Bruce C. Hafen, LDS Church’s official gaybasher
If you ever needed a reason to distance yourself from the LDS Church, Bruce C. Hafen of the Seventy has just given you one. Oddly, this talk was linked to from the blog of the PR Department of the LDS Church as though it is worth reading. I’m not sure why they are proud of it. I recommend reading it yourself, but if you want some highlights, here’s what I found:
During a recent stake conference in Europe, I asked the stake president if Sister Hafen and I might visit one or two of his members who could use a little encouragement. As we visited one young man, a single returned missionary, we found that he cared deeply about the Church but was also very troubled. When we asked how he was doing, he began to cry and said, with a look of real anguish, I suffer from same-gender attraction. My heart went out to him. The longer we talked, the more compassion I felt, as I learned that the operative word for him really was suffer.
This makes it sound an awful lot like a disease!
But as hard as same-gender attraction is, your feeling it does not mean that your nature is flawed. Whenever the Adversary tries to convince you that you are hopelessly that way, so that acting out your feelings is inevitable, he is lying. He is the Father of Lies.
Many other people also live heroically with uninvited daily struggles. The victims of childhood sexual abuse also live with agonizing daily battles that may echo the experiences of some who cope with same-gender attraction.
Here, homosexuality is equated with childhood sexual abuse (he also equates it with quadriplegia.)
You are literally Gods spirit child. Having same-gender attraction is NOT in your DNA, but being a child of God clearly IS in your spiritual DNAonly one generation removed from Him whom we call Father in Heaven.
Hmm… This sounds like a fact assertion. Unfortunately for him, the data from twins studies suggests there is very likely a genetic component. It may not explain all of the variation in sexual identity, but it explains some. Once again, ignorant religious leaders deny science for their own agenda!
If you are faithful, on resurrection morningand maybe even before then–you will rise with normal attractions for the opposite sex.
God don’t make no gay spirits. He just chooses to punish you with gayness while you’re mortal, ’cause he’s a loving god!
Its true that the law of chastity forbids all sexual relations outside the bonds of a married heterosexual relationship. And while same-gender attraction is not a sin, you need to resist cultivating immoral, lustful thoughts toward those of either gender. Its no sin if a bird lands in your tree, just dont let him build a nest there.
The latest euphemism for gay sex – “building a nest”!
So something has been going on that has caused a kind of cultural earthquake in just the last few years. What is it? during the last few years to cause the cultural earthquake were now feeling on this subject? We have witnessed primarily an aggressive political movement more than weve witnessed substantive change in the medical or legal evidence. In 1973, in response to increasing disruptions and protests by gay activists, the American Psychiatric and Psychological Associations removed homosexuality from their official lists of disorders. Significantly, they took this action by simply putting the issue to an open vote in their professional meetings–not because of any change in actual medical findings. As LDS psychologist Dean Byrd writes, This was the first time in the history of healthcare that a diagnosis was decided by popular vote rather than scientific evidence.
Equal rights for homosexuals is “an aggressive political movement” not backed by science! (My favorite part about this article – the hundreds of peer-reviewed articles that are… um… not included.)
The activists have used similar methods in the years since then, trying to prove that they are a legitimate demographic category with fixed and unchangeable characteristics. They must present themselves in this way in order to justify their demand for the same legal protections now given to race and gender. That is a crucial point in understanding both the agenda and the tactics of intimidation used by todays activists.
You heard it here, folks – homosexuals are less human and less deserving of equal rights than are women and blacks, only one of which the LDS Church has enfranchised. Ergo, women might get some degree of parity in the LDS Church before homosexuals do!
However, the activists have almost convinced the American public about this point. A reliable 2009 poll asked U.S. adults what causes people to be gay or lesbian. In the two most common responses, 42% of this public sample said gay or lesbian people are born that way, and 36% said they choose to be that way. Both of those responses are factually wrong.
Gays aren’t born that way and they don’t choose it. They, um, become that way through forces outside of their control? Are touched by Tinkerbell and her pixie dust at age 7? WTF?
