Episode 87: The October 7th 2010 LDS Protest

35 comments on “Episode 87: The October 7th 2010 LDS Protest”

  1. Pingback: Main Street Plaza » 4,500 protesters encircle Temple Square

  2. G Reiersen Reply

    One of the sad things about Elder Packer is that he probably does not admit even to himself that his comments constitute hate speech or that he is a bigot. I imagine that he is probably outraged that anyone would perceive him as a bigot or in any way irrational based on his speech. In Sunday’s speech he seemed very nearly as extreme and hateful as Reverand Phelps of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church. I wonder how long it will take the Church to change its tune if it should turn out that the number of members they lose because of such a harsh, ignorant and unforgiving stance exceeds the number of new converts.

    • Froggie Reply

      Is this my friend Gunnar?! Hi Gunnar! (Froggie waves big green hugs in your western direction)

    • G Reiersen Reply

      I probably was a bit too hyperbolic when I compared BKP with Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, but I still find it dismaying that he still so ignorantly believes that homosexuality is a merely a product of conscious, deliberate choice or some kind of disorder or addiction that can be “cured”, despite the conspicuous failure of the LDS treatment programs designed to cure it and the overwhelming scientific evidence that gender preference is something innate that is almost impossible to change. That he continues to think that is, to me, another powerful evidence of the unreliability of faith in divine revelation, scripture study and prayer as means of discerning truth.

  3. Patrick Reply

    Alright John! You got to use your portable equipment! I bet you were like a kid in a candy store.

    • James Reply

      Really nice work, John. Glad you were out here for this. And congrats on your new job. We work with a couple SW development shops in AF so perhaps I will run into you sometime in a professional setting.

  4. Swearing Elder Reply

    “Blood is thicker than doctrine” — best line!!! Loved it!!!

    John – I think you must have been inspired to get that portable equipment a few weeks ago. 😉

    This was great — wish I could have been there.

  5. Steve Reply

    Great podcast! I’m so glad you were able to interview people at the protest. It is hard for me to stay in the church when I think that my membership may come across as a de facto acceptance of the BKP perspective. I guess we members need to be more vocal – even at church – if we disagree with our organization’s rhetoric about homosexuality.

  6. Nate Reply

    I heard several people mention that prop 8 was the last straw for them and the mormon church and it caused them to leave. I also know personally some people that were the same way.

    Does anyone know whether there is any statistic out there that measures the impact that the prop 8 fiasco had on the church’s own membership? I wonder if they got only a trickle of resignations or a flood …

    • third_nephite Reply

      Of course, the more accurate statistics on that are the ones we’ll never know. My guess is that most people that this didn’t sit well with simply went inactive. The ones that properly resigned are more likely to be those that already had other issues with the church.

  7. Nate Reply

    I have to say that the uproar over the talk actually surprises me because Packer’s language in this talk is so tame compared to the way they talked about homosexuality years ago.

    Does anyone remember that pamphlet put out by Packer that we all had to read in priesthood as deacons where he told the story of a missionary being physically violent to his gay companion, and suggested that it was the right thing to do!

    And remember President Kimball’s language in “the miracle of forgiveness” about homosexuality? Talk about inflammatory. I don’t remember exactly what it says but I remeber it being waaaaay harsher than Packer’s talk.

    It’s a great sign that the mere suggestion that someone chooses to be gay causes such an uproar. This type of talk is definitely the last gasp of a dying generation and I am excited that I can be a witness to this huge change in attitude over such a short amount of time.

    We are almost there! Thanks for the support from all you allies. It is so touching that so many straight people were there sticking up for us.

  8. Sister Secret Reply

    Thank you for being there and documenting this. Even if the church won’t listen it’s important that you were all there. Great podcast as always!

  9. Glenn Reply

    This was a great idea, John, and very well executed. I know that Mormon Expression isn’t as big as that other less-physically-attractive John-boy’s podcast (you know, the guy who debated Shawn McCraney), but I loved hearing you give an outlet to the many voices at the rally (even those lame-attempt-at-humor anti-anti-alcohol ‘tards). It makes me proud to be a part of what you do here, John. Very cool. Well done, thou good and faithless servant.

  10. Jake Reply

    The original wording from BKP’s talk:

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

    The revised wording in the printed version:

    “Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn temptations toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Remember, God is our Heavenly Father.”

    I believe the deleted portion (“Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?”) is the real key to understanding BKP’s and other LDS leaders’ fears over homosexuality. Mormons aspire to become like God, where their power and dominion will come through populating new worlds with spirit children they create through an eternity of heterosexual sex. To admit that a sizable percentage of the population is born incapable of following this path calls the whole theology into question. My guess is that this dilemma is something the church leadership would prefer the members not think too much about.

