Preserving Marriage Media

October 13, 2008 | 48 comments

The saints have put out some good media on traditional marriage and Proposition 8 in California.


48 Responses to Preserving Marriage Media

  1. Roland on October 13, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Over the weekend I observed that the vast majority of new blog entries in the Google directory were pro Prop 8.

    The Sunday Paper here in California had several letters to the editor – 5 Pro / 1 Con. Quite a turn around from last month.

    Also the Yard Signs are here now and are blossoming aggressively across the state.

  2. Fluxus on October 13, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    While its nice that these videos lack some of the really big misrepresentations found in a lot of the pro prop 8 media spots. They are still reductive, and do misrepresent the history and facts around same sex marriage and domestic partnerships in CA.

    For example in the third clips when the speaker does his re-cap of the court decision and prop 22. he does give all the details. Same sex marriage was passed by the CA legislature twice since prop. 22, but was vetoed by gov. Schwartznegger. At this time Schwartznegger has said he supports same sex marriages so what we have is a situation in which all three branches of CA government are in favor same sex marriages. I know that people love to talk about the courts decision as \”overturning the will of the people.\” Two thoughts regarding that idea: First, prop 22 had about 4 million yes votes back in 2000. So its worth asking to what extent is that number of votes representative of \”the will of the people\” in the broad way that phrase is being used? A related point is that to amend the constitution in CA only takes a simple majority. Personally, I think there should be a higher standard for amending the state constitution. Since I moved from UT to CA I\’ve voted against every ballot measure that would alter the constitution (there have been many) even the one\’s I liked, for the reason that it makes so little sense for the state constitution to be altered with every change of popular opinion. Further, most of the measures on the CA ballot that seek to alter the constitution are really end runs around the legislative process, this is the case for prop 8 as well.

    The religious liberties argument is also problematic. First, what about the religious liberties of groups such as the UCC that want to marry same sex couples? If prop. 8 passes their religious liberties are directly curtailed, what should they do? Are their religious liberties less important that those of other religious groups?

    Second, gay marriage has been legal in Mass. since 2004 and there have been no lawsuits or actions against our, or any other church. Further, we need to keep in mind the broader context of religious practice and discrimination. The concept of free religious expression gives religious groups broad autonomy in terms of their messages, self governance, and hiring etc. Take Fred Phelps for example. His message is unambiguously hateful and nasty. They only time he has gotten into trouble is when he and his followers continually disrupted the funeral services of American soldiers killed in Iraq. In that case the rights of the families to have the funerals conducted in peace, was seen as the more important right. Phelps was not told he could not longer advocate for he core message, he was fined for choosing to do so at a specific time and place. There are a number of religious [sic.] organizations in the US that actually spread hateful messages regarding race, sexuality, etc and they have not been subject to a limiting of their religious liberties. So if THOSE groups have their religious liberties in tact, what is the difference that would threaten our Church is prop. 8 does not pass? I don\’t think there is one, and if there is one, it is not being talked about. Our message is not hateful, or spread in a way that it conflicts with the rights of others so we are fundamentally safe regarding our religious liberties in the context of prop. 8.

    Also the third clip states that same sex couples do not loose anything if prop. 8 passes. This is not the case. One needs to read the CA supreme court\’s decision to understand this. In short, In its decision the court relied on the 1948 Perez decision in which it was determined that in CA marriage is a fundamental right. Granted, many people do not like it, but the fact is, that in CA marriage has been established as a fundamental right for 60 years and passing prop. 8 removes that right for same sex couples. I am not really doing the decision justice, so folks should read it themselves, its an interesting read regardless of what side of the issue one is on.

    As for protecting children. There are about 75,000 children of same sex couples here in CA, many of them are special needs kids that have been adopted by same sex couples. What about those kids? How does it help them for their parents to have second class status? The children of the same sex couples that I know were thrilled when their parents got married over the summer. It simply does not help those kids at all to dissolve the relationships that they celebrate.

