University of Utah President Michael K. Young says religious freedom on defensive


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  • vic Colorado Springs, CO
    April 9, 2011 9:47 p.m.

    How true, but it would also be nice if there was religious freedom with the LDS church instead of this constant barrage from the appologists within the LDS church. i.e. The belief of the Book of Mormon by FAITH, and just because their is no DNA or other physical evidence - am I know still allowed to believe in it by FAITH? The belief that temple worship is that and it's eternal realm and not some Masonic ritual. The belief that polygamy was valid. the belief that only the Lord knows, that blacks was excluded from the Priesthood for a reason.

    No, there are those within the LDS church that says you CAN NOT have faith, there must be actual evidence of the BofM - how about my FREEDOM?

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    April 9, 2011 4:40 p.m.

    What I find amusing is that the GOP under Reagan was a big tent. Since then, the Christian right has become more & more intertwined w/ the Republican Party.

    This IMO has lead me to confirm that Power corrupts.

    The more the two entities merge will only prove why Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists and Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli may prove to be so crucial to the USA's well being.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    April 9, 2011 4:34 p.m.

    re: John Pack Lambert of Michigan | 10:28 p.m. April 5, 2011

    "I have no clue how you link so much bad to religion."

    Obviously, you are not a student of history or even worse you are cherry picking from it.

    Have you not heard the saying that, "Religion ruled the dark ages."

    Maybe, I'm wrong? Could it be the Crusades and Inquizition were all sunshine & lollipops? sarcasm off.

    As for WW2, go look up the controversy surrounding Pope Pius XII.

  • sundancejedi Provo, UT
    April 8, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    There is too much fear mongering with religions. Everything is an apocalyptic event it would seem (yes that is generalizing). If people actually stopped and examined the constitution, they would have relatively little to fear.

  • sundancejedi Provo, UT
    April 8, 2011 11:30 a.m.

    Exactly Bill! As long as there is freedom of assembly, freedom of press and freedom of speech..you and your religion will be just fine!

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    April 8, 2011 6:36 a.m.

    To Sundance: If you cared to read what the Supreme Court had to say you would see that the case had nothing to do with Religion but the First Admendment Right to Free Speech.

    All of the Supreme Court denounced them protesting but said it is their right to voice their opinion. Now I don't agree with them protesting because what they are saying is inheritly incorrect but I served to protect their right to say and protest.

    It had nothing to do with freedom of religion. When you say religion has no place in the public square as many atheist and agnostic state then you are DESTROYING MY RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF RELIGION. When you come out and draw grafitii on temple grounds, blacklist religious people because they gave to a cause they believe in, that is destroying freedom of religion.

    Again the Westboro case had nothing to do with religion but freedom of speech.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    April 7, 2011 12:08 p.m.

    Bruce T. Forbes,

    Your comment is confusing. Please clarify for us.

    How exactly would restricting the religious and academic freedom of UofU professors be a move toward religious freedom?

    Or is this what we supposed, that you want religious freedom for YOU, but not for the other guy?

  • Bruce T. Forbes Kearns, UT
    April 7, 2011 5:37 a.m.

    The President of the UofU says we should stand up for our religious rights? Maybe he should take the first step and clean house in his own school. Too many students there aren't sure if they're paying for routine athiest brainwashing sessions or for a professional education. Once he's set an example for the rest of us I'll listen a little harder to what he has to say.

  • sundancejedi Provo, UT
    April 6, 2011 6:21 p.m.

    If people beleive religious freedom is in danger, take a look at Westboro baptist church's recent victories in the courts! If such a disgusting excuse for a religion can stay strong in "these times", the rest of the religions have nothing to worry about.

  • firstamendment Lehi, UT
    April 6, 2011 5:56 p.m.

    Freedom, and especially religious freedom, is crucial to humanity and America. This is why American Founders, who were all religious, made religious freedom the First Amendment.

    Along with what I mentioned above about the Tribune and gay activists, all Americans should be concerned that other powerful groups also seek to destroy the First Amendment.

    The ACLU, for example, systematically singles out a religious minority and seeks to take their rights to free speech and to own property. The ACLU will fight for the right to spew hatred at Mormons and disrupt sacred ceremonies ON LDS owned property. The ACLU also fights to take away Mormons rights to speak freely on property LDS have leased in the middle of the desert. They block LDS rights to buy land, and to lease. They have justified preventing LDS to speak freely in Martins Cove because, as they put it, someone needs to be blamed for the deaths there. Apparently, they want to do all the blaming and not let anyone freely speak the truth as recorded in pioneer journals.

