Saturday, November 1, 2008

The most hateful video in the 2008 election, and some alternative discussions of the issues behind Proposition 8

Now people can reasonably disagree on California's Proposition 8.

And people can reasonably question out-of-state religious involvement in issues - not only the involvement of out-of-state LDS Church members in the pro-Proposition 8 movement, but also the involvement of out-of-state members of various religious groups in the civil rights movement in the south in the 1950s and 1960s.

Or people can be unreasonable, film a video, and call it Mormon Home Invasion.

Yes, the Courage Campaign shows two facts in the video, but then interlace it with their own hate. Note the smirking missionaries, and the dialogue:

"Who's going to stop us?"
"Not if we can help it."
"That was too easy."
"Yeah, what should we ban next?"

This video was shared on FriendFeed by Erin Kotecki Vest (@queenofspain), but she asked the question "tell me what you think...too much?"

Others also shared the video. It was shared at On the Fritz without comment, and also at 20/20 Hindsight WITH comment:

Is this some kind of misplaced revenge for the government making their polygamous marriages illegal, so now they want to make other marriages illegal? Why did they have to wait over 100 years to exact that revenge, and do so in a state other than the one where most of them come from?

Ah, the "out of state" thing again. (Never mind the founding of San Bernardino.) If people are really going to get inspired by keeping unsafe elements out of the state of California, then perhaps they may want to borrow a page from this speech, which also denounced outside interference in the state...of Alabama...and was given by George Wallace in 1963, in a spirit that is just as hateful as the anti-Mormon spirit in this video.

Full disclosure: I am a member of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, which (a) has some major theological disagreements with the LDS Church, but (b) also disagrees with the 4-3 California Supreme Court decision earlier this year. I previously shared the LCMS statement on the Supreme Court decision.

The video was one of several produced by the Courage Campaign, who also came up with this winning video, Gender Auditors. Well, if that's the way they want to carry on the discussion, I guess that's their right.

P.S. If you want to see a more reasonable discussion of the issues behind Proposition 8, I suggest that you read the following posts:

Rick Warren and Prop 8 -- He Knows Better, written by Randall Balmer. Excerpt:

Warren has every right to his views on the definition of marriage, which he insists (not without foundation) is mandated in the Bible. Millions of Americans -- a majority, I'm sure -- agree with him. "If you believe what the Bible says about marriage," he declared on his website, "you need to support Proposition 8."...

Warren, a Baptist, knows better. The cornerstones of the Baptist tradition are adult baptism (as opposed to infant baptism) and the principle of liberty of conscience and the separation of church and state. Baptists inherited these ideas from Roger Williams, the founder of the Baptist tradition in America. And, at least until the conservative takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979, Baptists have always been watchmen on that wall of separation and fierce guardians of liberty of conscience.

Prop 8 Tangles Religion, Tech and Politics, written by Louis Gray, an LDS member in California. Excerpt:

I wanted to see if it's possible to take such a volatile topic and have an intelligent discourse, although it's easier to slip into finger-pointing and name-calling. Positive discussions have already taken place a few times on FriendFeed, but most blogging and tweeting has taken one extreme side or another, without those talking trying to find why we have differences of opinion.

Inland Utopia on the Issues: Prop 8, written by Matt Munson, a non-neo-conservative conservative. Excerpt:

Marriage has been defined differently throughout time, the proponents are advocating they want to simply maintain the traditional definition of marriage of one man and one woman. However marriage used to be about dealing with protection and acquisition of property and used to deal with women as property or chattel as what it used to be called. Marriage used to be restricted based on what ethnicity you belonged to. Our state supreme court also said the argument for marriage is for procreation was irrelevant, because you do not need to be able to make children to have a successful marriage....

Marriage is secular and religious. However there is a good number of people who would support equality for all couples, but they take offense that gay and lesbian relationships are brought into the marriage brand. Perhaps a statewide law for civil unions, and add language if the federal defense of marriage act gets repealed then it would be convertible into a full on marriage would be a good idea if 8 fails.

Proposition 8 - It’s Not Exactly Cut and Dry, written by Jesse Stay, an LDS member in Utah. Excerpt:

I had several gay friends in High School, and while I wasn’t very close with them, they were some of the nicest people I knew. Frankly, I wish the world had more people as nice and genuine as many of the gay people I know. I know many of my gay friends would never be able to change even if they wanted to - it’s part of them. It’s something as natural to them as eating is to you and me....

[My religion] teaches me that “all human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” This includes those that are Gay - yes, we believe they have a part in God’s plan as well, and I believe this to be true. Unfortunately, in my religion it cannot include marriage.

News & Views 10/23/2008 Part 3 (Prop 8), a video blog post by Rick Warren. (However, it should be noted that Obama's definition of marriage as stated to Warren does not necessarily imply a legislative agenda.)

Too bad that Courage Campaign can't be as reasonable as the people above.

P.P.S. You may, or may not, also want to check my previous posts on the legal and religious issues surrounding Proposition 8.

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