Episode 62: A Lesbian Couple’s Story

Zilpha interviews a post-mormon lesbian couple, “Ellie” and “DJ” about growing up in the church and their struggles to feel accepted by their families and the conservitive culture surrounding them.

Episode 62

173 comments on “Episode 62: A Lesbian Couple’s Story”

  1. Glenn Reply

    Nicely done Zilpha. It felt like it started off a little uncomfortably — which is understandable — but once you cleared up the “what should I call this” question it got more comfortable.

    I would be interested to hear from Ellie or DJ where you weigh in on the “causes of homosexuality” debate. Maybe it’s not even a real debate, but my TBM mom and I discuss this from time to time, and she is dead set against admitting even a little that it could be a genetic thing. She believes it is socially learned (perhaps from physical, emotional, sexual abuse or neglect during childhood) and even goes so far as to claim that there is (eh hem…) recruiting being done. They’re “out” to get us, I guess. I hear all kinds of explanations like this from people who have no idea what they are talking about and have no real experience to speak from, so maybe you could comment on that on these boards here.

    But thanks for coming on — I enjoyed it. And thanks Zilpha for leading it. You did a great job. Maybe we can do some kind of raffle or other fundraiser at the banquet in August to contribute something towards Ellie and DJ’s wedding. I’m thinking Mike and a dunking machine might do the trick.

    • Ellie Reply

      Regarding the “causes of homosexuality”… ๐Ÿ™‚

      The “Nature vs. Nurture” debate has been around for a long time. I can only speak for my own personal experiece. My very first feelings of attraction to a female were in high school. I grew up very sheltered. There were no images of gays on TV, etc like there are today. I had very little knowledge of it. Looking back I can honestly say that those feelings were totally organic. They came from inside me and were not influenced by anyone or anything in my environment. I also believe that my feelings of attraction to men came from inside me and not pressure from society/parents/church.

      So… short story long… ;)… I would say that for me it is genetic. I can’t speak for any other GLBT or heterosexual person.

      Eventually science will catch up. Maybe not in my lifetime, but eventually… ๐Ÿ˜€

      Thank you for your question/comment!

      • Ellie Reply

        Whenever I hear about “recruiting” I have to laugh. But… I guess in a way we are! We are NOT trying to get straight people to be gay, but to get GLBT people to admit to themselves and embrace honesty and happiness. And… when appropriate, live their lives out of the closet.

  2. Glenn Reply

    Nicely done Zilpha. It felt like it started off a little uncomfortably — which is understandable — but once you cleared up the “what should I call this” question it got more comfortable.

    I would be interested to hear from Ellie or DJ where you weigh in on the “causes of homosexuality” debate. Maybe it’s not even a real debate, but my TBM mom and I discuss this from time to time, and she is dead set against admitting even a little that it could be a genetic thing. She believes it is socially learned (perhaps from physical, emotional, sexual abuse or neglect during childhood) and even goes so far as to claim that there is (eh hem…) recruiting being done. They’re “out” to get us, I guess. I hear all kinds of explanations like this from people who have no idea what they are talking about and have no real experience to speak from, so maybe you could comment on that on these boards here.

    But thanks for coming on — I enjoyed it. And thanks Zilpha for leading it. You did a great job. Maybe we can do some kind of raffle or other fundraiser at the banquet in August to contribute something towards Ellie and DJ’s wedding. I’m thinking Mike and a dunking machine might do the trick.

    • Ellie Reply

      Regarding the “causes of homosexuality”… ๐Ÿ™‚

      The “Nature vs. Nurture” debate has been around for a long time. I can only speak for my own personal experiece. My very first feelings of attraction to a female were in high school. I grew up very sheltered. There were no images of gays on TV, etc like there are today. I had very little knowledge of it. Looking back I can honestly say that those feelings were totally organic. They came from inside me and were not influenced by anyone or anything in my environment. I also believe that my feelings of attraction to men came from inside me and not pressure from society/parents/church.

      So… short story long… ;)… I would say that for me it is genetic. I can’t speak for any other GLBT or heterosexual person.

      Eventually science will catch up. Maybe not in my lifetime, but eventually… ๐Ÿ˜€

      Thank you for your question/comment!

      • Ellie Reply

        Whenever I hear about “recruiting” I have to laugh. But… I guess in a way we are! We are NOT trying to get straight people to be gay, but to get GLBT people to admit to themselves and embrace honesty and happiness. And… when appropriate, live their lives out of the closet.

  3. Swearing Elder Reply

    Nice work, Zilpha! I loved this podcast.

    I’ve mentioned in my comments here before that we need more women’s voices on the podcasts so I was so pleased to hear this one, which was 100% women.

    I wasn’t planning to come out to the ME Live Broadcast in August, but the thought of a Mike Dunking Machine, especially for such a deserving cause as contributing to Ellie and DJ’s wedding, inspires me to want to buy a plane ticket… ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Swearing Elder Reply

    Nice work, Zilpha! I loved this podcast.

    I’ve mentioned in my comments here before that we need more women’s voices on the podcasts so I was so pleased to hear this one, which was 100% women.

    I wasn’t planning to come out to the ME Live Broadcast in August, but the thought of a Mike Dunking Machine, especially for such a deserving cause as contributing to Ellie and DJ’s wedding, inspires me to want to buy a plane ticket… ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Zilpha Reply

    Thanks, guys. The two main reasons I wanted to do this interview was to give gay issues some kind of voice on ME and also because I thought it would be refreshing to have an all women episode.

    Yes, Glenn, it was a bit uncomfortable at times. I think that mostly comes from my lack of experience. Also, before I did the interview I didn’t realize just how difficult it would be for me to discuss lesbian issues. I’m supportive of homosexual couples’ rights to marry and have families, and yet it’s still hard for me to completely wrap my mind around the concept.

    I really want to thank “Ellie” and “DJ” for their willingness to be interviewed. Hopefully everyone who listens will at least come away with a bit more understanding and sympathy for them and lesbian couples in general.

  6. Zilpha Reply

    Thanks, guys. The two main reasons I wanted to do this interview was to give gay issues some kind of voice on ME and also because I thought it would be refreshing to have an all women episode.

    Yes, Glenn, it was a bit uncomfortable at times. I think that mostly comes from my lack of experience. Also, before I did the interview I didn’t realize just how difficult it would be for me to discuss lesbian issues. I’m supportive of homosexual couples’ rights to marry and have families, and yet it’s still hard for me to completely wrap my mind around the concept.

    I really want to thank “Ellie” and “DJ” for their willingness to be interviewed. Hopefully everyone who listens will at least come away with a bit more understanding and sympathy for them and lesbian couples in general.

  7. Ellie Reply

    Thank you so much for your kind words. DJ and I were a little nervous to tell our story. Thank you to Zilpha and to all the Mormon Expression crew for making it a safe place for us to talk.

    I was moved to tears when I read the comments about helping us to raise money for our wedding. How kind and loving you all are! And how totally “Christian!”

    Thank you again!-Ellie

  8. Ellie Reply

    Thank you so much for your kind words. DJ and I were a little nervous to tell our story. Thank you to Zilpha and to all the Mormon Expression crew for making it a safe place for us to talk.

    I was moved to tears when I read the comments about helping us to raise money for our wedding. How kind and loving you all are! And how totally “Christian!”

    Thank you again!-Ellie

  9. Mike Reply

    I love Ellie and DJ. They will help inspire others to come to grips with there sexuality. Thank You

  10. Mike Reply

    I love Ellie and DJ. They will help inspire others to come to grips with there sexuality. Thank You

  11. Ellie Reply

    I didn’t think of this at the time but it’s worth saying now…
    When Zilpha asked me about bisexuality in men, I mentioned some men I know who are bi. I don’t know if bisexuality is more common in women than men, but socially, bisexuality is more accepted in women than men. I think that is why there are more bisexual women out of the closet than bisexual men.

    Also, I believe that mono-sexuality (being attracted to only one gender) is more acceptable by both heterosexual and homosexual people. Being multi-sexual (attracted to more than one gender) is less acceptable and less understood.

    I use the term “multi-sexual” because many consider there to be more than just 2 genders, me included. But I probably don’t need to go into that here. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ciao!

  12. Ellie Reply

    I didn’t think of this at the time but it’s worth saying now…
    When Zilpha asked me about bisexuality in men, I mentioned some men I know who are bi. I don’t know if bisexuality is more common in women than men, but socially, bisexuality is more accepted in women than men. I think that is why there are more bisexual women out of the closet than bisexual men.

    Also, I believe that mono-sexuality (being attracted to only one gender) is more acceptable by both heterosexual and homosexual people. Being multi-sexual (attracted to more than one gender) is less acceptable and less understood.

    I use the term “multi-sexual” because many consider there to be more than just 2 genders, me included. But I probably don’t need to go into that here. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ciao!

  13. NightAvatar Reply

    Excellent interview! I think Zilpha did a terrific job on this.

    I’ve known Ellie for a while but lost touch with her before she outed to her fam and friends. I know her parents and can imagine it was a pretty huge shock. I can’t even imagine how her mother must feel after half her children end up having bisexual prefernces. Pretty crazy. I imagine she is clinging as hard as she can to the gospel and living in a bit of a denial state. I hope she will one day treat Ellie and the rest like she does the TBM children she has. Maybe she does, I can’t say. It’s at least good to hear Ellie’s dad was more supportive.

    I guess I feel kinda the same way about my parents. Neither of them are thrilled with me since I left the church. My mother says they both held each other and cried for hours when they read my letter expressing my views on the church.

    Outa time. More later..

    But, Ellie if you could, read Glenn’s post and see if you and DJ can comment on the recruiting thing and the “environment+choice vs. genetics” bs so many Mormons say.

