LDS Epistles

The text bellow is a compilation of most of the Facebook conversation threads I participated in during the appellate brief writing portion of law school this past spring. I delivered a bound copy to an LDS apostle this past August right after a Mormon regional conference in order to help draw attention to the many issues within the church and in American society at large.

Please excuse the unedited nature of the document; unlike the original epistles, I wanted mine to have the full conversation preserved as completely as possible. If truth can emerge from anything, it’s dialog, not the religious rantings of one man.

CASE NO. 12-1842








Erik Kulick

shared a link.
What happens in a Mormon church when someone tries to share a differing view.
  • Jason Piedrasanta Not worth my time…
  • April Nunez um let me are told you are wrong and to repent?
  • Erik Kulick Here is the link… I guess the Apple Youtube and Facebook apps don’t like each other…


    As can be seen in the video. A Mormon steps up during a “Testimony Meeting” at h…See more
  • Erik Kulick That’s the problem Jason.
  • April Nunez You can’t share your testimony on issues if they don’t conform to church standards. Members do not care that they are taking away the agency of another group of people because they are told that it will destroy life as they know it. They must then be forced to marry gays in their church and to have gay agenda taught in their schools etc etc. They must stop the gay agenda before it starts to take down the church.
  • Brittany Turner wow. inspiring, sad, disappointing, and frustrating.
  • April Nunez More power to him for speaking out.
  • Daniel Murphree Oh come on now. Video camera prepared in the audience and a script to speak from? This guy wasn’t defending some deep seated belief, he was trying to stir up trouble. He was up there just to make this video and probably hoped that they would wrestle him to the ground or something. If someone walked in to your house and insisted that your [insert belief here] was totally wrong and he had that straight from [insert authority you actually care about] you wouldn’t just let him talk on and on. Especially if he was reading it from a script and had a camera behind him.
  • Brittany Turner so what if it was staged? the reaction certainly wasn’t. it’s important to shed light on the issue, and i applaud him for doing so (whether the event was spontaneous and wholly authentic or not).
  • Daniel Murphree You have no idea how far the staging went. For all you know people who would go to the trouble of staging a script and camera to stand up in a private religious meeting to cause contention would have no qualms about staging a whole meeting to stand in front of so they could make sure they got the reaction they were hoping for. You don’t know this guy from Adam, and you have no way of saying that anything is authentic. Not that I am saying the entire thing was staged, just that you have no idea yourself that it wasn’t.

    As for bravery for standing up, this guy showed no more bravery doing this that the idiots who dress in costumes and harass people so they can post a video on you tube like this guy:

    He was videoing a reaction, just like kangaroo man there, and wasn’t “getting a message out”. If he want’s to get out a message, video the message.
  • Brittany Turner Fair enough. But the point remains intact – the LDS is engaging in discriminatory, unfair, and essentially un-Christian behavior by continuing to shun, abuse, and malign the LGBT community. The fact that LDS has extended those same behaviors to any who criticize these practices also remains true.
  • Rex White Jr It is interesting how people are so quick to point out discriminatory behavior when it is coming from Mormons but so slow and non-existent when it is discrimination being hurled at Mormons. Go back and read Reynolds v. US and tell me that there wasn’t religious discrimination taking place in that decision. Mormons are upholding the Constitution, the Defense of Marriage Act and support legislation that does the same.
  • Daniel Murphree The LDS defense of proposition 8 has almost nothing to do with maligning the LGBT community and everything to do with defending the definition of marriage, which is a religious concept and remains so. The Church has expressly stated that it is not opposed to homosexual civil unions being permitted and rewording of laws that are concerning to homosexuals because of the definition of marriage in such a way as to handle civil unions and marriages the same, we are just opposed to marriage being redefined. If the LGBT community were extending the same respect they are demanding from everyone else then they would respect this and if they were really mainly interested in equal treatment under the law then they would be fine with laws being changed so that civil unions would count the same as a marriage under the law. People in a civil union are still free to, and customarily do, refer to themselves as married without asking the law to redefine the definition of a word that has had the same usage for centuries.

    But the resounding message (though not spoken) is that the community wants to dictate what churches are allowed to believe in. As April said above, if marriage is allowed to be redefined how much further until religions are forced to allow marriages that are against their beliefs? The adoption thing she also mentioned is a prime example since there have already been issues in that field. The Catholic church had to choose closing down adoption agencies in Massachusetts because the alternative was going against their beliefs and allowing homosexual couples to adopt from them. This is a clear violation of their religious freedom, it is not like there are no other places that people can adopt from so why should the Catholic church be required to allow the adoptions?

    Required acceptance of the LGBT community is akin to required acceptance of the BDSM “community” to these churches and (hopefully) no one is asking for people to accept the BDSM community as normal just because some people enjoy it.
  • Brittany Turner not sure why pointing out the flaws with mormonism somehow implies that there has not been discrimination against mormons, as well. no one was suggesting that they haven’t also experienced adversity, but two wrongs certainly don’t make a right…
  • Daniel Murphree I’ll stop there because I know I can’t change your mind, and you know you can’t change mine. I’ve had my say, just hopefully you could try to be as open minded as you are asking others to be.
  • Brittany Turner daniel, that’s the third time you’ve tried to redirect the discussion from the actual issue at hand, and i think it’s wise to stop engaging in the comments. if you wanted to talk about the actual topic instead of bringing up unrelated and extremely sensationalized “arguments,” it’d be a different story. i think i am a very open minded person, but it doesn’t change the fact that i believe discrimination is wrong, no matter how you try to justify it.
  • Rex White Jr I am referring to discrimination toward Mormons on the very issue of marriage.
  • Rex White Jr The Defense of Marriage Act passed by the Congress of this Country defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Until that changes there ins’t much to talk about other than you (Birttany) can attempt to influence others to vote for politicians that will repeal it and I will continue to attempt to influence others to vote for politicians who will uphold it.
  • Daniel Murphree Sorry, I must have missed exactly what the issue at hand is after all. Are you upset they were discriminating against that poor fellow who staged a talk? I thought the issue was discrimination against the LGBT community, which is what I addressed since the discrimination is supposedly being shown by the whole gay marriage question.
  • Mitchell Peterson Daniel, you fairly criticized the staging of this video as a disrespectful stunt. Why do you think the church was against Prop 8 assuming the church isn’t opposed civil unions as you said?
    Do you think this is similar to the adoption flap and that the real issue is money? When churches didn’t want to place mixed races together after civil rights legislation the feds threatened to withdraw funding if church adoption centers continued to segregate races so the churches began that practice in order to not lose their subsidy from the government.
    Such that the issue here is about the potential for the feds to hold/withdraw funding, making this a fight for subsidy not for recognition of “eternal principles”.
    It’s about government muscling in on churches historical priviledge. If that’s the case I have some (limited) sympathy for the church-nobody likes to lose power; though the controversy is also of their own making. If they were to accept gay marriage then there would be no controversy and no loss of power/funding. I predict that American legislation will beget a revelation about love for all of God’s children throughout the world.
  • Dave Kyle · 4 mutual friends

    So what is the “reaction” I was supposed to see in that video?
  • Rex White Jr Mitchell, that revelation you speak of has already come out in “The Family: a Proclamation to The World.” It clearly states that all are loved by our Heavenly Father. It is also clear that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. Homosexuality is a choice. Until a gay gene is scientifically proven there is no other discussion about it. Lots of money has been poured into finding this elusive gene that could have been spent feeding the poor and sheltering the homeless.
  • Dave Kyle · 4 mutual friends

    Guy in video: “The Holy Spirit has guided me here today to talk to you and tell you the Church has it all wrong…” = Progressive, enlightened, good, true Christian, ‘un-orthodox’ Mormon views, we must all listen to him.

    Any other faithful member of the Church: “I know this is Christ’s church and we are led by a living prophet of God…” = Tripe, idiot following with blind faith, repeating words with no meaning, racist, homophobe, close-minded intolerant.
    Is that about it?
  • Laura Sheffield · 2 mutual friends

    What about that ward in the bay area that has tried really hard to reconcile with its former and current lgbt members and families?

    I know this is only a drop in the bucket to repair the rift between the LDS church and the lgbt community. I just think it is an okay counter example to that weird video.

    Anecdotally, in my family there is no place for bigotry. My parents, who are active members of the LDS faith, love their gay friends and family. When they say their church is true, they mean it. I don’t know jaw they deal with the dichotomy of rights for their lgbt loved ones and their faith’s views on it.

    Frankly I’m hoping for a turnaround like the religion did with the priesthood and black people or polygamy. Change is change.

    When members of San Francisco’s LDS Bay Ward want to meet with the bishop, they’ll call Mitch Mayne.
  • Diana Kyle · 2 mutual friends

    I wonder if the word “church” and the phrase “some people in the church” were exchanged, it would be a more accurate statement and accusation as to how anyone that does not share the same beliefs as another member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does is thereby shunned. I know that I am a member of this church, I do not shun, I am not taught to shun….and I am taught to love my neighbor and to judge not lest I be judged. I do know however there are people of all faiths that do feel it is their duty to shun and somehow do not relate this practice to judging others. Well there is my 2 cents.
  • Daniel Murphree @ Mitchell One quote I’m thinking of is this, straight from an LDS Press release:

    “The focus of the Church’s involvement is specifically same-sex marriage and its consequences. The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference.”

    The Church isn’t saying homosexuals should have not rights, just that they should not be allowed to usurp religious rights or terminology.

    The “adoption flap” goes beyond mere money since denial of state recognition of a religion goes beyond just beginning to charge that religion taxes. It is officially declaring that one group of people’s belief (LGBT) is more important than another group’s (in that case Catholics) to the state. That’s expressly against the first amendment. In other countries where the precedent has been set to rule against churches in favor of the LGBT community we see further suppression of religious freedoms, such as here

    Things like this are what the Church is against and the real issue in contention.

    Also, seeing as there was no response to my query about if the issue here was discrimination against this particular video producer I will have to assume that was the real question for Brittany. To that I have to say that I did address this issue in my first post. This man wasn’t discriminated against. Even if he was a church member, which we can’t know, he was an invited guest at a private meeting on private property. This wasn’t discrimination any more than asking someone with distasteful opinions that is just trying to get a reaction to leave your house. If I had stood up at a Gay Rights rally at the podium and started with “You know I was reading some research and I’ve decided you are all wrong. Homosexuality is clearly not hereditary or a correct practice…” I would expect a similar reception and definitely wouldn’t have expected to be allowed to finish saying my piece. Would that make me brave? I’d be standing up for what I believe in too, though in the most stupid way and stupid place possible. If it’s not discrimination from one group, you can’t count the same as discrimination from another.

    Intending to reduce misunderstanding and ill will, the Church has produced the f…See more
  • Dave Kyle · Friends with Tracy Christensen and 3 others

    Daniel, you’re WAY more eloquent and patient than I am! Thanks…
  • Erik Kulick The main point for posting the video was to show how poorly dissenting views are generally handled by church leadership. Back in the day Brigham Young and Orson Pratt publicly debated over the nature of intelligence, now, if you don’t put on that white shirt and tie and maintain allegiance to the leadership and their directives, you are likely to find yourself in a very lonely place. Even if this entire video was staged, it still does a decent job at conveying what such an experience would entail.

    Dave, the point of the post wasn’t to try to prove the correctness of a particular dissent, but to show the danger of wholesale acceptance of religious teachings. That’s not to say that listening to religious leaders automatically creates those forms of intolerance, but it is unfortunately a common breading ground for such hatred.

    Laura, I’m glad to see that there are pockets of the faithful who are going above and beyond what is expected of them, I just hope that love and tolerance can win out over hatred and bigotry at the end of the day.

    As far as gay marriage is concerned, just because some religious institutions have doctrinal stances specifically defining marriage to be between a man and woman only, doesn’t mean that there aren’t valid religious (or non-religious) views which are inclusive of homosexual couples in their definitions. The biggest problem with the way the church has handled this situation is they have used the rights of others as shields for their own. I can understand and will even defend a religious institution’s right to refuse to participate in activities that go against its doctrine, but that line should not be drawn in such a way that it subsumes the rights of another.

    Rex, homosexuality isn’t a choice or genetic, its the product of hormonal exposure.


    Yesterday (9/23/2010) Dr. William Bradshaw of BYU’s Department of Microbiology a…See more
  • Rex White Jr I’ll side with the person who speaks with God and receives revelation for the entire world. It is an interesting take on where it originates from but there is far from enough proof to substantiate such a theory.
  • Erik Kulick Just because you believe that your religious leaders speak to God, doesn’t mean they actually do; there are a few other thriving religions who believe their guys possess that authority, and equal weight should be given to their religious rights.

    The idea that homosexuality is a biological restraint on overpopulation created in a mothers womb makes more sense than insisting that individuals who struggle in vain to change their sexuality in order to comport with their religious convictions have a choice in the matter.
  • Dave Kyle · Friends with Tracy Christensen and 3 others

    Erik, you keep refering to ‘rights’. What are these rights that are being subsumed? No one is stopping you from living with another boy, or 8 or 10 for that matter. Why must we call that ‘marriage’? What you seem to want is to live by whatever rules you think are right, AND be counted among the worthy members of a church that believe that these things are fundamentaly wrong. ??? Why is that?
    All this makes about as much sense as me joining another faith and standing up to preach the Book of Mormon to them. Then, of course, I’d be offended when they said they didn’t believe in that. I’d then say, “But I’m just a Methodist that has un-orthodox views, I believe in the Book of Mormon!”
  • Erik Kulick I don’t care if I’m counted among the “worthy” members or not. The idea of worthiness is one of the most hypocritical and self-serving concepts ever conceived by the religious.

    The church’s stance on gay marriage and decision to interfere with it is just one of many qualms I have with the church and its teachings. Even though I no longer associate with the church personally, I have children who attend, so you better believe that I will be scrutinizing what they do and don’t do.

    I don’t want to live by whatever rules I think are right, I want those who are deciding what those rules are in our society to do so objectively instead of just accepting what pious people insist to be truth. That’s not to say that all religious doctrines are wrong, just that there may be exceptions to rules which are only discoverable when one drills down in to the reasons why something is right or wrong.
  • Rex White Jr Well said Kyle. Erik, I know you have a jaded view of some of the doctrines and I accept that. Not sure what exactly it was that put you down that path but I suspect is was someone who didn’t read section 121 of the Doctrine and Covenants very well. In my experience that is the source of a great majority of the time. I have several friens who engage in homosexual behaviors. I still love them and so does God. God still loved the Romans who carried out the execusion of His Son and the Pharises who condemned Him to death. God’s love does not translate into acceptance of sinful behavior. Love the sinner not the sin. I love my friends but do not approve of their lifestyle. People have different challenges in this existence. My challenges are different then your’s. The bottom line is we are all going to be held accountable for how we used our agency. That is something you fought for in the pre-existence. That is why it is sad when people use that fought for agency to blatently disobey the commandment of God. Homosexuality being a sin isn’t a made up Mormon doctrine it is very clearly stated in the Bible (old and new testaments).
  • Daniel Murphree @Erik How exactly did the leadership handle that poorly? That was a sacrament meeting, not a public debate forum. It was neither the time nor the venue to bring up views that are directly contradictory to the views expressed by the Church, debate is not what fast and testimony meeting is about. I’m not familiar with the Brigham Young and Orson Pratt debates, though early Church leaders debating would not surprise me, but I would be willing to venture that they did not hold these debates during sacrament meeting. There is a proper time and a proper place for everything, and the only thing this man showed is that he has no concept of this fact. It seems to me that these church leaders acted quite appropriately as far as was able to be seen on camera. I would hope that later they took the time to explain to the poor confused individual what the word appropriate means.

    Also, it does seem pretty clear that you do not want to have everyone live by whatever rules they believe to be correct, like you said, because you believe that only people who agree with you should be allowed to set the rules. You want to be justified by “society” in the rules you want to follow while others are not allowed to live according to their beliefs.

    You seem to think, and please correct me if I’m wrong because I’m only going off of your statements here, that my belief in my church leaders is some sort of blind faith and it is inconceivable that anyone might have studied these things out for themselves in their own heart and mind and come to a different conclusion than what you have. Frankly that is quite insulting. I’ve never followed the church doctrines blindly and I don’t think that church leaders asking the members in California to stand up for what they believe in (yes what the members believe in because one of the first tenets of our religion is that the prophet DOES speak to God) is the church “using the rights of others to shield its own” any more than the Wikipedia blackout protest was Wikipedia “using” the rights of its patrons. The Church was calling attention to an issue that affects it members. The members were still free to vote however they chose, no apostle stood in the booth with them pointing a gun or even asked how they voted after they came out.

    As to homosexuality being genetic or environmental, what does the cause really matter? Humans enjoying sex is a deep seated genetic trait, almost every church I know still teaches against premarital sex. Teaching that sex is sacred and only to be used in the proper type of relationship, oh hey unless you happen to be gay! That would be a hypocritical double standard. But Dallin H. Oaks says it much better than I, about the 9th bold face question down:

    Unfortunately also relevant:
  • Erik Kulick What set me down the “path” of disbelief was actually an intense desire to learn things that would help me defend the church from its “attackers”. I believed in the church and everything it teaches for a long time. I even had miraculous experiences which I automatically attributed to God, and used as confirmation of all the things the church teaches (as we are endlessly taught to do). It is a myth created by church leaders that most people who disaffect do so as a result of increased levels or different varieties of sin. There may be a behavioral adjustment as the individual tries to figure the world out for themselves, and unfortunately, sometimes that person gets wrapped up in some messy stuff as a pendulum reaction the oppressive nature of their experience, but it is disingenuous to assume that they lost their faith as a result of something that can be written off easily.

    Personally, I just got to a point after listening to all of the arguments for and against the church, where I realized that the whole idea that people receive divine revelation or aid from deity was problematic. I realized that just because the world is wondrous and certain ideas and principles that are pondered by the religious touch upon the deep and profound, doesn’t mean that there necessarily is a God. Alternatively, if a God exists, he or she would be unlikely to involve him or herself with the affairs of men. That being would abstain from interfering, simply because any level of interference would unduly aid or burden the individual or those around them. I still believe that there is something great and wondrous going on in conjunction with our existence, but I am now hesitant to definitively say exactly what that is. Besides, I have found that the more people seek to be better people for the sake of being better people, the greater their success, and the more that people try to be better people in order to avoid eternal damnation (or celestial demotion) or gain salvation (or exaltation), the more limited that growth ends up being.

    To insist that someone’s behavior is sinful is still judgmental and presumptuous. It’s one thing to observe the general benefits and consequences of specific behaviors and try to advise people on how to live a happier and more productive life, it’s another thing to presume that the moral severity of another’s actions is greater than the actions of one’s self. If there is a God who actually cares about the things we do, then let her sort it out.

    I think the leader handled it poorly because he quietly rebuked and silenced the individual instead of letting him speak what was in his heart. A testimony meeting should be about people sharing what they believe, not a ritualistic echo chamber repeating the same mantras over and over and telling stories that confirm the party line. That sounds eerily similar to something called a rameumptom. While I no longer believe in the divinity of those early leaders callings, I have gained a new found respect for the way they were able to create and lead such a progressive religion for their time. They would be shocked to see how much the organization they put so much of their blood sweat and tears into, has devolved. They used to encourage questioning, now its viewed as a weakness at best.

    I never said that only people who agree with me should be able to set the rules, I just want who ever is in charge of that task to exercise a bit of logic, reasoning, and compassion as they go about their job. I never said people shouldn’t be allowed to live according to their beliefs, I just don’t approve when they use their beliefs as justification to infringe on the rights of others to live according to theirs.

    Whether or not you personally operate on blind faith or have studied things out matters little to me. How you personally operate is up to you, and I will gladly defend your right to pursue which ever path you chose in whatever way you chose it.

    The church may believe it is doing the right thing when it encourages its members to vote against the rights of others, but that doesn’t automatically make it right. It may not believe that it is using the rights of others to shield its own, but it is. Just because the church didn’t use threat of violence to influence their members, doesn’t mean they were mere bystanders in the equation. They have the ability to mobilize large numbers of well organized and talented individuals in order to exert great influence on the outcome of weighty matters, so they need to be extra careful when wielding that power. People have a right to be treated as equals, and if that means letting homosexuals marry and partake of ALL of the benefits of such a union, then so be it. Religious institutions should be allowed to refuse to directly participate in things that are contrary to their beliefs, but that doesn’t mean they have a right to obstruct the freedom of people with whom they disagree.

    It matters greatly if it turns out that God cares about sexuality and homosexuality is biological instead of elective. Boyd Packer said it best in the line that was omitted from the official transcript of his divinely inspired talk:

    “Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what
    they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and the
    unnatural,” he said. “Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that
    to anyone?”

    I have known multiple people in the church who have tried with all their might to “be straight” in order to comply with what the truly believed to be God’s word, yet their efforts were futile. To create people who are unable to be attracted to the opposite sex and expect them to conform with rules that would prevent them from ever experiencing the fullness of love is the most sadistic thing a being could do, so if a God exists, he is either flawed, or our assumptions of what she expects of us is flawed. Dictating the sex lives of its membership is one of the most harmful things that the church has done. Far too often Mormons end up with dysfunctional or unsatisfying sexual relationships as a result of the gender-specific conditioning that goes on with the young men and women. The females are taught that they are impure if they lose their virginity before marriage, and are often taught with object lessons that entail passing around a treat that is somehow defiled through poking it or spiting on it, and comparing them to the cupcake if they are not chaste. The males are taught to be chaste as well, but the emphasis is not as strong as it is with the females. This results in women who are afraid of sex and men who are ready and raring for the opportunity to finally have church sanctioned sexuality. Needless to say this doesn’t often mesh well.

    If anything, that Oaks response reinforces the argument that they should be allowed to marry, that way they can finally have God-approved sex.
  • Dave Kyle · Friends with Tracy Christensen and 3 others

    Erik, what you are saying is chaos. Do you think the world would be a better place if there was no right and no wrong, which seems to be what you are describing?
    “Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what
    they FEEL are inborn tendencies toward the impure and the
    unnatural,” he said. “Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that
    to anyone?”
    He is saying that some believe they were preset to be attracted to the same sex that they are. And then he says that our Heavenly Father would not do that. The; “Not so.” means no one is preset with those tendencies. I know you don’t like definitive statements of right and wrong, but do you really not understand what he said there?
  • Daniel Murphree I really do need to leave this be now. I’ve always know better than to enter debates on Facebook on any subject that really matters since nothing is ever accomplished by it. Really I think the main reason I commented at all here is that I remember enjoying our discussions in Logan and how refreshing it was to talk with someone who actually thought things through instead of just accepting. I’m sad that we reached different conclusions, but I hope you are at least happy with the truth you have decided on.

    I do agree with Dave about the Boyd K. Packer quote, he is alluding to the fact that God would not tempt us above what we are able to bear. Able to bear is not necessarily the same as do bear. When I set a test for my students I always put questions that they have the tools to answer on the test, but that does not mean that everyone gets 100%. I reject the idea that someone cannot experience the “fullness of love” without sex. I love my children will all that I am, but I do not want to have sex with them. Sex is the fullness of physical attraction and the fullness of lust and can be used, in the right time and in the right way, to strengthen loving relationships but it is not required for someone to love someone else. The only thing it is really required for (required for, not used for or good for) is to produce offspring.

    Interestingly enough, I’m not sure about the unnatural part of his statement. Something like that would be a debate you might expect to see if church leaders really thought that mattered to the morality of the question since as you can see Elder Oaks didn’t say it was unnatural. I am still sure the debate would not be held in a sacrament meeting. Homosexuality may be natural or it may not but natural doesn’t equate with right. Pedophilia is natural, promiscuity is natural, cannibalism and murder are also natural there are animals that engage in all of these behaviors and I think you would be stretching yourself to say that there are two of these that are not clearly wrong actions. But man is not just an animal and that is the point. All of God’s commandments have to do with building self control and over coming these natural tendencies to make more of ourselves than mere animals.

    From all I have studied I find it impossible to believe that there is no God. Newton’s laws show that disorder only increases, so how can we also believe scientifically that an ordered universe came from disorder with no outer power to counteract this law? And so, from the basis that the is an outer power, that would have to be God because the power shown is far beyond our own capacities. But then the human body is even MORE organized than most matter, being created from atomic matter that has to be positioned exactly right, even down to how it is bent once it is joined (learned this from studying enzymes for some knot theory research). Science can barely replicate the formation of any cell structures from atoms, it is nowhere near answering how to create even a stable phospholipid bilayer to contain a cell. Are we supposed to believe that all happened in the primordial ooze then? With no help? That would again violate the law of entropy so we have to conclude that the same power that had the power to violate Newton’s laws (or something with the same power, but where did that come from?) also created us in some manner that we cannot replicate. So now accepting that there is a God and that He created us, I cannot bring myself to believe that he would do this for no purpose. Creation would clearly take some sort of effort, would He do this for no reason? I don’t think so, not to just wind it up and watch what happens or for some art project. So that leaves me with the other explanation, that God did it for a purpose and, being a thinking and therefor conceited being, I assume that purpose would be for humans. Possibly all of this was done for the benefit of dolphins, but again I just can’t believe that though I don’t have the a line of logic yet for that one. So believing that God created everything for us and has a purpose for us, I can’t believe He would leave us unguided to find that purpose. That would be pointless, how would we figure out the purpose of a being that far beyond us with our limited abilities? So I have to believe that He would interfere to help us find the purpose. To do that He would either have to be present Himself or have some representative among us. Since He isn’t present that leaves us with the representative. The rest of my belief comes from there, but that is where I’ll leave this because I was just giving the reason I believe that there IS someone to whom God speaks now and there has been in almost every generation. If He revealed His plan before, there would be no reason to believe He would then change tactics and stop revealing his plan to people. I believe that the man who leads the Mormon church and claims to speak to God is the one who is His current representative, and believing that I would have to believe his words unless I believed that God is just playing silly buggers with us, which I do not.

    I believe that God wants to teach us self control because we are his children. I want to teach my children to be functioning adults and so I let them learn from their mistakes from time to time and I sometimes give them guidance instead of punishment to help them get past things they do that are incorrect. Am I any better at raising my children than a being who has the power to organize a universe? I doubt it. God allows us to have temptations so that we can have the growing experience of overcoming them. If failure were not an option, some of us (not all) would not grow any more than some (not all) of my students would learn math if they knew they would just get 100% on any test anyway. I believe that God loves us exactly as a father loves his children because His representatives in all generations have said that He refers to us as His children. Sometimes love means letting someone fall, even if it hurts them and it hurts you to the very core.

