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I’m taking off my silly hat for a moment to provide one more voice in the shrieking cacophony of the Bloggernacle. I’m extremely disappointed with the response of the Bloggernacle to Proposition 8 and it’s aftermath. Normally, I would just make fun of you, but I’m conflicted, I’m angry and I’m trying to express how much I am bothered by the polygamous wedding (snerk: officated by Karl Rove) of the LDS church, the Religious Right and Neo-Conservatism

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As Mormons, we have a conditioned response to large groups of people organizing against us. Our recent history and our origin stories are overwhelmed with stories of mob rule, persecution and murder. We fetishize our past and our martyrs, making that portion of  history the centerpiece of our religious history. Furthermore, that past was capitalized by the extreme right in the church during the 1950′s through the 1980′s for their own political ends. Coupled with our apocalyptic theology, this history of persecution can result in rather powerful psychological responses when we are opposed.

Let’s bring a little reality to the situation then. Has anyone stormed the temples? Do we have roving gangs of twinks and bears beating up Mormon families in the street? Other than the destruction of some yard signs, has there been any significant property damage?

No.

So who is having their homes and buildings broken into? Who have roving drunks been beating up? Who have been having their homes and businesses firebombed?

You guessed it. Teh Geh.

According to the 2007 FBI Hate Crime statistics, there were 1400 hate crimes against religious groups. There were 1225 hate crimes based on sexual orientation. Of the 1400 religiously motivated hate crimes, 965 were perpetrated against Jews, Jewish organizations and religious buildings. In hate crimes based on sexual orientation there were more offenders and more offenses against the victim than the religiously based hate crimes.

On a personal level, we have the very real crimes perpetrated against the gay community by members of the LDS church, from the murder of Matthew Shepard to the suicide of Stuart Mathis. We have literally thousands of unreported bias crimes. We have millions of children, whether gay or not, who suffer assaults on their person and their belongings when tarred with our societies virulent undercurrent of homophobia. Finally, we have uncounted hours of mental anguish that I have suffered with individuals in my own family.

It’s been over 100 years since any significant physical persecution of Mormons has happened in the United States. The persecution of our brothers and sisters who are gay is an ongoing, ugly comment on our Western culture.

Protests, applications to the IRS to remove tax exempt status and nasty TV commercials are not persecution. Public reaction in a contested political race is not persecution. They are a sign of faith in our public system, our institutions and our laws. It is a profoundly patriotic action by our brothers and sisters who challenge unjust laws within the framework of our legal system. Their use of our legal system,  the media, the legislative system and the police is a sign of faith in the admirable system of checks and balances that underlay the laws of the United States.  Our ancestors used the courts in a very similar way, and our name is still associated with one of the most limiting of all decisions relating to religious liberty, Reynolds v. United States. We undercut the very real persecution our ancestors suffered under when we try to integrate our modern political contests with their bold religious experiment.

The coalition in support of Proposition 8 resorted to tactics of fear and intimidation. Proposition 8 was presented as being a threat to children and a threat to religious liberty. Many of the claims were refuted repeatedly, yet were continually repeated, emphasized and used to describe the imminent threat that gay marriage posed. We all remain carefully shielded from the implications of our words. When we provide the lies that justify violence we put ourselves in the position taken so many years ago by the yellow journalists of frontier towns gleefully depicting the latest depredations of the Mormons.

I am disappointed with the actions of the LDS Church in association with the Yes on 8 campaign. I’m even more disappointed with the reactions of the Bloggernacle to the protests. From the rhetoric emerging from your keyboards, you would think our meetinghouses had been put to the torch and families slaughtered in their beds.

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You can has lawsuit. You can has protesters. You can has PR disaster.

See you in court, bitches.

21 Comments

    • Dn Burress
    • Posted November 7, 2008 at 3:10 pm
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    As a member of the LdS church let me say that our only goal is to lead men and women to Christ.We are directed by God in Scripture to be both salt and light to our culture.In the process of doing so we must take a clear stand on the moral issues of our day such as gay marriage.We offer the message of hope and forgiveness through the shed blood of our Savior,to blot out the worst of sins even sexual peversion.WHERE THERE IS HATE WE WILL SHOW COMPASSION AND LEAD MEN AND WOMEN TO Christ,for there ius no salvation in any other name under heaven

  1. Mr Burress.

    Thanks for your testimonkey. We’ll give it a good spanking.

    Now, please come back when you want to discuss why you have the right to do this in a pluralistic society.

  2. As a single straight LDS guy with no close homosexual family or friends, I did not think I would be as angered and as hurt as I after seeing the results Wednesday morning. Having just moved to California a couple months ago, I have tried to convince my friends and family to almost no avail that this proposition is wrong.

    When I saw the protesters on the news outside the LA temple, my biggest frustration was that I was not with them voicing my personal shame and guilt by association.

  3. Thanks for the comment
    Your post regarding your time outside the polling place in California was particularly moving. Thanks for writing it up and providing a voice of some sanity on the Bloggernacle.

