Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yes on 8 ads I would like to see

My problem with the LDS Church's involvement in Proposition 8 is not that its stand on the issue doesn't agree with mine, or even that it has decided to become involved. What I find disturbing are the dishonest, pseudo-factual messages and scare tactics. In the spirit of constructive suggestion, here are a few Yes on 8 ads I would like to see. (And I mean absolutely no disrespect, BTW.)

A white, middle-class family in their living room. Pictures of Jesus and the Washington Temple are visible on the wall behind the sofa.

Hello, we are Adam and Carol Henderson, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormons. We're here today because the president of our church, the man we accept as the Lord's spokesman on earth, has asked us to do all we can in support of Proposition 8. We honor and sustain our prophet and that's why we urge you to support Proposition 8. We have a testimony that this amendment is what our Heavenly Father wants.

A single man, about thirty-five years old, placing hymnals in the pews of an empty LDS chapel. The camera follows.

My name is Clark. I'm a Mormon and also a homosexual. I'm going cast my vote for Proposition 8 this November. That's right, for. My church has asked its members to do this, and I try to do what the Brethren ask of me. You should know that I am celibate. I attend church and perform my callings to best of my ability. In my church homosexuals like me are treated like anyone else as long as we remain chaste. My church says that acting on same-gender attraction is a sin next to murder. I do not know why the Lord has made me this way, and yes, sometimes it's very lonely. I look forward to the next life when this struggle will be taken from me.

Elder M. Russell Ballard, speaking from a lectern. The background is dark.

With utmost solemnity I ask you, the citizens of California, to heed the Lord's designs for eternal marriage and vote Yes on Proposition 8. We know that banning gay marriage is not without controversy, yet let me be clear that at the heart of this issue is the central doctrine of eternal marriage and its place in our Father's plan. You see, gender plays an eternal role. Men hold the Priesthood and preside in the home. Women honor their roles as mothers and act as companions and helpmeets to their husbands. In mortality and in eternity this is the order of things.

* * *


I would have no trouble at all with honest, straightforward messages of a religious nature. If you believe that a prophet has spoken, by all means be up front about it. There is no need to hide this and certainly nothing to be ashamed of. However, don't make up bogey men ("sex ed for kindergartners!", "churches taxed!", "our kids recruited by gays!"). If the argument is a religous one, so be it. However, when you actually state the covert religious argument openly using plain language, it sounds horribly out of place in a public debate over a civil matter.

And in fact, it is out of place.

8 comments:

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

Well I don't know about you, but I know that every weekend, I'm at the park passing out my gay recruitment literature to all the kiddies.

santorio said...

I like this truth in advertising.

barack would tell us, "i'm part of black america and it's our turn."

and john would reassure us that "i'll kick the shit out of anyone who gets in america's way"

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

I don't think that is at all a fair representation of Obama.

MoHoHawaii said...

I guess my point is that when you take away the false assertions and scare tactics, the arguments for Proposition 8 end up being 100% religious in nature. However, when you actually state the covert religious argument openly using plain language, it sounds horribly out of place in a public debate over a civil matter. And in fact, it is out of place.

Santorio, you lost me with the mention of Senator Obama. I don't see his campaign as making a racial argument of any kind.

Rich said...

I don't disagree with the premiss, but I have not heard any substantial ad from the no campaign explaining why we should make such an important change in society to endorse same sex marriage. The only argument I have heard in the general public is the fairness issue which is what my kids use when they don't like something. I wish we would have saw the campaign where we argued same sex marriage on the merits instead of in sound bites but that is what happens when courts get prematurely involved and then be have inappropriate constitutional amendments.

MoHoHawaii said...

Rich, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I think that reasonable people may disagree on this topic, and I certainly respect your opinion. The point of this post is that factually inaccurate scare tactics do not constitute a valid political argument. I would like to people get past dubious tactics and move toward honest debate. The kernel of the issue at hand is religious in nature. That's the essence of the problem, since we don't normally use religious arguments in public policy decisions.

Substantive secular arguments for gay marriage can be found here.

Hamster said...

The Mormon's are hypocrites.
How soon they forget that they too had to defend their rights to polygamy against the federal government.
Next time they come to mydoor...they're going to get the doorknob stuck in their faces

Rebecca said...

Rich, just to point out - gay marriage was already legal in CA. The change is to make it ILLEGAL. And the only argument you've heard is about fairness? Well, um, yeah. That's kind of what the 14th amendment is about - all people are equal under the law (or, in simpler terms, fair's fair). What's wrong with that?