Thursday, October 30, 2014

Equality vs. Substance

I often find our American values a little weird.  For example, as Americans, we value equality more than substance.  Let me explain.  It is more highly valued to treat everybody the same way than to treat people with kindness.  If a person treats people with kindness but treats some people better than others, that is a terrible thing.  But if a person treats everyone with equal unkindness, well, at least they aren't a bigot.

I had an acquaintance who told me that he had no respect for anybody but himself.  I though that was an odd thing to say, because when you observed him, he didn't really appear to have any self respect, either.  If the primary goal is to treat everyone equally, it is so much easier to treat everyone with equal disrespect than to try to have respect for everyone.

If our goal is to have love for everyone, I think it's better for people to start with unequal love, and work to be more inclusive, rather than to start with universal hate and try to raise it to love uniformly.  The value needs to come selectively before the uniform application is possible.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Temporary Marriage

If a widow was sealed to her husband, and she remarries, she cannot be sealed for time and eternity to her second husband.  I had a friend who was that second husband.  He basically wasn't allowed to be sealed to his wife.  Since it was his first marriage, he didn't get to be sealed at all.  It seemed very unfair to me, but I suppose it will all be sorted out in the spirit world.  Still, it seems a bit unsatisfactory to me here and now.

I want to point out that the church allows for these marriages, despite the fact that they cannot be eternal.  It's not unprecedented that the church supports marriages that do not lead to eternal families, so it seems possible that the church might lighten up a bit when it comes to same gender marriage.  However, even if that happens, same gender couples might very well be like my friend who is not allowed to be sealed to his wife and children.

I consider this post to be wild speculation, so please take it with a grain of salt.  I don't think there is any mortal on Earth who truly understands all the intricacies of this issue.  I have confidence in the leaders of the church when it comes to revelatory changes.  After all, "we believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God."  (9th Article of Faith)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

In Defense of Marriage

I believe in marriage.  I think one of the most tragic things was the way no-fault divorce laws were constructed in the U.S.  It was Ronald Reagan, that sly one who, as governor of California, crafted no-fault divorces to be convenient for movie stars.  

I much prefer the way the laws were written in Sweden.  There, if a couple have children under 16, there is a year waiting period for no-fault divorce.  That makes so much sense to me.  It allows for no-fault divorce, but at the same time, it tries to protect children.  In the U.S. the laws treat children like an afterthought -- like baggage that gets in the way of sexually fulfilling lives for the parents.

If someone really wants to support laws that defend marriage, that support family values, they ought to be lobbying for a change in the no-fault divorce laws rather than trying to fight gay marriage.  Put energy where it will be useful.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


When we talk about gay stereotypes, we are usually referring to their affects on the gay oriented.  But there is also a pretty profound effect on the straight oriented.  More and more, to prevent themselves from being seen as gay, straight oriented boys and men limit their emotional range and the depth of their interactions with others.  These kinds of limitations can lead to poor mental health and can interfere with forming relationships.

The cry of "no homo" puts a terrible damper on what used to be ordinary interactions.  Often, guys will actively change their interests, their habits, even their sense of self simply because of the desire to make their straight orientation clear to others.  That can't be very healthy.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fighting Fire with Fire?

When I was a kid, the phrase "fight fire with fire" never made very much sense to me.  I would assume that if my home were on fire, I would not want to fight the fire by adding to the flame.

I have children, and that means that sometimes I see one of my children hurt another.  The weirdest thing is when, as an act of penance, I guess, the perpetrator hurts themselves to make up for it.  I think to myself that the act does nothing for the hurt child.  But now two of my children are hurt.

I think this kind of reasoning is pointless and fruitless.  That's why I though Emma Watson's speech to the UN was so good.  It pointed out that feminism needs to not be perceived as "man hating."  So often we get the idea that to fight discrimination, we should discriminate in the opposite direction to balance it out.  If that is the primary method of feminism, then it is going to be seen as man hating -- basically hate men as much as women perceive that they are hated.  That's pretty unsatisfying.

Rather, let's build each other up.  Let's be positive.  Let's look at the real goal and work for it together.