Thursday, February 26, 2009

Arguments Reiterated

Argument I

Premise 1:
It is Christ's stance to judge the goodness or evilness of a teaching by the works said teaching produces1.
Premise 2:
Christ's word does not pass away nor will it be excused2.
The stance of judging a teaching based on the goodness or evilness produced by the teaching in question cannot be excused and will not pass away.
Argument II
Premise 1:
Goodness is "[b]eing positive or desirable in nature."3
Premise 2:
The works directly produced by the teachings which promote monogamous gay couples partnering for life and founding a family upon the concepts of love, compassion, kindness, long suffering, etc. are 1) the creation of committed, stable relationships4; and 2) the creation of familial units fully capable of successfully raising healthy offspring5 (of their own, via surrogacy, or through adoption).
Premise 3:
Committed, stable relationships and familial units capable of successfully raising healthy offspring are "positive [and] desirable in nature."
The works directly produced by the teachings which promote monogamous gay couples partnering for life and founding a family upon the concepts of love, compassion, kindness, long suffering, etc. (which shall hereafter be referred to as "gay marriage") are good.
Argument III
Premise 1:
see Argument I, Premise 1
Premise 2:
see Argument II, Conclusion
The concept of gay marriage is good.
Argument IV

Premise 1:
see Argument I, Conclusion
Premise 2:
see Argument III, Conclusion
No other teaching can excuse the concept of gay marriage from being good.

1Matthew 7:15-20, 3 Nephi 14:15-20

2D&C 1:38

3 (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.)

4What is the nature of same-sex relationships? - American Psychological Association

5Can lesbians and gay men be good parents? -American Psychological Association.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

You Know What... No

I will not go back into the closet, hiding my words, hiding my heart, hiding the pain done to me and those in my shoes by those who believe they are acting out of love... just to make the unknowing abusers comfortable in their coldness.

The discomfort they feel, they project onto me and those like I, proclaiming us evil, sinners, heretics, blasphemers. But the discomfort they feel, it is their consciences telling them that they are not acting out of love but prejudice. Yet they are not willing to look at their 'love' and see it for what it is: frigid & proud... and so, instead, they make us out to be monsters that we simply are not.

It is easier for them to believe they love warmly and we lurch wickedly when, in truth, their hearts desperately need the thaw. It is easier for them to play the victim and we the abusers than to realize their forcibly prescribed holy path for us only draws too many closer to the darkest claws of depression and most unholy desires of death.

So vain are they that they cannot fathom another's happiness not being found on their path. So vain are they that they cannot fathom any goodness being found on anything but their path.

So vain are they that they are blind to the happiness found in so many other paths. So vain are they that they are blind to the goodness being brought to pass by so many other paths.

And they will always be vain when they have the word "God" attached to their actions and their lacking charity.

In God's name they draw blood and sacrifice their innocent friends and family. In God's name they blame the wounded and spit in open sores. In God's name they force silence so that their "God" can have free range to further plant the seeds of their cold love.

And although I may never be able to get them to see their true reflections, I can stand up and do everything within my power to protect those on whom the "loving" chew. Perhaps then, when the cold hearted have no more fodder in their jaws, when they are left only to gnash their teeth, they will see the cruelty in their embrace.

But I cannot do this if I slink away in defeat, going back to my closet in wounded bitterness.

I have to stand up against them. I have to. As far as I am able, I will not allow another to face the darkness that almost swallowed me up.

As far as I am able, I will not allow a young man or young woman (or anyone, for that matter) to come home from church only to lie in bed and draft a suicide note.

As far as I am able, I will not allow a young man or young woman (or anyone, for that matter) to sit in the middle of a family discussion and fear for his/her life.

As far as I am able, I will not allow anyone be intimidated into feeling like they deserve anything but the very best and most beautiful out of life.

Life was not meant to be suffered through. Life's beauties and joys and wonders and even pleasures were meant to be enjoyed... by everyone, not just a select few.

Peace is for now. Happiness is for now. Joy is for now. Goodness is for now.

And they are all for you now.

They're not just trophies you get if you suffer sufficiently.

And I promise I will never stop fighting for these things... not just for me... but all those me's out there and yet to come.

There are people on your side, fighting for you.

There's hope.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Any 'angsty' posts of mine will be posted in my private blog.

This blog will focus on such things as my current craving for a soft pretzel dripping in butter before or after a serving or two of Bollywood Chicken from Bombay House possibly before or after a viewing of Coraline.

Anyone game?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Pause

I don't know how to describe how I'm feeling right now.




Ridiculous -- for realizing I'm one of 'those' bloggers who is posting about feelings.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

All or Nothing

A video posted by Ty Mansfield (a talk given by Neal Maxwell where he states that we are moving toward "irreligion" or the void of religion, the void of morals), Buttars's statement that gays are immoral, and a friend's recent statement that it's all or nothing has me concerned.

It's all rooted in vanity: We have the complete book of morals; anyone who is not following all our religious beliefs are living a life lacking in morality. To them, irreligion equals non-Mormon.

To them it's either "irreligion" or "our religion" -- there's nothing in between.

Someone cannot believe in God if they believe homosexual behavior is condoned by God because their god does not condone homosexual behavior. To them, this belief in God is a ploy, a lie, a trickery by immoral beasts who would blind and seduce the believer, convincing her/him to a life without religious beliefs.

People fighting for gay marriage are fighting against all religious beliefs (because all religion is Mormonism; or rather, Mormonism is the only true religion; therefore, going against what it currently* thinks is going against true religion). They ignore that a great deal of people who are fighting for gay marriage are doing so because of what they believe God is truly about -- love, compassion, understanding, peace, charity, treating others as we would be treated ourselves, etc.


No. Quite the opposite.


Just because someone doesn't believe in your god or your moral standards doesn't mean they are godless or immoral. It just means they have different beliefs in God and have different moral standards than you.

It's not all [your beliefs] or nothing.

*Yes, "currently"... Mormonism changes its mind all the time.

