Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Give 'em Donuts

I've considered, like many other blogs have, of self-imposing a Prop 8 moratorium on my blog, but I know myself better than that. I was hoping it would all "fly away" once November 5th hit, but we've seen how that worked. I imagine even if it failed, I'd still be ranting about stupidities within my own culture.

Like this one: The Church didn't donate 40% of the funds toward Proposition 8. Its members did.

Oh if this weren't as stupid as it initially doesn't sound.

I love this. We're quick most other times to refer to the general membership as "The Church" but the minute we start getting backlashes from our own actions, we break it down until it's no longer The Church, but just its members acting innocently of their own accord - as if The Church had nothing to do with it.

I ask you: How many members do you think would have donated without the call for donations? Not nearly as many.

It was a loophole. The Church, The Church could not have donated more than the $2,000 and change it did without explicitly threatening its tax-exemption. So they asked the members to. And it wasn't enough to pass out donation papers in Priesthood or Relief Society, no. They left papers out in the foyer too. Sometimes people were called into Bishop's or Stake President's offices to donate.

So shut up about that. I'm so sick of us trying to toss the blame off The Church. The Church asked us to donate not just our time, but our "means" (read: money). The Church called on our consciences about following the Prophet. Sometimes every Sunday.

And that, everyone, is what "they" are pissed off about. That is why they are outside our temples and our stake centers and ward buildings. We have an influence unmatched when called by our Prophet, and people know that.

I think it might be nice to offer protesters some donuts or something - and no, I'm not being facetious. If I lived in an area where protesters abounded (and hell, I'm tempted to take a trip to Oakland just to do this), I'd give 'em coffee too.

A show of respect. Let's show some effing respect. It might just go a long way. All this bickering is beyond childish, and it shames me.

Enough with the "well, we only make up 2% of the vote. It's the Hispanics and the African-Americans who did this to you."

SHUT UP.

Suddenly we're so quick to shift blame, to point fingers. Are you insinuating the protesters (uncivil with their civil) should go bug the crap out of other people? I assure you they are. We're just so intent on being persecuted for our beliefs - I do think part of us longs for the persecution of the earlier Saints - that we're going to cry if the wind shifts. I think we like the PR; really, the PR department must be beside themselves with all the attention. We like having other Churches see that we stand up for "family" (I still don't get this). We like being in the spotlight. As much as it sucks, we know that in the Christian world, persecution is like God patting us on the head. In the Christian world, those who are most persecuted are believed to be the most right (and righteous). And we've been whining an awful lot lately about our persecutions, making sure everyone knows. Poor us.

Get over it. Wave to these people. Give 'em a donut. The more angry of them might throw it away, but most of them, I promise you, just want us to respect them. Treat them the same way you'd like to be treated. They're not that scary.

If you truly believe in what you did, this should not be a problem.

39 comments:

Maren said...

Great post Lisa! You echoed my sentiments exactly. I've been following your blog for a couple of weeks now, spurred on by my lack of supportive, open-minded discussion that ISN'T around me, in PA. A lot of what is happening is NOT around me, out here, and so I am spared the fliers, the phone calls, the emails and most certainly the pulpit "lessons" on Sundays. Thank goodness, too! Unfortunately, I'm seeing the fallbacks of this whole "crisis" personally with some friends and it really saddens me at the ignorance some LDS members show "out west" (where, by the way, I was born and raised).

Anyway, I'll try to comment more often, but I have been enjoying the reads from your blog and hope you continue to speak up!

Noe said...

I may be heading to Oakland myself this weekend, I'll bring the coffee if you bring the donuts.

;)

Lisa said...

I've a facebook friend in PA who you might get along with. She attends Penn State. :) You're not alone.

I imagine the majority of "us" remain quiet, because the backlash does hurt and we don't want to shatter anyone's faith (because, lets face it, it is a bit about faith in conservative/"traditional" values and ways as well). It'd be nice if there was something more local for each of us. I think we need the support. I know I do.

Thanks for commenting and for your support - I always love it when a "follower" (sounds creepy) comments for the first time. It means loads :D

Lisa said...

Noe: If I do head out to Oakland anytime soon, I'll totally let you know and we can do just that :)

Tom said...

Thanks for the offer of respect, Lisa. Maybe I'll join you and make sure my fellow queers are behaving respectfully, as well. (As we know, a handful of miscreants have NOT been behaving well!)

mfranti said...

fun fun fun

i love this post. i've tinkered with a similar post for a few days now but could you imagine the beating i would take at fmh for saying such things? yeah, i'm a chicken sh--!

m

Lisa said...

Tom: i'll let y'all know if i make it down anytime soon. No promises, but you never know.

would you? geez. i would've thought the girls (and guys) at fmh would generally appreciate this kind of stuff. huh.

thanks for the support :)

Steve M. said...

On the morning of November 5, my dad (who lives in California) sent me an email bragging that without the Church, Prop 8 would have failed. 70%-80% of the man hours were donated by Mormons, and, according to some estimations, just as much of the donations came from Mormons as well. Before the protests started, Mormons were unabashedly taking credit for the passing of Prop 8 (and rightfully so!).

But once things got ugly, we started saying, "Don't look at us!"

Can't have it both ways, people.

mfranti said...

would you? geez. i would've thought the girls (and guys) at fmh would generally appreciate this kind of stuff. huh.

we are a big target for conservatives. so yeah, many of the faithful readers might enjoy a post like this, other folk will find some reason to question my worthiness.

do you comment there often?

Lisa said...

Steve: My point exactly. It's really pathetic.

mfranti: I just started commenting probably around a week or two ago. I haven't delved into any deep discussion quite yet. The one the other day regarding sex was SO unbelievably refreshing. Inspired me to write my own sex post here. Very popular lol.

I've just read some rather fringish posts there (love them) and wouldn't have thought too many would use it as a chance to toss stones. Then again, you always have those, huh? Hell, I get them here.

I think most LDS blogs are targets for conservatives - especially when the titles include "feminist" or "liberal" with "mormon" in the same breath, haha.

Alesia Wilson said...

