Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Proposition 8: It Affects Us All

My intention is not to turn this into a political blog, but I feel this is something I must speak out on. On November 4, voters in California will be voting on a measure called "Proposition 8." This measure, if passed, will amend the California state constitution to say that only marriage between a man and a woman is legal in that state.

Now, I don't live anywhere near California. Normally I wouldn't worry about their local issues. But seeing the commotion that has ensued surrounding this issue, and some of the "unplanned" ramifications of legalizing gay marriage in other states, has made me realize that this is not something that those of us outside California can just ignore.

I am in favor of the amendment. If I were a registered voter in the state of California, I would vote "yes." That isn't to say that I think gays are subhuman or should be denied basic rights. I think the real essence of the argument boils down to whether the majority of the voters believe that homosexuality is a moral issue, or whether it is a diversity issue.

By "diversity issue," I mean that there is a movement to classify sexual orientation along with other simple divisions we see among individuals--like race, for example. They didn't talk about "diversity" so much when I was in grade school, but it's an important part of curriculum and children's programming today. Children (and adults) are taught that people come in various colors, shapes, and sizes. They have different backgrounds and customs.

And there are a lot of folks out there who lump homosexuality right in there with ethnicity. They believe that it's an integral part of their makeup. I can't say that I can't sympathize with that sentiment. We've all experienced things, good or bad, that have become a part of us and help make us who we are. To try to eliminate those inclinations can be very difficult.

But as a Christian, I have to say that this isn't where homosexuality belongs. It is a choice. It is a moral issue. And I know that people who feel that this is a part of them as much as their color is don't like to be told that they're actually making a choice (and that it's the wrong one), but that doesn't change what it is.

Alcoholics, child abusers, and drug addicts have all made choices as well. What would happen if we made child abuse legal? The possible consequences make me shudder. The same goes for numerous other choices that people can make. As a society, we cannot afford to continually legalize things that are morally wrong.

Now I know that a lot of people out there will argue with me that these things are in fact morally wrong. I know this debate will continue: is homosexuality a moral issue, or merely an issue of diversity? We as a society need to understand that it is a moral issue. I don't wish to come out and condemn anyone, and I want to stress that our Father in Heaven dearly loves ALL of His children, no matter what choices they make. But His laws do not change. Just because society leans in some particular direction does not mean that God follows them. On the contrary, if we ignore the laws of God it will be at our personal perils and at the peril of our society.

After all, God made us, and not the other way around. Don't you think He would know what would truly bring us joy?

Here are a couple of links:

The Proclamation on the Family (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

LDS Church Resource Links (lots of info here)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Recession We Aren't In

I found a page at about.com that tries to explain the difference between a recession and a depression. I say "tries" because, as the author points out, there isn't just one definition that everyone uses. But if you're curious, the link is http://economics.about.com/cs/businesscycles/a/depressions.htm

Here's hoping and praying there's some way out of this mess...but I guess, like anything else, we have to expect to face the consequences of our actions--or, in this case, the actions of some. Either way, we can't expect an easy fix just because we want one.

Monday, October 06, 2008

You Know You've Been in Primary Too Long When...

...when they announce in General Conference that the Tabernacle Choir will now sing "Do..." and your brain automatically fills in "Do As I'm Doing." (Can you imagine the Tabernacle Choir singing "Do As I'm Doing" in General Conference?? That could be kind of fun, actually.)

What they were really singing was "Do What Is Right." It's one of the great hymns of the Church, but it has no actions that I know of.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

October BIAM

That's "Book in a Month" for the non-writer-types out there. Traditionally, participating in a BIAM means that yeah, you really pretty much drop everything in your "real life" that you can and churn out the book in your soul in 30 days. For a lot of people who don't want to drop out of real life, it just means that you set a goal for your writing and try to achieve it during the month. Tristi Pinkston is hosting a BIAM on one of her blogs at tristischallenges.blogspot.com this month. I've participated in a challenge or two of hers before, and I think it can be pretty fun, as well as motivational, to be virtually surrounded by a group of people committed to achieving great things with their writing this month. Those participating set goals at the beginning of the month, and submit their goals to the group. Tristi posts motivational messages on her blog to spur us on, and everyone participating checks in with a comment every couple of days and reports on how they're doing with those goals they set.

I'm sure Tristi would welcome you with open arms if you want to participate. And this concept might extend to other areas where we could set goals. Maybe you could host something of your own. How about LCIAM (Learn Chinese in a Month)? COACIAM (Clean Out a Closet in a Month)? POOCCIAM (Pay Off Our Credit Cards in a Month)? GROAOJAHAGSIAM (Get Rid Of All Our Junk and Have a Garage Sale in a Month)?

Maybe BIAM is easier to spell...but some of these ideas might not be too bad. How about we invite all of Congress to participate in NNTIAM (No New Taxes in a Month)?

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