Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Greatest Threat

Dear Senator Buttars,

You may think that gays are the greatest threat to America. I disagree.

Hatred and divisiveness are greater threats.

What is the morals of a gay person? You can't answer that, because anything goes. So now you're moving toward a society that has no morals.

Why doesn't senator Buttars understand that just because someone's morals are different doesn't mean they don't have any? I don't understand why people are gay. I'm not, so it doesn't really make sense to me. However, I do understand how it feels to love and to want to be loved, and I can't imagine being told that loving the person I do is amoral, and that the person I love and myself can't have any protections against being thrown out of our home or fired from our jobs, or the ability to provide health insurance for each other, because our love doesn't count somehow.

It's easy to focus on things that make us different, but maybe we could be a little more understanding if we focused on the things that make us the same.

There is no "Gay Agenda" other than to be treated like everyone else. I'd like to know who's behind the "Hate Agenda".


David said...

I agree with virtually everything your say here outside the assertion that there is no gay agenda. Most gays are, as you describe, seeking only to be treated like everyone else. But to say there is no gay agenda is like saying that because the civil rights movement was about writing legitimate wrongs that extreme groups such as the Black Panthers did not exist. It's like saying that because Islam is a religion of peace there are not extremists such as Louis Farrakhan who preach anything but peace.

There is a gay agenda, and like most extreme movements those who promote it are hitchhiking on the back of some legitimate concerns. We do need to address the legitimate concerns, but we do not need to shut our eyes to the fact that there are extremist positions that cling to those concerns.

Allie said...

There may be individuals who (gay or not) would like to see the downfall of society or even "traditional marriage", but I don't buy it as a conspiracy from all, a majority, or even a sizable minority to do anything other than securing themselves what the rest of us take for granted.

Salt H2O said...

Senator Buttars is not helping his cause. Those of us that supported Prop 8 wish people like Buttars would disappear.

Side note: I fully support the legislation that was recently proposed to extend equal rights to cohabitants. Me, Huntsman, and anyone else with half a brain recognizes that it's just the right thing to do. I'm very cool with civil unions being recognized and homosexual couples getting the same rights as heterosexual couples.

Where I disagree is semantics- but we've already had that conversation...

Allie said...

Ideally (and I'm sure I've said this before) I'd like to see civil unions for everyone and marriages be a religious ceremony separate from the civil contract.

Until then, It really would have been nice to have some of the recent bills here pass to give same sex couples a little more protection than they currently have.

wordsfromhome said...

Your post was kind to Buttars. You made your point without being like him.
You should send it to him.

Allie said...

I'm feeling more and more bugged about Buttars' comment on morals.

I don't think this is a case of morals. Being heterosexual doesn't make one a moral person, and being homosexual doesn't make one immoral.

If Buttars is so concerned about morals, maybe he needs to sponsor some ethics reform legislation.


derekstaff said...

Very well put.

David, just because there are some who are willing to go to radical lengths for their cause doesn't mean their cause is unjust. You may disagree with their methods, but the Black Panthers had no "agenda" other than civil rights. Can you explain what sinister "gay agenda" is hitchhiking on the back of legitimate concerns?

BTW, Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam have nothing to do with the religion which is Islam.

hmr said...

Allie - I agree with you. My original comment was going to ask whether sexuality is a 'moral' issue. But I figured it would get picked apart, and I wasn't sure whether I was prepared for that. I understand that there are a lot of analogies that one can make to remind folks that immoral behavior occurs with gay people. I get that -- usually they are extreme examples that would apply to anyone, gay or straight, however.

There was a sign at one of the rallies this fall that said, "It's my life, not a lifestyle."

Lorian said...

Thanks for all of that, Allie. Right on the money. I become very frustrated with those who would hold "morals" as falling within the express purview of religion, and religion as falling within the express purview of heterosexuals. (Ipso facto, gays are both immoral and irreligious... :argh: ).

Urban Koda said...

Senator Buttars is right - Acceptance of Gay rights will destroy America.

Fortunately though, the America they destroy will be the one where hatred and bigotry trump rational thinking and acceptance of each other. The kind of America where a man like Senator Buttar's can get re-elected in spite of who he is, purely because people of too terrified to consider voting for another party.

Seriously West Jordan... Why did you re-elect this guy?

pcaffall said...

