Monday, November 10, 2008

High Councilman Talk

We had a weird high councilman talk yesterday. I don't want to get into the topic itself nor the controversy surrounding it--I've avoided having it on the blog and, other than the purpose of this post, I'd like to keep it that way for now anyway.

I just want to point out three things he said that I thought were weird (if entertaining), one of which was quite honestly a little inappropriate for the meeting. I can only imagine how Sacrament Meetings were in California this past Sunday . . . Anyway, Californians, please jump in on the 3rd one (1st one, too, if you'd like) and fill me in in case I'm misinterpreting what he said.

1. He apologized for being from California.

What?? Mark looks at me and says, "Why does he have to apologize for that?" I happen to be married to a man from California and I see no need for apologies. Geesh. Talk about us-them. This just wasn't necessary. My husband's side of the family is ALL from California and they're very nice people, no apologies necessary, thank you very much!

2. "My wife pays attention to politics, but not me. I go in the other room and read my scriptures."

Does this one really need any elaboration?

3. "At least California got one thing right in this election" (and then he went on to talk about Prop 8 and then onto Polygamy). Good times.

The implication here was that California got other things wrong. I'd love to have someone from CA tell me if it had to do with any more propositions (I understand they're quite easy to get on the ballot), but I suspect he was talking about the election of our new President and I wasn't amused. Besides this, all the chatter in the hallways afterward were pro-McCain and anti-Obama. And this has little to do with the fact that I support Obama. I've also attended Sunday School lessons where the person for whom I voted was praised with the words, "Thank goodness a man of God has been elected President." And it bugged me then, too.

But what's really funny is that, whatever your stand on Prop 8, the High Councilman's whole speech on Polygamy reminded me of a funny John Stewart clip--(just watch the clip from :37 - 1:07):

And on a related note, I think John Stewart is hilarious. But I don't see how Stephen Colbert is funny and I think I need Greg's help with this. We don't have extended cable or satellite so we don't have this channel. We get most of this kind of stuff online through funny posts on blogs or via email. Maybe I just haven't seen good clips of Stephen Colbert. I tried reading his book, though "America" by John Stewart was much funnier. Help me, Greg!

(Then again, I think Craig Ferguson is WAY funny but fail to see the humor in Conan O'Brien). I know I'm scoring big points with my brothers-in-law here (who, by the way, are also from California, no apologies necessary). But seriously, send me funny clips! I'm open to the idea that I just might be missing something. Please try to convince me! (Or are there others out there who feel similary?)

Stewart vs. Colbert?
Ferguson vs. O'Brien?
Letterman vs. Leno? (Letterman, hands down!)

Yep, just steering us away from the controversial. Kumbaya. California is great and so are funny late-night talk show hosts.


emily said...

love jon stewart. love stephen colbert too though, i think they're both hilarious. and i think conan is one of the funniest people ever born. i don't think there is a way to convince you though. some people just don't think he's funny. i don't see how that's possible, but really, everybody has different senses of humor.

EQ got into the prop 8 discussion yesterday too (according to dave). i think it's best to leave politics out of sacrament meetings. you just never know what you're going to say that could offend somebody else, and i think we should leave it out of church.

by the way, does everyone know that's NOT why mormons left for utah? that gov. boggs of missouri issued an extermination order for mormons and they had to leave the US to save their lives? still funny, just making sure the non-mormons who read your blog understand that it was a joke.

Rebecca said...

I was in that meeting too - and your are right about it being weird - not so much entertaining. Can't wait to read the posts on this one!!

jaredski said...

I have been guilty of talking politics in church (in the halls). But it's totally inappropriate to espouse political views after the invocation has been offered. Hopefully the Stake President will have a talk with that guy.

I think exceptions to that rule are moral issues. The church has taken political stands on gambling and the family and I think it is appropriate to encourage members over the pulpit to support those positions.

We had a High Councilor talk on Christmas Eve one year about how Santa Clause wasn't real. Many parents listened in horror, hoping their kids weren't paying attention. You never know what you're going to get with those wacky High Council talks.

