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lance wickman

Perry v. Schwarzenegger Is Going to, Like, Totally Infringe on LDS’s Right to Hatred

We were worried, with the latest round of gay marriage talk in Iowa and New Hampshire, that the Utah-based Mormon Church would miss out on this round of reasonable discussion on ending discrimination. But then Lance Wickman, a LDS elder and member of the Quorum of the Seventy, decided to use his speaking gig at a conference yesterday to talk about how your right to get married is infringing on his right to religious freedoms. Yahoo!

At the 2010 J. Reuben Clark Law Society Conference at the University of Utah, Wickman, the Church’s general counsel, specifically addressed the federal Perry trial, and how it’s freakin’ Armageddon up in here! “I believe that the greatest challenge faced by the church is the challenge to religious liberty that is growing worldwide. … A battle is looming over the effort to acquire civil social rights at the expense of civil religious rights. This battle, I believe, represents the acceleration of a disturbing slide downward in the law regarding the place of religion in the public square. … Perry seeks a court declaration that, as a matter of law, religious views may not be used to justify the denial of a social civil right. Stated differently, they essentially claim that the voters, from whom all authority in a democracy flows, may not consider religious views and values when deciding these alleged social and cultural civil rights. These are serious allegations and represent an arrow directly at the heart not only of traditional marriage but at the place of religion and religious views in the political dialogue of this country.”

Ya know how you ask, sarcastically and rhetorically, whether someone was born yesterday? It’s as if Mr. Wickman was, in fact, born yesterday.

Yes, that is the very claim: Religious beliefs should not, must not, cannot be a factor in deciding fundamental matters of discrimination, let alone law at-large. Voters can invoke whatever faith or convictions they want at the ballot box; that’s their right. But Wickman is trafficking in non sequiturs, linking the ability for citizens to vote on matters of equality with their right to exercise their freedom of religion.

But hey: Thanks, Wickman, for directly tying the Mormon Church and its interest in homophobia to the Prop 8 fight. It’ll be useful.

In the Perry trial.

By:           editor editor
On:           Feb 12, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , ,
  • 68 Comments
    • Swellster
      Swellster

      Why are you surprised? It wasn’t until the 1960’s that the Mormon elders had a “revelation” taht allowed them to change official church doctrine saying that black people were not really people — 1963!

      Racism, sexism, and bigotry is built into the very fabric of the Mormon church.

      Feb 12, 2010 at 11:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"
      Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

      Sorry Queerty but you missed the real problem posed by Wickman and the Moron Church. First, though, let me point out that as general counsel for the Morons, Wickman deliberately mischaracterizes the situation to promote the Moron’s bigotry; anyone with a sincere understanding of civics and law would not attempt such underhanded manipulation. But then again, bigotry has no protections under logic or sincerity.

      Wickman’s argument is based on the concept that we as a nation are a democracy. This is simply not the case. Indeed, at no time since the landing of the Mayflower, has any jurisdiction within any colony, territory, state, confederacy or the country as a whole, been a democracy. We are a democratic REPUBLIC. (And the constitution guarantees that every state MUST also be a REPUBLIC.)

      As a REPUBLIC and the laws, rights and privileges of a REPUBLIC, a majority of the people cannot gang up against a minority denying the minority their rights to their life, their liberty and their pursuit of happiness.

      Feb 12, 2010 at 11:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • shadow_man
      shadow_man

      For those of you claiming homosexuality is a “lifestyle”, that is a false and ignorant statement. Homosexuality is not a choice. Just like you don’t choose the color of your skin, you cannot choose whom you are sexually attracted to. If you can, sorry, but you are not heterosexual, you are bi-sexual. Virtually all major psychological and medical experts agree that sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Most gay people will tell you its not a choice. Common sense will tell you its not a choice. While science is relatively new to studying homosexuality, studies tend to indicate that its biological.

      http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/03/differential-brain-activation.pdf
      http://www.newscientist.com/channel/sex/dn14146-gay-brains-structured-like-those-of-the-opposite-sex.html
      Gay, Straight Men’s Brain Responses Differ
      http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,155990,00.html
      http://www.livescience.com/health/060224_gay_genes.html
      http://www.springerlink.com/content/w27453600k586276/
      http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2008/06/16/172/

      There is overwhelming scientific evidence that homosexuality is not a choice. Sexual orientation is generally a biological trait that is determined pre-natally, although there is no one certain thing that explains all of the cases. “Nurture” may have some effect, but for the most part it is biological.

      And it should also be noted that:
      “It is worth noting that many medical and scientific organisations do believe it is impossible to change a person’s sexual orientation and this is displayed in a statement by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and National Education Association.”

      Feb 12, 2010 at 12:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • shadow_man
      shadow_man

      To those of you using the Bible as a weapon against homosexuality, you are wrong. Homosexuality is not a sin. The Bible is constantly being taken out of context to support anti-gay views. Any educated Christian would know that. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, Greek temple sex worship, prostitution, pederasty with teen boys, and rape, not homosexuality or two loving consenting adults.

      http://www.soulfoodministry.org/docs/English/NotASin.htm
      http://www.jesus21.com/content/sex/bible_homosexuality_print.html
      http://www.christchapel.com/romans_inter.html
      http://www.stjohnsmcc.org/new/BibleAbuse/BiblicalReferences.php
      http://www.gaychristian101.com/

      Thats why Jesus never mentions it as well. There is nothing immoral, wrong, or sinful about being gay. Jesus, however, clearly states he HATES hypocrites. If you preach goodness, then promote hate and twist the words of the Bible, you are a hypocrite, and will be judged and sent to hell. Homosexuals will not go to hell, hypocrites will.

      This is very similar to the religious bigots of the past, where they took Bible passages to condone slavery, keep women down, and used Bible passages to claim blacks as curses who should be enslaved by the white man. People used God to claim that blacks marrying whites was unnatural, and not of God’s will.

      Feb 12, 2010 at 12:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • pogobock
      pogobock

      This is all Obama’s fault.

      Feb 12, 2010 at 1:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Landis
      Landis

      Someone’s delusional again. Senile perhaps. For all the things they’ve done towards Prop 8 and marriage equality as a whole, religious institutions like this one, should be taxed! I am sick and tired having my money spent against me and my community. Lance Gollum Wickman, you’re a hateful, greedy piece of shit.

      Feb 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SoylentDiva
      SoylentDiva

      Same-sex marriage in no way infringes on anybody’s “religious freedoms”. Religious people are always free to worship as they choose. They are even free to hate whomever they want to the ends of the earth (just as the KKK, Neo-Nazis and other hate groups do). That will never change no matter how many laws there are to protect women, LGBT people, blacks, immigrants, etc. The laws aren’t in place to prevent hatred or change beliefs. They’re in place to prevent discrimination and harm.

      The only thing that’s denied to them is the “right” they believe they have–to discriminate against others in the name of their religion. That is not a right they deserve nor is it a “religious freedom” guaranteed under the Constitution. Their freedoms stop where the rights of others begin.

      Feb 12, 2010 at 8:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      No. 7 · SoylentDiva

      Their freedoms stop where the rights of others begin.

      Or, as my father used to say “Your freedoms stop where my fist connects with your nose. lol

      Feb 12, 2010 at 11:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      “Indeed, at no time since the landing of the Mayflower, has any jurisdiction within any colony, territory, state, confederacy or the country as a whole, been a democracy.”

      I believe there are a few small towns that *are.*

      Feb 13, 2010 at 12:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • romeo
      romeo

      @SoylentDiva: Well spoken !

      @ Schlu: I think we may be cousins. Your dad sounds like my Uncle Dwayne. LOL

      Feb 13, 2010 at 12:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      Could be. LOL, Romeo

      Feb 13, 2010 at 9:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @Swellster: @Swellster: Where on earth did you get this idea? Back before the Civil War, Latter-day Saints were persecuted—even murdered—in part for their abolitionist views. The first president of the Church, Joseph Smith Jr., actually ran for President of the United States on an anti-slavery platform. (He knew he didn’t have a snowball’s chance, of course, but considering every other candidate was unwilling to repeal a law making membership in the Church a capital offense….)

