Friday, October 31, 2008

"Seperate but Equal" Bigots-

Once again, I will ask -- Since when does religion have a monopoly on marriage? If you believe that the government, and society, should recognize a gay couple's union as "equal", then why create a separate institution? Separate but equal does not work, and it's wrong, no matter how you try to justify it. Did we not learn our lesson from when we tried to create separate but equal institutions when it came to race? It's ironic that the very people that are denying gays the right to marry are actually the ones doing WAY more harm to the "institution" of marriage. If marriage isn't extended to gay couples, a separate institution and label will be created, and there's no way that it will only be accessible to gays. Because right now, straight couples can form a domestic partnership, and I'm sure a lot of straight, non-religious couples will want to be "unioned" (or whatever they end up calling it besides "marriage"), because it's basically "marriage" minus the religious connotations. Sounds fantastic! :) I know my atheist, straight, identical twin brother would love to get "unioned" to his wife some day. :) So, you see, by not including gays, the institution of marriage will be fragmented and splintered. Maybe that's the way it should be? Because you know that even if there is a separate institution created, we're all still going to call it "marriage" anyway. Ha! :)

Again with the double-speak and convoluted logic. You can’t have it both ways as in “feel equal rights should be granted to same-sex couples” but unwilling to “redefine marriage”. If don’t believe gay people have the civil right to marry, you do not support equal rights. But keep on patting yourselves on the back for not being like those “bigots who support prop 8 out of hatred towards gays”. Seems like you keep throwing in a lot of that to make yourselves feel better about your vote.

And, in Farrah's defense, I don't think her logic is convoluted at all. It would actually be a valid concern in my opinion -- if it weren't COMPLETELY based on lies and misinformation.

Thanks for your response below. It’s an interesting POV, and I disagree with you completely for reasons similar to what Nathan laid out, but I’m proud of you for standing up for yourself. If Prop 8 passes, it will be a devastating blow to the overall gay rights movement nationally, and I don’t see how religious institutions are currently affected by the gay marriage law in effect in California. Gays will always be different from heteros, but the semantic insinuation that gay ‘marriage’ vs. ‘domestic partnerships’ or ‘civil unions’ will help normalize gays in the eyes of straights. California enacting gay marriage is a small step forward in providing gays equal rights, as it puts pressure on other states to provide similar rights to gays (or in some cases limit the rights to gays in states that have already altered their state constitutions limiting marriage to be between a man and a woman), and puts pressure on the federal government to consider doing the same at some point.

I could go on and on, but I plead with you to reconsider your stance. If Prop 8 passes, I, Bradley Matthews, won’t have the right to get married in California…so throw an old friend a bone.

Perhaps convoluted logic is not the correct term. But it seems to me that there is some twisting around of who is really being discriminated against. And justifications to separate out what Farrah and Jordy see as the Good Prop 8 Yessers from the Bad. (!!!!) However, a Yes on Prop 8 is a Yes on Prop 8, regardless of how one comes to that conclusion. The “I accept gay people but…..” argument doesn’t make the Yes vote bottom line inequality go down any better in my opinion. It will amend the California State Constitution in a way that will be very difficult to change. And it will continue to further divide us on our differences rather than recognize how we are all a blend of similarities and differences.
Thank you Nathan for providing facts.

I have some good news for you. You don't need to worry any longer, because you've been completely mislead and lied to -- common nefarious acts of the Yes on 8 campaign. I can understand your concern about freedom of religion, but nowhere does it say that religions will possibly face lawsuits if they decide to discriminate against gays. If you can find any documentation or proof to the contrary, PLEASE share it with the group. Since you won't be able to find any, you might want to post a link to this website on your blog -- it dispels all the myths about Proposition 8:

Fiction: Churches could lose their tax-exemption status.
Fact: Nothing in Prop 8 would force churches to do anything. In fact, the court decision regarding marriage specifically says “no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.”

Religions have, and will always have the right to discriminate and deny marrying anyone they want, including homosexual couples, without them increasing their risk of being sued. Yep, you've been lied to, and it's so unfortunate that you believed it because it's obvious that you're a really smart girl, but I'm concerned that people less intellectually gifted will fall victim to the lies even more easily. But, as they say, the truth will set you free...