    That’s also known as being damned by faint praise, but then again they are our co-religionists.

    • Jake
    • Posted November 9, 2008 at 7:53 pm
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    As a single and not-straight LDS guy who lived with another not-straight LDS guy at BYU, I just wonder how Matthew Shepard got involved in all of this, especially as I’ve family in the area and know that Aaron McKinney (the punk who beat Matt to death) wasn’t a Mormon (although it’s conceded that Russ was in his youth).

    Have a Nice Day!

    PS: Oh — in a pluralistic society, don’t you have the right to say whatever you want?

  4. Oh goodness, more non-reading wankers.

    Mr Burrges seems to feel that his actions in support of a discriminatory law in our secular society are somehow justified by his personal religious beliefs.

    His testimonkey has been spanked.

    Furthermore, my own experience relating to the Matthew Shepard news in the late 1990′s in a small mormon town was a lot of the people I tried to talk with responded ‘he got what he deserved’. I actually didn’t know that Russ was culturally Mormon.

    • Jake
    • Posted November 9, 2008 at 9:39 pm
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    Ah, got it. But aren’t all of our decisions justified (at least in our own minds) by our personal beliefs? Shouldn’t they be?

    Oh, and now I see what you meant in including him (I’d seen you quoted elsewhere in arguments, which is what brought me here). But I tell you what, of the places I’ve lived, Utah and Idaho have been the most accommodating of my orientation.

    PS: What’s a non-reading wanker?

  5. The main point of this blog is making fun of the Bloggernacle. This means I attract either people who think it’s funny, or humorless idiots who post randomly inappropriate comments. Burrges is one of these. Furthermore, I tarred you with the same brush; I get a lot of concern trolls so for this I apologize. Evidently you are one of the few who keep track of their comments.

    Jake, your a rare one. I despised Utah and Idaho during my time there. Rural Colorado was about as bad. My gay friends & family were treated horribly even in mid-sided towns, although one does acknowledge a vibrant gay scene in Salt Lake City.

    I find it amusing that I’m quoted elsewhere…lol… this blog is composed mostly of cats in compromising positions.

  6. At the time, the murder of Matthew Shepard by Mormons was an anomaly (a couple of bad kids). Today, we can see it as precursor for the LDS Church’s jihad.

    I appreciate the thoughtfulness of your message.

  7. AHITT

    You realize that what you just did is like calling an American liberal Catholic a shill for the Inquisition. It may be true in far out Propaganda Wacky-Land, but it’s one damn quick way to lose an ally.

  8. If jihad is not the approrpiate term for what the LDS Church is doing, what is? What do you call it when the LDS Church encourages young men to take matters into their own hands via official LDS Church pamphets? What do you call it when the Mormon Church incites violence based on religion? And how is this any different than what the Muslim clerics are doing? I’m absolutely serious. How is the LDS Church any different? It all looks the same.

    You’re right. American should be about more than Black and White or Right and Wrong. There should be room for people of all colors and backgrounds in America. Too bad the Mormon Church can’t see that or tolerate others.

  9. Religious prejudice. Hatemongering. Gay bashing. Hate. Hypocrisy. I’ve got a dictionary, do you need me to send it to you?

    Dude, I served a mission. I’ve gone through the fucking grindstone of the Mormon homophobia machine. Yeah, it’s fucking ugly. But there is one hell of a difference between the current state of Islam and the current state of Mormons.

    The first major difference, is that Mormons have shown a propensity to learn. Mormons started ‘Signing for Something’. Mormons started ‘Mormons for Marriage’, the neat little site that exposed the breath of the church’s involvement. And fuck it all, Mormons are Americans and proud of it. That occasionally sinks in to their addled christianist brains and they stand up for the rights stated in the fucking Constitution.

    Second, you don’t get killed just for saying Fuck You to the greybeards in Salt Lake.

    Third, Prop 8 is a disgrace. It’s a violation of the basic principles of American democracy. But let’s get this clear. There were no damn bombs going off. There were no planes flying into buildings.

    If you really can’t see the difference between a Wahhabi Jihadist and a Mormon, you are being willfully ignorant. Your also engaging in the kind of short sighted, buck-toothed redneck identity politics the fucking Neo-cons are so good at. You don’t have to be like them to beat them.

    Buck up, donate some money, get out and protest. Just recognize that as many problems I have with the current Mormon hierarchy doesn’t change my heritage, and recognize that I’m fighting this disgrace just as hard as you.

    So get some fucking perspective and recognize that all Mormons don’t fit into your handy dandy persecution complex. You’ll get a hell of a lot more done that way.

  10. Islamic terrorists are a minority. Just as Mormon murderers are a minority. It doesn’t mean that either do not exist.

    My heritage is Buddhist, so perhaps I have a perspective you’re not accustomed to. I’ve lived in Asia and Europe, and am not caught up in the Abrahamic absurdity. So I definitely have some “fucking perspective,” perhaps even more perspective than you might have because your background.

