Monday, February 2, 2009

LDS / Mormon Church Issues Statement Regarding In-Kind Prop 8 Donations; Corrects Erroneous News Reports.

LDS, Mormon Church Issues Statement Regarding In-Kind Prop 8 Donations
From the LDS Newsroom

Church Clarifies Proposition 8 Filing, Corrects Erroneous News Reports

SALT LAKE CITY 2 February 2009 Today The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints clarified erroneous news reports following the filing of its final report on donations to the ProtectMarriage.com coalition.

On Friday, 30 January, the Church filed the final report of its contributions (all of which were non-monetary) to the ProtectMarriage.com coalition. The report, submitted in advance of the 31 January deadline, details in-kind donations totaling $189,903.58.

The value of the Church’s in-kind (non-monetary) contribution is less than one half of one percent of the total funds (approximately $40 million) raised for the “Yes on 8” campaign. The Church did not make any cash contribution.

Because media coverage about this filing ran without a comment from the Church, the following statements of fact from the Church add context to this story and should help correct the record:

Fox13 (Utah): “The documents show the amount spent by the Mormon Church is greater than what was initially stated.”
Fact: The Church, like other organizations on both sides of the ballot issue, was required to publicly file these donations by the 31 January deadline. The Church has been filing required contribution reports throughout the campaign. Those earlier donations “initially stated” were filed for specific time periods prior to this last reporting period, as required by law. Other groups are also filing their final contribution reports to meet the same deadline.

San Francisco Chronicle : “Mormon church officials, facing an ongoing investigation by the state Fair Political Practices Commission, Friday reported nearly $190,000 in previously unlisted assistance to the successful campaign for Prop. 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.”

Sacramento Bee : “The disclosure comes amid an investigation by the state's campaign watchdog agency into whether the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints violated state laws by not fully disclosing its involvement during the campaign.”
Fact: This filing is in no way prompted by an investigation by the California Fair Political Practices Commission. Many organizations are filing this week to meet the deadline required by law. We believe we have complied with California law.

KFMB 760 AM (San Diego) :
“Mormon Church Misstated How Much It Spent in Prop 8 Fight.”
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints previously claimed only about $2,000 was spent in support of the measure.”

365Gay : “Mormon Church admits it spent 100 times more for Prop 8 than reported”
Fact: Again, the previous disclosure of an in-kind donation was to meet an earlier deadline. In fact, previous filings detailed over $50,000 out of the total non-monetary contribution of $189,903.58.This week’s filing reported donations that fell within a different time period and required reporting by the 31 January deadline. Other groups also made their final contributions reports this week.

Understanding the extent of donations from other organizations may help the media and the public better understand the context in which the Church’s donations were made.

Pearl’s take:

This is just more evidence of the dubious partiality and bias that plagues the mainstream media today.  Apparently the MSM is in the business of vilification and false accusation rather than accuracy in reporting.

~Pearl

39 comments:

emissary said...

I was so thrilled to read this. I took the official link and posted it as a comment on several unflattering posts about this issue. Yay for real news!

Euripides said...

The mainstream news folks need to go out and get a real job, but I suppose they wouldn't know how to work for a living. Thanks for presenting us with the real side of the story.

Reckut said...

Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private hareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.
================================================

I see nothing in here that exempts non-cash expenditures. Perhaps I am reading it wrong. Can someone help me out?

thepomegranateapple said...

$200,000, in in-kind donation is not a "substantion part of the activities..."

it's not even a drop in the bucket.

Reckut said...

Ah, so it's ok if they only do a 'little'. I see. Well, whatever floats your boat I guess. Sad to see your religion has turned against it's roots, but so long as you guys are only doing it a 'little', guess I can't complain.

Pearl said...

Hi Reckut,

Thanks for passing by and commenting. I hope you will withhold any further judgment on this matter until I can respond to you properly. In fact, I would suggest you come back tomorrow as I have discovered this subject merits its very own blog post and have been working this evening on addressing your concerns.

I hope that we can maintain a respectful dialogue as we discuss this interesting subject of tax-exemption.

Sincerely,
Pearl

op-ed said...

Reckut: Sad to see your religion has turned against it's roots, but so long as you guys are only doing it a 'little', guess I can't complain.

Which is a completely different complaint than the 501(c) one you started out with. Once that was disproved, you simply picked something else to complain about. If your purpose here is to prove you can be anti-Mormon no matter what the facts, don't bother. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on that one.

There were 501(c) organizations on both sides of this issue. Not only that, there were churches donating on both sides. You only complain about the Mormon involvement.

The No on 8 side outspent the Yes side nearly 2 to 1. This issue was widely publicized and debated in the public arena and the Yes side won. Nobody is even disputing that fact. Attacking the Mormon church for disagreeing with you on Prop 8 is just another example of the attack on freedom of religion and freedom of conscience the Yes side warned about during the campaign. From what I recall, your side originally called such warnings a lie before they went out and proved they weren't.

Troy said...

Thanks for the clarification post Pearl. This was well done.

Pearl said...

You're welcome, Troy!

Op-Ed, thank you for your apt response to Reckut's second, tangential, complaint.

ldslesson said...

