Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Mormon's Response to Proposition 8

The recent surge of political energy demonstrated by California Mormons over Proposition 8 demonstrates what the Church can do: be a powerful force for political and social coalition building and activism. But, for some strange reason we have drawn a crooked line in the sand. The rights of homosexual men and women to define their relationships as they see fit has been deemed a “moral” issue which somehow threatens the sanctity of heterosexual marriages, but health care for all, two deadly and expensive wars, and the growing environmental crisis are “political,” and apparently unworthy of collective action or endorsement. I suppose that a church sworn to political neutrality on the surface can easily escape moral responsibility if moral issues are redefined as political[i]. What is moral about imposing a contemporary Christian interpretation of marriage on the rest of the nation? I say contemporary because as you may recall, in the late 1800s, Mormons defined marriage as between a man and multiple women. One would think that Mormons, who have experienced similar persecution related to the right to define marriage, would be a little more understanding of the present demands of homosexuals.

I am increasingly convinced that anyone who believes that homosexuality is a “social disease,” or wholly a lifestyle or personal choice has never met a Mormon homosexual. Over the past several months I have had the privilege of meeting and conversing with several homosexuals who have grown up in the Mormon Church. They have faced the pain of expulsion from school, disownment by parents, and cultural exile. I cannot imagine a torture more exquisite than to know that my own theology does not have a place for my inner most identity. Suicide is common among homosexual Mormons, who feel that there is no solution to the crisis of being true to their religion and to themselves. It is for this reason that I wish to state unambiguously and without reservation that I disagree whole-heartedly with the church’s decision to support a constitutional amendment banning homosexual marriage at the state and federal level. I believe it is unconstitutional and immoral to legislate against the desires of our fellow citizens who may not share a similar theology. My argument rests on the assumption and personal conviction that homosexuals are a kind of person, not people engaging in a type of sexual behavior. If we believe this then we believe that they have rights under the constitution.

The argument I hear most in favor for Proposition 8 is that we live in a Christian nation. This is simply not true. We live in a secular republic with a majority Christian population. We do not have an official religion, which the founding fathers adamantly opposed despite most of them representing a variety of Christian and Deist traditions. If the goal of the Mormon Church and its allies is to impose a Theocracy in the United States, then we can begin to talk about constitutional amendments banning gay marriage, requiring prayer in schools, making the Bible the official text of the nation, etc. But, until that happens, (God forbid), we live in a pluralistic and multi-cultural society with a variety of values and perspectives; I don’t see that changing in the next few years. It is ironic that most conservative Mormons voice criticism of radical Islamists attempting to take over their respective governments in order to impose Sharia Law on the citizenry. It would seem that Proposition 8 is a similar if less militant and violent type of program: Seek to impose the ethics of the dominant religious tradition on religious and non-religious minorities. One of the myriad reasons given to justify the invasion of Iraq was to spread liberal secular democracy, yet we seek to overthrow it in our own country. If we agree that we live in a pluralistic and multi-cultural society, and not a Christian theocracy, what right do we have to demand of others an ethic that is not even their own?

The other argument I hear is that if the majority of Americans want to pass a constitutional amendment against gay marriage then homosexuals should just accept that, because, hey that’s democracy. The Civil Rights movement and the Gay Rights movement are analogous because the 14th amendment calls for “equal protection under the law” of its citizens. Thus, if it true that homosexuals are a kind of person, as they claim, and not simply persons engaging in a type of sexual behavior, then it is constitutional to support their right to define marriage how they see fit. We don’t have to agree with it, but we do need to respect it. Democracy is not simply about majority rules; it is also about protecting minorities, whether they be atheists, Homosexuals, Buddhists, Muslims, or African-Americans. The rights of homosexuals to marry is part of the expanding notion of natural rights that in the past several hundred years has incorporated white men who do not own property, to women, African-Americans, Native Americans, and to some extent animals and the natural world.

