The comment where the spinning turns to vertigo….

I tried to address Todd in a comment, and realized that this is someone everyone should read and see. He is single-handedly destroying any good impression ANYONE might have had about Mormonism. He and Boyd K. Packer should go have a Coke, er, Sprite together. They have lots in common. I have NOT removed ONE WORD of his answer. Nor have I taken it out of context.
Dear Todd,

First of all, let me tell you that you have made a complete and utter jackass of yourself on this blog. I’m not trying to be rude, but honest. Do you not realize what damage you are doing to your church by your convoluted and arrogant arguments?  I’ve received private emails from readers–most who have never been Mormon–who have said “Wow, this guy is crazy. Even if I were thinking about joining the Mormon Church, everything I’ve heard from him would lead me to never even consider it.”

In short, you have driven people away from Mormonism, the very thing which will get you in the most trouble with your religion. Think it doesn’t happen? Think again.

You are neither logical or consistent. You spin constantly. You don’t answer questions. You insult, and then sign your posts “with love.” Very typical of narcissistic or borderline personality disorder. The more logic we throw at you, the more irrational you become. It’s….odd. I don’t remember you being mentally unstable in high school, but it’s obvious I knew very little about you.

And now, I will do something you NEVER do. I will address your points. But before I do, I must reiterate the damage you are doing to the LDS Church, the very thing you think you are defending. You are coming off as completely crazy. Nothing drives normal people away faster than a fanatic, and it’s obvious you are extremely fanatical.

I said:
1. If we don’t follow ALL THINGS written in the Bible, why do we follow this interpretation of sexuality? I gave you SPECIFIC examples. Please address them.

You did not. Instead, you said:

Your attempts to frame the debate around Old Testament laws won’t work. I’m not bound to believe or adhere to ANYTHING in the bible. How the ancient Israelites chose to govern themselves is irrelevant.

Um, have you started your own branch of the Mormon Church? The Church of Todd?  Because I’m telling ya, you have got it wrong. From your OWN CHURCH’S Web site:

Do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called “Mormons”) revere the Bible as the word of God and use it regularly. Mormons use the Bible for personal study and teach from it during Sunday worship services.

Like all Christians, Mormons consider the Bible to be a sacred record that includes Heavenly Father’s dealings with ancient people who lived in the eastern hemisphere. It speaks of covenants He made with His children through prophets like Noah, Moses, and Abraham and recounts the events surrounding the ministry of His Son, Jesus Christ, as witnessed by the Apostles and others.

So actually, as you will see above, YOU ARE BOUND by the Bible. Your church believes it to be the WORD OF GOD. It does not say
only the NEW Testament is the Word of God. In FACT, that page specifically mentions BOTH the Old AND New Testament.

How can the Bible help me and my family?

The Bible helps us know right from wrong. It testifies of Jesus Christ and teaches us how following Him can bless our lives. Studying the Bible—whether alone or with our families—brings peace and happiness to our homes as we follow the counsel recorded by ancient prophets.

The Church has developed free resources and study aids that can help you and your family learn and understand the truths contained in the Bible. Below are links to these resources.

Nowhere does it say that any Mormon is not bound by it. It says it is THE WORD OF GOD. I also missed the part where it said, “Everybody is bound by it but Todd.” The Church of Todd may not be bound by the Bible, but the official LDS Church. Yes. As far as it is “interpreted correctly.”

So what attempt is it I have made, short of stating truth, and quoting your own Church’s Web site WORD FOR WORD with no changes? No attempt at all to “take it out of context.” I am trying to get your answers as to why you only believe certain things in the Bible (which you irreverently put as lowercase, which would offend any Christian and those of us who live on getting our grammar fix daily) ? I stand behind my statement. The LDS Church believes the Bible to be the word of God. Please answer my questions accordingly.

You quoted me:
2. I do not HATE Mormonism. I have made that patently clear. I don’t like some of the doctrine, and specifically the doctrine that discriminates. Please address the changing of the Book of Mormon to say “pure and delightsome” to say “white and delightsome.” Tell me, why was the most perfect book on earth changed so many times? Remember, Joseph Smith himself said it was “perfect.”

This is nothing more than you regurgitating more tired, old, anti-Mormon rhetoric to try and score “gotcha” points. How are changes in the Book of Mormon relevant to this topic? I’m dumbfounded that you are even serious. Totally lame.

How are changes in the Book of Mormon relevant to this topic? Joseph Smith said it was the “most perfect book on earth.” So why has it been changed? If Joseph Smith is a prophet, and the book was perfect then, WHY CHANGE IT? As always, you do not address my questions directly, but attempt to insult me. Lame? Dumbfounded? You are right. You are dumbfounded, but it ain’t me whose doing the “dumbing down.” Insulting me does not take away from the fact that you have once again skirted around the ISSUE.

You say you don’t believe in homosexuality because the BIBLE says it is a sin. In the Old Testament. Which you have JUST TOLD ME YOU DON’T HAVE TO ADHERE TO. So where is your basis to condemn homosexuality? Once again, you did NOT ANSWER the question. I know why, and you know why, and so does everyone reading. It’s because YOU CAN’T. You have to call me names and insult me, to try to divert attention away from the fact you just plain don’t know. You can’t defend it. So it’s easier to be nasty and ugly.
You quoted me:

3. Are you unable to see that there is a revolution going on here? I really just want to know. Because you need to prepare yourself. This is akin to the civil rights issues of the 60s and 70s. It will take longer to get there, but it will happen.

Thanks for watching out for me. The significance of this issue on society completely escaped me.

Once again, you have backed yourself into a corner. If there is no significance of this issue on society, then WHY DO YOU CARE? Why are you fighting against it? If it HAS no significance, why is the LDS Church spending MILLIONS of dollars to keep it from happening? Why do you keep coming back here and making a fool of yourself? I doubt Thomas S. Monson considers it insignificant. We both KNOW Boyd K. Packer does not consider it insignificant, or he wouldn’t have so callously offended those with same-sex attraction just days after three different suicides caused by gay bullying.
You quoted me:

4. Please explain to me how a brother marrying a sister is the same as a non-related man marrying another man. The law behind brothers and sisters marrying has more to do with the genetic problems than anything else. How does this have any relevance at all?

Let me restate the relevance of this point.Your logic is that marriage is a fundamental right protected by the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause. People should be able to choose who they want to marry. Right? Please, tell me if that isn’t your logic.
Why would you limit marriage to unrelated individuals only? And why frame the argument around brother-sister marriages? Can’t two brothers or two sisters have just as meaningful a relationship as two unrelated men or women? Why is unrelated SSM okay, and related SSM not okay? It is directly relevant, because your own logic makes it relevant. You refuse to acknowledge ANY moral standard upon which to elevate marriage.

Have you ever heard of separation of Church and state? It comes from the very same constitution you are quoting. In short, you don’t GET to pick the morality for others. Mormons are NOT the majority. In fact, they are quite distinctly the minority in the world.

Can two brothers and or two sisters have just as meaningful a relationship as a same-sex couple? No. Incest is driven by a very different animal than homosexuality, as is pedophilia. Likewise, most pedophiles are NOT homosexuals. You are not a psychologist, and you have no training in this, and you refuse to ACKNOWLEDGE any scientific studies. But you just keep spouting your mouth. You need to shut up, because you, quite frankly have nothing to reference your statements with, and refuse to supply it, but continue to get uglier and uglier.
You are trying to lump the two together, so you make sure that everybody knows just how perverted you consider homosexuality to be. But it doesn’t matter. You can’t back it up. You have no actual facts to base your statements on.

You quoted me:
5. How do I “hate” Mormons. Please give specific examples of my hate. Because disliking a doctrine does not amount to hate or bigotry.

I’ll take you at your word that you don’t hate Mormons.
However, your hateful, bigoted rhetoric and baseless assertions about Mormons, Mormonism, and religion in general lead me to question your characterization that you merely “dislike” a few of the doctrines. I’ll let the inquisitive read through your seven years of blogging to decide for themselves how you really feel.

What’s going to happen here, Todd, is that people will read this blog and see you can’t defend one thing you are fighting for. As always, you have not given me ONE example of being hateful or of me offering up bigoted rhetoric. Just because you SAY I have, doesn’t mean I have. At this point, people are reading your comments for the sheer comedy of it.
You quoted me:

6. I’m going to be perfectly honest here. Why don’t you try it. I do NOT support polygamy as it is practiced by perverts like Tom Green, Warren Jeffs, et al., who are destroying the lives of children. As far as what consenting adults do, that is their business.

Wow. Brave admission, and totally inconsistent with your previous rhetoric. What if the spouses of perverts like Tom Green and Warren Jeffs consent? Why don’t you support marriage between the closely-related, provided they both consent? If it can be shown that same-sex marriages harm children, would you be against it?

Really? What rhetoric? And hardly brave. And 12 and 13-year-old girls are NOT old enough to consent. You have daughters. What you have just written is abhorrent. That you would willingly put them into such a fate if your church were to say, once again, that polygamy was going to be practiced is sickening. Would you let your 13-year-old daughter be married off to a 45-year-old man with six other wives, Todd? Would you push her into his arms, even as she sobbed and begged and pleaded with you not to make her do it? Would you whip her and beat her if she ran away, as Krista Nelson did? She didn’t want to marry her uncle in the Kingston clan. Her father tracked her down and beat her severely. THIS is the polygamy you are talking about. You would do that to your daughter?

If it were proven that same-sex marriages harmed children, then yes, I would probably be against it. But it doesn’t, hasn’t, and won’t. Now, would a dysfunctional same sex marriage be harmful to a child? Of course. Just like a dysfunctional heterosexual family is harmful to a child. Look at the statistics, Todd. Heterosexuals regularly beat, abuse, and mentally screw up their children. Dysfunctional is dysfunctional.
You quoted me:

a. Why do you agree with polygamy and not gay marriage? And if you don’t agree with polygamy, why are you claiming to be a believing Mormon?

Polygamy doesn’t vitiate marriage.

Using big words doesn’t confuse me, Todd. From Merriam Webster:

Definition of VITIATE

1
: to make faulty or defective : impair vitiated by obvious haste — William Styron>
2
: to debase in moral or aesthetic status vitiated by prejudice>
3
: to make ineffective vitiates a contract>
Please prove that polygamy does not vitiate marriage. Ask the girls who were married away as 12- and 13-years-old. How the hell do YOU know that polygamy does not vitiate marriage? It most certainly does and can. Your argument is ridiculous, and you have given no facts to back it up. Furthermore, you have given me no facts that same sex marriage “vitiates” marriage.
You must be dizzy from all your spinning.
You quoted me:

7. And my last question is this. WHAT impact would gay marriage have on YOU.

Same-sex marriage vitiates the institution of marriage and (even if ever so slightly) opens society up to a whole host of even more deplorable types of relationships. It’s a bad idea, and your unwillingness to consider the potentially severe ramifications of the very slippery slope on which you’re willing to jump full force is disconcerting. Marriage needs to be a sacrosanct institution that can withstand the onslaught of pernicious evils that would truly harm society.

