Are mormons unfairly targeted by opponents of proposition 8

dbanks82

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Proposition 8 is something that has attracted huge amounts of attention especially after its passing. Yes mormons were involved in its passing but the amount of critisism that they have received for their involvment is not even remotely proportionant to their involvment. Which leads one to ask the question why are they being singled out for their involvment when other groups of people were much more significant in their efforts to pass proposition 8?

To begin with I would like to state what the actual mormon involvment was. It is the perception of the public that the mormon church itself donated millions of dollars to the cause this is not true. The lds church's total involvment was around $190,000. None of this was in cash contributions but was most often in the form of travel expenses. When you look at the campaign that costed 83 million dollars 190,000 is a very small part of the total picture. The mormon church did encourage its members to support the campaign but understood that not all its members would support the measure, and the letter that was read in all mormon church services was a recomendation not a commandment or an ultimatum. There are mormons who were opposed to the campaign who still remain active in the mormon church today.

Now the question is how much did individuals members of the mormon church contribute? This is impossible question to answer. Because the state of California does not require donors to list their religion. So there are many estimates on this. Usually ranging from 14 million to 22 million. Its one thing we will never know. Blacklists were created by some opponents of proposition 8 that attempted to single out mormons but then again I don't see how they were able to distinguish who was mormon and who wasn't. Because the only way to know for sure would be to gain access the the mormon church's membership records, which are not publically accessible. So this statistic is merely guess work that is all their is to it. Next thing is I am confused why opponents of proposition 8 get so worked up about campaign funding to begin with. Seeing how more money was donated to their side of the campaign. All campaign funds do is see that both side get equally represented. It was a very aggressive campaign on both sides.

The other major mormon involvment occured in call centers. Proponents of proposition 8 would meet in individual mormons homes and would call people and conduct polls on what people thought on this issue and how they would vote. They would keep track of who said they would vote yes or maybe yes and proceeded to call those people later on to remind them to vote. This was not a sale's call to convince people of their view just simply ensuring that all people who supported the measure were given every opportunity to go out and vote.

Now that I have stated the involvment. I would like to state some of the many things that have been done to mormons as a result of proposition 8. Vandelism has been rampant. There has been countless attacks on mormon buildings of worship. There has been an attempt to create a sterotype that mormons are consumed with hatred and are full of bigotry. There have been numerous protests in front of mormon buildings of worship. Death threats have been issued to prominent mormons. An elderly lady was attacked and sent to the hospital after she choose to remove anti mormon signs that had been posted on church property. Mysterious white powder was sent to church headquarters in Salt Lake. There have also been blacklists created and boycotts organized. Which has caused some mormons to lose their jobs or go out of business.

So why is this why have mormons been singled out? Though similar things have happened to other groups of people that supported proposition 8 mormons have been the obvious primary target. I think a quote from someone who opposed proposition 8 gives a great insight on why this is. " ...notice how these protests overwhelmingly target the Mormon Church. Why? Because these protesters and boycotters are cowards...What is required in these protests is a target. But the very nature of identity politics precludes the two most obvious demographics who voted for the initiative - Hispanics and African-Americans. Could anyone imagine a parade of mostly white gays and lesbians descending on black communities and churches in protest? No, and those pushing the protests know that tactic would never fly in America. Why not go after Catholics, a demographic that supported the proposition with both cash and votes? First, because Catholics comprise roughly 25% of the American population. In addition, California is a heavily hispanic state, and hispanics are overwhelming Catholic. Would any smart GLBT [gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender] organizer have their activists and supporters declare war on the Catholic Church and expect support from hispanics and a large portion of white voters? No, not even in that liberal state. This leaves us with the Mormons, the red-headed stepchild of American religion...They’re the safe target. The only target. The one target that invites almost no recrimination among a large swath of conservatives, liberals, the religiously devout, and atheists." That quote was taken from the malcontent.

What is happening is wrong. Trying to coerce people to silence who have a different viewpoint than you is wrong no matter how justified you feel you are. Even people among the gay rights movement recognize this. Mormons are being singled out unfairly. Even without mormon votes the proposition still would have passed. Because mormons make up less than two percent of the voting populous in California, but somehow they became the sole cause of proposition 8's passing. It is an obvious form a scapegoating. The hypocrisy is so glatantly obvious when people accuse mormons of being full hate, but yet ignore their own prejudice towards mormons. Which is very unfair especially to mormons who were opposed to Proposition 8.

