Friday, June 28, 2013

Yesterday

It's 11:22 Mountain Time June 27, 2013 as I start this post.

All my life I've thought there was an epic battle going on between good and evil in the world. Here are the good people, and here are the bad people, and we are us and they are them. And this battle, you know, was played out on so many levels, from religion to political parties and race and even gender. But no matter how the battle lines were drawn, there has always been this assumption that I was the good and someone else was the evil. Because I went to church, you see.

But then came along this intersection in my life where I decided to really study Christianity through the 12 Step process. And I've learned that a significant part of the fellowship of Christ is honoring and respecting equality.  And I know that's a buzzy, charged word right now, but it still remains the best one I can use. And I think of it in the manner it's used in the Book of Mormon:

"And there was a strict command throughout all the churches that there should be no persecutions among them, that there should be equality among all men; That they should let no pride nor haughtiness disturb their peace that every man should esteem his neighbor as himself, laboring with their own hands for their support."
(Mosiah 27:3-4 emphasis added)

I was taught recently that the opposite of equality is iniquity "Immoral or grossly unfair behavior." I've always thought of that word as a general term for sin, but it makes a lot of sense to me that all sin is rooted in inequality. Iniquity is sin started from a belief in inequality. I am the most unhappy when I believe that I am not as good as, or better than someone else and that unhappiness can set of a chain of consequences--from spending too much money, over eating, going into debt, to losing my love for my neighbor entirely.

So really, the only epic battle is the one inside of me. It's the daily fight of letting go all the many, many things, ownerships, ideas, behaviors, attitudes, desires and ambitions that falsely lure me into thinking I am better than someone else. (Or everyone else, if I'm being super delusional...) The battle between good and evil isn't something that exists between me and anyone else, it's between me and my human heart. It's not us vs. them, it's me vs. me.

And my religion preaches something that is very dear to me these days, we declare that we "hope all things"--a phrase that swept into my bedroom as I made my bed this morning. I think it's an invitation to replace iniquity (or inequality) with hope.

I hope the Supreme Court rulings yesterday bring peace to many people.

I hope those who found yesterdays rulings upsetting will also find peace.

I hope someday I will understand what I don't understand.

I hope my children will understand more than me.

I hope I can forgive.

I hope I will be forgiven.

I hope when I die my funeral will be a declaration of what I believed and wanted to live. And not much more. But please don't serve funeral potatoes thank you.

Anyway, arguments written by intelligent people have swept across this digital space for years and years and I've found myself lost in the sea of it all. You see, I've been looking for that battle in blogs and facebook posts and podcasts. I've been hoping to land myself on the forefront,  bravely earning shiny awards for moral courage. But that battle is a trick, all smoke and mirrors, a false legend serving my lust to be right. I've only ever wanted to be right...or more right than someone else.

And all along that battle has been waging--bloody carnage and a tremendous amount of casualties, I'm afraid--right here in the corridors of my own heart. What does it serve me to be right if many of my relationships have to die at that expense? And how can Christ heal these severe wounds if I continue to fight this relentless war with my pride?

I wave my white flag.


108 comments:

Erin said...

Love.

Evie B. said...

Beautiful. I've struggled this week, in light of the supreme court decision especially, to reconcile my true feelings on the matter with a gospel that I love and try to live. As I heard friends use the words 'fight', 'war' and 'battle' as they expressed their feelings on the matter I found myself slipping into despair. Was this what my God would want for me? To fight, to contend? I can't believe that, my God is a God of love. And clarity came this morning as I read your post. I have only to reconcile with myself and with God. Thanks for bravely posting (again) words that may go against the grain here in Utah, but that speak your truth (and mine, too). xoxo

Evie B. said...

p.s. I say here in Utah because I am local and our like environments are a major cause of my person anxiety over discussing this issue honestly - just to clarify. Love my Utah people!

C. Jane Kendrick said...

Thanks Erin.

I understand you Evie. Thank you.

Jenny (also) said...

I know, but the thing is equal rights for everyone IS RIGHT. Could the opinion that it's not really worth standing up for what is right, no matter the family and community cost, be made for slavery? Hard to know what is pride, what is righteous indignation, and what is simply right, no?

Danielle said...

One of your best posts, in my opinion.

I hope the comments don't turn into a heated debate over the supreme court decisions. It sort of goes against the message of your post.

Pol said...

"The daily fight of letting go all the many, many things" I really needed to read this today - thank you.

C. Jane Kendrick said...

Jenny (also) yes and yes. I hope I would be willing to stand up for what is right no matter the cost, and then I would hope that cost didn't make me a bitter, angry person for the rest of my life.

Netti said...

I loved this. Spoke right to my heart. An uplifting way to start my morning. Thank you!

C. Jane Kendrick said...

Thank you Danielle and me too. But sometimes I lack the skills as a writer to ensure I've made a clear point. So if it does, I'll take the fall out. :)

Pol, oh the many, many, many ways right?

C. Jane Kendrick said...

Thanks Netti, have a happy weekend.

Catherine said...
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Mary said...

Yes, toleration is a hard thing. Whether it's acknowledging and allowing the parts of ourselves that are hard to accept, or acknowledging other people, other groups, other beliefs with which we disagree.

