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Prop 8 as discussed in BYU's "Daily Universe"


Daniel2

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It's been a few fallow weeks here at MAD since any discussion about the LDS church's involvment in the gay marriage movement. That means the soil is ripe for discussion, right? (I apologize in advance to those of you who are already rolling your eyes in irritation over my relentless pursuit of discussion involving Mormonism and Homosexual issues. In an ironic way, I can relate: I wish I didn't have to deal with the pairing of the two of those issues in my life, either... hopefully, we can keep the discussion civil for anyone who chooses to respond).

Dead Horse Issue...? It seems people in LDS places are still talking--and talking probably will continue to help healing.

So--what's newly relevant to Mormons that is on the table...? An opinion peice from my alma mater's newspaper, BYU's Daily Universe. The last paragraph, in particular strikes me as startingly honest. I'm impressed:

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By the way, in case any are wondering who this Cary Crall is, here's a recent article (also from BYU's Daily Universe) about him:

This Mr. Crall seems a very bright lad with some pesky progressive leanings and troublesome willingness to question church authority.

I doubt he will be a believing mormon for long. :P

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How would this be any different than someone fasts not for "the proven scientific facts that support fasting once a month" but rather as a more spiritual matter? I see he eliminated some of the baggage with the issue imposed by sociological factors, but does that mean he refutes the underlying premise? But again I skimmed and am pretty fatigued. I'll give it a second read later.

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This Mr. Crall seems a very bright lad with some pesky progressive leanings and troublesome willingness to question church authority.

I doubt he will be a believing mormon for long. :P

I can understand your suppositions, Silver, and I myself wonder about the same ultimate net outcome in his case.

However, I'm not so sure that Mr. Crall has, in your words, "questioned church authority." (At least, I can't see anywhere where he's done that--do you?)

In fact, just the opposite may be true: it seems the point of his article is that he bluntly acknowledges that respect for the mantel of LDS authority is ultimately the real and overarching motivation which tethered the Pro-Prop 8 actions of many supporters to "the man that many of 'us' (his word, not mine, of course) believe is a prophet of God."

Darin

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I can understand your suppositions, Silver, and I myself wonder about the same ultimate net outcome in his case.

However, I'm not so sure that Mr. Crall has, in your words, "questioned church authority." (At least, I can't see anywhere where he's done that--do you?)

Perhaps not, but he has pointed out that there are not many good reasons to oppose it besides "the prophet said so".

Language like that is a short stone's throw away from openly and clearly questioning church authority.

In fact, just the opposite may be true: it seems the point of his article is that he bluntly acknowledges that respect for the mantel of LDS authority is ultimately the real and overarching motivation which tethered the Pro-Prop 8 actions of many supporters to "the man that many of 'us' (his word, not mine, of course) believe is a prophet of God."

I don't think so. I truly believe that most LDS (the prophet included) who supported prop 8 did so because they sincerely thought they were standing up against a nefarious cultural force that sought to undermine heterosexual marriage and weaken the nuclear family.

They weren't doing it just to obey the prophet. In fact, I very much doubt any LDS person supported prop 8 against their conscience.

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Perhaps not, but he has pointed out that there are not many good reasons to oppose it besides "the prophet said so".

Language like that is a short stone's throw away from openly and clearly questioning church authority.

Many here will tell you that the word of wisdom is about obedience, rather that come up with some hokey reason why they don't drink tea. It doesnt mean they are on the road to apostasy.

I don't think so. I truly believe that most LDS (the prophet included) who supported prop 8 did so because they sincerely thought they were standing up against a nefarious cultural force that sought to undermine heterosexual marriage and weaken the nuclear family.

I agree. The rhetoric has surface appeal. Mr. Crall obviously tried to think through the alleged concern, and came up empty. Its a mistake for him to assume that members actually gave some thought as to how gay marriage would undermine heterosexual marriage and weaken the nuclear family.

They weren't doing it just to obey the prophet. In fact, I very much doubt any LDS person supported prop 8 against their conscience.

Perhaps, but I am quite sure that many, many, many LDS members donated time and money to Prop 8, when they would not have done so, had the call not come out from SLC to do so.

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The article doesn't address "slippery slope" fears that were brought up repeatedly.

As fears about what a bill could lead to (as opposed to of what a bill actually says) aren't legitimate arguments in judiciary consideration, the folks that were/are fearful of what 'may happen' knew theose arguments held no water legally (even if they were strong points in terms of their ability to rally support).

That's not to say that people aren't entitled to those fears. The above article just shows that the folks at the head of the pro-8 movement had enough self-control and wisdom not to bring these arguments to the table.

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The real reason is that a man who most of us believe is a prophet of God told us to support the amendment. We must accept this explanation, along with all its consequences for good or ill on our own relationship with God and his children here on earth. Maybe then we will stop thoughtlessly spouting reasons that are offensive to gays and lesbians and indefensible to those not of our faith.

