October 28th, 2008

A Saint’s Lament: Not All Mormons Follow the Prophet


photo credit: Randi T.

In a stinging rebuke of the LDS Church and the recent request of its leaders, self-labeled “Mormon progressive” Joe Vogel has unabashedly declared the church to be on the “wrong side of history” by supporting Proposition 8 in California.

Molding his accusation around a litany of issues describing what he perceives to be a failure to promote “social justice and equality”, Vogel counsels God’s servants, in his wisdom, what they should be spending their time on instead: universal healthcare, government-mandated corporate leave policies, child predators, public education, and global warming. Progressive indeed—Vogel would rather see prophets become political pundits championing the entire Democratic platform.

This opposition from within the Church’s ranks is further evidence of something I came to understand yesterday: not all Mormons are Saints. The two labels are not mutually exclusive, of course, but one does not necessarily imply the other. Again we are reminded of then-Elder Benson’s words on internal division within the Church:

Sometimes we hear someone refer to a division in the Church. In reality, the Church is not divided. It simply means that there are some who, for the time being at least, are members of the Church but not in harmony with it. These people have a temporary membership and influence in the Church; but unless they repent, they will be missing when the final membership records are recorded. (Ezra Taft Benson, via Quoty)

Another recent example is Nadine Hansen, editor of mormonsfor8.com—a website that aims to “out” all Latter-day Saints who donate in support of Proposition 8. As this article notes, she too has turned against the Church to oppose its involvement in politics:

“Any group that gets involved in the political arena has to be treated like a political action committee,” said Hansen, 61, a Mormon who lives in Cedar City, Utah, and has stopped going to church. “You can’t get involved in politics and say, ‘Treat me as a church.’ “Hansen said she focused on Mormons because she is one. She said Mormons have contacted her to shut the site, saying it was being used by the Daily Kos campaign in a “witch hunt.”

Vogel and his fellow Mormons who have publicly opposed the prophetic invitation to support Proposition 8 consistently demonstrate a myopic outlook on the traditional cause-and-effect model. Ignoring the law of unintended consequences (and refusing to believe that men we sustain as seers can know of those consequences), they feign ignorance by asking such questions as “how does [same-sex marriage] hurt the average Mormon family?” Vogel is an intelligent individual who weakens his position by publicly pretending that far-reaching and long-term consequences to a major shift in the societal structure do not exist.

The axe-grinding diatribe ends with Vogel’s call to action: “Today I voice my public support in favor of treating my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as equals, and ask my fellow Mormons to do the same.” (This after encouraging Mormons to spend their time watching a movie, going for a drive, or watching a baseball game instead of doing what the Prophet has asked.)

Well, Brother Vogel, today I voice my public support in favor of sustaining God’s chosen servants in both word and deed, and ask my fellow Mormons to do the same. Individuals with limited understanding may accuse those on our side of being on the “wrong side of history”, but time and God will vindicate those who stand for truth and righteousness. When the line is drawn in the sand and, as Elder Benson said, the “final membership records are recorded”, self-labeled Mormons who oppose their leaders will, sadly, be the ones who are really on the wrong side.

79 Responses to “A Saint’s Lament: Not All Mormons Follow the Prophet”

  1. Russ
    October 28, 2008 at 8:24 am #

    I love this quote. I posted it some places where members of the LDS Church were opposing Proposition 8. They haven’t responded.

    “God-sanctioned marriage between a man and a woman has been the basis of civilization for thousands of years. There is no justification to redefine what marriage is. Such is not our right, and those who try will find themselves answerable to God.

    Some portray legalization of so-called same-sex marriage as a civil right. This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality. Others question our constitutional right as a church to raise our voice on an issue that is of critical importance to the future of the family. We believe that defending this sacred institution by working to preserve traditional marriage lies clearly within our religious and constitutional prerogatives. Indeed, we are compelled by our doctrine to speak out.” (Gordon B. Hinckley)

  2. Allie
    October 28, 2008 at 8:54 am #

    I’m certainly not going to argue with you on what the prophet has said, but it bothers me when people decide that it is their place to judge others.

    We’ve already had that discussion I believe.

    I just think that people ought to be more concerned with their own lives and less concerned with who else is or is not following the prophet.

  3. Inthedoghouse
    October 28, 2008 at 9:06 am #

    What a great post. I loved the quote by President Benson, and will add it to my list of favorites.

    In the beginning of September I wrote a post as well in my personal blog on this very same issue of the division I was feeling in the church at the time. I am afraid it has simply escalated in some areas, seeming like the days of the early church where the persecution was felt from within. But, I have also felt some of the saints become stronger as they unite in a cause worth defending.

    As an adult serving in a Young Adult Branch in Southern California, I have seen these young people come together and do incredible things. They have engaged in Internet communication on their Blogs, Facebooks, and on Twitter. They have volunteered by making calls encouraging people to get out and vote. They have stood on busy street corners with signs expressing their opinions and urging others to vote YES on 8. This week they are volunteering at least two hours a day to call over 500,000 people trying to help them understand the consequences that may happen if Prop 8 does not pass.

    Why are they doing it? I believe it is because they have taken the declaration by prophets of God in, The Family: A Proclamation to the World to heart. They have considered the words included in this document by prophets warning us of the importance of upholding these declared issues. Lastly they have answered the “call” in that proclamation which states, ” We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”

    One of those measures is Prop 8, and these Young Adults have not only realized they are responsible citizens, but members of a church lead by living prophets who declare, warn, and call upon them to show their obedience and sacrifice to the Lord.

    I am thankful for the ability I have had to look toward the younger for council and example far beyond their years. They are beautiful “left handed sheep”!

  4. Tim Harper
    October 28, 2008 at 9:11 am #

    I am not bothered by homosexuals who wish to live with one another, nor threatened by it. Neither is the LDS Church – if they were, then we would have been pushing to make homosexuality ILLEGAL long ago.

    This is not about whether or not homosexuals are entitled to the privilege of having society at large sanction their marriage (no one is entitled to any privilege, I’m writing up an essay on that right now). This is about maintaining individual rights, and reinforcing the eternal principle that no man is entitled to the thoughts or works of his fellow man – no man’s freedom is more important than the others. IE: equality.

    One of the great pillars of our society is Religious Freedom. Right now, that is seriously under attack. I would plead with you who venomously support this agenda and call us religionists bigots – would you please take a few minutes to consider our side of the story and not jump to conclusions? I’m saddened by the whole scenario: it’s symbolic of a much deeper problem in our society – we at large can’t discern between rights and privileges.

  5. Kelly W.
    October 28, 2008 at 9:37 am #

    Does anyone have any first-hand experience with Mitt Romney and Massachusetts and how Romney as a Mormon governor may or may not have influenced his state’s change in gay marriage?

    I understand Romney, as he was running for president, declared he had had a change of heart and was flip-flopping on his gay marriage stand.

    What is the current Governator’s stand on the issue?

  6. Lyall
    October 28, 2008 at 9:54 am #

    Connor,

    Thanks for the post. Just two thoughts on this…

    1) Gen. 2:24–“Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.” To Joe’s comment on the wrong side of history, it would seem that all history from the beginning of time is now on the wrong side of history according to Joe (or maybe it’s just Joe who will soon see he is on the wrong side of history and that all history opposes his stance.) The Church’s stance is not some momentary passing whim. It is a doctrinal stance that has been in place from the beginning.

    2) 2 Nephi 9:28-29 — this is a powerful warning to all “learned” including myself. What I think this scripture also highlights is the propensity of those who are learned or wise in their own eyes to shun and despise any authority other than their own. I keep this scripture in front of me to remind me often that I’m not as smart as I think I am and to remember my own falability. Unfortunately I can still get a big head on occasion, which is why when all else fails my wife is the best check on my pride. :)

  7. Mark N.
    October 28, 2008 at 10:30 am #

    I guess I’m having a difficult time understanding why we should care how the state chooses to define marriage at any given moment. If we’re worried about the level of influence that the state has over the average American citizen, then I imagine it’s up to us to re-educate people as to how little influence it rightly should have (my impression, Connor, is that this is one of the goals of your blog, if I’m not mistaken). When it comes to who has a bigger influence over our own children, I would certainly hope that it’s not the state or the public school system; the whole point of being a parent is knowing when to step in and say, “yes, they taught you X at school today, but as your father and/or mother, we want you to know that we believe that Y is the case, and here is why we believe that…”.

