188-190: The LDS Church, Proposition 8, Cary Crall, BYU, the Daily Universe and Censorship

In this live-streamed interview, we had a few special guests…

We also hosted a live, simultaneous Internet-based chat (which you can watch while listening to the entire interview below).

Thanks to all of you who tuned in!

Comments

comments

36 comments for “188-190: The LDS Church, Proposition 8, Cary Crall, BYU, the Daily Universe and Censorship

  1. September 11, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    See you there!

  2. George Windes
    September 11, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    I can hardly wait. Cary is my new hero (plus we are both Californians). I sent a copy of Mr. Crall’s excellent essay to a best friend in my ward. A retired scientist, one who used critical reasoning skills in his life, I felt he would appreciate the logic of Cary’s argument. Wrong, he told me (to my face) he only read the opening, that any discussion regarding Prop 8 was off limits. Apparently the thinking had been done, and TBM’s were to march to the drummer only. Only apostates would consider following alternate routes up the mountain.

  3. Marni Zollinger
    September 14, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Amazing story. I will certainly be on the pod-cast tonight.

    I knew that the referendum on Prop 8 would have to be challenged ( and would lose the case ) as surely as rocks fall. It was a disastrous legal position for the church to promote, but I am hoping that we all learned from it and that electorate learns along with us that Minority Rights cannot/should not ever be put up to a majority vote. It is a waste of time, money and effort. Besides that, everyone deserves equal standing before the law.

  4. September 14, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    hey guys, I don’t see the number to call? THANKS JOHN for doing this!

  5. Will K
    September 14, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Yet the Church continues to try to control young minds regarding their position. Here’s a link to an article from the BYU
    Daily Uni-FARCE from only two days ago! Unbelievable.

    http://universe.byu.edu/node/10561

  6. Polly Anna
    September 14, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    It’s not letting me listen. I click on the link and it says I do not have permission to listen. Can anyone help?

  7. Jon
    September 14, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I’m having the same problem, Polly.

  8. Polly Anna
    September 14, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    I really would like to listen, does anyone have another link I can use?

  9. September 14, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Oh ok I saw the link — works great for me. Thanks everyone!

  10. jd
    September 14, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    I got the chat to work by going directly to the link (http://www.99chats.com/chat.swf?r=98352&l=www)

    for those who might be having the same problem.

  11. Jon
    September 14, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Do you have to log in to something in order to hear it live?

  12. September 14, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    LOVED IT thanks to all

  13. George Windes
    September 15, 2010 at 2:23 am

    I loved the podcast and thank the panel for all their hard work. I was a little surprised there wasn’t more discussion about the tight corner the church has mopped itself into. Proposition 8 (like blacks/priesthood, polygamy, ERA) will not go away quickly. What a costly mistake for the church, to get involved. Certainly any political ambitions of the same will be MUCH more carefully investigated in the future. I have such hope in the younger generation which is quickly coming to the forefront.

  14. Joe
    September 15, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    When you take a historical look at the LDS Church (from Brigham Young forward), the LDS Church has always seemed to take the wrong stand on important issues of the day. The LDS Church was violently opposed to racial equality (in the church). But that eventually changed. The LDS Church was violently opposed against the ERA. Again, the position of the LDS Church has shifted.

    George, you are absolutely correct. At some point all of the arguments against Gay marriage will be overwhelmingly disproved. And when this day arrives, the LDS Church will have another moment of “revelation”… followed by a new Declaration. It is just too bad that so many people today will have to struggle needlessly for this victory.

  15. Nonny
    September 15, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Great podcast and fascinating venue. What an accomplishment for you, John, and Richard. Like running a three ring circus – host, guests, podcast, callers and chat all simultaneous.

  16. Richard Allen
    September 15, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    Live call along with chat session available at

  17. September 16, 2010 at 12:06 am

    @Will K Re: “Yet the Church continues to try to control young minds regarding their position. Here’s a link to an article from the BYU
    Daily Uni-FARCE from only two days ago! Unbelievable.”