It is amazing that there is so much attention to the Church's contributions. I really think all this attention actually produces more good will with the groups of people that the Church would be interested in anyway. People who hate the Church will hate it more and those who might have liked the Church will come to love it. Thanks for the free pub!

Euripides said...

What amazes me in this discussion is the premise that the Mormon church somehow changed the election through any kind of donations whatsoever. If it were only a matter of money, then the anti-Prop 8 activists should have won. They donated more money and spent more money.

The only reason I can see for the hatred expressed against the Mormons is because of anti-religious fervor and a well-documented anti-Mormon community. If the homosexual activists want to carve out a world based on tolerance and equality, they've got to allow the Mormons the same privilege.

Chairm said...

Andrew Sullivan went so far as to declare war on the Mormon Church. On Mormons who voted Yes. And on "christianists", of course.

And he is supposedly the conservative voice of reason amongst the leading voices of the pro-SSM campaign in this country.

SSMers have excused this kind of accusatory rhetoric. They "understand" the rage that moves the so-called fringe elements in protests and among the blacklisters. Their fringe is so mainstream within the pro-SSM movement that it might as well be a yellow streak down the road paved with not-so-good intentions.

Fannie said...

Chairm claims,

"SSMers have excused this kind of accusatory rhetoric. They 'understand' the rage that moves the so-called fringe elements in protests and among the blacklisters."

Why do you reject understanding? I firmly disagree that to understand the anger that other people feel is to excuse them acting that anger out. The more I read on both sides of this issue, the more it becomes clear that understanding is something that we need more of. Not less.

You are invited to read my blogpost regarding the topic. I do hope you will clarify your position, not in an anticipated future blog post, but either at my blog or here in the near future.

Chairm also said "Andrew Sullivan went so far as to declare war on the Mormon Church." I don't excuse declaring war on any religious organization. But you must be wearing some sort of blinders if you think that there is anything peaceful about the creation of a so-called "Digital Network ARMY" (emphasis added) that has declared open war on anything that is not traditional family values.

I know you think you are just defending yourselves, I think it sort of looks like the Bush Doctrine gone viral.

Liberty Belle said...

We all choose sides in the battle Fannie. Whether you admit your stance or not, the fact that you are an advocate, here on this blog, advocating your position means you're part of a movement.

Peace has nothing to do with it.

thepomegranateapple said...

Fannie,

You are taking words from the same metaphor group but completely different contexts.

Sullivan is declaring a desire to destroy a church. The DNA declares a desire to promote family values.

The tag line from the DNA's website is:

The Digital Network Army. Truthfilled. Respectful. Relentless. We Can Make The Difference. Join Us Today.

Its whole purpose is helping people be informed so they can make their own decisions.

I'm not sure about your comparison with the Bush Doctrine. Perhaps you could explain how that is relevant to a group of people promoting (and fighting for) discussion in a democratic society.

Fannie said...

Liberty Belle,

I agree that I am an advocate. I don't think that being an advocate and seeking peaceful resolutions are mutually exclusive goals.


pomegranate (or anyone else),

Maybe you can help me understand why a group of bloggers that so vigilantly looks for signs of inflammatory rhetoric in its opponents would themselves so readily adopt the rhetoric of war.

Again, I'm not excusing Sullivan's statements. It was not appropriate to "declare war" on the LDS Church.

Looking at things from your perspective, I can see how you believe that you are just promoting family values. Yet, if I may ask you to look at things from our perspective, can you understand that your digital army's purpose of promoting "[your] family values" necessarily means destroying MY family values?

Much of the rhetoric on this site, for instance, goes beyond merely opposing marriage equality and creates debate about what are essentially non-issues to much of our larger society. I wonder if you could advance your goal of opposing same-sex marriage without simultaneously vilifying gay people as much as is done here.

Chairm said...

Fannie, for someone who poses as a seeker of greater understanding, you sure do indulge in a whole pile of misrepresentations.

Good luck with that.

Pearl said...

Fannie,

We promote family values, the best family values, not "yours" or "mine."

op-ed said...

Fannie: The more I read on both sides of this issue, the more it becomes clear that understanding is something that we need more of. Not less.

Funny. I've never seen you "understand" the Fred Phelps types of the world. It seems there are limits to your "understanding." Anger and violence just happen to be within those limits.

You are invited to read my blogpost regarding the topic.

Your blogpost is almost entirely misunderstanding. For someone devoted to "understanding" "both sides of this issue" the other side seems to be beyond your limits of "understanding," as well. I expect you'll demonstrate your new found devotion to "understanding" by correcting your own post.

But you must be wearing some sort of blinders if you think that there is anything peaceful about the creation of a so-called "Digital Network ARMY"...

I'm surprised a paragon of "understanding" such as yourself doesn't "understand" that an army is not what makes one warlike. Many peaceful nations have armies. Declaring war is what makes one warlike.

Fannie said...

Chairm and op-ed,

You have each reacted with anger to my comments and/or blogpost. You claim that I have indulged in misrepresentations. I do not believe that I did, and neither of you has chosen to elaborate as to how I did so. Such a charge without any further elaboration or evidence is not an argument. It is an unsupported conclusion. Nonetheless, I can assure you both that if I misrepresented someone, it certainly wasn't intentional. It really is as simple as that.

