I was a little uncomfortable with all the "atta girl" comments in the past few days regarding my work on Prop 8. And after re-reading my last post, I fear that it may have sounded like I was asking for them. I just want to take a moment to say that this effort passed because of the sacrifice and work of over 100,000 people like me-- and many of them did much more than I did. I was a little drop in a big bucket, but felt compelled to share some of the ins and outs of how our grassroots effort brought about success.
It has been exciting to be a part of something so much bigger than myself, yet something that I care so deeply about. And though I object to the claims that the LDS Church was overstepping its bounds by calling its members to get involved and to "give [their] best efforts" to helping Proposition 8 pass, I will admit that I don't think it would have passed without the involvement of so many members of the Church. We have the spirit of volunteerism and consecration, but also the organization already in place to participate effectively in a grassroots effort.
And yet, this was not passed by Mormons alone. We are responsible for a very small percentage of the population here, and were a part of a larger coalition of other churches. It was a privilege to work alongside other people of faith, who saw the long reaching impact on our society and children of preserving traditional marriage.
With that being said, some reports I read (and the tasteless commercial that aired on the day of the election) accused the "Mormons" of trying to force our beliefs on others in regards to same sex marriage. Um, the last time I checked, Californians were free to choose and vote as they see fit. Those who rallied around Prop 8 were striving to educate, but we were instructed to never argue or to become heated in any way when talking to our fellow citizens about this issue. I fail to see how our involvement in speaking out to defend what we believe in is any different from the people of the gay and lesbian community speaking out about what they believe to be their right. We have the same freedom of speech and freedom of religion that they enjoy.
I know that some call us old fashioned for our beliefs. Chastity is not in vogue. Modesty? An archaic ideal, rejected even for our young daughters and not just for adults. Integrity also seems to be fading fast as a sought after quality, as cheating is on the rise from elementary schools to universities to Wall Street. But I am thrilled that the majority of Californians (arguably one of the most "progressive" states in the Union) still believe in marriage between a man and a woman. Those marriages may not always be perfect. Too many end in divorce. But it is the fundamental building block unit of our society (not the individual--the family) and we need to be striving towards the ideal that every child deserves a mother and a father who are married to each other and completely loyal to one another. Children thrive in that environment. They develop healthy attitudes about relationships, sexuality, and their own self esteem. They desire to have a marriage and family of their own someday. And thus, society prospers and continues on.
And that's the bottom line.