    You don’t know the half of it! My recent facebook post: “You hear what you want to I guess. I was interviewed twice post-Cooper (prop 8 lead attorney’s visit and speech at the law school- see http://bradcarmack.blogspot.com/2010/09/in-re-proposition-8-perry-v.html). Unless my memory switched up the interviews, I remember expressing my opinion that several of his arguments were thin. The Daily Universe quoted me today only as saying: ‘his tradition-based defense is very relevant.’ Gotta love the press.” For another account see http://www.marshallthompson.org/wordpress/?p=419

  18. Bill
    September 17, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Any chance of posting this as a podcast?

  19. OzPoof
    September 21, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Yeah. I was asleep in Australia during this. Please post as a podcast……

  20. Kia
    September 22, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    John,

    I used to be single minded on this issue of gay marriage but have opened my position a little as I have read Morris Thurston’s discussion from a legal standpoint. I have a question which I have never heard discussed.
    Two points, firstly, the Church recognizes civil marriages, 2nd, the church has prohibitions against sexual relations outside of marriage. What will the position of the church be in regards to sexual relations within a gay marriage as gay marriage inevitably become legalized in more states in the future?

    The church upholds and sustains the laws of the land, are they then bound to accept civil gay marriages where it is legalized and if so what will be their view on the sexual relations within those marriages. Will they then have to accept these relations? Up to now the position of the church has been that homosexuals can have those feelings (same sex attraction) but cannot act on them ie. engage in sexual relations, or they are under same condemnation as an unmarried heterosexual individual would be ie. Law of Chastity.

    Interestingly, in a recent article in Salt Lake Tribue, we may have a clue as to the position the church is now taking.
    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/50309838-78/lds-mcmullin-conference-evergreen.html.csp

    It says, “An LDS general authority on Saturday comforted Mormons who are attracted to people of the same sex but want to live by the church’s chastity rules, which bar sexual acts outside of marriage between a man and a woman.”

    Note the line, “outside of marriage between a man and a woman”, used to just be outside bonds of marriage. It may be the Church knows gay marriage is inevitable and is staking out an expanded definition of Law of Chastity

  21. September 22, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Good questions, Kia. To simplify, I think you are asking two main questions: (1) What is the Church required to do if same-sex marriage becomes legal nationwide and (2) What will the Church do?

    As to the first question, the Church clearly will NOT be bound to accept civil gay marriages. The first amendment freedom of religion protects the Church and it will continue to have the right to excommunicate anyone found to have engaged in homosexual conduct, whether or not they are legally married. The Article of Faith about upholding the law of the land wouldn’t apply because the law of the land would not require religions to recognize same sex marriage.

    So what WILL the Church do? I do not see the Church altering its stance so long as the current leaders are in power. Part of my concern about the active role the Church played in Prop 8 was that it would harden and solidify the longstanding antipathy toward gays and lesbians within the Church. I don’t believe that those leaders who led the charge in the Prop 8 battle will step away from their positions during their lifetimes. Your observation that the Church is narrowing the definition of chastity is a good one. Opposition to gay marriages may be what is most remembered by history about this generation of Church leaders. What the next generation will think about it, and do about it, is another matter.

    I do believe the current leaders (at least some of them) fear that gay marriage will become accepted by the majority of people. If it is, many members may see the injustice of permitting heterosexual couples who are married civilly to have full fellowship in the Church while same time excommunicating gay and lesbian couples who are married civilly. That is likely one reason for the “Custer’s last stand” approach in California. The Church would rather not see people leave because of this issue, but at present they’re prepared to accept it as collateral damage.

    Perhaps some day we’ll see an acceptance of devoted same-sex families into the Church on a widespread basis, but I sense it will not be for a long time. That said, however, I am aware of at least one gay member who is in a same-sex marriage and continues to be active in the Church. There have been calls by some to excommunicate him, but so far the Church hasn’t done so. Possibly we’ll see progressive local leaders look the other way in some cases; maybe we’ll have an implicit “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The Church currently discourages bishops and stake presidents from inquiring into the details of married couples’ sex lives. Of course, the Church’s strong opposition to same sex marriage will have the practical effect of driving most married gay and lesbian couples away from the Church, so I doubt this will arise very often in the near future.

    However, I don’t know what will happen in the distant future. We’re all just speculating about that.

  22. September 23, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Cary seems like a very reasonable and scary smart guy. All the best to him. That caller Nicole, on the other hand, was just plain scary.

    But listening to the call from Sadie just made me sad. It was one of the few moments where I felt the panel’s surfeit of Mormon niceness outweighed its abundance of brains to unfortunate effect. Am I the only one who felt like shouting “Your vote is private for a reason!” and “Seeking absolution for how you voted from a call-in show by claiming extenuating circumstances related to your employment ought to be setting off alarm bells!”??

