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Legal, Science, and Social Issues on LGBT (Part 4 of 4)

What are some of the legal, science, and social reasons the LDS Church may have removed the Policy of Exclusion?  Greg Prince answers these questions.

GT:  I know in our last interview, one of the things that, what’s the word? The people that disagreed with you the most, I guess we’ll put it that way. Previously, we had talked, and I know it came up again last night, where you had said that it was a straw man, where people think that the government will now force gay marriages.  You’d given an example, has a rabbi ever been forced to marry a Jew and Gentile and things like that? So, I know there are still some people, if you look at my comments, I have a few people from lawyers that say that your argument is a straw man.

Greg:  I base my argument on two bits of data. One is that when the Hawaii decision was handed down, that invalidated the law, the Hawaii Supreme Court made it explicit, that under no circumstances would the LDS Church or any church be required by the state to perform any kind of marriage, that the authority to perform marriages resided in the state. It could be given to churches, and give them the privilege of performing marriages that would be legal, but there was no obligation that extended with that privilege. In other words, the state could not say, “Here’s how you have to do it. Here’s who you have to perform ceremonies for.”  It was made explicit in that.  The other data point is lengthy conversations with Bill Eskridge, who is a professor of law at Yale, is considered the top legal expert in the country on LGBTQ law.

And on the science front….

Greg:  Decades ago, researchers started looking at twins to see if that gave them clues as to the cause of homosexuality. If it were strictly genetic, then identical twins would always be the same. If one were gay, the other would be gay, if one were straight, the other would be straight.  Fraternal twins, because they don’t share the same genetic makeup would be expected to be different, like maybe not concordant at all.  It turned out that it was a mixture of the two, that with identical twins, the concordance would be in the neighborhood of 50 to 60%–one twin is gay, then it would be likely that the other also would be gay, but not essential. Whereas with fraternal twins, it was maybe around 20%. So what that really said, although we didn’t realize the ramifications of it at that time was, genetics is part of it, but there’s something else that’s part of it, and we didn’t know what to call that yet. Eventually, that came to be known as epigenetics, which are factors that work on how the genes function, but they’re not the genes themselves.

We also talk about the recent policy change that allows Americans to get married civilly one day and sealed later without a one-year wait. The conclusion is only available to subscribers of our FREE newsletter.  Just sign up at GospelTangents.com/newsletter and I will send you a free link to watch the conclusion!

Greg Prince discusses legal, social, and science aspects of LGBT policies.

Don’t miss our other conversations with Greg!

285 – Revelatory Whiplash

284 – The Christian Right & LGBT Fight

283 – Mixing Church & Politics in Gay Fight

 

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Must Religion & Science Conflict? (Part 8 of 8)

Must science and religion conflict?  In our final conversation with Ben Spackman, he will compare two events that require a lot of faith to believe:  Noah’s Flood and the resurrection of Jesus.  What can we learn from science and religion on these two stories?

Ben:  When it comes to the flood, what kind of evidence would a global flood that covered all the mountains to, I don’t remember 30 cubits deep, so we’re talking 30 cubits over the top of the Himalayas for at least 40 days. What kind of evidence should that leave in the historical record? Absolute masses of evidence everywhere should be in the historical record across dozens of disciplines and it’s simply not there. That again, is one area where I say, well, what does contextual reading actually get us with the flood? What is the flood actually trying to teach? Is it a historical event and that’s the important thing? Or is it doing something different? And like Genesis, I think it’s doing something quite different, but that’s another book.

So what can science tell us about scripture? Some things, not everything, and it depends on the question. Generalizing is dangerous and being simplistic is dangerous because things are rarely simplistic, which is a generalization.

We also talk about some of our most favorite scientists, and their relationship to religion.

Ben:  Newton comes up with calculus and the laws of motion and all this stuff. What you’re not told is that Newton was doing this as a way to study God. What you’re not told is that Newton, who was somewhat unorthodox was still deeply religious and of the roughly 5 million words of his that we have preserved, 60-70 percent of that is interpreting the Bible, writing about the Tabernacle, trying to figure out the Old Testament timeline. These people who we think we’re doing science, not religion, they thought they were doing religion. So we have to be careful as we look back in time at these people, at religion and science in the past. [If you] think about Galileo’s story as theology crushing science, it doesn’t matter who you read, they’ll tell you it’s a lot more complicated than that.

Galileo, for example, was not a very subtle guy. He was friends with the pope and he put the pope’s argument in the mouth of one of his characters named Idiot. That’s not going to go over very well.

Check out our conversation…

Is Noah's flood about science, or faith?
Is Noah’s flood about science, or faith?

Don’t forget to check out our previous conversations with Ben!

248: Did Pres. McKay Support Evolution?

247: What is a Literal Reading of Genesis?

246: Misreading Genesis

245: Does the Bible Supports a Flat Earth?

244: Did Man Evolve From Apes?

243: Did Joseph Fielding Smith Win the Evolution Battle?

242: Evolution & Bible: Irreconcilable Differences?

 

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Did Pres. McKay Support Evolution?

President McKay was an educator before he was called to be an apostle and future church president.  Was he more open to evolution than other LDS leaders?  Ben Spackman will answer that question.

Ben:  When people bring up Mormon Doctrine, or Man, His Origin and Destiny, I tend to point to President McKay because President McKay on several occasions was very friendly to evolution….Then in 1965, in general conference, David O. McKay quotes him on that point. Now he doesn’t read him at all, but he says, “Here’s a scientist I’ve been reading who talks about a man’s conscience.” So, if you follow that thread, if you get below the tip of that iceberg, that’s a very pro-evolution interpretation of Genesis. David O. McKay clearly doesn’t think that Genesis in any way prohibits evolution. … There was an article that was published in the official Church magazine by a BYU (I think) botany professor, someone who dealt with DNA and other things….This article as it was printed in the Church magazine, has a little black box at the front that says, “This article was read and approved by the editor of the magazine.” If you flip back to the front, the editor is President David O. McKay. Now we have data from his son who was on one of the church committees or something. This article got taken to President McKay by his son to say, “We’re going to run this. Do you want to read it first?” He read the whole thing word for word and said, “This is fantastic work. Run it. I want this box in front.” The box also said, “It is not presented as a position of church doctrine.” So, David O. McKay was very comfortable saying, “Here’s evolution. We’re going to put this in the Church magazine. We’re going to respond to these questions. We’re going to address Genesis. I don’t want to impose it on people as some kind of official doctrine, because it’s not.” But, he was certainly enthusiastic about it.

Check out our conversation….

 

Pres. McKay may have been the prophet most supportive of evolution.
Pres. McKay may have been the prophet most supportive of evolution.

Check out our previous conversations with Ben!

246: Misreading Genesis

245: Does the Bible Supports a Flat Earth?

244: Did Man Evolve From Apes?

243: Did Joseph Fielding Smith Win the Evolution Battle?

242: Evolution & Bible: Irreconcilable Differences?