Here’s a bit of a surprise. In California, our Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. Opponents quickly arranged a ballot proposition to reverse the ban. Support for the ban has been slipping, from almost 50% earlier in the year, to 42% in July, and now to 38% in the latest Field Poll.

Mark Schoofs reports in today’s Journal that the Mormons are large backers of the marriage ban proposition:

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have contributed more than a third of the approximately $15.4 million raised since June 1 to support Proposition 8. The ballot initiative, if passed, would reverse the current right of same-sex couples to marry.

It’s clear from the article that church officials are directing the flock to donate. I hope that the IRS investigates them.

So, why do the Mormons care about gay marriage? It’s a funny question, in that one of the principal conservative arguments against gay marriage is that it will open the door to polygamy or marriage with young children. But Mormons care more about purity of essence, it appears:

Same-sex marriage hits at the heart of Mormon theology, said Terryl Givens, a professor of literature and religion at the University of Richmond. According to scholars and documents on the Mormon Church’s official Web site, couples married in a Mormon temple remain wedded for eternity and can give birth to spirit children in the afterlife. Most importantly, Mormons must be married to achieve “exaltation,” the ultimate state in the afterlife. Mormons also believe they retain their gender in the afterlife.

“This all explains the Mormon difficulty with homosexuality,” said Mr. Givens. In a theology based on eternal gender, marriage and exaltation, “same-sex attraction doesn’t find a place.”

Comments

  1. #1 I am so wise
    September 20, 2008

    Wow, eternal child support payments on spirtual children are not cool.

    Let’s be real though, nobody is going to investigate if people do not complain. Just as I am too busy to worry about the sex lives of others, I am too busy to find out who I bitch too, so, my question is, to whmo do I complain?

  2. #2 Cicero
    September 20, 2008

    Why would the IRS investigate them?

    Apparently you are unaware of the law.

    Religious institutions are not precluded from raising money for a political cause relating to a ballot issue. They are only forbidden from raising money for political candidates.

    The reasoning is that religious people have just as much right to political opinions as any other assembly of Americans.

    While raising money for an actual candidate creates conflicts of interest due to the tax exemption of Churches, taking a position on a specific issue irregardless of specific candidates does not raise conflict of interest issues. Therefor the government has no reasonable basis to restrict the free speech rights of religions on these matters.

  3. #3 Patrick O
    September 20, 2008

    Also here in Arizona the Mormons are tring to amend our State Constitution – in fact almost all of the money fueling the effort is from the Mormon stronghold of Mesa.

    Evidently no one is bothered by the spectacle of a cult trying to make it’s doctrine part of our State Constitution.

  4. #4 Chris H.
    September 20, 2008

    @Cicero, it’s actually more complex than either of us has presented the issue. The issue is not whether religious people have first amendment rights, it’s that taxpayers are subsidizing their activities as an organized, tax-exempt church. Therefore, the law can set limits on their expressive activities surrounding political advocacy.

    Lobbying includes both advocacy for a specific candidate, party, or specific legislative proposal. 501(c)(3)s may engage in some lobbying, but the type that is described in the article is grassroots lobbying, which is the most restricted under the code. So, they can do it, but they have to specify how much of their budget is devoted to the effort, and there is a specific cap on how much can be spent.

  5. #5 Lemon Curry
    September 20, 2008

    The Mormons have themselves confused.

    Suppose a Mormon mother of seven has a complete hysterectomy on Earth, and her husband’s testicular cancer forces castration. Will they be barren in the afterlife?

    Of course not. They will be spirits, holy and pure, free of carnality, and thus able to join in spirit to procreate spirit children. They won’t be bumping uglies, that’s only for secular bodies in the profane world of Earth.

    Now that I’ve solved their problem for them, they can put all that money into oppressing renegade mormons.

  6. #6 Monado in Toronto
    September 20, 2008

    I’m confused. A ban on gay marriage? A ban on legalizing gay marriage?

  7. #7 Patrick ONeill
    September 20, 2008

    Actually even though these so called “Christians” are making a lot of noise, most of the money being raised to pass this amendment is from the Mormons.

    Ironic that the Mormon church is trying so hard to amend our state constitution and no one even blinks.

    http://dailymendacity.blogspot.com/2008/09/mormons-want-to-write-your-constitution.html

  8. #8 RunningUSA
    September 20, 2008

    $15 million spent fighting gay rights with all the people in the US dying of hunger and illnesses. What a shame but I guess they can justify it when they get to heaven.

