It Begins

July 13, 2008 | 100 comments
By

Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: [redacted]
Subject: MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT MONSON

President Monson has asked that we, as members of the church in California, do all we can to support the California Protection of Marriage initiative on the November ballot. He has asked our Stake President to recruit one couple from each ward to assist in this endeavor. [redacted] and [redacted] were recruited from the [redacted] Ward and their first assignment is to raise money.

It is critical that we raise as much money as possible in the month of July. We have been given permission to use the Ward list and to spread literature at church, but we cannot collect money on church property. However, we have been told that we can collect money at a church function that is not at the building.

Therefore, we will be collecting funds tonight at the [Enrichment night activity at another location] and are hoping for your support. Since [redacted] [cannot attend], [redacted] has volunteered to accept donations on their behalf. Any amount is appreciated and all donations will be kept confidential. We can accept checks or credit cards only – no cash contributions. Checks should be made payable to “ProtectMarriage.com” and more information can be obtained at the www.protectmarriage.com website.

We know that times are difficult financially right now, but may we suggest one way of finding extra money might be to give up fast food or dining out for a month and to donate the savings.

Thank you, in advance, for your support of this very important issue.

100 Responses to It Begins

  1. ukann on July 13, 2008 at 2:37 am

    Church didn’t seem to bat an eyelid when civil unions (gay marriage) was brought in, in the UK.

  2. se7en on July 13, 2008 at 3:15 am

    ukann: Repeat that comment one more time, we didn’t get it the first 3 times.

    I think it’s great that the Church is actively fighting this evil and destroying trend, and that members can get excited about participating. This has absolutely nothing to do with anti-gay-rights. I can see the church of the Book of Mormon times doing the very same thing.

    Dittos to the faithful.

  3. sister blah 2 on July 13, 2008 at 3:24 am

    Just a little factual quibble–it is not correct that donations will be confidential. According to the Protect Marriage website itself, they must adhere to same campaign finance disclosure laws as everyone else. Anyone making donations totaling $100 or more will have their name and donation history be made public. The internet makes it incredibly easy to access this information (you can have a lot of fun at that link–and waste a lot of time! you are duly warned :-) ).

  4. mmiles on July 13, 2008 at 3:53 am

    ukann-
    Of course not. It would be highly unethical for the church, an organization based in another country, to influence the politics, moral or no, of another nation!

  5. Steven B on July 13, 2008 at 5:08 am

    Perhaps no analogy is perfect, but this comes to mind.

  6. Dan on July 13, 2008 at 6:54 am

    Or what about Spain. I hear the church has a beautiful temple in Spain, and lots of members. Why hasn’t the church pressed the members of Spain to go against the laws allowing gay marriage there? Why only America?

  7. jeans on July 13, 2008 at 8:05 am

    Can someone enlighten us more on the composition of the Protect Marriage coalition? The website isn’t very forthcoming. Just who are Church members being asked to give their money to and affiliate themselves with?

  8. obi-wan on July 13, 2008 at 8:37 am

    Can someone enlighten us more on the composition of the Protect Marriage coalition?

    It appears to be a collection of groups who, when not promoting Prop. 8, would otherwise be picketing outside our temples.

  9. yinzer on July 13, 2008 at 8:57 am

    Why only in CA and not in Massachusetts where gay marriage has been legal for 3 years? Is it because Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts at the time?

  10. jjohnsen on July 13, 2008 at 9:27 am

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend. I guess the church dislikes gay marriage more than anti-Mormons groups.

  11. Kaimi Wenger on July 13, 2008 at 10:08 am

    obi-wan,

    Perhaps that’s the purpose of the coalition, then — to give erstwhile picketers something else to do. :)

    Jeans,

    The website lists the following churches as coalition members:

    CHURCHES AND MINISTRIES
    Abundant Life Assembly of God, Copeland
    All Seasons Ministries, El Cajon (Michael McCormick)
    Alpha and Omega Arlington Apostolic Church, Riverside
    Alpine Anglican Church, Alpine
    Baldwin Park Church of Christ (Pastor Robert B. Bishop)
    Bible Fellowship Church, Ventura
    Bundy Canyon Christian Church and School, Wildomar
    Calvary Assembly, Milpitas
    Calvary Chapel of Anaheim
    Calvary Chapel of Corona
    Calvary Chapel of Orange
    Calvary Chapel of Upland
    Canyon View Church of Christ, San Diego
    Chapel in the Pines, Arnold (George Farley)
    Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament (Esparanza Garcia)
    Central Baptist Church of Indio (Dr. Clint J. Ross, Sr. Pastor)
    Chinese Grace Bible Church, Sacramento
    Christian Outreach for Armenians, Glendale (Heros Paul Khudabakhshyan)
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ridgecrest CA (Jacey Cody Morine)
    Core Christian Fellowship, Murrieta
    Cornerstone Baptist Church, Nicholasville
    Cornerstone Fellowship, Livermore (Pastor Caren Wolfe – Marriage & Family Ministries)
    Desert Stream Ministries – Andrew “Andy” Comiskey, Executive Director
    Elsinore Christian Center, Lake Elsinore
    Faith Chapel, San Diego
    Faith Community Church by the Sea, Encinitas (Pastor Douglas Baker)
    Faith to Faith Fellowship, Temecula
    First Baptist Church of Hesperia
    First Baptist Church, Lomita (Sr. Pastor Jim Miller)
    First Foursquare Gospel Church of San Jose, San Jose
    First Presbyterian Church, Amarillo TX (Mark Gething)
    First Southern Baptist, Yucca Valley (Pastor Stephen Jones)
    Freedom Community Christian Church, Perris
    Freed Indeed Christian Fellowship, Perris
    Friendship Christian Fellowship Church, Moreno Valley
    Freewill Missionary Baptist Church, San Diego
    Gem of the Valley Church, Murrieta
    Golden Alter Ministries
    High Desert Church, Victorville – http://www.hdcnet.org
    Highland Springs Fellowship, Banning
    House of Luke, Hemet
    Independent Church of Lake Elsinore
    Joy Ministry for Christ, Los Angeles (Michelle Heard)
    Jubilee Family Church, Oskaloosa IA (Sr. Pastor William R. Tvedt)
    Koinonia Evangelist Center
    Light by the Bay Church, San Lorenzo (Pastor Glenn Nicolas)
    Lighthouse Assembly of God, Murrieta
    Living Faith Christian Fellowship, Garden Grove (Pastor John S. Romick)
    Love and Unity Church of God in Christ, Compton (Angela C. Hill)
    Luke Four Eighteen Ministries International, Temecula
    Meridian Southern Baptist, El Cajon (Pastor Rolland Slade)
    Napoleon Washington, Jr. Evangelistic Assn. (Dr. Napoleon Washington, Jr.)
    Nations Harvest Church, Sunnyvale
    New Birth Kingdom Covenant, San Diego
    New Light Church of God, Riverside (Minister Rhonda Judd)
    Our Redeemer Lives Church, Lake Elsinore
    Menlo Park Community Church of God in Christ, Menlo Park
    Mountain View Community Church, Temecula
    Mount Pisgah Baptist Church, San Diego
    Newhall Church of the Nazarene (Pastor Greg A. Garman)
    New Light Church of God, Riverside (Sr. Pastor Rick Judd Th.D)
    Rancho Baptist Church, Temecula
    Ray of Hope Church, Pomona (Pastor Ruben Solorio)
    Revival Christian Fellowship, Menifee
    Rose Drive Friends Church, Yorba Linda
    The Rock Church, San Diego
    San Diego Christian Worship Center, San Diego
    San Jose Church of Christ, San Jose
    San Jose Foursquare Church, San Jose
    San Jose Open Bible Church, San Jose
    San Jose Word of Faith Christian Center, San Jose
    Set Free Ministries of San Diego, San Diego
    Skyline Wesleyan Church, El Cajon
    South Valley Christian Church, San Jose
    Southwest Christian Church, Temecula
    Survivors of Assault Recovery/Living Word Christian Church, San Diego
    The Church of God of Prophecy, National City
    The Home Church, Campbell
    Tyler Baptist Church, Riverside
    Valley Christian Church, Chino
    Victory International Church, San Mateo (Pastor Brad J. Allen)
    Victory Outreach of Eagle Rock
    Vineyard Family Christian Fellowship, Downey (Catalina Campos)
    Whittier Church of Christ, Whittier
    Windsor Hills Baptist Church, La Mesa
    Zion Christian Fellowship, Spring Valley

