Friday, September 12, 2008

No seriously... WTF!?!?!

In October of 2004, there was a huge push in Utah's politics to legally define marriage as between one woman and one man. The LDS church had letters read over the pulpits, encouraging its members to vote in favor of the legal definition. This was a huge struggle for me. I was a strong believing, contributing member of the church. I wanted to make the right decisions and actions to uphold my good girl image and high standing status. I wanted to be "right" in the eyes of God. But this? This went against my nature. It violated my internal instincts.

It never made sense to me that Marriage was a law of god. What about all of those married people who don't believe in God? Never have? What about my gay friends and family members who are every bit as excellent as my good mormon friends, who would be hurt by this measure? What about the LDS church saying that they stay out of politics and encourage members to prayerfully vote? I prayed about it, but I was not getting any warm fuzzies.

I posed the question on an LDS parenting board that I was a part of. I stated that I wanted to do the right thing, but I really didn't agree with what we were being told was right. I was very conflicted. The response I got was "Who cares if you have loved ones who are gay? What if you had loved ones that were addicted to drugs or alcohol... would you think twice about taking those away?!?"

Really? Did they really say that? Did they really compare a persons natural instincts of loving to being addicted to drugs or alcohol? Really? (For the record, I do not believe that our sexual orientation is a choice. Ask any hetero if they chose to be, and they'll tell you no. Homosexuals will also tell you no. I do not believe sexual preference is a choice we have control over. I don't see how it's possible.)

This was a huge ignitor in my disaffection flame. However, come time to go to the polls and vote, I ignored my conscious and voted the way "The Lord" would want me to. I can't think of a single decision I've had more regret over since this. Yes, I live in Utah and my vote wouldn't have made a difference, but at least I would be satisfied with sending the message saying "Not ALL of us agree with this!"

In California, Proposition 8 is on the ballot for these upcoming elections. Prop 8 would amend the California Consititution with a new section that would read "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." The measure, as submitted for the ballot by petitioners, is called the "California Marriage Protection Act."

Yes, this is California and doesn't affect me directly. However, I find it absolutely detestible that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is encouraging its members to vote in favor of this initiative. They're having letters read over the pulpit, and basically offering the TBM's "An offer they cannot refuse". They are bullying, and just downright WRONG. They need to take their black suit white shirt noses OUT of this, and focus on more important things. Such as third world hunger, education, and debt relief. A church this powerful could do so much more for the overall world progression than by convincing members in California to vote against gay marriage.

I won't assume that everyone who reads this blog has the same political affiliations that I do. For this reason, I rarely post political stances on my blog. However, if you're so inclined, please sign for something! I've got my real first and last name on that list, and I'm proud of it. What the church is doing is just wrong, no matter how you feel on the subject of gay marriage.


eric said...

For a church that claims to prefer to stay clear of politics, their actions certainly speak differently.

When I was Mormon, I hear announcements about once each quarter asking the membership to support one thing or another, while twice a year or so the church would reiterate it's policy of neutrality except through the ideals of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

I missed the part where Jesus taught people to treat people like crap simply because they're different. Oh, wait, that must have been covered in the Pearl of Great Price - you know, one of those fictional parts of Mormon scripture.

Seriously though, I shed the oppressive mantle of Mormonism years ago, and still issues such as the church's stance on sexual orientation can get me so upset I feel like I need to leave all over again.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you Christy! I wish I still lived in California so I could vote No on Prop 8. I voted no on the amendment(22) they had back in 2000 and that was when I was still a believing member.

I wish the church would do something worthwhile with all this money they are raising. There are starving children, Refugees, education, that would all be better causes. It really pisses me off.

I signed my real name and real location on the Sign For Something petition. I was proud to do it and even if it gets me in trouble or outed, I won't ever regret it.

Tracy/ddp/Regina Filangi

Jennifer said...

I ranted about Prop 8 and the church getting involved on my blog too, lol.

Yeah, they suck. I talked with my TBM sister about it this weekend too. Even she can't see how God would "make" someone gay and then punish them for it. I don't think the church is helping themselves on this one.


Jeff said...

