Saturday, November 08, 2008

Catholics Appalled at Anti-Mormon Slur

We put this video up on youtube last night. It now has over 8,400 hits and is rated, as of this writing, the #1 "Favorited" video of the day. Special credit must go to Matt Connors, a very talented JP Catholic sophmore, who filmed the intro, recorded the audio and edited it all together in less than a day. Please help us spread it around. For more on this issue see this important article.

UPDATE: As of 10pm, the video has over 13,000 hits and has received a number of honors. In its category, Nonprofit and Activism, it is the #1 Most viewed video and the #1 Rated video. It also tops categories for other countries: e.g., #2 Most viewed in Mexico, Japan and South Korea, #3 Most viewed in Israel!

134 comments:

Matt said...

Great work Professor! I was blown away when I looked at the view count on this last night.

It's too bad such a large part of the No on 8 campaign is choosing to respond this way. They're really hurting themselves.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit that I doubted the idea that there was anti-religious bigotry behind the No on 8 crowd. I just thought separation of church and state should be followed. Prop 8 seemed to violate that.

But then I saw the ad this video highlights. I was shocked by the bigotry. What an eye-opener!

And then in the interviews after the election the truth really came out--the curtain was lifted and the real hatred came spewing forth. One gay rights supporter told a reporter they were going to go after "all the churches".

Now--and having read more on this--I have no doubt that legalizing same-sex marriage is really just a way to shut down religious groups and force them to violate their beliefs.

I am now relieved that it passed.

Michael F. Bird said...

Michael,
Well done old socks! You did a cracking good job with this video.

James Crossley said...

I have to confess, I'm a bit confused about the language of a 'dictatorship of relativism' after winning such a vote and I'm a bit confused by the language of liberty but presumably not liberty of sexuality...

Brant Pitre said...

Dear James,

Although I'll let him speak for himself, I believe Michael's reference to the "dictatorship of relativism" (a la Pope Benedict XVI) was referring to the disturbing rise in lawsuits levied against religious groups and religious leaders who refuse to bless same-sex unions as marriages. In cases such as this, the law is being used to dictate moral relativism in matters sexual and familial.

From this perspective, the power of the state is used to force religious groups to abandon certain moral absolutes by making them endorse actions that are contrary to their religious beliefs. Certain moral absolutes (such as marriage being absolutely restricted to one man and one woman) are condemned (e.g., as "hate speech") and persecuted by force of law, and religious liberty in such matters is done away with. In short, moral relativism is dictated by the state...

The difference between this and the winning of the vote is that it in the case of Prop 8 it is the people of California--and not a select few in power--who voted overwhelmingly against redefining the societal institution of marriage. The opposite of dictatorship, this is democracy (the rule of the people).

As for the language of liberty, I'm confused by your confusion. Are you suggesting that there should be an absolute "liberty of sexuality"? In society should a person be at liberty to engage in any sexual activity imaginable? If not, where do you draw the lines? And for what are your reasons for doing so?

In short, are there any moral absolutes in this realm? E.g., is pederasty okay? If not, why not? (I'm sincerely asking for your view). In this case, I don't see how sexual liberty is in danger, but I do see religious liberty in danger...

Also, I think it intriguing that you brought up sexual liberty, when this is not exactly the focus of the ad. You'll notice that Proposition is not about sexual activity per se, much less about restricting sexual liberty, but about the institution of marriage: i.e., the family, the fundamental cell of human society.

Now, sexual activity is certainly a part of family life, indeed, its wellspring and origin, but it is not the whole. This proposition is about much more than who can do what with whom, but about what constitutes the nature of a marriage and a family. It's also about whether those who believe marriage should be restricted to the union of one man and one woman will continue to have the freedom to believe this--or whether they will legally persecuted for believing it.

Finally, its about whether in a democracy the voting majority has the power to define a key social institution in an absolute way.

Anyway, that's my two cents.

I look forward to hearing another one of your (always stimulating) presentations at SBL this year!

Sister Mary Agnes said...

Dear James,

I am not sure what you mean by "presumably not liberty of sexuality." Prop 8 does not take away the right of homosexuals to contract civil unions as they have been. Their freedom to engage in homosexual acts together is not being taken away away by this proposition either.

I am from New Hampshire, very close to Massachusetts where the law defines the union of homosexuals as marriage. I watched the adoption unit of Catholic Charities in Massachusetts be shut down by this law, because homosexual couples wanted to force Catholic Charities to place children with them as adoptive families. The fact that Catholic Charities was willing to refer these homosexual couples to other agencies wasn't good enough. It was the homosexual agenda to either shut down Catholic Charities or force them to act against their religious beliefs.

Massachusetts lost its most productive, successful adoption agency. Catholic Charities was the first adoption agency in Mass. and ran with great success for over 100 years, and now it is gone, because of a redefinition of marriage. Prop 8 was to protect religious liberty and families, not to take away homosexuals' rights, which are already protected.

Professor Barber and Matt: Great job on that video!

Michael Barber said...

James,

Brant pretty much hit upon all the important points. I would just add the following.

Prop. 8 was put on the ballot as a response to one of the most egregious cases of the "dictatorship of relativism" I've ever seen in my lifetime. In fact, there were 2 clear examples of this dictatorship involved. Let me explain.

In 2000 Californians overwhelmingly voted to define marriage as a bond between one man and one woman. This year four judges on the State Supreme Court ruled that this vote simply didn't matter because it didn't fit their ideological agenda. They overturned the vote, effectively rendering the entire democratic process irrelevant.

Prop. 8 was put forward as a response to this outrageous abuse of judicial power.

But that wasn't the last abuse of power! Once the measure qualified for the ballot the Attorney General of California completely re-worded the way it would appear on the ballot--something which is never allowed!--in an attempt to affect the vote. And he brazenly made no secret of his opposition to the measure.

Prop. 8 passed even despite the offensive abuses of those in power to thwart the democratic process.

Prop. 8 was a great victory against the dictatorship of relativism.

Here's another great JP Catholic-produced ad which covered much of what I just said: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYawKVsuq_k

And, I also agree with Brant: I look forward to hearing you at SBL!

steph said...

What has pedastery to do with homosexuality? Is underage sex comparable to heterosexuality?

I thought Proposition 8 was a great victory for the dictatorship of relativism.

I also see a contradiction between the language of which excludes liberty of sexuality.

steph said...

pederasty..

James Crossley said...

Hello Brant

looking forward to seeing you at SBL too!

I have some questions and they are all genuine.

Are lawsuits against religious groups the issue in California? Or is this a pre-emptive argument?

Also, in California is anyone actually saying that religious groups abandon their beliefs? I mean, if the church still has its own views on marriage, what's the problem? Or, and I mean this genuinely, are the church required to give up its beliefs?

I think the anti-gay marriage thing all sounds very anti-libertarian. If homosexuals want to marry, why is that anyone's business? Why on earth should people be voting what other people should and should not do? Why should people vote on an issue which is effectively personal morality? To be genuinely democratic, the liberty to practivce something as tame as homosexuality is vital.

As for liberty of sexuality, in this context I simply meant liberty for homosexuals to marry. Who cares if they marry or call it marriage? There are obvious places where liberty of sexuality is a serious problem, such as paedophilia, rape and even pornography but they are in an entirely different category because it is a clear abuse of power. Now that's constructed morality but couldn't we all agree that protection of people is at the centre of virtually all morality?

Now obviously these are all constructed morals but then so are the church's morals as far as many outsiders are concerned. But if we could all agree that abuses such as I mentioned are a bad thing - as pretty much everyone would - then why not move on from there? Ultimately, I just can't see why it is a problem. Who cares what other people so long as it isn't an abuse of e.g. children, women, animals etc? But if you want to include homosexuality then why not heterosexuality? If it is because of the Bible then that raises all sorts of problems for a democracy.

So back to marriage, why care if same sex relationships are classed as marriage outside of the church? If the church want to have their own take, that's their business, right?


Sister Mary:
I think I've also answered your questions by answering Brant's. By liberty of sexuality I simply meant, in this context, liberty to marry. Why should it be anyone's business whether homosexuals marry?

Also, is it fair to give examples which do not directly relate to the California issue? Was the issues surrounding the adopton agencies a part of the vote in California or not?

Hello Michael (looking forward to seeing you at SBL too!). Again, I think I've addressed your questions. The point is this: why should people be telling homnosexuals that they cannot get married? I think there is a profound problem with liberty here: isn't it fair to say that it is no one else's business what a same sex couple want to do with their relationship?

Michael Barber said...

James,

Thanks for responding here. I realize that since you're not a California resident it's a little difficult to see how the "left coast" could have voted for this measure.

I completely understand where you are coming from. In fact, at first glance many Christians expressed concerns over Prop. 8. At the beginning of the campaign many people were worried about blurring the lines of the separation of church and state? They also expressed puzzlement: "How does granting a legal marriage to same-sex couples affect others?"

I understand those concerns, so let me explain this briefly.

First, what you need to know is that same-sex couples already enjoy the same rights married couples are given in California (e.g., hospital visitation, tax status, etc.) by entering into a "civil union". Prop. 8 does NOT take away any of those rights from same-sex couples.

Second, Prop. 8 does not stop same-sex couples from having a wedding ceremony--religious or non-religious--and calling it marriage. People can do whatever they want in their own homes, in private and in their places of worship.

Third, here's what's critical: Prop. 8 simply preserves a legal distinction. The union of a same-sex couple would be recognized legally as a "civil union" rather than a "marriage".

Now, at this point you've got to be asking yourself, "If civil unions grant the same rights as marriage does why play word games? Why not just call it 'marriage' all around?"

The key here is recognizing the need to preserve the rights of all--the legal rights of same sex couples, but also religious groups who do not recognize such unions.

So now we get to your question above: is the fear that religious groups will be forced to violate their beliefs a concern about something that might happen or something that will happen?

Actually, the answer is that this is a fear about something that has already happened.

Here's one example: After marriage was redefined in Massachusetts to allow for homosexual unions, a Catholic adoption agency in Boston--one of the oldest in the country!--was forced to close its doors. Prior to the change in the law a same-sex couple had sued them for not placing a child in their home. The organization offered to refer them elsewhere but said they could not help them because of their understanding of God's design for the family. The couple wasn't happy with that--they insisted that Catholic Charities violate its own religious beleifs and recognize their union. After the law was changed the homosexual couple had legal ammunition that Catholic Charities could not defend against. They had to shut down.

Other examples could also be cited. A Methodist organization in New Jersey lost some of its tax exempt status for not allowing a gay marriage on its property.

Why same-sex couples file such suits are beyond me. Listen to them and they will tell you that they are about preserving civil rights. That "discrimination" against them is on par with racial discrimination and that this must be overcome. Religious groups are just bigots and the law should stick it to them.

Anyone involved in a similar situation--every religious group similarly being threatened with discrimination--knows exactly what redefining marriage would mean for their cases. It would make it extraordinarily difficult to refuse to recognize a marriage already given legal status by the state. Thnk about how hard this would be in a courtroom: defend why you refuse to recognize what the state does, why that does not constitute legal discrimination, and, since this is a legal case, you may not cite religious reasons (biblical texts, tradition, ecclesial authority, etc.).

Again, Prop. 8 impinges on no one's sexual liberty. Nor does it in any way make it impossible for a couple to have a private ceremony.

So if a gay couple wants to go and have a private (i.e., non-legal) ceremony declaring them married, Prop. 8 does not stop them. As a Christian, I do think there is a serious moral problem there, but Prop. 8 would do nothing to prevent that from taking place.

Prop. 8 isn't forcing homosexuals to do anything different in their daily lives. It also stops organizations from being forced to recognize what they cannot.

