Real or pretend change? LDS Inc. on gay scouts…
If you haven’t heard, the LDS Church issued a statement on the policy change the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is considering that would allow gay scouts – but no gay scout masters. Â The statement is a masterpiece of subtlety and nuance – it says everything without saying anything.
Of note, the words “gay” and “homosexual” don’t appear in the statement.
A lot has been made about this statement as it seems laudatory of the change. Â But the statement never clearly comes out and says, “Yep, we are fully on board with gay scouts.” Â Instead it says things like, “[we] are satisfied that BSA has made a thoughtful, good-faith effort to address issues that, as they have said, remain ‘among the most complex and challenging issues facing the BSA and society today.'” And, “We are grateful to BSA for their careful consideration of these issues.” Â In other words, the statement says that the Church is happy with the BSA’s efforts to consider these issues. Â That’s all the statement clearly states.
However, it insinuates that the Church is in favor of the change, and that is how most media outlets have interpreted the statement, despite the fact that the statement never explicitly says that it is in support of allowing gay scouts.
So, what’s going on here? Â It seems like at least two things were influential in the wording of this statement.
First, the LDS Church can’t openly say that it welcomes gay scouts because it would offend the many homophobic members, like Boyd Packer. Â By welcoming gay scouts, that would be tantamount to endorsing gay scouts, and they can’t do that without pissing off potentially thousands of their conservative, bigoted members. Â So, the statement insinuates support without stating support.
Second, the BSA policy change reflects an interesting perspective on homosexuality that I think LDS Inc. supports. Â Gay scouts are okay, because they are young and, hopefully, can be taught that being gay is wrong. Â They’ll grow out of it, so they can tolerate gay scouts. Â Plus, they are unlikely to be having gay sex, which is what homophobe Packer seems to really have an issue with. Â But gay scoutmasters – well, they can’t be tolerated. Â Why? Â Because that would suggest that the religion endorses homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle rather than a sinful desire that needs to be overcome. Â Thus, the BSA policy change actually already aligns with LDS Inc.’s views towards homosexuals: identifying as having “same-sex attraction” is fine; it’s the same as saying I’m addicted to alcohol or porn. Â But actually embracing your homosexual orientation and living as a homosexual is wrong, because that undermines the idea that homosexuality is sinful (just like saying “I occasionally watch porn and feel no guilt over it” or “I drink alcohol socially and am a responsible adult” both illustrate that sin is socially constructed).
So, young gays are okay. Â But old gays are a threat to the Mormon sacred canopy under which acting gay is sinful. Â This isn’t change on the part of the Church; this is insinuating being progressive without actually being progressive.
I agree completely with your thoughts. The lack of concern for “old gays” is not just limited to the Mormon church, though. There are few resources in any organization directed towards reducing adult gay suicides.
I also agree completely with your analysis, especially the second-to-last paragraph.
So if you’re a gay male, you can become an eagle scout, but you’re not welcome to pass your experience along and become an example to the next generation of scouts. Meanwhile, if you’re an atheist or a girl, well, you’re not welcome at all.
kinda missed the point dude. from the LDS perspective the whole point of this life is to be changed, the LDS scripture library clearly identifies two things as “the enemy” one is Satan, the second is “the natural man” which is basically the desires of the mortal body, ie. checking out a neighbor’s wife, lieing to avoid consequences, etc. that in mind chew on this for a minute, if the natural man’s desire is to have porn then the natural thing to do would be to get porn but the LDS’s goal is to change their nature and to use sexual desire only as God has intended, which is only in marriage. now statistically 50% of the membership struggles with that specific change, they are not evil ppl because this change is a continuous process, they have infinite chances to try again. it is the same thing for homosexuality, the goal is to change.
what i just described is the whole purpose of the LDS church, to say that they should come out and accept homosexuality is to say that they should reject the whole reason they exist. that will not happen.
now while the LDS church doesn’t support homosexuality they also believe in a person’s god given power to make choices, i know that word is taboo in the gay community but what i mean is that the church isnt going to force anyone to change, they (including Boyd K Packer, who is equivalent to James or John or the new testament) will only state their beliefs and invite everyone to listen.
that leads me into something i’ve always wondered… why is the LGBT community trying to pass gay marriage as a law? i mean why try to force others to tell you that homosexuality is ok? why do they think they need someone’s permission? i would think that the easier way to approach this would be to push for a flat tax and change the tax code involving marriage thus removing government from the issue, which is the real reason for this whole argument, doing this would allow those from the LDS church to not have to fight gay marriage, and would allow the LGBT to do their own thing. win win.
the whole thing becomes much more simple when you realize that the government is the problem here. think about it, so long as the LGBT and the right are at war the votes will never mix, but if the issue was ever resolved there would be no reason or LGBT to be exclusively democrats any more, its sad that they are being used in that way… freaking government.