I honestly could NOT understand why the Church was pushing the Prop 8 issue for a long time. But, I tried to understand with an open mind and heart and I kind of get it. The problem is that what I 'get' can't really be articulated in a way that won't make me sound like a jackass. But, suffice it to say, I kind of get it and I kind of get why this issue is such a big deal. I don't know if the process the First Presidency took to 'push' the issue was exactly the process The Big Guy told them to use, but I think He told them to do something. And while I kind of get it (I keep saying 'kind of' because it's not something I can really articulate...it's more of a perspective...I know...it doesn't make sense), I'm horrified by it. I hate it. It's making my life a nightmare and I wish it would all go away.

How lame does all that sound?! :) But, it's where I'm at and I felt *impressed* (joke) to share it. haha

Robert said...

You are SO right about members of the church loving the persecution. I disagreed with Prop. 8 from day one, and I still get little excited flusters when I see "Mormon" in the top headlines of my news RSS Feed.

Also, I love the idea of handing out donuts. Protesting is hard work, and people get really hungry. I've never had a person from the institution I'm protesting be nice to me.... can't imagine what effect that would have. :)

I have had some be stuck-up snobs though. And I can tell you what effect that has.

*Turn the bullhorn volume up to maximum, get another pot and pan*

Natalie said...

Oops.
Above comment by Robert is actually by me. :) He logged in on my computer, the rascal. :)

SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem said...

I ran across your blog.... just wanted to say it's refreshing to see this point of view!

Lisa said...

Alesia: Welcome! Yeah, I "kind of" get it too, but in the end I couldn't vote for it in good conscience.

A good friend of mine feels (I think) the same way you do. She voted yes to go with the Prophet, but still feels badly. She's comfortable in her decision, but could never articulate it well enough to satisfy anyone. That is a problem, I think, but sometimes that's how things work out.

Thanks for coming by!

Natalie: The stuck up snobs get no donuts, hahahaha. But yeah. There are some of those. I'm more concerned about the peaceful people.

Eh, donuts for all. If they throw them on the ground, I'll just run to pick them up. 5 second rule.

Awww, and I thought Robert came. Bum! ;)

SAHM: Glad to have you!

Nate and Jessica said...

(I came across your blog from Tom's blog)

Many Mormons aren't whining and trying to pretend to be persecuted and picked on. And many Mormons are still proud that they helped pass proposition 8. When they point out that the Hispanic Community and the African American community voted overwhelmingly in support of Prop 8 it is to show that not just mormons, but many other people also feel that marriage is between man and woman. Most of the people who voted in support of prop 8 didn't feel they were discriminating against people. They did it to stand up for the morals that they believe in. There is a right and a wrong and in the perfect world to come our morality will be measured to the highest standard, that standard is that of Heavenly Fathers. We must remember that morality should not be considered in colloquial terms. There is one set of perfect morals we should strive to match. The difference lies in our
perception of reality and how that effects our decision making. The foundation of the differences between you and a Gay person or myself and say a middle eastern man is not the moral standard we uphold but our perception of
reality. You believe in a higher being and have received a confirmation that you belong to his church. You believe, as I do, that the church may be full of imperfect people at this time but the system is perfect as it is Gods.
This drives our perception of reality. Many people may believe that there is no supreme being and that logic reigns supreme. In this case their perception of reality is that they make their own rules and only measure up to their own expectations. Measuring their decisions up to the perfect standard of morality will show some stark contrasts. We should never forget that there is a perfect standard and that is what we measure up to no matter our perception.

Prop 8 was hard for many of us LDS people because we try to live high standards for ourselves, but we also believe in free-agency and loving our fellow man. Although many Mormons felt conflicted about this issue, we voted yes because these are the last days we know know that although it is hard, we must try to uphold Gods' Law and strive everyday to live his standard.

If you look around you'll notice how prophecies are coming true. All around us now we see people calling good evil and evil good. We knew it was coming but I never expected it to be so literal and so rampant. I think that as this gets worse we would be well served to remember that though the adversary is working thru people directly and indirectly they are all our brothers and sisters. Every tongue will eventually confess that Jesus is the Christ. I just don’t want to make the experience harder for them than it need be. We all need to remain respectful and loving to the end.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

Great post Lisa. I'd love some coffee :)

@ Nate and/or Jessica,

I'm having trouble understanding exactly what it is you're saying here. The problem with things like this:

"Although many Mormons felt conflicted about this issue, we voted yes because these are the last days we know know that although it is hard, we must try to uphold Gods' Law and strive everyday to live his standard."

Is that we don't live in a theocracy, and if the Mormons start to force their version of God's Law on the rest of society, what's to stop those who believe in Islam, or Hinduism, or Catholicism, or Scientology from doing the same using your same arguments as to why you supported Prop 8? Regardless of whether you think you have got some sort of superior "perfect standard" version of morality, the fact is, your beliefs are no stronger and no more real than any one elses', and you've just violated my rights by forcing your beliefs on me.

Regardless of whether I'm an atheist, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Evangelical Christian or Quaker, Mormon, or some other label, I can't go around forcing what I think "God" wants on anyone else - your belief that opposing gay marriage is God's desire doesn't make it any more right than if it were the views of a single atheist. Our society only works if we all work together, and respect the rights of others completely, and if we ALL have exactly the same rights. Those who supported Prop 8 have harmed themselves as well as attacked the entire GLBTQ community, and their own family members.

Your confession of Mormon religiosity don't ameliorate the fact that it doesn't matter how strongly you believe in what your church teaches, what the church, its members and others who supported Prop 8 (and similar things) did was wrong. It was wrong for this country, it was wrong for a republic/democracy, it was wrong for religion, it was wrong for every part and group in our society. It was just plain wrong.

Your perception of reality cannot be the only thing that informs your decisions, especially political ones. Politics and public policy/laws have to benefit ALL, not just Mormons, or those whose religious teachings are anti-gay rights/equality. As a minority yourself, you ought to be working to keep the maximum amount of rights for all people, (regardless of minority/majority status), and you ought to recognise that oppressing one group, one minority is utterly at odds with the principles of this country (and I might add your religion).

That is all. (for now).

Laura said...

"Your perception of reality cannot be the only thing that informs your decisions, especially political ones."

