Saturday, November 29, 2008

Donny Osmond: It's alright, if you don't touch

With the Mormon church having poured money into getting gay marriage somehow illegal in California, you might be wondering what the highest-profile Mormon celebrity might be feeling. Naturally, Donny Osmond isn't going to upset his church, is he, opening a page on his website to explain his stance on gay people who consider themselves to be married. (Nice to see him approaching the question with an open mind.)

Don't run away with the idea that just because he feels he has the right to tell them what to do, he's in any way homophobic:

There are many gay individuals that are members of our church. I know many of them. In fact, some of my best friends are gay.

Of course some of your best friends are gay, Donny. We all know you're not having a go at individual people, just an amorphous 'other', right?

But how can you have gay people in church: doesn't that somehow threaten all that is holy?
You ask how I react regarding their marriages. Well, I do support our Church leaders who say that we can accept those with gay tendencies in our church as long as they do not act upon their temptations.

Aha! How generous. Providing you don't actually be gay, you're fine.
Everyone has tenancies to succumb to temptation, but we all have the same standard given to us by our Father in Heaven. Whether we may be tempted to be immoral with members of our own sex or of the opposite sex, we are expected to live chaste lives. This is very well explained not only in the Book of Mormon, but in the Bible as well.

Right. But let's say that someone chooses to live their lives by their own moral code, rather than a book that you might find in a drawer in a Courtyard by Marriott; what then, Donny?
We all determine for ourselves what is right and what is not right for our own lives and how we live God's commandments. I am not a judge and I will never judge anyone for the decisions they make unless they are causing harm to another individual. I love my friends, including my gay friends. We are all God's children. It is their choice, not mine on how they conduct their lives and choose to live the commandments according to the dictates of their own conscience.

That - although not actually answering the question about gay marriage - seems fair enough. Except Donny arrives at this conclusion after running this extract from a Mormon executive:
We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

So he seems to be saying if people want to get married, that's great, it's up to them, providing nobody else gets hurt... oh, which they will, because it will bring down calamities on the nations.

It's not so much that Osmond is happy to pretend he's friends with gays while actually suggesting that for them to fall in love is a security risk, it's that he tries to seem like he's reasonable while doing the equivalent of writing a post that says 'up to you' underneath a photo of a man holding a 'sodomites will kill us all'.


11 comments:

Laura Brown said...

Everyone has tenancies to succumb to temptation,

Huh? That's not in our lease anywhere.

ronboi said...

Sounds more like his view is: ... "It's alright if you don't touch him." ANd it also fundamentally sounds like, he's alright with gays as long as no one see's him hugging one of his "gay" friends either.

Akuma said...

Oh, get serious. He's not gonna name names because that'd out his friends to the Church and would probably put him in a bad light as well. We don't want them dictating to us what we can believe or do so give him the same rights. He has his opinions -- just like the other religious types -- that come out of the faith he was raised under. Like us, he is to be allowed his opinion. And if you don't want to hear the answers, don't ask the questions.

simon h b said...

@akuma
I always enjoy a post that starts with "oh get serious".

I don't expect him to name names, it's more the strange way that guilty racists will always announce that some of their best friends are black, guilty homophobes always have best friends who are gay, and so on. It doesn't make the homophobic behaviour any better - it just makes it even sadder. Generally, people who actually have gay friends don't think of them as their gay friends - they're just their friends. And friends don't use friends as hostages in political debates.

He's not gonna name names because that'd out his friends to the Church and would probably put him in a bad light as well.

But hang on - Donny says that the church doesn't have a problem with gay people, so why would it be a problem? Unless, you know, the LDS is rotten with homophobia and one of its tenets is that gays will bring destruction on their community?

And if they're not out gay friends, could that be becuase they're connected to a church that treats them badly and, perhaps, Donny shouldn't be okay with that?

And if saying "I am friends with Mr. T, who is gay" would put Donny "in a bad light" doesn't that suggest again that the LDS is not a particularly warm or caring place?

Although, anyway, I can't quite see the difference in saying you've got gay friends, and saying you're friends with X who is gay.

We don't want them dictating to us what we can believe or do so give him the same rights.

Please, don't assume that you and I are part of a "we" on this one.

If I understand you, you're suggesting that because I feel it's fundamentally wrong for a religious organisation to campaign for a law in a State which will remove civil liberties from people who do not share that organisation's beliefs, I should allow Donny Osmond to treat gays who enjoy relationships as second-class citizens? That's a little like saying if you don't want the bully to tell your kid he can't play in the street, you have to respect the rights of the bully to not be told he can't bully.

He has his opinions -- just like the other religious types -- that come out of the faith he was raised under.

Oh, sorry - I forgot, that makes his church's support for Proposition 8 and the preaching that gay people are some sort of threat to society alright. We should just ignore it, yes?