And, again, this was up for a vote--it was not an executive order.

I hope you can see why fair-minded people--even non-religious people--understand why Prop. 8 was necessary and why similar measures won in every state in the union where there was a vote. This is the "Left Coast" for crying out loud--and it still won. In fact, I know of religious homosexuals who also supported Prop. 8 because of the concerns mentioned here.

Again, thanks for dropping by and for your sincere questions. I hope this laid out the issues clearly.

Looking forward to Boston!!!

Sister Mary Agnes said...

Dear Professor Barber,

I think James was asking for examples from California where the legal term "marriage" for homosexual couples has caused a religious liberty problem.

Dear James,

I didn't think bringing in examples from other states would be unfair. I just thought it would be helpful. I do know many people here in California who had concerns about what happened in Mass. and don't want to see it happen here. Another Mass. story that caused concern was the man who was put in jail for asking the school to "opt out" his young child from being taught in school that homosexual marriage is good and normal.

I absolutely agree with you that homosexuals should have the right to do what they want in terms of living their lifestyle. But I would also suggest that they already have that right, and it is very well protected. The problem comes with the legal implications of the term "marriage" rather than "civil union." I think Professor Barber already addressed that more eloquently than I could. Thank you for the opportunity to dialogue.

Michael Barber said...

For the brief time in California between the ruling of the State Supreme Court and the passing of Prop. 8 that the law recognized homosexual marriage, no legal cases citing the new law allowing such unions were used in a religoius discrimination case. Yet, it was known that homosexual rights advocate groups did not want to file such claims because they knew it would be cited by Prop. 8 supporters and add fire to the Yes on 8 campaign.

Having said that, there have already been cases in California where the religious liberty and free speech of individuals has already been trampled on in the name of discrimination against homosexuals. Here are three examples cited in a LA Times editorial supporting Prop. 8:

"A San Diego County fertility doctor was sued for refusing to perform artificial insemination for one partner of a lesbian couple for religious reasons. The doctor referred the patient to a colleague, promised there would be no extra cost and offered to care for her during her subsequent pregnancy. The case is now before the California Supreme Court, and justices seemed hostile to the doctor's defense during oral arguments last month.

"A Lutheran school in Riverside County was sued in 2005 under California's Unruh Act (which forbids discrimination by businesses) for expelling two students who allegedly were having a lesbian relationship, in contravention of the religious views of the school. The case was thrown out in Superior Court in January, but the students have appealed.

"Public school officials in Poway, Calif., so far have successfully barred students from wearing T-shirts that register their opposition to homosexuality on campus. One lawsuit made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court before being dismissed (as moot, because the students had graduated), but another federal lawsuit is pending."

Read the full op-ed here:
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-stern17-2008jun17,0,5628051.story

Sister Mary Agnes said...

I want to clarify one thing I said. When I said, "I absolutely agree with you that homosexuals should have the right to do what they want in terms of living their lifestyle" I do not mean that I agree with their lifestyle, which is gravely disordered. Compliance with God's law cannot be forced. Secular society has already made the provisions for these people to live in the way that they choose. That is the sense in which I meant the statement I made.

Anonymous said...

James,
Thank you for your understanding and clear stand on this issue. I'm LDS church and have a great deal of respect for your courage and faith.

I'm really concerned that we've become scapegoats for all the anger and pain that homosexuals have felt. I watch our places of worship being targeted and the blatant threats and I'm deeply concerned.

As our country goes through tough times I hope that we aren't targeted with hate. We have all seen this happen before (so have the Jews).

It's horrible that you closed Catholic Charities in Mass. because of this. Are LDS Family Services also being closed down?

What can we do? Surely this issue will continue to be challenged.

-JT

MaryH said...

isreal? Weird

Anonymous said...

JT: James is neither American nor religious, but like alot of us, sees the hypocrisy in talking about liberty but not allowing the same liberties to homosexuals. Why not be allowed to be called married instead of civilly unionised?

SF

Michael said...

Thank you so very much for your efforts as well. Excellent video and as a member of the LDS church, I whole-heartedly appreciate your view and encouraging words. It's definately a time to work together to support what we believe.

Anonymous said...

I am glad this was made yet, I just have to correct one thing that I am sure was not intended to be left out. When you introduced the LDS church you said "The Church of latter day saints" It is in face the Church of JESUS CHRIST of latter day saints. He is our focal point. Just had to make that correction. Thank You

Stefanie Nickolaisen said...

Thank you for taking the time to make this video. As I member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, it means a lot to me to feel the support of other religious organizations that were fitting along side us in this battle. Good fight everyone, keep it up!

Standing up for truth and righteousness has never been the popular thing to do, but if we truly believe in Christ and desire to follow his example that is what we must do.

Thank you again!

Anonymous said...

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I deeply thank you for this video. I've enjoyed reading the comments as well. This proposition absolutely was a matter of religious freedom, and I'm glad so many people from so many faiths stood together to support it.

James Crossley said...

I think Sister Mary understood the point I was making best. I still think I have to stress that there seem to be different issues: *if* there are going to be bases of restrictions on religious freedoms then aren't they different issues and different battles to be fought. That is different to the marriage issue itself. While on one level the right to call a partnership 'marriage' is trivial (only a name after all) thee is the implication of one group of people being second class as a result. Would it be fair to suggest that there is an element of preemptive strike here (pardon the phrase): it *could* lead to problems with religious liberty so stop it now. Perhaps, there is also an element of prioritising one liberty over another...?

Jessica Cowand said...

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I would very much like to bestow my gratitude for this video. What you said is true it was time for us to all stand together as children of a loving God for and in behalf of the "Family" a most divine institution.

The days that followed the passing of Prop 8 in California were filled with sadness and shock for me, as I watched fellow members of my church have insults hurled at them and to see one of our beloved temples become a place surrounded by hatred, vengeance and venom. Where people who would normally be considered sane carried hatefilled messages on cardboard signs and then placed more signs on the walls surrounding our beautiful temple grounds.

To see such venom come from other human beings towards us when all we were doing was following our consciences and our hearts to do the right thing broke my heart. Especially from people that have been so intent on proving that they deserve tolerance and love. What they showed me was that they don't actually understand the meaning of tolerance or of love.

Anyway, I wanted to thank you for helping to remind people that this was not a "Mormon movement" but a coaltion of many varied and different religions who all worked to gether to protect their own rights and liberties. It is nice to know that even though philosophically and scripturally we may disagree we can still show love and compassion for each other. Thank you so much for you hearts and time and energy that went into making this video. You truly are appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Thank-you for this video on how many people worked together on the passage of prop. 8. I appreciate that as we all stand for truth and righteousness, it benefits all religious communities. When my children were teenagers I gave them all this bumper sticker and it applies very much to what we went through and what we are still going through with regards to prop 8. "What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right. By the way I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Anonymous said...

Marriage is a religious covenant made between God and His children (us). When some one chooses to be gay they break the covenant they made with God, which in turn makes there decision no longer religious. The government wants to nose into something that should be seperate. The government shouldn't have anything to do with marriage, because marriage is a covenant between us and God. Gay people have the right to get there civil unions and be "married" (for lack of a better word) but lets not make it a religious thing when it is not condoned of God!

Katie said...

Thank you Michael

crawfordzoo said...

I would also like to add my thanks for the making of this video. I think standing together as members of difference faiths was and still is a wonderful thing.

As someone who has adopted three children thru LDS Family Services I have a huge appreciation for adoption and am deeply saddened that Catholic Charities had to close their doors in Boston. What a loss!

okbushmans said...

Thank you for this video, and standing with us. It is somewhat terrifying seeing our places of worship surrounded after last nights protests in California, Utah and New York. It is comforting to know we do have support outside our membership and should not be afraid to stand for what we believe in. Thank you.

steph said...

Anonymous: Homosexuality is not a choice. What covenant have gays made with God? If the church won't marry them why can't they be technically married outside the church? Marriage doesn't belong to Christianity.

Lindy said...

That is the big lie. It is a choice. We do have control over our actions. If we had no choice but to act out all of our sexual desires, we would be a depraved society indeed. We may not choose to be attracted to someone, but we can definitely choose to fight against that attraction. People do it all the time. In addition, there are examples of formerly gay and lesbian people that have been able to overcome this difficult trial through the grace of God. Is it easy? Probably like overcoming a cocaine addiction- but is it possible? Yes. That is the lie. The attraction may not be a choice, but giving in to it is a choice. Choosing to fight it is a choice. Choosing to see it as a disease is a choice. There are lots of choices here. This isn't just about calling a gay union marriage, it's about saying- "it's okay for people to hold some ideas sacred without being compelled to accept gayness as being wonderful".

Anonymous said...

Wow! Well said and very much appreciated by a Mormon in Texas. Thank you for your support and for reminding us all that we have more that unites us than divides us.

steph said...

lindy: the evidence suggests otherwise. To call a "lie" is - well it's just silly isn't it. The choice is whether to be honest.

steph said...

Choosing to call it a "disease" would be dishonest and a contradiction of the evidence.

Lindy said...

Homosexuality is not a lie- but believing it is something that can't be changed is a lie. It has been done. There is the evidence. The fact that it is a severe challenge is also true. Many struggle and wish desperately they could change. I understand this. None-the-less, it is a form of something gone wrong- something that causes great unhappiness in many many people. In this sense, it is an illness. It was at one time universally understood to be this way- until activists rebelled at being labelled. Check out DSM III-R books before 1970's.

Tracy said...

Thank You.

Dawn Davis said...

Thank you.

steph said...

You implied lindy, that it is a lie that homosexuality is not a choice. Of course it is not a choice. Some people are bisexual and while they may or may not find a loving relationship with the opposite sex, their sexuality is proof of our diversity. I am not attracted to the same sex, but I don't have to fight any urges, my genes were not made to be attracted to the same sex and neither apparently were yours.

Homosexuality is not something that causes "great unhappiness" in many people. It is only people like you, who use their religion to judge others, who make others unhappy.

There is no evidence that it can be changed. People are pressured into "wanting" to change but they will always be homosexuals, not happy heterosexuals. It is up to you to let them be happy in the way they were made.

Of course it was once considered an illness. At one time people believed the earth to be flat.

Anonymous said...

As a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I must thank you for this wonderful video. I have been concerned that people who do not know us or understand that we are indeed Christians would have total misconceptions about our faith after watching that particular video -and I truly appreciate your willingness and love in helping to combat that completely false representation. May God bless you and your work and your faith.

steph said...

lindy - to qualify what I said - "it was once considered an illness", becuase you said it was once "universally" considered an illness. "Universally" is of course not true. It has been considered an illness in some circles from the Victorian era until we began to know more about biology and genetics. However it has not always been so in all cultures and times as you suggest.

It is a great shame that religions, which should be codes for living well together, are so devisive.

Lindy said...

Steph- If a religion doesn't stand for anything, then it falls for everything. If it divides, it is because not everyone agrees with it. That is okay. Real tolerance begins when people of differing opinions disagree without being disagreeable. I appreciate your tone of disagreeing without being disagreeable. Thank you. While I understand that it is important not to discriminate, I feel it is not understood by many gays how religious values are being discriminated against. That is why prop 8 was voted on- to make it so people with opposing values were not compelled to condone something they do not agree with. Homosexuals are not being forced to condone anything, but anyone with opposing views would have been compelled into compliance had the law remained intact. How? By taking away parental rights to guide their child's public education, and by forcing churches to perform ceremonies in God's name that would be heresy to them. We know this because it has already happened. As things stand, those that disagree with traditional values may still practice as they may, and those with traditional moral values may also continue as they may. It was the best solution. I do not understand how having diverse sexual behavior equals earning an extra civil right.

steph said...