    I’m leaving it there, sorry to have kept posting on this. I hate to cause arguments and waste people’s time when I know noone in this posting will be convincing anyone else here to change their mind. But I do miss you Erik, and our discussions. It’s been a while. Incidentally and completely off the subject, we still use that big heavy table you gave us when you moved out of Aggie Village. I love that thing, it’s as tough as a tank!
  • Rex White Jr D&C 121
  • Mitchell Peterson Really good discussion here.

    I believe that acceptance is a foundational principle of love.

    Is it fair to say that homosexuality, for Daniel, David, and a guest star appearance by Diana , is learned (like through confusion as a result of having a weak father figure) or chosen? This topic seems to always distill down to that as the basis you use to marginalize gay people; that gayness is a choice, or that gayness is a mortal “condition”, similar to cerebral palsy for example, that will get “straightened out” in the next life.

    The church teaches that the greatest joy in this life and even exaltation within the celestial kingdom is reserved for the temple married. And that sex, within marriage, is to be celebrated, and can even act as a kind of glue to enhance and support the union (Packer). So sex is celebrated and encouraged in marriage.

    The LDS position continues to marginalize gayness as a negative “feeling” that is to be mastered or overcome like anger, rather than to be explored and even (gasp!) celebrated as a kind of glue within the bounds of matrimony. The church has a well defined pathway for hetero’s to act on their sexual feelings through marriage.

    Church culture encompasses a sort of liberalness about sex in that whatever is mutually satisfying within the marriage bedroom, is acceptable. There are no authoritative teachings against any specific sex act within marriage. Marriage is the gateway to sex.

    Because gay’s can’t marry they can’t express the fullness of their feelings, or even explore them, within any church sanctioned relationship, they are therefore excluded from the highest joy’s only marriage can bring. Hence, there really is no choice for gay people to explore or celebrate sex in the church-only a life of absolute chastity- a lifestyle not at all celebrated by the church (see many articles/teachings/references to encourage all to marry as soon as possible to get on track to ultimate joy and the celestial kingdom.)
    Some members say “they can choose to leave the church if they want to act on those feelings”. However gay members also want exaltation in the celestial kingdom. In fact gay people generally want all of the same things as heterosexual people. They are like regular people, just with same sex attraction (and better interior decorating.)

    I personally think the church will overcome its same sex attraction phobia, but it will take a couple more generations of Apostles who were born in the 1960’s and beyond to be prepared to more fully accept God’s children. A year or two ago Elder Oaks seemed to open up a bit about gayness when he wrote on the church website (not authoritatively) that same sex attraction is “not well understood”, but continued the old saw that it’s definitely a choice to act on any sexual feelings-just like heterosexuals).
  • Dave Kyle · Friends with Tracy Christensen and 3 others

    Since man has been on the earth, God has taught his prophets that this is wrong. Just like any other sex outside marriage. But, as soon as He calls an Apostle from the 60’s generation, He’ll see the light and realize He’s been wrong all along because some people ‘feel’ they can’t help it?
    It sounds like the issue is whether or not the Church is led by the Lord through a prophet, or a group of old guys in suits trying to pull one over on us. You can only answer that question for yourself, that’s not something you can be sold on, or convinced of by someone else.
  • Erik Kulick As far as my use of the Packer quote is concerned, I was using his wording to illustrate the impact that the source of homosexuality has when it comes to members of the church who struggle to reconcile their spiritual conflict.

    This is the danger in putting so much stock into whether or not a leader or text has the authority to speak for God. It causes inadvertent and unnecessary judgement of individuals for their actions (or beliefs). Even with conscious attempts at separating the “sin from the sinner”, far too often the “sinner” becomes marginalized or worse. To maintain the concept of worthiness does nothing but inflate the pride of some people, and instil a feeling of worthlessness in others. Even presuming everything else we’ve been taught about God and existence were true, to believe that you possess a worthiness for some future reward that others are unworthy to receive has zero positive value and is a blatant contradiction of the core principles upon which the vast majority of religions are founded.

    It is one thing to believe passionately in the teachings of a specific institution, it’s another to treat that belief as a knowledge when it doesn’t really need to be. The fact of the matter is that all religious people are banking on numerous assumptions, and although these assumptions may be well founded, there is no definitive way to prove any of it. At the end of the day, it will be up to who ever or what ever is behind the curtain to settle our earthly matters.

    Daniel, the fact that it seems blatantly obvious that SOMETHING is going on out there doesn’t automatically equate to the existence of a being with the capacity or desire to interfere with human affairs. Even if there is a God out there who had a hand in our creation, it is highly unlikely that she would actively participate in the affairs of men. The cost of tipping the scale for or against an individual would be way to high to justify sharing things with us that we’d be better off discovering on our own in the first place. I know that kind of god sounds like a cold and impartial being, but impartiality is a critical trait for someone who is supposed to be all loving.

    I completely respect and support everyone’s ability to believe what ever their hearts desire, but when people think that faith is a synonym with knowledge, they have unnecessarily crossed into dangerous territory. What I seek is not chaos, only a weariness of becoming so married to something that it impedes the intentionally endless journey that is the search for knowledge and truth. Just because religious leaders are so frequently making proclamations of truth and righteousness, doesn’t mean they are the sole authorities on the subject.

    Rex, I’ve read the Mormon religious texts numerous times over. While I have found many great and inspiring things within their pages, it doesn’t automatically follow that everything else that gets packaged along with those things are true.

    Frankly, I’m glad you guys are willing to engage on these subjects. I’ve had far too many of my Mormon friends unfriend or block me as a result of the dissonance some of the things I say creates. My goal isn’t to sway you guys from believing in God, but rather to help you realize the fact that those beliefs are ultimately assumptions, and hence the need to exercise great care when throwing around definitive statements regarding the “worthiness” of others.
  • Dave Kyle · Friends with Tracy Christensen and 3 others

    Some things are very simple, but that doesn’t make them easy. All it takes to climb Mt. Everest is to put one foot in front of the other untill you get to the top. Fundamentaly simple? Yes… Easy? Not hardly… incredible discipline, hardship, mental anguish, preparation, etc. but still not complicated.
    To say something is wrong or sinful doesn’t mean to imply that it’s easy to turn away from. Not hardly, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s wrong.
    Saying we ‘love the sinner, but don’t condone the sin’ is also simple in principle, but not always easy to do.
  • Erik Kulick Whether or not something is morally wrong doesn’t change the fact that abstainers from that “sin” are just as guilty as the obvious transgressors because they themselves transgress in different and more subtle ways. It is for this reason that under key tenants of Christianity, no-one can be more “worthy” than another. Just because something has more obvious consequences, doesn’t make it more “evil”.
  • Dave Kyle · Friends with Tracy Christensen and 3 others

    I’m quantifying one thing as more evil than another, I’m saying there is right and wrong. That seems to be what some don’t want to hear. That’s all…
  • Erik Kulick It’s not that people don’t want to hear that there is right and wrong, they just don’t want people imputing that they are somehow more flawed or evil than the person doing the finger pointing. If something IS morally wrong, then people should still be permitted to do those things, as long as they’re not the kinds of actions that cause other people harm.
  • Dave Kyle · Friends with Tracy Christensen and 3 others

    I still don’t get it… who’s stopping you from doing anything?
  • Dave Kyle · Friends with Tracy Christensen and 3 others

    Are you saying that the Church should teach that anything that doesn’t cause others harm is OK?
  • Erik Kulick No, I’m saying that when it comes to the imposition of morality on people through the political process, it should only be permitted when being used to prevent harm to others.
  • Erik Kulick Bringing it full circle to the prop 8 issue
  • Rex White Jr No one is stopping homosexuals from having sex. Prop 8 doesn’t say gays can’t get it on. Prop 8 only defines marriage between one man and one woman and the majority of the voting populace agreed with it. WhatKs the problem with that. They can contine to have sex with each other all they want.
  • Erik Kulick The underlying reason for preventing homosexuals from marrying is the purported immorality of the acts that take place within such a union. To insist on preventing homosexuals from using a term to describe the greater level of commitment they are seeking to establish is a blatant imposition of morality on people who are in no way harming anyone. That should not be permitted.
  • Dave Kyle · Friends with Tracy Christensen and 3 others

    But what you want shouldn’t be seen as an impossition on those of us who are married?
    We could vote on a proposition that says ‘fat’ shall mean that you wiegh at least 500 lbs. Then I, for one, wouldn’t be fat any more…
    (I know, but it’s getting late)
  • Erik Kulick What exactly does gay marriage do to imposition you in your marriage?
  • Rex White Jr Marriage belongs to religion. The state took over for several reason one of them being a way to generate revenue. Gays being allowed to hijack the term of marriage is one more step in removing it from where it belongs which is in the church.
  • Erik Kulick Just because something originated in religious ceremonies, doesn’t mean religion has some kind of property interest in it. Besides, gay marriage is only opposed by SOME religions, and therefore other religions should be allowed to incorporate gay marriage into their definition of marriage. The right to marry homosexuals would then be a protected right on par with any other right the government protects for religions.
  • Rex White Jr Why do gays want so bad to have the tile of marriage? Is that going to make their sex life better? What is wrong with having commitment ceremony and call it a garriage?
  • Erik Kulick Why did you want to get married? I’m sure your sex life is better now that you’re married, given your religious conviction, so why shouldn’t a person who believes similarly to you (with the obvious exception) be allowed to treat their sexuality as “sacredly” as you?
  • Rex White Jr Erik you are smarter than your last comment. I wasn’t having sex prior to marriage unlike people who are participating in a homosexual behaviors. I’m sure there is some exception out there where a gay couple waited to have a civil union prior to sex so that isn’t analogous to what you are trying to argue. A person cannot just have “one obvious exception” if they believe similar to me. That obvious exception effects a lot more than just the marriage question. You never answered my question. Why isn’t a civil union good enough? It obviously doesnt make the sex better regardless of how you took that bait and came up short to draw a correlation.
  • Anthony Slaninka Christ is the only way to Salvation…
  • Erik Kulick Rex, just because a person is a homosexual, doesn’t mean they are a nymphomaniac or even promiscuous. If a person has too many exceptions to your personal belief system, they don’t deserve to have their religious rights protected as well as yours?

    Whether or not a civil union is close enough to a real marriage to satisfy someones conviction towards commitment, religious or otherwise, makes no difference. It is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause to deny someone the right to marry based on the genders of the parties involved.

    That is an assumption, Anthony. But even conceding the possibility that your statement is true, I highly doubt that Christ would have wanted Christians to marginalize people who believed differently than them, or infringe on the ability of those individuals to make their own personal decisions.
  • Anthony Slaninka that is true but the bible it self according to the Lord, he boldly states against homosexuality…but says in love to ” love the sinner not the sin”
  • Rex White Jr Erik you are putting words in my mouth. If you havent learned yet in your 1L year it should become very obvious that doing such is very dangerous and isn’t looked very favorably upon by judges. Your second argument about it being against the equal proteoction well that hasnt been decided by the highest court so that is your opinion rather than fact. Maybe it is just late but your arguments ar getting weaker the longer this goes on. I am reminded of Korihor in the book of Alma. I suggest you review that nugget of doctrine.
  • Erik Kulick Again, you are assuming that the Bible is infallible. Don’t forget that the Bible also says that virgins should marry their rapists and virgins should be taken as spoils of war. There are many wonderful things littered through out both the Bible and Book of Mormon, but that doesn’t mean that all of their stories are true or that any of it really was a product of divine revelation or intervention. Why can’t people believe what they will about deity and stop trying to dictate to others what they should believe or need to do to get to heaven.

    The irony in all of this is that throughout history, the most significant and influential religious leaders were vocal dissenters to the religious status quo.

    Pardon me Rex, I didn’t realize I was before the bar. Just think of me as a seer of the future.
  • Anthony Slaninka Because it clearly states in the Bible From Jesus’s mouth himself, I am the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. JOHN 14:6 That is clearly telling all mankind the only way to get to Heaven is through Jesus Christ himself, as per being the Son of God..
  • Rex White Jr Korihor also thought he was a seer. Interesting.
  • Anthony Slaninka There is no doubting or misconception that Jesus, Himself was and always was there from the beginning. John 1:1-3 explains it, in its entirety…
  • Anthony Slaninka You are completely “WRONG” But if you just accept Him as your Lord and Savior your sins will be forgiven, and give you, your rightful place in the Kingdom of Heaven, there are no other ways to go their except through Christ himself…Why don’t you comprehend this, the mormon bible is a false teaching of the bible in its entirety…I’m sorry to drop this misconception on you and all who believe the mormon word…
  • Anthony Slaninka You are not going to be the QUOTE, rulers of your own worlds, and thinking that you can get a dead relative or friend to believe and stay in places to stay there
  • Erik Kulick That’s right Rex, I’m the reincarnation of Korihor. Isn’t it nice that you can liken people to scriptural heroes or villains depending on whether or not you agree or disagree with them?

    Anthony, no matter how definitive the authors of the Bible make their works out to be, it doesn’t change the fact that you are relying on the same internal confirmation that Mormons rely on when they pray about the validity of the things that they’ve been taught. It really is ironic that “Christians” tend to criticize Mormonism as being a “works” based religion, yet they put the same arbitrary weight in the beliefs of the individual as Mormons put in works and belief. You guys have so much more in common than you realize, yet are willing to throw away the chance at having consistent support for a Republican nominee. Don’t worry though, a Christian Republican will be elected: Obama will have a second term.
  • Rex White Jr You put words in my mouth again. Poor debating form my friend. What I did say was that you are recycling an argument much older than you are which was proven erroneous. People tend to conform their beliefs around what behaviors they want to justify when unfortunately the principles of the gospel don’t change. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The old saying of rationalization and justification is just like masturbation you are only screwing yourself, is very applicable to the great majority of the agruments you have proffered in this discussion.
  • Erik Kulick If people are drawing inferences from what you say that are not in line with what you are trying to communicate, it is at least in part due to a lack of clarity in the original communication. The fact remains that you are using potentially fictional characters to make your argument.

    The existence of real world consequences for specific actions doesn’t automatically prove the existence or involvement of deity. All that really is required for an individual to discover right and wrong is to view all potential actions through the lens of equal love for others and self. If an action produces conflict in that paradigm, then it seems safe to say the action is wrong.
  • Rex White Jr “potentially fictional characters” falls under that headline of rationalization and justification. Right and wrong is based on unchanging principles. Love thy neighbor as thyself is only one of those principles. Deity being unchanging is also another of those principles. Deity has already spoken on the issue of homosexual behavior.
  • Erik Kulick I understand what you *believe*. There is the possibility that you are right, but that doesn’t automatically mean your belief equals a verifiable knowledge. There is great danger in confusing the two concepts, yet the practice is maddeningly common.
  • Rex White Jr Way to much evidence exists contrary to any claims proffering the non existence of deity. Again people will adjust their beliefs to justify the immoral behavior. That is the natural man!
  • Erik Kulick Why does it matter? Why does the historical accuracy need to be true? Anything that was purported to have been said by Jesus that was in line with the one principle he chose to espouse above all others would have practical application regardless of the existence of any deity. IF Jesus was divine, then a certain reality was omitted from the records through the passage of time: Jesus would have wanted to have us see him and any other rendition of deity as equal with ourselves and each other. A purportedly perfect person would have to be humble enough to desire all others to see her/him as equal to them. That way we all realize the enormous potential that lies in front of everyone.

    That is the beautiful thing about Buddhism and many other eastern religions. They help people realize how to deal with the obstacles in their way instead of telling people what to do, what not to do, what to believe, and what to distrust, like most of the western religions. That’s not to say that the religions in the west have been devoid of those more helpful instructions, but far too often these gems get pushed to the background as the people strive to maintain the appearance of righteousness; if only people would work harder on loving others than worrying what goes on in someone else’s bedroom.
  • Rex White Jr To paraphrase “Billy Madison,” “nowhere in that complete bunch of rambling was there any resemblance of a correct answer, we are all now dumber from having read that, I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul!”
  • Rex White Jr If your dog is lost you got to go out there and find that freaking dog or cow for all the buddhists out there.
  • Erik Kulick It really is ironic that a religion with such a rich doctrine regarding the importance of agency is so insistent on micro-managing its members.
  • Charlie Luerssen I like the great old quote from the Prophet Joseph Smith: “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.” This in the true heart of the faith whether leaders live up to it or people believe it! My own testimony confirms this to my soul, but you must find the truth for yourself beyond the facts of men through study, prayer and tasting the true? knowledge at it source… Happy hunting my fellow “rider on the storm.”
  • Erik Kulick The problem is the correct principles are mixed in with conflicting principles, and so the lens of love must be used to discern which are which.

    If the religions were practicing their core precepts properly, they would be inclusive of people with completely different views, and wouldn’t be so hung up the differing “imperfections” of the people seeking to share in their religious experiences. I am eternally (if I get to exist beyond this life) grateful for the enlightened teachings that have found their way into the texts I was taught during my formative years, but I can no longer be so presumptuous about the factual accuracy of any religious text, nor can I bring myself to care whether or not deity exists. I prefer to try to understand the world around me through investigation and reflection, and act based on an honest assessment of the implications and potential affects a decision would have on all parties involved. I find this to be a much more efficient and effective way of living than allowing a hope or fear regarding the “world to come” to cloud the process of decision making.
  • Charlie Luerssen That sounds a little like the religion secular humanism which worships at the altar of political correctness which in itself is very exclusive to the mocking of those who disagree with them. I prefer the simple religion of Jesus Christ to practice the golden rule and to worship God or whatever according to the dictates of my own conscience and allow all men the same privilege let them worship how, where, or what they may. Being an old time democrat I’ve learned to be able to disagree without being disagreeable or to agree to disagree. I find the box that many try to put those of faith into a little off putting and disingenuous. I think a rereading of “Animal Farm” would help many better understand the world around them in a more honest light… lol
  • Rex White Jr I think you are confusing micro-managing with holding people accountable for their use of agency. Come on Erik you are brighter than that. Don’t get mad at the church. Take resposibility for your rationalization and justifications, own it and make the changes necessary before it becomes to late.
  • Charlie Luerssen Erik in addition to reading “Animal Farm” which is a short read with a big bold timeless message… May I suggest you read Alma 32 again with an open mind and heart for it will help you gain that knowledge, experience and light as you investigate and reflect to gain an honest understanding of the world as it truly is IMHO… lol
  • Erik Kulick I love Orwell. I consider him on par with the good fictional and non-fictional writers found through out all the religious texts.

    I think Alma 32 touches on some fundamental truths about the nature of humanity, but I find the only value in its mention of God is the potential it has in helping people contextualize the struggle. Unfortunately most Christians miss the point; they think the “fact” that it is about the word of God is what makes it so important, instead of the fact the the “word” is love. If God and love just so happen to really be one in the same, then great. I have confidence that a God so inline with such a timeless principle would be more understanding than we could ever imagine or deserve.
  • Rex White Jr You used the correct word in a Freudian slip kind of way. God is “just,” that is obviously clear throughout the Bible and the Book of Mormon. God loves us unconditionally but that doesn’t mean that he will look the other way and not hold us accountable for our choices.
  • Erik Kulick There is truth mixed into all sorts of things. The trick is to use the right lens to discover those things and to not assume blanket truth of everything that comes with. Question your leaders. If something is true, it should be able to stand up to scrutiny.

    Charlie, regardless of what it sounds like, it is effectively the same thing as simply following the golden rule, which is really all that Christ specifically required of us. The boxes we end up in are often of our own construction. The best way to get out of those pigeon holes is to prove them wrong.

    Rex, there is zero value in man trying to exercise moral dominion over another individual. If we are ever to be held accountable, it will be by someone or something beyond this mortal coil. It’s one thing to try to help someone by offering them counsel, its another to put on the mantel no man is fit to wear.
  • Rex White Jr The golden rule was the second great commandment. The first was Love the Lord they God with all they heart, might, mind and strength. When you truly love God then you obey his commandments (all of them). Homosexual acts are clearly a breaking of His commandments. Bishops are common judges in Israel and one of their many functions is to help people through the repentance process. Unfortunately some people are so full of pride and think they know a better way to do things. The scriptures are full of examples of such thinking. Never quite works out the way they were hoping did it? Pride is enmity toward God. You are in essence telling Him “you know those commandments, I don’t think those are really necessary, I would rather eat drink and be merry because in the end you will just beat me with a few stripes and I will be saved at last.” Isn’t that sad that this is the type of thinking that is becoming more common place? I sure wouldn’t want to fall on the wrong side of that risky bet. Neither do you.
  • Erik Kulick People take different risks for different reasons. While your rationale for behaving the way you chose may very well be sound or even “inspired”, that doesn’t negate the fact that no matter how valid you reasoning for behaving, or how authoritatively you state your claim, there are only self-serving gains to be had by passing out moral judgement.

    Again, you are making definitive statements about claims that may or may not be true. You still haven’t answered my question: Why does it matter if God exists? The only answer you can give would reflect a primary concern for yourself and those you love. While this isn’t in and of itself harmful, it conflicts with the principle of loving others as thy self.

    Even if there is divine sourcing of the Christian holy books, I would not at all be surprised to find out that the first great commandment was an after thought by a well meaning spiritual leader. The second great commandment is powerful enough to encompass the first.
  • Rex White Jr God’s existence gives perspective for where every human being came from, why they are here and their divine potential. Your choice to settle for less is sad especially because you know better and you are letting that pride word be a stumbling block. As a father of children you already know the responsibility bestowed upon you from God to raise tbhem in righteousness. By kicking against tbe pricks as Paul puts it you are failing in the example you committed to be in the pre-existence. Lastly, failing to know what the first and great commandment is/was and then trying to word your way around it makes me question how much studying of scripture you really have done. My guess is you went straight for the deeper doctrines before you had the foundation clearly set and established. This has proven to be a fault of many who have awesome potential but proudfully proceed against the counsel of loving leaders. It”s not to late Erik. It is amazing how liv ing the gospel solves a lot of family problems that would otherwise tear them apart.
  • Charlie Luerssen Erik I love you like my own children and like my own children you have your own mind and agency which at times troubles me… However, I trust in God and his loving plan to allow all his children to fine their own way at their own rate. For those of us who believe in this plan we need to act more like the Planner…
  • Erik Kulick Mere existence is sufficient to inspire. The most important truth that can be extracted from Alma 32 is that if you can *seek* (it’s about the journey not the finish line) the most love filled path with out being *compelled* to do so, you are more likely to be successful in attaining the “greatest results”. The problem is, when people don’t place the “second” great commandment first, their perception of what the “greatest results” are becomes skewed. People want a God to exist because they are afraid of the idea of ceasing to exist: this blatantly conflicts with the effective practice of the “second” great commandment. Whether or not there is or isn’t a reward or punishment awaiting us at the end of this faze of existence, the reality is that using the expectations created by worrying about the possibilities only serves to compel.

    Why is it that just because you guys find things in a text or leader that you approve of, and then automatically feel compelled to just accept the whole part and parcel as true? Do you not want to expend the effort to figure things out on your own? Are you afraid you will be misled and lose out on your reward? IF it just so happens that I’m right, I’ll let you have mine if it makes you feel any better.

    Rex, the rest of your comment was a judgement you placed upon me. Do you feel better now? You assume that since a significant number of my beliefs or actions differ from your own, my path is somehow inferior to yours. You think that just because I don’t rely on God, that I’m somehow against her. I’m sorry that the “doctrine” that I gleaned from my reading of “scripture” doesn’t match up with yours. I’ve always been curious how the more dogmatic members of churches justify their Pharisaical behavior while purporting to champion the message of Christ. You know, when I was living in UT, a member of the Stake Presidency was astonished that I would chose a path that would deprive my children of a “moral up-bringing”. I’m so glad that God was so loving that he bestowed a religion, whose membership constitutes a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the worlds population, with a monopoly over morality.

    The only way to act more like the “planner” is by establishing as even-keeled balance of love between all beings as possible. I have another hypothesis. IF Christ’s mission was divine, he wasn’t perfect in how closely he followed the law, but rather in the way he was able to balance out that love. This evidenced by his willingness to sacrifice for the greater good (as opposed to the vast majority of followers, who support economic rhyme schemes that are driven by selfishness).
  • Rex White Jr Rationalize and justify how you will, but it will never change eternal principles. Don’t wait until it is too late that is all I am saying. There is a danger in that, your children may grow to resent you and you risk their unhappiness because of your selfish behaviors based on pride. I would highly suggest you read Ezra Taft Benson’s talk on that very subject.
  • Erik Kulick Why is God’s justice void of due process? At least a criminal trial would require the proving of a mens rea; you just assume the presence of the element is a given. You are free to assume and oversimplify if it will help you sleep at night. What you don’t know shouldn’t be held against you.

    I didn’t realize the purpose of raising children is to keep them from resenting you. I think what my children have at their disposal is rather remarkable. They have two parents who love them dearly and want to do what is best for them. While their parents disagree on what some of those things are, they strive to work together to provide stability without compromising what lies in their hearts. They get to go to church with their mother and benefit from the myths of their ancestors, while they get to learn about different spiritual points of view from their father. They have the freedom to learn and grow, and to chose the path that best suits them. I suggest you read some holy texts from eastern religions. You will at the very least get better at being the kind of Mormon you strive to be.
  • Rex White Jr With an omniscient being there is no need for due process, you either did or did not, He already knows the intent of your heart. I took two separate classes in my undergraduate degree focusing on Eastern Religions not taught at a Mormon school. I have done my homework. Thanks for assuming otherwise though.
  • Charlie Luerssen I think I chose Alma 32 because it supports your freedom to search out the truth in almost a scientific way… Seek, search and experiment upon the word and if you practice the teachings you might just find what you need is true. However, if you are bold enough to read farther into Alma you will learn how Alma changed his thinking about the moralistic church his father ran. Then how years later Alma tried to explain his conversion and teachings to his own troubled and challenged children. You know like Alma I had a troubled youth, but I kept seeking the meaning of true love, peace and freedom. This led me to Woodstock were I nearly died, but I refected upon childhood belief in Jesus Christ and called upon him to save me. He did and has led me by the power of the Holy Ghost to where I am today. I know what I know not by reading a book or by following a leader, but by the power of God in my life and the holy witness of the Holy Ghost. I respect yours earch and freedom… I’m not your Bishop I am friend and friends don’t judge each other or tell each other what the other knows or don’tknow.
  • Charlie Luerssen You might not know God lives and that is fine, but please don’t tell me what I know. I know God lives, that Jesus Christ is the son of God and my savior, that Joseph Smith was a prophet and the Book of Mormon is true and the word of God to me. This is my testimony which I gained by the power of the Holy Ghost and I share it with like my children in love so you might know there is hope in seeking and praying. God Bless you on your journey your friend Charlie…
  • Erik Kulick Are you that omniscient beings personal agent? If not, stop putting words into her mouth. Maybe you should go back and ponder the eastern texts instead of treating your experience with them like a trip to the zoo.

