"To resolve the intensifying conflict, religious leaders must have inspired
courage to lead the way — “the right way” — contending
for religious rights while accommodating LGBT rights. To abdicate or for any
others to usurp this responsibility will result in folly for the faithful and
the nation."But what if religious leaders don't lead the
way? Then Mr. Reid says there is no way to get through the conflict.Mr Reid posits his view assuming no major changes to the status quo. Consider
what might have happened to American society had the banking collapse not been
handled. We might have a very different economic order now, with new ways or
resolving conflict.I don't accept Mr Reid's views
regarding resolution of conflicts over LGBT in the current order, and I
especially reject them over the long term as much is likely to change in the
social and economics landscape.
This piece seems internally inconsistent. How does a religion adhere to
traditional standards of doctrine and morality while accommodating LGBT rights?
If religions are unwilling to accommodate same sex marriage (which requires
state action, not mere religious acceptance) I can't see that accommodation
can be reached. Is Senator Reid advocating a compromise by which religions
accept same sex marriage in exchange for recognition of the rights of religious
people to withhold services? If not, what is he suggesting?
Reid's piece is meaningless word salad, devoid of specifics, and boils down
to a bland, "religion has to try harder."What is fascinating
here is how quickly the advocates of continued discrimination against gay
Americans has abandoned any claim to reason and evidence in making their
arguments, and now have only a vague appeal to "religious liberty" to
offer. It was only a couple of years ago that the folks opposing marriage
equality were claiming that their arguments _weren't_ religiously-based.
I wouldn't think it necessary to keep having to say this, but
appearantly it is: America is not a theocracy. Our laws are supposed to be made
and enforced on the basis of testable evidence and reasoning that can withstand
scrutiny in court. Prop 8, Amendment 3, DOMA, and similar laws are all
evaporating under the sunlight of legal scrutiny. There is simply no legally
valid defense for them.Your personal convictions, however previously
privileged, yet absent objective evidence and legal rigor, are not a basis for
Which "side" is right? Is there truth to either side? If one side is
correct, is the other side wrong? Those basic thoughts must be debated until no
further debate is needed.God told us that marriage is between a man
and a woman. God told us that ANY sex outside of marriage is wrong. God told
us to multiply and replenish the earth. There, we have one side of the
argument.Some people tell us that sex, in any form, at any time with
anyone is acceptable. Some people tell us that if less than 50% of
"marriages" are same-sex, that no harm will come to society because the
"traditional marriages" will permit the continuation of the species.
Some people tell us that there are no absolutes; that there is no God; that we
are to eat, drink and make merry for tomorrow we die; that there is nothing
beyond life.Clearly the sides are divided. Clearly
"prophets" who speak with the authority to speak given to them from God
to be His spokesmen would tell us what is best for humanity. Religion protects us from ourselves.
Reid is assuming some unity in Christian attitudes about homosexuality. Nothing
could be further from the truth. Dozens of Christian sects do not condemn
homosexuality and welcome gays, with no request to be celibate or repent, into
their congregations. As far as biblical references go, there is one in
Leviticus. One could make a long laundry list of ridiculous prohibitions in it,
Deuteronomy, Exodus and Numbers. There is no reference to it by Jesus in the
Gospels. Paul, who was unmarried during his ministry, and seemed to have some
negative attitudes towards women in that they were not to speak in church and
keep their head covered, made a reference to homosexuality in Romans. Paul also
said that man can serve God better if remaining single. So we have two
references in the entire Bible and that is enough to proclaim that the religion
of Abraham and Christ are in complete agreement on this issue?
I believe what he may be referring to are the rights to housing and employment,
and the rest of the legally recognized rights of all citizens of this country.