I appreciate your passion for the cause and your desire for tolerance. This is a heated issue with intolerance on both sides of the issue. Tolerance, however, does not mean acceptance. I can tolerate, or respect your opinion, but not agree with what you said.
I think marriage should be between one man and one woman. I am not promoting hatred of anyone else. I am simply standing up for this belief. I hope you would be tolerant of my beliefs. Again, tolerance does not mean acceptance.

Allie said...

pcaffal- thank you for stopping by my blog.

I don't think everyone has to agree with me, but I wonder what exactly it is that you don't want to accept.

How would a gay person securing health insurance benefits for their partner affect you? How would protections against being fired for being gay, or thrown out of a rental until for being gay affect you? What about those things requires your acceptance?

I understand that gay marriage brings up concerns for many, but I think there are compromises there that we all can make to have a fair outcome for everyone.

I was talking with a sister-in-law last week, about a different issue, but it applies here- the idea of two opposing sides pushing against each other so hard, that they forget what it is they're actually working toward. They could compromise and both be fairly satisfied, but the fight becomes more about winning than actually solving any problems.

That's why I have a hard time with the "tolerance doesn't mean acceptance" line. Tolerance doesn't mean you have to pick that for yourself, but it means you allow another person the freedom to live their lives the way they see fit. (Within the laws set by society as a whole of course, which sometimes leads into problems, but then we get all circular.)

patcaffall said...

My point is we don't need to create laws for any specific group; rather, we create laws that benefit society as a whole.

For instance, we should have laws that allow you to decide whoever you want to visit you in the hospital -- friend, neighbor, cousin, spouse, etc.. Likewise, you should be able to specify whoever you want on your policy, as long as you pay the premium.

As an employer, you should be able to hire and fire whoever you want for whatever reason -- gay, straight, white, black, Mormon, Jew, don’t like the color of your shirt, etc.. Along these lines, why would you want to work for someone that is racist or bias against you? You would never get ahead no matter what the law says. The employer can find ways around the law without you knowing or proving anything. The moral is, make yourself valuable to your employer and they (good employers at least) will look past religion, race, color, ect. In fact quota laws enable bad employers.

With these factors in mind, Gays don’t need special protection or laws; and, they should not have the right to marry. This is a sacred ordinance between a man, woman and God. The eternal powers of procreation should only be practiced within the bonds of marriage. They can be practiced outside of marriage, both only between a man and woman. Gays can never practice the sacred powers of procreation in this life or in the next; and, thus are not recognized as a couple in the eyes of God.

Final point, there is nothing unconditional about God or his church – he is a conditional being. We live the commandments, we get the blessings. We are worthy, we can get baptized, pay our tithing, or go to the temple. If we are not, we can’t do these things. If we live our live according to his teachings, we can receive celestial glory. He is firm and does not compromise. This is why they hung him on a cross. He is firm on his stance about gay marriage, and will not compromise.

Allie said...

For instance, we should have laws that allow you to decide whoever you want to visit you in the hospital -- friend, neighbor, cousin, spouse, etc.. Likewise, you should be able to specify whoever you want on your policy, as long as you pay the premium.

I fully agree with you here. It seems like it would be pretty simple for health insurance companies to allow anyone to go in on a policy together, less simple when you get employer sponsored plans involved.

I also agree, gays don't need special protections, just the same protections as everyone else gets, perhaps with one exception- if gays, as a group are more likely to be discriminated against than the general public, then I would argue that they do require special protections.

I also agree that marriage is a sacred religious ordinance between one man and one woman. I don't think there is anything sacred about the legal arrangements of marriage. Society has proven that over and over with domestic violence, affairs, and divorce to name a few.

God loves unconditionally. I don't think He gives commandments in order to punish us when fail to live up to them. I think He gives us commandments in order to help us avoid pain. I think there is too much we don't know to be stating what God's will is regarding homosexuality. As Paul said, "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away... For now we see through a glass, darkly...And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

I don't know everything, I don't even know a part of God's will for His children, but I know His love is unconditional, and that he wants us to be happy. I don't know why some people are gay and some are not. I don't know how God is going to work everything out, but I know that He will. I know if we do the best with what we have that we'll be okay, so for now, I'll have faith, and hope, and most of all, I'll focus on charity, because I'm not willing to hurt those I love over something I know so little about.

patcaffall said...

I don't know what faith you are, but with my last comment I assumed you were LDS. I probably shouldn't have made this judgment and maybe you are; nonetheless, the LDS faith does not teach God has Unconditional Love.

