Thursday, November 6, 2008

Musings and Ramblings

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.

15 comments:

momof5 said...

I am so happy about the outcome of Prop. 8! Thank you to all those people who worked so hard. I love the way you write so clearly!!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Atta girl! (oh, just kidding.) But here in the midwest we were watching your vote closely. I told my sister that if California can vote Yes on Prop8 as, like you said, one of the more progressive/liberal states, it will send a message to other (more conservative) states to not waste time by going there. So thanks to all who helped make the prop understood and defended.

An Ordinary Mom said...

It really does come down to freedom of religion.

Cammi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sea Star said...

It has been very exciting to be involved in this effort. I don't think our goal was to persuade people to think like we do but to simply let them know that they aren't alone in thinking that marriage should be between a man and a woman. So many people were thrilled to see lawn signs pop up and people on street corners waving banners. It reminded them that there are many people that still believe in traditional values. Even if the media makes it seem like everyone believes otherwise. I am thrilled that prop 8 passed but know that the fight isn't really over. We will continue to be bombarded with these kinds of things and each time we need to be stronger. But with each battle, we are getting even better organized and more united in our efforts.

Great work! to all those that helped in any way.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I am almost too scared to celebrate. Can it really be true? I am so relieved that it passed and you should feel happy that you worked so hard and put yourself out there on such a controvercial stage. I thank you.

Mother Teresa said...

Although I am no longer raising my own children, in behalf of my children, who are raising my precious grandchildren, THANK YOU ! You and everyone else who worked on prop 8,for all your hard work. As I've watched the news, and heard and read all the opposition to it, I've had little hope that it would pass."The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing". Thank you for doing something.

carolyn said...

I work with a young mother who was outraged at the fact that the media is saying Prop 8 passed because of the Mormons. She says " I am not a Mormon and don't plan on ever being a Mormon, but I believed that Prop 8 was right for our state, I am mad that the media says I didn't help to make it pass" she is one of many non LDS people that I work with that were out there fighting to help Prop 8 pass. I wonder how many other non LDS people feel this way!!

Angela said...

I am still going to give you the ATTA Girl comment. It takes a village to pass something like this, but every individual counts! Good job on all of the hard work -you and others gave!

Sonja said...

I have to tell you that I love the urgency in your voice! I really have a vision of women, mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmas, aunts and friends coming together with a powerful voice and saying, "No more! The buck stops here." I can tell you have that same vision and I love you for that. Even though I have this vision I need to come out of my shell a little more to make anything happen.

I admire your for giving your all to something you believe in. It must have been a great feeling to have that validated at the polls. You've been a great example to me, Michal.

mindyluwho said...

I, too, am very motivated by the people of other faiths who helped to pass this proposition. It's comforting to know that we are not alone in our beliefs and that many other good people care about society and the effect this would have had, had it not passed.

"Atta girl/boy" to all of us!

Suldog said...

I'll be a somewhat dissenting voice here.

I think the real problem is that the state (any state, any government) feels it has the right to decide who should or shouldn't be married, and then charges a fee for allowing it.

First off, whenever a possible cashflow to the state exists, it is unlikely that the state will decide to not avail itself of that cashflow. Thus, we can expect to see marriage (and any other licensed thing) expanded to include as broad a range of citizens as possible.

Second, and more important, I believe that marriage should be a religious ceremony. Why should the state have any business in that? My marriage was performed in a church. That's the one I recognize. If the state were to tell me tomorrow that my marriage was illegal, I wouldn't care. I know which one counts.

So, not a total dissent from your views, but perhaps a belief that most folks - on either side of this issue - are approaching it from a position that I disagree with from the start, that marriage is something the state should have a hand in.

Michal said...

suldog--

i think you make a point that many agree with. at first glance, it seems unnecessary for the state to be involved in marriage at all. but i do think that there is a good reason that the government takes an interest in (and meddles in, if you like,) marriage.

this is because marriage is good for society. it is better for children, who become society's leaders later. marriage encourages nurturing of children, teaching them. this situation also encourages youth to take care of the elderly, as they are bound together by powerful family bonds. As these things benefit society, the government makes marriage legal in order to encourage it. thus, there are tax breaks and other legal benefits to marriage.

i read a book recently by a sociology professor at pepperdine university (james q. wilson), called "the marriage problem: how our culture has weakened families." The book talks about the enormous impact marriage has on society. he blames many of the problems today on the disintegration of marriage within society. problems that are popularly blamed on media, poverty, etc, can all be traced back to the fact that so many children are not being raised in married homes.

anyway, my point here is that the state does need marriage to thrive and be a validated institution in our society. however, i predict that those who opposed prop 8 will soon be pursuing the very option you bring up-- taking marriage off the books completely, making it a strictly religious agreement. and i plan to fight for marriage then, too.

Suldog said...

Michal:

I agree with most of what you say here. Marriage is a very important part of society, for all of the reasons you mention. However, I believe also that it can be just as important a part of society without the government interfering. That would require we who believe in God (and marriage) to convince/convert/proselytize huge numbers of people, of course, so perhaps turning to lawmakers to enforce the beliefs we hold is an easier path. I understand the draw of it.

(Note, please, that I said "easier", not "easy"! What you folks accomplished - as I know from my own political battles - was overwhelmingly hard!)

Rebecca said...

I thought I had read and left a comment on your last post, but I remember now that Mindy wrote about Prop 8 as well.

I didn't see it as you patting yourself on the back or anything of the sort, just diving into what you believe in.

I have a lot of respect for that, and am happy at the outcome!