Friday, May 2, 2008

Badhead

Story I

Once upon several years ago, in the magical age of elementary school, there lived a little boy: Me. Me was quiet and introverted, spending most of his time in fanciful daydreams because Me was often unimpressed with what reality offered.

Me was especially unimpressed with school – although there are many reasons for Me’s immunity to school enjoyment, let it suffice to know that he very rarely desired to attend any of his classes. Indeed, Me was very much aware of and very much looked forward to every scheduled day off. Me was also very hopeful to sight the Illusive Snow Day.

You see, Me lived in a land where it had to snow freakishly heavily in order for there to be a cancellation of school due to weather. Nevertheless, every time it snew [sic], Me would hope all would officially be excused from school.

There was one specific day that Me remembers to this very day. On this specific day, it was snowing, and – as usual – Me was hoping for the Illusive Snow Day-- especially since there was a movie on T.V. that Me wanted to watch very much. However, watching this movie would have kept him up far past his bedtime – Me would not get the sufficient sleep for the possibly upcoming school day.

Me fancied, “Certainly, it’s snowing freakishly enough for school to be canceled... certainly I could watch this movie and sleep in without missing school...” Despite, Me – being the wise little boy Me was – decided to prepare for the next day and to go to bed on time (ending the day with a little prayer that the Illusive Snow Day would, indeed, be spotted on the morrow).

Indeed, on the morrow, Me awoke to the splendiferous, sparkling white pelt of the Illusive Snow Day.

***

Me is I, and this is a true story. (I found out later that my little brother prayed for a snow day as well that night. We both dutifully and properly prepared for school that night despite our hopes and prayers.)

***

Story II

Andrew sighed as the clock ticked. He sighed even more heavily as the clock tocked. Tomorrow would be just like any other day at school... and he mourned the prospect. He found some solace through Final Fantasy III -- which ROM he had just downloaded -- but the time had come for him to retire to his bed.

"Screw it," he mumbled as he eyed the time slithering forward ever so menacingly.

Soon, the sun's rays began licking Andrew's bloodshoot eyes. School loomed just minutes away.

"Screw it," he mumbled as he lurched to his bed just barely before his mother opened the door to his room to wake him up.

"[Screw it]," (read: "I feel awful") he choked to his mother who -- after failed coaxing to get Andrew to go to school despite his feeling "awful" -- closed Andrew's bedroom door and let him sleep.

***

Andrew is I, and this is a true story... well, the specifics may not be spot-on, but such was a common scene throughout my high school career... such resulted in a 3.8 GPA whereas I could have easily achieved a 4.0 GPA (ooooOOoo, I know, a 3.8 -- there weren't any immediate negative consequences... however, my poor attendance habits became quite the problem when I attempted college post high school).

***

Story III

I was certain Death would be grinning above me were I to open my eyes -- I do tend to be overly dramatic when I have a fever... and my fever was getting to be a concern. I could not keep down any food or fluids, and I was becoming dehydrated. My mom sat next to me, motherly dabbing my forehead with a damp cloth, saying, "It's okay to cry; sometimes you just need to cry."

Indeed, I cried. I hurt. The pain only seemed to be increasing, and I was stressing about school which was just a few hours away -- I had a heavily-weighted test I had to take that day, and the teacher giving said test was strict and rather merciless. I cried. I prayed for a miracle for me to be healed, for there to be a tornado, for leprechauns to take over the high school to enslave the student body to forge their gold coins -- I also can get a little loony when I have a fever... okay, so maybe my fever had nothing to do with my loonality [sic] -- but I was hoping for some sort of miracle where I wouldn't have to worry about missing a test that I possibly would be unable to make up.

Nothing happened; I missed the test, and though I was able to take it after school once my health was sufficient, I had to take a major deduction in points.

***

I is I, and this is a true story. Again, the specifics may not be exact, but this scenario did happen more than just once during both my high school and [short lived] university careers. I still received exemplary grades in these classes, but my respect for the teachers was not out of love, but out of duty to earn a decent grade. The teacher's mercilessness was a great detriment to my being able to admire and love her in a student/teacher manner.

***

Story IV

There were only a few hours before I could finish my fifth French exam at the BYU testing center, but I couldn't get out of bed. I just... couldn't. My depression and anxiety were out of control, and I was staring Death straight in the eye, pleading for him to take me then and there.

To make a long story short, I missed my exam. I did not explain my dilemma to my French teacher; I merely told him, "I'll just have to take a zero."

***

I is I (again), and this is an absolutely true story, specifics and all. I don't think he gave me a zero, though, as I got an overall A- in the class (a full zero on one of five exams, excluding the final, isn't going to drop the average so slightly).

I had similar experiences with both of my Psychology teachers that semester -- where my literal grade was much, much lower than what I was given (only one teacher was aware of my depression). I assume my teachers gave me the grade I received based on their personal knowledge of who I am, my intelligence, my skills, etc.

Now, it is necessary to my overall allegory for me to mention that, in this specific allegory, when I did miss class, it was never because I thought, "Well, this teacher is completely merciful; he/she'll excuse me this once." Rather, I missed because it was the best choice for my physical/emotional/mental/overall health. That's not to say I didn't hope for and trust their mercy, it's just that my hope for their mercy was secondary to my need to miss, and I was completely willing to accept any grade that resulted from my absences.

Epilogue

This allegory is not specific to homosexuality but to any disability, and I am saying if homosexuality is a disability, then I feel it should fall under this same attitude presented.

