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LDS Church Can’t Hide Behind A Temple

This commentary is the opinion of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin

Jim Burroway

November 8th, 2008

The Mormon church doesn’t like the attention it’s getting in the wake of California’s Prop 8. Church leaders released this statement yesterday:

It is disturbing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is being singled out for speaking up as part of its democratic right in a free election.

Members of the Church in California and millions of others from every faith, ethnicity and political affiliation who voted for Proposition 8 exercised the most sacrosanct and individual rights in the United States – that of free expression and voting.

While those who disagree with our position on Proposition 8 have the right to make their feelings known, it is wrong to target the Church and its sacred places of worship for being part of the democratic process.

Once again, we call on those involved in the debate over same-sex marriage to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility towards each other. No one on either side of the question should be vilified, harassed or subject to erroneous information.

Well, the Mormon leadership is right on their last sentence. If only they had heeded that advice during the campaign. Gay couples throughout the state were vilified, harassed and subject to dump truck loads of erroneous information during the campaign that the Mormon church itself played an enormous role in waging. There was no sense of civility during their campaign. Why should they not expect to reap the seeds that they sow?

The leadership of the LDS Church has their hand prints all over the campaigns in Arizona and California:

  • We know Arizona state Senators who didn’t want to be present for the vote to place Prop 102 on the ballot, but were coerced and harassed by their bishops and other church members into cutting short their vacations to cast their vote.
  • Once on the ballot in California and Arizona, we know that Mormon prophets called on their followers to give of their “time and means,” and that this call went out to all Mormons in California and Arizona, as well as in Utah.
  • We also know that the Arizona anti-gay campaign was under the direct leadership of some of the most prominent LDS members in the state.
  • By some estimates, more than $20 million of Mormon money went to fund the $36 million California campaign, while an additional estimated $3-7 million funded Arizona’s $8 million campaign.

One thing must be made clear: the leadership of the LDS church has every right to do this. Churches are barred by IRS regulations from endorsing political candidates, but they are fully free to participate in the political process on the issues — including ballot propositions. To claim otherwise would be to deny the LDS Church’s right to speak out on what it sees as important moral issues. It would also deny the rights of LDS members to fully participate in the democratic process.

But exercising those rights in the democratic process brings with it public scrutiny and criticism. That, too, is an integral part of the democratic process from which no one is exempt.

When the Mormon church chose to enter the political sphere, the fact that they are a religious institution became irrelevant. They led non-Mormons in their political campaign, and they exhorted everyone —  regardless of their religious affiliation — to vote on amendments which affected everyone, Mormons and non-Mormons alike. This was a democratic political campaign, not a religious one. We were voting on constitutional amendments, not theology.

Mormon leaders were acting in their role as citizens in the democratic process, a role that they have every right to be proud of — at least from their particular point of view. After all, their political campaign was successful. I don’t like how it all turned out, but such is politics. There are always, by the nature of the beast, winners and losers. And their side won this time in the end.

But as citizens leading a political campaign, they cannot escape public accountability for their public actions, especially when their political actions were seen by many as dirty, degrading, dishonest, and most definitely un-Christian. After all that, the leadership of the LDS cannot suddenly change roles, toss up their hands and say, “You can’t criticize us! We’re a religion!” They forfeited that right when they threw themselves enthusiastically into a non-religious, political campaign. They forfeited that right when they left the temple and entered the world of Caesar. They are politicians now, and they deserve the same scrutiny and criticism due to any other political leader or movement.

It is not scapegoating to point out the facts, nor is it Mormon-bashing to criticize their agenda and tactics. This is all fair game in politics — politics which the Mormon church eagerly entered. Andrew Sullivan is right: gays and lesbians now have every right to regard the LDS leadership as their enemy. After all, gays didn’t wage a campaign to strip Mormons of their civil rights. It was the Mormon leaders who have successfully removed a civil right which had already been granted to gays and lesbians.

This is not bigotry or discrimination against a religion. It is criticism leveled against what is now seen as a powerful political organization. That is perfectly legitimate.

Welcome to the world of politics, LDS. There’s no hiding behind a temple now.

[Updated to attribute the final point to Andrew Sullivan.]

Comments

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EvilPoet
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

Thought this link might be of interest.

http://kolobcafe.com/wiki/index.php/Prop8Recording/Full

I found the link here:
http://community.livejournal.com/dark_christian/1102673.html?thread=16063057#t16063057

Timothy Kincaid
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

For the record:

This commentary DOES reflect the opinion of this other author at Box Turtle Bulletin.

In addition to the points listed above, a leading official with the Mormon church was one of the signatories on the shake-down efforts to extort funds from those businesses that had given to oppose Prop 8.

For all practical purposes, these were the Mormon Marriage Amendments. They bought them and now they own them.

libhomo
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

I disagree with the claim that the Mormon Church, or any other church, has a right to get involved in politics. Churches have no legitimate right or reason to be involved in politics. Their meddling in politics discriminates against people like myself who are atheists.

Timothy Kincaid
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

libhomo,

You as an athiest, or even part of a group of athiests, have the right to seek that society which you think is best. So do religious people.

Let’s not forget that just because the intent of this religious effort is pure evil (seeking to deny to other citizens what they hold dear for themselves based solely on an attribute of the others), does not mean that all religious efforts are evil. Remember, the primary motivations for fighting slavery were based in the belief that is was immoral.

Willie Hewes
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

“No one on either side of the question should be vilified, harassed or subject to erroneous information.”

I can’t believe these people. Can they hear themselves speak? Turnabout is fair play, kids.

I was worried about anti-mormon protesting, because they’re not the only part of the problem and I don’t like picking on people over their faith, but your argument makes a lot of sense.

Their slightly wacky beliefs aren’t the issue, their politics are. That, and their lies.

werdna
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

Well done Jim. These issues of religion and politics can be awfully tricky to navigate but (as usual) you make your points clearly and sensibly.

SK
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

WTF! They should not be vilified, harrassed or subject to erroneous information! Do they not remember last week and the inundation of false ads on TV and on the internet? Churches hide behind their golden gates and have no concience of their actions …

This is way past the marriage issue and now becomes a homophobic issue! Now is the time for acting up for Gay civil rights. They have awakened a sleeping giant!

Peace and strength to all!

Jim Burroway
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

For the record:

This commentary DOES reflect the opinion of this other author at Box Turtle Bulletin.

Thank you Timothy! :-)

For everyone else — in case you’re scratching your head over the disclaimer, it is just a courtesy that the authors at BTB extend to each other anytime we post a commentary — especially when we haven’t had the time to talk or email about it ahead of time.

To say that it “doesnt’ necessarily reflect” others’ opinion is not to say that it actually does or doesn’t.

Jim Burroway
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

libhomo,

We are all citizens here. Membership or leadership in a religious institution does not deprive anyone of their citizen status. Lack of membership doesn’t either. And so, yes, all citizens have the right to participate fully in the democratic process. Otherwise, it’s not a democratic process.

