Nothing is more frustrating than sharing what you think or feel with someone and have them respond, “Oh you really don’t think that” or “No you don’t.”
I remember several times just sitting by while someone I was in a relationship with had this sort of dialogue with herself about what I did/didn’t think or believe and her corresponding reaction to it. I remember saying at one point, “I’m going to leave and let you have this conversation with yourself.”
When I think about it, however, the more I think it is symptomatic of the much greater problem of feeling like you can “know” the unknowable.
I also think it strikes at the heart of the conflict between homosexuality and religion. By our own personal experience, homosexuals unanimously claim we were born this way and that it is unchangeable. The fundamental religious reaction to that is essentially, “No you weren’t!”
And how could they possibly know?
I suppose because they believe [insert “know”] in a host of other things that they couldn’t possibly know but which are merely rationalizations. Better yet, they are attempts to make the world fit into a nice clean box. Their box.
Boyd K Packer’s recently remarks on homosexuality at LDS General Conference reflect this very trait perfectly, “Some suppose that they were pre-set and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and the unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?”
See how homosexuals are denied any validity in telling their own story? Their feelings are dismissed without consideration because it doesn’t fit into a pre-set world view. Nowhere does he even relate how he asked God or pondered the idea. No. It doesn’t fit what I already know. Reject.
Ironically it was previous statements like this on other topics that led me out of the church. He’s right after all. “Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?”
Doh! He didn’t!
The following videos document Mormonism’s stubborn attempt at doing this. There was a time when young Mormon homosexuals at BYU were given “Aversion Therapy.” They were essentially telling these desperate young gay boys, “No you don’t”… You do not think, feel or see what you say you do.”
I had heard rumors of things like this happening back when I was a student there and I have an odd personal connection. While at BYU I dated a Behavioral Health grad student who worked in the Biofeedback Department. I hadn’t made the connection until now, but she could very well have participated in these sorts of therapies. I remember her telling me about the bulimic and gay clients who came in, but she never told me exactly what they did with them. I’ve spent some time searching for her on the Internet to try and reconnect so that I could just ask her.
I do remember breaking up with her primarily because she had once said that she didn’t think she could handle finding out later that her husband was gay. Yes, I somehow twisted that into a reason to break up with her, but I still couldn’t admit to myself that I was gay. Figure that one out.