Thanks for taking the hard way, and talking about it.

Mare said...

We need more bloggers like you in the internet universe, and more citizens like you using your balanced, personable voice--especially here in Utah where it is easy to fall into the crowd mentality, if you know what I mean. ;)
This post is a refreshing sip of water far away from the sticky pollution of Facebook hatred and news anchor pettiness. THANK YOU

mascanlon said...

So hard to let go and let the peace in. Thanks you for always being willing to talk about them hard topics.

Pol said...

Courtney - the many, many, many, many ways. I'm off to London tonight - planning on sitting quietly in the train and thinking about how I'm going do this.

Mimaw said...

I Love your comments and your ability to put in words what I have in my heart and I don't have the gift of articulation to put on paper. A thousand thanks. Life is an ongoing learning project, I hope I make the "grade"

Heather said...

I, too, do not understand the battle. My feelings on the issue lie very decisively on one side of the issue but my love for people lies on the other side so to speak. It is hard for me but it boils down to this. I know for a fact that equality doesn't mean the same. I also know that, without a shred of doubt, I trust my prophet implicitly. As a sweet, little priest in a recent superhero movie said, "Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith. The trust part comes later." I may not understand but I know in whom I place my faith and that is enough of an answer for me. For now.

Maria said...

I am all for equality. I don't think anyone should be turned away from a hospital room because they are not technically a spouse. I think you should be able to leave your money to whomever you want. All of those were protected in California. But, marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman. Basic truth. Sometimes the truth is hard, but it is truth none-the-less.

Cassidy said...

Beautiful, C. Jane! I've missed you here. This makes me think of charity for some reason. Charity is the great equalizer. The pure love of Christ meets everyone exactly where they are. I can only hope to be more charitable; to myself and to others. He loves us all the same. Have a wonderful weekend!

Heather Nicole said...

I have mulled over that word quite a bit as of late. Equality. It bothers me. People scream for it, fight over it and cry for it. Herein lies my problem; by definition this word means to be the same, to have the same opportunities, etc. I don't like that. Rather, I prefer the word choice, or even agency. Because that is a battle already won, one I can know with a surety every single person on this earth was on the same side.
I believe people should be given the choice to choose and not be hated, scorned or looked down on for it. I hope that we can remember the word love regardless of which side of this issue we stand on. And I hope I can remember that as I stand up for what I know to be true.

Amanda Conrad said...

I just want to point out that the Supreme Court decision ruled that the federal government has to honor all marriages where same sex is legal. The case was based on a lesbian couple who had been together 40 years and were legally married in New York. When one spouse passed away, the other faced a large federal tax penalty.

This isn't a small issue, it's a human rights issue. We don't know why people are gay.

But subjecting our brothers and sisters to inequality and discrimination is an awful, cruel thing. We should not be asking our government to enforce God's law. We should be asking our government to support all families.

Rachel said...

Thanks for this. It's nice to have a thoughtful and introspective angle to this really difficult and complex subject.

Maria said...

It's very hard to express opinions or even more so, issues that have been pondered long and hard in your own mind and heart, on a blog post (esp when I lack the eloquence with words that others have). I still haven't come to any concrete conclusions. I think two people who decided to join their lives together, by marriage or civil union should have all the same rights. I have many gay friends and family members who have had faithful and loving partnerships for longer then I've been alive. They have made my life better and been an example to me of selfless love. When I considered what I thought about redefining marriage, other then between a man and a women, it seems that was treating everyone "equally". Then I thought about my faith and my children. I believe in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and in the Proclamation of the Family. Marriage, as taught by God (in my faith) is between one man and one women. I teach my children that marriage is sacred and a covenant you make with your spouse and with God. How can I teach them that and then also teach them that same marriage includes being able to marry someone of the same sex? It just doesn't work. Of course we should have charity. Learning to love and serve everyone and to overcome pride is why we are here! Like what Maria said, sometimes truth is hard but it truth none-the-less. I don't claim to be "right" and I am still working this all out in my own mind and heart bc sometimes it doesn't seem fair.

Cory L K said...

I don't know how you are able to beautifully articulate the thoughts of my own heart, but I gratefully appreciate it. Being a person of the LDS faith AND a convert AND an ethnic minority with a long history of racial inequality imposed upon my very recent ancestry and additionally having a very diverse family/friends circle I feel all that you wrote spoke to my soul. I want to keep a copy in my pocket and share it with anyone who questions my intentions or "loyalties." Thank you, thank you, thank you.

tiffany said...

What a wonderful piece to read first thing this morning. Beautiful words of inspiration and to that I say Thank You!

Katie L. said...

Gorgeously written. And amen.

Liz said...

Maria- I am in the same spot. Still trying to reconcile all the beliefs I have that seem to not be able to coexist with each other.

MofromMD said...

Beautiful!

Townhouse Towny said...

90% of my friends and family are on the same side I am (liberal democrat, believing in equal rights for all and the separation of church and state oh dear God the separation of church and state please please please for all our sake). Partly because I live in a diverse area, religiously, somewhat racially, and lifestyle wise. I never thought how hard it must be to live and love in a place or community where you may be the minority. For your lifestyle, sexuality, color, sure. But I never thought about being the minority belief. I would cry daily if those I loved and worked with didn't believe in the things I feel are obviously right and fair.

