Me loving them comments…

This one comes from the other side, and features a familiar name: Emily Pearson. I immediately cued in to the fact that she might be the daughter of Carol Lynn Pearson, and indeed, she is. Fascinating story, Emily has. But pay particular attention to her blog. It is well worth reading and absolutely worth considering. And thanks to Isabella for the comment. Seattle is COOOOOOLD, but I do like it. With warm clothes. Blankets. And maybe an electric blanket. Did I mention it’s COOOOOLD?

Name: Isabella | E-mail: isabella@xxx.org

Natalie,

My husband and I are former mormons and often enjoy reading your blog.I admire you and your daughter for choosing to be levelheaded and balanced with a sprinkle of humour, in the way you choose to view your experiences in Utah and Life. It is incredibly sad to see and experience the amount of fear that cloaks many within the Mormon Church. A fear so thick that one can cut it with a knife and it acts as a barrier between them (mormons) and those that they view as outsiders (toxic to them). As you well know, mormons believe that the ADVERSARY can/will work to lead them astray and the ADVERSARY especially likes to work through “OUTSIDERS” like all of us. Of course this includes the “HOMOSEXUAL’ community.

Yet another example of the TOXIC BRAINWASHING: In Mormon Chapels throughout California, church leaders read a letter from the First Presidency of the LDS Church (29th June 2008).The letter advocates that Mormons in California need to vote against the legalization of GAY MARRIAGE….and of course for the PROTECTION OF THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN.

Please read the letter as posted on a friends webblog.
www.dancingwithcrazy.blogspot.com This blog is by Emily Pearson (who is also an ex-mormon).

The way that the Mormon Church has become openly Political is sickening to me!!!!!!
The Mormon church used to tell their members to vote their conscience…….
NOT ANYMORE!!!!!!!

I take my hat off to all of the former mormons and non-mormons that choose to live in Utah. I’m glad it’s not me.The energy there can be stiffling. I lived their for several years and now live in the Seattle area. The energy here is so open in comparison that I feel like I can breathe deeply without effort. I invite you, Natalie, and anyone else who reads this entry to come up and breathe for a holiday……anytime!!!

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About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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39 Responses to Me loving them comments…

  1. Cele says:

    How long will it be that the church is in jeopardy of losing it’s non-profit – tax exempt status because of its politicing? Will it happen? I doubt it. Sad.

    Isabella, I love Seattle and try to drive up for a game every other year or so. Seattle is beautiful.

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  2. Renee says:

    I love Seattle, we have family and friends there. Been too long since we’ve been there….

    I also love Emily’s blog. I read it regularly. She is smart and funny.

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  3. K*tty says:

    I look at Carol Lynn Pearson with the utmost of admiration. I love her work and the example of unconditional love she gave us all when she took care of her dying ex husband. So that was fun to have her website and also her daughter’s. I haven’t thought of Carol for years, she was tossed like the rest of the church stuff, but she always had a special place in my heart. Man, if I add any more sites to my daily repertoire, I will have to give up work and eating. Well, not eating, cuz I’m known to do that at the computer.

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  4. Thomas Alvord says:

    While clearly there are differences of opinions on the homosexual debate, to say that the church has changed its policy on taking a political stand is mistaken. Back when Utah voted to repeal the ban on alcohol, the president on the church was emphatic that the members of the church vote against the repel.

    To be angered at the church for taking a stand on one of the most basic tenets of morality is foolish. They speak out because it is a moral issue. Much of the nation is not atheistic and believes in morals. The church together with a coalition of other churches are promoting the morality and understanding of family that our country, and even history, has know since the beginning.

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  5. Renee says:

    Oh here we go again…Christians must uprise against this stuff threatening our family and God, etc. etc.

    Bullshit. I believe deeply in Jesus. I also support Natalie’s right to her beliefs, athiests to theirs, much as I disagree on a certain level…as long as you are trying to be a decent human being and have morals – and no, they most certainly are not cornered on the market by Christians – you are my kind of people. Acceptance, love, equality – those are the earmarks of Christ. Gay, straight, bi, purple, black you name it.

    The church can take a stand on whatever it wants. Other churches do. However, I am damn tired of their stand against acceptance. That goes for any other church that preaches this crap.

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  6. azteclady says:

    I thought one of the basis for individual freedoms around this here country was, lemme see, have I got this right? ah yes… separation of Church and State.

    Call me paranoid, but having Churches–of any stripe–taking sides on political issues gives me the hives. Historically speaking, organized religion has not been very respectful of those who are different nor to those it wants to keep quiet.

    And before anyone gets on their high horse regarding whether homosexuality is a choice or not***, the point is that before homosexuality became the target, it was interracial marriage, or interfaith marriage, or desegregation in schools and the workplace, or the right of women to vote.

    I sense a pattern, do you?

    ***that would be a no, it’s not a choice–but even if it were a choice, I have never understood how does what happen in other people’s bedrooms affect your family and your morality and your values?

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  7. azteclady… You raise some interesting points, but I believe that the separation you mention regarding church and state doesn’t really apply here. The US constitution prohibits congress from passing any laws establishing a state religion; like, for example, the Church of England. The same bill of right (#1) also protects the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and our rights to assemble peaceably and petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Churches in general are protected by the constitution when they speak out on any number of social issues. And, of course, you’re also protected by the constitution to speak out against (or for) the church, if you so desire.

    It’s a great country we live in!

    I would also argue that the mormon church isn’t so interested in what happens in other people’s (private) bedrooms as they are what happens in our (public) institutions, and how it might ultimately affect them as a church and society in general. They clearly feel that homosexual marriage isn’t a good thing, as do many other (non-mormon) churches. This certainly isn’t a mormon church vs. the rest of the world issue.

