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My view: Public policy cannot create cultural unity, religious leaders are key

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  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    May 6, 2014 11:49 a.m.

    Open minded Mormon: I have gone through life, I have made it a personal quest to not only study my own religion and question everything in it, but have taken the time to study a host of other topics, such politics, economics, history,etc. My own conclusions are drawn without the aid or coercion of any prepackaged body of knowledge or any biased person. How could anyone considering themselves educated do otherwise? However, the world dismisses a whole body of experience and knowledge based in an area that it can't understand or won't acknowledge, such as the spirit in man. In my wildest imaginations, the prophet coming out and telling me that SSM is O.K. is in the same field as telling me it is O.K. to do baby sacrifice. I guess he could say that, but any common sense person would have to say, "Not going to happen!" There is nothing about it, despite my religious convictions, that makes a lot of sense, regardless of whether I think it immoral or not. Polygamy, blacks not holding the priesthood, etc.,are not even in the same ball park. SSM strikes are the heart of civilization itself.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    May 6, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    To me it is simple, we have to truly care about each other, which is what I was taught growing up in the Mormon church. Once I love someone, I found that it never goes away, even when I have been tossed away by friends who do not believe I am good enough for them! I guess that is why I try! It is hard being gay here in Utah. The only thing we can do, is try to show others that we care and hope it goes well! I have been pushed away by many and what can I do? I have to live my life that is also good for myself!
    Personally, I am too tired to worry anymore. I think things will work out because I believe that there are a lot of wonderful people here, they just need to be taught a few things! I am being sarcastic! Many of us truly care! Why is it so hard for people? Being gay has taught me a lot about how important people are! Try being treated like an abomination and you will see what I mean. Love is what we need.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 6, 2014 7:20 a.m.

    @bandersen
    Saint George, UT
    The Lord commands and The Lord revokes! Obviously, if you believe that the Lord's prophet is at the head of the LDS church, then he can declare Polygamy as the order or he can revoke it. Old Testament is evidence of that being the case, which is why some have difficulty with the Old Testament, Religion in general, and modern revelation!

    =======

    So, hypothetical question --
    Do you REALLY believe that?

    If the Prophet was to proclaim that policy the has changed, and SSM would be allowed -- would you be OK with it?

    Because the LDS church split 10 different was over the reversal of Polygamy,
    and I personally know of dozens who left over Blacks reciving the Priesthood....

    They rationalized that the prophet had fallen, and caved to public pressure.

    I'm fine with change, are you?

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    May 5, 2014 8:32 p.m.

    The Lord commands and The Lord revokes! Obviously, if you believe that the Lord's prophet is at the head of the LDS church, then he can declare Polygamy as the order or he can revoke it. Old Testament is evidence of that being the case, which is why some have difficulty with the Old Testament, Religion in general, and modern revelation! If you believe as I do, Daniel's kingdom is rolling forth and the clear voice of prophets, and those understanding by the spirit, are declaring God's word. As the world can't make sense of God's word, it is left unto itself to find answers, answers that are debated ad infinitum. Politically, the unified voice of the electorate is long gone, but those who take God as His/her guide find unity in obedience to His word and the blessings that flow there from, including the concept of marriage between a man and a women. Sooner or later, the truth shows its face, while those who accept it find greater peace and happiness, regardless of the political landscape! God will prevail! That is all that matters!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 5, 2014 3:49 p.m.

    Ranch,
    In biology the purpose for the male-female pairing is for reproduction. Adoption of children conceived biologically in the natural way (by same-sex couples) and adopted by same-sex couples in the animal kingdom... is a grand notion, but it's clearly not what nature intended.

    Same-sex coupling makes sense in Sociology perspective, but not Biology perspective. So it depends on what perspective you take... whether it makes sense or not. The religious perspective also comes in there.

    Different people have different perspectives on this....

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    May 5, 2014 3:11 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards

    "God must love the common man. He made so many of them" Abraham Lincoln

    " God must love LGBT people. He made so many of them" :)

    Mike, you have your beliefs and I'm sure they give you comfort. But to your and your ilks' atitude we can only say :

    "The LORD therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand." Samuel 24:15

    I don't think you believe what the Bible says. I think you just believe in the interpretation "you and your churhc" make of the scriptures.