      The misunderstanding regarding blacks and the Church of Jesus Christ stems from an old Church policy stating that while people of Canaanite descent would someday be allowed to hold the Priesthood in mortality, the time hadn’t come yet. Since there is a significant overlap between Canaanites and ethnic Africans, most black Americans (and some white ones!) had to await the 1978 revelation before they could receive their ordination.

      As an aside, I have to wonder why people feel the need to use the slur “the Mormon Church.” Talk about bigotry; that’s *extremely* offensive. The name of the Church you’re talking about is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If that’s too long for your article, “the Church of Jesus Christ” is also acceptable. As long as you’ve got the name of our Lord in there, it’s all good; remove it, and we’ve got a major problem.

      My point is that in claiming others to be bigoted, I’m seeing a *lot* more bigotry than I’ve ever seen from any Latter-day Saint worth his or her salt. If you guys honestly didn’t know, no problem; apology accepted—but that doesn’t make these charges (nor the slurs attached to them) any less ridiculous.

      Thanks for reading! :-)

      Feb 15, 2010 at 2:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      Oh puleeeeeze. Here we go with the “misunderstood” whine again.

      First we get a sermon about our lack of respect by not addressing these haters by the correct name. Is your LDS (I’ll probably get a sermon for using an acronym as being bigoted and extremely offensive as well) “Bible” not called the Book of Mormon

      Talk about nit-picking?

      And was it not YOUR church, by any name you wish to entertain us with, the very one who contributed some $20 million dollars toward getting Prop 8 on the ballot to strip the rights of a large minority group away from them?

      Oh wait. Y’all did that using the name of the Lord. Guess that makes it ok then.

      Talk about mental masturbation?

      Feb 15, 2010 at 11:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @schlukitz: first of all, you’ll note that I explicitly stated that I respect your right to disagree. My issue was not with anyone’s position; I simply pointed out that certain facts were being misrepresented.

      Secondly, no, the Church didn’t contribute twenty or any other number of millions of dollars to Yes on 8. You can check the tax records on that. Yes, the Church spent some money on some General Authorities’ airfare to California, along with expenses while they were there. Many of them probably would have gone to California anyway—it is part of their jurisdiction, after all—but because they mentioned Prop 8 while they were there, these expenses had to be declared in the political tax statement, as well. The Church also donated some legal assistance to the Yes on 8 campaign, along with other, similar “donations in kind.” These donations totaled about $200,000—roughly two orders of magnitude less than the $20M you claim.

      Now… did some members of the Church contribute money to Yes on 8? Sure. Some Church members contributed to No on 8, too. Did all of those hundreds or thousands of donations combined come to $20M? Perhaps. If you can find any proof of this, I’d certainly welcome it, but it’s really quite irrelevant, anyway. The point is that if you hold the Church accountable for every one of its members that happened to donate to Yes on 8, you’ve got to hold them accountable for every member that donated to No on 8, too. Take former San Francisco 49er Steve Young, for example: he and his wife donated $20,000 to the No on 8 campaign (which I only know because it’s a matter of public record, and a friend pointed it out. The Church doesn’t concern itself with its members’ politics; it simply encourages them to be informed citizens, to learn what the issues are and vote accordingly).

      Ultimately, this all comes back to your largest sentence, which states that the Church tried “to strip the rights of a large minority group away from them.” If this is your religious belief, more power to you, but please don’t try to impose it on me. All the Church of Jesus Christ has done is speak out for its teachings and encourage its members to support those teachings—which, last I checked, is exactly what you’re doing. The only difference is that the Christians and their Church don’t go around spreading bigotry and intolerance against those that think differently, e.g. vandalizing their property, spreading lies about their positions, referring to them by hateful slurs, calling their positions as “mental masturbation,” etc..

      Thanks for your time.

      Feb 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      I’m a bit curious about the name of your church: why is “Mormon” apparently now not only inaccurate, but offensive, and what caused the change? (I remember TV commercials from that church used to use both names, one right after the other, so at the time it must have considered the name “Mormon” at least reasonably acceptable.) I ask because it’s a short, simple name that does not confuse you with other groups, as far as I know, whereas the name “The Church of Jesus Christ” can be confusing, since most people associate Jesus with many other churches as well, and many have similar (and similarly confusing) names. And, while adding “Latter-Day Saints” makes it plainer that you mean the large denomination based in Utah and not one of the others, it also makes it unwieldily long. So, again, why is “Mormon” offensive?

      Feb 15, 2010 at 4:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @hyhybt: Great question, Hyhybt. Actually, “Mormon” isn’t offensive; it’s the name of a prophet that lived in the fourth century A.D., and the land for which he was apparently named. It is for this reason that the Church’s early detractors, apparently eager to disassociate the Church from Christianity, invented the nickname “Mormons,” which name many Church members adopted as a nickname for themselves. While “Latter-day Saints” is certainly preferred to “Mormons,” most people won’t take offense to that moniker (hence the commercials you cite, which were the Church’s attempt to educate people about who the so-called “Mormons” really are).

      What I was actually pointing out was that the name “Mormon Church” is both inaccurate and, to most Latter-day Saints, rather offensive. The reason for this is because the name of the Church was given by revelation, and the Savior was very specific about the name of His Church and, in conjunction with this, why it’s so important to call the Church in His name. If the Church of Jesus Christ is instead called “the Mormon Church,” “the LDS Church,” “the Church of the Latter-day Saints,” etc., that name change indicates a lot. In short, it’s offensive because by the Lord‘s own explanation, calling it anything but “the Church of Jesus Christ” (with or without the explanatory appellation “of Latter-day Saints”) is tantamount to saying “the Church is false.”

      Make sense?

      Feb 15, 2010 at 5:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • marmot
      marmot

      Jeff, the Mormon? Just about every single statement you made about the Mormon church was flat-out false. Impressive. Except Joseph Smith did run on an ant-slavery platform, as well as the notion of closing all of the prisons and letting all the prisoners go free.

      Mormonism itself was not anti-slavery and Mormons had slaves in Missouri. The fight with their neighbors was mostly because a) the Mormons burned three towns, That first famous trek to Salt Lake City by Brigham Young and company (I’m a direct relation of one, which is why I know this shit) had three slaves on board. Fer reals. I suspect you received your fake history of Mormonism from faith-promoting fiction.

      I find it interesting as well that you think “The Mormon Church” is a slur as the office of the presiding bishop (the real name (or close to it) of the legal entity that is the LDS church) tried to get legal protection for the term. I also remember those lovely commercials of frolicking white families from the 80’s? that clearly identified the group as “The Mormons.”

      Jeff, not surprisingly, is also wrong about the Mormon church and blacks. When one hears that black people weren’t allowed to have the priesthood, this sounds fairly benign, like they weren’t allowed to be some sort of special leaders. But, all (worthy) Mormon males are given the priesthood. Even worse, to get to heaven in Momrmondom you have to receive specific ordinances in Temples. Blacks weren’t allowed in temples. There were no black in Mormon heaven. Why? Because according to official church policy black people were less valiant in the preexistence.

      Now to Prop.8 Mormons pretty much ran the anti-8 show. Mormons came out in droves for the anti-8 protests, Mormons contributed at least 20 Million dollars at the explicit behest of their church, Mormons were in commercials decrying the evils of their kids being forced to listen to a teacher read book that had (“horrors”) two married men. C’mon.

      Feb 15, 2010 at 9:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • marmot
      marmot

      Jeff the Mormon church succeeded in “strip [ing]the rights of a large minority group away from them.” This is an undeniable fact. Gay people had the right to marry in California. Now they don’t. Get it? Their right to marry was stripped away. I am flummoxed that you can’t figure this out. You shouldn’t get to make the rules based on your private religious beliefs in the secular United States. Obviously, you succeeded in this case, but to what end? You, a member of a small disliked minority got to make life significantly more difficult for a small disliked (hated, even) minority. Cheers all around. I imagine the irony is lost on you.

