Stay The Heck Out Of My Self-Determination

7 Things To STOP Doing To Be Healthier And Happier - Ali McWilliamsAfter watching, and then reading the text of the “Special” press conference from the LDS Church today, I came away a bit confused. What are you saying Brethren… and one Sister?

Are you saying… I should be allowed to refuse to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple based on my religious beliefs but I shouldn’t be able to run my own business and hire the people I want to hire… gay or not? Are you saying, I don’t have to rent my wedding facility to a couple who is gay because of my religious conviction, but I should support a law that forces me to rent an apartment or home to them… and perhaps have them living in my basement? Does it mean I have to have a certain percentage of gays working in my business so not to appear intolerant or mean?

Sorry… you can’t have it both ways.

You can’t endorse legislation that protects LGBT employment, and housing and stand firm on the religious principles that you profess without opening Pandora’s box. States like California, Oregon and New Mexico got caught up in similar anti-discrimination legislation and got more than they bargained for. Simple legislation put a small crack in their systems that has now turned into huge chasms. Little by little LGBT has gained in their agenda through other small legislative laws. Posters in school supporting tolerance of gay relationships (diversity/tolerance) Books on Gay relationships are now in school libraries. (diversity/tolerance) Sharing common bathrooms have passed legislation in California. (diversity/tolerance). The Nondiscrimination laws opened the door to forcing folks to provide services which went against their religious beliefs, and common sense.

Ya just can’t have it both ways…. because, in today’s climate, religious freedom will lose every time… no matter the pleading of Church leaders. Why is the Church asking everyone to support religious rights, then take away my rights to hire whom I want or give housing to whom I want? The Sutherland Institute is claiming that the Church is not endorsing the LGBT legislation. “The Church did not endorse any specific piece of legislation.

Excuse me!  What does this mean then: “It’s for this reason that the Church has publicly favored laws and ordinances that protect LGBT people from discrimination in housing and employment.” (Church Transcript) or “protecting the rights of our LGBT citizens in such areas as housing, employment and public accommodation in hotels, restaurants and transportation—protections which are not available in many parts of the country.” (Church Transcript)

Oh, I see now…“specific” piece of legislation” That word certainly gets them off the hook.

If these are not endorsement statements then what is? And, why was this unprecedented press conference held just a few days after Utah legislators went into session… just to make a “Rights Of Religion” plea? If Religious Freedom was the concern… why did they bring up the LGBT thing at all?

Get Out Of My Life

Government… get out of my life and stop trying to legislate the heck out of us. Laws, Laws, Laws. My right to have my own “Self-Determination” is being eroded away every day by some darn law. My own “Self-Determination” is subjugated by someone else’s “Determination.” My life’s choices are becoming “Other-Determined” by every nit picky law that legislators think it’s their duty to come come up with. We are becoming so dependent on following what others think we should be doing that we will soon have no free-will of our own. A little here and a little there….(Hmmmm… who’s plan is that?)  And, the Church Hierarchy just bought into a little piece of it, AGAIN. They just fell into the clutches of the long term LGBT plan, AGAIN! (First: Boy Scout endorsement for gays.) A little here and a little there and the LGBT will have everything they want, and it may not always be as innocent as housing and employment.

This law may look like a simple thing but I believe it is just the beginning of enacting laws that will encroach in areas that are really morally wrong. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I hope I’m wrong!

I just want to have the opportunity to hire anyone I want… which allows for MY desire to include gays. I want to have the opportunity to give services to anyone I want…and that includes MY “will” to hire gays. In other words…. I want the right to be a JERK…and I want to have the freedom of choice to be a SAINT…. and reap the consequences of either decision. Come what may.

Be Nice To Each Other

Continually enacting laws that trample on my right of “Free Choice” erodes my “Self-Determination. The “Be Nice To Each Other” laws forced by man, will never work. They never have. Sister Marriott referred to Human Rights. In 1948 the UN established 30 Human Rights. Have they been followed? No! In fact they have been trampled on in all countries, including our own. Actually, most people have no idea what they are. The Human Rights Document covers the very thing the proposed Utah law will be reviewing in the coming weeks, now with Church endorsement. (I guess it wasn’t said well enough the first time.)

