Saturday, October 18, 2008

The freedom to vote as we choose.

My nephew recently moved to California for graduate school and posted a blog about the gay marriage proposition that is on the ballot this fall and the Church meetings he has recently attended. His post encouraged me to write my own.

I have been struggling with the idea that Church leaders are telling members of their congregation to send money and call people to vote a specific way in an election. I can appreciate when they tell members to get involved in the political process and to exercise their right to vote, but I have a hard time with them telling people how to cast their vote. I believe the voting process is personal and, dare I say, sacred.

Every time politics is brought up in a Church meeting it feels awkward to me. I can look around and see other people who believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ as I do, but we have vastly different opinions when it comes to political issues. Opinions, opinions, opinions - some informed, some ill-informed, some wacko, some clueless, some hurtful, some silent, and some inspired.

The argument is that this proposition is a moral issue and the LDS Church leaders have a responsibility to speak out against gay marriage. If so, fine, they can preach doctrine and whatever else they desire, but then leave it up to the people to decide. I would prefer they tell them to study the issue and vote according to their conscience.

My issue in this post is not about whether gay marriage is right or wrong, but rather it is about the voting process. Yes, people still have the right to step into the voting booth and make their own choice, so perhaps this is a moot argument. Nevertheless, it still bothers me.

As for gay marriage....well, I am a sociologist.


Bryce said...

This is Angeles speaking. Yes Katy, I'm with you. I felt very uneasy when my bishop gave me the assigment to be the coordinator for our ward to find people who would volunteer to make the phone calls. I just found another coordinator to do the job for me.(that was his sugestion) I felt the church was getting involved in politics this time and I didn't like it. So when you are a leader and your leader gives an assingment like this and you don't feel confortable doing it, what do you do? You bite your tong and you do it.

the narrator said...

When I first read your post, I forgot this was your blog and thought - wow I also just went to California for grad school. I'm an idiot.

Just be glad you aren't out here. I've been lucky that my Bishop feels this should be a personal matter and has made sure that it has been left out of sacrament meetings and kept to a minimal in other meetings, except when the Stake is forcing it.

What is frustrating me even more is how the Church is allowing (and sometimes doing it themselves) misinformation and flat out lies to be used as reasons to actively support Prop 8. My stake presidency decided to visit every Elders, High Priest, and Relief Society meetings to spread news bits of misinformation, lies, speculation, and borderline-hate. I felt totally sick and cold and had to walk out before I spoke up.

Only one more week left. I am so looking forward to this being over.