Friday, November 2, 2012

Hi there, Ricki Laker

Oh hi.

If you're here today, it means you probably saw the segment about me and my wife on Ricki Lake or heard about it online somewhere. So, welcome to the blog that started it all!

Let me show you around.

First off, you might be wondering about the coming out post that began this whole process.

I posted it in June, and then it went viral. It's the thing that will answer most of your questions (if you have any) and you can find it by clicking here.

If you don't want to wade through the thousands of comments on that post, but want to leave a thought for us about it, feel free to do so on this post. 

Before that post, The Weed was primarily (and it still often is) a humor blog. Here are a few of the most popular past posts if you're in the mood for a chuckle:

Bambi Nuggets
Previously the most popular post on my blog, in this post my daughter and I discuss the tragedy of Bambi's mom, and the resultant conversation turns my blood cold...

The Time I Almost Played Trivial Pursuit with Ken Jennings
Spoiler: I'm really bad at trivia...

Morning Run
Yeah. THAT happened on my morning run...

Celebrity Crush
How can I can compete with this guy? Answer: I CAN'T.

And before THAT I spent six months analyzing and coming to terms with the fact that I have ADD. (I eventually started Ritalin. Things feel better. Sometimes.)

All right. Hopefully that gives you a taste of what you can expect 'round these parts. It's pretty much a regular riot, with a lot of talking about homosexuality, and a lot of hilarity surrounding my kids and stuff.

Here's a picture:

I'm not kidding, I chose this picture at random and it was me and Lolly in a pumpkin patch three years ago. AND WE JUST HAD HALLOWEEN. Yeah, that's how good I am at being thematically on topic. And/or how behind we are at updating our photo albums. You know, one of those two things.

So, yeah, welcome aboard! Or at very least a hearty thank you for dropping in and taking a gander.

(Oh, and if you want more regular updates, I just started a Facebook Page so I'll post a bunch of crap there and it will be awesome.)

233 comments:

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  2. I am waiting to see it, the internet so far has failed me and does not have it available anywhere that I can find. Fortunately I have awesome friends who DVR'd it for me so now I just have to wait until I can go over to one of their houses. Since not having TV this is the only time I have wanted channels super bad. I can't wait to watch it!

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  3. I saw RL today, and that is what brought me to your blog. I read your coming out post before anything else. I loved your wording. I am in a Christian home. My husband and I have been happily married for almost 10 years. We are both straight, but i do see where you come from with the intimacy points. I was not attracted to him and turned him down several times. After 4 years, we.started growing closer as friends, and before I knew it, I was head over heels in love with him. we have an amazing marriage that started with us being absolutely best friends. I can't imagine my life with anyone else. That is what i try to tell my single friends who are out looking for love, but some people cant get beyond the first glance to really try and get to know someone.

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    1. I think I've always known that appearances mean pretty much nothing. A lot of that is from my growing-up- I wasn't considered pretty by my classmates. I still sometimes struggle being comfortable with being told I'm attractive. I can accept compliments with grace, but inside, I don't always believe it.

      I've spent 2 and a half years since installing Single2.0 looking for a guy who had the right stuff- the qualities I want and need in a guy.. and none have to do w/his face, stature, or physique ;)
      http://godslove-myworld.blogspot.com/2012/08/top-five.html

      I'm now dating a guy who LOOKS much older- he's already grey, and I've never looked my age.. ever. I don't give a lick- he's amazing, and we have fun together. We were great friends, and I really liked him. It took me a while to think about looking at my list again, and when I realized he was everything I wanted, it was like my head gave my heart permission to fall in love.. and yes, falling is imminent :D

      We met online (gasp!). He made first contact, sent me an email asking me what I thought was the most important factor in a good relationship.. and this- friendship- was actually my answer. I figure that without friendship, what do you have- a booty call?? Like that's fulfilling :P

      But yes, there are too many people out there who are too superficial for their own good :P They rush into things b/c the other person is hott, or she's his "type." They don't have that solid friendship-foundation, so as soon as the twitterpation fades, it becomes work.. a lot more work than it has to be. Yes, marriage is work, but if it's done right, it's not as much work as it could be.

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  4. Great job on the show today!! I set my DVR and was excited to sit down and watch tonight. You and Lolly were fantastic. I kept waiting for the audience to start chanting "Go Ricki" ;)

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  5. You said the end that you had to 'buid up to' your attraction to your wife and that the attraction, because you are gay,is different for her than it would be for a man.
    At some level, even in the tiniest part of he mind and heart, must hurt her.
    I know that this may cause your fans on here to try and overexplain why that is not the case and that it doesn' affect her in the slightest. I stlll say though, at least a small ouch.

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    1. Probably no more than knowing that my husband finds another woman attractive (which is likely.... I'm pretty, but there are a lot of beautiful women out there). The difference is, I know that he LOVES me. We have an intimate connection-- and that doesn't have anything to do with sexual attraction. Just my thoughts.

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    2. Excellent point, Angie- Guys have eyes and they look. Appreciating another woman's.. uh, assets doesn't mean your husband's gonna jump her bones... because he loves you. That kind of commitment is wonderful, and it's sad that it's becoming more and more rare in today's world.

      I think Lolly is lucky to have a guy who is committed to her, no matter his attractions, quirks, foibles, etc... and I think Josh is lucky to have found someone who loves and accepts him as he is.

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  6. You guys rocked it. I would have been all sweaty and voice-shakey. Good job. And I thought the piece was fair and not at all "daytime TVish".

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  7. Maybe, for them, it is different in a good way?

    Maybe it is deeper than simple attraction.

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  8. and maybe it isn't. Obviously, marriage is and always will be more than about sexual attraction. That is not in question.
    But if I knew that my husband had to build attraction for me and that he is and always will be more attracted to men, that would be hard in a lot of ways. No matter what my brain told me, my heart would still hurt.

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    1. The attraction he built up for Lolly was based on mutual respect and love from the shared experiences they had together over the course of their entire lifetime? They've known each since they were 3 and 4! And it had a lot to do with how she treated him with kindness and love when he came out to her long before they even thought of being together intimately. He thought long and hard about what he absolutely wanted in life and the person who came to mind for him was always Lolly.

      If you read through his blog you will see this. It wasn't him choosing being gay with a man he found attractive or being gay with Lolly and men inclusive, it's him choosing his best friend and only his best friend to spend the rest of his life with. Holy crap what a concept!

      And Lolly didn't just blindly say yes to all this, she thought long and hard about it would mean to be married to Josh, fully knowing what his sexual orientation was, and how this would AFFECT herself in the long run. I doubt she would have agreed to it if she ever felt she'd be second fiddle anywhere in his life. They weren't forced to get married, he didn't do it to "hide" himself and then secretly go off to get his fix of men, everyone close to him knew he was gay, he wasn't pressured to marry Lolly... so I don't know where or how Lolly would feel hurt - the hurt you describe comes from being insecure and not sure of one self and their place in a relationship.

      I will defend them, even if there was hurt somewhere in their relationship, not because I'm a "fan" (previous to Josh coming out there were a few times I thought to myself - he seems a bit gay - so I wasn't surprised by his outing and it didn't change my views or feelings about their life) but because they are simply awesome people. People who will not be taken down a peg or two because people outside of this want to project their own feelings into a relationship that isn't their own. Which is what you are trying to do by validating your own feelings through Lolly.

      I'm not saying they haven't had their ups and downs in their relationship but it's highly doubtful they would have the strong marriage they do if Lolly constantly felt the way you think she might or should feel.

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    2. My husband is gay and my heart doesn't hurt. I know that he loves me with all his heart and we have an incredible and very real intimate life. I have a sweet, kind, caring, sensitive man who is a great father and who not only is all those things but is also quite manly, though he has issues seeing himself that way. I think I very much have the best of both worlds. Before we got married I knew my husband had these tendencies but as a naive young girl I had NO idea what that really meant. After Josh came out, it allowed us to re-look at those tendencies and for both of us to accept that he is gay. I think it would have been really bad had I not known at all, but it probably was better, at the time, when we first married, that I didn't totally understand. I don't think he totally understood either.

      Since he and I both accepted that he is gay, our relationship has grown even stronger. I'm not saying there aren't challenges being married to a gay man. There are things we have both had to work through internally, now, accepting that he is gay, and we have spent hours upon hours upon hours talking and working through things but neither of us has ever regretted, in the slightest, our relationship and like I said, it has made our relationship actually a lot stronger.

      I have a wonderful marriage to a gay man, who though is attracted to men, can appreciate a good looking women. My heart doesn’t hurt because though he is gay, and has never been really attracted to women, though he did date women, he never had really any interest in more than holding hands and such until he meet me. There was something different with me. Somehow he is sexual attracted to me. He is not bi, I am the only women he has ever had any interest in doing anything sexual/intimate with, past the niceness (feeling) of holding hands with someone and his natural attraction is towards men.

      In our journey, reading about other people’s experiences and after much discussion between ourselves and with others, we have learned that intimacy is not sex or even dependent on sexual attraction. When we are intimate sexually, which we are quite often, we are not just satisfying a physical desire, but are sharing our complete selves with each other which is much deeper and fully satisfying than just having sex. He has friends that have lived the gay lifestyle and as none of them were ever able to find this level of satisfaction, he doesn’t feel like he is missing out. We do have an incredible sex life though. I have a kind, caring, sensitive man and it is just as important for him to satisfy me as it is for him to be satisfied. From comments I have heard from friends, I don’t gather this is the case with a lot of couples.

      I am ok that my husband will always be attracted to men rather than women because I know that he is attracted to me and did I mention he is really good in bed!

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    3. "But if I knew that my husband had to build attraction for me and that he is and always will be more attracted to men, that would be hard in a lot of ways. No matter what my brain told me, my heart would still hurt."

      You know, we are all different. My mom always says if we dumped all our problems/issues in a pile and looked at them, we would all go and happily pick up our own problems/issues right back up.

      For you, your heart would hurt and that is why you didn't make that choice. For Lolly and for many others, it works and they don't feel a heart ache. We are all different, feel different way and react differently to the same situation and that is ok. I personally love that she married her best friend!

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  9. Is there anywhere to watch the full episode online?

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    1. So far only if you live in Canada is what I have found. Boo.

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  10. Just watched it on DVR! It went great! Good for you guys!
    (i agree with other posters....Coach Rick was kind of a jerk...but you handled it well! :-))
    Whew, that's done! Congrats!

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  11. Josh & Lolly : Whoot Whoot! - you guys did an amazing job. I was very happy with the way the show turned out. Your genuine love for each other and sweet spirits shined through, and I am pleased that Ricki kept it respectful.

    Although this is your blog, I feel compelled to express my feelings in response to the comments above regarding the possibility of Lolly feeling hurt by Josh's comment that he had to "build up" his attraction to her. You guys know my hubby & I, but I will tell our story to your readers.

    I am married to a gay man (have been for 30 years) and we have a wonderful relationship. But, it has not always been so "wonderful", as a matter of fact, we have been through alot to come to the awesome place where we are now.

    I'm sure it might seem odd to most people, but actually I have mostly always felt "attractive" even though I know that my husband is not visually/physically attracted to me. He does however, recognize that I am beautiful and always makes me feel attractive. His belief that I am beautiful feels more like he believes I am beautiful inside and out, and it's not a "sexual" or "superficial" thing, it's actually more genuine, more spiritual, and more special.

    1. My husband has always told me I was beautiful, (guess I was vain enough to believe him- lol) and he even points out men to me that he has noticed looking at me. Sorry, this may seem unsensitive, but we actually have such a great and open communication about this that our relationship, (which works great for us), might seem "crazy" to others. Anyway, I am completely aware that he is looking at men, and in the process, he will discover alot of men looking at me. So, in a way, he's a great "spotter" for me. lol Not that I am into looking much at other men, and especially not interested in thinking about or being attracted to other men, because I am faithful to and deeply in love with my husband. It is, however, a self esteem builder for me to know that men seem to find me attractive.