I think that you are all being pretty nieve about this whole issue. The law already has already defined marriage to include homosexual couples. We live in a common law system, which means that laws are created in 2 ways. 1) governing bodies enact laws and 2) courts define/refine the meaning of laws by their rulings. The California courts have already ruled that homosexual marraiges are legal (despite the previous law enacted).

So what are the implications you ask? Textbooks will include new definitions of the word family. Pictures of same gender families will become required, otherwise the textbook publishers will be found to be discriminatory. Law suites will enforce this.
State sponsored and required sex eduction classes will begin (in some states they already have) to teach that homosexuality is natural, and acceptable and that if you have feelings toward a same gender then it is natural and right to pursue those feelings, as natural and as right as any other form of sexuality.
Counselors in schools and other state sponsored programs will likewise be required to treat homosexuality as normal and acceptable behaviour.
Currently in some sex ed classes, dildo's are passed out to be handled so that students can get comfortable with them. These districts will also encourage that homosexual feelings be explored.
These are not things that I want my children exposed to ..but they will not have an opportunity to opt out. This will be required and state mandated.

Should the church care about such things? and are they wrong to appose them? I personally do not feel that way.

Is it because I'm homophobic? perhaps. Not in the sense that I fear it but I fear the consequences that it will bring.

The church has the right to encourage it's membership to participate in actions that fight this. To say that the church should put their efforts into other acts of humanitarian service is a bit strange, just because there exists other opportunities for investment does not mean that I should put all of my resources to one specific task.
Besides, as a member, I am reminded once a month to donate to the poor through fast offerings. I am also reminded to support the humanitarian aid fund as well as the perpetual eduction fund regularly. I am asked to donate my time to service projects regularly. In our ward, we have make quilts for babies in needs, collect items for humanitarian kits, and server regularly at a local service kitchen that feeds the poor. That does not include all of the service hours by the youth for scouting and young women projects. Furthermore, the church has one of the largest welfare programs of any NON governmental organization in the world. Could they do more..sure. But that does not preclude them from spending time and effort in fighting for something that they believe is wrong. They have the right to. They have not asked you to agree with it, they have not made it mandatory, rather they have asked you to prayerfully consider it. Is there something implicit in the recommendation? certainly.
Bullying? no
Wrong? I cannot fathom a definition of wrong that would say that the church does not have the right to support legislation that it believes is beneficial.
The church's position on political neutrality has long included a statement that exempts it on measures that it believe's it has a moral obligation to support.
It is wrong to say that they CANNOT exercise their rights just because you personally disagree with their position. You can and should argue that you disagree with the position and you can say that their position is wrong because of x, y or z. But they are not wrong state and encourage support for their position.

I have always been amazed at the boldness of the homosexual in their plea for acceptance, and the fact that their behavior is not 'tolerated'. Following that line of thinking, then the church should willing ignore all sin. Sexual relations before marriage should be permissible and the church should stop telling people to refrain from it. Cheating during marriage should likewise be ignored, as should pornography. In fact they should stop teaching the law of chastity in general and become accepting of all regardless. But such a position is ludicrous. Homosexuals say they are excluded which is true, but so are adulterers and fornicators.
To which is commonly argued that they are therefore being asked to be denied the opportunity to express themselves sexually. To which every non-married member of the church can say...yes and your point is?
Yet that is not what the Saviour teaches.

Lastly a quick comment on the "God made me this way and hence will condone my actions because that is the way that I am made" I can find no such scriptural connotation.
The invitation is to come follow Him regardless. To the alcoholic (genetic or otherwise) he says give it up. To the rich man (earned or by birth) He asks to give all that thou hast. Indeed, the command (Abraham 3:25) "and we will prove them herewith to see if they will do ALL things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them." is to see what you are willing to give the Lord. Christ showed the example, he lived a perfect life in which he never had to taste the pains of guilt or remorse. Then He was asked to feel all of our pains and guilt and suffer in both body and spirit. Was it required FOR Him? no. but it became required OF Him and so He partook. Is it fair that Christ should have had to suffer for us? no it is not. But I'm certainly glad He did. Now He asks us to come follow Him. Regardless of our condition.