Yeah...sorry to be the bearer of bad news Br. Crall, but "the Prophet asked/told us to do it" probably isn't that much better to those who are not of our faith.

And I don't think gays and lesbians feel better if someone does something like this because they sincerely think God has told them to do it.

Either way, it's probably better to stay with the more rational-sounding arguments.

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Yeah...sorry to be the bearer of bad news Br. Crall, but "the Prophet asked/told us to do it" probably isn't that much better to those who are not of our faith.

And I don't think gays and lesbians feel better if someone does something like this because they sincerely think God has told them to do it.

Either way, it's probably better to stay with the more rational-sounding arguments.

It's a brave stance to say that a man we believe to be in communication with God directed us to oppose same-sex marriage. And I doubt LBGT'ers will come to terms with that reason any more than they will with any other manufactured reason, but there is a chance, and a small chance at that, that a modicum of respect will be earned for standing up for your belief.

About 8 years ago, when this was an issue in Canada, a friend of mine at work was debating the LDS stance with me. I was on the fence, truthfully, but I was throwing all of the manufactured excuses at him - not natural, traditional marriage foundation of society, bad for kids, constitutional blah blah blah etc etc, and he had an answer for all those things... Finally, he stopped, looked at me, and I remember it like it was yesterday, he said to me, "You know, I'd have a lot more respect for you if you just said that God told you to oppose gay marriage, instead of coming up with all kinds of malarky, because that's the only thing that would make sense." That hit me like tonne of bricks.

Today, I feel as though the Prophet got it wrong, that SSM is not a threat to anyone or any church, but that doesn't change the fact that when the prophet speaks, and we believe, we should not hide behind excuses, rather, we should be direct.

H.

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I find the statement that the real reason we Mormons do things is only because the prophet asks us to insulting. That's the anti argument that we are morgbots, mindless, lockstep ninnies who couldn't come up with a single idea on our own.

That is almost as insulting as the idea that we make up reasons why we do something because we don't want admit we take direction from a prophet.

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First, a ditto to Expositor. Arguments that are persuasive in the secular sphere are not the same arguments you give for constitutionality.

Second, contrary to what the article said, slippery slope claims were brought up in court (I believe) but were found wanting.

I think the real argument here is whether marriage is simply a legalized companionship that may involve raising children, or has something fundamentally to do with bearing children. The real difficultly those of us who are for traditional marriage face is that it is difficult to claim that marriage has anything to do with bearing children (as marriage is practiced in this country). If marriage is only about companionship and raising children, then we need a rational basis to discriminate. None has been presented as far as I can tell.

The silly thing about all of this is that what we really need to do is deal with things like single women using sperm banks to get pregnant. Or single people getting pregnant from their boyfriends, and not marrying so they can keep their cheap housing. etc...

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I find the statement that the real reason we Mormons do things is only because the prophet asks us to insulting. That's the anti argument that we are morgbots, mindless, lockstep ninnies who couldn't come up with a single idea on our own.

That is almost as insulting as the idea that we make up reasons why we do something because we don't want admit we take direction from a prophet.

Well, Charity, let me ask you this (and it's a hypothetical, so please play along): Imagine that tomorrow, you woke up and read that the First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve Apostles released a statement saying that the church supports same-sex marriage, so long as temples remain sacred places and no bishop will ever be forced to marry a same sex couple, tell me, would your personal stance on same-sex marriage change, assuming that today, you are against same sex marriages?

If it does change, how is that different than following the prophet? If it does not change, is that evidence that you feel the prophet is wrong?

H.

PS. No typical "that would never happen so I won't entertain the thought" responses, please. Answer the question I asked, if you dare.

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I find the statement that the real reason we Mormons do things is only because the prophet asks us to insulting. That's the anti argument that we are morgbots, mindless, lockstep ninnies who couldn't come up with a single idea on our own.

That is almost as insulting as the idea that we make up reasons why we do something because we don't want admit we take direction from a prophet.

"Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, follow the prophet, heeeeee knoooooows the waaaaaaaaay!"

I'm pretty sure I've heard that hymn before. It doesn't say, "Question the prophet, question the prophet, question the prophet, sometimes he's wrong!"

Oh, and hey, if you don't think "we make up reasons why we do something because we don't want admit we take direction from a prophet", well, just start a thread on the Word of Wisdom, or the law of chastity, and you'll find examples of rationalization and cognitive dissonance at it's finest.

H.

