Proof that Mormons aren’t allowed to think for themselves

As some of you may know, my girlfriend Christine (aka @fddlgrl) is a “formon” (that’s an ex-Mormon, I have to thank Mr Deity himself for introducing me to that term). She grew up in Utah in a tiny, mostly-Mormon town, the full deal but she broke away from the church when she was about 18.

Anyway I know she’s had lots of debates with active church members about Prop 8 (the Californian law, sponsored in large part by the Mormons last year, which banned gay marriage) and whether or not Mormons are allowed to speak out against it without being ostracized. This clip supports her argument that Mormons can’t speak out without fear of retribution. This guy tried expressing his disappointment with the LDS’ church’s support of Prop 8 and watch what happens.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubZQ5TgFRac&w=425&h=344]

(source: skepacabra)

So what does this tell us about religious organisations like the Latter Day Saints? They don’t appreciate it when people inside the church start thinking for themselves. Why not? What do they fear? That one person actually thinking for themselves might start a trend? If they aren’t scared, why not let the guy speak his mind? If they are so sure of the moral superiority of their position, why not allow, in fact ENCOURAGE, free and open debate?

Because, my friends, religion is an act of mind control. It exists to pray on the minds and the wallets of the weak.

This is the same reason Father Peter Kennedy was defrocked from the Ca$holic Church earlier this year and why Father Bob Maguire in Melbourne has been told to resign. They had the temerity to think for themselves instead of obeying orders and sticking to the script.

If you are a member of either of these religious “institutions”, I invite you to argue with me in the comments section below.

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81 thoughts on “Proof that Mormons aren’t allowed to think for themselves

  1. Craig says:

    As a “formon” myself, and a gay one at that, I couldn’t agree more.

  2. And I offer Mormons the opportunity to send me links to youtube clips of other church members speaking out on the same subject in their churches and getting commended for speaking their minds. :)

  3. Timothy says:

    Actually, this is not about “Shutting up” people who are outside or within the LDS Faith.

    Let us rationally look at this from a purely ethical and logical standpoint.

    First off, this was during a Fast and Testimony meeting. The purpose of these meetings are to provide members an opportunity to stand and bare their testimony in how the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is impacting their lives. It is a moment where they share how living the Gospel influences them to become better members of their community, parents, husbands/wives, and leaders.

    However, many people do not understand this and attempt to “preach from the pulpit”. In this sense, this is exactly what this individual was doing. Now, I am very sure if the gentleman had properly born his testimony and how he loves his sister and how he has found inspiration to reach out to her (or whomever this family member is), then that would be something different.

    Second aspect of this video. It is entirely set up. The fact that he had someone actually record him standing up and reading this letter shows that he did not sincerely do this spontaneously. It was something that was planned out. From this standpoint, he personally violated ethical principles here.

    Let me illustrate this. How would the GLBT community feel if someone went into their church and given an opportunity to stand, they do so with a letter from a family member who came out of the Homosexual life style and realizing that it is sinful and wrong from their own perspective. All the while this whole video was being taped? What would those members in that situation do?

    In fact, when Proposition 8 was being voted on, there was an elderly lady exercising her right of free speech in a public forum (keep that in mind dear reader), where the cross she was carrying had forceably been taken from her hand, stomped on and one aggressive male yelled in her face. All the while, she did not retaliate in one aspect.

    Now, when I said that this latter was done in a public forum, this was defined as that which is open to everyone and anyone. This is protected under the free speech of the First Amendment. however, the Church Service is not a public forum. It is a private religious observance of those members who attend this particular service. Therefore, this was not done on a public property/forum, but on private property that is open to those who are interested in coming to worship with us.

    Now, going back to this second aspect, the gentleman who stood and spoke, and the camera man violated the privacy of this worship service. It was done with the sole purpose of getting this out to people and show “how Mormon’s” shut people up. Yet, when in reality, all things considered, any person who engages in acts that disrupts the service of the members of the faith have the right to request this person to leave.

    The Bishop exercised his authority over the ward in which he is responsible for by turning the mic off. That was his own personal decision he felt necessary to do.

    This comes to our third point of refutation and analysis. The Bishop acted according to his own thought and reasoning in how to approach the subject. This does not, therefore, mean that this occurs with every other ward throughout the world. Another bishop would have allowed the gentleman to finish, before getting up and bearing his testimony. Most members would not really give the statement a second thought. In this situation, if no one had done nothing, the video most likely would not be all over you tube and the internet because it would have defeated the intended purpose. This purpose was most likely the reason for the man and the cameraman to come into the sacrament meeting and attempt to “expose” how wrong the Mormon’s are.

    Yet, same thing may have occured at an African American Rally, a Pro Choice/Pro Life Rally, or any place where people are gathered together under one common interest.

    So, in conclusion, the video actually shows how disrespectful the individual himself is, how unethical and improper they were in going about doing this for the sole purpose of providing “misinformation” that, in all reality when one applies some good solid critical thinking skills, will understand what this video is really about. And, that is about two men who lacked honest integrity and respect for a religious service and falsely exposing something as being “what all others” of this religious belief system does.

    Ethically, it is wrong, as well as it falls under logical fallacies in any prudent form of argumentation. Essentially, this video is a strawman argument of its weakest kind.

  4. Timothy, thanks for your perspective and comment. It does seem that Todd had someone video his talk, I assume because he suspected what would happen when he spoke his “testimony” and he wanted evidence of the censorship inside LDS churches. I’ve heard Mormons claim over and over again that people inside the church have the freedom of opinion over Prop 8 but everyone just agrees with the position of the church authorities. The truth seems to be that people who disagree have their mic cut off and are ostracized.

    You say “The purpose of these meetings are to provide members an opportunity to stand and bare their testimony” and that looks to me to be exactly what Todd was doing. However his “testimony” was that he was disappointed in the Church and its members. What kind of church says it is “disrespectful” for people to honestly speak their mind during a “testimony” meeting? I’m sure if he’d said he approved of Prop 8, he wouldn’t have been shut down. It’s only because he disagreed with church policy that he was shut up. What I take from this video is that bishop of this church is so scared of an alternative point of view being disseminated in his community that he had to stop Todd from even talking about it. Any organisation that doesn’t tolerate open and free discussion is doomed to become a vapid echo chamber of the weak minded.

    Your attempts to re-direct the discussion by talking about hypothetical situations in hypothetical meetings of other organisations are pointless. The discussion here is about why members of the LDS church get shut down when they try to speak openly and honestly about concerns they have over the church’s bigotry.

  5. Timothy says:

    Cameron:

    “Your attempts to re-direct the discussion by talking about hypothetical situations in hypothetical meetings of other organisations are pointless. The discussion here is about why members of the LDS church get shut down when they try to speak openly and honestly about concerns they have over the church’s bigotry.”

    Timothy:

    False. Again, it goes back to what I said. The purpose for the Fast and Testimony Meeting is so that members of the ward are allowed an opportunity to stand and bare their testimony in how the Gospel improves their lives. It is not a time or place where one gets up and speaks about whatever they want in the sense that if they ought to have the right to stand and say “I support Prop 8″ or “I don’t support prop 8″ or “I believe that all murders ought to get locked away with no rights at all” is not an appropriate way to participate in this.

    So, no the discussion is not being redirected as you would have readers believe, but puts the discussion in proper perspective of ethical issues, accountability, and purpose of reason behind his motivation to do what he wanted to do and accomplish what he wanted to accomplish.

    And the scenarios I presented are not hypothetical.

    Some years ago, I attended a catholic wedding. A gentleman got loudmouthed and started disrupting the ceremony. He was escorted out. It was a church, he had every right to be there and no one should have censored his behavior right?

    Another time, I was attending an assemblies of God church in Lacey, Washington, someone came into the Church and said that Christians were wrong and that there was not a God, he was politely and respectfully escorted out from the service.

    It would be the same thing, a person goes into a GLBT meeting and begin sharing how wrong homosexuality is. What would the response be? Would you give them the floor to continue talking without censoring them? or would you politely and respectfully ask them to leave because it is neither the appropriate place or proper forum to do such as that.

    Again, it is the perspective of one incident and one event that is being blown out of proportion here. In another ward, the Bishop may have seen the video camera and asked that person to leave. Does the bishop have that right? Yes, because it is a private worship service and video recordings are not allowed within the Church. In fact, the chapel throughout all of the LDS Ward buildings are not to be used for anything but specific meetings like General Conference, Stake Conference, or the like. Weddings are not even allowed to be conducted in the chapel.

    As stated before, it comes right down to the video actually showing the gentleman his lack of respect for others around him.

    Also, let me take it one step further, there are some that would go on with their testimony and the bishop, or presiding member of the Bishopric will ask that the individual hurry up to afford others an opportunity to get up and speak. Again, this is not censorship but reminding that it is a place for others to take an opportunity to bare their testimony as to how the gospel influenced their lives.

    And, on another note, the pulpit is not a place for political or religious debate. I have heard members say things that were inappropriate during the Fast and Testimony meetings while standing up. Some start “preaching” in a sense and have to be reminded.

    In fact, here is the specific guidelines for a Fast and Testimony Meeting:

    An LDS fast and testimony meeting is normally held on the first Sunday of each month, where faithful members of the Church are invited to bear a verbal witness of their feelings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The meeting usually follows a fast by the members, usually from at least two consecutive meals and from liquids also. The fast is officially broken by partaking of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. In modern scripture, fasting is described as “rejoicing and prayer” (D&C 59:14), which implies that it is more than just abstaining from food. That tone of devotion is also the feeling associated with contributing fast offerings, giving the equivalent cost of the meals, or more, to be used for the poor. The fast and testimony meeting becomes the locus of spiritual sensitivity and contrition, of concentration on the things of God.

    A member of the bishopric or branch presidency conducts the fast and testimony meeting. Usually it begins with an opening hymn and an invocation or prayer, which may be followed by the naming and blessing of newborn children and the confirming of recently baptized members of the Church.

    After the Sacrament has been administered, the person conducting the meeting expresses his testimony, then invites the members of the congregation of all ages to do likewise. Sometimes they stand in place to speak; at other times they come forward to the pulpit. Each one arises, as prompted by the Spirit, and addresses the congregation extemporaneously. In this setting feelings of profoundest concern are often expressed: appreciation of good family relationships, thanksgiving for the blessings of the gospel, recognition of significant changes in lives, and the fruits of obedience. A faith-promoting experience may be shared or a witness given regarding a point of doctrine or attesting divine inspiration. Such expressions are usually concluded by a prayer or petition in the name of the Lord. The experience is at once enlightening, sobering, and moving. Tears are not uncommon amid acknowledgment of weaknesses and efforts to improve, along with gratitude for divine goodness.

