Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Am I being deceived?

Well, it may be April 1st but this is no April Fool's joke...


I received the following response from my neighbor and I feel the battle is just beginning:

(Beck):

Thanks for your reply. I don't agree that homosexuals are being treated unfairly. There are legal mechanisms already in place to address each of the issues that were the subjects of proposed laws during the last legislative session. Can they have hospital visitation rights? Certainly they can! Homosexuals have the same rights as the rest of us have with respect to jobs and housing. As far as I understand, there have been no instances of loss of a job or an apartment based on sexual orientation, so the proposals for these 'rights' are proposals to fix problems that don't exist. What they wanted to do was to have special protected status and inequality, not equality. The laws they proposed implied that they were being denied rights that other people had. This was dishonest and manipulative on their part. Deception is part and parcel of their approach.


Regarding the Church position on the Utah legislation, there has been nothing said so I can't comment. I am surprised, however, that you presume to speak for the Church on this matter when they have chosen not to.


We have attended three meetings on the homosexual legislative agenda sponsored by Sutherland (SI) and we did not hear one derogatory or insulting comment. We heard love and concern for individuals, both homosexual and heterosexual. We also heard frank statements of the views of the speakers, but straightforward, clear, and to-the-point comments are a refreshing change from the mushiness of much of the discussion on this subject. There has been nothing unfair or unloving in any of the presentations we have attended.


I am confident that, if this type of legislation is passed and anyone who considers himself 'gay' can claim protected status (how else do you establish their status but self-selection, there is no physical test), as these laws would allow, it would not stop there. In fact, when the previous California law prohibiting homosexual marriage - passed by popular referendum - was nullified by the California Supreme Court, one of the bases for overturning the law and allowing homosexual marriage in California was the fact that California had the types of laws that were later proposed here in Utah.


This is an issue that should be carefully considered. Passage of such laws in Utah gives leverage for further 'protections', including homosexual marriage, as happened in California. And then it is just a small step from homosexual marriage to the requirement for all churches that accept tax exempt contributions to perform homosexual marriages - or loose their tax exempt status. If you think this is absurd, just investigate the coercion that has already taken place. Churches and private individuals have been required to comply with the requests of homosexual couples when identical alternative services were available. There was a Christian photographer in Arizona who, when he found out that it was a homosexual couple that had requested his services, referred them to another photographer but found himself reported to the Arizona civil rights commission. E-Harmony (founded by a Christian) was required by a civil rights commission in New Jersey to establish a separate business for homosexual matches as well as pay compensation and provide some significant number of free memberships to kick it off even though there were numerous homosexual matching sites, all because E-Harmony didn't provide matches for homosexuals on their site. An LDS OBGYN who provides fertility services referred a same-sex couple to another provider in his office when he found out their status, but that was not good enough for the couple, who sued him. This is not all, but it is enough to demonstrate that, even though there were alternatives to the services offered by these companies and individuals, the homosexual couples insisted to the point of getting the government involved and forcing them to comply with their wishes.


I recognize that much of this is pushed by radicals and activists but that doesn't change the situation because they are the ones we have to deal with.


I don't think opposing a group's attempts to get preferential treatment is treating that group 'unfairly'. To eject (or worse) a burglar from my house wouldn't be 'unfair', would it? Perhaps you have a more loving alternative to opposing the burglar. And I wouldn't suggest you accuse anyone who disagrees with you of being unloving or behaving contrary to what the Savior would do. Such an accusation doesn't show love and understanding and is certainly not what the Savior would do. Is it?


But how do you know what the Savior would do in this situation? Apparently He wouldn't let an unrepentant homosexual into the Kingdom of Heaven; nor would He allow a same-sex couple to marry or be sealed in the temple, nor even allow them in the temple; nor does He allow them to have Church membership, or allow them to take the sacrament or offer prayer in public meetings. So, I don't think it's a stretch that He would reject special and preferred treatment for homosexuals, especially when that treatment would almost certainly lead to challenges to Church practices in the future. By the way, where would you draw the line? Why not same-sex marriage? Why not temple attendance? Why not Church membership or taking the sacrament or prayer in public meetings? Where would you draw the line? And wherever you draw it, someone could challenged you by saying "I feel that we need to use a much more loving approach, as the Savior would use, toward our brothers and sisters (gay or otherwise). Don't you?" Why, after all, did the Church oppose same-sex marriage in California? In what way did it hurt the Church?