    You and your coreligionist use a couple of verses from Paul and made it your crusade. Why don't you take the words of Jesus and make them your crusade? They will give you peace and understanding.

    Many Christian churches accept SSM. Are they less because they see something that you don't?

    Shalom my friend.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 5, 2014 2:18 p.m.

    Re: Ranch,

    If I've understood your post, you've told us that God did not check with you before he revealed His will to His living prophet. It seems that you are incensed that God did not get your permission to act; therefore, anything that God did, without your permission, could not have happened. Unfortunately, you may find that He has no need to consult with you before He speaks through the channels that He established to protect His children from those who would prey upon them and use their weaknesses for their personal gratification.

    God is sovereign. He doesn't need your permission before establishing His church or directing His prophet to speak to the world.

    Governments oppose Him. They want power and glory. Those involved in activities that harm themselves and others oppose Him. Those who are self-centered oppose Him. Those who are meek and teachable follow Him.

    We need religious leaders to offset government and those who oppose the proper order of society.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 5, 2014 1:33 p.m.

    And the difference between this and AlQueda and the Taliban and Sharia Law is, what?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    May 5, 2014 1:16 p.m.

    2 bits says:

    "There may be homosexual BEHAVIOR in animals. But nature does not reward it with equality. Nature does not bestow it with the natural result of the other pairing... Biology does not grant same-sex pairings with the ability to result in reproduction. Am I wrong?"

    Yes, you are wrong. There are any number of animals who adopt orphans and they could just as easily have been the SS couple. Additionally, there are a number of species that do not even need "opposite sexes" to procreate (some fish & amphibians & insects for example). They could form pair-bonds with the same gender and still have offspring.

    @Mike Richards;

    Actually it wasn't "HIS" proclamation, it was LDS Leader's proclamation. One very gigantic difference there buddy.

  • Candied Ginger Brooklyn, OH
    May 5, 2014 1:12 p.m.

    @rhappahannock

    "In this debate the rights of those who were abused should be considered."

    True. Growing up my town had a big fundamentalist church that was very anti-gay. I was bullied through middle and high school - much worse when I started coming out as a Junior. In college there was a group on campus that did a lot of verbal gay bashing and there were some physical assaults.

    Things have been said by the religious right that scares me and makes me feel threatened. I have friends who have been physically assaulted for the crime of walking down the street while gay.

    I agree, the rights of the abused really need to be considered.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 5, 2014 12:56 p.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    =======

    Mike - please,
    Enough with your Theocracy.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 5, 2014 12:06 p.m.

    re: The Wraith,

    You'll have to take your argument up with God. He's not ashamed of what he said. In HIS proclamation to the World (not just to those who believe in Him or to those who are members of His church), He said: "The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood AS HUSBAND AND WIFE (emphasis mine). We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife."

    Religious leaders received that revelation. Religious leaders were instructed to give that proclamation to the world. God did not waste His time with governments, knowing that they served themselves and that He (and His doctrine) was not welcome in their chambers.

    If you have an issue with marriage and the marriage preformed by God in the Garden of Eden, then discuss it with your religious leader. Government will be of no help.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 5, 2014 12:01 p.m.

    2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Why don't we just have the Legislature pass a law that we all be unified... and that we all drive electric cars... and take care of our neighbor?

    =======

    and while they are at it -- Why don't we just have the Legislature pass a laws that we all be unified... banning coffee, tea, tobacco, alcohol, R-rated movies on cable TV, non-psychotropic medical hemp oil [which they FINALLY reversed last session], pouring alcoholic drinks in view, and women not swearing!

    BTW -- taking care of our neighbor is called Civil Society.
    It's how we avoid anarchy, chaos, and blood flowing in our streets.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 5, 2014 11:59 a.m.

    @2bits

    Yes actually are wrong on a couple of fronts. First why would it matter if nature rewarded it or not. The fact is that it occurs in nature, that everything points to homosexuality as a completely normal variation of sexuality. Since it is completely normal (whether it's rewarded or not doesn't matter) than why discriminate against two human adults who have this completely normal variation of sexual identity from joining together?