The Virtues of a Business Plan

I've decided to do things 'by the book' as I start up my teaching ballroom business. This means I'm first compiling a solid business plan -- cash flow projections for the next 10 years included.

Gee golly it's helpful. Like beyond helpful. It's basically crucial if you want to drastically increase your chances of über success. It not only helps you flesh our your ideas, it spawns a plethora of even better ideas.


~deep breath~

Anyway, as I've been working on my business plan, my ideas are really starting to look more fabulous than ever before. Likewise, I'm more excited than ever before.

I'm usually one to just wing whatever I do... but this is much, much more guaranteeing of success.

If you ever start your own business: start with a solid business plan. And ask for help. Luckily, one of my brothers has an MBA and has been an enormous help.

I do have more coherent thoughts on a business plan and its virtues... but that goddamn iTunes made me angry.

*Chedner's grammar lesson of the day: Many people think that, when turning a noun into a possessive noun (adjective), one never adds an " 's " to words ending with an " s " already. This is a common misunderstanding. When the noun is singular and ends with an " s " you still add an " ' s " (i.e. iTunes's -- iTunes being a singular name of a program -- Jesus's, Moses's, Sparticus's, his's -- okay, not the last one; ' his ' is already a possesive adjective) . It's only when a noun is plural and ends in an " s " that you only add an " ' ". Now you know.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Eccentricity & Celibacy

Stay celibate so I can be forcibly paired with a woman for all eternity: Tempting... not. That's like telling a mathematician who has no interest in literature that, if he reads more, then he may one day write a famous book or poem.

Whoopedie-doo, a book or a poem! All this time I've been worrying about an economic algorithm that can help the world's orphans from lives of hardship... but a book or a poem!?!

Gee-golly, screw helping the orphans; I'll just write a poem about how much their lives suck:

There once was an orphan named Tam'ly
Who knelt as she prayed for a fam'ly
But the self righteous ninnies think that it's better for her to have no family than the loving, caring family two daddies or two mommies could provide. These are the same ninnies who would rather have me write a poem than actually go out and do some good. Screw them. The End.

Stay celibate so I can be the eccentric uncle who lives by himself in a house full of awesome wonders from around the world -- ultimately ending up as the eccentric old man who lives on the hill: Enticing. I will consider.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fourth Past Eighty-Two

Today I feel like I'm drowning, even though I can breath.

Not emotionally.


It is that I am lacking sleep. <- evidence that my brain is running on fumes of energy. I didn't plan that sentence, it just came out that way.

And speaking of fumes... the gas leak in my car didn't help much today. I went to SLC to have ... what's the word for a meal in between lunch & dinner? You know, like Brunch ... ?

Anyway, I met with a friend for whatever you want to call it where you sit down and eat at 3:00PM. Driving back, I was fighting falling asleep. The gasoline fumes kept wafting up... and I was like, "I am going to stop at the side of the road and just sleep for forever... a forever nap sounds really good right now."

Question: Why do heavy doses of food dye always come out green, no matter what color it originally was?

This is a sincere question; I really would like to know.

I remember, as a kid, freaking out that I had just pooped green. My mom comforted me and told me that it was just the massive amounts of Air Heads I had consumed -- oh man, I loved my sugar.

Then I was disappointed.

The Air Heads were blue (blue raspberry or blue cotton candy artificial flavors.. heaven); my poo was green. It would have been 75% cooler were it blue.

Why, I don't know, really... maybe it's because blue is much less of a natural color to come out of your body. I mean, boogers and mucus can be green. Green stuff coming out of the body isn't new.

But blue?!


Gummies sound really good right now. Peach. I could go for some artificial peach flavoring. I may dare rank such higher than blue raspberry or blue cotton candy.

I can't seem to hold onto money. I have it, so it must be spent.

Although, I did have buyers remorse the other day. I got a hand-me-down Blackberry Pearl from my sister (she upgraded). It needed a new battery, so I went and bought one at the T-Mobile store for $70. It just didn't feel right, so I looked online. $7.

I took the $70 battery back and got me the $7 battery -- thinking that if the $7 battery doesn't work, I'll just go back and get the more expensive one.

Well, the $7 battery has been fabulous. I also got a memory card for $3.00. You know how much I spent on a memory card for my previous phone? ~$50.

I did have to get a new trackwheel... and that was a whopping $9. So, I'm thinking, a Blackberry Pearl for less than $20... not a bad deal.

Sure, it's a hand-me-down and has its scratches, bumps, and bruises... but I ain't proud. I will take what I can get these days.

Maybe I should go on a McDonald's run or something. Maybe I'll try the one in Lake Point, go for a little bit of a drive.

That would mean I'd have to put my contacts back in...

I wish there were better 24hour places. Like The Sconecutter. I could go for a navajo taco from there right now.

... do I drive half an hour for a navajo taco?

Nope, I don't want it that much. But I should probably eat something.

I've been getting a little gaunt-faced what with being sick and all -- I finally went to the doctor and am on anti-biotics... I'm starting to feel much better and am feeling my appetite return.

Being sick is dangerous for me. I stop eating.

Why am I writing this post?! I should be eating and then going to bed.

How much do you want to bet that I'll go on for another few paragraphs?!

Monday, February 16, 2009

On Second Thought

A couple comments on my blog and an email from a friend have encouraged me to start another blog:

Pearls, Hold the Swine

It is by invitation only and will be a forum where I will be posting, among other things, my thoughts on possible ways of viewing common words that are assumed to refute the possibility of homosexuality being accepted by God.

I use the word "forum" because I expect my words to be tested and scrutinized and what-not in logical discussion.

And it is by invitation only so I can keep the monkeys out. I don't like cleaning up, stepping around, or trying to ignore monkey poo. It's a waste of time and effort that could better be spent on things even like picking my nose, reorganizing my underwear in alphabetical order by color (presently, I only have blue underwear), running around my house naked and yelling, "Faroo-Faroo Pu-Zob-Maque-que-que... stop dammit, stop, I'm stuck on que-que-faroo..."