    Otherwise, a terrific discussion, cheers!

  23. Terry Anderson
    September 23, 2010 at 2:48 am

    hi John, that song you play at the end brings me tears every time. I think it says it all. We have to work out for ourselves what brings us nearer to God. I don’t fully understand prop 8, but I like to look at things scientifically, but i don’t hear any of this in the discussion. Nature throws up many aberations. Through scientific research we can determine which of those aberations are harmful, or not, to the progress of our species. I don’t see two Gay and committed individuals living together as harmful. What is the empirical result of allowing those couples to adopt or have IVF children? This study would require a well thought out, controlled statistical approach. My gut feeling is that there would be some measurable differences in chilren raised by gay couples as opposed to heterosexual couples, all other things being equal. I’m not saying good, or bad, just different. We would then have to define whether the difference was a positive or negative value measured against objective numbers. I think the prophet sees it one way. I’m all for pacticing GBLT’s being allowed full membership in the church. This could result in a ward having a gay bishop, or the church having a gay prophet, BUT i’m not convinced that there is no downside to GBLT’s raising children. It appears to me as a contradiction to allow individuals with a congenital predisposition that disallows children, to then facilitate a means that allows them to raise children. I think that after millions of years of evolution, nature figured it out that it’s best for these people not to breed. i’m talking scientifically here and it will sound heartless to a gay person who wants a child. Before everyone jumps down my throat, I confess I have a gay daughter who has given me a grand daughter. I love them dearly. What I believe is that my daughter got married for the wrong reasons. She was being the good Mormon girl rahter than following her true nature. I want the church to change so that she is welcomed back.

  24. September 23, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Terry makes an interesting point about the paucity of scientific data. I’m not a scientist, but it occurs to me that it would be extremely difficult to do a meaningful study because of the enormous variables that affect how children turn out—things like the socio-economic status of the family, education level of the parents, whether the marriage is a happy one, whether the family is religious and, if so, what religion they practice, etc. One thing we do know: Heterosexual parents are fully capable of giving birth to gay and lesbian children.

    We wouldn’t dream of denying African American parents the opportunity to raise children just because, statistically speaking, they are more likely to drop out of school or commit crimes. Likewise, we wouldn’t dream of denying redneck parents the right to raise children just because they might teach them racist ideas. We wouldn’t dream of denying a single heterosexual mother the opportunity of raising her child just because statistics allegedly show that children raised in two-parent households fare best.

    The fact is that there are more than 50,000 children in California today being raised in households with gay or lesbian parents. Notwithstanding the campaign rhetoric, even now, after Prop 8 has passed, it is still legal for same sex couples to adopt (indeed, it is against the law for state adoption agencies to discriminate against parents just because they are gay or lesbian). That isn’t going to change no matter the outcome of the current litigation. So the question we as believing Mormons should ask ourselves is this: Would these children be better off with the Restored Gospel in their homes? Could they benefit by attending Primary and Young Men/Young Women meetings? And how likely is it that they will do so if we continue to excommunicate their parents?

  25. OzPoof
    September 23, 2010 at 11:05 am

    This series of podcasts were incredible to listen to. I honestly felt like I could be listening to a group of people from East Germany prior to the fall of the wall discussing issues of freedom.

    There is a real sense of anxiety I get from Cary, which is sad and confusing considering what he stands for. The “honour code” is a misnomer. What is honourable in remaining silent as a campaign of LIES (listed in “Six Consequences…if Proposition 8 Fails” and repeated from many pulpits in the US I’m sure) is masqueraded as truth?

    Does BYU and the LDS church feel it is honourable to mislead people in order to make them believe what you believe? Is it honourable to punish those who will not lie for the cause?

    Hearing these podcasts I can’t believe this type of oppression happens in the US. While Canada and other countries might have hate speech laws that Americans view as anti-freedom, there would never be such institutionalised fear and oppression tolerated in the rest of the First World.

    Surely BYU can’t operate outside the US constitution!?!?!

  26. OzPoof
    September 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I need to say something about Nicole, the young woman caller who voted for Prop8 because she felt she should support her church leaders. Laura said she admired her integrity, and for standing for what she believes in, but she wasn’t standing for what she believed in at all. said she has many gay friends and couldn’t see any problem with them having the same right to marry who they love. THAT’S what she believed in. She voted against her personal beliefs. She voted for what she believes a man who is in direct communication with God told her to vote for.