    I could go on but I will leave it there.

    one more Mormon against prop 8.

  3. BruceC on October 13, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    You are correct, the California constitution is far too easy to modify. I’m not aware of any other state with such minimal amendment standards. The result is a very large (over 100 pages) and unreadable constitution.

  4. Geoff B on October 13, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Count me as one more Mormon in favor of Prop 8 (and also the constitutional amendments on the ballot in AZ and FL). Adam, thanks for posting these videos.

  5. Jennifer on October 13, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Just because they can’t be married doesn’t mean they don’t have all of the same rights as a married couple. It is simply the definition of “marriage” that we are voting on. If the majority of people are going to vote for good strong moral principles, good for them. It shouldn’t be overturned by some liberal judges who think they no better. One more Mormon for Prop 8.

  6. Fluxus on October 13, 2008 at 6:30 pm


    Read the court’s decision for more of the context concerning the idea that same sex couples have all the same rights as hetero couples. For example, It’s clearly stated in the decision that the ability to marry is a right in and of itself in CA. I understand that there are people who don’t like that fact or disagree with it but it is in the law, so denying same sex couples the ability to marry is taking away a right.

    The judges who overturned prop 22 included conservative republican appointees.

    Its the role of the court to evaluate the constitutionality of the laws involved in the cases they hear. How many citizens vote one way or the other in an election, or the moral principles behind their voting have no bearing on the standard of constitutionality.

  7. Silus Grok on October 13, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    A link to the decision would be helpful. A summary of the decision by someone with the proper bona fides would be downright ecstasy-inducing.

    A couple notes:

    1) I think religious liberty and the redefining a core institution are the best arguments for Prop 8. The rest strike me as fear and hate mongering. I’ll grant that the religious liberty argument is one of slippery slopes — but we see time and again how law is twisted to unforeseen consequences.

    2) The idea that the judges “over-ruled the will of the people” is not relevant. That’s what judges often do. They’re called upon to stand in the face of power (legislative… populist… military… ) and to deny them passage. Huge majorities in the South indulged or altogether embraced all sorts of unspeakable atrocities — until the laws were changed. So people who use this argument are either ignorant of or altogether ignoring fundamental civic truths. If we’re to take umbrage at the decision, then the question is whether the judges has any place to stand when they handed down their decision.

    @fluxus: unless there’s a gay test for marriage licenses currently being issued, then I don’t see that the right to marry for gays is being curtailed. Gays can marry… what you’re describing is the right to marry the person you love. And love has nothing to do with civil marriage.

  8. Silus Grok on October 13, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    *whether the judges have

  9. Fluxus on October 13, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Silus- Here is the link you requested:

  10. Silus Grok on October 13, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    @fluxus: Thanks!

  11. mlu on October 13, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Thanks, Adam.

    I think the lawyer who asked the Savior, “and who is my neighbor?” would also readily ask, “and what is a marriage?”

    The Savior didn’t engage in fine arguments. He just told a story that illustrated a simple and profound ideal.

  12. Mark N. on October 13, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    It shouldn’t be overturned by some liberal judges who think they no better.

    You realize, of course, that this “liberal judge” was first appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court by Ronald Reagan.

    I suggest you read and see if he’s really the liberal activist you think he is.

  13. jeff hoyt on October 13, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    #13 – I read the link. Only three opinions were cited and George took the “liberal” position in all three, so I am not sure your case is made.

    #8 – I agree with both your points, but I think your reference to “unforseen consequences” assumes good faith on the part of the “no on 8″ crowd. Experience has shown that assumption of good faith in this area is a mistake.

  14. MikeInWeHo on October 14, 2008 at 12:15 am

    Great stuff. But I wonder how all these arguments hold up in places where a majority of the population supports SSM. Whether or not that is true in CA right now will be determined in November, but the trend is crystal clear in many other western nations. It seems likely that SSM will fall into place in much of New England in the next few years. It’s a fait-accompli in Canada as well, and people up there couldn’t care less any more. So what does that mean? Are those places doomed? And how does one ballot measure determine “how society is going to be organized”?

