Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Democracy at Work in Palm Springs: A Hate Crime in Action

The rage against diversity of thought is reaching warlike proportions in some parts of California. Witness the frightening way "democracy" (as in mob rule) worked when a Christian woman dared to show up at a Prop. 8 protest in Palm Springs. Be sure to watch the very end where they show how the incident began. Tolerance? Love? Freedom of speech and thought? This is one of the more frightening things I've seen. Hat tip to Connor Boyack.


This video should become part of the standard training to help people recognize genuine hate crimes.

The commentator said something about seeing "a lot of hate on both sides." Where was the hate of the Christian woman? Was it in her smile as she was assailed and threatened? Was it in trying to pick up the cross that protesters tore from her hands and stomped on? Was it in refusing to shout and curse the angry mob around her? Or was it in having a differing view and daring to express it with a visible symbol (the cross)? Help me spot the hate here.

Update, Nov. 12: Some people have had a hard time imagining that any kind of crime was being committed here. I suggest you imagine what it must have been like for the elderly old woman who showed up at City Hall to stand up for her beliefs, however misguided you think they are. Can you imagine being a short, elderly woman showing up to "stand up for Jesus" by carrying a large cross that you had made? (If that's beyond your abilities, think of an elderly lesbian carrying a rainbow flag at a protest led by angry Mormon missionaries.) As you walk across an open area with your cross raised, you are suddenly surrounded by much bigger people, including large and burly men who begin shouting at you. Some grab the cross away from you and hurl this sacred symbol of your faith toward the ground. A possession of yours has just been stolen by force. The crowd presses in more tightly and begins stomping violently on the cross. They are doing more than simply destroying your possession, which most people ought to be able to recognize as a crime. They are angrily, deliberately, and, yes, hatefully, destroying what they know to be a symbol of your religious belief. Then they continue yelling at you, cursing you, and demanding that you leave, with arms flailing inches from your face. Do you think this might have appeared to be physical and emotional intimidation? Do you think emotions of hate were deliberately and persuasively conveyed? Or is this what you call civil discourse?

This is public property we are talking about, City Hall, not a private club where the woman slipped past the bouncers. She has as much right as they did to be there. Might it be possible that some of her rights were threatened by that group? Will they apologize for the theft, the destruction of property, the intimidation, the verbal and emotional abuse? Of course not.

I am surprised that some of you cannot imagine this being an example of a crime. How much further would it have had to go to qualify? Does the victim have to be maimed, her home burned to the ground, and her Starbucks gift card mangled, before the words "crime" and perhaps even "hate" might begin to apply?

Look, I don't like the whole concept of "hate crimes" since very few crimes qualify as loving in the first place. I prefer criminalizing actions rather than thought. But if "hate crime" is to be a legal concept, why not include this as an example. It's a mild example since the courageous woman wasn't bloodied or killed, and I will certainly admit that some gays have suffered bigotry far more devastating than this. By discussing this case, in no way do I wish to ignore the reality of assaults and other crimes against gays. Crime and hate must stop. But advocating the traditional legal definition of marriage is not an act of hate, however angry it makes some people.

The video is chilling - but you're probably not going to see this played endlessly on every major TV network for the next six months. You're probably not going to hear about this incident at all except on a few fringe blocks. But if the reverse situation had occurred - imagine angry Christians shouting down a peaceful lesbian protester calmly and courageously waving a rainbow banner, then grabbing her banner and stomping it into the earth, then swarming around her with curses and hate, demanding that she leave, and blocking cameras to keep the world from seeing her - can you imagine anything but massive national attention, even international attention, with all sorts of efforts from angry politicians to deal with the "Christian menace"? Can you imagine how such things would play out if the roles were reversed?

So what is a hate crime? Maybe the FBI can give us some guidance. From an FBI page on "hate crime":
Definition:
A hate crime, also known as a bias crime, is a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.

In response to mounting national concern over crimes motivated by bias, Congress enacted the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990. The law directed the Attorney General to collect data "about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity." . . .

As a result, the law enforcement agencies that participate in the national hate crime program collect details about an offender's bias motivation associated with the following offense types: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, aggravated assault, simple assault, intimidation, robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and destruction/damage/vandalism of property.
So if people charge at a woman because she's carrying a cross, yell at her, curse at her, grab her cross and destroy it, surround her and shout at her, could that possibly count as intimidation or destruction of property with some twist of bias based on the religion of the victim? Could it possibly be a hate crime? I'm just wondering out loud here. I'm not a lawyer and not even a very good judge of things like love and hate. I had the hardest time spotting the hate of that woman, and I had an even tougher time seeing the love in the actions of the mob with who had "love" all over their protest signs. I guess I'm emotionally dyslexic.

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

But Jeff it's all about love!!!! It was love that caused those people to snatch the cross and stomp it. It was love that fueled their yelling in her face. All these people want is to express their love and not be deprived of their rights. Can't you see the fruits of the spirit of love?

How dare the church use proper democratic measures to spread their hate and bigotry!

*Note sarcasm*

Isaiah 5:20 "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"

The only thing that upsets me more than the blatant hate and intolerance demonstrated in these rallies allegedly fighting against those very things, is the members who sympathize with them. A bunch of Thomas B. Marshes in the making.

Bret said...

Wow...if that cross were bait, they took it hook, line, and sinker.

Rational thought on the issue is nowhere to be found at these types of rallies, and that goes for both sides. People get caught up in the emotion and lose all respect for each other. Sad to see people act this way.

Anonymous said...

What an act of courage.

Those men should be proud of themselves.





Jack

bunker said...

Cowardice.....

Afraid a little lady might take away their spotlight. Seemed as though they took away some of her rights there. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

When MLK marched peacefully, he drew great admiration and benefited the cause of the black man. While the anti-Christian behaviors of the opponents of Prop 8 looked more like crazed lunatics that disgrace their cause.

Bookslinger said...

My understanding is that the church only lobbied members, not non-members, and not the public. Not a dime was spent in lobbying or publicity by the church (other than air fare sending some church leaders to california.)

