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Author Topic: LDS church declares SSM couples apostates and their children banned from attending
scifibum
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Well, as I mentioned earlier, I think they've painted themselves into a corner, so I tend to agree with you. Still, they apparently aren't even getting/taking any good advice on the topic, which is disappointing.
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Pete at Home
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"In the same vein, elevating SSM to apostasy is a sleight of hand"

No. It's the closest available analogy.

The proc has never been made canon, and neither has the ban on polygamy. Both the proc and the plig ban represent the unanimous voice of the living prophet and apostles, opposition to which is opposition to the church. Canonicity simply affects the endurance of a rule or doctrine. The plig ban could be rescinded. So be careful who you vote for on that issue.

For the moment both represent the voice of the church, opposition to which is. ... Apostasy.

Unanimity of 15 people is a much stricter standard than the 5/9 vote that twerked federal marriage into its present form.

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scifibum
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Yeah, I might be conflating canon and doctrine.
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Pete at Home
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Policy is probably the best word we have. For example if I got up in Testemony meeting and and from the pulpit offered a prayer to Mother in Heaven, I'd be considered apostate, even though there is no canon agqinst it, and the sole authority against it is President Hinkley's speech saying that he knew of no precedent for such prayer and would not recommend it unless and until revelation makes it clearly ok. I'd call this theory, authorized noncannonical doctrine or simply borrow an equivalent legal term, authority.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
The idea that a Who Can Get Baptized decision went out as a policy change without even being announced in General Conference, let alone subjected to common consent is disturbing even aside from the effects of the rule.

If these are saving ordinances, then who gets to have them is an enormous decision.

Hmm, Hadnt thought of that. Wonder if there was something submitted to CC regarding pligs.
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Pete at Home
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Odd. Thing is afaik the priesthood ban was never submitted to cc either, but rescinding it was.
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scifibum
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The first presidency has issued a clarification.

https://www.lds.org/pages/church-handbook-changes?lang=eng

quote:
The provisions of Handbook 1, Section 16.13, that restrict priesthood ordinances for minors, apply only to those children whose primary residence is with a couple living in a same-gender marriage or similar relationship. As always, local leaders may request further guidance in particular instances when they have questions.
Why do they insist on presenting this as if it was always their intent? The language of the policy was clear, and it was not written to apply only to children whose "primary residence" (whatever that means) is with a same sex couple.

They are reacting to the outcry and changing the policy while pretending that they are not changing the policy. This is dishonest.

quote:
When a child living with such a same-gender couple has already been baptized and is actively participating in the Church, provisions of Section 16.13 do not require that his or her membership activities or priesthood privileges be curtailed or that further ordinances be withheld. Decisions about any future ordinances for such children should be made by local leaders with their prime consideration being the preparation and best interests of the child.
Again, changing the policy without admitting to changing it.

quote:
All children are to be treated with utmost respect and love. They are welcome to attend Church meetings and participate in Church activities. All children may receive priesthood blessings of healing and spiritual guidance.
Welcoming these children to attend is contrary to their initial justification for the policy, which was to prevent confusion and conflicts between church teachings and what is taught in the home. They haven't retracted that justification.

The policy still stinks, and is harmful, although they've reduced its reach. It's adding insult to injury that they refuse to admit error.

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scifibum
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The newsroom commentary really ramps up the dishonesty:
http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/commentary-understanding-the-handbook

quote:
ecause the letter was an instructional document to leadership throughout the world, and not a Church-wide announcement through LDS.org or through Church Public Affairs, there was no additional information or context on the usual Church websites. That prompted questions from many Church members, who were mostly reading media headlines portraying the instructions as a rejection of children and refusal to name babies. Members understandably had specific questions about how the announced change might affect their loved ones.

The episode demonstrates clearly the dangers of drawing conclusions based on incomplete news reports, tweets and Facebook posts without necessary context and accurate information. The Church quickly responded to many of those concerns with a video interview with Elder D. Todd Christofferson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. By the end of the weekend, that interview had been viewed by millions.

This is unmitigated bull****. The reaction was to the text of the policy, and Christofferson's interview did nothing to clarify the policy or mitigate the outrage.

They are telling church members "do not look behind the curtain."

