Further Up and Further In

on 29 November 2009

In C.S. Lewis’ last Chronicle of Narnia he weaves a story about the end of the world and the world to come. This chronicle opens with two characters, an Ape named Shift who is wise, cunning, manipulative and lazy & his friend Puzzle, a Donkey who is not that bright, malleable, easily depressed, and gullible. Shift and Puzzle find the skin of a lion and Shift hatches a plan so that he won’t have to work for bananas ever again. He dresses Puzzle up as a lion and convinces Puzzle that his job, nay his duty is to appear as Aslan to the people.

The story is far more involved than this of course, but what is important is that Puzzle listened to Shift instead of what he knew to be true. Puzzle knew he was a Donkey and not a lion and yet he still continued on in the disguise because he was told that it would make things better. Towards the end of the book, the following is written:

"I see now," said Puzzle, "that I really have been a very bad donkey. I ought never to have listened to Shift. I never thought things like this would begin to happen."
I mention this chronicle because it reminds me of what I read today and the truth that it bore to me. I came across Paul’s writings on circumcision. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul uses circumcision to teach them a lesson and to expound upon church policy. He states:
“18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.
19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.”
Paul states that the important thing isn’t whether you are circumcised or not, but whether, in being called to be circumcised you changed your circumcision status or not. Verse 20 “Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.” Paul is expounding truth that I feel Lewis alluded to successfully. We each have been called to divine paths, paths that for us may be different from someone with the same trials. It is our duty, not to follow what others tell us, what Shift whispers and coerces us to do, but instead to instead listen to our own hearts and souls and more importantly what the Spirit of God calls us to do.

It is our responsibility to discover that call and be worthy to hear it. For some of us that may be a call towards celibacy, for others to find a partner, for others still, to find a wife. I do not believe that it is our place to delegate what others should do, to tell others what they are called to be. We must merely accept our own calling, much as we would from a Bishop, and magnify it rather than shrink from it.

The scriptures are filled with many whom have been called to specific tasks, some obeyed and were blessed like the Sons of Mosiah, others ignored the call and after a lesson repented like Jonah.

I feel that we need a lot fewer groups telling us how we have been called and instead need groups that uplift us in the calling of the Lord whatever it may be. The time is fast approaching when hate will be abhorred & love and support truly embraced. We can, each day help that day of love by answering our call to build each other up in our endeavors instead of focusing on why our own personal answer is right for all. We must answer the call and go further up and further in.

Suicide

on 19 November 2009

A year ago I tried to take my own life because of the tempest raging within my soul. I was feeling like whichever path I chose nearly half of who I was would die. I got myself so wrapped up that I figured; "Well if half of me has to die and still not have an answer, why not sacrifice my entire self and KNOW the truth that lies on the other side of the veil."
I was so frustrated with this thought that I decided to dull the pain with some Lortab I had from my Wisdom Teeth Removal. Luckily I had a good roommate and a caring friend on the phone who got me to a hospital and into a psych evaluation.
If you are reading this and you feel on the verge of suicide I want to let you know that it does get better... so much better, just keep pushing on one day at a time and when you need support or you feel like you might end it, please call a friend, call a family member, or call the Trevor Project. They love you and can help you realize that living is worth it.

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. If you or a friend are feeling lost or alone, call The Trevor Helpline (866.4.U.TREVOR), 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Germany?

Wordle: Untitled
So here is me, perpetuating the meme. Ironically enough my most used word is Germany... Who'd a thunk?

Square Pegs, Procrustes & Perfection

on 18 November 2009

One of the few things I remember from Apollo 13 that has stuck with me all these years is the following scene.
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It always stuck with me because I remember thinking “How preposterous to fit a square peg into a round hole, the parts just don’t fit.”

I don’t remember much else from that movie, but needless to say, it has stuck with me and recently I thought about that more and realized… I am the square peg. Some people try to convince me that I am round, some people have tried to force me to be round, and some think I should find a square hole. Each of these views comes from a person who has found something that works for them, but I recognize that I am unique and there may not be “one” answer for every square peg.

