Furthermore, those who seek to undermine traditional marriage and family would effectively limit the rights of those who do uphold the sanctity of these institutions. This consequence leads to another major concern— the eventual erosion of religious liberty, including the liberty to defend, promote, and practice traditional family values.(7)And, to make sure we know that it is the queer community who is seeking to undermine traditional marriage and family, he includes footnote #7 which states
7. In countries where same-gender marriage is adopted with no religious exemptions, all religions could eventually be required to perform gay marriages or to accept gay priests—even when that violates their most basic doctrines.I find this very interesting - in a disturbing sort of way. in LDS literature, footnotes are always used to denote sources of information for statements made in an article (as evidenced in the other footnotes in this article). Having a footnote of this sort is so out of character that it makes this particular footnote stand out. Did he put that in as a 'statement of fact' that we should already know? Is there any data to justify such a belief? This is crucial: Because, if it is, in fact, untrue then the whole premise of his article becomes suspect.
As far as I'm concerned, it's just more fear mongering. The fact of the matter is, there are a number of countries where same sex marriage is already legal - countries that do not enjoy the same level of freedom's that we have in the US - yet none of them force churches to perform or recognize gay marriages when their doctrine and beliefs are against such. And, there is absolutely nothing to suggest that will change.
In fact, other countries have separated legal civil unions (both heterosexual and homosexual) from the religious ceremony. You have to have a legal civil union in order for your marriage to be recognized by the government - and you can optionally opt to have a marriage religious ceremony. In that context, the statement that "all religions could eventually be required to perform gay marriages" doesn't even make sense.
Neither does the second part of that statement, "... or to accept gay priests", have any precedent. Not a single country in the world forces the LDS church to recognize women holding the priesthood. If governments are going to start interfering with religious practices - it seems far more likely that they will force religions to accept women in the priesthood before they force them to accept gay men. So, where is the outcry against that?
It's these sort of political commentary statements coming from the LDS church that are really testing my faith. I have a difficult time sustaining Elder Russell M. Nelson as a prophet, seer, and revelator when he is using his position of authority to push a political agenda. And, it's not just him, last year I blogged about similar fear mongering by Elder Bednar where he said
You're going to have the possibility of the inevitable clashes between religious liberty and free speech; and, if your religious doctrine is such that you believe marriage between a man and a woman is the only definition of marriage then that smacks up against free speech; because, if marriage is defined in a more broad way between members of the same gender - then you can't talk about that.He is basically claiming that if gay marriage is legalized then we will loose our free speech right to preach against gay marriage. Where do they come up with this stuff? Alcohol has been legal for many years - yet nobody is telling us we can't preach about the evils of alcohol. Elder Bednar is an educated man with degrees in communication - I'm sure he knows exactly how to carefully choose his words to make it all sound plausible.
Personally I think they have it bass ackwards. Gay marriage doesn't threaten traditional marriage - it strengthens it!
There is no question that the family is under attack - but homosexuals are not the enemy! The queer community is trying to strengthen the family by introducing marriage and family values into a community that is traditionally known for promiscuity and hedonism.
I live in a very conservative, very red, community. I've raised 4 children in this environment; and, what I see around me is rampant divorce, broken homes and dysfunctional families. My daughter once observed that we're the only 'normal' family she knows of. Maybe the heterosexual community ought to take a clue from the queer community and start cleaning up their own house instead of throwing rocks at the queer community. Talk about glass houses.
I just cannot accept that God is directing these men to preach such falsehoods and fear mongering. If he is then there is no God - at least not a god I want to worship and return to live with.
I just wish I had the nerve to wear this t-shirt which says
Gay's. The biggest threat to heterosexual marriage
Because all of the best men are gay!
Thanks to Evan for first posting about the Russell M. Nelson article.