I don't see why homosexuals should be forced to live by the dominant Christian religious ideal. I also don't see why Christian ministers should be forced to marry any couple they don't want to. There can easily be an act put in place to ensure that never happened. However, I don't see why a marriage celebrant shouldn't marry a couple if he is agreeable to it.

As for children - I know to lesbian couples which both have children they didn't adopt. The children are wonderful, their environment is loving and stable. Also in my home country we have many loving family situations where the children are brought up by the 'whanau' - different members of the family. These are also secure and happy situations in which the children flourish. Therefore others cultures have successful alternative family situations. Other non Christian cultures also have the institution of marriage.

Of the lesbian and gay couples I know, their commitment and love for each other is something not always seen in a Christian heterosexual couple. Just look at the divorce rate.

You say homosexuals are not asked to condone anything, but they are being compelled into compliance with a law based on Christianity which which restricts their ability to live like others. If they were allowed to marry, Christians need not condone it, but they can ignore it, something homosexuals can't do with a ban on gay marriage.

And of course it is not about having an extra civil right, it is about having the same civil right which currently they are being denied.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you for your message to the world. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I was inspired by the many Catholic neighbors in our community who stood with us in the Sacramento area on street corners to support Proposition 8. We stood in the pouring rain, heard vile comments and obscene hand gestures. It is interesting that the opposition characterized Prop 8 with "hate" rhetoric, yet they are the ones who acted intolerantly and hateful. We have to stand together against this secular imperialism because it will affect all of us and our children sooner or later. Thank you again for your support. I would stand up again with you in this cause.

Susan J.R.

Anonymous said...

The Religious right is out of control again on this issue. I may not really think that gays need be "married" but I do believe they receive the same legal rights as others. We cannot allow laws that discriminate based on moral issues. Non-profit churches are NOT allowed under the law to become involved in politics. The LDS church has broken those laws, and should be punished not awarded. This youtube creation was to show the ridiculousness of letting the churches have this kind of power. It isn't an example of what supporters of PRop 8 believe is really happening. The lord will sit upon you all at the judgement day, just like he will me. Only then will we know the consquences of our actions.
LOVE ONE ANOTHER

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that you only accuse the LDS church of breaking the laws. The LDS church did the same as any other religion there in California that was for Yes on prop 8. They encouraged their members to support Prop 8, but provided no monetary contributions themselves.

Let me say that again. The LDS church put no money into Yes for Prop 8. Members of the LDS church, who felt strongly about this issue, did contribute money to that campaign, but they are allowed to by law.

The LDS church has broken no laws, they acted in the same manner as the Catholic church, and all the other churches in the coalition. Encouraging their members to support Prop 8, and that is all. Which is legal, and allowed, via the law.

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I am touched deeply by the sentiments coming from other religions, and members of other religions, in our defense. It is not right that we are singled out in what was a group effort, after all.

We have not taken any rights away from gay couples. They still are able to have a civil union which provides them all the benefits of marriage.

To define marriage otherwise, means that what happened in Massachusetts will happen where you live. Gay couples are targetting churches there and using the Government to punish them for following the Bible.

Like the Lesbian couple who asked a Methodist church to marry them. They did not belong to the Methodist church, they just decided to target it. The church said no, the couple sued. The Methodist church lost its tax exempt status.

The Catholic adoption services has already been mentioned.

And there are other cases as well. When gay marriage is legal, then gay couples have the right to sue any church who doesn't believe in gay marriage. They have the right to sue any church that follows the Bible, which proclaims that homosexuality is an abomination. And in Massachusetts the Government will close, fine or strip churches of their tax exempt status unless they go against their beliefs to marry gay couples, etc.

In Massachusetts, where gay marriage is legal, churches no longer have rights. Parents don't have rights - read up on David Parker. He was put in jail just for asking the school to opt his KINDERGARTNER out of homosexual teachings that the teacher was doing. He didn't ask the school not to read that book. He just asked that they not read it to his son. The school refused and put him in jail. They told him that to pull his son out would be discrimination. We used to have the right to opt our children out of sex ed classes, but since gay marriage is legal, we no longer have that right in Massachusetts. The school teaches whatever they want to our children and throw the parents in jail if they disagree. And by law, now they can.

Honestly, this country was founded on religious freedom. And it is being threatened again. We have not taken any rights away from gay couples, as they currently have the right to a civil union. They are only pushing for marriage because they know that if it's legal for them to marry, then they can sue churches who disagree with them, and push their homosexual teachings into the school system. They gain nothing else by marrying - because a civil union gives them all the rights as a marriage does.

We know the prophecies. We know that in the last days the saints will be persecuted as they were in the early days of the church. My sisters and I always wondered what issue would be the catalyst for that, and it looks like the issue has appeared.

Be strong! Be faithful! Peace is Coming!

And thank you to all Saints (LDS and also Saints of other religions) who live in California and have endured much in this situation. You are in my prayers on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your video and your words of support for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons). It has been a difficult couple of weeks.

It was wonderful to take a stand on this important issue alongside our friends from other faiths.

We truly appreciate all of you!

Lindy said...

To Steph-

I understand that you feel that it is "unenlightened" to feel the way that I do. It isn't popular to see homosexuality as a disease or a problem. I understand that you feel that giving them the "right" to legalized marriage would not hurt anyone. I hear you. From the outset, it would seem that something could be "worked out" with a minister that didn't feel comfortable performing a gay marriage. That is the problem. This assumption is not true. Once it becomes legalized, the minister would eventually no longer have the privilege of "working something out". He would be harrassed by lawsuits and eventually condemned by the law. It is not a question. It has already happened, and is in the process of happening now. Freedom of religion is the among the first rights protected by our Constitution for a reason. This is not perhaps the point you wish to address, but it is none-the-less true. Whether homosexuals are happy as they are or whether they would make good parents is subjective and beside the point. They are already granted all of these liberties. No one is taking them away. The only thing they had to lose was being granted the title of marriage. Those that were concerned with protecting religious liberties had a great deal more at stake than just a name. You may not value those liberties because you do not endorse them, but they are important to those that do value them. I have family members and cousins and good friends that are gay. I do not see them as being lesser in value in any way. The law is not determining any of these things. Ironically, what religious people and people of traditional values are begging for is tolerance and respect- the very things they are accused of taking away. That is all I'm going to say regarding this matter.

steph said...

Lindy: It is absolutely nothing to do with enlightenment or popularity. It is a basic biological fact. Homosexuality is not a disease. That it is, is a religious belief. Believing so is your privilege but those who write the laws should not write them based on religion.

You are making assumptions that bad things would happen because they apparently have in some states. It is easy enough to ensure these things don't happen by writing an act into the law stating that a church is free not to marry whom it pleases. Such an act obviously wasn't in place previously or these churches could not have been sued.

I was married by a non religious marriage celebrant outside the church. The union was legal and recognised by the state as marriage. Why can't homosexuals do the same? If a church is open to gay marriage as some are, why can't they marry those who want to be married by the church? Remember those who don't want to would be protected by the law as even now they don't have to marry every heterosexual couple which asks. Indeed, some denominations have gay (openly obviously) priests and even bishops. "Marriage" does not belong to Christianity.

I am sad that you have ignored these issues which I have already addressed in my previous comments.

Anonymous said...

Steph: It is indeed NOT "a basic biological fact" that homosexuality is biological. As someone who is in the scientific community, there is no such evidence. There has been studies on the subject, but NOTHING is conclusive. All we have on the subject is hypotheses. There are no scientific theories. There are no scientific laws pertaining to the validity of homosexuality being biological hard codes in ones genes.

Anonymous said...

Steph, what you say sounds reasonable, and nice. If it were truly that way, I don't think I would have such a problem with gay marriage.

But that just isn't what has happened in Massachusetts. I was talking to members of the gay community on another debate board and they admitted that they were targeting churches on purpose. They were requesting marriages with churches they knew would not agree to do the ceremony, and then suing them when they said no. They did this /on purpose/. And the Government fined the churches, forced them to go against their religion, or stripped them of their tax exempt status.

And in the backlash over Prop 8, members of the gay community have flat out said they will be going after ALL churches.

Protection for churches hasn't been written into the law. Until it is, they are free to harass and sue and target churches, as they have admitted to doing in Massachusetts.

Like I said in the beginning. What you said sounds reasonable. But it just isn't what has happened. And since members of the LBGT community have openly stated they will be going after all churches, the targeting will continue if gay marriage is made legal.

I don't know that I would go so far as to call homosexuality a disease. I do personally feel, in many cases, that it is a choice.

I also think it's sort of a fad right now - people think it's cool so they hop on the bandwagon.

Or that the feelings are based on confusion stemming from abuse. When a boy is molested by an older boy, it feels good. So, he is confused by that and feels that he "must" be gay, instead of understanding that our bodies were made for that act to feel good. I've seen this happen with people that are very close to me. Witnessed it first hand.

There might be a small percentage who were born with a body chemistry that makes them gravitate towards the same gender, but I personally feel that very few who are gay actually fall into this category. This is just my opinion, of course.

Marisa said...

I am a Mormon Mother living in Utah and have been deeply saddened by the recent events of the aftermath of prop 8. Thank you for defending us as a church. My heart feels lighter because good Christians are all rallying together as one voice saying "This is not Gods will on Earth". Thank you for being our defender this day. In days to come I hope we can return the same support you have shown us.

Mike and Trudy Thompson-One Family's Opinions said...

For those who think morality plays no part in our societal structure, it is saddening to think we know nothing of what our Founders said on the subject.

President John Adams:

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

Do we wonder why we are having so many problems in the world today?

Anonymous said...

As a Mormon, I very much appreciate this clip and the message of unity it conveys on this topic. One thing though that I feel needs to be addressed, and forgive me if it's already been stated, but the professor got the name of our church wrong. He states 'The Church of Latter Day Saints' when it is really 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints'. Please do not forget to include the most important part of our name, Jesus Christ! Thanks again, Jordan

Anonymous said...

I am also a member of The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. You probably didn't realize that there are a lot more of us out there than previously thought. After having read ALL of the comments, I feel inclinded to "chime-in". I can't say for certain that Homosexuality is or isn't a biological trait. I don't believe it to be a "disease", but I too, agree that it is a choice as to how and with whom we choose to be attracted to. I happen to be attracked to tall skiny men with bushy mustaches. My first was Tom Selleck. My last, is my husband. Was I genetically pre-disposed to be attracked to this type of man? I don't think so. I can honestly say, "It is my choice"
And another thought. Some of your comments state that Christianity has no claim on the definition of marriage. What you fail to realize, or choose to ignor is that there are several other religions who are not christians who also support Prop 8. The Jewish faith and the Muslim faith may not believe that Christ lived on the earth over 2000 years ago, but they do believe in God or a Higher Power. It is not just a chistian issue, it is a moral issue.
And another thought. This country, the Constitution of the United States of America, and the laws that govern this land were based on the TEN COMMANDMENTS. The acts of violence and hatred that have been taken out on the LDS church and it's people have not been seen since the 1960's. We are taught to live by the Golden Rule. That is to "Treat others as you would have them treat you" Unfortunately, those opposed to Prop. 8 have forgotten that. Those who are Against Prop. 8 demand that we respect their opinions and rights, yet they refuse to extend the same respect of opionions and rights to those who do not agree with them.
One last thought. The LDS Church has been through tough times before, and I'm sure we have more trials ahead of us. Our ansestors lived through unimagineable hardships, and they came through their trials stronger in their faith. They were grateful for their trials, because they became better aquainted with God. We have seen the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in people. We choose to focus on the Good. (Including those who are Homosexual or Lesbian.) To those who stand along side of us, Thank You!. To those who oppose, we'll be seeing you around, I'm sure.

steph said...

anon: you have missed my point. It is possible for the law to be written protecting churches from performing marriages they don't wish to. Obviously they weren't protected before.

