Prop 8, Hate Speech, and Plural Marriage

Eight years ago, 61 percent of California voters passed Proposition 22, the “California Defense of Marriage Act.” The proposition read very simply: “Only marriage between a man and woman is valid or recognized in California.” No doubt many Californians thought that because the people had spoken, the issue was over. But this was not to be the case. On May 15, 2008 four members (George, Werdegar, Moreno, and Kennard) of the seven-member California Supreme Court voted to overturn Proposition 22, thus reversing an earlier decision in 2004 that put a stop to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s defiant order to issue marriage certificates to nearly 4,000 same-sex couples.

Justice Marvin R. Baxter felt the majority opinion striking down Proposition 22 was a “profound error,” stating that

“nothing in our Constitution, express or implicit, compels the majority’s startling conclusion that the age-old understanding of marriage — an understanding recently confirmed by an initiative law — is no longer valid. California statutes already recognize same-sex unions and grant them all the substantive legal rights this state can bestow.”

Proposition 22’s demise prompted the development of Proposition 8, an initiative that Californians will vote on November 4th. Prop 8 will change California’s Constitution and will again provide that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

On its official website, “The [LDS] Church affirms its neutrality regarding political parties, platforms, and candidates,” yet it is no secret that Mormons have been officially encouraged to “support the proposed constitutional amendment” via a June 20, 2008 letter from the First Presidency. It appears that if this measure passes, Mormons are already poised to take the credit. An LDS instruction sheet posted on wikileaks.com stated,

“Elders Ballard, Christopherson & Clayton met last week with leaders of the Coalition for 2 hours. The brethren emphasized that there wasn’t much participation from non-LDS people. The work depends on us.”

No doubt several other religious groups will take issue with that conclusion. An Associated Press article stated that

“evangelical Christian groups such as Focus on the Family and Family Research Council, the leaders of Roman Catholic, Mormon, Southern Baptist, Orthodox Jewish and Seventh-Day Adventist congregations have endorsed the measure and urged the faithful to give. The Knights of Columbus have given nearly $1.3 million, making the Catholic fraternal organization the largest single contributor to Yes on 8” (Lisa Leff, “Calif. religious leaders push for gay marriage ban”).

While I personally support the right of the LDS Church as an institution to express its convictions and encourage its members to do the same, I couldn’t help but shake my head when I read this sentence on its web site:

“However, speaking out against practices with which the Church disagrees on moral grounds – including same-sex marriage – does not constitute abuse or the frequently misused term ‘hate speech.’”

Did you catch the hypocrisy? We at MRM have often defended our outspoken disagreement of Mormonism on the same grounds, yet the LDS Church and many of its members often resort to accusations of “persecution,” “bigotry,” and “hate speech,” when its positions are criticized.

If Proposition 8 passes it will have virtually no affect on same-sex couples since, as mentioned above, such unions already share the same rights as others. If it fails you can be sure it will open the door to all sorts of social and legal problems. For one, same sex marriage will also give homosexuality the status of “normal,” a message that will be used in the classroom to indoctrinate children, regardless of the moral positions held by the parent (Assurances to the contrary are only meant to appease those who suffer from EGS – Extreme Gullibility Syndrome). This naturally leads to infringements on the freedom of speech. Homosexuality is an ideology and as such, should be open to criticism and scrutiny like every other ideology. No ideology (including political or religious) should ever be exempt from public discussion and debate. However, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see criticism of this lifestyle eventually being categorized as a hate crime.

Finally, if Prop 8 fails, the sexual moral high ground will have been lost, making it very difficult to prevent the legalization of plural marriage. If that is the case, it will be interesting to see how the LDS Church reacts. After all, one of the major reasons the LDS Church excommunicates polygamists is because it violates current American law (Articles of Faith, 12). I can’t recall church leaders ever pointing to the standard works as a source for this type of discipline. Should the barrier of legality be removed, what excuse will the LDS Church have? They can continue to deconstruct the original intent of D&C 132, but the fact is the context refers to plural marriage, not simply marriage for time and eternity.

No doubt many Mormons will argue that section 132 can only be “reactivated” by revelation since they assume it was deactivated by revelation via The Manifesto of 1890. I don’t buy it. I am aware that President Wilford Woodruff later claimed that The Manifesto was a result of revelation, but until the LDS Church produces the exact wording of said revelation, assuming this was anything more than a promise to abide by United States law is nothing more than whistling in the dark. If the manifesto was meant to once and for all prohibit plural marriage, why did Mormons continue to practice it in Canada and Mexico with the blessing of church leadership? The defeat of Prop 8 could lead to all sorts of embarrassment for the LDS Church. Perhaps this too is a major reason why it is fighting so hard to see Prop 8 succeed.