  9. #9 PassatDoc
    September 21, 2008

    Prof. Givens’ thumbnail sketch of Mormon theology left out a few details. “Exhaltation” means becoming god of your own planet. This is one of the major beliefs of Mormonism that drives Evangelical Protestants (I am neither Mormon nor Evangelical) up the wall, since there is an implication that multiple Gods exist.

    They believe that the God of Earth and his wife (Heavenly Father and his wife) generate billions of spirit babies that then are born by mortal humans on this planet. That’s where they believe the spirit of everyone born on Earth originates.

    Only those couples married in a Mormon temple can hope to experience exhaltation to godhood. Prior to the LDS ban on polygamy, their theology taught that only those engaged in PLURAL marriage (then known as “celestial marriage”) could advance to godhood. After 1890, the plural requirement was dropped and monogamous temple marriage began to be referred to as “eternal marriage”.

    Prior to 1890, a monogamous couple married in a temple was considered less likely to achieve exhaltation than a man with two or more wives married to him in a temple. The scriptural passage which authorized polygamy, Doctrine & Covenants 132, is still a part of canonized Mormon scripture.

    Mormons still practice a very limited form of polygamy in that a Mormon man who is widowed or divorced may marry subsequent times in a temple, and all such women are considered sealed to him for time and eternity unless the women involved had been previously sealed to a different man in a temple (i.e. widows or divorcees who had a previous temple marriage).

    Of the current top 15 leaders of the LDS Church (First Presidency plus Quorum of the Twelve), three were widowed and then married middle-age women who themselves had no previous marriages. According to Mormon theology, these men will have BOTH women as wives in the afterlife for all eternity, and if they are particularly worthy, they and the wives will advance to godhood with their own planet to populate. Actually, there is a seldom-used Mormon ceremony called “second annointing”, usually administered only to church leaders but never to regular rank and file members, in which their “calling and election are made sure”…which means their exhaltation is assured.

    As you can readily understand, explaining this level of theology in mass media interviews is not something that Mormons do very often!

    I live in California and there is one aspect of the constitutional amendment process that I have never understood. Evidently a constitutional amendment can be approved by simple majority (51%) vote, but to remove an amendment requires a 2/3 vote. The required vote to amend and unamend should be the same, either 51% or 2/3 for both processes. For this reason, I rarely if ever vote yes on any proposed CA constitutional amendment, regardless of its merits or lack thereof, because of the inequity of the vote requirements.

  10. #10 STEVE LEONG
    September 21, 2008

    The Mormons, as well as a lot of the larger churches are pouring obscene amounts of money into stopping two people born differently from themselves from sharing the same rights. WHAT WOULD JESUS SAY? WHAT WOULD GOD SAY? After all, God did create Gays for a reason that may go beyond the reasoning of all these “Speaking for God” Christian groups.

    The large amounts of money could be used to help so many worldly problems – hunger, poverty, illness, homelessness, etc. WHY CAN’T WE WORK TOGETHER, BOTH GAYS AND STRAIGHTS, RESPECT EACH OTHER, AND HEAL THE WORLD? Wouldn’t this be what Jesus would prefer? Why can’t the churches understand this? I will continue to pray, hope more will join me.

    Steve Leong
    Hawaii

  11. #11 The Chemist
    September 21, 2008

    Whatever you may think of Mormons and their beliefs, the IRS thing bothers me. I’m all for giving gays equal rights, for the record.

    But, whether you like it or not, any religious or secular group should feel perfectly free to pursue an issues-based political agenda tax-free. Isn’t that what the ACLU does anyway? Even if the legal terminology used specifies the tax exemption as religious, how is it fundamentally different from 501c3s?

    I’m confused by your statement more than anything.

  12. #12 Chris H.
    September 21, 2008

    @The Chemist,

    Many advocacy groups operate both a 501c3 and 501c4. Their non-lobbying issue advocacy can be done under the c3, and donations are tax exempt. Their lobbying activities are done under the c4, and donations are not tax exempt.

    ACLU probably operates both, but I’m not sure. The point is that one shouldn’t be able to ride off the taxpayers for political purposes.

  13. #13 LanceR
    September 22, 2008

    Also, regular non-profit organizations only avoid taxes on donations. Their employees still pay income taxes, and property owned by the organization is (usually) taxed. Churches, OTOH, are usually NOT taxed on property, and certain employees are NOT taxed on their income. (Ministerial wages, for example.)