    Second there are some preliminary research is starting to show that from an evolutionary standpoint it is very beneficial to a species. The research shows that without homosexuality there is too much of a strain placed on food supplies but with too much there wouldn't be enough offspring. However, if a small percentage of the population is homosexual it helps create just the right balance for that species to thrive.

    So once again it doesn't matter if they rewarded or not. This is completely normal variation in many animals including humans and should be treated that way. Also there may very well have been and continue to be rewards to the population as a whole.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 5, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    Wraith,
    There may be homosexual BEHAVIOR in animals. But nature does not reward it with equality. Nature does not bestow it with the natural result of the other pairing... Biology does not grant same-sex pairings with the ability to result in reproduction. Am I wrong?

    So... is NATURE/Biology to be hated and belittled for being discriminatory???

    ===

    We can experience an emotional bond with a person of the same sex (obviously). But that does not make sexual relations in the two relationships equal (biologically) OR force God to accept them as "normal".

    What society decides is "normal" or "equal".. is a different subject. If we accept SSM as "normal" for our society... that's one thing. But that does not force biology or God to accept it as "equal", "intended", or "normal".

    Just my opinion of course...

  • Ranch Here, UT
    May 5, 2014 11:20 a.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi;

    To answer your question, Utah's amendment 3 says that a gay can't marry.

    You're trying to imply that we can marry someone of the opposite sex, but thats like telling you that you can practice any relgion you want as long as it's Pastafarian.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 5, 2014 10:12 a.m.

    @2bits

    Creative logic to see the bible has gods most important prophets as having multiple wives? That's called a reading of the bible. God gave Eve to Adam yet, but he gave a lot more to his later prophets - a LOT more. My point was simply that the so called "biblical definition" of marriage is not just one man and one woman. That fact simply can't be denied.

    Secondly, yes NATURE ITSELF generally has a male and female pairing - but not always. There are literally thousands of examples of homosexual behavior in animals. Yes EVEN NATURE clearly shows that homosexuality is a normal variation of sexual behavior.

    So my point still stands. You can't rely on the bible to say marriage should only be between one man and one woman because it isn't always between one man and one woman. Also you can't rely on nature because in nature there is a wide variety of sexual behavior, including homosexual pairs.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 5, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    Wraith,
    I don't support Mike Richards, and LDS Liberal (aka Open Minded Mormon, LDS Tree Hugger, airnaut, etc) projection of their religion as the last word on everything on these pages. We don't all accept the same religion (or the skewed view of religion some people have). But after reading the Bible, to assume God didn't intend the relationship to be between Adam and a woman (not a man)... would require some VERY creative logic on what he intended, and why he presented Eve (a woman, not a man) to be Adam's companion.

    Even if you don't believe in God... or the Bible... it seems even if you dismiss God entirely... even so... it seems NATURE created male and female (not only humans but in the animal world as well) as the union that was intended (from their physical attributes) and the only union that could result in what that union is usually intended to result in.

    Even from the purely biological angle... it seems even NATURE intended for it to be a union of male-and-female (not male-and-male or female-and-female).

    Monogamy is a different topic.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    May 5, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    "I don't see how granting someone the rights of citizenship but denying them marriage would qualify as an accommodation."
    No one is being denied the right to marry. Does anyone here have any references to laws that say that someone who is homosexual cannot marry?

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    May 5, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    First, the Abrahamic religions play a zero-sum game. Each claims to have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. To compromise with any other group means they are making deals with the enemy.

    Second, much of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is defining what the group is against and what is not allowed. Those rules spell out the actions that the special chosen people will and will not do. Again, compromise means making deals with the enemy.

    Third, the growth of those groups is related to their message of superiority - "we are a peculiar people" where peculiar always carries a connotation of special or superior. everyone wants to be part of the special and exclusive group, be it the cliche at school or the country club that only admits certain people or the church that has the Truth. Again, compromise means making deals with the enemy.

    The article is earnest, but he seems to be saying that giving equal rights to another group will, again, offend some church people and so it should not be done.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    May 5, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    @rhappahannock: "In this debate the rights of those who were abused should be considered."