      Feb 15, 2010 at 9:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      “Now to Prop.8 Mormons pretty much ran the anti-8 show. Mormons came out in droves for the anti-8 protests…”

      I believe you mean pro-8.

      Feb 15, 2010 at 10:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lukas P.
      Lukas P.

      Um, are we forgetting what happens to a LDS member who announces s/he is gay? Mandatory “counseling sessions,” excommunication and ostracism?

      How anyone can defend a church that inflicts such harm on its members defies all logic.

      Feb 15, 2010 at 11:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      No. 19 · Lukas P.How anyone can defend a church that inflicts such harm on its members defies all logic.

      Agreed. It is a total mind-fuck…as is his response to me.

      It is so convoluted and filled with blatant lies that responding back to it would only give credibility to his inane post.

      I would return the nicety of thanking him for his time, which did seem to have a rather snarky tone to it, but I very much dislike making comments that are not sincere.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 2:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @hyhybt: Great question, Hyhybt. Actually, the word “Mormon” itself isn’t offensive; it’s the name of a Christian prophet who lived in the fourth century A.D. and compiled the writings of his civilization (about 1,000 years’ worth) into a single volume. This volume is called the Book of Mormon (ostensibly after its principle author) and the fact that Latter-day Saints use it alongside the Bible is why the Church’s 19th-century persecutors chose “Mormons” as a nickname for the Saints. Many Church members have since adopted the nickname for themselves, but Latter-day Saints is definitely still preferred.

      All that having been said, there is a huge difference between calling Church members “Mormons” and calling the Church “the Mormon Church.” The name of the Church was given by revelation, and the Lord Himself said that while not every church that uses His name is His, any Church that doesn’t go by His name is not His. In other words, calling the Church “the Mormon Church” is tantamount to calling it—and by extension, its members—the anti-Christ. I know that sounds a little blunt, but I figured you’d rather I be blunt than write an entire book on here. ;-)

      Thanks for asking!

      Feb 16, 2010 at 8:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @marmot: First of all, I’d be interested to know what you think I said about the Church that was false. Let’s address your concerns:

      Mormonism itself was not anti-slavery and Mormons had slaves in Missouri.
      You’re right that some Southern Latter-day Saints owned slaves, and that’s unfortunate. They were only human, and a product of their times. Even after many of the Saints had migrated to Utah, slavery still persisted among those Saints that had previously had them. (The 1860 Census, for example, shows that roughly half of the fifty–some-odd blacks in Utah were still slaves.)

      However, the Church in Joseph Smith‘s time was very much aligned along Joseph’s own teachings and opinions, be that right or wrong. Joseph was vehemently anti-slavery, and the Church as an organization followed suit—hence the hundreds of missionaries sent out with the end of slavery as part of their message.

      (And no, this isn’t from faith-promoting fiction; I have been a scholar of the Church of Jesus Christ and its history for almost twenty years; it doesn’t take faith-promoting fiction to learn the cold, hard facts.)

      The fight with their neighbors was mostly because a) the Mormons burned three towns.
      Again, you are correct to a point. In 1838, a group of “Mormon” vigilantes did indeed burn some or all of three Missouri towns in retribution for the mob-led destruction of their own towns. Let’s please remember the historical context here: these people had already been forced out of their homes in the dead of winter not once, but thrice. Several of them had been raped or killed, along the way. And after five years of this, they had reached their breaking point and a small minority took matters into their own hands. Were these acts justified? Hard to say. A judge might well issue a ruling of self-defense, under the circumstances. But no matter how you slice it, the events you cite were the result of “the fight with their neighbors,” not the cause thereof.

      the office of the presiding bishop (the real name (or close to it) of the legal entity that is the LDS church)
      The Office of the Presiding Bishop is the Office of the Presiding Bishop. It has nothing to do with the legal name of the Church, which is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

      I find it interesting as well that you think “The Mormon Church” is a slur as the [Church] tried to get legal protection for the term.
      It probably did. Having failed to curtail the use of the term through education (i.e. the commercials you cite), why not attempt to do so through legal means? It’s not like there’s any positive use of that term out there.

      Jeff, not surprisingly, is also wrong about the Mormon church and blacks.
      Marmot, I really hate to break it to you, but entire paragraph is a string of lies and half-truths.
      • “[B]lack people weren’t allowed to have the priesthood.” True, but Canaanites of any skin color weren’t allowed to have the Priesthood. In Biblical times, anyone that wasn’t a Levite wasn’t allowed to have the Priesthood. Skin color was—and always has been—irrelevant, hence the ordination of literally thousands of blacks to Priesthood offices throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
      • “[T]o get to heaven in Momrmondom you have to receive specific ordinances in Temples.” First of all, there’s no “to get to heaven in ‘Mormondom’”; you either get there or you don’t. And this statement is absolutely false.
      • “Blacks weren’t allowed in temples.” See first bullet point.
      • “There were no black[s] in Mormon heaven.” Absolutely false. Where do you think they came from?
      • “According to official church policy black people were less valiant in the preexistence.” Absolutely false. Yes, certain prominent individual Church members believed this, but they were generally emphatic that the Church itself never taught anything of the sort.

      Now to Prop.8 Mormons pretty much ran the [pro]-8 show.
      Probably so. And gays pretty much ran the anti-8 show. What‘s your point?

      Thanks again! :-)

      Feb 16, 2010 at 8:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @marmot:
      You, a member of a small disliked minority got to make life significantly more difficult for a small disliked (hated, even) minority.
      Let’s deal with this one first. I actually do see the irony in this, although I’d say that Latter-day Saints are a lot more hated than homosexuals. Do you watch TV? I see gays being positively represented on shows, all the time; the only “Mormon” I’ve ever seen portrayed in fiction was a religious-zealot serial killer. Transfer this to reality: right after Proposition 8 passed, protestors rallied around several Latter-day Saint temples in California. They graffitied the walls, attacked the patrons, and generally made of mess of things. Which group is “hated” again?

      The Mormon church succeeded in “strip [ing]the rights of a large minority group away from them.”
      I left this for second because it’s the more important issue.

      No, the voters of California succeeded in overruling the random whims of an activist judge. Did Latter-day Saints encourage them to do so? Sure. Did Latter-day Saints encourage them not to do so? Yep, that too. I can’t believe you have a problem with individuals exercising their right to free speech.

      If you want to fight the voters on Prop 8, more power to you; that’s also your Constitutional right. But let’s face it: active Latter-day Saints make up less than 1% of California voters. Even if every one of them voted Yes on 8 (which is ridiculous; I personally know some that didn’t!), changing every one of their votes to a “No” still wouldn’t have been enough to overcome the difference.

      You shouldn’t get to make the rules based on your private religious beliefs in the secular United States.
      So what can we base the rules on? You’re fighting for your private religious belief that homosexuals should be allowed to marry. Why should your religious beliefs trump mine?

      Every law that has ever been passed, in the history of the known universe, has been based on someone’s belief. What else is there?

      Thanks.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 9:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @Lukas P.:
      Where did you get this stuff, Lukas? Nothing is mandatory in the Church of Jesus Christ. Nothing.

      If a person announces that s/he has homosexual tendencies and wants help, help is available. If a person announces that s/he is actively engaged in homosexual activities, help is also available. How could you possibly believe that helping people constitutes “inflict[ing] harm”?

      Feb 16, 2010 at 9:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @schlukitz:
      No, I honestly meant what I said: thank you for your time. The fact that you know that I said “Thank you for your time” means that you read what I had to say, and for that I am sincerely grateful. If it came off otherwise, I am truly sorry.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 9:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      So had the judge ruled the other way, against gays, I suppose you would not call that judge an, “activist judge.” I’m so sick of this term that is used, only when it suits your bigoted opinions.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 9:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lukas P.
      Lukas P.

      @Jeff: I get “this stuff” from real people who had it done to them by your church. You get “your stuff” from being indoctrinated and not asking questions of your Elders of of gay men/lesbians who have faced the powerful wrath of your “religion.”

