Prop. 8 Press Sec. Sonja Eddings Brown issues "Big Love" instructions

A trio of Big Love episode 33 reviews that I enjoyed reading today:

Obligatory Big Love Post

“Big Love”: Bigger Message

"Big Love," the Temple, and What is Sacred




Now, back to Sonja's instructions ...

------ Forwarded Message
From: Sonja Eddings Brown /sebmedia@msn.com/
Date: Sunday, March 08, 2009 9:49 PM
To: Chino Blanco
Subject: We do not want to increase the exposure to Big Love by responding to HBO

Public Affairs Representatives:

Many of you will see or hear about the impending broadcast of LDS Temple ceremonies and exploitation of our sacred temple clothes by HBO "Big Love" this week. TV Guide will deliver an ad showing one of the "Big Love" polygamist wives dressed in full temple clothes. It is already circulating on the internet. As has been their practice, the creators of "Big Love" hijack our customs and sacred symbols and misrepresent them in settings of their own making. Please be aware that the executives of HBO made a commitment to the LDS Church at the outset of "Big Love" that they would never desecrate our sacred rites or clothing in promotion or in their drama.

Our Church leaders are fully informed and are considering whether to dignify the show with a response.

The head writer of "Big Love" this season, is Dustin Black, the recent Oscar-winner for "Milk." Raised a Mormon, he is clearly versed in our culture.

Brothers and Sisters, "Big Love" is not a ratings winner and we don't wish to build their ratings for them. TV Guide does not experience the readership it once had. Some of your friends and neighbors will see the images in print and see our temple ceremonies acted out in the drama. Perhaps the greatest position of strength for us, is to stand by our beliefs and teach the gospel. No, HBO does not represent accurately the sacred dress or beliefs or ceremonies of the LDS Church. Yes, like the Catholics, the Jews, the Muslims, the Buddhists and many other faiths, we do have some sacred ceremonial clothing for our Temples.

Our Temples are places where we unite our families forever. They are places where we go to learn the highest principles of character, honor, and devotion to God. That's what we can share with our neighbors and friends, and that kind of answer will no doubt....satisfy their questions.

Unless otherwise directed, at this sensitive time, I suggest that Public Affairs leaders NOT urge response to the TV Guide ad, or to the HBO program.....and avoid increasing the show's ratings or attention.

According to industry sources, "Big Love" will end this season.

Sincerely,
Sonja Eddings Brown
Media Specialist
Southern California Public Affairs Council
(818) 993-1409

* Not to question Sonja's "sources," but HBO has ordered a fourth season of "Big Love." Production will begin later this year, with Season 4 episodes debuting in 2010.

** Fun fact: "Big Love" averages five million viewers.

*** Tinfoil hat fun: Per KIDK's news report, go to http://www.tvguidemagsales.com/ and click on "You've Gotta See This Week's Issue..." in the lower-left corner. Nada. Did somebody deep-six the previously available PDF version of this week's issue of "TV Guide"?


All fun facts and CTs aside: watching that news report, I had to shake my head at this line from the LDS church's statement regarding Big Love Episode 33 aka Outer Darkness:
"Certainly church members are offended when their most sacred practices are misrepresented or presented without context or understanding."
I remember my first trip to the temple, and I'm not sure there's any context in which I could begin to understand that experience in a positive light. That said, I'm sure there are many faithful LDS who can and do, and to them I'd ask: is there any context in which a secular portrayal of your temple garb or ceremonies would not amount to desecration?

"There's gonna be lies, and secrets, and discoveries, and problems. Television!"


This sounds about right: No need for an HBO apology on 'Big Love'

As does this: Are ceremonies so sacred, or are Mormons insecure?

And this:
What the LDS Church leadership fails to understand is that it does not own my Temple experience. The leadership has done a very good job of cowing members into not discussing the most sacred experience in their lives outside the walls of the Temple (and not very much within). The Church seeks to extend this silence to those of us who used to be members. What the leadership and membership fails to understand is that for those of us who used to be members, the Temple is as much a part of our psyche as it is yours.

