Thursday, October 09, 2008

Orders From Above

Today we go carefully, meticulously but honestly into the world of....religion. I'm already on record as being a Latter Day Saint, active in the local congregation. The Church usually doesn't say too much about election matters, but reserves the right to do so when circumstances warrant it.
And this is California, notorious for passing on to the electorate matters sufficiently divisive that the state legislature would wish to avoid. This year we have Proposition 8. In 2000, the voters went 3-2 in favor of limiting marriage to a man and a woman, but the law that resulted was thrown out as unfair last May by four of the state's seven Supreme Court justices. Prop 8, which the Church favors, puts the same language into the state constitution. Are you with me?
But winning the vote in 16 million-voter California isn't easy, and the Church wants to get local members involved as election volunteers. Last night they waived their own rule about using local chapels for elections, inviting members in for a direct statewide satellite broadcast to reinforce the reasons for support and ask for help with donated time and money.
I was there, feeling a little conflicted. The Church, you see, is not a bottom-up organization, nor is it democratic in any way. We don't have fractious conventions, voting blocs or power plays by individual members, but we also don't have much open discussion about how things should operate. That's the tradeoff when you believe in LIVING prophets. In fact, we're specifically instructed to NOT make the Prop 8 issue something to discuss. It's already decided.
It's not that we have any real control over sexual matters, gay or straight. And no one's saying that gays will then dominate society if 8 fails. But the Church (along with some other churches) does not trust two entities. They do not trust courts to consistently rule in the Church's interest in future disputes if 8 fails. They do not trust that our society's sense of "fairness" will NOT lead to future accusations of "un"fairness against the Church. This goes to things such as church-sponsored adoption agencies, church temples in which marriage "sealings" are performed, and the teaching of "marriage" issues in the public schools. They are saying, in effect, that they understand the Law of Unintended Consequences described in this space before. Me? I don't know about the future. They want us to believe they do.
I just want to get along, and the Church usually endorses this idea, too. Treat everyone with respect and love. Let everyone worship "how, where, or what they may". It's hard to argue with that, but then that course leads to no opinion at all, which isn't the case. I've decided to vote for the proposition. I have a bumper sticker declaring my support. In for a dime, in for a dollar. But the rest? What about my vow of pacifism in the culture wars?


Blogger allison said...

Dad, I belong to a facebook group that is called LDS left. I just thought you might be interested to see what they are up to. This is a message posted by them for members.


Unfortunately, some of the
stiffest opposition to marriage equality in California has come from the religious/faith community. We want to send a clear message to our gay brothers and sisters that we wish for their happiness, respect their ability to make their own decisions, and love them unconditionally. No person should be told their healthy relationship is illegal.

We also realize that much of the campaign surrounding "Yes on 8" could be potentially harmful to those questioning or struggling with their sexuality. We want these people to know that they are loved and supported.

If you think that Prop. 8 is wrong, please join us in a fast for enlightenment, understanding, and Christian compassion surrounding the issue of gay rights this Sunday, Oct. 12

Also, due to very inappropriate comments, the wall for this event has been disabled.

I pointed out other sites that are appropriate for debating. This site is intended to be a safe zone. And questioning the testimony of people you've never met is bad form. That is God's task alone.

Happy fasting!

10:41 AM  

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