    I fully expect Prop 8 to lose, either at the ballot box, or in the courts when the first lawsuit to challenge a successful Prop 8 campaign comes up. When that happens, then the ball will be back in our court, which is really where it’s always been anyways.

  8. Lyall
    October 28, 2008 at 10:59 am #

    Mark,

    Please take a look at the “state’s influence” on this issue once gay marriage becomes fully integrated.

    http://www.massresistance.org/docs/marriage/effects_of_ssm.html

    sutherland also did a seminar on this issue: videos here: http://www.youtube.com/user/sutherlandinstitute

    we should and need to care.

  9. Trent
    October 28, 2008 at 11:12 am #

    Mark, prop 8 will not lose in the court. It will be an amendment to the constitution of California. Only the SCOTUS would be able to overturn it, and unless there is almost an 80% shift in their views they are leaving this up to the states. It is the reason why so many states have voted it into the constitution.

  10. Jack
    October 28, 2008 at 11:21 am #

    I find it very interesting that some individuals take issue with churches’ involvement in social and moral issues. In my mind these many religious institutions would be amiss were they to not become involved on some level. While some people decry churches for their public support of measures which uphold their beliefs and rights, which do not infringe upon the rights of others, these same people may applaud the public stances which corporations take on the same issues.
    Why should Google, Apple and others receive little scrutiny for their public involvement in these issues which may be deemed well out of their realm, while churches are reviled for speaking out on issues which pertain to them without question?

  11. Michelle
    October 28, 2008 at 12:23 pm #

    I totally agree with your blog. But you have to understand that fear of God’s retribution and things turning out in the end on our side is not a motivation to these people. They don’t see things the way we do. They have logical reasons behind why their actions and beliefs are acceptable. While we as religious people usually fall back on “God says it’s wrong.” That IS the most important argument but not to them. They either don’t believe in God or they believe in a convenient religious that accepts everything they want it to accept. I’d like to see some serious and logical social research into this subject. They have so much research and seemingly logical arguments on their side that I can’t even begin to counter. I’m not looking to argue, just to have some knowledge that supports my side. I’d like to see someone do some sociological research in the Netherlands or similar liberal country where gay rights have been around longer and see what the detrimental nature of allowing this trend is. We can always have God’s will as a comfort but we need to use the intelligence he’s given us to study this problem. I’ve heard this kind of research is hard to do though because it gets denied funding and accussed of being homophobic. A good non-Mormon supporter of fighting gay marriage who often uses totally non-religious evidence is the radio host Dennis Prager. You should look into his arguments.

  12. Mark N.
    October 28, 2008 at 1:29 pm #

    Only the SCOTUS would be able to overturn it

    Since when does the US Supreme Court have anything to say about the California State Constitution? I suppose it could go there if someone were of a mind to contest what the CA Supreme Court would say, but it would certainly have to go there first.

    Have you read the in re Marriages decision? The ruling doesn’t seem to leave much doubt that the CA SC would overrule Prop 8 if given the opportunity. If Prop 8 passes, I’m pretty sure they’ll get their opportunity.

  13. David
    October 28, 2008 at 1:33 pm #

    It is one thing to disagree with a political opinion, but is another thing altogether to target the free speech of individuals based on religious affiliation. From the Daily Kos, a popular liberal blog,

    But when the church and its members invest millions of dollars in an attempt to write discrimination into my state’s constitution and divorce my friend Brian against his will, there will be hell to pay.

    So what am I asking you to do?

    Some distributed research.

    There is a list of a bunch of Mormon donors to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign (in case that one goes down, here’s a mirror with slightly worse formatting.

    Here’s what I’m asking for:

    This list contains information about those who are big donors to the Yes on 8 campaign–donors to the tune of at least $1,000 dollars. And, as you can see, there are a lot of them. It also indicates if they’re Mormon or not.

    If you’re interested in defeating the religious right and preserving marriage equality, here’s how you can help:

    Find us some ammo.

    Use any LEGAL tool at your disposal. Use OpenSecrets to see if these donors have contributed to…shall we say…less than honorable causes, or if any one of these big donors has done something otherwise egregious. If so, we have a legitimate case to make the Yes on 8 campaign return their contributions, or face a bunch of negative publicity.

    There are a crapload of donors on this list–so please focus on the larger ones first. $5,000 or more is a good threshold to start with.

    Feel free to use Lexis-Nexis searches as well for anything useful, especially given that these people are using “morality” as their primary motivation to support Prop 8…if you find anything that belies that in any way…well, you know what to do.

    If you find anything good, please email it to:

    equalityresearch at gmail dot com.

    Here’s the bottom line for me: if someone is willing to contribute thousands of dollars to a campaign to take away legal rights from some very dear friends of mine, they had damn well make sure their lives are beyond scrutiny–because I, for one, won’t take it lying down.

    This one is for Brian and the millions like him all across the nation.

  14. Mrs. B. Roth
    October 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm #

    Not all Mormon’s are saints?? Just because someone quickly jumps in with financial support on an divisive issue certainly doesn’t give them a free ticket to heaven. Also, these evangelicals our church has teamed up with … aren’t they some of the same folks who said they could never vote for a Mormon because we don’t worship the True Jesus Christ?!

    I am personally torn and have been trying to reconcile my faith in the leaders of the church with my lack of understanding as to how gay marriage could effect my family in the least.

    Before we were ever asked to make phone calls, donate time, or money, we were counseled to study it out . I would hope people are going with reasoning a little deeper than “because God said so” or “the prophet asked me to” when it comes to this tender and personal/public issue.

    I agree with what Michelle has said.

    I admit it is a defect in me, but I need more proof.

    It has been said God defined marriage from the beginning – there was Adam and Eve … if that is THE definition, one man, one woman, FINE – but then, don’t we have to concede that PLURAL marriages were NOT part of God’s definition??? As a Mormon, this is where the issues are getting stuck in my mind. Either it’s a tight definition or an expandable one and if it is expandable … reading my great grandmother’s family history book, there was a lot of agony caused when her husband, a polygamist, was arrested FOR PRACTICING HIS RELIGION. I just need to KNOW which is right and true, because I believe God’s house is a house of order and this is a messy messy issue.

  15. Connor
    October 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm #

    Just because someone quickly jumps in with financial support on an divisive issue certainly doesn’t give them a free ticket to heaven.

    Nowhere have I claimed that supporting Proposition 8 yields a one-way ticket to heaven. Rather, the issue is obedience—those who follow the Prophet can progress line upon line in the right direction, while those who kick against the pricks of sustained leadership go in the opposite direction.

    Also, these evangelicals our church has teamed up with … aren’t they some of the same folks who said they could never vote for a Mormon because we don’t worship the True Jesus Christ?!

    And that means we can’t team up with them on one specific issue because…?

    I would hope people are going with reasoning a little deeper than “because God said so” or “the prophet asked me to” when it comes to this tender and personal/public issue.

    I and others are. For your reference, here are other meatier posts on the subject:

    Far better are the resources provided by the Church itself.

    …if that is THE definition, one man, one woman, FINE – but then, don’t we have to concede that PLURAL marriages were NOT part of God’s definition???

    Nowhere have I seen the Church say that marriage is between one man and one woman. Rather, every occurrence I’ve seen shows the Church supporting marriage between a man and a woman. Slight difference that leaves the door open for polygamy (when sanctioned by God).