Willard
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

I am LDS, and I advocate respect for and tolerance of gays everywhere.

cowboy
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

I’m in agreement with Jim Burroway.

Notice how civil his opinion was stated and his respect for the LDS, as an entity, to have their opinion too.

Classy. I mean that sincerely.

libhomo
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid: You may not be aware of this, but the overwhelming majority of efforts by churches on the slavery issue were pro-slavery. That is an fact that often is censored from US history. You also may not know that these churches cited pro-slavery passages from the Bible.

As for you claim that religious people have a “right” to use the power of the state to shove their religious beliefs down my throat, that is astonishingly bigoted. You should be ashamed of yourself.

libhomo
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

Jim Burroway: Citizens have political rights. Churches do not. Bringing religion into politics is, by its very nature, totalitarian and fascist.

I think it is sad that you are criticizing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation while advocating in favor of discrimination against atheists.

Timothy Kincaid
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

libhomo,

You need a better dictionary and a better understanding of history. You also most definitely need better comprehension skills.

1. Totalitarianism refers to state regulation of all aspects of public and private life. It has nothing to do with religion and, in fact, many politicians credit their faith for giving them a belief in the freedoms of individuals to choose their own fate.

2. Facism is totalitarianism based on national ideology. Again, this has nothing to do with the presence or absense of religion. If anything, religion has at times served as a counter to nationalism.

3. The anti-slavery movement was founded, based and primarily enacted by churches. Some churches were pro-slavery. Ultimately the moral message of “all God’s children” won the day. To the best of my knowledge, there were no athiest movements opposing slavery though if there were I say “good for them”.

4. No one said that religious people have the right to force their religion on you. No one is advocating for discrimination agaist athiests.

This is simply an example of the worst form of victim mentality and surprisingly similar to the “gay marriage threatens religious rights” nonsense that was the hallmark of the Yes on 8 Campaign. Both boil down to the argument, “your existence is a threat to my right to demand that you don’t exist”.

5. You are far more demanding that others agree with you and give your religious beliefs preference than any Christian, Jew, or other religious person that has visited our site.

Jim Burroway
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

libhomo

Citizens have political rights. Churches do not.

Church leaders are citizens, and they do have political rights, just like you and me. And under the First Amendment of the constitution, all people and institutions have the right to freedom of speech. That also includes atheists. That includes anyone who is popular and unpopular. That freedom to speak freely and participate in the democratic process extends even to fascists and totalitarians.

I think it is sad that you are criticizing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation while advocating in favor of discrimination against atheists.

Here is a challenge. Please find one instance — just one — in which I advocated discrimination against atheists.

I have never in my entire life advocated in favor of discrimination against anyone, including atheists. Please restrain your remarks to what I actually wrote. You might come off as somewhat more credible if you do. You will also conform to our comments policy by doing so as well. Divergent points of views are more than welcome, they’re encouraged even. But false, unsupported accusations and strawman arguments aren’t.

Emily K
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

Willard, you can’t support prop. 8 and truly understand us homoSEXuals. We don’t want you guys to give us abstract lip-service called “tolerance,” we want you guys to just stay the hell out of our lives. You don’t get it and probably never will.

Lynn David
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

And yet the elders of the Mormon church act as if they are the final arbiters of who may marry. From an interview with two elders:

For openers, marriage is neither a matter of politics, nor is it a matter of social policy. Marriage is defined by the Lord Himself.” – and – “Another way to say that same thing is that the Parliament in Canada and the Congress in Washington do not have the authority to revoke the commandments of God, or to modify or amend them in any way.” [emphasis mine]

And yet these same guys believe a federal marriage amendment is necessary and good. Some day if they get enough power, they’ll go after marriage for atheists, whether you’re straight or not.

John
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

Church leaders are citizens, and they do have political rights, just like you and me. And under the First Amendment of the constitution, all people and institutions have the right to freedom of speech.

Absolutely, a right I will vigorously defend even for the Westboro Baptist nutjobs. However, churches do not have a right to tax-exemption. That is a privilege we as a society give to them under certain conditions. I happen to agree strongly that religious institutions should be tax-exempt in part because it reinforces the freedoms protected by the First Amendment. Yet part the deal this privilege entails is to refrain from political involvement. This includes using tax-exempt funds for lobbying. I have no doubt that the LDS followed the letter of the IRS Code in their involvement in this campaign, which tells me that it needs to be reformed. I do not want tax-exempt groups using their funds for political purposes, including those who might support my position.

For openers, marriage is neither a matter of politics, nor is it a matter of social policy. Marriage is defined by the Lord Himself.” – and – “Another way to say that same thing is that the Parliament in Canada and the Congress in Washington do not have the authority to revoke the commandments of God, or to modify or amend them in any way.

Yet the State did such when it came to polygamous marriages in spite of Mormon beliefs prior to a convenient prophetic call so Utah could gain statehood. The State also sees fit to permit divorce which is directly contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Why? Because civil marriage has nothing to do with the “commandments of God”. That is a matter for religion, not the State. If this were about religion than we have a clear violation of the Establishment Clause and government would have to bow out completely.

Dave
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

Tim,

What do you say to people like Todd Zywicki, who posted the following at the Volokh Conspiracy:

So let me get this right–those who are upset about the passage of Proposition 8 in California have decided that the thing to do is to pick on the Mormons? So one marginalized group decides that the way to go is to vent their outrage against another marginalized group in society? Unbelieveable.

So if the protestors want to vent their outrage, maybe they oughta go over to the local black church and call them “bigots” and chant “shame on you.” But then again, that wouldn’t be very politically correct, would it? Whereas who is going to stick up for the Mormons? Other than that vast and powerful well-oiled Mormon political machine that launched Mitt Romney into the White House this year, of course.

Buffy
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

They didn’t mind putting themselves on the front line of the campaign to strip us of our right to marry. They didn’t mind having “LDS” and “Mormon” plastered all over their anti-gay blog posts, LTTEs, etc. Why now do they cry persecution because they’re taking the heat for what they did? Did they think they’d only be lauded as heroes by the RRRW and hear nothing from those they harmed?

Esther
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

You know, the Mormons used to baptize Jewish Holocaust victims until Jewish groups protested. I guess they wanted them to have an afterlife as happy Christians. (They may still do it, for all I know.) I’m not bashing, just stating a fact. Even the Mormons wouldn’t disagree that they did it. Talk about immoral and reprehensible. And at the risk of invoking Godwin’s Law, there have been allegations that Mormons baptized a particularly odious historical figure. These are the same people who call my gay and lesbian friends immoral? Unbelievable.

John
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

I completely agree with you, Jim. Mormons don’t understand free speech. Yes, they have the right to be hateful, bigots, who lie incessantly while trying to restrict the rights of gays and lesbians.

But their victims, the gays and lesbians who have lost their right to marry, have every reason to call these Mormons hateful bigots and liars.

Perhaps the Mormons thought that they had “special rights” that protected them from retaliation after their despicable political actions in support of Proposition 8.

