The real truth

Claims that the CHURCH itself did not get involved in the campaign to defeat Proposition 8 are COMPLETELY baseless. This says it all:

“We’ve spoken out on other issues, we’ve spoken out on abortion, we’ve spoken out on those other kinds of things,” said Michael R. Otterson, the managing director of public affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormons are formally called, in Salt Lake City. “But we don’t get involved to the degree we did on this.”

If that quote alone doesn’t prove it to you, you are a complete idiot or deluded. But it’s spelled out even better in this New York Times article, Mormons Tipped Scale in Ban on Gay Marriage.

And yes, it is true. So all the SPINNING and HOLLERING and blustering and AVOIDING the actual truth by name-calling and circular logic is for naught, because this IS going to catch up with the LDS Church in a major way.

SACRAMENTO — Less than two weeks before Election Day, the chief strategist behind a ballot measure outlawing same-sex marriage in California called an emergency meeting here.

Frank Schubert was the chief strategist for Proposition 8, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman in California.

“We’re going to lose this campaign if we don’t get more money,” the strategist, Frank Schubert, recalled telling leaders of Protect Marriage, the main group behind the ban.

The campaign issued an urgent appeal, and in a matter of days, it raised more than $5 million, including a $1 million donation from Alan C. Ashton, the grandson of a former president of the Mormon Church. The money allowed the drive to intensify a sharp-elbowed advertising campaign, and support for the measure was catapulted ahead; it ultimately won with 52 percent of the vote.

A vote obtained using fear tactics and ignorance. I’ve heard Mormons echo the same thoughts in the past few days, over and over again. I heard the arguments about “The Church” getting sued if the measure did not pass, and yet NO ONE could ever explain to me how that would occur. Or who would be suing them. The gay people who were all blissfully planning their weddings and finally enjoying the RIGHTS of Americans, as it should have been years ago?

WHAT is the danger in gays being allowed to marry? HOW does this undermine traditional marriage? If gay people marry straight people the outcome is usually FILLED with tragedy and heartache. I have friends that will attest to this.

They don’t want YOUR lifestyle, they want their own. HOW does this threaten you?

Further, I would believe that the Mormon Church is in MORE danger now of losing their tax exempt status than they EVER were before they got behind this very hate-filled, discriminatory vote, and pushed it through.

Gordon B. Hinckley is turning over in his grave, as all the spinning he did to bring the Church into the “mainstream” Christian fold is going to turn out for naught.

Backwards, people, you are GOING backwards.

However, I believe the movement that has been born out of this passing of Proposition 8 is going to be the catalyst in bringing about the kind of change we saw years ago, when Mormons FINALLY allowed blacks to have the priesthood.

Discrimination is discrimination, and the church of “Free Agency” aka The Mormons, has a serious black eye in this regard. Free agency my ass. You have the RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHAT WE TELL YOU TO CHOOSE. That would be more appropriate.

Wake up, right-wing America. The battles you are fighting in your God’s name are not battles of love, but those of hate and divisiveness.

Your right to believe does not include stripping the rights of others. I believe our constitution makes that clear. Until, of course, the constitution is distorted and twisted and turned into something ugly and unrecognizable. Unfortunately, that is the nature of man. Simple concepts of good and love become twisted and ugly in the quest for power.

It is power that causes people to try to prove that they have the ONLY TRUE THING, and everyone else is wrong. I have long believed that there are some people who are content in knowing they don’t have all the answers, and others who must seek and find the one true thing. These people remain seekers their entire lives, and if they settle on an “answer,” they cling to it with desperation and anxiety. Do NOT take away their belief, for it is their life raft, and if they let go, surely they will drown. So they will fight to the death for their right to hold on tight to “the truth.”

I learned a long time ago that the truth means many different things to many different people.

The only complete and utter truth I will stand behind is this one: People make mistakes. Oh, and this one: People do not have all the answers.

Hmm, and maybe this one: Pajama pants are the only apparel worth buying. A few people could probably argue that one, but I think it’s the TRUEST of all of my truths.

In the name of all that’s comfortable,

Natalie

Props to Dej for pointing me to this article.

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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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42 Responses to The real truth

  1. azteclady says:

    Really, pajama pants?

    Why?

    t-shirts long enough to cover… well, long enough, are more comfortable than pajama pants–says I!

    So *there*

    Like

  2. One wonders how much of this is due the the Church leadership’s seemingly desperate desire see Mitt Romney elected president. Yes, it may sound like a bit of a stretch to those of you who don’t follow politics, but the Church did make a couple of pronouncements during the GOP primary that, to me, seemed to be efforts to help Mitt. Being out front in its support of a homophobic measure will certainly help Mitt with the social conservatives. Something changed in the Church’s thinking from the quieter homophobia of the 1997 memo to the full blown gay panic it’s showing now.

    Great blog. I’m new here. You all seem to know each other so let me introduce my self. I was born and raised as a Mormon. My great great grandfather was Wilford Woodruff and my family was very observant. I was the first of my cousins to refuse to go on a mission. I had questions no one could answer and was made to feel like I was committing a sin simply by asking them. So I became inactive until a few months ago. The Church’s failure to take a stand on torture angered me. I resigned when they also jumped into the Prop 9 battle. I’m disgusted with them for turning their back on torture while fighting to deny gays a basic human right. Worse yet, they call it a moral issue.

    Like

  3. Natalie says:

    Hey General, I’ve followed your blog for a long time now, so I’m glad you are weighing in here.

    You make a LOT of sense. Mitt Romney, however, will never come out in a strong positive anti-gay stance. It just doesn’t seem like his style, although I’m sure someone can prove me wrong. They always try.

    Like

  4. Natalie says:

    Oh, and the torture thing? Where the HELL did that come from? I mean, here they are trying to make it ILLEGAL for people to LOVE each other, but damned if they are going to speak out against people MAIMING and KILLING each other. Sorry, those caps were necessary. I am still mind-boggled by that very poor choice.