  16. Reach Upward
    October 28, 2008 at 5:58 pm #

    Since the earliest days of the LDS Church, people that are no longer practicing or contributing to the church have posed as ‘Mormons’ that have a ‘more reasoned’ view of issues than the church leaders. Like people throughout the ages, they purport to accept dead prophets while rejecting (or selectively rejecting) living prophets.

    This is nothing new. It has long been the case and will continue to be the case. However, if you have someone that stands against the church leaders while actively working to fulfill a calling, paying a full tithe, and holding a valid Temple recommend, you’ve got someone that is likely on the way to apostasy. This is another winnowing to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    I think it will be interesting to see the winnowing that will occur when people that hate what religious institutions like the LDS Church stand for get the church’s non-profit status revoked for speaking out on issues such as this. Which ‘saints’ will continue to pay a full tithe when it is no longer deductible from their taxes? I suspect we will live to see such a test in the not-too-distant future.

  17. Bill
    October 28, 2008 at 8:40 pm #

    I find it interesting that the topic of “Not all Mormons follow the Prophet” has changed into “why we should support gay marriage”.

    This reminds me of Pres. Benson’s “Mothers, go home” speech. How many women responded with “who does he think he is?”

    I recounted this story in a Gospel Doctrine class. But I omitted the title and subject of the talk. People asked what the topic was. I asked,”Does it matter? If you are following the prophet, then it shouldn’t. If you want to respond with ‘who does he think he is’ then you may not want to know.”

    That satisfied the masses. But one lady kept coming back to me asking what it was. I kept refusing. Then she started saying all these bad things about President Benson. “He is the one who . . .”

    I guess that about sums it up.

  18. Frank Staheli
    October 28, 2008 at 8:43 pm #

    Throughout history, marriage has been a covenant responsibility on the part of the marriage partners to nurture the product of that relationship–the child.

    Like so many modern day social issues that are incorrectly seen as civil rights issues, “homosexual marriage” advocates have comfortably forgotten that nurturing children is the “summum bonum” of marriage.

  19. Daniel
    October 28, 2008 at 9:47 pm #

    Why should Google, Apple and others receive little scrutiny for their public involvement in these issues which may be deemed well out of their realm, while churches are reviled for speaking out on issues which pertain to them without question?

    Because Google and Apple do not claim that their stand comes from an all-powerful supernatural being. They also don’t insinuate that there will be eternal consequences for not agreeing with their political views, unlike the LDS Church, Connor, and commenters on this blog.

    Ignoring the law of unintended consequences (and refusing to believe that men we sustain as seers can know of those consequences), they feign ignorance by asking such questions as “how does [same-sex marriage] hurt the average Mormon family?”

    Feign schmein. It’s a valid question that you can’t answer.

    Vogel would rather see prophets become political pundits championing the entire Democratic platform.

    Instead of what they are increasingly doing: championing the entire Republican platform.

  20. Connor
    October 28, 2008 at 10:19 pm #

    It’s a valid question that you can’t answer.

    Oh, can’t I?

    Instead of what they are increasingly doing: championing the entire Republican platform.

    And? There’s a reason there are so many LDS Republicans: a large number of planks in the GOP platform harmonize nicely with our doctrine, beliefs, and vision of proper government.

    That the GOP leadership have failed to rule according to these provisions is an altogether different matter…

  21. Connor
    October 28, 2008 at 10:34 pm #

    Just came across this quote, and thought it relevant:

    The holy prophets have not only refused to follow erroneous human trends, but have pointed out these errors. No wonder the response to the prophets has not always been one of indifference. So often the prophets have been rejected because they first rejected the wrong ways of their own society.

    Prophets have a way of jarring the carnal mind. Too often the holy prophets are wrongly perceived as harsh and as anxious to make a record in order to say, “I told you so.” Those prophets I have known are the most loving of men. It is because of their love and integrity that they cannot modify the Lord’s message merely to make people feel comfortable. They are too kind to be so cruel. I am so grateful that prophets do not crave popularity.

  22. Daniel
    October 29, 2008 at 12:02 am #

    And? There’s a reason there are so many LDS Republicans: a large number of planks in the GOP platform harmonize nicely with our doctrine, beliefs, and vision of proper government.

    Perhaps. And why do the LDS Church and the GOP fit hand in glove?

    Possibility A: The Republicans directing the church have modeled it after their political beliefs.
    Possibility B: God is a Republican.

    Which is more likely?

    And as to the question of how precisely gay marriage will affect unrelated people, yes, I think you can’t answer that question sensibly. Every time someone tries, they just

    • resort to magic thinking (gay marriage will send out powerful waves of ‘gay energy’, toppling cities and institutions)
    • list consequences that are only negative from the POV of the religions themselves (gays will be more accepted — oh no!)
    • resort to fanciful and hysterical totalitarian scenarios (churches will be forced to solemnise gay marriages!)

    Really. I ask again. What’s going to happen?

    The only one here to even attempt an answer was Kevin Henderson back in June.

    Last thing.

    Individuals with limited understanding may accuse those on our side of being on the “wrong side of history”, but time and God will vindicate those who stand for truth and righteousness.

    Imaginative hypothetical scenarios may be fun and make you feel good about your bigotry, but it’s not a very sound basis for hatin’ on people. At the end of the day, you’re still just a bigot.

  23. Connor
    October 29, 2008 at 7:27 am #

    …it’s not a very sound basis for hatin’ on people. At the end of the day, you’re still just a bigot.

    And that’s where I draw the line on conversation. If you believe that my stance on the issue is based on any amount of hatred or bigotry, then it’s obvious that little I say or do will convince you otherwise. You’ve so misconstrued my words and intentions to fit your own preconceived notions that it’s going to be fruitless to attempt to argue the opposite.

  24. Doug Bayless
    October 29, 2008 at 7:59 am #

    And? There’s a reason there are so many LDS Republicans: a large number of planks in the GOP platform harmonize nicely with our doctrine, beliefs, and vision of proper government.

    Quite frankly, I finally abandoned this point of view this year as kind of superficial. Simply because the same can be said of probably *every* political party in America. If you talk to our Church Historian, Marlin K. Jensen, he makes the exact same argument about the Democratic party (in which he participates) with great insights. I can make lists of the ‘harmonizing principles’ of the Libertarians, the Greens, etc. *None* of the parties harmonize with *all* restored gospel principles and I believe that simple fact is too often ignored at our mutual peril.

    At any rate, I know far too few actual, breathing politicians that even follow all of the ‘best planks’ of their aligned platform so “Party Affiliation” becomes a fairly useless indicator and just as divisive, dumbing-down, and dangerous as George Washington and other Founders warned about.

    *But* as to the potential negative (and certainly unintended) consequences of giving legal standing to a change in “marriage” to elevate and validate homosexual and lesbian unions to be considered identical to ‘traditional’ marriage, then I *do* have faith that our Prophet is acting as a “seer”.

    Those links that Lyall posted in #8 about the actual unintended consequences in Massachusetts after they made (what seemed to me) a ‘kind, fair and inconsequential’ change to their laws are certainly thought provoking. Some of what has been documented is, indeed, more consequential than I would have foreseen.

  25. Connor
    October 29, 2008 at 8:11 am #

    Quite frankly, I finally abandoned this point of view this year as kind of superficial. Simply because the same can be said of probably *every* political party in America.

    Perhaps not every, but most. :) Reminds me of the following statement from Elder Oaks:

    Those who govern their thoughts and actions solely by the principles of liberalism or conservatism or intellectualism cannot be expected to agree with all of the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As for me, I find some wisdom in liberalism, some wisdom in conservatism, and much truth in intellectualism—but I find no salvation in any of them. (Dallin H. Oaks, via Quoty)

    Some of what has been documented is, indeed, more consequential than I would have foreseen.

    What’s funny is that when the gay community was heavily lobbying in some states for civil unions and “equal rights” (rather, that they would be able to receive the same privileges and opportunities as married couples), the reassurance was that they would never sue for marriage as well. In fact, such speculation was dismissed as paranoid. And now, look where we are: one step further down the slippery slope. Now we’re being reassured that nothing damaging will happen to families or society at large.

