As I read your article and the comments here, I was reminded of what I have seen in the past of the collapse of civilizations. What we are seeing in the U.S. shows all the same hallmarks. The steady stripping of the rights of the many in favor of the opinions of the few. The government regulation of private citizens' thoughts and opinions. The negation of legally expressed public majority preference. Anyone who cares to look at world history can see this pattern, and if we don't so something now, it is going to repeat itself on the United States of America. This country is going to tear itself itself apart, and become a footnote in history.
Maureen -- good article.
The ONLY way to combat the errant ways of our nation is to frame and present an alternative to the noisy, unproductive and divisive rhetoric that has torn our nation apart since Vietnam.
We MUST start a third political party founded on a forward-looking, moderate platform that addresses economic and jobs issues (capable of producing millions of good new jobs), education (we are destined to proceed along this disastrous path if people don't know who they are), and as well as a plan for our nation's offense / defense. We have to develop supplementary mechanisms for fighting today's world war (the battlefield has changed, and so must our tactics) -- above all, it must engage the hearts and minds of The Rising Generation (those under thirty), both domestic and international.
All this can and must be done. I am wholly confident that the American people will move in droves away from the existing parties, but if you want to be successful, it must be a centrist voice.
First, I want to say to Macbeth A4-S2 that there is no Chapter 30 in Mosiah. This is a common trick to confuse missionaries. If you want to tell us about a specific chapter and verse, please quote it clearly and correctly. Thank you!
I also want to say that the reason I have not "gone out to fight" is because I, like others, don't know how to be the effective in this fight against our freedom being lost. I have written against several things over the years to my congressmen, and that has had some effect for the better, but when the Supreme Court declares it to be Constitutional or Un- , then we have little recourse, it appears, other than a mass demonstration, and that is civil disobedience that can lead to mobocracy. If anyone has any experience with recourses that actually work, I would love to hear them. We hear of school districts forbidding students from conducting any kind of religious observance, but we have no idea how to protest to those districts, because we have no town name, no adresses of any govt. offices, or anyone at all to whom to protest and letl our voices be heard. Most of us do not have the time to devote to the research to find out this info - it could consume all our time needed to take care of family or other equally important and necessary tasks, so I for one have to just let it go, and I' sure I am not alone in this conundrum. To complain in a letter to the editor may put our family's safety at risk, and much more. Any suggestions?
Our angst isn't just in the problems with this disturbing social issue, but that we have a lesbian daughter who is an amazing person in so many ways. Knowing how to handle holding to God's true creation of traditional marriage, and keeping relationships with our daughter and her five sympathetic siblings is an ongoing balancing act for us. We don't have the luxury of sitting at our computer making comments. We have to graciously hold on to our values and deal with all family gatherings, holiday dinners, and public situations as she is an admired artist and musician. There is also in-your-face news on the subject all of the time. I wonder how many LDS families have hosted as many gay guests as we have, looking at their goodness in many ways, and hoping we are giving good to them in some way. There isn't a day I don't pray for understanding of this subject and strength to have good family relationships in spite of this deep crevasse of belief. I am so thankful for the prayers of others that help strengthen me. I'm also hopeful that eternally speaking, healing for all is possible.
In California we as a state voted twice in support of traditional marriage only to have both votes negated by courts. I have not changed my mind about SSM, but I don't see a productive course of action at this point. I have given already; money, time, and voice to no avail. Not only is religious freedom at stake, but all freedom. We do not seem to see the bigger picture, we are currently living under tyranny. For instance, DOMA is still the law of the land, despite those who think it was overturned. It wasn't. But our president refuses to enforce it. Traditional marriage is the law in California. It is in the state's constitution, yet our governor orders SSM licenses and forces marriages be performed under threat. These are political leaders voted to uphold the constitution under oath, who refuse to do so. Beyond just refusing, they defy the laws and the people they serve. They should be impeached but no one dares to do so, or no one believes such an action in the current political climate would be constructive. I think we should continue to voice our objections but wait while the nation reaps what is sown until enough people realize that an enemy has done this.