To make sure my presented attitude is clear:
  • School represents the commandments (and I speak in a general Christian sense, not specifically targeting the LDS faith)
    • Hoping for an official day off represents hoping for an official change in the commandments
    • Going to school represents following the commandments
    • Accordingly, staying home from school represents not following the commandments
  • The teachers represent a god figure
  • Story I represents hoping for a change in the commandments but following them nonetheless
    • This story could have ended with there being no day off and my intended message would have remained the same: one should, if able, keep the commandments even if there is a desire/hope for the commandments to change
  • Story II represents no desire to keep the commandments -- and, indeed, not keeping them.
    • My epilogue for this allegory was intended to express that disobeying commandments may not have any immediate effects but will have long term effects.
  • Story III represents being completely unable to follow a commandment -- and, indeed, not keeping it.
    • The teacher in this sub-allegory represents a semi-merciful God who is completely bound by Justice. My not keeping the commandment -- even though I was absolutely unable -- required there to be a major deduction in my score, and there was nothing the teacher would/could do.
  • Story IV represents being unable to follow a commandment in order to protect one's health in the superlative sense (note: I could have attended my classes; I could have forced myself to take the test, but I did what was best for my health).
    • The teachers in this sub-allegory represent what I believe Christ is all about. There are, however, two main differences:
      • Christ fully knows one's circumstance (and would, therefore, be even more merciful).
      • Christ paid the price for there to be absolutely no deduction in grade whereas my BYU teachers had to report to their supervisors were there a dispute (therefore, there were some deductions).
Basically, I am saying that I believe Christ has atoned for the sins that we commit if such sins were committed in order to protect one's health and wellbeing in a superlative sense (not based on any future grade but based on the present health requirements). I believe such is paid for because one is not committing the sin due to the desire to commit sin (or the attitude, "I'll just rely on Mercy") but due to the attitude, "I have to protect my health and wellbeing."

Of course, when applying this to homosexuality, the question is: "What is the best choice?" Some will argue that acting on one's homosexual attractions is not the superlative answer; however, such is most often backed with, "Because of the eternal consequences in regards to the demands of Justice and human nature." Such does not settle well with me because the situation is taken out of context: what is superlative here and now for one's health.

For the most part, I sincerely believe monogamous homosexual couples parenting is the absolute best choice for the here and now. If homosexuality is truly a sin, if such will be eradicated in the world next, I believe the sins are covered by Christ's Atonement -- if the sin is not committed with a "screw it" attitude but with a "this is the best choice for me right now" attitude.

I also think it vital for a Christian to understand his/her Christian beliefs that one cannot judge what is best for another individual. (Specific to the LDS faith, the General Authorities have no authority to micro-manage each and every individual's life; their duty is to speak generally -- hence their title -- and allow the individual to make the most appropriate choice for his/herself.)

(Specific to the LDS faith, the concept I have presented is applied by the LDS church to practically every disability... except homosexuality. One can break the commandment to serve a mission based on health. One can break the commandment to fast based on health. One can break the commandment, based on health, to not commit suicide. In each of these cases, as is taught by the LDS leaders, the sin is still committed, but Christ's merciful Atonement has paid the cost because of the circumstance.)

Does this -- making room for disabilities -- not create a more loving atmosphere and God? I did not love my strict teacher; in fact, the strictness, the "you must pay the price, no matter the circumstance," only exacerbated my ill health and was a detriment to my healing as quickly as I otherwise could have. I, indeed, feared the teacher, and I attended the class even on days when I missed other classes. But there was no love.

On the other hand, I absolutely loved my merciful teachers. My love was not dependent on this mercy -- again, I was willing to take an absolute zero on my missed exams and papers as Justice would require. I did not expect them to show the compassion that they ended up showing, and this compassion only made me more appreciative and more admirative [sic] of the teachers. I believe I learned a great deal concerning the nature of charity through these teachers.

***

As a personal testimony, I sincerely don't feel as though I have a disposition to do evil. I sincerely desire to follow the commandments and instructions of God, but if one of God's requirements is to refrain from any and all homosexual activity, then I'm going to have to break a commandment.

I have said this several times before, but I will accept any consequence of breaking this commandment (if it is truly a commandment). I will take an absolute zero on this exam.

Now, I do hope that Christ will show mercy and allow for His Atonement to pay for the sin; however, such hope is secondary to my need to protect my current wellbeing in the superlative sense.

And I testify that my choice to start living as an out homosexual [seeking a monogamous parenting partner] has been shockingly -- to myself, even -- beneficial to my health and wellbeing. It is, by far, the best choice I have ever made concerning my homosexual attractions.

I encourage anyone who is struggling with homosexuality to sincerely consider and pray about this option -- not because I wish to be justified with company in my decision, but because I am genuinely concerned for one's health and safety.

I have spent (and do spend) countless hours looking at this issue through every possible lens I could possibly consider, and I do believe that even if homosexuality is a sin then Christ will show compassion and mercy and tenderness and love and mercy again to those of us who sin as we seek to live a most happy, healthy, meaningful, and purposeful life.

Such is His pattern when dealing with all other disabilities that result in sin (including the sin of suicide -- which, most often, can be prevented)... why should homosexuality be excluded from this divine pattern? Such would make absolutely no sense to me.

3 comments:

  1. Why? Because being gay is gross. There is nothing that has ever come close to convincing that the Mormon aversion to homosexuality is anything but cultural. Nothing has convinced me that it is in any way divinely inspired.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Me, either.

    I'm just saying, "If, indeed, this is a disability, then..."

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yeah, I know. I was being snarky.

    ReplyDelete