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Switch to Forum Live View Legal Issues Surrounding the Church and Proposition 8
3 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2012 - 6:01AM #1
Acts 28:22
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2012 - 10:57PM #2
moksha8088
Posts: 4,961

That $5,000+ fine was certainly worth it to resolve these 13 counts.  Bet the Church is glad to have that behind them.  It had to be embarrassing from the standpoint of the Church's initial claim that it made no contributions whatsoever.


Hopefully we can stay out of politics in the future, through both direct involvement and in covertly funneling money to front organizations. The four mission objectives of the Church should suffice.

Cry Heaven and let loose the Penguins of Peace
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2012 - 12:39AM #3
MMCSFOX
Posts: 1,556

1. How many here feel the Church and / or its members should simply give the great adversary a free hand to do what ever he feels like without taking a public stand against him?


2. How many here feel we should take a stand but not creat any fuss?


3. How many here feel that all of Fathers childeren need to be warned of thier eternal peril, or should we and His Church simply not worry about them because we are doing OK?


Jesse F.


*


"The test of worth is the service we render."


    -Theodore Roosevelt

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2012 - 1:23AM #4
moksha8088
Posts: 4,961

When we were down on the right to full Church participation for black people, we thought we were doing the right thing - the Lord's will.  In taking up the crusade against gay people being able to be married by their own choice, we think we are doing the right thing - the Lord's will.


I am uncertain about invoking the spectre of the adversary in this matter.  Can we be certain that this adversary would not also be against equal rights for all?  We all wrestle with the question of doing the right thing.  When two paths diverge in the woods, is it not better to travel the one with the welcome sign rather than the trespassers will be shot sign?

Cry Heaven and let loose the Penguins of Peace
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2012 - 9:06PM #5
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,206

1. How many here feel the Church and / or its members should simply give the great adversary a free hand to do what ever he feels like without taking a public stand against him?


2. How many here feel we should take a stand but not creat any fuss?


3. How many here feel that all of Fathers childeren need to be warned of thier eternal peril, or should we and His Church simply not worry about them because we are doing OK?


Preaching repentance is one thing.  Forcing people to live their lives according to your code of ethics is quite another.


The world is teeming with evils - from human trafficking to genocide, from drug addiction to teen suicide, from political oppression to malnutrition.  That you thought gay marriage to rank at or near the top of your list says more about your own priorities than it does about Prop 8, which was invented in the basement of the Republican Party, not handed down as plates from Sinai.


There was a time when Mormons defined marriage as between a man and a woman and a woman.  They didn't much care for eastern reformers, who thought little of crossing a continent to stick their noses into the affairs of a small group of Mormons who weren't hurting anybody.  Yet, we now find ourselves - barely a century later - with Mormons in Utah definining marriage for non-Mormons in California.  


It's patently absurd.


If you think scripture gives you the right to limit the rights of other people, you need to buy a house in Afghanistan.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2012 - 10:24PM #6
MMCSFOX
Posts: 1,556

Bill, Thank you for your editorial. Forget about my bubble you seem to know so much about, and I know that I should have added a 4th question. “Who are my neighbors, and what do I owe them?” But I did not ask the questions as a debate just simply left the questions.


Any way as you are a much respected teacher on this forum I would like to ask you, how would you grade your answers to the 3 direct questions if you were grading it as a test?


Jesse F.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 01, 2012 - 6:35AM #7
MysticWanderer
Posts: 1,328

Mar 31, 2012 -- 12:39AM, MMCSFOX wrote:


1. How many here feel the Church and / or its members should simply give the great adversary a free hand to do what ever he feels like without taking a public stand against him?




Somehow I suspect that no one here suggests we give the great adversary a pass, no not even Bill.  The question is what is the most effective opposition to offer said adversary and what is most consistent with the very articles of faith the church expounds?


Mar 31, 2012 -- 12:39AM, MMCSFOX wrote:


2. How many here feel we should take a stand but not creat any fuss?




It is possible to take a stand, even create a fuss without campaigning to pass new laws.  For examples see the opposition to Hitler and Nazism by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans and Sophie Scholl.


Mar 31, 2012 -- 12:39AM, MMCSFOX wrote:


3. How many here feel that all of Fathers childeren need to be warned of thier eternal peril, or should we and His Church simply not worry about them because we are doing OK?


Jesse F.




See the answers to questions one and two and for a third reference add the life of Christ.



>>>I know that I should have added a 4th question. “Who are my neighbors, and what do I owe them?” But I did not ask the questions as a debate just simply left the questions.<<<


For a scientific religious explanation, I would say all living or dead or  yet to be living members of the genus Homo species sapiens.  As to what we owe or brothers (and sisters), as simple answer, unconditional love as our Heavenly Father gives us.  But note that unconditional love is not license as many interpret it to be.


Proposition 8 was not a warning against homosexual conduct or even same sex unions, it was an attempt to define what has become a civil term based upon a set of religious values.  There are other religions, even variants of Christianity, that accept same sex marriage but Proposition 8 would force them to acknowledge OUR religious views in this matter even as we were forced to accept theirs in the matter of polygyny.  Both were wrong socially, constitutionally and by the 1th Article of Faith.