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34 Responses to Prop 8, Hate Speech, and Plural Marriage

  1. Goldarn says:

    Apparently I’m not a rocket scientist, because I can’t see any likelihood of criticism of the gay lifestyle ever being categorized as a “hate crime.” I can’t conceive of a way it could happen under our current legal system.

    Hate crimes are when the perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her membership in a certain group. Criticism isn’t a crime; therefore, it can’t be a hate crime.

    Before you accuse other people of having EGS, perhaps you should looking into your own mistaken ideas.

  2. Goldarn says:

    It’s been brought to my attention that the US Supreme Court has already ruled, unanimously, that simple speech cannot be considered a hate crime.

  3. Goldarn, I think Bill would agree that current law precludes hate speech being considered a hate crime. But given how other countries have already criminalized open preaching against practicing homosexuality, and given the direction our own country seems to be going, it doesn’t seem like a stretch to predict where we are going…

  4. falcon says:

    We don’t have to travel far to see what is happening in Canada regarding “hate” speech. I’ve been aware of charges that were brought against columnist, humorist Mark Steyn about comments he made regarding some issue with Islam. Some government committee was investigating him. They finally dropped the investigation, I’m guessing because of the publicity.
    As to whether or not the Salt Lake City branch of LDS would seek to have plural marrage legalized, I doubt it. I don’t think that the modern LDS woman would put up with it. I do think that the FLDS might seek to legalize plural marrage. And I also guess some hardcore believers within the Salt Lake City LDS would start practicing it. The question is, would the church excommunicate them or turn a blind eye to their personal choice. I could see a man getting a personal revelation that he was suppose to take on more women as his ticket to the Celestial kingdom and god status. It might not be as dramatic as Joseph Smith and his death angel vision but none the less why wouldn’t it be as valid?

  5. faithoffathers says:

    These critics truly amaze me. The church mobilized its members in a very organized manner and raised a lot of money to help get Prop 22 passed. I was one of those people who went door to door, gave out signs, bumper stickers, etc. Both my wife and I endured many rude comments made by our neighbors as well as vandalism to our home in a very liberal university town in California. We did all this, with many others from our church and others because we believe in traditional marriage. I was so happy the church took the stand it did.

    What amazes me is the insistence of these critics to find fault with the church over absolutely anything. The article somehow finds a way to scorn the church for standing up for marriage between a man and a woman. What’s next- attacks because we are against abortion? Which side do these supposed religious people stand on?

    I venture to say that such critics could not, or are not willing to name one thing of substance that the church does right. I have been in the church for 38 years and have known thousands of members doing wonderful things with their lives- serving humbly in their communities and standing up for what is right. They fill their space in the world with love and compassion. They are far from perfect, but I enormously respect the goodness of their lives and those of their leaders.

    This refusal to see any good provides a view through the window into the souls of the critics. I used to get upset when I saw evangelicals portrayed negatively in movies or television- the stereotypical judgmental, self-righteous, pious, and condescending religious nut. I have always felt these were unfair and uneducated portrayals. But after reading far too many articles like this one, I admit that I struggle to resist empathizing with those biased gentiles in Hollywood.

  6. Bill McKeever says:

    FofF,
    I think you need to go back read my post more carefully. I am not at all criticizing Mormons regarding their efforts to see Prop 8 passed. I defend their right to do so and agree that this measure needs to become law. One of my concerns has to do with how quick Mormons are to defend themselves against the charge of hate speech, while failing to see how quick they make such accusations when people disagree with them. I don’t for a minute think that Mormons are engaged in hating homosexuals for wanting to see Prop 8 passed. I do however, think the LDS Church has a lot more at stake in this battle than most, and I tried to make that point clear as well.

  7. Arthur Sido says:

    FoF, Bill is right. The point is not a critique of the mormon church opposing homosexual marriage. The issue is the double standard of mormons. When they are pushing something, it is advocacy and they rail against charges of hate speech. When mormons go door to door telling people that the church down the street is an apostate church and what they teach is an abomination, they are just sharing a message about Jesus, but when someone explains the Biblical Gospel to a mormon, they are engaging in hate speech and are labelled @nti-mormons. One can scarce imagine the outrage here if mormons were tagged with the nickname “@nti-Christians”

    There are a lot of things the mormon church “does right”. Their care for the needy is great, we benefitted from that during a tough economic time in our lives. Family home evening is a great idea, one we should implement in a lot of Christian homes. I wish there was a greater sense of zeal in evangelism among Christians to match the missionary fervor of mormons. They are generally nice people, hard working and vote Republican! None of that however changes that they are also lost without Christ.