    These benefits, along with a church’s authority role, are what make them distinct from an ordinary non-profit. It is actually very simple to avoid this sort of problem, simply by “renting” the church facilities to other non-profit groups, to keep the entities technically separate. Most mainline churches do this, and have lawyers to make certain they stay on the safe side of the law. Fundamentalist and evangelical churches, for whatever reason, tend to stray across that line more frequently, and scream persecution when they get caught.

  14. #14 Natalie
    September 22, 2008

    The ACLU is actually two separate organizations. They are both non-profits, but the ACLU that argues free speech legal cases is tax exempt, while the ACLU that lobbies on behalf of specific legislation is not tax exempt.

  15. #15 Jared
    September 22, 2008

    Vote NO on Prop 8.
    Tell a friend. Speak out online. Donate.
    http://tinyurl.com/6ddtf5
    http://tinyurl.com/5dydop

  16. #16 The Chemist
    September 22, 2008

    Thanks, that clears things up considerably.

  17. #17 Jensiddoway
    September 23, 2008

    wow…I AM LDS or “mormon” as you may call us because we read the book of mormon. This whole thread has no idea what the church is about at all. I absolutly disagree with gay marriage and would vote against it if it ever came to my state. It goes against everything we believe in and …no I don’t think that God “created gays” they CHOOSE to live that way and its wrong. God didn’t create Adam and Adam he created Adam and Eve. Nothing anyone could ever say would make me see things differently

  18. #18 Jensiddoway
    September 23, 2008

    AND WE’RE NOT A CULT!!!

  19. #19 mishi
    September 23, 2008

    While all organized religions possess their shares of horse puckey, the LDS – because it purports to historical accuracy on points that can be scientifically determined – is more obviously hooey than most. Scriptures translated from golden plates written in an otherwise unknown language, through the use of magic translating crystals, all of which are later conveniently spirited away without a trace by the same angel who delivered them? Check. The Garden of Eden in Missouri? Check. An apocalyptic battle between two ancient American civilizations for which there’s not a trace of historical corroboration? Check. “The Book of Abraham” translated in a trance from an Egyptian papyrus which later, thanks to the Rosetta Stone, turns out to be a standard funerary scroll having nothing to do with Abraham? Check.

    Listen, if a couple of hundred people believed this nonsense, we’d all agree it was a stupid cult. Because it’s bought by millions, it’s now a Major Religion. I really don’t care what people worship; they can prostrate themselves before the Great Oz for all I care. But when a bunch of guys wearing magic underwear insist that their nonsensical belief system should supersede my civil rights, I get a bit stroppy. Sorry, but there it is.

  20. #20 mishi
    September 23, 2008

    Jensiddoway “God didn’t create Adam and Adam he created Adam and Eve. Nothing anyone could ever say would make me see things differently.”

    Of course not. Rationality plays no part, no part at all, in your faith. Therefore, it’s impossible to have a rational discussion with you about this, or even any discussion at all. But – I hate to break it to you – there was no “Adam” and “Eve” living in the suburbs of Independence, Missouri, except in your science-fiction scriptures. And nothing you could ever say would make me see things differently.

    Now go baptize the dead, like a good little Mo-bot, and keep your not-a-cult out of my bedroom.

  21. #21 ponderingfool
    September 23, 2008

    What I don’t get is why would the LDS church truly matter? They should have faith in their mission. Allowing same sex marriages by the state does not mean churches have to officiate. They get to discriminate as they can do so now. LDS doesn’t even seal all marriages between church members. To enter the temples you need to pre-approved. Sealing happens in the Temple. If the LDS members and leaders had faith, they would believe in their missionary work instead of trying to change laws.

  22. #22 Rogue Epidemiologist
    September 23, 2008

    Jensiddoway, yeah, you have fun with that. The rest of us in California will disregard the piles of money your tithes are putting into this campaign and politely grant gays the right to marry.

    Wouldn’t you feel better if your tithe money was doing something like funding charity projects to help the needy?

    fine, fine, if you want to spread the word on fighting gay marriage, then just visit my link to stop those oh-so-awful homosexuals.

  23. #23 Reality
    September 24, 2008

    So about the tax exempt thing I have a question: Are the Mormon temples exempt from paing property taxes? Only those deemd worthy can freely roam/enter the temple with a permission slip from their bishop. And if you are just John Q wanting to go visit the temple you can’t.

  24. #24 Dachande
    September 24, 2008

    Many religious persons are motivated by doctrine.

    Some Mormons are, but not as many as Evangelicals.

