Jesurgislac’s Journal

December 7, 2008

No, it’s not unfair

From Reflections on faith, politics, and society: However, efforts like this (, to single-out and scapegoat Mormons in particular, based on their support of Prop. 8, are unfair

No, it’s not. The LDS Church mounted a concerted political campaign in California against Proposition 8, and succeeded. There are internal accounts before the election of the pressure that the LDS hierarchy was putting on bishops to pressure their congregation into doing pro-Prop8 work: here‘s one account: and from a different perspective, here’s another.

Now they see their tax-exempt status threatened as a result, they’re going all weak-kneed and saying “it wasn’t just us!” but this is cowardly bullspit. It wasn’t “just” them – but they were the only church that, as a church, stepped over the bounds that separate church from state and got their congregations to work as a political unit.

In 1978, the LDS Church ended a long-standing tradition of religiously-inspired racism when it seemed likely that the IRS was going to take away their tax exempt status. I don’t know whether their pro-Prop8 battle will be enough to lose them their tax exempt status now, but the threat should at least ensure that the LDS leadership will never again pressure members of the congregrations to take part in political campaigning and donation at the will of the church leadership.

The number of LDS church members, fervently pro-Prop8 themselves, who lack the courage of their convictions about same-sex marriage when it turns out that their public, political and financial opposition to same-sex marriage has brought public, political, and financial opposition on them, is quite astonishing to me – clearly, for all their fanatical talk about how same-sex marriage is the ultimate threat to the society, they don’t really believe that crap, any more than pro-lifers really believe that abortion=murder.

If these LDS church members believed that in supporting Proposition 8 they were supporting everything most dear to them, then the LDS Church losing its tax-exempt status (and their facing the opposition of their less-bigoted neighbours) would be just the price they had to pay for saving society. If they were brave. If they believed what they were doing was the right thing to do.

They aren’t just bigots and bullies. They’re cowards.

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