    It seems they do all America allows to follow hateful steps of socialist and atheist predecessors in Germany, USSR, and China

  • Kitenoa Salt Lake City, UT
    April 6, 2011 4:58 p.m.

    In my view, generally, religion is like a "double edge sword", a powerful force cutting both ways. Religion is often practiced for the good of humanity and at other times it is used for evil purposes. It all depends on the human hands wielding the sword; wheather religion becomes an uplifting source of strength, or who gets hurt in the process.

    The big problem for me is the MOTIVATION behind the wielding human hands, not necessarily the possession of a belief system. It is naturall for human beings to have an acquired belief systems (including organized relgion and all types of "ism" beliefs) that cannot simply be pushed aside or ignored.

    Why then do individuals or collective groups practice what they practice?

    And who is to say: who is right and who is wrong in practicing what they sincerely believe?

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    April 6, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    People make the wrong assertion between Church and State. This is and has been a phrase used to counter almost all religious statements. There is NO such statement in the Constitution of the United States. There is a COURT intrepretation that there is. This is a false premise.

    If the atheist, agnostics and others have their way there will be no way a religious person could even walk down the street. All Churches would need to be boarded up and closed. The Bibles, Qurans, Book of Mormons would all be burned and the followers exterminated. The thing is, what I have just stated is pure prophecy. It will come down to it that you are either a follower of Jesus Christ or you are not. There will be a huge difference in the two populations. This will happen and as some have already hinted it is happening today. In the end it won't matter because those that are not followers of Christ will be destroyed in the same manner as mentioned in the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi. Don't believe it, then wait and see.

  • firstamendment Lehi, UT
    April 6, 2011 11:11 a.m.

    Everyone should be defensive for religious freedoms. It is the First Amendment because it is crucial to humanity and American survival.

    Last century 70 million people were murdered as oppressive atheistic regimes sought to take religious and other freedoms, often singling out religious minorities for destruction.

    In America all voices are heard-right?

    Dictators don't dictate. A single gay judge, Warren Jeffs, no one can dictate their morality over American voting, over "One woman, One Man."

    When religious people are active and involved in voting we don't single out, sue, shutdown call centers, vandalize, desecrate sacred spaces, smash windows, threaten, or take employment. Right?

    Elder Oaks spoke out for freedom, and what did America do?

    The Tribune voted him "worst person."

    I commented on the Tribune and activists explained they were going after my Church every day, until 08 was overturned, and their intent was to drive LDS into the ground.

    Activists posted all kinds of anti-Mormon propaganda, called for destruction, bombing, elimination, and extermination orders.

    The Tribune responded by banning...not the activists (they're still here also), but peacefully outspoken LDS.


    I asked.
    The Tribune doesn't "have time to learn about every ideology."

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    April 6, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    Mr. Lambert of Michigan,

    The First Amendment and the Supreme Court says you are wrong. Sorry to have to break it to you, but your ambitions for a theocracy to usher in the Millennium are strictly forbidden by the Constitution of the United States. We need not "thank God" for that; we can simply thank our atheistic, agnostic, and tepid-religious-universalist Founders.

  • amst plano, tx
    April 6, 2011 8:23 a.m.

    All the lonely people where do they all come from?

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    April 6, 2011 8:09 a.m.

    Mr. Lambert of Michigan,

    The First Amendment and the Supreme Court says you are wrong. Sorry to have to break it to you, but your ambitions for a theocracy to usher in the Millennium are strictly forbidden by the Constitution of the United States. We need not "thank God" for that; we can simply thank our atheistic, agnostic, and tepid-religious-universalist Founders.

  • zero_limits_33 Eagle mountain, UT
    April 5, 2011 10:51 p.m.

    @the rock

    I actually do not know what you were talking about. First you assert the banning of prayer from schools, which is a false assertion. Then you used your false assumption to make the point that believers are made to be second class citizens, which is also false. After that you propped up a 'straw man' by offering a $1000 for anyone who could find the phrase "separation of church and state" in the Constitution, which no educated person would claim so the offer is absurd. Finally you imply the Supreme Court overstepped their bounds when they banned prayer from schools, which false on more than one level.