The only Mormons lobbying were members exercising their own first amendment freedoms on their own time and on their own dime.

Chino Blanco said...

We can do tit-for-tat all day if that's what you consider a worthy stand-in for serious discussion:

http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=8162

Anonymous said...

If you are a member of a church that does not support gay/lesbian marriages then that is fine. You and your church are completely free to restrict who is blessed before God in marriage, in your church. Having said that however I do not believe that the church has any right to impose its doctrines on society when the imposition of those doctrines results in a removal of equality from an identifiable group. Remember that marriage in the secular world is between the state and the couple and is designed to give certain rights to both of the couples under law. The church is not responsible for the LEGAL aspects of marriage, they are there to provide a way for God to bless the marriage and to sanctify it in Him.

I am greatly saddened to see that their are people of faith that have such a great amount of hatred for others that they would impose their will on them. A gay couple getting married does not mean that the world is coming to an end, it will not affect anybody else. Witness what was being said by various religious leaders during the women's suffrage movement .... strangely similar to the rhetoric being thrown around today.

SB

Anonymous said...

Ooops, spelling error, "I am greatly saddned to see that 'their' .... " should have been 'there'

Sorry

SB

tatabug said...

SB,

At this point, it isn't religion imposing their beliefs on society. The people have spoken. They don't want SSM. It is the homosexual community and their supporters who are trying to impose their beliefs on society. And, selfishly, just as we are accused of acting, they have no qualms about imposing their beliefs.

tatabug said...

One other thing: We don't hate homosexuals. They are God's children just like the rest of us. This has nothing to do with hating a particular group of people. We hate the sin, but we can separate the sin and the sinner and still love the sinner. My children do things I absolutely hate, but I love my children with all my heart.

Dan said...

The people have not spoken. 51% of the people have spoken one way 48% have spoken another. When 51% of the people vote to remove a benefit that the other 48% liked, it is a recipe for disaster. This is in no way a reconciled problem simply because a majority of the people ruled one way. What you simply get here is tyranny of the majority. From the white hot anger this result produced, clearly those in favor of this proposition won the battle but are losing the war. Which side has more to lose? It seems to me that those in favor of the proposition have less to lose if gay marriage is allowed. Those who favor gay marriage have more to lose, and thusly they are far more passionate. They will eventually "win" something and leave behind scorched earth.

I am saddened to see them continually go to the courts to change public opinion rather than the legislature. It undermines the rule of democracy. Then again, we don't have a perfect democracy. We have a Republic we vote for representatives to judge better than the masses.

As far as "hate crime" is concerned, just remember, that in this country, long ago, gays could be sentenced to death for gay actions. Just look up the state laws in Virginia and Connecticut for example. They were far harsher than laws against blacks. Just look at the persecution gays have had to deal with throughout the history of this nation of ours. Keep that in perspective when you see an angry man take a woman's cross and stomp on it. Gays have been KILLED because they were gay. When gays start killing Christians because they are Christian, then come talk to me about hate crimes.

Seriously, Christians have got this persecution complex down masterfully. They welcome it. They revel in it. It feeds their religiosity to unhealthy levels.

Anonymous said...

"My understanding is that the church only lobbied members, not non-members, and not the public."

I guess all those Yes on 8 signs were designed to be seen by Mormons only? Are you kidding me?

And as to protests - if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

pops said...

A lot of the protesters keep talking about "equal rights". What right is it they are talking about? The right of a person to marry one person of the opposite sex?

Anonymous said...

Dan, as several posters already mentioned, They are going to follow the Lord and Obey the Prophet.
Please, do not try to use logic or reasoning here, it will never trump Abraham like Obedience from some of these people.

Anonymous said...

Dan,

"It undermines the rule of democracy."

Rule by majority is how a democracy functions. Just because it's a close majority does not mean it should be ignored. With a record number of voters turning out, it sounds an awful lot like there were plenty of people to make the choice for the state of California. It's just really unfortunate to see the sour grapes by the losers.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, what crime was being committed? I saw a bunch of shouting and pumping of fists, but could not spot the hate crime.
Or are you like the little old lady? Just trying to wind people up? Just goading people into a frenzy?
I think the little old lady should bring a lot more friends with her next time she wants to bait an angry group like that. Especially ones that have just had their rights stolen.
So, Jeff, if you please? What was the hate crime?

tatabug said...

Well, it was tyranny of the minority to begin with. But in this country, the majority rules when it comes down to a vote.

And yes, we do have representatives for these kinds of issues, but they are frankly too afraid to really take it on. I'm not suprised either. They can't win. So, since our representatives aren't taking it on, it's left up to the people (or judges) to decide--and yes, they've spoken.

Oh, and my persecution complex demands that I remind you that Mormons were killed because they were Mormon and practiced polygamy. Missouri's governor, at the time, issued an extermination order against Mormons making it legal to kill them. Maybe we need to take up the plural marriage issue again since we've been so persecuted. The country owes us.

Anonymous said...

The courts just ruled in Connecticut.
A judge cleared the way Wednesday for gay marriage in Connecticut


I am guessing it will be the same elsewhere soon.

Dan said...

anonymous @ 6:52,

I was meaning that those who favor gay rights going to courts to give those rights instead of the legislature. That undermines democracy.

tatabug,

I didn't know that Governor Boggs was gay. Clearly Christians have been killed because they were Christian. Mormons were killed because they were Mormon. What I said was, show me where a gay killed a Christian because he was Christian, and then we'll talk about hate crimes. I personally have not heard of such an incident. However, I do know of numerous incidents of Christians killing gays because they were gay.

Anonymous said...

tatabug:

With respect:

Gays are not 'imposing' anything on you by marrying, they are simply accessing rights available to married couples. (like the right to family only hospital visits). Whereas having a segment of society saying that they cannot marry DOES impose on the gay community by prohibiting access to those same marriage rights.

I realize that you (specifically) may not 'hate' gays (or gay marriage) but you still do not have the right to impose your beliefs on someone else.