Setting up a law or establishing a document does not change the hearts of men. It’s the individual… and his own “Self-Determination” that has the power to honor the Human Rights of all mankind…. long term. We are seeing the crumbling of the (Law) Constitution because of the hearts of men are failing. All law comes with a risk of failure.

I believe that perhaps one of the reasons is that many folks are tired of being told what to do and are rebelling against “Other-Determination”…not only with the issue of the Constitution, but many other laws, both secular and spiritual.

Personally, I believe the Church needs to concentrate on reaching the hearts of men and teaching members of the Church and the peoples of world to recognized their inherent goodness and encourage their self-determination. When the hearts of men are touched… then the Lord’s words:  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” also called “the ethic of reciprocity,” will make a lasting difference.

In the meantime…if the LDS Church truly believes that same sex activities are against God’s moral code, then they need to stay away from commenting on or endorsing any Babylon “Be Nice To Each Other” laws made by man. It will never work!

35 thoughts on “Stay The Heck Out Of My Self-Determination”

  1. Kathy,
    Your piece is so common-sense it makes me wonder why the “prophets, seers, and revelators” can’t see the light. The logic is inescapable.

  2. This is one way to look at it. You made some good points in a very non-humble, eyes-closed, angry tone of voice. Let’s all work harder at being Christ-like.

    1. Steve

      Thank you. I agree. I got up this morning hoping to calm my tone before Tim pushed the “Publish” button, but it was too late. But, I just don’t understand how penalizing the liberties of one group to give to another group is justifiable. I guess my bottom line is… that the Church should not be endorsing “flaxen cord” legislation which has such a high risk of unintended consequences.

  3. The plan of the adversary is to criminalize the public expression of Christanity using homogamy as the wedge issue and anti-harrassment and hate-speech laws as the hammer. Through this method, it will eventually be forbidden on pain of legal action to preach repentance to those who are committing certain sins, thus hindering the spread of the gospel.

    The camel’s nose was those laws which sought to judge and penalize the hearts and minds of men through laying hold of their speech.

    The Church unfortunately publicly compromised on the principles of liberty shortly after the Prop. 8 fight in order to mitigate the public blowback.

  4. “Now the Church is attempting to sound the alarm about legal encroachment of cultural/social views (read homosexuality) into other areas which will inevitably conflict with religious liberty. But the Church has already conceded the argument. By extension of the Church’s position with respect to housing and employment, the only question to answer is what to define as a “fundamental right.” If housing and employment, then why not marriage? How does that distinction get made? And if any judge, anywhere, or ultimately five of the nine Supreme Court Justices, decide that marriage is a “fundamental right,” then the result will follow that religion cannot prevent the practice. And if religion cannot prevent the practice of this “fundamental right” to marry despite a couple’s homosexual orientation, then the LDS Church cannot prohibit or limit homosexual marriage practices anywhere. Not even in their own marriage ceremonies. For to do so would invade a “fundamental right” of the persons involved.

    “It will take time for the arguments to wend their way through the courts. But ultimately the Church’s position on the “fundamental right” of homosexuals to be employed and housed without discrimination, using the coercive force of the government to protect that “right” against employers and property owners, will be the same reason the government will force the LDS Church to be coerced into acceptance of homosexual marriage. The LDS Church’s own words/press release and public relations spokesman’s words will be the reason cited by the Court against the Church, at the time the decision is reached. The Court will announce that the LDS Church has already recognized the need for governmental power to be used to protect fundamental rights of housing and employment. The Court will rule the Church must, therefore, accept as a fundamental right marriage, as well.”


  5. Not to be the Debbie Downer, but since you want to have the choice to hire or not hire someone who’s gay, should you also be able to have that same choice if they’re black, latino, asian?

    Ok, you don’t get to choose what your DNA is, but many believe that who you love is a choice (let’s not dive into the science on that, since well, the choice side isn’t faring so well these days), but what if you hire someone and later find out they’re gay, should you be able to fire them for just that reason?