  14. NightAvatar Reply

    Excellent interview! I think Zilpha did a terrific job on this.

    I’ve known Ellie for a while but lost touch with her before she outed to her fam and friends. I know her parents and can imagine it was a pretty huge shock. I can’t even imagine how her mother must feel after half her children end up having bisexual prefernces. Pretty crazy. I imagine she is clinging as hard as she can to the gospel and living in a bit of a denial state. I hope she will one day treat Ellie and the rest like she does the TBM children she has. Maybe she does, I can’t say. It’s at least good to hear Ellie’s dad was more supportive.

    I guess I feel kinda the same way about my parents. Neither of them are thrilled with me since I left the church. My mother says they both held each other and cried for hours when they read my letter expressing my views on the church.

    Outa time. More later..

    But, Ellie if you could, read Glenn’s post and see if you and DJ can comment on the recruiting thing and the “environment+choice vs. genetics” bs so many Mormons say.

  15. Sionpiensa Reply

    Thank you Zilpha, this podcast just makes me think again on proposition 8, and all the turmoil is generating.
    Is it mee or lately the LDS Church is more and more involved in politics or affected by politics? Gay marriage, immigration, tea party,..
    Any of those subjects can become the pandora box for many lds to get upset with the Church, recognize may not be true and take the path that will lead them out of the Church.

    Ellie & DJ, congratulations on your marriage decision, good fortune and love.
    Cheers

  16. Sionpiensa Reply

    Thank you Zilpha, this podcast just makes me think again on proposition 8, and all the turmoil is generating.
    Is it mee or lately the LDS Church is more and more involved in politics or affected by politics? Gay marriage, immigration, tea party,..
    Any of those subjects can become the pandora box for many lds to get upset with the Church, recognize may not be true and take the path that will lead them out of the Church.

    Ellie & DJ, congratulations on your marriage decision, good fortune and love.
    Cheers

  17. Reina Reply

    Nice job Zipha! I enjoyed listening to this.

    The family issues that both women talked about break my heart. Homosexuality is such a divisive issue in the church and I often wonder if it really has to be. (I have been lucky on that front. My family has accepted it, but I do feel for those whose families have not.)

  18. Reina Reply

    Nice job Zipha! I enjoyed listening to this.

    The family issues that both women talked about break my heart. Homosexuality is such a divisive issue in the church and I often wonder if it really has to be. (I have been lucky on that front. My family has accepted it, but I do feel for those whose families have not.)

  19. Gunnar R. Reply

    Thanks, Zilpha, for that interview and thanks to Ellie and DJ for agreeing to participate. To me, the overriding (or what should be the overriding consideration) is: Whom are committed lesbian couples like Ellie and DJ harming by being such? I am convinced that the answer is “no one!” If they find real happiness and fulfillment in their love and commitment to one another, I don’t see how anyone else is harmed in any way by that! I am happy for them!

    As far as I am concerned, the persecution and condemnation of gays and lesbians for no other reason than the mere fact of their sexual orientation is approximately on the same moral and rational plane as the Salem witch hunts and trials!

    • NightAvatar Reply

      I agree Gunnar,

      I believe the TBM rationale is that if gays are allowed to marry or be public about their relationship, it will influence the world around us in a negative way: Kids may look to them and question their own sexuality, more kids will “come out of the closet” and become gay, and less will be inclined to live the gospel.

      Mike or a TBM person: Am I right?

      • ed42 Reply

        Or it might be that if gays are allowed to marry then kids will have examples of happy people ‘breaking the rules’ and then kids will increasingly question the rules.

        • Gunnar R. Reply

          If it can be demonstrated that the breaking of certain rules does NOT necessarily lead to harming others or to unhappiness, that is perfectly valid justification for questioning those particular rules.

      • Carey Reply

        I’ll take the bait…I think that is true. I believe sexuality is a learned behavior. I think we are all capable of loving anyone even people of the same sex. I think we’re all capable of receiving sexual satisfaction from anyone/anything, from a purely physically standpoint. Most of it comes down to our own sense of morals, and I think those morals are a learned/taught behavior.

        Here’s my best scientific argument/hypothesis: If the number of homosexuals is increasing then it cannot be caused by nature because over time anything that prevents reproduction would result in less not more of that trait.

        Of course the hypothesis could easily be proven false if the number of homosexuals in decreasing, I’ll freely admit I don’t whether there actually is but I do assume that there is.

        • Patrick Reply

          Ok, I’ll peer review your hypothesis/argument. You first need to do some numbers and decide if you have a media information bias. That is acceptance to report in the media makes it appear that homosexuality is increasing. Or it whether coming out being more socially acceptable skews the numbers about the past when more homosexuals were “closeted”.

          Lastly, recessive alleles that “kill” the host can be stable in a population, ie. sickle cell.

          More lastly-er, in Giraffes young males go gay when they can’t find a female. Take that last one with a grain of salt because for the life of me I don’t even know why women want to kiss men. Women are just hotter.

          • Carey

            I totally agree with regarding the numbers, I’m not suggesting that what I suggest is necessarily a foregone conclusion it just strikes me as a valid hypothesis.

            You make valid points that could counter that hypothesis but that doesn’t necessarily prove it wrong.

            I guess the subtext to most of my posts here today is that there are valid discussions to be explored on the subject but when we polarized by ideological positions of either FOR or AGAINST homosexuality then we’re too afraid to ask any questions or even openly discuss it.

          • Carey

            I was thinking about your reply a little and I don’t think the your point regarding a recessive alleles that “kill” the host is exactly a great counter point. You’d need to present one is which the trait decreased the likelihood of reproduction yet survived in a stable population — not that it is simply kills the host.

            Also, the Giraffe point actually proves the opposite. If the male giraffe had found a female mate he would not have “chosen” to become a gay.

            I also think women are hotter but I also know that I think that way based on the way I was raised and choices I’ve made throughout my life.

        • Ellie Reply

          “Sexuality is a learned behavior” huh? Wow! Really!? That’s interesting. Is that for all animals or just humans?

          Oh… and you may not know this…

          Just because someone is gay doesn’t mean that their reproductive organs don’t work. There are many gay couples who have bilogical children. And… less than 1% of the population is gay. I don’t think the human race is in any danger of extinction. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Patrick

            Yeah, sorry about not being so clear. I wasn’t trying to open up a big discussion about what causes homosexuality.

            I first meant to point out that the perception of increasing numbers most likely has a bias. There’s always been gay people and I’d suspect it’d be that 1%+ number that Ellie mentions. But my suggestion is that it’s been roughly stable since the Flood. ๐Ÿ˜‰

            The poorly made comment about sickle cell was to show that a gene that is later expressed in a population is not always passed by the one showing the trait. Such as a brown headed person later having red heads for grandkids. Red hair is recessive but it stays in the population. So, even along biological standpoints, not every trait is +/- to reproductive success. (i’m not making a dig on Red Heads. My wife is a gorgeous day walker. It’s just another bad example.) Some traits just coincide with the genes that are natural selected for.

            I can’t get my head around the “learned behavior” argument. Who’s teaching boys to kiss other boys? Our culture certainly doesn’t. If girls get a choice about who they get to kiss, why would you ever choose making out with face stubble?

            I’d rather believe that peoples’ likes and dislikes range the spectrum of people – everyone likes something different. And that’s good.

      • Gunnar R. Reply

        I suspect that what would dismay TBMs even more is finding out that (contrary to what they have been taught), allowing gays to “marry or be public about their relationship” might NOT actually influence the world around us in a negative way. I think a strong case can be made for the view that hatred, persecution and hounding of gays for their sexual orientation, thus marginalizing or preventing their potential contributions to society, and even driving some of them into suicidal depression (as in the case of the brilliant mathematical genius and computer scientist, Alan Turing) is MORE likely to influence the world around us in a negative way than accepting them for what they are and what they can contribute to society.

        • Carey Reply

          I totally agree with you about the case to be made against hatred, persecution and hounding etc…but don’t think just because one doesn’t advocate same sex marriage should categorized as that. Doesn’t mean that there aren’t some that that fall in to both categories.

          • Gunnar R.

            I agree that disapproval of same sex marriage doesn’t necessarily equate to hatred, persecution and hounding etc. One is certainly entitled to disapprove of that if one wishes. I don’t agree, however, that such disapproval entitles anyone or society at large to legally prohibit mutually committed gay couples from formalizing their unions as marriages, with all the rights, protections and responsibilities that society legally recognizes as pertaining to more conventional marriages. Nor do I believe that allowing same sex marriages in any way threatens conventional marriages and families–despite the Church’s stance on that issue.

  20. Gunnar R. Reply

    Thanks, Zilpha, for that interview and thanks to Ellie and DJ for agreeing to participate. To me, the overriding (or what should be the overriding consideration) is: Whom are committed lesbian couples like Ellie and DJ harming by being such? I am convinced that the answer is “no one!” If they find real happiness and fulfillment in their love and commitment to one another, I don’t see how anyone else is harmed in any way by that! I am happy for them!

    As far as I am concerned, the persecution and condemnation of gays and lesbians for no other reason than the mere fact of their sexual orientation is approximately on the same moral and rational plane as the Salem witch hunts and trials!

    • NightAvatar Reply

      I agree Gunnar,

      I believe the TBM rationale is that if gays are allowed to marry or be public about their relationship, it will influence the world around us in a negative way: Kids may look to them and question their own sexuality, more kids will “come out of the closet” and become gay, and less will be inclined to live the gospel.

      Mike or a TBM person: Am I right?

      • ed42 Reply

        Or it might be that if gays are allowed to marry then kids will have examples of happy people ‘breaking the rules’ and then kids will increasingly question the rules.

