63 responses

  1. Timothy (TRiG)
    January 23, 2009

    Hey. I live in Ireland. I know all about nominal Catholics. (My family, by contrast, are Jehovah’s Witnesses.)

    I’ll check your link, GaySolomon.

    TRiG.

  2. Seth R.
    January 26, 2009

    Look guys, I’ve been trying, trying, trying to distance my fellow Mormons from the Christian Right for years now. I’ve always said that the moment the Christian Right was done with gays, lesbians, and evolution teachers, they’d be coming after us Mormons.

    I really don’t like how large elements of the Mormon Church are allied both theologically and culturally with the Christian Right.

    But I can tell you one thing – these protests aren’t helping what I’m trying to do here.

    If anything, all the protests have done is galvanize the undecided or lukewarm Mormons into a much firmer support of the Christian Right and into rejection anything that smacks of the “godless left.” All it did was convince many Mormons that Evangelicals aren’t half as much of a problem to us as the hostile gay community is.

    All the protests did was confirm in Mormon minds how right they all were to oppose such a bunch of unhinged mouth-foaming left-wing whack-jobs.

    It’s kind of like Bush’s “Axis-of-Evil” speech. Sure it made people puff up their chests and say “hell yeah” about how he sure “told it straight” to those evil nations.

    But fact is, Iran was actually changing internally and becoming much more open and democratic. A moderate President (Khatami) was in power and popular Iranian sentiment was more pro-American than it had been in years.

    Then Bush labeled Iran a part of the “Axis of Evil.” And it all went straight to hell. Iranians on the streets were pissed-off, anti-American sentiment hardened, the moderate president was kicked out, the hardliners took over and over a decade of progress in American-Iranian relations went down the crapper.

    These temple protests are doing the same thing. These magic underwear comments that are popping up all over the web are doing the same thing. These gratuitous quotations of South Park and “pedophile Joe” and beating up Mormon missionaries are doing the same thing. You’re simply forcing a hardening of attitudes among a people who already had fortress mentality to begin with. And you risk rolling back almost a decade of very real progress the LDS Church was making with respect to homosexual issues. There was a real softening going on.

    That may have all been shot to hell, thanks to the wildly anti-religious outpouring that has occurred among the gay community.

  3. Timothy (TRiG)
    January 28, 2009

    Am I “wildly anti-religious”? I am anti-religious, but I’m not sure how wild I am. I’m certainly anti-religious when religious arguments are applied to social policy. If you think that we (society) should do something, you need to present a better reason than “my imaginary friend says so”.

    I will not back down from this.

    And yes, beliefs held in the face of the evidence do deserve to be mocked, and therefore I will mock them. Why shouldn’t I?

    I admit it might be politic to get the religious onside (and of course many gay people are religious), but personally I prefer not to get my hands dirty. Religion has ever been the enemy of reason, and is generally a retarding influence on moral progress.

    And besides, I don’t see this as an argument between gay people and religious people. How could it be, when so many gay people are religious, even Christian? No, this is an argument between faith and reason. It is an argument between advocates of theocracy and advocates of freedom. It is an argument between book-based morality and reality-based morality.

    And I don’t apoligise for siding with morality.

    TRiG,
    Tired.

  4. Timothy Kincaid
    January 28, 2009

    And yes, beliefs held in the face of the evidence do deserve to be mocked, and therefore I will mock them. Why shouldn’t I?

    Because if you do so at this site you will be banned.

    If you don’t like our rules, don’t read the site.

  5. Seth R.
    January 28, 2009

    A pretty good chunk of human scientific advance came because of new religious ideas. Same for social developments.

    The end of slavery and segregation came from expressly religious themes. Not secular.

    Just because a religion has what you call “an imaginary friend” doesn’t mean that it automatically deserves a dismissal. You can engage a religion on its own terms and still accomplish shared values and goals.

    Take the well-known example of the status of blacks in the LDS Church (they weren’t granted full religious participation until the 1970s). You encounter a Church with a racist policy. What do you do?

    Tell them how messed up they are for believing in an imaginary friend and how nobody who believes creepy religious stuff has the right to dictate what a racial group can and can’t do?

    Or do you point out how their own sacred writings declare that “God is no respecter of persons” among other things? Do you read into the Book of Mormon and find examples of how the “dark-skinned Lamanites” eventually grew into a holy people themselves and eventually had to call upon the light-skinned Nephites to shape-up.

    Do you do enough legwork to understand that there are RELIGIOUS arguments that can advance your goals within the framework that churchgoers operate in?

    Or do you act like you’re twelve years old and sit outside on the curb throwing insults at the “kooky religious people?”

  6. Timothy (TRiG)
    January 29, 2009

    Oh the beauties of thread drift! Who knows where a discussion may end up?