    For those of you who tend to say, “Here’s what Mormons believe, how can they believe this crap?!”

    Try getting it right and not ballooning my faith into ignorant talking points.

    As for the name calling of “cult.” Here’s an interesting website for you Mormons and not alike, make sure you read the entire thing before you try and use it as fodder or you’ll look like the idiot who I got it from.

    http://mormoncult.org/

    Not all early Mormons practiced polygyny, since we want to be specific, let’s use the correct word. Polygamy is unisex.

    Some early Mormon leaders became quite jaded that they were not allowed to practice it because they were lusting after it for sexual reasons, Sydney Rigdon initially comes to mind.

    As for the, “god of your own planet” crap, that is not canon. The principles for such talking points are there, considering we do not believe in the Trinity and that God wants us to enjoy His joy. But the condescending descriptions that some people think they have nailed down just isn’t there.

    I thought The God Makers was one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. It’s full of some very outlandish lies, which people still try to use as talking points, pathetic really.

    As for the Gay Marriage initiative…

    I’m no lawyer, but I hear people cry IRS, IRS, IRS quite often, yet the IRS has done nothing. One could safely assume that since there have yet to be any successful lawsuits against the LDS church for encouraging its members to participate, not donating money from tithes or fast offerings, that it’s just another talking point and wouldn’t stand up in court. I may be proven wrong on this, but only if and when a lawsuit or an audit are followed up with success.

    Mormons aren’t worried about two homosexuals being sealed in the Temple, they couldn’t get a recommend to get in and do it.

    What Mormons are more concerned with are the secular lobbyists who would bring litigation against the church to try and force the church to allow homosexually married couples into the Temple under the guise of “equal / civil rights.”

    I say this as a Mormon who cannot enter the Temple right now, sure I could lie about some things I’ve done and sneak in, but considering we hold the Temple to be a sacred place I would never do something so despicable.

    As for the “calling and election made sure…” That’s a belief that doesn’t come from another man making that declaration there smart guy. It’s a divine declaration, not something that another sinner can anoint you with…

    And not to sound like a jerk, but if it’s not in the US Constitution, it’s not your right. If people want to cry about “rights” then they need to go to the founding legal source in our country. These laws can go back and forth all day depending on who has the most money, but the root of where all rights in our country come from is the US Constitution. Get over it, or change it.

    Also, for all these people who claim to understand the laws of tax exempt organizations, are you lawyers? If so, can you please credit yourself with proof.

    Want to read some very well reference information on my faith, http://www.jefflindsay.com

    I am annoyed when ever someone uses the “Adam and Eve vs Adam and Steve” argument.

  25. #25 Not Telling
    September 24, 2008

    I find it hilarious that so many people think they are experts on somebody else’s religion… And Prop 8 isn’t about being tolerant of gays, it’s about the children that come into that situation. This article says it well: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-blankenhorn19-2008sep19,0,2093869.story

    And as for what the Mormons do with their money… They are always helping clean up after disasters, sending food and aid all over the world, paying for the education of the poor, etc. Mormons contributing to the cause are not doing it through their church anyway. The money goes directly to The Yes on 8 groups. Any money donated is never even seen by the church.

  26. #26 Mormon Soprano
    September 24, 2008

    Allow me to offer some basic facts on the subject of Latter-day Saint involvement in Proposition 8:

    1. You are correct. The California Supreme Court recently ruled that same-sex marriage was legal in California. This was based upon 4 judges opinions that gay marriage is a “right” because the traditional definition of marriage did not expressly appear in the state Constitution itself. This flawed legal decision was in direct opposition to the voice of the people who in 2000 voted Yes to Proposition 22 (61%) defining marriage as being between one woman and one man.

    2. The LDS Church accepted an invitation to participate in ProtectMarriage, which is a coalition of over 1000 official churches, and organizations sponsoring a November ballot measure, Proposition 8, that would amend the California state constitution back to the voice of the people – to ensure that only marriage between a man and a woman would be legally recognized. (This is not a “Mormon” instigated ballot item. Information about the coalition can be found at http://www.protectmarriage.com/). On June 20, 2008, the First Presidency of the LDS Church distributed a letter about “Preserving Traditional Marriage and Strengthening Families”, announcing the Church’s participation with the coalition. The letter, which was read in Latter-day Saints church services in California, asked that Church members “do all [they] can to support the proposed constitutional amendment”. It is up to each individual church member to determine what their appropriate support level will be. Donations to the cause have come in from individual US Citizens, not the church itself, as is the case with all of the other 1000 registered supporting churches and organizations.