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scifibum
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The policy still encourage straight parents to attempt to withhold custody from gay exes. It still drives a wedge between children and their gay parents.
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Pete at Home
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So, you are assuming that the policy as earlier written reflected the wishes of the united leadership. I take it you have never worked in a consensus organization, or been asked to write something for a group of leaders who don't realize to what degree they disagree.
.

[ November 14, 2015, 07:05 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Pete at Home
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"The language of the policy was clear, and it was not written to apply only to children whose "primary residence" (whatever that means) is with a same sex couple"

I disagree. That was one of my questions reading the ambiguous original. Whether "living with" meant primary residence or visitation as well.

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
So, you are assuming that the policy as earlier written reflected the wishes of the united leadership. I take it you have never worked in a consensus organization, or been asked to write something for a group of leaders who don't realize to what degree they disagree.
.

If the church issued a policy whose literal effects weren't intentional, or they learned something in the meantime that changed their intention, then the honest thing to do is say "oops, that was a mistake and we are sorry." (It is also the best way to retain your pissed off customers - this is a lesson that many of their corporate peers have learned already.)

Instead, they are attempting to gaslight the people who got mad, and say "if you only had waited and trusted, you'd have seen that this wasn't what you thought it was".

Bureaucracy and forced consensus can lead to mangled policies, yes. But the text that made it into the manual wasn't ambiguous enough to have been meant to represent the "clarified" intent, even allowing for some of that.

Furthermore, they had plenty of time between the leak and Christofferson's interview to notice if the policy's text was accidentally misleading, and address that at the time. Certain specific pernicious effects that were later ruled out were immediately identified by critics. Yet Christofferson, after more than 24 hours, defended the policy as written. He seemed to think the only misunderstanding was whether it was a good policy or a bad one. The "clarification" (policy change) came a week later.

So it's obvious: they changed their intent, and are pretending that they didn't, and (through the newsroom) they are chastising their critics for jumping the gun.

Why? Either they are deluded and arrogant, and really don't think that they can learn anything about how to do their jobs from their spiritual inferiors, and are denying even to themselves that they changed their minds or didn't think it through...or they are deliberately trying to discourage church members from criticizing them, no matter how badly they screw up, by trying to convince them that their activism had no effect.

Am I missing another possibility?

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
"The language of the policy was clear, and it was not written to apply only to children whose "primary residence" (whatever that means) is with a same sex couple"

I disagree. That was one of my questions reading the ambiguous original. Whether "living with" meant primary residence or visitation as well.

That was only mentioned in the rules for appeal. That ambiguity didn't exist in this section:

quote:
A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not receive a name and a blessing.

A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may be baptized and confirmed, ordained, or recommended for missionary service only as follows


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Pete at Home
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Ambiguous as to whether it applies to children who simply have part time visitation.

Read up on the rules of construction.

I agree that the rules sound unambiguous to someone ignorant of rules of construction. Hence the church protest that the rules were not meant to be read by untrained laymen.

Anyone with an educated eye for this sort of thing sees the "natural or adopted language and recognizes there is an obvious gap as to whether only primary households are involved.

My guess is that someone without legal training drafted this using legal language as a model, or that they used plug policy language as a model where split partial custody cases are really not a significant issue.

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scifibum
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That's not a satisfying explanation, given the missed opportunity for clarification when Christofferson and the newsroom made their initial responses. Those objecting immediately outlined various scenarios involving divorce and custody arrangements; none of them were specifically addressed or distinguished from each other, by the church, in that first week.

I believe the church leaders had two real aims with this policy. 1) Avoid even the limited recognition of those relationships that would occur if same sex legal parents both signed consent forms, and 2) Avoid normalization of same sex relationships among church members.

The original policy, on its face, accomplishes both aims nicely.

They got caught unprepared to answer for how it affects children in various scenarios. They had to come up with an explanation for the policy that sounded better than "we're trying to limit normalization of same sex relationships with connections to the church [because of the dangerous truth that same sex relationships can be happy and healthy, and part of happy and healthy families, which is quite contrary to our doctrine]".