  12. Kaimi Wenger on July 13, 2008 at 10:13 am

    The Coalition also appears to believe that the proposed amendment would invalidate not only gay marriage, but also existing domestic partnership laws passed years ago by the legislature. The site’s FAQ page states, as part of the answer to “3. Why is a constitutional amendment necessary?”,

    Additionally, the courts have undermined Proposition 22 and marriage by upholding an act of the Legislature that gave homosexual “domestic partners” the full legal status of married spouses.

    (There’s a similar statement in the “Why it’s needed” section.)

  13. Bob on July 13, 2008 at 10:16 am

    I fear this is another action the Church will look back on with sadness. I liked #5.

  14. cj douglass on July 13, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Why only in CA and not in Massachusetts where gay marriage has been legal for 3 years?

    Just one more reason to live east of the Mississippi. I’ll never live close enough to the fortress of Utah to ever have to deal with this kind of thing.

  15. Wilfried on July 13, 2008 at 10:29 am

    ukann (#1), same in Belgium. Here parliament legalized same-sex marriage already in 2003, “giving gay and lesbian couples the same tax and inheritance rights as heterosexual couples.” Nearly all Catholic members of parliament also voted in favor. Cardinal Danneels of the Belgian Catholic Church only stated that “the Belgian Catholic Church does not have anything against a civil homo-marriage. It understands that homosexuals desire to ratify their love through a formal agreement, but within the Church it is not accepted as equivalent to a marriage between a man and a woman” (source). That was all. The Belgian Catholic Church did not wage a campaign about the matter.

  16. Kaimi Wenger on July 13, 2008 at 10:40 am

    Good catch, sister blah.

    Looks like that’s right, too. I checked the Cal code — I’m not an election law expert, but it looks to me like section 84211(k) would apply.

  17. Phouchg on July 13, 2008 at 10:49 am

    “We have been given permission to use the Ward list…”

    CHI1998 p. 154: “Political and Civic Activity
    The Church is politically neutral. It does not endorse political parties, platforms, or candidates.
    Candidates should not imply that they are endorsed by the Church or its leaders. Church leaders
    and members should avoid any statements or conduct that might be interpreted as Church
    endorsement of political parties or candidates.
    CHURCH RECORDS, DIRECTORIES, AND SIMILAR MATERIALS MAY NOT BE USED FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES,” (emphasis mine)

  18. Jack on July 13, 2008 at 10:53 am

    It’s a moral purpose.

  19. adcama on July 13, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Here are a few ways in which these donations and the church’s attention could be better used:

    10. Seed money for a crack addiction recovery program for many of the US’s largest cities
    9. A basic finance and investing course made mandatory for all those married in the world’s temples.
    8. A bankruptcy prevention course for all Utah members of the church
    7. A conglomerate of mormon business people, education leaders, psychologists and yes, lawyers backed by the church to find ways to end childhood hunger
    6. A massive expansion of the Perpetual Education Fund
    5. A monthly dividend payment for regular hometeachers
    4. A monthly dividend payment for irregular hometeachers (irregular in ANY sense of the word….)
    3. Start up capital for NFP educational institutions who buy into the “small schools movement”
    2. Money for missionaries who wish to participate in an inner city schools program
    1. A microfinance program for Africa (http://www.harvardir.org/articles/1722/)

  20. Phouchg on July 13, 2008 at 11:00 am

    forgot to add: is there a centralized clearinghouse for information related to this? Something along the lines of http://www.lds-mormon.com/doma.shtml which documented the church’s activity during the Prop 22 battle?

  21. Kaimi Wenger on July 13, 2008 at 11:16 am

    “5. A monthly dividend payment for regular hometeachers
    4. A monthly dividend payment for irregular hometeachers (irregular in ANY sense of the word….)”

    LOL.

  22. Kaimi Wenger on July 13, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Phouchg asks:

    “forgot to add: is there a centralized clearinghouse for information related to this? Something along the lines of http://www.lds-mormon.com/doma.shtml which documented the church’s activity during the Prop 22 battle?”

    Not that I’m aware of.

  23. jjohnsen on July 13, 2008 at 11:40 am

    The Coalition also appears to believe that the proposed amendment would invalidate not only gay marriage, but also existing domestic partnership laws passed years ago by the legislature. The site’s FAQ page states, as part of the answer to “3. Why is a constitutional amendment necessary?”,

    Additionally, the courts have undermined Proposition 22 and marriage by upholding an act of the Legislature that gave homosexual “domestic partners” the full legal status of married spouses.
    That’s interesting. Many of the people I know that are supporting this don’t have anything against domestic partnerships or civil unions, they just don’t want them to be “married”.

  24. sister blah 2 on July 13, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    #16–Here’s what the Protect Marriage site says:

    Contributions to ProtectMarriage.com are not tax deductible. Corporate, PAC and personal checks are acceptable. There is no limit on the amount of individual contributions. State election law requires us to publicly report cumulative contributions of $100 or more. Foreign nationals are prohibited by law from making contributions to this committee, unless they have permanent residency status in the United States of America (a Green Card). Contributors who give a total of $10,000 or more in a calendar year to this committee and to other California state or local committees will trigger their own campaign disclosure obligations. ProtectMarriage.com is available to assist contributors if requested. Questions? Call (916) 446-5031.

    I’ve only ever paid attention to financing of federal level campaigns (i.e., congress, president), so I’m used to seeing disclosure laws kick in at $200 and up. Looks like California has slightly stricter laws for its state-level campaigns, with this kicking in at $100.

  25. cchrissyy on July 13, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Wilfried,
    Thanks for that Belgian Catholic quote, I really like when churches handle it that way.

  26. CraigH on July 13, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    #18: It strikes me that all of the items mentioned in #19 are also moral purposes. The justification “well this one is moral” doesn’t really answer the question. Any political issue, such as the MX missile issue way back when, not to mention taxes and tax breaks and gun laws and anything else, has a moral element to it. Thus the question (why be involved in this issue?) needs a fuller answer than “because it’s a moral issue.”

