indy_jh - Thank you. So far I have really enjoyed the exchange of thoughts and ideas. I find myself very comfortable amongst the people in this forum. While that may seem like a given, you never know what the group temperment of such a forum will be until you jump in.
I appreciate you considering my book. Two things to know up front. First, it is clearly non-denominational in it's spiritual treatise and second, I consciously edited every word to ensure I did not get negative on any subject, even if I was so inclined. Rather I tried to remain objective and let the reader decide whether to ensorse or condemn any given topic. The best place to find my book is probably on Amazon or barnesandnoble.com. The ISBN's are as follows: ISBN:
1-4500-3941-3 (eBook )
ISBN13: 978-1-4500-3941-3 (eBook )
ISBN: 1-4500-3939-1 (Trade Paperback 6x9 )
ISBN13: 978-1-4500-3939-0 (Trade Paperback 6x9 )
ISBN: 1-4500-3940-5 (Trade Hardback 6x9 )
ISBN13: 978-1-4500-3940-6 (Trade Hardback 6x9 )
Please excuse the shameless plug. LOL
You bring up a subject that is the source of some angst on my part. That being how the church treats gays. I contributed to a SL Tribune forum a while back on this subject. Below is a copy of my submission.
Just so we’re clear, I’ll begin by giving you some relevant information about myself. I’m a married, heterosexual male raised in Utah by a protestant mother and an inactive LDS father. At the moment, I am a card carrying Mormon. Personally, the thought of having sex with another man is repugnant to me. Then again, I don’t like sweet potatoes either. But it doesn’t matter to me if someone else likes them. That’s their business.
For some time now I’ve followed various articles and posts concerning current moral issues such as Proposition 8. Over the years I’ve come to realize that you cannot nor should you legislate individual morality. Our society is very diverse. Not only was that diversity one of the overriding reasons the United States came into being; it is inherently ingrained within the nature of freedom. In a democracy, we are not all forced to conform to one viewpoint. The ‘law’, at least in this country, is supposed to grant citizens equal protection and provide them with a uniform application of justice regardless of their personal lifestyle.
So, in the case of legalizing gay marriage for instance; the overriding question for the law is not to determine if gay marriage is moral. No one is forcing anyone to behave in contradiction to their personal moral code. The question is; does the law provide fair and equal treatment of all citizens? In a democracy the majority decides what societal norms are. That these norms can change over time is a testimony to the progressive evolution of society. As we evolve, we become more tolerant of those who are different than ourselves and therefore the law expands to embrace the once excluded. The women’s rights movement and the civil rights movement of the sixties are examples of this.
The early Mormonism practice of polygamy was clearly outside the marital parameters set by civil law. So the Church had two choices; either conform to the law or change it through the democratic process. Societal norms prevented the latter so the former option was taken. The Gay Rights movement finds itself in this same position today and, as in California, it is the people who decide what is allowed within the definition of societal norms. All the posts; either for or against the legalization of gay marriage, are a part of our constitutionally provided right of freedom of speech. It is two sides of an issue being debated in a public forum. Where these posts descend into mudslinging and bigotry is where they become nothing more than childish rhetoric. I for one hope that we will ultimately outgrow our prejudices and vote for equality under the law for all of our citizens. Whether you agree with their lifestyle or not, that is every Americans lawful right.
For those who wallow in the self-righteous condemnation of the supposed sin of homosexuality please show me where Christ teaches bigotry and intolerance. In scrutinizing Christ’s words found in Matthew 22:39 nowhere does he say, “Love your neighbors except for …” In Matthew 7:1 he says "judge not lest ye be judged". In John 8:7 Christ admonishes, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone”. Anyway you twist it, Christ’s message was one of love; love of God, of self and of your fellow man. With that in mind ask yourself; do my words and deeds reflect the love and compassion that Christ taught or do they reflect a narrow minded bias against someone different than myself?
In my mind, any church, mormon or otherwise, exists primarily to help its members get closer to God and creation and to thereby find peace and harmony in their lives. The fact that the mormon church ultimately falls short of this is why I have looked elsewhere for that peace and harmony.
This is a very good post. More folks of all religions would do well to read this. They should have read it at the Glen Beck rally. Thanks, rc52