Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The internet sucks.

Half an hour searching the internet looking for the results for the Granite School Board elections. Nothing. Channel 2 and 13 didn't think the information was important enough to even put it on the little ticker-tape blurb on the bottom of the screen. My blood pressure was so high I heard someone yell "SELL". Thank God for the Salt Lake Tribune. Trekking out in the snow in nothing but shoes, my sleepin' shorts and a coat was worth it, it had ALL the info. So, if you haven't heard, here's the results that interest me:
  • Barack Obama - 52% of the popular vote (McCain 47%) and 349 electoral votes (McCain 163). This is the first time in years that I have felt proud to be an American, and Obama's speech last night actually brought a tear to my eye. He was eloquent, intelligent, passionate and didn't blow hot air up our skirts. I voted for him as a vote against McCain (Bush Light), but I have to admit I was truly impressed and inspired by his speech.
  • Connie Anderson - beat Granite School Board incumbent Patty Sandstrom 55% to 45%. Way to go Connie!
  • Dan Lofgren - The other Granite School Board candidate I wanted to see win. And he did, just barely with 52% of the vote. Connie & Dan are going to be the Dynamic Duo of the Granite School Board. I suspect the Superintendent is sweating a bit this morning, despite the snow.
  • Chris Buttars - Um, UnbeFreakinleavable! 49% to 45% the boneheads in West Jordan sent this bigotted homophobe back to office. I think it's because Gayle Ruzicka threatened to move there if they didn't.
  • Dell Schanze - 3% of the vote. I laughed histerically. Until I realized that there were 21 THOUSAND people who voted for him. I was amazed to realize that there were that manyu people on the 5 West wing of the University Hospital.
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7 comments:

A Paperback Writer said...

What don't you like about Patty Sandstrom?
Just curious.

A Paperback Writer said...

Oh, and don't forget Prop Hate -- I mean, Eight -- passed in CA.
We knew that Utah was homophobic -- and we passed Ammendment 3 a few years ago -- but one would THINK that Cali would be a little more open-minded.
Sigh.
But I agree with you about feeling better about our country today. 64% of voters, the highest since 1908, turned out for this election. wow.
And, for the first time in 8 years, I am not embarrassed to be an American. I've spent so much time during W's reign apologizing to people from other countries for our country. Here's hoping I won't have to do that for the next 4 years.
Obama's smart enough. Let's hope he's wise enough, too.

Max said...

My biggest problem with Patty Sandstrom and the rest of the current Granite School Board is that they give our Superintendant total, unchecked power. Now this wouldn't be bad if everything they did was what was best for the students, but especially after seeing things that have gone on at my school this last 2 1/4 years, it is painfully obvious that, to put it nicely, this is not their motivation. Connie Anderson and Dan Lofgren (one I work with, the other I interviewed for a college course) have no intention of rubber stamping the superintendents policies.

Max said...

Talking about Prop Hate ( I love that pun, never heard it before, but I love it), I've been really curious about feelings of someone like yourself and the LDS's involvement in the Prop 8 election. Feel free to tell me to MYOB, or conduct this discussion in a less public arena if you want, but I have been curious.....

A Paperback Writer said...

