Get on “the love train”!

 

I came of age in California in the Sixties

 

A commenter bids me surrender my reservations about same-sex marriage, ignore the well-reasoned arguments I’ve read, openly oppose the leadership of my church, and board “the love train.”

 

I’m reminded of a passage from the ever-quotable C. S. Lewis:

 

St. John’s saying that God is love has long been balanced in my mind against the remark of a modern author (M. Denis de Rougemont) that “love ceases to be a demon only when he ceases to be a god”; which of course can be re-stated in the form “begins to be a demon the moment he begins to be a god.” This balance seems to me an indispensable safeguard. If we ignore it the truth that God is love may slyly come to mean for us the converse, that love is God. (C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves)

 

The idea of a “love train” that I’m obliged to “get on,” is far too reminiscent, to me, of the fraud that was “the summer of love.”  It’s a slogan, not a thought.

 

It changed the world, right?

 

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius
The Age of Aquarius
Aquarius! Aquarius!

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind’s true liberation
Aquarius! Aquarius!

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius
The Age of Aquarius
Aquarius! Aquarius!

Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in

 

“Riding the love train,”  says my commenter, is better “than riding the train of fear, prejudice and misunderstanding.”  Which, I suppose is the train on which hateful dealers in reductive stereotypes such as I are apparently riding.

 

System overload

 

 

Print Friendly

  • Rachel Moore Hamrick

    Hold on a sec… did you just dis The 5th Dimension? NO! Noooooooooooooo. Take it back. Take it baaaaack ;)

    • DanielPeterson

      Oddly, I actually like the song. Sort of.

      • Brock Lesnar

        Me too, Dan. Me too.

        See Dan, we probably have a lot of other similarities. Maybe like Mexican food and Ricky Martin.

        This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

  • Brock Lesnar

    Dan wrote:

    “A commenter bids me surrender my reservations about same-sex marriage, ignore the well-reasoned arguments I’ve read, openly oppose the leadership of my church, and board “the love train.”

    Dan, great post BTW. The point of my “love train” post was to remind you not to ignore the Constitution or the well-reasoned arguments in support of SSM.

    Also, I wanted to assure you that the Savior is in charge. And that you should have a little more faith things will work out.

    I certainly didn’t mean to convey that you should be in open opposition to the leadership. I think one can have a difference of opinion with certain positions of the Church. Indeed, I think you will find many good LDS are in quiet disagreement with the leadership in regards to SSM.

    Great song by the 5th Dimension. It really is time to “join hands and board the love train”. Dan, there will always be a spot for you in my caboose.

    • Gregory Smith

      Of course one CAN disagree with the united voice of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve apostles, and every prophet that has spoken on the matter.

      The more important question is whether one OUGHT to do so.

      And, whether “many good LDS are in quiet disagreement” is really quite beside the point, isn’t it? That’s a textbook example of the argumentum ad populum. There are many good LDS who are in agreement–I trust you don’t regard that an argument against your position, though? And so, why even mention it, save as a rhetorical distraction?

      And it also raises (but does not answer) the question of whether just because a “good LDS” does something makes it a “good thing to do.” [Potential fallacy of equivocation.]

      (Not to mention the question of what a “good LDS” may be, though your formulation rather presumes that disagreeing with prophets makes one still a “good LDS,” which is nicely circular. Perhaps it does, or perhaps it doesn’t. But interestingly those who post about it on Facebook and blogs are not being particularly “quiet” in their disagreement–those who are quiet about it would be unknown, by Dan, you, and everyone else. So how can you claim many quietly disagree, unless they are speaking? This is either mindreading or it undercuts itself by admitting that they are speaking out against their leadership at least privately, to you or others.)

      Irony does indeed abound, but rhetorical legerdemain does more abound.

      • Brock Lesnar

        Hi Greg,
        You wrote:

        “There are many good LDS who are in agreement–I trust you don’t regard that an argument against your position, though? And so, why even mention it, save as a rhetorical distraction?”

        Of course I would view that fact as against my position if I was going to use the opposite in support of my position. It would be inconsistent to do otherwise. However, it’s apparent you don’t understand my position/point.

        Again, Greg, for clarification, my position is merely that gay marriage is here to stay whether you support it or not. And SSM marriage does not diminish marriage, but honors it by mirroring its faithfulness, commitment and love. I think time will bare this out.

