Monday, October 20, 2008

Proposition 8 Gains Momentum - and those "wealthy" Mormons are behind it all

"Mom, guess what I learned in school today?" asks one young actress in the commercial. "I learned how a prince married a prince, and how I can grow up to marry a princess!"

The honeymoon's over for gay newlyweds as Mormons lead revolt

This is an excerpt of a story I found on my friend Lauren's blog. The "opinion" of the article is clear - but the fact it recognizes that religious groups - one of which is the "wealthy Mormons" - have spear-headed the Prop 8 campaign and taken the "opposition" off guard - is well over due.

The time has come to choose - and it's difficult. We can no longer reside in the gray areas. It's time for black or white. This or that. Do or Don't. Honestly folks I have some politically traditionally "leftist" leanings myself. But after reading this article and seeing that an elementary school in San Francisco chose a same-sex wedding for a FIELD TRIP put me over the edge. What ever happened to the Zoo? Have our field trips gone from tours of M&M plants and Petting Zoo's to Abortion Clinics and Same-Sex Marriages? What if a school wanted to take a field trip to a religious edifice like a Cathedral or historic church site? We can't "force" God upon our children - but we can "educate them on the ways of the world" by encouraging "Princes to marry Princes" or "If you get pregnant - that's fine - just abort it and keep having unsafe sex." If my children can read about Princesses falling in love with Princesses in school then by damn they can pray if they want to too. Where's the line? How far can school's go under the banner "it's to educate" our children? I choose the 3 R's myself - what do you choose?

I believe we can not hide ourselves away or create a "bubble of safety" around our children. As much as we want to shelter them from a world seething with contention and moral decay - we can not fully do that. We can't choose for them. And we certainly can't keep them in a dark room, curtains drawn, and the TV unplugged. I believe children need to learn to cope with the world - learn about it and choose to not be "of it." We need to equip them with the values and virtues they will need to survive in a world of ethical disembodiment. It's not about hiding away - but about preparing for the battle.

If I were a Californian - I would vote Yes on Prop 8. It was a decision I thoroughly researched and have not blindly made. It's not fully a decision based on my Churches counsel - though of course I will always follow the Churches counsel - but one based on what I think is right. I can't stand in the gray either.

The time has come to choose. And we aren't only choosing for ourselves where we stand - but we're choosing for our children. Think about that when you go to the polls California. Think about it carefully.


(light) Black And Decker said...

Here here!

Anonymous said...

"and those "wealthy" Mormons are behing it al??? I must live in the wrong ward!

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how people think hiding behind children is an argument. Right in the first sentence of that article it says, "a group of PARENTS at the school where she teaches in San Francisco decided that THEIR CHILDREN should be allowed to share the big day." Whether or not it was a an organized field trip, if this article is to believed, it was the parents decision to allow the children to go. There is no forced cirriculum going on here to "indoctrinate." People seem to be freaking out as if prop 8 passes the schools are going to turn their children gay, which is ridiculous! Parents will still retain their rights, if they do not want to have their children taught such themes so early on they ought to take it up with the schools, not smear the constitution with personal morals. Though personally I think it would do wonders to educate children in the idea that they are not Satan spawns if they are gay, maybe then we would have less teen suicide, but that is up to the parents of these children.

In the end the issue MUST be looked at purely from a legal standpoint. Legally, marriage is simply an agreement for two people to merge assets and enjoy joint benefits from such a merge. Whether or not a religion recognizes or performs such a partnership is their deal. People need to be less arrogant in trying to force their beliefs on a free country.

As for me, a believing Mormon, I am absolutely appalled at the church's action in this. They have blatantly broken the line of church and state in donating so much money, and using their influence to get votes. It is actually truly frightening to me, because if such things are left unchecked, what is to stop any religion to use their power to the mask of democracy on a theocracy and destroy everything America stands for? America stands for the people's right to disagree, maintain their rights as free humans, and enjoy those freedoms until the point they encroach on the freedoms of others.