OK, so maybe that’s the point of the church, but is it the point of the Boy Scouts?
This has been answered so many times and in so many places that — if you’re asking it on this tangentially-related thread — I can only assume you don’t really want to know the answer; you just mean the question rhetorically.
Take a look at the original post that inspired your tangent about marriage. The situation is that a whole lot of people are not happy with the Boy Scouts’ decision to discriminate against gay people. The BSA has responded to public opinion by incrementally changing. But the BSA had the right to continue discriminating — the government didn’t make them stop.
So perhaps this overall conflict — the one between people who favor equality and people feel they should have the right never to be confronted by the fact that gay people exist — is not, in fact, caused by the government.
I don’t think the BSA policy change (assuming it passes next month) entirely mimics the Church. I would assume that when they say that “sexual expression, hetero or homo, has no place in scouting,” that this would include forbidding talks on “homosexual behavior as sin.” Presumably, some boy scouts enter relationships before age 18, and if it’s known that a certain boy scout is gay, and that he’s dating…well, the new policy should allow this, which is not something allowed in the Church.
RE: @1: Actually, I see the Church as having space for “old gays,” provided they remain celibate. It seems like there’s a growing phenomenon of older gay men finding space in the Church (Mitch Mayne scenarios). In this sense, the Church allows openly gay adult members, whereas the BSA won’t.
RE: @2: “Meanwhile, if youâ€™re an atheist or a girl, well, youâ€™re not welcome at all.” From my memory of boy scouts in my early teens, the religious aspect is determined greatly by the adult leaders — it’s not a requirement (that I know of) that a leader be a theist. Supposedly, the BSA is open to all non/faiths; I remember feeling slightly uncomfortable when there were prayers, but looking back, I considered it part of my multicultural education…kinda like whether or not to salute to the flag.
RE: girls, there’s also Girl Scouts, which I attended with my mother and sister (since we had no babysitter). And definitely, the activities are different. Boys learn archery whereas girls learn arts&crafts. Are you suggesting that there should be no Boy/Girl Scouts, but just Scouts?
No, being atheist (or even agnostic) is specifically not allowed, for both the scouts themselves and for the leaders. It’s one of the central controversies of the BSA.
I have nothing against the Girl Scouts — I was one myself and have many fond memories of Girl Scouting. One can argue that in many ways the Girl Scouts are superior — they don’t discriminate against atheists, homosexuals, or transsexuals, for example, because of the positive values they adhere to and encourage.
I’m just pointing out that it is discrimination, even if the existence of a high-quality parallel organization renders the discrimination nearly invisible. Are you suggesting that we should have homo-boy-scouts and hetero-boy-scouts instead of just Scouts?
Yeah, GS is the more progressive organization. Except that their cookies continue to include high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils, which definitely should be banned!
LGBT youth should continue to have spaces they can call their own — extra-curricular organizations to get away from the hetero-oriented world if necessary or desirable. This BSA controversy proves that. Such organizations usually welcome straight members, although when it comes to adults, like LGBT sports-teams, there is controversy there for excluding the occasional straight member. This does not mean that the BSA should then be permitted to exclude gays…I figure I don’t have to explain why.
That said, I’m not sure how I’d feel about scouting specifically for queer male youth, excluding female youth. One of the things I like about the LGBT community is that it often has less hang-ups about gender, so that many LGBT spaces have co-ed restrooms, for example. But I dunno. Sometimes boys want to hang out with boys, and girls with girls. To what extent this is a result of the discriminatory world we live in (versus a result of being a dimorphic animal species) is hard to say.
Eh, my father is an atheist, and he was a leader for a little while while I was in scouting. It’s one of those “don’t ask, don’t tell” things, I guess. Even if the BSA bans gays and atheists, they can’t truly ever prevent their entry. =p
Actully if scouts ever did completely give in the church would walk, it wouldn’t be impossible to create their own system by expanding the young men’s program.