I'm sorry, that must be very difficult. Being somewhat semi-liberal or open minded at all in a community focused more on Christ, less on equality...that is a tough one.

Jessica said...

Ditto amandaConrad!

Jennifer Lee said...

Well said. Thank you. There is so much I don't understand. But I don't need to understand to have charity, compassion and love.

Ines Abdelnour said...

My God teaches me that all are created with equal dignity and worth and that all people should be treated as such.

I hope that folks will realize that equal rights for all diminish none of us. That a same sex couple can marry freely, does not change your marriage. God bless

Stephanie Banner said...

This is so spot on with how I have felt since the marriage equality debate began. The many loud voices, rabble rousing, and anger were so intense that I was once plunged into an abyss of spiritual loss and chaos. It's only when I've surrendered and steadfastly rooted myself in the simplicity of what I know to be true- that my God is about love and touching every heart with the hope of Jesus- that I can have ease within this DISease. Until we stop the "us vs. them" mentality, we'll be ineffective in carrying out our most important intents- spreading the love we have in our hearts with all mankind and uniting as one. I believe all of us have these deep desires within us, it's just overcoming the fear that loving someone else diminishes our worth that is the hard part.

Caitlin said...

As perhaps one of the only LGTBQ readers around these parts, I want you to know that I am eternally grateful for people like you who are willing to let LOVE, HOPE, and PEACE outweigh arguments over taxes, government certificates, and titles.

As you hope for understanding and peace, so do I. I will hope for me, and I will hope for you.

Thanks for going against the grain on this one - I'll be working for peace and understanding toward "your people" amongst "my people."

jessie said...

Thank you CJane.

Kate said...

That brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

Tori said...

Is there room here, I wonder, for equal but different? I want all people to share their lives with whomever they choose and share the same legal and financial protections. But I also believe in the power of words, and that men and women, mothers and fathers are not interchangeable. The word "marriage", as traditionally defined, preserves that distinction. God made us different for a reason. He delights in those differences and intended that we unite those differences (dare I say opposites?) in one. I hope we can find a way to honor and respect everyone's relationships while honoring God's creation of man and woman joined together in his image of oneness.

Kelly O. said...

Best thing I have ever read that you have written! I have been through your journey in my own way.

Fresh Hell, Texas said...

I believe in Democracy and this week my faith was rewarded.

As the mother of a son who is gay, this week has been one I will never forget. I have cried tears of gratitude and joy.

I hope that people can see, or eventually come to see, that granting my son and all gays and lesbians their full civil rights in no way infringes on their religious rights.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this weeks historic actions.

MadMom said...

I'd like to share a quote from Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) on Women's Rights that I feel is appropriate for today's times and fights for equality.

"Make them FREE, and they will quickly become wise and virtuous, as men become more so; for the improvement must be mutual, or the injustice which one half of the human race are obliged to submit to, retorting on their oppressors, the virtue of man will be worm-eaten by the insect whom he keeps under his feet."

Let us not forget all the past struggles for equality. What seemed ridiculous to those of the past now seems just to us today. We are what we are.

mathilde said...

Dear C. Jane, thank you so much for your beautiful post.
As you may have heard, the law allowing same sex wedding was voted a few weeks back here in France. The months before, there has been many demonstrations, strongly supported by my Church, against this law. the prostests and demonstrations became more strong and agressive weeks after weeks and, all in all, expressed nothing but fear and hate. Some of my relatives, very close ones, joined the movement of anti gay wedding, which caused me a lot a pain and despair. It led to serious disputes among my family members, which are still unresolved. As a lawyer, I truly believe that it is sometimes necessary to push things forward and, with courage, vote laws that might not be well understood at first but that make the world evolve in a progessive way (I think about death penalty, abolished in France in 1981). I deeply hope that as time goes by, people will better understand that they have nothing to fear about others love and that I will therefore be able to heal / reconcile with all the relatives I mentioned. But for now, your post, very quite yet clear and strong, gives me peace. Thank you for that!

haylee said...

Reading this made me feel peaceful and hopeful. Made my heart feel a little softer and more open. Very good.

Fresh Hell, Texas said...

Tori, I can tell your heart is in the right place but our country's history of "equal but different" is abysmal.

My son does not want to be "civil unioned", he does not want a "spouse." He wants to be married, to have a husband, and for them to be fathers. He's more conservative than his father and I are in many ways. To deny him those civil rights based on religious reasoning is simply unconstitutional.

Further, our religion allows same-sex marriage, so he wants a church wedding. (His father and I were married by a justice of the peace.) That's why keeping the state and the church separate is so important. Just as you do not want the state telling your church they must marry same-sex couples, so too do I not want the state telling my church that they may not marry same-sex couples.

Mari said...

I am glad you have decided to have peace in your heart. Love and charity are, of course, foremost to providing happiness and joy. I can sense from you that you have a great love and concern for your fellowman.