If the Mormon Church is serious about working toward a truly family friendly social policy, I would suggest we advocate for such reforms as paid maternity leave, universal health care, free child care, mandatory paid vacation, gender parity in wages, and a living wage so that working parents can support a family. I find it to be supremely ironic that in this sense, European countries are more family friendly that we are!

Despite my vehement opposition to Proposition 8, I would never support any action by states or the federal government which would force any religion to accept or sanction homosexual marriage within their own tradition; this appeals of course to the first amendment. This is ironically, the same side of the coin that claims that we live in a pluralistic and multi-cultural society. Yes it is important to fight for the civil rights of all types of people, but we must also respect the rights of Christians to believe that homosexuality is a sin. The freedom of religion allows for a free exercise of conscious and practice, thus, I would hope that within every religious tradition (free of state mandate) there might be an ongoing dialogue about our theologies and the reality of homosexuality. We must engage with homosexuals in our own tradition, lending a compassionate and Christ-like ear. In Mormonism, we should also be sincere about the real possibility of a church founded on revelation changing its position when the time is right. While I support the right of gays to define their relationships as they see fit, there is nothing in the constitution that says that Mormons must accept gay marriage as part of their theology until the theology is ready.

[i] thank you Ashley Sanders for this insight


Here is an Amazing article by an active gay Mormon:
http://sunstoneonline.com/podcast/wrathall.pdf

16 comments:

Tres Jolie Julie said...

Amen amen amen. You've put an eloquent face on thoughts that are manifest in me only as dazed dis-ease.

Kate said...

Among the many struggles I have with this issue is seriously why is this THE issue we've chosen to come down on? I can think of 100 things that are more universally hurtful & contrary to Christian doctrine, like, say, Genocide for starters? Where are the proclamations on that?
What exactly are the criteria for deeming an issue a "moral" one?

Heber J. Grant was a staunch Prohibitionist and called Prohibition “the greatest financial and moral blessing that has ever come to humanity.” But, seems like we gave up on that one once it lost popular support, even though we still cling to alcohol as the most important prohibition of section 89. Will we abandon the same-sex marriage cause if it is struck down by the courts or abandoned by popular opinion? What then, about it is moral?

I disagree that the same-sex movement is directly analogous to the civil rights movement for many reasons (primary of those that sexual orientation does not relegate you to a particular political class from birth), however, I do disagree completely with the decision to make this THE battle we are willing to get up in arms about.

Amen Jason.

Anonymous said...

The debate over Proposition 8 is really a debate over the abuse of power of our judges. The definition of marriage had been established for centuries before our state and federal constitutions were adopted. The framers never contemplated a "right" of marriage apart from the well-established union of a man and a woman. So when the California Supreme Court "discovered" such a "right" in the state constitution, they abused their authority.

California is problematic anyway because the courts in that state don't treat any language as binding. Even standard contract terms can be litigated because the courts have held that any term can have an uncommon meaning.

But that aside, the people of California made the common-sense judgment that the nuclear family deserves some special recognition. Homosexuals are undermining their own position by undertaking such aggressive and historically unjustifiable steps to eliminate that special recognition.

As to the church leadership, anyone who has served in church callings should know that everything the church does focuses on Christian service. In modern lingo, our fast offerings are manifestations of solidarity with the poor and voluntary redistribution of wealth. DI and the other welfare programs are community organizing for the disadvantaged. The LDS have long been at the forefront of these issues; they just didn't know how to describe it in terms the rest of the world (and apparently some LDS themselves) can understand.

Anonymous said...

Incredible piece of writing. I loved to hear your well thought out argument and perspective as a Mormon. I hope that kind of openmindedness rubs off on my Mormon family members.

