Posted on August 9, 2010 by Joe O.
Something is wrong, here. It’s suddenly become very normal to talk about marriage as a “right” and a “freedom” and that seems to me a rather impoverished way of talking about marriage. And yet, though one side (those opposed to gay marriage) often disagrees on marriage being a “right”, neither side can seem to get past this issue.
The “right” to be self-fulfilled
Let me try to articulate what I’m talking about: by talking about marriage as a freedom and a right, people are essentially drawing on a narrative like the very one I grew up with: when I marry, I want someone to whom I am physically and sexually attracted; I want someone who treats me well (in part because of their attraction to me) and who helps me reach my full potential as a person (can take me to the temple, etc); I want someone who cares for me like I care for them, who I can keep secrets with and who will share my life with me. I want… I want… I want…
Filed under: Politics, Relationships | Tagged: Celestial Kingdom, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, eternal marriage, gay marriage, gay marriage debate, Gender, marriage, marriage fulfillment, Mormons, Proposition 8, right to marriage, same-sex marriage, self-fulfillment, sexuality | 8 Comments »
Posted on February 25, 2010 by Joe O.
This is the final post in a five-part series on marriage, in case that wasn’t obvious in the title.
Thus far I have tried to make a case for difference in marriage, arguing that without confronting the fundamental differences symbolized by the sexual unity of male and female, we are less able to understand fully what it means to be charitable. In this final post, I will argue that defending marriage – and by association, charity – requires we defend difference.
Thus far, Latter-day Saints have put a lot of money and rhetoric into defending marriage, in particular against gay marriage. Perhaps the most notable example of this was the church’s recent campaign for Prop 8 in California. Though Prop 8 passed, we have seen since its passage that this “victory” for marriage cost more than just a lot of money. For the Latter-day Saint church in particular, the victory bordered on a public relations nightmare, with a lot of hate generated against the organization and its membership. Even worse, perhaps, was the division it caused within the membership.
Filed under: Culture, Mormon Culture, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged: And They Were Not Ashamed, charity, Family, gay marriage, Gender, LDS Church, marriage, Mormon Culture, Proposition 8, same-sex marriage, sexuality, women | 73 Comments »
Posted on February 16, 2010 by Joe O.
This post is the fourth in a five-part series of posts about – you guessed it – marriage.
To sum up my argument so far, I began this series of posts discussing differences and why we ought to value them. I then discussed that teaching children to value difference in others begins in the home, where two parents of different descent love each other for their differences (not to say, also, their similarities). Previous to this post, I argued that married couples engage in what I called a ritual of difference, wherein they realize a full expression of the infinity of their relationship – made up in part of their differences – and are better situated to have charity for one another, as well as for others. I would like to turn now to the sin of Sodom and draw all three posts together. (more…)
Filed under: Mormon Culture, Philosophy, Relationships | Tagged: charity, Family, gay marriage, hospitality, marriage, same-sex marriage, sexuality, Sodom | 10 Comments »
Posted on February 8, 2010 by Joe O.
This post is a continuation of a five-part series on Marriage. Access part one here; access part two here.
In the last post, I argued that teaching our children charity was facilitated by the love parents share in the face of differences. In being one body (one flesh), as Paul taught, we must embrace our differences – otherwise, where were the hearing?
In this post, I want to address a particular difference (or set of differences) which many married couples experience on a regular basis. I’m talking in particular about “knowing” one another in the biblical sense (e.g., “Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived…“). I am not trying to be coy about using the word “sex.” For my purposes, I feel that knowing is the most appropriate word.
Filed under: Mormon Culture, Philosophy, Relationships | Tagged: charity, Family, Folk Theologies, marriage, Mormon Culture, sexuality | 3 Comments »
Posted on February 2, 2010 by Joe O.
This post is a follow-up from “Marriage, part 1: Why difference matters.” Three more related posts will follow.
In the previous post, I argued that differences were actually essential for a spirit of charity to thrive in marriage. In seeking out and embracing these differences, we learn to love that which is other than us – and by love, I mean in part to appreciate and embrace the unique contribution made by those differences.
Charity, as Paul says, “Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth” (1 Cor 13:6). The truth is, we (husbands and wives) are different, and to have charity, we must rejoice in those differences. Doing so has the benefit of uniting us, as I discussed before. In this post, I’d like to discuss another benefit through a semi-narrative.
