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2/23/09

California Chronicle Preaches Hateful Lies About Mormons

The California Chronicle published an appalling set of lies about the Mormon Church and its role in Proposition 8.

"The Mormon Church was instrumental in helping pass Proposition 8 in California – the hateful anti-gay, anti-same-sex marriage initiative..."

Wait... so the proposition itself was "anti-gay" beyond simply banning same-sex marriages? Uhhhhh... how?

"... that narrowly passed in November."

It passed by a large margin, by the same margin of Obama's victory

"In fact, the Mormon Church, which previously denied spending any money to pass Proposition 8..."

Absolutely false. The church disclosed a number of spending reports prior to January

"... actually illegally spent money to pass proposition 8..."

False. Every jot and tittle of the law was followed.

"The misinformation and lies purported by proponents of the initiative has resulted in a documented increase in violence and discrimination against lesbian and gays nationwide, including the murder of a gay man in New York."

False. One gay man's death in New York has nothing to do with California's politics. And there were no lies purported by proponents, or violence against gays. Rather, it's been the gays themselves blackmailing, beating, vandalizing, mailing anthrax, etc.

"...polygamy is currently actively practiced by contemporary members of the Church."

Absolutely false.

"...the Mormon Church is not a Christian church and is not recognized as a Christian church by any mainstream Christian denomination."

False, many Christian churches recognize Mormons as Christians. I'm confused now, is this about theology or politics?

"Most mainstream Christian denominations, including Evangelical churches, do not recognize the Mormon faith as Christian."

Didn't you just say all Christian denominations? What does this have to do with anything?

"Rather, these Christian churches consider the Mormon faith a cult religion because of it's historic polygamist advocacy..."

Who says that? Did you know Martin Luther advocated polygamy? As long as we're talking theology...

"The bigoted Proposition 8 was supported by the Mormon Church, fundamentalist right-wing extremists, the Knights of Columbus, the Ku Klux Klan, and other hate groups outside of California."

You forgot Adolf Hitler, Darth Vader, and Michael Jackson...

Why in the world is this garbage website (affiliated with The American Chronicle, California Chronicle, Los Angeles Chronicle, World Sentinel) listed on google news???

6 comments:

El Genio said...

I agree with you on some points, but not on others.

Let's be honest, the Mormon church was instrumental in helping prop 8 pass in California. Most people estimate that church members contributed at least 40% of the total funds given to the yes on 8 team. According to Wikipedia, ProtectMarriage (the official yes on 8 organization) estimates donations from members of the church at closer to 50%. And if you look at the polls on this issue, you can see how big of a difference the yes on 8 team made over the last few months of the campaign.

Again, we worked hard to pass this proposition, so why on earth are we suddenly trying to pretend like we really didn't do anything. I live in California and this was talked about every week in church for months. We held firesides, we issued at least 6 callings to coordinate prop 8 efforts, we had pizza parties, calling center parties, canvasing parties, sign rallies, etc. We played a very significant role in this campaign - and no other religious organization was this zealous about their efforts.

Next point: How on earth is 5% a large margin? President Obama was elected at 53% vs McCain's 45% while prop 8 passed at 52.3% to 47.7% So no, prop 8 was not passed by the same perecentage as Obama's victory, and neither 5% nor 8% is a large margin. This becomes even more apparent when you realize that 5% of the voting public in California last November only amounted to 600,000 individuals. That number only makes up 1.6% of the entire state of California.

I have yet to see any direct suicides attributed to prop 8, but let's not forget the suicide of Stuart Matis on the steps of his stake center in response to prop 22 in 2000. It breaks my heart.

I agree with you on the issues of Christianity.

The issue of reported contributions is certainly an interesting one. The church has said it reported everything in a timely matter and I tend to agree with this. What neither side is really addressing here are items that have not been accounted for. There was a fireside put on by several general authorities (broadcast via satellite all over the state) on marriage that I have yet to see accounted for anywhere. And satellite time is not free. There were also a lot of conference calls and meetings that took place on church property.

Dr B said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment. First of all, I happened to know Stuart Matis, I grew up with him. He was a troubled young man with pressures from his family, friends, and church that drove him to it. It was heartbreaking. But he came from a good family and had good leaders. He never indicated that he was mistreated, just misunderstood and he simply couldn't handle it. I think his family and leaders could have responded better by opening communication to him. I regret I and other youth didn't open to him like we could have. I think he really just wanted to be heard.

My point here was that I don't know of any pro-proposition 8 person harassing or committing any illegal act against a gay person. All the time we see the popular culture twist things, like by instilling guilt by association of violent persecution in the movie "Milk," by telling us that even Christians despise the "bigot Mormons."

You can follow my link the church's timeline of all their disclosures. I haven't scrutinized it that closely to be honest.

I never disputed that the church was instrumental in passing proposition 8. I agree that it is an achievement we shouldn't try to hide.

Bot said...

Despite the MSM, Hollywood, and liberal churches beating the "gay marriage" drum, it didn't pass in California. And 44 states prohibit it. Its all about forcing "straight" people to accept it and propagandize our children into accepting it.

No wonder it failed.

Here's more information on how the Chruch of Jesus Christ (LDS) comports with Christianity:

http://MormonsAreChristian.blogspot.com

beetlebabee said...

Thanks for this article check. I'm constantly surprised how many false stories get printed, especially when the LDS church has been so open about it's donations. All you have to do is go to their website, it's all published there.

Anyway, thanks for doing the legwork for those who found actual fact finding too inconvenient.

Chairm said...

Dr. B, your blogpost hits a lot of very good base runs and a couple of home-rums, too.

Good work.