    Cheers from Texas!
    Todd Williams

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  8. Renee says:

    Trust me. The Church has all but passed a state religion in Utah. And it is not how the founding fathers meant for things to be.

    Fortunately for California, and the other 49 states, they don’t seem to be dominated by one religion, or at least the members of a predominant religion think for themselves.

    I live with the sheep. Being one of the black variety, it’s kinda hard.

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  9. Renee… I DO trust you! But that was my point. The mormon church is protected (constitutionally speaking) for doing ALL but passing a state religion, which is EXACTLY how the founding fathers meant for things to be (IMHO). In essence they said, you have your religion and I’ll have mine and some will have none at all, and we’ll open up the public forum and let the people choose for themselves. And, as long as you aren’t killing each other, you’ll be protected by our laws. And, it usually works pretty well.

    Granted, Utah is unique to some extent (okay a LARGE extent), but the evangelicals have a LOT of influence here in the south, the protestants up in the north, etc. And don’t kid yourself that the evangelicals, protestants and the rest don’t wield that influence with their adherents. THEY DO! They have interests that are worth protecting (in their view, anyway). And like most things, there’s a lot of good, a little bad, and a few things that just really don’t matter all that much.

    We just need to make sure the really important battles are won. You just have to decide which battles are REALLY important.

    Best Regards,
    Todd

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  10. K*tty says:

    Todd, you did not address what azteclady said.
    “And before anyone gets on their high horse regarding whether homosexuality is a choice or not***, the point is that before homosexuality became the target, it was interracial marriage, or interfaith marriage, or desegregation in schools and the workplace, or the right of women to vote.”

    I dare say that the church was also behind not supporting the above mentioned causes. And looking back now, as evolved human beings, we see that the church was wrong. When the irrefutable data becomes available that homosexuality is not a choice, I wonder how foolish you will feel. How should we punish those who are born with both sexes? Because I have a feeling you would want to do that also.

    Best Regards,
    K*tty

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  11. Sideon says:

    Natalie, thanks for the linky link to Emily’s blog – it is FABOO.

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  12. K*tty,

    If I can paraphrase azteclady’s arguments, I believe they were something like this:

    our law requires the separation of church and state;
    historically religions have been on the wrong side of some important issues;
    homosexuality is not a choice;
    therefore, religions must stay out of the marriage amendment debate

    Of course, I tried to address what I thought was an incorrect interpretation of the separation of church and state, and to elaborate a little on the protections guaranteed in the first amendment (religion, speech, etc.)

    Regarding points 2 & 3, I agree with azteclady. Although I would make a distiction regarding homosexuality (i.e. same gender attraction) and the choice to participate in homosexual behavior. Behavior is (almost) always a choice.

    I would like to make another distinction in her (and your) argument. I don’t think homosexuality just became the target. Religions have preached against homosexual behavior for centuries. I think the institution of marriage is the real target. Gays want a very broad definition of marriage, the church a more narrow definition. Both have a constitutional right to rally their troops to their side of the cause.

    So, in the end, I disagree with her conclusion that religions should stay out of the debate. Although, I give her my utmost respect for making her case.

    Now, regarding your mild attack…

    Without addressing specifically your allegations regarding the church’s position on the aforementioned causes, let me just say that I believe the church has been wrong in the past, and that the church may be wrong in the future. It’s truly foolish to believe that any human organization will never make mistakes.

    And, lastly, I’m not for punishing anybody who was born with an attraction for the same sex. I hope they don’t want to punish me for being born with an attraction for the opposite sex.

    The truly sad thing is that no matter which way this ultimately goes, society will suffer.

    Most humbly,
    Todd

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  13. azteclady says:

    So.

    People can be homosexual, because they are born that way. (Just like they can be black or female, check)

    But they should choose to be chaste and celibate and alone for their entire God given lives because….

    …. because man made or man interpreted religions consider homosexual behaviour a sin.

    That is not punishing them?

    They are human, but they are not allowed to behave like other humans–say, falling in love and acting on that love. ’cause their love is sinful.

    Pardon me for gagging at the hypocrisy.

    Marriage is the target????

    How does two people in love asking society to respect their relationship, to NOT prosecute them for loving each other, affects YOUR marriage? How does it affect how you bring your children up? How does it change what you teach them about morality and values?

    Todd, you won’t change your mind and neither will I. I would just want you–and every other person who is so convinced that homosexual human beings have some sort of nefarious agenda against heterosexuals–to consider this:

    If you love your children.

    If one of your children is born a homosexual.

    If that one homosexual child falls in love, and his/her love is returned.

    Would you condemn that child of yours to live alone, celibate, childless, unhappy, for his or her entire life, because his or her happiness would threatened your marriage, or the marriages of your other children?

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  14. Cele says:

    Well said Aztec.

    May I say that divorce and the arrogance of specific people has done more to destroy the institutions of marriage and family than loving same sex marriages could ever do.

    The teaching against people BORN and banning of same sex marriages are teaching of ignorant people who bend their fears and rules on others. Why is it that many straight men are so damn scared of a homosexual male? Why, 1) because they are afraid of what is inside of them; 2) they were taught to hate; 3) they were taught to fear the different; 4) because they were taught lies and twisted interpretations; 5) because they weren’t taught that Jesus died to save us all from ALL of our sins. There is nothing in the arguement for and the institution of sex marriage that is illmoral – there is only the ignorance of those who would deny others what they themselves have – a recognized union of love and respect.

