November 11, 2008

Thoughts on Prop 8 Passing in California

Once upon a time, good God-fearing LDS folks taught their kids in family home evening that black men should not have the priesthood because they are cursed by God. Once upon a time, good God-fearing LDS folks taught their kids that it was morally wrong for a white person to marry a black one. Once upon a time, good God-fearing LDS folks taught their kids in family home evening that women should NOT be afforded equal rights and that the Equal Rights Amendment should be opposed at all costs.

And then the church grew with the times and suddenly these things were OK by God.

How great to be among the people who realize intrinsically that we are all equal as human beings. How great to finally see that imposing one’s religious morals that hinder true equality and basic rights for certain groups through non-religious means like constitutional amendments is wrong. I really look forward to the day when bigotry dissolves and people can become comfortable enough with who they are to allow others to be who they are without any need to try to change others to conform to what or who they are.

Saying that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because it’s morally wrong seems as ridiculous to me as someone saying that brown-haired people should not be allowed to marry brown-haired people, and the law should reflect this truth! It hurts nobody that someone is attracted to the same sex. Actively homosexual neighbors are every bit as harmful to you and your family as brown-haired neighbors are.


Cele said...

I for a long time have used this arguement when people use the Bible as a backing of their belief that People of color are inferior, shouldn't marry whites, or any other assisnine thing they might say about God's thoughts and such topics. If this is so, then why did God strike down Miriam with Leprosy (or what ever it was) because she spoke out against the wife of Moses because she was Ethiopian (ergo black)?

What is so Christian about blaming your hatreds on the teachings of the Bible?

Excellent blog my dear.

Anonymous said...

Well said! This is such a slippery issue because its getting played out on many planes of thought. sex=ewww that works for you=yes sir may I please have another!

The list goes on and on. The issue when speaking to this issue is not only knowing where you stand on it but also know where the resistance comes from.

After reading many blogs about Prop 8, I see that people are talking about so many planes of thought that they chase each other in circles! Lets give a big shout out to the individual who knows how to look at each of these and can decide for themselves.


Anonymous said...

I know this is a painful issue for you, and I know you aren't addressing a Mormon audience here, so I don't mean to be disrespectful. But really, I grew up with a lot of family home evening in a very conservative Mormon family and was never taught that those things at home or in church. Maybe I was just lucky or maybe you are vilifying just a little.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say thanks for supporting those of us who are gay and affected by the voting to accept Prop 8. While not a CA resident myself, I'm still affected by those people that make it acceptable to marginalize us. Those people (including you) who support us while their churches don't gives me hope that people are able to think for themselves and realize how hurtful and painful it is to have your rights taken away from you.

Thanks for your support!

Katie said...

I don't agree that you are 'Vilifying'. Being raised in Montana and also living in Utah for the majority of my years, I can be sure that there is a difference with the entire attitude that the church has here as a pose to other states. I also know that the person that most influenced you, your dad, with the Mormon church is from UT. I think it's very unfortunate that the rest of the country is blaming Utah as a whole and not just the church for this whole anti-gay support as well. Apparently it isn't just the Mormons who are close minded discriminators.

Beat Dad said...

Take heart. Eight years ago Prop. 22, the first ban on gay marriage was opposed by only 30% of the California voters.

This time It was 52.6% for and 47.5 against. It just might get overturned.

aka madre said...

Dear Anonymous:

I don't think you are lying, but I also don't think SML is vilifying. I think you are simply too young to remember some of these issues. I remember very well being taught innumerable times from the pulpit, Gospel Doctrine classes and Releif Society meetings that
1. Blacks were not worthy to hold the Priesthood.
2. That the world and families would fall apart if the Equal Rights Issue was to pass, and
3. That homosexuals were/are evil-and that if you are the parent of a homosexual you are evil and have failed your duties!

In fact, I was part of the busload of women the stake sent to Helena to protest the Equal Rights Amendment when it was being discussed/voted on in the Montana State Senate. I also remeber vividly the day the church announced it's "revelation" that the blacks were now worthy to hold the Priesthood.

The church has/does preach these things. You are very lucky if you have escaped being taught these prejudices.


Lisa said...

Just found your blog from Molly the Mormon - ahh, if only she posted more...


Yeah, I'm disillusioned as well and this Prop 8 crap isn't helping. Neither are the looks, tones, and words said about how I'm rejecting Christ by saying gay people *should* be able to marry.

Oh well.

Forgive me if I'm wrong here, but they're already having sex. We kinda lost that battle a while ago, and...well, I won't go there.

Me thinks part of this is wanting to make it even more immoral for gay people to have sex - even though it would actually promote celibacy (in the way of premarital sex) and commitment in a way that "civil unions" never could...


I voted no. *slaps self on wrist* Bad Mormon! Bad!

Anonymous said...

aka Madre,

Thanks for that -- I fear sometimes that the past is so effectively swept under the carpet, that people really do think you're lying when you talk about what things were like. What you said reminds me strongly of my own experience as a Mormon child -- nowhere near Montana or Utah.

- wry

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Well said, Lisa. I remember learning in Sunday School in Utah that black people were cursed by God and were less valiant spirits in the pre-existence, which is why they were black. I wasn't taught those things in my home, but I remember hearing them at church and in seminary.

I wasn't that old, but I remember the Equal Rights Amendment and seeing Barbara Smith (was it?) on the Phil Donahue show expounding the evils of equal rights for women. I know what it feels like--as do so many women in the church--to feel and be marginalized and patronized by the patriarchy because we are women and inherently lesser by virtue of not holding the priesthood. I was raised to believe I could do anything I set my mind to, but I continually had to fight that belief against the stand the church took against women's rights.

And now, as a lesbian in a committed relationship, I'm watching the church I grew up in and served faithfully for more than 30 years once again discriminate against the very people they claim are also God's children and "deserving of our love of support." I'm done with the church. They are nothing more than a fearful, doddering bunch of bigots, racists, and misogynists disguised as supposed Christians.

The Equal Rights Amendment may not have passed in the 70s, but women have made powerful, substantial strides in gaining rights and equality under the law. It may have taken people of color 40 years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to gain equality under the law as evidenced by our recent election of a president. GLBT Americans will gain equal protection under the law, too. We may have to continue working a little harder and a little longer for it, but we will prevail.

Amanda said...

It's like a sign I read said: "Thanks Mormons. Now I have to have premarital sex." That just about sums it up for me.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.