In other words, before puberty, boys are typically more interested in other boys than in girls. Then their interest gradually shifts to girls, but a few boys dont make this transition. Often these boys are emotionally sensitive, introspective, and, especially among Church members, perfectionistic. When puberty hits this group, they can be sexually aroused by many factors. When those factors include other boys, they can become fixated on the fear that they are gay, especially if they have male sexual experiences, including male pornography. Then their fixation can block their normal emotional-sexual development. Adult men who have had such childhood experiences can often resume their normal development by identifying and addressing the sources of their emotional blockage, which usually includes restoring healthy, appropriate male relationships.
Bruce C. Hafen, lawyer, has now explained the root cause of homosexuality – Freudian fixation that results in blocked emotional-sexual development at puberty. He’s qualified to make this pronouncement because he…. Um…. Oh, right, he’s not qualified to talk about this.
Both no-fault divorce and same-gender marriage allow personal adult rights to trump the best interests of society and children. The radical personal freedom theory on which the Massachusetts same-gender marriage case is based is actually the logical extension of the same individualistic legal concept that created no-fault divorce.Think about it. When the law upholds an individuals right to END a marriage, regardless of social consequences (as happened with no-fault divorce), that same legal principle can be used to justify the individuals right to START a marriage, regardless of social consequences (as happens with same-gender marriage).
We finally get to the heart of the matter. No fault divorce empowers women in crappy marriages to leave. Thus, no-fault divorce is a scourge and should be stamped out (got to slap down those uppity women). Spousal abuse isn’t a problem; let the women suffer.
Same-sex marriage may not result in more divorces, but it does redefine god’s ordained gender roles. Thus, homosexuality is a threat to the male hierarchy of Mormonism. Ergo, we must crush them out of existence! If gays get rights, then women will want them too. And once that happens, no more all-male clubs for the Mormon hierarchy.
I really recommend you read the whole thing as it is a very disturbing talk.
have been following the links on today’s MSP outblogness, and read the “Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts” from the American Psychological Assocation
which reads in part
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association affirms that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality regardless of sexual orientation identity;
which is a way of saying that gay sex and same-sex attraction are perfectly healthy and acceptable, not only for people who identify as gay but for people who identify as straight.
Which means that the question you think needs to be the focus of the discussion has been answered, Seth–and not just because of agitation by the queer community, but through substantiated research.
Well Holly. Until you’ve calmed down a bit, there’s obviously not much point in continuing this.
Chino, let me know when you actually have a response to make.
I’m still waiting for your response, Seth R.
I’ll save you the trouble of scrolling up and ask you again: What the heck is spiritual DNA ??
Let me know when you’re done ruminating on the merits of butt secks and are available to discuss Hafen’s talk.
jeez…I didn’t pay attention to this topic unfold and now I really don’t want to spend time going through 53 comments…I really shouldn’t even be commenting now, since I know I’m not informed as to 53 comments’ worth of exchange.
I will say, actually, that I agree with Seth in 38. Genetics is a positive argument, not a normative argument.
Rather, the point is that it is a *good* thing for people to be in committed relationships with people they are attracted to. It is a *bad* thing for people to try to deny themselves.
I disagree with the genetics argument for a different reason. I think most people have a remarkably poor understanding of genetics (I mean, think about American understanding of science in general. Think about American acceptance of evolution. Need I continue?)…so they have certain preconceptions of what genetic influence would include. People are looking for an on/off switch in a gay gene, but don’t realize that genetics are not quite THAT simple (at least, not in all cases). Rather, gene expression can change things, hormones can change things, and so on.
So, in a swirl of so many factors (whether known or unknown), the argument isn’t necessarily that “it is inborn” (that’s too narrow) or “it cannot change” (also too narrow), but that it is not chosen, and conscious choice cannot change it.
This more open thesis allows for Lisa Diamond’s research in sexually fluid women…which doesn’t hurt the gay cause, but people *think* it does because they are misunderstanding. No, it doesn’t hurt the gay cause that some women have flexible, fluctuating sexuality because still, these women do not choose their fluctuations and cannot choose to fluctuate.