    • G Reiersen Reply

      James, I hadn’t thought about it in quite that way before, but I am sure you are right about that. OTOH, I don’t why they should feel that way, considering that even at best, (if my impressions of what I have gleaned from Sunday School and Priesthood classes is correct) only a relatively small minority of even those who are LDS will actually make it into the highest degree of the Celestial kingdom and have the opportunity to have eternal increase anyway.

    • G Reiersen Reply

      Jake, about your comment: “My guess is that this dilemma is something the church leadership would prefer the members not think too much about”

      It has long been obvious to me that there are an awful lot of hard, embarrassing realities that the church leadership would prefer the members not think too much about.

  11. DH Reply

    I loved the PFLAG mom, she was great. PFLAG is such a great org. Everywhere I go I meet such strong PFLAG members! These parents know the strength of The Family to love and support. God bless them. Also I’m so glad that this protest took place. My jaw hit the floor when I heard Packer’s speech, and I was waiting for the blogernacle blow up over it, but there was nothing. Glad you guys did this episode.

  12. Gail F. Bartholomew Reply

    Not only does BKP not admit to himself that this talk is hate speech all of us that speak against what he says is evidence to the religious persecution referenced in Saturday’s session. Elder Oaks has said several times the past year that the fight for same sex marriage is a legal attack on the church’s right of freedom of religion.

    This talk represents a huge step backwards for the Church and BKP. This is a significant change in church theology on Homosexuality.

    In 1990 BKP said in conference said that homosexual members may never loose their temptation for the same sex their whole life. In my opinion implying that change may not be possible. 1995 Oaks stated that their was no sin in the feelings of homosexuality. For the past 20 years there have been many statements in conference and by the first presidency backing away from the stand that homosexuality is changeable. They say things time and time again that we do not know what causes it and our only issue is with behavior. This is the first time in over 20 years that one of the 12 or the 3 have said anything that would imply that homosexuality is a choice or could be changed.

    There are two very ironic things about the church’s stand on homosexuality. One the two sources in the scriptures they can point to that condemn homosexuality the brothern contradict on most other points. Two is when I read the Proclamation, the document they wrote to bake their stand on homosexuality and same sex marriage, carefully there is nothing said against homosexuality or same sex marriage in the document.

    It saddens me that there is so much the church has the power to do without changing their doctrinal stand on homosexual behavior that could show love to their homosexual members and combate their suicides, yet instead they choose to use their massive power to make the experience for gay members even more unhealthy and unbearable.

    Congratulation Elder Packer on your step closer to the dark ages.

  13. Pingback: Main Street Plaza » Sunday in Outer Blogness: Damage control Edition!

  14. David Reply

    Hate the sin, love the sinner.

    So, I hate rape, but I love rapists. Hate bigotry, but love bigots. Boyd KKK, I love you man.

    Where for the love of Christ is his love of Christ? And he is supposed to be a “Special Witness” of Christ? No, he is a special witness to hate, bigotry, ignorance and the effect the cosmic boogie can have on the self-righteousness of a common man.

  15. Fred Reply

    Here’s my take on this (from a post on Answerbag):

    “I’ve examined both sides of this controversy and, frankly, think that the negative reaction to Boyd K. Packer’s comments were over the top. However, I also think that Packer’s comments were insensitive, harsh, and best kept in the “private personal opinion” folder rather than being being aired publicly.

    But on the other hand, is anyone really surprised that Boyd K. Packer is an intolerant, bigot who’s utterly consumed by LdS Church dogma and is fanatically (and IMO psychotically) convinced that his personal opinions and personal agendas spring directly from the mind of his god and not himself?

    I’m not.

    Is there any doubt left that Packer will abuse his power, position, and authority every opportunity that he gets?

    Not in my mind.

    Is there any hope left that Packer might maybe, just maybe realize that people are more important than things and the truth can hurt, wound, and destroy as well as free?

    Probably not.

    Therefore, I think that the protester’s hope that he will tone down his rhetoric are idealistic and naive.

    And for those with ears to hear please consider one of my favorite quotes:

    “Truth without love is too hard, love without truth is too soft.”
    — James Spencer”

    Read more: Did Mormon Leader Boyd K. Packer’s Oct 2010 General Conference comments about homosexuality deserve the public crys of protest against it? | Answerbag http://www.answerbag.com/a_view/9752927#ixzz12AIy7jBX

  16. MJL Reply

    You let that woman get away with saying that 10% of the population is gay? To accuse the Church of being ignorant towards homosexuals is fair enough but it doesn’t help the gay friendly forces when they make equally ignorant statements.

    Question: If sexuality is innate then are you prepared to extend the same compassion and understanding towards those afflicted with pedophilia?

