filming the video. Wouldn’t it have been good timing for the church to reassure the members that further clarifications would be forthcoming? And that the church recognized there were a myriad of individual circumstances that would need to be taken into account? That the church was aware of the pain and anguish this policy was resulting in, and that they would work hard to expand on the language to help local leadership understand how to implement this? The policy change became public on November 5, the video was released on Nov 6, and it is now November 12. There has been no clarification. If the church had these exceptions/clarifications prepared, why is it taking so long to release them? Or is this delay due to not anticipating the need for these?

# 8 – If the church provides additional clarification, and allows exceptions for children who have divorced parents (mixed-orientation marriage), how will these exceptions work? Will it be based on specific percentage requirements for the amount of time they can live in the home of the parent that is cohabiting or in a same-sex marriage? After they turn 18, does this requirement end (say, for instance, a student at BYU that lives with a gay parent during a term break)?

OK so perhaps it was more like 8 groups of questions I’d like to ask!

Mormon Trolls, Gorgons and Orcs, and Being Tired of Good People

Currently the most posted story in my Facebook feed is this excellent NY Times op-ed from Ta-Nehisi Coates, entitled “The Good, Racist People.”  Coates uses the recent frisking of Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker as an opportunity to analyze the racism of “good” people:

In modern America we believe racism to be the property of the uniquely villainous and morally deformed, the ideology of trolls, gorgons and orcs. We believe this even when we are actually being racist. In 1957, neighbors in Levittown, Pa., uniting under the flag of segregation, wrote: “As moral, religious and law-abiding citizens, we feel that we are unprejudiced and undiscriminating in our wish to keep our community a closed community.”

The same principle applies to homophobia.  There are “good” people who argue that their homophobia isn’t really bigotry because they’re not actually afraid of gay people, plus their reasons for wanting to prevent gay people from marrying aren’t anything objectionable–they’re deeply held religious beliefs!  Besides, these good people know and are polite to gay people when forced to interact with them.  They manage to have entire conversations where they never once tell a gay person that they think she’s both symptom and cause of our society’s moral decay and destined for hell.  These people are too good to deserve a label reserved for bad people–you know, bigots.  Plus, they’re right.  God told them they’re right.  That means they’re automatically not bigots, because what they’re expressing is not a human prejudice–it’s god’s will!

The same principle applies to sexism and misogyny.  There are “good” people who argue that their misogyny isn’t really bigotry because they don’t actually hate women–they are a woman, or they married one, or they’re related to a bunch!  They just have deeply held religious beliefs that tell them that women are, by divine decree, ordained to hold a somehow subordinate-but-equal status to men in every human social group from the nuclear family to the local church congregation to God’s supposedly world-wide organization for caring for his children’s needs on earth.  They just have deeply held religious beliefs that entitle them to tell women what they are allowed to do with their bodies and how they must dress, what types of goals they are allowed to have.  These people are too good to deserve a label reserved for bad people–you know, bigots.  Plus, they’re right.  God told them they’re right.  That means they’re automatically not bigots, because what they’re expressing is not a human prejudice–it’s god’s will!

Here’s the thing: If you try to deny another group of people rights you claim for yourself–the right to buy a sandwich without getting frisked, the right to marry another consenting adult, the right to preside–then you’re a bigot, and you deserve to be called one.  You  might have a great sense of humor and many people, me included, might have laughed at your jokes.  You might be admired for the generosity you show your family and respected for your intelligence, by all sorts of people, including me.  But just as you deserve to be recognized for the way you have chosen to develop the traits of humor, generosity and intelligence, you deserve to be recognized for the way you have chosen to the develop the trait of bigotry.

Obviously, I’m discussing current defenses of Mormon homophobia and misogyny.  Obviously, not all Mormons are bigots.  Obviously, some Mormons are.  For some Mormons, it is their faith–their belief in the universal availability of God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice–that makes them oppose bigotry in all its forms, even and especially within the church.  For some Mormons, it is their faith–their belief in racist doctrines from the church’s past, their trust in homophobic beliefs and political agendas of current leaders, their reliance on well-entrenched but still unjustified gender assumptions–that makes them bigots who defend the church’s continued bigotry.

South Pacific, the famous Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, had an agenda.  In particular, it tackled racism.  There’s a song called “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught” that goes

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

Bigoted Mormon adults pass their bigotry on their children, very, very early.  Consider this guest post at the Cultural Hall from Marie Brian, the amazing Cotton Floozy:

My daughter is nine years old. ‘Why haven’t you been baptized?’ the kids asked her. ‘Don’t you know that you will go to hell unless you get baptized?’

And so now my daughter goes to church with her grandparents. She is doing better now that she fits in — now that they won’t tease her for being different.

Sister Floozy concludes with some pretty sound advice:

I didn’t stop going to church because of the whole murky history thing. I stopped going because I felt that the church stopped teaching the Doctrine of Love…

As long as we teach that feminism, gayness, and intellectualism is a sin, I cannot be a part of such an institution. As long as we condone exclusivity over inclusivity, I cannot raise my hand in sustaining. As long as we teach our children that being gay is bad and only church-approved socially-constructed ideas of a perfect family are good, I cannot send my daughter to church without stressing the eff out….

If the church would make its buildings reverberate with tolerance, acceptance, and love, they wouldn’t have to worry about the members who are leaving the church in droves. They would keep the members, because people would instinctively love to attend, to bask in the warmth of a Jesus-like atmosphere, to share the pews with anyone and everyone — those pants-wearing ladies, the gay couples, and the transsexual children of God. That is the kind of church I want. Maybe, this is wishful thinking. I hope not.

If the church would make its buildings reverberate with tolerance, “good” Mormons wouldn’t have to defend themselves against the charge that they are bigots, because they very likely wouldn’t be bigots.

And before anyone gets all “Yeah, well, you’re being bigoted against bigots!” on this post, let me use Coates’ example to point out that there’s a big difference between saying, “You treated my friend like a criminal when he tried to patronize your business, so I’m not going to patronize it anymore” and saying, “Hey, you’re trying to shop while black!  I don’t trust you!”  Let me use Marie’s example to point out that there’s a big difference between saying, “You’re pretty much a mean jerk who says awful things about people I love when we hang out, so I don’t want to hang out with you anymore” and saying, “I don’t approve of how you spend your Sundays, so I’m going to be mean to you during the week.”

Removing yourself from someone’s company and explaining why you don’t want to keep that company is not the same thing as treating someone badly when you are forced to interact.  Allowing people to do their own thing and doing your own thing away from them is not the same thing as trying to deny someone the right to do their own thing because you don’t think they deserve a right you claim so readily.

And those two essays explain, in case you wondered, why so many people conclude that they are “tired of good people, that [they’ve] had all the good people [they] could take.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

A MESSAGE TO ALL HOMOPHOBIC PEOPLE AND A LETTER TO MY MOTHER

A MESSAGE TO ALL HOMOPHOBIC PEOPLE

Another 17 year old boy named Jack Denton Reese committed suicide on April 22 in Mountain Green, Utah after being bullied for being feminine and/or gay, the day before his boyfriend Alex Smith spoke at a panel about the bullying Jack experienced.  The panel was held in connection with the screening of the documentary film, “Bullied.” Alex did not even know that his boyfriend had already killed himself the day before the panel convened. “You’ll always be remembered,” wrote a close friend on the mortuary’s guest book. “I know you’re looking down on us all right now, telling us all to be ourselves no matter what people say or how harshly they judge. I know it because that’s all you wanted. I love you, Jack. Love forever in our hearts. You’re amazing just the way you are.” And “I remember Jack when he was in our ward and when he would pass the sacrament,” reads another entry. “What a handsome and dedicated young man!” Jack attended Morgan and Weber High schools. On April 27, Weber High students attended class in their Sunday best in Jack’s honor.

Although I am not personally so affected by personal attacks on me (at least I do not let it show), my heart bleeds and my soul aches with severe pain and extreme anguish when I read these stories; and the tears come gushing out.  Jack and his boyfriend Alex are so cute, cuddly and adorable and innocent looking, that it hurts me all the more and makes the intense pain unforgettable.  It almost makes me want to go out and kill those dam f$&%ing bastards who did the bullying (and I do not care if you pardon my French or Not). I am simply baffled and hurt, and cannot believe that this innocent boy is no longer with us and that his gorgeous and awesome presence will no longer be around for us to see him grow up to be a man.  I don’t just cry, but I bawl every time that I look at his beautiful and flawless face.  How can anyone in this cruel world, possibly want to hurt or tease, or ridicule or in any fashion bully this most wonderful and adorable boy.

It is my greatest hope that those who provoked this beautiful child to kill himself and cause so much pain to his equally gorgeous boyfriend, that they suffer the pains of hell and degradation that only a vengeful God in all his wrath and fury can unleash to their miserable souls.  May they rot in hell and in endless and eternal torment with gnashing of teeth and the pains of eternal damnation and May a Just God grind their souls into the oblivion of “outer darkness.”  God the Father says that I must forgive them, but He, God, does not have to forgive them and it is my wish that he not forgive them as he says he does not have too.  Oh how exquisite and endless will be their pain and no man will know the eternal torment of these dammed souls, only those assigned to the awful pit of hell and the internal endless lake of fire and the smoke that ascends up forever and ever, only they will know the eternal anguish of that dark and horrible place.  Give them all you got Lord God and do not hold back one iota of your eternal wrath, even the endless wrath of almighty God the Father who is quick and powerful and slow to hear the cries of the wicked.  I personally never want to see them again or hear their hatred and prejudice and bigotry and cruel remarks again.

I may have to forgive such people but I do not have to forget and I do not have to wish for God to forgive them either and I certainly do not, hell no!  I may even be commanded to love such individuals but I do not and will not love, condone, or in any way accept their evil actions and intentions for which they will suffer for all of eternity.  God did not say that I could not hate and loathe their damnable behavior for which he God will never forgive or give pardon to.  Christians say “Love the sinner but hate the sin” and that is exactly what I am doing here and I am no hypocrite either. (Thanks for letting me vent).

MY LAMENTATION:

My, my, my how I cry, cry, cry and say why, why, why and want to die, die, die and I hope you sigh, sigh, sigh when you nod good bye, bye, bye to the kid who die, die, die died.

IT’S PRETTY “LAME” ALRIGHT, ISN’T IT?

I will never forget the story of Jack Reese and his boyfriend Alex Smith.  Just another Gay Mormon boy child whose candle went out to soon like a candle in the wind, even before we got to know the beautiful baby or even say good bye!

I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO SAY TO WHOEVER MAY BE INTERESTED:

My comprehension of my own life is that I am a truly wise person; I know this because I have been told by many that I have the gift of discernment and the bible says that all who have the gift of discernment especially at a young age, and I did at the ripe old age of 10 years old, are truly those individuals that will not only have wisdom but will be wise indeed AND NOT BE CONFOUNDED.

A MESSAGE AND LETTER TO MY MOTHER IF SHE WERE PRESENT

So in conjunction with that I wish to say to my Mother, if she were still alive; and she is not:

Hi Mom its Robin Lee Johnson here, your second oldest son who grew up like the oldest because I was the only boy amongst my siblings after my older brother passed away.  I have wanted to tell you that when you clapped your hands over your ears, and yelled at me at the top of your lungs: “Shut the F%$#@ up!!, and don’t ever speak to me about this again” when I tried to tell you that I was being repeatedly and forcibly molested at the ranch; you really hurt my feelings and made me think that you did not love me or even care about me at all.  Not only that, but you did not protect me, and so I was repeatedly molested again and again after that and raped also.  There was no use telling you, because you would not listen to me in the first place.  I learned to be helpless because I was being forced to do something I did not want to do, and no one was there to help me, not you Mom, or Dad either.  Only Cassie my little 5 year old sister tried to help when I asked her for her help, but failed also, in the end, because he viciously threatened and scared her away.  I was hurt badly and still bear the deep emotional wounds of your actions (and lack of appropriate actions) to this day, some 40 years later!

