Friday, November 21, 2008

update:
just bumping this post back up to the top of the list so you can read some of the comments {if you so desire} that people have posted. really interesting.
__________________________
i feel so, so strongly about this issue and i echo keith olbermann's words one. hundred. percent. {never thought i'd say that.}

via four four via andy
{originally posted 11/11/08}

64 comments:

Em said...

I watched that last night while at the gym. Quite interesting, and then Miles and I had a very long conversation about it. (while I should have been sleeping)

P.S. I dunno if it is just my computer or something, but the clip isn't showing (I had just watched it last night). Also, the thing you tried to post under the palin rap didn't show up either.

Tiffany said...

Incredible. I got chills. I couldn't agree more.

Anonymous said...

This absolutely goes AGAINST the Church!! I totally disagree with you on this.....It is not just about LOVE..I believe that God does NOT want Marriage redefined and that it is Mocking the LORD!!! You can love someone without accepting their lifesytle!!!!!!!!!!!!

Michelle T-C said...

But you cannot love someone while denying them free agency and denying them their right to pursue happiness.

I'm A said...

I agree Michelle. IN ADDITION... Who are you 'anonymous' to decide how a person should live their life? Just because YOU believe in a God or a church who doesn't condone same-sex marriage does not mean that other people should be forced to live and believe in that same way. We are all free to live and worship in the way we choose. YOU don't get to make that decision for other people.

I also believe that denying someone the right to marry whomever they choose is in violation of their rights as human beings. It is a complete violation against another human beings civil rights.

Kristen said...

Hey Anonymous - Nice way to hide. Nice way to really make your voice heard commenting as the strong, courageous "anonymous". I see your posts all over the internet. Thanks for your vast wisdom.

Who are you to say what God wants? According to Christianity, God doesn't want a lot of things that take place. So let's make legislation that outlaws them all. Is that a good option?

Anonymous said...

first---The Church if Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, you know the church YOU belong to is AGAINST same sex marriage & I am pretty sure that GOD is the head of that church so...he is the one you are disagreeing with. And who do you think your kidding? This affects us all.(by the way, if you wanted to marry your brother, shouldn't you be able to. After all we wouldn't want to violate a person's human rights now would we!!

Anonymous said...

This is an issue that is close to my heart....my parents are siblings!

I'm A said...

Yes, I'm so sure your life will be DEEPLY affected by people marrying the person they love. Guess what? It won't.

I am aware that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is against gay marriage. And that is fine. The point is...the church and all of its members should NOT be able to make this decision for other people. You don't get to shove your religious beliefs down someones throat just because they don't live and believe the same way you do.

I love the church and believe in the church. But that doesn't give me the right to force what I believe on gay people or anyone else. You will never be able to convince me that that is an acceptalbe and correct thing to do. Because it is not. Period.

As far as siblings being able to marry...I'm not even going to respond. That is a ridiculous argument.

Finally, you don't have to be scared to leave your name. I'm not going to disrespect your opinion. But I AM going to respectfully disagree with you on this point.

Melissa Stringham said...

One incorrect thing about this is that allowing gay marriage WILL take something away from us. Read this article written by a lesbian woman on how allowing gay marriage will utterly destroy our society.

http://www.marriagedebate.com/pdf/UST_fall2004.pdf

I believe that this is why the Church has asked its members to take a stand against this, so that we don't see the destruction of our society. Also, allowing gay marriage takes away our freedom of religion and our freedom to choose. Church after church in states that allow same-sex marriage have lost their 501(c)3 statuses for not allowing gays to marry in their churches and the same will happen to the Mormon church. Two doctors in Southern Californa are being sued for refusing to perform IVF on a lesiban woman. Shouldn't those doctors have their freedom to chose? A photographer in Texas was sued (and lost) because she did not want to photograph a lesbian wedding, so again this vocal minority is taking away her freedom to choose?

I totally understand and respect your opinion, just wanted to share my own too. I used to feel the same way as you until I heard a judge in California speak on how gay marriage will ultimately destroy us, and I realized he as right. (Not to mention the history lesson learned from Soddom and Gamorrah :) )

I'm A said...

Thanks Melissa. For reals. And thanks for the article (the loooong article :)). Which I did read.

I can understand our church's (and many others) viewpoint on this debate. Marriage is something I hold sacred. And of course I didn't marry for the governmental "benefits package". I married to spend my life with someone I love and to be able to have a family together.

And while the article makes a good point about the extreme importance of children being raised in in-tact homes by a mother and a father, sadly, this happens less and less. I personally think that the next best thing...even before single parent homes where people get pregnant out of marriage or divorce after having children... is being raised by two loving and committed people...even if they are of the same sex.

Major legal implications aside (and there are many)... it is so hard for me to understand how we cannot allow someone to marry the person they love and want to be committed to for the rest of their life. And maybe this is my problem, that I get wrapped up in the emotional aspect and push aside the legal implications.

So yeah...I guess you can say that at the end of the day I have no idea what I'm talking about . :)

Melissa Stringham said...

I don't know what I am talking about either, I think it is an interesting topic and I am trying to learn all I can about it.

I guess what it comes down to is whether people are gay because they are "born that way" or if they are gay because of a psychological or biological problem. If they are truly born gay, if sexual orientation is like race, then this is a matter of civil rights.