    Why do so many turn from organized religion? Because the lies, twisted interpretations, and the hatred. Because all to often the church and the preacher have become sooo much bigger and more important than Jesus and the message.

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  15. Cele says:

    And finally would Jesus turn his heart, love, and forgiveness against anyone who was born homosexual? No, he loves and accepts us as we are according to Christian tenets that he himself laid down.

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  16. K*tty says:

    What azteclady and Cele said!

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  17. azteclady…

    Again, you raise some interesting points. I applaud your willingness to have a civil dialog on this very important topic.

    Now to the meat of my response…

    Point #1: “should homosexuals choose to be chaste and celibate”

    I wouldn’t dare suggest what choice a homosexual should make in regards to their private behavior. That’s between that person and God. If that person believes that the behavior is sin and if they want to please God; then celibacy is one choice that person could make. If they don’t hold those beliefs, then the choice they make shouldn’t matter.

    Is that punishing them? Doesn’t everyone have difficult moral choices to make? If so, are we being punished when we choose behavior A over B?

    At least we agree that homosexual behavior is a choice.

    Point #2: Hypocrisy

    If I believe that homosexual behavior is a sin and that marriage is ordained of God to be between a man and a woman, then it would be hypocritical to support gay marriage.

    If you believe that homosexual behavior is not a sin (rather a man-made thing), and that marriage is a man-made institution; then why do you care whether or not gays are allowed to marry? From an atheistic point of view, marriage itself is pointless, no?

    Point #3: Does gay marriage affect my marriage?

    See my first point under “Hypocrisy”. In my opinion, when the distance between acceptable behavior in society and absolute moral truths widens; the fundamental unit in society, the family, suffers. Homosexual behavior is just one of those areas where the gap is widening. Gay marriage will accelerate the movement.

    I don’t know if the gay marriage agenda is nefarious. If I somehow alluded to that misconception, I apologize. My intent isn’t to offend anybody. I appreciate your and other’s willingness to have this open dialog, and Natalie’s willingness to host it!

    I know the anti-gay marriage agenda is not nefarious.

    Point #4: What if one of my children were gay?

    They would have very difficult choices to make. I like to think that I’d love them unconditionally anyway, whatever their choices. It doesn’t change my view on gay marriage.

    Point #5: Where do you draw the line?

    Does your logic around falling in love and acting on that love apply to plural marriage as well? What about marriage involving incest? Marriage to animals? If all it takes is love and a desire to act on that love, how far are you willing to take it? Do you have a line over which you won’t cross?

    Yours truly,
    Todd

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  18. azteclady says:

    Having sex at all is a choice, Todd. I wonder how easy it would be for us heterosexuals to accept that if it was our sexual behaviour that was considered sinful.

    Think about it, for a moment. Imagine the shoe is on the other foot.

    You, heterosexual, are the minority. And the majority–among which are your parents and siblings and teachers and neighbors–tell you, “Oh, it’s okay, it’s not your fault that you are *ugh* hetero. But if you touch a person of the opposite sex in love, that is sinful”

    I imagine heterosexuals would feel some pressure to change the majority’s point of view then, don’t you?

    As for marriage?

    Marriage is not pointless.

    The marriage ceremony is a public symbol of people committing to each other and their relationship.

    And I don’t care if a church–or no church ever–accepts homosexual marriage. It’s the civil institution of marriage, with all its attendant benefits and responsibilities (taxes, tax exemptions, property, medical decisions, qualifying for adoption, joint financial records, etc. etc etc) that should be equal to any two people willing to commit their lives to each other.

    Before you say, “but that’s what civil unions are for!” I’ll remind you that in most states there are strict limits on what a civil union represents, legally, for both parties. Limits that do not apply to marriage.

    Legally, homosexuals are treated as sub-human. That is the issue, as far as I’m concerned.

    Oh, and I’m not atheist.

    Where do I draw the line? Harming those who cannot make the choice–children. Mentally impaired adults. Animals. Consent, as far as I’m concerned, is the basis, the last line. The only one I don’t think should be crossed.

    And yes, this is obviously subjective, for legal consent is possible at 18 (or 21 for some things) yet some 14 year olds claim full consent. Me, I’ll go with the legal definition of consent: once you are of age = over 18.

    Plural marriage: I don’t know, frankly–but if three, six or 20 people capable of consent manage a loving, working, healthy relationship that harms no one, and affects no one else? why should I care?

    Incest: squicks me like crazy–but if the people involved are adults and no children result from that union and no one else is affected or hurt… again, why should I care?

    Please notice: if the people involved consent, in the legal, adult meaning of the word, and if no one else is affected or harmed. Those two conditions form my line.

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  19. azteclady,

    I’m glad your not an atheist. I didn’t mean to imply that you were. I presume then that you believe that there is a God-prescribed moral standard that defines sin?

    Your responses to “Where do you draw the line?” are intriguing.

    You’re okay with consenting incestuous marriages as long as there’s no children? So you’d deny a loving couple the right to have children just because they’re too closely related? How would you enforce that? Forced castration? ** grimace **

    How would you assure that no one else is affected or harmed by a “consenting adults” marriage? It seems to me that ANY marriage might result in harm, or “affect” someone else.

    I realize I may have hit you cold with that question. You responded pretty quickly and may not have had a chance to really think things through. Or, maybe you did. 🙂

    This issue is certainly not black and white.

    Okay… On to my response…

    It’s very easy to accept your proposition that heterosexual relations can be considered sinful. They even have names for it: fornication and adultery. It’s been that way for centuries.