    Rarely are such individual expressions longer than five or six minutes. Thus a number of children and adults generally participate in a meeting, which usually lasts a little more than an hour, but may be extended or shortened at the discretion of the presiding officer. In any given year a majority of the membership of the Church, young and old, will have participated in this earnest form of witness on fast Sunday.

    One precedent for formal testimony bearing was set at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. On that occasion several stood and, under the outpouring of the Spirit, spoke of things they had seen and felt. In Kirtland it was customary to hold fast meetings on Thursday afternoons. Since 1896 these meetings have usually been held on Sunday.
    (from Jeff Lindsay’s http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/daily/activity/fast_testimony.html).

    Finally, I will reiterate, the gentelman’s “testimony” is not a “testimony” at all, but a perspective of his own political position.

    The context here is on the basis of ethical consideration and mutual respect. In fact, it was inappropriate forum and format for such a communication. Now, if he were outside and he spoke on his position, there would have been no issues. It was outside of the Church and not conducted during a church service where it is about providing faith promoting experiences. This is not considered faith promoting in any sense of the term.

  6. Timothy says:

    Cameron:

    Any organisation that doesn’t tolerate open and free discussion is doomed to become a vapid echo chamber of the weak minded.

    Timothy:

    So you are attending a meeting that is pro Same-Sex. I therefore have a right to come into that meeting with a video crew, stand before the audience and “freely speak” openly and honestly about how I personally feel that Same Sex Marriage is unethical and destroys the central sacredness of traditional marriage?

    Remember, I quoted your exact words that say that I have this right, even in a private meeting on private property. Are you going to honestly allow that? or are you going to say something contrary to show the contradiction of “it is not okay if you come in and do the same exact thing, but it is okay for Todd to do it and who are you to shut them up?”

    Who are you to shut me up in the scenario I mentioned?

  7. “faithful members of the Church are invited to bear a verbal witness of their feelings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” I think that’s EXACTLY what Todd was doing. He was talking about his feelings about the gospel, as played out by the LDS church in its campaign for bigotry against a minority of people in California who want to be free to love each other in the way they choose. Who knows what he might have said about the gospel of Jesus and how it relates to bigotry if his mic hadn’t been cut off?

    With your last comment about attending a pro-Same Sex meeting – again, this is a typical attempt at mis-direction. Instead of dealing with the issue at hand, you are trying to deflect the issue by talking about hypothetical situations. It won’t work here.

    The issue again is that a member of the LDS church – not some person of the street with a grudge to bear, but a faithful member of the church – tried to give his testimony during a testimony meeting but was evicted from the church for having a different opinion to the leaders of the church.

    That’s what happened, pure and simple.

    I invite you though, Timothy, to submit evidence that people inside the LDS church DO disagree with the church authorities in public and get away with it.

  8. ChrissyD says:

    When reading Timothy’s first comment, my first thought was that we don’t know how this guy was going to conclude his comments in the fast and testimony meeting. He wasn’t even given the opportunity. Cameron said the same thing in his last post.

    I would like to point out that this gentleman wasn’t lashing out, causing commotion, or being violent. He was speaking in a respectful manner that is consistent with protocol in the LDS church (I am very familiar with fast and testimony meetings as a former member of the LDS church).

    Timothy gave us more background and history than we really needed to know about the fast and testimony meeting (again, a re-direction attempt). However, I sat through countless hours of Fast and Testimony meetings and listened to all manner of things from fishing stories, to nostalgic recollections, to lame jokes, and yes, to political views (I’m sure all of which were right-wing). I will attest that LDS church members get up to the pulpit and talk about EVERYTHING in fast and testimony meeting, and often these commentaries have NOTHING to do with actually bearing testimony to the “Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ”. In my seventeen years of attending such meetings, I only saw a bishop approach someone and ask them to wrap things up one time, and that was to an elderly individual who was literally in the early stages of dementia, and who had already taken up 30+ minutes of a meeting that had run overtime.

    Lastly, Timothy said that it isn’t “ethical” to speak out about things that are contrary to church beliefs, or any political in a private religious observance. But did the LDS church not open their doors to such political discourse by meddling in the political arena, telling their members how to vote, and to which political organizations they should give their money? If there is a true separation of Church and State, the government should not tell people how they should be able to worship (or who they should be allowed to love and marry), and religious groups should not tell people how they should vote. At the very least, if the LDS church allows right-wing political commentary at fast and testimony meetings (I’ve personally heard TONS of it myself) without muting the microphone or asking people to leave the pulpit, they should give the same courtesy to those who express alternative political views.

  9. Timothy says:

    Cameron,

    No it is not a misdirection. Rather it is to logically place the same scenario in proper perspective.

    The fact that you keep saying that it is misdirected is because you yourself would know exactly how members of the GLBT community would react. And there is evidence of this in public forums and not private forums.

    Again, the Bishopric has the jurisdiction over the way the ward is operated.

    You are misdirecting because you are refusing to acknowledge that your reasoning has proven illogical and fallacious as duly noted on reasons of ethical and respective etiquette.

    No, Todd was not bearing his testimony. There is no evidence that he was bearing his testimony. His very own words and the video itself shows that he was not there to bear his testimony.

    The bigot is you my friend. I came here to provide a different perspective and objective reasoning,

    Yet, twice you have called me a bigot, referred to my faith as being bigotted toward Same Sex Couples when THE DISCUSSION IS NOT ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY but about the unethical premise and motivation behind this actual video.

    You accuse me of being a bigot yet, refuse to discuss the actual context of the video itself and therefore are attempting to redirect the conversation over to a false argument, a strawman argument…

  10. Timothy,

    Attempting to turn the discussion into hypothetical meetings of hypothetical organisations *is* an attempt at misdirection. Neither of us can know how the people in those meetings would react. And I would hope that a church would hold itself to the highest of standards with how it treats its members, not say “well the KKK would have done it this way, so we will too”.

    I’m a bigot? How did you make THAT leap? I love it so much when Christians descend into ad hominem attacks. It shows they have run out of legitimate arguments.

    I’m not trying to force other people to live according to my standards, as the LDS church does. I’m not funding political campaigns to create laws that deny basic rights for minorities, as the LDS church has done. Those are the actions of bigots. All I’m arguing for is freedom of speech. How does that make ME a bigot? Again – another fruitless attempt at misdirection, which I know is a common tactic used by LDS members when trying to justify their actions. They play the “oh poor us” card when in reality it is the LDS church that is guilty of denying rights to minorities, in the same way it wouldn’t allow blacks to hold positions of authority in the church until the late 70s.

    And, by the way, I *never* referred to you as a bigot, that’s just a blatant untruth. I referred to the bigotry of the CHURCH, I never resorted to direct insults against you.

    This discussion is not about homosexuality – it is about one LDS church member who, in a very polite and reasonable fashion, gave his “testimony” in front of church members and was censored because, I assume, the leaders of the church are fearful of any dissenting opinions being promulgated. They want to keep their flock brainwashed. I cannot see any other reason to turn off Todd’s microphone.

  11. ChrissyD says:

    Timothy,

    First, Cameron NEVER called you a bigot (please re-read his comments). He said that the position of the LDS church with regard to supporting Prop 8 – a proposition that took away the rights of a minority group – is bigoted. I was hoping that, unlike several other debates I’ve had with Mormons, you wouldn’t regress into skewing people’s words into a personal character attack.

    You argue that it is unethical for LDS church members to video in a church meetings. Actually, there is no such rule. I’ve personally seen video cameras in meetings on several occasions. Also, you argue it is “unethical” that this man got up and spoke against what he himself believed to be unethical. Is it really unethical to speak up or even think against any given LDS church policy? If so, there is no room for individual thought or critical analysis in the LDS church (which I know is truly the case). This man was going out on a limb to speak his views against the LDS church’s role in Prop 8. This could be grounds for excommunication in the LDS Church. He was likely protecting himself by getting evidence that he would need to defend himself in a bishop’s “Court of Love” should LDS church authorities try to excommunicate him. How is that “unethical”? You might do the same if, for example, you were speaking out against a company policy at your workplace.

  12. Doug says:

    After hearing this individual it is hard not to see that this isn’t a set-up I have been a member for a long time, and I have never heard of cameras in a sacrament meeting, and not only that I have never seen anyone read their testimony as well. It just looked wieird, but even so it’s a matter of oppinion and not fact.

    I have found that the church does give us a voice and gives each individual their own free agency. Many people leave the church because of their own voice and many people stay with the church.

    What I love about this church is that we stick to our issues, and don’t conform to the worlds acceptance of practices that at one time were frowned upon. We have always said that marriage is between a man and a woman, and if people don’t like that they have their agency to leave the church no big deal. We won’t conform just to get acceptance. We are led by a prophet who does receive revelation from god, and I would be surprised if that changed one day. I just know that we follow rules and guidelines in religion, such as rules and guidelines that need to be followed in society. One must work for their reward rather it be on earth or an eternal perspective, the world is always changing things and our church will stand by their set rules such as the word of wizdom, law of chasity, etc..

    I respect those of differeing beliefs and don’t condemn them, but I just have to say that I disagree with your claim and have only find pure freedom and happiness from having these rules and belonging to the LDS faith. We are a free choosing people and people can leave anytime. We tell people to study it out on their own!

    • “We have always said that marriage is between a man and a woman”

      Actually Doug, the LDS church used to believe that marriage is between a man and MANY women. So it HASN’T always stuck to its issues. It also used to say that blacks couldn’t hold the priesthood. It changed on that too. So ideas aren’t set in stone, even in the LDS church.

      “I respect those of differeing beliefs and don’t condemn them”

      So do you support Prop 8 or not? Because Prop 8 is a deliberate political condemnation of people with different beliefs.

      “We are a free choosing people and people can leave anytime.”

      Free to leave, yes, but are you free to think differently from the church authorities and speak your mind about those issues and still STAY in the church? From Todd’s experience it would seem not.

  13. Doug says:

    Do you believe in God? Most people believe in a higher power that created us. If the majority of the world condemns homosexuality wouldn’t a perfect exalted being as well? Wouldn’t he also have a set of guidelines and rules to live by like we do on this earth? or would he just throw us on the earth to do whatever we want and then not worry about any rules or laws?

    I believe he does have rules and guidelines that he does tell us through our prophet and prophets of old and through scripture. On earth we have rules as well, and through hard work we can earn a nice living we control how we will live. We will also control the way we live when we die through obedience to God’s laws. Why would it be any different from earth life espicially if God is a perfect being?