I have a very clear statement for President Monson, the General Authorities and LDS Church Public Relations:

You do not own my Temple experience.

I left your church. I am no longer bound by your oaths and covenants. If I choose not to discuss what goes on in the Temple, that’s my choice. It’s also my choice if I want to discuss it. But stop trying to silence us by your alternately sad and outraged statements.

If former members who write for “Big Love” want to write about their Temple experience through the fictional Barb Henrickson, that is their right. I’m sure they’ll give your ceremonies their proper deference, probably far more deference than those ceremonies deserve. (As a former lawyer, the phrase “unconscionable contract” comes to mind when I think of the oaths and covenants of the Temple.) And it is their right to do so.

But stop trying to browbeat us former members into not discussing the experiences we had within your Temple walls. They are part of us and we can talk about them if we want. You do not own our experiences. You do not own US.

— Mirele
A very worthy collection of Big Love commentary: Sunday in Outer Blogness: Big News Edition!

And a media dump:



26 comments:

Buffy said...

They have no problem stomping LGBT people into the ground. They spare no expense of effort or money to do it.

But they certainly expect everyone to treat their precious religion--and all it's trappings--with the utmost respect. The hypocrisy is astounding.

Chino Blanco said...

I had to shake my head at this line from the LDS Church statement regarding this episode:

"Certainly church members are offended when their most sacred practices are misrepresented or presented without context or understanding."

I remember my initiation into the temple ceremony, and I'm not sure there's any context in which I could begin to understand it in a positive light.

Buffy said...

Indeed. Interesting how some can't see outside their insular world to understand how others don't share their viewpoint.


I wonder if these people would be as reverent about the "sacred" rituals of other faiths. I find that those who are aghast over the "desecration" of a communion wafer couldn't care less when somebody's mandala is destroyed or outright laugh at the rituals of religions the consider "primitive". They're usually the first ones you see kicking over pentacles that sit too close to their Nativity creches during the holiday season....

Anonymous said...

"Certainly church members are offended when their most sacred practices are misrepresented or presented without context or understanding."

My thought is that most of the temple ceremony was shamelessly stolen from Masonic rites anyway, so turnabout is fair play, in my mind.

Chino Blanco said...

Anonymous -

Sadly, most of these folks are operating with little (if any) historical knowledge of anything, including their own church.

Without it, they're ill-equipped to understand the concept of turnabout, since that would require holding a fixed opinion about some prior event.

For the sort of Mormons who are up in arms about this Big Love episode, their past is whatever their leaders tell them it is.

And what they're being told is that this is all payback from that mean Tom Hanks and his angry gay friends who are upset about failing to thwart the Mormon's successful defense of religious freedom in California.

To their way of thinking, once a scary hypothetical has been served up by an authority figure, trying to square that with what we'd call "reality" is what they'd call "blasphemy" ...

And so it goes. And the show goes on. Kudos to HBO. It's about time.

Buffy said...

Such are the dangers of never thinking for yourself. But that's the way the leaders want them. Dumb and manipulable.

Anonymous said...

Chino - No idea why you commented on my blog.. I have my beliefs and know there is nothing wrong with my religion. If you have doubts or a problem with it, then I'm sorry. I've been through the temple many times and felt good about it. I'm sorry if you had a bad experience but that was not the case with me. My religion is not filled with lies. We believe in Jesus Christ. We are a Christian group but a group filled with lies. Sorry if you disagree with me.. again.. no idea why you commented on my blog.. thats weird.

Anonymous said...

(ha.. typo! "*NOT* filled with lies" I was writing too fast!)

Chino Blanco said...

No worries, Anonymous. It's all good.

