I got this message in my Facebook inbox. Lovely. But, despite its overall negative "feeling," it gives me a platform for addressing some of these ridiculous accusations and threats I've heard over and over again. So, enjoy the goofy read, followed by my personal, light-hearted counter-arguments.
[I am a Californian and I legally married my partner (ex LDS member) on July 3rd. California Supreme Court granted the right to marry on May 15th, 2008 after ruling it was unconstitutional to not let us marry. While you Mormons might not like it, you had no right to come in and influence legislation in California.
Now LDS Church whines about the protests and boycotts that have happened in front of Temples and LDS owned businesses. We are asking that the Tax Exempt status of LDS be taken away and many people have filed complaints with the California IRS branch. We are pushing to take the Sundance Film Festival out of Utah and boycott Utah Ski resorts.
The LDS church has always used its muscle to stop anything that THEY do not believe in and force their religious views on people who do not believe what they do. This time they bit off more than they can chew. I am an Atheist so why would I care about religion? I had a civil marriage and marriage has and always will be a CIVIL contract. If you choose to marry in a church, so be it. You seem to forget polygamy and that in the early 19th century there were MANY gays among LDS members.
While you try to say that other groups took a hand in passing Prop 8, YOUR church funded it and that is against non profit rules. Right now there are fires in Orange County and I find it ironic that the most right wing religious people reside there...maybe YOUR God is angry by what you people did.]
Okay, I think the best way to approach this would be piecemeal, one goofy comment at a time.
["California Supreme Court granted the right to marry on May 15th, 2008 after ruling it was unconstitutional to not let us marry."]
Yes, I know. One cannot blog about Proposition 8 and protecting marriage without eventually coming to the fountainhead of all this hullabaloo. It was, to be precise, exactly 4 activist judges overturning the will of exactly 4,618,673 Californians who voted in favor of Prop 22, to uphold marriage as a union between one man and one woman. This go-round, even more Californians saw the need to protect marriage as Proposition 8 passed with 5,661,583 "yes" votes.
["While you Mormons might not like it, you had no right to come in and influence legislation in California."]
Right. Just call me Special Agent 007, on a mission to infiltrate the California legislative process. Hometown: Nowhere, AL. Temporary residence: Anywhere, CA. Must relocate, must influence, must vote. Smash the opposition!
Ha ha ha! That was fun.
But seriously people. I live in California. Permanent Resident. Didn't "come in" to influence anything. Just exercised my constitutional right to vote. Geez, talk about conspiracy theory palooza.
["Now LDS Church whines about the protests and boycotts that have happened in front of Temples and LDS owned businesses."]
Nope, no whining here. Just good reporting. Calling a spade a spade. Violence is violence, no matter what the supposed reason for it (though if we're being completely honest, there is no "reason" in violence). Protesting is all fine and good - peaceful protesting - but violence, vandalism, graffiti, threats, intimidation, and domestic terrorism? Yeah. It's wrong. Period. And who, in their right mind is going to promote boycotting any businesses in this economy? Duh people. Yeah, let's hurt the economy even more! Brilliant idea!
["We are asking that the Tax Exempt status of LDS be taken away and many people have filed complaints with the California IRS branch."]
Wow, if you think this (below) is "asking," I wonder how you would depict the face of "demanding?" Blinded by disappointment and a personal vendetta, you are delusional in your tepid vocabulary choice to describe a very charged atmosphere. But, in a humorous twist, at least you are accurately referring to the members of the LDS Church instead of the Church itself ("Tax Exempt status of LDS")...even though members of the Church don't have a "tax exempt status" to lose. So, good luck with that anyway! (I'm joking of course. I know what he meant, it's just not what he said. I'm being a nerd).
["We are pushing to take the Sundance Film Festival out of Utah and boycott Utah Ski resorts."]
Ahhhhh ha ha ha! Go right ahead! That's like saying you're going to protest at the temple on Sunday. It won't hurt "us" (being the hated Mormons) a bit. The Sundance Film Festival is a gathering of Hollywood elite and other out-of-state rich folks looking for a bit of high-profile media attention. Robert Redford, owner of Sundance and its film festival, is not LDS. Park City, where the Sundance Film Festival is hosted each year, is Utah's most liberal city. And about the other...um, threat...Utah ski resorts are visited and cherished by people around the world. Hurt them in any way and I can see a global outcry of foul play. So, like I said, go ahead.
["The LDS church has always used its muscle to stop anything that THEY do not believe in and force their religious views on people who do not believe what they do. This time they bit off more than they can chew. I am an Atheist so why would I care about religion?"]
