Utah school officials object to anti-suicide signs

Leonard Ridley LGBT Suicide Trapped by the Mormons Truth Utah Values Youth

h/t Natalie R. Collins

Nebo School District official Lana Hiskey:

“We’ve actually had a boatload of phone calls coming in and they’re very concerned about the content … [but] it’s not that his beliefs are different than other people’s beliefs, it’s not that at all …”

Read Natalie’s commentary at Gay awareness signs too adult-themed for Utah County

36 thoughts on “Utah school officials object to anti-suicide signs

  1. The most mind blowing part is the question of the ten year old girl about if SHE felt she was being bullied, and thereby, by implication, she might be gay.

    Why else would someone try to post a sign to try to stop children from being bullied to the point of suicide for being different unless the person doing the protesting was responding to a personal case?

    I mean, why else would someone want to speak out against anti-gay bullying? Because it’s the right thing to do and is within common human decency? Surely it can’t be that! /sarcasm

    I’m sure the basic human decency angle didn’t even cross their minds.

  2. In Utah, do the television stations put the address of a place they are reporting about on the screen as general practice? Because that seems to me to be just an invitation to people who don’t like the signs to come out and destroy them, or for protestors to besiege the man’s house.

  3. I knew I was queer in elementary school, but if I saw such a sign, “stop gay suicide, gays are born that way” I doubt I would have associated myself with it. I’ve said this before, and I’m trying to find a better way to explain it: “gays are born that way,” is not good politics and it is offensive. Perhaps a good way to explain it is by relating it to race. “Don’t discriminate based on race. People are born with their skin color.” It doesn’t make sense. The discrimination is not because people didn’t think you were born a certain way, but because there is discrimination regardless of this belief. Mormons are okay conceding that people might be born with “same-gender attraction,” but it is framed in terms of what is done about it. “Oh, you were born black? Okay. Well, I still don’t wanting you drinking out of my water fountain.” “Oh, you were born gay? Well, don’t act on it because it’s sinful.”

    The politics needs to be about “loving the sin until it’s a sin no more” or people having the freedom to love who they want to love, not this “gays are born that way” crap.

  4. Alan, the reason it matters politically is as long as people believe it is a choice, they will feel OK having laws against it. In their minds, if it’s a choice, then people should choose otherwise (because it’s sinful and icky). Unless they see homosexuals as victims of circumstance, people whom God has “made that way”, they won’t empathize and won’t care if there are laws against same-sex marriage.

    The “people should be able to love whom they choose” argument works on me because I lean libertarian. That’s not true of most people in the U.S, so it’s not pragmatic to abandon the “born that way” argument.

  5. its not pragmatic to abandon the born that way argument.

    Jonathan, I would really suggest you look into the rhetoric of religious conservatives nowadays. They say things like, “Even if you’re born that way, you have a choice over your behavior.” The “born that way” argument was expressed in the 1980s and 1990s, and conservatives responded with the attraction/behavior distinction. Certainly, I think conservatives still don’t think “God made them that way”–that homosexual feelings are a worldly aberration, but gay rights organizations aren’t arguing for “God make them that way” anyway; they’re arguing for libertarianism. There’s a disjoint in the conservation in which one both actually believe that someone was born that way and God didn’t make them that way. This is where many Mormons are at in the conservation…even gay Mormons themselves.

    I have an article coming out in Dialogue next issue (Spring), which should do a good job of explaining this using the work of Eve Sedgwick. I would also suggest you look into Lisa Diamond’s work with sexual fluidity in women, since the “born that way” argument actually disenfranchises women in the long term (as well as many men, although fewer studies have been done on men).

  6. Conservatives are making the argument that if someone is born with a “aberrant” sexual preference that the appropriate response is to remain abstinent. Granted.

    Those aren’t the people we’re most likely to sway. I’ve watched people close to me slowly change their mind about same-sex marriage based on four essential points:

    1) People don’t choose their sexual preference.

    2) Asking someone to act contrary to their inborn sexual preferences or to ignore them completely will lead to misery.

    3) Married couples are given benefits that are denied to committed same-sex couples.

    4) Allowing same-sex couples to marry in no way threatens anyone else.

    Without each of those points, I haven’t seen anyone change their mind. I haven’t seen anyone persuaded based on libertarian arguments, even some righty free-market libertarians. Without same-sex couples being victims of an unjust law, I haven’t seen anyone persuaded.