Seriously think about it... Does it really make sense that the state would deny religions the right to discriminate? That would mean that two Catholics could sue a Mormon church for deciding to not marry them. Really??? Marriage and religion are not married. Since when does religion have a monopoly on marriage? I'll repeat myself -- Since when does religion have a monopoly on marriage? Two atheists can get married, and be legally recognized by the government as a married couple, right? I'm sure their marriage wouldn't hold up in most churches... but does that really matter? No, because it holds up in court. Like atheist couples, a gay couple simply wouldn't go to a church that doesn't recognize their marriage. In fact, they probably wouldn't go to a church at all. Imagine that -- marriage without a church! :)

Also, consider this: My identical twin brother is straight and I'm gay. We were raised by the same parents and have identical DNA. Why should I be denied the same rights that he's afforded?

With all due respect Farrah, if in fact you are an ardent supporter of gay rights, or civil rights in general, you should seriously reconsider your position because you've been straight-up lied to. And you wouldn't want a lie to be the reason you voted in favor of discrimination, would you?


The First Response-

I for one applaud Farrah for having the courage to state her opinion among a group I assume mostly disagrees with her, and furthermore to back her opinion with a well thought-out and compassionate argument. I did not find Farrah's argument convoluted at all, even though I've not personally validated them. There is even precedent mentioned in Canada and Boston to add strength to her argument, which any of us could look up.

As with intellectual discussion, nobody on here has to agree with Farrah. What we should strive for is clarity on where we disagree through respectful and elevated discourse such as this. This is democracy.

I support prop 8 as well. But I will add that I fully support same-sex couples who seal their relationships and make them sacred and monogomous as married straight couples do. I fully support equal legal rights, including adoption. California, fortunately, already grants domestic partner registration and it absolutely should. (For those who know me, you know I may someday make use of domestic partnership registration myself.) But I do stop short of redefining marriage.

I understand Bradley and others being scared shitless by this. For those bigots who support prop 8 out of hatred towards gays, I have nothing but hate right back at them. I hope it makes it a little less scary to know that a majority of people in this country (according to past polls I've seen) feel equal rights should be granted to same-sex couples, i.e. these people are not coming from a place of hate. They are just unwilling for various reasons, like Farrah and me, to redefine marriage.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Introduction to Group:

Recently a dear friend of mine emailed a plea to his closest friends and family, begging for us to vote NO on Prop 8. In response, I emailed what you read the other day on my reasons for advocating Prop 8 (Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech). From my response came a discussion I found enlightening, thought-provoking and genuinely constructive in nature. I asked the group if it would be alright to share their comments.
Please feel free to add constructive and thoughtful, factual comments as we elaborate this discussion and grow in respect and understanding for one another.

Nephi and Prop 8.

I'm sure your mind has been as occupied as mine lately, what with every corner we turn having a request to become more informed, more active, more supportive of the passing of Proposition 8. Many of us feel conflicted and even measures of guilt if we don't whole-heartedly and enthusiastically support the passing of Proposition 8. I hope to ease any feelings of undesired dissent. Even though this topic has been weighing so heavily on your mind, ultimately it shows how seriously you are taking the Lord's counsel and how deeply you are considering the words of our prophet and what they mean to you and how that those words DO affect your life. If we were not meant to falter and if we were not meant to struggle, we would never have the opportunity to understand the Atonement or allow Christ to have any true significance in our life.

For those who like to say they have experienced these personal schisms before and have concluded they are beyond hope of harmony between their personal life and spirituality, let's be realistic here; to suppose you have already received every witness of your faith and every answer the Spirit offers would be to suppose your ability for spiritual growth stops before we even graduated college. Doubtful. Without trials and without this inner conflict, we would have no idea how strong we truly are because we would not have the opportunity to be tested to our limits, and without that test, there is no way of defeating evil or coming out winning on the other side. There really would be no goal and no point to anything. Ever. Furthermore, it is the extent of that test and struggle through conflict that we are shown our strengths; more than that (if we truly believe that we will not be tested beyond our abilities to overcome that test) it proves not just our faith in God, but the amount of faith that God has in US. If it is true that we are never given a burden greater than what we can bear, that means the Lord only allows us to struggle with issues that ultimately are meant to be our strength. When we are given a trial, it is only because we have become strong enough to succeed against it, which proves the amount of faith God has in our ability for success. And somehow, knowing that and having that perspective, can change the way we approach conflict.

Many of us may have close friends whom we fear may be offended or may not understand the position our church leaders have asked us to take. What I've come to accept about my friendships with people who don't share my faith or my belief system is that they respect me because they care about me, regardless of what they may understand of my faith. I imagine that is because they know how much I love and respect and care for them and their well-being and happiness. While we may not agree on most things, we remain friends (and share an even deeper and closer a bond) because of those times where, despite our differences, we choose to continue loving and respecting one another- regardless of our personal feelings or actions. We recognize that we don't have to be the same in order to love and appreciate each other. It's that level of acceptance- mutual tolerance and acceptance- that proves our friendship is valuable and real.