      Big difference.

      You have yet to state that being actively GLB is acceptable in the Mormon faith.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 9:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @1EqualityUSA: You’re right, I wouldn’t. The laws are in place, and have been for a very long time. Any judge that tries to overthrow them is an “activist.” That’s the definition of the term.

      If the law were in favor of your position and the judge ruled in favor of mine, s/he would be just as activist.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 9:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      If everyone thought the way you do, segregation would still be on the books. Laws reflect society. Society is not bound to them.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 9:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @Lukas P.: I actually know several Latter-day Saints that have struggled with same-sex attraction, and many more that if I saw them on the street, would send my gaydar into overdrive. They’re all still active members of the Church with callings, temple recommends, etc.. So no, I’m not just making it up based on indoctrination.

      You don’t know me, Lukas. I’m very critical of the Church when I see problems therein. I’ve sent emails and even called President Hinckley’s office, when I saw something that wasn’t quite right—and guess what? It got changed! I know there are plenty of ignorant “mobots” out there, but I am most assuredly and emphatically not one of them, nor would I encourage anyone with sufficient intellect to be so.

      You have yet to state that being actively GLB is acceptable in the Mormon faith.
      You’re right, I haven’t. And I won’t. Of course, whether it’s “acceptable in the Mormon faith” is really quite irrelevant; what matters is whether or not it’s “acceptable,” full stop. However, since the whole point of so-called “Mormonism” is to encompass all truth, regardless of its source, one would hope that what is “acceptable in the Mormon faith” is what’s acceptable to God, period.

      God doesn’t give arbitrary commandments, Lukas. He’s not some totalitarian dictator that sends down random edicts to make us his unquestioning pawns; He’s our loving Father, and like any father, He teaches us from His own experience and His own understanding of what will ultimately make us happiest. Actively engaging in homosexual activity is inherently contradictory to achieving our divine potential. That’s not arbitrary; it’s just simple biology.

      The bottom line is that if you define “being GLB” as feeling romantic, even sexual urges toward people of your own gender, then yes, that is fine. We all have urges that aren’t 100% consistent with what Father wants for us, and just because no two people’s are exactly alike doesn’t make one person’s worse than another’s. If the Church were marching around like a 1984-style Thought Police, I’d have been excommunicated, years ago. But once a person has acted on those urges—regardless of what they may be—the only way back to Father’s Kingdom is through repentance. And that dear Lukas, is exactly what the Church is there to help you and me to do.

      Make sense?

      Feb 16, 2010 at 9:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @1EqualityUSA: You’re right, 1Eq: laws do reflect society, and society has now stated—twice!—that marriage is defined as being between one man and one woman.

      Regarding your second statement, I’m sorry, but I must vehemently disagree. Society is most certainly bound by its own laws; that’s pretty much the definition of the word:

      society n. the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community; the community of people living in a particular country or region and having shared customs, laws, and organizations (Oxford American Dictionary).

      Can laws change to meet the evolving needs of society? Sure, but the whole point of this conversation is that society has spoken: its needs are already being met, thankyouverymuch, and the passage of Proposition 8 is the partial embodiment of that fact.

      Cheers!

      Feb 16, 2010 at 9:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Jeff, Mormons and fundamentalist Christians used fear and lies against our community and got prop H8 to pass. Christ never mentioned gays the entire time he was on the planet. As for Joe Smith and the sect that grew out of his “visions”, Separation of Church and State should protect us from yours or anyone else’s beliefs. Equality for every American, even the atheists and even the ones born with orientations not understood by others. Religion is your own belief, keep me out of your beliefs!
      As for harming marriage, similar arguments were shot down in Massachusetts. Your moral beliefs cannot strip others of contractual protections. We should not have any “onus” or burden, or any other hoop to jump through to justify our existence. We are American citizens and many disagree with your beliefs. There are over 1300 rights that we are being denied because of other peoples’ beliefs. This persecution has gone on long enough and we are not tolerating “outsider status” any longer, just to satisfy your comfort level. The government’s ENDORSEMENT of one group’s values, especially if others that don’t hold those views, is COERCION. Your unfounded fears didn’t prove to have a legitimate secular purpose and it failed, hence, gay marriage.

      Separation of church and state prohibits religious favoritism and cannot promote one religion over another.

      In regard to passing judgement in cases where separation of church and state is concerned, tests are set up.

      1) the Lemon test, named after Alton J. Lemon from a Supreme Court case (1971)

      2) O’Connor’s Endorsement test

      3) Kennedy’s Coercion test

      If any of these three tests are violated, the law is deemed unconstitutional. The same sex marriage ban would be endorsing one religious view over many others, thus creating exclusionary v. Inclusive types of religious doctrine. Such a ban would coerce individuals to support or conform to a specific religions. This government entanglement is unconstitutional.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 10:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      @Jeff: Thanks; that not only makes sense, but also explains why so many have a similar name, and why “The Mormon Church” would be offensive even if most people who use the phrase mean no harm by it. (After all, the church the Presbyterians go to is called the Presbyterian Church; the Baptists, the Baptist Church, etc.)

      Feb 16, 2010 at 10:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      “When I say ‘I will be true to you’ I am drawing a quiet space beyond the reach of other desires. No one can legislate love; it cannot be given orders or cajoled into service. Love belongs to itself, deaf to pleading and unmoved by violence. Love is not something you can negotiate. Love is the one thing stronger than desire and the only proper reason to resist temptation. ”
      — Jeanette Winterson

      Feb 16, 2010 at 11:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      “I actually do see the irony in this, although I’d say that Latter-day Saints are a lot more hated than homosexuals. Do you watch TV? I see gays being positively represented on shows, all the time; the only “Mormon” I’ve ever seen portrayed in fiction was a religious-zealot serial killer. Transfer this to reality: right after Proposition 8 passed, protestors rallied around several Latter-day Saint temples in California. They graffitied the walls, attacked the patrons, and generally made of mess of things. Which group is “hated” again?”

      Both are; I think that was the point. The impression I get, though… how can I put this? I’d typed out the reasons as differences, but reading over it, they’re awfully similar. Gay people are just like anyone else, with the one difference that we’re attracted to the same sex instead of the opposite. This leads, naturally enough, to forming the same sorts of relationships with members of the same sex that straight people form with the opposite. It used to be, and in some circles still is, the general view that we were evil, or possessed by demons, or whatever, and needed to be thrown in jail and repent. A lesser form more common now is that we’re somehow confused, which to me makes less sense than the other… anyway, nowadays most people at least *say* that they don’t care so long as it’s not “thrown in their face,” which would be all well and good if it weren’t for their definition of “throwing it in their face” including any sign whatsoever that someone is gay. Similarly, the early years of your church were, from what I’ve seen and read, pretty awful. I don’t know who started what, but there was quite enough done on both sides. But, while there are those who hate you for your beliefs, I think most of it nowadays is, as with orientation for gays, the expression of it. Your door-to-door missionary work is done with the best possible intentions, but it means that, to many people, at best you’re “those people who won’t leave us alone.” (Actually, though I’ve lived practically next door to one of your churches (I forget your proper name for the local house of worship, sorry) for about 25 years, they’ve only come by two or three times. The Jehovah’s Witnesses come around every month, but to someone interested in neither it’s easy to confuse the two.) And your (generally, not necessarily you personally) treatment of gays is atrocious. “Treatment”, attempts to “cure”, may well be done out of love and concern, but they’re based in such a fundamental misunderstanding of what homosexuality *is* that outright hatred might be less harmful and hurtful. Certainly it’s not going to come across as love when a mother tells her son she should have had an abortion instead of raising him. Whether it’s love or hate, it’s not unnatural that some, at least, would hate you in return… but again, it’s very much like with orientation in that people can say, with at least *some* honesty, “we don’t hate you, just keep it to yourselves.”

      If a person announces that s/he has homosexual tendencies and wants help, help is available. If a person announces that s/he is actively engaged in homosexual activities, help is also available. How could you possibly believe that helping people constitutes “inflict[ing] harm”?