And this brings me to my last point. The response of the homosexuals to the Proposition 8 vote in California was very telling. It reminded me of Satan's response to Moses in Moses 1. When Moses cast Satan out of his presence, "Satan cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying" approve of my sexual behavior and accept me as equal to heterosexuals. (That last part was mine.) The people who are making these demands have lost the Spirit and are enraged, literally enraged, because they can't have what they can never have: not guaranteed jobs or apartments, not hospital visiting rights, not even marriage; they want approval of their actions and acceptance of their behavior. They seem to know in their heart-of-hearts that what they are doing is wrong and they're desperately seeking validation in an impossible effort to get from others what they can't even get from themselves. Somehow they must feel that our acceptance and approval will make their behavior right, or at least livable for them. And they will do anything they have to do to gain that acceptance, even if it means forcing us, through government power, to accept them and their behavior. If you think those 5 propositions they presented to the legislature are the end, you are sadly mistaken. There were originally 6 propositions, the sixth one being a modification of the marriage amendment to the state constitution. They dropped that one, probably because it prematurely tipped their hand. But that's still on their agenda and they think they are making great progress in convincing the citizens of Utah to support their cause. That's why a grassroots effort such as the one (SI) is pursuing is so important.


The position (SI) is taking is to challenge all propositions that would give homosexuals 'protected' status and preferential treatment, because it is always harder to get things back into the bottle than it is to keep the lid on in the first place. I agree with this approach. Homosexuals should have no more rights than any of the rest of us have. Avenues are open to them, and everyone, to secure the provisions they wanted passed into law for homosexuals alone. These proposals were only the beginning and just a means to hidden ends.


Edmund Burke said: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." I'm afraid that the Rodney King plea of "can't we all just get along" will not cut it when the other side is at war with basic American values and is enlisting our government in the fight on their side. Please join us in opposition to the homosexual agenda, which, if enacted into law, will ultimately lead to legal challenges to LDS Church practices and to further loss of our freedom.


Regards, (Neighbor)



So, now what? I don't want a debate. I just want him to know that others (within the Church and neighborhood) have an alternate viewpoint. I want him to understand this isn't a self-proclaimed selection (a nice word for "choice"). I want him to think about if his son came to him revealing the same-sex attractions that have always been part of him - that he didn't choose them - what then would be his reaction and stance?


But, I need your help. I need to be factual. I haven't been as diligent in this debate as I should have and I feel negligent in not having quick references and backup to statements at my fingertips. I need to find the official quote / source that gives the Church's stance on civil unions and their approval / no opposition of legal "gay rights" that were already in place in California, where they stated they were fighting for the definition of "marriage" and not the intent of taking away "rights" already in place... which comments led to the Common Ground Initiatives. I can't have it be hearsay or implied. Can anyone help?


Any other thoughts or approaches you'd recommend? Or should I duck and hide and get my gun locked and loaded before those gay-burglars enter my house and destroy my temple marriage? You know, maybe I'm just being deceived by all of you, and I am self-selected, and you want to do nothing more than destroy my marriage, my family, my religion, my faith so that I can be equally miserable like you!

33 comments:

Daniel said...

Here's what I would say:
Neighbor, I disagree with most if not all of your points. I have friends who have been personally attcked and demeaned by those affiliated with the Sutherland institute and who have been hurt by statements similar to yours, but I know you don't mean any harm to anyone. Seeing that we disagree and that even if we were to debate each others positions we likely wouldn't change each others minds, I'd like to just agree to disagree. Please don't invite me or members or my family to events associated with the Sutherland institute. Thanks, Daniel"

Daniel said...