But even disregarding this, the fact is that if someone is so compelled to pursue a relationship — regardless of the sex of the other person — and they do so in a safe way (obviously, promiscuity and unsafeness are problematic in ANY sexual orientation)…then this should not be discouraged. This is not a “scourge to society” or the looming cause of Armageddon and seven kinds of divine pestilence.
I was going to say this myself. That’s what I was saying in that book review — that it gives a heartfelt and intimate portrait of the harm that is done by coercing people into intimate relationships they don’t want in place of the intimacy they do want. (Just my opinion, BTW — apparently there was some disagreement…)
However, I think it’s a bit of a leap to get from there to “Seth’s right” [that the gay activists should stop using the genetics argument. (?)] I have to point out (as did Chino) that Hafen is the one that brought it up. This so reminds me of that funny story of when I was in France during the whole Bill-n-Monica thing! 😉
Wow! I wondered how you would respond to my fairly clear demonstration that you’re just plain wrong. And you came up with an ever so clever dodge: Rather than admit that your argument doesn’t hold up, you act like other people are too upset to be reasonable.
How long did it take you to think that sentence up? Or were you able to dash it off, because it’s a ploy you use often?
My, my, my.
At least I got a shout-out, along with LdChino. Most other people you simply ignored. Talk about being upset: my comments must have really rattled you if you picked me to dismiss first.
I second what LdChino says: “Let me know when youre done ruminating on the merits of butt secks and are available to discuss Hafens talk.”
And I say that mostly because I’m fairly sure it will be a very long time, despite your ADD, before you’re able to turn your attention in this discussion to anything but your obsession with butt secks.
You know, Im really indifferent to how you view the LDS Church on this issue.
That’s a lot of commenting on something you’re so indifferent about…
Seth is the Orly Taitz of gay sex: repeatedly demanding and dismissing evidence that has already been produced, then attacking in the craziest ways possible anyone who points out that he’s fighting a losing battle.
If only there was a judge who could fine him $10,000 for being irrelevant.
This is among the dumbest discussions I have ever read, filled with as much prejudice, hate, fear and ignorance as it accuses Bruce C. Hafen of. You have neither an understanding of the LDS Church’s motivation nor of the scientific findings on homosexuality; you have been sold on the propaganda of popular culture. Open your mind, with love, to both sides of this highly-heated issue, and you may actually find some Truth. Sadly, you will probably just say some hateful thing about this comment or about me without accepting the invitation to actually look with both eyes open at what you have so far discussed with one eye shut.
Thanks for your post, Andy. I was wondering what scientific findings about sexuality people are ignorant about, please.
To answer your earlier question that I never got to Chino, I have no real clear idea of what Hafen means by “spiritual DNA.”
Good to meet you, Ryan. You are welcome to share your opinion.
It is dishonest, however, to post under three different names. If you post under any other name than Ryan in the future, I will ban your bigoted posterior faster than you can raise your right hand to sustain the prophet.
Turns out Ryan left a phony e-mail address. Don’t you love self-righteous liars?
I deleted his hateful drivel, not because his message was intolerant and bigoted, but because posters are required to submit their e-mail address.
Hellmut — I’ve let these eight Ryan comments through even though this same commenter posted earlier using multiple identities.
Ryan — for future reference, the whole “sock puppet” thing is not welcome here. If you have something constructive to add to this discussion, you’re welcome to join in. If you just want to tell us how much you think we’re wasting our lives trolling (oops, I mean writing) this blog, then your opinion has been duly noted and blogged.
Chanson, the guy posts with a false e-mail address. Therefore I will delete his posts.
OK, that’s reasonable.
On some level, I feel like — if someone is so interested in this site that he feels the need to testify to us on multiple occasions — then maybe he’d like to engage in some real discussion (rather than just informing us that Monson is the prophet, etc….). But if he can’t even be bothered to post with a real email address, then I agree it’s unlikely.
Sexual activity between people of the same gender brings misery. In addition, it causes difficulty in ability to make other appropriate decisions in other aspects of life. Nothing but misery.
Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. All human beingsmale and femaleare created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. 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.