Anyway the thing I really wanted to get at, I whole heartedly follow justice clarence Thomas on discrimination, I’m sure I can’t do him justice but this is what I ok know- rosa parks is known for being a key part of civil rights but if you read a little deeper into it you should be wondering why bus companies decided to segregated the ppl? A company like that should be focused on money not who it comes from, well turns out it wasn’t the bus company making that decision… Some moron went to the government because they didn’t like to share the busses, and government set up segregation.
I strongly resist any government involvement in social issues, which is why I brought up the marriage part of the tax code, government involvement will only make things worse, but letting both sides do what they want is a better solution than trying to force one side into giving up their religion.
Btw, no one said anything about pretending gays don’t exist. Also what makes gays “unequal”? The answer is that the government recognizes hetro marriage through the tax code, it shouldn’t respect anyone more than someone else and it shouldn’t give out special treatment to a few ppl, the best solution is to remove government interest in the issue.
@7 I agree it’s a complicated issue, and it’s not clear that making separate groups for kids along various gender/orientation lines is always wrong or always right.
The separate-and-unequal Boy Scout vs. Girl Scout divide has its advantages, but it also has some negative consequences. The BSA, on the one hand, has more extensive facilities and resources (I think) whereas the Girl Scouts are a bit more open to liberal ideas (among other differences). What if your gender doesn’t match the organization you want to be a part of?
Also, the gender discrimination causes discrimination against transgender kids. In the case of the Girl Scouts, there were some cases in the news about including transgender girls in GS troops. Some girls didn’t like it (in the grounds that the transgender girls are actually boys), but the Girl Scout organization has chosen not to discriminate against transgender girls. Now imagine you’re a transgender boy and you’d like to join a Boy Scout troop. I’m pretty sure you’d be SOL.
Yes, I think the point is that there are various oaths, etc., where you have to affirm your duty to God, and if you’re willing to say the words, you’re in, even if you don’t really believe. Some atheists would like to join without being required to affirm stuff they don’t believe.
Perhaps that would be the best thing for everyone involved.
Clearly majority rule has its disadvantages, which is why majority rule is tempered by minority rights. Fortunately, even though many states passed Jim Crow Laws, state-sponsored segregation was eventually found (by the government, if that’s important) to be unconstitutional.
If you object to marriage being promoted through the tax code, that’s a separate issue.
My point is that what the government is doing is simply providing objective, third-party documentation of family relationship — in the same way that the government provides legal documentation for births and adoptions. This is important for stuff like determining who is next of kin for inheritance, etc., who is legally kin when it comes to medical decisions, who has legal guardianship over kids (documenting marriage plays a role in this), keeping families together by allowing foreign spouses to live and work in their spouse’s country, etc. Please see my post Just write it down.
If the government suddenly decided to stop documenting marriages, all you would accomplish is to create a situation where if you’re in critical medical condition, a hospital wouldn’t know whether to let in this woman who claims to be your “wife” (though not recognized as such by any legal authority), plus you’d have to make a separate contract if you’d like her to inherit your property (and, since she’s not recognized legally as your wife, hello inheritance tax!), and if your wife is from another country, you’d better hope her visa doesn’t run out! Plus you’ll need to get a separate government-issued adoption certificate if you want to be in on medical or other decisions regarding your wife’s kids, and the list goes on.
If you want to “let both sides do what they want” — then fabulous. Allowing the government to continue to provide legal documentation of kinship relationships in no way forces anyone to give up their religion.
Actually, the government isn’t just documenting. It determines what forms of kinship are legal and which aren’t, which is a problem, IMO. If I want to marry two people, I’ll have to fight for that for another 50 years before the government recognizes (and doesn’t deem illegal) the relationship. Perhaps there’s a way to do the documentation work and also give people the freedom to form the family structures they want.
@11 The laws determine which families get legally-recognized kinship documents and which don’t, and — as with the Jim Crow laws — sometimes discriminatory laws get passed. But the fact that the government provides kinship documentation isn’t the problem, and consequently, making the government stop doing that won’t solve the problem. On the contrary, the laws are required to treat citizens equally, so there is a mechanism for striking down discriminatory laws.
Please don’t tell me you have such high expectations for the government to ultimately “choose the right” when it comes to discrimination. The government’s job is to balance existing discrimination in society with the interests of the economy. Which is why the Supreme Court always plays it “safe” and will approve gay marriage because a swath of Republicans say that gay marriage is good for “free enterprise.” Yeah, there will be language about “equality,” but seriously? What happens when I want to marry two people? I can’t. Equality is misnomer for bigger processes.