    We are given weaknesses and some people do cave in to them. I don’t support same sex marriage and I probably never will. Our church through a prophet and through the scriptures condemn same sex marriage so this is how we will stand throughout the time, unless for some strange reason the prophet changes that. We support our leaders that’s kind of what we do in an organization we awant to belong to. but we also must know if it is right and we do have that say by choosing it to be right or not.

    Yes my religion has taught me that it is wrong but not only that I do feel that marriage is between a man and a woman only. The bible has many refrences condeming the practice. Most people also don’t know that polygamy was also practiced in the bible at times when God commanded. If you know our church is true than you also know that God doesn’t support gay marriage. Do you know wany scriptures supporting homosexuality? If so let me know!!

    It’s hard for a lot of people to accept that our church doesn’t support same sex marriage but that’s what sets us apart we don’t conform to the world’s standards just to be popular. A prophet has revelation through god and whenever a prophet commands we obey, but we also get our say and we then study, ponder and we pray about the matter and also feel that it is right.

    So while you view this as an attack having the church tell individuals to not support prop 8 we see it as supporting the santicty of marriage, and we don’t see it political at all. We only see this as Preserving the marriage and chasity of a society. So I don’t see this political just the fact that we want to preserve marriage as it is meant to be. Wans’t there other churches doing the same and other individuals doing the same thing as our church was? Are they attacked or talked about? I also feel that the members would of voted against it regardless if the church didn’t tell them. Either way it probably would of been shut down.

    We are free to leave, and we can have differeing viewpoints, but with any organization there are laws and rules we must follow to remain a member of that organization, if you differ from those rules and laws than maybe a person isn’t ready to follow those rules and be a member of that organization.

    I feel that what Timothy has said was correct and he defined it just perfectly what a testimony is and consists of the guidelines are there. People do go off on the deep end and the Bishop can tell them no. that indivual to me was a set up and also sneaked that camera in, we don’t allow cammeras into sacrament buildings (look at the church guidelines on sacrament meetings.) His testiomony was not of the church but something different so we had every right to shut him down, again look at the guidelines for a testimony posted by tim.

    While the church isn’t perfect it has a lot of good things about the organziation and we all have the freedom to leave anytime we want. Our church is one of the fastest growing churches in the world, and we tell people to find out on their own if we teach it’s true, they then study the material, read, ponder and pray and thousands do find that it is true every year.. We are a free agency church they join through their own efforts.

    There are those that steer away from the churh but in most cases it’s because they themselves start doing things the church teaches against and leads them to leave the church most people I have worked with that have left the church this is the case, they start by disobeying certain rules and laws that we have and then they find other reasons. It’s the little things that add up that eventually they leave and then become bitter about the church. One merely has to look at the doctrine that is being taught, and if that doctrine draws people closer to Christ and makes them better people how can that be so wrong?

    But I must say I have never felt like my voice has been taken away, and I feel good inside every time I go to church. Those that differ are welcomed to leave, With that said, sorry I kind of go off sometimes,

  14. Doug says:

    I don’t support prop 8 and probably never will. We believe marriage is between a man and woman and we also have stood behind this and never left our belief. While people see that the church told it’s members to vote no we also feel that it wasn’t political but a belief of morality and to help preserve the santicty of marriage. You love the person and hate the sin. I also feel that even if the church didn’t step in the members still would of shot it down regardless.

    It comes down to a belief, do you believe in a higher power? Most believe in a god a creator if you will. If an un-perfect being and millions of them object to same sex marriage, would not a creator and a perfect exalted being as well oppose that? We know this to be true through a prophet of god who recieves revelation from god, and also the scriptures teach this as well. Do you know any scriptures that support gay marriage? If so what are they their refrences and what book? I know God has condemned this practice through several refrences in the bible. Also did you know polygamy was practicced when god commanded in the bible as well?? Most people don’t know that.

    Do you believe that there are eternal laws as there are earthly laws? So why do we need organzied religion? If on earth we work for everything we have, and if we don’t follow the rules of the land we are taken away our free agency and punished. Why would it be any different? Do you think we are all on this earth to just party forget about God and when we die we get our reward regardless of how we live? Would not god also have a society of rules and laws to live by? After all every reward is given to us through our work and our effort. Our chuch has standards and laws that everyone must abide by to be a member such as the case with every organization that is out there. those that can’t abide by the laws and rules may want to belong somewhere else.

    Tim hit it right on the nose with the rules and guidelines of testimony meeting, this guy did not have any of those guidelines down, and if he knew and had a testimony of the gospel then no way would he of dared to do that stunt!! Also that was a complete set-up you could totally tell. there are rules that no cameras are to be allowed in sacrament meeting if you don’t believe me then look it up or ask a bishop! regardless of that he wasn’t sharing his belief in god, and while a lot of people go off at times they also do tend to profess their belief in the end. I feel that this individual might have at the end if given the chance, but again the bishop felt like this wasn’t a testimony so he used his power, nothing wrong with that, Every place has rules and every organization would as well, just like if I went into a same sex organiazation and condemned them in their meeting I would be thrown out!

    We are free to choose, and I feel freedom and happiness from being a member. Millions join our church on their own agency and some even leave, but what organization doesn’t have disenters? there are always people who disagree on things. Also wasn’t there other people and churches besides the lds faith promoting to vote against that? Why are they not hated and talked about? Oh well it’s been fun talking to you, and I know we are just beating a dead horse.

  15. Doug,

    The point of this discussion is that Todd spoke his testimony – that he was ashamed of the actions of the LDS church – and was punished for it. That’s all. The rest of your rant is extraneous. All I am pointing out here is that members of the LDS church who have the courage and integrity to speak out against the bigotry of the church get censored and ostracized.

    And no – I don’t believe in a god or a higher power as there is zero evidence to support such a theory.

  16. Doug says:

    Zero evidence look around? earth, creations of a newborn baby, the beauty of the world, space what more evidence does one need? Evolution didn’t do all this!! Evolution a theory man devised well he created evolution? All things point to a creator, rather we like it or not, also too many miricles have happend and I don’t know if you know about the priesthood but I have been involved in some awsome healings and have felt the spirit of christ, so I have seen ample amounts of evidence when you have kids it’s also a true miricle, tbut okay I do understand that people believe differently sorry if I sound like a jerk. I was once a missionary for the church and preaching is coming back to me. I also didn’t mean to type two big long paragraphs I thought the one I typed dissapeared.

    Anyways back to the testimony thing is it’s just that, their are guidelines as explained and there are rules for the testimony bearing. Like I said any member who loves the church and has a testimony of god would not go out of there way to film the testimony then go ahead and put it on my space doesn’t that sound a little messed up? I feel this wasn’t a member or was just someone trying to stir up the pot. We don’t allow cameras of any sort into our sacred meetings like I said this policy is found in church doctrine and rules. Also most organizations do have rules and laws that must be follow and those that can’t shouldn’t belong to the organization. People have always disagreed on subjects, and the church will forever stand strong on the issue of marriage, and not conform to the popularity of society.

  17. Doug

    According to this site (http://mormonism.suite101.com/article.cfm/fast_and_testimony_meeting):

    “The purpose of fast and testimony meeting is to give members a chance to share their faith with each other. No member is required to do this, and many Mormons choose to remain in their seats and just listen to the testimonies of the other members of the branch or ward. It is more free form than the typical Mormon meetings and while there are common elements to many testimonies, judging from the experience of the author, the testimony each person gives can very widely.”

    Where are the rules you mentioned?

    I suspect Todd had his testimony filmed because he knew that he was would be punished for saying something that didn’t agree with official church policy and he wanted proof that the church is a bully.

    As for evidence of god, there are simple, natural, well-understood explanations for everything you mentioned. We don’t need to invent invisible men in the sky to explain natural phenomena.

  18. ChrissyD says:

    Doug: You didn’t address any one point of argument that Cameron or I presented. Simply evading the issues and arguments discussed on this thread and preaching about your faith (something that cannot be proven) is a quintessential Mormon response. You really didn’t need to state that you were once a Mormon missionary – it’s obvious.

    The man who stood up and spoke against the LDS church’s support to Prop 8 wasn’t a “set-up” from outsiders. I’ll say this again (in case you didn’t already read my previous post): he was likely ensuring that he had evidence to the anticipated censoring of his statements.

    What you seem to be saying, Doug, is that no LDS church member should ever question authority… Ever. Am I correct in assuming that? If so, I think you need to seriously think about the implications of that. What if, historically, nobody ever questioned authority with regard to such things as slavery, women suffrage, civil rights, etc. Highlighting examples within the Mormon church, do you think it was right for church members to sit back and never question authority when blacks were not allowed to hold the priesthood? Or when carrying out Mountain Meadow Massacre? This man was simply stating his disappointment that his church was supporting a proposition that is discriminatory and denies a minority group rights. That’s all. And he was censored and ushered out. So, our argument holds up that there is no room for free thought and open discourse/debate in the LDS church. Members are just meant to keep quiet, follow, and obey no matter what.

  19. The LDS church does seem to enforce a “our way or the highway” philosophy. What kind of person is attracted to that sort of religion in the first place?

  20. Doug says:

    This has been a funny discussion! We have both avoided simple questions, and ignored certain questions and policies regarding testimony meetings. Doesn’t “Every religion, Every organization, sports etc.. have rules and laws that must be followed in ordered to be a member? I believe so, the church has stood by marriage between man and woman for eons of time and the bible and mainstream christanity as well, why would they change that law? I preached explaining how we live by the prophets words because those that are members feel that he is a man of god and communicates with god, and then I told you that we as members know this through our personal study on the matter, and through prayer, Chrissy if you were a member you should know this as well, I am sure you have felt the spirit since you were a member once or twice after all 18 years is a long time to be a member and to say you never felt the spirit would be denying yourself! But you should know why members are staunch in their beliefs and why we tend to not question things because we know them to be true through the spirit!

    Like I said We have rules, their are too rules about bringing in cameras, any faithful member who knows the church to be true would not have filmed that and then posted that on the internet, that’s why I believe it was done in secret and also a luke warm member at that!!!

    I feel complete freedom, and happiness with my religion, and the issues we stick by I know to be true through personal study and personal prayer, most members who do have problems with laws and rules tend to leave the church.

    the question you didn’t answer was the one about us going into a same sex marriage and proclaiming our voice saying how wrong it is, we would still be allowed to speak our mind and not get ushered away? Like I said we have rules and everyone has rules you don’t like them then simply leave the church no big deal. The church is not perfect but it’s amn organization that makes us better loving people who do a lot of good and that’s just great for me.

