Do you like how that rhymed?

I thought it would be good to talk about Prop 8.  I’m glad that we live here in California during this push for an amendment.  It is hugely important!  It will be good to see just where people stand after the ballots are in, and even better if we can persuade and gain some people over to understand the importance of traditional marriage.  Every person matters.

First, I’ll tell you how things are going with us.  Our stake president has been doing his part traveling to each ward to speak.  Our bishops have donation goals, such as, our ward’s which was $11,000.  We’re asked to donate 4 Saturdays walking our neighborhoods with registered voter information/surveys.  We knock on a door, wearing a “Vote 2008” pin, and ask, “Are you Hein Le?” for example.  “Hi, I”m Holly J. and these are my children :), and I live on M. Circle near your neighborhood.  We’re walking precincts for the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign.  Are you familiar with this proposition regarding traditional marriage?

At this point people who are FOR preserving marriage between a man and a woman wonder if I am.  They raise one eyebrow and say, “what side of the campaign are you on again?”  Their face looks like how I feel each time I worry that the whole world is against me.  No one likes to disagree openly with the person on their doorstep, so they are really relieved when they realize we are against legalization of same-sex marriage.  Some people can never figure the wording out so they just say, “Umm, I’m just old-fashioned, and don’t like that with 2 men together or 2 women.”  I can reassure them that is exactly what we are hoping they would say.

After we find out how they stand, definitely Yes, probably Yes, Undecided, probably No, and definitely No, we ask if their spouse would agree with them, or other registered voters in their household.  We’ll answer questions or offer information.  Finally, if they are a YES we ask if they would be willing to contribute by volunteering in any way or by displaying a yard sign.  We circle the correct code number reflecting their answers on our sheet, encourage them to inform their family and friends about the issue, and then move to the next house.  If they are a NO, we tell them we respect that, thank them for their time, and then move on to the next house, with not a few eyebrows raised or strained expressions from our children.  BTW, the NOs seem very confident in their views, most often because they are aware that their views are the most popular these days, I think, and then next most often because they are closely connected to someone making homosexual choices and the issue, on the surface, seems like an issue of tolerance and equality.  They don’t waste time shutting the door, giving me the feeling that I must be cold and unfeeling towards the helpless.  OR, the NOs don’t want to “impose their beliefs on others,” yet they don’t think of the myriad “impositions” those believing otherwise will make on them if the Prop fails.

The confident Yeses who are involved in the effort are always refreshing to talk to.  Some confident ones still won’t accept a yard sign, though, for fear of drawing attention to themselves, hate acts against them or just for fear of associating themselves with someone their employers or landlords would not approve of.

Calling prospective voters using the same sheets is very ineffective, though we still do it some nights.  You reach about 1 in 10 people, or fewer.  This is wear my belief “that every person matters” is tested!  The questions here are, do you block your number for their caller id by using *67, or do you not?  Do you address them by their name–since we know it–and possibly freak them out, or do you not?  In my opinion, I like the forthright approach.  I will more often answer the phone to an unfamiliar name out of curiosity than I will to a “blocked call.”  Then, I feel that addressing them by their name gives the call a little authority vs. a feeling that their money will be solicited.  Mostly, it’s hard for me to get to “calling” either because of background noise or the sense of futility you feel when you’re done!

WHAT IS THE ISSUE THEN?

My friend, Ciana, and I talk about this quite a bit.  I’ll echo some of what she tells me, too.  She and I are in different wards here in Stockton, but in the same stake.  Ciana’s husband is in the bishopric in her ward.  They hold Family Home Evenings every Monday for their ward members to come celebrate the work they did the previous week, and then to pump them up for the next week!  She feels that since her ward is struggling with numbers and with finances that this is the kind of support that is needed.  She knows members of the church who are even offended that the church is so involved with the effort.  Why, I want to know.  Is it just because it makes us more “peculiar” and some people are tired of that?  Would this just be a case of moral ineptness?  1. What do you think about this stand coming from a church member?

I also think, from my own experience as a LDS, that minorities feel defensive no matter what.  I went through somewhat of an identity crisis when we moved to Colorado from Utah.  Believe it or not, there is a big difference living away from Utah overseas, and living outside of Utah in the U.S. Until we get practice and experience defending our beliefs we are open to letting our emotions get the best of us.  2. So remember, we are not the minority in wanting to preserve marriage, so we can be confident.  What do we respond when others say we are imposing our views on the world?

3. What will really happen to church’s freedoms if the proposition fails? I can’t imagine it could get so bad as all that–since the majority of citizens in the U.S. oppose same-sex marriage–in the short term, but after the course of decades, just like when divorce was made much easier for women in the latter part of 1960s, the prevalence will rise.

In the book of Helaman the Nephites relied on their own strength, and so were “left to their own strength” by the Lord.  “They became weak, because of their transgression,” their lands were taken and owned by the Lamanites for quite awhile, and this all happened in the space of a few short years.  They lived in fear of the Lamanites, they were indecisive about their war strategy, and ended up having to put all their forces just to maintain what they had.  Their laws being corrupt is mentioned.  Nothing prospered.  Most of our laws are just, aren’t they?  4. What corrupt laws do we have?

These are some questions I have.

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