This is not meant to debate you Jesse but to answer your questions with something other than total agreement and discuss the reasons for the answers.

"Not all who wander are lost" J.R.R.Tolkein
You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. ~Anne Lamott
"Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain."
Friedrich von Schiller
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 01, 2012 - 12:04PM #8
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,206

Mar 31, 2012 -- 10:24PM, MMCSFOX wrote:


Bill, Thank you for your editorial. Forget about my bubble you seem to know so much about, and I know that I should have added a 4th question. “Who are my neighbors, and what do I owe them?” But I did not ask the questions as a debate just simply left the questions.


Any way as you are a much respected teacher on this forum I would like to ask you, how would you grade your answers to the 3 direct questions if you were grading it as a test?


Jesse F.


Jesse, I owe you an apology for my first attempt at an answer - which transfered more heat than light - as well as the unnecessary acrimony of my last line.  I appreciate the service you have given to keep me and mine safe from harm, as well as the many acts of service you give to your community.  To answer your question - regarding how I'd grade my response to you - I'd have made my students redo my first response (which is what I made myself do).  I'd also have knocked off some points for the last line.


As for the points in-between, I stand by them.  I didn't give numbered answers to each numbered question.  My answers were "global" because I thought a general answer would be shorter than what I had offered to begin with.  If it will help, I'll address each one of your questions directly.  In doing so, I'll try to keep it brief and on-topic.  


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2 years ago  ::  Apr 01, 2012 - 1:22PM #9
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,206

"1. How many here feel the Church and / or its members should simply give the great adversary a free hand to do what ever he feels like without taking a public stand against him?"


Good people should never just let evil men, evil ideas or evil conditions prevail.  They should never leave such matters unopposed.  They should never let "the great adversary," as you call it, brag that "there is none to oppose or make afraid."


As I understand it, Latter-day Saints not only have the same political and legal rights as everyone else; they have a moral obligation to be civically engaged.  it's an article of faith among Mormons, one that - unfortunately - is given about as much diligent observance as those parts of the Word of Wisdom that say to "eat meat sparingly" and to consume fruits, nuts and grains in their season.


When it comes to civic engagement, many Mormons rate a "C" - just as they do with social engagement.  Far too often, Latter-day Saints tend to turn inward where it would help themselves, and the communities in which they live, to "put their shoulder to the wheel."


Equally unfortunate, though, is the simplistic view - prevalent in all political parties - that "good" and "evil" are as simple as the casting of a western.  Far too often, complex issues are reduced to men in "white hats" and men in "black hats."  This is not helpful.  Politics is not so much a Zoroastrian battle between light and darkness.  It's a tug-of-war between different interests.  It's the use of power, across the whole community - in all its diversity - to address issues that aren't getting solved on their own.


Most people - Mormon or not - would probably agree that it is not meet for men to be commanded in all things.  Free people have the ability to solve their own problems with a combination of education, ambition, foresight, work, thoughtfulness and follow-up.  We come together, as a community, to address those issues that simply get ignored - or worse - when men are pursuing their own happiness.  Even then, there are voluntary associations through which we address our common problems - short of going to the law for redress.


Unfortunately, there are a host of issues where evil has its way because good men are doing nothing - or at least far less than the circumstances demand.  In certain parts of the world, genocide continues.  In other parts, there is starvation, human trafficking, murderous lawlessness, piracy, malnutrition, etc.


Here at home, we have a lot of problems that seem to be piling up, not just because they're difficult to solve but because the public seems distracted by interests and entertainments.  Our industrial base is being offshored because the laws have been changed to make it more profitable to move the factory to where labor is cheapest (such as the 31-cent/hour wage in China).  Roads and other vital infrastructure remain underfunded and in danger of crumbling.  Education seems to be beset by public schools - where corruption and mismanagement are leaving too few kids between the cracks - and privatization, with less transparency and a mission that serves too few kids.  The cost of medical care is atrocious.  The legal system has become a morass, as likely to produce real justice in the parking lot as in the courthouse.  There's a rise in predatory business behavior, with more snake oils being marketed and fewer regulatory watchdogs actually doing much of anything to protect the public.  Both major parties spend more and more on campaigns, and likely offer more promises to private contributors, at the public's expense.  We have a system that simultaneously wastes money on career welfare sharks while allowing the Romney class tax breaks that are hard to justify, while also building bridges to nowhere and wars without end, funded by record deficits, subsidized at least in part by borrowing money from America's most formidable rivals.


All is not well in Zion.


There is a serious problem regarding the public's attention deficit, when it comes to many issues where the problems are open and obvious, but neglected by an electorate that is distracted and easily misled, through campaigns that manipulate through hyperbole.  It isn't just the left or just the right.  The laziness of the public makes it so much easier for groups with agendas to spin and scream, turning so many citizens into de-facto subjects.  Problems don't get addressed until they reach a critical mass, by which point, the level of damage is too huge to ignore, while the resolution is typified by overcompensation.  Ours is the politics of ignorance, indifference, crisis and overcompensation.  Rinse, lather, repeat.


