LDS told to ready for secularism fight


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  • Anonymous
    Sept. 18, 2009 11:38 a.m.

    re: Dane | 2:09 p.m. Dec. 12, 2007

    >>The Dark Ages were a time of securlarism much like we see in many groups modern day society.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 18, 2009 11:32 a.m.

    re: California Man | 7:17 a.m. Dec. 12, 2007

    //The secularists of Hollywood even in commercials and cartoons consistently portray men as stupid and childish and women as intelligent and super individuals who can have a high paying career and family and juggle it all swimmingly.//

    I don't disagree with how Cali Man says Hollywood depicts men at all.

    However, the Zion version is not much better. A man who works 8 hrs/ day to support a wife and say 4 kids then has to deal with traffic and then the home life yada yada yada

    Well. you can see why Utah has some of the secular issues (drugs, etc...) that they do.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 18, 2009 11:12 a.m.

    It seems to me the ultimate secularists were Stalin and Mao. Their idea was to do away with God and pretty much enslave as many as possible. I believe the figure of deaths attributed to the pair amount to over 50 million people. Throw in the secularist Hitler and I’m thinking these kinds of folks give a bad name to those under the banner of secularism.
    Religionists have done their share also but nothing compares to our extremist friends the secularists. It also seems to me that when liberal groups do courageous things like establish voting rights for the victims of racism they too are following Judeo/ Christian principles, even if they do not directly espouse them. To the shame of the religious right they did not lead but followed in securing rights for their fellow man.
    We all need to do better. Including me. How about you?

  • Andy
    Dec. 18, 2007 9:44 a.m.

    I would like to respond to "To Vox." At the last meeting of All Gay People International the sub-committee on recruitment of adults did vote to increase our efforts at making more heterosexuals into homosexuals. We will not be happy until we take over the world. We did not talk about "influencing children." Those kind of people are called pedophiles and are a completely different kind of people, most of whom are heterosexuals.

    And, on a more serious note, to those who want the U.S. to be a religious, if not Christian, nation. How do we defend the rights of atheists, who are usually in the minority, to be recognized as good citizens in no less way than religious folk? I am always impressed with the fact that this great nation does not require a religious standard in order to be considered a good citizen. As a religious person I want to make sure this never changes because I want always to be free to practice my religion even if the majority of this nation becomes atheist.

  • Ben
    Dec. 14, 2007 4:08 p.m.

    Its pretty sad that all of these "secularists" are so defensive over one group of people's attempt to grow in knowledge. What are they all afraid of?

  • To Vox
    Dec. 14, 2007 3:25 p.m.

    Seems to me that gay people are not really trying to be left alone but ARE trying to change the world by using popular media to make homosexuality appear desirable and "normal." They are recruiting, trying to strengthen their position in society by influencing children to choose their lifestyle. This I will fight against. And I hope they don't succeed in harming my children.

  • Vox O'Reason
    Dec. 13, 2007 4:02 p.m.

    I sincerely hope your interpretation of Dr. Robinson's lecture is spot on, Dennis, because nothing in this life causes more trouble than religious people getting paranoid because someone told them their faith/beliefs are under attack from Group X. I'd also like to clear up a few things for a certain few people: (1) Gay people are not trying to destroy the traditional family -- they really just want to be left alone and afforded the same rights and liberties as anyone else. Is that really asking too much? (2) Hollywood liberals are not out to destroy our cultural fabric -- they're simply doing whatever makes the most money, an agenda that should make any conservative proud. And (3) If you want the so-called nuclear family back, I suggest you lobby corporate America to start paying people well enough again so that one parent can actually stay home with the kids without risking bankruptcy and destitution. (Good luck with that one!)

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 13, 2007 2:28 p.m.

    The sooner people learn to mind their own business (especially in religious affairs) everyone will be better off.

  • Great Secularists and Christians
    Dec. 13, 2007 1:49 p.m.

    Great secularists have changed the world in remarkably good ways. Many calling themselvs Christians have brought great evil to the world. Great Christians can lead others to God. Great secularists cannot. A great Christian who can communicate with all people because he possesses the knowledge of God and the knowledge of the world has the greatest power do good in the world.

  • Dennis
    Dec. 13, 2007 11:01 a.m.

    I was actually at Dr. Robinson's lecture. Let me clarify a few things for many of you who have so much to say based on a poorly spun newspaper article.

    First, Robinson is hardly the zeal-without-knowledge Christian conservative that some, based on a few out of context quotes, are painting him out to be. He is an intellectual historian who -- I am not exaggerating -- probably has a better grasp on intellectual history than all but maybe 5 people in the world at most.

    Second, his speech was hardly the social conservative go-get-them speech that the article makes it out to be. It was a highly sophisticated, intellectual speech regarding the relationship of reason and faith. The Des News just picked out the most politically charged statements.

    Third, let me suggest one thing to those who play the "secularism never hurt anyone and it is the religious people who are to blame for everything bad in the world" card. You simply do not understand. There are many (non-religious) books that could help you from renowned scholars. I recommend Heidegger, Levinas, Dreyfuss, or anything from members of the Society of Philosophical and Theoretical Psychology (of which Robinson is a member).

  • Provo Libertarian
    Dec. 13, 2007 9:25 a.m.

