Article VI Blog

"Religion, Politics, the Presidency: Commentary by a Mormon, an Evangelical, and an Orthodox Christian"

United States Constitution — Article VI:

"No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

The World Is An Ugly Place . . .

Posted by: John Schroeder at 08:59 am, October 27th 2008     —    Comment on this post »

. . . But There Is Some Hope.

Not surprisingly, there are those in San Francisco that find the area newspaper, the San Franciso Chronicle, too conservative.   One publication, BeyondChron, is normally beneath notice, but has posted a piece that while utterly and evilly nasty towards religion inspires hope in its treatment of at least Catholics and Mormons on an equally ugly footing.

Word was it in my old Italian Catholic neighborhood that the Irish monsignor of the local parish kept African Americans from buying houses by warning realtors not to sell to them. The monsignor wasn’t just some guy in a black suit. When he spoke, people listened. He had his ways.

So, it’s no surprise to me that ProtectMarriage.com, which is spearheading the anti-gay marriage initiative (Prop 8 ) in California, is using similar strong-arm tactics to try and get businesses who have donated to the “No on 8″ effort to give them dough as well. In a letter sent to these establishments, the anti-gay bigots (which include representatives of the California Catholic Conference, and the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints) have threatened to publicly reveal the names of businesses contributing to the effort to keep gay marriage legal. Blackmail, anyone?

Blackmail?  BLACKMAIL?   Wait just a cotton picking minute!  Since when did turnabout become blackmail? Besides, unlike the efforts from the left that Lowell chronicled, which require that web sites be used to gather information that is not otherwise necessarily public, the identities of donors to a California proposition effort must be made public BY LAW.  Give me a break here.

But again, I find some hope in the piece because of its equal treatement of Catholics and Mormons.  It emphasizes something we have discussed at this blog for a long time:  The left – our true political opponents – view us all, Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, Evangelicals, Orthodox, other Jewish, as in the same pot.  When they distinguish between us it is purely to further their own political agendas and when we feud among ourselves in the political/public square, we aid their efforts.  When we stand together, regardless of our theological differences, they are shooting at a much thicker, much sturdier wall.

There is also hope to be found in a piece from the actual San Francisco Chronicle, that manages to sound even-handed about and even a little sympathetic about the tactics used against Mormons involved inthe Prop 8 effort.  (I think they are reading this blog by the way!)

Those words speak for Michele Sundstrom, 47, of San Jose, who has been married for 18 years and has five children.

She and her husband gave $30,000 to the Yes on 8 campaign and put a sign on their home. But in response, two women parked an SUV in front of their home, with the words “Bigots live here” painted on the windshield.

Sundstrom believes such responses must come from deep places of pain – and that gays and lesbians are entitled to the same rights as heterosexuals, just not the word marriage. Any animosity toward gays or lesbians is wrong, she said.

“There must be such deep, deep, deep hurt; otherwise there couldn’t be so much opposition,” she said. “They’ve lived with this. I guess we’re getting a taste of where they live.”

Which brings me to a brief personal thought on all this.   Homosexuals are a people group, bound not by ethnicity, creed, or religious affiliation, but by behavior.  Behavior is something it is government’s business to control and regulate.  Mormons more than most religious groups should have a deep understanding of this simple fact.  The kind of protected status that homosexuals here seek is something this nation has denied throughout its history.  We have never allowed protected status based on behavior.  Nor can we ever start, for it would be a recipe for chaos.

When I read the kind of stuff like what is beyond the pullquote in the BeyondChron piece above, I am livid at the thorough lack of understanding of our nation and its history.  I also find it fascinating that such venom could be aimed particularly at Mormons from particularly this group since Mormons have so much in common with homosexuals.  Both groups had behavioral issues that resulted in issues with governance.

The responses of the groups to those pressures could not be more different.  Homosexuals have already achieved far more concessions from the general society than Mormons ever dreamed about, and yet they have a chip on their shoulder.  Mormons on the other hand chose a path of distinctive conformity and in the process have achieved so much.  Were I homosexual, I’d be looking to learn from the Mormon model, not hate it so.

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