So my friend Nick wants to know if he can vote on YOUR marriage

You know, through this discussion with Todd, and of course over the past few weeks as California prepares to vote on whether or not homosexual couples can marry, I have done some pretty heavy thinking. There has been a lot roaming around in my mind, and one of the biggest things is my desire to continue to write on this blog. Why? Because I have reached a place in my life where I pretty much want to practice “live and let live.” I don’t believe Mormonism is true, and bigots and narrow-minded simpletons annoy me, and that will always be true, but for the most part, most of the Mormons I know are kind, good, loving people. Most of them are Mormon by nature of their birth and family inheritance, and while many of those believe wholeheartedly, if they were raised as, say, Catholics, they would also probably still be Catholics, just like they are Mormons.

And because I feel this way, and I have many Mormon friends and relatives, I really don’t WANT to be in this position anymore. I even considered stopping this blog completely, because I’m really tired of defending myself, and fighting off angry comments, and explaining myself over and over again. Why bother, when it really doesn’t matter that much to me WHAT you believe, as long as you respect the right of others to do the same.

And therein, of course, is the problem. It is the reason why I cannot and will never stop. Because while I do respect the right of Mormons to believe and live as they see fit, they do not return that same right to others. How sad is this?

The Mormons have donated MILLIONS of dollars to defeat Proposition eight, and in fact are the LARGEST donors of money to vote for a proposition filled with bias and inequality. So all of you who were jumping up and down when I said I was going to close this blog, sorry to disappoint. But I will NEVER stop as long as YOU don’t stop.

Interestingly enough, there is a large amount of division among Mormons about this very issue. I find this so encouraging that I want to applaud all those who have had the courage to stand up against the hierarchy and say, “Hey, wait a minute.”

This, you see, is a church that has pretty much admitted that they KNOW homosexuality is not a choice. Still, they are determined to deny happiness and respect to those who are BORN this way. Why? It simply makes no sense.

The LDS Church has a long history of persecution and bias themselves. Against THEM, folks. It still exists today. They say you can’t understand someone else’s pain until you have walked a mile in their shoes, and I just have to think here, “Look, if the shoe fits…” Walk that mile, LDS Church leaders. Respect for Mormon beliefs has been hard to come by, and your religion is a very, very long way from being accepted.

For example, Todd has asked me why I am FOR gay marriage, but against polygamy. Of course, HE is for polygamy and ardently vehemently against gay marriage. He would rather see twelve-year-old girls married off to old men, only to go on to live a life of servitude and subjugation, forever having babies and sharing your husband with other women so he can get HIS glory and “rightful” blessings.

Have I twisted this properly, Todd? It’s made you look pretty damn bad. And yet CAN you defend your position? I shall clarify here, before you get your garmies in too big of a twist. See, today’s mainstream LDS Church does not practice physical polygamy. They have tried to distance themselves from the offshoots of Mormonism that DO practice polygamy, even laying claim to the name “Mormon.” But these fundamental Mormons ARE fundamental offshoots of Mormonism, and it can be looked at no other way. They are living the LDS Church tenets the way that Joseph Smith, Jr., taught them.

And it is in THESE circumstances that the abuse and perversion happens. I know that today’s Mormon males do not have more than one wife, except of course, if they are allowed to marry another one in the LDS Temple. Now this only happens when a spouse has died or there has been a divorce, but it DOES happen, and they DO believe that ALL of them will be together in the Celestial Kingdom. Polygamy is STILL an important part of the Mormon belief system.

Thus, they can’t exactly vote against polygamy, now can they? It’s the reason that so much abuse was allowed to go on for so many years in Pligville. It makes one seem rather hypocritical to go after someone who is living a lifestyle that you yourself believe in–even if you aren’t practicing it right now.

So, here we are in 2008, and gay couples have been given the right to marry in the state of California. And OH, Lordy, the religious reich, er, right, is up in arms over that. And the biggest player in the fight to make sure that homosexuals are NOT given the same rights as other Americans is the Mormon Church.

And I don’t get it. The problem, they say, is that allowing gay marriage is a huge danger to the “institution” of marriage itself, which should only be between a man and a woman. Apparently, allowing homosexual couples to marry would threaten that.

Right here I have to stop. Because, WHY? I mean, seriously, have they even THOUGHT about this? These people are GAY. They are looking for OTHER people who are also gay. The only thing a gay man wants from a woman is friendship, a shopping partner, and possibly someone to sit next to during a vital mani/pedi. But he does NOT want to steal your wife. I can assure you of this.

So how does this threaten you? Todd, have YOU even thought about this? How do you look yourself in the mirror and claim to be a religious man, when you act and react with such negative, bigoted responses to others being afforded the same rights that you apparently take for granted.

But, of course, you are a white priesthood bearing male, and apparently that makes you special. Can you PLEASE explain to me why you believe this?

And why you believe this so-called “true” church has the right to shamelessly stick their very grubby fingers in the political waters and yet claim a religious exemption, because they are a CHURCH. This behavior is shameful and abusive, and YOU Todd, and all the others like you are supporting it because you believe you are better than everyone else, and thus entitled to blessings that others cannot obtain.

And don’t tell me you don’t believe this, because if you didn’t, you would NOT support your church trying to dictate love and marriage to millions of California residents.

So, please, Todd, explain to all of us how you can support this.

And my friend Nick wants to know if he can vote on YOUR marriage. Since you think you can vote on his, I think it’s only fair.

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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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65 Responses to So my friend Nick wants to know if he can vote on YOUR marriage

  1. Kate says:

    Good post Natalie!!! Ya let him have it with sound arguments!
    California’s prop 8 is no business of the mormon church, or any church for that matter…it is a legal binding agreement, not a religious one.
    A person needs a license to get married, and a courtroom for a divorce. Both of which can easily be done without ANY religion involved.
    It is none of the churchs’ business.
    Why do the mormons always think that they can dictate the way a person can live their life??!

    Like

  2. Todd says:

    Natalie,

    Gay marriage is certainly a divisive moral issue that the voters of California will resolve for their state today.

    You’re right, denying happiness and respect to homosexuals makes no sense. I wish the homosexual community all the happiness and respect possible. I believe they should have all of the legal rights married partners have. I believe in California they already do. But marriage, by definition, is between a man and a woman. They’re going to have to call what they have something different. It’s not marriage.

    I’ve never indicated that I think 12-yr old girls should be forced into marriages to old men, etc. That’s a whopper, Natalie. You don’t have any substance on this issue, so apparently feel the need to make up outlandish characterizations.

    I noticed the significant shift in your rhetoric regarding polygamy. It’s now gone from being a “major” tenet that is “actively” practiced everyday, to merely an “important part of the belief system.”

    Abuse and perversion happen in monogamous marriages, too. What is your remedy for that?

    No one (that I know of) is concerned about their wife being stolen by a gay person. Where did that come from? I don’t feel threatened, so there’s nothing to explain.

    The church has every right to speak out on moral issues and to encourage their adherents to do the same.

    Yes, I think Nick should vote on my marriage. Tell him to get it on the next ballot.

    Love,
    Todd

    Like

  3. Excellent post! Amen and praise Jeebus, Sister.

    I won’t stop of you won’t.