    I’m making a political suggestion. I realize that you’re not a victim to your sexual preference any more than I am to mine, but to persuade the undecided, we have show them that same-sex couples are victims of injustice. It can’t be an injustice if they could simply make a different choice and thereby free themselves from the situation.

    Once the unjust situation has been rectified, they’re no longer victims. The laws made them victims, not something innate to them. People may feel squeamish about being seen as a victim even temporarily, but if they’re not victims in at least some sense, then what grounds do they have to ask society to change the rules?

  7. People may feel squeamish about being seen as a victim even temporarily, but if theyre not victims in at least some sense, then what grounds do they have to ask society to change the rules?

    First off, the fact that minorities have to ask majorities to change the rules rather than rules being made for everyone to begin with is a problem. Supposedly, the US Constitution is supposed to help with this, but not without a considerable amount of grief.

    I do see what you’re saying, but obviously homogenizing all gay people as “victims” is unacceptable. Just like it’s unacceptable to say all women in the Church are “victims” to LDS patriarchy. That takes away people’s agency.

    Here…read this: a very short essay on the history of sexuality studies. Many people find themselves attracted to a different gender than they’re used to and then must choose whether they will “change” their “sexual preference” toward a given person. For others, it just doesn’t work this way.

    As I see, there are two main problems in the current discourse:

    (1) The assumption that all sexuality must be hetero because of notions of “sin” or “unnaturalness” concerning homo.

    (2) The assumption that all sexual preferences — hetero, homo or bi — remain fixed over everyone’s life course.

    Because (2) isn’t true, it allows conservatives to hang onto assumption (1) and give people false hope. This is why I get annoyed at “born that way” arguments because it doesn’t really resolve either problem in the long run. This is why I push for the more “libertarian” arguments.

  8. I hear what you’re saying. Unfortunately, constitutional rights still require our culture to support them even though they technically shouldn’t. The constitution only has as much authority as we give it.

    Not all homosexual people are victims here, just the ones who want to get married. 🙂

    I’m only saying that (2) is true enough (it’s absolutely true for a lot of people even if not all of us) that it easily justifies using the more effective argument. I really don’t think conservatives are who we should aim to convince. I’m going for the people in the middle who can be persuaded to act on their compassion.

    Of course, no one is saying that we all have to use the same argument. Maybe having both arguments out there will get the job done faster.

  9. Alan, the Pope still argues that homosexuality is “naturally disordered.” I still hear Mormons argue that “homosexuality is an abomination” and that it is unnatural.

    Therefore, it is important to point to the evidence that people are born homosexual and that homosexuality is not any more problematic than heterosexuality.

    Your example about skin color is interesting. My reply is that so-called racial discrimination was different. The racist argument was that people other than Europeans supposedly belonged to another species and therefore you had to exclude them from bathrooms, dining facilities, certain workplaces, and “intermarriage,” just like, you would not admit a pig into your bathroom.

    The arguments about racism and sexism both assume that discrimination is OK because neither ethnic minorities nor gays are supposedly fully human. Of course, we need to reply, no, we are all equals and have the same right to pursue happiness.

    Beyond that, racism and sexism have different justification that need to be addressed accordingly.

    You are correct that the brethren that the First Presidency has moved the goal post. Two things: first of all, Boyd Packer has not. He still argues that a loving God would never create a gay person and that homosexuality is unnatural.

    Second, the First Presidency had to abandon its initial line of defense under pressure. Had they not been shamed by the families of gay Mormons and had they not been embarrassed by the life sciences, they would still share Packer’s point of view.

    I agree with you that the new line about requires a different response. However, we still have to educate many Mormons about sexuality. The First Presidency does not speak for all Mormons. Some of us are committed to human rights while others stubbornly cling to their agenda of discrimination.

    We are not quite there yet.

  10. I think the genetic argument is pointless and irrelevant.

    I have ADHD. I got a lot of crap as a kid growing up for it. A lot of studies claim its genetic.

    So what?

    That doesn’t say anything about what to do with it.

    This is just part and parcel of the secularist impulse to imbue pure science with moral meaning, when, fact of the matter is – science has no moral meaning in and of itself.

    Sure there seems to be a gay gene.

    So what?

    Should we kill them all? Genetically alter or cure them all? Accept them all? Make them mayor of Townsville?

    Science has no opinion on that – and it never will.

    So gayness is genetic?

    Congratulations. Have a cookie. So is heart disease. So is being tall.

    What’s your point?