        • Gunnar R. Reply

          If it can be demonstrated that the breaking of certain rules does NOT necessarily lead to harming others or to unhappiness, that is perfectly valid justification for questioning those particular rules.

      • Carey Reply

        I’ll take the bait…I think that is true. I believe sexuality is a learned behavior. I think we are all capable of loving anyone even people of the same sex. I think we’re all capable of receiving sexual satisfaction from anyone/anything, from a purely physically standpoint. Most of it comes down to our own sense of morals, and I think those morals are a learned/taught behavior.

        Here’s my best scientific argument/hypothesis: If the number of homosexuals is increasing then it cannot be caused by nature because over time anything that prevents reproduction would result in less not more of that trait.

        Of course the hypothesis could easily be proven false if the number of homosexuals in decreasing, I’ll freely admit I don’t whether there actually is but I do assume that there is.

        • Patrick Reply

          Ok, I’ll peer review your hypothesis/argument. You first need to do some numbers and decide if you have a media information bias. That is acceptance to report in the media makes it appear that homosexuality is increasing. Or it whether coming out being more socially acceptable skews the numbers about the past when more homosexuals were “closeted”.

          Lastly, recessive alleles that “kill” the host can be stable in a population, ie. sickle cell.

          More lastly-er, in Giraffes young males go gay when they can’t find a female. Take that last one with a grain of salt because for the life of me I don’t even know why women want to kiss men. Women are just hotter.

          • Carey

            I totally agree with regarding the numbers, I’m not suggesting that what I suggest is necessarily a foregone conclusion it just strikes me as a valid hypothesis.

            You make valid points that could counter that hypothesis but that doesn’t necessarily prove it wrong.

            I guess the subtext to most of my posts here today is that there are valid discussions to be explored on the subject but when we polarized by ideological positions of either FOR or AGAINST homosexuality then we’re too afraid to ask any questions or even openly discuss it.

          • Carey

            I was thinking about your reply a little and I don’t think the your point regarding a recessive alleles that “kill” the host is exactly a great counter point. You’d need to present one is which the trait decreased the likelihood of reproduction yet survived in a stable population — not that it is simply kills the host.

            Also, the Giraffe point actually proves the opposite. If the male giraffe had found a female mate he would not have “chosen” to become a gay.

            I also think women are hotter but I also know that I think that way based on the way I was raised and choices I’ve made throughout my life.

        • Ellie Reply

          “Sexuality is a learned behavior” huh? Wow! Really!? That’s interesting. Is that for all animals or just humans?

          Oh… and you may not know this…

          Just because someone is gay doesn’t mean that their reproductive organs don’t work. There are many gay couples who have bilogical children. And… less than 1% of the population is gay. I don’t think the human race is in any danger of extinction. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Patrick

            Yeah, sorry about not being so clear. I wasn’t trying to open up a big discussion about what causes homosexuality.

            I first meant to point out that the perception of increasing numbers most likely has a bias. There’s always been gay people and I’d suspect it’d be that 1%+ number that Ellie mentions. But my suggestion is that it’s been roughly stable since the Flood. ๐Ÿ˜‰

            The poorly made comment about sickle cell was to show that a gene that is later expressed in a population is not always passed by the one showing the trait. Such as a brown headed person later having red heads for grandkids. Red hair is recessive but it stays in the population. So, even along biological standpoints, not every trait is +/- to reproductive success. (i’m not making a dig on Red Heads. My wife is a gorgeous day walker. It’s just another bad example.) Some traits just coincide with the genes that are natural selected for.

            I can’t get my head around the “learned behavior” argument. Who’s teaching boys to kiss other boys? Our culture certainly doesn’t. If girls get a choice about who they get to kiss, why would you ever choose making out with face stubble?

            I’d rather believe that peoples’ likes and dislikes range the spectrum of people – everyone likes something different. And that’s good.

      • Gunnar R. Reply

        I suspect that what would dismay TBMs even more is finding out that (contrary to what they have been taught), allowing gays to “marry or be public about their relationship” might NOT actually influence the world around us in a negative way. I think a strong case can be made for the view that hatred, persecution and hounding of gays for their sexual orientation, thus marginalizing or preventing their potential contributions to society, and even driving some of them into suicidal depression (as in the case of the brilliant mathematical genius and computer scientist, Alan Turing) is MORE likely to influence the world around us in a negative way than accepting them for what they are and what they can contribute to society.

        • Carey Reply

          I totally agree with you about the case to be made against hatred, persecution and hounding etc…but don’t think just because one doesn’t advocate same sex marriage should categorized as that. Doesn’t mean that there aren’t some that that fall in to both categories.

          • Gunnar R.

            I agree that disapproval of same sex marriage doesn’t necessarily equate to hatred, persecution and hounding etc. One is certainly entitled to disapprove of that if one wishes. I don’t agree, however, that such disapproval entitles anyone or society at large to legally prohibit mutually committed gay couples from formalizing their unions as marriages, with all the rights, protections and responsibilities that society legally recognizes as pertaining to more conventional marriages. Nor do I believe that allowing same sex marriages in any way threatens conventional marriages and families–despite the Church’s stance on that issue.

  21. Carey Reply

    This was a softball interview — when John does an interview at least challenges the people he’s interviewing about the things they believe. Although I’m pretty new here that’s the thing I’ve respected about these discussions. Nobody seems scared to challenge Mormons regarding their beliefs here but you sure showed how scared you were to challenge anything that wasn’t completely politically correct on this issue.

    • Zilpha Reply

      Thanks for coming to my defense, Swearing Elder. The truth is, though, that when we have guests come on to ME to tell their story, we really try to LET THEM TELL THEIR STORY. That was the point here. When the panelists discuss things or when we have guests join us in a discussion, pretty much anything goes. But for interviews, we like to give people a place where they can safely tell their stories without fear of having someone try to back them into a corner or hurt their feelings. Besides, why should I “challenge” a loving relationship between two adults? I just wanted to hear their story. That’s all.

      • Carey Reply

        Obviously I’m back side driving and would find it difficult myself to ask probe deeper but thats the cross your suppose to bear when your conducting an interview…I guess its really up to you to decide how the format and purpose since its your show, I’m pretty just an observer.

        If your question is just a rhetorical question then the reason you would “challenge” a loving relationship is the same reason the panel challenges other peoples values and beliefs.

          • brandt

            Carey, I kinda think the same thing. It’s one thing if they’re taking a definate stance on an issue, and you want to present an all-sides view of things. But this just seemed like a profile piece on a homosexual couple, and their choice of living in Utah (albeit Southern Utah).

            I don’t know how one would “press” an issue unless it was up for debate. However, it was a “story,” not a debate/discussion.

            And for Zilpha’s first, it was very well done. Props to her.

            I ask the same question John asks…are there any questions that you would have asked?

          • NightAvatar

            At first I thought the same as brandt and John here, and wondered what hard-hitting question Carey would have liked asked.

            Then I realized Zilpha could have asked them some of the questions that have come up in this thread, namely those asked by Glenn in his first comment. They could have also been asked more about their current religious beliefs, if they believe in god and if so, is their behavior condoned or wrong.

            I’m sure Zilpha could have asked such questions in a kind, not judgemental way, and they would have understood the questions as simply something listeners might wonder, and not as an attack.

            It would have been interesting to hear their current views on god, if they believe in one.

            I noticed Zilpha started asking something like this, but it was at the same time as one of DJ’s comments (I believe) and thus not heard.

            Still, I do think Zilpha did an excellent job as her freshman effort and I hope she does many more!

      • Swearing Elder Reply

        De nada. And even if it had been your Umpteenth interview I still think the way you went about it would have been fine. You’re asking about theirexperiences, not their research into other people’s experiences.

        I thought it was a beautiful and moving interview. It produced a “driveway moment” for me where I was sitting in my parked car listening to the end of the interview…

        • Ellie Reply

          About my “current religious beliefs”: I guess you could call me a witch, eclectic solitary practitioner. “Eclectic” because I pick and choose whatever elements of wicca and/or pagan beliefs that ring true to me with a little mixed in from other religions (chirstian, buddhist, jewish, etc.) “Solitary” because I don’t belong to any group/coven, although some of my friends & siblings believe similarly.

          Do I believe in “God”? Not as I was taught as a young mormon girl. I believe that there is a higher power that is both feminine and masculine. When I call upon my higher power, I usually use the feminine “Goddess” or by one of her names.

          Is my “behavior condoned or wrong?” A few of lines from the “Wiccan Rede” are:
          “…Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give….. These Eight words the Rede fulfill: ‘An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will.'” So… No, homosexuality isn’t wrong. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Those are just some of my beliefs. DJ would have to answer for herself about her beliefs.

          • Gunnar R.

            โ€œโ€ฆLive you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly giveโ€ฆ.. These Eight words the Rede fulfill: โ€˜An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will.โ€™โ€

            What admirable sentiments those are! If that is what ancient Wiccans truly believed and tried to live by (which, as far as I have been able to ascertain, they probably did), the early Christians’ cruel treatment and persecution of them was every bit as evil as the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews.

            As for Goddess, I (like you) fail to see why belief in and praying to a supreme Goddess makes any less sense or is any less probable than a supreme, masculine God–especially a God that is as misogynistic and dismissive of women’s rights to equality with men as the Christian, Judaic and Islamic God.

  22. Carey Reply

    This was a softball interview — when John does an interview at least challenges the people he’s interviewing about the things they believe. Although I’m pretty new here that’s the thing I’ve respected about these discussions. Nobody seems scared to challenge Mormons regarding their beliefs here but you sure showed how scared you were to challenge anything that wasn’t completely politically correct on this issue.