What have you witnessed first hand? Child abuse of any type is an abomination - men of boys, men of girls, women of boys or girls. Not all homosexuals have been abused as children. Not all heterosexual women or men have been abused as young girls. I am aware of men, abused as boys, who have never had any inclination towards homosexuality. I don't know any homosexuals who were but I don't doubt it has happened.

Personally I have never known or even known of any gays who thought it was "kind of cool". In fact all the homosexuals I know have had to struggle against discrimination and closet their homosexuality most of their lives. One would have to be a masochist to choose to be homosexual.

And the other anon - I admit I exaggerated but there is scientific evidence to suggest the creation of the scientific hypothesis that there are biological differences. I'm glad you are in the scientific community but your grammar needs correcting.

Anonymous said...

AMEN! Thanks for the wonderful video and for coming together to support a cause dispite religious differences.

Anonymous said...

This is a great video, although it is important to note that the proper name of the Church is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" not the "Church of Latter-day Saints".

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Steph,

I witnessed a boy who was normal and liked girls until he was abused by a boy. And then he felt he "must" be gay because it felt good, like our bodies are designed to, when touched in that way. That is what I witnessed.

Abuse is an abomination, I agree. But I was speaking of a personal circumstance that I witnessed.

I never said that all homosexuals are abused. Read my comment. I said that I feel that it is a choice for some people. For a time, in Jr. High, I actually thought I might be gay. But I didn't want that life, so I chose another life. I have been happily married for 18 years now and have never looked back.

I feel that in some cases people are following the latest fad. It IS a popular thing to do right now. They have a term - 4 year lesbian. It's girls who go to college and mess around with other girls in the dorms, and then marry a guy and live happily ever after. For it to have a term - it happens a lot. You can't tell me that genetic code dictates them to be gay for four years and then suddenly turn straight. That's ridiculous. They are just experimenting, etc.

The two men I know that left their wives and children for another man, were happy with their wives. At least for a while. They enjoyed being with women - both admitted that to me. So, I look at that and just have to feel that it was a choice for them. And how sad for their children who are in the middle of this mess.

While protection could be written in to protect churches, it hasn't been.

And that still won't keep it out of the schools. There are middle school teachers teaching about how lesbians do it with sex toys in California. I'm sorry, but that is NOT what I send my children to learn. But since gay marriage was legal at the time, she can teach that without fear of reprisal from the Government. If anyone would have tried to stop her, they would have been accused of a hate crime.

But I really don't want to debate this further.

All I want to say is how much I loved this video. How much it meant to me. How cool it is that these religions were able to put aside differences and bond together for the common good. Something I think we should do more often. ;)

steph said...

Anon: you are generalising based on one incident (were you too a child?) and feelings. You may have had identity problems - we all have them of some sort - but you would never have "chosen" to be gay. You know that. Sexual persmiscuity and "experimentation" is not homosexuals. Homosexuals who marry the opposite sex do so because of social pressures. How do you know they were "happy" before they went off with the same sex? You don't. The "two men" you know were telling the truth? If they were, they aren't homosexuals, they are bisexual.

I am well aware the law doesn't protect the churches. Instead of rewriting the law to ban gay marriage - rewrite the law to protect churches.

But if what you say is true about your education in America (whatever middle school is) it shouldn't be a consequence of "gay marriage". It doesn't happen here and the Education Department is certainly capable of dictating the school curriculum and schools can be told what not to teach. I don't see why America can't do the same. There is no need for sex education to be that explicit. what a strange country which can accuse a parent of a hate crime because they opposed the syllabus. Here, not only can someone freely object to something like this (like straight forward sex eduction), but children can be withdrawn from classes if parents object to the content. However, even in America, I doubt it would be considered a hate crime. Shops which sell that stuff are only able to be entered by those over 18 here. If it isn't the same in America, it should be and therefore "education" about it should also be only available to over 18s.

Anonymous said...

Steph,

Yes my grammar in my previous post was bad - I highlighted and deleted a segment without re-reading through it. But thanks for posting out the obvious, and focusing on something that is completely irrelevant... seems to be a growing trend.

Anyway i had a good chuckle at this comment:

"but there is scientific evidence to suggest the creation of the scientific hypothesis that there are biological differences."

Umm... OK? So there is scientific evidence that suggests the creation of a scientific hypothesis...??? That is complete gibberish. There has been studies (hypothesis) done on the matter, but NOTHING is conclusive. Their Discussion section of their published research amounts to this:

"while we found some things to suggest a commonality between homosexuality and gene expression, there is not a significant enough correlation to support the hypothesis."

What does that mean? it means that there is nothing about homosexuality and gene expression / DNA that has been proven to any degree of certainty, and nothing can be re-created to validate those claims to a point the hypothesis would be considered a theory.

All we have on the subject are assumptions and wishful thinking.

Anonymous said...

Steph,

David Parker was jailed because he asked the school not to read his kindergartner a book about 2 boys getting married. He wasn't asking them not to read the book, he was asking them just to opt his son out. And the school told him no, and when he insisted they put him in jail. He was told that he couldn't opt his child out because that would be discrimination. A year later on the anniversary of David Parker being put in jail, some first graders surrounded his son and beat the crap out of him. The son did nothing - played no part in the events. He was only guilty of having a father that didn't want him to be taught about gay marriage at school. You can read about that here:

http://www.massresistance.org/docs/parker/parker_son_incident/index.html

Our political system is corrupt. A little money changing hands to a judge or two, and they will create legislation to teach gay marriage in school.

Once it's legal, then you just can't keep it out of the schools here. Proof:

http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/164863.aspx

Here is a little of what is happening in Massachusetts:

In 2006, in the elementary school where my daughter went to Kindergarten, the parents of a third-grader were forced to take their child out of school because a man undergoing a sex-change operation and cross-dressing was being brought into class to teach the children that there are now “different kinds of families.” School officials told the mother that her complaints to the principal were considered “inappropriate behavior.”

School libraries across the state, from elementary school to high school, now have shelves of books to normalize homosexual behavior and the lifestyle in the minds of kids, some of them quite explicit and even pornographic. Parents complaints are ignored or met with hostility.

Citing “the right to marry” as one of the “important challenges” in a place where “it’s a great time to be gay”, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health helped produce The Little Black Book, Queer in the 21st Century, a hideous work of obscene pornography which was given to kids at Brookline High School on April 30, 2005. Among other things, it gives “tips” to boys on how to perform oral sex on other males, masturbate other males, and how to “safely” have someone urinate on you for sexual pleasure. It also included a directory of bars in Boston where young men meet for anonymous sex.

At my own children's high school there was a school-wide assembly to celebrate same-sex “marriage” in early December, 2003. It featured an array of speakers, including teachers at the school who announced that they would be “marrying” their same-sex partners and starting families either through adoption or artificial insemination. Literature on same-sex marriage – how it is now a normal part of society – was handed out to the students.

Within months it was brought into the middle schools. In September, 2004, an 8th-grade teacher in Brookline, MA, told National Public Radio that the marriage ruling had opened up the floodgates for teaching homosexuality. “In my mind, I know that, `OK, this is legal now.' If somebody wants to challenge me, I'll say, `Give me a break. It's legal now,'” she told NPR. She added that she now discusses gay sex with her students as explicitly as she desires. For example, she said she tells the kids that lesbians can have vaginal intercourse using sex toys.

These events I listed, they all happened. They aren't something I've made up. They really happened.

I send my children to school to learn math and reading and writing. I don't send them to school to go to assemblies about gay marriage and sex changes, or being given literature about where to meet people for a one night stand. It's sickening what the schools are doing in Massachusetts.

Thank heavens my kids are older, but I told my daughter that by the time she is having children, she will probably need to consider home schooling.

Again, what you say sounds reasonable, but it isn't what is happening here. You simply cannot compare your society to ours. They are not the same.

My friend from England and I were talking about gun bans. She was saying that because gun bans worked in England, they will work here. I looked at her and said that our society isn't quite like theirs. They might accept gun bans, a lot of Americans won't. I mentioned prohibition and talked about how when the Government tried to ban alcohol, consumption went up. Americans simply don't like being told what to do. lol She started laughing and had to agree with me. She said that our whole country was founded on the notion that we didn't want to be told what to do - so we found a new place to live! We are not the English. I don't know what country you are from, but it's not our country. You can't compare your society to ours and expect the same things to work the same.

You have your opinion, I have mine. I really would like to encourage you to step outside your knowledge of your society and research what has happened here before you continue to debate. It's obviously different than what is going on in our country. You simply can't debate American issues based on another countries situation.

But just to clear up, I was not abused by the same sex person. That incident I referred to was actually my friends child.

Anonymous said...

As a life-long member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I not only applaud your spirtitually uplifting message, but sincerely thank you for your support.

The LDS church is NOT attempting to deny anyone their rights by passing Prop 8, as you show in your message, but rather the opposite, we are simply trying to preserve our rights (and the rights of every other religious affiliation) to worship as it says in our Articles of Faith "How, where and what they may."

We appreciate your support and stand together with you as we work toward allowing all religous orgazinations to contiue to particpate in that which makes us truly American, the ability to participate in religious freedom.

Alison said...

Thank you so very much for taking the time and necessary resources to defend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS Church) after weeks of severe persecution from those disappointed with the vote results of Prop 8. Not only is false information being spread about the church as a whole as well as its members, people are reacting with hatred that is truly disappointing.

My deepest gratitude goes to you and all of those who stand up for preserving the definition of traditional marriage even when it is "unpopular" to do so and to work to preserve religious freedom which is the founding principle of this country. It is a true testament of your admirable character. Thank you!

mommaquincy said...

Great job! Thanks for standing up for what's right! Hopefully you've made the battle easier for us in other states!

steph said...

Anon - there is nothing wrong with gay marriage. There is everything wrong with your law system and education system. I give up on America. You have too many on the Christian right versus too many on a radical left, stomping on the middle ground. I don't care about all your history and all your examples. The existing laws need to be rewritten. If you have the power to change a law to suit the Christian right, you should have the power to rewrite the law to protect the Christian right but accommodate gays who want to get married.

Anon: I'm glad I made you chuckle - you made me chuckle too. Your grammar still needs correcting and it's the same mistake. 'There have been studies' not 'has been'. And wrong - we don't just have assumptions and wishful thinking. We have hypotheses as the result of inter disciplinary studies.

steph said...

I really would like to encourage you to step outside your knowledge of your society and research what has happened here before you continue to debate.

Now that made me chuckle. I love the patronising attitude of the Christian right. Actually I do know some of the history of this debate in America including the injustices that have been committed against those who opposed the gay marriage law. My "society" exists in three countries where I have lived, England, New Zealand and Australia, but that hasn't prevented me from listening, reading and talking over the years. Perhaps unlike many Americans who seem to assume that one wouldn't know much about any country other than one's own, here in the Commonwealth, we take a keen interest in societies other than our own.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, they are truly appreciated. I did notice however that two words were left out of the true name of the church, they were our Savior's name. The name of the church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The name is very important. Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

Steph,

Sigh… Ad Hominem? Wonder fallacy argument, do you use it much?

“Has” instead of “have”? Now you really are grasping at straws, aren’t you? I’d rather be guilty of a few insignificant grammatical errors, rather then being guilty of hopeless ignorance.