They have the right to free speech to espouse their views, and so do I to oppose
their marriage agenda. They have the right to religion, to assemble and
demonstrate for their views, and so do I to oppose them. All without being
labeled a "hater" or being discriminated against in employment or
opinion. They have the right to keep and bear arms, as do I. They have rights
against self-incrimination, speedy trial when accused, and all the rest
enumerated in the Constitution. They have the right to live without fear of
prosecution for crimes that aren't crimes and all the same rights that we
all enjoy. What they do not have, are specific rights just for them and them
alone, rights with only apply when they want them to apply. Such are not
rights, they are an affront to the public order.
Reid's opinion is, as usual, impose religious standards on everyone an if
they don't like it then tough potatoes." It's too bad he
doesn't understand the Constitution and/or is unwilling to follow the
supreme law of the land. Sad.
Jack,I don't see how granting someone the rights of citizenship
but denying them marriage would qualify as an accommodation.
If the purpose of this editorial is to confuse the reader, it has succeeded
beyond measure. I am totally confused as to what Reid is saying. He did a
wondrous job of saying so little with so many words.
The best I can tell, he is saying:1) Our attempt to codify our
religious beliefs into law has failed.2) This is a grave threat to
our religious freedom.With no irony intended.
In this debate the rights of those who were abused should be considered. The
promotion of the gay lifestyle is a direct affront to their experience, and
harms their healing process by opening old wounds. Look at Harvey Milk. They
made a movie out of his life, but didn't really show his many matchups with
those of less than legal age. Some consideration should be given to the victims
in this debate.
As a politician and lawmaker, I have campaigned to advance the public policy
position that religious rights and rights for gays and lesbians cannot coexist.
I contended that if religion is to maintain its freedoms, granting new rights to
members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community must be
prevented. I was wrong!======= Hmm, what the sudden
change of heart?Perhpas he recieved a letter from LDS Church
HeadQuarters.They have supporting Equal Housing/Employment
legislation -- which the City of Salt Lake has approved -- yet, the Utah State
GOP led legliastors have soundly rejected for the past 4 years.
Why don't we just have the Legislature pass a law that we all be unified...
and that we all drive electric cars... and take care of our neighbor?While we're at it... maybe a law like "Thou shalt not steal"...
and "honor your father and your mother"... then we wouldn't have
to worry about that anymore (because we all know everybody obeys laws if
Congress or the Legislature passes them).And a law that we no covet
what our neighbor has (not even his wife, or his donkey, or his house, or his
boat, or his salary)....That should work just fine...
@ Mike RichardsI'm going to avoid the discussion about how laws
can't be based on what your religion says because that's been
discussed ad nauseam on this site. Instead I would like to point out
how completely wrong you are about what your god has said about marriage.
According to your own holy books god has clearly defined marriage as an
institution that should be between man and several women. All the way back with
Abraham, god made sure that his people knew polygamy was his chosen form of
marriage. He also continually shows in the bible that sex outside of marriage is
just fine, so long as it's with one of your concubines or a woman you took
as a slave when destroying another civilization. The Book of Mormon also shows
that if god chooses to he can define marriage as a polygamous and of course you
have the whole early history of the Mormon church as well. It's
the very height of arrogance and ignorance for anyone who believes in the bible
to claim god has ordained marriage as only between a man and a woman.
@rhappahannock: "In this debate the rights of those who were abused should
be considered."In this country if an individual commits a crime
he or she is investigated, charged, tried, and then convicted and punished
appropriately.We do not condemn an entire class or group of people
due to the supposed or real crimes of individuals who may be identified as part
of that group.If Harvey Milk committed crimes that would be
something he did, not something the "Gay community" should be punished
for. We can reframe your idea, to see if it makes sense, by positing
that some blacks committed crimes against white people and: "The promotion
of the [civil rights for African Americans] is a direct affront to their
experience, and harms their healing process by opening old wounds."See? Does not make any sense at all. And, it makes no sense when you say it
about Gay men and Lesbians.
