86 responses

  1. Seth R.
    December 23, 2010


    Yes the LDS Church does have their own PR department and legal department.

    But watching this closely, I’ve simply come to the conclusion that the LDS Church leadership really didn’t think Prop 8 through very well before they endorsed it. Only some of the apostles (for instance) signed on to organization opposing gay marriage (one wonders why all of them didn’t). I’m not sure everyone in Salt Lake was totally behind this campaign, but support was certainly unanimous enough to call the members in California to action.

    But when the call to action came in LDS chapels, it was VERY ambiguous. I read the document that was read in LDS church meetings – and it was very bare bones. All it did was state the LDS Church’s THEOLOGICAL opposition to gay marriage, and then call on members to support Prop 8.

    As a believing Mormon, I had a couple reactions:

    1. I was quite glad I live in Colorado and not California – so I didn’t have to support Prop 8 (as I saw it) as a part of my membership status.

    2. I felt like the letter was utterly inadequate to explain WHY we Mormons were supposed to back this political measure.

    In my mind, there is a difference between theological reasons for a stance, and the implementation of that stance POLITICALLY.

    The LDS Church has usually confined itself to the theological realm – opposing gay marriage within our religious context for theological reasons. You can agree with this or not, but the LDS Church does have a developed argument for the religious side.

    But here’s the thing – having a theological reason does not automatically translate into societal or political implementation. The LDS leadership made a huge mistake here in thinking that it does. They had confined themselves to theological moral discourse on the subject up to that point. They just assumed that these arguments would be good enough to provide a justification for passing a law in California.

    I think this was both flat wrong, and incredibly naive.

    The first thing I thought when the letter was read – as a believing Mormon – was:

    “Well, sure – I understand the theological argument against same sex marriage – but why should I therefore impose that value upon California law?”

    For me – the LDS Church had no answer and no argument. Why impose these religious concerns upon the law? I kept waiting for the LDS leadership to formulate an argument and issue it to the California membership, and they never did.

    The document read in LDS meetinghouses was entirely inadequate as a justification for supporting Prop 8. All it did was declare marriage between a “man and a woman” and then encourage the membership to “get cracking” and support Prop 8. As a map for a political campaign, it totally failed. It left the Mormon lay membership with almost zero arguments for why this was good politics and good social policy.

    As a result, the average Mormon supporter of Prop 8 was left with nothing to rely on – except the other political organizations supporting the campaign.

    Why did this happen? Why did the LDS leadership shove us out the door armed with nothing more than a few vague declarations about how marriage between a man and a woman is good and gay marriage is bad, but no societal and political argument whatsoever?

    Well, I’m a fan of never attributing to malice what can just as easily be attributed to incompetence. I think this was a case of incompetence. I simply think the LDS leadership never really thought the politics through here and never bothered to formulate a political argument.

    Believe it or not, the LDS Church is not particularly politically experienced. They usually stay out of politics and only rarely get involved much. Their general stance on political hot-button topics has always been to articulate general moral positions (like “abortion is bad”), and then delegate the political decision-making to the individual members (for instance, a faithful Mormon might choose to implement opposition to the idea of abortion in either a Republican OR Obama-style Democrat approach). This has been a useful political model for the LDS Church and has usually done a good job of keeping them out of trouble. Prop 8 was an unusual departure.

    Basically, the LDS leadership is not used to doing this kind of thing. They didn’t know what would be required to successfully forward the issue. They thought it would be enough to simply mobilize the votes (for which their letter read in church was sufficient – obviously). They never thought about the aftermath, or the need to convince broader American society. And you cannot convince a broad swath of America on moral arguments alone – you have to show everyone the political implementation and why it’s a good idea. The LDS Church simply had no plan for “phase 2.”

    Being inexperienced, they abdicated their own responsibility to make the “phase 2″ argument and left it to the other non-Mormon political elements operating in California.