To the other Anon, you should take a few seconds to review your history -- the framers didn't give you any rights. Where did they come from you might be wondering -- they were granted to you by God when you were created! What voters in California were deciding was whether or not to modify the state constitution to remove the rights of a group. You see, you'd have to alter the people's contract with the state to remove one of the people's rights. And here is the rub, under the equal protection clause, that alteration is likely unconstitutional & otherwise doesn't pass the sniff test. One interesting thing about our Democracy is that not everything is actually up for a vote, especially when it comes to rights and equal protection under the law.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully put. Where is the Grace, when this is the big issue instead of poverty, abuse, war, starvation ...
"When you did it for the least of them, you did it for Me"

Anonymous said...

Very well-written. I also wish the Church would take a stance on other issues (environmental, social justice, etc.), but I disagree with the premise, that the Church should not take a stance against marriage between two people of the same gender. I know I risk all sorts of criticism about this but, as a practicing Mormon, I believe that our Prophet receives revelation from God. To openly say the Prophet is wrong in taking a stand against gay marriage is like saying that he DOESN'T receive inspiration from God - or that you think God is wrong. I have a hard time when Mormons who claim to be religious and faithful openly fight against their own Prophet on this issue. We don't know what the future holds in relation to this issue.

Abby Q. said...

Great post!

I would just beg to differ with Kate, because I think that this IS a civil rights issue, -there is tons of evidence proving that in the majority of cases, homosexuality is biological and can be determined prior to birth. There was a great professor at BYU Dr. William Bradshaw, who recently retired, but gave great lectures about the scientific evidence of people being born with homosexuality. So it is kind of like the civil rights mvmt, because like black people who were born black, gay people are usually born gay.

I have heard a lot of people say that this shouldn't be compared to the civil rights mvmt, but why? I've yet to hear any reasoning, and I think you are the first to actually give a reason (kudos!), although it is debatable I guess, depending on how you feel about the issue.

Scout's Honor said...

Wow! Thanks for restoring my belief that Mormons are inherently good people.

Just as they have been persecuted, they should be sure not to persecute. My Mormon family's views on Prop. 8, mainly fueled by church leadership policy stances, has made my heart hurt. LDS members don't have to accept or agree with gay marriage, but they should not judge either. They should never be forced to violate their religious rights, but neither should they strip other human beings of theirs.

For being such a family-based group, I felt they cared little of the children involved as I mentioned on my own blog. Those children deserve legal protection and deserve to be born under the sanctity of marriage.

Again, thank you for restoring my faith in the compassion of the Mormon faith.

As for revelation, I think prophets are people too. They make mistakes. Hopefully, this confusion similar to black LDS members not allowed in the temples in the 60's will be corrected. It's not too late.

Kate said...

Either way you feel/believe/hope/suspect/know about whether homosexuality is an inherent characteristic or a lifestyle choice (I happen to think the latter) sexuality does not manifest itself as a baby. The teacher/nurse/social worker/neighbor couldn't say with any authority, oh, that's a gay toddler... I'll treat him/her differently or put him/her in a different program or give him/her different access to different services. That is, however, the case with skin color & does happen to black Americans every day. From birth.

Psyllo said...

Jason and John Doe,

I told you via email that your comments
were non-shocking. The reason is because
they are logical and I think founded in
good and fair principle. I can tell are
not letting fear inhibit your judgment. I
hope my comments are equally non-shocking.

What's so significant about your comments
is that they are coming from a practicing
Mormon. Even more so because we served our
missions together. Moreover, it's always
significant when a Mormon goes against the
predominant belief of the church.

I sounds like you want what I want: For
people to live and let live. You smell
something funny and you are calling it
out. Thanks for continuing to question and
to challenge.

I believe we should try to live and let
live. We should love and not fear.

Article of faith 11:

11. We claim the privilege of worshiping
Almighty God according to the dictates of
our own conscience, and allow all men the
same privilege, let them worship how,
where, or what they may.

According to article 11 Mormons want to be
left to worship as they please and in turn
would like to let others worship as they
please.

