8.16.2008

PROPOSITION 8

This may sound crazy, but when I was a missionary for my church, I actually really liked going door-to-door. It was like a big game. You never knew who (or what) you would find! Would an overweight half-naked man answer the door in his underwear? How about an old lady with lots of cats who thought you were Catholic nuns? Or a Moroccan family who spoke little french (or english) but wanted to feed you? I loved it, even if people were kind of mean! Alright, they were really mean, but it was still a fun time.

Well, I decided today after going door-to-door in support of California's Proposition 8 , that missionaries would be much better received if they were allowed to carry a baby in their arms.

Really, how could anyone slam a door in this face?


When we were holding Charlie, people were so friendly! And, no, I do not feel guilty about using my baby as a political tool.

Me, Charlie, and my friend, Elisa, "canvassing" the neighborhood this morning


Erik enjoyed it so much that he stayed out even after I had to take Charlie home for his nap!

Here's how it all played out -

Doors Slammed in Face: 2 (All Charlie's fault since he was asleep in the stroller.)
People Who Asked if Charlie was on the Ballot: 1
Greasy Men Who Hit on Us: 2
Houses Decorated with Ugly Americana Stuff in Front Yard: 4
People Who Agreed With Us: Too many to count! (It is Kern County after all.)

39 comments:

  1. Good for you for getting out and talking to your neighbors. I know that many people are upset that the church has "gotten political," but the voters of California definitely need THEIR voices to be heard (again, as they were in 2000) and not let the judiciary legislate. I really wish that I still lived in my native state so that I could be a part of this.

    Yeah, I'd probably have a hard time slamming the door in the face of anyone with a baby in their arms. Good trick!

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  2. it's true, anyone will talk to someone holding a cute baby. i would. I also feel more comfortable talking to pregnant woman too, I wonder why that is?

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  3. Way to go, Cristin! Our stake is organizing the same thing where we go door to door or call people. And great idea to bring Charlie! How could you resist that cute face?!

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  4. LOL - I like the question asked of where Luke was!

    That's a pretty sly way of getting your neighbor's attention - using Charlie :)

    Good luck with the whole marriage thing. I remember voting and it's very upsetting that all of a sudden it's become AN ISSUE AGAIN!

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  5. Caitlin - Luke was with a babysitter. He wouldn't of lasted more than 3 doors.

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  6. I had no idea you were an activist. I should have known. I would have slammed the door in your face, baby or not. : )

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  7. I just hope you remembered to warm up with a few "acting" exercises that you made me do before starting to knock doors. I know that was always my favorite part knocking doors with you as a missionary! If nothing else, it did make us laugh!

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  8. Awesome, our stake is doing that too. I guess a lot of people are ticked about the church taking an active role on this one, but has everyone forgotten Soddom and Gommorrah or Rome? I don't personally want that on my head.

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  9. I find it so very discouraging that Mormons are once again on the wrong side of Civil Rights. Marriage is NOT threatened by gays, because heterosexuals will continue to get married and have children, unless you believe, of course, that gay sex is so much better than heterosex. That "negro and the invaliant in the pre-existence" thing worked out well, now didn't it? Go ahead. Hang another BIGOT badge on the door of the Church. Daniel Marcum

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  10. How awful that you would use your baby as a political ploy... is the anti-gay crowd really that desperate?

    The religious right needs to stop trying to write homophobia and religious radicalism into US law. The divisive and hateful Prop. 8 would damage thousands of Cali. families, many of them with adopted children, by labeling homosexual unions as "second-class." "Separate but equal" didn't work the last time we tried it, and as the CA Supreme Court affirmed, it's just as unfair and unequal with respect to civil unions versus the full rights and respect accorded to married couples.

    I look forward to joining throngs of other open-minded, unprejudiced voters in voting down Prop. 8 this fall.

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  11. For little Charlie's sake, let's hope that twenty years from now, he's not agonizing over how to tell his mother that he's one of those "evil" people that she once felt so clever about using him as a "political tool" against.

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  12. Add a 3rd slammed door in your face if you happen to come my way. Silly rednecks...

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  13. When Prop 8 fails, which it will (regardless of whether you go door to door inevitably offending folks along the way - after all, even in Kern County some people are gay and many have gay relatives), I assume you will remain happily married to your husband. This being the case, gay marriage has nothing to do with you, your life, or your marriage. If you want to be a good, kind, and loving person, do the right thing: mind your own business and sit this one out.

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  14. How does it feel to be a bigot? Are you going to bring your kid up as a bigot too?

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  15. How disapointing that you would go door to door for Proposition Hate. As mentioned in your blog, you seem to affinity for meanness. This whole campaign has been about being mean. Can't we all just get along? Don't you think you should leave your gay and non-religious neighbors alone to live their life. The next intolerant campaign might target a group you belong to.