    Like

  4. azteclady says:

    But marriage, by definition, is between a man and a woman. They’re going to have to call what they have something different. It’s not marriage.

    Whose definition? What kind of equality is it that insists that it’s different?

    Why is it different?

    Because of the wabbly bits of the spouses? Do the wabbly bits change the feelings, responsibilities, privileges of a loving and committed relationship between adults? No.

    Because of the “but they can’t have children!!!!” argument? So, gee, if a woman is barren or a man has no viable sperm, is their marriage invalid as well?

    Because of the “sanctity” of a “God created” man/woman relationship? Then what’s the answer to adultery among heterosexual couples? or is adultery fine as long as you have man/woman in the marriage contract?

    Like

  5. WendyP. says:

    But marriage, by definition, is between a man and a woman. They’re going to have to call what they have something different. It’s not marriage.

    The entitlement. It’s mine, mine, mine! Not yours! Really Todd. Do you hear yourself?

    Like

  6. Todd says:

    Pick your poison…

    How about God’s definition?

    How about Webster’s definition? The state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.

    Pretty soon, I suspect, it’ll be California’s definition. But, you know, I could be wrong.

    If you don’t know the difference between a marriage and a civil union, talk to your mother. She should be able to explain it to you. It has to do with the differences between boys and girls.

    I’m sorry, I don’t know what a “wabbly bit” is. Are you talking about a penis and breasts? A loving and committed relationship between adults is a wonderful thing. It doesn’t define marriage. Children don’t define marriage. Adultery doesn’t define (or negate) marriage.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  7. azteclady says:

    God’s definition? What, you have it from His lips now?

    As for a dictionary’s definition… oh sweetie, you think language is static?

    I would suggest that you talk to your mother about your incredible arrogance and insulting condescension, but frankly it would be even more of a waste of electrons as trying to have a coherent and logical conversation with you.

    Like

  8. Natalie says:

    Todd,

    I am not backing down on ANYTHING. You said:

    “I noticed the significant shift in your rhetoric regarding polygamy. It’s now gone from being a “major” tenet that is “actively” practiced everyday, to merely an “important part of the belief system.””

    Just because I don’t use the same words every time does not indicate a shift in my thinking. I stand by ALL of the above. Different words, same meaning.

    And tell me, please, where “God” defined marriage. Where was that?

    Then you say:
    “Abuse and perversion happen in monogamous marriages, too. What is your remedy for that?”

    So that makes marrying twelve year olds off okay? Because it happens in MONOGAMOUS marriages, too?

    Like

  9. Natalie says:

    Oh, and as for THIS comment:

    “I’ve never indicated that I think 12-yr old girls should be forced into marriages to old men, etc. That’s a whopper, Natalie. You don’t have any substance on this issue, so apparently feel the need to make up outlandish characterizations.”

    Duh. We all know that. I fully acknowledged that. So you are fighting a non-existent dragon here. I was making a point about SPINNING, which apparently was a bit over your head. I’m well aware you would not condone marrying off a young girl to an old man, and yet, if you turn your back on it and say it’s “not your issue,” is that not what you are doing, in essence? As long as I speak out, I am not guilty of “turning my back” on that twelve-year-old.

    Like

  10. Todd says:

    Natalie,

    I reread your post in light of your recent comment, and I can see where you were headed with the 12-yr old stuff. You’re usually a pretty easy read, so please forgive my misread. Let me untwist my panties here a bit… 🙂

    If I’ve got it straight now, you’re arguing that Utah officials (tainted by their mormon polygamous beliefs) were turning their backs on severe abuse issues in polygamous Colorado City and it’s the church’s fault because polygamy is an important belief and those fundamentalists just never stopped the practice.

    If that is indeed what you’re arguing, I can see your logic. My understanding is that, as a policy, known issue of physical and emotional abuse were prosecuted even if the polygamy itself was not. Didn’t they convict Jeffs and others on the abuse allegations?

    I’m certainly with you on the abuse front. The penalties should be swift and severe. So, if your logic in speaking out against polygamy is to prevent abuse, I’m with you sort of. One would think that you’d speak out directly against abuse, however, and not polygamy per se; since abuse happens in every type of family. That would also be consistent with your stated live-and-let-live belief.

    Humbly,
    Todd

    Like

  11. Todd says:

    azteclady,

    I have God’s definition from as close to His lips as possible. Have you ever read the Bible? That’s my source.

    So our core values should be dynamic, just because our language is?

    Now THAT is incoherent and illogical… 🙂

    ur frend,
    Todd

    Like

  12. azteclady says:

    Todd, you have read the Bible as it was written several thousand years ago, in the original incarnation/interpretation of EACH of the many books that together make up the Holy Book?

    If you have, then you are closer than any other human but Jesus to hearing the words of God.

    Frankly, though, I have a suspicion that you’ve read choice passages from your current translation AND filtered it through the ‘teachings’ of the book or mormon.

    Forgive me if I’m just a tad doubtful as to the accuracy of your interpretation of God’s words, let alone His will.

    If, in order to defend your beliefs you have to belittle my beliefs, and if you need to know my credentials to participate in a religious discussion in order to dignify my disagreement with you, I’ll just say this:

    I have read several variations of several of the books in the Bible–in two languages, thank you–interpreted, translated, copied and transcribed by generation upon generation of MEN. Not humans, but MEN.

    And if change is incoherent and illogical, you may want to go live with the Amish–the technology that is allowing you to preach to me was brought about by changes in the way humans thought about the world around them. Age of Reason and Renaissance and Industrial Revolution–ring any bells for you?

    Frankly, a man that can go from cradle to grave without examining and changing his beliefs accordingly to the experiences of his life, is a waste of life and the conscience and brain the good Lord gave him.

    Like

  13. dragonhlm says:

    Natalie,
    Just thought this video said it all:

    Todd,
    You DO indicate that you think young girls should be forced into marriages to old men. By casting your lot “without a moment’s hesitation”, with men who paved the way for abusers like the FLDS. You are also holding your arm to the square to support everything they did, which says you are OK with their actions. And just so you know Joseph Smith Jr. was the first pervert to marry a child, some as young as 14 years old.

    Mike

    Like

  14. Tracy says:

    Just a bit of background info about Prop. 8.

    Some years back, the state had a prop…I don’t recall the number, about gay marriage. The majority voted against it. A judge overturned the vote, as usual. in California, more props are overturned…I think it’s become a sport, anyway, prop. 8 is a response to the above mentioned.

    Now, gay and lesbians had all legal rights as a couple before Prop 8 was introduced, the only thing they didn’t have was the word “marriage.” Their civil unions were just as valid as a marriage.

    My mother worked for county retirement, and when a retiree who was gay would call, their partner had legal rights to the retired persons pension, when that person passed away, and were entitled to medical and dental also.

    If Prop 8 is approved, I don’t think this would effect the legal status of the civil unions. I might be wrong though…lawyers sure can screw up the process.

    If it is defeated, then things stay as they are.

    Okay, I know my post had nothing to do with the above replies, but I wanted to put it out there…discuss.