    • Zilpha Reply

      Thanks for coming to my defense, Swearing Elder. The truth is, though, that when we have guests come on to ME to tell their story, we really try to LET THEM TELL THEIR STORY. That was the point here. When the panelists discuss things or when we have guests join us in a discussion, pretty much anything goes. But for interviews, we like to give people a place where they can safely tell their stories without fear of having someone try to back them into a corner or hurt their feelings. Besides, why should I “challenge” a loving relationship between two adults? I just wanted to hear their story. That’s all.

      • Carey Reply

        Obviously I’m back side driving and would find it difficult myself to ask probe deeper but thats the cross your suppose to bear when your conducting an interview…I guess its really up to you to decide how the format and purpose since its your show, I’m pretty just an observer.

        If your question is just a rhetorical question then the reason you would “challenge” a loving relationship is the same reason the panel challenges other peoples values and beliefs.

          • brandt

            Carey, I kinda think the same thing. It’s one thing if they’re taking a definate stance on an issue, and you want to present an all-sides view of things. But this just seemed like a profile piece on a homosexual couple, and their choice of living in Utah (albeit Southern Utah).

            I don’t know how one would “press” an issue unless it was up for debate. However, it was a “story,” not a debate/discussion.

            And for Zilpha’s first, it was very well done. Props to her.

            I ask the same question John asks…are there any questions that you would have asked?

          • NightAvatar

            At first I thought the same as brandt and John here, and wondered what hard-hitting question Carey would have liked asked.

            Then I realized Zilpha could have asked them some of the questions that have come up in this thread, namely those asked by Glenn in his first comment. They could have also been asked more about their current religious beliefs, if they believe in god and if so, is their behavior condoned or wrong.

            I’m sure Zilpha could have asked such questions in a kind, not judgemental way, and they would have understood the questions as simply something listeners might wonder, and not as an attack.

            It would have been interesting to hear their current views on god, if they believe in one.

            I noticed Zilpha started asking something like this, but it was at the same time as one of DJ’s comments (I believe) and thus not heard.

            Still, I do think Zilpha did an excellent job as her freshman effort and I hope she does many more!

      • Swearing Elder Reply

        De nada. And even if it had been your Umpteenth interview I still think the way you went about it would have been fine. You’re asking about theirexperiences, not their research into other people’s experiences.

        I thought it was a beautiful and moving interview. It produced a “driveway moment” for me where I was sitting in my parked car listening to the end of the interview…

        • Ellie Reply

          About my “current religious beliefs”: I guess you could call me a witch, eclectic solitary practitioner. “Eclectic” because I pick and choose whatever elements of wicca and/or pagan beliefs that ring true to me with a little mixed in from other religions (chirstian, buddhist, jewish, etc.) “Solitary” because I don’t belong to any group/coven, although some of my friends & siblings believe similarly.

          Do I believe in “God”? Not as I was taught as a young mormon girl. I believe that there is a higher power that is both feminine and masculine. When I call upon my higher power, I usually use the feminine “Goddess” or by one of her names.

          Is my “behavior condoned or wrong?” A few of lines from the “Wiccan Rede” are:
          “…Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give….. These Eight words the Rede fulfill: ‘An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will.'” So… No, homosexuality isn’t wrong. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Those are just some of my beliefs. DJ would have to answer for herself about her beliefs.

          • Gunnar R.

            โ€œโ€ฆLive you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly giveโ€ฆ.. These Eight words the Rede fulfill: โ€˜An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will.โ€™โ€

            What admirable sentiments those are! If that is what ancient Wiccans truly believed and tried to live by (which, as far as I have been able to ascertain, they probably did), the early Christians’ cruel treatment and persecution of them was every bit as evil as the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews.

            As for Goddess, I (like you) fail to see why belief in and praying to a supreme Goddess makes any less sense or is any less probable than a supreme, masculine God–especially a God that is as misogynistic and dismissive of women’s rights to equality with men as the Christian, Judaic and Islamic God.

  23. Mike Tannehill Reply

    Zilpha did a great job on her first solo hosting job. A little rocky at first but you could tell halfway through it she got comfortable and settled in.

    Homosexuality is in my opinion a perversion. You have to ask, if you are of the opinion that people are born this way, if other fetishes are instilled genetically. Are people that practice S&M born that way? What about beastiality? People that call themselves “furries”? Are pedophiles “born that way”?

    You can sin and justify it by calling it psychology. A fetish is a fetish, and a perversion is a perversion.

    These people are sick, and they need to stop their bad behavior. This is a breach of their covenant to keep the law of chastity. Their sin is comparable to any other act of adultery and it is forgivable.

    • Swearing Elder Reply

      Mike –

      There is a time and a place for everything, though I’m not sure what the time or place for views like yours are. Inside a Mormon church, perhaps.

      However, the comment fields of this particular podcast episode is most definitely NOT the place to share such view. You want to think this way about people who are gay and lesbian? I suppose there’s not much I can do about that.

      But is this really the place to share that particular view? I’m positive that it is not.

      • Glenn Reply

        I disagree. I’d actually like to hear more about Mike and his ridiculously entertaining opinions on fetishes. Very illuminating. So I guess hentai is not a genetic inclination, even for the Japanese?

        By the way, Jesus loves the perverts. I think we have a new bumper sticker idea.

      • Erico Reply

        In Mike’s defense, perhaps Mike was responding in a roundabout way to NightAvatar’s earlier question?

        To respond to Mike directly, my best hunch is that “furries” and pedophiles are probably born that way, just as gay and straight people are. The difference between gays and pedophiles is simple: informed consent.

        Children and animals lack the capacity to give informed consent to sexual activity. Even a 17 year old person’s brain is not fully developed in terms of decision-making ability and some of the latest evidence suggests that the human brain is not fully developed until about age 30. Makes a good case for undoing all of the typical LDS marriages between 18 year old brides and 21 year old grooms.

        I suppose that if in some parallel universe that if a horse had the mental and emotional capacity of an adult human, and the horse and human loved each other, then it would be okay for them to be married. The thought of human/horse coupling makes me cringe, but I recognize that as a natural reaction of my irrational, human nature side.

        Mental/emotional capacity is admittedly a slipperly slope, but society has to draw a subjective line somewhere. If I had my druthers I would draw the line of consent to marriage/conjugal relations at age 21 and make no distinction between man/woman/transgender. I would also require couples who want to have children to acquire licenses from the government to do so that involve educational and income requirements as should be expected in any society that redistributes the wealth of its people, but that’s a topic for another day.

        • Carey Reply

          How are people born in certain way when it comes to who they have sexual relations with? Or are you referring to their ability to love another human being? Are some people are born to “love” those of the opposite sex and not the same sex based on some genetic pre-disposition?

          I think the whole notion that sexuality is pre-determined requires a great deal of faith. I haven’t seen any hard science that backs that up.

          But isn’t it really beside the point — Even if there is some natural disposition that leads certain individuals to be more influenced by external conditions than others, similar to alcoholics, etc…that still doesn’t change the fact that they can overcome those issues. Of course, first you have to admit that you have a problem.

          • Patrick

            I think there are some very good studies about twins and birth order that show that there is more to homosexuality than “choice”.

            And about every other animal species under the sun has individuals that go gay. Remember that cute little book being read to school children in the NorthEast about the gay penguin couple? That’s based on a true story. (Don’t get me started on the study that showed that cows only have organisms when they mount other females…there’s a line somewhere that shouldn’t be crossed.)

            So, I don’t give animals the cultural indoctrination that would recruit them to Gay-dom. That to me means that there is some physiological response going on.

            Regardless about how you think man got to planet earth, we share a whole lot with our mammalian cousins. To say that we are somehow exempt from being affected by natural processes borders on ridiculousness.

        • Glenn Reply

          Erico,

          I think you are describing Narnia nightlife. Or perhaps this was how centaurs came about, before they were destroyed along with the giants and the unicorns in the flood.

    • Ellie Reply

      Mike: You are certainly entitled to your opinion and to express it. However, you cannot choose how your words will affect another. Saying “homosexuality is a perversion” in this place is inappropriate. There may be someone very impressionable who will read those words. And that may be the last straw, the last thing they hear that helps them decided to hurt themselves. I hope that you are not the kind of person who doesn’t value life, even if it is a life that is lived contrary to your beliefs.

      I respect that you believe in your heart that if YOU were to engage in a homosexual act, that you would be a pervert. I hope that you will have the same respect for me and my beliefs. I believe deep down in my soul that I am not doing anything wrong by sharing my life, my love and my bed with DJ.

      Everyone has to live thier lives in peace and balance with their own conscience and do no harm. I hope that you find the peace that you are looking for. I’ve found mine.

      • NightAvatar Reply

        Holy shit, Ellie, you just pwnd Mike! I give you a standing ovation.

        This is what scares me the most about religion – and Mormonism in particular: The give Mike and those like him too much opportunity to hurt people. How many loving, wonderful people have lost their lives because of ignorant, hateful (even if well-meaning) words like those in Mike’s post?

        It’s enough to make me cry – and it has – for days.

    • Jennifer Reply

      Without making things to uncomfortable here — Mike Yes people who enjoy S&M, beastiality, and furries are BORN that way. I have first hand experience with a number of “fetishes” listed and not listed and I can tell you I was born that way. And was aware of it from a very young age. Homosexuality and bisexuality are also something a person is born with. It is not a sin. It is not a choice. These people are not sick.

      I have to ask Mike are you perfect? Are homosexuals hurting you? Are they directly affecting your day to day life?

      In the words of Christ: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” May I assume Mike that you are sinless? Please share with the rest of use sinners how you achieved that.

