Sunday, October 12, 2008

Feeling Sad

So today was the first time in my life, where I just did not go to Church. All week long I have been bombarded by "Yes on 8" invitations on Facebook, emails, and reminders that my church feels it is okay to deny others the freedom to live their lives according to their desires and beliefs. As Sunday neared, and I remembered that thousands of Latter-day Saints would be fasting today that Prop 8 would pass, I about had an anxiety attack. Part of me really wanted to go. To stand up for what I believe in. To see what would really happen in testimony meeting. And to let people know that some Latter-day Saints are not in favor of Prop 8. Instead, I stayed home. The thought of seeing people that I ordinarily would respect and love, stand up and spread lies about Prop 8, made me want to vomit.

How is it the one thing that used to be the only constant in my life, the only source of peace, has suddenly become the biggest source of anxiety and sadness. I remember writing about one year ago that I was not sure where my life would be one year from then, and I guess I was right.

I have talked with a lot of my LDS friends about my feelings about Prop 8, and this morning I realized why the Yes on 8 people are using lies and fear to spread their message. It's pretty simple really: it's the only way that they are going to win. See once you speak with someone about the facts surrounding the issue, and they realize that the arguments in favor or Prop 8 that they are hearing are BS, most Latter-day Saints are only left with one reason to vote yes on Prop 8. And that is that the Church has asked them to. At which point there is not a whole lot else I can say. But this made me realize something. This is why they have resorted to spreading lies and fear, because you can't win an election in California just because the LDS Church wants people to vote a certain way. Yeah, in Utah the Church can say, "vote this way" on an issue and trust that it will go they way they want, but here in California where we only make up about 2% of the population, that just doesn't work. So instead you ensure that the 2% are going to vote a certain way, and then send them out to spread lies and create panic among their neighbors. Really, it's a genius strategy.

And this is exactly what has happened this past week. In case you did not hear, Prop 8 polls show it now has more supporters than those who oppose the proposition. And why you may ask? Because suddenly this is not a campaign about gays being able to get married, it is about freedom or religion and what the kids will be taught in school. I guess the strategy is to distract the voters by telling them that somehow monogamous gays are going to take away their right to practice their religion. It's genius really when you think about it. Sadly, most people will fall for it.

For those that have not already read it, I recommend reading an article posted by Morris A. Thurston about the inaccuracies in Prop 8 literature. I have shared this with a close friend of mine who is an attorney and knows Thurston personally, and had the following to say about him: "As for Thurston and his article above--my family knows him well, and he's a nice, if not absent-minded, guy. Actual lawyers reading his article are snorting milk through their nose." I guess I feel like I should let you know what an actual attorney thinks about him, but then again, that is just her opinion. If you want to read about her legal stuff (that I don't understand very well, so it could all just be lies) go ahead and read it here.

I guess name-calling is the easy way to not respond to the issues. Seems to work well in politics. She argued that there is no guarantee that religion will not be effected by permitting gay marriage to continue, which come to think of it, either did I. My big issue is the absolute bullshit that passes as fact. My concern is that an organization that is so concerned with truth as the Church is, is encouraging lies and deception to be used to convince people to vote yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. The Church is not the one doing this, it is the Prop 8 folks, but let's be real, they're the same people. The Church did this very well. Instead of getting officially involved in an issue that they are legally allowed to, they would rather have its members do it so that they do not have to take any blame for the way campaign is run, when in reality, they are orchestrating the whole thing. I mean really, setting up a phone bank in Utah so that members there can make calls to Californians?

So I guess, this will probably be the first of about 104 posts I make about Prop 8, but I guess I just needed to get this off my chest. Next time I promise not to be so scatter-brained and random, but I guess right now I am just upset that I feel so attacked by my church. Oh, but on a better note, I talked to my parents about Prop 8, and was VERY surprised to hear from my parents (especially my dad) that they think the way the Church is handling this is awful and that ultimately the Church will end up regretting this, similar to the civil rights fight of the 1950's and 1960's. My dad also was sickened to hear how much money is being wasted on this stupid campaign. It's pretty amazing what good could be done with $25M. But instead it is being squandered on a hateful campaign to not recognize others' families and impose a certain belief on others.

Well that is all, I don't know if anyone reads this, but there will probably be a lot more showing up here in the next few weeks...


The Impossible K said...

Seems to me like the "fear and lies" tactic is a favorite among Conservatives. And yet they claim to be the morally superior party? Ha.
Ok, I apologize if that does offend any Conservatives, but I'm feeling a bit conflicted myself. I agree- the way the church has conducted this isn't the way I would choose to, and I'm sooo glad I don't live in California right now. I went to visit my dad there last month, and I remember feeling sick when I heard the bishop stand up in sacrament and talk about Prop 8.
I'm sorry you're feeling so sad. I dunno if this helps at all, but you're definitely not alone in feeling conflicted.

Marc said...

Couldn't agree more. It is absolutely astounding how people can use the choices and lifestyles people choose to lead to make themselves victims. It's so tragically absurd. Seems really Christlike...

Borealis said...


You didn't ask for suggestions, so perhaps I am out of order. But if you were looking for healing, a first step might be to consider that the Saints you worship with could just be mistaken, rather than hateful liars.

The intersection of civil rights and religion is a large and complicated topic. So is marriage law. Those who supported Prop 8 might be wrong, but do they have to be liars? These are not simple issues and it seems to me there is ample room for honest differences of opinion without having to believe people are flat-out lying.

Unlike the outcome of elections or court cases, how you choose to see your fellow Latter-day Saints is something you do have control over.

Sarah Tava said...

I don't know you and i found your blog by googling temples and prop 8. I just wanted to say as an LDS woman i understand where your coming from. I felt like an outsider in sacrament last week because i have friends that are gay. Then, i saw the ad about the missionary's taking the lesbian couples rings, i was so upset i actually put it on my blog.(Something that i usually won't cross over with.) I can't stand that the church is being put to blame for this, when so many other faiths feel the same way. I just wanted to tell you to continue to pray, it can only help. There's no judgement here, I wish you the best...