Sunday, November 16, 2008

So what are people debating?

This position ends up sounding like a form of pseudo-Calvinism in which heterosexual tendencies are a manifestation of inscrutable divine providence.

To consider the implications of the current debate on the eternities there is more than just concluding that it is a matter of divine providence.

To get to answers, start with the question of "what is sex?" After all, some species have more than one sex,
slime mold variants may have as many as fifty or sixty sexes, though the most famous has only thirteen.

If the term “gender” is used the same way as the term “sex” (
and it may or may not have that meaning in some situations, even most), perhaps any discussion should start with the question of what sex is.

The answer is not as obvious as some people think. Sexual identity is a basically a key for which members of a species can produce off-spring with which others (in the slime mold example, in a group of 13 slime molds, a mold probably can produce off-spring with 10 or 11 of any group of random molds, whereas in a group of 13 random humans, odds are one can produce off-spring with only 6 or 7).

Sex is a way of breaking communities up into groups that can form stable reproducing units.

However, given how irrelevant sexual unions as we understand them are likely to be in the eternal world (or why no one considers it adultery for married people to remarry others after the death of a spouse), but how important interlocking networks are (the sealing power of Elijah that turns hearts to each other, lest the world be void), there may be much more going on as well (or why
I think polygamy is irrelevant [and yes, that is a series of essays, not just one]).

But where does this leave gays and why would an LDS prophet have said that he thought we would have to have civil unions for gays? Not to mention, where does this leave reproduction and is it sexual in the eternities, especially as it deals with light and truth that has become intelligence ready to be born into spirit. If spirit does not come
ex nihilo, what is the implication for sex and gender?

I don’t have anywhere near the answers others do. That is probably because I don’t really fully understand the questions. But I know at least that I have more questions to ask.

My problem is I started in favor of having gays I knew get married, or at least have church weddings, and treating marriage as an issue of letting people "worship how, what or when they may."

I've been discomforted by those who have dealt with this issue by being extremely hostile to the church I belong to, and by the arguments I've seen -- I confess that most arguments pro and con are bad enough that I find myself agreeing with whoever was on the other side of the last argument that I read.

I then read a comment on the topic at that got me thinking about what marriage really was, together with a post that attacked the idea that marriage had anything to do with exclusivity -- that marriage should have any prerequisites or qualifications. It made me remember people who felt they should be able to marry their animal life mates, and who saw marriage as having nothing to do with sex, but everything to do with companionship and trust.

Which has all in all, gotten me thinking and further from conclusions than I once was. Though I am somewhat convinced that everyone is debating the wrong issues, looking at the wrong things.

I do, however, still think that everyone who wants one should be able to have a wedding at any church that is willing to celebrate with them.

See also Nate Oman's thoughts at:


MainTour said...

The debate on gay unions comes down to individual liberty vs social morality.

California already has the highest level of sexualized youth and is the home to the sex culture the marriage of hollywood and silicon valley (old and new media.)

Gay rights is an argument for individual liberty to do as I please.

Social morality argues for those standards that are most beneficial to the group.

Does one's exercise of individual liberty encroach or places a burden (no matter how small) on the welfare of the group?

Traditional marriage argues that it is beneficial to society. Gay marriage is a selfish (me first) argument that has yet to prove how it benefits society as a whole.

Stephen said...

That is another axis to look at it from. I'm wondering now just how many (how many axis) there are.