    3. Proposition 8 does not discriminate against gays. It simply restores the meaning of marriage. Proposition 8 does not take away any rights from gay and lesbian domestic partners! Gays and lesbians in California can already enjoy all the legal rights and benefits of marriage. The California Family Code says, “domestic partners shall have all the rights, protections and benefits of married spouses”. There are NO exceptions to this. Proposition 8 will not change that!

    4. The LDS Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage does not constitute any hostility towards homosexual men and women. Protecting marriage between a man and a woman does not change Church members Christian feelings of love, kindness and humanity toward all people. Those who get to know the Mormons will know of their HUGE world-wide humanitarian effort, their good citizenship, and diligent effort to follow Jesus Christ’s example. As a Mormon, I personally have MANY gay friends and I love each and every one of them. I believe in and champion for their human rights. I also believe, along with millions of my fellow Americans of multiple denominations, that the definition of marriage is sacred and should be defined as between a man and a woman. As the points I have listed above clearly show, both of these goals are accomplished while still supporting Proposition 8.

    It is most disheartening to read this post and subsequent comments which slander, misrepresent, and pointedly drive a hate campaign against one specific group of individuals – namely, the Mormons. It appears that some people here believe that prejudice and bigotry towards the LDS religion is justified, while at the same time any perceived prejudice and bigotry towards same-gender lifestyle, or your own belief system, is unacceptable. This double standard is illogical. I encourage you to re-evaluate your approach. The foundation of our great country lies upon fostering tolerance and protecting freedom of religion and expression. Whether one agrees or disagrees with Latter-day Saint “Mormon” beliefs, one should still respect each human being’s right to worship how they may. The vilest of atrocities in human history have all begun with intolerance.

  27. #27 PalMD
    September 24, 2008

    To quote The Bard, “words, words, words.”

    It is most disheartening to read this post and subsequent comments which slander, misrepresent, and pointedly drive a hate campaign against one specific group of individuals – namely, the Mormons. It appears that some people here believe that prejudice and bigotry towards the LDS religion is justified, while at the same time any perceived prejudice and bigotry towards same-gender lifestyle, or your own belief system, is unacceptable.

    It is not slander to expose a hateful, bigoted campaign as such, and when it is linked to a particular organization, in this case Church of LDS, it is simply stating fact. Of course, it’s not just LDS involved in the campaign, so LDS isn’t uniquely hateful. It is not bigotry to point out the Church’s position, which is a position of bigotry.

    You can’t have it both ways…you can’t engage in a campaign against the rights of others while calling yourself immune to criticism.

    Your stance is hypocritical, hateful, and nauseating to a feculent degree. Why don’t you just “come out” and admit you hate fags? In some ways, that crazy dude in Kansas is more honest than you are.

    You should be ashamed.

    But of course, you have no shame.

  28. #28 Dachande
    September 24, 2008

    “It is not slander to expose a hateful, bigoted campaign as such, and when it is linked to a particular organization, in this case Church of LDS, it is simply stating fact. Of course, it’s not just LDS involved in the campaign, so LDS isn’t uniquely hateful. It is not bigotry to point out the Church’s position, which is a position of bigotry.

    You can’t have it both ways…you can’t engage in a campaign against the rights of others while calling yourself immune to criticism.

    Your stance is hypocritical, hateful, and nauseating to a feculent degree. Why don’t you just “come out” and admit you hate fags? In some ways, that crazy dude in Kansas is more honest than you are.

    You should be ashamed.

    But of course, you have no shame.”

    It’s not slander to intentionally misrepresent the doctrines of our faith to build talking points against us?

    So I wonder what is… maybe you could enlighten us considering you’ve entered the forum with a mightier than thou attitude.

    You’re crying bigotry because you’re on the opposing side, how convenient…

    Did you ignore what I said? Obviously…

    If you don’t understand that a certain group can see a direct legal threat to their 1st Amendment right, then you are more guilty of bigotry and ignorance than you claim we are.

    Again… Where in the US Constitution does it say that homosexual marriage is a right?

    I would simply like to keep things in the scope of the Supreme Law of the United States, the US Constitution.

    Like I said, get over it, or change it.

    Rather than crying about State Constitutions which are subject to the US Constitution, why stop wasting money on the State level and why not take the fight directly to the Federal Ballot with an Amendment?

  29. #29 KristinMH
    September 24, 2008

    Holy wade into the shitpile, Batman.

