Friday, September 15, 2006

Response to John Galt

For the first time I read John Galt's blog tonight, and originally wrote the following as a comment. The longer it became, the more I felt it should be here, and not there.

A few posts ago, in response to my friend Ariane (a very wise person...) John Galt wrote:

To me, either the church is true or the church is not true. To say that it is still true, that the plan of salvation is REAL, but perhaps its doctrine concerning gay relationships is wrong... that two men CAN be together... well, to me that just doesn't fit.

Sadly, that is also the reality for me. I had always realized that there were "cultural" things about the church that I was able to dismiss as inventions of men, but that the doctrine the church leaders put forward as revelations they had received from God was all true. So when there was something hard to swallow, I could build on my belief in the SYSTEM, the idea of revelation, and convince myself that even difficult doctrines were true.

In the weeks after Chris came out to me, we spent hours and hours pouring over his experience as a gay child, adolescent and man. In Mormon terms, I received witnesses as powerful as I've ever had that his experience was "true," that his soul and spirit are gay and that has always been and will always be. When I lined that witness up against the church's doctrine, I knew which one was not true. After that realization, that something the church said came from God was in fact an invention of men (well-intentioned, caring men, but men nonetheless) I could no longer rely on the SYSTEM and many of my other beliefs in Mormon doctrine unraveled as a result.

I have friends and family who seem to be able to let this kind of thing roll off their backs, to believe what they are able to believe, and judge for themselves what is revelation and what's not, and therefore remain actively Mormon even though some of the doctrines don't ring true to them. I am not able to do this. To quote John Galt again, it's either true or it's not, as a package. There isn't a half-way Mormon for me.

That said, my experience is a result of extremely personal revelation, and one of the things I think I've learned over the past year is that truth may be relative, even for God. I believe in a God that would manifest the absolute truthfulness of one idea or path to someone for whom that is the best way, and the opposite to someone else. I believe in a God whose wisdom is so infinite that he is able to see countless individuals' complex situations, help them find their way, and confirm that way as truth. I think we get ourselves into trouble when we compare one person's truth to another's and attempt to judge one as "correct" and anything else as "false."

John Galt, I hope you receive inspiriation and revelation for you and your family, that your truth is made manifest to you, and that all of us can continue to support and love one another despite our differences of belief.


Elbow said...


You are so wonderful. I love your perspective. You have an amazing view on what all this "gay stuff" is all about.

I just wanted to say thank you for sharing, and that I really respect you.

johngalt said...


Your comment on my blog led me here.

My wife and I stayed up talking about your words most of the night. You and Chris feel almost like family in a way. Because you've been here, whether you know it or
not, in our many secret dark hopeless discussions late at night.

My wife first heard about your situation 8 months ago and was too afraid to tell me. Afraid that it would "influence" me. I found out from another friend and to be honest, it did give me some comfort at the time. Forgive me for taking solace in your pain. I'm so sorry.

As we watched it unravel further and further I felt desperate for our own future.

In the end, as you've read, our paths took a different turn. But please do not ever think that we for a second judge you or do not support you both. Never.

We too believe that my experience as a gay child, adolescent and man are true. Of course they are. Anyone who disputes that is ignorant of this situation. None of us chose this, at least not in this life.

For me, the critical difference in what I've read in your post is that I believe my body is gay but not my spirit. That rings true to me as strongly as my own attractions do.

But I'm not here to convince you of that. I am just happy to hear you. We love you, both of you. We will reach out.


Chris said...

I'm so pleased that KK has made her voice heard again here on HURRICANE. I've learned so much from her, and she is, as she says in her comment on john galt's blog, a very good listener.

santorio said...

a generation ago, the same conflict, then in the clothing of race or gender inequality, led many of us out of the church [my wife] or to compartmentalize the church [me]. we kept on coming, holding positions, etc. as long as our kids were at home [they could choose for themselves but we wanted them to have the same background as we had]. kids are gone, she no longer attends, i do so but feel increasingly alienated. i think its time to change wards; that always helps.

cate said...


You wrote: 'I think we get ourselves into trouble when we compare one person's truth to another's and attempt to judge one as "correct" and anything else as "false."'

So often when I am reading posts from you and Chris, I think of the Jack Johnson song "Never Know". It contains the lyrics "Knock, knock, coming door to door, to tell you that their metaphor is better than yours..." It just seems so fitting.