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Election Day

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You know what I’m most excited for today? For it to all be over. It’s just gotten way too stressful and I’m eager to get back to where I can complain about the government and not worry about my voice being heard. Think how relaxing it will be when we can just rely on the government to make the wrong decisions without all of us needing to stress and argue about our own political decisions.

Plus then I can get back to writing and thinking about more important things, like food and video games.

In My Defense

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I’ve gotten some mixed responses to my last blog post (and by that I mean varying degrees of opposition), both on the post itself and from friends that prefer to talk more privately about the matter. I think that my views could use a little clarification.

First let me just point out that my post was not intended to challenge the doctrines of my Church nor of other religions. It was intended to challenge the idea that traditional families are in some kind of danger because of same-sex marriage. Frankly, I think that even opponents of same-sex marriage realize that these are bogus claims, but that they are more comfortable with unsupportable secular claims than with reasoning of a more personal nature (even if the personal or spiritual reasons make more sense). If people more readily admitted that their motives for opposing same-sex marriage were religious then I think that would have been a different blog post. (If you’d like to debate the validity of the secular arguments then I’m happy to hear your opinions, but please make your comments on my other post, as that’s not the point of this one.) My point here is that I wasn’t meaning to challenge anyone’s religious or spiritual views (just their political reasoning).

As for the religious part of this issue, I hope that my friends will recognize the complexity of the situation before they become too worried or angry over my political views. I believe in my Church’s teachings regarding families and their eternal nature. In fact, those teachings are very important to me in my personal life. A lot of the joy I get from living my religion is centered around the idea of eternal families. I don’t discount that there are differences between men and women or that these are important to our eternal development. I love that my Church believes in both a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother, and I think that it shows the complimentary nature of men and women. I hope that my LDS friends will understand that I don’t disregard the revelations about families, marriage, or sexuality. However, there are other revelations (that I also believe in) that are related to my political views on this subject. My Church’s doctrine regarding government (D&C 134, the Articles of Faith, and parts of the Book of Mormon) supports the idea that the government should allow its citizens to believe as they will and to live their lives according to their beliefs. While it’s easy to use those teachings to defend our own religious freedom, I think that we need to grant that same freedom to people that believe differently than we do (whether religious or not). I don’t think that the religious freedom of others should be contingent on whether or not I or anyone else agrees with their beliefs.

Adding to complexity of the issue is the fact that my Church has expressly supported California’s Proposition 8 and asked its members to do likewise. I know that this official statement is the whole deciding factor for a lot of Mormons. However, since the Church has also expressly stated that it is to be politically neutral, this departure from its policy only adds to my internal turmoil on the issue. I know that this is not the first time that the Church has laid aside their political neutrality (and maybe this neutrality isn’t meant to be permanent anyway), but it is very rare. As far as I know, same-sex marriage is the only issue that has caused the Church to abandon its neutrality since I’ve been old enough to vote (or at the least since I’ve been old enough to be concerned about my vote). I can imagine that for some of my friends this is further reason to go with the flow, but I think the abnormality of the situation (not to mention the apparent contradictions with our beliefs on government) requires that we give this additional thought and concern, not that we shut off our brains on the issue.

I know that same-sex marriage is a sensitive subject for a lot of people, and I appreciate everyone that has given this issue thoughtful (and even prayerful) consideration, even if that leads them to different conclusions than me. I hope that they’ll give me the same courtesy, even if my conclusions are different than theirs. I don’t mind if you think that I am mixed up or mistaken about how I reconcile all of the components of this issue. In fact, if you feel that way I’d probably appreciate hearing your thoughts on the subject, especially if you’re willing to share your spiritual motives.

However, that is not an invitation to insult my faith or my dedication to my religion. I want to be very clear about this. I love my religion and my Church, and I have not departed from my faith or testimony. I hope that by being explicit about this I’ve prevented anyone from drawing the wrong conclusion accidentally. If you disagree with me, whether about politics or religion or something else, that is fine and I’m open to the discussion, and usually I’m even open to changing my view if you convince me that I’m mistaken about my current position. Please be respectful as you disagree with me. Like you, I’m not always right, but I am honestly trying to do the right thing. Don’t insult my motives because you disagree with my conclusions.

Traditional Families in Danger

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I originally posted this on my friend Starla’s blog, but I wanted to repost it on my own because I think it’s an important thing to discuss. Starla had written that Proposition 8 in California will affect our families and children, and she posted a link to this video. The following is from my comment on that blog post.

One thing I don’t understand… is exactly how this proposition affects heterosexual and/or “Judeo-Christian” families.

As far as the family in the video, I don’t see what the big deal is about the book that was sent home. It seemed like it is introducing the idea that some people’s families are different, not that homosexuality is OK. I don’t think teaching children to be tolerant of other people’s lives is something that we need to be afraid of.