    In a sense, this is kind of an extension of the usual LDS Church approach – stay hands-off in politics and leave the political strategy to others. I think this is actually what they were trying to do with Prop 8 as well, actually.

    But this is an irresponsible approach in the Prop 8 instance. The LDS Church had already thrown its weight behind a specific political implementation. They were no longer in a position where they could avoid making a political argument. But they were still instinctively trying to take that stance. As a result, they went into the political campaign only halfway – which benefited no one and merely served to piss off their political opponents, while at the same time mobilizing no support from their political allies.

    And we haven’t seen any similar LDS political involvement since.

    This was a poorly thought-out and half-hearted political effort from the LDS Church, and I think they kind of realize this. It has forced them to rethink their stance on gay marriage and question why they are politically fighting it. I don’t think they ever really thought through why they were opposing gay marriage POLITICALLY in the first place, and the backlash has forced them to reconsider that.

    It will be interesting to see how the LDS Church’s political stance changes over the next decade on this issue.

    It may very well be that Prop 8 will simply be a fluke in the LDS Church’s normal stance of political non-involvement.

  2. Ben in Oakland
    December 23, 2010

    Seth- as a non-believing non-mormon, I don’t buy much of what you are saying.

    If they had stuck to the theological argument alone, they would not have won. Theology doesn’t play so well. Only mormons, rabid fundamentalists, and late night comedy show hosts cared about mormon theology.

    It’s true they had no other arguments, and also true they had no objection to someone inventing them. There is plenty of documentation available (Fred Karger) to indicate that they through a great deal of political and moneyed weight at it.

    I suspect– and others have echoed it here- that this was an attempt to buy respectability from other conservative denominations. and what is the sacrifice of the lives and happiness of a few queers to political/theological triumph? the queers aren’t getting their own planets to be gods of.

    Asfor THIS statement of yours: “And we haven’t seen any similar LDS political involvement since.

    When NOM complies with various state laws in Maine and rhode island and proves that its funding does not come from either the church directly or from the very deep pockets of some very wealthy mormons who are active in the church hierarchy, then we can talk.

    Until then, any talk of mormon non-involvement is just that– talk. your church is not a hapless, innocent, well meaning but misguided organization. I hear no apologies. I hear nothing indicating and reconsideration of its motives, methods, and results.

    What I hear is chagrin at being caught. My mother believed a sin is not a sin until it is found out.

  3. cowboy
    December 23, 2010

    I was totally surprised at the letter too. I seemed uncharacteristic of the LDS Church. It was not like in Hawaii where the Mormons just quietly and almost secretly worked in the background.

    I still have some questions, though.

    I wondered what did they expect the Saints to do after being told to so whatever it takes to pass Proposition 8? What did they expect when they are told to follow the admonition of the Prophet without question.

    They said they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) use tithing to pay for the support of Prop 8. Where did the Mormon folk donate their non-tax deductable to? Where did the millions of dollars go to? (Repeat: it was not tithing and whatever they, the Brothers & Sisters in the Ward donated should not have been listed on Schedule A on their IRS forms.)

    Did they donate directly to the campaign or to NOM? That has never been really cleared up.

  4. cd
    December 23, 2010

    I simply don’t think this is as big a divide as you seem to think.

    The distinctive element of Mormonism is the axiomatic heterosexism of its spiritual/metaphysical universe and the derivative rules of how to order life on Earth.

    Giving that up means the LDS concedes its uniqueness and maybe it’s major competitive advantage. After all, people join and stay in the LDS on a perception of achieving a happy and well-ordered group and family life.

    Gay marriage legalization is not just about the ending of heterosexism in the institution. It’s also the fight, perhaps proxy fight, for mainstream consensus about the mainstream ideology of the institution in American society. It’s been becoming an institution that is understood ever more comprehensively in liberal terms and increasingly understood to serve liberal life aims/values. Gay marriage is where the conservatives can finally draw the line they’ve long wanted to and assert that marriage has to be hierarchical and defined by e.g. duty, reproduction, division of labor by predefined gender roles, one partner being obligated to serve the other’s desires, interests, and career unconditionally.