    Self-inflicted blindness? If I misrepresented your views at all I sincerely apologize, but to debate/argue over false assumptions/claims is a waste of time. Prayer was not banned from anywhere in the public. It is one thing for you or your children, or a group of friends to gather together and pray to whatever you choose. It is an entirely different thing for students to be made to participate, or even be present when a prayer is said that may or may not represent their views.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    April 5, 2011 10:39 p.m.

    Religious liberty must be protecting the rights of organized religious societies to act. Young would adamantly disagree with your assesment.

    Religious liberty is impossible unless the organized group can act. Religious liberty neccesitates the right to build religious buildings according to the dictates of your religion within a reasonable distance of your residence based on your religious principals. Thus the over-bearing anti-religious assembly in commercial areas laws are an unacceptable discrimination against Orthodox Jews.

    If the collective rights of religious societies are not recognized, than religious liberty is just a meaningless phrase. This is why the ACLU's position on religious liberty is so destructive. They consistently oppose the right of religious organizations to participate in society even on the level of other groups. They act like their must be a crodon sanitare against any religious action on public land and thus seek to force an anti-religious stance by governemnt officials, which is an inherent violation of the 1st admendment.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    April 5, 2011 10:34 p.m.

    Jews in Israel are an ethnic group, so do not act like their actions are religios. However, I suspect what you refer to is actions of the Israeli government, which actually has Arabs and Circassians in its military, neither of which are Jews, as well as many Russian immigrants who would not even self-describe as Jews except on the specific law-of-return applications. The theory that anything any Jew does anywhere can be blamed on religion is one of the marks of an anti-semitic argument.

    Beyond this, it is unclear why you are so one-sided and do not focus on the continued rocket attacks on Israeli civilians from the Islamist group, Hamas. However, this equally ignores the much good done by the US based Islamic Relief Services.

    Why you equate burning a book to bombings that kill civilians or actions that allegedly destroy houses is also odd. Burning a book is unnessasarily provocative, but people have a right to be provocative. We can not limit religious freedom to groups we like, but the benefits of religion are definite.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    April 5, 2011 10:32 p.m.

    You're confusing religious freedom with religious popularity. More people are choosing atheism and agnosticism than ever before. And that IS religious liberty.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    April 5, 2011 10:28 p.m.

    Religion was the main force behind the civil rights movement.

    I have no clue how you link so much bad to religion. I would challenge you to name one war in the 20th century that was caused by religion. World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnames War, the Gulf War, the Angolan Civil War, the various wars in China, and many others do not qualify.

    Even conflicts that were framed in the light of religious differences can hardly be said to be caused by religion. The Arab nations that attacked Israel in various wars were universaly lead by secularist governments, and the founders of Israel specifically rejected the notions of waiting for salvation from the Messiah. They were not a religious group. The wars following the collapse of Yugosalvia were also ethnic, not religious fights.

    Each one of the arguments that Dr. Young presented can be shown to be false. The argument that religious groups should be excluded from politics inherently contradicts the first one. However religion is about more than just shared values, it is about a world-view and set of goals.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    April 5, 2011 10:20 p.m.

    In general I agree with Michael Young. However on the specific question of the ACLU I have to vehemently disagree with him.

    The ACLU has unrelentingly opposed the freedom of conscience of medical worksers. It has opposed the right of parents to control their children's education. It has relentlessly supported under false guises the end of man/woman marriage and its supplanting by genderless marriage. Worst of all it has in general opposed meaningful religious liberty and has advocated an understanding of the First Admendment that is false.

    True, the ACLU publicly opposed the ruling in Employment Division v. Smith, but as Dallin H. Oaks has pointed out it is the ACLU's own rhetoric of attempting to equate religion with belief that led to the social milieu that caused that decision. Scalia's arguments about what would happen if religion was upheld in the decision were able to gain a majority because religion had been broadly misrepresented.

    The civil rights movement and the abolition movement both worked because they had the power of religion on their side.

  • Brian Utley Freedom, IN
    April 5, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    To Camotin:

    The first amendment does not make religion "special." It says that the government cannot make laws respecting its establishment or the free exercise of that religion that is established. Sounds like hands off to me. Nothing is said about "special." If they could make "special" laws about religion, then it could be called "special." Since when is the lack of an action an action?

    Furthermore, it seems to me that religion maybe needs to start losing a few wars; then maybe religion will be pressed into getting its act better together. Religion has been ruling the roost (including governments) for a very long time, and I'm thinking that maybe religion doesn't like being told it needs to shape up. Doesn't religion needs to be accountable in some way?

  • Ransom Provo, UT
    April 5, 2011 10:00 p.m.

