Sunday, November 30, 2008

These are they who protested the Christmas lights

When it is time to vote again or anytime we have our voices heard, let us remember that these are they who protested the Christmas lights.

The Mesa, Arizona Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, through volunteers, working hundreds of hours, utilizing thousands of lights, each year presents a fabulous presentation of light and sound to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Each night various singing groups, including local school and church choirs, many non-LDS, participate in this annual traditional event. Tens of thousands of people, some by the bus load, come to the Mesa Temple to spend a few minutes lost in the wonder of the miracle of the lights signifying the miracle and light brought to our world by the Savior Jesus Christ.

You can get small idea of the grandeur of the lights and concert schedule from:

http://www.christmastemplelights.com/

However, the families, especially those with small children who love to see the manger scene, will have their visit marred this year by the protest of same-sex marriage activists. These anti-marriage protesters have marched in California and Utah and now Arizona, protesting the participation of the members of the LDS Church in the passage of Proposition 8 in California and Proposition 102 in Arizona. However, they are not just protesting the individual members' rights to freedom of religion, freedom of speech and their right to vote, they are protesting against all that is good, decent and traditional about marriage, families and the Christmas season. It is absolutely abhorrent that these people use the celebration of the birth of Christ as a platform for their own personal agenda of intolerance and hate.

As I said at the beginning, and as I will say again, and again, these are the people who protested the celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, these are the people who oppose the very sacred nature of our religious observance. They are not looking for "civil rights," they are opposing all that is good, decent and sacred about marriage, the family and our religious beliefs as Christians.

Please help other right thinking Christians to hear this message.

You can find the news article about the protest at:

http://www.azcentral.com/community/mesa/articles/2008/11/28/20081128gaymarriage1128.html

Friday, November 28, 2008

Analysis of the philosophical and legal background of the gay-rights movement

In previous posts I have noted that the discussion of same-sex marriage is largely a matter of mindless name calling. It is extremely difficult to find reasoned analysis based on classical philosophical principles. One such discussion was cited in my last post. The author has continued his analysis with reference to established rules of logic. The discussion points up the logical fallacies of the movement.

See http://quantumleap42.blogspot.com/2008/11/incomplete-definitions-and-logical.html

Unfortunately, the rank emotionalism of the same-sex marriage movement is not constrained by logical fallacies.

Another major aspect of the movement is the use of "buzz words," that is, phrases with currency in our society. One of the most overused, is claiming that the issues involve "civil rights." This term has vague, almost folklore meanings, as well as a reference to specific state and Federal laws. Since the common usage of the term extends to almost every conceivable situation where someone feels that there is a personal injustice, that use of the term is useless. The question is, whether, given the thousands of court rulings, the term has a legal meaning?

Since the concept of a civil right, pre-dates our present legal system, we need to see if there is an accepted definition of the term. One good definition is found at

http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/history/virtual/glossary.htm


Civil Rights: Are rights held by individuals and groups derived from the social contract - the common consent of society at large to the rules under which its members live. The term relates in particular to the ideas outlined by Rousseau in The Social Contract. Under this conception, civil rights derive from society rather than God or nature [see Human Rights, and Natural Rights] and can be changed. On the one hand this gives the state the power to deprive people of liberties they once had (e.g. the ability to drugs, or to drink alcohol), but also enables "progressive" political groups to argue for new "rights", for instance the "right to vote" or the "right to healthcare". Rights such as these cannot be derived from nature as they depend on particular (and not commonly achieved) degrees of social organization and wealth.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Not all comments on Proposition 8 are superficial

One of the problems we saw with the news storm about Proposition 8 and the other Marriage Amendments was that the commentary was nearly always superficial and essentially name calling. Very infrequently someone makes a significant statement about the issues involved. If you have any interest in understanding these issues it is important to understand the background philosophical reasons for either supporting or opposing the concept of a marriage amendment.