  5. Ben in Oakland
    December 23, 2010

    “The distinctive element of Mormonism is the axiomatic heterosexism of its spiritual/metaphysical universe and the derivative rules of how to order life on Earth.”

    what you said.

  6. John in the Bay Area
    December 23, 2010

    Seth’s attempt to rewrite the history of Prop 8 is insulting to those of us victimized by the Mormon Church. They funded, controlled and directed that campaign. They are responsible for the commercials that lied about gays forcing churches to marry them, and painting gays as a threat to children. They own this campaign. They also own the blow back, including the suspicion that Prop 8 was in part a preparation for trying to get Romney elected president.

    They were very active in Hawaii and Alaska. To pretend that Prop 8 was a first is a flat out lie. And, as Ben pointed out, there is the small matter of NOM’s funding. Likely to be heavily Mormon if that money laundering operation ever complies with the law.

    Telling the truth and owning up to the damage and mistrust that the Mormon Church has created would be far more productive than falling back on the Mormon principal of lying for the Lord.

  7. Ben in Oakland
    December 23, 2010

    Timothy will remember, and delete this if i am incorrect. I wouldn’t want to be spreading false information, and my memory she ain’t so good anymore…

    but isn’t the president or dean of law at pepperdine– a catholic school i believe– a mormon? Wasn’t there something about this on the blogs? And was he not the guy who was making the scurrilous claim that marriage equality would mean that churches wpuld be forced to perform gay marriages?

    If all of this is the case, that is Quite a little accidental confluence of relevant facts in a fairly random universe.

  8. Ben in Oakland
    December 23, 2010

    BTW, according to what I read in argentina, they were also very active in trying to prevent Marriage equality there. This was inthe buenos aires Herald.

  9. Ben in Oakland
    December 23, 2010

    Not to mention the phone banking students at BYU.

    not to mention the articles in the Chronicle about the archbishop of San francsco, and how he naturally turned to his good friends the mormons from his former diocese in salt Lake City when he want to squash the evil homosexual agenda.

    Quite a tribute to ecumenism and irrational linking of otherwise obviously unrelated events, eh Seth?



  10. Ben in Oakland
    December 23, 2010

    and not to mention…

    i have also noticed this. (And someone if I am wrong about Seth in this case, please correct me).

    Whenever there is a open, fair-minded discussion on any number of blogs concerning the Mormon Church’s attacks on the civil, religious, and theological equality of gay people, from at least 1994 to the present, there always appears, as if my Kolobian magic, a voice, (presumably) young, (presumably) naive, but nevertheless (and strangely) deeply privy to and understanding of the thoughts of the Mormon Presidency and Council of Whatevers. The voice is always deeply concerned that the mormons are being misunderstood, misrepresented, and have no animus running in this race.

    No. Really. It was all a mistake. We’re not that way.

    It’s almost as if– almost– there is some sort of internet monitoring group that keeps an eye out for these kinds of discussions, so that they can insert their own propaganda into what would otherwise be a clean discussion.

    But thinking something like that would be totally paranoid, wouldn’t it? I mean, these presumably young and naive people would not be so immoral as to lie about who they are and their intentions? They are not so immorally stupid that they couldn’t read what is said here and there by seemlingly rational people with some kinds of facts to back them up, and perhaps think that maybe the Church’s version needs a little bit of research.

    Nah. I’m probably being paranoid.

  11. Richard Rush
    December 23, 2010

    Ben in Oakland said,

    It’s almost as if– almost– there is some sort of internet monitoring group that keeps an eye out for these kinds of discussions, so that they can insert their own propaganda into what would otherwise be a clean discussion.

    I remember reading about a Mormon internet monitoring group some time ago. What Ben described is exactly what I’ve understood to be the case.