    As a secular humanist and ex-LDS, I find Romney's speech proclaiming "freedom frequires religion" offensive and does not even compare to JFK's 1960 speech that Kennedy emphasizes secularism when he becomes president, with no religion as his deciding factor on issues. And I find this article disheartening. Would America need a theocracy? Founding Fathers were mostly Deists; they opposed the theocratic or autocratic idea of managing the nation. I for one will never vote for Romney, and I intent to vote for Ron Paul at the Utah GOP primary February 5th. Mitt Romney, like Rudy, is a RINO and do not represent the genuine principles of turning America around to be on the right track to prosperity while eliminating tax waste and abuse and end the unjust wars. It's politics as usual with empty promises and more disastrous policies as determined by the ruling oligarch elite.

  • john gilmore
    Dec. 13, 2007 9:00 a.m.

    the man says

    "You must be informed. Adversaries of everything you stand for are often informed, often passionate."

    i would submit that the more informed one becomes the less religious and the more secular that person becomes. it is therefore more difficult to find an informed and religious person than it is to find an informed and secular person.

    I'm not quite pulling this out of my yknow: among the members of the National Academy of Sciences, comprised of the most elite scientists in the US, 93 percent reject the idea of a personal God as posited by popular religions.

  • joy
    Dec. 13, 2007 7:21 a.m.

    i do appreciate you way of thinking and will share with you great kowledge such as my forefathers of the iroquois shared with the founding fathers..contary to the prevailing beliefs that natives did not write their history down this could be farther from the truth. Great recorders existed amongst these way before the comming of the white man..people such as the mohawk, seneca, onandaga, all the way through to the cherokee were so successful that they had no need of the new english language or the trading system that it offered. One must bear in mind that the people who made up this people along with the land was vast. what is now present day ny well into canada..all was recorded therefor one will find many LDS amongst these people dueto their great ability at record keeping such as in the bom.It is in such poor stories such as Pocohantas which never happened that the so called conquerors distort the current perceptions. John Smith, hopefully no relation to Joesph, was a broken down merchant who fabricated a lie which i cringe everytime that story is told to children. Two histories, one for natives,one for new comers still exist libraries.

  • Danbar
    Dec. 13, 2007 5:31 a.m.

    Randall, In Darwin you trust - In Darwin you will fail! Flesh is weak, in the spirit you will find strength. That is the message here.

  • Woody
    Dec. 13, 2007 12:39 a.m.

    The problem with Secularists is not that they don't care about religion. It's when they care so much about religion that they feel the need to attack it and limit other people's freedom to practise it. What Robinson is asking is that we prepare ourselves better to counter the arguments of Secularism and to be more aware of the threat that it poses.

    In addition to Agressive Secularism we need to be aware of two other threats to our society from non-Secular sources:
    1. Immoral Religionists whose hypocrisy, once exposed, undermines faith in the weak and trust in the unconverted. E.g. child abusing clergy, greedy & immoral telemarketervangelists, greedy & lying Creation Science publishers
    2. Adherents of Immoral Religions who sincerely believe that God permits them to do evil. E.g. Sharia-believing Muslims, amoral Scientologists & extreme Calvinists who think their 'saved by grace' 'get out of hell free' card means they can do no wrong, preaching hate & fear, picketing temples & funerals, burning churches & maintaining racial segregation (yeah I'm looking at you, SBC!).

  • To: Ano
    Dec. 12, 2007 11:05 p.m.

    Come on....give it a rest. Here we go, that Mormon conspiracy thing again. Did you know the same idea is alive and well with the Jews in Boston and the Catholics in everywhere else. And it isn't true over there either. Who cares if someone disagrees with the church? Nobody. Except for the universities tho--if they pay your salary, you need to toe the line. If you can't do that- then you don't have to work there. It's the same at nearly every religious school in the country. Ooooh! watch out for the Mormon mafia. Or else! Come on...give me a break

  • Ano-name-ity and Freedom
    Dec. 12, 2007 10:25 p.m.

    Thanks for your opinion, Lynn Tilton (if that is your real name), but a person would have to be a fool to use their real name if they have anything to say that might go against the predominant religion. You could lose your job at the Church universities or other "Mormon companies" in the valley, and be ostracized by your neighbors, or in some cases people's spouses have left them when their true feelings about the LDS church have become public.

    No, best to use this forum for what it was intended: the FREE expression and exchange of ideas.

  • To: To LC
    Dec. 12, 2007 10:20 p.m.

    What was that all about? Simple people live simple lives? Actually no--life is better enjoyed by living simply. That coming from someone like me(55 years old with a BS and MBA and an increasingly growing business) The hard knocks of life teaches us that it's better for our health and overall well-being to live as uncomplicated as practical. A simpler life allows us the time to actually think, instead of always reacting. Time spent in reflection, contemplation and meditation increases one's intellect and understanding. Some of the most illuminating epiphanies have come to me because I've made time to think. Let's not be insulting to others. I also enjoyed Mr. Robinson's words and found great value in what he said.

  • Simply Blind
    Dec. 12, 2007 10:02 p.m.

    To LC,

    Please do not equate simplicity with truth. There can be no guarantee that truth is simple, and certainly not all simple ideas are true. Forgetting that fact may be the most blinding thing about the LDS faith.

  • Lynn Tilton
    Dec. 12, 2007 9:52 p.m.

    Anyone who contributes comments regarding a news-breaking story should be bold enough to use his real name. We must not hide behind secrecy. If we dare not tell others at least our name perhaps it is better we remain silent.

  • To LC
    Dec. 12, 2007 9:36 p.m.

    You are correct. In general the simple minded do live simpler lives because in part they are less consious of time and much like our loved pets they percieve life more in space than in time; and if they are well trained they learn to obey and to enjoy a timeless and happy life without giving it a thought.

