Forgive the facetious title. I’m in a goofy mood despite the serious subject matter.
The First Presidency of the LDS church has released a statement in response to the hostile attacks on and protests being held at their properties by Proposition 8 opponents. I think it’s worth reading in full, but here’s the money part:
Attacks on churches and intimidation of people of faith have no place in civil discourse over controversial issues. People of faith have a democratic right to express their views in the public square without fear of reprisal. Efforts to force citizens out of public discussion should be deplored by people of goodwill everywhere.
I don’t find myself saying this in response to the Mormon presidency very often, but… amen.
The LDS view of the cosmos is not genderless, and the LDS view of God is also male AND female UNITED. We may not talk about it much, but it’s always lurking there and just because the Mormons haven’t had to deal with it yet, doesn’t mean they won’t have to confront it eventually.
There is little place for homosexual union in that calculation of deification as a joint male-female endeavor.
I think that explains why the LDS church will never allow same-sex sealings in the temple. However, the question I do ask (and I’m sure a lot of Mormons would as well) is, even if gay marriage is wholly inconducive to a soul’s eternal progression, isn’t it one of the principles of our society that people have the right to do the wrong thing, so long as doing the wrong thing does not cause harm to others? There are exceptions to that rule (both smoking and abortion come to mind), but in general, that’s how we live and how we govern. A recent movie that made this point very well was Thank You For Smoking.
Ultimately, I think the reason the church is going to oppose gay marriage in spite of the virtues of that line of thinking is that the church is, among many other things, a very shrewd business. That is not an insult as I think the most successful churches out there run themselves like good businesses, and it’s a fact that national, widespread social and legal acceptance of gay marriage is going to hurt the LDS flow of converts on several fronts. People will begin pressuring the church to abandon their gender-specific marriage beliefs like they abandoned their ban on blacks and the priesthood, and any married gay converts who are interested in joining the church will be turned off by the prospect of having to divorce their spouse before being allowed entry. The LDS church is just looking out for its best interests with their support of Proposition 8, and they’re likely to do more of the same in the future.
Ed Morrissey has also weighed in with some good thoughts on the anti-Prop 8 attacks on Mormons.
Gays leaving the church over Proposition 8? I imagine a lot more people would leave the church if they supported gay marriage. Is it cynical for me to ask how many of the people allegedly leaving the church were active, devout members of the faith until Proposition 8 passed? Just seems likely to me that if you support gay marriage, you’re probably disgruntled with the church on plenty of other levels so that you’ve been questioning the church’s core values for some time and had one foot out the door already. I know that’s not a guarantee, but it does seem likely.