    What if an employee converts to Islam, or becomes a Wiccan, is that grounds for termination? Can you refuse to do business with the Catholic because he’s a Papist? What about the man and women living together, but not married? Can you refuse to bake a birthday cake for them? Do you even have the right to ask if they’re married?

    Your private beliefs are yours, but once you enter the Public sphere, someone, usually the government, gets to play referee. If you don’t like it, then keep your business private otherwise you’re going to have to deal with people you don’t like, don’t agree with, or feel are wallowing in sin. That’s the price of living in a fallen world.

    1. Do you like being compelled to dispense with your property in a manner you do not want to? Do you like being compelled to associate with them you do not want to associate with? What kinds of laws then does the golden rule tell you you should write, vote for, or uphold?

      1. My private property is mine to dispense with as I choose. But if I open a public business, then the rules change.

        Again, my private associations are just that, private. But if I choose to join public groups, or shop at public businesses, I don’t get to choose who I’ll associate with.

        Do you honestly believe that I should be able to open a store and only allow white, non-Catholics to shop there?

        1. I note you did not answer the questions I asked. When you get around to doing that, answering with “yes” or “no” without prevarication and without temporizing, then I will answer your question – except you should already know my answer, because it is implied in the questions I asked.

        2. But I did answer:

          Question 1: My private property is mine to dispense with as I choose.

          Question 2: Again, my private associations are just that, private.

          Perhaps your questions could be clearer? How do you define “dispense [my] property in a manner [I] do not want to”? Do you mean personal items? Business items? If business, is the business a corporation, and therefore subject to various laws, regulations, and so forth? If personal, see my answer to Question 1, above.

          Same with private associations? Are we talking within the confines of my home? If so, see my answer to Question 2, above. Are you talking about a club I’ve joined? Do other members get a say? What are the club rules regarding disputes/disagreements between members? And if it’s anything involving the Public Sphere, then again, we start bumping into those pesky laws, regulations, and so forth.

          Heck, I don’t like everyone in my ward, although I’m fairly lucky I think in that there’s only a handful of people on that list. I also know that there are a lot of ward members I would never have gotten to know and like if we hadn’t been “forced” to be in the same ward together. While I’d gladly associate with most of them, today, if you’d asked me that question when we first moved into the ward, the answer would have been a resounding “no”.

          But that’s the beauty/frustration of living in a pluralistic society. We often are forced to interact with people we wouldn’t choose to interact with, and in many cases, we learn to love those different than ourselves.

          There’s one brother in my ward who couldn’t be more different than me when it comes to politics, occupation, hobbies, and income, and over the years we’ve had many lively discussions about those differences (especially politics), but I love the man like few others and I never would have met him if it hadn’t been for being in the same ward and callings that required us to work together.

        3. No, if you open a private business, you still have every right to buy and sell your private property with whomever you choose. Dealing with the public does not turn your private business into a public one. And yes, if you want to open a store and only allow white, non-Catholics to shop there, that should be your right.

  6. AFT, I don’t have the fortitude right now to wrangle out your definition of each key term in the simple, childlike questions I asked.

    In fact, when I asked my kids these questions, they said “No, no, and laws that don’t do those things to others.”

    Why is it children can answer, while adults won’t?

  7. Anon: Actually you did not answer Log’s questions, which points are well-made. The basic issue is: when does private property become subject to public regulation, confiscation, and forfeiture because someone just isn’t being “nice,” whatever that means, according to the legislators involved? If I run a business, that business is being conducted on my private property. When a member of the public comes into my store, they do so subject to my set of rules, not the public, the legislature, the courts or government bureaucracies. At least that’s the way it should be, if in fact, private property really has any meaning left whatsoever (I’m not sure it does). Kathryn in this article is pointing out the conundrum the Church faces by trying to accommodate a group of LGBT which are militating for their “public” right to commit grievous sin, and make sure that the club of State is used to quash any dissenting opinions. Really: how many homosexuals do you know personally that have EVER had any serious issue with housing, education, employment, etc because they were Gay? Comparing the LGBT efforts to civil rights is, and should be, highly offensive to those who actually spent 100 years trying to end the highly morally offensive racial discrimination that really did exist here. Unless you think a few “intolerant” statements aimed at Gay activists are the equivalent of slavery, lynching and beatings that Blacks actually received regularly from 1776-1964. There is a big difference between allowing toleration and actively fighting for using the mighty club of State to FORCE compliance down the throats of otherwise free and independent citizens. Free citizens have the draw the line somewhere and Jefferson stated it eloquently that whenever a form of government becomes abusive of the very set of liberties it is sworn to uphold, then it is the DUTY of the citizens to arise and alter or abolish that particular government. Honestly, my opinion is that if the Church leaders are not capable of analyzing this on the basis of right PRINCIPLES, then they would be better to stand down on this whole issue.