And then I would egg their house at night.

(just kidding. kind of. I'd be sorely tempted.)

Kengo Biddles said...

I think he's hit it on the head ... but I'd go one further, and just say, "Well, we're going to have to disagree, and I'm not going to debate with you. Thank you for your interest in our well being, but please don't invite us to participate. -- Beck"

or something like that.

I read it and I couldn't help but hear goosestepping. And it terrifies me.

Alan said...

If you wanted to reply in substance to his points, there are two ways to do it

1. brief bullet-point ripostes to each one, just enough to show that he is factually incorrect, and who knows what response that would generate in turn

2. a brief general statement saying that you have researched all of his statements and find so many of them so factually inaccurate that you just can't take time to respond to all in detail, but your conclusion is that SI is misleading him for extreme political purposes. Then I would close by asking him three questions: (1) how can the legislature by itself amend the state constitution (an example of one of his statements that makes no sense); (2) why is he so militantly against homosexuals; (3) how he knows what is really in the hearts and minds of those who disagree with him and can presume to judge them on that basis, when the Scriptures which he professes to rely on state clearly that he's incapable of that.

That said, if you want help responding to him point for point, I'm sure several of us could help you out. Tell us what you want.

Beck said...

DANIEL: I know I can agree to disagree, and walk away (and then egg his house - though I'd never do that - I really like him as a neighbor), but I want to at leave a parting thought that makes him think.

KENGO: He's not hit on the head. He is actually a wonderful person, a deep thinker, and a good neighbor. I don't want to portray him otherwise, and I want no ill toward him.

I do feel, however, that he represents a majority, as they believe that the gay agenda is to get inside the temples and destroy the church through legal action, just as "they" have done to E-Harmony, a private business, with a private business plan being overturn by legal action.

I thought private businesses could be selective on their business plans? And with regards to religion, does Freedom of Religion trump this? Or is my neighbor right that "radical elements" will stop at nothing until all sacred things (such as temple marriage) are brought down?

I didn't think this was possible, but am I being deceived?

Ezra said...

Oh.

My.

Heck.

I couldn't even fihish this dibilitating drivel. I got about halfway through it and just had to stop.

@Kengo -- I too, heard echos of anti-semitic articles and papers from WWII. Arthur Miller's "FOCUS" is a great read about this.

Beck, follow Daniel's advice, and then block this neighbor's e-mail address--because if you're like me, you'll not want to read the malicious drivel/trash that he sends back. And if you're like me, you won't be able to delete it yourself without reading it and replying.

Just ignore him. You have every right to your opinion-- just ask L. Whitney Clayton--
--
Latter-day Saints are free to disagree with their church on the issue without facing any sanction, said L. Whitney Clayton of the LDS Quorum of the Seventy. "We love them and bear them no ill will."
--
(That was pulled from a Salt Lake Tribune Article which, mysteriously, is no longer online...)

Alan said...

Just to stir the pot a bit, and I'm not actually saying one way or the other, this is your choice Beck, but I can't help thinking of the following famous quote:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

Then they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out for me.

Beck said...

Okay, I found this in the Church's document The Divine Institution of Marriage:

"The focus of the Church’s involvement is specifically same-sex marriage and its consequences. The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference."

This is what I'm hanging onto as an argument of the Church being on "my side" verses "SI's side". But, he'll come back with SI's argument that we can't allow these things as they led to the problems of California in the first place.

Does anyone know of cases of religious beliefs and practices (including temple marriages) that have been threatened in any way in Canada, Sweden, or anywhere else were gay marriage is legal and there are LDS temples?

I'd like to know if there are examples of religious beliefs succumbing to anti-discrimination rulings by courts? Or is this, as I suspect and believe, just fear-mongering?

Alan said...

