I apologize in advance for the messy post. It’s a transcript of an online conversation I’ve been having with a fellow blogger today. The reason I’m posting its contents is because it reveals the intolerance and refusal of the opposition to consider the other side.
My first comment is in response to a claim that it’s not okay for religious people to force their beliefs on other people.
She responds very politely, but as I continue to present valid arguments for consideration, she becomes more and more impatient. Cussing, swearing, and eventually making completely false claims against the mormon church. It’s interesting to read…so if you can stand it– hang in there.
(skim the beginning and middle (though she does make the claim that single people are less of a citizen)– and pay attention to the end of the conversation–this is where she starts cussing and lying about the mormon church (out of lack of knowledge).
I’m also posting this frankly because many people back up their “mormons are intolerant” claim because they didn’t allow blacks in their churches/to have the priesthood/etc. The websites linked might be helpful in discussing these issues.
(but for the record, in case you don’t read any more– LDS churches have never been segregated, and the first black member was baptized in 1832. The church was organized in 1830)
Go here for a timeline of african americans and the LDS church: some of the early church persecution was because of its belief that black people were equal to white.
Go here and here for information on blacks and the priesthood and charges of racism.
prop8discussion – November 17, 2008 at 2:18 pm
aren’t gays and lesbians trying to turn their beliefs into laws?
christiolson – November 17, 2008 at 7:27 pm
No, not so much actually. It has nothing to do with beliefs, and everything to do with rights. Regardless of that, I meant beliefs in a religious sense. Marriage isn’t necessarily a religious sacrement, which is why religion shouldn’t play a part in who should be allowed to partake.
prop8discussion – November 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm
i agree civil marriage is not about any kind of religious sacrament.
government regulates marriage because it encourages children having at least a chance at a mom and a dad.
so if you “believe” that marriage is about love, commitment, sexual attraction, does that make me bigoted for believing it’s about providing the best environment for children? for thinking gender matters in parenting?
marriage is a civil privilege (siblings can’t marry, cousins can’t marry, a man or a woman can’t marry more than one person, no one can marry a 12 year old, in some states people with certain diseases can’t get married).
however, it’s open to all (as long as you don’t fall into the above category). Any person can marry any person of the opposite sex.
I know this may sound mean, but the government doesn’t care if the people are sexually attracted to each other or even if they love each other or if they are nice to each other or if they hate each other.
The government recognizes marriage with incentives to encourage a stable and good environment for children. (not that same-gender couples can’t provide safe and loving environments, but children need the gender differences of a mom and a dad– the current studies simply don’t have enough evidence to prove otherwise (and are flawed in major ways))
If you remove the gender requirement in the name of “equality” you:
a. enshrine sexual attraction as the main requirement for commitment and marriage
b. automatically include sibling couples, etc. (to the argument of “this won’t happen, this is ridiculous”
read this post:
also to say, it doesn’t affect straight people or the institution of marriage, read this article:
and…is a single person less of a citizen or less valuable because they aren’t married?
prop8discussion – November 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm
another good post about why mormons care about prop 8 and why it’s completely appropriate for them to participate in the conversation/election:
christiolson – November 18, 2008 at 5:18 pm
Actually people are considered less of a citizen if they aren’t married- if two people have a child but aren’t married, often the father isn’t allowed paternity leave. Not to mention they may not be allowed hospital visits, they can’t always claim life insurance benefits, etc. it’s more than just a “we love each other and want to get married” thing.
And in terms of gay marriage having an effect on straight marriage, I don’t need to read any articles. I’m straight. Gay marriage is legal here. I am in no way effected. No one I know was in any way effected. I had 13 years of Catholic school, if anyone was effected, I promise you I would have heard about it.
As for your flawed gender role argument, what about single parents? What about straight transgendered parents? What about people who in no way fit the traditional gender roles? And alternately, what about couples who choose to not have children? Should they not be allowed to get married because the institution of marriage is in place just to provide children with a traditional upbringing?
If you’re concerned with the protecting marriage, work towards banning divorce. Hundreds of studies have been conducted on the effects of divorce on children, and not so many have had positive results. So why not worry about an issue pertaining to marriage that is proven to be negative for kids, instead of trying to ban something that you said yourself hasn’t had any conclusive studies done (and the few studies that have been done have shown that it generally turns out positively).[my note: these studies are seriously flawed for many reasons the biggest being that the sample size isn’t big enough and they compare lesbian single mothers to single heterosexual mothers. go here for more on this topic]
Also, while I think the Mormon church has every right to get involved in the conversation, they should have been better prepared for the consequences of their actions. They’re free to campaign for whatever cause they would like, but that’s not going to stop me or other people from calling them assholes.
prop8discussion – November 19, 2008 at 2:48 am
A. i disagree that people are less of a person if they aren’t married.
i’m not married. i feel like a full citizen. Not getting tax deductions doesn’t mean i’m not a citizen. Having paternity leave has nothing to do with being a person.
also, i don’t think the definition of marriage should be changed so that people can visit each other in the hospital. that’s not why people get married. or for life insurance. that’s not why people get married.
and as i understand it, these things can be procured by a lawyer.
b. since you don’t want to read the article (why are you hesitant to see this issue from other angles?), i will summarize:
it goes through three examples of social/legal changes, tax law, welfare law, divorce law. In all three of these examples, supporters said: there is no way this will affect society for ill. And now we see that the laws have changed our society with destructive results (we have super high taxes, it’s normal to have children out of wedlock, it’s normal to have a divorce).
Jane Galt says towards the end:
“My only request is that people try to be a leeetle more humble about their ability to imagine the subtle results of big policy changes.
The argument that gay marriage will not change the institution of marriage because you can’t imagine it changing your personal reaction is pretty arrogant.
