Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Selective Truth: Is Censorship A Coverup?

Just happen to come across the link where a BYU art student had their exhibit removed from showing because it talked about the "gay issue."  The exhibit, part of a show, had been quietly rearranged so that this students work could be secretively removed.

The Artist said the following:

"Apparently the topic of homosexuality is a bit much for the BYU audience and my part of our Fine Art Classes show was taken down today. It seems that censorship is favored over support and love. This really saddens me. I found out because a friend of mine went to the show and said that my peices had been removed and the show had been rearranged.

I photographed all the portraits using similar lighting and cropping. I also used a tilt shift lens to achieve selective focus, so that the subjects eyes are the only part of the image in focus. This was purposefully done to force the viewer to look in the eyes of these individuals. I hope that through this project we can realize that all men (and women) are created equal in the eyes of God."

Go to the "lord's university" and be censored by anyone who disagrees or thinks you are bringing in the devious thoughts and presuasions of the devil.  So much for an unbiased education.  Who am I kidding... since when was the LDS church unbiased.

Monday, September 28, 2009

My Transformation To The Dark Side Is Complete

So very Star Wars of me. On a whim I went by Barnes & Noble yesterday hoping to find some sort of meaningful books looking at the whole gay Mormon thing. While discouraged that I will have to follow through with the joys of getting what I want online and waiting impatiently for it to arrive, I was able to pick up a couple other gems that were just screaming at me from the shelf.

I picked up The Mormon Cult - Jack B. Worthy and also Leaving the Saints - Martha Beck. I guess you could say I'm reading in soft cover form instead of just online, true "anti" literature - gasp. Of course if you don't believe all of the religious horse pucky known as Mormonism does that still make it anti? I always find it funny that anything not written by a member or general authority that defends the purity and truthfulness of the LDS church is instantly tossed in to the "anti" bin and is surely Satan trying to steal away souls from the one and only true church. Sorry Catholics, Mormons use that phrase with so much more conviction and righteous indignation.

At any rate Jack Worthy's mission story was a nice quick read and I'm in to the 4th chapter of Martha Beck's rather thick book. Strange how invigorating reading other's journeys away from the [one true church to rule them all] can be. Perhaps I should write a book too.

Still to be read... No More Goodbyes - Carol Lynn Pearson, among many other good "anti" books sure to confine me to the hottest pits of hell - as if being gay wasn't the express there already.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Legislating Morality

I've been reading lots of MoHo blogs lately and there appears to be growing frustration of the religious interference in blocking gay marriage. The arguments within the Mormon community are of course predictably the same on all fronts. I won't go in to my litany of the tendency of good members of the church to not think for themselves, as if revelation is based on nothing but the trickle down theory from the 1st presidency of the church. For some, as soon as a general authority opens their mouth, regardless of timing or circumstances, it is instantly considered "revelation from God" and that "the thinking has been done." What dictatorial nonsense. What is the point in having the Spirit if the general authorities are the only ones entitled to commune with the Almighty or do any thinking what so ever.

Now to the point. I grow increasingly concerned that the chasm of the gay crowd and the Mormon family fundamentalists is ever increasing. The resistance coming from members and leaders alike to even enter in to a discussion is indeed troubling. Not only is the refusal to talk increasing but so too is the rhetoric and condoning hate speech from leaders of the church. Members can't even shut off their preprogrammed answers for one second to even stop to think for themselves let alone search, ponder, and pray in an unbiased manner. Past prophets have warned that the failure of the church will come from the pride of the members. Perhaps Mormonism is doomed to failure after all. What a surprise.

There is a reason separation of church and state was created in this great country of ours. To keep it from becoming a theocracy where those who are not of like minded religious views to discriminate against the other. But that appears to be exactly what those of the LDS church aim to do. The constitution does not entitle you to force your religious beliefs on those around you to believe or live a lifestyle that only you sanction as deemed appropriate by God. It is even less appropriate to wrestle the government in to legislating such blatant discrimination by qualifying the 'wrongness' of gay marriage as being socially destructive. My desire to marry someone of the same gender will no more interfere with your life than your heterosexual marriage will interfere with mine. Yet somehow you believe you are more entitled to control my life than I am yours. All of the sinless, religious heterosexuals in perfect relationships can cast the first stone against same gender relationships when they prove their perfection of the "ordained family unit."

