Letter: Love thy neighbor

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  • Stable thought FORT MORGAN, CO
    Jan. 12, 2014 11:33 a.m.

    I'm tired of being told I can't, care, love. be compassionate with out complete and absolute agreement, yes I'm tired, and sad.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    Those Utahns are married. You can't change that. The sky didn't fall and the market didn't crash.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    "I guess it's alright to be intolerant and judgmental in your comments if you are a gay rights advocate... just not if you express your views and you are a traditional marriage advocate?"

    I don't see the majority of comments being intolerant and judgmental; they merely seem to be counterarguments to what you presented. This sort of thing happens every day in civil discourse. The problems come when we start to call each other names and belittle them.

    I love my LDS neighbors and family. Unfortunately, too many have abandoned me after they found out that I am gay. Nothing else about me changed, but they became uncomfortable knowing that one fact about me and chose to disassociate with me. That hurts at a very deep level. I know what it feels like when my religious convictions are attacked, but the wounds are even deeper when those judgments come due to an innate and unchangeable part of who you are. We only ask that you understand and have empathy for that.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    Thank you for these kind comments. I have prayed and truly believe that most of the people who fear us will truly come to understand that we really aren't that different once they make an attempt to get to know us.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 8:01 a.m.

    WestGranger says:

    "It is a matter of difference in belief."

    Yes, it is. But you don't get to vote your beliefs into law at the expense of other US citizens.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 12:55 a.m.

    'I think I love all my gay friends... does that mean I must support re-defining "marriage"? '

    Why not?

    Utah kept re-defining it, until 1890.

    Throwing stones from glass houses..?

  • WestGranger West Valley City, Utah
    Jan. 10, 2014 10:58 p.m.

    Sorry, but I dismiss the comparison of Utah's who disagree with gay marriage to
    'robbing human beings of their basic right to freedom, torturing and selling them as property — because they (are) different." The author of this letter is obviously misguided to the reason why Utahns voted down gay marriage.It is not about disliking or being afraid of gays. It is a matter of difference in belief. Both sides need to seek to understand the perspectives of the other side and not simply demonize or belittle them.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 7:13 p.m.


    You keep talking about "agendas" and "pushing agendas" so I have two questions first you do realize you are pushing and agenda as well right and two how is other people not supporting your agenda any more intolerant then you not supporting their agenda? The wonderful thing about our constitution is you get to express your views and it allows me to express opposing views even if you cry foul.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 6:07 p.m.

    The notion that people can have natural compassion for people just because they are people is not so. To put it bluntly, we are selfish, greedy, very competitive players in the game of life. We seek that which we enjoy and run from that that makes us uncomfortable.

    To have compassion for others we have to find something in their being that makes us feel good. And that turns out to be a tough job when we live in a world governed by hate.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:49 p.m.

    If your re not gay,
    then I guess you are doing what God told you.

    BTW - Jesus taught us to love everyone, especially those Socially out cast.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:48 p.m.

    Sooo... I guess it's alright to be intolerant and judgmental in your comments if you are a gay rights advocate... just not if you express your views and you are a traditional marriage advocate?

    I guess it's the usual double-standard again today.


    Just because someone expresses their personal views... doesn't mean they don't love anybody.

    I think I love all my gay friends... does that mean I must support re-defining "marriage"? Because I don't. But I don't think that changes anything.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:33 p.m.

    "People say that they don't want to support our agenda! What agenda? "

    Wake up, get the kids to school, go to work, lunch break, more work, return home, cook dinner, clean, put the kids to bed, watch Rachel Maddow's show, plot ways to destroy heterosexual marriages, sleep. Or something like that, I dunno, the notion is silly.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:11 p.m.

    Thank you for this letter. This is such a passionate issue because it is motivated by love on all sides. I know that many people of faith who oppose laws that protect and normalize gays because they believe it will lead more people to be gay and they truly believe this is harmful to them.
    I am a person of faith, but see it very differently. I have seen too many examples where well-intentioned, good people have hurt their gay loved ones and pushed them out of their homes, churches, and lives while trying to help them. Shunning, marginalizing, and maligning gays may keep them in the closet, but it will not change who they are. When a person's family and faith seem to turn against him it breaks the ties that bind him to his family and God. Every soul is free and we can force no man to heaven. We can be good and kind but never force the human mind.
    “Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay.” - Dalai Lama

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 1:36 p.m.

    People say that they don't want to support our agenda! What agenda? It is no agenda! You are talking about our lives, which happen to be very important to us! To get married is a very important step in the lives of many people, including gay people. There is no agenda to destroy traditional marriage! It is our lives and they are more important than many people think! So, because Mormons say we are an abomination, then we are? No way! Because Mormons think we shouldn't get married, we have to live with that the rest of our lives!!!!! NO WE DON"T! We should have the same rights as any Mormon living in this state!

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 1:26 p.m.

    Good fences, it is said, make good neighbours. Loving our neighbour, and our neighbour can be a literal guy across the fence or a fellow human anywhere, means having a good fence up. You can have your religion in your yard, but I don't want it over here. I'll try to keep the critters, mayhem, stray gunfire, and golf balls on my side of the fence. Even at that, we can have some things in common. Everyone enjoys the fireworks display I put on.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 10, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    Put very simply, gay "marriage" does not exist except as a philosophy of men. It is a counterfeit of God ordained marriage where He told us through His prophets that: ". . . marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

    ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

    You can promote same-sex marriage. Many do. Many have ceased to believe in God. Many others find it convenient to ignore God. But, at some point, we will each stand before our Father In Heaven and report whether we honor Him or whether we mocked him during our mortal stay on earth. God loves us all, but he requires conformity to His doctrine if we expect to be guests in His house for eternity.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 12:11 p.m.