    I’m sorry if anyone is offended, but Nicole acted like a cult member would act. She even said she would be willing to die for the religion. The people who voted for Prop8 purely because of what the prophet told them ignored their own conscience, experience, knowledge and personal revelation from God if you believe in that. I really can’t see a God demanding such unthinking, blind obedience.

    Nicole finally said that if the LDS church decided that gay marriage was OK, she would vote for it. This young woman is being controlled by a cult, plain and simple. She even admits to voting against her conscience for a proposition that will hurt her best friends.

    People like this would vote for the return of slavery if the prophet said to. Outrageous!

  27. September 23, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    I have to agree with OzPoof in that allowing a religion to take away your individual judgment like Nicole did is scary. As a father I’d be horrified to learn that my children did this.

    You have a whole community waiting around, afraid to make a moral choice until they get the thumbs up from a man. Almost all the current apologetic for the church is spent on explaining why something that a prophet of that past said is wrong…and why that just doesn’t matter.

    How hard is it to make the connection that the prophet(s) of the present can be wrong too?

    What you end up with is a bunch of people without a moral compass. Oh, they have moral standards up the wazoo, but in gray areas and with ideas that haven’t been presented in nice clean pamphlets they are lost.

    Blind following like this has done more harm in human history than any 2 guys in bed on their wedding night.

  28. Daniel Parkinson
    September 23, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    In support of Cary when he wonders if religious conviction should be imposed on non believers, I want to remind people that this is actually common-place, especially in countries with Islamic governments. In Saudi Arabia non-believing and believing women alike must cover their heads and can not operate a car. In Egypt they killed all of the pigs in the country supposedly for health reasons during the swine-flu epidemic, but really as a way to persecute Christians and appeal to Islamic Fundamentalist sentiments. In Iran homosexuals are executed along with women accused of adultery. They call it sharia. Following these religious laws in these countries is not a matter of conscience..it is a matter of the law enforcement. In the USA we have separation of church and state (supposedly) which implies that we shouldn’t use religion as a justification of denying a minority equal rights, opportunities and protection….not even 2000 years of judeo/christian religious tradition.

  29. Terry Anderson
    September 23, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    I find the attacks on Nicole extremely shallow. As someone pointed out during the podcast, there are times when we listen to the experts who know the nuances of a situation, whether it be scientific, medical, economic, or even moral and respect their opinions. This very discussion and the complete lack of a scientific approach shows that most people are working at an emotional level. I respect Nicole for putting her faith on the line and in a sense stepping outside the emotional. If that offends anti-religious bigots, then that’s scary. The whole of biblical history is strewn with people who disregarded the prophets. Can we know if the prophet is wrong? We must each answer that one for ourselves. Time will tell, but I look forward to someone doing the study on the 50,000 children being raised by gay parents in California. There’s got to be a PhD waiting there for someone. Morris raised a good point about the lack of social control we practice in permitting anyone from any class to produce and/or raise children. Could we extrapolate that to show a correlation with the current set of societal indicators? This is such a complex issue, so let’s hear all the sides and study all the data. In the end we deserve the society we get. I wholeheartedly endorse what Morris said about allowing GBLT’s to access the gospel. I had a discussion with my 26 and 24 year old, church active children last weekend. I was promoting gay rights to them. They could see the merits, so let’s hope that the young ones of today will influence the position we take in the future.

  30. September 24, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Mormon Times publishes a frank editorial: censorship is bad for the soul

    http://www.mormontimes.com/article/17337/McKay-Coppins-The-case-against-Mormon-censorship

  31. Gail F. Bartholomew
    September 24, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Thank you all for this pod cast.

    Most Mormons believe the condemnation of homosexuality is clearly preached from the scriptures. And you can easily assume that from reading a few isolated scriptures. But I believe it is very important to understand what a poor argument the Scriptures make for that condemnation. I only know of one other example of a church teaching that is or was not well supported by either scripture or revelation is the restriction on blacks from the priesthood the temple endowment.

    Look at what support there is for the condemnation of homosexuality. There is nothing on homosexuality in the Ten Commandments, the teachings of Jesus, the Book of Mormon, DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS, or in any modern day revelation. Lets look at the three places that people use to justify it.

