This thought was written by an anonymous LDS seminary teacher
I have an interesting thought exercise for those complaining that U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby’s decision constitutes an act of judicial tyranny. Would we as Mormons hold that same opinion under the following scenario?
Many are deeply offended by the LDS practice of baptisms for the dead. Imagine if the majority of the citizens of the state of California passed a law outlawing vicarious ordinances for deceased individuals. All of a sudden, Mormon temple worship was illegal. In light of the way the majority feels about this LDS practice, it’s not difficult to imagine that a state might pass such an ordinance.
Now imagine that in this scenario, a judge intervened and explained that in passing this law, the majority chose to violate the constitutional rights of the Mormon minority. Would we view this process as problematic since one person effectively overturned the sentiments of the majority?
This is not simply a secular issue. The reality is that there are those among us who view performing same sex marriages as a religious right, mandated by God; I’ve served as a chaplain with some. They’ve born witness with tears streaming down their cheeks that they received spiritual confirmation that God wanted them to help raise the spirituality of the gay and lesbian population by promoting families, love, and marriage. Now, note LDS scripture:
…we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul…
We believe that rulers, states, and governments have a right, and are bound to enact laws for the protection of all citizens in the free exercise of their religious belief; but we do not believe that they have a right in justice to deprive citizens of this privilege…
We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.