    Cameron who said we invented invisible men in the skys? We know there are men that have conversed with god and Jesus and we also know that it’s the spirit that testifies of such things, so there is ample evidence. Whats your theroy on how we were created and this earth was it a big POOF and everything was set in place? Just curious I don’t want to sound like a jerk I am always curious in other viewpoints. Please take no offense to my posts I love a good discussion.

  21. Doug, as I said to Timothy earlier, hypothetical examples about what might happen at this or that meeting are a) just attempts on your behalf at misdirection and are irrelevant and b) an illegitimate example, because Todd Whittaker wasn’t coming in “from outside” – he was a long time member of the church.

    Doug, you don’t “know” that men have conversed with any gods – you believe that, despite the lack of evidence to support the claims and despite the evidence to the contrary. The scientific evidence to support the theory of the Big Bang is massive, grows every year and accepted by majority of astrophysicists. I’m guessing you haven’t ever read any material on the subject though, because it might conflict with your faith.

    Anyway, all of this is irrelevant to the point of my post – which is that we now have video proof that people inside the LDS church who have the courage and integrity to speak out against the bigoted policies of the church are censored and removed. If you have evidence to the contrary, please share it.

  22. Doug says:

    Here are some things that I will sum up if I haven’t quite summed them up.

    1- Being a member for over 30+ years I have never witnessed a video camera in any sacrament meeting, matter of fact it is outlawed in church guidelines. Thus one can easily conclude that it was either a set-up, or a luke warm member who didn’t have a testimony and was mad about prop8. DO yo have any evidence that this was a strong member who went all the time? Also a strong or a member who goes quite often never would of attempted such a feat and put it on youtube. I also know that their are guidelines such as what Tim stated please take note of the guidelines. You can see my point being a lifetime member and knowing the rules. Any member at all would not have gone the lengths that he did to post his stuff.

    2- As with any organization there are laws and rules most LDS members know them and follow them to the best of their ability, we falter but that is why we have repentance. People that object can have their say and people do but when you are in a big meeting you must abide by the laws of the meeting and keep politics out, yes some people do go off but again it is up to the bishop and to his disgression if he wants to cut it out. Rules are to be followed by anyone, and those with differeing beliefs are not meant to be mormons, thats the beauty of free agency.

    3- We strongly believe in the santicty of marriage between a man and woman we know this because it has been said by god whom we beileve in and through a prophet of god. We as individuals study it out, and then ask god in prayer if it is true. Any christian will do the same formula. The bible speaks harshly about same sex attractionl. Just because the world is now doing things diffeently doesn’t mean that our church has to conform to the world’s standards thus being a popular church. What god wants is what we do, and again we go back to our individuality and choices by our study, and prayer.

    4- We have a spirit that testifies of the truth, I am sure Chrissy did feel that spirit and knows what I am talking about. When we pray we can get answers and millions of members who join yearly go through this method to recieve answers, this my friend is why the church has set their policy and then we as individuals can accept that or reject that and leave the church just like any form of organization that is out there.

    5-While there are spots in church history there have been questions about them . Blacks recieved the priesthood and all I know was that when Cain killed Abel there was a skin curse put on them and blessings that were taken away, when blacks recieved the priesthood the curse was lifted, and again it doesn’t make sense to an outsider looking in, but that’s just what I have heard, polgamy was practiiced for a short time but only some 1% of the church practiced this and it was a calling you recieved, Just like in the bible times there were some righteous individuals practicing that as well. While there are different things people don’t understand for the most part we have been very consistent with our beliefs and laws.

    6- The big bang theory is a theory and it’s just that, who created the big bang theory how did those objects that caused the big bang theory come to be? My evidence that there is a god is through the spirit and what I have felt, and numerous accounts from others such as our prophets and scriptures again Chrissy should know what the spirit testifies about. if confused. Evidence we have is about a boy named Joseph Smith who knealt in a grove of trees and prayed to know which church to join, he said he saw god the father and his son. With that claim we then are taught as members to study and pray about that and then the spirit testifies if it is true. So yes we do have evidence.

    Well I am a broken record but you know what it is kind of fun learning about different beliefs while our church does stick to thier books, I do feel a say and have my free agency to exercise there is a time and place for everything and in that sacrament meeting was diffently not the time or place. You can talk and I have talked about certain issues in church and haven’t gotten shunned away, I just feel that if people don’t like it then simply leave, no big deal. Also why does this church get picked on a lot? Wasn’t there a lot of other groups opposing the prop 8 as well? Just is kind of funny how people have to attacke our church and the doctrine if their not members than why should they care what we believe in? Just a thought. Like I said we won’t conform to be popular on the issue of same sex marriage.

  23. Doug,

    I’m again going to ignore most of your comment because it’s not relevant at all to the issue we’re discussing.

    I’ll just reiterate that it seems from Todd’s video that people like him to speak out publicly about the bigotry sponsored by the LDS church get censored. You may think censorship and bullying are fine inside your church but I think this is a lesson for anyone considering joining your church. They better be willing to do what they are told and not speak their minds or they will be punished.
    The LDS church is a totalitarian organisation. If you’re fine with being a member of a totalitarian church, then that’s fine.

    If you’re wondering why the LDS church gets criticized, it’s because its policies and practices are bigoted and intolerant. It is actively preventing minority groups from having equal rights. Yes there were other religious groups SUPPORTING Prop 8 (as did the Mormons, they SUPPORTED prop 8), and the are getting their fair share of criticism as well. If you choose to be a member of a group that preaches intolerance and bigotry, then you should get used to hearing it criticized on a regular basis.

    Or… you can try to change the church from within to become a less bigoted organisation. Perhaps that’s what Todd was trying to do.

  24. Doug says:

    While I don’t think bullying is the issue, Like I said and the majority of LDS people who belong to the church will tell you that CAMERAS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN SACRAMENT MEETING!! your girlfriend had her performance taped but that was like a LONG time ago, ask her if she has ever seen a video during a talk or fast and testimony meeting? It’s not allowed therefore one can EASILY CONCLUDE that this was a set-up BIG TIME!! You wouldn’t go threw the trouble to have your voice heard and then post it on you tube, espicially a faithful believing member would already be established in the church and wouldn’t have to question doctrine, again our priesthood leaders are there for you to discuss your concerns, but we don’t do it in an open public, testimony meeting is not for that, simple as that!

    Just because we don’t conform to the world’s policies about accepting gay marriage and might I add few churches support gay marriage doesn’t mean we are a bigoted church! That we mean a lot of organizations and societys are bigoted because they have certain rules you must follow to become a member. We will stick by our decision and yes people have their free agency to talk to leaders about the doctrine and they are free to belong to any organization that they want too. Being a member to anything has it rules.

  25. DOug says:

    When you say the church is bigoted and intolerant why is that? Is it because we as christians don’t accept a practice that is wrong according to christanity and God? Is it because we have rules and laws that others don’t like to follow such as the word of wizdom, and the law of chasity just to name a couple? Is it because we don’t conform to the popularity of the world and don’t accept sin? I think that’s funny, we know as time and time goes on certain practices are starting to be accepted back in the day we would cringe and get grossed out when we say two people kiss who were of the same sex, as time went by the world started to accept this practice, we know it’s a sin (if your christian) and then the world starts accepting those sins and then practicing them, our church just won’t do that! So of cource now we are a bigoted churhc that’s funny!! I think that certain people have problems with rules and laws and they get extremely mad or they try to bring that church down through things of this nature. Like I said and I will keep saying this all churches have laws and rules, and almost all other organizations school, church, sports, etc.. have their rules, we are a world revolving around rules and laws, people will hate that but such is life, we must follow them, or we can go somewhere else to worship and in most cases that’s the story with non-members they see a policy they can’t stand so they flat out just quit and then they persecute the church because of that policy. For every good thing you can find a million bad things about the church, and people will make claims I have heard them all, and there are a million anti-mormon things out there but that’s what makes us strong we as members know the truth, and we simply go by the doctrine that we currently have and this is all we need! Just a thought on your statement saying we are bigoted and intolerable to others I guess in a sense you are right, but we shall stand true to our roots and to what our god teaches us! PEACE!!

  26. Louis says:

    After reading the posts and also watching the man’s supposedly testimony I would also agree with Doug and Todd this looks staged, and I also know that they don’t allow cameras into sacrament and testimony meetings. No one goes through that much effort to post a video if they were true members or just someone trying to make a point.

    Doug and Todd did have a huge point that is being overlooked and that is the fact that each organization/religion has their own set of rules and laws that must be followed and if they are not followed that individual can leave that organization.

    While there are issues that people have problems with they do have that freedom to leave as well. Also one has to look at the success rate of the lds church and how many people join every year!

  27. Sheryl says:

    I am not a mormon but I do have friends that are, so I know a lot about the religion. While I don’t agree on some of their policies I do know that the religion does a lot of good for many people. I too have felt that this was not a testimony but looked like a set up to me. My friend who is a member also stated that cameras are not allowed within the meetings, and that this looked like a staged event. I must say Doug does ramble a lot but he has his point each person can quit if they don’t like the rules.

    • Sheryl, I believe Todd *did* quit. His testimony was explaining to the others WHY he was quitting. This whole business of “rules” is exactly my point. In the LDS church, one of the “rules” is not to have opinions that disagree with the church authorities.

  28. Todd here…WOW What a Great Thread this is, I Guess speaking the truth in my ward seems to have caught on to many other wards here in california. The church is trying to Silence what is happening just as they tried to silence me but I have had several phone calls in reference to My testimony and how it has inspired so many to think outside the box and see how wrong this church was in participating in a political election. So Many are waking up Now to LDS Policy and are having their names removed from all church records by the Hundreds, As a 7th Generation Pioneer Heritage Mormon with family that died at the hands of Indians settleing in southern Utah under the direction Of brigham Young in a Ghost town called “Grafton” My Family has shed Its Own Blood for this Church, Im Very Glad To have brought So Much Truth and uncovered an Evil Act Towards Minority groups in America, as I have stated on several other posts, I Only video Taped this event so that My Father who is Very Old and Ill, could witness this event as he is so very proud of his children for Not allowing Bigotry into their lives…This WAS an Honest Testimony and With my tithe dollars and fast offerings They Still shut off the Mic…Im glad the world has a chance to see the REAL MORMON CHURCH in action for a change’….Todd Whitaker

  29. [...] Church Todd Whitaker, the Mormon who bravely spoke out against LDS bigtory inside the church and had uploaded his speech to YouTube, added some background to the story in the comments section to my post. He [...]

