Last Sunday, my Southern California LDS ward had a special Sunday School taught by a member of our stake presidency who said that last June's statement by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regarding California's Proposition 8, which would ban gay marriages, was a "call to arms." We have been counseled that, except for tithing, Prop. 8 is the most important cause we can give our money to. We've been asked to meet on Saturdays to canvass neighborhoods and call registered voters.
The church claims that the doctrinal justification for this intense grass-roots initiative is the 1995 "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve. Indeed, the proclamation solemnly proclaims that only marriage "between a man and a woman is ordained of God." Yet, a work of LDS scripture, the Doctrine and Covenants, allows for marriage between a man and several women.
LDS Church President Thomas Monson and the other church leaders need to cease lecturing the world on the definition of marriage until they can get their own definition straight. Anything less is hypocrisy and bigotry.
Yet another (earlier) Salt Lake Tribune letter to the editor:
In the 19th century, mainline American Protestant culture opposed and outlawed the Mormon practice of plural marriage because it judged it immoral, unnatural, deviant and unchristian. The Mormon response was basically: You don't have to accept or practice or like polygamy; we're only asking you to allow us to live our lives as we see best. Mormons were pleading for what we now call American pluralism - diversity. The majority wouldn't listen.
Today, it's the Mormons who call another minority immoral, unnatural, deviant and unchristian. That they won't give gays wanting to marry the same public space they once begged for is certainly ironic and perhaps hypocritical. The oppressed have become the oppressors, dealing out the same self-righteous sureness they once condemned.
From their history as an oppressed group, Mormons could have learned empathy for other minorities, for the stranger in the strange land. Instead, they learned to compel and coerce when they have the political power. It's OK that they haven't learned humility and tolerance, but it means they're just like everyone else. They're not the exception they profess to be. They're just another political special interest group.