Dallin Oaks and John Eastman redux
Back in February I wrote a post for MSP about the close relationship of Apostle Dallin H Oaks, former member of the Utah Supreme Court, and uber-right wing legal expert John Eastman. I posited that their close relationship indicated how closely the Mormon Church was involved with the ongoing Prop 8 battle, despite the Churchs claim to be neutral.
What originally caught my attention in February was a picture that ran in the Church News of Oaks and Eastman at Chapman University where they both gave officious speeches fanning unreasonable fears that gay marriage will destroy religious freedom. How, exactly gay marriage will destroy religious freedom, neither one of them really explained, except by misrepresenting case law and asserting that gay marriage harms religious freedom. Oaks talk can be read here http://newsroom.lds.org/article/elder-oaks-religious-freedom-Chapman-University After the talk, Eastman said Elder Oaks’ address was one of the three most significant events ever held at the Law School.”
On Thursday, the connection between the LDS Church and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) became even closer now that Oaks legal ally, Mr. Eastman, was appointed the new Chair of NOM, replacing former Chair, Maggie Gallagher.
From the press release:
John Eastman stated, Marriage has quite correctly been described as a bedrock of civilization. Protecting the institution of marriage is a critically important issue, and Im honored to join such distinguished company on the Board of such a phenomenally effective organization as the National Organization for Marriage.
It is interesting that he cites marriage as a bedrock, because it is the word that Oaks and the Church use frequently (http://newsroom.lds.org/search-results.xqy?x=0&y=0&q=bedrock) and perhaps even coined for discussing this topic. I wonder if Eastman knows that marriage is the bedrock with every fiber of his being.
NOM is 0-3 right now in court. First, Prop 8 was ruled unconstitutional. Second, after federal judge Vaughn Walker ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional, NOM tried to have his decision overturned on account of Walkers sexual orientation, but Chief Judge James Ware upheld the original ruling.
Strike three for NOM came last Monday when Judge Ware ordered the release of the Prop 8 trial videotapes that NOM was trying to keep private. NOM and ProtectMarriage.com are appealing.
As Chair, Gallagher represented the politics of NOM, never claiming to be anti-gay but instead an advocate for traditional marriage. Eastmans resume is clearly anti-gay. Replacing her with a legal expert shows that NOM recognizes that playing dirty politics alone will not achieve their hate-filled objective, and that the battle has shifted to the courts and a legal dream team is needed. The words used by NOM in the courtroom will parallel the words coming over the Mormon pulpit.
On Sep 11, Oaks gave a talk to a youth fireside titled Truth and Tolerance where he argued against what he called moral relativism while at the same time embracing the moral relativism he was decrying. It is a bizarre talk. Read it here. http://newsroom.lds.org/article/-truth-and-tolerance-elder-dallin-h-oaks
In it he said, We will sometimes need to challenge laws that would impair our freedom to practice our faiths, doing so in reliance on our constitutional rights to the free exercise of religion.
This is a not-so-vague reference to laws pertaining to gay marriage and a claim dripping in irony, for using the argument of religious freedom to deny other religions the rights to their own is laughable. Remember, there are gay friendly churches, with gay members and gay clergy who would be more than happy to preform gay marriage ceremonies in their churches except that their religious freedom is being usurped by other religions.
With Eastman running the show, Oaks statement will be the battle cry going forward with NOM. Expect to hear more talks like these echo through ward buildings now that NOM and the Mormon Church are even more closely linked.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops also likes “bedrock”… whether it’s Cardinal Francis George in 2010 or Archbishop Dolan in 2011, the faces change but the words remain the same.
Oaks could swallow Lawrence v Texas because it made a libertarian/”free choice” argument, but he can’t see gay marriage as anything other than an endorsement of bad behavior.
I’m curious if he plans to drop the traditionalist argument (in terms of it not having much life left in the courts) and instead intends to take the religious victimhood argument to a new end (in court instead of just in his own speeches). He probably thinks that everything he warned about has come to pass over the years (namely, that homosexuals have convinced the public and themselves they’re a minority), and so all that’s left is to carve a legal space for the Church to be a beacon on the hill. Ugh, he’s so pessimistic.
That sounds about right, Alan. I’d guess that in the years ahead we’re going to be hearing less from BYU’s Family Law All-Stars and more from the cast of conferences like these: Religious Freedom in a Pluralistic Age: Trends, Challenges, and Practices.
The spirit of contention is not of god. There is either an enemy or there is not. We are all equal or our leader is unjust. Great post.
Seth, you either have very inadequate reading comprehension skills, or you just choose to hear what you want to hear when you read, or you are just a liar.
Which one is it?
Dear Anonymous Poster Who Doesn’t Even Know Me:
Who the hell do you think you are to talk to me like that? I don’t need your permission to exist or write what I think. If you don’t like my ideas, fine, chances are I don’t like yours. But to impugn my character is unacceptable. Are you trying to pick a fight with me? Too bad for you I don’t play with cowardly, nameless bullies.
Quit hiding behind a screen name. Sign your real name to the things you have to say.
Don’t expect any other correspondence from me.
J Seth Anderson
I wouldn’t worry too much about #5. If it had an argument to make, it would. But it doesn’t, so it just leaves silly insults.