Three Thoughts on Gay Marriage and Why We All Should Calm Down

by | Political

gay pride rainbow

 

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?

 

That’s okay.

 

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.

 

#cantwealljustgetalong

 

 

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.

 

 

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  • Clark Bateman

    Well said, my friend. I’ve had many of the same thoughts. I’m glad you wrote them down.

  • DrChambers

    You have just expressed a full on position of appeasement. From a religious perspective homosexuality is an abomination. From a societal, moral and ethical perspective it cuts against the the established norms of civilization since its inception. This is the moral decay of our time honored institutions. Marriage is not a “right” it’s a rite. When did the “government” (in this case 5 unelected political appointees) get to decide for 320 million citizens what a “right” is and who gets a right? It’s clearly forbidden by the enumerated powers of the Constitution. So, if by stating your rights haven’t been hurt by this action, then you should never complain when the same body that brought you obamacare, abortion and homosexual marriage decide to take away whatever else you constitute as a right. This is how the great societies of the past vanished. If you think homosexual marriage doesn’t affect you then wait until the same group (who are never
    happy about any decsion) try to make the next big change with respect to what we once thought were morals and values. It is quite clear, Zack that you lack worldly experience, are relatively young and are writing from the perspective of weakness. By the way, the SCOTUS decision is never the final say. I believe you are very conflicted. Why? Because you just rolled over. More importantly you offered no moral solution. You are just another “go along to get along” soul.

    • Zack Oates

      Interesting, comment. I appreciate you sharing your views, but it is quite clear, DrChambers, that you lack tact, are relatively bitter and are writing from a perspective that shuts down the conversation to BOTH those who disagree with you AND those who agree with you.

      My moral solution is to be agreeable while disagreeing and to be vigilant about the slippery slope of religious rights/rites. Your solution appears to be ranting about things that are already done while alienating others.

      • Kerry

        The good doctor is basically right, he does get a little bitter and off track and presents a more than necessary personal attack, but that said he is correct that we must not be accepting of evil. We do need to accept people, our brothers and sisters in God. Marriage was made into a civil rite because of the tax code (another stupid evil move.) Our vision of the Supreme Court as the final arbiter of right and wrong is a misunderstood abuse of the powers granted in the constitution, they have often been very wrong in their decisions and later repudiated by both the populace and legislature whose responsibility it is. We must not, as moral citizens, accept what we know is wrong as part of our civil lives. We are well down the slippery slope and it is past time to dig in our feet, stop and reverse the slide.

  • Andrea Toro

    Thanks! Very well said/written, I think same as you. Greetings from Chile 😉

  • Amanda

    Well if you’re bringing something sweet then I’ll bring something salty. Though just FYI, jello hardly counts as sweet. Mormons bring brownies a lot too. Couldn’t you at least bring those!?

    Seriously though, thank you for so eloquently putting into words some of my own thoughts. I so often hear one side blasting the other with “God said to love everyone!” This is true, and I am a firm believer in that. However, people need to understand that love does not equal agreement. Just as opposition does not equal hate. We can love each other while not agreeing on certain topics and still have fun acting silly crazy while we look for leprechauns together.

    Even when the battle lines must be drawn, it doesn’t mean I love you any less. It just means I have to stand up for what I believe, just as you are.

  • Sarah

    All the efforts the church made to prevent gay people from being able to marry achieved only one thing: to increase hostility in personal attitudes within its own membership. Imagine you are a silent homosexual youth listening to your father rant about how gay marriage is abhorrent and against God’s will. There have been too many suicides within this church by individuals who are gay to get messed up in this topic.

    Gay marriage isn’t going to stop people from being gay or from acting on gay sexual desires, so why all the frenzy? I don’t understand. The first and foremost command is to love. Why fight against gay marriage then? Why not give all that money to the poor? I do not believe Jesus would have got mixed up in this if he were here. He’d be helping someone, lifting someone up – fighting against same sex marriage is doing neither of these and is not prioritising love.

    We don’t have to agree with same sex marriage to believe that people should have the right to marry whomever they choose. God is a God of choice.
    I thought Joseph Smith said the church should never get mixed up in political issues???
    If you look at the facts, gay marriage will probably help create less promiscuity which has been rife amongst the gay community. Marriage is pro monogamy, pro commitment; both are needed for mental health.
    Jesus mainly only quietly taught, he never shouted from soap boxes, think of him writing in the sand.