Johno
November 9th, 2008 | LINK

What I wish No on 8 had clearly delineated, and what all anti-gay religious groups refuse to understand, is that the legal definition and the religious definition of marriage are not the same thing at all. Most words in the dictionary have several definitions. The language of the ruling on legal marriage did not attempt to redefine religious marriage in any way whatsoever. Anyone who has actually read and comprehended the ruling understands that.

Religious groups protesting the legal definition of marriage is essentially a power-grab. A chance to erase the line between church and state, because of unfortunate semantics. And once that falls, watch for a whole bunch of other things that the 52% hold dear to fall as well. This is the way the argument should have been framed, in my opinion, and with the same fear tactics. It was naive to think we could win with love and flowery commercials. We also need to loudly re-claim our patriotism from those who pervert the meaning of the word. We are taxpaying citizens. Their dialogue doesn’t discuss us like we are their sons and daughters, but as if we were illegal aliens.

The Mormon, Catholic and Christian churches chose to make a deeply un-American assault on personal liberties, and no religious group should have the right to do that, if we indeed value religious freedom in this country. It is a fatal error in California law that it is even possible. This is a very dangerous precedent. Every truly patriotic right-leaning libertarian, atheist, Jew, Buddhist, Hindi, etc. might have rightly felt a chill running down their spine after what happened in California, if they understood this. What rights is a religious group other than your own going to take away next?

David Thomas
November 9th, 2008 | LINK

The Mormom Church has a site where you can chat live to a missionary. I logged on but as soon as he discovered I wanted to discuss what happened in California he gave me the link to the “official” statement (the one in your blog) and logged off. Yes, they are in full “hide” mode now and I am sure they wish it will just all go away. They should be held responsible, as well as others, for the shameful step backwards they helped engineer. How can they feel any satisfaction from what they did ? Sad, very sad.

rbird
November 9th, 2008 | LINK

The LDS, as well as other churches, have an inherent right to erect standards for their membership. However, attempting to meddle in the lifestyle of others not affiliated with the church demonstrates poor thinking. Ultimately, of course, people will determine their own lifestyle regardless of what so-called religious leaders may think. If the LDS leaders and other religious figures have time to spare, they might concentrate on producing miracles which, of late, are in short supply and might have a huge effect on the thinking of non-members.

Tom in Houston
November 9th, 2008 | LINK

The Mormon anti-Gay attacks are coming from the Church Office Building. And they aren’t isolated to California. And they aren’t isolated to marriage rights. We need to make this a pr disaster for their rich members, who outside Utah, live and work in areas with large Gay populations and areas where the VAST majority of their neighbors support Gay equality. We need to educate people who are unaware of the Mormon church’s impact on Gay lives of the real Mormon church. That will have a personal and economic impact on the Mormon church. The Mormon church craves public acceptance more than they think Gays do. They need it to recruit. And if they take a pr beating (and they are – and it is RICHLY deserved), it will DETER your leaders from directing these attacks in the future.

To the Mormons, how badly do you want to attack Gay people? How badly? Up until Tuesday, its been costless for them. That Ended Tuesday.

And those protests are kind of like the Rodney King riots. Everyone gets pissed when they occured, but everyone damn sure REMEMBERED them when they were over. So don’t listen to those people who say…you’re turning people off with your protests. We’re not.

There are lots of people who don’t know much about Mormons and support Gay people. There are LOTS of them now that know what the Mormons did, and are deeply offended.

And yes Mormons are an easy target. They have LOTS of skeletons in their closets. And a stupid easy target. They know that they have skeletons in their closet, but their leaders still continue to keep hitting the wasps nest with the bat.

Why? I think the Mormon leaders are PROFOUNDLY out of touch. The Mormon leaders are largely from a very insular community (Utah) and they are very, very, very OLD. And they are VERY VERY VERY Right wing. John Bircher right wing. And their culture doesn’t ‘get out much’ metaphorically speaking. Their intellectual training grounds are virtually completely cut off from opposing views and backgrounds.

So what do their leaders do, they try and ‘build bridges’ with the James Dobsons and the far far far right-wing fundamentalist by carrying their water on their number one issue – bashing Gays.

Unfortunately, while Mormons pay lip service to ‘free agency’, they run their own faith in a martial style ‘obey and sustain the authorities’ way. Why aren’t Gays going after the Catholics? Because MOST Catholics probably voted AGAINST Prop 8. (If only 53% of Latinos voted yes, and we assume that virtually all Pentacostal Hispanics voted yes…you do the math). Catholics have a tradition of openly defying their leaders. Been doing it for years. A lot of them take pride in defying church doctrine.

The Mormon Church asked for donations and volunteeers. So did the Catholic Church. How many Catholic volunteers were there on the Pro-H8 campaign? It was a VERY low number. And how many Catholics are there in Calif relative to Mormons?

Johnny
November 9th, 2008 | LINK

To further preserve traditional marriage in California, there is the development of a new constitutional amendment to ban Mormon marriage during the next election cycle. Mormon marriage is a serious affront to traditional values and God’s plan for man. 1) Most Californians view the Mormon church as a cult; 2) Children are being taught that Mormon marriage is equal to Christian marriage, yet Mormonism has only existed for 150 years; 3) Mormons engaged in polygamy and even defied the United States government’s attempts to stop such behavior; 4) The United States is a Christian nation, and Mormonism is antithetical to Christian values (the 1st Amendment’s Freedom of Religion was designed for Christian religions only); 5) The Mormon church has unfairly used its power and money to influence Californian politics, yet it continues to pay no taxes based on its nonprofit status; 6) The marriage ceremonies are secretive and ban non-Mormon participants from attending. For these and many other reasons, support of this constitutional ban will help to preserve traditional marriage values that have lasted for over 3000 years, but the Mormon Church continues to desecrate.

In California this coming year, you will have the chance to add your name to make sure this proposition qualifies for the ballet box in 2010. Please inform your friends and neighbors about this initiative. All contributions and support will help to make sure true values are preserved in law.

Gentle Lamb
November 9th, 2008 | LINK

It’s time that Queer people realised that it was a war started without provocation and we have been just defending by re-stating the facts.

In order to succeed we will have to bring debate to non-gay issues where they may be vulnerable so that they are defending their own turf and have no time to be the agressor.

Defence on a single issue may not be a good strategy whilst their attack is multi-faceted with them throwing anything and everything, where truth and decency is not respected.

Gentle Lamb
Singapore

Dave
November 9th, 2008 | LINK

Johnny,

Your proposal for a ban Mormon marriage amendment is very interesting. I rather like it, to tell the truth — I find it very amusing!

Whether you’re serious or not (and it would be interesting to see such an actual effort in California) you must drop points 4 and 5.

Point 4: The first amendment to the federal constitution was not meant to protect only Christianity.

Point 5: The Mormon Church got its members to use their own money on the Prop 8 effort; that is different from the Church using its own monies. The spending/tax exemption issue is irrelevent to marriage anyway.