Still, I do think it’s ridiculous that the school administration wouldn’t acknowledge these parents’ right to choose how to introduce this topic to their child, and I think (at least from what the video showed) that the father was completely justified in his rebellion against the administration.

However, the issue with the school administration does seem like a separate issue from gay marriage itself. Couldn’t this same scenario have come up regarding sex education or the teaching of evolution in a science class? Some parents have objections to their children being taught these issues in public schools and want to opt their children out of it. If an individual school decides not to inform parents or give them the opportunity to opt out their children, then isn’t that an issue that needs to be taken up on a local level with the school? It doesn’t mean that we need to make sex education illegal, but that we need to see that parents are given control over what their children are taught. If the school and/or school board won’t accommodate that for whatever reason, there are still private schooling options for parents that want their children taught in a religious way.

I think it’s fine that religions have their own way of viewing homosexuality and same-sex marriage and that the state doesn’t have any right to change the way religions approach the issue, but also don’t think religions have the right to impose their views of homosexuality on people that aren’t of their faith. If these same-sex marriage ammendments really do negatively impact heterosexual families then I think it’s something we should all be aware of, but so far I haven’t seen anyone give an explanation of why traditional families need to be concerned.

I’m reposting this because I really would like to see a discussion about the effects on traditional families. I don’t mean any disrespect to Starla or my own church or anyone else that is opposing same-sex marriage in the political forum, but I would like to hear your opinions about how traditional families are affected by these ammendments.

Nobody Panic

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So, President Bush gave a speech this week about how to fix the economy.

Good evening. This is an extraordinary period for America’s economy.

Good start. “Extraordinary” doesn’t sound bad at all.

We’re in the midst of a serious financial crisis…

…our entire economy is in danger.

…the gears of the American financial system began grinding to a halt.

…the situation becoming more precarious by the day…

…our country could experience a long and painful recession.

Ok, ok, I get it. He means extraordinarily bad. No need to harp on it.

The government’s top economic experts warn that without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic…

Why wait for Congress to cause a panic by inaction when a doomsday speech can do it now?

First, how did our economy reach this point? … Easy credit… led to excesses and bad decisions. Many mortgage lenders approved loans for borrowers without carefully examining their ability to pay. Many borrowers took out loans larger than they could afford…

So, basically the economy is messed up because some banks made some “bad decisions” lending money to people who couldn’t pay it back.

So I’ve proposed that the federal government reduce the risk posed by these troubled assets, and supply urgently-needed money so banks and other financial institutions can avoid collapse and resume lending.

Great idea. We just need to give those banks that made bad loans a bunch of money so that they can keep making those loans. That should fix the economy in no time.

Despite corrections in the marketplace and instances of abuse, democratic capitalism is the best system ever devised.

Under normal circumstances, I would have followed this course. But these are not normal circumstances.

Right, we only need the best system ever when things are good, not to help us out of a crisis.

The government is the one institution with the patience and resources to buy these assets at their current low prices and hold them until markets return to normal.

…the one institution that doesn’t mind putting their money behind a bunch of companies that have shown their prowess at losing their own money.

Under our proposal, the federal government would put up to $700 billion taxpayer dollars on the line…

I mean, that doesn’t mind put taxpayer money behind those companies.

Another Evolution

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Denver in a nutshell

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This video has everything that you ever need to know about Denver. If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, they’re a communist.

NBC needs to shut up

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We’re watching the women’s individual all-around gymnastics right now, and the announcers on NBC have some serious bias. They complain and harp on every little mistake that the Chinese girls make and they sit silent when the Chinese do well, but they ignore any mistakes that the Americans make and complain like crazy if they don’t get perfect scores. Don’t get me wrong, I hope the American girls do well, too, but I expect the journalists to keep it to themselves a little more.

lloyd DAVID lamoreaux

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I saw this on the way home from work. I guess it’s normal to emphasize your middle name like that. Who knew?

Boggle

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There's a 16-letter word in here. See if you can find it.

Bloggenting

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As you may know, it’s been quite a while since I’ve written a blog. I realize that I’m failing the blog community, and that many people are likely depressed and lonely waiting for the next words of wisdom to flow from my keyboard.

Despite the cause for disappointment in my lack of posts I want all of my many readers to know that I have been struggling to make a contribution to the digital community in another form: commenting.

Every blogger knows that the key to blogging is in the comments. After all, if it weren’t for the comments from our readers telling us how great and/or stupid we are, then why would we blog at all? If it weren’t for the comments, why not just write our ideas in journals like our ancestors did? I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that humankind has evolved past that method of expression.

So, lest anyone think that I am no longer a contributing member of the blogciety, just remember that I’m here every second I have to waste, reading and judging your blog posts, and commenting on them. You couldn’t do this without me.

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