If it is a biological or psychological disorder then this is a moral issue.

There is not enough evidence on either side of the argument yet to say what the truth is about why people are gay. If you are interested, here is an article from the Boston Globe which I found interesting. http://www.boston.com/news/globe/magazine/articles/2005/08/14/what_makes_people_gay/

Anyway, I know I am ultra conservative so my opinions will annoy some. I know that I will always follow what the prophet says because I believe he has more foresight and insight than any of us can understand. What I don't know is why, if homosexuality is an abomination in the sight of God, would He make some people gay? I know that I don't want to hurt anyone, including gay people and I think that we should love them as our brothers and sisters, so does that mean we should grant them the right to marry? Even if we risk losing many of our own freedoms and the ultimate destruction of our society? I really don't know what the answers are.

Anonymous said...

That's not correct, Melissa. Simply put, an overwhelming percentage of scientists who are knowledgeable about this issue believe that there is a significant genetic component to sexual orientation, as well as an environmental component. This means that neither one is decisive, but rather it is the interaction between genes and the environment (and perhaps other factors) which produces gay people. A similar interplay is responsible for straight people.

The LDS church says that this or any other conclusion on the subject is irrelevant. We have free will. Whatever feelings or urges we have, we can choose not to act on them. In fact, there are other behaviors which have a genetic component which we refuse to tolerate, such as rape and murder.

This is a fair point, and I agree that it does not matter what has caused people's sexual orientation. They are what they are, and they have the feelings that they have. That is a fact. The church's solution to this problem is that those who have homosexual urges should seek treatment to "cure" the urges, and if that is unsuccessful they should live a life of celibacy.

I am heterosexual. I am attracted to the opposite sex. If heterosexuality suddenly fell out of favor with society or with the church, I would not be ready to change my sexual orientation. Would you? If not, is it then fair for us to apply this standard to others?

I am not suggesting that the church should endorse homosexuality. However, if we believe in a kind, understanding, and just God, don't we also believe that He will judge all of us in a way that comprehends our individual circumstances? An omnipotent being is the only one capable of such a judgment, so perhaps we should leave that to Him.

I believe that the church's actions were directly responsible for the passage of proposition eight. This has stirred those who were on the other side of the issue. It has also stoked a fire of intolerance within many members of the church. This regrettable outcome outweighs a temporary delay of the phantom "destruction of society"!

By the way, how much do you know about the history of marriage? As Jon Stewart points out, it's ironic that a church whose doctrine is filled with polygamy wishes to define marriage as "one man and one woman."

http://www.hulu.com/watch/42402/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-i-now-denounce-you-chuck-and-larry

Blindly accepting things that church leaders say or write is a very dangerous personal policy. There is a long history of church leaders making contradictory or false statements. One prominent example is Bruce R. McConkie's writings concerning black people.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_R._McConkie#Criticisms

He later retracted, writing "Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or George Q. Cannon or whoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world. It doesn't make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of June 1978. It is a new day and a new arrangement, and the Lord has now given the revelation that sheds light out into the world on this subject. As to any slivers of light or any particles of darkness of the past, we forget about them."

I suspect that a day will come when church leaders will have to address their current actions in a similar manner.

You do not need to wait for them.

Apperception said...

Very well said, Keith Olbermann. It's strange to watch all this from Europe, especially since I've been immersed in academia for the past few months. I think most of the usual arguments from both sides have been presented here in this comments section, but there are still philosophical questions to be raised. It seems to me (based on primordial existential human experience, practical epistemic life experience, as well as religious truths in the Mormon church) is a process of uncovering that which was concealed. Truth is never static. The Mormon church is founded upon revelation, which is by definition a means to uncovering new truths as we transcend walls of conditional understanding. We certainly don't believe or practice many of the rituals in the old testament, and the church has changed dramatically even in the last 100 years. It's strange to me that staunch Mormons would be so opposed to the possibility of "greater light and knowledge." Face it, you're homophobic. Yes, you'll say, "no we love our homosexual brothers, we want what's best for them." But the fact remains, you think there is something "wrong" with them. This scares you because what if everyone begins to turn "wrong?" Society as we know it would collapse! You think this is the case because "God said so." Did he? How do you know this? Are you free from doubt? If you think you are... I have a few questions for you.

I don't want to get away from the issue here however, so to bring us back, you can't make the argument for a fundamental family when there is no competing data. Let's pretend that gay and lesbian families had been around as a traditional unit as long as heterosexual families. Then we'd have a fair scientific argument to make. As it stands, there is not enough evidence. It could turn out that gay and lesbian couples are even better than "traditional families" at raising children. We just can't be sure with so little evidence.

Anyway, it's a hot issue over there. I wish there would be a greater outpouring of love and equality as Olbermann suggests from the Mormon church and the Mormon membership. It is comforting to know however, that there are many members who feel uncomfortable with the outcome of Prop 8. I think this shows great progress.

Anonymous said...

Mark, your point about the lack of data regarding gay couples raising children is a good one. Many people insist that the best place for children is with one mother and one father. The limited data available on this subject seems to indicate that there is at least a measurable difference.

Even if we concede that straight couples provide a marginally better environment for children (i do not concede this), I don't believe that it would justify what the religious right wants it to.