Seth R.
November 9th, 2008 | LINK

You’ll note that the LDS Church statement merely asked for civility. They did not ask to be exempt from criticism – such as the criticism in this blog post.

But “civil” is not what I would call a lot of the talk on this issue.

On one gay blog, a guy boasted that the next set of Mormon missionaries who showed up on his doorstep would end up with about a dozen new orifices. Another declared it to be “open season on Mormons.” While another talked about how, as of now, he endorses bigotry and hate against Mormons.

I don’t mind posts like this one. But a lot of the talk out there has been frankly, an embarrassment to the gay community.

Keori
November 9th, 2008 | LINK

Andrew Callahan, the man who started a grassroots Mormons-against-Pro-8 letter writing campaign (http://signingforsomething.org), has been excommunicated for his actions. Contributions from intimidated Mormon church members to the Yes on 8 campaign totaled over 30% of all funds raised. Mormons make up about 2% of the California population.

You do the math, then think about what qualifies as a “substantive portion” allowed for a non-profit to retain tax-exempt status.

My Mormon mom was at the protests at Temple Square in Salt Lake City Friday night. A lot of people in Utah, including LDS faithful, are angry as hell about this. Some folks don’t appreciate being strong-armed over a civil rights issue, or their church seeing fit to take away rights of other human beings. A lot of them remember pre-1978, when black men couldn’t be priesthood leaders.

SLC is a midwest gay mecca; they have a city domestic partner ordinance, and if the LGBT population and our allies in SLC want to make life hell for the LDS church, they can. Right now, it looks like they’re going to.

Nacilbupera
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

A point that seems to be lost here: the LDS church shouldn’t have their sacred places of worship targeted for demonstration.

It is of course perfectly legal to do so, but the blatent disrespect it generates for those who engage in it futher validates the beliefs of Prop 8 supporters that they are correct and stand the moral high ground.

Mr. Burroway, your comments backing Mr. Sullivan of “gays and lesbians now have every right to regard the LDS leadership as their enemy” does little to add reason to the debate. Why would you regard a church with whom you have a political disagreement with on one issue as your enemy?

Although I am a (heterosexual) member of the LDS faith, I have made friends with several gay and lesbian coworkers over the years, particularly during the many years when I lived in California. I have grown to respect the hard work ethic of these friends and devotion to each other through rough times including illness and death. Many of these homosexual friends are also devote Christians and share with me a majority of political beliefs. These remain friends and acquaintences, not enemies, though we may differ in our opinions on Proposition 8.

Johno
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

Bullshit, Mr. Nacilbupera. Your church behaved as an oppressive political entity, not a church, and now they are reaping what they sowed.

Your last paragraph demonstrates perfectly the astonishingly callous disconnect people like you make when you support 8. You think you are a good person because you have gay friends and acknowledge that you both face the same challenges in life, and are equally capable of being good citizens. And yet you completely refuse to acknowledge that you are PERSONALLY affecting your friends with your support of 8. We don’t need friends like you. If you had a friend who believed it was perfectly acceptable to deny you PERSONALLY the 1,200+ rights and securities that come with legal marriage on the basis of your religious choice, I wonder just how much of a friend you would consider them deep down?

Jim Burroway
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

Nacilbupera,

Mr. Burroway, your comments backing Mr. Sullivan of “gays and lesbians now have every right to regard the LDS leadership as their enemy” does little to add reason to the debate. Why would you regard a church with whom you have a political disagreement with on one issue as your enemy?

Well, I would think the answer is obvious. But since it isn’t to you, let me spell it out.

The LDS church led a political campaign in which they vilified, harassed and subject gays to tons of erroneous information, with no hint of civility during their campaign.

And they did all of this to strip gays and lesbians of a civil right which they already enjoyed.

I really don’t see how this can be made more clear. Gays can rightly regard the LDS church as their enemy for the simple reason that the LDS church made themselves our enemy.

The LDS church targeted our families. That has got to be at least as sacred as their places of worship. Nothing hits closer to home than family, as I believe the Mormons are well aware. They target something sacred to us; their sacred places should be no less exempt.

As I said, welcome to the world of politics. Your church made itself a political organizations. Your church made its symbols political, and imposed its sacred theology on everyone, regardless of whether they were Mormon or not. I am absolutely against having church services interrupted or places of worship invaded. But peaceful demonstrations outside a targeted group’s building have been a long-standing tradition in politics.

If LDS members are disturbed that politics are being brought to their church doors, then they should have thought of that before they entered their theology into the political arena and ran a secular, political campaign. Once you’ve done that, you can’t run back to your sanctuaries for sanctuary after you’ve already invaded ours — our families.

John
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

Here, here, Jim!!!! They used their places of worship to launch their anti-gay assault. Now their places of worship are rightly viewed as the political headquarters for the best organized, most disciplined, most effective, anti-gay hate group in the nation.

Leo
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

What strikes me is the pathalogical unwillingness of the LDS and other prop. 8 proponents (Tony Perkins from the Family research Council appeared on Anderson Cooper on Friday) to acknowlege the damage both, tangible and emotional, that prop 8 inflicts on the gay families. There seems to be genuine surprise that there isn’t quiet acceptance. They thought this would be the end and instead they find themselves at new beginning.

The LDS church expended great energy and fortune to pass a law that does nothing to elevate society, but does instead make life harder and meaner for a small minority. To do this you employed lies and distortions. You now own this legacy, you bought it, it’s yours–you can’t just sweep it off your doorstep.

And the repercussions aren’t going away anytime soon. Wednesday gay and gay supportive New Yorkers will be gathering at the LDS temple near Lincoln Center to exercise our freedom of speech. The protest begins at 6:30 at 65th Street and Columbus Avenue. I encourage all readers who are in the NY metro area to attend.

Fr. J.
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

I am not a Mormon, but I am pretty sure that they aren’t too bothered by the “negative press.” It is the gay community that is making an ass of itself. Mormons have always been persecuted. They did nothing dirty. They just mobilized the same way the gay community organized. And they won. The majority has spoken. Welcome to democracy. But, dont feel too bad. You already have all the rights of marriage in domestic partnership. You already have all the legal rights you need. What you dont have a right to is the word, “marriage.”

Politicalguineapig
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

Just out of curiousity, why in the world is the Mormon church trying to define marriage as between one man and a woman? Have they forgotten all their history?

John
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

Fr. J.

Lying and demonizing gay people isn’t “dirty”? Give me a break.

And are your really so content with the “majority” speaking on the rights of a minority group? How would you predict a statewide referendum on “Jim Crow Laws” would have done in Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama during the 1960’s?

Face it, this fight isn’t going to be over until gays and lesbians are treated equally under the law. And I think that Mormons are far more image conscious than you think they are.

AJD
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

“Mormons have always been persecuted. They did nothing dirty. They just mobilized the same way the gay community organized. And they won.”

