The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (their style guide prefers you call them that) is shocked-SHOCKED that the gay community is holding them accountable for the passage of Proposition 8. “It is disturbing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is being singled out for speaking up as part of its democratic right in a free election”, a statement from the Church reads. And truth be told, the gay community is singling out the church, which contributed an estimated 70% of the money for the Yes on 8 campaign. Queerty breaks down the talking points you’ll be hearing up until the moment jihad breaks out somewhere near St. George, Utah.
“Mormons bought Prop. 8 with their Mormon gold“: Well, yes Virginia, they did. There’s a reason that Prop. 8 was the costliest election battle in the nation this year, save for that whole Presidential thing–and that reason comes from Salt Lake. The church sent letters to members, held video conferences and called from volunteers from the pulpit to help pass Prop. 8. That still doesn’t make the website Mormons for 8, which has downloadable spreadsheets listing all Mormon Yes on 8 donors, any less creepy.
“Mormons ought to have their tax exempt status removed!“: There’s a VERY ANGRY website up called Mormons Stole Our Rights, which is calling for the church to be stripped of its tax-exempt status for preaching politics from the pulpit. It got help by being linked to by Perez Hilton, The Stranger, The Advocate blah, blah, blah and now 300,000 people have signed a petition that will never ever in a million years happen. Shockingly, the Constitution is pretty liberal when it comes to allowing preachers to say pretty much whatever they gosh darn feel like saying. Also, this tactic seems likely to muddle the waters further, only convincing more people that gay marriage would in fact, infringe on religious freedom.
“The only reason Mormons donated all this money is to get in good with the evangelical right.“: If you didn’t know already, Mormons are a very persecuted people, too. In fact, their candidate, Mitt Romney was universally reviled by social conservative candidates during the primary. Evangelicals take a dim view of the LDS, refusing to consider them Christians, which is one of the reasons why they make sure to have the name ‘Jesus Christ’ in their name. The thinking goes that if the church were to help pass Prop. 8, they’d get in good with evangelicals. Sounds plausabile on the surface, as long as you don’t know any Mormons or evangelicals. At the center of the LDS faith is the family and their motives in protecting it are genuine. That and evangelicals will hate the LDS no matter what.
“Mormons are polygamists! Grr! Arrrgh!“: For crying out loud, stop with the polygamy thing already. Polygamy has been outlawed by the church since 1860 after the federal government threatened to put Utah under martial law and has been ever since. Yes, on a theological level, multiple marriage still has a place in the church, but your average LDS member finds the practice abhorent. In fact, one of the main problems for Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints trying to make it mainstream Mormon society is the discrimination they face from LDS members. From the Mormon perspective, who gave up their wacky marriage rights to protect the family, there’s no hypocrisy.
“If we just talk to the Mormons, they’ll understand that we just want civil rights and don’t threaten their sacred celestial marriages.“: I don’t think anyone is actually saying this, but I’m including it because it’s important to point out that not all Mormons are against gay marriage. Steve Young, former 49er and great-great-great grandson of church founder Brigham Young had a No on 8 sign on his lawn. LDS mothers of gay children held a candlelight vigil protesting Prop. 8 in Temple Square. The issue is genuinely dividing the church and tarring and feathering the whole church is just as intolerant as what Prop 8. supporters are doing. One of the reasons I was eager to leave the rally that was held in WeHo on Wednesday was that after a speaker made a long plea to remember that not all black folks voted for Prop 8., she continued by saying “The one group we should blame is the Mormon Church.”