Thursday, October 09, 2008

Feeling Powerless

Yesterday morning I found out that my bank has decided that the paycheck I deposited last week is non-negotiable. This is after I've already used the funds to pay the rent, the credit card bill, the car loan, and my school loan. No one at the bank can tell me why the check was not negotiable because apparently they've mailed it back to me with a letter explaining it all, but no one thought to scan the check or keep a copy of the letter. There's nothing I can do now but wait for the mail and watch the overdraft and returned item fees rack up. I feel sick at the thought of the teeth I'll have to pull in order to get the bank to clean up this mess once I'm able to prove it was an error on their part. I really don't want to find out that it really was somehow an error on my part, but honestly, although that would be more expensive, it would involve less confrontation. I'm not sure which I'm lacking more right now: money or the emotional energy required by confrontation.

Meanwhile, I watch with horror as polls shift toward favoring Proposition 8. Earlier this week I received an email inviting me to come to this broadcast on Wednesday night. I don't resent receiving the invitation--I got it because I'm on an email list that notifies me of elders quorum activities and honestly FoxyJ's ward members are the only live social interaction I have lately (and really they're good people, regardless of their support of Prop 8)--but I resent the fact that thousands of people are putting all this effort and money into hurting families who are different from them, all in the name of protecting their own families from an imaginary threat. The recent shift in the polls is attributed largely to a recent ad campaign claiming (with no factual basis) that same-sex marriage is a threat to churches and children, an ad campaign funded by donations that come primarily from members of the LDS church.

If you're reading this and you're as sickened as I am by these attempts to legally discriminate against families headed by same-sex couples--or even just a little bit sickened by it--please donate what you can to efforts to counter these lies with truth. Sadly, elections are often not determined by which side is telling the truth but rather by which side has the money to speak louder. I don't often ask people to donate money to causes I believe in, but that's about all I have the power to do right now.

12 comments:

JB said...

:(

Scot said...

I donated again today. Sure, before I read this, but I'll just say that one was in your honor, or maybe the next one. I think I'm addicted to giving money to people who say they'll help my family.

I'm feeling helpless too, but I've been on the phone with a couple organizations today to see what we can get going here in Utah. Hopefully there will be actual items to do next week, other than donate. It's just too bad the gay conspiracy isn't as focused and organized as so many think.

Edgy said...

I'm having Facebook issues today because of this. Too many acquaintances "going viral" with their Prop 8 support.

I just might actually join in the National Coming Out Day Facebook status event. Though with a twist:

Edgy is gay. And he wants hypocritical bigots who are bitter that they can't have more than one wife to leave his family alone.

Mr. Fob said...

JB: If you chance to meet an open parenthesis, do not let it stay; quickly turn it upside down and close that parenthetical away!

Scot: I donated in your honor the other day. And I used my credit card, so unlike my rent check it won't bounce.

Edgy: No one's tried to viral me yet, as far as I know. Thanks for letting me know about National Coming Out Day, though. Assuming I remember, I'm in.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

I donated today in Thomas Monson's honour. It seemed fitting.

Mr. Fob said...

I'm sure it would warm his heart to know.

cool_guy said...

Ben -
You mentioned in the past that I have expressed my serious reservations about the general authorities of the LDS church choosing to join other religions and religious based groups in the Proposition 8 battle in California.

I feel that I should expand on this a bit - I need to explain why I have serious problems with this.

1- It is insulting to ALL Mormons in California. The message from Salt Lake is that the standard Mormon doctrines and teachings are inadequate in the case of Prop 8. These teachings and doctrines are supposed to be the entire truth and are what set us apart from all other religions in the world. They are supposed to provide all the tools we need to manage our lives and qualify us to eventually get back into the presence of God. Now a problem has occurred in California that cannot be addressed by standard Mormon doctrines and teachings and requires special guidance be issued to ensure that California Mormons, and all other citizens of California, come to right decision relative to Prop 8. This contradicts the doctrine that WE are responsible to determine if our choices are correct - after counseling with those we trust, praying, studying our scriptures, and reasoning it out based on what we have been taught. For some reason a California Mormons’ decision relative to Prop 8 cannot be trusted to this process - it requires direct intervention from Salt Lake. This presents a problem when we consider choice and accountability - how can you be accountable for your position on Prop 8 if you essentially have no choice? As I understand it you must oppose Prop 8 or directly disobey the Prophet of the Church. This does not agree with my understanding of the doctrine of choice and accountability. Compulsion is Satan's way to security, Christ understood fully that we can grow only when we can exercise our judgment and be accountable for the result.