      Because your idea of what constitutes “help” is so far off the mark. You see homosexuality as something akin to, say, tuberculosis, and wonder why we’re so adamant about not taking antibiotics. But really, it’s more like situs inversus: different, but normal for those who have it, even if it has its disadvantages. If some group were trying to “help” people whose physical insides are a mirror image of normal by cutting them open and moving the parts to where you thought they ought to be, surely you would understand how *their* “helping people” was harmful!

      The laws are in place, and have been for a very long time. Any judge that tries to overthrow them is an “activist.” That’s the definition of the term.
      If the law were in favor of your position and the judge ruled in favor of mine, s/he would be just as activist.

      OK then: but “activist judge” is always implied to be a bad thing. Do you mean it to be, with your meaning of the phrase? Should judges never strike laws as being unconstitutional, and if so, what’s the point of even *having* a constitution? Speaking generally, of course, not necessarily of this case. Take something truly blatant, like, say, a law (passed, presumably, by overriding a veto) dissolving the executive branch of government. By your definition, striking such a law would qualify a judge as “activist.” But would that be a bad thing, and if not, why even use the phrase?

      Feb 16, 2010 at 12:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      Sorry, all that and I forgot to address the comment about television. TV reflects what people want to watch, or at least what those in charge think people want to watch. It largely ignores what people *believe,* though it can be effective in nudging people’s beliefs. The only Mormon you’ve seen on TV was a murderer, and the only show about them that I remember seeing was about the Mountain Meadows massacre, presumably not typical behavior. On the other hand, the few people I’ve seen on TV that I know to actually *be* Latter-Day Saints are mostly thought of as good people. Would you rather have shows that present Mormons as constant-religion-pushing, multiple-wife-having comic relief with half the jokes relating to temple garments?

      Feb 16, 2010 at 12:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      No. 30 · Jeff

      But once a person has acted on those urges—regardless of what they may be—the only way back to Father’s Kingdom is through repentance. And that dear Lukas, is exactly what the Church is there to help you and me to do.

      And this from the man who has just tongue-lashed us about insulting his church by daring to employ the word Mormon to describe them and their heinous actions. Such a display of indignancy is truly comical.

      And that, dear Jeff, is what is truly offensive, nay repugnant, because no one has asked for your help. Yet, self-righteous, sentient beings that y’all are, you insist on administering that help, like the dictatorial Nurse Rached in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, because it’s good for us

      Yeah. So’s drinking cod-liver oil. Yccch.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 1:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      And for a bit of consciousness-raising for <i<your edification, might I remind you that Queerty.com is not a Mormon temple or a place of worship.

      Nor, do any of us come here to pray, repent, ask for forgiveness from the Almighty, listen to sermons or facilitate the recruitment of LGBT members into various, sundry belief systems and cults.

      Why don’t you just to your temple and lecture your congregation and we will go to our church and carry-on as we see fit.

      Would that be ok with you, or would your >i>Father be offended and feel the need to mete out some additional punishment to the LGBT community for breaking another one of Joseph Smith’s wacky laws?

      Feb 16, 2010 at 1:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @1EqualityUSA: Your statement is certainly well thought out, but the problem is that everything you’ve said also applies to your position. What we have here are two contradictory sets of religious beliefs:

      a) The word “marriage” is defined as a legal union between one man and one woman.

      b) The word “marriage” is not defined as a legal union between one man and one woman.

      The only way a law could be written to meet both sets of beliefs is if marriage were outlawed altogether. Again, it’s all well and good to use the Lemon Test to support your position; the problem is that your position fails the Lemon Test as surely as does mine. So where does that leave us?

      Feb 16, 2010 at 2:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @hyhybt: Yeah, I know most people that use that term do so out of ignorance; that’s why most Latter-day Saints don’t get particularly offended by it, just let people know why it isn’t appropriate. My problem is really more the severe LdS bashing inherent in both the original article and the subsequent commentary. Given that kind of context, any slur is going to sound like a deliberate affront, y’know?

      Thanks again. :-)

      Feb 16, 2010 at 2:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Mine is not religious stance, but rather an appeal to the Constitution to protect me from religious oppression.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 2:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lukas P.
      Lukas P.

      @Jeff: I appreciate your honest and thoughtful reply. I have enough “ego strength” that I don’t feel the need to convert or change your mind. I disagree with you on many counts, but I respect your personal right to your opinion. I cannot respect the LDS church’s active involvement in a matter that concerns my rights, but I recognize that you are not personally responsible for enacting those policies, although you may be morally obligated to enforce them to remain in good standing and to get to heaven.

      If or when the psychic/psychological turmoil of trying to reconcile your faith and your homosexuality gets to be too much, please do NOT harm yourself and remember that REAL help is available in the outside world, and that many people have worked through that struggle successfully. You may not need any help now or ever, but I don’t want to let it go unsaid that many people in abusive/unhealthy relationships with people/religion do get out of them, but they can’t do it alone.

      @hyhybt: Thanks for your well-thought out post, and particularly the analogy.

      @Schlukitz: Don’t be too harsh on Jeff. He’s still trying to work out his confusion about balancing the “truths” of his faith and the truth of his being. That can take many years. I don’t want us to damage him further than he’s already been.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @hyhybt: Hey there. Thanks for keeping this civil, Hyhybt. I always appreciate it when those with opposing viewpoints can discuss them without resorting to attacks. Seriously, thank you!

      [Y]our idea of what constitutes “help” is so far off the mark. You see homosexuality as something akin to, say, tuberculosis, and wonder why we’re so adamant about not taking antibiotics.
      I think your analogy is off the mark. As I was saying earlier, we all have desires to do things that just aren’t quite right. Maybe yours is to steal a candy bar, maybe mine is to kill my mailman. Obviously my hypothetical desire is worse than yours, but the point remains that both are, let’s face it, not in our best interests. That’s what makes them “not quite right” in the first place.

      How many times have you heard about a child molester that claims he was “just born that way,” that he “couldn’t help it”? How many times have you heard of a serial killer that had the same excuse? How about a kleptomaniac? A coke addict? Even just a lazy slob? We all—every last one of us—are “just born that way,” but that doesn’t mean that every thought that pops into our heads should be deemed appropriate by even ourselves, much less society as a whole; that’s the very definition of anarchy.

      A better metaphor would be someone that has the desire to kill his wife. (Note: I am not saying that homosexuality is as bad as murder; I’m just making a point here.) Realistically, that person has three options:

      a) try to overcome those horrible thoughts;
      b) not bother trying to overcome them, but not act on them;
      c) act on them.

      If this hypothetical individual chooses a), the Church is there to help him. If he chooses b), there’s really not much the Church can do; his Priesthood leaders probably wouldn’t even know about it. If he chooses c), the Church will still be there to help him, but that help is going to involve his own repentance process, which process could (and in the case of murder, almost certainly would) include a temporary revocation of Church membership (i.e. excommunication).

      By translating these scenarios to any other sin—in the case of our discussion, homosexuality would be an appropriate example—you’ll probably have a better idea of what I mean by “help.” I certainly don’t claim that every Latter-day Saint is going to achieve these loving ideals—we are only human, after all—but that’s certainly the way it’s supposed to happen.