    The (current?) moral line, if you will, isn’t heterosexual sex only: it’s heterosexual sex within the confines of the marriage between one man and one woman. (I’m not sure if that line is universally accepted by all religions, but it certainly is by the predominant religion in Utah).

    If you touch a person of the opposite sex in love, outside of this definition, it’s sin. Your parents, siblings, teachers and neighbors are all correct.

    I agree. Marriage is not pointless.

    Homosexuals can have all the public ceremonies they want committing to each other. You just shouldn’t call it what it’s not: marriage.

    Civil Unions… Marriage… I don’t care what you call it, if it widens the gap between a fixed moral standard (supposedly unchangeable and declared by God) and what is socially acceptable behavior (declared by man, and clearly a moving target), it should be opposed for the reasons laid out in my previous post.

    I will concede that the tax law, etc. is inherently unfair to single people and should be changed. Of course, there’s a lot of talk about the “marriage penalty” as well, so it probably goes both ways (but not necessarily in equal proportions).

    I disagree that homosexuals are treated as sub-human by the law. They have the same rights as any other single person. Refer to the previous paragraph regarding how unfair our tax law, etc. is.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

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  20. azteclady says:

    Why no children of incest: because there are genetic consequences for the children of incest. Hence, since those children can’t a) consent to it, nor b) avoid such consequences, an incenstuous couple having children would harm the children.

    Ergo, back to my line.

    Please, don’t flatter yourself, you didn’t hit me cold. I have thought about these things way before I was aware of your existence. Before I got to Natalie’s blog. Before I had my own children.

    Because, imagine that, I have noticed that people are all different, and that their differences don’t make them less human than myself. And because I have seen the majority treat those who are different with disdain and hostility.

    And because I have enough imagination to walk in their shoes, enough imagination to know that I wouldn’t want my children to be treated as less than human if they turned out to be different.

    I cannot sit down and pray and say, “well, they’ll just have to tough it out.”

    I just happen to disagree with your stance. Your God and mine? Nothing whatsoever in common. Of course there is no debating what you consider sinful vs what I consider sinful.

    Marriage, ordained by God? Please show me the passage in the New Testament where this is explained.

    Fornication? huhuh.

    Because it has been that way for centuries? Oh please. Stoning women for walking with a man not their husband or some such was also in use for centuries.

    So homosexuals should simply resign themselves to be not equal to heterosexuals, period?

    Oh sorry. Just not equal to human beings who can marry.

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  21. azteclady,

    So would your laws require castration for the incestuous male before allowing a marriage? Or would you punish the incestuous couple only IF they had children after their marriage? Of course, if you waited until then it would be too late for the child. Since you’ve apparently thought it all through, how did you solve that dilemma?

    I’m well aware of the consequences to children of incestous relationships. In my world incestuous marriages would be illegal precisely for that reason. But thanks for the explanation.

    We agree! Differences don’t make people less human, nor do they justify disdain and hostility. It’s unfortunate that some people just don’t get that simple concept. I have no idea why you and others on this blog feel that way about me. I’m flattered! (Okay, that was a joke.) 🙂

    So, where is your moral line? How did you arrive at that line? With you, is there such a thing as sin? Is adultery a sin? Is fornication a sin?

    BTW, your stoning reference supports my position that fornication and adultery were considered *grievous* sins centuries ago. Even Jesus himself told the accused adulteress to “sin no more.” I’m pretty sure that Jesus would condemn the sin of homosexuality, while dealing with the individual in a very loving and respectful way. Just my opinion, since we don’t have any direct evidence either way. I don’t know who has the moral authority in your religion to define what is sin, but Jesus has it in mine.

    Marriage IS ordained of God and has been from the BEGINNING. Of course, you might have to open your OLD Testament to find it. Try Genesis, somewhere soon after IN THE BEGINNING when God put Adam and Eve together.

    Homosexuals are just as equal as heterosexuals and every other human on earth. In the US, they can legally marry one person of the opposite sex, just like everyone else. Anything else isn’t marriage, by definition.

    And, sincerely, thank you for your well thought-out responses. Despite our differences on this issue, I hope we can still be friends and engage in lively discussions on different topics in the future.

    Kindly,
    Todd

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  22. azteclady says:

    What is your obsession with castration, Todd?

    Are you suggesting then that male homosexuals should be castrated to prevent them from engaging in homosexual behaviour? What about lesbians? Would female genital mutilation be appropriate for them?

    Old Testament? Sorry. No can do. If I were to go to the Old Testament for how to live my life, I would not pick and choose. It’s either the whole enchilada or nothing. And since I’m not going to avoid eating pork, stone adulterers, etc., it’s nothing.

    Look, it’s like this.

    If I knew for a fact that any children I had would have a one in four chances (inventing here, don’t go looking for statistical info) of having elephantiasis, would I choose to risk it? Or would I rather abstain from having biological children, to spare them the potential pain, and choose to adopt one or two of the millions of children–even here in the US–who are unwanted, abandoned, abused, by their biological parents?

    If I ruled the world, there would much less “sin” and much more “avoid harming others”–and by harm I mean real harm, not offending sensibilities.

    In fact, that is how I interpret Jesus words: “sin no more” = “do not harm others anymore.”

    Homosexuals are just as equal as heterosexuals for you–as long, of course, as they don’t marry those they love. As long as they resign themselves to loneliness or chose to make a mockery of marriage by marrying someone they cannot love. Some equality.

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  23. Todd says:

    azteclady…

    You go girl!

    No, I’m not suggesting anything in regards to castration. *grimace* I was merely probing your doctrine around incestuous marriages and avoiding children.