    Interesting to hear your finally resigned over that and Prop 8. I believe a LOT of people have, and the fallout is not over yet.

    Like

  5. azteclady says:

    Natalie, have you seen this in Newsweek?

    I particularly love the last paragraph:

    The last word here goes to an authority on battling connubial bigotry. On the anniversary of the Loving decision last year, the bride wore tolerance. Mildred Loving, mother and grandmother, who once had cops burst into her bedroom because she was sleeping with her own husband, was quoted in a rare public statement saying she believed all Americans, “no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry.” She concluded, “That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.”

    Indeed.

    Like

  6. Kelly says:

    Hi All,
    Remember 4 or 5 years ago when the leader of the polygamous
    Kingston Clan, John Kingston. Took his 16 year old daughter out
    into a field and beat her half to death with a belt for refusing to
    marry her uncle and become his 15th wife. When the state of Utah
    started looking into the Kingston clan they found out the clan was
    worth close to $100,000,000 dollars in assets. All the clan members
    turned over their property and wages to the Kingston Corp. Without
    any visable means of support all the wives and their children qualified
    for welfare up and down the Wasatch front. Plus all their children
    recieved free breakfast and school lunch also. The Kingston corp., which
    was the landlord for the houses they rented to all of the wifes recieved
    the welfare rent money from the state. Just a huge money scam of the
    welfare system and human abuse of small children. Especially when
    it came to the women and girls of the clan.
    The LDS Church put out a one column two paragraph statement that
    is their standard reply to polygamy that states the LDS Church does
    not condone polygamy and any member who is caught will be
    excomunicated.
    Now you have two people with jobs who pay at higher tax rates because
    they’re single. Causing no trouble to anyone. Just going about their daily
    business. NOT DUMPING LITTERS OF CHILDREN ON THE SCHOOL
    SYSTEM! All they want is a little human dignity and respect. AND what
    does the LDS Church do. Organize a campain that raises 77% of over
    50 million dollars from LDS members. Huge telephone calling blocks
    made up of card carring members of the church. High jack a state election
    from the people of that state, because of outside money and volunteers.
    If you look up hypocrisy in the dictionary it’ll say “See the LDS Church”.
    Like I’ve said in past posts. The LDS doctrines can easily be shown
    how false they are and the bigotry and hate they produce. But the shear
    size and volume of the hypocrisy they ooze does the real damage. Plus
    how do you fight it and expose it for what it is? The Todd on Viagra show
    is certainly an example of this hypocrisy.

    Kelly

    Like

  7. Natalie says:

    Well said, Kelly!

    And the Kingston case was the impetus for the very first book I EVER wrote, SISTERWIFE (which, by the way, is still available for free download from my Web site) It actually happened closer to ten years ago, just FYI.

    Like

  8. Natalie says:

    Azteclady, thanks for pointing out that article. Anna Quindlen is such an amazing writer, and I so agree with her summation.

    Like

  9. Cele says:

    It will be interesting to see what suits evolve from proposition eight, millions of dollars is beyond a blatant interest, it is political involvement. And by more than just the LDS.

    Like

  10. Cele says:

    Excellent articles.

    Like

  11. Natalie says:

    Yes, Cele, it is. I am appalled that the Catholic Church is also involved, but they stepped back and let the Mormons come up with the money.

    Like

  12. azteclady says:

    I keep hoping that Congress starts taking a good sharp look at what churches (all of them) do that crosses the “separation of church and state” dictum, and that some nice tax exemptions get yanked off them accordingly.

    Like

  13. K*tty says:

    Natalie, that was a super post. Just this issue alone, has made me persona non grata with the members trying to get me back. I must have really struck a nerve, because really, no contact. Aw the peace. I wonder how long it will last? Loved all the other comments.

    Like

  14. Elaine says:

    The thing that amazes me is how “church spokesmen” keep coming up and saying they just can’t understand why people are so mad at the Mormon church over Prop. 8 since, they claim, the church didn’t give any money to support passage of the proposition.

    What amazes me more is that they say this with a straight (excuse the pun) face.

    I don’t know if the church itself gave money to Yes on 8. I suspect that if they did, they channeled it through someone else, because direct giving would likely raise all kinds of problems for the church’s tax exempt status. But whether actual church money went to it is completely irrelevant, as far as I can see. They told church members to give time and money to the proposition. Considering the cultural norm in the Mormon church that a good member never says no to anything the church asks, how they can claim not to be culpable is beyond me.

    Elaine

    Like

  15. Great post, Natalie. Mormons also contributed to the equally appalling Amendment 2 passing here in Florida.

    On a positive/personal note, not only me, but now my friends and parents have been freed from the LDS shackles. Now, how do my folks get decades worth of tithing back? Couldn’t Fawn Brodie’s excellently researched/written book prove the church is a fraud and my parents were swindled?

    http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/dailyloaf/2008/11/16/bar-tab-ribfest-ex-mormon-reunions-and-crown-royal/

    Like

  16. Kris says:

    Now I’m LDS and wouldn’t have voted yes on prop 8 had I lived in California (I wrote all about it on my blog already so I’m not going to rehash that here) but I have to say that I think that too many people give credit to the LDS church on the results of this prop..more than 50% OF CALIFORNIANS voted yes and as far as I know the state of Califonia isn’t even close to 50%+ Mormon…California made the choice (for the second time)…not the mormon church. You should also take a look at the demographics of how the Hispanic and Black groups vote went (it’s interesting really…the same people who vote FOR Obama, tended to vote AGAINST Prop 8…dry political reading but very interesting) Here’s an interesting link regarding what the courts in California are dealing with now:

    http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/presscenter/newsreleases/NR66-08.PDF

    K.

    Like

  17. Renee says:

    Yes, Kris and they’re still all wrong.

    Like

  18. nunyabizness says:

    Natalie,

    I really don’t understand people like you. I was just on mormanity’s website and there you are posting. Why? Why do you feel the need to spread your hate and your opinion to a pro mormon website? You left, fine, I don’t care and sure no one else does either. Why don’t you just stay off of those type of websites? You say you have no problem with mormons, but yet there you are telling everyone your opinion. You should just keep to your self or go on some anti website and post until your heart is content.