One of the most significant commentaries can be found at

http://quantumleap42.blogspot.com/


Please take some time to read all of these recent posts. Perhaps we can begin to raise the level of discussion and address some of the real issues of our times.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

California Supreme Court may issue controversial rulings

Recent news coverage has indicated that a decision by the California Supreme Court in favor of overturning Proposition 8 may not be a foregone conclusion. At least one of the Judges has reversed her apparent position on the cases now pending challenging the passage of the Marriage Amendment.

To read an extensive commentary, including links to all of the pertinent news articles, go to:

http://selfevidenttruths-euripides.blogspot.com/2008/11/legal-experts-puzzled.html

LDS Church publishes resources on Proposition 8

Church Public Affairs has published several statements and resources that will help Church members better understand the news media coverage and public reaction to California's Proposition 8.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Old line anti-Mormon activists taking advantage of Proposition 8

There has been some more information on the old line anti-Mormons taking advantage of the sentiment attached to the vote on Proposition 8 in California. Under the guise of supporting gay-rights, the anti-Mormon contingent is actually trying to further their own negative agenda.

See the link at http://selfevidenttruths-euripides.blogspot.com/

The anti-Mormon activists apparent justify their lack of candor in identifying their true affiliation by the fact that they are opposing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gay-Rights Web site a front for Anti-Mormons

There are some excellent articles which strongly indicate that some of the recent supposedly gay-rights activity is actually a front for blatantly anti-Mormon activists. For an analysis of one such Web site see:

http://selfevidenttruths-euripides.blogspot.com/ Self Evident Truths

There is a companion article from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at:

http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/care-for-the-flock

The LDS Church cites support

In a recent press release The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints summarized a number of messages of support and outrage at the recent attacks by pro-gay groups. The articles cited are worth reading, even if the reader does not agree with the LDS church position. Here is the link to the press release:

http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/news-releases-stories/measured-voices-provide-reason-support-amidst-proposition-8-reaction

Friday, November 21, 2008

Please read this very insightful commentary

This is an excellent analysis of the anti-Proposition 8 and anti-LDS Church position. I should be read and disseminated.

http://www.uspoliticalscene.com/?p=108

Thanks.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

You may not have noticed, these aren't the sixties

I lived through the 60s and the 70s. I remember going to work in 1967, in South Phoenix and driving through drifts of tear gas and seeing stores boarded up from vandalism. During the time of the Civil Rights movements, the protests were aimed at the government and its leaders in an attempt to end racial seggregation. It is generally agreed that the Civil Rights movement began in 1954 with the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, holding that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. The early years were marked by violence, including murder and kidnapping. The rioting continued off and on and erupted again in 1992 in Los Angeles. In all of that turmoil, it was always clear that the issue was the ability of Blacks to participate in the political processes of the United States. There are still parts of the United States that have a long way to go before there is true racial equality.

The current protests and vandalism aimed at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can in no way be characterized as civil rights demonstrations. First of all, we did not fight a Civil War so that people could enter into same-sex marriages. No one is being denied citizenship or the right to vote or being limited in any way in participating fully in the electorial process. The current protests are not directed at the government, but at a religious organization. Even before the California Supreme Court overruled the ban on same-sex marriage, domestic partners in California had virtually every right granted to married couples. Not one of those laws granting rights to domestic partners, is repealed by the passage of Proposition 8. In the case of the earlier racially motivated civil rights protests, the United States government could actually do something about the inequality and it did. There was major legislation in the Civil Rights Acts of 1968 and 1991. The protests against the passage of Proposition 8, however, involve no substantive rights at all.

Unlike the institution of marriage, slavery was never a fundamental and universal basis for society. Slavery was opposed on both moral and religious grounds long before the American Civil War. Church Ministers were some of the most active opponents to slavery. In fact, members of the LDS Church were driven from their homes in 1838 in Missouri under an extermination order for allegedly opposing slavery.