      “Activist judge” is always implied to be a bad thing. Do you mean it to be, with your meaning of the phrase?
      You have a very good point there, Hyhybt. The phrase has garnered quite popular usage over the last decade or so, and you’re probably absolutely correct that it has been overused. I suppose, then, what really needs to be done is to determine what the particular judge’s intent was, in the ruling that has resulted in his or her being dubbed an “activist.” As I do not know (nor do I really care to take the time to find out) the background and/or reasoning that went into the original judge’s decision, I will gladly retract the phrase and be more careful about using it, in the future. Seriously, thanks for setting me straight on that one. :-)

      Feb 16, 2010 at 2:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Dear Jeff, It is not very civil of you to compare my orientation, my mind to that of thieves, murderers, serial killers, drug addicts, or any other negative thing your mind can conjure up to support the notions of your sect. I believe that Mormons are misguided, but have no propensity to go to Utah and implement strategies to oppress your misguided beliefs. Keep your Mormon nose out of my marriage. I am legally married, so gay marriage is a reality. Keep away from me. Is that you knocking? Go away.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 2:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Take a long look at that self-satisfied creep at the top of the page. Go away self-satisfied, misguided creep.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 2:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @schlukitz:
      Hey, schlukitz. First of all, I suggest you read some of my other posts. One of the most basic tenets of the Church of Jesus Christ’s teachings is our Eleventh Article of Faith, which states:

      “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

      This statement does not only include others that actively worship God in ways different from our own; it also includes those that choose to not worship Him at all. In short, it means that you can believe whatever you want to believe, and we hope that in return, you’ll allow us to believe whatever we want to believe.

      Why do I bring this up? Simple: you have claimed that Latter-day Saints “insist on administering… help” despite the desires of the person being helped, and that’s just not the case. Latter-day Saints believe that the most important gift we humans have received is the gift of free will, and any attempt to supersede that gift is not only wrong but actually Satanic—in other words, not a good thing. ;-)

      That having been said, we’re not talking about religious polity here; we’re talking about secular law. Given that detail, I’d like to invite you to support your position. The issue here is not whether or not a particular position is right; it’s whether or not government has the right to make laws that run counter to the desires of a portion of its constituents. So here’s my challenge:

      Please cite an example of any law, from any nation in history, that was instituted with either of the following stipulations:
      1) that anyone that felt like breaking that law could do so without fear of repercussion.
      2) that if any member of society were to not like the law in question, it would be instantly done away with.

      Good luck! :-)

      Feb 16, 2010 at 3:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      Your statement is certainly well thought out, but the problem is that everything you’ve said also applies to your position. What we have here are two contradictory sets of religious beliefs:
      a) The word “marriage” is defined as a legal union between one man and one woman.
      b) The word “marriage” is not defined as a legal union between one man and one woman.
      The only way a law could be written to meet both sets of beliefs is if marriage were outlawed altogether.

      But those are not equivalent at all! You’re ignoring the differences between civil and religious marriage, which ought to be surprising given what I understand to be the unusually strong divide between the two in your church. A law that says that only a man and a woman can marry allows only for ‘a’, while a law that says that two men or two women may also marry still allows you and your church not to participate in such a marriage or to recognize it as being anything more than a legal fiction, etc. In other words, not infringing on your religious beliefs AT ALL, unless you consider it a vital part of your religion to be able to force those who are not a part of it to abide by its teachings anyway.

      Given that kind of context, any slur is going to sound like a deliberate affront, y’know? Thanks again. :-)

      I know quite well. And thank YOU; this has been a pleasant conversation so far. Though I’d still like to know a bit more about your idea of “activist judges.”

      @hyhybt: Thanks for your well-thought out post, and particularly the analogy.

      Thanks for the thanks (in other words, you’re welcome!) but which analogy? If there was a good one in there, I may want to use it again sometime :) And, of course, if one was especially off the mark I’d rather know *not* to reuse it.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @schlukitz:
      Why don’t you just to your temple and lecture your congregation and we will go to our church and carry-on as we see fit.
      Would that be ok with you, or would your Father be offended and feel the need to mete out some additional punishment to the LGBT community for breaking another one of Joseph Smith’s wacky laws?

      Ignoring the fact that Joseph Smith’s laws were neither wacky nor even his, I’ll address the comment that’s really at the heart of this statement. As I just stated in my last response to you, Latter-day Saints believe that the most important principle of the Gospel is to allow others to believe as they will, and I think if you look back through my posts, you’ll see that I’ve adhered to that maxim.

      However…

      This article—and almost every comment that follows—has been a direct attack against the Church of Jesus Christ, filled with a level of hatred and lies that I’ve rarely seen from even so-called “anti-Mormons.” The very title of the article accuses Latter-day Saints of hatred, which I think you’d find to be severely lacking in most LdS circles.

      My purpose here has never been to attack, but to defend—and I thank you for the opportunity to do so.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 3:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      Though I’d still like to know a bit more about your idea of “activist judges.”

      Strike that part; your later post covers it, but went up while I was typing.

      Your metaphor about killing your wife, of course, only works with sin. I know that your church, and indeed most churches, believe homosexuality to be a sin, but that doesn’t make it so. And if, as most people on this site would say, it’s neither sin nor disease, well, you’re not going to get far with a cure.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 3:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      This was a sorrowful post written by Allen W of Nevada for an article posted under U.S. news and World Report: John Aloysius Farrell, “How Far Will Mormons go to Fight Gay Marriage”

      “As a former member of the LDS Church I can tell you how hateful, bigoted, and discriminatory that church is.

      1 – The church was all ok with getting in with the Catholic Church to fight gay marriage in California and in Hawaii the Mormon’s used the Catholic Church as a cover as not to be seen badly in the eyes of the citizens. Did you know that it is written by Mormon “prophets” and published in Mormon books that the Catholic Church is, and I quote, “THE WHORE OF ALL THE EARTH.”

      2 – These are some of the quotes Mormon “prophets” and “apostles” have said about Black people. Again, these are actual qoutes….

      “Had I anything to do with the negro, I would confine them by strict law to their own SPECIES” Joseph Smith

      “You see, some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable, and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind” Brigham Young

      “The negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessing are concerned but this inequalitiy is not of man’s origin. It is the Lord’s doing.” Bruce R. McConkie

      “After the flood we are told that the curse pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham’s wife. And why did it pass through the flood? Because it was necessary that the devil should have a representative upon the earth as well as God.” John Taylor (3rd president of the LDS Church)

      “Shall I tell you the Law of God in reard to the African Race? If the white man who belongs to the CHOSEN SEED mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, unter the LAW OF GOD, id DEATH ON THE SPOT. This will always be so.” Brigham Young

      3 – The Mormon Church was just as stongly against the Equal Rights Amendment as it was Gay marriage. They asked the members to contribute to the anti-ERA movement in California, Nevada, Utah, and Florida. Because the ERA movement was strong in Nevada they mobilized members there to work to stop the ERA.

      4 – Hundreds of young Mormon men and women have committed suicide because they were gay and they felt that the church and their families could not accept them. (I know this personally as one of my brothers was one of them, and yes, I am mad as hell at the church and that church is partly to blame for his death)

      5 – The Mormon Church used to approve of shock therapy to help cure “gay” members.

      I am disgusted at the church, it teaches hate, discrimination, and bigotry and does it all in the name of God. How sad is that?

      One of the coldest responses from fellow Mormon followed, not taking into account any of the pain, but defending their sect’s reasonings. It was sick.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lukas P.
      Lukas P.

      @1EqualityUSA:
      Could you make any sense of Jeff’s analogy about why having sex with a consenting adult is like stealing a candy bar? Oh, right — it’s because they’re both sins. It’s like how the desire to consume caffeinated beverages is a sin.

      It’s funny that a religious sect [please note I avoided the word "cult"] that had to flee from state to state to find a place to practice their religion is trying to impose their belief system on another minority group, thereby trampling on that group’s freedoms. The oppressed too often become the oppressors.

      If a religion wants to bestow its blessing only on opposite-sex marriages, that should be their right. This has no legal bearing or status.

      If the government, however wants to deny the legal and financial advantages of marriage to same-sex adult couples, then that religion and those religious persons interfere with my rights. Simple, huh?’

      Even the proponents of Prop 8 were unable to make a case against allowing same-sex couples to marry.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 3:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lukas P.
      Lukas P.

      @1EqualityUSA:
      Could you make any sense of Jeff’s analogy about why having sex with a consenting adult is like stealing a candy bar? Oh, right — it’s because they’re both sins. It’s like how the consumption of caffeinated beverages is a sin, no?