The issue of how same sex marriage is handled in school is a stickier issue, but should handled on the level of the schools and not on the level of human civil rights.

One thing is plain to see in all this. People will fight the hardest for the people they love.

Andrea Jolene said...

Well "anonymous" - I do feel you make excellent points. I struggled with this idea for awhile to be honest. As I've mentioned before - I was in California when the church started recruiting, during church services, groups of people to go out and encourage voters to vote yes on Prop 8. Like you, I was even disturbed by the idea and felt something was "off" about asking members to do something so very politically specific. I believe in the seperation of church and state. I think it's necessary in a world like this so no one is, as you indicate, "forced" to follow another persons moral code. However, I don't think Prop 8 is about force - it is about taking a stance.
I don't believe that if prop 8 passes that children will turn gay. I don't think I've ever heard anyone claim that. It's the principle of the idea. Do you believe God is a part of marriage or don't you? Do you believe that marriage is a man made insitution or don't you? that's what it boils down to. I think homosexuals SHOULD be able to visit each other in the hospital. I don't think they SHOULD be the receipients of hate, disregard, and disgust. No. I don't believe that at all. I don't think any respectable person, regardless of their stance on Prop 8 or their ideas on marriage, really believes that.
However, because marriage is ordained of God, it is a God given institution as the FAMILY PROCLAIMATION states - should ONLY be instituted between a man and a woman - then I stand behind the Church and the brethern and always will. This is what I mean by residing in the gray area. The time has come when we have to decide - sometimes incredibly difficult decsision that may "go against" what our logic, what our mortal mind, things seems "fair" seems "okay" and follow what the brethern ask. I beleive as times continue to degrad, and everything deemed sacred in this world is made for a "thing ofn naught" the Church will get more specific on issues. We are truly to become a peculari people. And I think the Church will feel it deep within its membership as well.
It wasn't easy for me to take that stance. My head says much the same as you "Why shouldn't homosexuals have the rights as heterosexual couples?" Well...the reason is...most blatantly concerning because it is against God plan for us.
This country was founded under God - and so long as its people are righteous before him - it will be protected. MY fear, my "anonymous" friend, is that the more "gray" we become, the more we allows things to happen we know deep inside us isn't right, that we WILL be held accountable. We will be held accountable for what WE as parents allow our children to learn and accept. Teaching correct principles and docterine in firmness and steadfastness is more important now than it ever has been.
I have people I love that have chosen a homosexual lifestyle...perhaps "chosen" is the wrong word...for I do believe some people are "born" with that tendency...and I don't treat them any differently for that. I still love them. And I still let them know I love them...but I won't support the lifestyle I know to go against the very foundation of the ONLY Institution that MUST survive these times...The Family. And the only way to have a Family as God commands it, as he's proclaimed through HIS chosen servants, is with a husband and a wife.

Anonymous said...

Your faith is admirable, and there is no problem with your being so strong in your faith. But I just can't wrap my head around how you say you are a supporter of the separation of church and state, yet you plainly state that it is your belief in the Mormon conception of God, and the counsel of the Mormon authorities that ultimately led you to choose yes. Civil rights in America is allowing people who believe differently than you, to live as they feel is right, as long as it does not tread on the rights of others.
And with all due respect I find it arrogant that you suppose to know what I feel deep down inside is right, because clearly, that is not the case.
Marriage is of any God the married couple believe in.
As for the gray area, in an ideal America, if one were to look at the entirety of the states, and only see the black or white opinions of its people. It would be a united force of gray under a bar of peace.
Judging only by your text, which suffers a loss of information that voices do not, which is true of all text, I would say that you are the one conflicted with feelings of what is really right and free. Your acknowledgment of the church overstepping its bounds and homosexuals as valid hints that you know what MAY actually be true. But I will not go as far as to question your faith as that is not my intention.
Not all families require children. All that is required for a family is love. Taking a stance in the form of lawfully taking away rights is force. But I guess you won anyway. I do not wish to continue this discussion, I believe I've said what I have to say, any more would be pointless, but I do await a response if you are willing.