    I have mocked and shall continue to mock religion, but I don’t do it very often, because mockery isn’t my strong point. I really am not that good at it. For example, I have not mocked religion here at BTB (unless you count references to an invisible/imaginary friend as mockery: I think it’s just telling it as I see it).

    I also post at the CARM Christian Discussion Forums, and I don’t often mock religion there either. I can get on with religious people, and I can even frame an argument in religious terms, which brings me on to Seth’s point.

    Seth, the Mormon Church did not accept black people as members. That’s their right: they’re a private organisation, a club. If some members disagree, they can petition to change the rules of the club, should they so wish. If they can’t change the rules, they’re free to leave and set up their own club. Big deal. Yes, you can have internal religious debates.

    Similarly, some branches of Christianity now celebrate same-sex marriages. Many others don’t. Christians are free to have theological discussions on this subject, as on others, and to join the church which best reflects their beliefs. This is the place for internal religious debates.

    But if the Mormon Church works to actively fight against equality in society at large, outside the church body, then that’s a different matter, isn’t it?

    Get this: I don’t care what the Mormons or any other religious body believe. If they want to teach that homosexuality is a sin, or that women must wear headscarves, or that pasta may be eaten only on the second Tuesday of the month, or anything else, they’re welcome to. But when they seek to impose those laws on non-members, I will protest. Vigorously.

    Here. Let’s get back on topic for a moment:

    http://www.religionnewsblog.com/22914/mormon-church-homosexuality

    TRiG,
    Lazy.

  7. Seth R.
    January 29, 2009

    As a practical matter, how is a religious person supposed to separate his religious views from his political views?

    Yeah, I know CARM it’s that Christian fundamentalist message board that bans any Mormon who actually threatens them with a difficult argument.

  8. Timothy (TRiG)
    January 31, 2009

    Your political opinions are based on your moral opinions; your moral opinions are based on your understanding of the nature of reality (i.e., your beliefs); and your beliefs are strongly influenced by your religion. So no, they cannot be fully separated; you’re right.

    However, a belief that “I should not do X” need not equate to a belief that “X should be banned”.

    Also, political discourse would be immeasurably improved if people would give reasons for their positions and supply evidence for their beliefs.

    TRiG,
    Cynic.

  9. Deann B
    February 24, 2009

    As I sit here and read all these messages you all have put here a question pops into my mind. When they were writing the Bill of Right’s what exactly were they trying to do with the first amendment? The people of this nation have freedom of speech, press, and so forth. I am only 17 years old, and have found through my years of searching for a church that fits me, that the only church I see to be true is the Mormon church. Now having the backround, that I do come to have, I don’t understand how such hatred can be pressed on one religious group. I believe in what the words in our scriptures say. I believe in the stories that I have heard and I have a strong knowledge of what was laid forth for me from my father in heaven and Jesus Christ, but no that doesn’t mean I think the same way about topics put forth by media and politics. I believe in gay rights and believe they should be allowed to be married and so on. I think abortions should not be legal and that it’s more of an issue of are people paying attention to how much time they put towards sex than to how much money they would have to spend if something like a pregnancy occurs. I also believe abortions should be illegal because it is your baby. Your creation made between the love you had with another human being. I do think you should adopt because difficulties will come into play with families and that baby may have been put there for you to have and to hold and love with all the love you have. But coming back to my question, that’s just what I think. How I feel. The words that I am proud to say. I don’t understand how people can point their finger right at Mormon’s and say, “You’re wrong”. Because to us, this is the truth of all things. It is not like we are pressuring you to believe what we believe. Yes, we have baptisms for the dead. Most of which are OUR own family members. Yes, we believe in three levels of heaven. But it’s more of a question of what do we deserve to be placed at? What level? We do not, what so ever, be asked to be criticized on what we believe because we are happy with what we believe in. We have the faith. If you are happy with you life then good. Keep in that way, but don’t ruin other peoples lives by spreading around the falses you find. Since, yet again, that is what you think. I have no problem with people that are against this religion because that’s how you are taking this life, it just puts me down when I realize how people discriminate when they do not like something. Especially to the point when people stand outside our church protesting. It is not right and it’s disrespect to your own American citizens.

  10. Scott P.
    February 24, 2009

    Yes, Deanne, after all, there was no disrespect meant when the LDS Church told it’s followers to do everything they could to pass Prop. H8, was there?

    Got any tears or sorrow for the damage done by religious institutes, including the LDS? Ever read about the things done to gay people in Utah as late as the 80′s? Electro-shock treatment, aversion therapy, telling them to marry an opposite sex partner. All these things were sponsored by the LDS Church and it’s leadership.

    And, just to let you know, not every child is born of love, not every child born is wanted, not every child born is adopted.

    You think that a few marches and some spray paint are terrible things. Well, not as terrible as being forced into a second-class status by the efforts of the ultra-religious right.