And there's nothing "weird" about popping in and letting strangers like me know where you stand in all of this. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

I don't feel that there is any context in which a portrayal of a temple ceremony would not be desecration. Those things are so sacred to me. I don't need people to believe the same things as I do. I don't need people to like what I believe. I just would like for people to respect what I believe. I try to respect what other's believe as well. In response to "Buffy's" comment: the LDS church doesn't want to make a mockery of what anyone else believes. I do feel that marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman, it is a sacred union. However, I would love for LGBT to have the same rights as I do, simply because they are people. I don't want to make fun of them, or belittle them. I want them to be happy, and feel safe, and comfortable with their believes too. I appologize for whatever bad experiences you have had with the LDS church. Anyway, thanks for dropping by my blog, It seems like you have a lot of things that you disagree with. I am curious to know what it is that you do believe. I would love to come back to this blog and find you defending your own beliefs rather than trying to tear down mine.

aidanjordan said...

Thanks for your comment, as I do appreciate and value others' opinions. I find it odd that some people think that just because we have 100% faith in something, and hold it so dear to us, that it is seen as insecurity. The fact of the matter is, what happens in the temple is sacred, not secret. If anyone wanted to know what goes on in the temple, they can read about it in the Library of Congress.

Also, what's with Tom Hanks? I used to like him. Now it seems the Scientologist is going around just trying to stir up trouble with other religions. Let's not forget the LDS church isn't the only one he has upset. Hello Da Vinci Code?

Anonymous said...

Chino,

I deleted your comment on my blog because when I went to your blog the first thing that popped up was the picture of a woman dressed in full temple clothing.

Normally, I would allow strangers to post on my blog, but after this experience, I guess I won't.

I am very sad to read your blog and feel so much contention. I hope you find whatever you seem to be looking for.

Anonymous said...

Don't know why you commented on my blog. Post what you would like on your own but don't post your crap on mine. I believe what I belive and will stand up for it and I respect what others believe as well. I would rather spend my time being true to my own religion and beliefs them wasting my time tearing someone elses down. Looks like you have nothing BUT time to belittle others.

Anonymous said...

You left a message on my blog, and I would appreciate it if you didn't do so. I don't know you, and am not really concerned about what YOU think of my opinion. why don't you have this discussion with someone who wants to engage in it with you. I am not intersted, thanks.

Chino Blanco said...

I'm kind of bummed to hear none of you got a chuckle out of that Tom Hanks clip: "There's gonna be lies, and secrets, and discoveries, and problems. Television!"

And it looks like a lot of you didn't appreciate what was meant to be a light-hearted reminder that you're getting all bent out of shape over a TV show. A TV show!

Oh well, thanks for your comments and you're always welcome to drop by.

Natalie said...

I did get a chuckle out of your clip, but I do wonder what difference it makes. Yes, he said there will be lies and secrets and discoveries and problems but does that excuse the fact that it shows disrespect? Does that excuse the fact that despite the LDS church's wish to keep sacred ceremonies private they hired an "x-mormon" to disclose intricate details they wouldn't be able to get in any other way because of the vow of members to keep it private. (yes, I realize MEMBERS take this vow, so whoever actually told the details of the ceremony didn't do anything "wrong") but it is still disrespectful.

Also, yes-- members are getting "all bent out of shape because of a T.V. show!" Yes. We are. The fact that the episode hasn't been broadcast yet doesn't matter. The ceremony will be misrepresented because Latter-Day-Saints do NOT participate in polygamy. Any man who had multiple wives would not even be allowed to enter inside the temple because he doesn't practice complete fidelity to one woman and therefore would not be allowed to participate in a temple sealing. The show (even by the short clips and pictures already out) misleads people into thinking Latter-Day-Saints practice polygamy and that men who actually do practice polygamy are worthy to enter into the house of the Lord and participate in the ceremonies God revealed to us through prophets.

