Saturday, November 15, 2008

Two For The Price of One

I told you I'd do it....stop blabbing about politics, and write about the things for which I am grateful. You just didn't know about my mad bait and switch skills...I learned them from Obama. So, here I am. I have found a way to meet my need for a good political post, while at the same time showing gratitude. Ahhhhh, life is good.

I am truly and sincerely grateful for the man that wrote the following article. His words brought tears of gratitude to my eyes. His name is John Schroeder. I highly recommend you take a look at his blog, you will find the link below this post. Read about John. You will be thankful for him too. Here is his article:

Proposition 8 is now a part of the California constitution!
That is probably the best news from an otherwise difficult election for conservatives and Republicans. In very large part, we Evangelicals must thank our Mormon cousins for that fact. They, along with our Catholic brethren, were better organized than us and that provided a base from which we could ALL work together to get this job done. What more, as we have chronicled here, Mormons took the brunt of the abuse, derision, and even threats of physical harm that came with this effort.
And like us, they have given thanks to the Almighty that is ultimately in control, even if their understanding of that Almighty is a bit different than ours.
I cannot help but wonder how much more thankful we ALL might be today if we had been more willing to embrace these religious cousins a few months ago - but alas, politics is always about governing today and looking forward to the next election.
Said John Mark Reynolds:
In the battle for the family, however, traditional Christians have no better friends than the Mormon faithful. It would be wrong if that support were taken for granted. We are intolerant of the false attacks on Mormon faith and family. We stand with our Mormon friends in their right to express their views on the public square. We celebrate the areas, such as family values, where we agree.
A heart felt thank you may not win points from other friends who demand one hundred percent agreement from their allies, but it is the decent and proper thing to do.
Thank you to our Mormon friends and allies!
Hard to do better than that.
The “Ruth Youth” ministry proclaimed yesterday “International Mormon Appreciation Day.” Very appropriate, yet still inadequate.
In addition to our thanks, Mormons deserve our protection. They have been oppressed in ways during the Prop 8 campaign that this nation has not seen since the 1960’s and the civil rights movement. The rhetoric has been deplorable, but moreover. we have seen instances of vandalism, property destruction, and some leaders in the fight currently find themselves with armed protection because of the threats made against them and their families.
Our nation will not and cannot tolerate this sort of behavior - it is incumbent on all of us to stand against it, and the best way to do that is to stand between the Mormons and the forces that would perpetrate such evil.
Now I am sure the Mormons can, and probably want, to take care of themselves, but as a Christian, it is my duty to protect the innocent and free the oppressed. To turn a blind eye in this circumstance is not only ungracious, it is simply unChristian.
Make all the theological distinctions you want, but in the political arena we are yoked with the Mormons (he said borrowing some religious imagery) and it is darn well time we started acting like it.
Absolutely, positively thank the Mormons - but don’t stop there. Stand up and be counted against the evil that has been perpetrated towards them in this campaign.
As Christians we can do no less.

Thanks John Schroeder! You rock!

Here is the second item in my two for the price of one deal. I am grateful to have found Sue. She is a mother and grandmother from California. I asked her permission to post here what she wrote on Proposition 8. I have read much about this issue in the past days. I found her words beautiful and comforting. I like Sue. She writes poetry too. I am thankful for people who write poetry because I like poetry, and I suck at writing it. (Oh, sorry Mom. I used the word suck. For the record, I would like you all to know that my mother taught be better. That is a tacky word, not to be used by nice Southern girls.)