So, if you're interested, please let me know, and I'll send you an invite -- if you aren't a monkey. My contact info is on my profile. Or you could leave me a comment here, if I can extract your contact information from your profile.

Leotards & Dance Belts

Inspired by this post (and because I can't sleep... shouldn't have drank a liter of Dr. Pepper), here are the top ten reasons I'm gay:

10. I had a cat I named Pierre. Pierre's face was white, and he had a fabulous black goatee. He was a tough cat but finally done in by the swather.

9. I prefer to write with mechanical pencils because they always stay sharp.

8. I was born with a cyst on the bridge of my nose. It was removed twice -- growing back after the first surgery. I now have a scar which I have grown to adore.

7. I don't know how long its been since I've shaved with a razor. I've just been using the hair clippers.

6. I don't have a favorite number.

5. I secretly wish I were a mutant like the X-Men.

4. I'm really not a foodie, but there are foods that I do enjoy -- like curry. However, I eat to survive; I rarely get pleasure from eating.

3. I enjoy playing with fire. Like, literally -- and sometimes figuratively.

2. I've considered learning how to dive. This may or may not require me to first learn how to swim. I'm sure they could just fish me out of the water after each dive.

1. I fall in love with males, not females.

There you have it, the ten dirty little secrets that have contributed to my being gay.

I would love to hear yours.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

White Tees and Ballet Slippers

Well, I think I'm going to refrain from any more "reconciliation" posts. I merely started because I was asked how I possibly could reconcile my beliefs and the LDS Church's.

I forget such people really don't care how I reconcile. They just want to make fun of my beliefs in an attempt to shame me into shedding them.

Doesn't work.

Sorry -- well, not really... or at all.

And since I don't think my beliefs are required for others' salvation, I don't feel the need to share them in a public sphere where people willingly come to feel offended because I don't believe what they do and then can't discuss things logically, respectfully, and meekly.


I just took the "Belif-O-Matic" quiz and was matched thusly with various religions (I thought it was interesting):

1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (98%)
3. Secular Humanism (97%)
4. Neo-Pagan (94%)
5. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (91%)
6. Mahayana Buddhism (83%)
7. Taoism (80%)
8. Theravada Buddhism (78%)
9. New Age (75%)
10. Orthodox Quaker (71%)
11. Sikhism (69%)
12. Jainism (69%)
13. Reform Judaism (68%)
14. Nontheist (57%)
15. Hinduism (55%)
16. Baha'i Faith (50%)
17. Scientology (45%)
18. New Thought (45%)
19. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (41%)
20. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (40%)
21. Seventh Day Adventist (36%)
22. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (35%)
23. Eastern Orthodox (33%)
24. Roman Catholic (33%)
25. Orthodox Judaism (30%)
26. Islam (27%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (21%)

Good Grief

Do they really think they are convincing anyone of anything?

I know they are augmenting their own sense of self righteousness, thinking that they are right because there's really no way to respond to them (because what they say is a mush of unreasonable indignation). And, you know, whatever.

I really don't care if they agree with me or shed their self righteousness or not. I honestly don't. They obviously are not the target audience of my posts.

But the way they stand there like monkeys flashing their genitals in phallic threat just makes them look like fools, and the only ones who are going to take them seriously are the other monkeys flashing their genitals.

And their response to this is most often, "Nuh-uh, you are!"

Good grief, what does it take to get them to go elsewhere?

They are doing absolutely nothing to persuade me of their stance. They are doing nothing to persuade any reasonable human being of their stance. Nothing. They're just pissing in already stagnant waters, and the only ones who are going to drink are those who are already drunk on the crap.

Damn monkeys.

(And lest I be accused of personal attacks, myself, I am making no inference that their wild primate behavior has any bearing on whether or not their stance is true. In fact, I'm not even making any argument whatsoever in this post; I'm merely explaining how these ninnies come across.)

Reconciliation: D&C 132

In order to prevent comments of self righteous indignation, I am going to go about this reconciliation in a different manner.

I will simply state two premises, a conclusion, the possible ways to refute the claim, and some tips on how to be successful in refuting. It is not my intention to put the burden of proof upon you but to get you to either think critically about what exactly is said within the 132nd section of the Doctrine & Covenants and/or to think critically about logic.

It should also be said that my reconciliation has nothing to do with my conclusion but with my second premise. Presently, I will not share my reasoning behind my second premise (as was the original intent of this post) -- I may later, but I want to see if there are others who see the same.

Again, this is not me saying, "I'm right unless you can prove me wrong" but "Let's practice our skills in logical discussion here."

  1. The only reason gays should not be allowed to be eternally sealed together is because of the belief that D&C 132 reveals that eternal heterosexual marriage is required for exaltation;
  2. D&C 132 does not actually reveal that eternal heterosexual marriage is required for exaltation (the belief is false).
  1. Gays should be allowed to be eternally sealed together.
To Refute:
  1. Logically prove that there is another reason why gays should not be allowed to be eternally sealed together; and/or
  2. Logically prove that D&C 132 actually does reveal that eternal heterosexual marriage is required for exaltation; and/or
  3. Logically prove that my logic is not sound.
Tips: (the first three tips are respective to the above 'To Refute' list)
  1. Proving this has the highest probability of success out of all three;
  2. a) Verses 23 & 24 explicitly define the means to exaltation and eternal lives; therefore, it would be recommended to prove that verses 23 & 24 are referring to eternal heterosexual marriage; b) The definition of "the law" is important;
  3. Search through the fallacies here and see if I am guilty of any;
  4. Do not be guilty of any of the aforereferenced [sic] fallacies in your proofs;
  5. Try proving all three in the 'To Refute' list;
  6. Don't post your proofs unless you are willing to have your proofs subject for proof, themselves;
  7. Don't be a smug, self righteous ass -- keep your proofs cold (without emotion) and purely logical, and there will be no problems.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Expert Witnesses

... while I'm in rant mode...

Another thing that drives me crazy: people claiming that the leaders of any given religious sect have more expertise in what it means to be gay -- because they talk to God.