    • Anonymous Reply

      I think most readers have skipped your comment, finding it unworthy of a response. Aside from the immense insult you have just given gays and gay sympathizers (comparing them with pedophiles) you seem very uneducated about homosexuality. As for an accurate (or at least scholarly) representation of real figures (what present of the population are homosexuals) see this page: http://www.avert.org/gay-people.htmNotable quotes:* How many people we estimate are homosexual depends on how we define homosexuality.* Many more people experience sexual feelings for someone of the same sex than report recent sexual experience with someone of the same sex.* Because homosexuality is stigmatised it is more likely to be under than over reported.It appears that the “10%” figure may represent people who have at one time had a homosexual experience, as opposed to those who identify themselves as exclusively gay (meaning only attracted to their same gender) which seem to be around 4 or 5 percent.

      • MJL Reply

        The 10% figure is a myth propagated by the controversial (and seemingly discredited) Kinsey reports on human sexuality. There is little basis for accepting it.

        More reliable figures put the number around 2% of the populace. U.S. and Canadian census reports are almost similar in this regard suggesting that 2% may indeed be the international average. If we include your bullet points then at most we can assume the number may by 4% and possibly 5% but not higher.

        I assume no one bothered to answer my question because it is too uncomfortable and may reveal hypocrisies. And still no one has. If sexuality is innate then pedophiles deserve the same compassion and understanding that homosexuals demand if we are to apply our principles equally. The reality is we don’t.

        The Church has drawn a line in the sand when it comes to the sexual conduct of its members. That line starts and stops at heterosexuality. Homosexual advocates want to push the line further so that it encompasses them but excludes others like pedophilia and for good reason. Indeed, the gay community has gone to great lengths to distance themselves from groups like NAMBLA.

        It’s a matter of where one wishes to draw the line. That being the case then who are gay and lesbian advocates to criticize the Church for doing that which they do to pedophilia? That is if sexuality is innate. To criticize the Church for doing that which you do yourself is hypocritical.

  17. Fred Reply

    I’m now hearing rumors that some TBMs are trying to stir up a counter rally in support of Boyd “Pitbull for the Lord” Packer.

    Truth or fiction?

  18. Fred W. Anson Reply

    Your blog couldn’t help but remind me of this 1846 daguerreotype of Nauvoo: 

    What I see here is a bright, shiny, new, gleaming lavish temple high on a hill funded by the tithes and offerings of an impoverished membership living in squalor.

    And lest anyone think me too harsh (or guilty of presentism) in my assessment please consider this first hand account from 1843 in which an outsider, Charlotte Haven (whose cousins were Mormon), wrote some letters from Nauvoo which contain some candid observations about the place. And remember these observations were made when Nauvoo was at it’s peak!

    “At eleven o’clock we came in full sight of the City of the Saints, and were charmed with the view. We were five miles from it, and from our point of vision it seemed to be situated on a high hill, and to have a dense population; but on our approach and while passing slowly through the principal streets, we thought that our vision had been magnified, or distance lent enchantment, for such a collection of miserable houses and hovels I could not have believed existed in one place. Oh, I thought, how much real poverty must dwell here! 
    (Overland Monthly, December 1890, p.617; http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/moajrnl/ahj1472.2-16.096/623:9?page=root;rgn=full+text;size=100;view=image ; bolding added for emphasis) 

    “A few days ago I visited the celebrated Mormon temple, which is situated on the summit of the bluffs facing the west, and commands a view of the whole city, the river for several miles, and an extensive view in the State of Iowa. This temple is a large edifice of white limestone, a hundred and thirty feet in length by eighty-nine in breadth, with walls two feet thick. The style of architecture is unlike any other upon earth, having its origin with Joseph Smith, professed by him to have been revealed by divine revelation. The building is surrounded by thirty-two pilasters, each resting upon an inverted crescent, and in bas relief is another crescent, on the inner curve of which is carved the pro file of a human face made to represent the new moon. Upon the cap of each pilaster there is to be a round face and two hands, holding and blowing a trumpet, to represent the sun. The temple is to be lighted with four rows of windows, two of which will be arched and two round alternately; but we can hardly form an idea of what its appearance will be when finished, for they have now only reached the first tier of windows. The Mormons look upon this undertaking as equal to the building of Solomon’s Temple, and the day of its completion is far distant. The basement is divided into three halls and two smaller rooms; the central hall contains the celebrated baptismal font, which is a large stone reservoir, surrounded by a carved wooden railing and supported upon the backs of twelve oxen, beautifully carved in wood and standing knee deep in water; these oxen are to be overlaid with pure gold. Pumps are attached to the font to supply it with water when necessary. The temple, together with several other buildings in the city, is built by tithes, every Mormon being obliged to give either labor or produce (the latter being sold near the temple) and Joseph Smith holds in trust everything that is given.”
    (Overland Monthly, December 1890, p.620; http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/moajrnl/ahj1472.2-16.096/626:9?page=root;rgn=full+text;size=100;view=image

    So Eric, what you encountered is nothing new.  IMO, Mormon teaching regarding tithes and offerings has always been legalistic and oppressive. It seems that member needs have always been subordinated to the needs (and/or wants) of the institution.

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