The Mormon Temple – The New Symbol of Hate


 

© 2002, Rick Satterfield.

© 2002, Rick Satterfield.

The Mormon Temple has been the highest physical symbol of Godliness by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints here on the planet. According to their unique beliefs, gospel saving ordinances for the dead and ordinances such as eternal marriages are conducted only within the walls of such edifices.

 

The Latter Day Saints (Mormons) consider such buildings so sacred that only worthy members of the church with Temple recommends signed off by the appropriate church leadership can enter and participate in the ordinances. Those who enter are asked to keep the experiences and ordinances in the temple to themselves because of their sacred nature.

 

There are chapels for regular Sunday services where all church members and visitors are invited to attend at other locations.

 

However, with the recent political and monetary involvement of the Church in the Proposition 8 campaign in California to Ban Same Sex Marriage, these temples have now become a symbol of Hate and Exclusion.

 

Despite the Church’s attempt for some reconciliation, the jarring effect of the passage of Prop. 8 which effectively enables the California State Constitution to discriminate against a certain population of its citizens from marriage rights, has caused a backlash against any possible reconciliation.

 

The Church for years has been one of the most anti-gay rights voices in the country and has preached heavily over its pulpits and in its publications its own moral viewpoint on the issue. The Church’s own theological position as the restored Church of Jesus Christ with a Living Prophet who is the only one authorized, out of all the Christian denominations to speak for Christ, adds another dimension to their political ambitions on this matter.

 

They have effectively imposed their religious influence on affairs of the state through both monetary and outright political involvement that crosses the line of Church and State.

 

So these Temples with their promises of eternal salvation and eternal families now seem like empty words. The Golden Angel that you see top the towers of most of them has now become the new Swastika to millions of us who have seen our rights taken away.  

Chris Detrick/The Salt Lake Tribune

Chris Detrick/The Salt Lake Tribune

 

 

Chris Detrick/The Salt Lake Tribune

Chris Detrick/The Salt Lake Tribune

If we protest outside your temple gates and you feel uncomfortable, too bad. If it disrupts your perfect heterosexual world. Too bad.  I hope it does. There were many hearts you broke the day Proposition 8 passed and we will not let you forget it… until Equality is finally realized.

 

Oh yes, Keep your missionaries away from knocking on my door.  I am not interested.

17 thoughts on “The Mormon Temple – The New Symbol of Hate

  1. This argument against gay marriage,that it protects our chikdren, is ludicrous and non-sensical. The only children harmed are those gay children who are shown by society that there is something wrong with being gay. Some people who are members of other minorities complain that gays are not truly oppressed because it is a choice and against the bible. Here is an example of true oppression: Young gay people not only worry about societal consequences– but rejection FROM THEIR OWN FAMILIES. This is not easy to deal with. In fact, over 30% of teenage suicides are attributed to gay shame. I say shame on you for not supporting gay marriage.

    Don’t mess with our ‘pursuit of happiness’

  2. When George Washington, Ben Franklin and other framers met behind Masonic and Church Doors to plan the American revolution, they were also filled with hate? When abolitionists for slavery met behind church doors, they were also filled with hate? When Jews voted against Socialism they were filled with hate also? Are you mad? The real Nazis are you protestors if you cross the line. Prop 8 was passed by the democratic process. If you destroy private property, you are no different then Tories, Slavers and Brownshirt Nazis disregarding our rights. Don’t paint, vandalize or in any form deny churchs their private property rights, and the democratic process and you could come out the winner..if not, be prepared to be in history books assigned the role of tyants…

  3. Harry, nosurfgirl:

    I think you misunderstand the nature of Tasi’s (may I call you Tasi?) entry. I am not sure how you could do that as straight (ha!) forward as it was, but perhaps if I simplify it some, you might be able to keep it straight (double ha!):

    The Mormon Church decided to enter in politics (the establishment of law or constitutional authority is policy, therefore politics) without paying their entry fee: taxes. They used their capital, i.e., their money and their reputation, to sell the public a bill of goods on a fraudulent set of “facts”. They messed with people on a very emotional issue, and just like the protesters who yell and scream and petition and demonstrate and intimidate outside of Planned Parenthood based on their emotions, the opponents of Prop 8 have decided to exercise their 1st amendment rights.

    I don’t advocate physical violence and Tasi certainly has not. And the false analogy you draw to the American revolutionaries, the abolitionists, and the Jewish people is desperate and shows a real lack of understanding the simple premise Tasi has made: anyone who would decide FOR THE STATE what constitutes a family, what is a true loving, stable, supportive commitment between two people (AND influence others to agree with their opinion by using lies and baseless innuendo) is motivated by fear and yes…a little bit of hate.

