Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Like the rest of the United States, I watched the recent elections with great interest. I was not too surprised at the results of the presidency. But I was amazed when I heard that Proposition 8 passed in California. There are actually more people that believe in traditional marriage than those who don't? Wow! I was excited to hear the news until I read about what has been happening as a result of this proposition passing. You see, I am a Mormon. Actually we call ourselves members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My church president asked its members to vote yes on Prop 8 because we believe in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. Now, don't think that we are against homosexuals. For some reason, this is how our support of Prop 8 has been interpreted. This is not the case at all. I grew up in the Portland, Oregon area and had several friends and acquaintences who were either bisexual or homosexual. I had no problem being friends with them because their sex lives were their own business as my sex life is my own business. I would never judge a person based on one single characteristic of who they are. As for my church's stance, we believe in being kind to everyone. We believe in being Christians in the truest sense of the word. Our support of Prop. 8 was simply about defining "marriage." My church has no problem with civil unions between whoever! But if a law were passed that marriages must include homosexual unions, our church could be sued and forced to perform those unions - or risk losing their tax exempt status. Taxes would then be taken from the voluntary charitable donations of its members. So, suddenly the freedom of our church and its members would be in jeopardy. Isn't that what our nation was founded for - to protect freedom of religion? I wanted to clear up the confusion a bit, but now I want to discuss what has brought me deep sorrow the past few days. After the passing of Prop. 8, illegal protests were held on the grounds of the LA temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Protestors mocked our religion in signs and posters. They attempted to climb the gates and storm the temple. Some people tried to remove graffiti left on the temple gates and were beaten. The temple was forced to close to protect patrons. Members of my church had their homes and yards vandalized and their lives threatened. For those of you not familiar with our temples, they are considered sacred to us. They are supposed to be places of beauty, peace, and contemplation. The temple is a precious gift God has given us to grow closer to Him. To even think of the temple being vandalized or mocked nearly breaks my heart. The part that bothers me most, next to the desecration of the temple, is the hypocrisy of the situation. Those protestors are angry because they feel that my church is being intolerant. So, they are being intolerant to my church? It seems like an obvious contradiction, but somehow those who are angry don't see that. If someone began vandalizing gay bars, or beating up homosexuals, there would be a public outcry! If someone stood in front of a Mosque with degrading signs or mocked Islams, it would be a national headliner. What I don't understand is why the government sits back and does nothing about this situation in LA. Since I am just one person and I can't do anything to stop what is happening, I wanted to do something to share my feelings about the temple. In the temple, couples are married not just until death do they part, but for eternity. Even after death, they are joined together. Isn't that great?! I am so thankful that I can be with my sweetheart forever. So, I created a quick page using a photo I took of the Salt Lake City Temple. I hope some of you will find use for it. Either way, I hope that you will join me in encouraging tolerance and love between all men.