One of the great things about U.S.A to me is that I can have a fundamental disagreement with my neighbor about a political issue and not have to fear any backlash for expressing an opinion that is different than his. As is evident from the response to Proposition 8 this is something that is in danger of disappearing. When you realize that the tactics being employed are designed to intimidate and coerce people into silence. Just because they have a different perspective in life and see things in a different light.

My intent in writing this is in no way meant to influence anyones viewpoint on this issue in one way or the other. Just to simply express my opinion that the mormon church is being unfairly targeted by some opponents of proposition 8.
 
.. Why not go after Catholics, a demographic that supported the proposition with both cash and votes? .. Would any smart GLBT [gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender] organizer have their activists and supporters declare war on the Catholic Church .. This leaves us with the Mormons, ..They’re the safe target. The only target. ..

Obviously this is the reason why Mormons are targeted and not the Catholics, as every GLBT would most likely suffer, even randomly end up with a black eye.

I`m not implying that GLBT`s are weak as I heard some were tough and even evil, but they would still end up with a black eye or worse.

TK
 
We've picketed Catholics too.
And it is not correct to consider $190,000 a small amount, when the amount that a church is legally allowed to contribute is $0. This ought to lead to the revocation of the tax-exempt status of the LDS.
 
I mentioned that other religions have had similar things done to them as well. But what's happened to catholics and other christians is not even comparable to whats happened to mormons. If you don't believe me Bob just look at yourself as an example. Where was your thread on How to damage the Catholic church? But you had a thread on how to damage the mormon church. I'm not a lawyer so I can't argue with you on the legality of the lds church contributions, but many other religous groups contributed far more than the lds church did.
 
I`m not implying that GLBT`s are weak as I heard some were tough and even evil, but they would still end up with a black eye or worse.
I'm kinda under the impression that GLBT's are just like other people: some smart, some dense, some nice, some mean.

But I've probably been hypnotized by their propaganda and lulled into complacency so that I don't realize their goal to destroy all that is good and wholesome and to have us all fitted for buttless chaps.
 
I'm not a lawyer so I can't argue with you on the legality of the lds church contributions, but many other religous groups contributed far more than the lds church did.
Three-quarters of the people who went door-to-door were from the LDS; and as for direct contributions from member-tithes, NO other church is known to have done ANY of that (since it's thoroughly illegal). The Salt Lake Tribune first reported the LDS direct contributions at around $2000, unlawful but at least petty, but now the LDS acknowledges contributing ten times that much, and there are reports that two of the PAC's were actually money-launderings, the contributors reimbursed by the church, to the tune of around $750,000: we will see if those reports prove accurate, but the LDS has been thoroughly dishonest throughout this campaign.
If your church has attracted most of the negative attention, it is because you have worked hard for it.
I`m not implying that GLBT`s are weak as I heard some were tough and even evil, but they would still end up with a black eye or worse.
We are not intimidate by your damned threats anymore. Pick a fight with us and we will fight back.
 
Three-quarters of the people who went door-to-door were from the LDS; and as for direct contributions from member-tithes, NO other church is known to have done ANY of that (since it's thoroughly illegal). The Salt Lake Tribune first reported the LDS direct contributions at around $2000, unlawful but at least petty, but now the LDS acknowledges contributing ten times that much, and there are reports that two of the PAC's were actually money-launderings, the contributors reimbursed by the church, to the tune of around $750,000: we will see if those reports prove accurate, but the LDS has been thoroughly dishonest throughout this campaign.
If your church has attracted most of the negative attention, it is because you have worked hard for it.

I guess we will see. But last time I checked it was innocent until proven guilty. And the lds church has a history of being slandered. If that's the strongest evidence you can come up with it just proves how weak your stance is. I would really like to know where you got the three quarters of door to door campaigners were lds. And I already discussed that no money was directly contributed to the proposition 8 campaign by the lds church. So I would love to see your source of information for member tithes being contributed as well.