You also mention your children by way of analogy. This is flawed, as your children, by law, are under your protection and guidance. Anyone else that is not a member of your family is NOT bound to look to you for protection or guidance. If they do want the guidance then they can join the church of their own free will.

Sincerely

SB

tatabug said...

Dan,

I understand that there is a difference in the persecution. It just seems to me like you are justifying the anger of homosexuals in this issue because they were persecuted. Well, we were persecuted too. Does that give us a right to get angry and take that anger out on our fellow countrymen? Maybe at the time that we were being hunted and killed, but not now. No one is trying to hunt and kill us for being Mormons. Neither is anyone trying to kill homosexuals because they are homosexuals. See my point?

Dan said...

tatabug,

What I'm saying is that taking a woman's cross and stomping on it, yelling at her, is not a hate crime, and doesn't even come close to what has been done in the past.

Anonymous said...

Christians have imposed their beliefs on everyone in this country for far too long.
Freedom of religion has never been freedom from religion.
But, tide is changing. These kind of protests would not have happened 50 years ago. Or even 30 years ago.
I see Gays having same rights as every one else in the not too distant future.
Time for Christians to stop killing Gays.
Jeff, your saying that the video showed a hate crime was a joke. But then again, when you have girded up your loins in righteousness you can point your finger at anyone that doesn't share your views.

tatabug said...

SB,

Here is a comment I made on another Mormonity post in response to the same thing you've suggested:

I believe we would've lost something, and I think if you can't see that, then maybe you don't really understand the sacred nature of marriage. Something we hold so sacred would've become even further eroded. And what's worse, "the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets." (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

If you take the word of the prophets, we have a lot to lose--a whole lot more than homosexuals. Homosexuals can get married. They can even have virtually the identical privileges of married couples. It just won't be recognized as marriage by the State. It won't get the public's stamp of approval. But if a homosexual couple's love is strong enough, and they are secure enough in their sexual identity, it shouldn't matter what society thinks.

Unless the homosexual agenda goes much deeper and is much more sinister than simple public approval (and I suspect it is for some), then they really have lost very little.

No worries though. They will eventually get their way. It may take judicial fiat and the shredding of the Constitution to get it done, but it will happen. At least we can say we fought the good fight by standing up for our convictions.

Dan,

So it isn't a crime to deface someone else's property? You don't think there was some hate involved, whether or not it qualifies under the law as a hate crime? Again, it seems you are making justifications here which is what I'm concerned about.

tatabug said...

SB,

Gays already have the legal rights you've suggested.

And yes, they are imposing their beliefs, same as us. They believe they have a right to marry and we don't. We believe that there are qualifications for marriage. They either don't or they have set their own qualification requirements for it.

The analogy of my children had nothing to do with legal garbage. It has to do with the love of human beings for each other in spite of their sins. Sorry you couldn't see that.

Anonymous said...

tatabug @ 7:25

You make my point for me. In your post you comment about the 'sacred nature of marriage'. EXACTLY!! In the church the marriage is solemnized in the eyes of God and thus becomes sacred in nature. A Marriage license granted by the state has NOTHING to do with God or the 'sacred nature of marriage', as I have pointed out before it is a legal document, nothing more, nothing less.

And NO they are not imposing on you....get it straight. Having them marry does NOT impact on YOU AT ALL. It will not change the way you live, work, eat, or sleep. As an example, granting women the right to vote did not impact on anybody back then despite all of the yelling about how it would change society for the worse. I dare say that you would probably look askance at anyone who would dare suggest that the right to vote be removed from women.

Gays do not have all the legal rights of married individuals. Look it up sometime, property rights for deceased partners, parenting rights, etc. NONE of these are available unless you are legally married.

As to the children issue. Yes I do understand that what you are referring to is about the love of another human. However the entire debate over gay marriage is a legal one and involves access to the legal rights that married people have. This is not a discussion about your public perception of morals or how you feel the need to love somebody who may be 'sinning'.

Once again, with respect for you and your position

SB

bunker said...

Dan said

"The people have not spoken. 51% of the people have spoken one way 48% have spoken another. When 51% of the people vote to remove a benefit that the other 48% liked, it is a recipe for disaster. This is in no way a reconciled problem simply because a majority of the people ruled one way. What you simply get here is tyranny of the majority"

So since Obama won with a popular vote of 52% and McCain 46%, you are saying this is tyranny of the majority? Look someone has to win. Sometimes when people lose they get upset. Its how they handle it that makes the difference and shows their true colors. If Prop 8 had been rejected I hardly think you would have seen Mormons at the porch of Gavin Newsom shouting obscenities and vandalizing structures. LDS Churches across California and some in Utah have begun to get vandalized right after this vote. See what I mean about true colors?


"Seriously, Christians have got this persecution complex down masterfully. They welcome it. They revel in it. It feeds their religiosity to unhealthy levels."

LOL, are you serious? You think gays are not having this persecution complex? Give me a break.

Dan said...

bunker,

"If Prop 8 had been rejected I hardly think you would have seen Mormons at the porch of Gavin Newsom shouting obscenities and vandalizing structures. LDS Churches across California and some in Utah have begun to get vandalized right after this vote. See what I mean about true colors?"

But don't you see, the Church and its members would not have lost anything, because in this fight they really had nothing to lose. So no, they would have had no reason to go shout obscenities at Gavin Newsom. The Church and its members just took away the one thing that gays prized the most right now in their lives. Of course they are going to be highly upset.

Hypothetically take away temple marriage away from Mormons and let's just see how upset Mormons get.

Jarvie said...

@DAN
"Hypothetically take away temple marriage away from Mormons and let's just see how upset Mormons get."
Oh snap you got us on that one.

You mean like in the many countries where the government doesn't view temple marriages as official!

We must be pretty upset about that eh?

Or perhaps not...

They do civil marriages in the morning to be legally married in the eyes of the state and then later that day they do the marriages at the temple which is important to us.

What are you missing out on that we won't champion your cause for you?
Hospital rights? Tax incentives? Filling out contracts together?
Lets find a common ground and work together to address your greviences.

