SLCSKP:I thank you for your thoughtful comments. The problem is not
that Peter Vidmar is being persecuted for a belief that he holds or even
expresses in religious speech from time to time. Indeed if he was forced out of
his Olympic position because he was a beleiving member of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day Saints, he indeed would fit within the Savior's warning.
The problem is that Peter Vidmar and many others in California (and
elsewhere) are being persecuted and harmed because of how they voted and to whom
they contributed money in a State political election. These actions by the
losing side in California on Proposition 8 are political terrorism, intending to
scare people so they will not vote or participate in the next election on gay
marriage. We see dictatorial thugs in other countries placing their armed
supporters near the voting booth in order to predetermine the outcome. We wag
our fingers at the Mugabes and Castros of the world, because that kind of
thuggish behavior would never be allowed in the USA. But now it is happening
here. I say again that this behavior is shockingly unAmerican and shameful.
A lot of people secretly harbor a lot of beliefs that most of us would consider
repugnant, and they are at perfect liberty to continue in those beliefs as long
as they don't try to foist them on a society that finds them offensive.While I agree that Mr Vidmar is perfectly within his rights to believe
whatever he wants, and that he is within his rights to support and actively
participate in a campaign to deny equal rights to his fellow citizens, he should
have realized going in that there was going to be a backlash. Jesus Himself said
it best (Matthew 5:10-12).Either you can be righteous and
persecuted, or you can be unrighteous and feel the adulation of the entire
world. A recent poll showed a majority of Americans now support gay marriage,
while the LDS Church continues to oppose it. Mr Vidmar cast his lot with the
church, campaigned for Prop 8, and hurt a lot of people whose support he needs
in the USOC. Now that he is reaping what he sowed, it would be nice if he and
his fellow Saints didn't try to have it both ways.
If Peter had made a statement while he was functioning in his role on the
Olympic committee about being against gay marriage or that he didn't like gays
on the team. Then by all rights he would need to step down. But what he does
away from that and on his personal time is nobodies business. If they put the
shoe on the other foot, what if they asked all athletes that were gay not to
perform. Let's see, Hitler would have killed them, oh wait, in Iran they kill
them. But some athletes are acting like spoiled little brats, it's all about
them, wish they would get over themselves.
I doubt many posting here, would deny same-sex couples the right of being
legally united, under the same agreements that married couples have.The main dispute concerns terminology used to define these two differing
unions, and justifiably so. To call two lexicographically differing unions by
the same name, flies in the face of sane definition, and would precipitate the
need for a change of definition of other words that have been with us through
history. For instance, matrimony is defined as an act of
marriage.Matri - is a combining form meaning mother.Mony - is a
suffix meaning state of being.So, matrimony or marriage is the state of
providing motherhood, or bringing children into the world.There is
no way same-sex unions can fall under that historical definition, without
intervention of a third party.To avoid confusion of extant
definitions, why not settle for the same rights, privileges, and obligations
married couples have, with a name that defines your unique union? Most
resistance comes from using "marriage" to define it. Drop that, and
you'll likely get your unions much sooner!I'd have a fun, national
contest to find a unique; unimpeachable; exclusive name! (Equivalent Concordia,
The crux of this issue for me hinges on whether or not same sex attraction is
genetic. IMO it is. But I realize this is far from a scientific certainty.Think about it. There is no question today that skin color is simply
biological/genetic. Therefore, few would argue that discrimination based on that
factor is ok. I imagine the LDS Church would not have survived if it still held
to the old Priesthood policy or did not allow multi-racial couples to marry in
the temple.If same sex attraction were scientifically shown to be
genetic in the same way skin color is today, I truly think we would see policies
begin to change the way they did in the 60's and 70's around race. I imagine the
Church would come kicking and screaming as it did in 1978 but I do not doubt
that things would eventually change. Until then there is a lot of
room for many to claim that same sex attraction is purely a choice and therefore
to argue that there is no (legal) discrimination involved.
I wonder why tolerance is always a one way street? It seems to me that everyone
ought to have a right to an opinion. Wasn't our nation set up under the policy
that the common good was more important than one group having a greater right to
an opinion than another? Why should one opinion about a broad yes or no issue
be more important than how one person treats another? Shouldn't a person's
character, experience, and way of treating others be more important than a stand
on one issue? I don't blame Mr Vidmar for wanting to resign if a few athletes
are more interested in one opinion of his than who he really is. It's really
shallow, but America seems to be very shallow in the 21st century. Too bad
we're more interested in vilifying than unifying.
