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Author Topic: LDS church declares SSM couples apostates and their children banned from attending
kmbboots
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Fine. What nuances of theology do you think it is necessary for me to know?
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Pete at Home
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"One doesn't have to know everything to know what you just said . How does being aware of the importance of gender roles"

what I said did not refer to the "importance of gender ROLES" and that characterization feels like complete mockery of something I feel deeply and struggle to underatand. I believe that you simply do not understand, but they are the same words which TomD and apostate exmormons and others use intentionally to lampoon and mock my beliefs, so I am sensitized. I am giving yo0u the benefit of the doubt when I say, Kate, you really dont understand the issue here, and some of the sweeping statements you have made are galling.

If anything I have said about Catholicism bugs you, I'd be happy to hear specifics from you, and sources. you bring lots of good sources to the table. that's something I appreciate about you.

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kmbboots
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So it is the word "roles" that you find problematic? Do you imagine that I am using it in some sort of theatrical way?

[ November 09, 2015, 10:08 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Fine. What nuances of theology do you think it is necessary for me to know?

That sources we regard as a hair's breath from canonical proclaim that oue gender IDENTITY (not role) is eternal, and that there is a mother in heaven whose approval we seek along with the father's to reenter heaven. (reenter because our spirits came from her in heaven).

"In the heavens are parents single, no the thought makes reason stare,
Truth is reason, truth eternal, tells me I've a mother there
when I leave this frail existence, when I lay this mortal by
Father Mother may I meet you in your royal courts on high,
When at length when I've accomplished all you've sent mr forth to do,
With your mutual approbation, let me come and dwell with you."

(Words of Eliza R Snow, confirmed by the Prophet Joseph Smith to be inspired and true)
Some mormon conservatives treat it as smug and pat doctrine that mother in heaven's role is relegated to bearing spirit after spirit, and there sre even some folks that tell this revolting concept that father in heaven keeps knowledge of her from us to "protect" her name from blasphemy from her own kids. [Frown] but that's about as doctrine as the crap that Catholic Answers forum used to spout about Jesuits until the current Pope came in. [Smile] (if you check the dates you will see that was about the time I was looking into taking RSCIA classes or whatever that's called [Smile]

What we have isnt a thrology but a few obscure but fascinating teasing facts and a whole lot of speculation. And temple ceremonies. But there I go with we again and I am not one of them.

If you meant roles like father and mother, then I apologize. Tom goads me with crap like eternal housecleaning and subordination of the female. Which doesnt fit the spirit of ":h my Father" nor o


More later. Gotta run. Gonna talk to my lover [Smile]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
So it is the word "roles" that you find problematic?

Good question.

To me, "roles" suggest that we have some fixed correct idea what a man's role or a woman's role is in a fixed immortal sense. As best I can tell, men and women have different strengths that may suit them for one division of roles in one set of circumstances, and another division of roles during another facts set, while in yet another fact set, there might be no difference in the roles of father and mother ... All might be shared. Roles should be negotiable, and adapt to circumstances.

"Ro you imagine that I am using it in some sort of theatrical way?'

No. My objection is the specificdenotation of the word roles, as I understand it.

"Daddya job is to go to work and get money" is a gender role. Daddy has a deeper voice than mommy describes a sex trait.

[ November 10, 2015, 09:55 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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kmbboots
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This time last week, Alyssa Paquette’s twelve-year-old stepson was preparing to be ordained to the priesthood in the LDS Church. Now that has all changed. On November 5, the Church confirmed a new policy that forbids baby blessings, baptisms, and priesthood ordinations for minor children who reside at least part of the time in a home where a parent is in a same-sex marriage. The sadness has been palpable. After a crushing weekend spent trying to understand what the Church’s new policy means for him, the boy* is crestfallen.
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scifibum
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There are a lot of those families. A lot of them reached the agreement that children from a previous marriage, where one of the parents is now in a same sex relationship, would be raised in the LDS church.

It's quite predictable:

If you are a gay LDS member who married someone of the opposite sex because you believed it was the right thing to do (because your church told you it was the right thing to do), it stands to reason that when you reach the point that you can't sustain it any longer, you will choose the exit path that appears most gentle to your loved ones: let them continue with their lives as much as possible. You may no longer believe that the church is correct about homosexuality and gay marriage, but you recognize that breaking up the family because of your orientation is traumatic, and you don't want to add to the trauma by actively challenging the faith of your family members. You do find some happiness in your new relationships, and eventually you marry or live with someone who loves you.

