i had this whole big entry planned. i was going to tell you that those people being targeted are my people. i was going to tell you what the gospel (and therefore the church) means to me and how if i know anything i know this first: we are God's children. He loves us. He made us with purpose. He is forgiving and accepting.
I should be too.
it just wasn't coming out the way i wanted it to, so this is all you get.
my goal: i'm going to live in such a way that when people say awful things about mormons the people listening will say, "that can't be true because i know miriam."
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
In the name of tolerance, great intolerance is shown. The biggest bigots in our society are the ones who routinely accuse others of bigotry.
That troubling trend has never been clearer than it was last week when thousands of supporters of a militant homosexual agenda, upset by an electoral defeat, marched in mass protest on two Mormon temples.
Blaming The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for marshalling voters against them, a thousand activists shouted outside the Mormon temple in Los Angeles, and the next day some three thousand others staged a protest at the Salt Lake temple.
Let me repeat. Unhappy at having lost an election, protesters surrounded and intimidated places of worship.
An organization of opponents to gay marriage quickly formed. Generally, it was comprised of people whose opposition was based in religion. Namely, Roman Catholics, Evangelicals and Mormons. Leaders of all three faiths – as represented by the Catholic bishops, Focus on the Family and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – asked their followers to support the effort to pass Proposition 8.
And they did, with their money and their votes. Though outspent, defenders of real marriage worked hard to convince their neighbors that banning gay marriage was the right thing.
And the effort was successful.
In the run-up to the election, gay marriage supporters ran television commercials vilifying the Mormon Church. And in the wake of it, though the measure to ban gay marriage received more support from Catholic, Evangelical and traditionally black churches, the gay activists have targeted Mormons.
No protests or public criticism directed at the Roman Catholic Church, Focus on the Family, any traditionally black churches or any Evangelical denominations – just at Mormons.
That is probably because the Mormon Church is smaller than the others and less well understood or accepted publicly. It is also a religion which some people have hard feelings or prejudices against.
Simply put, it makes a better scapegoat.
It makes an easier boogeyman for gay activists to attack. Discomfort other people of faith may have with Mormonism is being used as a wedge to drive those other people of faith away from the movement against gay marriage.
The goal is to make the impression that it is Mormons forcing their views on others, that people off in Salt Lake were evil puppet masters pulling the strings on others.
Which is preposterous.
Yes, Mormons were active. Yes, Mormons did disproportionately donate money to support Proposition 8.
But, no, the Mormon Church itself did not give money to the campaign. No, the Mormon Church did not “order” or “command” its members to do anything but follow their conscience. And, no, the Catholic, Evangelical and traditionally black churches which oppose gay marriage do not do so because they are being manipulated by Mormons.
Rather, this was an issue on which these groups, which may usually disagree on doctrinal matters, were able to agree and work together.
Which brings us to the thousands who have surrounded and jeered the Mormon temples.
Having been rejected by the majority, they seek to persecute a minority. It was not Mormons who rejected gay marriage, it was a majority of California voters. And the anger of militant gay activists is purposefully misdirected in an effort to confuse and intimidate.
And in a display of blatant bigotry.
We do not protest at places of worship in America – unless they are Mormon places of worship.
Those who favor abortion rights do not protest outside the parishes and cathedrals of Catholicism. Those who denounce militant Islam do not march around American mosques. Supporters of Palestinian rights do not shout through loudspeakers outside synagogues.
If they did, we would be offended as a society, and see the impropriety of their deeds.
But thousands can hatefully mill outside the gates of the sacred buildings of Mormonism and do so with impunity, knowing that their actions and motives will go unchallenged, that the evening news will bring them nothing but the publicity they seek.
In the name of tolerance, intolerance is done. In the supposed fight against bigotry, bigotry is both motive and tool.