    (A little side note to this is that through the last few years, my husband's attention has turned much more towards me, and away from looking at other men. He can get on here some time and tell you about that transformation and what he attributes it to.) (continued)

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    1. 2. Another reason that my husband's lack of physical (or visual) attraction to me is not hurtful to me is that I am actually grateful that he is not attracted to women (in general) so I know and can totally tell that I don't have to worry about him being attracted to "another" woman. I think that would be way more hurtful to me than him being attracted to some guy, because the truth is, I don't have to feel any competition with a guy, I can't compete, I don't have the right equipment, and so, although it may be hard for folks to comprehend, it eliminates some fears and possible jealous emotions and takes them completely out of the dynamics of our relationship.

      Now, do I have fears and jealous emotions regarding his attraction to men? Well, I used to occasionally, and that was always related to the times when he was not being faithful to me and plugged into "our" relationship. But now, throughout the many years that he has been faithful and respectful to me, and because of the amazing transformation I have seen in him due to his commitment to our relationship, and his increased spirituality, and his desire & decision to turn away from his homosexual thoughts and attractions, I can honestly say that I feel no threat whatsoever of him desiring some man instead of me. I know it probably sounds naive or foolish of me to be so forgiving and so confident in our relationship, but the truth is that when you've been through what we've been through, and learned what we've learned, and experienced what we've experienced,... it's an amazing blessing to feel so loved, so fulfilled, and to feel such contentment, and peace, and joy in our marriage. It's indescribable. (continued)

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    2. 3. Actually, I think that my husband would also say that he has "built up" an attraction to me. This does not bother me in the least, in fact, quite the contrary. Because of his effort and desire to build an attraction to me I love him even more. I feel so very valued that he has chosen to work on "our" relationship and marriage instead of the choice he could have so easily made to pursue a relationship with a man. And, to top it off, it's working amazingly well. ;)

      None of our friends know about our "secret", and from the "girl talk" conversations I occasionally have with my friends, and from the things I see in the media, I am pretty sure that we have a better sexual relationship than a good share of the "heterosexual" couples out there. Let me just say, hopefully without being offensive or disrespectful, that even though my husband still has homosexual attractions and thoughts, his reaction to our sexual relationship is that "it's an absolute miracle", and he is always so grateful, and so loving, and says that it is when we make love that he feels most like a man. He is much more eloquent on this subject and I know he is willingly to post about his experiences, feelings, and discoveries. Actually, the name "I Define Me" is more about him than me anyway.

      Disclaimer: - This is just our story & our experiences; we are not encouraging anyone to choose a path like ours. We believe that everyone should ponder and search within themselves, and rely on inspiration and guidance from God to mold their individual lives into whatever works for them. And, we believe that no individual should pressure another individual to fit into a mold or stereotype. We are all happiest when we feel free to choose our own path, and we strongly believe that a relationship with God is always a great help and comfort. As for those who don't believe in God, they have their freedoms and rights as well. For us, God is the center of our lives and God has truly worked miracles in our lives. With God nothing is impossible. Therefore, with God's inspiration and love - I DEFINE ME

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  12. Actually, the one person who could say how Lolly feels is Lolly. It remains completely unclear to me why people feel the need to 'rush to the defense of' Lolly and Josh when an opinion is expressed that is seen as not one hundred percent in agreement with them. Which is not what my comment was - all I said was I think that that has gotta hurt in some way. The defensiveness of some other commenters doesn't change my opinion - I just find it rather bizarre that others feel they can speak for Josh and Lolly. It becomes kind of a me thinks she dost protest too much type thing.
    It's awesome that another commenter is in a gay marriage where her husband is now faithful and everything is amazing. But even that comment feels somewhat overexplained. Heck, I never suggested that the commenter herself felt any hurt in her own marriage - and her own experience, being separate from Josh and Lolly's, would not 'prove' that because she has never felt hurt that Lolly doesn't. For example, I note that when I tend to overexplain something in my life, it generally means that I am trying to ultimately convince myself of something. But that's my experience and I can't assume it to be the commenters experience.
    What I'm saying is my comments are for Josh and Lolly and not for their spokespeople as it were. They chose to be on national TV so I think they can handle answering a few questions about it or responding to a range of opinions.
    For others to jump on what I wrote just feels like defensiveness because of a concern that by anyone asking any questions it somehow means that they are saying that this kind of marriage can't work. Not what I wrote at all.
    Perhaps Lolly will respond to my comment or perhaps not and that's fine. But others trying to answer for her, no matter how close they are to her or how gay their own husbands are, doesn't explain anything to me.

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    1. I don't feel like it was being defensive. I appreciate what she had to say. Nothing wrong with her sharing her experience. Sheesh

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    2. I didn't say there was anything wrong with her sharing her story.. I found it interesting. Just meant that it didn't relate to what I wrote because I was commenting about Lolly. She wrote very specifically to some comments I had made so it seemed like she might have been trying to show that because these things aren't an issue for her that they aren't an issue for Lolly, that's all I meant.

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    4. I think for a lot of us Lolly and Josh are the "pioneers" of all of this. There are many of us who are watched with baited breath to see how people are reacting. To many of us, it's not about Josh and Lolly, it is about all of us who are in the same situation, who are in mixed orientation marriages, that aren’t “out of the closet”. Many people have questioned, and a few posts deleted because they weren't questioning very nicely. Many people respond because we don't feel like you are questioning just Lolly, we feel, and many people have, questioned all of us. So when we all respond, it is because we all feel questioned. Even though I think many of us are comfortable with our mixed orientation marriages, it still makes us at least step back and ask ourselves, what do I think of this. I am very happy in my marriage but it would be awful nice for “the world” to know and be totally ok with it. Just like all of us would love for the world to be totally ok, with any issue that we have.

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    5. I hear what you are saying. Would the fear of reaction be similar to the fear that gay Mormons have when for them, living a gay lifestyle is what is right - just as living in a MOR is right for you and others? I would think that the reaction to a MOR would be much more positive than the reaction by Mormons to a gay Mormon living a gay lifestyle but I don't know for sure.
      does your fear make you more sensitive to the terror that gay Mormons have had to deal with for years and years Just a question.

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    6. Perhaps if you understood that by making a comment you are inviting discussion this wouldn't bother you so much.

      It is not that people are "jumping to Josh and Lolly's defense" as you claim...we are simply having a discussion. That's what people do. You can participate or not, but you can't control what other people chose to do.

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    7. For my husband and I we are MUCH more sensitive to gay Mormons and for that matter, all gay men and women that choose to live that lifestyle. This will probably sound very contradictory and it is; we still don't believe it is the best choice, but for them, where they are in life, it might be the best choice for them. I have found myself no longer judgmental of them. It has made both my husband and I more accepting of where people are in life and the choices they make because of where they are. That goes for all people and all choices. Things or situations would frustrate me before. Why in the world would this person make that choice? It has helped me understand that we all make the choices, we can make, for where we are at and for our understanding of whatever situation we are in.

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    8. I am sorry for the misunderstanding, as I was sincerely not trying to speak for Lolly in any way, (as I mentioned at the beginning of my post that I realize this is their blog, but that I would like to tell a little about OUR story and MY experience and feelings in relation to the idea and or issue mentioned). I also hope that Lolly will respond, and I am completely aware that each individual's experience is different.

      I am definitely NOT trying to convince anyone of anything, as our name states "I Define Me" which in my husband's statement to those who might be critical or judging him for his life's decisions. I just know that we have an amazing story and we also, like the Weeds, feel compelled to share it.

      Actually, we have been reading this blog for some time now, and we were not planning to comment or share our unique life story on here because of the confrontational atmosphere (we are lovers not fighters :D ). But, since Josh insisted on a more respectful attitude from all, and we were seeing things calming down, and people really trying to communicate and learn from each other, my husband and I talked alot about it, and literally prayed about it, and decided we would like to (and should) add our voices and experience to conversations taking place.

      So, after 30 years of living "our secret" (only a hand full of people know), and after all we've been through, (trust me, it's a novel!~~~), and after months of watching this blog and then carefully deciding to "put our toes in the water", I fear that I have said (written) too much, made a fool of myself by carrying on too long, and, although I assumed that people would be interested in our story, I have now been told that you don't want to hear from us, you only want to hear from Josh & Lolly. Gotta admit - this kinda hurts.

      Anyway, I guess I should have know better than to cast my pearls..... (as the saying goes).

      We will, however, continue to read and watch and express our thoughts and experiences on occassion, and we hope that we don't offend anyone in the process, cause that is truly not what we are about.

      BTW - I can see how it might appear that I "over-explain" and cause an assumption that I am trying to "convince". Because those who know me know that I have been a talker and a writer my whole life. In fact, I am often teased (lovingly) by my family and friends for rambling and telling all the details of a story, etc. Certainly someone reading my comments would be justified in thinking I'm trying to convince others, or even myself, but all I can say is, "I GUARANTEE and PROMISE that I am not". I am just happy and excited about my life and about to explode as we proceed to share things that have been a secret between us for so so long. - Opps! - probably rambling.... See, there I go again. ~~~ ;)

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    10. THANKS Tammy - I sure do appreciate your comments of support. Especially, amen to your last thought. :)

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    11. I appreciate your story and the courage it took to tell it. I think telling personal stories is a wonderful and brave thing to do, and it encourages understanding, even though others might misunderstand it. I learn and understand more every time I hear someone's personal experience. Thank you for sharing.

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    12. I appreciated your story too. Thank you for sharing!

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    13. I Define Me,

      I agree with Tammy and the rest below her. I too appreciate the insight. There will be some people who do not want to hear what you have to say,ignore them, and remember there are so many more that want to hear.

      As for Anon requesting Lolly's reply,

      I get the feeling that even if Lolly said it does not hurt her in any way, you still would not be satisfied with her answer. It seems like you are pretty set on it hurting her even if it is just a little bit. I could be reading you wrong and if so I apologize.

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    14. I Define Me, I appreciated your story too! Thanks for sharing.

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    15. Thanks to all of you kind people who have commented that you appreciated my story.

      In following "The Weed", it seems clear to me that Josh and Lolly are very busy with family, jobs, and all that is going on in their "now very public" lives. I've met and talked with them, communicated through email, and have totally fallin in love with this very special couple & family. I sure feel for them as I assume the pressure on them to answer questions is probably great. I have felt a desire to step in with OUR story and, for what it's worth, give OUR answers (related to OUR experiences - of course) and I am willing (along with my husband when he's available) to stick pretty close to this blog for a while, check it often, and get involved in the discussion, and answer questions that readers may have for my husband and I.

      I have already told Josh & Lolly that, "if we get too involved in their blog, (cause I already know that I have a tendancy to be long winded) just let me know and we'll get a blog of our own going. lol For now, it just seems right to keep the conversation going here at "Club Unicorn Headquarters" - so to speak. :)

      Therefore, although we will never assume to answer for Josh and/or Lolly (how could we?), we will continue to share our story, and will try to answer questions that Josh & Lolly's commenters might ask of us. Mr.& Mrs. I Define Me

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    16. I think everyone sharing their stories is great and I think people asking questions is great too.
      Something I'm wondering - if there were to be a vote in your state where you had the opportunity to vote yes or no on gay marriage becoming legal or not, how would you vote? A simple question really. Would you vote for folks like Tammy to have the right to marry her partner or would you vote to keep those rights from her? There is growing understanding on this blog's comments and many people are coming together who may not have in the past which is great indeed. I also think that the answer to this question delves past everything else into the real crux of it of how truly deep the understanding is.
      I'm not expecting many, if any, answers, but I hope there are some. Peacemakers and bridge builders are extremely important and I'm hoping what has been happening on here can be borne out.

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    18. ha! Funny, Tammy! I am curious to see too what others have to say. I admit,that I am trying to make a point. I want to know when the rubber meets the road, how much support would actually be given to you and other gay people by commenters on here. Would it go as far as assuring that you can have equal marriage rights or would it not. And if not, does that affect how you feel on here? I observe you trying to be a peacemaker, trying to make sure that all commenters are respected and I admire that. Would these commenters do the same for you? If they would vote to keep your rights from you, would that feel like respect? it's a conundrum

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    19. Anon: Just read your question regarding a vote for or against gay marriage. My immediate response and without need for hesitation is ~~~ (wait for it)~~~ *FOR* :D but, under one condition, that there was written into the "law" some sort of protection for religious freedom. Just as I believe that government should not take away the freedom of those desiring gay marriage, I also believe that government should not dictate to or take away freedoms of religions. Sometimes it seems that there's protection for everyone... except God.

