04 June 2006

Love and the MPA

I have written elsewhere how I feel about the Marriage Protection Amendment. I would like to write here about a disagreement that I have with many of the people who support it.

Of all the scriptures that relate (or loosely relate) to homosexuality and same-sex marriage, here is one that I think is the most neglected:

Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy. (D&C 121:43-45)

My questions to those who actively support the Marriage Protection Amendment:

What have you done to show "an increase of love toward" same-sex couples?

What have you done for same-sex couples to show that your "faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death"?

Do same-sex couples "esteem [you] to be [their] enemy"?

Have you pursued these goals with the same vigor with which you have supported the Marriage Protection Amendment?

Besides restricting marriage to a man and a woman, what have you done to "maintain and strengthen the family"?

6 comments:

Jim Cobabe said...

**What have you done to show "an increase of love toward" same-sex couples?

Nothing. I do not personally know any of such disposition. In my case, it seems you propose a solution without a problem.

**What have you done for same-sex couples to show that your "faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death"?

Not a thing. I am not aquainted with any that might require such personal attentions.

**Do same-sex couples "esteem [you] to be [their] enemy"?

Only as they entertain parnoid delusions.

**Have you pursued these goals with the same vigor with which you have supported the Marriage Protection Amendment?

There is no obvious connection betwen the marriage amendment and the scriptural injunction on offering personal reproof. The proposed amendment is a defensive strategy to preserve marriage law status quo. It is not directed as an attack or personal reproof to anyone.

**Besides restricting marriage to a man and a woman, what have you done to "maintain and strengthen the family"?

Although I support the proposed legal implementation, I take no credit for the idea. It originated with obviously wiser people than me. I'm not very good at strengthening anything. I'll continue to encourage their good efforts.

BrianJ said...

Jim,

Much of your comments are fine with me. For example, it's fine with me that you have not made any personal contacts with homosexual people.

I do not agree with part of what you say, however. If you support an issue, you are obligated to consider how it affects others, not just how it pertains to you. You may not personally know any homosexual people, but the MPA could have affected them. In forming your opinion of the MPA, did you consider how it would affect them? Have you become familiar with other legislative measures that also affect homosexual people?

I also disagree with: "There is no obvious connection betwen the marriage amendment and the scriptural injunction on offering personal reproof." If we were to analyze your sentence alone, then I would have no problem with it; there is no explicit reproof of homosexuality in the MPA. But the rhetoric surrounding the debate and the reasoning behind the MPA are filled with reproof toward homosexuality and same-sex couples. Your response ignores that.

Paul said...

Brian,
Thanks for the reminder. I asked a similar question from the pulpit in my ward. This was before the MPA. I quoted President Hinkley's address in the Priesthood session of Oct 1999 conference, "Why We do Some of the Things We Do," (Ensign, 1999, 52). President Hinckly defended the church's right to speak out on moral issues and then added: "Nevertheless, and I emphasize this, I wish to say that our opposition to attempts to legalize same-sex marriage should never be interpreted as justification for hatred, intolerance, or abuse of those who profess homosexual tendencies, either individually or as a group. As I said from this pulpit one year ago, our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God. They are welcome in the Church. It is expected, however, that they follow the same God-given rules of conduct that apply to everyone else, whether single or married."

I asked our ward how many of them had taken the time to "honor" our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as sons and daughters of God.

BrianJ said...

Paul, thanks--that got me thinking even more...

JOE said...

I thought this was interesting. http://lds.org/newsroom/showrelease/0,15503,4028-1-23503,00.html This debate is largely rhetorical. As well as "protect marriage", conservatives are trying to take advantage of some un-Christlike feelings. Liberals are trying to make the debate about whether same-sex attraction is a protected status. Both are trying to take the moral high ground. I think the Church's statement avoids inflaming sentiment and focuses on the doctrine, which is where it should be.

The problem, as bj is highlighting, is that it is hard to say, "Nothing personal, I just don't think the most important institution in life includes you." I have no problem with this as doctrine: For one thing, it prepares us better for the eternities. For another, it doesn't affect me that much. But how do you separate that from the background noise that is influenced so heavily by old-fashioned bigotry?

JOE

Stephen said...

Where I live, most of the issues are moot, except for showing kindness.