You know what, on May 27, 2009, I will have approximately 228,000 hours of experience of intimately studying what it's like to be homosexual. While this does not mean I am an expert in what it means to be a homosexual in all cases... it damn well makes me an expert -- the leading expert -- in what it's like to be me.

And yet I can't say, "This isn't working for me" because the leaders of the LDS Church are more expert in what it means to be me and know what's best for me? What bullshit. Runny, bloody, diarrhea from a bull dying of colon cancer.

It's also bullshit to claim that the leaders of any given religious sect are experts on the fundamentals of a successful society or psychology or what-ever. What makes them experts? Because they talk to God? Because you believe they talk to God? And, since God is omniscient, they are vessels of omniscience?


This is especially true when we ignore actual experts -- for example, the American Psychological Association (APA) -- in favor on non-experts -- for example LDS General Authorities.

The APA, an expert organization in the field of psychological development, has studied and stated that gay couples and children raised by gay couples are healthy and contribute possitively to psychological well-being.

But the leaders of the LDS Church say, "Nope, the leaders of the Church are more expert because they talk with God" -- therefore, gay couples and children raised by gay couples are unhealthy. (See appeal to authority and begging the question.)

And the stance is further compounded in crap-o-la with more logical fallacies such as appeals to belief, appeals to common practice, appeals to consequences of belief, appeals to emotion, appeals to fear, appeals to popularity, appeals to spite, appeals to tradition, bandwagon, biased sample... the list continues and includes almost every logical fallacy available.

And then those of us who disagree with this illogical stance because we are relying on actual experts on psychological development and on actual data and resources are the illogical ones?


It drives me crazy!!!

And more craziness: when they claim that we aren't listening to their stance. Give me a break! I could probably argue their case more aptly and logically than they.

Take one of the comments on my post, Reconiliation: The Family, where a previous accantance of mine posted the link to Elder Oaks & Wickman's "interview" (I used quotes because the questions were asked by the PR department of the Church... it is a mock interview) on same-sex attraction. As if I've never read that. I've more likely than not read it more times than he and am more familiar with exactly what is said therein.

Now, could they argue my case? Not likely -- and definitely not very logically. They wouldn't know logic if it were spelled out on the palms of their hands.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying, "therefore, they are wrong and I am right" -- that would be a logical fallacy, itself, (which they use often) -- I'm merely saying, "therefore, they are asses."

And, yes, I am fully aware my ranting attitude is quite unchristian. However, to use this current unchristian attitude of mine as bearing of any validity or invalidity of my beliefs about anything I've said or believe -- say, for example, about gay marriage -- is yet another logical fallacy.

"He called me an ass. Calling people names is unchristian; therefore, his stance on gay marriage is unchristian." FALLACY.

"Treating others contrary to how you would be treated is unchristian; therefore, expecting gays to live a lifestyle you are unwilling to live is unchristian." LOGICALLY SOUND.

"But, if I were gay, then I would be willing to live the lifestyle I expect gays to live." FALLACY -- this is a fallacy because it is impossible to prove the conclusion with the premise as you are not gay and, therefore, do not know what you would do were you gay. In other words, the premise is neither true nor false and cannot be proven to be true or false. Conclusions cannot be supported by something that is neither true nor false.

"But I am a celibate priest; I am willing to live the lifestyle I expect gays to live; therefore, my stance is christian." LOGICALLY SOUND.

"But I am a gay Mormon who is celibate; therefore, my stance is christian." LOGICALLY SOUND.

"I am temporally married to a woman because my Celestial partner died and I need a help meet as I endure to the end; gays should not be allowed to marry because their relationship cannot be made eternal -- they must live a life without a help meet; my stance against gay marriage is Christian." ASSHOLISH, HYPOCRITCAL FALLACY.

*deep breath*

*turn my head and cough*

... okay, I think I'm finished ranting...


Another thing that makes me crazy: when what I say is deemed illogical without any proof.

Well, it drives me crazy when anything is claimed anything without any proof -- but it especially drives me crazy when what I say is deemed illogical without proof.

I am a software engineer. Logic is my trade. Now, that doesn't mean that everything I say is, therefore, logical. I'm just saying that I have a lot of practice forming logical statements/claims, allowing those claims to be tested, finding my errors in logic, and fixing those errors.

I am familiar with logic, I work with logic -- and I'm frankly damn good at it.

Now, I have no problems being called out when I am illogical. However, don't tell me, show me.

And here are a few hints:

Logic has to do with premises and conclusions based on such premises. Logic has nothing to do with premises being true or false but in having the conclusion being fully supported by the premise(s).

That is to say, you can have a false premise but a logical statement. For example, "All cows are green, and Jezabelle is a cow; therefore, Jezabelle is green" is a logical statement. There are two premises: 1) All cows are green; and 2) Jezabelle is a cow. There is one conclusion: 1) Jezabelle is green.

The conclusion is logically supported by the two premises. Whether or not cows are truly green or Jezabelle is truly a cow has no bearing on the logical flow of the statement. In logic, there are implications of conditionals. That is to say, it is implied "[If] all cows are green, and [if] Jezabelle is a cow[, then] Jezabelle is green."

Now, an example of an illogical statement: "Jezabelle gives milk, and Jezabelle is a cow; therefore, cows give milk" (or "[If] Jezabelle gives milk, and [if] Jezabelle is a cow[, then] cows give milk").

This is a completely illogical claim, even though the premises and the conclusion are all true (assuming Jezabelle is a cow). The conclusion is not supported by the premises. Having one cow that gives milk doesn't mean that cows give milk... all it means is that at least one cow gives milk.

To show that someone is illogical, you have to show that his/her conclusions are not fully supported by his/her premises. You cannot claim that someone is illogical because her/his premises are false.

Now, you can claim that someone's premises are false, but you have the burden to prove it logically.

For example, let's go back to the logical statement: "All cows are green, and Jezabelle is a cow; therefore, Jezabelle is green."

If you wanted to logically prove that the premise "all cows are green" is false, you'll need to use your own premises to logically prove the inverse, "not all cows are green," is true.