    We contend here over love. If we hated mormons, why would we bother? You could end up in hell and why should we care? But because of a love for mormons stemming from a variety of reasons, most of us come here to discuss mormonism and tell you of the wonderful Gospel of Christ.

  8. faithoffathers says:

    Moral equivalence does not exist here friends.

    Arthur- “mormons go door to door telling people that the church down the street is an apostate church and that what they teach is an abomination.” I spent 2 years going door to door and never once said anything negative about another church. I served with twelve companions, and I never heard any of them say such things. I have never criticized another religion in any of my posts here over the last three months. In 38 years, I can count on one hand the number of times I have heard another church criticized in an LDS meeting.

    Yes- I am familiar with what Christ told Joseph in his first vision. That statement is a relatively singular statement among those things studied by LDS. Yet it is used routinely as justification by critics in their committed campaign against the church. The dialogue is extremely “lop-sided.” How many times did President Hinckley or does President Monson rail on another church? Where in the manuals or classes are non-LDS churches criticized? Answer- rarely, if ever. (yes I am familiar with statements from Brigham Young and others, but none of us live in his day).

    Perhaps you see the “dialogue” as an eye for an eye. This is simply not the case- we do not spend time criticizing other churches (or just about any group for that matter). Yet, in almost every evangelical church I have ever been familiar with, there are dedicated meetings and instruction on “the mormons.” You have to admit that a tremendous amount of energy in these churches is spent “fighting” the “mistruths” and “lies” of the mormons.

    And maybe you think the relative “silence” from LDS leaders is weakness or fear because you have them cornered. Trust me- this is not the case.

    Sorry if this seems confrontational. But there has been nothing in the church’s defense of marriage that could reasonably be considered an affront or “hate-speech” to others- at least in my humble opinion.

  9. FoF, have you been doing all you can do to listen to General Conference the past few years so that you can listen to what Holland has had to critically say about non-Mormon beliefs? I recommend brushing up on his past few talks to get my drift.

    Of course we don’t think that Mormonism’s teachings on homosexuality constitute “hate-speech”, that’s the point. Targeted criticism against an ideology and worldview doesn’t necessarily constitute hate-speech.

    I am always a bit puzzled that anyone would try to brag about not criticizing other groups or belief systems. Can you imagine if Elijah had lived differently, and boasted before God, “Oh God, I never criticized the priests of Baal”? Or can you imagine if Paul had lived differently, and boasted before God, “Oh God, I never criticized the Judaizers or Gnostics”? The angels would cringe while Justice Himself responded with, “And you thought it was loving never to issue targeted criticism? Didn’t you read the scripture?”

    Ironically, those who try to boast of not criticizing other groups or systems of belief are inescapably criticizing those who criticize groups or systems of belief. It’s like saying, “Oh, I’m not like those people who criticize other people.” It is, to borrow an analogy from C.S. Lewis, like sawing off the branch you are sitting on.

    I love you FoF, and if you live here in UT (I forget if you do or not), I would be glad to take you out to lunch and be friendly toward you, get to know about you, and be honest and forthright about the spiritual condition I think that you are in given your stated beliefs and allegiances.

  10. faithoffathers says:

    Aaron,

    Thanks for your response.

    As far as Elder Holland’s talks- yes, I have listened to 3 of them multiple times this last week. To equate his comments to those of LDS critics is not really fair- not all criticism is created equal if you will. He (and church discussions on the general topic) uses broad terms and mentions the apostasy and need for the restoration of priesthood, etc. But he does not attack or criticize others. I truly feel there is a huge difference. I can say I disagree with your view of God without dissecting your history, leaders, or sacred beliefs in an effort to belittle.

    I was not intending to brag that I don’t criticize other religions. My point was in response to several claims made here that both sides of the LDS debate are simply doing the same thing- “defending their faith.” My argument is that both sides are NOT doing the same thing. We do not go after other religions. Does that make sense?

    I do respect the religious beliefs of people here and love that they embrace God. So few people do these days. I just feel there is a better way than bickering about doctrine and trying to prove who is right. I am not intimidated at all and actually enjoy debate and discussion. But as I study the life of Christ, I simply find it so juvenile and self-centered compared to what He taught. And I am not a lovey-dovey, all is happy-and-well type guy. I just feel convinced that so much depends on how we treat other people- not just when it is easy, but most importantly, when it is difficult and when we disagree. Do we take license in lifting ourselves above others? Do we feel we can judge others because Christ had power to do so? I believe He taught the opposite. He really only judged those who were self-righteous and used the law and technicalities to separate themselves from others in superiority.