You've never heard it before because I made it up. right then.
Keep in mind that I never did qualify as the traditional Mormon on this issue, but I do know my stuff.
The official LDS policy was -- until just a couple of years ago (thanks to Pres. Hinckley, the most open-minded president we've ever had) -- was that homosexuality was evil. Now, they've made a huge step foreward so that it is not considered a sin to feel sexual urges toward the same sex, but only a sin to act on them.
I realize this means that a gay Mormon is in a dang tough situation, but it does put the gay Mormons on a somewhat equal plain with non-married Mormons (the law of chastity must be kept). Of course, I don't have to feel guilty just for thinking a guy looks enticing.
Still, it IS an improvement.
Now, the horrendous display over Prop. Hate: it's not the first time. The church did it YEARS ago in Hawaii and a few years ago in Utah.
I honestly don't understand what the big deal is -- except the higher ups are trying to force a certain moral POV on other people. (Granted, Mormons aren't the only church with this POV.)
Okay, so Mormons have this Temple marriage thing. But no religion is forced to accept a marriage they don't agree with. If I recall correctly, the Catholic church will not grant a church marriage to a divorced person. And I know that Greek Orthodox churches and some Presbyterian churches will not perform church marriages to people who haven't been baptized according to the beliefs of the church in question. Fine. So the government cannot force the LDS church to marry gay couples in the temple.
Nor can the government force the LDS church to perform civil marriages for gay couples.
So that argument is stupid. Now, that argument is not being used by the church authorities, but it's being used a lot by homophobic members.
Now the wording for the LDS version of the law of chastity currently states that a person may not have sexual relations with someone unless "legally and lawfully married" to that other person. That would have to be reworded if gay marriage were legal. Big, fat, happy deal. It's been reworded once in my lifetime already. It used to be "sexual intercourse" until someone kindly filled in the Bretheren about oral and anal sex. Then it got changed.
Besides, gay marriage already IS legal in a few countries where there are Mormons -- isn't it legal in most Scandinavian countries?

I think a couple of things are going on here. I think the church leaders are trying to take a huge stand on a moral issue to give the church a certain image, one that is more acceptable to the Calvinist extremists. Why on earth Mormons should want to impress these idiots who deny any form of Darwinism (Mormons have the official position of "we don't know how God did it; He hasn't revealed that yet."), life beginning at conception (there's no official position on this for Mormons either -- folkdoctrine holds that the spirit enters the body when the baby begins to move by itself), sexual ignorance (okay, well, Mormons never talk about sex except in very general terms), and near-hysterical homophobia. Oh yeah, and they call our church a cult and tell us we are children of the devil. Sure. great reason for us to kiss up to them. I think we ought to tell them to kiss off.
Besides brown nosing it with the Calvinists, I think the LDS leaders are also trying to shake off that whole polygamy thing, which still haunts us, even after almost 120 years of not allowing it. But, instead of going after other types of non-Victorian marriages, they need to get rid of the polygamy that mainstream Mormonism still allows. See, a man can be "sealed" or married for eternity to as many women as he wants. But a woman can be sealed to only one man. Thus, Mormons gave up temporal polygamy in 1890, but polygamy in the afterlife is still on the "sign me up" list. I find this revolting and disturbing. It is so grossly demeaning to women that it turns my stomach.
Instead of attacking gays, the leaders need to clean up the policies we have.
Now, what's happening with the average Mormon and gay-bashing: well, any human can get into the us vs. them routine. And it's so easy to assume that "I am right and if you are different then you are wrong." Ignorance breeds prejudice in any group.
Mormons came to Utah to isolate themselves for protection. That was necessary at the time. But many Mormons still isolate themselves. If they travel, they only visit places where they feel "safe." If they choose higher education, they go to Provo or Idaho and insulate themselves with multiple versions of themselves who reinforce their own values and beliefs. These Mormons believe that they should never examine their own beliefs and prejudices.
Not all Mormons are like this. Even when I was super-straight arrow Molly Mormon, doing everything by the book, I was never like that. I turned down a full-ride scholarship to go to BYU because I knew it would be smothering. I had gay friends from the time I was 12, so I had to reconcile my beliefs. What I heard at church didn't always match what I saw in real life.
I have gay friends who are Mormons and celibate. I have gay friends who are ex-Mormons, and it pains them that they had to leave the church they loved. I have gay friends who are Protestand and Russian Orthodox. And I have gay friends who aren't religious.
I only knew one gay guy that I did not consider a particularly good person, but that was because of his drug addicitons and not because of his sexuality.
Some of my gay friends have long-term partners. I would be happy to go to their weddings.
Some of them have adopted kids together, and they're just as good/bad at parenting as any straight couple.
But most of my Mormon neighbors would never knowingly even talk to a gay person. Most of them are clueless about the one or two gay men (celibate) in our own ward. So they hate what they don't know or understand.
I think it's wrong. I think it's God's place to judge. No, I don't think the Mormon church should start performing gay marriages because it wouldn't fit in well with some basic doctrines. But I don't think they should tell other people what they can and can't call a marriage.
To me, it's much like the idea of abortion. It's fine for anyone to think abortion is wrong, but those people have no right to decide for someone else whose situation is not their own. And no man has the right to tell a woman what she can or can't do about sex or pregnancy. Ever. Period.
Likewise, I think any religion may say, "we don't recognize a marriage unless it meets qualifications A, B, and C." But I don't think they should tell the government what constitutes a partnership between two people.
Personally, I find gay marriage MUCH, MUCH more acceptable than polygamy because gay marriage is a partnership, not a patriarchy.
I also think that the LDS leadership was wrong to get so very involved in this because it has engendered so much hate and hurt. That is not a Christ-like thing to do. That cannot be right.
Now, I honestly don't understand why civil unions that grant hospital visitation rights and insurance rights and such need to be called "marriages" anyway, but I guess it must be important to these people. Since I am straight, I can't quite understand, in spite of my numerous gay friends.
Now, what I've just typed here to get me in serious trouble in some wards. However, I happen to have a sensible bishop, and only one person in my ward even reads my blog -- and I don't know that she ever follows me over here to your blog. So it's fine if you post all this. It's a rant, but you did ask for it.
Keep in mind that this is the gospel according to PBW, however. And I'm not a BYU Mormon. I lack all the right phobias for those sorts. (Plus, I hang around with people like you.......;) )
There are many things that make me proud of being a Mormon: we have the finest welfare system in the country, possibly the world (it trains anyone who needs it for jobs, gives help up not hand outs, can produce huge loads of disaster reliefs supplies within a few hours' notice, etc.), we have always supported education, we have an unpaid ministry and a tremendous work and volunteer ethic, etc.
But, I am ashamed of the official church involvement in this affair. It is terribly embarrassing. And it has hurt so many people. Plus, it won't make us look good to the uber-Calvinists who hate us anyway. Nor will it improve our image with anyone else.
Much money was spent, but what good was accomplished? None. More hate, more prejudice, more alienation for everyone.
The Victorian ideal of the family was not "saved" from some kind of danger.
It has been one huge negative campaign.
The whole thing has been an exercise in power and image, but it has achieved an empty victory. I hate to second-guess God, but I just can't think that He would approve of this any more than I can think He approves of people who blow up others in His name.
A woman I know, the sister of one of my gay friends, had the intriguing idea that maybe God allows certain people to be gay as a test to the rest of us, to see how we handle it.
If she's right, then an awful lot of Mormons are failing that test. (and they're not the only ones.)