    Interesting take on the relevance of the Old Testament. It must be very liberating to disregard 4,000 years of divine tutelage.

    Of course, changing the definition of “sin” from the more traditional “willful violation of a moral principle” to “do no harm” also changes one’s perspective. With the moral relativism your definition allows, it’s easier to see why you struggle with the gay marriage issue.

    So, is adultery a sin? Is fornication a sin? You still haven’t given me an answer. They were clearly sins in New Testament times. Are they sins today?

    We’re getting a little circular in our debate, so here are some things to consider from the New Testament:

    “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” (Jesus to the Pharisees)

    Of course, Jesus referred to the Old Testament, so maybe that doesn’t help you.

    Here’s another one:

    “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” (Paul to the Corinthians)

    Yes, homosexuals are just as equal as heterosexuals. See my previous note regarding how unfair our tax laws, etc. are.

    I disagree that homosexuals are incapable of loving the opposite sex.

    With the utmost respect,
    Todd

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  24. Todd says:

    azteclady,

    No, I’m not suggesting anything in regards to castration. *grimace* I was merely probing your doctrine around incestuous marriages and avoiding children.

    Interesting take on the relevance of the Old Testament. It must be very liberating to disregard 4,000 years of divine tutelage.

    Of course, changing the definition of “sin” from the more traditional “willful violation of a moral principle” to “do no harm” also changes one’s perspective. With the moral relativism your definition allows, it’s easier to see why you struggle with the gay marriage issue.

    So, is adultery a sin? Is fornication a sin? You still haven’t given me an answer. They were clearly sins in New Testament times. Are they sins today?

    We’re getting a little circular in our debate, so here are some things to consider from the New Testament:

    “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” (Jesus to the Pharisees)

    Of course, Jesus referred to the Old Testament, so maybe that doesn’t help you.

    Here’s another one:

    “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” (Paul to the Corinthians)

    Yes, homosexuals are just as equal as heterosexuals. See my previous note regarding how unfair our tax laws, etc. are.

    I disagree that homosexuals are incapable of loving the opposite sex.

    With the utmost respect,
    Todd

    Like

  25. azteclady says:

    It is indeed liberating, Todd. Particularly when you consider that if you were to take the entire Bible and follow what it teaches, you would probably find thousands of contradictions within, to the point that you would probably be unable to breathe without breaking some ‘law’ written down by someone living a few thousand years ago in a different continent and society.

    I don’t struggle with homosexuality, Todd. I don’t struggle with the idea of people who love each other wanting to marry each other.

    Moral relativism? You may call it that, and consider it poorly and misguided of me.

    I consider the rigid “moral” superiority of those who so blithely condemn fellow human beings to unhappiness on so-called ‘divine guidance’ to be not just misguided but cruel.

    I see, though, that you are contradicting yourself. Homosexuals, you agreed earlier, are born. That would mean that they are born to love someone of their same sex–love here meaning the same love that you, a heterosexual human being, feel for your wife.

    Yes, I am sure that homosexuals can love people of the opposite sex in the same way I can–and do–love my mother, sister, sisters in law, my daughter, my female friends.

    But just as I, a heterosexual woman, cannot love a woman in the way I can love a man, it’s cruel to demand that a person born to love within his or her same sex be forced to live without that love.

    I don’t believe in a cruel God–I believe that human beings are often cruel to each other, against His will.

    Make of that what you will.

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  26. nerdycellist says:

    I don’t know what’s worse: people who believe homosexuality is a very sinful CHOICE, and who condemn people they see as willfully making a sinful decision, or those who admit that God creates people who are BORN gay, but that these gay people are required by God to lead loveless lives.

    The first group are ignorant, but at least consistent. The second have a near- sociopathic lack of empathy. Both of them should feel free to make their churches as narrow and hateful as they please, but stay the hell away from the Laws of the Land.

    And also, since the Officials at the Mormon Church (I will not say Mormons, because I know my very mormon parents are pro-gay-marriage) think it’s important to agitate to an amendment to the state constitution that aligns with their warped and bigoted theology, then I expect next week they will be releasing a similar edict to be read in all sacrament meetings encouraging people to get anti-smoking amendments on the state constitution. Right?

    Like

  27. Hey nerdycellist…

    Thanks for injecting your thoughts into this debate!

    I think you’ve got some of your facts twisted, however.

    Point #1

    The gay marriage issue was agitated by the gay community. The religious groups are merely responding to that issue, according to the dictates of their creeds. This isn’t an LDS vs. the rest of the world debate.

    Point #2

    Religions have every right, guaranteed by the US constitution, to speak out on moral issues and rally their adherents to support the cause. Gay marriage is a SIGNIFICANT moral issue. If it wasn’t, we probably wouldn’t be having this debate.

    The laws of our land are BASED on religious principles. It would be wiser to say that those who are WITHOUT religious principles should stay away from the laws of our land. This point was absolutely clear with the founders of our great nation.

    Point #3

    I disagree categorically that people BORN gay are REQUIRED by God to lead loveless lives. In order to reach that conclusion, you have to assume that gays are INCAPABLE of loving the opposite sex, or that they’re INCAPABLE of having love and joy in their lives without homosexual sex.

    Lots of very fulfilling love-filled life choices are available to gays. Gay marriage is not and SHOULD NOT be one of those choices.

    Many single heterosexuals live very love-filled and happy celibate lives, by choice.

    Point #4

    Why is marriage so important to gays? Do they feel that homosexual sex is okay (i.e. not a sin) within the covenant of marriage? Do they just want a public ceremony committing their lives to each other? Do they just want all those great tax, and other benefits that married couples have?