Yeah, they mobilized to take rights away from another group. When is the last time gay people mobilized to strip another group of rights?

cowboy
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

The Mormons buckled under when the overwhelming attitude in the nation wouldn’t tolerate making Utah a State that had polygamy. (1890)

The Mormons buckled again when the nation was overwhelmingly disgusted by the racist policies of the Mormon Church. (1978)

The Mormons will buckle (again) under pressure from national opinion that equality means equality for all. (2010**)

**pure conjecture. A bit optimistic?

Patrick
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

“Just out of curiousity, why in the world is the Mormon church trying to define marriage as between one man and a woman? Have they forgotten all their history?”

Historically Mormon marriage was one man with one woman. There is a difference, however, between saying a man can only be in one marriage at a time (monogamy) or many marriages at a time (polygyny). A man with 5 wives has 5 different marriage contracts, each involving one man and one woman.

Timothy Kincaid
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

They did nothing dirty. They just mobilized the same way the gay community organized. And they won.

Extortion attempts – dirty
Using the images of children without their parents’ permission – dirty
Targeting black votes and seeking to cause them to think that Sen. Obama supported the proposition – dirty
Blatatly lying about school codes – dirty
Running ads that were little more than an appeal to bigotry – dirty

But maybe you define dirty differently than me.

Fr. J.
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

I haven’t seen any demonizing of gay people by Mormons.

What I have seen is concern that gay marriage will lead to the formation of their children in the public schools into what they consider immoral. Notice that the Mormons and others are not opposed to civil unions or domestic partnerships. They are not opposed to the rights of gay people. They are only opposed to a redefinition of the word, “marriage.”

Even Barak Obama and Hilary Clinton took this position in their last debate. This is mainstream American point of view.

Fr. J.
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

Actually, by mischaracterizing Mormons as hateful, it is the gay community that is demonizing Mormons, not the other way around. Does every disagreement between two parties mean they hate each other? I dont think Mormons hate gays. But, let’s face it, there are plenty of gays who hate Mormons.

Ken R
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

What I have seen is concern that gay marriage will lead to the formation of their children in the public schools into what they consider immoral. Notice that the Mormons and others are not opposed to civil unions or domestic partnerships. They are not opposed to the rights of gay people. They are only opposed to a redefinition of the word, “marriage.”

A good majority of conservative Christians do not like the fact we have relationships at all. I pointed this out on other blogs. The way I am seeing this is that it isn’t about defending the definition of traditional marriage but rather battling any recognition of our relationships at all. To them it would be sinful and immoral to do so.

Florida’s Amendment 2 that passed doesn’t even allow the recognition of civil unions or domestic partnerships. I am afraid that this is going to be the same language they will use to try and pass in other states that do not have anti-gay marriage/civil unions laws on their books.

Ben in Oakland
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

Fr. J:

I’m a real good christian. i don’t hate mormons. I hate what they do. One of the things i don’t like is that this is not aobut how much the existence of gay people offends some straight people.

If you can vote on my marriage, you can vote on my domestic partnership. My guess is you will.

Maybe your children should not learn about Jews in school. After all they believe that jesus was at best an imposter and at worse a myth. but that doesn’t seem to bother you very much. No get-the-jews rhetoric from you, i’m sure. So impolitic.

Why don’t you take a look at this and see if it describes you and your mormon buddies.

http://crackerlilo.blogspot.com/2008/09/you-would-rather.html

Ben in Oakland
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

This should have read:

One of the things I don’t like is your claims that this is not aobut how much the existence of gay people offends some straight people. Of course it is.

Forrest
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Domestic partnerships or Civil Unions are not the answer and never will be.

Not to mention the fact that the ban in FL outlaws ALL RIGHTS. The end game for the enemy is complete ostracism from society for gays nationwide.

GT
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

I believe this seriously raises questions of whether there needs to be changes to the tax exempt laws….. Prop 15 anyone??

No
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

How about we start a prop to have the LDS banned from practicing in Calif., or take their tax exempt status away. Heck, let’s get a prop to take away retroactivly of LDS to get married.

If they want to play dirty, then dirt is what they will get. The NO on 8 campaign was weak and played too nice. They have alot of blame to put on themselves and on the 50% of people in San Fran that didn’t even bother to get out and vote.

Rob W.
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Members of the Mormon church wasted millions of dollars to get Prop 8 passed. For an organization that is supposed to uphold “Christian” values, this is disgusting and shameful. I’m sure there are alot of hungry homeless people out there sleeping better knowing that “marriage is protected.” How profoundly stupid and disgraceful. Jesus should pay a visit to bitch-slap some sense into you.

Nacilbupera
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Before I ramble on, let me make clear that–despite the history of my LDS faith in the past (as pointed out by others) and Old Testament prophets who also practiced polygamy–my personal opinion is that marriage should be spelled out (ie US Constitutional Amendment) as between “one man and one woman”. Seeing that there is broad anti-Prop 8 sentiment here let me propose the following questions:

(1) Do you support extending the legal definition of marriage to polygamists? (This is a very crucial question with Texas polygamists making national headlines not many months ago. Also many Muslims–some of whom have immigrated to the US–practice polygamy.)

(2) Do you support extending the legal definition of marriage to polyandrous marriage? (Various societies worldwide.)

(3) Do you support extending the legal definition of marriage to “ménage à trois” marriages?

(4) Do you support extending the legal definition of marriage to marriage between a human and a non-human such as a pet or animal?

I have put forth my definition of marriage. I’m curious: what’s yours?

Stefano A
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Nacilbupera:

Your points 1 through 3 are all basically asking the same thing, multiple-partner marriages. That is an issue unrelated to the issue of whether or not gays and lesbians should be allowed SSM.

In the case of SSM we are dealing with similarly situated individuals who can meet all of the current means test criteria that is applied to obtaining a marriage license by civil law, excepting the requirement of being oppossite sex.

Religious beliefs in this case are irrelevant as we’re talking about civil recognition of similarly situated individuals in which case the state alreadey does not bestow any sacramental meaning upon marriage nor require a religious ceremony in which the “sacraments of marriage” are bestowed and otherwise has no compelling reason to deny the right of marriage.

The purpose of marriage being reproductive is a strawman argument as no fertility means test is currently applied to opposite sex marriages and so there is no state compelling reason to impose that means tuest upon marriage for same sex partners.

Your fourth question is simply absurd in any scenario and is extremely insulting to equate an SSM partner or SSM relationship as being the equivalent of a dog.

As for the case of multiple-husband/wives scenario the state does have compelling reasons to restrict the marriage to two individuals. Those compelling reasons were what lead to the means test of only two people, neither of which could already be married to someone else.

With regard to this, I would like to draw attention to certain points of the argument as set forth by Jonathan Rauch…

…, in America today the main constituents for polygamous marriage are Mormons and, as Newsweek reports, “a growing number of evangelical Christian and Muslim polygamists.” These religious groups practice polygamy, not polyandry. Thus, in light of current American politics as well as copious anthropological experience, any responsible planner must assume that if polygamy were legalized, polygynous marriages would outnumber polyandrous ones — probably vastly.