    And you know what, “Not Telling”? We’ve had gay marriage up here in Canada for, what, five years now, and the sky hasn’t fallen. We’re still doing better than America in every bloody indicator for child wellbeing, so suck it. Kids need loving parents period, and not necessarily a mommy and daddy.

    PalMD, you rock. Carry on.

  30. #30 KristinMH
    September 24, 2008

    One more thing. Your faith ? what other people have to live by. Don’t like gay marriage? Simple. Don’t get one.

  31. #31 PalMD
    September 24, 2008

    If you don’t understand that a certain group can see a direct legal threat to their 1st Amendment right, then you are more guilty of bigotry and ignorance than you claim we are.

    Huh?

    Look, there is no right to gay marriage enumerated in the constitution. there is no prohibition to driving while intoxicated in the constitution. there is a promise of equal rights and equal treatment. to enshrine your particular religious prejudices into law is antithetical to american values. what’s next, making me quit drinking coffee because you don’t like that either?

    Theocratic wackaloon.

  32. #32 Dachande
    September 25, 2008

    I don’t drink coffee because I think it tastes like crap.

    I’m not enshrining my religious beliefs into law there genius.

    I am stating a fact that you cry about RIGHTS as if the rights you claim are comparable to Constitutional rights.

    I am simply stating go to the source of where all US rights are derived and make your argument there.

    Or should I type slower for you?

  33. #33 rusby
    September 25, 2008

    Last I checked, the Mormon church was not donating money to the cause but they encouraged members to donate money individually.

    As we say in twelve step meetings, “I am a recovering addict” of sorts. It makes no difference whether I was born that way or the environment I was raised in created certain proclivities to certain behavior. I am what I am and there is not much I can do to change that. However, I can change who I can become, and this principle drives my support of prop 8.
    At the heart of Mormon theology and many other Christian theologies is the idea that we can be better because Christ came and suffered. While he was here, he showed us the ideal way of living. He also sent many prophets as shown in the bible who taught the ideal way of life. However, Jesus knew that we would fall short and that we need him in order to reach the ideal and as such prepared a way to overcome our weaknesses.
    To be gay, while, I suspect, is a very large challenge that causes massive amounts of internal conflict within oneself, especially within some forms of Christianity. I’ve tasted internal conflict that just about destroyed me and I bet it is very much the same or worse with an awakening homosexual. The only lasting peace I found came when I finally turned fully to my Christianity and just committed to it. Sure, I struggle now and then but when I need help I just turn to Christ and that Ideal that at times seems very far away comes closer and I know that it is attainable.
    For my children’s sake, I am going to teach them the ideal. To strive for it and encourage others to strive for it. To leave their mistakes and trials behind and move ahead with the help of Christ. It is just that this will be easier for them to do if they don’t have to grow in a society telling them that that type of behavior is wrong, and as such I support Prop 8.

  34. #34 PalMD
    September 25, 2008

    It is just that this will be easier for them to do if they don’t have to grow in a society telling them that that type of behavior is wrong, and as such I support Prop 8.

    I’m a little confused by that…

  35. #35 rusby
    September 25, 2008

    sorry, for failing to connect the last sentence to what I was saying before.

    Gay marriage causes societal pressures to believe a certain way that is starkly contrasted to what I believe. If gay marriage becomes increasingly legal throughout society, it will only increase the pressure to believe in tow with society. I would just rather that these influences were not there and my support of prop 8 is an attempt to stave off those influences from my family.
    I believe that Christ set up an ideal that we should all strive for and gay marriage changes that ideal and says its ok if you aim for it instead. I want my children to feel that it is not ok unless you are doing your best at striving for the ideal taught by Christ.

    I want to teach my children that they should strive for the ideal that I believe in. This ideal, which I believe in, increasingly comes under attack in society. It may sound old-fashioned but I want my children to think of the ideal as a two-parent family, where the Father works and the mother stays at home, with multiple children. Where the trials of life cause them to fall short of this ideal they know that Christ knows and will help them continually strive for that ideal or helping others attain it. Gay marriage proponents attempt to change that ideal because it excludes gay marriage. It is already hard enough and allowing gay marriage only muddles the picture.

  36. #36 PalMD
    September 25, 2008

    Gay marriage causes societal pressures to believe a certain way that is starkly contrasted to what I believe.

    Ah…ok, i do get it now. You don’t want to live in a world corrupted by secular ideas, therefore you want to impose your religious beliefs on the rest of us. So, you’re a theocratic nut job, too. At least you’re reasonably kind about depriving other people of their civil rights.

