Thursday, March 28, 2013

Weighing in ... but not in physical-type weight...

So ... I went on a bit of a limb, Facebook-wise ...

And I had the indigestion to prove it.
(Go fig, I can sing on a stage in front of hundreds of people without much issue. But state my opinion/beliefs? Yeah ... Not the most effective missionary, huh?)

So, I posted this --

http://middle-agedmormonman.blogspot.com/2013/03/simplify-my-thoughts-on-marriage.html
I think this sums up most of how I feel on this issue. I love my brothers and sisters, regardless of lifestyle ... or any other form of difference. 
I may not be at my most eloquent right yet ... so bear with me, please.
I could talk about how allowing the courts to decide who is or is not allowed to marry is NOT something that I could support (Seriously, do we really trust our courts that much? When people get awarded millions for spilling coffee on themselves or having to eat dog food when they get stuck in a house they BROKE INTO?). (See also: http://www.christianpost.com/news/gay-marriage-social-experimentation-and-legal-precedent-92041/)

I do believe that our homosexual brothers and sisters should have all the rights that a married heterosexual couple have, under a civil union. I believe that they shouldn't be bullied for having same-sex attraction.

I also believe, as this blog states, that God still loves us all and, ergo, speaks to all His children today.
That He knows best.
That He's expressed an opinion.

I support the leaders of the church (who've also said that we need to show so, so much love to ALL children of our Heavenly Father. And that, just because someone might do something or act in a way contrary to the commandments, it is NO EXCUSE to treat them with anything other than the love that Jesus Christ has for all of us).

I wish I knew of some easy and fast fix that would result in everyone being happy. I was hoping that recognized civil unions might be it ... Apparently it's all or nothing. Which tears at my heart, to be honest.

I understand that not all of us see eye-to-eye on this. And that's one of the great things about having agency and the ability to choose for ourselves. I respect your opinion on this whole issue. Like I've said, I feel torn about it. Part of me sees it like Queen Victoria's quote (about not scaring the horses). But, there's also the fact that I can't go against what I know is true. It wouldn't be honest to myself or God.

And don't be speaking about how "my God" is a god of hate. He's not. If you want to know what has been said lately, go here (instead of taking other people's words for it. Would you take a cat person's opinion about dogs at total and complete fact? Really?): http://www.mormonsandgays.org/
(Spoiler: The main message is "Love One Another." Not "we hate everyone who is different.")

 And, even though a good deal of my friends are LDS, I know that I have a lot who aren't.
And, even among the LDS friends I have, there are some that don't share my exact opinion on things.
And I can handle that ... Life would be BORING if everyone was exactly the same.

Most of the comments that I got were decent and sharing an opinion that differed in some bit.
(One idea that I am totally in favor of -- Let EVERYONE get civil unions that offer all the protections of a currently-defined marriage. THEN, those who want a church-ordained marriage can have one in addition. Like how England demands that EVERYONE get married in the Church of England. Then, for LDS couples, they go to the temple to be sealed. I think this would be suitable and satisfy the majority.)

However, one of my friends (I like him. He's smart and he's funny. I respect his opinion ... though, as you'll see, we don't see eye-to-eye on everything. Also, I like him even though he doesn't care at all for C.S. Lewis. But, well, it takes all kinds.) lambasted my post. He said that since The Church was at all involved with Prop 8, that it should have its tax-exempt status revoked. He was ... harsher than I would have anticipated.

I don't LIKE to upset my friends.
It sucks to have an opinion that others (in general) mock.
I'm NOT a homophobe ... I like PEOPLE. And I don't think that people should be classified solely by what they choose to do with their sexual organs. Heck, I don't really CARE what one chooses to do with one's equipment. As long as you are relatively kind and have some semblance of a sense of humor, I'm totally on your team!

A FOAF (friend of a friend) put it really well on Facebook:
Here are my thoughts on gay marriage. Please try not to get offended and try to see where I am coming from. 
I think this argument started a long long time ago when marriage became more political and about property than it is about what God set it up to be. According to the Bible, God set up marriage as a three way covenant between man, woman and God. I don't think this definition of marriage would interest many gay couples. But when marriage became political it became about rights, and the three way covenant was pushed aside. I, and I am pretty sure a huge majority of LDS members, agree that all people should have equal rights regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender. We have said many times that we have no problem giving them those rights in a civil union. But marriage, which used to be Gods, has already been taken and belongs to government. So of course religious people are getting upset when you take a core belief of theirs and change and reinterpret it as something it was never meant to be. A lot of this mess is our fault (traditional religionists) because we let the covenant of marriage leave the faith world and enter the political and now we are trying to get it back too late.

