There are 6 thoughts on “The Queer Philosophies of Men Mingled with Scripture”.

  1. This book review provides an excellent example of what happens when an author, promoting any false doctrine/philosophy, tries to shoehorn that false doctrine into the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether it is LGBT philosophy, evolution, extreme politics, or any other man-made philosophy/doctrine, you can’t do it without effectively destroying the pure unsullied gospel.

    What Pres. Lee said about theistic evolution also perfectly describes queer philosophy; just substitute the one false notion for the other:

    “When you find some of our Latter-day Saint teachers who struggle to try to explain how the Creation and the Fall of man took place and can be harmonized with the evolutionary theory of science, the net result is that the teachings of the gospel are destroyed and the theory of evolution prevails.”

    Thanks for a fine review; it is good to make unsuspecting members aware if they will take the time and effort to do a little searching.

  2. Daniel,
    Thank you for your review of Blaire Ostler’s book and philosophies.

    Her book seems to be yet another case where instead of likening (applying) the scriptures to ourselves, she applies herself and her worldview to the scriptures (1 Nephi 19:23).

    Like many today, Ostler places the 2nd great commandment to love others ahead of the 1st great commandment – to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, and mind (see Matt 22:37-39) – and equates loving one’s neighbors with affirming everything about them. Others have written much on how the second of these two commandments has been emphasized in modern discourse to the exclusion or reduction of the first.

    Also common today is for people to equate individual worth with worthiness. The curriculum for the Church’s Self-Reliance course for Emotional Resilience (see chapter 2) makes a helpful distinction between worth (or value) and worthiness (or qualification). Our value to God never changes. He loves us no matter what. But that does not mean we automatically qualify for all of His blessings. These, as we learn in D&C 130:20-21), are contingent upon our obedience to certain laws or requirements.

    Cheers.

  3. Daniel, thanks for your book review. In the first chapter of her book, Blaire Ostler identifies her three definitions of the word “queer.” She explains her third definition as follows:

    “Third, I use the word ‘queer’ interchangeably with the word ‘peculiar.’ Queer is anything strange, odd, or atypical. I find the term particularly relevant for Mormons and Latter-day Saints who often take pride in our peculiarity. The holy nation of God is a peculiar one indeed. In Peter we read, ‘But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people but are now the people of God.’ God’s people are a peculiar people, and as we fully embrace our diversity in the body of Christ, we will find we are also a queer people. In this sense, I use the word ‘queer’ to embrace the peculiarity of the people of God.”

    The problem with her definition is that it is based on a less than accurate translation of of the biblical text. The KJV use of “peculiar people” in Deuteronomy 14:2 and in 1 Peter 2:9 has been a source of misunderstanding among members of the LDS church for some time, and Ostler has created even more confusion with her “queer” interpretation. The Hebrew phrase for “peculiar people” is עם סגלה (am segulah) and does not even come close to meaning “strange, odd, or atypical” as Ostler uses the term. While the word עם (am) means “people” or “nation,” the word סגלה (segulah) means “property” or “possession.” The modern (2020) New American Standard Bible (NASB) renders Deuteronomy 14:2 as follows: “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for His personal possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” So, a more correct translation of להיות לו לעם סגלה (lihiot lo le’am segulah) would be “to be a people for His personal possession.” As noted above, there is absolutely no sense of being “strange, odd, or atypical” in this Hebrew phrase. We are to be a possession of the Lord. Like many members of the LDS church, Ostler has relied on a less than adequate translation of the Bible (KJV) to arrive at her faulty understanding of scripture to justify her personal beliefs. We can properly call this “wresting the scriptures” (see Alma 41:1).

    The Greek word translated as “peculiar” in the KJV translation of 1 Peter 2:9 (περιποίησιν peripoiesin) has the same meaning as the Hebrew word סגלה (segulah). As such, the NASB translation of this verse is: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” As with the passage in Deuteronomy, the passage in 1 Peter in no way teaches that God’s people are to be “strange, odd, or atypical,” or “queer” as Ostler would twist the meaning even more. This verse repeats that we are to be “a people for God’s own possession.” In other words, we belong to him; He is our master and we are his servants.

    • Very well put. One can see the intent of that word even better in Exodus 19:5, “if you will obey me faithfully and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured-possession among all the people.”
      I am borrowing that phrasing from Haim ben Yosef Tawil, An Akkadian Lexical Companion for Biblical Hebrew (KTAV, 2009), 257.

  4. While it is true that Blaire Ostler’s disregard for and intolerance of Latter-day Saint orthodoxy is regrettable, it is also true that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has come to accept the fact that same-sex marriage is now Constitutional – while previously attempting to prevent its legal acceptance within our pluralistic civil society.

    Just as a previous generation rejected Latter-day Saint plural marriage, and managed to have it declared illegal (as part of the “twin relics of barbarism,” polygamy and slavery), so now once again we must face the ironic tendency of a “dominant” culture to dictate its own version of Sharia Law. For those of us who take Lehi’s Law of Opposition seriously (II Nephi 2), the message of free choice should be clear: Preach all you want, but no coercion can be permitted. Not upon the Church, nor upon the individual. Just loving boundary maintenance, when necessary.

    Blaire Ostler’s failure to accept that reality may be unfortunate, but she has voted with her feet. We should wish her well, while realizing that her theologizing is simply absurd.

  5. We live in a sick and depraved world when garbage such as this is published and praised. I’d like to be a fly on the wall when the author stands at the bar of judgement. Goodness, what a mess! Thanks for exposing and explaining. Keep up the good work.

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