Monday, June 12, 2006

Faith and Politics

Okay, so my last post apparently didn't inspire anyone to write anything about it. Well, it was interesting to me, anyway.

They asked me to speak in church because I'm now moving up to Salt Lake soon (in case you're just stumbling on this blog I'm a Mormon, our religion doesn't hear from a preacher every Sunday. Instead a bishop asks members of the congregation to speak on different subjects. Then once a month anyone who wants to can get up when they are inspired by the spirit and testify at the pulpit. Sometimes people forget that's what it's for and start going off the deep end about their own version of the way things should be. That's when church gets really entertaining).

So I was asked to speak on the Proclamation on the Family - that's a document issued to the world from our church leaders stating that Marriage is ordained of God and that God has ordained it as only between a man and a woman.

This has been a bit of a controversial subject in the Senate lately, as well as among some members of our church. Some people have been appalled at what seems to be a blatant political stunt during an election year, others have been appalled at the idea of adding an amendment to the Constitution simply because it would change a sacred document. And I thought they had some good points. On the other hand members of the church who are of the Republican persuasion thought that when our church leaders issued a statement urging members to support this amendment that it somehow meant our church was officially condoning the Republican party. Just for the record, they weren't, and they've never said they had a political affiliation one way or another (boy would that leave Harry Reid in a pickle). But they have asked us as members to support the family, and specifically condoning marriage as solely between a man and a woman. They had that sentiment read over the pulpit in every congregation in the US, and asked members to write their legislative leaders to support it. This was a rare instance for church leaders. They usually make it a point not to get involved in politics. One person told me he was ashamed that our church leaders fell into a "political trap" by supporting this amendment proposal.

I had to carefully think of how to approach this subject. We don't tend to talk politics in church, not in Utah anyway. Maybe more in DC. I wasn't sure how aware the congregation would be, or how they felt on the matter. I also needed to search how I felt. I came to the conclusion that I believe in and support my church leaders, that I feel strongly that they are indeed inspired prophets of God, and that the family unit was created by God and not by man who thinks to change the whole structure of all civilization in the name of forward thinking. I also realized that though this was a political issue of the moment that in the bigger picture it wasn't so much a political issue as it was a spiritual issue. My leaders hadn't fallen into a political trap so much as people who choose political views over spritual truths. So I talked about that.

I think I shocked a few people in the audience because I did mention that this probably was a political stunt pulled during an election year, but I also mentioned that there was a reason church leaders wanted us to support it, that the family unit as it stands, with marriage between a man and a woman is central to the existent whole of human civilization, that these church leaders are inspired of God, and that supporting them was more important. I have to admit I felt good about it, even though my talk was a little unorthodox.

7 comments:

Scully said...

I like your take on the whole situaton. And cheers for being brave enough to say it over the pulpit. How goes the move to SLC?

SJ said...

Well, I think I've had enough of the expensive rooms in the frigid basement for rent...that don't have a door...or a closet. There are two sections of town I could see myself living in. The favorite would be in Sugarhouse, east of 1100 East. The other would be Holladay. I'm tempted to commute for a while, until I find a place I really like.

Scully said...

I like Sugarhouse, it has fun feel to it. I know there are some fun places around Trolley Square and Liberty Park. Although they might be budget breakers. Hey, I do know a girl in my ward whose brother is getting married in September and needs a roommate. Although that is a long time to commute.

Panini said...

sorry I missed it! you go, girl

Steve said...

Well, that is the first interpretation of the amendment and explanation of how the church's stance didn't break away from their usual stance to stay out of politics. Well done. Also, way to go by expressing the political trap over the pulpit. I would always get annoyed when people just towed the political or church line across the pulpit. You don't know how many times I wanted to stand up in church and tell people that they needed a clue, hehe. But this is neither here nor there.

When do you start your new job?

SJ said...

Monday, and I'm still driving up from Provo! ...though I think I may have found a house. The one drawback is that my roommates would be babies (ages 19 and 21)...but I like the house.

Esperanza said...

It was a good talk! Which of course I told you already! And I think you should become a lobbyist or something or politician ;) You can hold your own very, very well!