  27. jessawhy on July 13, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    This is so strange to me. How does the church justify asking for money with the policy of not using church lists for political purposes?
    The letter is unclear about who has asked the couple to raise money. It seems like it was the idea of the Stake Presidency, but maybe it was President Monson. Am I reading it wrong?

  28. bbell on July 13, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    #15,

    How are the demographics looking in the Belgian Catholic church these days? I would suspect not to good based on the limp reaction.

    Its pretty much a hard and fast rule in observing churches that those church’s who do not oppose SSM are in deep decline. In fact its a pretty good way to judge the health of a church org. See where they stand on biblical morality and it says a lot about where they are and if they will still exist in a meaningful manner in a generation or 2.

    Congrats to us for not being in apostasy. I am also of the view that people inside the church who oppose our efforts here will have a difficult time to transmitting LDS activity down the generations starting with their own children and themselves. Essentially sifting of the wheat.

  29. Gilgamesh on July 13, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Why only in CA and not in Massachusetts where gay marriage has been legal for 3 years?

    A gay marriage performed in Massachusetts is only legal in Massachusetts per Massachusetts law. A gay marriage performed in California could be interpreted as being legal everywhere. That’s why California is seen as more crucial. If the confusion over whether or not marriages performed in California are legal it could make it to the U.S. Supreme court and they could legalize gay marriage for the entire U.S. – invalidating other states constitutional ammendments.

  30. Gilgamesh on July 13, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Why only in CA and not in Massachusetts where gay marriage has been legal for 3 years?

    A gay marriage performed in Massachusetts is only legal in Massachusetts per Massachusetts law. A gay marriage performed in California could be interpreted as being legal everywhere. That’s why California is seen as more crucial. If the confusion over whether or not marriages performed in California are legal it could make it to the U.S. Supreme court and they could legalize gay marriage for the entire U.S. – invalidating other states constitutional ammendments.

  31. The Right Trousers on July 13, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    #9: A marriage amendment has never been put before the voters in Massachusetts. Until then, it makes little sense to launch a major offensive, especially if the message is “write your legislators”.

    #4: I agree. The international politics and possible fallout is less than clear. Especially in places where the Church needs permission to proselyte, it needs to be careful.

    To many: Nit-picking local implementation of general Church policy may occasionally be appropriate, when local units are acting independently. When it’s done to poison the well against the Church’s position on an issue, I’d say it’s definitely inappropriate.

    “See? The Church is violating its own rules to get this referendum passed. Therefore (implied/unspoken bad thing about the Church and/or its SSM position).” That’s the vibe I’m getting from this discussion, and I’m almost certain that I’m meant to.

  32. The Right Trousers on July 13, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    FWIW, I think the question “who exactly gave permission to use ward lists?” is a good one.

    Also, the post title makes me laugh. IT BEGINS. What is this, a summer blockbuster trailer? Am I supposed to get mental images of brain-munching Mormon zombies showing up at the polls muttering “YES… YES…”?

  33. Ann on July 13, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    The CHI is not a rule book. It’s a handbook, with guidelines, which in a hierarchical church can be countermanded at any time by the First Presidency. It’s descriptive, not proscriptive.

    If the permission to use the ward list for fund raising came from the First Presidency (which the letter Kaimi posted certainly implies) then that permission supercedes the CHI for this issue, plain and simple.

    Pointing to the CHI is a red herring in this argument, just like “no politics.” It’s like the arm-flapping over the church’s tax exempt status. Civil rights for African Americans were born in the Black churches in the 50′s and 60′s, and their tax exempt status is intact.

  34. adcama on July 13, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    “I am also of the view that people inside the church who oppose our efforts here will have a difficult time to transmitting LDS activity down the generations starting with their own children and themselves. Essentially sifting of the wheat.”

    Nice…..

  35. ronito on July 13, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Hey I have an idea, why I don’t cut my tithing in half and put the other half towards this protectmarriage thing. Surely that’d be fine. Why I’m surprised the church hasn’t brought that up.

  36. Julie M. Smith on July 13, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Re bbell in #28–that comment was very close to violating our board rules. Please reign in your rhetoric.

  37. DavidH on July 13, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    “Its pretty much a hard and fast rule in observing churches that those church’s who do not oppose SSM are in deep decline.”

    While this is probably true, I am not sure that this is particularly relevant to whether it is right or wrong to oppose SSM.

    Opposition to SSM, in any event, is not a sure marker of robust church growth. My understanding is that conversions are down and membership is down in the Southern Baptist Church, which explcitly opposes SSM. http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/stories/2008/04/24/southernbaptists_0424.html

  38. Wilfried on July 13, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Ref # 28 – How are the demographics looking in the Belgian Catholic church these days?

    Answer depends on angle. Officially 7 million Catholics in Belgium or about 75% of the population. About 10% weekly attendance, but majority of Catholics still have their children baptized, marry in the Church and are buried there. Politically speaking the Catholic Church still has a lot of leverage. But basically it choose to leave the topic of SSM as a civil matter in the hands of Parliament.

    The equation “churches who do not oppose SSM are in deep decline” may prove problematic. Compare e.g. official figures of Mormon membership in Europe and rates of activity / retention.

  39. sscenter on July 13, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    I wonder if part of the issue of why the church is active in one area and not another has to do with the status of the laws in question. When I lived in Arizona and they were wanting to start the lottery the church went out of their way to oppose this. Once it was passed and the lottery became law, the church didn’t say any more about it. I wonder if it has to do with the church attempting to prevent new laws.

    In Mass. the law was no gay marriage and was overturned by a judge (if someone else knows more than that, let me know).

  40. Matt Rasmussen on July 13, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Much more clarification is needed with this letter. Most importantly, did President Monson direct the Stake President to carry out this plan or is it the Stake President’s own initiative? Second, since I don’t live in CA, is ProtectMarriage.com the coalition referred to in the First Presideny June 20 letter? Third, who gave permission to use the Ward list in this initiative?

    It seems that the Stake President got over zealous in how church members should support the marriage initiative. It should be up to the Bishops or other stake leadership to point out how this plan steps over the bounds the Church tries to maintain.

    Having voiced my doubts about the plan as I understand it, I would support such an initiative in my state and follow the counsel of our prophet on the matter.

  41. Geoff B on July 13, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Kaimi, I want to thank you for this post. It appears apparent that there is a need for all Latter-day Saints to contribute financially to this effort, and I plan to do so forthwith.

  42. Ayla on July 13, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    I’m voting No on Prop 8 and the Church wont see a dime of support on this issue from me. Instead I’ll skip going out to dinner, sure, and I’ll use the money to buy a really sweet wedding gift for my lesbian neighbors. Then I will give them both a big hug, because that’s what Jesus would do.

  43. DCL on July 13, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Adminstratively speaking, my CA bishop today mentioned that the First Presidency has asked Elder Ballard to take charge of this initiative, and he held a conference call with all CA stake presidents last week. He said that the tone of the conference call was that the California election is like the Battle of Gettysburg in its decisiveness because the church believes that as goes California so goes the rest of the nation (it is true that during the 20th century a lot of state law innovations started in California and spread outwards.) This language strikes a little too close to the War in Heaven metaphor from the recent Meridian article for comfort for me, though. I still haven’t heard of any concrete plan of action (i.e. special meetings, callings extended, etc.) in my ward or stake yet.

