Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sex, Lies & Videotape

My dad tells a story about me from when I was five years old. I had apparently had some sort of dispute with my younger sister, who would have been about three at the time. We were on the front porch yelling when my dad intervened. He first asked my sister to tell her version of what happened and why we were fighting. After she was finished I got my day in court. About half way through my version of the dispute (the correct version, I might add) my sister shouted, "Curtis, you're lying even more than I did".

In the battle over Proposition 8 in California, both sides have accused the other about spreading lies about the consequences of not passing the proposition. In particular, the proponents ran a television ad asserting that same sex marriage will be taught in public schools to children as young as second grade if Prop 8 fails.

To counter that ad the opponents of the ballot initiative brought out Jack O'Connell, superintendent of California public schools, who claimed that 'our schools aren't required to teach anything about marriage'. While that statement may be true if analyzed in a vacuum, further analysis reveals that 96% of California public schools will be required to teach about same sex marriage if Proposition 8 fails.

The California Education Code (EC 51933) leaves it up to the individual school districts as to whether or not sexual health education is taught in its schools. However, if a school district chooses to do so they must comply with a specific set of requirements - one of which is to teach about marriage. The reason that 96% of California schools will be required to teach about same sex marriage is because, according a study on the California Department of Education web site, 96% of school districts do provide sexual health education. Therefore, by law these schools will be mandated to teach same sex marriage.

When I first started writing this post I was going to accuse Jack O'Connell as being disingenuous. After further review (as they say on football game replays), it is more accurate to classify him as a liar. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a liar as 'someone who lies'. It further defines a 'lie' as 'to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive or to create a false or misleading impressions'. Jack O'Connell may have many good qualities, but in this case he is most definitely a liar.

Today the Yes on 8 campaign challenged Jack O'Connell to a televised debate on this issue. My guess is that he will decline, citing an 'unworkable schedule' or by further asserting that Proposition 8 has 'nothing to do with schools'. In truth, however, he knows that his task in a debate would be to defend the indefensible.

I would like to see the debate happen.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hitting the Big Time

I found out this morning that my blog had been linked to by a site called It was in a section called the "Yes on Prop 8 Blog Roll". I was told about this in a comment to a previous post on my blog who said that my blog was on a 'black list' for my support of Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative to restore the voice of the people to restore and preserve traditional marriage. I had hit the big time! I was excited to be on the 'black list'. Then I found out that it wasn't a black list at all. Rather it was a listing of bloggers who, in the words of the website author:
"These bloggers have no problem telling us we are sexual deviants, fake families, social misfits and what have you. With Election Day so close, the LGBT community can't afford to let these people believe their own BS any longer!"
So I reread all of my posts to see if I had written, or even implied, that anyone was a 'sexual deviant' or 'social misfit', or lived in a 'fake family'. Not surprisingly, I wrote nothing of the sort - not even any BS. Should I be 'offended' for being mischaracterized in this fashion? I'm not. Sorry, I just don't have time to be offended. Actually, I guess it is more accurate to simply say that I choose not to be offended.

Just to make certain that my views on Proposition 8 are accurately represented by the only person who is an expert on the subject (uh, that would be me - possibly the only thing in the world that I am an expert on) I will discuss some of them here.

First, I must admit that I don't understand same gender attraction. I have never experienced it in any manner. I don't believe that anyone is 'born that way'. There have been a multitude of studies that have attempted to prove that a same gender attraction is genetically determined, but none have ever been successful at doing so. A couple that I am aware of thought they had some evidence to the contrary, but could never be replicated in an unbiased, controlled environment. Same gender attraction seems to be mostly a matter of choice.

Now for my views on Proposition 8. I believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. It's primary purpose is to provide a framework for people to be obedient to the commandment God gave to Adam and Eve to 'mulitply and replenish the earth'. I know that there are instances where couples are infertile or have other issues that make it impossible for them to bear children, but that doesn't preclude them from participating in God's plan for us.

Based on this belief alone, I will always work to support and promote marriage between a man and a woman. However, there are social and cultural reasons to promote traditional marriage which are very compelling.

Teaching children in public schools that same sex gender relationships are the same as a traditional marriage is not just a matter of teaching diversity or tolerance. There is an agenda of the LGBT community to promote and perpetuate their lifestyle. They realize that the best way to accomplish this is to indoctrinate children while they are young - which, by the way, overrides parental rights to teach their children about morality. What happened in Massachusetts following their legalization of same gender marriages is proof of this. While opponents of Proposition 8 are doing their best to convince the public that only 'radical fear-mongers' bring up this argument, the reality speaks for itself. I won't go in to any further detail here, because Brian Camenker wrote an excellent exposé by entitled "What Same-Sex 'Marriage' Has Done to Massachusetts". I would suggest that interested readers click on that link and read it.

While I have many other concerns about what will happen in California and around the United States if Proposition 8 does not pass, I won't discuss them here at this time. An excellent source for that information is at the web site In fact, I think it is the best source for information that I have seen on the internet.

The last thing I want to address is the 'fear-mongering' issue that keeps being thrown about. If recent history has demonstrated anything, it is that we can't leave it to the judiciary to decide societal values. (See my previous post "The People's Republic of America?") I can illustrate this with another hot topic, not only in society, but on the November ballot in California. That being the topic of abortion.

This illustration is valid regardless of your personal stand on abortion.