  8. Anon

    You are really a champion for being kind to everyone… very admirable. I like being treated kindly and therefore I should treat others kindly.

    The bottom line of post was not about HOW we should treat others… but the foundation of WHY we treat others as we do. The question is, does kindness come from our own volition or does our kindness toward another human being come because we are forced. If I am forced, then my heart never has a chance to grow. I never have to face the error of my ways. I never have to take the responsibility and repent if needed.

    I know when I am forced do to something, I do it… but there is always resentment. I don’t know about you, but when I meet with the tax man each spring… I have a lot of resentment. I believe our spirit cries out when we are compelled to do something against our will or against our conscience.

    An example: I have a neighbor that drives me crazy. She has no social graces and when folks see her coming, including myself, we run, look a the sky and pretend we don’t see her.

    On this blog, we have had a lengthy discussion about the Golden Rule (thanks to Log.)
    I have had to examine my attitude and treatment of my neighbor. Would I want folks to run from me every time I approached? One may say… she deserves it.. she need to examine her behavior and make some changes. Yes.. that would be a good idea… but it’s not the point.

    I have decided to “Choose” to love her the way I would like to be loved. It has nothing to do with “warm and fuzzy feelings” but it has everything to do with how “I treat her.” The change in my attitude and my heart has come by way of my own volition and not by assignment or the insistence of someone else. Last week, when we happen to meet at the mailbox, we chatted for about 15 minutes, I looked her in the eye, and sincerely listened. My behavior came from my heart. I look forward to developing a tenderness toward her… and I know it will come as I treat her as I would like to be treated. I think the same personal rules should apply with any affiliation I have with others.

    With that being said, I will not go against my conscience just to be nice. I would not want her to violate her conscience to by doing something that she did does not feel comfortable with. In other words… we won’t be robbing banks together.

    I don’t think anyone has suggested here that gays should not have housing, or employment or be treated kindly. The resistance comes by enacting laws that force us to comply… rather than be allowed to act according to our own conscience and free will.

    The Church is asking for Religious Rights consideration on one hand but endorsing “Laws” that don’t consider my rights to conduct my business on my private property, or my private real estate dealings as I see fit. And, who determines which rights of Religious Freedom are appropriate? The Church? The government? Will a list of those rights need to be drafted in detail? And who will do that? The Church? The government? It sound to me that by giving this endorsement, they are giving the Utah state legislature the power to do it. One law always seem to require another.

    It appears the Church opened Pandora’s box in 2010, according to the Denver’s quote that Tim shared. I fear the Church leaders will not see the hindrance to the sovereignty of the organization until it’s too late. Perhaps, the scale has already been tipped to the point of no return. Frankly, I think someone is in a pickle. Heaven help us.

  9. The topic is already sabotaged by the idea that Human Rights are limitless. When new “rights” are brought forth every year in our country, the argument will ultimately fail. What were fundamental rights of pursuing happiness at the time of the constitution have expanded exponentially, and thus the shifting of thought toward the founding document.

    Since we long forgot what the country was originally founded upon, man has decided himself what the original intent was. No one will win this argument until the Savior comes. Our society will break down completely long before then. Sorry for reality; the Savior is the only purveyor of solutions to this minute piece of a much larger issue with mankind. Argue as you will on this, it will continue to be circular and have no end. The church is just trying to figure it out temporally and not spiritually, and anything other than Zion will fail.