If the policy was motivated, as they claim, by concern for the children, in order to protect them from conflicting messages, this would have looked different.

quote:
My guess is that someone without legal training drafted this using legal language as a model, or that they used [polygamy] policy language as a model where split partial custody cases are really not a significant issue.
Remember the aim of the polygamy policy. It wasn't to protect the children of polygamists from difficult circumstances. It was to distance those people from the church.

[ November 16, 2015, 03:30 PM: Message edited by: scifibum ]

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Pete at Home
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Of course it doesn't satisfy. If you had ever been the designated writer for a consensus organization you would not expect a satisfactory answer to the nonsensical question or what the ORGANIZATION intended.

If you were conversant in reading of rules, laws, agreements you would not have argued the text was "clear.". Your very word "clear" shows you don't know what you should have been looking for. To those that know how to read that stuff the operative word is UNAMBIGUOUS. The handbook was ambiguous with regard to non primary physical custody.

If you care to understand run a search on "rules of construction." I have explained this stuff on ornery before.

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Pete at Home
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"Remember the aim of the plig policy". Yeah, that's my point. That's why it's the wrong analogy, even though it makes a superficial sense. Bureaucracies tend to forget the why of things.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:

[QUOTE]A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not receive a name and a blessing.

A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may be baptized and confirmed, ordained, or recommended for missionary service only as follows


If you read those rules as a freaking literal fundamentalist, NATURAL PARENT would apply even if the child was conceived from a sperm or egg donor who lived In a same sex relationship. But let's not be obtuse. Obviously that's not what it meant.
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scifibum
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quote:
Hence the church protest that the rules were not meant to be read by untrained laymen.
Pete, since when do LDS bishops get the same training as judges? I see no reason to think they'd apply rules of construction in the way you seem to be saying they would. The manual IS their training.

"You all didn't understand this" is just gaslighting, Pete. If there was significant misunderstanding, the church would have addressed it right away, instead of focusing their initial explanation on their tender intentions.

quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
"Remember the aim of the plig policy". Yeah, that's my point. That's why it's the wrong analogy, even though it makes a superficial sense. Bureaucracies tend to forget the why of things.

Please restate your point, because I think you've lost the thread.

MY points are:

1. The church issued a policy that would have caused harms that they didn't think about or didn't care about as much as they cared about what they were trying to achieve.

2. The justifications offered by the church were disingenuous, in a way that can't be blamed on bureaucracy. (If the apostle spokesperson who defends the policy offers the justification, it's not because of the corporate telephone game.)

3. The church is pretending that their clarifications (changes) weren't offered because of the backlash, even going so far as to chide people for jumping the gun. There is no motive for this that reflects well on them.

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Pete at Home
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You don't need law school to learn the rules of construction. 10 minutes and a little honest effort would suffice. Don't know if Bishops are trained in them.

you aren't reading what I said and the argument has turned from shared concern for same sex couples and their families to a rather shallow and meaningless argument about how much egg is on the church's face. So I am not inclined to repeat myself as your other questions are already asked and answered abovabove and my thumb hurts from typing on a cell. I'm not the church PR dude, just a friendly EX. Call me if you seriously don't understand why I think this last phase of the argument is a tempest in a tcup. It is just not worth spraining my thumb over.

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Pete at Home
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#3 annoys me, since I dressed it at the onset of the discussion. Page one iirc

[ November 17, 2015, 09:04 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Pete at Home
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I would say rather that the backlash was originally formed because of an ambiguity in a church manual that any thinking soul should have suspected the church would remedy, and this "backlash" was simply an attempt to gain credit for what would have happened anyway as thinking Bishops and stake presidents read the rules and asked the church for clarification. Perhaps not all think. Perhaps not all know rules of construction. While I appreciate Me Gore's enthusiasm and initiative, I suspect the Internet would have been invented without him.

[ November 17, 2015, 09:03 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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scifibum
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Pete, how could you have addressed #3 on page 1, since I'm talking about a news release that came out on Nov 13?

I even pasted part of it and linked to it above.

quote:
you aren't reading what I said and the argument has turned from shared concern for same sex couples and their families to a rather shallow and meaningless argument about how much egg is on the church's face.
No, I'm not doing this, and I am reading what you said. I'm restating my points because your responses aren't on point. I'm hoping to convince you that you're wrong about these leaders and their motives. Their so called love toward gay people bears nothing but rotten fruit, and this series of events is an example of how little they weigh the well being of LGBT members and their family members against their other priorities. I am happy to chalk this up to their elderly inflexibility, but that doesn't mitigate the harm.

