Saturday, June 27, 2009

THROUGH TOLERANCE COMES UNDERSTANDING


I am checking my e-mails constantly and jumping at the phone in case there is any movement on the job hunt. There isn't. On Craigslist, which I only check 4-5 times a day, I have seen a lot of jobs for "activists" to fight against Prop 8 - for the repeal, actually. It is only listed as summer work, they are looking for college students to canvas. I am interested to know what the plan is so I think I'll call to see what they have going on in my area.


I know that there has been some talk of activists turning up the heat on the Mormon church. In other states and on the internet, there have been ads which say "The Mormons are coming!" to play on the fact that more people harbor apprehension about the Latter Day Saints than homosexuality.


Of course the problem with that approach by an organization called Californians Against Hate is obvious. To invite fear and prejudice against an entire religion is not exactly showing tolerance. Using people's ignorance to fight ignorance is ludicrous.


Having lived in the West all my life, I have known many members of the LDS Church. Generally very nice people, devoted to family - some very creative, some living pretty high, most leading simple lives. Not one have proselytized, pried into my beliefs or tried to get my kids to go to their church youth group. Can't say the same of any other church goers.


I have always believed that when people know gay people personally, especially same sex couples, they support same sex marriage as a civil right. It is hard to deny rights to people you know and care about. Fewer people in this country know Mormon people, the population is small and mostly in the western states. Few Mormon people know openly gay people. It is not accepted in the LDS church (unlike the Catholic church which has a formal position -which is ignored on many fronts.)


I think the confrontations with the Mormon Church and the Catholic Church and all the religious groups which involve themselves in political issues has to be on the separation of church and state front. A delineation of the line between civil rights and religious beliefs.


I was horrified when I saw the name of a woman I know, living in my town , who had donated $5000.00 to pass Proposition 8. This family lives very frugally. Their lives revolve around the LDS Church. We have fallen out of touch over the last few years, and I wonder if we would have talked about this issue if we were still sitting on the sidelines at our daughter's swim meets. I'd like to think she would have listened to my point of view because we have always been respectful to each other.


I hope that the Californians Against Hate will find a way to fight the religious institutions without causing people to be disrespectful of the people who are members. Intolerance breeds intolerance. We need to do better.

2 comments:

Lisa said...

You are so right, Susan. And I've been noticing this more and more lately. It's hard to take the high road when you're weighted down with your own kind of hate. I hope that group can find a better way to address the issue, too.

themom said...

Hate almost drives some people's lives. The Mormons approach was and is now becoming totally unacceptable. Locally, I do have a couple of Mormon friends and they could not even hold their own when we argued this point.