Because I was emotionally damaged for your lack of intervention on my part, I hold you responsible for many of my emotional problems and mental illnesses with their accompanying years of psychological as well as physical pain.

I can only imagine how you would react to the news that I am a faggot, queer or homosexual.  Would you react the same way as when I tried to tell you I was being molested by an ugly 52 year old man when I was just 10 years old?  Would you support your only surviving son, out of the 14 boys that you conceived but never got to raise?  Or would you just hate me for being gay and therefore show to me that it was wise of the Lord to not let you raise my other brothers because in all likelihood some of them would probably be homosexual also.

You were there for my older sister when she got raped at gun point and also for my two younger sisters when they were molested by that “Hell’s Angel” character; and you did all in your power to bring them to justice including court trials in which I even testified at when I was just 12 years old.  Why did you try and help them and not me?  Are you that different in your treatment of girls over boys or are you so homophobic that the very thought of me being with another male disgusted you to the point of holding back your love from me in my greatest time of need?!?

In any case, I forgive you only because I have the capacity to do so, and God has commanded me to do so.  But until I die, I will always wonder if you will accept me for who I am when you know the truth about me; that I am gay as hell!  I always figured that it would be Dad that would reject me for my sexual orientation and even want to go out and shoot me in order to put away that filthy faggot!

Daddy did not really support me being gay, but at least he did not reject me either.  He did not understand me being gay and I suspect that he does not even understand the homosexual people at all, not the slightest clue; because like the Mormon Church, he does not give it the time of day, because he has always believed that homosexuality was simply evil.

I do not blame my Dad for his attitude, because he was taught this attitude by the Mormon Church and other so-called Christian organizations and people.  My Dad was not sophisticated enough to be able to tell when someone was wrong or right, especially not in social and family issues or even matters of the heart.  He was simple, yet he agreed with those he chose to agree with and would say: “to hell with everyone else.”  My Dad even told me that he was angry with the Church leaders, who he said had no right to excommunicate me like they did and that he felt that they were wrong.  In that way I did get some support from my Dad, but I do not know if it was more or less that he usually disagreed with Church leaders anyway, or if it really was just supporting his son over the Church.  Either way, I am glad that he said what he said.  In a lot of ways my Daddy was cool and a somewhat fair man, but a poor man just the same; poor financially and spiritually.  I love my father, so don’t get me wrong, he never tried to destroy us with words like my Mother was always trying to do to us kids.

Also don’t misunderstand me Mom; and think that I do not love you, because I do; and I am not taking Dad’s side over yours either, it is just that you are the one that failed me when I was always loyal to you.  This is something that you did not understand, like the day you permanently exiled me from your life and told me to “get the F@#$%& out of my house, and I hope the door hits you in the ass on the way out too” when I was 17 years old and a junior in high school.  You were the one that got me put in a foster home because you fought with our Landlord about my sister not doing the dishes, and then you, because of your pride, threw our butts on the street, not because the landlord said we had to go, but because you were angry.  And when I tried to inquire as to when I could move back home, after you and my younger sisters had moved back home already, and you asked me first before I could open my mouth, “So when are you going to move back in son” you threw me out of the house because I answered “I don’t know…” (You did not let me finish, either!)

You did this because you thought, I was not sure that I wanted to move back home, because like usual, you did not let me finish talking, for I was trying to say: “I do not know, when do you want me to move back in, because I am ready at any time to move back in, but it is your call.”  Mom, you have always been the boss, no one in this world tells you what to do, that is why I answered the way that I did.  But you assumed that I was going to say something like: ‘I don’t know if I really want to move back in’ and thus you figured that I was not being absolutely loyal to you.

Quite ironic when you think about it though, isn’t it?  The fact that you were the one that was not loyal to me on several occasions and I was never disloyal to you ever.  So if you threw me out of the house when I was a minor child, and did not give me a chance to explain myself, all because I did not answer a question of yours exactly the way you wanted me too, then I can only imagine what wrath you would pour down on me when you discover that, God forbid, my son is queer!  I for one fear your wrath, more than the wrath of Almighty God.  I ask for your forgiveness mother, in advance, if I have offended you in anyway; for you always said that we were a reflection upon you, and that whatever we did either complimented you or were an embarrassment to you.  I can only hope that you are not embarrassed by me because I am gay!

Your Loving son Robin Lee Johnson!

GAY COUPLE FIND GREAT HAPPINESS AT LAST, DESPITE MORMON BISHOP’S HOMOPHOBIA

I am now, and have been for over 11 months to date, very happy and my depression has become almost non-existent.  I have found out for myself, that being gay or homosexual, is not only right for me, but also can be enjoyed, and bring much joy to the lives of gay people.  Life is beautiful, and God has blessed me abundantly since I came out of the closet for the second time in my life.  Since “wickedness never was happiness,” I must not be all that wicked after all, because I am very happy!  I am happier than I have ever been at this time, in this life of mine, so far now.

I Prayed, back in October 2011, to Heavenly Father for help and understanding, and more specifically, for a boyfriend.  I reasoned with the Lord on the fact that in the Bible, God granted to the children of Israel, what they wanted, even though it was not his will for them to have what they longed for.  The children of Israel wanted meat, and God wanted them to have “Manna” that he had so graciously provided for them.  It was not the Lord’s will that they have meat.  But the Lord did bend his will to the will of the people.  They got their meat in the form of Quail.  In a similar fashion, his children wanted a King, but the Lord was their King, and therefore, it was not his will that they have an earthly King.   However, once again the Lord gave in to the will of the people, because of his love for them.  Granted, certain consequences befell them for this desire, but the point is; the Lord is willing to compromise, if his children desire something bad enough or if their hearts desire for it, is great enough.

In my case, I desired a boyfriend who would be able to love me.  I even asked for a nineteen year old male, so that I would recognize his hand in the matter, if my wishes were realized.  I also thought to myself; if the boy is real cute and likes older men that will be a sign unto me that the Lord approved.  I, in turn, covenanted that I would be a help to the young man in question and help a fellow Gay man, deal with his being Gay.  I did not know that this could happen or not, but I remained VERY hopeful.  You could say I had faith that Heavenly Father would bless me, or at least answer me.

Well, I have had a new boyfriend for 9 months now, and I love him very much and he loves me very much.  He was 19 years old, and is very cute to me.  He is everything that I hoped for and much more.  He is just my perfect type also.  His name is George Cody Allen Circle, and he is gay, but he was suicidal over being gay.  I have kept my part of the bargain, and I have been a tremendous help to Cody.  His mother and step-father really think I am helping him as well, and they really appreciate all that I do for their son.  I have brought Cody from the brink of suicide, to being very happy with his life.  I still have a challenging work to do ahead of me, but I am up to the task.  I will not be doing this alone however; I will use the aid of professional help for Cody.  I am helping Cody with Doctors, Psychiatrists and Medications and getting his insurance squared away.  I also help him with spiritual and emotional matters.  Cody also has mental illnesses, like I do, primarily due to his issues with homosexuality and dealing with the rejection he gets from the world at large, but especially his family and former Church—The Church of Christ, in Muskogee; but his Mother supports him also on the issue of being Gay.  Cody needs more support than this though, he really needs me, especially now that his grandfather rejects him and said that he wants nothing to do with him anymore, even though he helped raise Cody from 3 years old.  His Step-grandmother totally rejects him now that he has come out to them about his homosexuality.  She thinks she will get AIDS from him.  How ignorant is that and so uneducated are his grandparents.

Cody and I met at a critical time for both of us.  We need each other more than we want each other, and we want each other very much.  Our relationship is not based strictly on sexual attractions alone, as I very much knew that it would not be.  Our relationship is based on Love and companionship and all the other attributes that I mentioned in my previous documents.  Our relationship is based also on mutual respect for each other and it sparks much growth for both of us.  Cody was looking for an older, more mature person to have a relationship with, he told me so himself.  I believe with all my heart that God has brought us together for a purpose, and that purpose is good.  Now Cody smiles, which he didn’t do before.  I am like a surrogate father to Cody, and he likes that, especially since his earthly father past away when Cody was 8 years old, and he has no adopted father.  His grandfather does not even try to understand his same-sex attraction, because he’s a minister of the “Church 0f Christ” in Muskogee; and his step-father is very abusive.

I have not been going to Church, because of my homophobic bishop, but now that my depression is gone, and I have become stronger, I plan to go back to Church, but in a different ward.  Other members, like my friend Eddie Yadon, have left the ward also, primarily because of the Bishop, and because of the atmosphere that this bishop has created in the ward.  Most of the ward is happy with the bishop, mostly because they do not like to think negatively about anyone, especially their bishop.  The bishop has, however, created a lot of negative feelings and negative vibes in the ward that continues to go on behind the scenes.  It really is a shame that this is going on.  My bishop and Cody’s grandfather are a lot alike; they both totally reject us because of religious prejudices.  The more devout people are to their religion, the more hate they have for gay people.

Cody and I have more things in common than you could possibly ever realize.   We are extremely affectionate and loving to each other.  I find it hard to really understand why he loves me so much, but of course I love him with all my heart and soul, and he says the same to me all the time.  He means everything to me, and I would not give him up for anything that this world has to offer.  We truly share our lives together, do literally everything together, he even goes to all my doctor appointments with me.  Already, he cannot stand to be without me, and I cannot stand to be without him for any length of time.  For instance, he will walk all the way to Wal-Mart or Big Kmart with me and back, just not to be with me for a couple of hours.  I believe we have a strong interdependency for each other now.  Nothing or no one is going to come between us, or lesson our powerful love for each other.  Cody tells me he loves me, more than 40 times a day or more.   We are extremely close!

We watch movies, play games, play video games together and everything else everyday.  Cody Circleis the boyfriend of my dreams, come true!  My wife told me, that whenever she died, she wanted me to get a boyfriend and be happy.  I know, that she knew, that I could only be truly happy in a gay relationship and not in a heterosexual relationship.  She loved me so much, that her hopes for me were that I find a boyfriend or lover, and get married to him.  Cody and I consider ourselves a married couple, even though that is not legal in this state yet.  However, we had ourselves our own ceremony, and he wears my ring.  Cody likes to think of me as the “girl” in this relationship, and I only see him as a “boy.”

Cody tells me that he thinks that gay relationships are better than straight relationships, because we get along so well together.  The only thing that bothers either one of us is mood swings that we both have, because we are both bipolar.  We both have schizophrenia and depression, anxiety, issues with rage and anger, yet we are always kind and gentle with each other.  The thing that I worry about the most is that Cody tells me that if I leave him, or I die, that he will kill himself for sure.  Also, he wants to go to The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints with me.  This is fine with me, however, he wants the Church to accept his same-sex attraction as normal and love him just the way he is, as a gay man, and us as a gay couple.  In the recent past, when the “Christ for the World” church rejected us as gay, he tried to kill himself, and I had to stop him.  It took weeks for him to recover from depression over this situation.  I just don’t want another situation like this with the Mormon Church.  I have warned him about my bishop, and told him that we will go to another ward, but he wants to show my present bishop that we are a couple.  I do not want to make the bishop hate me any more than he already does right now, so I do not think that is such a good idea, but I understand why he does.

Cody, bless his sweet heart, wants to find a church that will rejoice over our new found happiness as a couple, and not reject us at all.  I know that he will not find this in the Mormon Church, and this worries me.  I do not want to forsake Jesus Christ’s true Church, but I will not forsake Cody and our relationship either.  I have never, ever, been this happy in all of my hard and miserable life, until now.  Now, doesn’t my happiness matter to anyone, or not?  Why should I become miserable again, just to please others, and so they can think that I am doing the right thing, when it is not right for me to do so?  I plan to stay in this relationship and keep it just the way it is.  Cody and I are both very happy right now, for the first time in a long time.  Cody is right for me and I am right for him.  Cody tells me that he has not been this happy with his life in years and years; and I am not going to mess that up at all!