    Like

  15. Todd says:

    Mike,

    Those who I sustain “without a moment’s hesitation” also support monogamous marriages where perversion and abuse occasionally occur. I don’t hear you railing against those marriages.

    Your logic is:
    abuse happens in polygamous marriages
    therefore polygamous marriages cause abuse

    Your logic is flawed.

    Those who abuse in both mono- and polygamous (and other) arrangements bear the responsibility of their abusive actions all by themselves.

    It’s easy to make allegations against Joseph Smith. That proves neither perversion nor impropriety.

    Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  16. Todd says:

    azteclady,

    Yes, the bible is old, translated primarily by men, and subject to interpretation. So…

    Awesome! You’ve read some of it in two different languages! So…

    Umm… I never said that change is incoherent nor illogical. What I said is that it’s incoherent and illogical to change one’s core values just because one’s language is dynamic. I believe, as you stated in your own twisted way, that we should change (or not) as our understanding increases.

    Kindly,
    Todd

    Like

  17. K*tty says:

    Todd, I would be interested in your defense of why J S. married the 14 year old Kimball girl after he said he wanted to marry her mother, who was already married. The criteria that I was taught was it was to help the women be taken care of because of a lack of “a few good men.” Then with a switch and bate scheme, he pretty much said, “I’m just joking, I will marry your daughter instead.” Mrs. Kimball had to be relieved for herself, but she had to talk like a Dutch uncle to get the girl to marry Smith. It was a “let’s take one for the team attitude,” since Smith promised salvation for the whole family. How magnanimous! Also wonder why the Mormons won’t spend millions fighting polygamy, when that’s not the definition of marriage our country believes either.

    Meow!

    Like

  18. JulieAnn says:

    Todd,

    Hypothetical question.

    What if someone decided that dead people have civil rights, and since they can’t consent to marriage or, for that matter, consent to be baptized, a law was brought before the legislature to cease and desist all baptisms for the dead and post-mortem marriages by the Mormon Church members.

    And let’s say this vote wasn’t just in Utard, but the entire nation was to vote on it.

    How do you think Mormons would feel? Persecuted? Victimized? I would bet that most people outside of Utah feel that baptizing and uniting people in marriage without their consent is immoral.

    Now, I know enough about church ‘rhetoric’ (to use Todd’s dismissive and condescending term for Natalie’s opinion) to know that people in the hereafter have the choice to refuse their baptism. The point is, morality is subjective. To make and pass laws and to create legal definitions based on ‘morality’ is foolish and irresponsible both historically and culturally.

    It is not against my morals if two adults marry, no matter what their sex. Now, I don’t usually like pulling the ‘god card’ because, quite frankly, it’s like using the bible as a reference source–illogical and irrelevant. (can you imagine a law, medical or accounting reference book with as many errors, different renditions and inexperts adding to the text being taken seriously?! Oh my…) But I’ve found, Todd, that when speaking to individuals such as yourself, it’s good to find common ground. That said, if ‘god’s’ definition of marriage is between one man and one woman, then god must have only intended a small portion of the population to get married. And this doesn’t account for god’s change of heart in regards to the hereafter’s polygamy plan.

    Can you list some references (other than the fairy tale books) that show me and us why god only wants heterosexual people to marry? Now, you stated it isn’t for procreation, because that doesn’t make a marriage; I’m not sure how adultry fits into the point at all, I think that’s irrelevant, and ‘love and committment’ don’t define it. You also mentioned penises and breasts, so I infer from that example that you feel that secondary sex traits are what determine a person’s rights to marraige. Yet, there are men who are born with the propensity to have breasts and women who are born with male genitalia. And Visa versa, of course. So again, who made that distinction and on what was it based?

    Now, why is it that the definition of marriage is so stagnant, Todd? The answer is: it isn’t.

    Todd, you seem like a learned fellow, so allow me to illustrate my point (since my last comment didn’t seem warrant a response from you–perhaps it was irrelevant to you):

    By definition, marriage was at first an attempt to continue bloodlines and a way to secure land. It wasn’t about plumbing, it was about ‘rights’. Women were given very little, if any, voice in their mate. Women were used as bartering tools, political leverage, property and, as I stated about bloodlines, breeding. They had no rights.

    Did that definition change? It did; it did with the advent of the 12th century when romance and love were introduced into the concept of marriage. Now, hold on, here–LOVE was introduced. Is love a moral issue or a human condition, Todd? I would say the latter. And love can’t be given as a right. It just simply is.

    With the introduction of love into the paradigm of marriage, the concept of marriage shifted and became a matter of not only legal implication but of personal choice. Women eventually could choose whom they married. Women, the gender that was not allowed the same human rights as men (rights that some people now take for granted) were granted the right to refuse or accept marriage. Was this based on god’s declaration that women were now allowed this right? No. It was a shift, a socio-cultural expansion that came about through enlightenment and acceptance. Was it a moral issue that women could now choose? No, it was not. It was a right granted.

    Marriage, by its very nature is dynamic, and to say otherwise is to deny the facts of history and show a lack of knowledge and foresight into the human condition. We are about change, we are about growth; we are entering a new era that converges all of the hopes and dreams of this nation into one people, one voice.

    The one roadblock to that growth is fear. The fear of the small minded, ignorant, and yes of the ‘moral’. The fear that things will change and there will be no way of controlling their world anymore.

    Newsflash, Todd–things are going to change no matter what. It’s only a matter of time. Those like you who so stubbornly cling to the concept of marriage as only between a man and woman would best look back over our history and see how marriage has grown, changed, and sometimes even warped around the opening of the collective mind.

    The definition of marriage is not stagnant. Morality is not a pansophical condition claimed by the righteous; marriage is a right, a basic human one, and marriage itself is, for lack of a better term, ready to evolve and grow up. How about you try doing that, too?

    respectfully,

    JulieAnn

    Like

  19. powerdude says:

    California voters approve gay-marriage ban.

    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=157&sid=4654359

    Oh, well…

    Like

  20. azteclady says:

    Not written in stone, no matter what some think.

    Change, it be in the air.

    Like

  21. Todd says:

    K*tty,

    Your allegations prove neither perversion nor impropriety. Apparently the Kimball’s didn’t have a problem with Joseph and were happy for their daughter.

    Ruff!

    Todd

    Like

  22. azteclady says:

    And if the Kimballs were happy for their daughter, who gives a bark whether the 14 year old was happy herself, right?

    Yeah, that makes it all right and righteous and moral.

    Like

  23. Tracy says:

    powerdude,

    this is the third time it’s been voted on, I had forgotten about the first vote many, many years ago, and I’m sure a third time it will be struck down by the courts.

    What would we Californian’s do if what the majority voted on actually stuck? I would be shocked. : )

    Like

  24. WendyP. says:

    Todd, your nonchalance regarding Joseph’s polygamy is unseemly at best and that’s me being charitable in my wording. Many thinking rank and file Mormons see at least some grey in his involvement with young girls and married women.

    Like

  25. Todd says:

    JulieAnn,

    Excellent post. I’m not a social science expert, so I’ll accept your claims regarding the history of marriage as fact.

    You ask for references that show WHY God only wants heteros to marry. I won’t even attempt to do that. Why did God command to not kill, not steal, not lie, not covet, etc.? The answers, in my opinion, are self-evident. Does God have to explain Himself (not that he won’t)?