Kindest Regards,

Deplorable types of relationships like domestic violence? Incest by heterosexual fathers? Marrying off of young children to old men? Oh wait. That’s polygamy as practiced by Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and today’s current day perverts. Kindest regards my ass. There are no severe ramifications. You have no kind intent, and there is no love in your heart. You just want to prove your superiority over others. What you don’t seem to realize is that you are not superior.And as in the past, your statements on this blog are going to haunt the LDS Church, just like statements like this one did:

“I would be willing to let every Negro drive a Cadillac if they could afford it.”–Mark E. Peterson

Or this one:

(1848 – 1877)   BRIGHAM YOUNG 2nd Prophet and President

“You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable, sad, low in their habits, wild, and seemingly without the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind.

“Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.”

This will always be so? Yeah. We all saw how that turned out….

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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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97 Responses to The comment where the spinning turns to vertigo….

  1. Birdman says:

    Poor Todd W…you should know better…would have been much easier to just answer the question: HOW DOES SAME SEX MARRIAGE AFFECT YOU PERSONALLY???

    Like Natalie, I have had responses to your comments…wondering how we can endure you, it is simple when you understand that someone as self-center and delusional as yourself is given enough space and time, they will defeat themselves…you do it best by entertaining those of us that can see through your spin…and better yet, in your fanatic attempts to prove yourself right without any facts to back you and claiming to do it in the name of the Mormon church…you alienate anyone that reads your twisted words from joining any religion that would allow someone like yourself to act as their spokes person.

    Again, I ask why continue to come here and attempt to argue well thought out points with rhetoric and falsehoods, based on your opinion…not Mormon doctrine or facts, just the sad pathetic opinion of an overzealous religious fanatic.

    Thanks again for the weekend of ironic humor that seems to escape you in your attempts to show yourself as superior to the rest of the world…without one shred of evidence to support any of your statements.

    Like

  2. Carla says:

    *applause* Very nicely put.

    Like

  3. Todd says:

    Natalie,

    Alright, it looks like you’ve had enough debate about SSM. Let’s go point by point on your new post.

    Point #1

    Where in the following quote does it say I’m bound by the Bible?

    Do Mormons believe in the Bible?

    Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called “Mormons”) revere the Bible as the word of God and use it regularly. Mormons use the Bible for personal study and teach from it during Sunday worship services.

    Like all Christians, Mormons consider the Bible to be a sacred record that includes Heavenly Father’s dealings with ancient people who lived in the eastern hemisphere. It speaks of covenants He made with His children through prophets like Noah, Moses, and Abraham and recounts the events surrounding the ministry of His Son, Jesus Christ, as witnessed by the Apostles and others.

    I see the phrases like “revere it as the word of God,” “use it regularly,” “teach from it,” “consider it a sacred record.”

    Where does it say I’m bound by it?

    Where in the following quote does it say I’m bound by the Bible?

    How can the Bible help me and my family?
    The Bible helps us know right from wrong. It testifies of Jesus Christ and teaches us how following Him can bless our lives. Studying the Bible—whether alone or with our families—brings peace and happiness to our homes as we follow the counsel recorded by ancient prophets.

    The Church has developed free resources and study aids that can help you and your family learn and understand the truths contained in the Bible. Below are links to these resources.

    View colorfully illustrated stories from the Old and New Testaments, written at a basic reading level.
    Read the Old Testament and New Testament online.

    I see phrases like “helps us know right from wrong,” “testifies of Jesus Christ,” “brings peace and happiness as we follow the counsel recorded by ancient prophets.”

    Where does it say I’m bound by it?

    Let me give you some relevant quotes.

    Article of Faith #11 – We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

    D&C 82: 10 – I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.

    2 Ne. 2: 27 – Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

    2 Ne. 10: 23 – Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.

    This stuff is BASIC Mormon doctrine.

    Feel free to respond to continue the discussion on this point, or to concede and we’ll move to point #2.

    Regards,
    Todd W

    Like

  4. Todd says:

    Top 5 ways SSM affects Todd personally…

    5) I get to hear Birdman sanction incest
    4) I get to hear Todd D sanction incest
    3) I get to envision Natalie’s panties in a tight old wad
    2) I get dizzy listening to your circular logic and twisted rationale
    1) I get to spend my money supporting pro-marriage initiatives

    🙂

    Love,
    Todd

    Like

  5. Birdman says:

    Thanks for the laughs Todd!
    And for doing more harm to the Mormon missionary work than any single living individual…lol

    Like

  6. Birdman says:

    and point one, I didn’t sanction incest…I advocated sexual freedom between consenting adults…

    Like

  7. Birdman says:

    Todd…you quote Mormon scripture…we don’t care…we gave up that false religion years ago…lol

    Like

  8. Birdman says:

    and Todd…who said she was wearing any???

    Like

  9. Birdman says:

    Todd…what you going to do when the Danites come for you…lol

    Like

  10. Birdman says:

    Todd W states “Feel free to respond to continue the discussion on this point, or to concede and we’ll move to point #2.”

    Did you forget whose house you are in…you don’t control anything here…lol

    Like

  11. Todd says:

    Birdman,

    I never lose sight of whose house I’m in.

    I presume you’re setting the stage for a cop out? All Natalie and you have is more tired, old, anti-Mormon rhetoric and baseless assertions. Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

    Not surprised…
    Todd

    Like

  12. Todd D says:

    Well, we finally get to see how SSM affects Todd, which is he will have to hear about it and continue wasting his money delaying the inevitable.

    Still no evidence of some great societal harm, but wasn’t really expecting that.

    Like Birdman, I do not sanction incest and it is rather dishonest of you to say that consenting adults = incest. I have seen incest happen and destroy lives and families. I was after all a Social Worker in Utah for many years. I have seen more than my share. I understand the reasoning behind laws against it in most cases. Would I have a problem of a couple falling in love and later discovering they were related having never before met? No, to me that is different. Incest implies close family ties that are usually twisted and one person is coerced so therefore they not consenting. For you to imply they are equal is wrong. Again, I understand that you simply mean sex outside of marriage = sin, but to equate the two on any other level is laughable.

    I remember living in the black and white world of Mormonism. I am glad I see all the colors and shades now that actually exist.

    Like

  13. Mindy says:

    You go girl!!

    Like

  14. Birdman says:

    Todd…we always back up anything we have to say…so it isn’t baseless…most of it comes directly from official LDS church history that is now changed.
    Some of it comes from knowledgeable people working in the field we are discussing.
    Most of the things we use actually aren’t anti-Mormon, they are old infallible Mormon Doctrine that has changed over the years to meet with social acceptance. Some of it are just simple facts that prove certain principles of the Mormon church to be false.
    However you acting in the role of a self-rightious, holier-than-thou Mormon Apologist refuse to accept any of the facts and would rather base your entire arguement on the principle of Mormon faith…no matter how unfounded they happen to be. If you can’t win a straight forward arguement, you begin to dance…playing with the shadows only you can see. You attempt to assert that one thing is another, that pigs can fly or that white salamanders did or didn’t talk…and if you can prove it within your paradigm, you cover it up…acting like a child who believes he can hide from the world by covering his eyes…since he sees no one, then no one can see him.
    You are very entertaining to us, to many of the readers and you do a better job of chasing people from the church than drawing them to it.

    As we are sitting drinking wine, nibbling cheese and chasing it with fresh baked bread, we often discuss the Todd Ws of this world…we laugh and joke about the impossible task that you attempt. How will you ever prove or disprove an ideology that has no factual base, but is built entirely upon the belief of one man’s obvious attempt to draw people to him in his egocentric efforts to beguile individuals for his own personal gain…be it financial or sexual.
    He was followed by an iron-fisted dictator that insisted that every word from his mouth was the word of God…even the ideas of Blood Attonement and Polygamy…the church has even gone so far in hiding the truth, that many of it’s followers today believe that BY was the originator of the idea of plural marriage.
    Your irrational ideas and circular logic along with the avoidance of answering a direct question becomes boring and repetitious…making you look foolish to those with some knowledge of the church and scaring away any investigators…and we get a lot of those visiting this blog. Mostly because all of your comments help it to get on search engines that Natalie doesn’t always reach.
    You should be proud of your acheivements, you have made it to the “Outer Blogness” on Main Street Plaza…a blog that collects post and ex Mormon blogs, defining what is happening during the week as far as discussions. That is the one that will get Todd W noticed…by people in the church…actually some fairly prominent officials of the church…so don’t be surprised if you get asked by your bishop about not being bound to follow the doctorine of the Bible…lol

    Like

  15. Birdman says:

    Found a great quote for this blog today…I’m quite certain that while the rest of the world views it as being directed at Todd W’s feeble attempts, he will be certain that it validates his efforts…lol

    ‎”When the philosopher’s argument becomes tedious, complicated, and opaque, it is usually a sign that he is attempting to prove as true to the intellect what is plainly false to common sense. But men of intellect will believe anything– if it appeals to their ego, their vanity, their sense of self-importance.” –Edward Abbey

    Like

  16. Todd says:

    Birdman,

    All you’ve got is more of the irrelevant spin, anti-Mormon rhetoric, baseless assertions, and guilt by association tactics that we’ve come to expect.

    *Yawn*

    Todd

    Like

  17. Birdman says:

    The sad part is Todd…you really believe the junk you post on here…lol

    Like

  18. Birdman says:

    Todd D…well stated this morning!!!

    Like

  19. Todd says:

    Todd D,

    in·cest [in-sest]–noun 1. sexual intercourse between closely related persons.

    Your own words…

    I think Birdman did a good response to the incest argument you raise. I too don’t see an issue when there is not coercion or a clear unequal and non-consenting participants.

    Using your own logic, it took all of a few hours to get you to sanction incest.

    I bet the majority of people who read this blog agree with your logic, too.

    Anybody else willing to stand up with Birdman and Todd D and sanction incest?

    C’mon it’s just like same-sex marriage, except the two parties are closely related. Besides, how will an incestuous marriage affect you personally?

    How about we legalize same-sex incest now; and then, in a few years, we’ll go for even more perverse arrangements (father-daughter, mother-son). As long as it’s consensual, our current logic should work fine. Equal protection is EQUAL protection, no?

    Absolutely despicable…

    Todd W

    Like

  20. Todd says:

    Birdman – The amusing thing is that YOU believe all the stuff YOU post here.

