I never thought of myself as a political person before. I read about the candidates and the issues of each election, but I never actively voiced my thoughts and feelings about them. This year has been very different. There are several issues on the ballots this year that I really feel strongly about that have made me become more politically minded and opinionated. These issues will effect me, my family and my religion directly. I’d like to address one of those issues in this post. Proposition 8 in California.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, "Scott, you don’t live in California, so how does Prop. 8 affect you?" Regardless of where you live, if Proposition 8 does not pass, it will effect you, your family and your religious freedom.
The United States federal government passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996 to protect states from having to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Proposition 8 is intended to amend the California Constitution to define marriage as being valid only between a man and a woman. It will overturn the ruling made by four judges who overturned Proposition 22 which was passed by a vote of the people of California, 61.4% (4,618,673 votes) to 38.6% (2,909,370 votes). So, basically 4 people (0.0000000531346593%) overruled the will of 4,618,673 people (61.4%). Proposition 22 is a law defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. Neither Proposition is intended to limit the rights of the gay community in any way. California already affords domestic partnerships all of the same rights and responsibilities as marriages under state law (Cal. Fam. Code §297.5). Read about it here.
One of our most important rights as citizens of the United States of America is our freedom of religion. I hold sacred that right because I hold sacred my religion.
Most major religions regard homosexuality as a grievous sin. Christians believe the Bible to be the word of God. Here are some verses from the Bible that refer to the sin of homosexuality:
- Gen. 13: 13
- Gen. 18: 20
- Gen. 19: 5
- Lev. 18: 22
- Lev. 20: 13
- Deut. 23: 17
- Isa. 3: 9
- Rom. 1: 27
- 1 Cor. 6: 9
- 1 Tim. 1: 10
- Jude 1: 7
- Ezek. 16: 50
- 2 Tim. 3: 3
- 2 Pet. 2: 10
Judaism teaches the same doctrine contained in the Old Testament scriptures provided above.
The Muslim religion believes the Qu’ran to be the word of God. Here are Qu’ran verses that address the sin of homosexuality:
- SURA IV: 19-21
- SURA VII: 78-84
- SURA XI: 77-84
- SURA XXVI: 160-174
- SURA XXIX: 28-35
My religion also believes the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. Here are a couple of verses that make reference to homosexual behavior:
Regardless of your personal opinion or view of homosexuality, the gospel teaches that it is a sin. Now, my intent here is not to judge. Christ clearly has taught us to love the sinner, but not the sin. In many examples in the Bible He encountered sinners of all kinds, but He never condoned their sins. He asked that they repent, sin no more and follow Him. He taught us to love God first and then love our neighbor. How do we love God? We keep His commandments and follow Christ’s example. We do not condone or accept sin in any way, but we must also show love toward those who sin.
God defined the sacred institution of marriage when he created and united Adam (man) and Eve (woman) as the first Father and Mother on the Earth. He has provided scriptures that speak of the divinity of marriage and the divinity of the family. Defining marriage as anything other than what God defines it as will have negative effects on the doctrine and religious freedoms of many faiths. Churches will be legally obligated to perform same-sex marriages or be forced to allow them to be performed inside their churches or temples. If churches resist, they will be considered to be in violation of homosexuals’ constitutional rights and likely will be prosecuted and/or lose their tax-exempt status. It will allow homosexuals to violate religious organization’s and members of those church’s rights to freedom of religion, to worship according to their doctrine.
Religious organizations are supporting Proposition 8 not to be hateful or homophobic. They support it because allowing same-sex marriage and defining it as the same or equal to traditional marriage directly violates the gospel and the will of God. God does not hate homosexuals, but he does not tolerate any sin in any way.
Tolerance and Intolerance
Because of the wickedness of the world, many have been forced to accept or tolerate many sins as normal or okay. TV shows, movies, TV media, radio, printed media, games, sports, etc., etc. all glorify premarital sex, homosexuality, drug use, adultery, immodesty and all other forms of immorality as mainstream. They define that which is sin as good and define that which is good to be sin. Children, teenagers and adults who abstain from these practices are mocked for their convictions and beliefs. This type of tolerance of sin has corrupted our society and is disintegrating our families. Those who speak out against these immoral practices are labeled as hate mongers, intolerant, unaccepting, ignorant, etc., etc. Those who condone these practices are intolerant to that which is sacred and divine and openly rebel against God’s word and will. They are ignorant to the gospel. They do not believe in God’s words and commandments, but believe the words and traditions of men.
Based on many examples available at ProtectMarriage.com, our children will be taught that same-sex marriage and relationships are the same as marriage and relationships between a man and woman. In most of these instances, the will and rights of the children’s parents are violated to avoid violation of homosexual’s rights. Curriculum in schools can include literature and discussions about homosexuality. Children as young as 5 years of age will be introduced to the concept of homosexuality, regardless of whether their parents agree or not. Schools will not be obligated to inform parents of what will be discussed about homosexuality and will not be allowed to choose whether their child participates or not. If you don’t believe that schools will allow this or even support it, you’re wrong. The California Teachers Association (CTA) recently contributed $1,250,000 to the No on 8 cause. My Church has more information available at PreservingMarriage.org.
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We believe that God has always spoken to His sons and daughters (us) and directed His Church through His holy prophets. We believe that God still guides His Church through a prophet today. We have been counseled by the Prophet, the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and other Church leaders to support Proposition 8. With the testimony and knowledge that I have, I know that their counsel on this subject is the will of God. Who are we to rebel against the counsel from not only the scriptures that He has given us, but against the counsel of our modern prophet? These are not hateful or deceitful men. They are men of God and receive revelation from God. We cannot be selective in the counsel that we heed, and then expect God to allow it.
Proposition 8 does not violate the constitutional rights of domestic partnerships. Redefining marriage and making it illegal to believe otherwise violates the rights of Christians, Jews, Muslims and many other organized religions to worship according to their own doctrines. Homosexuality is a sin. Not because men say so, but because God says so. Those of us who support the divine institution of marriage between a man and a woman are not hateful bigots. We are following the counsel of the Lord and of His prophets. Those who accept homosexual marriage have been desensitized by the wickedness around us, accepting sin as being acceptable, and have turned away from the Lord.
I support the divine institution of marriage. I support Proposition 8.
Update 10/26/2008 – My thoughts above also apply to Arizona Proposition 102 and Florida Amendment 2.