19 January 2009

The Lord Says...They Shouldn't Have Rights

"I don't believe they should have any rights at all," said [a] South Jordan resident. "The Lord says the man is made for the woman and the woman is made for the man."

Politics. I can't ignore them in good conscience. It's important stuff, determining who is regarded as a rightful citizen and who is allowed to visit their loved ones or support them financially.

I'm afraid people who base their political decisions solely on religious beliefs or traditional norms feel so justified, so affirmed, so united with others as righteously convinced that they don't feel a need to take the time to see how their political views truly affect others or what it entails in the present, practical world. After all, in the grand scheme of things, in the eternal perspective, it will matter little to our eternal selves whether we had the right to marry a same-sex partner for this blip of existence, especially once we've all been taught the truth and understand that same-sex partnerships defy and destroy the very plan of happiness and measure of our creation and spoil our opportunities for procreative or otherwise potentially eternal pairings from which to form numberless posterity, worlds without end. Therefore, we simply must stand firm in our convictions by protecting society from the evil forces which would destroy the family and ruin children's chances of being raised in eternal family units, and though we understand it may hurt some people's feelings, and it may cause much strife for the church for at least a time, it's a necessary sacrifice to make for the spiritual preservation of countless children who will ultimately thank us for helping prevent their upbringing in homes whose very foundation conflicts with the plan of salvation.

Maybe.

I think it's for that reason that 85% of LDS Utahns polled oppose any constitutional amendment opening up the possibility of civil unions to same-sex couples. 85%. I seriously doubt 85% of LDS Utahns surveyed are active. I wonder what the percentage is among regular church-goers. Higher? The same? That's a side-thought.

Nevermind the very fact that this is, for most people, moral legislation. When Tom Hanks commented that support of California's Prop 8 is unamerican, Bill McKeever retorted, "Hanks said he doesn’t 'like to see any discrimination codified on any piece of paper.' Considering that just about every law discriminates in some form or another, makes this comment ridiculous." Pardon me (or don't), but I'm so sick and tired of hearing people say "all legislation is discrimination" as if that's some sort of argument-ending statement that majority rules, minority be damned. It makes me ill. Legislation should preserve rights. It should preserve freedom. It should preserve public health and safety and the security of the nation. It should accomplish those ends with as little stifling of choice as possible.

Yeah, that's ideal. Reality requires tougher decisions than clear-cut rights-preservation. But if you're going to make an argument for taking away rights or refusing to give rights to any particular group, you'd better damned well have a justification based on the preservation of the rights, freedoms, and safety of greater society and the most individuals. That's why the pro-prop-8 leaders figured their best bet was to make Prop 8 an "us or them" scenario. But to hear people saying, "My beliefs are right, and if enough people agree they're right, then we have every right to enforce those beliefs on the rest of society, justified by discriminatory precedent, for whatever reason." Bullcrap. That is unamerican in my estimation.

But this is all a side note: the thing that actually stood out to me in this article about Utahns polled regarding the Common Ground Initiative and other potential legislation was the fact that 40% of those polled opposed all rights for same-sex partnerships, including hospital visitation and employment rights. Really? 40%? 26% of non-LDS, 48% of LDS. Half of my church's membership in this state apparently doesn't believe gay people should have employment protections to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation. They probably don't believe "lifestyle choices" should be protected like "racial" groups are. Half of my church's membership in this state seems to believe men or women should not have visitation or decision-making rights when their beloved partner of 20 years is a member of the same sex.

Granted, the wording of the questions may have some bearing, and perhaps some of those polled would have changed their answers if they could see past the stigma of gays just greedily trying to amass rights to stick it to the man and flip off "traditional families". Maybe they're so sure that it's just "tough love" to help homosexuals by not promoting their wayward lives in any way. But to think that so many people are possibly so coldly entrenched in "us or them" moral warfare that they aren't seeing the people they're affecting or what they're really denying others, down to employment protection and hospital visitation rights...I feel like I either want to weep for my people and their coldness, harden my heart for my own protection, or gain the vision they seem to so clearly see that I fail to grasp.

Well, for my sanity, I guess I'll just chalk it up to another wacky poll, trust everything will work out for the best in the long run, and make my own decisions the best I know how, fully acknowledging I may be missing the mark or lacking some vision one way or another. I can live with that.

3 comments:

Bravone said...

Glad we have it all figured out up here in Idaho :)

Alan said...

Your first long paragraph is as good a summary of the political analysis of most LDS on this issue as I have ever seen. Well done. And scary that such people just can't seem to comprehend the difference between theology and secular law.

Ezra said...

I hate Utah for that very reason. I never planned to live there because I know that's how they think. Thought I was safe in California, but how wrong was I...