For example, "Ploppers is a cow, and Ploppers is brown; therefore, not all cows are green" is a logical refutation of the above example (it doesn't mean the above example is illogical; it just means that the premises of the above example are not true).

However, your premises are then subject to proof, themselves. And if I can prove that either Ploppers is not a cow or Ploppers is green, then I can refute your claim -- not your logic, but the truthfulness of your premises -- and then my claims are still true (until they are proven false -- which is simple in the example since it is a factual error to claim that all cows are green).

Again, logic has nothing to do with having true or false premises.

And my premises are always subject to debate and refutation. I welcome and encourage logical criticism of anything I say.

However, I am very careful in making sure my conclusions logically follow my premises. I know I'm not perfect, I know I can fall victim to making illogical claims. And such are also always subject to proof.

But, again, you have to prove it; you have to logically show how what I've said is illogical. Just as much as you have to logically show that my premises are false if you want to refute what I have said (however, and again -- eternally again and again -- refuting the truthfulness of my premise doesn't mean I'm being illogical).

And I'm not saying this because I pride myself in being a logical bloke (although it is true that I do pride myself in my talents in logic, such is not why I am writing this post). I am writing so that those who read what I write are better equipped to logically prove illogicalness [sic] or to logically refute premises.

I encourage logical criticism. I encourage people to ponder and pray about what I say. I have no fear of being wrong, having what I say refuted. It doesn't bother me, in the least bit, when my words are proven false or illogical -- as long as they are proven.

So, prove me wrong -- please. I would be thrilled -- because that means that I have caused you to think and process things logically and critically... which is all I truly want from anyone.

Self Righteousness

I know this post is straying from the promised, "up next..." of my last post; however, seeing as someone has claimed that I am self righteous and as I have claimed others as being self righteous, I would like to address this topic of self righteousness.

Self righteousness is a belief that one's righteousness is greater than the righteousness of another person.

This doesn't imply only righteousness of actions (ie my actions are more righteous than yours) but also righteousness of beliefs (ie my beliefs are more righteous than yours).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about believing you are right and others are wrong, but about believing you are more righteous than another because you believe you are right and another is wrong.

It is smugness in one's believed rightness. It is an attitude that leaves no room for discussion -- "I am right, and I will always be right, for I have God on my side."

Me, I'm 100% willing to be wrong. I make no declarations that what I believe is definitely God's stance. I am open to discussion -- as long as it's an actual discussion, both sides respectfully listening to the other's viewpoints and giving each statement meek consideration (one person declaring, "I am right; you are wrong, and nothing you can say will change that!" is not a discussion).

When it's not actual discussion, I tend to lose my temper and become a prick, saying things such as, "If you're truly a representative of God, then God is an asshole, and I want nothing to do with Him!"

There needs to be meekness in discussions. Self righteousness is a state void of meekness.

Meekeness means no beliefs of "I am right; I will always be right; there's nothing that can be said here to convince me that I am not right; I am right... [repeat, lather, and never rinse]."

Again, I am completely willing to be wrong; I am completely willing to discuss things with others who view things differently than I, to listen to others' points of view and sincerely consider whether or not they are valid (not based on anything other than the claims they make; that is, void of what I believe, myself).

However, and again, this can only happen if the other party is willing to discuss things. Otherwise, I'm talking to a brick wall who thinks I'm not listening to their constant self righteous dribble... and then they feel further justified in their beliefs when I end up flipping them off, walking away, and mumbling obscenities.

Since that happens to them all the time, then they feel even even more sure that what they believe is true, thinking that nobody can refute what they believe.

One major problem being that their standard of evaluation is screwed up. The only way something can refute what they believe is true is to have that refutation fall in line with what they believe is true. That is, anything that could refute what they believe is illogical... because it goes against what they believe.

... yeah...

(Now, that's not to say I'm spotless, here. I have my moments of self righteousness, but it's definitely something I strive to shed. I am working on becoming more open and willing to be wrong and meekly consider all viewpoints without any preconceived notions... and part of that is throwing my ideas out there to be discussed -- discussed (see this entire post again if you are confused as to what I mean by discussion).)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Reconciliation: The Family

Preamble: This is not my attempt to preach or teach but to share some of my viewpoints on the possibilities of some words deemed scripture.

One of the things my Bishop asked me a few weeks ago was, "How do you reconcile what you believe with what the prophets have said in 'The Family: A Proclamation to the World'?"

Unfortunately, he did not give me the opportunity to adequately explain how I so reconcile the two. Some say it is impossible... I say it's actually quite simple (and requires zero refutation of what is said).

I will extract the statements which have been used to denounce same-sex coupling and follow with an explanation as to how I reconcile them with my stance on gay marriage:
We [...] solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God
I believe I have mentioned my views on this before; however, to reiterate, stating that something is ordained of God in no way means that something else is not ordained of God.

This would be like saying, "An apple is a fruit. An orange is not an apple; therefore, an orange is not a fruit."

It would be a completely different story if they had said that marriage between a man and a woman is the only ordained marriage.
[T]he family is central to the Creator's plan
Arguably, A gay couple with their children can lay claim to the status of "family."
Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
Arguably, homosexuality makes no refutations of one's gender and is, in and of itself, an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.
Although I have a different interpretation of what it means exactly to multiply and replenish the earth, I will address the typical translation (implying populating the earth with billions of bodies).

Simply put, a gay couple is a barren couple and could arguably fall under the same pardon from this commandment as a barren heterosexual couple.
We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
The LDS Church actually has two definitions of sex. One is "the sacred powers of procreation" and the other is the sacred powers of unity.

Arguably, homosexuals are not "[employing] the sacred powers of procreation" when they have sex. Such is frankly impossible as they are not procreating or even attempting to procreate. They are employing the sacred powers of unity.