The current protests are motivated by a desire for vengeance. The LDS Church cannot change the law voted on by over 50% of the voters of California. The protesters are essentially trying to deny a majority their own Constitutional rights to peacefully participate in the election process. In effect, punishing the Church and its members for voting in an election and supporting a cause they believe in. There are no parallels with the Civil Rights movement. The protesters' use of the Civil Rights banner in their vindictive punishment of the LDS Church and its members is a mockery of the real Civil Rights movement. Ironically, a large majority of the Black population of California voted for Proposition 8. These same-sex marriage protesters desecrate the very movement they claim to support.

Friday, November 14, 2008

LDS Church responds to acts of terrorism

In a statement, the First Presidency of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said that since the Nov. 4 election, places of worship have been targeted with protests and vandalism.

"People of faith have been intimidated for simply exercising their democratic rights. These are not actions that are worthy of the democratic ideals of our nation," the statement said. "The end of a free and fair election should not be the beginning of a hostile response in America."

The LDS Church said it was keenly aware of the "differences of opinion on this difficult and sensitive manner," but the First Presidency expressed disappointment in what it has seen since Prop. 8 passed.

"We call upon those who have honest disagreements on this issue to urge restraint upon the extreme actions of a few that are further polarizing our communities and urge them to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility towards each other," the statement said.

This message was issued in response to envelopes of a white powdery substance being sent to LDS Church headquarters and to LDS Temples.

See http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,705263061,00.html

If you express your position in a free and open election, apparently those who disagree with you are entitled to use terrorism to suppress your opinion?

The full statement can be found at:

http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng

In another article, an LDS Web site was attacked.

Scott Proctor of Meridian magazine said the site was hacked into early Nov. 5, and its home page was replaced with "horrible, explicit lesbians films placed all over the cover." Engineers took the site down immediately after the break-in was discovered, he said.

The company's Internet technology director said the electronic breach occurred in "a very elegant way. They had to have someone who really knew what they were doing to accomplish it the way they did it."

I don't remember any reports of picketing, vandalism, hacking or mailing of substances by LDS Church members. LDS temples in California, Salt Lake City and New York have been the subject of mass demonstrations over the faith's heavy involvement in the campaign to pass Proposition 8. More demonstrations are planned this weekend over marriage and gay rights — including a pair of demonstrations in Salt Lake City.

See http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,705263061,00.html

I am sure that there will be more to follow.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fallout from Proposition 8 is national news

Apparently passing the Marriage Amendments was only the beginning. As a trial attorney, this is what I expected to happen. A report in the Salt Lake Tribune entitled "Complaint: LDS Church underreported Prop 8 role" claims that:

"Californians Against Hate, an independent nonprofit organization committed to shining the spotlight on hefty donors to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign, upped the ante against the LDS Church today. The group filed a complaint with California's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), claiming The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints failed to report non-monetary contributions that helped pass the measure - one that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, issuing a huge blow to the movement for same-sex marriages."

"But LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter issued a strong response this afternoon, saying the church "fully complied with the reporting requirements of the California Political Reform Act," relied on advice from experienced California counsel and made no violations when it came to reporting expenditures. In fact, he added in a written statement, the LDS Church "filed four reports with California authorities; these reports are a matter of public record. A further report will be filed on or before its due date, January 30, 2009. . . The so-called 'sworn complaint' filed by Fred Karger with California and Utah authorities has many errors and misstatements. Any investigation would confirm the Church's full compliance with applicable law."

See http://www.sltrib.com/faith/ci_10975443

It looks like full time work for a lot of attorneys for a long time. Meanwhile the protesters in the streets have spread as far as New York. An estimated 10,000 people protested outside the Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints near Lincoln Center.

See http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,451446,00.html

"Mormon church spokesman Michael Otterson said that while he respected citizens' right to protest, he was "puzzled" and "disturbed" by the gathering given that the majority of California's voters approved the amendment."