Max said...

Writer, thank you for your response, as someone who is in the discovery stage of his spiritual life, these questions come up and it's good to hear people's opinions. Thank you for your candid, if rambling :), discourse.

I can answer your Catholic question, though. Catholics do not beleive in divorce, basically it does not exist. So, if a Catholic divorces legally, in the eyes of the church they are still married, and therefore cannot get remarried in the church. I don't know what the reasons are, but I do know that the Catholic, for the "right" reasons, can annull a marriage, which means it never happened in the eyes of the church.

A Paperback Writer said...

Yes, I knew that about Catholics. But thanks anyway.
Sorry I rambled. I had a terrible headache.
Look, spiritually in this matter, I summed it up well for my friend George, who is gay and an ex-Mormon. He told me once that he hated having to leave the church he loved and that he would never have chosen to be gay (implying that it was very difficult, which makes sense to me). This he said after I had said he was a "good person." His implication was that he couldn't be a "good" person in the Mormon definition -- although I'm not sure he was right about that.
My answer was "I'm going to let God judge you on that. It's not my job."
And that's how I really feel. As far as someone's interacting in my life, if they're kind and considerate, honest, take care of themselves, I don't really care if they're gay or straight.
I don't like to watch PDA from any couple; I think anything more than a brief kiss needs to be out of public. But, that's ANY couple.
Anyway, I'm not your spiritual counselor, but I will recommend that you give the "let God decide" idea a good think and see if that suits you.
After all, most of my gay friends are FAR less harmful to society than Chris Butt-head is, and yet God has not yet struck down Butt-head with lightning......