    Your argument that same-sex marriage is a natural progression of the marriage paradigm in an enlightened environment of change and growth is very eloquent. You can couch your argument in whatever makes it more palatable to your taste, but I’m not buying into the concept. And, my choice isn’t based on a small-minded, ignorant, and narrow fear; but on a broad and informed faith, to which I do ardently cling.

    I would agree that marriage is a basic human right.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  26. Todd says:

    WendyP.

    Each of us has to decide how Joseph’s actions fit within the context of his culture and time, and with what I believe was his singularly unique perspective of eternity by virtue of his special assignment.

    I’m not willing to nonchalantly accept the insinuation that Joseph was perverted or that any of his marriages were improper, even though I can see how others might reach that conclusion.

    Best Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  27. Todd says:

    azteclady,

    There’s no evidence to suggest that Helen Kimball, herself, was anything but agreeable and happy about her marriage to Joseph.

    Todd

    Like

  28. azteclady says:

    Evidence?

    You are talking about evidence?

    Oh dear me.

    Like

  29. Todd says:

    I take it you don’t have any… 🙂

    Like

  30. WendyP. says:

    “There’s no evidence to suggest that Helen Kimball, herself, was anything but agreeable and happy about her marriage to Joseph.”

    http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/26-HelenMarKimball.htm

    Sounds pretty miserable to me.

    Like

  31. Kent says:

    Todd and Tracy — and everyone else for that matter,

    I’m feeling a little giddy today over the fact that I had the privilege to vote for a winning candidate for a change. I’m also feeling quite patriotic and American and legal today — I love it when lawyers are in charge.

    Lawyers remember things that most people forget — like the Constitution, like separation of church and state.

    Most of the quibbling seems to be over definitions. (Tracy, I beg to differ, lawyers don’t screw everything up, they keep everything from being screwed up beyond recognition.) Everyone talks about definitions, but other than the quote of Webster’s no one has really gone to the scriptures, which Todd sites as his seminal source of knowledge.

    The first mention of marriage in the Bible that I could find (Adam and Eve cleaving to one another as one flesh is never really defined as marriage) was in Genesis 34:9, when after defiling Dinah the daughter of Jacob, Shechem the prince wanted more of her, because according to the Bible (so it must be so) “he loved the damsel” . So his Dad, Hamor, asked Jacob for an exchange of women between the kingdoms to create an alliance and a fair price as well. Jacob, being the Godly man that he is, consents and says that this sounds like a good alliance — with one little caveat, Hamor, his son and their men would need to be circumcised. After the operation, Hamor and crew are a little sore and easy pickings for the House of Israel who kills them all and takes all of their property.

    Was this the definition you had in mind, Todd? Marriage as a ploy for murder and plunder? It is in the Bible.

    For every positive, I can give you two negatives from the Bible for your argument, i.e. Luke 20:35 (“the resurrection from the dead, neitherr marry, nor are given in marriage.”).

    And of course, D&C 132:15-16, which seems to make the case for gay marriage in an odd way, since it defines civil and other religious marriage as something only of this world and not binding. If it isn’t binding, why the political push?

    This isn’t really a definitional argument, Todd, your protestations to the contrary.

    To make my point, I suggest the following solution:

    1. Do away with State sanctioned marriage. Only allow states to create civil unions between two consenting adults and do not allow the State to license marriage.
    2. Leave marriage to be defined by a person’s individual religious beliefs and religious institution, if they choose to “marry.” To paraphrase an Article of Faith, “Let them marry, who, how or what they may.”

    Problem solved. Right?

    Would you oppose that solution? Or are we really talking about something else here?

    Kent

    P.S. My lovely wife wrote her own long response and while we are on the topic of marriage — I’m very glad I married her (and that I didn’t have to kill any of her relatives to do it.)

    Like

  32. Tracy says:

    Kent, why do you throw me in with Todd…yuck! I need a shower now.

    But it is true, lawyers screw it up more then they help, that why we keep having to vote on things that we voted on before.

    Whether one likes it or not, when the majority speaks, that should be the end of it, but some lawyer takes it to court, and screws it up big time. It happens all the time here in California.

    As for your marriage proposal suggestion, isn’t a marriage license given by the state, just a contract between the two parties? It is nothing more than a civil union anyway? and when the two parties divorce they need to take it to court to break the contract?

    It only is Holy Matrimony during a religious service.

    I don’t know why Gay’s and Lesbians cannot go to the court house to get married as that is not a religious ceremony, but a civil one.

    Just asking.

    Like

  33. JulieAnn says:

    Todd,

    We as a society created the above laws because most of them infringe on the basic rights of the individual. Societies do that. All societies. You and I would agree, I’m sure, that killing someone is indeed violating their right as a human being to…well, be.

    However, envy has not been legislated; pride has not been legislated (although you’ve turned it into an art form–my compliments and lucky for you). Lying has not been legislated. You named all of these laws as examples of god’s laws and amalgamated them with the laws of the land. This is not a viable argument. You see, the commandments/laws you stated are not all-inclusive nor do they incorporate all of the laws of men.

    Now, the ‘laws of men’ and the laws of god do sometimes overlap. Hey, god isn’t completely without merit–there is the ‘no stealing other people’s stuff’ and ‘don’t bear false witness’ commandment. But on the whole, the ‘laws’ to which you refer are condensed representations of a much older set of Babylonian laws circa 1760 B.C. called Hammurabi’s Code. Unlike the ten commandments and the heretofore evasive ‘golden plates’, the evidence of said code was discovered in the early 1900’s and is displayed, I believe, in the Louvre Museum today.

    So I disagree, Todd–the answers are not self-evident at all. Your argument is illogical. Your ‘answer’ merely points to the fact that man created god, man created god’s laws, so naturally, man’s laws and god’s laws will, at some juncture, overlap. And yes, I’d love it if god explained {him}self. That would be helpful at this point, because his mouthpiece on this earth seems to be filled with hot rancid gas rather than the professed “love thy neighbor” model.

    I don’t need the concept of same-sex marriage to be ‘palatable’, Todd; that isn’t my place. And you don’t need to ‘buy into the concept’ either. It is irrelevant whether or not I agree or disagree with it; it is irrelevant if you disagree with it. It is irrelevant if it is against my morals or my belief system, and it is irrelevant if it’s against yours. It is also irrelevant if it upsets the higher echelons of your church. You seem to be under the impression that you are THAT important. You and your church are not.

    Marriage is a basic human right by your own admission. What business do you or any of us have to infringe on that right?

    Now, you stated that your choice “isn’t based on a small-minded, ignorant, and narrow fear” and that you cling to a ‘broad and informed faith’. Well, we will have to agree to disagree on that one because arguing beliefs is about as useful as peeing in the ocean to change the tide.

    Which is why I’m not arguing beliefs, Todd, I’m presenting my conclusions with the use of logic and facts. Emotional arguments, all due respect to others here, get you nowhere.

    Now respective to my wildly intelligent and sexy husband, I will say this: I think his solution to do away with State sanctioned marriage is brilliant. You, Todd, can be civilly united with your partner and so can the rest of us. Marriage itself will be confined to one’s own personal religion or belief system.