Excellent piece, Maurine, and clarion call. This affects us individually and collectively in so many ways. Nevada's stand against SEICUS comp sex ed curriculum recently is an example of a community seeing vast implications of the larger liberal secularist comprehensive agenda in the schools and taking action. I fear we close our eyes and just figure it will go away. It's time to be a voice. The religion of irreligion has not tolerance of real religion. Perhaps you could do a follow up for people to see steps they can take to be aware, and to be a voice. In friendship and with gratitude, krt
To Sharee From what I have read, none of those businesses that have been punished for discrimination were refusing to serve gays or lesbians in any situation at all. It was only in connection with their weddings that went against their religious beliefs. So it wasn't even discrimination against gays. It was discrimination against an event. The bakers were happy to bake them a birthday cake or cookies. The photographer probably wouldn't have had a problem taking their portraits. The wedding venues didn't mind having a reception on their property. But the did stand their ground against the wedding itself. Again, they weren't discriminating against the individual people- just their actions. I don't know. Maybe some just can't see how to separate the event from the people. But when you apply religious freedom, or freedom of conscience, there is clearly a difference. I personally have friends who are gay and they are just my friends. I would certainly invite them to dinner or send them a Christmas card if we were that close. But I would not (did not) support their wedding because I felt it was a mockery of God.
Reminds me of Lehi's dream where those in the great and spacious building laughed at those who had tasted of the fruit and they felt ashamed and wandered off.
We cannot be ashamed of our beliefs. We must learn to ignore those in the great and spacious building.
The time has come to realize that the evolving law of the land does not protect the religious freedom. In my opinion we are not obliged to obey that evolving law. How? Refuse to obey it and refuse to compromise on that position. That is a lesson taught by Brigham Young in the 1850's and Martin Luther King in the 1960s and 70s.
The American Consitution in the Declaration of Independance includes that right of revolution.
So what can we do to help save our society and traditional marriage? Writing your reps doesn't work. What is one to do?
I would join a protest if I knew were one was. We need to band together, but we need leadership to do it.
When good people allow corrupt laws to be passed we cease to provide a safe environment for our family now and in the future. The basic tenant that all were meant to live under is the right to free expression and exercise of our religion. This is something that those who gave their lives for in both world wars. It is the most fundamental right afforded me by the laws in our country. The founding fathers sought it and set up a colony in America so that they could worship in freedom. Everyone has a basic human right to refuse service and I am one who can - as others have expressed - agree to disagree, without seeking to silence those with different views. Australia has always been a place where freedom of expression has been valued as essential to life. Government is meant to protect and enforce freedom for all. The new 'freedom' now being offered by our lawmakers and lawyers does not protect one of our most sacred human rights - free agency. This should create within us a need to step outside the comfort of our armchairs and rise up to meet this sacred challenge.
This is a very important article and I very much appreciate your bold courage to place a light in the church steeple to remind us that the threat to our freedom is not just coming - it has already arrived - from both by land and by sea.
Excellent article! I needed to read this today! Sometimes I feel like a lone voice in the wilderness. As followers of Jesus Christ we should be in the forefront of protecting the family and religious liberties. SSM and sexual orientation discrimination laws will be the greatest threats to religious liberty of our day. Unless we speak out, engage in the conversations, and contact our legislators on both a local and national level we will lose our freedom. What has been happening over the past several years is not going to stop, or slow down, unless we are actively speaking out and lobbying to protect our rights of conscience.
As noted by someone else here, we also have to be able to discuss our support for traditional marriage outside of a religious context. A great resource is the Public Discourse at: https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/?s=same+sex+marriage; and at the Heritage Foundation, Ryan Anderson makes many great arguments supporting traditional marriage and the consequences of redefining it.
We must be a light. And, as Peter Sprigg said, we must not allow fatigue to deter us from our course.
David Kupelian wrote The Marketing Of Evil a decade ago to warn us of the radical homosexual agenda. Preying upon religious people's sense of decency has been their way of pushing a take no prisoners agenda. Shout down, accuse, lie, and distort what the goals are so that it appeals not appalls.
Having lived in many areas of California where this tactic has been very successful one thing is clear: you give an inch, they'll take a mile, howling indignation and accusations that you didn't give ten.
Second. The scripture in Mosiah 30 has not yet been fulfilled. There isn't yet a majority that represents this radical agenda. But they are loud. VERY loud. Judicial activists much like the 3Nephi judges are more the case.
But, we still have a majority that thinks this is destructive to society and many exist outside the Mormon realm. And too many 'friendly oppositionists' from within.
Finally, the latest Church move to have civil marriages performed first (at least that's the rumor!) will put a Temple wedding on par with a Baptism or something else that is only a religious function and not legally binding.
