Mormons! You remember them, right? They’re the ones who gave all that money to California’s Prop 8!
MormonLeaks, an Internet transparency group has released a 1981 church guidebook that explains that jerking off will make you gay. That’s right, Mormon boys with wads of tissues under their bed are probably fantasizing about other dudes.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that pleasuring yourself should be forbidden because it can turn young people gay and make them in to criminals, according to the guidebook, which claims:
“Early masturbation experiences introduce the individual to sexual thoughts which may become habit forming and reinforcing to homosexual interests. Masturbation is almost universal among those who engage in homosexual behavior, and is a very difficult habit for most to overcome.”
I agree! I have been doing myself for half a century.
The church believes homosexuality involves violent or criminal behavior, the guidebook says. Plus, it goes on to explain that gayness is a learned behavior influenced by unhealthy development in early childhood, and that absentee fathers and dominant mothers the reason for these developmental issues.
The guidebook advises counseling Mormons that have “homosexual problems”. Refusing to renounce their homosexuality means gay Mormons will be prohibited from being a part of the church:
“Persons who have engaged in homosexual activities and who have not totally repented and forsaken these evil practices will not be admitted to study at or be employed by any church university, college, school, or program.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has become somewhat more tolerant of homosexuality since the guidebook was published in 1981.
The founder of MormonLeaks, Ryan McKnight, told Newsweek Magazine this week:
“If you were to track the rhetoric coming from the top leadership you will see somewhat of a shift in their views on the subject. Many members of the Mormon church still believe many of the concepts and ideas put forth in the 1981 manual. Most of the shift has come in the form of simply not talking about the issue as much.”
Many Mormons now take the position that being gay is not sinful but engaging in gay sex is. There is even an intriguing church owned website, Mormon And Gay that helps gay Mormons with ideas on keeping their faith without giving in to having sex alone or with other guys. Yet, the site does acknowledge that people do not choose to be gay.
Mormons who act on their same-sex attraction but want to change their behavior may be placed on probation; or they can be “disfellowshipped”, excluded from the sacraments while they correct their behavior; or they could be excommunicated. Church members who refuse to repent, or insist that their feelings are integral to who they are, almost always are excommunicated. They also lose the chance to be with their families on planet Kolob.
Church leaders concede change is not possible for everyone and they no longer counsel straight marriage as a solution or a “cure”. You can be gay and Mormon, but you must remain celibate, including no wanking. Ever.
The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City and has congregations and temples worldwide. According to the church, it has over 70,000 missionaries and a membership of more than 16 million. It is the fourth-largest Christian denomination in the USA.
The photographs are from Mormon Missionary Positions (2010) by Portland-based photographer Neil Dacosta, his satirical look at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ stance on gays. They seem to have gotten the message!