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    20. I am FOR gay marriage because I don't believe that the government has the right to take away a person's free agency to choose who they marry.

      Personally, I would not choose a "gay lifestyle" or gay marriage for myself, and I am grateful that I have found a happy place for me. I have been through alot of condlict and pain, and my wife has has loved me through it all, she is very forgiving, and, after 30 years, our relationship has continuously grown and is better than ever. I love my wife and I love my life. I am completely fulfilled in my marriage. I am also extremely grateful for my wonderful children and grand children who are the joy of my life.

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    22. Mr. IDM, the US Constitution provides that protection in the form of the First Amendment,which prohibits the government from interfering with the internal affairs of religious groups. Any law that attempted to tell churches who they can and can't marry would be struck down by the courts. Further, there is no appetite for such a law among Democrats or Republicans. Some bills and ballot measures have included explicit guarantees that churches won't be forced to marry same-sex couples, but as a matter of fact, this is already guaranteed by the US Constitution.

      Thank you for your support for equality, and I hope that reassures you. :)

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    23. Thanks, Shayla, for making that clear. It seems to be one of the biggest arguments against legalizing gay marriage by religios folks (not mr and mrs idm) is the fear that churches will be forced to perform them. And that argument often seems to be spread as fact and used as a reason (or excuse) to vote no to equal right.

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    24. Anonymous - I wouldn't have to vote for or against gay marriage. I live in Canada and it is legal here by federal law. It is one thing that I really don't understand about the States having different laws affecting civil rights in different states. And personally I don't care who marries who, well except for the child brides in polygamist groups and I am pretty sure that just about everyone feels that way.

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  14. I tend to respect people who are true to their own beliefs and values. I don't expect people to live according to MY beliefs.

    For what' it's worth, I am Mormon. And my son is gay.

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  15. I remember you had a post a while back about when the right time might be to explain to your kids that you're gay. I think you would be interested in reading my blog post about when my dad explained to me what it meant to be gay when I was six years old (he's not gay, but we had friends who were). Bottom line, my dad explained it in very simple terms and it had a huge effect on my current views on marriage equality.

    http://odellcross.blogspot.com/2012/11/to-be-thankful.html

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  16. You both did a good job on the show. There are such a variety of opinions and ways of looking at this. I admire your courage and honesty.

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  17. Josh -

    Since you read these comments, I'd like to ask you directly:

    - Do you support the right of gay couples to get civil marriage licenses? Related: did you vote for Prop 8 and would you do so today?

    - What would your reaction be to a "mixed" relationship between a straight man/gay man or straight woman/gay woman, where both parties have decided that their individual love for one another has transcended sexual orientation?

    I am sure that this is not the first time these questions have come up, and I have tried to look through the blog to see if they have been answered, but I couldn't find anything. Please respond.

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    2. I agree with you, Tammy. I note that my question above about who would vote for gay marriage has only been answered by two folks - and I do appreciate those answers! At the same time, the silence, to me, speaks volumes. I hope I am wrong about that. A good question - would they support Josh if he were with a Larry?
      Again, Tammy, you have worked overtime on here to be supportive of people whose opinions you may not agree with. Would those people be willing to go to bat for you and support your right to legally marry your same sex partner? Or does that support stop at a certain point? If commenters on here believe that gay marriage is a sin and against God, is it even possible for them to support you? Can ' we love you Tammy and thank you for being so open to us but we would vote to keep rights from you, hope you don't take it personally'' be enough? That's the rub, me thinks. It can be talked all around and around and around but what is the bottom line?

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    3. Tammy, Josh has answered your questions on his blog. Look back to his original post about coming out and you will see the answers.

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    4. I've read that post several times and haven't found anything there that clearly indicates whether Josh would or would not vote against a gay person's right to legally marry. I could have missed it though.

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    5. I'm curious about why so many people consider this an important question for Josh to answer.

      From my perspective, he has already been more than clear about the beliefs that are relevant to his posts. In his coming out post, he made it pretty clear that he agrees with his church's teachings (like many Protestant churches and the Catholic church, the LDS church considers heterosexual marriage ideal and gay sex sinful), BUT that he has no wish to persuade others to agree and in fact wants others to decide for themselves.

      What difference would knowing his vote make to you? (Addressing this to everyone who's asked the question.)

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    8. It is important for me to know also. But since he chooses not to say, then I will extrapolate from Shayla's comment. Gay sex (and by extension, living a gay life) is regarded as sinful by Josh's religion (and yes by many other religions also but to me, that is irrelevant because Josh is Mormon). As such, I can extrapolate that he would not support gay marriage.
      There are obviously many reasons why so few people have chosen to answer my question about voting against gay marriage or not. But I have to think that one of the reasons is just maybe that yes, they would vote (or have voted) against it. That would strip off both the veneer and genuineness of people saying 'but we love and know all kinds of gay people.'' The deep truth for lack of a better way of putting it, would be revealed. Lots of people seem thrilled that Tammy is supporting them on here, I just wonder how much of that support is returned.
      And if Josh truly does not want to engage these issues, then I am unclear why he chose to go on national television, why he is writing a memoir and so on.

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    9. Dave - I have a question for you, and please don't take it the wrong way because my I really, truly am interested in the answer, in an effort to understand you and where you're coming from. I've been almost afraid to ask it because so much of what is said (typed) on here gets all twisted by some, people get offended and in an uproar, and seem to "assume" that most people are picking a fight - which I am definitely not. I really hate controversy, but I love people coming together, sharing ideas, beliefs and feelings and working on communicating for the purpose of a better society and world. (I know - get to the point already! ) sorry ~~~ ;)

      Anyway, I'm just wondering why you or anyone for that matter might be so determined to get an answer (or commitment) from Josh regarding an issue that is political. Although I personally think that being "polically correct" is often a bunch of hogwash, the fact remains that it seems to be "polically correct" that it's not appropiate to expect someone to devolge (sp?) how they did vote or would vote on any polical issue. Like, it seems to be an individual's protected persoon "secret" so to speak.

      So, while I understand what this blog is all about, and that we are all trying to learn and grow here, and, I'm not surprised by the pressing questions regarding Prop 8, I just wonder what you (or anyone) would do with this private information about Josh once you got it. If his ideas/beliefs don't agree with yours....

      Would you decide you don't like him anymore?
      Would you quit reading his blog?
      Would his answer be the end all/be all for EVERYTHING else about him?
      Would you steal his children's pumpkins and leave threatening messages on his phone? (just teasin - couldn't resist the joke which relates to his post about stolen pumpkins) lol ;)

      Anyway, as you saw above, my husband and I answered quickly and without hesitation to this question cause we are pretty open about alot of things and didn't mind sharing our views (for what they're worth). We might be from "the old school" where there seemed to be more tolerance of folks opinions, and respectfully agreeing to dissagree on some things. But, I just wonder, and truly do want to understand why the need to know? And how much weight would his answer carry regarding your interest in, respect for, and fondness of Josh.

      ~~~~ P L E A S E don't attack me ~~~ let's just talk (type):)

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    10. Tammy, Shayla & Anon - (looks like by the time I typed my "little" (wink) question, there has been some great conversation going on) Thanks for all your comments, you have helped me understand a little more where you and others are coming from in this question. I especially liked the comments representing that Josh's answers would not necesarily cause you to put him on your "hate list". That's good :)

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    11. I'm not Dave and I'm not attacking you! ha. To me, it seems that sometimes take the 'it's political and it's private' road so that they don't have to share their true beliefs.
      The thing is, the old expression 'the personal is poltical' definitely applies here. To re-iterate - if someone says she supports me, respects me, doesn't expect me to share her beliefs but goes ahead and votes against my rights, then it is personal. And I think some people get that and as such, hide behind the idea of it all being none of anyone's business.
      And it's not just prop 8 - there have been other props in other states and are other props currently. I see ads on TV that basically say 'vote for family, vote against gay marriage.' Surreal. So it is an ongoing issue.
      Now again, I'm not Dave and he might have a completely different response.

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    12. No doubt I'm going to sound snarky with my next few statements, but I accept that as part of who I am.
      For one, I hope that Josh doesn't respond to the question of how he would vote on Prop. 8. I say this because I prefer the atmosphere here where neither side is alienated, both having the same ambiguous right to speak how they wish (so long as it is respectful of others and clean).
      I can also imagine that as a therapist (or whatever Josh's proper title is), it is best to avoid sharing certain beliefs so that the parties involved do not feel distanced from the get go. It seems like not saying some things is a professional thing to do... I could be wrong, I often am.
      As for the Josh and Larry scenario, I doubt a great many people would be on this blog if it were the case (once more I could be wrong) since there wouldn't be the whole hype about "Gay Mormon in Straight Marriage" or however it is worded. I'm sure Josh would have the support of many family members and friends, but the rest of us would simply have never heard of him. Many on this blog seem to be in a similar situation, mixed orientation marriages and the who lot. Again, I could be wrong.
      Some things are best left unsaid, and other things can be hurtful so I think I shall shut up... though Tammy, I find your last paragraph about bigotry to be rather... I can understand where you are coming from, frustration over bigotry... but you don't leave any room for differing opinions... I guess it is pointless to argue. Whatever Josh decides, however he feels on the topic, is up to him.

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    13. Tammy - Thanks for the clarification. And the answer to your question is: curiosity. :)

      You may have misunderstood my question; it wasn't why people care about the issues (obviously I care myself since I'm commenting on Josh's blog), but I'm unclear why Josh's vote, in particular, seems to be important to many commenters.

      Anon 2:58 - There's a correlation between believing gay sex is wrong and being opposed to same-sex marriage, and there's a correlation between being religious and opposed to same-sex marriage, but there are exceptions. Even Ted Haggard recently came out for civil marriage rights for same-sex couples, but continues to oppose same-sex marriage within his church.

      Tammy and Anon - I disagree about people whose actions perpetuate inequality (and I believe virtually everyone has done so, in some way and at some time). People are complex, and I've found out that it's an oversimplification to say that someone's love is "fake" and their discriminatory actions are "real," though I've certainly felt that way at times.

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    15. Hi, Shayla.
      People are indeed incredibly complex. Incredibly so. But this is actually an extremely simple situation - if someone votes against my rights, then their discriminatory actions are real. They may love me in an extremely real way - that is not the issue. The issue is that she/he would choose to vote against my rights. So yes, I want to know if Josh would choose to vote against my rights.
      Attempting to say that the political is not personal here or that it doesn't matter or that it is complex and shouldn't be oversimplified, is a distraction.I am not saying that is your intention but it is a distraction because the issue is very simple here: you (the universal you) are for my rights or against my rights. That is the core issue here. Some may start to ring bells and bang on things metaphorically in order to distract from the startingly simple core issue but it is still there.
      So yes and again, Josh's response is vital I'd say.
      As for Ted Haggard - he is a whole other issue unto himself but I won't get into it because it is a distraction. A fascinating one but still, a distraction.

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    16. Anon 4:09 PM, please reread my post and the ones before it. :) You seem to be mixing up things I wrote with things other people wrote. You'll also find that everything in my previous post was in direct response to other people's comments. You're free to ignore the comments that you consider a distraction. I found them worth replying to, so I did.

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    17. Hi, Shayla.I'm not sure I was confused (although I am often confused!) I was responding to the comments you made about people being complex and about the issue being oversimplified. you wrote those things.
      As for my distraction comment - I could see how that could be misinterpreted. I did say that I don't feel that that is your intention. I'll be clearer I hope! I did mean that to say that things/people are extremely complex is absolutely true. But the issue s very very simple - you (the generic you, not just you, you) are going to vote for or against my rights. There may well be myriads of complex reasons why someone would vote against my rights but the action is that he/she voted against my rights. No amount of discussion/hedging/ambiguity/kindness/genuineness/frustration/spirtuality can change that. In this case it is abundantly clear - someone is either for me or against me.
      I am NOT saying that there shouldn' be discussion - that is not up to me to decide nor would I ever suggest people should be silenced.
      Honestly, just trying to be clear: are you for me or against me..