    It’s obviously futile to heed the reassurances of the very community aggressively pursuing to change the fundamental structure of society, when, like the camel and its nose, all they are really concerned about is continually progressing down their desired path.

  26. Mark N.
    October 29, 2008 at 12:50 pm #

    Google and Apple do not claim that their stand comes from an all-powerful supernatural being.

    Doesn’t Google claim to have an all-powerful supernatural search engine?

    they feign ignorance

    Seemed like they were asking valid questions to me.

    Feign schmein.

    Shouldn’t that be “schmeign”? ;-)

  27. Janet
    October 29, 2008 at 7:25 pm #

    An interesting Non-Mormon perspective on Prop 8

    http://www.afa.net/prop8video/index.html for English

    http://www.afa.net/prop8video/index2.html for Spanish

    If prop 8 fails, what is next??? Marry your dog, marry a child, take 5 husbands or 9 wives? If gender has no meaning why should a species or a number like “one” be relevant to any discussion? Who has the right to define anything that obstructs one’s own will and denies one of agency? Do we really want to go there?

    Beyond Prop 8 and back to Connor’s original post, either you believe that the church is run by God through his prophets or you believe that the church is run by men manipulating the saints by usurping God’s authority to push their own agendas. Either you believe in prophets or you don’t.

    If you believe in prophets and you believe in God, it is stupid, utterly ridiculous to say that God has no business sticking his nose in to the personal affairs of his children. So much for parental rights.

    In the final days of the Nephites, the prophet made a statement that applies to issues like this. He said that he wasn’t going to tell us too much about the personal lives of the Nephites because we would get emotionally involved and miss the point…which was that God gave us rules and commandments with consequences affixed.

    If we break the rules there are consequences now and forever. When the Nephites broke the rules they were wiped off the face of the earth. We have been forewarned of a similar fate. The actions of individuals, the courts and the voice of the people do and will affect us all.

  28. Adrien
    October 29, 2008 at 9:16 pm #

    Is divorce the next target in the battle to protect marriage? They should have put them on one ballot and saved the trouble.

  29. Daniel
    October 29, 2008 at 9:34 pm #

    You’ve so misconstrued my words and intentions to fit your own preconceived notions that it’s going to be fruitless to attempt to argue the opposite.

    No, I think I’ve represented your position quite fairly. You wish to deny marriage to a class of people, you do not provide sound reasons why, and you resort to the language of religious demagoguery against insufficiently compliant members of your own church to justify your discrimination. In this one area, you are acting in, yes, a bigoted way. This is hard language, but then the guilty take the truth to be hard.

    Some have mentioned the supposed “right to marry”. I agree that marriage is not a right in the same sense as voting, etc. But neither is riding in an airplane. Neither is owning a house. But if you’re going to deny such activities to a whole class of people, then I want really good reasons why. Thus far, the reasons provided have been really weak. To me, this seems unfair, and contrary to American values of fairness and equality.

  30. Mark N
    October 29, 2008 at 11:26 pm #

    If we break the rules there are consequences now and forever.

    But salvation and damnation are individual matters. If you, personally, don’t break the rules, you’ve got nothing to worry about. At the final judgment, the Lord will know exactly what the circumstances are that apply to each and every individual.

    If you keep the commandments, it doesn’t matter what the rest of the world does. Maybe the choices made by some saints and some non-saints will make the environment less pleasant for the saints of God, but the saints of God have never been promised that mortal life would always be a bed of roses. For all of my lifetime, we’ve had it pretty darn easy. Food, water, electricity, shelter and reasonably priced transportation fuel have always been there for most of us, but certainly not all. However, when you think of the circumstances that the billions before us have had to live under, we’ve already had a heaven to live in by comparison.

    Well, it may be that that’s all about to change.

    The mortal Moroni certainly didn’t have a pleasant environment, for all of his righteousness. From what we know, he spent the last years of his life playing life-or-death hide-and-go-seek from the Lamanites. The wickedness of the Nephites prior to their final battles broke his heart. He knew after a certain point in time that they were a lost cause, but he had to tough it out.

    The mortal test is about making right choices, no matter the circumstance we find ourselves in. If Prop 8 passes, or if it fails, the nature of the mortal test here hasn’t changed. Maybe the test will be a little harder. But, if the scriptures are to be believed, we’re up to it. The environment in which the test is administered will be taken into account. The only thing that matters is how we respond to the test, and how we respond is always a choice. We’re never forced to do anything, we always choose how to respond.

    So let’s all choose wisely.

  31. Jeff T.
    October 29, 2008 at 11:57 pm #

    Well Daniel, maybe it’s because marriage is between man and a woman? It’s kind of hard for two men or two women to participate in that kind of relationship. And we want to keep the definition the way it is, because we haven’t heard any compelling reasons to change it.

  32. Daniel
    October 30, 2008 at 12:51 am #

    Fairness and equality not compelling enough?

  33. Adrien
    October 30, 2008 at 8:05 am #

    I don’t see how what the state chooses to recognize as a marriage affects what you or the Church recognize as a marriage. Just because a couple of gays are granted the same rights via the privilege of being married in the eyes of the state doesn’t make it a marriage in the eyes of God. So what is with the new law? Why does it matter to the point that we are going to add to the Constitution? To be honest, everyone I know in Arizona is married so I don’t even think I will see the effects of the equivalent bill not passing here.

    We aren’t going to see huge weddings between gays – they are a minority in the population and I don’t even see huge weddings between straight people. So what is the deal? Other people having a ceremony of their own – people of other religions have their ceremonies and we don’t look to outlaw them (granted that would be protected). The point is, what other people do in their own space doesn’t affect us and I am always wary of making new laws for anything. That is why I am against homeowner associations.

  34. Connor
    October 30, 2008 at 8:23 am #

    I don’t see how what the state chooses to recognize as a marriage affects what you or the Church recognize as a marriage.

    This issue isn’t just about the religious rite of marriage, but of marriage as a union and unit of society. For the Church’s stance (and mine) on the desire of the homosexual community to redefine the word, see this article.

    This is more than a “live and let live” issue, with each worrying about his own relationship. This is a battle for the freedom of religion (which in most cases is now trumped in the United States by anti-discrimination law), making sure that the day will never come when churches and pastors are sued for refusing to marry or grant other religious rites or privileges to homosexuals.

    Some may scoff at the possibility, but as I noted in a previous comment, many scoffed years ago at the idea that gays would one day want to sue for marriage in addition to the civil unions they were then fighting for. And yet here we are… where will it lead us next?

  35. Adrien
    October 30, 2008 at 9:43 am #

    I have never been married so I don’t know for sure, and I believe that it depends on the state in which you live, but doesn’t marriage, in the eyes of the state, come in the form of a license issued by the state? Doesn’t it take 10 years for a common law marriage, a marriage where you don’t have a license, to be in actual effect (and you wouldn’t need a church to perform the service to enact a common law marriage)?

    My point is that being married by a church does not constitute a marriage in the law. So how would someone sue the church to do something that the church has no legal right to do? In the eyes of the state, the church service is merely symbolic. On what legal ground are you are afraid that gays would use to pave into your church.

    I honestly don’t see how the state could or would ever force a church to perform a service for someone. It’s not like we non-Mormons can sue our way into the Mormon Temple. So how could a gay couple sue the Church to allow them into the Temple and perform a symbolic service that is not recognized by the state? This sounds like the argument that we need to invade Iraq before they attack the United States with a nuclear missile because they hate us for our freedoms. When you stop and think about it, the fear makes no sense.

  36. Connor
    October 30, 2008 at 9:53 am #

    My point is that being married by a church does not constitute a marriage in the law. So how would someone sue the church to do something that the church has no legal right to do?

    The issue is, in part, about solemnization of marriage. Much like people having successfully been sued for not photographing a lesbian wedding, adopting kids out to homosexual couples, and the like, when anti-discrimination law wins over freedom of religion you get court orders punishing individuals for not compromising their beliefs.