This stuff matters. And the more creative volunteer apologetics they get, the longer the damage will continue.

You haven't shown that you understand my points, and you appear to be fixated on a legal theory that makes this series of events a PR mistake instead of a show of careless bigotry.

I don't think you have answered this: why do they continue to invite people who are excluded from ordinances to attend meetings? How does this square with their proferred intent to prevent putting those minors in a position where church teachings conflict with teachings at home?

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scifibum
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Feel free to respond from a library or after your thumbs heal, Pete, if you need my permission.
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scifibum
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By the way, how are you simultaneously mocking the idea that there was an intent behind the policy and still advocating for a constructive reading? Whose intent are they supposed to construe?
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seekingprometheus
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While I can understand why a lawyer might try to appeal to the rules of construction in this case, I'm not convinced it fully applies.

Here's a couple of excerpts from the legal-dictionary definition that seems relevant:
quote:
The judge examines the circumstances surrounding the provision, laws, other writings, verbal agreements dealing with the same subject matter, and the probable purpose of the unclear phrase in order to conclude the proper meaning of such words...

...If a statute is so ambiguous that a judge cannot make a reasonable construction of its disputed provisions, and a reasonable person could not determine from reading it what the law orders or prohibits, it is void for vagueness because it violates the guarantee of Due Process of Law.

First, the principle itself doesn't really apply to church policy, as the issue of whether it violates Due Process of Law--and can thus be voided for for vagueness for due process reasoning--doesn't apply to church policy.

Like you said, it's probably not a lawyer drawing up church policy--precisely because church policy isn't subject to the same standards as are legislature or legally binding contracts.

Secondly, the wording of the policy doesn't seem so ambiguous that a reasonable person can't see the plain English meaning:
quote:
A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not (yada yada)...

...until...

...The child is of legal age and does not live with a parent who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship or marriage.

In other words, even if the policy were subject to Due Process stipulations, and even if you were able to take (hypothetically legally binding text) before the court and convince the Judge that there might be some ambiguity in the question of whether a child living with a parent in a SSM (etc) is constructively identical to a child living part time with a parent in a SSM, the Judge would read through the rest of the initial policy and note the plain English where it says the child can't (yada yada) until they are "not living with a parent in a same sex marriage," and rule against voiding the plain English meaning based on your constructively ambiguous reasoning argument.

It's not really ambiguous in the first clause: "living with A parent," is pretty plain English, and the exception clause clears up any potential ambiguity. It's not "until they're living less than 50% of the time with a parent in a SSM" or somesuch, it's "until they're not living with A parent in a SSM."

It's still the tack a good lawyer is gonna take, but it's a losing tack...

It's not really a "clarification." It's a change.

[ November 17, 2015, 11:56 PM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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Pete at Home
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I am not mocking the idea that there was an intent behind the policy.

I am (as a former tech writer who ghost wrote policy stuff for 4,different tech companies in the 1990s) mocking the ludicrous assumption that the first published writing issued to leaders only represented the consensus or even the tentative agreement of the leaders.

The reason that RULES OF CONSTRUCTION even exist in the first place is precisely because organizational writing tends to screw up in precisely this way.

Like I said, if you care to actually get it in detail, you have my phone, or you can search the archives for when I explained rules of construction in a non church context.

I don't assume all or even most church leaders know the rules of construction. As already addressed in this post and twice before on this thread.

I have labored to avoid becoming the church apologist for this forum. The fact that active Mormons in good standing don't frequent this site anymore is not my doing and I cannot and will not fill that gap. Please don't push me into a position / which I neither belong nor aspire to. Even when I was a good Mormon I never did the or thing.

[ November 17, 2015, 11:56 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Pete at Home
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As for "good lawyer" -- cheap shot. Saying my opponent is a better lawyer and therefore not to be trusted is literally the oldest cheapest dirty lawyer trick in the book. See Korax v Tisias, circa 500 BCE, the oldest known court record.
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seekingprometheus
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quote:
As for "good lawyer" -- cheap shot. Saying my opponent is a better lawyer and therefore not to be trusted
[LOL]

I didn't say you weren't to be trusted--I just implied that you're a good lawyer. As in, someone capable of finding the strongest argument to try to advocate for a client, even if it's a losing case.

