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Showing posts from September, 2011

Homosexuality vs Religion: A false dichotomy

All too often, the debate concerning homosexuality (homosexual orientation, homosexual behavior, gay marriage, etc) is seen as that of being religion vs homosexuality.  This is in fact a false dichotomy.  Yes, there are several major religions who have waged war on homosexuality for some time now.  However, in many cases this is a one-way battle: there are gay people who are not only unwilling to fight against religion, but in fact are very religious themselves.  There are many churches now that are "gay-friendly" churches, who openly accept gay people.  (And I don't mean in the way the LDS church "accepts" gay people, which is that they accept them but tell them they need to refrain from homosexual conduct.  I mean, they allow gay people to be themselves--to have relationships and express love.)  There are also churches which market to gay people, that have gay clergy and preach gay sermons.

Why is this significant?  There are altogether too many people who b…

Do you still love me?

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This is the most recent in a series of videos where this innocent, loving man comes out of the closet.  Since he is actively serving in the military, he couldn't come out completely until yesterday, when DADT was finally repealed.  So, all of his previous videos show nothing above his chin, nor does he disclose his identity.  But, as you watch the videos, you can tell how much he really wants to be out--to be honest with people (especially his family, as seen in this video) about these beautiful feelings that he's been having his whole life.

When I watched this video, I couldn't help but cry, seeing how dearly this son loves his father and needs to know that his father loves him too, regardless of his sexual orientation.  You can tell that it's very difficult for him to disclose this information to a man that means so much in his life.  You can see the fear in his eyes, his demeanor, and his voice--the fear of being misunderstood or causing his father to be disappointe…

Liberty and justice for all

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Humans are rather complicated beings.  It seems that we don't even understand ourselves very well.  It's a good thing we've had thousands of years to try to figure ourselves out, and I'm sure we'll need thousands more years before we finally get it right.  But, it is very encouraging when we see society take a step in the direction toward mutual understanding and respect.

At the time our nation declared its independence from the British crown, part of that declaration was that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." However, at the same time, they didn't actually treat all humans equal (in fact, the word "men" might even have been interpreted to mean only males, since women weren't even treated equally).  There were people who were treated as property instead of people.  So, although the statement was bold and th…

Authenticity

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We spend a great deal of time and energy trying to get other people to fit a mold that we have in our minds.  There is a benefit to conformity--for example, we all conform (more or less) to the rules of the English language in the interest of being able to communicate with each other.  We also (more or less) conform to the laws of our country/state/etc in the interest of avoiding anarchy.  So, there certainly is something to be said for adopting certain societal dictates.  However, I feel that all too often this goes too far into things that ought not to be forced conformities.

I have heard so many stories of gay people who have been pressured into living a straight life--or into attempting to become straight--and it truly saddens my heart.  I sincerely believe that justice will one day be served and all of those who advocate or have ever advocated ex-gay therapy will pay for their sins.  I have seen so many hearts broken, so much self-loathing, and so much suicide because gay people …

Compassion

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"Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought."

The human mind is so incredibly complex.  It never ceases to fascinate me.  Why do people feel the way they do?  What makes them say and do the things they do?  How can two people experience the same stimulus and have extremely differing interpretations of that stimulus?

I've posted a lot of things lately that have received extremely negative responses.  As I have stated before, I am not an antagonist.  I do not post things for the sole purpose of aggravating or offending people.  As I stated in my most recent blog post, I only post such things because I have such a strong desire to know, understand, and share the truth.  But, with all of the feedback I have been getting, I have to ask myself what my priorities are.  Obviously there are those who angry at things that I have said, and there are those that are hurt.  Shall I continue, in my stubbornness, to post things in the interest of declaring truth even when I see that …

"Don't dwell"

I have been told many times now, since I have left the LDS church, to simply "move on" and "don't dwell".  I have also heard the quote "you can leave the church but you can't leave the church alone" more times than I would care to count.  So, this post is for anyone who is interested in knowing why I can't just walk away from the church as if nothing had ever happened.  (See also this post.)

The LDS church is different in many, many ways from other churches.  The one difference I believe is essential to this particular point, however, is that Mormons don't just claim that their religion is another belief--that they could conceivably be wrong and another religion right.  Instead, they claim that their beliefs are actual knowledge.  They are taught in their church meetings (fast Sunday) to say things to the effect of "I know that the church is true" and "I know that God lives".  I did this many times myself while I was in…

No regrets, just love

(The only reason I like that song is because when Glee did a cover of it, Blaine sang the lead.)

Since I have come out and started to post many homosexual-related posts here on my blog and links to my blog and other homosexual-related webpages on my Facebook page, I have had many of my friends and family either unfriend me, block me, hide my posts from their newsfeed, or stop following my blog.  Each successive time I have posted a link to my blog on my Facebook account, the number of people who follow the link has steadily decreased ever since the time I announced my sexual orientation.  (Just for the record, almost 700 people have viewed the post where I came out of the closet, which is far higher than I ever thought any of my blog posts would ever get.)  So, naturally, the question I could ask myself (or others could ask of me) is whether I regret this, or whether I view this as an adverse outcome.  To this question, I would reply in the negative.

I do not interpret someone unfrie…

Is it a choice?

Quite frankly, I spent way too much time and energy worrying about that question--"Is being homosexual a choice?".  But, this does comprise a large portion of the debate of the morality of homosexual behavior. Those who defend the "traditional family" argue that being gay is a choice and therefore those who are gay should simply choose to be straight instead.  Those who are gay, or support gay rights movements, argue that being gay is not a choice and therefore we can't just simply become straight or just start liking people of the opposite sex.  Perhaps one issue that might complicate the matter is bisexual people since they might at one point identify as straight and later as gay, or vice versa.

So, I spent a good portion of my "mormon life" convincing myself that the feelings I had for other men were merely a temptation and that I wasn't technically "gay" unless I yielded to those temptations, since being gay was a choice.  And, arou…

Count your many blessings

I want to take a moment to share all of the ways in which I feel truly blessed in my life.  I don't do so in the attempt to make others feel less fortunate, and I hope it does not have that effect on anyone.  In fact, I hope it has the effect of influencing you who read this to examine their your lives and be grateful for the many blessings that you have been given.  Also, I do not feel that I have necessarily done anything spectacular or noteworthy to have qualified for all of these blessings, so I do not mean to give the impression that I am somehow more deserving than others.  Quite the opposite, I feel as though I have a duty to help those who might not be as fortunate, since I have been given so much that I can share with others.  (Because I have been given much, I too must give.)

My job is wonderful.  I love teaching math and I love doing mathematical research.  I enjoy studying, especially math.  It makes me so excited when I'm working with a student, trying to help the…

Someone to come home to

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It was very difficult to live 800 miles away from my honey-bun.  We'd call each other on the phone pretty much every day, we'd text constantly, and we even visited each other a couple times despite the long distance.  So, it's such a wonderful thing to finally have him with me.  The number of minutes I've used on my cell phone has decreased by about 99%.

What's so wonderful about having that special someone to come home to?  There are so many things, let me see if I can name a few.  As seen in the photo, there are many surprises.  Sometimes I find these little love notes in random places reminding me of how much he cares.  He's such a sweet man.

When I am away from home, he always washes dishes and tidies up the house.  He likes to surprise me with how much cleaning/laundry he's done while I'm away.  It also makes me more motivated to do some cleaning myself instead of being the slob I usually am.

I used to cook all the time.  I remember as a child I…