Similarly, I reading the other day about how the government intervened during the early 20th century when women entered the workforce in great numbers in the textile industry. Capitalism loved the cheap labor, but patriarchy said that women couldn’t serve two masters. So, what did the government do? It created the “family wage” so that families could be supported on one income, a man’s, and women disengaged from the work force. We tend to think of the “family wage” as a good thing that the government did, but in reality it was merely balancing (and perpetuating) the interests of capitalism and patriarchy.
@13 This is exactly what I was talking about in part 1 of my rethinking economics series:
Americans have a profoundly-held belief that “the government” is inherently incompetent, and — by its very nature — can’t do anything right. I would like to call this “American Article of Faith 1” (or AAF1 for short).
If something is not working well, an American will look around and see if “the government” is somehow involved, and then say, “Aha! I’ve found the problem!” Because the government is doing something, and by AAF1 it’s doing it wrong, therefore the problem is the government! Problem solved!
I would like to suggest thinking outside the box: If you see the government doing something wrong, instead of saying “Aha! More evidence that the government does everything wrong!”, consider that that doesn’t imply that the private sector would do it better, nor does it even imply that it is impossible for any government to perform the particular task right (if people insist that they do it right).
So, no, I don’t have high expectations that the government will somehow “choose the right” if the corresponding people consider it totally normal for “the government” to act in its own interests that are not in alignment with the interests of the people who are consenting to be governed by it. If you expect incompetence, you’ll get it.
I’m not implying the private sector would do it better; my position is not the libertarian one on the American right. It wasn’t until the 1970s or so that regulation became a dirty word again, because after the Great Depression in the 30s, most people were in agreement that the government must regulate the private sector (AKA Keynesian economics, which I’ve just said everything I know about it, lol). And now, after the 2008 Great Recession, people are beginning to remember why regulation is good.
My position is more of a far left position. What I’m saying is that the government has always been in cahoots with the private sector from the beginning — even during the period between 1970 and now because it’s the government’s job to maintain an economically healthy nation. What we saw during the period of less regulation were things like international trade agreements that created a global system of inequality that is now quite apparent in the US, too.
But then the state also concerns itself with regulating bodies — or “citizenship” — such as setting immigration quotas or defining the boundaries of acceptable kinship. This stuff is also related to the government’s interest in having a healthy private sector.
I kind of think of the US government like how the Church functions. The Church will ordain women not necessarily because of, but certainly in relation to sustained economic consequences for not ordaining women. So it’s not that I’m expecting incompetence from the Church or government so much as I’m expecting it to do its job well and be interested in perpetuating itself. Like the Church, the governments of today’s nation-states have fundamentally broken aspects to them.
If I can jump in here – I would like to point out that marriage is much more than a religious institution. There are a considerable amount of government benefits that come when a relationship is recognized in the eyes of law – inheritance, child custody rights, health insurance benefits, immigration, just to name a few. All ideological arguments aside, these rights are hugely important for families. And right now, because marriage is only granted to a man and a woman, there are thousands of families that are denied access to crucial services because the government won’t recognize their union. For example, my husband is a foreign national – for us, marriage meant protection in terms of immigration-related issues. If we were a same-sex couple, we wouldn’t have that protection.
Religion needs to stay out of government. Period. And at this point in time, people are using religious justification to avoid granting legal status to committed couples.
@15 OK, so I take it you’re not arguing “the government needs to get out of the marriage business” or that that would somehow solve the gay marriage controversy. Right?
I agree that the government often acts to further interests that are not in alignment with the interests of the people being governed. I would say that that misalignment is the root problem to be solved.
A lot of times Americans seem to characterize “the government” as though it were some foreign occupying power — so of course it doesn’t act in the interests of the people, because acting in the interests of the people was never its job. I think that that perspective contributes to the problem. Sure, the government doesn’t always succeed at serving the interests of the people, but it should, and maybe it could and would do a better job of it if people expected it to.
Exactly. In many other countries people are required to have a civil ceremony in order to be legally married (and then they can also have whatever additional religious ceremony they like). It works great — people typically do the two on the same day, and have their secular friends serve as witnesses for the legal ceremony and their religious friends serve as witnesses for the religious ceremony.
I think part of the problem with gay marriage in the United States is that the US grants religious ceremonies the legal/civil status to make a marriage legally-binding (i.e. the same priest/rabbi makes the civil documents legally binding at the same time as performing the religious ceremony). This confuses people into thinking that marriage is under the jurisdiction of religion, and that being married legally/civilly is the same thing as being married in the eyes of God.