    Perhaps they have fooled themselves into thinking “hate the sin, love the sinner”, since that’s what Jesus would do, but we all know, NONE of us are Jesus. We don’t have his love, the agape needed to act outside of nature when it comes to divesting from the true meaning of “love your enemies” and walk with them two miles and give them our cloak as well! I certainly didn’t notice any Mormon’s offering the other cheek!

    I believe that the “winners” of the Prop 8 vote who fall on the “it was democratically decided” argument would certainly have never given up the fight to remove equal rights to selected persons in California if the vote had gone just barely the other way. They would continue on demonstrating and re-proposing the initiative until it was clear that they would not win…so we’ll see how it goes from here.

  4. MR. SMITH NEEDS TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL AND SEMINARY CLASS:

    POINT #1- Southern Baptists in Alabama, during the Restoration Era, met in Churches to enforce and execute Jim Crow Laws without trial. Jim Crow Laws were enforced by Southern Christians despite the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. By the way, the Mormon scriptures are still explicitly racist, despite the 1978 declaration by the Prophet Kimball,
    I Nephi 12:23- “they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.” Alma 3:14-16- “the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.” II Nephi 30:6- “and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and delightsome people.” Jacob 3:5-9- “Finally, before the judgment bar of God, all who have been righteous, Lamanites and Nephites alike, will be free from the curse of spiritual death and the skin of darkness.” This last one you will have to look up in scriptures that were published before 1981. Kimball at least had the sense to change the text of Jacob 3. The racist language in the unique LDS scriptures explicitly excludes African-Americans from the Priesthood before 1978. Although, Mormons can exclude homosexuals or African-Americans within the walls of their temples (before 1978), they must understand that the exclusion causes the marginalizing of theses groups. If it is acceptable for a private church to exclude a homosexual from membership, is it also acceptable for a Mormon, who is a private owner of a restaurant to refuse service to two men who walk in holding hands? Conclusion from my point of view: Just because something happens inside of a church, does not make it a good thing. Mormon scriptures are still racist, despite the 1978 declaration. I can’t imagine that African-American Mormons are happy that these scriptures have not been explained, especially in light of what seems to be the contradictory 1978 declaration by President Kimball.
    On a lighter note, George Washington and other members of the Virginia Parliament met at the House of Burgess to discuss trade. The House of Burgess was indeed a church. (Wow! I agree with one of your statements). Nevertheless, when the British Governor of Virginia in 1769, forbad them to meet at the church, they walked down the street to the local tavern and continued their discussions there. Perhaps they received better inspiration at the tavern.

    POINT #2- Part of what many abolitionists did was against the Law. They freed slaves. For example, if an abolitionist came to the Utah territory in 1857 and tried to free a slave, how would a Mormon court react to a violation of their own law? Slaves were treated far, far better, in the Utah territory, nevertheless they were still slaves. However, I believe that Mormons are taught to abide by local, state and country laws, unless they are grossly inhumane.

    POINT #3- You confuse national socialism (Nazi party) with socialism, I think. Those who don’t know what they are talking about, tend to group the two together. During the Great Depression, four political parties were trying to obtain power in Germany. Communists, Socialists, Democratic Socialists and the National Socialists (Nazi party) were the major parties in the early 1930’s. Communists and Socialists tend to be grouped as lefists, while the Democratic and National Socialists were definitely on the right side of the political spectrum. Hitler blamed the Richstag fire on the Communists and within two years Hilter had become Chancellor, due to the Democratic and National Socialists working against the Socialists and Communists. The economy worsened and Hilter used emergency presidential powers to take power in Germany. Socialism is not the great evil, as portrayed by Christian Capitalists. The LDS Church had many socialist components, in order to survive the early years and exclude “the Gentiles” until the transcontinental telegraph and railroad lines arrived. Brigham Young’s sermons make it clear that many Saints were not happy with all of the required sharing and that some were not tithing as they should.

    POINT #4- Do you remember why there are three branches of our government? What happens, if a state passes a law that violates the state Constitution? The issue at heart with the passage of proposition 8, is that the California Constitution seems to have two contradictory statements. Are they contradictory or not? That will be up to the California Supreme Court, not the “winners” of proposition 8. The democratic process involves all three branches of the government, not just how the people vote.

    POINT #5- The LDS church encouraged it’s members to donate to “YES for proposition 8”. The LDS membership donated 40-70% of the monetary contributions. They are very responsible for the results. If you are not happy about it, that is unfortunate. It’s true that although the Roman Catholic Church contributed and African-Americans were responsible for the voting that allowed the proposition to pass, Mormon money caused the proposition to pass. Any person who compares vandalism with amending the Constitution seems odd. Vandalism is a petty crime (usually) and a Constitutional Amendment is something that should carefully considered. I don’t like your belief and the first amendment allows me to vocally disagree with you, even if I hurts your feelings.