    Personally, I think Prop 8 may well pass in California. It’s very easy to amend the constitution here, and it’s by no means clear what the majority currently thinks. There sure won’t be a 60/40 outcome this time, though.

    Ultimately, though, I think Prop 8 is like slamming the barn door after the horses have escaped. What a waste of money and time.

  15. mlu on October 14, 2008 at 12:31 am

    Some issues needed to be contested as far as legitimate means allow in every forum available.

    The issue isn’t really even the law, but the hearts and minds of people confused by the arguments. It’s the good fight.

    Are those places doomed?

    Aren’t all non-zion “places” doomed?

    Some simple ideas that encourage happiness will be harder to teach to young people, and it’s hard enough already.

  16. manaen on October 14, 2008 at 3:40 am

    15. Ultimately, though, I think Prop 8 is like slamming the barn door after the horses have escaped. What a waste of money and time.
    This is true short-term tactically and the “Proclamtion on the Family” confirms it. The penultimate sentence reads, “Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.”
    This is not a conditional statement that *if* the disintegration of families occurs, then the foretold calamaties will come, but that the calamities have been foretold — they will occur — and the disintegration of the family is what *will* bring them upon us.
    Yet the first and last sentences of this Proclamation are, “We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. [...] We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”
    So why fight it if it will occur anyway — if we won’t stop it? Elder Packer explained this in his presentation during the 2/2008 Leadership Training Meeting. Here are some excerpts. Quoted material is from the Proclamation.
    In a revelation given shortly thereafter, the Lord said, “Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments” (D&C 1:17).
    “The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.”
    “The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.”
    You’ll note as we go through this that declarations such as this are challenged. The world wants to change it. We will not. We cannot. When you wonder who we are and why we are, remember that we have this pattern and we will follow it.
    “We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.”
    Our position on such things as divorce, abortion, and gender issues are stated and outlined in the revelations, and the proclamation on the family is the clearest statement that we find of those issues.
    Parental Duties
    “Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. ‘Children are an heritage of the Lord’ (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
    “The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan.”
    And in the Church we recognize no other pattern for marriage—marriage is between man and woman.
    “Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
    I’ve always felt that the ultimate end of all of the activities and programs of the Church rests in a man and a woman and their family being happy at home.

    I believe that some of the reasons why we fight this fight in the face of prophecied eventual short-term defeat are:
    * We are to be the watchmen giving a clear warning. There are individuals who will respond to our warnings and efforts, even if society in general goes over the cliff.
    * Doing this deepens our faith, makes us more Chrisltlike, and prepares us for what comes later. I see a pattern of preparation before the larger struggles, like Zion’s Camp before the pioneer trek to Deseret. As I saw the articles about the 7,000 self-sufficient LDS volunteers after Katrina, I wondered for what was the Lord preparing them to do later. I sometimes wonder likewise whether the pioneer re-enactments various stakes have for their members aren’t a first preparatory step.
    Prop 8 is an important skirmish, but it also begins to prepare us for the greater struggles later as the disintegration of the family brings on the prophecied calamities. The ending of the Introduction to The BoM says that “…The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah.” I suppose that it will take very-well-prepared Last-day Saints for the this nascent Kingdom to survive through the calamities noted in D&C 1:17, in the Proclamation, and in the book of Revelation, which says that things are going to get very ugly and then our side wins.
    * We can’[t hold God’s priesthood power and keep our temple covenants by *not* coming to this fight. We need to heed the call to give of our resources and abilities to build the kingdom of God during the coming calamities.
    So, Prop 8 may be just another growing experience in this world of temporal circumstances, and that is exactly why we have to give to it what we can.