  30. Doug says:

    Todd while you have issues with the church that is your own personal thing. religion is based on a belief in God, and as mormons we base that belief in prayer which in turn tells you by the spirit if it is true. When you know it’s true you also know what is being taught that is true, and you also know our stand on gay marriage and other such issues. If your testimony is establishe within the church this wouldn’t have been an issue with you. Sure many leave the church and that is because they SIMPLY CAN”T FOLLOW ESTABLISH RULES which are built into the church. We will stand by our beliefs and laws and people are free to leave. I don’t feel that a established member would of taped their testimony, but one who disagrees with the church and has issues would of done what you have done. If you want to leave do. Every society has rules, that must be followed and every organization. Remember while some leave, thousands join a year!!!

  31. Jeff says:

    What does it matter? People leave religions all the time because they can’t follow the simple rules, or they have issues with them. I will agree with Doug he does ramble on and on but he does have a point! Leave if you can’t follow the rules, and just because the church doesn’t let gays be members doesn’t mean they have to conform to what the world wants them to do. As far as I checked being gay is a big NO NO in the sight of christanity read the bible, etc… I appaluade the LDS faith for sticking to their guns and not doing what the world would want them to do, what’s next people marrying animals??? Good grief if they don’t like the rules form their own worship service!!!

    I also feel it wasn’t a testimony that was shared and it did look like a set-up. Hey you wanted our input.

    • Jeff and Doug, you’re both missing the point. Todd *did* leave the LDS church. Why? Because he realized the church’s position on gay marriage is bigotry and he realized that any religion that claims bigotry to be one of the principles is fundamentally intolerant and flawed. He tried to help the other members of the church realize that on his way out.

      Jeff, it had nothing to do with not letting gays be members, it was about the LDS church’s actions funding the “yes” campaign for Prop 8 in California, banning gay marriage.

      Doug, what happens when a Mormon prays to God and is told that the LDS church is NOT true or has lost its way? What then? Does your conditioning give you an prepared answer to THAT question?

  32. KUDOS to you Cameron Someone actually gets it in here … Thanks for Defending my position as So many arn’t able to even see it for what it is for fear of their standing being tarnished in the church or their own consciouses Conflicts with “what is right” As to what they have been taught “what is right”

    When an Institution that is Tax Exempt Participates (However small) By Influencing its Members To Vote a certain way on a Political issue that Takes away Someone else’s Rights To Marry, then I Believe that Institution should loose thier tax exempt status….Funny, the Mormons Went Out west in search of a Place called Zion to Practice THEIR Definition Of marriage Freely without persecution and to Have freedom To Live Happily while doing such….

    I guess One way to see this is That Because They had to Denounce Poligamy and Had thier rights taken away from their definition of marriage, They are now in a Financial Position to Take Away Rights From Minority groups that They Deem as “Molesters and Pedifiles” as They define My lifestyle right out of the Bible from their Translation and Definition which created Fear and Hate towards Any Gay Man or woman, if we look back We Also See How Brigham Young and so many other leaders of this Church did likewise to the Negro Race Untill 1978 when a Class action Lawsuit was Leering over the shoulder of the LDS Church

    http://nowscape.com/mormon/negro2.htm

    Go Ahead and see the quotes for yourselves…This Church Has Changed with the times and ITs about time they wake up because they are stomping on my rights as an American Not a Mormon and there Is a difference…
    May God Bless You to Know the truth Of All Things

  33. Doug says:

    Sure if god said the church wasn’t true one you have to first look at your own personal life. We are taught that to have the spirit or be in tuned to it, you must try to follow the church guidelines and rules and by abiding by the principals your more in tune with the spirit and you can dicern which is right and which is wrong. I believe that when people go against the principals that are set they become distant from the church and start to question the doctrine of the church. (this can also be said of any organization out there) If your in tune and god told you it was wrong then sure leave. A lot of people do leave, but the beauty of our church is we tell people to join on their own terms and that is through proper study and prayer. Our church never pushes to have people join, we simply tell them the message and then they do the rest. I know what your trying to say, and we are defending our religion just like Todd thought he was doing. Being a member you have plenty of say, it’s just what he did was not the proper time and place to share his disbeliefs about things. And it was up to the bishop to pull the plug. Like I said also it looks like a set up to me and also too many others that have viewed this posting. Again no cameras are allowed and this was done behind the proper authority so one can easily see why this had to be a set-up.

    • Doug, what on earth do you mean “a set-up”? And again I ask you – if a Mormon isn’t allowed to speak their honest feelings about the teachings of the church during a “Testimony” meeting, when *is* the right time to speak about them in front of a gathering?

  34. Doug, You can twist and re-Direct this Issue all you like but Please feel free to call the Palm Springs Ward yourself if you don’t think it is real..I would welcome anybody the same Opportunity, that said I Appreciate your Candor and I respect Your position but sadly you run from the argument at hand..It was Not so much the venue or How it was Done, It was The Message that Got you Angry’ If you hear the Video (Which Is difficult) a Letter was read in regards to her Contribution To Prop 8 because of the church’s influence She contributed to taking away Her Cousin’s Right to marry in California, Nothing to do with in a Mormon Church…OR a Sacred temple ceremony, It was So Todd could have legal rights and Hospital rights, Divorce rights Adopting Children and having his own family…so many rights were Taken away with prop 8 and I Said that I was Ashamed and dissapointed, Nothing But an Honest Testimony However you want to “Spin” It’
    So try all you like to Disprove this Event, but its Gonna be hard to cover Up the truth When it really Did Happen’ …And as for Video Taping there were No signs Posted Anywhere visible to the contrary and I have had My camera in that ward Before Many times Taping baptisms etc…Todd W

  35. Doug and Todd, I’ve sent you both an email inviting you to join me as guests on the G’Day World podcast to continue this interesting discussion. I hope you’ll both be up for it.

  36. Doug says:

    Okay so you have issues with prop 8. Religion is such as that there are laws, principals, and rules that govern us as a body. When individuals have problems with these rules they can talk to church leaders about their issues, and if they are not satisfied they can even opt out of church. I haven’t dodged the issues but I have addressed the issues. We don’t have our say when it comes to direct rules, and things that are set in stone. We can councel with the bishop but the real issue is can people follow and respect the guidelines and the rules that are set forth? The question I have constantly asked is that? Doesn’t each religion, sports team, community, government organziations and so forth have rules? They must be followed or you can leave if you don’t like them. So yes you do win the arguement when it comes to set guidelines such as marriage between man and woman only in our church you do have to follow them, and the church won’t budge, so in a sense we don’t have a say in important matters, but WE DO HAVE FREE AGENCY TO LEAVE ANYTIME WE WANT!! So the real issue is just that we can leave if we disagree. Testimnony is for bearing your testimony about Christ and the church not personal matters. There’s a time and place for everything and your bishop had every right to have done what he did. Why make an issue of this? Do you think people are going to lose their testimony because you are doing this? If so then they didn’t have a testimony in the first place, for if your testimony is strong, you don’t leave the church over this matter!

  37. Im sorry Cameron But debating a guy like this is “No debate at all” I Bet He would walk away quietly out of his Bishop’s Office if he was allowed to marry but then his church Funded a campaigne to stop his Marriage? I Have Too Much Self Respect To Engage in a Debate with this guy

    Thanks Ive said All Im going to Say on the issue, Now its time For Todd To move on with his life and Leave Debating the Issues as to appropriateness,rudeness, or christ-like behavior to All of you
    IM Glad and Proud Of what I Did as it has helped Hundreds of other Gay Mormons Find their way Out of the clutches of Mormonism…That Said, Please Use the Video to Help Promote Repealing Prop 8 and making people aware of how this church has used its money to influence millions of californian’s take away rights they had allready acheived. And Believe me, if they can do this To Us Gays, they WILL do it to Anyone

    And as for Doug…If I wanted To Talk to a Wall I Have plenty’

    May God Bless You All To know the Truth Of all things…

    Todd

  38. doug says:

    Settle down there Todd! First of all you posted this video so you should expect people to talk back that is what a debate is, we all have different viewpoints. When you post something about our church you better believe there will be people defending it!

    I think that your question was answered. and my questions totally avoided. The simple question and statement is that each organization has rules, guidelines, and principals to follow and if you can’t abide by that then bye bye go somewhere else. Why is this being avoided? Also the simple fact is testimony what is a testimony? As stated it’s not a debate time or time to talk about world issues, etc.. It’s a simple testimony about Christ and the blessings you have been given as a result of your membersip again please see Tim’s post about the rules of testimony. So it’s just that you hate the rules so you quit the church let’s leave it at that. Church is for those that want religion and guidelines in life, yes some rules we feel suck but that’s just that once you know the church is true then you also know what is being taught is true. No hard feelings man it’s just a debate!!

  39. Cameron Reilly says:

    Doug, you have avoided MY questions. If the testimony meeting isn’t a place to speak openly about the church, then what IS the right place? If I understand you correctly, you’re saying there IS no place.

    As for “law” and “rules”, I like the words of Henry David Thoreau:

    “It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right.”

    What happens in a church like LDS when the law is not right? Are you saying people just need to “like it or lump it”?

  40. Doug says:

    I have answered the question about testimony meeting and the guidelines which can be found under Tim’s post. Also I believe I have stated that they could talk to church leaders, members anytime they feel they have a problem. Testimony meeting is not about politics, world event, community events, etc… but a simple belief in Christ and how he has blessed us. A member who questions things has all the right to talk to whomever he wants, so I feel the question has been answered. Again a time and place for everything.

    The laws and rules of every organization that is out there is just that. There are guidelines and if a person can’t follow those they can quit or go elsewhere. Our church is about free agency and we base membership on people who seek dilengtly on their own terms to join. We present our message, and they do the rest pray, study, etc.. and that is why our church is a freedom to choose religion.

    In “EVERY” organization there are those that disagree and those that quit. Like I said people are free to leave anytime. As christians gay marriage isn’t even an issue. There are religions that accept these practices, but mainstream christanity frowns upon it. Our church of cource frowns upon this practice. Yes gays can attend church but just not get married. It all comes down to your belief if you know the church is true then you also know that god through a prophet has commanded marriage be between man and woman only, and until then the church won’t change that policy because people want them too.

    Rules are rules and people can leave it’s sad but such is life. I don’t know really what else to say. The headline shouldn’t be what it is but about a guy who couldn’t follow church guidelines and quit the church out of frustration. Every member has a voice and say, like I said testimony meeting is not the place for that say!

