Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Made the Stater Again!

I found my name in the Daily Kent Stater again this week as I was interviewed in reference to the Church's position on Proposition 8 in California. I was interviewed over the phone last Tuesday (Nov. 18) and the story ran the following day. As is usually the case when anyone gets interviewed, there was paraphrasing and a few facts that maybe aren't entirley accurate, but for the most part this article was OK. What's interesting is for the online version, there are several comments after the article which give you somewhat of an idea of what people here think about it. The only fact I noticed that was blatantly wrong was the line that says "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was a strong supporter of the proposition, providing millions of dollars to the campaign." While it was awesome to see the entire church name used (and properly spelled!!) and the Church was a strong supporter, the Church did not "provide millions" to the campaign. In fact the only donation the Church made was just over $2,000 in travel expenses. The "millions" mentioned were donated by members of the Church; not the Church itself. HUUUUGE difference. And as I have said to several people here in the past week, if I were Catholic in California I think I would be grossly offended that the Mormons are getting all the credit for the passage of Prop 8. While Mormons did donate a significant amount of money to the cause, much of that money came from outside California. Catholics donated a fairly large share of money as well and they actually have the numbers to actually affect the vote. Money helps a lot, but in the end, it's the actual voters that make the difference (as a reminder, "No on 8" raised slightly more money than "Yes on 8"). Yes, the LDS Church is a master organizer, but never underestimate the role the Catholic Church played in the passage of this proposition.

Well, here is the link to the article: Hopes dimmed in LGBT community. It ran in the printed version of the Daily Kent Stater in Kent, Ohio on Wednesday, November 19, 2008. Again, I think as members of the Church or for those who simply agree with us on the definition of marriage (there are many of you!), we need to be better at explaining our viewpoints without coming across as exclusive or condescending. In the end, we have two viewpoints here that currently appear to conflict; if one side is happy the other is not. We have to be understanding and respectful of both sides, realizing that understanding and respect does not mean compromising our beliefs or accepting the other side. The characterization of our beliefs as "hate" is simplistic and completely inaccurate, ignoring their basis and background. We must be careful to avoid that rash and inaccurate characterization of the opposing viewpoint in this case as well.

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