    I understand why you chose to cite Alma. I was just pointing out the most valuable principle it espouses. If a person is looking for something, they are more likely to find it.

    Why is it so difficult to see that there are more options than the binary? Standing up to the traditions of one’s father doesn’t automatically equate to a decision to carelessly toss all wisdom to the wind. This is the problem with assuming blanket truth with things like this; instead of trying to discern between which principle is a practical truth and which principle is a man made attempt at trying to reconcile the unknown, the assumer tries to use mental gymnastics to bend all the pieces into a suitable place, and ignores the remaining pieces left over.

    Please don’t forget the difference between belief and knowledge.
  • Rex White Jr I made a covenant at baptism, so did you.
  • Rex White Jr Keep digging…
  • Erik Kulick It’s too bad they took out the blood oath before I went in for my endowments.

    You know it is ironic that you are accusing me of being prideful in my statements, when I’m not the one making definitive proclamations and judgements.
  • Rex White Jr So you acknowledge you also made a covenant but have not fulfilled your end? “The wicked taketh the truth to be hard,” I am not calling you wicked but if you are offended by my straight shooting then maybe some inward searching maybe necessary on your part. Everything I have said to you I can back up with scripture. You can attempt to rationalize those scriptures away but those are the same scriptures to testified to a priesthood leader to be true when you were baptized, if you went to the temple which I think your statement was more flippant than true, than you have certified your belief in the same later in your life as well. Pride, again, is thinking you can do it a different way than what God has prescribed and get the same results. I am not telling you to do anything different than what the scriptures prescribe. Next!
  • Erik Kulick Who said I was offended? I strive to love you as equally as I love myself, so the practical application of that principle would be that I shouldn’t take offense. I am no better than you, so why should I act as if I am? This is where you’d be well suited to revisit that eastern philosophy and earnestly ponder it. Everything I say can be backed up by scripture. That doesn’t mean an authoritative seal should be affixed.

    I made promises of assumed importance, without realizing all of the implications. If the Mormon church’s bundled services happen to be what I was supposed to stay subscribed to, then I hope that the Mormon god will take into account my motivations. If not, I guess I’ll go burn in hell or get denied access to your gated communities in the celestial kingdom. Just make sure to wave when you pass me on your way to your throne in heaven.

    So pride is questioning the establishment? Wow, I could have sworn it was being over-confident in your beliefs and abilities, and seeing yourself as being better than someone else because of the righteousness under which you operate.
  • Erik Kulick Besides, I thought that according to the BoM, God is against secret combinations. I don’t understand how re-purposed Masonic rituals as the gatekeepers of righteousness fits within that framework.
  • Shannon Maureen · Friends with Jose Rivera and 14 others

    I admire your courage, Erik.
  • Rex White Jr The first part of your pride definition is exactly what I have told you at least 3 times now. I’ll always wave to you Erik you know this. Have I ever passed you in the halls of school without acknowleging your presence? Why would it be any different when you get your act together and your mansion is across the golden street from mine? Secret codes and combinations are what the natural man does to imitate sacred ordinances. Where do you think the Mason’s got their stuff. Have you ever thought that it was passed down through the generations from the original but because they have lost the spiritual meaning it has changed. You do know that even though they are similar they are very different at the same time right?. Besides that, it is the covenants that you make at the temple which is the focal point. You are a child of God, never forget that.
  • Erik Kulick It would only be courage if there were anything to fear

    Shannon, it has been my good fortune to meet people like you which has helped me to see that no group or individual can monopolize truth or righteousness. I used to be so sure that what I had been taught was infallible, but then thankfully I got to see the beautiful spectrum within which love can be expressed. I met atheists who are some of the most genuine and thoughtful people I’ve ever met. I met homosexuals far more qualified to provide a loving and nurturing home than many of their heterosexual peers. I couldn’t make assumptions about their righteousness or fates any longer; I’d gladly die for those people’s “sins” any day. Would you do the same, Rex?

    I’m sorry Rex, it is my opinion that you have a flawed definition of pride, among other things. I would gladly return the wave and smile, supporting your right to gate yourself off. I don’t have any intentions of acquiring that kind of real estate. I would rather spend eternity caring for the huddled masses gathered outside your community. That’s what I think our hypothetical Christ would do. Never forget that.
  • Rex White Jr Huddles masses outside, hahahahahahahahahahaha….hahahahahahahaha. will it be an occupy the celestial kingdom protest? That does sound like something the adversary would try to pull off at the last minute hahahahahahaha Remember the promise that all will be happy where they end up but that burning deep inside will be the regrets for not using the atonement and qualifying yourself to be washed clean through the blood of Christ? You have more accountability because you have been taught and turned away. The awesome thing is that it isn’t too late to make it right. I don’t have to die for anyones sins. That’s the beauty of the restored gospel. That price has already been paid. It is up to you whether it applies or not for you, through your actions and keeping of the covenants you have made. Would I be willing to lay down my life for others…well I did serve a mission in the middle of the ghetto of baltimore but seriously of course I would. Why do you think I am so frank with you? It isn’t because I lack law books to read. I saw a struggling soul reaching out for attention by attacking the church. You have my full attention and as you can see I don’t back down and I don’t mix words. So I will contine to call out smoke screens and rationalizations. That is what friends do.
  • Erik Kulick So let me get this straight: Atonement = pass the buck

    If Jesus’ death did anything, it showed people what someone who actually lived the only great commandment (Do unto others) would do for anyone, including Hitler.

    The trouble with accusing people of rationalizing, is that the “sins” that you yourself rationalize away are no better than the “sins” of the accused.

    You need to take off your struggling soul goggles. What you struggled to see was a man looking out for the injured.

    Don’t worry, I’m sure your benevolent God will put up an effective barrier.
  • Erik Kulick Oh, and just to be a technical pest, words are minced, not mixed. Words, I well be too mixed guess can.
  • Rex White Jr There is another smoke screen. When are you going to be ready to address your real feelings. Stop hiding.
  • Erik Kulick How am I hiding? I am effectively standing in the middle of on coming traffic, as is evidenced by this 100+ comment post, that incidentally will end up being longer than the appellate brief I’m also working on.
  • Rex White Jr Trafiic analogy and referrences to a brief = smoke screen.
  • Erik Kulick Would you rather I point out every assumption you have made in the conversation again? I don’t see how making conversational observations is a smoke screen…
  • Rex White Jr Every time you have raised a doctrinal issue I have answered it. I still stand by my assumptions about D&C 121 and when you admitted your conversation with a stake president in Utah it confirmed my assuption. It obviously has stuck with you and it has resulted in you dig your (high) heels in even further. You are a smart man there is a great danger in looking beyond the mark, if you have studied the Old Testament in depth you know exactly what I am talking about. Somethings are not meant to be overthought.
  • Brian Christopher By saying “somethings are not meant to be overthought,” only support the idea that the church’s literal adherence to doctrine is asinine? This is my beef, the church (and many other religions) use religious authority by cherry picking what they like (e.g., hot drinks = coffee, wtf!) and take what they do not like as metaphor (a rich man is last to enter the kingdom of heaven). I find that to be senseless hypocrisy. The bible is a good book, but to use as weapon to bludgeon people on moral points without looking at the plank that is stuck in your eye is a great travesty of justice. That is why I no longer want anything to do with the institution of religion. I know people who would follow the pointless doctrinal rules (e.g., no sex before marriage, no coffee) and then commit unethical acts all because they were “right in the eyes of the church,” and those ethical lapses were counteract because they were a good tbm. I rather be an ethical atheist than an unethical, gutless follower.
  • Erik Kulick Rex, if you really studied the old and new testaments, you’d see that there are numerous blatant contradictions.

    I’m glad that your learning, without context, that a leader made the same comment to me removed any doubt about the accuracy of your assessment of me. What about the time when, after learning that a homosexual friend of mine had been formally disfellowshiped for homosexual activities (while the High Priest/Temple worker who participated in those acts was merely discretely reprimanded), I on a whim traveled to UT to speak to a general authority, and as a result my stake presidency was overhauled?

    Blind (or short-sighted) obedience is overrated.
  • Marni Zollinger What an awful thread. Some dude gets to insist that the point of gay marriage is to insist on a new definition of a religious term? Boloney. CIVIL marriage is a CIVIL contract invented by a govt. not God (that’s the religious rite) and it never was anything but that. Of course everyone should have access to a domestic civil agreement. Some gal thinks that this video was a staged event, when it was clearly taken by iPhone video (raise your hand if you bring one to church every week) and the man is reading (raise your hand if you’ve prepared remarks when speaking in church). Erik, in my opinion, by virtue of the lack of logical thought displayed, these folks are just trolls.
  • Erik Kulick That may be so, but even trolls deserve to be given an opportunity to understand. Besides, at the very least, those despised fence sitters who Supposedly deserve to be spit out of God’s mouth can get a better perspective on the issues and make and informed decision XD
  • Erik Kulick Besides, I think it’s a lovely thread
  • Nikki Schaefer Religious people (most of them)= insane people. Marriage is societally constructed and started out as a way to get rid of women (who were property). It doesn’t mean anything to God or anyone else and if Kim Kardashian can get married, then the gays should be able to as well. If they want marriage and not just civil unions, what’s the big deal? ITS NOT HURTING ANYONE!
  • Marni Zollinger And, I have such friend-trolls on my wall, too. Let there be big tent civics. Respect.
  • Erik Kulick What bothers me most about the gay marriage issue (among other things) is that people would rather obstruct the freedom of others, through the use of political and societal means (see: causing harm), than have two people who love each other and want to reap the greatest potential benefits that are available to their fellow citizens, be able to realize equality (see: not causing harm). If this really is the nature of God’s standards and commandments, then I respectfully want to opt out of that individual mandate. Rex, you are more than welcome to continue pulling out doctrinal authority to respond to my honest inquiries and statements, but it does nothing for the furtherance of understanding and truth. Might I suggest an alternative again. Take off those “poor soul” goggles, and start looking through the lens of loving ALL equally.
  • Marni Zollinger Well, as Mormons, we can even look at this *our* way, which is that we a) believe that the law is designed to punish crime but not constrain conscience b) Mosiah very clearly told Alma “I judge them not” even when Alma was wrong and Alma couldn’t see it c) Dallan Oaks explained that the judge that found that the mobs that had killed Joseph and Hyrum was *wrong* to believe that the law had a place in removing civil rights and processes from the minority, due to the will of a majority. He named it “majority tyranny”. Never mind that it is hard to get that paper anymore, it was right then and it is right now. and I guess d) no matter how they try to scare people with specious rhetoric, children will not mistake men for women or women for men. (that was one of several dire predictions they unfortunately put in writing)
  • Rex White Jr Thank goodness for the Book of Mormon. That si why we believe the BoM to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. Many errors have creeped in and are set straight by the BoM. Funny how you don’t point that out yourself. It doesn’t help your argument very much so I can see why you chose to omit. I’m glad to hear the right thing was done in the end with the Utah homosexual behavior. I would have done the same like most everyone else I know so playing the hero or martyer role for it gets you no sympathy from me.
  • Marni Zollinger And, as Elder Jensen observed, we have one more thing to hold to our hearts: the elderly spinster has a promise that there will be, for her virtuous life, every opportunity for marriage and family in the next world. But the gay or lesbian has no such thing to look forward to. As this Church is the church of revelation, and inasmuch as God loves all his children and there are no children of a lesser God, I look forward, in the process of time, to understanding the Plan of Happiness for gay and lesbian people, whenever it is revealed.
  • Nikki Schaefer Maybe the gays and lesbians don’t care about a Plan of Happiness. Aren’t the Mormons the ones who believe that black people turn white if they become Mormons?
  • Marni Zollinger hey, we have grotesque racists, like every other religion. And the original word in the BOM was “white” but JS changed it to “pure” immediately, and then Brigham Young changed it back to “white”. Of course everyone has a plan of happiness. For instance, what would you like in the next world– happiness or not?

    When I think about these things, I think about God, dealing with this Church, and all its baggage. I cannot think that God has any other opinion than that everyone should have equal footing before the law. So, why would the Mormon church have been directed this way? THe answer to my mind is that God knew that the current Mormons were too snotty to be equitable to others, so…. how to solve that? Answer: have the Mormons do what we would naturally do– but put our name out in front. Then, the whole country would sit up and take notice and it would trigger a tsuanami of interest and conviction that the Bad Mormons will not be telling *anyone* that they are second class citizens. Hence, with just a little of our work, and showing the meanness that can be had inside the Mormon curtain *and leaked out of it* then in a few short years, I think we’ll have equal standing for everyone. Per the Plan of Salvation.
  • Marni Zollinger And, what this really means is that God wasn’t really sought in the first question at all. I cannot believe that God would say “let’s put people out of civil protection” so that means to me that God was never sought at all. And, God doesn’t impose where He is not sought. The Church hierarchy was on auto-pilot, which is to say, it was on “stop me if we’re wrong but we don’t think we’re wrong so we won’t wait more than a minute for your angel and then we’re going to go ahead and do what we want.”
  • Andrea Turner Erik, you sure know how to get a conversation going! Nikki Schaefer, you crack me up! I think you’re confused by the idea Mormons believe that white people were punished by being turned into Native American’s because they fell from grace or stole fire from the gods or something, I don’t remember, but South Park has an educational episode on the matter. I guess Mitochondrial DNA has as much clout with religious narratives as global warming does with the GOP.
  • Marni Zollinger Na, there is enough history to show that Nikki is right- our early Mormon leaders did believe that blacks were black for sin-issues. And, that they will be changed white, later. Gotta love the internet. I think those discourses belong in the “we really wish they had kept their mouths shut” category but hey, it is our real, live heritage.
  • Erik Kulick Thanks Andrea, I wonder if I could use the contents of this thread to opt out of doing the brief

    Rex, was that a Freudian slip when you said that you believe in the BoM as long as it’s translated correctly? The problem with the BoM is the same as it is with the Bible. The only difference is that the BoM was written by Smith and maybe a few close friends instead of by a bunch of different people over a longer period of time, and it was written more recently. If you can’t see that errors creep into everything that humans touch, you should remove your hands from your eyes.

    I don’t understand your statement that you would have done the same thing: You would have done the same thing as the local leaders who chose to scapegoat a young man who was involved in the same activities as the individual who had a family and serious church responsibilities, yet would have swept the latter man’s “transgressions” under the rug? Or are you saying that you’d have done the same thing as Elder Eyring and the Seventy who came to my Stake to rebuked the local leaders for thinking they were above the congregation because of their “callings”, and to dissolve and rebuild the entire presidency?
  • Erik Kulick Thank you Wes; I needed that. How’s the show?
  • Weslaw Garcia So far pretty good, I keep coming back. I’m tempted to get sucked in but I’ve already got enough distractions from law school.
  • Erik Kulick I am starting to wonder if Law school is the distraction
  • Nikki Schaefer I think I deserve a nice “reincarnation” or whatever comes next besides dirt just for this stupid brief! Thanks Andrea! I will watch “South Park”. They always know what’s up.
  • Rex White Jr No fruedian. The bibile has gone through many translations. The BOM has gone through one into English. If you really think Joseph Smith wrote it with some friends you may not be as smart as I originally thought. Every scholar who has tried to prove such has failed miserably. You really need to read Rough Stone Rolling by Bushman. Written from a neutral stance and gives you a better historical perspective then you will ever get chasing internet links and South Park for heavens sake. Or is that another some screen you are throwing out there to cover up why you are really mad. With the Utah situation, the later is what I would have done, I think it was handled correctly by removing the leadership and I hope the elder man lost his membership as well. Any more rationalizations or smoke screens you need me to call out for you?
  • Rex White Jr Wish you would have been in attendance at the Stake Priesthood session wihich ended about 45 minutes ago. I am possitive it wouls have helped you be a better father and help you take the steps to keep your family.
  • Erik Kulick Where did you come by the knowledge that people who’ve challenged the BoM’s validity have failed miserably? Let me guess: someone within the organization. I personally don’t care whether or not Smith is the original author. The problems with Mormon, and even Christian doctrine abound regardless.

    The simple thing you are failing to realize, is that no matter how many times you want to quote “scripture”, you are still making definitive and authoritative statements about things which you do not “know”. I appreciate that you think what you have is best for anyone and everyone, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are telling people that they’re unquestionably wrong about their beliefs and views, even though it is only your opinion. I’m glad I didn’t go to a place that would have the balls to tell me what I can do to be a better anything without being willing to honestly consider any input I have in response.
  • Rex White Jr Yet another rationalization and justification. I would hope you would fight.a little harder for your family that get mad at people who don’t “mince” words. Simma down, drop the proudful act and be the Father, Heavenly Father wants you to be not the one of the philosophies of men mixed with scripture.
  • Rex White Jr Hope to see you at the adult session, 7pm at the Boone Bldg that is if you aren’t to prideful.
  • Brian Christopher Rex: I hope see you at the Portland Gay Pride Parade; that is if you are not prideful.
  • Rex White Jr Hahahaha. I will stand in holy places. Thanks for the invite though. How come you arent here either? You made the same covenant at baptism.
  • Andrea Turner Hey there, Rex! How about you simmer down with the ad hominem over there! Erik is a great dad and a good person. The thing I’ve always admired about Mormons is how nice they are. Be the nice.
  • Rex White Jr Hi Andrea, my name is Rex. Nice to meet you. Thanks for your words of encouragement.
  • Brian Christopher Yeah I made the same covenant, but when I realized that the complex realities of morality are best determined and discovered through indepedent thought instead of some delineated code by a group of hierarchical, self-rightous solons; I decided that I rather spend my time and money elsewhere.
  • Rex White Jr Love ya Brian.
  • Brian Christopher Same to you Rex White Jr
  • Brian Christopher Just stop the ad hominem attacks on Erick, we are law students and we all like debate, but saying a person will be a bad father just because he does not follow the book of mormon to the letter is just a fallacious form of logic that I do not appreciate.
  • Rex White Jr I appreciate the concern. As someone who doesn’t have children or a spouse I don’t expect you to understand.
  • Erik Kulick Rex, Joseph Smith took wives that were already married. Why do you revere this man, but despise me?
  • Brian Christopher Just because I do not have a spouse or children, I do understand the right to respectful dialogue and privacy which is an universal human belief. So be a human and cut that crap off.
  • Andrea Turner Rex, I am a spouse and a mother and I do not understand. I give to those in need and find the greatest virtue is being kind and compassionate. I don’t need any Man’s book to tell me that. What I do understand is that when one is out of good arguments they attack another’s character. It seems to be the consensus between Brian and myself that you have crossed a line. I’ll leave you to draw the inference.
  • Erik Kulick <>

    David Bazan with Casey Foubert at the fahrenheit house, New Haven, IN – 12/13/09.
  • Rex White Jr I understand both of those concerns. Unfortunately it isnt a personal attack, it is a fear that he will lose what he holds dear because of pride. I don’t fault him for having questions and concerns, those are natural. This whole thread started with Erik attacking the church. I will never stand by the wayside and let others attack the church unrighteously. That line was crossed with the initial post. What has transpired from there has been smoke and mirrors, not on my part but on his part. I call that crap out in person, in class and on FB. Brian, I don’t have a beef with you or Erik. You have your style of debating and I have mine. If you don’t like mine don’t read it.
  • Erik Kulick To be honest Rex, I don’t take offense to your criticism. I am sorry that you have grown to love an institution and/or deity more than your fellow man. I think the real Jesus would facepalm over that kind of reading of “his” message. I would just rather burn in Hell for eternity for trying to help the kinds of people with whom you refuse to stand, than toe the party line in order to save myself a seat on the titanic.
  • Deanna Mayne I’ve only skimmed a little, but sheesh! You guys need to drop this. Rex and Erik this is getting a spiteful. Aren’t you all supposed be writing some 20 page paper?!
  • Brian Christopher Look no one is telling you not to debate, unlike church leaders we like to hear arguments and not crush dissent. However, for the love of all that is holy, stay in the freaking scope and do not attack his parenting. Stay in the substantive focus, by using personal attacks all you do is make Erick’s point and prove the church is not true and is in fact a bunch of tripe. Lastly, your argument about not reading your post is just plain silly, here is a better point why don’t you show some maturity and stop posting that kind of filth. Really not only are you law student, your also an adult and just because you do not like what Erick is saying, does not give you the right to attack him personally. Use logic, use evidence, hell even use scripture, but when you suddenly when you say a person is a bad father only demonstrates ignorance and bad character.
  • Deanna Mayne Erik can be a damn good father when he isn’t caught up with this kind of bull crap. His kids adore him and miss him when he’s gone.
  • Rex White Jr Mmmmmmmk Brian!! My point was just proven, “when he isn’t caught up with this kind of bull crap” I’ll take that as when he isn’t trying to bash the church
  • Deanna Mayne The real question is, who is going to be the “bigger man” and just walk away from this post. You’re obviously not going to convince each other to see your point of view, so just move on and do your stupid homework. Please.
  • Rex White Jr I’ll respect your wifeKs wishes since you won’t. I’m out! Peace. Shalom.
  • Deanna Mayne thank you for stopping, but that was a low blow. be nice.
  • Brian Christopher Rex, seriously you are personifying the reasons on why I left the church in the first place.
  • Marni Zollinger Rex, as a Mormon and a person with a psych degree, seek help. Other people will then be able to like you almost as much as you do.
  • Erik Kulick I think that the picture Weslaw posted is what God really is.
  • Nikki Schaefer Rex is in law school? That’s scary! I wouldn’t want someone like that representing me!
  • Marni Zollinger I think his infantilism in this thread may be sarcastic.
  • Nikki Schaefer How can you be sarcastically infantile? It seems to me you either are infantile or you aren’t- but hopefully if you are in law school you are beyond those argument tactics. Lawyers don’t run around courtrooms yelling “Nah-nah-nah! Stick it in your ear!”.
  • Marni Zollinger I think it unusually translates as passive aggressive.
  • Brian Christopher I think you need to hang out in more courtrooms, some lawyers really do say “Nah-nah-nah! Stick it in your ear!”
  • Nikki Schaefer Haha. Maybe so, maybe so.
Jesus Christ is Satan’s attorney. Pass it on.
  • Brian Christopher Any chance I can put Jesus on retainer? I hired Zeus and so far he has done jack squat because he has been too busy chasing nymphs. Maybe I can hire Shiva; she would totally kick Jesus’s butt.
  • Deanna Mayne write your paper
  • Kacy M Bryce Brian, you need Kali. She’s a real bitch of a deity.
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker i think law school made you take trip or long fall erik ? lmao maybe you need some rest or good people surrounding you- like your children theyre the best at healing a hurt heart
  • Charlie Luerssen I think he is more the prosecutor while God the Father was the Judge and we the human family the jury who found him guilty of treason. You know the punishment he and his kind suffer as they try to get into the hearts and minds of weak humans who are often blinded by the philosophies and Honor’s of men… IMHO
  • Blain Nelson Did you say “Jesus Christ! Satan’s an attorney!”?
  • Erik Kulick Meghan, my heart is fine. I just realized the extent to which an atonement would reach if it were real.

    Actually Charlie, I think it’s only the self-proclaimed Christians who have it out for this Satan fellow. I’d imagine a real Christ would let bygones be bygones and give Satan a big old hug.
  • Justin DeCarlo Jesus may be first chair but Satan’s got Johnny Cochran right next to him chewbacca defense at the ready
  • Charlie Luerssen I agree the heavens wept when he was casted down to this world as an evil spirit to help try and test the human family to see if they would love God more and support his laws, commendments and plan of salvation. Christ came suffered, died and atoned for the sins of all mankind not evil spirits who don’t have human bodies and never will. Yes, he hugged to him and said be gone to the place you will love most Outer Darkness to rule and reign with all the devils for all eternity… Remember Satans plan was and is to control and force others to do and obey and be like him while God gives us the freedom of choice. Chose you this day who you will follow Christ or the devil, ying or yany, like or darkness, good or evil… I know God can help lead you into greater exalted light to rule and reign with Him and Christ in Celestial Glory for all eterinty if you chose of your own free will to grow (change or repent)… God Bless you in the study of the law our forefathers have given us from their Judo-Christian traditions… lol
  • Erik Kulick If Jesus can’t forgive his own brother, then I have serious doubts about his divinity; I’ve met bona fide humans with more compassion in their little pinkies.
  • Steven Christensen *If* the atonement were real?? Wow.
  • Deanna Mayne Erik, do your homework and stop trying to start riots.
  • Erik Kulick When I say *if*, I’m not implying that I *know* it isn’t. If it *is* real, then everyone will get cleansed by a benevolent God, if it isn’t, then I guess we better hope that, *if* there is a judge waiting for us at the end, he thinks our sins are more forgivable than our enemies’.

    I also find it curious that so many Christians are obsessed with the idea of Christ having to be perfect; would they accept the sacrifice of an imperfect Christ?

    “if no heavy breath blew up these lungs, while dirt and wet spit hung a ghost in the air, well we’re still here.”


    David Bazan – DC House Show – Heavy Breath 5-10-10
  • Erik Kulick I am doing homework; I just like to share things in the interim.
  • Charlie Luerssen Study hard, but always remember where most of that law came from… We owe a great debt to those faithful men and women who wrote their thoughts, ideas, dreams, revelations and visions down so they could be studied and organized for us their children. With the law written down as a standard civilization can grow in greater light and wisdom. As a future offiicer of the court you will both defend the law and the defendants before the Judges to whom you will bow as verdicts are issued. The law will be administered as fairly as humanly possible and men will be punished or freed by juries of their peers. Some will be forgiven and others sentenced to death and wished to hell by their victims… Can you support that God given system?
  • Daniel Murphree You forget the atonement has to be accepted to be effective. You think Satan would accept? His fall was because He didn’t accept in the first place. I’m sure if He had a change of heart then Jesus would plead for Him just as hard as any of us. He’s a good attorney like that.
  • Erik Kulick Why is the place were a law originates relevant? If a law helps society, then it has value. Who cares if it comes from hard working religious folks, who may or may not have been inspired by deity, or a three year old? I’m all about reaping the benefits of historical precedent, but to treat anything like it’s sacrosanct is an insult to the process by which those rules were attained. If we are unwilling to challenge even our most basic assumptions, we will continue to repeat the same mistakes that have plagued humanity through out history. I won’t end up an officer of the court if I can help it; I’d rather not have to end up with my fall back occupation.