  44. Randy B. on July 13, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Ayla, nothing against eating out or wedding presents, but here’s another idea to consider.

    https://www.kintera.org/site/apps/ka/sd/donor.asp?c=kuLRJ9MRKrH&b=4026589&en=5nLHLMOjF8KxELPuE8IAKQOxGnLLIJNkH9IJLVPuEeIFLRPEG

    Best wishes to your neighbors.

  45. Eric Russell on July 13, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    “the First Presidency has asked Elder Ballard to take charge of this initiative, and he held a conference call with all CA stake presidents last week.”

    Is it just me, or has Elder Ballard really been on a roll lately?

  46. Paula on July 13, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    I know the person who kept that summary of what happened with Prop 22. I’ll email and ask him if he is doing it again, or knows of anyone who is. My guess is that he’s not doing it, having moved on from mormonism.

  47. UK-Tim on July 13, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    So this is a “moral issue”?

    Why then, has the LDS Church not sought to mobilise its members into a position on the Iraq war, or on Guantanamo Bay, or on Fair Trade? Those are moral issues too.

  48. sscenter on July 13, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Ayla, I understand your sentiment, but I see nothing in the scriptures that would indicate that Jesus would encourage someone in an immoral lifestyle, which buying a wedding present surely would do. When the Savior confronted sin he was loving, no doubt, but absolutely firm in his admonition to “sin no more.” I think that it is easy to forget when we are falling over ourselves to be hyper-compassionate, then straining ourselves with self-congratulations for our hyper-compassion, that like it or not, the consequence for this behavior (not church sanction but the eternal consequences outline for fornicators and adulators in the scriptures) is very bad. Perhaps someone should contact Heavenly Father about his bigoted attitude.

  49. ronito on July 13, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    I’ll remind you that as little as 100 years ago a white woman with a non-white man was considered an immoral lifestyle and something many leaders were very much against. I can imagine T&S back then.

    I thought it was Jesus that said, “Judge not lest ye be Judged.”

    About Heavenly Father and his bigoted attitude, you should tell that to caananites, the philistines, the babylonians, the .

  50. Rusty on July 13, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Sscenter,
    How about giving a wedding gift to your lesbian neighbors (or a baby gift to lesbian neighbors as in our case) just because they’re your friends and you’re happy for their happiness? Is that allowed? I can’t imagine Ayla gives gifts to be self-congratulatory, but rather because they’re her friends. Friends give gifts.

  51. sscenter on July 13, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    I think that is a great point, that is about giving gifts as friends. My point was not whether one should or should not give a gift to a person who is gay or lesbian but rather would the Savior congratulate a person committing an immoral action. Whether Ayla in particular gives a gift under these circumstances is of no consequence to me but I think the inference from that quote was quite clear
    “I’m voting No on Prop 8 and the Church wont see a dime of support on this issue from me.”
    I thought the tone was clearly made, and if i am wrong, won’t be the first time today but that the churches position was incorrect and the more righteous thing to do would be to celebrate this marriage, which giving a gift and a hug clearly would do.

    Not to throw another log on the fire, but part of it does, I think, have to do with relationship. If it were my son or daughter in the SSM, I would feel compelled to love them and find joy with them in this situation. But I think that fulfills a commitment that Dalin Oaks spelled out that if you have a son or daughter who is gay or lesbian you should support them as people and love them no matter what. I would be celebrating the person and not the act. I think a random person I don’t know and thus have no special relationship with is different. I may be a jerk for seeing it that way and once again, that wouldn’t be the first time.

    On the not judging quote. The quote in the JST is “Judge not unrighteously, lest ye be judged” and this quote is made other places in the scriptures. That noted, this is a warning against hypocrisy, not against making decisions about morality. I cannot imagine one uses the Savior as the example of the person who supports another to sin to avoid judging. This is a sinful behavior and our society has become very accepting of it since I was young. I hear strong statements against many types of sin, including this one often in the scriptures and from the general authorities. I do believe there has been a positive shift toward targeting the sin and not the sinner but I just cannot imagine that one believes to not support someone in immoral behavior is bad. I mean the option isn’t on one hand congratulate them, on the other hand lynch them.

  52. cj douglass on July 13, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Ayla, I understand your sentiment, but I see nothing in the scriptures that would indicate that Jesus would encourage someone in an immoral lifestyle, which buying a wedding present surely would do.

    sscenter,

    1. How about spending most of his time with the “sinners” and healing them? That seems to be a lot more cozy than buying a wedding gift.

    When the Savior confronted sin he was loving, no doubt, but absolutely firm in his admonition to “sin no more.”

    2. I’m not the Savior.

  53. makakona on July 13, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    eesh, now i’m nervous about tonight’s last-minute stake fireside for endowed members only. we’re not too far from ka’imi.

    and i’m with ronito in #49… i can’t help but draw parallels between this and the priesthood ban. i still don’t know what to think about all of this. it’s been quite a struggle for me and each bit of news makes me less sure of where i stand.

  54. Arlin Fehr on July 13, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    I think, to those asking \”Well why not here?\” or \”Why not there?\” for this whole thing, perhaps it is a good idea to direct your attention to the title of this blog post, that being \’It Begins\’. All things start somewhere, and it\’s not always at the most obvious place. The church could be seen as having more clout in the the states then in any other nation (though I could be wrong) as such, they picked California to start such a program, and from there, it may spread to other countries, where the battle may be more difficult to overcome.

    Just my two cents on the matter.

  55. Adam Greenwood on July 13, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    The Church takes this stuff seriously, it seems. I hope those who heed have their efforts rewarded.

    Of course nothing like this has happened in our stake, but I’m not surprised. We always get the announcements 3 weeks after everyone else.

  56. Sash Nahalin on July 13, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Here in California, we are very serious about Proposition 8. This is not a theoretical argument, it is a political battle we must join.

    We just donated to help Protect Marriage in California with Proposition 8. We encourage you to go here to learn for yourself “Why Proposition 8 is Needed”

    http://www.protectmarriage.com/why.php

    and….. if you feel strongly as we do, donate at

    http://www.protectmarriage.com/donate.php

    Here are some reasons why we believe Proposition 8 the Protect Marriage Amendment to the California Constitution is desperately needed:

    -Expanding the definition of marriage by including homosexual relationships adds to the continued disregard for marriage’s ultimate purpose. Where it has been legalized, same-sex marriage decreases the total number of marriages while increasing illegitimacy. Nine European nations have had same-sex marriage since the early 90s—and just 2 percent of same-sex couples in these countries ever bother to marry, while there has been a 46 percent increase in out-of-wedlock births.

    -Same-sex families always deny children either their mother or father.

    -Same-sex families are a vast, untested social experiment with children.

    -Marriage is a common good, not a special interest.

    -Every society needs natural marriage — as many men as possible each finding a woman, caring for and committing himself exclusively to her — working together to create and raise the next generation.

    -No society needs homosexual coupling. In fact, too much of it would be harmful to society and that is why natural marriage and same-sex coupling cannot be considered socially equal.

    -Schools will be forced to teach that the homosexual family is normal. Churches will be legally pressured to perform same-sex ceremonies.
    If you feel as we do, please pass this e-mail on to other like-minded California families.

