Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by P-Worm, Nov 10, 2009.
I'm glad to see this. The church isn't all that bad. People outside of SL, UT sometimes get the wrong picture. I wonder who in the church is making this decision?
If it's an official church statement (and it looks certain that it was), then it came from the top: namely the prophet and the 12 apostles.
The cynic in me wonders if the Mormon Church is attempting to do some damage control after the Prop 8 issue in California.
Quite the reversal after this little incident:
Was it an over-reaction by the Mormon security guards, yes. However, they were on private property and were asked to leave and didn't. I agree with what the police officer had to say.
I don't see how this is a reversal of this incident at all. The couple was escorted off private property and detained after being told to end the behavior they were engaging in and refusing. I have a feeling this would still happen if the same circumstances arose.
I think it is great that they backed it, however I still believe that if you are a religious organization and are actively involved in politics that your tax exempt status should be stripped.
We have a winner.
The cynic in you may have noticed a pending legal action whose outcome may depend on convincing the court the CLDS poured millions upon millions of parishioners' offerings into a campaign to portray equality for gay people as a monstrous plan to corrupt children and a willful first step towards state-mandated tolerance for bestiality for some as-yet-unrevealed better reason than simple discriminatory hatred of gay people.
If he noticed that, he might be forgiven for seeing this as a cheap manipulative symbolic gesture that explicitly concedes an obvious right most of the rest of the country already takes so for granted it does not even occur to them it needs spelling out anymore, a low-cost strategic retreat that they hope will help fortify a more important position on the battlefield against gay rights.
But, you know, that's just the cynic in you, and you know what a suspicious bastard that guy can be. Golf clap for the CLDS leadership who I'm sure undertook this totally characteristic, expected and in no way suspiciously timed position, without any calculation, out of the "goodness" of their "hearts."
So they're messing in politics again. When will that tax demand hit their doormat?
Right on the money. P-Worm, I like you and I know you think that the Church is doing a good thing here, but it's quite obvious they're trying to save their own behinds. Well, it does nothing to change my opinion of them. Until they admit that they should not be messing in politics and pay the penalty for what they did, my view of them won't change.
I don't care what any church thinks of us, as long as they keep their hands off our laws.
So does that mean next time I ask to see their sacred undergarments they won't head for the door?
Note that this is my understand of how official church policy is written, as I am not an agent or otherwise authorized to make statements that are binding to the church. I say this because I am attempting to explain my understanding of official policy in an attempt to explain why this would be a different matter.
The official stance of the church is that marriage is a man/woman thing. Their stance on sexuality is tied very directly to that marriage stance and is an issue of gays caught in the crossfire - sexual relations are limited to a man and a woman within the bounds of marriage. That means that, at least as far as official policy is concerned (discounting bias on the part of local leaders), a guy and a girl having sex before marriage, a guy and a girl having sex outside of marriage (i.e. adultery), and homosexual sex at any time are essentially the same.
Beyond the marriage issue, official church policy is that homosexuals should be treated the same as any heterosexual. That means that they would support housing and employment protection - the protections are designed to eliminate distinction of superior or inferior rights. More importantly, by giving it official sanction, it helps suppress individual biases that would lead to mistreatment of homosexuals in heavily Mormon areas.
So, while you may be cynical about the why, it falls in line with the church's stance on the broader topic of homosexuality. Looking beyond the marriage question seems to be difficult.
And once again, it appears that a lesson of the tax code is necessary. There are two points that need to be addressed you are wrong about.
First, tax exemption for non-profit organizations. To a great extent, political activities have no relationship to tax exemption. The question is one of profit. If an organization is a qualified non-profit (meaning that the IRS has determined that they meet set requirements), an organization is not subject to taxation. 501(c)(4) organizations such as MoveOn.org, Greenpeace, the NRA, etc. are all tax exempt. They obtain that status regardless of their political activies. Saying that an organization should lose its tax exemption because of political activities makes you look uneducated.
Second is 501(c)(3) status, which permits a individual donors to deduct contributions from their income. These charitable organizations may not spend a substantial of their activities in lobbying activites. While the amount that may be spent will vary from organization ot organization. Lobbying on behalf of one referendum, in one state, on the part of a worldwide organization hardly constitutes substantial.
So, while you may wish to debate how extensive their activities in CA were in comparison to the size of the organization, you will have an uphill battle. You may want to address the nature of lobbying activities among religious organizations, but be careful. Remember that Congress is prohibited from promoting any religion (or lack thereof). Restricting the ability of religious organizations while permitting other 501(c)(3) organizations to lobby would be an Establishment Clause violation. And debating their tax exemption is just dumb.
I never said I didn't think this was a PR move. It obviously looks that way. But would you rather the Church not back this because the motivation might be in the wrong place?
I haven't stated my opinion on the matter yet because I am not sure what I think of it. In the mean time I am glad that this is bringing a much needed law to the state I live in.
