Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Proposition 8 in California. My Reaction.

(I'm not an LDS, but have lived in Southern Utah and known many in the Seattle Area)

The Church of Latter Day Saints is one of the most progressive of all religions grouped in Christianity. There seems to be a Left and Right LDS, and the Left almost always out Left me. The LDS leader's decision to do anything intense and overt with Prop 8 is a case of really poor reasoning, and poor "religious" reasoning. Here is the logic breakdown:

Society is already divergent from an LDS path. I don't expect the LDS to be ambivalent about this, and it is commendable on some level for LDS to sincerely want a better fate of the wider society. But to jump in with both feet on a single issue is a lose-lose-lose scenario.

Lose-lose-lose; here are the 3 ways the LDS lost:

First, for the LDS to feel threatened by society's behavior and semantics (a legal status is merely semantic). This is a core religiosity dimension, show me schism that is so weak its members might turn into gays any other way of life that religion happens to oppose -and I say that schism is has an internal cohesion and coherence problem threatening their "faith" more than anything external. So to drive this home, I'm calling the LDS faith itself weak and prone to demise by its own device(s).

Second, for imposing LDS doctrine on society, especially one as eclectic as the population of California. Faith and metaphor wise, this may sound like a good old David and Goliath story. Amongst the faithful in any religion such a challenge always looks appealing. Herein is the perfect storm: Wanting to be faithful and rock-throwing David is a temptation in of itself, it is indulgent testosterone driven hail-mary-pass religious activism. LDS fell for this temptation. But in this case the opponent wasn't Goliath -it was the Death Star, Klingons, and now even the Terminator. The LDS stood up and threw their little rock, and unfortunately for them, they hit it. What they hit is something big, from outer space, and may not die.

Third, the LDS did wrong for disrupting Western society's progress towards more cohesion and peace. For the last 50 years society has experimented with no boundaries (no definitions). Countercultural trends inverted all that had previously defined opposites such as right and wrong, crime and righteousness. Maybe this was needed. But now I believe we are starting to settle in with some boundaries, slowly stating again what is right and wrong. Gay marriage is part of this return to a right-and-wrong sensitive society, allowing homosexuals to have an overt place in civic legitimacy. Gay marriage can serve as one of the larger "gains" we made with the last few decades of discord and experimentation. Sure, I know gay marriage is not in the plan for most Christian Churches, but these churches should see the better place that society is ascending to, and not be THE roadblock to a better place. These churches should have practiced an outward appearance of political and emotional ambivalence, neither condoning nor condemning. Only the self-centered think they always have to do one or the other, the wise know when to shut up.

1 comment:

Lord Rybec said...

This is completely dependant upon the assumption that religion is a man made institution that may be changed based on the current political and moral climate of the population.

The LDS faith operates based on a belief that their church is guided directly by Christ himself. They believe that God's laws are eternal and unchangeable. Based on this belief of religion, any action required by God through the leaders of his church is right and wise, independent of the political and moral climate of the general population.

Recall that the LDS Church has never been popular with the general population, however, in spite of that it has and still thrives.

I have already voiced my opinion elsewhere on this subject, but I will say it again. My issue with gay marriage is that some gays have used it to take away religious freedom. They did have to rely on the ruling of a corrupt judge, but that doesn't fix the problem. I am completely and entirely unwilling to support anything that takes away the religious freedom that our nation was founded to protect.

I will never vote in favor of gay marriage. I will admit, however, that if those in favor of it tried to implement the laws in a way that guaranteed my religious freedom to choose not to condone it, I would be less against it that I am now.

If anyone is wondering about the loss of religious freedom attached to this issue: There is a judge in one of the eastern states that issued a court order to a Methodist minister requiring him to perform a marriage for a same sex couple, even though U.S. law states that any person may refuse to perform a marriage for any reason. When the minister did not comply, his church's non-profit status was revoked by the judge.

If laws were in place forbidding this sort of religious persecution, I would care very little about the gay marriage issue, but as long as this issue is used to take away my religious freedom, I am strongly against it.