Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake… for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets… Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
When I got out of school at 5:30 today I had the strangest feeling. Being in law school is like being in a cave, especially since I don’t bring a laptop. It probably started with all of the helicopters that I noticed hovering above Beverly Hills as I walked down Hilgard Avenue. As I got in my car and started driving I had the strongest felling that I should go to the temple. I can’t quite describe it but I could just sense that there was something going on there. It was a feeling of foreboding. It was probably my subconscious putting the pieces together. Mormons have been singled out among Prop 8 supporters as an appropriate target. There was a Time article on the Yahoo home page arguing that the Mormons were the reason that 8 passed. And finally there has been a lot of anger and frustration in the LBGT community since Prop 8 passed two days ago.
I decided to change course and swing by the temple which is pretty much on the way home from school. I came up the back way and the first thing I noticed was greater number of people walking around and a higher number of cars parked on the residential streets. As I pulled up by the driveway I saw a row of dark figures blocking the entrance to the temple. As I got closer I could see that they were cops.
I decided to park the car and walk around to see what was going on. Most of the protesters were around the corner in front of the temple along Santa Monica Blvd. The only words with which I can describe the atmosphere are: hate and anger. My apologies for the quality of the photos it was already getting dark by the time I arrived.
There were signs spelling the word Mormon with swastikas, signs advocating that banning of Mormon marriage, one sign saying “get out! This is our state!”, others calling Mormonism a cult (an old favorite), and of course the old polygamy axe.
Here's a story about these protests.
Here is some pretty good local news coverage And below is the Church owned Utah based news coverage of the protest. You can see the protesters marching along side the Westwood Chapel which is behind the temple and where April and I attend church.
I should point out that the the majority of money for the yes on 8 campaing did not come from Mormons (about 40% came from Mormons) but rather Mormons gave more than any other singe group.
As long as these demonstrators are peaceable they are within their first amendment rights. It is always hard to hear your values and faith vilified but this of course is nothing new. I hope that members in my faith will not respond in kind.
I began this post with a quote from Jesus Christ to his followers but he didn’t stop there. He had further counsel for those that would follow him. I’ll end with the remainder of the quote:
“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.”