  17. Scott Fife on October 14, 2008 at 9:39 am

    The FLDS folks are certainly happy about all the public support for SSM. If SSM becomes the law in California, our most populous state, it will certainly help their cause. If SSM is legal, then why not plural marriage, and other alternate forms of marriage as well? Once the floodgates are opened legalizing one type of non-traditional marriage, where will it end? For this reason alone, it seems to me that traditional marriage and Prop 8 should be actively supported as the brethren have directed. Kudos to those involved in fighting the good fight for Prop 8 in California.

    Great comments manaen #17 and I fully concur.

  18. Fluxus on October 14, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    #17 quotes the POTF:

    ” […] We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”

    This is a huge call to action, and the list of things around the world that are causing problems for families is horrific. Families in rural Thailand, India and other countries are selling the daughters into sexual slavery, or their daughters are being tricked into to it by offers that seem legitimate. In countries around the wold hundreds of thousands of families live in refugee camps with no real opportunities for education, health care, or employment, The international monetary fund suggests that about 1/5 of the world’s population lives in what they call abject poverty (defined as living on $1.25 a day or less), In Iraq hundreds of thousands of families have been directly harmed by the US intervention in that country that has killed and maimed huge numbers of civilian men women and children. Here in the US our support of ethanol is cutting the world supply of corn by a significant percentage at the same time that food costs around the world are seeing steep increases. Also in the US health care costs are at record levels and many families can not afford health care coverage and services, the divorce rate remains very high, and does the rate of teenage sexual activity. Also look at gang culture and the issues effecting families around the prison system in the US. We could make a much longer list but I hope this makes the point.

    Families are being devastated on a daily basis around the world, and here in our own communities, it is a real crisis happening now, yet somehow prop. 8 is supposed to be the focal point of our time and resources?

    The mind boggles!

    The family is indeed under attack but our friends, coworkers and neighbors who are in long term, committed, loving same sex relationships are not part of that attack. They are, in fact, creating wonderful families that are making positive contributions to society, and are providing loving supportive homes for their children.

  19. Josh Smith on October 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    I’m with Fluxus. Proposition 8 and the frenzy it’s spawned is frustrating. In my mind, there are a hundred issues challenging families. For the life of me I can’t figure out how SSM is one of those challenges.

    The issue becomes even more baffling when people not even living in CA are asked to influence CA politics. My state doesn’t even border CA and we’re asked to make phone calls. Good heavens! If I want to help preserve the family, I should do my hometeaching. If a ward wants to preserve the family, it should start with single parent homes. I’m looking forward to December. Many things will cool down in December.

  20. Rich on October 14, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    I\’m still waiting for somebody to reply intelligently to the question that if marriage is a civil right (and I think the court made a huge mistake saying it is) then how do we say no to polygamy or other type of marriage contracts that do not fit the usual model.

  21. Fluxus on October 14, 2008 at 6:36 pm


    It is a good question. I don’t have your answer but, on the one hand the court addressed marriage as a fundamental right while at the same time they specifically addressed the question of: Does the state have a compelling interest in restricting marriage rights based on sexual orientation.

    So in posing the question this way they appear to be open to the possibility that there might be situations in which the state could have a compelling interest to restrict marriage rights. Perhaps polygamy would be one of them, who knows really?

    I’m not entirely convinced that the court’s decision is written in a way that allows for broad interpretation and inclusion of other groups since the decision specifically addresses the state’s interest in the context of same sex marriages. It seems to me that any additional group seeking marriage rights would have to go through the same type of processes that gay and lesbian folks have gone through to get the right, using both legislative and judicial branches of government.

    Also, before anyone goes there. People can’t marry their pets, children, a tree, or furniture etc. for the simple reason that these things can not consent to enter into legal agreements.

    Finally, as Mormon’s are we totally opposed to polygamy? Many Mormons believe that it is still part of the eternal order of things, what would the consequences of legal civil polygamy be for Mormon culture or theology?