Statistically speaking, a baby raised with white parents is better off than one with black parents. Should we therefore exclude black couples from adopting...for the sake of the children?

e said...

My brother-in-law lives in California, as does his sister, who is a lesbian. She has a life-partner. Their family was very much affected by this and the ramifications, not just for the country, but for their immediate lives. They were staunchly anti Proposition 8, with good reason. However, after they read about potential legal outcomes, learned what the bill actually amounted to, and did a little research on other countries that have allowed gay marriage, they decided to vote for it. In fact, they even became kind of aggressive supporters. Even though that meant limiting his sister's ability to label herself "married." That was a risk and sacrafice they were willing to make. Why?

My discussions with them and my own investigation have also made me pro prop 8, although I wasn't always.

I suppose there is no need to outline everything that swayed me here, because it's just an emotional issue all the way around. I respect your opinion, sincerely. But please realize, my intent is not to limit anyone or make their lives unhappy. It's not to be prejudiced or intolerant. (For all the skepticism one might offer.)

I believe that there may be some truths that are more important than others. Perhaps that's the case here. The family unit, as stated in the Proclamation on the Family, is the building block of God's kingdom. And if you believe in modern-day revelation, then that consists of a man and woman, as outlined in that proclamation. If you believe in modern-revelation, the request for support came from the First Presidency, in their official office as Church leaders. Is that uncommon? Yes. Upsetting? A little. But it's certainly more likely that it's revelation than some old man offering a bigoted viewpoint.

Is the revelation/truth about the role and structure of family more important than allowing the title "marriage?" I don't know. Obviously we each have to decide that.

But more than this, I am always voting based on my beliefs. And every time I do that, I am imposing my beliefs on someone. We all do. I did it with school vouchers last year, I did it with the presidential election this year, and I'll do it again on some healthcare bill next year (or so I'd assume). The fact is that almost all our votes lack enough evidence to support a thorough outcomes analysis. You make your vote based on the best knowledge you've got. And in mixed moral/civil-rights situations like this, it makes sense for people to consider their religious beliefs and weigh it as they deem appropriate. Aside from that, the limited empirical data we have IS disheartening. Does that mean it's necessarily how it will be? Of course not.

(And I'm not sure the right to use a certain word is necessarily a civil right. Kierkegaard: "Aren't people absurd! They never use the freedoms they do have but demand those they don't have; they have freedom of thought, they demand freedom of speech.")

But I don't think people that voted yes are heartless, selfish, or irrational.

Sorry for the long comment.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with e, it isn't that we are homophobic, I just think that Marriage should be between a man and a woman! If it is legal for homosexuals to marry, then our kids will be taught in school that it is "okay" and I for one would not like that!! I believe that it is important to be compassionate... Many Churches have come out for support of this prop, not just the Mormons!! I absolutely believe that it is revelation that this decision is made! And it is completely different than interacial marriage!

brycrasch said...

Hey A,

I am sorry for adding just one more comment to this post! I know it is kinda beating a dead horse.

I just wanted to thank you for being an open minded member of the LDS church. It is refreshing and encouraging to see a member of that particular faith being able to see what is actually right in a situation without having to disregard their personal faith in their church.

I think that it isn't always black and white and it is nice to see a level headed person express concern for an issue that really doesn't directly affect them. Even if their church doesn't agree with it.

Thank you.

PS Anonymous: you suck :)

Apperception said...

Andrea, you have a good little discussion going here - I wish people actually looked at my blog. Anyway, I wanted to offer a brief rejoinder. E made some good points that we should look at. Before I address them, one clarificatory point. My "you're homophobic" comment was more a general, plural "you." This of course is taking into account exceptions (which are many, but no doubt many really are homophobic). Leave the word "homophobia" out of it however, and you're still left with the sentiment that those who practice homosexuality are "wrong." I think it's a bit dangerous to label the actions of people "wrong" when they do not in any way affect the way you live your life in the slightest. Unless of course you believed gay people would undermine society and ruin children - in which case you really are homophobic.

Anyway, in response to the idea that we always vote on our beliefs, I will first concede that this is true. We have no choice but to vote with imperfect evidence - and to take it further, we have no choice but to think with imperfect evidence. To understand my response, consider the age old debate between egoism and altruism. The egoists cling to the unassailable subjectivity that no one can do anything outside of their self interest. While this is true, it is also tautological. It is adding nothing to the argument because despite the "egoistic" selfish motivations, some actions are clearly altruistic (in comparison to other, selfish actions). My analogy is to show that while we have no choice but to vote on our beliefs, this in a sense is tautological. It is a given which ultimately doesn't change the outcome of our decisions. So yes, the mormons in this case are justified to say, "well, you vote on your beliefs too!" It may be true, but it doesn't quite get at the heart of the real motivations for decision making. The contention from the left, which I think is valid given what I've just said, is that the "beliefs" from the right are different from the "beliefs" on the left. The Mormon is voting on a different kind of belief than the secularist, humanist, etc. The problem arises because the Mormon's belief actually does harm to a lot of people who would just like to be treated equal, while the secularist, humanist's belief does no harm to anyone (except for those who really are homophobic).