    About prop8,
    You people that think the LDS church did this, need to do some fact checking. The church did nothing except remind its members that we do have beliefs and that we should not be afraid to stand up for them. NO MONEY was given by the church. The NO campaign had more money and yet lost. 90% of black voters voted yes, and 60% of hispanics voted yes. LDS members only number 800,000 in CA which would have been 1% of the 52%. Any money church members gave or time, was on a volunteer basis because they felt that was the right thing to do. Why is this not OK?
    Why is it OK for the CA teacher’s union to give one million dollars when all teachers did not agree? What about PGE giving a million also? Not to mention all the money and support from hollywood? Give me a break! The people of CA have spoken twice and the only reason 8 passed is because the whole world has not gone to hell in a hand basket. People still do have morals and fortunately are not afraid of being black balled by the gay community or any other hate spewing community to stand up for them. Please find something better to do than spread your hate and then say its ok because you dont believe the same as I do. Get a life.

    Like

  19. azteclady says:

    Nunyabizness sayeth to Natalie, “Get a life”

    azteclady says, “Right back atcha, sweetie”

    And thus endeth the Sunday school lesson o’ th’ day, mates!

    Like

  20. Annette says:

    Nunyabizness. there’s a huge difference between spreading hate and spreading truth. As a former member, you don’t understand the pain we feel when we see members of our family involved with this BS, and because we’re no longer within the ranks, they’re told NOT to associate with us.

    As far as Prop8 goes, the only reason the Mormons are being targeted is because they encouraged their millions of members to vote for it. Plus, they’re known to secretly hate homosexuals. If that weren’t the case then they wouldn’t continuously try to change the members who are. Gordon Hinckley said the church is pro-family rather than anti-gay but the way they treat homosexuals proves otherwise.

    All in all, I feel the church is ANTI-family and PRO-faith.

    Like

  21. Rick says:

    Awwh, another thread about prop 8…I’ll throw in my .02 here:

    First, money DOES buy votes. Anybody who has participated closely in our political system knows this. Here’s why. The vote of an educated, enlightened and open-minded person counts the same as a high school dropout living in and never leaving his trailor court. That voter sees a TV spot that plays on the emotions of the viewers by spouting sound bites that claim that if we allow gay marriage, our kids will “catch” gayness at school and we’ll all have to start wearing dresses and panties! All of a sudden, somebody who wouldn’t have voted at all is motivated to put down his beer can, pull up and button hisdirty Wranglers over his over-hanging gut, walk down to the school and vote for prop 8 so he won’t have to change his underwear!

    Why do you think enough money to retire the national debt was raised by the candidates in this last election? If we really wanted the most qualified candidates to win, or the best laws to pass, we’d have a few sanctioned debates each election and not allow any “feel good” advertising. But that’s not what our system is about. It’s about selling our way of life to more people. That justifies our biased and ignorant beliefs.

    My mother and step-father work in the SL Temple. The other day he said that the church leaders tell him that the main “concern” they have about gay marriage is the threat of being required to marry gays in the temple if it is made legal throughout the country. Sounds like a justifiable excuse for selling their fear to the Californians. Don’t allow it to be seen as the civil rights issue that it is, and the church can again call itself the victim….

    Here’s what I think is really going on. It’s hard for Mormons to recant previous teachings/doctrines that have come through “revelation.” Notice a common response when confronted about the blacks and priesthood issue is “it was never really church doctrine, just policy that was changed.

    Don’t tell that to Mark E Peterson!

    So now, so many prophets/GAs have said that homosexuality is a choice, and therefore subject to change (and of course these are the men inspired by a perfect, never-changing God), that when science begins to challenge the antiquated, soon to be proven wrong, teaching, it becomes a matter of survival. After all, if we accept good science that contradicts “God’s word,” given through living prophets, we question the truthfullness of the church — and all its claims.

    So all the stops are pulled here. If the majority of the voters don’t allow gay marriage, somehow that is deemed as evidence of God’s intervention…a sign that he won’t allow this wicked lifestyle to spread too far! And ultimately “strengthen the testimonies” of his chosen people about his only true church….

    The reality is that the church’ position on homosexuality is killing and dividing LDS members everyday. Anytime a person is told that they are broken — as they are –and the only way to become whole is to alter their nature, will frequently lead to deep depression, guilt, and suicide. And the evidence is in. The highest suicide rate for 20 year olds in the nation is right here behind the Zion curtain. Just check the obits everyday….

    Since we in medicine now know the cause of homosexuality is biological, we know it is not a person’s voluntary choice; and it effectively challenges the “Mormon God” because we can’t have God creating people to not “have joy” by marrying against his/her nature, can we?

    Check-mate.

    Like

  22. Rick says:

    Awwh, another thread about prop 8…I’ll throw in my .02 here:

    First, money DOES buy votes. Anybody who has participated closely in our political system knows this. Here’s why. The vote of an educated, enlightened and open-minded person counts the same as a high school dropout living in and never leaving his trailor court. That voter sees a TV spot that plays on the emotions of the viewers by spouting sound bites that claim that if we allow gay marriage, our kids will “catch” gayness at school and we’ll all have to start wearing dresses and panties! All of a sudden, somebody who wouldn’t have voted at all is motivated to put down his beer can, pull up and button hisdirty Wranglers over his over-hanging gut, walk down to the school and vote for prop 8 so he won’t have to change his underwear!

    Why do you think enough money to retire the national debt was raised by the candidates in this last election? If we really wanted the most qualified candidates to win, or the best laws to pass, we’d have a few sanctioned debates each election and not allow any “feel good” advertising. But that’s not what our system is about. It’s about selling our way of life to more people. That justifies our biased and ignorant beliefs.