    Pat Wright
    http://californiaferret.blogspot.com/2008_06_01_archive.html

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  16. I realize this is a contentious issue and don't mean to cause offense, but I agree with the folks below who aren't in the middle of pushing a bunch of election-year hype:

    Senator Barry Goldwater:

    The founder of the conservative wing of the Republican Party and nominee for President in 1964 was very outspoken on civil rights. He stated, “To see the party that fought communism and big government now fighting the gays, well, that’s just plain dumb.”

    Conservative activist Ward Connerly:

    "For anyone to say that this is an issue for people who are gay and that this isn't about civil rights is sadly mistaken. If you really believe in freedom and limited government, to be intellectually consistent and honest you have to oppose efforts of the majority to impose their will on people."

    Oregon Republican (and Mormon) Sen. Gordon Smith:

    “Part of what I fear, as you start defining marriage — we have a long history of doing that in this country, and my Mormon pioneer ancestors were the victims of that. They were literally driven from the United States in the dead of winter for following their religious beliefs. I don’t want that coming back, but there are some on the front pages of your newspapers who are trying to now.”

    Denying equal protection before the law to an unpopular minority can come back to bite us if we're not careful.

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  17. Well, I hope Charlie grows up to be happy with whatever he will be--gay, straight or something in between.

    But I can just imagine him, in 20 years or so when the church has finally been dragged into the 21st century on this issue, just cringing with humiliation that his mother used him as a "political tool" in a campaign to deny civil, human rights to any of their brothers and sisters (I mean, we're all brothers and sisters, right, mormons?)

    I imagine it will be something like numerous of my mormon friends, both male and female, who look back on their mother's dragging them--as "political tools" if you will--around to campaign against the ERA door-to-door, at rallies, or in legislatures, when they were children.

    They look back at it now and, realizing what they been forced to participate in, as innocents, feel some serious shame at what their mothers did to them.

    Of course, they're not guilty, any more than Charlie is. It's too bad the mom's in question didn't (and don't) feel a little shame for the cause they pressing their children into as "political tools."

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  18. ALRIGHT!!! (This is going to be Long) We are actually getting a dialog on here that means something. Not that the daily fluffy stuff doesn’t count, but Prop 8 is a real meat and potatoes issue that needs to be discussed further.

    First, Charlie wasn’t a political ploy, you obviously don’t know Cristin, nor her sense of humor. Charlie is 4 months old, and can’t be away from Cristin for more then an hour or two due to the need to feed. Got to keep the food source near by, lets see any of you be brave enough to hit the streets with your infant for a few hours on a Saturday morning and dedicate your free time to a cause you believe in. Are you truly dedicated to your cause, or just someone who sits around and shoots comments out as a random stranger on someone’s random blog?

    Second, I applaud Cristin for being brave enough to go meet with people door to door and discuss political views. It’s pretty easy to sit at your computer and type your opinion behind the protective one way shield of your computer, but again I invite all of you to take up your favorite cause, regardless of how the views compare to mine, and walk the streets, and meet the faces of your neighbors. It gives an outstanding perspective and actually promotes tolerance towards the views of others, don’t believe me?...then you haven’t tried it.

    Third, since she has been called bigot a number of times for her post, how can one call someone else a bigot without condemning themselves of being a bigot? After all, a bigot is someone who is intolerant of the differing point of view, belief or lifestyle of others. Aren’t the bigot callers just as blindly intolerant of Cristin’s views as they accuse her of being towards theirs? We all need to look in the mirror before the Bigot or Hypocrite words get thrown around as it always seems to point at the stone slinger as much as it does the target.

    Fourth, the Anti-8 community claims that proposition 8 is hateful and discriminatory. My take is that this is the desperate plea of frustrated people who foolishly long to be accepted by people that they don’t know or even care about. Why does the Anti-8 community need the broad acceptance of the world around them? I wanted to be a cool and popular in Junior High school, but by college I found out that it didn’t matter what people who I didn’t know thought of me. Why would Harry Heartache, or Sally Sobstory ever even care what my preferences and likes are? Isn’t the shedding of the need for broad acceptance and popularity typical of mature adults?

    The 14 words in prop 8 hope to amend the California state constitution with the same 14 words that Prop 22 entered into state legislation in 2000. Prop 22 passed with a 61% yes vote in 2000 in one of the most liberal states in the union. So it’s not like this is a democrat vs. republican issue, there are plenty of Dems and other left leaning folks that voted yes on 22. The 14 words are: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”. There is no denial of rights, no changes to the tax code, no bashing or hateful verbiage. It simply defines in the State constitution what marriage is, according to popular vote with a clear and plain definition.