  • LC
    Dec. 12, 2007 9:05 p.m.

    Ditto, Former Student.

    True. True. True. Mr. Robinson's statements have not only made my day, they've made my year. Amen. Life is still simple and beautiful when we live simple and true principles. What a glorious discovery simple truth is to those who have never seen or lived it. Truth is timeless.

  • Former Student
    Dec. 12, 2007 8:37 p.m.

    Dr. Daniel Robinson is one of the most humane, kind, erudite and broad-thinking men I have ever had the blessing of learning from. What a marvelous intellect, and a wonderfully decent human being. God bless you, Dr. Robinson.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 8:03 p.m.

    Some need the security of a group.
    Some do not.

  • RonRook
    Dec. 12, 2007 7:52 p.m.

    It's amazing how things don't change. Way up here in the panhandle of Idaho, we have several so-called Christian churches who actively spend time in their classes ripping on what few Mormons happen to live here. And yet, the Mormons haven't(as a matter of policy) spent any air ripping on the secularists. Yes, we have our little problems just like everyone else. The difference is(at least here in snowy north Idaho) we aren't the main culture and therefore don't dictate the rules. We like our mostly non-mormon neighbors and are actively involved in civic to-dos. We don't make excuses for how we believe and we respect the responsible beliefs of others. I lived in Utah and was a policeman for 15 years in the Salt Lake valley. I can proudly say I am a recovering (active)Utah Mormon. I neither care or am in any form concerned by what a few critics will say about my faith. We do the best we can in a world that is happy to criticize me and find minuscule faults with my beliefs. So what if Romney is found wanting. Show me a candidate who isn't?

  • Claire
    Dec. 12, 2007 6:25 p.m.

    Obedience to the law of tithing can be as humble a sum as a poor widow's mite. That is why we have personal and private meetings with our Leaders so that our worthiness to enter into the temple may be judged according to our own merits NOT according to how that humble sum compares to that of the richest among us.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 6:05 p.m.

    The saddest part of all is how LDS people treat their own kind. If their brothers and sisters cannot come up with tithing money - the poor souls cannot enter the temple.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 5:59 p.m.

    While I consider myself to be spiritually inclined, I can easily recognize that the Lockean notion that so-called secularists are inherently amoral is flawed. Religions have long been major sources of moral ideas, but they are not the only sources. One's own conscience can be a source of moral behavior just as easily as a code someone writes down and preaches to others. Moreover, most people who claim to be "moral" on the basis of a specific code are merely fooling themselves -- just look at how many people who claim to be Christians go apopleptic over pulling the feeding tube out of a permanently vegetated nursing home patient but are fully supportive of bombing other people's children. To be sure, examples like this confirm the fact that most (if not all) religious people are actually at least as morally flexible as the so-called secularists they deride as immoral or amoral. Small wonder that religion has lost so much of its credibility -- too many of its practitioners behave hypocritically while passing judgment on others who do not share the same beliefs. It's truly sad.

  • smiling in awe
    Dec. 12, 2007 5:57 p.m.

    anon 5:40pm
    You need to read about it instead of talking to them? I am sad to hear that you believe your relatives' and friends to be "poor souls". You sound like a caring person.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 5:45 p.m.

    On more than one occasion, Buddhists from Tibet were in Salt Lake City. Their insight and intuition told them there was a darkness here. They tried their best to do what they could, but in Buddhist terms, the individual must take the inward journey to cleanse their way of thinking. It's an internal vs. external thing.
    I am sorry to say, the Buddhist monks had wasted their time.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 5:40 p.m.

    Dear Curious -
    I happened to have relatives and other loved ones that I worry about who are still behind the Zion Curtain.
    I don't believe in giving up when there are so many poor souls that need help.
    Its just another one of my character flaws I guess.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 4:51 p.m.

    I got a good laugh out of Anonymous 3:29 's comment. He is a textbood example of a hypocrite. He reminds me of the Mormon missionary I once ran into who told me that he was extremely successful because he was so humble.

  • Curious
    Dec. 12, 2007 4:51 p.m.

    to anonymous 3:56pm
    If you are so happy to have left the area, why are you reading this newspaper which reports news of this community and contributing to the threads?

  • Kevin
    Dec. 12, 2007 4:46 p.m.

    Just prove your god exists, and have it pay us a visit, and then everything will be settled. Until then, please be quiet.

  • Randy
    Dec. 12, 2007 4:38 p.m.

    Let's all become Muslims, they make most Christians look like secularists.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 4:34 p.m.

    I wonder if Randall really believes in Darwin. If he does he will acknowledge that in Darwin's last edition of his landmark book on the origin of species he admits that the gene pool is not large enough for his origional ideas to work. He states that there must be something else at work. What, maybe a higher power?

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 4:21 p.m.

    Fascism has definitely made an entry into America.
    Do a google search on the 14 points of Fascism and see what I mean.

    Here is point #8
    Religion and Government are Intertwined: Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

  • Mark in AZ
    Dec. 12, 2007 4:16 p.m.

    Truth is truth. Mormons and other enlightened churches, groups, and persons are in the same corner! Too bad the corner is shrinking!

  • To Disgusting:
    Dec. 12, 2007 4:14 p.m.

    Have you considered that you are part of the problem when you make a condescending statement like your last post?

    Like you, I am not "afraid of being spanked by an invisible master." What an arrogant thing to say.