    1. There is no doubt, the premise of your comment is correct. I am amazed how many people don’t understand our basic rights declared by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Those truths have been trampled on for so long… that most folks take the misuse of them casually, without concern. We are paying dearly for that ignorance. “Privileges” now come under the smokescreen of “Rights.”

      I was just disappointed that the Brethren did not take the spiritual approach.

      Many years ago, when I was in Rodney Turner’s D&C class, he said something that has stayed with me: “It’s useless to pray for peace. Pray for the Prince of Peace.”

      If it was time to pray for it then… it’s urgent that we pray for it now. May Zion be established soon.

  10. I am new to all of this blogging stuff, but I do appreciate the atmosphere of exploration and exposition that the medium allows. I have to say that I greeted the church poo-bah’s latest ‘announcement’ with a great deal of laughter and head-shaking. -Just another in a long list of “Fools Rush In…” moments that our rudderless, corporate shills have orchestrated as of late. You’d think they would have stopped to read their own script and made note of all of the contradictions it contained. (let alone how it would ‘play’ to their audience!)

    No matter what ‘moral’ stand we take on the issue as individuals, the fact remains that we, in Western society, abrogated the separation of church and state with regard to marriage when we collectively allowed the institution to become a legally-binding, rather than a purely spiritual, union long ago. That, combined with the societal evolution of ‘rights’ out of ‘privileges’ mentioned above, is the heart of the issue.

    The fact that you have to have a state-issued marriage license in order to BE married brings the institution squarely under the modern constitutional ‘rights’ umbrella and, ergo, OUT from the shadow of anyone’s ‘higher’ moral pedestal. Get used to it, because the right to refuse service to, acknowledge, or afford deference to ANY other citizen is only going to be more tightly restricted as time goes by. That particular horse left the barn long ago.

    The corporate HQ of LDS Inc. evidently thinks it can parse its way through the minefield of modern marriage and sexuality by talking out of both sides of its face. THAT is the truly interesting story here. It shows a sad desperation to be ‘relevant’ in a world that is ever-increasingly leaving structured, calcified religions in the dust (hopefully, in favor of more spiritual pursuits!). ~This latest PR effort simply confirms the fact that their ongoing impersonation of Laurel & Hardy’s “Who’s on First” routine is proceeding apace.

    I await the Second Coming as anxiously as any of you, but I currently doubt that the Savior himself would be recognized by most of the higher-ups at the COB. His pierced hands have blessed too many sinners -and there’s always the problem of that beard and those sandals!

    1. Thanks for mentioning this Lizzie! It was such an excellent and insightful post. At first I thought it wasn’t that interesting of an announcement, but now I understand a lot more of its significance…

      Kathryn, your post reminds me of a form of anarchism that may function well if practiced. Here’s a first draft of an introduction to it my friend sent me. (I only just began a thorough study of politics, inspired by Ron Paul and Exra Taft Benson, so advice and comments are appreciated.)


      Anarchy – An Introduction

      “For most people, the word conjures up images of men in black hoods throwing bricks, or some such chaos. Although the word anarchy certainly has a negative connotation in public parlance, the political philosophy called anarchism is first and foremost a philosophy of peace.”

      Foundation of Anarchist Political Philosophy – The Non Aggression Principle

      “Murray Rothbard, one of the most prominent modern libertarian thinkers, stated that “the libertarian creed rests upon one central axiom: that no man or group of men may aggress against the person or property of anyone else…Aggression is defined as the initiation of the use or threat of physical violence against the person or property of anyone else.” (For a New Liberty, 33)

      “Almost no one, regardless of their political ideology, will consider theft, murder, assault, and so on to be morally acceptable. This axiom is common sense morality. The non-aggression principle is taught as a central teaching in Christianity as “The Golden Rule,” and is found in virtually every other religion as well. So far, so good. We are all in agreement!”