On November of last year, 2010, on the 14th day of the month, Cody asked if he could come over to my apartment and visit.  After he did so, in the evening of the same day, he asked if he could spend the night with me.  I said yes, and he did so.  After that, he has never left my side and did not even want to go home and get his things and he asked to move in with me, and I agreed readily and happily.  He is now on my Lease with the housing authority, and he is my lover, and husband, and as you can easily see, he is very, very happy.       I will not do anything that threatens his emotional health and cause him to become depressed and unhappy again!  We are happy now and that is all that matters to me at this time.  Cody was not happy before he met me; this is what he told me.

We are openly gay, and we are not hiding anything from anyone.  The whole building of 200 apartments knows that we are gay and that we are a couple as well.  Cody wants everyone to know that he is gay, and is ready and willing to “kick anyone’s ass” that has a problem with it.  He is much bolder about his sexuality, and he is helping me accept myself, more than I have in the past.  My self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence have all gone to heights previously unknown to me before.  The Church was never able to do all of that for me before.  That is because the Church members do not accept me as I am and still do not.  I know that it is their rejection of my sexuality and same-sex attraction that make me unhappy and miserable, because I cannot do what they want me to do, or change my life for them.  They do not know how to make me happy.  Their way has never worked for me, not in 44 years now, and I really tried very hard to make it work their Gospel way also.

Brother Marcellus and Patrick L. and Brother Parks came over to my place with the new Elders Quorum President, Brother Ferguson, the other day.  They read in Alma of the Book of Mormon, the story of Korihor, an Anti-Christ individual, who went around bad mouthing the Church, and leading people away from Christ.  I already knew the story (almost by heart), and could have told them from memory, the story.  I do not know if they were suggesting that I was like unto Korihor or not; but it seemed that way.  After we read the scripture, we had a short discussion. This visit, supposedly by persons, who care about me, left me deeply depressed and I was suicidal for about a week following the visit.  It took me a couple of weeks to get over the depression, and mood swings.  All they did was hurt me deeply.  I can’t help how sensitive I am, but they can stop being so insensitive to me like they are.  Patrick was the only one who I knew that loved me.  The others just want to save my soul, by destroying me socially (i.e. break me up with Cody).  They have proven to me, that I cannot trust them with my feelings.  They hurt me, more than they will ever know or admit to.  This is not what I need from the Church right now.  I need love and support and empathy, but I know that I am not going to get this from these homophobic members of the Church.  They never befriend me or visit me socially, just try and change me to what they think will fit with their understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or I should say, their interpretation of the Gospel as they see fit.  Gordon Bintner Hinckley, former President of the Church taught that we did not choose to be gay and that it was not our fault that we are Gay either.

Brother Ferguson I like, but Brother Marcellus only made me upset and hate myself and want to die.  He says that I choose to be gay. This is opposite of what President Hinckley taught.  Yet he does agree with Hinckley, in that, I should remain celibate my entire life, or at least what is left of it.  This is the man that my friends in the Church, thought would be understanding and help me with my feelings.  How, by destroying me?  Because that is what would happen if I committed suicide, and that is all he caused me to have, is thoughts of suicide and hurt feelings.  He seems to think, like this is all new to me, and discounts the fact that I have been dealing with this issue all my life.  Cody has been dealing with this issue since he was a kid also; like when he was just eight years old, the same age I knew I was gay also.

It does not get better unless you can accept yourself for who you are.  Because this same-sex attraction was not going away, and it never did either; nor do I believe that it ever will.  Like some of the Church President’s have said: it will be settled in the next life.  I am sure the Lord will be much fairer about it, than the Church members are now.  Christ ways are not our ways, and our ways are not his ways.

I hope that I will not become depressed again, from going back to Church, and having to deal with the homophobes.  I believe that I can go back to Church and be happy, as long as my husband goes with me and we are not harassed by members of the Church, or the leaders either.  I do not expect anyone in the Church to understand my relationship with Cody.  I will not be telling anyone about my lifestyle, at least not in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This way I will not be giving the members cause to further persecute or harass me and my husband.  Neither one of us needs anymore of that in our life.

One thing that I have always wanted to know from the Lord is: why do I have same-sex attraction in the first place, and no attraction to the opposite sex?  I have a good understanding of why, scientifically speaking, but not any real spiritual answers so far.  I have covered that information in my first and second Manifesto, and I will not elaborate here.  I know that many heterosexual people have the opinion that we queers chose to be this way.  They are dead wrong of course, and are not qualified to speak to this matter, because they can not empathize with the gay communities.  The old saying: “it takes one, to know one” really applies here.  My very good psychiatrist’s opinions are very relevant here also, which they said: “only you can know your own feelings and not someone else.”  They were so right, and most people with common sense, also have come to an understanding, that being gay or lesbian, is something that the individual homosexual, did not just decide to become a faggot or lesbo, and that they cannot change themselves from being that either.  It is just the straight Mormons and other churches also who have a lack of understanding about gays, and these straight Mormons are stuck in the dark ages still, on this issue of human sexuality and the gay world.  They do not want to leave their “comfort zone” either.  They cannot empathize or even sympathize with gay’s either.  Some so called Christians are now preaching hate and murder of gays here in the USA and in other countries.  One church holds up signs that say “God Hates the Gay’s” and another says “Death to All Fags.”  I have even heard it in Mormon Church’s also.  Hatred of homosexuals is much higher in the Mormon Church than you might think it is.  Most will not admit this to your face though; just behind your back.

Mormon leaders have the correct understanding about gays, because of revelations to them; see “the First Presidency Letter of November, 14th 1991” for details.  It’s not like these average straight Mormon members, are going to actually study out the issue themselves, like I have already done.  Instead, they would rather hang onto the same beliefs that were believed in, all through the “Dark Ages” regarding homosexual people.  Thus, they ignore, and are in non-compliance with our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the enlightenment that our deities have already provided.  Most members of the Mormon Church are not even cognizant of the revelation given to President Ezra Taft Benson in 1991.  These Mormon members here in Oklahoma, are 20 years behind in their understanding of homosexuality.  This is because, the subject is taboo in their eyes, and not something they care to learn about at all.  They have their own opinions and they do not want to change it.   They should educate themselves.

Straight Mormon members ought to read: “Born That Way” by Erin Elderidge and “Fred’s Story” which are usually available through Deseret Bookstore.  Both of these books helped me very much.  My Stake President Mark Ralph Sylvester, in California, gave me a copy of “Fred’s Story” because it was recommended by Salt Lake Leaders, not only for the bishops to read, but to let known gay members, that they were counseling, read also.  This book was written by a Mormon Psychologist, who studied homosexuality at none other than Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah.  The book has extra wide margins on each and every page of the book, for the gay individual to take notes, or write personal experiences down, and other comments and thoughts that the information in the book relates to the reader.  I read the entire book and filled every margin in the book with comments and my understanding of the subject back then.  This book helped me and my Bishop, or “Bish” (as we priests affectionately called him), come to a much better understanding of homosexuality, and all the problems I was having with it.  My Bishop valued what I wrote in the Margins so much that he kept the book to this very day.  He would not give it back even though I asked for it many times.  Mark told me that what I had written in the margins had helped him much and that it was helping a lot of others as well that were struggling with same-sex attraction or homosexuality.

This California bishop, counseled me monthly from the age of 15 {picture below} thru the 1½ years while he was my bishop, and the 3 years while he was a counselor in the Stake Presidency, and then for 14 years while he was my Stake President.  He has been my Priest Advisor, My Young Men’s President, My Bishop and Stake Counselor, Stake President, and most of all, my mentor and best friend.  Mark was later called to the High Council, then Scout Master, then Bishop again, and now Stake President again.  The Lord keeps calling him to leadership positions in the Church because of his gentle nature, and his tender hearted feelings toward the members of the Church, especially those he counsels with.  Mark is especially helpful to gay members in the Church.  I told a friend of mine, who was gay, to talk to President Sylvester; and that Mark would be able to help him, and he did.  My friend, Gayland Cook, who was considered the “Black Sheep” of his family, could not thank me enough for recommending he talk to Mark.  Gayland told me that talking to Mark, changed his life for the better.  Mark has now helped a lot of Gay’s in the Mormon Church.

Mark loved me into the Church, got me active again at 16 years old and he then laid his hands on me, and bestowed the holy priesthood on me making me a Priest.  He set me apart as an Elder, and took me to the Temple for the first time; he gave me many blessings by the laying on of hands.  Mark put in my Mission papers and helped me prepare for my Mission, because I did not have a Father to do so.  He was like a Father to me and he said this as well, on my mission farewell, which he spoke at, before I left on my mission.  Mark has done more for my emotional well being, than any other person I have yet encountered in my life so far.

Mark is the one I went to six years after my mission, when I decided I must “come out” of the closet and explore the possibility that I was gay, and that it was not going to change.  At that time, in 1988, Mark said to me: “Robin, I would want for you to be gay, if I thought that you could be happy that way, I am just not sure if you can be happy doing that.”  I told him that I must find out for myself.  I left his house and went to find some gay clubs that I could go to and meet other gay people.  When I found them, I spent 157 hours in the clubs, in just the first month, just talking to and observing other gay people.  This means that I spent as much time, in a gay bar, than a year of church meetings, spent investigating the gay lifestyle.

I found out that I was just like the other gay people, or they were just like me.  Also many of them told me how they had always been gay or thought they might be and how no doctor or psychiatrist, priest or parent could help them change their attraction to the same sex.  Many of them told me that they had been rejected by their clergy, and parents and siblings and friends, and that this was a great source of psychological pain for them.  Like me, their churches had screwed up their lives and caused them to be suicidal, also.  Other churches can be even more brutal than the Mormon sect, to spiritual people who are homosexual or transgender.  My poor Cody cannot handle any church’s rejection of him.

My friend Mark, later Excommunicated me from the Mormon Church, even though he really did not want to, and tried to influence the high councils vote, not to excommunicate me.  Although those 15 men chose to excommunicate me, I never felt more loved at that time, as each and every one of them embraced me with their arms and their hearts.  I felt very loved at that time, and I felt happy and relieved after I left that high council room, still, I drove away from church and parked my car somewhere on the street in town (I was homeless at that time) and now excommunicated, and I cried for 4 hours straight.  And what do you think happened at this time when I was most vulnerable? Some cute guy came by, and saw me crying, and tried to comfort me.  It ended up as a gay “hook-up” in the park no less and I did not feel guilty about it.   However, I was determined to get back “straight” with God and the church and be straight again.  3½ years later, I was re-baptized, one month after I was married to a Sister in the church.  Mark was my best man at my wedding, and although I spent the next 14 years as straight as an arrow, and was completely faithful to my wife for the 9 years that we were married, (until she past away on March 22nd 2006) I was never given back my Priesthood.  Even after 5 very long years (2006—2010) in which I was completely celibate, I am still denied the priesthood and all participation at church.  Even though I felt that if, my wife had not past away 5 years ago, I would still be married and faithful right now; I am denied blessings, treated like a social outcast, and persecuted by my present church leaders, all because I told my bishop that I still had gay feelings.  Now I really feel cast out into the street, for being gay.  I was not sinning by telling my bishop I still had same-sex attraction, after all, I was obeying all the commandments.  I just reached out for help, and in doing so, I was misunderstood and treated with contempt by Bishop Robert (Bobby) W.  Bobby W. most certainly, must be a “Redneck.”

Now it seems that coming out of the closet for the second time, I feel better than I ever have before.  I am not so needy, for the church now; I feel more and more independent from the church.  With a committed and loving gay relationship now and several new gay friends, I am much better off.  Since the church members only make me depressed and unhappy, and have such a huge lack of understanding of gay relationships and such, I will pursue a course that is correct for me and one that will benefit me both spiritually and make me happy at the same time.  Like I said before, I am really happy right now.

