Religion’s Ugly Head

same sex marriageSame-sex marriage and organized religion: A match made in heaven!

The Los Angeles Times has been chronicling Judge Vaughn Walker’s quizzing of attorneys in the Perry vs Schwarzenegger Prop 8 same-sex marriage case. Openly gay Judge Walker, it seems, wants to study all there is to know about everything gay. And, according to Keen News Service, a gay Associated Press, the good judge has “…issued an order denying a Yes on 8 backer’s request to strike from evidence…emails that demonstrate how heavily involved Catholic and Mormon church officials were in the Yes on 8 campaign.”

At the same time, in movie houses nationwide, “8: The Mormon Proposition,” a powerful documentary about religious money and political power, has opened to brisk business and rave reviews.

After speaking directly with God, the current Leading Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 86-year-old Boyd Packer revealed last year that Mormons must form an alliance with Catholic Bishops in California to stop the desecration of Christian teaching. The aim of this unholy alliance? Stop same-sex marriage.

This in itself was a reversal of over a century of mutual mistrust between the two religions along with the belief that Mormons aren’t really even Christians. You may have heard the one about a Catholic Cardinal who rushes breathlessly to inform the Pope that he had some good news and some bad news, “Your Eminence, which do you wish to hear first?” A curious Pope replies, “Give me the good news first.” Says the Cardinal, “Jesus Christ is on the phone and He wants you to know that He has returned to earth.” Joyously, the Pope exclaims, “That’s the best news possible, what could possibly be bad news?” Responded the Cardinal, “He’s calling from Salt Lake City!”

To these Men of God, the mere thought of same-sex marriage covered up mutual animosity and united them as in the old Arabic proverb, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

And, just to cover his bet, as if Divine Direction and the Catholic Church weren’t enough, Bishop Packer decided that plenty of money might certainly do the trick. As the documentary confirms, the Mormons raised millions to defeat Prop 8 while each group whipped their congregants into a vote-yes frenzy. How? If they did not vote yes, the Faithful would be breaking Church doctrine and thus could never enter heaven!

According to Bishop Packer’s 21st century prophecy, the Faithful are to ignore that God created and loves everyone. Obviously, unconditional love, that thing Jesus died for on the cross, is now, well, so last millennium!

So, just to be clear: The leaders of a Church, which is the cradle of American polygamy, (Islam isn’t alone.) and the leaders of a Church which demands priestly celibacy resulting in the world-wide molestation of children, have taken upon themselves the right to define God’s love between same-sex couples. And, to do the Catholics one better, Mormons even believe they will be reunited with all of their wives in the hereafter. Sounds like Mormons and Muslims will make heavenly bedfellows!

The documentary shockingly shows the result of the Mormon’s historical pattern of hate. As one reviewer observed, “One particularly painful sequence details the story of a young gay man who killed himself inside a church in 2000. Instead of being appalled, his parents wrote a book basically agreeing with the Church’s stance and applauding his decision to take his own life. In another disturbing scene, a man recounts the truly horrific electroshock ‘therapy’ he was forced to endure as a student at Brigham Young University. It makes the ‘reconditioning’ scenes in ‘A Clockwork Orange” seem positively chipper and righteous in comparison.”

Talk about redefining the love of God!

On a more earthly plain, on June 20, Edward Tabash, Chair, First Amendment Task Force, Council for Secular Humanism, gave an address at Century Center For Inquiry Los Angeles. A noted constitutional lawyer, he explained how attack on gay rights continues and demonstrates that the religious right is as strong as ever. He expertly brought together the activities of the Mormon and Catholic Churches, and Evangelicals and their hostility to LGBTQ rights. Said Mr. Tabash, “…but for the power of the religious right, we would be much further along in the quest for full equality, both culturally and legally, for gay men and lesbians. To the extent that there is a trend toward great social acceptance, the full fruition of that increasing acceptance is being held back by sustained hostility from the religious right.”

Amen, Mr. Tabash!

carl-matthes.jpgAccording to Keen News Service and RENWL (Restore Equality Now~West Adams/LA South Marriage Equality And Community Activists), “Judge Walker waived off Yes on 8 attorneys’ concerns citing that the First Amendment does not protect an e-mail from disclosure ‘simply because it was intended to be private.’ The First Amendment, in the context of an initiative campaign, he said, protects those communications between individuals who make up a formal group, not communications between individuals in various groups.” His decision on the case is expected within weeks.

8: The Mormon Proposition” is now playing in theaters and is available via On Demand. The DVD arrives on July 13. For more information, check: www.mormonproposition8.

Carl Matthes

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Comments

  1. Daniel says

    Boyd Packer is the leading Apostle in the church not the leading prophet. The leading Prophet is Thomas S. Monson. Also He is not referred to as Bishop Packer but rather Elder Packer.

  2. GaryH says

    minor correction:
    quote from Carl Matthes, wonderful article:
    “On a more earthly plain, on June 20, Edward Tabash, Chair, First Amendment Task Force, Council for Secular Humanism, gave an address at Century For Inquiry Los Angeles.”

    Actually, the name is Center for Inquiry, not Century.

    The Center for Inquiry ( http://www.cfiwest.org ) is a secular humanist organization with a significant lecture series focused on science, reason and cultural issues and host to the Steve Allen Theater series “Meeting of Minds”. CFI is located at Berendo on Hollywood Blvd. west of Vermont Ave.

    CFI Los Angeles provided ample space and some volunteer staff support to the No on 8 campaign. CFI is one of the few non-profit educational organizations that has stood against irrational discrimination of minorities advocated by right wing religious organization and Center for Inquiry is a strong advocate for separation of church and state.

    Thank you Carl and your spouse Carl, for coming to the lecture featuring Eddie Tabash and for your insightful article. And thank you also to LA Progressive for hosting Carl Matthes fine reporting.

    Gary Hundertmark
    member of UGLA and Center for Inquiry

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