Foltron said...

I think the preference of Colbert to Stewart and Conan to Furgeson is strictly a youth movement. I'm sorry Stacy but you can't change the fact that you're old. I mean Mark is the oldest Foley Boy and you're older than him. Please don't get me started on Letterman. Okay you got me started. Letterman is the same yesterday, today, and will be forever. He's old and stale. I think the only funny thing he does are his bits when he works at a fast food drive-through.
As far as Stewart goes. He is too one sided. It is an extremely rare occasion that he will ever joke about any democrat. But one false step by a republican and he's all over it. He seems to only bring on guests that he agrees with and vice versa. Colbert takes shots at everyone, including himself. He seems to not take himself too seriously. And he brings on a wide variety of guests where they actually challenge each other.
As far as someone saying they're sorry for being from California is ridiculous. Maybe he meant that he's sorry for the way that Californian's voted and the impact it may have on other states or the nation. As for me, even if I never return to California I'll never be sorry because I'm from there. If I didn't have those experiences I may not be as awesome as I am now.

D'Arcy said...

Stewart, O'Brien, Letterman....

I actually went to church teacher wrote "The church is the only way for true and everlasting happiness" and then asked what we all thought about it. I said, maybe before I thought, that if they took the word "only" out and replaced it with "one" --then I wouldn't have a problem with it.

I am not that popular at church.

Jill O said...

First of all, one must never, ever bash Letterman. He is a classic and will ALWAYS be hilarious! Long live Dave!

Sounds like quite the high councilman talk. Wow! My favorite part is the "I don't pay attention to politics" bit. Not cool. We are encouraged as church members to educate ourselves and be aware of what is going on, not stick our heads in the sand.

You gotta wonder what people are thinking sometimes.

Polictics and sarcrament meetings should never get together. Too risky. We do not all think the same. Church isn't for the righteous, it is for sinners. Shouldn't it be a warm and welcome place where all can come together and learn? I don't think politics or apologies for Californians constitutes the core of what we need to know. I may have to say shame on Mr. highcouncil for not thinking things through.

April (Thorup) Oaks said...

I agree with you Jill. Geez. What a frustrating meeting for you to attend Stacy.

I have had so many fascinating talks about proposition 8 with my friends who believe differently than me. It's been great learning from them. I'm trying to decide if I'm brave enough to post something on my blog about it. First I was really nervous about the church taking a stand on it, partly because I didn't know how I felt about it. After many discussions and studying this topic, I finally have a strong opinion on proposition 8. I think it's very clear that most people don't understand what the real issue was with proposition 8. This website is a really good reference.

J Fo said...

I knew with that mention of Letterman that Greg would be all over it! (Love ya!) Even if I'm just flipping channels and he sees Letterman he tells me how he doesn't see how people think he's funny. Here's my vote:
-Conan (LOVE him! I guess I can just really relate to awkward tall people.),
-Leno (although I don't love either of these two choices)

I can't wait til Conan takes over for Leno and gets the earlier slot. I'm too old to stay up for Conan anymore! ;-)

Here is a link to a funny Conan, Stewart, Colbert "fight" scene:

Em said...

I hope that when I say something stupid people will give me the benefit of the doubt. Maybe high council men need this more often than they should espcially when it comes to politics. I have read your earlier posts about being involved with the election and involving your children. We had an opportunity to do that here as well with Prop 102 our Prop 8 here in Arizona. The church did come out very strongly for these propositions both in CA and here in AZ. We did have quite a bit of discussion in church mostly sunday school not sacrament meeting, but I did hear a bishop talking about something related to the efforts when we were on vacation in CA. They did a good job of educating us to the far reaching effects of some judges rulings, and the importance of this issue. I do not think the church was out of line on this. The general authorities saw that our freedom of religion was threatened. I was happy to be involved and happy that the church was joined by so many others to pass these important propositions.
PS: We love CA!

