values don’t need to include phobias

Recent letter in the Salt Lake Tribune:

“I about coughed up my Cheerios when I opened the Utah section and saw a picture of two men in a lip lock (“Protesters smooch near LDS Temple,” Tribune , July 13). Some editor should be fired for having such poor judgment as to put that disgusting photo in your paper.

I have worked in the newspaper business so I can imagine the discussion that went on Sunday night at 10 p.m., right before deadline. Print the picture or not print the picture? Ultimately, it was the editor’s call, and she said, “Print it.”
Hello — this is Salt Lake City! In the future, please remember that this is not San Francisco or Greenwich Village.

I will most likely not renew my subscription unless I see some heads roll over that picture.”

REGARDLESS of one’s personal beliefs, values, morals, opinions on what a family should look like, etc. do we really need to be disgusted by each other’s displays of affection? Really, the kisses were quite chaste in the picture, and as far as I can tell they weren’t even breaking any Mormon commandments, so I just don’t get the complaint. What is wrong with love or affection? If just plain old PDA is a problem, then fine, but why the disgust?

Apparently this is "disgusting" to some people.

Apparently this is "disgusting" to some people.

We can all hold on to our values without being disgusted by those who follow a different path.

What do you think?

Is disgust of the outgroup really necessary for protecting one’s standards?

Even further, can we hold on to our own culture while simultaneously not seeking to smash everything that is different?

About shenpa warrior

"Patience is not learned in safety." View all posts by shenpa warrior

16 responses to “values don’t need to include phobias

  • M.A.

    Clearly (in my mind) what is needed is MORE exposure to Ian and Matt holding hands, Gerard and Dan smooching, Bill affectionately brushing a lock of hair from Tony’s face, Harold and Juan lovingly gazing into each others eyes. That way, something normal and, dare I say nice, will no longer seem so anomalous, eliciting fervour such that it overwhelms rational thinking. And yes, continue to honor, practice, “hold on to” one’s own culture.

  • ME

    In response to the above response, my comment is that she is swinging the pendulum pretty far in the opposite direction, using sarcasm. When the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was getting its start, there was even more persecution than what a lot of the Christian Right are now giving the gay and lesbian movement. There is no comparison between the two movements, but part of living in this land of liberty is to protect EVERYONE’s rights, whether you personally like what they are doing or not. When one culture loses their rights, every culture’s rights are then threatened.

  • Derek

    I’m firmly convinced that most people’s opposition to homosexuality has much less (if not entirely nothing) to do with any doctrinal stance on homosexuality than it does with the “ick” factor. Because it is foreign to them, they find it “icky.” And when we as humans find things icky, we want to eliminate it. Part of spiritual and emotional maturity is, IMO, learning to overcome this inclination.

    This comment to which you refer seems a perfect example of this.

  • adamf

    Funny that the 3 comments here all come from Democrats. 🙂 Thanks for commenting ME, I welcome you to the blog! Feel free to put me in my place if I’m off on something (which happens now and then!).

    M.A., that facial expression in the photo certainly adds some flair to your comment, btw. I agree though, more exposure (along with what Derek said) will lead to less “ick”.

  • Derek

    I’m not a Dem; they’re not nearly liberal enough for my tastes. I often support them for lack of a better option, but Green is more my party.

  • adamf

    Derek, please accept my apologies… I would have said “liberal” but I don’t know if every one would agree to that either. 🙂

    Perhaps, “not Republican”?

  • Stephen M (Ethesis)

    Got my sidebar edited and updated, it has been busy here.

    Can I go back to being your friend?

  • adamf

    Of course!

    The link list from the blogger site didn’t transfer over, so I’m afraid I missed a few in the move.

    It has been busy here too! We are moving tomorrow!

  • Jen

    I don’t have a problem with this type of affection being displayed. It is lewdness, groping, etc. that I do have a problem with be it heterosexuals or homosexuals.

    I think the issue comes down to what happened at the church plaza and the fact that people are trying to say that it was wrong for them to be asked to leave. Read the article of what really happened there:

    If ANYONE was acting in that way, they would be asked to leave. What is disgusting is when people act like it was a simple kiss on the cheek and try to protest it to be this when there was clearly much more going on than that.

  • Derek

    While it is a bit tangential to the OP, I would agree that there is a line which no couple, hetero or homo, should cross in public. In practice, society holds different standards for each. I know that I’ve seen a number of hetero couples who have enjoyed a fair amount of latitude in how they express their affection on the Main Street Plaza. Nor would I be surprised if the Church is exaggerating the display of the homosexual couple crossing the plaza, and that the security team on the plaza were overzealous in trying to prevent any “icky” displays.

    This whole episode is, to me, a perfect example of why SLC should never should have consented to sell the easement to the Church, and especially never should have given up the easement rights to the Church to end the civil liberties lawsuit. The whole fiasco ended up being a rather disappointing violation of the Church/State wall. But that’s even more tangential to the OP.

  • adamf

    Jen, I agree, if it happened like the guards said it did, they should have been asked to leave. In this case it seems like a matter of he-said she said though, which is kind of maddening because the side of the two men are basing huge reactions (e.g. the protests) based on something that wasn’t clear to begin with. But alas, people will jump at the chance for a temporary public display of activism.

    I also can’t imagine that a gay couple would indeed be given the same freedom that a hetero couple would on the plaza–the ick-factor, as Derek said is just too much. Not that the church is being inconsistent on this though, as far as I’m aware they discourage displays of even chaste homosexual affection on campus at BYU.

  • M.A.

    I intended absolutely no sarcasm in my post. Earnest on all counts. 🙂

    As for my photo, it’s the one that gets posted whenever I leave a comment using that particular account (if I’d been more conscientious I would’ve used the one with the tango shoe 🙂 ).

  • adamf

    Hah, I get accused of sarcasm all the time by one of my friends, almost to the point where I can’t say anything sincerely without it sounding sarcastic. 🙂

    I like the photo btw.

  • George

    The issue of the Main Street Plaza annexation by LDS Church leadership has some troubling aspects for me. However, the continual shoehorning of big boxes like Wal Mart into Centerville, Heber City, Sandy, Logan, and Parley’s Way all are equally as troublesome though in different ways.

    The common denominator for both seems to be the money. ‘He who has the money makes the rules’, whether it is the Boyer Company or the Brethren.

  • adamf

    It is indeed unfortunate. Despite how nice it is down there on the plaza, the beauty doesn’t compensate for all the problems that have surrounded it.

  • Steve

    Intolerance runs deep! But hopefully the reader doesn’t ever leave SLC, b/c in many cultures, not just say France, men often greet each other with just as or more kissing. I do it with my SE asian business contacts and we are all still hetero, haha.

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