Friday, December 05, 2008

"Different Strokes for Different Folks"

I have no dislike for anyone who chooses a lifestyle that is different from the beliefs of this largely Christian society. Just don't push your "different strokes" off on the rest of us like same-sex marriage rights to be the same as heterosexual marriages. I grew up in a pretty conservative community where the pre-dominant religions were Mennonite and the modern Amish (no buggies soon after the auto was introduced) who were later to be known as Apostolic Christians. Our preachers told us that a marriage was between a man and a woman. While I never became a member of either church, I have never doubted that the population on this earth ever grew by by marrying a man and a man, woman and woman or a man or woman marrying anything else but perhaps a biblical figure.

Our neighborhood had a couple of brothers, only sons of a married couple, who never left the family home until death. Some small gossip, enough for me to remember them but not their names, but everybody went about their own business which is the way we ought to act today. They, nor any other male couples or female couples that I have ever known in my entire life has asked to be officially recognized as any type of married couple.

The larger the community, the more gays demand "rights" and the greater the rebellion against the "mo'res" that made this country what it was and hopefully will continue to be.

My belief in marriage of only woman to man or man to woman has never changed or ever faltered. My community tolerated without harassment others beliefs. But there was in our community in the early 1900's a suspicion of "Catholics, blacks and Italians, along with a few others had we known them". Many in our community were of German descent yet they fought for our country against the Germans with just a few CO's. Country meant more to us than ethnic dislike. Education and reason caused these ethnic suspicions to mainly evaporate. But early beliefs, however wrong, do not die immediately. When I was 13, a friend and I visited a Church that supposedly had members who rolled on the floor. We went to see them "roll" but they didn't roll to our disappointment. However, we were greeted and encouraged by the preacher and some members to come back and visit. We sheepishly left after the service. As I "grew up" that experience left a lasting impression on me of the rights of people to worship as they please. With one exception: I will never respect any religion, or person, that preaches hatred of the United States of America. Dislike and mistrust of some leaders, perhaps, but no hatred of this greatest country in the world.

When California put the question of what constituted a legal marriage on the ballot, Proposition 8, I was very pleased to see that a majority of the voters in the state, upheld the belief that a legal marriage is between and man and a woman. I was extremely displeased of the reaction of the gay right crowd toward Mormon Church members and the Mormon Church.

Of the millions of dollars spent by gay rights activists to try to defeat this proposition, one of the most vicious was a pre-election TV commercial: "Hi. We're from the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints," says a same sex marriage supporting actor and playing a Mormon missionary. "We're here to take away your rights", adds his colleague. "Next, these two enter the home of a lesbian couple, pry off their wedding rings and tear up their marriage certificate".

The target of the TV commercial was the Mormon Church who did encourage their members to donate time and personal resources toward support of Proposition 8. "Despite a large number of churches supporting the proposition, such as California's Catholic bishops and a number of evangelical churches, including the megachurch of Rick Warren, gay rights crowd took their anger out on the Mormon Church. They organized protests at temples both in and out of California and accused them of bigotry and hatred, and called for the church to lose it's tax exempt status", said Forbes Magazine.

Forbes Magazine further reported that "First, the millions of dollars that the Mormons donated to support the proposition, were private, individual donations, not donations from the church. Second, there are reasons to oppose same-sex marriage,(they sure are right about that) other than anti-gay bigotry, and gay rights activists discredit themselves by attributing the worst possible motives to those who disagree with them. Third, trying to change the church's tax status is a double edged sword that might be equally used against religious organizations (not to mention non-profits) that endorse liberal causes. What this comes down to is that like minded people exercised their political rights and are being vilified for it."

On November, 2, Newsroom, a Mormon Publication, "The Official Resource for News Media, Opinion Leaders and the Public", released statements urging civility and reaffirming its position. Other respected organs such as the Anti-Defamation League, the Dallas Morning News, The First Amendment Center, The Christian Post, etc., and Michael Barber, Professor of Theology, Scripture and Christian Thought at John Paul the Great Catholic University, John Mark Reynold, Philosophy Professor at Biola University and the Volokh Conspiracy-Dale Carpenter: An Alternative to Anti-Mormon Protests, all raised their voices to support the position of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who asked that "Measured Voices Provide Reason" rather than bashing that the gay-rights are always complaining about, gay bashing.

I'm sure a large majority of both ethnic, secular and religious groups (a majority of black and Hispanic voters in California voted for the proposition) in California and countrywide supported the Mormon position.

Thanks to alertness and the care of common sense people, this proposition passed and I pray, if appealed, it is not reversed by some far left leaning judge. If it goes to the Supreme Court, I hope the court has the same judges it has now.

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