First, the Abrahamic religions play a zero-sum game. Each claims to have the
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. To compromise with any other
group means they are making deals with the enemy. Second, much of
the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is defining what the group is against
and what is not allowed. Those rules spell out the actions that the special
chosen people will and will not do. Again, compromise means making deals with
the enemy.Third, the growth of those groups is related to their
message of superiority - "we are a peculiar people" where peculiar
always carries a connotation of special or superior. everyone wants to be part
of the special and exclusive group, be it the cliche at school or the country
club that only admits certain people or the church that has the Truth. Again,
compromise means making deals with the enemy. The article is
earnest, but he seems to be saying that giving equal rights to another group
will, again, offend some church people and so it should not be done.
"I don't see how granting someone the rights of citizenship but denying
them marriage would qualify as an accommodation."No one is being
denied the right to marry. Does anyone here have any references to laws that
say that someone who is homosexual cannot marry?
Wraith,I don't support Mike Richards, and LDS Liberal (aka Open
Minded Mormon, LDS Tree Hugger, airnaut, etc) projection of their religion as
the last word on everything on these pages. We don't all accept the same
religion (or the skewed view of religion some people have). But after reading
the Bible, to assume God didn't intend the relationship to be between Adam
and a woman (not a man)... would require some VERY creative logic on what he
intended, and why he presented Eve (a woman, not a man) to be Adam's
companion.Even if you don't believe in God... or the Bible...
it seems even if you dismiss God entirely... even so... it seems NATURE created
male and female (not only humans but in the animal world as well) as the union
that was intended (from their physical attributes) and the only union that could
result in what that union is usually intended to result in.Even from
the purely biological angle... it seems even NATURE intended for it to be a
union of male-and-female (not male-and-male or female-and-female).Monogamy is a different topic.
@2bitsCreative logic to see the bible has gods most important
prophets as having multiple wives? That's called a reading of the bible.
God gave Eve to Adam yet, but he gave a lot more to his later prophets - a LOT
more. My point was simply that the so called "biblical definition" of
marriage is not just one man and one woman. That fact simply can't be
denied.Secondly, yes NATURE ITSELF generally has a male and female
pairing - but not always. There are literally thousands of examples of
homosexual behavior in animals. Yes EVEN NATURE clearly shows that homosexuality
is a normal variation of sexual behavior.So my point still stands.
You can't rely on the bible to say marriage should only be between one man
and one woman because it isn't always between one man and one woman. Also
you can't rely on nature because in nature there is a wide variety of
sexual behavior, including homosexual pairs.
@Tekakaromatagi;To answer your question, Utah's amendment 3
says that a gay can't marry.You're trying to imply that we
can marry someone of the opposite sex, but thats like telling you that you can
practice any relgion you want as long as it's Pastafarian.
Wraith,There may be homosexual BEHAVIOR in animals. But nature does not
reward it with equality. Nature does not bestow it with the natural result of
the other pairing... Biology does not grant same-sex pairings with the ability
to result in reproduction. Am I wrong?So... is NATURE/Biology to be
hated and belittled for being discriminatory???===We can
experience an emotional bond with a person of the same sex (obviously). But
that does not make sexual relations in the two relationships equal
(biologically) OR force God to accept them as "normal".What
society decides is "normal" or "equal".. is a different subject.
If we accept SSM as "normal" for our society... that's one thing.
But that does not force biology or God to accept it as "equal",
"intended", or "normal".Just my opinion of course...
@2bitsYes actually are wrong on a couple of fronts. First why would
it matter if nature rewarded it or not. The fact is that it occurs in nature,
that everything points to homosexuality as a completely normal variation of
sexuality. Since it is completely normal (whether it's rewarded or not
doesn't matter) than why discriminate against two human adults who have
this completely normal variation of sexual identity from joining together?Second there are some preliminary research is starting to show that from
an evolutionary standpoint it is very beneficial to a species. The research
shows that without homosexuality there is too much of a strain placed on food
supplies but with too much there wouldn't be enough offspring. However, if
a small percentage of the population is homosexual it helps create just the
right balance for that species to thrive.So once again it
doesn't matter if they rewarded or not. This is completely normal variation
in many animals including humans and should be treated that way. Also there may
very well have been and continue to be rewards to the population as a whole.