        Times change, Greg. What was right in centuries past is wrong today, and what was wrong then is right now. We all see through a glass, darkly. Neither the Constitution, scriptures or the LDS faith is changed in the slightest by SSM.

        And yes, LDS ought not to disagree with their leaders, however we live in the real world and our history is replete with great LDS who disagreed both quietly and vocally about numerous issues with their leaders. The fact is there are many good LDS (and the number grows) who support SSM.

        Not that this has anything to do with my point, but I think you would be hard pressed to find ANY member of the LDS faith who does not have at least one issue they disagree with.
        Greg, there’s still room for you on the “love train”.

        • kiwi57

          Brock Lesnar: “The fact is there are many good LDS (and the number grows) who support SSM.”

          Well no, Brock. That’s not a fact. At best it’s an opinion.

          Oh, I’ve no doubt that there are Mormons (of sorts) who support square circles, dry water, silent music, “same sex marriage” and other oxymorons. Among these might be cultural Mormons, cafeteria Mormons, fringe Mormons, ex-Mormons, soon-to-be-ex-Mormons, or just plain confused Mormons.

          But “good LDS?”

          I think not.

          “Good LDS,” if such there be, believe in the Atonement of Christ, the Plan of Salvation and eternal marriage.

          They also believe in sustaining their leaders.

          None of which leaves very much room for condoning, much less actively promoting, sexual deviancy.

          • Brock Lesnar

            kiwi wrote:
            “Good LDS,” if such there be, believe in the Atonement of Christ, the Plan of Salvation and eternal marriage.”

            I would tend to agree, if you also include being kind, humble and Christlike. Everything else in life is just filler.

            kiwi wrote:
            “None of which leaves very much room for condoning, much less actively promoting, sexual deviancy.”

            I agree we shouldn’t be promoting “sexual deviancy”. I don’t know anyone who is making that case. Also, I’m not sure how that applies or relates to SSM.

            If anything, SSM would actually have the opposite effect of promoting “sexual deviancy”.

            In the end, none of our opinions on SSM really matter. SSM is here to stay. The Savior would expect us to treat our gay brothers and sisters with love, respect and tolerance.

            Time to get on the love train, brother.

          • kiwi57

            Brock Lesnar: “I agree we shouldn’t be promoting ‘sexual deviancy’. I don’t know anyone who is making that case. Also, I’m not sure how that applies or relates to SSM. ”

            Aren’t you? Then I’ll explain it to you.

            It works like this: homosexual acts are sexually deviant. They are wrong at all times and under all circumstances. They cannot be sanctified or justified by anything, including but not limited to any high-camp parody of “marriage.”

            Brock Lesnar: “The Savior would expect us to treat our gay brothers and sisters with love, respect and tolerance.”

            While calling them to repentance.

            And make no mistake: that is exactly what He requires of us.

            You can pitch your tent towards Sodom if you prefer; I’ll pitch mine towards the Temple.

          • Brock Lesnar

            kiwi wrote:

            “You can pitch your tent towards Sodom if you prefer; I’ll pitch mine towards the Temple.”

            Speaking of slogans, I prefer to “pitch my tent” and my family’s tent towards Jesus, tolerance and the Constitution. That’s what is great about our country, people are free to “pitch a tent” whenever they want. :)

            My whole point is it’s a very slippery slope once the government steps in and tries to exclude a group. The Church knows all to well the dangers of this type of government intervention.

            Our government, Constitution and society work best when they work to not exclude certain groups. History bares this out.

            I’m glad I belong to the LDS Church, where the “tent” is big enough to include different political, cultural and historical views.Our Church, Constitution, government and religious freedom are all stronger because of SSM. I say Amen to raising the “tent of tolerance”.

          • brotheroflogan

            Brock, I cannot criticize you for taking a stance for what you believe in. But I can point out some things that seem incongruent between your philosophy and LDS doctrine. First, I think that you are not saying that we should merely “get out of the way” of gay marriage. It seems like you believe it is a very good thing. Second, when you say that what is wrong centuries ago is right now, seems like moral relativism and a lack of trust in God, scripture and the general authorities. Third, I wonder if you see any sin in gay sex. I wonder if you have conluded that gays have been victimized, therefore gay sex is no sin, which seems like a non sequitur to me.

