Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Just Because It's A Commitment, Doesn't Make It Right

I’m distracted. And a bit peeved.

I’ve been working on a post for some time now. It has great spiritual significance to me and have been formulating it in a way that I hope makes sense for those who might read it.

However, tonight something has come up.

It has almost zero spiritual significance to me (and most members for that matter) and I am barely going to spell check this thing before posting it. Why would I post this one over the other? Because I’m so bothered I can no longer concentrate on that other post, no longer concentrate on school, not on work, not on seminary, I don’t even remember my wife’s name!

I found out tonight that the bishop of a close friend of ours has committed all the men in the ward to two things: 1) To never watch an R-rated movie ever again. Also, to never watch a PG-13 rated movie without his wife’s permission. 2) To use the internet (at home presumably) only with his wife’s permission (by assigning a password on the computer that only the wife knows).

I vehemently object to A) the bishop committing members of his ward to the living of a non-commandment, non-church policy, non-doctrinal, non-recently-mentioned-in-an-official-setting-to-establish-it-as-anything-remotely-like-a-commandment,-church-policy,-or-doctrine. B) The bishop suggesting that these guys are so pathetic that they have to ask their wife’s permission to do ANYTHING!!!! (note: I’m not saying these guys are pathetic, I’m saying that the bishop is suggesting they are by making them ask their wife’s permission)

When did “no R-rated movies” become church doctrine, policy, or commandment? I know this question has been asked a million times and would refer you to two posts by Bob Caswell here and here for my exact opinion, well articulated by Bob.

Now, regarding the internet, I fully understand the bishop’s intentions, especially in light of President Hinckley’s talk during priesthood. However, why not commit those who have problems with it rather than a broad sweep? Also, what kind of a message does that send to either spouse that the wife cannot trust her husband and that the husband has no self-control? Or that the two can’t work something out between themselves? Or ANYTHING else?

(this reminds me of another thing a RS president suggested in their ward back in Utah: that the wife light a candle (which represented the sexual desire) before her husband came home. When he gets home if he is not in the mood, he just blows the candle out. If he is in the mood, then he takes the next step. WHAT?!!! Is THAT the sort of communication I am supposed to have with my wife?)

My biggest objection to this whole charade is why didn’t the bishop commit them to something that could actually increase their spirituality rather than trying to help them avoid becoming “more bad”? Why not, “will you commit to finding someone to talk with the missionaries within two months?” or “will you commit to going to the temple once a month for the next six months?” or “will you commit to studying your scriptures every day for the next month?”

Nope. He had to commit them to asking their wife if they could blog late into the night.