These are a few pictures taken outside the Mormon temple in Los Angeles, showing protesting and spray painting on the temple walls.
SWAT vehicles and hundreds of officers followed the crowds up and down Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards. Two fullsquads of LAPD in riot gear were on the scene. They had to move their vehicles inside the temple grounds so they wouldn't be vandalized like other cars on the scene. As the violence escalated, protesters began to scale the fence into the temple grounds and SWAT teams on nearby buildings readied themselves to shoot tear gas canisters.
- "Can someone in CA please go burn down the Mormon temples there, PLEASE. I mean seriously. DO IT."
- "I'm going to give them something to be f--ing scared of....I'm a radical who is now on a mission to make them all pay for what they've done."
- "Burn their f--ing churches to the ground, and then tax the charred timbers."
- "I hope the No on 8 people have a long list and long knives."
- "I swear, I'd murder people with my bare hands this morning."
- "Trust me. I've got a big list of names of mormons and catholics [sic] that were big supporters of Prop 8....As far as mormons and catholics...I warn them to watch their backs."
I thought we lived in a civilized society where people with differing points of view could have rational discussions, hold honest elections, and pass laws that society as a whole agrees with. Can't we treat each other with mutual respect and civility? If Proposition 8 had not passed, can you even imagine a scenario where right-winged conservatives storm the walls of gay pride centers, spray paint walls, and threaten to bomb and kill gays? They would be locked in jail in a heartbeat!
It's also interesting to me that nearly all the anger, violence, and protests have been directed at the Mormon Church. 7 out of 10 black voters supported Proposition 8, yet I haven't seen any violence directed toward blacks for this. A majority of Latino voters also voted for the ammendment, but no protests agains Hispanics. A majority of people with children at home also voted for it, but little, if anything, has been directed at them or any other demographic--except the Mormon Church.
Ideas to keep in mind:
- Just because I may disagree with you, or vote contrary to your vote, that does not mean I hate you.
- I believe in responding in a Christlike manner, even to those who hate me and curse me. I encourage everyone to respond with kindness: a kind letter to the editor, a rational conversation with a friend, a thoughtful comment on a blog, or a reassuring word to one who has made a disparaging comment. Answer in love to those who have been influenced by misinformation and prejudice.
- Tolerance does not mean I have to agree with all ideas, even if they are popular or politically correct. Tolerance is not a one way street. I am entitled to my opinion and beliefs just as you are entitled to yours. And we can do that without hating each other.
- Lastly, don't take for granted the opportunities we have in this country--regardless of which side of this issue you take. Tomorrow, they could be gone.