  22. Martin Willey on October 14, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    I admit, this looks like a bunch of people from some California singles ward. But is it really accurate to say that the “saints” are putting this out. And, can someone explain to me how supporting religious freedom = supporting Propo 8. That one eludes me.

  23. Alison Moore Smith on October 14, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Thanks for the info, Adam. I popped a widget on my blog.

  24. manaen on October 14, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    19 & 20

    As you note, there are many issues that affect families.
    Prop 8 differs from all that you listed in that it protects/preserves what *is* a family as “the fundamental unit of society.”
    This is a huge and fundamental difference.

  25. Fluxus on October 14, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    #25- Prop 8 does not address what a family is. There were, are, and will continue to be, many different types of families in California regardless of how the vote goes on Prop. 8.

  26. Utahn in CT on October 14, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Won’t the Supreme Court eventually rule on this as a constitutional issue? Especially if we have two terms of an Obama presidency, I think it’s pretty clear how this issue will end up. Prop 8 is a waste of money, is hurtful, and makes Mormons look small in the eyes of the majority of educated people in this country.

  27. jeff hoyt on October 14, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    “and makes Mormons look small in the eyes of the majority of educated people in this country”

    I do not wish to question anyone’s spirituality, but it seems to me this thought illustrates perfectly the necessity of latter day Prophets.

  28. Fluxus on October 14, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    #27- I wonder about that too, on the federal level its a strange situation isn’t it? On the one hand there is the recognition that marriage is regulated by the states but on the other there is DOMA as well as other issues such as federal income tax filing status, etc. So there may ways for federal law suites to make their way to the supreme court but, as a supporter of SSM I would not want such a case heard by the current court!

    for what its worth there is no doubt that the Church’s strong pro prop 8 is hurting its reputation among other groups. The main message that people seem to be taking away from the Church’s involvement is that we are simply anti-gay. The fullness of the Church’s position towards homosexuality and homosexuals is not getting out. I was discussing the issue with a reporter for a major US newspaper the other day and what’s clear is that the message that is getting out is that the Church is anti-gay and that Mormon’s who are active against prop 8 are facing Church disciplinary action. That’s why its important to get the message out that in the August 13 press release the Church stated that the Church does not oppose many gay rights that are already established and that over the past 10 years or so there has been a lot of reaching out from the GA’s expressing good will towards gay Mormons and gay folks in general.

  29. MikeInWeHo on October 15, 2008 at 12:35 am

    I’m fascinated by the media being put out on this ballot proposal.
    Be sure and look at both sides, though:

    No matter how Prop 8 turns out, the debate will continue in California. If Prop 8 fails, eventually there will be another run at it. If it passes, there will be an attempt to reverse it. It’s crystal clear that in CA there is no longer a plurality against SSM, nor is there one for it. This isn’t just activist judges. The popularly elected legislature passed it as well. The Republican governor tries to play it both ways but quietly opposes Prop 8 (and in private is as pro-gay as anyone in Hollywood). Everything I can see indicates it’s a nearly even divide in 2008. Combine that with an easy-to-amend constitution and you have the perfect setting for cultural trench warfare.

    Personally, I am sickened by the increasingly hostile rhetoric on both sides. Why is this happening? Because each side has been led to believe their families are existentially threatened by the opposition. Can violence be far off when people start to really believe that?

  30. MikeInWeHo on October 15, 2008 at 12:43 am

    re: 31 “…..the message that is getting out is that the Church is anti-gay.”

    Might that have something to do with the fact that the Church still routinely excommunicates non-celibate gays??

  31. Fluxus on October 15, 2008 at 1:36 am

    #31- I don’t think that the typical person on the street, or the people I come in contact with through work etc. pay enough attention to the Church to know what happens to gay folks who come out in the Mormon community, or who are non-celibate. The Church is usually not in the news the way it has been lately with it’s support of Prop 8.