As for the "secrets" Tom mentions-- The members of the LDS church are doing a great job at making people believe that these are "secret ceremonies." I believe they are sacred ceremonies that should not be shared with those who do not understand them. I have said multiple times I believe they are private and sacred. This does not mean, however, that by participating in temple ceremonies you are taking part in some secret cult. It's hard to say if temple ceremonies are really a "secret." I guess by definition they are, but once one reaches proper understanding that secret is made known to them. Just like you don't a child how to drive a car until they reach the proper point of understanding because they could kill someone without that understanding, you can't let everyone see or take part in sacred ceremonies until they reach proper understanding. Some may call things that happen in the temple goofy or weird if they didn't understand them. I guess I truly believe temple ceremonies to be sacred rather than secret...but I know that doesn't matter to you. Take it for what you may.

Lastly, I hope you're not reading my comments in a way that makes me seem defensive. I'm not meaning to be defensive--just informative. It is actually very interesting for me to see what you think about the church and it's reaction to the "Big Love" issue. This allows me to see what I honestly do believe and to speak for myself (Not let my family or parents speak for me) and strengthen my testimony of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. I agree with Buffy when he says there is a lot of hypocrisy within the church and, sadly, that deems the whole church as hypocritical. I promise you not all members of the church are as "outstanding in their hypocrisy" as others, and we are not just "Dumb and manipulable." Yes, I still live with my parents and have been raised by their teachings. Yet I disagree with them about a lot of things in regards to politics, the gospel, and just about life it's self. The things I've commented here today are not my family speaking out. These are my words and my testimony. How do I have it? I've prayed about it and know of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I know President Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet of God and I know these things because I've felt them for myself. Not because I am a "dumb" girl who was "manipulated" into believing in a religion only because my family does.

Hope this didn't take too much of your time. :)

Chino Blanco said...

Natalie -

Thank you for your comment. For what it's worth, your belief does matter to me in the sense that I'd never fail to defend your right to hold it.

In all of this ("this" meaning Prop 8 in CA, Common Ground in UT, HB 2234 in IL, and now this Big Love circus), I've been saddened and angered as I've watched Mormon opinion getting manipulated such that too many Mormons now firmly believe that their political opponents lack any commitment to the principle and protection of religious freedom in our country.

When you suggest that Big Love has contributed to public confusion about LDS policy re polygamy, it leads me to wonder how many episodes of the show you've actually watched? Because if you were familiar with it, you'd know that this particular accusation is absolutely without merit.

And just as you seem to be unfamiliar with the show in question, too many of your co-religionists are unfamiliar with democratic principle and practice, and your leadership is only making matters worse by taking advantage of their ignorance to stoke a sense of grievance.

I've been through the temple many times. I don't know what film is shown in the temple now, but I didn't care for the one that was shown back when I was a temple-worthy member of the church. The heavy-handed criticism of other religions and extreme vows invariably struck me as inappropriate and unhealthy.

Of course, that is only my opinion. If I'm wrong, I certainly welcome disagreement. What I cannot abide is this notion that because you hold the ceremony to be sacred, it must mean that the act of my reporting on my own experience somehow equates to disrespecting you.

Disagreement is not disrespect. My re-creation of a scene from memory for the purpose of dramatic story-telling is not disrespect. My posting a still of the temple scene from episode 33 is not disrespect.

Just making stuff up to paint your political opponents as monsters is not only disrespectful, it's sinful.

Natalie said...

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying in your first paragraph. It's probably just me being slow, but if you could elaborate on that a little more just to help me understand what you're saying, I would greatly appreciate it.

You're right that I am not very familiar with the show. I've only seen snippets of different episodes on youtube. I misspoke when I said "the show misleads people to believe.." What I should have said is "this episode will mislead people to believe.." I don't know very much about what's been on the show in the past, but I do know that the ceremony "Big Love" plans to expose tomorrow is an LDS ceremony. I also know that "Big Love" is a T.V. show based on a polygamist family that lives in Salt Lake. By showing a polygamist family engaging an LDS temple ceremony it misleads people to believe that polygamists can participate in it. I understand that you wouldn't think that because you obviously have a very wide range of knowledge when it comes to the church. Another point is that with all the ruckus that's come from this episode airing and the types of things saying "never before seen footage of an LDS temple marriage" and other intriguing comments like it how many people will be in basically the same situation as me-- not know much about the show-- and actually watch it for the first or one of the first times and know as little about the show as I do. Do you see where I'm coming from when I say they might see this footage and assume that the way the show depicts a polygamist family going through the temple is true?

