Here’s a bit of a surprise. In California, our Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. Opponents quickly arranged a ballot proposition to reverse the ban. Support for the ban has been slipping, from almost 50% earlier in the year, to 42% in July, and now to 38% in the latestField Poll.
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have contributed more than a third of the approximately $15.4 million raised since June 1 to support Proposition 8. The ballot initiative, if passed, would reverse the current right of same-sex couples to marry.
It’s clear from the article that church officials are directing the flock to donate. I hope that the IRS investigates them.
So, why do the Mormons care about gay marriage? It’s a funny question, in that one of the principal conservative arguments against gay marriage is that it will open the door to polygamy or marriage with young children. But Mormons care more about purity of essence, it appears:
Same-sex marriage hits at the heart of Mormon theology, said Terryl Givens, a professor of literature and religion at the University of Richmond. According to scholars and documents on the Mormon Church’s official Web site, couples married in a Mormon temple remain wedded for eternity and can give birth to spirit children in the afterlife. Most importantly, Mormons must be married to achieve “exaltation,” the ultimate state in the afterlife. Mormons also believe they retain their gender in the afterlife.”This all explains the Mormon difficulty with homosexuality,” said Mr. Givens. In a theology based on eternal gender, marriage and exaltation, “same-sex attraction doesn’t find a place.”
Near death experiences (NDEs) have been a favorite topic for the paranormal crowd for some time. If one could prove that consciousness survives the physical death of the body that would go a long way to opening the door to a wide range of paranormal claims. NDEs often occur in the medical setting, and this is partly why a team of doctors from the UK and USA are planning a rigorous study of NDEs.
That NDEs occur is not controversial – many people report remembering experiences around the time of cardiac arrest from which they were revived. Typical experiences include a sense of floating outside of one’s body, even looking down upon oneself and the events going on. Some people report a bright light, and others report “passing over” and being greated by deceased loved-ones. The experience is often peaceful or euphoric, which contrasts to the way people feel when they eventually wake up. Surviving a cardiac arrest takes its toll and is not a pleasant experience.