Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hey Hey Hey America Inc There Goes the USA

In church we talked a bit about Proposition 8, and the protests that are occurring around the LA temple. Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the presidency of the seventy said "We respect the rights of people who have different points of view; we hope they'll respect ours."

Ha! Respect in America is not a two-way street. People are no longer able to see things in terms of the defintions 'opinons' or 'beliefs' or 'the foundation of society.' Elder Bednar said "it ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me. Indeed, believing that another person offended us is fundamentally false. To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else." I'd say LDS people are one of the only groups on the planet who actually live that-the rest of the world, not so much.

So why would redefining the definition of marriage damage society if it would seem, on the surface, according to our critics, to be 'none of our business?'

First and foremost, why don't we try as a society to actually NOT call God's judgments down upon us for once-OK? The world doesn't technically have to destroy itself-we could all wake up tomorrow and decide to choose the right and we would heal the world's economy instantly (no more money going to security systems, door locks, or policemen-all of it going instead to, say, cancer research).

So there's that, along with the fact that the Savior has commanded us to not redefine marriage and He doesn't have to give any reason and that's good enough for me. But suppose one was called upon to have to defend our position in secular terms. What would you say?

You could start with this: that a marriage between a man and a woman is the fundamental family unit of society and no matter how many studies Yale does, you will never ever be able to prove that in the majority of the time, children who are raised with no father in the family or no mother will turn out to be as well-rounded and complete as a child raised in a mom & dad home. Without a real father figure who loves you unconditionally and teaches you the male perspective, i.e. how to respect women, how to honor your priesthood, how to hide it from your wife if you accidentally set the car on fire because you were involved in an experiment involving some tennis balls, your air compressor, and a blow torch, and so on. And likewise for a real mother figure.

Next, think about the term marriage itself. It still has gravity-it means something. What do you think of when you hear the word? Commitment. Integrity. Stability. Faithfulness. A family. Now pass a law that says two people of the same sex can get 'married.' Then continue on down the slope and say that you can have more than one spouse. Hey, it's the name of the game in Sharia Law-it's only a matter of time before the Muslim population in the country demands it as a 'civil right.' If we can accomodate one special interest group's beliefs, then why not theirs? Then continue to redefine it to accomodate the people who are lobbying to marry lamp posts, or the college kid who wants to marry something existential, such as the concept of paradigm neutrality. OK I'm just making things up now, but do you see where this all leads?

There are studies every other year or so that say, alternately, that wine is really good for the body and wine is really bad for the body. Because of the Word of Wisdom, we abstain regardless of what anyone says. Sure, there's an element of obedience in obeying it-we obey it because it's a commandment and that's the only reason we should need to obey it. But do you ever notice how there's really never a commandment out there that doesn't benefit us in some way? God will never command someone to swallow their entire drawer of silverware just to see if they'll do it. Even Abraham sacraficing Isaac: that was teaching the concept of sacrafice, humility, and submission to God's will. It wasn't commanded because it was a slow news day. It's the same with traditional marriage-there are benefits to society that haven't even been revealed yet. Do all the studies you want-finding otherwise won't make you right. In the end you're just a person with a study going up against the Person who created the universe. What are the chances you're right? Zero divided by zero?

The world will naturally just slip farther and farther down the slope, and we have to all be William F. Buckleys, standing atwart history yelling 'stop!' But while we may not be able to save the world, we need to save as much of it as we can-ourselves included. We can't do that if we play by the world's rules.


Hillary said...

They say we are taking away their fundamental rights, however, marriage was never a right they had just a right they try repeatedly to get but it is always overturned. No one forces anyone's hand in the voting booth. The Mormon vote makes up a tiny percentage of the total vote. It's an unnecessary tantrum on their part where they kick and scream and cry everytime something doesn't go their way. A president was elected that 48% of the country did not want, however, we accept the democratic process and move forward whereas, they do not.

And I love the gays. Without them I wouldn't have anyone to cut my hair. But to single out our faith and blame us is unfortunate and intolerant. Afterall, it's only intolerant if it's on our side, not theirs, right?

Shannon said...

Another well-written post. Do you feel sometimes that the left has taken over almost everything and that marriage and family are the only thing we have left? You can't just change the definition of something because you don't like the original definition. Wait a minute. They did add orientated to the dictionary I believe. Maybe they can.

Jessica said...

This was a very good post and I really enjoyed it. I can't express myself as well as you can, but reading this was like reading what I would want to say if I could! Well done, Christian!