It would be a different story if they had explicitly said something like, "God has commanded that sexual activity is to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wed..." I know this is how it is often translated, but there are other ways to translate it -- which is the whole point of this post.
Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan.
Refer to my first statement, but I will add a different analogy: Eggs are essential to an angel food cake. So is flour.
Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity... By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.
Indeed, there would be no way for anyone to truly reconcile this statement... if it weren't already reconciled for us:
Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. (emphasis mine)

Really, it's not that tough to make some compelling arguments that would dissolve the believed concrete stance that 'The Family: A Proclamation to the World' refutes any possibility that gay marriage could be appropriate in God's plan.

I will close with the following warning as presented in 'The Family: A Proclamation to the World':
We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.
... adding that one should consider what actions against gay marriage could arguably be doing:
  • Gay couples are fighting to make covenants of fidelity in the eyes of their respective governments. Those against gay marriage are fighting to violate such chaste covenants.
  • (I'm going to refrain from commenting on the abuse and violated family responsibilities... such is frankly obvious to those of us who have experienced it firsthand.)
  • Those against gay marriage are fighting to disintegrate families.
  • Those fighting against gay marriages are not fighting to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society... they are fighting to maintain and strengthen their religious sect as the fundamental unit of society.
Gay couples and their kids.... they're families which provide the same service as any other [barren couple] family in society.

up next... Reconciliation: D&C 132

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


There was a demon behind me. His name, he said, was God. He promised me hope. And love. And peace. While he bled my soul and stole my home.

My tears he drank through grinning lips and laps of hollowed pity. My prayers he swallowed in prideful gulps and bowls of laughing lies.

In broken humility, I followed him still. I called him God. I paid my tithes and rent my clothes.

Before his feet, I laid my broken heart. And in my opened chest, he spat.

This is how my mind sometimes wanders when I'm's [sic] bored.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ctrl - Alt - Del

I'm thinking I need to get out of Utah.

Where I'd go, I don't know.

How I'd get there, I don't know.

I just need some freshness.

I'm assuming that's a common feeling during/after a period.

... ew...

I'm fantastic...

... just not good enough.

It's what I've heard all my life.

"You're such an upstanding young man... do better."

I think that's why I'm having troubles with my self confidence. I mean, I have a rather healthy self-esteem. I frankly know I'm a pretty dern good catch.

Last Friday, after practicing Rumba with my ballroom partner, I thought, "You would make one fantastic husband, Andrew Pankratz!" We chilled, we danced, we joked, we laughed, we talked a little seriously. We had a great time. Well, I at least had a great time, and she at least seemed to. (Side note: I'm not implying any sort of crush, in the least bit here; I'm implying my skills in the platonic-side of a relationship.)

The other night, as I started to get ready to take a bath and noticed myself in the mirror, I thought, "... you know what, you're kind of sexy... imagine how you'd look with a tan... nice..." (Side note: no, I don't 'turn myself on' -- honestly."

I have been complemented myriads of times on my eyes. My lips have been described as "gorgeous" and "sexy" and "pout-y." I have been compared to greco-roman sculptures (by one who isn't wanting to get into my pants -- unless I'm completely oblivious). I have been called "cute" and "hot" and "adorable." (I actually prefer the first and last, by far.)

Hopefully I'm honest in saying that I've never let any of this go to my head, and I remain down to earth -- which, ironically I suppose, I really love about myself.

Yet I have zero confidence when it comes to thinking that someone would want me.

Now, don't take this as me saying, "Confirm that I'm as fantastic as I am" or "Tell me someone would want me" or anything like that.

I'm just saying I have a glitch in my thinking here. And I blame the LDS Church. Not in a bitter or "I demand retribution" way, but in a frank, bluntly honest, "It's the Church that screwed me up a little bit" way -- and only because, in understanding the source, I can perhaps have a better chance of fixing it.

And it's not just the gay issue. I've noticed this in a lot of Mormons (of all orientations). I mean, Mormons are always hearing, "You are doing such a good job... now improve!"

That last imperative completely breaks down what was built up with the complement.

Don't get me wrong, though, I think criticism is necessary. We need to know and understand where we need to improve.

The damage is in the implication. With the LDS Church, there is the implication that, even though God is pleased with you, He could be more pleased.

This creates this mindset of, "I'm still not good enough."

You know what, if our hearts are pure, then God is completely pleased with us, nothing lacking, no matter where we are in life -- no matter where we need to improve.

My high school drama teacher did a decent job with this. She critiqued like crazy, but I often felt that, no matter how many things I needed to fix, she was proud of me and grateful to have me on stage or competing for her.

Of course, if we do something blatantly wrong, there is going to be some displeasure. But that's if you're doing it on purpose.

For a hypothetical example: Say I'm babysitting two of my nieces. They are rough-housing near their parents' porcelain figurines. I tell them that they need to calm down because they might end up breaking the figurines while offering a few alternatives to their rough housing*. Instead of listening and choosing an alternative, they continue to rough house. Before I can intervene to protect the figurines, my nieces bump into the them, and they fall and break.

I would not be very pleased.

On the other hand, if they weren't rough housing but accidentally bumped into the figurines, then there would be absolutely no disappointment from me.

Anyway, I just got sidetracked by writing the post-script, "Chedner's parenting tip of the day" of this post. So I'll bring it back to my original thought: I think I would make one damn fine parent.

Anyone would be über lucky to have me as a husband and co-parent! I sincerely believe that... and yet there's that stinkin' glitch that says, "but you're still not über enough."

Damn glitch.

How do I fix it?

Actually, I think the only way to fix it is to ignore it and put myself out there, start fishing.

I enjoy alliteration, even if it is slight.

*Chedner's parenting tip of the dayƗ.

