I’m a Lumberjack, Baby

It makes me crazy when people start talking about The Gays. Especially at church. Especially at church. When someone pops up with some comment about something, and that phrase is somewhere in their statement- it makes me want to crawl out of my skin.

This particular point was actually a personal stumbling block for me even joining any church. Now, I have only been a member of the Church for just over three years; I am no scriptorian, my doctrine comprehension is tempered with small children brain, and my quotes are not quotes at all but paraphrasing. Please, correct me if I am wrong.

I know what the scripture say about homosexuality. But the scriptures are also full of other things that we don’t take literally or that we temper with agency and compassion. Does anyone beat their children with rods anymore? We may want to sometimes, but if you actually do it, you really need a babysitter and a date night. Do we really hack off the hands of people who take things? Do we stone adulterers? And the really big thing, I think I understand correctly, didn’t the mission of Christ fulfill Mosiac law and create the new and everlasting covenant? And if so, doesn’t all the other old testament stuff fall away?

So, what Jesus taught was (again, paraphrasing): that we are to love God and love one another, in that order. That we are not to look for the mote in another’s eye, while ignoring the log in our own; that whosoever has not sinned can cast the first stone (any takers?) and that we should not judge lest we be judged as we mete out (how ’bout that one, eh?). That means, as I understand it, since none of us have achieved Translation or perfection as the Christ, that we are all sinners, and we best not be hanging out in church labeling and condemning anyone else.

Finally, last Sunday, a very enlightened and spiritually gifted seminary teacher was at the helm in Sunday school- a man who lives the Gospel and has the love of Christ in his heart like no one I have ever personally known. Some nincompoop in class (actually, two nincompoops) raised their hands and offered comments with The Gays in their statement. Immediately, the hackles on my neck went up, and I wanted to bolt. (Just for a second imagine someone making a comment about The Fatties, or The Stupids, or the Vapid Blondes…ugh) While standing in the front of the chapel, this wonderful teacher listened patiently to these people, then quietly and simply and doctrinally put them in their place.

What he said was this: (again, paraphrasing) “Who here isn’t a sinner? (Anyone?) Yes, we understand homosexuality to be a sin, and all sexual sins are serious. All. Do we have the objectivity or insight into the Lords plan for another human being? No, we do not. It is not for us so say that another’s sins are less or worse than our own. The Lord has granted each and every one of us our own agency and the ability to make our own choices in life- maybe some folks were born with tendencies in one way or another- it’s possible. In no way does that possibility suggest the Lord is fallible- only that we are each given our own challenges and choices to make. It is not for me to say. It is my job to look at each individual and love them, to live with compassion and follow the sublime example set by the Savior.”

I wanted to stand up and cheer, to shout out with thanks and joy. Finally, from the front of the chapel, I heard words that echoed what I believe and feel Jesus would teach. After the class, I went up and tearfully thanked the teacher. (I am hoping he is still teaching seminary when my kids are taking it!)

My heart is eased and I feel so much better finally hearing what I know must be correct, from someone I hold in esteem. I have two members of my family, and two dear, dear friends who are closer than family, who are gay. The love I feel for these people is tremendous, and while my children are too young for seriously discussing sexuality, when the day comes, what I will teach them will be from the heart of Christ, about love and compassion. The general lack of tollerance and bigotry among many people who profess being of faith has always bothered me, and has never felt right. There is no room in my life for hate or for discrimination or for judgment.

I guess I better repent for my feelings about the Nincompoops. Oh well, off to work on the log in my own eye.

8 thoughts on “I’m a Lumberjack, Baby

  1. Nice post. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but I have a gay uncle, a gay cousin, and two gay brothers. Plus a cousin who’s had a sex change, but I’ve never met him (distant cousin).

  2. Sis,
    Thank you for those kind words about Scott. He now knows you accept him for being gay and always will. I am thanking you for him.
    – eric

  3. I think you are absolutly right.

    There are 3 seriouse sins (I think you know what they are) and those are more seriouse than other sins, and seeking forgiveness is a little harder (infact one you cannot be forgiven for while in this life), but none the less, it IS not our place to judge anyone.

    I think people get prickley and want to talk out of place about homosexuality because society makes it seem like an OK way to live. I think people get scared and if they shun that lifestyle in any way they know how then maybe that is there way of counteracting the swinging pendulum of society. This is all just IMO.

    I have realtives that are gay and I treat their partners as I would if they were opposite sex spouses. I love my family, but maybe not all the choices that they make. I think my family can probably say that about me and the choices I;ve made too.

    I bet there are more people in your ward who feel like you do than you think…maybe they are just too chicken to speak up 🙂

  4. I want to meet this guy and give him a hug. I have to friends who are a couple who were recently shunned from the church that they had made their own once the church realized they were gay. I can’t describe the hurt it caused them. They are now attending a gay church, where they were set to serve Thanksgiving dinner to the victims of Hurrican Katrina that are staying in shelters here in Charlotte. The vitims didn’t end up showing once they discovered it was a gay church. It makes me insane!!!!!!! God created people, all people, he doesn’t dicriminate, why should we? Thanks Tracey for sharing this with all of us.

  5. i hope i’m the good, good family friend; if so, what about mark? if not, what about us?

    hey, by the way, we are not sinners – we are abominations. (if anyone doubts me, look it up; we’re lumped in with the stoned adulterers)

    can’t wait to see the floors. say “hi” to everyone for us. miss you all thiiiiiis much!

    love, —t

  6. Very well put and I thank you for saying what is in my mind. I have worked with several gay men and whenever they discover I’m LDS they instantly put up a shield and it’s so difficult. I try hard not to judge anyone (but unfortunately I am human!). I wish I knew this wonderful seminary teacher. And yes – I hope he moves to Cali. and teaches *my* kids!

    Thank you again for your beautifully written post.

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