  24. Mike Tannehill Reply

    Zilpha did a great job on her first solo hosting job. A little rocky at first but you could tell halfway through it she got comfortable and settled in.

    Homosexuality is in my opinion a perversion. You have to ask, if you are of the opinion that people are born this way, if other fetishes are instilled genetically. Are people that practice S&M born that way? What about beastiality? People that call themselves “furries”? Are pedophiles “born that way”?

    You can sin and justify it by calling it psychology. A fetish is a fetish, and a perversion is a perversion.

    These people are sick, and they need to stop their bad behavior. This is a breach of their covenant to keep the law of chastity. Their sin is comparable to any other act of adultery and it is forgivable.

    • Swearing Elder Reply

      Mike –

      There is a time and a place for everything, though I’m not sure what the time or place for views like yours are. Inside a Mormon church, perhaps.

      However, the comment fields of this particular podcast episode is most definitely NOT the place to share such view. You want to think this way about people who are gay and lesbian? I suppose there’s not much I can do about that.

      But is this really the place to share that particular view? I’m positive that it is not.

      • Glenn Reply

        I disagree. I’d actually like to hear more about Mike and his ridiculously entertaining opinions on fetishes. Very illuminating. So I guess hentai is not a genetic inclination, even for the Japanese?

        By the way, Jesus loves the perverts. I think we have a new bumper sticker idea.

      • Erico Reply

        In Mike’s defense, perhaps Mike was responding in a roundabout way to NightAvatar’s earlier question?

        To respond to Mike directly, my best hunch is that “furries” and pedophiles are probably born that way, just as gay and straight people are. The difference between gays and pedophiles is simple: informed consent.

        Children and animals lack the capacity to give informed consent to sexual activity. Even a 17 year old person’s brain is not fully developed in terms of decision-making ability and some of the latest evidence suggests that the human brain is not fully developed until about age 30. Makes a good case for undoing all of the typical LDS marriages between 18 year old brides and 21 year old grooms.

        I suppose that if in some parallel universe that if a horse had the mental and emotional capacity of an adult human, and the horse and human loved each other, then it would be okay for them to be married. The thought of human/horse coupling makes me cringe, but I recognize that as a natural reaction of my irrational, human nature side.

        Mental/emotional capacity is admittedly a slipperly slope, but society has to draw a subjective line somewhere. If I had my druthers I would draw the line of consent to marriage/conjugal relations at age 21 and make no distinction between man/woman/transgender. I would also require couples who want to have children to acquire licenses from the government to do so that involve educational and income requirements as should be expected in any society that redistributes the wealth of its people, but that’s a topic for another day.

        • Carey Reply

          How are people born in certain way when it comes to who they have sexual relations with? Or are you referring to their ability to love another human being? Are some people are born to “love” those of the opposite sex and not the same sex based on some genetic pre-disposition?

          I think the whole notion that sexuality is pre-determined requires a great deal of faith. I haven’t seen any hard science that backs that up.

          But isn’t it really beside the point — Even if there is some natural disposition that leads certain individuals to be more influenced by external conditions than others, similar to alcoholics, etc…that still doesn’t change the fact that they can overcome those issues. Of course, first you have to admit that you have a problem.

          • Patrick

            I think there are some very good studies about twins and birth order that show that there is more to homosexuality than “choice”.

            And about every other animal species under the sun has individuals that go gay. Remember that cute little book being read to school children in the NorthEast about the gay penguin couple? That’s based on a true story. (Don’t get me started on the study that showed that cows only have organisms when they mount other females…there’s a line somewhere that shouldn’t be crossed.)

            So, I don’t give animals the cultural indoctrination that would recruit them to Gay-dom. That to me means that there is some physiological response going on.

            Regardless about how you think man got to planet earth, we share a whole lot with our mammalian cousins. To say that we are somehow exempt from being affected by natural processes borders on ridiculousness.

        • Glenn Reply

          Erico,

          I think you are describing Narnia nightlife. Or perhaps this was how centaurs came about, before they were destroyed along with the giants and the unicorns in the flood.

    • Ellie Reply

      Mike: You are certainly entitled to your opinion and to express it. However, you cannot choose how your words will affect another. Saying “homosexuality is a perversion” in this place is inappropriate. There may be someone very impressionable who will read those words. And that may be the last straw, the last thing they hear that helps them decided to hurt themselves. I hope that you are not the kind of person who doesn’t value life, even if it is a life that is lived contrary to your beliefs.

      I respect that you believe in your heart that if YOU were to engage in a homosexual act, that you would be a pervert. I hope that you will have the same respect for me and my beliefs. I believe deep down in my soul that I am not doing anything wrong by sharing my life, my love and my bed with DJ.

      Everyone has to live thier lives in peace and balance with their own conscience and do no harm. I hope that you find the peace that you are looking for. I’ve found mine.

      • NightAvatar Reply

        Holy shit, Ellie, you just pwnd Mike! I give you a standing ovation.

        This is what scares me the most about religion – and Mormonism in particular: The give Mike and those like him too much opportunity to hurt people. How many loving, wonderful people have lost their lives because of ignorant, hateful (even if well-meaning) words like those in Mike’s post?

        It’s enough to make me cry – and it has – for days.

    • Jennifer Reply

      Without making things to uncomfortable here — Mike Yes people who enjoy S&M, beastiality, and furries are BORN that way. I have first hand experience with a number of “fetishes” listed and not listed and I can tell you I was born that way. And was aware of it from a very young age. Homosexuality and bisexuality are also something a person is born with. It is not a sin. It is not a choice. These people are not sick.

      I have to ask Mike are you perfect? Are homosexuals hurting you? Are they directly affecting your day to day life?

      In the words of Christ: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” May I assume Mike that you are sinless? Please share with the rest of use sinners how you achieved that.

  25. Mike Tannehill Reply

    My response is based on the heading you will find in bold print at the top of the screen here: “Mormon Expression”.

    Homosexuality is a perversion of right and proper behavior. These poor deluded people are not born this way, their behavior is a choice.

    I misstated my earlier point. It should read that you cannot sin and call it psychology.

    For those interested there is an excellent talk given on the Mormon view of chastity. it was given by Elder Holland back in 1985 at BYU. I recommend printing it off and adding it to your files:
    http://www.familylifeeducation.org/gilliland/procgroup/Souls.htm

    John: I try to be well rounded

    • Glenn Reply

      Mike,

      If you are choosing to be straight instead of gay, does that mean that you have an instinctual attraction for both? I’m just asking, because attraction has never really been a choice in my limited experience.

      I have to believe in is genetic and natural, and you could still admit this if you wanted, because “the natural man is an enemy to God,” right? So why do TBMs always hammer against this genetic/natural argument for homosexuality? What is the benefit in taking this position?

      • NightAvatar Reply

        Glenn, you made an excellent point I hadn’t even considered before.

        What Mike and others like him seem to imply, when they say homosexuality is a choice, is that they themselves HAVE homosexual tendencies, but CHOOSE not to feed the urges.

        My guess is Mike will be highly offended by this, but it seems an obvious conclusion to his statement that it is a choice.

        • Ellie Reply

          Wow! You just described ME! The “Me” from years ago before I came to a peace within myself that it’s ok to be attracted to women. A good friend asked me back then if I thought that homosexuality was a choice. I said “Yes”… because at the time I had “chosen” to date the gender that would be considered social acceptable for me to date. I was aware that I had feelings for women, but wasn’t ready to say “there is nothing wrong with those feelings.” I guess you could say that who I dated was a choice, but the feelings themselves were not. I didn’t want to be attracted to women. Why do you think it took me so long to come out!? ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • Gunnar R. Reply

          I agree that Glenn made an excellent point. I’m sure you are aware, as I am, that some of the politicians and legislators who have been most condemnatory of homosexuality and have sponsored some of the harshest anti-gay legislation have been exposed as closet homosexuals themselves. Their extreme, public anti-gay position turned out to be mainly a device to gain the confidence and votes of what they perceived to be the conservative, anti-gay majority.

      • NightAvatar Reply

        (I hit submit too soon..)

        … and if YOU, Faithful Mormon (Mike and others who think like him), do not have homosexual tendencies, how can you claim to know it is a choice?

        Why not let the people who in fact HAVE the urges, desires, tendencies, to be the judge on whether they chose them or not?

        Oh, I forgot: Because you are arrogant know-it-alls with all the answers. The Lord Has Spoken.

      • Carey Reply

        I wonder if you think that skin color attraction is also genetic? What about hair color, weight, height, etc…

        I think if you really try and define what your saying in terms of the what attraction is I think you’ll end up concluding its a cultural thing that we learn and develop.

        The reason this point is argued so much is its a core foundation of message of Christianity, which is you have free will. You have the ability to overcome the effects of your sins and the sins done unto to.

        Here’s the same question for you, why do those that support it always hammer for this position? What is the benefit in taking this position?

        • NightAvatar Reply

          What is the point of whether color, hair, weight attraction is genetic? Why would anybody care? Do you get ridiculed or lose rights or hated for liking somebody of the same hair color or weight? That is just misdirection. Stop it.

          The reason most who “support” homosexuality (I wouldn’t put it that way, but since you chose to..) believe it is genetic, rather than learned is because so far the best evidence supports that view. You seem to really want that not to be the case. I have to wonder, why?

          Are you attracted to members of the same sex? Are you struggling with you own sexuality? What is your motivation here?

          • Carey

            I was talking about attraction when it comes to color, hair, weight, etc… I mean what genetically makes you attracted to certain types of people/things… My point is that its not purely genetically driven. We are influenced by our culture. There are cultures where men like woman who are large even today.

