Dinner Topics for Thursday
We like to follow up yesterday’s Abuse Report with some solutions, which we call the Moral Repair Plan.
Strong families, guided by a loving mother and father, serve as the fundamental institution for nurturing children, instilling faith, and transmitting to future generations the moral strengths and values that are important to civilization and crucial to eternal salvation.
1. Christian Church Instructs Leaders on Same-Sex Marriage
On December 20, 2013, a federal district judge in Salt Lake City issued an order legalizing same-sex marriage in Utah, striking down century-old state laws and a state constitutional amendment that defined marriage exclusively as between a man and a woman. The United States Supreme Court has put that ruling on hold pending consideration of the issue by an appellate court. During the interval between the district court ruling and the Supreme Court stay, numerous same-sex marriages were performed in Utah. Legal proceedings and legislative action in some other states and countries have given civil recognition to same-sex marriage relationships.
As we face this and other issues of our time, we encourage all to bear in mind our Heavenly Father’s purposes in creating the earth and providing for our mortal birth and experience here as His children. “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:27–28). “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
Marriage between a man and a woman was instituted by God and is central to His plan for His children and for the well-being of society. Strong families, guided by a loving mother and father, serve as the fundamental institution for nurturing children, instilling faith, and transmitting to future generations the moral strengths and values that are important to civilization and crucial to eternal salvation.
Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established.
God expects us to uphold and keep His commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society. His law of chastity is clear: sexual relations are proper only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
We urge you to review and teach Church members the doctrine contained in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”
Just as those who promote same-sex marriage are entitled to civility, the same is true for those who oppose it. The Church insists on its leaders’ and members’ constitutionally protected right to express and advocate religious convictions on marriage, family, and morality free from retaliation or retribution. The Church is also entitled to maintain its standards of moral conduct and good standing for members.
Consistent with our fundamental beliefs, Church officers will not employ their ecclesiastical authority to perform marriages between two people of the same sex, and the Church does not permit its meetinghouses or other properties to be used for ceremonies, receptions, or other activities associated with same-sex marriages. Nevertheless, all visitors are welcome to our chapels and premises so long as they respect our standards of conduct while there.
While these matters will continue to evolve, we affirm that those who avail themselves of laws or court rulings authorizing same-sex marriage should not be treated disrespectfully. The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to love and treat all people with kindness and civility—even when we disagree.
As members of the Church, we are responsible to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to illuminate the great blessings that flow from heeding God’s commandments as well as the inevitable consequences of ignoring them. We invite you to pray that people everywhere will have their hearts softened to the truths of the gospel, and that wisdom will be granted to those who are called upon to decide issues critical to society’s future.
2. Marriage is about the welfare of children
Why has nearly every culture in the world, since the beginning, had the good sense to recognize and foster marriages between one man and one woman?
There are several reasons:
- Jews and Christians believe it is a God thing. Genesis tells us that God created Adam and Eve as a model for the family structure. Jesus affirmed this in Matthew 19:4-6, when He said: “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
- Marriage between one man and one woman works.It is an institution that is tried and tested. It forms the cornerstone of a self-governing society and economy. There is no other model you can point to in the history of the world that more naturally meets the needs of people, civilizes a society and reduces violence and oppression.
- Lastly, and quite apart from the divisive spiritual and economic issues that divide people, there’s the issue of child-rearing. There simply is no good alternative to raising children outside of the one-man, one-woman family. It protects children. It provides male and female role models for them. It’s simple common sense.
Nevertheless, there are powerful cultural and legal forces working overtime in Western societies to relegate the ideal institution of marriage to the ash heap of history.
Things are moving quickly now, but the process for dismantling marriage has been under way for some time.
It began in earnest with a structural change in laws that made divorce easy. The concept was called “no-fault divorce.” If a man or a woman wanted a divorce for any reason, it would be granted. Divorce had always been around, but there were laws that discouraged it, made it difficult, required “grounds.” That all changed in the 1960s and 1970s. And divorce skyrocketed.
The result was a dramatic increase in poverty mostly for women and children. The state would have to step in with programs to provide the “safety net” the family structure previously offered. (Few recognize, even to this day, how the government was empowered through this act of counterfeit compassion.)
Then came “the women’s liberation movement.” The feminists insisted that marriage was, by design and nature, an oppressive, paternalistic institution. The slogan “marriage equals rape” comes to mind. Women were discouraged from thinking about marriage as a natural desire and goal for their lives.
Then came “the gay liberation movement.” We were told that what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms was nobody else’s business – certainly not the government’s. Homosexuality was “normal,” whereas it had previously been seen as a pathology or, worse yet, a sin. Not only was it normal, it was genetic – and impossible to reverse. From there, people’s sexual proclivities and habits became everyone’s business – especially the government’s. Laws against homosexual behavior were struck down by courts.
And then came, just as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had warned in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case overruling anti-sodomy laws, something new under the sun – “same-sex marriage.” When Scalia wrote his dissent in the Lawrence case, suggesting it would lead directly to homosexual marriage, polygamy and incest, there was raucous scoffing and ridicule from the progressives. Because, at that time, not even the most radical homosexual activists had dreamed up such ideas.
Where are we today?
- Same-sex marriage has been legalized in 18 states and the District of Columbia.
- Those who still cling to the notion that homosexuality is sin are prosecuted for their “bigotry” for simply refusing to participate in such ceremonies as photographers, cake makers or officiators.
- Last month, Utah District Judge Clark Waddoups effectively ruled in favor of polygamy in the case of Kody Brown and his concubines, who appear in the reality TV show “Sister Wives.”
It’s worth pointing out that Utah was only permitted to become a state in 1896 when it officially renounced polygamy.
Technically, however, polygamy is still illegal. But it’s only a matter of semantics now. If a man can persuade several women to shack up with him and have children, it’s OK – as long as he doesn’t refer to those women as his wives. You can still only have one woman as a wife, but you can cohabitate with as many as you like. Presumably the same applies to a woman who chooses to have a brood of men living with her.
But how long do you suppose this situation will last?
If “same-sex marriage” is about freedom of choice, why would that choice be limited to couples? Where did the notion of marriage as an institution between couples come from? Did it not originate with the same “archaic” religious principles that have been blown to smithereens by “same-sex marriage” laws and court rulings?
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, what of the children?
Does anyone consider the effect this kind of social experimentation will have on the unfortunate kids who are being treated like guinea pigs?
There is a better way. It’s found in Genesis 2:24. It’s found in Matthew 19:4-6. It’s found in Mark 10:7. It’s found in our consciences if only we would listen.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/01/marriage-is-about-the-welfare-of-children/#CjX1BVZx8Pt06cSf.99
3) Stop Government Debt; Balance the Budget
States are working to oppose national tyranny, using the Constitution. Emphatically, this is NOT a Constitutional Convention, NOT to re-write it, but to legally compel Congress to do its job—to control and rein in the maniacal spending of the dictator in the White House by passing a single amendment requiring a balanced budget. This is totally constitutional—the only thing that is constitutional. The Supreme Court, the President, and Congress have abandoned the Constitution many years ago.
Saving food and other supplies for a “rainy day” makes good sense, reduces worries about the future.