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I can’t think straight

May 25, 2012

Since I wrote my post on the death of marriage, I’ve gotten a lot of responses and counterarguments to it. Part of that is because I posted links to it at several locations — on Mormon Facebook groups, on the ex-Mormon reddit page, and so on.

There were a lot of people across all of these venues who worked very hard to show how I was failing to consider certain things, or how I was emphasizing things that weren’t relevant, or how I missed the historical details. And I’m grateful for all of them for doing that.

Still, I just can’t think straight.

It has derailed my blogging (both here and at Wheat and Tares). And I mean, I’m sure I’ll get over it in a bit, as I usually do when I get into one of these funks, but whereas my first goal was for all the responses and comments and whatnot to help me figure things out conclusively, once and for all, what seems to have actually happened is that now I’m in even more doubt. Now I’m even more uncertain. But even more, a stark fact is really starting to sink in for me. This “stark fact” is most likely a basic fact that all gay Mormons have probably already dealt with, and gotten over (or maybe they haven’t. Depends on who they are.) Hell, this “stark fact” is probably a basic that non-gay Mormons have probably already dealt with, and have gotten over (or not). And it’s one that perhaps even most non-Mormons have dealt with…and you probably don’t have to be religious to understand this fact. But even though I’ve been able to casually throw it around my entire life, casually toss it around in conversations, it hasn’t meant anything for me. Here goes nothing. Saying it makes it real..?

I’m not ideal. I’m not perfect. I am flawed. Nothing’s ever going to fix this. It’s fundamental. Foundational.

I never really got it, until this past few series of posts…on marriage from different Christian points of views, on the “death” of marriage. I never got why people thought homosexuality was a Huge Sin. (And why people recently have been so adamant to say that it’s not “bigger” than any other sin, so we shouldn’t treat it like that.)

If your ideal is the union of man and woman to create children, then duh, homosexuality is going to be a big deal. It doesn’t matter if you’re celibate; you’re still failing. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a gay relationship; you’re still failing. It doesn’t matter if you adopt or otherwise have children; you’re still failing.

So ultimately, every discussion that happens after this is just discussion about how to be the best failure. How to make the best of a fail situation.

I guess this post is kinda dumb. It presumes to know what the ideal is. It presumes to know what perfection is, and what missing the mark would be. But couldn’t we just say that there’s a different ideal, or that there isn’t an ideal?

…sure, why not? You just have to find a way to convince yourself of either of these options.

It’s absurd. How the hell is this only starting to bother me now? It never bothered me (because I never really thought about it) when I was actively going to church. It would never bother me if I had never grown up Mormon at all. But here…now…I cannot quite dismiss it.

I’m sure that as always happens, things will pass on their own. It’s not a matter of choice, because these mental things never came chosen, so I can’t get rid of them by choice. Rather, I just have to sit back and hold tight until something else comes around and lets me see things in a different way.

I’m not interested in changing. I’m not interested in your religious (or nonreligious) “solutions”. I’m just going to sit here in solitude for a weekend. Well, I’ll put up a good show for the wedding I’m going to, but loneliness isn’t the same as being alone anyway.

Anyway, Happy Memorial Day Weekend, every’all!

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6 Comments
  1. Taking things bit by bit.

    On the “there isn’t an ideal” aspect, I’m reading and watching things to point out that the “ideal” has never really stayed the same. What we perceive to be an ideal is as culturally situated as anything else. E.g., http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=x-kcAzcjfVY

  2. Seth R. permalink

    Having watched only the first 8 minutes of that video Andrew, her entire argument seems to boil down to “times have changed and attitudes are different about this – so get over it and move on.”

    To which those opposing gay marriage simply nod their heads, and say “yup – isn’t it awful” and “let’s fight to change that.”

    Anyway, there seems to be a lot of underlying resignation and fatalism premising her lecture.

  3. I guess the main difference I saw was that it’s not just that times are changing and attitudes are different about this (now). Rather, it’s that times have always been changing and attitudes have always been different. So, we’re not going to be able to pinpoint anything solid that represents “the way things were”

  4. Seth R. permalink

    Well sure. But I don’t think the argument against gay marriage should be premised on “the way things are” – except to the extent that the “way things were” at any given time actually worked. The arguments here should be grounded in real social results. That’s why I’ve been saying the “traditional marriage” crowd (just calling them that for lack of a better term) needs better arguments than the status quo and “it’s in the Bible.”

  5. I didn’t read all the comments from the first post.

    But why should having children being the only goal of marriage? There are plenty of male/female marriages where having children is impossible. Does that mean they’re not valid marriages? And why stay married after having children is impossible (in one’s 60s)?

    Also, I loved the irony of recent photo I saw of someone with a tattoo of Lev. 18:22. Evidently in another scripture in Leviticus it says not to get tattoos…

    Another thing to think about, if Jesus is the ideal, Jesus wasn’t married (according to traditional Christianity). Whether or not Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene (which I did hear as doctrinal growing up..)…did he have children?

    Personally, I don’t believe that there is one ideal. What is right for one person (couple) may not be right for another. As a society, we do need children (to reproduce ourselves). Reproduction doesn’t appear to be slowing anytime soon, so why should everyone be held to the ideal of having to reproduce (and/or raise children)? And, with that said, I don’t see any reason why two people in a loving relationship couldn’t raise children – gay couples raise successful, well-adjusted children all the time.

  6. Seth R. permalink

    aerin I think the real question is what the government’s legitimate interest in privileging and promoting marriage is.

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