From LGBTQ Nation:
More than 100 WalMart stores in the Intermountain West are stocking a new children’s book aimed at Mormon families to help in overcoming homosexuality.
Chased by an Elephant: The Gospel Truth About Today’s Stampeding Sexuality, was authored by Janice Barrett Graham, wife of Stephen Graham, President of the anti-gay organization, Standard of Liberty — an LDS-oriented educational foundation.
I’m guessing this illustrated children’s religious tract is in direct response to Heather Has Two Mommies. What surprises me the most is how long it’s taken for someone to make a children’s picture book showing that homosexual feelings will trample you like an elephant. I mean, isn’t it obvious? If you’re not painfully aware of society’s attempt to gay-ify you from an early age, you’ll get trampled and become gay yourself, by this stampeding gay scourge! Because that’s totally how it works! Before Joseph Smith made the Mormons, with the intent of becoming the stalwart guardians of mankind’s sexuality (with their magic underwear), almost all the world’s population was homosexual. Only Joseph Smith and his magic underwear managed to avoid the stampeding gay elephant and single-handedly took up the onerous task of producing the entire next generation.
But I’m being (only a touch) facetious. Sexuality is an emergent property of your genes, not a societally imposed “stampede” that might crush you if you’re caught unawares. You don’t get a choice as to your sexuality; it’s not a binary thing, and it’s not subject to your whims. Even in cultures where sexuality is NOT strictly enforced, and children are NOT exposed to sexual imagery every day of their lives, homosexuality exists. Sexuality is a sliding scale, and if you’re somewhere in the middle, you might have a choice as to how you live, but if you’re near one of the ends, you can’t simply override it any more than you can change your natural hair color just by dying it. You can disguise it temporarily, but your roots will show eventually.
I consider the stampeding elephant metaphor a good one (if you include the “trampled” parties becoming elephants themselves, at least), for discussing rampant memes that spread and transform societies. If you want a good example of such a meme, religion is it. It’s the REAL elephant in the room. Without such religious teachings, people might be more inclined to live and let live. Only in religion will you find the meme that sex is solely for procreation, and that any sexual impulse outside that function is sinful and means you’re a broken individual. Such a meme, when internalized, sets the stage for religion as being your only salvation, and since every one of us is subject to sexual impulses, we’re all in the path of the elephant that is religion. Even those of us that won’t become elephants ourselves, can still be trampled and damaged needlessly.
Again, only in religion, and in societies heavily influenced by those specific religions over very long periods of time, will you find a stampeding elephant of intolerance and deprecation of humanity over something as integral as their sexuality. That Wal-Mart is abetting this intolerance is not surprising, but it is rather disheartening.