          • Brock Lesnar

            Hi brotheroflogan, it’s good to hear from you.

            You wrote:
            “First, I think that you are not saying that we should merely “get out of the way” of gay marriage. It seems like you believe it is a very good thing.”

            I think SSM is good in the sense that it expands religious freedom, strengthens the Constitution and it’s good for the Church (as previously explained).

            As far as the morality of homosexual behavior, I certainly don’t approve, but will reserve all judgment on this issue for the Savior.

            You wrote:
            “Second, when you say that what is wrong centuries ago is right now, seems like moral relativism and a lack of trust in God, scripture and the general authorities.”

            Good question. Slavery was wrong, denying blacks the priesthood was wrong. I also think several ways in which polygamy was practiced by our Church was wrong. I would like to think I’m not a moral relativist, and would hope I would always feel it’s always wrong to exclude freedoms we enjoy to any of God’s children. I certainly never lack trust in God or the Savior, I do however find myself not trusting in the arm of flesh from time to time.

            You wrote:
            “Third, I wonder if you see any sin in gay sex. I wonder if you have conluded that gays have been victimized, therefore gay sex is no sin, which seems like a non sequitur to me.”

            I think homosexual behavior is a sin, but I think judging gay people would be looked down upon harshly by the Savior. I reserve total judgment on this matter to the Savior.

          • brotheroflogan

            Thanks for the clarification. I understand your position much better now.

          • Gregory Smith

            “Of course I would view that fact as against my position if I was going
            to use the opposite in support of my position. It would be inconsistent
            to do otherwise”

            Right…so since the claim supports both sides of the argument equally, why raise it except as a rhetorical distraction?

            “Again, Greg, for clarification, my position is merely that gay marriage
            is here to stay whether you support it or not. And SSM marriage does not
            diminish marriage, but honors it by mirroring its faithfulness,
            commitment and love. I think time will bare this out.”

            While we are all entitled to our opinions, I think Dan’s point was that we have already heard lots of opinions about what “time will b[e]ar…out” that have been tragically wrong, especially when it comes to normalizing sexual behavior and the way in which marriages are conceptualized and handled by a broader society. Two examples include the sexual revolution of the 1960s to which he alluded, and the no-fault divorce movement which assured us it would be better for women and children. Such changes cannot be easily undone once their damage becomes apparent, especially when their consequences disproportionately affect the lower classes.

            It is not clear to me why an LDS person ought to take your opinion about how things will play out over that of the united voice of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve.

            If gay marriage is here to stay whether I support it or not (a sentiment with which I agree, incidentally–I live in Canada, so the current America squabble about it impacts me relatively little) it would seem to make little difference to anyone whether I support it or not.

            Yet, there seems to be a lot of rhetorical energy and logical fallacy expended on trying to pressure, guilt, or shame me into supporting something that you claim my support or lack thereof won’t change. I find this curious, especially when “tolerance” is the watchword, and we’re assured religious believers won’t be disadvantaged.

            (But as Steven D Smith put it in _The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse_, all appeals to things like “freedom” or “equality” ultimately serve simply to smuggle in metaphysical convictions under other guises. Their use is essentially meaningless, because they can and are used to serve whatever purpose an advocate wishes.)

            “Times change, Greg. What was right in centuries past is wrong today, and what was wrong then is right now.”

            Times do indeed change. But change is not necessarily evidence of moral progress. Things can get better or worse. So “things change” is either banally true, or pointless.

            (Abortion is here to stay, I suspect, too. But that’s not a cogent argument for capitulation on one’s views about the evil of abortion.)

            “I think SSM is good in the sense that it expands religious freedom.”

            Many legal scholars do not agree, including many who endorse and have worked for same-sex marriage. Marc Stern, for example, an expert on church-state law and with the American Jewish Congress since 1977 noted: “I am not optimistic that, under current law, much can be done to
            ameliorate the impact [of same sex marriage] on religious dissenters. If
            there is to be space for opponents of same-sex marriage, it will have
            to be created at the same time as same-sex marriage is recognized, and,
            probably, as part of a legislative package.”

            Given the current US approach (mirroring the Canadian) is the winner-take-all blunt instrument of judicial fiat, I don’t see much hope of these substantive issues being addressed.

