Nov. 9th, 2008

alessandro_bard: (Default)
The passage of Prop8 made me feel more than a little ill. Much soul-searching was done in the name of trying to understand what more might have been done to stop it. This battle is not over, though I'm not too sure what to do now.

So I, too, hear much in this post-Prop8 world about boycotting Utah (!) and/or the Mormons, and/or stripping tax-exempt status away. This bothers me deeply.

While much if it is born of the frustration which is widely felt and the desire to "do something!" about the issue, it troubles me to see how broad a brush is being used here to paint "the opposition". Take a breath, take a seat, and pour yourself some of your favorite beverage.

Most of us have been to Utah. If you've spent any time there at all (outside the airport), you'll know that they are a deeply divided people, between the LDS and everyone else. What you may not realize is that the LDS is also a deeply divided people. I could go on about the old "I know a few [members of a group] who aren't like [the common stereotypes of that group]", but instead let me direct you here:

http://www.sltrib.com/Faith/ci_10798657

This is a column written by a longtime Salt Lake Tribune writer and Mormon. Yes, I like the way he says things, but I encourage you to also read some of the reader replies to the article.

I find some hope there. While the LDS organized its political efforts, there are plenty of members who disagree with their tenets. In the end, though, they weren't the ones who voted - a bunch of us here in the Pacific time zone did. Can we find support in the Mormons for civil rights? It seems unlikely, but perhaps, yes. But we have to approach them, not try to make them irrelevant. The anti-civil-rights voices have done a good enough job of convincing the population of the US that it's OK to think of a class of people as irrelevant, as less than human. Showing them that no, many of us are rather certain that it's not OK, and that these people are better people than the "official" humans is the way to change that.

(I have a longtime principle that no church should have any form of tax-exempt status, but that has nothing to do with recent events and everything to do with who gets to decide whether an organization is a "church" or not.)

Be that as it may, a carpet-bombing boycott isn't the way to teach. It isn't the way to promote understanding. It isn't the way to be effective. We have to work in an engaging way. A positive way. A convincing way.

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alessandro_bard

May 2010

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