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 it...no 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.