Monday, July 28, 2008

Proposition 8

For the first time, I’m a bit uncomfortable with something said over the pulpit. I’m in California, and the Church is part of a coalition of many churches participating in the campaigning for Proposition 8, which would amend the California constitution to define a marriage as between a man and a woman. I believe this proposition was in the works anyway, but with the recent California Supreme Court case finding that denying marriages to those of the same gender is unconstitutional, the momentum for the proposition has taken off.
My feelings on this matter are mixed. On the one hand, I would be disappointed if the Church did not actively support this proposition. On the other hand, there are other aspects of our laws that are not in accordance with the gospel. Why is the Church coming down on this issue and not others? Of course I recognize my bias because of the feelings I have towards other men. Every day I tell myself that I’m not a bad person, and this proposition seems to say the opposite. From a gay person’s point of view, the proposition is an attack on their civil liberties which they just recently won in court. So, this is a difficult issue for me. I’m not sure how I will vote on this measure let alone what I will do or say if I’m asked to contribute financially to the campaign or to contribute time to the campaign. I know our stake will be asked shortly for volunteers to conduct surveys, but that’s all I know for sure.


paulbenedict said...

"for the first time you've been feeling uncomfortable with a church teaching?" It's part of the sport of church going to quibble with the pastor on Sundays. Then we all go watch football.

The proposition 8 thing, to me, is about a government that makes sense... not that it makes much anyway, but this is really silly.

Isn't the phrase "gay-marriage" itself either a lie or a deceit? Folks want to be nice and "just pretend to make folks happy." That makes for legalized deception... That'a a very bad plan for governments. There must be other ways to "be nice."

Don't know how to help you with that other thing... Are you worshipping that trinity monster? That might be the problem. Thomas Jefferson believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He needed a country with lots of religious tolerance -- in Europe they used to fry folks for that kind of stuff.

Abelard Enigma said...

FWIW, Were I still living in California I would not contribute my time nor means to support Prop 8.

Personally, I support of gay marriage. And, although I am an active member of the church who holds a leadership position in my ward, I feel the church is wrong to abandon it's normal position of political neutrality on this one issue.

The way I look at it: Gay culture is often seen as being rife with promiscuity, drugs, and a generally hedonistic lifestyle. When you have two men (or two women) who love each other, who want to make a life together, and to move away from the stereotypical gay lifestyle, why do we want to take that away from them? True, they will not be living in full accordance with church standards - but what they seek is a lot closer to those standards than the alternative.

robert said...

Paulbendedict said:
Isn't the phrase "gay-marriage" itself either a lie or a deceit? Folks want to be nice and "just pretend to make folks happy." That makes for legalized deception... That'a a very bad plan for governments. There must be other ways to "be nice."

I believe there is a reason for the separation of church and state. If you are gay, the term is neither a lie or a deceit. As for making "people" happy...who is a "people" and who is not? And who is "pretending" other than those who find solace in some "pretend" moralastic mythology.

robert said...

"We wholeheartedly agreed with the prop and already indicated we’d be happy to throw some money at it to help out. What we were dreading, though, was to be asked to make “get out the vote” calls or put up a sign on our lawn (the worst part about being asked by the Church to do something is you really can’t say no– and if you do, you just don’t get it). One of my wife’s best friends is a gay man (with a monogamous partner) with whom she already shared her feelings on same-sex marriage. Surprisingly he agreed, and even called the whole issue “ridiculous.”

As it turned out, when the SP sat down with us, it was actually about making a contribution– a rather sizable contribution. He already had a figure in mind. Interestingly, the Mrs. and I both heard the figure in our heads before he said it. I asked if all the members were being asked for the same figure, and he admitted they weren’t. We told him we’d talk about it and would let him know if we’d send it or an alternative amount. He agreed and left a donation form for which asks you to submit, among other things, your name, and the name of your ward and stake.

Different thoughts ran through our minds after the visit. My wife wanted to know how they came up with the customized figure and stewed over the notion that they probably reviewed our tithing records. The alternative would have been to pray over each family name, which seemed a painful, time-intensive exercise considering we were talking about the whole stake. Meanwhile, I didn’t like the idea of tallies being made for each ward. The SP said they’d be getting back lists of the donors and how much they paid. I didn’t like the idea of my faithfulness being gauged so. I also didn’t like contributing to a coalition of churches, many of which I suspect are Huckabee fan clubs. Plus, let’s face it, it was a huge chunk o’ change they were asking from us."

They made the donation...and within minutes they got the dream home they had been praying for. They believe it is for their obedience to the Lord...? I want to vomit.

Abelard Enigma said...

the SP sat down with us ... about making a contribution

This suggests to me that the church isn't getting the level of support from its members that it anticipated after reading the letter in Sacrament meetings. Although, I do find it very curious that your stake president is soliciting the donations rather than your bishop.

The SP said they’d be getting back lists of the donors and how much they paid.

This is appalling regardless of where I stand on the issue. We don't even get that with Friends of Scouting. We only get the total amount of donations pledged from our ward. We don't get individual names nor their status if they are actually paying their pledges.

Crisco said...

The stake presidency hasn't sat down with any individuals that I've heard about, but each one of them have visited the individual units in the stake to make a pitch to support the surveys and to make donations. I wasn't too impressed with the presentation, but maybe that's because our ward only got the stake clerk!