I have a new proposition: Ban Mormonism

by lestro

It’s been said again and again over the past few weeks, but the passage of Proposition 8 in California was a tremendous blight on the victory of a new, progressive coalition on the national stage.

This year, despite the tremendous Blue Wave that swept the nation, somehow voters in California, traditionally the most liberal state in the Union, passed a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, as ridiculous as that seems for a state that went to the Dems with a 60.9% – 37.3% margin.

On Saturday, all across the country, protesters gathered in support of gay rights.

“People around the country were watching this very closely,” said Kellan Baker, a Washington, D.C., resident who is organizing today’s protest there. “For Californians to go to the ballot box to strip people of civil rights they had been enjoying is, I guess, the last straw.”

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that “San Francisco city officials, joined by the city of Los Angeles and Santa Clara and Los Angeles counties, have petitioned the [state Supreme] court” to again declare the ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.  The LA Times reports that legal challenges include those brought by “groups including the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund” which “brings to four the number of lawsuits asking the court to overturn Proposition 8.”

The California Supreme court has overturned a gay marriage ban once before, earlier this year, setting off an economic boom and a legal recognition that in the government’s eyes, marriage is simply a legal contract between two consenting adults.

And a constitutionally protected right, something the California State Constitution vows to protect right off the top in its Declaration of Rights:

SECTION 1. All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.

That’s Article I, Section 1.

“pursuing happiness and privacy.” That’s nice.  I read on, but nowhere did I find,  “unless you like the cock.”

and don’t think I didn’t look…

But Prop 8 is an amendment to the constitution, codifying the idea that marriage is only legal between a man and a woman. It is the first time I can recall that we have ever voted in this country to remove a right, to eliminate one of the very things we create governments to protect.

The very purpose of governments is to protect the rights of the minority from the tyranny of the majority.

Just to make it clear, the title of Prop 8 was “Eliminate Right of Same Sex Couples to Marry.”

Eliminate right.” Is that really what we’re about here in America?

One of the largest supporters and proponents of Prop 8 was the Mormon Church, whose top leadership – believed by the followers to be prophets from the Lord - dispatched letters to California churches urging followers to donate to and vote for the proposition.

I was thinking earlier today that there is a pretty crazy irony in the Mormons – a “religion” that was partially based on the idea of plural marriage – supporting so fervently the idea of marriage being  defined as between one man and one woman.

Maybe they are just pissy because to get into our ‘religiously tolerant’ nation they had to abandon one of their basic religious principles.

I would be pissy too.  Maybe if a country promising me religious freedom enforced their will on my religion, I might take it out on someone else too.

Of course, that wouldn’t be the Christian thing to do.

But then again, neither really is Mormonism, when you get right down to it…

So here’s what I propose. If the Mormons are this into taking away the rights of on group by amending the state constitution to force their religious views on the rest of us, let’s turn the tables on them.

I will bet that you can get 51 percent of Californians to ban Mormonism, and as long as they do it as a constitutional amendment, the religious freedom protections of said constitution would not apply anymore, just like the equal protection clause no longer applies to some people because someone else’s god says so.

So let’s get a proposition together that votes on whether Mormonism should be considered a real religion. and then let’s strip it of all its constitutional protections as a religion and ban it as a cult…

I’ll guarantee we can bring together a coalition of progressives with a sense of irony and the crazy fundies that voted for prop 8 in the first place to defeat the small minority of the population that are Mormons.

And until then, let’s do everything we can to squeeze the California economy. Not only do they estimate the losses to the marriage and tourism industries to cost the government a shit ton of money in ever more difficult economic times:

In June, the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, which studies sexual orientation and the law, estimated that legalizing same-sex ceremonies in the state would result in about $63.8 million in government tax and fee revenue over three years.

That’s a lot of money for a state with an $11.2 billion deficit.

The Republican Party used to be about small government and personal liberty, which should mean that they shouldn’t give a damn who or how you fuck or if you want to marry them.  Somewhere along the line, however, the Christian fundamentalists crept in (I blame Bubba and his loose zipper) and the Republican Party became home to the right wing religious agenda too, which meant that somehow, gay people spending their lives together meant the end of America as we know it.

