Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gay make out in the media

So, my sister asked this question: What kind of behavior is appropriate and useful when you are faced with behavior in the media you believe is immoral?

First, we must acknowledge that there are a large number of people who are more liberal in this issue, and consider your and my position on homosexuality to be barbaric, ignorant, and akin to the racism of the early 1900's. Considering the distance between the two positions, it is easy for offense, misunderstanding and dismissal to limit the value of any interaction between the two. An extreme reaction to a television program causes a few different problems when there are people who disagree with you.
  1. It reinforces the idea that people who think homosexuality is immoral are ignorant, and have come to their position hastily, without good judgement.
  2. Your reaction implies that no one should be ok with what they are seeing, so even those who agree with your premise, but see no harm in viewing the program are told that they are wrong.
  3. Discussion of the topic is discouraged by such extreme reactions, so no common ground can be found.
What is important to realize is that rational, moral people can come to different conclusions when they have different basic principles. Our basic principles include a belief in God, and in scripture, including scripture outlawing homosexual relations. They also include belief that the purpose of family is to provide safe places for children to grow, learn and develop faith. From there, you determine that the practice of homosexuality is damaging to both individuals and societies. However, starting from a different set of principles, people can come to a different conclusion. So instead of assuming everyone shares your conclusions, or even discussing your conclusions, we should discuss our principles.

Finally, I think that Dad's most recent article has something to offer to the discussion.

When I was a kid, the rules for the Sabbath day made perfect sense. You couldn’t attend sporting events, but you watch them on television. You couldn’t go furniture shopping, but you could go with the Priests Quorum Advisor to buy doughnuts between Priesthood and Sunday School. Today the rules seem less logical. You can play catch in the back yard with your brother, but you can’t play catch in the front yard with your friend. You can stop and help a stranger who has run out of gas, but if you run out of gas, you have to walk home.
Church standards change because our understanding of the underlying principles changes and grows, and because the world in which we live requires different standards. We in the church expect those out of the church to respect the standards we have set for ourselves. Sometimes inside the church, we forget to respect that my standards are not the standards. When the media shows two girls making out, it may offend your senses. It definitely is not the lifestyle our church approves of. And yet, it is a lifestyle, and it is an important debate going on in our country right now. Should we ban any public display of affection between homosexual couples? Should we ban the media from discussing the issue? Should we remove ourselves from the public debate? I think it's conceivable to come to the conclusion that it's ok to view a program with that kind of content. I think it's also conceivable to come to the opposite conclusion, but both are personal decisions, and should be respected.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I am now 29. I often don't remember my age. When I do, I think I'm old. Short list of my accomplishments:

1979: I was born, and despite being 2 weeks late, I did it rather well.
1980: I probably started walking, maybe saying a few words.
1981: I wore some awesome clothes this year. My mom has pictures and is proud of my wardrobe to this day.
1982: This is the fateful year that I lost the extra 6 inches I was supposed to grow to my older brother. (It's true, my doctor at the time even said so)
1983: I learned to say shalom at a presbyterian preschool.
1984: I learned newspeak.
1985: I attended kindergarten, where I got many half-stars(for incomplete homework), for even then, I had a difficult time scheduling myself. Should I play in the sandbox, or color my worksheet? I think I'll just go on the swings.
1986: I set records for most walks on my t-ball team.
1987: I played first baseman for a team coached by Spenser for hire.
1988: I witnessed Kirk Gibson's home run, and my dad is first mistaken for Orel Herscheiser.
1989: I was Puck in a school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
1990: I contributed to the unity of my elementary school class by bringing a small football to school, and organizing touch football in the mornings before school started.
1991: A trip to Yosemite with my 6th grade class leads to scintillating observation: Yosemite falls sounds a lot like: "Yo, somebody falls!"
1992: In my final baseball season, My on-base percentage of .473 is forever memorialized, after my last at bat is a suicide squeeze, scoring a run.
To be continued...