Prop 8 and the Right to Vote Your Conscience
Here's a no-brainer: The people who voted in support of Prop 8 and the people who voted in opposition to it disagree.
Here's a partial-brainer: Both sides who are party to this disagreement are convinced that their inalienable rights are or would be violated in the event the other side prevails.
Here's a full-brainer: This disagreement extends beyond what is inherent in the proposition itself to what either side subjectively believes will happen if their side does not prevail.
Here's an open-brainer: Both sides are fully convicted in their positions because those positions spring from deeply held, core beliefs. Personal identity issues are involved in both sides, and neither side has a monopoly on being right. The only thing people on either side have a monopoly on is being right according to their own value system.
Democracy isn't perfect, but it does provide a process for resolution in situations where two parties (both endowed with inalienable rights) hold positions so diametrically opposed to one another that mutual agreement or some form of compromise cannot be reached. That time-honored process, known as "free elections," affords every American citizen the right to vote his or her conscience.
I realize that many gay people view same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue, and I respect their position. I would simply ask and expect that gay people respect my belief in return, as well as my right to hold it. Such respect for others is what living in a free country is all about, and my religion is no less intrinsically a part of my core identity than sexual preference is theirs. Any perceived violation of my rights is no less a civil rights issue than perceived violation of theirs.
Here is the definition of civil rights, as taken from Webster's dictionary: "the nonpolitical rights of a citizen; especially: the rights of personal liberty guaranteed to United States citizens by the 13th and 14th amendments of the Constitution and by acts of Congress."
The following is a more detailed definition borrowed from a web site for state attorneys: "A civil right is an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with by another, gives rise to an action for injury. Examples of civil rights are freedom of speech, press, assembly, the right to vote, freedom from involuntary servitude, and the right to equality in public places. Discrimination occurs when the civil rights of an individual are denied or interfered with because of their membership in a particular group or class [author's note: whether Gay or Mormon]. Statutes have been enacted to prevent discrimination based on a person's race, sex, religion, age, previous condition of servitude, physical limitation, national origin and in some instances, sexual preference."
My point? Religion and the unencumbered practice of it are protected under civil rights law, too. Honorable people on both sides of this issue feel that their vote on Proposition 8 is a vote to protect their civil rights. Both sides deserve respect, whether or not they agree with one another. Both sides deserve the right to vote their conscience, without fear of retribution.
Do we really want a country where voters are threatened and intimidated to the extent that they do not feel free to exercise their right to vote with equanimity and without reprisal? Should people's livelihood be threatened because of the way they voted on a controversial issue? Should their sacred places of worship be violated? Should their names be blacklisted? If such things are condoned, are we not all demeaned by their acceptance? What group or group of voters will be next? Can democracy ultimately survive such actions taken against citizens exercising their right to vote? The answer, to any fair-minded person, is clear. Both sides should have the grace to abide by the election results, and if they disagree with them, they have every right to use the democratic process to address their concerns.
We are Americans, every one of us, and the level of freedom we enjoy is a blessing we sometimes take for granted. Will we live up to our privileges? I hope and believe that the answer is yes. When we disagree, as we inevitably will, surely our charge as free citizens of a great democratic nation is to respect the process...and the people participating in matter what their vote. No one's civil right should, in and of itself, trump another's. In cases where such conflict is unavoidable, the only fair compromise is the historic one: Let the majority rule.

This weekend, more expressions of gratitude to come. And, no more bait and switch. Well, maybe more bait and switch. Depends on my mood.


Jared said...

Thank you for sharing these comments. I think Sue summed up most issues that seem to divide us.

KC Mom said...

Wow..all three of you are great writers. Thanks for posting these.

mom said...

Snarky...I won't ask this often, but may I have a moment?

I have said on many more than one occasion growing up in the Southern Baptist Bible Belt and having lived here, raised a family here, and now watching the next generation and/or two of that family growing up.....
(interjection-I have numerous friends whom I dearly love that happen to be Baptist....they are NOT my "Baptist friends, just as I do NOT have "Black friends/African-American" friends. I have "Friends" and those friends have many characteristics....their religion, their skin color, etc. are no different to me than their brown hair, their green eyes, and/or any other characteristic that makes them WHO they are, NOT WHAT I see.) Sorry, but I need you to "understand" from where I am coming.

Unlike my incredible and amazing daughter, who lights a fire in my heart every day with her passion for many many things, I am not quite as passionate about the whole political scene. A lot of that comes from childhood experiences where certain movements, though right and necessary, were politically driven with personal agendas and did more damage, leaving scars on my heart and soul that truly changed the course of my life.....oh well.
One day, snarky will help me write my book about that...but for now..........

Today....I AM PASSIONATE. Thank
you for your post today. I needed that. For three nights I have not been able to sleep, crazy what keeps a person up...the images of the protestors hurling insults, destroying, mocking, defiling, and defaming the thing I hold most God and my family. I have been a "Mormon" all my life, so yes, some might think "she does not know better." But, they are wrong....I know better all too well. For me, for my husband, our family this life is "better." I have watched this "latter-day persecution" for over half a century. The first time I knew Mormons were different was when I was six years old and we moved to a college town that is predominantly of the Baptist faith. One Sunday, after attending church (over twenty miles away)our family returned home to find the road in front of our home littered with trash, debris, and spray paintings that read things like, "MORMONS GO HOME....WE HATE MORMONS"....I don't remember every detail, just the image...and yes, I could read very well. I knew then and I know now what I saw. I remember on Wednesday afternoons being so thankful if I could walk to my grandmother's home who lived just down the street from the elementary school and directly across from the Baptist church. Then the mothers would think I was walking to afterschool "church" with all my friends and they would not look at me with those "you are are strange...we don't know what you are, we just know YOU are NOT one of US, eyes.

I have seen so many times the hurt in each of my beautiful children's eyes as their hearts were broken because they could no longer be friends with someone not be able to attend a child's party, not be able to go to a school dance with someone who really wanted to take them because that person's parents were "afraid." "If you date a Mormon, you just might marry one." (This list could be considered endless).

I have felt the sting of being told I was going to hell. And yes, I might be going to hell, but I assure you, it will not be because I am a Mormon!

It may very well be that as I get older, my patience becomes less and I might just forget my "religion" and knock the "holy mess" right out of the next self proclaimed Christian who tells me that I or any of the people I love "are going to hell."

