Monday, November 10

bless them that curse you

"I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye amay be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?"

Are we only to love those who love us? Accept those who accept us? We're all in the same boat, no matter what side of what proposition or debate. We're all part of humanity, and we all have plenty of excuses to "fight hate with hate." Does that mean we should?

Voting is part of the democratic process in our country. So are protests. Hate speech, incitement of violence, aggression, and vandalism are not.

It is not easy to hold onto a spirit of love, tolerance, and a desire to understand the fears and hopes behind any action that appears to be "hateful." But we should. We have to.


  1. The church issued a statement along these lines.

    After talking to my friends and family in California- I haven't seen any hate towards those that protest- It's more of an "Are you kidding me?" A lot of them had a "Sure, bring it on" mentality. It's drumming up a great deal of sympathy for the LDS church by the other 52% that voted Yes on 8.

    I haven't talked to any Mormon that has held any animosity towards those that disagree with them.

    The aftermath of prop8 has shown that tollerance is a one way street.

    I also find it interesting that we saw no protests or campaigning like this by the No on 8 group before the vote- only after.

    If you take out Mormon and replace with Jew, Catholic, or Muslim we'd have hate crimes on our hands. But it's now evidence that hate crimes are ok against Mormons.

  2. Salt H20-
    Based on the campaign for Prop 8, I think there has been very little tolerance on the part of the proponents.

    Put yourself into the shoes of a young woman with the challenge of what you and I may consider to be a gender disorder. Your heart tells you that you need and want a relationship with another person like your parents may have had, with the lifetime of relational security that is promised therein. But your psyche does not allow you to form that attachment with someone of the opposite sex. So rather than live a lonely celibate life, you act on your natural responses and develop this relationship with another woman like yourself.
    Then along comes the majority vote, including many demonstrations and protests against you and a lot of money to keep you oppressed and restricted. How would you view this group who brought their protests to your neighborhood? Would you see that they really love you, or would you see these actions as hate?
    Would you not feel the urge to fight back?

    Ultimately, I think this still comes down to a situation of trying to legislate our own view of morality. I do believe in the Proclamation on the Family, and I chart the course of my life with the Gospel. One of the most important principles of the Gospel is that of Agency. There was a war fought over that principle, and the opponents of Agency-- well, you know how that went. It seems to me that we are still struggling with Agency. What good are the principles of the Gospel if we do not practice them of our own free will? What meaning is there to my covenant of Marriage if I believe I have to suppress the agency of others to give my covenant validity?

  3. I used to get really upset when I'd read where someone was attacking the church. It still bothers me a little, but I view it differently than I used to.

    The people who are protesting the church in CA have been hurt, they have valid reasons for wanting to lash out. I don't think lashing out is okay, but I think the responsibility of church members now is to turn the other cheek.

    Collectively we have told another group of human beings that they are not equal to us. How do we expect people to feel about that?

  4. One thing that is true in American history is that rights have never been granted based on legislation, but only from judges enforcing the Constitution. Here too is another time where democracy and majority fail to allow the rights of a minority. Someday, I do think we will look back at these laws as silly.

  5. wordsfromhome-
    I understand individuals wanting to protest- what I don't understand is protesting a church that advised 2% of the vote in California.

    When a law is passed by 54% I'd go protest the bulk of that vote- which was African American and Hispanic voters- not Mormons.

    The idea that the homosexual community is holding the LDS church responsible for the voting choices of 54% of Californians is comical.

  6. salt - What do you think would be the reaction if the protesters went after particular ethnic or racial groups? Perhaps that is why (along with the fact that the church donated so much) that those groups are not being targeted. I see your point, but what is happening makes sense to me.

  7. Here's some great stuff I just read from an advocacy group, Equality Utah:

    "While we disagree with the LDS Church's position on Proposition 8, we respect that their position is based on the guiding principles of their faith... Throughout the campaign, while the LDS Church stated its support of [the measure], it also made repeated comments that the church 'does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights...

