War and Marriage
I need to begin with the caveat that I have not informed myself well enough on either of these topics. That said, I mean by "War" the W. Bush attitude toward war, especially Iraq, Afghanistan, "Terror" (a really manipulative/effective twist on the desensitized term "terrorism"), and 9/11 & by "Marriage" I mean the religious or ethical or social reasons for opposing homosexual "marriage" (or the alternative civil unions that I don't hear about any more these days).
My main concern here is about a Latter-day Saint with these two beliefs:
(1)Bush entered the US into the war in Iraq under false pretenses and has endangered the nation and brought about the death of 600 or 800 US troops for post-9/11 overcompensation, or vengeance, or cheap Iraqi post-war democratic/capitalist oil.
(2) Marriage is ordained of God between a man and a woman. That's fine. But in general, I am not sure I can distinguish between the non-doctrinal Republican tendencies of probably most Mormons and the conservative morals that the church probably shares with most American conservatives, including the ecclesiastically-antagonistic Southern Baptist Convention or the Religious Right. This doesn't trickle down to things like R-rated movies or gay teletubbies for me, but with the issue of homosexual marriage, if forced to choose pro or contra a law that allows for gay Marriage, I would vote against it.
The obvious problem here, is that the presidential candidate that would most likely have similar beliefs (or at least beliefs that cause a similar effect) about gay marriage is Bush. Considering the judicial filibuster during Bush's presidential term, my BYU Constitutional Law professor (a hyperconservative) declares that the next president will nominate a lionshare of federal judges who will be called upon to decide the legal questions of gay marriage. So the one man who would possibly represent and nominate judges that would represent my belief about gay marraige is the man whom I believe is responsible for killing 800 young Americans so far and uncounted Iraqi soldiers and civilians.
This isn't an effort to proselytize others to my acknowledgedly simplistic politics. All I can say is that the war in Iraq has broken my heart and that I cannot ignore my conclusion about gay marriage.
Which matters more? An admittedly symbolic attempt to preserve a small degree of sanctity in marriage given its importance in my religion, or an unguaranteed effort to support a president who might not take our nation to war in what I see as an unjustified cause.
According to a little modification of the classic hierarchy of sins, it should be no contest. Fornication is one definite step below murder, and since Bush probably isn't surely called and elected and second comforted as we understand those terms, he can't do any worse than. That ultimately holds my decision (I will probably vote Kerry), but I want to open this up to comment: on this dilemma, on either of these issues alone, or on how much of a jerk I sound like...