    If you know people who have conflicted feelings or don’t understand why Proposition 8 is so vital, please share Glenn Stanton’s persuasive ideas:

    http://www.citizenlink.org/FOSI/marriage/ssuap/

    Share these ideas in person or via e-mail. If you regularly blog, share it fearlessly on the blogs, but always remember to do so “by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned…”

    The tenor of this blog seems well suited for that kind of discussion.

  57. Bob on July 13, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    The Church has decided to go outside of itself on the issue. I hope it understands non-members will make up their own minds as to why. I doubt they will accept the Church’s reasoning. I would think half of America will see this as “Homophobic”.

  58. Bob on July 13, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    The Church has decided to go outside of itself on the issue. I hope it understands non-members will make up their own minds as to why. I doubt they will accept the Church’s reasoning. I would think half of America will see this as “Homophobic”.

  59. Rich from Ventura County, CA on July 13, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Our stake is energized as well. In the last three weeks, our bishop, on behalf of the stake president has encouraged us to step out of our comfort zones, be fearless and let our voices be heard on Proposition 8, the Amendment to Define Marriage.

    I have been trying to find the right voice for the political discussion, that will be allow me to state my feelings without being called mean, homophobic and sometime much worse. I suppose, being fearless, means,speaking the truth as I know it. These ideas seem to resonate with me. I have shared them with my family and friends.

    Marriage Is Always About the Next Generation
    • The same-sex family is not driven by the needs of children, but rather by the radical wishes of a small group of adults.
    • A loving and compassionate society always comes to the aid of motherless and fatherless families.
    • A loving and compassionate society never intentionally creates motherless or fatherless families, which is exactly what every same-sex home does.
    • No child development theory says children need two parents of the same gender, but rather that children need their mothers and fathers.

    A Vast Social Experiment Inflicted on Children
    • No society, at any time, has ever raised a generation of children in same-sex families.
    • Same-sex “marriage” will subject generations of children to the status of lab rats in a vast, untested social experiment.
    • America has raised millions of children in fatherless families for three decades and that experiment was a stunning failure by every measure! We know how damaging it is to raise children in intentionally fatherless families. Let’s not create more child-suffering to satisfy adult desire.
    Thousands of published social science, psychological and medical studies show that children living in fatherless families, on average, suffer dramatically in every important measure of well-being. These children suffer from much higher levels of physical and mental illness, educational failure, poverty, substance abuse, criminal behavior, loneliness, as well as physical and sexual abuse. Children living apart from both biological parents are eight times more likely to die of maltreatment than children living with their mother and father.

    Lessons From the World\’s Most Famous Lesbian Mom
    Rosie O’Donnell shared this story in an ABC Primetime Live interview with Diane Sawyer:
    Six-year-old Parker asks his mother, Rosie: “Mommy, why can’t I have a daddy?” Rosie answers: “Because I’m the kind of mommy who wants another mommy.”
    • The two most dangerous words for a parent to utter together: “I” and “want.”
    • Parker has never asked, “Momma, why can’t we have all the rights and protections of marriage?” You see, such things only matter to adults. But he has said, “Momma, why can’t I have a daddy?”
    • What matters for children in marriage is whether their mothers are married to their fathers.

    How Same-sex Families Will Harm My Family
    • Same-sex “marriage” advocates are not seeking marriage alone, but rather demanding me — and all of us — to radically change our understanding of family. And that will do great damage.
    • Same-sex family will teach my little grand children that husband/wife and mother/father are merely optional for the family and therefore, meaningless.
    • And I will never allow my grand children to be taught that their gender doesn’t matter for the family. Their masculinity and femininity matter far too much.

    Full Acceptance Will Be Mandatory
    • Our civil rights to object to homosexuality as an idea will be gone.
    • Same-sex relationships and homes are tolerated in society today. Our nation has no existing problem where same-sex couples are evicted from their neighborhoods because of how they live. Americans tolerate such relationships.
    • But this is not about mere tolerance. Instead it is about forcing everyone to fully accept these unnatural families.
    • Only months after legalizing same-sex “marriage” in Canada, activists there successfully passed C-250, a bill criminalizing public statements against homosexuality, punishable by up to two years in prison! Say the wrong thing; go to jail. The same will happen here.
    • Every public school in California would be forced to teach that same-sex “marriage” and homosexuality are perfectly normal –- Heather has Two Mommies in K-12. Pictures in text books will be changed to show same-sex couples as normal.
    • Churches will be legally pressured to perform same-sex weddings. When courts — as happened in California and Massachusetts — find same-sex “marriage” to be a constitutional and fundamental human right, the ACLU will successfully argue that the government is underwriting discrimination by offering tax exemptions to churches and synagogues that only honor natural marriage.
    • Gay and lesbian people have a right to form meaningful relationships. They don’t have a right to redefine marriage for all of us.
    How to handle counter arguments:

    Isn’t your church breeching the separation of church and state by opposing Proposition 8?
    • Same Sex Marriage is a moral issue of importance to me and my religion and people in our democracy must make moral judgments on most legislation.
    • Under the US Constitution the right to join public dialogue cannot denied or abridged based on religious grounds or a religious test.
    • The Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) specifically recognizes that churches have a right “to attempt to influence legislation” providing it’s “efforts do not constitute a substantial part of its overall activities.”
    A Civil Rights Issue…?
    • There is no civil right to deny children their mothers or fathers, which is exactly what every same-sex home does.
    • There is no civil right to conduct a vast, untested social experiment on children.
    • It is an affront to African-Americans to say having past generations being prevented from taking a drink from a public water fountain or being sprayed down by fire hoses in a public park was on par to laws preventing a man from marrying another man. The comparison is shameful.
    • Civil rights leaders strongly reject this assertion. Jessie Jackson explains, “Gays were never called three-fifths of a person in the Constitution…and they did not require the Voting Rights Act to have the right to vote.
    Is Allowing Same-Sex \’Marriage\’ Like Allowing Interracial Marriage…?
    • Striking down the ban on interracial marriage affirmed marriage by saying any man has a right to marry any woman. Same-sex \”marriage\” redefines marriage.
    • Racism was about keeping races apart and that is wrong. Marriage is about bringing the genders together and that is good.
    • And it is very different for a child to say, “I have a Korean mother and a Hispanic father” than to say, “I have two moms.” There are no negative child-development outcomes from being raised by interracial parents.
    • There are thousands of social science studies showing negative outcomes for children who are denied their mothers and fathers.
    • Sexual preference is nothing like skin color. Homosexuality is behavior based and is not a civil right.

    Why Would We Write Discrimination Into the Constitution…?
    • Why would you write radical family redefinition into the Constitution?
    • Our California Constitution is going to be changed one way or the other. Either a small handful of unaccountable, activist judges are going to write a radical new definition of marriage into the Constitution, or, Californians can protect marriage constitutionally through the option provided via the amendment process.
    • Supporters of the Proposition 8 did not just dream up the need for such an amendment. We have been forced into this battle because a very small few want to constitutionally redefine marriage for all of us. Same-sex activists brought this fight to all of us.