Now back to the topic…

You obviously are confused, and have no idea what a scientific hypothesis is. A scientific hypothesis is:

“A tentative explanation for an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further investigation.”

A hypothesis is a TENTATIVE explanation for an observation. Nothing more. Let me repeat that, TENTATIVE. Meaning, not definite or positive. You portray a hypothesis as positive evidence. It is not.

You say, “We have hypotheses as the result of inter disciplinary studies”. So we have educated guesses, tentative explanations of studies pertaining to correlations between homosexuality and DNA? So what? And what did those studies reveal about their hypotheses? They revealed that there was not a significant difference between those genes of a homosexual to those of a heterosexual, correlating to homosexual behavior. Therefore their hypotheses WERE REJECTED. R E J E C T E D! That means that their tentative explanations on a supposed homosexual DNA were proven wrong. Do you understand? I’m trying to make this as clear and as simple as possible, so that you do not continue to perpetuate your ignorance on this matter to others.

Anonymous said...

I just wish to thank everyone for their comments! The bigotry that has come as a result of the vote on prop 8 has been mind-boggling and very disheartening. Even more disheartening is reading the Constitution, along with George Washington's comments on it's purpose and meaning, and taking a long hard look at society's relationship to such. It is practically non-existent.

This is a country founded upon religious ideals. Granted, the separation of church and state is key. This is one reason I wish for the tax exemption status for the LDS church to continue! Were the LDS church to lose it's tax exempt status, they could then endorse a particular political candidate, but as a tax exempt organization, they can not endorse as such.

Now, to Steph and any other person speaking of homosexuality being "biological" or any other such nonsense: I recently watched a presentation by a man named Charles Diviney. The subject of his presentation was "Domestic Violence in GLBT Relationships." This presentation noted that in three polls taken, an average of 46% of all GLBT couple had some form of domestic violence (e.g. verbal, emotional, physical), and that this percentage does NOT represent the various GLBT relationships with domestic violence, in which the violence is not reported for fear of coming out of the closet. What do these statistics tell us? Two people of the same dominant hormone do NOT belong in a relationship together. We are not meant to live as such. We ARE meant to live in a setting that can bring us happiness, and allow us to continue nature's cycle of procreation.

I have beliefs of my own, one being that my hardline christian values go along much better with a constitution written with an underlying christian, moral code, than the values of those currently attacking said values. It is unconstitutional to force a certain belief on one who opposes said certain belief, stripping essential democratic rights. The democratic and legal rights pertaining to marriage are offered to GLBT couples, but the institution of marriage that has been as it is for millenia is not.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and greatly appreciate the comments, support, brotherly attitudes and love being shown by those not of my faith. THANK YOU!

Kelly said...

Bravo to our brother in the Catholic faith! Thank you for standing up for all of us who believed that this measure should be passed. What a beautiful example of standing together in a righteous cause!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the video, it was beautiful. God bless.

Jim said...

Thanks for the video. Nicely done, - Your Mormon brother.

steph said...

More patronising ad hominen again - "grasping at straws", "hopeless ignorance"? Perhaps you need to take a look at yourself. "Wonder fallacy argument" indeed. An hypothesis as an assertion subject to verification or proof, and it is falsifiable. Hypotheses are not always about genes, anon. The hypotheses have not been disproved. "I’m trying to make this as clear and as simple as possible, so that you do not continue to perpetuate your ignorance on this matter to others."

The other anon, I'm sure it was a very exciting documentary which confirmed a belief in the majority of its audience. However quite frankly I don't believe the figures. In any case are you inferring that domestic violence doesn't occur in heterosexual relationships? Wake up, it happens all the time. Does it mean that these heterosexual couples should be with their own sex instead? I call it "nonsense".

It's pointless discussing this which those having such strong religious prejudices despite the fact that Jesus didn't even mention it.

Anonymous said...

Steph,

Your arguments consist of pointing out insignificant grammatical errors, and simply repeating other’s statements that you do not agree with. That kind of behavior is childish at best.

What happens when someone’s hypothesis does not have enough of a significant difference to support it? It is rejected. This is what has happened in every case concerning any connection between homosexual behavior and DNA.

“Hypotheses are not always about genes”. Obviously – what is your point, again? But when it comes to biology, and thereby using biology to validity a claim, gene expression is everything.

The fact that you refuse to accept that fact provides evidence that you have an agenda in where facts serve no value. People need to be aware of this kind of behavior before they consider any of your claims to be reliable and/or trustworthy.

steph said...

Childish? Your patronising responses are hilarious. We all have agendas, but as I said it's pointless discussing this with people who have strong religious prejudices. Thank God for the people who aren't strongly biased against diversity. Human beings aren't all the same, and neither are penguins. I have to wonder what studies your biased conclusions are based on.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the kind of behavior you are exhibiting – changing the subject, pointing out irrelevant issues (such as grammatical errors), not acknowledging scientifically published facts (in affect putting your hands over your ears and saying out loud, “I’m not listening, I’m not listening!”), and just simply repeating what others have said, is indeed very childish.

The studies that I’m referring to, concerning a commonality between homosexual behavior and DNA, are those published in the major scientific journals. I’m sorry they are not those found in the newsstand magazines.

But I digress… it is indeed “pointless” discussing this to people who cannot accept NUMEROUS published scientific proof on the subject. But it doesn’t stop here, you use the same science that rejected the hypotheses that there was a commonality between homosexual behavior and DNA, and say that there is proof for just the opposite. That is deceptive and completely dishonest.

steph said...

My comment on your grammar was a joke attached to the end of my response. It was not "changing the subject". You say "such as" when in fact I haven't once changed the subject. Generally you quote what someone has said in order to make it clear what you are responding to. I have not said there is "proof" for just the opposite at all. I said there is evidence to suggest otherwise. In fact the studies that support your assertions are not universally accepted in the academic community - they are not "proved". I work in a university and I don't visit newstands - just libraries, which have journals from all disciplines. I am not in "Effect" putting my hands over my ears. I have in effect heard and listened to you arrogant assertions.

I do wonder though, seeing you think you are someone of some importance, why you hide your identity. (note that this is an attachment to my response:-)

Monica said...

Thank you for your inspired words! I pray that we can all continue to be lights in the darkness!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Thank you for doing this video! Thank you for standing side by side with us, The members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and all others who fought hard to get this passed! I have watched other ads by your church that were wonderful and I commend you all for your work and efforts to get this passed!

To Steph-
Let it rest, It is obvious that you will not change Anon's mind on this and he will not change yours. I tend to agree having read all of your comments and his that you do a run-around and grasp at straws.... but that it your right.

Anonymous said...

Ah - that's because you disagree with me. You already have firm beliefs. :-)

steph said...

that was steph, not any of the anons.

Adam said...

"Anon - there is nothing wrong with gay marriage."

steph, yes there is. Giving homosexuals a pass to marriage is condoning homosexual behavior, more particularly it is condoning the sexual act(s) that manifest in homosexual behavior. Are you going to sit there and say religions are "wrong" for taking a stance on this? By whose standards are you judging? Your own? The gay agenda's? You're just as guilty as anyone of prejudice if you condone the state's mandate to deny a religion's moral stand as legitimate.

Religions like the LDS faith are not going to stand by and allow a blatant sanctioning of homosexuality. It's just not going to happen. It's not about hate or bigotry, it's about morality and what religions believe morality to be--same as the fact that religions wouldn't stand for the condoning of pre- or extra-marital sexual activity of any kind.

Ruthie Girl said...

Thank you for your video. As you are probably aware, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, like other Christians, have endured persecution for many years. It is just another outlet of the devil. I am LDS, and I am grateful for this opportunity to bond with all my Christian brothers and sisters.

Keep up the good work. Spread the love of Jesus and positive moral qualities.

Lee said...

This video is wonderful. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Since this issue is so controversial, it sounds like the best solution is to dissolve civil 'marriage' entirely. That way, gay and straight people will have EQUAL rights. Religious ceremonies will still, and have never been in endangered by the way, of losing their discretion to marry whomever they choose within their chruch.

I do have to say that many of the commentators are quite eloquent, but lie after countless lie about Pop 8 has been told and re-hashed over and over. It seems if many of you were true christians, youd be quite worried. After all, lying is a sin and one of the tenth commandments last time I checked!

steph said...

The Bible was used to condone war and slavery and it is being used to condemn homosexuals. Not all religions condemn homosexuality and nor do all Christians. In fact Jesus didn't either.

Of course I'm not expecting to change anyone's opinion on this. While you represent a majority in America, as well as other conservatively Christian, Muslim and Jewish countries, you represent a minority in the rest of the world. My standards reflect the standards of a multi cultural secular society.

Personally I think it's immoral to lend people money at interest and even worse to lend it to people who can't pay it back, it's immoral not to give to the poor if you can, it's immoral to drive a car with no passengers, it's immoral to waste water, cut down trees without replacing them and not recycle rubbish and a multitude of other sins which destroy our environment but there are no laws about those things in America.

I do think the anti marriage law is about hate and bigotry based on religious ideals but it is the view of your majority so you can celebrate because it doesn't matter what the rest think. That's how democracy works.

Thanks for the civilised discussion and best wishes.

Anonymous said...

My comment on your grammar was a joke attached to the end of my response. It was not "changing the subject". You say "such as" when in fact I haven't once changed the subject.

Whatever. It was still irrelevant and childish, and served no point.

Generally you quote what someone has said in order to make it clear what you are responding to.

Yes i do. You do not. All you did was quote me without adding anything else yourself. Very tactful.

I have not said there is "proof" for just the opposite at all. I said there is evidence to suggest otherwise.

It [homosexuality] is a basic biological fact. Correct me if i'm mistaken, but i believe i just quoted you word for word. It looks like you said there was indeed just that, "proof". And the "evidence" that you speak of, that would suggest otherwise, was rejected. So no, there currently is no credible evidence.

In fact the studies that support your assertions are not universally accepted in the academic community - they are not "proved". I work in a university and I don't visit newstands - just libraries, which have journals from all disciplines.

They are universally accepted in the SCIENTIFIC community. And while it is by a long shot not a closed case, the evidence that has been brought forth have been rejected.

And you neither 'prove' or 'disprove' a hypothesis. You either reject it or not. For someone who "works" for the university, whatever that means, i would have thought you would be familiar with the basics of the scientific method.

I am not in "Effect" putting my hands over my ears. I have in effect heard and listened to you arrogant assertions.

You may have read what i wrote, but you still are too arrogant to accept the scientific communities published findings. Of which i'll never understand.

I do wonder though, seeing you think you are someone of some importance, why you hide your identity. (note that this is an attachment to my response:-)

I just didn't want to take the time to register. Simple as that. So keep on assuming, if you must. Besides it's not like you have given any information about yourself (with the recent exception that you work at a university). All we know about you is that you use the name, "steph". All right then, you can call me "rich". Is that better?

I'm not claiming anything to the likes, all i'm claiming is that you are 100% dead wrong on your claim that homosexual behavior "is a basic biological fact".

Kurt said...

Just to add a little about the presentation I saw: The presenter himself was gay, and the presentation was given at the F.E.M. (feminist empowerment movement) conference. A good percentage of the crowd was gay, and my reference is only stating what I believe is shown by that presentation. Really, what the presentation sought to explain, was that the state had only three shelters that accepted male victims, making it very difficult for gay victims in abusive relationships to seek help.

steph said...

Anon: Whoops - I didn't mean fact. A thousand apologies. However it's a shame you condescend to attacking me with insults. Never mind, it's too petty to bother me. I'm not seeking to change your mind - we each are very convinced by our beliefs. I returned to university to do a second degree in religions in my late thirties (previously I did education and music) and did post graduate studies in NZ. I was then offered scholarships at three universities - two in the UK and my NZ university where I graduated. I chose one of the UK universities and am completing my thesis in Aramaic sources of the NT, specifically debunking "Q". I was named Stephanie Louise by my mother when I was born. One of the first commenters here knows me well and so do several biblical bloggers.

steph said...