    Like

  21. Todd D says:

    Todd W.

    You are the one equating the two.

    First you state that great harm will come from SSM and refuse to state what these dire consequences are. (I’m afraid your personal discomfort is not a dire consequence.)

    Second, you state that the existing marriages do not bother you and refuse to acknowledge that SSM which exists in several States now and even more countries has not brought these nebulous dire consequences and that they have not affected you in any way (other than the finally admitted to discomfort, which according to your comments, has more to do with incest than SSM)

    Third, you switch to equating SSM and incest which have no actual correlation except in your mind in that they are both sex outside marriage. I can only imagine that you believe SSM will lead to it, but you have failed to show why when our arguments have continually been rational legal basis and consenting adults. There has been shown to be actual harm caused by most incestuous relationships. Studies and individual harm have continually been presented as reasons. Love and consent are not part of these relationships. Yet you still equate them because you know incest can be shown to be actually harmful where SSM can not. There is no correlation here to any thinking person.

    I am aware of where my logic took me, are you? Because I don’t see that based on your comments which are still “Look, look, Todd and Birdman think a man should be able to marry his 12 year old daughter and have sex with her!” Please show where either of us made anything remotely close to that claim.

    Finally, you accuse others of circular logic and twisted rational. I can only assume you don’t understand the information given in direct response to your questions. Please show us where you have responded to even one of ours? You change the subject and move the goalposts ignoring the responses to your previous questions because they were clearly rebutted.

    You can hold your beliefs, and I have no hope that you will ever change them to even a moderate live and let live approach. That’s fine, but there is not constitutional right to not be offended or be uncomfortable with other peoples opinions. But while I recognize this, you will try to legislate anything that will make you uncomfortable away. I will always be uncomfortable with attitudes like yours which condemn me and those I love, but I know that I can’t legally work to force you to change, nor would I want to. The day we pass laws restricting thought or protecting people from being uncomfortable would be the day we cease to be America. Free speech is here to stay, please continue to use this right, but expect to be ridiculed and corrected when you continue to spout nonsense.

    So your original argument that SSM causes harm was never presented and I am sure it will not be because no harm has been shown. If people have truly read your comments and decided to stay far from the church, I will not consider my weekend wasted.

    Like

  22. Birdman says:

    Again, very well stated Todd D!

    Todd W…again, thanks for the laughs, thanks for showing that you lack the ability to debate the issue in anything resembling a direct approach to the issue…with no suggestions as to how the issue can be resolved from either side other than to do it your way or no way…lol

    Like

  23. Todd W.,

    You are like an energy vampire, sucking the life force out of people. The only opinion that matters to you is YOURS. The only person you think is smart enough to talk to here on Trapped is YOU.

    So go on Soulsucker, and refuse to see the light. It doesn’t matter HOW many times I back up my statements with facts, you just try and spin around them.

    You are bound by the Bible, as it relates the word of God, according to Mormon teachings. I will concede nothing. And this is MY blog. I make the rules here. If you want to make rules, go somewhere else. Your priesthood authority means NOTHING to me.

    You are digging a very deep hole, and since you won’t quit, I might as well lend you a shovel.

    I will not waste one more minute on your rhetoric, spin, or apologetic nature. I told Birdman last night there was no point. You obviously suffer from narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder.

    Taking ration and reason to the mentally unstable doesn’t work. And I’m done trying. I have work to do.

    Ramble on, Soulsucker.

    Like

  24. Todd says:

    Natalie,

    More evasion, spin, and personal attacks. I’m not surprised. I knew you’d cop out.

    You think that since this is YOUR blog, and YOU make the rules, that YOUR opinion is the only one that counts. At least you’ve got two of those right.

    Soulsuckingly Yours,
    Todd W

    Like

  25. Birdman says:

    Like the simple egocentrical soul you are Todd W…you feel that you just have to get the last word in on any topic…even if it does not pertain to the subject at hand.

    Natalie was not at all evasive…she told you like it is.

    There was no spin…by the official site of the very church you profess to stand for as an example…the church you claim to represent…you are bound by the teachings of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.

    Personal Attack…there was no personal attack, just a statement of the facts. 1) You are an energy vampire…seeking to suck the good out of everyone but yourself. 2) Your attempts to talk down to anyone that states their opinion, shows that you feel you are superior to anyone else. 3) You refuse to see any view but your own…regardless and inspite of any facts you are shown. 4) As stated before, maybe in the church of todd there is no being bound by the teachings of the Bible, but the Mormon church claims they are. 5) Your priesthood authority and opinion don’t mean anything to those of us here. 6) You have dug yourself in over your head…and you have no way out of this pit of falsehood you have placed yourself into…and you still act smug and superior. 7) You do appear to suffer from narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder, I would not be surprised to find that you should be on medication for a BiPolar disorder.

    You will continue to ramble, but we have reached the point of apathy with you…you see, you just aren’t worth the time or effort.

    Like

  26. Todd says:

    Birdman,

    This is beyond funny.

    It was apparently worth the time and effort yesterday for Natalie to write a comment and ask me 7 questions, which I took the time and effort to answer.

    Then, it was apparently worth the time and effort yesterday, again, for Natalie to write a main blog post excoriating me for my answers.

    And, now, all of a sudden, when I challenge her to respond to her baseless assertions point by point; it isn’t worth the time or effort.

    Of course not! Because Natalie knows she’s in a huge hole and now looks like a complete jackass for posting an angry rant.

    Totally and transparently lame-O. I couldn’t have scripted it any better than that.

    ROTFLMAO,
    Todd W

    Like

  27. Birdman says:

    Todd…you never answered one question…not one!!!
    You lied about a couple (out right) and danced around the others…that isn’t answering…it may have been how you got through college, but then I have heard of people copying soup reciepes and getting an “A” because the prof didn’t read it and there was enough pages to make the muster.
    You are delusional if you think that in anyway you have shown a spark of intelligence throughout this entire dialogue…seriously, Todd…go have them give you an MMPI-2 so you can get the help or medication that you need.

    And you certainly didn’t answer the main question: HOW DOES SAME SEX MARRIAGE AFFECT YOU PERSONALLY????

    Yes, you do look and are lame…

    Like

  28. Just Saying says:

    Natalie,

    I came to your blog some time ago in search of information about Mormons. Every now and then I come back to it. I feel it necessary to make a few comments.

    1. The Lord has not turned hardened his heart toward you or turned his back on you. “TODD” is nothing more than the adversary in the flesh, trying to pull you down and drive you farther from the Lord.

    2. It is quite clear that the Lord has dealt with your heart, opened your eyes to certain things, and given you the strength to walk away from your church in order to find the real truth, where there is no hatred in the hearts of people who profess to be God fearing Christians.

    3. Being an outsider here (I am NOT a Mormon) and not attending the church I was raised in, I can sincerely relate to and respect the fact that you made a difficult decision to leave your church. I know from experience that this is not a decision that is made with ease or done overnight. It takes a long time to think, struggle, and pray to make the right decision. It takes a strong person, with a lot of faith in God, to make that final decision, stand up and meet it head on, knowing the ridicule, rejection and painful persecution that would lay ahead.

    Strange how church members are always knocking on doors and trying to save souls, but when one strays or leaves the church, there will always be a few that will look down on them as if they have committed a great sin. This is when the whole church needs to have an outpouring of sincere and honest prayer to protect and guide that member and bring that lost sheep back to the flock.

    4. “TODD” has obviously closed his heart to the Lord. What makes “TODD” think he is without sin? What makes “TODD” think he has the right to cast stones? What makes “TODD” think he has the right to judge and condemn other people? What makes “TODD” think he is not bound by his Bible when that is the WORD and we are all supposed to be bound by the Word? Does the Mormon Bible teach that it is proper or Godlike to argue and constantly harrass people, especially when they have asked to be left alone? Does “TODD” think this is doing the Lord’s work and that this is the way to win souls over to the Lord?

    5. My next questions about “TODD” …. does “TODD” think this is a private blog for him only to read and respond? Does “TODD” think no one from his church will read his comments? Does “TODD” only know or care about SEXUAL issues? IS that what the Mormon Bible is all about? SEX? Makes me think “TODD” is secretly facing and dealing with some serious sexual issues and hang ups that we don’t want to know about! Is “TODD” afraid he will be found out and exposed? “TODD” makes me very uncomfortable because he dwells on these issues. He has yet to show me any reason to consider the Mormon Church or doctrine. And I must say that I think this “TODD” is a pervert of the worst kind and uses this feeble attempt to persecute the gays, as a means to justify his own wrong doings. If he is not actively involved in some wrongful sexual activity, then he is definitely lusting in his heart for it ……… or perhaps he is denying his own enticing thoughts of being with another man. He spews hatred and jealousy toward the gays … why would anyone be THAT determined to bash them unless they are insecure and afraid of it for themselves?

    6. Does “TODD” argue with the Lord? Does “TODD” think he can fool the Lord about what really lays in his heart? Does “TODD” think the Lord does not know about the cold and evil war that he (todd) has waged on you? Does “TODD” think the Lord cannot read or know what he is writing on this blog to you?

    7. No matter what we do, in church or not, there will always be the “TODDS” of the world trying to block our paths. “TODDS” pick victims for targets, for various reasons, and they want to control and dominate by any means … and they will stop at nothing to get it. “TODDS” are miserable souls and avoiding their own problems. There is no way to convince the “TODDS” of how they are embarrassing since all he cares to talk about is incest and homosexuality. The “TODDS” are not worth the precious time and energy it takes to deal with them. If anything, they are to be pitied. They need professional help.

    8. I may not go to church anymore, but I still know the Lord and I know HE is in my heart. I am not comfortable to discuss this “TODD” character that continues to stalk you on the internet, but this is my only way to tell you what I feel led to say. Your church may think you are going to Hell, but you, Natalie, have shown great love and light to me.

    9. Natalie, I do not see anything as a cop out or conceding on your part. I see it as a very wise decision wise to ignore this “TODD” stalker so you can take care of more important business. I do not suggest you ignore him totally … always be aware of your surroundings and the safety of yourself and your loved ones. If anything (no matter how trivial or how great) was to happen, I am sure the police will suspect this “TODD” character first. You are more kind than I would be. I would have already been to the authorities and obtained a restraining order and filed charges for harrassment.

    “TODD” don’t waste your time on responding to my comment because I refuse to associate with anyone as mean and evil as you. I gladly divorced a man exactly like you! Odd thing happened though, he was diagnosed with untreatable prostrate cancer right after we split and he passed away 2 years later. Maybe you need to have your prostrate checked. 😉 Just sayin’.

