My first post back after that wacky month of happiness; it could really only be about one thing right? Well, the month of May surely did give us enough to talk about on the subject.
I warn you now. I'm going to swear and I'm going to swear often...I'm serious, alright, maybe only a little. Stop reading now or please don't call me later or email me about how I'm the devil incarnate. I'll retaliate in kind. I have a month's worth of pent up frustration and my brother-in-law called me today and got me all pissed off and renewed my fire. I guess that means I'm flaming? Somehow appropriate...
Many have asked me what I think of the California high court's decision to uphold Proposition 8. So, what do I think of the ruling?
If my month of happiness helped me realize anything, it was that I am emotionally drained fighting the online blog battle of intellectual debate on Prop 8. Those I am debating have readily shelved their intellect in favor of inferred and implied (albeit unconfirmed) revelation from God instructing them that: Of all the woes and evils that face California at this time, the greatest threat is having two loving individuals who wish to have the word "marriage" tattooed on their soon-to-be divorced asses is the ONE THING that may bring about Armageddon.
Since no one in my own faith can come to a general consensus on when a Prophet is speaking as a Prophet, I refuse to acknowledge a memo signed by the Office of First Presidency as God's voice commanding the masses through His mouthpiece on earth. If there is confusion about the memo, let us look to other quotes from Thomas S. Monson, Prophet, Seer, and Revelator addressing Proposition 8.
Let's go to the October General Conference of 2008, just one short month before the critical election in California, and see what was revealed. Well, President Monson spoke four times and not once even intimated towards the issue. Funny. Sunday's in California were dominated with Prop 8 propaganda from August to November. Well, maybe in the April 2009 Conference we would hear the Prophet commending those who upheld the revealed word of the Lord. He spoke four times again and finally our faith has been rewarded.
"...the moral footings of society continue to slip, while those who attempt to safeguard those footings are often ridiculed and, at times, picketed and persecuted."
See. And you doubted, oh how you doubted. O ye of little faith. Do you see how that sentence PROVES beyond a shadow of a doubt that voting Yes on Prop 8 was revealed by God to President Monson? With every fiber of my being, that memo was, and is, living scripture.
What? I told you to stop reading...do you remember my warning?
Unfortunately, to my knowledge, memos don't have a history of making it into our canon...not officially at least. If they did, maybe any one of the fundamentalist off-shoots then would have a basis in truth?
Here's a memo: Make a damn statement in an official capacity.
And memo to California Mormons: You now praise these judges for their correct interpretations of upholding the Constitution and siding with the will of the people. These very same infidels that you previously labeled as activist judges legislating from the bench? I wonder if you will you be singing such songs of joy in 2010 and/or 2012 when your victory is inevitably overturned "by the will of the people", what will your tune be like then? Songs of Armageddon, no doubt. And no, not the Aerosmith songs from the movie soundtrack...
I guess I can see where the younger Mormons may falter because they don't know their own religious history of continuously being on the wrong side of civil rights issues but it's the older generation who already went through our own previous debacles that I REALLY just don't understand.
Hey, here's another memo. Why not ask God how to balance the effing state budget? Why is revelation never about practical items? Well, maybe we can send Governor a memo and just infer revelation. We could fix it. We, as Mormons, have social programs galore yet still manage to be fiscally responsible. Well, at least, that's what we're told. Maybe a little transparency is needed in our Church financials too.
Oh yeah, it probably wouldn't look too good for the Church. Oh wait, I have a copy of it right here. Let's see what some of these line items are:
* Allowances for all First Presidency members and the Quorum of the Twelve? But I thought that we had an unpaid clergy and that sure looks like a salary to me. What? It's not a salary, it's an allowance? Yeah, I'm not that dumb.
* Ehh...what is this? A $3-billion dollar "beautification project" in downtown Salt Lake, what the hell is this? What? You got a memo that said, "If you build it they will come?" I can't believe you fell for that. Who told you that? Who's Mark Hofmann? Anyway, that was from a movie called, "Field of Dreams." Yeah, yeah, I know that the field is white and ready to harvest. Although, I don't think they were talking about downtown condos that sell for 7-figures in this economy. What? They have already sold out? Well, okay. Yes, I suppose it could be a sign that God is pleased...
