Saturday, December 05, 2009

Status Quo

Many people have blogged on the subject of the Church supporting gay protection statues, so I won't go on length about it. I do have a few words to add.  I've heard many voices from the gay side.  Most are afraid of trusting the Church.  They think this is to reverse the public's opinion of the Church, or to prepare us for a future action.  I think that's mostly because once you've lost trust, it's very hard to gain again.  Trust is harder to earn than love for sure.  But it isn't their reaction that I want to talk about.

I don't know the Church's motivation in supporting those statues.  I hope it's for altruistic reasons and I'll continue believing that until proven otherwise.  But it's had one good effect besides actually protecting GLBT people.  It has mixed up the status quo!  Legislators and other conservative influences often try to out-church the Church.  The Eagle Forum and the Sutherland Institute are both aghast at the Church's "new" stance.  Those two organizations have been leeching their power from the Church.  They claimed their stance was the LDS stance and gained many followers that way.  Now their paths have diverged and it's made those organizations angry. 

This has also been good for the membership of the Church.  Many of them used the Church as an excuse for why gay men and women should have no rights.  Their religion allowed them a air-tight reason to hate or discriminate against gays.  This latest action will hopefully allow those people to rethink their bias.  Senator Buttars changed and that by itself is a miracle. 

So, no matter the reason for this change, I say we look at it as a step in the right direction.  It can help Utahns and members of the Church to love and accept their gay brothers and sisters. 

6 comments:

Grant Haws said...

I both agree and disagree. I do think that it changed the status quo, whatever the reasons and motivations.

But I disagree that general church membership recognizes any of this. Most members quickly accept everything and never give a thought to the idea that the Church has been behaving badly, so they don't recognize that there has been a change at all.

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

I liked your take on this, Scott. I tend to agree with Grant. Most of my straight friends didn't really pay attention to the announcement and those that did didn't really feel comfortable giving their views on the issue.

Derek Monson said...

Scott,

As an employee at the Sutherland Institute, I appreciate that you take an interest in and blog about what we do, even if you disagree with us. I think that a few of your comments about us, however, are unfounded.

For instance, Sutherland is neither "aghast" at nor "angry" about the LDS church's statement. In fact, we actually commended the church for the desires reflected in their SL city council comments in a statement we released shortly after the city council meeting (see this url: http://www.sutherlandinstitute.org/news/news_details.asp?c=2&id=631).

We also reiterated our concerns about the policies contained in the SL ordinances. Are you equating that restatement of our position equate to anger, or are you going off of some other Sutherland statement?

Second, I take issue with your assertion that we "leech" influence from the LDS church. As a member of that faith, I would take offense if Sutherland purported to speak for or claimed official affiliation with the LDS church when such was not the case. Hence I am proud that Sutherland has made efforts to show that we are actually distinct from the church as an organization (I refer you again to the previous url). Upon what basis are you concluding that Sutherland claims the "LDS stance" when we take a policy position?

I would appreciate a clarification of these points.

Derek Monson
Sutherland Institute

Jon said...

I had the same thought that it was nice just shaking up the status quo. I think you're right, those organizations definitely try to out-church the church. By the church not saying anything before or supporting legislation like this before, it allowed these groups to continue with their bigoted ways. Not that this will stop them, but like you said, it shakes things up a little bit.

BigRedHammer said...

Derek,

Thank you for your response. I should have made the statement more clear.

You said: "For instance, Sutherland is neither 'aghast' at nor 'angry' about the LDS church's statement."

Perhaps you are not aghast or angry about the Church's statement. These words might be applied to the decision of the SLC council to protect human rights.

But as well, according to Salt Lake Tribune's reporting, "one of Utah's conservative mouthpieces [Sutherland Institute] insisted it would not happen."

And then, "Blindsided by the news, Sutherland nonetheless reiterated its call for the Legislature to kill the ordinances, which outlaw firing or eviction in Utah's capital based on a person being gay or transgender."

http://www.sltrib.com/ci_13782872?IADID=Search-www.sltrib.com-www.sltrib.com

Of course the news reporting may be biased. I wasn't there to watch the representative's face when the Church proclaimed its support to see if there was surprise.

As for the second statement, without a doubt you gain influence from Church if even indirectly. Members of the Church are traditionally conservative. If all conservatives left the state, would the Institute hold any sway in state affairs? Little to none. Do you gain anything from stating boldly, "We differ than the Church on many issues."? No. Members of the Church (for the most part) associate with organizations that match the ideals of their religion.

Changing from insisting the Church's possible stance was, "journalistic fraud" to afterwards saying it is "unsound in principle, clarity, and effect" sounds like smoothing things over to me.

I'll back all of this up by saying they are my opinions. The Sutherland Institute's actions and words against me and people like me, justifiably make me upset.

They do not follow the Golden Rule. They are not inclusive. They do not foster brother- and sisterhood and love.

BB said...

Great post Scott. Regardless of the reasons why, I am glad.