So you suck it up, and you attend the primary programs and the baptisms and the ordinances that you are allowed to attend. You cringe at the things they are taught about you, you weep when you can't attend the temple weddings, but you grin and bear it because it seems like the best way to be supportive to this family you created and later divided.

And then the church throws a wrench into it. However willing you were to swallow your own feelings and preferences for the sake of your children, they now have an additional and huge reason to resent your existence. You are the reason they can't get baptized, or pass the sacrament, or participate in home teaching.

Or if you dodge that bullet, the kid doesn't blame you, but still can't do those things, and when he or she is sitting them out, they will get glances and whispers. To the extent they believe that baptism and confirmation literally lead to blessings, they will believe that their life is less blessed because of their gay parent.

It's really difficult to believe the church is trying to protect those kids, since this is the most common scenario where the policy even freaking applies.

[ November 10, 2015, 07:09 PM: Message edited by: scifibum ]

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Pete at Home
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Just posting that I am not ignoring this new line of argument. Havent yet followed the links but the stuff posted in the last post by scifi and the previous by Kate, moves me and I dont have any answers that satisfy me. Other than I appreciate and am more persuaded this line of citing specific stories and not misrepresenting LDS doctrine and practice when making valid criticism.
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scifibum
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Thanks for that, Pete.

I'm an atheist and my stepson is attending church with his bio-dad and stepmom. I'm living out a partial form of that story that I told up above - I'm doing my best to stay out of the way of his happiness, despite the fact that I disagree with the church and wouldn't choose to raise him in it if it were my decision. Attending his baptism was a profound and beautiful experience, even though I was privately disapproving, because ALL of his family came together in support of something that he wanted to do.

It would be devastating to him, and to me, if my apostasy, as the church sees it, blocked his access to church rituals and offices.

[ November 10, 2015, 07:48 PM: Message edited by: scifibum ]

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kmbboots
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LGBTQ advocates see spike in suicide calls after announcement of LDS policy change, officials say
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Pete at Home
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I misread that as a sppike in actual suicides when I first read the thread and literally ran back to bed and put my head under my pillow.

Thank God they have someone to call

SciFi, I think that what has happened here is that some church leaders, acting in an attempted sense of fairness, have drawn an analogy to plig apostates. While church action there is likewise tragic, there is solid reason for applying it to a group of cults whose practice of kidnapping, brainwashing and outright murder verges on the satanic. It seems to me that ssm does NOT share the specific traits that require the heavy handed policy that is regrettably but IMO justifiably applicable to pligs.

In short, I think the policy will change. In the mean time thank God there are other support structures for those families. I raised welfare and other points earlier specifically to dispute earlier sweeping and erroneous statements made IIRC by others, not you. Thanks for recognising that I am not arguing to justify application of the plig policy to kids of ssm families.

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Pyrtolin
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If you have the time to listen (I may have posted this elsewhere here before) this addresses a related situation occurring in the wake of the PCUSA adjusting its language on marriage in a way that allowed congregations that wanted to to recognize and conduct same sex marriages. The reaction from those opposed isn't as severe as the LDS reaction but I think it addresses the general feeling of schism pretty well.

https://soundcloud.com/kate-davoli/stolen-blessings-kad

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Pete at Home
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To my knowledge the LDS church is the only church in the country that's had a declaration of war again st it by the US government, a SCOTUS ruling supporting its people and lands being seized, over it's distinct definition of marriage. So there's a little institutional sensitivity and suspicion. Give them some time and space to come to veliece that government jackboots arent going to be stomping through the slc temple again, and I think folks will come to see lds ssm couples as neighbors rather than cultural turncoats.

But I do weep for those kids in the mean time. I think the church will lose some good and decent people over this.

Note that there is no language adressing parents of gay adults allowing the gay couple to live with them. This strikes me as a decision made in a hurry by few people without a whole lot of thinking about ramifications.

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scifibum
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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.

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scifibum
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In the same vein, elevating SSM to apostasy is a sleight of hand.

The Proclamation on the Family has never been made canon, yet the claims therein would seem to be the main basis for treating members who engage in SSM as apostates.

So: don't bother claiming revelation and obtaining common consent, but go ahead and treat disobedience to those instructions as apostasy...

The current leadership doesn't seem to understand how they are supposed to do things.

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Pyrtolin
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It's an understandable reaction, even if improper. They're standing in the path of a significant social shift that represents an effective subversion of their sense of how things are supposed to work. It's a desperate attempt to try and claw back a sense of comfort and normalcy, even if their fears blind them to just how hurtful they're being.

In an ideal world it wouldn't have happened, but in the real world, it's the expected outcome and people just need to be ready to step in and provide support for those who need it until the fear fades and they're ready to reconcile.

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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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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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