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    18. Sorry Tammy, I let the bitter part of me start to argue. I can not even imagine how horrible it would be to even think that arbitrary laws could separate me from my spouse (not that I have one). I just took offense to the assumption that opposing same sex marriage would be something easy. Like you said, "It's easy to pass it off and 'that's my belief' when you are not being affected by it. Not so easy to swallow when you are." For many, it is just a breeze, no consequence, a simple dot on a ballot, justified by religion, the so called "shield." But what about those who are torn between both, believing in both ideals, or at least being forced to see both sides... sorry, I'm getting defensive again. Now that I've said that, curiosity is getting the best of me and I want to know how Josh feels about it, even though I still don't want to know what he would vote for... Stupid conflictions!
      I'll also agree it would be a shame to ban bacon, so delicious and artery clogging. As for how you will react, it does seem like you are expecting pain, I hope that you take it the best possible way, though if Josh decides to answer, I imagine it will be in an incredible way. That shouldn't put any burden on Josh whatsoever...

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    20. Anon 4:31 PM - Hi again :) I said that you were mixing things up because at 4:09 PM, you (I assume it was you) wrote a comment to me, and you said: Attempting to say that the political is not personal here or that it doesn't matter or that it is complex and shouldn't be oversimplified. Since I didn't write the first two things, it didn't seem fair to lump them in with what I wrote. :)

      If you read through the thread, you'll see that my comment concerned people, not issues. It was answering Tammy's comment at 2:26 and Anon's comment at 2:58.

      Anon, I agree, someone's action can be discriminatory even if they don't think it is. That's reason enough to oppose the action. But you (generic you) shouldn't claim to know exactly what they think and feel, and you don't have to do that to oppose their actions.

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    21. 1. I am really enjoying reading this discussion
      2. Hopefully he will start up the Question post where everyone can post and or vote on a question. Then the prop 8/gay marriage question can be asked.
      3. It would make reading feeds a lot easier for everyone if people would put a fake name for themselves on there instead of a bunch of anonymous's. You can make a blogger account without any link to you and use it to post, that way it prevents confusion for everyone. Just a thought, not necessary by any means:D

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    22. Tammy, I've only posted on this blog once but wanted you to know that although my husband and I are not Mormons (we're Pentecostal) we fully support your right to marry the person of your choice. We think discrimination of any kind is wrong.

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  18. Josh I was so excited to watch this but my husband ( not intentionally) deleted it from our tivo before i could. Is there any place to watch the full episode online? I was soooooo bummed! I've only been able to find clips and that is just not as good. Thanks!

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  19. I remain completely baffled at how actively voting to take away someone's civil rights can be a side or an ideal. What would that ideal be - the ideal of working to take away someone's rights?
    I'm also competely unclear about how he could answer this in an incredible way - either he would vote to take away someone else's rights or he would not. I mean someone could say,"I vote to take away your rights but . . ." anything after hat but is irrelevant.

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    1. Anon, I'm not going to put words in other people's mouths, but the short answer to your question is that they don't consider marriage to be a civil right, at least not for same-sex couples. I've never met anyone who says "I am against civil rights" or "I vote to take away your rights." Look at how organizations that advocate for bans on same-sex marriage stick to phrases like "redefining marriage" and never refer to marriage as a right.

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    3. Shayla - people may not consider marriage a civil right but marriage is a civil right, no matter what anyone thinks. And yeah, organizations that want to deny civil rights won't refer to it as a civil right even though it is.
      So, just to be clear, marriage is a civil right, despite what anyone says or thinks or feels.
      and as for your oomment a bit further above, you are right, I don't have to know why people want to deny civil rights to others to know that it is wrong.
      to sum up because I am woefully unclear sometimes (my bad completely):
      fact: marriage = a civil right
      people do not have the right to try and take away the civil rights of others. Why they are doing it does not matter, it is the fact that they are doing it that does.
      Josh's take on this matters hugely - both personaly and professionally, since he counsels people with so called 'unwanted same sex attractions.'' It is a huge deal.Had he not wanted it to be a huge deal, he should not have gone on national TV.

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    4. Anon 6:09,

      Have you seen his video's on reparative therapy (and how he is NOT a reparative therapist)? If not it goes into what "unwanted same sex attractions" means on his Counseling profile. You should really take a look if you haven't yet. There is a part 1 and 2. They have been doing a great job of explaining themselves, you just got to look for it sometimes.

      Here is the link to part 1:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18BLOk4Q3t0

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    5. No doubt this question is going to offend several people, and I don't mean it to, it is mostly the result of extreme ignorance from a back wood hick, but Tammy, Shayla, and Anon who has been most repetitive, could you please explain to me how marriage is a civil right. I ask this not to take sides, but merely because Anon. 6:09 says "fact: marriage = a civil right" in much the same way the fundamental Christians might say that marriage=man+woman or something like that, but I just want to understand this instead of taking someones word for it. I am sorry if my ignorance offends anyone, and I hope that this in no causes any grief to Josh or anyone else.

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    7. I guess here in lies some of my problems, why do people desire to enter a marriage contract, when from an anthropological view point, marriage was used as a means for patriarchs to "guarantee" that offspring were their own, and on that line of thinking a repressive practice.

      If all that marriage boils down to is a mere contract of fidelity, why do people seek it so much in today's world? Once more, I could have a good number of things wrong, and I assume that you, Tammy, have more insight into this since you are married (at least from what you have said in past posts).

      Since marriage has many of its roots (all of them?) in religion, why do non-religious individuals seek it so much? Are the benefits worth it, or is it more to do with the commitment that is involved, a sense of security, or is it a means to conform to society or in some way gain recognition?

      Sorry, once more my ignorance is showing, that and my complete lack of experience with life. It is also getting late here and I do need to show up to class tomorrow, I guess. Thank you for answering my question so clearly before and in way far superior to most who I have asked before (or heard try to explain it...) If my questions at all offend, sorry.

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    8. Thanks, Tammy and Anon.

      I know it can be aggravating to hear the euphemisms, but looking on the bright side, it's a sign of progress that the groups supporting bans on same-sex marriage deny that they are denying same-sex couples their rights. It means they recognize that homophobic discrimination is not OK.

      Esel, I personally don't consider legally sanctioned marriage to be a civil right (the only thing that I consider to be a civil right in regards to marriage laws is equality, and I would be fine with abolishing the legal institution of marriage), so I'll leave it to those who do to explain their beliefs. You don't seem offensive at all, by the way. :)

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  20. oh and yes - you hit it right on the head Shayla! Thanks.

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  21. Maquel, I know that Josh is not a reparative therapist. I understand that completely. I know that he knows that sexual orientation is immutable.
    But none of that information says anything at all about how Josh would vote or how he counsels someone who is unsure about whether or not they should pursue living a gay life. He has said before that he has told clients that he is gay and married. Does he do that in order to offer it as an option? or does he say, hey, there is nothing wrong with living a gay life. I know and understand that he says that there is nothing wrong with being gay but how does that work in his counselling?
    These are questions that naturally come up and that have not been answered in that video you link to or anywhere. These are valid and extremely important questions that are not attacks in any way, just questions.

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    1. This is not really in response to the main issue here that seems to be about gay marriage & civil rights, but I just have a little personal observation I'd like to share in reference to the things you mentione regarding "counseling".

      I was just thinking about my life, and realize that throughout my 53 years of life I have actually gone to counseling (for one thing or another) several times. Actually, I recall 6 different counselors, and it's interesting to me that 3 out of the 6 were not really helpful to me and I ultimately quit going since I didn't seem to have a helpful "connection" with them. The other 3 were very helpful and I felt they "got me" and I feel I got some good help from them.

      Just an observation, but for me, it's about 50%/50%. I'm assuming that those who feel a good connection with Josh continue to see him and probably feel they are getting the help "they" need. And visaversa if they don't "jive". :)

      Anyway, I hope none of us are appointing ourselves to the job of "Counseling Police" because I'm thinking that Josh is probably mature enough, educated enough, and professional enough to manage his counseling business.

      I think he said somewhere on a video or posted somewhere that he considers the objective of his job to help his clients feel good about themselves, help them choose their own personal goals, and then help them work effectively towards "their" goals, etc., and, he believes it would be unethical for him to impose his beliefs, personal feelings, etc. on his clients. That made alot of sense to me when he said that and I think that's pretty much been my experience with the assortment of counselors I've been to throughout my life as well.

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    2. Mrs. I Define Me,

      You are thinking of "Is Josh Weed a reparative therapist part 2" video. He says all of that in there. In all my years of counseling I have found that they are mainly there to help you get to your own conclusions. To help you process everything that is going on in your life, and what desires and goals you have. When people think of counselor they automatically go to "advice giver", that is not what therapists do. They help you, figure out yourself. I think the fact that Josh has clients "living the gay lifestyle" goes to show that he is very unbiased and is an effective counselor.

      Anon,

      Ask your questions in the weekly (usually) question post. Or you can message him.

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    3. And by "advice giver" I mean tells you what you should do.

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  22. A good therapist supports the client as he/she works through his/her own thoughts am emotions.

    A client should never, IMO, even know what the therapists opinion is.

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    1. should the client know that his/her therapist is gay? Because Josh mentioned that he has told some that.

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    3. Tammy - YES! I also have a strong belief that "Food inpacts Mood". I'm just sayin ~~~~ :) (guess that's a whole different blog though - lol)

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    4. Anon 8:14, I agree. IMO, a good therapist helps the client work through their feelings and find answers within themselves, so it doesn't really matter if the therapist agrees or not because his or her opinion is not the point.

      For example, I am in therapy, and religion off comes up as a topic..If I had to guess I would say my therapist is likely atheist, but he supports me in finding my way in religion because he knows that is important to me. If he didn't...I would find a new therapist!

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    6. Touche, Tammy. :)

      I do have DID (previously called Multiple Personality Disorder) I recently "came out" about that on my blog (click on my name if you are interested.

      Yes, you are right, I would not see a therapist that does not believe in DID.

      So I see your point. :)

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    7. P.S. No I don't think it is unreasonable to ask if your potential therapist believes in reparative therapy if you are gay. I was thinking in more general terms...I wanted to explain it, but to be honest you have me rethinking what i was thinking. :)

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  23. Saw your episode on Ricki Lake. As a gay man, when I realized what you would be talking about on the show, I judged you completely. By the time you and your wife had explained yourself, I was completely surprised to realize I had misjudged you completely! Unfortunately you are going to continue getting a lot of negative response from the LGBT community unless they actually listen to what you are saying.
    Having really paid attention to what you are saying myself, it's pretty obvious to me that you don't have ulterior motives.

    Thanks for challenging me to reexamine what I know, or thought I knew, about relationships! It would never be for me, but I love your story!

    Best wishes!

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    1. Clinton - I love your comment and wonderful attitude. As another woman happily married to a gay man (have been for 30 years), I truly appreciate your open mindedness because, although you don't know my husband & I, and have not seen us on tv, your approval of Josh & Lolly gives me a sense of acceptance for us as well.

      It's not that we "need" your (or others) acceptance, as we are extremely content and confident in our relationship and marriage, but after experiencing some ridicule and outrage from "some" people over our choice to live in a mixed orientation marriage, it's a great feeling to know that there are those, like you, who are gay but clearly secure enough with yourself that you don't seem to be threatened by the existence of people like Josh & Lolly and Mr. I Define Me and me. :) THX

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  24. Hey, Awesome! I do love Bambi Nuggets though...

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  25. I just read your "morning run" post. I've had similar running experiences twice. One time in a fairly populated area, I was having the back and forth with my bowels you described. I stopped into a minimart and asked to use his toilet. He told me know, so my primal instincts mixed with spite had be go outside in the alley behind his building. Another time in the Dominican Republic where I had diarrhea for pretty much two years straight, it just came out involuntarily mid stride. My companion was nice enough not to leave me in my own pile of crap and we walked home together in my shame.

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  26. I don't know how to set up a profile or make a name or whatever. So you can call me Neurotic One :)

    I have been thinking about this question of legalizing gay marriage a lot over the past several years... even before my son came-out to me and by extension, his father.

    I didn't answer at first, because I still am chewing on it in my own mind.