    Lastly, I really take issue with the fact that the CA state supreme court “overruled” what has already been voted into law. In a democracy, sometimes you or I might be in the minority on some issue, but if the will of the people declare it, then it should be binding despite the opinions or political views of a few activist judges. The people in a democracy dictate the rule of law, not the judicial branch. The judicial is to sustain and execute judgment based on the dictates of the popular majority. Prop 8 simply is attempting to put what has already been voted on, into the state constitution where the activist judges can’t change it without a majority vote from the people.

    The Anti-prop 8 community should shed the need to be accepted by those around them. I do believe in laws protecting the freedom and liberties of all people, to enjoy and practice life as they see fit. But I also expect the right to vote and defend the beliefs and opinions that I have. I believe that strong families are the fundamental building blocks of a healthy society. I believe that homosexuality is a choice of lifestyle and behavior and not a genetic trait. Behavior and lifestyles are choices we make everyday and ultimately how we choose to live our lives is our own doing and our own responsibility. We are accountable to ourselves, and responsible for our own actions.

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  19. Way to go Erik! Cristin, I am way impressed with your husband's intelligence. Good for you for going door-to-door and for posting about it. All I'm dealing with here in Utah are the neighborhood drug dealers (not a joke).

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  20. Erik and Cristin,

    It is my intention to be respectful in my reply. I don't like being called names and so I'll refrain from calling any names here (golden rule and all that).

    A couple of points:

    We don't live in a strict democracy, we live in a constitutional republic. Our constitutions, both state and federal, are there to protect ALL of us. The judiciary is there as part of our checks and balances system to safeguard minorities and help protect them from the tyranny of the majority. Laws must past constitutional muster or they will be struck down. In my view, that is what happened when the CA supreme court made its ruling in May.

    Second, the weight of mounting scientific evidence is against you with respect to what determines sexual orientation (or same-sex attraction as you Mormons say). My personal view is that sexual orientation is not "chosen" in any meaningful way, but more likely a complex mixture of "nature vs. nurture" to use a somewhat dated phrase. And actually, it doesn't matter anyway. Nothing is more "chosen" then ones religious beliefs and affiliation but I'll bet you expect great deference, consideration and protection when it comes to that particular choice you've made.

    In the end, I hope this sate-wide conversation we're having is not too bruising. We really all do have many important challenges ahead of us. It would be nice if we could work on some of them together.

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  21. Erik, no matter how mature any of us are, we all (regardless of sexual orientation) naturally desire to be accepted and valued by others. Some would argue, in fact, that feeling loved and accepted is our most powerful need, aside from basic survival requirements.

    In my own experience, however, your conclusion that opponents of the initiative view it as "hateful and discriminatory" because they crave "acceptance" or "popularity" is simply not accurate. I'm not particularly concerned about whether you "accept" my family. In fact, I would readily fight for your right to publicly declare that my family is unacceptable under the teachings of your faith. On more than one occasion, I have personally defended the rights of others to publicize views that contradict my own. To me, that is a mark of real maturity, not to mention basic respect for the U.S. Constitution.

    Our society succeeds because on a very fundamental level, we respect one anothers' right to believe and act in ways that differ from our own, even if we don't personally agree or approve. We use words like "freedom" and "liberty" to express the importance (even the sacredness) that we place on this value.

    If I were to campaign to prevent the government from recognizing LDS temple sealings as legal marriages (which is the effect of laws in several other countries), you would quite justifiably consider me a "hateful" and "discriminatory" religious bigot, even if I sincerely believed that society was harmed by allowing weddings to be performed without full public access. You'd be upset by my refusal to recognize your right to form your family according to the dictates of your own conscience. Your basic sense of justice would be greatly (and justifiably) offended. If you can put yourself in someone else's shoes for just a moment, I ask that you consider how such a campaign would make you feel. Maybe then, you can have a more accurate understanding of why people like me find Proposition 8 to be "hateful and discriminatory."

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  22. Holy crap, way to create a stir Cristin! (you too Erik :) I have to admit I'm getting a kick out of the above comments who think you consciously took "poor little maybe one day will be a homosexual" Charlie as a political ploy- Erik said it well, obviously these people have nothing better to do than post random spiteful comments on a stranger's blog! Props to you both for your work on Prop 8, I went door to door with my mom for Prop 22 and would do it again if I still lived in CA! :)

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  23. I'm not sure I understand your reason for characterizing the comments as "random" or "spiteful," amber and cody, unless it's simply because you disagree with them. Perhaps you could address the comments specifically, providing your own well-reasoned responses, so we could have a good discussion?

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  25. This will be somewhat disjointed because I just returned from a business trip to the most liberal state in the Union - Oregon (sorry Erik =)

    First, to you Cristin, I hope you have an Adsense account - get paid for your opinion. Even though you get a lot of haters, at least you'd get paid to be criticized.

    I remember gathering petitions for the same thing in Nebraska, and I received more rejection there than I ever had on my mission.