Like us, he is to be allowed his opinion.

He can believe what he wants, yes. He can state his opinion as clearly as he likes, yes. What I don't understand is why you think that nobody then has an equal right to point out his opinion is hypocritical, self-serving, hate-filled and divisive?

Here's a little question, Akuma: you seem to have tremendous problems with the idea that I might call Osmond on what he believes, and yet you seem comfortable to question my opinion. I don't mind having what I believe questioned, it's actually pretty healthy, but I'm puzzled by your approach. Is it that - because Donny's is based on religion - his opinion suddenly becomes unquestionable? Or is it that you're only allowed to debate responses to opinions and not the opinions themselves? Or does having appeared on Crazy Horses somehow make you untouchable?

And if you don't want to hear the answers, don't ask the questions.

Ah, yes. "Look the other way, citizen, lest what you see upsets you." Or, to put it another way: "could you please just do the nothing that is required for evil to triumph, already?"

Deb said...

Perhaps you should have mentioned you cut and pasted that response from Donny from a 12/5/03 question on his "My Beliefs" page of his Website. Here is the question and it explains WHY he responded that some of his friends are gay - he was asked the question! "How do you think Christians should respond to Gay friends who consider themselves "Married" I know you have some friends like this (Rosie)? And one of my dearest friends on earth, a guy, also born 12/9/57 is like this? I support President Bush on his recent stance on this, that Gay marriages should not be recognized, yet I love my friend dearly and would NEVER want to hurt him. This one is a toughie I know and you are in a more vulnerable position than myself as you are so in the public eye, but our beliefs and faith in God should and do come first. How do you as a Christian treat your friends who consider themselves married. I know you are nice, that's a stupid question , I think react is a better word. God Bless you always."

Akuma said...

@ simon h b:
Oh, I'm sorry. I thought this was a personal attact on Donny Osmond, not the whole of the Mormon Church. In that case, let me just refer you to http://www.ffrf.org

"Please, don't assume that you and I are part of a "we" on this one."
Oh, believe me, at this point I would in no way want to be part of anything with you.

"...his opinion is hypocritical, self-serving, hate-filled and divisive" "...and yet you seem comfortable to question my opinion."
I'm not so much questioning your opinion as I am finding your contrived histrionics over Osmond's so-called replies to your "questions" laughable. Your own blog post could be labeled 'self-serving' and 'hate-filled' simply because you assume that everything he said was a lie or an attempt to toady up to the LDS. So, tell me, have YOU *always* spoken your mind on every subject - raw and unedited - to anyone who'll listen and damn the consequences?...not caring if it cost you friends, family or a job? Probably not so why should you expect anyone else to do so?

As for your Crazy Horses comment... Uh, what the hell are you smoking, anyway?

Wow, I never saw the "letting evil triumph" thing coming. I guess I'm a little too P.C. or Zen or whatever for an Inciter like you. I prefer to listen and discuss; not jump-n-down, point fingers and use large, hyphenated words because someone doesn't instantly turn away from a lifetime of religious practice upon being told that their belief were wrong. (if it was that easy, I could have rid myself of Focus on the Family AND the New Life Church a long time ago)

simon h b said...

@Deb
Yes, I actually linked through to Donny's site so that people could read it in context. I'm not sure why someone would necessarily feel the need to say 'some of my best friends are gay' in response to a 'question' which says 'you have lots of gay friends', but I suppose it might make sense.

@akuma
Oh, I'm sorry. I thought this was a personal attact on Donny Osmond, not the whole of the Mormon Church. In that case, let me just refer you to http://www.ffrf.org

It's not an attack on anyone - it's a disagreement with his position. But since he cheerfully admits he's following the LDS line, I can't quite see how you'd think the two would be indivisible in this case.

Erm, thanks for the link, by the way.

"...his opinion is hypocritical, self-serving, hate-filled and divisive" "...and yet you seem comfortable to question my opinion."
I'm not so much questioning your opinion as I am finding your contrived histrionics over Osmond's so-called replies to your "questions" laughable.

Do you actually understand I never asked Osmond anything - my post was a response to something that he posted on his website?

Still, yes - contrived histrionics which you find laughable. And yet somehow you feel the need to engage with them. You don't think that, perhaps, I'm genuinely outraged that a man who makes his living as a family entertainer feels comfortable posting stuff on his personal website that says gay people expressing their love physically will bring "calamities" down on their community and nation?

Your own blog post could be labeled 'self-serving' and 'hate-filled' simply because you assume that everything he said was a lie or an attempt to toady up to the LDS.

No, I actually assume that everything he said was simultaneously trying to square things with all his gay friends and with all his church friends. Self-serving? Perhaps; hate-filled? I'd dispute. I'm angry, and disappointed, and a little pitying, but it's not worth hating someone for being wrong.