That being said, I hope you forego your tendency to accuse me of Really Bad Things and this time choose to open your heart a little and take my words at face value.

Chairm, you are more than welcome to visit my post and clarify. If you want to ignore my invitation, that is certainly your choice. I do believe, though, that conversation can often lead to better understanding. Your blanket dismissal of my questions, comments, and post and your sarcastic "Good luck with that," however, does not.

See, I have a hunch that with all this talk about understanding, some people are using different definitions of the word! Op-ed, for instance, has suggested that I do not understand "the Fred Phelps types of the world." Yet, using the common definition of understanding (ie- to comprehend, or to have familiarity with), I do understand the arguments Phelps makes. I do not agree with his (mostly delusional) arguments and I do not agree with his actions based on those arguments, but I comprehend them. I wonder if Chairm and others here use a different definition of "understanding."

Could it be that this alleged "misrepresentation" is really some sort of misunderstanding and no one involved here has malicious intent?!


While I have appreciated Pearl's hospitality, I have to note Op-ed, that your comments to me are often rabid in their sarcasm and anger; I see that such is the case in your last comment to me. Because of this, I do not feel safe when you direct your comments to me or about me. You find something to mock and/or sarcastically snipe me for in nearly every comment I make.

I hesitate to even write this comment to you, because I know I'm just setting myself up for another attack. I came here genuinely seeking clarification from Chairm and I also asked other commenters to help me better understand something and yet you have mocked me as "a paragon of understanding." Again, I wonder if someone so quick to point out aggression in others believes that his own biting sarcasm is the okay kind of aggression. Does everyone else have a responsibility to end aggression except for op-ed?

I have written my comments here and my blogpost in good faith and with sincere intentions. While I am interested in conversation and debate with people of any political persuasion, I am not interested in subjecting myself to abuse. I see now that responding to you only reinforces your rude behavior. In the future, I will respond here only to those, such as Pearl, who engage in basic respect and civility. I hope one day that will include you.

op-ed said...

Fannie: You have each reacted with anger to my comments and/or blogpost.

Adding mind reading to your act isn't making it any more credible.

I can assure you both that if I misrepresented someone,...

You did.

...it certainly wasn't intentional.

Then you'll have no trouble going back and correcting yourself.

...your tendency to accuse me of Really Bad Things...

Speaking of misrepresentations.

...and take my words at face value.

I absolutely take your words at face value. That is why I am sure you will correct your misrepresentations now.

I do understand the arguments Phelps makes.

I never asked if you understand his arguments any more than you offered that you understand the "arguments" behind the violence directed at Prop 8 supporters. You said you understand them, the people motivated to violence. You have never said, and still haven't, that you understand Fred Phelps and his followers. It seems you are equivocating on what "understand" means and now refer to the kind of "understanding" that applies only to arguments.

I have to note Op-ed, that your comments to me are often rabid in their sarcasm and anger...

Rabid anger? There's another misrepresentation I'm sure you'll jump right on correcting.

I do not feel safe when you direct your comments to me or about me.

Safe? The chance you might feel bad after someone replies to your misrepresentations makes you feel un"safe?" Imagine if someone were organizing boycotts to get you fired. Or standing in your face screaming at you because you had donated $100 to a political cause. Or vandalizing your property or disrupting your meetings or sending anthrax to you through the mail. Or directing people to your address saying they would "understand" if others wanted to terrorize you. How would that make you feel? "Understand" better now?

On Lawn said...

Fannie,

I have to jump in here. Remember a conversation we had a long time ago about Watchmen on the Walls? It has some striking relevance to the discussion you are having now.

To set the table, I post on Opine a statement of non-aggression by a group called the "Watchmen on the Walls". I do this to "discuss how much Opine has in common, and not in common, with their statement." Sure enough we find disagreement and agreement.

Then comes Fannie and her counterpart Jane, who each produce comments like...

Jane: > Observe how Op-Ed and his tiny clan mastur[... I'm truncating but, yes, that is what she said] each other's bigotry and hatred, and feed off each other's rationalizations of their anti-gay stances:

As a side note, to them Watchmen are a hate group. They accuse them of fomenting violent reactions, and being accomplices in violence. I think the ability to see the shoe on the other foot here is pretty evident with the actions against prop 8 supporters. I continue with the comments from their page...

Again from Jane: > What exactly do you agree with if it is not for villifying gay people? Because you sure could've fooled me. And many others.

Jane :> [...]Opine Editorials are just pandering to an anti-family, anti-religious bias, on their mission to destory[sic] American Families, and using their "gay identities" as a means of that.

Yes. That is really how delusional they are.


Jane:> So which is it, Op-Ed? Would you like to see them kill more gay people? Is that your ultimate goal? That we will just go away? Everything you write certainly suggests that.

No, it doesn't. There isn't anything Op-Ed wrote that suggests that.

Fannie: > Actually, I honestly do wonder if any of the "Opiners" are part of the Watchmen hate group... or, maybe they just study their tactics and steal their lingo...

