Thursday, July 9, 2015


"The Christian resolve to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad."
--Friedrich Nietzsche

One of the arguments I have heard recently attempting to rationalize why the Mormon god does not allow gays to act on their homosexual urges is that he is putting them through a sort of "test." Mormons see homosexuality as a weakness or temptation, akin to an addiction or a bad habit, over which one must gain control.

The problem with this--the first problem--is that homosexuality is much more than simply an urge. It is a biological drive. Mormons believe that heterosexuals also have this drive, but heterosexuals are given an avenue to use it "appropriately." For a Mormon, there is no appropriate way for a homosexual to "control" their sexual urges except through homosexual celibacy.

For straight Mormons there are stages of appropriate sexual behavior. For example, unmarried straight couples are free to hold hands, kiss (in moderation) and even cuddle. Sex is prohibited, but only until marriage, at which point they are free to have sex as often as they want.

Gay Mormons, on the other hand, are not afforded the same gradation. It is not just about gay sex. It is also about gay hand holding, gay kissing, and gay cuddling. Mormons think of themselves as accepting of gays. But they fail to understand the basic biological and psychological need--and it is a need--to have sexual release and love.

I have heard Mormons say "We prohibit all forms of premarital sex, including heterosexual premarital sex; therefore, we ask nothing different of gays." To these Mormons, this means that both heterosexuals and homosexuals are treated equally within the church. But they completely miss all the basic forms of affection that come before sex, which the church prohibits for homosexuals, but not heterosexuals. It is not just about sex.

For many years the church refused to even acknowledge the existence of homosexuals, claiming that such debauchery was just a form of heterosexual rebellion. They called it a choice. And as a choice, it was a sin.

Now that the scientific evidence shows pretty darn conclusively that homosexuality is not a choice, the church is spinning the angle that it is not a sin to be homosexual; just acting on homosexual urges is sinful. Well, this is about the most wicked thing a god could do to a person.

Keep in mind, that since Mormons view homosexuality as a trial or temptation meant to test one's ability to obey god, this also means that god chose to give this particular "trial" to particular people. God could have just as easily chosen to not have homosexuals. Why didn't he? Why would he give someone an urge as basic as the sex drive, and command them on threat of damnation that they cannot ever act on it?

This is not love. This is not a test of character. This is torture. This is abuse.

According to Mormons there are three "degrees" in heaven: the Celestial Kingdom, the Terrestrial Kingdom, and the Telestial Kingdom. According to the Book of Mormon (which, curiously, mentions nothing about these kingdoms), sexual sins are the worst sins a person can commit after murder and denying the Holy Spirit.

In the case of denying the Holy Spirit, the transgressor will be sent to "outer darkness," which basically amounts to annihilation. There is some debate within Mormonism as to what it means to deny the Holy Spirit; so, as an ex-Mormon who has been through the temple endowment ceremony, I may or may not qualify.

The worst murders, first-degree premeditated murders, will send one to the Telestial Kingdom. Lesser murders, such as manslaughter through neglect, may afford one an opportunity to repent and go to the Terrestrial Kingdom. This is not well defined in Mormon doctrine, however.

Depending on the severity of the offense and one's level of repentance, sexual sins will either send a person to the Telestial Kingdom or, if one repents hard enough, to the Terrestrial Kingdom. Only the most repentant sexual sinners (to a level where god says "it never happened") will be allowed into the Celestial Kingdom. This means if one does it a couple times, but they are super sorry (to god) and never do it again, they might make it.

To my knowledge, the church has not explicitly stated what "degree" in heaven a homosexual can attain. I would imagine that should a homosexual manage to stay in a straight marriage and suppress all homosexual urges (which is not recommended by psychologists at all), they can make it to the highest levels of the Celestial Kingdom.

If they remain celibate for their entire lives, or at least show sufficient penance for engaging in homosexual activities, they can make it to the bottom of the Celestial Kingdom (meaning they make it to the Celestial Kingdom, but they don't get the perk of an eternal family and eternal sex; this means that a truly celibate gay Mormon will literally never have sex--ever). Anyone who engages in any homosexual activities without repenting will not make it to the Celestial Kingdom, and possibly not even the Terrestrial Kingdom.

Gay Mormons know that the best they can hope for in this life is either a straight marriage or a life of celibacy. Should they act on their homosexual urges in the same way heterosexual Mormons are allowed, they will likely only make it to the lowest Kingdom (Telestial). Worst of all, for those headed to the Telestial Kingdom (those gay Mormons who cannot help but act on their powerful sexual urges), suicide will not change the outcome. This is why many gay Mormons struggle with suicidal ideation. To them, suicide will just speed up the process of the inevitably of the Telestial Kingdom, and it will remove the persistent homosexual temptation they would face in this life.

This is only made worse when Mormon leaders promise that, like an addiction, homosexual urges can be overcome through fervent prayer. Some leaders have even taught that homosexuality can essentially be "cured" through enough prayer and scripture study. When this does not happen (as the scientific community clearly states), homosexual Mormons are caught in a self-perpetuating guilt cycle and are left wondering why god won't help them.

The short answer is "There is no god and homosexuality is not bad." This realization has freed many gay Mormons from the psychological shackles with which the church has tried to ensnare them. It really does remove all the guilt, the shame and the "final solution" gay Mormons face. Sure, some gay Mormons just leave Mormonism for a more progressive church. And on some level I am fine with this. At least they are no longer caught in the abusive center of the Mormon Church's attempts to reconcile their close-minded beliefs with science.


Cult of Dusty reviews a Mormon anti-masturbation video [WARNING: explicit language]:

1 comment:

Corinne said...

A murderer can get into the telestial kingdom? Huh, I had no idea. Does that include serial murderers? So Ted Bundy could get in? I hate that things like this were never discussed in church! It's no wonder people can't agree on the doctrine and blame others for misinterpreting things.

Also... a homosexual marrying into a straight relationship that successfully represses all homosexual urges, dies and makes it to the celestial kingdom will, for all eternity, be stuck repressing their homosexual urges! What kind of a just and merciful god does that?!

Love the post. :)