Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Gay Protesters Disrupt BYU Provo Campus

Soulforce, a "so called" group touting "freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political, oppression through the practice of relentless non violent resistence" purposefully and illegally demonstrated on BYU Campus on Monday, April 10, 2006:
"We really feel that these students don't understand our message," said Jacob Reitan, 23, co-director of the Equality Ride. "They have gross misconceptions about what it means to be gay, what gay and lesbian people are seeking in this country. We need to address those misconceptions."

Though Monday evening's rally was held off campus, Reitan and other Soulforce members took that message on to BYU's grounds earlier in the day. That visit resulted in five people — including Reitan — being escorted off campus by BYU police.

Reitan said he could not reach an agreement with BYU officials that would let him give a speech on campus, so he did so without their permission. The result, he said, was being arrested.

BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said the Soulforce members were issued citations for trespassing and transported back to their hotel. No handcuffs were used, she said.
Soulforce had followed the rules, obtained the proper permits, and apparently acted appropriately to be able to hold a rally off campus at Kiwanis Park ; however, when it came to respecting the rights of 30,000 BYU students, as well as faculty and staff, they decided to break the rules, break the law, and unlawfully demonstrate on BYU and Church property. As a result, five Soulforce members had to be escorted off campus by BYU police:

Five gay activists were peacefully escorted from Brigham Young University's campus Monday after raising a mild ruckus in front of a gathering of students.

The five are members of Soulforce, a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender group. BYU police loaded them into a van after the demonstrators yelled to a campus crowd that policies of the LDS Church, BYU's owner, were killing gays.

"They made us aware of their intentions, and we told them it would go directly against our policy,” said BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins. “The officers approached them and asked them to stop and asked them to leave.”
When they did not, they were escorted off campus, placed under arrest, cited for trespassing and delivered to their hotel, said Jacob Reitan, one of the five. Other members of the group, which totaled 33, were allowed to remain and meet with students.
Just how is it that BYU and the Church have
gross misconceptions about what it means to be gay, and what gay and lesbian people are seeking in this country? Why is it not the case that it is Soulforce, and its own membership who are the ones who have the gross misconceptions about what it means to be gay? Just over a week ago, a living Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ delivered a message of truth and light about this lifestyle in a talk entitled "I Will Remember Your Sins No More:"

It is a wicked, wicked world in which we live and in which our children must find their way. Challenges of pornography, gender confusion, immorality, child abuse, drug addiction, and all the rest are everywhere. There is no way to escape from their influence.

Some are led by curiosity into temptation, then into experimentation, and some become trapped in addiction. They lose hope. The adversary harvests his crop and binds them down.

Satan is the deceiver, the destroyer, but his is a temporary victory.

The angels of the devil convince some that they are born to a life from which they cannot escape and are compelled to live in sin. The most wicked of lies is that they cannot change and repent and that they will not be forgiven. That cannot be true. They have forgotten the Atonement of Christ.

"For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him" (D&C 18:11).

Christ is the Creator, the Healer. What He made, He can fix. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel of repentance and forgiveness (see 2 Nephi 1:13; 2 Nephi 9:45; Jacob 3:11; Alma 26:13–14; Moroni 7:17–19).

"Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God" (D&C 18:10).

The account of this loving father and a wayward son, drawn from the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, is a type, a pattern, an example.

Each of us has a loving Father in Heaven. Through the Father's redeeming plan, those who may stumble and fall "are not cast off forever" (Book of Mormon title page).

"And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!" (D&C 18:13).

"The Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; nevertheless" (D&C 1:31–32), the Lord said, "he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more" (D&C 58:42).

To me, the key to the Truth about being "gay and lesbian, or gender confused" is the Atonement of Christ. As Elder Packer pointed out, those who proclaim (like this Soulforce group) they are born into a certain lifestyle, and cannot change, deny the efficacy of Christ's Atonement. They deny the power of Christ to bring change into any life, into which He is invited. They are deceived into the belief that they are born into this lifestyle; that they have no choice, and cannot change. In reality, those are the gross misconceptions about what it means to be gay. And, those are the misconceptions that Elder Packer addressed to all people everywhere.