      …..“Anarchists did not try to carry out genocide against the Armenians in Turkey; they did not deliberately starve millions of Ukrainians; they did not create a system of death camps to kill Jews, gypsies, and Slavs in Europe; they did not fire-bomb scores of large German and Japanese cities and drop nuclear bombs on two of them; they did not carry out a ‘Great Leap Forward’ that killed scores of millions of Chinese; they did not attempt to kill everybody with any appreciable education in Cambodia; they did not launch one aggressive war after another; they did not implement trade sanctions that killed perhaps 500,000 Iraqi children.

      “In debates between anarchists and statists, the burden of proof clearly should rest on those who place their trust in the state. Anarchy’s mayhem is wholly conjectural; the state’s mayhem is undeniably, factually horrendous.”


      There’s more but the rest makes for a very long post. I think the idea has merit enough to consider and learn more about. I find that D&C 121 on righteous priesthood power is violated almost as soon as authority is given to people. I personally fear that the LDS church could attempt to become more than a church or corporation now, especially considering how they control the lives of their missionaries–it seems more like North Korea than the New Testament. A baseless fear? I’m not certain. Especially when it’s in their doctrine that the prophet can do no wrong and the church will build “Zion”.

      1. Victor –

        According to the anarcho-capitalists, did not human society start off as anarcho-capitalism? And are we not now knee-deep in all manner of leftisms / rightisms / centrisms? Therefore, anarcho-capitalism is a false principle, leading to its own negation.

        It’s easy to see why this is so – when money rules, even human lives are measured in money.

        1. Or, more succinctly, “money is the measure of all things.” The only obstacle to obtaining the money is, of course, the non-aggression axiom, and that is a flimsy obstacle indeed.

        2. Did the teachings of Jesus lead to What is termed Christianity today?

          Following your logic, well, you can deduce where I am going with this and tell me why your statement was not based in reason.

        3. Did the teachings of Jesus lead to What is termed Christianity today?

          The answer the question you asked is “yes.”

          I think you meant to ask “do the teachings of Christ, rigidly applied and obeyed, lead to what we see in Christianity today?” No, they lead to Zion. But that’s not the question you asked.

          Nate, I don’t really feel like walking you down the path from the necessary fact that all valuations are inherently irrational to the fact that eventually you get class warfare from anarcho-capitalism and the imposition of some kind of organization claiming a monopoly on the use of force within a given territory – which is what the anarcho-capitalists (and others) term “the state,” which itself is the negation of anarcho-capitalism. But the path is there, through fallen human psychology and economic behavior and history and religion, if you feel like putting the study into it. You might start with the Book of Moses, if you like, and Master Mahan, who introduced the state to this world.

        4. In fact – heh – it doesn’t take a lot of thought to see that anarcho-capitalism leads directly to plutocracy, at best. Hmm – I wonder what it means that the governments of the world act as though they were private security firms for the financial masters. Gosh, it’s almost like those who have the money write the laws, too. It’s like someone figured out that force is the most efficient way to grab others’ money.

          It’s almost like we already live in a world where money is the measure of all things.

          Oh, the mischief which abounds when we declare aggression against property is the same as aggression against person, remembering there is no *cough* “natural limit” to the amount of “property” one can “own.”

          “I will take the treasures of the earth, and with gold and silver I will buy up armies and navies, false priests who oppress, and tyrants who destroy and reign with blood and horror on the earth!”

          I wonder which is preferable: straightforward slavery on a plantation or worldwide slavery through debt and rent-seeking.

          I guess it’s nice that our masters at least let us pick our tasks for now, and let us believe in our little tribal gods, singing our songs and stuff…

        5. Log, I think you and I must have a different view of what anarcho-capitalism is, at its base, anyway.

          I’ve been thinking a lot about your comments here the past few weeks, and I have to assume we just don’t understand this the same way.

          I see this as basically “free-market,” or maybe better put as voluntary society. The whole basis of the good market is that when an exchange occurs, whether that exchange uses money or not, both parties benefit.

          If both parties didn’t benefit in some way, in a voluntary society, then no exchange would take place at all.

          If you take this most basics of understandings about what anarcho-capitalism is about (free, and voluntary exchange and interaction), and layer on top of it the voluntary observance of the Golden Rule, you would end up in a very different place than you assume above.

