There’s been a lot of moaning and groaning in the Bloggernacle of late. Much of it has revolved around a certain nostalgia for a more youthful Bloggernacle of months past, when the community was smaller, and tighter, and supposedly more accessible. People actually used to respond to each others’ comments! People used to read all the comments! The place didn’t used to seem so elitist. There weren’t so many trolls hiding behind cowardly pseudonyms. (Yes, this means you, Ms. McPrude, whoever you are…). T&S has probably born the brunt of these criticisms. However, I think many of the complaints are misplaced. Yes, there is a growing dissatisfaction in the Bloggernacle, born of the realization that there was once a special quality to the community that has now been lost. But in my view, everyone has misdiagnosed the real source of the problem. What does the Bloggernacle really need to bring it back to its former greatness? Simple:
More posts about GAYS.
Once upon a time, T&S couldn’t seem to go 10 minutes without bursting into a rainbow-colored brouhaha revolving around this or that homosexual-related topic. It’s like everyone had been repressing their deep, dark, secret identities, and the blogs finally provided an outlet to roam free. But after 4,537 different posts about homosexuality, the issue seemed to finally run its course. There was nothing left to say. It had all been said. Sure, there have been the occasional Same-Sex Marriage posts now and then, and most of these have predictably led to open warfare. But I think SSM is an obviously timely topic that is in a category all its own. Most other gay-themed posts are now a distant memory.
No more. The drought is finally over! It’s high time we once again explore the fascinating, intricate implications of the phenomenon that is homosexuality.
(1) As homosexual families become a more visible (and less controversial) presence in American life (regardless whether SSM becomes the law of the land or not), how will Mormon families respond? I am especially interested in hearing from conservative Mormon parents who believe homosexuality to be sinful, and who disapprove of homosexual parenting and adoption. What happens when little Junior befriends George Gentile from down the street, who happens to have two mommies? What happens when your daughter has a sleep-over and happens to mention in conversation that she has two daddies? I’m not a parent yet, so for all I know, maybe this sort of thing is already extremely common. I doubt it. But I also doubt it will remain as uncommon as it currently is. How are LDS parents going to explain the phenomena of homosexuality and gay parenting to their children — particularly when it is their children who will inevitably be exposed to (and become friends with) children of gay parents at school?
(2) What is to be the proper role of the celibate LDS homosexual in Mormon congregational life? Is same-sex attraction just one of many human struggles that Church members should forever keep to themselves? Are polite Church-going Mormons to adopt a "Don’t ask, don’t tell" policy about their own (or others’) sexual orientations, or is it going to become kosher over time to openly acknowledge that homosexual inclinations are had by Church members, including Brother So-and-So over there on the back row who isn’t married? Will we ever see the day that celibate homosexual members can reference their inclinations casually in Church without it becoming a scandal? Perhaps this seems like a stupid question — You could say that one’s personal sinful temptations should never be aired in Church in any event. However, as homosexuals are further mainstreamed in American society, I suspect we will see Mormon gays who are less inclined to hide their sexual identities and issues than they have in the past, and I suspect this will be true for religiously active, celibate LDS gays, as well as those who reject the Church’s teachings on homosexuality. (Perhaps I’m wrong about this?)
(3) Do any of you LDS parents out there have — or know other LDS parents who have — minor children who either are homosexually inclined or who seem like they’re probably going to be down the road? How do you (or they) deal with this? Do you worry that as the years pass, it is going to become ever more difficult to recommend a life of celibacy to your kids, given the inevitable pull of the gay community? (This last question may be too personal, but hey, I needed three questions, and this is what comes to mind in the middle of the night!)
I am very interested in everyone’s thoughts on these matters.