My second point is along the lines that defining marriage is really a semantic point. The Kierkegaard quote would apply well if people were being absurd in this sense. But somehow I don't think they are. Example... segregation. The state of homosexual relationships is essentially no different than segregated bathrooms, busses, and so on. Sure you can say, "you enjoy all the rights and benefits I do, who cares if we call it 'marriage'?" Essentially you're saying, "what more do you want, black people? You have a bathroom, you have a seat on the bus, you're no different than any of us." Just as the blacks enjoyed all the benefits, they were viewed as inferior because they were labeled differently.

If you reject that point (and there I could see a few counter arguments), then consider this one. Those who are against gay marriage usually feel that marriage is something special, something to be honored. They therefore believe that since gay people are "wrong" they shouldn't enjoy that same status. One might counter with, "well no, it's actually just a semantic point - we believe gays should enjoy the same rights and we have no moral qualms whatsoever with them being together." If that was truly the case, then why would you care if the word "marriage" was redefined? If you have zero moral reservations, what is it about a word that is so important to you? New ones get added to the dictionary all the time. Either you have a moral issue with it, or you don't. If you don't think homosexuals are "wrong" then I think you'll have a hard time holding to a good reason not to redefine marriage.

Ok, that was a longer rejoinder than I originally planned. For the record, I do respect those who voted for prop 8 (as long as they have a well thought out reason for doing so), I just respectfully disagree that it was the right decision (as you may have noticed).

Anonymous said...

This seems to be a Mormon bashing session! The Mormons are not the reason that the Proposition passed..yes,they fought for it.. but MANY non Mormons voted for it also. It isn't as much about religion as it is about Morals. I do believe homosexuality is "wrong" and it is definately not "normal" well, maybe, because alot of immoral things are normal these days...But that doesn't make it right!!! Andrea, the reason for the anonymous comments is because I have been in your ward for several years & have alot of respect for your parents & I don't want to cause any feelings however, I am a little dissappointed in you!!

e said...

Hold on, anonymous. Everyone here, in support or no, is just voting with their conscience. It's not a reason to be judgemental -- on either side. We don't need to make this another way to evaluate one another's moral worth. And we certainly don't need to try to convince one another -- it's not going to happen in this kind of forum.

In my case, as I said before, this was a very difficult decision. My support is something that I'm constantly evaluating. Because I sincerely don't want to limit anyone's happiness and these are not some anonymous group to which I'd apply sweeping labels (as has happened on both sides of this blog-comment discussion). They're not ants in a terrarium (or whatever you put ants in). They -- we -- are all real people with real and compelling stories -- not an idea or concept or hypothetical. That makes this difficult. I imagine many LDS members had a reasonably hard time finding their way to reconcile the two perspectives -- a clearly humanist, charitable and seemingly obvious (I say seemingly because in the end it's not that obvious -- whether or not you like the reasons it's convoluted) view to allow everyone the opportunity to marry, and the counsel and direction of a prophet on the other side. (At least, I hope they did.) I'd like to think I'm not alone in finding this a struggle, no matter what the individual decision.

Ultimately, the only thing we can do is live according to our conscience and allow others to do the same. I have strong empathy for those on the other side of the issue. Sometimes it's hard on me to hear myself get labeled or my final decision denegrated specifically BECAUSE I care so much about doing what's right, and it's painful for me to consider that -- if I'd voted -- it would cause real hurt. I am aware of the consequences of my hypothetical "vote."

The "yes" vote much more nuanced and difficult than it's often given credit for. I agree that it's not black and white, as Brycrasch said -- although I'm aware I'm probably twisting the intent of that comment when I use it for a supportive vote. People often want the respect they don't give. Sometimes I believe my view is labelled clearly "black (ie: you treat people equally [read: identically] or you're a homophobe) -- white vs. black."

So in the end, while I can argue the points a little more, all it can come down to is that I'm voting with my conscience. We all have to look ourselves in the mirror everyday and ask ourselves how we're doing. I applaud Andrea for making the choice that makes sense to her.

e said...

Sorry. Some of my punctuation ended up not making sense. And I realize that the homophobe comment is not necessarily meant for me to take personally; it was merely illustratory. Illustrative?

I'm A said...

I would like to chime in again with a few things.

I really appreciate all the comments that people have left. I respect ALL of your opinions. I do not judge ANYONE for their decision to stand either in favor of or against gay marriage.

First of all 'anonymous', whoever you are, I'm sorry that i have disappointed you. I hope you understand that my decision to stand in support of gay marriage does not come from a place of anger or judgement towards Mormons or anyone who does not support gay marriage. I have truly spent years and years debating this subject in my heart. And after years of thoughtful and sometimes prayerful consideration I have come to this conclusion. I can not stand in support of this. A lot of that may come from personally knowing and loving and respecting many gay people. If you know anyone who is gay and have actually spoken with them about their "decision" to live that lifestyle then you probably would have heard them speak of their heart wrenching struggle with knowing how they felt and believing it was wrong and being absolutely helpless to change that. This has been the case for me with EVERY gay friend I have known. Therefore, I agree with 'Anonymous #2' who wrote about gayness not being a choice but something that someone is born with. If this is the case, and I believe whole-heartedly that it is... then how can we deny others the same rights that we have?! Would a loving God make someone gay and then expect them to live a life being utterly alone and celibate? I think not. And since I DO believe that people are born gay just the same as I was born heterosexual, then I can not support the idea that the loving God that I believe in is going to judge anyone in any way that you or I can understand or comprehend.