    It wouldn’t be giving up anything, right? You’d still have your temple marriage.

    And if you do have a problem with that, then we have a problem logically, don’t we? Because you would have to admit that 1) you don’t believe that homosexual couples deserve the same inalienable human rights and equal protection of the law as you, and 2) therefore you should not have the same rights as other groups that happen to be in the majority in this country. Quite a pickle.

    Because if people all across the board are civilly united and then ecclesiastically married, then that would indeed solve the problem–unless you oppose that, which would lead me to believe that homophobia is the underlying sentiment here.

    Best,

    JulieAnn

    Like

  34. Todd says:

    Kent,

    Marriage is a ploy for murder and plunder… I’m convinced! 😉

    I also think your solution is great! Get the state out of our personal affairs!

    Great post!

    Todd

    Like

  35. Kent says:

    Ok, Tracy, if you insist, I’ll separate you,

    A bit off topic, but you are completely wrong about the fact that when the majority speaks that should be the end of it. If the majority states that police should have the right to invade your home whenever they want or if the majority states the schools should be segregated by color, only the lawyers are there to enforce the underlying fundamental principals against the majority. Or to get back on topic — as you stated, “I don’t know why Gay’s and Lesbians cannot go to the court house to get married as that is not a religious ceremony, but a civil one. ” The answer is because the majority said “No.”

    The basic legal argument for same-sex marriage is the equal protection clause of the Constitution (State or Federal) meaning that the law has to treat everyone fairly and equally without discrimination. It is a simple and obvious argument why equal protection would require same-sex marriage — any two people wanting to enter into a marriage contract should be treated equally, regardless of race or gender.

    With Obama as President and the right appointees to the United States Supreme Court, you could find the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution interpreted to make same-sex marriage a necessity as a matter of Constitutional law, which would over-rule the majority voting on Proposition 8.

    You are also wrong about marriage being simply a contract between two people. Marriage, as it is currently, is a license granted by the State that gives two people specific rights and privileges within the State. These rights and privileges include rights to inheritance, tax breaks (or liabilities), and defined property rights, to name just a few. The civil union legislation I’ve seen has fallen far short of equaling the rights currently given a married heterosexual couple. From a legal and voting perspective, marriage has nothing to do with religion.

    Which brings me to Todd:

    Todd,

    Thanks for agreeing with me.

    And now the obvious question — so why should the Church get involved in Proposition 8, isn’t that involving the State in dictating personal affairs? Shouldn’t a Christian religion espousing compassion, tolerance and love for the souls of humanity, living and dead, be looking for ways to resolve, rather than perpetrate differences?

    If the solution is as easy as it seemed, just do away with State sanctioned marriage, why doesn’t the leadership of the Church come out and say proudly, “We are Americans. We are a religion that was born out of American soil. We believe in being subject to our rulers and rendering unto Caesar, what is Caesar’s. We believe in the freedom of religion and let all men worship according to the dictates of their own conscience. We believe that marriage is the new and everlasting covenant as defined in the Doctrine and Covenants and that civil marriages are not binding in the hereafter. Because of that belief, let the government bind what it will here on earth. We have no objection.”

    That is what the religion of my youth would say.
    That is what I learned across the street from Davis High School with you and Natalie.
    That is not what the Church is doing.

    Why?

    Like

  36. Todd says:

    JulieAnn,

    No wonder Kent loves you. You’re brilliant! Unfortunately, you’re also wrong.

    BTW, lying has been legislated. It’s called perjury. But I think I know what you mean. Perjury is a special class of lying.

    If I understand your argument, you conclude that Hammurabi’s Code marked the beginning of the “laws” that I mentioned as self-evident, since condensations of those laws are found in the bible which came along 400-500 years later. I think you would agree that it’s quite plausible and even probable that Hammurabi was merely expounding on existing self-evident social customs, laws or traditions when he wrote his “code” in circa 1760 B.C. that was discovered in the early 1900’s and is now on display in the Louvre. Just because they’re the oldest known example of these laws doesn’t mean they were the first, nor that they originated with Hammurabi.

    If you don’t need same-sex marriage to be “palatable” then why do you go to such lengths to show that it fits naturally into the marriage paradigm in an enlightened environment of change and growth? Why not simply state your belief and dispense will all of the eloquent, emotional, and – by your own admission – irrelevant, prose?

    If what you and I and the rest of society believes on same-sex marriage is irrelevant, then why does the gay & lesbian community care so deeply that their unions be called marriages? Why don’t they do as your (wildly intelligent and sexy!) husband suggests: get their civil union, go have their preferred ecclesiastical “marriage” ceremony, and ignore what society thinks? Why does the marriage paradigm have to change at all? Why isn’t that solution palatable to them?

    Doesn’t society use different words to explain logical differences all over the place (apartments vs. condos, stocks vs. bonds, etc.)? Why is the homosexual community so adamant that a civil union be called a marriage? Aren’t they both technically civil unions, one for same-sex and the other for opposite-sex partners? Why does it have to be a one-solution fits all world?

    Kindest Regars,
    Todd

    Like

  37. Todd says:

    Kent,

    My take on the church’s stated position is the underlying belief that the same-sex marriage movement will ultimately infringe upon the church’s free exercise of religion. They’ve even made the case that in certain situations this is already being attempted.

    I disagree that the church and other Christian religions aren’t “espousing compassion, tolerance and love for the souls of humanity, living and dead” and aren’t “looking for ways to resolve, rather than perpetrate differences.” We can disagree on this and other issues while maintaining compassion, tolerance and love, and all of those other things.

    Best Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  38. Kelly says:

    Hi All,
    Over the years I’ve come to believe that religions who claim to
    speak for God, or know that their doctrines and articles of faith are
    the restored gospel of God, are based solely on mortal hypocrisy.
    These reactionary organization’s doctrines and articles of faith
    are easily proven false, but the hypocrisy that their doctrines are
    based on is damn hard to put to rest. Of all the reactionary religions
    out there, the LDS church is on top of the steaming pile of hypocrisy
    that “true” religions use to fuel their crusades against humanity.
    People like Todd and their religions are like the Exxon Valdez. All
    we can do is clean up after them and hope we can keep the damage to
    the real world at a minimum. Hopefully in the long term truth and
    real spirituality will win out.

    Kelly

    Like

  39. JulieAnn says:

    Hey Todd,

    Brilliant AND wrong? Wow, what a combination. 🙂

    Lying has been legislated with more than just perjury, but we both know to what i was referring, so your point is moot.

    So….what I understand from your argument was this: “Just because they’re the oldest known example of these laws doesn’t mean they were the first, nor that they originated with Hammurabi.” And…? I mean, the rest of your paragraph basically regurgitates what I had written.

    Allow me to clarify a couple of points. First, nowhere in my argument did I state that Hammurabi’s Code was the first set of governing laws. I simply used them as an example because there is tangible proof of their existence (unlike the 10 Commandments and the BofM). They did, pre-date the 10 Commandments by about 600 years, after all. By that logic, I would conclude that whenever the laws originated (pre-Hammurabi), you would be hard-pressed to show me that they came from god. Glad you agree with me that the Big Ten were not the first.