  41. Doug, so essentially you’re saying there is NO forum for LDS members to speak openly about concerns they may have with the church’s policies? That’s a rule? They can speak in private with church leaders but not in any open forum in front of a group? All they are allowed to do in a group forum is toe the line?

    That’s not about “rules” and “laws” – that’s about preventing dissent, stopping debate, avoiding open discussion, and it’s the hallmark of an echo chamber, people who just run around slapping each other on the back about how wonderful they are and avoiding any genuine open discussion.

    When that kind of culture happens in governments or corporation or churches, it inevitably leads to tunnel thinking, regressive behaviour and, eventually, widespread corruption.

    Any church that has such a fragile hold on its “truth” that it won’t allow open discussion and debate is obviously scared of something.

  42. Doug says:

    Thanks for your oppinion. Like I said people can discuss anytime they want. We do have meetings after sacrament meeting and in these meetings people do talk openely about certain issues, and the teacher will have a discussion about them. Talks of such important nature like homesexuality and marriage are avoided because members know that the church will never drop their stance on this issue. Also most members already have a testimony that this is wrong. In all my years of going to church I have never known a gay to be attending, or questions about gay marriage. I am not prejudice against gays I just know that they probably don’t feel welcomed in our church because they can’t get married in our church and be a full active member if they practice that practice so yes it’s never been an issue with me, and for that part a majority of people I know. Just because there are people that want marriage which is against our rules that doesn’t mean we are a closed minded people. Sin is sin and we know this is the case. The church won’t and will not conform to societys acceptance of this practice. they are free to come to church and learn. I can promise you that the church is not corrupt and does more good than most people know. We are one of the top charitable organizations in the world, and we help out millions of people daily. I am sure you can read about this anywhere.. Like I said every organization has rules, and this is one rule the church won’t budge on.

  43. Doug Thats an interesting Opinion…Lets Clarify it a bit shall we? Yes We are a closed Minded people because “We” Believe that Blacks Bear a Curse from God as a Punishment for Cain’s Actions, Our Prophets have spoken Quite Strongly Concerning the Negro Race Unlike Many other religions in this world that Love People Unconditionally, Second How many Churchs Fund a Campaigne To Take away Rights that have allready exhisted? and as for Generosity,The Mormon Church Does Alot of Good For alot of People He Is right about that, I Do Remember in MTC that In order to Get People To Find Their Personal Testimony of the Gospel Of Jesus Christ and be converted, One Must be willing to Give….In fact Offer To Take the trash out Or Clean the yard of your Prospective Converts , Another Technique to mentally Win People’s Hearts and Minds Through Obligation, Duty Equals Charity to Mormons, The Most Charity I Remember doing as a Mormon was Doing For Poor Mormons, they take care of their own and Then The rest’
    And Doug is Right about They will Always Love the Sinner But NOT the Sin’ The Love that dare not speak its name…By classifying Us as such they will Always Win At Keeping Us in the closet, Thus Stomping on Our Human Rights In the Name of GOD…Its Not very Hard to see this and Im Glad I Did My Part As a Mormon & Or Former Mormon To expose the wrongs My Church Has done to Myself and Millions of others and are Getting away with it even today Hiding under a banner of a “Private Organization”
    Your definition of Love is Far different than Mine and I dont believe The church deserves to have Members Like Myself Contributing and Practicing I hope they will Find a way Out And Find True Happiness and Unconditional Love as Our Creator intended for each of us.Even Cain’s Descendants…Oh and Thank You Doug for not being Prejudice Towards Me And Others Like me, thats Very Open Minded of you, Brigham Young Also said many things concerning the Negro Race that Was supposedly “Unchangeable” The church Would’nt budge on their views regarding blacks and the priesthood , Not untill a Class action lawsuit in 1978 changed their minds Pretty fast’http://nowscape.com/mormon/negro2.htm……So When We as Gays Get enough Political Power To Have a Class action Lawsuit Stand before the Supreme court I could Only Guess that Then and ONLY THEN will the Prophet Have a Divine Revelation and and Official Proclamation to the world concerning Gays and the Priesthood’, So for now I must agree with you..”Like I said every organization has rules, and this is one rule the church won’t budge on.”

  44. Doug says:

    First off the blacks were granted the priesthood in the earlyu 70’s. Government never filed a suit against the church. The prophet did have a revelation about allowing them to have the priesthood. While this sometimes is hard to explain, there are reasons such as what you mentioned the curse of cain. What prophets spoke out about Negros? You have to share the info if your claiming this and where you heard that?

    One has to go back to their beliefs. It sounds like you have been a mormon and even went on a mission. I don’t know what your talking about at the MTC about giving? Yes we serve for two years that is true. the principal of service is that you serve others and it helps humble you, and you start to feel good inside because of the spirit. Our church strongly believes in the principal of service because we feel we are all brothers and sisters. So yes we are indeed a working church.

    God does indeed love us and wants best for us. Do you believe that each of us have weaknesses given to us, and that is to make us stronger if we accomplish these weaknesses. I know I have a lot of weaknesses I need to work on. The church does view homosexuality and same sex attraction as one of those weaknesses. The bible condones same sex attraction, and the prophets through god as this conferred that this is a sin. So that is why we won’t conform to the world’s demands. As individuals we have the power to conquer our weaknesses.

    We are a working church and we do have rules, such as any organziation that is out there. People will quit because of these rules, and that is fine. The leaders of the church are human therefore they will error, but one must base that on what is being taught and what the doctrine is. We tell people to find out on their own through study and prayer and work and then if you do all these you can come to know the truth on your own. We never force people into joining our church. Millions of people follow this formula and join every year. Your right people quit but it is those that can’t abide by those rules and are having a hard time in not conguering their weaknesses.

    We are all about love but you also have to remember that we have a policy one has to folow to belong. Gay marriage will always be an issue and until god says likewise the church will stand behind their views. Sorry you feel bitter about that.

  45. Why Did you Deny them in the first Place? and Howcome the Sudden Change Of heart in 1978? Weakness, PLEASE Being who I am is one of my greater strengths, as a Gay man thats Just how I was wired when i was Born, Nothing to do with “Weakness”

    You are all about Love allright, Taking My freedom Of speech away in a Building I Helped Pay For, Taking Rights away from Californians because you believe its a sin, Thats Real Love !! and Just when does God Says Likewise? is that when the church is starring at a Civil rights lawsuit? It may be years before we get enough attention to have Political rights in this country thanks to you people who voted YES on Prop 8

    Doug, If I were to Vote to Take away a basic Right of Freedom as an american I can asure you would be bitter as well’

  46. Doug says:

    We didn’t take away anything. You were a member and you knew the rules. If one has a testimony of the church than one simply does his best to abide by it’s principals because you know that it is the right thing to do.

    So you are saying that god doesn’t give his children trials and weaknesses? I think when god created us by a woman all his children the design of the plan was that families were to be between man and woman or why didn’t he create Adam and Steve only or Beth and Eve only? It’s an arguement that will stand the time my friend. God is a man he has children and that is the eternal plan. We may be born gay but that doesn’t mean it’s not a trial for us to overcome. I am sorry if I sound like a jerk, but that is the harsh reality of what is the truth, god has spoken it, the bible has spoken it, the book of mormon has spoken it, and the prophets.

    If you don’t believe in the church and the principals thereof why even fight it? go to another religion that probably views it the same why we view homosexuality. We will never face a civil lawsuit just like we never did when blacks couldn’t hold the priesthood so no one is worrited about that. I understand your frustration but it is what it is. You either have a testimony of this gospel or you don’t. It’s the simple things that are overlooked that don’t get followed.

    Like I said the church leaders are not perfect and they error on things, but what is taught and what is set as rules are perfect, example: word of wizdom, tithing, law of chasity, and so forth the doctrine needs to be judged not the human error.

  47. You did’nt Take anything away? What was Prop 8 then? The Supreme Court in California Had Stated that Gay Marriage WAS LEGAL for 8 months Prior’

    This is the kind of Ignorance I am Done Debating….

    Im not fighting your church principals, You have every right to be Bigots if you like IN CHURCH, but as an American The church Crossed the line…Why do you Re-Direct the argument? You Mormons are Very good at that’

    You Took Rights Away from Americans There is a seperation of Church and state in this country Sir

    Have a Great Life and I Hope one of your grandchildren turn out to be Gay so you will Understand first hand what Hate you are standing for and Repent yourself One day and ask forgiveness for being so Narrow Minded, but It will take One of your own for you to see what you have done

    Thanks for reading and allowing this Debate…IM done here

  48. doug says:

    You said: Second How many Churchs Fund a Campaigne To Take away Rights that have allready exhisted? What rights are those? As far as I know marriage has only been between man and woman. So how have we taken those away? From the begining of time it has been like this.

    Prop 8 wasn’t just the LDS church but many religions helped campaign as well. The church did advise it’s members which isn’t against any rules or doing any wrong. We can see this by the lawsuits that supposedly went against the church and nothing came about this. The church had every right in their jursidiction to tell the members to donate money and to vote yes. this isn’t about politics but about keeping marriage the way God meant it to be. Each person living today was created by a man and woman simply logic and the way God designed this earth. Only 2% of California’s are LDS so as you can see there was a lot of people voting yes besides the LDS church.

    I do have cousins and friends who are gay, and I don’t frown upon them. They know the rules of church and we just don’t bring it up. When it comes to religion I will stand by the ethics and values that the church uphelds. If my kids turn gay I will still love them, and help them along the way to understand their weakness.

    To me as humans we love to justify when we do wrong. Individuals tend to think that nothing is wrong with sin and that we are justified in commmiting the act that god does forbid. Also to say that this isn’t a weakness or a trial is simply not understanding the true nature of why we are on this earth. We do work for our living through our jobs and it’s easy to say that what we have in life is through our own hard work. In eternal perspectives god has his rules we must follow to gain our eternal reward. He sets these rules up through sacred scripture and through living prophets. Since day 1 god has frowned upon this practice and if you don’t believe me research the scriptures and research mainstream christanity. Just because times change doesn’t mean that all churches are going to change thier ways and accept sin?

    While god loves each of us, like I said he has set up guidelines and has given each person weaknesses to overcome in this life, that is part of progression and developing ourselves as individuals.

    I have found in my dealings with the less active members and people who quit the church they either have: 1- quit going to church. 2- don’t practice the teachings. 3- Start to do small things which in turn leads to bigger things. 4- forget to pray and study the gospel. In-activity is usually not just one reason but several reasons. the church isn’t for everyone but for those that want to be closer to christ and his teachings those that want structure and happiness.