Then for you to say I have worked hard for the negative attention is obsurd. First of all I am a Nevada resident not a Californian and I did not donate any money to the campaign. Next thing is I probably would have voted against proposition 8. Though I do have concerns about gay marriage I do however believe that everyone should have that right. I read something about a petition going around instead of attempting to repeal prop 8 it goes along the lines of making all marriages both of homosexual and heterosexual civil unions and granting unto all of them equal rights and making marriage a purely religous institution. That I feel personally is the best solution. I know you feel differently Bob and that's fine with me but you really should be a little more cautious before you attack me personally like that.

Your critisism of the lds church is fine with me. Its your right. And this thread is not an attempt to justify the lds churches contribution just simply to express my belief that they have received a disproportionate amount of negative feedback than is warranted. And to express in my opinion why that is.
 
And the lds church has a history of being slandered.
The LDS church has a long history of deceit.
I would really like to know where you got the three quarters of door to door campaigners were lds.
The LDS said so. They used to be proud of it.
And I already discussed that no money was directly contributed to the proposition 8 campaign by the lds church.
And I already told you that was false.
So I would love to see your source of information for member tithes being contributed as well.
As I told you already, the LDS church has acknowledged that, to the California investigators.
Then for you to say I have worked hard for the negative attention is obsurd.
I was not talking about "you" personally; I meant "you" the LDS.
First of all I am a Nevada resident not a Californian and I did not donate any money to the campaign.
If you tithe, then some of your money went to the campaign.
Next thing is I probably would have voted against proposition 8. Though I do have concerns about gay marriage I do however believe that everyone should have that right.
Thank you. But you really need to be telling that to your church.
I read something about a petition going around instead of attempting to repeal prop 8 it goes along the lines of making all marriages both of homosexual and heterosexual civil unions and granting unto all of them equal rights and making marriage a purely religous institution.
Marriage is the name of the LEGAL institution. You have no right to hijack that word.
 
Bob you produced no facts to back up your accusations. I would really appreciate your sources of information so I could go look at them myself, and if you would like I could give you myn too. But I have done a lot of reading on this issue and sorting through actual solid facts and emotional rants is something that takes a lot of attention. I mean I am sure that the door to door campaigners didn't have to list their religion before they started going door to door. And I looked through the lds newsroom and no such statement of the lds church being pround of 75% of door to door campaigners was ever made. I would really like your source on where lds funds were directly contributed to the campaign because the official reports that I have read suggest otherwise. Its things like that I would just appreciate a real factual source so I can become more informed on the issue by reading it myself.
 
Bob you produced no facts to back up your accusations. I would really appreciate your sources of information so I could go look at them myself, and if you would like I could give you myn too. But I have done a lot of reading on this issue and sorting through actual solid facts and emotional rants is something that takes a lot of attention. I mean I am sure that the door to door campaigners didn't have to list their religion before they started going door to door. And I looked through the lds newsroom and no such statement of the lds church being pround of 75% of door to door campaigners was ever made. I would really like your source on where lds funds were directly contributed to the campaign because the official reports that I have read suggest otherwise. Its things like that I would just appreciate a real factual source so I can become more informed on the issue by reading it myself.
Proposition 8 Revoke LDS Church 501(c)(3) Status
 
Bob I read the link of what you attatched. I appreciate your doing that for me. It really helped understand your point of view more fully. It seems the biggest problem is differentiating between individual lds members contributions and the lds church itself. Even that report acknowledged that the lds church did not contribute any funds directly to the campaign. There were some errors that I noticed in that as well. For example our church leader is Thomas Monson not David. Also it mentioned that Satellite Broadcasts for the lds church would have been very expensive. That is not true because the lds church relies on satellite broadcasts very frequently and already has all the needed capabilities to do so internally. So that would have cost the lds church little if anything at all. But for the most part it helped me gain greater insight to your point of view. Also something to note is this complaint was filed before the lds churches latest report detailing what was spent on the campaign. I also remember reading somewhere that the deadline for the lds church, and any other organization, to report everything is late march. So the deadline hasn't even passed yet. Thanks again for providing the link to that website. That website also mentioned another mormon who was opposed to proposition 8. I just want to you to realize there are more of us out there than you think. I really don't have a problem with people critiquing the lds church. I firmly believe however no matter how justified you feel you are in your position there needs to remain a level of civility toward one another and that persuasion goes much farther than intimidation. imo
 