    Just like you, I regularly decide the kind of person I want to be. You probably have your sources and references that provide you guidance whether it be parents, teachers, celebrities, great pieces of literature, or whatever. For me, one source of guidance is my religion.

    You aren't helping the dialog when you presume to be better or somehow more altruistic than are religious adherents.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 3:56 p.m.

    Home run Anonymous 3:29!
    If I were to run into you somewhere,
    I'd buy you a drink or three.
    My wife (a former Mormon) and I left that area a few years ago and except for the relatives we left behind don't care if we ever go back to that god-forsaken place again.

  • Disgusting
    Dec. 12, 2007 3:34 p.m.

    This kind of hateful input is the reason this country is so divided. I may not approve of your lifestyle and you may not approve of mine, but at least you don't see me rallying people to "fight" against it. This is America, and you have the right to your religion just as I have the right to not have a religion. And that doesn't make me immoral. I don't do bad things because they are bad, not because I am afraid of being spanked by an invisible master.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 3:29 p.m.

    Why read all the book? I admit it! I would never fit in to Mormon culture. I don't feel like a victim enough to be successful. I would get deeply depressed thinking the world is out to get me.

    I live in a nation were people can freely find me disagreeable. I wouldn't change that. I come from a family that entered Utah in 1847. We took great pride in having different ideas. I learned to not measure my beliefs by the yard stick used by others.

    Thank you for printing these commits. I'm a native Utah that sees I could never fit in to LDS culture in Utah. I don't have the meanness. Name calling and back bitting seem sophomoric to me. I'm glad there is a place in America where people with these characteristics fit in.

  • Reality
    Dec. 12, 2007 3:13 p.m.

    BYU needs to do a better job of selecting guest lecturers. To try to rally the studtent body to defeat secularism is extrem. It sounds like the days of Orderville, Utah and the Mormon experiment with the law of concecration.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 3:13 p.m.

    None of this is going to get Romney into the White House. So focus on yourselves and how you can be better human beings.
    Oh, by the way, after reading thousands of "there is no global warming" statements on these blogs, Mitt Romney on this afternoon's debate admitted global warming was real and that we better do something about it.

  • Joy
    Dec. 12, 2007 3:06 p.m.

    To the Iroquois law student: I do not doubt that your people have many good principles to teach about governing. Luckily, we have the list of books that Jefferson and Madison read since they kept such good journals. We've read and studied many of them and can see that these great men sifted out basic principles of freedom that, I assume, your people also have practiced. Some say that the Constitution was written for the eighteenth century agrarian society and needs to be changed for modern challenges. Those men did not design political truths only for their time, but actually discovered the under-girding principles of freedom that will work for any moral people, as John Adams stated. I have a great deal of respect for many Native American peoples and in fact, love to study their traditions and beliefs.

  • A definition of Secularism
    Dec. 12, 2007 2:55 p.m.

    According to the dictionary, "secularism" is: indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations.

    In modern context, secularism is the rejection of religion in favor of the human body of knowledge. It is adherence to reason over faith.

    Secularism is, by definition, amoral. Amoral does not mean evil. It means without morals. Since there is no common moral standard, each secularist can define his/her own moral code or none at all (just roll with the punches).

    One secularist may reject smoking and another may accept it. One may reject homosexuality and another accept it. One may reject philanthropy and another accept it. The same is true for hunting, alcohol consumption, pre-marital sex, industrialization, homosexuality, war, etc. Since there is no common morality, secularists are amoral by definition.

    That being said, many secularists are great people. Mormons would consider them to be moral as measured against the LDS moral code as would evangelicals, Jews, Muslims, etc as measured against each of their moral codes.

    Bottom line: Religionists need to quit viewing Secularists as evil and Secularists need to quit pretending they have a moral code. Each Secularist calls his own shots.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 2:42 p.m.

    All this "debate" (if you want to call it that) means is that Rush Limbaugh has a huge audience of fools here in Utah.

  • Ronald
    Dec. 12, 2007 2:35 p.m.

    To me, this debate using loaded terms such as secularists and conservatives and moralists and amoralists misses the mark, whereas discussing detailed social studies proving the effects of moral and immoral behavior;the effects of removing one's concept of God or lack of responsibility to God contrasted against the scientific study of the social effects of believing one is accountable to God;and the effects of enlightened knowledge for the improvement of mankind, seems, to me, to be the more important issue, because, to me, this implies one is helping and persuading more than one is attacking and debating and contending. Surely if there is a God and his influence in one's personal life can be tangibly felt through the light of Christ and the whisperings of the comforting and peaceful Holy Ghost, that is a beautiful and wonderful thing; however, we do a disservice to the pursuit of truth if we try to position the honest in heart pursuing both spiritual and secular knowledge of truth as it really is,was,and will be, as improper a thing to use one's brain. As someone one said, "God either stands revealed or remains forever unknown," but surely no one can debate against good research.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 2:20 p.m.

    Give me a break, Lynn Tilton!
    Instead of preaching "they are out to get us" nonsense, why not just for once take a look and see what the organization just might be doing that is wrong?
    And yes, I know, I know, "this is what you are told would happen in the last days."

  • Lynn Tilton
    Dec. 12, 2007 2:09 p.m.

    We must beware when our faith is attacked. Such attacks are designed to cause LDS members to remove their focus on the reality of the Plan of Salvation and the restoriation of the gospel. The goal is to cause us to engage in bickering. Instead, the need is to restate our core beliefs and what we did to obtain those beliefs. Then we must invite the attackers to make similar efforts to learn for themselves the truth of the Book of Mormon.