Rebecca said...

I still don't see how gay marriage affects anyone's freedom of religion? The 11th Article of Faith even says we claim the privelege of worshipping God according the the dictates of our own concious and allow all men that same privelage, let them worship how where or what they may. Why does what someone else believes to be right/good/holy threaten LDS members so much. I was married in the temple and I just don't see how a gay marriage or any other kind of marriage minimizes that or threatens that in anyway.

April (Thorup) Oaks said...

Rebecca, I totally know what you mean. Our church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) teaches love and acceptance. We believe in freedom of religion and free agency. I was totally confused as to why the church would take a stand on this too. However, after studying the issue for a long time I have begun to understand how one law can affect another. Proposition 8 was NOT just about gay marriage. The church's main issues regarding Proposition 8 had to do with a lot more than gay marriage. If proposition 8 didn't pass there are very ligitamate concerns with how our children would be taught in schools, financial concerns that text books would have to be changed and religious concerns that judges would not allow churches to say they wouldn't allow gays to be married in their churches or temples. These are only some of the issues. There are so many more. You should really check out the website I posted above as a starting ground for understanding what proposition 8 really meant.

It really hurts me when people label me as intolerant for saying I don't think homosexuality is right. There are a lot of convincing arguments as to why I am bad for thinking the way I do. Ultimately, we have to decide what is right and be brave enough to stand up for it.

Stacy, I hope you are ok with me sharing my view here.

Boquinha said...

Well, I really haven't SEEN much of Colbert. That may be the problem. We don't have cable, so I only get little clips online. But yeah, I don't get Conan. Maybe it's me . . . truthfully, I haven't seen a lot of him either, but every time I've tried I've thought, "Huh?"

I agree, Emily. Leave politics out of church.

Rebecca, thanks for the back up! Yeah, we were there and there's so much I've left out of this post--it was just . . . very strange. So, I'm glad to hear it wasn't just us!

Yep, Jared. We talk in the halls, totally. :P I know someone who is writing a leter to the Stake President about it. It was REALLY out of place. And OMIGOSH, I can't imagine that that High Councilman was very popular in your ward anymore!!

Greg, I'm not *that* old. Okay, but seriously? Letterman is sooooo much funnier than Leno. I love David Letterman. Leno is a kiss up with his guests. Letterman? So sarcastic and at ease. Love him. (Though I tire of the Hello Deli guy--no personality, move on already). Mark and I have been to a taping--very exciting!! Yeah, hearing your take on it tells me I really haven't seen enough of Colbert to make a judgment. That may be it. And you really are so awesome. I'm so lucky to have such an awesome brother-in-law. :P

D'Arcy, LOL! You're hilarious. I'd love to have you sit by me! ;)

Thank you, Jill! I agree!

Yeah, April, good points. There are so many members who both support and oppose Prop 8. All we get is what we see online. We're so far removed from CA that I don't know a lot about details of it all. I'm sure those in CA know far more about the issues. That website you posted is one I've seen. And I've also seen this one: There's so much out there. We've also studied the church's statements on the offical website. It's very confusing to me because there's so much we don't know. And some of it even seems to contradict itself. I wish we understood the reason why the church is getting so involved. Most everything I've heard is speculation and slippery slope logic. I wonder if those in CA ever heard exactly WHAT it is. I also wonder why the church didn't get involved in MA or CT. Why CA? What about other countries that have gay marriage? Why is CA such a big deal versus all those others? So many questions . . .

It's wild--reminds me of civil rights and the ERA . . . I've only read about how unpopular the church was during those times. And it seems to be another one of those kinds of issues. There is a lot of disagreement within the church about it. And A LOT of hurt feelings from active gay members.

Jessica, heheh. Yep, I was baiting Greg! I love when Greg comments. :) I'm shocked though that you and I don't agree on the Leno vs. Letterman one! :P Funny clip--love the West Side Story part. But, what, no light sabers?