    In response to the comment about checks and balances, the purpose of the judicial branch of government is not to protect the minority, but simply to rule on the constitutionality of laws created. In this case, where the law created by the vote of the people was struck down, the next logical step is to amend the constitution. It is not for judges to decide based on personal idealism what laws are constitutional or not as is in this case. If Prop 8 passes (as is very likely given the support the original received in 2000) will the judges strike down the amendment as unconstitutional?

    The check against an oppressive majority is the representative government. Besides being impractical to implement, popular vote would always lead to the oppression of the minority. Representation allows for a “filter” between the unbridled will of the people and “fairness” to minorities. When you vote for a senator or congressman you should be choosing someone who you believe will make the best decisions, and represent you fairly. Representatives are supposed to understand the needs and wants of their constituents and make laws based on what is best for the whole. Representatives do not, nor can they, represent every ideal of every constituent in their district because, believe it or not, you are still a constituent of your representative - even if you voted against them.

    The judicial branches are supposed to check those laws passed by the representatives against the core values the society has agreed to live by. The whole point is that society is group of people living together who agreed to live by certain laws despite differing values. In our case, the United States and State Constitutions are the laws by which our society has agreed to live.

    As to the points of science versus religion – please recognize that you cannot argue a religious conviction with scientific reasoning or vice versa. It just won’t work because you’re not speaking the same language. Think apples and oranges. Recognize that whether or not homosexuality is natural is irrelevant to the topic marriage between a man and woman because marriage is not a natural construct in that sense. Proposition 8 is not an argument against homosexuality; rather a desire for society to more clearly define its governing rules and refine the definitions that created it. Our society (whether you like it or not) was built upon the idea of a nuclear family with husband and wife at the center. It was built upon the principles and precepts of the Judeo-Christian religions.

    Erik made a valid point regarding the need for acceptance amongst the detractors of Proposition 8. There is no legal or financial benefit lost to same-sex couples if it passes. There is no second-class citizenship implied in the changing of the phrase in the constitution to recognize marriage as being between a man and woman, merely the “hurt feelings” of those who choose to live outside the generally accepted lifestyle of society.

    Preserving that societal construct is the root of Proposition 8: don’t tell me that I have to call your orange and apple simply because you want an apple - even though you’ve chosen to eat an orange in the middle of an apple orchard. The law is ambivalent toward the choice of fruit eaten, or the choice not to eat. Still, you feel bad and embarrassed that you have an orange even though most of the people are eating apples. It’s not fair! Oranges are good, too! It’s not your fault you wanted an orange. You think that because the majority eats apples that they want to force you to eat apples too. You insist defensively that everyone have apples under the guise that somehow the apple-eaters are looking down on the orange-eaters despite the many studies showing that oranges are good to eat. You don’t want to be oppressed by the apple-eaters! But nevertheless, although fundamentally different, you believe I must call your orange an apple for equality and fairness’ sake?

    All Proposition 8 will do is define an apple as an apple to protect it from being called an orange. They are fundamentally different.

    I hope that made sense.

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  26. Brian,

    You wrote:

    I hope that made sense.

    It made sense partially, but I agree, much of what you said was disjointed.

    Your most helpful comments had to do with clarifying the way our form of government, our Constitutional Republic, actually works. I cheerfully accept your corrections and thank you for setting me straight. One of your most convincing and articulate points was this:

    "The check against an oppressive majority is the representative government. Besides being impractical to implement, popular vote would always lead to the oppression of the minority.
    Representation allows for a “filter” between the unbridled will of the people and “fairness” to minorities."

    On that note, you’re aware that the California legislature, our elected representatives, have ---TWICE--- voted to extend civil marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples --- and Schwarzenegger vetoed, wanting the CA supreme court to weigh in. Under the CA constitution, as it exists today, is there any doubt how our supreme court would rule on the constitutionality of both of those votes? But you are correct, if prop 8 were to pass, it would then, by definition --- be constitutional. And it would remain so until a subsequent vote by the electorate changed that.

    To your other comment:

    "As to the points of science versus religion – please recognize that you cannot argue a religious conviction with scientific reasoning or vice versa."

    I’ll recognize no such thing. When, as a matter of religious conviction, someone asserts that the world is only 6,000 years old, that is a claim about geology and it is demonstrably false. I feel no obligation to respect it, any more than I feel obliged to respect a claim that Elvis is still alive. Or when, as a matter of religious conviction, a group of kindly elderly gentlemen from the Inter-Mountain West make sweeping assertions about gender:

    ---“All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God.”
    --- “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”

    I recognize that these are claims about biology and cosmology, etc. and they have serious problems, starting with the first six words ---“ALL human beings.” All human beings are, of course, not either male or female.