    Conclusion…
    All of the family experimentation over the past 30 years – no fault divorce, the sexual revolution, cohabitation, fatherlessness — have all been documented failures, harming adults and children in far deeper ways, for longer periods of time, than anyone ever imagined. Why do we think that this radical experiment will somehow bring good things? All we have is the promise that everything will work out fine. Well, the advocates of each of these other experiments assured us the same thing. Their promises were empty. We all know that men and women are necessary for the family and that no child should intentionally be denied her mother or father in order to fulfill adult desires. That is why we cannot accept the same-sex family. It serves no public purpose.

  60. ronito on July 13, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    fear fear fear.

  61. Ardis Parshall on July 13, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    Holy cow.

    Sash, and Rich, please stay away from MY blog. As much as I’m in favor of traditional marriage, there isn’t room enough for both of you to cut and paste this coalition boiler plate and post it without invitation on others’ blogs.

  62. Rich from Ventura County, CA on July 13, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    mea culpa.

  63. Matt Thurston on July 13, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    #59, pure garbage. Ronito managed to squeeze more intelligence and common sense out of three words in #60 than you were able to muster in 1,000+ words.

  64. LRC on July 13, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    For the record, the CA Supreme Court’s decision says:

    “[A]ffording same-sex couples the opportunity to obtain the designation of marriage will not impinge upon the religious freedom of any religious organization, official, or any other person; [b]no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.[/b]”

  65. LRC on July 13, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    #59 – “We all know that men and women are necessary for the family and that no child should intentionally be denied her mother or father in order to fulfill adult desires.”

    Then how about focusing all your passion on ending things like, oh, heterosexual adultery

  66. JohnR on July 14, 2008 at 12:07 am

    I counted at least ten other blogs (via a Google search) that had the exact same text as #59 posted in the comments. It’s a bunch of talking points being disseminated under the heading “Defending Marriage: Debate-Tested Sound Bites.” Where I come from, we call that “comment spam,” regardless of whether or not we agree with it. At least Rich could have been less disingenuous and stated the source of the text.

  67. Nabathli on July 14, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Ronito said: \”I thought it was Jesus that said, \’Judge not lest ye be Judged.\’”

    And Matthew continues \”For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother\’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?\”

    The sermon on the mount was directed at hypocrite\’s. Some people may be hypocrites. That is interesting, butcalling people who oppose sames sex marriage hypocrites is an ad hominem – a logical fallacy.. It attacks the person who proposed the argument in an attempt to discredit the argument.

    What does that have to do with redefining natural marriage?

  68. quin on July 14, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Did Jesus spend “most of His time” with sinners? That depends on who you ask. The Pharisees thought Matthew was a sinner because he was a publican, and considered many of the people Christ spent a lot of time with to be unclean, unworthy etc. But were they really wicked? Christ healed many people-but also taught that blindness and other physical frailties were not due to sin, but so that the glory of God could be manifest. Bible references seem to indicate that Christ spent “most of His time” with those who desired to learn from Him and become His disciples. Because we are all sinners then yes, He spent all of His time with sinners, but they were sinners with the desire to become righteous and sanctified by the Lord. But if you meant to imply that the Savior spent the most time among those who willfully rebelled or broke commandments and miraculously healed them. He didn’t.

    Christ healed the faithful. He healed those who had the faith to be made whole. He healed those that understood who He was and the power that He held. The Atonement of Christ cannot redeem even one unrepentant spirit from anything other than death itself. Mercy cannot rob justice, and those who hear the word of God and choose not accept Christ as their Savior, repent and obey His commandments will pay the price for their own sins themselves. They will be turned over to the buffetings of Satan until they have paid fully for their sins and disobedience, and then they will be given a lesser glory than that of exaltation.

    Those who believe that God is more merciful and loving than He is just, and that His love for us (and in this discussion in particular our gay friends and loved ones) will magically cause any painful consequences to simply disappear do not understand the laws of Godhood. Those who point to the destruction of the Caananites, and Babylonians as examples of the unrighteous and cruel anger of a bigoted God do not comprehend His ways. Those who refuse to cry repentance to the world for any reason do not love their fellowmen as Christ loved them because Christ called them to repent. He told them to stop sinning.

    But you still think that your love for our brothers and sisters compares with His? Really? Christ subjected Himself to mockery, beatings, abuse, and humiliation even though He was innocent, because He loves us. You can’t subject yourself to the opinions of those who might call you intolerant or homophobic, even if you are innocent. Christ suffered real pain and agony for hours in Gethsemane so that the repentant among us wouldn’t have to, but you are only interested in making sure no one’s feelings or self esteem get hurt. He was willing to give up everything in mortality to save our souls, and you are only willing to give up some cash for a wedding gift and offer them some hugs and acceptance.

    So while you have the right to call your love for the gay community anything you wish to call it, Christ’s love is in a different category altogether and His gift includes eternal happiness and joy-does yours?

  69. Nabathli on July 14, 2008 at 12:26 am

    quin “So while you have the right to call your love for the gay community anything you wish to call it, Christ’s love is in a different category altogether and His gift includes eternal happiness and joy-does yours?”

    Well said, quin.

    There is a vast difference between sexual love and “the Pure love of Christ.” This is charity which “…[doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own…”

  70. Nabathli on July 14, 2008 at 12:28 am

    quin “So while you have the right to call your love for the gay community anything you wish to call it, Christ’s love is in a different category altogether and His gift includes eternal happiness and joy-does yours?”

    Well said, quin.

    There is a vast difference between sensual love and “the Pure love of Christ.” This is charity which “…doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own…”

  71. quin on July 14, 2008 at 12:28 am

    Can anyone provide verification that Church headquarters indeed issued these instructions, and is actually supportive of contributions to protectmarriage.com?

  72. Nabathli on July 14, 2008 at 12:35 am

    Quin said: “Can anyone provide verification that Church headquarters indeed issued these instructions, and is actually supportive of contributions to protectmarriage.com?”

    Yes, the message that Kaimi Wenger posted above was read today in sacrament meetings through out California. protectmarriage.com was specifically mentioned.

  73. Rick Grunder on July 14, 2008 at 12:41 am

    I would like to offer – without requirement of permission to reproduce – an entry from my recent work, for the use of anyone who wishes to consider anti-Mormon parallels to this issue from the year 1857: Mormon Parallels, Entry 178.

  74. Nabathli on July 14, 2008 at 12:43 am

    Clarification:

    Yes, A message SIMILAR TO THE ONE Kaimi Wenger posted above was read today in sacrament meetings through out California. protectmarriage.com was specifically mentioned.

    The specifics of fund raising efforts varied from stake to stake.

  75. Nabathli on July 14, 2008 at 12:59 am

    Rick Grunder draws parallels between anti-Mormon rhetoric in 1857 and arguments for against redefinition of natural marriage.

    Rick quotes Harpers regarding the Full Faith and Credit Clause which is an issue today as well. In the present case, California unlike Massachusetts allows persons seeking same sex marriage to be married in California. This puts these marriages on a collision course with State Definition of marriage laws and State Constitutional amendments in every other state in the nation. there is no doubt but that these Sames Sex couple will be in court looking for validation of these California marriages.

    Yup! You guessed it. We are headed for the SCOTUS if Proposition 8 is not passed. If you do not live in California, you still have a dog in this fight.