I agree with you when you say heavy-handed criticism of other religions is inappropriate and wrong. There is actually a member of my bishop brick who constantly teaches us why other religions are wrong and why we are the true church. I hate it. Every time he teaches in Young Men/ Young Women I either leave early and go to a different meeting, or I talk to him about how much it frustrates me. I find it extremely ineffective and not appropriate to teach the faults in other religions. If this type of behavior occurs frequently in the temple..you've got me there. Like I said in my blog post, I've never actually entered the temple beyond the baptistery (because I'm not old enough) so I can not say anything about the actual ceremony it's self or about the video shown within.

"What I cannot abide is this notion that because you hold the ceremony to be sacred, it must mean that the act of my reporting on my own experience somehow equates to disrespecting you." I'm not saying anything about your experience specifically. What I find disrespectful is that despite the churches wishes to keep this ceremony private and sacred and despite the fact that you know the church would not approve of the ceremony being publicized, you revealed the details of it anyway. The fact that you deliberately shared information the church doesn't even share with younger and or unworthy members of the church is disrespectful. Lets not even talk about the church for a second. Doing something like that to any organization is disrespectful it its self. Sharing information about an organization that that particular organization does not want shared about it's self is disrespectful. Going back to the church... The picture you posted from episode 33 is disrespectful because the clothes are symbolic and people may not understand what the clothes are symbolic of. Those clothes are not supposed to be seen outside temple walls. Obviously someone with such a great understanding of the temple and the church, such as yourself, knows this well and yet you still choose to post pictures of things that you know we do not want exposed. I'm not saying it's wrong. You are no longer a member of the church. Even if you were and you still did...it wouldn't really matter. I'm not the one to call the shots on whether it's "wrong" or not. I don't care whether it's wrong or not but it is disrespectful either way.

I haven't made anything up to "paint my opponents as monsters" so please do not accuse me of such a thing. But I do agree--that would be a sinful thing to do.

A few questions:

1) If you found the temple to be such an inappropriate and unhealthy place why did you go back? I recall you said you've been to the temple many times.

2) If you are a former member of the church and you have no problem with exposing information you know with an absolute surety the church doesn't want shared, why do you care if you've disrespected them?

3) How did you find my blog in the first place?...Just out of curiosity.

Chino Blanco said...

Natalie -

My last sentence was referring to the Yes on 8 campaign, not you. My fault for being unclear, sorry.

There is a plausible explanation for Barb's temple attendance. If you poke around the internet, you can find it. Big Love is a well-written drama. It's not a show written for idiots. Please give its audience a bit more credit.

You apparently define "disrespect" as doing anything that the LDS church might disapprove of. I'm sorry, but that's the kind of narcissistic thinking that Mormons need to get over. Do you intend to live the rest of your life being offended by the other 98% of the country that isn't Mormon?

Natalie said...

No--I don't. I tried to make it clear that this is not just about the church. the disrespect in this situation is not about the church necessarily. It is about exposing information about an organization even though you knew full well that organization didn't want the information shared. I don't care what type of organization it is. Deliberately giving out information about an organization that they don't want shared and is private to the organization is disrespectful.

This has been very interesting and a great learning experience for me, but I can tell I'm not going to change the way you see anything and I don't usually even update my blog this frequently. Ha, have a wonderful life, and I hope I could be somewhat informative regarding the churches feeling of tomorrows broadcast.

Natalie said...

P.S. You never told me how you found my blog...

