Embarrassing Statements and Actions

As a sometime member of the LDS Church, I keep asking myself:  Why do my leaders continue to embarrass me?

According to Lee Davidson in the SLTrib (18 Sep 2010):

“The power to make laws on personal relationships is one of those powers not granted to the federal government and therefore is reserved to the states,” said (LDS apostle Dallin H.) Oaks, a former Utah Supreme Court justice, during a Constitution Day speech sponsored by the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics.  Oaks’ speech was delivered at the Tabernacle on Temple Square, but the event was secular.

Oaks said the “dominance of state law in these personal matters” would be changed if “federal courts could decree that a state law on marriage is invalid under the U.S. Constituion.”

I’m not a constitutional lawyer, but it is my humble opinion that the Bill of Rights is designed to protect the minority from majority decisions that attempt to destroy their rights.  Again quoting from the SLTrib:

Clifford Rosky, a University of Utah law professor who is a member of the legal panel for Equality Utah, a gay rights group, disagreed with Oaks.  He noted that the Supreme Court in 1967 overturned a Virginia law that had banned interractial marriage.

Does Elder Oaks object to interracial marriage?  Was the Supreme Court wrong to “intervene” in the Virginia case?  It seems we need to be careful before making blanket statements.

Not to be outdone, Bishop Keith B. McMullin, Second counselor in the LDS Church’s Presiding Bishopric decided to talk about “homosexuality” (Rosemary Winters, SLTrib 20 Sep 2010):

McMullin said people with same-sex attraction should not call themselves “gay,” or “lesbian.”  He offered advice to LDS ecclesiastical leaders in the audience of about 200 people (attending Evergreen).

“If someone seeking your help says to you, ‘I am a homosexual,’ or, ‘I’m a lesbian,’ or, ‘I’m gay,’ correct this miscasting,” McMullin said.  “Heavenly Father does not speak of his children this way and neither should we.  It is simply not true.  To speak this way seeds a doubt and deceit about who we really are.”

I’m not sure I understand.  Is it okay to characterize oneself as a Lamanite, even if in all probability one is not.  How about Afro-American?  How about Native American?  How about LDS?  How about heterosexual?  To say that “God does not speak of his children” in this way is probably true.  But it has to do with all labels, not just “gay.”

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3 Responses to Embarrassing Statements and Actions

  1. Anitra Ligon says:

    Prominent U.S. evangelical leader Bishop Eddie Long vowed on Sunday to fight accusations he coerced four young male members of his mega-church into sexual relationships. The men filed civil lawsuits last week alleging Long used his status as pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church to coerce them into relationships when they were in their late teens. “I’m not a perfect man but this thing I’m going to fight. I feel like David against Goliath but I’ve got five rocks and I haven’t thrown one of them yet,” Long told his congregation of around 6,500 in his first public comments on the scandal. Long said he was “under attack,” urged his church to pray for him and said he would not let the case be tried in the media. The church members gave him a standing ovation. Long built his church from just 300 members in 1987 to more than 25,000 today, giving him a position of national prominence, especially within the strand of evangelical belief that says God intends material blessing for his followers. The church, set on a campus east of Atlanta, runs a global network of ministries and businesses. It hosted the funeral in 2006 of civil rights leader Coretta Scott King. Plaintiffs Anthony Flagg, 21, Maurice Robinson, 20, and Jamal Parris, 23, filed lawsuits on Tuesday in DeKalb County, Georgia seeking unspecified damages. A suit by a fourth man was added on Friday. “Long has a pattern and practice of singling out a select group of young male church members and using his authority as bishop over them to ultimately bring them to engage in sexual relationships,” according to the lawsuits filed on Tuesday. A spokesman for Long categorically denied the accusations in comments to the media. Other prominent Protestant pastors who have been ensnared in sex scandals include Ted Haggard, the politically influential head of a Colorado mega-church until he was felled in 2006 by allegations of an affair with a male prostitute.

  2. Roger Hansen says:

    From Boyd K. Packer speech at October 2010 General Conference:

    “There are those today who not only tolerate but advocate voting to change laws that would legalize immorality, as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God’s laws and nature,” Boyd K. Packer, president of the church’s Quorum of Twelve Apostles, said in a strongly worded sermon about the dangers of pornography and same-sex marriage. “A law against nature would be impossible to enforce. Do you think a vote to repeal the law of gravity would do any good?”

  3. Roger Hansen says:

    Mormon apostle Boyd K. Packer’s speech about gay marriage, same-sex attraction, pornography and addiction at the LDS General Conference last weekend has been modified on the church’s website.

    One particular paragraph about the possibility of overcoming same-sex attraction seemed to trigger the strongest reactions among Mormons and gay rights activists.

    The sentence in Packer’s text that he read on Sunday said, “Some suppose that they were pre-set and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember he is our father.”

    Now the word “temptations” has replaced “tendencies” and the question about God’s motives has been removed entirely.

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