19 October 2008

What Chocolate Has to Do with Proposition Eight

There has recently been much media hoopla regarding a sticky subject. I want to give my two cents. (Free opinions=worth every cent.)

Let me put it this way. Some people are addicted to chocolate. I even think they may be genetically disposed to voraciously crave chocolate. Perhaps if these people never heard of chocolate, or saw it but never tasted it, they would not have to deal with the irresistible cravings. Society as a whole should love and respect chocolate addicts—not because they are addicts, but because they are people.

Just as no person should be wholly defined by being a non-chocolate craver, no person should be wholly defined by their chocolate craving. It is absurd to define an entire person by one aspect of his or her lifestyle. We should befriend them even if they have chocolate all over their faces or march in chocolate loving parades on occasion. They should be allowed to eat chocolate even if it is a moral concern for us because they may die of morbid obesity. It is a choice, after all.

However, I don't think that it is appropriate to take a bus full of children to watch an addict eat a Snickers bar. I don't think it is appropriate to teach school children that chocolate can replace a balanced diet and is an acceptable alternative to eating normal food. If everyone in the world started eating chocolate exclusively, the population would die out in a generation. We have an obligation to future generations to allow them to exist, even if some of us would much rather eat chocolate than broccoli.

I know the metaphor is imperfect, but at what level do you think chocolate craving is a choice? That's my question. Discuss politely, because I have no compunction against deleting rude comments at my own hyper-sensitive discretion.


Queen Elizabeth said...

So well said! It's making me think - maybe I'll add more later after I've thought more...

Angie Lewis said...

I very much enjoyed your analogy. I think it's very difficult for "non-chocolate cravers" to judge the "chocolate cravers," however we all make a choice of whether we eat the chocolate or not... I like to relate it to someone tempted by alcohol choosing to drink or not and so forth. Each of us is tempted in different ways and by different substances/objects/etc.

Angie Lewis said...

P.S. Thanks for using my word of the whatever...I feel honored! :)

Jesse said...

I think that the reasons behind chocolate craving are the same kind of reasons behind every craving, passion, and habit. I would just about say that everyone who has read this blog has kicked one habit or another, big or small. I believe that if we have the desire and are willing to act, then we can change anything.

Joseph Smith said something to the effect of "I teach them true principles and let them govern themselves" (maybe I'll look that up later) but I believe that the reason that there are many undesirable addictions, passions, and, well, desires, are because people are not educated in the truth or given sound reasons why, for example, being addicted to chocolate could be bad. I think there are many chocolate addicts that would change their ways if chocolate was discovered (heaven forbid) to be cancer-causing. There would still be people who would eat it, and maybe more of it. Most days I think that we should just do all we can. The other days I feel like it's just inevitable that the world will die of a chocolate overdose, so why bother. I just know what choices I make.

Sorry, that was closer to two quarters than two cents.

sammygrace said...

well, i must say this, if nothing else that i Love Chocolate. It is so completely high on my list of favorite foods that i Honestly dont think i go a day without it. Every single day i have some form of chocolate or another. Literally. Maybe I'm addicted, Maybe I'm not. However, it is my choice, at all levels, because i know what chocolate could do to my hips, i know it has caffeine in it, i know that in large amounts it could probably make me sick, but I am the one who chooses to pick up the snickers bar and put it in my mouth, or the bite of chocolate frozen yogurt, or the deliciously crafted white chocolate (or milk chocolate) reese's cup. All i have left to say is, YUM, I'm gonna go get so freakin chocolate:)

SpecialK said...

I first want to thank you for your analogy. You have a very bright and sharp mind. And I'm always grateful for people who make me think.:)
Here is my two cents for what it is worth...
There may be people who are born chocolate addicts and others who are not. How hard it must be for those who are and have tasted it before, and also for those who don't feel complete because they crave chocolate and have never tasted it. I don't condemn those who crave chocolate, for in a metaphoric sense, I have never had such cravings. Having said that however, the sin does not lie in craving chocolate. Whether or not the craving is there we still have the power to choose to indulge in such cravings or not. It isn't a sin to crave, but a sin to indulge. And with all the various weaknesses we all possess, the power of Jesus Christ's atonement is there to give us strength to resist. But even that is a choice we must make.
Marriage is meant to unite a man and a woman to raise a family. There is where true joy and happiness lay. What people do with their own lives is their own business, but to me marriage must remain for one man and one woman. It is the backbone of our society to remain strong.