      It’s funny that a religious sect [please note I avoided the word "cult"] that had to flee from state to state to find a place to practice their religion is trying to impose their belief system on another minority group, thereby trampling on that group’s freedoms. The oppressed too often become the oppressors.

      If a religion wants to bestow its blessing only on opposite-sex marriages, that should be their right. This has no legal bearing or status.

      If the government, however wants to deny the legal and financial advantages of marriage to same-sex adult couples, then that religion and those religious persons interfere with my rights. Simple, huh?’

      Even the proponents of Prop 8 were unable to make a case against allowing same-sex couples to marry.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      The misunderstanding regarding blacks and the Church of Jesus Christ stems from an old Church policy stating that while people of Canaanite descent would someday be allowed to hold the Priesthood in mortality, the time hadn’t come yet. Since there is a significant overlap between Canaanites and ethnic Africans, most black Americans (and some white ones!) had to await the 1978 revelation before they could receive their ordination.

      This may be a stupid question, but how do you even determine “Canaanite descent” at this point?

      Feb 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Lukas P, don’t fret, there IS a TREATMENT!:

      Feb 16, 2010 at 3:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 12 · Jeff wrote: “As an aside, I have to wonder why people feel the need to use the slur ‘the Mormon Church.’ Talk about bigotry; that’s *extremely* offensive. The name of the Church you’re talking about is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

      Reality – the term “The Mormon Church,” whether Jeff likes it or not, is not a “slur” because people don’t use it as a put-down. They use it because it is terse.

      His reaction (and attempts to whitewash Mormon support for Prop 8) however suggest a different reason – with lots of people complaining about church-instigated mormon political involvement in the Proposition Eight campaign, there is a political reason for trying to dissociated the two words – the public will be less likely to blame the church for its actions since most people are not going to follow the details very closely.

      This technique has a long history in politics, whether governmental or corporate. I once worked in a place where the people running the computer services had a reputation for being somewhat inept, and they continually changed the name of their organizations so that the complaints would appear to be about some other group. Jeff’s reaction fits that model perfectly.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 4:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No 48, Jeff wrote, “The very title of the article accuses Latter-day Saints of hatred,…” LOL. Jeff – that title was generated by QUEERTY’s editors. A very large number of their titles are provocatively worded no matter what the topic. It’s marketing – they want people to click on the links. Nobody takes the titles seriously if they’ve looked at the site a few times.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @Lukas P.: Lukas, again, thanks for keeping this civil. However, I do want to point out that I think you may have misunderstood me. When I spoke of “urges,” I was speaking generically. Each of our “urges” are different, be they the urge to sleep with someone of the same gender or the urge to shove a Slurpee, cup and all, down the clerk at the 7-Eleven’s throat. ^_^

      One thing I’ve always been very careful to do is to keep my own sins between me and God, so please don’t read too much into what I’m saying. The presence or absence of homosexual feelings among my particular demons is really not pertinent to my argument.

      Thanks again!

      Feb 16, 2010 at 4:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @hyhybt: Revelation. That’s what everything in the Church is based on. In fact, people that are considering joining the Church are strongly discouraged from doing so, until they have personally received revelation to confirm that decision. That’s “Mormonism” 101: you should never do anything just because someone else claims God told him or her to do so. But I digress….

      The point is that it’s based on revelation, plain and simple. And as long as those that are called to receive that revelation are doing so appropriately, it works quite well. :-)

      Feb 16, 2010 at 4:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      The most uncivil person on this thread is thanking selected persons for their civility. Oppression is uncivil. Any religious organization that noses their way into politics should have their tax exempt status whisked away faster than than one can say, “magic underwear.” Here was my response to the young lad from Nevada, who got zero warmth from a member of his own sect, “Your story is a real eye opener. Heartbreaking. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ will take all of this into account when He makes judgment of each of us. Just as we can’t harshly judge those of us born gay, we can’t judge harshly those who were born into a sect. Humans are so mean to each other. It always surprises me, especially when it comes from supposed religios folks. Like the guy, Myxx of California, who said he was burnt out on our efforts to achieve equal rights. He likely never intended to see the injustice end and likely never intended vote on our behalf, but then to dig the knife in a little deeper and twist it, saying things with his mouth that added insult to injury, I imagine, that will be the kind of behavior judged on the Last Day. Sometimes it’s the little things like that that add up over a lifetime. The loss of your brother is a tragedy and his blood is on the hands of those who drove him to this drastic measure. You can tell what quality of spiritual soil one’s roots are planted in by the fruit that one bears. The fruits of the Spirit are love, patience, kindness, goodness, and truth. You know it when you see it and so will Christ. These Church leaders seem bent on grinding their palace into the ground to uphold their bigotry and hatred towards, blacks, gays, and “outsiders”. Wisdom is for the Children of God and all else is folly. Is this Church is of the world? Look at the fruits of their labor, then look at the soil from which they emerged. Love, above all else, is the objective. Is this Church meeting that goal? It’s easy to love one of your own. If you merely love those who love you, what quality of credit and thanks is that to you? For even the very sinners love their lovers—those who love them. We are judged by the amount of light we sin against. So try to love, even when it seems that they unjustly took your brother. Try to love even when they accuse you of things never you did fathom. Especially try to love if you consider yourselves to be spiritually mature. We who were born gay are being hit hard in the face, so that those that come after us are not saddled with oppression and unjust hatred. But if we hate, the battle is lost. We, as individuals, will give an account for every word that passes over our lips. If our roots are planted in good spiritual soil, it will be evident in the words that come out of our very temporary mouths. Make that anger you have the impetus. Good luck to you.”

      Feb 16, 2010 at 4:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @1EqualityUSA: Interesting stuff, 1Eq. Here’s my take:

      1) I’m guessing some misguided individuals think that the Catholic Church is “the whore of all the Earth,” but the Book of Mormon explicitly states that “the whore of all the Earth” is the Church of the Devil (1 Nephi 14:10-12). Can’t blame the Church for people not bothering to read. ;-)

      2) If you’re going to talk about what the Church had to say about “black people,” please try to find some quotes that deal with “black people.” Every one of those quotes deals with “Negroes,” which is not the same thing. (Seriously. Look it up.)

      3) Of course the Church was against the ERA. Have you ever looked at the history of the ERA? Have you ever studied the court cases resulting from the ERAs that were added to several state Constitutions? They set back women’s rights by a century!

      The problem with the ERA wasn’t the intent behind it; it was the number of phrases that were deliberately removed from it before its submission to the people. When courts consider cases dealing with the Constitution, they consider what’s not there—especially those things that were proposed and rejected—when making their rulings. The ERA was a horrible amendment, which is why so many states that ratified it later revoked said ratification.

      4) I can’t begin to express my sorrow for the loss of your brother, nor can I begin to apologize for what certain individuals may have done or not done, that led to his death. However, I do wonder how you can blame the Church itself for this. Even if the President of the Church himself were somehow culpable for the deaths of those people, he’s only a human being like you or me, doing the best he can with what he’s got. Can you really expect any more?

      5) I’d be interested to see the citation for this. My guess would be that, back when this was considered a medically sound practice, the Church released some obscure pamphlet stating that “If medical means are appropriate to a particular individual’s situation, some doctors have reported success with such means.” The statement makes it sound like each bishop kept an electric chair in his office for just such an occasion. :-P

      Anyway, my 2¢. Take it or leave it. :-)

      Feb 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      I’ll leave it.

      Feb 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lukas P.
      Lukas P.

      @Jeff: I fight some of the same urges as you re: throwing the slurpee at the 7-11 counterperson. That’s an unconsensual act, hence immoral in my book, and probably a sin in your books. [g].

      I won’t comment on whatever sexual urges you might have, because that’s not my place here. That said, said, the LDS position on homosexual activity as a sin mirrors that of most every Christian denomination I’m familiar with. That view is the sole basis for arguments against same-sex marriage once, as shown in the Prop 8 trial. Many sins are listed in the Bible, yet not all of them are codified in the law. Women are not imprisioned for preaching, wearing jewelry, or talking back to their husbands. No one has been sent to jail for eating pork. Our US aws respect freedom of religion, and impose no penalty for atheism.