  11. You know, if that Utah community had simply shrugged its shoulders, this wouldn’t have made the news. If everyone living in Utah had Seth’s attitude, I’m sure that GSAs would be allowed at the schools (in fact, Utah has gone out of its way to block GSAs). And the fact is the school received “a boatload of phone calls” … if this is such a big “so what?” what are all those folks calling about?

  12. Jonathan, Hellmut:

    So, today I received literature from some visiting Jehovah’s Witnesses; I basically treat them as my “in” to the current state of things in that faith tradition. Their Christmas publication (which, wow, I didn’t know Jehovah’s Witnesses think that the Wise Men were agents of evil King Herod!)… but anyway, in this publication is a section for young people regarding “How can I explain the Bible’s view of homosexuality?”

    Under a section that says: “If someone says homosexuals can’t change their orientation; they’re born that way,” it reads:

    The Bible doesn’t comment on the biology of homosexuals, although it acknowledges that some traits are deeply ingrained (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5). Even if some are oriented toward the same sex, the Bible tells Christians to shun homosexual acts. Suggestion: Rather than get ensnared in a debate about the cause of homosexual desires, emphasize that the Bible prohibits homosexual conduct. To make a comparison, you could say: “You know, many claim that violent behavior can have a genetic root and that as a result, some people are predisposed to it (Proverbs 29:22). What if that was true? As you might know, the Bible condemns fits of anger (Psalm 37:8, Ephesians 4:31). Is that standard unfair just because some may be inclined toward violence?”

    So, as you can see, “born that way” ain’t gonna get you anywhere with today’s crowd, because as I said earlier, “born that way” floated through Christian communities in the 80s and 90s, and the attraction/behavior distinction was the response — for Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, evangelicals, Adventists — they all got the same memo from their leaders. Perhaps there was even a group meeting, and each faith took it in their own direction. Mormons did the whole “eternal gender” thing in 1995 thereby rendering everyone officially heterosexual in Heaven. If, Jonathan, you were able to convince people via the “born that way” argument to support same-sex marriage, it’s probably because they didn’t get this memo…or they read it upside-down or something (I’m being slightly facetious).

    Hellmut, I essentially agree with your analysis of the goalpost being moved for the reasons you suggest. The goalpost now being an acknowledgment of “same-sex desire as a ‘core characteristic,'” as LDS leaders have put it in recent years (although they’ve never said “born that way,” to my knowledge). The current goalpost is the attraction/behavior distinction — “love the sinner, not the sin.” You’re right, that the Boyd Packers of Mormonism (who still suggest change) haven’t gone anywhere and don’t seem to be disappearing; but as I explained here, reparative therapy is usually not about “changing orientation” these days.

    Another important point to consider that is often ignored is that conservatives are interested in making their communities less homophobic. They don’t like their children being bullied or driven into despair or pushed away as much as anyone else. They will silence the mean “Boyd Packers” who insist on change. We need to set our sights on the Dallin Oakses of Mormonism, because, well, Oaks will probably be church president someday. I view Oaks as someone who crafted current policy on homosexuality more than the rest of the Quorum (other than Packer who wrote on homosexuality mostly in the 70s).

    Seth @ 12:

    Science has no opinion on that and it never will.

    Mormons don’t entirely divorce science from morality. For example, the advent of birth control definitely shaped Mormon views about the morality of non-procreative sex. But I get your general point that science doesn’t determine morality; still, it certainly influences it. If anything, conservatives look to scientific doubt to maintain a current morality for as long as possible.

  13. It is true, Seth, that people are born tall, better, with the genetic predisposition to become tall.

    That’s why we don’t discriminate against tall people.

    Some humans are born gay. That’s why we shouldn’t discriminate against gays.

    The foundation of western civilization is the principle that the government ought not to sanction people without justification. That is why the Pope argues that homosexuality is “naturally disordered.” Boyd Packer uses different language to make the same point.

    They do that to justify that gays are criminally punished for who they are and can be discriminated against in countless other ways. Once we concede that homosexuality is a natural phenomenon that does not hurt anyone any more than heterosexuality, none of the legal sanctions can be justified within the western framework of justice and good government.

  14. science has no moral meaning in and of itself.

    Zoologists would disagree with you. Of course, human nature has moral meaning. An alpha male that abuses women and children is unfit to rule and is much more likely to be killed and overthrown, for example. See Frans de Waal’s Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex Among Apes.

    Others have pointed out that science requires certain ethical preconditions that include free speech. Science also is a source of power. Karl Popper wrote about that.

    There are many, many ways that science that science feeds directly into ethics and morality and that the scientific enterprise depends on ethics in turn.