    The task is to encourage those who refuse to do this on their own to become more valiant in caring for members of their own denomination. Whatever the denomination, many suffer with poverty, addiction, destruction of family units, failure to keep the Ten Commandments, etc.

    Athiests also should focus on helping those who agree with them rather than engaging in bickering. No matter the belif, when bickering becomes the focus everyone loses.

  • Dane
    Dec. 12, 2007 2:09 p.m.

    In response to "KK" above:
    The secularists were exactly the ones who brought on the Dark Ages. Maybe you haven't EVER had a history class! The Dark Ages were a time of securlarism much like we see in many groups modern day society. True intelligence comes from God, like anything else. If you believe otherwise, I pity you, and hope you can overcome your own disbelief and take responsibility for your life.

  • Don
    Dec. 12, 2007 1:49 p.m.

    Re Slugger:

    It's really quite simple. Secularists refer to those who follow the tenets of religion as narrow-minded because when your argument is flawed, the only power you have left is name calling.

    That is why those who have a moral foundation based in religion are "backwards", "bigoted", "repressed", and "narrow-minded" and those who do whatever "feels good" at the moment are "open-minded", "tolerant", and "progressive".

    Like I said, it's really quite simple. Those who do the name calling get to make up the names!

  • One of the 14 points of fascism
    Dec. 12, 2007 1:45 p.m.

    8)Religion and Government are Intertwined: Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

    I really don't think intelligent people want the above to come to pass.

  • I agree with "Faithful Mormons"
    Dec. 12, 2007 1:41 p.m.

    Here here!

  • hey joy !
    Dec. 12, 2007 1:34 p.m.

    I have to agree somewhat but diagree too, being a law student myself and a member of the Iroquois nation ..it has been irrefutable that the so called founding fathers did not take note of a people and the empire which they governed at the time called the iroqouis. Conference after conference has verified this and why not when looks at their system of justice of a very complex people. But once again the old boat people syndrome wins out further enhancing the so called conquerors approach from the western-ero point of view such as landing inside of someone's backyard and then making the claim "hey, I discovered you".But to give credit where credit is due goes against any acknowledgement of such a concept being possible.Also if the BOM be of such truth then why is it so hard for members to at least my people the Iroquios involvement in this great document for surely my people were of great knowledge when it came to governing principle. I would advise that if you really want to know the truth there has even been the claim of this document being plagarized from these great people.Contact the Iroquis Nation.

  • Faithful Mormons must stand up
    Dec. 12, 2007 1:14 p.m.

    Securalism and true Mormonism go hand and hand. One has merely to read our scriptures to recognize that comments by people like Romney don't represent the teachings of the gospel and of the Church. Romney is a narrow-minded bigot and they can be found in any Church but we should never let people speak ill of Mormonism because of men like him. It is the duty of faithful Mormons to stand up against the false teachings of men like Robinson and what he advocates. It is our duty to defend our faith from being twisted into a right-wing religion instead of the restored Church of Jesus Christ whom we follow. May God protect us from those who would see our Church apostasize like the primitive Church did because men like Romney wouldn't have a problem with that.

    If we do nothing we will lose the fight and the Church will become apostate and agree with the religious right. Forunately for us this hasn't happened yet and this is why there is such anti-Mormon attitude on the part of the religious right while those who adhere closing to the New Testament teachings of Christ don't attack us.

  • repsonse to KK
    Dec. 12, 2007 12:51 p.m.

    HA, man you are so lost! What "knowledge" are you talking about? The knowlege of the world isn't exactly something a guy can depend on because it is continually changing. A few hundred years ago the knowlege of the world said the earth was flat but that so called "knowlege" soon gave way to NASA which "showed us" that the world was indeed oval. So much for relying on the knowlege of the world! Absolute truth ONLY comes from God sent revelation -that is the truth that is the same yesterday , today and forever. Man has a finite view of the universe and attempts to describe what he sees from his limited view point. God created the universe as well as all of the laws that govern it.

  • Peacemakers
    Dec. 12, 2007 12:49 p.m.

    I am not sure I understand what this article is encouraging people to do. As far as I understand, as LDS people, it is great to explain our beliefs, kindly, to those who wish to hear...and yes be educated on current issues and know where we stand. But, having a mindset of arguing seems to suggest that one person must win and the other lose. In such a psychological environment, neither person wins. My LDS friends, love thy neighbor. Speak to them kindly--you know this. Have courage, but let it be born of charity. Don't engage in a battle which will tear someone down. Let the way you live demonstrate to message you are trying to send. It is much easier for others to understand something if they see it in action, rather than debated with them. Remember that God loves all of his children. Peace on earth, good will toward men, let earth receive her King!

  • Jerry
    Dec. 12, 2007 12:45 p.m.

    The bearded man Robinson has some valid points. I cannot support him however as he is not of my faith. It is a shame BYU let someone not of their own give this speech.

  • Mark
    Dec. 12, 2007 12:34 p.m.

    Once again we have someone promoting fear to drive a wedge between people. How many people do you know that really identify themselves as "secularist"? It's only a movement in the minds of radical conservatives... Give me a break!

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 12:32 p.m.

    Think layman and you might understand secularism.

  • A question:
    Dec. 12, 2007 12:30 p.m.

    If another scholar of religion similarly argued of the dangers of secular society and urged us to return to the traditional religious values associated with Zeus, Odin, Shiva or Ra, would you folks be harrumphing your approval, too?

