The LDS Church should get out of politics, especially the modern American culture war

The Church’s support for the Respect for Marriage Act shows the confusion religion and politics make

(Rick Bowmer | AP Photo) In this January 3, 2018 photo, the statue of the angel Moroni silhouetted against the sky sits atop the Salt Lake Temple in Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

My wife tells me that necklaces thrown in a jewelry box are one of the hardest messes to untangle. Many garages house a box full of bungee cords or tie downs that have a hard time parting with a spawning ball of snakes.

While The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ support for the forthcoming Congressional Respect for Marriage Act is a muddled mess, their support is easy to unravel and explain.

The LDS Church’s strategy since 2008 has been clear: oppose same-sex marriage and support “gay rights.”

The LDS Church, my church, has supported gay rights ever since they opposed same-sex marriage during Proposition 8 in California. That support soon rolled into the Salt Lake City Council Chamber, and similar nondiscrimination legislation proliferated in Utah communities over the next few years—none of which would have happened without the blessing of the LDS Church.

Despite years of cautious silence on a statewide nondiscrimination law, in 2015 it developed and then fully embraced what it called the “Utah Compromise,” codifying the legal discrimination of its new allies.

To further demonstrate itself as a sensitive gay ally, it invented an LDS idea of ​​”same-sex attraction” from scratch. A cousin theory to “born this way,” the non-doctrinal concept served to soothe the anxiety of concerned Latter-day Saint parents and their confused children, but in doing so posed a cruel enigma for these struggling children: if God created would have me like that, why is my church condemning me for this behavior?

The LDS Church opposes same-sex marriage, but supports every right for homosexuals that logically leads to same-sex marriage. They conspire with gay activists in Utah to finally pass a statewide non-discrimination law while ensuring legal discrimination against the same gay community by exempting the church from its regulations. Then they invent “same-sex attraction” while condemning those who fall under their spell.

Similar incongruities now plague his strident defense of religious liberty. Religious freedom is the driving concern and legacy of LDS Church President Dallin H. Oaks, a friend and leader whom I both love and admire. None of this muddle would exist without the guiding hand of Oaks and, in all fairness to him, even more without the extremely poor advice of politically inexperienced attorneys inside and outside the Church.

These unenlightened legal advisors who convinced LDS Church leaders to aggressively prosecute legal discrimination within the unjust state of Utah and local nondiscrimination ordinances, now expanded into the Respect for Marriage Act, are the same attorneys who the LDS Church lost legal strategy presented to them by Judge Anthony Kennedy in the Obergefell ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

The LDS Church’s support for gay rights was intended to demonstrate their love for gays before a Supreme Court judge seeking to punish anti-gay animus. Her attorneys naively ignored the fact that opposition to same-sex marriage is an animus, in the eyes of Judge Kennedy himself. “Oh! what a tangled web we weave when we first practice deception.”

Likewise, this now well-known piece is designed to protect the LDS Church and its followers from threats to religious freedom. The play continues to be delusional madness. While the Respect for Marriage Act ensures enforcement of same-sex marriages across the country, it also creates a false flag in the name of freedom of religion. Yes, Latter-day Saint services such as B. Temple marriages are protected. But religious services were never attacked. This false flag was spun out of thin air.

Does anyone really think that national gay rights organizations would tolerate legal provisions against themselves in the Respect for Marriage Act unless they feared a conservative Supreme Court would overthrow Obergefell? A legitimate concern. But here’s what isn’t a reasonable concern: If the overthrow of Obergefell is indeed a realistic possibility, why would the LDS Church work so hard to nationally codify same-sex marriage (which it has opposed) and religious freedom for all jeopardize (which she supported). ) in the Respect of Marriage Act?

Everything that has touched the LDS Church politically in this culture war is a tangled mess and producing the very opposite of the desired outcome. Again and again it has tried to serve the Lord without offending the devil. Please, for the sake of our loyal followers, get out of politics, especially the modern American culture clash. Preach sound doctrine as found in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, and let true believers, both in faith and in citizenship, govern ourselves.

Paul Mero, After years of politics in Utah as longtime president of the Sutherland Institute, he now lives in Las Vegas and is writing a book about how the social conservatives lost the modern American culture war.

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