    You say that many have left the church because of your posting but how can you prove this? If they left the church it is a series of events that led to do this. Our church is designed to make an individual happy and full-filling in their life. I know when I have followed the rules I am a happy individual but when I start to stray I become less happy.

    I hope you go about life not being bitter about the church but understanding that their are laws and rules of the land that must be followed in order to be a member and stay that way. God wants whats best for us, but he also has his rules he has set for each of us. Those that are not members talk bad about our church and say we are bigots. Which is their right. Many however fail to see the true happiness and direction that it provides people, and the fact that millions of people join every year because of our message. A church that does a lot of good will be around for years and years to come. Even if people have problems with us. Sorry you felt hurt or mad, but you put yourself out there when you posted this on the internet. Rules are rules and that is that! One can find another relgion when they have issues no big deal.

  49. Kathy says:

    Great post! I do feel for Todd about the same sex marriage, but I also see two sides to this debate. Doug is right about rules and laws that has to be followed. The lds church did campaign for prop 8 but there were many others as well that did so and haven’t taken nearly half of what the lds church has.

    I feel it is in their right to tell members to vote yes, after all their teachings teach marriage between man and woman. In order to preserve that union the members were told to step it up and donate funds. I don’t see this as politcal gains but an exercise of freedom of speech and also protecting marriage as it’s meant to be by our creator.

    Either way like Doug pointed out you can leave the church, but what I find crazy is so many people that leave continue to fight against the church, and it ususally is a result that they left the church because they couldn’t follow the rules or disagreed with them. Why not drop it and move on to something different?

    • Kathy, perhaps it’s because they left the church once they realized (as Todd did) that what it stands for is unethical and immoral. Bigotry, as practiced by the LDS church, is something every decent person should fight against.

  50. Doug says:

    Still wanting to know what rights we took away? And why the church telling members to vote yes is a political move? To me and others it’s about preserving the rights of the church and the people that want marriage the way that it is meant to be. People have that right if there are a lot of same sex people why couldn’t they overthrow that vote? the people have spoken! To me it is the way America is set up freedom of speech and that is decided by the vote and voice of the people.

    • Doug – and so what if “the voice of the people” decided that the Mormon church was a disgrace and voted to shut it down? Would you be in favour of that? From my reading of LDS history, they’ve are quite fond of complaining about the way they were treated in the 19th century because of their anti-mainstream beliefs (polygamy, their own bible, etc). It’s amusing to me how the Mormons like to have it both ways.

  51. Duane C says:

    I am not a Member of the church but I know many people that do belong, it appears that Todd is tired of debating with somebody that can’t see his point of view, in fact many of the accusations that were thrown towards the man Todd Seems to have already answered in his video and in his comments.The Salt Lake City Tribune Printed Today The American Senate Leader Harry Reid Also spoke up against The mormon churches involvement in Proposition 8 Taking away rights from a Minority Group as ” a waste of Resources” so He must have a Valid point as it seems to be catching on that way in the states these days…Doug its obvious this guy is gay and was able to marry in california Just prior to Proposition 8 passing by a narrow margin of a vote, he had rights that today he can not claim thanks to prop 8 Not difficult to understand but it appears you enjoy getting the last word in this thread…well it appears you got that much indeed .. Peace to you both

  52. Doug says:

    You have your beliefs and we have our beliefs that’s what this is all about!! People are mad because the rules don’t follow what they believe. Religion is structure and a way to worship our creator. There are many church’s that people can attend. I guess in your definnition there is no degree of sin, and we are all bigots. Why not allow rapists, and murderers and adulterers status in our church? Why not us bigots won’t allow same sex people into the church. You see, religion defines what a sin is and what a sin isn’t. Our church has clearly defined that homosexulity is a sin, and we shall stick to that definition! Why must we conform because all of a sudden it’s popular with the world and that in turn makes it popular with god????? I guess we are bigots and proud of that! You can also call the hundreds of other church’s bigots while your at it. Christanity like I said frowns upon this practice, the bible teaches against it as well, and the bible is what christanity is all about with thousands of beliefs and religions usuing that.

    It’s okay that Todd is gay, the real issue is that he is posting stuff on the internet and we are defending it. The simple fact is Todd can’t follow lds beliefs so he is mad and wants that changed. why not go somwhere that will accept his beliefs and quit the fight? If the church one day accepts this practice than so be it, but until then the rules are set in stone. If Todd is a true christian than he should know in his research and in christanity the early laws and the late laws that god has never supported gay marriage, if you hate this fact then go elsewhere and don’t be a christian . I just find it hard to believe that someone has a problem with guidelines quits and then raises all hell because they don’t get there way! Life is grand ain’t it?? Relgion is such that we have laws and rules deal with it!!

  53. Duane C says:

    I can understand why no one wants to continue debating with doug Church and state are seperate and todd’s complaint was’nt towards church doctrine or denying sin, it was that his church became involved in something they had no business in, Politics are not a place for a church that doesnt pay taxes takes in tax free Money and uses It to take away rights from some folks, as for todd being mad I can’t blame him I would be too If I were a mormon Homosexual but accusing him of raising all hell is a stretch when clearly it seems to be a testimony of his own expierience

    my wife & I know of many good christians that support their gay sons and daughters in their church and in the outside world, so Christianity is’nt the Supressor here, Mormonism is of its own rules but identifying bigotry as a “christian value” is disturbing …To label gay people in the same category as rapists and murders is Just Ignorant and intolerant but if thats what you mormons believe thats your right indeed

    as a christian I dont believe in gay marriage but I dont think I have the right to tell someone else they are wrong and make their marriage illegal just because thats what I Believe…I do not nor does my church have that right but Yours Obviously does

    In the end we will all be judged individually by our creator so untill that day may we try not to be a judge but repent and be saved in his holy name and do unto others as you would have done unto you

  54. Doug says:

    Okay to understand why I said what I said you must read all the posts and also what Todd and others have said. First off Todd posted a recording of his testimony on you-tube something that is against church rules, and not a testimony at all. Please read Tims posting on the laws of testimony meeting. It is also against rules to record in a chapel building unless permission is given, and as a member all my life I have never witnessed anything recorded in a testimony meeting. Todd was rightfully shut down by the bishop because he wasn’t following church standards and was preaching about his dissapointments about prop 8 which is not a time or place for such discussions. Testimony meeting is about how christ has blessed you and your family and your testimony about the church.

    Also why would it be wrong for a church that teaches marriage is between man and god only to tell it’s members to help donate money, and also vote yes? IS this not preserving their religion and the beliefs why wouldn’t you fight for something we strongly believe in? And when is politics mixing in with beliefs, the church saw that we preserve marriage and fought why is this bad? Church membership in california only stands at 2%, so a lot more people voted as well.

    I wasn’t labeling gays in the same category as murderers and rapists, but making a point. People want us to change to fit their lifestyle but disregarding the rules of the church and god. they want us to conform to their lifestyle when we know that the church has rules against this, I was merely saying heck why not give those guys rights too? and disregard all the commandments and laws god set forth?

    I only told them what the church view is on marriage and what we believe as far as christians and same sex marriage goes, I never called them personally that they are evil, but from a church doctrine standpoint of why we don’t believe in that.

    The main point of this is that some people have a hard time in following set guidelines and standards and they have to fight for what they deem to be right. Relgion is all about rules and laws god sets forth and it isn’t for everyone. To make an issue of what Todd did debates will go on, I just think that if people don’t like a religion just leave what’s the big deal? religion and a belief in god are for those that want rules and guidelines to better their lives. It’s not for all people and some will even rebel against these rules.

  55. Duane C says:

    Respectfully doug I must agree to disagree, You missed the point entirely and several people in here I read in comments have tried to convince you of this argument including todd and you still fail to see it for what it is ..

    Good for you and your beliefs.. as I said you will have the final word in this thread but it appears your argument makes todds testimony look even more credible with a valid Issue or at very least pro bono

  56. doug says:

    I do know what the point is, the whole main headline is: Proof that mormons aren’t allowed to think for themselves” Which is a BIG statement and will create a debat like topic for anyone that is LDS.

    Todd left is as that a debate in which he will lose, the statement that we can’t think for ourselves is totally false, and my arguement has supported that. Anyone can leave the church and anyone can talk to church members anytime when they have issues or concerns about the church.

    The arguement was the bishop shutting the mic off of his testimony. Like I said there are guidelines to a testimony meeting (tims post states the guidelines) And the bishop had EVERY right to pull the plug in a nice way first talking to Todd and then shutting off the mic. A time and place for every frustration just not in a wide spread testimony meeting. So you see with the statement of the post Todd left the debate wide open and with some of the other things he had to say about the church.

    I am making the point that relgion there are laws and rules, and if you can’t abide those rules than leave! Religion isn’t for everyone right?

    I also feel that a church telling anyone to vote yes to support their laws isn’t dealing with politics but preserving their rights of worship and preserving the rights of christanity to keep marriage how it has meant to be throughout the generation of times. People could of voted no and won but that didn’t happen, to place the entire blame on one church is absurb seeming how church membership in California is at a 2% statewide! That must mean a lot more people voted yes than just members. The people have spoken, and I am sure that same sex marriage will have their rights one day, and that doesn’t bug me. The whole topic of Todd’s post did bug me. Anyone should know they have freedom of choice and speech anytime they want, and that some rules are just not negotiable. thus making religion not for everyone.

    It has been fun to debate, and I know people don’t agree with me because mostly they are not members themselves and mostly because they don’t like the church, but it’s fun to get two viewpoints looking at both sides.

  57. Cameron Reilly says:

    Doug, nothing you’ve said has changed my original statement – Mormons aren’t allowed to think for themselves. You keep talking about “rules” like that’s what your religion is based on – not justice, not ethics, not love – “rules”. Todd, I’m sure, is only one LDS member who decided the “rules” were there to prevent freedom of thought and freedom of speech. He spoke out, knowing he would be ostracized for it. And so he quit the church in protest and disgust. I’m glad this post has been able to bring some more attention to his act of integrity and courage and that some other Mormons follow in his footsteps.

  58. Doug says:

    Who are the other mormons you speak of? It is of rules, and like I have said you have all the freedom in the world to speak your mind in this church JUST NOT in a testimony meeting! Outside of church you can talk to the bishop, members whoever your heart desires. This post is about a guy who spoke up at the wrong time and wrong place! SImply as that, just like I would’t go to a same sex meeting and discuss why I think they are all wrong, I would be thrown out!!! TIme and place for everything my friend!!