We believe the institution of marriage is man and woman and should remain that way
Yes it does help to know that the majority of our society also believes that. But more importantly time always vindicates the prophets.

bunker said...

"But don't you see, the Church and its members would not have lost anything, because in this fight they really had nothing to lose."

Everyone that believes that marriage is between a man and a woman would have lost. They would have lost the right to live somewhere marriage isn't made a mockery of. Yes, this is largely a religious view, but guess what? Most of the country is Christian. If I live in a Muslim country then I would not expect them to bow down to my ideals.

One day gays may win this but the country still sees it the Pro Prop 8 way.

"Hypothetically take away temple marriage away from Mormons and let's just see how upset Mormons get."

Of course I would be upset, but this would be impossible unless God took it away and I can't argue with Him nor vandalize His house. O wait the anti prop 8 people already have.

tatabug said...

SSM separates the idea of marriage and parenthood, thereby accelerating marital decline.

Legal principles may be created in order to stigmatize, marginalize, or repress the views of those of us who disagree with the government's "new views" on marriage and sexual orientation.

These are the possible consequences of the legalization of SSM, along with the possible loss of the ability to act in accordance with one's religious beliefs without fear of legal action.

As for the rights of homosexuals in civil unions, I looked it up in Wikipedia:

In California where domestic partnership has been available to same-sex couples since 2000, a wholesale revision of the law in 2005 has made it, like the New Jersey civil union law, equivalent to marriage in every respect at the state level, though neither is recognized by the federal government.

In 2005, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a bill to adopt civil unions in Connecticut. Connecticut's civil unions are identical to marriage and provide all of the same rights and responsibilities except for the title.


I understand that not all states afford these same rights, and I have no problem with granting many of the legal benefits of marriage to homosexuals, but to legalize SSM in California only serves to give public legitimacy to it. The passage of Prop. 8 does not impact homosexuals there "AT ALL". It will not impact the way they live, work, eat, or sleep. It's about shoving it in our faces and making us eat it!

Stephen said...

When gays start killing Christians because they are Christian, then come talk to me about hate crimes.

Lest we forget, early on a young LDS girl died of AIDS given to her by her gay dentist whose goal was to show the world that "normal" people could get AIDS too.

She was singled out for being LDS and killed by a gay man for that very purpose, to further a political agenda.

Asking for examples is foolishness, what we should be asking for is more faith and love.

Thomas Clifford said...

It's amazing how the tolerance door only seems to swing one way.

wootmama said...

Gay Activists Use Donor List for Targeted Persecution

Scott Eckern, 25 year veteran of the Music Circus performing arts theatre in Sacramento has been forced to resign after being targeted by gay activists who used public records to “out” proposition 8 supporters. Eckern donated of his time and means to the tune of 1000.00 of his personal savings to the cause. Though his personal beliefs and efforts on behalf of proposition 8 did not cross into his professional life, he is now being forced to resign his position as his company bows to pressure from the gay community who are looking for revenge in the wake of California’s passage of the gay marriage ban.

This kind of political bullying is unconscionable. Pleas from the community on behalf of the longtime director fell on deaf ears as the news spread of the pressure for his resignation. A letter campaign in support of Eckern was heart felt, but came too late.

Who is next? Where is the image of love and tolerance now?

http://beetlebabee.wordpress.com/2008/11/12/persecution-continues-martyrs-for-prop-8/

Jayleenb said...

And again the accusation that those who follow the Prophet do so blindly.

Abraham knew several things when he offered Issac. He knew that God had promised him that through Issac his seed would be blessed. He knew that even if Issac was sacrificed that God could raise him again from the dead. And he knew that God was/is a perfect and loving God who knows all things.

He wasn't blind in his obedience at all.

Any law that is passed is someone's moral view or for the protection of society.

I admire that woman. Talk about courage. She has it. And for those who think she was stupid to excersise her freedom of speech in that venue. Shame on you. No one or group should be intimidated into silence.

We all have the right of peacable assembly. Violence is not okay. Threatening and intimidating is not okay. There should have been police there and the people who ripped her sign and cross from her should be in jail.

These people have EVERY RIGHT through CIVIL UNIONS that we do through marriage. Nothing whatsoever has been TAKEN from them.

Mormanity said...

Dan, what would you say about opening up marriage to anybody who wanted to be married - such as a man and two or more wives? Seems like that debate has been had and somebody lost - after they thought they had left the country to gain religious freedom.

Now if you think marriage should have no bounds and two wives are just fine, should we care if one of those wives is 12? Or 8? There have been times and places (including some cultures today) where that was or is legal. It's hard to say objectively exactly where the lines should be - debate is possible - but society has the right and even the need to impose some lines. Is society unjustly imposing its will on others when it has various requirements for marriage such as age?

What if a father wants to marry a daughter - any problem with that? Most people think so. Is it wrong of us to pass laws with limitations on who can marry who? Is "love" enough? Isn't love all that should matter? Shouldn't anyone in love get the benefits of marriage?

No, Dan. The contract of marriage is not about love - though marriage is obviously much better and healthier when love is present. And it's not about benefits to the adults - it's about responsibilities and duties. It's about adding legal requirements to promote responsibility, to ensure that a healthy union with the possibility of children can exist and to provide an environment - filled with duties and responsibilities - to raise and nurture the young. It's about protecting the woman from the burdens and abuse that could occur if men could safely procreate and walk away without obligations. It's about protecting the women and the children she may bear, and encouraging the father to be there.

The foundation of society is the family. Society has a strong, even compelling interest in protecting the sanctity of the family as a unit where children are procreated and raised. The marriage covenant is there in part to protect those who bear children as they take on that great risk. The future of society is in children raised in families by mothers who bear them, preferably with more than just biological help from a father.

When we lose our moral bearings to the point where the family is irrelevant and the welfare of children in families is irrelevant, when marriage is only about the benefits of the adults, free of responsibility, then we will destroy our future and create social chaos. On this matter, society must stand firm and speak out. Churches have not just the right but the obligation to stand for the moral foundation of a healthy society.