This is the context for my previous reply, regarding Proposition 8, which was a political strategy, not a divine mandate.  Prop 8 was not a revelation from on high.  It was an approach invented by politicos, none of whom were Mormons.  It was adopted, by certain high-level Republicans in the LDS Church, folks who sometimes blurred any distinction between their own private political convictions and the larger gospel they taught, within a church they administered, serving a community wth overlapping but varied schools of political thought.  


The basis of Prop 8 was opposition to gay marriage.  The concern was that legalizing gay marriage would normalize gay lifestyles.  A second concern was that, because of the U.S. Constitution's "Full Faith and Credit Clause," once a state legalized gay marriage, other states would have to recognize the legality of gay marriages, even if those states did not allow such marriages to be solemnized under their laws.  An attempt was made to prevent any state from legalizing gay marriage.  Initially, such opposition was pushed through Congress by the Defense of Marriage Act, which would use the primacy of federal law over state law to prevent states from individually legalizing gay marriage.


But even DOMA would be subject to the Constitution, itself, whose Equal Protection Clause - if applied to gay couples - would invalidate DOMA in a heartbeat.  Somewhere, the dawn must have broken for conservative theorists, who saw DOMA on the ropes.  If states could challenge DOMA, on the basis of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, DOMA would fizzle.  Not surprisingly, the next move was to prevent any state from legalizing gay marriage.


With courts addressing the Fifth Amendment issue, it became criticial - to conservatives throughout the country - to put state legislatures to work, in the hopes of cutting the courts off at the pass.  Even then, the pronouncements of a state legislature would hardly stand up to court challenges based on the U.S. Constitution, but if state legislatures could be lobbied into expressly banning gay marriage, the opponents of gay marriage would be able to argue that the courts were engaging in "judicial activism."  (Honestly, though, any private group that spends hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying the legislature is hardly in a position to cry "activism.")


During the 1990s, a lot of lobbying efforts went into targeting legislatures in states where gay marriage was being considered, including Alaska and Hawaii.  During that time, a lot of Church brass got involved in these matters.  At the time, I'm sure it must have seemed like the battle line in some kind of cultural war, but in retrospect, it seems to have been about as productive and useful as Zion's Camp.  Even after the Church committed so much of its reputation, membership and resources to winning the Prop 8 battle, what did we gain?  Prop 8 is dead in the water.  Bridges were burned.  More importantly, gay marriage has spead - like a wildfire - from state to state.


Whatever benefit was expected from the Prop 8 campaign, it did not stop gay marriage.  Once again, prominent Church members publicly placed themselves - and the Mormon cause - on the wrong side of history.  Whatever political insight one could claim from the Holy Ghost, it has not provided much of a crystal ball for gazing into political reality.  


The Church could have just as easily opposed gay marriage, as an extension of the gay lifestyle - which runs in the face of the Mormon definition of marriage as between a man and a woman - without wasting any resoures on a political campaign that would not only fail but leave the Church as an enemy of civil rights.


"2. How many here feel we should take a stand but not creat any fuss?"


Let justice prevail or the Heavens fall.  I'm plagiarizing somebody, even if I can only remember the phrase from watching Oliver Stone's "JFK."  Mormons should not bend to popularity in following their conscience.  At the same time, they should not compromise their religious principles in the pursuit of political objecives, even where they deem the issue involved to be a "moral" one.


It is not just to mingle civil and religious influence.


It is not just to argue that politics and principle are the same thing.  You can be against abortion but disagree with a particular abortion law, as drafted.  You can also be against gay relations, as differing from the roles of men and women as you see them, without interfering with the civil rights of those whose actions you disapprove of.  Mormons believe in the sabbath but I've met precious few who were in favor of Blue Laws.  Mormons are against drinking but I've never met any who thought we should go back to Prohibition.  Having principles hardly makes it obligatory that you deprive others of the freedom to live their lives according to the dictates of their own beliefs.


Knowing that others will pursue happiness, as they see fit, still allows you to preach your own gospel and critique the effects across society of decisions you spoke out against.  Mormon preached to his people, who ignored him to their peril, but he never justified removing from these people the right to make their own decisions.  The last guy to come up with the idea that you can force people to do what's right ended up falling from the sky.  He allegedly fell to California and started his own biker group.


"3. How many here feel that all of Fathers childeren need to be warned of thier eternal peril, or should we and His Church simply not worry about them because we are doing OK?"


There is an obvious difference between a word of warning and a straitjacket.  Cries of repentance and respect for human agency are not mutually exclusive.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 02, 2012 - 2:13PM #10
MMCSFOX
Posts: 1,556

Thanks Bill, I in no way wanted to develope a debate here but to bring more ideas to the front. The questions, of course, were from my own reasoning which my good Wife often has problems with. In my life at 73 I tend to simply follow Teddy Roosevelt: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” I continue to think that a wide range of opinions in the Church, or Community, is a good thing. It requires us to think. I think that is why Boards of Directors tend to be made up of a wide range of people with a wide range of experiances. They do a better job that way.


Jesse F.


"The only right that any man should have is the right to be decent, that is to be agreeable and useful."


Elbert Hubbard

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