    In this country if an individual commits a crime he or she is investigated, charged, tried, and then convicted and punished appropriately.

    We do not condemn an entire class or group of people due to the supposed or real crimes of individuals who may be identified as part of that group.

    If Harvey Milk committed crimes that would be something he did, not something the "Gay community" should be punished for.

    We can reframe your idea, to see if it makes sense, by positing that some blacks committed crimes against white people and: "The promotion of the [civil rights for African Americans] is a direct affront to their experience, and harms their healing process by opening old wounds."

    See? Does not make any sense at all. And, it makes no sense when you say it about Gay men and Lesbians.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 5, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    @ Mike Richards

    I'm going to avoid the discussion about how laws can't be based on what your religion says because that's been discussed ad nauseam on this site.

    Instead I would like to point out how completely wrong you are about what your god has said about marriage. According to your own holy books god has clearly defined marriage as an institution that should be between man and several women. All the way back with Abraham, god made sure that his people knew polygamy was his chosen form of marriage. He also continually shows in the bible that sex outside of marriage is just fine, so long as it's with one of your concubines or a woman you took as a slave when destroying another civilization. The Book of Mormon also shows that if god chooses to he can define marriage as a polygamous and of course you have the whole early history of the Mormon church as well.

    It's the very height of arrogance and ignorance for anyone who believes in the bible to claim god has ordained marriage as only between a man and a woman.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 5, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    Why don't we just have the Legislature pass a law that we all be unified... and that we all drive electric cars... and take care of our neighbor?

    While we're at it... maybe a law like "Thou shalt not steal"... and "honor your father and your mother"... then we wouldn't have to worry about that anymore (because we all know everybody obeys laws if Congress or the Legislature passes them).

    And a law that we no covet what our neighbor has (not even his wife, or his donkey, or his house, or his boat, or his salary)....

    That should work just fine...

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 5, 2014 7:35 a.m.

    As a politician and lawmaker, I have campaigned to advance the public policy position that religious rights and rights for gays and lesbians cannot coexist. I contended that if religion is to maintain its freedoms, granting new rights to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community must be prevented. I was wrong!

    =======

    Hmm, what the sudden change of heart?

    Perhpas he recieved a letter from LDS Church HeadQuarters.

    They have supporting Equal Housing/Employment legislation -- which the City of Salt Lake has approved -- yet, the Utah State GOP led legliastors have soundly rejected for the past 4 years.

  • rhappahannock Washington, DC
    May 5, 2014 6:53 a.m.

    In this debate the rights of those who were abused should be considered. The promotion of the gay lifestyle is a direct affront to their experience, and harms their healing process by opening old wounds. Look at Harvey Milk. They made a movie out of his life, but didn't really show his many matchups with those of less than legal age. Some consideration should be given to the victims in this debate.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    May 5, 2014 5:47 a.m.

    The best I can tell, he is saying:

    1) Our attempt to codify our religious beliefs into law has failed.

    2) This is a grave threat to our religious freedom.

    With no irony intended.

  • Gandalf Salt Lake City, UT
    May 4, 2014 10:51 p.m.

    Gibberish.

  • Kabul Kabul, Afghanistan
    May 4, 2014 8:28 p.m.

    If the purpose of this editorial is to confuse the reader, it has succeeded beyond measure. I am totally confused as to what Reid is saying. He did a wondrous job of saying so little with so many words.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    May 4, 2014 7:25 p.m.

    Jack,

    I don't see how granting someone the rights of citizenship but denying them marriage would qualify as an accommodation.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    May 4, 2014 5:40 p.m.

    Reid's opinion is, as usual, impose religious standards on everyone an if they don't like it then tough potatoes." It's too bad he doesn't understand the Constitution and/or is unwilling to follow the supreme law of the land. Sad.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    May 4, 2014 5:16 p.m.