You know how they say you're supposed to pray for answers and THEN read? Tonight I read 1st Nephi. And it blew. My. Mind. Nephi is commanded to do something that he feels is immoral, that makes no sense, and is completely contrary to what he believes or even wants to do. The struggle he has- the way it's written- it is totally fascinating (1 Nephi 4:1-3). As for dealing with the potential conflicts of today and any other day, Nephi admits, "I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do." (1 Nephi 4:6) Which really is the only way we can succeed- if we can manage to keep the Spirit with us at all times, we will have the power to call upon it to know what to do at the time when we need to do it (or say whatever it is the Lord needs us to say and that our friends need to hear). The Spirit is what ensures that our message will be understood, even if our words might be weak. And let's face it- some of us have more of a difficult time with words than others. Thankfully, it is the Spirit that can speak directly to all souls, that the intention of our message will be understood and accepted.

Verses 10-15 display the true struggle and inner conflict Nephi has, admitting that- in response to the command to kill Laban- "I said in my heart; Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him." And I SHRUNK. Nephi himself, a faithful and obedient, visionary man "SHRUNK" at the idea of doing something the Lord commanded in a situation he did not fully understand, one which he knew directly countered one of the Ten Commandments. And the verses continue to determine that, not only is this something commanded of the Lord, but that he prepared the situation and chose someone who lived by the Spirit to do it- I imagine because only someone truly living by the Spirit would really receive such a command. Later, we even see how fickle his own brothers are (1 Nephi 7:9-12), and the reason WHY the Spirit "ceaseth soon to strive with them; for behold, they have rejected the prophets" and by actively choosing to reject the words of the prophets (for what I thought were rather understandable reasons- minus seeing angels and having experiences where the prophet has proven to be right), Laman and Lemuel weren't even able to receive understanding of these commandments because they chose not to live in a way that would allow the Spirit to be in their lives.

And it is not simply something encountered among the young. I love Sariah's experience from her perspective; here she is in the desert, having abandoned her home and beautiful, prospering city of Jerusalem, to wander based on faith in her husband, the prophet, and now her husband has endangered her children in a reckless and deathly mission- and for what? Simply because they were commanded? She doesn't even see the purpose or importance of the task, so why should she be expected to be supportive of the mission to retrieve plates, of all things? She's abandoned EVERYTHING, is sent to wander the wilderness in her age and now THIS?!?! Geez! But when they return, she comes full circle and understands- a confirmation of her husband and son's faith AFTER the task is complete and AFTER they're home safely and then she rejoices and understands the purpose of the mission (1 Nephi 5:8). I don't think this moment should be trivialized. Her reaction is totally understandable. There are times where we won't be happy or understand the purpose or point of an act of faith until AFTER the fact. That doesn't make the rejoicing any less, but it does make enduring the task significantly more painful.

Now for the modern day application of these verses. Over the years my experiences have eventually proven to me that I do have a testimony of God's prophets. My faith has shown that I do honestly and truly trust in their words, knowing their counsel is given in love, kindness, acceptance and wisdom. Why would I allow one thing to suddenly cause me doubt, when already I know where I stand on my faith in the prophet? I truly feel that this is my opportunity to make a choice that is not based on my own understanding or will, but that is God's, and the idea of being able to do that- knowing it has nothing to do with myself or my own personal, political beliefs- makes me very, very eager to find the big payoff that will be in the growth of my testimony and in proving that I really can be faithful in a way I never trusted myself to be. How many times do we have the opportunity to exercise true faith? A faith that is based off of what we know already to be true. No predetermined result or foreseeable reason of our own, but an act of faith based purely in what we know of God and His called prophets. A faith that has been proven in the past to be true, with an opportunity to act on our own accord based off of prior knowledge and understanding of sacred testimony; not with a man-made based political outcome. We do not need to justify our apologize for our actions when they are based in honesty, integrity and faith. It is faith that we have in the Lord that He will direct our paths to do the right thing. Regardless of our own lack of vision.

