Saturday, April 6, 2013

Little Children Burn

Matt here.

Sometimes I think we, gay people, are like little little children. We get our fingers pinched or go in for our shots and scream like we've been set on fire.

From time to time I hear an argument, usually in the comments sections of articles but occasionally from dear dear friends, that God would not let people be born gay and then expect them to live celibate lives. I understand the appeal of the argument, of course; if God wouldn't command us to be celibate, then we're good to go on the sex thing. Hallelujah!

The problem is that this argument isn't actually an argument—it's just a denial. It's sticking your head in the sand, thinking that if you can't see the consequences, they can't bite you in the butt.

In fact, it's worse than a flat denial. If you say "Gay sex is a sin" and I say "No it isn't," we can argue all day about who has the authority to declare what's sinful and what's not. But if you say "Gay sex is a sin" and I say "God wouldn't let me be born gay if gay sex were a sin," the argument now becomes about what God would not allow, and that list appears to be remarkably short.

Assuming God exists, he either causes or allows an amazing range of horrific events. I flatter myself I needn't list them, though I'm thinking of one particular thing. I was in Hiroshima last week, at the Atomic Bomb Museum, where I was perfectly fine until I saw a mannequin wearing a torn, burned boy's junior high school uniform and I involuntarily pictured my favorite student's face. I was not fine after that.

God lets little children burn to death. Every awful thing that has ever happened, God let it happen. How presumptuous, to say that because God allows a thing it's not a tragedy, and the consequences can't hurt. How ridiculous, for grown men and women to caterwaul that the pain the church asks them to suffer is more than God would ask.

Bitch, please.

Tonight is my last night in Japan. By the time you read this, I should be back in good ole California.


  1. It's a really good point! But as I think about it, all I keep thinking is that God allowing a child to burn is not putting that child's eternal salvation at risk. Heavenly Father Didn't create the child knowing that he will burn to death in a fire and then tell that child, if you burn to death in a fire, you will be damed.

    It is an interesting thought, though!

    1. Ditto! I've been seeing you around the blogs for a while and wondering when a post of mine would catch your eye. Good to hear from you.

      Perhaps it's been too long since I attended, but I'm fairly certain the church doesn't say people will be damned for having gay sex. Mormonism isn't really a damnation kind of theology, as I understand it. They do say that gay sex is a sin and will therefore take you further from God, though.

      Their perspective on the situation is more like, okay, God either made or let you become such that refraining from gay relationships sucks; that doesn't change the fact that gay sex will take you away from God, so don't do it.

      And even if they did say it's a choice between celibacy and damnation, it seems to me that giving us miserable, no-win choices (like burning children) is not something God shies away from. Eve comes to mind, as does Abraham.

      Note: I'm not saying that the church is right or even that I believe them--just that "God wouldn't . . . " is a foolish argument.

  2. Matthew Matthew. Always so interesting. Yes indeed assuming there is a god (a thing of which I am decidedly sceptical) he does indeed allow many bad things to happen. And allows many "sinful" urges to beset us. Alcoholics come to mind. The wow says no booze; I have a craving for booze; god would never allow me to have this craving if he was planning on making it impossible to satisfy. Well actually he would. Mormon theology, properly understood, makes it clear that we will be tempted and tried on this earth to see if we will obey god and earn our eternal reward. The church's position is completely reasonable if you accept that (1) there is a god, and (2) the LDS church is his church. Then the reward for resisting the temptation (be it booze or gay sex) is exaltation. Of course those are a couple of big "ifs".

    1. Big ifs indeed.

      Thanks for the compliment. :)

  3. So glad someone critiqued this popular defense. It was much needed.

    Welcome back to California! It's cold and, from my perspective, not much has changed!