It imagines, first of all, that your behavior is a guide for the behavior of everyone else in society, when in fact, as you may have noticed, all sorts of different people react to all sorts of different things in all sorts of different ways, which is why we have to have elections and stuff.
And second, the unwavering belief that the only reason that marriage, always and everywhere, is a male-female institution (I exclude rare ritual behaviors), is just some sort of bizarre historical coincidence, and that you know better, needs examining.
If you think you know why marriage is male-female, and why that’s either outdated because of all the ways in which reproduction has lately changed, or was a bad reason to start with, then you are in a good place to advocate reform.
If you think that marriage is just that way because our ancestors were all a bunch of repressed bastards with dark Freudian complexes that made them homophobic bigots, I’m a little leery of letting you muck around with it.”
c. How exactly is my “Gender theory” flawed?
This isn’t just my own personal idea (although it is common sense). Children raised by a mom and a dad do better. The courts realize this (after too many years of thinking kids only need a mom). Social scientists realize this. France realized this. They decided “no” on same gender marriage because of childrens’ right to a mom and a dad. France studied the issue for a year. France decided that gender matters.
Couples who choose not to have children or can’t have children, still qualify under the definition. To say, well there’s a flaw in your argument, is like saying: if a kidney doesn’t work then we can’t call it a kidney.
d. I do care about the divorce rate. Society should do everything it can to encourage commitment in marriage. Making marriage about rights, hospitalization, life insurance, sexual identity acceptance, etc, does not strengthen the institution.
e. thank you for your tolerance and respect. it really reflects well on your whole argument.
it’s normal for churches to be involved in social policy. maybe martin luther king jr. should have stayed home (he was a preacher and he directly told congregations (even other than his own) to be involved in the civil rights movement). maybe anti-slavery people should have stayed home since they were motivated with religious principles.
f. there are more important issues at stake here than just hospital visitation rights, tax incentives, and life insurance. your unwillingness to see the other side, exposes a huge hole in the oppositions’ movement. they aren’t considering what is best for society.
christiolson – November 19, 2008 at 5:24 am
Yeah, I was willing to listen to your argument right up until you compared mormons to MLK and eliminating slavery. You officially have no idea what you’re talking about. You can f*** right off now.
prop8discussion – November 19, 2008 at 7:27 am
Again with the delightful language that exposes your unwillingness to really discuss.
You invalidate the comparison because you think mormons are bigots. That is your opinion.
Your opinion, however, doesn’t make it any less valid for churches to be involved with public policy. Your opinion doesn’t deny the fact that both movements are and were based on fundamental issues of christian morality and society.
The fact remains that religions have always participated in social/political issues.
The coalition consisted of many religions (including catholics). The mormon church was actually asked to join the coalition last.
The family is a fragile institution, and our society’s most important. Decisions regarding its definition should be considered with great caution.
christiolson – November 19, 2008 at 7:35 am
I have no interest in discussing this with someone who would make such a completely retarded comparison. For 150 years the LDS church taught that black people were cursed, and that because of their skin colour they weren’t allowed to enter their church. For you to even try to compare what the Mormons are doing now to the civil rights movement is not only ridiculous, it’s offensive. I’m not approving your comments anymore so please go preach your bullshit elsewhere.
prop8discussion – November 19, 2008 at 7:37 am
Actually, you didn’t call mormons bigots, you called them assholes.
They aren’t. Most all of them try their hardest to be as kind and non-judgemental as possible. They’d probably make you dinner if you showed up on their door, or at least give you some kind of treat.
They knew what they were getting into. Their leadership was aware of certain backlash. Perhaps, the graffiti on temple walls surprised them– but in the end they have never been concerned with popularity, and they don’t mind cleaning things up. None of the protests will change their doctrine. They’ll continue making blankets, showing up first to help after the california fires, they will continue donating millions of dollars a year to help in different areas of the world. They’ll continue to help the poor and the sad–
thanks for at least being willing to post my comments on your blog. you are doing a good thing– discussing this issue. so rock on.
prop8discussion – November 19, 2008 at 7:48 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation. (i believe my comment has been deleted…but we’ll see)
“For 150 years the LDS church taught that black people were cursed, and that because of their skin colour they weren’t allowed to enter their church.”
actually, their congregations have never been segregated. i know you only said this because you don’t know really know their history.
you might want to visit this site (even though I know you don’t like outside reading material). It’s done by a black mormon and he has a timeline up of the history of blacks and the church:
the mormon church was organized in 1830. The first black person was baptized in 1832.
this site has some quotes by joseph smith and brigham young in addition to doctrine about blacks and the priesthood:
The saints were accused of being abolitionists and a threat to the status of the state of Missouri, then a slave state. Even from the 1900s to the 1940s, when there was a general segregation of Blacks from so-called white churches, there was no Church policy of racial segregation of blacks and whites in THE CHURCH of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints.
D. Charles Pyle, Encyclopedia of Mormonism
“…[African Americans] came into the world slaves, mentally and physically. Change their situation with the whites, and they would be like them. They have souls, and are subjects of salvation.”
History of the Church, Vol. 5, page 217
And in 1863 Brigham Young taught:
“For their abuse of [the Black African] race, the whites will be cursed, unless they repent.”
Journal of Discourses, Vol.10, p.110
prop8discussion – November 19, 2008 at 7:51 am
it’s okay if you don’t approve my comments, but please acknowledge your factual error in saying that the mormon church did not allow blacks into its religion or into its church buildings.
I’m okay if she wants to end the conversation. I wouldn’t have submitted any more comments if she hadn’t made the remark about Mormons and african americans. Frankly this is a lie. We’ll see if she approves the comment.