Don’t want to discuss anything over email. I’d be glad to discuss matter over this blog of yours if you’d like.
Ryan — Don’t worry, we’re not interested in having an elaborate email discussion with you. We just want a real email address to establish that you’re sticking to one consistent identity.
If you’re serious about wanting to have a constructive discussion, please post with a real email address.
Ryan is a Prudence McPrude wannabe nest-ce pas?
This is interesting that you’ve put this notion at the forefront, since it precisely the potential happiness of these relations that threaten the discursive structure of the Church. I’m reminded of a recent story I read by a believing LDS therapist who has a gay friend, happily married to another man, and raising kids together. The therapist said something to the effect of “What if someone intervened in their lives when they were teenagers so they didn’t take this path?” In other words, what if they could be made to feel miserable about taking the path they did? Do not confuse “making people feel miserable” with “misery” itself.
Dear writer..Are you for real? Read the Bible people! What he stated was fact. Not opinion. Do the math, read the begats! Sheesh.. It is utterly rediculous the way you are picking apart the words of a man of God! You shouldn’t be pursecuting the rightous, if there were more rightous people in Sodom and Gomora it wouldn’t have been destroyed by the Lord. Woe be unto you! You who are wicked take the truth to be hard. I know you want to say “I did it my way!” Father in Heaven loves you dearly and one day you will see him again and I hope that when you do, not only will you recognize him for who he is but be able to face him with out any sorrow for the paths you travel now. Those who are persuading you to sin and separate yourself from the love of God, does not love you and will leave you alone in the end. I will pray for you, that you might one day find the peace and joy the evelasting gospel of chirst can bring to your life as it has mine.
What do the “begats” have to do with anything? Are you saying they’re evidence that Hafen’s claims (and/or the Bible) are facts, not fictions?
There are 139 “begats” in the King James version. In Hebrew numerology, 139 is also the value of GN ALHIM, aka the Garden of Eden. And everyone knows there was no Steve in that garden. Like Gina said, do the math!
Did anyone here even consider who the intended AUDIENCE of this speech was? What do you think the INTENT of the speech was? Do you think Hafen would even touch such a politically charged issue unless he was specifically ASKED to do it by a PRIMARILY MALE group of people who want to overcome their same sex attraction and asked for his help? His intended audience is NOT those who embrace their homosexual lifestyle and he is not speaking to or judging that particular group. The number of people in these comments who openly admit that they didn’t read the whole article is staggering. (Note the deliberate number of caps in my comment. I know my audience.)
Rhetoric Much — The POINT is that the article was posted to the LDS NEWSROOM SITE, so apparently the PR department thought that the article was appropriate for a GENERAL AUDIENCE.
p.s. I hope that translating this simple point into your formatting style helps make it easier for you to grasp. 😉
So, is this a promotion?
The Church has been political on the issue of homosexuality since the 1970s. Since the 1990s and the same-sex marriage debate, they’ve become more so. If you read his speech, you might see that it’s a rather political speech. Some Evergreen folks were annoyed that he seemed to spend more time defending the Church’s position and framing (rather naively) the issue than ministering.
While Hafen gets to be “Temple President”, his wife gets the esteemed title of “Temple Matron”. What a flattering title.
Let the Mormons & other religions BE!!!
A Man is created and intended TO BE a MAn and A Woman To be a Woman.(Everything in between is Merely a Man Made opinion,IT IS WHAT IT IS).
We are all at different stages in our life where we can understand only certain things but cant progress pass that point until a later time. Therefore how can a child make sense of what a adult is wise enough to grasp. You are all very smart. But you haven’t reached that level yet so you will be frustrated by trying to make sense of it.
@82 Your armchair interpretation and analysis of the lot of us has been duly noted and logged.
Im sorry you feel that way but with much love I wish you the best of luck in your life’s journey.