    I do appreciate your thoughts and this discussion.

  11. GRCluff says:

    I fail to see how the strong pro-family position that the LDS Church takes is any different than the pro-life position that many evangelicals take.

    Both postions favor a less selfish approach in order to place emphasis on children. They have the right to life AND the right to postive role models as parents, both men and women bring different and needed elements to the family.

    Once life is granted the second is just as important as the first.

    The Church’s position on polgamy follows the same path, if you examine it closely. When significant numbers of women were not able to form families due to circumstances out of their control, the Lord in His infinite wisdom has created a way for families (and children) to be born.

    For us (Mormons) it is more than just protecting children, and their right to life. We must protect the right for God’s spirit children waiting to be born to experience life as God has intended.

    Each issue can be defined in positive or in negative terms:

    It is pro-life, not anti-abortion.
    It is pro-family, not anti-gay
    It is pro-polgamy, not anti-old maid.

    If you study Elijah carefully you will see;
    It pro-revealed religion, not anti-priests of Baal.

    If you listen to Elder Holland carefully you will hear;
    It is pro-restored gospel, not anti-form-of Godliness-but-deny-the-power-thereof.

    A woman may choose an abortion, but don’t expect the children waiting for life to like it. Who will defend them?

    A man or woman may choose homosexuality, but again, don’t expect their assigned children waiting for life to like it. Who will defend them?

    A woman may be denied a husband, but don’t expect her assigned children to like that either.

    The priest’s of Baal may choose Baal over God, but how does that bless God’s children? Not at all.

    The creeds that have a form of godliness, but deny the power of God may choose the Bible and the wisdom of men over the witness of the Holy Ghost and the power of God, but how does THAT..

  12. Lautensack says:

    GRCluff,
    I agree that positive terms can be used for every issue we find today, and in the past for that matter. Unfortunately the article isn’t even about “gay marriage” it’s about the fact that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints claims that: “speaking out against practices with which the Church disagrees on moral grounds – including same-sex marriage – does not constitute abuse or the frequently misused term ‘hate speech.’” The actual article goes so far as to say: “the idea of tolerance has come to mean something entirely different. Instead of love, it has come to mean condone – acceptance of wrongful behavior as the price of friendship. Jesus taught that we love and care for one another without condoning transgression.” and quotes Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Tolerance is a way of reacting to diversity, not a command to insulate it from examination.” If you seek to have these standards applied to you when your church speaks out against gay marriage, even in the form of Pro-family, then why do you deny Christians the same right, rather you throw the “[filtered profanity or slur]” at the first sign of examination or opposition rather than seeing what Christians doing as Pro-Christian? That is what Bill is writing about in this article, if you not he does support their right to be “pro-family” he just wants you to support our right to be Pro-Christian. The article isn’t about gay marriage, it’s about hypocrisy, seeking one standard to be applied to them when they critique another group but when another group critiques them they reject the very standard they hold for themselves when critiquing others.

    Lautensack

  13. GRCluff says:

    Lautensack wrote:
    he does support their right to be “pro-family” he just wants you to support our right to be Pro-Christian.

    The problem is our (Mormons) difference in perspective and our varying definition of terms.

    You are not being pro-Christian in our view, rather pro-form-of-Godliness-but-deny-the-power-thereof.

    That is almost as bad as the Priests of Baal or pro-abortion. It is not the optimal program that God has intented. It is not good for his children at all.

    Those of us that have accepted JS’s first vision must also accept the answer God gave to his question. He asked, which Chruch is true. The answer God gave was– none of them.

    Why?

    Because the have a form of Godliness but deny the power thereof.

    How do you deny the power of God?

    Simple– you choose to ignore the prompting of the Holy Ghost. Even if you have felt the “burning in the bosom” you dismiss it as irrelevant.

    It is not irrelevant, but is the power of God made manifest in our day. It leads to many more spiritual gifts, quite relevant and important in Christs true church.

    That is quite important for God’s childrent too.

  14. Lautensack says:

    GRCluff,
    I believe you are missing the point, and actually proving it. You want to be seen as and called “Pro-Life”, “Pro-Family”, et cetera rather than “anti-abortion” or “anti-homosexual” because from your point of view while you critique and are against those practices the reason you oppose them is not because you hate the people who participate in them but because you find them to be wrong on moral grounds. The same rights should be given to Christians, I know you don’t think we are Christians, a topic that I’m sure will be discussed again, but this is not the place. Simply because we critique and are against some doctrines of Mormonism it is not because we hate Mormons, rather we find them to have “raised up lofty things against the knowledge of God.” Yet when someone points these things out, or critiques them immediately they are labeled as “[filtered profanity or slur]s,” do you not see the double standard here? What you are essentially saying is “we have a free pass to critique anyone and be called “Pro-whatever” but anyone that critiques our worldview is automatically an “[filtered profanity or slur] participating in “hate-speech” against the church.”

