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Utah in the National News

Washington Post: “As more states take up the debate on same-sex marriage, some advocates of legalization are taking a very specific lesson from California, where the [LDS Church helped] to pass a ballot initiative that barred such unions. With the battle moving east, some advocates are shouting that fact in the streets, calculating that … more people harbor apprehensions about Mormons than about homosexuality. ‘The Mormons are coming! The Mormons are coming!’ warned ads placed on newspaper Web sites in three Eastern states last month. The ad was rejected by sites in three other states, including Maine, where the Kennebec Journal informed Californians Against Hate that the copy ‘borders on insulting and denigrating a whole set of people based on their religion.’ ‘I’m not intending it to harm the religion. I think they do wonderful things. Nicest people,’ said Fred Karger, a former Republican campaign consultant who established Californians Against Hate. ‘My single goal is to get them out of the same-sex marriage business and back to helping hurricane victims.'” (See also related U.S. News & World Report story.)

Read the article below which appeared in U.S. News & World Report, then read my comment which I posted to that blog found below. Don White

By John Ferrell

How Far Will Mormons Go to Fight Gay Marriage?

If a gay marriage question is put on the California ballot in 2010, it will put the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at a seriously interesting crossroads.

It has been three or four decades since the Mormon Church chose a low profile in American politics, after its opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, and theological hostility to black Americans, spurred an anti-Mormon backlash. The Mormons are among the most persecuted of American sects, and highly sensitive to criticism.

The church’s low-key strategy seemed to work. There are still some Mormon-haters in evangelical Christian circles, but for the most part the Mormons are accepted and admired, and church membership has soared. Mormon politicians like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman are regarded by mainstream America as legitimate presidential timber.

Mormon watchers were surprised, then, when the church hierarchy took such an active role in the passage of Proposition 8 in California, limiting marriage to a man and a woman. Gay Americans were surprised as well. They didn’t expect the church to embrace gay marriage, but neither did they predict that the Mormon Church would emerge as a resolute and politically-active foe, whose support for Prop 8 was perhaps determinative. Some of the resultant anti-Mormon rhetoric has been vicious.

Now that Prop 8 has been upheld by the California Supreme Court, gay rights groups say they will put gay marriage on the ballot in California again, and mount a full scale effort to win public approval, perhaps as soon as 2010.

That will put the ball back in the church’s court. The family is at the center of Mormon theology. But the national political trends are running against the church. Younger Americans—even young evangelicals—are more than willing to see their gay friends get married.

Opposing gay marriage in Utah (as the church did in 2004) is one thing, but taking a lead public role in a national campaign to deprive a persecuted minority of a right shared by all other Americans is another. It would be seen as a sign that the days of low-key tactics are over, and that the current Mormon leaders are prepared to give, and get, the political bruising that occurs when religion mixes with politics in America.

Check out our political cartoons.

U.S. News Weekly,

Tags: religion | Mormonism | marriage | gay rights

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Reader Comments

Re: The ego is bruised, so now the wrath begins

My ego is bruised from what? This has been the easiest debate of my life. There hasn’t even been an attempt on your part to refute the facts that I have posted. The case is so strong that the GLBT as a whole is inept hypocrital liars that there really isn’t much to debate. As I said, if you want to discuss the Bible’s view, I will gladly accommodate your request. Based on your lack of debating skill, I already what direction that will go in.

Mormons Fighting Gay Marriage

John Ferrall asks something only the Prophet Thomas S. Monson can answer. I’m surprised Ferrall hasn’t called him.

Mormon people do not create church policy, it comes from God through his mouthpiece to us, and today President Monson is the man to contact. Members can only speculate.

It’s true — the zeitgeist, worldview or ethos of Americans has changed in the past thirty years. Few Americans even read their Bibles these days. But that can change just as drug use did. In 1979 there were more than twice as many drug users in America than today.

It is no secret that Christian churches believe marriage was set aside as a very special ordinance between a man and a woman. Mormons are so strong on their traditional family beliefs that they build temples all over the world to solemnize marriage between a man and a woman for eternity, not just “until death do we part.” Families pray together, and we hold family home evenings on Monday worldwide.

There are many gay and lesbian members of the Latter-day Saint faith, just as there are members in all faiths. They are good people — probably as good as any people in the church. But we teach that to open ourselves up to personal revelation we must accept what the Prophets teach. We don’t leave things like marriage to chance or for some private interpretation as to what is right and wrong about it. If a man wants to join with another man and live with that man rather than with a woman, that is his prerogative. But that is called a “civil union” by most Christians, not marriage, because “marriage” is a word reserved for a union between a man and a woman.

You and perhaps millions others may feel otherwise. But the goal of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not merely to help in temporal things, but also in spiritual things. Our primary mandate is to preach the word of God. To warn of upcoming calamities in a day when men choose wickedness over righteousness. Will the LDS Church continue to help people worldwide regardless of their faith? Yes. Will it also continue to send out upwards of sixty thousand missionaries to testify of Jesus Christ? Yes.

We don’t think Americans are static in their beliefs. There are many great people out there just waiting to hear the word.

Just as Americans should be optimistic (despite economic upheaval), Mormons are optimistic. This is the greatest time in the history of the world for Christians everywhere. If the savior came tomorrow it wouldn’t be too soon for those of us who have already repented and have nothing to hide in our lives.

We Mormons believe we have something better to offer all people. We hope that if anyone has a question about what is right or wrong that they won’t leave it to chance. That they will choose to have a missionary study and pray with them. As they pray, I testify that God will hear and answer that prayer. The Holy Ghost will instruct them personally about this. Jesus is the savior of all mankind, not just of Mormons.

Re: futility

lol. If you really want to get into a Biblical debate about God’s directive of his people’s role in politics, you’re not going to like the result. I’d be glad to lead that discussion too if Steve in MA has no objection.

BTW- any person claiming to know what Jesus would do has no basis for knowing, as there are only limited number of scenarios that would cross over to modern day. We do know what Jesus did when he didn’t like the money changers at the temple…

If you can’t find something in this web site, please hit the COMMENTS button and tell us how we can change. Your input is valuable to us, let us know your views, or merely give us a simple thumbs up that we are doing what we can to make this an enjoyable blog. At any rate, we want to hear from you. Publisher, Don White

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