It was intended as a sincere compliment.

[Smile]

And nobody (except maybe you) is putting you in the role of church apologist, bud. People are criticizing the church, and you seem to be jumping in to defend the church against such criticisms. If it stresses you out, or you feel thrust into such a position when people respond to your posts on the topic, I suggest you avoid posting on the issue.

I certainly don't expect you to have to adopt such a position, and wouldn't judge you whatsoever for not involving yourself in the matter.

I'm pretty sure scifi would feel the same.

[ November 18, 2015, 12:10 AM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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Pete at Home
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It's a change from less clear to more clear. On that reasonable and informed persons cannot disagree.

From my experience writing for groups, I will also state my informed opinion (happy to discuss my basis verbally) that it is also a change from a writing reviewed by no leaders or few leaders, to a writing reviewed by a greater number of leaders.

I doubt that any significant organization, religious or non, would respond more openly. Organizations that are more open with their internal workings generally don't issue written policies and press statements.

Please try not to confuse public relations and "lawyering" again in my company. LaWyering has a checkered history but at least it isn't PR.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Feel free to respond from a library or after your thumbs heal, Pete, if you need my permission.

Thanks. I will. Please remember I have been shamed and harassed for writing imperfectly from my phone, though not by you.

..let's see if the voice on this thinglet's see if the voice on this thing works.

Naw. Al would have another fit.

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Pete at Home
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I appreciate that,so

if you haven't noticed, I tend towards defense wherever I perceive a potentially unfair accusation. The Ornery archive will show this was my disposition on this forum even before I conceived of going to law school.

Just yesterday I took to defending Sa'eed (with whom I had just strongly disagreed, then defended you from some of Sa'eed's attacks. As the thread continued I played defense to multiple sides of a thread that evolved into a Mexican standoff. Neither you nor Sa'eed nor anyone else on that thread solicited encouraged or to my knowledge appreciated my selective defense and you are right that it is stressful, but this is my reflexive response to scrutinize accusations, and not only those against the church.

Apologies to you and sci-fi if I confused attribution above. This is partly cell phone and partly low testosterone-induced short term memory farts.

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seekingprometheus
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quote:
Please try not to confuse public relations and "lawyering" again in my company. LaWyering has a checkered history but at least it isn't PR.
[LOL]

I'm not sure that I did this (I first claimed constructive reasoning didn't apply to church policy, and then I presented an argument about how I thought the argument might go in a hypothetically legal setting, mostly out of interest) but in any case, I can't say that I disagree with one part of your value system:

Shysters > Flacks.

But I'd be careful bandying about your writing creds, because, in my book (writes a writer):

Flacks > Hacks.

[Wink]

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Pete at Home
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SciFi can I answer how it "squares" without being read as agreeing with the policy?

Need I remind you I am myself banned from all ordinances and church leadership while still welcomed to come to church? Do you really need me to explain why I regard being welcomed there as a positive?

Can you consider the possibility that I interpret these church utterances and evolving policy through the lens of my own experience as an XMo who wants to come back while you see it through the lens of your personal experience?

As for nothing but rotten fruit, do you know something I don't know about the gay rights legislation the church supported in all, or the new policy including gay scouts but not scout leaders, where the church support was supportive? Did the doc legislation somehow "rot"?

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
By the way, how are you simultaneously mocking the idea that there was an intent behind the policy and still advocating for a constructive reading? Whose intent are they supposed to construe?

Rules of construction are based on the assumption that we follow the clear unambiguous and reasonable intent of the writers.

Any divorced parent who sees his kids less than half of the week knows that whether he "lives",with his kids is not a yes/no question. Or is answered differently in different contexts.

The policy writer here was specific enough to say natural or adopted parent. The policy should have dealt separately with kids with primary custody s visitation. Why didn't it? Because the policy was probably hastily ported over from plug families where visitation is not an issue, and because the writer probably is not divorced.