I am leaving this post not to instigate an argument or incite controversy, but to let the opinion of a college student, expecting father and rational member of the “Mormon” church be heard: I wish we could all just let each other be. After years of involvement with cheerleading (a sport in which the majority of men, admittedly, are homosexual), I am well-acquainted and enjoy mutually respectful relationships with a number of gay people. I understand that advocates of same-sex marriage are acting in the name of what they believe to be their civil rights. I can respect that. Gay people deserve rights, as do all human beings. However, I am unable to stomach the society in which we live, which pressures people to abandon their freedom of speech and stifle their opinions. I spent two years (yes, as a Mormon missionary) in Russia. I am well aware of what it is like to live in a place where people live in fear of what could happen should they express their opinions. It is not “bigoted” to believe that marriage (and consequently, sexual relations) should be between a man and woman. Deeply-held beliefs should not be mistaken for bigotry. It seems to me that same-sex advocates want something that is neither fair nor right: they want to be able to say and do whatever they please, and force everyone else to just accept it quietly. Gay pride parades are held all over the nation, and I am ok with that. Imagine the backlash if there was ever a “straight pride” parade! I respect gay people as people, and, to be honest, I couldn’t care less (and don’t want to think about) what happens in their bedrooms. That being said, I shouldn’t be forced to support something which contradicts my core personal values, and that is exactly what makes our country such a wonderful place to live. Same-sex advocates and marriage between man and woman advocates should be free and able to say whatever they want. That is our right, but there’s also a little thing called “human decency”. Discriminating against gay people isn’t decent. Alienating and berating those who oppose gay marriage isn’t decent. And to the creator of this website: taking a man’s words, re-posting them on the Internet and captioning them with disparaging comments: not decent. Shame on us for forgetting the words of the greatest Civil Rights Activist of them all: “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
I appreciate your tone and your candor. However, I disagree with your primary point. You want to assert that you disagree with same-sex marriage because of your deeply held religious beliefs and not because of homophobia (i.e., hatred of homosexuals). Here’s the problem. Your deeply held beliefs are based on either the Bible or modern teachings of prophets (or both), both of which are rooted in bigotry. The passages in the Bible opposing homosexuality were written 2,000 to 4,000 years ago. Opposition to homosexuality in Mormon teachings is rooted in the thoughts of Mormon prophets from the 1950s through the 1970s, though the tone has changed today to try to be less offensive (thought it generally fails on principle).
What’s my point? Well, Biblical prophets also thought it was okay to commit genocide and to stone a woman to death if she wasn’t a virgin on her marriage night. A lot of what they thought we now argue is out-dated and even offensive. In fact, it’s bigoted. Treating women as inferior to men is misogynistic and is bigotry. Claiming your “clan” or “tribe” is the only one that deserves to live is bigotry. And claiming homosexuals, most of whom have not chosen to have the sexual orientation they do, are an abomination is also bigoted.
The same holds for modern Mormon prophets. When Mormon prophets claim women should be subordinate to men who are supposed to be the priesthood leaders in the home, that is misogynistic and bigoted. When Mormon leaders claim all other religions are of the devil, that is exclusivistic and bigoted. And when Mormon leaders claim homosexuality is sinful, that is based on bigotry.
The problem with your logic is that you are missing a key part of the equation. Here’s how you are thinking about it:
Eric’s view = teaching from god
Here’s the real equation:
Eric’s view = teaching from god + interpretation from homophobic men
You don’t have to be a homophobe, Eric. Opposing homosexuality will not get you into the Celestial Kingdom. Opposing same-sex marriage is not a requirement for a temple recommend. Opposition to same-sex marriage is a bigoted carry-over from a less-enlightened past. The Mormon Church realized this with its racial discrimination and changed its policy. It’s only a matter of time before they do the same with homosexuality. You can either encourage the religion to make that change or continue to defend the bigotry of your religion.
Here’s the thing, Eric. Bruce Hafen may not be captioning someone’s words and speaking to them disparagingly, but he is certainly speaking about gay people disparagingly, which is why his words are captioned here.