Just keep in mind that I will never forsake the Lord and his Church entirely.  But, I also cannot let narrow minded people make me suffer needlessly, especially when that suffering is not creating any positive growth for me in this life.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not have a “plan of happiness” for its gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, and that is not my fault, it is their fault entirely.  Until the Church endorses a real plan of happiness for us gays, that is truly fair and that does not take away someone’s faith; then I will be forced to find my own way along the path that leads to the tree of life.  So far it is going very well for me and Cody.  I am growing spiritually, despite those homophobic members.  I have become a lot stronger than I used to be when I rejected myself.

There is a lot of hate for gays out there and it overlaps into the Mormon Church also.  Where are all the hate groups for the adulterer’s, fornicators, and other home wreckers, and the like out there?  Apparently, the real problem is not just who sins or not, but it is about who is different from us, and who we are willing to accept among us as equals.  The real hate is about, who is black or white, fat or slender, beautiful or homely, short or tall, big or small, gay or straight, republican or democrat.  Heavenly father rejoices over our differences, and we, his children, who are all equal in his eyes, fight and bicker and point fingers at each other, hate each other and even kill one another over them.  We blame all our problems in life, on the ones who are different than we are.  That way we don’t have to blame ourselves or hate ourselves for our own imperfections and mistakes.   If we were all the exact same, then none of us would grow, and we would waste our mortal probation here on earth.  I have always been different from my peers in school and other members of the Church, and people I have worked with and certainly different from non-gays.

Well I am different, and I am not going to be miserable, just so others can justify themselves, and feel better about themselves, at my expense.  The Lord taught us not to be intolerant and to Love everyone, including our enemies.  That means that members should Love the homosexual, not shun them and find endless fault with them.  If you all think that life long celibacy is the answer for all gays, then why don’t you try it yourself.  As for me, I want to laugh and be happy.  I no longer want to be changed from who I am and neither does Cody; we are happy just the way we are.

I can only be happy now, by being left alone, and allowing me to be myself, which is gay.  I won’t tell you how to live your life and you don’t have to tell me how to live mine.  I am no Korihor, I am no Anti-Christ, I do not bother anyone, I do not tell anyone how to live, I live and let live.  I certainly do not try and stop people from believing in Christ, or try and get them to not believe in Heavenly Father. In fact I teach the Gospel all the time to my friends, neighbors and to Cody all of the time, and everyone I know, knows it.  I helped bring more people into the Church while off my mission than I did on my mission back east.  I love all people, and harm no one that I am aware of.  I want a better life for all people, I have never hated anyone, including my enemies of which I have very few.  I am very loving, kind, generous, sweet, and have charity for all people.  I don’t lie, steal, cheat, murder, or commit adultery.  I do not even have sex with my partner, and I do not push my lifestyle on anyone else.  I am not trying to persuade anyone to do anything wrong either.  I just want to be happy the only way that I presently know how to be happy; so leave me alone.

Happiness has been fleeting for me, because of my life long depression and mental illness that I still have.  I have been my own worst enemy all my life, because I listened to all the hatemonger rhetoric, and I have hated myself because of it.  I will hate myself no more, nor will I persecute myself any longer and I will tolerate persecution from the Christian world, not for one more second, either.  I would rather be a Gay Rights Activist and Gay Counselor than anything else.  This is where I have come to at this time in my life.  I recently heard on a Gay Documentary that we gays often expect our straight friends, families and neighbors to accept us the minute we come out to them, when in fact; it took us years to accept ourselves.  She was right, and this is not fair.  Therefore, I will give all people as much time as they need to adjust to the idea, as they need to.  But, I will avoid those who would hurt me, try and change me, and bring me back to my depression.  I believe that I have suffered long enough for this one area of my life.  Enough is really enough!  I am now very content with my life, and I plan to keep it going this direction.  I do not see the point in trying to fix something that is not broke.  I am not busted, do not fix me.

My doctors and nurses have noted a huge growth in me, since I came out this last time, as well as a big lift in my depression.  I do not know how long my relationship with Cody will last, but for now, it is working out very well for me and for him.  No matter what happens in the future, Cody and I will forever love each other, and that love is a gay romantic love that we share.  Call us evil, if you must, and if we are evil, then love is evil.  If love is evil then God is evil, because God is love.  This is how the world makes sense to me, and this is the only way that I can make peace with it.  All those who love us, will wish us the best, and hope for our happiness, just as we hope that the rest of this world has love and peace as well. God bless the peacemakers and all of us who continue to love one another and themselves.

Love to all, love to all, love to all!   I love God with all my heart, might, mind and strength, and I love my neighbor as I love myself.  I wish to tell all my friends, who have stuck by me, through my difficult times, that I love you with all my heart and soul.  May the Lord bless and keep you all.  To all good people everywhere, I hold no ill will or bad feelings, toward anyone who has been unkind to me, because I know that we are all of God’s children, and we are still growing and learning.  The day will come, when all of us will know, all of the answers, to the world’s most perplexing questions.  But in the end, what will matter is, who loved and who did not love his fellow man.  What will matter is, who was kind and who was not, who spread the word of God and who was afraid to open their mouth for their Heavenly Father, who gave of themselves and who did not, who helped others and who did not help, who worked for peace and understanding and who did not.  It will matter who loved God and who did not, who was tolerant and who was intolerant, who had charity and who did not have charity to all people, and who would die for his neighbor and who would not.  In other words, who was like unto Christ and who was not, this is all that will matter in the world to come; not the traditions of each generation and every morel of the day or each leader’s interpretation of what’s right and what’s wrong; many things change with time.

To other gays I would say: what makes you happy and truly brings you joy in this difficult world, is what you should pursue.  Do not listen to the haters and non caring people of this world.  Those people are only selfish and have an ulterior motive for trying to change you to something of their own liking.  God loves you the way that he created you and no one can change you from being gay anyway.  People will always hate and find fault with others, instead of looking after their own life and taking care of their own business.  What matters are your feelings about yourself and what you can live with.  If you know that you are a good person inside, then you do not have to have approval from others, just God.  Pray about it and you will get the same answers that I have gotten in life.  God loves you, and you can know for certain that I love you, even if I do not know you, I know of you and I have been there where you are now.  Also, be sure that you love yourself as you love others.

To all the non-gay people out there, know this one thing, and get it into your stubborn souls, that gay people did not just decide to be gay one day, just to bother you or anyone else.  We gays have an inborn attraction to the same sex, just like you have an inborn desire for the opposite sex.   Our parents did not make us this way and neither did anyone else, nor did we do it ourselves.  It is just part of our natural make up and we cannot change even when we want to, and most of us have wanted to, sometime in our lifetime.    We would change for you if we could, but we cannot do this, so get over it already, we had too.  Just be thankful you are straight.  This message goes double for Elder Boyd K. Packer, who is so hell bent against homosexuality that it is not funny.

The book, “Born That Way” that I bought In Salt Lake City, Utah, at the Deseret bookstore, will tell you the hell that we gays go through with our own selves, let alone the hell you straight people put us gays through. Many gays become alcoholics or drug addicts because we do not except ourselves and then the straight world has the nerve to judge us when they have not spent one day in our shoes.  Many straight people would not last a month if they were in our situation.  How dare they say that we chose this life for ourselves!  The only choice we have before us is to accept ourselves and be happy, or reject ourselves and be miserable.  Mormons say that we have the choice to act on our being gay.  True, but to not act is to be alone without love in your life, something that they themselves would not put up with or endure either.  “…and God said, is it right that man be alone, and Jehovah answered, no, it is not right that man should be alone.  And so they made an helpmeet for man…” I have a helpmeet now, it just happens to be another gay male not a female.

Now I can move on with my life in a positive way and stop hating myself.  I no longer have to figure out what am I going to do with the unhappy feelings that I have had all my life and that other people have perpetuated throughout the years of my life.  I will be 50 soon and probably lived more than half of my life already.  I hope others do not take as long as I did and have as many hardships as I have had in this life.  Now life is great and I love it for the 2nd time “coming out.”  I was very happy the first time I “came out” also; so I do not know why I let others talk me into going back into the closet for 14 more years.  Especially when those people did not forgive and forget like they were supposed to either.  They remained against me even when I was doing so well.  If they will not forgive me in 14 years I believe that they never will forgive me and let me have full fellowship in the Mormon Church.  I cannot get the priesthood back or be sealed to my wife  in the Temple because I am Gay.

When the Good Sheppard comes again in his glory, I believe he will call my name, because I have done the best that I can do to live in harmony with other people as well as the Gospel, and Jesus Christ, my savior and redeemer.  I keep the Ten Commandments and nearly all of 637 other commandments that I have gleaned from scriptures.  I do not believe that Jesus Christ, who is my judge, will hold against me the fact that I am gay or that I have same-sex attraction or that I have mental illness either.  The prophets have spoken on this and they agree with me.

The Mormon Church has completely cut me off, and now no one comes to see me monthly for the last 9 months.  I am supposed to receive Home-teachers each month in my home, but instead my Home-teacher has been released and I do not know who is going to be my new Home-teacher’s either.  Also, I asked for a blessing when I was in the hospital and in ICU, and nobody gave me a blessing at all.  When I moved a few months ago I asked for help to move from the Elders Quorum, because that is what they do; but they all refused to come and help me move.  I was told someone was coming for 3 days straight and nobody came to help us move.  Then I called and told my old Home-teacher that I and Cody had no food for 3 days and we needed help.  My friend Eddie came over the 3rd day and gave us some MacDonald’s food and that was good; but the Bishop would not give us a food order.  This Bishop used to give me food orders from the Bishop’s Storehouse.  After I told the Bishop that I still had same-sex attraction, he stopped giving me food orders, even when I was still active in Church.  It is the Bishop’s stewardship to take care of the poor; however, Bishop Woods refuses to help me at all.  This is proof that the Bishop is homophobic.

I have straight friends, like Kayla Johnson, Ace Pardue, Carol Didway, Carol Turner and many others like Evelyn, Tom, Clarence Richardson and more that accept me and I can talk to about my homosexual feelings and they do not judge me or put me down.  Instead they support me and encourage me and help me. There are also many friendly people here where I live that continue to be friendly even though they know that Cody and I are a couple and that we are Gay.  Some LDS people are supportive but most are not.  My Psych Nurse, Marie Leaf is very supportive, and so is a friend who is a Psychologist, Shirley VanHalen; they both help me a lot with understanding hearts and helping me deal with the judgmental people.

With all the judgmental Latter-day Saints in the Church and their unwillingness to accept people as they are, it’s no wonder that the retention rate is less than half.  Some bishops make you feel guilty for being poor, and therefore many of the poor stop going to church.  I find myself getting help from the Baptist, Catholics and Presbyterians because my bishop will not help me at all.  LGBT have it much worse in the Mormon Church because of these same judgmental members and leaders.  I have been rejected by most members of the Mormon Church just because of the way I would dress, which was more colorful and perhaps feminine also.  I do know that Heavenly Father Loves me and so does Jesus Christ; and that they are more accepting than the members of my Church.  Therefore I can be happy and endure the rejection of the members, no matter what they do to me.

Peace, Love and understanding to all; I forgive you all of any wrongs done unto me, whether perceived or real, it does not matter.  Most of all, please forgive me of my personal weaknesses that I have, and seek only to help me grow in a positive way.  I especially want to thank, Mark R. Sylvester, my bishops past and present that actually helped me, Eddie Yadon, Patrick Lewis and Brother Marcellus for trying to help.  I thank all my friends like Marie Leaf, my friend Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father.  I also thank, David Goodwin, my first boyfriend, for teaching me how to be loved, and Cody Circle, my present boyfriend, for making me feel loved and for allowing me to love them back.  Cody has shown me more love than anyone I have ever known in this life.  Now how can that be wrong anyway?  I did not choose to live here in Muskogee, Oklahoma, but I was sent here by circumstances beyond my control.  Now I know why I came here, God led me here so that I would meet Bishop W. and subsequently meet George Cody A. Circle and become the very happy person that I am right now, so that I can start helping others, because I will no longer be bogged down by my depression, Thanks God for All You Did For Me. —Robin Lee Johnson. LOL (Lots of Love).

ANOTHER GAY MANIFESTO: MY PROBLEM WITH THE MORMON CHURCH

What Can I Say…I Am Still Gay!