          Most of the things that are written from the anarcho-capitalist folks about private courts, security companies, etc. are more a thought experiment to describe how such a society MIGHT work, not how it MUST work. There are so many that say a voluntary society has no hope of ever succeeding, that examples have been worked out to varying degrees of success.

          BUT, I take that most basics of human interaction described by a free market and think that such a thing must be among the most basic of building blogs for something like a Zion society: free from force or compulsion, purely voluntary, knit in love, and strict observers of the Golden Rule. Such a society would have no need for private security or court systems, they wouldn’t need them.

  11. Anonymous Bishop


    I want to thank you for saying everything I wanted to say and more. I will throw away the numerous drafts I’ve been working on and simply point to your post. 🙂 I think your post is brilliant.

    This move by the church simply gives ammo to the government and to money hungry lawyers with which to shoot religion in the back. The biggest mistake I see in the church’s position is its admission that this is a civil rights issue. Let’s be honest, for many this is a lifestyle choice. Where will it end? What other lifestyle choices that religion sees as immoral will be protected?

    Thank you for displaying the courage to say it how it is. I admire you for it.

    God bless.

  12. I think that ultimately the entire issue comes down to whether or not you feel that this is a lifestyle choice. I don’t, and more and more of the research being done is pointing to the same conclusion. Do some choose this? Yes, of course, but in their case it is no different than an unmarried couple choosing to live together, something we all regard as a sin, but for some reason this choice is met with much less hostility.

    Ultimately the answer will become known once we can ask the Lord Himself.

    I don’t think any of us are going to be persuaded one way or another on this issue, but I have found the following sad, misguided, racist quote to be one that has helped, and still helps, me give thanks that it is the Lord who will judge us, as only He knows all, and that in the end, we truly have no concept of just how much His ways are not our ways.

    “I think I have read enough to give you an idea of what the Negro is after. He is not just seeking the opportunity of sitting down in a cafe where white people eat. He isn’t just trying to ride on the same streetcar or the same Pullman car with white people. It isn’t that he just desires to go to the same theater as the white people. From this, and other interviews I have read, it appears that the Negro seeks absorption with the white race. He will not be satisfied until he achieves it by intermarriage. That is his objective and we must face it. We must not allow our feelings to carry us away, nor must we feel so sorry for Negroes that we will open our arms and embrace them with everything we have. Remember the little statement that we used to say about sin, ‘First we pity, then endure, then embrace’.”

    -Apostle Mark E. Peterson, at the Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University Provo, Utah, August 27, 1954

  13. AFT,

    On the issue of nature vs. nurture, even if those who find themselves attracted to members of their own sex are “born that way” (and I think the University of East Anglia’s climate change unit’s email controversy has demonstrated that researchers aren’t necessarily free of their own biases, and can slant data to support a political or social agenda), being sexually active (with one or multiple partners) is a life style choice.

    So is celibacy, and Jesus did say “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb; and there are some eunuchs which were made eunuchs of men; and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that as able to receive, let him receive my sayings.” (Matt. 19:12, Joseph Smith translation.)

    And “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matt. 18:25, JST.)

    Also, you seem to overlook the fact that this really is a separation of church and state/religious liberty issue.

    Whatever you think of homosexuals (and, as long as it’s kept out of the pulpit, I have no objection to legally sanctioned same sex unions), one American municipality (The city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho) has already tried to put two ordained ministers (a husband and wife team who owned a wedding chapel) in jail (and fine them up to $1000.00) for refusing to perform same sex marriages.

    And Annise Parker, the mayor of Huston Texas, has already attempted to subpoena the church sermons of the city’s religious leaders to check them for “criminal hate speech against homosexuals.”

    So I think those who regard this as a very dangerous “slippery slope” issue that could threaten all of our religious liberty have good reason to feel that way.

  14. Ben,

    I take Murray Rothbard as being the authoritative libertarian (anarcho-capitalist) philosopher.

