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Mormon leader's comments on homosexuality provoke protests
October 8th, 2010
06:28 PM ET

Mormon leader's comments on homosexuality provoke protests

Editor's Note: CNN Salt Lake City affiliate KSTU has this report about a protest outside the headquarters of the Mormon Church.

Thousands of gay activists held a silent protest outside the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Thursday.

The protestors expressed outrage to comments made by church leader Elder Boyd K. Packer saying homosexuality is an immoral condition that can and should be overcome. Packer, president of the church's Quorum of Twelve Apostles, made the comments Sunday during a semiannual conference.


"Some suppose that they were pre-set and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?" said Packer at the conference.

Activists at the protest said the remarks are hurtful and could lead some gay Mormons to suicide.

"Our message is very simple. It's hate speech equal LGBT suicides," said Eric Ethington, Pride in Utah blogger and organizer of the event. "You can not tell kids for their entire lives there is something wrong with them."

Ethington organized the event using the social networking site Facebook. He said his event staff counted nearly 4,500 participants involved in the protest, who all wore black in symbolism of the loss of gay Mormons to suicide. The protestors all laid down, forming a human chain surrounding the Church's headquarters and Temple Square.

Several activists said the suicides are growing within the LGBT community.

"This last September there were three confirmed suicides among LGBT youth in Utah," said Creig Neilson, leader of gay rights organization, the Trevor Project. "In Utah this last weekend there was another one. When these brothers and sisters take their lives, it's because they think that there's no other answer, I understand. When ending your life becomes the better answer, or the better solution, something is wrong."

The LDS Church released a statement in response to the protest saying, "Of course, the Church recognizes the right of groups to voice their opinion in the public square. However, those familiar with the Church's doctrine on the importance of marriage and family know it is based on principles of respect and love for all of God's children."

Read the full story here from KSTU.


soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. beatty

    The end of the world is closer than I thought. The real haters here are the gay/lesbian community. I personally have many gay friends. I love them dearly. I don't condone what they do nor do I condemn. They know how I feel and I love them as Christ would. I really feel sorry for those of you who think all there is to life is THIS life on Earth. Sad. Satan is extremely happy with all the hoop-la created from a talk given by a righteous man. You go Packer!

    October 9, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  2. Zack Roberts

    I dont understand why the gay community is so upset about this. The mormon church is against gay marriage and gay relationships. This is not a secret, its very common knowledge. They always have been, and always will be. If they were to change that stance and allow gay relationships or gay marriage, then it would lose all its credibility. What did they want Boyd K. Packer to say? I mean did they want him to say, "those who want to have gay relationships are okay in the church as long as they keep it a secret." I mean what exactly are you protesting? Did you want him to change his message? His words are exactly what the mormon church teaches, and there is nothing you can do about it.

    October 9, 2010 at 9:49 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Zack Roberts

      You said...."I don't understand why the gay community is so upset about this.?"

      Really...? No clue...? O.K.... How about we start with the fact that the Mormon Church looks upon LGBT's as 'less than human.' Terrible sinful people who are not even deserving of their 'equal rights' as human beings. Not to mention trying to scramble the const-i-tution in their favor, like a lot of other fundamentalist evangelical type religions.

      How about the fact that the Mormon Church went into partnership with the Catholic Church and encouraged...'strongly' their congregations to 'vote' out any piece of legislation that creates equality under the law for gay's. See prop. 8 in California.
      Seems that the church was over-stepping their bounds maybe into the political arena... Hello, separation of church/state.

      And you wonder why people are concerned about the radical right wing fundamentalist agenda, which includes the Mormons....?

      I suggest that you read some of the other posts here, as some go into more detail than my post.

      And after reading everyone's posts against Mormon Church's stance and statements and actions... If you 'still' don't understand, well, we can see what more you have to say. I didn't even begin to dissect the rest of your post.

      Get back to us and let us know your thoughts...

      October 9, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
    • Phil

      You are very correct and why should they , trying to fourse others to change thier beliefs is what the gay community wants either by coersion or by changing laws to make it illegal to diagree with them it simply won't work.

      October 10, 2010 at 8:58 am |
    • Guest

      Zack, You are right. Look out! You will probably be vilified for your sound logic. Those who support the lesbain/ gay 'lifestyle will probably attack your rationale. It's amazing that those who profess this lifestyle think it is nrormal or natural but it would be impossible for them to exist without coming from a zygote via a sperm and an egg.

      October 10, 2010 at 11:50 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Phil & @Guest

      Yes... excellent posts...... Lets just totally deflect the issue of the radical fundamentalists and 'their agenda' of not promoting equal rights, of hate-mongering towards basically anything they don't agree with.