I was very pleased to read in the press accounts the only un Christian conduct was exhibited by some of Soulforce's members, and not BYU students. There was some discussion over at T & S about BYU students treating the protest group with kindness and love. It appears that was how they were treated, even while they were breaking the law and being escorted off campus.

I suppose it was just too much to ask that the Soulforce folks follow the rules, and obey the law. They have taken upon themselves the mantle of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ghandi. They have wrapped themselves in the fabric of the true civil rights movement of the 50's and 60's, trying to make people believe their cause is just like that of racial equality and the earlier "freedom riders" who were engaged in the early civil rights struggles in this country. That too is simply another falsehood, meant to obfuscate rather than educate.

Other press coverage:

Provo Daily Herald

ABC Channel 4 News

Pink News

KUTV Channel 2 News

BYU's Daily News (About 3 min. 25 seconds into the newscast--well done)

12 Comments:

Blogger Gunner said...

Why the quotes around "So called"?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 4:36:00 PM  
Blogger Guy Murray said...

Gunner, Quotes around "So called" because I don't accept the idea that they legitmately are a group championing civil rights as did the orignal freedom riders back in the real civil rights movement in the 50's and 60's. Rather, I believe they are group wanting to impose social acceptance on a lifestyle that many individuals, not just LDS, consider sinful.

I do not consider, nor do I believe the push for "so called" gay rights is in any way equivalent to racial and other minority civil rights.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 8:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Guy,

You totally lost me on the quotes from Elder Packer's talk. You mean to tell me that you are equating "gender confusion" with being gay or lesbian? You lost me on that one. Being "confused" about your gender would apply to transsexuals, not gays or lesbians. Being gay or lesbian has to do with romantic attraction, not being confused about one's gender.

Please help me understand your thought process. Maybe I can help you understand a little better what is involved in being gay.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 6:39:00 AM  
Blogger Guy Murray said...

Good Morning Michael,

Elder Packer discusses more than just gender confusion. He discusses all those who believe that they are born into a certain lifestyle, those who believe they cannot change, essentially because they cannot or will not choose a different path,course, or lifestyle. This, as I understand from what I have read, is what many gay people believe.

I understand Elder Packer's remarks to be all encompassing of lifestyles that have been identified to be contrary to God's plan of salvation for His children. The gay lifestyle, i.e., being romantically attracted to one's own gender, and acting on that attraction is included.

I, like Elder Packer, believe that the idea one cannot change or control their same gender attraction denies the efficacy of Christ's Atonement. My own personal opinion is that there is no affliction, addiction, sin, lifestyle, or anything else that is more powerful or more all encompassing than Christ's Atonement and its ability to compleltely change an individual's life. I realize you likely do not share my belief--which is fine. You are absolutely entitled to your own beliefs and opinions. I respect your right to hold them; but, I may not agree with them.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 6:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Guy,

Thank you for the response. No one disputes that one can control sexual urges whether homosexual or heterosexual. But I must say, you got an awful lot of "assumin' goin' on there" in your comments. If the atonement of our Savior allowed you to change your sexual orientation only by exercising faith, don't you think there would have been a whole bunch of successful cases already?

How would explain to those of us (like myself) that spent many years attempting the path you are advocating why we failed despite our love of the Savior, our obedience to the commandments and our long history of service? Why did I have a breakdown over the inability to change?

If my logic serves me well, the only response you can provide me is that I did not have enough faith to realize a change.

If that is the case, then wouldn't you also tell the cripple or the cancer patient or the couple that can't have children just to have more faith and Christ will heal you? You mean that there cannot be any possible reason for God (or nature) to have allowed for these feelings?

Come on, I know you cannot be as blind to human reason as that. God tells us to reason together for our salvation, not to abandon it.

And I would respectfully ask that in your response you do not resort to "I don't know, but...." or I don't know why, but....". If you are proposing a solution as you are here, then you must account for why it does not work when applied according to the directions. Resorting to authority does not constitute a response. You chose to present a thesis, then you must be willing to defend it against both FAITH and REASON. You cannot just use faith as a substitute for reason. True faith does not mean ignoring reason (check with Alma - he talks alot about that).