Who knows. Either way, it's creepy.


Fannie: > Thanks for providing yet another example of the dishonesty and mischaracterization associated with your hateful site.

At this point I noted a number of inaccuracies and contradictions in their report of the conversation. Some very glaring misunderstandings.

Continuing in that thread, there were only attempts to evade and no attempts to understand or correct these problems.

Fannie: > Jolly good try, fella. Just call a spade a spade and admit that Op-Ed's a lying creep.

Hell to the no if I'm gonna go to Opine and subject myself to their (metaphoricall, of course) gang-banging.


Gang-banging, only metaphorical of course.

Jane: > They just need to admit it already. They. hate. gay. people.


Fannie, in agreement: > Yes. How could their blog writings and their dedication to the anti-gay movement point to anything other than hate?

Jane: > On Lawn,
did you really just tell me to be kinder to others?
Hey everybody, look here! The King of Intolerance just told me to be nice.


Fannie: > Being banned from a blog [censorship] isn't a travesty, dear. So suck it up and be a big boy about it.

Well, that's just a scatter shot of their reactions. Not to bring up old arguments, to be sure, but when I see Fannie here saying something like...

I have written my comments here and my blogpost in good faith and with sincere intentions. While I am interested in conversation and debate with people of any political persuasion, I am not interested in subjecting myself to abuse.

I just have to show my chagrin. Certainly, Fannie is asking for better treatment in association with the actions against Prop 8 supporters than she gave Opine. I think being generally good people we are all ready to give some benefit of the doubt.

But then I continue to read Fannie's site and just have to think that she isn't interested in the same sense of civility. Nor did she at all reign in Jane's over the top comments. In fact, she contributed to them.

In asking for corrections, it appears Fannie is left holding a rather large bag. An old bag that she has not cared to dispose of. There have been many attempts to reach across to Fannie, to appeal to any civility and good nature and honesty she might have.

I'm glad to see she espouses these ideals here. Perhaps we can see more movement, additional movement, towards peace and understanding. Something real more than espousing platitudes?

I mean that sincerely, Fannie. Lets take this movement and work towards fixing these problems. Not continuing with over the top accusations like, "I do not feel safe when you direct your comments to me or about me" as in finding, "something to mock and/or sarcastically snipe me for in nearly every comment I make."

Op-Ed is very good at threading hairline fractures in logic with an elephant. I've not seen anything to relate to your safety in his comments. How you feel, I can only sympathize, and not argue. However, the shoe is on the other foot. What example do you want to give now?

Fannie said...

Op-ed,

I fully realize that you like to answer in one-liners, but given the fact that you have now accused me multiple times of misrepresentations without ever actually explaining how I did so, perhaps you can string some sentences together to further clarify. If you could manage to be respectful, you would even be welcome to do so at my blog. As it stands, all you've done thus far is point your finger and state unsupported conclusions. Is that really the best case you can make? State a conclusion over and over again and hope enough people believe it?

Also, given the fact that I invited Chairm to my blog to clarify any misrepresentations, it is not at all clear why you would think that it is said accusations that make me feel unsafe as opposed to your biting sarcasm. I came here, as I said, completely sincere in seeking understanding and you mocked me as a "paragon of understanding." It is that sort of mean ridicule that makes me feel unsafe.

Aggression can be verbal and you are often verbally aggressive towards those on the "other side." You have recited some alleged wrongdoings by some gay activists and to answer your question, I do understand feeling physically unsafe. As a gay person, it is something one learns to live with. But anyway, I notice you deflected my question. You were rude to me a couple of comments ago. Does everyone else have a responsibility to end aggression except for you, op-ed?

If so, why are you off the hook?


On Lawn, I had a feeling you would turn up here. You claim:

"I've not seen anything to relate to your safety in his comments."

Of course you don't. Replacing yourself with me, and seeing things how perhaps I would see them, would require you to engage in compassion. And that is something we have yet to see from you. Do you condone, then, op-ed's sarcasm? Is it the fun kind of sarcasm instead of the mean kind?

Sadly, the rest of your comment is, as I have come to expect from you, a mish-mash of years-old quotes of mine taken out of context with missing links. Your interpretations of reality always give me better insight into your perspective on things.


If it may please the court, I am going to excuse myself from this particular character trial. Like I said, if Chairm and op-ed can behave themselves, they are certainly welcome to clarify any misrepresentations at my blog. But as it stands, it's an invitation they have both thus far chosen to ignore.

Chairm said...

To misrepresent, or to give a false or erroneous representation, or to represent in an inadequate manner, does not require "malicious intent".

However, you've been corrected on many, if not all, of the things you have misrepresented in your comments here and in the blogpost to which you've linked.

Your repeating your errors does not demand repeated correction.

However, it does something else.

You, not us, now raise your own intent to the surface as a significant factor in your presentation (or rather your re-presentation), not of my views but of your own mistaken view of my views.

You've short-sheeted yourself.

The blanket assurance of sincerity and civility does not match the length of your record of repeatedly misrepresenting what has already been corrected.

* * *

Case in point: I said your request is trivial. You reported I said something else.