    My mother and step-father work in the SL Temple. The other day he said that the church leaders tell him that the main “concern” they have about gay marriage is the threat of being required to marry gays in the temple if it is made legal throughout the country. Sounds like a justifiable excuse for selling their fear to the Californians. Don’t allow it to be seen as the civil rights issue that it is, and the church can again call itself the victim….

    Here’s what I think is really going on. It’s hard for Mormons to recant previous teachings/doctrines that have come through “revelation.” Notice a common response when confronted about the blacks and priesthood issue is “it was never really church doctrine, just policy that was changed.

    Don’t tell that to Mark E Peterson!

    So now, so many prophets/GAs have said that homosexuality is a choice, and therefore subject to change (and of course these are the men inspired by a perfect, never-changing God), that when science begins to challenge the antiquated, soon to be proven wrong, teaching, it becomes a matter of survival. After all, if we accept good science that contradicts “God’s word,” given through living prophets, we question the truthfullness of the church — and all its claims.

    So all the stops are pulled here. If the majority of the voters don’t allow gay marriage, somehow that is deemed as evidence of God’s intervention…a sign that he won’t allow this wicked lifestyle to spread too far! And ultimately “strengthen the testimonies” of his chosen people about his only true church….

    The reality is that the church’ position on homosexuality is killing and dividing LDS members everyday. Anytime a person is told that they are broken — as they are –and the only way to become whole is to alter their nature, will frequently lead to deep depression, guilt, and suicide. And the evidence is in. The highest suicide rate for 20 year olds in the nation is right here behind the Zion curtain. Just check the obits everyday in the SL Trib….

    Since we in medicine now know the cause of homosexuality is biological, we know it is not a person’s voluntary choice; and it effectively challenges the “Mormon God” because we can’t have God creating people to not “have joy” by marrying against his/her nature, can we?

    Check-mate.

    Like

  23. Rick says:

    Awwh, another thread about prop 8…I’ll throw in my .02 here:

    First, money DOES buy votes. Anybody who has participated closely in our political system knows this. Here’s why. The vote of an educated, enlightened and open-minded person counts the same as a high school dropout living in and never leaving his trailor court. That voter sees a TV spot that plays on the emotions of the viewers by spouting sound bites that claim that if we allow gay marriage, our kids will “catch” gayness at school and we’ll all have to start wearing dresses and panties! All of a sudden, somebody who wouldn’t have voted at all is motivated to put down his beer can, pull up and button hisdirty Wranglers over his over-hanging gut, walk down to the school and vote for prop 8 so he won’t have to change his underwear!

    Why do you think enough money to retire the national debt was raised by the candidates in this last election? If we really wanted the most qualified candidates to win, or the best laws to pass, we’d have a few sanctioned debates each election and not allow any “feel good” advertising. But that’s not what our system is about. It’s about selling our way of life to more people. That justifies our biased and ignorant beliefs.

    My mother and step-father work in the SL Temple. The other day he said that the church leaders tell him that the main “concern” they have about gay marriage is the threat of being required to marry gays in the temple if it is made legal throughout the country. Sounds like a justifiable excuse for selling their fear to the Californians. Don’t allow it to be seen as the civil rights issue that it is, and the church can again call itself the victim….

    Here’s what I think is really going on. It’s hard for Mormons to recant previous teachings/doctrines that have come through “revelation.” Notice a common response when confronted about the blacks and priesthood issue is “it was never really church doctrine, just policy that was changed.

    Don’t tell that to Mark E Peterson!

    Like

  24. Todd says:

    So now we’ve got hearsay from unnamed “church leaders” in the SL temple about the real “concern” over SSM.

    Infringement upon the practice of free religion was a stated “concern” on many of the official commentaries. It’s no secret that “church leaders” are “concerned” about that. But I like the devious and sinister spin you put on it.

    If money was the determining factor, the “No on 8” campaign would have succeeded. Didn’t the “No” campaign raise and spend the most money? Hmm…. I’m sure the “No on 8” campaign is still kicking itself for squandering what should have been a slam dunk, ‘cept for dem unejukated hi skool drop owts.

    If sleazy commercials was the determining factor, the “No on 8” campaign would have succeeded. I especially liked the one where the LDS missionaries were rifling through the gay couples underwear drawer. Very objective and unemotional TV spot.

    It’s actually very easy for Mormons to change course, BECAUSE of a belief in continuing “revelation.” We aren’t necessarily bound by supposed “doctrines” that appear to be problematic. Humans though we may be, we seek the Lord’s guidance, expect it, and when it comes we move forward with faith in a line-upon-line, precept-upon-precept kind of way.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  25. JulieAnn says:

    Yeah, Mormons are really into continuing revelation. A nice “out”. This unfortunately doesn’t explain why the mormon god changes his mind, does it? Or is god still figuring stuff out and saying “oops, messed up on that one….better send ’em a new one.”

    I mean, continuing revelation really ought to not be about political correctness (blacks in the 70’s and ERA) or political pressure (polygamy), right? I mean, god is god and mormons are used to being despised and hated for their peculiar beliefs. So really, why were any of those “policies” (ie: doctrine) changed?

    Simplest explanation? Because they are not from god, they are from men who are either delusional or outright liars.

    You aren’t bound by problematic doctrine because if anything goes south for the church politically, they can conjure up a “new revelation.” DAMN those guys are good! Answers for everything.

    Read some of the rhetoric about the ERA back in the 70’s from the likes of Boyd “Hit ‘Em Where It Hurts” Packer. The same arguments are being used now against the homosexual community. Has god opened his mind up to women and blacks now? Maybe it’s only a matter of time before god says “well okay, I DID make them gay, after all…”

    Science has proven that homosexuality is not nurture but nature. GBH admitted ON NATIONAL TELEVISION that he didn’t know if the “problem was caused by the people themselves or one they were “born with”. Hmmmmmm

    You’d think with gay marriage being such a big issue n’ all, god would be revealing like a mad man about it. Don’t you think he’d be giving Gordon a bit of a clue about that little tid bit?

    Gordon Hinckley also said “We love these people, we know they have a problem, we want to help them with that problem.” Tell me, what problem? The only problem gay people have is all the sniveling homophobes.