      The LDS church is opposed to same-sex marriage, and has actively been involved in efforts to ban it. The Catholics and many Evangelical Christian sects have been party to those efforts. I can’t speak to other religions with any authority. So, where I will take my gloves off is to say that I don’t interfere with the beliefs of your sect but I will not abide the influence of religious views of “sin” in interfering with my ability to obtain the legal/tax advantages of marriage to another consenting adult of my choice.

      The LDS church has changed its views, so I have read, regarding polygamy and people of African descent, because waves of prophecy hit your leaders, so perhaps another wave of prophecy will strike again!?!

      Until such revelation happens, I will continue to support your freedom OF religion, and fight for my freedom FROM religious viewpoints that seek to bar me and my cohorts from our equality.

      @1EqualityUSA: AMEN, my stalwart friend. I wish I had your way with words and logic. English isn’t my first language, but it’s my best one these days. I admire you. Your letter was beautiful. I still see a book in your future!

      Feb 16, 2010 at 6:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No. 60, Jeff wrote, “5) I’d be interested to see the citation for this.”

      http://www.affirmation.org/learning/with_all_thy_getting.shtml
      has a first hand account of Mormon electroshock therapy.

      Looks like they were torturing people under the guise of “adversion therapy”.

      Feb 17, 2010 at 3:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      Hey, everyone. I think it’s become quite apparent that I can’t fully respond to everyone here, particularly given the time constraints inherent in supporting a family on a job that only pays me when I’m actually working. As such, I’ll leave a few parting comments and move on. In all seriousness though, thank you again for such a spirited debate, and more particularly to those that were able to do so without stooping to name-calling and insults. I meant it when I thanked several of you for your continued civility. I know, from firsthand experience, how easy it is to lose that, in a discussion such as this—particularly on the ’Net, where we aren’t talking face to face.

      So without any further ado, I’ll respond to Lukas’ last comment. First of all, Lukas, I commend you for your English. I wouldn’t have guessed it’s not your first language from anything I’ve read, and being bilingual myself, I know how hard it is to grasp the subtle nuances of a second language. Bravo!

      That having been said, I wanted to take up your understanding of the way the Church of Jesus Christ works, particularly with respect to the two instances you have cited. In both cases, a policy was changed due to revelation—in the first case, the policy regarding whether or not plural marriage was currently authorized on this Earth; and in the second, the policy regarding whether or not Canaanites could be ordained to the Priesthood during mortality. However, in neither case was the underlying doctrine changed in any way, which is a very important difference.

      The doctrine of plural marriage is found in Jacob 2:27-30 and is very simple: under normal circumstances, marriage is to be between one man and one woman. However, there are certain situations in which the Lord will command specific individuals to take an additional wife or wives, for the sake of spreading the Gospel through increased descendants. This practice has never been widespread—even at the height of its practice in the 19th century, it is estimated that fewer than 5% of Latter-day Saints were involved in plural marriages—and has always been strictly supervised so as not to encourage the “slave-wife” syndrome that tends to occur in societies that practice unchecked polygamy.

      In short, the practice was commanded in 1831 on an extremely limited scale, practiced openly (though still under close guard) from the 1850s on, and curtailed shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against it in 1889. Once that ruling came down, the Prophet Wilford Woodruff went to the Lord and basically said, “You’ve commanded us to practice plural marriage, but you’ve also commanded us to abide by the laws of the land. Now what?” The answer was to cease the practice immediately (although several Church members, operating under the mistaken impression that polygamy was legal in México, continued to practice it there until 1904, when the Prophet Joseph F. Smith clarified the policy as pertaining to the entire Church).

      The doctrine regarding the Priesthood is a similar situation. Throughout history, the Lord has always decided which groups of people may hold his Priesthood and which may not. In the beginning, anyone could hold the Priesthood (although it would seem that only men were ordained to specific offices therein, a practice which continues to this day). However, there are several other policies of which we are aware:

      • Descendants of Cain—and, by extension, Canaan—were restricted from holding the Priesthood in this life. This restriction lasted from the time of Abel’s murder until the revelation ending it, in 1978.
      • Under the Law of Moses, the higher (Melchizedek) Priesthood was apparently restricted to the presiding elders, while the lesser (Levitical) Priesthood was restricted to the tribe of Levi.
      • Following the events in Acts 10, the Gospel—and by extension, the Priesthood—was extended to the Gentiles, save only the Canaanites.

      In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the prophets consistently taught that the time would soon come that the Canaanites would once again be eligible for Priesthood ordination, and there are many records of the presiding elders of the Church praying that that day come quickly. For whatever reason, their prayers when unrequited for many decades until 1978, when the Lord announced that the long-promised day had arrived.

      So… long explanation, but hopefully it helps you to understand. Plural marriage isn’t necessary for exaltation, which is why it can be temporarily authorized or not authorized, according to the needs of the Saints (and, frankly, the world at large). Receiving the Priesthood during mortality is likewise unnecessary for exaltation, which is why it, too, is only given as needed. Marriage, however—the Eternal union of a man and a woman, not just “till death do [they] part,” but forever—is necessary for exaltation. There’s no getting around that one; the only way to be like our Heavenly Father and Mother is to work together as husband and wife, just like They do. That’s both Biology and Christianity 101.

      So in short, I hope I’ve presented my case well enough that my readers can at least understand it, regardless of whether or not you agree. You can complain about our beliefs all you like, but we do have a basis for them, and it’s a darned good one (i.e. personal revelation from God Himself, attesting to its veracity). Furthermore, I think it only natural that we would work so hard to protect our right to believe and act as we choose—much less to protect our children from other religious indoctrination—which unfortunately, legal precedent indicates would not have been the case, had Prop. 8 failed to pass.

      But as I’ve also said, I’d be severely remiss if I expected (or even desired) any one of you to just take my word for it. If you really care enough to figure out whether or not I’m full of crap, I can’t do that for you; you’ve got to learn it for yourselves. The best I can do is give you a head start, and perhaps point you to where you can learn more.

      Good luck, all, and many blessings to every one. :-)

      Ciao.

      Feb 17, 2010 at 11:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • romeo
      romeo

      @ Jeff the latter day: for someone with “time constraints” you certainly have plenty of time to spend here. And it’s time that you are wasting, by the way. LOL

      Notice you didn’t comment on the Mormon aversion therapy camps. Shock treatment destroys brain cells by the way. Maybe that’s why you’re such a happy camper in that Mormon cocoon. Some of the ex-mormons are saying being sent to those places isn’t so voluntary, with all the pressure to conform that goes on with your bunch. Interesting to see you think God loves your gang the best. Personally, I think you might have something to answer for with Him.

      BTW, lots of English majors in here. If you come back, try to hide your fallacious reasoning with a little more rhetorical flourish. The Catholics take it to the bank.

      Feb 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 64 · Jeff wrote, “In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the prophets consistently taught that the time would soon come that the Canaanites would once again be eligible for Priesthood ordination, and there are many records of the presiding elders of the Church praying that that day come quickly. For whatever reason, their prayers when unrequited for many decades until 1978, when the Lord announced that the long-promised day had arrived.”

      … so unless “the Lord” has a clogged inbox, He’s probably hanging out some 50 light years from Earth. From that distance, the Earth looks pretty small and inconsequential, and not worth bothering with. At that distance, nobody is going to notice who you want to sleep with.

      Jeff also said, “You can complain about our beliefs all you like, but we do have a basis for them, and it’s a darned good one (i.e. personal revelation from God Himself, attesting to its veracity).”

      Interesting that we see a lot fewer prophets after medications for schizophrenia became available!

      Feb 18, 2010 at 12:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Flex
      Flex

      If the shallow religions of the world fail because of marriage equality then that is their fate. Equal protection under the law is a force that has been in the works for a long time, and waxing independently from religion. Religious bigots want to salvage their sinking ship by taking equality down with them. It’s not going to happen!

      Feb 22, 2010 at 1:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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