Your inability to accurately read the words of others -- whether it be a court opinion or a comment at a blogsite -- prevents your reaching mutual understanding.

I know firsthand that repeated correction of your mistakes has not led to greater understanding on your part.

Convince people, and not just myself mind, that you have turned the corner and that you seek to understand rather than to accuse.

I did not say, persuade, but convince, Fannie, which, as a lawyer on the internet you should note as an important distinction.

You offered your stated intent. Increase the accuracy of your representations of others and their views. Do that and your intent stops being an issue and the content of your words come to the forefront.

* * *

My apologies, Pearl, if this discussion has gotten too far off-topic and if this has been an unwanted diversion. I've no objection to stepping-off at your request.

Pearl said...

Hello all!

I have nothing against this conversation. Carry on.

P.S. Fannie, please accept this well-meaning advice. Beware of attaching "voices" to typed commentary. I have been accused of sarcasm on occasion where none was utilized. I realized afterward that different people will interpret what I write differently by attaching a "tone" or a "voice" to it that I did not intend. This is a HUGE drawback to online discussion as non-verbal communication makes up about 95% of all our communication and we can't see each other to verify the tones we apply based on our own prejudices.

I pray that we can all arrive at mutual understanding and tolerance someday - even while that may not include acceptance.

Fannie said...

Chairm said:

"you've been corrected on many, if not all, of the things you have misrepresented in your comments here and in the blogpost to which you've linked."

Really? I must have missed that conversation here! Can someone please point to where I've "been corrected" here regarding my blogpost? And no, claiming over and over again that I've misrepresented (tm) someone doesn't count.

Furthermore, it is unfortunate that whenever I show up you take to questioning my competence and the law degree that I worked very hard for. But given the fact that I do not believe you to be an adequate judge of character or competence, I always take your ignorant "critique" with the grain of salt it deserves. The thing is, any fool with access to the internet can start a blog and it doesn't take a particularly big man to go around questioning people's credentials.

If anything, it does give me insight into your own insecurities. As usual, your perspective on reality is always insightful. It shows me what I can and cannot count on with respect to having any sort of substantive conversation with you. If you took this alleged misrepresentation seriously, you would have already ventured to my blog and given me a point-by-point rundown of all the various ways you've supposedly been misrepresented. Thus far, the only "corrections" you've given are those figments in your imagination dancing in your head.

Chairm also said:

"My apologies, Pearl, if this discussion has gotten too far off-topic and if this has been an unwanted diversion. I've no objection to stepping-off at your request."

Of course he doesn't. It's not his character on trial. Things are always "off-topic" and diversionary when its other people who are being harassed. (See, eg, lack of compassion).


Pearl,

Thank you for the advice. I hope all parties here will take heed of it.

However, I do believe that op-ed was actually being sarcastic when he called me a "paragon of understanding." Do you believe, given the context of his post that he truly does believe me to be a paragon of understanding?

If op-ed was not being sarcastic with that statement, I hope he will correct any misrepresentation regarding the matter.

Pearl said...

Fannie, can I ask why you keep encouraging people to continue conversations on your blog rather than here?

The Pomegranate Apple said...

I was wondering the same thing. It seems the conversation would be most relevant here.

Fannie said...

Pearl,

I have encouraged Chairm to clarify how I have "misrepresented" him at my blog because that is where this alleged misrepresentation occurred. Makes sense.

Furthermore, I have come to expect that that when I deal with one Opiner, the others are certain to follow. In dealing with these folks, I am often outnumbered such that I cannot devote as much time as I would like in (or care to) addressing their comments. My time is limited, and I find that at "marriage defense" blogs, when they show up I must often spend the bulk of the time defending my character as opposed to having some sort of substantive discussion.

This time the running theme is: Fannie Misrepresented People And She Won't Correct Herself But We're Not Going To Ever Say How She Misrepresented People (And Oh Yeah Look at What She and Jane Said About Us In the Past).

Over at my blog, I am not so sure that Chairm would have the courage to pretty much say I don't know how to read and that I'm a "lawyer on the internet" (as though I have lied about my occupation) in front of my readership, my friends, and my colleagues the way he likes to do in front of his own friends. Or, if he did, such a personal attack would at least be recognized as such. Here, however, I doubt that anyone sees anything wrong with his rudeness.

At my blog, op-ed's sarcastic "paragon of understanding" comment would likely be recognized by my readership as sarcasm where here I have been encouraged to beware of attaching motives to people's words.

On Lawn, well, there's a lot of unfortunate history there. Let me just say that I do find it strange that he has kept track of an internet conversation, including ones that he has not himself participated in, from over a year ago and is just now bringing it up, perhaps as some sort of "evidence" that I'm a Bad Person.

This thread has been an exercise is exactly what I was talking about at my blog. I see many of you blind to the acts of aggression of those on your own side.

I don't feel safe here, Pearl. You have been respectful. Unfortunately, others have not. I have engaged with many "marriage defenders" over the years and none of them have been as hostile, pointless, and as large a waste of time as with op-ed, Chairm, and On Lawn.

I know many others who would say the same.