    My general political view is that we are attacking the issue backward. Why on earth did any of us ever start asking the government's approval to get married? It isn't any of the nation's business who marries who. So asking for additional permission seems backward to me. We should all, IMO, be working to get rid of marriage laws altogether.

    I realize that this practice is very deeply imbedded into our society, but all marriage (IMO) should fall under contract law. The ceremonial part can be a private thing or a public thing... but not a government thing.

    Also, if there has to be laws about marriage... it should be done at the state level. I realize that this causes problems as people move to different states. But, a federal law (in either direction) is, IMO, completely unconstitutional.


    BUT... I can easily see the problem for many religious people. They are being forced to change the meaning of the word "marriage" on a grand scale. They believe that the most basic fundamental unit of all is the nuclear family. There is gender in everything created. They believe that the entire society will fall if it participates in supporting immoral (by their standards) activities.

    I find that most gay people are looking at the situation as an individual, because they are being individually affected by it.

    I find that most religious people are looking at the situation as an entire "good for society" type of thing, because they are not individually affected by it.

    Does my rambling make any sense?

    So... from my view, the problem is that we have caused marriage to be about government. It never should have been. Basic human rights are never actually given by government. They are endowed by the creator. The only thing government can do is forcibly block those rights from being used.

    This long nothingness, is me sorting through my own thoughts and feelings. I am admittedly one that thinks that sexual activity between people of the same gender is morally wrong. I do believe that complete acceptance from the entire nation will cause us all to lose favor with God. I know that isn't the politically correct answer, but it is true.

    But, I am a strong supporter of individual rights and constitutional principles. I don't think religious stuff has anything to do with government. Morality is taught and shared and accepted or rejected. Morality cannot be legislated.

    And I admit that I am super relieved that I have never been in a state when they are voting on it. It kind of gave me an "out" to not official vote for something.

    I'm a total flip-flopper on this issue.

    If we were campaigning to get government out of marriage altogether, then I know exactly how I would vote!

    I am being as honest as I can. I understand that this may offend some people. That was not my intention at all. On an individual level, I would love for Tammy to be able to get married and follow her own heart and mind. On a national level, I really struggle with my own thoughts.

    And as my son becomes and adult and has to make his own decisions about what he believes and how he lives, I have no doubt that I will support him as an individual to make his own decisions too. So I expect my thoughts and opinions to continue to change as I grow.

    I have no doubt that gay marriage will eventually be legalized. At this moment, I would have to abstain.

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    2. Neurotic One - What a beautiful post. I, like Tammy, applaud you and your honesty as you are working through your feelings, etc. I loved reading your comments because the real complexity of this issue (as many are torn, and have valid feelings coming from both ends of the spectrum)comes through in your genuine and heartfelt words.

      Tammy, since many people just get angry and demanding (& I can totally understand their frustration), it's nice to hear people like you who are trying to remain calm and hopeful. Seems like we might get better results with the more loving and patient attitude you seem to have. I agree that you and your wife should have all those same fundimental "rights", especially since you have committed to each other to share your lives together, etc. In this crazy world, love and commitment is seemingly rare, and since I'm a lover - not a fighter, I'm grateful for all the peace and happiness and love we can find.

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  27. Neurotic here.

    Just a couple of clarification thoughts before I venture into the real world for the day :)

    All the rights that are currently protected by legalized marriage... and all the penalties, as well, should be protected under contract law. A contract between any consenting adults can be written in any way those to people desire.

    Social security is a totally separate issue, because I don't think that it should exist at all. It is completely unconstitutional and legalized theft, in my opinion. But, for all those currently participating, I believe that Social Security benefits should be designated... just like for life insurance.

    Thank you both for your understanding and respectful posts :)

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  28. My honest answer is simple. I don’t know. I’m conflicted. I probably just wouldn’t vote if it came up. I disagree with some of the arguments for it. I disagree with some of the arguments against it. I agree with some of the arguments for it. I agree with some of the arguments against it. My vote does not coincide with how I feel, interact, or display love towards those that are for SSM or against.
    I didn’t answer quickly because my computer at home sucks and won’t allow me to put this on the specific thread about it (giving up on that one). Plus I was pretty busy this weekend. Plus I didn’t want to be judged for not being all gung-ho about SSM. It’s an extremely uncomfortable topic to me because it’s so polarized…similar to how dialogue about abortion is extremely polarized (which I also don’t fit well into either camp and see problems/good arguments in both). I don’t think the polarization warrants an accurate depiction of the nuances for or against SSM. Plus what I remember most about Prop 8 as a non-californian who didn’t put a dime, didn’t raise a penny for or against it, and couldn’t pay that close attention (I could only view from outside the state) was the constant label as being a bigot because I’m a mormon, people protesting around our temple, and other things that just honestly weren’t all that pretty or comforting. My sense of irony was tingling something mad about no-hate slogans when what I was seeing was quite a bit of hate.
    And that stigma of being a bigot is still associated to not supporting SSM. If you can’t support this you can’t really support gays, or women, or whatever topic comes up. So basically when I see that question it appears as loaded. It’s anxiety provoking. I don’t like it. It does hurt. Especially when I have worked to have a fair (by this I mean I go to sources specifically for or against something to read stuff) understanding of both sides to any argument before making my own opinions about anything. And I mean anything (oh the crazy things I’ve looked up…SSM is by far not the most controversial).

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    2. The difference, that I see, is that you not believe our nation would incur the wrath of God by becoming completely accepting of Mormons.

      The idea of being loving and kind and gentle resonates with me on a personal level. And I'm not what this momma bear will do when someone treats my gay son with anything less than respect.

      But, the problem with the comparisons is that people who are opposed to SSM on a legal level, do indeed that it will affect them and all of us a nation and as individuals.

      Like I said before... different angles.

      What individuals what and need and deserve as human right vs. what a society needs to do to help their nation not go against the God they believe in.

      Similar to the idea about when life begins and responsibility to protect all life. Different angles. We have to work together to find mutually agreeable solutions.

      Neurotic One

      PS. I have learned a lot from you Tammy. I appreciate, very much, your participation and gentle approach to conversation. I wish I knew someone (besides my son) in real life who was gay. I would love to talk to them for hours about their feelings and hear their story. Sadly, I probably know at least a few gay individuals... I but I don't know.

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    5. That is very sweet of you, Tammy. I will take you up on the offer soon.

      I'm not sure I have super specific questions, yet. My mind is simply wrestling with the best way to grant his agency and play a supporting role in his life. It is honestly difficult for me to process. Not because I love him less. But, because it is an entire paradigm shift from my previous notion of his future. And, I know that being a gay Mormon is a difficult thing. Actually, I think that being gay, in general, opens up a new set of challenges (and opportunities) I'm trying to brace myself for that, as a mother.

      He just came out to me 2 months ago. After hugging him and comforting and congratulating him on being so brave, we talked about how my love is completely unconditional. He says that he is glad he told me. He says that now he feels like someone REALLY knows him.

      But, it is still taking time for me to process from my own perspective.

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    7. I understand you, Tammy. And I can understand your frustration. Not all the way, because I haven't ever become deeply involved. But because of my feelings about the Constitution and personal choice and responsibility.

      And there are MANY who would love to see Mormonism be against the law. In fact, in some states it was legal to kill a Mormon on sight. I believe there are still laws on the books (not enforced of course) where Mormons have their rights restricted.

      I don't think that anyone (is there someone?) that thinks YOUR marriage would affect society. I think it is about putting a check next to a box that means "I accept homosexuality as a legal option" is a step that many feel will lead... maybe not to the fall of our nation. But, at least, God's protection being removed as we are left the struggle on our own.

      I 100% agree that our actions and our words and our support should be in a direction that would make our society more loving and accepting. Nobody should be kicked out of a home because of their innate feelings. Someone who is struggling to find him/herself should be surrounded by love.

      All church lessons about Sodom and Gomorrah should be taught with a clear indication that WE ARE ONLY COMMANDED TO LOVE. God will do His own judging in His own way. We just love. Love wins! Kindness wins!

      We can chat about capitalism and environmentalism another day ;)

      I'm trying to present the opposing opinion from the point of view that I see. I'm not trying to argue, at all. Like I said above, I would have to currently abstain from voting because I haven't settled my own thoughts yet. If I were discussing with someone who had your (Tammy) opposing view... I would argue your point of view. Discussion leads to understanding. Especially having to articulate your own opinion.


      Neurotic One

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    8. Tammy,
      Sorry this is going to be extremely short because I only have about 15 min to respond and I've only read your initial response. So it won't be exactly a thorough dissertation or anything ;)

      You wrote:
      So, the vote is simple. Now the philosophy behind the topic is more expansive, but the right of each individual to their own liberty and pursuit of happiness is simple.

      I will state that no, it's not that simple. If it was simply about civil rights the solution would be simple. Give civil unions the same legal rights and protections given to marriage on both a state and federal level. End. Even if it was voted on by popular vote this would be agreed to by a clear majority from what I've seen stats on. The rest, IMO, is a matter of philosophy. It's asking the question of what is marriage? So no, the vote isn't simple it is implicitly asking the question of what is marriage while wrapping it in with legal rights and protections. Frankly it's messy.

      As for being undecided, I'm not. I'm very certain on making sure that people have equal protection under the law. There are a number of ways that's feasible. (like civil union or the contract law that I think neurotic one mentioned...though I find that also could run into practical problems) My conflict is specifically with gay marriage in and of itself. Nothing more.


      Wooh, 2 minutes to spare....hmm what else. Oh! have a great evening! You would be welcome to dinner if it weren't for the fact that I live a student's life....dinner is a sketchy meal. So I hope you enjoy your dinner with your family or with whoever you happen to eat dinner with.

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    9. Huh, I figured it out finally. All I need is google chrome! So two more quick things. I'm not as fatalistic as believing it will destroy the fabric of society in the least. Seems more than just a little hyperbolic.

      And I find the mormonism illegal analogy is also exagerative and not an accurate parallel. Being gay isn't illegal as being mormon isn't. In order to have a similar parallel would be having a specific belief that is currently not upheld by the law and then seeking to have it upheld. The only thing I can think of right off the bat is about certain religious wear...so they adapted to make it work. The next closest was polygamy eons ago, which would be similar to how some states have made constitutional amendments to define marriage....I think that's all I really want to mention.

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  29. I agree with Tammy. It is baffling. Her analogy of making Mormonism illegal is a salient one. Mormons, like gay people, are a minority. So imagine if the majority - non-Mormons - introduced a proposition to make Mormonism illegal. They helped fund it, invited other groups to join them and did everything in their power to make sure that the prop. passed. It's a different situation obviously but the same idea once you wrap your head around it.
    Voting to keep rights or take away rights from others has nothing to do with how you feel.
    As for the protesting of Mormon temples during prop 8 - the fact is, the Mormon Church was a huge supporter of the proposition financially and in every other way, not just the California branch of it. So to futher the analogy - say, I don't know, say the Catholic church was actively working to make Mormonism illegal. It was helping to fund the campaign and encouraging its members to be involved. If I were a Mormon, you bet I'd be out there protesting.
    Some people say well the government shouldn't be involved in marriage anyway. Perhaps this is in hopes that if marriage is out of the government's hands, then churches will take it over. The thing is, the government is involved and wishing it away doesn't make it so.
    Some folks are also very concerned that everyone stay polite on here and not express an opinion too strongly lest anyone be offended. But really, voting against the civil rights of gay people is extremely offensive. We could all hold hands and sing kumbaya and express deep feelings of love and respect but that becomes pretty meaningless when some of those same people vote against others at the ballot box.
    This is not about how bad this makes you feel, it's about not taking away the rights of others.

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    1. I think that part of this is in response to me above.

      I do not "wish away" government involvement in marriage (or a pile of other things). I actively talk about it to whoever will listen. I put up quotes from LDS prophets that support my view and send them to my LDS friends are are questioning the role of the government in our lives.

      I don't have a big group and I don't hold rallies or anything. But I did run for a very local position (small bottom on the ladder type thing) to keep or return these things in the minds of political leaders.

      It is almost the same as those who was SSM legalized. They aren't "wishing" it will happen. They are working in their various ways to try and help things become as they think they should be.