  12. Ben in Oakland
    December 23, 2010


    Accusing the mormon church of manufacturing and disseminating propaganda?

    Next you’ll be accusing these Bright Young Things of knowingly disseminating propaganda for their church, and not questioning why their church should be monitoring the websites of anyone, let alone those of organizations and people who seem to have (for some reason) a vastly deifferent perception of the Machinations of the El Grupo Morg…

    Let alone being told what to say as IF they were privy to the minds of the Grand Poobahs of the temple.

    That would be an impropa-ganda, and a goose of a different oclor all together,

  13. Soren456
    December 23, 2010

    There’s always an apologist at hand–Christian, Mormon, Moslem or otherwise–to insist that what we see isn’t really true.

    They seem to pop up on their own; I doubt that the Mormons would need to manufacture one for this blog.

  14. John in the Bay Area
    December 23, 2010


    The apologist isn’t manufactured for this blog. They just have internet filters looking for posts about Mormons. They check in on the posts. Then, they will make posts in defense of the Morg. They have been doing it for a long time. If you go through this blog’s previous posts about the Morg, you will find the Mormon apologists who have never posted on any other topic dropping in to try to spin the negative information about the Morg in a positive (or less negative) direction.

    For more information, exmormon.org is a treasure trove of information about how the Morg operates.

  15. Soren456
    December 23, 2010

    Gotcha. But the apology just above is so clumsy, and unconvincing, and so unlikely even to be read. Can’t they do better?

    I’ve never seen official Mormonism to be anything but very slick.

  16. John in the Bay Area
    December 23, 2010

    Apologists generally do a better job of explaining things that you have no backround in. When they take on a topic like Mormon involvement in the Prop 8 campaign with a generally hostile audience (gay and lesbian people who were the target of that campaign), they generally don’t do very well.

    The Mormon PR folks in the Prop 8 campaign aren’t any more likely to make a better defense than Seth R.

  17. Richard Rush
    December 23, 2010

    If some LDS apologists are lurking, I invite them to provide compelling evidence for how Joseph Smith’s story surrounding the gold plates is really true, and not just an enormous fraud that was sold to gullible people who then passed it on to their descendants while the cleverest among them manipulated it to gain power and wealth (just like most religions).

  18. Theo
    December 23, 2010

    Couple of points in response to the various comments above:

    - There is no evidence that the LDS has repeated its Prop 8-style interloping in 2009 or 2010.

    We know for a fact that there was no LDS money flowing to the anti-gay side in Washington state’s R-71 fight, because they remained impoverished until the end.

    In Maine, none of the Mormon donors from Prop 8 weighed in for Question 1. I have studied the filings very closely, and these folks just were not in that fight. Now it is true that the origins of NOM’s cash contributions in Maine have not been fully disclosed. But at this point, I very much doubt that LDS money accounts for much, if any, of NOM’s 2009 contributions in support of Question 1. Why? First, because the Knights of Columbus have already been identified as the source for most of the money. Second, because the tsunami of LDS money in Prop 8 did not come from the church per se, but was triggered by the explicit call by the Prophet that members should give. There was no such call from the Prophet or any LDS official with respect to Question 1.

    - The LDS has supported anti-discrimination laws, most recently in Salt Lake City. This is a positive step, and we should encourage it. Right now, a battle is brewing in the Utah legislature to either expand gay rights state-wide or repeal all the local ordinances passed to date. (The latter option is being brandished as a way to dampen the prospect of the former.) Real lobbying by the LDS could make the difference. (Believe it or not, it was the support of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland that helped make a statewide gay rights law a reality in Maine in 2005.)

    Gays and the LDS will continue to disagree over marriage, but if we can minimize LDS financial interloping and take advantage of its support in other areas, that is a good deal.

  19. John in the Bay Area
    December 23, 2010


    The LDS learn from their mistakes. They are not going to make the same mistake in terms of the way they fund their bigotry as they did in Prop 8. Due to public disclosure laws in California, their members who contributed to the bigotry of Prop 8 got outed.