Oh Beck you have no idea how tough this is for me. I want to drop EVERYTHING today and just focus on this, it pisses me off so much. And as a lawyer, I have the chops to rip this guy apart. Diplomatically. But I have to do actual work all day and my schedule is packed. Can you wait till tomorrow, it'll be tough for me to do so, but no choice here!

robert said...

"There are legal mechanisms already in place to address each of the issues that were the subjects of proposed laws during the last legislative session..."

Is this true in Utah? I know in some states there is antidiscrimination law which covers sexual orientation in housing and employment. But I do not know about Utah. Because it is so heavily LDS, how do public companies who are owned by LDS principals (but not owned by the LDS church) get around this legislation if it exists. It must be through culturally enforced discrimination. I believe that this insidious form of discrimination does, in fact, threaten the LDS church, because it is so insulated from the secular world.

It seems very conceivable that a company could culturally discriminate by hiring only LDS members (winking ways) and by doing so effectively eliminate gays in their workplace. So this very much becomes an issue of Church control. "Either you are for us or against us..." Very strange and specific to the LDS situation in Utah.

His thinking seems to be based on the "slippery slope" theory which he believes may eventually nullify the separation of church and state. I find this reasoning dubious at best.

But I do want to think about his response more in order to fully understand his concerns

Ned said...

I would emphasize the common ground and I wouldn't do it in email, I'd talk to him face-to-face.
Something along these lines:

"Hey, I got your email and I think we agree on a lot of things. We're concerned about the future of our nation, the well being of our socieity in general, and our church in particular. We want people to be treated fairly under the law and we certainly don't want people causing trouble for us and our loved ones. We believe this is a great nation, founded on God-given principles and we both want to assure that it remains so.

We don't agree as much on how to get there, but I appreciate your sharing with me your perspective."

Then I'd attempt to change the subject and ask him how he's getting his garden ready for summer.

Then if he asks if you will attend one of his events, I'd just say "No thanks."

Just one approach, but I think you've seen what will happen if you try to engage him (He'll just cut and paste more boilerplate from SI's apparently vast supply) and I would just, in effect, let him know in a polite, low key, agreeable way that you diagree with him and then just say "No thanks."

In other words I would give him no additional targets for him to take aim at, because it seems to me, he's made up his mind, and anything you say, he will twist to fit his views.

playasinmar said...

I'm in favor of The Church of eHarmony (TCeH) and The Church of Arizona Photogs (TCAP) losing their tax exempt status.

No tax-exempt church will ever lose their status because of refusing to marry gays!

They'll be sues, sure. That's because US law allows anyone to be sued at any time for any thing.

Doesn't mean they'll be sucessful.

playasinmar said...

*They'll be sued, sure.

Beck said...

ALAN: A full legal brief would be nice. Do you think you can have it done within the hour? :)

Seriously, I don't know if they are factually inaccurate. Are there cases of declined visitation rights? rental discrimination cases? probate discrimination cases? shared benefit discrimination cases? I assume so, but I don't have first hand knowledge of these. I'm not asking for legal cases per se, but it would be nice to counter his argument that such laws are not necessary as they are already covered in other anti-discrimination laws on the books, and that adding to those rises to the level of "special rights".

EZRA: I hear you, but as Sarah warned me, I've stepped in it now and it's hard to just walk away.

A.J. said...

You will never change his mind or heart. Until he has a kid or grandkid come out to him he won't change. Maybe not even then. I think all his arguments are based on homosexuality being a choice,which it isn't. I wouldn't reply to this email and just let it drop. He knows where you stand on this and you know where he stand on this more emails will just lead to him digging in his heels. It could also lead to bad feelings. Hopefully the Lord will give him a change of heart at some future time but I doubt anything you write him will. His mind is made up.

Beck said...

ALAN said: "...Can you wait till tomorrow, it'll be tough for me to do so, but no choice here!"

Alan, as my personal attorney in this matter, you don't need to feel obligated (though I know your passion dictates otherwise). I was kidding - but if something can be arranged for tomorrow? :)

ROBERT: You don't know how many private companies owned my LDS men will hire other active LDS men over anyone else for that very reason! It is a culturally accepted practice.