For reasons that have everything to do with its own social dynamics and nothing to do with gay marriage, polygamy is a profoundly hazardous policy. No polygamous society has ever been a true liberal democracy, in anything like the modern sense. As societies move away from hierarchy and toward equal opportunity, they leave polygamy behind. They monogamize as they modernize. That may be a coincidence, but it seems more likely to be a logical outgrowth of the arithmetic of polygamy.

Other things being equal (and, to a good first approximation, they are), when one man marries two women, some other man marries no woman. When one man marries three women, two other men don’t marry. When one man marries four women, three other men don’t marry. Monogamy gives everyone a shot at marriage. Polygyny, by contrast, is a zero sum game that skews the marriage market so that some men marry at the expense of others.

For the individuals affected, losing the opportunity to marry is a grave, even devastating, deprivation. (Just ask a gay American.) But the effects are still worse at the social level. Sexual imbalance in the marriage market has no good social consequences and many grim ones. Two political scientists, Valerie M. Hudson and Andrea M. den Boer, ponder those consequences in their 2004 book Bare Branches: Security Implications of Asia’s Surplus Male Population.

Summarizing their findings in a Washington Post article , they write:

Scarcity of women leads to a situation in which men with advantages—money, skills, education — will marry, but men without such advantages — poor, unskilled, illiterate — will not. A permanent subclass of bare branches [unmarriageable men] from the lowest socioeconomic classes is created. In China and India, for example, by the year 2020 bare branches will make up 12 to 15 percent of the young adult male population.

The problem in China and India is sex selective abortion (and sometimes infanticide), not polygamy; where the marriage market is concerned, however, the two are functional equivalents [with regard to social policy formation]. In their book, Hudson and den Boer note that “bare branches are more likely than other males to turn to vice and violence. ” To get ahead, they “may turn to appropriation of resources, using force if necessary. ” Such men are ripe for recruitment by gangs, and in groups they “exhibit even more exaggerated risky and violent behavior. ” The result is “a significant increase in societal, and possibly intersocietal, violence.”

Worse, “high sex ratio societies are governable only by authoritarian regimes capable of suppressing violence at home and exporting it abroad through colonization or war. ” In medieval Portugal, “the regime would send bare branches on foreign adventures of conquest and colonization. ” (An equivalent today may be jihad.) In 19th century China, where as many as 25 percent of men were unable to marry, “these young men became natural recruits for bandit gangs and local militia, ” which nearly toppled the government. In what is now Taiwan, unattached males fomented regular revolts and became “entrepreneurs of violence. ”

Hudson and den Boer suggest that societies become inherently unstable when sex ratios reach something like 120 males to 100 females: in other words, when one sixth of men are surplus goods on the marriage market. The United States as a whole would reach that ratio if, for example, 5 percent of men took two wives, 3 percent took three wives, and 2 percent took four wives — numbers that are quite imaginable, if polygamy were legal for a while. In particular communities — inner cities, for example — polygamy could take a toll much more quickly. Even a handful of “Solomons ” (high status men taking multiple wives) could create brigades of new recruits for street gangs and drug lords, the last thing those communities need.

Such problems are not merely theoretical. In northern Arizona, a polygamous Mormon sect has managed its surplus males by dumping them on the street — literally. The sect, reports The Arizona Republic, “has orphaned more than 400 teenagers … in order to leave young women for marriage to the older men. ” The paper goes on to say that the boys “are dropped off in neighboring towns, facing hunger, homelessness, and homesickness, and most cripplingly, a belief in a future of suffering and darkness.”

True, in modern America some polygynous marriages would probably be offset by group marriages or chain marriages involving multiple husbands, but there is no way to know how large such an offset might be. And remember: Every unbalanced polygynous marriage, other things being equal, leaves some man bereft of the opportunity to marry, which is no small cost to that man.

The social dynamics of zero sum marriage are ugly. In a polygamous world, boys could no longer grow up taking marriage for granted. Many would instead see marriage as a trophy in a sometimes brutal competition for wives. Losers would understandably burn with resentment, and most young men, even those who eventually won, would fear losing. Although much has been said about polygamy’s inegalitarian implications for women who share a husband, the greater victims of inequality would be men who never become husbands.

By this point it should be obvious that polygamy is, structurally and socially, the opposite of same sex marriage, not its equivalent. [Two person MF marriages and] same sex marriage stabilizes individuals, couples, communities, and society by extending marriage to many who now lack it. Polygamy destabilizes individuals, couples, communities, and society by withdrawing marriage from many who now have it.

The number restriction (two and only two) is not in terms of social policy made arbitrarily. The relevance of this is that each element of the legal definition or means test for marriage must be judged on its own merits.

With regard to the current requests of SS couples it is a matter of judging those merits based on similarly situated individuals who can meet the conditions that the couple are: 1) over the age of consent, 2) not within a particular degree of consanguinity, and 3) neither individual applying to marry is already married to another.

None of which need be indicative of the US governments endorsement of any singular specific marital sacraments or religiously recognized forms of marriage to which various religious sects may adhere but established as a matter of social policy to ensure individuals have similar opportunities when they are similarly situated.

And if you threw in your menage “ménage à trois” as an allusion to polyamory, that is already legal, otherwise, it is an arbitrary number which would still fall under the same compelling reasons of denial that would apply to both polyandrous marriage and polygamy which was already detailed above.

Patrick
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Nacil,

Regarding points 1-3: Allowing everyone to marry the single unrelated adult they love is different than allowing some people the right to marry as many people as they wish at the same time. Currently, only heterosexuals are allowed the right to marry the unrelated single adult they love in most states in the country. You did not address on its own merits why only some Americans should be allowed to marry the single unrelated adult they love to the exclusion of others. I have yet to hear a single reason that is not based on either circular reasoning or religion.

Regarding point 2: Polyandry is when a woman marries more than one man. It is an extremely rare form of marriage. Once again this is irrelevant to why only some Americans should be allowed to marry the single unrelated adult they love.

Regarding point 4: An animal cannot consent to marriage. It’s really not that difficult.

Nacilbupera
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

To Stefano A, Patrick:

Thank you for your responses, they were thoughtful and composed. I think I have a better grasp for the position of the LGBT community. I asked the 4-point question because I wanted to see how far you would go to (in my opinion) expand the traditional definition of marriage.

I certainly intended no offense by asking #4 but with all the rights animals have been granted (ie inheriting weathly estates from their owners) it made a good question to test the limits of what one might consider marriage. (And I bet some extreme individual is going to test the courts with that one someday.)

Although I disagree with your viewpoints, I do respect them and your right to voice them. Nor is it my ambition at this time to convince you to be pro-Prop 8 but to find “common ground.”

My prayer for both sides of the issue is that we can discuss it reasonably as you have. I am greatly disturbed by recent incidents including the anti-gay arsonist Mr. Burrroway points out in the lead article and the stomping on the old lady’s (Phyliss Burgess) cross in Palm Springs.