On the whole, Republicans have not seemed to have a problem with the whole hypocrisy of personal liberty clashing with telling people who they can marry, they may have gone too far this time, threatening businesses in an already tricky economy.

So again, the question is, how long can this marriage last between fundies and free marketer, fans of personal liberty and fans of forced religious intolerance (MY god doesn’t care if a dude marries a dude so step off my religious freedoms and let them marry…)?

18 Responses to I have a new proposition: Ban Mormonism

  1. leapsecond says:

    Hey, man, look at the First Amendment:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    But then again, the Prop 8 boys didn’t look at the fourteenth either. I’m in.

    P.S. This constitutional amendment gobbledygook just reminds me way too much of Animal Farm – “All animals are equal, except some are more equal than others.”

  2. The U.S. government crossed a VERY serious line with PROP 8.

    This “proposition” threatened children’s sense of safety and belongingness in California. Children’s safety.

    Regardless of THIS particular fight, there are way too many fights on way too many fronts for us to conquer piecemeal. The Time is Now – DRAW A NEW LINE in the sand and demand from President Obama and our representatives FULL EQUALITY.

    Equality Is Simple When You Simply Include Everybody.

    What? Not detailed enough for the lawyers?

    OK, we can list repealing DOMA, repealing DADT, include transgender in the ENDA Bill, allow adoption of abandoned children, equality in immigration
    issues, recognize our hate crimes as such, equal family/children rights……….whew! See what I mean?

    We are EQUAL SOULS in HUMAN BODIES. Could we please STOP discriminating due to the genitalia attached? Plumbing will determine each civil right?! Any separation from the pack is ultimately due to gender (and/or gender roles & stereotyping), and that is SEXISM. I cannot marry Bob
    because I am the “wrong” gender; if I were a woman I could marry Bob. SEXISM.

    And I cannot stress ENOUGH how my own suffering from Marriage Inequality is NOT the reason for wanting or needing equality. I am not something to focus on. But my story, and the stories of countless other Americans desperately need to be addressed in this civil rights struggle. Marriage laws were put in place many years ago in order to PROTECT individuals and their FAMILIES; if they were NOT necessary they would not exist (for heterosexuals). When these laws are NOT in place for ALL OF US, horrible, horrible suffering occurs. My WEBSITE has many examples.

    So Americans want to continue denying us what they have already deemed as essential. And many people want us to WAIT…2….5……10…….20……..30 YEARS, depending on the “civil right”, for what WAS and IS our birthright.

    I personally have a HUGE problem with that. I cannot wait. I will not wait.

    Will you join me on Wednesday, April 15th, 2009, and help me inform the government that WE are eager to be included in the federal tax base as soon as THEY include us in society’s laws? My 5-year-old students could understand this concept:

    EQUAL = EQUAL

    As Americans can’t we agree that there are MANY other important issues to address (like the Economy, Education, Health Care, Poverty & Homelessness, Iraq/Afghanistan…all of these are related), and solving THOSE problems is more urgent than having “Equality Issues” TIE UP THE COURTS for another 30+ years? We will NOT go away.

    You keep procreating; we keep popping out. Sorry.

    Our representatives have spent years inventing 4-letter words (DOMA, DADT) to restrict us, deny us, demoralize us, and harm our beloved families and children. Enough is enough.

    NO MORE. NO MORE.

    ==========================
    The National Equality Tax Protest
    – Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 –
    ==========================

  3. rodpatrick says:

    Hey, the majority of the “Democrat” blacks voted YES for the Prop8.

    Why single out the mormons, a “very minor” minority in liberal California?

    You’re barking on a wrong tree.

  4. rodpatrick,

    I’ll channel lestro and note this:

    82 percent of Republicans voted for the ban compared to 36 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of Independents…

    http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/polls/#val=CAI01p1

    and I’ll point out that the Mormon church was the major source of funding and support for Prop 8. for example:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2008/10/now-the-mormon.html

    so you can peddle your racist distortions elsewhere, thank you…

    update:

    The new survey by the Public Policy Institute of California of 2,003 Californians who voted Nov. 4 found significantly less support for Proposition 8 among blacks than had been indicated by exit polls.