But I do hope that your peace does not lead to indifference, or grey area on this topic -- or not knowing where you stand. On many issues you seem to try and find another way to see it, rather than just declaring right from wrong. You find that place where it would seem like wisdom, except for this warning in my heart.

You talked about the battle being "good people" against "bad people." But I think of it more like good ideas vs. bad ideas. The war that rages is a war of ideas, a war of words. And it seems to me that one side is being dangerously silenced. Tolerance for ideas and beliefs should extend both ways, but it almost never does.

Those of us who firmly believe in our faith and religion now get to walk on eggshells, as what we declare as truth will be interpreted as hate and discrimination. This is scary.

I really do like your tone of peace in your heart, I have been working on the same thing. But I worry that so many people are wavering on this issue. And I do believe you can have peace, while also fighting the battle -- the battle which really does exist. We have to know where we stand and what we really believe. I think it is a dangerous time for being wishy-washy.

I certainly am not at war against my neighbor, I love them -- no matter who they are and what they do. But I will not silence my beliefs, or applaud action which I do not agree with -- not for anyone.

There will come a time when we will all have to break our pride -- as mine is as strong as yours, I am sure.

But one day, without a doubt . . . every knee shall bow.

audri jo said...

just wanted to say that I loved this. thank you!

Becca said...

My question is, can we not each hold our own definitions of "marriage" and anything else we want. In our families, in our groups, in our churches, and let others hold their own definitions, and just let it all settle. No need to impose anything on anyone, feel OK with being "right" in our own world, let others have their agency to do the same in their worlds?

Heather said...

Glorious, thank you. I think I have wanted to be right, more right. It makes me feel justified in believing so differently than those around me maybe? Mostly I should let go,and allow myself to love me and let others love for me trump their differing opinions.

Jenna said...

The day I started believing wrong is "anything that hurts other people" my life changed completely. I don't need anyone else to define what is right or wrong, I can feel it in my heart. I now only fight against the idea that that isn't true.

arajane said...

i love this post, and i love how you summed it up here in the comments:

"I hope I would be willing to stand up for what is right no matter the cost, and then I would hope that cost didn't make me a bitter, angry person for the rest of my life."

it reminds me of the 30 rock episode where liz lemon buys all the hot dogs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK3JwzSYJJw). i mention this because it's hilarious, but all because my husband and i use it as code now when i'm about to get upset and self-righteous over something not at all worthwhile. he says, "ara jane, don't buy all the hot dogs" and it totally works. but sometimes it really is hard to tell the difference between important things and hot dogs. (equality, however, is always an important thing.)

Tracie Carter said...

I liked this very, very much! Thank you!

Amy C said...

I don't think the government should have any say in whom we marry (other than protecting the rights of children). The only reason they get do involved is to take more money. It's a tax on a religious ceremony. Marriage should be between you, the person you're marrying, and God. Mormons should totally understand that when the government gets involved they mess things up (read: polygamy). As long as nobody's freedoms are being taken away (i.e. children) then marry whomever you wish - polygamy or same sex or interracial (which politicians also made illegal and interfered with). Use your own agency with making a sacred spiritual commitment. This should be a moral debate not a political debate.

Brenick said...

omg, do you hate funeral potatoes too?? I thought i was the only one!

McEngland like the McCountry said...

Marriage was a civil institution well before it became a religious one. Be that as it may, I still had a church wedding and I know without a shadow of a doubt that my husband and our marriage is God's biggest blessing in my life. I am grateful for it every single day. I pray that my children are blessed with a marriage so full of love and comfort, respect,joy and blessings exactly like they've been surrounded by all their lives. I don't care if they identify as straight, gay, bisexual, transgendered or space alien. I want them to be able to marry the person they love most in this whole wide world and legally pledge their whole lives to each other forever and ever, Amen. And separate but equal is not equal.

Golda said...

I never post on blogs cause I am never sure if my comment will be read and if it will never be read then why bother? But I thought your post C Jane was too great not too say anything. This post was not surprising to read because I have always adored your intelligence, down-to-earth, and love filled thoughts on femininity, motherhood, etc. I have often felt your testimony in the feelings you express. I appreciate the positive expressions your post brings to this subject. We don't need to wrestle with trying to change, society, politics and media. Each individual can be progress on the journey in life to be better, nice, less jealous, happy and content. As always C. Jane - you are amazing!!

Kira Davis said...

I SO appreciate your perspective and words in this post. I am one to share opinion on so many subjects but could never find my voice in this one. At the core of the debate, I hope everyone can find peace. Stripping ourselves of pride and being human enough to love.

Kira Davis said...
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likeschocolate said...

To be true Christians we must love everyone! Heavenly Father did not say love only those that we agree with political, sexually, etc. He said All! That is why he gave us the Savior. It will be his job to judge not ours! I think as members of the church we forget this sometimes. It is so easy to stand our soap boxes and dish out how we should live our lives, but if we love all men those who are ready will accept the gospel.

Janie said...

Sometimes C Jane's nuanced deep understanding of mormonism makes me miss the church I have left (just a tiny bit) then I read the comments and without fail there are mormon women spewing opinions that remind me I am exactly where I need to be: gone.

Carrot Jello said...

http://tinyurl.com/qbxkwmy

Cookie Marie said...

