Monday, November 3, 2008

Arizona Proposition 102, Get out and vote!

I'm stoked for election day to be here, is it going to be positive?  I guess that depends on what you hope happens of course.   Ultimately life will go on no matter what happens with our favored candidates and preferences on propositions.  Recently I had someone at church discuss that they thought that it was interesting that our Church (The Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-Day Saints) had such a strong opinion on Proposition 102, the Constitutional Marriage Amendment,  in Arizona.  It certainly took us by suprise to hear such support for anything having to do with Election day but it's not unprecedented, the church supports items that have moral consequences and infringe on anything that would limit the Church's freedom of practicing religion, which it's clear from various documented instances that this issue could have consequences, see this story from NPR:

NPR Article- When Gays and Religion Clash

If you have any doubts about the Church's perspective on Morality and supporting policies that have far reaching Moral effects I suggest the following reading: 
Religious Values and Public Policy: Dallin H. Oaks  - This Article describes in really great details the justification and reasoning behind Church support of non-political /non- party based policies and propositions.  

Historical Precedent for voting on moral issues
One very key and visible instance of support for membership voter action in Church History was regarding  Prohibition and Utah's part in repealing that Amendment.  Long story short the Prophet at the time, Heber J. Grant,  exhorted the saints to vote against repealing "prohibition", aka the law prohibited commerce in alcoholic beverages.  The state of Utah ended up having the deciding vote that overturned prohibition.   In a 2003 article (linked here) President Hinckley discussed this issue and said how it affected President Grant, "President Heber J. Grant, then President of this Church, had pleaded with our people against voting to nullify Prohibition. It broke his heart when so many members of the Church in this state disregarded his counsel".   

How could Utah have let that happen?  In 1933 Utah must have been at least 90% LDS?  I would propose the following:
  • Not enough members got out and voted for maintaining prohibition
  • Many members of the Church rationalized themselves out of the support and didn't follow the prophet's admonition
I haven't done much research on that particular policy, my opinion on it is irrelevant but the issue at hand is will enough member's follow the clear call by our Church leadership to vote for maintaining marriage as God intended between a man and a woman.   Is it possible that what will likely win this proposition is simply that enough people show up who would likley vote yes?

Remember Edmund Burke’s statement: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.", ie.  The only thing nessary for 102 to fail is for member's of the LDS to church to NOT show up at the booth. 

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