Allowing gay marriage and equal rights to
gays does not effect others directly. By
directly I mean, they are not robbing your
house or abusing you in some physical
way. However, what one person does within
a community, be it our city, state or
country and beyond, effects the other
members of that community
indirectly. That's the reality of
communities.

I believe we need to be more careful about
what we consider a serious indirect effect
on us. I believe that my neighbor being
gay is fine. I'm fine with letting them
live the way they choose. I am am also
fine with them having equal rights to
services of our government. I have no
problem with a the fact that a portion of
my tax dollars will go to funding services
for them and their marriages. In
summation, any negative indirect effect
that their lifestyle may have on me is
acceptable and within reason in order to
preserve freedom and treat others
fairly. The golden rule comes to
mind. Likewise, I wouldn't want a church
to be forced by law to accept a gay
marriage as if it were were a heterosexual
marriage. A church or any other private
group should be able to
discriminate. That's how we live and let
live. That's article 11 in
practice. That's the golden rule in
practice. That's freedom in practice.

When one person is afraid of the
consequences of letting another live
according to the dictates of their own
conscience one must stop and ask oneself:
Am I really willing to prohibit another
from living the way they would prefer
simply because I am afraid of what might
happen if they do? If so, then is my fear
legitimate? What if they had a fear of me
in a similar way? How would I like them to
treat me?

One would be wise to first establish,
using logic and reasoning, the legitimacy
of the fear before serious considering the
establishment of laws directed at
prohibiting acts that could potentially be
the cause of that fear's realization. If
we don't use logic and reasoning to
establish the legitimacy of ours fears and
to buffer them, we stand in jeopardy of
living and ruling based on illegitimate
fears of alternative lifestyles, and that
sword cuts both ways.

Indeed behavior we might consider abnormal
can have a positive effect on the
community. Sometimes it's easier to see
when viewed in a larger context and over
long periods of time. Is it not common to
never see your fear become a reality?.

Now, logic and reasoning are essential
because I cannot accept more fear based
hypotheses in order to establish that the
original fear is legitimate. At least not
to the point of looking to establish laws
to prohibit what I am scared
of. Especially fear based on faith and not
fact.

Which leads me to the comments that John
Doe sent to all on your email list. I will
reply to his comments with my own comments
embedded within his using a notation like:
[[[My comment here]]]. I'll respond to his
comments using a sort of narrative
language describing my thought process as
I read his comments and the comments of
the person he quoted. Here is his email
along with my comments:



Dear Jason,


Your arguments in favor of social justice
are moving. Your conclusions that
homosexuality is a type of person not a
choice are, in my experience and
understanding of both the science and the
sociology of the matter, perhaps
oversimplified. It is sufficient for the
purpose of the present conversation to say
that I am not entirely naïve to the issues
and concerns of LDS homosexuals. At this
point, my best understanding of the data
and experience available to me leaves
homosexuality in a very similar place to
alcoholism: there are likely some powerful
predisposing genetic factors, but a person
can make choices both to avoid and to
manage the effects of that predisposition;
it is still fundamentally about choices.
I believe the summary by Monte N. Stewart,
an expert in family law and a believing
Latter-day Saint, summarize the issue as
it impacts the Church:

[[[ I agreed. I believe that a gay person
can choose to act on or not act on his/her
homosexual desires, like alcoholism. It
sounds like we both agree that this
doesn't mean that they aren't still
alcoholics or gays. What's important to
the church is what you choose to do and
not what you have natural tendencies to
do. ]]]

Now we are engaged in a great cultural and
social war, testing whether "the sacred
institution of marriage" can long endure
and whether America will be its home.

[[[ Mormon marriages can still be sacred
to Mormons. Gays can also have their own
marriages that are equally sacred to
them. Remember live and let live? Their
marriages are not directly effected. I'm
already finding fault with this mans
comments, but I'd like to read what else
he says. ]]]

…What you hear all the time, and perhaps
believe [is] that redefining marriage is
simply a matter of affording gay men and
lesbians their fair and equal measure of
civil rights and human dignity, and that
the redefinition of marriage will not harm
anybody or anything else.

