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Posted on November 24 at 8:33 p.m.
Post 4 of 4: This final post continues and completes the three preceding it.
Currently, the Mormons have bankrolled their latest definition of marriage: between ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN - apparently as long as they're of the same race and have the same socioeconomic, cultural and educational backgrounds, although, they're willing to give a bit on the specifics. However, same-sex marriages are out of the question. One has to wonder if they were wrong about their first three definitions of marriage, what the probability is of their being wrong about this one? There is no need for statisticians to calculate that probability.
I'm all for the Mormons having their own marriage practices and beliefs. But when they endorse or oppose political candidates or propositions from the pulpit, or from televised firesides beseeching members across the nation to donate huge sums of money to defeat a proposition in a single state, or by requiring all of the students in their universities to attend special colloquia aimed at instructing them on the "party line" - they are explicitly and openly directing their members to vote in particular ways. In so doing, they obliterate the separation of church and state and potentially lose the safety-net of their non-profit status. They enter a political status with all the associated privileges and limitations. They, like any political actor in our democracy, put themselves at risk of dissent and protest, especially given they are a religious institution intentionally attempting to assert their religious definition of marriage on a civil status guaranteed to all citizens under the 14th Amendment.
So, while I fully support the LDS church's definition of marriage for its own members, I respectfully request them to keep their definitions to themselves, as they so asserted when they practiced polygyny. I have no need for a Mormon marriage. I do, however, have right to a Civil marriage.
On Santa Barbarans Protest Prop. 8
Posted on November 24 at 8:32 p.m.
Post 3 of 4 - This post continues the two preceding it. I couldn't fit all of this into 3 posts, so have to add a fourth following this.
3) MISCEGENATION (INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE)
The LDS church has presented anti-miscegenation practices, attitudes and beliefs from its inception to today. Interracial marriage was forbidden and is still "discouraged" today it's hard to forbid it after the African American priesthood "revelation" of 1978. It's allowed, but considered selfish because, among other arguments, of the "problems" the children produced by such a marriage will surely face.
Spencer Kimball, the LDS President/Profit behind the 1978 racial "revelation" is also quoted as saying: We are unanimous, all of the Brethren, in feeling and recommending that Indians marry Indians, and Mexicans marry Mexicans; the Chinese marry Chinese and the Japanese marry Japanese; that the Caucasians marry the Caucasians, and the Arabs marry Arabs."(0/0/59) (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.303)
He didn't limit this to race, however. Apparently it is "best" if married couples come from the same socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds: " For a wealthy person to marry a pauper promises difficulties. For an ignoramus to marry one with a doctor's degree promises difficulties, heartaches, misunderstandings, and broken marriages" IBID.
There is even a *current* "lesson plan" for young Mormon men that explicitly discourages interracial marriage (Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3, Lesson 31: "Choosing an Eternal Companion"). See this their own website at: http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp...
For a full discussion of the history of the "problem" of interracial marriage among LDS leadership see: http://www.lightplanet.com/family/mar...
Continued in Post 4, following this one..
Posted on November 24 at 8:29 p.m.
Post 2 of 3This post continues the previous one.
2. African American Marriage/PriesthoodThe details of this history can be found in the HISTORY OF THE CHURCH and other historical documents on the LDS and related websites. Prior to Emancipation, *some* free people of color were baptized as Mormon, but the issue was contested and complicated by slavery . The LDS church interpreted the dark skin of African Americans to be the biblical "Mark of Cain" the mark god supposedly placed on Cain for slaying Abel. Although the prevailing antebellum laws established slaves as property, preventing them from choosing their own religion, even post Civil War there were only a handful of Free People of Color in the ranks of LDS. In fact, from its inception until 1978 (over 130 years), African Americans were still considered to bear the "Mark of Cain" and were forbidden from participating in many of the church's sacraments - including endowments, entering the temples, and obtaining a "celestial marriage" all of which were/are crucial prerequisites to the LDS path to "eternal salvation." Likewise, until 1978, African American males were not allowed to be ordained as LDS priests and elders.
What happened in 1978, you ask? Another "revelation" from god as presented to the LDS members by then President/Profit Spencer Kimball, lifting the what had come to be known as the "Curse of Cain Doctrine." It is notable that he did not declare the church had been wrong or even apologize. Rather it was stated that this had been a true law imposed and then lifted by god, rather than a doctrine created my misguided men (women did not contribute to church doctrine). Thus, until 1978, well after the passage of Civil Rights Legislation in the US, the definition of marriage for Mormons excluded African Americans. Interesting histories/timelines related to this topic can be found at:
Continued next in Post 3
Posted on November 24 at 8:27 p.m.
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This message will come in three posts as there is a limitation to the number of characters allowed on any given post.
I was part of the protest, though not an organizer. I agree with the summation given by "gaymarriagesb" above - and have additional reasons for being there.
I'm struck by the fundamental hypocrisy of the LDS church regarding their "one" definition of marriage, when their own definition of marriage has changed at least three times in their relatively short history.
1. POLYGYNY (plural marriage with one husband and multiple wives).
The LDS Church (the Mormons) practiced polygyny (known as "Abraham's Law" or "The Patriarchal Order of Marriage" or "Celestial Plural Marriage" or "The Law of the Priesthood") openly from at least 1852 to 1890. They considered this a divine law and responsibility conferred to them by god and adhered to it under threat of divine punishment (Doctrine and Covenants, 132). They argued this law was intended for their church members only (not asserting their definition of marriage onto the general population) and they believed this religious practice was protected under the US Constitution.
They ran afoul of the law when they refused to abandon polygyny in the latter 19th century, despite legislation outlawing it. Even when their petition for statehood (Utah) was refused because of the practice, Brigham Young (the President and living "Profit" of the LDS church at that time) refused to change church policy. He was ultimately indicted for adultery in 1871. Yet, It wasn't until 1890, after the church was faced with the seizure of all of its assets and its members stripped of their rights as citizens that the fourth church President/Profit, Wilford Woodruff, announced he received a "revelation" from god to ban their previously-argued divine law from god. Very convenient, if not timely.
Continued in Post 2...
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