      Yes... lets applaud this kind of christian-right wing behavior. Yep, let the church keep on promoting their stifling beliefs of others. Way to go..!

      October 11, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  3. Jenny Evans

    While I haven't gone back to read it word-for-word, the sense I got from Elder Packer's talk was that God won't give you inborn tendencies toward sin that you can't overcome, i.e: *that you have to act on.* We can overcome feelings by refusing to act on them. If you are born with a tendency toward alcoholism or losing your temper, that predisposition may always be there but you have "overcome" it if you refuse to become an alcoholic or become abusive when you're angry.

    October 9, 2010 at 9:20 am |
    • feather

      That's still saying that being gay means you have a predisposition towards sin. In other words, the way you were born is sinful and the only way to not be sinful is to fight against the way you were born, because it's not good enough for God.

      Helluva great message to send kids, ain't it?

      October 10, 2010 at 12:18 am |
  4. Rony

    How long, O lord, until we can ban religion from the earth once and for all?

    October 8, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
    • NL

      Isn't that like asking "Oh, God, isn't it time you retired?"

      October 8, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
    • Rony

      @NL

      My sarcasm got past you, I guess.
      If there is a God then religion should be banned. If there isn't a God then religion should be banned. Who said anything about retiring someone who may not exist?
      Did you retire Santa Claus when you realized he didn't exist?

      October 8, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
    • Godzilla

      @Rony

      You may as well ask for the banning of bribery. It is quite similar because a criminal transaction does not need to be honored.

      October 9, 2010 at 12:10 am |
    • Know What

      Rony

      "How long, O lord, until we can ban religion from the earth once and for all?"

      Banning just makes folks kinda crabby. We can just keep bringing the falsity forward and hope that sooner rather than later they will see that they are believing in myths, fantasies and superst_itions, and religion will be but a thing of the past.

      October 9, 2010 at 12:27 am |
    • Rony

      @Know What

      You are probably right. There are too many things that make people crabby. As a crabby person, I can certainly attest to that. And I don't even need religion to be crabby. Who knew?

      @Godzilla

      A good point there...criminal transaction...I never thought about it like that before, yet it makes an amazing amount of sense...
      Thank you.

      October 9, 2010 at 12:55 am |
    • NL

      Rony-
      I just thought it was funny to appeal to God to stop religion. Religion seems like God's job, serving as deity to people. Without people to worship him he wouldn't be a god anymore, right? So, asking God to stop religion just seemed like asking him to go into retirement. He's had a long run, and he doesn't seem to be able to keep up with his end of the deal very much at all lately. Maybe it was easier in the old days when there were only a few thousand Hebrews to watch over and he could let off steam with a genocide every so often without pretending to be good all the time. Now there are billions of people to keep track of, and with science spoiling all his hidy holes he spends more time keeping on the down low than Elvis does. So maybe it's about time he just stopped pretending that it's the past, and quit altogether. Like Neil Diamond really should.

      See, I do know sarcasm. 😉

      October 9, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
    • Phil

      God is no respecter of relgion .

      October 10, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  5. Know What

    CatholicMom,

    "We do not know the mind of God and so do not understand..."

    Ah, but you keep saying that you DO! "He" loves us. "He" gives us wonderful things. "He" makes us strong. It seems that you know *all* about the good, joyful, pleasant things which you attribute to "God", but just simply plead no knowledge of the dark side.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
  6. And the winner is...

    Today's fun fact — The LDS has been fighting China to acknowledge the religion and allow for temples etc. The big reason China dislikes the LDS is not because of censoring but rather that in Chinese the word for Mormon can be misconstrued to mean devil. One who practices LDS-Mormonism would be a devil worshiper. That's irony.
    Not downplaying the horrible civil rights issues in China.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
    • NL

      They believe in the devil? The Chinese can't be true atheists then.

      October 8, 2010 at 11:47 pm |
    • Josh

      Not true, learn Chinese before you go posting stuff you don't understand. The characters for the book of Mormon are Mo Men Jing. The characters for devil are Mo Gui. The Mo used in Mo Men Jing is completely different from the Mo in Mo Gui but they are pronounced the same way. The character Jing means scripture and the Mo Men is just a transliteration for Mormon. The reason the LDS church isn't in China yet is because they want to wait until the communist government will allow them to run the church their way without regulations. The LDS church actually is in China they just don't have proselyting missionaries there for the above mentioned reasons.

      October 11, 2010 at 7:01 am |
  7. And the winner is...