Dan said...

Mormanity,

Don't get me wrong. I'm not pro gay marriage. All I have been saying is that just because the people voted doesn't mean this problem is solved. This issue is far from reconciled, and honestly, I think---with my limited knowledge, of course---that we won a battle only to lose the war.

But then again, from the Church's perspective, this move could have been more about shoring up the lack of trust other Christian faiths have about Mormons. Even though other religions stab us in the back with their anti-Mormon literature, we somehow must stay close to them in the eyes of Salt Lake City.

Finally, this incident that you show really isn't a hate crime. Is there hate there? You bet. There is much anger, hot fury. But nothing close to what has been done in the past, particularly toward gays.

Jayleen said...

Dan said: "But then again, from the Church's perspective, this move could have been more about shoring up the lack of trust other Christian faiths have about Mormons. Even though other religions stab us in the back with their anti-Mormon literature, we somehow must stay close to them in the eyes of Salt Lake City."

Dan, the Prophet speaks on behalf of the Lord. This isn't some strategy to align with other churches or win the world's good opinion. What Prophet has ever gone those routes? It is what the Lord wants us to do. Stand for right in these latter-days before His Second Coming.

We don't lose the war, btw. Just so ya'know. Although some of us may lose our lives standing up for right. As long as we stand, we can never fall. Our reward comes in eternity.

Zera Pulsipher said...

So now assault and destruction of property are first amendment rights instead of crimes. That's not disturbing at all.

Two those who say we lose nothing, yes we do. We lose faith in our societies ability to make any decisions remotely resembling what is right. If you are religious with judeo-christian values, the Bible and Koran is clear on homosexuality. If you are an atheist natural selection is clear on homosexuality.

Their is no way to justify this type of behavior (homosexuality) as normal, or right in any way, shape, or form.

Bookslinger said...

'"My understanding is that the church only lobbied members, not non-members, and not the public."

I guess all those Yes on 8 signs were designed to be seen by Mormons only? Are you kidding me?'


The LDS church put up NO signs.

Any signs you saw were owned and displayed by INDIVIDUALS, not "the church".

If you want Mormon individuals to take down their pro-8 signs, then you are in effect trying to remove the freedom of speech of those individuals, not "the church".

"The church" is a corporate entity. And it has not lobbied the public, no ads, no tv spots, no billboards.

Any members who put up signs, or billboards or donated did so with their OWN money, on their OWN time.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you don't know what a hate crime is but you label the entry as "..A Hate Crime in Action"

You make no sense, but keep at it.
Hey, you know what would be a great idea? Only post things on your blog that you can find in the dark recesses of the internet that support your view. Only post videos and links that show you are Right, that will make you feel so much better about yourself.

Dan said...

Mormanity,

Let's see if the woman decides to press charges. Frankly, I can't see what kind of charges she could press and against whom.

"Can you imagine how such things would play out if the roles were reversed?"

I don't have to. We have numerous examples already, dude.

I'm sorry that I don't feel that bad for the old woman. It sure looked to me like she went there TO BE persecuted. She seemed proud of it. Maybe it was a defense mechanism in herself. But she sure didn't look frightened, or surprised, by the bullying of those there.

Furthermore, does it really make any common sense for a little old lady to go by herself representing the side of Christianity and anti-gay rights and NOT expect fury from pro-gay rights protestors? Does it make any sense to rile up the crowd further against you, UNLESS you are actually looking to pick a fight, to be the martyr for Jesus? What would be the point except to gain publicity, to stoke the hate and anger further? Surely this old lady could have gone and done whatever business she had at city hall without carrying a wooden cross openly with her.

What did Jesus teach us? He taught us to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. This old lady sure was not wise. And she was not harmless. She was an instigator, a lit match to kindle, meant to ignite passions further.

Sorry, I have no pity for her.

Mormanity said...

Dan, I agree in part. Perhaps her mission was a wild kamikaze strike designed to stir up trouble - that might be the case if she understood how volatile the crowd was. But I don't think she had any idea that they would break out of formation and engulf her. Doesn't she have a right to demonstrate also? If one is out numbered, do we have to abandon our right to speak out to avoid the wrath of others?

If that were a peaceful, elderly gay rights demonstrator being engulfed by angry Mormons or Catholic priests, I can't imagine any of my fellow Mormons saying that she had it coming and that we should have no pity for her. I think we would be upset at the behavior of our own if that occurred.

If you can't understand the wrongness of what happened there and the vileness of those who trampled her cross and swallowed her up in hostility, then I'm very sorry. I hope you don't really mean that in your heart.

If they had bloodied her, perhaps, would you feel sympathy then? Again, how far do they have to go before you would draw the line and say that it is wrong, ugly, and terribly inappropriate.

Mormanity said...

Anon: You don't know what a hate crime is . . .

I admit it's a vague definition, but the FBI seems to know what it is. That's why the new section at the end of my the post includes some information from them on the definition. Check it out.

But let me guess: you don't see any hate or any crime or anything inappropriate in the least of the actions of the crowd against the elderly Christian woman. Is that right? Please tell me you don't really buy into that, do you?

Jayleen said...

I'm not quite sure which is more disturbing. What the people in this video did to that poor woman, or people who think she 'asked for it' and feel no pity and don't think she had the right to free speech herself.

Chilling all the way around.

There aren't too many groups of people who haven't been treated heinously at some point on the timeline or another. Christians have been persecuted for centuries. Jews have as well. The infirm, the disabled... slaves from many nations...

This kind of behavior is unacceptable to any thinking person. Gays are being 'robbed' of nothing.

This is City Hall. She had a right to be there and be kept safe. Where were the police? I could see fear on her face, and she said more than once that the interview might need to wait. The way she was holding her hands. I can see them shaking.

Chilling... that anyone would excuse, let alone defend the actions of the mob is indeed chilling.

vicky said...