      Neurotic One, again.

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  30. I have a question in regards to "the Mormon Church was a huge supporter of the prop financially".

    I may be wrong, but it is my understanding that the actual organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) did not "fund" opposition to gay marriage. And, as a rule, the Church does not fund any polical issue.

    I was told (and I confess I haven't researched this myself) that there were many members of the Mormon Church that personally got together and rallied as individual groups (who yes were Mormons), but the Church organization and/or leaders of the church did not instigate or fund these individuals or their efforts.

    I realize that the overall attitude of the LDS people (as well as many religious people from many religious denominations)is against gay marriage, etc...... but I think the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons)officially encourages their members to do their own research and "vote their own conscience".

    In my 53 year lifetime as a Mormon, that is what I've always heard and believed. And, I have NEVER heard any comments to or pressure on members in any Sacrament Mtg. or Sunday School, etc. dictating or even encouraging folks to vote on way or the other on anything.

    Does anyone on here have other info? I am open to hear what others genuinely know (not just what they think) and would like to be directed to links if there's some official documentation that I can learn from. THANKS :)

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    2. Interesting article. I have wondered, since the prop passed with 52%... how many of those voters were Mormon? Percentage wise, Mormons are a huge minority in California.

      I wonder if the most hours and the most money and the most time was spent by Mormons because they were already organized in a way that was conducive to the original plans. And they are predisposed to give what they have (time, money, talents) to support causes that are important to them.

      52% of the people voted... narrow margin...
      But the much of the campaign was supported by individual Mormons who participated.

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    3. 1% of those voters were mormon a very SMALL percentage. And you are very right Mrs. I define me, the church had absolutely no involvement in prop 8. The californians who happen to be mormon did and so did 51% of all californians. Media is biased and not current. IN fact I know the church leaders were telling us all to vote with our hearts and pray about our decision before voting ---like the leaders have basically said to us this election.

      It was funny to see the lists of people who didnt want it... Teachers unions, tom cruise, etc etc all giving millions to stop it. The teachers union of california really shocked me because I thought governmental agencies were not allow to get involved with political things.

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    4. I remember a lot about what happened during that time because I find social phenomena interesting. The lds church (not just the individuals) encouraged support for prop 8, this is true. (here's a news piece very much for the church that mentions such: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700081910/Mormon-church-was-unfairly-targeted-over-Prop-8-BYU-professor-says.html?pg=all). We're just very good at organizing on the local level. The grunt work was done by individual efforts and it was still an individual decision. There were no repercussions if you did/didn't participate...it was simply encouraged. Though mormons would only be around 1% of voters a good percentage of the money donated came from LDS donors (the amount estimated ranged by who was describing)...most stated it was around 40%. Those critical to donations pointed to the percentage raised, the amount of money used, and also the amount raised by outside source for prop 8. Those for pointed out that those against prop 8 raised more money, with a larger percentage coming from non-cali's, and that they probably were not as effective as they could have been with it's use.

      So it is fair to say that the church did support it. It's also fair to state that mormon influence was disproportionate to their actual numbers in Cali. What wasn't fair, IMO, was the amount of focus the LDS church/people received for their efforts. They effectively/unfairly became the face for the entire passing, which was not accurate. More than not accurate, it also fed heavily on prejudice. The backlash, IMO, started with an ad that showed two mormon missionaries knocking on a lesbian couple's door barging into their house, ruffling through their stuff and ripping up their marriage license. That came a couple days before the vote. So when it did pass there was an easily visible minority group to blame it on. It led to a number of boycotts and protests that in and of themselves aren't bad....but the means that a number of them were carried out bordered more toward intimidation and bigotry.

      That's my synopsis from a little of what I looked up/remember.

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    5. I have family that were members of the Mormon church at the time who lived in California while Prop 8 was being voted on. I would like to tell you what they have told me about their experience at the time. I don't know if this can be taken as fact because it is just hearsay.
      What they have told me is they were told to donate as much money as possible, even by bishops and stake presidents. Their financial records were used to determine how much money they were to donate and then told X amount of money is what you have that can be donated. They were "strongly" encourage to donate that amount of money. They had meetings and activities to go out and support the prop by holding signs, etc.
      My understanding is that these leaders were acting out of their own feelings and not from direct leadership authorization. They never read any official letter or document saying it was authorized. The actions of the few highly regarded leaders was not the policy of the church. My nephew is gay and for a Wednesday night activity the group went to hold prop 8 signs. He didn't agree with what was going on, but is not "out" and didn't feel that was the time to go against anyone. Church activities are not to be used as political rallies or any type of political anything. The leaders were not acting with church policy. They were wrong. Their actions were wrong. People who were members of the church acted as people, but not as the church. It is hard for many to distinguish, but those few people's actions were not what the church's policy states. It may seems to those who were around those people that the "church" was dictating how and what to vote for, but it was individuals dictating or encouraging.
      That is my experience and I hope it made sense. I am not very articulate.

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    6. That bull crap lol.. I was in cali at the time and the bishops did NO SUCH THINGS... PROPAGANDA!!!

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    8. Find and watch the documentary, "The Mormon Proposition''

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    9. anything not 100% in support of Mormonism = propaganda
      anyone asking questions about why Mormons believe what they believe = that person is antagonist and so no answer has to be given and/or = these topics are considered sacred and we are offended that it is being discussed.
      and = Mormons are always perscuted and it isn't fair.

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    10. Actually, asking questions about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) is encouraged. The problem is the intentions of the person asking. If they are asking because they truly want to know what we believe, we are more than willing to share. If they are asking with the intent to make fun of our beliefs (whether passively aggressive or actively aggressive) then that is a different story.

      The same is true, really, of asking questions of anyone when the subject matter is something very precious to them. For instance, if I was talking to someone who was gay or lesbian and asked them a sincere question in a loving manner, trying to better understand their experience of life (as many have done of Josh during the FFAQs) that would be a very different thing than if I were to throw questions at them with the intent of "catching them in a trap of words" or making fun of their beliefs and what is important and precious to them.

      If someone is asking questions with less than kind intentions, then I think in most cases it is actually wiser to refrain from answering, as doing so usually just leads to contention rather than greater understanding and love.

      A major goal of this blog is to increase understanding and love between people of different backgrounds and beliefs. I'm so grateful for those who have taught me so much already by answering and asking sincere questions with this intent. Let's keep that up!

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  31. Thx Tammy - read it. It seems that it was still individual people and their personal money. I'm not trying to be argumentative, I realize I really need to do some research for myself, but I'd really like to know if there was actually money from the organization of the Church or was it all money from members who choose to contribute personally.

    anyway, I did see the quote about encouraging members to get involved, but I'll try to find the letter because I'm wondering what was the whole message of the entire letter.

    But, thanks - I'm definitely curious now, so I'll do some research and please send me any more links you might run across as well. THX :)

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    2. Hurray for rose tinted glasses, though that doesn't help much with the cold foggy days on the coast... as for Prop 8, the Courts will or have (I'm behind on the news for it) shoot it down as has been done with past laws... also if the Churches had been able to pour money directly into the campaign... well, the past is the past, let it be a reminder and not something to live in. Good Luck with research.

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  32. I do suggest people research this - the Mormon Church was hugely behind prop. 8 and encouraged many followers to donate, sometimes all of their savings.
    There could definitely be a tangent arguing the backs and forths of the Mormon Church's involvement which would, I think, distract from the fact that taking away the civil rights of others is wrong, pure and simple. I know I keep saying that but it seems that it needs repeating. thanks.
    there can be excuses, rationalizations, tangents, deleted posts and comments for everything. it still does not take away from the core issue of taking away the civil rights fof others.

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    1. Donate money??? All of their savings???? Seriously??? Show me

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    2. I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be antagonistic, but your persistence drives me to be a blender full of marbles, I can't help but want to set up tangents and distractions... never could figure out why I have to be this way... and no doubt my next comment will come off as very, very anti-American... but do you drive a car? Where do your fruits come from? Steel? Shoes? You may be all for your own rights, those that touch your life in a visible way, but what of the rights of others who are being oppressed through your support of companies and institutions (even if you don't actively do so, passive support is much the same) that deny others rights far more important to life then the mere right to marry? (Sorry for the use of mere, but compared to other rights...)

      How do you feel about prisoners held without representation, have you actively sought their freedom? I can only assume that years in prison without even so much as a conviction against you is far worse then not being able to marry the person you love and live with, since prison tends to deprive you of even loved ones.

      I could be wrong about you, maybe you are actively engaged in these causes, trying to bring rights to everyone and not just those close to you... and as I said before, marbles in a blender, not lost, just don't roll very well anymore... then again, as someone wise said above, "It's easy to pass it off and 'that's my belief' when you are not being affected by it. Not so easy to swallow when you are." In your own words, "taking away the civil rights of others is wrong, pure and simple." I am willing to live with rationalizations since the alternative is rather depressing. I'm a coward, what more can I say?

      Sorry, I tend to get heated up over nothing... though I suppose this could be a prime candidate for deletion, if so, I accept whatever punishment arises. I wonder how offensive this sounds? Guess I should add that I do love the United States and have a large amount of faith that things can improve... time will tell.

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    3. To be fair, I don't think most anybody can be actively involved in all civil rights causes. I minor in international development (which focuses heavily on understanding the methods and ways to expand civil rights and development on just about any level) and have. Not only is it impossible to actively work for all human rights problems but there's also few simple answers to major problems effecting human rights and development. It's far more effective to focus on what you know/are passionate about and work from there.

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    4. You are right Tasha, it isn't fair, I just got carried away... Civil rights are a difficult subject when looking beyond your immediate area of expertize... but sometimes it gets to me that people don't consider what they have and how it gets to them, living within their passions and seeing nothing else... sorry... I should just learn to be quiet and let other people live as they like.

      As a side thought, how do you deal with the knowledge that comes through your minor? Sounds like depressing stuff, if it is anything like the classes I've been taking. Too much doom and gloom when studying international politics...

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    5. I can understand that. The level of social and governmental stability we have in the U.S. is astounding compared to many parts of the world and frankly just about any other time in our own history as well. It wasn't meant to shut you down or anything. Just that it's impossible to care for all things within our very troubled world. No one is a super hero. Some of us can be heroes in our own sphere's of influence.

      As for my minor....I think it taught me to focus on what good I can do while keeping my eyes open about the overarching problems facing the world at large. Besides along with stories of sorrow there's also wonderful stories of help as well. And it's taught me needed lessons about the complexity of problems....even ones we assume are simple. Solutions to problems must often be multilateral and organic in growth to have a lasting effect.

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    6. anon 5:36 pm -showing you - http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Mormons-face-flak-for-backing-Prop-8-3264077.php
      You'll have to read it carefully to get to the paragraphs about the donating but it's there.
      I don't usually find a point in putting up news articles because sometimes it seems that the facts are not believed (as in, 'well, that fact didn't mean what it said and besides, I don't believe it.''). I'm not going to debate the fact that some Mormons were hassled about Prop 8, for example. That is a fact. It is also a fact that some Mormons were encouraged by the Mormon church to organize and to donate for Prop 8. And frankly, if Mormons do believe that same sex marriage = God removing his hand of protection, I'd think they would be extremely proud to say they supported Prop 8 and other props like it any way they could.
      A little googling brings up these articles - if I can find the information anyone can!

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    7. Donate yes, you can point to that...but all of their savings does not and seems like rumor more than fact.

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    8. Makes me wonder if there weren't any instances where someone did give all of their savings? I suppose it would be easy for someone like myself who has no money whatsoever (and questionable grammar...), but I'll agree with you Tasha, there doesn't seem to be much evidence for all their savings being required... what are we talking about?

      You know, I never did get the whole same sex marriage=removal of God's protecting hand... must be something I missed while I was out of town. I always imagined that coming from a series of other things, like pride... qualities shared by the whole population and not just a few... oh well.

      Anon 8:22 am, one of the problems with articles isn't so much that a fact might be wrong (I'll agree with you that many people don't even believe everything they read, even when proof is available) but that it is used in a context that misleads or at the very least pushes the bias of the author... I guess what I'm saying is that I agree that it is pointless to put up news articles. Some day I'll learn to shut up.