            I’m not attracted to the same sex but I don’t think I’m alone when I say I still judge members of my own sex as either attracted or not. We all do. We all say yea that Brad Pitt is a good looking, etc…

          • NightAvatar

            Carey, I love how you avoided all my questions, included my next post.

            Thinking somebody is “attractive” and having a crush on or giddy feelings towards that person are completely different. And I think it could be argued that an attraction to fat people or red-heads is also genetic, rather than learned or cultural.

            Do you have a single compelling evidence for your argument or theory?

            Again, I ask: what is your motivation?

        • NightAvatar Reply

          Carey, please explain how, in theory, homosexuality can be learned or picked up through culture.

          I assume you must have listened to the podcast. Explain how either of these two women would have picked it up through their upbringing in a small town in Southern Utah. I simply can’t fathom how you would think such an idea possible.

    • Sionpiensa Reply

      Mike you go beyond Elder Oaks (are you Packer related?) please read :

      PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Youโ€™re saying the Church doesnโ€™t necessarily have a position on โ€˜nurture or natureโ€™

      ELDER OAKS: Thatโ€™s where our doctrine comes into play. The Church does not have a position on the causes of any of these susceptibilities or inclinations, including those related to same-gender attraction. Those are scientific questions โ€” whether nature or nurture โ€” those are things the Church doesnโ€™t have a position on.
      http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/public-issues/same-gender-attraction
      cheers

  26. Mike Tannehill Reply

    My response is based on the heading you will find in bold print at the top of the screen here: “Mormon Expression”.

    Homosexuality is a perversion of right and proper behavior. These poor deluded people are not born this way, their behavior is a choice.

    I misstated my earlier point. It should read that you cannot sin and call it psychology.

    For those interested there is an excellent talk given on the Mormon view of chastity. it was given by Elder Holland back in 1985 at BYU. I recommend printing it off and adding it to your files:
    http://www.familylifeeducation.org/gilliland/procgroup/Souls.htm

    John: I try to be well rounded

    • Glenn Reply

      Mike,

      If you are choosing to be straight instead of gay, does that mean that you have an instinctual attraction for both? I’m just asking, because attraction has never really been a choice in my limited experience.

      I have to believe in is genetic and natural, and you could still admit this if you wanted, because “the natural man is an enemy to God,” right? So why do TBMs always hammer against this genetic/natural argument for homosexuality? What is the benefit in taking this position?

      • NightAvatar Reply

        Glenn, you made an excellent point I hadn’t even considered before.

        What Mike and others like him seem to imply, when they say homosexuality is a choice, is that they themselves HAVE homosexual tendencies, but CHOOSE not to feed the urges.

        My guess is Mike will be highly offended by this, but it seems an obvious conclusion to his statement that it is a choice.

        • Ellie Reply

          Wow! You just described ME! The “Me” from years ago before I came to a peace within myself that it’s ok to be attracted to women. A good friend asked me back then if I thought that homosexuality was a choice. I said “Yes”… because at the time I had “chosen” to date the gender that would be considered social acceptable for me to date. I was aware that I had feelings for women, but wasn’t ready to say “there is nothing wrong with those feelings.” I guess you could say that who I dated was a choice, but the feelings themselves were not. I didn’t want to be attracted to women. Why do you think it took me so long to come out!? ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • Gunnar R. Reply

          I agree that Glenn made an excellent point. I’m sure you are aware, as I am, that some of the politicians and legislators who have been most condemnatory of homosexuality and have sponsored some of the harshest anti-gay legislation have been exposed as closet homosexuals themselves. Their extreme, public anti-gay position turned out to be mainly a device to gain the confidence and votes of what they perceived to be the conservative, anti-gay majority.

      • NightAvatar Reply

        (I hit submit too soon..)

        … and if YOU, Faithful Mormon (Mike and others who think like him), do not have homosexual tendencies, how can you claim to know it is a choice?

        Why not let the people who in fact HAVE the urges, desires, tendencies, to be the judge on whether they chose them or not?

        Oh, I forgot: Because you are arrogant know-it-alls with all the answers. The Lord Has Spoken.

      • Carey Reply

        I wonder if you think that skin color attraction is also genetic? What about hair color, weight, height, etc…

        I think if you really try and define what your saying in terms of the what attraction is I think you’ll end up concluding its a cultural thing that we learn and develop.

        The reason this point is argued so much is its a core foundation of message of Christianity, which is you have free will. You have the ability to overcome the effects of your sins and the sins done unto to.

        Here’s the same question for you, why do those that support it always hammer for this position? What is the benefit in taking this position?

        • NightAvatar Reply

          What is the point of whether color, hair, weight attraction is genetic? Why would anybody care? Do you get ridiculed or lose rights or hated for liking somebody of the same hair color or weight? That is just misdirection. Stop it.

          The reason most who “support” homosexuality (I wouldn’t put it that way, but since you chose to..) believe it is genetic, rather than learned is because so far the best evidence supports that view. You seem to really want that not to be the case. I have to wonder, why?

          Are you attracted to members of the same sex? Are you struggling with you own sexuality? What is your motivation here?

          • Carey

            I was talking about attraction when it comes to color, hair, weight, etc… I mean what genetically makes you attracted to certain types of people/things… My point is that its not purely genetically driven. We are influenced by our culture. There are cultures where men like woman who are large even today.

            I’m not attracted to the same sex but I don’t think I’m alone when I say I still judge members of my own sex as either attracted or not. We all do. We all say yea that Brad Pitt is a good looking, etc…

          • NightAvatar

            Carey, I love how you avoided all my questions, included my next post.

            Thinking somebody is “attractive” and having a crush on or giddy feelings towards that person are completely different. And I think it could be argued that an attraction to fat people or red-heads is also genetic, rather than learned or cultural.

            Do you have a single compelling evidence for your argument or theory?

            Again, I ask: what is your motivation?

        • NightAvatar Reply

          Carey, please explain how, in theory, homosexuality can be learned or picked up through culture.

          I assume you must have listened to the podcast. Explain how either of these two women would have picked it up through their upbringing in a small town in Southern Utah. I simply can’t fathom how you would think such an idea possible.

    • Sionpiensa Reply

      Mike you go beyond Elder Oaks (are you Packer related?) please read :

      PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Youโ€™re saying the Church doesnโ€™t necessarily have a position on โ€˜nurture or natureโ€™

      ELDER OAKS: Thatโ€™s where our doctrine comes into play. The Church does not have a position on the causes of any of these susceptibilities or inclinations, including those related to same-gender attraction. Those are scientific questions โ€” whether nature or nurture โ€” those are things the Church doesnโ€™t have a position on.
      http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/public-issues/same-gender-attraction
      cheers

  27. Swearing Elder Reply

    Glenn – I’m interested in Mike’s views too. He’s doing more to confirm my distaste for the church than anyone else. I wonder if people on the fence see his comments and say, “Wow, do my fellow Mormons really think this?”

    And, yes, Mike, I’m well aware of the title of this podcast and web site. However, Zilpha reached out to a lesbian couple who were raised Mormon to talk about their experience. They took a risk and agreed to be interviewed. Your hateful, narrow-minded comments are totally inappropriate on this thread. Save them for a session where people are debating the roots of homosexuality — is it nature or nurture? Is it a choice? On a session like that your comments would be no less hateful, but at least they would be a little more appropriate for that kind of discussion.

    Imagine if you were invited to a home to watch a World Cup match and you walked in and declared, “I hate soccer! It’s the dumbest sport ever!” You may well have that opinion of the Beautiful Game, but is that the best time to express it?

    Once again, Thanks to Ellie and DJ for taking the time to talk with Zilpha. It was a wonderful interview and I was glad to hear about your experiences.

  28. Swearing Elder Reply

    Glenn – I’m interested in Mike’s views too. He’s doing more to confirm my distaste for the church than anyone else. I wonder if people on the fence see his comments and say, “Wow, do my fellow Mormons really think this?”

    And, yes, Mike, I’m well aware of the title of this podcast and web site. However, Zilpha reached out to a lesbian couple who were raised Mormon to talk about their experience. They took a risk and agreed to be interviewed. Your hateful, narrow-minded comments are totally inappropriate on this thread. Save them for a session where people are debating the roots of homosexuality — is it nature or nurture? Is it a choice? On a session like that your comments would be no less hateful, but at least they would be a little more appropriate for that kind of discussion.

    Imagine if you were invited to a home to watch a World Cup match and you walked in and declared, “I hate soccer! It’s the dumbest sport ever!” You may well have that opinion of the Beautiful Game, but is that the best time to express it?

    Once again, Thanks to Ellie and DJ for taking the time to talk with Zilpha. It was a wonderful interview and I was glad to hear about your experiences.

  29. Nathan R Kennard Reply

    Zilpha, Great job. It was interesting to hear you work with Ellie and DJ to hear how they would prefer to be discussed or addressed. Having openly gay friends may be a new experience for many of us.

  30. Nathan R Kennard Reply

    Zilpha, Great job. It was interesting to hear you work with Ellie and DJ to hear how they would prefer to be discussed or addressed. Having openly gay friends may be a new experience for many of us.

  31. NightAvatar Reply

    I listened to this again today on my bike-ride to work.

    It made me so proud to know Ellie and to have had a small role in getting her on the Podcast. I am planning to donate to her wedding fund but am uncertain to whom I should send the money. Will ME take up the suggestion made by Glenn in the first comment? If not, should I take the initiative and collect money? I don’t know if people would trust me not to keep any. (I wouldn’t, but who would believe that?) It might work better if it was done under John’s or Zilpha’s supervision. I would be willing to match dollar-for-dollar any contributions made for the cause.