I have never been known to stay where I am not wanted.  My present Bishop and Elder’s Quorum President do not like me because I am now openly Gay and they know it.  They are both very Homophobic. L Therefore, I have been refused all my Temple blessings, the Priesthood, and participation in home teaching, or teaching Church lessons or having callings or doing other meaningful service or being able to participate in church activities or other special events in the church, and other blessings as well.  And the Bishop has also forbid me from socializing with any of the youth, and he has told me to not make any friends with the adult males at Church or non-members as well, and not to hang around them either, so I  should not shake their hands as well.  But, I do not know, what I am supposed to do with the friends I already have; am I supposed to ignore them and just forget that they are my friends?  I must try and stay isolated during priesthood, from now on!

The Bishop has also violated my confidentiality, and told several people that I am Gay, including the Stake President, and the Elder’s Quorum President.  And who knows who else he has told, and how many they have told, and how many they have told, and so on and so forth.  Now much of the Ward knows, and they gossip behind my back, I know this, because my friends, (the ones I’m not supposed to have),  tell me so.  I have had 30 other Bishops in my lifetime, and not one of them has ever broken confidentiality before, at least not without my permission, and most bishops never ask for permission to do that.  But this was not the reason for telling the bishop in the first place.  I wanted understanding and compassion, and maybe some help with my feelings and heartache; like most bishops give, but, I never received any comfort or help.  Instead I was betrayed and caused much more pain and heartache.  Now this has become the most hurtful thing that has ever happened to me in the church, even worse than my excommunication.  The bishop has overstepped his bounds in my opinion and he has gone against Church doctrine and policy as well; because I was not doing anything wrong!  Anyway, I did not appreciate being “outted” by him, which is something that I should decide to do, or not to do, myself. 😉 J  This Bishop was not critical of me until I “came out” to him, then he began to treat me unfairly and not help me anymore and cut me off.  After the Bishop told the Elder’s Quorum President, (Brother George), he also started treating me badly.

My Bishop, along with Boyd K. Packer, say that I am a  Perverted Person and a Deviant Person, and that I am a Predator of the young and vulnerable. 😮 (YEAH RIGHT L NOW I AM REALLY INSULTED!). They say that I and other Gays try to recruit others into the lifestyle.  This is not true because it cannot be done, and every gay person knows this to be true. They go on to say that I am Wrong, Lustful, Dangerous, Destructive, Not Desirable, Unnatural, Abnormal, Immoral, Unseemly, and an Affliction.  Also they say that I Have Vile Affections, I Am a Sick Individual, I Am Of the Devil, I am Sinful, and that I am involved in Moral Mischief and other Transgressions.  These are all very negative words and amount to Verbal Gay-Bashing by an Apostle and a Bishop; and even Dallin H. Oaks, of the Twelve says this is verbal gay-bashing also, and I agree; and no one else has disagreed, so far.

Now, on October 4th 2010 Elder Packer is calling same-sex attraction “impure and unnatural” and claiming that “it can be corrected,” (it cannot be corrected at all!!), and he says that “same-sex marriage is immoral.”  Packer’s inaccurate and dangerous rhetoric comes on the heels of the suicides of at least seven gay teenagers that we know of; all victims of anti-gay bullying or harassment.  An additional seven more gay teens committed suicide this year, three of which were the result of anti-gay bullying as well.  Elder Packer must learn that Words Have consequences, particularly when they come from a faith leader. These are exactly the kind of statements that can lead some kids to bully others, and still others to commit suicide.  It also emotionally devastates those who are LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender] or those who may be struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity.  It’s both inaccurate and very, very dangerous.  Packer should know better than this, he being immersed into this subject, and he must know how such talks cause suicides.  Gay people are 3 to 8 times more likely to commit suicide than straight kid’s, ages 14-24 years old.  And Mormon gay boys are higher in suicide than anyone in the country, especially in Utah, California and Idaho (Mormon states).

Packer says that church opposition to same-sex marriage “will not change.” Of course not, The Mormon Church is a key supporter of the so-called “National Organization for Marriage” or (NOM), a group that regularly encourages anti-gay attitudes and behaviors, which will undoubtedly lead to more suicides of Gay Mormon boys. The Mormon Church also funded “Proposition 8,” the anti-gay marriage initiative in California, and this has been proven now.  Proposition 8, has now been overturned by a U.S. District Chief Judge named Vaughn R. Walker. J 😀

NOM board member and famous Mormon writer, Orson Scott Card, has said, “Any government that attempts to change marriage is my mortal enemy.  I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage…”  (I do respect and support marriage, that is why I believe in Gay marriages, and I think that we should have a Constitutional Amendment making marriage available to all…sweetie!!)

“Packer’s remarks in general conference were not only ill-advised and contrary to fact, but were mean spirited and will be perceived by many as bullying,” said David Melson, Executive Director of Affirmation: the Gay and Lesbian Mormons, he went on to say: “We see no potential for good coming from his words and much possible damage, to the church, to individuals, and to families.  The LDS Church should be a source of love, Compassion, and Conciliation, and not of fear and unfeeling petty hatred,” I thought so myself as well.  Packer is a hate-monger, at least against gays, and he stirs others up to hating gays as well, he is very dangerous to gay people. He is very dangerous to my testimony as well.

Also, my bishop is dishonest, and a liar.  I got the Bishop to admit that he told my Elder’s President that I was gay.  But the Bishop lied to me at first, by denying he said anything to anyone, and then He tried to mislead me, and say that he only told the Stake President, but I continued to be direct and be assertive, until he finally told me the truth.  He then said that he had to tell others that I was gay, because they might need to know, in case that I might try and do something (like teach a lesson, {oh how terrible that would have been}), anyway, he felt that I should not be allowed to do anything like that.  This is why brother George asked me to give a lesson in priesthood, and on Sunday, after I had completely prepared the lesson, brother George changed his mind, and did not let me teach the lesson I had prepared.  I thought this was very mean of him.  Now, the Elder’s President, (Brother George), won’t even shake my hand anymore, or talk to me, or even give me eye contact anymore. He used to be super friendly before he knew about me being Gay or homosexual.  Most of the congregation will not greet me or shake my hand either anymore.  They used to be nice also, before they discovered I was gay or homosexual.  Boy, do most Mormons hate homosexuals like this?  Unfortunately the answer to that question is a resounding yes.  I have been in the Church all my life, so I know just how bad the prejudice is!  I have heard many people say many derogatory things about people they do not accept especially gay people.  Many Mormons thought that the disease AIDS was a special plague that God gave to the gay community and not just another venereal disease; now more heterosexuals have it, than do the gays.

In a talk by President James E. Faust, 2nd Counselor in the 1st Presidency of the church, Entitled: “Serving the Lord and Resisting the Devil,” He talks about several sins including Abortion and other severe sins that make the devil happy, if we do them.  Then on the 3rd and 4th page of that talk, he says that: “There is some widely accepted theory extant that homosexuality is inherited (it is, I say!). How can this be? (he says).  No Scientific evidence demonstrates absolutely that this is so.”  I know that Science rarely, if ever, proves something absolutely; however there is very much scientific evidence showing the causes of this condition, and that it is inborn.  It is misleading for him to make statements of this kind, or to make this statement.  He used the word absolutely, absolutely on purpose.  Our youth are particularly vulnerable to these and other statements.  Making statements like these causes depression, low self-esteem, low self-worth and even suicides; I know that it surely has for me, and I have almost killed myself twice.  And this is no laughing matter, either; to be in the Intensive Care Unit for a day, on two separate occasions, and have the doctors not knowing my chance of survival for several hours.  This really frightened my friends as well, not to mention me.  I really believe that all suicide attempts should be taken very seriously. 😮

Next, President Faust says: “Besides, if it were so, it would frustrate the whole plan of mortal happiness…” (Yes it does, but because of false beliefs), he continues, “respectable authorities,” (those would be authorities that agree with him, and him only); he says they “contend that homosexuality is not acquired by birth.  The false belief of inborn homosexual orientation denies to repentant souls the opportunity to change and will ultimately lead to discouragement, disappointment and despair.” (I take it that, these “respectable authorities” are not scientific authorities, being that, the word: REPENTANT was used here.) One could also say that being celibate all your life would also frustrate the plan, both by not having relations with the opposite sex, and not having children.  But you know what? We are born this way, I was born this way,  I have been Gay all my life; and so I have been denied the opportunity to change, and it has led to discouragement, disappointment, and despair, because I have tried to change to something that I am NOT, nor can I ever become or be, at least not in this life.  It is impossible to change your sexual orientation!!!  Does anyone think they can just change their sexual orientation? No!!  It cannot truly be done, not if you are truly honest with yourself anyway.  This is why we did not choose to be Gay or homosexual because the choice was made for us, we had nothing to do with it.  I would like to see a straight person just try and be a gay person by making that choice; not possible is it? 😛

My mortal happiness is found in being Gay.  But, President Faust goes on to say: “Any alternatives to the legal and loving marriage between a man and a woman are helping to unravel the fabric of human society.”  Then he says that the fabric he is talking about is the Family.  It seems to me that things like, oh say, War, Pestilence, Extreme Poverty, Plagues of disease, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Divorce, Hatred, Murder and Terrorism, to name a few, would be much worse on the family, than Gay people getting married. Yet the family goes on, undaunted by these things, at all.  Gay people only want the same commitment and love that straight people have in a bond of holy matrimony.  Besides Gay people only make up less than 1% of the Population of this world and the straight population grows faster than the gay population does, 99 times faster, to be exact.  This is true because Gays and Lesbians do not have their own children, and if they did have their own children, they would probably not be gay.  In fact, 99% of them would be straight.  The children that gays adopt are ones that no one else wants, like gay kids, or “crack babies” and such.  I knew when I was gay at four years old, and some of us know all along.  This is how kids know they are Gay.  These gay kids should be with other Gay families, where they will be loved for who they are; and not hated by them.

Faust goes on to say: “These so-called alternative lifestyles must not be accepted as right, because they frustrate God’s commandment for a life-giving union of male and female… If practiced by all adults, these lifestyles would mean the end of the human family.”  Oh Please!  Give me a break, will Yah!!  The entire human race is not going to be homosexual.  Right now more than 99% of the human race is heterosexual, and that is not about to change.  Besides, ⅓ of all gays, have their own children anyway.  In my lifetime, I have never known a single straight person who wanted to be homosexual or even bisexual; it almost doesn’t exist, so I think that the human family is safe from Gays; let us not be ridiculous!  Besides Gordon Bintner Hinckley, former President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has said that all homosexual people should be celibate their entire life.  If all gays did this, and everyone was homosexual, it would still be the end of mankind, (but that would depend on the whole world being Gay and nobody wanting to breed, even to save mankind. Yeah!! Right!!  Besides, homosexual people usually want children anyway, so I am sure they would find a way to have children anyway, duh!!  I personally know of many Gay men and women that have their own children and being gay never stopped anyone from having kids that wanted to have them!  I am Gay and I was married to a woman for over nine years and we would have had children also, if she had not had a hysterectomy that saved her life, before we were married.

I have not lived the Gay Lifestyle since about August, 1996, and I was married on January, 4th 1997 and I was rebaptized on February, 4th 1997.  Thomas S. Monson, with the First Presidency, NOW states that I am not sinning, did not choose to be Gay, and that I am not to blame myself, God, or my parents for my being Gay, (so you see, I did not choose to be gay at all, after all).  The problem is that not all of the Twelve or The 70 follow the Prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley or Thomas S. Monson either.  However, most do follow the Prophet like they shoud do.!

Because My Bishop and an Apostle now verbally Gay-bash me, I no longer feel appreciated or loved or comfortable, accepted, or welcome at Church. I do not feel wanted at church either, because I am not allowed to do anything in the church, and I have a strong need to actively participate at church.  I do not like to be made fun of, or have people talking behind my back, like they have been doing.  I do not want to be unhappy all my life.  The Authorities in my church do not understand why I am not happy.  They say that happiness comes from family, marriage, children, companionship and loving relationships, etc. and then they turn right around and tell us gays to abstain from all of these things, and then they cannot see why we are not happy.  It seems obvious to me, why not to them.  They just don’t empathize with us single adults, because they are all married with children, and happy with their families.  I knew this, when I was in Young Single Adults.