Anonymous said...

Several years ago, I was on a diet and I stopped eating chocolate. At first I missed it and had very strong cravings for it. After a while the chocolate cravings diminished. I was eating other, healthier foods and I no longer needed the chocolate.

michelle said...

I'm sure I'll be bashed for this but FWIW I think that chocolate addicts are going to eat chocolate no matter what and just b/c they are addicted to chocolate doesn't mean they aren't people w/real feelings and families who love them and I think that they should be given the same rights as non chocolate addicts. Banning chocolate is not going to "cure" chocolate addicts.

Hey It's Di said...

OH man. I'm so glad this isn't REALLY about chocolate! I would be so sad:) I LOVE CHOCOLATE!!....the real stuff you know.

Jen said...

I agree that banning chocolate won't cure chocolate addicts. Banning chocolate is definitely not the way to go. I'm just saying chocolate doesn't merit special recognition just because someone is addicted any more than beer does.

I was even tempted to say let them marry, but I decided that I think allowing those marriages is equivalent to putting chocolate in the vegetable or grain part of the food pyramid. Just because we give something a status or a label doesn't mean that it is good for society as a whole or that the label is correct.

If coming out of the closet means admitting/ accepting/ embracing a huge difference, then don't come out and then ask to be the same as everyone else or labeled "not different." We can love and respect, but if a person wants to be different he or she shouldn't expect society to say he or she not.

(Just for the record, I mean what I say about love, tolerance, etc. I have a gay friend who was one of the most delightful people to talk to at my HS reunion. I value him as a person because of who he is, not because he is oriented one way or the other. And hate crimes SUCK.)

laceeJ said...

WOW! That's a wonderful way to put it! I agree, that if they choose or want to live that lifestyle, fine, but when we get into PROP 8 it not only effects just them getting recognized as the same rights as hetero's but a lot of other family values are shot down like a Domino effect. Eat your chocolate, but don't smother it in everyone else's face :) Lotsa love!

amy said...

to be frank, this is not a topic i have given a great deal of thought to. i don't think it should be a government responsibility to marry people; leave that to the churches. if a church doesn't want to marry some couple for whatever reason, that couple will need to determine if they prefer to remain with that church or find another whose values are more consonant with their own. i think that civil unions should be respected and domestic partnerships should be honored (between consenting adults; polygamy, as we currently know it, [i don't care if adults go down that road either] is RIGHT OUT) with respect to taxes, hospital visitation rights, etc. etc.

i guess i tend to think there is a lot of hype about this issue and it is rather silly. people should worry more about how things are going in their own bedrooms and leave everyone else alone. society has bigger problems than gay marriage, and i am not going to be the person to say that one of those bigger problems isnt chocolate. i would rather have gay parents than type II diabetes. (just a li' devil's advocate for ya).

that's the best free two cents i got. glad you didn't pay for it :)

The Rookie said...

You are a brave soul entering territory I dared not. I am, of course, with you on this matter. Bravo!

And by the way, I love the non-metaphorical chocolate of this world. I'm wondering what might be in my kitchen as I type this. Hmmm...

Anonymous said...

See, all you have to do is put the word "Chocolate" in your blog post, and total strangers will come running!

I, for one, thought I couldn't live without chocolate. A friend of mine dared me to go one day without it, and here we are, TEN MONTHS LATER, chocolate free!!!! I have two months, one day, and something like four hours -- make that three hours and 45 minutes -- before I can eat chocolate again.

Don't ask, and don't try this alone.

Dansie Family said...

so i "get" to go to a z-arts discussion tonight on the film "so the bible tells me so." it is a documentary about what the bible says or doesn't say about eating chocolate. It explores many very religious families and the effect of chocolate on one of their children. the film was screened last night and tonight, there will be a discussion about it all. then, i "get" to write an article about it all. here's to being unbiased despite my beliefs.

Kate said...

