18 thoughts on “LDS Apostle D. Todd Christofferson Did NOT Say that it is Okay for LDS Members to Support Same-Sex Marriage

  1. http://www.religionnews.com/2015/03/17/mormons-free-back-gay-marriage-social-media-lds-apostle-says/

    Sounds like it was a lot more than just your interview transcript which is being cited. (At least three interviews, two with the Tribune, and one on KUTV).

    Regardless there is a big difference between thinking two people (capable of giving informed adult consent) should have the legal right to marry if they choose, and thinking the Church is wrong in its doctrine that some of those choices will constitute significant sin. One may simply have the libertarian (type) approach that government doesn’t need to legislate this particularly moral choice. Further, one might be nervous that establishing the precedent of using government to enforce moral choices can come back to bite you when you are no longer in the majority.

  2. From the article: ‘I think that it is possible to be against same-sex marriage because the relationship itself is sinful, but to still politically support its legalization because you don’t think it is possible to impose religious views of sin on others in a pluralistic society. (I think that there are good, secular reasons to be opposed the legalization– see http://discussingmarriage.org — but that is a different issue.) I don’t have a problem with that and don’t think that it is a serious error for those who belive that way. It is reasonable even if I think it is wrong.’

    This is where I am. I understand and believe that homosexuality is wrong and immoral, but I still support the legalization of same sex marriage because I don’t believe I have the right to impose my religious views on people who don’t share my beliefs.

  3. Aaron, do you believe that opposition to legal recognition of same-sex marriage can only be religious in character?

  4. I have long considered the argument that I shouldn’t impose my “religion” on anyone else. Though I often hear this, it has never struck me as an internally consistent rationale. It seems to present more problematic questions than it answers.

    Which of my views are purely “religious”? Which of my views are not religious? How do I distinguish?

    Why am I supposed to avoid allowing my “religious” views to inform my actions, particularly in support of civil government?

    Does “pluralistic” mean void of religious influence?

    Which civil laws are NOT based in moral issues (read “RELIGIOUS”)?

    What should I teach my children? These are simply MY religious views. You can take them or leave them because of that apology. Well, I certainly don’t want to come across as some kind of bigot. I’ll just keep it to myself.

  5. No, I’m sure there are other reasons people might use to oppose same sex marriage. I’ve even heard some of them. For me, though, they aren’t convincing as reasons to keep a whole segment of the population from being able to have the same legal protections as another section of the population.

  6. As a libertarian, I believe that people should be able to do anything they want as long as it doesn’t interfere with the equal rights of others. Some will say, pointing to the Proclamation on the Family, that same sex marriage interferes with the rights of children to grow up with a mother and a father. Fair enough, but that’s a religious viewpoint that I don’t see as fair to impose by force on the rest of the world. Like Elder Christofferson says, we should use persuasion rather than force. There are certain things, such as murder, rape, theft, etc. that have been so long understood as wrong and a violation of rights, that are correctly proscribed by law, but others aren’t as clear cut, and same sex marriage is one of those things, I believe.

  7. I am against murdering people, but don’t believe i should enforce that belief against others who are not in my faith. I’m also against stealing, but don’t think it’s OK to pass laws enshrining my religion. Sure I’ve bought into Satan’s false dilemma, but heh, at least I’m not forcing my religion on anyone. I’m sure the world would be a better place if everyone thunk like I.

  8. Although I lean libertarian, as well. I also recognize that there tends to be an argument of “anything goes so long as no one else is harmed” throughout the libertarian persuasion. This tends to be even more prevalent in the “legalize drugs” argument, although has some bearing here and other social issues.

    There is the idea that drugs should be legal in that only the user is harmed (assuming no DUI events, or such) and in the true libertarian view, the user also gives up rights to any sort of safety net or medical care needed due to the consequences of such use, unless s/he pays for it her/himself. This acknowledges that drug use is harmful, but allows for free use so long as the user is only harming themselves of their own volition.

    However, what then of the supplier? If the argument is that the anything goes so long as no one else is harmed, how can there be legally or morally a supplier that meets this standard. That supplier is harming the user by providing the substance that may harm them. And if libertarianism directs that there can be no supplier, as they provide the means of harm towards others, well, then we are basically right back where we are now.

    Sorry, not trying to thread-jack (although I think that there are some parallels to several social issues). Rather, I would postulate that the religious codes that have been given by a loving Heavenly Father are most apt to do us no harm and avoid even unforeseen consequences that society does not usually recognize initially, than what we tend to think will do us (or society) no harm. True freedom is found in submission to His ways.

    Then there is the whole balancing act of trying to remain our brother’s keeper and try to provide direction that matches what Father has given us and still allow for free agency as we must. But we have seen, regardless of laws or mores, agency always is allowed and followed. The question is, how well do we accept the consequences?

  9. “Some will say, pointing to the Proclamation on the Family, that same sex marriage interferes with the rights of children to grow up with a mother and a father. Fair enough, but that’s a religious viewpoint that I don’t see as fair to impose by force on the rest of the world.”

    My understanding of libertarianism is that protection of rights is the pre-eminent role of government.

    So what do you do when the rights of children and the rights of same-sex couples collide?

    Especially when the “right” the same-sex couple is asserting is to have others sanction their union?

  10. It would have been easier for this all to make rational sense if the nation had focused on marriage as being an institution to protect the rights of children from the beginning.

    By the way, per the argument about “what, should people procreate first and then marry?” the answer is that this was exactly what people sometimes used to do, at least per my recollection of A Midwife’s Tale. The idea was that a woman in labor, when asked the identify of the father, was at that point most likely to tell the truth.

    It is obvious from statistics that children from broken homes and homes that variously denigrate marriage are drastically more likely to be poor, abused and suicidal as a class than children born into homes that start off as heterosexual unions that comply with the various rules of society (e.g., marriage before producing children). And yet we, as a society, have bent over backward to ensure that no one feels bad about anything they might do, so long as it isn’t overtly and immediately harmful to others. And this includes making light of out-of-wedlock pregnancy and divorce, etc.

    Thus it seems incongruous for people who maintained their silence in the face of the other assaults on the family to suddenly speak up against a form of marriage that categorically cannot produce children from the two participants, leading to an entire class of children who must necessarily be wrested from one or both biological parents if participants in that form of marriage choose to be parents.

    It doesn’t make the objection wrong. It just makes the objection seem hollow, as the only objection raised against the many institutions that damage children.

  11. I respect my libertarian friends, and see much value in a libertarian philosophy. Yet libertarians who are willing to redefine marriage miss the subtle but real danger that redefining and deconstructing marriage will weaken the natural, self-sustaining, multigenerational family and the churches, the two institutions most capable of standing up to an otherwise all-powerful state.

    Then, of course, there are the moral arguments, which the Court is oblivious to, or maybe not. Oddly enough, Justice Kennedy referenced “spirituality” in his opinion. Why his version of spirituality should be part of his supposedly secular decision is beyond me.

    As for me, after positively noting the four stinging and rebuking dissents on secular grounds including 29 pages read in full by the Chief Justice from the bench, I am sticking with the wisdom of Proclamation on the Family, which addresses a number of family-related issues, both spiritual and temporal.

  12. Dear Brother Stone,

    As I am fond of saying, “I love the idea of an omniscient God who will, at some future day, share His opinion about all things with each of us.”

    I usually say that when I am irritated at the petty stupidity or venality of some individual, who I know or of whom I have merely been informed. But it would also apply to those who did not hear what was being clearly said.

Comments are closed.