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Another Reason To Rejoice

Jim Burroway

November 14th, 2009

There’s another reason to rejoice over the LDS Church’s historic support for pro-LGBT legislation in Salt Lake City: it’s causing all sorts of angst among anti-gay extremists. The right-wing group America Forever, whose fundraising ventures included selling worthless ID’s to Mexican immigrants, is incredulous. They charged that the seemingly powerless Church “was placed in this position by the gays from Utah.” That’s right. Gays are more powerful in Utah than the Mormon Church.

Other denunciations were more conventional. The American Family Association of Michigan’s Gary Glenn sputtered that the Church’s position was “grossly ignorant.” The Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg charged that the Church was “bend[ing] over backwards to exhibit tolerance toward homosexuals in some way.” Peter LaBarbera wailed that the church’s stance may mark “the ‘official’ split of the American pro-family movement against homosexuality into two camps,” with only one camp holding fast to unadulterated, no-holds-barred, anti-gay warfare — the only stance he finds acceptable. LaBarbera also worries:

If churches back “gay rights” (and the LDS is hardly the first), is there some truth to the idea that those of us who remain opposed to ALL aspects of the “GLBT agenda” are “bigots” or somehow extreme in our worldview?

Increasingly, the answer to LaBarbara’s question is self-evident. If someone opposes ALL aspects (as LaBarbera emphatically stipulates) of recognizing the humanity of any people — whoever they may be — then yes, they are bigots and extremists. That’s pretty much the definition. There’s no other way to put it. And whenever a major denomination like the LDS church can frame a question like this through its actions with such stark clarity, we all benefit.



November 14th, 2009 | LINK

Absolutely, the opposition is splitting into two camps: those who base their position on a genuine, if misguided, interpretation of Scripture, and those who are simply using religion as a cover for bigotry.

As the Episcopalians and Lutherans showed in the summer, and the LDS have now done, when genuine Christians approach the matter in a proper Spirit of sincere Christian principle, they can make progress towards justice, which is at the heart of Gospels.

Those who do not, quickly expose themselves as motivated only by prejudice.

November 14th, 2009 | LINK

LaBarbera’s obsession is amazing. It is rare for anyone to have any obsession that intense without it being sexual.

November 14th, 2009 | LINK

The conservatives are right: it is absurd for a religious denomination that still believes that homosexuality is seriously immoral to support anti-discrimination legislation protecting homosexuals. If homosexuality is indeed immoral, that would be the equivalent of supporting legislation protecting liars or thieves. The inherent absurdity of the Mormon church’s new position means that it will likely abandon it in the long term.

Timothy (TRiG)
November 14th, 2009 | LINK

Quo, what you fail to understand is that there are two kinds of immorality: There’s immorality that hurts people, such as theft and murder. Much of this immorality is legislated against. Then there’s immorality that doesn’t hurt anyone, but that offends some people’s invisible friend in the sky.

The fact is that even people who believe that the second type of immorality is a real category (and I certainly don’t count myself among their number), are often aware that it is a different category, and feel that these “immoral” acts should not be punished by legislation.

See an example from a couple of Islamic thinkers:

“The Quran condemns homosexuality, but doesn’t prescribe any punishment for it. It’s a sin, not a crime. Sin is between Allah and the sinner, but crime concerns the entire society. So, sexual minorities should be left to their conscience. They are answerable to Allah for their act and should not be treated as criminals,” said Islamic scholar Asghar Ali Engineer.

Maulana Abu Zafar Hassan Nadvi, a cleric, too accepts that since the Quran is silent on the punishment for homosexuality, it should be treated as an irreligious, immoral act. ‘‘Every non-religious act is not liable to be punished. Just as we don’t pronounce death for atheists, homosexuals should be left alone until they get reformed,” said Maulana Nadvi.

The Vatican too feels that homosexual acts should not be criminal.