    POINT #6- Think about what you and your church believes and how it was once the object of discrimination. You obviously have a strong faith, however your attempts at a logical argument are based on red-flag words, non-sensible comparisons, and a utter lack of historical understanding, including your own churches background.

  5. This has been a very tense time for me, #1 because I love JP and Gary so much. #2 because there are members of my family who are very true blue members of the LDS church, me, not so much. When I try to talk to any of them about it, they all spout the same line the church has told them. That is one thing I dislike about the church, you are supposed to have robotlike acceptance to everything they say, don’t think about it. If the prophet says it, the thinking has already been done.

    I believe the church overstepped its bounds by many of their tactics regarding this issue. Many members in Utah, California, Arizona etc, were called and told to donate. California college students attending BYU were called and told to get out to vote. Even in church meetings, letters were read on what to do and how to vote. I don’t believe the church should be this political. All my mother can talk about is that “We’ll have to let them marry in our temples.” She is actually scared!

    After the proposition passed, I just loved that the church came out and said, “we should just all get along now, since we won.” (I know, I added the last part). I don’t agree with the vandalism that is going on now. If things were done differently, there wouldn’t be so much animosity now.

    I know this isn’t the most intelligent comment on the board, I just know how I feel.

  6. It’s fascinating to watch the reactions of Church members to our protests. Their ironic and logic defying cries of “discrimination” are laughable and frankly sad.

    I am a former Mormon, my family is still very active. My father until recently was the Bishop of his ward in a Salt Lake suburb, my mother is currently the Relief Society President (the women’s auxiliary to the male only priesthood). I understand from first hand knowledge that the church thrives on victim hood. It is their tactic to squash any dissent or criticism. They use their very real history of actual persecution, as a blanket that they throw over anyone who expresses any criticism of their actions.

    Through their own coordinated efforts against LGBT rights they have legitimately become the new face of hate in America. They’re having a hard time swallowing that bitter pill. They don’t seem to understand that belief and law are two different realms. That Faith doesn’t excuse hateful actions.

    I personally thank them. Their bigotry has awakened my community from a coma. We are reclaiming our activist energies and realizing that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

  7. Our protests are neither anti-American nor are they anti-God. May I point out that some of the most profound moments in our History are based on revolution, sometimes not so friendly in nature: The Boston Tea Party, The Civil War, The Women’s Vote movement, The Urban Riots of the 60’s, The ant-war movement. These events changed America forever. There has been much talk about Bill Ayers being a terrorist and the Right wing’s admonition of him. Would they include the officers that killed 4 students at Kent State in their terrorist coven. The fact is: Sometimes there is a greater truth and it is often worth dying for. I was only a boy in the 60’s but I saw the news every night and even went through the burning remnants of the Detroit slums. In my mind, the protesters were the heros.

    The problem with religion is that it must not control our society from an ideological standpoint.
    Many of us do not wish it thrust down our throats. Many Evangekicals are very similar to the Taliban in their exterme views. Of course, you cannot say this in ‘polite’ society but it’s true.

    Our time will come. It may not be pretty but it will be RIGHT!

  8. Thanks for referring me to this post. I really don’t have much to say, other than that not all Mormons are against gay marriage. Barbara Young, the wife of Steve Young and a prominent Mormon, is passionately for gay rights and against Proposition 8. I’m guessing that within the Mormon Church there is a greater diversity of political opinions than it appears, and that there are quite a few Mormons like Barbara Young who support gay marriage. I am against Proposition 8, but I think it’s a mistake to make a fight for gay marriages into a fight against the Mormon Church, the Catholic Church, or the Evangelical Church. There are members within each denomination who are probably sympathetic towards gay rights. Lets work to persuade those people within those churches to speak up, and not alienate them and put them in a position where they feel like they have to defend their church.

  9. As long as Gays get to have civil unions, I keep asking myself if I have a dog in this fight. (It always comes out “no”). I voted again 8 just because I don’t like the people pushing it. But I never admit to having even read the prop.

  10. I absolutely agree, JP. Who cares if Mormons are uncomfortable when they see protesters outside of their temples? How comfortable do you think we were when the Mormon-funded hate ads flooded the airwaves, filled with lies about us and our friends and families?

    The Mormon church has an agenda, and they have shown their cards. This backlash is richly deserved.

  11. Just wanted to mention two Mormons who have gone public against Proposition 8. Andrew Callahan is a Mormon who is risking excommunication from his church for speaking out against Proposition 8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzXsl7rPV0c) and (http://signingforsomething.org/blog/?page_id=770). Barbara Young is another Mormon who has gone out against a ban on gay marriage (http://angryxer.wordpress.com/2008/11/02/steve-youngs-household-comes-out-against-prop-8/). While I’m against a ban on gay marriages and I support protests against it, I don’t think making this into a fight against the Mormon church is a good idea simply because not all Mormons are against gay rights. I think a better way would be to contact Mormons like Andrew Callahan and Barbara Young and support their efforts to speak out within their church. I’m sure there are Mormons who are either gay or have close friends and family who are gay. Sympathetic Mormons are more likely to listen to their own churchmembers than to protesters outside the church.