In anything other than an self-congratulatory echo chamber, that's a problem.

Chairm said...

We can agree that "any fool with access to the internet can start a blog".

But we are not talking about just any fool, Fannie.

One of the distinguishing skills, or abilities, of a reasonablely competent blogger is to accurately read and represent what others have said. It is merely the use of common sense in establishing trust and credibility.

It is a skill that is easy to learn and use. Highly contentious issues can become clouded with emotions and hyper-personalizations. So even reliable bloggers can make mistakes and misread.

Over time this is one of the ways that the contentious areas of the blogosphere sort out the fools from everyone else. Corrections are usually welcomed even if only grudgingly.

* * *

You have misread what I have said here, in this discussion. Maybe it was just a mistake on your part and not a deliberate effort to mislead. I rather think the former, since the latter would be self-defeating. [See footnote]

1. I have not said that your misrepresentations of my views, which you have published here and in your linked blogpost, have been corrected here, in this discussion.

But they have been corrected nonetheless, even if you now wish to breath new life into them here, in this discussion.

2. I have not questioned your law degree nor your credentials here, in this discussion.

You have not accurately represented the words of others. This has become a consistent pattern. It is a hindrance to mutual understanding. Something you said you sought.

Whether or not you possess a law degree does not eraise the pattern that is on the record. Some readers here may not be familiar with your record. But you are showing this pattern even now.

In my comment I suggested that you might appreciate the distinction between persuade and convince. You immediately misread that as questioning your credentials. So I guess you don't.

3. I have not put your character on trial here, in this discussion.

You stated your intent. You placed down a marker. That's good. But it now stands in contrast to your accusatory rhetoric.

And that outburst was based on an example of your dificulty with accurately reading what others have said.

To help readers who may have been led astray by your remarks, I've clarified and corrected.

If -- and I stress if -- you'd continue to misrepresent what I've said, here in this discussion, then, your stated intent would have set the bar too high for your purpose here.

In effect, you'd accuse yourself with your own words.

Readers can judge for themselves and don't need either of us to do more than merely stick with the substance, the content, of each other's remarks.

* * *

When teaching the basics of law in high school civics, it is very common (a cliche actually) for the teacher to go to the chalkboard on the first day and write: ASSUME.

And then, pointing to groups of letters, explain, "To assume can make an ass out of you and me."

Most kids get the message, but maybe as adults with access to the internet they will forget it and start a blog and misread due to mistaken assumptions.

We all can make mistakes. We might need to relearn the old lesson, from time to time.

On the other hand, once a misrepresentation has been corrected, repeating it can no longer be mistaken for a mistake.

* * *

Footnote: I mean, why would you bother to mislead yourself? There is a plausible answer, but I'd rather not attribute that motive to you. On the surface, with only pixels to communicate, you seem smarter than that and you at least you appear to be trying to make mutual understanding a priority. If your remarks end-up strongly suggest otherwise, then, I'll name the motive, if you haven't already by then.]

op-ed said...

Fannie: As it stands, all you've done thus far is point your finger and state unsupported conclusions.

Oh, so when I speak of my intentions and my emotions my statements are "unsupported conclusions" in comparison with your mind reading.

Fannie: I came here, as I said, completely sincere in seeking understanding and you mocked me as a "paragon of understanding."

Mocked you? I simply took you at your word. That is what you asked me to do.

Fannie: You have recited some alleged wrongdoings by some gay activists... [emphasis added]

Alleged wrongdoings? Alleged? You have no problem reading my mind, deducing my emotions, and stating categorically my intentions and what I secretly believe about you, but you're not sure anything the "gay activists" did in these situations actually happened or was actually wrong. Wow.

Fannie (to On Lawn): Sadly, the rest of your comment is, as I have come to expect from you, a mish-mash of years-old quotes of mine taken out of context with missing links.

Missing links? I count three different links. (Just so you don't miss it, that was another correction.)

Chairm: you've been corrected

Fannie: Really? I must have missed that conversation here!

Yes, you did. No worries. The comment thread is all still "here" for you.

Fannie: If op-ed was not being sarcastic with that statement, I hope he will correct any misrepresentation regarding the matter.

One would hope you would take responsibility for that. Besides, if I say anything about my intentions mine would be "unsupported conclusions."

Chairm said...

If Fannie is fearful of being outnumbered at a pro-marriage blog, then, I commend her for showing up at all. But she need not be afraid of public discourse.

In fact, if she would rather have a substantive discussion, no one appears to be holding her back. Perhaps with one exception: herself.

* * *

For the record, I have indeed been at Fannie's blog and discussed her pattern of misrepresenting.

The profanity and namecalling on her blog -- in her posts and in the comment sections -- is a disincentive, at least for me. I get the impression, perhaps mistakenly, that's the point they wish to impart.

I know that she and her commenters can do better because they've also appeared at Opine, and elsewhere, where I have discussed the marriage issue.

As for her reading that she is "a lawyer on the internet" to mean that she is "not a lawyer on the internet", well, could I confirm or deny? Face value has become inoperative.

This pattern of misreading and misrepresentation shows up on small and large matters.