    Historically, “religious convictions” have routinely had to give way when more reliable accumulations of scientific discovery made them obsolete. Not surprisingly, it doesn’t work the other way around. I can see why religious people (and especially Mormons) would want to place “religious convictions” beyond the reach of rational criticism and scientific scrutiny but I don’t in any way feel obligated to agree to that.

    You go on to say:

    "Recognize that whether or not homosexuality is natural is irrelevant to the topic marriage between a man and woman because marriage is not a natural construct in that sense."

    I did in fact try to recognize that when I wrote:

    “And actually, it doesn't matter anyway. Nothing is more "chosen" then ones religious beliefs…”

    That was the main point of the last two sentences of my third paragraph. Which leaves me to wonder why Erik brought it up. What are your thoughts on why he might have done so?

    Best-

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  27. Erik said, "Isn’t the shedding of the need for broad acceptance and popularity typical of mature adults?"

    Then why have you typed so many words of defense against the empty words of so many strangers? This is insincere of you.

    The Church has lost it's way and it has forgotten it's history. It's forgotten the government meddling in it's own definition of marriage and it's forgotten what it feels like to have the citizens of a state actively persecuting your for your orientation (religious or otherwise . . .).

    “We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government …” (Doctrine and Covenants 134:9)

    I had hoped the church would focus on the teachings of Christ in this issue, but instead they are lagging behind like they have in the past on other types of progressive issues like Women's rights and Civil rights. It breaks my heart, as does this blog post. You are so proud of yourself for standing up for what you believe, as you should be. But I don't wonder if feelings of charity would lead you to mourn for what you are saying to those in a situation you don't understand and have little empathy for.

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  28. Ken,

    I can tell by the way that you spelled my name that you are not paying attention to the details of my post, which is further evidenced by your misinterpreted my point about science versus religion. My point is that science cannot argue against religion (nor vice-versa) because they require different methods of proof, and understand truth differently. I believe that most people are sincerely searching for truth, that both science and religion aid many in that search. I believe that they are not mutually exclusive. I did not imply that religious beliefs are beyond rational criticism, I simply stated that it is a fool’s errand to argue when either party is not willing to change their mind. (For the record, I believe Elvis is dead and that the Earth is around 4 billion years old, give or take a half million).

    As to the dismissive comment about gender roles, you stated incorrectly that not all humans are either male or female. All humans have either an X or Y chromosome, which indicates a male or female genotype. Even sexual chromosome abnormalities (single X, XXX, XXY, XYY, etc.) are classified into one of the two genotypes. Note that these chromosomes are the determining characteristic of gender, and they are classified as either male or female. All humans are either male or female.

    Erik brought up his point about the need for acceptance amongst the Prop 8 opposition because he believes (as do I) that the need for acceptance is the root of the opposition. There is no legal or financial benefit to the opposition; what then do you propose as the reason to oppose? From my point of view, the supporting the proposition protects my way of life protects the principles that founded the society in which we live.

    To Arrianne,
    You misrepresented the doctrine taught in that scripture you quoted:
    “We believe that the commission of crime should be punished according to the nature of the offense; that murder, treason, robbery, theft, and the breach of the general peace, in all respects, should be punished according to their criminality and their tendency to evil among men, by the laws of that government in which the offense is committed; and for the public peace and tranquility all men should step forward and use their ability in bringing offenders against good laws to punishment.
    We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.
    We believe that all religious societies have a right to deal with their members for disorderly conduct, according to the rules and regulations of such societies; provided that such dealings be for fellowship and good standing; but we do not believe that any religious society has authority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world’s goods, or to put them in jeopardy of either life or limb, or to inflict any physical punishment upon them. They can only excommunicate them from their society, and withdraw from them their fellowship.

    This does not prevent the Church from asking members to be politically active as you imply; rather that religious societies should not impose civil punishment for misconduct and likewise that governments should not impose religious punishment for misconduct, e.g. the government cannot kick you out of your church for stealing, and the church cannot put you in jail for the same offense.

    The Church is widely involved in “progressive” issues as you state. The Relief Society is one of the oldest pro-woman organizations in America. Women had the right to vote years before women's suffrage – Utah was denied statehood at one point because women had the vote.


    Christ does not teach us to give an alcoholic a drink, rather to love an individual and help them to the correct path.

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  29. Bryan,

    I have not misrepresented anything. I do in fact interpret that quote to represent my point in the context you provided. Your interpretation provides a very legalistic approach, but I am a humanist.
    I don't think that you understand the many faces of the gay community and have given into stereotypes of the reality of being homosexual. We think in generalities but we live in detail (thank you Alfred Whitehead).

    You are correct there is nothing wrong with asking/encouraging church members to be politically active. Unfortunately, my household pays tithing and the church is protected by non-profit status with the IRS. I see a very fine line here between how much money (estimated to come close to $5 million) has been sunk into this fight in addition to other donations. A fight that was not fought here in WA state, in MA . . .