    It is true that science is often not sufficient to determine public policy or to prevail in a political struggle but if your position is contradicted by science then your position is vulnerable. In an environment with competitive pressures, which does not always exist, you will lose within a generation.

  15. Alan and Seth, “born that way” is only one part of the argument that can’t stand on it’s own even though you seem to want it to. “So what?” leads to the other parts of the argument, 2-4 in my previous comment.

  16. Alan, I certainly agree with you that we need to adapt to the new defense of discrimination.

    Essentialism remains the high ground. If your view reflects the nature of things and your opponent’s view contradicts the nature of things, many advantages follow by implication.

    It means that your view is realistic and your opponent’s view is unrealistic.

    As for the analogy about a predisposition towards violence that requires discrimination, I would agree with the narrow point. If you hurt others, you need to change your behavior.

    However, the proponents of discrimination now have to demonstrate that gay sex is more problematic than straight sex. It is not sufficient to invoke “God’s word” because people do not agree about God and what she said.

    More importantly, if you want to preserve the freedom to exercise your religion than you should not undermine the freedom of religion for anyone else.

  17. Wrong Hellmut.

    The mere fact that someone is born some way has nothing to do with the discrimination issue.

    As a matter of fact, we do discriminate against tall people.

    Ask a tall girl how hard it is to find a date sometime. Or vis versa with a shorter guy.

    And we discriminate against people who were “born that way” all the time. I wouldn’t hire a guy born blind to work for my taxi company, or a girl born with no legs. We don’t allow people with congenital heart defects to join the infantry or genetic spinal problems. And some people have inherited traits that are undesirable enough that we even discriminate against their right to pass those genes along and have children. There’s a huge hidden debate on the ethics of sterilizing adults with Downs Syndrome to shield them from the problems of pregnancy (a very real concern, given that sexual abuse is such a widespread problem in “group homes”).

    “But wait” you say – “homosexuality isn’t a defect!”

    Says you Hellmut. Says you.

    I personally have no firm opinion on the matter of whether homosexuality is or is not a defect of some sort that’s worth even mentioning on any online debate.

    But I guarantee you a lot of other people do have a pretty firm opinion on it, and the science isn’t going to provide a lot of ultimate guidance.

    The LDS Church’s shift in stances on stuff like birth control or homosexuality took the science into account when reformulating positions. True. But they got their stances from morality they derived from somewhere ELSE than science – which has no moral content whatsoever.

    And whether the gay community wants to admit it or not, the scientific data HAS been processed by religious communities already, and they already have made their conclusions from the science.

    You’ve “gone about as far as you can go” as far as science’s contribution to this debate. Any further harping on the topic is going to be merely irrelevant.

    No, if you want to effect change in attitudes from this point on, you are going to have to do it with something other than scientific data – like appealing to LDS scripture, perhaps legal rights arguments, or even just old-fashioned appeals to human decency. But the “science” tool in the toolbox is pretty much done in this debate.

    Your continued appeals to “science” are not helping your cause whatsoever. All it really does is make you look like just one more misguided secularist who can’t tell the difference between scientific data and moral data. There’s a widespread feeling among religious thinkers (myself included) that many secularists have cut themselves off from their previous sources of moral decision-making, and have since been feeling a bit of a gap in their moral world as a result. We get the distinct impression that they are trying to fill in this gap with a rather mystical and unwarranted view of “Science.”

    Continuing to treat “Science” as if it were some magic pixie dust that can miraculously produce moral decisions on the spot merely reinforces the notion in our minds that you don’t really understand moral decision-making, and it makes your arguments significantly less potent.

  18. O, please, Seth. I know that you are not a fool. Would you, please, stop acting like one?

    I am sorry but this doesn’t warrant a serious response.

  19. Seth, just because religious communities turn to the idea of God for their morality doesn’t mean, de facto, that religious communities get their morality solely from God. They just frame it this way. Religions borrow from secular humanism all the time, but they never cite their sources.

    Like was argued in a previous thread, you don’t need God to be an environmentalist, and in fact, your morality can be deeply intertwined with your feelings about science. For you to say that they’re separate — that the morality comes from somewhere else — is just you overlaying your cultural beliefs on someone else. A lot of people do take “born that way” and assume a direction of nondiscrimination. Conservatives come up with ways to continue discrimination, and are not willing to view the limitations of their logic. An attraction/behavior distinction makes very little sense at its edges, but the position has been formalized like its a science itself. The only reason I’m getting on Jonathan’s and Helmut’s case here is because the attraction/behavior distinction is conservatives’ response to science, so the conversation does have to move to “stage 2.”

