Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mormon Priorities

A reader to Andrew Sullivan's blog reports on the extent of the Mormon church's involvement in the passage of California's anti-gay proposition 8:

This was not typical church activism. The Mormon Prophet commanded that every California member give time and money to pass Prop 8. Each member was then contacted by a church authority to make sure the orders from Salt Lake City were obeyed. Mormons were organized into groups to canvas neighborhoods, knock on doors, distribute yards signs, and otherwise organize against gay marriage rights.
I remain staggered at the opportunity costs of this. From among the dizzying variety of causes on behalf of which "the Mormon Prophet" might choose to cajole, threaten, and "command" his followers to take action, the one he chose was the cancellation of gay marriage. How many people lost their homes or had to skip meals in California during all this fevered and expensive anti-gay activism?

It seems to me "the Mormon Prophet" and those who willingly designate him as such need to hitch up their enchanted underwear and think again about the ends to which they're tithing, working, and receiving "orders from Salt Lake City."


brother sky said...

The problem I have with so much that's going on in US politics today is that, when voting, people ask themselves, "What do I believe about this issue" instead of what they should be asking, "Does the government have any right to legislate this issue." Most libertarians I know are much more socially conservative than I am, but we get along because they don't believe they have the right to infringe on my liberty by legislating their moral positions.

principleoverparty said...

The reality is the above statement that the members of the mormon church were not cajoled nor forced to work toward defeating 8. And stupid people should avoid blogging unless they know the facts. It is also important to put into context that mormons were legislated against in the same manner in the late 1800's in case you don't remember or know. Polygamy was outlawed against the mormons and since they haven't fought nor argued against it. There have been fringe groups that have broken off and continued the practice, but they are not in the church. So if there is one organization that has a right to stand against this it is the mormons. Any time you put man's law ahead of God's law you are going down the wrong road anyway.

Dale said...

Wow, p-over-p, your pity party over Mormon's historic struggle against its polygamous past would almost be touching if you drew a sensible conclusion from it of the sort that suggested you had learned -- such as that nosy majorities should stay the hell out of people's sex and family lives to the maximum extent possible, making exceptions only to prevent actual harms to actual people.

But no. Instead you want to pay the officiousness forward and apply it to today's hated minorities. Neat!

And let me get this straight: the Mormons didn't fight against restrictions on polygamy? You crack me up.

As for threatening and cajoling, tell it to Sullivan's letter writer. Me, I'll believe the evidence of my eyes -- all the Mormon money and visible activism that supported prop 8.

To your favrite god, his road, and his law, I say: fuck off. No, make that fuck the fuck off. Etch that on a golden plate and pretend to find it in your back yard.

principleoverparty said...

i don't often read blogs, but it does seem when someone really doesn't know anything they digress to hate mongering and blasting those that disagree with them. Good for you, you really fell into line with the hate mongers. good luck in your quest of hate and all your efforts to destroy the democratic process. you people keep it up, and hopefully someday you'll all realize it was worth every bit of it. And to be truthful there's no pity-party here, just a little historical context. btw your english usage also shows your lack of intellect. and one last question...you suggest i would push the officiousness forward. In the context of gay marriage as a redefinition, where do you people want it to stop? Polygamy, Bestiality, Father-Daughter? What? because no matter what you want, you in turn will try and dictate a limit on someone else, so be honest in your bigotry and hypocrisy, at least let us know where the limit should be in your almighty opinion.

Zennalathas said...

What is it with the slippery slope fallacy? I actually don't understand how you go from: gays suck to: bestiality and polygamy are okay.

None of those things are in any way related at all in the same way that gay marriages have no effect on straight ones.

No. Seriously: why do you think a redefinition will ACTUALLY lead to those things in the current political atmosphere?

It's the exact same bullshit that people spewed out when they were against whites and blacks marrying one another. Do you think that's wrong too? Did that redefinition shatter the very fabric of our world's morals to the point where people went to the streets and yelled: Hey, why the fuck not let a man fuck his daughter in a happy marriage?

Also, who the hell says you can tell an unorthodox couple that they're harming each other. What gives you the right to label what is and is not appropriate between two consenting adults? What knowledge of the inner workings of others do you have that we don't that allows you to know that an unorthodox relationship is harmful to the participants? How are you so completely certain that a man and a man and a woman and maybe even another woman and her trans-sexual friend cannot enter a loving and rewarding relationship?

Certainly there are cases that do breach the barrier of what is and is not harmful, but the unorthodox relationships are not the problems; it's the people's actions WITHIN the relationships that are the problem.