Of course, it’s a long way from decriminalisation to anti-discrimination acts and full equality. It’s a long walk. But it’s a walk down the same road. Once you accept the logic of decriminalisation you will, sooner or later, get all the way to equality. That’s the only place the logic can take you.


November 14th, 2009 | LINK

“The inherent absurdity of the Mormon church’s new position means that it will likely abandon it in the long term.”

Unless they get a “REVELATION” about it, like the ones about polygamy and non-whites.

November 15th, 2009 | LINK

My political advice it ignore the morman church. (lower case intentional)

They have lots of money and support.
They are ultra conservative.
They are not open to views outside their own.

On the positive side, the are so much like Scientology. Look at Tom Cruise!

Regan DuCasse
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

Quo, you have a seriously contrarian tic.

As Trig rightly details, there are actions and decisions that ALL of us agree with that are harmful and can affect anyone and does.
There are RELIGIOUS disciplines that are up to the individual to decide to what extent they will follow them, or not.
None of which can be COERCED by the government.

There are also things that will offend SOMEONE’S faith, which, in our diverse society is clearly unavoidable.
Which is why I always bring up the examples of autopsy, organ and blood donation, contraception and dancing. Of all these, dancing is the most innocuous. But a secular society would not only agree they are acceptable, but NECESSARY to basic and general quality of life, however risky for some.
And none of those whose religion is offended by these, can coerce the government to ban the choice to have it.
Although some have tried to do just that.

But what we should hold to any person of faith is the directive that most cultures AGREE is the one that requires the utmost of ethical decisions and actions simply: treating another person the way you’d want to be treated.

That is one, the other is reminding faith communities of the religious abuses that have gone on before and that they should go forward with extreme caution and avoid repetition of abuse. A dominant culture will find a way to rationalize and justify that abuse, or apply a religious discipline INCONSISTENTLY, all the time.
And it’s clear that the demands to discriminate based on religious belief IS being directed almost exclusively at gay people, but not heterosexuals who more than meet religious criteria for their discrimination or the demand to practice it freely.

It is fair to call people on this inconsistency and accountable.

Homosexuality has been around longer than EVERYTHING to do with religion.
And any number of them have made shit up to create problems based on artificial gender expectations, not natural ones.

Mormons haven’t been around that long comparatively, and they had to get over a lot of things to bring them in line of acceptable behavior that didn’t abuse blacks or women LEGALLY if they wanted to participate in the fullness and protections of this country.

And they weren’t hurt in the least by having to do so.
No one is.

November 16th, 2009 | LINK

Wow, quite the deranged rant.

Peter LaBarbera: If homosexuality (sodomy) is truly a crime against nature (and implicitly nature’s God), as Noah Webster defined it in 1828, and liberties truly come from God as I trust we all believe, then how can we possibly acquiesce to “rights” based on sin and perversion and keep our credibility as truth-tellers?

Poor thing thinks he’s a truth-teller with credibility. *sigh*

November 16th, 2009 | LINK

I have to wonder Qou, if you had your way, how would the government and society treat homosexuals?

Priya Lynn
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

Trig said “The Vatican too feels that homosexual acts should not be criminal.”

Oh, they’ve disingenously claimed that, but when the U.N. introduced a resolution to decriminalize gayness the Vatican came out in opposition:

Action’s speak louder than words and the Vatican is loudly exclaiming that they want gayness to be criminal.

Timothy Kincaid
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

Poor Peter.

He doesn’t know that dictionaries don’t define words. They simply report definitions.

Words are symbols used to represent ideas, and they are defined by common usage. Dictionaries only provide the most commonly accepted definitions in use to assist us if we are unfamiliar with a word or what it represents.

Webster actually rejected the idea that some authority (in his time, British aristocracy) should determine usage and spelling and impose it upon the culture. Rather, he argued for “the same republican principles as American civil and ecclesiastical constitutions”; in other words, the definitions are determined by the people.

But Peter has never much cared whether what he has to say makes any sense at all. And he has absolutely no concept of history.

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