            A sober, non-polemical account (featuring, as I said, authors who support same-sex marriage and have worked for its implementation, while remaining unconvinced that religious liberty will be unaffected unless specific steps are taken) can be found in:

            Same Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty: Emerging Conflicts,
            edited by Douglas Laycock, Anthony R. Picarello, Jr., and Robin Fretwell
            Wilson (New York: The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and Rowman
            & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2008)

          • Brock Lesnar

            Hi Greg, you have many good points.

            Greg wrote:
            “Right…so since the claim supports both sides of the argument equally, why raise it except as a rhetorical distraction?”

            I could ask the exact same of you. For the record, I don’t think the claim supports both sides equally. The majority of Americans support it, the Constitution supports it, and it will be the law of the land.

            Again Greg, I think you misunderstood my point and you continued to build your argument on this erroneous foundation. My point is gay marriage is here to stay whether one approves or not. It’s time for tolerance.

            Greg wrote:
            “It is not clear to me why an LDS person ought to take your opinion about how things will play out over that of the united voice of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve.”

            I don’t think someone should take my opinion over our Church leaders. Again, I’m not sure why you would make that assertion. I think the evidence shows the Church wants us to pray, ponder and come to a decision ourselves on this most important issue.

            I do find it interesting many very high profile LDS, Steve Young, Harry Reid, etc. have been very public and vocal about supporting SSM, and the Church has allowed this. This may be an indication that the Church is okay on its members voicing opinions on both sides.

            There are several websites (I can provide links if it’s allowed) where thousands of LDS have signed statements in support of SSM. And again, the Church has been silent, which could be another indication that members are to pray, think it through and make their own decision on this issue.

            Greg wrote:
            “Many legal scholars do not agree, including many who endorse and have worked for same-sex marriage.”

            Possibly, but I would wager that the vast majority of legal scholars support SSM and view the same as supported by the Constitution.

            In any event, it doesn’t matter what the legal scholars think, this decision is going to be made by the courts.

            Thanks Greg. You made some very interesting points. I think at the end of the day we can both agree that SSM is a very divisive and interesting topic. It speaks volumes that we can have differing opinions, but yet remain calm and civil.

            Happy New Year to you, my friend.

          • Gregory Smith

            “Again Greg, I think you misunderstood my point and you continued to build your argument on this erroneous foundation. My point is gay marriage is here to stay whether one approves or not. It’s time for tolerance.”

            I’ve already said I agree that it is likely here to stay. Remember, I live in Canada. You seem to think “tolerance” means “don’t criticize or don’t complain about it or suggest it is bad public policy.”

            Perhaps DA Carson’s definition will make the distinction clear:

            ==begin quote==
            This shift from “accepting the existence of different views” to “acceptance of different views,” from recognizing other people’s right to have different beliefs or practices to accepting the differing views of other people, is subtle in form, but massive in substance. To accept that a different or opposing position exists and deserves the right to exist is one thing; to accept the position itself means that one is no longer opposing it. The new tolerance [that is, the second sense of the word] suggests that actually accepting another’s position means believing that position to be true, or at least as true as your own. We move from allowing the free expression of contrary opinions to the acceptance of all opinions; we leap from permitting the articulation of beliefs and claims with which we do not agree to asserting that all beliefs and claims are equally valid. Thus we slide from the old tolerance to the new.

            - DA Carson, The Intolerance of Tolerance (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2012), kindle location 49–55.

            ==end quote==

            I’m not the one telling those who disagree with me that they ought to be silent about their dissent so they can be welcome on the “love train,” and otherwise they aren’t “tolerant.”

            “Possibly, but I would wager that the vast majority of legal scholars support SSM and view the same as supported by the Constitution. In any event, it doesn’t matter what the legal scholars think, this decision is going to be made by the courts.”

            Well, I was not aware that “the courts” were not part of the legal system. :-) The point is not that the scholars make the law; the point is that they have a stance from which to judge the reasonable and probable impact of court-made law on this issue.

            Those same scholars have written a great deal about the problems of court-imposed decisions on the matter, as it impacts religious freedom. It does not matter to their concerns whether they think the Constitution supports the idea–as I said, many DO so believe, and yet still argue that religious liberty is in considerable jeopardy if it is not explicitly protected, which such court settlements typically cannot or do not provide.