Fannie, I've not intended that to be a personal attack. We've covered that ground before, too. I do not care to knock that chip off your shoulder. If you care about mutual understanding, you'd have gotten that by now.

Fannie said...

Chairm,

The thing about you is that you label disagreements as "misrepresentations." You have an unfortunate history of knee-jerk history of doing that with me. I honestly think you are too ignorant and too fixated on this "identity" of mine that you've invented in your own head to even realize what you are doing.

I do not fear being outnumbered. It's very clear that the antics of the Opine gang do not make me feel safe in comment threads. If you had an ounce of compassion you would recognize that and see it as a problem. Unlike you, I do actually see it as a problem that you due to name-calling there is a disincentive for you to comment. Had you acknowledged your feelings to me, I would have made an effort to make it a safe space for you. It really is as simple as saying "I won't comment here if people call me names."

YOU won't comment at my blog because of "profanity and namecalling," but you should realize that I stopped commenting at your blog because of the name-calling you all condone and engage in. That is what makes me feel unsafe. I don't keep lists of past conversations, but from you and your friends, I have been called a fake lawyer, a a sock puppeter, a chronic liar, a stalker and other cruel false names. I have no doubt that you don't see this as a problem because you think it's "true." Well, none of these things are true about me.

Yet because you are fixated on this patronizing Fannie Can Do Better tone, I rarely see you, op-ed, and On Lawn "do better" in any conversation with a, as you call us, "SSMer." Like I said, in anything other than an echo chamber, that's a problem.

So, well, "good luck with that."

Fannie said...

So, to clarify then, even though op-ed, Chairm, and On Lawn have pointed out numerous alleged misrepresentations and Chairm believes me to lack reading comprehension, op-ed also sincerely believes me to be a paragon (the perfect embodiment of) understanding? He was not, actually, being sarcastic?

And to clarify, even though op-ed in the past has accused me of being a fake lawyer who only plays one on the internet, when Chairm called me a "lawyer on the internet" he was being sincere?

Whew, these contradictions are getting difficult to keep track of!

I wonder sometimes if it gets difficult never conceding even the smallest of issues.

I do have my own serious doubts about the logical ability, reading comprehension, and competence of op-ed, Chairm, and On Lawn themselves. That they continually bring these issues up with others speaks to their own possible insecurities. I think we all would do better to stick to substance without throwing in little jabs like that.

If we could all agree on that, conversation would be much more worthwhile. As it stands, I have no wasted too many minutes of my life here.

Fannie said...

op-ed:

"Alleged wrongdoings? Alleged? You have no problem reading my mind, deducing my emotions, and stating categorically my intentions and what I secretly believe about you, but you're not sure anything the "gay activists" did in these situations actually happened or was actually wrong. Wow."

Actually, I am not aware that LGBT activists have engaged in at least one of the wrongdoings you mentioned, such as sending "anthrax through the mail." That's why I used "alleged."

Can you please direct me to a news article stating that a Prop-8 opposer has been found guilty of (or at least was arrested for) doing so. If you will recall, somebody did send white powder (not anthrax) to a Mormon temple and the FBI called any link to Prop 8 "a stretch." I'm not saying that it's okay for someone to have sent the powder, but many on your side have overlooked the fact that no one has even been arrested in the case, but that hasn't stopped many "marriage defenders" from accusing The Angry Gay Mob (tm) of doing this.

Anyone can answer this, but do you assume that, in general, LGBT advocates are guilty until proven innocent?

As a particularly patronizing blogger once told me, when one assumes, one makes an ass out of you and me. Especially when accusing people or groups of people of crimes, I do tend to use "alleged." Many journalists do, not only to protect themselves from defamation lawsuits, but because we should never call someone a criminal until he or she has been found guilty by a court of law.

Yep, it's really that simple. In another thread, if you will recall, I already stated that I know some LGBT activists have engaged in unacceptable behavior and that I am disappointed by that.

I will go ahead and give you the benefit of the doubt and think that you forgot about that conversation.

On Lawn said...

Fannie,

I think a review of the misrepresentations shows they are more than disagreements, they are downright wrong. Mistaken, perhaps. Unintentional maybe. But they are worthy of correction.

One example. A misrepresentation you engage in is saying we are against marriage equality. That is casting a disagreement as to what marriage equality is as simply wrong.

We see equal gender representation in marriage as equality, and the attempt create gender segregated marriage as equivalent only de-values the equality in marriage. Its like an all white school trying to be "equal" in being recognized as a public school with funding, etc...

Thats an analogy pointing to the ideological issues with your claim on "marriage equality" but there are specific examples also.

Gender segregated marriages will often reduce the other gender to simply a resource for procreation. Paying them to abandon as much as have children for them to be "equal" to heterosexual couples. A growing market for these kinds of children, justified solely by the prejudice against another gender, is creating fertilization clinics which specialize on gays and lesbians.

Children left with out a father or mother are taught, as in the case of Rosie O'Donnell, that the parent's prejudice towards one gender is of greater concern than their need for investment and understanding from both genders.

