Sunday, December 17, 2017

Bishop insists that he has the right to ask about eight year old's masturbation habits...

I just listened to this video.  I listened, because it's basically more of an audible than a video.  There's a frozen picture as two men talk about a baptism worthiness interview for an eight year old boy.

This bishop has no regard for the father's wishes.  In fact, he seems pissed off that the wife had come in to tell him not to ask their eight year old about his "chastity".  

Some time ago, I wrote a lengthy rant about Mormons and their obsession with preventing masturbation and viewing of pornography.  Mormons teach that no one should be masturbating.  Moreover, Mormon bishops interview eight year old children before they get baptized.  When children reach age eight, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints considers them to be "accountable" for their sins.  Masturbation is a "sin" in the Mormon church, so bishops feel entitled to ask children about it when they have their pre-baptism interview.    

The above video was recorded by a father who confronted his bishop about the questions he was going to ask his son.  Apparently, the man's wife had also spoken to the bishop and got very upset when she was basically told to shut up and color.  As I listen to this, I am struck by how authoritarian this bishop sounds.  It's as if he's in charge of all the children in the church.  He's free to speak to them about any topic he pleases.  

I don't know about you, but when I was eight years old, I didn't know what masturbation was.  I had no concept of any of the stuff that comes with masturbation.  I can't imagine how I would react if a church official asked me questions about my "private parts" or my habits regarding them.  I'm sure I would have been freaked out and mortified.

It's a little strange to me to listen to the father's comments, too.  He's very calm and matter-of-fact as this smug asshole bishop insists that he has the "right" to speak to his eight year old son about his sexual habits.  Granted, the bishop says that the way he asks about masturbation is sort of "roundabout".  He asks the kids if they know they should wear a swimsuit that covers their private parts.  At one point, he says, "It goes right over their heads."  Well... if it "goes right over their heads", why ask the question?  If they don't know what the bishop is referring to, why bring it up? 

And the answer to that query is that bishops are required to ask the "appropriate" questions as dictated by the church's leadership.  The bishop actually says that he's "offended" that the father is confronting him about this.  The father says he's not upset with the bishop; he's offended by the policy.  So the bishop tells him to take it up with higher authorities and pretty much insists that the higher authorities will back him up.  And, of course, the higher authorities WILL back up the bishop. To hell with what the parents want.

This whole thing is disturbing on many levels.  I know Mormons aren't the only ones who do this kind of shit.  Most really strict faiths dabble in chat about diddling.  I know it's a big deal with Catholics and Jehovah's Witnesses.  Personally, I think it's highly inappropriate and I can't understand why anyone would willingly tolerate it.  But then, I was not raised in a religion where you might stand to lose a lot if you leave it.  

To me, this really seems more about teaching members to submit to authority than anything else.  They allow these church leaders total access to their children and allow them to talk to them in private about any topic they wish.  Even if the questions are intrusive or inappropriate, the members are to respect the authorities without question.  These eight year old kids are being asked these questions by grown men.  Parents are not present and have no say, other than to simply refuse to allow the baptism to happen.    

Toward the end of the video, the bishop bears his testimony as he basically tells the father that the church's policies are the will of God.  In other words, pray, pay, and obey... and STFU about your concerns with the church's policies.  They were put in place by the leaders of the "one true church".  So don't you dare confront the bishop about talking to your eight year old about "spanking the monkey".  The church has every right to ask those questions and more as members invade each other's privacy and return and report.

Man... this kind of stuff makes me sick to my stomach.  I'm pretty glad this is a problem I don't have, since I'm neither Mormon nor a parent.  This would make my head spin.   


  1. I was interviewed when I was twelve by both my bishop uncle and my stake president uncle, both of whom thought I was baptized and either had forgotten or was lying about it when I insisted I had never been "Mormon-baptized, for a necro-dunking temple trip. I think it was the bishop uncle who asked me about masturbation. I bloomed ridiculously lately, and even though I would have had a large vocabulary by that time, for whatever reason, "masturbation" wasn't part of my vocabulary at the time. I told him I didn't know what that meant. He just said "never mind" and went on to the next question. I cannot even imagine asking that question of an eight- or almost- eight-year-old.

    1. Yeah... I don't think I knew what that was until I was a teenager.

  2. I didn't listen to the entire interview, but I wasn't fond of the bishop, either. He seemed to me to approach the subject as though he had some sort of expertise pertaining to the subject and wasn't merely the dentist or lawyer or businessman who happened to be called as the lay leader of the ward. I would have had problems with even a formally trained clergy person who insisted he needed to speak with my eight-year-old child about masturbation (though most trained clergy would understand how inappropriate such questions are for eight-year-old children and wouldn't ask such questions in the first place), but it's all the more insulting and condescending when the person in charge has no more expertise than does the average person on the street.

    1. Yeah... and he totally acted like he had the authority to usurp the parents. What an asshole.


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