* Great profits coming in from Deseret Book and Seagull Book. Wait a minute. The Church OWNS Deseret Book??? Why do we have the Church Distribution Center then? Well because where else would we sell that which God tells us to impart unto all...for a price? Wait, the Church actually inflates margins on the Holy Scriptures that it sells at Deseret Book over 30% from what it sells them for at the Distribution Center? They wouldn't do that. Not my Church, that would just be unethical. Wait. What? They actually do that? Okay, strike that previous comment. Apparently we got a "memo", so it is okay to do. We're in the clear. But hey, at least you got the memo to stop carrying those immoral Twilight books...AFTER you sold out of every copy. I'm sure the youth learned the lesson on how and when to make a moral stand.
* $72 million for undeveloped property in Arizona that wouldn't be worth even if it was developed?
Ah, hell. I can't read anymore. This is getting out of control. Give me the Blue Pill, Give me the Blue Pill. Damnit, why didn't I take the Blue Pill...
Memo to President Obama - Can you negotiate a settlement for open transparency in LDS church financials in exchange for you promising not be pissed off about us baptizing your mother posthumously? I'd appreciate it, thanks! (Fist bump).
Okay back to Prop 8. Where the CA Supreme Court got it right is that (technically) Prop 8 was a legal amendment. Read my friend Lisa's post about what the ruling DID and DID NOT mean, lest you become confused.
However, I am not yet wise enough in my years to know what to do when a majority is full of shit. To whom do the minority groups turn to then? How do you tell someone to have faith in the system when the system fails them? My advice to them is this. Mount a charge for 2010. Add a proposition to the ballot reversing Proposition 8. When it passes, and it will pass, begin working on a second proposition for 2012 requiring all Constitutional amendments to pass with a 2/3 majority vote and not simply a 50% +1 structure.
If that doesn't work, start a gay religion and claim protection of marriage under CA Constitution, Art. I, Sec 4.
I also thought that the official LDS response to the proposition passing was obvious. I think it a bit shameful that they would hyper-link to a fear-based opinion piece in the NY Times that was only slightly less dishonest and morally-bankrupt as the entirety of the Yes on 8 advertising campaigns.
And can we settle this once and for all? Catholic Charities CHOSE to close their doors. The state of Massachusetts did not shut them down. They told them that since they were taking state funds to operate, they would have to run by state guidelines. The Catholic Church was fully within their rights to discriminate who they would or would not give children to...but only if they did it on their own dime and not with state funds.
Memo to Catholics, makes you think about reconsidering that whole condom thing, doesn't it? Maybe then, they'd have less teenage Catholic girls getting pregnant and needing to find adoptive parents for their unwanted children. Just a thought...
Another memo to Catholics, maybe if you weren't making so many payouts in civil suits, you could probably afford to run it without state aid. Just another thought...
Listen, let me end on a point of LDS doctrine here.
Our most fundamental doctrine is that Christ invites us to follow Him. It is up to us to decide if we want to return to Him by proving ourselves worthy by living obediently and ultimately relying on His grace to save us after all that we can do.
Another core belief is that Satan wanted to take away our ability to choose and decide, our free agency. His addendum to the plan was such that it would incapacitate us from the option of sinning and essentially force us back to Heaven.
Proposition 8 embraces Satan's plan. It says that (and now conjure up your best rowdy Dave Chappelle voice for this):
"For your own good gay people, we aren't going to allow you to sin. Mostly because we, as beautiful God-fearing Christians, we don't want to look upon you disgusting gay Christ-haters, but also because if you aren't going to follow God's plan of your own free choice, we will take away your ability to decide for yourselves and compel you to follow God's commandments. We'll do our best drag you to heaven, even though God will probably make you burn in hell for just having those dirty gay thoughts."
How do I feel about the California Supreme Court decision? Constitutionally sound and lacking in balls. The judges had the opportunity to send the decision back to the people on the grounds of inequality and chose to allow a majority of religious citizens to legislate their morality. The danger comes in trying to draw the line in how far you allow citizens to legislate their religious beliefs. It's all fine and dandy, as long as you're in the majority.
How do I feel about the Prop 8? I think it is fueled by fear and hate, kindled by religion, and embraced in the flames of everything that is wrong with America.