My Elder’s President asked me if he had to accept Gay peoples lifestyle or condone it; if Gay’s are afforded civil rights.  How ridiculous is that?  I’m surprised he allows us gays the right to live and breathe at all.  The Church now takes credit for New Gay Rights in Utah.  Thus, the Mormon Church, In Utah, has recently given the Gays the LEGAL right to secure a place to live, and a job to make a living, without discrimination. But, no other equal rights!  It has taken the Church 180 years just to grant these 2 rights, to Gays.  So I think it may be a long time before the Church allows Gays to Marry, adopt children, have school clubs, have parades, cohabitate with their partner or partners, celebrate Gay-Pride day, cross-dress, or even have friends for that matter; so much for free-agency, anyway.  I thought that it was only the devil that tried to take away free-agency.  There is the possibility that the church will never grant these rights, also. And then there are those opportunities to teach, socialize with the other Saints, have the priesthood, or go to the temple, be a leader, conduct a hymn, sing in the choir, say the prayer, socialize with same-sex LDS people, work with the youth, play music, or go home teaching and many other privileges, that heterosexual Saints have and take for granted every day; these are all not available to the Gay Saints, because of Bishops in the church, and not because of General Authorities.  The Prophet’s approve of these things for gays, especially Monson and Hinckley and Benson.

The Leaders in Salt Lake City, UT have now commanded that all Gay & Lesbian members of the Church stay single and celibate for their entire lifetime.  And many bishops have extended this to mean, not having friends at all (even with non-members).  The Bishops have also forbid Gay Youth, to associate with the other youth, and given them other restrictions as well.  No wonder the gay youth commit suicide.  The leaders make the gay youth feel flawed, and that they are evil, and that it is their fault that they are gay, and then they cut them off from their friends and peers, at a time when they are usually already struggling with their own family problems concerning their sexual orientation.  Then the leaders mention that we gays will suffer anguish for this entire lifetime, and that it will be a very difficult struggle all our life, but, that we will reap a reward in the next life only. Boy, if I were a youth again, I would attempt suicide again, myself. A reward in the next life?  YEAH RIGHT. Straight people get to enjoy a happy and joyful life, (if they are righteous), and they still reap a reward in the Celestial Kingdom. But Gay people only get the same EXACT reward, after living a lifetime of loneliness, despair, unhappiness, pain, anguish, frustration, heartache and also,  not having any intimacy, or even any sex at all, in mortality; NOT exactly fair is it, no, not at all, I say,  of course it’s not, any one can see that.  Besides, this goes against the Mormon: “Plan of Happiness,” which is only for straights now because there is no “Plan of Happiness” for the gays now.

I cannot accept this new “plan of unhappiness,” because I have already endured 44 years of loneliness, heartache, anguish, misery, sadness, anger and depression, with 23 suicide attempts; I forgive all who have helped cause me pain, but I do not wish to continue a life full of pain and loneliness.  I need to have Love and affection in my lifetime, along with joy and happiness and intimacy and companionship.  If not, then God is not a fair God or a just God or an impartial God either; because everything that the Church teaches, that is supposed to bring joy & happiness to us, like family, an eternal companion, children, the priesthood, marriage, love, intimacy, family home evening, service to others, fellowship with the Saints, friend-shipping, acceptance from others,  family and companion prayer, the Temple, and all the thousands of joys that these things bring; these things are all denied to Gays, by commandment, from our Prophets.  This is so CRUEL; it challenges my testimony and faith and understanding.  However, I know that, God is a fair and just God, who loves us all equally; it is just that his followers are not fair and just and are unequal in their dealings with their fellow men, and now I find out that Mormons are just the same, very much so, and sometimes much worse.

Each Person I have talked to about these things, my 8 different doctors, my 4 nurses, my DHS worker’s, my 2 CNA’s, 12 of My past Psychiatrists, my past 17 Psychotherapists, and 22 of my past and present Counselors, My 2 Psych-Nurses, both of my providers, 23 of my Neighbor’s & all of My Friends, and even some strangers, they all tell me, to do the same thing, “find another Church.”  The only people, who tell me to stay with the Mormon Church, are 3 of it’s members, and 2 Missionaries, and this does not include the Bishop or the Elder’s Quorum President, (brother George, as he likes to be called), in the three, (of course not, they do not want me in the church).  Now, the members do not know, and may never know, the kind of pain, and yes, anguish, I have gone through, and continue to go through this very day.  This is why they tell me to stay with the Mormon Church; and because the church makes them happy, so they think, why not Robin also.  Of course, missionaries are always going to tell Gay People, to either join the church or come back into the church.  They have no idea what they are asking, they simply follow what they are told to say and do.  Other former Missionaries, who are also Gay, know what I am talking about. You see even former missionaries who are gay, leave the Church also.  Anyone can be homosexual, even bishops and other leaders of the church, or anyone else, even the valiant Saints.  Because it happens before birth, and it takes different people, different times in their life, to realize it, and possibly “come out,” even if they have had these feelings all of their life, but just did not fully understand those feelings.  It happened to this return missionary, when I was just four years old, which is not typical, but in my case this was true.  I guess that I am just s-p-e-c-i-a-l!  I am you know.

I believe the members of many Christian churches, and yes, even the Mormon Church, are extremely selfish, and have very little love for Gay people. I say this for many good reasons and also because they allow any heterosexual person to get married, and have children, no matter how bad and abusive they are.  And then, when they are abusive to their spouse and offspring, they continue in those relationships, even if they molest their own children.  But, Gay people are not allowed to marry, even if they are the most loving people in the world, (and they usually are), and would never harm their significant others.  I for one do not want to be alone all my life.  I do not do well alone and isolated from others.  Loneliness makes me miserable.  I cannot be alone any longer.  If you do not let us gays marry each other, then we might end up getting married to you.  {Not for me though, I have already been there and done that}.  I was married to a woman for over 9 years, and although it was a very good marriage, I was not completely fulfilled or happy.

In the united States alone, over 70 million children have only one parent in their life, I was one of those children, yet the Church says that Gay couples would be worse of an influence, on their children, than a single parent would be, (even though children who have been raised in Gay homes, are much more well adjusted than kids from a broken home, and they are much happier also).  And, what about children, who are already Gay, and have been thrown out of their own home, by their own Mormon parents (how dare they), just because they are Gay?  Yes, this really does happen!  These gay children, would be much better off, in a totally Gay Family where they can find acceptance and unconditional love. (Like with me!).
When Gays try to get a “Gay bill of rights,” members of the church go against it. L (See: “Disagreeing without Being Disagreeable” by Joanna Stephenson Price, Ensign, Mar. 2005 Page 27-29), for an example of this situation.  A “Gay bill of rights” is not a license to have indiscriminate sex.  What it does is reasserts, or reestablishes or even establishes, the basic human rights that heterosexual people already enjoy, but are being denied to Gays and Lesbians because of the hatred of religious people.  Religious people are worse than any other group, when it comes to hatred and prejudice.  More people have been killed in the name of religion, than for any thing else, I know this to be true, because I am a history teacher also.  For some reason, many religions cause their parishioners to hate other sects and non-conformist to their particular religion, like Mormons do. 
The Church is True, and the leaders are inspired, however, some of these same leaders are blinded by their repugnance, and their complete revulsion, and utter Disgust of homosexual people.  All they can think of is that we gays will be having all kinds of sex They do NOT consider that what we want is Love, Compassion, Companionship, Affection, Fondness, Friendship, Kindnes, Beauty, Intimacy, Tenderness, Happiness, Consideration, Company, Close-ness, Empathy, Caring, and Solace. And a lot more thingsJ that I did not feel like writing down just right now. We also want the end of loneliness,L celibacy, isolation, despair, discouragement, unhappiness, and longing for Love.  We just want to be happy, man!  As long as we are not happy, we will continue to fight for our rights, for as long as we live, down through the generations, just like we always have, and I believe that we always will until others leave us alone.
Finally, what do I plan to do about this situation?  I plan to find myself a companion and partner in life, to share my life with, and to share their life with me.  I am going to find true happiness and joy, and love, and end the years of loneliness and despair.  This means, that I am going to find a “Gay-boy” (as I like to call the gay young men), and work for a relationship, and I will even have a Gay wedding, and adopt beautiful children (preferably Gay children).  Because, I do not believe that these joys are reserved for breeders only.  I will continue to Love the Lord and do well to my fellow man, just as I always have.  Also I will find a Church with more love for me and dignity and respect and who will support me and my lifestyle, and where I will be treated well, and I will be able to make many new friends.  There are many churches out there where all this is possible you know, because I have been to several of them and they are growing in number and size.

I know that I will be much happier doing this, than staying with the Mormon Church, because I have been in the Church for 49 years, and because of the Church, I am sad, lonely, miserable, unhappy, joyless, depressed and angry thanks to the Mormon Members.  Members of this Church try to tell me things that I know are not true, like Gay people choose to be “that way,” {even President Hinckley says No to that}, so this is not true at all.  Also that we Gays cause others, and especially the youth to be gay by our example, or our influence on them; this has been proven to be wrong. People do not convert, to be a homosexual, we are only born this way, and nothing can truly or completely change us in this life.  They also say that we Gays are immoral, faithless, unbelieving, and evil.  These things are not true at all either.  The truth is known by the higher leaders, but they do not enforce the truth to the local authorities, so most members may not accept the truth in my lifetime.  Then again, we must not give up hope for these are the latter days, and God loves us just as we are!!!!  With God all things are possible, especially when you also have great faith.  I have very much great faith in the LORD, my GOD.  Besides I am not evil like the bishop thinks I am, I can have a lot of faith and believe and still be gay.  Just because I love men, I am not faithless or without hope.

I want to find a Christian Church where Gays are accepted, and uplifted.  I know of some churches like The Metropolitan Community Church or (MCC), which is an international church for Gays and Lesbians.  I know of Dignity (the Gay Catholics), and Affirmation (the Gay Mormons) of which I am already a member.  I do love the LDS Church very much; however, I have been ridiculed by some of it’s leaders and also I do not appreciate being rejected, ridiculed and treated the way I have been treated.  When the Church made the priesthood available to men of color, (The Blacks), in 1979, some members did not accept this new Revelation that was an answer to President Spencer W. Kimball’s humble prayer. K LDS Members have several prejudices, that they should not have, and they have a serious need of repentance, if they want to be forgiven.  President Kimball’s book: “The Miracle of Forgiveness” gives you some excellent advice, but, it really condemns Gays & Lesbians.  Why do heterosexual people always assume that we Gays are just interested in Gay Sex? It seems that they hopelessly have sex on the brain. Gay men like me, only want positive things, like Love, and Affection, and yes, some Intimacy before we die, some companionship, friendship, and fellowship with other homosexuals.  There is a lot more love in the Gay community, than there is among the straights. That is because we are bonded together, because we are persecuted and hated by the world of straight people; and we are more accepting and tolerant than the non-gays.

I like being Gay, so much now, because I know that this is normal for me, and I know that happiness will come to me, and many other homosexual’s, if we just do not pay attention to the hate-mongers, and the Gay-bashers, and the Bible-bashers, and all of those who think that they are better than we homosexuals.  Because they are NOT!! They are not at all better than we gays are; they just think that to themselves!  In fact, Mormon’s think they are superior to other churches.

Once I knew the truth about myself, that it is alright for me to be gay or queer, I suddenly felt free and liberated from the dark prison of lies that had been told to me all of my life.  The truth really does set you free, after all.  I am attracted to young men, and that is all there is to it, and my attraction is very, very strong also—stronger than I am able to bear and then try to be alone for a lifetime.  I cannot handle being alone, like some people are.  For me, I become very depressed when I am all alone.  I very much need to have a companion to share my life with or else I am quite miserable and eventually I become very suicidal and hopeless.

