Thursday, April 23, 2009

Never Forget

Hi Friends,

Over the last three days, I have been learning a lot about the Holocaust. With the 21st being Holocaust Remembrance Day, the 28th being Oskar Schindler's (Schindler's List) birthday and May 1st being the day of German surrender, it's been at the forefront of a lot of our minds, I am sure.

I happened on a website that really opened my eyes. A gentleman took a tour in 1993 of the sites of the camps in Poland and took many pictures of how they stand today. He relays his personal stories of his encounters with the people and the overwhelming feelings and sites he experienced.

Many things stuck out in my mind, but nothing more so than the end of his story on his last day.

If you have the time or the inclination, it is an amazing read. I would encourage you all to read through it and learn, as I did.

Never Forget.

Anteroom to the gas

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Lesson

This has been a trying week. A friend's husband was removed from the heart trasnplant list becasue they have found liver disease as well. So, for the past 3 days, I've been gathering information for funeral expenses and seeing what can be done to help this family.

It's amazing to me - I send out an email asking my friends for help and suddenly, I have a $100 donation, a free location for a wake and food for the asking. My friends and Auxiliary Sisters are amazing.

As I am perusing my emails for the day, I come across one from a High School acquaintence, BS. I get emails from him every month keeping all of us apprised of people in our graduating class. It's kinda cool. Well, this month, he sent one out about his wife, who has a terminal brain tumor, which was both uplifting and very sad to read. He's currently unemployed, and she's been a stay at home mom, so she doesn't get any kind of assistance except Medicaid. He was talking about some of the things he wanted to do for her before she passes, like, he would love a Disneyland vacation for their family or a big TV so she could watch her shows. They have no money for a funeral and the first thing I am thinking of is how I could help.

He directed us to his personal website to read more about her journey through Cancer and as I am reading his blog, up comes a nice blog about why Marriage is only for a Man and a Woman.

I've been asked by a few friends why I don't support same gender marriage. I'll give a few reasons here in my blog. It has nothing to do with equal rights. It has everything to do with what is right for our country, and for children everywhere. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as a Christian, and as a scientist, I must say marriage is for a man and a woman.

God follows a pattern. He calls witnesses. We call these witnesses prophets. Amos 3:7 says "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets". These witnesses, or prophets testify of truth. They testify in the same two ways anyone else does: by speaking orally, or by writing it down. The written word has become scripture. The oral word comes from modern prophets. In order for us to know that one who speaks God's word is a prophet, there's one more step. The Holy Ghost gives us knowledge and testifies the truth to our hearts and to our minds. A modern prophet has testified that marriage is between a man and a woman. The Holy Ghost has testified to me that he is a prophet. The church is not a democracy. We don't tell the prophet what to do, God does. God speaks. His prophet speaks. The Holy Ghost tells me he's a prophet. I listen.

That was the Mormon perspective. Mormon's don't stand alone on this issue. Most Christian faiths believe the same on this issue. The general Christian is similar, minus a modern prophet. God created Adam and Eve. Adam was a man. Eve was a woman. God married them, and set up the family blue-print. Matthew 19:5 says: "...For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?". Mark 10: 7 says: "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife". Paul also wrote this to the Ephesians in Ephesians 5:31: "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh."

God condemns the taking of life. The powers that create life are equally guarded. Two men cannot create life. Two women cannot create life. A man and a woman can. The life created by a union between a man and a woman should have a father and a mother, equally committed to that child's care. That's why we have marriage. Marriage is a formal recognition before God, a government, and between the man and woman making the commitment that the partners will support each other and their children. We guard this life-creating unit we call marriage with care because that unit, and that unit alone can create life. Misusing the power to create life is perhaps as bad as taking life. Not all marriages turn out well. Some are even abusive, but creating a new definition for marriage will not resolve this problem. It will only make it worse. This holds true for anyone who believes in a Supreme Being. Whoever you call God, He (or or even She) created men and women so that only male-female relationships can create life. He obviously intended it that way.

Some will argue that this is a religious issue, and has nothing to do with law. In fact, law evolves from social folkways, to mores, to laws. Take murder for an extreme example. People don't like their relatives getting killed (folkways). They polarize against it (mores). They make laws against it. Murder is a moral issue, and a religious one. It's also a civil one because of that natural evolution into law. Marriage has always been understood as a union between a man and a woman. We didn't choose the legal arena for a battle about what marriage is. People (certain judges come to mind) decided to try and change the definition of marriage. Now we must step forward and defend what has held true for thousands of years and defend against an unproven idea that will not work.


I take a deep breath and read it, keeping in mind, they are very LDS. He doesn't out-and-out say anything bad about gays, so that's a plus, but it is obvious he is very narrowminded about same-gender marriage.

So, now, I have a choice. I can help them because they are in need, but why should I when he doesn't respect my family?

Instead, I wrote him a letter.

"Dear BS,

I am sorry to hear about J. I have some information on funeral arrangements and things when the time comes if you need it. I am assisting my Partner's friend with arrangements for her husband who was denied a heart transplant and also has only weeks/months with us on this earth. J may qualify for a $255 burial benefit and could also qualify for assistance with a cremation through Salt Lake County if you are residents. I have access to a lot of information that I am more than willing to share. Please let me know if you need it. I am happy to help in any way I can.

On another note, I was reading your personal site and came across your post regarding Marriage. While I don't take things personally and allow others to have their own opinions, please realize that there are families that exists outside of the traditional family that you enjoy.

My partner and I have a daughter, and without the protections of Marriage, our family is in constant jeopardy. Without paying an attorney thousands of dollars, I cannot claim my partner's body for burial, as you can claim yours. I am not automatically allowed into the hospital room when and if my partner is dying, as you are allowed for yours. The fact that we have built an entire life together, created our family, are dependent upon one another financially, emotionally, etc means absolutely nothing. I have one two occassions, not been allowed to see my own daughter, that I have helped raise, until my partner has arrived.

There are no differences between our families. Both of our unions were blessed by God, yours in the Temple and mine by the Church of Christ. We both take financial, physical, and emotional responsibilities for our families. In fact, I pay more in taxes to have my family on my health benefits than you would to have your family on yours due to Federal Tax laws. I am actually penalized financially for who I love and committed to for eternity.

For just a moment, I would like you to consider going through this ordeal without the rights and priviledges you are afforded by being legally married. It would not only be devistataing, it would be compounded by the laws which only recognize you as a "friend" and not her next of kin. Imagine being barred from your children because you are not considered their "parent."

These are the issues I struggle with in my family every single day.

I support your faith and the expression of it. I also encourage you to realize that same-gender marriage does not erode the Institution of marriage - it strengthens it. My family prays for our family to be protected like yours in this way every single day.

Thank you, and God Bless J and your family during this time. You are in my prayers. "