    The current system of jurisprudence in America is far more just than the kind of system most Christians envision awaiting us on the other side. Go back and listen to that song,”When we fell” to understand why.

    Why would the atonement of an all-loving being need to be accepted to have an effect?
  • Charlie Luerssen Are not all attorneys officers of the court? Are you planning to teach, be a community organizer or a politician?
  • Erik Kulick Politics is my main goal, but I’d rather be a policy analyst or community organizer than an attorney.
  • Mike Stein · Friends with Charlie Luerssen

    An attorney is defined as an advocate. Confused?
  • Erik Kulick I’m not sure I understand your point, Mike.

    Also, Charlie, given the merciful implications of an atonement, there’s no way Jesus would be any kind of lawyer, other than a public defender.
  • Mike Stein · Friends with Charlie Luerssen

    Jesus Christ is Satan’s attorney.???
  • Erik Kulick What is wrong with that statement?
  • Erik Kulick Just like the “second” great commandment subsumed the “first”, Jesus’ status as public defender means that he would be willing to defend Satan.
  • Mike Stein · Friends with Charlie Luerssen

    Advocate: one that pleads the cause of another; specifically : one that pleads the cause of
    another before a tribunal or judicial court. 2. : one that defends or maintains a …
  • Mike Stein · Friends with Charlie Luerssen

    Good and bad minions in the middle me and satans dicodomy obviously.
  • Mike Stein · Friends with Charlie Luerssen

    di·chot·o·my [dahy-kot-uh-mee] Show IPA
    noun, plural -mies.
    division into two parts, kinds, etc.; subdivision into halves or pairs.
    division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups: a dichotomy between thought and action.
  • Mike Stein · Friends with Charlie Luerssen

    Jan 19, 2012 … Creating a false dicotomy. Appropriate evangelical political involvement.
    Religious conservatives involvement in the public arena and in …
  • Charlie Luerssen And Romney beat them in Michigan due to the Catholic and women vote… lol
  • Steven Christensen “Why would the atonement of an all-loving being need to be accepted to have an effect?”
    Because of the role of faith, which changes the equation alltogether.
    If you were talking about man’s laws, I would agree – they are applied without regard of the person on whom the law is designed to apply. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

    But with the atonement, the person who receives the benefits is personally involved, but accepting Jesus Christ and having the faith needed to “apply: the atonement personally in his or her life (I know, “apply” is an imprecise word in this context, because what it means varies on the individual). We must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and follow His teachings.

    Free agency also comes into play, as the “all-loving being” recognizes that not everyone will accept and take advantage of His atonement.

    The justice of God is something which has some absolutes – you do A, then B happens (i.e. you sin, you are removed forever from the presence of God). When you involve Jesus, His atonement allows you to escape the “B.”
  • Daniel Murphree Why would the atonement need to be accepted to have an effect? Why does cancer treatment need to be accepted to attempt to cure you? Or food need to be accepted to keep you from being hungry? An all-loving being isn’t going to force His love on people when they do not want it, nor would He force people to escape the consequences of their actions when that would just cause them more grief.
  • Charlie Luerssen It is said a person who prefers sinning to obeying God’s commandments would not enjoy being forced to live in the presence of a perfect exalted being. God will force no man into heaven against his will. Nor will he force his atonement upon any. The free gift of immortality is given to all, but to live as God lives in heavenly Glory one must be clean of all sin and the desire to sin through being washed in the blood of the Lamb. This you must desire with all your heart, mind and soul asking God to forgive you and then being willing to live his teaching the best you can knowing he will make up the difference which is his mercy and grace to all those who acknowledge and love him. His light and glory are joy and comfort to the repentive sinner, but fire and burning to the prideful sinner. You are free to chose life or death, good or evil or being a saint or a devil, ying or yang… IMHO
  • Erik Kulick “This line is metaphysical; on the one side the bad half live in wickedness, and on the other side the good half live in arrogance; there’s a steep slope, with a short rope; this line is metaphysical and there’s a steady flow moving to and frow.” – Bazan, the wise observer.

    I’m sorry Mike, but I’m only getting the intros to most of your comments; there is no “see more” option available to expand the comments. From what I can read, it seems you are firmly rooted in the “knowledge” that there are two forces competing for our love, affection, and exclusive subscription. I don’t see a dichotomy, because I don’t agree with this oversimplified assessment of existence. Compartmentalizing good and evil and using it to describe a being, even if it is the mythical Satan, doesn’t have any practical value; helping people discover how to live in a way that is mindful of their neighbors’ right to seek happiness through the lens of equal love does.

    I’m sure being able to read Mike’s comments would help me to understand where Romney fits into this context, but let me just take the opportunity to state the obvious. Cheer up; even though the religious know-it-alls on both sides of the Mormon-Christian (false) dichotomy are ruining the Republican party’s chance at winning the presidential election, we will still end up with a “Christian” Republican remaining in office.

    You guys speak of the atonement like it’s something being peddled by Ron Popeil; Accept Now! Limited Time Offer! I don’t know about you, but I don’t forgive someone only if they will accept my forgiveness; I don’t see how a “perfect” deity would chose to operate that way either. Why is it that “God” is so wise and powerful, yet when “his” policies conflict with simple logic or compassion, we are supposed to just accept that some of the ways of God are unknowable, or some other malarkey? ***IF*** there is such thing as an atonement, the forgiveness would be extended even to stubborn bastards like Satan. Of course the ball would be in Satan’s court, but he himself would be the only impediment to his own divine potential; I highly doubt that God has constructed guarded barbed-wire fences between the different realms based on worthiness.

    Just a friendly service reminder:

    Belief does not equal knowledge.
  • Charlie Luerssen Some know, some just believe and others just don’t know and some believe that nobody can know because they don’t believe… However, I know we all can know when we ready and able to see the fulness of the truth…
  • Erik Kulick What is gained by the graduation from belief to “knowledge”? The only thing that I can see coming from it is a self-imposed obstruction on what new things one can learn.
  • Erik Kulick And a badge of authority to limit others in their own journeys.
  • Charlie Luerssen When you know you then you understand not taking anything away from those who don’t think they know. The apostle Peter spoke of a sure witness not to boast off, but to give hope to those who want to believe, but don’t know. The Lord put it simply; Ye shall know the truth and the truth will make you free. Now we can argue over the definition of words put the truth spirit of God enlightens the mind so we can see eye to eye and be one on a co-equal level not one above another.
  • Mike Stein · Friends with Charlie Luerssen

    ABC News projects that the 30 delegates awarded based on Michigan’s Tuesday primary will be evenly split – 15 delegates for Mitt Romney and 15 delegates for Rick Santorum.
  • Mike Stein · Friends with Charlie Luerssen

    Turnout for Michigan’s presidential primary was 16.6% of all registered voters — or 1,213,834 out of Michigan’s 7,286,556. In the 2008 presidential primary, the turnout was 21%. Interpret that.
  • Charlie Luerssen He won the popular vote and earned the moral victory not mention the clean sweep in AZ… He is the dem’s worst nightmare and that is why they are down spinning it the best they can… lol
  • Mike Stein · Friends with Charlie Luerssen

    So 41% of 16.6% propels Romney forward. What will the 59% do in MI? The absentee ballots still need to counted.
  • Mike Stein · Friends with Charlie Luerssen

    I cannot find AZ turnout.
  • Erik Kulick Don’t worry, the Republicans will marginalize their own candidate to the point that black Mitt will win anyway.

    You still haven’t told me the value of treating an unconfirmable belief in a deity and the things he was purported to have said to fallible individuals as a “knowledge”. If a man has gained enough wisdom to temper his over confidence in his “knowledge”, he is still likely to impede his own growth by having become calcified.
  • Erik Kulick Steven, how does faith change the equation?
  • Charlie Luerssen We as humans can try to intellectualize truth, knowledge and faith until the cows never come home… lol ; However, one of the greatest intellectual spiritual leader I ever read is Alma. From Alma 32 to the very end of his book he hashes this debate with the rich, wise, poor, greedy and his own children. If you read it as it is written without trying to challenge it’s source with an open mind unbiased you may understand why I am as I am and reason the way I do on these topics. Happy rereading and know I love and respect you just the way you are. Life is for learning which I know you have a passion for. We do well in it if we spend more time creating new or better ways focusing our creative energies promoting good will rather then trying to destroy things we don’t like or disagree with!
    hings we don’t like
  • Erik Kulick Charlie, I still value the character of Alma the Younger, even though I have seen a significant amount of evidence that has me quite convinced that he is a fictional being; nevertheless, I still respect much of what he said and did. I don’t agree with the assumptions to which he stakes many of his (often) well-reasoned arguments. I really like much of his discussion on faith, and the great potential he sees in the use of faith. I just find it unfortunate that you guys are so adamant about accepting so many of the teachings of the church, its scriptures, and the assumptions derived from these things as true on a wholesale level. I happen to believe that many non-religious folks tend to overlook the value of faith; and many religious folks tend to misconstrue the meaning and reach of faith.

    Faith is a belief that you hope for; it is a means to channel your spiritual/contemplative/emotional energy toward a pursuit/goal/desire. If I recall correctly, there is a passage which comes from Alma which explains that through faith all things are possible, even if used in an “unrighteous” way. This speaks to the universality of divine potential, and the free reign we are purportedly given through our free agency. I think that Joseph, through Alma was trying to advance some pretty progressive views on Christianity, and it’s a shame that so many members are blind to the good and bad implications of many of the doctrines that Joseph tried to advance, as well as blind to the extent to which some of the subsequent “prophets” have misrepresented and altered parts and aspects of his doctrine for the worse.

    My recollection of Mormon scripture and theology is better than you give me credit for. You appear to assume that because I stopped believing in the literal nature of religious texts and teachings, that I have for some reason thrown the baby out with the bath water, and written off the vast majority of the things Christians purport to believe in. I really don’t care which of the versions of Christianity any of you personally subscribe to; I just wish that more of you would be more cautious with confidence in absolute truth and your ability to know it.
  • Charlie Luerssen Yes, I agree some within the many faiths can behave in a blind manner. Paul H Dunn a former 70 told this story; “When I attended a christian college back east I dated the Pastors daughter. One Sunday I was invited to her family dinner. During dinner her father ask me, Paul what do the Mormons believe on Isaiah 53? I quickly answered I don’t know, but we are right and you are wrong.” I get your point and he had your point about his Mormon people back 40 yrs ago. Mormons have grown to realize their many weaknesses, but they have also matured enough to be able to laugh at themselves as they continue to try to do good. Testimony is often misunderstood by the world and for that reason the world hates the testifier. One can know something which he may never be able to prove to a skeptical world or person, but it doesn’t change the truth of the testimony. That is the beauty of our first amendment. Keep seeking, studying and learning and try to leave the judging to those officers of the court you never want to be!
  • Erik Kulick Have no fear, Charlie, I will be a physician to many, but I do not desire to make anyone *believe* in anything. I just would like to help people understand how easy and important it is to see each other equally; do you know why Joseph wrote about secret combinations?

    “Some” is a serious underestimate when referring to the desire to walk blindly, especially in the religious communities. This is not to say that I think all religious folks are completely blind to *everything* in the world around them, but their desire to have “blessings” for themselves or to avoid “curses” will far more often than not cause them to close there eyes to the full picture that is in front of them. They think that just because they see these apparent, and sometimes real consequences occurring as the result of certain behaviors, they think that they have the definitive scoop on the person(s) involved and/or behavior(s) engaged in. The problem is, they far too often fail to look at the different factors involved, and how different circumstances or decisions can affect the very “goodness” or “badness” of something. They jump to conclusions about the character and abilities of the parties involved, yet refuse to see that the “sins” of the other people they are criticizing are often no worse or often better than their own. They fail to see that they very well could learn something profound from the person they just dehumanized; if only they would stop being so worried about their own eternal well-being and tried instead to make that heaven they long for in the here and now.
  • Charlie Luerssen That is why the Lord needs people like you to radiate your love and knowledge to those within who may only be following blindly for the wrong reasons. If you go away for a time please consider coming back in the future to share the wisdom you have gained with his lowly sheep!
  • Erik Kulick Why would a sheep be lowly? I thought even one was worth going back for
  • Charlie Luerssen The good Lord took upon him the name of Lamb of God and chose to be born among the lowly animals in a humble stable to teach us worth of souls. If he being the King of kings was born in a simple setting can we complain about our station in life? Yes we can, but it only shows when we complain that we are missing our very purpose of our creation. Jesus descended down below all so he could rise up above all to teach us the way to the plain where we all see eye to
    eye in Lord where we are one and equal. Revelation 3:19-22 speaks to one such as you… I believe or maybe know that you have eyes that see, ears that hear, a open mind and a heart, spirit and soul that feels. You are a choosen child of God to help others to see and understand this oneness and equality in a better light, but like many spiritual practical beings you are misunderstood by those who should be helping you. They hurt you like they hurt Christ and tried to drive him out of his own church. However he endured well and led the way saying, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
  • Erik Kulick I would postulate that the people who think they are *defending* Christ are more obstructive than the one’s who doubt in the divinity of Christ. In the thread from the post about Mormon dissent, it was the faithful Mormon, Rex, who’s “knowledge” of the “truth” led him to wisely imply that I am an inferior parent. Additionally, Deanna informed me that her “therapist” who, although generously appointed free of charge by the church, thinks that Deanna and the kids would be better off just leaving me and going back to UT. Last I recalled, Jesus was purported to have spent much of his quality time associating with the dregs of society. It was the religious people who hurt Christ the most, not the “sinners” that the religious people see as evil and inferior.

    Don’t worry, I won’t hold the attempts by the “righteous” to obstruct my ability to better serve humanity against them.
  • Charlie Luerssen I know during my struggle with my first wife I felt I was being misjudged by those in the church. We had no major sins in our relationship, but my progresses thinking, faith and experiences coupled my strong will and passions gave her the ability to paint me in a dark way. At one point the Stake President threatened to have the church hire an attorney for my wife so she could divorce me. Wrong! That was wrong on so many levels. The church is not to take sides or hire attorneys, but they are to respect the family unit and the agency of individuals. They can recommend a therapist or call legal authorities if they know of abuse in the home. However, I suffered through this trial trusting that God knew my heart even if men didn’t. That faith has served me well and led me to Beth after Darlene divorced me. Today you can see a picture of both my families together in a happy time during my son David’s wedding at the Garden of the Gods. Go to my facebook home page and see and feel the joy and healing… God Bless you Erik your friend Charlie…
  • Erik Kulick It precisely for these kinds of reasons that insisting that one has knowledge pertaining to deity and the future that awaits us is so harmful. Even if there was solid evidence of the existence of an anthropomorphic deity, unless that deity was directly, actively and consistently instructing humanity and meting out her rewards and punishments for behaviors, there would be no way to know for sure if 1) we were even enforcing the precise rules desired, or 2) properly handling the mitigating or aggravating circumstances present in each scenario.

    I can feel within my soul that there is something magnificent awaiting us after we awaken, but I don’t need to know that anything is guaranteed in order to see the wholistic affect that continually striving to treat others as one would like to be treated has on humanity. The self assurance one gains in treating religious beliefs as facts isn’t worth the great potential to harm another or limit one’s own growth present in holding do confidently. Even IF it were a knowledge, it should never be treated as such for these reasons. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t use our beliefs to help others, just don’t do I in a way that is likely to make someone feel like you think you are superior to them.
Heaven forbid we allow someone to make an adult decision regarding the consumption of substance which is much safer than alcohol and almost as safe as caffeine.
Why Can’t You Smoke Pot? Because Lobbyists Are Getting Rich Off of the War on Drugs | Truthout
John Lovell is a lobbyist who makes a lot of money from making sure you can’t smoke a joint. That’s his job. He’s a lobbyist for the police unions in Sacramento, and he is a driving force behind grabbing Federal dollars to shut down the California marijuana industry. I’ll get to the evidence on this…
  • Andrew Schneider Fuck jon lovell!!cant be buried wit money u greedy bastard!
  • Andrew Schneider White owl n zigzag is gettin rich also..ha lovell!!
  • Erik Kulick They’d be even more rich if the politicians stopped pandering to the greedy lobbyists and know-it-all religious folks ;-P
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker erik it alters your way of being sorry its the truth it might make you feel good n just chill- but when it is all said n done your problems are still there and you just spent money on ?….what?…. why cant humans get high off their own persona ive done it for years and im the weird one? go figure- every place has their own rules or theories or laws that is what makes the world unique to some degree- but if we all lived the same and thought the same id want to jump off a 2ft bridge and stub my big toe OUCH- life doesnt have to be so painful -if you drop all the rights n wrongs and just live breath and pay bills – ok that is a tad bit painful lol
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker i am thinking of you erik you have such a great heart dont let it get lost in being vengeful the church may not be your thing or your answer right now- but it has help you, n kirs , your mom , me – they have some strict rules but its mostly for our health i believe- not everything is 100% until you pass on and go to whever you believe you go then you are 100% because there is not BS or humans dictating your journey- its up to you in this life and the after i believe that so much – you play you pay theory – i liked the darker men im not pushing other people to do it , i LOVE MJ im not pushing it on anyone else – although I’d love to , lol just live for yourself erik NO ONE else – well your children too cause your responsible for them- Please erik do not play around with the fatherhood thing, you will only go down its not good if your children arent first before you or any person in a separation- the children have to come first , not pot not gay rights – not the BS of Mans thoughts – the children come first or the next generation is screwed
  • Erik Kulick So we need to limit people’s ability to make decisions for themselves to avoid cultural homogeneity? I don’t follow your logic.

    Why is the church so much like the mafia? They helped my family, so I should be forever indebted to the organization? That’s so Christian: We help you to gain your loyalty. It really is ironic that religious folks are hell-bent on having absolute control on the morality of their fellow citizens, but Allah forbid any attempts to regulate economic activity.

    Your analogy is flawed, Meghan. Arguing to prevent someone from choosing to smoke pot is more like living in a society where interracial marriage is illegal, and arguing to prevent people from changing that status quo. Just like you weren’t pushing that kind of relationship on anyone else when you married Stan, pot smokers aren’t pushing pot smoking on anyone else by fighting for their right to make their own choice to smoke or not.

    I’m sorry, but that whole “live for yourself” completely conflicts with the core principle of Christianity. Play around with the “fatherhood thing”? By fighting for individual liberty, I AM putting my children, and everyone else’s for that matter, first. The true BS of man is the insistence on controlling the behaviors of others when said behaviors don’t harm others.
  • Daina Maria Figueiredo Ivie · 21 mutual friends

    Erik i am so happy your kids don’t have facebook and they can’t read yet!!!
  • Erik Kulick I wish they could; they would see the hypocrisy of that exists in society.
  • Deanna Mayne you can’t put your children first if you are focusing so much attention elsewhere. you’re just as much of a hypocrite as the rest of us.
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker no the church is not like the mafia Erik i know that for a fact lets just say that – we dont owe the church anything – and they dont have a cement block with a name on it ready for the queens river, and no one is welcomed but family usually to a mafia homes – the church welcomes everyone- they just ask if you want to be more then a member you live right that is all- but dont worry erik i was just trying to reach out to you but im not getting involved with people WHO CAN READ on FB when they are 18 and allowed to have a account unless they lie and ignorant parents dont check up on them but anyway erik i wasnt looking for a debate cause i grew up with debates you know that also- the worse kind of them – again i was just trying to reach out that is all- sometimes i type how i speak and it doesnt come out right – then there is my scapegoat so whatever then – your still my cousin and im glad you can read- but i feel like you just insinuated that if your kids could read i would be a hypocrite????? im far from a hypocrite erik please far from it dear- and i love all your mom you n kirs and your children so paint me as you will erik – even the mafia has more love for their family then this? its sad the whole thing – and i wasnt speaking to you daina Ivie or asking for your snide comment – this is my cousin i used to change his freaking diapers – he baby sat my kids- hey erik so you still fell aharon is going to be a great person and change things ? or has that change im just wondering if that has changed too? i love ya erik we all do – keep up good work at law school-
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker please i know you werent asking my opinion for what you posted i was given it because i felt compelled to being that your erik kulick my cousin
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker im family erik remember to respect that- out of all what you believe , respect your mom, most of all respect your family ( your kids) im a BIG HUGE advocate for kids – just by the way i grew u-p and what i saw and what i went through – i guess my big reason for writing you is to remind you of your kids – screw gay rights , screw pot etc etc etc – pay attention to your genes what you created to be better people then most of us,you only have onshot at that erik they grow up so fast and then what? you will be an old man holding up protest signs common – its never going to change that quickly the laws n stuff- but your kids change so fast – open your eyes and heart not your mind and LOGIC? – go ahead and hate me erik but im saying this to you in place of many who are concerned for you i have nothing to lose but everything to gain if you just listen come off the protest block and look at what is really important besides law school , ur health, it is your CHILDREN
  • David Follett “you can’t put your children first if you are focusing so much attention elsewhere.” Oh that’s a load of crap. The very statement ‘put children first’ implies a list, first on that list: children, then bothering to try to combat insanity with reason. Im sure he puts: dealing with this high road abuse at about 57 on his list of most important things, if it rates that high. You can not convince irrational people with rational arguments.
  • Richard Atkinson It’s pretty insulting to suggest that someone who believes in legalization of marijuana somehow doesn’t care about their kids. I could say the same thing about someone who thinks it should stay illegal — since the illegality of marijuana makes us all less safe (by creating criminals) and makes us all waste tax money on completely pointless imprisonment. I want my kids to live in a world where it is legal, because that world will be a better place.
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker move to jamaica then? or mexico where lots of things are legal – have fun raising kids there -get rich and let your kids be burn outs- eventually it causes lots of problems- In eriks family ( he knows whom im referring too) it has destroyed so much-like his cousins( my sister) , to himself, to many others close- it does nothing but destroy eventually over time- its not pot that is causing problems in jai-l its parents who are not there- or just dont give a shit & their kids just fall- theres no guidance- not limits – n no self respect- buddy – i lived through people using drugs in my own family it is a freaking problem and it always ALWAYS runs down to the people who dont need it, or didnt ask to be part of it, whether its stealing , lying, criminal incarceration – it is the most destructive thing when its behind a person who has problems to begin with- let alone drug use on top of mental problems, – that is why there is counselors and advisers and groups to help good people who want the help-why should a plant that is natural ( i know of that) be legal if it alters your mind your physical and if you have mental problems like people in my family it will heightened a really bad problem which can become dangerous for everyone close involved – its a no brainer why such value for a drug- it speaks volumes of a desperate and low self esteem to be so for a drug, hey pick a hunger organization or something geeze? maybe erik next time ill write you personally since the voices in the background wont encourage your poor respect towards your older cousin who loves you- theres more involved then some pea heads wanted to insult your family – i love you erik adn so do a lot of more important people like your little children your their daddy – what an accomplishment – you are a dad !!! and they are so cute and just love you
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker you cant talk to people who are high either cause you make no sense David and richard WOW are you fathers too? can i say scary – and BTW im am speaking with my cousin i didnt ask for your thoughts about my concerns for erik kulcik who should be above this stupidity – hey smoke pot if you want go for it- but you cant force it on people nor force it to be legal move to Ca and get a doctors note? i dont know -fall down a flight of stairs and get on disability ins then move to Ca and complain of pain then you will be happy? ok so can i now get back to my cousin erik – I am a fierce red head who has been through more crap then this we are talking about – ive been there done that, ive experienced things so im not speaking out of my rear ill just tell you that- anyway my purpose of this whole craziness – i have my opinions just like everyone else- i was just trying to reach out to my cousin , but i guess vultures are circling looking for an outlet to make a fight with someone you dont even know?
  • David Follett People who have problems, especially mental problems… have problems outside of pot. A person with mental problems has them, high or not. “you can’t put your children first if you are focusing so much attention elsewhere.” is idiotic, and you endorsed it, and its insulting to your cousin, who i have always known to be a gentleman and i have no doubt his parenting is beyond reproach.
  • David Follett Meg, i don’t know you, and you don’t know me, but some of the comments here i felt were an attack on him, and i like him. So i was defending him and his totally rational statements, against statements that are not rational, made by people who were turning what he said into a personal attack against him.
  • David Follett And this is facebook not email, so if you cant stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker learn how to cook beofre you enter my kitchen – i didnt know i was writting to you or the other guy? i was reaching out to my cousin- and i NEVER said he wasnt a gentleman and he is a big boy he knows what he can say to me out of respect thank you – i never asked for your thoughts if you thought i was attacking erik is your excuse – i dont think so i think you are speaking for your own personal reasons? CHILDREN do come first if you are a GOOD DAD – which erik is but he is losing focus on what is important – and i did write id email erik next time – so i dont have to hear such ignorant people butting into something personal like family- talk about attacking?
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker WOW man i thought i was on my space my bad man wow i must be totally out of it man —- PLEAASE i know this is FB that is why i said maybe i should of wrote erik on his message again do i need to repeat what i wrote or copy n paste to make it easier for some folks]
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker im done cause now my son is upset with this erik thing people who have no regards to family suck – it seems you hold pot to a higher regards that to me is really scary and speaks volumes about how scary certain individuals can think what is real and important by being under the influence
  • David Follett case and point: this is why you cant argue rationally with the irrational… I yield madam, and good day.
  • Brian Yee Caffeine is more dangerous than THC. People have actually died from one. Both should be legal in a society than claims to be founded on freedom and liberty.
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker you make you own DMT drug in your body which creates halucinations
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker and im not irrational but i can be lord fark wod ?
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker you can die from to much water if your an idiot and drink more then your bady can consume and disperse
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker that should of said body
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker not bady
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker my irrational fingers are out of control oh my
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker what ever your bod yneeds man peace out cub scout i have to do something irrational HUM maybe pick my nose in sequence to the national anthem lmao you guys need to stop inhaling helium
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker erik can you chose better friends really how can you stnad up to pot n not stand up to people talking badly to your blood your family that makes no sense but thanks erik – i still love you and believe you will do the right – i gtg the jolly green giant plant is calling -its my crutch to cope with life- LMAO j/k around now – ok i gtg do some irrational thinking to- UFO’s R my GOD they will be coming for me one day= i think marrying an martian should be legal – oh yeah beastuality to lets start lobbying this ? crazies muffin you were cooked to long= crispy critters lol- ok now im being totally immature n just as ignorant – i have better things to do
  • Erik Kulick Deanna, you know I love our kids, and I know you don’t agree me on these subjects, but please don’t impute that I don’t care about them. When stating that I am putting them first, I mean for the greater good. I know that my career choices are going to take me away from them way more than I care to even think about, but I can’t just sit idly by with everything going the way it is in the world, and not try to do something about it. I’m sorry that I’m not perfect and that I still have selfish moments; I’m sorry life is hard.

