Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Recent Suicide Epidemic - An Addendum

It has come to our attention that our previous post contained some unsubstantiated information. Alec Henriksen was an ally for gay rights, however not gay himself, according to a commenter.

We celebrate the lives of all of those who show their support for gay rights, especially those of our faith. It is a tragedy, nonetheless, that such a voice was lost in our community.

We apologize for any undue grief our post caused.

The same lessons remain: watch out for one another, MoHos and allies alike; know that you are all valued even if your family or others might make you feel otherwise; reach out to someone in their darkest moments and yours.

Together, no one is alone.

5 comments:

  1. We have a great need to rally around each other in support of love and life. I commit to reach out to those within my circle of influence and encourage all to do the same. Every life is precious.

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    1. We lost a young man in our neighborhood yesterday. There's no solid information as to why he took his life, but I grieve every time this happens, and it is why I blog, to bring hope, light, and humor to a topic that is still very distressing for many Latter-Day-Saints.

      OneRescued.blogspot.com

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  2. Please check your facts before posting articles. Although Alec supported gay rights, he himself was not gay.

    You obviously didn't know him. I recognize that you are trying to reach out to those who feel this way, it's just frustrating to see his memory used in a way that doesn't reflect who he was.

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  3. Homosexuality: A Straight BYU Student’s Perspective

    1) President Packer’s general conference talk
    2) The recent rash of suicides by gay teens across the country, accompanying “It Gets Better Project,” and current suffering of my homosexually oriented brothers and sisters
    3) My coauthor, from whom I have received much help and inspiration, wants it out sooner than later

    These are the reasons why I am releasing my book now. I preferred to wait until Homosexuality: A Straight BYU Student’s Perspective was groomed and edited further; however, it is not my book alone. Heavenly Father helped me write it, and I believe He would have me release it rather than keep it on my hard drive while I spend months making minor improvements. This book is destined to relieve some of the suffering of my homosexual brothers and sisters, though I don’t yet know by how much. Stuart Matis, shortly before committing suicide on the steps of an LDS chapel on February 25, 2000 in Los Altos, California, wrote to his family: “Perhaps my death ... might become the catalyst for much good. I'm sure that you will now be strengthened in your resolve to teach the members and the leaders regarding the true nature of homosexuality. My life was actually killed many years ago. Your actions might help to save many young people's lives."

    So here it is- my 165-page magnum opus to date, in raw .docx and .pdf form (google doc: https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B1u3K43P-3JoYTUzNjYwMGEtNzNmYi00ODkwLTllMzYtNjRlOTVlMWUwYTM2&hl=en
    Non gmail users, in .pdf only:
    http://rapidshare.com/files/426861209/Homosexuality_A_Straight_BYU_Student_s_Perspective_Draft_2.pdf). I invite your feedback as I’m still in the later editing stage. Summary of the book below.

    My promise to the open-minded reader is that you will be touched, you will learn things you had never considered, and your views on same-sex marriage and homosexuality in the LDS church will likely change voluntarily.

    -Bradley Carmack

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  4. Summary: The book has two parts: 1) homosexuality (chapters 1-3) and 2) same-sex marriage (chapters 4-7).

    In chapter 1, I argue that church members should have great compassion for homosexually oriented members of the church because of the personal difficulties they experience as a result of their orientation and how the Mormon community typically responds to that orientation. I quote a number of studies and give voice to the experiences of many LDS homosexually oriented people.

    In chapter 2, I explore causation, detailing both the religious voice and the scientific consensus. Elder Oaks noted how appropriate this type of an inquiry is: "The Church does not have a position on the causes of any of these susceptibilities or inclinations, including those related to same-gender attraction. Those are scientific questions — whether nature or nurture — those are things the Church doesn’t have a position on." I detail 60 statements by church leaders on what causes homosexuality. On the scientific side, I discuss 32 separate subjects to juxtapose two opposing hypotheses for the causation of homosexual orientation: 1) biological factors such as genes and pre-natal hormones, and 2) factors such as infection, molestation, and choice. Some examples of the evidence addressed: homosexual men have, on average, measurably and significantly different ratios of the second to fourth digit of their hands than their heterosexual counterparts. The anterior commissure of their brains is gender shifted away from the heterosexual male norm and toward the heterosexual female norm. Their limb:trunk ratio is similarly gender-shifted, as is their performance on visio-spatial tasks, third interstitial nucleus (a region of the brain thought to be directive of male-type sexual behavior) size and density, left:right brain hemisphere ratio, brain response to sex pheromones, cochlear sound production, thalamic response to female faces, verbal abilities, physical aggressiveness, expressiveness, and childhood gender conformity to name just a few.

    In chapter 3 I examine how changeable sexual orientation is by considering relevant church doctrines and looking at the empirical evidence on both sides.

    In chapter 4 I show why homosexuals can reproduce, contrary to popular belief, and note that they are no different from inherently infertile heterosexual couples as to their reproductive capacity.

    In chapter 5 I argue why, assuming for a moment that homosexual behavior is not sinful, it makes a lot of moral sense to support LDS same-sex marriage. For instance, I show how important family is to mortal experience and point out that celibacy does not provide a family experience, while same-sex marriage does.

    Chapter 6 contains rebuttals to common anti- same-sex marriage arguments, many of which are deeply flawed.

    Chapter 7 applies Elder Oaks's recent speech on the Constitution. Many church members have said that Judge Walker should not have heard the Perry v. Schwarzenegger (Prop 8) case, but instead should have let the voice of the people of California decide the matter. I show why this view is antithetical to our constitutional system of governance.

    In closing, I explain my motivations for writing and make invitations to the reader.

    ____________________________________________________

    Bio:
    Brad Carmack is in his last year of the JD/MPA program at BYU. He majored in Biology, performed clerk assignments for Justice Joel Horton of the Idaho Supreme Court, and is currently a teacher’s assistant for Human Resources Law and Bioethics. Brad also regularly participates in USGA [Understanding Same Gender Attraction], an unsponsored BYU student talk group.

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