Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tolerance versus Prejudice

Tolerance: 1: capacity to endure pain or hardship; 2 a: sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own b: the act of allowing something.

Prejudice: 1: injury or damage resulting from some judgment or action of another in disregard of one's rights ; especially : detriment to one's legal rights or claims2 a (1): preconceived judgment or opinion (2): an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge b: an instance of such judgment or opinion c: an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics

Last night I went to a broadcast about Proposition 8. I have a testimony of marriage being between a man and a woman. I know that is what our Father intended. I also now there are other influences that make other urges real also. I do not struggle with supporting prop 8 and will vote for it, where I do struggle is the differentiation between tolerance and prejudice. I respect those that choose to live another lifestyle and I would never tell them they need to change that, but how do you still feel it is wrong and except others and it be sincere?

This is such a hard thing for me, I believe that we are here on this earth because we were given agency, how we choose to use it is up to us as individuals. I have two good friends, they have been extremely nice to me, they are the most friendly people and have been the most social with me when taking Miranda and Logan to school. They are both very attentive mothers and love their kids. In a lot of ways I feel as mothers they do a better job of caring for their kids. They are together and have been for quite some time.

From what I have read and understand Proposition 8 is a matter of verbal change or specification in the constitution of California. In 2000 there was a ballot initiative, Prop 22, that prevented California from recognizing same-gender marriage. It passed with a 61% for and 38% against. Eight years later the California supreme court justices overturned the voice of the majority. Now we are in a spot where we want that voice to be heard and upheld. That is where the California constitutional amendment comes from. This does not take away any rights from same-gender couples, it specifically defines marriage between a man and a woman.

One major concern is that children will be forced to learn about this lifestyle. This is an add that is now available. It is based on this lawsuit. It basically is saying that we will have no choice but to make our children learn about same gender marriage. It goes on to say that taking them out of that portion of learning will be harmful to the remaining students. The paper I read on this lawsuit said you can not decide which curriculum your children are taught. If you want more choices send them to a private school. It doesn't make sense when you get permission slips sent home about sex education and you can take your children out of the classroom for that. It seems like there concern was that there is a mass exodus and few are left rather than a few leaving.

I teach my children that they can not judge anyone else. We have strong beliefs on modesty, smoking, drinking, Sunday activities, etc. In my family, many of my family members do not agree the same as we do and that is OK, I still love them and teach my children to love them. We don't limit this respect for others to our families alone it is for all people. At the same time I do not want my children to be ashamed of what they believe, I want them to have confidence and conviction of the truths we are teaching them.

There are other repercussions as well. We believe that the Divine institution of marriage is between a man and a woman. There are certain divine capabilities when that union occurs. Our church, along with others, believe this and if they don't allow same gender marriages they will be penalized.

There is discrimination and then there is reverse discrimination. You can't win in this situation to make everyone happy. Some one will feel forced against their will. So is it only bad when you are being discriminated against? One thing I love about our country is that the majority is how they determine which way to go. That means on this very important issue all voices need to be heard. There are things that can happen immediately and things that over time are inevitable. Just like with parenting it is easier to stand up for what you believe when it is early on versus when it has been building for a while.

Back to my original thought I can be tolerant of those choices around me, but that doesn't mean I have to give up my beliefs in that acceptance. I thought it ironic that the first part of the definition was the "capacity to endure pain or hardship." Seeing I have these friends, and knowing that there is no way to avoid being offended or judged, it is hard. It is hard to look in someone's eyes as you are telling them what you believe and it is contrary to who they are. It is painful, it is hard. It is hard to see the pain in another's eyes and it is hard to endure causing that pain to another. At the same time when you have your convictions and you go against them, are you really being honest about what you believe. I do feel that having the courage to speak out about what you believe is a hard thing. But when you look in the scriptures and think of Peter and he was in the midst of Christ's trial that ended in his Crucifixion, he denied Christ three times. It doesn't matter why he did it but he was extremely sad that Jesus knew he would deny him. Him who KNEW the Savior. When I have a strong testimony of marriage I can't deny it nor can I not defend it.

I wish I had a filing cabinet in my brain so I could organize my thoughts into a nice smooth post like my friend about what I believe and why. Unfortunately I will liken in to a potpourri of thoughts that will hopefully inspire you to think about how this proposition will affect you and your family now and generations to come. If nothing else, get out and vote, it is the only way to make a change.


aprilmpreston said...

Great post April. I enjoyed it a lot!

Cory and Becca said...

April I enjoyed reading your post. It is true that being tolerant of others beliefs does not negate letting go of your own beliefs in the process. Thanks for inspiring..I posted my support tag on my blog from this website:

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