Sorry, but it absolutely can. We keep using the phrase "Stop forcing your beliefs on me." But the fact of the matter is, prop 8 was on the ballot. Citizens had the right to vote however they wanted-even if that vote was influenced by religion. They don't have to explain their motives to anyone. There were people who voted for Mccain simply because they really and truly believed that Obama was the anti-Christ. Ridiculous - yes. But they had the right to vote their consious, nonetheless.

Stop blaming those who voted yes. If you really oppose it, then your beef should be with those who allowed it on the ballot, not those who voted for it. Citizens should always be allowed to vote with their moral consious - even if you and others disagree with it. You can't go around telling people to leave their religion outside the voting booth.

Lisa said...

Nate/Jessica: I understand voting yes was hard on many LDS' consciences. There is absolutely a conflict here - people want others to do what they think is right, what will be best for their souls, and yet they don't want to feel they are imposing.

I respect that conflict. A lot.

But I'm with [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊], here.

I don't know for sure who placed Proposition 8 on the ballot. Google is not helpful right now, nor is the Secretary of State's website (I may call tomorrow).

But it doesn't matter. It wouldn't have been put on without a petition with signatures abound. Perhaps that's who you're speaking of, Laura, as well?

The thing is, the Christian churches were the ones who were the driving force behind this. We like to say it was only 2% of LDS who voted, but I'd be curious to know how many were Christians as a whole.

And we're still forgetting: the members of the LDS church bankrolled this thing. There's a ton of power in that.

When you vote for something based on religous values, something backed by churches that not everyone shares, it starts to feel a bit like someone is imposing a theocracy. (everyone believes murder is wrong, stealing is wrong, drugs - at least the hard kind - are wrong, but not everyone agrees gay marriage is wrong. it's just not inherent enough, in my opinion).

This was moral, absolutely - but whose morals? What of Athiests?

I dunno. I just would've been much more comfortable, myself, if the Church would've been more vocal in the way of "Listen, this isn't right and here's why. it will compromise your souls at the end day" Not, "donate your money, etc because this will infringe upon the sacred nature of marriage." (which isn't true)

In the end, that's what bothered me the most. That and the insistence to call gay people who wanted to marry selfish. Their desire to marry is no more selfish than was mine.

The argument that if a gay person in a homosexual marriage came to realize for himself his "way of living" was wrong definitely pops into my head often. It would require divorce and therefore a breakup of a family.

But the same thing is true for civil unions. They adopt too.

I dunno. I'm rambling here, but I think what the Church needs to do is preach in love, try to come to an understanding with the gay community, showing them (not telling, showing) that they are loved and supported. That does not mean accept, but just do more to support them. Especially those in our church who struggle and want to remain faithful embers.

I think it would mean so much and accomplish so much if we would just try to understand that what we ask of them is of a difficulty few of us can fathom.

This is imposing a religious belief. There are some, perhaps, who aren't religious and support 8, but I'd be willing to bet most aren't. Most people just want to live and let live. Love and let love.

Laura said...

"everyone believes murder is wrong, stealing is wrong, drugs - at least the hard kind - are wrong, but not everyone agrees gay marriage is wrong. it's just not inherent enough, in my opinion)."

Not entirely true. I have a few friends who might argue that drugs aren't wrong. =)Everyone may not agree that gay marriage is wrong, but apparently, the majority does. And as you said, don't we usually uphold the beliefs of the majority?

I just don't see how we can allow gay marriage to pass without also allowing incestuous and polygamous couples to marry as well. Wouldn't the law still discriminate against them? No one has provided an answer to this yet.

Most people are against polygamy. Most people are against incestuous relationships. Most people are against gay marriage. How can we overturn the will of the people to open the door to one group and not another? Marriage is is either an institution that discriminates against some or a free for all for everyone.

This has nothing to do with the original post. Just food for thought.

Lisa said...

:) I'm the Queen of Tangents. Seriously. Part of the reason for this blog is to help me reign myself in, haha.

Okay. Yeah, there are some who believe hard drugs are wrong - and I'm excluding the many, especially in California, who probably believe marijuana is just fine.

Anyway. I imagine most those people are addicted or haven't known the horrors drugs like meth, crack, etc have on families and society. I know the ramifications of meth first hand - well, almost. My stepsister is addicted to it, is pregnant with her third child (three different daddies) and has already lost custody to her first two. Meth. It's wonderful. I'd like to know who would agree this and drugs like it are good and should be legalized. I'd slap some sense into them personally.

See, the thing is - that would affect society. I don't see how gay marriage would, really.

Polygamy...yeah. I'm against it, and honestly I thought about voting yes for a second because I thought "Damn, that is something I can see coming out of a no vote." My husband assures me the Church would never go back to that in a "this" life sense, but still. The chance alone frightens me.

Incestuous relationships are illegal because of medical reasons, more than anything (aside from the "icky" factor). You'll notice many of the royal families have...uh, physical idiosyncrasies due to their insistence to keep the throne within the family. Eek.

Polygamous relationships, I think, do have a chance of becoming legalized...I don't know that it *would* but I think it's the most realistic of all the arguments I've heard. I've heard fairly decent arguments that it does in fact work for some people, that some want them. I think it would be a paperwork and legal nightmare, but *shrug*

My only concern is that I'm never asked to do it. I don't think I could - not without wanting to never have been born.

I just don't buy the "free for all" thing. Except for the polygamy, but even then...I dunno. Works for some people. It's rather prevalent in other cultures...as for how they treat/view their women...yeah. This is a whooooole other post. I've already tried to go here lol. Complicated.

Lisa said...

Oh, and yes we *usually* uphold the beliefs of the majority, but the majority isn't always right.

They weren't right back in 1948 with Loving v. Virginia (or even ten years later when the majority of people *still* were against interracial marriage).

That's one of the reasons the Courts exist: to protect the minority should the majority try to infringe upon their rights...and I do believe from what I've read that marriage is a civil right. I'll probably get more into that tomorrow. :)

Chedner said...

It's taken me a while, but I think I've finally started to square in on how I feel concerning statements such as "same-sex marriage will lead to incestuous marriage and/or polygamy."

How I see it, same-sex marriage, incestuous marriage, and polygamy are three separate issues. Yes, they all deal with marriage and desire for marriage. Yes, they all have the stance of "our relationships shouldn't be discriminated against based on your beliefs."