Most kids who have a parent in a same sex relationship probably have some sort of custody arrangement. So it seems obvious to me that failure to specifically dress that issue was an oversight by the writer. So yes, the change can probably accurately be called a clarification. It may have been a clarification of an original group intent, or it may have been a more specific policy decided on when leaders had it clarified to them what the situation was that their rules applied to. I doubt very much that anyone ever intended to apply the restriction to kids who lived with mom and only visited on the weekend with dad and dad's husband.

As for restriction in ordinances, the affected kids can take the sacrament, participate in scouts and say prayers in church, so they are less excluded from church than I am as an exec member. And please believe me when I say the crappiest thing about my situation is going to church and having to say no when the deacon brings me the sacrament tray. At least the kids are spared that.

How does it fit that they can go to church but don't have as much of a conflict with church teachings s what they see at home? Because listening to those talks as a nonmember without callings feels different in my experience. Feels more like what AA says, take what you need and leave the rest. Without the underlying baptismal covenant there is no sense of obligation to agree. That's my experience with attending church as a nonmember. I do see some validity to the reasoning that there would be less conflict with how they are being raised.

[ November 19, 2015, 12:23 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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scifibum
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Pete, after cooling off, I would say that you're right that the clarifications are a sideshow and not that important. Because the clarified policy is still almost as harmful as it was before, and if anything the pressure to limit the presence and influence of gay parents on their own children is in sharper relief.

quote:
How does it fit that they can go to church but don't have as much of a conflict with church teachings s what they see at home? Because listening to those talks as a nonmember without callings feels different in my experience. Feels more like what AA says, take what you need and leave the rest. Without the underlying baptismal covenant there is no sense of obligation to agree. That's my experience with attending church as a nonmember. I do see some validity to the reasoning that there would be less conflict with how they are being raised.
Well, that's a pretty good effort at an explanation of how it might square, but I respectfully submit that a child or adolescent is usually incapable of a nuanced relationship to the kinds of monumental but simplified truth claims and associated consequences that are taught to children at church. It's possible the brightest ones will pick up more nuance listening in general meetings, but most won't. I was a bright kid, and I got the simplified messages.

In reality, the more likely effect is that such children will either:

1) Reject all of it, because the way the church guides children is heavily dependent on rehearsing what should happen and then offering praise when it does happen. Children sing about getting baptized and going on a mission from an early age, and from the examples I've seen, each milestone from baptism on is met with enormous helpings of beaming approbation. This cycle of rehearsal and approval may be key for some (I'd guess most) kids, so being on the outside of that dynamic will cause it to lose its appeal to some of them. This is the more likely situation if the kids have a support system that remains mostly intact if they reject the church, in my opinion. I think this is a small group: without a motivated LDS support system they likely wouldn't be there in the first place.*

2) Accept what they hear at church, and feel ashamed that they aren't allowed to do the same things as their peers, feel fear at their lack of the benefits of the ordinances that they hear about (not saved, no Holy Ghost to protect them). And that difficult experience you mentioned about not being allowed to partake of the sacrament? It will be similar for the boys whose friends (who they mostly know to be not really all that upstanding) are allowed to pass it, and praised for it, and get assigned home teaching partners, etc. If they endure all that shame for long enough, they will eventually get to play catch up, but only if they promise that they think their parents are terrible sinners. [Frown] This is the bigger group, because either their gay parents want them to be there**, or they have an extended family that makes it happen. Opting out as a child in this kind of family is not a realistic option.

[*I'm not sure how it will shake out with my step son. Our household will be supportive if he rejects the church, and our side of the extended family is already tolerant and steady with the non-participation of my kids. But there will likely be consequences from his bio-dad's family.]

[**Being a gay Mormon is tough, and I've heard from them various attitudes toward the church. Some believe it's the one true church but wrong about homosexuality - these people vary from romantically isolated to technically celibate to married, but all are waiting for things to change. Some of them have always been immersed in Utah LDS culture and whether it's true or not, it's the only pattern and system they know for raising children. Some of them would prefer to keep their kids away but give in to pressure from extended family. I can relate to this. Long after I stopped believing, I let my infant children receive the name&blessing thing, not because I thought it was important but because I hadn't figured out how to tell the extended family that I was against it. Perhaps that indicates a lack of courage, but the culture is overwhelming and I forgive myself for taking a long time to figure out my relationship to it. ]

quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Feel free to respond from a library or after your thumbs heal, Pete, if you need my permission.