On 22 January 1973 the United States supreme court ruled that a woman's right to privacy, vaguely afforded in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, gave women a fundamental right to an abortion. On the 21st of January of that year, had I argued that this ruling would lead to case law granting a 15 year old girl the unmitigated right to an abortion, without parental notification, paid for by the state with no exceptions, I would have been called a 'fear-monger'. My opponents would have stated, correctly, that there is no case law, or any legal precedent for this to happen.

Fast forward 35 years to 2008 and it is very clear to see what a slippery slope leaving it to the judiciary to decide has become. The courts have not shown sufficient restraint to lead me to believe that even the worst case scenarios offered up by Proposition 8 supporters are well within the realm of reason.

Incidentally, I do not favor a total ban on abortion. I was told several years ago by a colleague that I am actually 'pro-choice' because I don't believe that abortions should be illegal in all cases. I think he was right. I am pro-choice. I just believe that the choice is not exclusively that of a pregnant woman and that the correct choice would be LIFE in the overwhelming majority of the cases. For this reason I am also supporting Proposition 4, 'Sarah's Law', on the November ballot.

I know that if Proposition 8 passes there will be many people that will be very hurt. I have empathy for them. I really do. That empathy, however, does not override my belief that society will be stronger, and children better protected if marriage is legally defined as between a man and a woman.

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Monday, October 6, 2008

You Didn't Hear the Best Conference 'Talk'

On October 4-5 my family attended the fall General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. During the conference church members were able to listen to talks by various church leaders. Most of my family and I attended two sessions of the conference in person and watched the other two on television.

The final two talks of the conference ended up being memorable for me, but not exactly because of what was said. Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about the difficulties and trials that we all face in life and how the Savior is always there for us with open arms. He told a story of two women who met as a result of a tragic traffic accident. One was the mother of a 20 year old young man who was involved in a head-on traffic collision with the husband of the other woman. Both men were killed instantly.

Through the years the two women became friends to the point that they attend the temple together each year. Elder Cook noted that the two women were attending that particular session of conference together.

At the end of his remarks he told of how President Thomas S. Monson was asked on his birthday this past August what would be the ideal gift that members worldwide could give him, he said without a moment’s hesitation, “Find someone who is having a hard time, . . . and do something for them.” (Read the entire talk here.)

Elder Cook was followed by President Monson, who was the concluding speaker of the conference. Following the closing prayer it is tradition for the congregation to stand and wait for President Monson to leave the Conference Center. As we stood waiting, President Monson went to his right to speak with Elder Cook, instead of exiting to his left. They spoke for a few seconds and Elder Cook pointed towards the first couple of rows to the left of the podium. I watched as President Monson went down the steps off of the rostrum and onto the plaza level. He stood there for a few minutes and appeared to speak with two women in the front row.

I don't know exactly who he was speaking with, but think it was probable that it was the two women whom Elder Cook had referred to in his talk. I remembered President Monson's words, 'Find someone who is having a hard time and do something for them'. I also remembered the counsel the Savior gave to the multitude gathered to hear him speak two millenia ago regarding identifying a true prophet. "Ye shall know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:16)

President Monson's actions were evidence to me of the fruits of a prophet of God - those same actions were also the best 'talk' I heard at the October 2008 General Conference.

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Hypocrisy of Tolerance

In today's 'politically correct' (PC) environment, (a term that comedian Dennis Miller has commented is actually neither) people often invoke the term 'tolerance' when debating moral issues. They throw around the words tolerant and intolerant as though that is the end of the debate. If I say that I am tolerant and you are intolerant, then I win the debate without further discussion. Idiotic.

In the Christian world a similar argument is used. That being, 'the Bible says that you shouldn't judge'. Actually, Christ did not say we shouldn't judge. He taught, rather, that we should be cautious in our judgments, 'for with that same judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged' (Matthew 7:2). In fact, prudence and wisdom require us to make judgments continuously.

The 'gospel of tolerance' attempts to remove morality from any discussion of the issues. In the name of tolerance we attempt to assign all opinions, actions and choices the same morality. This moral relativity eventually leads to a position of not only accepting, but embracing ideas and practices held to be immoral by the majority. Ironically, the PC world labels those who teach absolute morality to be 'intolerant' -- promoting the belief that tolerance is only acceptable if you agree with their agenda.

Maybe it's just because of my involvement with a coalition to secure passage of Proposition 8 in California this November that I am more aware of the inconsistencies of the tolerance agenda. Following the passage of legislation in Massachusetts to permit same sex marriage the intolerance of those supporting same sex marriage towards those who were opposed reached new heights. Unbelievably, a parent's presumed right to see that his children were not taught that same sex marriage was the moral equivalent of traditional marriage in public school was met with jail time. Click on the link to see a video exposé of this case, Parker v. Hurley.

Further evidence of the hypocrisy of tolerance reached new heights this week. In the first television ad in support of Proposition 8, a law professor at Pepperdine University, Richard Peterson, outlined some of the legal ramifications that California would face if Proposition 8 fails. In response to his advocacy for Proposition 8, he received literally hundreds of emails, some violent and very threatening from various gay activist individuals and groups. Evidently, those who preach tolerance have none for those who hold opposing views.

One final evidence. This past week proponents of Proposition 8, exercising their First Amendment right to free speech in support of traditional marriage, placed signs along the 101 Freeway near Santa Maria, California indicating their support. On Friday evening vandals, obviously intolerant of an opposing point of view destroyed the signs by painting over them.

Many good people may have a good reason for opposing Proposition 8. Promoting tolerance, however, is not one of them.

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