What one generation tolerates, the next embraces. J.Westley
On the other hand, what if the owner of a hair salon, or tire store, decided that it was against their conscience to sell to a Mormon because of one of our beliefs? If a business is open to the public, you can't say "I will bake a cake for anyone except the following types of people:". If you can't cater to gays, Indians, Jews, Blacks, Mormons and atheists, then you should strongly consider if you should be in business or not. Now, would it be hard for me to bake a cake for an LGBT person? - you bet! But it is my choice - the door to my bakery is open to everyone or no one.
Good article. Keep on keeping ion.
If a lesbian couple own a print shop and an organization that is against same sex marriage want them to print a flyer expressing its views should the print shop be forced to print the flyer? Can the print shop use its public business to discriminate against the organization that do not have their views?
Sharee "Less grievous ... need to be endured if legalized"?
Can you seriously expect to endure (tolerate) this without also having to endure what comes with it?
Let me quote a prophet "Prophets of God have repeatedly taught through the ages that practices of homosexual relations, fornication, and adultery are grievous sins."
President Hinckley, Ensign, May 1987, p.45
What your Book of Mormon prophet really said:
And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.
Get ready to endure - great destruction.
Thank you for such a wonderful article. In response to the person or persons whom think that all business should be conducted with whomever no matter the owners personal beliefs. That is another very dangerous slippery slope. When one end of a stick is picked up the other is also picked up.
In this wonderful country we live in being able to have complete religious freedom is the very foundation we stand on. A person should never, ever have to violate their moral values in order to own, operate, work in any business. The beauty of free enterprise is just that 'free' no dictator watching. If I desire my children to be schooled in a certain manor then it is my right and responsibility to see that that happens. It is not my right to stop my neighbor from doing the same with their children just because we believe differently. If I choose to do business with someone or some company because of their beliefs or not to that is my right. It is not my right to force anyone person, company, Corporation etc. to cater to my desires. It is absolutely essential that the freedom to conduct business, educate ones children, believe that marriage is ordained of God between man and woman be upheld. Without such basic rights being protected then there are no rights for anyone.
Remember if one person or business can be forced to live against everything they stand for, so all will forced to live in such a way. That is the Devils plan. Force not freedom to choose.
For those who fear that government will force the Cchurch to perform sealings in the temple, don't worry. It'll NEVER happen. Here's why -
1. If the government forces churches to marry gays, a constitutional amendment to prevent that would be drawn up and would pass at the speed of light. No politician would dare oppose it. Even most gays would support it.
2. Even if that failed, the Church would simply quit performing LEGAL marriages. Couples would have to go to City hall to be wed and THEN go to the temple for the sealing. this is done in several countries around the world. The sealing would simply be a religious ordinance, like baptism. Since it is not legally binding, the government would have no reason to force us to seal gays any more than it would force us to baptize gays or infants.
AS far as the baker, photographer, wedding chapel owners, etc...if you have a business license and your city, county or state require you to provide service to gays, you have to. The 12th AoF demands it. You can't hide behind religious belief. If an anti-LDS baker refused to bake a cake for an LDS temple wedding, due to his religious beliefs, the LDS community would be up in arms. You can't violate the civil rights of others based on your religious belief. D&C 134:4 and 1 Cor. 10:29 condemn that.
The Houston mayor was just wanting to find out if the churches were, contrary to law, getting involved in politics. The mayor was being sued and both sides are entitled to gather evidence (discovery). There was no threats for preaching against SSM.
Regarding losing jobs, how many gays have been fired and kicked out of their rental houses for being gay? If you think that's OK, you have to allow the shoe to be on the other foot.
Among many other concerns I have about just letting the gay community have their way and remaining silent except in our homes and houses of worship, here is one that I think should concern us:
In Nazi Germany (and other repressive political regimes) children have been pressured to report things their parents do or teach them to do that don't conform to what the government approves. This has gone on for years already, just not this particular issue that I know of. So a parent or a Primary class teaches that marriage is a sacred covenant with God between one man and one woman, and that to violate that covenant pleases Satan and is wrong. Or any version of that which we would teach our children. Children often tend to listen to authority figures in their schools - do we really want to teach them not to? So they are asked what they are being taught at home or at church, and there are repercussions. Is that far-fetched? I think not, having seen what has already happened when the schools are used to subvert family religious and moral values!