I get so tired of the one minded view perpetuated by Mormonism that God only works in one way and that is the way spoken of by church headquarters in Salt Lake. This is contrary to much of Mormon doctrine and the Gospel of Christ in total. To say the the LDS church isn't "anti gay, but pro family" is a double standard and bigoted statement. Everyone knows where the church stands on the gay issue. Stop hiding behind the "Proclamation on the Family" and enter the fray. Test the tenants of the church for once. "Truth needs no buttress!" According to Mormon theology a "family" starts with a husband and wife. What about single parents, adopted parents, those living in mixed marriages or families? All statistics I've seen suggest a gay couple is often many times happier and more successful that a "traditional" couple, including where raising children is concerned.

Be it as it all may what gets my goat is the need to for church members to take a self righteous stance saying that gay marriage will take away their rights for traditional families, it will erode society, gay people can't be trusted...etc. ad nauseum. Would one such person send me proof of such statements that gay marriage will in any way interfere other than it will challenge your faith? If the church just can't doctrinally ever accept gay people on any level than fine, there are other faiths that will. That does not however permit this church or any other from allowing me to exercise my belief that God made me the way I am and that I am equally entitled to find personal happiness in this life as well. It also does not permit you to force your doctrine in to the constitution of our country to prevent me from finding happiness or worshiping "how, where, or what I may." You may all now get from behind your barricade of attempting to legislate "God's social moral order" and just come out saying that you are afraid of gay people. Let's start with honesty first and go from there.

Since when did those who were once persecuted think it was ok to begin doing the persecuting?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

LDS funding towards Prop. 8

As they say the proof is in the pudding.

Fanning The Flames With Fear And Misunderstanding

The church and pointing the finger of who is to blame angers me.  The gay community by and large is not trying to force any religion in to anything it cannot uphold.  Is it the LDS church's goal to over throw same sex marriages in countries it already proselytizes in?  How hypocritical for them to mandate that it is acceptable to overthrow any sort of same sex union just because it aligns with their religious view point, while having the audacity  to state that those seeking same sex marriages are trying to reduce or limit the rights of heterosexual marriage.  Complete and utter bull s**t.  And if that's not enough to go so far as to suggest that it will erode liberty if gay marriage is permitted.  Is the LDS church going to stage revolutions in each country it wants to control marital equality in?  Elder Nelson I'm calling you on the carpet for trying to exercise unrighteous dominion.  May separation of church and state be forever rooted in our government.

In Elder Russell M. Nelson recent address The Family: The Hope for the Future of Nations he states

Furthermore, those who seek to undermine traditional marriage and family would effectively limit the rights of those who do uphold the sanctity of these institutions. This consequence leads to another major concern— the eventual erosion of religious liberty, including the liberty to defend, promote, and practice traditional family values.(7)
7. In countries where same-gender marriage is adopted with no religious exemptions, all religions could eventually be required to perform gay marriages or to accept gay priests—even when that violates their most basic doctrines.

Being Alone Sucks

It's strange being in that limbo of between a relationship and what ever is next.  It's awkward, upsetting, lonely, and just plain sucks.  I never thought of myself as a dependent person, but I have learned I need someone to share life with.  The ups, the downs, and all the in between.

I was laying in bed just thinking about what the future may hold.  Whoever that lucky guy is, I already love you wherever you are.  I think about you often and wish you were more than a figment of my imagination and desire.  I ache to hold you in my arms and share life with you.  While I have yet to meet you I hope you are out there somewhere and won't remain hidden for long.  We've both spent too much of life waiting.  I can only expect that when we finally meet that we will know in an instant that is was meant to be.  May that day come soon.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Choice or Innate

In the ongoing saga of my sexuality and how those around me accept or reject such a thing I have to put out there the notion of an active choice being made, or what is intrinsically innate to the human condition. With the Mormon contingency of my family there is some level of disagreement on whether being gay is a choice or a characteristic that is not chosen.