[[[ Yes. That's true according to how I've
explained this in my previous comments in
this post. I do believe that. I also hear
what you are about to say "all the time"
as well. Mormons tend to hear two very
different opinions on this subject
depending on whether they're at church or
at work. I am no different. I'm curious to
hear what you are about to say, you are
building it up very well. ]]]

…If this were all about simply and only
affording gay men and lesbians equal civil
rights and dignity, perhaps we would all
be in favor of redefinition.

[[[ Yes. Wow, even more interesting. If he
thought like me, he would agree with me
but I know that he doesn't agree, hence
the build-up to his subsequent
comments. Alright, now I am looking for
you to legitimize your counter points to
these popular beliefs using logic and
reasoning so that I can also see your
wisdom and believe what you believe. You
can perhaps change my mind. Something a
Mormon longs for is to be
non-contraversial within his/her
church. Well, I'm open to your
thoughts. Let's hear it. ]]]

But this great cultural and social war is
not really about that, not at all. Those
who say it is speak out of ignorance or
lie.

[[[ You are loosing credibility
quickly. Any two people with different
opinions can make the argument that the
other is speaking out of ignorance or is
lying. I didn't like that one, but I'll
ignore that for now and see what logic you
have. ]]]

This great cultural and social war is in
truth one between two very different
traditions of the fathers relative to the
vital social institution of marriage. And
one tradition is righteous and the other
is not.

[[[ This can't be gray can it? Does it
really have to be black and white? This
comment could start a whole new discussion
on gray versus black and white thinking
and what the reality of the gospel is in
this regard. ]]]

One will do what is best for children, all
children; the other will not. One will
bless children through the social norm of
a mother and a father for every child, to
the greatest extent possible; the other
will denigrate that norm. One will
preserve religious liberty for our Church
and people and for all faith communities;
the other will not, but instead will be a
mighty weapon against religious liberty.
It will do this by branding everyone who
does not believe in the rightness of the
any-two-persons marriage regime as bigots
and treating their acts of conscience
based on their beliefs as unlawful
discrimination, to be punished and
otherwise suppressed. One tradition will
sustain the ennobling and righteous
identities and statuses of husband and
wife; the other will destroy them and
teach that men and women are
interchangeable. One will facilitate the
spread of the gospel; the other will
thwart it. One will preserve our liberty
to enter into the vital social institution
of man-woman marriage; the other, while
promising "freedom," will destroy that
liberty. Yes, one tradition is righteous
and the other is not (Monte N. Stewart, "A
Message to `My' Young Adults nthe Church,
30 June 2008).

[[[ I didn't hear anything but fear based
comments about what "will" happen. So much
for all that logic and reasoning I was
hoping to hear. However, let's give the
gentleman the benefit of the doubt. If
these comments were not born of fear but
rather of a prophecy, then my logic and
reasoning test will have to be trumped by
my faith in his comments. OK, so now I'm
believe his prophecy. Now what about my
neighbors? Can I legitimize translating my
beliefs into an action preventing gay men
and lesbians "their fair and equal measure
of civil rights and human dignity?" Sorry,
I can't. If I did it would out of a fear
about what "will" happen according to my
faith. I wouldn't consider that an
adherence to the 11th Article of Faith. I
wouldn't consider that fair. Now, if the
man was saying the world was going to blow
up and all will be damned if we don't vote
for Prop 8, or something to that effect,
then I might be in a bit of a bind! If I
believed something like that I might find
myself impelled to take action to amend
some state constitution. That might be
scary enough! I guess things aren't that
black and white. The reality is probably a
little more gray.

My nice comment on this man's message
would be, "No thanks." My not-so-nice
comment could be something like, "Are you
kidding me?" The reality for me is
probably somewhere in between. ]]]

In brief then, there is a very real risk,
once same-sex marriage becomes the law of
the land, that current laws and practices
that deal with discrimination would be
applied to private institutions like the
Church in ways that would threaten its
existence as an institution if it failed
to offer same-sex marriages.