    I look forward to your response.
    Todd

    Like

  28. nerdycellist says:

    Todd –

    Thanks for responding rationally to my (somewhat irrational) comments. Since I’m not gay, I’ll have to take a guess on some of my answers to your questions though.

    1) Gay marriage being pushed by the gay community? Why yes, and I’ll get back to some of that on point 4. But California’s supreme court determined that forbidding gays to marry is Un-Constitutional. So the mormon leadership is now suggesting that their members vote through an AMENDMENT to the CONSTITUTION to disallow gays from getting married. If a president got behind his little presidential pulpit and said, “Hey, Christians – Congress and I are going to re-write the Bible so that it removes all references to Paul!” I’d hope that impeachment would be back on the table. But that’s the thing about seperation of church and state.

    2) Relgions have rights to speak out on issues as to the law of the land. They are welcome to exhort their members not to have icky pre-marital or gay sex multiple times per sacrament meeting. Or lecture on the evils of tbacco and strong drink, both of which are perfectly legal. They also have broader rights within their churches than in other places – some Native American tribes are able to use peyote in their ceremonies and I’ve seen small children have a sip of communion wine for example. The government does not have the right to tell the Mormons or any group who they must marry in a religious ceremony; I support the Mormon Church’s refusal to marry gays. It neither breaks my arm nor picks my pocket that a straight, occasional alcohol drinking un-repentent non-virgin such as myself cannot be married in the Mormon church (among other churches I’m sure). But it’s none of their business if I or my gay friends go down to City Hall, or the Unitarian or Episcoplian church down the street and do so.

    And that the laws of the land often do not contradict various religious codes does not mean that all religious codes = the law of the land. Otherwise we might have some laws against eating seafood, and encouraging fathers to pimp their underaged daughters to strangers.

    3) This is where I feel you completely lack empathy. Eros can be a profound and deeply spiritual kind of love. My love for my parents does not interfere with my desire to physically, erotically, love another human. Can celibate people have love? Hell yeah. I’m unfortunately celibate at the moment, but I’m loved by and love plenty of people. But I look forward to the day when I will have another partner in my life with whom I can share all forms of love. If someone were to tell me that desiring to experience Eros was gross, and I could never, ever act on that because otherwise my unconditionally loving Father in Heaven would reject me, well I think that’s cruel and evil.

    4.) Why is marriage important to gays? I don’t know. Why don’t you find a gay human being – who is made as much in God’s image as you – and ask him or her? The legal reason – which is all the government is in charge of – probably has to do with the hundreds of benefits straight people automatically receive when they are married, from inheritance issues to hospital visitations. I’m sure I could find you a list enumerating them.

    But echoing azteclady, I don’t think either of us is going to change our minds based on polite debate. Frankly, I wholeheartedly support everyone’s right to go out and vote in a way consistent with their moral values. I do find that preaching politcs from the pulpit is out of line.

    OK, and this is my last little discussion of this – and please everyone, you may treat this as rhetorical:

    The bible – and bom – say a lot of things. Is this really what churches think is important? God really cares that much about what we’re doing with our genitals that the millions of people dying in poverty – including many under the age of 6 – all around the world is ignored? The church I’m going to is dealing with imminent schism over just this sort of ridiculousness. I find this obsession with sex to the exclusion of all other “moral” issues to be abjectly immoral.

    Like

  29. azteclady says:

    nerdycellist, I’ve just developed the deepest platonic girl-crush ever. Thank you.

    Perspective. Such a cool thing, no?

    Like

  30. nerdycellist says:

    Well, as long as it’s a platonic girl-crush, I suppose you’re fine. Otherwise, the mormons would have to read a letter at church about it.

    I’m going to stop wasting Natalie’s space on this, since I feel very strongly about it, and it gets very difficult for me to respond politely and reasonably when gay people are treated either as total hateful deviants or as theoretical political football. Equal rights affect the actual lives of my actual, human friends. The Mormon Church and I have reached a detente – so long as women and gays are treated as less-than, I won’t darken their doorstep. I’m sure they’re happy with that arrangement, but once that organization starts trying to creep back into my life I get very cranky.

    Like

  31. nerdycellist,

    Great response! I’ll add my two-cents, and then we can agree to disagree, or whatever.

    Please note that I’m not the Mormon church, even though I try to be a faithful adherent. 😉

    Point #1

    The “California Marriage Protection Act” which would amend the California State Constitution is indeed a response to the actions of the California Supreme Court’s ruling against Proposition 22 which made gay marriage illegal. Prop 22, if you recall, passed in 2000 by a 61% majority. However, the judges ruling doesn’t say that gay marriage is RIGHT, only that discrimination based on sexual orientation is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Of course, this issue goes even further back to laws that were passed by the legislature against gay marriage that were then vetoed by the governor. yada yada yada…

    But it speaks to our system of government – of the people, by the people, for the people. The people have the power; not the governor, not the legislature, not the supreme court. The state constitution is the SUPREME law of the land. Changing the constitution requires a significant majority and is VERY difficult to do without OVERWHELMING support.

    The marriage act isn’t being driven by the LDS church, although they are asking their adherents to support the amendment. I think that’s what you meant. I’m not sure I totally follow your logic about the president and congress re-writing the bible, etc.; but I don’t know if that would be an impeachable offense. ANYBODY can re-write the Bible. Shoot, it’s got more versions that probably any other book out there. Now if the president and congress got together and outlawed, for example, the KJV; that would be tantamount to establishing a state religion which IS unconstitutional.