    Would you also like to make your particular holy book and church doctrine law? I mean, why stop with homosexuality?

  37. #37 Natalie
    September 25, 2008

    [Fundamentalist religion] causes societal pressures to believe a certain way that is starkly contrasted to what I believe. If [fundamentalism] becomes increasingly common throughout society, it will only increase the pressure to believe in tow with society. I would just rather that these influences were not there and my support of the [Ban Fundamentalism Act] is an attempt to stave off those influences from my family.

    Fill in the brackets with whatever you don’t agree with!

  38. #38 RB
    September 26, 2008

    I am mormon.

    Currently I am paying a good share of my church donations to other causes, primarily due to the Churches involvement with prop 8. They have in the past directly donated to such causes (in Hawaii and Alaska for sure and I think previously in CA). Regardless of intent, the current and previous practices of supporting “traditional marriage” have led to ugly attacks on the “homosexual agenda” these attacks occurred in church. This is unacceptable. out leaders are wrong to allow (and encourage) such behavior. I am ashamed. But I stay because along with others at least the presence of dissenting voices may lead to some education in the future. In fact, the Church has changed tremendously in regards to how it views”causes” of homosexuality. and this is only because people stay and push for change. maybe it will happen further. I hope so.

  39. #39 Liz Ditz
    September 26, 2008

    I’m going to blog more about this issue this weekend, but I wanted to get a word in here.

    Andrew Callahan is an LDS member who is opposed to his church’s activism on this issue, and has started a website, Signing for Something.

    According to ABC4:

    Callahan faces excommunication Friday for supporting gay marriage, but he isn’t backing down.

    Callahan said via a telephone interview with ABC 4, “We are a Mormon people who have been discriminated against and we didn’t like it and now we are discriminating against others.”

    Andrew Callahan admits he’s surprised by the reaction he’s getting, after his story on ABC 4′s web site had more than one thousand people read it before 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday.

    Callahan, through his own website, has been speaking out against the LDS Church’s stance on Proposition 8. If it passes, this California ballot measure would ban gay marriage there.

    Because of Callahan speaking out, he’s now facing excommunication by an LDS Church stake disciplinary council.

    Go check otu Callahan’s site.

  40. #40 WestBerkeleyFlats
    September 26, 2008

    Dachande is a trip.

    “Not all early Mormons practiced polygyny, since we want to be specific, let’s use the correct word. Polygamy is unisex.

    Some early Mormon leaders became quite jaded that they were not allowed to practice it because they were lusting after it for sexual reasons, Sydney Rigdon initially comes to mind.”

    Actually, polygamy is quite appropriate, given that Joseph Smith for instance practiced polygyny but about a dozen of his wives were already married to men at the time that they also married him, which was polyandry.

    I’m not sure about this Sydney Rigdon person, who I am assuming was female based on the spelling, but Sidney Rigdon opposed polygamy as I understand it, and his niece Nancy rebuffed Smith’s advances. Of course, Rigdon was alone among LDS leaders in opposing Smith’s actions. Orson Pratt, for example, was excommunicated in 1842 for objecting to Smith’s propositioning his wife in his absence while on a mission from the church, although he later reconciled himself to the doctrine of polygamy.

  41. #41 WestBerkeleyFlats
    September 26, 2008

    More from Dachande:

    “What Mormons are more concerned with are the secular lobbyists who would bring litigation against the church to try and force the church to allow homosexually married couples into the Temple under the guise of “equal / civil rights.”

    This does not concern the LDS church because such a frivolous lawsuit would never be successful. As you stated, not all members of the LDS church can attend the temple or be married there, and there is no way that a court would force the LDS church to perform same-sex marriages.

    What concerns the LDS church is the acceptance of gay rights, just as they were concerned about equal opportunities for women in the 1970s and launched a very similar effort to organize their members to oppose the ERA in several key states such as Virginia, Utah, and Idaho. In both instances, the LDS church as sought to demonstrate that it is part of a broader movement of socially conservative churches, even though those groups are usually somewhat distant from the LDS church because of theological differences.

  42. #42 mishi
    September 26, 2008

    Mormon Soprano: “The LDS Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage does not constitute any hostility towards homosexual men and women.”

    Uh-huh. Sure.