    #30- You are right, all three branches of state government are in favor of same sex marriage and that the issue of who has the right to marry is not going away in CA no matter what the results of Prop 8 are. We should all get ready to spend more time and effort on the issue in the coming years.

    As for the rhetoric, I have not seen the hostility you point to from either side but I will say that as far as I can tell it has been the Pro Prop 8 folks that are overtly telling lies about the impact of Prop 8. They lowered the ethical bar considerably with the current ads. And what about the ethics of the videos that started this thread, that in a very low key manner omit or misrepresent the basic facts of the issue? That’s what is most upsetting to me. In our doctrine honesty is held in such a high place, but as soon as dishonestly becomes politically attractive there are Church members will line up behind falsehoods.

  32. Jeremy on October 15, 2008 at 2:06 am

    Totally off-topic, but:

    [Fluxus... I'm curious about your moniker. I did some research connected to the Fluxus movement]

  33. manaen on October 15, 2008 at 3:30 am

    #25- Prop 8 does not address what a family is. There were, are, and will continue to be, many different types of families in California regardless of how the vote goes on Prop. 8.
    Not by the prophets’ and apostles’ definition of “family.” There are not many different types of families in California because there only is one type of family. Proposition 8 clearly addresses what is a family and says that it is the same as do today’s watchmen on the tower.
    This seems straightforward to me:
    The Proclamation on the Family includes the following statements:
    Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for […] families to be united eternally.
    Only heterosexual parents and their children can be “united eternally” through temple ordinances and covenants so this clearly gives that as the signers’ meaning of “family.”
    The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Elder Packer added in the 2/2008 Leadership Training Meeting, “And in the Church we recognize no other pattern for marriage—marriage is between man and woman.”
    We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society. The Church’s call is clear for measures designed specifically to secure and strengthen the family’s (founded upon a man-woman’s marriage) role *as society’s fundamental unit*. This particular call isn’t for measures to maintain and strengthen the family generally, although the Church elsewhere clearly favors such, but for legislation protecting the definition of family and its role in society.
    Prop 8 reads, Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California. This does address what is a family: the same entity set forth in the Proclamation. This proposition falls within the Proclamation’s call for a measure to maintain and strengthen the position of the man-woman-marriage-based family as the fundamental unit of society, in California.

  34. manaen on October 15, 2008 at 3:50 am

    29. for what its worth there is no doubt that the Church’s strong pro prop 8 is hurting its reputation among other groups
    Those would be the groups who we can help by presenting correct doctrine to free them from the coming results of their erroneous ways. My understanding of the prophets’ and apostles’ viewpoint is that other groups’ judgement of us isn’t what matters so much as how we can help them to keep from hurting their reputation with our Father. The watchmen are called to give clear warnings.
    This is from the section on “Prophet” in our Bible Dictionary
    “The work of a Hebrew prophet was to act as God’s messenger and make known God’s will. The message was usually prefaced with the words “Thus saith Jehovah.” He taught men about God’s character [...] It was also the prophet’s duty to denounce sin and foretell its punishment, and to redress, so far as he could, both public and private wrongs. He was to be, above all, a preacher of righteousness. When the people had fallen away from a true faith in Jehovah, the prophets had to try to restore that faith and remove false views about the character of God and the nature of the Divine requirement. In certain cases prophets predicted future events, e.g., there are the very important prophecies announcing the coming of Messiah’s kingdom; but as a rule prophet was a forthteller rather than a foreteller. [Emphasis in the original].
    After all, Abinadi could have built a wonderful reputation among King Noah’s court, but thier judgement of him wasn’t what mattered.

  35. Adam Greenwood on October 15, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Thanks for all the civil and respectful comments, especially those supporting the Church.

  36. Mark N. on October 15, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Given that the decision in CA openly states that issues of fundamental rights are not to be subject to a vote, and that all new legislation and voter initiatives are subject to judicial review, it seems clear to me that if Prop 8 passes, an immediate lawsuit will result, and the eventual decision will be: no matter where in the law books you try to put this thing, it’s unconstitutional no matter what. And that will be that.