Also, 'anonymous', you may not realize this but most of the people who have posted here, wether for or against gay marriage are members of the LDS church. I do not feel like this has become a Mormon bashing session. I'm Mormon. Obviously. And I love and support my church. I sustain our Prophet. But at the same time, my heart can absolutely not let me support a cause that takes rights away from people who I believe deserve to have the same basic rights as all of the rest of us.
And I may be wrong, but as far as I know no one here has said that the votes of Mormon church members in California caused Prop 8 to pass.

Also, 'Anonymous', you say that you don't want your children being taught in school that gay marriage is ok? Fair enough. I'm sure there is plenty going on in schools that you don't want your children learning. But I believe that WE are responsible to teach our children what they should and should not believe. WE are responsible to teach them how to live, how to be good people and what is right and wrong. They aren't going to learn these things in school. This is a little off the point. I just wanted to address that.

Ugh. Long comment. Sorry. One last thing... The reason why some people have compared the gay marriage debate to interracial marriage is because not long ago interracial marriage was not ok. And a little before that...black people were not allowed to marry at all. And in our own churches not-to-distant-history, we were in support of polygamy. The point: things change and the church changes with the times. Is it possible that this could happen again with gay marriage? I think so.

Alright, I'll stop. Just want to reiterate that I'm not judging anyone here. I would hope the same from you.

brycrasch said...

Well spoken A. I don't feel (for the most part) that the comments made in this forum were meant to be negative in by any means. It is unfortunate that a discussion that started off as something good and supportive of your fellow man has turned so hostile at points. Thank you for standing up for what you believe in :)

Anonymous said...

Andrea,
anonymous #2 stated"I believe that the Church's actions were directly responsible for the passage of proposition 8". I do know that for the Church to support something like this, then it is coming from God...If you believe that the Prophet is a "True Prophet" then you must know that the decisions he makes come from GOD, and no I will NEVER question the Prophet!!! I do not believe that the Church will change their stand on this issue because of criticism or Pressure from others. I don't believe that this issue will ever change (in the Church)just like Adultery will never be okay. I just hate to see the Church getting criticized for standing their ground(by many of their own members)! Say what you want...God didn't intend for people to be gay, or get married, and I believe that it is a Mockery before God. That is my opinion. I just think this is one more way Satan is DESTROYING the FAMILY.

Anonymous said...

I said earlier that I thought the church's actions led to the passage of prop 8. Let me clarify that:

I did not mean that the church members in California who voted for it caused it to pass. What I meant was that when the church endorsed and rallied members around prop 8, members donated a large sum of money to support it - $20 million dollars. If that had not happened, I believe prop 8 would have failed.

I'm A said...

RIght Anonymous #2. That was what I was pointing out in my last comment. Thanks for beating me to it and explaining yourself better than I could.

Robin said...

Hmmmm, that video clip is quite moving, although I disagree with some of what he says. Especially all the "this will not hurt you", "how does this even affect you" etc.
I think that redefining marriage is a step towards redefining gender, which is something else we have been commanded not to do, but is already happening:
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=58130
I'm sorry, but if my kids went to a school that started teaching them that they had a choice of what gender they could be, I'd pull them out of there faster than you could blink.
I know this is off-topic from the post, but I believe the issues go hand in hand.
Also, with homosexuality more and more normalized and accepted, I see more and more gay and lesbians making out on TV, which DOES hurt me, no matter what they say.

I'm A said...

Realize that this topic has been beaten into the ground. And I'm tired of it. And you all know where I stand and why. But for 'Anonymous #1', just wanted to post one last thing:

From http://en.fairmormon.org/Latter-day_Saints_and_California_Proposition_8

"Were Church members told how to vote and commanded to work for passage of Proposition 8?
Church members were not told how to vote on Proposition 8. As stated in the letter, members were asked to “do all you can to support” the passage of Proposition 8. There was no commandment for members to work on the campaign. Support was organized at a local level and volunteers' experiences varied according to area, need and campaign leaders. Members were asked to support Proposition 8 ("We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment..."), but not commanded. While prophets may ask people to do some things, the actual “doing” is left to the individual and their agency. It is their choice to determine whether to do what the prophet asks and how much to actually do. Church leaders are aware that members within the church come from different backgrounds, have different life experiences, and different ideologies. To make an ultimatum on this issue would unnecessarily alienate people."

Just hoped that might clear a few things up...although, somehow, I'm guessing it won't.

In the end, all I can say is that as an LDS church member I feel that it is ok to question and search for answers. We don't have to blindly follow everything we hear, like sheep...with no thought behind our actions and convictions. And in the end we become a stronger and more educated person who has deeper convictions and can actually back up our beliefs with something more than "because they said so." One of the main premises of the church is to find out truth for yourself...there is a mixture of faith and work on our part and to think otherwise in non-doctrinal.

It is an extremely uneducated stance when one subscribes to the thought 'once the prophet speaks, the thinking is done'. My choosing to support this cause in no way undermines my Church, my Prophet or my God.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

But, I would like to add, that you should be careful about what you put out there into the cyber world because anonymity on the internet is impossible.

