@louie"I am grateful for my religion but I also try to be
equally respectful of nonbelievers as well as individuals of other
faiths."Very well put, Louie--I agree 100%. There are many
very good people who are not religious and also many very good people in a wide
variety of religious faiths.
As Elder Cook indicated, "Under the constitutions of most countries, a
religious conscience may not be given preference, but neither should it be
disregarded."The mindless vitriol in comments above prove the
wisdom of the First Amendment's protection of religious choice.Commenters advocating Marx' flawed and thoroughly discredited "opiate of
the people" analysis are a very short step away from advocating the
outlawing of religious practice and observance, "for our own good."Religious Americans -- the overwhelming majority of us, by the way --
thank your for your concern, but decency, long experience, and common sense
compel a firm "no-thanks" to your "solution."
I must agree that people are happy as they adhere to certain values and morals
and religion can be an effective tool in this regard. On the other hand being
obedient to authority can lead to blind obedience. The religious fanatics of
today we know too well and they are ever bit as dangerous if not more so than
the non-religious types. I am grateful for my religion but I also
try to be equally respectful of nonbelievers as well as individuals of other
faiths. In addition the editorial board seems to look at the world
through rose colored glasses. Outside this country there is whole different
world. When it comes to other countries that we might trust or call allies they
indeed tend to be more secular.
Utah Businessman Youre right about the traffic light. It is an
enslavement. Only it doesnt force us to stop, its our own foot on the break
pedal that does the stopping. The traffic light and all the rest of the rules,
regulations, laws and commandments do impose a voluntary enslavement upon us.
In America and much of the world, religion is a voluntary
enslavement. People are willing to trade some freedoms for other freedoms they
like more. In some parts of the world religion is pretty much a forced
enslavement. And I think that there have been times in American history where
religion was forced upon people.But whether its voluntary or forced,
enslavement, makes people do and believe the things that the masters want. Even
when the masters are gentle have our welfare in mind, they still are controlling
our actions and thoughts. We are better for the control. When
people live in groups, living by the rules makes everyone more free. BTW, I will be 76 in May.
What is the point of this article? It appears to be that everyone ought to be
religious because religious people are more democratic and altruistic.
Nevermind whether democracy (mob rule) or altruism (otherism or self immolation
for others) are actually virtuous.This article could have been just
as meaningful if it had surveyed the benefits to society of choosing a favorite
sports team, any team, so long as you are a sports fan.Sorry folks,
religion per se is not a virtue unto itself. And it is not a virtue unto the
community.A meaningful article would have surveyed principles that
when followed by individuals result in happiness and lead to a peaceful and
prosperous community. Religion is not a principle. It has principles within it
and if those principles are good, good will come of it, and if they are bad,
evil will come of it. And true principles can be identified and followed and
the consequences enjoyed whether one is religious or not.The
religious controversy at Christmas time stems from one blatantly false and evil
principle: public property. If buses and city buildings were private, private
individuals would determine the decore and peace would prevail.
@Ultra Bob"The purpose of religion is to enslave the minds of
men and women"Wow! I suppose that the purpose of traffic
lights is to enslave us, too? When that light is red, it enslaves us--forces us
to stop, doesn't let us continue when we want to.In the church that
I belong to, I have found that the more I follow its teachings, the more free I
am. I am taught to avoid using substances that enslave me with their
addictions, I am taught to get all the education I can so that I can provide
support for myself and my family, I am taught to exercise my faith with a
positive attitude (and have experienced many miracles as a result). I am taught
to freely love, serve and forgive, and I have found great freedom to truly enjoy
life by doing these things. I became a member at the age of 18 and am now
75. As far as I am concerned, my religion has never enslaved me in any way, but
has greatly helped me to make those decisions that have given me the freedom to
enjoy life to its fullest.
"Religious Americans are happier. "If Utah is #1 in
anti-depressant usage and #2 in hapiness (behind Hawaii)... do we get an
asterisk in the record books for use of performance enhancing drugs?Anyway, as far as respecting authority is concerned, the three states with the
lowest crime rates are New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine. The three states with the
highest percentage of atheists are New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. After that
it scatters out so that you realize there's no clear corrollary at all between
religion and crime. Plus, heh, respects authority? Not when there's Democrats in
control they aren't.
While this is a thoughtful editorial it skirts around the central issue. When a
particular religious faith uses its numbers to get the law to enforce its
orthodoxy on society, the minority suffers. The history of the Latter-day
Saints shows how quickly public square religion simply becomes another way of
establishing a state church. If such a policy were followed, I guarantee that
current LDS Church members would not like the result.
The purpose of religion is to enslave the minds of men and women. The objective
is to gain control over the wealth of the world. In this they are not so very
different from other governments, ethnics and businesses. Their
product, hope, is the most sought after product in the world. Its easy to
create and the available inventory is limited only by the believability of its
story.Human beings are readily willing to give up freedom, rights,
money and property for the privilege of having hope. And so religious people
meet every finding of the study. Except the part about Democracy. There are no
democratic religions that I know of and for the most part religion discourages
Your belief should only affect yourself.
Does this mean that everyone should be actively engaged is some faith-based
organization for a community to be complete? Cannot people of faith co-exist
with those who do not choose their path in dealing with the world?
Particularly, should those who choose not to participate in any organized
religious group be separated from the community?Then the question
becomes, what religion should a person become affiliated? This is a significant
question since in the state of Utah, the belief of the majority religion is that
everyone should adhere to the LDS belief system as it is the "one and
true" religion. And yet evangelical groups say that they are the way and
the majority religion in Utah is an abomination and false.Our
Constitution calls for the separation of church and state, yet there is a
resurgent evangelicalism among certain Tea Party conservative elements to make
America a "christian" (i.e. their version of Christianity) nation.
This is very different from a person having some expression of faith however
personal and private. It is also a level of exclusivity that is in direct
contradiction to one element of early immigration to this country.