Monday, June 05, 2006

Did you write?

It seems I am in a minority, but I must stand and add my voice.

Letter from First Presidency of the Church to Church Leaders in the United States
We are informed that the United States Senate will on June 6, 2006, vote on an amendment to the Federal constitution designed to protect the traditional institution of marriage.
We, as the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, have repeatedly set forth our position that the marriage of a man and a woman is the only acceptable marriage relationship.
In 1995 we issued a Proclamation to the World on this matter, and have repeatedly reaffirmed that position.
In that proclamation we said: "We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society."

We urge our members to express themselves on this urgent matter to their elected representatives in the Senate.

In many other blogs (LDS) there seems to be a debate as to whether or not one should follow this suggestion from our Prophet and actually write our Senators. There are those who wish to debate the context of the letter's exact meaning, perhaps suggesting that we should write and tell our Senators that we are for same gender marriage. There are those who defend their positions based on dear loved ones who are either gay or lesbian and in committed loving relationships.

This is my opinion. As an artist I am not a stranger to those who live "alternate lifestyles". Indeed, many of my closest friends are lesbians. I also have, in the past, had many gay friends.
I could go on and on about "union ceremonies" and other ways in which my friends have promised and committed to each other, but I will keep that part short. Suffice it to say I love these people and feel terrible when slanderous and hurtful comments are directed as a blanket statement towards them.

I do, however, feel that although I love my friends, I cannot and will not ever condone same gender marriage. Marriage is between one man and one woman.

Many will argue that same gender marriage is exactly parallel to that of a childless couple in regard that neither couple have children, but both couples love their respective partners. Some will argue that any love is good love, or that having two mommies is better than no mommie; that the divorce rate between heterosexual couples is at 50%, how can homosexual couples be any worse? I would point them to the May 3rd post (Discourse on Marriage) I wrote last month, which stated:

"As Danish sociologists Wehner, Kambskard, and Abrahamson describe it, in the wake of the changes of the nineties, "Marriage is no longer a precondition for settling a family--neither legally nor normatively. . . . What defines and makes the foundation of the Danish family can be said to have moved from marriage to parenthood. "So the highly touted half-page of analysis from an unpublished paper that supposedly helps validate the "conservative case" for gay marriage--i.e., that it will encourage stable marriage for heterosexuals and homosexuals alike--does no such thing. Marriage in Scandinavia is in deep decline, with children shouldering the burden of rising rates of family dissolution. And the mainspring of the decline--an increasingly sharp separation between marriage and parenthood--can be linked to gay marriage. "

"In Sweden, as elsewhere, the sixties brought contraception, abortion, and growing individualism. Sex was separated from procreation, reducing the need for "shotgun weddings." These changes, along with the movement of women into the workforce, enabled and encouraged people to marry at later ages. With married couples putting off parenthood, early divorce had fewer consequences for children. That weakened the taboo against divorce. Since young couples were putting off children, the next step was to dispense with marriage and cohabit until children were desired. Americans have lived through this transformation. The Swedes have simply drawn the final conclusion: If we've come so far without marriage, why marry at all? Our love is what matters, not a piece of paper. Why should children change that?"

"Gay marriage is both an effect and a reinforcing cause of the separation of marriage and parenthood. In states like Sweden and Denmark, where out-of-wedlock birthrates were already very high, and the public favored gay marriage, gay unions were an effect of earlier changes. Once in place, gay marriage symbolically ratified the separation of marriage and parenthood. And once established, gay marriage became one of several factors contributing to further increases in cohabitation and out-of-wedlock birthrates, as well as to early divorce. But in Norway, where out-of-wedlock birthrates were lower, religion stronger, and the public opposed same-sex unions, gay marriage had an even greater role in precipitating marital decline."

That is the world's informed opinion. How many addresses have we as Latter-Day Saints been given on this very topic? Are we not clear as to where the Lord stands on this? Not once have I ever heard the Prophet instruct members to treat homosexuals unkind, but with respect, love, and kindness. This letter is here now for a reason.