Thanks for your contemplations and I appreciate your insights from your point of view as a non-Utah resident.

NED: I like it... but maybe with just one more jab of the Church's quote I found above, and then I'll walk away... :) Still want to be a good neighbor!

PLAYA: So it all comes down to taxes!

Beck said...

AJ: I hold no ill-feelings for him and I don't think he's holding ill-feelings personally for me. You're right, I don't need it, particularly when I'm his priesthood leader, but I feel a need to help him to at least see where I'm coming from - not to win him over, or to convince him to change his mind, but to see there is another side - and the still walk away convinced I'm delusional.

Scot said...

Of course, I'll go ahead and give it a shot :-).

“There are legal mechanisms already in place to address each of the issues that were the subjects of proposed laws during the last legislative session.”

Not true, and clearly, yes, you are being deceived :-).

SB23 would have given our families the right to have wrongful death compensation which we do not have now and cannot get by “legal mechanisms already in place”. For example, if I get killed by a drunk driver on my way home, Rob, our stay at home parent, has no recourse against the culprit; if he was a woman he would.

HB160 would have set up an Adult Joint Support Declaration ability that ANY two people could enter, gay, straight, a grandma being taken care of by her granddaughter. Pff, “special rights”. Listen to the testimony, here. Yes gay couples can get some of this now, like medical powers of attorneys and they can write up a will. But to do it right costs us a lot of money to get only a fraction of the same rights; inheritance is taxed between our spouses, they are not concrete documents... We know people who’ve lost almost everything at the death of their spouse and the challenge of their will by “next of kin” and they were the smart ones who had a will. How many young married couples even have a will? Our friend, Ruth, who testified on this bill was “barred from the room when her partner underwent amniocentesis before the birth of their second child” even with a power of attorney. They could have fought it, but who's going to call lawyers and get into a legal fight at such a time? Who’s going to run home first to get their binder of legal papers before running to the hospital when told their husband has been in an accident? I may seem small but consider what happened to us.

“As far as I understand, there have been no instances of loss of a job or an apartment based on sexual orientation, so the proposals for these 'rights' are proposals to fix problems that don't exist.”

That’s just purposefully putting one’s head in the sand. I dare say most gay men have or know someone who lost a job for their sexual orientation. Listen to the testimony, here, for examples. In that testimony, for example, is the fact that between 2007 and 2008 the state received 48 phone calls asking if they could report employment discrimination on orientation. All were, of course told no; it's legal to be fired in Utah for even being perceived as being gay, even if you are not.

“What they wanted to do was to have special protected status and inequality, not equality.”

That’s an obvious lie too. Or maybe he’s just taking SI’s word for it and never even looked at the bills? The bill in question here would have made it illegal to fire someone for their sexual orientation. Gay, straight, asexual, every human would have equal right to employment and housing regardless of their orientation. While prejudice against straight folks may not seem like a big problem, if you look at hate crime stats, there are a few that are targeted at heterosexuals, and the homosexuals who perpetrate them are prosecuted and rightly so.

“Deception is part and parcel of their approach.”

With the “facts” presented so far, that’s kind of funny.

“And then it is just a small step from homosexual marriage to the requirement for all churches that accept tax exempt contributions to perform homosexual marriages - or loose their tax exempt status.”

He thinks the first amendment is a small step? Complete falsehood. Catholic churches are not forced to marry divorced couples, the Muslims aren’t forced to marry Baptists, and the federal government, after the civil rights act, could not and did not force the LDS to marry interracial couples. If that day could even come, though, you’d have a lot of gay people fighting on the side of religious freedom.

Regarding the rest, playa hit the nail on the head.

“they want approval of their actions and acceptance of their behavior.”