  37. Fluxus on October 15, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    #32- Finally someone gets it!

    #33- I fundamentally do not understand that argument for three main reasons:

    First, it seems to insist that the state adopt a specific religious definition of human relationships such as marriage. I see no reason why the state should do this. What compelling legal (not religious but legal) argument is there to say that the state adopt the LDS understanding of the family rather than the FLDS understanding of the family? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard a number of people try to make this argument they all fall apart do to contradiction in their logic and also at root they do rely on religious thinking, or they are speculative or rely on misinformation in trying to establish hypothetical harm to society in certain situations etc. But I don’t really want to rehash all the sort of thing, and hope you don’t either.

    Second, while marriage is a significant component to the idea of the family it is by no means comprehensive or definitive.

    Third, in fact there are multiple family structures: What do you call an unmarried mother and the foster children she raises? What do you call children being raised by their grand parents or aunts and uncles because their parents are out of the picture? What do you call an intergenerational household? What do you call two gay men raising adopted or biological children? What do you call an older sibling, in his or her twenties who cares for and raises his or her younger siblings? What do you call a woman who has not and will not marry who adopts a child? What to you call an infertile married man and woman who adopt children?

    These are all families. They call themselves families, they are committed to one another as families, they love, support, and depend upon each other as families. It is inherently unethical to deny people the ability to speak for themselves and label themselves in a way that reflects their beliefs about, and material conditions of, their own relationships.

    It is true that few in the above list can be considered eternal families by our definition, but by our definition only Temple sealed families that live in a very specific ways will have the opportunity to become eternal families. So are we to stack the deck against everyone who does not meet the LDS definition of an eternal family by biasing civil laws against them in favor of a specific religious group’s view of what a family is? How could doing so be ethical?

    #34- What can I say I figured someone would post something like that. But look at what I am saying. I’m saying that only a narrow understanding of the Church’s position is getting out. The function of the prophet as warning or teaching etc is not getting out either.

  38. MikeInWeHo on October 15, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Well put, Fluxus.

    re: 33
    “…There are not many different types of families in California because there only is one type of family.”

    Then what would you call the various types of families that Fluxus describes, manaen? What would the Church call them? Obviously these families exist and will continue to exist (at least in mortality) regardless, but I’m curious how you would label them.

  39. Nate W. on October 15, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Mark N. (36):

    Because Prop 8 is an amendment to the CA constitution and not just legislation, Prop 8 would not really be subject to judicial review if it passes as a valid amendment to the CA constitution.

    You’re right about one thing–there will be a lawsuit if prop 8 passes. Pro-SSM groups have already sued to get prop 8 off the ballot, saying that the subject matter of prop 8 cannot be added to the constitution by the amendment process. Rather, to change the constitution in such a fundamental way, they argue that the correct process would be a revision commission, which would have to be called by the legislature and just plain wouldn’t happen. Their suit was tossed by the CA Supreme Court, which declined to rule on the validity of their claim because prop 8 hasn’t passed yet. That means they will bring the lawsuit again if it does pass. I’m not sure about the merits of their claim, as I’m not an expert in California Constitutional Law. But what’s certain is that Prop 8 will not end the litigation about SSM; it will only extend it.

  40. Fluxus on October 15, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Nate, maybe you can give more insights here. I have heard the same thing you mention. That in CA law it matters if a change to the constitution is an amendment or a revision. Initially there was ambiguity as to which prop 8 actually is and as you say the court would not rule on the issue, but does this mean that the court can go back after the fact and say that prop 8 is indeed more than an amendment if it passes?

  41. Nate W. on October 15, 2008 at 5:05 pm


    The relevant portions of the California Constitution are here. An amendment to the constitution can occur by initiative, but a revision to the constitution must start by the legislature approving a a revision commission ballot question. The ballot question must be approved by a general election of the state, then a revision commission writes a new constitution, then the constitution must be supported by a majority at another general election.