            “I do find it interesting many very high profile LDS, Steve Young, Harry Reid, etc. have been very public and vocal about supporting SSM, and the Church has allowed this. This may be an indication that the Church is okay on its members voicing opinions on both sides.”

            Of course the Church is “OK” with people voicing their opinions. I’ve never known the Church to discipline anyone for opining that it’s OK to smoke pot, or drink alcohol, or have premarital sex either. This doesn’t imply the Church is neutral on those questions, but rather that we are taught correct principles, and we govern ourselves. (If you start acting on those claims–eg having premarital sex–on the other hand, you may find your membership in jeopardy.) And, I’m sure certain tactics in support of such opinions might merit some action, but those tactics generally have to be pretty extreme to draw ecclesiastical sanction.

            “There are several websites (I can provide links if it’s allowed) where thousands of LDS have signed statements in support of SSM.”

            More _argumentum ad populum_. So what? Truth is not determined by popular vote. (And, such thousands may well be a vocal minority, so even by _ad populum_ reasoning it fails.)

            “And again, the Church has been silent, which could be another indication that members are to pray, think it through and make their own decision on this issue.”

            Whoever suggested otherwise? Of course we’re to make our own decisions on this and other matters.

            But, to argue that therefore the Church and its leaders don’t really care, or have no position, is absurd.

            The First Presidency released a 7 July 2004 statement which read: “The First Presidency issued the following statement on July 7. This is a statement of principle in anticipation of the expected debate over same-gender marriage. It is not an endorsement of any specific amendment.

            The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints favors a constitutional amendment preserving marriage as the lawful union of a man and a woman.”

            http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/45827/First-Presidency-statement-Constitutional-amendment.html

            It would be hard to find a more succinct and unequivocal statement than that.

            Steve Young and Harry Reid and the rest can do or say whatever they wish. The Church’s position is clear. As with everything, we either heed or reject it, and the wagon train moves on, while the “love train” can smugly zip off to whatever destination awaits it, leaving the great unwashed to wallow in their historical obsolesce.

            But, let’s not engage in sophistry and act as if the Church doesn’t really care one way or the other. It manifestly does.

            “It speaks volumes that we can have differing opinions, but yet remain calm and civil.”

            Yes. But, this is precisely why insisting those who have principled objections to same-sex marriage aren’t on–and ought to board–”the love train” is so offensive and represents sloganeering, bumper-sticker thinking and advocacy at its worst.

            If same sex marriage is indeed inevitable, then having won, you’d think it’s advocates would instead be deploying tolerance toward the “losing” side, instead of insisting they all drop any objections or concerns.

            However, since “tolerance” is more of a slogan than an actual principle in most of this debate, I do not hold my breath.

            Best of the season!

          • Brock Lesnar

            Hi Greg,

            Greg wrote:
            “I’m not the one telling those who disagree with me that they ought to be silent about their dissent so they can be welcome on the “love train,” and otherwise they aren’t “tolerant.”

            I’m not telling anyone who disagrees with me to be “silent”. Again Greg, I’m not sure why would you make that assertion. Indeed, my position is that we can and should be able to disagree on this issue, as many LDS are currently doing. It’s important that we are civil and tolerant in our SSM discussions.

            Greg wrote:
            “Many DO so believe, and yet still argue that religious liberty is in considerable jeopardy if it is not explicitly protected, which such court settlements typically cannot or do not provide.”

            Actually, most legal scholars do not consider religious liberty in jeopardy b/c of SSM. Indeed, most consider the exact opposite. If you are going to use a minority group of legal scholars to support your position, you should also include the majority.

            Also, you couldn’t be more wrong in terms of courts protecting and extending various liberties. An argument could be made that most civil liberties from the inception of the Constitution have been extended and mandated by the courts. It will be no different with SSM.

            Greg wrote:
            “Whoever suggested otherwise? Of course we’re to make our own decisions on this and other matters.But, to argue that therefore the Church and its leaders don’t really care, or have no position, is absurd.”

            I agree, and indeed my position is we are to make our own decisions on SSM and other matters. I’ve never asserted that the Church and its leader “don’t really care.” Again Greg, I’m not sure why you would make such an assertion.

