Monday, November 3, 2008
♂ + ♀ = 8
So, I've been MIA for a while now. And for anyone who doesn't know why, the title of this post says it all. Here in California, we're fighting same-sex marriage. And what a fight it has been. I have been lucky enough to have landed myself right in the epicenter of activity. The bishop of my singles ward has a great deal of experience managing campaigns and, therefore, was called upon to help lead the membership of the Church in the Yes on Prop 8 efforts in cooperation with the Protect Marriage coalition. Because of his direct involvement, we, the members of the Santa Monica 3rd Ward, have become his foot soldiers.
It has been an absolutely incredible experience working with other singles under the direction of our Fearless Leader to preserve the traditional definition of marriage. We received the assignment from the Brethren to mobilize the Young Single Adults throughout California. I have learned so much. And I have truly been amazed as I have seen what I feel is only the beginning of the division that will form among the members of the Church as the world moves farther and farther away from Christ, and as we individually have to make a conscious choice. Do we "blindly" follow the prophet? Or do we consider ourselves more enlightened, more tolerant, more progressive...finding it too uncomfortable and inconvenient to buck the trend being set by the rest of the world? Would we rather remain inconspicuous and not, as an acquaintance of mine said, "make a scene?" I firmly believe this is only the beginning of the "scenes" we will be asked to make as the chasm between where we stand and where the world is headed grows ever wider. (Does Lehi's vision ring any bells?)
It has occurred to me several times over the past many weeks, as supporters of Prop 8 have been called intolerant religious fanatics, that "tolerance" is a dicey ideal to embrace. We would never be "tolerant" of a plague or a deadly disease. We would do everything in our power to protect ourselves from something we knew would so seriously harm us. So why would we not take similar precautions to protect ourselves, our families, our children, our society from something that we have no doubt (and that, in fact, we have been warned) will ultimately lead to ruin?
We are not against gay rights. We are for marriage and family. We are not for taking away any fundamental rights. Homosexuals have all the same rights under domestic partnership as married couples. And, last I checked...getting married isn't a "fundamental" right, anyway. (The opposing side keeps claiming that this is what Prop 8 would do—take away fundamental rights. Where did this argument come from?) We do not hate gays. We do love our religious freedom and our right to believe that some behaviors have been declared by God as unacceptable. And we feel strongly that as the world demands that homosexuality become a protected class under the law, our religious freedoms are being put more and more at risk.
We have been called upon to hold the line, to maintain a standard, to proclaim that marriage is defined by God as between a man and a woman. No matter how unpopular our position, we must stand our ground. Even if the world refuses to accept a truth, that doesn't change the fact that it is true. Whether you like it or not, Mayor Newsom.
The fight (or at least this round) ends on Tuesday, but my fellow foot soldiers and I have all acknowledged to each other that we know we will be fighting this for the rest of our lives. Fortunately, we are so much more prepared now than we were when this began. Whether we win or lose on Tuesday, we know we have done everything we could do to ensure this passes, just as we were asked. More than that, because of our involvement in this, we are different. And the world will be different as we each carry this experience with us wherever we are called upon to take a stand—for the world will be spared, however obliviously, "for ten's sake."