The Sidewalk

A bit of Mormon culture for you: we call our way of life the Straight and Narrow Path. It’s constant in the things we ought to do, but those things determine a great many areas in our lives. Those suggestions don’t ever change but there are an awful lot of them. To walk the straight and narrow constantly is hard, as is walking a tightrope, but it’s what we strive to do.

I was walking along the sidewalk today on-campus, reading the chalk messages that the Gay-Straight Alliance had written there. Some of them are really clever, including this one: “Straight but not Narrow.” It’s clever because the majority of the students here, who are Mormon, will get it. I agree with the statement. I’m straight, but not narrow-minded. I strive to walk that path, but I don’t think gay people are wrong for not walking that path I choose to follow.

About The Original Kate

Along with artistic tendencies, Kate enjoys unusual people and is constantly striving for some sort of nonconformity. Kate offers a perspective that is thoughtful but well-written and full of images within the words. Other tidbits that might intrigue: she has very long auburn hair, and, you guessed it, her favorite color is orange.

Posted on October 11, 2007, in From Rabid-Mormon Land Known As Utah. Bookmark the permalink. 91 Comments.

  1. Duly noted, though to some extent, if you walk the path, it is the choice you’ve made, and thus it’s your path because those are the choices you make, the path you’ve claimed for yourself.
    Well, I was actually just thinking of little things. When I don’t read my scriptures for a few nights in a row like I’m training myself to do and that I think I ought to do, I’ve wandered slightly from the expectations I have of myself.
    I was actually thinking on very general ideas: who built the path is a detail that those who are just introduced to the idea don’t have to know to understand the concept. It’s a reassuring detail to the metaphor, to be sure, when learning about it in lieu of supporting the idea, but I also felt that putting lots of details behind the idea would weaken the general clarification of the connection I made with the sidewalk message.

    • Yeah, I understand that you didn’t want to launch into a theological discourse or anything. No worries there. I would react very differently to seeing that message on the sidewalk, though!

      • How WOULD you have reacted, Sarah?

      • Well, I find the insinuation–specifically aimed toward Mormons, in this case–that to not accept homosexuality constitutes narrow-mindedness very distasteful. Sure, it’s a very clever statement, appealing to the modern desire to be tolerant and nonjudgmental at all costs. And that’s a good sentiment, until we forget that some costs aren’t worth it. In my experience and from things I’ve heard, read, and pondered over, evil works not by introducing wholly new and different practices, but by slowly twisting good things around. The phrase “straight but not narrow” as you found it seems a prime example of this. I believe that same-sex attraction exists, and I’m not out to throw stones at people who think they’re gay, but I do not and will not ever condone, tolerate, or accept homosexuality. If that makes me “straight and narrow,” so be it.
        So what would my reaction be? Probably nothing beyond an eye roll and a few disgusted thoughts (similar to what I’ve expressed here). If the sidewalk were by my house, and especially if I had a hose handy, I’d probably try to expunge the graffiti.

      • I think we’ve clashed on this subject before. I think it was in high school. I think we both came to the same conclusions we have now.
        Ah, well. That’s your reaction. I still love you, despite our opinions on this one subject. But I’m happy we haven’t changed our opinions.

      • Heh, maybe so, I don’t remember. 🙂
        I’m glad too that we can still be friends in spite of differences like these.

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