    So while marriage may be legalized by the state, it is regularly solemnized in churches, and homosexual individuals who may prefer to coerce their pastor to do their wedding (because of family tradition, personal preference, or whatever) will find recourse to pursue such ends.

    As an example, say the LDS Church does not want to marry homosexuals. But a gay LDS person decides to shun the Church’s teachings, get married to his partner, and wants to do it in an LDS chapel. What, then?

    At the rate we’re going, pastors will increasingly be targeted with lawsuits to compel them to not discriminate—after all, if the state defines marriage as being genderless, and if a pastor refuses to comply with the law, then what is to prevent the state from revoking the pastor’s license to wed individuals if he is breaking the law by refusing to follow its mandates?

  37. Adrien
    October 30, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    In the Catholic Church, if you are not in good standing with the Church, they can and will deny you a Catholic funeral. In fact, now that I think about it, this was an issue in San Diego a while back. The Church did its will and there was an uproar, but the state could not force them.
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20050318-9999-1n18funeral.html
    Maybe this would be illegal today – I don’t live in California so I don’t know. But, why would a Church ever be forced to perform a religious rite by the state? The solution is not to create more laws in the name of prevention. Creating more laws is what brought us here in the first place.

    Say someone sues the Church to perform a gay service and the church still refuses? What then? Would the Church lose its license to practice religion? Worst-case scenario is that the state taxes the Church and, in my view, that is probably not a bad idea.

  38. David
    October 30, 2008 at 10:23 am #

    people have successfully been sued for not photographing a lesbian wedding

    I have been trying to find reliable sources of documented cases of gay opponents being sued because they don’t provide services to gay couples due to their beliefs. There is such a massive groundswell of online content in support of gay rights that I haven’t been very successful in my search. Most evidence of these cases has been from third hand sources. Has anyone found anything more reliable? This would certainly offer a more firm argument regarding what will happen if Prop 8 fails.

  39. Connor
    October 30, 2008 at 10:25 am #

    Has anyone found anything more reliable?

    I’ve posted some information on this post, as well as in comment #11 on that post.

  40. Daniel
    October 30, 2008 at 5:07 pm #

    The thing is, Connor, once you start using slippery slope arguments, it just goes on from there, and eventually…

  41. Daniel
    October 30, 2008 at 7:29 pm #

    At the rate we’re going, pastors will increasingly be targeted with lawsuits to compel them to not discriminate

    There’s nothing in the law that says that religions have to stop being discriminatory. They can still be as discriminatory as they like. All this means is that the government will not be able to be as discriminatory as religions customarily are.

  42. Adrien
    October 30, 2008 at 7:52 pm #

    If that is true, then it really is a live and let live argument.

  43. Adrien
    October 30, 2008 at 7:59 pm #

    I found this quote in the LA Times:

    “The majority opinion, by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, declared that any law that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation will from this point on be constitutionally suspect in California in the same way as laws that discriminate by race or gender, making the state’s high court the first in the nation to adopt such a stringent standard.”

    With that said, what will prop 8 do exactly? This is as if the Supreme Court of the United States said that blacks and whites are equal and the people rushed out to pass a constitutional amendment that reversed what the court said. How do reverse the court’s opinion that sexual orientation is the same as race?

  44. Kyle
    October 30, 2008 at 9:48 pm #

    I’ve read all the comments, and I’m surprised no one has drawn this conclusion yet: This is no different than mixed-race marriages, or the church’s convenient decision to accept blacks as priesthood holders.

    “Anti-miscegenation laws (also known as miscegenation laws) prohibited whites and non-whites from marrying each other. These state laws always targeted marriage between whites and blacks, and in some states also prohibited marriages between whites and Native Americans or Asians. As one of many examples of such state laws, Utah’s marriage law had an anti-miscegenation component that was passed in 1899 and repealed in 1963. It prohibited marriage between a white and anyone considered a Negro (Black American), mulatto (half black), quadroon (one-quarter black), octoroon (one-eighth black), “Mongolian” (East Asian), or member of the “Malay race” (a classification used to refer to Filipinos). No restrictions were placed on marriages between people who were not “white persons.” (Utah Code, 40-1-2, C. L. 17, §2967 as amended by L. 39, C. 50; L. 41, Ch. 35.).”

    For all of Connors, and others arguments, and the Churchs position, this same story has been told previously with the states (and the Church’s) decision to legally ban inter-racial marriages. Getting back to the point of Connor’s original post (and others before it), what do you say to the churches repealed position on plurar marriage, inter-racial marriage, and blacks in the priesthood? Did God change his mind, or were the Prophets wrong? Has society been thrust into the dark-ages as a result? Are we all going to burn in hell for it? If you ignore the rest of my post, at least answer me this.

    Since we’re keen on throwing links around without actually quoting or stating tidbits, here is one for you: http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibx.htm

    As much as the religious would like to put this on moral standing, there are a lot more significant (ie, Moral) issues that we could be addressing, and which are probably much more important in the eyes of God. Ironically, we find ourselves attached to something which most people fear, and as a result, most people don’t understand, and in which most still don’t want to understand. There is a word for this in the English language: Ignorance.

  45. Jack
    October 31, 2008 at 7:29 am #

    “I’ve read all the comments, and I’m surprised no one has drawn this conclusion yet: This is no different than mixed-race marriages, or the church’s convenient decision to accept blacks as priesthood holders.”

    On the surface, Kyle’s argument seems sound. Is this another instance of “well, we’ve always done it this way, so that’s the way it should be” ?

    The answer is NO, and the argument is fundamentally flawed. Laws against mix-race marriage were overruled because we as a nation decided to uphold the already established, overriding Constitutional principles, as well as those stated in the Declaration of Independence–that all men (and women) are created equal. Therefore, race cannot keep a man and a woman from marrying each other.

    Men and women (no matter the race, religion, sexual preference, etc.) are created equal in value, equal in voice, equal in opportunity (or at least they should be provided equal opportunity). But equal does not mean interchangeable. Men are still male, women are still female. We all recognize there are still fundamental differences between men and women. All being recognized as equal citizens doesn’t automatically mean we are all the same in every respect.

    If homosexuals want to be united in a partnership (under which, they already receive many benefits), fine. But that relationship does not and should not constitute “marriage”.

  46. Kyle
    October 31, 2008 at 8:00 am #

    Sorry, Jack, but now you’re implementing a double-standard. Equality, is equality. For one, for all. Equality for men, whether they like other men or not, they still deserve the equal benefits of marriage to their partner.

    Here is an interesting proposition. Take two individuals of the same sex, good friends, neither homosexual, say, in their 40’s. They’ve been roommates since college. For whatever reason, they have been unable to find a suitable partner (of the opposite sex), but they’ve each always wanted to have kids and raise a family. In some states, they may be considered common-law married, but this situation. As roommates, and close friends, they want to have visitation rights in the hospital, burial rights, they question “why we, together, couldn’t adopt and child”, together they have solid jobs and make a good income. They worship regularly, etc. They have never once had any kind of homosexual tendencies, or performed any sexual act.

    As lifelong friends, and “partners” in life together, they concede that they will likely never get married to a partner of the opposite sex, and as such will never be afforded those benefits of married people. One day, Terry suggests to Pat, that they should get married.

    What should society do? Is it a civil partnership? civil marriage? a regular marriage? Or do we deny them this basic right, on the grounds that they are both they same sex?

    Utah doesn’t offer any kind of “united partership” clause.

    Going back to race, you could argue that your point of view (which is the one fundamentally flawed, btw), is no different than segregation from the 1950’s. Blacks are entitled to an education, but not the same education as whites. Homosexuals are entitled to a civil union, but not the same civil unions as heterosexuals. Homosexuals can drink from a drinking fountain, just not the same drinking fountain (Kool-Aid fountain of Faith?) as heterosexuals.

    Finally,

    All being recognized as equal citizens doesn’t automatically mean we are all the same in every respect.