The point is that we do not stand on the tower waving our arms in warning, the Prophet does. He can see what is coming. If we do not stand with the Prophet then we stand against him. Pray all you want folks, but the Lord has spoken to us time and again, "whether by mine own voice, or the voice of my servants it is the same."

As a child I was taught that in the last days there would be a weeding out, a sifting wheat from tares, not the world from the church, but within the church itself. Sifting those who argue every jot and tittle, those who find more reason to question than reasons to be obedient or faithful. Those who worry about what friends, family and loved ones think before what the Lord thinks, and requires. Being politically correct will save us our friends, but it may lose us something more valuable.

Do we not remember that Adam was commanded to do things he had little understanding of? Perhaps this is a time when I can no longer sit on the sidelines, but stand with the unpopular for no other reason that the Lord commanded me. I love my friends, they know I do. But they also know that I love the Lord and will try my best to follow Him.

There are those who will read this and reply, "It was not a commandment at all." Or "I have my agency." And even, "I really can't get behind a law that would discriminate so. Isn't this going against being a good Christian???" All I can answer is that I have limited understanding. I do not presume to know all things. I believe the Prophet of the Lord does have more understanding and knowledge than I; and I need to trust him to direct me in what is right even when my heart may tell me differently.

We can still treat our friends with respect and love. We do not, however have to accept everything as honourable and right. I am not perfect, I make choices everyday that are unacceptable. I will be held accountable for these choices. I feel it should be the same for everyone. God has set the standard for this era, and until the Prophet instructs me otherwise, same gender marriage is not ordained of God.

add to sk*rt

6 comments:

tlc illustration said...

Thanks for visiting my blog S'mee. I agree with your assessment (and YES, I wrote my senators. Agreeing with the prophet's position). I don't know if you ever read any of the articles on Meridian Magazine (www.meridianmagazine.com), but they have run a whole series of them addressing the issue of same-sex marriage. Very compelling...

Maren said...

How fun, a comment from my sis. I wrote my senators too.

This post was very well written. I have thought a lot about how the prophet is on the tower and can see and know things that we don't. And also about the separating the wheat from the chaff. The signs of the times are all around.

Jamie J said...

I agree with you. When I read some of the uproar about this letter, I was amazed. The letter does not tell us to shun those that are homosexual. It does not ask us to pass judgement on them. It simply asks us to protect the sanctity of marriage. I have a hard time when I hear people say "Same-sex marriage does not affect my marriage at all." To me that is very short sighted. Thanks for the post.

Yolanda said...

I agree whole-heartedly with your comment on the "sifting of wheat from the tares" from within the church...I think it boils down to a lot of safe "fence-sitting."

"Being politically correct will save us our friends, but it may lose us something more valuable..."

Excellent post.

s'mee said...

Thanks to all for your very supportive comments.

TLC, welcome! I am so glad that I went to your blog. If anyone out there hasn't been, you can see some wonderful photos and more! I went over to the magazine per your suggestion...'taking more time perusing!

Maren, you are very sweet. I worried that this post, that came straight from my head to the page without editing, would come off a jumbled mess. Thanks! (and I agree the signs *are* all around us)

Jamie, It's good to see you! Thanks for being so positive, great example! You are so right, no one is perfect, we can accept a person without accepting their lifestyles. Perhaps through example, our friends will feel the Spirit more in their lives and seek for more Gospel direction.

Yolanda, Again thanks. I have found that being completely honest with my gay/lesbian friends has been hard. Although when I think about it, they all know exactly how I feel and vote, yet we remain friends.

I have one particular friend who seems to understand. She is a lesbian and feels she always will be. That being, she also loves the Lord and chooses to live celebate, which most people say cannot be done. She is resolved. She feels this choice of hers isn't any harder to live than someone who gives up alcohol for the Lord. I admire her so much. To me she is an example of someone who sacrifices themself for Christ.

Thanks again to all of you, you made my day.

Lisa M. said...

I'm late. I often am, it seems. I agree S'mee. Thank you so much for taking all the time to gather your thoughts. I love it when you write on these topics.

http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_3896635

Sadly I found that article.

Anyway, thank you. I agree. *Smile* YOu're great.

sorry for being late!