    In the bible there is only two places where you can find the condemnation to homosexuality. First place is Leviticus. When I read Leviticus the only thing I find that the church teaches as doctrine is a few quotations one to the Ten Commandments is the condemnation of homosexuality. So we disregard everything else but the condemnation of homosexuality. The only other place is Paul. Paul also tells us that we can serve God better by staying single and the only reason to get married is if you can’t keep your pants on.

    The thing the church uses to justify their homophobia is the Proclamation. Which is not a revelation, but even if it was it says nothing against homosexuality or gay marriage.

    The church has decided to fight against specific families with first of all no doctrinal support, and secondly using disinformation. It is great that specific members will take accountability like Nicole and say I am voting this way because the prophet told me to, but the church does not. They gave reason after reason all of which came from the six consequences.

    I also believe if as a member you have decided to vote against gay marriage because the prophet said so the need to be asking themselves some important questions. What would I do if the prophet advocated it. For example. Brigham Young said “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the whit man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.” He said things like this many times. This is not just a one time thing. So if you lived in this time what would you be willing to do for the prophets view that are based on cultural prejudice. Prophets have through out time made mistakes based on cultural prejudice. If you are choosing to do some thing based strictly on what the prophet says you need to ask are you willing to hurt people based on it, because Prop 8 hurts real people and real families.

  32. September 30, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    This was a phenomenal interview/discussion. THANK YOU.

    My reason for writing in was this… I noticed on a reaction in a website to Cary Crall’s editorial that included these sentiments: “What does he know, he’s only a 21 yr old college student.” I found this surprising. You don’t respect his maturity, intelligence, or insight on this issue, but, you are willing to send him, and thousands of others like him on missions here and abroad. You will subject non-Mormons to his immaturity and ignorance, hoping they will convert, but you will not allow him to post an articulate editorial in a public forum.

  33. Wendy
    October 18, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Is it against the law I’m catholic, my daughter wanted to be baptized mormon and was. For a Nieghbor (A MAN) to ask my 12 year old daughter if she has ever been touched under her bathing suit? My daughter ignored his question and then she was called into the Bishops office a week later and asked by the Bishop (who said this was usually a PRIVATE INTERVIEW) I told him you WILL NOT HAVE A PRIVATE INTERVIEW with my 12 year old daughter so she can become a young women.

    He asked alot of questions, but the one that sent out of the office crying and running home was from the MALE BISHOP “Has anyone every touched you beneth your bathing suit! I stood up and almost Kicked him in the SACKS!

    Is this Against the law for a grown man to ask of a 12 year old girl!

    First of all my daughter and son had been molested the year before, by a 10 year old little girl (someone obviously showed her how to do the things she did to my children) and My husband & I told our kids that this was something they should never talk about with anyone except us, a Police man or a doctor.

    Where the Hell does this man think he has the right to ask a 12 year old little girl this question, and Why. Because I am the only one in the Neighborhood that is NOT MORMON and I come from RENO?

    Would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this one!

  34. Mistercurie
    April 17, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Cary Crall from the podcast was recently profiled in the Advocate, just thought you would like to know. http://advocate.com/printArticle.aspx?id=195997

  35. JeremiahA
    November 18, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Thank you for this “open forum” style podcast. The format was very refreshing and lively.

    Now I could be wrong but it seemed that Mr. Crall, Mr. Thurston, and Ms. Compton were endorsing the view that one could be entitled to their religious beliefs in the Mormon faith but this is as far as the entitlement reaches, i.e. one’s religious beliefs should not enter the public square. In other words, one can believe something is true, but should not act as if it were true. I found this troubling. It would be like asking someone to go into their dark living room and not switch on the lights, since while they may believe that the lights will come on, they should not act as if the lights will work.

    Also, the comments on not imposing one’s religious beliefs on non-believers seemed to ignore that Mormons hold to an objective moral standard that marriage is good while same-sex marriage activists hold to a moral standard that same-sex marriage is good. These activists do not hesitate to impose their morality, so why is it wrong for Mormons to do so?

    I was also confused as to why some Mormons lost their faith over Prop. 8 and left their church. I do not know about the Book of Mormon but the Bible is clear on the standard of marriage, and Mormons seem to endorse the same standard. I mean, is Jesus no longer the Christ because Prop. 8 passed? Is the Bible no longer authoritative?

    One last point was that there was also some equivocation about the word “family.” In the context of marriage, “family” has a certain meaning. However, the podcast’s participants used this word when speaking of cohabiting heterosexuals and cohabiting homosexuals.

    Thank you again for this podcast.

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