Thanks. I will. Please remember I have been shamed and harassed for writing imperfectly from my phone, though not by you.

..let's see if the voice on this thinglet's see if the voice on this thing works.

Naw. Al would have another fit.

Well, I'm certain I've at least teased you about that kind of thing. I've been on the edge of objecting to your recent instances of wanting to participate in the discussion but only if others bring you the facts you request; the constraints on your participation really shouldn't be anyone else's problem.

But:

quote:
Originally posted by seekingprometheus:
And nobody (except maybe you) is putting you in the role of church apologist, bud. People are criticizing the church, and you seem to be jumping in to defend the church against such criticisms. If it stresses you out, or you feel thrust into such a position when people respond to your posts on the topic, I suggest you avoid posting on the issue.

I certainly don't expect you to have to adopt such a position, and wouldn't judge you whatsoever for not involving yourself in the matter.

I'm pretty sure scifi would feel the same.

Yes, I feel the same. There's certainly more to discuss if you want to take that side, but if you don't feel like it, feel free to drop out.

quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:

As for nothing but rotten fruit, do you know something I don't know about the gay rights legislation the church supported in all, or the new policy including gay scouts but not scout leaders, where the church support was supportive? Did the doc legislation somehow "rot"?

This is a good question and I have praised the church in the past for taking the correct side on certain non-discrimination ordinances. They've moved in the right direction in the past couple of decades on their attitude toward what sexual orientation is, as well. And less frequently recommend damaging ideas like "marry the opposite sex anyway, it'll be fine."

I still think they do more harm than good to gay people, but it's not ALL bad, or as bad as it can be.

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Pete at Home
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"How does it fit that they can go to church but don't have as much of a conflict with church teachings s what they see at home? Because listening to those talks as a nonmember without callings feels different in my experience. Feels more like what AA says, take what you need and leave the rest. Without the underlying baptismal covenant there is no sense of obligation to agree. That's my experience with attending church as a nonmember. I do see some validity to the reasoning that there would be less conflict with how they are being raised"

I don't think either of us can speak for less intelligent kids since neither of us has ever been one, Scifi. I can say that as a kid I did attend other churches and experienced their messages much more critically than I processed those I heard in the church I was baptised into. I submit that being offended by what is said in a church is, from my own experience, less painful than feeling judged and condemned by a group one felt like they belonged to.

The issue is really whether the church is to remain true to its core beliefs re spiritual identity and eternity (beliefs that were NOT formed with intent to exclude gays!) or change these core beliefs to avoid hurting feelings. I applaud what I see as their good faith effort to take a middle course, and hope God will inspire a better policy when we have ears to hear.

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Pete at Home
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"This is a good question and I have praised the church in the past for taking the correct side on certain non-discrimination ordinances. They've moved in the right direction in the past couple of decades on their attitude toward what sexual orientation is, as well. And less frequently recommend damaging ideas like "marry the opposite sex anyway, it'll be fine."

I appreciate the restraint in your assessment. I will take it a step further: my LDS General Conference Search shows that it has been four decades since any church leader used the hateful and spiritually erroneous phrase "sin of Sodom",to reference consensual homosexuality.

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Pete at Home
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"There's certainly more to discuss if you want to take that side, but if you don't feel like it, feel free to drop out. "

I defend the LDS church against unfair unreasonable and demonstrably false accusations for the same reason I defend anyone, including folks on this forum I don't even like, against the same sort of accusations.

Some accusations against the church I actually agree with. Some (like when you said the church does gays more harm than good) I disagree with but don't find them "unfair unreasonable and domonsrably false." So I don't argue the point. So not dropping out, but rather I am only taking up certain arguments in the first place.

Once I actually take up an argument I very rarely set it down unless someone persuades me or threaten to kill a hostage unless I shut up [Smile]

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Pete at Home
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"
Well, I'm certain I've at least teased you about that kind of thing. "

I have enough of a sense of humor to distinguish teasing from shaming.

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