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Comments about ‘In our opinion: The importance of faith in the community’

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Published: Sunday, Dec. 19 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

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Gus Talwynd
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

Your belief should only affect yourself.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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 individual thought.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

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.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

"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.

Utah Businessman
Sandy, UT

@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.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

Mithrandir
Tupelo, MS

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
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

louie
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

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."

Utah Businessman
Sandy, UT

@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.

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