2 bitsCottonwood Heights, UTWhy don't we just have the
Legislature pass a law that we all be unified... and that we all drive electric
cars... and take care of our neighbor?======= and while
they are at it -- Why don't we just have the Legislature pass a laws that
we all be unified... banning coffee, tea, tobacco, alcohol, R-rated movies on
cable TV, non-psychotropic medical hemp oil [which they FINALLY reversed last
session], pouring alcoholic drinks in view, and women not swearing!BTW -- taking care of our neighbor is called Civil Society. It's
how we avoid anarchy, chaos, and blood flowing in our streets.
re: The Wraith,You'll have to take your argument up with God.
He's not ashamed of what he said. In HIS proclamation to the World (not
just to those who believe in Him or to those who are members of His church), He
said: "The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to
their potential for parenthood AS HUSBAND AND WIFE (emphasis mine). We declare
that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the
earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the
sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman,
lawfully wedded as husband and wife."Religious leaders received
that revelation. Religious leaders were instructed to give that proclamation to
the world. God did not waste His time with governments, knowing that they
served themselves and that He (and His doctrine) was not welcome in their
chambers.If you have an issue with marriage and the marriage
preformed by God in the Garden of Eden, then discuss it with your religious
leader. Government will be of no help.
Mike RichardsSouth Jordan, Utah======= Mike -
please, Enough with your Theocracy.
@rhappahannock"In this debate the rights of those who were
abused should be considered."True. Growing up my town had a big
fundamentalist church that was very anti-gay. I was bullied through middle and
high school - much worse when I started coming out as a Junior. In college there
was a group on campus that did a lot of verbal gay bashing and there were some
physical assaults. Things have been said by the religious right that
scares me and makes me feel threatened. I have friends who have been physically
assaulted for the crime of walking down the street while gay. I
agree, the rights of the abused really need to be considered.
2 bits says:"There may be homosexual BEHAVIOR in animals. But
nature does not reward it with equality. Nature does not bestow it with the
natural result of the other pairing... Biology does not grant same-sex pairings
with the ability to result in reproduction. Am I wrong?"Yes, you
are wrong. There are any number of animals who adopt orphans and they could
just as easily have been the SS couple. Additionally, there are a number of
species that do not even need "opposite sexes" to procreate (some fish
& amphibians & insects for example). They could form pair-bonds with
the same gender and still have offspring.@Mike Richards;Actually it wasn't "HIS" proclamation, it was LDS Leader's
proclamation. One very gigantic difference there buddy.
And the difference between this and AlQueda and the Taliban and Sharia Law is,
Re: Ranch,If I've understood your post, you've told us
that God did not check with you before he revealed His will to His living
prophet. It seems that you are incensed that God did not get your permission to
act; therefore, anything that God did, without your permission, could not have
happened. Unfortunately, you may find that He has no need to consult with you
before He speaks through the channels that He established to protect His
children from those who would prey upon them and use their weaknesses for their
personal gratification.God is sovereign. He doesn't need your
permission before establishing His church or directing His prophet to speak to
the world.Governments oppose Him. They want power and glory. Those
involved in activities that harm themselves and others oppose Him. Those who are
self-centered oppose Him. Those who are meek and teachable follow Him.We need religious leaders to offset government and those who oppose the proper
order of society.
@ Mike Richards"God must love the common man. He made so many of
them" Abraham Lincoln" God must love LGBT people. He made so
many of them" :)Mike, you have your beliefs and I'm sure
they give you comfort. But to your and your ilks' atitude we can only say :
"The LORD therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and
see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand." Samuel 24:15I don't think you believe what the Bible says. I think you just
believe in the interpretation "you and your churhc" make of the
scriptures. You and your coreligionist use a couple of verses from
Paul and made it your crusade. Why don't you take the words of Jesus and
make them your crusade? They will give you peace and understanding.Many Christian churches accept SSM. Are they less because they see something
that you don't?Shalom my friend.