However, the relationships, themselves, are quite different entities and have different effects on the individuals therein as well as on society at large. And I think we should be judging which discrimination and intolerance is justly in place based on these effects. That is, discrimination and intolerance aren't always bad things. We should discriminate against sincere religious beliefs that teach hatred towards others or that a certain group of people are inferior based on [X]. We should not tolerate actions that take away others' lives (or life experiences).

We have to decide which discrimination is leading to a better society... and which discrimination is leading to a worse society.

In considering same-sex marriage, we need to look at same-sex marriage. (And it's not like we have to guess how gay couples raising families will affect society... there are plenty to observe.)

In considering incestuous marriage, we need to look at incestuous marriage. (Again, it's not like we have to guess how these families will fair in society... there are such families to observe.)

In considering polygamy, we need to look at polygamy...

Etc.

No reasonable and rational person is going to say, "Well... we let the gays get married... we'll have to let these siblings... we'll have to let polygamy."

The reasonable and rational thing to do is to treat each issue individually and say, "Okay, what is this issue doing to society?" and go from there.

And, frankly, I think that's exactly how the legal system is set up to work... if it wouldn't be hindered by a large mass of people insisting, "No, our God says [X]!!!! We don't have to look at anything else... God has spoken!"

Lisa said...

Agreed.
It's not going to be a gateway drug, so to speak. Yes, some polygamists have petitioned to have their marriages recognized, but their issues will be separate and we should deal with it when and if it becomes a larger issue.

Honestly, all these "what ifs" are really distracting from the main issue. And we should be careful to jump the gun and "know" what'll happen.

The polygamy thing caught me for a moment; like I said, I considered for a second voting yes because of it, but I voted no because I won't let my vote be swayed out of fear. Nothing has happened yet, and we'll cross those bridges when and if they come.

Heather said...

So these are some great posts. very well thought out. I'm not one who is intellectual or a critical thinker, or one who likes to analyze every word. I'm not good with words. I can't articulate in word what I'm thinking well at all but, I'm wondering one thing. I have a good friend who I met thru my daughters pre-school. She and I have kids the same age and at the time were pregnant together. I thought she was so fun. I took my kids to her son, "Ben's" birthday party at chucky cheese. Yes my husband and I were the ONLY straight couple there and let me tell you the looks we got! It was great and everyone who talked to us was nice. The difference between us? She's a lesbian, I'm straight. Do I think less of her, no. Do I think she's less than me, NO! I bought her a nice gift for the baby. I still enjoy her. But here's my question. Where in scripture does it say that if someone is genetically prone to or "wired" differently to make them gay... that it's ok? Homosexuality is sin, but not if your gay? What?!? It doesn't matter how "tolerant" our society becomes it is still wrong. That does not make the person who struggles evil. I believe quite the contrary. It makes them stronger when they live a pure and clean life. I understand that my friend, loves her partner just as much as I love my husband, but it's still wrong. I love my neighbor. I don't enjoy/want any persecution. I don't know anyone who really does. I think Lisa, respectfully, that you are confusing that what I like to call Martyr Syndrome where people feed on that with people who are watching the world and comparing what they see with what is Prophesied by Prophets ancient and modern, and seeing if anything fits to the Last Days/Perilous times that are here. I assure you there are some major Prophesies being fulfilled. People know persecution will rear it's ugly head again one day so we watch and try to be ready and hope that it never does.

I'm sorry if anyone is offended, that is not my intention. There are many logical, worldly and very convincing arguments to be made about this issue. And I'm sure people who are more intellectual and well spoken than I will refute every claim and statement on here. That's ok. I respect others opinions even if I think they are wrong. I may not post much anymore just because it is difficult for me to read things that hurt me. I don't mean hurt me as in make me question I mean, the arguments used are so cleverly thought out and the deception so cunning it makes my spirit sink and my stomache ache at the people who are hurting inside, who are being deceived and who are confused unecassarily. The Scriptures "tell us all things what ye should do." In not place do the scriptures teach that same-sex couples should be given approval, rights, labels, benefits, (insert whatever they are being denied here.) The Church is true, the call to action was an inspired one. If ever there was a time it was needed, it was now. Pres. Monson IS a Prophet he can see farther down the path than can we. If you believe that, then you would also conclude that he didn't like what he saw had we not gotten involved. It was what the Lord wanted. do people "have" to vote yes? Of course not? Do people have to go to church on Sunday? No, but they should. Just because he(Pres. Monson) is a man and has weaknesses does NOT mean that the revelations he receives are inaccurate, false, or to strong, or whatever other word you want to use.

I'm glad Lisa that you feel good about your decision. I'm hopeful that no one accuses me of being hateful or discriminatory. Please understand that most Christians I know, not just LDS, feel much the same way. Sometimes I have a hard time reading some comments made on here. I respect you and know that just because we don't always agree, we have other things in common and I TRULY appreciate someone who tells me what they think and communicates well. This isn't a good-bye comment, just that, I think that I'll only make people angry and I only have my testimony to back it up. While it means everything to me, to others not so much. I don't say these things to call others out on their faith, or to point fingers, only to shed light on why I think soooooo.... many voted yes on 8. Thanks Lisa for being so careful in your responses. Your entries are always so very well articulated.

Take care and I'll email you when I'm all moved in and we can eventually take the rugrats to the park. :-)

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

@heather and those who voted for and supported prop 8:

I know why many voted yes on 8, there were a variety of reasons, but when you've voted to take away rights from someone, it is hard to then tell that person that you still love them and respect them and care about them.

I don't care what your prophet said or what you think your god thinks, when you tell someone that you're better then they are, and then vote to enshrine that in law, you've crossed a line. Whether or not you meant to hurt someone isn't the point. The point is you DID. You've forcefully split up thousands of marriages. You've told my (non-Mormon, non-Christian) friends Scot and Rob and their two sons that they don't deserve to be treated as equals because your religion doesn't like gays.

The greater sin is oppression, is institutionalising bigotry and hatred even further than it already is, the sin is not homosexuality, but is teaching your children that it is ok to dehumanise people just because they are different than you are. That is sin. Not loving someone, not having a family, not wanting to get married.