    Your comment that “none” of the Mormon contributors to Prop 8 gave money to the fight in Maine is a rediculous assertion. Making an absolute statement like that undermines your credibility before anyone has even cross referenced the lists, which I doubt you are even able to do, given the huge whole created by NOM’s illegal refusal to comply with reporting laws. I suppose you don’t count the Wirthlins and their commercials or Gary Lawrence and his work with the campaign.

    Then you make the comment that NOM money hasn’t been fully disclosed, implying that some portion of the donors have been identified despite the fact that NOM hasn’t released any of the names. You cannot assert that there aren’t Mormon donors on that list until the list has been released and studied.

    It is doubtful that the Utah legislature could repeal the local anti-discrimination ordinances based on the Supreme Court decision in the Colorado case. So that is a red herring.

    The way to keep the LDS from financially interloping in campaigns is to make them pay dearly with as much negative publicity as possible when they do. So far, that has been far and away the most effective tool.

    We have no need to make some deal with the Morg. We’re succeeding by pointing out Mormon bigotry and political involvement to the rest of the country.

  20. Marlene
    December 24, 2010

    First of all, absolutely none, and I do mean *none* of the non-discrimination ordinances were passed until the LDS royalty gave their blessing. You can’t do a damn thing in that state unless some Mormon muckety-muck approves it.

    To those who claim Mormons aren’t involved in politics is lying out of their ass! It’s nearly a requirement for anyone running for political office to be Mormon, despite what the Constitution says.

    There have been many instances of non-Mormons being denied jobs, or being victims of religious bias. I remember a story about a Baptist mom being told that only Mormons could be Den Mothers in the Boy Scouts, until the secular press got a hold of the story, and *bingo!* she was told it was okay.

    They’ve campaigned across the country against same-sex marriage, but refuse to go after these “fundamentalist” Mormon cults who violate laws against plural marriage, reporting them to the authorities and demanding they break them up.

    I consider Mormonism a cult, just like Scientology.

  21. cowboy
    December 24, 2010

    John in the Bay Area,

    I, too, am very interested in the listing of contributors to NOM. I think we witnessed the power and influence Mormons have in California politics. But we can’t discount other contributors to Proposition 8. There was mentioned the connection between the Catholics and Mormon HQ in Salt Lake City. But, there was also had a big rally at the Qualcomm Stadium where Mormons were not really a factor. Who financed that? Lou Engle and his band of ardent homosexual haters and…who else?

    As for the “red herring”… I just got emailed from a friend to a call for action:

    [Utah] Senate President Michael Waddoups went on record yesterday saying there’s a chance the Utah Legislature may repeal the non-discrimination laws that have been passed in 10 cities and municipalities in Utah. “I’ve seen no advantage to the laws,” he says. ….

    Senate President Michael Waddoups, House Speaker Becky Lockhart and other Republicans are not only gearing up to make sure the protections don’t make it out of committee again, but they want to repeal the current laws that local governments have passed.

    These people are Mormons, yes…but pronouncements from the LDS Church seems to indicate the Mormon Authorities are willing to give gays/lesbians protection from discrimination.

    So, it seems Waddoups, et al are not listening very much to what their LDS Church says.

    It points to a very radical group of very politically powerful people who are so anti-gay it borders on psychotic obsessiveness. Abortion is down the list and it looks like immigration issues might be high on our 2011 Legislature agenda…but I bet dealing with gays is right up there in the committee meetings…more than our budget woes, the economy and how our public schools are LAST in the nation in funding.

    These anti-gay people are so powerful that it is futile to debate them. It’s can be discouraging when you witness their organization and control in our legislature. I had the opportunity to attend some legislation sessions in our Capitol and my jaw dropped when I saw the ranks of young people with Eagle Forum connection using laptops and who knew how to work the Senators and Representatives. They all hogged front-row seats in the gallery.


