Friday, November 14, 2008

Who's The Hater?

It seems like the Prop 8 fallout is just beginning to be felt, not just by the LDS church, but by the entire state of Utah. The Deseret News had an article yesterday that is a bit alarming. I can certainly see targeting the LDS Church with protests and civil dialogue, but instead they're the very haters that they proclaim the church to be. They're taking action against Utah because of our 60%+ Mormon population, against LDS publications because they have LDS news and information, and possibly at the very least a hoax set up to look like anthrax against LDS sites.
I respect their right to protest, their right to not patronize Utah (although that's misguided - the Commonwealth of Park City is hardly Mormon), and their right to free speech. Where it crosses the line is in attacks like defacing websites and mailings designed to at least threaten, if not harm, people. What are you doing, protesters? You're hardening opposition to your position. By attacking the LDS Church and its members (and not, say the Catholic Church - they were pro Prop 8 as well), you're feeding something that has always been a part of Mormon culture - the us vs. them mentality. We have been, for better or worse, one of the most virulently opposed religions in US history. Our ancestors were run from New York to Ohio to Missouri to Illinois to Utah by angry mobs that took everything from those early Mormons, up to and including their lives. (That's not to say that atrocities didn't happen on both sides, but by and large they were committed against Mormons, not by them.) They caused some of their problems, but again that level of intolerance with a specific targeted group fueled the culture you see today. While things have been improving for quite some time, this Prop 8 battle threatens to blow it back up again. You may feel victimized by Mormons, and that's a fair feeling. I don't fault you for it at all. What I would recommend doing though is taking your grievances through a civil political process as Dale Carpenter says over at Volokh. That will change the dialogue and show you to be bigger than you're being right now. What happened to acting in a civilized, adult manner?


Smash said...

I think the level of intolerance the Church showed on this issue is shocking when you consider the intolerance the Church has had to face in the past--and still today. They should know better.

Sorro said...

It's somewhat intolerant. They certainly have shown themselves to be tolerant of the gay lifestyle despite the obvious theological issues they have with it by supporting couple's rights for homosexuals. I think that they see marriage as something ordained by God, whereas domestic civil unions are a human institution. As such, protect marriage, allow civil unions.