    Just last week, Elder L. Whitney Clayton stated the LDS Church does not oppose 'civil union or domestic partnerships. We are taking the LDS Church at its word."

    I hope the church and its members are now able to follow through with this and not oppose civil unions in Utah.

  8. SaltH2O, if the Mormons had been accountable for 2% of the thrust and contributions of this campaign against a minority, perhaps I could see your point. Otherwise, I'm dumbfounded. I believe it was your prop 8 blog post that started off, "I've been asked to blog about this." By whom? It's naive and delusional to think that the Mormon church, and others, did not drive this campaign.

    It's 'interesting' that there were no vigils of grieving and repressed anger before the vote? Interesting why? Because the 'no' campaign ran a clean, honest campaign and didn't give in to anger and pettiness or lies and a complete abuse of legal principals?

  9. Interesting commentary by Keith Olbermann on MSNBC

  10. Adam- where is the whitney clayton statement? I can only find where the church says they don't oppose hospital visitation, probate right, and things like that. I can't find where they specifically say they do not oppose civil unions or domestic partnerships.

    I'd like to see it, since the Oaks/Wickman thing specifically says that they view civil unions or domestic partnerships as the same as same sex marriage.

  11. Here it is, from the Trib:

    "In its statement, the LDS Church said it does not object to domestic partnership or civil union legislation "as long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches."

    Still looking for the original source though.

  12. SaltH20: "I haven't talked to any Mormon that has held any animosity towards those that disagree with them."

    Respectfully,that's no surprise. Help me understand why someone safely tucked up and away in the "moral" majority would feel threatened or angry toward a disenfranchised, disempowered minority? Perhaps I'm misinterpreting your comment, but it reads like sanctimony and condescension. Granted, it's an easy position to take when you are part of the protected majority.

  13. Adam, this post pretty much sums my thoughts about this since Election Day.

  14. re: "civil union legislation"

    The tribune quoted the LDS church press statement "as long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches." The tribune did not quote a statement with the term "civil union" issued by a leader, but instead noted that the LDS statement lists items that they do not oppose, which happen to also be common in legislation for Civil Unions.

    From the LDS Church statement:
    "(T)he 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. "

    The above litany of rights is common with Civil Union legislation. Throw adoption into the mix and it's pretty much the full gumbo. Of course, the LDS leaders put into their pockets for future use a we-did-not-say-that-you-misunderstood card by adding the phrase "traditional family". ;-)


    "The Big Mormon Call Out: If it works in Eagle Mountain, it should work anywhere. "
    Holly Mullen, City Weekly

    "Earlier this week, Equality Utah called out the LDS hierarchy on its sudden mixed messages regarding gay rights. The gay-, lesbian- and transgender-interest group wants church leaders to act on recent official statements that while the church opposes gay marriage, it does not oppose civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. Spokesmen in the past couple of weeks have also stepped up statements that the church does not oppose equal rights for same-sex couples in hospitalization, medical care, housing, employment and probate matters.

    State Sen. Scott McCoy, D-Salt Lake City, and Rep. Christine Johnson, D-Salt Lake City—two members of the Utah Legislature’s openly gay troika (Rep. Jackie Biskupski, D-Salt Lake City is the third) were at Equality Utah’s press conference announcing the push to gain official LDS support on five gay-rights bills slated for the 2008 Legislature. Executive director Mike Thompson threw down the gauntlet: “Will the [LDS Church] First Presidency draft a letter to Utah Latter-day Saints in support of rights and protections for gay couples?” Thompson said he hopes church leaders would ask such a letter be read statewide to congregations, same as the pro-Prop 8 letter was circulated last summer."


  15. That's odd, because Prop 8 didn't affect traditional families OR the constitutional rights of churches.

    Has Utah tried to pass civil-union-type laws in the past?

  16. I was going to comment on the cat posters ... liked them.

  17. no problem Stephen, I'll open the comments back up if you still want to. :)


Comments that are not offensive, snide, or off-topic enough may be subject to moderation.