So, Who Are the Bigots?

I'll stop writing about this topic when it stops showing up so prominantly in the news.

I decided, since it was being thrown in my face that Mormons are just a bunch of Bigots, that I should look the definition of Bigotry up.

Here's what I came up with.

Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion

intolerance, prejudice

The state of mind of a narrow-minded person who is intolerant of beliefs other than his or her own.

A bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles, or identities differing from his or her own.

One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

Keywords that come out in the definition of Bigotry is intolerance and prejudice. But I am quite fond of this definition most of all. "The state of mind of a narrow-minded person who is intolerant of beliefs other than his or her own."

Again, here is the Church's official stance on Homosexual Behavior. I would like to point out a couple of things.

"This is much bigger than just a question of whether or not society should be more tolerant of the homosexual lifestyle. Over past years we have seen unrelenting pressure from advocates of that lifestyle to accept as normal what is not normal, and to characterize those who disagree as narrow-minded, bigoted and unreasonable. Such advocates are quick to demand freedom of speech and thought for themselves, but equally quick to criticize those with a different view and, if possible, to silence them by applying labels like 'homophobic.' "

"President Hinckley has helped us on that subject with a clear statement that answers all questions of that nature. He said, 'We love them (referring to people who have same-sex attractions) as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church.'"

This is a good article, and describes the preferred method for members of the church to deal with the temptation of sexual orientation. Outside of marriage, the church preaches abstinence, so you can say that the church is bigoted against people who prefer to have sex with multiple partners outside of marriage. We're also bigoted against smokers and people who drink alcohol. These people can attend our religious meetings (anybody is welcome) but they cannot partake in the blessings of the Temple. I'm not even worthy at this time to enter the Temple.

My faith has a stringent level of beliefs and moral standards, people look toward us as if we are weird, I've been called bizarre in my life because I don't drink coffee, I don't smoke, I don't use alcohol. We've been taught to respect our bodies and treat each other with kindness, and I will attest that I am a happier person when I am following the doctrine of my church then when I run astray and do things I have been taught I'm not supposed to do. And I've done my fair share of temptations.

But I always go back to this. This is the lifestyle that my faith preaches me to live by. I choose to live by it. What's more, I can also choose not to live by it, to go the other way and do whatever I want. That is my freedom of choice. Right now, I choose to live as my faith suggests I do.

My faith encourages me to share my testimony with others. I choose to do this with people who are receptive to it, and if they are not, I do not force it upon them. I cannot force anybody to accept my religion, and I will not try too. But my faith also teaches to respect people and their system of beliefs. The thirteenth article of faith starts out "we believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevelant, virtuous, and in doing good to all men." That stands true regardless of their differences from me. You will find that as a group (with some bad apples here and there, as with all groups), Mormons are generally a kind and decent people. We are more likely to want to bake you cookies then to call you hateful slurs.

With Prop 8, the church encouraged members to support the proposition in an effort to support the institution of marriage, which is at the foundation of our beliefs. Call us weird, point to our questionable polygamist background, do whatever you want, but we weren't doing this because we hate gay people. President Monson encouraged people to get involved, but it wasn't mandated, there are plenty of Mormons who opposed Prop 8. Those that donated money to see the proposition pass were doing so because they felt it necessary to stand by their personal beliefs to protect marriage. Marriage is a very sacred and revered partnership in our faith, and with the way it is treated these days, with how high the divorce rate is in our country, even within the church, and how Marriage is no longer seen as a necessity for two people, who often times will forego the process entirely and simply live together, now society wishes to completely change the definition from man and woman to 'two people who love each other'.

Members of the church put their heart into this proposition, feeling the need to convince others of how they feel. Not because they hate gay people, but because they believe in the sanctity of marriage.

Over the last week we have been attacked, demeaned, protested, our most sacred buildings defaced, threatened, and yet we are the bigots.

Again, let me point out the definition of bigotry.

"The state of mind of a narrow-minded person who is intolerant of beliefs other than his or her own."

So call me a bigot if you must, but I would say the definition works both ways.

PS - As to the argument that religions would not be forced to recognize gay marriages if Prop 8 failed, I'll let you know that I was in Salt Lake City last Friday when they marched the temple, and I remember one of the speakers at that rally screaming about how they would change the church so that two men could get sealed together in the temple, to the cheers of the very large crowd echoing their agreement, and I would say that the Gay Agenda is every bit about forcing their will on the people. To include faiths such as the Mormon church.

No comments: