Immediately following this comment, I'm going back to not talking about it anymore


It occurred to me yesterday during new Elder Anderson's talk what the "real" problem has been with Prop 8. I thought my muteness on this topic would last longer than five months, but this is, I think, notable enough to break my silence.

Not in my current ward, let me be clear, but in other areas of the state among otherwise good members of the Church, I saw something ugly appear in the wake of Prop 8. It was as if Prop 8 was taken as an excuse to cease thinking about charity and love for all our spiritual siblings, and to switch instead into the Natural Man vices of bigotry and fear and hatred. Much of the passion I saw against Prop 8 was not based in love for our fellow man (as described in a later talk by Elder Dallin H Oaks), but in unkind feelings toward The Other. Sometimes expressed in not very Christian ways. Even in testimony meeting.

Having realized this, I'm now prone to think that further attempts to move in this political arena may result in more damage to the souls of those within the Church than any good within or without.

Of course, I don't have the perspective of a watchman on the tower, but from the ground, I worry about the fruit that seems to be growing. I'm not making any proposals, just observations. That is all.


  1. What do you mean by "against"? The context and the usage seem to conflict.

    It is interesting to think about what Jesus would have done if he had been around during the Prop 8 campaign. Modern, popular conceptions of Jesus focus on his love and tolerance, which are both important aspects of his character. But Jesus did not try to build consensus. He was not mindful of the consequences of offending people. He purposely phrased teachings to divide people, separating the wheat from the tares. He was so divisive that he was crucified by his own people.

    Jesus, like most things true, is much to complicated to fit in a box. I wonder what the Christian way of discussing Prop 8 really is.

  2. Recession Cone, I'm not sure you got the point. Perhaps Jesus would have been in favor of Prop 8. I don't know. Th.'s point wasn't what Jesus would do, but what Prop 8 did to some members of the Church.

    I'm fairly certain that Christ would find a way to "hate the sin and love the sinner" (I know that's kind of a cliche, but its the best way I have to put it at the moment). Th is complaining that members of the Church were NOT doing this.

  3. .

    Some! Some. Let me clarify. I saw SOME members who lost track of love entirely. I trust they were a minority, but the damage done in being able to loose their inner bigot worries me.

  4. .


    You're right in that Jesus did not play nice. (I have a book, What Jesus Meant, that I think you would like.) But I think Jesus has a lot more leeway than, say, I do. I start getting angry, I'm at risk of losing my soul. It's hard for me to be angry and charitable simultaneously.

  5. Kent: From my perspective, proposition 8 did nothing to members of the Church. Perhaps it revealed latent bigotry, but it did not instigate it. The bigotry was there before the politics.

    Theric: On the other hand, perhaps further attempts to move in this political arena will be the only means for church members to overcome their inner natural person and come to a more sophisticated defense of traditional marriage - one that doesn't require gay-bashing. Your post makes me think you wish the church would just be silent on the issue, in order to avoid exposing its members as bigoted. However, I see things differently - perhaps God is trying to purify the church of bigotry by forcing us to confront it squarely, instead of just continuing to paper over the problem and hope it fixes itself.

    In any case, I don't think silence will fix anything.

  6. I agree with everything RC has said. I'm glad you said it because I tried a couple of times to start a comment and it never came out right.

  7. Recession Cone, I like what you have said, and I agree that silence isn't the answer. I wish I had been able to make the leap from what your first comment said to your second.

  8. .

    I don't know what the proper solution is. As I said, it was just an observation.

  9. Thanks for this chain of comments, I read this post yesterday and have all sorts of comments whirling around in my head, but this morning when I sat down to chime in, I found that RC had essentially made all of my points (much more eloquently than I would have, by the way).

    I just find it surprising to think that the church would simply walk away from an issue so clearly at odds with the doctrine of the church (as they outlined by in the Proposition 8 meeting broadcast to volunteers and church members from Salt Lake) simply because some members of the church were, like RC said, exposing their latent bigotry. I don't think that any of us as members of the church would have chosen this issue to be the one that we "contend" and stand up for with our neighbors and friends not of our faith (it being an issue that is so easily twisted and misunderstood and that can so easily be thrown in our face as bigotry and shameful hatred). At least I certainly wouldn't have chosen it, yet it does seem that we all do have the opportunity to not only "overcome our natural person and come to a more sophisticated defense of marriage" but to do it under the tent of love and compassion and support for our fellow men.

    Also, in my experience, the problem was certainly two-sided, as I have found myself personally exposed many times to pure hatred and bigotry from the "other side" which claimed to be holding as their ideal equality and love.

    I would contend that in order for this to become a true conversation between the two sides of the issue, BOTH sides are going to have to shed some of the natural person and come to a more sophisticated defense. Otherwise, we start to all go in circles. Just my two cents.

  10. Celia, Kent: I'm glad you could decipher my ramblings - unfortunately, my comments tend to be disjointed because I don't spend the time to write them properly.

    Overall, I'm trying to say that I support the Church's right to speak about the issues it finds important, even when its position may be inconvenient or divisive. I also support the Church leaders in choosing to speak about proposition 8.

    Furthermore, I hope that the proposition 8 experience will help us cleanse the inner vessel. I certainly will speak out in any future meetings where people are expressing unkind feelings towards The Other. If enough of us inside the church stand up for Christian principles with regards to proposition 8, I believe we can help others change their views.

  11. .

    I hope so. And by 'hope' I mean I feel an obligation to be an example to the Saints (meant in a completely not cocky way).