Sunday, July 4, 2010

"Mormon" proposition?

Apparently there's a new movie on its way.

For folks who are so opposed to "hate", why do I have a feeling people will come out of that movie hating the Mormons?

I'm willing to bet of all the people yelling in the trailer, not a one is LDS. We're just not that kind of people.

I love that they pulled a quote from President Monson: "There can be nothing that can defeat us." Stirs up images of Stalinism, doesn't it?

They had to work hard to extract that one. Here's the full quote from his May 2009 talk, after just telling a story of a woman after World War II who had overcome great difficulty going from East Prussia to West Germany:
"I testify to you that our promised blessings are beyond measure. Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us."


Other quotes from the trailer:

"This is how much you make, this is how much we think you can give -- or you might lose your membership."

The horrific implications in this statement are patently false.

"I can't believe that people could hate us this much, they don't even know us."

We don't hate gays. Please read this interview with Elders Oaks and Wickman about our feelings towards them. That's what we believe.

"If God puts in the scriptures that it's a sin to live that lifestyle, then he's not going to have them born this way."

So she's saying homosexuality is hereditary?

Are there any sins that we're not born wanting to commit? Lying, stealing, coveting, etc., are all things we're pretty much born wanting to do. This idea is broken on so many levels.

"Gays interrupt the Mormon plan for heaven."

There is nothing about this sentence that is true. Gays don't interrupt anything, governments do -- if refusing to honor gay marriages is labeled "discrimination", all kinds of bad things happen. The interview linked above has examples where that has already happened.

And "Mormon plan for heaven"? What does that even mean? If I got to plan it I'm pretty sure it would look like a bad copy of Disneyland.

"This is about making a stand for what is right."

Ah, finally some truth!
The story's not over. I'm sailing on a ship where people are happy and generally kind and loving, but we do have to work hard. And people on other ships make fun of us and even think our captain is a deluded dictator. We don't think that... They also think our ship is eventually going to be smashed on the rocks. Really? How do they know? How would I know?

Let's assume that the LDS doctrine is an elaborate series of fabrications created 180 years ago, and that good people filtered out the worst of it years ago and the rest is just normal christianity with some irrelevant stuff bolted to the side. How would you recommend I go about finding the true church, assuming you believe one exists? Or if not, the "right church for me"? How will I know when I've found it?

2 comments:

El Genio said...

Bryan,

As an active church member living in California during the proposition 8 campaign I can personally attest to the truth of a lot of things in the film. For example, while soliciting specific dollar amounts from members was not an official policy, it was a semi-regular occurrence in various stakes. You can even read about one proposition 8 supporter who blogged about their experience and the blessings they received from their donation.

I too doubt that any of the people yelling in the film were actually LDS. But for me at least, that is part of what made this experience so painful. I watched as people had pizza and brownie parties to encourage prop 8 calling. Regular Saturday activities were turned into canvasing and sign waving parties. Church members all over southern California cheerfully did their best to eliminate marriage for thousands of their brothers & sisters- and they had a fun time doing it.

I understand that the church says it doesn't hate gay people - heck, they even managed to support a non-discrimination ordinance in Salt Lake city last year. But the vast majority of the church's actions speak much louder than their words. And even their words are frequently hurtful.

I am not a threat to religious freedom. I am not trying to destroy marriage. And people who love me do not try and destroy my (future) marriage. As members of the LDS church we understand the importance of marriage. In fact, it's probably the most important ordinance and covenant we can make on this earth. It is, to be sure, a central part of the LDS faith. I don't understand how we can deny other individuals the right to make their own marriage vows, even though they may differ from the doctrinal beliefs that the LDS church holds.

bryan said...

@El Genio -- you're right, and I did know about some folks being asked for specific amounts. IIRC, prop 8 barely passed, meaning that if you believe the money influenced the outcome, they raised *just barely* enough. That's probably a comforting thought for the members who donated. I just took issue with the implication that people's memberships (and presumably therefore "salvation") were at stake for a sum of money, and that the church wasn't interested in your actual ability to pay or situation. Worse, the implication that the organization behaves that way -- somehow holding "salvation" out as a carrot while you give/slave away your life for some nefarious cause -- is patently false and misrepresents the millions of selfless hours these great people give in service to each other.

If there are tares (and we know there are), imagine what this group will look like once they're removed? That's a group I really want to be a part of.

As for denying gays the right to be "married" -- I hear you. I struggle any time we try to limit freedoms for others, e.g. gambling, drugs, etc. We don't (and probably shouldn't) have the right to stop people who want to drink, but I can't let my kids drink alcohol, and can we tolerate drunk driving? We'd love to let "other people" do anything they want, but we have to draw a line when they start hurting others.

As a sidenote, if I stopped loving my wife, would that hurt my kids?? I'm sure it would, but I've struggled for years trying to figure out how to protect kids from their parents. I do believe kids have the best childhood and start for their life in a stable, traditional family.

Anyway, all that said, in the end this is a moral issue, gays who act on those feelings are being immoral in the eyes of the church. The church does not want society to treat this good/bad immorality as a sideways difference (such as tall vs. short, asian vs. latino, blonde vs. brunette), and then immediately label the church as discriminatory and bigoted and open the door for legal actions. Think it won't happen? It already has -- remember Edmunds-Tucker?

Why not support a "civil union" approach instead? One that gives gays the rights they're looking for (hospital visitation, estate/probate rights, etc.), so they can live the same life I do, but so we don't have to change what it means when I say I'm "married"?

Everyone I've talked to in the church would support that.

Does anyone read this thing?

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