    Point #2

    I hear your “live and let live” philosophy, but if I believe the “let live” actions of a few will have long-reaching negative moral consequences in society or within my organization; then exercising my right to speak out is a logical response. Of course, nobody but God KNOWS what the negative consequences will be. From my perspective, having “watchman at the tower” to warn of “impending danger” is very comforting. From a non-believer perspective, I can see how that might bother you. It does give the LDS leaders quite a bit of influence with adherents. But, we’re all at liberty to vote our conscience, and not all faithful adherents follow the party line.

    Point #3

    I really don’t lack empathy. My writing style may not adequately reflect the empathy that I truly feel. I apologize for that. And, as a heterosexual like you, I’m sure I can’t fully understand the homosexual mind.

    But, if I follow your logic, you’re saying that a God who doesn’t accept homosexual sex is cruel and evil. And, since God is not cruel and evil, homosexual sex must be acceptable. You’re basing your acceptance of homosexual sex on the profound and deeply spiritual feelings called eros. That just really strikes me as: “Dear God, I know better than you.” I would argue that, by definition, God knows EVERYTHING about profound and deeply spiritual love. Would you agree that it’s at least plausible that God has given us these moral principles BECAUSE He wants US to experience THE profoundest and deepest spiritual love possible, the same kind He experiences?

    I’m sure the adulteress that Jesus so compassionately chastened really felt eros with her sexual partner. But the counsel from the Lord was the same: “go thy way and sin no more.” Was that really cruel and evil? Or, was He encouraging her to follow a higher law?

    Point #4

    I disagree CATEGORICALLY that religions are focusing “to the exclusion of all other moral issues” the plight of the impoverished the world over in order to focus on their obsession with our genitals. It may be a fair criticism that they’re not doing enough for the impoverished, but vast sums of money and millions of charitable hours are donated every year to help the poor and needy. Open your eyes girl!

    Feel free to have the last word.

    Kindest regards,
    Todd

    Like

  32. dragonhlm says:

    I think we have all missed the point of this legislation. What is at stake is not weather someone’s actions are considered a sin in the eyes of God, but the God given rights of the individual to choose. Our forefathers envisioned a republic, a government for the people by the people. In a republic we protect the rights of the minority regardless if we agree with them or not. Todd, without these principles your precious Gospel could not have been restored, and your church destroyed for its beliefs. If anyone should appreciate these rules it should be you. When the majority makes decisions for the minority we are lost. The majority is able to vote itself special privileges not enjoyed by everyone. Let us remember that we may be the majority now and that may serve our cause, but tomorrow you may be the minority and if we do not protect these rights now you will loose them.

    And as a side note just to play Devil’s advocate. When I was LDS I was taught that we have “free agency” (the right to choose our own actions regardless of consequences) And by taking away someones “free agency” to be in a “sinful same sex marriage” you destroy “God’s Plan” and institute the adversary’s plan, where no one can choose.

    Like

  33. dragonhlm,

    Excellent post! Thanks for weighing in!

    I disagree that anyone is taking away the rights of homosexuals to choose the kind of lifestyle they want to live. People choose sin all the time, and in many instances the law protects their right to do so.

    I might argue that marriage is a priviledge and not a right, though. Is it a right? Would it fall under the “pursuit of happiness” clause? But I digress. That’s a matter for a whole new debate.

    You hit on a very interesting question, I think. Does the majority have a right to define marriage the way they believe it should be defined, in defiance of the minority?

    You cite a great example: our freedom to choose a religion based on our individual belief. That freedom did create an environment for the restoration, as you so astutely pointed out. And you’re 100% correct when you say that I should appreciate these rights. I do!

    But, what I think is an even more significant question is, does the minority have a right to redefine marriage the way THEY believe, in defiance of the majority?

    This majority / minority tug-of-war is one reason why the feds have been reluctant to seriously pursue a marriage amendment to the US constitution. They seem to believe, for the moment, that the gay marriage issue may best be settled by individual states. I think it’ll be an interesting debate going forward, and may eventually need to be decided at the federal level once and for all, much as the polygamy debate was finally settled over a century ago. Of course, the mormons were the minority back then, and it stung a bit. Some splinter groups (aka FLDS, etc.) NEVER got over it!

    However, the founders of our nation DID believe in majority rule. But they recognized that in order for this system to function, the majority had to be a decent, law-abiding, moral people so that the rights of the minority would be protected. This was a BIG concern of theirs. They weren’t convinced it would even work.

    I would say, so far, it’s worked pretty well (it’s certainly not a perfect system). I’m not sure the gay marriage proponents wouldn’t necessarily agree, since they appear to be the minority on this issue.

    I’m not sure what the majority rules are in California, but it usually takes a SIGNIFICANT majority to pass a constitutional amendment. That was one protection that was written into our laws. A simple majority can’t usually dictate the rules.

    A tact quite often used to justify all kinds of evil is “free agency.” Abortion proponents have famously couched their platform as “pro choice” as opposed to “pro abortion.” As indicated earlier, the agency of a homosexual isn’t being taken away. They can choose to engage in all the gay sex they want. They can have all the public ceremonies they want committing their lives to each other. However, if the amendment measure passes, they won’t be able to give it an air of legitamacy by calling it marriage (at least in California).

    You can refer to my previous post about how unfair our tax laws, etc. are.

    One more note on your comment regarding the difference between the Savior’s plan and the Devil’s plan. The Devil wanted to destroy mankind’s agency. By doing this, any possibility of being righteous is destroyed as well. If I can’t CHOOSE evil, then I can’t really CHOOSE righteousness either. Of course, the Book Of Mormon goes into great detail about the NEED for there to be AN opposition in ALL things, in order for righteousness to even EXIST. Many of the world’s great philosophers also recognized this principle. Pretty cool huh?