I find gay men to be comely, (which means gorgeous and beautiful), especially if they are, what I think of as, a “pretty boy.”  They are adorable to me, and my heart goes out to them.  I do not know how I have resisted those urges for so long, but I do believe that it has been a great contributor to my ongoing depression and unhappiness.  I do not see why I should remain sad, lonely, unhappy and celibate any longer.  Life can be hard enough without me adding to the problem.  We all need to LOVE and be LOVED, it is built into our psyche and never goes away.  And why should it anyway.  Unless you are a sociopath, and most of us are not, then we all have needs.  Gay people have special needs also and these needs are often not met.  It can be a very difficult life, the gay life that is, and it can be filled with pain and sorrow.  The rejection by family, peers and even teachers can be devastating to a young person.  Why would anyone choose this life with all of its difficulties? I don’t think anyone would.  {I just saw on TV a 14 yr. old boy who committed suicide because he was Gay}.  You see, we are this way, because we are born this way, and no one can change us, and we cannot change ourselves. Happiness only comes to us by accepting who we are, and not what some one else wants us to be. Most homophobes, somewhere deep inside, are just a homosexual that is too afraid to admit to the world, that they are Gay, so they fear their own selves and hate other Gays.  I for one have never been a homophobe.  I love all gays and most lesbians, just kidding; I love all the lesbians and even bisexuals and transgender people too.

If you only knew, what it is like, to be attracted to someone of your own sex, when you know the rest of the world was not like that, and that most of the world would hate you for being “that way,” but there was nothing you could do about it; and the attraction was very strong, and it was also, the only thing that made you happy and caused you to like yourself, or even be able to love yourself; but again, the world made you feel that you had to give up these feelings.  These feelings, which will not go away no matter what you do, are the only feelings that made you feel good about yourself, in a world that hated and persecuted you.  Then you came to believe, that you could never be happy in this life.  What would You do then?  Especially when, even a Prophet of God cannot help you out of your misery, and your parents and bishop cannot help either.  Then you are sad and alone with no chance of happiness.  After some time goes by, you begin to lose hope and then you begin to hurt all over and deep depression sets in.  Without help, it just gets worse and worse until you can no longer stand to live any longer.  This is how I felt many years ago, but things change and now I am trying to get better and try and overcome the past.

This is why so many Gay young men, and even Mormon boys, decide to take their own life, and end the pain and conflict.  {I just wanted you to understand why, so many boys and young men, who are Gay, and even some lesbians, end their own life by their own hand.}  Now, ask yourself this question, (and this includes Mormon boys and girls, who are Gay, especially Mormon Gay boys): “why isn’t the Mormon Church able to help these Gay boys and girls” [or me]?  And so they keep on dying!  Help us please! (And not the way that the church has been doing it all of these years, either).  Try loving us unconditionally for a change.  The Church advocates “reparative therapy,” which does not work for the vast majority of homosexuals, and in fact, this therapy causes many homosexuals to commit suicide, who, would not have done so, if they had not gone through the “reparative therapy torture,” and some people have secretly brought in video equipment and taped what was going on in order to prove what was happening in these places and also provided proof of the suicides as well, so now we all know that it’s true and it is true!

Mormon boys and girls who are gay, should be stronger than other kids, (at least you might think so), but sometimes they are not!  Why not?  Because, the things that they usually build their spiritual and other foundations with, and that should be there for their strength, are either missing or not there for them.  I am talking about the Family and the Church.  Instead, their family and the church are often against them, or are not supporting them in their time of need.  Your family is often not there for you, when you are gay, because of what the church teaches about homosexuals and how the church treats them also; and the members treat them; therefore, many of these teens kill themselves when tormented by their peers.

Therefore, it is the Church that is causing these premature deaths of young gay people who are members of the church.  Any church that provokes the suicides of its own children, gay or not, has some serious problems!  I cannot be a part of a church that has these practices, at least not until that church changes its ways, and makes amends or penance for all their hate and wrong doing.  Church people are supposed to be in the business of showing love anyway, not petty hatred.

My only regrets in life are that I do not have my own children to  raise, because I would have been a very good father, and many of my friends, counselors and psychotherapists have told me that I would have been an excellent father as well.  My other regret is that I was in the proverbial “closet” for so long (until age 27), and then I went back into the closet for over 14 years, because that is what the church told me would bring me happiness and joy.  The church supported me in my getting married to a woman.  Now the church has changed its position on marriage for fags, (to the opposite sex).  Now we fags cannot marry at all.  I have been celibate for almost 5 years now, ever since my wife of 9.3 years past away.  I am so lonely that I can hardly stand life at all.  The church program for faggots, is not working at all, it needs help, otherwise gays will continue to leave the Church in ever increasing numbers; and they will be less and less likely to come back to Church either.

When the Prophet commanded that all faggots stay celibate for life, I believe that the President was not inspired, he just did what he thought was best; because, only man can be this thoughtless and cruel.  How short-sighted this idea was, and still is.  I believe that this new position will easily drive out many of the 169,080 fags that are all admitted gays in the church, and even more of the approximate 344,000 other fags that are both in the church and in the closet.  If you want any of us back, then write to the Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, and ask him for a better solution, one that does not contribute to the 3,800 suicides of Gay people, world wide, each and every year!  Ask for a solution that does not cause major depression and sadness and loneliness.  Remember these are your brothers and sisters that you are condemning to a lifetime of celibacy and no love.

The church needs to be unified again, because right now there is a division and strife in the church, concerning the Gay issue.  Some members listen to the prophet and stop persecuting homosexuals, while others, along with their local leaders, continue to alienate and mistreat homosexuals, and are unfair and sometimes just plain mean to them.  Only I know all the unfair things my bishop did to me.

There needs to be greater love in the LDS faith.  The Mormon Church needs the kind of love and charity that Christ had for his own church.  The members who think that all homosexuals are going straight to hell, after judgment day, may be surprised one day when they end up in hell themselves, all because of either, how they mistreated homosexuals, or how they hated them.  The Bible says, you have no faith, if you hate your brother, and that you do not love God, if you say you do then God says that you are a liar.  (see the book of James in the New Testament).

I Have given most of my life, to Heavenly Father and Christ’s true church, and now my reward is, or so it seems to be, nothing short of a promise, that I will live a lifetime of sheer hell.  Goodbye Mormon Church, I love you, but, we have irreconcilable differences.  I will always miss you, and I will forever have fond memories of you.  My friends at Affirmation told me that it is almost impossible to be homosexual, and remain a member of the Mormon Church.  They were so right!  Especially if you live in Oklahoma, and in towns like Muskogee!  This is what happens when you have a redneck for a Bishop and an Elders Quorum President.

I never wanted to leave the Mormon Church before, but now, I feel like I am being pushed out, by the members, and especially some of the leaders, like Elder Boyd K. Packer and Bishop Robert W.; who have more hate in their heart, for fags, than they have love for them.  But I will not stay away for too long anyway.

I have spent a lot of time researching facts and figures, history and information, as well as reading many articles from the Church, especially from their website; in preparing this Manifesto.  I have tried to make this paper as accurate as possible, however, if I have made any mistakes, please overlook them, and forgive me.  I have also included some personal opinions of mine, that may seem to be a bit insensitive, but, I did not intend to offend anyone; so if I have offended you, please excuse me.  I just have very strong feelings about this subject. This paper is also a statement of my personal beliefs, and they are very important to me.  What I have said, I have said, and I am very serious about what I have written.  {The purpose of this Manifesto is to make known to my friends and family, my status with the LDS Church and my feelings regarding homosexuality}.  I am not trying to convince anyone of anything, [for it says in the book of Proverbs: “Convince a man against his will, he will be of the same opinion still”].  I know that the information in this Manifesto is correct and true, and I could have submitted numerous articles, (mostly from the Church), for your review, however, I felt that using only select and relevant portions from those articles, would suffice.  I have used many exact quotes from Church Leaders, which are in quotation marks.
I also hope that this work will help others who might be struggling with same-sex attraction and/or thoughts of suicide.  If you or someone you know, is struggling with these issues, you should all know this: God Loves You, and Jesus Christ Loves You, and I Love You Very Much, and over 700,000,000 (that’s seven hundred million) LGBT {Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Trans-Gender} all love you too.  Our hearts go out to you.  Be good to yourself, and be happy.  And do not even think of suicide, (but if you are, Please, Please Get Some Counseling).  Don’t apply a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  Believe me when I say that you can feel better and be very happy while still being homosexual, bisexual or transgender people.

God be with us all, until we meet again.  LOVE AND KISSES, AND LOTS OF HUGS TO ALL, and LOL (Lots Of Love).

LOVE you all with all my heart & soul: Robin Lee Johnson. 

The End of “Manifesto #3” (original title).

Mormon Moment Series on poetrysansonions.blogspot.com

Ahhhhh! The smell of fresh, juicy, slightly wrong Mormon blog posts. It must be Sunday!

I have been doing a series of posts related to Mormon and Post-Mormon issues that seem to be *hot* this year. With more and more people interested in Mormons, and now the change in rules for when male and female missionaries are allowed to serve, the Bloggernacle keep heating up! So, if you missed the first posts in the series (because I was a slacker and wasn’t cross posting) here is your chance to catch up. If you have been catching them on my blog, you will notice they are a little different. Thanks to Kevin who suggested that I should include the topic of the post in the title, and not jsut which post number it is. Ahhhhh, aren’t friends great for helping you see your blind spots? I am glad I have so many friends looking out for me.

I am using the same introduction for each post, both because I think that it helps keep them uniform, but also so I don’t have to try to come up with 20 ways to say the same thing!

What this series is about:

If you are Mormon, you are probably sick of hearing about the Mormon Moment. There are so many people who are suddenly interested in Mormon culture, and there are lots of Mormon bloggers that are cashing in and sharing their stories. Some of the stories end up being kind of silly, but if you are simply trying to get people to read about what is important to you, the Mormon Moment is one way to draw people in.

I do not want people to think that I don’t respect the bloggers whose posts I am sharing. All of them are good bloggers, and most of them write about Mormon topics all of the time. I have no doubt that they would have shared these thoughts and stories at some point, but as one friend told me the other day, “in the race to the election, bloggers are pushing hard to attract new readers before the Mormon Moment is gone.” So, to help you, I sifted through hundreds of posts to share the ones that I still remember. (This group of posts are nowhere near a complete view of Mormon bloggers. All of the bloggers are either Mormons, post-Mormons, or write about Mormon issues, even when it isn’t election time.)

So, what have you missed?

Mormon Moment Series – Part One – Mormon Mind Control?

Mormon Moment Series – Part Two – Ayn Rand and Quirks in Mormon Culture

Mormon Moment Series – Part Three – Modesty, Perfection and Secrets

Mormon Moment Series – Part Four –Why can’t we seem to say what we mean?

Mormon Moment Series – Part Five –Fasting For Followers!

Mormon Moment Series – Part Six – Who is a Mormon?

While it is not officially part ofmy Mormon Moment Series, please take a minutes and check out this post about Mormons, Masterbation, and the story of a teenager driven to attempt suicide, because of his wet dreams.

But for the Grace of God….

