Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Proposition 8

I watched The Return of the King last night instead of election coverage, because orcs eating people seemed cheerier to me than watching the Leftist media gloat. I will say, it's an exciting day for blacks in America and I hope Barack Obama's presidency will be the kind of change his followers hope for.

I was sent a disturbing email this morning about an anti-Mormon ad opposing Proposition 8 in California. Prop. 8 is a ballot measure in California, seeking to add wording to the state constitution clarifying that marriage is to be between a man and a woman. The battle has been heated, as you can imagine. If you want to watch "Mormon missionaries" ransacking the house of a lesbian couple and ripping up their marriage license, you can look it up the ad from 'Courage Campaign' on YouTube. I found it offensive in the extreme. It is always the case with liberal extremists that they say they want all views respected, when in reality, they have only respect for themselves. I can understand why people would oppose Proposition 8. But clearly, they do not extend the same courtesy as to why others might support it. The Church's response to this ad was characteristically classy.

Scott Trotter with the Church released this statement,
“The Church has joined a broad-based coalition in defense of traditional marriage. While we feel this is important to all of society, we have always emphasized that respect be given to those who feel differently on this issue. It is unfortunate that some who oppose this proposition have not given the Church this same courtesy.”

I remember when this was first a ballot measure in California several years ago while I was a student at BYU. I was surprised at how divided the campus--especially the professors--were on this issue. I remember one professor who I particularly admired being opposed to the Church's position mostly because of the extreme right groups it put us in camp with. Nobody likes to be thought of as intolerant. Heck, if the Church didn't have a position on gay marriage, I might not think it mattered. But I trust that the Prophet knows more. He is in the watch tower and it is his sacred responsibility to warn us when danger approaches, even if it doesn't look dangerous to us in the beginning. I think this issue and many others that members of the LDS faith may struggle with really boil down to whether or not you have a testimony of the divine call of the Prophet. If you don't believe he speaks for God, why would you care what he said? If he does, how can you possibly disregard it?

I'm including a link to a site supporting proposition 8. Read to the bottom and watch the video about how legalizing same-sex marriage has affected education in Massachusetts. It is disturbing, but not surprising.

I sometimes hear people suggest that the Church has no business in politics...I find this idea offensive. God makes laws...not the prophet, not the Church. If the laws of man run contrary to scriptural teachings, it is our responsibility to seek to change those laws. Man does not legislate morality. God already did that. We're just trying to keep in line with what he already taught. It is absurd to me that anyone would willingly compartmentalize or segregate the parts of their life in which they're willing to hear God...
"He can tell me how to eat, but not how to act out my sexuality...Our entire criminal justice system is based on the Ten Commandments, but we have no right to legislate morality....I'm willing to do what is already easy for me, but if His prophet asks something I'm uncomfortable with, I think it's none of His business." ????

Where gay marriage is concerned, this is plainly true. There is no discrimination against gay couples on the books in California. All the same rights are extended to them. Their relationship is just not called "marriage." By seeking that final title, they're not seeking equality in legal rights; they're forcing everyone else to acknowledge that their lifestyle is equally acceptable. They're seeking moral validation.

The Bishop will never ask you how you voted on an issue in a Temple recommend interview, and certainly it would not be appropriate. But if you are a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you have covenanted to follow God's prophet. And if the prophet says we should do something--like support Proposition 8--and we choose not to, we are ignoring our testimony and choosing to consider the Prophet simply an old man with some advice we are also free to ignore. Either God leads this Church through his prophet, or he doesn't.

You may struggle internally--I certainly have on this issue. You may not understand every bit of reasoning behind the Church's official position. But if the Church has an official position, you have a responsibility to make it your own. If you choose against the prophet, you've chosen the wrong side, folks. This is not blind obedience, it is conscientious faithfulness. Besides, if people like to think of us as sheep, at least we can take comfort in following the voice of our Shepherd.

I like an old quote from Elder Neal A Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It seems particularly pertinent here. "There didn't seem to be any problem with conformity the day the Red Sea parted."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Coverage has me seeing RED

The election coverage is only a few hours in and already I've had to restrain myself from throwing the remote control at the TV.

You know how sometimes you can't go to your kid's soccer game, so you might call your friend who's there and ask how they're doing? Your friend may give you a play-by-play..."We had the ball for a while, but #4 from the other team stole it and scored. Seth got a corner kick and missed, but over-all, we're playing a great game. The reffing is terrible..." You are calling to see if your team is winning, how your kid is playing. The other team is simply the opponent and that's the only reason they get mention--it's relevancy, not interest that brings them into the conversation. That is exactly how every bit of election coverage has been.

The newscasters are only talking about whether or not Obama will get a state or county. Even though McCain is leading in most areas so far--obviously it's ridiculously early on--he is only mentioned in how he pertains to Obama. In Indiana, for example, they showed how only 4 counties were Democratic in 2004 and already more counties than that are blue now. You really can't call it one way or the other yet, but even though McCain has a slight lead, the "news" people point out how it's already a victory there for Democrats because the numbers are so much better than the last presidential election. Either way, Obama wins by their reckoning. OK. That's fine. Way to be positive. ABOUT YOUR OWN TEAM. This isn't even about Obama for me. It is about the farce that is called journalism. If I were a person of colorful language, there would be obscenities inserted here.

It's not just the presidential election they're doing it with. CNN made a green screen virtual model of what the senate will look like if THEY get enough democrats in office. And it's not just general rhetoric. They were going through each contested race and saying, "See, if the Democrat wins, the square turns blue like this...and if this Democrat wins, that square turns blue, and if that Democrat wins, then this little squre turns blue." I am not exaggerating. They kept going until their computer froze. Apparently 60 is the magic filibuster-proof number. Fine. Could they just pretend they weren't rooting for a particular side? Just for the night? If not, then they should label their station blue and own their real position instead of allowing this badly disguised partisanship to be called unbiased.

I think this election will probably be closer than the Democrat Journalists think. Republicans aren't as enthusiastic a group as this invigorated Democratic party, but they still vote. Here's my little prediction. If Obama wins, we'll think, "Yeah. I kind of thought that would happen. OK. What now?" If McCain wins, there will be claims of voter fraud and shock at how different the poll numbers were from the actual voter turnout. (Oh, and it will apparently mean that lots of people who said they were voting for Obama, but didn't, are racist. Nice.) That's about how it played out when Bush won in 2004. Remember the stunned-into-shock media? Here's why: They're all Democrats and they don't know any people who vote Republican, so they don't think they're out there. Guess what? We are. And we'd like a little fairness in reporting, if you please. At least starting tomorrow.