Peter never said he is against gay athletes. He simple said he believes that
marriage should be between and man and a woman. What does that have to do with
competing in the olympics? Who is more rigid here?
I agree with Moracle, TDuval, Oklahoma Cougar, Sandee Spencer, and Bob Dog.Why does it seem that LDS individuals are always held to a different standard
than those who are not LDS, especially the many minority groups in the world?Yes, we live on a higher lever of morality than most, but if others complain
about our morals and want them squelched, where is the "freedom of
religion, freedom of speech, freedom of choice, etc." that we are
guaranteed by our Constitution? The Olympic Committee was a little like
an ostrich, hiding their heads in the sand, while all the pressure was being put
on Peter Vidmar. Were they "hoping" that Peter would resign? Looks
like they were.
What a quandry for the poor Baptists, having to decide who they hate more: Gays
I agree with Mr. Nadar and you, TDuval.
RanchHand:The "equal right" to have state recognition of a
marriage between two people of the same gender does not legally or culturally
exist in this country or in most other countries, and has not existed for many
hundreds of years. This may change in the future, but as of now there is no
"right" that is being infringed.Second, no individual like
Peter Vidmar, can "deprive" someone of a legal right to marry. Not
only because of my first point, but because no one person can do that. He is
not a government official. At most he holds an opinion or belief. Our Country
was built on the free ability of a person to hold such opinions and beliefs.Third, our Country was built on a social compact that an issue of public
importance can be openly debated, with partisans of opposing positions doing
their best to advance their chosen view or cause. But when the decision is
made, the parties accept the decision, or at least decide to try and do better
next time. The spectacle of political terrorism in California by the losing
side, which is continuing with Peter Vidmar, is shockingly unAmerican and
I applaud Peter for his decision, even though I know it isnt the outcome you
desired.It is unfortunate that you have been discriminated against
because of your beliefs.
Peter Vidmar should be commended for taking a stand despite the very vocal
minority's disapproval. If the silent majority were so brave, then the voice of
reason could prevail and individuals wouldn't be shunned based on the single
issue of whether they believe gay marriage is appropriate or not. We may be
strong as a nation, but it amazes me that we've allowed the bullying tactics of
one group to make us fear the right to our own opinion and keep us from
contributing to causes we believe in for fear that we may fall under attack.
What happened to Mr. Vidmar's right to his opinion?
People should be free to engage in public civic activity according to their
conscience and to donate to whatever cause they feel is just. If we are going to
be a tolerant and diverse society, this must be upheld. Vidmar has apparently
held this religious belief for a very long time and it has yet to have caused an
issue in his service to the Olympic sports. Why this is an issue now is baffling
I agree with Moracle.
Unfortunately the loud and vocal minority "squeaky wheel gets the
grease." It is a shame that a great and honorable Olympic athlete could be
undermined by a very small handful of LBGT activists-who represent perhaps 2%-5%
max of all Olympians. It is really too bad that we have become so politically
correct that a man can not even foster or support something he believes in.My hope as well is that the USOC will invite Peter back as a member of
the 2012 team.
"...explaining that his opposition to same-sex marriage comes from his
religious views."---That's fine, Peter. Please
explain to me, exactly how your religious views give you the right to deny
equality to law-abiding, tax-paying, GLBT Americans? I'm fine if
you don't approve. That's your business. However, you have no right to deny
equality to anyone based on your "religious views". Live your
religion. If you don't believe that same sex marriage is valid, don't get one.
But for you to participate in discrimination is wrong. Morally and ethically.
Seems that the world in general screams for tolerance but honestly only demands
it go in one direction. Sad to see the Olympic organization fall into that same
category. We demand tolerance for our point of view and our political beliefs
but we don't extend that to anyone that believes differently than we do. Pretty
cheap and narrow minded.
The Olympics Committee would serve itself and the Olympics well, to insist that
Peter return to his position. If the positions were reversed and it was Peter
complaining about Weir's stance in favor of Gay marriage, saying the same things
Weir is saying, does anyone think Weir would step down voluntarily?Anyone??Anyone???The Olympics organization should not
lower itself to being led and directed by anyone who thinks a person should not
hold position because they disagree with their belief or politics. Seems pretty
shallow, somehow, and lowers my admiration for the Olympics for not standing up
for a stand-up guy.