This started as a Reply in the Comments, then became too long, so now it's a post. To follow the conversation, go to the previous two posts and read the comments.
To the Grinning Kid in the Middle of the Twelve-Passenger Van With Mismatched Sandals and a Chocolate Chin To the Grinning Kid in the Middle of the Twelve-Passenger
and Elevator Story Elevator Story
I wonder if there is such a thing as death by laundry.
I know I tabled the discussion, but I don't like the idea that I'm going to the family reunion and that I'll be sitting around talking, maybe about this. I obviously wanted to start a discussion, but now that you and I are talking one-on-one, I don't want it to be you talking to my family. I want these to be my words. ( I don't have time to edit, though, so please try to get the main idea.)
So here goes, again. For a minute, anyway. And I might as well face the fact that I'd rather blog than pack or do dishes.
Also, I wish you could see me nod my head as I read your comments. I agree with most of what you said. I think the problem with these issues is that the Powers That Be forget to use common sense and humanity. Why are policies and procedures seemingly being set by the most extremist ends of the spectrum? I think that it's because they are the loudest and most violent. That was part of the reason I wrote the blog entry. I think it's important for the average Joe to know what she/he believes and quietly stand for it. Instead, I think we shrink into the background, afraid to offend or get involved, and leave it to the freakazoids who are bombing the abortion clinics or power-hungry politicians who are padding their pockets. But if rational people were having real discussions without fear of retribution or violence, we'd get some good sense solutions and maybe some understandings. I personally am seeing this issue from a different point of view and thinking about it in ways I never had before, just because you were willing to patiently, kindly, bravely share and listen.
Here are a couple of ideas:
When we have an election and the results are tabulated, no matter how emotionally charged the issue is, one judge should not have the power to overturn the results of the election. That is too much power for one person in our nation to have. Luckily, there are safeguards in place that stop that from happening. (But in the meantime, when someone like that tries, it causes a lot of problems.)
I think the reason that we see this issue so differently, besides the obvious that we both have so much hanging on its different outcomes, goes clear back to our foundations.
Maybe I just have a good grasp on the obvious.
Slight pause again to clean up the FULL bowl of soggy cereal that didn't quite make it to the sink. Sigh. I don't think I'm as Christian as I claim to be sometimes.
Anyway, I searched to the bottom of my soul last night. How does it hurt me?
It's hard to express my answer, especially in words. It's just a lot easier to say, "This is what I believe, and I just want it to be OK to believe it." But I feel like I owe you more than that, because you're right, the whole life you've built hangs on it. And so even though I still feel strongly about my view, I'm confused about what to do with it.
Here's the best I can do at an explanation. I've always known that there is a God. I just know, and I can't deny. I know that He loves us, we're His children. I trust him. I know this as well as I know anything.
Faith is that little leap of trust, and I have spent my whole life fine-tuning, trying to do God's will, trying to learn the truth, sorting through what is me being arrogant or stupid or misled, and trying to be open. I don't want to blindly follow. But I don't have to blindly follow about God's love, because I KNOW. And knowing about His love makes me see that He wants us to love each other. As a parent, I am the most sad when my children are cruel or unkind to each other. The way they make me happiest is by serving each other.
When we moved from the UT fishbowl to MA, I separated out some things that were Mormon culture from the things that were gospel truths. (Every religion gets a little quirky when they get too concentrated.)
Anyway, I've been trying to focus on the things that are important, to really study doctrine and the life of Christ. I've tried to throw away the stupid culture stuff.
I've really prayed about the idea of a prophet. I think it's one of the basic foundations of our religion. It's one of the most important parts for me, that not only will God lead me personally, but that he has someone who has His authority to lead His church. I sustain our prophet, and I follow him. I listen to his words, I pray about what he says. I know that he is just a man, but I believe that he is like the prophets of old, and that he is God's spokesman for His church.
In 1995, the prophet and apostles chiseled out a proclamation to the world about families. Here's a link.
Proclamation on the Family
It very succinctly says exactly what I believe about family, marriage and society. I've read through it too many times to count.
I think it hurts society when we experiment with what it means to be a family. I believe that children need a mother and a father, firmly committed. I believe that each play an important role.
I know that most children in our nation do not have that option right now, and I believe that is the underlying reason for most of the nation's problems.
I'm not writing this at anyone.
Because when I say that I believe that children deserve a traditional two-parent home with a mother and a father, I mean it. And I say it with sorrow. Because I know it's not happening.
And I know that even in traditional two-parent homes there is a lot of abuse and dysfunction going on.
And I know that for every non-traditional family there is a story. And I believe that everyone is basically doing the best they can. And I believe that people are good.
And I see you with your son, and NO ONE can deny that THAT KID IS LOVED! You are a family.
So. We're coming from different places. And I love you. And I hope by now you maybe still like me. My motives are pure (I hope, I think). I'm not perfect.
The same can of worms could be opened about immigration, or abortion, or a lot of things. There is the theory, the beliefs behind the issue, and then there are the people and their stories.
We're going to have to agree to disagree, and probably never fully see eye-to-eye. But we can have meaningful discussions, hopefully without attacking each other.
We can learn from each other, and help each other.
We have to be able to have the courage to share our opinions, though. When we leave the dialog to the fringe extremes, bad things happen. It has to be OK for everyone to have a voice.