    I can't think of any progressive issues the church has ever been involved in. The Relief Society is one of the oldest because it is one of few who have been organized perpetually since it's founding. Women's Societies were very popular in that day and age and have been ever since. Women had the right to vote in Utah for political reasons and not because BY had any grand notions about an egalitarian society. B.Y. was a racist man (while Joseph Smith was an abolitionist) and a chauvinist man for whom voting rights were a means to an end (party dominance) after apostates living in Utah at the time fought for it to rid the area of polygamy.
    Do you remember ERA? The church played a huge part in defeating that amendment. The predictions, the doomsday scenarios, the fear is all very familiar. This is just a repeat of history. It's a tragedy we are not learning from our mistake.

    Christ turned water into wine. :) Christ loved all, touched the leaper and dined with all manner of society's pariahs. He wasn't punishment focused, he wasn't judgmental, he didn't draw lines in the sand.
    We are not following his example. With all the horrible things going on in the world today. The suffering. I don't believe He would share this as a huge priority. You can buy a lot of vaccines, food, blankets and hygiene kits maybe even build a hospital or an education in a third world country for the time, energy and money spent on this alone. Clothe the naked, feed the poor, teach the saints, comfort the widow. ---> Ban the gays from getting married? I don't get it.

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  30. My ‘legalistic’ approach is consistent with the chapter quoted. The entire twelve verses speak to the separation of action by the government and the church. I take your point to mean that the church should not be involved in the affairs of law and government, and should instead focus on more charitable actions, which you do not specify. I address the issue in this manner because I want to remove it from a discussion of religious views because religion plays but a part of the reason to support the proposition.

    Christ showed the ultimate love for people – he did so with perfect knowledge and perfect power. Each person whose life he touched was changed. He put people on the right path. He performed miracles so that people with faith would believe, but to those who had none, they could not understand. He came to show people a better way.

    Christ did draw lines in the sand – literally and figuratively. When the adulteress was brought before him, he stooped to draw in the sand then invited “the one among you without sin” to be the first to cast a stone. When they left he invited her to go her own way and sin no more. He withheld his condemnation on that condition, offering mercy and forgiveness on the condition of repentance. That is the literal line in the sand. Figuratively, he drew the ultimate line when he commanded men to “be perfect.”

    I believe he would consider defending marriage as an enormously important issue. Families are centrally important to the health of society – many of the horrible things going on in the world, much of the suffering can be cured by strengthening the fabric of society – the family. It’s important to treat the symptoms – the poverty, illiteracy and disease that exist in the world – but it is also important to prevent the symptoms from occurring. With all of the possible issues the church could support, do you really think they picked Proposition 8 because they hate people?

    That is all I wish to discuss on the matter of religion. If you disagree what Christ’s actions would be, you should speak with your religious leaders.

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  31. Bryan,
    I agree 100% with your points. Arrianne, Kenc and Nick L, I appreciate the civility of your responses and respect your desires and points of view, but I personally disagree with them. Bottom line, I believe that God’s plan is for us to be like him, and I don’t believe his plan includes the homosexual lifestyle. After all, where would we all come from if everyone was gay? Could an all Gay society sustain itself? I believe that everyone is entitled to happiness, and part of my happiness is to stand up for, and defend what I believe is important, and one of those core values is a family reared with a loving and stable marriage between a man and a woman.

    My best friend’s mom growing up was a volunteer worker at the Christopher House in Ventura CA. If you are not familiar with the Christopher House, it is house/facility where people without funds who have an advanced case of AIDS go to die. Much of my exposure to the older gay community came from my interactions and involvement with these folks. Most of these people who I met and interacted with were in their final days. All of these people had good hearts, but all of them were extremely unhappy and deeply conflicted people. My best friend’s mom was a true example of compassion to these people. I don’t claim that AIDS doesn’t happen to heterosexuals too, but all folks I met through the Christopher House were gay.

    Many of the friends I had in high school who later came out of the closet, are good people, with good hearts, and a right to happiness. But they too are self proclaiming, deeply conflicted people who struggle with themselves and their place in society and their sexual orientation only seems to add to this complex frustration. Almost every serious conversation I’ve had with any of these old friends has included a comment that went like this:
    “I wish I were straight because my life would be SOOOOO much easier.”

    After watching the movie “The Hours” I couldn’t figure out how there were any happy homosexuals out there, because that movie depicted nothing but heartache and loneliness, much of it associated with the frustrations life as a homosexual. Talk about a DEPRESSING and sad movie!

    While I admit that my exposure to the gay society has been very limited, and I don’t have any close gay friends these days as we have grown apart and lost touch, I believe that the best chance for happiness in this life is on a path that God has laid out for us. I’ve often thought, if Christ were on the earth today, what would his message and actions be? I believe he would stand up and defend the Father’s plan but that he would also show untiring compassion and love to everyone. He cast the money changers out of the courtyard of the Temple with a raging fury in the New Testament in defense of the sacred work that happened there, yet extended his hand in forgiveness and love to all those who sought his help, regardless of their transgressions or past.