I am going to have to spend a lot of time on my knees and searching for personal revelation to tell me whether Elder Oaks was saying what he seemed to be saying in his latest Conference address. I love him and accept him without question as an Apostle and prophet, seer, and revelator within that calling, but I wonder if he is really telling us to not stand for religious freedom and for Gospel teaching in opposition to his frightening assault on marriage and morality. I get that maybe we should bake the cake and take the pictures and not make an issue out of it, but there has to be a line we won't cross. I won't cave in and risk being one of the tares that is pulled up and burned when the wheat is harvested, and I personally believe that is the choice that many LDS are making when they fail to stand for the right!
Sharee said "Less grievous behaviors, even though unacceptable to some believers, may simply need to be endured if legalized by what a Book of Mormon prophet called “the voice of the people” (Mosiah 29:26)."
Respectfully Sharee, have to disagree.
That is the whole issue here.
SSM is NOT legal because of "the voice of the people"-----it is legal in spite of the voice of the people. The overwhelmingly clear majority vote and 'voice of the people' were summarily dismissed and overturned.
So thats two train wrecks-- doesn't matter if you vote for what is right, or religiously believe what is right--forces have combined to strip us of both.
Thank you for stating so clearly what some of us have been trying to warn our neighbors of. Someday each of us will be held accountable for what we did to stand for truth and righteousness. Many are hearing Dallin Oak's call for civility as a warning to not speak up. But they need to read the entire talk and know that we must stand firm and that means educating ourselves to the non-religious reasons that must be used to stand for the religious reasons. There are facts available and if we don't spread the word who will?
As you noticed, the bakery owner felt happy to bake any other kind of good for the couple--just not a wedding cake.
I agree that our freedoms are being eroded. And I am against gay marriage. However, I do think that business people (bakeries, photographers, etc.) should not refuse to do business with people just because they are gay. Should a movie theater deny admission to gay couples? Should restaurants refuse to serve gays? I am reminded of what Elder Oaks said at the recent General Conference:
"In dedicated spaces, like temples, houses of worship, and our own homes, we should teach the truth and the commandments plainly and thoroughly as we understand them from the plan of salvation revealed in the restored gospel. Our right to do so is protected by constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and religion, as well as by the privacy that is honored even in countries without formal constitutional guarantees.
In public, what religious persons say and do involves other considerations. The free exercise of religion covers most public actions, but it is subject to qualifications necessary to accommodate the beliefs and practices of others. Laws can prohibit behavior that is generally recognized as wrong or unacceptable, like sexual exploitation, violence, or terrorist behavior, even when done by extremists in the name of religion. Less grievous behaviors, even though unacceptable to some believers, may simply need to be endured if legalized by what a Book of Mormon prophet called “the voice of the people” (Mosiah 29:26)."
Speaking as a LDS member, what will happen when the day comes that a gay couple demands to be married in the Temple for all time and eternity?
Thank you for your excellent article.
Excellent, chilling article.
Most religious people are taught from their youth to be kind to others, to love those who hate you, to turn the other cheek. This is what Jesus taught.
In light of those teachings, it's difficult to know how to effectively fight back while still following the example of the Savior.
Another challenge is being intellectually equipped to effectively combat the arguments of the supporters of same sex marriage. My strongest arguments are founded in deeply held religious beliefs, which are summarily discounted by opponents.
So, we not only need to understand the impending train wreck that is coming, and have the commitment and gumption to stand up in the face of opposition, but we need the tools to effectively make the argument.
Very frightening, indeed. I hold the right to free exercise of my religion to be the most fundamental right afforded me by my country. It was the reason for the exodus from Great Britain to America in the first place. For anyone to claim that their rights supersede anyone else's is oppression. Living tolerantly means agreeing to disagree, without demeaning or attempting to silence those with different views than you. To see this most fundamental and sacred right being attacked more and more with each passing year means that nothing is certain. Americans can no longer feel safe and protected by their government when those administering and enforcing have no respect for this most fundamental right.
When we LDS are deprived of our rights our duty to "honor and obey the law of the land" is no longer binding.
2 We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.
Excellent article, Maurine! You are spot on. Religious belief - especially Christian belief - is under attack by those who ascribe to the secular belief that the collective must determine what is right and what is wrong. In other words, we must accept the lowest common denominator as our standard. Such beliefs are consistent with Satan's assertion that his plan must allow for ALL to return to god - with Lucifer becoming god. These are the earmarkings of the Great and Abominable Church described in the Book of Mormon. Such beliefs also seek for society's acceptance of secret combinations where the elite can feast from the table of the common man - while proclaiming that all is well and their plan takes care of the collective. The philosophies of men, especially in matters of politics, will continue to damage all of God's children until we repent.