    Oh and as a little fun-fact: Hammurabi believed that the god Marduk charged him with the creation of this set of laws (sound familiar?) So either the Judeo-Christian god is a plagiarizer, not very bright because he couldn’t come up with his own, OR–or–maybe it’s because both sets of laws were created by man.

    I go to such lengths to show same-sex marriage as palatable, Todd, just for you. 🙂 Believe it or not, I don’t walk around muttering and arguing with myself about this topic. Others, maybe, but not this one.

    Now, another clarification–and this is a biggie–Nowhere did I say that same-sex marriage is irrelevant. Read it again, Todd. I said your FEELINGS on it are irrelevant; your beliefs in regards to it are not pertinent. Whether you like the concept or not is not applicable here. It’s applicable to you in your home and in your churches, but not in our society or in our laws. I believe that negates the rest of your argument, because beliefs and feelings don’t determine basic human rights.

    Some people wept when whites and blacks could legally intermarry. Can you imagine such small-mindedness? My hopes for your church is that your children and your children’s children will have the same outlook on this period of time and this issue.

    Not to stoop to 2nd grade tactics, but why haven’t YOU just stated your belief and walked away from this forum, Todd? I’m here because Natalie is my friend and I enjoy the banter. So…the contention getting you a little excited? Tsk tsk…

    Now, I wrote that your beliefs and your church’s beliefs on SSM is irrelevant. I wrote that because they are irrelevant to the legal system-SSM is a RIGHT and when a person’s rights are being rescinded, it tends to piss them off. Is that clear and un-prose-like enough for you?

    I am not gay or lesbian, so I can’t speak for their community. But I will say that they seem to simply want the same legal rights as hetero couples have to marry. That’s all, Todd. So what’s so scary about that? You alluded to some mysterious “infringement” on the mormon church’s rights….huh?! ‘Splain that one, Lucy! How is my marriage, your marriage or anyone’s marriage going to affect your church? Tell me. I could walk in and demand to be sealed to Kent in one of your temples and the old ladies in white would have every legal right to call some security guards and have me thrown out. The church is a private organization and can discriminate all it wants (obviously).

    Now, as my (brilliant and sexy) husband wrote: “The civil union legislation I’ve seen has fallen far short of equaling the rights currently given a married heterosexual couple. From a legal and voting perspective…”

    THAT’S why, Todd. That’s why civil unions aren’t ‘good enough.’

    So society uses different words to explain logical differences (condos you rent or buy, apartments you simply rent, correct?) And in this case homophobia (“unreasoning fear of or antipathy toward homosexuals”) and bigot (“a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion”) have different nuances all around, but can be somewhat interchangeable, wouldn’t you agree?

    So here’s the “big deal”:

    Tell me; why did the church allow blacks to finally have the priesthood again (conveniently around the time that it did–in the 70’s.) Let’s pretend that Spencer and god really didn’t have a conversation/exchange, but that your church just realized that excluding blacks was wrong. Why? I mean, the black men were members already; why wasn’t that good enough?

    Because when you receive the priesthood, according to your beliefs, you are entitled to ALL of the rights, responsibilities and privileges of that calling. How about that? They wanted the same rights as you white lds folks had. (Trust me, I’m doing god a service by making it all man’s idea–because you might just piss some people off to presume to state that god was a bigot until 1978.)

    I’ll sum up my long prose by saying something emotional and irrelevant:

    I love my husband fiercely. If I lived in a world that didn’t allow me to marry him, it would feel tortuous and wildly unfair. If I was told I could unite civilly, I would not be appeased. Spouses have rights, responsibilities and privileges that domestic partners do not. It isn’t the same, would not feel the same and quite frankly, is unacceptable.

    Despite what CA voters and the lds church has done it will be overturned. It will be because even though we’re slow at times, I have a belief that human beings can change, learn, grow and love. No matter who they are.

    Best,

    JulieAnn

    * * *
    Todd,

    My 2 cents, from a legal perspective (those damn lawyers.)

    The argument that somehow allowing SSM in a civil context would infringe on the free exercise of religion is ludicrous. The same Constitution that requires equal protection under the laws of the land, also guarantees free exercise of religion. Unless you are living in a theocracy, you would have nothing to worry about it.

    The reason that gays and lesbians are so adamant about “marriage” is also a legal argument. The civil union legislation does not grant them the same rights and privileges within the State as those received by married couples.

    My simple argument solves both problems by eliminating the word “marriage.” No State sanctioned marriage means no State infringement on religious belief, exactly the point you said the Church was trying to make with its support of Propostion 8.

    You missed my point on compassion and tolerance, because by the Church choosing to alienate gays and lesbians (who I assume are also missionary targets) by supporting Proposition 8, the Church was showing neither. Why doesn’t the Church and other Ecclesiatical authorites join with the gay and lesbian community and repeal State licensed and sanctioned marriage, replacing it with civil unions and leaving everyone to believe and practice their religion as they see fit? Solves your “major” concern.

    And not to belabor the point that you have continued to avoid — if the solution is so simple, isn’t the Church acting out of homophobia and bigotry (not a concern about the free exercise of religion, which would be better served by eliminating State sanctioned marriage altogether)?

    Just answer the question.

    Sincerely,

    Kent

    PS I’m letting JulieAnn argue legal history — and I’m not the brilliant and sexy one in this civil union.

    Like

  40. JulieAnn says:

    Sorry we hijacked your blog Nat….we’ll rest our case–for now. :0)

    Like

  41. Todd says:

    JulieAnn,

    Brilliantly wrong… again!

    We do agree that lying has been legislated.

    So, if I understand your argument, since Hammurabi’s code pre-dated Moses’s 10 commandments by, okay, 500-600 years; the self-evident laws we’ve been discussing couldn’t have come from God. And yet, both men believed they were charged by God to write them. Yes, that does sound familiar and appears to show a very consistent pattern of God revealing His will to men.

    Let me further clarify your logic:
    Hammurabi wrote laws and claimed to do so at God’s command.
    Moses wrote laws and claimed to do so at God’s command.
    Therefore neither could have been at God’s command.

    It’s plausible that Hammurabi’s god and Moses’ god are one and the same, and that plagiarism doesn’t even come into play. Or, since we agree that Hammurabi might not have been the first, it’s also plausible that Marduk is the plagiarizer. Other scenarios are, of course, also plausible. The point of my explicit regurgitation was to show the mootness of your argument. While that sort of information is certainly interesting, it’s ultimately irrelevant.

    But I am honored that you would go to great lengths for me.

    And I’ll clarify your clarification… Nowhere did I say that you said SSM is irrelevant. I said that if what society BELIEVES about SSM is irrelevant (as you, in very un-prose-like fashion, reiterated), then why does the g&l community care so deeply that their unions be called “marriage”?

    You argue passionately and emotionally that civil unions “aren’t good enough”, “would not feel the same”, and “is unacceptable” while touting Kent’s “universal civil union” proposal as the be-all-end-all solution. Even Kent himself refers to what you and he have as a “civil union.” So what is your real position? Are you arguing against Kent’s proposal now?