    @ D. Johnson
    There is a pub on the corner of rational and sane. Last night, I drank with Ayn Rand and Mark Twain. Tonight, I have a date with Katharine Hepburn, yes she wasn't just a pretty face. Tomorrow night, George Carlin is putting on a show.
    Slanche!

    October 8, 2010 at 11:00 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @And the winner is...

      Very nice brother...!

      October 9, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
    • David Johnson

      WoW! Now that is heaven! LOL

      October 9, 2010 at 11:44 pm |
    • Phil

      I've been there ,who am I kidding I live there and its real inlightning.

      October 10, 2010 at 8:47 am |
  8. Reality

    Mormonism's foundation relies on a "pretty, horn-blowing thingie" named Mor-oni. Some say Mo-roni is/was a brother of "g-ay" Gabriel. Hmmmm???? Today's Mormon "profit" will probably get a visit from god to correct the situation just like a Mormon "profit" "corrected" the Great Con, Joe Smith's support and approval of polygamy. Then there was the other Mormon, god-enlightened "profit" who stopped LDS's discrimination of African Americans!!! (The need for good football players at BYU might have pressed that "profit" into action?).

    October 8, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
  9. Seth

    I'm sending in a letter to LDS headquarters to have them remove my name from the rolls. I'm seriously disgusted by the message this sends to the world and I don't want to be a part of it.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Way to go Seth!

      October 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Seth

      Beautiful brother... ! Way to see the true 'light'...!

      October 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
    • Phil

      Whether you agree with the gay life style or not , reaching out is better than shutting out.

      October 10, 2010 at 8:43 am |
  10. David Johnson

    Fundies Look!

    I came up with a quote I really like!

    If there is no difference between god and no god, then what good is god?

    Damn! That is some deep stuff!

    October 8, 2010 at 10:09 pm |
    • Rony

      "what good is god?"
      What god? Who are you talking about????????
      😀 gotcha!

      October 8, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
    • Phil

      There is a difference and I have seen it in my life , I m certianly no better than anyone else , all I know is before we point out a wrong in someone else we better make sure its done with respect for thier feelings and where thier coming from and not from a place of indiference or im better than you aditude because its just not true.

      October 10, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  11. David Johnson

    @And the winner is...

    I think I would like to have a beer with you. Cheers my friend.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:07 pm |
  12. Time for a rave!

    OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ
    OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ
    OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ
    OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ
    OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ
    OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ

    October 8, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Time for a rave!

      THAT's funny...!

      October 9, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
    • dang

      missed it again!

      October 11, 2010 at 5:37 am |
  13. And the winner is...

    @Josh
    The bible also tells us to stone people to death and that a physical body defied the laws of nature and science, which allow you type comments online, and rise into the air. The bible has been used to fuel the crusades, the exile of Jews from Europe more than once, the Holocaust and slavery, perhaps its not the best guide.
    If god has created us in his image, we have more than returned the compliment. ~Voltaire

    October 8, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
    • Phil

      Lets not foget Christ stopping the stoneing of a women by men who thought they were her judge ,because thier sin was no less then hers , he sent her away fogiven not them .

      October 10, 2010 at 8:31 am |
  14. And the winner is...

    @thepeppershaker
    Maybe if the comment was in context your choice of career paths or choice in women, you might see it as offensive. Perhaps if the names of your children were being called impure, you might see things different. Or if he had looked at your face and turned disgusted, "Why would the heaven father do that to anyone?"
    You may not like what others do, but many more so dislike what you do. Who we choose to love, how we live and what hobbies are freedoms just like your choice in religion.

    October 8, 2010 at 9:15 pm |
    • thepeppershaker

      What I was trying to convey was the idea that God gives the power to overcome to everyone. That's what Packer is claiming. In our faith, God has laws. And he makes a way for us to obey them, no matter what they are.

      In my opinion, Christians vote against gay marriage simply because they believe they shouldn't support something God says "no" to. Really, that's all! What it comes down to is that all the talk and such about Mormons "hating" gays and want to ruin your life is a bunch of rhetoric and is untrue. Wouldn't you agree?

      October 12, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  15. Mark from Middle River

    You know the other week one of the news agencies stated that the down turn in the economy and the high unemployment numbers in the mid west was leading persons to commit suicide.

    Which is true?

    October 8, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
  16. Iqbal khan

    Want to learn more about Islam check
    http://www.911bible.com

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poiUCIHpt1k&w=640&h=360]

    October 8, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
  17. TheRationale

    Why would the Lord do that? Why would he allow millions of children to be born into abject poverty, or with deformities, mental diseases, or abusive parents. Why does he let millions die through natural disaster, famine, and disease?