2- If you are a believing Mormon with a testimony that we are the ONLY true church on earth then you must see the irony of lowering ourselves to participate as a church in the mortal political process in California. We are now at the same level as the most bizarre, wacko, worldly, knee-jerk organizations out there. It's sad because it shows us to be more concerned with a question of California politics than with our unique position as the only church with all the truth. It looks like the Mormon Church has abandoned the doctrine of political neutrality from the pulpit in favor of participation and political guidance from the pulpit. Whatever the outcome of Prop 8 the damage to the church will last long after Election Day. The decision to forgo long established doctrine in favor of political expediency is the action of a scared, weak organization. I've always been taught that I never have to be afraid concerning mortal issues as long as I'm acting in a Christ-like manner - I'm very disappointed, and very sad, that my church leadership has abandoned this principle.

3-Proposition 8 is not an easy question to decide and I understand that people have strong, legitimate opinions on both sides of the issue. There is a right answer – and our church doctrines give us plenty of guidance as to how to reach a decision. We are to consider what we know of Jesus Christ and how he lived. We are to consider what His example was. We are to consider what we know of his teachings as to how to treat our brothers and sisters. We are to consider what we know of His feelings about treating homosexual people differently. We are to take literally his commandment to love one another. We are to take as much information as we can find, use our intellectual capacity to reason it out, pray to God for guidance, and stand up and be personally responsible for our answer. It seems to me that the general authorities have said that we cannot use that process if we happen to be California Mormons trying to decide about Prop 8. This seems very strange to me because Prop 8 is, after all, just another political decision that is not particularly important in the Celestial view. We all know that following the laws of man will not lead to spiritual growth or exaltation. I’m surprised and saddened that our leaders show such reverence for the laws of the state of California and seem to ignore the example of Jesus Christ.

4- I find it hypocritical that the Church leadership is not advocating that divorce and single mother families be found to be illegal as well. The statistics are irrefutable that these affronts to The Family: A Proclamation To The World (which is the “scriptural” justification for opposition to Prop 8) have caused suffering and heartaches in almost half of the “normal” families in this country. If you do the math you must quickly realize that if the true aim of the Church leadership is to implement the precepts of The Proclamation then the time, effort, and money spent on Prop 8 opposition would be much more effective if used to address solutions for divorce and single mother families. Where is the Salt Lake leadership when we discuss these issues – what is their guidance on the legality of divorce and out of wedlock children?

Just had to expand on some of my previous comments –

After reading the news today I’m wondering if Connecticut Mormons will soon be joining California Mormons in need of extra guidance?

Mr. Fob said...

Thanks for expanding and clarifying your position, Cool Guy.

I don't see the church getting too involved in Connecticut. They seem to recognize that what happens in California will have effects that go far beyond California's borders. I understand they have been encouraging members in Arizona to support a similar proposition up for vote there, but I don't get the impression that their efforts in AZ are even a fraction of what they're doing here.

Rebecca said...

Thanks for the link! I love kreig's donation dedication and I wish I'd thought of it.

Mr. Fob said...

You can pretend you did.

Robb said...

Ben,
Please continue to post the continuing adventures of Parenting a Child who attends a Bilingual School. I'm interested in the topic and I'd like to stop by your blog now and then to see what you and your wife think about the experience. Gracias. And sorry that the switch to the new school was so stressful on you and your daughter. Switching to my new school/job stressed me out too, and I don't even have a daughter.

Mr. Fob said...

Thanks, Robb. As it turns out it took S-Boogie about one day at her new school to adjust and decide she loves it just as much as the old one. I'm anxious to see how the experience is for her in the coming years.