    I'm kind of wondering what the distinction would be between a 'religion' and a group of people that have come together and made some sort of 'charter' and go out and 'do good' according to their definition of good. And, I suppose that the answer would be that, at its inception, the organization in question would have to apply for some sort of legal license to be recognized as a church in the United States. I certainly believe in the first amendment as an essential protector to these kinds of rights which humans as spiritual beings have, to band together to form churches. However, I am not naive enough to think that all actions done as the result of allowing such banding together would be good for all churches, or even that there may not conceivably be a 'church' formed under such rules that would be detrimental to its members, on the whole, and for society in general. But I am concerned about the silent encroachment on these liberties, and if they are taken away, I would contend that the state is then the de facto religion- for good or for ill. OK, for ill.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    April 5, 2011 9:50 p.m.


    You know very well what I was talking about. The only way you could come to that conclusion is through self inflicted blindness.

  • Cedarite Cedar City, UT
    April 5, 2011 7:25 p.m.

    So.... which version of which religion is the right one that should be backed by force of law? I would think the LDS would have something to fear from some of the other sects. Separation of church and state is about protecting church members from zealous members of other churches as much as non believers from believers and vice versa.

  • zero_limits_33 Eagle mountain, UT
    April 5, 2011 6:25 p.m.


    Please familiarize yourself with what the Constitution actually says, and not what you wish it said. How many times does the Constitution mention god? None. When you read the part of taking oaths for public office you must have skipped the part that explicitly says there will be no religious test for public officials.

    There are no religious beliefs in the Constitution and to claim otherwise is patently false. There may be principles in the Bill of Rights that align with religious beliefs, but that does not mean they came from those beliefs.

  • Chieftess Ivins, UT
    April 5, 2011 4:35 p.m.

    I, for one, will exercise my freedom to talk about being accountable to God, even in a publicly funded institution. As long as I do not require membership in a certain domination, it is perfectly legal.
    The Constitution includes a few religious beliefs, by the way, such as "all men are created equal", and requiring senators and representatives to swear an oath, (usually on the bible), and which until recently included the words, "so help me God". Religion in society should not only be tolerated, but approved of, because we can do this without picking an official religion.

  • KVC Sahuarita, az
    April 5, 2011 4:30 p.m.

    The Rock is dead on what most people seem to miss. You cannot prohibit the Free Exercise of religion. Legislators and judges who decide otherwise are in blatant violation of the Constitution.
    Would someone out there please explain how allowing individuals to pray in school or other public facilities, while allowing anyone to opt out of said prayer without penalty, is a violation of the establishment clause?
    How are religions more discriminatory than secular individuals? Why is it acceptable to discriminate against an individual based on their religious beliefs, which many people do, but abhorrent to discriminate based on anything else? People have discriminated against Mormons since Prop 8, while at the same time shouting that we need to be tolerant of those we disagree with. Quite hypocritical.
    With regards to comparing King and King to Hooters, there is a big difference. I can keep my kids away from Hooters. It is difficult to keep my kids away from school, and private school is too expensive for most to afford since. Many of these schools refuse to notify parents so they can opt their kids out of the lessons because hey want to force their political ideology on the kids.

  • Voice of Reason Layton, UT
    April 5, 2011 4:02 p.m.

    Esquire Of course theres grey all around usas we perceive the world. Just because thats all you can see doesnt mean the world actually is grey. If you see grey, its only because you are blending the black & white together with imperfect eyes. Its beyond arrogant to think that you seeing something is the standard for whether its real.

    Tharhows that fer filosofyin?

    Pagan, you say that those supporting traditional marriage are loosing(sic) the debate. Actually yes, we are losingin five very liberal states and one tiny Indian tribe in Oregon. In the rest of the 45 states we have clearly WON the debateeven in California. The American people continue to speak loud and clear: gay marriage is no more a right than polyandry or sibling marriage.

    And there are many, many reasons beyond religion to oppose gay marriage: no children (spare me the infertile granny analogies), orders-of-magnitude higher STD rates, over 20 years lower life expectancy, and denying a child a mother and father, among many other problems. You can be a flaming atheist and still logically oppose gay marriage.

  • zero_limits_33 Eagle mountain, UT
    April 5, 2011 4:01 p.m.

    @the rock

    I find it amazing that you bring up prayer in school, like it was really banned. 5 minutes of reading debunks any claims to the contrary. Compulsory prayer was banned, individual prayer is still alright.