    I don’t think homosexuals are implying they are the same in every respect. They are the first to acknowledge that they like people of the same sex… fundamental difference. But, that doesn’t mean that we should treat them different, or with a different set of standards and rights.

  47. Connor
    October 31, 2008 at 8:23 am #

    The issue here is whether or not marriage is a right entitled to all (hence the plea for “equal rights”).

    First, the word marriage itself supports the male/female combination with the prospect of procreation (from the Latin maritare). Thus, the argument here with Proposition 8 is not about the equal treatment of homosexual individuals by the government (respecting visitation rights, inheritance, tax breaks, etc.) but, rather, society’s definition and understanding of what true marriage is.

    Second, the true right for all individuals is freedom of association, not freedom to marry. Marriage has been incorporated into government for many reasons, but since individuals through their agents of government can sanction marriages, they then have a say in what that will look like. Gay people can shack up with whomever they please (that is the real “right” in the matter), but being able to have a sanctioned marriage implies putting the matter before the government and “we the people” to petition for the change.

  48. Kyle
    October 31, 2008 at 9:50 am #

    Connor, it’s really inappropriate to post links to your own articles as defense of your arguments. Also, I’d encourage you to look outside articles which support your belief, in seeking the point of view of your own statements. Novice debater fop ah. Learn, Jedi Master, to use my own information against me.

    The latin word “maritare”, is a verb, and is the “present active infinitive of marÄ«tō. To which, is:

    present active marītō, present infinitive marītāre, perfect active marītāvī, supine marītātum.

    1. I marry, wed.
    2. (of animals) I am coupled; I have a mate.
    3. (of plants) I am grafted.
    4. I impregnate.

    As you can see, the definition of the word is loosely translated to “to bond, to mate, to couple, to impregnate.” These are not “combined” or inclusive, and much like in the English language have different meanings depending on the context. It IS NOT an accurate translation to suggest that the meaning is “to wed or mate, with the intent to impregnate”.

    Homosexual couples can bond, they can couple, and they can mate. Whether physically or spiritually speaking, you may not like the idea, but that isn’t the point. Should we get into debating the validity of this point when suggesting that earth worms marÄ«tō. They are asexual, so, they can only be homosexual. Does this word not apply to them? I can think of a few Latin scholars who would take you out back and beat your for abusing the Language of Science. :-)

    Second, we are not talking about “true rights”. We are talking about Civil Rights. You are married to your lovely wife. In one regard you are married within the Church, which affords each of you a place in heaven. However, you are also married (you are coupled, you have a mate) in regard to the state, which affords you certain legal benefits.

    The idea behind Prop 8, is that under the definition of the word marriage (derived from the Latin word marītō), couples, and mates whether animal or plant, whether heterosexual, or homosexual, have the same civil (and thus, legal) rights.

    Man, whatever happened to those good ol’ days at work when we could hash this out in person!

  49. jtanium
    October 31, 2008 at 9:57 am #

    Word. I miss the good ol’ days.

    And I just want to point out, to everyone out there, that just because a state allows gay marriage *DOES NOT MEAN* they’re going to require your church to perform gay marriages.

    That’s wacko-conspiracy talk… oh sorry I forgot this is Connor I’m talking to ;-)

  50. Connor
    October 31, 2008 at 10:14 am #

    Connor, it’s really inappropriate to post links to your own articles as defense of your arguments.

    Inappropriate? I wasn’t reference the link as a “second witness” (as one might by pointing to another source, but as a further explanation of what I was describing, so I didn’t have to rehash the information.

    We are talking about Civil Rights.

    Actually, the Court was referencing a Constitutional right, which are based on natural and individual rights. Civil rights, too, though, have to come from somewhere, otherwise it’s a privilege, not a right.

    And as I argued above, since government is involved in administering marriage, then we the people are the ones who ultimately decide what benefits that marriage will entail, and to whom it will apply. Thus, it’s put to a vote, and in most states it has been put into the Constitution. We’ll see in a few days what California thinks marriage should be.

  51. Yin
    October 31, 2008 at 10:17 am #

    jtanium,

    Well, thus far, anti-discrimination has been trumping freedom of religion. So, what’s to prevent a disgruntled gay LDS person from suing the church because they’re not being allowed to marry in the temple?

    Based on the lawsuits that have been occurring, it seems like a very realistic possibility.

  52. Kyle
    October 31, 2008 at 10:32 am #

    Yin,

    Which lawsuits? Got some links to references you can share. I’ve only heard of conspiracy theories regarding “what will happen.” (As if we had a crystal ball or three Precogs at the disposal of the Department of Precrime.)

    Oh, and Yin, be sure to site actual references, such a legal briefs, etc. Not, some pinko-liberal blog where someone is rehashing a story they heard from someone else.

  53. jtanium
    October 31, 2008 at 10:34 am #

    I’m guessing the outcome would be similar to what would happen if a disgruntled LDS woman sued the church because she wanted to hold the priesthood.

    The court’s ruling would probably be something like, “I guess you’d better find a new church.”

  54. Connor
    October 31, 2008 at 10:37 am #

    Got some links to references you can share.

    See this comment.

    I’m guessing the outcome would be similar to what would happen if a disgruntled LDS woman sued the church because she wanted to hold the priesthood.

    Not so: the government doesn’t mandate what the priesthood is, nor who is entitled to qualify. When the government is in the marriage business, it can dictate whom is licensed to marry, and thus those who fail to comply with state mandates (i.e. refusing to marry homosexuals) can have their license revoked.

  55. jtanium
    October 31, 2008 at 11:01 am #

    What?!? That’s silly. Think about it. That’s like a minister who doesn’t believe in interracial marriage being forced to marry two people of different races.

    You as a marriage officiant have the right to refuse the marriage of any couple you want, the state isn’t going to force you to marry a couple against your will.

    Besides, at least in Utah the law would have to change significantly, from http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE30/htm/30_01_000600.htm:

    30-1-6. Who may solemnize marriages — Certificate.
    (1) Marriages may be solemnized by the following persons only:
    (a) ministers, rabbis, or priests of any religious denomination who are:
    (i) in regular communion with any religious society; and
    (ii) 18 years of age or older;
    (b) Native American spiritual advisors;
    (c) the governor;
    (d) mayors of municipalities or county executives;
    (e) a justice, judge, or commissioner of a court of record;
    (f) a judge of a court not of record of the state;
    (g) judges or magistrates of the United States;
    (h) the county clerk of any county in the state, if the clerk chooses to solemnize marriages;
    (i) the president of the Senate;
    (j) the speaker of the House of Representatives; or
    (k) a judge or magistrate who holds office in Utah when retired, under rules set by the Supreme Court.

    It’s pretty clear “ministers, rabbis, or priests of any religious denomination” can solemnize a marriage.

  56. Adrien
    October 31, 2008 at 11:09 am #

    If procreation was the sole reason for marriage and the reason it should be kept between a man and a woman, then we should do away with community property and alimony. Remember, this is a legal issue.

  57. Kyle
    October 31, 2008 at 11:12 am #

    Holy crap, Connor.. How many links do I have to follow to get to your point– (to which the previous post was ooo, sooo, misguided, but whatever).

    In the links that I eventually found (like 6 or 7 clicks, seriously?), I found a number of instances were civil organizations were being sued for violation of ones civil rights. I’ll admit that most of these are frivolous.. as frivolous as it is for you to sue your doctor for refusing to circumsize (sp?) your newborn baby. Go find a new doctor.

    That said, the basis for your arguments are that failure to pass Prop 8 will result in Protectionist Rights for homosexuals. In fact, Prop 8 makes no such provisions. In fact, it does not change any other existing laws, rather it succinctly defines which marriages are recognized by the state. And a hundred years a go, a similar Utah law failed to recognize a marriage between a white and anyone of another race/color.

    See here: http://www.voterguide.sos.ca.gov/text-proposed-laws/text-of-proposed-laws.pdf#prop8 (page 49).