Megan said...

I do not want to comment on what side of this issue I stand, but I do want to comment on our friend "anonymous". For someone who claims to so whole heartedly support the LDS faith and the prophet I am disheartened to see you openly and publicly judging people that you claim to love and be friends with. You do not have to agree with Andrea. You can yell at her all you want (I do it all the time). But your opinion does not count unless you are willing to stand by that opinion. Your comments put a bad rap on the LDS church for the people who are reading this that are not of our faith. Ranting and raving anonymously makes you look irrational and silly instead of passionate and faithful. If you think that putting your name next to your feelings would cause problems in your relationship with my family, you obviously do not know my family. I can promise you that out of anyone I have ever met Andrea is one to respect ALL people and their opinions. However I am offended that you would claim to be so "disappointed" in her, yet not be considerate enough to tell her who you are. It’s just like people who do not vote, and then cry about who the new president is. Until you stand up for what you believe in you do not have a voice or a right to one. A lot of good it would have done if Joseph Smith would have sent out an anonymous letter saying that he had seen a vision. It is not always easy to do what you think is right, and if you think it is right to support Prop 8, than you should do it. But you do not get to shout your beliefs in all CAPITALS with 50 !!!!!! until you are ready to claim those strong words and opinions as your own. I’m not asking you to suddenly post your name. As Andrea already stated anonymity is impossible- and to be honest, I dont really care. I just hope that next time you choose to post about something as important as Prop 8 you will not be ashamed to stand by your opinions.

Anonymous said...

First of all, Megan! Just because I am posting anonymous, doesn't mean my opinion counts less or that I am less passionate about it! second)I am not judging any one, I just don't approve of their lifestyle...You can love the person, without accepting their lifestyle! And Third)My comments are not the ones giving the Church a bad rap...The Church will never change it's stand on this...it's immoral & you should know that! The whole purpose of Marriage is to Multiply and Replenish the Earth, that isn't possible in same sex relationships, and Lastly)What about the plan of Salvation & how would same sex relationships fit into that? By the way, that was a question?

Megan said...

Im sorry anonymous- you must have missed the point where I mentioned that I am not saying what side of this issue I stand on. You have no idea what I think about this issue and I don't plan on debating in with someone like you. So to answer your questions- First-Actually random opinions have zero credibility when coming from some unknown source or person in the cyber world. But whatever. No need to beat that horse. And no one here can doubt your passion. Compassion? Understanding? Logic? We can question those- but not your passion. Second and to clarify- I didnt mean that you were judging gay people...although who knows on that one...I meant you were judging my sister for having a different opinion from yours. You openly and publicly judged her when you said you were dissappointed in her. What a joke. And very Christian of you. Way to practice what you preach. Thrid- I know you are spouting pieces of truth about the church. Everyone knows that the church is strongly against gay marriage. Again- Im not going there. However, when you post your angry little comments about "what the church is AGAINST!"
your hostility, intolerance and lack of compassion comes off as the church being that way. What I love most about our church is our message of love, compassion, forgivness and that we have a good, and loving God who knows us and will thankfully judge us fairly when that time comes. You are killing all of those wonderful messages. I am sorry you are so upset by all of this. Truely I am. I am not going to debate relgion with you. Clearly between the two of us we would get nowhere. So I am not going to answer your final question. I am just sad that this had to be turned into anger instead of adults discussing a very important issue that will effect everyone on both sides of the issue.

J to the D said...

Okay, Anonymous. I have had enough. I think that people on here have bent over backwards to try and respect your opinions, but this is really too much. I'm sure that you are filled with the sense that you are alone in your righteous support of church leaders, and that there is nothing but goodness and well-wishing for the world in your heart. Well, you're just wrong.

Most of the people that have written on here have a deep love for the gospel; they are merely frustrated and sad that the church would take such strong political action to battle the rights of thousands of people that DON'T EVEN SUBSCRIBE to your faith.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I grew up as a young man in the church, and I was faithful and active until the end of my mission. I am gay. I have ALWAYS been gay. We're talking way-before-baptism gay. Early on in my life, I realized that I was different from my friends, and I also realized that everyone thought I was "wrong" or "immoral" or "disgusting" by nature. So, like thousands of others, I did everything I could possibly do to not be gay. I didn't experiment with ANYTHING sexual for the first 20 years of my life. No matter what I did, I could not get rid of the yearning in my heart to be close to another guy.

I believe factors that contributed to my homosexuality are both biological and environmental, but in the end, that doesn't matter at all. THERE IS NO WAY TO CHANGE YOUR SEXUALITY. Even the church, after years of telling gay members to "just get married," has finally conceded that there is no solution for the gay "problem." Celibacy is the best option the church can present.

Please take a moment to imagine what your life would be like if your friend, sibling, child, parent, or even your partner, was experiencing the feelings that I'm talking about. Would you expect them to get married to someone they were not attracted to? I cannot imagine anything more cruel. Would you expect them to live alone and never share their love with someone else?

The gospel teaches that the ultimate eternal reward is being able to live forever with a partner that you love with your whole heart. How, then, is it so easy for many members to dismiss homosexuality as a "sin" that is better off out-of-sight and out-of-mind? We are not talking about an abstract philosophy. We are talking about people's hearts.

