This post is meant to be a collection of my personal views and while I do not represent any party’s views, I don’t want others to misrepresent mine.
After I posted what I thought to be a hopeful prayer about the protection of religious liberties on social media, I found myself bombarded by a ton of people who felt similarly, a few people who seemed to be fairly agitated and a couple that were just straight up rude. No matter who you are, I invite you to read and respond.
THOUGHT ONE: It is okay to disagree.
Let me be straight—I still believe that acting on homosexual desires is morally wrong.
And it will take more than 5 old people’s opinion to change that fact. A LOT more.
(I ALSO feel that persecuting or alienating those because of their beliefs, either in agreeance with or in opposition to, is wrong as well.)
Before the ruling on gay marriage, I agreed with hospital visitation, fair housing, equal employment and civil unions for gay couples.
I was against gay marriage for a simple reason: the laws of this country are a reflection of the morals of its people (me and you); and since I had the right to raise my voice, I had the obligation to do so.
Now gay marriage is legal. Case closed. No one cares that anyone fought against it and I support this government (seeing as this ruling is not currently affecting my personal and religious rights).
But keep in mind, though, that John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (The Works of John Adams, ed. C. F. Adams, Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1851, 4:31).
I have no obligation to believe that gay marriage is right. In fact, even in the majority opinion on gay marriage, Justice Anthony Kennedy said, “It must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.” (read more excerpts from the opinion here)
I still feel that gay marriage is wrong.
And guess what?
And…it’s also okay to disagree with me.
There are a lot of things that are legal, socially acceptable and practiced by most of my friends with which I do not agree: Drinking alcohol, smoking, pre-marital sex, gambling, and even drinking coffee and tea. Not to mention the fact that I have friends who don’t agree with things like hottub videos in bathing suits and dating blogs. But I am still a contributing member of society who walk amongst those who completely disagree with me and we all get along just fine.
THOUGHT TWO: Love is paramountly important.
Part of having different values than others is accepting that…wait for it…others have different values than you. #mindblown
I don’t feel that people who get lattés at Starbucks are bad people and I hope they don’t think I’m a self-righteous bigot for getting my caramel apple cider. We may order differently, but we can still have a conversation at the same bougy table.
I appreciate that we live in a country where I retain the rights to verbalize, stand by and act on my beliefs. Unfortunately, there are some, on both sides of this discussion who pitifully throw themselves on the alter of martyrdom exclaiming that an expression of beliefs is akin to some kind of an -ism, which must be ridiculed, relinquished and regulated.
So Mormons, stop being so homophobic. Let people take their journey and accept when it is not the same as yours. Accept all with open arms. As one of my friends said, ‘God will care a lot more about how you loved those around you as opposed to how vociferously you fought against gay marriage.’
As Neal A Maxwell said, “If the challenge of the secular church becomes very real [‘check!’], let us, as in all other human relationships, be principled but pleasant. Let us be perceptive without being pompous. Let us have integrity and not write checks with our tongues which our conduct cannot cash.” (“Meeting the Challenges of Today,” BYU Speeches, Oct 10, 1978)
And to those who disagree with Mormons: an opinion founded in religion is just as justified as one founded in non-religion. There is no place for religious intolerance. To belittle, persecute or demean a person because of what they believe goes against the principles that you supposedly are fighting to defend.
THOUGHT THREE: Religious rights must be protected.
I will never change my views on God’s morals. (period)
While I don’t feel my rights being violated right now, I do feel a societal trend of being pushed out for speaking out against gay marriage.
For any questions of why I feel my religious liberties are in jeopardy, watch this clip of a leader of the LDS church, Dallin H Oaks explain perfectly with words what is in my mind (I’ve marked it to only the relevant part. The video will stop automatically at 13:05):
Note that he is not talking about a fearful future, but rather stating facts that have already happened. The assault on religion isn’t a ‘hide your wife hide your kids’ fear mongering type thing, this is starting to happen and it must stop.
Even in his dissent on gay marriage, Justice Clarence Thomas, after citing cases that have already occurred, waxes philosophical when he said, “The majority’s decision threatens the religious liberty our Nation has long sought to protect….It appears all but inevitable that the two [government and religion] will come into conflict, particularly as individuals and churches are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples.” He then emphasises again that the majority’s decision has “potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty.” (read more form on this here or the entire ruling here)
So is there a successful ending?
If my rights are not affected and, just as with many other socially acceptable yet religiously prohibited practices, our ability to co-exist despite conflicting beliefs rises above their potential downfall, then there will be a party with a legalized pot of happiness at the end of that proud rainbow island (from which I will abstain; but I will bring the Jello). So let’s work together to get there–because I, too, want to know where the gold at. (click at your own risk)
As this country continues down the road where, doubtless, many laws of the land will come into conflict with religious morals, know that I will stand my ground with fellow believers full of “power and love and a sound mind” (2Timothy 1:7)—for man’s loudest shouts cannot alter what God has whispered to my soul.