Em, thanks for commenting. I didn't know how heavily the church was involved in AZ. So much of the news is about CA. Did they get involved in FL, too? I'm so confused why there was no big push in MA and CT (where gay marriage is currently legal).

Rebecca, I've heard many of those same questions. And I haven't heard conclusive answers about the freedom of religion one especially. I've heard a lot of speculation about tax-exempt status (Mark has researched it and it's false) and that it could turn into the church having to marry gay couples in the temple, but that just doesn't make sense. Churches CAN discriminate. They do all the time! Non-members can't marry in the temple. Members without recommends can't marry in the temple. People who haven't been members for a year or more can't marry in the temple. Why would it suddenly change for this? I'm not arguing. I'm asking! I wonder what those in CA have heard that we haven't. This hasn't been a hot topic in PA! :P Women don't have the Priesthood or serve as Bishops, etc. It could be argued that that is another form of discrimination and even though that would NEVER fly in a workplace or anywhere else, the church is allowed to do that and the government doesn't interfere. I don't understand what, about this, is different. Does anyone have an actual reference or quote? The church website doesn't address this speculation of what "could" happen (that they'd be forced to allow gay marriage in the temple)--I've only heard people speculate that, no church quotes. Is there something CA members got that no one else did?

Is it the "marriage" term? But the church isn't okay with civil unions (sex outside of marriage isn't allowed but neither is marriage), right? As for what kids are taught in schools, it's already in textbooks and discussions (about how there are lots of different kinds of families--step, divorce, grandparents raising grandkids, single parents, live-in, etc.), so I'm unclear on that one, too.

For the record, April, I don't mind you sharing your view at all. I think open discourse is GOOD. I have SO MANY questions about this. I think a lot of people do, but are afraid to ask because they might seem disagreeable, but a lot of us are simply unclear on this topic and trying to learn more. And like Big Bird says, "Asking questions is a great way to find out!" I really think the membership at large isn't hearing whatever Californians are hearing. Maybe we should call my in-laws and find out what they've heard . . .

One of my biggest question is why CA and not MA and CT?

Chelle said...

Conan has totally grown on me. I don't watch him often, but he's just bizarre enough that I like him. Leno is always my number one choice. I don't enjoy Letterman anymore.

Even though politics should be left out of church, sometimes our human nature gets in the way. Just because a guy is in the high council doesn't mean he's not going to make some mistakes once in a while.

April (Thorup) Oaks said...

Maybe CA because of what happened in other states already?

April (Thorup) Oaks said...

...or maybe California because there is such a heavy Mormon population there. It certainly couldn't be backed up by members as well in CT and MA.

Whatever the case, the church is true or it's not. There is only one way to really get the answers we need.

D'Arcy said...

I have been following this blogging post closely. I've had a lot to say, but realized that most readers of your blog, Boquinha, might not understand me...

But April, may I respectfully add something to what you said. You said, "the church is either true, or it is not". I have been a member of "the church" for all of my life. Raised in Utah, served a mission, graduated from BYU and believed just that, it was either ALL true or non of it was. It is what we are taught.

I have come to understand this past year that that just isn't true for me. This ALL OR NOTHING attitude is dangerous and does not serve everyone. It may serve you and meet your needs to believe that, and I would never argue that with you. But something I think imperative for members of the church to realize is that it is not that simple for a great many of us.

When we give to statements like that...I KNOW it's true, I KNOW it's all true, it makes it easy to accept everything, but it hasn't been that easy for me. I don't KNOW anything, we are all acting on faith, and much of my inner dialogue does not agree with many things in the church...yet there are so many things that resonate with my soul.

I go to church and try to fit in, but I don't. I don't fit the mold at all, I don't believe it is all true, I believe it has many faults, but I love the faith that it teaches. So, statements like that might ostracize many people who are trying to find a way to give their faith room to be what it is, even if it is not what everyone elses is. I just don't believe that religion can be as simply defined as that all or nothing attitude.

