Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Prop 102

I decided to take a break from my usual fair of exciting posts full of pictures and videos so I could talk about a little bit more serious matter, so here goes.

For those not in the know, Prop 102 is the proposition to amend the Arizona Constitution to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. Brian and Mindy were recently asked to be the advocates for Prop 102 in our ward, and it got me thinking. I had previously been somewhere between neutral and pro gay marriage (or at least some type of civil union). I always figured, "how does it hurt me?", but some interesting articles swayed my opinion.

The first article is a "amici curiae" issued by the LDS church, the Catholic church, the National Association of Evangelicals, and the Union of Orthodox Jews stating. I wasn't familiar with any of this before, but basically an "amici curiae" is a filing by a party not involved in the case stating additional considerations that they believe should be included in the final decision, and there are some very interesting arguments in the briefing.

The second article is an article on NPR about how court decisions are starting to influence the actions and policies of churchs and other religious organizations.

I agree that defending the institution of marriage is important, but I believe that there's a MUCH scarier issue lurking underneath everything that's happen. The church realizes that some of the current court decisions are not too far of a step from courts dictating what churches and other organizations can do on a large scale. All too often the argument of "separation of church and state" is brought up in these types of debates (I know that I used to buy into that argument), but I think that it's too easily forgotten that the "separation of church and state" was created to protect churches from the government just as much as it was created to protect the government from churches.


Brad said...

The "amici curiae" was great reading. Also, the NPR article is really disturbing.

When I took New Testament at BYU from Stephen E. Robinson (of "Believing Christ" fame), he mentioned that the reason the church was so concerned with gay marriage was that it would open the door for the government to attempt to force churches or other organizations to change their doctrines and policies.

One only need look to the Manifesto to see how easy it would be for the government to try to shut down our temples, etc. That's why the NPR article is especially worrisome, because good people are being punished simply for having strong beliefs in traditional values.

PatrickandErica said...

That NPR article sure is an eye opener. I had no idea that religious and private groups and business were losing in discrimination battles to homosexuals. I thought that anyone could refuse service to anyone else. And since when does a religion have to allow anyone and everyone to join or teach. This is one more (big) example of the government overstepping it's bounds -or "swinging the pendulum too far." What did happen to separation of church and state?

Bryce said...

It worked for polygamy (government pressure). Why can't we get a break on the good doctrines?

Dave Johansen said...

Unfortunately some people get a little crazy and demeaning about subjects like this, but it's scary that courts are starting to take away rights from organizations in the name of an individual's supposed rights.