    Lautensack

  15. bws71 says:

    I admit I’m having a hard time understanding the main point of the original post. Is the main point that Mormon’s claim “neutrality regarding political parties, platforms, and candidates” yet have an organized, church level response to Prop 8?

    or is the point that Mormons are claiming to be the most significant supporters of Prop 8 when in fact many other groups have been very active as well and this is offensive to you?

    or is the main point that Mormons defend speaking out against same sex marriage and claim doing so is not ‘hate speech’ but hypocritically would deny other groups who want to speak out against them?

    or is the main point that polygamy was never really taken off the books since you feel it is still authorized and encouraged by DC 132? If the proposition fails then Mormons will have to admit that polygammy is now back on the table for them since it is not illegal anymore?

    or did I miss the main point altogether?

    Thanks for the clarification =) I wanted to comment but I had a hard time finding a place to bite.

  16. GRCluff says:

    Lautensack wrote:
    Simply because we critique and are against some doctrines of Mormonism it is not because we hate Mormons, rather we find them to have “raised up lofty things against the knowledge of God.” Yet when someone points these things out, or critiques them immediately they are labeled as “[filtered profanity or slur]s,” do you not see the double standard here?

    Yeah I see the double standard.

    I can be big enough to protect your right to critique Mormonism, and try to avoid name calling and labeling in return. I don’t really expect everyone to have the same level of maturity.

    I have been reading posts on this site for a while now, and have seen my share of name calling on both sides.

    Those who resort to name calling or who change the subject to one they understand better should just admit that they have lost the argument.

    That doesn’t change any of the basic facts on any of the issues listed in this article.

    Mormons are pro-family not anti-gay. We do not engage in hate speech, but homosexuals still HAVE NO RIGHT to destroy the plan of God. God made that point well when he destroyed the city of Sodom.

    You want Mormons to support your right to be pro-Christian, but to avoid hypocrisy as you ask we will need to take the same approach with Christians.

    That approach would be:

    Mormons are pro-restored gospel not anti-Christian. We do not engage in hate speech, but Christians still HAVE NO RIGHT to destroy the plan of God any more that homosexuals do. The fact that they have been doing that for 18 or 19 centuries makes no difference at all-it just means that you have had more practice.

    Did I get it right yet? No hypocrisy, consistent treatment, no name calling, just focus on the facts.

  17. bws71 says:

    CR – fellow Mormon here.

    So I find your post quite inflammatory. I point this out in case you are unaware of how you are coming across. Sometimes it is hard to see and hear ourselves clearly. Are you accusing the Christian moderators of this site of trying to destroy the plan of God? C’mon man. What type of response do you expect to such a comment? Are you putting them in the same category as homosexuals – both groups are seeking protection to fight against God? I just don’t see the value in this type of exchange even if you believe this to be true. I would politely suggest more tact when communicating with our brothers and sisters. I think your comments are out of harmony the spirit of missionary work.

    I also find debating whether or not someone has a right to destroy the plan of God unproductive. How can someone vie for a right to do the impossible? Neither you nor I nor homosexuals have the POWER to destroy the plan of God. What are we debating here? Even if the whole country legalizes homosexual marriage – has anyone destroyed God’s plan? I don’t believe that is possible.

    I’m new to this group. I’m really looking forward to a topic we can have some intelligent exchanges about.

  18. germit says:

    BWS71: I’m with you, I couldn’t find much of a ‘main point’ to launch off of, maybe my low wattage brain couldn’t find it. It’s hard to have a great thread every time, this one seems a clunker, I hope you stick around for more. Oh, welcome to Mormon Coffee, by the way. GERMIT

  19. Andrea says:

    I think it’s sad that “Elders Ballard, Christopherson & Clayton …emphasized that there wasn’t much participation from non-LDS people” when clearly there is. Just this morning I heard Jay Sekulow speaking about Prop 8. 🙁

    I’m curious Cluff, on what basis do non-LDS have no right to destroy the plan of God? For argument’s sake, I could say that you have no right to interfere with Jesus/God’s plan -BUT since we all have free will, anyone has the “right” to do anything they please. As bws71 succinctly pointed out, no one has the power to thwart God.
    I hope the following statement will shed some more light on the point Lautensack is trying to make. LDS.org says “However, speaking out against practices with which the Church disagrees on moral grounds – including same-sex marriage – does not constitute abuse or the frequently misused term ‘hate speech.'” Let’s use your favorite tactic and change the names, words, etc. “However, speaking out against practices with which the Body of Christ disagrees on moral grounds – including handshakes, secret names, temple rituals – does not constitute abuse or the frequently misused term [email protected]’.” Hope that helps.

