Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rights vs. Complacency

Yes I know, its been six months since I've written anything and most of you would probably rather look at pictures of the baby and hear about our family, but instead I'm stepping on a soap box. The other day at work a conversation was brought up that got me thinking. I didn't quite think the topic was appropriate for the workplace, and I didn't want to start a fight, but I want the opportunity to express my opinion.

Apparently the BYU newspaper, "The Daily Universe," published a letter this past week that had something to do with not allowing same sex partnerships the opportunity to adopt. From what I've gathered, the writer of the letter was rather harsh and somewhat demeaning of those who suffer from same-gender attraction, and the letter has since been taken off of the newspaper's database. Now I have not read this letter, so I don't fully understand the circumstance behind the outrage it produced. However, a few individuals at my work expressed concern that people with opinions like this were spreading a bad name for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One of my co-workers even said that studies have shown that children don't need to be brought up by a mother and a father, but just need to be loved by whoever raises them. To people with this opinion, I say shame on you.

Some may think that denying same-sex partnerships the right to adopt children is discrimination. To those I would implore to think of the rights of the child. I believe that every child deserves the right to be raised in a loving home with both a father and a mother, not two fathers, not two mothers. I believe that the sanctity of marriage was created by God. As a famous quote puts it, "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." I know there are instances where death, abuse, etc. require that children be raised by one parent. I do not condemn this practice, but see it as the exception, not the rule. I also think that if you were to ask those parents raising a child by themselves, they would tell you that it would be much easier if there was a spouse to assist in the child-rearing. In "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve state, "Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity."

Some may claim that this denies gays and lesbians the opportunity to be parents. This is not so, if they chose to be part of a heterosexual partnership then they could have children, they have just chosen otherwise. If anybody wants to point a finger and say it is someone's fault, then take it up with God because the only biological way to bring a human into the world is with one man and one woman. This causes others to say that God is unloving and uncaring to make someone deal with same-gender attraction. I know that God loves us, but He has placed us all here with things we must overcome and struggle with as we strive to return to Him.

The world tries to tell us that it is something you are born with and cannot change. In my home ward in Thousand Oaks, CA one of our close family friends is a psychologist and clinical psychiatrist. She did a fireside for our stake teaching the psychology of same gender attraction. She taught us that studies have shown that homosexuality is not a genetic trait, but rather a mental propensity. Studies have shown that it is similar to addiction, depression, alcoholism, etc. Some may born with more of a tendency to many of these things, but it is not something that can't be treated.

In the past year the TV show Glee has been pushing the boundaries of how our society thinks of homosexuality. In a recent episode the cast did a number to Lady Gaga's anthem, "Born This Way." Each cast member wore a shirt with a label on it of something they were "born with" and should embrace because they couldn't change it. To me, that is the saddest message they could have proclaimed. The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that through His atonement we can overcome all things, not some things, not everything except our hardest trial, but ALL things. I personally have struggled with my weight since I was very young. Some people would say, "Well, Taylor just stop eating the ding-dongs, get off your fat butt and lose some weight." To those, I would say I'm trying. I have an addiction to eating that I struggle with daily to overcome. Some days, I do fine. I eat my vegetables, I go for a jog and I feel good about myself. Other days, I just can't resist the urge to bake a batch of cookies, or eat a bag of potato chips. I do believe that I was born with a propensity towards over-eating and that I have developed an addiction to sugar. However, I do not in any way believe that this has to be the way I live for the rest of my life. I believe that through the help of my Savior and those around me, I can change and be happy.

Now, I do realize that this it not as extreme as homosexuality and I'm not saying that it is. However, with my being overweight I am at a higher risk for heart failure, diabetes, and many other general health problems. If the world and legislature were to treat obesity the way they treat homosexuality we would have to call a BMI of 32 as normal, a 300 lb person healthy, and a candy bar as good for you as a carrot. Passing laws that are contrary to God's laws don't change God's laws. We are taught in the Bible and Book of Mormon that God's laws are eternal and unchanging. He defined marriage as a man and a woman and proclaimed that once that was established then children could come to earth. Trying to go around that plan does not bring happiness, and will never lead to a better society.

I do believe that we should treat the topic of homosexuality with love and compassion, just as we would try to help an alcoholic quit destroying their body and the relationships they have with those around them. I express sympathy and support for anybody who is suffering from same gender attraction, but I think it is sad that they are being told that they can not change and must deal with this for the rest of their life. This is false, you can always change and our Savior will always be there for you to help you down that road. I hope all of us will try harder to change the things we must to keep ourselves in accordance with God's plan and commandments.


Charlotte said...

Thank you for your thoughts Taylor. It was a great read.

Brittny said...

Very well written. I'd comment more but I'm holding a Daniel, I just wanted to add this link to your idea of declaring a candy bar a veggie -

Kerry Anderson said...

I say what Brittny says is what I say. Well written. Great analogies.a