    The Mormons have been instrumental in the Boy Scouts’ retaining a ban on gay troop leaders. Official BYU policy forbids not only homosexual conduct, but even advocacy of gay rights. Against the vast preponderance of scientific evidence, the LDS church has stated that homosexuality is chosen, is caused by bad parenting, can be cured by repentance and prayer, and is invariably sinful, even in a committed relationship. One LDS pamphlet from 2001 has described homosexual behavior as a sin second only to murder. Another says that gays are under the sway of Satan, and it were better “that such a man were never born.” In all fairness, a new, less inflammatory pamphlet was published last year, and some of the most blatantly homophobic statements toned down. So I suppose it’s true to say that the LDS is no longer as anti-gay as it was until recently, just like it’s no longer a bastion of outright racism. Oh, hooray.

    I suppose that, in twisted religio-doublespeak, it might not qualify as “hostility” to say, “You’re sinful, you must be celibate or change, we don’t want to allow you to speak openly in our university or participate in scouting. And, oh yes, we want our theology to supersede your civil rights.” Maybe I lack imagination, but I honestly don’t know what else to call it. Ignorance? Bigotry? Theocratic meddling?

    I’m glad that “some of your best friends are gays.” You are aware, aren’t you, that that statement is almost a bigots’ cliche? Used to be “Some of my best friends are Jewish.” I can truthfully say, though, that none of my best friends is Mormon. Make of that what you will.

  43. #43 Ray
    November 5, 2008

    Just for the record…I formerly served as a Bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,and I personally know The Church advocates being politically active and to individually support those policies and laws that best represent their values. The Church does not support political parties,candidates and even bans any political rallies on Church property. The members in California are participating in the Political process legally and lawfully, independent of The Church. I must congradulate these members who support Heavenly Father’s commandment for A man and woman to cleave unto each other and none else, and to multiply and bear children.

  44. #44 llewelly
    November 5, 2008

    rusby:

    [Interracial] marriage causes societal pressures to believe a certain way that is starkly contrasted to what I believe. If [interracial] marriage becomes increasingly legal throughout society, it will only increase the pressure to believe in tow with society. I would just rather that these influences were not there and my support of prop 8 is an attempt to stave off those influences from my family.
    I believe that Christ set up an ideal that we should all strive for and [interracial] marriage changes that ideal and says its ok if you aim for it instead. I want my children to feel that it is not ok unless you are doing your best at striving for the ideal taught by Christ.

    I want to teach my children that they should strive for the ideal that I believe in. This ideal, which I believe in, increasingly comes under attack in society. It may sound old-fashioned but I want my children to think of the ideal as a two-parent family, where the Father works and the mother stays at home, with multiple children. Where the trials of life cause them to fall short of this ideal they know that Christ knows and will help them continually strive for that ideal or helping others attain it. [Interracial] marriage proponents attempt to change that ideal because it excludes [interracial] marriage. It is already hard enough and allowing [interracial] marriage only muddles the picture.

  45. #45 mishi
    November 9, 2008

    ray “I must congradulate these members who support Heavenly Father’s commandment for A man and woman to cleave unto each other and none else, and to multiply and bear children.”

    OK, let me explaiin this in really simple terms, so even you can get it. NOT EVERYONE SHARES YOUR BELIEFS. Got it? It’s safe to say that even the vast majority of Christians shares what I – sorry – view as the wacky, provably untrue beliefs of the LDS. So, until the USA becomes a theocracy, your religious crapola should not be the basis of public policy.

    You believe – despite all historical and DNA evidence – that the Native Americans are descendants of Middle Eastern Jews? Fine, believe whatever nonsense you want, but don’t demand that your “anthropological” fantasies be taught in public schools. You believe that a human Mommy and Daddy from another planet gave birth to a human Junior who became God the Father when he grew up? OK, but your heterosexual-breeding-is-the-be-all-and-end-all-of-the-Universe is not a suitable basis for secular laws. Hell, your god pimped for plural marriage until a convenient revelation eased the Federal heat on Utah, and your scriptures taught that blacks were inferior until another convenient revelation kept the LDS from looking like racist jerks.

    Now, I’m betting that in their hearts-of-hearts, a number of Mormons would be happy as clams to live in a theocracy. How else to explain the spiritual fascism of fighting to keep atheist kids (as well as gays) out of the Boy Scouts? But guess what? You, inconveniently, live in a country (supposedly) governed by laws, not superstitious hooey.

    Have a nice afterlife.

  46. #46 mishi
    November 9, 2008

    Um…in my last post, it should have read “not even the vast majority of Christians etc.”

    brainfart, sorry

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