Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Proposition 8

Proposition 8 has lead to very controversial, sometimes heated discussions. One side argues it’s not within the hands of the law to legislate morality, while the other says that the right to keep marriage between a man and a woman was already decided between the people of California, and we must respect democracy. My question is, what are we arguing about? What is the big deal about marriage?

Society has a literal and clear moral obligation to protect the rights of marriage to be held strictly between a man and a woman.  This is not simply the protection of marriage in the state of California for this generation, but this decision will affect this nation and others for decades, if not longer. The family was built upon the idea that a man and a woman were biologically, emotionally and psychologically built to balance one another and procreate.

Studies have shown that in parenting, the mother tends to focus on more immediate well-being of the children while the father is more apt to show and act in concern for the child’s long-term well-being. While both of these can be accomplished with just one influence, this balance is the key to good adjustment in children’s growing and ability to adjust. Mothers accomplish this by staying with their children and helping them learn every day, while fathers are able to work and earn money so that the family can grow and prosper as a whole, giving the child good resources for the things they will need. But as children are taken to day cares and neighbor’s homes to be reared, they lose the influence of the mother’s emotional investment in their child’s immediate well-being, and adjustment is threatened simply by the mother’s lack of presence. Simply stated, the child is better off with the mother at home tending to the immediate day-to-day needs of her family.

Marriage has been recognized as the union of a man and a woman, bound by civil laws to live and work together and build a family and home. However, as a society we have redefined how we see this all-important issue. Marriage is seen as a more flippant and passive issue, a union that can be made or broken on a whim with no fault and under any circumstances. Throughout the years, we have failed to recognize the repercussions of these decisions. But first, how did marriage (and therefore, family) go from the most important institution in society to the one looked upon with the most flexibility? In American, we have gone through a very systematic and specific chain of events to get from one to the other.

Being a system made of changeable parts (its citizens), society as a whole is made to be naturally evolving based on its citizens’ actions. Going on the assumption that people will always look towards their and others’ best interests, we can safely say that these changes will lean towards being good, specifically on the economic side. As the financial situation becomes better, people start to have higher standards of living. This directs people to have a stronger focus on individual satisfaction. When the individual becomes the focus (as has happened in America, we are intensely individualistic), it leads people to have higher expectations for their marriages to obtain this “greater personal happiness.” When these expectations are not met, people are more willing to sue for divorce. This puts more pressure on courts who in the past had not allowed much room for separations, and with so many people wanting to be cut loose from their partners, divorce courts will ease the laws and more people will get divorced, causing marriage to eventually be seen as a contract that is easy to enter into and easy to escape. In situations of abuse, divorce should of course be considered as an option, but as a society, we are not willing to work out our smaller differences for the sake of our children.

So what does this say about Prop 8 - how does this tie in to homosexual marriages? I think it is important to realize that the importance of marriage has changed significantly because of our shift into an individualistic society. People may say, this is good, it is natural for society to evolve based on its needs and the collective voice of the people, do what you need to be happy. What we fail to mention here is our children. They are our future, and as such, we have a very high moral obligation to do everything we can to make their lives as potentially successful as we can. And the fact of the matter is, as Americans, we do not care about what happens to them. We are highly focused on our personal freedoms and well-being that we forget about the most important part of life – raising up a good generation of people who are socially able to handle decisions and look at situations from a solid standpoint. But as I’ve illustrated in the above chain of reaction, we are willing to conform to changes that may or may not be what’s best for the future. Over and over, statistics show that divorce and instability is not good for children, for it leads them down a path of uncertainty and confusion. Children need stable adults who are willing to guide them in direct and clear ways of living.