I am not articulating this the way I want. I guess I just want people to know that there are those of us who can still believe in some things of the church, but CANNOT believe or accept other things (prop 8 drama of late is only one small iota of what I don't agree with).

I guess this is just what I get for reading Living Buddha, Living is a quote I liked (which is in no way pointed towards you April, I have great respect for your beliefs, it's just fits with something I've been thinking)

"When we believe that ours is the only faith that contains all of the truth, violence and suffering will surely be the result...Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth...learn and practice nonattachment from views in order to be open to receive others' viewpoints. To me, this is the most essential practice of peace."

D'Arcy said...

And, to spice things up. I've had some friends in SLC have their temple recommends threatened if they DIDN'T stop supporting the opposition of proposition 9...again, just another hard thing about the church to handle. I don't feel that is right.

April (Thorup) Oaks said...

Stacy! I can't stop posting!!! Geez. I really hope you truly do not mind me sharing so many opinions here. You know... I just really love diversity in my life. I love being surrounded by people who believe different than me because it helps me clarify what I truly do believe. It helps me see things in a different light which I think is so important.

I feel this NEED to share my opinion sometimes. I don't know if it is just because I love to talk or what. I know part of it is because I think it's important to share the things you think are important. I just hope I don't open my mouth too much because I know the world does not NEED to hear everything I am thinking. It's especially hard to really get a true idea of what anyone feels in a short blog reply.

D’arcy, it would be fascinating to talk to you more about this but I don’t know that this is the right place. If you feel like chatting more you or anyone else could e-mail me at oakapr at wfrmls dot com. As I said before I love learning from different people and I love sharing my opinion… I guess I just like to talk.

Boquinha said...

Rachelle recommending Conan, too? I may have to try again . . . :P As for the poor high councilman, I totally agree with what you're saying. This particular talk was really . . . I have no words. I've only mentioned 3 parts of the talk. There was oh-so-much-more.

April, I've wondered about the numbers in CA theory, too. Seems to have merit.

And D'Arcy and April, really good make-you-think comments/discussion. I love good discussion/debate and this is no exception. Thank you for commenting.

Em said...

I'm not sure that I can explain this to everyone's satisfaction. I do not have the origional sources or quotes so I guess you can disregard what I have to say if you want.

Gay rights activists have been quoted as saying that they are trying to destroy the 'traditional family' The Church is trying to protect this institution.

In other states in the US where gay marriage is legal there have been consequences having to do with homosexuality being taught in elementary schools. When parents requested notification or the right to opt out of this instuction, feeling that they want to be the ones to teach these delicate topics to their 5-8 year olds, they were told that they did not have this right.

In Australia, where the laws protecting homosexuality are farther along, a preacher was arrested for saying over the pulpit that it was a sin.

The Gay rights community is seeking protected status. The same as race, gender etc. This would have far reaching legal ramifications, and would affect our freedom of religion. The church requirements about who can enter the temple do not have anything to do with race, gender etc.

In CA , Elton John, who is openly gay, came out for Proposition 8. He said that he and his partner of 20 years already have all of the rights of a married couple and did not need or want to be classified with heterosexual couples.

I believe that the involvement of the church has recieved so much media attention in CA partially because of numbers and becuase of the state wide organized effort.

The church became involved in CA and AZ after these propositions they support were put on the ballot. I do not know about FL. The church did not write or sponser these propositions. They joined with existing groups to support their passage. CA is important because of all the media attention, as we have seen. The quote is "As CA goes, so goes the nation.

This is the second time CA voters have passed similar laws. The first time it was overturned by a judge. This time is was put in the constitution so one judge cannot make such an important decision.

I think the church tries to be inclusive. Pres. Packer said that church is not for perfect people, we are all stuggling to overcome our weaknesses. I cannot speak for individual members.
Pres. Paker also said that tolerance is not a weapon, although people try to use it as such.

I hope that I can teach my children to be kind and loving to all people regardless of their differences. I hope that they will also learn that what is right is not dependant on what is popular.