    Meghan, I never intend insult when I make my sharp statements. I just get fed up when people trivialize the rights of others, even if it is to make poor decisions. Besides, the point that David was eluding to about mental illness is the real issue. When people have “drug problems” what they really genuinely have is mental or emotional problems that are showing themselves as a symptom of over consumption of substances. This doesn’t make these people bad, and it certainly doesn’t make them criminals. There are better ways of with dealing with the people who abuse substances to the point where it interferes with their lives. Turning them into stigmatized ex-cons is NOT the answer.

    I understand where you are coming from, Meghan, but your emotional reaction to a situation that requires more than blanket assumptions is ineffective and insensitive. I am sorry that I stirred up such a hornets nest, but in order for our society to be “free”, we need to understand the implications of the multitude of restrictions we are capable of placing on each other, through both government intervention and religious/social pressures.

    I believe in the potential of all your children, religious or not; that goes for every other humanoid I’ve met.

    My friends are glorious. There are people, including David and Richard whom I haven’t talked to in years, who have commented on and/or “liked” my post. Just because they don’t agree with you and use sharp language (which you used as well), doesn’t make them “bad” people.

    If we don’t fight for the freedoms of those with whom we disagree, we will eventually loose our own. It really is sad how Mormon theology paints such a beautiful picture of agency, with the whole “pre-mortal decision to chose agency over the well-intentioned, but oppressive regime that Satan wanted”, yet so few Mormons realize the extent to which such a belief should extend.
  • Deanna Mayne This is why I don’t get involved. no matter what anyone tries to argue contrary to whatever you post a big mess of hurt and name calling (and embarrassment) gets posted all over face book. I just have a hard time with it. I know you love them, just like you love the bum on the corner. I guess I selfishly was hoping you loved them more. silly me.
  • James Guerin Bake with it and it is just as safe if not safer and less addictive than caffeine.
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker deanna im just going to sing “puff the magic dragon lived by the sea” from now on – lol i think its mutant hippy fade ? i dont know people are lost when on drug i like the bake with it comment lmao then youll be like the mom on transformers ” ill do anything for an A ” lol to comical i can act like that NATURALLY without a substance – erik you lost me sorry mate- i am very passionate because my sister has lost her whole life to drugs its not good its starts off with a little green stuff then on to the bigger crap- please erik if you cant handle life you sure as heck cant handle drugs- and your friends werent part of my conversation n shouldnt be speaking to me period you should tell them to have respect- i dont care what cause your beautifying i was speaking to you directly NOT THEM – kids really have no respect after my generation you can see it blantly- i still love you erik and i know your mom raised a good man so step up to that plate- deanna is not telling me anything about what i know what is going on – i just felt you were sensible enough to listen – i was mistaken- and erik when im attacked by people i dont know – im not one to take it after everything ive been through- i was speaking to you – and i should of done it personally – but your friends need to grow up and have respect simple as that- but they have pot so far up thieir crappers their farting leaves out and bongs ? im sorry youve been upsetting a lot of people – it hurts me to see it sorry erik if you dont understand that- i know your school keeps you busy but the only mindless crap really- you cant save the world – or if you can then start with yours first- erik what i say is out of love – i used to live with you , kirs remember? I have a poor opinion of men – but i thought more highly of you – is that wrong? or should i say am i wrong? actions prove everything not words – anyway i have to go save the whales now, j/k around with you erik i am a smart butt for fun but serious when needed- be well erik n just stand back for a second from what you in – stnad back and just think- clear your mind for 5 min and think about what is right taht is all i ask of you i ll never comment on you again – and that is sad one by one you are pushing your family away and adding what you calls friends to your priority lists? that is not a good balance in life is that what pot does? that is all i have to say-DMT is you own natural drug made in your body maybe synthesize that to good use if you need a drug so badly enough to lose your family and reality over it? in our family erik drugs are not good you know that – i can name many names of our family but i wont because it is not my goal – my goal was to reach out to you- i have much better things i can be doing – but i took time for ou erik- GOD bless you always or whomever you believe in – ???????
  • James Guerin There is no need to be condescending. I’m no longer an avid pot smoker, mind you. I was just commenting on the topic of the original post.
  • Erik Kulick Meghan, speaking condescendingly to people without even trying to listen to what they are saying isn’t an effective way of communicating with people. I am sorry I don’t meet your standards, or the standards of anyone else who feels so inclined to judge me, but I am working hard to defend the freedom so many of you take for granted. You insist on indicating your knowledge of how the things I support have such a wholesale destructive effect on society, yet you refuse to acknowledge the good that has, and will continue to come from my decisions. In addition to the numerous threads that I have diligently addressed in the past couple of weeks, I wrote a 14 page Appellate Brief on how the failure of HMO’s to disclose the existence and nature of their physician incentive plans is a breach of the fiduciary duty they have to hold the interests of participants and beneficiaries first and foremost. I am sorry that a specific substance was one stepping stone on a path to ruin for so many people, but to generalize and insist that just because people have mishandled something that we need to outlaw it is an unnecessary and unhelpful reaction.
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker living with my father then stan i think the more professional some get the more they think they can do anything without consequences – im not saying that is you – and i do know you love your kids erik- and im glad you are addressing HMO’s – america i think should have Australia’s medical plan- my opinion and i think japan has the same kind of medical plan ITS FREE- But us Americans have to be so controlling- ill admit I am controlling in some areas so that is all i say. I wasnt being condescending i was defending – just like your friends were doing defending – im sorry you thought that – well i gtg sykpe with mariah n lailah that is more productive for me lol ttyl Erik – I adore you n kirs though we dont see each other anymore
  • Diana Mike Lehn I live in a state of alcoholism trust me it would be a safer place if they started smoking.
Support The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012
I just signed a petition to Rep. John Kline (MN-2), The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama: Since 1980, average tuition for a 4-year college education has increased an astounding 827%. Since 1999, average student loan debt has increased by…
  • Steven Christensen So you voluntarily enter into a contract with a bank for a loan, and now you want someone else to pay for it?!?
  • Erik Kulick All education should be federally funded in the first place, because society as a whole benefits from having a educated (and healthy) citizenry.

    My issue isn’t with having to pay back a debt, it’s with having to amass the quantity of debt necessary to successfully compete for the few decent paying jobs that are available. In addition to a loan forgiveness act, Congress also needs to enact legislation which forces corporations to uphold the inherent duty which arises as a result of the protection created by that lovely socialist tool, incorporation. The responsibility of the corporation should be proportionate to its size and success, but to simply not demand something like this in return for society is foolish. Don’t worry Steven, if this kind of legislation can be enacted, we wouldn’t really need to worry about things like debt forgiveness. But in the mean time…
  • Steven Christensen If the thrust of your argument is “All education should be federally funded” then you do a disservice by distracting the issue with this issue of contract law.
  • Steven Christensen The issue of loan forgiveness should not enter into the discussion. If you want to make points about the high cost of education (which I agree with), then how a person pays for it does not enter into it.
  • Erik Kulick This issue of contract law is just an indirect means of accomplishing at least part of my goal to eventually see federal funding for all education. This because it is the govt whose obligation it is to cover the losses incurred by the loan providers anyway. I will wholeheartedly agree with you on the blatant inefficiency of such a system, but this is what you get when you endlessly cater to the temper-tantrum throwing lobbyists.

Tennesse Lawmakers: We Need To Chat
What the Hell is Up with Tennessee Legislators and Their Anti-LGBT Crusade? Hear My Fireside Chat and Offer To Help
  • Anthony Gonzalez likes this.
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker weird not natural- keep it private in a classy way – gays have their choices n own opinions -but him bashing what is legally right isnt helping- the KKK have thier ways of living but thhey can keep it in thier back yard- i just feel that same sex is a choice between 2 peole not the whole world – if we can talk about GOD in schools why is it right to demand teachers talking about other crazy crap to further the problem – i think we are all selfish – what really matters is how you feel and not what the world dictates- so keep a journal n be classy about things i dont see married people being so flamboyant about being married, a piece of paper is a legality it doesnt dictate what a person really feells or else there wouldnt be DIVORCES that should be discussed to children and next generation – then there wouldnt be divorce lawyers sucking you dry as if the family coming apart isnt bad enough now let me make them broke ontop of it- and please i am for a person having their own choices but just dont SHOVE them on every dam time place and thnig – we as humans need to clean up our acts not start more drama to the acts?
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker i meant to write if we CANT talk about GOD *
  • Meghan Kerins- Walker i love you erik i hope you know that you know where i am coming from and what ive been through – so i feel for you, but i know when you area strong person you dont need to fight for substances or rights – you are happy just living and being grateful especially being a dad to 2 adorable children show them how its done erik ok i know you are a big mush so i believe in you
  • Erik Kulick I’m sorry Meghan, but I don’t understand anything you just said in your first comment on this thread. If you are implying that gay people should stop fighting for their right to call their relationships whatever they want, just because it bothers people who “know” that gay people are acting immorally, then you don’t understand the concept of agency, nor the importance of individual liberty.
  • Anthony Gonzalez Meghan, YOU’RE the weird one because you equate racism with love. To call the teaching of tolerance “crazy crap” makes you far more like the KKK than gays are. Of course being gay is natural. Why would anyone be if it weren’t? Do you know any gay people?

    I see straight people flaunting their sexuality all the time, yet gays are expected to “keep it private.” What the world dictates does matter when discrimination and bullying are excused because of the perpetrators’ “religious beliefs.” Frankly, religious beliefs are what should be kept private.

    Maybe opposite-sex couples aren’t “flamboyant” about getting married because THEY’RE ALLOWED TO DO IT in 42 states where same-sex couples are not. How about we take away your rights and see if you consider yourself “strong” enough not to want them back?
Why does he talk so defensively. Almost like he is hiding something. Looks guilty to me.

LDS Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland “This Man Doesn’t Seem Like a Dodo”
Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as interviewed by John Sweeney for “The Mormon Candidate” on the BBC
  • Sandra Barnhart and 19 others like this.
  • William Wilson because he is a liar?
  • Brandon Michael you know, Jeffrey R Holland has been one of the few lds leaders to defend gays. I still like this guy. There’s just a lot of church history stuff that lds leaders don’t want to be released, it’s a touchy subject for them. I taught seminary for 6 yrs, and have studied a lot of it’s history.There’s some bad stuff in there.
  • Laura Bailey Fauchier Whether or not he seems like a Dodo is obviuosly a perfect argument as to whether or not he is leading a cult.
  • William Wilson yes there is. and they don’t want you to look at the man
    behind the curtain
  • Michael Hayes Thats true. The church tries to distance itself from the past and what early prophets said that now has become a little taboo for them. I think they are rewriting church history and leaving out a lot of the controversial stuff.
  • Erik Kulick Well, intentioned lies are still lies. Maybe if they’d read the Miracle of Forgiveness, they’d repent of that sin and come clean to the membership… I certainly don’t envy the position their in.
  • William Wilson they have enough money and investments to come clean, stop their hurtful practices, and weather the storm
  • Michael Hayes they don’t want to stop because the have a belief
  • William Wilson I cant believe that the top echelon,
  • William Wilson are in it for anything but the money and power. except maybe Pecker and a few others
  • Tyler Young Holland grabs his scriptures each time he lies. Watch again closely…
  • James Hafen “Osama… err…”
  • Joyce Johnson The church leaders probably would be willing to just take the money and run, but let us not forget……..THE POWER!!! WHO COULD GIVE UP ALL THAT POWER? Pretty heady stuff.
  • CJ Markham Tyler Young “Holland grabs his scriptures each time he lies.” I commend your ability to spot a tell, but remind me to never play poker with you.
  • Greg Maeser “that’s an incidental matter” huh?
  • Ashley Pettey Merback I don’t think he has to be a lying jerk to get defensive. The interviewer just hit the nerve of something he’s emotionally tied to. He feels attacked. That’s normal, right?
  • Insana Dee He isn’t a do-do. He’s a basset hound. Only more evil than any basset hound I’ve ever known.
  • Nick Humphrey oh man, he is sweating bullets!
  • Nick Humphrey 0:47 lying for the lord. the first time was when he said in GC that he was holding hyrum smith’s copy of the BOM.
  • Insana Dee I loved it when he just about jumped across the desk and demanded to have the names of those who spoke against the church so they could have a little “Conversation” about their differences. Yeah, that’s a great plan.
  • Nick Humphrey i’d show up in a heartbeat to talk to that lying sack of shit
  • Nick Humphrey @Laura “Whether or not he seems like a Dodo is obviuosly a perfect argument as to whether or not he is leading a cult.”
    right, holland uses several logical fallacies in his rep-lies…
  • Insana Dee Does anyone with the technical savy know how to do a Santorum on Holland so that when his name comes up on a google search it refers to a Do-do? Now that would be priceless.

    Holland sure comes across shifty and anxious as he tries to spin his lies.
  • Alex Tingey Pure gold. I’m not sure I like the approach the interviewer takes on the cult issue.. “Are you a cult?” “No.” What does he hope to get from Holland other than a few rustled… jowels?
  • Nick Humphrey Alex, i totally agree, sweeney should have listed some attributes of a cult and asked if they applied to mormonism, e.g. take some stuff from the “BITE model applied to mormonism”
  • Anders Tron-haukebo Mormon leaders are used to Preaching To The Choir; outside, they feel like a Skunk at a Picnic… Adulation will do that for ya; just sayin’
  • Nick Humphrey “nice…..clapping”…..Kim (SNL: sarcastic clapping family from southampton)
  • Gerrolyn Anderson Jeffrey R. Holland is a great man!
  • Christopher Ralph … but not a great liar.
  • Allen Reed I’m still waiting for it to leak from the Romney campaign he is going to allow polygamy when he is president.
  • Brian Christopher I feel that the worst part is that because this is a BBC documentary that will be watched by countless Europeans who will see the toxic effects that religion has over American politics; no wonder Europeans think that Americans are a bunch of morons.
  • Erik Kulick I noticed that too, Tyler.

    I’m surprised that Holland agreed to do this interview; you’d think he’d of sent out the PR cronies.
  • Gerrolyn Anderson Perhaps it would be more productive if people let go of their grievances and moved along in the direction of their own choosing. Everyone has their own choices to make and can believe what they feel comfortable with. Believe what you want to believe, and give others the same consideration.
  • Erik Kulick Gerolyn, you do realize that is the point of questioning Holland about the old blood oath and brining up concerns about the cult-like qualities of an authoritarian religion like the Mormon church: why can’t you let your non believing members be, and stop making it seem like they’re bad people, or “sinning”, when they doubt.
  • Gerrolyn Anderson I didn’t say anything about “bad people or sinning or anyone doubting.” Let me clarify myself. I believe Jeffrey R. Holland is a man of God. Erik, you and others, have the right to believe what you want and make the choices that you want, but I too have the right to defend my beliefs and those that, in my eyes stand for truth. I have many friends of many faiths, who ask questions about what I believe, but they do not feel the need to tear someone else down, even if they do not believe in the same things. What was posted here has been pretty vile, and disrepectful, to anyone reading what was posted.
  • David Townley Gerrolyn I believe you are half right. He’s a man… but the problem is he has accepted and assignment that makes others think he speaks for God and he’s less-than forthcoming on the history as if he’s defensive and evasive and omits facts he KNOWS about to MISLEAD while supporting a cause that supports ‘conditional’ love. ‘Conditional’ love is NOT love. Unconditional love is the ONLY REAL love and anyone who doesn’t GET that resorts to an all-powerful space God for it because they aren’t being supplied on earth. Any organization that resorts to authoritarianism, fear, guilt, intimidation, judgment and forceful bigotry CAN’T be of Godly nature because God would not be so petty in a reduction to human tendency right? Think of things logically and don’t put feelings and faith over facts and you’ll free yourself from the ‘love that isn’t love at all.
  • Paul Marascalco Let’s see if there is ever a day when thirty apostates get to chat openly with any general authority. Never happen. Holland a “great man”. ? I doubt that anyone but a mormon would make that assertion. Especially if they know the facts.
  • Paul Marascalco Oh and one more quick point. You cannot be a mormon apostle and be an honest person. The two are incompatible.
  • Gerrolyn Anderson Wow!!! I find this fascinating. Conditional and unconditional love? Where are we going with this? Perhaps you could reread the posting and point out to me the unconditional love that the is being shared. Sorry, I missed it.
  • Gerrolyn Anderson I am a mormon, Paul. I believe in the church and it’s teachings, and I am a very honest person. Nothing incompatible about that.
  • Gerrolyn Anderson Paul, why would 30 apostates want to openly chat with any gerneral authority. If you have left the church, so be it. Enjoy your decision, and let others do the same. Why all the attacks??? I don’t quite understand the point you are trying to make.
  • Gerrolyn Anderson Hey, take care. It has been very interesting, indeed. I wish the best for all of you. I believe it is best to agree that we disagree. Truth will always stand the test of time. Gerrolyn
  • Brynn Johnson “..well it’s uh..similar to a masonic relationship…”

    “…I’m not on that I don’t know..”
    Wha???? I thought he was a General AUTHORITY.

    14 million
    – 30 disaffected mormons he doesn’t know about.

    Definitely projecting some kind of guilt, or shame about what it all really is. Nobody called him a Dodo except himself.
    Curious what his GC talk will be on. Probably will tell everyone who questions the church that they will be damned for making him look like a fool on camera.
  • Elliot Morris I love how people that hate the church and/or have left it, somehow can’t leave it alone…
  • Gerrolyn Anderson Agreed….. That has been my observation.
  • Paul Marascalco Best to you Gerrolyn. We will be here to support you should you ever choose to decamp mormonism.
  • Erik Kulick Gerrolyn, while the comments you have read regarding Holland reflect varying levels of bitterness, there are multiple reasons why people like myself and many of the others here feel the way we do. Telling us to move on and leave the church alone is the resounding message from most believing members, but it is this kind of apathy toward the disaffected and ostracized members which continues to perpetuate the harms done by even some of the most seemingly innocuous practices and doctrines of the church; this is what happens when church leaders repeatedly demonize doubt, ridicule “fence-sitters”, and insist that disbelief is only caused by egregious sins. Maybe they are well-intentioned and and out of touch, but having maintained those positions for so long, they have caused great harm to countless members and their relationships over the years by pigeonholing the dissenters and using them and their “sins” as scapegoats for the failures that occur in their own lives and the lives of those closest to them. I chose not to let sleeping basset hounds lie, because I have children and many people I care about still heavily involved in the church, and don’t want to see them injured or taught to misconstrue faith for knowledge.

    I never said that you said anything about “sinning” or “doubting”, I was speaking of the way the leaders of the church, by vilifying doubt and chalking it up to “sin”, are not affording others the same consideration that you desire and profess to stand for if you agree with the 11th article of faith; by treating disaffection in such a way, they inspire, and often directly advise believing spouses to leave their “evil” significant others. I speak from experience: I’ve had my wife’s friends, family, bishop, and church appointed “therapist” advise her to take the kids back to UT, and leave me in OR, all without having come to me for any input in the matter whatsoever. I have heard of people coming home from work to find their entire family moved out by “men of God.” While I respect your right to believe in whom or whatever you want, I will not sit idly by watch as reckless hypocrites destroy the very things they purport to stand for.
  • Gerrolyn Anderson Erik, it is very evident that you have been hurt. I know that God is aware of you and loves you, as he does all of his children. Take care of yourself. Gerrolyn Anderson
  • Paul Marascalco I have read Eriks” experience thousands of times. This is not an anomaly. The mormon leaders are personally responsible for this ongoing attitude in the mormon church.
  • Brynn Johnson I love how people who say that “people can leave the church but can’t leave it alone” statement send their sons and daughters on missions to knock on everybody’s doors and are probably the same people who show up unexpectedly on a Sunday afternoon (after meetings) on the doors of the inactives to tell them they are wrong for feeling disaffected and that they need to repent and come back to “God”.
  • Brynn Johnson I just find it sad that these General Authorites can’t even handle difficult questions without gulping, sweating and sounding like DODOs but they expect general lay members who don’t benefit from tithing dollars to do it for them. This kind of video would drain the confidence from me (it has) I was a missionary for the church and sacrificed all “they” asked me to.
    If he can’t even tell the truth about what exactly the church does, you can be certain he doesn’t tell the truth about where all of the money goes.
    I want my money back. I have kids to feed as a single mother. Give me my money back and I’ll leave the fucking church alone. DEAL?
  • Paul Marascalco And when they are administering the church affairs they are shrewd and nimble. Meh. These men are morally bankrupt. The average mormon lives a much more circumspect life.
  • Gerrolyn Anderson What can I say??? I love the church, God, and these men. Take care, and I hope the best for each of you.
  • Ryan J. Wolsey Find it interesting how “they” always love the church before their god… Thanks for confirming Gerrolyn.
  • Erik Kulick Gerrolyn, having been a believing member of the church, I completely understand your feelings toward the church and it’s leaders. I spent many years in your position defending LDS doctrines and practices, because I followed the admonitions of my leaders to take the feelings I got from pondering verses of scripture as validation for the whole institution and everything it stands for. I’ve had numerous experiences which were nothing short of miraculous, and as a result of my upbringing, I dutifully connected the dots and allowed myself to equate the belief these “confirmations” produced as being actual knowledge. While this feedback loop allowed me to more easily feel peace and understanding towards and regarding the world around me, and reinforced my feelings of self-worth and purpose (all wonderful aspects of religion that I appreciate and support), allowing myself to remain convinced that my “belief” was really a “knowledge” in reality only limited my ability to understand the world around me, and prevented me from being able to effectively communicate with the people I disagreed with. The increase in feelings of peace, understanding and purpose which arose from the upgrade to “knowledge” was in reality minimal, as a mere belief still provides great comfort and meaning to life.

    Whether or not a belief turns out to be verified by fact in this life or in a life to come, treating that belief as a knowledge will not make the fact more true, nor will it produce a better eternal outcome for the person who treats it as such. If anything, such a handling of belief could only hinder eternal goals and aspirations; insisting on one’s authority over a subject which is based wholly on assumption, is a reflection of pride and stubbornness, and is therefore a dangerous behavior which Mormon and Christian doctrines warn against. This is just one of many contradictions which arise when religion is taken too literally.

    While I have been personally hurt by the insensitive nature of a prideful insistence on authority, I am more concerned with the widespread harm it creates for the disaffected, their families, and their accusers.

    I think it would also be helpful for “believers” to see the selfishness in focusing so heavily on one’s own “personal salvation.” I could have sworn that a highly respected carpenter was once purported to have told us to lose ourselves to find ourselves; this admonition would apply equally to spiritual gain as it does to earthly gain. If this realization could become widespread, religious folks might continue to strive to make personal commitments toward whatever deity may exist out there, but they’d be less concerned with maintaining and supporting a system which “guarantees” blessings (and admission to related ceremonies) when a sufficient number or type of sin(s) is avoided/good deed(s) are performed, and which excludes individuals who fail to meet the required threshold.

    If you still are not seeing the problems I’ve addressed, then let me suggest you are putting way too much faith in the works of men, and missing some of the most crucial points of the man/god whom you profess to worship.
  • Paul Marascalco Erik all you are doing is leaning to the understanding of man. Trust the counsel of your leaders. Then if things go to shit it will be …. Your fault.
  • Erik Kulick I’m sorry Paul, I forgot how similar religious and political leaders really are: pass that buck! It’s no wonder UT has some of the worst air quality per capita and spends the least on education per pupil. Monopolies aren’t just bad in economics; why do Utahns insist on having them in religion and politics?
  • Paul Marascalco Erik a glimpse into what the world would be like governed by mormon leaders.
  • Paul Marascalco But a great boon for the porn industry.
  • Diana Moreva Ahaha.. true that.
  • David Townley Rational discussions are impossible when superstition convolutes them
  • Paul De Wet it’s good to see that Elder Holland has bridled his passion for cheeseburgers and strictly follows the Word of Wisdom
  • Write a comment…

Elder Cunningham

And it came to pass that Heavenly Father changed His mind about the Constitutionality of Proposition 8, to punish the Nephites for their wickedness in violating the 11th Article of Faith.
Unlike · · Unfollow post · Share · 30 March

You, Sandi Miller, Kacy M Bryce, Ryan J. Wolsey and 91 others like this.

Gary Parker Do you think the church would cry persecution if these started showing up on the lawns of every chapel?30 March at 10:32 · Like · 3

Mike Norton They’ll cry persecution over ANYTHING. Apparently it’s cool to have secret…sorry…SACRED ceremonies that mock protestant faiths, complete with a protestant minister being hired by Satan to deceive people AND have it as part of their scripture that ALL other faiths are “corrupt” and “abominable whores of the earth” but if anyone so much as looks at them funny they scream foul.30 March at 10:37 · Like · 8

Derek Snarr Ironically, the church believes that the constitution was divinely inspired, yet they funded and advocated for the passage of blatantly unconstitutional discrimination.

“Sorry God, we know you intervened in human affairs for centuries, just so we could have this constitution, but keeping gays from being treated equally is more important that that.”30 March at 10:37 · Like · 10

Elder Toady The Lord works in mysterious ways!30 March at 10:46 · Like · 4

James Belmont The Mormons love playing the persecuted victim. Always have. Of we question their motives, we’re merely spawns of Satan. 30 March at 11:02 · Like · 1

Dave Barton lord has changed his mind before, re. blacks holding priesthood. Maybe when BYU gets sued for discrimination against LGBT someone will have another “convenient revelaton”30 March at 11:07 · Like · 6

Barbara Brull Kudos to whoever wrote “you fail” over that Prop 8 sign. My sentiments exactly.30 March at 11:07 · Like · 5

Erik Kulick Ha! 11th article of faith… I never really thought about that one. At least they are consistent in their hypocrisy.30 March at 11:26 · Like · 2

Jeremy Compton Dave you don’t seem to understand the concept of a privately owned school. That is just the kind of thing some people worry about the church being attacked for, discrimination against LGBT. people might start saying Mormons must allow gay marriage by the church and in the temple. I think that’s an entirely unfounded slippery slope argument that won’t happen in a country based on religious freedom but your comment about discrimination charges against BYU feeds those fears. 30 March at 11:36 · Like · 2

Erik Kulick You’re right about the private school thing, Jeremy, but the political involvement and failure to disclose finances should force them to lose their tax exempt status. Tax exemption shouldn’t be allowed for any religion, but they way the church comports itself should make that doubly so.30 March at 11:51 · Like · 2

Jessica Argyle At first I thought that said, “YOU FAT!” Still funny.

