Wednesday, October 08, 2008

on not supporting prop 8

besides with close friends and family, i have largely chosen to remain silent about my frustration with the church's support of prop 8. after leaving tonight's broadcast i am finding myself angry and hurt. i wanted so badly to believe that the terrible, pathetic, and sometimes repulsive and un-christlike arguments that i hear in church every sunday were simply local speculations and not representative of the church leadership.

i was wrong.

families across the country are being torn apart and kicked out of their homes by our hurting economy, and the church doesn't find that a moral cause worth speaking up for.

families are strained, broken, and left to suffer by the lack of health insurance and care, and the church doesn't find that a moral cause worth speaking up for.

familes are separated, amputated, hurt, torn apart, and killed by the immoral wars our country is engaged in, and the church doesn't find that a moral cause worth speaking up for.

instead the church is willing to stand up with cowardice amidst other 'christian' churches to cause pain and hurt over the 'moral' issue of a word.

prop 8 changes nothing. children will still be raised with homosexual parents. kids will still be taught in school that other kids around them may have two mommies or two daddies. sex education in upper grades will still be taught safe sexual practices for acts other than intercourse. regardless of whether or not a word is defined one way or another, homosexuality will still be present in this discourse. this is because prop 8 will not make homosexuals go away. it is no longer the closeted and hyper-sexualized thing that it was a few decades ago.

there will still be families with homosexual parents with prop 8.

don't tell me a family is only one which has a father and mother. there can be families with single parents, divorces parents, grandparents, foster parents, uncles, aunts, or no parents at all.

don't be saying that we need to start making legislation based on our religious beliefs. we really don't want to go down that road. as latter-day saints and our historical status as minorities who were oppressed by the religious majority, we should of all people know we don't want to go down that road.

and if you are going to push prop 8. don't use misinformation, fallacious arguments, or lies to try to legislate religious beliefs.


  1. Loyd, I understand your frustration, but you were wrong when you said, "families across the country are being torn apart and kicked out of their homes by our hurting economy, and the church doesn't find that a moral cause worth speaking up for"
    The church has been talking about this for years. I remember on my mission 10 years ago (priesthood session of the Oct. 98 conference) when President Hinckley gave a very sobering talk about getting our finances in order because there was "a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed". We have now been hit by the beginning of that storm of which he prophesied. This very conference there were several references to the economy and how we could overcome this. The Brethren told us that we should live within our means, budget our money, establish a savings, etc. This is prophetic advice on how we can weather the storm. Unlike our two weak, insulting presidential candidates that point the finger at one another for the cause of this mess, our church leaders give us real solutions to this problem. Rather than blame everyone else like our silly politicians, our leaders are giving us solutions to these problems. They are giving us sound advice, advice which the world refuses to accept. We are surrounded by greedy people, and that is why we are in this mess.
    Just because they don't focus the entire conference on that topic doesn't mean they don't address it. Our lives as members of the church are so dynamic, they try to cover many topics that we need to hear. They are assigned by God for our spiritual well being, and they did a great job of addressing many issues in this recent conference. I enjoyed it.

  2. I agree that the Church has been saying the same standard lines about self-sufficiency that they have been saying for the past eighty decades. However, for many who suffer from poverty, it isn't just a simple matter of reducing spending and such. It's sometimes so easy to sit back coming from middle-class suburban utah to think that financial struggles have such simple answers.

    However, the Church has not come out in any of these issues in any way that comes close to what they are doing to legislate the use of a word. Last night Elders Ballard, Cook, and Clayton asked all young adults to devote at least 4 hours a week for the next month to make sure that homosexuals can't legally call themselves married. They have asked individual stakes to raise thousands of dollars. Last night it was revealed by my stake president that our stake was asked by Church leaders in Salt Lake to raise at least $64,000 to delegitimize the loving relationships of others. So far almost $30,000,0000 has been raised overall to legislate our religious beliefs.

    Think of how much actual good could arise if those kind of efforts were made in speaking up for issues that Jesus said were actually important (Matt 25:31-46).

  3. "It's sometimes so easy to sit back coming from middle-class suburban utah to think that financial struggles have such simple answers."
    Having lived in Mexico, Chicago, and Baltimore, I definitely have first hand, personal experience interacting with true poverty and financial struggles. I can tell you, what we are experiencing today in no way is a problem of poverty, but rather greed. Those in the truly poor circumstances do find a way to survive by cutting back, working another job and making do. Is that so horrible that we as humans sacrifice something in our lives? I believe the Savior taught much about the value of sacrifice.
    Many of my patients from inner city Baltimore complained much, much less about their plight than the suburban and wealthy urbanites. I even see it here in Colorado. Some of my extremely poor patients from the Colorado farm towns like Limon have come to me needing dental care. They have been able to arrange their finances to pay for what they need, while the wealthy patients whine and complain about the same fees, yet they pull up in their $50,000 brand new Audi SUV.

    "Think of how much actual good could arise if those kind of efforts were made in speaking up for issues that Jesus said were actually important (Matt 25:31-46)."
    I think you are so focused on this one issue of same-sex marriage that you are entirely missing the mark. Because of their stance on this one issue you condemn the church yet fail to acknowledge the millions and millions of dollars that the church donates every year to relief funds and welfare programs and the many, many countless hours donated by its members to volunteer and help the poor and give back to the community.
    In fact, by counseling its members to be self sufficient and thrifty, the church is helping its members not only avoid future financial problems, but also be able to help their neighbors when the trials and problems do come.