To effectively circumvent undesired behavior, calmly, lovingly, and without judgment:
  1. get their attention, making and sustaining eye contact with them and being sure they are listening;
  2. define the undesired behavior;
  3. explicitly explain why such is undesirable;
    1. Such explanations must be of natural, known/proven consequences of the undesirable behavior. If there are no actual, reference-able examples of the consequence, then there is no strong reason to actually believe the consequence will truly be levied.
    2. The consequences must be strictly in line with the behavior. That is to say, for example, saying, "If you drink too much Dr. Pepper, you could get kidney stones. Uncle Henry got kidney stones from drinking too much Pepsi." Has room for doubt -- 'I'm not drinking Pepsi; I'm drinking Dr. Pepper.'
    3. If the child has stronger examples of desirable consequences than the undesirable consequences you provide, there is also a great room for doubt.
    4. If you cannot come up with a natural, known/proven consequence, then maybe you need to re-evaluate whether or not the behavior is actually undesirable.
    5. The more explicit, the more effective -- the more vague, the more doubt there will be in the probability of the natural consequence. For example, "If you turn around in circles, you will get dizzy. If you're too dizzy around the fireplace, you may not be able to keep your balance, and you could fall and hit your head on the bricks. If you fall hard enough, it will cut your head open and can even crack your skull. It will hurt -- a lot. I don't want you to get hurt." is much more effective than "You could get hurt." It's easy to think, "Pssh, I won't get hurt" but almost impossible to think, "I won't get dizzy" (after all, the whole point is to get dizzy).
  4. provide several desirable alternatives to the undesirable behavior;
    1. Having a desirable alternative makes deserting the undesirable behavior easier (and desirable).
    2. These alternatives must be desirable to everyone involved. If there is no desirable alternative for the "offender," then there's no reason to stop the undesirable behavior (because the undesirable behavior is actually desirable to them... and they're going to choose the most desirable option).
    3. The desirable options must be more desirable to the "offender" than the undesirable behavior. Again, they will most likely (if not always) choose the most desirable option.
    4. If the undesirable behavior is undesirable due to the setting, then an alternative may be the same behavior but in a different place if available. For example, turning around in circles isn't necessarily0 undesirable, it's the turning around in circles in places where falling is dangerous that's undesirable; therefore, you could offer turning around in circles in the big back yard as an alternative. For another example, playing noisily isn't necessarily undesirable, it's playing noisily where noise is inappropriate that's undesirable; therefore, you could offer playing noisily in the empty playroom as an alternative.
  5. if the undesirable behavior continues, despite all the above, you may intervene with an unnatural consequence to prevent the natural consequence;
    1. Never threaten with the unnatural consequence. The child should stop the undesirable behavior to avoid the natural consequence, not out of fear for the unnatural consequence. If the child is stopping to avoid the unnatural, then they have no reason to avoid the undesirable behavior when you are not around to apply the unnatural consequence. However, if the child is stopping to avoid the natural consequence, then they have every reason to avoid the undesirable behavior when nobody is around to apply the unnatural consequence.
    2. Always explain that the unnatural punishment is being imposed to prevent the natural consequence. This reemphasizes the danger of the natural consequence, putting the focus on it instead of the unnatural consequence.
    3. Always remain calm and loving. Any negative feelings emitted from you (your voice, body language, words, etc.) should be concern and worry for your child's well-being -- not anger et al. Sorrow and disappointment may be appropriate; however, such should always infer a concern for their well-being. This will establish and sustain an image of a loving, non-threatening parent instead of a vengeful and cold parent.
  6. if the undesirable behavior continues, despite all the above (save 5), and the natural consequence is minor, you may want to allow the natural consequence;
    1. The more your children see that you are being honest with them, the more reason they have to trust you. (Always be honest with your children.)
    2. Always be there to make things better. This will establish and sustain a relationship where the child can go to you even after making a mistake. This will only be the case if you avoid judgment or a strict "I told you so" attitude. A smiling, lighthearted "I told you... now come here, and let's get you fixed up" may be appropriate (depending on the personality of the child).
  7. if the undesirable behavior is stopped, thank and praise;
    1. It is VITAL that your thank and praise your children often and not just when they stop undesirable behavior. If they only receive praise when they fix problem behavior, then they will associate praise with fixing problem behavior (which can only be done when problem behavior is initiated).
    2. Referring to 4: It is VITAL that you offer desirable things to do at times when there is no problem behavior. If they know the only way you're going to offer to make cookies with them is to, themselves, initiate problem behavior... I think you can fill in the rest.
While there are some similarities, there are significant differences in the approach to effectively encourage your child to do something that is undesirable to him/her but desirable to you.

Ɨand frankly what the LDS Church is completely missing (save items 1&2) in their "don't be gay" stance.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Warning: This post contains some inappropriateness uncommon to my past posts.

I think I'm going through my man-period.

I'm all grumpy and have been taking things overly emotionally.

And I've been extremely horny.

I have a rather attractive straight friend who has propositioned me before...

Man, what's with all these temptations of unhealthy behavior, wanting to get all hopped up on opiates, wanting to do the deed with a straight guy?

One of my mom's famous taglines: "Satan's just bothering you because something really good is about to happen and he's trying to stop it from happening."

Me, I blame the polar bears.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Suggested soundtrack for this post (click play on the video and then start reading my post; it is also recommended that you finish listening to the song if you're done reading before the song is over -- thanks, Two Blue Eyes, for the corny idea).

I am an avid watcher of VH1's Celebrity Rehab and Sober House.

They hit home in a very real way. You see... I am an addict.

I've just been sober all my life.

I know in a very real and sacred way that I would have turned to opiates/narcotics in an attempt to bandage the pain that was the past seven years of my life.

Stepping back into the Bishop's office a few weeks ago triggered that need again. A need I've never fed, but it's still there in the back of my head, itching -- finding any excuse to convince me to use.

Hearing, "... you're broken... you're broken... you're broken..."

Being treated like "... you're broken... you're broken... you're broken..."

Knowing my friends and family think "... you're broken... you're broken... you're broken..."

It all summons the demon.

I fear this demon in the most gut-wrenching way possible.

I am terrified that if my family rejects my future husband, if my family rejects me (as the actual definition of marriage is merging two as one; therefore, if my family rejects the one to whom I am married, my family rejects me), then the demon will be able to use that initial breakdown and pain to convince me to use for the first time.

And then I'll have destroyed everything.

Trust me, this isn't just some frivolous fear. This isn't just some small, "It could happen."

The disease is constantly trying to find any excuse to feed.