The homosexual agenda is being imposed on people across this country everywhere - indoctrination of the lifestyle in the schools, with or without parental approval, in entertainment, in politics - the homosexual agenda is everywhere! Not to mention their offensive and disgusting demonstrations in the streets during their gay pride parades. People who insist that they aren't foisting this stupidity on everyine are simply lying.

The people have spoken and it wasn't just Mormons who stood up to be counted for what is right and natural. Marriage is only for a man and a woman. Homosexuals may want to blame religion for the issue here but I don't care if you look at it from a Biblical standpoint or an evolutionary standpoint, the homosexual lifestyle is a destructive dead end and a waste of human genes and resources. The very idea of homosexual marriage is absurd and a waste of everyone's time.

MG said...

Let me say this one thing, and I may get beat up for it, but it seems nowadays no one can say the obvious if it crosses the politically-correct line in the sand.

I think in our effort to be sympathetic, we end up becoming naive. I don't think religion requires that we be naive. In fact, the sermon on the mount gives us directives on how to identify false prophets who are wolves in sheep's clothing, swine who are not prepared for spiritual truths, etc. These were the words of the Master, and they were clearly not politically correct.

Make no mistake, there is a segment of the homosexual lobby that simply are not good, loving, "tolerant" people. They are, in fact, bad people. They will be nice as long as you side with them. The second you step out of line, they become hateful, violent, and they attack. That is simply an absolute fact. We are naive to believe otherwise. Now not every gay is like this, of course, but that is irrelevant. When the leader of a movement is corrupt, many hapless accomplices are often recruited to the cause, typically by playing on their emotions.

The "fruit" of what I see here is that those at the forefront of this movement are more than sore losers. Their true colors are coming out. To refuse to see it and identify it out of fear of being labeled is a tragedy.

Roxy said...

I was scared for that woman. She was surrounded by a lot of men and they looked like they were ready to strike at any moment. I wonder what would've happened if she were to take one of their posters and ripped it or stomped on it? Scary thought.

The video reminded me a little of the protesters that gathered outside of the building in Salt Lake City for General Conference. Talk about instigators. What harm could that lady have caused for her to have been treated that way? I didn't hear her swear or yell or anything like that. Maybe she did , but I sure couldn't hear with all the yelling.She just walked around with a big cross. It's sad to see people treating others, especially the elderly, that way. I guess that big crowd full of angry people felt threatened by an old lady walking around with a big cross. I mean who wouldn't be right? Puleeze!!

Insurance said...

It was easily several crimes:

-theft of the sign
-battery when they took the sign
-assault when they were hovering over her and threatening her (most likely)

amontoya said...

SB said: "If you are a member of a church that does not support gay/lesbian marriages then that is fine. You and your church are completely free to restrict who is blessed before God in marriage, in your church." "...NO they are not imposing on you....get it straight. Having them marry does NOT impact on YOU AT ALL."

A Methodist organization in New Jersey lost part of its tax-exempt status recently, because it refused to allow two lesbian couples to use their chapel for a civil union ceremony. Because the state of Massachusetts insisted that all adoption agencies must allow same sex couples to adopt, the archdiocese had to close down the adoption program of Catholic Charities in Boston. A wedding photographer faces a hearing with New Mexico's Human Rights Commission, after declining the business of a lesbian couple, because she didn't want to photograph their commitment ceremony. In Quebec, a Mennonite school was informed that it must conform to teaching homosexuality as an acceptable alternative lifestyle.

In California, a doctor was sued for refusing to artificially inseminate a lesbian. A Lutheran private school was sued for disciplining two girls for kissing. Public schools will soon be required to be "gay friendly." All this in the name of supporting the rights of same-sex couples to “equality” with straight couples.

Legalizing same sex "marriage" is not independent of all other activities of the state. If same-sex couples can marry each other, they should be allowed to adopt. If same-sex couples can have civil unions, then denying them the use of any facility they want for their ceremony amounts to unlawful discrimination. When the state says that same sex couples are equivalent to opposite-sex couples, school curriculum will inevitably have to support this claim.

Once the government asserts that same sex unions are the equivalent of marriage, then the government must enforce a slew of other social changes. Unfortunately, these changes are at odds with certain liberties, including private property rights and religious freedom.

The price of same sex "marriage" is a reduction in tolerance for everyone else.

amontoya

Anonymous said...

" But let me guess: you don't see any hate or any crime or anything inappropriate in the least of the actions of the crowd against the elderly Christian woman. Is that right? Please tell me you don't really buy into that, do you?"

No Jeff, You guess wrong. I do see hate. I do see something inappropriate against her. I do not see a hate crime. Which is what you said it was.
I do not like what happened to her. But, I also see both sides of the issue. And the side you failed to mention was that this little old lady was stirring up an angry protest even more. Sure she has a right to protest, and march and show her support for her beliefs. She also has a right to do something stupid, which is what I think she did.
I think this is a perfect example, that you see one side to the issue, and not the other. You don't post stories of gays being spit on, attacked, ridiculed, abused and beaten and killed. All of those things happen in our society today. I do not think people go out at night looking to beat or kill or harm missionaries or members of your church. Yet, that happens with young people today, they are taught that being gay is wrong and a sin. So, they justify the torture they put these people through. If a mormon missionary were sought out and killed and tortured would you post a story about it on your blog? I think you might. Why not, right? It is of interest to you and your readers. And sympathy would be expressed and horror and outrage at the injustice of it. But those people, gays, live through a lot of torture every day without much sympathy for them. Your blog is your blog, post what you like, but only posting evidence to show one side of an issue and only appreciating those that see your side of an issue makes you lose credibility. It does for me, at least. Yes, I am nobody, but I prefer to err on the side of loving people no matter what their religion or sexual preference. Too much finger pointing and hate in this world. Sorry we don't see eye to eye on this one.

Dan said...

amontoya,

"A Methodist organization in New Jersey lost part of its tax-exempt status recently, because it refused to allow two lesbian couples to use their chapel for a civil union ceremony."

Can you provide the reference to this, please.

