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Strengthening Marriage: Laura Brotherson on MormonTimes.com: Taking the heat for marriage

SHARE Strengthening Marriage: Laura Brotherson on MormonTimes.com: Taking the heat for marriage

The marriage controversyMiss California recently got caught up in a heated controversy about marriage when answering an interview question during the Miss USA pageant. I'm not a big fan of beauty pageants, but I'm now a big fan of Carrie Prejean, who stood up for marriage!One judge, an openly gay celebrity blogger, asked Miss California the question of whether she believes \"same-sex\" marriage should be available in every state. She responded that she did not. She said, \"In my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised.\"Way to go Carrie! And way to go to Carrie's parents as well for teaching her about the sacredness of marriage, and helping her develop the character and integrity to stand up for it. Many believe her answer may have cost her the Miss USA crown. That's an incredibly sad reflection on what we've become in America. That marriage is even a controversial issue means we've already traveled way too far down this road. You have to wonder how things might have been different if Miss Utah, who was also in the top five, had been the \"lucky\" recipient of that loaded question. Regardless of whether she is LDS, I imagine the critics would have come out in full force — even more viciously than with Carrie Prejean. Supporting those who stand for marriageAs a marriage-strengthening advocate, I'm all for supporting those who are willing to take the heat for the divine institution of marriage. The knives are out in full force against Carrie Prejean. The gay-marriage advocates are extremely vocal, with ready access to media outlets willing to disseminate such views. People with conservative or Christian values and beliefs are likely to be lambasted by those who may see things differently. Hollywood types are lining up to bash Miss California. But as more of us are willing to speak up confidently and calmly about the subject, then it will be more and more difficult for us to be bullied by those who disagree.What's at stakeMarriage is still the best foundation for raising children. It's also one of the best ways to raise adults too. But even more than marriage itself is at stake. Freedom of speech and freedom to believe and practice one's religion are in serious jeopardy as well. It seems that some people are missing this vital point.If ever marriage is allowed to be redefined as anything other than what it is, then religious liberty will be threatened. The freedom to believe, the freedom to speak and the freedom to act upon one's religious beliefs will be denied to those who believe that marriage is a sacred institution divinely designed for a husband and wife (and their future children). When government gets involved in the redefinition of marriage then the loss of religious freedom is not far behind. Parents already have faced having their children taught in school that \"gay\" marriage is an acceptable alternative. A same-sex relationship is NOT marriage and never will be. The silent majority cannot be silentIt almost seems barely acceptable in our secular society to believe in marriage as it was designed by God. When we don't step up and support those who voice religious beliefs, it can seem acceptable to some to bash those who hold such beliefs.We must not let society slip any further than it already has. The silent majority doesn't have the luxury of being silent any longer. When it's not such a rarity to hear conservative/Christian beliefs espoused, then it won't seem like we're a lone voice in the wilderness, when we aren't. The vocal minority has been doing its part to undermine traditional morals and values for some time now. We have to catch up. They have the advantage of the \"vocal\" mainstream media. But we can change things by confidently and courageously continuing to stand for marriage and morality any chance we get. Our voices must find a way to counterbalance the secular segment of our society. The media-generated illusionThe problem in balancing our voices with those of the popular culture is that those with ready access to the television cameras and microphones tend to be those who have adopted an anything-goes mentality.It can sometimes give the impression that \"everyone\" believes as these people do. But it isn't true. It's only a media illusion brought about by a lot of subtle bullying coupled with good Christian people who are just trying to be kind and not raise a fuss. Even if we were the minority, which we are not, then we would still have to stand for what is right even if we stand alone. We don't stand alone given the overwhelming passage of marriage-protection laws by the people of the United States of America in state after state.We don't stand aloneThere is no need to stand alone when so many do stand with us. Finding opportunities to speak up for marriage and morality will help those with similar values know they are not alone. Those like Miss California who willingly take the heat for marriage instill confidence and courage in others — inspiring others to stand and be counted as well. The effort to protect marriage in California's Proposition 8 hopefully instilled greater courage in all of us, and a willingness to let our voices be heard. It likely taught many of us that we may never win a politically correct popularity contest, but that we can stand firm for what we believe anyway. This kind of effort requires extra faith, extra courage and extra reliance on the God we seek to honor and defend. His work will roll forward with or without us, but I believe he expects us to do what we can to further his work and his word.Hopefully those of us who believe in marriage have begun to find our voice and the courage to stand with Carrie Prejean and others like her. Carrie does not stand alone. Many people, like you and me, are in full support of her courageous comments.A view from the other sideI can't help but feel sad for the pageant judge who posed the question on same-sex marriage. Before he even asked the question, you could hear him say: \"Are you worried? You should be.\" He knew he was going in for the kill. Given his behavior since the pageant, he is obviously an angry and unhappy soul with a bone to pick with those who believe in marriage. With some, it doesn't even seem to be about marriage, but about demanding validation of certain behaviors. We all have mortal thorns of the flesh. One of our purposes in life is to overcome these things turning to God for help. We all must love each other — even those who believe differently than us — but that can never mean that we will compromise our God-given beliefs.I imagine that deep down those with same-sex attraction simply seek to be loved and accepted as everyone else. We can love and accept others without having to love and accept their behavior. I feel for all those who deal with same-sex attraction. I'm sure it's a difficult road.Satisfying competing beliefsThere is a way to satisfy these competing beliefs about marriage. I was particularly impressed by the wisdom of a gay individual who posted the following comment on one of the news-story blogs. He wrote:\"I'm gay … and I do not believe there should be any outrage over (Miss California's) comments regarding gay marriage. The pageant judge asked what she thought. She is entitled to her opinion. Just as those who want gay marriage are entitled to theirs. Too much gets put on this topic. Too many in the gay community are hung on this redefinition of marriage. Tell me again why a religious institution has to redefine itself because you feel entitled to its rewards? Civil unions carry the same legal weight and are more than sufficient for those of us needing the legal aspects of our relationships satisfied.\"In reading many of the other comments, equality seems to be the buzzword used by those who seek to redefine the institution of marriage. Equality is certainly getting skewered in this context.Let us be clear. Equality means that any man and woman who want to marry can do so. Any other combinations are going to have to find something else to call it because \"marriage\" is already taken.Marriage was defined and created by God. It's not up for human redefinition.