    I understand it’s a very carefully constructed machine, the Mormon Church. They have to be very careful to protect their money. But when they start inhibiting the rights of others, it’s where I get a bit prickly.

    I don’t buy the argument that being gay is a person’s particular “trial” to overcome. Once again, a neat little pat answer. ‘Men are that they might have joy.’ What kind of joy comes from disobeying your sexual nature? The joy of obedience to god? Sorry, I’ll take a good “O” anyday (and five times on Sunday –love you honey ;), over the other “o”(obedience).

    Oh and let me address the whole “gays getting married in the temple” bullshit. You have to be a member in good standing to go through the temple. If you are gay, married or not, you are not a member in good standing, therefore, it is a NON-issue. That is a smoke and mirror screen for “freedom of religion” that many church folk spout off to justify their bigotry.

    So here is my messy summation to my messy post (got to get the little one off to school): Todd and others, I respect your need and desire to be mormon. I respect that you want to follow men who believe they have a two-way with god. I don’t care really where you go on Sunday. If the church is what floats your boat, fine. Great. It has some good qualities.

    But PUUUHHHLEEEEEZ stop telling me it’s the One and Only Truth and making the claims of sole divine revelation. Because really, that’s my contention with mormonism. The “We are right, you are wrong” policy. See, when you claim to have the only Truth, you challenge everyone else who has had different experiences. You nullify and mitigate all of those people who have found joy and goodness outside of the church. And you set yourself up to be challenged again and again by said people. That’s why mormons have to have an aswer to everything.

    If a mormon can say “I believe it’s true, I really enjoy the life I live within it, but it may not be for everyone and I don’t begrudge people following their own path.” I would have the utmost respect for them. But, if they said that, they would have to actually accept that they aren’t ALL RIGHT, that they don’t have it all, and that other people may find joy elsewhere. It would destroy their world-view.

    And we can’t have that, can we?

    JulieAnn

    Like

  26. Rick says:

    “So now we’ve got hearsay from unnamed “church leaders” in the SL temple about the real “concern” over SSM”

    I wonder if anybody else sees the irony in this. Todd calls my statement, “hearsay,” a common defense mechanism we hear often from apologists. Well I’m sure everything is hearsay, isn’t it — including what we heard from the vested witnesses of the BoM.

    Tell you what Todd…I’ll get my mother, step-father, and a few others to write their “testimonies” of what they heard from the church leaders in the temple. I’m quite certain they would never deny said testimony…throughout their life. I’m sure they’d be happy to even tell who they’ve heard it from. Then you could ask them yourself — if you needed further confirmation.

    Still “hearsay,” right?

    Point is, when many mormons hear much of what is said that chgallenges church claims, they put it in a category of “hearsay,” not to be trusted (despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary). The kind of reasons I’ve heard are:

    *those anti-mormons have an axe to grind, so they slander the prophet….
    *they want to lead a sinful life, and finding reasons to disbelieve allows them to do so…
    *Satan has their heart, and their testimonies cannot be trusted while they’re under the influence of the devil…

    It really comes down to emotional survival. When we are vested in a lifestyle, we unconsciously do all we can to continually validate the “rightness” of that path. One may say the “ex-mormon” does exactly that. I’m sure that is often correct. Forthat reason, when I went into my research, I started with the forced (and uncomfortable) approach that I would accept whatever the outcome was…just as I had with my medical research in my residency. A good physician will not carte blanche accept the pharmceutical rep’s pitch that his drug is better than the other company’s. That conclusion MUST come from an unbiased source whose only goal is to find the truth about a treatment.

    I think you get my point.

    JulieAnn…great post!

    Like

  27. Todd says:

    Rick,

    Good point. Actually the Book of Mormon witnesses would technically be classified as hearsay, since our knowledge of the reality of the plates is acquired indirectly through them. But I believe historians would classify their written witness as a primary source, which would certainly carry more evidentiary weight in the historical record, no? It’s first-person hearsay, as opposed to third-person or fourth-person hearsay (e.g. I heard my parents say they heard someone else say that thus and so leader said) more commonly classified as “rumor.”

    The real point of my comment was your inference that LDS leadership didn’t tell the whole story with respect to their opposition to SSM, when infringement on the free exercise of religion was a stated justification. And the fact that your parents heard the rumor while working in the SL temple certainly adds to the, shh…., conspiracy.

    Creating a conspiracy where none exists is a common anti-mormon or ex-mormon tactic, so I’m not surprised to see you use it.

    I’m also not surprised that you think JulieAnn’s rant is a “great post.” I hope she feels better getting all of that off her chest. Must’ve been having a bad morning.

    Who is telling her that it’s the “one and only truth?” To infer that Mormons believe that they alone have the truth and that no one else does is, frankly, a lie. I trust that you simply missed that gaping mischaracterization, since a good physician will not carte blanche accept the pharmaceutical rep’s pitch…yada, yada, yada, when your only goal is to find the truth…yada, yada, yada.

    I think you get my point.

    Respectfully,
    Todd

    Like

  28. JulieAnn says:

    Yeah, I feel so much better now. It really wasn’t a bad morning at all, but damn, I sure feel better. Great rebuttal. It must have been a ‘rant’ because you have nothing to say about it, hm? Yes, I’d better go lie down after my ‘rant’–my bombastic display of insanity and lack of logic has left me quite peaked….yee-ah.

    Now that my sarcasm is out of the way– Are you telling me that Mormons do not believe they alone are the one and only true church?

    OOOOOH! I know what your little loop hole is there, Todd. My “GAPINGmischaracterization”… I wrote “the One and Only Truth” instead of “The One and Only True Church.” Wow, we really are grasping at straws aren’t we? How disingenuous.

    SO allow me to restate:”PUUUHHHLEEEEEZ stop telling me it’s the One and Only True Church.

    And I know that little CYA–cover your ass– move of mormons saying in regards to “truth”: “Other churches/people have PART of the truth–Mormons have it all.” Right?

