Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Firmage on the DOM Letter

In Friday's Salt Lake Tribune Ed Firmage strongly criticised LDS church leaders for endorsing the Religious Coalition for Marriage last month, saying,
Both polygamy and theocracy were the reasons given by the mobs that burnt our homes, murdered our people, torched our temples and chased us into what was then Mexico . . . Now, we've changed sides. Now, we join the bad guys and beat up on those who most need and deserve our protection and fellowship.

Of the Religious Right Firmage blasted,
How in the name of God dare they? These self-righteous, self-appointed shepherds of the American Constitution. They would be better advised to keep such crap carefully contained within the walls of their half-empty churches. The American Constitution is too important a document to be abused in this manner.

I was not surprised at what Firmage said. However, buried in his outspoken rhetoric was this thought provoking gem:
Sexuality and gender are holy mysteries: just how we become human, how we gradually assume the image of God, upon what graduated plane do we tend more toward the male or the female and still call God father, mother . . . All this is holy ground.
This whole ground ripples with the holiness of the Lord. We feel God's spirit wafting through the land and the water of our soul. Just what is sexuality? Gender? God's image? We take off our shoes.


Anonymous Ben S. said...

Some definite hyperbole there. Denying homosexuals the equivalent of heterosexual marriage hardly equates to "burn[ing] homes, murder[ing] people, torch[ing religious buildings] and chas[ing them] into what was then Mexico"

May 16, 2006, 7:51:00 AM  
Blogger RoastedTomatoes said...

Actually, Ben, I think the rhetoric is fully appropriate. The efforts to deny civil rights to homosexuals are part of a broader moment in society that has also included murders. Matthew Shepard is the most famous, but certainly not the only, example.

And I want to make clear that the church is not involved only in efforts to prevent gay marriage. The church has also mobilized against anti-discrimination laws in Colorado and elsewhere.

In my opinion, a historical analogy that is at least as useful as Firmage's is to the church's efforts against the Civil Rights movement during the 1960s. Those efforts were far less organized than the current push, but the motivation was seen as equally doctrinal and it was driven by equally unequivocal statements from the prophets and apostles. Yet, in retrospect, the church was unequivocally on the wrong side on that one (Hugh B. Brown excepted).

May 18, 2006, 8:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Ben said...

Do you really think that opposing "equal rights" makes the Church complicit in Matthew Shephard's death?

May 25, 2006, 1:13:00 PM  
Blogger RoastedTomatoes said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

May 29, 2006, 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger RoastedTomatoes said...

Ben, obviously not. That's twisting my words. The only people complicit in Matthew Shepard's murder are the people who did it and any people who had a reasonable opportunity to stop it but failed to do so.

The church's stance against civil rights for homosexuals doesn't make us complicit in violence against gays and lesbians. But it does make us allies of the people who commit such violence. It puts us on their team, even if we reject their tactics.

May 29, 2006, 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Mark Butler said...

Well we are on the same team as Torquemada too. Should we then give up Christianity?

May 29, 2006, 1:26:00 PM  
Blogger RoastedTomatoes said...

Mark, we aren't remotely on the side of Torquemada. He would have killed us all.

May 29, 2006, 7:04:00 PM  

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