The homosexual agenda demands acceptance and promotion of its values, but denounces and attacks the values of others. It demands the right to marry, but assaults the right to believe. In demanding that its voice be heard, while forcing silence on all who dissent from its agenda.
And the intolerant left has grown so totalitarian in its demand for orthodoxy that it has staged protests to attack the outcome of an election. That’s where America is today.
Or, more correctly, that’s where evil is today.
Because traditional marriage is good, and its counterfeit, gay marriage, is evil. It is a simple matter of absolute and eternal truth. You either believe in God and his law or the shouting activists and theirs.
And most Americans feel that way, though few of them will say it out loud. That’s because they’re afraid – afraid that if they do, they’ll be attacked the way Mormons are being attacked now.
Which is why this is taking place. In an act of bigotry against houses of worship, supporters of the homosexual agenda are sending a shot across the bow of every church, mosque, synagogue and temple in the country.
Either keep your mouth shut, or get what the Mormons are getting.
Here’s hoping that that warning will be ignored, and that people of conscience will have the courage of their convictions – that people of all faiths will stand their ground. Contention must be avoided, but not at the cost of capitulation.
Americans do not lose their civil rights because they believe in God or worship with their fellow believers. People of faith are as free to vote and speak their mind as anyone else.
What this episode teaches is that people of faith had better stand together in the defense of their rights, or they will be picked off one by one.
Because the Mormons are just the beginning.
- by Bob Lonsberry © 2008
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008
miss annie tagged me up.
the rules: fourth photo from your fourth folder (fun to say).
hernan, ryan and me outside of the church. hernan really likes that church building and i think he's the one that wanted it to be taken. i also think this was taken with his camera which makes me wonder how i got it (did you send this to me, hernan?).
anyway, a few things i'd like to say about this picture:
this was right before we got married. like within a week.
i look pretty foxy. amazing, i didn't even realize it. those were the days. . .
i tag: erica. crystal. tara. jenn. sister. my mom. and liz.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
my brother, 11, announces that he's going to get a job with the geek squad when he grows up.
i say, "excellent. you can help me with my computers."
he looks a little shocked, then puzzled, before he says, "are you even going to be alive then?"
obviously i am perceived as the young and hip sister.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
i went to a wedding reception last saturday evening with my youngest child. he was a hit! people wanted to look at him, to tickle his little double chin, to tell me how adorable he is (i say, "thank you." my mother says, "i know!" she's right: being a grandma is better).
have you ever noticed that people will talk to your babies instead of to you? i hate that. they look at the little guy and ask, "what's your name?" with mouse, this just confused me. i didn't really answer until they looked at me again, obviously wondering why i wasn't answering. it's not like i thought she would answer, i just wondered if maybe it was a rhetorical question since it was obvious to me that newborn mouse didn't even notice anyone was even looking at her.
so i did what any new and confused mother would do, i went to my own mother and asked her about it. "what am i supposed to do?" i asked.
with a shrug, she said, "you just answer for your baby." since this practice is so irritating, i thought of ways i could answer to show them i disapprove of the whole talk-to-me-through-my-baby technique. one option: answer in a teeny-tiny pretend newborn voice. and insist on keeping up the conversation through the baby. or the less offensive tactic, not say anything until they look at me and say, "he's the strong, silent type."
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
they're both napping right now, and i'm trying to get a few things done in that small amount of time. obviously, i'm not doing a very good job. instead of sitting here typing, i should be sorting through the clothes piled on the couch. or cleaning out the cupboard where i store all of my project stuff.
but i'm not. instead i'm going through pictures of my kids and thinking about what it means to be a mother and how i can do a better job.
my goal this week: play more with my children.
i don't play with them enough. and i was thinking about that as i was going through the pictures today, that these little babies were growing old and moving outside of my embrace.
seth is too big for his 0-3 month clothing. i'm dragging my feet about pulling them all out, folding them up and storing them away in a big plastic container in the garage. because do you know what that means? it means baby seth and not newborn seth.
