Saturday, November 15, 2008

8 Aftermath - Part 3

"We were not the only ones who supported Prop 8, but we seem to be the only ones being targeted."

There are the a few reasons why the LDS Church is being targeted.

1. Funding for Prop 8 was 60-80% paid for by LDSaints, many of which do not live in Utah. Volunteering for Prop 8 was 75-90% done by LDSaints. So while it was true that the Church was a part of the Coalition, in terms of money and labor, the LDS Church was the coalition.

2. Here in California, the Church STRONGLY pressured members to 'volunteer' and donate to Prop 8. In most wards, large chunks (and often the entirety) of Sabbath meetings were geared around Prop 8. Affluent members were privately asked to donate specific amounts of money and each stake was given a specific quota they were asked to fulfill. My stake was asked to raise $64,000. Many members who refused to help or opposed Prop 8 were released from their callings and/or had their temple recommends suspended even though Elder Clayton said that "Latter-day Saints are free to disagree with their church on the issue without facing any sanction." On more than one occasion, Church leaders (high and low) used rhetoric implying that anyone who opposed Prop 8 were following Satan. Many of my friends who supported Prop 8 told me that they were very bothered by how much members were pressured to actively support 8. I have several friends who just had to stop going to Church because they were being singled out in meetings and publicly ostracized for not volunteering or signing e-mail lists

3. For practical purposes, the Church was the most identifiable member of the Coalition to protest. Many have complained that black voters weren't being protested. The problem with this is that there is no Church of Jesus Christ of Black that could be targeted. The LDS Church is a large organization that could easily be targeted and represented as a whole with symbolic protests at temples and headquarters. There is no analogous representative place to protest blacks, protestants, or Catholics as a whole - especially when these were never formally supported at anything more than a local level.

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