Please Respond to Russell M Nelson, by Elaine Ball

This was an article written by a dear friend of mine, Elaine Ball, in response to my article “Russell M Nelson of the Mormon Church Speaks on Equal Rights.” This is very well written and I thought highly worth sharing. Feel free to leave any comments and I’ll make sure that Elaine gets them and is able to respond to them.
Please Respond to Russell M Nelson
May 16, 2007:

” Our business is not political; our business is to abide by the concept of separation of church and state. Our business is to teach a better way of life, to teach the principles and doctrines of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is our mission. And our business is not to elect or to influence public elections;… We maintain a political neutrality.”

Why can’t we focus on the beautiful parts of our religions and beliefs – and take out the parts that influence us to legally take away rights and liberties and free will from other human beings? How about the LDS church continue “teaching a better way of life,” and stop spending time and energy “influencing public elections?” There are incredibly beautiful things about this religion. I know. It was the love of the first 20 years of my life. And there are incredibly wonderful and loving people in this religion. I hope that they will come to see that their leaders have been hypocritical and that churches do not belong influencing politics – leaders of those churches even apparently agree – when it suits them. What if any other church tried to influence politically and legally how you live your lives? WHOSE RIGHTS ARE NEXT?

If my God taught that you didn’t have any right to get married, I would have every right to believe that. But I would have NO right, in America, to take away that right from you because I believed my God said it should be so. It’s the same as people who believe their God tells them not to marry members of a religion different than theirs. They can do as they believe, and only marry members of their own religions. But they CAN NOT legalize such an idea, so far as to say “No Adult Member of The United States of America May Marry Any Other Adult Unless Both Adhere to Identical Religious Beliefs.” Or take ANY OTHER religious belief that YOU personally don’t agree with, from another religion or belief system than your own, and ask yourself how you would feel if that belief were made law, and you could no longer live YOUR OWN LIFE the way YOU and YOUR BELIEFS told you was right and beautiful and true and good.

This is NOT about the definition of Marriage. It’s about families being torn apart because you have chosen to ignore the fact that they are families. Because they look different from your family, you have told them they can’t choose to be a family. No one can truly fight to take that right away from another human being and actually feel they have done the right thing – once they see that this is what they have done – please, please see – that no one can tell a mother of her own children that because she loves someone of her same gender, her children and her partner can not have the same legal and social benefits as can you, because your religion says that you deserve them, and she does not?

How is this showing love for those who believe differently than you? Taking away their lives, their families, their loved ones, their children, tearing them down and telling them they don’t deserve what you have? Why don’t they? Because they are different than you? You are different than many other people, too! Don’t you see, that when we start taking away any group’s rights, we have began taking away rights of ALL AMERICANS, and we could be next? Your rights could be taken away by anyone who believes differently than you. That is what you have done. You have taken away rights from someone who believes differently than you.

Please – please join with me to fight for these rights. For YOUR OWN rights, because I will fight for no other group to be able to take away your rights to live your lives in accordance with your own beliefs, as well. I will fight for you when the day comes. Please see that this is what America is about, and come and get to know us for who we are.

-Elaine Ball
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