Proposition 8 - Reactions - Civil Disobedience or just plain Disobedience?

By Appreciable Goodfaithpoet

One of the most important issues in our world is that of Same-Gender attraction. The issues that are treated in California’s Proposition 8 have far reaching implications. In other Countries, where same-gender marriages receive legal recognition, there have been declining heterosexual marriage rates and sharp increases in illegitimacy rates. Yet, some people still don't see how allowing same-gender marriage takes away from the meaning of marriage. In the end they say, “same-gender marriage is a private contract between two people.” This view overlooks the real consequences on society that have already been realized in other Countries.

The gay community is, however, following the right steps to protest in a civil way. They have secured permits from Salt Lake City as they have marched in protest. Their demonstrations have been peaceful and they are exercising their right to freely express their views.

We do not know who sent the envelopes with the white powder to LDS Temples. We do not know who has sent around the fear-mongering email about having 200,000 people clogging downtown Salt Lake City in a month to protest the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. These actions could have been taken by people who are not part of the Gay community at all. These actions, designed to bring about change through fear, could have been done by someone who supports proposition 8 and wished to make the Gay community look like they are terrorists.

While I respect those who disagree with my views on same gender marriage, I will oppose their agenda because it is not in harmony with the laws of God. In his essay “Civil Disobedience,” Henry David Thoreau said, “It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right.” In his “letter from Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King Jr. said, “How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.” Same-gender marriage is against the moral law and the law of God. Therefore, there can be no just law enacted which sanctions its practice. Consequently, there can be no “correct” protest (however civil) simply because people who support same-gender marriage are arguing for the wrong thing to occur. I do agree, however, that Same-gender couples should be entitled to the same basic legal rights as Heterosexual couples when it comes to hospital visitation and medical insurance rights.

Henry David Thoreau said, “I cannot for an instant recognize that political organization as my government which is the slave's government also.” Thoreau was arguing in behalf of a group of oppressed people. I do not condone or encourage anarchy, and in fact the absence of government is to be feared even more than the presence of a corrupt government. We are duty bound to uphold any government that secures basic human rights. However, I would have a difficult time recognizing a political organization as my government which is a government sanctioning same-gender marriage. The argument that I am making, is not that slavery and same-gender marriage are similar. I am arguing, instead, that legal recognition of same-gender marriage is as equally reprehensible to some people as slavery was to Thoreau.

We need leaders with great wisdom, solid integrity and honesty to address these issues. I am a strong supporter of traditional marriage. I believe that the role of Government is to guarantee freedom, punishing those who are guilty of breaking the law,providing protection against foreign invasion, and finding solutions to the problems in our communities. We cannot ignore problems that prevent families from living in a community with a healthy environment. Leaders must be full of love for others if they desire to lead others in a cooperative and successful way.

The following quotations come from the third and final Debate Between Senator Kerry and President Bush in the 2004 Presidential Debates.(I bring this up because it really shows the two sides of an important issue that is still being discussed. I feel concerned about gender confusion in America and this was a pivotal issue in the 2004 campaign debates for me.) During one of the debates the moderator said to John Kerry and President George W. Bush, Quote:

SCHIEFFER: "Both of you are opposed to gay marriage. But to understand how you have come to that conclusion, I want to ask you a more basic question. Do you believe homosexuality is a choice?"

BUSH: "You know, Bob, I don't know. I just don't know. I do know that we have a choice to make in America and that is to treat people with tolerance and respect and dignity. It's important that we do that.

SCHIEFFER: "Senator Kerry?"

KERRY: "We're all God's children, Bob. And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as. I think if you talk to anybody, it's not choice. I've met people who struggled with this for years, people who were in a marriage because they were living a sort of convention, and they struggled with it. And I've met wives who are supportive of their husbands or vice versa when they finally sort of broke out and allowed themselves to live who they were, who they felt God had made them. I think we have to respect that." (End Quote)

While I know that I must show respect for individuals, I am not required to "have to respect" the actions of any married couple who "Breaks out" allowing themselves to live "Who they were" (While continuing to stay married I suppose.) This is the problem with the moral question here, I agree with the statement of George W. Bush that we must treat people with respect and I disagree with those supporting the Homosexual agenda which attempts to force me to pay respect to, or agree with, the sexual behavior of Same-Gender Couples. There is a difference.

The plan of God, for the lives of his children, requires the righteous union of male and female, man and woman, husbandand wife. I believe that Homosexual behavior is a sin and that wicked behavior will never succeed in making people happy in the long run. I also believe in reaching out with understanding and respect to individuals who are attracted to those of the same gender.However, Sexual intercourse should be experienced only between a man and a woman who are married.

When people see sin too often, and it gains too much validity and “respectability” in the eyes of society, people soon begin to embrace things that are not in harmony with Moral laws. There are appropriate ways to guard society from the negative effects of the powerful river of Lava that sex can become, in communities, if it is unchecked by “traditional” family values. One prominent Christian Leader, Al Sharpton, sees criticism of his attention getting tactics (Of superfluous litigation as a means of public protest) as a sign of his effectiveness. He said, "In many ways, what they consider criticism is complimenting my job. An activist’s job is to make public civil rights issues until there can be a climate for change. So when people get angry at me for raising these issues and making them public, well, that’s my job! That’s what I’m supposed to do. If I could not get the public’s attention on an issue, then I’m not a good activist.” This activist is, in my opinion, working effectively against the law of God to promote the legal recognition of same-gender marriage.