God's plan is that we are blessed with Liberty when we keep His commandments. This plan allows us to learn and grow in a healthy manner, so that we might reap the harvest of God's love, together with His Light and Understanding.
It is my hope that we will repent of our sins of ingratitude and false beliefs of "charity." As we look to the Atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and manifest our faith and gratitude by keeping God's commandments, we, as a people will find the liberty that God desires to bless us with. The alternative is captivity and misery.
Thank you for your good work!
I am concerned about protecting our LDS temples. Connected with temple worship is family search research which has no provision for gay couples. Can the government force our rights in this regard?
Wow! What a powerful article! I had no idea that we have already lost so much. I agree with you that the train wreck is already here. We need to be teaching our children the facts about religious freedom as noted in this article. I think that too many times our children just go along with the flow when it comes to the whole gay rights issue.Many times they are fooled by the argument that it's only right to be fair and equal. It is a persuasive and cunning plan! Our Children need to know the truth and only we can teach them.
True marriage values must be taught in the home. I am blessed because my parents intentionally did this and I have the responsibility to purposefully teach these important principles to my posterity and friends. The Proclamation to the World: the Family is my first resource.
Like many in this world it has not sunk in that same sex marriage is a threat to all who live on this earth. Not demonstrating means that Utahns were out making money to take care of themselves when they retire. Who knows what kind of retirement that will be? Like Israel of old they refuse to heed the prophet's counsel.
Thank you for this amazing review of the attack on religious freedom, and what we should do about it.
Great article. I agree completely. When it comes to protecting our religious freedoms, we don't have a right to fail.
Thank you for the clear call to action. Marriage enshrines the ideal, and God-given right, of children to be raised in a home with two natural parents - something they inevitably hunger for and need. While parents may fail them through divorce, that can never change the obligation to support that ideal. We must do our part to ensure it in law. It is not solely a matter of "religion," though religious revelation makes these truths most plain. Clearly, religion will be a casualty in this conflict, if we don't stand up and point out the truth.
Well said, Maurine! This is our time to stand up for our religious freedom, or lose it. Thank you for explaining it so well. I will pass this article along to others.
I think this whole issue is about who is allowing this to happen, our legal community. In these issues the only ones who monetarily benefit are the attorneys. They have taken over our country. It's all a money grab and has very little to do with issues at hand. The issues provide pawns for an industry that has placed wealth above scruples.
from article-"A recent poll by UtahPolicy.com shows that since the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to take the case the numbers opposing same sex marriage have dropped from 61% to 58% and those with the strongest opposition have dropped from 53% then to 44%."
Count me as a Utahn who's opposition to SSM and all things LGBT has not lessened, but has gone through the stratosphere. Before all this started last Christmas, I would say I was way more sympathetic to gays than the average Utahn. Was for civil unions, applauded the civil protections for them SL County enacted, was friends with the gay couple down the hall......But the last 11 months and all that has transpired has shown me the side of LGBT I never knew before, and it has solidified me to be against everything LGBT like nothing else could have ever done. I moved before this started, and have no idea what the guys down the hall think or how they have acted through this. But it saddens me to think they may have changed in any way from the mild, friendly, kind, not-in-your-face gay couple I knew then... All I get now is snarky mocking venomous sarcasm and ridicule when I deal with any LGBT since the judge overturned a clear majority vote in Utah.
The primary purposes for sex are reproduction: 1) unite the sperm and egg; 2) help the zygote develop into a mature adult. In the human species permanent heterosexual pair bonds have evolved because it takes a long time to train human children into mature, responsible, productive adults. Humans who grow up in a home where there is a strong heterosexual pair bond are more likely to mature into well-adjusted adults than if the heterosexual pair bond is damaged, corrupted or missing. In the past this heterosexual pair-bonding has been called marriage. Societies, recognizing the important contribution married couples make to the community, have passed laws that promote and protect this relationship. Changing the definition of marriage will not change the biological reality of the need for strong, heterosexual pair bonds if we want well-adjusted children and a strong, healthy society.
Homosexual marriage will lead to among other things, legalization of multiple partner marriages (3 or more people married to each other) which will lead to more social chaos (child neglect, divorce, STDs, poverty, crime, etc.). Is a person a bigot because he wants a healthy and civil society?
Nicely put considerations. These helped to clarify things which already worried me. Thanks.
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