10 March 2011

ARG: A Vote to Ban the Book of Mormon

I was having a discussion the other day with a good friend about the gay marriage issue. If you haven't already, you should definitely read this amazing article written by a straight, married, active LDS man. We started talking about the basis for the argument in favor of banning gay marriage. Much of the argument lies on the idea that marriage was around before any government, law, etc. Basically that society has no right to touch the issue.

Well lets think about our religion. Mormonism. We will always claim to be Christian, because we believe that we are, yet most of the world would disagree. There are some points of our doctrine that just rub a lot of people the wrong way. The idea of a Godhead rather than a single being who is God (this is a doctrine that still confuses me). And then there is this belief in another book- the Book of Mormon. One we believe to be the "most correct book." This book means a lot to a lot of people. It gives them direction, brings them understanding, teaches them lessons on life and living, it is a book many have grown to love and value above many other things. It is something people pray about and ponder and try and make decisions based on what they know from what this book teaches.

What if the rest of the Christian world (which far outnumbers us Mormons) decided to get together and vote to ban this book. The bases of the argument was that the bible has been around since the very beginning of Christianity. It is tradition and it is widely accepted by all Christians to be the word of God. It existed long before the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did. Many of the writings found in it's pages even predate Christ. For the rest of the world, the bible IS Christianity. So would you be okay if the world banned the Book of Mormon due to our claim to be Christians? In their mind, it is false advertising. How does that sit with you? The printing presses that continue to print the book are destroyed. If you are caught in possession of the book, it is taken and destroyed and you are banished from society into some prison of shame.

Well having the freedom to have a husband in the future is like having the the freedom to read and believe in the Book of Mormon. Having a husband, a legitimate partner, means a lot to me. He would be someone that would provide me with direction, stability, a foundation. I would learn important lessons on life in my relationship with him. I would make my decisions together with him. I would love him and he will help me understand God in ways I couldn't do otherwise. We would pray and ponder things together. Decide together what the best way is to raise a family. He would mean the world to me. Yes, perhaps marriages like ours haven't ever been the "norm." Perhaps it breaks tradition. But it gives MY life meaning. It brings ME happiness. Do I not have a right to happiness? Are you not in favor of MY freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness? Or am I only free in so far as you agree that it is what happiness is to you?

The only reason why your heterosexual marriage is affecting me at all is that you use it to claim that I am wrong when I say that happiness, for me, is a life with another man. I am only asking for the freedom to seek happiness. I am not threatening YOUR marriage. I am not seeking to ban heterosexual marriage. Your marriage doesn't affect the marriage I wish to have. It doesn't make mine any more or less important. We are equal. Please treat me that way and stop voting to ban me from happiness.


Steven Lester said...

Once again, a clear and clever rebuttal to a negative argument that is devastating in its logic. You and Sophocles are brothers, or maybe you and he are one and the same spirit, if reincarnation is true. Who can know?

But, the answer to your question is quite clear. The Church needs to hate homosexuals because It wants something else more than anything else: the acceptance of those Christians which hate It, especially the Evangelicals. So, It espouses those causes that the Evangelicals do, and offers its resources (which are substantial, and greater than any Evangelical organization out there or even a combination of them) toward their realization. In return, the Evangelicals will tone down their hate speeches against the Church, thereby allowing the Church to increase its own growth. All of this is true.

Now, I know that you think the Church is all sweetness and light, except for the hate the gays part, but believe me, it is not. Read a few of the articles in the Pure Mormonism blog. You'll see what I mean, although your sweetness and light tinted glasses might be a bit fogged over afterwards.

Brad Carmack said...

Great points, Jonathan! I make similar ones here (http://bradcarmack.blogspot.com/2011/02/youtube-moral-case-for-lds-same-sex.html), here (http://bradcarmack.blogspot.com/2011/01/chapter-6-rebuttals-to-common-anti-same.html), here (http://bradcarmack.blogspot.com/2011/01/chapter-5-moral-case-for-lds-same-sex.html), and here (http://bradcarmack.blogspot.com/2011/03/anti-same-sex-marriage-rebuttals-1-of-4.html). I see your comparison to the Book of Mormon. There are many other reasons to extend the responsibilities and privileges of marriage to same-sex couples.

Anonymous said...

sure, coupling has been around forever; but marriage has not. the institution of marriage originated as a means of distributing property. it has since taken on other roles, which is fine, but let's not pretend that society cannot mold marriage to meet its needs, property or otherwise.

Freddie said...

The problem here is logic: the Church avoids it at all costs while engaging in a pseudo form of it e.g. mother in heaven, infant baptism etc. Actually, Joseph Smith simply borrowed much of the logical religious angst of his time and incorporated in his doctrine. Therein lies the answer: when logic is engaged in a religious pursuit it is generally to form a new church!

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