This was originally written in August. Now, in retrospect, I am grateful to have continued striving to move forward to understand BOTH sides of Prop 8. Two months later, I find myself feeling strongly about this issue for reasons I would have not fortold then. Just a reminder; line upon line, precept upon precept- when we excercise a mustard seed of faith in moving forward and ask for the Spirit to keep our hearts and minds clear and prepared for further revelation. Live worthily and prepare that you might receive it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Like a Dead Horse-

When I first heard of Proposition 8, I was deeply offended and shocked that not everyone viewed this clearly as a human rights issue. If you were to ask my opinion of the definition of marriage; marriage in this country is a joke. With a growing 50% divorce rate and most people not even bothering to be wed before moving in or having children, marriage has become a societal JOKE. Additionally, with the rampant report and unreported incidents and habitual forms of physical, mental and spiritual abuse within the home, abandonment and abuse of children and spouses, the definition of FAMILY seems to have become nothing more than a traditional philosophy more than an actual, respected practice within the United States. At this point in our county's history, if ANYONE desires to commit themselves to fidelity, financial responsibility and family to another, I am all for it. It's great to know there are still people who WANT to take responsibility for one another.

I have prayed, fasted and spent many hours wrestling with the concept of supporting Prop 8. In my desire to understand the proponent's side, I even attended meetings to discuss the Proposition and in attempts to be helpful and prepare the proponents for concerns and sensitivities the opposing side might have, I ended up being personally attacked and scorned. Even though I had already said that- for my own personal reasons- I was choosing to support the campaign! But because I was sensitive to certain phrases or points that I felt expressed fear or ignorance, I became the enemy among my own constituents! I left feeling sick that I would actually CHOOSE to align myself with those who supported the Proposition that would hold such ignorant and insensitive perspectives. But I pressed on with the knowledge that certain individuals, as offensive as I might find their views, were just trying to do what they felt was right.

Personally, I'm not threatened by same-sex unions. As I told one of my best friends who is homosexual, I WANT my children to know him- I want my children to recognize him as part of my family. And certainly, when he finds someone he wants to commit the rest of his life to, I will absolutely support him. I have a great love for my friends, several of whom are gay, and I am delighted when they find someone who loves and believes and trusts in them enough to want to form a commitment and form a family together.

So why am I voting for Proposition 8?

My support of commitment and gay marriage aside, the implications of what Proposition 8 will do to affect Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech is what concerns me. There are much deeper issues present than the ones which are easily and simplistically conveyed through the various emotionally charged propaganda from both sides on TV. The fact is, Prop 8 does not ask to take away any of the rights gay couples have to commitment; unfortunately (as we saw in the 60s and 70s Housing Discrimination Act) the failure to follow up and prosecute those not upholding the laws and rights of gay unions are what's holding us back. Until we have lawyers and individuals tenacious enough to demand that their existing rights be enforced, there will be discrimination. However, concerning Prop 8, those rights ARE there.

As for my opinions on Human Rights, when an individuals rights seemingly come in conflict with Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech, I'm going to have to rule with the latter two. Let me give an example: I am Mormon. It is my goal to be married in the sacred temple. However, merely a desire to be married in the House of God is not enough; I must abide by certain laws of the church and if I choose not to live according to those doctrines (the Word of Wisdom, sexual purity and morality, the Law of Tithe, etc.), I should not expect nor demand to enter the sacred ordinance of marriage in the temple. As a practicing Mormon in good standing with the church, I accept this as my choice to live in accordance with God's laws in order to be found worthy to enter the sacred temple. However, should Prop 8 fail and a homosexual couple approach the temple and request a marriage ceremony and they are refused- all of a sudden, that denial can be LEGALLY interpreted as discrimination and the entire worldwide church can be sued. The same will go for other churches whose doctrines denote that homosexuality is a sin and not in accordance with their spiritual laws; should the church deny the right of marriage to those who (under the SPIRITUAL law) are found unworthy, they can legally be held for discrimination practice and will be forced to either change the doctrine of their church, or close their doors. No matter that there are plenty of other denominations who DO support and perform gay marriages; if Prop 8 fails and you approach a church which does not condone homosexual practice, that church will be forced to conform to a government law over their spiritual laws and the church has now become subject to the government. Separation of church and state is typically considered a safety for the churches to not dictate government law, but what are we suggesting if we allow the government to create new doctrines for the church contrary to their beliefs? Furthermore, churches and non-profits who do not condone homosexual practice or marriage would legally be liable to lose their tax-exempt status if they choose not to modify their spiritual laws to the laws of government. Churches, adoption agencies and private schools in Boston and Canada have already chosen to close their doors, rather than alter their fundamental spiritual doctrine of recognizing marriage as a sacred union between a man and a woman.