Do we really want “war” with one another (as some have advocated) when we ALL have terrorists who seek our destruction and our economy sputters? Not I. Not that I am intimidated, but that I see a better, more harmonious way to live side-by-side one another.

Emily K
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

No, we don’t want war. But let’s not pretend that obliterating someone’s house and home is less economically, socially, and psychologically devastating than having someone’s cross stomped on, no matter how sentimental and meaningful an artifact that is. Let’s not pretend that any acts of atrocity committed on the gay side is even equal to the countless acts committed by the anti-gay side – much in the name of some Orwellian definition of “Love” or “God.”

“can’t we all just get along” won’t fly here. Not now. It’s a bit late for that.

Brad Spencer
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

To Nacilbupera:

How can there be any common ground with the LDS Church when it not only opposes gay “marriage” but also domestic partnerships, civil unions, even the extension of any “rights” to gay people under what it calls the “bundle of marriage rights.”

—–

One way to think of marriage is as a bundle of rights associated with what it means for two people to be married. What the First Presidency has done is express its support of marriage and for that bundle of rights belonging to a man and a woman. The First Presidency hasn’t expressed itself concerning any specific right. It really doesn’t matter what you call it. If you have some legally sanctioned relationship with the bundle of legal rights traditionally belonging to marriage and governing authority has slapped a label on it, whether it is civil union or domestic partnership or whatever label it’s given, it is nonetheless tantamount to marriage. That is something to which our doctrine simply requires us to speak out and say, “That is not right. That’s not appropriate.” Lance B. Wickman and Dalin H. Oakes

Ben in Oakland
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

NAc;

not that you haven’t been told this already, but three points for oyu.

1) Same-sex marriage is not an open door to multi-partner marriages. Rather, it is an affirmation of two-partner marirage.

2) all of the polygamists i have heard of are heterosexual. wait! there is one gay trio I heard about. just one. how many mormon os muslim polygamists are there?

3) This is not aobut marriage. It is once again about how much the veyr existence of gay people bothers some straight people– and some wanna-be-straight but ain’ts.

Ben in Oakland
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

NAC: you wrote…”but that I see a better, more harmonious way to live side-by-side one another”.

Here’s a way to live side by side harmoniously. you keep your god-damning rleigion out of my civil marriage. I’ll keep my civil marriage it of your church.

You keep your lies about gay people and what we want within the confines of your church. We’ll stop calling you bigots.

Timothy Kincaid
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

Nacilbupera

Although I disagree with your viewpoints, I do respect them and your right to voice them. Nor is it my ambition at this time to convince you to be pro-Prop 8 but to find “common ground.”

Sadly, some viewpoints have no common ground. Take for example:

View 1: all persons should be treated equally under law

View 2: I should receive preferential treatment and others should be secondary.

These are mutually exclusive views. There is no common ground between a stand for equality and a stand for inequality.

Stefano A
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

To Stefano A…:

Thank you for your responses, they were thoughtful and composed. I think I have a better grasp for the position of the LGBT community.

Something for you to keep in mind with regard to my above comments.

Prop 8 was not a vote on religious theology to determine which of the competing and diverse theologies held among religious faiths is the “correct and proper one”. Prop 8 was note a vote about obtaining the recognition of same sex marriage by religious institutions.

What we are against is the injection of that faith into public policy in a diverse society of many diverse and competing thelogical and non-theological viewpoints. While we personally may find views hurtful (and recognize how those views can also lead to incitement to hatred and actual violence), views that homosexuality itself is “sinful”, we are not trying to prevent the church’s refusal to recognize SSM or those of faith the first amendment right to state and believe that as it pertains to using such beliefs to guide their own lives.

What we find problematic is not the church’s or the church’s faithful to recognize same sex marriage, but rather the imposition of that faith unto civil law in order subvert the equal treatment of similarly situated individuals.

E.J.Smith
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

If you think that is bad, I was “X” communicated for having sex before marrage when I was 15 years old! No joke. Sure, they gave me a choice, at 15 years old. Ha ha ha I have seen them turn right around and sweep the dirty little secrets regarding the very same behavior when it came to the Bishops’ son – and the Stake presidents’ daughter, so that they could be married later on in the temple. I have a buddy of mine that witnessed an LDS leader having sex with an 18 year old neighbor girl in his pool while the rest of his family was off on vacation, that was in Mesa, AZ. They managed to sweep that under the rug as well. How can you have it both ways? The skullduggery is never ending, and yet they act as though they are above reproach. I am not gay, could not imagine being one. But, that does not mean a thing when it comes to commen sense. The LDS church has a history that you should investigate from it’s very origins. You will laugh when you find out the facts. They tell their members not to check into the history – as it supposed to be sacrolige. I think it is time that they are exposed completely for who they really are.
Smitty

PoFool
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

I’m Gay. I’m christian. I have grown up with many mormon friends and still have mormon friends – they are good people. Everything that has gone down with Prop. 8 really sucks, while, at the same time, this has given us an opportunity to open up conversations with our families, friends and strangers – conversations that may never have happened, but really needed to had Prop. 8 failed. We need to let those who are misguided know the truths we stand behind. We also need to find it in our hearts to forgive. We NEED the anger NOW to propel us through the rallies, protests, vigils … (God knows I’ve been to my fair share in the past week). Let’s get PROP. 8 overturned and then forgive those that have been led all their lives by LIES and doctrine intolerance.

PoFool
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

…. I forgot to mention … I do believe the Mormon leadership are to blame. The do spew lies and complete absurdity to there congregations.

Alas, a blog » Blog Archive » Awww….
November 13th, 2008 | LINK

[…] Burroway has a good, clear analysis of just what’s going on here in terms of participation in the democratic […]

Charon
November 13th, 2008 | LINK

And to Nac and the other mormons,

You and your church decided by a campaign of lies, hate, and open bigotry to remove a secular right from me and mine. You removed the right to have my religious marriage recognized by a secular authority.

All of you mormons and other supporters of Prop 8 may be pretending to be good and just and showing up those nasty gays for not being enough of a dictionary police, but that religious definition of marriage, whether or not two people, or three, or even a thousand can be married under God has not been at all tampered with. I have attended a hand-fasting of a polyamorous triad, and religious commitment ceremonies and religious marriages for my gay brothers and sisters. They are all married before their various Gods. The State cannot invalidate that just as it can’t invalidate your marriage before God to your wife or even if you were so inclined, wives. Marriages before God cannot be commented on by the state except whether or not they are religiously recognized as marriages by the secular authorities for the secular privileges given for that SECULAR union.

Now, it is possible that by reason of your privilege, you’ve never come across the idea that the marriage you had before God and its recognition by the State were two separate events. Perhaps you believed magical pixies had transformed the laws accordingly and God personally insured that everything who needed to know made sure that a Certificate would be lightning-bolt written into golden tablets and pressed to a sheet and handed to you. But sadly, me and mine have known and you and yours made sure that we would still know that divide for no better reason than your church’s belief that we are not humans deserving of SECULAR recognition. That our marriages cannot be seen as legit as some sort of message or warning against who we are.