    You may be interested to know there are non-Mormons who live and work and find living in Utah a pleasant experience. My Representative in the Legislature is a Jew.

    I wish you would cite references to the Baptist Mother-Den Mother-Boy Scout story…I don’t know if what you are saying is true or not. There could be circumstances with perhaps your failing memory that could be helpful to our discussion.

    There is no denying the influence of the Mormon Church in politics. They are a major force. When you have a concentration of over 60% from one religion concentrated in one area of our country you tend to see a more theocratic type of government. But, we are just as surprised at the power the Mormons wield in other parts of the West.

    So, how much did Catholics or Evangelical churches donate to Proposition 8 and should we not protest at Cathedrals and some Mega-Churches too?

  22. Ben in Oakland
    December 24, 2010

    So, we have Craig, Theo, and Seth, all appearing as if from nowhere to claim that The Morg are not the meddling, anti-gay, theocratically inclined people that so many gay people think they are. And there is no Internet monitoring Group, ready to swoop in the minute anyone wants to shine a light under that particular theological rock.


    So here’s my proposal– not that I expect an answer.

    1) there is no internet monitoring group. So, these three, and a number of others in my four years of internet commentary, have appeared, as if out of the very ether of space, with a great deal of “evidence” and insight into the deepest workings of the highest governing bodies, to dispute with “facts” the obvious conclusions about this band of moralizing busybodies who don’t really hate gay people at all, but who do wish to see us as legally disadvantaged as possible in our non-Mormon society.

    So, boys, put up or shut up. Produce your evidence, documents, source materials. whatever you have. And Theo especially, since you seem to know so much about who donated what in Maine, would you please give us NOM’s records so that we can judge this for ourselves? Because NOM has not seen fit to tell anyone but YOU about it.

    2) There is an internet monitoring group, intended to muddy the clear waters of reasoned debate, if not poison the well altogether.

    This presents what I would call a real moral dilemma, as opposed to the false one that treating gay people people is somehow a threat to morality, decency, children, marriage, family, freedom, faith, and all of the other lies that You and Your Kind (goddam, I love delivering that line right back to you) have been promulgating to purchase your ticket to Kolub, or at least to the good graces of the Real Christians (so they claim)who would otherwise think of you as some sort of crazy cult.

    Here’s the dilemma. You are knowingly participating in a campaign of disinformation and propaganda– those of us who are your victims call them “lies’ for short.

    Is lying for your church a moral thing to do? Is lying for god exactly what someone who lives on Kolub expects? Is causing real damage to the lives of people you do not know, know nothing about, and how have done you no harm exactly the right thing to do to lead the world into everlasting bliss?

    And if these are not outright lies, but merely propaganda– and I am being VERY kind here– where is the evidence.

    I have no idea what passes for morality among Mormons, especially when theology is at stake. Actually, that’s not true, because I do know. I need only look at Tongan partisans demonstrating every day at Lake Merritt, who told me that they were Mormons and who told me that they had picked up their campaign materials (see all of the threats above)from Church just minutes before.

    But what I want to know is this: how can you live with yourselves, and point to yourselves as moral human beings, when this is what you and your church are doing? Do you despise us so much?

    So what is it going to be? Moral cowardice or standing up for what you believe is right?

  23. John in the Bay Area
    December 24, 2010

    Both Theo (probable Mormon plant) and cowboy (long time commenter whose motives I have no reason to question) raise this issue of the Utah legislature rescinding the local (limited) gay rights ordinances.

    The Utah legislature can do whatever it wants, but they can’t rescind the local protections without violating Supreme Court rulings in essentially an identical case in Colorado.

    But the more interesting part of this threat is can the Morg control the gay rights movement nationally by holding gay and lesbian Utahns hostage. That is the issue on the table here.

    As a Californian who has already been victimized by the Morg, I have no intention of giving them any more power over me. If they do start going back on the local protections in Utah, they will only expose themselves as the hateful bigots that we always knew they were. It will just stoke more fury into the protests in front of the California Temples during the 2012 election cycle when both Romney and repeal of the Mormon Prop 8 are on the ballot.