    I look forward to your response.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

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  34. azteclady says:

    If marriage is not a right, then why want to change the constitution to define it?

    Like

  35. azteclady,

    As much as I hate to admit it… 🙂

    I think you’re essentially right. However, the specific right is “equal protection under the law,” and not marriage, per se.

    The California Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is a “right” that is protected under the “equal protection under the law” clause of the constitution. Sexual orientation, per the majority ruling, was not a basis for discrimination, and therefore prop 22 was ruled unconstitutional.

    That led directly to the traditional marriage protection amendment that’s on the ballot for November, which would explicitly define the marriage rights in California.

    Hey, this is interesting stuff!
    Todd

    Like

  36. dragonhlm says:

    I just don’t know where to start Toddy.
    First lets talk about equal protection under the law. If you are required by law to obtain a license to marry, and your union is protected by law, then both heterosexual and homosexual unions should be allowed. I also believe that Polygamous unions should be allowed. You should jump on board with that one, but the caveat is this includes man-woman-man relationships and any other combinations you can think of. This will change the dynamic of what you define as the “traditional” family that is for sure.

    Now I know you are worried about the break up of the “traditional family unit” and that gay parents will make gay babies. This is just ridiculous if gay parents make gay babies, and straight parents make straight babies where did all the homosexuals come from? I would like to know who will decide what the traditional family unit will be? Will it be a stay at home mom, or a stay at home dad, or will both parents be forced to work. Are we going to limit the number of children to 2.5. Will children with a single parent not be entitled to survivorship of property and assets because their family was not recognized under the law? I know this may seam silly, but this may be the direction the “right” majority will lead us next.

    Just to be clear which one of the 27 amendments to the US constitution talks about polygamous marriage that settled the debate over a century ago?
    Which ever amendment it is I could not find it, but it must have stung more than a bit, their great, great grandkids are still crying today. Seems hypocritical to me.

    Next let us discuss “privileges”. I will just point out an example to illustrate how retarded this argument is. Under your line of thinking as long as someone has a similar option, but not the same option it is justified and constitutional. Sooo…. I guess as long as we provide drinking fountains for everyone, we can limit access to certain drinking fountains from a group of people we find undesirable. We may also force this group of people to sit on the back of public transportation. You could argue that sitting on the front of the bus is a “privilege” and that those drinking fountains placed closer to offices are a “privilege”, but you would be wrong and the supreme court has upheld those rulings.

    Lastly, I would like to make a prediction. If this amendment passes, which I do not believe it will.( California is way to forward thinking) It will be overruled by the supreme court just like the last one. And while my clarity of vision may surpass the last one hundred and seventy-eight years of mormon “prophets”(still waiting for that whole end of the world thing, when Joseph Smith will be crowned king of the world). Please do not call me a prophet, just a seer and revelator.

    Like

  37. dragonhlm,

    Excellent response! You sound a little cynical though, which muddies your logic a bit. For example, are you saying the polygamy debate wasn’t settled at the federal level? It was made very illegal at the federal level and it was the enforcement of the law by US officials that ultimately drove the Mormons to abandon the principle. You are correct, however, that it wasn’t by constitutional amendment. I don’t believe I indicated that it was, but if you feel the need to refute that point, press on!

    I cannot refute the logic in your first point. As it is today, gay marriage is essentially legal and protected in California. The CA Supreme Court decided that. However, polygamy is illegal, which eliminates all the icky combinations you mention. If the marriage protection amendment passes in California, then everything changes, of course. I am a descendant of a polygamist, but prefer monogamy, tyvm!

    I don’t recall making any statements regarding children. Of course, gay parents can’t make babies, since that violates a fundamental law of nature. And, of course, all of the homosexuals in the world came from a man’s sperm and a woman’s egg. I know you don’t need this education, which speaks to my first point regarding your cynicism. Now I’m sounding cynical.

    I understand your point around the majority / minority tug-of-war. As I indicated, the founders worried about the minority a lot. The difficult question was always how to protect the minority from being crushed by the rule of the majority. But you can’t give the minority too much power, or else they’ll upset the majority. So, they put what they felt were reasonable protections in place (e.g. it takes a significant majority to amend the constitution). It works pretty good, but isn’t a totally fool-proof system.

    Strike that “privilege” vs. “right” comment I made. Upon further reflection, we’re talking about the “equal protection” right in the constitution, which was the basis for the California Supreme Court ruling against prop 22. I followed up with a short post about that. I should have given that the same degree of thought I give everything else, or just left it out completely! My bad. 😦

    I’d have to see some actual data before I could compare your clarity of vision with the slate of Mormon prophets. Your prediction may very well be correct. With all due respect, that makes you neither seer nor revelator. If forced to cast my lot, I’d throw in the prophets (imperfect humans though they may be)!

    You don’t happen to know what the majority rule for passing the amendment is do you? Prop 22 passed 61/49%. My guess is that the amendment vote would be similar. Would 61% be enough?

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  38. dragonhlm says:

    Todd,
    I would like to let you know I am not cynical. Most of my comments were made tongue in cheek. I have complete trust in the human race taking care of each other. I do think that you and many other religious people let their religion narrow their view of the world. It seems you may be coming around. Thanks for seeing the light. You may not be that bad after all. I hope to see your views on other posts about mormonism.

    Like

  39. Todd says:

    dragonhlm,

    I’m with you on that narrowness comment, but would say it applies to unbelievers as well believers. Anytime we allow prejudice to bias our views the casualty is truth. And, may truth prevail…

    Todd

    Like

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