Chino Blanco said...

Natalie -

If you post on Mormon topics at your blog, it will show up in my search results. And if you have comments open at your blog, there's always the chance that I'll leave one.

Best of luck to you in all your endeavors.

R-av-olyn Tadd Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You left a comment on my blog as well. I was interested in the conversation you had with 'Natalie'. I wouldn't use the word disrespect. I guess in my everyday life, I try not to do something that would upset others to such an extent. Wither or not it's someone I know, or someone I just meet. It feels like the show doesn't care that they are offending us or our beliefs, due to the 'importance' of a story line (I say 'feels like' because obviously, I don't sit at the writers table, so I don't know the facts).

And I also agree with other comments made above. I fell away from the church, and came back, then went through the temple. There are members of the church who are judgemental, and hypocrytical. I guess I try to remember (and base my life around) the TEACHINGS of the church, not the people who teach them. It's the feeling I get when I do something good, or the stories I hear of others doing good. Mormon or not. I just try to be a good person, and being a member of the LDS church helps me do so. It makes me happy.

Regarding Prop 8... I feel I am 'middle of the road' on this. I believe in marriage between a man and a woman, but I also have no ill feelings for anyone who doesn't agree with me. People can love who they love. On the flip side, I feel like people have ill feelings towards me and my beliefs because they don't agree.. isn't that hypocritical as well? They get to voice their opinions, but the LDS church members can't voice theirs? And if we do, we are 'ignorant'. We live in a world where we all don't have to agree, that's why the US is so great. The church did not give money to Prop 8 because they wanted the stop marriage between same-sex couples, it was the situation Prop 8 would put the LDS church in. If Prop 8 was voted 'NO', the church would be bound to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. So let's say a gay man asks an LDS bishop to marry him and his partner.. If the LDS bishop says he will not do it, the gay man could be in a position to take legal action against the bishop or church because of the whole Prop 8 thing, if he chose to. That is what the church was protesting about. We want all people to have equal rights. All the tax-deductions, and adoption options you want, we just don't want to be legally required to marry homosexuals (sorry if I am not being 'pc', I don't mean to offend, I'm just not fully educated in correct terminology).

I don't mean to change your views or beliefs, as I don't think you plan to change mine. I just wish all people, mormon and homosexual, can agree to disagree, instead of trying to bring each other down. As I stated in my blog that you commented on, 'Big Love' broadcasting my sacred beliefs makes me sad. It's not something I wished others who were not ready to view, will now be in a position to view and ridicule. I don't think anyone is trying to 'own your temple experience', they are trying to protect their own. This isn't the first time the temple ordinances have become public. If you googled it, many ex-members have shared all our 'secrets' to the last detail, and anyone who wanted, could search for it and find the answers they were looking for. But broadcasting it for people to TiVO, re-watch, record, and replay for their 'entertainment' hurts our feelings.

Thank you for reading this. I have decided that I will keep your comment up on my blog. I don't want to be viewed as one-sided, and not let the people who read my blog know others out their have different opinions, just as you have kept mormon opinions up on yours.

ps. Joseph Smith was a Mason.. The LDS church did not 'steal' their 'Masonic rights'. I don't know a TON about Masons, but I do know that Masons say they can be traced back to Stone-masons who worked on the ancient Jeruselem temple. So this 'temple knowledge' is very old, and to the Mason's, the information has been pasted down through generations. For us, it was received through revelation. But the original source was the same.

pss. Hope all this makes sense, I feel like my thoughts were all over the place :)

Chino Blanco said...

Anonymous -

Your comment made sense to me )and thanks for leaving mine up over at your place).

I appreciate your calm tone.

Still, I gotta be frank here: I don't know a single person who has ever suggested that Mormons don't have a right to express their opinions.

The only real problem continues to be that so many Mormon opinions are just dead wrong.

For example, you write:

"If Prop 8 was voted 'NO', the church would be bound to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies."