    Jonathan, your stage 2 needs reformulating. For instance, a lot of people in mixed orientation marriages are happy, and singleness (or celibacy) works for a lot of people. Neither both uniformly lead to misery. Just like the problem of your point 1, you’re making generalizations that fall flat to scrutiny, and because they don’t hold up, conservatives will dismiss them.

  20. Whether my eye sight is sufficient to pilot a car or an airplane is not a matter of opinion but can be precisely measured, Seth. The Department of Motor Vehicles determined my ability to read.

    No matter what I or anyone else may believe about my visual abilities, the experiment has determined that I cannot responsibly operate an automobile without eye glasses.

    The experiment was repeated with eye glasses. Fortunately, I was able to demonstrate that I saw sufficiently well to read signs and interpret the traffic. Therefore, the state of Maryland issued a driver’s license, which is conditional. Unless I wear prescription eye glasses or contacts, I cannot drive a car.

    I agree with you that there was a moral principle that rendered the measurement of my eye sight meaningful. That principle is that my liberty ends where it infringes on the liberty of others, which is commonly credited to John Stuart Mill but is also an implication of the ancient golden rule.

    Applied to driving that means that my liberty to operate a motor vehicle does not give me the right to kill or maim somebody else.

    You are right that a determination of whether a blind or vision impaired person requires a moral premise. In this case, as in many others, that moral premise is the golden rule.

    Logic does the rest of the work with the support of two measurements.

    If you can justify the discrimination of gays in terms of the golden rule and however many observations you require, I might be compelled to agree with you.

    Unfortunately, the advocates of gay discrimination do not have any such argument any longer. There are none. Zoology and psychiatry have dispatched them.

    Religious people may refuse to submit their opinions to logic and evidence. That is unfortunate because in the process, they are reducing their religion to prejudice and superstition. I find that unfortunate and sacrilegious.

  21. Hellmut, you’re talking to the wrong guy if you want a spirited defense of the current LDS marriage campaign. I’m just saying they have their reasons, and while I don’t agree with them, they also aren’t as stupid as people in pro-gay echo chambers typically assume.

    People out there see the gay marriage push as hijacking of a socially valuable and vital institution for what they view as entirely selfish and misguided reasons. You don’t have to like it, but there it is.

    Perhaps they need to do a better job of stating their position. But don’t assume they can’t every come up with a viable argument. I happen to share your opinion that NOM hasn’t done an exactly stand-up job of articulating things. But the quality of the debaters does not always accurately reflect the quality of the positions in general.

  22. Sigh.

    The mere fact that someone is born some way has nothing to do with the discrimination issue.

    As a matter of fact, we do discriminate against tall people.

    This is your one good point in the comment. We do discriminate against people in perfectly valid ways for attributes over which they have no control. If we’re going to argue in favor of gay tolerance, then leaving it with only “they are born that way” is a non-argument.

    The LDS Churchs shift in stances on stuff like birth control or homosexuality took the science into account when reformulating positions. True. But they got their stances from morality they derived from somewhere ELSE than science which has no moral content whatsoever.

    They reformulated their morality based on social change. That’s the way they always do it, slowly de-emphasizing the doctrines that directly contradict science as well as the evolving moral zeitgeist. Maybe you think they got their morality from a god. Then it seems that the god got its morality from human social change, informed in part by science.

    And whether the gay community wants to admit it or not, the scientific data HAS been processed by religious communities already, and they already have made their conclusions from the science.

    No. Religious communities have not processed the scientific data, and they have not drawn from the science to make any conclusions. Their conclusions were made for them since before they were born. They take a very long time to realize the implications of science. The religious people who have read the science and have wrapped their elastic apologetics around it are strangers among their own people still.

    Youve gone about as far as you can go as far as sciences contribution to this debate. Any further harping on the topic is going to be merely irrelevant.

    You don’t think that there should be any studies about mental/physical health, child-rearing, psychology, marriage issues, etc. with respect to homosexuals versus heterosexuals? Why not? Don’t these have anything to do with the “moral” concerns of the religious? Are the religious people perfectly confident that homosexuals can lead good, productive, fulfilling, and healthy lives? Are the religious people confident that gay marriage will have no measurable negative impact on society? Does the ability to quantify effects like this automatically make them irrelevant because it is science?