    With regards to prop 8, it is my belief that Marriage between a man and women is ordained of God, and is part of his plan of happiness for his children. I don’t doubt that many with same gender attraction would voluntarily request homosexuality as a trial in their life, but I doubt hot tempered murders, and pedophiles requested their trials in life either.

    I don’t intend to prevent anyone to their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but I also believe it is my right to defend what I believe is the best road to get there. I don’t want to call names, I don’t want to persecute, but I do want to fight for what I believe is the best way, and if a majority of the population of California is on the same side, then the State constitution will reflect the will of the people. If the majority votes down Prop 8, then we’ll have to continue our efforts to help all our Brother’s and Sisters find happiness one experience at a time. Prop 8 does not equal hate, but reflects the belief I have for the best chance at a happy and prosperous life and society.

    P.S. Because I don’t want to be accused of being some anonymous internet babbler, I updated my blogger profile with some details about me including a picture, to show that I’m not trying to hide behind the computer. I welcome you to do the same, as I believe the best way for two differing parties who don’t understand one another, is to get to know one another on a personal level so we can at least be empathetic to each others cause.
    Cheers

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  32. Good on ya Cristin! Way to get involved in your community!

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  33. Erik,

    What is the cause of the unhappiness you seem to focus on? Could it be the centuries of persecution of homosexuals? Being kicked out of your home as a teen for being gay? Your friends being murdered for being gay--like Matthew Shepard (murdered by a Mormon by the way). Being told that you're a pervert, worth-less, not entitled to a family--not entitled to social security benefits like everyone else--or perhaps being fired for just being gay--still legal in many, many states, or being laughed at behind your back, or being told that you cannot have "joy" in this life, that you must be ALONE and deprived of the intimacy that makes us human, and on top of that, that the "ruling class" will make CERTAIN that you'll never, ever have those rights, because we'll write it into law that you're forever and ever a SECOND CLASS citizen--oh ERIK, do you just think it might be possible that this would cause people some distress.

    It saddens me no end that my Church, the LDS Church that I served as a missionary, is a party to such oppression and evil.
    Daniel Marcum

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  34. Daniel,
    I do not envy your position, as it would deeply frustrate me to believe that the LDS church is the restored true church on the earth and then claim that homosexuality is part of the plan of salvation and an acceptable and approved lifestyle in the eyes of our heavenly father. I don’t think the two lifestyles will ever be in harmony with one another, unless revelation came in the future that approved homosexuality as part of our fathers plan for us, but you may be fasting for that one for a while.

    The whole basis of a personal testimony is that you can pray for and receive answers to get confirmation of any of the churches instructions and directions. How can you pick and choose which revelations to follow, ie) Book of Mormon true, but family proclamation isn’t? Isn’t that the curse of men, and the cause for so many variety of Churches in the world today, that offended people simply cheery pick their favorite doctrines and leave out the ones that they personally don’t agree with? Kind of a “I know better” attitude?

    I don’t doubt that you receive persecution from many of the mean people out there in the world. I don’t doubt that growing up in the Church and being homosexual is a hard row to hoe. But you are entitled to social security, you do have legal protection against being fired over sexual orientation, you can have joy in this life regardless of what people tell you. You still have your free agency and can chose your path in this life as do I. You are not confined to a certain area of a city for your sexual orientation so this whole 2nd class citizen is over dramatic. You can eat in every restaurant I can, you can do business everywhere that can, you can travel everywhere in the world that I can, and you can believe what ever you want. Be grateful you don’t live in North Korea or the Middle East, because I read that they truly don’t offer the attitudes here. How is living in the U.S. as a homosexual 2nd class? Are there gay only restaurants and bathrooms protected in some states similar to the Jim Crow laws in the south?

    Everybody is a victim Daniel, some are just a lot louder then others.

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  35. I am the short chubby one standing next to Cristin and the baby. First of all I would like to say that Cristin is not a bigot neither am I or gay little Charlie. This was not an easy decision for me when it came to knocking on doors for this proposition 8. For the mere fact that somewhere people stop believing in free speech and started thinking that the only kind of speech that was except able was the kind that was in constant agreement. I personally have always stood up for a cause I believed in this isn't the first time I've knocked on doors. I have even picked to get my views across. I have to say though this was the first time I found it hard to do because of people like the ones who are trashing Cristin. Cristin is not a hater. She is smart, funny, and loves everyone. But just because you love everyone does not mean you have to believe the way they do.

    I come from a family of ten kids. I love them all and we don't believe the same way at all in many things. They still love me and I still love them.