Here is one astute Christian Grandma - I visit her blog. Of course there are others, Christian biblical scholars, whose blogs support gay marriage and defend homosexuality. Drew Tatusko blogs frequently on these topics at the moment.

But in case you're interested, here is the wonderful Grandmere Mimi:

http://thewoundedbird.blogspot.com/2008/11/loving-v-virginia-and-gay-marriage.html

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this video. I can't tell you what it means to me to see a video produced by a Catholic speaking so well of a "Mormon." We do have such an important work to do together and I feel honored to work along side so many of our other Christian brothers and sisters. I really liked the scripture about the light shining in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not. That is exactly what is happening. Thanks again.

Adam said...

"The Bible was used to condone war and slavery and it is being used to condemn homosexuals. Not all religions condemn homosexuality and nor do all Christians. In fact Jesus didn't either."

Who said anything about the Bible? We're talking about certain religions' stand on homosexual behavior. Religions throughout history have used God and the Bible to do a lot of terrible things, but that doesn't mean everything they do is equally terrible. I know you must realize that. God-fearing people make big mistakes, just as atheists do. That has nothing to do with whether or not homosexual behavior is immoral, and no one can say definitively if it is or not without appealing to an authority that is unprovable on each side.

Again, Catholics and the LDS church will oppose legislative measures that force acceptance of immoral behavior. Why wouldn't they? What's the point of a religion even existing if it doesn't stand for something?

Anyway, as for the other stuff, you and so many others always say things like "homosexuality is a biological fact," when such statements are patently untrue. Biology has no conclusive explanation for homosexuality. The best we've come up with is that biology produces TENDENCIES towards certain behavior that are either strengthened or weakened by factors in the environment as well as the choice of the individual.

To even imply that homosexuals are born without a choice of any kind is the worst kind of 18th century, backwards, consequence-deflecting determinism. It is, in fact, the exact kind of thinking that God and the LDS faithful vehemently oppose--namely that we are not in control of our actions and our actions have no bearing on the status of our eternal welfare. You want to talk about scientifically proven facts? Free will is one of the very few.

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

to Steph-
"it's immoral to drive a car with no passengers"
What the heck?! Ok, so in your opinion, since I live where it frequently drops to -20 {and colder} in the winter and I have to go out to work or the grocery story alone in my car it is immoral to drive my vehicle without passengers! You are off your rocker!
"Not all religions condemn homosexuality and nor do all Christians. In fact Jesus didn't either."
Um, have you read the bible? Did you miss the part when He destroyed two whole cities namely Sodom and Gomorra? Um did ya know they were destroyed because of the sexual sin of homosexuality?
I rest my case! And I repeat we are each set in our own beliefs! Everyone is allowed their beliefs and the right to live how they choose. I don't want someone else's beliefs forced on me or my family. I don't force my beliefs on others I want the same courtesy.

Missy said...

I would like to personally thank you for your support and the wonderful video that you made. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I appreciate the respect you show to all faiths.

Jennifer and Carson Brown said...

"Tolerance" is the new guise intended to destroy freedoms. I have the right not to be "tolerant" of porn for my kids, a lover for my spouse, a thief in my home, or a government in my religion. Redefining marriage would force religions to act against their faith by marrying same-sex couples. It would also force schools to teach this form of sex & marriage beginning in Kindergarten regardless of teachers' beliefs. This overriding of faith goes against why our country was founded in the first place, and why it remains great. To take away fundamental freedoms from many under the guise of granting freedom to few is the type of thing everyone in this country should be aware of. Congratulations to all religions who joined together to protect the family and may I encourage you all to do it again if circumstance requires.

steph said...

Carrie and Troy: thank you for your courteous response. Have you read the original story of Sodom and Gomorra? I rest my case. Have we always depended on cars? Have I forced my beliefs on you or said we aren't entitled to our own beliefs? I think I inferred otherwise in some of my previous responses. Have you shown me any courtesy? I don't think so.

LLB said...

Steph,
Do you really want us to show you some courtesy?
I really don't think so; because then you wouldn't be able to continue your debate.
I think that you are not being very courteous, telling all of us "people of religion" that we are uneducated, close minded bigots.
You keep criticizing our beliefs and the beliefs that our country was originally founded upon.
If the way that we believe is so wrong, then go home.
No one is making you stay here.
And the Bible may not say that Jesus didn't condemn homosexuality but it does not say that he accepted it either.
Don't try to make us believe that he did.
Did Jesus love everyone regardless of their color, race, culture, religion, sexual preferences, education (or lack there of) or whatever their issues might be?
Of course he did!!!
"Love one another".
That was the whole basis of his ministry.
What all of us "people of religion" are trying to tell you, is that we really do love everyone; we just may not agree and will not accept a lifestyle that contradicts our beliefs.
And we should not be forced to.
Oh! and your educational resume was quite impressive; but I didn't see any kind of a degree in science, biology, chemistry, etc. (do you get where I am going with this, you should with all your education).

steph said...

Hello LLB

I don't "want" your courtesy, I'm just commenting on some of the previous comments' lack of it. I don't want to continue the "debate" either, I'm just responding to criticism of my opinions and me personally. I have not called "all of" you uneducated, close minded bigots. However I was attacked as being "hopelessly ignorant".

America was founded on Christian principles but not specifically on all of the beliefs expressed here. The constitution also specifies the separation of church and state. I can't remember the article number but I have read the extract and seen it published on various sources including at least both those blog sites I mentioned above (Prof) Drew Tatusko and Grandmere Mimi and I'm pretty sure James McGrath was another.

I don't believe Christianity is "wrong" and I'm sure you can defend and explain your beliefs in the face of criticism especially if you read Matt 28:19-20 in that context.

That is very true: Jesus didn't mention homosexuality but I am NOT trying to "make you believe" that he condoned it. I said he didn't condemn it - I should have mentioned that he didn't mention it but I thought that would be obvious.

I absolutely agree with you about Jesus' ministry - that was a large part of his ministry (I think the emphasis though was on bringing people back to God - "return to God" being the likely Aramaic for the Greek "repent" which has no Aramaic equivalent).

I am well aware of the limitations of my education thank you but I do know the difference between hypothesis and fact. These also exist in my discipline, including my current area of research, the various hypothetical solutions to the Synoptic problem where much is claimed to be established "fact".

I appreciate what you are trying to tell me, but I have not received that message from everyone here. I am not anti religious as you seem to infer. Religion is good as I also have mentioned above. Today my Ratana friend, Mana, is taking me to his Ratana Church. It is a Christian Church founded by a Maori 'prophet' Ratana who transmitted Christianity into a way Maori could relate to when Christianity was first brought to his tribe back in 1928 (New Zealand was colonised in the 1800s).

Have a nice day.

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

llb-
Thank you!

J said...

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I wish to extend my gratitude and appreciation for the video.

Despite the theological differences among the various faiths, Prop 8 has demonstrated that these faiths can work together and be a force for good in society.

I am proud to stand with Catholics, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs and Buddhists who worked hard to do the right thing in this election.

Let us continue to build a bridge of friendship, understanding and unity among the various faiths because it will be needed now and in the future.

Thank you for making this video!

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael and Brant,

Thank you for this thoughtful video. I completely agree with you on this issue, and your video is persuasive and helpful to our common cause.

I have one urgent request, however: please use the full name of our church! You referred to my church by leaving out the most important part of our name. It is emphatically _not_ the "Church of Latter-day Saints." I know it is convenient to shorten it, and LDS or Mormon have come to be accepted short names, but please always observe the basic courtesy of using the full name at least once when referring to our church: "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

This is a matter of utmost importance to us, since we worship God, believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, and always pray in the name of Christ. (Of course, we can agree to disagree on the details of your Nicean Creed).

Sincerely,
Philip Nelson

Jon said...

I've read many forums and many posts regarding this issue, both for Prop 8 and against. The views that I've read here have for the most part been well-reasoned and well stated. Thanks everyone for helping me to resolve this issue in my own mind.

seamus said...

I thought the ad hysterical and anyone with half a brain could understand the satire involved. The ad points to a larger reality where what it describes has now in fact occurred. Never before have rights acknowledged by the Court under the equal protection clause been stripped away by a coalition of religious bigots whose intent and heterosexist agenda is to enshrine their religious doctrine in the Constitution.

It is beyond embarassing so self evident the lie in the attempt by the Catholic bishops to characterize the undermining of the equal protection clause of the Constitution as not directed at same sex couples and the presently 13000 children of those unions. It is equally fatuous of them to insist that the opposition play nice and accept the tyranny of the majority and its injustice. And it is in utter contempt of the truth for the Catholic bishops to label as bigots those protesting the churches that acted as political action comittees, when far from being the aggrieved party they are the oppressors.

In giving so much material support for the passage of Prop 8 without giving pause to reflect on the astonishing elevation of the right to marry as a basic human right and subject to the close scrunity level of protection of the equal protection clause, the Mormon and Roman Catholic leadership has participatied in a divisive undermining of the authority of the Court and in imposing a tyranny of the majority that eviserates the equal protection clause for all Californians.

Pope Benedict said “The union of love, based on matrimony between a man and a woman, which makes up the family, represents a good for all society that can not be substituted by, confused with, or compared to other types of unions,”
The pope also spoke of the inalienable rights of the traditional family, “founded on matrimony between a man and a woman, to be the natural cradle of human life”.

What is so interesting in the California Supreme Court’s reasoning is its defense of the familial aspect of same sex marriages. If the Pope wants to conflate Catholic theology and secular law, he would be wise to read the Court’s concern for the families of same sex unions. The cradle for adopted, neglected or abandonned children,is found in all unions, including same sex and is more in keeping with sacramental theology where all, through Christ, become the adopted children of God.
Ironic that a secular Court has so much to teach the churches in this regard , who are increasingly identifying themselves as the last refuge of bigotry.

seamus said...

The merits of civil unions vs marriage can be debated endlessly as mere semantics but I believe that the Court's reasoning speaks to the facts of the families of same sex as to wheter there shall be equal or separarte treatment in law. Whereas the Mormon and Catholic churches wish to impose this distinction the Court, I believe rightly, finds that such distinctions (separate but equal) under the equal protection clause must be rejected.Furthermore it is an egregious overreach by the Catholic as well as the Mormon chorches that undermines our Constitution which respects religious diversity and helps define the proper roles accorded to religions and civil society.
It is only explicable by an unreasonable bigotry that would go to any length to deny gays and lesbians and their families the inherent rights so eloquently enunciated by the California Supreme Court. Rejection of the court’s arguments puts at risk all Californians the protections afforded under the equal protection clause.

LLB said...

First of all Seamus... Whatever.
You write a beautifully worded speech but this isn't a college report that you are hoping to get an A on. (if you were hoping for an A, you might want to try using spell check next time)
It is a freaking blog where people are expressing their feelings. Sheesh!
Anyway, as hard as it might be to acknowledge; there were a lot of other religions (and non-religious groups) besides the Catholics and the Mormons who fought for Prop 8, but blame who you feel you must.
There always has to be somebody to blame, right?
So if it makes you feel any better, go ahead and blame the Catholics and the Mormons.
No one has taken away any of your rights.
In many ways you have more rights then we do.
You are trying to make it seem like you are so much more picked on then you really are.
Get over it!!!
And get on with your life.
Be happy with what you have.
Things could be so much worse for you.
Oh, and this California Supreme Court that you speak so highly of;
aren't they the ones that ruled that we no longer need the Pledge of Allegiance because it infrigned on the rights of those who don't believe in God?
That's what I thought.