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I find the statement that the real reason we Mormons do things is only because the prophet asks us to insulting.

imagine if you can, your life without religion. what then would be you position? Religion or rather "A Prophet" established what "God" claims marriage is. Without religion, there would be no basis to claim this or that against ssm. Or rather, without religion, there would be no RATIONAL basis - the legal standard used in the case - to be against ssm. Religion laid the ground work against homosexuality, the "rules" of religion were incorporated into laws of the land. If the world did not have religion, the history of marriage and condemnation of homosexuality would be quite different.

That's the anti argument that we are morgbots, mindless, lockstep ninnies who couldn't come up with a single idea on our own.

w/o religion, i say, the vast majority would not care

That is almost as insulting as the idea that we make up reasons why we do something because we don't want admit we take direction from a prophet.

i started a thread on this please feel welcome to participate

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I will freely admit that when it comes to gay marriage, the only reason that i am against it is because i believe the Prophet speaks for God on the issue and the prophet and apostles have said that we need to fight to keep it from becoming legal.

If the Prophet declared next week that things were changing and that he and the brethren were wrong, i would celebrate.

I don't believe that that makes me mindless or a morg-bot. To me, it just logical. If i could always come up with the correct answer on my own without any input from someone who speaks for God and leads His church, then what good would believing in a prophet be to me?

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Well, Charity, let me ask you this (and it's a hypothetical, so please play along): Imagine that tomorrow, you woke up and read that the First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve Apostles released a statement saying that the church supports same-sex marriage, so long as temples remain sacred places and no bishop will ever be forced to marry a same sex couple, tell me, would your personal stance on same-sex marriage change, assuming that today, you are against same sex marriages?

If it does change, how is that different than following the prophet? If it does not change, is that evidence that you feel the prophet is wrong?

H.

PS. No typical "that would never happen so I won't entertain the thought" responses, please. Answer the question I asked, if you dare.

The reason I follow the prophet now is that I have spent many hours of study, prayer, fasting, and receiving personal revelation. With such a personal witness, I don't call that mindlessly following the prophet. I would expect that any such statement as you describe would bring forth the same process. When such effort is expended, I don't think it is tantamount to morgbotism.

So to answer your question, yes, I would follow the prophet. I do what I do, and follow the prophet is one of them, because I have been told by a higher power that is what is the best course of action for me.

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"Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, follow the prophet, heeeeee knoooooows the waaaaaaaaay!"

I'm pretty sure I've heard that hymn before. It doesn't say, "Question the prophet, question the prophet, question the prophet, sometimes he's wrong!"

Oh, and hey, if you don't think "we make up reasons why we do something because we don't want admit we take direction from a prophet", well, just start a thread on the Word of Wisdom, or the law of chastity, and you'll find examples of rationalization and cognitive dissonance at it's finest.

H.

Give it your best shot.

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imagine if you can, your life without religion. what then would be you position? Religion or rather "A Prophet" established what "God" claims marriage is. Without religion, there would be no basis to claim this or that against ssm. Or rather, without religion, there would be no RATIONAL basis - the legal standard used in the case - to be against ssm. Religion laid the ground work against homosexuality, the "rules" of religion were incorporated into laws of the land. If the world did not have religion, the history of marriage and condemnation of homosexuality would be quite different.

w/o religion, i say, the vast majority would not care

i started a thread on this please feel welcome to participate

I have plenty of reasons to oppose homsexual behavior, not related to any religion. I am a limited Darwinist. Continuation of life on this planet precludes homosexual attractions and behavior. Two males will never produce offspring. I thought everybody knew that.

What is your other thread?

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The reason I follow the prophet now is that I have spent many hours of study, prayer, fasting, and receiving personal revelation. With such a personal witness, I don't call that mindlessly following the prophet. I would expect that any such statement as you describe would bring forth the same process. When such effort is expended, I don't think it is tantamount to morgbotism.

So to answer your question, yes, I would follow the prophet. I do what I do, and follow the prophet is one of them, because I have been told by a higher power that is what is the best course of action for me.

Charity, I think you were the first to mention 'morgbotism' and mindless followership. *I* certainly didn't mention it. No matter how or why one comes to the conclusion to follow the prophet, I find very few members who will admit, publically, that prophet followership is the reason for any particular stance that they take. Rather, I hear much rationalization and excuse - gay marriage is bad because of the social ills it will create, WoW is good because doctors say that caffeine is bad, law of chastity is good because it prevents disease. Those may be right things to say, but they all have an equally compelling refutation, which is equally right. And none have the power to bring about the testimony of the Holy Ghost.

Stating that you unequivocally believe that a prophet, the mouthpiece of the Lord, told you that gay marriage is wrong, that the Word of Wisdom is correct, and the law of chastity is an eternal principal, and so on and so on, that, and only that, has the power to bring about the testimony of the Holy Ghost. Nothing else.

That is not mindless followership, or morgbotism, or sheeple-ism, or anything else other than courage and conviction.

H.

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