This post is about a teen suicide attempt and some of the actions that led to it. The language is not vulgar, but it is specific. Please read only if, it is emotionally safe for you. A few days ago, I sent an email out to several family members and friends about a post on the Mormon Therapistblog. It deals with a sensitive subject, so please understand that this particular linked post is not g-rated, although it will not include any explicit language either. If you are uncomfortable with discussions about sexuality, masturbation, how to teach adults and children healthy sexual attitudes, or the negative impacts of shame, I suggest you skip this post, and not click onto the linked article.”
You can go here to read the entire post, including the responses from TBMs who are supportive of Mormon Therapist’s view, who also explain how the email about this young man touched their lives, and the lives of their children. This is a bold stand from all sides, as Mormon Therapist boldly proclaims, “Masturbation is not sinful behavior in of itself nor is it a transgression.”
We live in a time of great turmoil, and out youth especially need to love and support to deal with a variety of challenges. From masturbation to Coke, homosexuality to the age of sister missionaries, the church is changing or softening on a number of important issues. I believe that we need to support those who are members of the church, who continually ask questions and look for answers. I also believe that current and former members need to find common ground, in as many areas as they can, and work together on those shared goals. Almost every post-Mormon still has family or friends who are members of the church. Almost every member of the church knows someone who has left, been kicked out, or is inactive. While there are very real hurts on all sides, I believe that coming together and being the chance we want to see in our own lives, the lives of our family members, and in the lives of all of the children we love, can make that change a reality.
Whether you are celebrating General Conference today, or are in mourning because of it, there are always ways to find a little common ground, a little place of friendship, a little piece of shared light. We do not have to change our minds about our belief or lack thereof. What we can do is put the first brick into creating a bridge, that will help span the gap between us, and the children and youth who need to know that it gets better, no matter what your sexual orientation or habits!

One last link. If you have a talent to share, leave a comment, and you could be the lucky winner of a pair of pearl stud earrings!

Gay People Do Exist – Coming out to my Grandparents

Gay People Do Exist! Coming Out to My Grandparents

My grandparents were/are committed Christians. They’ve taught 3rd and 4th grade Sunday school for as long as I can remember. On the infrequent occasions when I attended their church, from kindergarten until I was about 12, I always pulled up a chair and sat between them while we were going over the lesson as a class and eat doughnuts my grandma faithfully bought every Sunday. They taught me about God, prayed with me, and told me of God’s grace. We sang songs such as:


“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

I had a girlfriend of three years before I came out in April of 2008. I was dealt the harsh truth: Jesus loves you unless you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersex, or queer. Jesus couldn’t love gay people, because gay people didnt exist!

My first nephew was born nearly a year and a half ago; my grandparents are now great-grandparents! They bask in their new role with zeal and eagerness along with awe and wonder as they babysit him three days a week. They revel the time they spend with him as they play their newest silly game of peek-a-boo.
He giggles with delight as he covers his eyes. At his young age when his eyes are covered, it doesnt matter if his head, shoulders, knees, and toes (eyes, ears, mouth, and nose) are showing — he is invisible to you and you are invisible to him. This is how he understands visibility: seeing = mutually engaged. My grandparents, however, should know that covering their eyes doesnt mean that another person doesnt exist!

Not unlike my nephew, my grandparents cover their eyes and gay people go away; they cease to exist! By association, I ceased to exist. Me coming out as (non-existantly) gay meant that I had succumbed to “the world’s view”! I was defying what God had revealed in the Scriptures.

I am not gay because there are no gay people! Get it? Got it? Good! I am a straight person dabbling in homosexuality. Describing myself as gay belied my lack of faith in what God had told them (sic)! The only thing they failed to do was question my faith in God completely because I, a heterosexual mind you, loves and advocates for the equality of gay people. Completely un-Christ like, I know!

The kicker is this: While my grandma never got so far as to tell me this in this heart-to-heart, fuzzy spirit-filled conversation, she has said she believes THERE ARE ex-homosexuals!?!? So, there are ex-homosexuals, but not homosexuals? It is a logic nightmare!

From this, I learned the simple, unvarnished truth: My grandparents are bigots. While progressive in a couple of ways, their racist views that have since long passed and their current views towards homosexuality are representative (reminiscent??) of many people in their generation who view the Bible as the infallible Word of God and the Scriptures inerrant.

Our three hour talk had somehow strayed into a series of invectives about my character and crescendo'd when it's affect on familial affairs were brought up: I was told that if my girlfriend of nearly three years and I ever got married (never mind that this conversation took place in 2008, and the fact that I lived in California and she in Virginia - at the time it wasn't even a logical possibility) I would no longer be allowed at family gatherings. My grandma said, "Homosexuals are fine as long as it's not in 'this' (meaning her) house."

At this point I knew: I knew that it would only be a matter of time before, as a lesbian, I would be forced to choose between fidelity to my sexual identity and acceptance and approval from my fellow Christian grandparents (and, by extension, the rest of my family). I knew it spiked a fear of further mistrust and oppression. I knew from the intense intuitive emotional reaction I had that the homophobic bigoted view of my grandparents were irrational and unjust.

And unfortunately, I learned the hard way that the divide between the gay and straight Christian community that I grew up in was large and all-pervasive. I was told that gays and lesbians are more depressed, arent normal, and that I definitely was not one. Believing that God allowed me to born with such desires while condemning me to hell/annihilation lead me to a year of suicidal ideations. My grandparents were able to shove me back in the closest, rationalize away my existence and effectively ignore an entire class of people with their childish thinking of peek-a-boo, I don’t see you.

Up until then, I figured my grandparents would always love me. At that moment however, I learned the harsh truth that love is not unconditional. My grandparents claimed to love me, but she only loved the person they thought I was and the person they hoped I would be. My grandparents certainly dont accept who I am, let alone tolerate the possibility of it even being mentioned. I haven’t given up the hope that my grandparents may someday move past their homophobia, but my existence no longer hinges on their acceptance either.

I just wish they would have been more willing to remain a part of this grandchild’s whole life – not just they part that they can accept. I wish they would uncover their eyes and see me, their grandchild, and the injustices I’ve suffered. I want them to know that I do, indeed exist!

[END NOTE: TODAY I DO HAVE A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH BOTH MY GRANDPARENTS AND MY FAMILY. UNSUPRISINGLY, I REMAIN UNOPEN AND ON GUARD. NEVERTHELESS, I DO ATTEMPT TO CONVEY MY GENERAL INDICTMENT OF PREJUDICE BY SPEAKING EUPHEMISTALLY OF “HUMAN TOLERANCE.” I CITE LOVE AS A MOTIVATOR OF KINDNESS, AND I MAKE PASSING REFERENCES TO THE VALUE OF SHOWING UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTANCE TOWARD THE FULL DIVERSITY OF HUMANITY.]

Aslongasitstranslatedcorrectly,

~ SoACTing

Brother Selected For The “I’m A Mormon” Campaign

 

A couple months ago, the Mormon church decided to profile my brother for their Im A Mormon campaign. A camera crew came to his house for an interview; now his profile and testimony are listed on the www.mormon.org website. My brother was thrilled about the opportunity — he saw the honor as a mark of respect for his status as a member. I find myself feeling very uneasy about the matter.

At this point, I need to clarify. My brother is black. He was born in 1978, the same year that the Mormon church lifted its ban on blacks holding the priesthood. He joined our family when he was two years old. He grew up in a white family, in a predominantly white community, and was indoctrinated into a religion that has an uneasy racial history.

I love my brother. And he is, in every sense of the word, my brother. To give my parents their due, I never heard any indication, any hint that my brother was anything other than a full-fledged member of our family. We grew up together; I was a little girl tagging after her older brother with hero-worship shining in her eyes. Most of my family is very introverted and shy. In contrast, my brother was the life of the party, the person that lit up the room. A Will Smith look-a-like, he was charismatic, with the gift of putting people at ease.

In church, every time I learned about black people being descendants of Cain or being fence-sitters during the War in Heaven, my mind would always turn to my brother. These teachings left me confused and uncertain about the compassion of the religion I had been raised in. But even my perspective, infused by the love I had for my brother, was only a second-hand perspective. I can never truly understand the road my brother has had to travel in order to fit the teachings of the Church into his view of the world at large and his place within that world.

My brother never hinted that the teachings or attitudes at church hurt him; I suspect that he was trying to shield his little sister. But over the years I have watched him change from someone who was charismatic and out-going into someone who is obsessed with image and status. He is very much invested in the Mormon Church; he served a mission, married in the temple, and pressured his wife, a very talented biologist, into staying at home to raise their children. He has an over-whelming desire to be seen as the ultimate Mormon.

I hope that this opportunity helps bring my brother the affirmation that he wants. But every-time that I go to the mormon.org website or watch the commercials, I dont see the church that I grew up in. I dont see any hint of the over-whelming pressure to conform or the ugly white-centric doctrine that I was taught, that is still being taught today. All I see is a church trying to cover up their issues with a slick ad campaign.

Note: This was originally posted on “A POST-MORMON LIFE”

Patriarchy, redux

A recent post on a Mormon-themed group blog asked the question What are some of the common themes that emerge in patriarchal societies? It then compared these societies with Mormonism. There were a number of parallels.

To me, the most interesting aspect of this article was what it didn’t mention. Here are the salient items that I thought were missing:

  • Persecution of homosexuals. Iran and Saudi Arabia prescribe the death penalty for homosexuality. Other patriarchal societies criminalize it. In Mormonism, homosexuality is the sin next to murder, and the Church uses its political muscle against gay civil rights.

    Homosexuality, especially male homosexuality, is a repudiation of the patriarchal orders insistence on strict sexual roles. Gender roles, as Elder Bruce Porter recently put it, are woven into the very fabric of the universe for patriarchal cultures. They are the one nonnegotiable item of patriarchal power structures.

    The Churchs most strongly worded statement of patriarchal gender roles, The Family: A Proclamation to the World, was issued in response to increasing civil tolerance for homosexuals. This isnt a coincidence.

  • Male preoccupation with female modesty. Patriarchal societies in the Arab world and elsewhere enforce restrictive clothing standards for women, up to and including full veil.

    In LDS culture, female modesty is a frequent sermon topic. (Male modesty doesnt exist. The shirts and skins basketball game in the Cultural Hall is still around. Male modesty can only jokingly be referred to in LDS circles, usually in relation to homosexuality. Like a lot things in LDS culture, modesty involves gender.)

  • Denial of female sexuality. Patriarchal cultures do not generally do not admit the possibility of women as people with legitimate sexual needs of their own. Instead, women are viewed by their roles as wives (providers of sexual release to men) and mothers (asexual nurturers of children).

    In Mormon culture, you often see women put on the pedestal of motherhood in a way that neglects the existence of female sexual desire and the need for female sexual fulfillment. The sexually empowered woman is not an LDS archetype.

    An odd reflection of the patriarchal denial of female sexuality can be seen in how partriarchal societies treat male homosexuality compared to female homosexuality. In places like Saudi Arabia, female homosexuality is not against the law. Basically, it is not acknowledged to exist. The reason is that the patriarchal view of sex requires a penis to be present. No penis, no sex. No penetration, no sex. In LDS culture, male homosexuality receives the lion’s share of attention. Lesbians are rarely mentioned by Mormon leaders.(Penises are, like, way super important in the dudeocracy.)

  • Polygamy.Patriarchal societies, such as Islam, often practice polygyny (and never polyandry).

    Mormon culture has polygamist roots, and elements of polygamist teachings (D&C 132, along with asymmetrical rules for the sealing ordinance, for example) are still on the books.

  • Placement of responsibility for male sexual behavior upon women. Most patriarchal cultures view male sexual desire for women as a consequence of female seduction. In these cultures, women who are raped are punished for inflaming male desire.

    In LDS culture, there have been recent sermons that tell young women that they are responsible for the moral purity of young men.

I’m probably not alone in finding this list a bit creepy.

A Tale of Two Cities (DC and SLC): Marion Barry, H. David Burton and Harry Jackson

And three giants: Bishop H. David Burton, Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who recently co-signed a letter with Bishop Harry Jackson, Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church, expressing their shared commitment to protect marriage; Mayor Barry blesses their union with a memorable chant.

A hypocritical example destroys credibility. — H. David Burton

The letter.

Bishop Burton’s recent accolades: Salt Lake Chamber names LDS Churchs Burton Giant in Our City (Salt Lake Tribune) … Bishop H. David Burton to be honored as ‘Giant In Our City’ (Deseret News) … Bishop Burton to be honored as ‘Giant In Our City’ (KSL) … Bishop H. David Burton to be honored as ‘A Giant In Our City’ (ABC4)

Giants? Gah. Watch the full ten minutes.