This is simply not true. Please consider:

- Divorce is legal.

- The Catholic church refuses to marry anyone who has ever been divorced.

- Nobody has ever or will ever force the Catholic church to marry someone who has ever been divorced.

To suggest that somehow the Mormon church would be forced to perform a ceremony that goes against its own religious principles is just plain wrong.

Do you know what would happen if somebody tried to force the Catholic church to marry someone who'd been divorced? Or if somebody tried to force the Mormon church to marry a same-sex couple? If that happened, I'd be joining with you to protest such an obvious violation of religious freedom. Heck, the whole country would join with you.

But guess what? Plenty of churches would allow same-sex marriage, except that the Mormons have effectively used government power to prevent such churches from practicing their religious beliefs.

As I said, your comment was appreciated. Unfortunately, the majority of comments from Mormons here takes a "my way or the highway" approach. They don't want to listen, they don't want to learn, they don't want to show respect for anyone who disagrees with them, they just want to lay down the law.

Anonymous said...

Oh geez, I wrote a whole response and it didn't save.. I'll try to sum it up again.

Unfortunately, you are right. There are many mormons who are judgemental, and aren't willing to as least admit that there are other views. But we aren't all like that, and we don't want to be clumped with people like that.

You were a member once. I don't know if you still believe in some kind of God, and just not his church, but I do know there is a God, and I believe he has a hand in all things. He knows what is going on. If he didn't want that episode to air last night, it wouldn't have. But he has given his children the power of free-agency, and what happens to those people on judgment day is up to him, not angry, vocal mormons.

I appreciate your opinion on Prop 8. It's nice to know that if ever we were forced to practice something we didn't believe in, we would have some kind of support. But I don't think I was as clear as I hoped I was. Let me try again. I didn't mean we would be 'forced' into doing something we didn't believe in, I meant it would put us in a situation to have POSSIBLE legal action brought upon us if we declined. I don't think anyone would really do that, but Prop 8 would make it possible. Referring to what I said in my previous statement about being 'middle of the road', I don't think there should be laws that ban same-sex marriage. We should all have equal LEGAL rights because we are people. I don't think many would agree with me, but I don't care if there are same-sex marriages. As a member, spiritually, marriage is between a man a woman, but lawfully, I think people should be able to do what they want, love who they love. I think that state and religion need to be very very separate. As long as the law says I can practice whatever I want, that's where it should end. As 'state' it should recognize marriage in whatever form, but as 'religion', maybe mormons can just choose to ignore it and choose not to recognize it as 'marriage' on a spiritual level.

Also, I didn't mean to say that mormons weren't allowed to voice an opinion, I meant non-members get all bent out of shape when we do. When we donate money to a cause we believe in or post blogs full of our opinions. But I guess on the flip side, mormons get all bent out of shape when others do the same thing, hence Prop 8 protesting.

And lastly, I liked the reviews you posted at the top of your blog. But I wanted to clarify one thing. Everyone is focusing so much on mormons worrying about our practices being perceived wrong, but we use the wrong words to express how we are feeling. I'm so sick of reading 'disrespect' and 'scared' because when we use those words, I don't think non-members get what we are saying. I want to put it in different words. The things that go on in the temple are very special to us, and we take them very seriously. We are asked to not speak of them because we should be in the right reverent state of mind, as to make sure we have the right heart while we are discussing them. Which to us, we can only have the right reverent state of mind when we are in the temple. I think that people are offended because broadcasting something so special to us on TV is taking something so serious, very lightly, and it is something not to be viewed upon as a light subject. Hope that is a better way of describing how LDS people feel without using 'disrespect' or 'sacred' because I guess when we use those words, we aren't getting our message across.

Thanks again.

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    News and views on NOM, marriage equality and the Mormon church from a former LDS missionary. This site is not affiliated with The National Organization for Marriage or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. © Copyright 2009 by Chino Blanco. All Rights Reserved.

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