The LDS church is making lots of news these days and it’s all in conjunction with the passage of California Prop 8. In two days I read three articles that mentioned protests against Prop 8 and all three made sure to mention the LDS church in some way.
Mormons can look at this in one of two ways: 1) We did it, we have influence and now people notice it. 2) Hey wait, we weren’t the only ones who supported Prop 8. Why are you focusing on us?
I think part of the reason is because the Los Angeles Temple is a major monument closely located next to a large gay population. It’s the easiest and most noticeable place to set up shop close to home. There aren’t any Evangelical mega-churches that strongly supported Prop 8 (like Skyline Wesleyan) within walking distance of any gay neighborhoods.
Now this news of possibly boycotting the entire state of Utah takes it to a whole new level. I have to concede that if this movement picks up momentum it’s singling out Mormons. To be consistent, the gay community should also boycott Colorado Springs because that’s where Focus on the Family is located and they should boycott Connecticut because that’s where the Knights of Columbus is headquartered. For that matter they should boycott the entire state of Arkansas for not allowing gay couples to be foster parents (but I think that boycott has been silently underway for decades).
I’ll be interested to see how the LDS church and it’s membership will react to this heightened scrutiny. There’s a certain Mormon population that will take delight in “being persecuted”. Other’s may feel this isn’t the battle they wanted to get into. I’m sure the San Francisco and Los Angeles Mission Presidents are less than thrilled that this is what their missionaries will be talking about for the next several years.
My own church did not mention politics at all over the last couple of months except to say “we’re not going to talk about politics.” Part of that comes from a belief that if you disciple people correctly you don’t need to tell them how to vote, they’ll quite naturally know how to vote. It also comes from a belief that the Kingdom of God is the first and foremost thing we should be known for building. State propositions and political parties are not the thing we want people to feel they must align themselves with to enter our doors. The motivation for that is borne out in these news articles, we don’t want to be known as THE ones who did this or that politically.
I’d like to request that all comments focus on the after effects of the LDS church’s support of Proposition 8 and avoid the positive and negative arguments of the Proposition itself.