Below is my two cents about Prop 8 I've left on other blogs. It is extremely difficult to decided on this issue as a "progressive" Mormon & have compassion for homosexuals & still say, "at heart, when it really comes down to it... I think that homosexuality is wrong."

As a newly registered California voter, this proposition has been on my mind a great deal the past few months. We hear about Prop 8 every Sunday in church & are frequently asked to donate money to support its passage. I have made many new friends here and some are in my ward & very active in the campaign for Prop 8, dedicating nights and weekends to calling voters, knocking doors etc. Another great friend we have made here is very active in the Gay community, and is equally active promoting its defeat.
I personally have been very torn on the issue, and disturbed by the language that church members use and the thoughtless comments some people make about our gay brothers & sisters.
I am also very torn, because to me Prop 8 is an issue of semantics. Domestic Partnership in California has been expanded to be a very parallel system to that of marriage for homosexual couples. As far as State rights are concerned, there is very little substantive difference between the two. Under a Domestic Partnership gays have tax benefits, hospital visitation rights, property rights etc. recognized under a marriage in California. The Domestic Partnership is not recognized by other states, obviously, so those benefits recognized by California will not carry across the country. There is no conclusive answer as to whether the benefits of a gay marriage under California law would carry to other states.
One thing that gay couples do not have is the word marriage.
Both proponents & opponents of Prop 8 have a very vested interest in ownership of the word marriage. Gays want to legitimize their relationships with use of the traditional word marriage & Christian groups want to de-legitimize, or keep, the word to their traditional form of marriage between a man/woman.
In a sincere effort to make the best possible decision come November 4th, I have been researching & talking a lot about Prop 8 with many people. Interestingly enough, I went to a lecture by a legal scholar in opposition to Prop 8 and his presentation, while very interesting, finally helped me make my decision to support it.
He used many of the same scare-tactics that you describe coming from the pro-Prop 8 campaign. He brought up the “fact” that other types of marriage are not discriminated against by saying, “For example, in California we don’t ban adults from marrying just because they’re Muslim.” I raised my hand and pointed out that in Islam you can marry up to 4 women & that I know Muslims who are married to multiple wives, and only the first wife is recognized legally in the US.
He replied, and I quote, “Well, who would want to marry more than one spouse anyways???” And went on to demonize polygamists in Texas & make them out to be absurd criminals. A very interesting position to take...... SINCE THAT’S THE SAME KIND OF CRAP some people make against gay marriage. He made no attempt to see polygamy from a sincere point of view and essentially argued that we think that polygamy is wrong & so it should not be legal.
He also proceeded to tell lies about the LDS church, including, “every member of the LDS church has to donate $1,000 to the Prop-8 campaign.” Which led to another hand in the air on my part. I slowly began to realize that both sides of the debate are prone to bad logic & ad hominem attacks.
Essentially, I have come to conclude that gay relationships are different than heterosexual relationships. Leaving out whether they are better or worse or bad or good, they are different. A category like Domestic Partnership solemnizes their relationships & gives them equal protection under the law.
If they argument cannot be expanded to all forms of marriage, then it should be extended to the definition of the majority of California voters.
If that sounds insane, then we need to look at a large systematic approach to the process of amending the California Constitution, because as it currently stands 51% of voters can change the Constitution.
I am definitely up for a conversation about whether or not that reform needs to take place.
I don't think gay marriage will lead to anything but gay people getting married.
However, I do think that we need to examine other forms of alternative marriage as part of the debate. Polygamy, group marriage etc. If the argument against those is that they are morally wrong... why can't we argue that against gay marriage?
The answer is that we can.

The presenter in that lecture was actually not an idiot. He had a very intelligent presentation, laid out many supreme court decisions & made cogent arguments. The element of his presentation that helped me make up my mind was that behind all of his arguments was the true crux of the issue... homosexuals want to legitimize their cause with the word marriage. Some Christian heterosexuals don't want that. That's it. That's the real point of the proposition. Under our current legal framework the majority of Californians are allowed to change the Constitution. On Nov 4th I see no reason why 51% of pro-prop8ers shouldn't get their way just as easily as 51% of anti-prop8ers given the fact that Domestic Partnerships currently exist & that this proposition will not effect that status.