Tuesday, April 17, 2007

"Commute" is another word for torture...

I hate rush hour. I try very hard to work my schedule around it. I am my own boss so you would think I could have more freedom, but when the client calls, you quickly learn who the "real boss" is...

Anyway, as I was on the road this morning, and as is my tendency when I get stuck in traffic, I start flipping through the stations on the radio... (trying not to start flipping anyone else off ;-) ) and I landed on one where the radio geek was going off on the "new honor code standards" for gay students at BYU. I didn't catch his whole report, so maybe it's unfair to even bring it up here, but what I did hear made me upset at the "ignorance" that I was once a blind part of. His take was that students were upset, once they got to school at BYU, with the rules that they had signed up to honor and now that they were "in the door" they wanted to change the Honor Code. In his mind, it was like "we are gay, and you can't stop us, so now that we're here, you got to love us and tolerate our lifestyle, and we're going to force you to accept us..." In his mind, he made it clear that there is no difference between being gay, and living an immoral life. In his mind, there is no difference between temptation and transgression. In his mind there is no difference between orientation, and deviant behavior!

It really shows how far "we" still have to go... I missed any call-in comments to set him straight but the seven commercials at the end of the hour ended the program and that was that.

NOTE: I find it interesting that KSL (the Church-owned station) noted the change in the Honor Code in a one-sentence matter-of-fact way on their news report. No other commentary (at least that I caught).

* * *

At Church on Sunday in Priesthood Meeting, there was a discussion that got off on how "women are more sensitive to the spirit and to the promptings of compassion than men are" and how we need to be more like women and find our 'sensitive sides' and be more compassionate, caring, and selfless in our service toward others. The teacher even grew a chart where men peak (in a bell curve) at a different point than women (drawing another bell curve off about half) but that there was a portion where men and women find overlap in their "qualities", and that we as priesthood brethren needed to stretch ourselves toward the "feminine" side of the curve to be able to be as compassionate and caring and in touch with each other as the Lord would have us.

Though I don't believe in the stereotypes of "manly men" and "sensitive women", as I find myself somewhere comfortably in-between (as I've been comfortable burping in public and making other disgusting and crude noises and remarks while at the same time being comfortable in showing emotion, and being touchy-feely and sensitive to others' feelings and needs, all the while never taking up sewing or scrap booking (yuck!)), and though I don't believe that men are not sensitive, caring and compassionate (as my experience has shown multiple examples of many "straight men" who have cried like babies when touched by the spirit, and have shown great compassion when moved upon by that spirit), I still found it a bit odd to look around at all the old half-dead high priest buggers in the quorum meeting staring at the instructor as he tried to convince them to be more "feminine". I just had to laugh inside... Some looked totally lost and befuddled, with questions on their wrinkled grey, bushy brow like "what the heck is Brother Jones talking about?"

However, the thought occurred to me that maybe with a bit more sensitivity training in priesthood meeting (answering -L-'s question of what resources the Church needs to provide), there might be more compassion and understanding of those that do experience the world with different eyes and experiences (and orientations and temptations) than they might ever feel or know... and maybe with a bit more of this reaching out, there would be less of the ignorance, intolerance, and arrogance of a very myopic view expressed by a certain self-righteous radio geek spreading his "manly" insensitivity...

And maybe with a bit more of the current crop of trailblazing, brave, bold and honorable BYU students being willing to speak out and show the insensitive, ignorant and arrogant radio-geek "holier than thou" Utah Mormon types (enough stereotype labeling for you yet?) that there is another FACE, another point-of-view, a real student body of faithful LDS gay (dare I use that word?)students who aren't deviant and immoral and disrespectful of all things holy, including the Honor Code, we might just get one step closer to putting all stereotypes behind us and just go on living compassionately as the Lord would have us live!


Just some rambling thoughts from this morning's commute from this old bugger (who by the way keeps his brow from being too wrinkled, too grey or too bushy, I'll have you know) ...


playasinmar said...

He probably thought that blacks who were baptized into the church in the sixties "knew what they were getting into" and "shouldn't have pushed for unnecessary reforms in the seventies."

MoHoHawaii said...


Amen to that.

Coming out is a very powerful act. Just standing up and saying "I'm gay" (or SGA or whatever term you like) makes people rethink their biases. It will eventually have an effect.

I think the Church is a lot more susceptible to change than people think. I've seen a huge shift in attitude about the role of women in the course of my lifetime. They even changed the temple ceremony to reflect this new understanding. Change is possible in the Church, and the actions of BYU MoHos will lead the charge.

Anonymous said...

much [most?] of the change in church reflects outside pressures:

depression--> welfare
civil rights--> universal
gay rights--> open discussion of sexual orientation
global warming--> ???

Mormon Enigma said...

global warming--> ???

A push for solar ovens in our food storage ???

Seriously, I am curious. What was the supposed topic of your quorum lesson that led to a discussion of "men need to be more like women"? That is one of my hot buttons, so I'm glad I wasn't in your quorum meeting - I might have said some things I would later regret. (Maybe that's why they always put me in callings where I meet with the AP, hmmmm.)

It really irks me when I hear man bashing at church (i.e. preaching about how righteous women are and how horrible men are). And, the man bashing doesn't come from the sisters- it comes from other men! Grrrr! Perhaps those who are prone to man bash have self esteem issues. Or, perhaps, they are just self loathing. You can loath yourself, but don't loath me simply because I have X & Y chromosomes. (now you got me going on this - sorry. I'll quit now before I look like too much of an idiot - although some may argue that it's too late for that)

Beck said...

PLAYASINMAR: very astute! and very appropriately stated.

MOHOH: There was a time in the not too distant past when women were scolded and reprimanded for working outside the home (i.e. Pres. Benson). You don't hear much said along those lines at all any more.

SANTORIO: What about the outside pressure of statehood and being accepted into the Mainstream of America and the resulting demise of polygamy?

Beck said...

M.E. It was a lesson of Pres. Kimball's teaching of "compassionate and selfless service".

You're not an idiot! I concur completely with your comments and frustration with men bashing men. It really gets old. I just shrug it off and think - like Joshua having to wait for "this generation" to pass on before taking the Promised Land - this too will pass...

Of course, my concurring with your comments may make us both idiots! But, I'm very comfortable with that... Just get me out of the HP quorum!

Loyalist (with defects) said...

oh, laddies its not much better in EQ. yikes! bunch numb skulls. well ok, not all (and no i'm not just taking myself out of that equation - there's a few others, but not many).

as for radio personalities... well they are a breed unto there own. I mean look rush and imus - wow! what stellar individuals - i'm not too surprised about local radio people and their stupidity either - i wonder if its the medium?

I also send my accolates to the MoHo's at BYU. Three Cheers!

Mormon Enigma said...

laddies its not much better in EQ

Well, it's not like that in the Teachers quorum (where I spend my Priesthood hour). The only thing I have to deal with is listening to them say "that's so gay" about a bazillion times. But, I think I've gotten numb, because it doesn't bother me like it used to. In my mind, I just substitute the word "stupid" or "dumb".