    Honestly, these religions leaders are the epitome of ignorance and stupidity.

    October 8, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
    • threeballedalien

      The LORD works in MYSTERIOUS WAYS!! Just like when thousands of infants every year around the world get molested and killed and their rapists never convicted or found. Those infants deserved to die due to the will of GOD!

      Or..when people pray in hospitals to have god heal them, yet god was responsible for putting them there in the first place.

      October 8, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
    • bcasus

      Of course being gay, unlike abject poverty, deformities, diseases etc., is only problematic because of "leaders" like Packer promoting a culture of intolerance and condemnation. A good first step to reducing suffering associated with being gay would be for he and his friends to simply shut up.

      October 8, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      TheRationale,

      We do not know the mind of God and so do not understand natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and so on, as to why people have to suffer through them. Such things as poverty can be taken care of by man….the world produces plenty of food for all but it is man and his greed that prevents the food from reaching all persons. Man loving his neighbor as we should, would help eliminate poverty.

      There are many people who have bodies that don’t look or perform as they might want them to, but just ask someone who is in a wheelchair if he wishes he was never born or would he trade his mind for a ‘perfect’ body? We know there are persons with those ‘perfect bodies’ who have deranged minds…

      We do not need to blame God when we become unhappy with the way things are….it might just be your opportunity to show a little love towards someone who has less than you.

      If everything were perfect we would be in Heaven. As it is, we can make some hellish things more heavenly by our own will and desire. I am not saying that we don’t have crosses to bear while living on this earth…but I am saying ‘how we handle them’ will make a great deal of difference.

      October 8, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
    • David Johnson

      I know! I know! I say, frantically waving my hand to be called on to answer!

      Ask this question:
      If there was no god, how would the world look different? Would defective children be born? Would babies be given to parents who can't possibly provide for them? Would cancers and other diseases main and kill the children?

      The answer is, the world world would look exactly as it does now.

      This is the greatest evidence for there being no god. It is what convinced me beyond any doubt.

      If there is no difference between god and no god, then what good is god?

      October 8, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @CatholicMom

      I thought we settled this. There is no god. Anywhere. Ever. Look at the evidence!

      October 8, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @bcasus
      You said, "Of course being gay, unlike abject poverty, deformities, diseases etc., is only problematic because of "leaders" like Packer promoting a culture of intolerance and condemnation."

      It is the task of the bigot, to be intolerant and condemn.

      Remember, black males were not allowed to have the Priesthood until the 1970's. This was not a god thing. It was because of the Civil Rights Act and other pressures, including and especially a revelation from god. wink, wink

      When the U.S. outlawed polygamy, the Mormons got a revelation from god telling them to stop polygamy. (wink, wink)

      Funny how god always gives a revelation when the Mormon position become untenable. It is almost like...never mind.

      Rumor has it, that they talk to god by looking into a hat... I think J. Smith did that. Or said he did that. Oh well.

      You said, "A good first step to reducing suffering associated with being gay would be for he and his friends to simply shut up."

      A good first step would be acceptance. Even if they shut up, they would still work against gay rights.

      If we can keep the Dems in charge of congress, I think the Mormons will have another revelation from god, allowing gay rights.

      There must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found. – Me singing!

      October 8, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @CatholicMom

      You said, "We do not know the mind of God and so do not understand natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and so on, as to why people have to suffer through them."

      If your god existed and was all loving and all powerful and sane, there would be no natural disasters. He would not allow his creations to suffer and be killed. If you have children, would you allow them to fall off a cliff? Would you? How could it be moral to allow humans to suffer and die by the thousands, if you could prevent it? Give me a scenario where this would right.

      You said, "Such things as poverty can be taken care of by man….the world produces plenty of food for all but it is man and his greed that prevents the food from reaching all persons. Man loving his neighbor as we should, would help eliminate poverty."

      If every nation started to send enough food to feed the hungry, the people in these impoverished nations would soon breed themselves back into the same starving condition as before. Simply adding food would just allow more people to be miserable. The Catholic Church doesn't want the use of contraceptives to be a part of aid packages. God does not restrict the number of children he gives. He allows children to be born, knowing they will die. Your "feed the starving people of the world" argument stinks to high heaven. Without controlling population growth, you cannot feed the world. That is a Catholic blunder!

      Did your loving god create disease that kills and causes humans to suffer?

      You said, "We do not need to blame God when we become unhappy with the way things are….it might just be your opportunity to show a little love towards someone who has less than you."

