askandanswer

Gays, blacks and the church

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What are some of the similarities and differences between, on the one hand, the pre 1978 arguments and discussions about the relationship between blacks and the church and the nature and extent to which blacks should be able to fully participate in the church, and on the other hand, current arguments about and discussions about the relationship between gays and the church and the nature and extent to which gays should be able to fully participate in the church?

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One difference in my mind, would be the proclamation on the family.  With blacks and the priesthood, we had no official proclamation on the matter.  Just a hodge-podge of tradition and various teachings, with some black folk being ordained from the earliest years of the church mixed in.

One similarity would be the amount of "I sure feel for those folks and it's heartwrenching at their plight" I hear coming from various saints (including me).

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Why can't gay people fully participate in the Church?   To my knowledge, and I suspect someone will come along and educate me, restricting participation due to heritage was a policy.  There is no such restriction on participation for attractions.

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Someone who is gay can already participate fully in all the blessings of the church if they choose to through their obedience. Which means there's no comparison to be made at all.

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11 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Someone who is gay can already participate fully in all the blessings of the church if they choose to through their obedience. Which means there's no comparison to be made at all.

The question was more about the similarities and arguements that have been used for to defend or oppose certain positions rather than about what those positions are now, or have been in the past .Certainly there have been different arguements, so to that extent, they can be compared. 

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45 minutes ago, Grunt said:

Why can't gay people fully participate in the Church?   To my knowledge, and I suspect someone will come along and educate me, restricting participation due to heritage was a policy.  There is no such restriction on participation for attractions.

Participating is no problem, this issue they have is mot having access to the high blessings and being around teachings that are contrary to their own beliefs.

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2 minutes ago, Fether said:

Participating is no problem, this issue they have is mot having access to the high blessings and being around teachings that are contrary to their own beliefs.

They certainly do have access, but as you said it runs contrary to their own beliefs.  Many things in the church ran contrary to my beliefs at one time.   I've struggled to align my beliefs with God's, though.  

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2 hours ago, askandanswer said:

The question was more about the similarities and arguements that have been used for to defend or oppose certain positions rather than about what those positions are now, or have been in the past .Certainly there have been different arguements, so to that extent, they can be compared. 

Any two things can be compared. The question is whether there is any worth to the comparison. 

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

this issue they have is mot having access to the high blessings

Why don't they have access to the high blessings? 

2 hours ago, Fether said:

being around teachings that are contrary to their own beliefs

Belief is a choice. 

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9 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Why don't they have access to the high blessings? 

 

The OP comment about gays and the church assumed the conflict between the two, and the only conflict that exists is that of living a gay lifestyle while attending church. My comment carried the same assumptions

12 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Belief is a choice. 

Which is why it is difficult for someone who chooses to believe their homosexual lifestyle is good while attending a church that teaches the opposite

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17 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Any two things can be compared. The question is whether there is any worth to the comparison. 

Agreed.  And this isn’t technically a discussion about two comparable things; but about the comparisons made between those two things.  At a certain point, things become so “meta” that I’m not sure there’s anything really useful that I could say on the subject.  

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My intention behind the OP was speculation and curiousity about the possibility that some of the arguements and viewpoints that were used to support or oppose the position on men of colour and the Priesthood before 1978 might have some similarities and differences between the arguements that have recently, and perhaps still now, have been used to oppose or support the church's position on gays. If this forum had been operating in 1976, how similar or different would the arguements about men of colour receiving the Priesthood be about today's arguements as to whether same sex marriages should be allowed in the temple. I'm not taking a position on this one way or the other as to whether it is a good or bad thing that men of colour be given the Priesthood or same sex marriages be performed in the temple. I'm simply curious about the nature of the arguements because I don't know the answer to the question. It does seem to me that the two groups are comparable to some extent because arguements about if and how and to men of colour should be accepted and able to receive all of the blessings available through the church generated strong feelings for and against and seemed to go on for a long time and were quite divisive at various times. It also seems that the circumstances of both groups are comparable because it took a revelation to change the position on men of colour and the Priesthood and it would take a revelation to change the position on same sex marriages.     