It is absolutely best for children to have a mother and a father. We are made to work together, to balance each other, and voting yes on prop 8 will be the first step to showing that this is a serious issue and must be dealt with very carefully. This isn’t about making sexual orientation more acceptable or making it easier for homosexual couples to gain rights that come through marriage. This is about making sure we protect this fundamental institution that was designed for the benefit of our children and for the people as a whole, to work together and function in healthy and progressive ways.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

God's Sense of Humor

At Paul Mitchell the other night, we were having this great discussion about how none of us have time to work out anymore, but we all still eat like there's no tomorrow. Since I'd had a steady diet of cookie dough, cereal and hot chocolate for the past few days to celebrate the premature winter, I was feeling pretty stressed about not being able to exercise as much as I'd like (i.e. at all). So, in a desperate attempt to gain some kind of ability to not gain 20 pounds by Christmas, I prayed that somehow I'd be given more opportunities to at least be more active during the day.

Later that same day, I was walking home while having an intense discussion with my friend Emily Dyer (who has inspired an upcoming post). I got all the way to Stonebridge, which is 1.5 blocks away from home and completely off campus, when I saw a sheet of paper sticking out of my binder. The same sheet of paper I then realized I had to make a complete 180 and return to campus for-and then make the trip back-for I was supposed to turn it in before 5PM. And I just started laughing. I'm fairly certain God just chuckles with us sometimes too. In good news, He does answer prayers.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

One of the loves

My neice, Samantha got baptized today. As soon as I got to the church and sat down, my nephew Michael came to me to sit on my lap. We talked, we played, and I realized he has my dad's color of eyes, I think only because my dad's brother Leo was sitting by me and so it was on my mind. It was a good connection, like the one between us when we sat there just enjoying each other.

When something so beautiful and pure sits on your lap and you play and are just happy together, it's easy to forget that there is evil and sadness in the world. Just love.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Back to the old

Learninglearninglearning. It's all I seem to be doing, and I love it. Especially when that learning consists of me learning that I learned what I was supposed to learn wrong for a test I took, but learning now how it is that I have to study for the next one so I don't bomb again.

Learn is kind of a weird word.

Two songs I'm currently obsessed with:
Big Apple Heartbreak - Yellowcard
Swallowed in the Sea - Coldplay
Learn them. Love them. You will not be disappointed, I promise.

Two people I'm currently obsessed with, in non-sexual ways:
Clarence Pimptown
Amanda Hansen
Because I need a lot more laughter in my life right now. No, wait. Always.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Being from KC has never been better

I'm obsessed. Absolutely excited!!!!!!!!! When I heard the news about the temple in Kansas City, it was just a natural reaction to start screaming, jump on the couch, and then I sat down and started crying. I can't believe it. Twelve years ago, we took buses and overnight trips to Houston and Chicago. Then St. Louis was dedicated and it shortened our trips to 3-4 hours, depending on if Bishop was driving or not (he was faster). Now, there will be one no more than an hour and a half from where anyone lives, probably less. There are soooooooOOOOsosososo many worthy Saints out there who are going to love this, and who deserve it so much. AH I'm so excited!!!!! Haha and I got invited to go to that morning session...I'm very glad I declined because the world would have been graced with my screaming reflex, right before security came to escort me out.

Once, my niece asked me what my birth mark was. I told her I got burned in the hospital when I was a baby, and the next time I went over, my nephew Michael looked at me ever so sadly, then touched my birth mark and said "Roro burn burn?" He missed the part where I told them I was kidding...and it was hilarious. Also, I think I lied again and told them it was leprosy and my skin was falling off, and then my niece mentioned the story about Jesus and the 10 lepers, and Michael chimed in with all he knew about Jesus, so he jumped on the bed, proclaiming "Jesus died!! Jesus died!!" Haha. Yes, yes He did.

I saw two great movies this weekend: So I Married An Axe Murderer, and Kung Fu Panda. I'm fairly certain my major is turning me into a critic - something I know will go away when I graduate, but is hard to ignore when every class forces me to question everything I think I've ever known. Movies are great fun, and I literally analyze everything in them. O, the joys of college.