Saturday, November 15, 2008

8 Aftermath - Part 2

"Prop 8 was voted on and they lost. That's what makes America so wonderful- the right to change laws by public vote. The majority won. Get over it."

To simply say this ignores the beauty and important role that our constitutional government and the history of protest have played in our country.

We (thankfully) don't live in a strict democracy. We are a constitutional democratic republic. Our government was specifically set up to prevent the majority from forcing its beliefs on and refusing the rights from the minority. We have a constitution that secures certain rights and a supreme court that tries to ensure that the majority does not infringe upon the protected rights of the minority.

As LDSaints we should be very glad that our government was established this way, or we might not be able to worship as we please. However, as our own LDS history shows, the government isn't always perfect and sometimes the majority has wrongfully been able to infringe upon the rights of the minority. That is where our country's history of protest comes in. Our nation was founded on protest. Every July Americans celebrate and praise the (often very violent) protests of our forefathers. What if they succumbed to the majority who said "The majority won. Get over it." This history of protest has changed our country in many ways. Women and minorities now have the right to vote. Workers are protected from abusive and oppressive business practices. Government-sponsored racism has largely been done away with. Nearly every positive change we have in our country was brought about by the protest of the oppressed. What if all of these protesters simply stopped when told, "The majority won. Get over it."?

If you were living in the 60s would you tell Rosa Parks "The majority won. Get over it. Now get to the back of the bus."?

Were Rosa Parks who refused to move to the back of the bus, blacks who wanted the education their white neighbors could get, women who wanted equal pay, and blacks who wanted to get married "acting like spoiled children who didn't get their way."? I am sure you do not feel this way, yet you carelessly accuse the gay community of being this way.

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