    I would hope you and all other people who enjoy their freedom of religion can see how this policy protects the freedom of everybody.

    Please be informed before you post so no one needs to waste time explaining something that is and should be common knowledge.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    April 5, 2011 3:21 p.m.

    Again: We all have belief systems. Religions are belief systems that include a deity. Secular belief systems do not. When the SCOTUS decided to prohibit prayer in school and exclude religion from the public square they made belief systems that include God legally inferior to all other belief systems.

    This action placed a stamp of disapproval on all religions and implies that there is something wrong with religion. It also placed all religions on unlevel ground by comparison to secular systems.

    I am willing to write a $1000 check to anyone who can produce the words "Separation of Church and State" in the constitution (Supreme Court rulings do not apply).

    The first amendment reads:

    "Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

    If congress were to pass a law prohibiting prayer in school it would clearly be unconstitutional and their job is to create law.

    Article 1 Section 1 of the constitution reads: "All legislative power belongs to a Congress..."

    Since ALL legislative power belongs to congress there is NO legislative power anywhere else. The SCOTUS cannot create law. How in Gods name did they outlaw prayer in school?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    April 5, 2011 2:30 p.m.

    Catholic Charities DID NOT close their doors. Catholic Charities were involved with the MA state adoption system and actually HAD PLACED children with same-sex couples. The controversy erupted when the Boston Globe reported on the same-sex adoptions and Catholic leaders (Vatican?) requested their adoption services stop placement of children with same-sex couples. Of course, since same-sex marriage was legal in MA the Church felt it was going to be a legal issue if they stopped same-sex adoptions. Therefore, they stopped adoption services. Note: The LDS Church provides adoption services in MA but since they only do voluntary adoptions and don't get state money they are free to "discriminate."

    As for the CA infertility treatments? Same-sex marriage was not legal in CA at the time, so had nothing to do with same-sex marriage. The California Medical Association had initially sided with Drs. Brody and Fenton, but the case, North Coast Women's Care Medical Group v. Superior Court, was decided unanimously by the California State Supreme Court in favor of plaintiff Benitez on August 19, 2008.

    There are clearly complex issues of discrimination which need to be addressed.

  • FairEnough Draper, UT
    April 5, 2011 2:11 p.m.

    Religion, like most organizations, flourishes in the free market and withers when merged with government. Keep religion in the free market where it belongs. Protect people's free market religious expressions robustly. Do not use government to promote or establish religions. Do not use government money for faith-based (religious) purposes at all. Do not restrict an individual's right to believe and practice his religion if such practices do not infringe others' rights.

    The U.S. is a secular government--that does not mean it is atheist. Our government has no stance one way or the other the issue of a belief in gods or on any exclusively religious beliefs.

    None of the Constitutional principles are religious at all. Why do you people want to destroy a system that has worked so well for so long?

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 2:04 p.m.

    "Or For Poorer? How Same-Sex Marriage Threatens Religious Liberty". - Utes Fan | 1:25 p.m.

    Thank you. I will try to read this.

    Have you seen:

    *'Same-Sex Marriage: Who Profits?'
    - Reported by ABC News - 04/08 - By Aude Lagorce, Forbes magazine.
    'Same-Sex Marriage Could Add $16.8 Billion to Industry'

    *'Gay marriage wins rulings in pair of federal challenges' - By Denise Lavoie - AP - Published by DSNews - 07/08/10
    'U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro ruled in favor of gay couples' rights in two separate challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, a 1996 law that the Obama administration has argued for repealing. The rulings apply to Massachusetts but could have broader implications if they're upheld on appeal.

    Have you read the American Acadamy of Pediatraics statement?

    And the truth | 12:55 p.m.,

    How am I 'forcing' you accept gay marriage...

    if you are not part of one?

    I gladly accept, and promote straight marriage.

    Newt Gingrich is on his third marriage.

  • Abeille West Haven, Utah
    April 5, 2011 1:56 p.m.


    Here is the definition of 'Moral Relativism':

    Moral relativism is the result of a philosophy that holds since we can't
    justify or confirm any hypothesis (scientific, metaphysical, ethical,
    religious), we must abandon rationality entirely for irrationalism.

    The fact that any point can't be completely proven does not mean that rationality needs to be abandoned for irrationalism. Nor does it mean that 'Half-truths' need to be accepted lock, stock, and barrel ('gray', in this case).