Elder Russell M. Nelson, one of the 12 Apostles, correctly taught this principle. If you are interested, please go to and search for his talk titled 'Devine Love’. The header of his talk summarizes his comments well: "While divine love can be called perfect, infinite, enduring, and universal, it cannot correctly be characterized as unconditional." It is a great talk that will provide understanding on this issue and indirectly the issue of Gay Marriage.

The decree from the Lord in the Proclamation of the Family is quite direct and clearly defines marriage between a Man and Woman. Along these lines, it states “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose” As far as I am concerned, the Lord has spoken.

I have my sins and issues I am dealing with and don’t want to unrighteously judge someone else. Nonetheless, with the decree from the Lord, I will make the clear judgment Gay Marriage is unacceptable. I know some of the things that I am doing are wrong. I don’t seek to change the eternal laws I am violating, only my behavior. This concept needs to be lovingly communicated to our Gay friends and neighbors.

Buttars was correct in some of his statements, just wrong in his approach.

Allie said...

Pat- I read the talk by Elder Nelson, and to me, it's sematics. God's love is infinite. The conditional part has more to do with the blessings we receive from God's love, than the fact that He loves us.

I love my children, I will love them no matter what they do- I may not be happy with the choices they make, but my love for them will never change. Why would God be any different?

I won't argue with you about the proclamation on the family. I believe in it. But I don't believe in using it to push my religious beliefs on others who do not. Even church leaders have said recently that they would not oppose civil unions. If they can reconcile that with the proclamation on the family, I think the rest of us can safely do so also.

I don’t seek to change the eternal laws I am violating, only my behavior. This concept needs to be lovingly communicated to our Gay friends and neighbors.

What concept? The church has said that they do not know why people are gay, but that it appears to be inborn, at least in some cases. How can someone change something they have no control over? Certainly, people can refrain from sexual activity, but ignoring natural drives doesn't suddenly create a happily ever after.

I don't think you can hold people to eternal laws that they don't believe in.

And, again, all the arguments apply to same sex marriage. If we made civil unions a government thing for whoever wants to enter into that contract, and marriage a religious ceremony, we avoid all sorts of trouble.

patcaffall said...

You are absolutely correct, it is semantics; or more clearly stated, terminology. The message Elder Nelson was communicating, is the same message Elder Maxwell counseled about using the term Free Agency, instead of the term Moral Agency. We have been asked not to use the term unconditional love or free agency, because both can communicate the wrong message – they can both communicate we are free to choose without suffering the conditional consequences. They are rationalization terms used to justify behavior. “Oh, I know I do _____, but God Still loves me” Perhaps he does, it does not mean you will live with him again. Now that we are following the same conditional thought process communicated by Elder Nelson, let’s apply it to same-sex marriage, or civil unions or two gay folks living together.

It is not the feelings or tendencies (temptations) that are problematic, but the same sex sexual acts that are not approved by the Lord or his church. There are people that are born with a tendency to be violent, but that does not mean they can or should act out on this tendency. There are people that are born with a tendency towards chemical dependency, but that does not mean they should act out on this behavior. Likewise, there are people that are born with a tendency to be Gay, but this does not mean that should act out on the tendencies associated with Gay unions, marriage or just plain living together.

Getting back to my previous comment, we should not consume our energy trying to change eternal principals, but should use our energy to overcome our tendencies that our contrary to God’s will. As Christ said in the Book of Mormon, “I give unto men weakness that they might be humble; and, if they humble themselves before me and have faith in me, they will I make weak things become strong unto them”.

We have the right and obligation to stand up for what is right and what God would have us do, just as much as they have the right to stand up for same sex marriage/unions.

Allie said...

I don't think unconditional love means that Heavenly Father doesn't care what we do. It just means that although we may make choices He doesn't like, he still loves us. As I stated in my last comment.

I think the church's involvement in prop 8 was over fear of losing religious liberties (as Elder Clayton says here
"Elder Clayton said the church's support for Prop. 8 did involve concerns over "the potential loss of religious liberty. How and where that would play out I can't say, but we feel religious liberty is safer when marriage is legally defined as between a man and a woman."

He also said, "in general, the church "does not oppose civil unions or domestic partnerships," that involve benefits like health insurance and property rights."

I'm not God, so I can't say for sure how he feels about same sex couples, but I do know that he didn't mean for man (or woman) to be alone. We take what we have, and do the best with it. If that means that someone is in a happy, secure relationship with someone of the same sex, then that's between them and God, and it's none of my business. What I am concerned about is making sure people are treated equally and not discriminated against out of fear and ignorance.