    … the key finding in the new survey was that voters’ position on Proposition 8 was determined more by their level of education and income than their race or ethnicity, said PPIC president Mark Baldassare. Among Californians with a high school diploma or less, 69 percent voted for Proposition 8. Among college graduates, 57 percent voted against it.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/politics/ci_11131721?nclick_check=1

  5. thewordofme says:

    Regarding johnbisceglia remark above that the US government crossed a line with Prop 8, I would remind him that Prop 8 was a citizens initiative of California people…Feds had nothing to do with it.

    Everybody is getting on the Mormons and seems to forget that the Catholic Church was heavily involved in the Prop 8 fight. Which seems odd when you think of how many gay Catholic priests there are.

    Another thing to think about….California has twice now voted down gay marriage. I think the majority of the people are trying to say something here…the gays just don’t want to listen.

    I’m an atheist myself, but I think marriage should be between a man and woman. There is no inherent right for the government to condone gay marriage…the people have to allow it, and they don’t seem to want to right now.

  6. thewordofme,

    Back in 1967, 16 states had “anti-miscegenation” laws. The “people” didn’t like “marriages between any white person and any non-white person.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia

    our democracy doesn’t allow your prejudice to define the rights of others to government benefits. it is just a matter of time, really. Our Constitution is designed brilliantly like that…

  7. thewordofme says:

    Sorry, forgot to add this:
    Go here for information on the Catholic Church involvement in the Prop 8 fight.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/09/MNU1140AQQ.DTL

    Religion still has a heavy stake in man+woman marriage, after all their scriptures expressly forbid homosexual behavior of any kind. For them to approve gay marriage they would have to admit their Bible is wrong on the subject, and that might lead to anarchy…if that’s wrong…what else might be?

  8. Thank you for the link to the info on the involvement of the Catholic Church.

    and this is an interesting point:

    For them to approve gay marriage they would have to admit their Bible is wrong on the subject, and that might lead to anarchy…if that’s wrong…what else might be?

  9. lestro says:

    thewordofme-

    actually, here’s the thing about freedom: you don’t have to like it, you just have to accept that someone is free to do it.

    and the ninth amendment says that the people have lots of rights not enumerated in the constitution. plus the 14th amendment promises that those rights are for EVERYONE and there is no “inherent right of the government” to mete out those rights based on who they agree with. our government is designed to simply protect the rights of everyone.

    in fact, according to the Declaration, that’s the only reason governments are created…

  10. thewordofme says:

    Hi Iestro,

    I never gave up my right to privacy, but the government decided I didn’t need it anymore.

    I never gave up my right to my own body, but the government decided they could control it and make decisions about what I can smoke. :-)

    The government (all of them) always decides how its citizens live…even if there are laws against it. Consider GWB’s abuse of the constitution, he just flat out ignores it.

    The only thing I’m saying here is that, for now, religion is on top and the majority of people are saying they don’t want gay marriage to be allowed in society…somehow government has taken control of who’s allowed to marry and to a certain degree (admittedly small) they listen to the people.

    Most evangelical, fundamentalists, Catholic, and Mormon denominations (this is the religious right) have a real aversion to homosexuality because it is spelled out so plainly and literally in the Bible. They probably make up about 75% or more of the population. As liberal as California is, there is still more religious right adherents than gays and gay sympathizers.

    Also Florida and Arizona rejected gay marriage this election period…again the religious right at work there. Gay advocacy people need to work on this group particularly hard.

  11. lestro says:

    word –

    and the fact that the government did those things does not make it right.

    the government is not here to inflict the will of the majority. the majority decide policy, but again the purpose is to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.

    just because 51 percent of the people think something is a good idea does not mean it is. witness the bush administration as an example.

    and the constitution makes it clear that religion should not be on top and it’s the gov’s job to sort that out. my god doesn’t care who you marry, therefore my religious freedom is being stepped on by someone else forcing their god’s hateful views on me.

    the purpose of this post was to point out how wrong it was that someone’s rights were “eliminated” by pointing out that if 51 percent of voters decided to ban mormonism that would not be right either.

    thank you for the comments though.