      Awww... so the neighbor's 6 year old daughter gets cancer, so I have the opportunity to bring her a balloon and wish her well?
      What a clever god you worship! Thank you blessed Jesus for Jenny's cancer. I feel good for showing her love!

      October 9, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
    • Jeff

      @David Johnson – since there's no God, why is there evil? For that matter, what is evil? What's your reference point? And why is everything such a mess? All these delusional religion types, they are all products of star dust like everyone else, right? So what do we do, just put 'em all to death, eliminate the problem? 🙂

      October 9, 2010 at 9:16 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Jeff
      You asked, "since there's no God, why is there evil? For that matter, what is evil? What's your reference point?"

      Our morals, our sense of right and wrong is not dependent on a god.
      If there is only one god, and he loads our moral code, why do we have different sets of morals?

      As our intellect evolved, so did or "morals". It is a part of the survival of our species.

      Parents teach their morals as well as their religion to their children.

      Society stamps each of us with its values. Since we live in a country that is ~ 83% Christian, we all have many Christian values. If we lived in Iran, our values would be Muslim. If the toddlers of the Christian Right were transported to Iran and raised by Muslim parents, the little brats would be Muslim. All babies are born atheist. The parents and society "program" them. There is no predisposition for a child to worship any particular god.

      Good and evil, are subjective.

      The United States developed and then used the atomic bomb. The U.S. didn't feel evil for doing this. They were protecting themselves.

      The Christians burned witches, Jews, Muslims, Cathars and Waldensians at the stake. The Christians didn't feel evil. They were doing the lord's work.

      I doubt the Nazi ever felt evil for what they were doing to the Jews.

      They have found tribes in rain forests, that think it is pleasing to their god, to collect heads.

      Moral issues should be decided on their effect on society. Gay marriage has no negative impact on society, so it should be allowed. Marrying underage girls is detrimental to society, so it should not be allowed. See how easy? We don't need no stinkin' god!

      If you think your morals come from god, take this test:

      If you knew, ABSOLUTELY KNEW, that there is no god, would you still do good things? Would you feed the poor?
      Not murder or want to hurt?
      Would you still want to help people who are victims of disasters? Would you still feel compassion for the sick?

      If after knowing there is no god, you would still do all these things, then your morals do not come from god.

      Let's look at the desert hobgoblins morals:

      He slaughters men women and children, including babies.

      God had a man believe he was going to sacrifice his son to Him. Do you know how traumatic that would be for a father and his son?
      Is this evil? Should god be this insecure?

      There was a man who loved God. God made a bet with Satan that even if the man were tortured, his Possessions taken, and his children killed, he would still love God and never curse Him. God won the bet.
      Would you do that? Would you kill a man's children for a bet? Is that evil?

      God has animals preying on each other, for food. Think of that. An all powerful, all wise god made it so animals had to die to feed other animals. If I was all powerful, I would have made all vegetarians.

      God had a man believe he was going to sacrifice his son to Him. Do you know how traumatic that would be for a father and his son?
      If you had the power would you do this? Would you be so insecure?
      There was a man who loved God. God made a bet with Satan that even if the man were tortured, his Possessions taken, and his children killed, he would still love God and never curse Him. God won the bet.
      Would you do that? Would you kill a man's children for a bet?

      And why is everything such a mess? All these delusional religion types, they are all products of star dust like everyone else, right? So what do we do, just put 'em all to death, eliminate the problem?

      October 9, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
    • Jeff

      @David Johnson

      thanks for the reply!

      > Since we live in a country that is ~ 83% Christian, we all have many Christian values.

      83% may report to be Christian, but I imagine the number is a good real less.

      > Good and evil, are subjective.
      > The United States developed and then used the atomic bomb. The U.S. didn't feel evil for doing this. They were protecting themselves.
      > The Christians burned witches, Jews, Muslims, Cathars and Waldensians at the stake. The Christians didn't feel evil. They were doing the lord's work.
      > I doubt the Nazi ever felt evil for what they were doing to the Jews.
      > They have found tribes in rain forests, that think it is pleasing to their god, to collect heads.

      Whether the above felt their actions were evil or not is not the same as declaring the action good or evil. The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.

      > Moral issues should be decided on their effect on society. Gay marriage has no negative impact on society, so it should be allowed. Marrying underage girls is detrimental > to society, so it should not be allowed. See how easy? We don't need no stinkin' god!

      What criteria did you use to determine that gay marriage is not detrimental and marrying underage girls is? Just asking...