            It is interesting that many high profile/low profile LDS have been very public in their support of SSM without discipline or rebuke from the Church. In the past, this has not always been the case, and I view this as a possible shift by the Church on this issue.

            Greg wrote:
            “More _argumentum ad populum_. So what? Truth is not determined by popular vote. (And, such thousands may well be a vocal minority, so even by _ad populum_ reasoning it fails.)”

            Greg, my point in mentioning LDS websites in favor of SSM was not “argumentum ad populum”. I mentioned those websites as evidence the Church may have shifted its stance on SSM in regards to allowing its members to publicly voice differing opinions. I never mentioned the websites to prove SSM was popular with LDS. Again Greg, I mentioned the websites to show a potential change in stance.

            Regardless of whether the majority support it or not, is completely beside the point. SSM is supported by the Constitution, separation of church and state and religious freedom.

            Greg wrote:
            “If same sex marriage is indeed inevitable, then having won, you’d think it’s advocates would instead be deploying tolerance toward the “losing” side, instead of insisting they all drop any objections or concerns.”

            Greg, yes, SSM is indeed inevitable. I hope you don’t think I have been uncivil or intolerant to you or your views. Nothing could be further from the truth.

            Also Greg, there really is no losing side to this issue. The Church, the Constitution, separation of church and state, and religious freedoms are the winners.

            It has been really good discussing these issues with you. Again, if I have been in any way intolerant or uncivil I would like to apologize, and it certainly wasn’t my intent.

            Have a great day, friend.

          • kiwi57

            Brock Lesnar: “That’s what is great about our country, people are free to ‘pitch a tent’ whenever they want. :)

            Try telling that to the people who get sued into bankruptcy if they try to act in accordance with their values.

            For example, when someone who doesn’t believe in “same sex marriage” tries to refuse to provide wedding-related services to a same sex couple.

            And promptly gets sued by plaintiffs whose lawyers spout the same greasy platitudes you are so fond of.

            Brock Lesnar: “I’m glad I belong to the LDS Church”

            But not glad enough to uphold its principles.

            Brock Lesnar: “Our Church, Constitution, government and religious freedom are all stronger because of SSM”

            At what point does a brazenly counterfactual slogan become just another lie?

          • Brock Lesnar

            Hey kiwi57. Good to hear from you again.

            kiwi57 wrote:
            “Try telling that to the people who get sued into bankruptcy if they try to act in accordance with their values.For example, when someone who doesn’t believe in “same sex marriage” tries to refuse to provide wedding-related services to a same sex couple.And promptly gets sued by plaintiffs whose lawyers spout the same greasy platitudes you are so fond of.”

            Yes kiwi57, in America, as has been the law of the land for many, many years, people are not free to discriminate when it comes to interstate/intrastate commerce.

            This is legally and Constitutionally separate and distinct from religious freedom and separation of church and state.

            kiwi57 wrote:
            “But not glad enough to uphold its principles.”

            kiwi57, come on, you’re better than to stoop to personal attacks and judging/condemning someone you obviously know little or nothing about. All this behavior does is distract from the discussions.

            kiwi57 wrote:
            “At what point does a brazenly counterfactual slogan become just another lie?”

            That’s actually a pretty good slogan for people opposing SSM. :)

            Cheers, kiwi57. Have a great day and it was good bantering with you.

          • kiwi57

            Brock Lesnar: “Yes kiwi57, in America, as has been the law of the land for many, many years, people are not free to discriminate when it comes to interstate/intrastate commerce.”

            IOW, religious freedom doesn’t actually exist except within the walls of the church. People are free to believe whatever they wish, but they are not free to act according to their beliefs.

            Good Latter-day Saints find this appalling, but you’re absolutely smug about it, aren’t you?

            Brock Lesnar: “This is legally and Constitutionally separate and distinct from religious freedom and separation of church and state.”

            I’ll take your word for it about “legally and Constitutionally.” But when it comes to practically, I’m afraid it’s not at all separate.

            Brock Lesnar: “That’s actually a pretty good slogan for people opposing SSM. :)”

            Ah. A little “gay banter.” So to speak.

            The fact is that you keep chanting the mantra that same sex “marriage,” the ultimate secularisation of a religious institution, “strengthens our church.”