* * *

El Genio said: "This becomes even more apparent when you realize that 5% of the voting public in California last November only amounted to 600,000 individuals. That number only makes up 1.6% of the entire state of California."

Yes, that is one way of looking at it but that would diminish the achievement of Proposition 8, unnecessarily.

* * *

I enjoy sinking my teeth into this kind of topic. So here are a few more statistics that tell a more comprehension story.

* * *

Let's put Proposition 8 into its proper context.

Of those who were eligible to vote in 2008 in California, 57.7% actually voted on the marriage amendment. Of those who registered to vote, 77.5% did vote. That is among the highest turnouts for a ballot initiative since 1972. On that basis alone it merits special applause.

Some places in the world have special rules that require a minimum voter turnout for a direct vote like this to be counted as valid. In that case, sure, your statistical description would be reasonable and apt.

However, as you may know, in California a valid win is 50%-plus-one-vote no matter the size of the turnout. See the bottom of this comment for some surprising examples of elections won with less than the margin won by the marriage amendment.

To get on the ballot in 2008, petitioners needed to collect 694,354 signatures (8% of total votes in 2006 Governor election) but they submitted 1,120,801 (12.9%) which exceeded the requirement by more than 160%. Not only was this the most high volume petition drive in the state's history, it was the cleanest with a very high signature validity rate. The number of signatures amounts to 16% of the total number of Yes votes.

Just these points above demonstrate that Proposition 8 counts as a major achievement in direct democracy. It is not reasonable to diminish this achievement.

* * *

But there is more.

The margin in favor of the marriage amendment is 599,602 votes. You said that the margin was about 1.6% of the state population.

Only the adult population can vote so the more apt ratio is 2.2% of adults across the state.

However, not all adults are eligible to vote. And not all who are eligible register to vote. So the progressively more apt ratios are 2.6% and 3.5%.

In California, of those who voted for President, 97.5% voted on the marriage amendment.

The difference between the share of that vote that went Yes (52.3%) and No (47.8%) is actually 4.5%.

Of those who were eligible to vote in 2008 in California, 57.7% cast ballots. Of those who registered to vote, 77.5% did vote.

That is the highest turnout since 1972.

* * *

Re: "narrowly passed".

Remember that according to the election laws, a 0.5% margin is considered narrow and automatically triggers a manual tally. Cetainly, a 5% margin is a comfortable margin of victory.

Contests decided with a majority of 53% or less in the 2006 and 2008 California elections are a regular feature of California's elections:

A. Elected in 2006 or 2008 GENERAL elections.

One US President with 52% of popular vote across country.
One Lieutenant Governor (49.2%)
One Secretary of State (48.1%)
Two State Senators (50.2% and 50.3%)
Thirteen Assembly Members (ranging from 46.7% to 53%)
Seven US Representatives elected to the US Congress (ranging from 49.1% to 52.7%)

B. PRIMARY races for State Assembly and Senate decided with less than 53% in 2006 and 2008:

Six State Senatorial candidacies (ranging from 39.1% to 52.8%)
Of these 6 candidates, all were later elected in General Elections.

Fourteen Assembly candidacies in 2008 Primaries (ranging from 30.2% to 53%)
Twelve of 14 these candidates later elected in General Election.

Twenty-three Assembly candidates in 2006 Primaries (ranging from 28.8% to 52.4%)
Twenty of 23 these candidates later elected in General Election.

C. Members of the Judiciary committees of the Senate and Assembly who recently voted to advise the CA Supreme Court that the marriage amendment should be struck down AND who won primaries with less than 53%:

Corbett (10th District) 39.1%, Dem Chair on the Senate's Judiciary Committee.
Leno (3rd District) 43.8%, Dem Senator on Judiciary Committee and member of GLBT Caucus.
Feuer (42nd District) 52.2%, Dem Chair on the Assembly's Judiciary Committee.
Brownley (41st District) 34.9%, Dem Assembly member on Judiciary Committee.
Monning (27th District) 51.3% Dem Assembly member on Judiciary Committee.

D. President Obama won with 52.8% of the popular vote.

* * *

Heh.

Now, we know that the No-on-8 side will use the expressions narrow majority and mob rule in the same breath when denouncing the Yes victory.

So let's be careful to give credit where credit is due.

The people who got out the vote for Yes are real heroes and their achievement was no small feat.

Especially when you consider how large a lead the No side had at the outset. They probably got an additional 5-10% points just because of the CA Supreme Court opinion and the Attorney General's rewrite of the ballot measure's title and description. I think this accounts for the difference between Proposition 22 and Proposition 8's margins of victory.

* * *

Chairm Ohn
The Opine Editorials
http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/

Chairm said...

By the way, the five members of the judiciary committees that I listed in item C above, they represent 50% -- one-half -- of the committee votes against the marriage amendment.

Here they are again:

Corbett (10th District), Leno (3rd District), Feuer (42nd District), Brownley (41st District), Monning (27th District).

They are joined by two others who have been long opposing Proposition 22 even though they got less than the 62% that Proposition 22 had won.

Indeed, remember the two votes in the Legislature that tried to enact SSM, and over-ride the 62% vote on Proposition 22? The Governor vetoed them.

Those legislative votes produced majority whose margin was delivered by Assemblymembers or Senators who either got less than 62% in the General Election or less than that in their Primary elections.

They tried to defeat a ballot measure that was more popular than themselves.

Their attempts were also unconstitutional.

The No side like majorities -- narrow or not. They would have celebrated a 52% defeat of the amendment. And they did celebrate the 4-3 majority on the CA Supreme Court.

Just as we should not allow them to redefine marriage, we should allow them to redefine victory.