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Joseph Smith:

David T

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Personally, I know when it comes to me, I try to avoid ignorance and superstition by trying to learn as much as I can about the Church, the scriptures, and their history and actual context.

In addition to this, to try and remove unintended bigotry in my own thoughts and practices, I also am actively trying to understand other cultural, social, or religious groups on their own terms that I may not initially have had firsthand experience with. Also, I have been trying very hard to not use prooftext scriptures and historical soundbites as a tool to reinforce my pre-set conclusions, biases, and and judgement on other individuals' character, sincerity, or worth.

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I was listening to a program a couple of weeks ago that went through the history of the civil rights movement of the 60's. The worst part of the discrimination that took place clearly was in Missouri and Alabama. There was certainly a core political and religious group that strongly opposed desegregration. Eventually equality has won out for the most part and people think noting of having blacks attend any college they choose. But I feel, the stain of those two states that were so strongly against equality for blacks still remains 50 years later. When people think of bigotted states against blacks, many would still name those two states either fairly or unfairly.

I was thinking about the equal rights being fought concerning gays that is going on today. And it seems that Mormons and the state of Utah in many people's minds, come off as being very bigoted in this issue. The state of Utah is sounding like the state that Alabaman and Missouri were in the 60's. While the church has been very clear that while it opposes gay marriage, the church supports other equal rights for gays. They have said it time and time again. They have voiced their support of antidiscrimination legislation. Despite the churches efforts, and even the passing of antidiscrimination in 10 mayor cities in the state, Utah legislature refuses to pass any discrimination legislation. It makes the state of Utah the current poster boy for antiequality for gays. I wonder how the state will be viewed 50 years from now. It is even more unfortunate because the church is so associated with the state of Utah. The label of bigotry can last a long time even when it is undeserved. It makes the statements of Joseph Smith seem like very important advice to be heeded today.

A few recent articles.

Senate: No hearing for anti-discrimination bill

Second Parent Adoption Bill

Discrimination Survey

Bigoted Grafitti in SLC

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Indeed, I do worry about that California boy. But I do have a feeling, also, that it's probably gonna be labeled that even if the legislature passed those laws - people like labeling, and have been doing so forever, and until people get done with labeling (of any sort), it's gonna happen =P. I wish it didn't though.

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