    Yeah. Yeah Todd, I was told and have heard over the pulpit time and time again that the LDS Church is the one and only true Church on the face of the Earth. Are you honestly going to deny that that isn’t the claim?

    Because if you’re saying that the church admits it isn’t the one and only true church, then by all means, show me the leader who spouted off that little bomb.

    I think it’s interesting that you grasp on to my words rather than the meaning behind them (kind of typical for a “pro-family” church goer, eh?)

    And let me tell you a little something about Rick, the person you snidely ‘yada yada-ed’ in regards to his search for truth: he is one of the most kind and honest men I have ever met; he has impeccable integrity and a true empathy for others. He never told you about his stint as acting bishop, did he? I know about it. Ugly things about abuse and cover -ups–conspiracy theorists beware–in the church…oh but that’s hearsay. Don’t want to get bogged down in THAT quagmire, do we?

    Yes I feel much better knowing that your only rebuttal to me was to grasp on to the fact that I didn’t include the words ‘Only True Church.’

    Carry on.

    Like

  29. Kent says:

    I thought I was done with the Prop 8 quagmire, but ya’ll tempted me back in the briar patch.

    While extraordinarily prevalent in Mormon culture, the cliche “one and only true church” only shows up four times on lds.org in Ensign Articles with Legrand Richards and Richard G. Scott being the more prominent expositors of that saying. The saying appears 3730 times on Google with the predominant religions appearing to be Mormons and Catholics running neck and neck — kind of like BYU versus Notre Dame to determine true religious university dominance. A couple of the twelve versus the pope — hmmm.

    I did a short historical preview of the church’s views on homosexuality — the Internet truly is of God — anyway, I just went to lds.org and typed in “homosexuality” in the search engine. The views ran the gamut of Mark E Peterson in 1979 saying that immorality of all sorts (including homosexuality) should be legislated against (Echoed by Vaughn J. Featherstone in 1992) to Boyd K Packer’s remarkable view that despite its mention in the Old and New Testament, Ancient Greek literature, Oscar Wilde and the whole isle of Lesbos thing and countless other acknowledgments of homosexuality that homosexuality was “almost unknown in our youth but now everywhere about you” in a 2000 speech. I mean Allen Ginsberg was the 1950s and that was counterculture, but homosexuality has always had a countercultural edge. Packer’s comments are totally revisionist and nonsensical. Homosexuality is as old as humanity. Maybe for a brief stint in the early 1900s in Brigham City were homosexuals nonexistent, but I doubt it. I’m middle aged and I remember the whole “fairy” and “queer” epithets, not to mention Packer’s admonition against that gateway drug to homosexuality — masturbation. My friend, Paul Toscano, has written most eloquently on Boyd K in his books, The Sanctity of Descent and The Sacrament of Doubt which I recomment highly. More recent pronouncements by God’s annointed are more concilatory, along the lines of Jeffery Holland and Dallin Oaks and the BYU administration, with its OK to be homosexual, just don’t act on it (much akin to their advice to hormone ravaged heterosexual teenagers).

    To tie this little research project into the pronouncement of the “One True Church”, I’d say the truth is flexible by direct evidence over the last thirty years. The problem is that if I say that in Mormondom, I’m a heretic.

    And what kind of lawyer would I be if I didn’t define hearsay — an out of court statement offered for the truth of the matter purported. Numerous exceptions exist to the hearsay rule excluding evidence if the nature of the hearsay is such that it is likely to be worthy of evidentiary consideration. The cool thing about my little research project was that none of it was hearsay, but direct documentary evidence.

    Finally, JulieAnn, please get your facts straight — it was at least seven times on Sunday and quite often twice during the week.

    Sorry about bringing that small family squabble on to a public web site. I think it all stems from what Boyd warned me about as an adolescent. . .

    Like

  30. JulieAnn says:

    Of course, you’re right. Sorry everyone. ‘…any day of the week and SEVEN times on Sunday.’

    Thank you darling.

    Again…..carry on.

    Like

  31. JulieAnn says:

    P.S. See what kind of fun you can have on Sundays if you skip church?

    Like

  32. Todd says:

    JulieAnn & Kent (was this a swoop?),

    One and only true CHURCH I believe and can live with. Mischaracterizations such as Mormons believe they alone have truth, I can’t. Just so we’re clear.

    Kent – Your little research project seems to indicate little more than a softening of the rhetoric towards the individual, rather than a softening towards the behavior; which would be consistent with a love the sinner, hate the sin philosophy.

    How does that make truth flexible?

    Which truth has been modified?

    So the testimony of the Book of Mormon witnesses would in fact be “direct documentary evidence?” It would seem that way to me, but I’m not the lawyer.

    Seven times on Sunday? Is that with or without pharmaceutical assistance?

    Cheers!
    Todd

    Like

  33. Todd says:

    JulieAnn,

    Lest there be any further confusion, I didn’t yada-yada Rick regarding his quest for truth. I’m sure Rick is a fine person, as are you and the everyone else…yada yada yada… 🙂

    I yada-yada-ed Rick for his blanket “JulieAnn…great post!” comment which came right after his quest for truth prose, when there are clearly untrue points made in your post. Only a disgruntled ex-mormon with a bias against the truth could let those gaping mischaracterizations slide. But then again, I’m a terrible judge of character.

    Cheers!
    Todd

    Like

  34. JulieAnn says:

    Todd….

    All yada-ing aside….if Kent and I were to swoop you, you’d know it. We’re pretty formidible together. But you’ll never be lucky enough to find out. (pharmaceuticals notwithstanding).

    Do you truly like/love/ believe things 100% , all the time? If you do, I’m impressed and I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. So Rick liked my post; what was he supposed to do, say “I liked your post BUT you forgot those three pesky words “Only True Church”, thus providing a loop hole for Todd, so I only like 89.7% of your post”?

    Now, other than my little missing words (even though we both knew what I meant) tell me what were the ‘untrue points’ in my post again? Show me. Show me, show me, show me where I was wrong. I quoted Gordon B. himself. I got my information from LDS.org on the BKP stuff and the ERA stuff. Show me where I’m wrong.