    Regardless of how it’s done I want to help them, so please let me know what route to take! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Your humble & faithful servant,
    Richard of Norway

    • John Larsen Reply

      NightAvatar,

      Thanks for hooking me up with Ellie and DJ for this interview.

      We’re thinking about setting up a fund for contributions for Ellie and DJ’s wedding. I know John and I wouldn’t have had much of a wedding without the financial support from our parents. I think everyone should be able to have a lovely celebration and would like to facilitate that for this couple if we can.

      • Zilpha Reply

        Oops, I accidentally posted as John. I am thanking you, Night Avatar, not John. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • NightAvatar Reply

          That’s cool. I got it. I figure you two share the same computer. Makes me wonder how many “John” posts really are yours. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  32. NightAvatar Reply

    I listened to this again today on my bike-ride to work.

    It made me so proud to know Ellie and to have had a small role in getting her on the Podcast. I am planning to donate to her wedding fund but am uncertain to whom I should send the money. Will ME take up the suggestion made by Glenn in the first comment? If not, should I take the initiative and collect money? I don’t know if people would trust me not to keep any. (I wouldn’t, but who would believe that?) It might work better if it was done under John’s or Zilpha’s supervision. I would be willing to match dollar-for-dollar any contributions made for the cause.

    Regardless of how it’s done I want to help them, so please let me know what route to take! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Your humble & faithful servant,
    Richard of Norway

    • John Larsen Reply

      NightAvatar,

      Thanks for hooking me up with Ellie and DJ for this interview.

      We’re thinking about setting up a fund for contributions for Ellie and DJ’s wedding. I know John and I wouldn’t have had much of a wedding without the financial support from our parents. I think everyone should be able to have a lovely celebration and would like to facilitate that for this couple if we can.

      • Zilpha Reply

        Oops, I accidentally posted as John. I am thanking you, Night Avatar, not John. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • NightAvatar Reply

          That’s cool. I got it. I figure you two share the same computer. Makes me wonder how many “John” posts really are yours. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  33. Joseph Reply

    Sexuality is so complex: my instinct is to agree with Ellie when she posits multi-sexuality instead of our Puritan either/or dichotomy between gay and straight. Part of the problem I have with the traditional Mormon approach (which we share with most unthinking Christians) is that it is too simple: it reduces all sexual choices to unreal binaries between male and female, chastity and promiscuity. The facts on the ground just don’t fit these binaries, if you examine them closely. Biologically, masculinity is defined by certain traits (e.g. the possession of a functioning male member) which some “males” lack (natural eunuchs), and some “non-males” possess (hermaphrodites with reproductive capacity). The same is true for femininity–its biological determinant (a functioning womb) does not inhere in all “females.” The dichotomy between chastity and promiscuity breaks down too, when you look at it objectively: different societies have different standards for what constitutes each category, and sometimes “chastity” in one equals “promiscuity” in another (the classic Mormon case is polygamous Utah in the nineteenth century, which redefined chastity to the consternation of the rest of America). In our own day, this dichotomy is destroyed when we see people deviating from our modern LDS Mormon definition of “chastity” (1 man + 1 woman; pace the fact that we still have some issues with polygamy) without becoming “promiscuous”: whatever Mike says, Ellie and DJ are not in the same category as people who rape children or have sex with animals. They are not even in the same group with sex addicts who have no concept of emotional commitment. The problem with our overly simplified outlook on sexual morality is that it makes us lump things together that really don’t belong together.

    I think for me the things that define a healthy sexual relationship are maturity, openness, and trust. You cannot have a healthy sexual relationship with someone too young (or something that is not a human being, Mike!). You cannot have a healthy sexual relationship if you keep secrets from your partner(s) or tell lies. Outside of those limits, I am hard-pressed to find anything outside of personal preference that constitutes an objective limit on what good, healthy sexuality looks like. I am not bisexual: the thought of making love to a man makes me physically ill. This means that I will not make love to a man, and for me that is good. However, it does not mean, and it should not mean, that I must relentless oppose others who happen to be different. I am married to a wonderful woman whom I love, and we enjoy sharing ourselves only with one another. So we will not be joining any polyamorous, polygamous groups. That is good for us, but again, other people are different. I have seen enough good come out of alternative sexual arrangements that I cannot condemn them categorically. As long as they don’t result in rape (of adults or children), I have no quarrel with them.

    • Carey Reply

      Good post.

      I had tried to say something like this when I was talking about the various traits of what makes someone attracted to someone else, but I think you said it better.

      I was basically just trying to say in a few of my posts there are many factors that go into what makes someone attracted to someone else. Some of those factors can be damaging however and sometimes people need to “change” if they want something different. And yes its the LDS position that homosexuality is one of those.

      • NightAvatar Reply

        Carey, we still await your response to exactly how homosexuality is damaging. You say it is wrong and gays need to repent. It seems to me you haven’t really looked into this issue much or you would be more careful of judging people different from you. The film Far From Heaven depicts how hard it can be for gays to “conform” as you suggest they should. How easy would it be for you or me to “conform” to homosexual behaviour, if that were expected instead of the other way around? I can only speak for myself but I think I would find it unbearable, repulsive, and might end my life under such pressure. Why can’t we accept them and love them as they are? Not doing so is what is harmful to society, not their bahavior.

    • Ellie Reply

      Joseph: Thank you for your post. You have put into words many of my thoughts. Hugs!

  34. Joseph Reply

    Sexuality is so complex: my instinct is to agree with Ellie when she posits multi-sexuality instead of our Puritan either/or dichotomy between gay and straight. Part of the problem I have with the traditional Mormon approach (which we share with most unthinking Christians) is that it is too simple: it reduces all sexual choices to unreal binaries between male and female, chastity and promiscuity. The facts on the ground just don’t fit these binaries, if you examine them closely. Biologically, masculinity is defined by certain traits (e.g. the possession of a functioning male member) which some “males” lack (natural eunuchs), and some “non-males” possess (hermaphrodites with reproductive capacity). The same is true for femininity–its biological determinant (a functioning womb) does not inhere in all “females.” The dichotomy between chastity and promiscuity breaks down too, when you look at it objectively: different societies have different standards for what constitutes each category, and sometimes “chastity” in one equals “promiscuity” in another (the classic Mormon case is polygamous Utah in the nineteenth century, which redefined chastity to the consternation of the rest of America). In our own day, this dichotomy is destroyed when we see people deviating from our modern LDS Mormon definition of “chastity” (1 man + 1 woman; pace the fact that we still have some issues with polygamy) without becoming “promiscuous”: whatever Mike says, Ellie and DJ are not in the same category as people who rape children or have sex with animals. They are not even in the same group with sex addicts who have no concept of emotional commitment. The problem with our overly simplified outlook on sexual morality is that it makes us lump things together that really don’t belong together.

    I think for me the things that define a healthy sexual relationship are maturity, openness, and trust. You cannot have a healthy sexual relationship with someone too young (or something that is not a human being, Mike!). You cannot have a healthy sexual relationship if you keep secrets from your partner(s) or tell lies. Outside of those limits, I am hard-pressed to find anything outside of personal preference that constitutes an objective limit on what good, healthy sexuality looks like. I am not bisexual: the thought of making love to a man makes me physically ill. This means that I will not make love to a man, and for me that is good. However, it does not mean, and it should not mean, that I must relentless oppose others who happen to be different. I am married to a wonderful woman whom I love, and we enjoy sharing ourselves only with one another. So we will not be joining any polyamorous, polygamous groups. That is good for us, but again, other people are different. I have seen enough good come out of alternative sexual arrangements that I cannot condemn them categorically. As long as they don’t result in rape (of adults or children), I have no quarrel with them.

    • Carey Reply

      Good post.

      I had tried to say something like this when I was talking about the various traits of what makes someone attracted to someone else, but I think you said it better.

      I was basically just trying to say in a few of my posts there are many factors that go into what makes someone attracted to someone else. Some of those factors can be damaging however and sometimes people need to “change” if they want something different. And yes its the LDS position that homosexuality is one of those.

      • NightAvatar Reply

        Carey, we still await your response to exactly how homosexuality is damaging. You say it is wrong and gays need to repent. It seems to me you haven’t really looked into this issue much or you would be more careful of judging people different from you. The film Far From Heaven depicts how hard it can be for gays to “conform” as you suggest they should. How easy would it be for you or me to “conform” to homosexual behaviour, if that were expected instead of the other way around? I can only speak for myself but I think I would find it unbearable, repulsive, and might end my life under such pressure. Why can’t we accept them and love them as they are? Not doing so is what is harmful to society, not their bahavior.

    • Ellie Reply

      Joseph: Thank you for your post. You have put into words many of my thoughts. Hugs!

  35. Joseph Reply

    I should have added “love” somewhere to my idea of a healthy sexual relationship, meaning “emotional commitment.” I think it is important that people learn to invest in making life better for those around them, especially those with whom they are most intimately connected. This means learning to balance one’s own wants and needs against those of the other person(s), and coming up with constructive ways of confronting life’s problems. Emotional abuse is a serious problem in relationships, as is physical abuse (more than just rape: I was being too simple above). A healthy relationship will avoid both.

    • Gunnar R. Reply

      Joseph, I love your comments!

      I was thinking of responding to Mike Tannehill’s comments along those or similar lines. I am glad I didn’t, now! I could not possibly have improved on what you stated so eloquently! It was a pleasure to read your take on it! I also enjoyed and appreciated others’ comments as well, such as Night Avatar, Glenn, Swearing Elder, John & Zilpha, etc., and (of course) Ellie and DJ’s, but your comments seem to come closest to expressing what I would have liked to have been able contribute to the topic. Thank you for that!