  20. Andrea says:

    That’s weird, it changed my link. Oh well, it’s http://www.aclj.org

  21. Daniel 4:34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; 35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth;
    and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”

    Can I get an AAAAA-men?

  22. GRCluff says:

    Andrea asked:
    I’m curious Cluff, on what basis do non-LDS have no right to destroy the plan of God?

    As several have mentioned above, God has never been powerless to defend his plan. His plan will succeed IN SPITE of the world, not because of it.

    Next some will ask, if God plan is succeeding, why do we need the Mormon Church? I could ask the same question in reponse. If his plan is succeeding, why do we need Christian Churches?

    Just 2% of the world is Christian, is God’s plan failing for all the other 98%? Not good odds, I must say.

    Mormons will say no, His plan is accomplished when 3 things happen.
    1. We are tested to see if we follow the dictates of our conscience.
    2. We recieve a physical body.
    3. We learn to walk by faith.

    Christians will say yes– when you die before accepting Christ you are lost.

    Then they:
    1. Compromise the test by saying works are not needed.
    2. Say the body is temporary. Resurrection is spirit only.
    3. Remove true faith from the equation by saying that God no longer speaks through the Holy Ghost. (The burning in the bosom is false direction)

    By teaching these things, they DESTROY the true plan of God.

    bws71 asked:
    So I find your post quite inflammatory. I point this out in case you are unaware of how you are coming across. Sometimes it is hard to see and hear ourselves clearly. Are you accusing the Christian moderators of this site of trying to destroy the plan of God?

    I think I answered your second question above, so let me answer the first.

    The purpose of this site is to critcize the Mormon Church. It embraces a “tough love” approach to shock us out of our cultish trance. No stone uncovered, no truth too harsh for these weak minded sheep. We are decieved by a series of adulterous evil false prophets.

    What might happen if some of us are Mormon by conviction rather than by tradition? It will not hurt me at all when glass house they are in gets a few dings from my stones.

  23. Lautensack says:

    GRCluff,
    When trying to represent the Christian faith, at least try to be honest to the material you are trying to represent. First Christians do believe in the resurrection of the Body, more over the recreation of the entire world. (1 Corinthians 15, Revelation 21-22) This really has never been an issue in the Christian faith. All Christians believe in a physical resurrection of the body. Secondly you continually state that Christians assume God no longer speaks to humanity, or at least not through the Holy Spirit. Again no Christian believes this, not even my dispensational friends. While Mormons and Christians differ on HOW God still speaks we are in agreement that He DOES still speak. Finally your statement that we “compromise the test by saying works are not needed.” The main difference between the Mormon and Christian idea of “works” is who is doing them, and what they are accomplishing. To the Christian even the good “works” they do are not their own rather “Christ in them” (2 Cor 13:5, Col 1:27-29, Gal 2:20-21) working through them, believing that “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) It is God who conforms us to the image of the Son, not us. That’s the fundamental difference, the work is of God, not of man. (Romans 8:30)

    Lautensack

  24. GRCluff says:

    Lautensack:
    Since when does the actual belief mean anything here?

    If this site continues to find so many out-of-context quotes to force feed some belief that is not mine on Mormonism, I should be allowed some latitude to be fair.

    If the Adam God theory is actual Mormon doctrine, and Joseph Smith wore a black suit on a full moon, then I should be allowed to find any quote that I like on Christianity, or from those opposed to Christianity for that matter, as evidence that resurrection of the dead is spirits only.(In Christianity) What is wrong with a little of your own medicine?

    As for works, I can quickly and easily say that anything I do in the name of God, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost is His work and not my own.

    The only thing we can do of ourselves is give ourselves to God by sacrificing our sins. When we offer a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then God can bless us with the Holy Ghost, and we know what to do next. Our works are all in abandoning sin, with his help of course.

    Notice that Christianity constantly stops short of abandoning sin. That is too much to ask.

    This is how it works for Mormons:

    Moroni 8
    25 And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;
    26 And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.

    I find this sequence of events spot on correct. It mirrors my experience.

    You can flowchart the process, if you need an illustration.

  25. Lautensack says:

    GRCluff,
    Do you not see a difference between the words of a prophet, so called, and someone who is not a prophet. I will not go into AdamGod here, nor do I know if it has been brought up recently but Brigham Young’s as a Prophet would be the reason would be why. There is a difference between a Prophet accepted by your sect of Mormonism, and a Christian with some heretical ideas.