Mormanity,

"Doesn't she have a right to demonstrate also? If one is out numbered, do we have to abandon our right to speak out to avoid the wrath of others?"

She has a right to be there just like they do. She has a right to be there as a single person versus 500. But that doesn't mean that it is smart or wise to do so. The more I think about this, the more I lean on her going there to pick a fight.

"If they had bloodied her, perhaps, would you feel sympathy then? Again, how far do they have to go before you would draw the line and say that it is wrong, ugly, and terribly inappropriate."

That would depend on where we draw the line of free speech. Can a group of fifty be allowed to yell and intimidate a group of one? Seems to me like that is covered by free speech.

The problem I have with your reasoning, Jeff, is that you are broadening the idea of "hate crime" to mean quite a lot that hasn't been a part of hate crime. This dilutes the phrase. If practically any harsh word can be considered a hate crime, then we're all violators, and hate crime is no different than anything else. Or is it a hate crime when one is outnumbered by fifty? Would it be considered a hate crime if the same hateful language was used between two groups of protestors equally numbered? Say this incident occurred, exactly as we see it with the woman's cross taken and trampled on, but instead of a single old woman, she was accompanied by fifty of her friends. Would you still call it a hate crime? Probably not. You'd probably say it was simply a situation where emotions got out of hand. The cross eventually was okay and returned to the little old lady. But no one was hurt, except their feelings by the harsh language.

This is why I keep leaning on the thought that this old lady went there to pick a fight.

Dan said...

amontoya,

I think you are referring to this

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/sep/07091902.html

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced on Monday that it was stripping the Methodist Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association of its tax-exempt status for part of its property. The Methodist camp made the news earlier this year after it refused, for religious reasons, to allow a lesbian couple to hold a "civil-union" ceremony at a pavilion on the camp's property.

The pavilion, said Scott Hoffman, the camp's chief administrative officer to LifeSiteNews, "is a facility we have used exclusively for our camp meeting mission and worship celebrations since 1869."

Until recently the camp held tax-exempt status on its entire boardwalk property under a New Jersey program that gives tax-breaks to organizations that open up their property to the general public.

In June, however, Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Pester, a lesbian, filed a complaint with the state attorney general's office on the basis of sexual orientation discrimination, after Ocean Grove refused to allow them to hold their "civil-union" ceremony at the camp's pavilion. A second lesbian couple has also sued Ocean Grove. New Jersey's anti-discrimination laws currently forbid those who "offer goods, services, and facilities to the general public" from "directly or indirectly denying or withholding any accommodation, service, benefit, or privilege to an individual" on the basis of sexual orientation.


Hmmm, it seems to me that the organization should have known the laws on the books and realized that by discriminating against the lesbian couple, they could lose their tax exempt status. If you open your land to public use, you are liable to public laws. Sounds sensible to me. The price to pay in a multi-cultural democracy.

Dan said...

sorry to keep picking on you Amontoya, but I do have to comment on this:

Because the state of Massachusetts insisted that all adoption agencies must allow same sex couples to adopt, the archdiocese had to close down the adoption program of Catholic Charities in Boston.

That's not the case at all. The State of Massachusetts insisted that all adoption agencies that receive public funds must not discriminate against same sex couples. If you are a private adoption agency receiving no federal or state funds to operate, then you can discriminate against whomever you desire. Because the Catholic charities received public funding, and because the Catholic church refused to let gay couples adopt, they opted to get out of the adoption service all together.

That's too bad for all those kids who need parents. They are the ones who have to suffer. The Catholic church suffers nothing. So sad that they would prefer that kids lose than they losing on money.

Mormanity said...

Dan, you may be right about wanting to pick a fight - but it may also have been simply a courageous desire to stand up for the other side. I would advice others to not try what she did. In retrospect, anyway, it was asking for trouble.

But look at what the FBI has to say about hate crimes. Hard to see how this event doesn't fit.

Lars said...

re: Anon 11/12/08 11:00 PM

Funny you should mention that about no one going out at night looking to beat or kill or harm missionaries... Less than a month ago in Australia that very thing happened when 3 men went out at night looking to assault and stab 2 Mormon missionaries.

I partly agree that this was probably not a wise thing for this lady to do, but ultimately the people that assaulted her are responsible for their own appalling behavior. And it does indeed seem to fit the FBI's definition of "hate crime" as described in the addendum to the original post. Whether or not you agree with the concept of hate crime, it is the law and if you're going to argue that it wasn't a hate crime, you need to show why the FBI's definition does not apply.

Anonymous said...

No Jeff, it is hard for You to see how it doesn't fit.
No one has argued that the protestors were right, or that they should have taken the old lady's property.
Just no one sees that this is a hate crime.
I read what the FBI says is a hate crime and no matter how much you want to jump up and down about it Jeff, there was no Hate crime.
Sorry, you are just wrong. But then again, I am guessing this isn't about the old lady. I am guessing this is more about you and your justification for those feelings you have for gays and lesbians, and more specifically those that desecrated your temple wall. Maybe some introspection is in order Jeff, ever try it? It can be cathartic.

Dan said...

Jeff,

But look at what the FBI has to say about hate crimes. Hard to see how this event doesn't fit.

First of all, there has to be a crime. To knock an object out of someone's hand and stomp on it, as far as I remember, is not considered a crime. That includes copies of the Book of Mormon and crosses. You focus much more on the hate part and forget that no real crime actually took place.

MG said...

The Catholic adoption discussion detractors are missing the whole point. They have a "comeback" for every point brought forward based on actual case study scenarios. This shows many have no desire to understand the issue. Let me state it plainly.

Before the marriage change in Mass., the Catholic adoption agency was within the bounds of the law by allowing only heterosexual couples to adopt. This policy is based on religious beliefs backed up by thousands of years and billions billions of successful data points showing that this is a successful model. There is not a person on the planet who does not owe his or her existence to a man and a woman in some way, so the Catholic policies are in line with solid evidence and good sense.

