Monday, February 23, 2009

Playing the God Card

Salt Lake Tribune columnist Paul Rolly had some interesting commentary today. He was quoting a letter written to the Utah legislature by the president of the Eagle Forum ( conservative/LDS lobbying group in Utah).

The Eagle Forum president was concerned about the various gay rights legislation coming up, so she wrote the following to remind the predominately LDS (Mormon) legislature where they should be standing:

"We have never seen a time when the homosexual community has been as aggressive and as committed to an objective as they are now," ...

"Every seat not taken by us in the committee room will be filled by those supporting these radical homosexual bills,"...

"I would like to share some scriptures in the (LDS) Doctrine and Covenants that have great meaning and comfort to me. In section 101 verses 86-95, the Lord gives us some lobbying instructions, starting with local government and working our way up through the state and federal government. We are told after we importune at the feet of our elected officials and they heed not (a righteous message) the Lord will arise and come forth and vex the nation and in His time will cut off those wicked, unfaithful, and unjust stewards, and appoint them their portion among hypocrites, and unbelievers. He also mentions outer darkness, weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth." ...


Underlying message? Fail to vote the way we want and GOD IS GOING TO GET YOU!!

This is a very effective means of controlling many who take their religion seriously (not too dissimilar from how Ben Kenobi directed the minds of the stormtroopers near Mos Eisley).

So did the Eagle Forum president pull the God card because she is Mormon? No, I believe she did it because it was easy; and because she "knows" she is right. Why waste time on reason, persuasion, understanding, or... gulp... compromise - when you can pull the God card. It ends discussion and saves time.

My beliefs regularly get called into question because there is very little that I would be an absolutist about. I don't spend much time with rhetoric about absolute "Truth".

Why?

Because the end of that road leads to Ms. Eagle Forum president. You lose empathy, and your conscience no longer pricks when you try to strong arm people into accepting your view. Forcing someone into your worldview is for their good after all.

I was sharing at a bible study once that I was desiring to navigate a balance in instructing my children about God. I want to educate them about my faith, but I do not want to indoctrinate them. One of my friends said in a confused, but firm, voice "What is wrong with indoctrinating them if you know you are right?"

Notice where absolutism leads? Why bother reasoning with my children, persuading them, living my faith in a way that makes them think well of it.... when I could just strong arm them into it... give them no options.... make them believe GOD WILL GET THEM if they don't share my view.

I finish with a quote from the movie Dogma by Kevin Smith.
Bethany: So you're saying that having beliefs is a bad thing?

Rufus the Apostle: I just think it's better to have an idea. You can change an idea; changing a belief is trickier. People die for it, people kill for it.

3 comments:

didymus said...

So, what I hear you saying is Gayle Ruzicka is a fundamentalist Mormon in sheep's clothing who wants everyone to submit to her religious ideology through fear and the force of law, and in this she is ultimately a great force for religious tyranny and practical atheism in the state. Way to go Gayle!

Brook said...

"these are not the gays you are looking for..."

Redlefty said...

It's amazing that in the midst of tens of thousands of different religions, denominations and shades of belief, all of us know people who are in the "right" one!

:)

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