    Take care Natalie.
    Just Passing Through

    Like

  29. Just Saying says:

    For Birdman … I know you want to look out for Natalie and protect her … but try to consider some of the suggstions I made in my comment. He is ony a thorn in your side too. You two have recently married and have so much happiness to share. “TODD” is probably jealous of your relationship and happiness too. He has the pleasure of arguing … some folsk get off on that … and he really gets a double thrill here because he has TWO of you to attack. He is not worth it. Makes me wonder why he doesn’t spend all this time wiht his own family??? Or, if he is employed, does he waste his time at work by writing these comments and stalking Natalie’s blog? MOST IMPORTANT … why is he wasting time on this and not spending the time on the Lord or doing the Lord’s work??? How can he keep his eyes on the Lord when he has them glued to Natalie and every move she makes on here? Just saying …….

    Enjoy your lives.

    Like

  30. If I just kept putting, “Todd, last word,” after every time he posts, do you think that would annoy him? LOLOL. I do!

    Like

  31. Todd says:

    Todd D,

    You state that I’m equating the two (presumably SSM and Incestuous Marriage).

    Yes, I am. The rationale that you’re using to justify SSM can easily be extended to even more intrinsically perverse marriages, which is a dire consequence of redefining marriage. And I’m not the only one making this argument. Justice Antonin Scalia made the same point in his dissent in, Lawrence v. Texas, when he wrote, “State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s decision.”

    Even if it hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t. It took all of a few back-and-forths before you and Birdman both sactioned at least limited forms of incest. Afterall, it doesn’t affect you…right?

    It’s patently false and sensationalistic to characterize my comments as “Look, look, Todd and Birdman think a man should be able to marry his 12 year old daughter and have sex with her!” Please show me where I said that in any of my comments.

    Simply face the facts. It’s illogical to assume that the rationale you use to justify SSM won’t be used to justify more deplorable marriages. It already is! You either don’t understand this truism, or you choose to ignore it completely. And, you’re not an unbiased spectator (like me), since you’re directly and immediately impacted by the final resolution. If you really believe your assertion that SSM doesn’t affect me, then you’ll have to agree that people like me are in a much better position to look at the issue objectively.

    I’ve already adopted a moderate live and let live approach. SSM would be an extreme approach, fraught with uncertainty. There is a whole host of conflicting data out there that I’m not willing to ignore. It is patently false that “no harm has been shown.” I’ve provided citations, and any monkey can google and find hoards of data purportedly supporting both positions. I just happen to have a bias towards that which supports my view, whereas you have the opposite bias. Here are a few more evidences of potential harm:

    IN DEFENSE OF THE SLIPPERY SLOPE

    Homosexual Parenting: Placing children at risk

    Beyond Gay Marriage

    Abstract of “Gay fathers’ effects on children: a review.”

    In short: too much uncertainty, too much risk (especially for children). Prudence dictates a much more measured approach, at a minimum.

    Thanks for allowing me to “hold my beliefs.” I didn’t know I was in jeopardy of losing my grip on them. And, you’re absolutely right, there is no constitutional right to not be offended.

    To be clear, I have not condemned you, personally. I’ve condemned redefining marriage, and I am prepared to be ridiculed by the uncouth and reckless for defending what my concience tells me is right. Natalie and others have made an artform out of ridicule, personal attacks, guilt-by-association tactics. But at the end of the day, substance is what really matters, and theirs is sorely lacking.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd W

    Like

  32. Todd says:

    Just Saying…,

    Natalie and her minions can’t resist responding to me. All I have to do is post one simple comment about my freedom to enact laws in accordance with my beliefs, and before I know it I’ve got TWO, count them TWO, more main blog posts excoriating me.

    So, do you support stoning women who can’t produce their tokens of virginity after marriage? Natalie thinks that anyone who professes a belief in the bible is bound to support that ancient law.

    So, tell me, do you?

    I’m just saying…
    Todd

    Like

  33. Birdman says:

    last word…lol…lol…lol…lol

    Like

  34. Todd says:

    Birdman,

    How can you assert that I “never answered one question…not one!!!”

    Are you reading the same blog I’m reading? Natalie quotes verbatim my direct answers to her seven — count them, SEVEN — questions.

    Scroll to the top of the damn page, fool, and start reading. And then do yourself a favor and stop making asinine assertions that make you look like a total jackass.

    Laughing so hard I’m going to pee my pants,
    Todd W

    Like

  35. Last word, last word…. LALALALALALALALLAALALLLLLAAAAA

    Like

  36. Wait a minute. I have minions? Aren’t minions supposed to do your bidding? What the heck? I got stuck with slacker minions? Totally unfair.

    Like

  37. Birdman says:

    Todd…there was only one question…and you never answered it…

    HOW DOES SAME SEX MARRIAGE AFFECT YOU PERSONALLY????

    Everything else came from your attempts to skirt the question…as you still are…

    I think “Just Saying” has you pegged…homophobic because of your own latent tendencies…

    Last word…lol…lol…lol

    Like

  38. Todd says:

    Birdman,

    Dude, there you go, again.

    I gave five reasons — count them, FIVE reasons — how SSM affected me personally. Scroll up the damn page, man, and read a little.

    There’s a definite pattern here with you and reading comprehension.

    Me and my “latent tendencies” aren’t afraid of addressing questions.

    Now Natalie, on the other hand, refuses to even address point #1.

    Hmmm…. I wonder why? Must be time and effort. Yep, the hole she’s dug is way too deep.

    🙂

    Like

  39. Todd says:

    Spending my money in defense of marriage… $1000
    Watching Natalie squirm from tightly wadded panties… Priceless
    Actually seeing Birdman sanction incest… Priceless

    Last word… lol..lol..lol..lol

    Like

  40. Birdman says:

    last word…lol

    Like

  41. Birdman says:

    thanks todd…everytime you comment, I get more emails from people who think you are a nut case. A religious fanatic with no common sense.

    Like I said earlier, Natalie is now on more search engines thanks to you.

    And you are doing more to undermine missionary work than any ex-mormon ever has.

    Like

  42. Birdman says:

    oh yeah

    last word…lol…lol…lol

    Like

  43. Birdman says:

    No…you never did answer the question…you gave reason on how you justify comparing SSM to incest.
    you gave hypothetical reasons about how it might in your world be used to justify what you believe to be perversions and acts of perversion.
    You cited a bunch of biased (by your own addmission) sites.
    You cited uncertainty…so fear of the unknown??? that’s the only thing you really stated.

    You did not tell anyone how it will affect you Todd W personally…because it won’t…you will still go home to your family at the end of the day…still go to church on Sunday…and still believe that you would be better off without SSM being legal…but that is it. It doesn’t affect you, you just want to stop others from having the happiness and security that you do.

    You have NOT responded to the question, because you can’t answer it after all the mud you have slung…
    last word…lol…lol…lol

    Like

  44. Todd says:

    It’s okay Birdman, I can handle it. If people leave the church or don’t join because of me, that is their problem. It doesn’t affect me. My conscience is clear.

    While you’re at it, why don’t you ask all of your email friends if they, like you, sanction incest. I’m sure there are a lot of people just like you who can relate with your rationale.

    So far nobody, except Todd D and yourself, has had the moral courage to sanction incest publicly, in writing.

    last word…lol…lol…lol

    Like

  45. Todd says:

    Birdman,

    Read this comment. I give 5 reasons how redefining marriage affects me personally.

    Damn, you just can’t help being a jackass, can you? That’s twice now in an hour that I’ve had to point that out to you.

    You’re under the illusion that something has to affect one directly and personally before one should stand up and fight for what one believes is right. Do yourself a favor and expand your thinking outside of your narrow little box.

    If the uncertainty regarding the impact on children isn’t enough to slow you down, then you’re beyond help. Oh, but I forget, you actually sanctioned incest! How could I forget?

    last word…lol…lol…lol

    Like

  46. No one sanctioned incest, you moron. Good God. You just make yourself sound more and more stupid. Well, go ahead. Make yourself sound like an idiot.

    Like

  47. And when I block you, I WILL have the last word. You aren’t going to win this one. Give it up,

    Like

  48. Birdman says:

    Todd you are an idiot…we did no such thing…what we did was sanction consentual adult relationships that in no way harm anyone. It is up to the individuals involved…it is between them and their God that they believe in. But you in your self rightious, egocentrical world feel you should be able to make decisions about how their relationship should be defined and acted upon…you are not their God…you aren’t anyone’s God…and even given the teachings of the Mormon church that you could become one, you almost definately never will…you are too judgemental of others to make it that high in the many kingdoms your religion believes in.
    The worst thought, is that if there is an afterlife…according to your beliefs, we might be in the same kingdom of heaven…
    And what will you do if you are wrong, and in the next life they all practice Same Sex Marriage…OMG…what if in the next life you have a same sex attraction….lol

    last word…hahahahaha

    Like

  49. Birdman says:

    I read it, and I refuted it…
    Name calling doesn’t get you anywhere…

    There is NO proof that Same Sex Marriage would do any harm to children…your references were biased and not from a professional source…

    Like

  50. Birdman says:

    Todd, you are even driving the rating up on my blog…and it has nothing to do with religion driven politics…unless it is the religion of the Earth!

    last word…lol…lol…

    Like

  51. Re: incest. Just before I left Utah in 1992, there was a bill in the legislature to raise the penalty for incestual child abuse. It was defeated by the brethren in the senate because it was deemed to be “anti-family.” They actually argued on the floor that cases of incest are better addressed by bishops.

    Like

  52. Jeff says:

    Me: I didn’t understand gay people until my youngest son (one of five children) informed me shortly after his 15th birthday that he was gay. He had always been a very loving, compassionate young man. We love him dearly, and have cried with him, fought side by side with him through all the many diverse issues surrounding his decision to openly live his life, and ultimately loved him as dearly as we love any of our children.

    Certainly, we want happiness and joy for him in life. Unfortunately, there will always be extremely difficult, contrary attitudes and opinions of closed-minded people that will stand directly in the way of our son’s life. Only a parent of a gay child will truly understand that, at times, I would consider choking the shit out of ignorant, arrogant people like Todd, who represent direct roadblocks to my son’s happiness and ability to lead a happy, fulfilling, contributing life.

    Go to hell Todd! With all the pain and suffering that you are causing, you ignorant bastard – I hope that we meet one day; face to face, so that I can share with you some very personal accounts of the severe pain and suffering that you and people like you are causing to extremely good, kind, caring people.

    In your small-minded, myopic little world, you have defined a reality that is comfortable for yourself. One day, your world will be rocked! Will you respond with love and compassion? I doubt it.

