February 27, 2010

My Defense

In my college we have a Freshman Inquiry class which we take all year long, with the same people. We have a Mentor Group, which splits the class into thirds and have a small class with each other. I love this group of people very much.

On Thursday, our mentor leader asked us all a question.

"Do you believe in evolution?"

There were 3 No's, 2 Undecided's and 7 Yes'. My mentor leader was absolutely shocked (literally) that someone would not believe in evolution. She said she though everyone would be "smart" enough to believe in it. Well because of this, the topic quickly morphed into religion. I was proud of the fact that I was able to defend religion, which really was about defending God. I have never realized how Godless the world, our country, my state, my city, and particularly my school is. The three of us were almost laughed at for believing in God. Luckily (without being egotistic) I am well respected in the mentor group. I am viewed as smart, caring and respectful. Having earned this respect previously led me to have some intellectual weight in our discussion.

I pride myself on being a good public debater, but I also pride myself on being very respectful of others views when discussing with them in person.

At the end of this discussion, the question was asked of the 3 God Squad members (a term an investigator gave me and my companion on my mission), if we liked gay people. Inside I let out a monstrous laugh.

I said, "I have lots of gay friends." But I wasn't about to out myself to everyone, for many different reasons.

I also said when the topic came around to it, that I would have voted "yes" on Prop 8. (Honestly, I would). Instantly I added, "this is not for the reason most of you think either." I then quickly explained my positioning on extending the governmental rights to same sex couples, but the institution of marriage should be left to religion and not the government.

A couple weeks previous, a girl in the group, upon hearing I was Mormon, told me she hated me. Flat out. Simply for being Mormon. She became visibly upset when I said I would have voted for Prop 8. She spoke up and directly towards me said, "So you are going to tell me I can't get married to a girl I love, thats horrible of you."

I responded, "You didn't listen to me, I said I am in favor of giving all the rights that the government gives to married couples to same sex couples, but marriage is a religious institution and the government has no right to tell religions what to do. "

Still upset, she said, "But prop 8 is our only chance and you would vote to deny me rights."

I stated, "Like I said, I am in favor of giving you those rights, Heck I'll even write the bill for you."

She added, that she wasn't gay herself but it is still upsetting to her. As we were walking out of the room, I put my arms out and said, "Hug?" To which she said, "No way."

I so could have pulled the gay card on her, but I had no desire to.
The whole group said we actually really enjoyed having the religious discussion and wanted to have more like them. When I walked into the bigger class a little later, one of the group members who missed the group said to me, "Hey Quinn, I hear your a Creationalist, I would love to have a debate sometime with you. I find that topic very interesting." I told him I would love to.

So in my own little way I was able to defend God, my church, and marriage all in one class. It felt so good to come out of the political closet in my class. Portland State is such a liberal university, in a liberal city, and there are few conservatives. But I was glad I was able to speak up.


  1. Evolution was a topic I remember being discussed in one of my classes at BYU. Interestingly, the church has no "official position" on the matter and General Authorities have had diverse opinions regarding evolution. Sadly, I think sometimes people (religious or not) confuse religious doctrine with a political party. Personally, I don't think the gospel is either Republican or Democrat.

    Way to go for standing up for your beliefs though. While I don't live in Oregon (but pretty darn close), I've known people who've lived there who've expressed the general distain Oregonians have for religion. So, I imagine things can get a bit rough for people there who are religious.

  2. True Troy. While I have no stance on mirco-evolution, (which is what I think the church takes no stance on... but I could be wrong) my mentor leader was talking about a God creating humans, or Apes evolving. That I am pretty sure the church has a stance on?!

  3. Your situation would be exactly the opposite at BYU... except that BYU students can't express their feelings if they supported gay marriage because advocating homosexuality is against the honor code.

  4. ...my mentor leader was talking about a God creating humans, or Apes evolving. That I am pretty sure the church has a stance on?!

    I don't believe the church says anything specifically about evolution of any kind, other than to say that God created man.

    Whether He did that by gathering a bunch of mud, shaping it into a person, and saying "hey, presto!", or by coaxing single-celled organisms out of a primordial soup and encouraging them to differentiate into many classes, orders, superfamilies, and families--including that of primate--and then encouraging members of the primate family to further differentiate until there was finally a specimen with the sentience necessary to contain the soul of man...

    Different church leaders have had different opinions on the actual process, and I'm fairly certain that the church itself has no position.

    I tend to believe that the universe works a certain way, and that God works within those parameters, and that the more we learn of how the universe works the closer we come to understanding how He works.