    SECTION 2. Section 7.5 is added to Article I of the California Constitution,
    to read:
    SEC. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized
    in California.

    And you’re talking about Protectionism? Holy crap, Connor! The whole basis for this, is that you want your point of view, and right of marriage as a heterosexual protected from homosexuals. By passing Prop 8, the same argument could be made in reverse.. That you would then have the right to sue a homosexual couple because the state recognized their marriage as legally binding.

    Tell me I’m wrong, please.

  58. jtanium
    October 31, 2008 at 11:13 am #

    I posted too early…

    There’s nothing in there about complying with any state mandates to be able to solemnize a marriage.

    This whole argument that the government is going to require a church to perform gay marriage is beyond ludicrous.

  59. Curtis
    October 31, 2008 at 7:54 pm #

    I guess Steve Young doesn’t follow the prophet then.

    http://cbs5.com/local/steve.young.prop8.2.853885.html

  60. Josh Williams
    October 31, 2008 at 8:20 pm #

    A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

    ~Friedrich Nietzsche

  61. Daniel
    October 31, 2008 at 9:50 pm #

    I can’t believe you tried to define marriage… using Latin.

    Have we never heard of semantic shift? You can’t stop the meaning of words from changing.

    Nor the definition of marriage, for that matter.

  62. Joe
    October 31, 2008 at 10:56 pm #

    Kyle,
    You said of earthworms…
    “They are asexual, so, they can only be homosexual. Does this word not apply to them? ”

    All earthworms are hermaphrodites .

    “All earthworms are hermaphrodites (that is, a single individual can produce both male and female gametes, the eggs and sperm). Eggs are produced when two earthworms inseminate each other during mating. Hermaphroditism makes possible two exchanges of sperms, instead of only one, when two individuals meet.

    The sex organs, which produce the eggs and the sperm, are open to the ventral, or lower, surface on particular segments, which differ depending upon the species. There are two male openings, and two pairs of small sacs, the sperm receptacles. During mating, these receive sperm from the other partner. The eggs, formed in a pair of ovaries, are released from the oviducts into one of two tiny pores: the female genital openings. The male and female sexual openings (the gonopores) are situated on or near the clitellum. This ring-like, glandular swelling secretes a cocoon for the reception of the eggs. ”

    http://www.amonline.net.au/factsheets/earthworms.htm

  63. Daniel
    November 1, 2008 at 12:03 am #

    I am firmly on the fence regarding the rights of humans to marry earthworms.

  64. Connor
    November 1, 2008 at 9:39 am #

    I guess Steve Young doesn’t follow the prophet then.

    Actually, it’s his wife.

  65. Carborendum
    November 1, 2008 at 8:54 pm #

    There is a point at which tolerance ceases to be a virtue.

    I’ve personally known five gay men. I’ve personally known two lesbians.

    But four of the five gay men I’ve known had the attitude that the world owed them something. They felt that since they were gay, they were better than heterosexuals and so required that we BOW TO THEIR WHIMS. And they weren’t afraid to use lawsuits to get what they wanted.

    They were extemely liberal. They constantly talked about how they were mistreated by “religious zealots”. How they looked forward to a day when all religions were relegated to what they “really are — outdated myth and legend”.

    The fifth gay man was actually a firm Republican. He was NOT so pushy. He did NOT expect special treatment because he was gay. He simply left his faith because he realized that he didn’t share the same values.

    Of the lesbians, one was a foreign worker, and the other was fairly quiet on the subject of politics. So I don’t know what their political leanings were.

    This tells me that the danger is not homosexuals or homosexuality. It is the liberal agenda using homosexuals (among many other tools) as a weapon to shut down religion. Just look at how this one issue is seeking to destroy the Boy Scouts of America.

    It was only the beginning because they knew they could not destroy religion in one blow. But they can step on toes first (the Boy Scouts being a religiously supported, yet independently secular, organization). Even when they lost the major lawsuit, they’re doing everything they can to whittle it down on other issues. But now, they’re winning the lawsuits.

    I have no problem believing this is just the beginning.

    It seems to play out like a chess game.

    Church (among others): Pass Prop 22.
    FLAG: have a liberal judge say Prop 22 was unconstitutional.
    Church: Priesthood NO LONGER TO PERFORM ANY CIVIL MARRIAGES IN CALIFORNIA. Support Prop 8.
    FLAG: See that Prop 8 fails (which I believe it will).
    Church: Change procedural manuals on marriages and temple recommends to add more requirements to marry in the temple.
    FLAG: Sue the Church for being discriminatory.
    Church: Show the church directive that NO civil ceremonies are to be performed by church officers.
    FLAG: While losing the lawsuit, make sure Obama appoints the most liberal judges he can find to the Supreme Court.
    Church: Lose a lawsuit that will go to the USSC.

    Then what? Will people actually give up their religious standards to bow to governmental authority? King before God?

    Who knows how this will actually play out? But it will not be pleasant.

  66. Mark N
    November 2, 2008 at 6:07 pm #

    Then what? Will people actually give up their religious standards to bow to governmental authority?

    We did it before, after Reynolds vs. the US. Why wouldn’t we do it again?

  67. Joe
    November 2, 2008 at 9:21 pm #

    Carborendum,

    “But four of the five gay men I’ve known had the attitude that the world owed them something. They felt that since they were gay, they were better than heterosexuals and so required that we BOW TO THEIR WHIMS. And they weren’t afraid to use lawsuits to get what they wanted. ”

    It would be interesting if you could get ALL of these 5 gay men to make a statement about their point of view. What do you think they would actually say? It sounds like a LOT of projection on your part as to what they are actually feeling emotionally, and projection as to what might motivate them to take certain actions.

    “The fifth gay man was actually a firm Republican. He was NOT so pushy. He did NOT expect special treatment because he was gay.”

    I suspect that most gays expect equal treatment, or fair treatment, not special treatment.

  68. Daniel
    November 3, 2008 at 1:12 am #

    Wow, Carb, you actually know some gay people? I’ve only ever seen them on TV, so you’re one up on me.

    Can I just remind you that you get special treatment every day because you’re (presumably) straight? You don’t have to worry as much about losing your job over your sexual orientation, you can marry someone you’d want to, and churches don’t give you a hard time about causing the destruction of society.

    How does it feel to have gay people BOW DOWN TO UR WIMS?

  69. scott Jarvie
    November 3, 2008 at 12:13 pm #

    As our faithful friend Hugh always told us.
    “Time always vindicates the prophets! ”

    How true it is and will always be

  70. carborendum
    November 3, 2008 at 9:52 pm #

    Joe,

    These weren’t projections on my part. They actually said all this that I just mentioned. One of their pass-times was to criticize what heteros did, from eating habits to crimes. Of course gays would NEVER do anything like that. And they always talked about the hipocrisy of religious zealots. Of course gays would NEVER do anything hipocritical. Do I really need to go on?

    You get the feeling that most gays just want equal treatment? I don’t.

  71. carborendum
    November 3, 2008 at 10:13 pm #

    Daniel,

    Look at my argument, not one particular phrase I chose to relate a story. If you want to tear apart my argument, do so logically or with evidence or with personal experience. If you have to resort to spinning my words into a weak light in order to weaken my argument, how weak is your position?

    These people were not just someone in the same office. They were people I knew on a personal level. And yes, knowing ANY gay people on a personal level considering the circles I run in, IS very rare. If I ran in liberal circles, I expect it would be more common.

    No, I don’t receive special treatment because I’m a WASP.
    —You do. You are, not me. Fine, you’re not a protestant. But you get my point.

    I have to work extra hard because I’M A MINORITY. I have to work harder so my co-workers and supervisors don’t just think of me as “an affirmative action hire”.

    It’s not just my race. People regularly think I’m 10 to 15 years younger than I am. In most situations, that would be a big bonus. But in my line of work, gray hairs rule. Boy could I tell you some stories about that predicament.

    You don’t receive any prejudicial treatment in everyday activities because you are an atheist. But I receive snide remarks, disdainful looks, and more — MUCH more often for being a Mormon than for ANY other classification that you can put me in. It is one of the last socially acceptable prejudices.