    Jeff

    Like

  53. Jeff says:

    Look – after reading my last post, after-the-fact, I realized that my “love and compassion” comment might be completely lost in my strong response to Todd’s idiocy.

    I ask only that my comment be considered in context with a parent who loves his child more than life itself. And, would do anything to protect his children from the ignorant, arrogant attitudes of the Todd’s of the world.

    Todd, everyone is quite correct here – – – – you come across very poorly on this site. You would seriously do yourself and others a big favor by just shutting up and going away.

    Jeff

    Like

  54. Todd says:

    Jeff,

    You don’t know the first thing about me; so, with excesses of love and compassion, kindly go to hell yourself.

    Do you really think that I expect my opinion to go over well on this site? The reason I comment here at all is to evoke an interesting and somewhat racy dialog. Those who’ve been around a while have come to expect it. Trust me, Natalie has had more than ample opportunity to block me over the last couple of years, but she knows that interest in her blog increases when there’s a good cat fight going on. She WANTS me to get fired up, which is why she continues to pull my comments out and puts them in her main blog posts. It’s all about driving interest up. There’s nothing like a little controversy to promote a blog.

    So, take a deep breath, and relax. We can have a serious debate, mix in a little edgy tit-for-tat and still walk away without a desire to maim and destroy. Trust me, nobody gets excoriated on this site more than I, and I’m certainly not averse to dishing a little myself at times. But, really, it’s not about reducing anyone’s feelings of self worth.

    We’re all adults here (except for Birdman who is a total jackass.) 🙂

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  55. Todd says:

    Natalie,

    You can block me AND have the last word, but I still win!

    Birdman and Todd D both sanctioned incest. And the thing that just makes me just ooze with delight is they both knew (or should have known) it was a big, ole trap.

    I took that big juicy worm, baited a nasty old hook, dangled it out there in front of them; and they both swallowed hook, line, and sinker. It was a beautiful thing!

    Suckers!

    Last word lol…lol…lol…lol

    Like

  56. jeff says:

    No, Todd. This isn’t about fun and games. It isn’t a friendly “tit-for-tat”. It might be for you, but you don’t live daily with the results of judgmental, ignorant, arrogant assholes like yourself. Add this to the possibility that your child’s very life is being sucked out of him due to people like you, and the venom and anger really kicks in for a father.

    So – no, Todd. I won’t take a deep breath you little foul-mouthed wimp. If people allow you to continue spouting bullshit, you might believe that you actually have the right to do so. This time, you have gone too far. And, you have gone too far on a subject that directly affects my child, as well as deeply loved individuals of others.

    You should be more careful on a blog site that is public, especially when your own blog site links directly here, with personal information regarding your family. There are less rational, adult people in the world than me.

    Like

  57. Birdman says:

    Todd, you are the most self centered and conceited person I have run across in my 50 years…you don’t make things dicy and interesting on Natalie’s blog…your moronic behavior only helps to make anyone investigating the Mormon church think twice. That is the only reason I know of that she hasn’t blocked you.
    We are ex-Mormon…that in it self causes issues, for those like us, more than others…we were deceived by the people we should trust the most, our families. We were taught that Mormon doctorine was devine truth…with only a little studying, that can be shown as a falsehood. When ever someone finds out that we are ex-Mormons, the first response is “don’t judge the church by the people in it…who made you feel this way?” They still think like you, that the Mormon church holds some allure, something worth hanging onto.
    If someone comes to this Blog, like Jeff or “Just Saying”, and sees your antics and gets a feel for the disease of bigotry within the Mormon church…that is one less person that will have to worry about the falsehoods and untruths of your religion. Because once they see your writing and illogical responses…twisted mis-representations of the truth and squirmming response to proven facts…NO ONE wants to have anything to do with the church. YOU are that person that drives people from your gospel, that makes the most faithfully finally take a look and realize that the Mormon church is not a church of Christian Love, it is a church of close-minded and judgemental persons…like the Todd Ws of the world.

    Like

  58. Birdman says:

    Oh and Todd…you can’t have the last word…

    But you can go on telling your lies about me if you want, they don’t really bother me, or anyone else who read what I said. Your delusional reality is only seen or understood by you…

    We will always be laughing after your post…so you won’t have the last word…

    Like

  59. Todd D says:

    Todd W

    Let me summarize.

    My argument for SSM is that consenting adults should be able to choose their own relationships where no harm is found by the State to disallow it.

    You stated you would show the harm caused by SSM and instead gave up reasons how it affects you personally. I understand that was also asked of you, but the affect basically boils down to:

    5) I get to hear Birdman sanction consenting adult couple relationships which I disagree with
    4) I get to hear Todd D sanction sanction consenting adult couple relationships which I disagree with
    3) I get to fantasize about the underwear of Natalie.
    2) I don’t understand what “consenting adults” do is not my business and not the business of the governments unless direct harm has been shown to caused to the participants.
    1) I get to spend my money supporting initiatives that discriminate against those relationships that I disagree with even if both parties are consenting adults and the State sees not rational basis for not recognizing it.

    So you have said that SSM affects you personally at one point, and before that stated that SSM married couples that exist today do not bother you at all. Again, I insist that is a strange position to take. Either it affects you or it does not. You have stated both. Although again, the reasons it affects you don;t seem to have anything to do with SSM at all.

    Then you present the slippery slope argument, which was not even used in the Prop 8 case here in California. Perhaps you should have sent that to the attorney’s trying to protect “traditional” marriage as I am sure it would have changed everything, Except, that argument has been presented and discounted numerous times and your side was smart enough not to bring it up and try to defend the indefensible. I mean if we are talking slippery slope, marriage in most states is Man/women. What is to keep a mother from marrying her adopted son? Or a father and step-daughter? In my mind this would be incest, however, technically, they could be married today. I might see it as wrong, but I am not spending my money trying to keep it from happening if the State law allows it.

    And how much money of your “pro-marriage” donations go to strengthening actual families and reducing the divorce rate? Helping single mothers or helping children without parents find loving homes to be raised in? Or does it all go to keep loving couples you dislike from getting married or trying to forcibly divorce them in the case of Prop 8? Do those families not deserve the same protections for their children? Do those children not deserve to have married parents to raise them? How are those dollars pro-marriage at all? In what way does keeping same sex couples from marrying strengthen your marriage?

    To you it seems this is a game of semantics and “gotcha” questions where you can score points by attempting to make your opponents look bad or seem to embrace positions they do not. To me and Jeff and his son, this is our lives and opportunity to have the same happiness and governmental protections as others already enjoy. I was raised Mormon and grew up expecting to have a marriage and family and my being gay did not change that picture. Unfortunately, I took the advise of the church at that time and got married, which only caused pain to another individual as well. I am glad that the church no longer pushes that as an option, But a lot of couples went through a lot of pain trying to live a lie.

    These days, a lot of young gay men and women are realizing that marriage to the person they love is an option and look forward to that day as much as heterosexuals. I realize there will always be those like you who whine and moan and say “but I don’t like it”, but it will happen anyway. In fact, it has already happened and is continuing to happen. You are not in danger of losing your beliefs or your right to them, but you are in danger of them becoming completely irrelevant when it comes to the law. As much as we both believe that we have the right to support laws that reflect our own belief systems, only one law will come out of it, and it will the one with rational basis and not in conflict with the Constitution.

    Since this is just a game to you, I am fine with you believing you won an argument. I never believed for one moment you would change your opinion on the matter and I am sure you never will. But the attitude you carry is quickly losing. The majority of Americans believe in letting gay men and women serve openly in our armed forces, and for the first time, the majority are showing support for same-sex marriage. I am confident that there were many readers of this blog, both Mormon and non, who have a better understanding of not only my views, but also through you, the church’s. Like Natalie has stated, you may not have presented a very flattering picture of the church, but I think you can be proud to know it was an accurate view of the doctrine you represent.

    And this will be my last word to you. I will not address you directly going further, and I won’t comment on your blog even though you made me the subject of a post. Although I guess you won’t be able to complain about Natalie doing that to you anymore since you see no issue with it. You are content to wear blinders and rail at the world as it changes around you, but you already find yourself powerless to stop it.

    Like

  60. Todd says:

    Jeff,

    I’m not moved by your venomous, angry rant; nor am I dissuaded by your inference of potential harm. They may work on your wife and children. They won’t work on me.

    I reject the IDEA of redefining marriage for some very legitimate reasons. That does not translate, as you infer, into a rejection of those individuals with the opposing view or those attracted to the same sex. Those who hype the sentimentality of the issue are the ones creating the emotional distress, not those of us who reject the idea of redefining marriage.

    Traditional marriage has stood for a VERY long time. The status quo isn’t sucking the life out of your son, nor will redefining marriage change that.

    Respectfully,
    Todd

    Like

  61. jeff says:

    Todd, why don’t you come right out and say it? Your church (my former) is afraid that any change at defining traditional marriage will ultimately ruin the LDS grip on it’s temple marriage ceremony. For example; If SSM marriages are legalized by states, and the LDS temple marriages (under decree from LDS hierarchy) refuse to perform these legal unions, the LDS church stands to loose the state-sanctioned, legal recognition of an LDS sealing. Thus, just as in many foreign countries, the LDS church ceremony will have no legal status, and will not be socially or morally able to force the current “one year wait period” for a temple sealing after a state sanctioned marriage.

    And, tithing funds will drop drastically. My business partner’s wife worked for 17 years as a legal and financial clerk in the LDS office building in SLC. It is a well documented and accepted fact that almost any temple marriage is a great opportunity for the church to emotionally “enlist” less active members to bring tithing current in order to attend the LDS wedding ceremony. Certainly, the LDS faithful can argue that this is only an attempt to help the salvation of the member, but the facts remain. And, this is another argument that has been covered extensively in this blog. (That of temple wedding practices). The point here is that the role of a temple marriage will be diminished in the eyes and practices of the state. It will no longer be a legal marriage. A state sanctioned marriage will additionally have to take place. And this is why all the fuss over prop 8.

    I’m certain that everyone already understands this, but I wanted to vent-to-the-choir for a minute.

    Also Todd. I always ask one question of anyone who begins name-calling on the Internet. Would you dare speak the same face-to-face? I would, and will to you.

    If you would and will, just say so and I will give you that opportunity. I promise.

    Jeff

    Like

  62. Todd says:

    Todd D,

    Nice summary. Your articulate your side well, and in a respectful manner, and I appreciate that. I don’t write near as well as you, and I’m always eager to a fault to agitate a little to evoke an emotional response. It must have be because I’m a middle child. I’ll take the many suggestions I receive to keep working to improve my style.

    You may have overlooked my comment to Birdman last night, so let me just say it again. I categorically reject the notion that something has to affect one personally before one should stand up for what one believes is right. That works on both sides of any issue.