    The arguments in this board have primarily been made based upon emotion rather than logic. Both you and Pagan ask for a logical response to 'prove' you wrong. However, if a logical response is given to either of you, you both ignore it for the 'emotional' mindset you each possess. The same goes for others on the board that are trying to 'prove' you wrong. If it were all about logic, perhaps we'd all agree. That would not necessarily be a good thing.

    We should remember one thing, though. As Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. once said, 'The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins.' Everyone has the right to believe - despite how you may believe.

  • sundancejedi Provo, UT
    April 5, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    My religion accepts gay marriage. So how are other religions not imposing their religious beliefs and limiting mine when they try and legislate anti-gay marriage?

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 1:25 p.m.


    Excellent points.

    You might already be aware, but many of the points you make have a good legal analysis from an article in Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy:

    "Or For Poorer? How Same-Sex Marriage Threatens Religious Liberty".

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    April 5, 2011 1:24 p.m.

    @ Voice of Reason, you are quite the philosopher. Twist and turn to get to your end point. So, is it moral relativism to support polygamy and oppose other acts that some find offensive? It's a straight forward question, not one that need be addressed by the authority of the moment. The problem is that many refuse to face the fact that there is indeed lots of gray, including in the application of Christian principles. Saying there is no gray does not change the fact that gray is all around us.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    April 5, 2011 1:00 p.m.

    The definition of marriage is and always has been: the union of a man and a woman as husband and wife. The definition of husband is and always has been: a man married to a woman. The definition of a wife is and always has been: a woman married to a man. A same gender couple by definition does not fit the definition of marriage. Efforts to change the law to legally alter the definition of marriage to include an abnormal definition has everything to do with society and its most basic organization as well as its morals. In circumstances of changing definition to allow gay marriage society will be changed.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    April 5, 2011 12:55 p.m.

    All leftwing wackos are just plain wrong.

    Religion has every right to be a voice in the public as much as any other voice,

    And to influence publically in shaping our laws, values, morals, and social norms,

    and the same with any other voice,

    and the ones who can convince the majority wins, that is how our system works.

    IT is a terrifying thought that there are those on left that desire to shut down the free speech/religion of those they disagree with,

    And PAGAN,

    when you try force your views and acceptance ofyour lifestyle on others that is wrong,

    especially on children, against other's rights,

    and especially when you know full well your views are outside the societal norm.

    the bottom line is this isa free country and you're free to go live with those thatshare your values and views,

    go live were majority share your values, don't expect the majority to change for you, easily.

    the majority inAny area will be what what prevails governmentally.

    Again, that's how our system works.

    we're aPatchwork quilt not aGreyBlanket that some onThe left desire.

    Young is right on all accounts, we must guardOur Rights.

  • ADN Weiser, ID
    April 5, 2011 12:29 p.m.

    I agree with Michael Young. He is absolutley right

  • michaelitos Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 12:25 p.m.

    Against my better judgment, I am responding to you.

    Your flagrant attempts at making wild comparisons with no real basis (i.e. calling those pertaining to a large religious organization "immoral", comparing reading a book about homosexuality to 7-year-olds in a public school to "hooters in Midvale", etc.) are meant merely to inflame. They do not move the debate forward. Ridiculous comparisons like these do not inform or even cause reflection.

    In each and every one of your examples, you fail to truly counter the fundamental issue at hand. Religious liberty (a right since the Founding Fathers) is indeed in conflict with the new social right you defend (homosexual marriage). Merely because my opinion on the matter is religiously motivated, it is in no way inferior to your irreligiously motived one.

  • plyxply SLC, UT
    April 5, 2011 12:20 p.m.

    As always those people who don't like religion or either choose not to or aren't strong enough to uphold and live by their sometimes difficult tenants are prone to discount the good it does for all of us (including the non-religious).
    Obviously religious freedom includes allowing those non-believers to do as they please regarding their own personal worship, but to come out and say religion should be done away with is laughable.
    Of course there are many people who don't believe, but if you're standing on a road and don't see or hear the dangerous semi coming towards you wouldn't you want someone who could see and hear it to warn you it was coming?

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    April 5, 2011 11:52 a.m.

    Liberal Ted. The Canadian churches do not lose their tax free status or anything elese for refusing to perform gay marriages - some do, some don't. The LDS church does refuse.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    April 5, 2011 11:51 a.m.