I am not as anonymous as you think.

Andrea Jolene said...

There are some definite truths to your analysis of my "internal conflict." As previously mentioned it was a decision that was hard for me to come to. I did not say the Church overstepped its bounds (for really - are there "bounds" go be set with any faith?) - but rather I was taken off guard at the blatant specificity of the request. I think we all have opinions that grow and change as we ponder and pursue the "truth." We have to ask ourselves those questions. Yes, "this" was my initial reaction. But after careful thought and consideration - "this" is my decision. And that's where it matters. I'm not a Californian - thus what my vote WOULD have been is rather moot at this point - however - I felt that it is only a matter of time when I will be asked to vote, to take a stance, and I need to know where I stand.

The point is this. Prop 8 is NOT an "anti-gay" vote - it's a "definition of marriage" vote and the definition of marriage, for me, and for the Church (as they have so clearly stated in the Proclamation to the Family as well as their current involvement in the proposition), is that marriage is a God made institution and as such - God has deemed it between a man and a woman only. I'm not being presumptuous in that statement - for the "brethern" have stated such and as I am one who believes that what the brethern say on such matters is what the Lord would have them say - then I follow their counsel. They counseled that we, as members, should stand up for principles. I can't wrap MY head around those who would say "I will follow...but only when it's convenient to believe. Only when it matches my lifestyle." If we can't follow them in the "small" things - then how are we to be prepared to follow their counsel in the big things? I couldn't see myself giving a Sunday School lesson on the Proclamation to the Family or the sacredness of the union between husband and wife, and then vote no on Prop 8, or march in the Gay Parade, or any other affiliation or activity that would create a hypocrite of me in action and in deed.

Clearly it's a matter of agreeing to disagree. I believe that it will come down to black and white. I really do. Just as you think people "hide behind children" I think there are others who wrap "the wrong" in the cloth of if "it's my RIGHT" MAKES it right.

Prop 8 does not stop homosexuals from feeling how they do and having relationships that propagate their choices. I believe some men do have feelings for men and women the same. I agree, THAT is the beauty of America is that we aren't burning people at the stake for their life choices.

However, I also believe that when a principle I hold dear and true, like believing that marriage is specifically and only meant to exist between a man and a woman, I also have the right to stand up and say "yes - that's how it's intended to be and I cannot support any other union" And I've chosen to stand by it. The Church has to stand by it.

I very much admire the points you've made and honestly - I had this same argument in my head :), but in the end - I knew what my choice would be. And I'm prepared to stand up for it with my voice and my vote.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across this blog post and hopefully you will allow two comments in response to the other anonymous poster. Although I disagree in a very general sense with all of anonymous #1's comments, there are two points I thought I'd make.

First, the issue of gay marriage does not -- nor should not -- be looked at from a purely legal standpoint. I've worked in law for a while and yet I don't even know what that means. Marriage has always been a religious institution. Taxes, benefits, etc., are not. Rather those are the things fall under the so-called legal realm. Ideally, I would like to see government step out of the marriage-defining arena altogether, but realistically I don't see that happening soon. Therefore, we invite people to debate the issue and reach a decision. Such is democracy.

This brings me to my second point. When we debate, we do not -- not should we -- need to kick religion out of the discussion. Separation of church and state is an institutional one, not an ideological one. It is in the constitution to prevent government from forcing one to adopt a certain religion or to prevent a church from running the state. It does not prevent the citizens of the nation to speak according to what they know and believe, even if such belief is derived from their faith.

What happened in California is according to the people. It's happened in quite a few other states including a few unlikely ones such as Hawaii, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Florida and a host of others. And in passing, I note that most of these were passed without the level of support from the LDS Church as was seen in California. Moreover, the vast majority of the California "yes" vote was not from the LDS population either.

The attempts of those who support same-sex marriage to force me to acknowledge their acts as something that is okay is just as bad as me forcing you to believe it is not.