  12. thewordofme says:

    Your welcome, and peace to you. I totally agree with your feelings about the government, and I am only philosophically leaning against your position. I would never try to impose a physical or literal roadblock to anyone.

  13. thewordofme says:

    Hi Iestro,

    Sorry I just had to say this about one of your points. You write:
    >>”the government is not here to inflict the will of the majority. the majority decide policy, but again the purpose is to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.
    just because 51 percent of the people think something is a good idea does not mean it is.”<<

    A few years back California voted to kick smokers out of everything…because they were a minority (25% +- at time) they of course couldn’t fight back against majority.

  14. lestro says:

    hi again word -

    and that was wrong too.

    if i own a bar, and i want to smoke in it, i should be able to.
    nonsmokers can choose not to come in if it bothers them…

  15. jedediah smith says:

    makes sense to me. look at this from the history books:
    Quotation:
    “If any miserable scoundrels come here, cut their throats.” Brigham Young 1
    “The Mountain Meadows Massacre stands without a parallel amongst the crimes that stain the pages of American history. It was a crime committed without cause or justification of any kind to relieve it of its fearful character… When nearly exhausted from fatigue and thirst, [the men of the caravan] were approached by white men, with a flag of truce, and induced to surrender their arms, under the most solemn promises of protection. They were then murdered in cold blood.” William Bishop, Attorney to John D. Lee

  16. lestro says:

    The Mountain Meadows Massacre and the Mormon War of the 1850s are two forgotten chapters in American History (mainly because the Mormons won the war but are ashamed of Mountain Meadows…).

    That quote is not entirely accurate though. the real story is actually worse.
    At Mountain Meadows, the Mormons agreed to escort a party of settlers across Paiute Indian territory (after the Paiutes and Mormons dressed as Paiutes attacked the day before).
    They made the settlers line up single file and put a mormon with a gun next to each male in the party. When they reached the meadows, the mormons called a halt and then turned and shot and killed the man they were standing next to.
    At that point, the Paiute Indians, with whom the Mormons had a very friendly relationship, came out fo the woods to slaughter the women and children. Only children believed young enough to be retrained were allowed to live (18 of them in total).

    Ban ‘em.

  17. rodpatrick says:

    twitterpaters,

    I am not racist. I am only stating facts based on statistics. 82% of Republicans voted for the ban is just a minority in California, which is a Democrat stronghold.

    The point of the matter is this: Many of the blacks voted for the ban… both Republicans and Democrats.

    I have nothing against the black. I am only reacting to the blog’s singling out of the mormons.

    In fact, I am thinking of the totality. Majority in California voted for the ban… both Reps, Dems, Blacks, Mormons and what-have-you.

    My point: DON’T SINGLE OUT ANY GROUP, INCLUDING MORMONS AND BLACKS!

    Don’t accuse me of anything. You don’t know me.

  18. Rodpatrick,

    California has a Republican governor, and stats from the California Secretary of State suggest that Republicans are not a “minority” in the way that African-Americans are a minority.

    http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ror/ror-pages/15day-presgen-08/hist-reg-stats.pdf

    and, it isn’t accurate to use the stats the way that you suggest:

    First of all, according to the most recent 2006 government census, black people make up 6.2 percent of the population of California, which comes to a little less than 2.5 million people. African-American turnout, at its highest ever, made up 10 percent of the total vote, according to the Edison Media Research exit poll from which all this has stemmed. Propsition 8 passed by 4.4 percent. Had blacks voted evenly half for and half against, as other race groups did, it still would have passed by .4 percent, or a little more than 50,000 votes.

    http://media.www.clipperonline.info/media/storage/paper1338/news/2008/11/21/Opinion/AfricanAmerican.Turnout.On.Proposition.8.OverSensationalized.Irrelevant-3559376.shtml

    misuse of statistics to stoke distortions between groups can lead to an accusation of ‘race-baiting.’ but I appreciate your reply and clarification about where you stand on the issue.

    and I agree, no group should be singled out. that is ultimately how I read Lestro’s satirical post, which I see as trying to show the ridiculousness of trying to do such a thing.

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