LLB said...

Oh sorry, "infringed".
Should have used my spell check. ha ha
Good thing I am not shooting for an A.

steph said...

Sarcasm is very childish LLB. Aren't you capable of anything better? What Seamus says is quite straight forward. Maybe eloquence is not what you're used to but there is no need to be sarcastic. He's merely expressing his feelings too. I'm sure he's aware that there were alot of religions represented in the anti gay vote but I'm fairly certain that all the supporters on this thread are Christian. I am grateful though that not all religious people agree with you.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is, in this time of a political stomach ache, Its nice to know that there are other people who are out there who Support the LDS church. So thank you for those who put in the effort and time in this video.
-LDS in Utah

Anonymous said...

As a member of the LDS church, I am deeply grateful to see things like this published on the web. Thank you to all who were involved in this project.

Mike and Trudy Thompson-One Family's Opinions said...

Religious people are the ones who are being discriminated against, not the gays. I have never, in my life, seen so much hate and viciousness directed at anyone as I have at Mormons, Catholics and other religious groups. You preach tolerance until you do not like what is going on. The California Supreme Court overstepped its bounds when it made its ruling on gay marriage. It is time the people told the Court they have had enough, which is what they did. We are tired of their tyranny and their dismissing the people as mere paupers who do not deserve to be listened to.

steph said...

While it's quite right to condemn the anti religious bigotry of a certain radical component of the Prop 8 campaign, while they are the loudest part unfortunately, my understanding is they definitely don't represent the majority of those who support gay marriage, which is offended by and resentful of this bunch of bigots. There is, to be fair, a certain extreme component of the anti gay marriage group, who are equally loud and hateful, but they too do not represent a majority.

Also nobody seems to have dealt with the fact that while forcing photographers, churches and doctors, to fulfill the requests of gay couples is absolutely wrong, it is not a reason to refuse gays the institution of marriage with the assistance of willing photographers, churches and doctors, as the article seems to suggest. The solution is to change the law so that it ensures that nobody can be forced or persuaded to participate and that nobody can be prospecuted if they refuse. That is crazy - I don't know anywhere else in the world where the law allows such people to be prosecuted under the guise of religious bigotry or persecution of gays of whatever.

Personally I don't see why gays do want to marry in a church which largely condemns their unions, but I know plenty of Christian gays. I also have met a lesbian church minister who is happy to perform such unions, so I see no problem with this.

Best wishes.

Mike and Trudy Thompson-One Family's Opinions said...

You may not see a problem with it, but I do. This nation was founded on Christian principles, whether you or others want to believe it or not. John Adams, our Second President and a leader in the Constitutional Convention said this: "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." Maybe we should already know why we are having so many problems in this nation.

The Lord dealt with gays differently than I would He just wiped them from the face of the earth, as in Sodom and Gomorrah. Do you not remember your scriptures? I am sure Catholics teach the Bible as well. And, it is the word of God.

Marriage is ordained of God as between one man and one woman. That is not hate. That is a mere fact.

steph said...

Mike and Trudy: You say "that is a mere fact". In fact, it is a mere belief. The American constitution clearly articulated the separation of church and state. Non religious people still have morals - they are a "moral people". Aside from the condescending "do you remember your scriptures", the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is not about homosexuality. It is about prostitution. Even Christians interpret "the word of God" differently. In fact the idea that the Bible is "the word of God" is interpreted differently too and can be a completely human and fallible collection of writings.

Mike and Trudy Thompson-One Family's Opinions said...

The American Constitution did not articulate, as you say, the separation of Church and State. The First Amendment, read it my friend, tells us that government is restricted from impinging upon religion. During the debates to ratify our Constitution, the only way it was ratified is because of the sermons of the Christian Clergy in this nation to the flocks. We would not even have our Constitution without our Christian Clergy.

And, the separation most people refer to was a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists who were afraid the State of Connecticut was going to make the Congregational Church that State Church for Connecticut. We do not want or need a State Church in this nation.

But, there is a big difference in that and in the moral foundation upon which this nation was founded and the words of John Adams: "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

And, each of us has our agency to choose to do what we feel is right, but we all must realize that no matter how much we argue for these liberal doctrines you speak of, if, at the day we meet our Lord, they are incorrect, that each of us has to stand there and account for what we did with the spirit, the gifts, the life the Lord has given us. One thing the LDS believe, and it is in the Doctrine and Covenants, which they consider scripture, is D&C 134:1, where it says, "We believe governments were established by God for the benefit of man and that He holds men accountable for their acts in relation to government, both in making and administering the law, for the good and safety of society." In other words, we will not escape, we will be held accountable as to whether or not we were valiant in our testimonies of the Lord and whether or not we stood up for the right or just tried to placate that which is evil. We have done the same with abortion. As mother Teresa told Bob Dornan one time, "How can America expect the blessings of the Lord when you kill the children of God?" Yet, Catholics voted for the most radical, proabortion candidate we have ever had in America. That is a slap in the face at what a Catholic says they believe in. The same with a Mormon. Their Church campaigned like no other on the gay marriage issue, and yet many many Mormons voted for Obama. How? It just does not equate and we have not yet learned how to apply the teachings and principles of the Lord's truth to our daily lives, but feel we can leave our faith at the church house door on Sunday and then screw everyone we want to during the week and all will be fine again when we go to Church again the next Sunday. I just do not think it works that way. Why do we say we are Christians if that is what we believe? It certainly is not Christian to not emulate the Lord.

Anyway, God bless you. We are simply not going to agree on this subject. We should look for things we do agree on and work for the betterment of society from that foundation.

steph said...

Thank you for your respectful reply. I am not quite sure of your point though - you seem to suggest that your church has the authority to control the decisions of the state, like a theocracy almost. I am neither a Christian nor a militant atheist but my studies have been in world religions and my phd is an investigation of Aramaic sources of the synoptic gospels (debunking "Q") looking at the historical Jesus. I respect all religions and the rights of people to believe in different things. Personally I think it wrong to impose those beliefs on others. However I am grateful I do not live in America - indeed I only have to visit for 2 hour stopovers on route - as I live a long way away where our constitution's purpose is to celebrate diversity and encourage tolerance and compassion. Homosexuals can live freely here and so can churches. If a church doesn't want to celebrate a union, they can go elsewhere.

I don't agee with your hard line view of abortion. We allow abortion here with restrictions. If abortion is 'murder', so is allowing a mother to die.

I don't think we agree on much, probably not even that Jesus called the wayward people (non law observant Jews) to return (Aramaic 'tuv' later translated into Greek as repent, in view of the inclusion of Gentiles)to God. However I'm sure we agree that Jesus certainly said "love your enemies", "turn the other cheek", "give everything to the poor" and "give to Caear what is Caesar's and to God what is God's".

Thank you for you blessing. God bless you too.

Mike and Trudy Thompson-One Family's Opinions said...

Steph, I think you misinterpret what I said. Any religion, if you say you believe in it, has to be adhered to or it is of no use. And, the Savior will work it all out on judgment day. We do not try to control the state. We have certain beliefs we say we believe in. Like in any other religion, if you do not adhere to them, why are you a member of that particular church?

I grew up a Lutheran in California, was going to be a Pastor, but found my peace elsewhere. My parents did not. They were having marital problems and I went back to see my Lutheran Pastor. All was fine until I told him I had joined the LDS Church. Then he got up from his desk and said leave, take your family with you, we do not need them. He would not even shake my hand when I left.

Anyway, there are certain principles upon which our faith is based and we need to apply those principles in our daily life. During this last election I listened a lot of EWTN, which is a Catholic TV station here. I learned and lot and thank them for that. I was so pleased to hear one of my favorite people, Former Senator Rick Santorum and his thoughts on the degradation we are going through right now. One thing said, which is very basic and very important is this: All rights stem from one right, that is the right to life. If you do not have that right, no other right will ever attach as there will be nothing for it to attach to. Basic, but true.

As far as a woman and an abortion, in most cases it was her choice to be promiscuous which is contrary to faith. The man is also to blame, not just her, but I do not believe like Barak Obama told us, that he believes it is a punishment. How can any good person ever say a gift of God is a punishment? And, do we really expect to escape the wrath of God because we wanted things to be different than what God wanted them to be?

Joseph Smith, the prophet of the restoration said: "Teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves." That is what any Church should do. After all, it is our choice of whom we will follow God or Satan.

We also teach though that We claim the privilege of worshiping almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and afford everyone the right to do the same. Let them worship who or what they may.

And, we believe that we are subject to kings, presidents, etc., and in obeying, upholding and sustaining the laws of the land in which we live.

However, that does not mean we sit here and do nothing, staring off in wondering awe at things which will be in the future. We believe "faith without works is dead." Meaning, get up and do something. If you do not agree with a law, get involved and change it. And, that is what I choose to do. And, I have come to the point where, though not a Catholic, I prefer to vote for a "believing" Catholic as they are strong and will do what is right. And, in our nation, because of Mike Huckabee and his followers, we have been relegated to the back of the bus. We can be involved as long as we do not want to be the leaders, as seen in what they did to Mitt Romney in this last election. So, I now choose to vote for a good catholic who runs first, as I cannot vote for someone who has no respect for me.

steph said...

I'm not sure what your point is on abortion. You had mentioned it, I had responded saying I didn't agree with your hard line view. That doesn't mean I condone abortion used freely like a post contraceptive. I just don't think it right to reject the idea in situations of danger to life, rape, incest and such like. And that pregnancy is a 'gift of God' is your religious interpretation. I don't even see anywhere in the Bible that says unwanted pregancies are a 'gift of God'.

I'm not really sure about the rest of your comment either. There is lots of division within Christianity and even within Catholicism, over interpretation and the 'right' way and sadly, alot of antagonism between denominations, some even believing that the others will burn in hell for believing wrong. You seem surprised that people can possibly believe differently from you.

When I vote, I don't vote for someone because they are good agnostics. In fact the faith of candidates is never an issue in this country. I vote according to whether I trust that they will help the country and environment, look after the poor, elderly and disabled, and keep us out of foreign wars.

Mike and Trudy Thompson-One Family's Opinions said...

And, that is fine for your country. This country was founded on a belief in God and is "one nation under God." That is different than others, relying on God in our daily lives. And, each of us has that spirit within us which enlightens us and helps us in our decisions. It is wrong, if you are a believer, to not include that spirit in the decisions you are making. That is all I am saying. And, I do believe strongly that God answers prayers and that the Holy Spirit guides and directs us, can be our constant companion if we live by the precepts of the gospel. All I am talking about are basic principles, which for the most part, the world seems to have forgotten. As far as an exception for the life of the mother, I do not disagree with you, however, who is going to decide, a doctor who is not a believer, one who does not believe in miracles, one who has not faith? None of us should be in such a place where we trust someone who is not a believer to for our care, learning, understanding, etc. We should not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. We should love and respect everyone, but we also have to choose for ourselves whom we will serve.

okbushmans said...