    If it’s all about equality from a “legal and voting perspective”, why not simply push that agenda directly instead of pushing to change the definition of “marriage” itself?

    I have stated my belief. I, too, much enjoy the banter.

    Regarding my mysterious “infringement” allusion, here’s one real-life reference:

    Jonathan Turley, “An Unholy Union: Same-Sex Marriage and the Use of Governmental Programs to Penalize Religious Groups with Unpopular Practices,” in Douglas Laycock, Jr., et al., eds., Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty: Emerging Conflicts (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2008, forthcoming).

    So, the “big deal” has to do with blacks and the priesthood? Huh? Apparently being “members” wasn’t “good enough,” hence the revelation on the priesthood.

    Apparently the argument made by the coalition was “good enough” in CA. We share the belief that humans can change, learn, grow and love. No matter who they are.

    Respectfully,
    Todd

    =====
    Kent,

    I’ve heard the legal arguments, and while 4-of-7 CA Supreme Court justices agreed with those arguments, 3-of-7 did not, nor did the state legislature, nor did a majority of the governed (now twice? three times?).

    Your counter argument that allowing SSM wouldn’t infringe on the free exercise of religion is ludicrous. It’s a reality and in some instances has already begun. It’s not homophobia or bigotry.

    The role of the church isn’t to appease wickedness in order to promote harmony. The church is very compassionate and tolerant of those who choose alternative lifestyles, while continuing to make it very clear that such behavior is, in their view, sinful. Gays and lesbians are thus choosing to alienate themselves, not the other way around.

    Warmly,
    Todd

    Like

  42. WendyP. says:

    I’ve been bored ever since this turned into TODD BLOG 2008. Isn’t this guy’s ego over-inflated enough by the mere fact that he’s a Priesthood holder in the CoJCoLDS? If I wanted to listen to a blowhard Priesthood holder, I could hear it from any number of my family members or neighbors–or go back to church.

    Personally, I miss your observations on all things Mormon, Ruby Sue, Dancing Daughter and Stormy the Wonder Dog. I know you’ve been through a lot lately, so I understand how things have died down, but I’m pretty over The Todd Show.

    Don’t let my thoughts chase you away Todd. I know you and Natalie are friends. Just stating a grumpy opinion. I’ve been off work for a few weeks and will return tomorrow, so I’ll have less time to complain and less time to read Todd’s comments. 😉

    Like

  43. christine says:

    I have resigned from the church because of tgheir behaviour over this.

    Like

  44. WendyP. says:

    BTW, you have a beautiful family Todd.

    P.S. How come everything is showing up in italic text?

    Like

  45. WendyP. says:

    Christine,

    A lot of people have been resigning. It’s all over my exmormon groups. It’s been an eye opener for so many. Good luck.

    Like

  46. azteclady says:

    People resigning over abuse and discrimination? Excellent!

    If I may be snarky (heh) it would seem the koolaid effect is wearing off.

    Like

  47. Sideon says:

    Natalie:

    Word. Love you and your blog.

    “And therein, of course, is the problem. It is the reason why I cannot and will never stop. Because while I do respect the right of Mormons to believe and live as they see fit, they do not return that same right to others. How sad is this?”

    As far as Mormons, Prop 8 and marriage goes… to quote some old queen: “We are not amused.”

    Like

  48. Kent says:

    Todd,

    Nice quote of the footnote 17 from the Church’s website. I copied the site to the Turley and Laycock books into Google and found out that it was right off footnote 17 in the Church’s August 13, 2008 News Release on The Divine Institution of Marriage. Footnote 17 was about the church’s concern that a religion that denied SSM might loose tax exempt status. I’m glad that the Church is so concerned about it’s financial well-being, more than loving their neighbors and those that despitefully use them.

    The Supreme Court of the United States voted 7 to 1 in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 that states could provide “separate, but equal” facilities to Black Americans. It wasn’t even close (No 4-3 vote). The vast majority of voters and legislators wanted separate but equal. You’ve seen the pictures of the White and Colored water fountains. It took 58 years before Brown versus the Board of Education to acknowledge that separate cannot be equated to equal. The fact that the argument of equal protection under the law is simple doesn’t mean that judges or the majority get it right. In fact, that the majorities often get it wrong is exactly why the equal protection clause is in the Constitution. To give the Church credit, the news release today propounded at least the concept of separate but equal on the issue of SSM.

    And I do have to beg to differ with you on SSM threatening the free exercise of religion. It is actually just the opposite. Denying SSM threatens the free exercise of religion and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the attacks on things such as Proposition 8 and various “Defense of Marriage” amendments on religious freedom grounds next. What right does the state have to deny a believing Unitarian that he and his spouse can’t get married? This is an argument right out of Mormon history in which your ancestor’s religious freedom was infringed upon by the State’s definition of “marriage.” See, Reynolds v. United States. Is the irony lost on anyone but me?

    Finally, you sort of finally answer my question (denying that this is homophobia and bigotry) by saying in essence, hate the sin, but love the sinner. You place full blame on the gays and lesbians for “choosing to alienate themselves.”

    I decided to go back and read Matthew 18:12-14.

    12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
    13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
    14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

    I guess your version is that the sheep shouldn’t have alienated itself?

    Ewes Truly,

    A Black Sheep

    Like

  49. Tracy says:

    Kent,

    when I said “majority speaks” I meant in the voting booth. When something is voted on, the majority should have the last say on the matter, or why vote?

    My friend is a divorce lawyer, and according to her, a marriage licenses is nothing more then a contract between the state and the two getting married. If you divorce, you have to go before a judge to have the contract broken. There is nothing religious about it.

    Like

  50. JulieAnn says:

    No Todd, you have my logic wrong (and not brilliantly).

    I was relying on Occam’s Razor, the common-logic principal which simply is that the correct solution is the most simple, using the least assumptions. You were making numerous assumptions that added to, not simplified, my argument.

    “… very consistent pattern of God revealing His will to men.”

    Your words, Todd.

    Now, for the record, I never assumed that god wrote Hammurabi’s Code and the 10 Commandments. You did. But the easiest conclusion was that they were written by humans for humans because we have tangible proof of at least one (Hammurabi’s Code).

    Hopefully I don’t need to explain why Moses’ god and Marduk disagree on things like dismemberment in the case of paternal assault and putting people to death for stealing; selling wives and daughters if a debt is not paid and drowning a man who is merely accused of adultry.

    If these texts were indeed both from one god, then according to Occam’s Razor, that would lead me to believe that: (this is a test)

    a) god suffers from MPD (multiple personality disorder)
    b) the Code and commandments are similar because they were written by men and the Big 10 borrowed more of the sane concepts from the Code, or
    c) god is just plain mean.

    Hmmm. Which one? I hope you vote b!!

    Since you seem to like logical arguments, let me restate mine for you:

    Hammurabi wrote laws and claimed to do so at god’s command.
    Moses wrote laws and claimed to do so at god’s command.
    Moses and Hammurabi agree on many things, but also disagree and differ greatly.
    Therefore the simplest explanation is that they were written by different men.

    Kent and I are different people, Todd. I never stated his arguement was the ‘end all be all.’ It is just one rational solution–a brilliant one–to the problem. Personally I am for completely making SSM legal, not for negotiating. So although I think his solution is brilliant, I am arguing it from a different perspective. If legal unions are across the board, then so be it. But don’t have two separate definitions and terms for different people. That is discriminatory.