My nephew has been in a committed relationship with his (male) partner for 7 years. All I see is love between them. Not two guys committing sin, just love. And the occasional bickering but what couple doesn't tick one another off at times? It is one thing to hear all about "the gays" in the media all the time demanding equality. It is a whole different experience being in the home of a gay couple, watching them do the simple things in life that all couples do. Sometimes I wonder how many people have even been in the home of a gay couple to see for their own eyes the love, companionship and warmth that resonates within their home. it isn't an environment focused on sin or overt sexuality. It's just love. I don't claim to have all the answers nor do I know for certain how my God views my nephew's actions. What I do know is that loving and caring for someone with all your heart, regardless of gender, has got to be better than all the other more violent sins being acted upon every day towards innocent people, children and animals. We all sin, some worse than others. Gay relationships are based on the same genuine love as straight relationships. It isn't my place to judge anybody. If you live a good life and respect others, I don't care who you say "I love you" to at the end of each day. I hope yesterday's Supreme Court decision gave some much deserving couples a chance to stand before their God to proclaim their love for one another. They mean no harm, they just want happiness like most of us.

Mary & Marc said...

I am confused by your post and new revelations about an internal conflict, and I do wish you peace in all of your enlightenments, however, lest not confuse pride or the compulsion to be right with a moral imperative, which is what lies at the heart of your posts, you have a desire for equity. I sense a bit of complacence in your post, and that actually makes me very sad. Don't ever doubt that your journey and relenting ambition to seek your truth is a bad thing....perhaps the failed relationships in your wake is due to a myopia around you, that is utterly oppressive to your soul.

kristy said...


I disagree with you CJane.....funeral potatoes are delicious!

CTR Mama said...

Awesome. Very well expressed (and so true!). I wage that battle myself...

Dorien Nielson said...

We sometimes forget that when Mormonism was in its infancy, they fought for the right to marry multiple wives, THAT was the norm all the years ago. That was the kind of marriage God "approved" of.

(Remember that little thing called Polygamy?)

That would be a marriage between
a man, and a woman, and a woman, and a woman. Quite different from God's definition of today.

I think everyone deserves to be happy.

Who knows? Maybe God will change his mind again about what the "right" kind of marriage is at some future time....




Robyn :) said...

I believe strongly in free will and free choice and the right of people to choose in all things, including who they marry. If it is wrong, God will judge, but it is not for us to judge. I try to live my life according to the Gospel and respect those who respect my way of living so I respect theirs. I know that celestial marriage is between a man and a woman and that is the path I have chosen, but I am not going to condemn another for choosing a different path. Love thy neighbor.

Claire Roach said...

It seems like the premise of this post is that the opposite of equality is iniquity. I wonder how you arrived at that conclusion? The argument that right and wrong is something that we can decide within ourselves is Hollywood's most common theme: "follow your heart," etc. And then there is moral relativism: "because nobody is right or wrong, we ought to tolerate the behavior of others even when we disagree about the morality of it." Latter-day Saints who believe in their modern-day prophets know that there IS a right and wrong on this issue because the prophets have been very direct and clear: "God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife" (The Family: A Proclamation to the World). And this is becoming a minority belief. It takes courage to have faith that the LDS prophets receive revelation from God and to keep still with these beliefs while societal morality continues to be revolutionized with each passing generation.

Heather said...

Claire, you are awesome.

Sara said...
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Leslie said...

I find it interesting that because we've allowed our government to become so large that they need taxes from every nook and cranny of us so that tax laws are written a certain way and because hospitals may or may not define certain visitors to a restricted group of people (thought I've never encountered such restrictions), therefore we must legalize gay marriage. Is this logical?! Change the tax laws, make hospitals allow patients to designate who they want to visit them, etc. It's not that hard.

Leslie said...

All this talk about "love" ... the issue isn't about whether someone should "love" another person or not or be "allowed" to "love". We are commanded to love our neighbors. Somehow I don't think the "You can't help who you love" references are talking about the same thing. In fact, I think that phrase is actually a lie or obfuscation. It should be "You can't help who you have sex with" to which I would just have to say, "Really? You can't?"

P.S. Great post, Claire.

melissa34 said...

I believe that marriage between a man and a woman is a sacred relationship. I believe that God set the standard for marriage with the first union between Adam and Eve. A man and a woman. God is a God of truth. He operates from all truth, he is all truth. The pattern of truth in marriage was set at the beginning. He did not establish a union between a man and a man. The pattern of truth had to be used,he had to set the union between a man and a woman. It is a universal truth that it takes the union of a man and a woman to create life. One of the reasons God placed us here was to multiply and replenish the earth. That takes a man and a woman. There is no denying this. This truth is found everywhere in nature. We would cease to exist if man and woman ceased to unite to create life. Science can now replicate this to some extent however it still takes a man and a woman. This power to create was so important that God protected it within the bonds of marriage. He created marriage! I believe that the ideal for a child is to be raised by the two people who created them. The role of father and mother is sacred also and cannot be replaced. I also understand that we now live in a world that in a lot of cases is not ideal. I also believe that God loves ALL families. I know there are many families that are not the ideal but are still loving homes for children to be in. And I know that God is blessing them just as much as any other family.
Is there a place for people who believe in the sacredness of marriage, to not be labeled haters, racist or bigots? I try to be loving and christlike to all. But many would say I am not unless I allow something I hold sacred to be changed.
Can’t I still love someone even if I don’t agree with them? I will never be convinced that it is ok for a man to marry a man or a woman to marry a woman. I have seen the pattern of truth set up in the beginning, a man and a woman. I see it in nature every day. Truth will always be truth, I do not have to fight or defend it. It will always be the sacred union between man and a woman. However, I do feel it is my right to declare that truth to anyone who will listen.

melissa34 said...
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melissa34 said...
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Whimcees said...