  • Rick
    Dec. 12, 2007 12:25 p.m.

    OK, We speak of Moral Secularists and Amoral Christian (LDS Included). Tell me, what does a Moral Secularist base his Morality on? At least the Religious person has a tenet to which that morality is based. The destruction of the religious morality by secularism is what is disturbing, along with the disregard to one's faith in their religion.

  • Slugger
    Dec. 12, 2007 12:14 p.m.

    Why is religion continuously referred to by secularists as "narrow-minded"? Plese explain, secularists....

  • What is a secularist?
    Dec. 12, 2007 12:13 p.m.

    What is a "secularist" anyway? Is it someone who wants freedom and equality for everyone, and does not want to be forced to worship a particular religion, or be forced to live by the rules of a particular religion? If so, that sounds like America to me. Sign me up!!

    These "secularists" don't want to tell religious people how to live their lives. They just don't want religious people to tell them how to live their lives. We not only have freedom of religion in America, we also have freedom from religion in America. The religious extremists in our country are the aggressors and the persecutors. The "secularists" are being persecuted and are just defending themselves.

    The best thing about right winger religious extremist labeling such as this is it tells the fellow religious extremists who to bash and which side to take without wasting time actually educating themselves about the issues.

  • Bill
    Dec. 12, 2007 12:03 p.m.

    Really a lot of unjustified assumptions in the arguments above, such as the assumption that all secularists may be rapists or pornographers, or the assumption that all religions advocate polygamous subjection of women or rape, or that secularists are the only ones who protect children from abuse. Whew!
    From my perspective, there are good, bad, and dubious advocates on both sides. Please try to understand this.
    Not all secularists are pornographers, though most pornographers are secularists. Not all religionists are Islamic women-subjugators, though most Islamic women-subjugators are religionists.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 12:03 p.m.

    Secularist? Do you guys know that the term means? Secularism is not the opposite of religion. We shouldn't let secularism be equated with atheism. They are not the same thing and their differences are of critical importance.

  • Sensible Sam
    Dec. 12, 2007 11:55 a.m.

    The source of the violence and corruption secularists are fond of citing is not religion, but individuals seeking power. Similarly, secularism has only a fluid foundation for morality that could rationalize both Al Qaeda and the most conservative American movements, but that does not mean all secularists are amoral. Stereotyping works both directions. But secularism has no firm basis for moral judgement aside from individual preference, and so any society based on secularism is doomed to anarchy and failure.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 11:29 a.m.

    Uh- I am a secularist and this kind of narrow minded talk scares me. I'm sure most secularists would agree that we:
    1) Also find "rape" of a child apalling.
    2) Do not think pornography should be viewed by children.
    Please do not make assumptions about us Mr. Robinson. I'm sure statistics would probably find that since most Americans are Christian, most American children are sexually abused by God fearing Christians, and most pornography is downloaded by the same.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 11:12 a.m.

    Just for the record, it is certainly not impossible to be a spiritually inclined person who wants religion kept out of government, and vice versa, although some people (witness the Ten Commandments display controversy in Alabama, or the Pledge of Allegiance controversy in California) undoubtedly take things too far. And that's the *real* problem: People who are extremist ideologues taking things too far. The Ten Commandments are simply part of the Western legal tradition, not an attack on the separation of church and state; by the same token, two cells rubbing together in a womb are simply not the same as an eight-week-old fetus. Unfortunately, we cannot reach sensible compromises on any hot-button issue until the extremist ideologues on both right and left grow up and lighten up. Dr. Robinson makes an excellent point in criticizing moral relativism, but let's be clear here: Moral absolutism is just as dangerous, perhaps even more so, and religiously inspired moral absolutism is the most dangerous form of all. Think about it: the psychopaths who flew planes into the World Trade Center certainly didn't do it in the name of Darwin!

  • Honestly
    Dec. 12, 2007 11:05 a.m.

    Religion doesn't fail. People fail. God lives and he loves us all. This man is merely saying for those of us of all creeds and religions who follow gods counsels, (not because we are blind, but because we see), that we need to be prepared for the onslaught of opposition from those who don't see or understand truth and wisdom.
    One day we all will see God and know that he is, and we will admit that his commandments are kind. Truly living them sets one free from the pain and ugliness of this world. By living God's commandments we have peace. Not that it is easy. It isn't. But worth it.
    Anyone who hasn't found this to be true is good at rationalization. Don't buy into lies and crafty words of people who think they know. This man speaks truth and wisdom. Filtered or not.

  • Joy
    Dec. 12, 2007 11:01 a.m.

    Addressing the comments of "Interesting". You have only read revisionist history. My husband studied in law school, and both he and I in other classes and on our own, the original writings of the founding fathers. If you had, you would realize how religious they were. Some were in organized religions, some were not, but they were all deeply religious. Jefferson and Madison spent many years evaluating ancient political systems and comparing them to the Bible, especially the ten commandments. They then put together a system based on Judeo-Christian ethics. This is irrefutable when you read their works and not the rehashed version of the revisionists.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 10:43 a.m.

    There will never be anything less than a separation between church and state in America.
    And mormons best leave their brand of theocracy behind the walls of their wards. Doing this will keep them from being frustrated and freaking out.

  • Let's get on with it!
    Dec. 12, 2007 10:39 a.m.

    I'm all in favor of a robust, honest and searching debate about the value of secular thought in a modern society.