You asked how homosexuality fits into the LDS church's plan of salvation. It doesn't. The church does not have an answer. The church does not have a solution. Like many gay members, I find myself unable to imagine a God who would put love in my heart, and then tell me I am never allowed to share it.

I am inactive now, but much of the gospel is still very special and important to me. I am thankful for every goodness that the church has taught me, but I am personally disappointed and hurt by the actions of its leaders and members in regard to this issue. I do not ask that you support my lifestyle, or even understand it. I only ask that you acknowledge the validity of my choice to follow my heart.

Gay marriage is NOT going to be the downfall of our society. Frankly, that is ridiculous. Many liberal countries have instituted gay marriage for years, and they are thriving. No one will be able to do anything to stop you from telling your children that gayness is shameful and evil. In the end, your kids are going to form their own opinion about it, anyway.

As to "redefining gender," anyone who believes that women have to do "girly things" and men have to do "manly things" all the time is a total idiot. Traditional gender behaviors have changed over time, and they are dramatically different across cultures today. We do not live in a world of cookie-cutter men and women, and I cannot imagine anyone who would want to.

One of my favorite parts about the church is the concept of personal revelation. The church has a built-in system that ENCOURAGES its members to question their leaders. If this issue is so important to you, pray about it. See if you can find peace in your heart when you tell your gay friends that their love and their relationships are not as valid as yours.

Anonymous said...

You are still responsible for your choices!

J to the D said...

Yeah, and so are you.

Anonymous said...

You are exactly right!!!!! YOU GET THE PICTURE, THANK YOU! YOu AREN'T THE ONLY ONE THAT HAS DEALT WITH THIS ISSUE!

J to the D said...

Sorry, but I don't think that even dignifies a response.

Rachel said...

Wait...'Anonymous' are you saying you are a lesbian?

Cynthia said...

I think anonymous needs to get a life,a hobbie, a job or something like that. I also love when she uses capital letters!!! Poor thing...

Anonymous said...

Many are dealing with this issue whose testimony and wisdom are stronger then there passion for the same sex. Many who of course are anonymous!!!!

28 O that cunning aplan of the evil one! O the bvainness, and the frailties, and the cfoolishness of men! When they are dlearned they think they are ewise, and they fhearken not unto the gcounsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their hwisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.
29 But to be alearned is good if they bhearken unto the ccounsels of God.

I won't be responding, and I HAVENT BEEN JUDGING>GOD DOES AND HE WILL JUDGE ME TOO

Cynthia said...

Amen Sister!

Cynthia said...

Andrea,I have to tell you that I find Anonymous extremely entertaining. This person's misspelling, exclamation points (!!!) caps, she is great for the blog. Do you think people have access to computers at mental institutions? I was just wondering....

I'm A said...

Wait...I'm sorry...did ya'll not see the baby animals that are posted on this blog? I think we all need to go look at some baby animals.

May I kindly direct you all to the tiny pony at the top of this blog?

Sincerley,

Blog Administration

Anonymous said...

I think you all just need to accept the fact that gay is wrong. If God meant for us to reproduce with our own gender then we would have been made with both parts. Sex outside of reproduction purposes is wrong. ITS IN THE BIBLE, and we all know that is an infallible source, YOU of all people should know that ANDREA.

Kristen said...

I'm confused...are you Catholic? I thought you were claiming to be Mormon, but then you just called the Bible infallible. This conversation just got a ton more interesting. A Catholic telling a Mormon how to live Mormonism. Man, this is better than reality tv.

e said...

Oh my goodness.

Can't we all just get along? I vote for the baby animals, too.

I'm A said...

My favorite baby animals are lambs. SO cute.

e said...

Or baby monkeys. Seriously? When I was growing up I had this picture on my computer of a monkey the size of your thumb, and every day I almost died of cuteness.

I'm A said...

You had a computer when you were growing up? Are you rich or something? But but baby monkeys are amazing.

J to the D said...

Anonymous, I'm really, really trying to sympathize with your position, but idiocy is simply not the answer. Find me a church leader that expects us to have sex only when we are trying to get pregnant and I'll give you a lollipop.

e said...

Not my very own computer, but my parents used to be technology fiends/geeks. I think they bought their first computer in 1981. Before I was alive. But when I say "growing up," I mean: last year. Ha.

Jared said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I agree that you're passionate (in the same way a suicide bomber is passionate - blindly), but I'm confused. 1) How can you say that you are not judging anyone, but that you instead "don't approve of their lifestyle"? Is disapproval somehow different than judgment? It seems to me that approval and disapproval rely on judgment for categorization. As far as I can tell you have passed judgment on homosexuals, the writer of this blog, and many of the people who have commented here.

2) You say "the church will never change it's stand on this." Are you the prophet? Are you retarded? What makes you think that you are an authority on the future of the church? Also, thank you for the brilliant lesson on the purpose of marriage. But guess what - if you think that the purpose of marriage is "to multiply and replenish the earth" then you need to open your eyes. No one needs marriage for that. Two drunk teenagers can do that (and they often do).