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    9. Tasha - splitting hairs - not everyone donated all of their savings obviously. But many Mormons donated to a cause designed to take away the right of gay people. That's not a rumour, that's a fact. But obviously feel free to do your own research.
      Esel - me thinks that if a news article were really supportive of Mormons, you might like it a bit more. The article I posted was actually quite unbiased - it talked about the harassment of Mormons as well. There are literally hundreds of other articles that discuss the facts of the LDS's church's heavy involvement in prop 8. Again, I'm not clear why any Mormom would have any issue with that involvement since it is believed that gay marriage will result in downfall of nations. Heck, if I believed that, I'd be proud to know that my church was out to protect me.
      I'm also not sure about your constantly saying that 'I'll learn to shut up," etc - is it being self-effacing or is it an effort to have not to take responsibility for what you write on here or what? I'm unclear on that.
      And finally, there's a little documentary called, "The Mormon Proposition'' that apparently can be streamed here for free https://123vidz.com/pages/flowplayer?a_aid=4dd3eee6d1d03&a_bid=72491354&chan=hd
      although I haven't been able to make it work. It answers a lot of the questions about Prop 8 and the LDS church. I don''t love the whole movie but there are some salient points (in other words, if only 10% of what it says is true, that's a whole lot)
      But again, if Mormons believe so strongly in the evils of gay marriage, I have no idea why they all wouldn't be out and proud about just how hard the Mormon Church is working to keep its people safe. Why would anyone be defensive about that?

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    10. Anon - call it splitting hairs but tone is important. The tone that I heard stated something that emphasized a level of fanaticism in donation. People donating what they could is one thing. People donating all their savings is quite another.

      And I agree with esel, the whole downfall of nations is a bit over the top. Each time I've heard that on these threads my eyebrows have been scrunched together as I scratch my head. I've heard of it being the downfall of sodom/gomorrah (but have heard more about it being about violence and the level of absolute depravity of the people....they wanted to gang-rape angels). Same thing about it meaning that the Lord will remove His protection or something along that lines. I'm sure I've heard something like it because the ideas are not completely foreign. But I've never heard them proclaimed beyond individual speculation. And not with the same direct link for reasoning that has been mentioned here.

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    11. Anon, you might be right, but I still stick to the idea that there is no such thing as unbiased, I have yet to find a news source or author that is free of bias... then again, I don't think I'd want to read something that was... and yes, I do have the healthy habit of self-effacing and it probably is a means to avoid taking responsibility for what I have said... shame really, but I guess it doesn't make much sense since I'm hiding behind a pseudonym...

      As for taking pride, why would I want to boast about anything? It is impressive that the LDS members were able to organize to such a great degree, but why bring it up when it hurts others... not to mention the fact that it was shot down by the Courts... People might also be defensive about what they perceive as an attack or what might result in one (verbal attack, I seriously doubt anyone would go so far as to physically jump... then again...?).

      It is always awkward to write a response only to have someone say something before you... oh well. Tasha, this is completely unrelated to the topic, but I wonder if there is a band called "gang-rape angels" or some rot like that?

      As I've said before, marbles in a blender...

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    12. Probably....There's a band with a name for just about everything under the sun. So why not? They probably haven't gone too far in their career though....name comes off a little insensitive to say the least.

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    13. Give them a couple of years, today's insensitive is tomorrow's norm.

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    14. you're right, Tasha, in regards to what Sodom and Gommorah was really about - it was about rape indeed, nothing to do with two consenting adults in a gay relationship (or marriage). Nothing at all. Somehow the interpretation got warped into something completely else that the passage did not mean at all and repeated forever and ever.

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    15. I wouldn't say nothing at all, just that saying homosexual acts was the reason of their destruction is a vast oversimplification. It would be like saying that any other sin that they happened to be participating in didn't have any effect on their destruction. There was a long list of probs with those cities. They were in threat of destruction long before the incidence with the holy messengers. The threatened abuse of the messenger was the cherry on top, per se.
      There isn't a specific list of what Sodom did do to be destroyed simply that it had to do with their sins and the cry of the people....basically a fatal mix of attitude and action that made their depravity chronic because they were unwilling to turn to God.

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    16. indeed. and the depravity in terms of sexual issue was about rape, not gay relationships or gay marriage. That bears repeating.

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    17. One last time: there is not enough information to state that the only sexual issue was simply about rape. That’s reading into the text too much. Again, considering the story sexual relations (including gay ones), probably played a part but it wasn't the total or major reason.
      And of course it didn’t deal with SSM…the idea largely didn’t exist during that time.

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  33. Would any of you support a civil union where all the rights of marriage were given to the spouses but it was simply called a civil union instead of marriage? Most people who are against gay marriage who I have talked to all say that they are in favor of equal rights for everyone, hospital visitation, end of life decisions etc., but they firmly believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. Wouldn't a civil union bestowing all civil rights fix the problem.

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    2. I disagree with your bus analogy. I think what he/she was saying is you can ride on the bus, sit wherever you want, but we're going to call your seat a bench and not a chair.

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    4. To me, the name is irrelevant. Any person should be able to designate any other person (with permission) hospital visitation, end of life decisions, etc. I have several friends that I call sister... because I love them like a sister (not a church type of Sister) I don't care what anyone else calls it. It is my relationship to define.

      If I am married, but I want to choose someone else to make my end of life decisions... that should be a part of the general thinking and planning of life.

      In my opinion, if no person has been designated, the decision should rest with the oldest adult child (if there is one) or the individuals parents (if they exist) and move outward from there. Even if the individual IS currently married.

      It would also go a long way to encouraging ALL people to pay attention to their futures and make planning their own lives a priority.

      Just thinking "I'm married, so everything is great!" is a naive way to approach a future, by my way of thinking.

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    5. who is thinking that? equally naive perhaps to suggest that a) people are thinking and b)even if they are, that that would nullify the civii right to be married. a headscratcher

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    6. Sorry. My train of thought is all over this thread.

      My official position is currently, that we would benefit much more as a society IF we would make NO marriages recognized by the government. All the default protections and punishments of a legal marriage would fall under contract law. It would be difficult. It is always difficult to unwrap government's hands once they control something.

      So my thoughts wandered to the utopia of my dreams where people don't rely on their marriage or the government to plan for them. Where they make their own decision.

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    8. and where gay people can be discriminated against witthout the government getting in the way!

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    9. This is actually the kind of thing that I am talking about anon 6:05.

      Government laws don't change discrimination. If anything, it causes true feelings to be shoved down and resentment to build up.

      As an American people, we do not need Government to protect us from ourselves. And we have only hired them to protect our rights to life, liberty and property. That is all.

      If I have a business and I detest red heads and find them vile and angry, and the government tries to make me hire one... who's rights are being violated?

      If one of my employees dyes their hair red, and government forces me to retain the employee, who's rights are being violated?

      Does anyone really think that making something a "hate crime" makes it happen less??

      Education and not government (or government education) is what changes people.

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    11. sadly, very sadly, yes, government is needed to legislate aganst discrimination and hate crimes. I have a friend who lives in Virginia and runs a diversity training company. He and his co-workers generally have to go in to companies and actually teach people for example, 'you may not like Bob because Bob is black but you can't at work actually tell Bob that or discriminate against him because of it." I was stunned - no way, I said, do people actually need to be told that. Actually, they do. Diversity training is a billion dollar industry in the U.S. precisely because people are going around discriminating. And it isn't jus about race obviously. But how telling is it that it was 2008 before the US elected a black president and even then many folks were calling for his birth certificate?
      Seems lots of religious people (not all,, obviously) just hate government because the govt is letting all kinds of people they don't like have equal rights. Just get rid of the government and (our) religion can take over and educate people and then that'll set things right - I shudder to imagine a religion that finds keeping civil rights from folks because either a) the folks don''t know why but it just feels right to do this b) their religious leaders told them so and everyon in he religion agrees c) heaven is gonna get all messed up if gay peopl marry.

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    12. That might be the reason that some people want no government.

      I support limited government (especially) on a federal level because I believe that adults should make their own choices and be responsible for the natural consequences that follow.

      Government is only supposed to protect our natural rights. Because we canno be productive individuals if we are all trying to protect our lives, liberty, and property all the time :)

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  34. ""I accept homosexuality as a legal option" is a step that many feel will lead... maybe not to the fall of our nation. But, at least, God's protection being removed as we are left the struggle on our own. "
    First, homosexuality is not illegal.
    Second, in countries where gay marriage is legal, the countries have remained standing.
    Third and most vitally, brutal. Love and kindness cannot win if someone believes what i quoted from someone else's comment above.i can't even really believe that that comment just seemed to slip past. You cannot genuinely love someone and in the same breath say essentially but if you and those like you ever marry your same sex partners, God will remove his protection from the nation. It is not possible. That God is a made up God, a God of grossly misinterpreted BIble verses and homophobia. Brutal.

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    1. an ROME fell...... how? lol

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    3. snon 8:51 exactly how and why did Rome fall? What led up to it and what were the exact causes? What are the major theories and what theories have been largely disproven/discredited? How/when were gay marriages performed at that time? What were the causes of other great empires crumbling? A bit further afield but still relevant - what did Jesus have to say about gay marriage? What were his exact issues with it? In Sodom and Gomorrah were they speaking of sexual relationships between two men in a consensual relationship or were they speaking about rape? Where does Jesus talk about gay women? In the Old Testament there is also mention of woman living separately when they are menstruating - how does that happen nowadays? Where can you sell your wife (in North America). What exactly was Paul's thorn in his side? In the oft quoted part of the Bible t weddings about 'your God will be my God, where you go I will go," who is speaking to whom in that passage?, the Bible at times endorses slavery - why has that practice stopped or is now seen as abhorrent? In what context and what are the Greek words that are used to talk about hommosexuxality in the New Testamen - what are their meanings when interpreted into English? If Jesus were walking around earth today, how much time do you think he would spend condeming homosexuals versus how much time would he spend talking to leaders of religions that have millions of dollars and buy shopping malls?
      What exactly did Jesus say to his disciples about homosexuality?
      What parts of the Bible is to be taken literlly and what parts are not and how exactly is that determined? What exactly is the process?

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    4. ROME fell because of corruption and sexual sin including homosexuality.. go look it up. lol..

      To the women who was caught in adultery, Jesus Christ told her she was forgive but sin no more... same analogy... Jesus would love unconditionally but would also not mince words on saying things were wrong.... Sexual things outside marriage is a sin regardless of what type of sex it is.. bottom line...... even the bible talks about fornication (heterosexual and homosexual type) and adultery as second only to denying Christ. So I would think it would be a HUGE deal if its second only to....

      I think Jesus would be walking on the earth preaching repentance like he did back in the bible days. Look at his sermons. It was all about living a better life, staying away from sexual sins, etc etc. Do you read the bible... because if you did you would see that Jesus loved but DID not mince words about living righteously and repenting....

