For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

- Mosiah 3:19

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Last night, I went out with an acquaintance - gay former Mormon - I ended up at a bar in the gayborhood. As I sat sipping diet coke, I listened to this acquaintance tell me of all his hookups with guys from scoutcamp, to priest's overnighters, to his midnight liaisons at BYU, there no compunction in the slightest for what he engaged in.

He continued then to tell me how he had dropped out of school and ended up starting a tech firm that he boasts is worth some $20M. But it was here that he was stuck. Sex and money was the extent of this man's life. It was the source of his appeal for all the men (most of them younger 20 or under) that he hooked up with.  I tried to prod, searching for some dimension, some depth to this man. I failed, at least last night. I want to believe that people derive a sense of their lives and purpose from more than sex and money.

I suppose what as most off-putting about the entire night was not the fact that he was having raunchy, kinky anonymous sex (of which he showed me pictures and videos and to which I covered my eyes), but it was the  arrogance, the self-absorption, the self-centeredness of the man. He boasted of his contacts - meeting Bill Gates, meeting the Secretary's of State and Education, CEOs of large tech firms, etc - and boasting of his wealth, and his ability to make a success. Yet there was a certain sadness in his story, despite all the "things" he accumulated, he said to me plainly, "I want a boyfriend." I simply nodded.

As a confirmed Marxist, I'm rather tame when I meet pro-capitalists individuals, but this one was different. An hour into our "drink" his friend showed up. This kid was a punk! Arrogant asshole. The top of his class as undergrad and a whiz at computer programming. He couldn't help but tell me that he makes $58 an hour and he's only 22. To which my friend responded, in a pissing contest manner, "I bill out at $550 an hour." They both proceeded then to belittle people the bar, calling larger women "whales" and so forth. I was thoroughly disgusted.

I signaled to my acquaintance that I had to leave, he was sad that I was leaving. I think his sadness stemmed, in part from both of them thinking they were better than me and that I amounted to nothing more than a hill of beans to them. I didn't tell them what I did, nor did they ever ask. I simply sat back and allowed both of them to assume that I am under-educated, under-employed brown man.

I left the bar disgusted, and realized that my life could always be far worse. Certainly I'm happy and I don't need alcohol, money or even sex to experience happiness and contentment. The truth that "wickedness never was happiness" rang true to me last night. But let me qualify, to me complete self-conceited living is pure wickedness - attempts to break free from that self-conceited lifestyle is the essence of the gospel. I hope I'm not self-conceited.

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