  12. I live in a neighborhood of extreme Mormons. The elderly neighbor next door told my son he was not voting for Obama because he was a Muslim, and he gossiped saying the neighbors across the street from him were drug users, and that two Mexican women were always leaving in the mornings. The elderly man is a devote Mormon.

    Shortly after we moved here this summer he came over as we were replacing the sadly worn fence with a new one, that 6’s was his property (a fence has been standing for over 25 – 30 years between properties and it was never stated in the title papers, etc.,). We have another elderly man in back of us that claims about a foot of our property is his. (SIGH).

    Well, regardless of the property lines since the fences have been up for over 20+ years…that takes presidence. But, these are GOOD Mormon people and OLD to boot. They should know better than to be so hateful. What is that church teaching these people. Next will be the Gas ovens, I guess, if one is not of the Clan.

    So, regarding the neighbors across the street, the guys there are in their mid 20’s, just purchased the home about the same time we did ours. They are students, and certainly not drug users, and the “Mexican” women are actually from Hawaii.

    This is just the example of these Mormons that scream hateful gossip about neighbors, and claim to be going to the Celetrial Kingdom. Amazing, isn’t it?

    The elderly neighbors are hateful, gossip hateful lies, and strut around Sunday’s like they are God’s Chosen Ones.

    I look forward to the day I can get out of this environment…I can understand how the young guy at Trolley Square went on a shooting spree. The Church (LDS) brings these poor unsuspecting people into Salt Lake from all over the world, then shame their dark skin, or differences, regardless of the horrors they may have experienced in their home countries. THIS IS NOT THE PLACE, believe me! They (Mormons) are shameful, and the new President of the Mormon church is spewing hate to those that are different. Now in a political slaughter towards the Gays, even though the Mormons are breeding them.

    Go figure! Just more love out there in God’s name the Mormon way. These people are no different than the terrorists in the Middle East. They just hide behind the government’s tax exempt status. They really want the 10% for each member. Hence, they encourage the flock to have huge families, and hate Gays that do not procreate and give 10% to the Mormon Church.

  13. You fagots need to grow up silly gay’s why don’t you go have butt sex or something and leave everybody else alone fagot ass hippies !!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. I think it is important to say three things. Mormons do not hate gay people. It is true that Jesus said love everyone, but you will notice that he did condemn people for sinning as well. I am not saying whether gay marriage is right or wrong, that is up to each individual to decide, but i think that most commentors view of the situation is grossly exaggerated. It is true that Mormons do not support gay marriage, as do most other(but not all) Christian religions. It is also true that Mormons were very vocal about their beliefs when it came to Prop 8. Whether or not being so outspoken was beneficial is still up for debate. I merely think that the Mormons are asserting their beliefs. I can see how people would feel that mormons hate them. It is finding the difference between disliking ideas and the people that hold to them, two very different things.

    And to the example of the old mormon who was so hypocritical, what can you say… people can be jerks. You can find these kind of people in any religion. The church does teach people to love their neighbors and to be tolerant. But as we all know, there is a huge difference between being taught something, and learning something, for example, almost everything we were taught in high school. It is a pity that this mormon is such a poor example of charity, but the church cannot force people to do anything, they have to live it without being watched all the time. It is sad that that commented had such a bad example of the church, i am sorry for that old man.

    Thirdly, the president of the church has done everything but spew hate for gay people. He has continally spoken for toleration of people. That does not mean he condones the behaviors he believes to be immoral, but it also does not mean that he hates these people. He is just explicitly stating what he believes about the practice not the people practicing. Just a few thoughts.

  15. Johnny,

    I appreciated your comments and point of view. I do not want to put a broad brush over all Mormons and say that they are all bigots. I know many that are wonderful and kind individuals. In fact, many active Mormons actually opposed Prop. 8.

    As much as individuals have every right to assert their beliefs, many including me, think that the LDS Church as well as the Catholic Church and other religious organizations, open themselves to public scrutiny when they fund and politically pursue issues like the passage of Prop. 8.

    The perception that that the LDS Church “hates” the LGBT community, despite the church’s Christian rhetoric of Christlike love over its pulpits and its media releases, is that it continues to promote the denial of equal rights in the government of marital rights to members of our community. These actions politically overshadow any words spoken and perpetuate a perception that causes this chasm.

    Hopefully, further dialogue and sharing between the two groups will ease these tensions because there has been significant hurt caused by your Church, whether you like to believe it or not, to the LGBT community. We don’t trust or call the Mormon Church our friend.

    JP

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