It is uncannily haunting to hear the addicts talking on the aforementioned VH1 programs and to understand completely what they're saying -- even though I've never used.

Okay... that's technically a lie. A few months ago, my mom had some work done on her teeth (in preparation for her mission). She was prescribed Lortab but wasn't taking it (she didn't like the side effects).

I convinced my mom to give me her unused Lortab prescription by telling her I just wasn't able to sleep and that the Lortab helped.

Emotionally, I was in a really good place. There wasn't anything that was triggering the need... the drugs were simply there, I knew I could get them, so I got them and licked the walls of the metaphorical gingerbread house of my disease.

Talking with my bishop triggered the desperate part of this disease, the part that demands, "Screw this, screw them... you need me."

The pain caused by my family rejecting me... there's a scary chance I would agree with the above.

And to delve even more deeply into what is painful, having my homosexuality being compared to this demon... to hear them preach that my being gay is a disease... well, it's really the only thing that truly offends me.

The demon of addiction is a black hole and a means to simply cover up and hide pain.

My homosexuality, I have found, is something that fosters a genuine happiness and light in my life. It doesn't cover up or mask, it heals.

To have my family not want me to pursue a husband and a family is a statement to me that they do not want me to heal... because it offends their belief in God as dictated to them by the leaders of the LDS Church.

If I am truly healed by a husband and a family with him, if such truly brings me joy, then the Brethren are wrong. And if the Brethren are wrong, then where does that leave the Church?

It threatens their testimony that the Brethren are basically god figures here on Earth. And it easier for them to sacrifice me than these idols.

Harsh? Exaggerated?


idolise: love unquestioningly and uncritically1
To them, if the Brethren are wrong, then their entire belief in God is wrong... because they worship the Brethren; they revere what the Brethren say as equally as they revere what God would say.

There's not a more honest way of putting it. Sure, I could perhaps couch it in terms that would infer such while sounding more polite... but we need to start being honest here.

Completely and bluntly honest.

So, to prevent them from seeing me being healed as I pursue a husband and a family with him, they would shut me out to protect their testimonies of their idols.

For their gods, they will sacrifice me. That's what they demand from on high.

Do they not see this? How could they not see this?

Part of it, I'm sure, are the lies.

Homosexuality is a gateway to polygamy, to incest, to pedophilia, to bestiality. Children are damaged when raised by gay couples.

Of course, those each are completely separate posts in of themselves.

What I'm trying to emphasize here is that I don't think I can handle being nailed to the cross they've erected with my name on it.

I really don't think I can.

In all admission, right now, my demon is tempting me, "I do not threaten their testimonies; I would not make them uncomfortable -- the Brethren are right about me; I'll ruin your life -- not like homosexuality. Homosexuality is too threatening to them; they'll never accept you as a happy, healthy gay man as one with a husband, raising happy, healthy children. They wouldn't dare allow that, it's too scary, it goes against their gods' preachings. They'll shut you out if you take that route; however, as a broken druggie, there's safety. You wouldn't even need to hide it. They'll be there for you... and you wouldn't need that actual healing; I'll keep you numb... I'm really the only thing you need.

"Besides... they're going to reject you if you seek out happiness and healing... and you know you'll be too weak to resist me anyway. There's really no other ending here. That cash you have in your wallet... give it to me..."

And, so, for the sake of their gods, I am tempted to destroy my life. I am really... well, I'm scared.

... because my family would rather hold to their idolatry than to their son and brother.

And there's no way to compete with gods.

Seeing the hell it is to be a using addict and knowing my family, some of my friends, and the LDS Church would be more comfortable seeing me struggling through rehabs and sober houses and relapses than as a happy gay man providing a caring, loving home for children who are begging God every hour for a family -- because the former conforms to their beliefs while the latter would require adjustments... it's... well, there isn't a strong enough word to explain what it is.

Suffice it to say that it makes the world a very ugly and undesirable place to live. A place that begs to be numbed out and shaded away.

1Idolise. WordNet® 3.0. Princeton University. (accessed: February 08, 2009).

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Full Gospel Theory

Reference I:
6 [I] amarveled how it was that [my late brother] had obtained an binheritance in [the Celesital] kingdom, seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had set his hand to cgather Israel the second time, and had not been dbaptized for the remission of sins.

7 Thus came the avoice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died bwithout a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be cheirs of the celestial kingdom of God;

8 Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who awould have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom;

Reference II:
9 We believe all that God has arevealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet breveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
I have held a theory for a little while concerning the necessity of being baptized into the LDS Church in order to inherit a celestial glory. The theory is quite simple and is based on the above references which, in sum, give us the following two principles:
  1. The sole requirement to gain a celestial glory is to recieve the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all one's heart.
  2. Our understanding of the Gospel is still missing important parts.
These two concepts would have me believe that those who presently would not receive the imperfect chunk of the Gospel we have right now with all their hearts but would receive the whole, nothing missing, Gospel with all hearts will receive celestial glories.

This is, of course, if their hearts receive fully the true, perfect parts of the Gospel we understand now but are merely being held back by the corrupted, imperfect parts still needing to be fixed -- as a past example, the belief the Church dropped concerning Blacks being unable to truly gain exaltation.

I think, in the end, there's going to be a lot of, "Hey, how come they made it into heaven and I didn't? I did everything your Church told me to, and they weren't even members!" with responses of "You & I, we weren't as close as you thought, kid."

So, I say, before we (okay, so I don't do this, but I know a lot of people who do) get all worried about our neighbor's eternal well-being because they aren't members of the Church nor do they have any desire to be members, let's remember we are still missing some important parts, which parts may be required before they can accept the Gospel completely.

After all, you really can't accept something completely that isn't complete, itself. You can completely accept the already complete parts, yes, but you can't completely accept a whole until it is complete.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


As if it couldn't get any worse, the door swung open, and she jumped in.

She wasn't wearing her usual purple sun dress. She was wearing a black leotard and 8lb ankle weights, baby blue.

Her lips were coiled, her hands rested firmly on her hips.

On her forehead was tattooed in deep purple: C-39.