Ranch,In biology the purpose for the male-female pairing is for
reproduction. Adoption of children conceived biologically in the natural way
(by same-sex couples) and adopted by same-sex couples in the animal kingdom...
is a grand notion, but it's clearly not what nature intended.Same-sex coupling makes sense in Sociology perspective, but not Biology
perspective. So it depends on what perspective you take... whether it makes
sense or not. The religious perspective also comes in there.Different people have different perspectives on this....
The Lord commands and The Lord revokes! Obviously, if you believe that the
Lord's prophet is at the head of the LDS church, then he can declare
Polygamy as the order or he can revoke it. Old Testament is evidence of that
being the case, which is why some have difficulty with the Old Testament,
Religion in general, and modern revelation! If you believe as I do,
Daniel's kingdom is rolling forth and the clear voice of prophets, and
those understanding by the spirit, are declaring God's word. As the world
can't make sense of God's word, it is left unto itself to find
answers, answers that are debated ad infinitum. Politically, the unified voice
of the electorate is long gone, but those who take God as His/her guide find
unity in obedience to His word and the blessings that flow there from, including
the concept of marriage between a man and a women. Sooner or later, the truth
shows its face, while those who accept it find greater peace and happiness,
regardless of the political landscape! God will prevail! That is all that
@bandersenSaint George, UTThe Lord commands and The Lord revokes!
Obviously, if you believe that the Lord's prophet is at the head of the LDS
church, then he can declare Polygamy as the order or he can revoke it. Old
Testament is evidence of that being the case, which is why some have difficulty
with the Old Testament, Religion in general, and modern revelation! ======= So, hypothetical question -- Do you REALLY believe
that?If the Prophet was to proclaim that policy the has changed, and
SSM would be allowed -- would you be OK with it?Because the LDS
church split 10 different was over the reversal of Polygamy, and I
personally know of dozens who left over Blacks reciving the Priesthood....They rationalized that the prophet had fallen, and caved to public
pressure.I'm fine with change, are you?
To me it is simple, we have to truly care about each other, which is what I was
taught growing up in the Mormon church. Once I love someone, I found that it
never goes away, even when I have been tossed away by friends who do not believe
I am good enough for them! I guess that is why I try! It is hard being gay here
in Utah. The only thing we can do, is try to show others that we care and hope
it goes well! I have been pushed away by many and what can I do? I have to live
my life that is also good for myself!Personally, I am too tired to worry
anymore. I think things will work out because I believe that there are a lot of
wonderful people here, they just need to be taught a few things! I am being
sarcastic! Many of us truly care! Why is it so hard for people? Being gay has
taught me a lot about how important people are! Try being treated like an
abomination and you will see what I mean. Love is what we need.
Open minded Mormon: I have gone through life, I have made it a personal quest
to not only study my own religion and question everything in it, but have taken
the time to study a host of other topics, such politics, economics, history,etc.
My own conclusions are drawn without the aid or coercion of any prepackaged
body of knowledge or any biased person. How could anyone considering themselves
educated do otherwise? However, the world dismisses a whole body of experience
and knowledge based in an area that it can't understand or won't
acknowledge, such as the spirit in man. In my wildest imaginations, the prophet
coming out and telling me that SSM is O.K. is in the same field as telling me it
is O.K. to do baby sacrifice. I guess he could say that, but any common sense
person would have to say, "Not going to happen!" There is nothing about
it, despite my religious convictions, that makes a lot of sense, regardless of
whether I think it immoral or not. Polygamy, blacks not holding the priesthood,
etc.,are not even in the same ball park. SSM strikes are the heart of