  76. ronito on July 14, 2008 at 1:21 am

    I’m sorry I’ll remember to qualify Jesus’ words more. Obviously it’s not enough to take “judge not lest ye be judged.” and “love thy neighbor” there must be qualifications to these rules as they’re not good enough on their own. Silly me. It’s just like that Rocko’s Modern life episode, “before we pelt you to death with hotdogs let us read from scripture: ‘And if there be one among you who do not believe let them go and do not pelt them with sausages.’”
    “See? You have to let me go. Your scripture says so.”
    “Eh…it’s in the interpretation.”

  77. Confutus on July 14, 2008 at 1:39 am

    I predict I’m about to become hugely unpopular here. If I cared about being popular, that might bother me.
    It bothers me greatly when I see members of the Church arguing that SSM is right, or that the Church is wrong (hypocritical, inconsistent, misplaced) to oppose it. I’ve seen quite a few vocal commentators, both here and on other blogs, in the process of dismissing or otherwise finding fault with the counsel of the First Presidency and the Twelve.
    I wouldn’t expect those who don’t believe there is a God, or that he speaks to prophets, or that the leaders of the Church are some of them, to give any more weight to what they say than to the dozens of others who have found biological, psychogical, social, family related, economic, political, and religious reasons to think SSM bad public policy. But they don’t periodically lift their hands in public to sustain them as prophets seers, and revelators, either.
    I don’t see how anyone can in good conscience and integrity vote to support them while sitting in church assembly, and then go home and argue against their policies or counsel on a public blog. We are certainly free to disagree with them, but then there are many things we are free to do that are dangerous, or stupid, or both.
    The day cometh that those who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people. (D&C 1:14)
    I’m not naming names. I’m not saying that those who criticize the Church’s stand on SSM will be or should be subject to church discipline. What I am saying is that when we becone too certain that we are right and the leaders of the Church are wrong, the lines between faitfhul saints and murmurers, between murmurers and critics, between critics and dissenters, and between dissenters and enemies all become frightfully easy to cross.

  78. Nate W. on July 14, 2008 at 2:43 am

    Yup! You guessed it. We are headed for the SCOTUS if Proposition 8 is not passed. If you do not live in California, you still have a dog in this fight.

    I seriously doubt it. DOMA or no DOMA, the full faith and credit clause is a pretty well-settled area of law. Declarations and records need not be recognized if it is against the strong public policy of the state. A state law or constitutional amendment previously passed should be sufficient to keep a state from being required to recognize a same-sex marriage through the full faith and credit clause.

    However, a different standard applies to court judgments, which a state must recognize under full faith and credit. Therefore, states are in the odd position of not being required to recognize marriages in other states, but being required to recognize decrees of divorce finalized in other states. In Utah, you can’t be gay married, but you can be gay divorced. Isn’t the law grand?

  79. sscenter on July 14, 2008 at 6:57 am

    Confutus –

    I think that is well said. I find that there is a certain path that many liberals Mormons seem to take on some issues where they start with the idea that the church is wrong, then go from there. It is almost as though they have a testimony of the gospel but are unclear about the vehicle the Lord has chose to govern the gospel with. There is this drive to any chance available remind us of the racist past of our Mormon ancestors when I would argue that yes, compared to current 2008 attitudes many Mormons in the 1800′s were racist but compared to their peers they were generally not. Same with this issue. The church has gone out of its way to become emotionally supports of gays and lesbians without supporting the act. What surprises me is that some don’t see this clearly for what it is to become, a referendum that will eventually require churches to recognize SSM or lose their tax exempt status.

  80. Aluwid on July 14, 2008 at 7:58 am

    “I’m voting No on Prop 8 and the Church wont see a dime of support on this issue from me. Instead I’ll skip going out to dinner, sure, and I’ll use the money to buy a really sweet wedding gift for my lesbian neighbors.”

    I read this the same way as if someone were to say:

    “I’m not going to pay tithing anymore, instead I’ll put my money to better use by investing it all in beer companies.”

    Neither alternative action mentioned is morally wrong, but the “in your face” attitude behind the message is disturbing and unneeded.

  81. Nabathli on July 14, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Nate W said: ” ,,,the full faith and credit clause is a pretty well-settled area of law. Declarations and records need not be recognized if it is against the strong public policy of the state.”

    You make an interesting argument, but it is just that…and argument. Arguments are what lawyers are all about. We are a “over lawyered society.” Settled law or no settled law, this has all the ingredient’s for a constitutional test at the SCOTUS.

    We thought natural marriage was settle common law.

  82. Paul S. on July 14, 2008 at 8:49 am

    sscenter #79. One small quibble. Why restrict this problem to so-called \”liberal Mormons.\” I assume you mean politically liberal, in which I case I see the same attitude from \”conservative Mormons\” who rail against issues such as the Church\’s policy of not bringing guns into churches or the Church\’s official stance allowing for abortion in times of incest or rape. If you mean \”liberal Mormons\” as in religiously liberal (i.e., advancing religiously progressive attitudes), I see the same problem among \”conservative Mormons,\” better stated as fundamentalist Mormons, those that practice polygamy in Colorado City, for instance. It seems to me that the inclination to follow our own counsel, as opposed to that of a prophet, is equally felt among liberals and conservatives (regardless of how you are defining the term) because it is a problem with humans of all stripes.

  83. Nabathli on July 14, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Aluwid said “..the ‘in your face’ attitude behind the message is disturbing and unneeded.”

    You have that right! The word petulant seems apt to describe such declarations here : “characterized by temporary or capricious ill humor” One only hopes is is indeed temporary. On the other hand, such is often the nature of many bloggers here.

  84. Nabathli on July 14, 2008 at 9:05 am

    sscenter said: “…many liberals Mormons seem to take on some issues where they start with the idea that the church is wrong,”

    You are borrowing trouble here unnecessarily. It is not politically “liberal Mormons” who start with the proposition that the church is wrong. Morally liberal and social Mormons who may be either right or left politically start with that proposition. They generally lack humility, thinking they alone understand what is truth, light and love.

  85. Left Field on July 14, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Comments 82 and 84 reminded me of a multi-stake priesthood leadership meeting I once attended. The general authority (I’ve forgotten who it was) mentioned that he had had conversations with other general authorities on this general topic. The consensus was that they worry more about conservative members who go off on their own tangents than about liberal members who do the same. At least with liberal members, you generally know where they stand. When conservative members go off the deep end, they often still go on about following the prophets and keeping the commandments, and act as if their way of thinking is mainstream.

  86. Adam on July 14, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Can we compare the current SSM opposition by the Church to the Church’s priesthood policies before 1978?

    Seems to me that the rhetoric (except for some early statements) around race by Church leaders was more like “now is not the time” rather than “hate the sin, love the sinner”.

    Are we just earlier in the arc or are the priesthood ban and SSM not really apples to apples?

  87. Nabathli on July 14, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Adam :”Are we just earlier in the arc or are the priesthood ban and SSM not really apples to apples?”

    And do you believe that at the end of “the arc” Same Sex marriage will be performed in LDS temples?

    Did you really mean to imply that or did you mean something else?

  88. The Right Trousers on July 14, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Don’t get all snippy with Adam. I suspect he’s on your side, but he’s being diplomatic by phrasing his objection as a question:

    “Are we 1) just earlier in the arc or 2) are the priesthood ban and SSM not really apples to apples?”