Your god is not my god, and is not, the god of the vast majority of Americans, let alone humans. Do you not get how dangerous and ridiculous it is to allow your very... unique definition of god to make civil, secular laws?

I just don't understand how it makes any sense for a Mormon person (or church president) to think it is a good idea to legislate doctrine. I don't understand how you all aren't just as creeped out by that concept as I am. Imagine that the Jehovah's Witnesses has somehow gotten a ballot measure approved which would outlaw blood transfusions. To them, they'd rather die than receive a blood transfusion. And yet we think that is ridiculous. Any more ridiculous than saying that gays can't marry because their genitals aren't sufficiently different from each other? Or because god hath decreed that homosexuality is a temporary disease and that in the eternities there will be no fags and that we're all trying to convert your children and sodomise your brothers and husbands?

I mean, what, exactly, is the danger you fear? That religious rights will be threatened? Because that was never, ever going to happen because of gay marriage.

I apologise to Lisa for getting so worked up, but everyone here must realise that this is not an intellectual exercise in hypotheticals. This is MY life you're talking about here. These are my rights, and my equality some have so blithely decided to strip from me. Those who supported prop 8 have directly and personally attacked me, my friends, my friends' families, your friends and your families. You've attacked us, and then expect us to not defend ourselves and fight for protection and rights and equality, and be rightfully angry and disgusted at the people who voted on whether we were human enough to be considered equals?

I don't think that some here, and many elsewhere, realise that you've basically walked up to me and said:, "Well, I'm going to take away your rights now, but don't be mad, I still love you, I just think you're sinning, and I think I should be allowed to legislate my religion. I think you're not as good as I am, as deserving of respect, dignity or equality as I am, because I mean, come on, I'm CHRISTIAN, and you're, well a sinning homosexual whose love isn't as pure and holy as mine as, and whose family isn't as worthy of protection as mine is, and well, I just plain think you're icky. So no equality for you, and please don't complain or get all bent out of shape. I'm only doing this because I love you/my church leader told me to/Jesus loves me more."

You can't apologise your way out of that unless you actually truly are sorry for what you did, and truly desire to change and work to undo the harm you've done.

I'm sorry to be so blunt (and probably offensive), but this is the reality of the situation.

You've (those of you that did vote for/supported Prop 8) dehumanised me. I don't care how seemingly virtuous or well-intentioned you were, you've done something horrible and hateful. You are the same as those who protested and fought against those who worked to bring the vote to women, to end the segregation of blacks, to end the shameful laws preventing interracial marriages.

I'm not attacking your beliefs or religion, I'm attacking your actions, your attacks on me and those millions like me. I'm standing up for equality and respect.

I deserve, and will get the same rights and treatment as you now enjoy, and take so much for granted. You do not even comprehend what persecution is. You do not know what it is to be oppressed. You cannot comprehend what it means to be vilified and hated and literally spat upon and beaten up because you were born different. Do not make light of those words. Your ancestors may have known what that meant, but you most probably do not, and it is a tragedy that your church has not learnt from its own past the importance of equality and tolerance for all, regardless of religion or lack thereof.

If your god (religion, scriptures, lord, prophet, apostles, bishop) really wants you to oppress and abuse and dehumanise other people because they're different from you, then frankly, you've got a really shitty god.

Lisa, I want to thank you for your rational and compassionate thoughts and actions. I wish so many more Mormons could be like you. I apologise again for being so blunt, but I don't know what else to do. I can't just sit back and not challenge attitudes that are so harmful and ignorance that has the unfortunate propensity to bring about suffering and injustice and inequality. I truly support and applaud those people (whether Mormon or anything else) who can have their religious beliefs and faith, and who respect all other humans as equals, and who realise the vital importance that our society never discriminate and never, ever allow religion to be made into a law.

I truly hope that something that I or another has said will help one of you I am talking to to rethink and re-evaluate your assumptions and your actions. There is no reason we cannot all co-exist as equals, and I would hope you would one day have that goal, rather than fighting to perpetuate straight dominance and oppression, because "injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere." (Martin Luther King Jr.)

And even if nothing I, or anyone else here says helps you to change your mind, at the very, very, very least, do NOT complain that your church is now the object of protest and a lot of very righteous anger. Do not complain that you're being unfairly targeted or try to twist this into you being the persecuted righteous followers of the LORD TM. You've done something heinous. You, as a church, have, unprovoked, walked up to a couple minding their own business and living their lives as they see fit, and punched them square in the face, pushed them over and kicked them in the kidneys, and then when they fight back in SELF DEFENCE, have the audacity to play the victim.

Do not even go there. I will not let you.

mfranti said...

oh goodness! i had a novel written out and now it's gone.

let me ask for those of you who say it's about marriage, tradition, families, society, tradition...

do you believe that homosexuals are fundamentally flawed humans that are dangerous to society because they are sexual deviants? if so, do you also believe that their sexual deviancy makes them a threat to children and therefore should be denied the right to marriage and family?

Heather said...

Ok, posts like this one are the reason I don't think I should be reading this blog. I'm sorry Lisa, I don't mind reading differing opinions. I don't mind if people disagree. Say what you will about me. Yes, I am representative of someone who you say has hurt you. I don't believe we have taken anything from you. You can still live your life. You still have civil unions, gay couples never really had the "right to marry".

I don't understand your hurt, but I feel your rage. I cried after I read your post not because of your attacks on me but because I can't stand your horrid description of MY God. Someone who is very real and very sacred. I can't willingly come to a place that I thought was to be a place of civil discussion and listen to cursing and blaspheme of my God and yours. This is not what Lisa's blog is intended for. I know when to bow out gracefully. I'm not playing the victim here, I would not want that position anyway. I don't think what we're seeing now is persecution. People are forcefully showing their opinions. I'm so sorry you feel dehumanized, and the other gamut of emotions you feel. I wouldn't want to feel that way. I am not a bigot, I don't hate you. I try to be kind to everyone. If I met you I would like to think that we would have more in common that not. But somehow I don't think I would ever be given a chance. Posts like this don't change hearts. Just because you think I've hurt you, you should not lash out where you think it will hurt me most.

