Thursday, October 9, 2008

Unpopular

[This is probably going to make me fairly unpopular with a lot people who read this, but I'm getting used to that.]
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may"
-The 11th Article of Faith, written by Joseph Smith
This is not a matter of your feelings towards homosexuality. This is not a matter of your feelings towards gay marriage. This is not a matter of the church or any other institutions views on sexual orientation, preference, or behavior.

This is a matter of freedom and of civil liberties.

You may feel that homosexuality is wrong; that is your right and belief and it should not be taken from you. You may believe that gay marriage is sinful; once again, that is your right and belief and it should not be taken from you. You may believe that Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Voodoo, Zoroastrianism, and Buddhism are incorrect faiths; that is your right and your belief and that should not be taken from you.

We allow all men to worship how, where, or what they may. Does this grant of liberty not apply to people of other faiths that disagree with us? We apply it to Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists...we do not force our religious beliefs or practices upon them in terms of religious freedom. Why then do so many insist we enforce our beliefs on homosexuals (who may be members of any of the previously mentioned religions)? Some of those religions would allow gay marriage. Is it just that we will respect their religious beliefs and ask for their respect...except on this issue, in which case we're right and they're wrong? I strongly doubt that is how Joseph Smith intended the 11th Article of Faith and that shouldn't be how we act.

This is not a matter of what you believe to be right or wrong, moral or immoral. This is a matter of forcing beliefs upon those who do not share our faith. We do not hinder the liberties or freedoms of those who choose to drink alcohol or coffee, smoke cigarettes, have permarital sex, or do any number of things we do not believe are right. Why then do so many go up in arms over an issue that is fundamentally an imposition of our beliefs and our faith on non-members?

The principle is the same.

Joseph Smith wrote the Articles of Faith detailing the doctrines of the church in 1842. Those doctrines have not changed; they are still taught in Primary to our youth and still printed in each copy of the Pearl of Great Price. I only ask that we follow what our religion preaches and allow all men (and women) to worship how, where, or what they may. We are allowed our personal feelings and beliefs on all matters; we should not hinder another from their beliefs or feelings on the same matters.

If we wish them to respect our religion and our beliefs, we must also respect theirs.

5 comments:

nae4blue said...

I think gay marriage is pointless based on its original creation and what it meant. I mean, the idea of romantic love is only about 150 years old... prior to that, it was a mental illness. Marriage should not be to show affection.

I think we should give them rights. I think rights are awesome. I'm gay.

Ben said...

Thank you for this post.

Becky said...

If God says something is not right, anyone else can say it is right, but that doesn't make it so. I agree in the agency to make decisions, but I also believe that the functional unit of society, the family, is in enough trouble today and when the family unit is crumbling, it needs to be strengthened, not broken down and redefined.

Tim said...

And that's perfectly fine; but does that mean we should impose our beliefs onto others, forcing them to conform to what we believe?

I know I wouldn't take too kindly to Sharia Law being imposed on us and I don't think you would either. This is very similar, only in this case it's our religious beliefs being imposed on homosexuals. Is it ok as long as the beliefs are ours and we believe them to be right?

Pan said...

If we were to look at all things and judge them by only what knowledge we had as an individual at that point in time and refused to be open to a different perspective then the world around us would become narrow, cold and very closed off.

The idea that the human race can only further itself via learning, acceptance and a willingness to explore the unknown should not be limited to science and technology.

If we (the individual) started to explore the people around us further, as single entities and not just on a whole then perhaps a more widespread acceptance of homosexuality would and could be more broadly accepted. We need to stop looking at people in groups. As one religion or another, as a separate culture or different race and start to see, to truly see the individual and want to learn more about that person.

Using religion as a scapegoat to hide our (theirs, yours, anyone’s) fear of something that we can’t understand or chose not to is sad.

It’s not my place to judge anyone, that’s between them and their God.