    Some of my Favorite people disagree with me on many subjects. We sometimes have heated discussions it's fun and it makes my life rich.

    when we went from door to door we weren't trying to cram our beliefs of the family down anyones throats. We didn't argue with people. We just asked if they knew about proposition 8 and explained it to them.

    Almost everyone we talked to agreed with the proposition. The sad part was when we asked them if they wanted to put a sign in front of their house. The response was for the most part one of fear. They thought that if they put a sign in front of their door they would get enemies. That's what we should be mad about. Since when did our society become one where we are afraid to say what we believe in. Sad!

    If you are against proposition 8 and you live next to me great! Put your opposing sign up please disagree with me but later come over for some cookies and milk. That's what America should be about. Freedom of speech, Oh were did it go? I thinks it's hiding behind fear and hate.

    Just for the record I do not hate homosexuals. I am an Artist and just by the simple choice in professions I am surrounded by wonderful talented homosexuals. One of which I call a sister. I love her and am very great full for her in my life. I don't agree with her lifestyle it's not for me. Just as my lifestyle isn't for her. I don't ask her to believe as I do and she doesn't ask me to believe as she does. We can disagree and still love one another. Maybe all you haters should give that a try.

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  36. Here Here Elisa!
    There should be no intimidation here in the U.S. to not say what you truely feel and beleive, even if it oppose my beliefs.

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  37. Elisa,

    There are many people who feel the way you do. Afraid to voice their opinion due to the fear of those who would disagree. So, cudos to you and Cristin for going out and explaining what Prop 8 is all about.

    I would like to clarify that I do not hate homosexuals or find them "icky" (as Scott referenced to me thinking earlier). I even have neighbors who are gay, yet we still say hi to one another - I take them cookies or cupcakes from time to time. However, I would not vote to change the definition of marriage. Marriage is between a man and a woman. No hate involved - just a belief to uphold the sanctity of marriage.

    Scott, if you are reading, no one hates you, just as Elisa says. We all have our opinions and have a right to share it openly. You believe what you believe and should vote as you believe. Let the others vote as they believe and leave the hatred out.

    Elisa, your comments were awesome and true. As LDS members, we are encouraged to love EVERYONE as our brothers and sisters, but that does not mean we need to agree with the lifestyles they live. There is no hate here, only a difference in opinion.

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  38. Apples vs. Oranges

    Bryan,

    Earlier up above you wrote:

    “…don’t tell me that I have to call your orange and apple simply because you want an apple - even though you’ve chosen to eat an orange in the middle of an apple orchard. The law is ambivalent toward the choice of fruit eaten, or the choice not to eat.”

    Well, to borrow your analogy, isn’t it true that you really don’t want me to have either an apple OR an orange? I know the Church has recently stated on its official website that they don’t object, in the California case, to Domestic Partnerships (or Civil Unions, I suppose). But the law you gathered signatures for in Nebraska and Utah’s Amendment 3, which passed in 2004, prohibit recognition of marriage rights for same-sex couples and also disallow other arrangements:

    “No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect.”

    To continue with your analogy, convicted murderers on death row may have an apple, people who have had any number of apples before, and either discarded, wasted or abused those apples, may still have another apple. People who have just met on a game show may have an apple. Infertile and/or elderly people may have an apple. People with mental disabilities may have an apple. People who are completely hostile to any sort of Judeo-Christian world-view may have an apple. People who explicitly state that they are not in love may have an apple. The list goes on, all provided you are heterosexual. Homosexuals may NOT have an apple --- or an orange either if you felt you had enough clout in a particular jurisdiction to prevent it.

    You may observe that, technically speaking, homosexuals can have an apple if they agree to have a certain variety of apple, a variety for which they’re not well suited. In fact, your church leaders at one time solemnly urged homosexual members to obtain an apple --- with some rather unrealistic expectations attached. When this led to generally disastrous results, your leaders had to reverse course and advise that this was no longer considered wise. Whatever “gifts of discernment” or whatever different and special methods of knowing you think your leaders posses, these special methods did not prevent them from dispensing advice that caused an unbelievable amount of pain and suffering to some very trusting, believing members. It took the personal testimonies of many gay Mormons (and their innocent bystander spouses) plus mounting secular/scientific discovery to teach LDS leadership that they were in error.

    Now I am not out gathering signatures or trying to drum up support for an amendment to strip Erik and Cristen of their apple. If I were, I would expect they would not be happy with me. On the contrary, I wish for them the best, most nutritious apple they can find. As to the particular variety of apple they choose? That’s their business, what’s it to me?

    Best,

    Ken-

    p.s. Google Tetragametic Chimerism.

    Interesting stuff. I think I see where you’re going but I would argue that a certain percentage of these individuals are male AND female, not male or female. Even the chromosomal abnormalities you mention could arguably be said to render individuals neither fully male nor fully female, and then there are other conditions that make determining someone’s true gender problematic.

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