But yeah the idea that Mormons would be forced to marry queers is patently absurd. I mean you can’t even get married in the temple if you DRINK COFFEE. Hell, you can’t even ATTEND a temple wedding in that case. Hence, my father’s mother wasn’t at his own wedding. For that.30 March at 12:10 · Unlike · 4

Michael Lee Hayes Funny thing is most of them have no clue the church was behind prop 8 and those who have heard do not believe. They figure its better for gays not to get married than a whole nation to dwindle and fall30 March at 12:13 · Like

Erik Kulick But the church created a dummy corporation… Shouldn’t that be enough to remove the taint?30 March at 12:19 · Like · 1

Erik Kulick *to fund prop 8.30 March at 12:20 · Like · 1

Elder Cunningham You said taint.30 March at 12:21 · Like · 2

Erik Kulick I was wondering if anyone would notice XD30 March at 12:22 · Like · 1

Erik Kulick Hey Elder, do you really play Josh Gad in real life?30 March at 12:25 · Like · 1

Elder Cunningham LOL! If I told you yes, would you believe me? If so, congratulations! You are a perfect candidate for baptism into the Church of Arnold!30 March at 12:27 · Unlike · 4

Chris Bublik Seriously!!! NO. Jeremy Compton does NOT have a “good point” with his private school argument.
In fact, this is the same bullshit they tried to pull in the late 70’s when faced with a ton of lawsuits, NCAA sanctions, and a Justice Dept investigation.
WHY, you ask?
Because the fact that BYU is a “private” school means exactly bupkus, because they still accept federal research grant money, their students still accept PELL grants, and their buildings are resting on lands they pay ZERO taxes on.
They (and every educational institution that accepts fed funding) must comply with Title IX.

\\No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…
—United States Code Section 20//

Take your sanctimonious bullshit elsewhere pal. We’re done waitnig for you mormons to haul your arses out of the 19th century.30 March at 12:31 · Unlike · 4

Erik Kulick If so, that is pretty kick-ass that the real guys from the musical are in control of their characters on FB. Not to mention, the awesome movies and DAILY SHOW shit!!!
(by shit I mean awesomeness… Shit, I should have just said that in the first place. Oh, well, it’s not like there is a delete button…)

So what do I need to get baptized? Do I need to vow not to watch Fox news or something?30 March at 12:34 · Like · 2

Michael Jared Farnbach I’m sorry to read this thread and see so many old and discredited items still surviving.

1) Prop 8 is constitutional, in fact it is the constitution of California.30 March at 13:03 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach 2) Whether or not marriage is neutered of “man and woman” in its definition impacts how people see marriage to be. If you don’t believe me ask anyone you know who wants to neuter marriage if they a) Believe marriage to be about responsible procreation b) believe children have any claim at all in knowing and being raised by the parents they share an identity with, and c) believe the man, woman, and children they potientially have together are unique and valuable in their rights and responsibilities in each marriage.

If you don’t agree with all three, you’ve already denied human rights and equal recognition of those rights.30 March at 13:06 · Like · 1

Michael Jared Farnbach 3) As many in the civil rights movement agree, homosexuality is not another race. There are parallels, but it is not equatable to being black, which is a gift of one’s heritage. No behavior, no matter how benign or overly attacked and in need of defense of those practicing it, has that same footing.30 March at 13:10 · Like · 1

Elder Cunningham 1) Not according to the California District Court, or the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal.30 March at 13:11 · Like · 3

Elder Cunningham 2) I don’t know what testicles have to do with marriage. Even a neutered man can be married.30 March at 13:11 · Like · 4

Michael Jared Farnbach 4) Even Christ in the New Testament said that churches are like a field of mud, with a treasure that someone may or may not find.

I honestly sympathize with the parent issues that make people hate religion, but for all that is loving, you are adults now, its time to put your parent issues aside and do the best you can.30 March at 13:12 · Like

Elder Cunningham 3) Equal protection of the law applied to gender.30 March at 13:12 · Like · 1

Michael Jared Farnbach Elder, You should actually read the 9th circuit decision. But for now even the 9th circuit put their decision on hold until another court reviews it.30 March at 13:13 · Like

Elder Cunningham 4) So that’s where all the mud came from that was slung at Christ’s LgBT children. THAT MAKES PERFECT SENSE!30 March at 13:13 · Like · 1

Michael Jared Farnbach 2) Who said anything about testicals? Its about rights. I hope you can avoid your fascination enough to deal with the real subject.30 March at 13:13 · Like

Elder Cunningham You said neutered marriage?30 March at 13:14 · Like · 1

Michael Jared Farnbach 3) And marriage is about gender equality, unless you believe Judge Walker, and even the 9th couldn’t eat that horse.30 March at 13:14 · Like

Elder Cunningham 3) Gender is a quasi-suspect class under the 14th Amendment.30 March at 13:14 · Like · 1

Michael Jared Farnbach 4) Mud’s thrown at everyone in this world. There is no right to be a mud thrower and be protected from mud slinging.30 March at 13:15 · Like · 2

Michael Jared Farnbach 3) Again, read Judge Walker who said that marriage no longer is about gender issues, because otherwise it would be rational to expect integration of a man and a woman in marriage. That’s called real marriage equality.30 March at 13:15 · Like

Elder Cunningham 4) Correct! Your point about mud and churches is irrelevant to the right to marry.30 March at 13:16 · Like

Elder Cunningham 3) So now you support Judge Walker? The reality is there are several theories for finding marriage inequality unconstitutional. One of them is based upon gender and the 14th amendment. The other is based upon the rational basis test, as applied to homosexuality, and that is the one the 9th Circuit embraced because it has the lowest threshold for Constitutional review, and Proposition 8 still failed.30 March at 13:18 · Like

Elder Cunningham Thus, it is unconstitutional unless and until the Supremes reverse it. Start praying, Brother!30 March at 13:18 · Like · 1

Michael Jared Farnbach 4) You brought up the mud slinging. Protecting the equal rights of the man, woman, and children they potentially have together is not slinging mud. But if one is going to be so sensitive as to take it that way, then they should remember the constitution isn’t about protecting fragile identities. Its about protecting and supporting self governance, equality, and our human rights — which hopefully do promote strong identities.30 March at 13:20 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach 3) Its not about supporting Walker. He wasn’t even supported by the 9th because his decision went awry so many ways. One of them was in ruling that even though gender is a heightened class, marriage cannot be about gender equality. And he said that because that is how he needs it to be. I never said I support that.30 March at 13:23 · Like

Elder Cunningham 4) I know, right? I hope those fragile Mormon identities can withstand the inevitable tide of equality!30 March at 13:23 · Like · 1

Elder Cunningham 3) You are naive. The 9th handed the Supremes the ability to deny cert. That is all it did in choosing the most restrictive reading of the opinion below.30 March at 13:24 · Like · 1

Michael Jared Farnbach At best the 9th disagrees with the California Supremes on whether it is constitutional or not. And my hope is that people better understand the rights at stake, especially the 9th. Unfortunately they seem to not care about equal rights or equal protection, otherwise they would support the institution that recognizes the man, and the woman, and the child they potentially have together as equal in their claim on each other as a matter of rights.30 March at 13:25 · Like

Elder Cunningham 4) Proposition 8 wasn’t about protecting heterosexual marriage, procreation or anything about heterosexuals at all. The Constitutionality of the law must emanate from the words of the law itself, not the purpose of marriage as a whole.30 March at 13:25 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach “they” who don’t care in the previous comment being the 9th circuit. The California Supremes certainly had no problem with the procedure of how prop 8 came to be, and even judged it according to a much more strict equality clause than is in the Federal Constitution. In that we see just how far out on a limb the 9th has climbed.30 March at 13:26 · Like

Elder Cunningham I guess we will just have to wait and see whether the Supremes agree with you. But for now, its a two forum smackdown for Prop 8.30 March at 13:27 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach 4) Proposition 8 was about protecting the equal rights of the man, woman, and children they potentially have together. We do that by recognizing that children come from a “man and a woman”, the similarity with the definition of marriage is no coincidence. That the 9th felt they could tell the voters who supported Prop 8 what they really were up to is just more shady divination by the blacked robed overseers.30 March at 13:28 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach So here’s a question, if we can’t support marriage equality as the equal recognition of the rights of the man, woman, and child they potentially have together because that is too “heterosexist” then what can? Because the humanitarian rights that marriage can protect when its equality “man and woman” and child they potentially have together, are real rights. That the 9th wants to deny rights while claiming that rights were denied is again indication of how far they are climbing out on a limb.30 March at 13:30 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach “The 9th handed the Supremes the ability to deny cert.” At this point I don’t even think you know what you are saying anymore. Do you?30 March at 13:31 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach “The Constitutionality of the law must emanate from the words of the law itself, not the purpose of marriage as a whole.”

Unfortunately that comment is naive about the process of equal protection scrutiny. The purpose behind a law is the very rational purpose that we expect to answer all claims of discrimination.30 March at 13:33 · Like

Chris Bublik your argument deals solely with the perceived ‘morality’ of marriage.
Knock that shit around in your brain for as long as you want to Brother Farnbach…..this is about legal equity. nothing more.30 March at 13:34 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach Okay, anyone here not a south-park-esque straw man that can give me more valid arguments?30 March at 13:34 · Like

Allystair Jones <—- is in grad school at BYU studying evolution. I like it here.30 March at 13:35 · Like · 3

Michael Jared Farnbach Chris, interesting take. But since when is “the equal value of the rights of the man, woman, and children they potentially have together” not about legal equality?30 March at 13:36 · Like

Chris Bublik and please stop trying to justify the “will of the people” when it comes to Prop 8. We do not live in a pure democracy sir. We are an elected representative Republic that relies on its duly elected officials to make the tough decisions. Prop 8 was just another attempt to pass the buck of blame on the “will of the people” by pussy politicians more worried about their re election than doing the right thing.30 March at 13:39 · Like

Chris Bublik of course all this becomes moot when (not if) the “prophet” comes out with his newest revelation regarding homosexuality.

they tend to do that only when the public pressure threatens the tithing coffers….and it is right now.30 March at 13:43 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach Chris, the 9th is wrong even by their own standards. By overlooking the rights associated with procreation, it violated its own decision about taking away rights.

While it did so by disagreeing with the California majority, the real problem was that instead of having a rational disagreement, they showed bad form in calling the voters (a majority the same size that elected Obama in the same election) bigots.

Again, their reasoning is wrong and self-contradictory. Their name calling is just bad form.30 March at 13:43 · Like

John Brodie I think Mormons should be OK with gay marraige and Gays should be OK with mormons plural maraige. And in the mean time I’ll have a diet Coke.30 March at 13:43 · Like · 7

Allystair Jones From an evolutionary stand point polygamy makes sense if you have capitalism for your economic set up. Monogamy only makes sense if you have equal distribution of wealth :)30 March at 13:45 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach Chris, I have to say that you bring up the most interesting diversions in the conversation.

In stead of playing each diversion, could you answer the question I asked you above about equal rights in marriage?30 March at 13:46 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach For the record, before I get to far into my defense here, I should point something out.

I can honestly say I support gay marriage being legal. And not just legal, but recognized with benefits through Civil Unions, Domestic Partnerships, etc…

What I do not support is removing the recognition of rights associated with procreation by neutering “man and woman” from the legal definition of marriage.

I don’t support claiming that without neutering marriage of “man and woman”, gays are discriminated against by the government or any other institution. Thats a bridge too far, its simply wrong.30 March at 13:51 · Like · 2

John Brodie I hope this isn’t a stupid thread that deletes all opposing opinions the next day. Especialy after the “Fragil identity” comment earlier.30 March at 13:51 · Like · 1

John Brodie Mike very well said. If someone disagrees with that statement they will be showing their own lack of tolerance.30 March at 13:53 · Like

John Brodie I teach my kids high religious morals which includes telling them whats wrong but olso to not judge others that are doing what I consider wrong. Some people think thats hypocritical but those people are stupid. OOPs did I just judge someone OK turns out I’m a hypocrate after all. hahaha30 March at 13:55 · Like · 2

Allystair Jones My father is gay and has been with the same partner for 20 years. I have deep seated emotions regarding gay marriage but I support people voting to define what they want to call marriage.30 March at 13:57 · Like · 2

Janna Russell Brown Elder Cunningham, Absolutely well said, and parried. I don’t know if you would rather call it verbal ping pong, or a tennis match of ideas, but you were magnificent ♥ This is what I’ve been waiting for since I friended you and started reading all your posts. I told you when i met you that i thought that you had a great sense of humor. I suspected that you also had a great mind and I am sooo glad that I finally got the chance to see it in action.
I’m also thrilled that you are finally receiving all the success and attention and applause that you so well deserve. ♥ My sister told me once when I was depressed, about all the things i hadn’t done yet. Anyway, what she said is that what I was looking for was Accolades, and that everyone needs them. She said that every one needs to know that what they HAVE done has been noticed and appreciated… ♥ …You are getting Accolades Elder, and you have so earned them ♥ ♥ ♥30 March at 14:02 · Like · 1

Joshua Rose Brother Farnbach, please explain exactly what rights would be removed if marriage were expanded to include two men or two women. For the record marriage as defined “between one man and one woman” does not include “any child they might have.” A family includes the children they might have but the children are not included within the marriage itself. And marriage is not about procreation, otherwise we should not allow women beyond their child bearing years to marry, and not only do we allow it, we celebrate it.30 March at 14:08 · Like · 4

Frieda Ellen Fisher Which makes not a whit of difference – it’s none of his business.30 March at 14:08 · Like · 1

Michael Jared Farnbach Hey Janna, so what argument do you think was his strongest? I personally would like to see something of value in his arguments, perhaps I missed it?

I appreciate his effort, but I’m still waiting for a more compelling argument. To be honest I’ve been searching for an argument to remove “man and woman” from the government’s expectation for marriage licenses, and after talking with Jon Rauch (who does a much better job than Cunningham), and many other noteworthy gay-marriage supporters, I’ve been swayed by many appeals which amount to Civil Unions. But never seen a humanitarian reason to actually remove recognition of equality and rights associated with procreation.

Elder Cunningham came up very short on that. Chris came up with things that I think don’t matter to marriage very much at all, in other words of all the things I have considered in equal rights recognition, humanitarian concerns, and helping gays and lesbians, the whole tithing coffer is rather irrelevant.

Perhaps you can help them out?30 March at 14:14 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach Joshua, do you mean specifically by removing “man and woman” from the expectation of a marriage license?30 March at 14:17 · Like

Elder Cunningham Re denial of cert – I most certainly do know what that means, and that is exactly what the 9th was trying to do by drawing the opinion so narrowly. As it stands, the Supremes can deny cert while still upholding the ability for other states to vote on marriage. The way Walker’s opinion was worded, the Supremes would have to accept Cert, or all states with bans on gay marriage would instantly have those bans invalidated. Because the 9th chose to follow the path of Romer v. Evans, they gave the Supremes an ‘out.’

I’m OK with emotional cheer-leading. Thanks, Sister Brown! Considering that both Walker and the 9th Circuit agree with this reasoning, I’m pretty OK with standing in their company.30 March at 14:18 · Like · 2

Michael Jared Farnbach Also your comment is wrong. The expectation of children is tied to our understanding of marriage. Marriage is a matter of family law. Many gays and lesbians expect marriage rights in order to help facilitate their having children too. Even in the child’s rhyme we find that first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes … ? Everyone knows how that rhyme goes.

I’m honestly waiting for someone who, can argue how we promote the equality needed in procreation (man, woman, and children they potentially have together), in other words how we can recognize human rights and equality with marriage while still neutering it of man and woman. Instead I see over and over again people like you who can think of no other retort than to claim marriage doesn’t have anything to do with responsible (equal recognition of rights for) procreation.

In short, you seem to be validating my point about what changes in marriage by trying to con me into thinking the rights being lost were never real to begin with.

I don’t support such attempts, and I find them to be contrary to civil rights and human rights.30 March at 14:22 · Like · 1

Michael Jared Farnbach Oh, you mean how they hear the case. You are betting the SUpremes won’t hear the case because of how Reinhold crafted it to be about anything but marriage equality.

Its an interesting tactic, But in doing so he wound up arguing Prop 8 has less to do with marriage and more to do with two gays who want to get an apartment together. And thats just another of the many ways his decision is climbing out too far on the limb.

There are many legal professors (like Eugene Volokh) who support neutering marriage, but think that Reinhardt’s tactic was too clever by half.30 March at 14:25 · Like · 1

Elder Cunningham Well, unfortunately for your argument, all but one of the judges who have considered it in your case have rejected it. MARRIAGE may exist in part to facilitate procreation, but the DENIAL of marriage rights to homosexuals does not promote responsible procreation at all.30 March at 14:25 · Like · 3

Elder Cunningham Yes, Cert means whether the Supremes will take the case. My guess is they might not, which brings us full circle: Prop 8 = FAIL.30 March at 14:26 · Like · 2

Michael Jared Farnbach Cunningham, actually the total number of judges that support my argument are greater than those against. There have been more decisions in favor of protecting marriage than neutering its requirement of a man and a woman in the US, and even abroad in Europe.

That the two in the 9th can’t even support Walker’s arguments which do address marriage equality is also is very telling in that regard.30 March at 14:29 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach Actually “cert” can mean many things especially in the legal world. The term you are looking for is “Certiorari”, the free encyclopedia
en.wikipedia.orgCertiorari (/ˌsɜrʃⁱəˈrɛəraɪ/, /-ˈrɛəri/, /-ˈrɑri/)[1][2] is a type of writ seeking judicial review, recognized in U.S., Roman, English, Philippine,[3] and other law. Certiorari (“to be more fully informed”) is the present passive infinitive of the Latin certiorare (“to show, prove, or ascertain”). A…

30 March at 14:30 · Like

Elder Cunningham LOL. In another life, when I practiced law, we just called it “cert.” But I didn’t go to the wikipedia school of law, so that might be the problem.30 March at 14:34 · Like · 2

Michael Jared Farnbach “MARRIAGE may exist in part to facilitate procreation”

I’m not worried about facilitating procreation, I’m interested in promoting the equal recognition of the rights of the man, woman, and children they potentially have together.

Only in marriage do all of those rights have a chance of being valued equally. How can an institution which by law cannot see any difference between a “man and woman” and two men or two women, see the rights of the man and woman equally?

Its simply a logical contradiction. A logical contradiction spelled out in Brown vs Board of Education which ruled that only though integration can we fully and equally recognize the rights of those participating.30 March at 14:34 · Like

Elder Cunningham I comprehend the argument. I simply disagree with it.30 March at 14:35 · Like · 2

Michael Jared Farnbach Cunningham, in your other life when you practiced law, I bet you were less ambiguous :)30 March at 14:35 · Like

Elder Cunningham You obviously don’t know many lawyers. LOL!30 March at 14:36 · Like · 2

Michael Jared Farnbach Prop 8 = valid recognition of human rights. It is a shame you call that a “fail”.30 March at 14:36 · Like

Elder Cunningham Yaawwn. Oops, I fell asleep. Are you repeating yourself again?30 March at 14:37 · Like · 2

Michael Jared Farnbach Cunningham, what you pretend to know about me is also very telling :)30 March at 14:37 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach Oh boy, now you are diving right for the playground pranks! Like I said, is anyone here not a south-park strawman who can put up valid arguments?30 March at 14:40 · Like

Natalie Sperry Mandelin Elder Cunningham’s page! Land of trolls!30 March at 14:43 · Like · 4

Michael Jared Farnbach Cunningham *is* a troll, what are you saying?30 March at 14:44 · Like

Elder Cunningham It’s a line from the Most Correct Musical on Earth. The Book of Mormon!30 March at 14:46 · Like · 1

Michael Jared Farnbach trolling for a diversion like Chris did? Why on earth would you want to do that?30 March at 14:47 · Like

Elder Cunningham Boredom?30 March at 14:48 · Like · 1

Michael Jared Farnbach I can’t cure boredom, but I bet if you had a valid argument left to offer you wouldn’t be half as bored.30 March at 14:50 · Like

Elder Cunningham I’ve already won.30 March at 14:51 · Like · 3

Michael Jared Farnbach Either way, sounds like you’ve left the meaningful part of the discussion for good now. I’ve at least had fun. Thanks for letting me have a say. Take care and here’s hoping you continue to entertain.30 March at 14:52 · Like · 2

Michael Jared Farnbach Sure you did, you entertain and win, I’ll keep informing and win with reason. That way we both win.30 March at 14:53 · Like · 3

Elder Cunningham Thanks, Brother Farnbach! It’s been a great chat, and proof that, as Mormons, we *are* really fucking polite!30 March at 14:55 · Like · 4

Chris Bublik Sorry, I had to cook dinner and live my life.
I will answer your “question” when I get more time.
Stay tuned Bro Farnbach.30 March at 15:11 · Like

Janna Russell Brown And well spoken, especially when talking about something in which we actually believe. As for Michael Jared Farnbach, I have absolutely no desire to debate with you, as you suggested a million comments back up there. I did however greatly enjoy reading the sparring match that you had going with Elder Cunningham. It was the part where you started numbering all your points, and Elder, was answering them point by point, but due to computer and/or typing delay, your arguments were juxstiposed with his answers but I could keep track of what each was saying to the other by following the numbers. Anyway, it was a most interesting interplay ♥ ♥ ♥30 March at 15:55 · Like · 3

Janna Russell Brown Both bow and return to your corners, and let’s see what the judges have to say.30 March at 15:58 · Like · 1

Erik Kulick Michael, I don’t understand how allowing two men or two women to be legally recognized as married and affording them the same rights (kids or no kids) as their hetero neighbors, some how harms the rights of a hetero family unit. 30 March at 16:34 · Like

Rob Donaldson Mr. Farnbach:

I am a California attorney of some years’ experience. I graduated from BYU Law School where I was on law review. I have been outside counsel to the LDS Church. I am a former temple sealer. I am admitted to state and federal bars, including the United States Supreme Court bar.

I have studied Judge Walker’s opinion thoroughly, as well as the 9th Circuit’s opinion. I am familiar with all arguments on both sides of this debate.

I have also read all of your posts in this conversation. And I must say, sir, that I don’t know what you are talking about, and I suspect you don’t either. From simple factual errors such as calling 9th Circuit Judge Reinhardt “Reinhold” to more egregious ones like saying Judge Walker “wasn’t even supported by the 9th because his decision went awry so many ways” and more, your comments bespeak a hobbyist’s play with things he claims to know but really doesn’t, rather than the tempered, reasoned, consistently accurate voice of a true expert.

What seems to be your original premise of gender differences being essential to “true marriage” and how it is “simply wrong” to deny that or set it aside was an issue addressed squarely in Judge Walker’s opinion. If you did not know this, then you have been deceptive in this conversation. If you knew it but forgot, you have at best been hasty and spoken before thinking.

If you knew it when stating your premise, you did not understand Judge Walker’s analysis or how it was based strictly on civil law and not on anything else. To say, as you have, that eliminating that distinction is “simply wrong” is not a sufficient basis for law in the American system. You must have a credible legal basis and evidence for your position. So far, I have seen none.

So, I will ask you straight out. Have you read Judge Walker’s opinion, and if so, tell me your understanding of his analysis of gender distinctions in civil marriage in California. Any other basis for criticizing the result is a red herring.

I am genuinely interested to read your response.30 March at 17:11 · Like · 5

David Cottle Now, if only Michael Jared Farnbach put this much time and energy into finding a job.30 March at 17:30 · Like · 2

Michael Lee Hayes Michael, whats the big deal if they get married? Why can not they have the same benefits we have? If its gods law, then its gods judgement and he can deal with that on judgement day. In the mean time on planet earth, we have to live together. There are different variations on beliefs and cultures in our society and if we want to be fair and accepting then we have to tear down these walls. I do not know how gays getting married effects marriage. Give them the same rights. If it makes the world an evil place then Jesus can come back faster if not then at least gay can get the same benefits. beside didn’t this thread start with the Mormon church breaking its own articles of faith by funding this bill? Were they not being deceptive? So if we start back at the beginning then we wouldn’t even be having this fight with the supremes because the church wouldn’t have started it.30 March at 19:20 · Like · 2

Michael Jared Farnbach Erik, and Michael. Thanks for replying, I’ll have to point you upthread to where I said I do support gay marriage. What I don’t support, and have yet to hear someone argue in a way that increases equality, human rights recognition, that we should remove “man and woman” from the requirements of marriage. Again that is all explained upthread.

Cunningham appears to be an adult version of a disneyland character greeter, but I’m a real person who’s fully interested in understanding both sides. If you have that argument, I would like to hear it.30 March at 19:37 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach David, that was pretty funny. As an attempted invective it actually came across as droll as Cunningham yawning to increase his entertainment value in this thread. Yet it shows how much you want to believe stereotypes, or pigeonhole people, and have nothing to really add to understanding the issues here. And that, in its own way, is funny.30 March at 19:42 · Like

John-Henry Cottrell Rob, what I have found is many that are pro-gay marriage are the most intolerant people; quick to jump to conclusions that ideas are based upon hate or phobias. This makes any discussion almost mute and pointless. It makes many become automatically defensive, and when people act defensive, they are not concerned sometimes of really expressing themselves well (which of course only adds to the divide within the discussion, and possibly adding to the idea that the difference is based upon hate and phobias). The discussions become so laser-focused upon individual rights, that the structure of society is never really discussed. Pro-gay marriage tend to be most concerned with individual rights (and many of the things they say are valid), while those against are looking at a larger picture of societal impact (and many of the things they say are valid). Unfortunatlely those on one side rarely ever really put any considerate thought in what the other is saying…..30 March at 19:46 · Like

Natalie Sperry Mandelin But John, civil rights are individual rights, and marriage is a civil right. Therefore, when discussing the Constitutionality of Proposition 8, it makes sense to talk about marriage in terms of individual rights. That is how marriage exists Constitutionally. It isn’t really fair to say that pro-marriage equality people are “the most intolerant people.” In my opinion, it’s just that pro-marriage equality people do not believe the “larger picture of societal impact” demonstrates any real harm whatsoever relating to expanding marriage rights to include gay couples.30 March at 19:56 · Unlike · 1

Natalie Sperry Mandelin So basically, it has to be based on myth, or fear, or something besides evidence.30 March at 19:57 · Like

Natalie Sperry Mandelin I’m still waiting for Michael Jared Farnbach to respond to Rob Donaldson’s questions!30 March at 20:00 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach Rob, now there’s a real discussion.