    An intellectually honest look at what the Bible actually says, contrasted with what the sciences of genetics, biology, archeology and geology have to say about our world and how we came to be here, should be enlightening.

  • Dude
    Dec. 12, 2007 10:39 a.m.

    I agree with Randall way at the top of this thread -- we shouldn't confuse secularists with amoralists. I've known many secular people, especially when I lived in California, who were quite moral.

    But there are those in the secular community, typified by Hollywood and other elites, who are immoral and want to influence more Americans, especially young people to adopt their immoral views. We need to deal with the shades of gray here and not just label things as black and white.

    But there is a fight to be fought, and we're losing ground (we religious moralists) in the popular media which is influencing so many minds.

    We also lose when the weak among us violate the morals they profess, as others have mentioned above. These are people without integrity who profess religion, because it's popular or expected of them or gives them some social advantage, but "inwardly are ravening wolves," to quote Jesus. But please, secularists, don't judge the rest of us religious folk badly because of the few wolves out there.

  • Awesome!
    Dec. 12, 2007 10:35 a.m.

    I loved the way these professors described things and I love that they are on the same page, morally, as the LDS population. We need more people like them to stand up with us in the fight against the adversary.

  • jtm
    Dec. 12, 2007 10:10 a.m.

    Yes he's right, we should focus on abortion and gay marriage as the two most important issues. Look how well it's worked so far- who cares about health care, education, the fact that we're all choking on our pollution, a war that no one is sure what its purpose is... at least we eliminated abortions, right? What, the repubs haven't donme anything about it? Oh, we at least the gay movement has gone away. What's that? They're not? Hmmm. well we should still only focus on those 2 irrelevant issues anyways. It makes us feel good

  • Interesting
    Dec. 12, 2007 9:53 a.m.

    What I find funny is that we all see value in supporting secular middle-eastern countries, which are increasingly become an anommily. But when it comes to our country, SOME of us want to insist that we are not a secular nation, and that we are one nation under god. We cringe at these middle eastern countries with Muslim theocracies, yet we vote in a guy who's done everything in his power to create his own theocracy in America, and evangelical Christian one at that (you know, the same guys who are constantly attacking Mormons by saying they are not Christians). I don't get it. And then there is this revisionist history that says "our founding forefathers intended this to be a Christian Nation!" BS! Nothing is further from the truth, many of our founding forefathers wanted nothing to do with organized religion, and would be rolling in their graves if they knew these idiots running for the highest office in the land we're twisting their words and their meanings! A theocracy is great until it no longer represents YOUR religion. Think about that, Christianity is NOT the fastest growing religion in the world. All praise Alla or Buddha

  • So, What?
    Dec. 12, 2007 9:30 a.m.

    What would you think "unfiltered wisdom" might be? What would be the raw, unrefined resource?

    All wisdom is filtered through the greatest minds, and even the lesser ones. It does not exist in some independent, platonic realm.

    Try to think more carefully about what wisdom is, and you will understand that wisdom without filters (great minds) is no wisdom at all.

  • Thank you Joseph
    Dec. 12, 2007 9:28 a.m.

    What a wonderful contribution. You are correct, of course, and the Secularists do fight a good fight. As one, I appreciate yours and many of the insights above.
    I am encouraged!

  • Sunshine
    Dec. 12, 2007 9:22 a.m.

    More sound advice may be to "take care of your own" before waging an all out war upon secularism. Incest, mental, emotional, and physical abuse in patriarchal and religious environments is a disturbing dilemma when teachings are counter to commonplace practice, and forgiveness with out appropriate treatment (and I use that term carefully) is granted while wives take prozac and little children suffer and grow up to continue the cycle. Educate youth to take charge of their own lives, to think for themselves, to expand their knowledge, to be their own warriors and stop the blind sheep syndrome!

  • Mike
    Dec. 12, 2007 9:19 a.m.

    Re: What?!

    I don't think he meant censorsed wisdom. I took what he said to mean "purified." Ideas and "knowledge" are like water seeping through granite in the mountains. They start off with impurities, inaccuracies. Over time they are filtered through experience and application, testing an refining and molding them until they come through the filter as wisdom. Wisdom that can stand the test of time. That is what he asked the students to seek out.

  • Franz
    Dec. 12, 2007 8:57 a.m.

    I like this guy. I completely agree that there should not be a rift between science and religion. The goal of both should be a pursuit of the truth. Just as there are erroneous religious views there are erroneous scientific views. We do the best we can in the pursuit of what truly is.

  • What?!
    Dec. 12, 2007 8:53 a.m.

    "Filtered wisdom?!" Filtered wisdom?! What?! Filtered by whom, exactly? Filtered wisdom smacks of fascism.

  • NoMo
    Dec. 12, 2007 8:46 a.m.

    I love the part about "a world in which children are educated, not raped." Since when has religion kept a child from being raped? It seems to me religion and rape have a long history together.

    That bugbear of fundamentalists everywhere, "the separation of church and state" seems to go hand-in-glove with ol' Joe Smith's 11th Article of Faith, "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." It seems the best way to respect the 11th is to make good and sure that no one single faith runs the country.

  • winner
    Dec. 12, 2007 8:45 a.m.