If the things people were so afraid of (being forced to allow same sex marriages in the temple for example) actually happened (which is so far fetched that it is ridiculous), then I'd have to do all I could to fight that, but I'm not going to fight a unnecessary and hurtful fight.

We get so black and white that we can't find anywhere to meet in the middle. Extremism does no one any good.

patcaffall said...

President Clayton’s statement you quoted is NOT an endorsement of homosexuality or homosexual rights; rather, it is an endorsement of patient and property rights. There is a clear distinction.

President Clayton was also quoted as saying ‘this is a moral not a political issue’. In other words, the Lord and his Church are making a stand about the definition of marriage.

Forget what a newspaper printed, the Lord, through his prophet and apostles has defined marriage between a man and a woman; and, when it is necessary to raise up a righteous seed, a relationship between one man and several women. Nowhere in the holy scriptures, which includes the proclamation on the family, has God endorsed any type of sexual relationship or union between a man and a man; or, a woman and a woman. He has spoken; and, as a perfect being is not subject to change.

This is his stance—it always has been his stane, is currently his stance and it always will be his stance. How can I make this judgment? I can make this judgment because it is an eternal principal; and, as an eternal principal it is not subject to change.

Allie said...

Pat, How did you stumble across my little blog anyway?

I love the gospel, I love President Monson. I have a deeply rooted testimony that God loves his children, and He has given us a wonderful plan to follow to ease the pain and trials that come with our mortal probation.

I also believe that we, humans, are subject to the influence of, as more recent editions of Mormon Doctrine state, the times and culture in which we live. I am not convinced that God has given the final word regarding homosexuality. I don't have a problem with limiting temple sealings to one man and one woman (and if I die prematurely and my mister wants to get remarried, he sure better not plan of getting sealed to another woman, I have a problem with that).

My problem is us stating that because we believe that God only intended marriage to be between one man and one woman (which I hope we can all see the irony in), that we are not willing to compromise with those who believe differently.

Allowing civil marriage rights to same sex couples does nothing to diminish my marriage.

Obviously we are not going to convince each other of anything, and if you have something new to add, feel free to post, but I get tired of replying to the same things over and over, especially when they don't address my main point.

Civil unions for everyone who wants that legal recognition of couple-hood and let religious institutions define marriage however they want to. Having the two combined is a convenience, but it's not necessary.

patcaffall said...

You asked me a question, so I suppose you are looking for a response? However, later in your response you indirectly state you don’t want me to respond to your post anymore. Like your comments, I find this somewhat confusing. You state you accept the Proclamation on the Family, but you don’t fully accept the concepts of the document – “gender is an essential element of pre-mortal, mortal and post-mortal realm”. This is an evidentiary Penumbra and was intended as such – it was included in the document to contest transgender and same sex relationships; and, to set the tone for the defined roles of males and females.

I’m sorry you don’t feel I addressed your point in my blogs. I think everyone of my comments have addressed your point stated again as follows:

“My problem is us stating that because we believe that God only intended marriage to be between one man and one woman (which I hope we can all see the irony in), that we are not willing to compromise with those who believe differently “

I have addressed this several times. 1) I mentioned it in passing in my last blog, but here goes the official word. God also intended polygamy as defined in the Book of Mormon (see Jacob 2:24-27). It was practiced 4,000, 2,000 and 200 years ago by his prophets. 2). in my first blog I stated the reason they hung God from a cross was because he was NOT willing to compromise. Along these lines, how far should we compromise? Should we allow men to have relationships with a willing 14 year old boys? Should we allow transgender relationships? Should we allow bestiality? Where do we draw the line? Who draws the line? I think these relationships, along with same sex relationships, would cheapen your marriage.

In response, God has drawn the line in the Proclamation on the Family. It is clear, crystal clear.

In response to your questions, I saw a snippet of your post on Buttars on Utah Bloghive. I find your comments intelligent and intriguing and hope you continue to post. Perhaps we may have to agree to disagree and move on to other posts.

Allie said...

It gets frustrating to feel like you're arguing the same points over and over again, you probably feel the same way, so agreeing to disagree is probably wise.

I do want to address your confusion over my views on the proclamation to the family. I do "accept the concepts" for myself. I'm just not willing to push my views on others who don't believe in the proclamation.

It's been a difficult journey for me personally to come to terms with, and I have found peace by accepting the dissonance. Life doesn't always make sense, but it doesn't have to. Someone wiser than us all is in charge, and ultimately things will work out the way they are supposed to.