    So you’re calling Rick a ‘disgruntled ex-mormon with a bias against the truth’ and THAT’S why he let my ‘mischaracterization slide’…. Hmm. Yet, the only mischaracterization I made was accidentally leaving out Only True CHURCH (since that’s the only one you could possibly refute). But I knew what I meant, You knew what I meant (don’t lie, it’s a sin and you’ll go to Oklahoma) and RICK most likely knows what I meant ( I just spoke to him and he confirmed that he knew what I meant. And I know he isn’t lying, since I know him all personal-like ‘n all…) so that makes your second-to-last statement blatantly false. Rick can’t possibly be a “disgruntled ex-mormon with a bias against the truth” because no such mischaracterization actually occurred in the post since I remedied it with my follow-up post.

    Silly wabbit.

    Oh, and if you’re a ‘terrible judge of character,’ then everything thusfar you have said about Joseph Smith, any church leaders and/or prophets I find even MORE suspect.

    Cheers!

    Like

  35. Rick says:

    Todd,

    I do have one question for you. I’ll keep the post short so I might get a direct answer from you. In yor mind, why would “I” (and maybe you could expand that to other lapsed mormons) have a “bias against the truth.”

    Really.

    Thanks in advance for your answer.

    ~Rick

    Like

  36. Todd says:

    Rick,

    Sorry for the delay in responding to your question. ‘Tis a busy time of year…

    I don’t know enough about you to even venture a guess as to the “why” behind your apparent bias (which I brought up only as a likely explanation for why you let gaping mischaracterizations of LDS belief slide when given by a fellow ex-mo).

    One without bias against truth would be inclined to highlight truth where ever it’s found, and to underscore apparent error in a like manner.

    Now, JulieAnn’s you-know-what-I-meant rebuttal is very placating. I’m not sure I buy into it. Ex-mos, such as yourselves, often mischaracterize LDS belief in like manner, when your stated credentials would indicate that you should know better. My conclusion is that the mischaracterization is intentional.

    My question back to you is why do you intentionally mischaracterize LDS belief? Wouldn’t that be inconsistent for one without bias against truth?

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  37. Rick says:

    That’s easy. I don’t. At least intentionally. I haven’t seen anyplace — at least here, where I have done so. Please point out where you might think I have.

    Having said that, I think we can both agree that there are many commonly held beliefsin the church that others (also in the church) will say “I don’t know that we teach that,” (example intentional).

    Another example off the top of my head would be the blacks and the priesthood’ issue. I grew up here in zion, and can tell you unequivocally that 40 years ago, the “blacks” were inferior in the pre-existence, and would never receive the same blessings as we “white and delightsome” folk (another intentional example). So I do find it interesting that you (and many others) make that sort of accusation. I do see a great divide between chapel and internet mormons…as you might also see a difference between Utah, and non-Utah, mormons.

    These very observations should allow you to see why there are so many “mischaracterizations of beliefs.” I think a more accurate statement would be “various beliefs depending on age and location of one’s ‘mormon learning” rather than “mischaracterizations.”

    But I would also submit some is blatantly deceptive, such as Pres. Hinckley’s statement to Larry King above. Anybody with deep Mormon roots knows the King Follet’ Discourse was taught as doctrine. I won’t say “is,” as I haven’t been hanging out in gospel doctrine class lately.

    But I’m interested in your take on the matter…. I’m also still interested in the question I posed earlier — why would anybody really have a bias against the truth? Or is it the pat answer we’ve heard many times “we want to lead a sinful lifestyle, and are finding justification to do so?”

    ~Rick

    Like

  38. Todd says:

    Rick,

    Unintentional mischaracterizations based on a lack of experience or knowledge are certainly understandable. Nobody starts with a perfect knowledge of all things, and we learn as we go. And, of course, everyone knows what you ex-mos mean when you misrepresent LDS doctrine or belief anyway, so it’s all good.

    No doubt, the church will continue to receive criticism for the revelation which nullified the long-standing practice of denying black men the opportunity to hold the priesthood. I can see how a rational person might see that revelation in a more how-convenient-for-the-church kind of way. There were a few GAs who had to eat a little crow over their rhetoric on that issue.

    Yet, onward we move, firm in the belief that other course corrections will come; in a line-upon-line, precept-upon-precept way; as good men and women continue to seek the Lord’s guidance in directing the affairs of the church.

    I take it that you don’t believe self-justification is a plausible rationale for bias against truth?

    Introspectively, I’ve rationalized my own sinful behavior against what I believe is truth. Am I unique in that regard?

    Isn’t it basic human nature to WANT to lead sinful, self-gratifying lives; contrary to the plan of happiness? Maybe JulieAnn can shed some light on that from a Freudian id, ego, super-ego perspective.

    That said, I can’t honestly answer the “why” question for anybody ‘cept myself.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  39. MarZ says:

    I think I’m gonna have to post.

    Like

  40. JulieAnn says:

    Well I’m not a licensed analyst, so what I say can be taken with a lump of salt.

    Human beings, in their basic needs hierarchy, require food, water, sex, sleep , breathing, homeostasis and excretion. According to Maslow’s model. Is sleep sinful? How about homeostasis. Food? Hmmm–OHHHH, sex, sex is sinful–outside of marriage. So does the basic human need for sex trump our super ego? (Mixing models a little, but hey, I don’t have a license.) Typically not. Because most people past a certain age seek sexual intimacy, not just the biological act. I don’t view any sort of sex as a sin. I had premarital sex. I’ve had sex you wouldn’t even BELIEVE, let me tell ya. And I don’t feel the slightest bit shameful or guilty. Why? Because I am a sexual being, made to enjoy this act. Made by, according to you, Todd, god. The only sin that I can commit is the sin against myself if I don’t act in integrity.