Children are torn away from their real parents as people like McGreevey, divorce in the name of their sexual bias, and even sue the court to remove the other parent to protect the sanctity of their discrimination against the other parent's gender. In other words, if they don't like it and show any disappointment, the court should simply remove the child from the other parent. He's an adulterer, but he asks not only for exemption from the courts dismay for his infidelity, but the added privilege of court protection from the spouse's disapproval.

Those special biases and privileges, not equality. So in our eyes you are against marriage equality, but it is sufficient for us to simply say we disagree what is equality with you.

To you, its equal if you get what you want. To us its equal if both genders support each other in their roles as creators of actual individuals, who need care and attention from both genders in the humanitarian cause of integration, understanding, and mutual respect.

On another note, Op-Ed noted a number of problems in the anti-8 campaign....

Safe? The chance you might feel bad after someone replies to your misrepresentations makes you feel un"safe?" Imagine if someone were organizing boycotts to get you fired. Or standing in your face screaming at you because you had donated $100 to a political cause. Or vandalizing your property or disrupting your meetings or sending anthrax to you through the mail. Or directing people to your address saying they would "understand" if others wanted to terrorize you. How would that make you feel? "Understand" better now?

I'd add stealing signs (which people were arrested for, and admitted to doing it in the name of trying to defeat that specific proposition) to the list. Stealing signs, much like the censorship of banning people from your blog for, like Ms McGreevey, not having the same bias towards homosexuality that you demand.

The mask is off, you are claiming to be a victim of sarcasm. Sarcasm makes you feel unsafe. That is a double layered idiom, because you need to show Op-Ed as being sarcastic and then show how that makes you feel unsafe.

If sarcasm makes one feel unsafe, then why do you engage in it so often on your site? Need I provide more examples?

The shoe is on the other foot again Fannie, and the verdict is it fits. If you treated others with half the respect you demand from others, you might find them having a more favorable opinion of you. Favorable opinions are not made, they are earned. To claim it is somehow unsafe for people to have an unfavorable opinion of you, and unwarranted to substantiate it with real examples as I have done here, has the sound of an authoritarian trying to force people to like them. Not a victim trying to spread mutual understanding and espousing the ideals of democratic discourse.

op-ed said...

Fannie: Actually, I am not aware that LGBT activists have engaged in at least one of the wrongdoings you mentioned...

I didn't specify anything about the perpetrators. You're the one who labeled them "gay activists," what you now are labeling "LGBT activists."

...somebody did send white powder (not anthrax) to a Mormon temple...

Sure. It was all just good, harmless fun. That's like saying it wasn't really an armed robbery because the gun was loaded with blanks.

...and the FBI called any link to Prop 8 "a stretch."

Really, and what did they say about believing in your mind reading abilities? I'm sure they'd find those much more believable than that there is some Prop. 8 link in a "white powder" attack aimed at three religious institutions that supported Prop. 8, two Mormon temples and the Knights of Columbus, and didn't include any anti-8 or even neutral-8 institutions.

...do you assume that, in general, LGBT advocates are guilty until proven innocent?

No, but I would assume that doubt should be commensurate with evidence, not with what side of the debate one is on. Where you have asserted my intentions, thoughts, and emotions without doubt as to your ability to read them, you do express doubt about a link to Prop. 8 in the above "white powder" attacks. That is the discrepancy that is so telling.

I wonder sometimes if it gets difficult never conceding even the smallest of issues.

You tell me. I still haven't seen you correct any misrepresentation, for example the misrepresentation that I inserted "gay activists" into the debate and then found them "guilty until proven innocent."

The thing about you [Chairm] is that you label disagreements as "misrepresentations."

As I have never seen Chairm refer to anything but your misrepresentations as misrepresentations, I'd say your statement qualifies as yet another misrepresentation. Do you disagree? ;)

Chairm said...

Fannie, in aid of mutual understanding I listed three examples drawn from this discussion alone.

I've thrice asked you to acknowledge what I actually said and to put aside what you thought I had said.

I explicitly conceded that malicious intent was not a necessary motive. I assumed that you had made a mistake. I offered specific clarification and correction. I deferred to the rule of civil discourse that once corrected repeating misrepresentations could not be mistaken for a mistake.

Credentials or not, lesbian or not, compassionate or not, there is a discrepancy between what I said and what you re-presented.

Let's assume that your sincere intent is to encourage mutual understanding.

Let's assume that you are compassionate and that your character is above reproach.

Let's assume that for you to engage in substantive disagreement you want to feel safe.

Let's assume that your being a lesbian is of no significance to the substantive disagreement on marriage.

Let's assume that you have a law degree.

Let's assume that you object to sarcasm, personal attacks, and that you use caution before attaching ill-motive to people's words.

Let's assume that unnacceptable behavior is dissappointing to you.

Now, having removed the underbrush, readers can assess whether or not you'd make an arse out of you and me.

thepomegranateapple said...

I have engaged with many "marriage defenders" over the years and none of them have been as hostile, pointless, and as large a waste of time as with op-ed, Chairm, and On Lawn.

or as smart?

why do you keep entertaining their comments? on other people's blogs?

i'v always found their comments and posts to be interesting and substantive. (also, kind, respectful, and appropriately humorous).