    'Loving our neighbor does not require us to accept alternate lifestyles.'

    Accept? No.

    Tolerate? Yes.

    Marriage equality in no way forces others to sacrifice their religious beliefs. i.e. Marriage equality forces no one, to marry against their conscience.

    Now, does working against another persons marriage, factually affect that persons life?


    *'Kept From a Dying Partners Bedside' - By TARA PARKER-POPE - NY Times - 05/18/09

    '...the couples had prepared for a medical emergency, creating living wills, advanced directives and power-of-attorney documents.'

    And yet, even with Living Will, Medical Directive, Power of attorney and emergency contact information...

    Janice Langbehn was kept from the bedside of her dying partner, Lisa Pond.

    They were together for 18 years.

    No matter how much a person fabricates how marriage equality will effect 'society'.

    Marriage equality factually forces no one, to act against their religion.

    Put very simply, gay marriage does not force anyone, into a gay marriage.

    But religious arguments against marriage equality, factually does legislate others to act.

    In accordance with a religion they do NOT factually belong too.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 11:50 a.m.

    @2 bits;

    "...and then write the kind of comments we often get from people pushing the GLBT agenda."

    Do you even bother reading the comments directed at us by your fellow members? Jesus said it pretty well: You reap what you sow.

    Nice letter Emily.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 10, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    2 bits said it properly, "But that DOESN'T mean we must support their agenda too."

    This argument is much older than the earth. It didn't start here and it won't end while we are alive. We have always had two choices. We have always had the choice to accept and to embrace eternal truth that promotes progression and we've always had the choice to reject eternal truth and to replace it with the philosophies of man.

    God commanded us to marry someone of the opposite sex and to replenish the earth. That was for OUR own good. It would teach us to curb our sexual appetites and to limit our sexual activity to our spouse. That would teach us to forget ourselves as we raised His children in our homes and taught them about our Creator and about his doctrine and about his lifestyle.

    We have the right to reject God and He has the right to reject us if we decide that we will follow some other voice. Our eternal existence depends on that choice.

    Loving our neighbor does not require us to accept alternate lifestyles.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 11:41 a.m.

    'It's possible to not support the GLBT agenda (which may be different from you), but that's still OK. That doesn't automatically mean I don't love anybody.'

    Ok. That's fair.

    Now, then, what is love?

    I think if you work to deny someone the 1,100+ legal rights of marriage. Deny them that happiness, that legal recognition, that weight taken off their shoulders.

    You do not really love them.

    You tolerate them.

    And as such, the claim of 'love' they neighbor is moot.

    One, in that situation, does not in fact love their neighbors.

    They put up with their neighbors.

    And if you do not, in fact, love your neighbors. Unless they agree with you, and follow your own political agenda to remove and deny rights to your fellow American citizens.

    That is an issue with your doctrine, and your actions. The difference between talk, and action.

    Talking the talk, but not walking the walk.

    It has very lithe to do, with what your neighbor, actually does.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    Do I even need to love people who are different than me, because their personal beliefs lead them to not support the gay agenda? Do I need to love people who are different because they believe in slavery? Etc?

    I think we do. So this letter applies to the GLBT community as much as it does to anybody.

    You can't say "love everyone"... and then write the kind of comments we often get from people pushing the GLBT agenda.


    But bottom line... you are correct. We need to love everyone. But that DOESN'T mean we must support their agenda too. People CAN be different. People CAN be against re-defining "Marriage", and still love their neighbor.

    I think painting anyone who doesn't fall in line and support the agenda as "not loving their neighbor" is disingenuous, and is contrary to your basic philosophy... that we are ALL different and that's OK.

    It's possible to not support the GLBT agenda (which may be different from you), but that's still OK. That doesn't automatically mean I don't love anybody.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    In contrast:

    *'Advocates see rise in gay suicide' - By Gina Barker, Deseret News - 08/06/10

    *'Gay man says 'reversal' therapy did not change him' - By Lisa Leff - Associated Press - Published by DSNews - 01/20/10

    'A gay man testified Wednesday in a federal same-sex marriage trial that the "reversal therapy" he underwent as a teenager to change his sexual orientation drove him to the brink of suicide.'

    *'Teens — gay or straight — more likely to attempt suicide in conservative towns' - By LINDSEY TANNER - Medical Writer - AP - 04/18/11

    ''CHICAGO — Suicide attempts by gay teens — and even straight kids — are more common in politically conservative areas..'

    *'Gays GREATEST THREAT TO AMERICA, (Chris) Buttars says' - By Aaron Falk – Deseret news - 02/19/09

    Buttars won his election in 2000, 2004 and 2008, on a Republican ticket, in Utah.

    We can do better, than the above examples.

    'But one thing we have in common — we belong to each other. It is our responsibility to open our hearts and minds and protect each other: to “love thy neighbor” and not to cause more harm, judgment or pain.'

    A well written letter.