On Reinhardt vs Reinhold, you are right. Thanks for the correction.

On the style points of voice, you might have a point there. But ultimately style isn’t important to me as the basis of the arguments themselves. So without delay, I’ll head into them.

“premise of gender differences […] was an issue addressed squarely in Judge Walker’s opinion”

You are charitable to say he addressed it squarely. He wrote… “Race and gender restrictions shaped marriage during eras of race and gender inequality, but such restrictions were never part of the historical core of the institution of marriage. Today, gender is not relevant to the state in determining spouses’ obligations to each other and to their dependents. Relative gender composition aside, same-sex couples are situated identically to opposite-sex couples in terms of their ability to perform the rights and obligations of marriage under California law. Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage; marriage under law is a union of equals.”

Historically, marriage was the only means by which women could obtain some rights that only men were recognized with. Historically, marriage has not always solved the problem of inequality between men and women, but it has been the only means of increasing the equality for women.

I’m happy that today women don’t need marriage to have access to those rights, yet the inequality of marriage between the man and the woman is yet to be fully addressed even today. Kay Hymnowitz’s discussions on the “Marriage Gap” show that women who aren’t married today still suffer from more poverty, more abuse, compared to married women.

Even women who do work earn less than a man, and are afforded less opportunity in rigorous research and scholarship. One prime factor mentioned over and over is that women feel more responsibility to their children and ask for more flexible schedules from their employers. The correlation is strong enough to suggest that the wage gap is just another extension of the marriage gap.

In other words, while women who are married so not seem to make more money, however they are entitled to more of the money that the man makes, equalizing the income between them.

Another source to find the inequality of responsibility for children comes from divorce, where a marriage had children but is now dissolved. The Father’s rights movement outlines the discrimination they feel against them often.

In both cases, the discrimination for genders is verifiable and charted, and much more common than the discrimination against gays. Now I also want to see discrimination against gays rectified, but my point is more to show how Walker got his judgement exactly backwards, straining at gnats (as it were) and swallowing camels.30 March at 20:03 · Like

Rob Donaldson Mr. Farnbach:

You have correctly identified the “money quote” from Judge Walker’s opinion. I believe that paragraph is the single most important one of the entire opinion.

And while the rest of your comment is no doubt interesting, it is and would have been irrelevant to the merits of the question before Judge Walker. Courts cannot and should not decide questions of statutory and constitutional interpretation based on collateral social or cultural issues not germane to the merits of the case.

This is why I find your previous comments confusing. You seem to be arguing that Judge Walker was wrong because he failed to consider all these other issues you raise. But at the risk of sounding patronizing (which is not my intent), this is where it becomes clear that you’re not a lawyer.

It is not the function of civil marriage law to try to remedy alleged income inequality which may be based on gender, or other types of alleged gender discrimination, or other perceived socio-cultural problems or issues with child-rearing, or family responsibilities, or whatever. The question in the federal courts is a narrow one: does Proposition 8 violate the United States Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law?

That’s it. That’s the ONLY question. Judge Walker would have been wrong to go beyond it, and he knew that. His opinion, though long and thorough, sticks to that one theme, and analyzes it based on exhaustive review of binding legal precedent. Not on theorizing as to “broader social impact”. That is not his place. He is there to interpret the law, not make or comment on social policy. In my opinion, his decision is virtually air-tight as to why Proposition 8 does NOT pass Constitutional muster, and I have seen and heard many legal scholars far more accomplished than myself who’ve said the same thing.

So you are certainly free to look at these other aspects of the definition of marriage. But from a legal perspective, they are irrelevant to the function and role of the judges in this case and to how they must interpret the law.30 March at 21:05 · Unlike · 1

Rob Donaldson @John-Henry:

No doubt there has been much unnecessary demonizing and shouting past each other on both sides. Any such behavior is of course regrettable. I’ve said previously that if I’d been in the crowd in front of the LDS temple in Los Angeles during that protest in which an elderly woman supporting Prop 8 was knocked down, I would have immediately tried to shield and defend her even though I absolutely oppose Prop 8 myself.

You sound like a reasonable person. So I hope you will reasonably and in good faith consider the possibility that, from a broad historical perspective, far more discrimination and bigotry and damage has been inflicted on gay people by Christians than the other way round. Louis Crompton’s exhaustive “Homosexuality & Civilization” chronicles centuries of Christian-sponsored violence against gay people, including imprisonment, torture, burning at the stake, hanging, and more, all done in the name of God. Blaise Pascal said “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.” Christian treatment of homosexuals for the last thousand years is a perfect example of that.

We now live in a time when God’s gay children are standing up and saying “No more.” Just as the Jews stood up after the Holocaust and said “No more. We will no longer accept this treatment from you. We will die rather than allow it to continue. We deserve full and equal rights to pursue happiness just as you assume for yourselves and we will not rest until we have them.”

Now, as to the question of “societal impact.” The best we can do is look at the record so far in states and countries which have adopted marriage equality. So far there is no sign that any of the fears promoted by the Prop 8 crowd are happening. Danish clergy fought marriage equality fiercely many years ago, lost that battle, and have since conceded that their fears were unfounded. Massachusetts, first to adopt marriage equality, has the lowest divorce rate in the country. Study after study indicate that children raised by same-sex couples are just as happy and well-adjusted as children of “traditional” marriages; in fact, I recently saw a study which said that children raised by married lesbian women did even better by all measurements than children from “traditional” homes.

My own father believes that homosexuals will cause the downfall of Western civilization. Why? Because that’s what Spencer Kimball said in a book. What was Kimball’s source? Honestly, I’m not sure. But he was certainly no historian. He blamed the gays for the downfall of ancient Rome, but missed the fact that Rome fell long after the Christians took over and presumably began trying to curb gay behavior.

Homosexual behavior has been a part of human history since earliest recorded times. I have studied this subject extensively and have found no indication that “the gays” ever caused any civilization to fracture or fall apart. If you have credible evidence to the contrary I would love to see it.

Lastly, I invite you to consider this perspective. Gay men and women are not seeking to destroy marriage; in fact, they are honoring the institution by wanting access to it. They _want_ to take on the responsibility, the obligation of fidelity to a spouse, the duty to care for one other through thick and thin. British Prime Minister David Cameron has just this week said he fully supports gay marriage not in spite of being a conservative, but _because_ he is a conservative. He understands that marriage is a conservative institution, and that by allowing gay people to marry, society will in fact _promote_ stable, healthy, monogamous gay relationships and reduce much of the unhealthy behavior that heretofore has been the only alternative for gay people, because Christians have fought to keep it so. In the words of my 10 year old daughter when first presented with this question: “How does two guys getting married hurt somebody else’s marriage?” It doesn’t. Nor does it hurt “society.” It helps everyone.30 March at 21:33 · Unlike · 4


Michael Jared Farnbach Rob, you have some interesting views. And I appreciate the time you take to articulate them…

“Courts cannot and should not decide questions of statutory and constitutional interpretation based on collateral social or cultural issues not germane to the merits of the case.”

Most likely what I expected you to respond. However, the case is about social and cultural issues. Where you draw the line as to whether or not they are germane should be consistent.

For instance, the plaintiffs argued that social issues surrounding the title and term of marriage were germane to the case when discussing potential harm to homosexual couples. Reinhardt even discussed the social trend of putting one’s marriage proposal on a jumbotron in his decision. Of the harms listed and recognized in Walker’s findings of fact, many were social and completely out of reach of judges to regulate under current law and powers.

Even the Goodridge decision (and I remember the Supreme Court quote loosely) recognized they could not effectively touch all of the social ramifications of prejudice, but they could not let them stand or support them in their decision either.

Surely the standard of what social ramifications are germane to marriage should be equal for considering homosexual couples denied marriage as well as the gender inequality both in and outside of marriage.

“You seem to be arguing that Judge Walker was wrong because he failed to consider all these other issues you raise.”

His failure is chiefly one of special pleading. To repeat he states, “Today, gender is not relevant to the state in determining spouses’ obligations to each other and to their dependents.” Yet the evidence you claim is not germane clearly shows that women put their obligations to children higher than their obligations for a career than men do.

He’s right in that there is no state mandate to a woman’s obligation, and I’m happy to recognize that. But there’s no state mandate to propose over a jumbotron either, or to extend your health care coverage to your spouse either.

As I said before, its straining at gnats and swallowing camels.30 March at 22:36 · Like · 1

Nathan McBride Wow, so that’s where the stolen sign went…30 March at 22:43 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach Rob’s comment continued…

“The question in the federal courts is a narrow one: does Proposition 8 violate the United States Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law?”

Baker v Nelson … answers that question decisively and concisely. I would appreciate where in Walker’s decision, when he spends so much time on the question of a right to same sex marriage in the 14th amendment, he discusses that most relevant Supreme Court precedent?

Note that Reinhardt explicitly avoided the question of a right to same-sex marriage in the Federal Constitution, and subsequently argues that means (among other things) Baker v Nelson isn’t relevant to his case. Walker doesn’t have that dismissal available to him, as he clearly uses the 14th amendment to argue a right for same-sex marriage.

In answering pre-trial motinos Walker claimed that there is enough latitude with subsequent rulings to ponder the question of Baker v Nelson. Where in his decision did he wind up answering it?

So to sum up, if that is the only question to be answered in the trial, then either Walker erred in pondering the rational basis of gender equality through expected integration in marriage in the first place (which one might believe considering Reinhardt’s explicit dropping of the issue), or he erred in not giving it equal value and standing as the social and cultural considerations afforded to homosexual couples in the trial.30 March at 22:54 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach Rob says, “Gay men and women are not seeking to destroy marriage; in fact, they are honoring the institution by wanting access to it.”

I appreciate that probably more than you know. However, removing “man and woman” from the definition of marriage is a curious way to do that.

To me marriage is the institution responsible for promoting the kind of precaution and execution of tolerance and concern that two people need when having a child between them.

What worries me is that while you promote Walker’s decision as your personal favorite addressing of this issue, it states in no uncertain terms that responsible procreation — or anything else — even gender equality itself — relating to procreation, is explicitly no longer a concern of marriage.

That is a very far cry of saying you appreciate or even tolerate what marriage is and means to me. What you say is you appreciate and want to enter an institution is free of the humanitarian needs and desires to promote equal recognition of rights that are relevant to a child and the two people who combined their identity to create the child. The very thing that everyone who ever was or will be a child deserve to have recognized.

While I’m very sympathetic to the issues of identity for homosexuals, don’t you agree they should not be incompatible with or diminish in any way our recognition of our basic human identity?

The UN recognizes the right to know your heritage, and to know and be raised by the two people who you share an identity with — the two people who created you between them. The US signed onto that charter. Marriage is the institution which recognizes and protects those rights, if one doesn’t accept that is by design then I submit it is still evident marriage does that by sheer efficacy in naming the relationship (man and woman) that creates the child. Only through their expected integration, love and tolerance can we recognizes all that should be recognized in the bond created by the act of birth between all three.30 March at 23:25 · Like

Nathan McBride How can marriage be a civil right if you have to ask (and pay) the government for a license? Marriage has always been an arrangement for the eligible. It has always been a bond for men and women so they have legal claim of the other to aid in fostering the next generation. People never had to prove love for their fiance in order to get married. Love was never a requirement. Being single, and of proper age and gender, has been (plus other qualifications depending on where one lives.)

I personally would not stand in anyone’s way who is of age, sound mind, and consenting, to celebrate a gay union recognized by the state. No one should be forced to live alone.

But let us all stop pretending that my marriage to my wife and our children produced from this union is exactly the same as a same sex couple and their union. It is different. If it were the same they would be spawning kids from their combined DNA. They cannot.

Instead they can be there for each other. Fabulous. Everyone needs that. However they can’t give grand kids to their parents, using the shared DNA passed down. Harsh? Perhaps but it is as true as sunrise. No judge can change that.

Men and women are different. A union of two men is different than that of one man and one woman. For example in a union of two men who gets the alimony when they divorce? There are different considerations because the arrangement is different.

I didn’t make us male and female with all the realities it brings. I just know that my marriage will never be the same as a gay one.30 March at 23:37 · Like

Nathan McBride “Today gender is not relevant to the state in determining spouses’ obligations to each other and to their dependents.”

How is this a true statement from Judge Walker? Has he been to many divorce court proceedings lately? I scratch my head over this statement. Men and women do not get unisex consideration in family law.31 March at 00:05 · Like

Rob Brann After all this rhetoric, a single question lingers in my mind: how would my marriage to the man I love more than any other on this planet change what marriage means to any other human on this planet?31 March at 06:48 · Like · 2

Natalie Sperry Mandelin No two marriages are alike. There is no biological element of marriage. Equality will prevail and everyone will survive it. 31 March at 07:44 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach Good question Rob. No state in the USA stops you from being married to the man you love. No cops show up to break up your wedding ceremony, or living together. Many even recognize your relationship with benefits through Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships.

But do you honestly think that changing the government definition of marriage to remove its equal gender representation (man and woman) doesn’t “change what marriage means”? When you change the definition, it changes what it means. And it is changing what it means for the government, keeping it from being able to truly recognize and protect real marriage equality — the equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman and children they potentially have together.31 March at 07:47 · Like

Rob Donaldson Michael:

Thanks for your thoughts. Let’s be precise here. I said “Courts cannot and should not decide questions of statutory and constitutional interpretation based on collateral social or cultural issues _not germane to the merits of the case.”_ Sure, the case has to do with social and cultural issues. But it is _decided_ based on interpretation of the law. And that means evidentiary standards and following the rules for constitutional analysis laid out by the United States Supreme Court.

Yes, Plaintiffs did argue harm to homosexual couples. But you have ignored the larger context and reason for that argument. The question was whether Prop 8 passed strict scrutiny, heightened scrutiny or rational basis review for constitutionality. Within that context, the plaintiff’s argument was not just whether there was harm, but whether that harm was related to and overcome by a larger more justified government interest served by Prop 8. The answer was “no.” Further on that point, you said that “Of the harms listed and recognized in Walker’s findings of fact, many were social and completely out of reach of judges to regulate under current law and powers.” You confuse the court’s review of those harms with whether the court has the right or the power to “regulate” them. Again, the question was not whether the court had that power, but merely whether Prop 8 passed constitutional muster under established rules for deciding that question, e.g. strict scrutiny, heightened scrutiny, or rational basis review tests.

Your cite of Reinhardt’s jumbotron example is, with respect, a red herring. Even within a judicial opinion, there is a difference between binding legal analysis and obiter dicta.

It was not Walker’s job to go out and dig up whatever evidence might be relevant to what he was thinking about. A judge decides cases based on the evidence presented to him by the parties.
So “his” alleged “failure”, as you put it, is not Walker’s. If it is a “failure” at all, you must attribute it to Charles Cooper, lead attorney for Prop 8 supporters, who is nationally known for his litigation skills. It was his job to present anything and everything of what you’ve discussed here if he thought it was relevant or persuasive or germane to the case. Cooper is not dim. He is extremely smart and known to be so. He has decades of experience at this, and he & his team had a long time to prepare their arguments in this case. It is not possible that any of what you’ve argued here was not considered by them. To the extent they did not argue as you have done, I must conclude that it’s because they did not agree with your approach or think it correct.

You cite Walker’s statement that “Today, gender is not relevant to the state in determining spouses’ obligations to each other and to their dependents.” You then assert that evidence shows women put their obligations to children higher than their obligations for a career than men do. This is a non sequitur and a tautology, not “straining at gnats” or “swallowing camels.”

Your discussion of Baker v. Nelson likewise gets things backward. The federal constitutionality of a Minnesota county clerk’s refusal to issue a marriage license under settled state law is a very different issue than the constitutionality of a popular election which revoked a recognized and existing civil right under a state constitution. Just because the results seemed similar does _not_ mean the legal analysis is the same or even overlapping. Baker was affirmed by the Supreme Court on summary judgment and does _not_ answer any Prop 8-related question either “decisively” or “concisely.” That’s why Walker and Reinhardt both essentially ignored it. In addition, it is over 40 years old. Plessy v. Ferguson, which found “separate but equal” racial treatment to be constitutional, was unanimously overruled by Brown v. Board of Education 58 years later.

Thomas Jefferson said “Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” Baker v Nelson will be overturned just as surely as Plessy v. Ferguson was.

Your “sum up” gets the cart before the horse and does not seem to consider the various levels of analysis for constitutional scrutiny of a statute as established by the United States Supreme Court. Please take some time to study them. Doing so should help you understand better the reasons why Judge Walker and the 9th Circuit ruled as they did, and in fact why Charles Cooper apparently did not follow your line of argument.

As to “removing man and woman from the definition of marriage” being a “curious way” to honor the institution, it may be so only if again you assume your conclusion. Another tautology. To you, “marriage is the institution responsible for promoting the kind of precaution and execution of tolerance and concern that two people need when having a child between them.” But time and time again, it has been shown that _as a matter of civil law_ (which is what we’re talking about here), procreative ability is not a credible basis for denying access to marriage.

I believe you engage in another non sequitur and tautology when you claim that this means “responsible procreation” is “explicitly no longer a concern of marriage.” There is a huge difference between a threshold requirement and a result. Marriage between a man and a woman does promote responsible procreation, no question. That is a result, and a laudable one. But the ability to have and raise children in a stable environment is a _result_ of marriage, not a gating requirement. We don’t require prospective spouses to certify fertility or put up a performance bond redeemable on the birth of their first child.

“Responsible procreation” does not have to be guaranteed in advance in order to be “a concern of marriage.” None of those benefits fostered by “traditional marriage” will change if marriage is made available to gay couples. You seem to be stuck on the concept that two people “combine their identity to create” a child and that blood parentage is the only thing on the table here. You cite a UN charter in that respect. But UN charters are not binding law in the United States, and even if they were, the “identity” one shares with parents is forged by what they DO, not whether their genetics match their kid’s. Parents are the ones who nurture, shelter, feed, raise, teach and love a child. This does not require that they give birth to that child. Otherwise adoption laws would be out the window. As I noted in another comment above, study after study indicate that children raised by same-sex couples are just as happy and well-adjusted as children of “traditional” marriages; in fact, one recent study said children raised by married lesbian couples did best of all, even better than kids in “traditional” homes with their bio-parents. So, with due respect, when I see hard evidence like this I can’t give your theoretical arguments any weight. Actual experience contradicts them.31 March at 08:16 · Unlike · 3

Elder Cunningham The Prophet’s friends are so smart! This just proves I’m true! ♥31 March at 08:19 · Like · 1

Allystair Jones @ Elder Cunningham. At first this discussion was simply emotional nonsense, then, some people took it to an intellectual level without attacking one another, and now you introduce an inflammatory remark to take it back to intellectual gutter? You sir, get a face palm. Heres some fun ideas that will not directly effect the outcome of the situation but, I hope, may help some people understand homosexuality a bit more. I see things from an evolutionary perspective and I look at different forces causing evolutionary divergence in allele frequency. The alleles coding for homosexual behavior may have expressed themselves differently in different environments. So, humans 100,000 years ago were in a different environment and the alleles were probably expressed differently. This means the argument that homosexuality could not have evolved is probably short sited (Richard Dawkins has books on this). For fun, however, we can also look at what a homosexual genome would do in a paleo-anthro environment. If someone were to not mate and produce offspring they still can obtain fitness by making sure their siblings are successful in mating. This is Hamiltons inclusive fitness hypothesis. While to some this may have been off topic I see a correlation in that the information can help how we approach the topic.31 March at 09:07 · Like

Sami Harmon March at 09:18 · Like

Jolene Stelter Moody Mr. McBride, so what about the thousands upon thousands of couples who cannot have their own DNA produced children? How many children are adopted each day in this country? Do you propose that just because a man and woman adopt a child that it magically changes the child’s DNA to match the man and woman but not the same sex couple? 31 March at 09:23 · Like

Elder Cunningham Now my feelings are hurt. But it’s OK. Tomorrow is a Latter-day and we are here for us! :D31 March at 09:32 · Like · 2

David Cottle Like how we arent really “voting” in the traditional sense in this era, because by allowing blacks to vote, we changed the definition of voting. A wise man once said: “When you change the definition, you change what it means”31 March at 10:45 · Like · 1

Michael Jared Farnbach Rob, I appreciate the dialog. I’m somewhat reminded that our discussion is happening in a venue hosted by a character greeter seeking to make sure people are amused more than informed. And I appreciate you’ve been rigorous and courteous gives a real hospitality to this thread that I want to personally thank you for.

“The question was whether Prop 8 passed strict scrutiny, heightened scrutiny or rational basis review for constitutionality.”

The language of the readings makes it clear that the question is more which level of scrutiny to apply. When the judge finds that, they take to answer that single level of scrutiny, though they will often speculate openly whether other more rigorous levels could be met, but they do so with deference.31 March at 11:05 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach “Yes, Plaintiffs did argue harm to homosexual couples”

As they should, and nothing I wrote should be construed that they shouldn’t. However, I can and did explore whether the bar you set in accepting the harms done to regular couples in either a weakened or even significantly changed institution of marriage would impact or diminish the ability for the plaintiffs to do so.

My opinion is yes, there is a double standard being set by yourself and Walker. And it is evident in the different reaction to each that is presented.

When confronted with the social and cultural need heterosexual couples have in gender equality in marriage, you raised a very fundamentalist approach, claiming that only one question is or should be considered. You spent this latest post arguing the need for deeper and more liberal review and understanding for the homosexual couples harm.

What you haven’t done is provide a unified approach which we can apply equally to both sides. But you don’t have to, you can also provide an explanation of the difference in standards. You’ve not explained the need for that difference in a way that I find adequate.

Sure there are reasons one can lift or lower that bar that are completely legitimate. Unfortunately I’ve not seen your argument move beyond the possibility of those reasons and actually spell out how those reasons apply or don’t to both.

The consideration of impact to heterosexual couples is different in only one way that I can see in the deliberation of impact on homosexual couples… one provides the evidence of discrimination and one answers the basis of that discrimination.

As the King of Hearts shows in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”, exactly wrong decisions are possible if only one controls what is “important” and “not important”, or what I fear would easily be put just as well in your terms of “germane” and “not germane”. Reasons exist, but they should (especially in a case about equal protection under the law) be either equally applied to both plaintiff and defendant, or rationally explained based on some recognizable purpose. Walker’s decision should have not only preached about equality under the law, it should have practiced it and set the example for it.31 March at 11:24 · Like

Rob Donaldson Michael, I have time for only two quick thoughts in response.

First, Judge Walker expressly asked Mr. Cooper during the trial what harm would be done to heterosexual couples if gay couples were allowed to marry. Cooper thought for a moment and said “I don’t know.” Nor did he put on the stand any witnesses who were able to show any such harm. You may disagree, but when the lead advocate for Prop 8 admits in open court that he can’t think of any harm to heterosexual couples, you must concede that it’s reasonable for me to say there is none.

Second, as to your statement that “one provides the evidence of discrimination and one answers the basis of that discrimination.” In fact that is what happened in the trial. The plaintiffs provided ample evidence of that discrimination. Respondents had full opportunity to “answer the basis of that discrimination.” Mr. Cooper said he could think of no actual harm. His expert witnesses could not show any, and in fact one ended up supporting the plaintiffs’ case.

But again, you can’t stop the analysis there. The question is not just whether harm can be shown, but whether that harm passes the appropriate test for constitutional acceptability in the service of some government interest. Judge Walker chose the lowest of all possible thresholds, “rational basis,” the standard easiest for Mr. Cooper to meet in support of Prop 8. And after applying the appropriate tests set by the Supreme Court, he found that Prop 8 did not pass even that easiest of all possible tests. I put it to you that the standards _are_ in fact equal for both gay and straight couples, and that’s exactly the approach Judge Walker took.31 March at 12:01 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach “Baker was affirmed by the Supreme Court on summary judgment and does _not_ answer any Prop 8-related question either “decisively” or “concisely.””

I appreciate that you took more time than Walker to explain what was clearly recognized by…See more
31 March at 12:07 · Like

Elder Cunningham Praise Christ that this Prophet is simultaneously anusing and tolerant in letting the dialogue proceed in his space, unfettered! I am truly my Brother’s Greeter.

Let all the feelings out! The respectful discussion in this thread is a tender mercy to me. In the name of the widow’s mites, Amen.31 March at 12:16 · Unlike · 3

Elder Cunningham Oops, amusing. Translation error!!!31 March at 12:16 · Unlike · 2

Michael Jared Farnbach “Cooper thought for a moment and said “I don’t know.””

I’m glad you brought that up. Its another interesting study in double standards by Walker. Walker was determined to get a specific event prophesied by Cooper, and Cooper rightfully st…See more
31 March at 12:24 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach ” I put it to you that the standards _are_ in fact equal for both gay and straight couples, and that’s exactly the approach Judge Walker took.”

Unfortunately that is not born out on the choice of rational basis alone. In fact, that decisi…See more
31 March at 12:35 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach Cunningham, well you are trying to be amusing at least. I appreciate the effort!31 March at 12:37 · Like · 2

Elder Cunningham Thanks, Brother Farnhold!31 March at 12:56 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach well played :)31 March at 13:01 · Like

Elder Cunningham :D31 March at 13:01 · Unlike · 1

Tim Fairchild even though I am L.D.S., I totally agree that The Church should butt-out.31 March at 13:05 · Unlike · 3

Tim Fairchild So glad I have your approval Elder Cunningham.31 March at 13:09 · Unlike · 2

Irminsul Harp Marriage is older than the Bible – even same sex marriage is older. So this tortured discussion over gender inclusion cannot be based on actual history, but religious preference which, I would remind Elder Farnbach, is a no-no intrusion into our system of laws.31 March at 14:02 · Unlike · 3

Leslie Leigh I don’t give a rat’s ass who marries whom. Live & let live. Let’s not get distracted by this silly diversion. We need to give priority to what’s really wrong w/this world…climate change, Republicans, corporate take-overs, poor medical care, disparity of income, unemployment, poverty, homelessness. The list goes on.31 March at 14:11 · Unlike · 4

Michael Jared Farnbach Irminsul, you should re-read above. I’m all for gay marriage as its been practiced historically, which amounts to Civil Unions.