    We are free agency and we as members can speak our mind anytime we want at the appriopriate times!!! Just like ANY organization. I think you are just not seeing th BIG picture of our freedom of speech, but just hear what this guy is saying at a testimony meeting that he shouldn’t have brought that stuff up, but he had other times to talk to whomever he wanted. Simple as that the big picture is we mormons have every freedom there is to speak our minds, but for some reason you say we don’t? Funny how your not a member and know all about us!!!

  59. Crandal says:

    It sounds like this debate is about Todd and wanting his rights to be married and be recognized. I ran across this article in the Deseret Newspaper about the church’s stand on prop 8 which I find very interesting.

    Elder Oaks who is a member of the quorom of the 12 stated:

    Our freedom to believe and act must always be protected by what is called our first freedom the free exercise of religion. The Constitution’s fundamental principal of popular sovereignity, which implies popular responsbility, allow individuals to act according to their moral agency. The free exercise of religion he added, involves rights to choose religious beliefs and to practice those beliefs.

    A threat to religious freedom is from those who perceive it to be in conflict with the newly alleged civil right of same gender couples to enjoy the priviledges of marriage. Opponents criticized the LDS church and it’s members saying they were denying or stripping others of their rights. In fact Prop 8 battle WAS NOT ABOUT CIVIL RIGHTD, but about what equal rights demand and what religious rights protect. At no time did anyone question or jeopardize the civil right of prop 8 opponents to vote or speak their views.

    The real issue is the prop 8 debate– an issue that will not go away in years to come anf for whose resolution it is critical that we protect everyone’s freedom of speech and the equally important freedom to stand for your religious beliefs– is whether the opponents of prop 8 should be allowed to chand the vial institution of marriage itself.

    With traditional marriage being part of the teachings of the Judo-Christian scriptures and the Western Cultures core and Legal definition and practice for thousands of years, those seeking to change the foundation of marriage should not be allowed to pretend that those defending it are trampling on their civil rights.

    Supporters of prop 8 were exercising their constitutional rights to defend the institution of marriage– and institution of transcendent importance that they, along with countless others of many persuasions, feel conscientiously obliged to protect.

    Any such effort to have governments invade religion to override religious doctrines or practices should be resisted by all believers.

    I found this to be an interesting article that explains a lot about the church’s stand and why they felt so strongly about telling their members to vote yes. I found that they were in the right to ask that of their members.

    I feel that Doug does go overboard but he does have a lot of points that go ignored. I am not a member but I also don’t support same sex marriages. In my religion we too must follow the rules and at points don’t have our say to change the laws. We join because we want those laws, so I can see Doug’s argument very well. Todd didn’t follow the guidelines and I too feel that we all have our say and that there is proper times to address such issues. good posts everybody!!!

  60. [...] way", etc etc. It’s a disgrace and any Mormon who doesn’t have the integrity to do what Todd Whitaker did, deserves our [...]

  61. doug says:

    Great talk by Elder Oaks, and people will distort criticise this talk for years to come, but truth is truth and the constitution states this as well! What a great phrase that sums it up:

    With traditional marriage being part of the teachings of the Judo-Christian scriptures and the Western Cultures core and Legal definition and practice for thousands of years, those seeking to change the foundation of marriage should not be allowed to pretend that those defending it are trampling on their civil rights.

    Supporters of prop 8 were exercising their constitutional rights to defend the institution of marriage– and institution of transcendent importance that they, along with countless others of many persuasions, feel conscientiously obliged to protect.

    People are mad at the church for exercising there relgious rights and freedoms protected by the government! I think it’s funny they put the blame on the lds church when all they were doing was protecting their rights and their religious freedom, not to mention only 2% of california are mormons!!! Lots of non-mormons voted yes!!!!!!! Way to exercise your freeom of rights!!!!

  62. doug says:

    Is it any wonder why Cameron is so against the church? I would be too if I didn’t believe in a god! No offence Cameron but you have to take it from our angle and all I can see is your totally closed minded to any mormon thinking and what we have to say, than I got to thinking you know I might be the same if I didn’t believe in religion or god, so I guess that is that, you will always have your point and I will have my point, ah….. what a world to believe in what we want to believe in…. peace!!!!!

  63. Cameron Reilly says:

    Doug, are you suggesting that bigotry towards minority groups only comes with a belief in god? Let me ask you – what is the mormon position on the golden rule?

  64. Doug says:

    No I am saying that there are god’s rules, and there is society’s rules. Religion has always been about a belief in god and his guidelines. Such as this quote from Elder Oaks sums it up great:

    With traditional marriage being part of the teachings of the Judo-Christian scriptures and the Western Cultures core and Legal definition and practice for thousands of years, those seeking to change the foundation of marriage should not be allowed to pretend that those defending it are trampling on their civil rights.

    Christanity has rules and same sex marriage is against those rules, simple as that. Todd is proposing that we accept this belief that the churches teach is wrong. If we accepted these beliefs why would then religion exist and we should just throw out gods laws! There is a seperation. The golden rule is do unto others as they would do unto you, but there are also sins and rules that can creat in-activity, and people quiting the church. That’s basically it, if you want to call us bigots than I guess so be it, call us and the other thousand or so churches bigots and call gods laws bigotry after all who needs rules right?

  65. Marshal says:

    PROOF THAT SAME SEX MEETINGS ARE JUST FOR SAME SEX TOPICS!

    Funny I went to a meeting and I tried to tell them that God didn’t appove and that what they were doing was a sin, and all of a sudden the microphone shut off!!! I couldn’t speak my mind in their meeting!!

    My rights were taken away!!!!! That does it!!!!!!!

    Same concept time and a place for everything!!!!

  66. randy says:

    PROOF THAT I COULDN’T SPEAK MY MIND IN A SAME SEX MEETING!!

    I went to one of these meetings, and took the mic, here at this meeting I was telling them that same sex marriage is against gods plan, and how evil they were! All of a sudden The mic got turned off, and I was asked to leave the meeting! What the heck my rights are taken away I don’t have a voice!!! I hope people read this and quit these meetings!!

    Sound familar huh?!! Same concept and time and place for everything!! The bishop did the right thing here!!! Good job Bishop!!!!!

  67. dougd says:

    Now why didn’t I think of that?!!! Pretty funny stuff guys!! True isn’t it? Cameron we are not trying to be jerks but merely making a point that all organizations have rules and laws that people hate no matter what!!

    What if I went to your athethist meeting and started preaching about god and how he exists? I am sure I might get thrown out or beat up!! Doesn’t your organization have rules as well? We can’t please everybody, and that is why religion isn’t for everybody!!!

  68. Greg says:

    Pretty funny Randy!! Boy isn’t that the truth! If you join an organization or religion you are estentially joining thier beliefs and rules. Todd spoke up at the wrong time and wrong place. He could of addressed his concerns to the leaders and others at a better time.

    Also most religions don’t accept same sex marriage they deem this to be sin, so in Cameron’s and same sex advocates oppinions we are all bigots, well I guess so be it! At least God is on our side in this debate and that’s all that matters!!!

  69. Emily says:

    It’s funny how certain people have to bash a religon when they leave the church because they couldn’t follow their rules!! I love the fact that religion provides me rules and laws that god has set forth and that I can go to church and be a better individual because of my beliefs, and while those that don’t attend church seem to go through life with no meaning!!

    I was talking to an atheist and his whole logic was the big bang theory, which stands as that a theory man devised, there is also papers written up to debunk that theory just like there are people that write things up to de-bunk religion and god. The atheist isn’t looking at the whole picture they ignore miricles, blessings, the spirit, they ignore creation, the beauty of the earth, and base their beliefs on oh the big bang theory created this earth and our bodies, what a wierd concept. There is a creator out there and one doensn’t have to be religious to figure this out! The creation of people, the beauty all around us, hey what about people that die and their spirits are seen or heard about? If god didn’t exist wouldn”t we die and our spirits are no more? Too many cases of people seeing spirits and witnessing these!! Plus the fact that spirits have told people about an after life! Okay so I am ranting a bit! I just know that the creator of this website is an atheithist and will probably be reading this! I feel you bash on people’s beliefs and that you are not open minded to individuals who believe differently than us by all your blogs about religion and mormonism. What is wrong with a belief in god and making it so we become better people by attending, do we not want better people in this world? Like what has been said by many people religion isn not for everybody and god has set his rules up, you either hate it or like it go figure huh? Oh well if anything this has been quite entertaining!!! Thanks everybody!!

  70. Steph says:

    Pretty funny!! I agree a time and place for everything!! The bishop did the right thing!! Oh and as far as being a bigot is concerned I guess most religions of the world are bigots becasuse they don’t allow same sex marriage um… . oh well!!! Religion is what it is take it or leave it!!

  71. Hello Again just an update about the video .. I have removed it from the web in order for it to be published in a new Film Documentary called “8 The Mormon Proposition” This New Expose Explains in better detail of the Harm Damage And Suffering the Mormon Church has caused and is ignoring to this day through its involvement in Proposition 8 and their intolerance for Homosexual members
    I Urge Anyone who is interested in knowing where their tax exempt Donations to the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints are really going to and how they have misused Honest funds and tithes to Supress The rights of Many Minority groups in America throughout the Last 100 years.. they have been on the wrong side of almost Every Civil Right Debate we have ever known

  72. Ed Machinka says:

    I am always amused how people get so worked up over religion. I think of all the wars and conflicts over it. People fighting over who’s god is better than the other persons god. What crap, truly an opiate of the masses.
    Many years ago while reading I came across a quote from Seneca on religion. My favorite 20 words.

    “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful”.

    Religion is nothing more than a tool, a crutch, something to keep the little minds of the masses occupied so the ruling class can continue to B.S. them, herd them, control them and play with their lives.
    Its time to awaken my sheeples and see how you are being manipulated by the ruling class for their benefit. The joke is on you.

  73. fmarston says:

    What I gleaned from this article was the main point of the man who opposed the church’s opposition to Prop 8 and that he was hustled from the meeting, but what was not mentioned is that this occured during a testimony meeting which was an inappropriate time and forum for the venting of such issues. The Bishop acted appropriately in not allowing this man to detract from the Spirit of the testimony meeting. If he wished to dicuss his oppostion to the church’s opposing Prop 8 a more appropriate time would have been on his knees in prayer trying to reconcile his beliefs with the church’s or in a private meeting with his Bishop NOT in a testimony meeting.

  74. arjm says:

    so now you want to PROFIT from this fiasco. We know your heart now.

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