Once the law changed, all of a sudden the policies they had in place for years became unacceptable. This is exactly the point. The change in law changed long-standing policies from acceptable to unacceptable. Never mind that there is practically no long-term anthropological or sociological evidence to back up societies built upon the backbone of same-gender unions. Never mind that such a policy change has no science or history behind it. The Catholics have to change their practices. That's the whole point.

Jayleen said...

"No Jeff, it is hard for You to see how it doesn't fit.
No one has argued that the protestors were right, or that they should have taken the old lady's property.
Just no one sees that this is a hate crime. "

Speak for yourself. Plenty of people do see this as a hate crime based on the FBI definition.

And Dan - So a gang of thugs can just walk up to you, and knock books out of your hand and stomp them into the ground while screaming at you and crowding in on you, and no crime will have been committed. That's just 'free speech'?

And are you saying that religious icons are not personal property?

I really think you're too invested at this point in being right that you can't see the obvious.

dan said...

Jayleen,

Yes, actually a gang of thugs can do that. Now, you might be able to press some charge and see if you can get something out of it, but probably because the cost of that effort is going to be far greater than the reward, it might just be dismissed and you might just have to grow thicker skin.

Twizzer said...

I think Dan means that a gang of thugs can do this legally in his mind. I suspect Dan grew up in a pretty rough neighborhood.

Jayleen said...

Dan - Well we're getting somewhere; you admit their behavior is illegal. That's a start. So their behavior is illegal, and it's directed at a woman entirely due to showing up with a cross which symbolizes religion. That makes it a hate crime according to the FBI definition.

But we should just get "thicker skin" and ignore violence, vandals and gangs? And allow violence to rule the day. So, whoever gets violent can just chase of the peaceful without ramifications.

Yep, that sounds like great advice.

At this point your own words comdemn you. I'll leave it at that.

Jayleen said...

I dunno twizzler - he admit a charge could be filed. He seems to think the reason would be 'to get something out of it'...

Yeah, how about so our right to free speech will be preserved!

amontoya said...

Dan said: "Can you provide the reference to this, please."

You can read the story here:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91554986

Apparently, the woman in New Mexico already lost her case and was forced to pay the attorney's fees of the lesbians who sued her for not taking pictures of their "wedding."

The Methodist organization said the couple could "marry" on the boardwalk, but not in buildings used for religious purposes.

"If you open your land to public use, you are liable to public laws. Sounds sensible to me."

That's the point. Churches are open to the public, and if the state elevates same sex unions to the status of marriage, then the state can say a church must allow same sex "marriages" because it allows opposite sex marriages. All "marriages" must be considered equal.

Marriage between men and women is a natural social institution, and can sustain itself with little or no assistance from the government. Precisely because same-sex unions are not the same as opposite-sex marriage, the state must intervene to make people believe (or at least make them act as if they believe) that the two types of unions are equivalent.

"The Catholic church suffers nothing."

The Catholic Church lost the right to run its agency as it sees fit.

"That's too bad for all those kids who need parents."

Agreed. Kids need a mother and a father, and that's what Catholic Charities wanted to give them. However, because the state of Massachusetts is imposing the belief that same sex unions are equivalent to marriage, the Church closed the adoption program, rather than shortchange the kids.

Anonymous said...

"Speak for yourself. Plenty of people do see this as a hate crime based on the FBI definition. "
Sorry Jayleen, I meant all rational people that could look at it objectively and were not just pushing an agenda.
If you believe it was a hate crime, then please, go do something about it rather than argue here. Go ask that charges be filed, you have your video evidence.
You feel so strongly about it, go do something.
I am guessing you would get laughed out of court.

wootmama said...

There are many hate crimes going on out there. Did you see the burning BOM incident in Colorado?

The worst one I've seen so far is the one that went down yesterday afternoon when a group of gay activists threatened to boycott El Coyote restaurant because the neice of the owner gave a hundred dollars to the marriage amendment. Not only did the restaurant try to mend fences by offering these people a free lunch to discuss the matter, they gave 10,000.00 to pro gay causes. You'd think that was enough, but it wasn't. They wanted the lady, who was elderly, and had to be supported on either elbow by her daughters while she faced this crowd, to deny her faith. They basically wanted her to deny her faith to protect the business. She refused and the place errupted in fury.

This isn't about tolerance, it's about domination and the attitude of these activists proves it.

This state has gone insane.

http://beetlebabee.wordpress.com/2008/11/13/gay-rights-vigilantes/

Marcus said...

"The people have not spoken. 51% of the people have spoken one way 48% have spoken another. When 51% of the people vote to remove a benefit that the other 48% liked, it is a recipe for disaster. This is in no way a reconciled problem simply because a majority of the people ruled one way. What you simply get here is tyranny of the majority."

51% is tyranny of majority? So when 51% of the general populace elected Barack Obama it was a recipe for disaster and a tyranny of the majority? Interesting...

Anonymous said...

When 51% of the people vote to remove a benefit that the other 48% liked, it is a recipe for disaster.

51% is tyranny of majority? So when 51% of the general populace elected Barack Obama it was a recipe for disaster and a tyranny of the majority?

Marcus, learn to read.

Anonymous said...

Hey All,

Just heard about some more democracy at work regarding Prop 8. Seems that there is now an intent by the California Supreme Court to hear arguments about the constitutionality of the majority of the people in California voting to pass Prop 8. I'm wondering if either side has stopped to consider the consequences of allowing the supreme court of California to rule that its unconstitutional for a majority of the people to vote to change their constitution. Has anyone really considered the impact of what that means to democracy and the message it sends to the voters in California and across the country? We sit here and complain about lobby groups and special interests controlling congress and the president. What are we going to do when those same special interest groups and lobbyists control the courts as well. Where will people turn for justice, fairness, and integrity? Something to consider.

Catholic Defender

Mormanity said...

CD, you raise an important point. Using the courts to overrule the electorate and impose the "correct" elitist view of the world has become a heavily used tool. In their shameless arrogance, their is no limit to the abuses we may see in the future. We have let courts usurp far too much power, without the restraint that Congress and others should be providing over them.