Some voices are being stifled in the public arena on this issue, I agree, but this post is not an example of that. Someone like Hafen has a lot of power… most GAs have a lot of power, because of how power works in the Church. Although the “little” Mormon might have trouble seeing how their personal beliefs are bigoted, you should recognize that the Church also functions as a whole such that when a lot of people hear “Mormon,” they think things like: “Oh, that church thinks only men are allowed to be the highest spiritual leaders…that’s sexist” or “Oh, that church will excommunicate you if you are in a same-sex relationship…that’s heterosexist.” The world outside the Church is [increasingly?] culturally different, and it makes the Church harder to fit in. It’s not about “fitting in,” though — it really is about social justice issues (actual sexism and heterosexism) and when the Church wields its influence/power to try to affect everyone else — such as the ERA campaign in the 1970s and 80s or same-sex marriage campaigns in the 2000s, etc — that’s when the Church and its leaders open themselves up to be critiqued and criticized and protested. It might feel like the Church’s voice is being stifled, but really it was the Church who entered the public arena with talking points that do, in fact, demonstrate bigotry. When bigotry is “stifled” in the public arena, it’s usually an invitation for the voice to stop talking and look inward.
Both of you just proved exactly what I was saying. In the words of your most famous advocate, “Don’t be a drag, just be a queen.”
Well, there goes the rational.
Stupidity goes against my core personal beliefs, and as soon as I raise my IQ, all stupid people should respectfully be deported in full accordance of their civil rights. Bye.
Reminds me of that stadium full of white people singing, “It’s a small world” and proclaiming their colorblindness. Then they spot the brown guy and getting perturbed.
What’s with being brown. Don’t he know he’s suppose to be colorless. It’s human decency.
Then there are people who notice the lack of women in history books and so write women’s history books. Then some authority proclaims, “You don’t see men’s history books. Imagine the backlash. So stop being so divisive and stifling and learn to live as brothers.”
It’s a straight world. And one reason bigotry is so hard to get rid of is because the bigotry is a deeply held core belief.
I find Bruce C Hafen’s talk to be very disturbing as well as lacking in human decency. Not feeling the brotherly love.
Do explain how, if you please.
Please explain also, Eric, how your insistence that your religious beliefs entitle you to deprive others of rights that many courts have ruled that they are entitled to is an example of humanity living together as brothers and sisters rather than perishing as fools.
Me too. But some people (and even some churches, believe it or not) are trying to stop gay people from marrying each other.
People are actually pretty free to speak and to express their opinions in America. That doesn’t mean they are free from the consequences of their speech and their opinions, though.
It seems to me the consequences for expressing the “wrong” opinions are quite different in Russia (beating, imprisonment, etc.) and America (some people won’t like you).
I think it is, actually. There don’t seem to be any rational reasons to hold that belief. What other conclusion than prejudice, bias, bigotry, etc., is possible in that case?
Deeply-held opinions are part of what bigotry is. They are a necessary (though not sufficient) condition for its existence. So the idea that a belief isn’t bigotry because it’s deeply held is a non-starter.
It’s outrageous that they expect people to think they’re just as good as straight people! (Or at least not say otherwise in public.) How dare they!
Every day is a straight pride parade. Look out your window. See any straight people walking around? There’s your straight pride parade.
That’s big of you. I’m sure gay people must feel very honored.
Those who oppose gay marriage are discriminating against gay people. Are we at least allowed to call their discrimination “indecent”? Or does freedom of speech not extend that far?
There are so many possible points of entry into a(n) (un)healthy debate here, but instead I think I’ll just summarize with something I think I saw in a John Wayne movie somewhere.
Author of blog: “You think I am wrong?”
Me: “I think you are wrong headed.”
@92 You’re entitled to your opinion, of course. However, you appear to be speculating about the author’s character and motives (instead of addressing the points made), which I don’t think is terribly conducive to constructive discourse.
With the assistance of a failmy working/living in Angola, many in our stake were able to share love and compassion through aid with the grateful people of Angola. This video documents its receipt, set to music, using actual, real, pictures and video of the grateful people who were helped.This reminds me that small and simple things like donating usable clothing and school supplies can help to bring great things to pass (Alma 37:6).
Note: I have just received a series of comments (such as the above) that seem maybe Mormonism-related, yet not quite relevant to the post they’re posted under. Are they spam? Thoughts?