Just a few points.
First, the religious institutions which were involved with Proposition 8, including the Catholics and the LDS Church, expressed their opinions which are granted to them through the First Amendment, by urging their members to get involved through a SEPARATE coalition. The Catholic Church, Mormon Church, Methodist Church did NOT donate money as an organization. Their members donated to a SEPARATE coalition, and volunteered through a SEPARATE coalition. I highlighted SEPARATE because the issue of 'separating Church and State' has been sighted. Which Freedom of Religion is in the 1st Amendment, yet the phrase 'separation of Church and State' is originally found in Jefferson's papers. That argument in my opinion is moot.
Secondly, I feel proposition 8 was a way to separate Church and state, and protect Church's from the state (or specifically the Judicial Branch) legislating religious beliefs. A Church who refused to mary same-sex couples could be open for suit, lose their tax exempt status, or lose their authority to marry granted by the state. There has not been one statement by any of the Church's leaders suggesting unequal rights, just not through marriage. Why not work together to allow civil unions to have parallel legal, medical, tax status to marriage? I honestly would not be opposed to gay couples filing jointly, or willing their inheritance, or visiting in hospitals. I just want my Church, and those who believe the same, to be protected from activist judges.
Thirdly, to claim that anyone who voted Yes on Proposition 8 are bigots, comparable to those who fought against the Civil Rights movement is deplorable. (And I have heard it on many news stations). In times of disaster, I have NEVER heard the LDS Church, Catholic Church or others ask victims 'are you straight or gay?' before handing out supplies. When Katrina hit, no relief organization (including Churches) refused assistance based on race, religion or sexual orientation. That would be bigoted. To use such a weighty word loosely is irresponsible. And to paint some of the most generous and loving Church's and their membership in such an ugly manner, is only a reflection of the accuser.
Lastly, a leader in our Church recently spoke about "Christian Courage". He reminded us of Christ's example of responding to accusations or confrontations. Sometimes Christ stood silent (King Herod). Sometimes He bore a quiet testimony of truth (Pilate). Once He used force (moneychangers). He stated, "As true disciples [of Christ], our primary concern must be others' welfare, not personal vindication". How can we defend our beliefs if we do not act in a Christ-like way?

Mike and Trudy Thompson-One Family's Opinions said...

I see absolutely nothing to disagree with you on here. Great wisdom, my friend.

steph said...

I assume that the mother decides normally and the doctor then decides whether it is the best solution and is abiding within the limits defined by the law. The point I was making about Christianity is that while some Christians believe as you do (and I'm not criticising that), some Christians believe just as strongly but differently.

Your country may have been begun by Christian settlers (although there were other people there first) but it has grown and now has a more multi cultural population with a variety of religious beliefs. My country is the same. We recognise that, as well as the culture of our indigenous people, in our laws and running of the country.

'Marriage' ceremonies don't belong to Christianity. It is shared with other beliefs as well. One group should not be denied the privileges and recognition of marriage.

Okbushman has missed the point I have made several times. The law should protect churches, doctors, and photographers, from being forced into performing ceremonies and law suits. It is the law that allows that that is wrong. What is wrong with a non religious marriage celebrant or a willing church (remembering that the law should be changed first to protect churches who are not willing)?

What is LDS? Is it American? It looks like LSD and it would help if I knew what is was.

Mike and Trudy Thompson-One Family's Opinions said...

Mormon is actually a nickname for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Members of this Church call themselves Latter Day Saints, hence, LDS.

We have allowed government involvement in too many things. It is unfathomable that we allow something as personal and private as our relationship with our spouse to be controlled by government by licensing such things. We should get government out of this altogether, then there would be no problem in this anyway. It used to be we may have needed government involvement, or at least they thought so, because of the RH factor and childbirth. But, what is the reason today? The RH factor problem has been solved. We may say that there is not the aids factor, however, if we allow gays, and many others who have this deficiency to marry, why do we need governmental involvement in the marriage part of this scenario?

Each religion should actually be able to control their own membership, having the principle of excommunication in at least the Catholic and the LDS Church that I know of. I have not really heard of it used much in any other religion, though Islam sentences an adult who converts to Christianity to death because they consider that they are not allowed to convert to another faith. That is even harsher than excommunication.

LDS have some very special and specific beliefs as pertain to America and its foundations. Read the LDS scriptures, particularly in the Doctrine and Covenants, (D&C), specifically Section 98 verses 4-10, Section 101:77-80; Section 109:53; Section 134; and even Section 121. If you are not aware, the LDS Church considers as its scriptures the following: The Holy Bible, King James version, The Book of Mormon; The Doctrine and Covenants; and the Pearl of Great Price, along with the revelations received by the living Prophet of the Church. We believe God is not dead today, but is interested and concerned with us today as he was concerned with His people in Biblical times, and therefore, He still speaks to us today through living prophets, and He still answers our prayers. This is not an attempt at conversion of anyone. This is a catholic website and I very much respect Catholics, perhaps more than ever before because of the things I heard from them on EWTN this year. I love and very much appreciate them. This is just an explanation as you seemed to not quite understand all I was saying. God bless you. Remember, you are a Child of God, as is every living human being from conception on.

steph said...

Thank you

okbushmans said...

Steph-
I'm glad we can agree on government staying out of Church doctrine and practices. Common ground is found! And you did make a valid point that marriage ceremonies are not only a Christian practice. All religions have some form of a marriage ordinance. However, marriage licences in the US are a 20th century creation. Previously, marriage was solely a religious matter. The government's involvement in granting permission to be married in the US is relatively new (1920's). Why then would we allow the state of California, Arizona, Florida, Massachusettes and others the power to leave religions vulnerable to persecution (already happening with little public outcry) or legal problems? Like I previously said, Proposition 8 is a protection not only of the word marriage, but the religious institutions who perform the ordinance (which up until the previous century was SOLELY a religious covenant).
Steph, would you be comfortable with the issue if 'civil unions' or 'domestic partnerships' had the same legal and civil rights as marriage? If so, why can't other people find this compromise. If not, we will have to respectfully agree to disagree.

steph said...

I would compromise to the point of allowing gays to be married outside the church only in a civil "marriage" as I was, being a non religious (though not gay) person. Plenty of non religious people have abused the church, long before state marriage licences were invented, by using it to recognise their marriage vows so they could be married to the person they loved. Muslims get married outside the church, so do Buddhists and others who do not belong to Christianity. I really don't see why gays, who aren't accepted by Christianity, can't get married outside the church. You need not recognise the marriage between gays but the state could. And the law of the state MUST protect the churches from participating. Surely that makes sense?

LLB said...

I would agree that that would make sense.
unfortunately, there are many gays that are not happy with that and they continue to push for what they want.
that is why there has to be a line drawn; that can not be crossed, period.
and remember, religious people are not the only ones that voted for Prop 8, I am sure of that.
I am not sure of the exact number but I think it passed by about 500,000 over.

steph said...

Religious people who voted for Prop 8 have religious reasons. What reasons do atheists have? I know one atheist who ridicules homosexuals. He'd probably vote yes. But then he's also racist, and thought that Hitler did a good job. He despises the poor and says it's their own fault. I know there are a few people like him.

The line should be drawn at marriage within a church if churches have voted for Prop 8. Of course they will push for what they want. But fewer will push for marriage within a church that rejects them anyway and is protected by the law. If a population has people who feels that a justice system is too lenient, they will push for it to be harder. But if it becomes harder, then the other half will push for it to become more lenient and bring back parole and restorative justice.

Gays have had a human right given to all other minority groups, completely taken away from them. Of course they will push until it is restored.

Here is a conservative Christian blogger, who is completing a phd at Seton Hall University having graduated from Princeton, who always makes so much sense to me. He frequently blogs on Prop 8, including today and yesterday.

http://notes-from-offcenter.com/about/

Anonymous said...

I think this video is wonderful. I am from the LDS faith and I thank you for your and other induviduals and religions support. I thought you do a great job with this video in showing the importance of religions coming together in support of eachother for many of our common beliefs. This is such an important issue that still needs much support and information spread around. This battle I believe will keep continuing and we all need to stand together to fight for religious freedom and what is right.

okbushmans said...

Steph, you are correct in the pendulum swinging in our country (half pushing one way, half pushing the other way). It is a difficult balancing act, which never satisfies anyone.
However, Proposition 8 (and others like it in different states) is the last 'line' of defence for the religions. I agree, Church's should not be forced to perform marriage ceremonies they don't condone. And the courts or the states would argue, they will NOT be forced to change their beliefs, but they will surely be penalized for 'discriminating'. As I have said before, losing tax exempt status, authority to perform marriages, losing authority to place adoptions, or suffer massive law suits, which could shut down operations.

Lastly, in regards to rights taken away from them. There is a conceptual difference between human rights and legal rights. A human right is inalienable, like love. This of course is not taken away from them. A legal right, such as using the legal word 'marriage' to define their status, is not inalienable. It is not granted to everyone. This is just by definition. I am not suggesting that gays should not have certain legal rights, yet believe there needs to be a distinction between the two. Gays absolutely have the unalienable right to love who they love. Yet, the majority of the country believes that it should not be defined as 'marriage'. It seems to be solely a battle over the word. I doubt the same majority who voted for Prop 8 would deny gay couples similar 'legal' rights.

And as you point out, there are extremes on either side, who usually voice their opinions the loudest. Just as your 'racist Atheist' is an extreme, there have been thousands of other extremes protesting outside courthouses and places of worship. Mocking personal beliefs, shouting profanities as worshippers enter 'holy places'.

Tyranny for tolerance is contradictory, and only impedes any positive outcomes. I would hope you could agree with that.

steph said...

No you misunderstand me. Not only should churches be protected from participating, they should not be penalised for "discriminating". They are not penalised for not marrying Muslims in their churches. And really how many Muslims want to get married in a church? How many gays really want to get married in a church which has rejected them? It does seem to be a battle over a word. Marriage does not belong to Christianity. Only Christian marriage belongs to the church.

I'm not sure what you mean by your last statement. Tyranny for discrimination is contradictory surely and only impedes living together in harmony.

okbushmans said...

Voting your beliefs is not tyranny. Voting for a proposition which will protect your religion is not tyrannical. Donating money to a coalition which supports your religious convictions is not tyrannical.
Protesting outside temples, churches, synagogues is tyrannical. Vandalizing those sacred institutions is tyrannical. Spitting on worshippers as they enter is tyrannical. Shouting horrible and untrue stereotypes about a devout Mormon or Catholic is tyrannical.

There is a difference in the methods being used. Every statement from every Church has asked their congregants to be respectful, loving, and nonconfrontational. This does not sound like tyranny. That is what I meant. When screaming for tolerance, there is little tolerance shown for the other side. The methods they are using are frightening and destructive. Many of our churches and temples have had to be closed down because our members are being harrassed. I'm merely suggesting that those looking for equalizing their rights under the laws should have their actions match their goal of tolerance.

steph said...

You are talking about the extremists who have no sympathy from the majority of those in favour of gay marriage. They are repulsive and their actions do not achieve a positive outcome. Peaceful protest is acceptable but violence and abuse is not. Remember there are extremists on both sides. Gays have been beaten up, spat upon and abused, and their homes vandalised. That is tyranny for discrimination.

Mike and Trudy Thompson-One Family's Opinions said...

Very true. We can disagree while still being civil and courteous to those we disagree with.

steph said...

The following contains an article in Newsweek:
http://ntwrong.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/biblical-gay-marriage/#respond

There isn't much in the Bible to support the American nuclear family. In fact there is much that contradicts it.

Anonymous said...

I’m appalled the level of hatred against gays by “Christians”. Let Gay people marry. Civil Unions do not allow the same the rights and privileges of marriage. As we learned in Brown v Board of Education, separate but equal does not work.

If you don’t believe in Gay Marriage don’t allow it in your family or your church. Don’t inflict your religious beliefs on the rest of citizens of this country.

The Massachusetts Adoption Agency was not forced to close. They received many tax benefits from the state and federal government and therefore have to adhere to the law. This Catholic Adoption Agency chose to close their doors rather than place unwanted children from heterosexual relationships with loving caring homosexual couples that want the children. Is this Jesus would do?