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    5. So what you are saying and what you have researched extensively (not just Wikipedia) is that Rome fell because of homosexuality? Looking forward to seeing your research on this,
      Where exactly in the Bible does it specifically say that 'fornication is second only to denying Christ?" What is the exact Scripture? What is the exact Scripture that says same sex marriage will cause God to remove his protection?
      Jesus rarely talked about sexual sins. One of the few stories about Jesus that mentions any kind of sexual sin is found in chapter 8 in the Gospel of John. Here we find a woman who had committed adultery (forbidden by the 7th commandment), but Jesus was not concerned with her sexual indiscretion. His focus was on the townspeople who wanted to stone her to death. So even in this case of sexual sin (adultery, in this case, that was clearly forbidden by Jewish law), Jesus came to the defense of the “sinner.” When he challenged the mob by saying “whoever was without sin should throw the first stone”, the people went away one by one. Then he told the accused woman that he did not condemn her. Jesus stood up for the persecuted. So when y'all are out there casting your ballots against gay people, Jesus would not be there patting you all on the back for your righteous ways of living. Rather, he'd be sending you away.
      Again, Jesus RARELY referred to sexual sin and was far more concerned with the oppressed and those who sought to oppress them. Just because a certain religion or religions decides to become obsessed with gay sexual sin does not mean that there is proof of that in the Bible, although almost anything can be twisted to meet that agenda. I am well aware of the huge stake Mormons have in the idea that heaven is made up of eternally married straight couples. But that is never dealt with in the bible.
      There are only a handful of passages in the bible that actually deal with same-sex intercourse and none of them deal with it directly. It is always in a larger context of ritual purity, rape, prostitution or pedophilia; in other words, they are presented in situations where someone is being exploited or sexually abused. Same-sex intercourse is never addressed in the context of two mutually-consenting adults.
      Again, it is never addressed.
      You haven't given me any scriptures that support Jesus being against same sex marriage. The one you did mention I talked about 2 paragraphs above - the focus of the woman who committed adultery was on the sin of those who sought to oppress her. You also haven't addressed most of the questions I asked.
      You seem to suggest that you know the Bible far better than I do - I ask you then to provide support for what you are saying and to answer the questions that I asked.
      I'm also interested to know more about your expeience reading both the Old and the New Testaments in their original languages.
      On a side note, I'm not clear what your 'lol's' are for - is it to show your extensive knowledge of the Roman empire? I hope so and hope that you will choose to enlighten me with some of what you know and have researched.
      And obviously you do know because to condemn a whole group of people - gay people - you must really know your stuff or I can only imagine the kind of repentance you will have to go through. As far as I know, Jesus wouldn't be standing in City Creek Center urging people to vote against gay people.

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    6. Antagonizing....i dont really belive you care about "proving" anything. You obviously have your own condescending agenda.

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    8. anon 5:36 - does this mean you aren't going to answer my questions? Call me antagonizing, condescending, whatever you like . . .is it an excuse not to answer the questions about where in the Bible Jesus talks about sexual sin (other than the woman committing adultery that we have already discussed, homosexuality and gay marriage? It is easy to dismiss my questions by labelling me condescending, having an agenda, etc. It is also easy to throw out partial Bible verses, to ask me if I don't know the Bible, etc. It is a whole other thing to actually engage with the vaild questions that I am asking.
      If you can dismiss me, then you don't have to engage with the questions.
      Are you able to answer what I would consider the core question - where in the Bible does Jesus talk about sexual sin (except the woman committing adultery), homosexuality and gay marriage? It has to be specific because the thrust of his whole ministry was yes, being tough on people but it was the people who oppressed others that he was toughest on. It was in no way 'sexually' focussed. So where does that focus come from in the Bible?
      If I'm trying to prove anything, it is to prove that those verses simply do not exist. If they did, I believe you would show me where (while also calling me antagonistic, condescending, etc).

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    9. Tammy, I think you do need to separate them! Though I agree, there are times it would so very nice to just make decisions for some people... Can we start naming these Anonymous people? It might make things easier, and there is a lot in a name.

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    10. OMG marajuana legalization passed in Washington. :( How about that for separation.... sad day!! how are parents suppose to raise our youth when all these adults keep making decisions that affect them too. :(

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    11. We could start by raising our own children and stop looking to government and society to help us with it.....


      It is difficult when your (my) personal beliefs and hopes for the nation don't match the majorities. It is difficult to feel like a lone voice crying out for government sanity.

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    12. Although one could argue that Rome never "fell", but simply "adapted" there are many things that caused the end of the Ancient Roman Empire.

      Their imperialism had reached a breaking point. They were unable to defend their borders properly. Breaking the Empire in half, did not lesson this weakness.

      Christianity arrived and divided the people.

      Ridiculous inflation caused by the Empire trying to provide for the people... instead of the people working and providing for themselves. You know "the bread and circuses" stuff. And inflation generally leads to hoarding (not good for an economy) and looting (also not good for a country.

      Rome was accepting all people into their empire and trying to accommodate all the cultures and lifestyles, which left them less unified.

      Homosexuality was generally only practiced on boys or slaves. If you were the "receiver" it was considered not masculine. This wasn't good in their culture. Many point to the correlation of the timing of homosexuality and the fall as proof that the Romans had become too hedonistic and had incurred the anger of God.

      Until Nero, homosexual activity and marriage were not recognized by the government.

      Christians and Jews were both opposed to the recognition of same-gender-marriage... which caused further discord within Rome.

      It is impossible to point to ONE thing that caused the fall of the empire. But, I see many similarities with finances and moral opinions in our country that rival those of Ancient Rome, at its end.



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  35. You are seeing the issue from your point of view. Which is what we all do.

    You believe that God is made up. You believe that one cannot love someone unless they support all their choices and actions.

    I was only trying to point out what the opposing side believes. It isn't the same as your thoughts. But their beliefs are as dear to their hearts as yours are to you.

    I have stated repeatedly that I am not sure what I think. If someone mentioned the other side, I would use all the same points that Tammy and others have made. I think it is important to know what motivates an individual. I find that it is not often hate.

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  36. I don't think God is made up at all. I didn't say that and I don't believe that. I did say that the God that would take his protection away because of same sex marriage is a made up God.
    Not supporting someone's choices and actions is a far cry from saying that because of their actions, God will take his protection away. I am not saying that you personally believe this - what you did say is that this is what many on here believe. I am pointing out that saying that a group of people's gay marriages is going to result in God's protection being removed (and yes I am repeating this because I feel the need to be super clear which I'm not always so good at) is a hateful thing to believe. The people believing it may be the most loving, kindest people but this belief is hateful.
    Imagine this - if Mormons marry, God will take his protection away or if Jews marry, God will take his protection away. That would be hateful, no one would question that. Even if my intentions were pure and I loved all people it would still be hate. My intentios become irrelevant.My point of view becomes irrelevant. It was not long ago people declared from the pulpit that if a black person and a white person marry, God will remove his hand of protection. "yees, but those beliefs were dear to their hearts'' was not, is not and will not ever be an excuse.

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  37. Hey - somebody, anybody! :) is there a way to be notified when someone replies to one of your comments or to find out if there's new comments on an ongoing conversation? I just keep running through the whole 100+ comments to see what's "still" being said, and I happened to run across a new reply to something I said over a day ago - I would have missed it if I didn't keep scrolling through again & again..... Man, I'm feeling a little obsessive to keep searching for new info but I am really interested in the conversations taking place and don't want to miss anything. BTW - I hardly got anything done today.....don't any of you people have laundry? lol (wink) :D

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    2. Thx Tammy - I'm gonna try that. Setting up a profile,I mean - not becomming a nerd for a living. ;)

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  38. Mormons are stuck with loving their defective members that are LGBT. They don't know how to deal with them, so they do things like sponsor bills in California that say that marriage is between a man and a women, then they support civil rights for gays, but say they are sinners if they engage in sexual activities with one another. What is a gay mormon to do but go to Josh Weed therapy?

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  39. I am actually crying with happiness and relief - Obama wins!

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    1. I am crying for the opposite reason.

      I was never a huge Romney fan (and didn't actually vote for him), but this time around the economy was really the only issue that matters. Our country is headed for an economic collapse (not started by Obama, but clearly continued by him).

      It won't matter if you can get a legal abortion or if you can legally marry anyone of your choosing..... if the economy collapses, there is no government really.

      I think that Romney's successful experience with matters of budget and finance had the best chance (out of the two of them) of correcting the course enough that we might still have a country where we could discuss and settle matters of a social nature.

      I truly hope that I am wrong. I hope that the country can come together. We are clearly divided nearly in half. I hope that we can work on the deficit. I hope that Obama and Congress can finally create something that resembles a budget. I really do hope that he is successful in those areas. I'm hopeful, but not optimistic about it.

      (and for any racist comments that follow.... it has NOTHING to do with the color of his skin)

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  40. marriage equality victory declared in Maine!

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  41. mainers are idiotsNovember 6, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    Josh,.... please get these lame anonymous posts off here.

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  42. Hey I meant no harm - just thrilled that Obama won and tha equal rights have come to Maine!

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  43. Mainers... some (me included) of the anonymous posters don't know how to make up a whole new self just for this sight. I remain anonymous because I have posted things about my son and I want to respect his privacy. Others may have different reasons.

    Not all the anonymous posts are "lame"

    I do try (and sometimes forget) to add a "name" to my posts.

    Neurotic One

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    1. Neurotic one, you can show up titled as something other than anonymous by clicking the box just above the publish/preview buttons of reply as and click name/url and then type in a name (you don't need to fill in the URL). I can understand wanting to maintain anonymity. THat's why I do that. To have it be anonymous while still taking accountability for what I write

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    2. Neurotic One, at least you try to sign a name, it does help, and no, not all anonymous posts are "lame" but it can get a bit frustrating when trying to address someone who has no name. I am serious about naming some of them, with fun names like Archibald and Valdir... if only to alleviate my own confusion. Thank you for making the effort to be someone identifiable, if anonymous.

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    3. Thanks, Tasha!! I'll try it. I did think that you had to fill in the URL (which I don't have....)

      N.O.

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  44. I'm still hoping that someone can point out the verses in the Bible where Jesus condemns homosexuality and gay marriage and where he talks about sex outside of marriage as the number 2 sin next to denying him. It has to be in there because some on here have been using it to explain the whole being anit gay rights thing - I just can't find it.

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    1. I wasn't the person who you were asking, but I had a couple of thoughts :)

      First, I am pretty sure that murder comes before sexual transgression, according to the Book of Mormon.

      And I think there are VERY few verses in the Bible where anyone condemns homosexuality. But, there are many verses about marriage according the the Biblical view point.

      Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

      Proverbs 18 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.

      Matthew 19:4-6 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh' ? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
      ..... also included similarly phrased in the other gospels

      Ephesians 5:22-23 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

      So, when people are studying the Bible, it is very easy to add the above verses to the few that condemn homosexual activity and decide that God is not supportive of homosexual activity.


      Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination

      Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them

      Romans 1:24-27 For this cause God gave them up into vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet
      ... the term "vile" is used here. It is easy to see word meaning dirty or disgusting.

      The Sodom and Gomorrah story leaves me a little confused. It seems as though the verses are suggesting that allowing someone to rape your virgin daughters is BETTER than sending in men to know other men. Seems a little "off" to me.


      Of course, people who don't believe the Bible will not care about these verses. And many Christians, are happy to focus on other messages and leave these verses with the "how to treat your slaves" verses. Or the "milk and beef" verses.

      I believe it can be very difficult for an individual to reconcile their belief in the Bible AND their own desires to be gentle and loving to their fellow beings.

      I don't mean to take over, but I noticed that several people had asked for specific Bible verses. I googled for about 10 minutes and came up with these.

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  45. a bit back someone was asking about becoming involved in other social justice issues. Here's a fairly gentle start: http://www.change.org/petitions/the-mormon-church-issue-an-official-apology-for-racist-teachings-that-declared-blacks-cursed

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    1. Are you posting that out of a sincere desire to see the LDS church address racism, or are you just snarking at other commenters? Sincere question.

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    2. The petition seems to be trying to use numbers to get a religion to change its own belief system.

      I understand that the "official position" of the church (not necessarily all the members) is that many had been praying for years that God would release the restrictions on black members and that they rejoiced when God finally did authorize it.

      To apologize, would mean that the church would have to state that they do not believe that the prophet received revelation on the matter.

      I don't see that happening. But, perhaps, a "We are sorry if people are hurt or offended" type of thing.

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  46. For some reason I can't hit reply but this is my reply to the petition. Per what Neurotic One says, that does put the church between a rock and a hard place indeed. Other Christian denominations have officially apologized apparently. But if a church believes that the prophets are infallible then it would be impossible to apologize and would place it in a different position to other Christian denominations. That makes sense as to why the Mormon Church will never officially apologize for its very recent racist past.
    I wonder if that can be gotten around somehow - could it be revealed perhaps that in fact it wasn't revelation?

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    1. Just wanted to add that it is not only the prophet who received this revelation. The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve were all studying and pondering and praying and came to a 100% vote for the change.

      So... we aren't really talking about the infalliblity of a single man.

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  47. my reply button still isn't working! Thank you, Neurotic One, for the verses. Which of those verses do you know are from Jesus himself?
    And so true - people seem to be happy to ignore the slavery verses (now) and the food rules and the stoning, etc but the gay ones, those stick. Why is that I wonder.
    What I also find extremely interesting is that Jesus himself never married.

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