    It would appear that the Morg reaps what is sows.

  24. cowboy
    December 24, 2010

    If they do start going back on the local protections in Utah, they will only expose themselves as the hateful bigots — John in the Bay Area

    Precisely why EqualityUtah pushed to get 10 in 2010. (That was the chant they used throughout the year.)

    It’s already looking like some Utah Legislature members in the upcoming session are going to be characterized as being petty, spiteful and first-rate examples of bigots.

    Not good if you want to entice businesses to move their operations and facilities to Utah. (Which will be the ultimate reason why our foes will aquiesce. Not because they don’t like homos but that it will cost the State jobs and revenue.)

  25. Timothy Kincaid
    December 24, 2010

    If some LDS apologists are lurking, I invite them to provide compelling evidence for…

    I revoke that invitation. This site is not the place for debating the legitimacy of Joseph Smith’s claims or, for that matter, any religious doctrines. Take it to either a Mormon site or an atheist site.

    Let’s keep this discussion to matters involving the Mormon Church’s relationship or interaction with the gay community.

  26. Timothy Kincaid
    December 24, 2010

    Theo, JIBA, Cowboy,

    I too look forward to the disclosure of NOM’s donors and believe it will eventually happen. However, I would be surprised if it turned out to be primarily Mormon. Rather, I suspect that it is a handful of very wealthy Catholic individuals, groups, or perhaps even dioceses.


    Who cares if there is an internet monitoring group. I welcome Mormons to join in the discussion even if they only find us due to monitoring the internet.

    Our ideas and beliefs should be more than able to stand up to challenge – as should those who disagree with us.

    It is my belief that in the marketplace of ideas, tolerance and equality win. But if we cannot withstand disagreement, then we probably are wrong.

    Rather than shut down debate or disqualify debaters, let’s both listen and speak. Who knows, we may actually win supporters. It has happened here at this site before.

    John in the Bay Area (and others)

    “Morg” is a term used to demean Mormons. Don’t use it here.

  27. Ben in Oakland
    December 24, 2010

    No more using the Morg for me, though I do like the term.

    I don’t really care if there is an internet monitoring group. fine with me. What i care about is the dishonesty with which they approach it.

    Let’s not pretend they are just a bunch of random commentators who just happen to be here. Let’s admit who they are.

    and let’s get some documentation for the claims.

  28. Ben in Oakland
    December 24, 2010

    This kind of whining dishonesty.

    The Grand Poobahs were afraid that they would be forced to perform same sex marriages in the temple.

    They are not stupid. the people in my neighborhood who lost their homes when the Temple was built 40 odd years ago can tell you that they have very high priced lawyers who work for free.

    If they want to discuss this, let them appear honestly as they are. If they was to discuss this, let them present REAL arguments and concerns, not LaPeter and Paul Cameron distortions and fear mongering.

    As I said many posts ago:

    My suspicion is that they went the fear mongering route because they knew they would lose if they stuck to the facts, given the simple reality that even bigots can see, that anti gay prejudice is on the wane, even among the religious.

  29. cowboy
    December 24, 2010

    Gosh, Ben, I am surprised at you.

    You imply impropriety or even something illegal done by the LDS Church with your quip: “the people in my neighborhood who lost their homes when the Temple was built 40 odd years ago can tell you”

    And just a few comments ago you demand documentation for claims made by other commenters:

    You need to provide documentation and cite sources for your claim about the people who lost their homes. Hearsay is not what I expect from you.

  30. Soren456
    December 24, 2010

    @Ben in Oakland:

    How did people lose their homes when a temple was built?

    Seems like a nearby temple would increase the neighborhing value.

    I say this because a good friend of mine from Portland, OR, says that when the site of the Portland temple was announced, two blocks from his parents’ house, Mormons began to arrive at their door, offering double and triple the value of the house so that they could “live in the shadow of the temple.”

