11.04.2008

FINAL THOUGHTS

So, this is it. Tonight we will learn the fate of our precious Proposition 8.

Last night, while standing on the corner in freezing cold weather, holding a Yes sign, I was approached by an angry woman. I can't get her face out of my mind.

Her first words to me were "Why do you hate?!" She told me that her daughter had just married her girlfriend and if Prop 8 passes, their marriage will be invalid. She demanded to know why I cared so much about this. She said that her daughter's marriage does not affect me. No matter what I said, she looked at me with these eyes... you know the look... you see it every time a celebrity talks about how wonderful gay marriage is or when the news media mocks people who are opposed to same sex marriage. Her condescending tone insinuated that I was an ignorant, uneducated, God fearing, hateful, bigot.

It occurred to me while talking to this lady that no matter what issues lie on the surface of the debate over Proposition 8, i.e., children being educated about gay marriage in schools, inevitable discrimination lawsuits against churches and other organizations, what it really comes down to is do you believe that someone chooses to live a gay lifestyle or are they born that way? Of course, this is the touchiest of all subjects and one of the most offensive things you can say to someone who has chosen to be gay is that they have chosen to be gay.

A few months after I graduated from high school, one of my best friends sent me a letter telling me that she was a lesbian. She told me she had always been this way and I shouldn't pretend that I didn't know it. (Honestly, I was genuinely surprised when I read her letter.) That same month, I read this article about same gender attraction by Dallin H. Oaks. If you are ever wondering what the LDS Church's official stance on homosexuals in the church is, read this enlightening article.

The short story is that my friend misinterpreted my religious beliefs as hate and hasn't spoken to me since then. Despite numerous efforts to contact her, she wanted nothing to do with me because I belonged to, in her words, "a patriarchal and hateful church" that looked down on her chosen lifestyle.

That type of attitude has been what has bothered me most about this entire Proposition 8 campaign - the accusations of hatred and bigotry, the idea that it is wrong to believe the way I do and that I am being criticized for my religious beliefs. I do not believe in hate or discrimination. Love and tolerance do not dictate that I must accept as "normal," behavior that I find perverse and offensive.

I was asked by a different No on 8 supporter last night what I'm going to do on Wednesday if Prop 8 fails. I said, "I guess I'll just have to add it to that list of things I'll have to teach my kids the world believes that we don't." I have a feeling that even if it does pass, I'll still have to do that anyway.

22 comments:

  1. Great points Cristin. I wish people would open their minds to try to understand. We'll see.

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  2. Thanks for posting this article. I'm going to print it off and read it again. Satan is a mastermind at confusing us. Cristin, thanks for being an example to me by being brave and standing up for what you believe in. We will have to do it soon enough.

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  3. I'm just waiting for this to happen in New York, too. Isn't it weird how intolerant the "tolerant" crowd can be? I've felt similarly backed into the "stupid, ignorant, hateful" corner out here (what did I expect at NYU?). I'm proud of you for so actively standing up for what you believe in, though.

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  4. Very well put post. I'm sort of glad that I'm not there in the middle of it like you all. I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to do all that you guys are having to do.

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  5. It kinda pulls the bravery out of its little hiding spots inside all of us. Someone at church on Sunday, said, with so many people realizing how bold they can be, maybe we'll start telling our friends more about the gospel, too. :-)

    Well said Cristin. Very well said.

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  6. I agree with you. I have had several discussions and emails with friends/acquaintances that are no on prop8 and it always seems to come down to that question of nature vs. nurture. It is a very touchy subject and one that hasn't been entirely proved by science either way. Unfortunately the media and our society has turned homosexuality into something that is "okay, if thats what you want to do." Unfortunately our society has taken God out and they don't ask the question, "Does God approve of this behavior?" There is a great scripture in Romans 1:24-32 that talks about homosexuality and how it is unnatural and evil. I've rambled long enough. Regardless of the fate of prop8, this fight will continue.