Yeah, right on top of getting my husband on my health insurance, making sure he won’t be obscenely taxed on what we made together should I die, not having to carry around legal papers in order to be with and make decisions for my partner of 16 years if we have to rush to the hospital, getting him access to my SS benefits, being able to put pictures of my family up in my office like everyone else without fear of being fired, and all the small stuff like family memberships to the county rec. facilities and not having to pay and extra $50 to be the second driver on rental car contracts when we go on vacation… On top of all that is my desire for the approval of a stranger who compares me to Satan. Now that's egotistical :-).

“The position (SI) is taking is to challenge all propositions that would give homosexuals 'protected' status and preferential treatment,”

Then why fight the wrongful death, employment and housing bills? They would have benefited and protected heterosexual as well.

“These proposals were only the beginning and just a means to hidden ends.”

Again, BS. I’m up front and so is every gay person I know; I want this neighbor of yours to treat my family the way he wants his family treated. No more, no less. I’m not the bogey man, just itching to be married in his temple, but, yes, I pay my taxes and want equal rights and responsibilities for my family. Protecting my family being my first concern, I’ll take what we can get in increments, and know this generation may never see such homes have equal rights in Utah, but because I want equal treatment, it doesn’t mean giving us crumbs here and there isn’t the right thing to do.

Ah, but yeah, Beck, he probably won't listen and I'm just exorcising here :-).

Yudanashi said...

K, I haven't read others comments but I would like to point out that the quote of Burke is actualy not from Edward Burke http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/26/our-daily-bleg-your-quote-authors-uncovered/

But they are from John Stuart Mill who argues what is called the Harm Principle which states in essence the only time when it is acceptable to take away, or diminish others rights is only when a person with those rights harms others. Not even harming yourself is enough to take away someones rights. So if he really want to use that quote he should accept the fullness of it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harm_principle

Scot said...

oops, missing links:

SB23 info.

HB160 testimony, here.

The testimony on job discrimination, here, for examples.

(and good catch, Yudanashi)

Scott said...

Despite the fact that a response will probably not have any effect on this man's views, I'd still love to help craft one... but I don't want to duplicate any of Alan's (or anyone else's) efforts.

Can anyone who intends to put any significant effort into a response email me (address in my Blogger profile) so that we can collaborate?

Beck, I think a response is appropriate, even if it will likely be ineffective. It will be good to let your neighbor know that many of the facts that he has been fed by the SI are in error, and there's a chance you might be able to at least get him to consider that there might be more than one side to the issue.

We'll make an activist of you yet! :)

Becky said...

Oh my goodness! :(

That is so frustrating.

I'm so sorry you have to deal with that.

It's people like that, that make me want to leave the Church, but I stay because I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and nothing anybody else says matters.

He loves you too Beck, and Daniel, and everyone else that has posted.

Sean said...

Oh geeze... This guy seriously will never change his opinion--no matter what you to. I think you should just send him back a polite message and let him know that you have differing opinions and leave it at that. Then if he keeps pestering you about it, throw all of those links and statements at him about the topic. I know I say this a lot, but you also might want to talk to your wife about what you should do because she will unintentionally become involved in it as much as you are.

Good luck!

Beck said...

SCOT and SCOTT and ALAN and anyone else doing extensive labor over this:

Please, I was joking about needing a legal brief! Scot, I appreciate your hard work and I know how personally you have been involved with all of this and I appreciate all you've shared and it is very helpful and reassuring, but I hope you did it for the purposes of personal exorcising, and it's absolutely mind-numbingly awesome - but please don't do more on my account.

It isn't going to do any good.

Scott - if you want to do it for your own sake and compare notes with Alan, then great. But, now I feel guilty for having even brought up this mess and stepping in it and now dragging others into it with me.

I have a response in mind that isn't so fact-based "in your face", though it would be good to always have that info as backup and confirmation of being on sound footings.

But, if you want to do the exercise as practice for similar "neighborly" discussions, then by all means, I'd be thrilled to have this be a catalyst to those articulated thoughts.

Beck said...

YUDANASHI: Great catch. I am impressed with the research you were able to do on a quote I wasn't even questioning.

BECKY said: "...I stay because I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and nothing anybody else says matters."