    I’m not Mormon so I feel no need to blindly defend the religion and its actions (including hateful and illegal actions). Objectively, the parallels between radical Islamic belief and radical LDS belief are striking. Naturally, white Mormons hate the idea that their faith resembles anything close to Islam.

    I wish you luck in your struggle (by the way, the word jihad actually means struggling in the path the God).

  11. You come on my blog, you spout off your generalist ‘jihad’ crap and then you go all faux zen on me?

    There’s no blindly defending here. I just don’t put up with the shitheads who feel they understand the world so well that they think that a one size fits all label sums up a religion.

    • Dan Burress
    • Posted November 23, 2008 at 12:30 am
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    I’ve written one comment and now let me write another.As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints i believe that God is not pluralistic in a moral sense.God has given us the gift of marriage,and their are eternal laws that govern that relationship.Sexual relations are good and wholesome if confined to the marriage of one male and one female.Any sexual relations outside marriage is sin and will bring nothing but heartach and misery both now and in the eternities to come.Sexual relations between people of the same gender is a gross perversion of this gift of sex and those who refuse to conform to Heavens eternal, unchanging standard in this matter will never find peace or lasting happiness.

    Now the good news.Our lord Jesus Christ has COMPASSION ON THOSE WHO STRUGGLE WITH SAME SEX ATTRACTION.He offers complete forgiveness and restoration, made possible through his terrible suffering on the cross on our behalf.It is a very personal invitation to each of us regardless of our past.HIS atonement for my wayward foolishness in the past has filled my heart with gratitude.I could not argue with such love,it utterly melted my heart of stone.
    This is the olive branch of peace and restoration we offer the gay community,expressed beautifully in a stanza from a hymn written by John Wesley. Speaking of Christ, Wesley writes:

    ”He breaks the power of canceled sin! He sets the prisoner free,His blood can make the foulest clean,His blood availed for me”!

    Please come home to the throne of grace .You will be loved and welcomed,having been cleansed from your former sins which God will cast away and present you blameless and without spot at the last day.Won’t you come?

  12. No, I’m sorry. We have the gay agenda to implement. I just don’t have the time to attend the wingnut ball!

    And hon… my family has lots of the ‘unchanging standard’. Ol BY had 40 or so ‘unchanging standard’ marriages. Ooo wait, that was one man and multiple women!

    • Amalgamate
    • Posted December 3, 2008 at 6:56 pm
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    Mormons deserve any and all backlash
    Their religion is kooky-blacks don’t have souls until God changed his mind? wacky!!
    and to think that people that advocated multiple marriages should have any say on what a sanctified marriage is….that’s plain lunacy

    the magic udnerwear though-that’s pretty cool…

  13. Painfully stupid. Why do I attract idiots like flies?

    The ‘Negro doctrine’ was a wholesale adoption of what most Christians in the USA believed in the years prior to the Civil War. Mormons just held onto that until 1978. Mockable, but not ‘no souls until God changed his mind’. Where do you get this stuff, Hanks House of Cut Rate Anti-Mormonism?

    Yeah, Mormons are kooky. Have you looked at Christianity lately? Islam? Buddhism? It’s all absurd!

    No, Mormons don’t deserve any and all backlash, they deserve measured, careful attacks via the legal system and the media. Nobody deserves violence, nobody deserves to be blacklisted simply because of their religion.

    Actions need reactions. Beliefs, as strange as they may be, have to be left alone. I don’t mock your crystals as long as you don’t try to string them in my hair.

    And the magic underpants give you the worst wedgie you’ve ever had. Not so cool.

    • greg
    • Posted December 6, 2008 at 3:25 pm
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    you can say the word love all you want. but when you say people who do not live the way your religion demands that they do not deserve rights, then that is simply wrong. the big issue is that people cannot coexist. I think your religion is closer to a cult, and that it makes no sense, but I think that you have every right and freedom as the next guy. the difference is, LDS don’t feel that way. I shouldn’t have to change to fit your religion.

    Gay people are not going away. Mormons are going to continue the hate, but try to disguise it as “tough love for God”. In the end, by treating a group of people as less than yourself, makes you simply that, less.

    we should focus on mutual respect and to love each and every member of our world. We all deserve equal rights, if the LDS didn’t have them they would be just as upset.

  14. I hope your replying to Dan.

    • Amalgamate
    • Posted January 27, 2009 at 9:13 pm
    • Permalink

    Here’s a link blogman-blacks were considered cursed by Cain – that’s why their skin is black-i thought that tied into no souls, but I was wrong…still kooky
    http://www.angelfire.com/mo2/blackmormon/homepage.html

    hardly painfully stupid…

    I was actually thinking about when Utah was threatened by federal govt that their lands would be seized if they didn’t stop polygamy…they then prayed to God and God changed his mind…

    still think they deserve the backlash-thinking that my orientation is wrong is one thing, but voting to take my righst away borders on evil


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