Respectfully and sincerely, Michael

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Gunner said...

In life I have always felt that people who are activists do not do it to change a specific law. The laws and people's views are normally changed as a by product of these groups acts.

Their acts seem to be more about bringing an issue to the forefront of people's thoughts. In life as there is so much to occupy our thoughts that a lot of issues are swept under the rug.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 1:20:00 PM  
Blogger Guy Murray said...

Michael,

1. How do you know there are not alot of succesful cases already? How many is alot? You have uncontrovertable evidence change is impossible? See here, here, and here.

I never suggested it was easy, or could be accomplished simply by exercising faith. I believe any change, whether sexual orientation, or any other type of change requires a great deal of hard work, including a fair amount of failure. But, I believe what Christ said: that He has suffered and felt the results of all conceivable sin; He has paid for that sin, and that we can overcome sin in our own lives through His Atonement. My own personal belief is that ALL change in lifestyle is possible through Christ's Atonement. I struggle with my own lifestyle changes on a daily basis, and know these things from my own personal experience.

2. I don't know your own personal situation, and can't comment intelligently on what you experience, and why as you described it, "have failed" to change despite your efforts. Nor, am I obligated to explain the why's in your experience. The fact is I don't know the why's of your situation. I can only share the experience of my own life, and my own belief in Christ and His Atonement and its effect in my life. That's the best I can do. I don't know how much faith you have, or anything else about you. Again, there is no reason I should know any of this.

3. Unlike you I do not equate acting on homesexual attraction with cancer, being crippled, or being unable to conceive children. There are obvious differences.

4. Sexual urges are a natural part of the human condition, which God created. God has commanded us to master those sexual urges, and use them only under certain circumstances. Either you believe that or you don't.

5. The fact you and I disagree does not mean that I am blind to human reason.

6. I'm not proposing a solution to anything. I'm sharing with you my belief. You are free to have and choose your own beliefs.

7. You and I are not ever likely to agree on these issues. I am not under the illusion that anything I say will change your viewpoint. Likewise, nothing you say is likely to change mine.

Thursday, April 13, 2006 6:58:00 AM  
Blogger Guy Murray said...

Gunner, You may very well be right. In this particular case; however, I don't think that Church or BYU policy is likely to change regarding homosexual behavior, regardless of how often it is brought to the forefront of our thoughts.

Thursday, April 13, 2006 7:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Michael said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Thursday, April 13, 2006 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Guy Murray said...

Michael,

You are welcome to comment here as long as you adhere to the comment policy. Personal insults towards me, or any other person who comments is inappropriate. I delete all comments that contain them, which is what happened to your latest comment.

Thursday, April 13, 2006 2:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Guy,

I am very surprised that you deleted my last comment. I did not consider it to contain any personal insults and I apologize if you interpreted it that way. My purpose in pointing out the inconsistencies in your position was to rightly hold you accountable for your original post which I find to be very personally insulting to active and faithful LDS gays and lesbians.

I know that you only consider your post to be a call to repentence but, in my humble opinion, it represents a significant lack of understanding of homosexuality and the difference between "orientation" and "behaviour". It is this part that is extremely insulting to those of us that are dealing with this issue. It places the blame for an unchosen attribute back upon the sufferer. It can be compared to telling the cancer patient that it was his or her own fault that they are suffering or the childless couple that they cannot have children because they are not exercising enough faith.

I would, therefore, kindly ask that you re-post my last comment or that you give consideration to removing your original post as it obviously does not subscribe to the comment policy also.

Sincerely, Your continued brother in Christ,

Michael

Friday, April 14, 2006 6:41:00 AM  
Blogger Guy Murray said...

Michael,

1. Let me try to say this as politely as I can: Between our respective opinions about the this blog's content, only mine counts.

2. Only you consider my original post to be a call to repentance. In fact it was offereing a different point of view to that about to be expressed by gay activists at a university of which I am an alum, and continue to support financially, as well as in other ways.

3. As I've stated before, you and I are never going to agree on the fundamentals in this debate. You have an absolute right to your opinion and I respect your right to hold that opinion. Mine is different from yours.

Thanks for stopping by

Friday, April 14, 2006 8:22:00 AM  

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