Shockingly, the church finds the protest "disturbing" and objects to being "singled out" for exercising its right to free speech. Well, here's a news flash. When you, a large tax-exempt religious institution, claim that your leaders speak for God and then mobilize your membership by telling them that they need to vote in a certain way on a particular political proposition regarding the civil issue of same-sex marriage... you're going to get singled out.
You can't have it both ways. On the one hand, you call this issue your "Gettysburg", read letters about Prop 8 from the pulpit, call for donations and volunteers, organize call chains, and generally make it felt that every member of your religious organization in the state of California is expected to sacrifice for the cause of taking away others' right to marry. On the other hand, you act surprised and hurt when those whose rights have been stripped become angry, members of your own church actively voice their disapproval, and thousands of protesters show up at your doorstep to protest your coordination of this exercise in codifying discrimination into law. Pardon my candor, but what the hell did you expect?
In the comments to the Salt Lake Tribune article linked above, a commenter named slgb8 condemned the protesters, saying that the church has its own right to free speech and the protesters were trying to take that away. He said:
Don’t take rights away from others that you would not want to have taken from you. I think we should be careful not to take away others rights to free speech even when we don’t agree with them. We could start the country on a road the end with none of us having basic rights.
I agree with that completely, but Prop 8 is not a free speech issue. It's an issue of marriage. Let's substitute the phrase "free speech" with the word "marriage", shall we?
Don’t take rights away from others that you would not want to have taken from you. I think we should be careful not to take away others rights to marriage even when we don’t agree with them. We could start the country on a road the end with none of us having basic rights.
Much more relevant. It's the correct idea, but this particular commenter had the wrong idea about who is attempting to take away rights from whom. In fact, who has succeeded in doing so.
I seriously am about as close to resigning my membership as I ever have been. This has been an emotional election season, and I am emotional as I type this, but I think that even with a clear head and a calm spirit, I do not want to be part of an organization that so confidently proclaims its willingness to take away others' rights. That is the exact opposite of what I hope to stand for.