Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Prop 8 - Why such bitter accusations of religion? Let's think about logic and doctrine

The Logic

I have a read a few bitter articles of the response from the passage of Prop 8 (and others in Arizona and Florida) that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Opposers of Prop 8 criticize religion, churches and their members of being bigoted and anti-Christian because they take a stand to support marriage as defined by God. Opposers see support of marriage as discriminatory and hateful, which is just not true. Churches have nothing to gain from the world by speaking out for what they believe is right and true regarding the sanctity of marriage.

Does it make churches more popular? N0.
Do they receive any praise from the media or even the public, who they strive to serve? NO.
Did they receive anything but attacks for encouraging people to support Prop 8? NO.

So, why is this whole issue of homosexuality and same-gender marriage important to churches?

Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the quorum of the twelve apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said, "This is much bigger than just a question of whether or not society should be more tolerant of the homosexual lifestyle. Over past years we have seen unrelenting pressure from advocates of that lifestyle to accept as normal what is not normal, and to characterize those who disagree as narrow-minded, bigoted and unreasonable. Such advocates are quick to demand freedom of speech and thought for themselves, but equally quick to criticize those with a different view and, if possible, to silence them by applying labels like “homophobic.” In at least one country where homosexual activists have won major concessions, we have even seen a church pastor threatened with prison for preaching from the pulpit that homosexual behavior is sinful. Given these trends, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must take a stand on doctrine and principle. This is more than a social issue — ultimately it may be a test of our most basic religious freedoms to teach what we know our Father in Heaven wants us to teach."

Another official statement from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

"Allegations of bigotry or persecution made against the Church were and are simply wrong. The Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility toward gays and lesbians. Even more, the Church does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches."

This issue tares at the heart of any Christian who genuinely loves people regardless of their choice to engage in homosexual activity. Christians don't want to have to choose between what God says will bring us true happiness (aka the commandments) and what is a genuine concern for many people with homosexual tendencies. But, when faced with the choice to protect the sanctity of marriage, the freedom of religion and the best interests of children, families and communities, we have to do what is right, not what is popular.

The Doctrine

Even many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have spokenly harshly against church leaders for encouraging its members to support Prop 8. Do members not understand or believe what they say they believe. I raised my hand to sustain the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles as "prophets, seers and revelators." While they aren't perfect as individuals, these men are called of God. They are seers - or see-ers. I don't believe any church leaders of any denomination make decisions like this lightly, particularly one of such magnitude as actively supporting Prop 8. But, our faith goes beyond believing that our leaders engage in deliberation and prayer. I believe that with such deliberation and prayer, our Heavenly Father gives them the gift of sight. They see things we don't see.

I don't want my faith thrown back in my face with terms like "blind obedience." My faith gives me the sight I need to be obedient. And by that obedience, I gain additional sight.

The adversary's PR tactics will never change truth.

"The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done" Joseph Smith,5232,23-1-401-8,00.html


Marzipan said...

Thanks for the post...I felt the same disappointments when I watched people being interviewed on the news, even some LDS members who just didn't seem to get it. Thanks for beautifully stating what we believe in and why!!

Kiley said...


Dominoe said...

Well put! Dave was telling me that if Prop 8 failed, eventually all places that performed marriages would not be allowed to turn away homosexual marriages - so our temples would not be allowed to perform marriages. Scary thought, huh?

Blaire said...

Eloquent as always. Between prop 8 and proposed decriminalization of prostitution in San Francisco, i was "forseeing" a earthquake that moved the lower half of California straight into the ocean. Sure would miss Disneyland though :)