Thursday, October 09, 2008

LDS Videotaped Conference: Go Viral

Young Mormons urged to join fight against gay marriage in California

In their videotaped conference M. Russell Ballard encouraged young member to "go viral" and told them "God will bless you as you do your part."

Why is not it clear to all how dangerous this is? God will bless you for campaigning against my family, for degrading the union of many children's parents? It is, at best, low to use God for such a goal and it's worse to bribe young people with supernatural rewards. The sad part is that, as one can see in many religions, you will get people to act against and alter their conscience with such talk. It's tried and tested.
Robert Chambers, an LDS area authority for Pocatello, Idaho, wrote in a letter to stake presidents in the Rexburg area. "We ask you to commit initially to a minimum of 150-200 volunteers from your stake."
I have to wonder what my brother and my father in-law are asking of their local members? How can I be around them on the holidays without knowing? If they truly do act to so directly to undermine our home, how could they come into it? This is a mess.
"If tolerance is the premise, it should go both ways," Bednar said. "There could be sanctions against us for teaching our doctrine."
This could almost be funny. Again, I've never once asked for your "tolerance",
Bednar, and don't care how you or your faith regards my family or what you sanction in your church. Why can't anyone over there see that? We are asking for morality in your actions in the public sphere, in the sphere we have to share no matter how much sharing it disturbs you. We are asking that you follow the golden rule and stop doing to my family in law what you would never want done to yours.

The funny thing is that, with the LDS church's actions, they are making it far less likely that anyone will care to "tolerate" them down the line if they win this battle. If you want the world to do what you say, you should be an example.

Even more ironic is that the main fears they seem to be spreading regarding Prop 8, like children learning of homosexuality in kindergarten, are going to happen regardless. Our children go to school too. The LDS church seems to think gay marriage leads to gay parents, but why then is Utah in the top three states of the percentage of same-sex couples raising children? We have to live together and unless you want to get medieval, so to speak, our children will be going to school with yours and, just like yours, they should be able to talk about their families and your children should be civil, right?
"Because you are here tonight," Clayton said into the camera, "there is hope for the family."
Yeah, "the family"... I'm sure most watching could feel the love, and the sad thing is that that's not sarcasm. You can't get people to act like this without feeling good.

I'm tired of this. Worse than all that, this morning, after I read this and got all riled up, I was notably short tempered with our boys. They were goofing off while they should have been getting dressed for school and I raised my voice when I could have just refocused them. I'm disappointed in myself that I let the yes-on-8 crusade get into my home; it's just hard to hold the line without a couple minutes to digest new news.

I wonder if we can stay here, or, really, if we should? We are here for family, but there is a wedge there now, and the family we need most, my parents, are retired and willing to go where we go. Or maybe, again, I'm just frustrated and it'll look different later. Or maybe it'd be best for us all if I remained frustrated this time. I don't know.

It's funny; yesterday we were driving to soccer practice and Brian asked if we got new rings when his dad and pop got married in California (he wanted to know if the ring was new because I've told him he eventually can have either the my wedding band or the ring I got the day they were born). I told him no, that we only got married again in California to get new legal rights. He said, "so that we can be more safe and you can't break up?"

He was cheery and nonchalant about it, but I thought of what might happen in November and had to recompose myself before I could answer yes without my voice failing. I can't let them know about this threat, I don't want to tell them if they do take those legal rights away, and I don't want them to see my worry. But it speaks volumes that he has picked that much up, right? He gets it. This 6-year-old gets the importance of marriage, when a church of adults misses the point.


Java said...

Very disturbing developments. I know you are worried about what this might mean for your marriage and your family. It's a long and difficult struggle. Hang in there.

C. L. Hanson said...

As desperate and discouraging as it gets, keep up the good work for your kids' sake, and know that other families are standing beside you.

Dichotomy said...

Oh, Scot. It's getting to the point where reading your blog is even more painful than reading the news. We've never even met, but I feel your pain so acutely and wish there was something I could say or do to help. My wife and I are praying for you.

I have to wonder what my brother and my father in-law are asking of their local members? How can I be around them on the holidays without knowing?

Do you talk to them often? Can you ask them how involved they are in the program and how they feel about it? Even if the answer was one you didn't like, wouldn't knowing be better than wondering?

For what it's worth, I'm not sure how effective all of the Church's efforts are going to be. Accounts I've read of last night's broadcast indicate that in a stake with seven wards, attendance at the broadcast was slightly lower than a typical sacrament meeting. That means only 14-15% of that stake attended, and you know that they're the ones who had already made up their minds to vote "yes".

Other accounts indicate that many members are getting tired of the incessant push and are expressing surprising amounts of apathy: why should they care that gay people want to get married? How will that have any effect on them? I think that there will be a lot more Mormon "no" votes than you might expect.

(In fact, I think that the leaders realize that too--hence the desperate push for phone trees and viral campaigning. They know that they don't have the majority of the membership behind them on this)

I realize that anonymous Mormons on the "no" side are small consolation when it may be your own family on the other side, but even a lot of the "yes" Mormons are campaigning against their conscience because their calling makes it difficult to do otherwise or because they're afraid to take a stand. Even if your family is on the wrong side, they may not want to be there.

Don't give up hope!

Scot said...

Thank you Java, cl and Dichotomy. That means a lot.

"Do you talk to them often? Can you ask them how involved they are in the program and how they feel about it?"

My brother, mainly on the holidays, and I just don't want to go out of my way to stir up trouble in the family, but when I see him next month...

My Father in-law, though, I just got a call from; he will be staying in our home tonight and will be here in a couple hours...

I don't know what I'll do, but I think I know what I should do and that's what I hope to do, to have a frank discussion when he gets in. I just hope, well, I'll just hope for now.

Anyway, thank you again and thank you for the perspective.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

This is absolutely disgusting.

There was one line from the article that really struck me,

Brianne Burhan, 19, thought the presentation was well-organized and thorough.
"You could feel the love from the apostles," she said, adding she is planning to make a video for Facebook.


What love?

Love is not making it illegal for two people who love each other to get married. Love is not dehumanising people because they don't follow your religious beliefs.

That's not love, that's hate.

I really am pissed off at the church right now. Really pissed.

kevin said...

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Why is this still an issue? Why are people campaigning to take unalienable rights away from other people, when the United States as a nation was born to protect these rights?


Scot said...

Ah Kevin I don't know. Gays don't have a creator? It only applies to men, and all men can marry women?

I'm sure there's a poor reason good enough for those who want it. :-)

Scot said...

I almost missed you there somehow Craig.


I bet it feels like love, or tough love, or self preservation, though. It has to or no one would do it. At least that's what I have to hope and assume by what I know of the people doing it.

Queers United said...

it makes me so angry that they can do this and still have tax exempt status in tact

Java said...

adults think too much. 6 year olds have it just about right.