People need to understand that the state of being legally/civilly married is not a sacrament or ordinance of a particular church. Then perhaps they would grasp that having the state recognize one couple as married for legal purposes (“inheritance, child custody rights, health insurance benefits, immigration, just to name a few”) in no way concerns the religious beliefs of somebody else.
Right well, I guess it’s my fault I didn’t give more background on why I think tax reform is the way to go, I view government’s job as defending the boarders so that we can each have freedom within and that is the only job it should have. I understand that isn’t going to happen but that is the direction I’m moving for. That said when I say get government out of marriage I mean every part of it, there will be no tax exemptions, there will be no Medicare and and things like adoption will be statistics based. Nm the shock from the change but once it’s done ppl will have real freedom, I am not forced to like you and you don’t have to listen to me.
Also not interested in listening to a faction, or anymore stereotypes, your rhetoric is pretty obnoxious but hey! If I may use my own stereotype, that’s the personality of an ex Mormon, they know it all.
Anyone who will take a moment to think about it will see that the government’s role is to make certain the people are free from all rules and regulations. How can anyone possibly miss that point.
@18 Joe, that’s actually kind of what I thought your position was. Even though we disagree, we can certainly have a friendly conversation about this without stereotyping or insulting each other.
I have two (maybe two-and-a-half) questions for you about your position. First, this:
What does that mean? It sounds like you’re saying that some sort of central authority (a court system? a government?) would be using some population statistics to distribute orphaned babies (and perhaps also provide official adoption certificates and enforce the adoptive parents’ custody rights….?).
I thought you wanted the government out of this sort of social engineering, and that you’d want the distribution of unwanted babies to be handled entirely by private organizations.
Second question: On another thread you seemed to indicate that you are a faithful Mormon. A lot of faithful Mormons believe that the US Constitution is divinely inspired. From what you say @18, it sounds like you don’t really agree with the Constitution.
So which is it? Do you think that the US Constitution is not divinely inspired, or do you believe that the position you expressed @18 agrees with the Constitution? (i.e. Do you agree that the government should make laws and enforce them through a court system?) Or something else?
Well, when there was no legal gay marriage, people didn’t hassle me about when I was going to get married. Now that there’s legal gay marriage (in my state, at least), people bother me about getting married. So, already gays are wrapped up into the culture of marriage, and you know, one of the reasons I left the Church was to get away from the idea of “marriage as the best route for everyone” mantra. Although I reluctantly support government-sponsored gay marriage, I do feel something is lost — and that something has to do with the way people frame their lives around how the government does or does not treat them as equal, etc, through institutionalized kinship. I would prefer the government not only get out of the marriage business, but the kinship business altogether, but I don’t have a viable alternative.
I would say that it’s not just a perspective, but a reality for many folks that the government does not work in their interests. Think of indigenous tribes, for example, for whom the government actually is a foreign occupying power.
Of course for the people of indigenous tribes the US government literally is a foreign occupying power. And by that same logic, you are one of the foreign invaders, occupying on land that was theirs.
But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the strange dynamic between the occupying invaders themselves and their own government.
You seem to be confusing the right to marry with the obligation to marry.
One of our longest-running discussions here was about how supporting marriage should mean supporting happy, functioning marriages. Pressuring people to get married when they’re not ready or when they don’t want to be married is the opposite of encouraging happy marriages.
But I’m not confusing anything…I’m merely stating that when there was no gay marriage, there was less pressure for gays to get married.
Marriage is a powerful institution in our society. Supporting it tends to lead to increased societal pressure for people to enter into it. It becomes the sine qua non for what a relationship should ultimately become…the idea is that, without it, a relationship is not yet complete.
Of course one can try to say, “No, marriage is just an option…it’s not the end goal for a loving partnership.” But in all the gay marriage support that I’ve heard, that’s not the rhetoric. It’s about the government respecting “our relationships, too,” as if this respect can’t come in a form other than marriage.
I didn’t get any pressure from my biological family to get gaily hitched.
And not only didn’t I invite them to the wedding, I didn’t even tell them I was getting married.
So far not one of them has asked about my wedding ring.
And while I have long had a loving partnership, I was very aware that if a meteorite fell on my head, the spousal unit and offspring would be homeless before the attending doctor signed my death certificate.