"This was a very broad-based coalition that defended traditional marriage in a free and democratic election," Otterson said Wednesday before the rally's start, referring to Protestants, Catholics, evangelicals and Jews as well as Mormons. "It's a little disturbing to see these protesters singling out the Mormon church," he said. "What exactly are these people protesting?"

Ironically, New York courts have rejected lawsuits attempting to legalize same-sex marriages.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_New_York

Same-sex marriage proponents initially sought the legalization of same-sex marriage through New York's courts. Five separate suits were filed seeking same-sex marriage. At the trial level, four failed and one succeeded (though it was stayed and later reversed). At the intermediate appellate level, four failed and one was not decided. The cases were all rolled into one and heard by the New York Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, on May 31, 2006. On July 6, 2006 the Court of Appeals in Hernandez v. Robles decided that New York law does not permit same-sex marriage and that there is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Catholic Bishops support LDS Church

Attacks against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by opponents of Proposition 8 in California were decried by two Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church. Statements released by the LDS Church Newsroom are as follows:

http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/news-releases-stories/catholic-bishops-decry-religious-bigotry-against-mormons

The statements emphasis the diversity of the proponents of each of the three Amendments passed in the General Election.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Punish the state?

The recent political campaigns concerning Marriage Amendments didn't involve Utah voters, but the State of Utah will pay anyway. Gay activists are blaming the Church for the passage of the three Constitutional Amendments, especially in California. See the article in the The Arizona Republic for November 10, 2008.

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2008/11/08/20081108MormonsGayMarriage1108.html


Think about it. If you don' t agree with my position, I will get everyone to boycott your whole state! Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion go out the window. Not content with protests aimed at the Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gay rights activist John Aravosis, an influential blogger in Washington, D.C. said, "They just took marriage away from 20,000 couples and made their children bastards," he said. "You don't do that and get away with it." He went on to say, "The main focus is going to be going after the Utah brand," he said. "At this point, honestly, we're going to destroy the Utah brand. It is a hate state."

The irony of this position is highlighted by a companion article in the Arizona Republic, published on November 8, 2008 from the Washington Post. The article claims that "seven in 10 African-Americans who went to the polls voted yes on Proposition 8, the ballot measure overruling a state Supreme Court judgment that legalized same-sex marriage..."

See http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2008/11/08/20081108BlacksGayMarriage1108.html

So now are the gay activists going to boycott Southern States that have large Black populations?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A new Utah War?

In 1857, the President of the United States, James Buchanan, was persuaded by anti-Mormon sentiment and agitators to send the U.S. Army to "put down the rebellion in Utah." At the time, this was arguably the one of the largest, if not the largest military campaign undertaken by the United States in that period of our history. The War is also known as "Buchanan's Blunder" due to the fact that there was no rebellion. Nevertheless, the confrontation lasted from May, 1857 to July, 1858. Ironically, the General sent by Buchanan to put down the rebellion, Albert Sidney Johnston, became a General in Confederate Army and fought against the Union.

From current news articles, the United States apparently hasn't moved very far from that level of irrational anti-Mormon sentiment of the 1800s. With the recent passage, by three states, California, Arizona and Florida, of Marriage Amendments, mobs of Gay activists have attacked Mormon Temple sites in California and Utah and the government has stood by and allowed the attacks.

Here are several news stories of the confrontation.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-11-09-protests_N.htm?csp=34

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,705261463,00.html

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-protests9-2008nov09,0,7790800.story


Significantly, the L.A. Times news article ignores the specific attacks on the Church at the Los Angeles Temple.

http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-141635


What is significant about these attacks is the fact that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints comprise less than 2% of the population of California and 52% of the population voted in favor of the amendment. Further, the attacks include specific threats to kill members of the Church.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=80220

The Church has responded with clear statements:

http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/news-releases-stories/church-issues-statement-on-proposition-8-protest

If this type of mob activity was directed at Jews, Blacks or Muslims, or other similar minority, the outrage and outcry would have swept the country. But, because the target is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, apparently we are still in the 1800s.