            That claim is a lie.

            Brazen. Outright.

            And utterly indefensible.

          • Brock Lesnar

            Hi kiwi57.

            kiwi57 wrote:
            “IOW, religious freedom doesn’t actually exist except within the walls of the church. People are free to believe whatever they wish, but they are not free to act according to their beliefs.Good Latter-day Saints find this appalling, but you’re absolutely smug about it, aren’t you?”

            For the most part, in America, religious freedom exists within the walls of the Church and the walls of our homes. This is called separation of church and state. I think you will find that most LDS in America are far from being “appalled” by this concept. It actually is a pretty good system and the LDS Church and numerous other religions have been able to thrive under such environment.

            kiwi57 wrote:
            “The fact is that you keep chanting the mantra that same sex “marriage,” the ultimate secularisation of a religious institution, “strengthens our church.That claim is a lie. Brazen. Outright.And utterly indefensible.”

            It’s undisputed that the recognition of SSM expands religious freedom because there are some churches that have congregations in Utah and other states where SSM is not legal, who desire to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies, and have the same recognized, but are currently unable to do so. With SSM, these religions/churches will now be able to do so.

            When the Constitution affords and expands religious freedom to one group, all groups are strengthened and separation between church and state becomes even more solidified. The LDS Church and its ability to practice its religion unfettered is strengthened.

            It’s also important to remember that not too long ago, the LDS Church desired the same protection and equal opportunities under the law when we were a religious minority.
            In any event, goodnight friend.

          • kiwi57

            Brock Lesnar: “For the most part, in America, religious freedom exists within the walls of the Church and the walls of our homes. This is called separation of church and state.”

            And for a very increasing part, it is being excluded from the public square, and from the business and professional lives of believers.

            You may be comfortable living a compartmentalised life; most believers I know prefer integrity. But American legal jurisdictions have increasing power to coerce people to leave their religious principles out of their business and professional lives, or to punish them for trying to live lives of integrity.

            And you seem absolutely delighted with that.

            Brock Lesnar: “It’s undisputed that the recognition of SSM expands religious freedom because there are some churches that have congregations in Utah and other states where SSM is not legal, who desire to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies, and have the same recognized, but are currently unable to do so. With SSM, these religions/churches will now be able to do so.”

            That’s not “undisputed” at all. It’s a sophistry. You’ve slipped in the legal recognition bit as though it was fundamental to religious freedom.

            But it is not.

            True religious freedom is the freedom to live a religion. It is not merely the freedom to believe or worship, although those things are important.

            And same sex “marriage” was never about religious freedom. It was about privileging a self-appointed elite group by fictitiously classifying their non-marital relationships as marriages.

            Brock Lesnar: “When the Constitution affords and expands religious freedom to one group, all groups are strengthened and separation between church and state becomes even more solidified.”

            That’s another pretty slogan that does not bear scrutiny. The reality is that every time a government redefines a social institution, it takes more power to itself, and away from its citizens.

            Brock Lesnar: “The LDS Church and its ability to practice its religion unfettered is strengthened.”

            Come now, Mr Lesnar. You must know that you are playing word games. By that same approach, I expect you could “prove” that expanding federal jurisdiction “strengthens” states’ rights.

            The reality is that the ability of believing Latter-day Saints to uphold their religious principles regarding the sanctity of marriage is severely compromised.

            And the devil laugheth, and his angels rejoice.

            Brock Lesnar: “It’s also important to remember that not too long ago, the LDS Church desired the same protection and equal opportunities under the law when we were a religious minority. ”

            That, of course, is false. The Saints actually desired that their marriages not be criminalised by predatory legislation.

            But then, you are probably delighted with the Edmunds-Tucker Act, too.

          • Brock Lesnar

            Hi kiwi57.

            kiwi57 wrote:
            “And for a very increasing part, it is being excluded from the public square, and from the business and professional lives of believers.”

            Actually, no. The Constitution, separation of church and state and religious freedom have never been stronger than they are today, thanks to several recent court rulings.

            Let’s look at just one example. The LDS Church could not have practiced polygamy 100 year ago. The Edmund’s Act prohibited it. Today, if the Church wanted to practice polygamy it could do so, due to recent court rulings.