You need to take a really long look at yourself and your views on life rather than coming here and mimicking ideas and phrases that you don't understand. What about couples who are unable to produce children? Should they be barred from marriage?

And what is the place of hermaphrodites, who are certainly created by God, in the plan of salvation? There are some questions that we don't know the answers to. I don't. You certainly don't. Only God does. Once again, perhaps we should reserve judgment to him?

Apperception said...

You know, anonymous has made me change my mind about this whole issue really. It's true, "if God had meant for us to reproduce with our own gender then we would have been made with both parts." What could be more CLEAR THAN THAT!!!!! Seriously, this is yet another MYTH "science" would have us believe! Think about hermaphrodites. The ones born with "both parts." Have you ever seen one? NO BECAUSE SCIENCE IS A MYTH! As Anonymous said, "IT'S IN THE BIBLE and we all know that is an infallible source." It's SO infallible that the Mormon church teaches that plain and precious truths were LOST from... wait a minute... scratch that. So back to science being a myth. There are NO hermaphrodites because GOD would NOT ALLOW SUCH A RIDICULOUS THING TO BE CREATED IN THE UNIVERSE EVER!!!! If they did exist, they wouldn't even know who they were supposed to love!!!!! Like being gay, it is WRONG, and Andrea, you KNOW it's WRONG!!!!! "Science" wants us to believe otherwise somehow. I'll quote one of my friends who writes on a Christian fundamentalist forum to show how ridiculous science is:

"The Fact the Earth is Flat is not my opinion, it is a Proved Fact! While all we need to know is that the Bible says the Earth is flat (Is.40:22, Ez.7:2, Dn.2:35; 4:10-11,20, Mt.4:8)... but for a second can you imagine what these so-called 'scientists would have us believe --- If the earth really was round, that would mean there arre people who are HANGING DOWN, HEAD DOWNWARDS while we are standing head up? But since the theory allows to travel to those parts of the earth where the people are said to hand head downward, and still to fancy ourselves to be heads upwards, and our friends whom we have left behind us to be heads downwards! LOL! What foolishness! TheWHOLE THING IS A MYTH - A DREAM - A DELUSION - and a snare, and, instead of there being any evidence at all in this direction to substantiate this popular theory, it is plain proof that the Earth is Not A Globe!"

SEE!! Full of BIBLE references that are INFALLIBLE!!!! This of course means that GAYS are WRONG!!! Lastly this from another fundamentalist friend (I'm with you Anonymous, don't worry)

"The only solution we have to stop gays from recruiting other people is to cut off the source. They need to be taken to specialized containment centers where they will be forced to become straight and accept Jesus as thier savior and to repent from their disgusting, wicket, hatful, devilish ways. Those that refuse to go can either be forced, or banished from society in other specialized communities where they have no connetion to the outside world at all. Most would die of AIDS anyway. Anyone who refused any of the answers to make them better would have to be killed or banished."

If it were up to us Anonymous, supporting prop 8 would mean actually supporting this solution. It WILL ALWAYS BE MORALLY WRONG AND SINCE I KNOW GOD'S MIND AND THOUGHTS AND SINCE HE IS UNCHANGING ALL THE TIME AND REVELATION HAS NEVER CHANGED ANYTHING WE CAN BE 100% CERTAIN THAT GOD WILL NOT TOLERATE ANY AMOUNT OF TOLERANCE OF GAY PEOPLE!!!!!

Anonymous said...

When you post something this controversial you are going to get a lot of people uptight! So you should have expected this! You can talk about this all day but in the end, nothing will change the Church's stand on this!
P.S. It looks like you have more than one anonymous here..and apperception you are an idiot!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,you are loosing a winning battle why waste your time and energy with these people who maybe LDS, but they certainly will appostatize in the end. GIVE IT UP ANONYMOUS!

jennifer hulet said...

Hey,
Maybe you should simply go read the Proclamation to the Family! I think that answers some questions as to where the Church stands!

Anonymous said...

Original Anonymous:

It's time for this to end. This was a joke all along, right? You don't really believe the things you were writing. You were trying to get us to react to things that no sane person would write. You win. We bought it. Go ahead and rub it in...but not too much!!!!!

Apperception said...

Hey I thought we were on the same team Anonymous! I thought we were going to shut those queers down! Now you're hatin' on me too? What gives?

:(

/cries
/and eats and eats

J to the D said...

Okay, now I'm sorry I even posted at all. Let's just end this.

Cynthia said...

Let's talk about the baby pony. Shall we?

Apperception said...

Yeah, it's been fun. Sorry to drag it on. I couldn't resist a little Stephen Colbert. Anyway, yeah that cute little baby pony warms the heart and brings happiness to my soul (no homo).

I'm A said...

Oh my gosh! I love baby ponies. LOVE THEM.

And I love (most of) you all.

You are funny.

'Anonymous #1', may I please remind you, you are the only one who is uptight here. And you started this fight. Scroll back to the top and take a look for yourself.

We won't be changing any minds here. And thats fine. But I think if you re-read my comments and many of the other comments here you will see that they were written respectfully (at first).

But lets be nice ok? Lets be less judgemental ok? Lets just hop off the crazy train and go pet baby ponies. Ok?

Anonymous said...

Baby ponies? Now you've opened Pandora's box!

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080820174031AA3vwcn