    I’m not interested in, to quote Jeff, “sucking the life” out of anybody. So, it’s not inconsistent at all to reject the IDEA of SSM as it relates to society’s welfare, while not worrying so much about the 18,000 married gay couples in California. I wish them happy, productive lives; the same as I would wish for anybody.

    I presented the slippery-slope argument, because I accept the logic. Arguments are held up by one side and discounted by the other all the time. In the arena of public opinion it’s really sway that counts. The answer to the question, “Is my argument stronger than yours?” always depends on the bias of those to whom the arguments are being presented. I’ll give more weight to some elements, you’ll give more weight to others.

    All of my “pro-marriage” donations go to strenghtening actual families and reducing the divorce rate. I was reading a study recently that indicated the incidence of divorce and promiscuity is several magnitudes higher among same-sex couples than traditional couples. I’ll have to find the link for you. I was also reading some research about the affect on families and children of relaxing the divorce laws back in 1969. The results were not positive, and children are the ones suffering. If one truly cares about children, no-fault divorce would be outlawed…again.

    I never said this is merely a game to me. I said we can have a serious debate, and still mix in a little edginess and “tit-for-tat.” If that doesn’t work for you, then go find a serious blog that isn’t titled “Trapped by the Mormons.” If you’ve spent any time on this blog, you’ve got to know it isn’t all serious social issue dialog. Hell, Natalie thinks I’m bound to adhere to everything the bible says. How ludicrous is that?

    It’s not really about winning or losing, it’s about sway. To listen to Birdman, I’ve convinced a majority of Mormons to quit the church. Now THAT is sway. And, to be fair, I have decidedly not presented the church’s view. Yes, I’m Mormon, but I’ve intentionally stayed away from a religious-based argument. So I take exception to any characterization to that effect. Natalie and others keep trying to interject those arguments into the debate, but I’m not taking the bait.

    Besides, my goal is to always have the last word…lol..lol..lol..lol…

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd W

    Like

  63. Todd D says:

    Jeff,

    The church may be worried about that, but no church can be forced to marry a couple. The marriage license is from the State, and the Catholic church has refused to marry previously divorced persons forever. No matter the law, freedom of religion will protect the church and it’s ceremonies. My temple ceremony and the legal portion were separate. Many people choose to not get any religious ceremony at all. The church was not forced to marry mixed race couples or even allow blacks into the temple even though the rest of the country was largely desegregated at that point.

    The temple ceremony itself is irrelevant from a legal stand-point. The marriage certificate is issued by the power of the State, and not the Priesthood. As I stated, many states and countries around the world already allow SSM. Churches in the States can choose to turn away gay couples and should not be prosecuted for it. I read recently where a catholic church turned away a mixed-race couple and while incredibly tacky, not illegal.

    If anything, when SSM becomes more of a reality, the church will hold (or continue to hold as they already do) the Temple ceremony to be better than regular marriage and something only faithful members can hope to achieve.

    As you know, there is nothing a Mormon loves more than to simultaneously feel persecuted for their beliefs while maintaining that they are so much better for holding them.

    Like

  64. Birdman says:

    Thank you, Todd D.
    You did an excellent job of clarifying the facts and issues.
    It is too bad that Todd W can not understand that even after providing him with the evidence and facts, he is unwilling to see, unable to pull back his false pride and accept the fact that we can agree to disagree…the courts will eventually make the only decision that really matters…and they are much more informed of facts, constitutional rights and legal standings.

    Like

  65. Todd says:

    Jeff,

    Wow. What a transformation. You almost sound calm and reasonable.

    I’m not concerned about the LDS church losing it’s grip on the temple marriage ceremony any time soon, although it does add to the “slippery slope” data set. There are countries already that don’t recognize temple marriages, and the church, I believe, justs does a temple ceremony following a civil ceremony without any waiting period. In the end, you just do the best you can under the circumstances.

    I would disagree that the majority of Californians who passed prop 8 were thinking about temple marriages when they cast their vote, and therefore it wasn’t “all the fuss over prop 8.” There are genuine concerns over the long-term impact of redefining marriage. Unfortunately, as is often the case, children will suffer.

    I’ll take you at your word regarding tithing funds. I pay tithing because I believe God requires it. Others pay (or not) for possibly different reasons.

    It’s unlikely that I would do any name calling in a face-to-face discussion. The exceptions would be with family members whom I know would take it in stride. Strangely I don’t find the fact that you would breach that social ettiquette surprising. However, if you started slinging names, I’d be more than willing to sling a few back.

    Name calling on the internet is fair game however, especially in a tit-for-tat environment such as Natalies blog. I’m called names and excoriated on this blog more than anybody I know.

    Best Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  66. JulieAnn says:

    Jane! Get me offa this crazy thing!

    Ha ha ha ha! This has been a fun read. I have to say I was highly uncomfortable talking about Natalie’s panties. Just sayin’. And speaking of Just Sayin’, your Christianity is just as fu***ed up as Mormonism, so please…spare me.

    Now.

    This issue is packed with emotional energy, so the levity ends here. I’m not going to directly speak/write to Todd, but I will say ‘hello’–‘Hi Todd, long time no…banter.’:) because talking to him is talking through him–no offense, dude.

    So I’m not going to do it.

    Like many here, I fight to stay composed when I see gross injustices. But I can’t let my anger eclipse why I speak out. I speak out because our gay brothers and sisters are under attack; they are hurting. Allow me to say, sincerely, that all of you whose lives have been touched by this ridiculous fight have my deepest sympathy, and I pledge to do anything and everything in my power to support equal protection under the law. Gay love is as beautiful and natural as straight love. The end.

    As for incest, other than the obvious–it’s non-consensual, I don’t see reams of grown mothers and sons and brothers and sisters et al. demanding they be allowed to get married. If they were, then that would be a whole ‘nother ball of wax to deal with. But they aren’t. Todd is using a tactic to pervert the issue at hand and try to parallel two dichotomous things in order to discredit the other,

    If we were to apply that same tactic to Mormonism, we could say that if it’s okay to baptize and seal people to the dead, then Todd, you sanction necrophilia. Ew! So I don’t get how come Mormons are into necrophilia. I won’t even go into worshiping a Jewish zombie. See how it all ties together, folks?

    Fighting the Todds or even the BKPs of the world does nothing but extinguish our own light and sap our energy.

    The bottom line is that fear and lack of understanding has caused the fundamental religions and the small minded (typically right on par with each other) to rally against SSM. I could quote the handful of scriptures alluding to homosexuality as a sin, but why? Even if it didn’t say it anywhere in the bible, the “latter day prophets” have spoken. But here’s the cool thing about that–they can change their minds because it’s not in stone/scripture! “God” can lighten up on homosexuality given the right pressure and socio-economic/political motivations.

    I think we start asking people about what their religion teaches. I think we look for that tell-tale garment line and hire someone else. I think we stop buying products owned by Mormons and made by Mormons. I think we stop using businesses run and owned by Mormons. Is some of this illegal? You bet it is! Is it unfair? Sure! But sometimes, folks, you have to walk a mile in someone else’s funny underwear before you know how it feels to be persecuted. Mormons love to be victims. Read Todd’s last sentence.

    The bottom line is, the Mormon church WILL give up. The bad press will get to them. God willing Tom Monson will die soon and BKP will be made “prophet”. There are not enough apologists and spinning wheels on this EARTH to fix BKPs mouth and homophobia. Rational, thinking people will get to see what the LDS Church really is about. The enlightened one’s will leave in droves–they already are, and the steadfast one’s will stay, but be very lonely in their little phallic tower.

    Of course, I don’t have anything to back any of this up. It’s just my opinion, and like assholes, we all have one. The nice thing about my opinion? It might happen. And if it does, I think there will be a verrrrry quiet house in Texas.

    Oodles and poodles of love,
    JulieAnn

    Like

  67. Sometimes this blog takes on a life of its own.

    JulieAnn, I believe you are right. I think that time is coming.

    And Todd W., the only reason I excoriate you is because you come at me swinging every time you come here. I use my words well. If you were a balloon, would you engage in a fight with a pair of scissors? A knife? Or even a thumbtack?

    Just curious.

    Like

  68. Todd says:

    Natalie,

    I do admit that you’re fun to pick on. But I think you have fun picking on me, too. I don’t think it’s always about revenge.

    Point in case, my initial comment (that you picked up on in your first recent anti-Todd post) was directed to Todd D about something he wrote about rights in the public square. How can you contort that into a “come at me swinging every time you come here” comment? It wasn’t about you, nor directed at you.

    I think the reason you like to excoriate me is because I offer a contrary opinion; I rarely back down, especially when ludicrous and baseless assertions are made, and especially when they’re made about me; and I raise the interest and energy level of your blog. I’m the guy you love to hate.

    If I was a balloon; I’d stay away from scissors, knives, and thumbtacks.

    My advise for you… larger panties. 🙂

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  69. Todd says:

    JulieAnn,

    I always love your posts. I wish I could write as well as you.

    I don’t see how an erotic attraction to corpses (necrophilia) applies to temple work. Trust me, there is NOTHING erotic about temple work (unless one is dreaming during the movie) and, since the work is done by proxy, there aren’t any corpses involved.

    I, too, have a hard time staying composed when gross injustices are being done, especially when children are involved. I say ban SSM and reinstate laws against no-fault divorce. It’s time to enact laws that strengthen marriage and the family!

    Do what is right let the consequence follow. Your husband is right.

    Kindly,
    Todd

    Like

  70. Todd,

    I threw away the granny panties as my New Year’s resolution. Sorry.

    Like

  71. ABetterWorld says:

    Long-time lurker, first time poster.

    Todd W –

    Strengthening the family is a noble idea. Are we interested in a holistic strengthening? Ie, creating a primary social unit wherein the physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual development of all members is nurtured and encouraged in order to function interdependently as a productive group to positively impact and influence society? Are we on the same page with that?

    Because legal and moral restraints on divorce create the exact opposite. It’s very similar to the effects of communism on ambition and productivity of workers: people who are paid the same for different levels of effort and output will eventually only produce at the minimally acceptable rate.

    Likewise, spouses who embrace the “we don’t believe in divorce” theory also have no incentive to put more than minimal effort into their marriages. As married people, I think we can both agree that lack of effort and attention will starve a marriage, which will negatively impact ALL members of a family, which will ultimately create a weak social unit and dysfunctional members of society.

    It’s not true that children are better off living with parents in a dysfunctional marriage than living in a divorced situation; children need FUNCTIONAL parents, and a family situation pointed toward the goals above, in order to thrive.

