Kids are funny sometimes. They always want to know why.
“Go clean your plate.”
What’s the answer your parents always came up with? “Because I said so”!
That answer never satisfied me.
So, I pushed and my parents would come up with a different answer, like “There are kids who are starving in Africa who would love this food”.
My response? “Let’s send it over!”
They would never just say “Because it’s healthy for you” or “because if you start eating them now, you’ll get into the habit of liking them and avoid all kinds of cancers and live longer, etc”.
Actually, they did say that a couple of times, but it never worked, so they tried different tactics.
I bring this up because I’m noticing a similar situation developing with religious conservatives. I’ve posted before about how religious conservatives have allowed a very vocal minority to hamstring them by forcing them to keep religion out of any debate. Essentially, since religious conservatives can’t say “Gay marriage is wrong because God has said so” they are stuck finding secondary reasons that may or may not hold up against scrutiny. This leads to their leaders sounding foolish as they try to defend their position.
Another area this is happening with is teenage sex. Religious conservatives have given all kinds of reasons why unmarried teenagers shouldn’t have sex, including STDs, teen pregnancies, etc. However, there are about fifty ways to prevent teen pregnancy these days and a condom is extremely effective against STDs.
The religious right then tries to get condoms banned in schools and prevents access to the “morning after” pill. This puts them in a negative light. It seems like they’d rather see their kid die of an STD than be promiscuous.
My point is this. Like my parents arguing that I should eat my food because a bunch of kids in Africa would like to have it, the religious right is wasting time putting up a bunch of arguments that more and more don’t hold water because the small minority of areligious people in the US have said that we can’t use religion as a reason.
Let’s quit saying that we don’t like gay marriage because it destroys the institution of marriage. It doesn’t. My marriage is as strong as ever and there are plenty of gay people in my city and in this nation, some of which are married. They have no effect on me whatsoever. Gay marriage is wrong because it violates the principle that Heavenly Father gave us; that sexual relations are between a husband and a wife. Period. Are there other negative effects? Probably, but people will always find a way to overcome them. You can’t overcome God’s laws.
Why should we teach our children not to have sex before they’re married? Scaring them with STDs and 16-year-old mothers is not the way. Let’s teach them that we will be happier in this life and in the life to come if we wait until we meet the one we love and marry them in God’s temple for time and all eternity. Let’s teach them about eternal progression and how we must be worthy to return to God’s presence if we want to claim the choicest blessings. When you teach somebody the importance of an eternal perspective on one hand and try to scare them with an STD that can be overcome with medicine on the other, your argument isn’t going to last long.
This is a long post, but I think it’s time we on the religious right stop allowing ourselves to be bullied onto the oppositions home court of needing scientific proof to back everything up. We have God’s word as proof of right and wrong and it’s time we cited that. Is it going to work at first? No! Like me with my food, you have to keep telling them the truth if you want them to believe it and act on it. Like Joseph Smith said “…teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves…”.
Incidentally, I still don’t like vegetables.