Me, too!

SEAN: My intention never was to "change his opinion". I know he is totally bought into his arguments. I just wanted him to realize that others, particularly within his own priesthood quorum, have opposing views and for good reasons, and to be respectful of others in the end - particularly with comments made in HP. Does that make sense? That's all I want out of this and still remain friends and enjoy gardening as neighbors.

There is no other agenda. Despite what Scott thinks, I'm not an activist, though this is the first time I've spoken up - and look what's happening...

Sean said...

I get you. Something came up in preisthood last week that I wish I would have spoken up on. We were supposed to be talking about celestial marriage, but ended up talking about prop. 8 the whole time and the evils of homosexuality. There were many times when I wanted to say something and pull out "God Loveth His Children," but I bit my tongue because I didn't want to be the one singled out--everybody was intently involved in the discussion and agreed with everything on prop. 8. I already don't fit in the quorum and nobody really talks to me so I didn't want to make it worse. They generally avoid me and calling on me because I have a liberal view of the gospel compared to all of them and my opinion is almost always out of line with theirs. So I can see where you are coming from.

Scot said...

Gosh Beck, just give us his address and we'll do it! Rant upon his earth a bit. ;-)

Nah, I know I'm just working out here. It's good to keep up on the newest arguments they're trying out. (Not to say if you find yourself in need of rebuttal and references, I'd not have them ready for ya; I do think it good that you at least let him know he's not preaching to the choir).

In a way this all could be seen as good news. If these are the arguments SI is peddling at these meetings--just insisting on demonstrably false fact--it seems their time should be limited and they know it

El Genio said...

I hate how he compares us to burglars in his house. Really?!

MoHoHawaii said...

And they wonder why I don't go to church anymore.

I don't know if it's the content or the tone of your neighbor's letter that distresses me the most. Shameful. Absolutely shameful.

I try to resist this, but I can't help feeling that in some ways your neighbor's interpretation of LDS Church politics is correct. What this means to me is that the Church is responsible for enabling, encouraging and protecting the kind of anti-gay animus that drips through every line of that letter.

(I wish I could post a more upbeat comment, but this is best I can do right now.)

Ron Schow said...

Beck

Besides quoting him the Church statement you found, why not add to your response by saying that there are currently 7 temples in Canada and that they have had gay marriage there since 2005. So you would like to hear from him more about the gay issue when they perform the first gay marriage in a Canadian temple.

You might also mention that you have heard the sky is falling and if he believes this you suggest he hide in his basement until he is sure it is safe. But tell him you are not going to hide in your basement or be frightened of gays because a lot of the "balderdash" you hear these days is not true.

Evan said...

It's so nice to see how much support you are getting here... a lot of what is being said should be extremely helpful to me, too :)

Your neighbor went more in depth with a similar debate I had with my siblings on FB. It seems as if some fear that homosexuals can pick up a "favored status" if these laws were to pass (ex: a gay man can sue a company for not hiring him based on his orientation, when in reality he simply was not qualified).

Beck said...

SEAN: Maybe we should find a remedy for BTD (bitten-tongue disorder)! I feel for you...

SCOT: If this sharing of this debate has helped you to see the arguments SI is continuing to preach, then I've done some good here. I would really like to have the occasion to meet you and Rob and your family.

EL GENIO: The "burglar" label really got me, too. I am sorry it slips to that level so quickly.

MOHOH said: "And they wonder why I don't go to church anymore..."

No, no, no! Instead, you should be saying: "I wonder why I don't go to church anymore when I could be going with people like Beck?!" :)

Not everyone is like my neighbor!

RON: I like the temple argument, and I like the sky-is-falling image. Thanks for your input.

Beck said...

EVAN: It is nice to see this level of support. I am overwhelmed. There is a spirit of community that is hard to define - you just have to experience it.

I feel the "favored status" argument, particularly for a "morally disapproved" behavior, instead of age or gender or race, is fundamentally what leads to this fear-mongering.