Even that report acknowledged that the lds church did not contribute any funds directly to the campaign.
The "in kind" contributions were things bought and paid for with church funds. The LDS seems to think that laundering the money just slightly leaves them in the clear.
That is not true because the lds church relies on satellite broadcasts very frequently and already has all the needed capabilities to do so internally. So that would have cost the lds church little if anything at all.
Like this for example. The LDS has been permitted to accumulate such vast and expensive facilities with the aid of tax exemptions, exemptions which are justified on the basis that such facilities will be used for "charitable" purposes, not as weapons against groups they have decided to treat as political enemies. If these facilities are now being used as political weapons, I would argue it is not enough to revoke the LDS tax exemption going forward: they should pay back taxes on all the money they spent accumulating those facilities.
Also something to note is this complaint was filed before the lds churches latest report detailing what was spent on the campaign.
The LDS has been dishonest throughout, denying the initial reports in the Salt Lake Tribune about approx $2000 worth of in-kind contributions; now acknowledging approx $20,000 worth; but the final tally looks like it will be close to half a million.
I firmly believe however no matter how justified you feel you are in your position there needs to remain a level of civility toward one another and that persuasion goes much farther than intimidation. imo
The dishonest and often downright foul attacks against us during the Prop 8 campaign ended any possibility that civility could "remain": civility was killed off long ago. I have no hope of "persuading" the LDS leadership to behaving better: I want their ABILITY to behave as they have to be weakened, as far as possible. We might aim to "persuade" a thief to stop thieving, but first we lock him up to PREVENT him from thieving for a while, and then see if that also has the effect of persuading him to amend his behavior.
 
The "in kind" contributions were things bought and paid for with church funds. The LDS seems to think that laundering the money just slightly leaves them in the clear.

I'm sorry money paid for travel expenses is in no way laundering.

I would argue it is not enough to revoke the LDS tax exemption going forward: they should pay back taxes on all the money they spent accumulating those facilities.

This argument has no basis in reality.

The LDS has been dishonest throughout, denying the initial reports in the Salt Lake Tribune about approx $2000 worth of in-kind contributions; now acknowledging approx $20,000 worth; but the final tally looks like it will be close to half a million.

The intial report of 2000 dollars was for a single trip of Whitney Clayton to California. Don't know where your getting the 20,000 from because the latest report from the lds church is at 190,000. And it goes into detail of even meals that were bought. Critics of the lds church just jumped the gun on this one because all contributions do not have to be reported at once. I can't remember the exact deadline but I'm pretty sure it is late march. So you can't accuse the lds church of lieing about its contributions until after the deadline has passed.

The dishonest and often downright foul attacks against us during the Prop 8 campaign ended any possibility that civility could "remain".

Ok first off I definately don't condone attacks of this nature. I don't know what attacks you are refering to and your evidence on how the lds church was involoved in those specific attacks is lacking as well. The attacks by opponents of proposition 8 are far more aggresive than those by proponents. Proponents of proposition 8 didn't result to violence. They didn't organize boycotts of homosexuals. They did not start threads on how to do damage to the homosexual community. They did not mob old ladies and send them to the hospital. They did not send mysterious white powder to organizations that were opposed to proposition 8. They did not vandelize buildings. So I guess if I employed your logic I could justify myself in committing these type of crimes because violence and intimidation is ok as long as its justifed. Sounds a lot like Stalin to me.
 
I'm sorry money paid for travel expenses is in no way laundering.
Precisely my point. The LDS is pretending that they just gave money for travel without knowing what those people were going to do when they arrived, and saying therefore that they did not donate from church funds to the political activity: this minor attempt at distancing does not wash the money clean.
This argument has no basis in reality.
OH??? Your church has been pretending to be a "charitable" organization, and has accumulated vast resources, assisted by a tax exemption. That amounts to a government subsidy, not just to genuinely charitable activities, but to personal attacks upon me. Why should that be legal?
The intial report of 2000 dollars was for a single trip of Whitney Clayton to California.
And the initial response of the LDS to that report was to deny that any such thing had ever happened. That was a lie.
Critics of the lds church just jumped the gun on this one because all contributions do not have to be reported at once.
Your church has NO RIGHT to be making ANY contributions to political activities, NOT AT ALL.
I don't know what attacks you are refering to
Calling us pedophiles. Accusing us of wanting to teach elementary-school kids to be gay. That is highly offensive, and instigates violence: one of the times Christians tried to kill me, the guy with the gun was shrieking about how I better stay away from his kids (since he'd heard I was gay, he leaped to thinking me a pedophile: churches like yours teach people like him to think that way).
They didn't organize boycotts of homosexuals.
You are mistaken. The Yes on 8 campaign threatened boycotts not just of us, but of anyone who would take our side: donators to No on 8 were called up and threatened with boycotts unless they would also chip in money to the Yes side.
They did not start threads on how to do damage to the homosexual community.
You are mistaken. It would not take you much searching to find message boards all over the web where your kind discusses how to "fight the gay agenda".
They did not mob old ladies and send them to the hospital. They did not send mysterious white powder to organizations that were opposed to proposition 8. They did not vandelize buildings.
This I cannot condone, certainly. I did feel a violent level of anger in the immediate aftermath, but have controlled myself.
 