    I would daresay Kent writes it half tongue-in-cheek because arguing against his solution belies the true homophobic and fear-based agenda behind this whole mess. Not to mention greed. Not very pretty for the One and Only True Church.

    As for Kent’s mention of our marriage as a “civil union”, I’m certain that was for sarcastic humor and to make the point that marriage has both a religious and civil aspect. You just did to me the same thing you do to same sex couples by implying that a civil union is somehow separate and not equal to “the one true marriage.” You did that by merely pointing it out. It is the same thing the church does to couples within their religion who don’t marry in the temple. ‘Not good enough’.

    Now a final note–I am done arguing about the 10 commandments and historical fact. It is not pertinent to the real issues here and it’s beginning to feel like a Todd Ego Masturbatory Session with him using all of us as rabbit’s fur. When faced with any sort of conflict, Todd, you revert to the “god card” which is neither logical nor debatable.

    The real issue is this: The Mormon Church is stepping into the legal arena and using undue influence (aka fear of god) on its members to infringe, stifle and take away basic human rights. This, for lack of a better word, is bullshit.

    To all you commentators and readers who have put up with my ‘lengthy prose’ I say thank you for putting up with me. I was hoping that given his intellect, Todd would begin to lighten up and accept logic over dogma. I was wrong. Silly me. Acolytes have an answer for everything and when in doubt use the bible-god card! It slices, it dices, and it really, really works!

    PS: Natalie, thanks for letting us argue this out on your blog. It is like being able to talk to Sean Hannity and not being cut off.

    * * * *

    My husband asked me to put in his two cents:

    To Tracy: please take a seventh grade civics class. Best Regards, Kent

    Like

  51. azteclady says:

    If the letter of the law were followed, there would be nothing religious to marriage. But there is, and the civil contract of marriage is often signed at a church and with a religious figure presiding.

    The vaunted separation of church and state is shaky in many areas, but in none it is as false as in the area of marriage.

    Like

  52. Todd says:

    Kent,

    Nice detective work! And while I’m sure the church is rightly concerned with protecting it’s financial well-being; believing homosexual behavior is sin and speaking out against it, doesn’t diminish in the least the love we feel, and often act upon, for our neighbors and those who despitefully use us. You said it best: hate the sin, love the sinner.

    We can certainly agree to disagree that SSM threatens the free exercise of religion. The irony is not lost, however, regarding SSM vs. polygamy. I’ve pointed out on more than one occasion how odd it seems to me that polygamy is portrayed as evil on this blog, whereas SSM is portrayed as perfectly acceptable.

    As Reynolds v. United States and much of the mormon polygamy story demonstrates, the state does have the right (or at least the power) to deny the free exercise of religion based on the “acceptable” social standards of the majority. Mormons should know this better than most. A logical extension of that line of reasoning follows that by allowing “acceptable” social standards to drift unchecked, the result could be further suppressions of religious freedoms down the road.

    And while I appreciate your attempt to justify your contempt of the church’s behavior based on the parable of the lost sheep, it falls miserably short. You’ll notice that the good shepherd went out in search of the sheep that went astray and rejoiced when he found it and brought it back to the fold. Accepting SSM would be more analagous to leading the whole flock astray.

    Respectfully,
    Todd

    Like

  53. Natalie says:

    Fascinating stuff, folks!

    And Wendy, no worries. I like writing about the other stuff, too, and shall commence with a RubySue and Fluffy post tomorrow, since I have been appointed Chief Grand Babysitter….. At least the two munchkins ask for me….

    Like

  54. Tracy says:

    “To Tracy: please take a seventh grade civics class. Best Regards, Kent ”

    No

    Like

  55. Tracy says:

    Kent, talk to a divorce lawyer.

    Like

  56. Kent says:

    First Tracy,

    If you have read my posts at all, you should have noted the strong legal theme, since I’ve been a lawyer since the late 1980s. I suggested the civics class since you are incorrect about how the Constitutional Republican Democracy works to protect the rights of minorities. I’ve represented numerous divorce clients and I am well aware of the difference between state licensed marriage and religious ceremonies and in fact defined legal marriage somewhere in here with more specificity than your lawyer friend.

    Second, Todd,

    It seems we have now come full circle to how I initiated this discussion. I would say that our disagreement is best set forth as follows:

    Todd thinks that alienating the entire gay and lesbian community by pouring 77% of the funding into supporting Proposition 8, a matter which by the Church the Church’s own admission is an “emotionally charged issue”, is the best way to bring the sheep back into the flock.

    I think if your true motivation is to bring a sheep back into the flock, you don’t hire a pack of media wolves, pay people to bang pots and pans, and go around in a circle yelling, “Hey Sheep, We Really Do Love You.” My approach was come to a solution that took out the “emotional charge” which then makes it easier to find and communicate with people.

    Maybe it is a style difference, but a more compassionate, Christ-like approach would seem appropriate and be more successful — if your goal is really gathering up sheep. And if you are right and I’m wrong Todd and I lead off all 100 sheep — Just think how happy you’ll be when you find us all, if you are so happy over just one.

    Like

  57. dragonhlm says:

    Todd,
    You keep falling back on this “gay is OK, but polygamy is bad” excuse. I don’t think anyone here cares about plural marriage(as long as it is between two ADULTS). It is only mentioned to point out the hypocrisy of the Mormon church.

    Now, just because in the past the majority has used its leverage to control the minority does not make it right. You better thank god we have organizations like the ACLU to protect these rights. Because without them your values and rights are next. And the Mormons will be the first on the chopping block. Plurality of gods does not sit well with the rest of the monotheistic community.

    Like

  58. Todd says:

    dragonhlm,

    Thanks for the clarification. Yes, I’m glad the ACLU is there to protect my civil liberties. Explain again how the trinity is a monotheistic concept?

    Todd

    Like

  59. dragonhlm says:

    Todd,
    I see you are glad when the ACLU protects YOUR civil liberties, but you are against them when they try to protect someone else’s. This is saddening.

    Nope, as long as we are clear that you worship multiple gods that is good enough for me. I must have been confused about the Mormon’s PR stance on the trinity.

    Like

  60. Justme says:

    Todd, regarding the Trinity, it’s kind of like body, brain, and blood – one can’t exist without the other. That’s my best explanation. Whether or not it makes sense is a whole other issue altogether, but it is just one God in Christianity.

    Like

  61. Todd says:

    Justme,

    Thanks for the explanation.

    Best Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  62. tb says:

    Todd,

    I just spoke with God and God doesn’t have a marriage definition. God also doesn’t give a patootie where consenting adults find happiness. What a tool!

    TB

    Like

  63. Todd says:

    TB,

    Awesome! You should write a book! What does TB stand for: total bonehead? 🙂

    Todd

    Like

  64. Natalie says:

    Pot? Meet Kettle…

    Like

  65. tb says:

    Ah, Todd, would you have believed me if I told you I’d read it from a plate in the bottom of my baseball cap?

    Most children used to say TB stood for tuberculosis.

    Like

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