    And if you don’t believe you yourself are guilty of it, consider how many remarks you have made on this blog and attacked, not the argument itself, but the LDS Church and the character of anyone who would believe such hypocrisy and nonsense.

    Yes, those were my words, not yours. But this is the flavor I get from many of your arguments. And if you don’t, maybe you aren’t as self-aware as you tout yourself to be.

  72. Connor
    November 4, 2008 at 9:59 am #

    The following quote has been making its rounds through email lists in the past few days, and is very applicable to the discussion at hand:

    Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. (See 1 Kgs. 18:21.)

    President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had “never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ!

    We are now entering a time of incredible ironies. Let us cite but one of these ironies which is yet in its subtle stages: We will see a maximum, if indirect, effort made to establish irreligion as the state religion. It is actually a new form of paganism which uses the carefully preserved and cultivated freedoms of western civilization to shrink freedom, even as it rejects the value essence of our rich Judeo-Christian heritage.

    Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. M. J. Sobran also said, “A religious conviction is now a second-class conviction, expected to step deferentially to the back of the secular bus, and not to get uppity about it” (Human Life Review, Summer 1978, pp. 58–59).

    This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions. Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened.

    Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel.

    There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself.

    Jesus said that when the fig trees put forth their leaves, “summer is nigh” (Matt. 24:32). Thus warned that summer is upon us, let us not then complain of the heat!

  73. John C.
    November 4, 2008 at 3:27 pm #

    Connor,
    What is the source for that quote?

  74. Connor
    November 4, 2008 at 3:28 pm #

    Follow the provided link (at the beginning of the comment), and all will be revealed. :)

  75. Daniel
    November 4, 2008 at 5:31 pm #

    @ Carb:

    Well, that sucks that you’re subjected to other kinds of discrimination. I don’t know what else is going on for you, but my point is that ceteris paribus, you’re getting less flack for being straight, which is not really disputable. And I think this constitutes something of a special right for straight folks.

    In fact I do deny that I have attacked anyone’s character for their religious belief. I have called out people for stands they have taken, whatever religion they are. I also traduce religion(s) on a regular basis because they induce good people to do bad things that they would not otherwise have done. But you are not your religion.

    You argue that Latter-day Saints are singled out for special abuse, but I’ve got you beat on that score. Atheists rank just below Muslims in the estimation of the public. In my case, I suppose it’s because I tell people their most cherished beliefs are counter-factual or unsupported by evidence, which I can’t expect would be very endearing. Ah, well. We’ve chosen our respective paths, so I guess we’ll have to toughen up, eh?

    I really do think discrimination stinks, and I’m sorry you face it. Ideally no one would have to, which is why I donated to No on Prop 8.

  76. carborendum
    November 4, 2008 at 7:22 pm #

    Daniel,

    In fairness and in truth, I have to admit that most of your posts have been very logical and rational — even if I don’t agree with you. And most of the time you are polite — as far as debate permits politeness.

    Very well, it is a thin line between attacking a belief and/or policy of a church and attacking people for believing the same. For myself, I only agree with the Church on this particular issue provisionally.

    If the government got completely out of marriage restoring the religious rite of marraige as in centuries past, and gay people founded their own church in order to perform the religious rite of marriage, then I personally wouldn’t have a problem with it (with what knowledge I have now).

    To clarify some things, I was not complaining about my troubles with discrimination to get sympathy points. I was pointing out that I actually have MORE difficulties due to liberal policies (affirmative action) than just plain old human ignorance.

    For that matter, I would also lump in religious policies with political policies. In my experience, I get a lot more prejudicial remarks from other Christians than from atheists over my choice of faith. Is it atheists who spread anti-Mormon literature? No, it’s other Christians. Atheists deride most religions equally. It’s kind of like how I hate both major political parties equally.

    And as a rebuttal to your statistics on atheists vs. Muslims: I think it’s apples and oranges. Politics tend to talk to that same part of people’s brains/hearts/ignorance as religion does. So asking the question about who would you vote for is different than, say, who would you hire?

    In politics today, I personally would put atheists above Muslims. My only concern with voting for an atheist is that they tend to be very liberal. I’m not sure what I would do if I had to vote between a liberal Atheist and a fanatically conservative Muslim. But if I were the boss, I would hire an atheist without any scruples — so long as he met all the criteria for the job of course.

    Responding to your “unsupported by evidence” statement:

    As clearly as you misinterpreted my recounting my personal experience with a few homosexuals as “hey everybody, I’m special because I actually know some of these rare creatures we’re discussing.” I believe people see what they want to see — myself included. I look at the world and I see God. You look at the world and you see . . . what? Whatever it is it isn’t God, right?

    Oh well, for that matter, most of the time all I see is a bunch of idiots who are just asking for the world to come down on top of them. But in my personal life, I can’t help but see patterns of consciousness that are beyond my own that have been guiding the steps of my life. You’ve had different experiences and thus see different evidence. So, I can’t really speak to that.

  77. carborendum
    November 4, 2008 at 7:39 pm #

    Daniel,

    Regarding “discrimination stinks”. I’m going to tell you a story.

    I was in 4th grade playing a game of 4-square. Of squares A, B, C, & D, the person in the A square got to set the house rules. Of course that person always made rules favorable to himself.

    One day when I got in the A square the thought occurred to me: Everybody knows what the “fair rules” are. Why not play a fair game? So I declared the fair rules.

    Now, I was just good enough to stay in the A square under these rules long enough for everybody to get a taste of what fairness was like. Everybody loved it. Most of the people didn’t really care about being in the A square, but everyone wanted to play. Under fair rules the line moved so quickly, everyone got to play a lot.

    Finally, a newcomer made it into the A square and set the “old style” rules. Everyone gave a sigh of disapproval. We all ganged up on him and got him out. Then the next person in the A square set the fair rules again. We were all happy again.

    I don’t really understand why we never played another game like that. Even when I got into the A square again and declared those rules, they got me out too fast to see what that was like. Even though most of the players were the same ones, they had forgotten what it was like to play a fair game. We went back to business as usual.

    Government is the same. I believe most people know what the fair rules are. Utopia would be for people to decide to live by them. But even if we achieved it, how long would it last? People have the memory of a hamster.

    In absence of Utopia, the best we have is the swiftly moving “king of the mountain”. This was what Federalist Paper #10 describes. This was the business as usual for my 4-square game.

    Under this system, people don’t want to be equal. They want to be more equal than others. I try to fight this all the time. But my desire for equality against being more equal than others is often misinterpreted as being discriminatory.

  78. joe
    December 17, 2008 at 11:22 pm #

    Carborendum,

    “These weren’t projections on my part. They actually said all this that I just mentioned. One of their pass-times was to criticize what heteros did, from eating habits to crimes. Of course gays would NEVER do anything like that. And they always talked about the hipocrisy of religious zealots. Of course gays would NEVER do anything hipocritical. Do I really need to go on?”

    Well, your earlier comments didn’t sound so specific. They sound like judgemental queens. Hipocrasy is probably something that nobody can escape. Its also a matter of your point of view, maybe to them it isn’t hipocrasy. Its totally up to you if you wish to go on into more detail.

    “You get the feeling that most gays just want equal treatment? I don’t.”

    I honestly believe that everyone wants at least a fair shake at everything. Perhaps everyone also wants some type of advantage, its totally possible.

  79. joe
    December 17, 2008 at 11:33 pm #

    Carborendum,

    I feel bad for reading about your problems socially and professionally. People judge, its difficult not to have judgements about something, in fact I think its impossible not to on some level. I finally faced this fact within the last two weeks. I am tired of trying to meet someone elses expectations of who I am supposed to be. I am working on dropping that as much as I can. There are a few cases where it is important for my well being, and own interest, so I work on making those as bareable as I can make them. So, there are things which you don’t choose and things which you do choose. People may judge, but in the end its your life you have to live.

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