OH??? Your church has been pretending to be a "charitable" organization.
By pretending are you meaning the over one billion dollars in humanitarian aid that the lds church contributed to various causes. Maybe you should tell that to the victims of hurrican Katrina, lds volunteers were there helping long before even the United States government was.

And the initial response of the LDS to that report was to deny that any such thing had ever happened. That was a lie.
Where do you keep getting bogus information? That report was made public by the lds church it came directly from the lds newsroom.



Calling us pedophiles. Accusing us of wanting to teach elementary-school kids to be gay. That is highly offensive, and instigates violence: one of the times Christians tried to kill me, the guy with the gun was shrieking about how I better stay away from his kids (since he'd heard I was gay, he leaped to thinking me a pedophile: churches like yours teach people like him to think that way)..
I definatley find this appaling and I'm sorry you had to go through that. When I was a lds missionary I had a gun pulled on me three different times. I know what if feels like. I've been lds all my life and I've never been "taught" that gays were pedophiles. I've never been taught to hate gays.

Bob my aim on this thread was not to debate proposition 8 in general but simply to illustrate the lds church is being singled out.
 
By pretending are you meaning the over one billion dollars in humanitarian aid that the lds church contributed to various causes. Maybe you should tell that to the victims of hurrican Katrina, lds volunteers were there helping long before even the United States government was.
I wouldn't know anything about that: no Mormon has ever done any good for me, only harm. If your church also does good works, that is laudable: but your tax exemption is based on the premise that you ONLY do works of charity. Stick to those, rather than diverting resources acquired with tax-exempt to attacking us, and you will not have these problems.
Where do you keep getting bogus information? That report was made public by the lds church it came directly from the lds newsroom.
I was referring to the report by the Salt Lake Tribune back in November, which LDS was at pains to deny. When I tried to inquire about it on lds.net, I was peremptorily banned. It was only after the California state government began investigating that LDS came clean, and acknowledged that the contributions the Tribune had reported on were only the tip of the iceberg.
I definatley find this appaling and I'm sorry you had to go through that. When I was a lds missionary I had a gun pulled on me three different times. I know what if feels like.
I'm sorry you had that experience. But of course, as a "missionary" you impose yourself on people who did not invite you, and some of them may have had bad experiences at the hands of conservative religion, and will wish not only that you would not talk to them, but that you would not spread your ideology to anybody else either. LDS missionaries are active on my campus lately; it is difficult to be civil to them, but I will at least promise not to pull any guns on them, OK?
I've been lds all my life and I've never been "taught" that gays were pedophiles. I've never been taught to hate gays.
Other Mormons have.
Bob my aim on this thread was not to debate proposition 8 in general but simply to illustrate the lds church is being singled out.
You singled yourselves out. We didn't start a war with you: you started a war with us.
 
How did we single ourselves out? By joining a broad based coalition. Why aren't you at war with the Catholics? Why aren't you at war with the evangleicals. Why aren't you at war with the African Americans? Why aren't you at war with the Hispanics? Evangleical churches contributed far more campaign funds and they even did it in many instances in the form of cash contributions to the campaign itself. They would pass trays around their congregation in an effort to raise money for the campaign. So again why are the lds singled out? I'll tell you why. What would people on this site think if you had a thread on how to damage the African American community. Many people would quickly denounce you for being racist. But somehow sterotyping and prejudice becomes justified when it comes to mormons.
 
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