Likewise, while I fully expect to educate and introduce my own children to my homosexual couple friends and do not fear nor find offense on this discussion in their classroom, I do not think that forcing private or religious educational institutions to teach something outside of their practice or doctrine is acceptable for the government to dictate. Nor do I think those private/religious institutions should be expected to either/or the situation; either teach homosexual practice in the classroom or be found guilty of discrimination and close your doors. If people CHOOSE to have their children in a private school, they have the right to dictate what is taught there- be it creationism or marriage between a man and a woman only. If you don't like the idea of that, don't send your kid to a private Catholic school. Furthermore, should Prop 8 fail and parents, teachers or religious institutions uphold standards of traditional family values (as in marriage between a man and a woman), they can legally be found guilty of performing hate speech and speaking up for traditional family values suddenly becomes a hate crime.

While I am very much an advocate for equal rights, human rights and civil rights, I am also very aware that our actions all have consequences. And that when human rights have the potential to discriminate and persecute Religious Freedom and Freedom of Speech- two primary principles our country was founded for- I must say; there is a better way. Let's increase the awareness and enforce the laws of civil unions we currently have and hold our government to the promises that were made to protect homosexual couples from discrimination NOW, without persecuting those who have traditional values and who are not discriminating, but living according to their eternal spiritual laws.

And on this note, let me be clear: If you are a proponent of Proposition 8 for ANY OTHER REASON than because you want to stand up for Religious Freedom and tolerance for traditional family values, if your stake in this is to persecute the homosexual community or to throw fear or hate into our churches, schools or community, PLEASE; DO NOT ALIGN YOURSELF WITH ME. I would rather stand alone in my declaration to support Proposition 8, than to have the support of those who are doing this for evil, ignorant or discriminatory reasons. Please. If you support Proposition 8, I ask that you do it with love and the understanding that this is to uphold traditional family values, not persecution of those who are different from you. Likewise for those who do not support Proposition 8, we need to prevent the persecution of traditional family values and increase our love and tolerance for those who may uphold values different from our own with the understanding that they are simply trying to live their standards in accordance with their own values. That neither of us is a threat to the other, but that we all deserve a little more understanding and a little more kindness.

Please, I ask that you forward this to your friends, family, re-post this article as much as you like. I'm not saying everyone needs to agree; I'm just asking that we try a little better to accept and understand one another. Please remember to vote November 4th.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Positive Growth Theory.

When you finally get everything you want and everything you need and more than what you expected-
Will you be prepared to accept it?

So many times we are all waiting for the next big thing. The next big move. The home improvements we've been daydreaming over. A better job that makes you happy. The relationship that will be the end-all-be-all of relationships. So what happens when we finally get it...and we still don't feel right? Are you prepared to accept the gifts that have been given you? Do you believe that it's possible you really could be so blessed? Do you recognize that you deserve good things in your life when so much of it is spent in pursuing it?

I hope that you can. I hope that you do see your worth and that you value the things and the people that you have for what they are to you right now. Seeking the bigger better deal may inspire progression, but it may also prevent you from accepting and investing in what you already may have and allowing for that investment to grow.

Somehow, I'm not talking about economics.

Monday, October 13, 2008

When it's Over-

Do you fight?
Or let it go?

I've always believed that if someone you love is willing to walk away from you, the best thing to do is shut the door and never look back. Because if someone doesn't respect and honour you for who you are once they actually know you, they don't deserve your time or affections.
Are there mitigating circumstances?
Have you ever broken up with someone, thinking, "But if..." and wished that they'd come back? Or wanted to revoke your own judgement?
I'm as cold and empty as a soulless robot, so I was hoping someone from the peanut gallery might have some words of wisdom to contribute.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


If you're not kissing,
you are just friends.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gettin' Busy-

What do all these videos have in common?

The producer is amazing and pretty much the best part of my day. He could also be a big reason why I don't have much time to write. But I swear. I will do better.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I really fell of the old wagon, didn't I?
To the six of you who still read- sorry to disappoint. For multiple reasons which will momentarily remain undisclosed.
For now, I pose a single question:
How many of you are emotional basketcases because you're on the pill?
I feel like I'm losing my mind.
All of a sudden I'm emotional, teary, sentimental and I feel obsessive over minute interpersonal interactions. I eat like crazy (as in, from the level of "horse" to "genuine oinker. Possibly a hippo"). This all makes me feel as if I'm mildly insane. Suddenly I'm clingy, needy and vulnerable.
Is it just the hormone pills talking?
They even out after a few months, but, boy-o-boy.
Apparently it took a pill to make me feel like a natural woman.
My sincere condolences to women who are inherently full of this much estrogen. I don't even know how you begin to cope. Share your wisdom. Please.