I'll pull on an Obama metaphor here: to revoke the right to the relationship is to use a hatchet to end the problem instead of a scalpel.

Furthermore, from a legal and social perspective in which, constitutionally, your respective retardation (oh, excuse me...I meant religion) has absolutely no sway in a determinative way, how does any of the aforementioned relationships affect you in any way?

(Here's a hint: it doesn't and you're just a fuckwad who hasn't paid the slightest bit of attention to educating itself in any relevant way. Grow up and let other people live their lives.)

Dale said...

p-over-p, it shows that you almost never read blogs, because if you read blogs more often than "almost never," you'd realize this is one of the most civilized, pleasant blogs in existence.

I don't hate Mormons but I have no respect for Mormonism, and I am appalled at the Mormon church's activities on prop 8.

Mormonism is a creed -- a set of truth claims about the world -- and as such, it's freely chosen and freely abandoned by human beings (unlike, say, race or sex). And as such it has no rights. And as such those who accept its tenets can expect to reap the scorn that the creed sometimes underwrites, endorses, propagates, and provokes.

If you think gays should be second- or third-class citizens, you can damn well expect pushback for it. Welcome to the real world outside the temple walls.

As for your silly slippery slope argument, here's the line I'd draw: the same line that applies when someone signs up for a mortgage or a car loan or any other contract. Are the parties competent adults under the law? If yes, the state has seen everything it has a legitimate right to see.

If/when children become involved in the union, I would see a place for the state to get as involved as it currently gets in cases where it is necessary to adjudicate competent parenting. These are rare cases. The most common is an adoption scenario -- there are standards the would-be adoptive parents must meet. This is defensible and sensible. It has nothing to do with anything written in any 'holy' book, nor should it.

From there, religious bodies -- and individuals for that matter -- are free to step in and either accept or condemn the union. They do not, please note, enjoy any right to be happily embraced or respected by all parties and bystanders in their acts and statements of acceptance or condemnation. Religious institutions and the creeds they embody have no right to be respected, liked, or agreed with. Individuals, likewise, have no right to be liked or embraced for their opinions.

principleoverparty said...

I have several things to add then in regards to your argument regarding the slippery slope concept, first of all neither of you gave me an answer as to where it should stop. Because in hearing many on the gay rights side the argument is that polygamy is wrong. So how does that moral barrier get established when you are affronted by others that express their moral values? And yes i do believe it will lead to other practices, especially in the current political atmosphere. Secondly you asked how does it affect me if you live the way you do? It very much affects my children when they shove the educational bullshit books down my kindegartners throat such as "Peter has two dads" etc. You talk about pushback. This is why I push back. My children should not have to be taught that your lifestyles are acceptable, correct or moral under any circumstance, unless I deem it a necessity. So your own agenda has been the reason i have pushed back. Don't lecture the people who are actually trying to raise families about rights. And to put it in your own words being gay "is freely chosen and freely abandoned by human beings (unlike, say, race or sex). And as such it has no rights. And as such those who accept its tenets (practices) can expect to reap the scorn that the creed sometimes underwrites, endorses, propagates, and provokes." Very well said. And last I haven't understood why consenting adults have to have the states approval. Civil Unions are sanctioned all over the country heterosexual and homosexual. And had not the state stepped in, in the first place in the 1890's...I wonder where we'd be now. A few stats i found interesting of those that voted for 8 only 4% of them were mormons. This link also better says what i think. http://ultramicah.blogspot.com/2008/11/rights-vs-semantics.html but don't cry about push back, because this is all about push back!

Zennalathas said...

I didn't ask you IF you thought redefining marriage would lead to the acceptance of other unorthodox practices...I asked you WHY you thought that it would in the current political atmosphere. What about your America, today, do you think is so accepting of polygamy, bestiality, etc...?

Plus, did you actually just try to say that if you don't think something is necessary to be taught, your kids shouldn't learn it? There's so much wrong with that it's just kind of sad...imagine how backwards history books would look if the generation before us learned only things that its parents wanted it to...Just...wow...

Dale said...

p-over-p, I've answered your latest comment in a separate post.

larryniven said...

Yes - what is this bit about "the current political climate"? Is it conducive to everything being blown out of proportion? Because if so, you really ought to try worrying more about the bailout, say, or the Iraq war, because those are bad enough as they are and could only possibly do more harm if exaggerated in the way that you're treating the idea of gay marriage. Dale already called you out on the various fictions that inform your argument, but this one interests me the most. Just what, exactly, do you think you're talking about?