[[[ That's when it would be more
appropriate to start fighting with the
vigor Mormons currently demonstrate. I'll
would likely find myself fighting against
such laws if that day came. Those laws
would be contrary to my live-and-let-live
rule of thumb.

I'd like to point out, if it wasn't
already very obvious: The connections you
are making here essentially say, "gay
marriage can threaten the very existence
of the Mormon church." ]]]

The only comparable situation of which I
am aware in our history is the time when
the federal government very nearly took
over control and ownership of the Salt
Lake Temple and all of the Church’s other
properties and assets just prior to the
Manifesto being issued by Pres. Wilford
Woodruff. That was not an imaginary or
theoretical problem, and this matter poses
very much the same threat. It literally
puts the institutional existence of the
Church at risk.

[[[ I nearly happened. It gladly did not
happen. I find that encouraging? If you
mean to say where that was real and this
is theoretical then you are saying willing
to preemptively act in this case. If gay
rights activists got laws passed that
permitted them to enter the Mormon
temples, they would be wrong. Just like
you would be wrong for being preemptive
because of a fear that is faith
based. However, I can sympathize with your
fear when you apparently believe that this
issue threatens the very existence of the
church.

I personally wouldn't be so as quick to
act on that fear. When you do so you are
in danger of engaging in the very same
behavior that leads to the withholding of
freedoms of others. The very thing you are
trying to prevent for yourself and the
church. Isn't it interesting how a victim
can so easily become a perpetrator?

I am personally willing to take a risk for
love's sake, for fairnesses sake and for
freedom's sake. Let's not impose our
beliefs without true merit and
unselfishness.

Even if the fears you may have are
realized this preemptive action would
still be unfair. (insert another
discussion here ;P ) ]]]

I hope you know I love and respect you
very much, but at the moment it appears
that we see this situation quite
differently. There is room for each of us
to love and converse with each other all
the same—thank Heaven! I love and
appreciate all the good you do and the
greatness of your heart.

John Doe

[[[ Great! I've loved this so much! Let's
keep the discussion alive. Let's never get
to a point where these subjects are taboo
or even illegal to have. Let's preserve
freedom by being fair and letting others
live according to the dictates of their
conscience and receive equal rights in the
process. ]]]

With love and respect, Psyllo

Anonymous said...