O.K. this is not the day to begin my book....I think you have the picture.

I have watched and lived this discrimination, have seen and felt its ugliness until I know it all too well. The most intolerant people in the world are those who scream "tolerance" so loudly in your face that your ears ring with the sting of their own intolerance until you cannot even hear what they are saying.

This is today. The community who has dubbed themselves as the "gay community" is screaming with their anger and nasty bitterness so loudly that their own cause is being lost. Here is my message to them.

You have "lost your religion" and are now doing what I must never do, even when I am tired of being the one getting punched in the stomach. You cannot knock the "holy mess" out of people who just don't agree with you. I know you think you have the right to be angry....of course, you have the right to be angry and hurt...that is what this life is all about....your right to choose. You are choosing hate and anger, just like you are choosing to stand for what YOU believe in, your right to live your life in any manner you desire....just like I choose to stand for what I believe in....

The "Mormons" stood for their right without persecution and destruction, without hate and protests, what the "Mormons" have historically done. Do you realize that "Mormons" are the single only group of people who it was actually o.k. to kill at one time in this country? Did you hear what I just THIS country,in a particular state, there was an actual "extermination order" issued against "Mormons." Not just o.k. to run them out of town, but to kill them, exterminate them!

Do you realize when the "Mormons" have General Conference in Salt Lake City, people stand on the street corners spitting and mocking those who cross the street to attend, people, church. Protesters stomp on sacred church writings, wave sacred articles of clothing, torn and tattered. But, what do the "Mormons" do... they go right on in their meeting with a united effort to preserve and protect what they believe.

Today they do the same.. they stand united in preserving the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. They did not vote to destroy you...they voted to preserve their belief. They did not vote "against" you...they voted "for" themselves. They used their voice to be heard, not screaming and yelling at you, but in voting. Did they tell others what those beliefs are in hopes that others who share that same belief would unite with them. Well of course, they did. That is what we all do...share our beliefs with others in hopes others will find the same strength and peace in those beliefs. Isn't that what you have been doing all these years? Trying to tell people what you believe?

As the old saying goes...just because you people scream the loudest, that does not make you right.

I can and will judge are are wrong to spew hate and venom...just as wrong as those people who spew hate and venom here in the South because I sit in a different pew each week. Hate and venom are always wrong, no matter who is the judge.

We don't hate you...we love you, I know that is hard for you to believe, but as a people we love you because we are taught to love you as our Savior would. I don't agree with you, personally, but I don't hate you and I would never stand by and allow you to be persecuted and I would NEVER participate in a such ugly, vile, and vicious behavior against you. Someone I love as my brother happens to be gay. He is not my "gay friend." I love him..who HE is as a person. He would never hurt me the way you are hurting others. So, to you people who happen to be gay who are hurting others....leave my brothers and sisters alone!

They have a right to "stand firm and as a witness of what they believe in at all times, and in all things, and in all places" even a voting booth!

I love you...snarky, knew this one would get me going. I just cannot bear this kind of hypocrisy.
Oh and by the case things don't calm is my new bumper sticker.....

Natalie said...

I received an email from my mom's dearest and lifelong childhood friend. She said, "You are your mother's daughter." Yes, I am. And as I read her comments above, I was reminded of just how unbelievably thankful I am to be her daughter. She taught me passion. She taught me loyalty and courage. She teaches me today.

I love my mama! I often think of many things I could write about that involve her. There are just so many. But one day I will write the book. She deserves it, and people should have the opportunity to know her.

For now, I think I will just have to somehow get it in short form and post about her.

Thanks Mom, I love you.

mom said...

Darn made me cry. Again, "my hope" "the sweetest debt I will ever pay" and once upon a time in my life, "my only reason for living."
I love you, baby girl.
(and for any of you who don't want to hear me tell her..."kiss my grits!" That's the way we "belles" roll!

Sue said...

Thanks for writing about me in your blog and putting up my recent Prop 8 post! I'm really enjoying Snarky Belle, so I'm glad you found me. =)

BTW, I have a couple of other posts on this topic that might interest your readers. Would you do me a favor and make your link to my blog red (or some other color) so your readers will know they can just click on the title "Prop 8 and the Right to Vote Your Conscience" if they want to visit my blog and check out the other Prop 8 posts? (Or they could just type in

Thanks. I appreciate your allowing me to express my strong feelings on this issue to a wider audience.

(And by the way, I guess I'm down with the way southern belles roll, because I loved hearing what your mom had to say!!)

Natalie said...

Sorry about that Sue. I took care of it. Not sure why I didn't do that in the first place.
And, you are welcome to be an honorary Southern Belle. We would be honored to have you. :)

Carly said...

Thank you for posting that. As a Mormon in Arizona, where the battle for marriage was thankfully (nearly) bloodless, it was good to be reminded that our friends to the west weren't so lucky. I am grateful for those of other faiths who can appreciate the zeal of the Mormons. :)