    It’s not true that parents can stay together solely for the sake of the kids, when all matter of intimate marriage has died long ago; people just aren’t designed to live that way very long. Holes and fissures in the facade eventually create the very dysfunction in the family, negatively affecting the children, that we agree should be avoided.

    It’s not true that divorces are too easy to get, and because of that people cavalierly throw in the towel when things get tough. Divorces are HARD. The grief people experience in a divorce is nearly the same as that for a death… which is understandable, since a big part of a person’s stability and dreams and goals for the future do die with divorce. No matter what happy facade one paints on the outside, no one voluntarily walks through a divorce, or continues with one, unless the family and/or marriage environment was so toxic that the pain of divorce is preferable.

    Folks who want to restrict divorce are setting up a situation in which people have NO incentive to nurture their marriage or their families. It’s a shame we as Christians have spent so many years judging those who divorce, instead of helping people find healthy, mutually beneficial ways to stay together.

    Sincerely,

    ABetterWorld

    Like

  72. Todd says:

    ABetterWorld,

    You ask very interesting questions, and I agree that marriage and divorce can be complicated issues. In the interest of full disclosure, my parents divorced when I was a young child, only 5 years old, so I have some personal experience in this arena as a victim of a divorce.

    To answer your first question, yes, I think we’re on the same page.

    Are your statements regarding legal and moral restraints having an opposite effect based on data, or is that an opinion based on personal experience? You don’t cite any sort of authoritative study, so I’m curious.

    The following link is to a report that reached some interesting conclusions regarding divorce.

    Does Divorce Make People Happy? Findings from a Study of Unhappy Marriages

    A couple of interesting findings from the report:

    * Unhappily married adults who divorced or separated were no happier, on average, than unhappily married adults who stayed married.

    * Divorce did not reduce symptoms of depression for unhappily married adults,
    or raise their self-esteem, or increase their sense of mastery, on average, com-
    pared to unhappy spouses who stayed married.

    * Two out of three unhappily married adults who avoided divorce or separation
    ended up happily married five years later.

    So, I would tend to disagree that divorce makes things better. Things either stay the same or get worse, on average. Staying married on the other hand makes things better, on average. This finding seems to indicate that those who choose to stay married do have an incentive to put more than the minimal effort into their marriage. Their vision extends past the here and now, and they outlast whatever problem is creating the “holes and fissures.”

    I would agree that divorces are hard. I would go even further to say, based on the research cited above, that divorces don’t work. It’s all pain, and no gain.

    Of course, this is just one report and we’re talking averages and tendencies. It’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all issue. But by making divorce more difficult by eliminating the no-fault divorce laws, one could argue that families and children would benefit.

    I agree that society needs to stop judging and start helping people.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd W

    Like

  73. Birdman says:

    Todd W.
    I understand you and your issues so much better based on this disclosure.

    From personal experience, I would say your study is full of “holes and fissures”…speaking both for myself, and people I have worked with in post divorce counseling…

    * Unhappily married adults who divorced or separated were no happier, on average, than unhappily married adults who stayed married.

    In my case, my first divorce reflected similar feelings, until I realized that I was in the marriage to begin with for all the wrong reasons. With the second divorce, it was unmeasurable joy to be away from the drama and daily depression caused by that union…I stayed several years for the children. I was much happier post divorce that prior. Most individuals that I worked with once they discovered that they have self-value and are not and never really were an extension of their ex-spouse are much happier post divorce.

    * Divorce did not reduce symptoms of depression for unhappily married adults,
    or raise their self-esteem, or increase their sense of mastery, on average, com-
    pared to unhappy spouses who stayed married.

    What were these researchers smoking? I never had any depression until I was married, and it evaporated immediately following divorce! I would say there is a grieving period for most of the people I have worked with, but they are much happier once they go through the process of discovering divorce is not all about one person not fitting in, but that two people are responsible.

    * Two out of three unhappily married adults who avoided divorce or separation
    ended up happily married five years later.

    2 out of 3…that’s 66%…from my own work with post divorced individuals, I would have to say there is no way that even during the grieving process those that had stayed for more than 5 years and finally decided to get divorced, the amount of relief felt had to be more of a 60/40 swing of being happier post divorce.

    The first problem with your study is the lack of a double blind, the second problem with the study is they are interviewing individuals that claimed to be unhappy in their marriage 5 years ago.

    *looked at all spouses (645 spouses out of 5,232 married adults) who in the late
    ’80s rated their marriages as unhappy.

    What about the other 4587 married adults…what is their current marital status?
    How many of them were not truthful on their initital survey?
    Admission of marital problems often equate to feelings of failure, and are often hidden during surveys or interviews…what precautions were taken to avoid false data in the first place?
    Just thoughts to ponder in consideration of this: “first serious effort to investigate this assumption empirically.”

    Like

  74. Todd says:

    Birdman,

    Yep. When you put your vast personal experience in this field up against the objective research of professional sociologists, past Presidents of the National Council on Family Relations, and co-directors of Centers for Marital and Family Studies at well-known universities, their conclusions just pale in comparison. And, I’m sure your opinion is based on a representative double-blind control group.

    If you had actually read the report, you’d have known that the researchers readily acknowledge limitations in the study. That doesn’t mean the conclusions are wrong, just less certain. The data certainly provides a strong indication that divorce isn’t a good solution, on average.

    Unless you can point to something a little more substantial, I’m staying put.

    Todd

    Like

  75. Birdman says:

    Todd W
    Stay put, I understand your abandonment issues.
    I did read the entire thing…otherwise, I wouldn’t have known the problems that I found with their findings. I didn’t say I have more experience, just that I have enough to seriously doubt the findings. Especially coupled with the issues I already discribed.
    Their’s is an educated opinion based on people who were unhappy in their marriages 5 years prior to a second interview. There are too many problems with the statistics.

    Even they stated that this was the “first serious effort to investigate this assumption empirically.” There were merely the findings of that first attempt. Simple statistics will require at least two more studies in order to make any firm conclusions as far as supporting a theory one way or the other. First studies, especially in Sociology are often biased and sensationalized.

    The real issue behind divorce is committment and communication, your studies statistics do not add up to many others, simple exampe:

    62% of both the ex-husbands and ex-wives said they wished their spouses had worked harder, and 35% of the ex-husbands and 21% of ex-wives said they wished they, themselves, had worked harder. Only about a third of the respondents of each gender thought that both ex-spouses had worked hard enough. ( National Survey on Marriage in America, Ever-divorced Respondents Give Reasons for Their Divorces,2005)
    http://www.fatherhood.org/doclibrary/nms.pdf

    “lack of commitment” was the most frequently given reason for the divorce by every divorced respondents . (National Survey on Marriage in America, National Fatherhood Initiative, 2005)

    You may very well be right to stay put on your opinion, but the jury is not in…and it is presumptuous to place your study as being authoritative on the subject.

    Like

  76. Divorce is a difficult thing to go through, but a troubled or abusive marriage is worse. Try staying in a marriage because you have children, and losing everything: your self-worth, your health, your self-esteem, the respect of others….

    Every situation is different. Therefore, your studies are pretty much just that. Somebody else’s different situation.

    Divorce is not a fix-all, or an ideal situation, but it is a reality. I don’t know ANYONE who just up and walked away from a marriage “because it was easy.” It’s not easy. It takes years and lots of pain and tears and emotional wear and tear to heal.

    Staying in a bad marriage is worse than divorce. When I saw my children becoming the victims, THAT’S when I finally said no more. Because the only reason I STAYED was for the children. I was determined to make it work, to back down, to try to make him happy. The more I did, the angrier and more abusive he got.

    I did my daughters a huge favor. I walked away from a bad example and into a good one. Was it easy? Hell no. But it was the right thing to do. There is no ONE choice for anyone.

    Life just isn’t that easy.

    Like

  77. Birdman says:

    Todd W…
    If you can, please explain what it is about me that you are so terrified of? Why when I state any opinion, do you feel the need to try and belittle that opinion? I have experience in many fields, divorce and divorce counseling just happen to be one of them. I did not state that I was more of an authority on the subject than the people whose names appear on the report…I only stated what my experience in that field was. I also pointed out the same flaws in the data that the authors admitted to.

    I’m glad that you have an opinion, but it doesn’t make yours better or more correct than anyone else’s. The studies and statistics that you provide have flaws, but you want to raise them as empirical facts…they simply aren’t. If it angers you to have someone say that just because it is in black and white or on the TV screen doesn’t mean it’s true, don’t take it out on the messenger. Research and study before you state things as a proven fact…keep your opinion, but understand it is an opinion, and that is not persuasive for people who have studied the subject or have some experience in the field.

    Like

  78. Todd says:

    Birdman,

    I was responding to a direct question from ABetterWorld, when you interjected yourself into the discussion and belittled me because my parents divorced. So, let me ask you the same question, what is it about me that terrifies you?

    If you want to “refute” the findings in the report I cite, feel free. Just don’t expect me to swallow your shallow logic, nor stay silent when more substantial arguments can be made. Where did I state that my inferences are proven fact?

    I readily admit that I have virtually zero experience with divorce and divorce counseling, aside from my experience with my parents. However, I have a lot of experience with scientific studies and statistics. I also have a brain and can read and make logical inferences when presented with information. I’m also smart enough to avoid dismissing substantive arguments by highly regarded experts without seeing equally substantive arguments to the contrary.

    Just to be clear, I’m not arguing that divorce is unjustified in all cases. As you and Natalie and others have pointed out, divorce is sometimes the best solution. But, as the report points out, the data indicates that divorce doesn’t help, on average, and quite often makes things worse.

    Back to the debate…

    Your “problems” with the report were characterized as:

    1) I was happier after my divorce and “most” individuals I worked with were, too.

    You cite no quantitative data or statistics. All we get is a very subjective anecdotal opinion. With all due respect, that may carry sway with you, but most reasonable people (like me) will place more weight on a quantitative, objective study and the opinion of experts in their field.

    2) my depression came when I married and went away after I divorced.

    Again, your one personal data point may carry sway with you, but doesn’t even come close to refuting the findings and opinions of experts in their field who quantitatively measured a wide range of emotional and psychological indicators of well-being. And I quote:

    The National Survey of Family and Households has a number of measures of emotional and psychological well-being. So we were able to look at the differences between
    unhappily married people who divorced and those who stayed married on a number of
    psychological variables, including: global happiness, depressive symptoms, sense of personal
    mastery, self-esteem, hostility, autonomy, sense of purpose in life, and self-acceptance,
    as well as indirect measures such as days of drinking and number of drinks per day.

    3) from my own work with post divorced individuals, I would say that 60% were happier post divorce.