Ok I am rambling, but indulge me a bit further on another tangent, I swear I will pull it together at the end … I always do.

While reading C.S. Lewis the other day I recalled the myth of Procrustes. He was the smith who would put travelers in his bed and make them fit it. If they were too small he would hammer them out to fit. If they were too big, then he might chop them down a size. In a way, he was making square pegs round.
I have thought about our sexuality and what happens to it after we die a lot lately because nothing seemed to fit for me (imagine that!) When I looked at all these pieces though it came together for me and I want to share that with you here. You see, some people say that our sexuality is a mortal imperfection that will be made perfect in the life to come, in opposition to that, many have said “To Hell with that, I will keep who I am, thank-you very much.”

We are told that in the next life we will be made perfect, if perfection is an eternal absolute, then wouldn’t we all become the same? Wouldn’t we become someone completely different from who we are? Doesn’t the Christian concept of a “Body of Christ” make more sense in that light? Is Christ, our eternal judge, truly holding us to the standard of a Procrustean bed and using this life to refine us into this model of perfection? Even if it means completely changing us from who we are and what makes us, as his brothers and sisters whom He knows by name, who we are? Or is He the one who fits us to the right place where we were built to be a organs in the gospel of Christ?

I have always had trouble with this notion, but have now found my personal answer. I firmly believe that we may have our own personal answers and so I will wait to disclose mine until I hear from you about yours.
Are you are going to be hammered into a round hole, become round or find the square hole meant for you? Let me know.

Time Out for Extremism

on 14 November 2009

This week we saw the 20th Anniversary of a united Germany due to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Previously I discussed how that was a symbolic need for spirituality and sexuality to tear down the wall that separates them and to unite together in our similarities rather than live divided. This week we also saw the church throw its support behind the SLC Anti-discrimination ordinance. In the past few days I have heard several arguments about how this would have passed otherwise, that this reflects no change in Church Policy, that it is a PR stunt. Frankly I don’t care why so long as this milestone is the trailhead to a broader path of acceptance.

However I look at the messages about this and I see two distinct groups offering messages that I honestly am repulsed by. I have kept my peace about it for a few days and even wrote this 2 days ago before revisiting and tempering myself. As I examined the messages and the motives behind them it struck me why the views were abhorrent to me. They have been blinded and no longer care about the issue at hand, the issue that they had been previously fighting for, but instead, now they are fighting against the other side even to the detriment of their original cause. They are using hateful rhetoric to embolden their side and are galvanizing their opposition.

On one side you have a group who started out tying to maintain a traditional view of marriage who now appear so disgusted with homosexuals that they are becoming much like the Westboro Baptist Church who are just shy of wanting to round up the Gays and have them shot.
On the other hand you have a group who started out fighting for equal rights including marriage who now appear so embittered at the church that they are sounding like a Missouri Mob and are calling for the end of the Mormon Church as it presently stands.

These mindsets enrage me because they are spewing propaganda, hate, and malice into the public arena much like a few children throwing a temper tantrum. Except this tantrum doesn’t just get on my nerves, it is actively endangering my ability to gain rights and happiness. This tantrum needs have a time out because this form of extremism will never lead to either side getting anything done except by bloodshed and I feel the need to bring some common sense and reality to both sides.

It wasn’t extremists that United Germany, it wasn’t out of hate that the Civil Rights movement succeeded, it wasn’t out of anger or disgust that the Lamanites were defeated by Captain Moroni, and it wasn’t extremism that founded a pluralistic nation designed for Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness with freedoms of Religion and Speech. It was compromise that forged America, the defense of Liberty that repelled the Lamanites, passionate non-violence that saw the Dream fulfilled and moderation that tore down the wall.

I call for rational minds to recognize the Church’s involvement in the SLC ordinance for what it is. It is a change of course and pace for the Church. It is a step closer towards Equality for LGBT people. Finally it is one brick less in the wall that divides us, that divides spirituality and sexuality. Let us band together to take another step, remove another brick, form another compromise and put the extremists in a well deserved “Time Out!”