    Also it seems clear that you have no interest in understanding what the Historical Christian Faith actually is. You clearly have not read the works of people such as Augustine, Luther, Edwards, Owen, Wesley, Piper, etc. If you believe that the mortification of sin is not something Christians believe in then my friend you surly do not read historical or even modern Christian works.

    You make extravagant claims about Christianity, yet they are based on gross misrepresentations of even the most liberal theology. This is in part what this thread is about. The point of view that anyone who critiques Mormonism in a negative light, by pointing out internal flaws or skeletons of past prophets is obviously malicious and [filtered profanity or slur]. Yet if a Mormon does the same thing they are not being an anti-“what ever group they are critiquing” rather they are being a messenger of the Restored Gospel, so called.

    I submit that most if not all of the Christian posters on this blog are read if not well read when it comes to the Prophets and Apostles of the Mormon Church. They have taken the time to learn about what Mormonism is from those in authority in your Church.

    Have you actually read anything in Historic Christianity by the original authors; or are you simply repeating the latest retort that FARMS has come up with? If you have not I would implore you to read the fore mentioned authors. I’d suggest “Confessions” by St. Augustine, “Mortification of Sin” by John Owen, or “God is the Gospel” by John Piper, all of which can be found online to download (PDF) and view on your computer free of charge.

    Lautensack

  26. germit says:

    CLUFF: maybe our quotes and ‘proof’ seem out of context and unfair, but at least we (most of the time) offer something . Quite often you will just hang a comment in the air, “christians don’t believe in the bodily resurrection….” with NO QUOTE OF ANY KIND. You shred your own credibility. So pull a quote from an unfair source, or out of context, ‘to be fair’, but give us something other than an unfounded judgement. Your comments about early church history, I’ve noted, are almost never given with any kind of citation. I’m not poking you with the proverbial sharp stick, just pointing out what Lautensack and others have already commented upon. Stay feisty, God loves a fighter. GERMIT

  27. reggiewoodsyall says:

    Why does it matter anyways whether or not the world thinks it’s hate speech or not? If it’s truth that is being told, then who cares? WHen Christ, or any prophets of old made bold statements, did everyone jump on the blog and start saying, “Wait a minute! Is he being hypocritical?!” As far as this post is concerned, I think the technicalities of hate speech, anit-whatever, hypocrisy should be set aside, and we should focus on helping the people of our country make a righteous decision.

    What Holland, Ballard, Clayton, etc. said was not hypocritical. What is said on the LDS website you cited is not hypocritical. Why? Because what is being said in regards to Prop 8 is true. Often times, what people say about the mormon/LDS faith is not true and is meant to mislead. Make no mistake about it, the LDS church is not trying to mislead anyone (although my favorites from this website will disagree, aka falcon, rick, germit, sido). THe LDS church is trying to inform everyone of the negative impact of not having this prop passed. When people raise signs at our conference or create anti blogs or provide anti literature, they’re not looking to inform, but rather attack. I truly believe that there are some on this website and in the world that get a bad rap for being anti. SOme truly have other’s best interest in mind. But I’ve met many, and spoken with many, and I can tell you that many have the sole purpose of attacking and defaming the church. If that’s done with mal-intent and with lies and deceit, then I think it’s fair to say it’s hateful/hate speech.

  28. Andrea says:

    Exactly reggie, “when it’s the truth that is being told, then who cares?” Amen! But when Christians try to tell Mormons the truth, we are being “hateful or anti”. That’s where the hypocrisy lies.

    I think it’s great that the church is trying to inform people on the negative impact of allowing gay marriage, but the elders LIED when they “emphasized that there wasn’t much participation from non-LDS people.” I take huge issue with that.

    Well it’s been a while since I’ve had 3 posts in one day, so I’ll catch you all tomorrow.

  29. Lautensack says:

    Reggie, it seems you are making the same mistake as GRCluff, though in less grandeur. You are not allowing the same standard to be applied to those who critique you that you are applying to yourself and your church. That standard is: ‘What we say is true therefore it is not hate speech, even if it seeks to destroy anothers worldview or way of life.’ Proposal 8 does just that, it seeks to destroy a homosexual’s “right” to get married. I am not going to debate if such a stance is right or wrong, or if government can impose/enforce such legislation, I will simply state that this is a line in the sand that the Mormon Church has drawn and taken a stance upon.
    Now you do not consider this hate speech, or you do not care if it is labeled as such. That is fine, frankly I also do not consider this hate speech. The difference is when someone else critiques your worldview or way of life in a way that points out the flaws of your Church, past and/or present, it is immediately labeled as an “[filtered profanity or slur]” hate speech even if what they convey is the truth. This would be the equivalent of Christians labeling you an “anti-Christian” when you state that Christianity is based upon Paganism without citing your sources. We are simply seeking consistency in the standards of thought, if it is hate speech for us to point out flaws in your religion then too it must be considered hate speech for you to attempt to do the same.