    From Wikipedia:

    […] The basic axiom of libertarian political theory holds that every man is a self owner, having absolute jurisdiction over his own body. In effect, this means that no one else may justly invade, or aggress against, another’s person. It follows then that each person justly owns whatever previously unowned resources he appropriates or “mixes his labor with”. From these twin axioms – self-ownership and “homesteading” – stem the justification for the entire system of property rights titles in a free-market society. This system establishes the right of every man to his own person, the right of donation, of bequest (and, concomitantly, the right to receive the bequest or inheritance), and the right of contractual exchange of property titles.

    Everyone is the proper owner of his own physical body as well as of all places and nature-given goods that he occupies and puts to use by means of his body, provided only that no one else has already occupied or used the same places and goods before him. This ownership of “originally appropriated” places and goods by a person implies his right to use and transform these places and goods in any way he sees fit, provided only that he does not change thereby uninvitedly the physical integrity of places and goods originally appropriated by another person. In particular, once a place or good has been first appropriated by, in John Locke’s phrase, ‘mixing one’s labor’ with it, ownership in such places and goods can be acquired only by means of a voluntary – contractual – transfer of its property title from a previous to a later owner.

    From this philosophical foundation arises the state – defined as “an agency that possesses a compulsory territorial monopoly of ultimate decision-making (jurisdiction) and/or the right to tax” – thus anarcho-capitalism negates itself. The problem is in the idea of “property.”

    Bear in mind, some people are much better traders than others (due to differences in time preference), and, all else being equal, the majority of property – particularly real estate containing essential resources such as arable land, metal ore, and fresh water – would, in time, rest in fewer and fewer hands.

    Since there is no limit to the amount of “property” one may amass in a system based on these axioms, one may easily envision property owners covenanting together in mutual agreements for protection and enforcement of their own agreed upon rules in their holdings – such as use fees (aka “taxes”) – and even hiring mercenaries to enforce their will upon their territories – but wait: that’s the state.

    And when you own everything, anything anyone did anywhere amounts to aggression against your property.

    But hey, that’s the system we have now, isn’t it? And isn’t this pretty much the process by which the system we have now arose, as a historical matter?

    And what we have now is not Zion – the society founded upon the Golden Rule, where this condition prevails.

    Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

    There is no ownership in Zion. Property, and its necessary companion, inequality, is what kills Zion. This is how Zion ends.

    4 Nephi 1:24-26
    24 And now, in this two hundred and first year there began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and of the fine things of the world.

    25 And from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them.

    26 And they began to be divided into classes; and they began to build up churches unto themselves to get gain, and began to deny the true church of Christ.

    I recommend reading “Approaching Zion” for some interesting observations in these matters.

    1. I have to point out that Zion is the pure in heart – pure, that is, before God, being filled by his spirit, therefore the inhabitants have the love of God and serve one another willingly, joyfully, rather than just doing “nice” things resentfully for each other and saying, falsely, that they love one another. Zion is a society where everyone serves one another because that is who and what they are in their natures, not a collection people who are acting against what they feel, doing things they don’t want to do – which is hypocrisy.

      Hence the necessity of crying mightily unto God to be filled with his love, to be forgiven of our sins, to be made clean and pure, to receive the Holy Ghost – even until he answers us. Then we will be of such a character as to be fit for Zion.

      Moses 7:27
      27 And Enoch beheld angels descending out of heaven, bearing testimony of the Father and Son; and the Holy Ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion.

      Money (property) may be seen as the measure of man’s hatred for his fellow man; it is a matter of control, and a lack of faith in God.

    2. Also, the fact that the Golden Rule is compatible with anarcho-capitalism (that is, one may obey the Golden Rule from within the system) means nothing – the Golden Rule is compatible with all known ethical systems. There is no law against doing good.

    3. I have been much too busy the past few weeks, but have been thinking about this conversation.

      So many things seem to come down to words and the meaning of words, don’t they? As in the other thread with power and authority, I’m not sure I understand the terms yet, at least in a gospel sense.

      What is property?

      What kind of economics will exist in Zion? Will we have the same needs for products? (pencils, paper, clothing, etc.) that we have today?

      I don’t have the answers, and i still enjoy Austrian economics, but I have a lot more questions to think about now. That’s a good thing.

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