      > If you think your morals come from god, take this test:
      > If you knew, ABSOLUTELY KNEW, that there is no god, would you still do good things? Would you feed the poor?
      > Not murder or want to hurt?
      > Would you still want to help people who are victims of disasters? Would you still feel compassion for the sick?
      > If after knowing there is no god, you would still do all these things, then your morals do not come from god.

      Moot point – you yourself said the US was 83% Christian and therefore Christian values are embedded in everything we know whether we like it or not. Can't really pretend otherwise, pure conjecture.

      > God had a man believe he was going to sacrifice his son to Him. Do you know how traumatic that would be for a father and his son?
      > Is this evil? Should god be this insecure?

      It is a difficult story for sure. Another part of the story reveals that God also knew He would sacrifice his own Son.

      > There was a man who loved God. God made a bet with Satan that even if the man were tortured, his Possessions taken, and his children killed, he would still love God and > never curse Him. God won the bet.
      > Would you do that? Would you kill a man's children for a bet? Is that evil?

      God wasn't making a bet – he knew the outcome.

      > God has animals preying on each other, for food. Think of that. An all powerful, all wise god made it so animals had to die to feed other animals. If I was all powerful, I would > have made all vegetarians.

      FWIW, the creation story suggests that was the way things were, and Revelation suggests that's the way things will be. The story says that Man is responsible for the way things are.

      grace and peace,

      -jeff

      October 10, 2010 at 12:20 am |
    • Phil

      God has given us the resourses and ability to stop these sad situations ,why sould God be blamed for our indiference

      October 10, 2010 at 8:26 am |
    • David Johnson

      @David Johnson

      You said, "83% may report to be Christian, but I imagine the number is a good real less."

      The majority of Americans report they are Christian. Unless you deny this, my argument still holds. My point is that the society we live in is a heavy hitter in determining not only our religion, but also or morals. The other, probably heavier influence is the people who raise us.

      You said, "Whether the above felt their actions were evil or not is not the same as declaring the action good or evil. The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure."

      Good and Evil depends on the eye of the beholder. It depends on circ_umstance. It depends on the time you live in. You want there to be one moral value, given by a god. An action is either always right or always wrong based on this. If there is only one god, and he loads our moral code, why do we have different sets of morals? All people should have the same moral code. We do not.

      A person who steals could lose his hands and feet in a Muslim country. In the West, he would get probation. Do the Muslims feel evil for exacting such a punishment? Do they feel evil? Nope.

      Was it wrong for Christians to burn thousands of people? Yep, in our eyes today. Was it evil? Yep, in our eyes now.
      But not in the eyes of the people at the time. To them, it was the right thing to do. It was god's will.

      What about the stoning of the fellow who gathered sticks on the Sabath? Was that wrong? Yep, in our eyes today. Was it evil? Yep in our eyes now. But not in the eyes of the people at the time.

      You said, "What criteria did you use to determine that gay marriage is not detrimental and marrying underage girls is? Just asking..."

      Who does gay marriage hurt? Who is harmed if 2 men or 2 women marry? Show me the victim. We have a gay couple living down the street from us. I play poker with them and others from the neighborhood once a week.

      We say that a girl (and boy for that matter) does not have the right to consent to $ex, until they reach the age of majority. I think this should apply to marriage also.
      A young girl forced into marriage, is hurtful to the girl. Even if the girl agrees to marry, it may be because her family is putting pressure on her to do it. By banning it, society protects the child.

      So, my criteria is: If an action is allowed, who does it hurt?

      Some actions like abortion, are not easy. Abortion is not good for society. But banning it, causes women to seek back alley remedies. The ban does not stop abortions. Obama has the right idea. Society must ensure that women have as many options, other than abortion, as possible. Society should teach young people about contraception. These things would make abortion rare. Here again, we are deciding issues based on their effect on society not on a god.

      Regarding my test for morals, you said, "Moot point – you yourself said the US was 83% Christian and therefore Christian values are embedded in everything we know whether we like it or not. Can't really pretend otherwise, pure conjecture."

      Yes, I did say that. I was explaining where our morals actually come from. But, fundies believe god gives us our moral code.
      They go on to say, that atheists could not possibly be moral, because they lack god.

      The test shows that this is not true. If you believed there was no god, and would still choose to do "good" things, you could not say your morals came from god. See?

      You said, regarding the story of Abraham and his son, "It is a difficult story for sure. Another part of the story reveals that God also knew He would sacrifice his own Son."

      What's your point? Does what He put a father and son through, somehow less wrong, less evil?

      You said in regard to the story of Job, " God wasn't making a bet – he knew the outcome."