Let us not confuse the issue at hand. The real issue in my opinion is not whether gay couples should have equal rights to marry each other. Same sex partners or any two people already in California and several other states have the right to legally bind themselves together receiving the same legal protections and benefits that a heterosexual “married” couple has access to (see http://www.sos.ca.gov/dpregistry/ ). The real issue I believe is a much deeper issue. I subscribe to the opinion that the real issue involved is that of homosexuals seeking a degree of normalcy within society. Their desire is to be seen as a normal part of society rather than the fringe where many feel they now reside. In other words the legal recognition that their relationship is just as valid as a heterosexual marriage would provide those in the gay community with a sense of “we’re just as normal as you are.” And rightfully so! Being a Mormon myself growing up in Southern California I often felt weird and different than those around me. In fact so much so that I decided to abandon my affiliation with the church in my early teens to fit in with my peers thus participating in all of the activities that my friends did and my Mormon faith prohibited. I can completely understand the desire and want to be a part of the so called “norm” while still holding on to what I felt was my identity. I don’t claim to understand the reasons behind why a person is homosexual. What I do believe though is that God through ancient and modern day prophets has declared boldly and plainly that eternal glory is only…and let me repeat, only achieved through the union of man and woman sealed by the Holy Priesthood in the Lord’s Temple. With that said, the day that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints decides to stop standing up against those issues (whatever they may be) that keep us from our true holy potential then will be the day that apostasy will return to the earth. Our true divine potential here is to learn how to become like our Heavenly Father. There is only one way. People are born with all sorts of desires and predispositions. I for one come from a family with a predisposition to alcoholism. Both of my grandfathers died as alcoholics and it adversely affected their lives in so many ways. . I love alcohol and how it made me feel. In fact were it not for the church and repentance through Christ’s atonement I would most likely be drunk right now. When I was 14 and first learned about alcohol and decided to try it I had no idea that it would become a significant driving influence in my life for the next several years. It had such a strong pull on me. It shaped my very view on the world. I loved to drink. However, coming to a realization of the damaging spiritual nature of alcohol I decided to abandon drinking altogether. I struggled and had relapses. I still find myself from time to time “craving a drink.” My entire identity to that point in my life was based upon alcohol. All of my closest friends from my childhood and I were bound together by the social drinking of alcohol. I love those friends and they all continue to drink to this day. But because of my choice to abandon alcohol, amongst other practices, my friendship with them deteriorated and today we have little in common… much to my dismay. My question then is if homosexuality is a predisposition or part of a human’s genetic makeup (as most homosexuals would claim) then what makes them any different than my predisposition to alcoholism? Do I not have a choice to drink or not? Or must I realize that I, based upon my genetic makeup, must be an alcoholic and therefore must act accordingly? Must a man or woman with a predisposition to be attracted to another man or woman act on those impulses because they are genetically wired that way? Or do we all have a choice? Do we have a choice to live the way God has directed us to? Or must we succumb to the carnal man and rationalize our actions as “genetics”?
The point I am trying to make is that if I subscribe to modern prophecy then I believe that homosexuality is inherently against God’s will and would prevent any child of God from attaining his or her true potential. According to LDS doctrine a man cannot reach his true potential without the woman and the woman without the man. Just as the consumption of alcohol will keep me from His presence so too will a homosexual relationship or any sexual relation outside what the Lord has deemed as marriage.
I have homosexual friends and I love them. I have a close relative who is openly gay and I love him to death. I have nothing against gays in general just as I have nothing against my friends who drink. But how can a prophet much less a church that claims to be “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth,” (D&C 1:30) take any stance other than a stance that will teach man how to come unto God? How can The Lord’s anointed sit back and watch mankind spit upon the plan of salvation and destroy themselves? Would not The Lord want his servants to do anything in their power to thwart the possibility of even one of his precious children from succumbing to sin? I believe so. Just as I believe the Church is guided by the hand of the Almighty with great care and focus on helping as many of His children to return to His presence. That is His work and His Glory. His only desire is “To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” How then I ask myself can His church do anything but that which is designed to save His children?

fourthirtyam said...

Thanks, Jason, for letting me re-post this. I appreciate your comments and hope people will continue to grapple with this issue.

http://mymadeleines.blogspot.com/2008/11/prop-8-diversity-of-mormon-voices-jason.html

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

Jason... thank you for your views- we've met before at that environmental meeting at the England home with the BYU group- I am a part of the Sego Arts Foundation- I believe you've talked to Maht Paulos about Mormon Worker stuff. Anyways, i just wanted to say hi and thank you for your well articulated perspective. I completely agree with what you have stated, and am glad to find like minded individuals. Come say hi at the art center when you are in provo again-

Walter said...

We can all choose our side. Right or wrong can be justified, but I think we all know deep down what is right. We will all live with the results of our decisions.

Kari Earl Short said...

Amen...I don't feel quite so alone now. Its a subject that's difficult to even bring up amongst active member friends and family. Your points are articulated beautifully and most importantly compassionately. I've often thought that if LDS people ever got a closer look at the pain this law is causing, they would not be so quick to condemn. Part of the problem is that they just don't have exposure, and I truly have to believe that at the core we are a compassionate people, and would not want anyone to suffer simply because they want to be treated fairly and have a family and the rights everyone else takes for granted.I have to believe it is primarily a reaction born of fear.