Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Seeing the World Through Someone Else's Glasses

This past Sunday there was a scheduled prop 8 protest outside of our church building. Many church members were a little worried and very cautious. It actually turned out to be a peaceful "silent" protest and there were only about 50 people there holding signs. So, even though I was mostly relieved, I have to admit I was a little disappointed too. A friend of ours was working "security" and talked with an ex-mormon protester. The protester said that he was baptized at 21, but when he came out he was excommunicated. He said he had nothing against the church per se, but was fighting for this cause. I can understand the prop H8ers point of view. I don't know if they can understand the other side, though. In a couple of attempts I have made to discuss the issue with H8ers, I have asked some questions but not received any answers. They tell me their point of view and when I ask questions (that are sincere to me) they end the coversation. I have resolved that this is an issue that both sides feel so strongly about that it is pointless and impossible to discuss. I wonder if anyone else has been able to have an enlightening conversation with opposing parties?

7 comments:

KManwill said...

Nope! Even the discussions I had with immediate family members turned out horribly. It seems impossible for people to realize that we are not FOR discrimination.

LisAway said...

Love the title and collage.

I'm glad the protest was peaceful.

Love the song (of course!)

I'll definitely be coming back to read comments here!

Susan said...

I love the collage of those boys. We all have different favorites.

As for the H8ters I haven't actually talked to anyone vocal about it, but luckily I don't have to bring it up with strangers out here on the east coast--yet!

sjw said...

We actually had one lone protester outside our church building in random Logan, UT a couple of weeks ago. They either didn't realize they were in Utah, not California or they were in a time warp since Utah passed a similar proposition 4 years ago...

Katie said...

I did have a conversation with a group of very strong prop 8 supporters that turned out well. It was on-line, with the mothers from my parenting board. We've known each other for 4 years, so there was a lot of respect and good-will built up going into the conversation. I am certain that helped. We also decided that conversations about religion never go well when either side has angry feelings, so we didn't even go there until we could both look at things clearly.

In the end, they learned just how important the concept of marriage is to me, and I learned why they consider this a civil right. The conclusions we came to:

1 - Everyone has a limit on what they consider morally acceptable on a social level - whether it's changing the definition of marriage, or allowing a same-sex couple to marry who happen to be sisters, or allowing public pornography and nudity. We make legal decisions on moral boundaries in many ways.

2 - There is a difference between judging societal norms - which we do contribute to and have a say in - and judging individuals, whom we don't have a say in how they decide to run their lives. So, while I feel obligated to be wise with my stewardship over society, I can love and cherish friendships with individuals who live differently than me.

3 - Intimidation through protest is reactive, not constructive. If this truly is a civil rights issue, then it never should have made it onto the ballot in the first place. The anger is misplaced against the voters. It should be directed (if at all) at those who allowed the decision to come to a vote at all.

It took days to talk through it all and come to these conclusions, and it was very emotional. But it was a great conversation - one that I wish would happen more often.

Katie said...

sorry - prop 8 opponents, not supporters. :)

Anne said...

Katie, it took me a while to figure out your typo! It's amazing that it was such a long process and great that the outcome was good. (And, btw, I'm stealing your idea for child art for you profile pic!)