Imagine two people perpetually in conflict with one another. Let us say their conflicts are sometimes not particularly contentious, but do (as they must) get heated every once in a while. Now, in spite of how those conflicts play out (i.e., whether they are resolved or not), imagine that these two people also love each other with complete fidelity – that they are desperately faithful to one another. We might even see their love for one another manifested during conflicts.
Filed under: Mormon Culture, Relationships | Tagged: charity, Family, Folk Theologies, LDS, Love, love thy neighbor as thyself, marriage, Mormons, parenting | 6 Comments »
Posted on January 28, 2010 by Joe O.
This is the first in a five-part series on marriage, wherein I discuss charity in marriage, why the gay community should favor marriage between a man and a woman, and why Latter-day Saints are not positioned well to defend against gay marriage.
In all three scriptural accounts of the physical creation, Adam is created of the dust of the earth, while Eve was created of Adam (Genesis 2:7, 21-22; Moses 3:7, 21-22; Abraham 5:7, 15-16). Adam, upon seeing woman for the first time, notes the significance of this division when he calls woman bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh. What is striking to me is what Adam says next: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (v. 24 in Genesis and Moses, emphasis mine). Were they not already one flesh before God removed the rib from Adam’s side?
Filed under: Faith, Mormon Culture, Relationships, Scripture | Tagged: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Faith, Folk Theologies, LDS Church, marriage, sanctity of marriage, Scripture, traditional marriage, women | 15 Comments »
Posted on November 13, 2008 by Dennis
Since the passage of Proposition 8 in California, there have been several protests aimed at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These protests are of course understandable. California Latter-day Saints did, after all, play a formidable role in donations and phone calling in support of the measure. This participation was formally encouraged by the general leaders of the Church in Salt Lake City. Considering how big of a deal this is for so many same-sex couples and others in support of same-sex marriage, these protests are inevitable and I welcome this exercise of free speech.
What I disagree with, however, is the “stop the hate (H8)” rhetoric. As if everyone in favor of Prop 8 is hateful and bigoted. Especially Mormons. This message is coming off to be awfully disingenuous and overly dramatic, and also sidesteps the major issues that need to be debated. Just because someone is not in favor of gay marriage does not mean they are hateful. Nor does it mean they are bigoted. They simply disagree with you, in terms of what should count for marriage.
Filed under: Politics, Relationships | Tagged: African-Americans, bigotry, blacks, California Proposition 8, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, civil rights, discrimination, equal rights, equality for all, Family, gay marriage, gays, Hispanics, Latter-day Saints, lesbians, marriage, Mormon Church, Mormons, No on 8, Obama, Polygamy, Prop 8, Prop 8 protests, Proposition 8, same-sex marriage, Stop the H8, Yes on 8 | 131 Comments »
Posted on September 16, 2008 by Dennis
We’ve heard a lot this campaign season about playing the gender card or race card. But there’s another kind of card-playing that is unique to highly conservative areas, such as Utah County, Utah: playing the “Democrat card.” This is the story of a Utah County Republican who is playing the Democrat card in order to distract voters from the real issues surrounding his campaign for reelection.
Republican Stephen D. Clark, a four-term representative for Utah House District 63 (East Provo), has never had a challenger printed next to his name on a November ballot.
Until now. (more…)
Filed under: Politics | Tagged: Utah, pro-life, abortion, McCain, Politics, Utah politics, Obama, Gordon B. Hinckley, Hillary Clinton, public education, Republicans, Democrats, Republican Party, Utah County, gay marriage, marriage, pro-choice, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, education, Don Jarvis, Donald K. Jarvis, Steve Clark, Stephen D. Clark, Democratic Party, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, John Edwards, Utah vouchers, Utah Valley University, Utah House District 63, traditional families, Utah Constitutional Amendment 3, Utah Values, ethics reform, Jim Matheson, Harry Reid | 20 Comments »
Posted on June 20, 2008 by Joe O.
In light of the recent ruling by the California Supreme Court on gay marriage, I’ve been thinking a lot about politics and religion and where the two – for me, anyway – should meet. I’ve struggled for a long time wondering whether legislating against gay marriage was the most “Christian” thing to do, or if something else ought to be done first (such as, I don’t know, dialogue?). By now, it seems inevitable that gay marriage will be legal somewhere in the U.S., even if it never is in the great state of Utah. We have effectively lost marriage. (more…)
Filed under: Politics, Relationships | Tagged: California Supreme Court, eternal marriage, Family, gay marriage, happiness, LDS, marriage, Mormons, Politics, pursuit of happiness, sanctity of marriage, sexuality, Utah | 20 Comments »