    The truth is that no other organization in the world can even come close to the LDS Church when it comes to fulfilling Christs mission. We can try and nit-pick and find fault, but try and find one organization that does as much for the world as the LDS church. Again, Christs message is so much more than just the temporal welfare of people, but also includes the spiritual welfare. The Church does an excellent job of fulfilling those both. Some of the members do fail at this, and unfortunately this is what critics focus on. But again, the church is here to help us as individuals to improve.

  4. Cody,

    I just don't think you get it.

    Those in the truly poor circumstances do find a way to survive by cutting back, working another job and making do.

    The problem is that more and more people are falling through the cracks. You can only cut back so much before you start cutting into essentials. Too many people have cut back about as much as they can, but are still living paycheck to paycheck. What if these people get sick? They can't afford decent (or, often, any) health care. A major illness will either kill them, or sink them further and further into debt.

    For too many people, it's not a matter of greed; it's a matter of need. It's not something that can be solved by simply working harder or getting a second or third or fourth job. These people need to be lifted up by those who have been more fortunate. I believe Jesus taught this much.

    But this is beside the point. While I certainly give the Church credit for its humanitarian efforts, I am of the opinion that one dollar spent in fighting gay marriage is a dollar wasted. Just over a century ago, our people were desperately fighting for the very liberty that the Church now seeks to deny the gay community: the freedom for consenting adults to enter into a nontraditional marital arrangement.

  5. Loyd, I share your dismay about the whole prop 8 situation. It makes me ill to think that this might actually pass, and mostly because of all of the money that the Church has helped raise. He who has the gold, changes the Constitution.

    Cody, it is silly and superficial to think that the Church is offering us solutions to the larger economic crisis. "Don't go into debt, oops you already did, tough" is not an answer. When was the last time that the Church asked us to go door-to-door for the poor or had quotas for each of our wards to give for the relief of the truly disadvantaged. Whatever you think of the merits of SSM, a campaign of this magnitude puts us on the wrong side, and I hope we regret it soon.

  6. ahlduke & the narrator - the lords representatives have spoken; if you are against them then you are on the wrong side. there is a lot this church has done that makes me scratch my head, but time and time again they have been proven right. it's not wrong to wonder why and ask questions - that's openly welcome, but you still need to follow the counsel given you in the mean time. if you truly believe that the prophet and the 12 are Gods mouthpiece, than maybe you should try to change your view to align with them, instead of demanding they change theirs to align with you - pray until you understand, B.Y. suggested it. They have warned and warned and warned about the coming economic crisis, now that it has come a scripture comes to mind that many people know as the 10 virgins. why don't you apply it. look at the story about the kingmen and the freemen from the book of mormon and step back and look at our current political situation. marriage was the FIRST institution created by God for man on this earth. not church, not government, but marriage. last general conference just 1 week ago we were told that times now are worse than during sodom and gomorrah. we must do all we can to strengthen our families and keep them safe. we must protect and preserve the institutions that God has set forth for us. God's side has never really been the popular and/or easy choice. The tall tower Nephi saw, where people pointed and mocked - that's the easy way, that's the popular way. Don't take it don't rely on the arm of flesh for Gods ways are not ourways neither our our thoughts Gods thoughts.

  7. saddened,

    Ezekial 16:49 teaches us the sin of Sodom and Gomorroh. It was not homosexuality as homophobic religion has taught for centuries:

    "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."

    in response to a failed revelation, joseph smith said "some revelations are of god, some revelations are of me, and some revelations are of the devil." i believe strongly that joseph smith was a prophet of god, just as i believe that thomas s. monson is today. however, i also believe that they are human beings and struggle, just as i do, to understand the will of god.

    i believe that it is important to protect families. i have no doubt that my prophets feel inspired that the lord desperately wants to protect families. however, i feel also feel that there are better and more important ways than this. there are much larger threats facing the family than two people who love each other.

    church leaders have made mistakes in the past. church leaders have made mistakes in the past in the name of god. for over a hundred years, as a church, we discriminated against a large group of god's children because of the color of their skin. it was wrong. brigham young was wrong. but i believe he was a prophet nonetheless.

    this is a mistake that we can't make again.

    on wednesday night i witnessed men that i believe to be prophets of god characterize some of god's children who simply want to express their real love for someone else in some of the most hateful ways possible. they characterized people with good hearts and good intentions as selfish satan-inspired opponents of god. they characterized them as family-haters who do not care about children. they characterized good people as dangerous threats to our society.

    it was wrong.

    it is wrong for us to tell someone else that they can't worship and love as they please because it goes against our own religious beliefs. it is wrong for the same reason our church was arguing it was wrong just over a century ago.

    over a century ago, others were telling mormons that they shouldn't be allowed to marry as they please. mormons were told that their marriages were a threat to traditional families. mormons were told that they were satan-inspired opponents of god. mormons were told that they were dangerous threats to society.

    how dare we forget our own suffering and then go afflict in on someone else? how dare we?

    we owe a big apology.

    and how dare we pretend that we are a minority fighting for a cause that most everyone is against. this is not brave. this is cowardice. the church is not alone, but is doing this amidst dozens and dozens of 'christians' who are united in tearing down others.

    the brave thing to do is to stand up against this unchristlike mob of discrimination and try to act and love as christ would.

    christ was belittles by the pharisees for socializing with and truly loving those whose lives reflected different values. shouldn't we be doing the same instead of demonizing them.


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