            As time has gone by, our religious freedoms in America have grown and become strengthened. This trend is continuing, and SSM just adds to, and strengthens religious freedoms.

            kiwi57 wrote:
            “And you seem absolutely delighted with that.”

            I am delighted by that. I truly believe God inspired the creation of the Constitution, and we should all rejoice and delight when it protects religious freedom.

            kiwi57 wrote:
            “That’s another pretty slogan that does not bear scrutiny. The reality is that every time a government redefines a social institution, it takes more power to itself, and away from its citizens.”

            You’ve made this assertion several times without providing any evidence. Let me ask again. kiwi57, how does allowing religions who want to perform SSM and have the same recognized and acknowledged diminish anyone’s religious freedoms?

            The answer is, it doesn’t. It actually does the opposite and expands religious freedoms by allowing religions who want to perform SSM and have the same recognized and acknowledged, the religious freedom to do so.

            kiwi57 wrote:
            ” By that same approach, I expect you could “prove” that expanding federal jurisdiction “strengthens” states’ rights.”

            I can think of times when expansion of federal jurisdiction strengthened states rights, and I can think of times when the expansion of federal jurisdiction weakened states rights. It all depends on what states’ rights you are talking about.

            In terms of SSM, it’s obvious religious freedoms are expanded for the aforementioned reasons.

            kiwi57 wrote:
            “But then, you are probably delighted with the Edmunds-Tucker Act, too.”

            Why would I be delighted with the Edmund’s Act? It was a terrible piece of legislation that intended to limit a certain religion from exercising its religious freedom. Much like the opponents of SSM are doing.

            It’s interesting you should bring up the Edmunds Act. It was a piece of legislation that prohibited LDS from practicing polygamy (at least in theory). Recent court decisions have made this and any other similar legislation unconstitutional.

            The Edmunds Act was bad and an infringement on religious freedom, and the courts have remedied that type of legislation. Opponents of SSM are in a similar boat with the people who proposed the Edmunds Act. Opponents of SSM are trying to prohibit certain religions (ones who desire to perform SSM and have the same recognized) from exercising and practicing their faith.

            There is very little if any difference between the proponent of the Edmunds Act and opponents of SSM. They both wanted to limit religious freedoms from certain religions.

            kiwi57, as always it’s good discussing these issues with you in a civil and professional manner. Hope you have a great day, friend

    • Jonathan

      Brock Lesnar, you do a disservice to yourself and your cause with this kind of blackmail. Just so I understand: either I endorse “gay marriage”, and you deign to permit me on the “love train”, or I have the temerity to disagree with you, and I’m a bigot? Is that it?

      What next? Send you my credit card number, or I’m a bigot? Perhaps you could create an app that lets people forward all decisions to you, and you can approve or disapprove, thus keeping us all safe from our hatred that would otherwise erupt forth.

      It reminds me of the “Human Rights Campaign”, which has reduced all human rights to a single stated goal: “LGBT equality”. Thus, I could encourage torture and slavery, but still exemplify human rights by supporting “gay marriage”. On the other hand, I could work tirelessly to end hunger, poverty, and disease, yet be an anti-human rights bigot by voting for Prop 8.

      It would be difficult for me to find any worthy goal compatible with this kind of violence to the language.

    • Guy Briggs

      “… always be a spot for you in my caboose …”

      That’s the problem with gays. They’re a real pain in the caboose.

  • John P

    Thanks for this post. I grew up in California in the 60s too. I appreciated one of Elder Bednar’s early conference talks mentioning that in his life too.

  • Bernardo_Gui47

    For centuries composers have used the theme and variations form to organize musical thoughts and express them in contrasting settings. Good variations derive from clever artistic and imaginative manipulation of the elements of the theme. The variations may be interesting and compelling, but they can never be the theme. A variation cannot usurp the place of the theme, because it was derived from the theme. In a good theme and variations there cannot be just one variation, otherwise it would be set at competition with the theme and could even claim to be the theme.

    Same sex marriage by definition has components that derive and deviate from the historic theme of marriage, but no matter how it is manipulated, it can never be marriage, only a variation of it. As a composer of a good musical theme creates interesting variations, so marriage has some intriguing possibilities of variation. Time will tell which variations get accepted by the publisher and are judged worthy of a performance. I wonder what the criteria for their selection might be?


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X