    No, if you want to effect change in attitudes from this point on, you are going to have to do it with something other than scientific data like appealing to LDS scripture, perhaps legal rights arguments, or even just old-fashioned appeals to human decency. But the science tool in the toolbox is pretty much done in this debate.

    Science is the realm of anything that is observable and measurable. It is not an exclusive club full of people working in lab coats. It is not defined by that one class you took in high school that you hated. To discount an entire epistemology like science is naive. You’re basically saying that we shouldn’t present evidence in our arguments. You’re saying that we shouldn’t back our words up with real data.

    Your continued appeals to science are not helping your cause whatsoever. All it really does is make you look like just one more misguided secularist who cant tell the difference between scientific data and moral data. Theres a widespread feeling among religious thinkers (myself included) that many secularists have cut themselves off from their previous sources of moral decision-making, and have since been feeling a bit of a gap in their moral world as a result. We get the distinct impression that they are trying to fill in this gap with a rather mystical and unwarranted view of Science.

    There’s a widespread belief among secularists (myself included) that religious thinkers have no moral basis on which to stand in the first place. Their morals, which they originally inherit from being human and growing up in this society, are subject to and informed by the particular delusions which were emphatically taught to them since childhood, some of which are trivially disproved by science, and many more of which lack any evidence whatsoever outside of emotional reasoning. Religious people can’t even come to a consensus about their own beliefs, even within the same church. You want to talk about “mystical” and “unwarranted”? Bring it.

    Continuing to treat Science as if it were some magic pixie dust that can miraculously produce moral decisions on the spot merely reinforces the notion in our minds that you dont really understand moral decision-making, and it makes your arguments significantly less potent.

    Continuing to treat “Science” as though it were some boring class subject practiced by geeks in labs and had no relevance whatsoever to human decision-making and societal progress merely reinforces the notion in our minds that you don’t really understand science.

  23. Hellmut @31, please. If you think someone’s comment doesn’t merit a response, then don’t respond to it. Especially not by accusing the person of acting like a fool.

  24. Carson, you seem to be under the odd impression that I’m trying to bear my testimony here. I’m not. I left it wide open where you want to get your morality from. It doesn’t have to be God, or Joseph Smith, or anything like that. I’m just saying you don’t get it from science.

    Neither do I recall in my previous comments making the point that science is irrelevant. It provides a lot of material for us to make moral judgments on. My point was that it’s just amoral material for us to work with. The moral judgments come from somewhere else (you can take your own pick where).

    As an aside, I know it’s fashionable for some in atheist circles to talk like the majority of religious believers are basically acting like extras in the movie “Jesus Camp.” But I think the majority aren’t so anti-science as you are implying. In fact, the loud and vocal screaming minority may be just that – a minority.

    It’s convenient for some to paint the entire swath of religious America as a bunch of illiterate, young earth creationists. Makes ALL religious people an easy target. Just like I’m sure it would be convenient for me to paint all atheists as being like Christopher Hitchens. But just because someone is highly obnoxiously visible doesn’t make them representative.

  25. So wait, I’m confused,

    Are all of you here to debate the merits/challenges of living and working as gay men and women from within the context of life in the LDS faith, or are you just sounding off and complaining about an institution you are not associated with, and that could really care less what you think? (Like Caananites throwing pebbles and pasta at the walls of Jerusalem.)

    Because, I’m sorry, but if on the one hand you talk about “working with the Boyd Packers” and “Dallin Oaks'” of the Church in hopes of affecting policy according to your four-part plans, and then on the other you say things like “the First Presidency does not speak for all Mormons” and “not everyone agrees on what God’s Word is,” you clearly don’t understand the waters you are wading in.

    But enjoy your sandbox.

  26. Read the post, but that wasn’t my question at all. I wanted to know what members of MSP hope to accomplish in the LDS gay marriage debate from this website?

  27. For my part, I discuss same-sex marriage vis-a-vis the LDS church because it’s an interesting topic that has implications for people inside and outside of that church and because I’m working to change LDS policy and culture. I’m following Thoreau’s dictum, “Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence.” Change has already happened, so I have reason to hope that the summation of everyone’s efforts toward this goal are working.

  28. As someone who suffered severe depression and suicidal thoughts from age 10, I would say that responsible educators need to be addressing depression and suicide in a controlled, supportive, and safe setting. The worst thing you can do is pretend it’s not there. These kids are going to suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts, and they think they’re alone, that they’re the only ones who feel that way, and that there’s no help for them. They need to know that it’s perfectly normal, and that there are people there to support them with their problems.

    Raising the issue with a billboard is a good thing, in my opinion.

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