Saturday, November 8, 2008

Speaking out for moral truth.

Speaking out for moral truth and sacred values is not being judgmental. Rather it is an act of love.

Regarding prop 8, 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.

The Church has a single, undeviating standard of sexual morality: intimate relations are proper only between a husband and a wife united in the bonds of matrimony.

The Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility towards homosexual men and women. Protecting marriage between a man and a woman does not affect Church members’ Christian obligations of love, kindness and humanity toward all people.

Marriage is sacred, ordained of God from before the foundation of the world. After creating Adam and Eve, the Lord God pronounced them husband and wife, of which Adam said, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Jesus Christ cited Adam’s declaration when he affirmed the divine origins of the marriage covenant: “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.”

The divine institution of marriage between a man and a woman was created for our happiness and forms the foundation for the fundamental building block of any society - The family. Children have the right to be raised in a family where a mother and a father each bring their own unique, gender specific contributions.

We are obligated to stand for moral truth, whether it is the taking of a life or sexual immorality. This is not being "judgmental", how often people misquote Matt 7-1 to justify their own behavior. When taken in the entire context of the Savior's teachings in the New Testament the admonition is to not judge unrighteously, but rather to judge righteous judgment. We make judgements everyday, we judge the man who abuses his family, or the woman who kills her children. We judge the pornographer and the thief. The Savior also said "Go your way and sin no more..." One of the main purposes of the scriptures and the gospel is to help us to learn to judge righteously. A society in which no one makes any judgments is anarchy. In this case though, please don't mistake judgment with standing for moral truth. No one has cast a judgment against homosexuals, I will leave that to the perfect judge. I could care less what a same sex couple does, until it begins to tear the fundamental fabric of society and they begin to indoctrinate my children. California already has on its books (and has for several years) laws granting domestic partners (homosexual and heterosexual) the same civil rights as married couples. Three states passed similar constitutional amendments this Nov. More than half the states in the country have done so. Interestingly, polling in CA shows that prop 8 passed mainly because African American and Latino voters (who voted overwhelmingly Democratic by the way) voted for it. Why is this? Clearly it must be more than liberal vs conservative politics. Why would minorities vote overwhelmingly for prop 8 if it were really about civil rights? They wouldn't because it's not.

Finally, those who favor homosexual marriage contend that “tolerance” demands that they be given the same right to marry as heterosexual couples. But this appeal for “tolerance” advocates a very different meaning and outcome than that word has meant throughout most of American history and a different meaning than is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Savior taught a much higher concept, that of love. “Love thy neighbor,” He admonished. (Matt. 19:19) Jesus loved the sinner even while decrying the sin, as evidenced in the case of the woman taken in adultery: treating her kindly, but exhorting her to “sin no more.” (John 8:11) Tolerance as a gospel principle means love and forgiveness of one another, not “tolerating” transgression.

In today’s secular world, the idea of tolerance has come to mean something entirely different. Instead of love, it has come to mean condone – acceptance of wrongful behavior as the price of friendship. Jesus taught that we love and care for one another without condoning transgression. But today’s politically palatable definition insists that unless one accepts the sin he does not tolerate the sinner.

We will probably need to agree to disagree and I pray that we can do so with love.

This blog contains my own personal opinions, and I do not represent the Church.


Alanna said...

Nicely put! I have struggled with finding words to explain to those who feel differently than me. I feel like all they want to do is argue. I like your last line and it's exactly how I feel...we need to agree to disagree and do so lovingly and civily.

russ and peggy said...

Thank you. I hope that it will help to clarify why we feel the way we do.

Kate said...

Yes, thank you. I think it does help clarify. Especially the part about righteous judgment. That is exactly what I have been thinking about the past couple of days.
I think it is important to stand up for what we believe in, not just sit back and allow things to happen that go against our values. It's not the fact that we are "anti-gay", it's the fact that we are "pro-marriage between a husband and wife".

It's my life.... said...

On a totally different note...

Maura is growing up so fast, her photo's on here are amazing! Do you just want to cry when you look at her? (I get that emotional when I look at Danielle...)

I love you Peggy. Really.... and no, I'm not "crossing my fingers" as I type that. =)

russ and peggy said...

It is pretty crazy that she is growing up so fast. Lindsay didn't seem to do it quite so quickly. I'm not sure I'm ready for it, but I guess I don't have a choice.
Thanks for taking the time to look things over. I'm sure I'll get the hang of things with this whole blog thing. Russ and Maura seem to write more than me.
I love you too.