    What LDS beliefs are being threatened? Celestial Marriage, Revelation and Prophecy, Baptism for the Dead, Kolob, limited entrance to the Temple? LDS or any other belief system is threatened or impugned. The problem only arises when religious organization attempt to exercise pressure in political affairs that curtails other people's right and freedoms. Religious organizations usually cry "foul" when people who are being negatively affected by church intervention in politics defend their rights and strike back i.e Gay community and other minority and causes.
    Your religious belief is and should always be protected. However, you have no right to deprive other people of their rights because of the set of beliefs you hold sacred.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    April 5, 2011 11:43 a.m.


    Joseph Smith sent Apostle Orson Hyde to "the Land of Jerusalem" to dedicate it for the return of the Jews. It is God's land that he gave to them.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
    April 5, 2011 11:38 a.m.

    I have been one to chastise people who used purely religious arguments to justify a particular public policy. Religious people have the right to make arguments for the public good and to invoke morality. Lots of public policies are based on morality.

    It is wrong to tax the poor to care for the rich. The argument is a moral argument and that morality is a strong part of my religion.

    We should set aside 10% Utah's land as a wilderness as a natural tithe for the beauty of Utah (an argument made about 15 years ago by a person who had a leadership role in SUWA). This is a purely religious argument.

    If we want to revoke laws that have a strong religious basis we should reinstate slavery (abolitionists used strong religious arguments to argue against slavery) and we should restore Jim Crow laws (Martin Luther King was a minister).


  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    April 5, 2011 11:36 a.m.

    Mulder 21 is just plain wrong. Religion was not the reason for the Huns and Tatars, nor was it the reason for the depredations of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. It had nothing to do with Mao killing off 70 million Chinese.

    Those things alone outstrip all of the deaths due to all religions since history began.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    April 5, 2011 11:27 a.m.

    Nice, Pagan: I thought about coming up with the many examples of what offends me and goes against my values also, but decided against it, because you can't convince the ignorant; typically it's their values that matter, end of story, period!

  • Chieftess Ivins, UT
    April 5, 2011 11:10 a.m.

    Spot On! There is definitely an attack on religious reasoning; secular opinions are considered valid while religious opinions are not. Never mind that America wouldn't exist if it wasn't for strong religious opinions, such as, monarchs are not better than the common man because "all men are created equal". Secular opinion might question that, and go so far as to suggest that genetic testing determine who goes to the best schools and so on. This is just one example, but my point is that the assumption that religious beliefs are less valid than secular beliefs is not the direction America should be going.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 11:01 a.m.

    michaelitos | 10:29 a.m.,

    Thank you for providing examples.

    1) The 'King and King' support same gender couples. And yet, you take no issue with the 'Hooters' in Midvale. Or taking a child to a 'traditional' opposite gender wedding.

    Do your family values reflect all others? I doubt it.

    2) the 'Catholic Charities' you cite accepted homosexually funded tax dollars, while trying to deny gay adoption.

    And last 3) Since when is 'artificial insemination' a religious practice?

    x3 examples but zero showing a straight marriage harmed in any way due to a seperate gay marriage.

    And that is why those against gay marriage are loosing the debate. Not because you religious belief's are being attacked...

    but because the arguments against gay marriage are typically regligious in nature...

    and faced with a legal process that does not factor what you BELIEVE...

    but rather, what is.

    "In most ways, the accumulated research shows, children of same-sex parents are not markedly different from those of heterosexual parents."

    - 'Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents' - POLICY STATEMENT - PEDIATRICS Vol. 109 No. 2 February 2002, pp. 339-340 - Pulished: 02/01/10

  • DogsBarking Provo, UT
    April 5, 2011 10:57 a.m.

    I'll now take what he says in the future with a grain of salt. Join the ACLU? Is he kidding? That group is full of corruption and scandal on a continual basis. I wouldn't touch the ACLU with a 5,000 foot pole, let alone anything shorter.

  • Old Scarecrow Brigham City, UT
    April 5, 2011 10:56 a.m.

    Vanka wrote at 9:17 a.m. that "Religious speech is easily classified as 'Commercial Speech.'" That's just wishful thinking. I'm not aware of any such distinction in Federal Court or Supreme Court decisions, though Mr. Young is suggesting we may be on our way to that point.

    Wikipedia cites two comments of interest: "Justice Clarence Thomas replied, in 44 Liquormart, Inc. v. Rhode Island (1996), that "I do not see a philosophical or historical basis for asserting that 'commercial' speech is of 'lower value' than 'noncommercial' speech."

    Federal judge Alex Kozinski stated, in regard to a 1942 court ruling, "the Supreme Court plucked the commercial speech doctrine out of thin air."
    Vanka's "easily" is not so easy, I think.