While my convert dad doesn't necessarily agree with the lifestyle, despite being a psychiatric practitioner, he is able to be accepting and loving of me as the son I always will be. To the point of being able to "welcome a friend" of mine into his home. My dear sweet sister is a little less open at this point.

While she was not surprised when I came out to her the message of acceptance of my homosexuality was clearly not favorable. It went even to the point of expected behavior should I ever decide to visit them (not any time soon), that I would not try to convince her children that being gay is ok... as if I were some sort of deviant. It always hurts when a family member you come out to treats you as a foreigner once you share your secret. Sad how the cloak of Mormonism and doing unto others only seems to apply when you are straight. As soon as the wild card of gayness gets played all bets are off.

Really it does come down to being true followers of Christ and being able to love unconditionally. Good Mormons often come from the "hate the sin, love the sinner camp." But of course such action is conditional love. We as human beings aren't able to compartmentalize the actions or choices of the ones we love from their identity. This is where so many LDS people fall short of their discipleship. As long as the status quo is appeased then there is no issue. I hope in at least my situation the some time and thought will bring other family members around. To at least realize that I'm still the same person. Being gay does not make me a criminal, pedophile, promiscuous, or just plain distrustful. Neither does it mean I intend to recruit your children in to being gay. No, it's not a communicable disease.

I only hope others will give pause to ponder the true example of love and fellowship Christ gave.

Spirit of truth

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Courting the Muse

After a several year dry spell it's nice to be back to work being thoroughly creative and artistic. I've just started a new project with some friends... shhh it's a secret. Lets just say it is a musical of unique design. We're in the creation process and of course yours truly is the composer. It's strange really doing this sort of work again after being away so long - but it is also very rewarding writing original stuff. I was always fulfilled working on a show, or should I say reworking. Since this is my first foray in a complete original score to succeed, or at least get off the ground, I must admit I'm a little nervous.

For many years I've been working in a sacred choral mode and most of my official output was in choir/organ works. When creation grinded to a halt with little outlet to use those works the desire to write anything went with it. Musical creativity was limited to improvised music on Sunday at the "informal service" where I would essentially create all music not sung on the fly. While that is all well and good my desire for more musical structure wasn't being met. So this opportunity to create a powerful show and use all of my composer/orchestrator skills is one I can't turn up - especially with the subject matter of the show. Sorry I can't tell yet...

What is so interesting is how the muse and the way it works is different then before. It's like a new relationship. Before everything was very linear, through composed, start at the beginning and work until the end. Now inspiration is coming at the most strange of times and not necessarily at what I would consider the beginning of a song. It's little bit of a dance and challenge coming up with the score, but then realizing that I've just created a nice chorus or hook, and not the beginning verse. Most unusual for me. But so it goes - with several numbers in creative production and at the same time too.

Any good musical theater actors/ musicians want a gig? This one is going to be demanding in all musical and theatrical senses.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Musical theater at its finest

Everyone should do a show like this.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Get your true name here

What follows the storm

I was just making dinner and was watching the weather outside. It's been a stormy day here in the Seattle area with lots of the ubiquitous rain as well as the not so usual thundering and lightning. As the storm was moving on I realized how alive everything seemed after such an abundant rainfall. There is also something about the light of the sun as the clouds begin to part. The grass was such an effervescent green. Even the poorly neglected roses seemed more vibrant and sure of themselves.

It had me pondering about my own storms just a little bit. With out the stormy weather there can be no growth. Without the nourishment of the rains there can be no rejuvenation of life. Even the cleansing of the air with the ionization brought by the lightning. Without a little stormy precipitation there would be nothing but desolate dryness.

I quickly started associating this little analogy to my own storms of the last 8 months. I keep asking, "God, why is this so difficult? Why are things going this way?" And today the answer became clear. You are being nourished for further growth... After the rains the sun will come out and you will flourish, just as you were created to do.