I don't necessarily see the church's stance against same-sex marriage being in conflict with this stance against employment and housing discrimination. FWIW, I think they're doing the right thing, and I find it problematic that the new ordinances were even needed to begin with.
I'd rather the church said nothing and stayed out of politics. I thought I made that clear.
Unfortunately, that isn't really how it works in Utah. If the Church hadn't given its blessing for this, there would have been many in the state that would have disregarded the law because they thought it was the right thing to do (completely ignoring the fact that one of the core beliefs of the Church is to obey the laws of the land and be a good citizen). Because the Church made this statement, it ensures that the law will actually be practiced and not just words written on paper somewhere.
It's unfortunate, but that's just how it is here. Separation of church and state doesn't really exist in Utah.
Then the church needs to start paying taxes and the government (mormon or not) should have some say in how the church is run. Sounds like the church is asking for a lot of legal trouble. I can't say that would bother me at all.
I say we bring it to them. They interfered in another states politics, maybe it's time we interfered with theirs.
A lot of states have archaic laws that were never changed. I remember a few years ago when a law was repealed (I think it was in Missouri, but I am not sure) that allowed the people to kill any Mormon without reason. It is sad that this had to be done in the first place, but it doesn't really surprise me.
I'm not going back to the tax issue. I've explained that once already. And the government has already had a specific say in LDS policy (see 19th century). While it was easier at the time to distinguish various religious groups and pick on those you didn't like, 1st Amendment be damned, the continual lumping of religion has created a broader community fear of "if government may interfere with one religion, why not others, why not ours?" Additionally, the constant push for church/state separation would run such a proposal into another wall. Nevertheless, there is government regulation on how churches may operate.
How so on the legal trouble? A large portion of the population in a specific area is affiliated with a particular belief or community. Of course a statement by the leadership of the belief or community will have sway on how people respond, especially if those people are not comfortable with how the situation is being presented to them. Are you telling me that getting support from Catholic leadership in Boston, Baptist in Atlanta, etc before passing legislation, turning a potentially hostile reception into a neutral/postive reception is a bad thing?
Didn't the bathhouse closure issue in SF in the early 80s diffuse as a result of support of some leaders in the gay community?
Lee says [government, homosexuals] bring it to the Mormons. The Mormons interfered in California's politics, maybe it's time [government, homosexuals] interfered with [the Mormons', Utah's]. The bracketed items are the pronouns I'm not clear on. I think you are saying that gays should interfere with Utah politics because the church interefered with California's, but I'm not sure.
If so, I don't know how that would work. The size of the gay community in CA is not nearly as substantial as that of the Mormon community in UT. Getting something passed through the state or city legislatures would be very unlikely, and public referendums are a CA peculiarity (notwithstanding the difficulty in shifting such a large segment of the population).
I suppose if a massive number of members of the gay community moved to UT, there could be greater influence on UT politics, but it would need to be spread throughout the state instead of congregating in SLC. Moreover, shifting large enough numbers, would put the remaining communities in other areas at risk as they would dwindle in size.
They f***ed with us, we f*** with them any way we can. Period. You don't have to like it. I'm not asking for your approval. But you don't react to a bully by doing nothing. You hit back hard.
Ok, so what are you going to do about the voters in CA, ME, OR who have all voted against gay marriages recently? Say what you want about the Mormon church and the money they spent, but it is the voters who actually went and voted against these measures.
We hit them just as hard. Why would they be exempt? Find out who voted and do what you can. Gays in California have already taken action against people who voted against them, and appropriately so- through boycotts, etc. We keep going in that direction. I've said it before, no more Mr Nice Gay. We've pulled long enough, it's time to push. People want to take our rights? Well, we aren't going to sit back and let them do it. No more.
Lee, reread what you wrote. Is that really what you want to say? It sounds like a direct quote from the White House, circa 2001/2003.
I didn't think you were asking for my approval, but think through what you are saying. What happened in CA was in compliance with the law. There are some issues that might be debatable, and perhaps you could get laws changed, but there are Constitutional roadblocks in your way.
How would you hit back hard, "any way we can"?
Bring down government regulation? Under what guise - church/state separation will block most anything. Take away tax deductible donations? They are fully compliant, and that wouldn't reduce donations by much. Take away tax exemption? They are a non-profit, no two ways about that. Blow up a temple? That would hardly win you any votes.
Sometimes a Good Neighbor policy is the best way to get people to your side. Is it the easiest or fastest? No. But the more people embrace common humanity, the less they fight each other. It took the church nearly 100 years to move past the 1830s. In the interim, they brought down a third of the United States military on their heads, had their property seized by the government, and voting rights taken away. Members were portrayed as monsters long enough that even today, they are about as welcome in the Deep South as gays and blacks. For them, it was getting over their persecution complex that helped the church grow and gain broader acceptance.