In the Church News there is an article about religious freedom being eroded by encroaching social and cultural "rights" which conflict with religious freedom. The case of Perry v. Schwartzenegger in California, which challenges the Proposition 8 vote was cited by Elder Lance Wickman, the Church's General Counsel (lawyer). In that case the public's decision to prohibit same-sex marriage is being challenged on the basis that voters cannot negate a fundamental right.
The Church is alarmed about the growing potential for conflict between social and cultural "rights" on the one hand, and the free exercise of religion on the other.
The deeper problem the Church has with their position on this legal conflict in California, is the position taken on the Salt Lake City ordinance the Church endorsed a several weeks ago. In that decision, the Church announced that employment and housing were "fundamental rights" which same-sex attraction could not forfeit. The Church endorsed the use of coercive governmental power to compel employers and property owners to permit homosexual employees and renters, upon pain of punishment by the Courts. This was an extraordinary departure from past positions of the Church, and represented the first time the Church approved governmental compulsion against employers and property owners to protect homosexual conduct.
The effect of the Church's change in view on the Salt Lake City ordinance was almost immediate. A follow-on state-wide survey after the Church's changed position showed that there was a dramatic shift in Utah's view of tolerance toward homosexual behavior. Essentially, Mormons all over Utah fell in line behind the Church's new attitude.
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.
Our sentiments exactly. We would like to keep in touch with you. See our website. www.standardofliberty.org and our blogReplyDelete
Yes, employment, housing & even marriage are divine 'rights' we all have, but if we break the laws of God we can lose those rights.ReplyDelete
Thus, if practicing homosexuality is a sin than those who do so lose the right to freely choose employment, housing & marriage.
But where are the just men courageous & valiant enough to stand for right & inforce needed consequences for evil & thus protect our society & families & Church from destruction?
Re: Social and Cultural RightsReplyDelete
I really appreciate and agree with the above comment by "Anonymous". Through sin we can and should have consequences and lose rights, even when those rights were previously ours. Men can even lose their right to be alive by committing murder.
In Alma 1:33 we read: And it came to pass that by thus exercising the law upon them, every man suffering according to that which he had done, they became more still, and durst not commit any wickedness if it were known; therefore, there was much peace among the people of Nephi until the fifth year of the reign of the judges.
If we want to "preserve our families, society, and Church from destruction", we have to be willing to be a society where there are consequences for bad actions -- and this must be the case in families, Church, and society. Any entity where this is not the case will ultimately cave in upon itself.