    I believe what he may be referring to are the rights to housing and employment, and the rest of the legally recognized rights of all citizens of this country. They have the right to free speech to espouse their views, and so do I to oppose their marriage agenda. They have the right to religion, to assemble and demonstrate for their views, and so do I to oppose them. All without being labeled a "hater" or being discriminated against in employment or opinion. They have the right to keep and bear arms, as do I. They have rights against self-incrimination, speedy trial when accused, and all the rest enumerated in the Constitution. They have the right to live without fear of prosecution for crimes that aren't crimes and all the same rights that we all enjoy. What they do not have, are specific rights just for them and them alone, rights with only apply when they want them to apply. Such are not rights, they are an affront to the public order.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    May 4, 2014 1:29 p.m.

    Reid is assuming some unity in Christian attitudes about homosexuality. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dozens of Christian sects do not condemn homosexuality and welcome gays, with no request to be celibate or repent, into their congregations. As far as biblical references go, there is one in Leviticus. One could make a long laundry list of ridiculous prohibitions in it, Deuteronomy, Exodus and Numbers. There is no reference to it by Jesus in the Gospels. Paul, who was unmarried during his ministry, and seemed to have some negative attitudes towards women in that they were not to speak in church and keep their head covered, made a reference to homosexuality in Romans. Paul also said that man can serve God better if remaining single. So we have two references in the entire Bible and that is enough to proclaim that the religion of Abraham and Christ are in complete agreement on this issue?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 4, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    Which "side" is right? Is there truth to either side? If one side is correct, is the other side wrong? Those basic thoughts must be debated until no further debate is needed.

    God told us that marriage is between a man and a woman. God told us that ANY sex outside of marriage is wrong. God told us to multiply and replenish the earth. There, we have one side of the argument.

    Some people tell us that sex, in any form, at any time with anyone is acceptable. Some people tell us that if less than 50% of "marriages" are same-sex, that no harm will come to society because the "traditional marriages" will permit the continuation of the species. Some people tell us that there are no absolutes; that there is no God; that we are to eat, drink and make merry for tomorrow we die; that there is nothing beyond life.

    Clearly the sides are divided. Clearly "prophets" who speak with the authority to speak given to them from God to be His spokesmen would tell us what is best for humanity.

    Religion protects us from ourselves.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    May 4, 2014 7:38 a.m.

    Reid's piece is meaningless word salad, devoid of specifics, and boils down to a bland, "religion has to try harder."

    What is fascinating here is how quickly the advocates of continued discrimination against gay Americans has abandoned any claim to reason and evidence in making their arguments, and now have only a vague appeal to "religious liberty" to offer. It was only a couple of years ago that the folks opposing marriage equality were claiming that their arguments _weren't_ religiously-based.

    I wouldn't think it necessary to keep having to say this, but appearantly it is: America is not a theocracy. Our laws are supposed to be made and enforced on the basis of testable evidence and reasoning that can withstand scrutiny in court. Prop 8, Amendment 3, DOMA, and similar laws are all evaporating under the sunlight of legal scrutiny. There is simply no legally valid defense for them.

    Your personal convictions, however previously privileged, yet absent objective evidence and legal rigor, are not a basis for making laws.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    May 4, 2014 6:25 a.m.

    This piece seems internally inconsistent. How does a religion adhere to traditional standards of doctrine and morality while accommodating LGBT rights? If religions are unwilling to accommodate same sex marriage (which requires state action, not mere religious acceptance) I can't see that accommodation can be reached. Is Senator Reid advocating a compromise by which religions accept same sex marriage in exchange for recognition of the rights of religious people to withhold services? If not, what is he suggesting?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 4, 2014 12:15 a.m.

    "To resolve the intensifying conflict, religious leaders must have inspired courage to lead the way — “the right way” — contending for religious rights while accommodating LGBT rights. To abdicate or for any others to usurp this responsibility will result in folly for the faithful and the nation."

    But what if religious leaders don't lead the way? Then Mr. Reid says there is no way to get through the conflict.

    Mr Reid posits his view assuming no major changes to the status quo. Consider what might have happened to American society had the banking collapse not been handled. We might have a very different economic order now, with new ways or resolving conflict.

    I don't accept Mr Reid's views regarding resolution of conflicts over LGBT in the current order, and I especially reject them over the long term as much is likely to change in the social and economics landscape.