    When I grew up in Salt Lake I heard Mormons talk about how they’d been persecuted, just like the Jews. I never saw Mormons rounded up in cattle cars, never saw them murdered in the streets, but oh, how I’ve the cries of martyrdom from Christians most of my life. Nothing is more nauseating than have some Mormon come into a synagogue and declare “I’m a member of the Tribe of Benjamin”, as if that somehow equates what happened over a hundred and fifty years ago to horrors that are still in living memory.

    Do some growing, look around you, listen to others outside of your faith, and you’ll be a better person for it.

  11. cowboy
    February 24, 2009

    Deann B,
    A little background on me: I have lived all my life in Utah (except for a brief stint in Atlanta and Fresno). I have family who are deeply involved with the Mormon (LDS) Church. I, of course, have taken an alternative route in my life because I cannot reconcile my feelings and what I believe is truth with the dictates of the LDS Church.

    Having said that…I will defend the LDS Church when I feel they have been unfairly treated and there has been some misconception about the Mormons expressed on the internet. I try to dispel the rumors and falsehoods about the LDS Church.

    If you wouldn’t mind, I suggest you read deeper into the discussions here and see that BoxTurtleBulletin in itself is not promoting any falsehoods. The authors here go out of their way to make this a fair representation of the issues (particular with emphasis on gay). I vouch for these blog-hosts. They are decent people with much more fairness than you will find in other blogs. There is admittedly some bias here. That’s to be expected. True and honest discourse of topics has to be factual and supported by reputable sources…not just hearsay.

    Please keep in mind I may be critical of the Mormons for when they do something wrong. They are not perfect…even when the Prophet speaks. The LDS Church is not immune from human error.

    So, when you see how people outside the LDS Church criticize some dogma, it’s partly they don’t understand the tenants and partly the dogma of the LDS Church is such a foreign concept sometimes.

    Let me as a gay man tell you that I appreciate your writing. However, just as you have the right to type something on this blog, I have my civil right to stand outside your Churches or your Temples and make my voice heard. That your LDS buildings are a target is mostly because you put the Temples in obviously prominent places. That was by design. But that also brings attention to your Church. It was intended to be a missionary tool, perhaps but in this day and age, it is almost vulgar and ostentatious (my opinion).

    But, the last few years, the LDS Church has taken a strident and almost war-like stance with regards to gay civil rights. You wouldn’t expect us to stand and let that happen would you? Realistically, if I started a petition in California to outlaw all Mormon Temple Sealings because they’re done in “secret” you would be protesting your civil rights being compromised too.

    Let me tell you, all my life I have had to deal with being demonized and told I should stay celibate and sit in the back of the chapel and say nothing. I have been told I am dirty, filthy and satanic. My co-workers (who are Mormon) are challenging me in my work and in my private life. They can make my life miserable at times. This is my livelihood. I have no other choice but to be who I am. I cannot and will not be celibate for the sake of someone’s religious views and I certainly will not fake my love and pretend I love someone I really couldn’t love in the way that would make me feel happy.

    It is not our protesting that makes you mad. It’s our protesting that make you uncomfortable with the reality that maybe the LDS Church has done something wrong…and that is a foreign concept to deal with.

  12. Timothy (TRiG)
    March 2, 2009

    Many of my friends are religious.

    I’ve only just realised what I said here. Odd, since it’s something that’s been said many times by members of the opposition.

    Wait for it ….

    Some of my best friends are deluded fantasists.

    TRiG,
    Yikes.

  13. Joseph
    July 27, 2009

    Kudoo’s to everyone who is putting forth “constructive” discusion. Even though I do not personaly agree with gay relationships, I do agree that it is not up to others such as myself (Straight) to unfairly judge others on thier personal and religious beliefs. I am a USAF vet and served with male and female gay personel. Anyone one of them would have laid there lives on the the line for this and other countries and each and everyone of you. May I remind you,”They still are this very minute this very day.” On the Mormon subject if I may. When the mormons built thee Multi,Multi Million Dollar Temple around 10 years ago in Nauvoo, Illinois. They allowed a whole limited weekend crowd to walk through this building soon after it was constructed. Members of this “group” would stand at doorways (Like CIA Agents) they did not want you to go through. You were not allowed to use thee restrooms, you were not to stand still and look and admire the craftsmanship or you would be nudged to move along by one of thee “CIA Agents”. It was very uncomfortable to be there and a two year old would recognize the cockiness they exhibeted. Now I am not judging just telling you a small part of their Hospitality that I personaly experienced. If you try to walk into that temple today and you are not a member (Mormon), you will be thrown out and if you try to ask why, the police will be called and you will have charges of Tresspassing filed against you. You and I can walk in any denominations church in this country and (the middle east mind you) and be welcomed but not at a mormons church or Temple. Talk amongst yourselves, Take Care.
    Joseph

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