Which is better: Gay or Dead?

Horrified but unsurprised by The Gay Dot’s report of an LDS bishop saying suicide is preferable to being gay, I retweeted the link to the post. xJane sparked the following train of thought yesterday:

NotSoPoetic: (link) #mormon bishop says suicide is preferable to being gay http://bit.ly/eMtcvm
xJane: @NotSoPoetic Does suicide send you to hell in Mormonism (as it does in Catholicism)?
NotSoPoetic: @xJane It sends you to the lowest heaven with Hitler and serial killers. Only high-up priesthood holders who defect can go to mormon hell.
xJane: @NotSoPoetic wait, Hitler’s in heaven? I’m SET!
xJane: @NotSoPoetic but still, weighing theological probabilities, wouldn’t it be better just to be gay?
NotSoPoetic: @xJane From mormon perspective, yes, as sexual sin is second to killing. Gay mormons may possibly be able to get into second highest heaven.
xJane: @NotSoPoetic So, he was homophobic and wrong!

And suddenly Twitter is no longer sufficient for the magnitude of this conversation. xJane is correct; this LDS bishop, who abused the trust of a gay Mormon coming out to him by responding that it was “best to follow through the suicide than to give into men,” was wrong. First, because he’s a bigot. Second, because what he’s said is theologically incorrect from an LDS perspective.

Mormons have a much more complicated and forgiving scheme of salvation and damnation than your garden variety Christianity. The traditional view is as follows:

Baptism -> Death -> Go to Heaven

Really that’s supposed to be it. There’s a Heaven and a Hell, and if you become a Christian you get to go to heaven. It’s gotten much more complex over the years, with niggling arguments over who can perform the baptism and how much water to use, and then the Catholics had to go and add bleeding Limbo to the mix. But I think we can agree that the traditional concept of Christian salvation involves acknowledging the sacrifice of Christ through the act of baptism, which then places your name on St. Peter’s VIP list.

Mormons, being the pyramid-scheme loving, wacky new business model enthusiasts that they are, had to go and muck up the works by injecting a fat load of second chances, bootstrapping and free will into the equation:

pre-existence -> earth life -> death -> bonus round -> final judgement -> go to one of three levels of heaven

Mormons teach that prior to this life they voted on participating in God’s plan for humanity, choosing to go through with an earthly life. They were given bodies, sent to earth and view this life as a trial. Jesus dying for all mankind gets nearly everybody out of Hell. In fact, the only way to get into Mormon Hell is through deliberate rejection of entering any kind of heaven. Only “Sons of Perdition” or priesthood-holding men in leadership positions allowing them a “sure knowledge” of God and His PlanTM can be damned to join Lucifer and his rebellious angels in Hell. In a way this really marginalises the function of Jesus in humanity’s salvation. Even serial killers get to go to some kind of Heaven. Your religious affiliation plays no part in your pretty much guaranteed pass out of Hell.

Mormons believe that after we all die we go to a holding tank until the Final Judgement Day that accompanies Christ’s Second Coming. Good Mormons go to Paradise, where they are called upon to minister to those who chose not to become Mormons or didn’t have the chance to hear about Mormonism. Back on earth, the living perform the necessary rituals for dead people so that they can become Mormons posthumously and have a shot at one of the higher kingdoms of heaven.

After the Final Judgement, Human beings, based on their Mormonliness, are sorted into three kingdoms not unlike the various houses at Hogwarts. Everyone is guaranteed to at least find a home in the Telestial Kingdom, the Slytherin of the Mormon afterlife. Suicides, murderers, and the scum of all mankind will be found in this kingdom. And apparently it’s not too bad! Wilford Woodruff (allegedly) once said that if human beings knew how lovely it was in this lowliest of heavens, they’d be killing themselves to get there, and the general understanding among Mormons is that Telestial Slytherin House is pretty nice.

In the middle is the Terrestrial Kingdom for spiritual Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws, where decent non-Mormon people and backslidden Mormons will go. These are folks who never became Mormon or didn’t accept posthumous Mormonisation.

The Gryffindor of the afterlife is the Celestial Kingdom, which is for good Mormons. The top tier of Celestial glory is reserved for Mormons who are heterosexually married in the temple. (You can see how this makes being gay a problem.) For years it was also taught that a man needed at least three wives to achieve this highest level of glory, something that Fundamentalist Mormons and traditionalist LDS still believe in. Good Mormons who have done everything right, received their temple ordinances, but never got married, will serve as “ministering angels,” a bit like personal assistants to the glorified married folks birthing new spirit babies and creating new worlds to set up yet another deified Ponzi scheme.

These ministering angels in the Celestial Kingdom should, doctrinally speaking, include gay Mormons who remained faithful to their covenants. Gay Mormons who killed themselves, regardless of other issues of worthiness, would end up in the Telestial Kingdom. It’s hard to say where a sexually active gay Mormon would end up. I want to say that if the person had ethical sexual relationships, they’d likely end up in the Terrestrial Kingdom. So if the Mormons are right, repression or living a gay lifestyle seems like it leads to a better situation than suicide.

So not only was that worthless git of a bishop abusing his parishioner by telling him suicide was better than being gay, he was wrong according to his own doctrine.

And, since I believe Mormon teachings are a load of rubbish, I’ll add that he was just plain wrong.

I’ll See You in Hell

Yesterday while I whinged about how difficult LDS, inc. makes it to escape, becky said she’d party with me in Hell and lisa volunteered to bring cookies. This sounds like a brilliant plan. In fact, now that I’m going to be shut out of Mormon Heaven it’s time to start planning looking at the bright side of Hell.

Good things about Hell

  1. Being in a firey inferno will allow almost constant baking of cookies, pies and cakes. Try doing that sitting on a cloud of water vapour.
  2. People who will be in Hell (according to my Granny and my Mum): Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Eddie Izzard, Iggy Pop, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Douglas Adams, Rob Halford, Elton John, David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury and all of Led Zeppelin.
  3. To save time, let’s just say that everybody interesting are going to be in Hell, and I can look forward to some epic jam sessions. If Tenacious D is to be believed, the Devil is quite a musician himself.
  4. I’ll get a front row seat to watch Hitler take his daily pineapple up the arse.
  5. I won’t have to attend Relief Society with a bunch of spirit-baby impregnated plural wives insisting that they are SO HAPPY to be queens and priestesses to newly made Gods off creating their own little patriarchal worlds without end.
  6. I use as much foul language as I like. What are they going to do, send me to Hell?
  7. I always thought my forehead would be nicely complemented by a pair of horns.
  8. Come to think of it, my bum wouldn’t look bad with a long pointy tail as well.
  9. I’ll never have to wait for the barbecue to heat up.
  10. If that Dante fellow was right, at the bottom of hell is plenty of ice for skating, cooling drinks, and having snowball fights.

This really isn’t sounding so bad. Will I see you in Hell? I hope so.