Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Common Ground

For the past month, since I had that incident with Chris and Thomas, I’ve been in a funk with my writing. I wish I could be as bold as I used to be, but I am so scared of offending anyone now. I wanted to make my point earlier that that was never my point, but I’m still scared. I don’t want to offend anyone. That was never my intent. However, staying quiet is equally hard on me.

While speaking with John earlier today, we were discussing this ongoing “battle” between gay activists and super conservative Mormons with SSA. Both ask for respect and acceptance in their chosen lifestyles; however both sides also get defensive when someone challenges it. I’ll admit it; I don’t like feeling like my decision to stay in the church is criticized. However, I also recognize that gays who have left the church don’t want to be preached to either. Where’s the balance? Neither side is happy with this battle. In my judgment a lot of it is just how we perceive things. We choose to be offended and personally I make that choice way too often. Consciously or unconsciously, we make that choice.

Instead of really making a point with this post, I want to pose a question (so please leave your ideas in the comments, either on here or on Facebook). We need to love those who don’t have the same ideologies as us. However, I don’t want it to be enabling either. There is a balance between loving people and endorsing that lifestyle. While talking to John about it he said that he thinks that one part of it is finding common ground. So here’s the question: How do we find that common ground? What is that common ground?


  1. I think there is a very human element playing a part. We all like to justify our positions, and we don't like our justifications challenged. When I was a young gay Mormon, I justified my position to myself by convincing myself that if I was righteous enough, I could be changed. So those who claimed they tried this and failed seemed to be a threat to my position. Now I am a gay Mormon married to a woman. There are many people who justify their decisions on the idea that my kind of marriage cannot work. So I represent a threat to their position. These situations are going to lend themselves to people taking offense. I was disappointed that so many people suggested that Josh Weed should not have come out, but kept it quiet. His very existence was offensive to their positions. They claimed that maybe marriage to a woman was okay for Josh, but he should not publicize his existence. It was "don't ask, don't tell" from the other side of the argument. To be fair, there were plenty of people from all parties who welcomed Josh and his unicorn post. But there will always be some who become offended.

  2. Spencer, I am glad you mentioned the fact that 'being offended is a choice'. Please don't let someone who chooses to come to 'your' blog make you feel responsible for 'their' reaction to the things they read there. There will always me some who don't agree with your opinions, feelings, statements, or beliefs, but if they are offended, it has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them. You are under NO obligation to try to please everybody who reads your blog, nor could you, nor should you try. Ultimately, most realistic folks realize and understand that you are completely entitled to your thoughts, feelings, and insights, and if they are comfortable and content with their lives, they will not be offended by yours.

    As the 'gay awareness' movement continues full circle to include respect and understanding for ALL lifestyle choices and personal beliefs of All homosexual individuals, we will hopefully see less contention and more acceptance for all. It may not be until we have a few sitcoms and movies, depicting healthy and happy mixed orientation couples living normal lives, that people will accept a lifestyle choice that has been around since the beginning of time.

    Just as many brave, gay individuals have demanded to be accepted and respected for who they are throughout the past 20-30 years, you, my husband, josh weed, and many others deserve to have your voices heard and establish your 'place' in the world as you define yourselves and mold your lives in the ways that are most authentic to you. Hang in there Spencer and just be you.

  3. Please, it is obvious that there is no hatred of any person in any thing you've written. It's impossible to avoid offending people, it's part of life for everyone.
    Even Jesus offended people. "If the world hate you, know that it hath hated me before you....I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
    (Not that I'm saying that Chris or Thomas hate you. :) I'm speaking in general.)
    If you were writing nasty stuff, then the problem might be with what you have done. But that's not the case. These things sometimes happen when one did nothing wrong. It hurts, yes. But you didn't do anything wrong. Please don't stop writing, or write less, or write less honestly...please, please please, there are so many people to whom your writings mean so much. Your writings are so open and honest.

  4. Spencer, I really am sorry that you've been troubled by others taking offense to things you've posted here on your blog. I agree alot with what Rivka and I Define Me said. People get offended over almost anything. If we censored out everything that offended people, we may as well stop existing and blow up the world while we're at it because in this earthly state, there will always be opposition. This is what I would say to you. Write what YOU believe/know is right and true, write with love and understanding, and yet be straight forward and to the point. Sugar coating, beating around the bush, and even covering things up won't get your point across and can leave readers confused. Remember, this is your blog. These are your beliefs. If people choose to be offended, so be it, that's their problem, and unless you did something intentionally to directly hurt and/or offend said person, it's no fault of yours. Keep blogging/writing from the heart, because I really enjoy your blog. This is about you and those who want to hear what you have to say and not those who will try to tear you down or weaken you. Thank you for your blog Spencer. I get strength and courage from reading it. God be with you always


I have one rule: Be nice! That's all :)