Always? Always? Name once that the LDS Church has used its "muscle" to stop anything they don't believe in or to force their religious views on people. Once. Just once. Come on, you can do it. On second thought, no you can't. Because they haven't. Ever. Oh, and don't bring up the Utah War, which was a defensive stand of the saints against the threat of being run out of their homes...again...after being charged out of Illinois and traversing the entire Central United States to settle in Utah. The issue was resolved without any altercations or bloodshed (something I cannot say about the Prop 8 results). Oh, and I am a Mormon, so why would I not care about religion? Hm? Moot point.
[I had a civil marriage and marriage has and always will be a CIVIL contract.]
Wrong. Marriage has and always will be a religious union - beginning with Adam and Eve. It wasn't until the creation of government that marriage had to be regulated for the safety of children and the preservation of the basic unit of society - the family.
["You seem to forget polygamy and that in the early 19th century there were MANY gays among LDS members."]
I seem to forget polygamy? I haven't forgotten polygamy. I can't, for Pete's sake, because people like you keep bringing it up. It is irrelevant. It has no bearing on this issue or this vote. It was over one hundred years ago! But, time frame aside, let's look at the issue objectively here. Church leaders were commanded by the Lord to practice Polygamy because violent persecution of the saints at the time had lead to the loss of many husbands and fathers. Those widows and their children needed to be supported as the saints made their pilgrimage across the plains (a pilgrimage made necessary by the infamous Mormon "Extermination Order," I might add). The best, and most proper, way to do that was to legally wed them to a man. Well, as I already said, men were scarce. Enter polygamy. And, when the Lord saw fit, Polygamy was no longer a commandment. Now, not only is it not a commandment anymore, but because we are commanded in our church to be law-abiding citizens, it is actually shunned and those discovered practicing it are excommunicated. We do not practice polygamy. It is not "on the shelf." We have no idea what the Lord has in store for us in heaven though there will always be those who will speculate on that. Speculation, however, is not doctrine and should never be introduced as such. So, what does polygamy have to do with same-sex marriage? Nothing. People always say "Oh, but once upon a time your Church embraced a 'deviant' form of marriage," as if the Church rolls forward on it's own agenda. It doesn't! It rolls forward on the Lord's agenda. He has a plan for His people on this earth and, in keeping with principles taught throughout the scriptures, our Church, and other Christian and non-Christian faiths, that plan does not include stumping the human race by forming "dead" unions. Homosexuality is a culture of death because it cannot sustain itself through procreation. It can lead only to a confused, genderless, dead end society.
Oh, and there still are many gay LDS members of the Church. They haven't all run away in the face of trial and tribulation. Many struggle daily against unwanted feelings and attractions in order to prove to their Heavenly Father that they are equal to the task of walking through the refiner's fire and emerging whole on the other side. I have deep admiration and respect for these individuals.
["While you try to say that other groups took a hand in passing Prop 8, YOUR church funded it and that is against non profit rules."]
ERRRR. Wrong! Guess again. Oh, never mind, you're slaughtering all this anyway. I'll just give you the correct answer. Our church funded nothing. The members of the Church made personal donations in response to our Prophet's request that we support Proposition 8 by any means possible. And that, sir, is not "against non profit rules." Not at all. Not even close. And other groups did have a hand in passing Prop 8. The Catholics are the ones who invited the LDS Church to join the Protect Marriage Coalition in the first place, for goodness sake. And right they were to do it! "We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of other faiths." Episcopalians, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, etc. If ours was the only church to effect the passing of this amendment, then why are you even bothering to stage large protests at places such as the immense Saddleback Church in Orange County? Hm? Yeah, that's what I thought. Silence. :-)
["Right now there are fires in Orange County and I find it ironic that the most right wing religious people reside there...maybe YOUR God is angry by what you people did."]
Oh, I'm sorry, did you say "maybe YOUR God is angry?" Or did you say, "I am God?" I'm getting mixed signals here since you seem to be in the business of interpreting catastrophes as God's will and judgment on specific people. Tell me this. Do you know exactly who lives in the community affected by the fire? Is EVERY single person in Orange County a "right wing religious" person? (Psst, the answer is a resounding "no.") So, therefore, it is possible that this condemnation you are calling down on religious people is actually affecting secular people and *gasp* even No on 8ers, too. Leave nature to God and stick with fine tuning your debate skills. They (and your arguments) are sadly lacking.