The route that we choose in trying to change the world is very important. We can choose to get the attention of the world through violent and flamboyant behavior, or we can choose to gain the attention of the world through, honest accomplishment and goodness.

Another prominent Christian Leader, James Dobson, with whom I share many common views, has attracted the attention (rather than demanding it) of the world, through his efforts as an activist in support of the traditional family. This activist is against the legal recognition and definition of marriage as including same-gender couples. He suggests that falling heterosexual marriage rates in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden are due to the recognition of same-sex relationships by those countries during the 1990s. He points out that traditional marriage "is rapidly dying" in these countries as a result, with most young people cohabiting or choosing to remain single (living alone) and illegitimacy rates rising in some Norwegian counties up to 80%. James Dobson says that, "there is no issue today that is more significant to our culture than the defense of the family. Not even the war on terror eclipses it." I agree with this Christian leader on this important issue.

When the commandments of God conflict with the mainstream views of the mental health community, I choose to stick withs upporting what God has to say.

Some people don't see how allowing same-gender 'civil union' takes away from the meaning of marriage. They say, It's like believing that because your neighbor bought a green car, that makes your red car get worse gas mileage.

They believe that they are unrelated events. They say, “So what harm does it do to allow civil unions??” Claiming, that it is, “Muchado about nothing.” “It won't change my marriage in the least,” they say. In the end, a same-gender marriage is a private contract between two people. They argue that in legal terms, same-gender marriage, has an entirely separate from the meaning of a “church marriage” no matter what religion it is. They point out that common law marriages are already a part of the law. Common law marriages usually mean that two people can claim that they are legally married if they have lived togetherfor 7 or more years... and they point out that most states recognize this type of marriage... even the feds do, they say. They point out that even if laws are passed banning same-gender marriage, activist judges could overturn them on discrimination grounds. The argument seems to be, “Why fight the inevitable?”

I agree with those who assert that Governments should never force people to be good. Governments should mainly bein the business of punishing people when they do things that are wrong. Citizens should participate in politics as individuals,and not in affiliation with a religious group as a voting block. There is a need for the separation of the management of church and state. I now summarize an article entitled, “Political Teachings of the LDS Church” by Gary C. Bryner as follows:

"Women and men are both created in God's image, but each gender has roles that have been defined by God. Marriage is defined by God through the Bible as being between only a Man and a Woman.

"The duty of government is to protect freedom of conscience and religious belief. Laws are for the good and safety of society and to secure to each individual their own moral agency, the right to own and control property, and to protecting the life of the Citizens. The separation of church and state is essential. There should never be a Government mandated religion(Including itself) and Governments should not show favoritism to any one particular religion. Governments should not tell people how or when to worship. Governments should enforce the laws but not attempt to control the beliefs of the people." (End Summary)

We all have the ability to determine our values and we are accountable as individuals to God who allows us freedom of belief and conscience. The ideals of liberal democracy, which champion individual and minority rights, personal freedom, and religious pluralism are good and right.

Religious organizations must not infringe upon the domain of the state. We, as religious communities must not attempt to force our values upon others, or to control or dominate any of their affairs, individual or national. Yet, as individual citizens, we have a responsibility to seek solutions to the problems which beset our cities and communities.

We cannot ignore the many practical problems that require solution if our families are to live in an environment conducive to spirituality. As members of religious communities we must be must be anxiously engaged in good causes, using the principles,taught to us by God, as our constant guide.

I am commitment to a broad, collective effort in working toward a vision of a harmonious and prosperous community.

I am not calling for protests to stop. I am simply encouraging protestors to cry out in support of justice according to the laws of God. For, as Thoreau taught, “It is not so important that many should be good as you, as that there be some absolute goodness somewhere.” One of these goodness absolutes is the correct role of Marriage according to the law of God.

While Thoreau said, “How can a man be satisfied to entertain and opinion merely, and enjoy it? …Action from principle,the perception and the performance of right, changes things and relations; it is essentially revolutionary... separating the diabolical in him from the divine.” If a man holds a belief which promotes evil, his actions in this direction, will simply bring the diabolical to the forefront and obscure the divine.

Henry David Thoreau also believed that “…the state never intentionally confronts a man's sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength.” While I disagree with Thoreau about this point, (Because of the role of public education,) his basic idea is a strong argument for the importance of the role of the Church in American Society, to confront a man’s sense, and the feelings of his heart, with the honesty of God’s truth.

Thoreau also proclaimed that, “they who know of no purer sources of truth, who have traced up its stream no higher, stand,and wisely stand, by the Bible and the Constitution, and drink at it there with reverence and humanity; but they who behold where it comes trickling into this lake or that pool, gird up their loins once more, and continue their pilgrimage toward its fountainhead.”

The uppermost spring of truth on this earth is to be found in the revelation given to modern Prophets in our day. This guidance comes directly from the source of all truth. This message from God, given to his children through his Prophets in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is that any law allowing same-gender marriage, is not a just or moral law.

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-Appreciable Goodfaithpoet

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