  36. Joseph Reply

    I should have added “love” somewhere to my idea of a healthy sexual relationship, meaning “emotional commitment.” I think it is important that people learn to invest in making life better for those around them, especially those with whom they are most intimately connected. This means learning to balance one’s own wants and needs against those of the other person(s), and coming up with constructive ways of confronting life’s problems. Emotional abuse is a serious problem in relationships, as is physical abuse (more than just rape: I was being too simple above). A healthy relationship will avoid both.

    • Gunnar R. Reply

      Joseph, I love your comments!

      I was thinking of responding to Mike Tannehill’s comments along those or similar lines. I am glad I didn’t, now! I could not possibly have improved on what you stated so eloquently! It was a pleasure to read your take on it! I also enjoyed and appreciated others’ comments as well, such as Night Avatar, Glenn, Swearing Elder, John & Zilpha, etc., and (of course) Ellie and DJ’s, but your comments seem to come closest to expressing what I would have liked to have been able contribute to the topic. Thank you for that!

  37. Mary Reply

    Zilpha has made an excellent job with this! I was moved by how they struggled to feel accepted by the people around them. Unfortunately, until now I am still hiding my true identity.

  38. Mary Reply

    Zilpha has made an excellent job with this! I was moved by how they struggled to feel accepted by the people around them. Unfortunately, until now I am still hiding my true identity.

  39. jax Reply

    Mike,

    As with any opinion expressed on ME, I think you are entitled to feel however you choose.

    But, I have to ask, where is the love, the compassion? You are not a god. You, just like me, do not possess enough knowledge and perspective to make blanket judgments about people, who they are, and the things that they struggle with.

    I wish you would temper your pronouncements with a little more love. I understand your religious perspective. I simply wish you would allow the judge that you believe will hand down either acceptance or condemnation at the last day to be the one to do so. In the interim, try a measure of understanding. There is a wide, deep gulf between pedophiles and men and women who identify themselves as gay or lesbian. It turns my stomach that you would lump them in the same category.

    Mike, I am glad you are on ME. You add a great balance, for the most part. I hope you have peace in your life. I would simply challenge you approach things you do not agree with, or understand, with a little more Sermon on the Mount and a little less hellfire and brimstone. There are many people for whom things are not just simply black or white.

    Respectfully,

    jax

  40. jax Reply

    Mike,

    As with any opinion expressed on ME, I think you are entitled to feel however you choose.

    But, I have to ask, where is the love, the compassion? You are not a god. You, just like me, do not possess enough knowledge and perspective to make blanket judgments about people, who they are, and the things that they struggle with.

    I wish you would temper your pronouncements with a little more love. I understand your religious perspective. I simply wish you would allow the judge that you believe will hand down either acceptance or condemnation at the last day to be the one to do so. In the interim, try a measure of understanding. There is a wide, deep gulf between pedophiles and men and women who identify themselves as gay or lesbian. It turns my stomach that you would lump them in the same category.

    Mike, I am glad you are on ME. You add a great balance, for the most part. I hope you have peace in your life. I would simply challenge you approach things you do not agree with, or understand, with a little more Sermon on the Mount and a little less hellfire and brimstone. There are many people for whom things are not just simply black or white.

    Respectfully,

    jax

  41. Ellie Reply

    DJ & I have decided to postpone our wedding. We would like to thank the loving and generous spirit of those who wanted to contribute. Lots of love, Ellie

    • Gunnar R. Reply

      Whether you postpone your wedding or not, I cannot believe that you and DJ are harming anyone by continuing your relationship. Perhaps it is actually wiser to postpone it until you live in a state where you two can legally call your union a marriage. I suspect that it is only a matter of time before even Utah finally accepts that. I think the tide of opposition, ignorance and intolerance is slowly turning, and that if California’s proposition 8 had not come up for a vote until a few years later than it did, it would probably not have passed.

  42. Ellie Reply

    DJ & I have decided to postpone our wedding. We would like to thank the loving and generous spirit of those who wanted to contribute. Lots of love, Ellie

    • Gunnar R. Reply

      Whether you postpone your wedding or not, I cannot believe that you and DJ are harming anyone by continuing your relationship. Perhaps it is actually wiser to postpone it until you live in a state where you two can legally call your union a marriage. I suspect that it is only a matter of time before even Utah finally accepts that. I think the tide of opposition, ignorance and intolerance is slowly turning, and that if California’s proposition 8 had not come up for a vote until a few years later than it did, it would probably not have passed.

  43. Bill Reply

    I know how you feel. I haven’t physically left yet, but I am a complete unbeliever, and I have my doubts that any amount of nuance or mental footnotes can make me really comfortable in the church. But it is the culture I grew up with and am familiar with. And I really do like many of the people. As the saying goes (or at least it should): the church might not be true, but most of the people are.

  44. Mike Tannehill Reply

    I’m happy to hear that you want to go back to Church. I think that is fantastic. Conflicted feelings and all I know it will make you feel better.
    I can tell you that it will be a huge help to you if you find good and faithful speakers that you enjoy listening to, and reading, that will feed you doctrinaly and not insult your intelligence. Men like Richard Draper and women like Camille Fronk Olsen.
    Most important of all is that you make time for private prayer. Find some quiet alone time and kneel down and say vocal prayers and ask your Father in Heaven yes or no questions, ones that will be easy for you to recognise answers to. Wait after your prayers and listen for answers. They will come, I promise.

  45. Tobin Reply

    Ah, go back. I attend the Mormon church on occasion though I can’t stand modern-day Mormonism (I also attend other churches for a breath of some life instead of the boring, silent, monastic ceremonies punctuated by the occasional whine of a child that typify the typical Mormon church meeting). I’ve seen the whole show and it isn’t very appealing. You CAN be a contientuous objecter and a Mormon at the same time. I’m pationately trying to fix Mormonism by bringing Gospel music and life into it. Things do change – they did eventually remove the racism in the priesthood (just took them forever because they are myoptic about what is from God and what is from Men). There is much about Mormonism that needs this kind of reform and fixing, but we each must fight the good fight in the defense of truth.

  46. Johnboy Reply

    I never “left” the church, due to my spouse not wanting to consider the facts or evaluate the truth. She frankly told me she would always be a “believer” no matter what the evidence showed. I go because I want to remain close to her. However, for sanity’s sake, I had to put limits on my activities. I do not bear my testimony, tithe, or attend the temple. Obviously I would not take a calling requiring me to be a high priest or Elders Quorum President, which I would not qualify for anyway with my self-imposed restrictions. With these restrictions I feel that I am doing my best to support my wife without violating my integrity. It still isn’t easy sit through what I now consider to be akin to an Amway meeting for three hours, but I feel I am doing what I can to show my commitment to our relationship. I hope you find a compromise you can feel semi-comfortable with. At least you won’t have to deal with all the expectations and baggage that comes with being a priesthood holder. Saying no to the temple, tithing, and callings is simple compared to enduring expectations of using the priesthood for family ordinations and blessings. If you turn those responsibilities over to someone else you are degraded in the eyes of your family. I think this and temple weddings are the most pernicious hold the church has on nonbelievers.

  47. mono Reply

    This is from the forward to a new revised version of Michael Shermers Book: “Why Smart People Believe Weird Things”. The book helped me immensely in understanding lots of people. To put aside prejudices and step outside of ones self and examine is a rare quality.

    “The book addresses this question head on, bringing to light the latest research on belief systems, particularly considering how it is that educated and intelligent people also believe that which is apparently irrational. My answer is deceptively simple: Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons.

    Humans are pattern-seeking, storytelling animals, in search of deep meaning behind the seemingly random events of day-to-day life. I hope that this book in some small way helps you navigate a path through the often confusing array of claims and beliefs presented to us as meaningful stories and patterns.”

    Like Tevye in “Fiddler On The Roof”, (where everyone’s life is as precarious as a Fiddler on the roof) in Anatevka: where “Everyone knows who he is, and what God expects of him” i.e. Tradition.

    To buck that and stand alone because you know the status quo is not true is no easy task (big understatement). I know. I also know the absolute joy of being free from the control, guilt, pressure to conform and being responsible for my own happiness.

    You are not alone. “To thine own-self be true”.

    I KNOW there is no cosmic boogey-man or zombie Jesus and (as my son puts it) Church is just a boring time-share presentation for Jesus. All of the convoluted excuses and explanations go away when you simply realize the “Church” is NOT true. Joseph lied.

    Best wishes on your life’s journey.

  48. G Reiersen Reply

    I know how you feel! I have much the same problem myself. Whatever you decide to do, don’t yield to the temptation to pretend to believe what you do not believe. I can help but believe that that would only increase the harm done to both yourself and your relationships with your loved ones. I like what Thomas Paine said about religious faith or the lack of it. He said “Infidelity lies not in believing or not believing, but in professing to believe what one does not believe.”

    • G Reiersen Reply

      Whoops! I meant to say “I can’t help but belive that that would only increase the harm done to boty yourself and your relationships with your loved ones.”

      Besides that, I want to add, don’t give up hope that your husband will eventually come around. I find it hard to believe that a man smart enough to choose you to marry and good enough to attract someone of your intelligence can not eventually see through the lies and inconsistencies of Church doctrine and practice.

  49. Elder Vader Reply

    Since my disaffection I have been very surprised to see that most (practically all) Mormons are “Buffet Mormons” to one degree or another. So seriously – do what you feel. If you don’t believe X, Y, or Z doctrine the same as you did 5 years ago, or the same as Brother Hagenflagen… big deal. You don’t owe your former self, or Bro H an explanation. You don’t owe any of us an explanation either. Whatever path you choose to walk down, I hope it leads you to the most possible happiness for you. I’d venture to say that we ‘get’ the pull back to the church. Do what you feel.

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