I'm sorry for your hurt, part of me hurts for you. But I will not apologize for my vote. You say the Church bankrolled this Prop. Well who bankrolled Barak Obama? Who bankrolled John McCain? In both cases someone or some people financially supported those people. BUT, the American people voted for Barak Obama. Do you think it was because he had the most money? Maybe but it was still the peoples choice. Was Barak Obama my choice? NOPE! But the people spoke, So it is with prop 8. So should I claim foul now? Have I been discriminated against by the voters of our new Pres.? No. I'm not going to say that because I don't agree with the outcome that they have discriminated against me. It would be ridiculous! The people spoke, this is how things are now, this is the way the country works. We should all work together, we should do this by getting to know others who maybe voted differently than we did. Then trying to understand why.

See my friend "Liz" completely disagrees with my vote. She does feel a little hurt. BUT because she know somewhat about my religion, she understands why I voted the way I did and is not angry with me. That's what I'm saying. People on both sides should try to understand each other. It would change things faster than the angry, rage-filled cursings I have read.

Lisa, I apologize for causing such contention and for causing this guy to blaspheme Our Heavenly Fathers name. I realize that maybe I should not be here. I enjoy your well articulated thoughts but when we delved into things of this nature I will not be associated with it. I will read your other blog about family and children where I belong.

Thanks for letting me take up space.

Talk to you soon.

Lisa said...

I wasn't going to post to this, but let's face it: I lack much of self-discipline sometimes. My mind won't leave me alone until I placate it.

Heather: Sweetie, honestly I'm surprised you've stayed with me as long as you have. Like I said in my email, I hope you'll consider at least reading my posts. You don't have to comment or even read the comments. I think you deserve much respect for having the guts to come here and offer dissenting opinions. You are obviously in the minority here (and again, I've come to know what that is like)

Okay.

I knew the "Bankrolling? What of Barack Obama's infinitely fat wallet?" comment was coming.

Here's the difference: 40% of Barack Obama's donations didn't come from a particular church, and if it happened to, it's not because a particular church got up and called upon its divine authority and asked its members to donate all the time and means they could to the cause.

Barack Obama got his money from everyday people...and probably not so every day people, but mostly, I believe, it was a grassroots effort.

As for [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] - I have to back him up, here, Heather. I didn't see him bashing our God. I saw him questioning our God calling upon His church (or any church) to openly discriminate against His people.

As mfranti alluded to, our gay brothers and sisters are human too. I do think [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] brought up an excellent point regarding the JWs and their blood transfusions. What if most of California or the US were JW or those who agreed with that, and they put that on the ballot? What if then the JW leadership got up, said "Hey, donate your money, your time, all of that. Please. We cannot allow such abominations to continue. God will not have it. Let's not allow our fellow citizens to partake in such atrocities." What if they not only did that, but they made it clear to their members that to go against their organization was likened to going against Christ (they do have scriptural rationalizations for their stances).

I realize it's not entirely parallel, but the sentiment is the same.

People like [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] are angry, and while I will never, ever condone violence or disrespect, I have to allow people to be angry when I feel its merited. We say they shouldn't take it so personally because there's more to them than their sexuality, but we as a society has made it SUCH a big deal as to make it a huge part of them. I mean, look at how we refer to them - gay community, gay people, even "them."

We need to listen to these people. Yes, they may get indignant sometimes, but I'm pretty sure we would too. We need to forgive that and get to the heart of what they are trying to say. The offenses will come, but we've offended them too. We claim persecution, but the gay people have been persecuted against as well - for years and years (and yet another plug. Clint at Soy Made Me Gay has an excellent, albeit abridged, timeline of the things the gay community has had to endure for years now.

I don't think it's so much the gay community that needs to "get over it" so much as it is us. I'm learning every day more and more what it must be like - how similar we are more than we are different. I've learned that understanding will never come if we can't allow them to be angry and try out best to understand the core of their message, perhaps just to put on their shoes for a spell. It's not that hard.

They're not asking us to change our doctrine. For the most part, I don't think they care about our doctrine. They just want what is rightfully theirs and to be left alone about it.

/Dr.Phil moment

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

Thanks Lisa. Like you I will never condone violence or disrespect. The problem is that what the church has done is perpetuating the culture that leads to violence and is blatantly disrespecting and dehumanising the entire GLBTQ community just because we're different - just as the church did to blacks, because they were different.

Heather, I'm sorry what I said upset you, but As Lisa explained I'm just pointing out that your church has done some terrible things. I am an atheist, so I don't believe you have a God, or that anyone has got one, but what I was trying to say was that if there is a God, I'm not saying that s/he is evil, but that maybe you and your church are not understanding or correctly interpreting what (if anything) s/he's telling you - basically I don't think the kind of God you believe in, would ever care about whether someone is gay or straight, but if s/he then did, then s/he is indeed a crappy god.

Anyway, as I said, I'm angry, I am hurt, but I'm not enraged. I'm in full control of myself. I've not engaged in "rage-filled cursings", but in passionate, but logical explanations as to why the GLBTQ community is so rightfully angry, and why what the church did, and continues to do is so wrong, and why you ought to fight against it. It might help you to understand how we feel by thinking back to the racial civil rights movement in the 50s and 60s. Now while there are significant differences, there are many, many similarities between the oppression and fight against that oppression that happened and is happening right now.

What the LdS church is saying to us is the equivalent of saying go to the back of the bus, don't use our water fountain, our restaurants, our schools. You're different, and so you get your own thing, but don't be trying to have OUR thing, because, well, we're better than you are.

That's exactly what is happening all over again with gay marriage/gay equality. We're being told that because we're not straight (white) we don't get to have the same things that straight (white) people do. I do get really frustrated at times when people can't seem to comprehend this fact, who tell the gays (blacks) to just, "Get over it, and be content with what we've so graciously (and utterly condescendingly) given you."

Lisa is correct, we don't care about your doctrines, or what you do in your own church, just leave us alone, and we'll leave you alone. Don't fight to take away our rights, and we won't protest by the thousands as your temples and boycott your businesses. I'd like to point out that the gay community is not and never will reciprocate in kind to what the LdS church and others have done to us. All we want is equal rights, not revenge for the decades of oppression and abuse.