    From another model, humans are said to have two basic motivators: Seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. Interesting that religion tends to want to quash the pleasure seeking need because it’s considered ‘bad’. Tell me…who created this “bad natural man”? I know the scripture, but I submit to you that it is ‘natural’ for man to want to control others and seek power, natural for a man to judge and fear others who are not like him, and natural for man to buck his own basic nature to fit in with his “tribe”. There is no room for individuality in a tribe.

    So indeed, under this definition, I can see why natural man is ‘an enemy to god.’ Who is to say god isn’t like us heathens? More likely than the alternitive: a god so uptight and “jealous” that he displays all of the more ‘human’ and base qualities of man.

    Sin is subjective–so is self-gratification. I feel gratified when I serve my fellow man; I felt gratified when I took care of my mother when she was ill. I feel gratified when I serve my children. Is this evil?

    Basic human nature is to survive and to make sense of your world (this is the JulieAnn model). From a humanistic perspective, once the need to survive has been satisfied, one seeks self actualization–basically being “right” with one’s self. If you are part of a religion, you are part of a tribe. Your “self actualization” can only be done within the parameters of said tribe. Again–no room for individuality, no room for dissent, and no room for acting outside of the box.

    To me this constitutes stunted emotional and spiritual growth. You must run with the pack or you will be shunned. And most people who are in the rebellious stage/phase of their lives tend to rebel and find yet another pack with which to run (New Agey pack, Save the Earth pack, Women’s rights pack) but the true test of it is to see where YOU are as a person, standing alone.

    I use the example of the color blue–if you are raised your whole life thinking the color blue is BAD, then even if you independently realize that notion is ridiculous, you will still have an emotional reaction to the color blue when you wear it–unless you do some deep self-actualization work. If you don’t, you will just find other colors to fear.

    Making sense of our world is one way to quell the uncomfortable feeling of The Unknown (avoiding pain)–I believe man is more afraid of the unknown than they are of death. So, mythologies since the beginning of time were created to give man a handle on death, not only on the process and result of death, but how we can exercise some mode of control over it (ie: “resurrection”, “heaven”, “eternal life”.)

    But no one really knows. Don’t tell Betty Eadie, but scientists and doctors have been able to recreate the “tunnel of light” in perfectly healthy human beings by stimulationg certain parts of the brain. Naturally, comforting memories reside there.

    The bottom line is this (for me): if you want to stay in a tribal mentality your whole life and let others dictate your morality to you, then be my guest, have at it. I personally choose the path of a different law–one that’s goverened by me and my sense of morality, value and love. “Jesus” went through his trials, his Gesthemane in order to reach a higher level of perception. I doubt he would have done that had he been a part of a tribe. The tribe from which he hailed didn’t accept his dissent and ultimately killed him for it. The crucifiction is, in a humanistic sense, symbolic of the journey each of us can choose to take in our lives. We must all go through a betrayal. Many times, the betrayal comes in the guise of the very tribe you profess to belong. But that’s when you have the chance to really reach something amazing–ascension into joy.

    Merry Christmas everyone

    JulieAnn

    Like

  41. Rick says:

    Holy groin tingle! I’m sure glad K didn’t let you get that lobotomy, JulieAnn! I’m so resonating with that post right now, I’ll call it a braingasm!

    So, if I can get my body to stop shaking…I’ll add my 2.5cents. (where’s that cigarette….?)

    It seems the further outside the religion box I get, the more I question things. Is there a right or wrong? Is there a “proper” way to do…anything? Is there such a thing as “selfish?” Or are we all part of a unified whole…different fingers on a hand, and what we do individually really does affect all?

    I’m quite comfortable with distancing myself from the “God in man’s image” concept, but I’m still toying with the concept we get from quantum mechanics of a universal energy that we are all a part of — and can tap into. But at my core, I am a skeptic…and I feel no need to understand it all. I will live the paradigm that brings the most joy to me, and resolve that I may not know why it does.

    So what is that today?

    I adore my family and friends. Call it a bit codependent, but I revel in seeing them happy. I am ecstatic with the thought of getting together with them tonight and tomorrow and observing the excitement on their faces when they open gifts. I look forward to partaking of exquisite foods together. Maybe there’s a reason we “moan” similarly during a good meal and good sex?

    I love music. I do these crazy karaoke parties where I immerse myself in the passion my friends have when they make their music. And every so often I get to make musc with them…hmmm, again, sounds eerily similar to sex, doesn’t it?!

    I’m also a bit of an exercise junkie. I enjoy bringing myself to a little pain — which also releases some amazing endorphins. More sex?

    Which is an interesting segue. Perhaps the reason sex was placed in the category of “sin” so many years ago during the creation and evolution of mass controlling religions is that (as JulieAnn so eloquently stated) we like it so much?! What better way to create wrongdoing and guilt (which ultimately requires dependence on a “higher” power and/or institution to get forgiveness) than to label the second strongest drive of human beings as “wrong?!”

    There are interesting historical theories about Mary Magdelene. She is called a whore in the Bible, but was clearly a close companion (if not “more”) of Jesus. Various writings claim that it was the “church” that painted her to be the harlot…to present her as an example of what one should not be, thus emphasizing the guilt one should experience when they have enjoyed the pinnacle of human passion.

    Maybe not surprisingly to Todd, I view true spirituality as opposing the common religious view of it. First, I suppose one must define “spirit” and “spirituality.” To the dogmatist, I probably can’t experience spirituality if I don’t believe in the perfected-human-God-in-the-sky entity. I disagree. I view spirituality as one’s connection to the universal whole.

    There are certainly some activities that encourage that connection more than others. Harming others needlessly would not be a behavior that invites “spirit.” Service to others, participation and observation of human courage, quiet communion with nature…all create a universal warmness to the soul that is experienced throughout all cultures.

    To this end, I celebrate Christmas (you’re welcome, brother Buttars….), as well as many other Pagan holidays. In fact, I celebrate life — as often as I can. I don’t need a mythology to trigger awareness that life is beautiful; but if others do, I’ll participate in any chance I can to share my revelry with them. Soooo,

    Merry Christmas to all!

    ~Rick

    Like

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