The bottom line is that you care. And in the end that is all that matters.

Hugs,

Barbara Diane

Lori Ann said...

First I want to acknowledge that I know that this wasn't really what this post was about but let me jump on the gay marriage debate anyway.

If we are talking TRUE equality then gay marriage barely scratches the surface. Gays are being just as short sided as straights in thinking only about their relationships.

What about 3 or more people in love, don't they deserve equality?

And why even make the focus of marriage just people in a sexual relationship? How is that fair and equal?

Why can't I marry my brother so that he can be covered on my insurance and we can file our taxes jointly? Because we don't have a sexual relationship we are not equal?

Lets be real... True equality takes gender, whether or not you have a sexual relationship, and number of participants out of the equation. Three female best friends should be able to get married so they can be legal, financial, and social support to each other.

Lets not just selfishly nudge open he door for yourselves, gays, lets kick it open and get some real equality up in here.

Chris Olson said...

Well put, Provo.

Delirious said...

I was one of those whose vote didn't count. I'm more upset about the politics side of this than the fact that their decision went against my vote. Do you know what I mean? My vote meant nothing.

Terra Lorien said...

Hi Jane, you nailed the whole internal "battle" thing for me. Loved your perspective (why I read your blog). My biggest challenge with "equal" is this...I was placed for adoption with my parents when I was only three days old. I've never doubted that I was supposed to go to them, the "delivery" method was just different. My birth mom placed me for adoption because she loved me and wanted me to have an opportunity to be raised in a home with both a mom and dad, recognizing that each would bless me in different and unique ways. I am eternally grateful to her for having the strength and courage to make such a gut wrenching decision. I support civil unions. However, I can't support a definition of marriage that does not, by design, give children an opportunity to have both a mom and a dad. I believe a child's rights always trump that of an adults, no matter what. In a society ravaged by divorce, this realistically will not always be the case, but does that mean we stop striving for the ideal? I realize people will choose to label me as a "bigot" (along with a host of other uncomplimentary terms) based on my beliefs. But rather than go to that place of contention, I am trying to go to that place of humility (that always seems to work out better for me). Bottom line, there are many aspects of this issue that I don't understand, but I do try to have true and sincere love for my brothers and sisters on this earth. I hope this is something that we, as members of this human race, can ALL TRY to extend to one another.

Carolyn said...

From what you wrote about, I think you would be interested in reading Jeffrey R. Holland's article this month in the Ensign--Conviction with Compassion--EXCELLENT! There are so many good quotes I had a hard time picking one, but here it is:
"In (certain) situations you are going to have to explain sensitively why some principles are defended and some sins opposed wherever they are found because the issues and the laws involved are not just social or political but eternal in their consequence."
This is a FANTASTIC article and I think agrees somewhat with your premise--you don't have to be bitter or mean to stand up for what is right--But I DO think there are times when God EXPECTS us to stand up--but with love and compassion.

On this particular issue it is more that just a moral decline that I see--it is also a fact that this law was voted in and those votes didn't count. And the Supreme Court didn't even rule on this case--they just threw it out. And that is why all those people who voted got their votes thrown away. I think that is unconstitutional and wrong. And I can think that and still be a Christian--standing up for principles does NOT mean I don't have love in my heart. I truly hope that you were not trying to say that in your post. Because there really IS a battle between good and evil is this world--not us and them, but Satan and God. And the only thing we have to worry about is to make sure we are on God's side, not Satan's, we really don't have to worry about anything else. Because we know in the end, God will win.

It would also be awesome if after you write one of these controversial posts and then get all this feedback you maybe write a follow up and let us know your response to the opposing opinion--it would be a nice courtesy to your loyal readers.:)

Lori Cartwright said...

You are my muse and helping me work through a lot of my issues as well. Thank you for so often putting my own thoughts and feelings into words.

Bakery22 said...

Thank you so much for always being honest. And having the strength to stand amidst all the opinions and commentaries.

Fresh Hell, Texas said...

For those of you who feel your vote was "thrown away", the fact is that you never should have been allowed to vote on the issue in the first place. That's the issue.

Would you still argue that votes (majority) should always supersede the inherent civil rights on a minority if people in one state voted to deny Jewish people the right of civil marriage? Or banned inter-racial civil marriage?

We have a court system for a purpose. The checks and balances that courts provide are as democratic as voting.

The fact is that you do not, and never had, the right to vote on my child's civil rights. That you mistakenly claim that you did is offensive.

Lori Ann said...