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22 minutes ago, askandanswer said:

My intention behind the OP was speculation and curiousity about the possibility that some of the arguements and viewpoints that were used to support or oppose the position on men of colour and the Priesthood before 1978 might have some similarities and differences between the arguements that have recently, and perhaps still now, have been used to oppose or support the church's position on gays. If this forum had been operating in 1976, how similar or different would the arguements about men of colour receiving the Priesthood be about today's arguements as to whether same sex marriages should be allowed in the temple. I'm not taking a position on this one way or the other as to whether it is a good or bad thing that men of colour be given the Priesthood or same sex marriages be performed in the temple. I'm simply curious about the nature of the arguements because I don't know the answer to the question. It does seem to me that the two groups are comparable to some extent because arguements about if and how and to men of colour should be accepted and able to receive all of the blessings available through the church generated strong feelings for and against and seemed to go on for a long time and were quite divisive at various times. It also seems that the circumstances of both groups are comparable because it took a revelation to change the position on men of colour and the Priesthood and it would take a revelation to change the position on same sex marriages.     

Well, I think a 1976 variant of this forum that had its historical data in order, would have hard-core orthodox members noting:

—David O. McKay had prayed to God for permission to revoke the ban, and had been told “no”; so God certainly “owned” the ban.  There is no room for sincere doubt of the divine origin of the ban itself.  The Church leadership’s continued teaching and enforcement of the ban as of 1976 is not some sort of failure on their part; it represents an example of their accurately relaying the word and will of the Lord to His Church.  

—The ban is not, by its terms, eternal in nature.  There was a time when the ban did not exist.

—Multiple prophetic proponents/defenders of the ban had said that at some point the ban would end, the only question is “when”; and wouldn’t it be cool that happened at a point when we here in 1976 were still alive?

—It noteworthy that the ban is based on race, not behavior; there is no course of conduct or behavioral standard that a black man can adopt in order to qualify himself for the priesthood as long as the ban remains in place.  Darned shame, really.  The Lord must have His reasons.

—Within its scope of applicability, the ban’s burden falls upon *all* people; not just the ones who have structured their aspirations and values around an inappropriate reliance on sexual fulfillment.

—People who try to engage in politicking/public shaming in order to guilt the Church into adopting their own pet theories of social justice, misapprehend the fundamental nature of what the Church is and how it works, and are likely to find themselves and their descendants out of the Church sooner rather than later.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

Which is why it is difficult for someone who chooses to believe their homosexual lifestyle is good while attending a church that teaches the opposite

But that difficulty is a choice. Blacks not being given the priesthood was not their choice. Someone choosing to believe the Church is wrong in homosexuality is something they can choose to not believe and the conflict is resolved.  No more difficulty in that regard. 

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21 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

But that difficulty is a choice. Blacks not being given the priesthood was not their choice. Someone choosing to believe the Church is wrong in homosexuality is something they can choose to not believe and the conflict is resolved.  No more difficulty in that regard. 

Correct, I was responding to someone asking why they couldn’t participate. I was just pointing out that they couldn’t participate in the ordinances while holding on to those beliefs

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7 hours ago, askandanswer said:

Most gays would have difficulty accessing the blessing of being sealed to the one who they love the most - which is the highest blessing that the church offers. 

No blessing will be denied to the faithful. It might take until the next life but once free of their fallen bodies they will have the opportunity for this and all blessings. 

There might be similarities to the extent that both groups were denied something they couldn't have but one was founded in doctrine and the other the simply the will of God at that time with no doctrinal explanation.

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2 hours ago, laronius said:

No blessing will be denied to the faithful. It might take until the next life but once free of their fallen bodies they will have the opportunity for this and all blessings. 

This ^^ might be a little optimistic

34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful acrisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth bpossess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

I don't think we've received enough information at this time to know how being gay in the next life might affect a person's situation in that life but the above scripture suggests that if you are faithful and gay in this life you are likely to be faithful and gay in the next.   

 

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15 minutes ago, askandanswer said:

This ^^ might be a little optimistic

34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful acrisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth bpossess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

I don't think we've received enough information at this time to know how being gay in the next life might affect a person's situation in that life but the above scripture suggests that if you are faithful and gay in this life you are likely to be faithful and gay in the next.   

 

I don't know how sexual attraction could have existed prior to receiving a physical body and therefore a condition of mortality only and imperfect bodies and not our spirit but putting that aside, the only way for your interpretation to be possible would be to limit the reach of the atonement of Jesus Christ. I really doubt God would make exaltation, which is by definition the perpetuation of lives, impossible for a certain segment of his children.