i call him "friend". because he is. he hangs out with me, his head in my elbow, his legs trailing like an unfinished sentence across my lap. more and more of his little body touches the outside world when i hold him tight. how can this be? i was just posing for the camera in my wheelchair, waiting for the hospital volunteer to steer me to my car with my brand new pointed baby in my arms.
seth is an industrious leg kicker. he does so with vigor when i put him down. and ava takes that opportunity to "play" with him. this usually means she "gently" lays down next to him, where half of his body is trapped under hers and she's giggling and writhing about as his little fists bump her chin. "tickles!" she laughs, wiggling some more and accidentaly smacking the side of seth's head. he barely notices. it's because he is younger and this is not the first time.
"sing a song," she commands, her hand wrapped around his entire forearm, ready to wave it in the air in time to the song i choose to sing. before i open my mouth, i think about how she asked me to do something with a sentence. seeing me hesitate, ava prompts, "please."
music is ava's favorite. more than princesses, i'd wager. we have regular dance parties, we sing songs constantly and when she is playing by herself i hear her sing.
i want to capture these moments in jars and sleep with them by my pillow.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
it's his birthday today. that means chicken alfredo for dinner. for some reason, whenever it's his choice as to what we eat for dinner, he requests that dish. and chocolate cream pie for dessert (it's good chocolate cream pie, so it makes sense).
so here's to manly, my best friend. thanks for saving the red starburst candies for me.
ps is there anything more attractive than a man with a baby strapped to his chest? i think not!
Saturday, November 8, 2008
more prop 8. i am now embracing the fact that this isn't going to go away and i'm going to write about it.
have you heard the one about invalidate prop 8? it's a website urging people to donate money so they can do two things: 1) use the money to invalidate prop 8 and 2) (this one is my personal favorite) send a postcard to President Monson (the prophet and president of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints) for every five dollars donated. they're hoping that it adds up to a lot of postcards.
what a waste! so all of that money that they send, they waste the first portion of it on paper, ink, postage and time just to stick it to the mormon man. and what are they envisioning exactly? an old man getting the mail early one morning in his robe and slippers and being saddened at how many postcards he'll find? do they think he'll rethink his entire position, repent and seek forgiveness? let me tell you how it'll go: they'll send it to the church office buildings where people will go through the mail and take all of the silly cards out and THROW THEM AWAY. or recycle them.
and here's the note they'll be sending on the postcard:
it reeks of something i sent to my parents when i was fourteen and outraged (by like, my curfew or maybe by not being allowed to go to my friend's house because i hadn't done all my chores).
it makes me chuckle. so does this.
kind of the same thing, no?
Friday, November 7, 2008
now that pop 8 has won, there have been rallies in front of the mormon temple where gay activists yell, "bigot!" (always a favorite from those people) and "shame on you!"
apparently they're mad because mormon members raised 20 million dollars and if we'd just kept our mouths shut they would have won. you could use that argument for any election. for example, maybe if oprah had kept her mouth shut about barack obama, he wouldn't have won, either. fact is he did run. and he won. so now he's the president. and people protesting this doesn't change things.
at first i was really sad about prop 8. and, when i'm not angry, i still am sad. this whole thing has been such a mess. but then the courage campaign came out with their ad depicting mormon missionaries ransacking a lesbian couple's home and telling them they were there to take away their rights. so now i'm mostly angry.
here are some statistics on the vote, to help some of you realize that the mormon church isn't responsible for your loss and maybe show you that we did nothing outside of the law. prop 8 won because a little more than half of californians aren't ready for gay marriage and i know that to some people that's appalling, but its the truth.
- Mormons make up less than 2% of the population of California. There are approximately 800,000 LDS out of a total population of approximately 34 million.
- Mormon voters were less than 5% of the yes vote. If one estimates that 250,000 LDS are registered voters (the rest being children), then LDS voters made up 4.6% of the Yes vote and 2.4% of the total Proposition 8 vote.