Wow, Fresh Hell...nice way of acknowledging another person's perspective and feelings. I like it. I too enjoy playing the emotional trump card whenever I can. When I have children one day, I hope they are all kinds of disenfranchised so that I can throw the bigotry, hatred, small mindedness, and pure ignorant evil of other people in their face when they judge/exclude/try to vote against/smirk at or otherwise malign my child's civil rights/personal preferences/wants/needs/and choices. It is going to feel so good. Save some room on the moral high ground for me, sister!

Fresh Hell, Texas said...

Lori Ann, If you are going to refer to my posts, then use my words. At no point did I use the words, "bigotry, hatred, small mindedness, and pure ignorant evil."

I say what I mean and I mean what I say. Your desire to throw a tantrum does not excuse you from attributing things to me that I never said.

I realize having to confront the actual human beings behind an issue can be uncomfortable but you still get to choose how to respond.

ejricca said...

My thought is that LDS members contributed over $20 million in support of Prop 8.

Imagine the good that money could have done if used differently.

World's Sexiest Man said...

This is a very compelling essay/post. I am a little uncomfortable, though, with what I feel is one of its implied statements: that anyone in support of traditional marriage is likely motivated by pride, by the assumption that he or she is better or more privileged than the individuals seeking same-sex marriage. Obviously CJane isn’t trying to start an argument, and her perspective is beautifully expressed, but I believe this issue is more about what’s best for the future of our communities than it is about equality. When we say that people are “equal,” surely we don’t mean that people are “the same.” Nor are human relationships “equal” in the sense that they are all “the same.” The power to create life must be one of the most powerful forces in the universe. The health and destiny of our communities depends upon it—always has depended on it. That’s why, it seems to me, that long ago societies designated a unique institution to sanction, govern, and promote the relationship capable of this creation.

Marriage is fundamentally about the creation and rearing of children. All laws, benefits, incentives, enforcements, and protections of marriage stem from this historical fact. The relationship between two men (or two women) is not “equal to” (“the same as”) the relationship between a man and a woman for the simple fact that only one of the relationships is responsible for the creation of human life, which in turn sustains civilization. While the “worth” of the individuals in both types of relationships is certainly “equal,” the relationships are in fact fundamentally different.

Same-sex marriage suggests that marriage, at its core, is about something other than the creation and rearing of children—which means that we no longer believe that the creation and rearing of children is important enough to give the relationship responsible for it a special or unique designation. We don’t really know the long term consequence of this change in emphasis or focus. But common sense suggests that when whenever we change our focus, we generally lose sight of our original focus, which, in this case, is the creation and nurturing of children.

Danielle said...

Fresh Hell,
You are the one throwing a tantrum - telling Lori Ann how to word her response to you, telling people their concerns are offensive, etc. Why are you so belittling? Is it really necessary to argue your point?

Danielle said...

to arguing your point, I mean.

cristie said...

me too. xox

It's moi said...

If there is a disagreement to be had, fresh hell will be first in line...waiting.

Emily Graves said...

It is about control over our own bodies and our relationship with a higher power [or not] but it is also about the safety of the mothers children already born, about her husband or partner. We all know people got abortions before Row vs Wade. We all know they they still will. And we know what happened to women and their families. Left to the sometimes merciless unskilled. Children were often disappeared, or left to family that really did not want them either. Yes, some women may have a change of heart after the birth but many will not be able to admit they are not able, willing or have a job to able to take care of them. I can't and won't tell another woman she has to be a mother. I can't even have trust that the very people who want to make that choice for them will help them even one minute after birth. Adoption is a very personal choice as well and there are many outcomes for birthparents, adoptive parents and more so the child.

Fresh Hell, Texas said...

I want to sincerely apologize to anyone I offended. This topic is not near to my heart, it is my heart and as such it’s all too easy for me to cross the line from polite to rude. Which is not an excuse, it’s still my responsibility to police myself and stay on the right side of that line. This has been an exciting and celebratory week for my family; I don’t want to end it on a bad note. Cjane set such a good example waving her white flag and I was too wrapped up in my rainbow one. Peace to all. Kate

merathon said...

love this line: I am the most unhappy when I believe that I am not as good as, or better than someone else and that unhappiness can set of a chain of consequences--from spending too much money, over eating, going into debt, to losing my love for my neighbor entirely.

thanks, courtney!

Jill said...

That may be the the most beautiful post you have ever written...and that's saying something! Thanks for writing and posting this.

Bev said...

I have decided that I am no longer going to read blogs with ads that continuously get in the way of reading content. These ads across the bottom are despicable.

chanel said...

wow.
awesomeness.
isn't it exhausting to be always aware and growing and learning and becoming better. you are fabulous at it and i love how you make me think. this is full of goodness and honesty and its truly inspiring. i HOPE to be able to incorporate this concept/feeling/idea as well.

also on a side note...every time i hear/dance/scream with Adele's rolling in the deep i think of you. :)

Carrie said...

This question is directed to everyone that believe marriage should only be between a man and a woman because of conceiving and rearing children, especially World's Sexiest Man (I can't believe I just typed that). I'm married and choose not to have and rear children. What about me? I'm married to a man and do not want to have children. Should I not be allowed to marry? My partnership is no less valuable or equal to those that have children. what about those same-sex couples that raise other people's biological children? Is their marriage acceptable because they are raising children?

