Saturday, March 03, 2007

Speaking of Utah

Last year, one of my Courage brothers passed around an article by a psychiatrist named Jeffrey Robinson that he said completely turned his thinking inside out. The article starts here and continues over several Web pages. And here is a print-friendly version. It didn't quite turn my head around as it did my friend's, but I did think it very strong on a variety of fronts. In many respects, my life fits his descriptions of his patients, both in terms of the genesis of their situation and how they [mis]handle it now.

What Dr. Robinson shows is how a homosexual identity and persistent same-sex attractions can be constructed, even in a religious man who would resist it. And the reason this matters so much is that while there is zero actual evidence that homosexuality is a determined genetic fact akin to eye color, the unwantedness of homosexuality, particularly acute in religious men obviously, is often cited as the proof that it is innate.

And obviously, like any psychological-genesis article, Dr. Robinson's piece can also provide valuable indications of "signs" that something may be amiss.

I should note that some of the paper's language is Mormon-specific. Dr. Robinson is a Mormon who deals with Mormons struggling with homosexuality (the article is a transcript of a speech). But it usually requires minimal translation -- "bishop" = "confessor" or "pastor" say, or when he says of SSA Mormons that:
It is not unusual for these men to have had outstanding histories of activity in the Church, to have held positions of responsibility in their Aaronic priesthood quorums or on missions, to have been Assistants to the President
... he is simply putting proper nouns onto a generalizable thought: "many do well in church and social life." There are references to "missions" as marking an adult rite of passage and stuff like that. But nothing in the article depends on or even refers to the eccentric parts of Mormon theology -- becoming a god, baptism of the dead, buried gold tablets or anysuch. Our Courage chaplain (i.e., an orthodox Catholic priest) strongly encouraged us all to read it.

Read The Whole Thing.

The three posts below were initially numbered reaction as part of this post, but I broke them apart because it just made my piece far too unwieldy for blogospheric reading.

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