Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My past (and future) comments on sexual identity

From time to time, I have made comments on these pages regarding homosexuality and marriage. I occasionally get comments about how intolerant I am. Please let me [hopefully] clarify my opinions on the matter.

My moral values have their roots in my religious upbringing and in the values of my parents. I am satisfied that God views sexual relations outside of marriage as sinful. I am satisfied that Biblical marriage is between a man and a woman. That is the stand that most Bible-based churches (including the LDS Church) have taken. I believe that private organizations such as churches should be free to define their own standards of conduct and membership -- even if that stand is not politically correct. My personal experiences convince me that the people chosen to lead the Church are divinely inspired. How can anyone dare challenge a church to change its divinely-guided stand on anything for their own convenience? Does not doing so defy God himself?

I accept that other people have some form of different lifestyle from mine. Their choices do not change the fact that we are all sons and daughters of God and everyone deserves love and respect at least because of that divine status. In fact, He has commanded us to "love thy neighbour as thyself." That commandment allows no exceptions for characteristics such as sexual identity, race, marital status, ethnicity, politics, economic status, etc.

The fact that a person adheres to the concepts of Biblical marriage and keeping sexual relations within the bonds of marriage should not necessarily be taken as a personal attack on those who have other values. Sadly such differences have resulted in unnecessary but serious conflict between people of differing values.

All that said, I believe that government should not interfere with consenting adults defining their own relationships, including marriage. (I must, however, draw the line at infringing the rights of others. For example, I oppose marriage between adults and children.)

I am opposed to the use of government, including public schools, to impose the will of one group of people on, or indoctrinate, others. Marriage law does exactly that.

I am opposed to governments banning businesses because politicians don't like the religious beliefs and practices of the owner or management.

I understand that some people aren't happy in the traditional man-woman form of marriage. I believe that the choice of companions, including marriage, should be what it traditionally was -- a family and religious event -- not another form of government regulation and taxation.

We all have differing opinions on everything. We all can learn from those differences, if they're not infused with emotion. I hope I can be at least as accepting of your opinions as you are of mine.

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