Oh, and we're not asking, we're demanding, just as you would if you were in the same situation.

Laura said...

Kreig -

First off, I have no idea what it's like to be gay. As I write this, I could say something like "I understand why you're upset," but the truth of the matter is, I don't think I'll ever fully understand your point of view as I have never walked a day in your shoes. The best I can do is say that I am truly sorry for all the pain this has caused you, and I hope that perhaps the following clarifications will help you to understand the other side a little better.

"When you've voted to take away rights from someone, it is hard to then tell that person that you still love them and respect them and care about them."

I know you won't buy this, but I believe it is possible to love someone without supporting their actions and without condoning those actions through public policy. In the scriptures, you'll recall that the Savior continually called others to repentence, not because he knew he was better. Rather it was because He loved them and because He knew that THEY could be better. You seem to have gotten the impression that if society does not recognize your lifestyle as acceptable, then it must be rejecting you as an individual. The Savior teaches us that we are more than the choices we make. Granted many people voted in support of prop 8 out of hate, there are many more who simply oppose the action of gay marriage- not the PEOPLE seeking to participate in that action. My God loves me in spite of my shortcomings but never justifies them as right. Tolerance should not have to equal acceptance. Love has never meant acceptance.

"I mean, what, exactly, is the danger you fear? That religious rights will be threatened? Because that was never, ever going to happen because of gay marriage."

How do you know? For every action there is a reaction. How are we to predict the consequences of gay marriage? We know from observing nature that when one element is altered, the rest of its components are affected to some degree. When you throw a pebble in the lake, the ripples continue outwards around the place it fell. What will the ripples of gay marriage be? What will it have done for our society in 50 years or a century? How are we to predict its conseqences? By accepting gay marriage, we adopt a major social and cultural change. How will it affect our descendents? I don't know exactly. But it is at least worth asking the question, don't you think? Perhaps religious organizations would not be challenged right away, but could it be a possibility in the future? A couple weeks ago, I watched a protest outside a local church whos pastor was teaching a sermon on the "sin of homosexuality." About 100 protestors lined up outside to shout obsenties at church members. Those protestors were well within their rights to assemle and protest, but how long before they breach those walls with claims of hate speech? Could you not even consider how the idea is unsettling for some?

Chedner said...

Heather, if you're still reading the comments:

I don't understand your hurt, but I feel your rage. I cried after I read your post not because of your attacks on me but because I can't stand your horrid description of MY God. Someone who is very real and very sacred.

Perhaps I can help you understand the hurt. In fact, it's quite simple for you to understand the hurt.

Simply take the hurt you feel from the "horrid description of [your] God. Someone who is very real and very sacred" and imagine the further hurt that would arise to have this description enforced by law.

That hurt is the hurt many homosexuals feel when that which is very real and maximally sacred (their families) is being treated and defined so horribly.

Furthermore, I would ask that you look at these families you know who are reared by lesbian couples... then look at your family... finally, ask yourself -- while you are looking at your family -- if you would want your family to be treated the same way you would have these other families to be treated.

Would you want someone who thought your family was immoral -- not based on their interactions with you (which have been positive), not based on the goodness of your family, not based on anything but a religious belief -- to make sure your family was legally defined as immoral (socially wrong)?

How would you feel? What kind of pain would you experience? Would you feel protected? Would you feel safe? Would you feel loved?

Would you have that happen to you and yours?

Laura said...

By the way Lisa, thanks for always allowing me to post my thoughts here, even if we do not agree on this issue. I stay at home with my 6 month old so it's nice to have adult interaction. Your blog helps me keep my sanity. =)

Lisa said...

Laura: Always welcome here :) As long as people are respectful, I don't really care what is said. I've dealt with enough closed-minded idiots who don't care for dissenting opinions, and I want nothing to do with them. I love a good debate, and you can't have a good debate without dissenting opinions :)

And I completely understand what it's like to foam at the mouth for some adult interaction, even if its only online.

Chedner: Thank you :)

Chedner said...

Laura:

Tolerance should not have to equal acceptance. Love has never meant acceptance.

How would allowing without hindrance (the dictionary definition of tolerance) homosexuals the same rights, liberties, privileges, titles, and responsibilities of marriage mean that you accept homosexuality?

How would treating families reared by homosexual families how you would have your family be treated (the Christian definition of love) mean that you accept homosexuality?

The law allows without hindrance people over 21 to drink alcohol -- does that mean you and your Church accept or must accept alcohol consumption?

I assume you treat those who drink alcohol how you, yourself, would want to be treated -- does that mean you accept alcohol consumption?


How are we to predict the consequences of gay marriage?

How are we to predict the consequences of Ned getting in the car and driving to work tomorrow? Such could end disastrously; Ned could end up dead.

Ned's suicidal brother, Chuck, who was relying on Ned for crucial emotional support, could then kill himself.

Chuck's 5 year-old son, Tim, could see his father's hanging corpse and be sufficiently emotionally scarred as to trigger his anti-social tendencies.

Tim's anti-social tendencies could then lead to Tim becoming a serial killer at the age of 23.


Should this horrible and frankly possible consequence keep Ned from driving -- or going outside?

Truth is, we don't know the consequences of any given thing.

And we can't rely on those who profess clairvoyance. We simply cannot. If society were to give the LDS Church -- who, indeed, professes clairvoyance -- weight in deciding what may happen, society MUST give equal weight to anyone who professes clairvoyance... and that's just not very smart.)

We have to take what we do know -- in the case of gay marriage, that families reared by homosexual couples are fairing equally to the heterosexual counterpart -- and go from there -- in the case of gay marriage, legally treating these families equally to the families to which they are performing equally (kind of awkward sentence, there, but I think the gist is understood).

However, in applying what we do know concerning religious rights and liberties, I think we simply need to look at the KKK -- which is still active in some areas of the country. They cannot be forced to disband (as long as they are not infringing upon another's security, well-being, etc.). They are still free to teach and preach that blacks are inferior to whites based on physiology and long-running traditions of the past. They simply are not able to detriment the well-being, security, rights, liberties, privileges, etc. of any black people.

Just as the LDS Church will be free to teach that homosexual marriages are inferior to heterosexual marriages based on physiology and long-running traditions of the past. They simply will not able to detriment the well-being, security, rights, liberties, privileges, etc. of any homosexual couples.