Balance and Freedom Without Walls

on 08 November 2009

As I walk around DC I am bombarded with ads telling me to “Act Now” and “Stop Wasteful Government Spending.” In each metro car there are about 20 ads, on each bus about 12, and in each metro station at least 30 if not more. For the most part I simply ignore them, or correct their grammatical errors. But since I got here one has consistently stood out to me. Sadly I don’t have a picture of it, but it is the ad for “Freedom Without Walls.” This ad isn’t pushing an agenda, or selling me coffee, it is a day of celebratory remembrance.

The ad has struck me because almost my entire life has been spent with a unified Germany. Most people wouldn’t think about Germany when they are raised in the United States as much as I do, but I grew up learning the difference between Right and Links, not Right and Left and that an airplane was called das Flugzeug. My mother served her mission in Germany and still peaks a little German to us. So needless to say this ad stuck with me, but not until now did I have a reason to talk about it.

The fall of the Berlin wall was a very real and symbolic representation of tearing down the barriers that separate us. The fall of the wall was felt in economics and politics; it changed the very culture of Germany and the spreading of information. For decades the people of Germany were divided and on November 9th 1989 they were finally reunited. Why am I talking about Germany? What does this have to do with finding your path you ask?

Well this week I read about a group of pastors who are coming to Washington to preach about the evils of homosexuality right outside the Justice Department in a protest of the Hate Crime Law that was just passed. Their goal is to incite an arrest by preaching what they believe as truth and some perceive as Hate Crimes and failing an arrest, illuminate the failings of the Justice Department to enforce the law. In counter-protest a group is will be spreading a message of Love and countering their arguments. Again, what does this have to do with finding your path?

Well, I see a lot of parallels between these two events. I look at the Protest/Counter-Protest and I weep. It saddens me because it represents a fractured society, a separated culture and a divided nation. While it is sad that this is happening on a national level, what is worse is the tempest that so many members of the Gay Mormon (or any religious) community feel within themselves. When I was first researching Gay Mormons and trying to figure out my spirituality and sexuality, it seemed like I had two choices, both involved nearly destroying a part of who I was.

This choice that confronts us is devastating. It is an inner tempest that rages and beats us down until we either choose one (and feel a void) or we choose to give up the struggle. I felt that way nearly a year ago and I wrote down in my journal that I had to prepare myself to sacrifice my entire being for the Lord and then the next day inquired as to if I had breached the limit of the atonement and was beyond saving. Far too many people choose to give up because they see it as a choice between which half of you do you save. That is the lesson being taught by the Protest/Counter-Protest, that you have to choose.

I challenge that assumption. I challenge the belief that we have to choose which side of the wall to live on. I challenge the basis that there cannot be balance between your spirituality and your sexuality. I believe that if we tear down that assumption within ourselves and search for balance that we will find it. I believe that if we, amidst the tempest of our heart, cry out unto the Lord, that He will still our troubled hearts as he commands, “Peace, be still.”


Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of a unified nation. When will the 1st anniversary of a unified you be? When will we all stop trying to prove that we are right and instead start helping others realize the right path for them? When will you begin to help another unify their soul?

Supporting the Future of Equality

on 04 November 2009

Hello Blogger Friends,

If you notice there is a new widget on my blog.

It is a chance for you to support a film that can and will make a huge dent in the lies spread by NOM and help educate those who need to know about the truth of the marriage equality fight. Please take a moment to donate using the the Chipin widget. If you can't donate, please add this widget to your blog by clicking here and following simple instructions, and share this address with your readers so they can do the same. http://bit.ly/1L9C1s
Please doante to the cause so that this movie can drip gold from the silver screen. The film is great already, but with your help, we can promote the hell out of it, blast it from every mountain top in the world, and make it look world-class with digital mastering, sound mixing, animation and color work that is top notch.

Check back here for more updates as I find more ways to send this viral.