    Again, your quantitative statistics lack subtance, and you’re comparing apples to oranges. The NSFH study looked at the happiness of those who stayed married versus those who decided to divorce. You’re comparing the happiness of those who decided to divorce only. It’s impossible for you to conclude that the 60% of your group who you believe were happier post divorce wouldn’t have been just as happy had they stayed married.

    Your statistics regarding how hard ex-husbands and ex-wives wished their spouses worked seems misplaced and your link didn’t work for me, so I couldn’t access the report. How is the percentage of ex-husbands who wished their wives worked harder relevant to a discussion on the effects of divorce on happiness?

    The researches provided references from dozens of scholarly publications to support their findings. So while their research may have been the first serious attempt to study this question “empirically” it isn’t the only research on this topic. I disagree that it’s presumptuous to place this study as authoritative. Does more research need to be done? Absolutely! But this report provides STRONG evidence that divorce isn’t a good solution, on average.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  79. It’s kind of like arguing with a fire hydrant.

    Like

  80. JulieAnn says:

    Todd,

    See, that’s the difference between you and me. I ALWAYS thought the temple was erotic. Taking off stuff, turning around, putting them back on…like a sexy hokey pokey. I thought Adam was a dolt and Eve was a hottie and she should have gotten with Satan.. But irl, alas, he’s gay. Maybe that’s why they kicked me out….

    As for my conflated necrophilia example, you know it was a silly attempt to point out that incest and same sex marriage aren’t really similar. I mean, I don’t know one gay person who wants to get it on with their brother or sister. EW. And, to be fair, I don’t know ONE Mormon who has the hots for corpses. Double EW.

    I like your thinking! Ban divorce. Better yet. ban state sanctioned marriage in the first place. Make them ALL civil unions. Then, Catholics can have a marriage “ceremony” in their churches, Mormons in their temples, Jews in their synagogues etc.

    That way, you can still say “I’m married” because in your eyes and your God’s eyes, you are. Your civil union would be recognized by the state, and everyone will have equal protection under the law.

    Unless…civil unions DON’T offer the same rights as marriage…. I guess that’s where it all changes. SO we alter state sanctioned marriage to read civil unions. It’s a matter of semantics, people!

    I’m sure K will be relieved at your suggestion for no fault divorce. Kidding, honey.

    Now, you mentioned gross injustice involving children. I apologize if you’ve explained this ad nauseum already, but would you mind recapping for me the gross injustices you see children would undergo if SSM were allowed?

    Peace out!

    JulieAnn

    Like

  81. JulieAnn says:

    Todd–One more thing (see how you sucked me in to talking directly to you? You devil!)

    You cite some studies on divorce and I was wondering if you had the citations for those? I, like you, don’t take things at face value just because it’s prefaced with “Researches from Major Universities say…” and “Studies show…” and “My aunt Mathilda…”

    🙂

    ja

    Like

  82. Todd says:

    JulieAnn,

    It’s so nice of you to join the conversation.

    I cited one report only and provided the link a few comments up in my response to ABetterWorld. Here it is again.

    Does Divorce Make People Happy? Findings from a Study of Unhappy Marriages

    I’m sure your “if homos can’t have marriage, then heteros shouldn’t have marriage either” logic resonates with a few people. Please explain how the possible societal harms (e.g. to children) caused by changing the definition of marriage in that way would be any different than redefining marriage the other way?

    It’s clear that you want to make this a religious argument only. There are very valid secular arguments against redefining marriage. Uncertainty with respect to children’s well-being is a prime example. Conventional wisdom would suggest a more gradual approach versus a wholesale abandonment of thousands of years of cultural wisdom.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  83. JulieAnn says:

    Todd,

    I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t refer to GLBT’s as “homos.” It’s derogatory and really rubs me the wrong way.

    You stated that there were “possible societal harms to children”. I have read and re-read many of the citations you provided and done my own research and frankly I can’t find anything that harms a child because of semantics. What does harm a child, from what I see, is living in a war zone, where people constantly fight, living with abuse, and living with one or more absentee parents. Re-defining marriage or getting rid of State Sanctioned marriage can’t harm a child unless civil unions take something away from them. Kind of like children of gay couples, and how they don’t get to have parents that are married and subject to all the privileged and rights of a straight couple.

    Children need some very practical things in order to thrive, and not-a-one includes whether or not one of their parents is the opposite sex. Children need love, consistency, discipline and access, if at all possible, to both parents.

    Todd, I’m not sure where I make this a religious argument “only”. Please explain. I have read the secular arguments against re-defining marriage and the only word that pops up consistently is “possible harms”.

    Our children are being bombarded daily with harm. Parents who stay in abusive marriages pass on the legacy of abuse to their children, who then become perpetrators or victims themselves. Neglected children develop emotional and physical health problems. The list goes on and not one mention of religion here.

    They are being bombarded with hate at every turn. A child only learns homosexuality is wrong from parents and our society. Children need to be loved and cherished, and instead they are being used by the religious right, the bigots and the fearful as weapons in the fight to keep people who love each other from being together and having equal protection under the law.

    The only harm I see is when children are taught to hate and fear.

    I like you notion of a gradual approach–would you expand on that for me? And just as a small side note, ‘thousands of years of cultural wisdom?’ The notion of marriage as we know and see it today has been around, at the most, Todd, for 150 years. Before then, it was a business arrangement and a barter of property and money for a human being.

    ~JulieAnn

    Like

  84. Fire hydrant, I’m telling ya.

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  85. Birdman says:

    JulieAnn…you make excellent points using the same data, statistics and logic that we have been using since the beginning of the month…Todd doesn’t care, doesn’t get it and doesn’t understand any view but the one he has been shooting his mouth off about.
    He will never admit his opinion is a minority or that it is just as archaic as segragation of races. His view and only his view matters to him…he can find at least one biased study to prove himself…I’m just surprised he hasn’t quoted Hitler yet.

    Like

  86. JulieAnn says:

    Meh…I think Todd gets more than you think he does. I really do. And I also think Todd is not a bad guy. But that’s been my experience with him.

    I don’t know if he will listen to me, but I’m not really invested in changing that or him. So…no biggie 🙂

    Like

  87. Todd says:

    JulieAnn,

    My apologies for rubbing you the wrong way. I didn’t intend the use of “homos” to be derogatory, but now that you point it out, it does have a derogatory connotation, doesn’t it? Just curious, is “heteros” used in a derogatory fashion by those attracted to the same sex? I probably offended both camps.

    If I’m interpreting your position correctly, you’re making a strictly semantical argument. My question to you, and my point, was under your proposal the end result is the same, same-sex unions would be normalized and the law wouldn’t distinguish between same-sex and opposite-sex unions. Redefining marriage to include same-sex unions (or removing marriage completely from the landscape in favor of the more generic “civil union”) will take away from children the benefits associated with male-female parenting. Nature itself doesn’t allow for the possibility of same-sex offspring.

    I inferred a religious argument from your initial post.

    Better yet. ban state sanctioned marriage in the first place. Make them ALL civil unions. Then, Catholics can have a marriage “ceremony” in their churches, Mormons in their temples, Jews in their synagogues etc.

    Maybe I misread your comment, but you inferred a rationale against state sanctioned marriage that might appease religions. In other words, you’d simply redefine marriage to a more inclusive “civil union” and leave “marriage” as a mere “ceremony” for churches to perform in their holy places, essentially making marriage a civilly meaningless institution. Have I misinterpreted your proposal?

    Any weakening of marriage, no matter the semantics, is a bad idea. The ideal situation for children is to have both a female and male parent, in addition to all of the very practical things you list. Abuse, neglect, etc. are terrible realities that need to be constantly and vigilantly addressed. Adding same-sex parenting into the mix doesn’t approach the ideal, nor alleviate the negatives. Attempting to frame the argument as one of hatred and fear towards those attracted to the same sex simply won’t work.

    Marriage as we know it today may have evolved only 150 years ago, and even though prior to that it may have been a business agreement between two families or even more barbaric, it was still male-female.

    By gradual approach I mean to accept a civil union status and work to improve the laws that unreasonably discriminate. It would be irresponsible and potentially harmful to redefine marriage to something less than the ideal, when there are very serious concerns about the impact on children, for example.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

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  88. Uh, Todd? When has the term “homos” ever had a positive connotation? As for if the term “heteros” has an ugly connotation, I suppose it might, in the LGBT communities, although I don’t know for sure.

    Like

  89. Birdman says:

    Todd W writes “The ideal situation for children is to have both a female and male parent”

    WHY??? WHY IS THAT AN IDEAL SITUATION????? Your bigotry is showing again!

    Todd W writes “Adding same-sex parenting into the mix doesn’t approach the ideal”

    WHY NOT??? PLEASE, SHARE THIS WISDOM OF YOURS…SOUNDS TO MUCH LIKE A BIASED OPINION TO ME!!!

    Todd W writes “It would be irresponsible and potentially harmful to redefine marriage to something less than the ideal, when there are very serious concerns about the impact on children, for example.”

    AGAIN, IT IS JUST YOUR OPINION…THAT DOESN’T MEAN A HILL OF BEANS TO ME OR MANY OF THE PEOPLE HERE…OUR OPINIONS ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS YOURS AND ACTUALLY, ON THIS BLOG…EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOURS…WE AREN’T DEFENDING THE STATUS QUO, WE ARE ADVOCATING EQUALITY!!!
    PROVE YOUR IDEAS OR STATE THEM AS YOUR BIASED OPINION, CAUSE THAT IS ALL THEY ARE…NOTHING MORE.

    Like

  90. Todd says:

    Natalie,

    homo (ˈhəʊməʊ) — n
    informal ( Canadian ) short for homogenized milk

    🙂

    Todd

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  91. Todd says:

    Birdman,

    We know where YOUR definition of equality takes us. As JulieAnn would say…EW!

    Todd

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  92. Birdman says:

    Again, just an opinion…lol

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  93. Birdman says:

    And really Todd…your opinion is based on fear and ignorance, so keep it to yourself…or are you are just back here showing us how biased and unreliable your opinion is.
    Besides, we have come to enjoy you as our token Mormon on here…if your opinion is stated, you can bet more than half the visitors to this side find a great deal of humor in it.
    As we do with the whole LDS “truth”…lol

    Like

  94. LOLOL. Funny, Todd. If only you had been talking about milk…..

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  95. amber says:

    TODD IS AN IGNORANT ASSHOLE!

    Like

  96. Aubrey says:

    “The ideal situation for children is to have both a female and male parent.”

    This is completely unfounded within science, and is taught in very basic psychology:

    http://cdp.sagepub.com/content/15/5/241.abstract

    http://psycnet.apa.org/?fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/0012-1649.31.1.105

    All of these studies say the same thing; exactly the opposite of what you have just said. Next.

    Like

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