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The REAL reason why the Mormon church can’t abide gay marriage

August 15, 2010

While Chris Bigelow believes, among other things, that the reason the Mormon church could NOT abide gay marriage and homosexuality in general is because it would force us to accept the possibility that God could be gay, I think there is a much simpler reason.

The realization came slowly, when I was reading Stephen Marsh’s article on “Presiding in Marriage” and the comments that followed. Brother Q wrote:

I think “presiding” over a meeting mostly denotes final responsibility for what happens. There needs to be someone in charge if something needs to be dealt with…

To which CatherineWO wondered whether someone *has* to be in charge or responsible (or, for that matter, why it must be a man who is ultimately in charge).

But that’s when I realized WHY gay marriage will destroy the family and destroy civilization. Because in gay marriage, there is no ultimate responsibility. Who can be the ultimate responsibility in an “equal” partnership of two men? And how can there be any responsibility in a partnership of two women?

If gay marriage becomes accepted in our society, this will unravel that fabric of hierarchy that keeps the wheels turning! It won’t just affect the gays — it’ll affect the straights, by making them doubt the security of having a man in the position of ultimate authority.

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9 Comments
  1. I once heard that one of the persistent things that is going to prove an obstacle to gay sex being accepted in the LDS context is Heavenly Mother.

    You blur the lines the way the LGBT community does, it messes around with more than a few theological issues for us.

    • Dang… didn’t hit “subscribe.”

  2. Seth, I actually have heard that. I think it’s interesting how that tension works out — if people want to emphasize the actual mechanics of spirit procreation (e.g., physical parts a must), then they have to have a heavenly mother somewhere…but is Heavenly Mother a *goddess*…or is she just some girl (or girls) who get(s) to say, “Yeah, I do Heavenly Father”?

    I’m really rooting for celestial bisexual polygamy over here.

  3. There can always be responsibility, even when both are responsible. Regardless of sex or gender.

  4. But Stephen, this doesn’t solve the problem of *ultimate* responsibility. The ultimate president.

    According to traditional family values, There Can Only Be One.

  5. /TBM

    But Andrew, you know very well that the Family Proclamation doesn’t just talk about men presiding in the home; it says husbands and wives are equal partners. And when the church says “preside,” it totally doesn’t mean authority or control anyways, even though that’s the most basic definition of “preside” that anyone who speaks English is going to think of first. When the church uses it, it means “stewardship,” or “service,” or “gentle guidance.” And besides, presiding is a horrible burden and a great responsibility, and women are better off not having it—just like they’re better off not being prophets and apostles and bishops and stake presidents and elders and deacons and administering beautiful, richly symbolic religious rituals. And all it really means is that the father gets to choose who says the family prayer at dinner time, so what’s the big deal anyways?

    Now I’ll thank you to stop misrepresenting what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches about the equality of the sexes and “presiding.” If you’ll excuse me, I have to go hearken to my husband now.

    /endTBM

    In seriousness, the blurring of gender distinctions and traditional hierarchical roles that seems to go along with gay marriage is probably part of why the LDS church is opposed to it, but I think its theology which maintains that male-female pairings are necessary for exaltation is reason #1. The church could theoretically move to an egalitarian model of gender roles and still be opposed to gay marriage.

  6. Jack, that was great, haha.

    I dunno though (about the “in seriousness” part). Because one of the big arguments for *why* male-female pairings are necessary is because of deep gender differences that make the gender non-interchangeable. If the church moved to a more egalitarian model of gender roles, this would blur the (dis)tinction to genders (unless the ONLY (dis)tinction that needs to be preserved is “penis” and “vagina,” [and I’m aware that is an improper comparison]) — and the claim of non-interchangeability.

  7. Ah, Andrew, you see, those who support hierarchical gender roles would like everyone to think that they have a monopoly on the use of gender essentialism and complementary gender differences. Their dirty little secret: they don’t. In fact, complementary gender differences can be quite harmful to their case.

    Let me give you a page from evangelical history: currently the camps are broadly divided into groups that call themselves “complementarians” and “egalitarians.” Egalitarians are the folks like me, opposed to traditional gender roles, supportive of the ordination of women, etc. Complementarians are the folks who teach that women should be SAHMs and should not be pastors or elders. However, the term “complementarian” was not chosen as the moniker for the movement until 1986, with the formation of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Prior to that, the group that was opposed to the ordination of women was more commonly known as “traditionalists” or “hierarchicalists.” And here’s the really shocking part: it was not the traditionalists who first began discussing complementary gender differences when these debates rose to prominence in the evangelical movement in the 1970s. It was the egalitarians who most commonly referred to the complementary gender differences between men and women.

    Why? Because egalitarians did believe in differences between the sexes. However, they believed that those differences needed to be reflected and utilized on all levels of church leadership. If you want a comparable real-world study that proves the philosophy that egalitarians are shooting for, last year the Washington Post did an article on a study showing that corporations which employ both women and men among their top management are doing better than companies with an all-male leadership. I blogged about this here. When women are barred from leadership, women who have gifts for leadership are prevented from using their gifts, and true complementarity between the sexes is lost. Churches that bar women from leadership become like those businesses that aren’t doing as well because they have all-male management. The truth is that hierarchical systems don’t facilitate natural gender differences; they obliterate them by trapping the sexes in artificial constructs that don’t reflect true male-female dynamics.

    Bottom line being that a move to an egalitarian system would not mean obliteration of gender differences. It would only mean the obliteration of artificial conceptions of gender differences.

  8. Interesting.

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