Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The other shoe

I am saddened by recent posts by Derrick and Max. I figured they would read the letter in Sacrament meetings in California and that would be that. But, I guess the other shoe is now dropping - area presidencies are urging people to donate their time and means to support proposition 8, and even asking stakes to raise $100,000 towards the cause. Talks are being given in sacrament meetings. It's being addressed in priesthood meetings. Bishops are talking about it in family home evenings for singles.

And, why California? Gay marriage has been legalized in Massachusetts as well as in countries to the North and South of us and numerous countries in Europe; why didn't the church get involved politically in those geographies? Why make a stand in California but not elsewhere? If this is truly a moral issue, shouldn't we all be actively involved in defeating this moral turpitude by donating our time and means, regardless of where we live?

Since the LDS church has decided to abandon it's normal position of political neutrality in a call to arms for the saints in California, I'm thinking we need to revise the 11th article of faith.
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all heterosexual men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may - as long as it's not gay.

15 comments:

Chedner said...

...sigh...

Beck said...

I don't have the answers to any of your questions, particularly why California is being singled out. It seems to me, though, that the Church is setting an "unintentional" example that gives free reign for members in other areas of the church to be open-season on gays in general (as has happened in my local priesthood meeting).

All I can think of doing is trying to be a voice of reason, a voice of tolerance, a more Christ-like approach to counter insensitive rhetoric, and stop being silent and just sit back and shake my head in bewilderment.

Beck said...

Maybe it's because "as California goes, so goes the Nation" idea?

Maybe because there are so many more members in California verses in Massachusetts or European countries, the feeling is there is more chance to organize an opposition?

Maybe Europe is already a lost cause and members don't matter there as much?

Maybe you pick your battles and let the fringes fall by the wayside?

Maybe none of this makes sense?

Beck said...

A $100,000 is a lot of money for a single stake is it not? I don't care how rich the stake might be. With an average of 7 wards in a stake that totals over $14 grand per ward. With fund raisers for youth programs being kaboshed and "living within our means" and not doing extravagant events that can't be equaled by other neighboring less-affluent wards and stakes in hopes of evening the playing field (no more super activities and such), isn't this a bit extreme? We certainly can't raise that much for the Scouting membership sustaining garbage solicitation stuff... I'm shocked that resources of private members would be requested to go toward a political issue. What about the Perpetual Education Fund or the Humanitarian Fund or whatever else? This seems excessive in whatever way you want to look at it.

I've said too much...

Abelard Enigma said...

...sigh...

yeah :(

the Church is setting an "unintentional" example that gives free reign for members in other areas of the church to be open-season on gays in general

I hope that is an 'unintended' consequence. The topics they select for the October general conference will be telling.

Maybe you pick your battles and let the fringes fall by the wayside?

Didn't Captain Moroni set the example that we should fight in the battle for righteousness to the bitter end - even if it's a lost cause?

I'm just confused about all of this - I really don't know what to think. The only thing I know for certain is that it saddens me.

Kengo Biddles said...

I think that it's really because of the member base in California, but at some level, I'm really bothered that they're asking the individual stakes to raise $100,000, when this is a very political thing.

What happened to "teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves"?

Max Power said...

Beck,

$100k is a pretty reasonable amount. Our area of the country is pretty affluent. For example, when they built the Newport Beach temple and asked us all to donate money for it, the temple district donated 100% of the money needed to build the temple, plus enough to build 3 more in South America.

October Rising said...

i'm glad the whole ordeal hasn't been an issue here in washington. the letter was read, but that was the end of it. the bishop said nothing more and it wasn't discussed anywhere else.

but yeah, i love how ignorance brings out the best in church members.

Chedner said...

$100k is a pretty reasonable amount. Our area of the country is pretty affluent. For example, when they built the Newport Beach temple and asked us all to donate money for it, the temple district donated 100% of the money needed to build the temple, plus enough to build 3 more in South America.

... perhaps we can now see why California... ?

Abelard Enigma said...

perhaps we can now see why California

Not necessarily. I expect that if my stake president asked for $100,000 for some cause that he'd probably have it by the end of the day.

Wards and stakes are much larger geographically out in my neck of the woods; and, my stake includes some pretty affluent neighborhoods - the kind where CEO's live, some of whom are LDS - people who would think nothing of writing a check for $10,000 as a corporate donation.

But, I would hope they are being selective about which stakes they are seeking financial contributions from because that's certainly not true for all stakes. The idea that some family might have to eat beans for a month so that they could 'follow the prophet' and donate their grocery money to help support prop 8 is rather disturbing to me.

Chedner said...

Wards and stakes are much larger geographically out in my neck of the woods; and, my stake includes some pretty affluent neighborhoods - the kind where CEO's live, some of whom are LDS - people who would think nothing of writing a check for $10,000 as a corporate donation.

... hmm... to be blunt, then: the state of the collective LDS church (at least here in the States) doesn't surprise me too much after-all, if there's such a great wealth developing amongst so many of her members.

I think the Book of Mormon is pretty clear as to the normal chain of such things.

Abelard Enigma said...

I don't think you can draw conclusions about the state of the church from the prosperity of a few stakes. When you have an affluent community, statistically some members of the community are going to be LDS. You could say the same thing for any other community.

My only point was that California is not the only place where you find affluent communities, so it doesn't explain the choice to battle in California and not elsewhere.

But, your point is well taken, and it is a topic that has been addressed a number of times by visiting general authorities.

Robert said...

Quite the hot topic. I'm like Abe. I don't really know what to feel about the church's fight here. It's kinda hurtful when things are discussed in the ward and frightening how agressive the church is in the fight. I've met some of the 12 by accident and any worries I have about this issue is put to rest when I think that they are leading the push. But, then I question how much of this is their involvement and how much of it is on more geographically specific levels (seventies and such). I dunno. I used to know what my opinions were; now, it's really gray.

Crisco said...

I have not heard any word about any amount our stake is to raise. In PEC, it was discussed that volunteers will be needed to conduct surveys, but that has not been shared yet over the pulpit. Our stake has some nice neighborhoods, but hardly affluent.
I struggle with the call to assist in this cause because I can see how from those who want a stable, committed relationship, the inability to not get married would feel like a loss of civil liberties that almost anyone else in this country can enjoy. On the other hand, I have faith, and doesn't that mean that I have faith in my church leaders, who are closer to God and have great spiritual vision than I do? Isn't that the point of raising my hand at conference to sustain the president and the twelve as prophets, seers, and revelators? But I also know they are men and God speaks to men according to their understanding, which explains to me why some statements by earlier leaders can seem outright biased or prejudiced to my understanding. How do you know what to do when your heart and mind are divided?
Of course, on a practical level, I think most people already know how they'll vote on the proposition, so what purpose will all that money serve?

robert said...

Crisco said:
"On the other hand, I have faith, and doesn't that mean that I have faith in my church leaders, who are closer to God and have great spiritual vision than I do? Isn't that the point of raising my hand at conference to sustain the president and the twelve as prophets, seers, and revelators?"

Brigham Young said: "I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation..."