13 November 2009

Church Supports Nondiscrimination: What's the Big Deal?

My mummy dearest sent an e-mail to some family regarding the Church's recent statement regarding an nondiscrimination measure passed in Salt Lake. A relative, who, incidentally, isn't LDS, said she thought that seemed like common sense and wondered what all the hubbub was about.

I responded with the following e-mail:
What's huge about this statement is that many members of the church wouldn't dare say they support anti-discrimination laws because they either believe them to be unfair in protecting a group of sinners or because their church has been silent on the issue except for one statement during the Prop 8 campaign saying the church "doesn't oppose" certain rights for gay people. I think many LDS people just shrugged at that or never heard about it because "not opposing" really just means "not actively fighting"; it doesn't mean supporting. Now they've come out in support of certain anti-discrimination laws, which is great.

I know a lot of LDS people who will, only now that the church has said this, feel comfortable vocalizing their support for equal protections under the law in areas like housing and employment. Would've been nice if more members even considered that during gay marriage wars. Would've been nice if the church had come out with this statement during the Prop 8 battle to temper some of the rhetoric its members were throwing around, but that might've compromised the passion behind passing the proposition. It's hard not to view this as political timing or too little too late, but I think it's a much-needed clarification for so many of the members who are afraid to voice such support until the institutional church does it, so I try not to be too cynical about the timing, and I'm thankful to the church administration for doing it.

...you didn't think I'd have a one-line response for this, did you? :-)

She responded:
Thank you [O-Mo]. You are right and I am very glad the Mormon Church has come out in support of anti-discrimination laws. Let's hope more churches do. I was being short-sighted not to realize the positive impact of this. It just seemed to me to be the right thing so what was the big deal. The big deal is that this is not the norm for many "Christians" and it should be.

FYI, examples of how the Church is taking flack from extreme social conservatives (such as the writers on a site purportedly spreading the "truth" about homosexuality):
Mormon Church Decision to Embrace Homosexual Laws Could Presage a Split in the Pro-Family Movement

Sutherland Institute Calls LDS Support of Salt Lake City Gay Ordinance Problematic

Gary Glenn Responds to Regrettable Mormon Church Decision to Back ‘Gay Rights’ Laws - in part, he implies the LDS Church isn't operating on principle but naively ignoring that some courts have used antidiscrimination laws to push same-sex marriage. Actually, it is the operation of principles rather than blind dogma which demands the tougher road with greater complexity and concessions to reason. Only a jackass thinks it's his way or the highway in all things. I firmly believe in a principled approach to life and politics, but what this man described is not principled in my estimation, it's idiotic.

These are people who are apparently unable to distinguish the parts from the whole of a movement, concept, or philosophy or to understand that every good thing can be misused, but that doesn't make the thing itself bad. They live in a childlike reality without subtlety or clarity. They believe experience determines reality. It's juvenile and intellectually pathetic, and I see it rampantly on both sides of this and other issues. But that discussion is for another time, as is my diplomacy, apparently.

Now that my flight is about to board, and my "bored" time at the airport is about over, I'm going back to vacation mode. :-)

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