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  7. You know funny thing, I don't think this point Really clicked in my head until tonight actually talking to a co-worker of mine. What it really comes down to is are they born that way or not. If they are, then it would be considered a "Civil RIght" and if they are not then it is a "Moral Issue". So there really is no use in arguing any other point except that one....The world is an interesting place, and lets just hope we can keep our homes strong enough that no matter how crazy this place gets, we can still raise our kids the Lord's way : )

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  8. Thank you for posting this. You write better than I do - but this pretty much sums up my experiences and feelings with prop 8. The kicker for me has been the direct and hateful comments towards the church. If only they knew...

    It's amazing to me the workings of Satan who has taken God out of everything. Aren't we "one nation under God"? I think this battle will go on long past my lifetime. But I can only pray that I can teach my children to be strong, fight for righteousness and know that it is all in the Lord's hands.

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  9. It's interesting how people attack the church and its members and say we are bigots and full of hate. When in reality most people know members of the church and know us to be what we truly are: good friends, neighbors or co-workers. They know us personally and know we aren't hateful or mean, and yet during this campaign, people put us in that category of hatred because we stand up for moral issues. Hopefully are actions of kindness and genuine friendship will always speak louder than the mean words people say against us.

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  10. I just said Else's comment to my husband last night.

    Great post Cristin. You're a rock! Way to take one for the team! =)

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  11. My cousin wrote a bunch of rude comments on my facebook after I said I was voting yes on 8 in my "status." And then when I tried to tell her why I believe in it, she just got more and more rude. Not that I was surprised after seeing the way that the no on 8 campaign has gone about doing things!
    But Karin & I were just talking today about how if it passes, we're still going to have to talk about it with our kids before they go to school.

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  12. Nicely written, Cristin....exactly how I feel about all this. One more thought...either way this goes, it has made me a better person and more secure that I have followed the Lords' prophet despite the outcome. And I think I can feel a little more how those in the Book of Mormon who were persecuted because of their religious beliefs must have felt. The gap is widening between good and evil.

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  13. so did it pass???!! I'm searching online and can't find results. I would call but it is like 5:30am your time...

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  14. found it. dang it! You should be very proud of yourself for your efforts, dedication and hardwork.

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  15. Good, good, good for you for being so active about this issue. Now that it's over I realize that I could have done my part to promote the measure, even from thousands of miles away. I really, really regret that I didn't join a phone campaign or contribute money.

    I don't believe that all gay people choose to be gay. Yes, we each choose the lifestyle which we live, but I do think that there are some people who are attracted to members of the same sex against any consciousness or will.

    Even though it looks like the measure will pass (Hooray!), the public's perception of the Church has changed. The media has generally been friendly in recent years, but perhaps we're entering a new stage. We may be accused of being narrow-minded and intolerant; we'll just have to show the world through our example and actions that we love and are kind to all but will always stand up for moral right and wrong.

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  16. I'm searching everywhere this mornig and Can't find if it really passed or not!

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  17. Just to clarify, the Church has never made a declaration as to whether being gay in something you are born with or a choice you make. You provided a link to a talk by Oaks, but this link is even better: http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/public-issues/same-gender-attraction

    One thing Oaks said in this interview was that -- ELDER OAKS: That’s where our doctrine comes into play. The Church does not have a position on the causes of any of these susceptibilities or inclinations, including those related to same-gender attraction. Those are scientific questions — whether nature or nurture — those are things the Church doesn’t have a position on".

    Read the whole article though, it is amazing.

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  18. I'm just so amazed at the hypocrisy that has reared its head in this campaign: the same people who are crying "bigotry" & "hate" are the ones vandalizing signs, calling names, & making threats. The worst part is that if it passes, I don't think any of that is going away!

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  19. Awesome response to that person! "I guess I'll just have to add it to that list of things I'll have to teach my kids the world believes that we don't."

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  20. YES! Thanks, Bryan, for the heads up. I've been waiting all morning to hear someone called it! I think it's funny how opponents still aren't ready to accept it.

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  21. Good work Cristin, obviously the hard work of you and all the other Prop 8 supporters paid off! And whats amazing to me is that it passed in all 3 states! (CA, FL and AZ!) Everyone who campaigned should be very proud of themselves :)

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