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) donated no money to the Yes on 8 campaign. Individual members of the Church were encouraged to support the Yes on 8 efforts and, exercising their constitutional right to free speech, donated whatever they felt like donating.
- The No on 8 campaign raised more money than the Yes on 8 campaign. Unofficial estimates put No on 8 at $38 million and Yes on 8 at $32 million, making it the most expensive non-presidential election in the country.
- Advertising messages for the Yes on 8 campaign are based on case law and real-life situations. The No on 8 supporters have insisted that the Yes on 8 messaging is based on lies. Every Yes on 8 claim is supported.
- The majority of our friends and neighbors voted Yes on 8. Los Angeles County voted in favor of Yes on 8. Ventura County voted in favor of Yes on 8.
- African Americans overwhelmingly supported Yes on 8. Exit polls show that 70% of Black voters chose Yes on 8. This was interesting because the majority of these voters voted for President-elect Obama. No on 8 supporters had assumed that Obama voters would vote No on 8.
- The majority of Latino voters voted Yes on 8. Exit polls show that the majority of Latinos supported Yes on 8 and cited religious beliefs (assumed to be primarily Catholic).
- The Yes on 8 coalition was a broad spectrum of religious organizations. Catholics, Evangelicals, Protestants, Orthodox Jews, Muslims - all supported Yes on 8. It is estimated that there are 10 million Catholics and 10 million Protestants in California. Mormons were a tiny fraction of the population represented by Yes on 8 coalition members.
- Not all Mormons voted in favor of Proposition 8. Our faith accords that each person be allowed to choose for him or her self. Church leaders have asked members to treat other members with "civility, respect and love," despite their differing views.
- The Church did not violate the principal of separation of church and state. This principle is derived from the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ." The phrase "separation of church and state", which does not appear in the Constitution itself, is generally traced to an 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson, although it has since been quoted in several opinions handed down by the United States Supreme Court in recent years. The LDS Church is under no obligation to refrain from participating in the political process, to the extent permitted by law. U.S. election law is very clear that Churches may not endorse candidates, but may support issues. The Church as always been very careful on this matter and occasionally (not often) chooses to support causes that it feels to be of a moral nature.
- Supporters of Proposition 8 did exactly what the Constitution provides for all citizens: they exercised their First Amendment rights to speak out on an issue that concerned them, make contributions to a cause that they support, and then vote in the regular electoral process. For the most part, this seems to have been done in an open, fair, and civil way. Opponents of 8 have accused supporters of being bigots, liars, and worse. The fact is, we simply did what Americans do - we spoke up, we campaigned, and we voted.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
this is the kind of post only family cares about. my apologies to those of you who wanted something of substance (but seriously? when have i ever delivered anything of substance? keep your standards low, people!).
i made ava do most of the work. she described the innards as "goopy". she says that word with great clarity.now the child is obsessed with matches. she loves them, she talks about them, she wouldn't leave the pumpkins alone and burned out the little pumpkin's candle extra fast by throwing several matches in there. can you tell i am a pumpkin carving fool? (i am not) the evening ended with a lively round of trick or treating. our first stop was to my parent's house where we practiced. it was a good thing, too because my mom opened the door, ava spotted the candy and pushed my mother aside to get to it. it took about three houses to get all that out of her system. while watching other children get candy at my parent's house, ava began to fuss and pointing to the candy, cried, "my trick or treat! my trick or treat!"
we left my parent's and met our friends back at the house for trick or treating around the cul-de-sac. their daughter, eliza, is ava's best friend. naturally, i didn't manage to pull my camera out to get some pictures of the two of them together.
"trick or treat" and "boo!" are also said with great clarity. i'm grateful that three phrases we use once a year for one day only can be said so well. it makes my job easy. . .for one day only once a year.
this year was the most fun i've had on halloween since i was a kid myself.