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Religious Motives

It’s interesting to take a step back from the comments to a Deseret News article about the First Presidency letter to members of the church in California and take a look at the kind of arguments made. In my unscientific survey, it seems that the majority of those arguing for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage are making primarily religious arguments. This isn’t surprising, but it is disappointing. It belies the other arguments that this is about preserving civilization. It makes it all to obvious that a lot of the supporters of the ban are religiously motivated; they are seeking to enshrine their religious values in the laws of a pluralistic society.

It never fails to amaze me that Mormons are now on the side of government deciding who can and cannot be married. The irony of the descendants of those who were jailed for practicing polygamy now wanting to ban another non-traditional form of marriage is too much. Can’t they see how funny that is? (funny in a sad kinda way)

I wasn’t going to say it, but I just have to say that much of the Mormon hoi polloi commenting come across as uncaring, self-righteous, narrow-minded, bigoted blowhards who are so sure that God is on their side that they feel no need for humility. It’s sad because I know a lot of good Mormons who these people are making look bad by association.

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  1. Lincoln Cannon said,

    June 24, 2008 @ 4:05 pm

    On the up side, 24% of Mormons believe homosexuality should be accepted by society, according to the latest Pew Forum survey. That’s probably a lot more than just a few years ago.

  2. Jonathan Blake said,

    June 25, 2008 @ 6:13 am

    I caught that statistic too. It supports the impression that it’s only a matter of time before the majority of Mormons will have more charitable (and constitutional) feelings about same-sex marriage. Things are looking up.

    I think the word I was searching for in the post’s last paragraph is cocksure. :)

  3. TAG said,

    June 25, 2008 @ 7:10 am

    I wasn’t a member of the church when the ERA fight was on (plus I was like 9 years old), but I find it really interesting to hear from those that were around and old enough to remember it. Apparently the argument against the ERA was that we should let states decide things and now the church is arguing the opposite. If you understand the different arguments, please explain.

    I have thought for a long time that if I had been an investigator when the ERA stuff went down, I wouldn’t have joined. But why is it okay to do so later? It’s not like the powers-that-be changed their minds or anything.

  4. BEEHIVE said,

    June 25, 2008 @ 12:21 pm


    Excuse my ignorance, but what is the ERA?

  5. Jonathan Blake said,

    June 25, 2008 @ 5:29 pm

    If you’ll allow me to answer, the ERA is the Equal Rights Amendment. If you haven’t heard of it already, it is a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution which reads in part:

    Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.…

    The LDS church was involved in organizing a grassroots effort to defeat ratification of the ERA. According to this article, “Many sociologists of religion place the Mormon Church’s activities as pivotal in a new coalition of the religious right after their anti-ERA campaign.”

  6. Zack said,

    June 26, 2008 @ 2:35 am

    Hi i found this site by chance and i was wondering what its purpose was? To promote religion or to denounce it? also Green Oasis, an interesting name for such a site either way

  7. Jonathan Blake said,

    June 26, 2008 @ 6:14 am


    I started this blog as a way of communicating with my family about my change from believing Mormon to agnostic atheist (or whatever label applies to me these days). So I probably spend more time denouncing religion than promoting it. :)

  8. BEEHIVE said,

    June 26, 2008 @ 3:00 pm

    “So I probably spend more time denouncing religion than promoting it. “

  9. BEEHIVE said,

    June 26, 2008 @ 3:30 pm

    Sorry, I pressed the wrong button.

    Yes, you do denounce, but you don’t make fun. At least it doesn’t come across as being mean. Which is why I keep reading.

  10. Jonathan Blake said,

    June 27, 2008 @ 8:51 am

    I can’t say that I’ve never mocked religion here, but I generally try to play it straight. If I’m poking fun, I want the humor to be based on something legitimate.

  11. Green Oasis » The Downfall of Civilization said,

    June 27, 2008 @ 12:26 pm

    [...] furtherance of my note about the irony of LDS church members seeking to restrict same-sex marriage, I offer some quotes about what early church leaders thought was the downfall of civilization: This [...]

  12. Rameumptom » Blog Archive » Polygamy, Monogamy, and Same-Sex Marriage said,

    July 8, 2008 @ 3:11 pm

    [...] Blake has written a small post about the irony of LDS church members seeking to restrict same-sex marriage and followed it up with a collection of quotes from early church leaders outlining their view of [...]

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