    Absent that process, the California Supreme Court can rule that the subject matter of a proposed amendment would amount to the revision of the California Constitution and so much go through the more rigorous process. An explanation of the difference between an amendment and a revision is written here, a portion of which I have excerpted below:

    “ ‘[A]mendment’ implies such an addition or change within the lines of the original instrument as will effect an improvement, or better carry out the purpose for which it was framed.” (Livermore, supra, 102 Cal. at pp. 118-119, 36 P. 424.) The “revision/amendment analysis has a dual aspect, requiring us to examine both the quantitative and qualitative effects of the measure on our constitutional scheme. Substantial changes in either respect could amount to a revision.” (Raven v. Deukmejian (1990) 52 Cal.3d 336, 350, 276 Cal.Rptr. 326, 801 P.2d 1077 (Raven).) “[A]n enactment which is so extensive in its provisions as to change directly the ‘substantial entirety’ of the Constitution by the deletion or alteration of numerous existing provisions may well constitute a revision thereof. However, even a relatively simple enactment may accomplish such far reaching changes in the nature of our basic governmental plan as to amount to a revision also.” (Amador Valley Joint Union High Sch. Dist. v. State Bd. of Equalization (1978) 22 Cal.3d 208, 223, 149 Cal.Rptr. 239, 583 P.2d 1281 (Amador).)

    If you’re interested, the petition that was denied earlier in the year is printed here (pdf).

  42. Fluxus on October 15, 2008 at 5:21 pm


  43. manaen on October 15, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    MikeInWeHo, some of Fluxus’s examples fit the definition of the family, e.g. “an infertile married man and woman who adopt children.” As for the others, without much wordsmithing, I think of those groups as “people doing the best they can within their understanding, values, and abilities to obtain the blessings and benefits of a family without being in a family.”

  44. Nate W. on October 15, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Gobsmacked: adj. how one feels after reading comment 43.

  45. MikeInWeHo on October 16, 2008 at 2:37 am

    re: 43

    It’s helpful to plumb the depths of this semantic disagreement, because it shows us the heart both sides. It helps cut through the language of the TV ads. Thanks for that, manaen!

    Ultimately, it’s not about whether or not these relationships are called “marriage.” It’s about a bedrock belief that these relationships are sinful and really should not exist at all. Such a shame that political expediency prevents the Yes On 8 supporters from saying this.

  46. Chino Blanco on October 16, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    A few things that bug me:

    Except for Elder Bednar, I bet I’ve got more years of actual marriage experience than all these kids combined.

    On the other hand, I’m sure they’ve all got much more actual campaign experience than I do.

    For example, Jill “My name is Jill” Newell is Operations Co-Chair for Santa Monica for the Yes on 8 campaign, as part of her PR/PA internship at the LA Public Affairs office of the LDS church.

    And “the Internet guy” … well, he’s Kenny McNett, the webmaster of

    Head over and check out “How to Blog About Prop 8″ at

    It’s basically a primer in how to become a Latter Day Spammer.

    A quick check of the comments sections under the news articles that turn up from a search for Prop 8 terms reveals numerous drive-by comments mentioning “two-way tolerance” and the like accompanied by a link to

    This approach reminds me of some of the stuff I saw getting tried during the Romney campaign. In the current campaign, I don’t think such tactics are well-suited for the target voters the Yes on 8 campaign needs if they’re going to actually win this thing. Californians who’d be persuaded by such tactics are more-than-likely either not going to vote or are already planning to vote Yes.

  47. Mark N. on October 17, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Maybe the “No on 8″ people ought to do the reverse psychology thing and make a big public announcement to the effect that they hope that everyone will vote for Prop 8 because it will speed the process of firing up the lawsuit that will result if it passes.

    That would be a bit of a mind game for some people.

  48. Kim George on November 12, 2008 at 8:19 pm



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