So, tell me, have YOU *always* spoken your mind on every subject - raw and unedited - to anyone who'll listen and damn the consequences?...not caring if it cost you friends, family or a job? Probably not so why should you expect anyone else to do so?

Hang about - a couple of lines ago you called me hate-filled for assuming that Donny was lying. Now you're telling me that Donny is lying because it would be too brave to do otherwise.

The point, though, is that nobody actually forced Donny to post a long piece about the dangers to society of gay people getting married, or having relationships, to his website. It's not like he was backed into a corner, or caught by gotcha journalism. He could have chosen not to run a page on his website about it. He actively made the decision to publish a piece, wholeheartedly endorsing his church's position.

As for your Crazy Horses comment... Uh, what the hell are you smoking, anyway?

It's a joke. Sometimes, in between my histrionic hate sessions, I do jokes.

Wow, I never saw the "letting evil triumph" thing coming. I guess I'm a little too P.C. or Zen or whatever for an Inciter like you.

You're a PC? I'm a Mac. And I do things like making... oh, sorry; wrong fandom. You didn't see it coming? And yet your original comment did say "if you don't want to know the answers, don't ask the questions" - which is the same thing (unless I'm misinterpreting you) as saying 'we shouldn't ask about things if we're not going to like what we hear': in other words, let Osmond carry on saying what his opinion is without worrying about it. I prefer to be aware of what's happening on both sides of the debate.

I prefer to listen and discuss

Which is great - except, of course, again in your first post you said 'don't ask the questions'. So, how do you suggest somebody goes about discussing if they don't ask questions?

not jump-n-down, point fingers and use large, hyphenated words

Um... jump-n-down is hyphenated.

Why the worry about "large" words? Why the worry about hyphens? I've never quite understood how people suddenly start using "ah, but you're using words" as a plank of an argument.

More to the point, it's a bit rich to accuse me of "pointing fingers" - I mean, I did, but Donny started it when he pointed to the unchaste and said they were threatening communities and nations. Compared with that, pointing and saying 'he's writing some stuff that sounds reasonable at the same time as insisting that having gay relationships is wrong' is surely a little milder?

Of course it wouldn't be easy for Osmond to turn his back on the church that he's been part of all his life. The problem is that he doesn't seem to have any problems at all with the teaching on homosexuality. He says he doesn't want to judge anyone, yet publishes judgemental tracts on his website. I think that's exactly the sort of thing that, when a public figure does in public forum, it's right to have a debate about. Much healthier than just choosing to ignore it and letting it fester, don't you think?

Akuma said...

You know, I've been remiss in making any biting commentary on my own blog for a while. Maybe I should go look up someone's statements, skew them out of context and pad my blog with them, too. Maybe I should choose someone who's dead, tho, to be on the safe side...
Ah, well, I'm bored with you now. I'm going back to reading my slash fanfiction.

Akuma said...

I’m not objecting to your desire to start a debate or discussion. I’m objecting to your method of stimulation. If you had simply stated: “This is a hypothetical ‘interview’ designed to present something I find personally disturbing. The statements made by Donny Osmond were gleaned from [insert your source] but the questions are of my own design. Please read and then join me in some hopefully mind-expanding discussion” then I may’ve just jumped in and chattered along, welcoming your thoughts.

Now, I’m *really* departing. Hope more people find this blog and have the patience to bounce things around with you. I’ve got you bookmarked, now, so I can check back to see what else is on your mind at another time.

Anonymous said...

akuma and deb....brilliant. the replies were way more funny than the actual post. well done shb.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear...you discovered an irrational LDS Osmond fan in Akuma. You can always tell the LDS Osmond fans because they always refer to church as "the Church" with a capital C and they get really bent out of shape over big words. Common attack they resort to.

By the way, most of the answers in Donny's Q & A are not written by Donny. They are written by an older man called Verl Doman who has served a public affairs mission for the LDS Church and he consistently expounds the party line. He's a tool for the corporate suits in Salt Lake City. Before him an Osmond fan convert to the same church used to help Donny write these responses. She was eventually let go because...in a nutshell, she's a woman and unworthy of the LDS priesthood, not qualified when a member of the priesthood is willing and able.

And incidentally, one of Donny's nephews blew into a private, fan-owned website and appealed for yes votes on Prop 8. Expounding the same crap..."Some of my best friends are gay", "gay marriage will be the destruction of us". You know the drill. He picked the wrong website. It was the rogue private website - where most liberal Osmond fans hang - having been booted from the official boards for having opinions which don't toe the LDS party line. They tore the nephew a new one for both his message and his methodology.

I used to like Donny. Now I just think he's an ignorant, duplicitous jerk.

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