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15 hours ago, askandanswer said:

What are some of the similarities and differences between, on the one hand, the pre 1978 arguments and discussions about the relationship between blacks and the church and the nature and extent to which blacks should be able to fully participate in the church, and on the other hand, current arguments about and discussions about the relationship between gays and the church and the nature and extent to which gays should be able to fully participate in the church?

I think in retrospect the Church has a done a better job of implementing positive change with OD2 than American society has in general with implementing positive change for Blacks (see the news!), which is still extremely problematic and weakens our society. Underlying this is the hand of the Lord in directing those who exercise the keys upon the earth, while those in society do the best they can with what they've got (politics), with mixed or negative results for society at large. I believe that the Brethren will continue to exercise the keys in a way that improves society (builds Zion)much more successfully than society.

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4 hours ago, askandanswer said:

This ^^ might be a little optimistic

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/media/video/2016-03-0023-no-blessings-denied-the-faithful?lang=eng

I'll trust in the prophets and apostles, thank you very much.

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12 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Agreed.  And this isn’t technically a discussion about two comparable things; but about the comparisons made between those two things.  At a certain point, things become so “meta” that I’m not sure there’s anything really useful that I could say on the subject.  

To be fair, some people might see it this way: since homosexuality appears to be biological, like skin color, and therefore unchangeable, why punish homosexuals the same way African-Americans were punished? 
 

It’s not perfect, I’m just tying to explain how the other side might feel about the issue. 

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5 hours ago, askandanswer said:

This ^^ might be a little optimistic

34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful acrisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth bpossess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

I don't think we've received enough information at this time to know how being gay in the next life might affect a person's situation in that life but the above scripture suggests that if you are faithful and gay in this life you are likely to be faithful and gay in the next.   

 

This presupposes that a brain chemically/physiologically inclined towards homosexuality is nevertheless in its “proper and perfect frame” (see Alma 40:23), which is odd because we know there can be physiological irregularities in the brain that influence all kinds of predispositions and behavior—including sexuality.

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4 minutes ago, LDSGator said:

homosexuality appears to be biological, like skin color, and therefore unchangeable

"appears" to be according to what...?

FWIW I fully and completely reject this idea. I do not believe it to be biological. I believe there are biological traits that might incline one towards things that relate, but...

Let's say, just for the sake of argument, that it were fully biological, unchangeable, etc. Then still...

6 minutes ago, LDSGator said:

why punish homosexuals the same way African-Americans were punished?

...this is still not an apples to apples comparison. It's comparing a persons, due to their skin color, being unable to have the priesthood to a person, due to their tastes, being unable to indulge in their tastes while remaining faithful and in good standing in the church. The need to not indulge in tastes that are sinful is common to ALL people in the church. It is not exclusive to homosexuals. Some people have tastes that are further out of bounds than others. But we all have out of bounds tastes. I've been "punished" in the same way throughout my life by having to repress my nastier urges to stay in good standing in the church. Though I would think it should be obvious that calling that a "punishment" is kind of flawed.

FWIW, mere "skin color" was not the issue at hand in the priesthood restriction. Lineage was. But I digress. There was nothing they could refrain from to get the priesthood. Everyone has to refrain from certain things to qualify for blessings. Everyone. But even a perfect, sinless man, were that possible, could not have the priesthood prior to 1978 if he was of black African descent.

And, for consideration also, women still cannot by virtue of being a woman. That, at least, would indeed be a legitimate comparison of ideas. ;)

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7 minutes ago, LDSGator said:

To be fair, some people might see it this way: since homosexuality appears to be biological, like skin color, and therefore unchangeable, why punish homosexuals the same way African-Americans were punished? 
 

It’s not perfect, I’m just tying to explain how the other side might feel about the issue. 

There is, as you well know, a difference between not knowing an argument exists versus knowing it exists but also understanding it to be a ridiculously flawed argument.

Folks making the argument you cite would have to completely dismiss the distinction between mind and body, between predilection and behavior; and embrace the notion that humans are essentially dumb animals with virtually no capacity to overcome their baser urges or otherwise regulate their behavior.

 

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