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Wed, Nov. 12th, 2008, 10:21 am
Earth-8

Recent thoughts about California’s Prop 8 and parallel dimensions have made me wonder how I would’ve reacted to the latest circumstances surrounding gay marriage had I pursued and fulfilled my desire to become a pastor.  If I had my own congregation, would I have persuaded them to vote a certain way, and what would I say now about the protests that have ensued, especially if they came knocking on our church’s door, as they have for others across the southland? 

 

I’d like to think that I would have still voted “no” for the constitution-changing proposition, but for different reasons.  As I’ve explained, the Prop 8 controversy has given gay rights advocates the most media exposure they’ve had in a long time, either as a proactive force for civil rights or as a reactive cry against their opposition’s persecution.  Assuming that Pastor Russ would believe the Bible verses condemning homosexuality (and there are eight of them, if I remember correctly, with four per testament), I think he would’ve voted “no” on Prop 8, permitting the continuation of gay marriage in California, just to get them out of the spotlight.  The more reason they have to fight and the longer they retain mainstream attention, the more people might consider their argument and either change their mind or resort to apathy, which is just as effective against the passionate religious argument.  Once the issue is completely out of government’s hands, the church can tackle it as the spiritual cancer they’ve made it out to be.

 

I hope Pastor Russ would remember 1 Peter 4:8, which says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”  If the religious groups that opposed this measure were comprehensive with their scripture, they’d remember this verse and implement it in a “kill them with kindness” way.  For all of the emphasis on missionary work and evangelism, how much easier would it be to spread the good news than by providing an atmosphere of acceptance that invites these “sinners” to come to you without fear of prejudice?  If gays are so open to adopting the tradition of family, religion might not be far behind, if a church let them in.  Shouldn’t that behavior overpower any state constitution? 

 

Based on what I’ve read and heard, the Mormon church has been specifically targeted by the no-on-8 crowd because it funded 70% of the yes-on-8 campaign, with funds linked to their Utah-based headquarters.  Thus, the concern is twofold: (1.) Should a spiritual entity, with tax exemption status, have the power to lobby so strongly for a civil issue? (2.)  Should an out-of-state entity have the power to lobby so strongly for an issue targeting the California constitution?  See, however else one feels about the supposed separation between church and state, when the line is blurred this way, the effectiveness of both is blurred, as well.  If anyone really wants to combat gay marriage, they should decide whether or not it’s a civil rights issue, or a legitimate spiritual concern.  Otherwise, the opposing argument seems divided, too.

 

Fortunately, I am not.  In this reality, I’ve decided that the issue is a definitively civil one, with widespread ramifications if continually denied.  Once we decide to amend the constitution for the sake of narrowing opportunity, anyone is vulnerable.  This year, it’s gay marriage.  Religious organizations may be next.  Or various media.  Can you imagine a world that prohibits any facet of the way you live?  How many dimensions can discrimination create?

 

Wed, Nov. 12th, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
mercystars

(1.) Should a spiritual entity, with tax exemption status, have the power to lobby so strongly for a civil issue? (2.) Should an out-of-state entity have the power to lobby so strongly for an issue targeting the California constitution?

No, and no.

Funny thing, there was a story on our local news a couple weeks ago about how people in Nevada were pissed about Obama campaigners from California coming to Nevada to knock on doors for Barack. There's irony in them thar hills.