Heather said...

Chedner,

Thanks for you gentle communications. It helped calm me. I've been crying on and off all day because of this comment section of the blog. (I'll be honest, part of it is because I'm 4 months pregnant and quite hormonal.) The other part however is because I thought I was just discussing the flip side. Why there is such a large divide between the two sides. People like me and many of my LDS and Christian brothers and sisters feel called upon by our faith to stand up for what we believe. We or at least I am very sad by the hurt I have just experienced here. I felt attacked when in my eyes I was making a stand for the right. I know many do not see it that way but that was what I was trying to get across. When I read your comment I felt very refreshed. I will never change my opinion but appreciate the gentle way you helped me to think and feel, rather than crying I felt...better. Thanks for your patience in explaining things of such a sensitive nature in such a caring way.

Lisa, I'm only going to say that I appreciate you letting me comment on here. It's obvious that you tolerate me well but my comments on here of a differing opinion are not appreciated by most. My intentions for being here were only to present my opinion, the other side for consideration, just as I've thought about others opinions. And also would like to support a friend. It's clear to me that most, (generalizing here) have no interest in understanding the many and varied reasons for people who voted yes. I can't sit here and read things that talk about the Prophet "shouldn't have" "is human and makes mistakes too" implying that he made the wrong choice in speaking for the Lord and asking us to get involved. We did NOT attack when we voted, we defended. The revelations that Pres. Monson receives are not rendered invalid because he is mortal. The are every bit what the Lord wants for us to do. Everyone had a choice to make, not one member was forced, you know as well as I that that is not the way that the Lord and by extension his gospel works. You and others who voted No on 8 were not punished. This was not a a calling or a demand. It is good to think for ourselves, it is dangerous ground to think we know better than he does. Bishop Seamons is right, it's between you and the Lord. I'll not be the one to judge you for what you voted. I respect you. I like you. I want to continue to be friends and enjoy letting our kids play. But being here I'm afraid that by stating my opinion I might offend you and others and so I think it's best if I just not come here. I feel like I've been kicked in the teeth and I don't think that is a productive way to draw people to your side. Anger is not the answer. Rage and cursing and name calling are not what I want to spend my time reading. They are all unproductive. Feelings on this run deep and you know me enough to know that I didn't write what I did to cause hurt I was trying to help someone who was obviously very angry and hurt to see the other side. In this I was very obviously naive. Sorry for the waves I caused, I'll not apologize for my opinions but no one can accuse me of not trying to understand. I've been upset all day, literally on the brink of tears. Whenever I think about the comments on here, all of them, I cry. This is not good for me or my family. My husband wonders why I try to support someone who doesn't want my opinion anyway. I can't justify it. And I'm not wanted anyway. I'm not looking for sympathy here, just stating fact. So I'm not coming back, I probably won't read either. I feel like I'm saying good-bye to a friend but I'm sure I'll see you around. Lisa if someone addresses a comment to me and you want me to respond, you know how to find me. I will if you want me to but I'm not going to come on where I know that the Prophet will be by virtue of his being mortal have questions about the revelations that he receives as a Prophet of God. Plus, I kinda feel like you are blinded by your own opinion of prop 8. by that I mean that some things that have been said are very inappropriate at least blasphemous at worst, they strike at the very foundations of our religion and you agree with it. It's not right and rather than express my opinions and offend you I'm going to preserve whatever chance I may have of being your friend and refrain from discussing politics, religion or prop 8. :-)

Oh, I just realized that some things that I said above seemed directed at you when I was not intending it that way. I'm speaking of some posts that I've read that have said these things.

Take care all,
I wish all of you the very best that life has to offer.

Chedner said...

I reread my last comment, and didn't like how the tone could be translated.

What I basically want to say is that I understand the pervading fear. I know how scary it is to feel that your ability to believe openly what you believe and practice your sincere beliefs is threatened. Most (if not all) homosexuals are quite well-versed in this fear.

But I want to reassure you that the majority of homosexuals are simply calling for equality and not superiority. The majority have absolutely no desire, intention, or motivation to strip anyone of any rights to live according to their sincere beliefs, dreams, desires. Frankly, we know how royally that sucks.

Frankly, most homosexuals are rather compassionate people and will fight for the rights of even those who oppose their own. I know I would vote against an amendment that would prohibit homosexuality being taught as a sin from any pulpit. I was assume most homosexuals would. We are EXTREMELY sympathetic to being told what we are supposed to believe and how we are supposed to live... EXTREMELY sympathetic... and we would not wish that upon anyone.

Sure, there are zealots who hold to the "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" mantra ... but such zealots are found in every camp and simply should not and cannot be used to define or fear the majority.

Honestly, the majority of homosexuals will ALWAYS be on your side when not just your rights are threatened but also your privileges, your liberties, your dreams, your hopes, your aspirations, what-have-you are threatened (as long, of course, as such do not directly threaten or infringe upon anyone else's rights, privileges, liberties, dreams, hopes, aspirations, etc.).

Chedner said...

To Heather (although I'm not sure you'll read this or not):

You're welcome.

And I want you to know that I, indeed, understand where you're coming from and the motivations behind your actions and beliefs -- that is, I would assume such is because you love homosexuals and want them to be happy (not just now happy but forever happy). I know you believe that the only way one can find "forever happy" is to follow the counsels of the President of the LDS Church.

I understand, I really do -- unless I'm completely off the mark (which is why I laid my understanding out, so you could judge whether or not I truly understand).

I hope one day you'll understand where I'm coming from.

Granted, I do have an advantage as I have walked in your shoes most of my life whereas it's perhaps impossible for you to ever walk in mine -- you can really only imagine what it's like to be gay.

I hope you'll forgive us when we forget that and inappropriately lash out in frustration.

MOST OF ALL though: I hope everything goes optimally with your pregnancy!

Lisa said...

:)

Okay guys, I was going to close the comment thread yesterday, but I'm glad I couldn't figure out how. I think Chedner has ended this on a rather excellent note.

I'd like to ask that we bring this to a close. Thank you, everyone, for your comments. They're much appreciated, and I'm thankful we can have dialog here.