Did your Church have the right to do that, argue religiously against the secular recognition of me as human and my marriage as invalid? Some say yes, but I will be cut down by my Creator long before I stand silently and allow you to pretend you did not declare war on me and my family because you believed that you could use a Church to circumvent secular law, that you could say my marriage before God is less than your marriage before God by legal SECULAR fiat because you couldn’t stop some other priest from marrying us. I dare not stand silently by while you do that and then have the gall to say it reflects poorly on ME that YOU took away my secular rights because you are too ignorant to understand the Constitution, the difference between secular and religious marriage, or even the most basic realities of homosexual couples. That you stole my rights and defend the Church that did so because you are so ignorant to believe that history will judge you as anything less than the oppressors in yet another shameful moment for America, no different than Segregationists, or the anti-Women’s Suffrage forces. You aligned yourself next to their place in history and you will reap that.

The Mormon and Catholic Churches are hiding from that history. They KNOW that what they did is heinous. How do I know that? They do not have the force of their convictions to stand beside the victory they so strongly campaigned for. They dare not look me in the eye and say yes, we took away your rights, and we are proud because now the dictionary is safe from your gay rays. No, they hide and whine and say WE are the hateful ones. They KNOW and I strongly suspect YOU KNOW that you have committed a grave and unforgivable sin against your fellow man that will be remembered by historians long after you want to forget. It is possible that they will be unable to survive that truth.

For you and your Church, I pray God has mercy on your souls, and you see what wrongs you have committed before it’s too late. God Bless.

The top 10 reasons why Prop 8 passed at The Gideonse Bible
November 14th, 2008 | LINK

[…] that gay people are treated equal under the law? Paid for by Mormons. And now the LDS Church is complaining that they are being targeted by gay activists. Oh, cry me a river. You reap what you […]

Dani
November 14th, 2008 | LINK

This is the reason that I am no longer a Mormon. It makes me sick to know that I was once a part of this hypocritical religion. I am a straight woman who will be forever grateful that I learned to think for myself and realized that the prophet is full of it! Hypocritical and judgmental is not the way ANY Christian should behave!

J.D.
November 19th, 2008 | LINK

Let’s remember here that marriage is a states right, according to the US Constitution. California has passed this act 3 times now and Arizona has passed it 2 times. The voice of the people have been heard several times now on this matter. Also, when you mention how wrong it is to vote on civil rights, don’t forget about the constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms, that is voted on more often then Gay marriage, and is not a states right. Anyway, The LDS church, as does any church, has the right to voice political opinions on issues. You can’t remove free speech, just because they are a religious entity.

AlexT
November 30th, 2008 | LINK

It appears the greatest degree of hate and bigotry has been on the part of the proponents for gay marriage against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members. The teachings of the Church are not at all hidden, they are accessible to anyone who cares to discover for themselves what we truly believe, rather than rely on the news media’s liberal interpretations:

http://mormon.org

“This is much bigger than just a question of whether or not society should be more tolerant of the homosexual lifestyle. Over past years we have seen unrelenting pressure from advocates of that lifestyle to accept as normal what is not normal, and to characterize those who disagree as narrow-minded, bigoted and unreasonable. Such advocates are quick to demand freedom of speech and thought for themselves, but equally quick to criticize those with a different view and, if possible, to silence them by applying labels like ‘homophobic.'” (Dallin H. Oaks)

http://yes-on-prop8.blogspot.com/

.

cowboy
December 1st, 2008 | LINK

AlexT and indirectly to Mr. Oaks: re: “to silence them by apply labels like “homophobic”

Yeah..trying to silence the LDS Church. Which has:

1) Tried (indirectly through its members) to silence the Straight-Gay Alliance Clubs in Utah schools. You’ll remember the fracas this caused some years ago.
2) Owns a part of every major media in strategic parts of the country (i.e.: Bonneville International. Just Google and see the breadth of coverage by the Mormon Church: (L.A., Chicago, Wash. D.C., Seattle, Phoenix, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and SLC)
3) Larry H. Miller (a Mormon) owns a long list of theaters and TV stations. (He was the one that censored Brokeback Mountain from being shown in his theaters.
4) The vast satellite network owned by the Mormon Church to broadcast to each and every Ward and Stake House in the WORLD; any church or broadcasting network would envy.

Let’s talk about who is silencing whom? And in my dictionary, the very actions of the LDS Church is highly anti-gay and with the actions of its members as examples, I would say the Mormons are very homophobic.

We will see how the LDS Church and its cache of lawyers work their propaganda organ in January to see just how non-homophobic they are when it comes to saying they are for civil rights for gays.

John
December 1st, 2008 | LINK

Alex T

Nobody is silencing the Mormons. In fact, they have made it clear that they will continue their hateful campaign against gay people.

What we aren’t going to do is give them a free pass. Their hate is under the microscope right now and is going to stay there. Nobody likes to be called on their lies and anti-gay campaigns. This negative publicity may actually discourage others from being drawn into the ambitious political web the LDS are trying to weave from Utah out through the rest of the country. Let freedom (and free speech) ring!!!

David C.
December 1st, 2008 | LINK

I think the thing that needs silencing is the lies. Whatever side of the question you find yourself on, at least have the common decency to tell the truth plainly.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.”
–Daniel Patrick Moynihan, sociologist and politician

For Christians, silencing the lies at least means do not bear false witness, which is a specific commandment. The overdue realization for Christians as they participate in the political system is that “belief” is not the same as fact, and rarely is belief an acceptable substitute for “truth” when battling in the political arena, or bargaining in any other marketplace of ideas.

For everybody engaged in this debate, the truth will stand the test of time, which will in the long run be more helpful to the advancement of society and the common good.

For every Christian follower or leader complaining about the beating they are taking here, elsewhere on the internet, or in the press, I’ll borrow from another statesman for my advice:

“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
–Harry Truman

jake
December 3rd, 2008 | LINK

If mormons can’t hide behind a temple then you can’t hide behind “tolerance” You are offensive to me and as I am offensive to you. I wish for my beliefs to be tolerated just as you wish for yours. So how will we see who will provail? Let’s take a vote and see what the people decide. Done.Now stop writing your offensive and hateful things about Latter day saints.

Timothy Kincaid
December 3rd, 2008 | LINK

jake,

Kindly point out how this site hides behind “tolerance”.

Here at Box Turtle Bulletin we don’t believe that all opinions are equal or that every “belief” should be “tolerated” – whatever that means. As I’ve said before, we need not tolerate intolerance.

The Gideonse Bible » Blog Archive » Because it bears repeating: “The top 10 reasons why Prop 8 passed”
May 26th, 2009 | LINK

[…] that gay people are treated equal under the law? Paid for by Mormons. And now the LDS Church is complaining that they are being targeted by gay activists. Oh, cry me a river. You reap what you […]

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