    His parents accepted an offer and moved. This was before he was born, but it’s a family story about how they came to be where they are.

  31. cowboy
    December 24, 2010

    What you might find interesting reading, this URL:

    It’s written by a lawyer from BYU and he takes his fellow Mormons to task for items in “Commentary on Six Consequences”. Read how some of his commentary echos what we have been saying here on BTB.

    It may surprise you. There were many Mormons who did not agree with Proposition 8 and they still are fighting for the equality for gays/lesbians. I’m not saying it is a pervasive attitude with the majority of Mormons but some Mormons did question what their political machinations would bring.

  32. Ben in Oakland
    December 25, 2010

    Most of this story was told to me by old-time residents in my neighborhood. People don’t tend to move here, as it is a fabulous place to live. some have been here for 60 years or more.

    the oakland temple was build in the mid 60′s in the oakland hills, not far from my home. The hills are riddled with underground springs, as well as a number of streams fed by rain and underground water. To build the temple where they did, they had to terraform the ridge, cap a number of springs, and divert the flow of some of the streams.

    A few years after construction of the temple, a good portion of the ridge on which the temple stood, but south of the temple grounds, slid into Rettig canyon below it. A whole neighborhood– I don’t remember how many homes– took aobut two weeks to move.

    I read the geologist reports before buying my home. they said that the water table had risen due to the changes in how the water flowed. The implication in the little I read was that it was due to the construction of the temple, which took over 18 acres on a hilltop.

    The old timer, now gone, told me that the neighbors felt they had enough evidence of the source of the slide to sue the temple.

    Sue they did, but they didn’t have the legal power that the tmeple did. The lawsuits went nowhere. Eventually, the neighbors just gave up.

  33. Ben in Oakland
    December 25, 2010

    My point being that the claims of unfounded fears by the Church are just a little too naive to be believable.

  34. cowboy
    December 25, 2010

    I must say…I had to take a deep breath and sat up straight in my chair before I attempted to chastise Ben in Oakland. He intimidates me sometimes. (nudge nudge)

  35. Ben in Oakland
    December 26, 2010

    Cowboy– you need never worry about chastising me. If you do it right, I might even like it.

    Seriously, I am a super nice guy–I built a career out of it– and have no difficulty with it if someone shows me I am wrong about something.

    I brought up the story to show that the Mormons are not without legal recourse and advice. They are hardly victims, and haven’t been since they moved to Utah.

    I would still like one of these boys to show up and defend themselves, but i don’t tihnk we’ll see that. Their lack of interest so far in doing so for confirms a good deal of the negativity around their motives and methods.

  36. cowboy
    December 26, 2010

    Tell you what, Ben, I will treat you to lunch at Scoma’s next time I’m in S.F. We can talk more. (I rarely get to have fresh crab like I had the last time I was there.)

    I do have to defend Seth a little bit. Basically he is on our side. He is saying there are subtle nuances with how the Mormons handled the Proposition 8 fiasco than in other political instances the LDS Church has been involved with. It caught many Mormons by surprise at the heated negativity that resulted from their victory in California politics. Of course, Mormons are going to hunker down and get defensive. It’s a natural reaction to seeing thousands of people protesting their beloved sacred sites.

    But how much “the letter” that was read at Mormon Churches was a surprise to me, so too, was the support of an LDS spokesman at the anti-discrimination ordinance during a Salt Lake City Council meeting. I would never had thought in a million years the LDS Church would so publicly defend gays & lesbians. That was a jaw-dropping moment for me. And it was due, in large part, to the reaction they received from supporting the Proposition 8 as they did.

    It woke some people up…and that was a good thing.

    And I do agree with T. Kincaid. We may be really surprised at who donated to NOM and the Proposition 8. I’m not discounting the majority of the funds were LDS tainted but…

    Our foes for equality are varied.

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