    It is such a shame that we must put labels on ourselves and each other. Every person I know of another religion are good people seeking to do the best they can. Those who claim no religion are the same. They are not demons but good people searching their way through life. Isn't it a shame that we can't cast off labels and come together as the good honest people we are and in unity search for truth? As the song says, "What the world needs now is love!" To find truth we must go forth together, leaving our hostility, bigotry, racism, and all other isms behind. We must go with open minds, respect for all humanity, and a desire to discover ideas and concepts, solutions to problems, all for the benefit of all. If a small group could start this, composed perhaps of several people from many religious and non-religious groups, maybe we could set an example for all. May there be pece on earth and goodwill toward all men!

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2007 7:52 a.m.

    All Romney is doing is insuring that the American public views politics is at its all time skankiest.

  • KK
    Dec. 12, 2007 7:48 a.m.

    Secularists fight the good fight. Knowledge is a wonderful thing. Embrace knowledge and let go of the antiquated mystical teachings of the dark ages (and the 19th century for you of the LDS persuasion).

  • California Man
    Dec. 12, 2007 7:17 a.m.

    In response to Randall above

    The secularists claim high moral ground of protection of children and women when in reality most of them want to separate them from the family and religion. They lead the charge to force our children to be educated with their dogma in public schools and encourage women to leave their children in the hands of "day-care" providers who could never love their children like a mother can.

    The secularists of Hollywood even in commercials and cartoons consistently portray men as stupid and childish and women as intelligent and super individuals who can have a high paying career and family and juggle it all swimmingly.

    The homosexual agenda is to kill the nuclear family and supplant it with surrogate mothers for gay couples and sperm donors for lesbians. Most gay men aren't interested in fidelity or marriage they are just interested in legitimizing their depravity and in the process the institutions of marriage and family are in serious danger.

  • Joseph
    Dec. 12, 2007 7:14 a.m.

    We don't need this kind of incitement. Romney is over. Spirituality operates on a totally different level than the fight this guy advocates. The secularist argument is simple to understand when you take into account the truth of the apostasy. Religion has failed on so many levels. Why shouldn't they work to bring about a better world in the best and most reasonable way they know how? We Mormons call that urge to do good the light of Christ. If it is less clouded for them without the politics of religion mucking it up - If they are more prone to act out of it from the secular perspective, more power to them. Let's face it, all the flap about Romney's religion is perpetrated by professors of religion who don't know they have something MUCH better to do. As is often the case secularists end up doing much of our work for us. For this they have my admiration and respect. It seems to me a secularist who works for a better world is more righteous than a Mormon who doesn't.

  • Kevin
    Dec. 12, 2007 7:10 a.m.

    I think Randall says it best. To be honest with you, I am eager for a fight. Hopefully this fight will be limited to words. Looking back at history, I don't see a lot of reason to have this hope. What's needed is an organized, concerted effort to proselytize against immoral religion. Religion thus far has had it easy.

  • wjgramma
    Dec. 12, 2007 6:59 a.m.

    I agree with Danny Chipman. I would like to gain the insight of this well informed man, and I wish there were more people like him. He will have a positive influence on those who are teachable, and not set on being politically correct.

  • JRM
    Dec. 12, 2007 6:58 a.m.

    His counsel sounded much like Elder Ballard's counsel in his most recent conference address, "Faith, Family, Facts, and Fruits". Elder Ballard challenged, "...there is a great need for clear, simple statements that present those who are curious with the basics about the Church as it is today. Let me share with you some of the things we have found to be helpful. You may want to prepare your own list of talking points that will assist you in explaining what we believe to your friends and acquaintances of other faiths. It may be helpful for you, as it is for me, to have on one page a few facts about the Church as it is today to give to them along with a copy of the Articles of Faith."

  • Janet
    Dec. 12, 2007 6:51 a.m.

    Hmmmm. I thought the rape comment was figurative. I guess you could look at it as either one. But the figurative road is definitely more applicable if you think of the assault we as people of faith face in areas such as marriage, family, sexual identity or just regular identity. If I am not the same as you I don't deserve to exist because that makes me a bigot or racist or stupid. The forcing of values is a type of rape; the force of anything is a figurative rape.

  • sb
    Dec. 12, 2007 6:31 a.m.

    Thank you Mr. Robinson. Merry Christmas.

  • Danny Chipman
    Dec. 12, 2007 5:42 a.m.

    This is a truly wise man. Good looking, too! I wish there were more people like him in this world. I hope I can also gain the same sort of insight and intelligence he's mastered.

  • Randall
    Dec. 12, 2007 5:40 a.m.

    Unfortunately, your friend confuses secularism with amorality. While secularists have some values that don't fit with fundamental religions, they are in no way amoral.

    He posits that raping girls is a result of secularism. Quite the opposite is true. It is the secularists who have led the charge against child abuse and fought religions who would forcibly marry their daughters.

    It is the secularists who defend women in violent marriages

    It is the secularists who are attempting to save the world and her species from the heat of corporate greed.

    It is the secularists who defend the world from the abuse and over-reaching power grab of religions.

    In Darwin we trust!

  • Collin
    Dec. 12, 2007 3:56 a.m.

    Fascinating. More power to him.

  • Curtis Blanco
    Dec. 12, 2007 2:39 a.m.

    Mitt Romney attacked secularism? Does he think that religion has a monopoly on morality? It wasn't conservative religions that were at the forefront of the civil rights movement. It was the secularists and the liberal religions. Now that its popular, the conservative religions have come along. Just as Romney wouldn't attack another religion for their shortcomings, why is he attacking secularism as a whole?, which makes mistakes but is less tradition based and more reason based?

  • Darrell Thueson
    Dec. 12, 2007 1:04 a.m.

    He seems like the kind of man I'd like to have as a friend!