Now I have been too long winded to express how much I love and admire many of my gay and lesbian friends. I do not think I am above them or better than them in any way. I do want them to have all the rights I do. But it is difficult for me to understand how a person can think a gay lifestyle is okay and still believe in the Bible. And then, it is difficult for me to understand how one can believe in the Bible and still feel it is okay to make a covenant with God in a way that He has clearly stated is wrong and not have it feel like mockery. Let me be clear that I know that no one, especially me, is perfect and follows Christ perfectly. But doing something wrong and calling it wrong is different that calling it right.

The bottom line is, I don't think government has a right to have ANY say in marriage at all but we have already let it get its sticky fingers on it. I hope we can find a solution that works for everyone.

Now I have been too long winded to express how much I love and admire many of my gay and lesbian friends. I do not think I am above them or better than them in any way. I do want them to have all the rights I do. But it is difficult for me to understand how a person can think a gay lifestyle is okay and still believe in the Bible. And then, it is difficult for me to understand how one can believe in the Bible and still feel it is okay to make a covenant with God in a way that He has clearly stated is wrong and not have it feel like mockery. Let me be clear that I know that no one, especially me, is perfect and follows Christ perfectly. But doing something wrong and calling it wrong is different that calling it right. 
The bottom line is, I don't think government has a right to have ANY say in marriage at all but we have already let it get its sticky fingers on it. I hope we can find a solution that works for everyone.

I think that she's put it beautifully ... and yes, marriage has now been (for far too long) bastardized into some political/property thing.
But ... at its heart and creation, it's a covenant between a man, a woman, and God.

I have no problem, myself, with homosexual couples.
It's not like they're schtupping in front of me ... Therefore, it's none of my business.

(I have the same opinion in regards to people who have premarital sex. It's not what we've been commanded to do. BUT, they're still children of God. Most all of them are wonderful people. As long as they're not schtupping in front of me or my kids? It's not an issue that I'm going to focus on. I have enough sins of my own ... I'll work on those first.)

I also like how Eli over at It Gets Stranger covered his take on the issue: http://www.itjustgetsstranger.com/2013/03/about-that.html

I have friends who identify as homosexual or even bisexual. It doesn't bother me.
I have no issues with homosexual couples ... I think that Neil Patrick Harris and his partner or George Takei and his partner or Ellen DeGeneris and her partner (the girl from Arrested Development) are all adorable and wonderful people. I would love to have any of them as neighbors and/or personal friends.

I think, though, that this marriage discussion is broken.
I do want a solution that can make most everyone happy.
I just don't know how that's going to happen ... and maybe it won't happen until Christ comes again.

Oh ... and when people go and quote random laws from Leviticus and Deuteronomy as proof of how dumb those laws are and why aren't folks up in arms about THOSE laws instead of just being upset about same sex marriage?
Well, IF one reads the New Testament, the reason we don't follow those laws is the same as why we, as Christians, eat pork and shellfish.
The Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ fulfilled the law of Moses.
Christ gave us a higher law to follow ... Those that followed Moses were incapable of following these laws at the time (That's why Moses had to go get the ten commandments ... and why they had to wander in the desert for SO. DANG. LONG).
So ... yeah.

We do still follow the ten commandments ... but first, we love God and love our neighbors (i.e., EVERYONE. Even if they do stuff that we don't agree with 24/7... Heck, I sometimes do stuff that makes me regret knowing myself. Still have to love myself, though. I am a daughter of God ... and He thinks that I'm lovable.)

Yeah, I just want everything fixed.

Yet ... what am I doing about it?
Besides kvetching on my blog?

Yeah, I just don't know.

I just know that, whoever you are, you deserve to be loved.
And that I do love you ... might not always like what you choose to do ... but you are loved.
Heavenly Father loves you ... and if you choose not to believe in Him, I still love you. So you still are loved.

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