    GB,
    Unfortunately “Radical Homosexuals” don’t like evangelicals either, because we call their lifestyle sinful. I highly doubt that such people would support MRM, or that MRM would accept such support since the intentions are malicious rather than benevolent. Believe it or not, the entire reason for this site is because Christians see Mormonism as a false religion where people are trapped and working very hard to no avail. I pray that you might at least see that.

    Lautensack

  30. GB, I just deleted your last comment. Tone it down.

  31. GRCluff says:

    Lautensack:

    I love to put things in reverse, just to see if I can find a double standard. Let me rephrase your comments in reverse to see if they work.

    Also it seems clear that you have no interest in understanding what Mormonism actually is. You clearly have not read the works of people such as Joseph Smith, Bruce R. McConkie, James E. Talmage, Hugh Nibley, etc. If you believe that the Adam God theory is something that Mormons believe in then my friend you surly do not read historical or even modern Mormon works.

    You make extravagant claims about Mormonism, yet they are based on gross misrepresentations of even the most liberal theology. This is in part what this thread is about. The point of view that anyone who critiques in a negative light, by pointing out internal flaws or skeletons of past heresies is obviously malicious and [filtered profanity or slur]. Yet if a Christian does the same thing they are not being an anti-”what ever group they are critiquing” rather they are being a messenger of their Jesus.

    Your comment seems to work fine. What does that mean? I got it. I know you are but what am I?
    Na Nana Boo Boo. My God is better than YOUR God.

  32. Lautensack says:

    GRCluff,
    If my cited sources are Joseph Smith Jr., as Quoted by Joseph Fielding Smith in “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith” Bruce R. McConkie cited via “Mormon Doctrine”, Brigham Young cited via “Journal of Discourses”, James E. Talmage cited “Jesus the Christ” Hugh Nibley cited “An Approach to the Book of Mormon” then yes I have clearly never read Mormon early or modern authors.

    The difference between Christians on this site and yourself is that we cite our sources, usually prominent figures in the LDS Church such as Apostles or Prophets, though at times a Seventy or BYU scholar.

    Furthermore I am not sure why you are submitting that I think that modern mainstream Mormons believe in the Adam God Doctrine. You’re the one that brought that up as though you were appealing to try to play the victim. However while we are on the subject is it your position that Adam God was never taught?

    Also I do not call Mormon’s proselytizing or forming a defense for their religion hate speech; I don’t have a persecution complex. As for my “extravagant claims about Mormonism” please refer me to one. If you do this then I can refer you to my source, probably a work by an Apostle or Prophet of your Church, then meaningful dialogue can actually take place. Keep in mind it was you who brought up Adam God, not Bill or myself, and then you assumed I thought modern mainstream Mormons still believed that, something I have never stated.

    Finally if you have read Christian sources please in the future cite the sources of your claims. This is simply courteous as well as good scholarship.

    Lautensack

  33. GRCluff says:

    Lautensack:

    OK, fine. You certainly have earned my respect in that you seem to have an infinite amount of patience.

    I may play around a bit, but I continue to learn about my beliefs and yours and I continue to find the dialog engaging and valuable.

    I find some of the articles posted a bit extravagant, since you chose that word and asked about it. Extravagant because they seem far fetched, and that from a person who has studied Joseph Smith’s life, and read family journals from as early as 1831. That is when my ancestors first joined.

    While my family journals confirm some of the basic stuff, like JS practiced polgamy, for example, the attempt to tie him to the occult is laughable. If you try to put that article into the context of the rest of his life, it really doesn’t fit. It fits more clearly into a smear campaign of some type.

    On the topic of this thread, I find another smear tactic. I think I mentioned this briefly above, but our current pro-family position is not at all inconsistant with the concept of plural marriage.

    Both concepts PROTECT the right of unborn spirits to be born into a family setting that is optimal for their success in life. Granted, polgamy is the less favorable setting, but at least God’s plan can progress. Homosexuality stops it cold.

    To suggest that the two positions are in confict exposes a failure to grasp what really went on, or at least what was behind the belief structure.

  34. GB says:

    “The brethren emphasized that there wasn’t much participation from non-LDS people.”

    Apparently they are correct.

    Check it out!

    http://townhall.com/columnists/JanetMLaRue/2008/10/20/california_clergy_missing_in_action_on_prop_8

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