Leslie, I’m all for the freedom of association you talk about. Gay marriage is already legal, no one breaks up gay weddings, or kicks gays out from living with each other. When they say they are married at a cocktail party, I don’t tell them they aren’t.31 March at 14:37 · Like

Erik Kulick You have such a beautiful smile, Elder Cunningham: that is why I liked that specific comment.

Leslie, don’t forget to add Democrats to that list; at least the Republicans don’t pretend to care about the plight of us commoners.31 March at 15:24 · Like · 3

Kevin Maxwell Michael, you are for Gay Marriage! Whew we have settled that one after all this verbiage! What we have issue with here is having our civil rights put up for vote for the whims of the majority to decide on, that is what referendums such as P…See more
31 March at 21:24 · Like · 1

MotherIn Heaven EVERYONE should be allowed to marry ANYONE!

There.31 March at 23:14 · Unlike · 1

Nathan McBride @ Jolene. I’m glad you asked that question. Usually when men and women marry each other there is an expectation of children. Sometimes tragedy happens and couples are unable to have kids. Like my own sister who for almost a decade could no…See more
1 April at 01:03 · Like

Nathan McBride From where I’m sitting, it appears gay couples want state recognized relationships. Ta-da. There you go. Again, I never was for bed checks in peoples homes.

For guys like Farnbach and myself it was never about that. It was about the state…See more
1 April at 01:36 · Like

Alexander Nicholaou If I cant get married, you should not be able to get divorced :)1 April at 02:37 · Like · 1

Michael Jared Farnbach Probably the biggest misconception, and for some people I know it is a deliberate lie, same-sex marriage is not illegal. No jack-booted government officials come in to break up same-sex weddings, not in any state of the union. No cops show …See more
1 April at 08:44 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach One more thing. To equate homosexuality with infertility means you are calling homosexuality a disability like infertility is. Infertility means something isn’t working right, the person is disabled from doing something they normally could …See more
1 April at 08:47 · Like

Nathan McBride @ Alexander. I have no desire for a divorce. I have been married for over a decade and my love for her is only stronger. I don’t believe in no fault divorce and want to see it become more difficult to divorce except for cases of neglect, a…See more
1 April at 13:51 · Like

Erik Kulick Nathan and Michael, while the union of marriage should and does protect procreative rights, If I were to lose my testicles, and decide to remarry another woman, that marriage would be recognized as a legitimate marriage, even though I would…See more
1 April at 15:14 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach Erik, when losing your reproductive organs is the same thing as being homosexual, you might have a point.

But as it is, when someone is disabled we still find ways to teach them to read, or have access to buildings. We even help them with …See more
The Opine Editorials: CLASP on the importance of biological parents staying together
opine-editorials.blogspot.comDefending marriage on the firm ground of reason and respect for human dignity. Encompassing the marriage related topics of gendered biology, kin anthropology, family law and policy.

1 April at 16:26 · Like · 1

Michael Jared Farnbach “How do you feel about a homosexual couple in a civil union adopting a child?”

I have no problem with a gay couple raising a child together. There are a lot of circumstances where that is the best they can do.

Whether or not that is adop…See more
1 April at 16:35 · Like

Erik Kulick 1) I’m a parent; I know how to reproduce.

2) If you are really are going to defer to the UN again, I’d imagine the idea of allowing everyone the opportunity to marry whomever they want, as long as they are legally able to consent, would f…See more
2 April at 00:59 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach 1) When people understand marriage better they’ll know how to responsibly reproduce.

2) The UN recognizes knowing and being raised by the parents where possible. Death or abuse and neglect by those parents are the only cases that isn’t po…See more
2 April at 07:40 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach “then no-one should stand in the way of these people and their happiness”

What is interesting is that by “these people” you only meant the couple themselves. Not the child, who may develop identity issues and suffer the loss of not knowin…See more
2 April at 07:49 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach “If it weren’t for donors, those children wouldn’t exist, so how about looking on the bright side”

Again the double standard. When we are looking at what you want, then we only look a the positive outcome and disregard the negative outcom…See more
2 April at 07:53 · Like

Elder Cunningham And it came to pass that this thread was longer than the flippin’ Book of Mormon, and almost as interesting!2 April at 08:05 · Like · 4

Elder Cunningham You should friend me, Brother Farnbottom, because that way I can have all kinds of conversations on your wall, too! It’s the nice thing to do!2 April at 08:08 · Like

John N David I work hard, I own my own business, I have tons of friends and my name is John Bridger I am NOT a mormon, I am a homosexual!2 April at 08:15 · Like · 1

Michael Jared Farnbach That would be fun. For now we can continue to meet through the only one here who knows me as “Elder Farnbach”, that is my old mission trainer Nathan R Kennard. If you had a real-name account, I’d be happy to add that one to my friend list.2 April at 08:15 · Like

Kate Sannicks-Lerner Rob, way to go! Love your counterpoint!2 April at 08:24 · Like · 1

Elder Cunningham I’m real! I promise! If I wasn’t real, you wouldn’t be spending sooooo much time talking to your imaginary friend.2 April at 08:27 · Like · 2

Chase Twede I totally forgot about articles of faith, apparently so did they.2 April at 09:02 · Like · 1

Dallas Street Boba Fett 2 April at 09:23 · Like · 3

Erik Kulick Don’t worry Elder Cunningham, I believe you are real, and since my belief has the ability to transcend unto knowledge, I have immutable proof that you are precisely who you say you are. Additionally, I can write to you and receive a documen…See more
3 April at 00:54 · Like

Michael Jared Farnbach Erik, thanks for replying. We’ll pick this up again sometime, no doubt. In the meantime, I’m happy to rest on what I’ve said and the points I made.3 April at 09:27 · Like · 1

Erik Kulick It’s a shame you want to stop now: we were finally boiling down to the real reasons you oppose marriage equality. I’m sorry if my comments get a bit snarky sometimes, but the reality is there is no legal or moral leg that the anti-marriage …See more
3 April at 21:55 · Like

Elder Price WOW – 178 comments! The is a new Church of Arnold record!3 April at 22:20 · Unlike · 2

Elder Price We might have to split the ward if things keep up like this.3 April at 22:21 · Unlike · 2

Erik Kulick As long as I don’t get stuck with 9am sacrament, I’m down.3 April at 22:24 · Like · 1

Dan OLeary I hate ward splitting. There’s always fights over who gets to keep the sacrament trays.3 April at 22:27 · Like · 2

Elder Price I think that we should tell the ward members that we will divide the sacrament trays and give half to one ward and half to the other. The ward that shouts that they do not want to see the sacrament trays divided will be the true owner of all the trays.3 April at 22:42 · Unlike · 2

Michael Jared Farnbach Erik, many thanks. As far as the “real reasons”, it was sad to see you ignore the issues that children have and their natural needs and concerns about how they are conceived and raised.

There’s fundamentally two questions that people are t…See more
4 April at 07:58 · Like

Erik Kulick Again Michael, while I agree with you about the value of having the two people who created a child also involved in the raising of that child, none of the arguments you’ve made explain why there shouldn’t be marriage equality. You have made…See more
Thursday at 00:37 · Like

Elder Cunningham And it came to pass that Brother Kurlieque and Brother Farmhand debated into the eternities. And it was good. -Book of Yawning 42:42.Thursday at 08:06 · Unlike · 4

Erik Kulick It’s a good thing the Book was abridged: it would have otherwise been known as the Book of Snoring. Thursday at 10:51 · Like · 1

Erik KulickRex White Jr

about an hour ago near Salem ·
I see you misplaced this wonderful video. I’d hate to see you or your friends miss out on the spiritual benefits that come from pondering these two musical scriptures.
DAVID BAZAN – Level With Yourself / People by Mitch Fillion (

Unlike · · Unfollow post · Share · See friendship

You like this.

Rex White Jr I listened to it. I also listen to another song of his that you posted a while back. I removed it because I don’t endorse it and never have. I will give you pleasure of seeing it on my wall for the next hour and then it will be removed. Ready, set, go 59:59….about an hour ago · Like

Erik Kulick I don’t endorse the ramblings of the men you put on my wall, but I don’t feel the need to sensor your communications.

What don’t you like about the songs?58 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

Rex White Jr You did at one time. That is why I placed that little caveat in my response. I don’t like it because it promotes and encourages a lack of accountability for choices people make in our lives. It is very Korihor-ish. 55:31 ;)55 minutes ago · Like

Erik Kulick How does it do that?54 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

Rex White Jr how doesn’t it do that? 52:0852 minutes ago · Like

Erik Kulick If anything, the first song promotes accountability:

Wake up in the morning
Check your revelation
Making sure you know it as well as you can
…See more
40 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

Erik Kulick Just level with yourself
Level with yourself
Level with yourself
And be at peace with thee

…See more
39 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

Erik Kulick Riches I heed not
Nor man’s empty praise
Means fuck the gate keeper, cause I’m fine outside the gate

(This is just the natural conclusion that comes from pondering the words of Christ. Losing one’s self to find one’s self.)39 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

Rex White Jr “Cause it won’t make a difference
If everyone believes it
But you don’t believe it”38 minutes ago · Like

Rex White Jr That is mocking37 minutes ago · Like

Rex White Jr Contains profanity – strike two37 minutes ago · Like

Erik Kulick I want to level with myself
I want to level with my friends
I want to level with my kin
And be at peace with them

…See more
36 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

Rex White Jr But yet doesn’t want to be held accountable by anyone but himself.35 minutes ago · Like

Rex White Jr hence the lack of accountability35 minutes ago · Like

Rex White Jr 33:2034 minutes ago · Like

Erik Kulick It’s not mocking; he is saying that it won’t matter to your own personal spiritual growth if you are merely preaching shit you don’t really understand.30 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

Rex White Jr It is sung is a mocking tone and even if it wasn’t it is presumptuous of him to assume he has the proper interpretation of the “revelation” Can he trace his Priesthood authority to Christ?28 minutes ago · Like

Erik Kulick Bazan carefully uses “profane” language to better drive home a material point. You used a swear when trying to cleverly deconstruct arguments made by Brian and myself; at least his was original and on point.25 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

Rex White Jr The word ass is within the bible and book of mormon. Referring to feces by using the “S” word is not.22 minutes ago · Like

Erik Kulick I don’t see where you get the idea that he doesn’t want to be accountable to anyone but himself; the most this song implies is that he personally *does* want to be accountable to himself, but doesn’t feel the need to prove himself to the Pharisees that try to stand in the way between him and “God.”21 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

Rex White Jr You call it a Pharisee, I call it a Common Judge in Israel. Go back and re-read the system that Moses set in place through Priesthood authority.18 minutes ago · Like

Erik Kulick “Shit”, in this song, is used in the context of “things”, not feces. Your obsession with profanity just shows your focus on the “letter” and not the “spirit” of the law.

Question Rex, what was the problem with the Pharisees?

“Go back and re-read the system that Moses set in place through Priesthood authority.” I’m sure something similar was said to Jesus himself by a Pharisee.17 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

Erik Kulick Bazan never claims in this song that he has a proper interpretation of any “revelations”, so again, I’m not seeing the point of your complaint regarding his lyrics.15 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

Rex White Jr It doesn’t matter what context he put it in. Profanity is profanity.3 minutes ago · Like

Erik Kulick No response? I was really hoping I could get a worthy priesthood holders view on Pharisees…3 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

Rex White Jr What system did Christ put in place? Look up Ephesians 4:11-13.2 minutes ago · Like

Erik Kulick I’m not sure I trust Paul’s account of what Christ wanted… It’s that whole problem with the telephone game…about a minute ago · Unlike · 1

Rex White Jr And what authority did he give them. Where is this artists authority?about a minute ago · Like

Erik Kulick What is a Pharisee?A few seconds ago · Unlike · 1

Jared Jones shared a link.
This video should be viewed by all.
The environmental agenda has been infected by extremism—it’s become an economic suicide pact. And we’re here to challenge it. On Earth Day, visit http://www.freemar&#8230;
1Like · · Share
Steven Christensen and Gordon Treadway like this.

Lisa Handel King Wow, this is fantastic. It’s scary how true it isYesterday at 12:34 via Mobile · Like

Steven Christensen “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” – B. H. ObamaYesterday at 12:39 · Like

Erik Kulick The thing everyone should be most worried about is the economic harm being perpetrated by the all powerful duopoly and their corporate overlords. The extreme stances by environmentalists is just the sloppiness of treating any ideological conviction as if it or the magical forces behind it are infallible. It would be most wise for everyone to vote Jill Stein for president and Green for Congress, but I’d still be pleased to see people voting libertarian if they still refuse to see the flaw in getting to close to economic anarchy. Yesterday at 13:22 via Mobile · Like

Erik Kulick -E. M. KulickYesterday at 13:22 via Mobile · Like

Lisa Handel King Last time I checked it was the “corporate overlords” who supply jobs and all the products and services that we use. Unless you happen to be living on a deserted island somewhere you rely on corporations, we all do. From the bed you sleep on, the car you drive , to the computer you are writing this on. Corporations also employ people. So they make money, we should all want to make money. That is the American dream. But making money and being successful now makes you evil? But living off the government is a good thing??..well the scriptures do say..good is bad and bad is goodYesterday at 14:09 via Mobile · Like

Erik Kulick The scriptures say many things, both valuable and harmful, but when people cling to ideologies like they’re the only acceptable option, they miss out on the many good things their “opposition” offers.

You must remember an effective and just government involves the input of its people. This cannot be achieved effectively when our power structures (politics, religion, economics) are so incestuously limited. Corporations wouldn’t have the power they do if it wasn’t for the protections they are provide by the people through the government. This should require certain unfortunately arbitrary limitations to protect the need to provide for the basic happiness of the citizenry. It’s Constitutional. Yesterday at 14:19 via Mobile · Unlike · 1

Stuart Layton I agree this video should be viewed by all but for different reasons. Its a classic case of fear mongering and promoting an us vs them view of the political scene. Instead of trying to promote political discourse between groups with opposing political ideals it simply seeks to vilify and classify anyone who doesn’t agree with the video as “un american”Yesterday at 14:19 · Unlike · 1

Erik Kulick Precisely Stuart, it’s the oldest trick in the book being pulled by the duopoly; divide and keep conquering. Yesterday at 14:21 via Mobile · Unlike · 1

Lisa Handel King Erik, Did you just say the scriptures say things that are harmful? WOW, well I was going to continue this political debate but I can see that I am not qualified to address the issues that you have..good luck to youYesterday at 15:53 via Mobile · Like

Erik Kulick Are you afraid to see the limitations of your own belief systems? I thought fear was the opposite of faith. I am not trying to sell you on a belief system excluding the potential of all others, I am merely trying to help people understand the harm of thinking you *know* what you really believe. Even if there is a deity who cares, but is imperfect enough to interfere with her creation to actually “inspire” certain people to better understand a “divine truth”, or bless some and curse others, that deity is unlikely to want people to accept *everything* they’re taught by men who are well intentioned, but as flawed as anyone else. Just because something possesses significant wisdom, doesn’t make it the source or direct result of “absolute” truth. Yesterday at 16:53 via Mobile · Unlike · 1

Jared Jones Stuart while I agree with your comment in the use if “fear based politics” on both sides of the isle… There are some points made here that are so economically solid and accurate it deserves some degree of added emphasis.

And Erik, right is right brother and it always has been. There’s a long line of people who have tried to argue truth and I’ve never seen it work out well for them. The real question is are you willing submit your will to something larger? Until you can answer yes to that question you can’t expect to really find truth. Yesterday at 17:59 via Mobile · Like

Carol Lorenz Thanks for posting this Jared – I was about to look for it for so I could post it – saw it just the other day and was very impressed with it. The scary part is that he is SO right – just look at what is happening!18 hours ago · Like

Erik Kulick Are you referring to @Korihor, Jared? Just because JS got creative and tried to simulate an argument between two (nearly) equally talented, yet spiritually opposite people, doesn’t mean he was right. I am not arguing against Christ, or any deity for that matter. I am merely urging people who feel the need to think that “true belief” and “knowledge” are one and the same have been, like their forefathers, clinging to a flawed attempt to obtain property rights in a celestial outcome at the end of this life. You all want authority to say what is acceptable or not on an eternal level because you don’t want to be wrong about your own self-assessments, and your own failure to attain perfect love has made it easy for emotion to cloud your decision making.

I actually really admire JS and JC and many of the other holy-rollers, now that I see them as just humans. If we are really to attain deification, it will because we will have finally attained the only perfection that really mattered: Perfect Love. It is really sad that JS, BY and JC would all be barred from entering LDS “sacred” places because of their failure to comply with Temple Recommend restrictions. JC was upset about people selling things in the temple, yet LDS folks have no problem with their organization charging admission to enter those “sacred” places. JS created a document meant to be wise counsel, but Prohibitionist era LDS leaders wanted to out do the Feds on moral policing, so they turned the greeting into eternal legislation. At least the Federal government partially realized the error of their ways and repealed prohibition. The sad reality is that the LDS community is no more prepared to receive their “Messiah” than the Jews were. Insisting on full conformity to the law from the few people with the courage to stand up and speak out against injustice is a rather curious way to treat your servants. Would you accept the sacrifice of an imperfect “Messiah”? If your gonna dump your sins on him, it’s the least you could do in return.

The same goes for your political and economic ideologies. You tend to treat the good offered by the ideologies as proof that it excludes all other. Your pride has left your realizable potential limited. This is the sad, harmful result of demanding obedience and conformity to the extent that many churches do. If we don’t stop supporting such harmful practices by people in power, it will be our faults that our posterity doesn’t have a beautiful world to exist in. What happened to stewardship? What happened to the United Order? There are many things that differing ideologies have to offer, and if you actually ponder them instead of treating them like zoo creatures, maybe we could find a solution to our problems.7 hours ago · Unlike · 1

Erik Kulick Oh yeah, and vote Jill Stein.7 hours ago · Unlike · 1

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Raymond Cigna

Like · · Unfollow post · Share · 3 June via BlackBerry Smartphones App

5 people like this.

Erik Kulick The same goes for voting for a Republican. 3 June at 12:25 · Like

Raymond Cigna Historically speaking. That is not true. 3 June at 12:28 · Like

Erik Kulick I don’t agree with you there, but even if you were right about the past, the truth is that now a vote for either is a vote for the collapse of our nation.3 June at 12:34 · Like · 3

Kenneth Smith Bass I love it!3 June at 13:09 · Like

Raymond Cigna Look at tax rates and party control.. There were High rates with Carter, and Lowered rate with Raegan. I’m not making it up. These are true facts in history, not just my beliefs3 June at 13:34 · Like

Tom Carpenter Rocky Anderson for 2012!!3 June at 13:38 · Unlike · 1

Erik Kulick Just because tax rates were lower under Reagan, doesn’t mean things were better all around under Republican rule. Either way, the point about voting for either party now still holds.3 June at 13:39 · Like

Raymond Cigna Lower tax rates spur growth. That’s a fact proven by history. Things were better. Lower unemployment and exponential job growth. People live better when they have more money and oppurtunity. Yes, This election will be between a borderline communist and a northeast lib running as a republican. You Occupy folks can complain all day but I’m gonna vote for the guy who’s opinions coincide most with mine.3 June at 14:14 · Like

Erik Kulick Ray, the tax rate on the wealthy is lower now than it was under Reagan. I understand how having lower taxes can help an economy, but it certainly isn’t the only factor that spurs economic growth. I though market diversity was a principle th…See more
3 June at 14:25 · Like · 1

Raymond Cigna Government doesnt create ANYTHING. the private sector free market does.
An business that government runs tends to fail. ie fanny and freddy, social security etc
The Revolutionary War was fought over less tax then we are dealing with right now.3 June at 16:44 · Like

Raymond Cigna I understand that you dont like government but this year is an election year. we all know that its gonna be Romney and Obama. with that. who do you pick and why?3 June at 16:45 · Like

Erik Kulick Ray, the government does create jobs with money they get from other people, but you are failing to see that people who earn, do not earn in a vacuum, and while people value the value of other people’s skills differently, that doesn’t mean t…See more
Monday at 00:45 · Like

Raymond Cigna Governments job to to protect the rights and security of it people.. Not to employ you. The private sector is the job creators, the inventers. That’s what makes America great. The taxes brought in are for infrastucture. If the governmen…See more
Monday at 04:53 · Like

Erik Kulick Ray, you’re thinking in dichotomy. I’m not arguing for government to replace the private sector, but to find better ways at keeping it honest.

Keep voting Republicrat, and the opportunities will decrease; talk about inefficiency.Monday at 20:38 · Like

Raymond Cigna Is there another way to vote??? when was the last time Ross Perot won???Monday at 21:00 · Like

Erik Kulick Ray, the only reason voting for third parties hasn’t significantly registered in the political arena in a long time is that people simply don’t vote for them. That’s where free social media comes in; like with this conversation right here. …See more
Monday at 21:37 · Like

Raymond Cigna unfortunatly people always get dishonest when money is involved. that goes for everyone. I vote for smaller government this way the theives have less money to “PLAY” with!Tuesday at 09:40 · Like

Erik Kulick If you vote Republicrat, your voting for bigger, less efficient, authoritarian govt. a vote for third parties won’t eliminate greed, but if successful, could create the environment necessary to effectively limit the corruption that comes from money before it taints the newly successful parties. Tuesday at 11:49 · Like

Raymond Cigna And voting for independant typically takes votes away from the republican candadate (because the independant party is closer to repubs then libs comparatively speaking) and leaves us with the libs in the win which is the disaster we are experiencing at the moment.Tuesday at 11:53 · Like

Erik Kulick Just a tip, neither candidate is honoring true conservative OR liberal values, so it matters not if a couple more opportunist politicians get jobs during an election cycle or two while we shift the political atmosphere. Tuesday at 12:04 · Like

Raymond Cigna kinda true.. Mitt is a lib and Obama is a socialist.. all to the left of where they claim they stand. im a guy for a true conservative like Gingrich.Tuesday at 12:06 · Like

Erik Kulick Even he’s a phony, my friend. I’d say a true Conservative is Ron Paul or Bob Barr. Mitt and Obama are not conventional socialists; corporate socialism is far worse, and is what makes them both fascists. Tuesday at 12:09 · Like

Raymond Cigna Ron Paul policies for America are great! His foreign policies would be his mega fail. far too much of an isolationist.Tuesday at 12:11 · Like

Erik Kulick Not all of his policies would be great, but at least he acknowledges the fact that corporations are socialism. The biggest problem with him is he doesn’t seem to have a solution to protect the Americans from that socialism when it gets out of control. Tuesday at 12:21 · Like

Erik Kulick
4 June 2012 via Twitter
  • When #Mormonism teaches it’s followers that certain sins prohibit them from being “worthy”, it makes some feel superior and others worthless
  • Lisa Anne Loynd And you have to pay worldly money to get to the celestial kingdom?? Subject change, I know, but seriously! ‘Tis a bunch of bollocks, especially when the LDS corp is off building 4 billion dollar malls.
  • Allystair Jones I disagree with the word “make” here. Any church will teach doctrine and that some things are right and other wrong. The doctrine does not “make” people feel superior, our evolutionary history that promotes the creation of hierarchy in groups is the main influence behind that “superiority:. As social animals, humans, or hominids, have always created elitism in an attempt to sequester more resources than another. The general doctrine of christianity, and by extension mormonism, teaches to resist those urges to become superior. So, people that try and feel superior to others because they are obeying doctrine are actually sinning themselves. I am not sure why you choose mormonism as your target; perhaps it is because Mr. Rommney is Mormon but trying to paint just mormons in the bad light is a bit short sighted.
  • Lisa Anne Loynd It isn’t short sided if you were raised in it your entire life, just to find out all of it is a fraud. It is actually pretty painful. And if more people would use their intellectualism and some logic, they would also find out the same truths that many of us ex-members have. You have to be brave enough to look behind the curtain, though. The one that they tell you not to look behind. Hmmmm… I wonder why?
  • Allystair Jones As a scientist I question empirical evidence all the time. One thing I have learned in my science education is that someone can have a belief regardless of any and all empirical evidence to the contrary. This means it doesn’t matter what is behind the curtain or how many times people look behind it. Different people will interpret whats behind the curtain in deferent ways based on what they want to believe and not necessarily based on what is actually there. I can delve into evolutionary history and why humans have evolved the ability to lie to ourselves but ill only do that if you are interested
  • David Benston So how exactly does that distinguish Mormonism from any other religion? I hear you can even buy indulgences from the Vatican again. Wonder if they take Amex?
  • Lisa Anne Loynd Type it up and read it yourself, because you are still standing in front of a closed curtain. I would rather know why people lie to others, but in the case of the LDS Church and its history, I already know the answers to that. Sex, control, money, and more money. All tax-exempt. Joseph Smith was a pervert. I would like to know why he thought it was sacred to have so many wives, including the 14 year old Helen Mar Kimbal? And why did the church only tell me about Emma all through church, EFY, seminary, mutual, and Girl’s Camp? Why did the church never tell me about why Joseph Smith was really in Carthage Jail? Why did they hide his translating with his head in a hat? Why did they believe that if people followed the gospel that their skin would become “white and delightsome”? Why is the temple ceremony so much like the Masonic one? Why is the Native American DNA from Asia and not from the Israel? Why does a temple ceremony that is “so perfect” keep changing? Why are animals and grains mentioned in the BofM that have absolutely no archeological history of having been here at that time? I have way more too, but that is just a start.
  • David Benston Again, how does that make them different from the catholic church, or a Ghadaffi pool party?
  • Lisa Anne Loynd They aren’t. This is just what some of us know best, because we were brainwashed into it since birth.
  • Erik Kulick Allystair, let me rephrase: the concept of worthiness is a trigger that sets off the ingrained urge (which can be overcome) to see one’s self as better than others. The Mormons are just better at playing the righteousness card when it comes to guilting and scaring people into refraining from specific behaviors and beliefs. Also, even though I was raised by a Born-Again and Catholic-Mormon mother and a Jewish-Mormonism convert step-father, Mormonism was my main influence, and the religious culture I most understand. There are many things that Mormons and other Christians do in this world, it just doesn’t excuse the bad that comes from the practices no-one bothers to question and challenge, given that hierarchy of well-meaning, but out of touch old men running many of these churches.

    The most damning evidence against the historical accuracy of the Mormon church’s teachings is the Kinderhook plates. That aside, I actually admire a bunch of the things JS and the early leaders did, I just don’t approve of things like marrying 14 year-olds.
  • Erik Kulick It’s kinda hard to fit all that in a Tweet, Allystair
  • Allystair Jones Erik, my mother in law is way better at playing the guilty card than any other church can be. Sorry, she wins hands down
  • Erik Kulick Was she raised Mormon?