    He’s implying #2.

    There are substantive differences in the defenses given to the priesthood ban and traditional marriage. The principles behind the priesthood ban (if there ever were any) were never well-understood or unanimously accepted, even among the First Presidency and Quorum of the 12. On the other hand, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” was signed by all of them. I never understood until now why those signatures were necessary.

    That document has become incredibly prescient since 1995. I encourage all of our stalwart “dissenters of conscience” to give it a good read.

  89. Jacob F on July 14, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    I admit to being ambivalent on this issue in the past. But the more I study it, the more I come down on the side of President Monson. I consider homosexual behavior a sexual perversion, and like it or not, the actions of the government do play a role in legitimization or societal acceptance. Gay marriage seeks to legitimize gay sex, something that should never be considered legitimate because it is a sexual perversion. Which perversion is next on the horizon?

    Some people have a strong desire to have sex with animals. That’s a fact. Isn’t that the way God created them? Will we deny them the same rights others enjoy? With Spain granting some limited human rights to apes, perhaps one day we will face the issue of a man wanting to marry his sheep, an animal that the coming years will perhaps be granted limited human rights as well. If the man can show through independent, third-party observation that the sheep does, indeed, reciprocate his affinity, how could we deny the couple their due rights? If there are no moral absolutes governing society (which we by accepting gay marriage are tacitly throwing out), there may be nothing we can do to stop this once the precedent is set. This isn’t fear mongering, this is following present circumstances to their logical conclusion.

    Yes, I have gay friends; no, I am not a hate-filled bigot. I more likely than not also have friends with the inclination to have sex with animals. Acting on either of these inclinations is a sexual perversion, period. Most people have at least one thorn in the flesh; this happens to be theirs. Is it unreasonable to expect individuals with thees inclinations to remain celibate? No! We expect never-been-married, widowed, or divorced heterosexual members to remain celibate as well. There is so much more to life than sex. Unfortunately in our sex-saturated world, sometimes it’s hard to see the rest life has to offer.

  90. Chad Too on July 14, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Are we allowed to yell “Chupacabra” this early in the thread? Does there have to be more than 100 comments before the Goat-Vampire is allowed to be invoked?

    Everyone here is talking past each other…

  91. Nabathli on July 14, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    The Right Trousers: “That document has become incredibly prescient since 1995. I encourage all of our stalwart “dissenters of conscience” to give it (“The Proclaimation to the World on the Family”) a good read.”

    I couldn’t agree more TRT. I guess that is why we sustain them as prophets, seers and revelators.

  92. joshua w. on July 14, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    I am confused by Rich in Ventura County\’ comments. No fault divorce, fatherlessness, are indeed contibutions to the disintegration of the family. But SSM is not an experiment. It isn\’t an idea to try out. In the eyes of the Constitution I am no different than you. In the view of the Constitution I am entitled to the same rights and responsibilities as you are.

    One though has been intriging me. It was just over 100 year ago that our Church fought tooth and nail against the definition of marriage as the union of ONE man and ONE woman. How many of our leaders went into hiding for practicing the \”Principal\”? On the basis of religious freedom the Church was against attempts to make bigamy & cohabitation illegal. And now, where are we? We are encouraged to support an effort that Presidents Young, Taylor & Woodruff would all have fought against. (Yes I understand the value of living Prophets or dead ones.)

    No matter what I ask everyone here to remember that we are brothers and sisters. We were before we came to this earth and we will be afterwards.

  93. Aluwid on July 14, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    “We are encouraged to support an effort that Presidents Young, Taylor & Woodruff would all have fought against.”

    President Young, Taylor, and Woodruff would not have supported Same-Sex-Marriage. They probably would have provided us with juicier quotes against it then our current, more careful, church leaders though.

    “No matter what I ask everyone here to remember that we are brothers and sisters. We were before we came to this earth and we will be afterwards.”

    Which explains the importance of not burying our heads in the sand when we have a chance to help keep our society on the right track. More legitimization of homosexual relationships will result in an increase in the number of individuals who engage in them, which will not result in a good result for them “afterwards”.

  94. joshua w. on July 14, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Aluwid,

    I didn’t say Presidents Young, Taylor & Woodruff would have supported same sex marriage. You completely missed my point. That, or you ignored it.

    Are you honestly telling me that society having legal same sex unions would contribute to more people being gay? Do you really believe that?

  95. Aluwid on July 14, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Joshua,

    “I didn’t say Presidents Young, Taylor & Woodruff would have supported same sex marriage.”

    You implied it, I’m glad you don’t agree with it.

    “Are you honestly telling me that society having legal same sex unions would contribute to more people being gay? Do you really believe that?”

    If you rephrase that to be “would contribute to more people taking part in homosexual relationships” then my answer would be absolutely yes. You can’t tell kids that pairing with a member of the same-sex is just as appropriate as pairing with a member of the opposite-sex and not expect that some of them will develop differently then they would have if the alternative option was never held up as a valid path for them to take. Unless you believe that sexuality is 100% “nature” and 0% “nurture”, which I do not.

  96. Steven B on July 14, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Aluwid, “More legitimization of homosexual relationships will result in an increase in the number of individuals who engage in them, which will not result in a good result for them “afterwards”.”

    Homosexuality is not a fad, nor is sexual orientation even a choice. The issue here is that society can encourage gay people to live disconnected, promiscuous, single lives, essentially having all the sex they desire, with whomever. Or society can encourage gays and lesbians to settle down into committed, stable relationships, for which marriage is the obvious model.

    In a plural society, we can hardly expect the state to promulgate the LDS viewpoint that all gays and lesbians should be celibate. So, if we forbid gays in society to marry, are we promoting celibacy or are we actually encouraging promiscuity?

  97. James on July 14, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    This is a thought that has been running through my brain for the last few days. Let me pose it in the form of a couple of questions. If someone who personally believes that homosexual acts are sinful does not actively oppose attempts by deceived government officials to enact SSM out of some desire to be ‘fair’ or ‘non-judgmental’, do they put themselves in the role of being enablers of sin? If the answer to this is yes, what is the moral and spiritual position are those people?

  98. StillConfused on July 14, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    The Church needs to be very careful here. They are getting close to becoming too involved with political matters and that can cost them their tax exempt status. Is this issue worth that?

  99. Aluwid on July 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Steven,

    “Homosexuality is not a fad, nor is sexual orientation even a choice.”

    This trivializes my point. Sexuality is at least partially developed in most of us, not just imprinted when we are born. You’re complicating the environment that our children are going to grow up in, some are going to get confused and not turn out how they would have otherwise.

    “The issue here is that society can encourage gay people to live disconnected, promiscuous, single lives, essentially having all the sex they desire, with whomever. Or society can encourage gays and lesbians to settle down into committed, stable relationships, for which marriage is the obvious model.”

    Or society can decide that the over-all result of legitimizing same-sex-relationships is worse than the benefit gained by attempting to have them pair-up. That is my viewpoint and I’ll continue to support it with my voting and whatever meager influence I might have.

  100. Kaimi Wenger on July 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    We’re at 100 comments, and the chupacabra is calling.

    Thanks for your comments, all.

WELCOME

Times and Seasons is a place to gather and discuss ideas of interest to faithful Latter-day Saints.