Monday, September 04, 2006

A State of Debate

After that last excessively long post, I read a article on The Salt Lake Tribune about an online discussion on about the troubling issue of Same Gender Attraction and LDS Church. The discussion seems to involve a guys PUBLIC AFFAIRS, ELDER WICKMAN and ELDER OAKS.

My long rant was about the fact that, in a culture that stifles open discourse, I feel compelled to lob on occasional incendiary comment into the blogosphere. After composing the long rant, I see an article about how the LDS Church is apparently trying to open debate about an issue they've traditionally have kept swept under the carpet.

My understanding of this issue is that LDS Church has been under a steady attack about its policies towards gays. Apparently, the LDS Church has a reputation for simply casting its gay sons and daughters to the wind. Either that, or they would coerce them into marriages where they would proceed to make themselves and their unfortunate partner miserable. Neither option is all that Christian. It is interesting that both the LDS and FLDS have a history of casting people out of the fold.

Apparently this discussion is an attempt to find a better way to handle the issue. The new idea appears to be to stop denying that gays exist and to stop casting gay people out of the community. Apparently the new policy is to welcome gays in the community with the admonishment that they keep it in their pants.

The specifics of the LDS/Gay issue is really not something I follow. What I do find interesting is the use of the internet for informal policy discussions and the fact that the LDS church apparently is trying to start a discussion about an issue rather than dictating policy by calling it a "revelation."

I don't think this article did that great of a job establishing the beginning of a debate. Elder Wickman and Elder Oaks still seem to have a stuffy us v. them view of the world, and they really haven't established enough definitions for their oponents to define their position. The post might be a good beginning of a debate, but is insufficient to serve as the overall framework for a debate.

This is how I would frame the debate:

Conservative religious communities are at odds with the modern progressive community. Christian communities tend to think that respect for life and raising families should be the primary concern of a society. Modern progressives consider sexual expression to be the overriding concern of the day. Religious conservatives appears always appear a bit repressed. Viewing procreation as the only purpose of sex, the philosophy either ends up with excessively large families or with people being asked to stifle instinct. Progressive view is equally heartless in that they advocate flushing life produced from sex. The Mormon philosophy doesn't really leave a very nice role for gays or hetrosexuals who don't want to have children.

The world cannot support man producing at the maximum rate of his reproductive capacity. Conversely, progressives way over emphasize that people only receive fulfillment in pursing their sexual identity.

It is an area of debate where both sides have merit and faults in their beliefs.

The article is long, and this really is not an issue that I find interesting. Apparently, LDS discussion groups on the net are a buzz with the issue and that people are trying to be civil. I like civil discourse.

I was not happy with the Intelligent Design thesis that came up last year. However, it is the type of discussion that should take place. I suspect that some people were drawn into studying real science after examining the fake science put forward by the proponents of ID. The debate had value despite the fact that ID began with a bad thesis.

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