I'm on my soap box
Normally I don't use my blog as a political forum - I'm all about crafts and goofiness. However lately I've been feeling so disturbed at the persecution of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints over the Proposition 8 cause. I can't believe this kind of hate is being perpetuated in our day and age of 'enlightenment'. Wow. Sad. I feel as though I need to share some facts that are important. These were taken from a man named Steve Wood:
In the aftermath of the recent election, we (LDS) may find ourselves oddly on the defensive regarding our support for the Yes on Proposition 8 cause. Our young people have been especially subject to mean spirited comments by high school friends and teachers. We have nothing to be ashamed of. We did nothing wrong. In fact, we did everything that a civic minded American can and should do. I have put together a few facts that help me to appreciate our position better.
1. Mormons make up less than 2% of the population of California . There are approximately 800,000 LDS out of a total population of approximately 34 million.
2. Mormon voters were less than 5% of the yes vote. If one estimates that 250,000 LDS are registered voters (the rest being children), then LDS voters made up 4.6% of the Yes vote and 2.4% of the total Proposition 8 vote.
3. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) donated no money to the Yes on 8 campaign. Individual members of the Church were encouraged to support the Yes on 8 efforts and, exercising their constitutional right to free speech, donated whatever they felt like donating.
4. The No on 8 campaign raised more money than the Yes on 8 campaign. Unofficial estimates put No on 8 at $38 million and Yes on 8 at $32 million, making it the most expensive non-presidential election in the country.
5. Advertising messages for the Yes on 8 campaign are based on case law and real-life situations. The No on 8 supporters have insisted that the Yes on 8 messaging is based on lies. Every Yes on 8 claim is supported
6. The majority of our friends and neighbors voted Yes on Los Angeles County voted in favor of Yes on 8. Ventura County voted in favor of Yes on 8.
7. African Americans overwhelmingly supported Yes on 8. Exit polls show that 70% of Black voters chose Yes on 8. This was interesting because the majority of these voters voted for President-elect Obama. No on 8 supporters had assumed that Obama voters would vote No on 8.
8. The majority of Latino voters voted Yes on 8. Exit polls show that the majority of Latinos supported Yes on 8 and cited religious beliefs (assumed to be primarily Catholic).
9. The Yes on 8 coalition was a broad spectrum of religious organizations. Catholics, Evangelicals, Protestants, Orthodox Jews, Muslims – all supported Yes on 8. It is estimated that there are 10 million Catholics and 10 million Protestants in California . Mormons were a tiny fraction of the population represented by Yes on 8 coalition members.
10. Not all Mormons voted in favor of Proposition 8. Our faith accords that each person be allowed to choose for him or her self. Church leaders have asked members to treat other members with "civility, respect and love," despite their differing views.
11. The Church did not violate the principal of separation of church and state. This principle is derived from the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . .." The phrase "separation of church and state", which does not appear in the Constitution itself, is generally traced to an 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson, although it has since been quoted in several opinions handed down by the United States Supreme Court in recent years. The LDS Church is under no obligation to refrain from participating in the political process, to the extent permitted by law. U.S. election law is very clear that Churches may not endorse candidates, but may support issues. The Church has always been very careful on this matter and occasionally (not often) chooses to support causes that it feels to be of a moral nature.
12. Supporters of Proposition 8 did exactly what the Constitution provides for all citizens: they exercised their First Amendment rights to speak out on an issue that concerned them, make contributions to a cause that they support, and then vote in the regular electoral process. For the most part, this seems to have been done in an open, fair, and civil way. Opponents of 8 have accused supporters of being bigots, liars, and worse.
The fact is, we simply did what Americans do–we spoke up, we campaigned, and we voted.
I have to especially stand up for those who voted based upon, if nothing else, that last point. Are we not a democracy? Are we not given the right to voice our opinions on matters that we feel to be of a moral nature? I'm not an Californian, I'm not even an American! But I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and I feel disgusted by those "freedom-fighters" (yeah right) who are openly persecuting our members - especially at their places of worship. Sad, Sad, Sad. I hope they come to their senses soon, and if not - my prayers are with those suffering the persecution. Hang in there - and don't be ashamed for exercising your right to vote. People, when you voted, before, to legalize gay marriage, did we rally at your churches? Did we gather in groups to shout hatred your way? Absolutely not. This time the majority voiced their opinion once more, and we'd appreciate the same courtesy in return. I find it funny that we are being highly to blame for the results of a vote of which we made up only 2%. Huh.
I think that's all the politically charged material I've got up my sleeve :) I hope if you have learned anything from this post that you hadn't known before, then please pass it along. I don't condone hatred towards anyone - for any reason. But when it's against people who are of my faith, I can't be silent. Thanks for indulging me :)