      Hmm... again you miss the point. Job's children were killed. His processions taken. He was covered with painful sores from head to foot. Even if god knew Job would continue to love Him, He still had little regard for human life.
      In what context would this not be an evil deed? How can you claim god is a giver of morals?

      You said in regard to God has animals preying on each other, for food., "FWIW, the creation story suggests that was the way things were, and Revelation suggests that's the way things will be. The story says that Man is responsible for the way things are."

      Yes, fundies will always cry context or engage in theological gymnastics to avoid uncomfortable realities.

      So, Adam and Eve eat of the fruit of knowledge and animals started eating other animals? Did their teeth change from grass eating to meat tearing? Did their entire digestive systems change? Did they suddently develop claws? That is sooo lame.

      Did god also create diseases that would kill and maim man at that time? Did He create tape worms and ticks and boring worms and tumors that would invade children's brains?

      The fundie theory that god gives us our moral code is simply not true. God is morally bankrupt.

      Actually god does not exist.

      Science tells us the meat eating animals have always eaten meat. We/they are products of evolution.

      October 10, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  18. thepeppershaker

    I think Packer's statement is misinterpreted by the gay community. The quote used in this article is saying, "Why would God not let someone overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies?" He is NOT saying, "Why would God make you gay if it's not right?" I watched the talk and it is all about following God's word and is not hateful at all. I just think the LGBT community makes it appear LDS leaders are saying something they are not.

    October 8, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
    • David Johnson

      I think it is funny how you can pick out the Mormons in the blog. You always get the nice Mormon (Josh), The nasty Mormon (matumich26), who uses ad hominem attacks to belittle the person questioning the Mormon faith. And the reasonable Mormon (the peppershaker).

      These same tactics were used in an earlier blog about Mormons trying to change their image.

      But, matumitch26, you always stop posting when you are confronted. That makes me and Jesus very sad.

      cmxsmitty, I guess, was intimidated by your calling him a drug addict. I wasn't.

      October 9, 2010 at 11:38 am |
    • Acroyear

      I don't believe in their or anyones god, so I find the entire thing offensive. "We know we're right because my imaginary friend told me so!" I would have no problem if they didn't interfere in politics and law, but virtually every organized religion tries to influence laws to promote what they feel is right, or make illegal what they consider sin. Keep your beliefs in your home and your temple. And I'm not even gay, just a non-believer sick to death of religious lunatics believe they have a god given right to interfere with other peoples lives!

      October 9, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  19. Katie Murphy

    Love and respect – yes you subm it and they will love you, Or otherwise drive you to suicide.

    Bin Laden would also love us if we became Islamic. Need I say more about the perversion of christianity by the mormons, the cat5holic church of the molestation, and the so called christians of the bible belt

    October 8, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
    • Josh

      Katie which part of Packers talk said that you have 2 choices, submit or suicide? I understand gay suicides have been in the news a lot lately but lets not put that all on Boyd Packer. The truth is that the gay community is just looking for media time and they know that attacking the Mormon church will give them that. My prayers are with the families who have lost their loved ones to suicide recently and I don't see how attacking someone will help honor their memories.

      October 8, 2010 at 7:59 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Josh

      You said, "The truth is that the gay community is just looking for media time and they know that attacking the Mormon church will give them that."

      No, I think the gay community is attacking the Mormon Cult because of Prop. 8.
      Source: ABC World News
      Groups are focusing on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints because its members poured in tens of millions of dollars to defeat gay marriage in California.

      Opponents say that church leaders went too far in organizing their members and asking them to donate time and money to getting the proposition passed. Those critics of the church even started an online campaign to identify and embarrass Mormons who supported the amendment.

      October 8, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Katie Murphy

      Religion Poisons Everything. – C. Hitchens.

      If you don't like any of the religions and cults (in the Mormon case), invent one you do like! It will yield you as much as the other religions. The other religions were made up to. If you have faith, a can of green beans can be your savior.

      Did you see that episode of South Park, about Mormons? dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. LOL

      Good Luck!

      October 8, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
    • WWGBD

      What Would Green Beans Do?
      They would taste better if you heated them up in a pan. No question.

      October 8, 2010 at 11:02 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Brother! If you prayed to that can of green beans and had a faith the size of a mustard seed, you could move as many mountains, as if you had prayed to Jesus!

      With enough faith, my brother, you can believe those beans were picked for your sins!

      You can search your pantry shelf each day, for the next 2000 years, waiting for those beans to return.

      Amen brother!