Lori Ann said...

Carrie,

Do you really want someone to answer or do you want to start a blog comment fight?

Because if you being sincere, I want no part of that. I am only here to rumble!

Give me a minute to work up some hate speech that demeans and marginalizes the perspective, religious beliefs(or lack thereof), feelings, and dreams of minorities,women,gays,illegal immigrants,and the childless. Then I'll get back to you.

Donna said...

Most humans seek after good things. Desiring marriage, family, love is a good thing. Living the gospel and letting others pursue civil rights, and their happiness should not be in conflict. It is not right, to worry about, vote on, or try to control others rights. If we truly believe in the concept of Free Agency, then we must let others decide what happiness means to them. If we believe in a loving heavenly father, then we know that all things will be well. We are told in scripture that the Gospel was brought to America and the constitution was divinely inspired...the constitution is for all.

Carrie said...

Lori Ann,
Yes, I was genuinely curious and sincere. People do get married for reasons other than procreation. I was trying to understand the procreation logic as a reason for being against legalizing gay marriage.

carolyne b said...

For me I see the last days when wickedness will rule and Satan will have some control to change the Hearts of the Children. I see Gay marriage, wars, percucution, government fighting all a BIG part of this.
I love my brethern and sisters, I just don't nesassarily support their choices. Which are their's to make; with conquences.
For me this is why Temple attendance is important, living the Gospel and being kind to everyone is huge.

Lori Ann said...

Carrie,

Too bad about the sincerity thing. Blog comments fights are like crack to me.

I've thought about writing a reply but I think it would be kind of going against the whole point of CJane's post, which is to stop looking for the fight, stop looking to be right in order to feel better.

Becca said...

carolyne b, you say " living the Gospel and being kind to everyone is huge. " but call me a heathen and lump gay mariage in with wars and other things under Satan's rule?
that doesn't feel kind, and is pretty much the exact opposite of the point of cjane's post.

JenMarie said...

How does abortion and Roe v Wade always manage an appearance? I think the post's point on "iniquity" would apply to the process of an abortion. I hope all who have such a strong voice demanding "equality for all" apply that same strength of emotion to those who are not yet born. Just because the Supreme Court has ruled in one way does not make that ruling right. Do you know what happened to "Roe" or Norma McCorvey??? You'd be surprised.

Elizabeth Wolff said...

Hi, Interesting debate. Thought this might be of interest....listened to a podcast between Simon Levay & an international human & gay rights activist, they were concerned with Americas unique portrayal of this issue being about ' born that way' and comparing it to race while fighting for rights. Unfortunately there is no comparison, a careful reading of the ACTUAL
research (not news, blogs, podcasts), indicate gender & sexuality is formed by environment, culture, family, society & repetition biologically influencing us. So here is the thing, for whatever reason through indirect choices beginning at birth, people are same sex attracted, others later. Religions tell us we have a choice- regarding science, even the study of epigenetics shows us that. Conclusion? All paths are valid. Choose your ideology & respect differences, equal rights, freedom of choice!!!! In terms of marriage..this is a good article http://touch.latimes.com/#story/la-oe-blankenhorn19-2008sep19/

Sarah Whitehead said...

Sorry- I was reading your post and came across this comment "Marriage was a civil institution well before it became a religious one". How many times have I heard that? I understand people disagree but the way people are rewriting history is astounding Actually, prior to witnessed marriages, marriage was just a verbal agreement, as in the virgins walking the bride to the bridegrooms house, or later a contract between two landowners etc... It involved just a mutual agreement, sometimes a land contract exchange and then, just moving in!! It would also be fair to note that historically speaking, in feudal times, or further back to the pagans, romans, greeks, canaans, egyptians, etc and as far back as we can remember people WERE religious, quite literally the STATE was run by the religion (remember the French revolution fighting to change that?). That type of marriage, verbal agreement (ie. not witnessed), in England was called Canon law but was common law etc.. elsewhere. I am not sure if cave men were religious so you'd have to ask them. Later marriage was not a 'verbal agreement' but was witnessed before god in a church (this was brought in at different times for the Jews and different christian faiths.) and this witness of marriage is the version we have today. Witnessed Marriages WERE definitely religious in nature, as it was a witness before god. They were INVENTED by religions. Which is why if you do genealogy work all the documentation is found in parishes all over europe. The religious witnessed marriage was then extended to only civil marriage at some time in the 1700's in France (of course) and was given civil status in most other places between 1830's to 1900's depending on the country. Some countries in the middle east, africa and asia (which are highly religious) still do not require a civil aspect of their marriage but instead have a verbal agreement with religious elements. Please let us not REWRITE history to make a point. P.S I came across your blog because of a friend who follows your blog and told me about this post (and the comments section). She also wrote this post, perhaps you should consider reading it and not be apart of rewriting that aspect when fighting for rights. Truth is always a good starting point for fighting for what you believe in, whatever side you are on. http://www.wolffsroundaboutjourney.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/born-to-choose.html

Bri!!! said...

I loved this!