William James

William James
We must get by on what truth we have today, and be willing to call it error tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Civility Needed In Debate Concerning Gay Marriage

In reaction to purported emails by certain militant gay activists considering violence against Mormons because of their opposition to gay marriage, the comment was sarcastically made:

"Just remember the narrative, folks: It's the Mormons who are being intolerant."

To which I responded:

I find it very interesting that a religious conservative would attack gay civil unions on the ground that the only distinction between them and marriage legally is "in name only." If two heterosexuals shacked up and organized their relationship as a "parntership" with a contract that gave all the same rights as a marriage, and that was only different from marriage in its "name," religious conservatives would scream out "fornication!" The reality is that "marriage" carries with it the connotation of God's sanction, a notion which is inherently religious in nature. For that reason, I believe there is a sound basis for rejecting government-sponsored marriage, be it heterosexual or gay. Since it is religion which is behind the opposition to committed gay relationships, the best solution is for the government to simply get out of the marriage business altogether. Let private religions decide which relationships they will and will not sanction. The government should grant civil unions to all sane, mature, consenting, uncoerced, human adults.

One more thing: the fact that a few militants out there are willing to engage in violence against the LDS church does not transform the church into a tolerant entity. The church is largely intolerant and bigotted when it comes to homosexuals (although the doctrine and some movement among some leaders and members has given room for some tolerance). The church has a legal right under the First Amendment to have whatever doctrines and policies it wishes (so long as those doctrines and policies do not violate any laws or rights of individuals), and the fact that those doctrines and policies are unpopular does not give gay activists or anyone else the right to resort to violence. However, protests against the church are within the rights of the church's opponents under their First Amendment rights, and if the church wishes to persist in a view that gay people are committing grave sins by engaging in homosexual behavior, the church can expect nothing other than protests against the church.

Bottom line: pointing fingers at gay militants doesn't make you justified in fighting the gay agenda.

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