      October 9, 2010 at 8:18 am |
    • Phil

      The abuse and coverup in the public school system is much worse , so lets not let it be buried either

      October 10, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  20. Josh

    I listened to this talk and didn't find it hateful at all. I heard a leader of a church telling his church members that his church believed marriage should be between a man and a woman as written in the Bible. People can find the entire speech by Packer at http://www.deconstructingthenews.com/2010/10/09/gay-rights-activists-protest-mormon-church-again/

    October 8, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
    • matumich26

      @cmxsmitty – don't remember ever believing in magic underwear buddy, don't hear you trashing rosary beads or buddha statues. and a different planet? you must have been shooting up when you made that little tidbit up.

      October 8, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @matumich26

      You said, "don't remember ever believing in magic underwear buddy, don't hear you trashing rosary beads or buddha statues. and a different planet? you must have been shooting up when you made that little tidbit up."

      Looks like there is Magic Underwear to me. And I'm not shooting up.

      A Temple garment (also referred to as garments, or Mormon underwear) is a type of underwear worn by members of some denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement, after they have taken part in the Endowment ceremony. Garments are worn both day and night and are required for any previously endowed adult to enter a church temple. The undergarments are viewed as a symbolic reminder of the sacred covenants made in temple ceremonies, and are viewed as an either symbolic or literal source of protection from the evils of the world. Source Wikipedia

      Also, if you google "Do Mormons believe they can become gods", you get a lot of positive websites. Hmmm...

      I think you are just being touchy.

      October 8, 2010 at 9:43 pm |
    • Robert DiStefano

      Freedom of Speech, Freedom to protest, Freedom of Religion; none of us want these freedoms removed. God forbid we should make it a hate crime to express our religious convictions! What would be next if this happens?

      October 8, 2010 at 11:02 pm |
    • Godzilla

      @Robert DiStefano

      Speak for yourself. Freedom of religion is a free ticket for every crime known to man. Freedom FROM religion should have been the law. Religion is used to protect so much of the evil in the world that it comes close to being actual proof that "GOD" does not exist.

      Mental illness usually carries a social stigma attached to it....unless it is the basis for "faith" or any other religious "belief".
      This needs to stop being the norm throughout the world. But I am not optimistic about it. No. Decades and Centuries of horrible madness will continue as far as I can see. The calculus of mass psychology makes it very clear. There is little hope for humanity, yet I rage against the dying of the light.
      Ineffectual laws are worse than no laws at all.
      No, you do not speak for me.

      October 9, 2010 at 12:25 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Godzilla

      Well said..

      October 9, 2010 at 5:07 am |
    • cmxsmitty

      matumich26 – didn't make that one up. Google mormon under garments and see what you come up with. I also have several friends who are ex-mormons who are happy to talk about them. Do some research. BTW – I think magic rosary beads and statues are lame too. So are fairy tales about magic loaves and fishes, talking snakes and virgin births. Its all – crap.

      October 9, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
    • Maddy

      And to think....their prophet Jo Smith was a pedophile.
      One of his wives was 14 yo.They are all listed on the web.
      Polygamy was rampant and the only reason they gave it up was because the US government gave them no other option. That practice was a directive, i.e. doctrine, that Joe received during one of his many communications with the Almighty.
      I don't hate mormons. They are a fine group of people, many very devoted to their families. They just need to open their minds and get some serious education on this topic.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Maddy

      You said, "And to think....their prophet Jo Smith was a pedophile.
      One of his wives was 14 yo.They are all listed on the web."

      I'm not a fan of the Mormons, because of their stand on gay marriage. BUT:

      I don't think that is fair. This was in the 1800s. Lots of girls married that young. Remember the life expectancy in the 1800s was only like 37. Cheers!

      October 9, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      How stupid is it to tell people, "I hope that you will take a chance to visit LDS.org and read the entire speech given by Boyd K. Packer . . . " when the version of the speech now contained on that site has been altered and the offensive parts scrubbed from it? Maybe you should watch the recording of the speech on my DVR, the unaltered, unredacted version that was broadcast around the world?

      October 10, 2010 at 1:31 am |
    • Lynne

      Thus, the problem. . .you don't even see or hear the hatred!

      October 10, 2010 at 10:36 am |
    • Josh

      @Bill Killpatrick – The LDS church routinely edits the talks before publishing them. They give the speakers a chance to review what was said and make sure it is printed the way they meant it. You can still go to lds.org and watch the actual tape, no editing and see for yourself. It's been a week now and I would guess that 99% of the people hating on the Mormon church and Boyd Packer right now haven't taken the time to read or watch his talk. You can't read a politically biased blog and form your opinions without actually checking sources and doing a little homework.

      October 11, 2010 at 7:11 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.