I don’t know how I would structure society if I was dictator of my own private island-nation. But in the society I do live in,–I breath much easier, despite the smog, because I am respectfully married.
And congratulations to Rhode Island.
OK, then the problem isn’t that the government recognizes marriages — it’s that so many people are so interested in supporting it these days. Thus, the solution is for gay marriage to be inevitable/accepted to the point where it falls off everyone’s radar (which it will in a few decades), and then we can all forget about it again. 😉
The Christian right argues that one of the problems with gay marriage is that it supposedly cheapens the marriage brand, hence discourages people from marrying. IMHO, the gay marriage conflict has had exactly the opposite effect. It has ensured that young people across the political spectrum have been constantly hearing all of the reasons why marriage is something valuable that’s worth fighting for.
It looks like you and I agree on that point, and are simply left disagreeing about whether it’s good or bad. 😉
Speaking of Rhode Island, here’s what the governor had to say:
Interesting rhetoric. Seems that what I said @13 is true. =p
What do you expect Chaffee, who was republican most of his political career, to say.
I find it interesting that 60% Catholic Rhode Island now has same sex marriage, while a slightly more %Mormon Utah can’t even get basic employment discrimination.
And while the Boy scouts are having corporate sponsor difficulty, the Mormon church response is to insinuate being progressive without actually being progressive.
And at the turn of the century, labor had protectionist language regarding women’s wages written into their contracts. So labor and capitalists agreed on some things.
And this was also with the support of the leaders of many women’s organizations that had also supported women’s suffrage.
And what was the economic interest of the Administration of the Republican Roosevelt in going after(unsuccessfully) corporations violating peonage laws?
And I can’t help but be bemused, as well as painfully amused at the current arguments against women’s priesthood compared with arguments regarding protectionist language of mainstream society 100 years ago.
It use to be a polygamous wife could win public office against her husband. But the the Church was dragged, with the great accommodation, into a world that had ditched the separate spheres for the new woman and the rise of heterosexuality.
And now a man and a woman equally presides under the direction of the Priesthood and the Relief Society is just another boring meeting where the ultimate decisions are made by men.
And the Mormon Church still seems fully vested in the Boy Scouts and turning boys into ideal men with eternal presiding powers.
[Here is what I found on the web. Is anyone shocked?]
Mormon Porn & Boy Scouts
by Aaronita Smith
Wayne Perry, Boy Scouts president, is pro-gay – and, believe it or not, MALE porn is officially part of his religion!
Scholars, including Mormon ones, know of a hard-core porn sketch in the Mormon-approved “Book of Abraham.”
This Book is part of the “Pearl of Great Price” which, along with the “Book of Mormon,” is LDS-authorized scripture.
Figure 7 in Facsimile 2 in “Abraham” shows two beings facing each other. Joseph Smith described them as the “Holy Ghost” and “God” (the Father), the latter showing an erect male sex organ.
Mormons were offended when Smith’s newspaper published this sketch in 1842, so the phallic part was whited out for more than a century until the “restored” LDS church restored the X-rated drawing in 1981!
LDS scholars have hushed up the fact that the “Book of Abraham” is not about the biblical Abraham but actually portrays ancient Egyptian documents showing occult obscene sketches.
Those scholars also know that Smith fraudulently altered them so that he could (blasphemously) portray the Christian trinity as sex fiends in order to promote polygamy among his followers!
For more info see “Book of Abraham” (Wikipedia). And check out the Tanners’ “Mormonism – Shadow or Reality?” which reproduces the original Egyptian sketches Smith plagiarized and exploited. Also Yahoo or Google “Facts From Mormons (By a Utah Resident),” “God to Same-Sexers: Hurry Up,” “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up,” and “USA – from Puritans to Impure-itans.”
Sure, but the drawing is so small and abstract that most people don’t notice any phallic imagery. Faithful Mormons are typically not aware of it — plus they reject standard Egyptologists’ interpretations of the Facsimiles, so some Mormons might not even agree that that’s what it is.
The Facsimiles are copied from an ancient and perhaps unfamiliar culture (first century Egypt) — but there is no reason to call them “occult” or “obscene.”
It’s likely that Smith didn’t even realize that there were phallic images in the Facsimiles. Considering how wrong his guesses were when interpreting the other images in the Facsimiles, I’d be very surprised if he’d interpreted those right. As far as I have heard, there’s no evidence to suggest that Joseph Smith taught anyone that Facsimile #2 portrayed God having sex or that he connected the image with polygamy.