Comments about ‘Don't marginalize religion, Elder Oaks says to Harvard law students’

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Published: Saturday, Feb. 27 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

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Why Religion is marginalized

Religion has a rather poor record academically.

Religion is dogmatic and doesn't bend easily to new evidence. It is more about tradition and faithfulness to the elders of the religion.

Science recently hasn't done much better with it faking the truth on global warming.

Had I written this 10 years ago, I could say that science is about truth. If new evidence comes along the science community is grateful for the new truth, it isn't about tradition, it is about truth.

Universities are about truth, Religion blew it when they almost burned Galeao at the stake for believing and teaching that the earth revolves around the sun.

People have lost respect for religion in this way. So it isn't surprising that universities have gotten away from religion.

If the science community isn't careful, they may suffer the same fate.

Shall we summarize?

"Education is the enemy of superstition."

Got it, thanks.


Wow, what a way to twist what is being said. Education is the enemy of superstition, but NOT the enemy of religion. The two are not synonomous.

Religion encourages education to the point that there are many major universities built in the name of religion.


Brent, one mans' religion is another mans' superstition. They are synonymous.


The more a person learns and the more education they gain the more they learn about religion and the role it plays. Of course it then becomes marginalized because it gets put in its proper place.


I agree with Elder Oaks. He has a lot of wisdom. Student's beliefs are many times unnecessarily destroyed by some professors with an agenda.


"I agree with Elder Oaks. He has a lot of wisdom. Student's beliefs are many times unnecessarily destroyed by some professors with an agenda."

Agenda = Facts

Re: 4:15

Well said and I am LDS.

Science and Religion NEED to co-exist as partners for a better world, not as enemies wherein efforts are made to justify wars and rumors of wars.

Religious truths are as follows: We existed before, we exist now and we will exist after this life. Science cannot and will never be able to disprove those three simple truths.

Science has revealed MANY MANY truths about how things are made, how long they have been around, their function in nature, and man's stewardship to not only protect science and nature, but continue to discover as many scientific truths as possible.

Any reasonable person will admit that both science and religion are true.


Most professors have an agenda like you - to get paid. They actually don't care whether little Billy or little Suzie go to church. That's not their job. They really aren't out to seduce your little bundles of joy away from god.

If you wan't to know what's being taught, take a class, go find the text book and read it. It's not that hard. That's what libraries are for.

Christian Scientist

To love God is to love the truth, where ever it may be found. God never said He's told us everything--He says study it out in your mind--seek learning by study and also by faith.

Same with science--it has never claimed to have all the answers, just theories that work until a better one comes along. Science and religion don't have to be mutually exclusive--it just takes people with open minds--unfortunately something the world is chronically short of these days.

It's man's fault if they hold on to certain ideas despite them being shown to be false (e.g. the earth is flat, global warming, etc.). As Paul says, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:7)

Old Fashioned

I must be outdated: I believe in a Supreme Being and in the divine origins of man but I also have earned and honorary doctorate degrees.

Sure they can coexist.

They just need to be careful to not step into each other's toes.

Science explains this (the physical world)...

Religion explains that (the spiritual world, whatever that means to a person)...

See? Two different things.

When people try to use science to explain religious ideas, or worse, when religion tries to explain scientific concepts, that's when you get problems.
You know, like genocide and such.


As Jacob said, "O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.
But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the ccounsels of God.

The academy should seek truth

The purpose of higher education should be to teach and seek out what it true. Unfortunately, to most of the academic world, Religion and spiritual truth has been walled off from so called secular learning. For all those who complain about religious schools and academic freedom, there is a real unwillingness to even touch the idea of religious thought being based in truth. If you believe and mention that belief in the academy, you are scorned and your thinking is mocked. How is that academic freedom? Having attended a variety of world class institutions, nowhere did I feel more free to pursue any and all types of academic thought than at Brigham Young University.


@6:05....does BYU, this bastion of any and all types of acedemic thought have a BOM archaeology dept.?

Bryan Monson

I attended this lecture tonight at Ames Court House at Harvard Law. It was a most powerful experience. Some great questions from the students following, and some powerful answers. There is not question, these men are apostles of God. We walked away very uplifted, very moved.

Re: The academy...| 6:05

"... nowhere did I feel more free to pursue any and all types of academic thought than at Brigham Young University."

That says far more about you than it does about the institutions you "attended".


Elder Oaks is a wise man. We would do well to listen, to ponder and to hearken.

To those who would destroy faith in others, shame.
'Twere better a millstone be hanged about his neck and he be drowned in the depths of the sea.

It is a curious logic. "I have not had, therefore, you cannot have had..."

There is a God in heaven and we are his children. There is a devil in heaven as all things have their opposites. "No man can serve two masters..." We are given agency. We are also given opportunity with responsibility. There will be a day of accounting. We hope that Atonement and mercy temper judgement. "Eternal life is God's life." We seek to become like God.

Life is better when people "learn correct principles and govern themselves."

There was a Faith Healer from Deal...
Who said "Although pain is not real,
When I sit on a pin
And it punctures my skin,
I dislike what I fancy I feel.
(Reader's Digest "Fun Fare" 1947+/-

"What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God..." Michah 6:3

To Anonymous at 5:21

Assuming that your comments were addressed to Elder Oaks, it appears you aren't very informed about what your talking about. You say his agenda is to get paid. As a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, he does receive a small stipend, but do you really think that it compares to what he could've been earning as one of the country's top constitutional law experts? And I assure you that the Harvard Law chapter of the JRCLS was not paying him to speak.

Then you suggest that he isn't familiar with academia and needs to spend some time in the library. Elder Oaks is the former president of BYU, dean of BYU Law School, president of the American Bar Association, justice of the Utah State Supreme Court, and (it was recently revealed) was on Pr. Reagan's short list for nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. I think he knows what he's talking about when he addresses trends in academia and the scholarly world.

Re: My comments at 6:31

I correct myself: Elder Oaks did not serve as dean of BYU Law School, although during his tenure as president of that university he helped found it.

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