  • KVC Sahuarita, az
    April 5, 2011 10:51 a.m.

    The problem is that religion is in many ways discriminated against. Why can the environmentalist group meet on school grounds, but the bible club cannot?
    To those that say Gay marriage does not hurt others I ask the following: How does praying at a high school football game hurt the atheist in the stands? How does it force him to become religious? Is he not free to ignore the prayer? Yet we continually get lawsuits from the ACLU regarding such issues. Gay marriage legalization on the other hand requires me by law to recognize something I don't believe in. I can't opt out.
    And if Gay marriage doesn't "harm others with differing beliefs", how does polygamy cause harm, or incestual marriage? But gay marriage advocates generally don't support the legalization of these institutions. Why? Are they imposing their own belief system on others as well?

    All laws are the imposition of ones belief system on others. Whether that system is based on religous beliefs, or ones moral beliefs from another construct it is no different, and all should be allowed in the marketplace of ideas for free debate.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 10:38 a.m.

    'If one group has soo much hate for people of faith, maybe they need a lesson in tolerance.' - Liberal Ted | 10:18 a.m.

    Really Liberal Ted?

    Can you still marry?

    Yes, or no?

    Because Voice of Reason could only come up with 'objective truth.'

    If you want to debate religion, fine.

    But you better make sure the person your arguing with actaully believes IN, said faith.

    Because, otherwise, your trying to 1) convert said person to believe your faith to:

    win your argument, based on said religious belief.

    Rather than injecting your religion into the conversation, it is a pitty you cannot win on, if any, merits.

  • mkSdd3 Ogden, UT
    April 5, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    There are many commentators here that are proving the point made in the article. You feel that because religion plays a part in my decision making process that somehow my opinion is no logger valid. The fact that I am religious makes me less of a citizen. You use the logic that was outlined in the article to come to your conclusion.

    No matter how flawed my thinking may seem to you, I still have the right to voice my opinion.

    This is how the rights of the religious person will be eroded away.

  • michaelitos Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 10:29 a.m.

    @Mormon Thinker
    Did you read my post before responding? By allowing the creation of a new right to homosexual marriage, both society at large and I, on a personal level, are affected. Again, Brian Brown, "It profoundly affects me if my children are taught in schools that my views on marriage are bigoted. It profoundly affects me if the church that Im part of is treated in the law as bigoted."

    Other instances of this new supposed right affecting religious liberty include (but are not limited to):

    -In MA (where homosexual marriage is legal), a 2nd-grade teacher read "King & King" (you can guess the storyline) to her classroom. A parent of one of the 7-year-olds responded, "They're intentionally presenting this as a norm, and it's not a value that our family supports."

    -Also in MA, Catholic Charities closed their doors because the state has required them to allow adoptions to same sex couples, and they refused citing religious beliefs.

    -In CA, two Christian fertility doctors were censured for refusing to artificially inseminate a lesbian couple, citing religious beliefs.

    Clearly, religious liberty IS being assaulted by the new supposed right to homosexual marriage.

  • Blaine Cedar City, UT
    April 5, 2011 10:26 a.m.

    When standing among people who are worried about religious freedom, President Young is woried about religious freedom. Perhaps President Young needs to look within his own university to see how his own professors are respecting religious freedom. Perhaps he needs to take a close introspective look at how his university's policies are respecting ALL of the rights protected by the Bill of Rights. President Young needs to put his money where his mouth is.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    Anti religious people have been assaulting religion and trying to force religion to adhere to their belief system. They have used the courts, politicians and the laws of the land to force people of faith to change.

    For example the gay union movement. In Canada after changing the definition of marriage, they immediately attacked religion and used the courts and lawsuits to take away churches rights to define marriage and who the priest can marry. If they refused to marry a gay couple the church was stripped of being able to assist in adoption, donating food & clothing to the poor, performing marriages in the church etc.

    If one group has soo much hate for people of faith, maybe they need a lesson in tolerance.

  • Ender Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 10:11 a.m.

    You are confusing freedom OF religion (a Constitutional guarantee) and freedom FROM religion (not a right last time I checked).

    My religiously born speech (and votes for that matter) are just as valid as your irreligious ones. In fact, I resent the fact that you would try to limit my rights at all.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    April 5, 2011 10:06 a.m.

    @mormon thinker | 8:29 a.m.

    True, you don't have to be religious to be good.

    Care to guess which direction a society will move over 50 years without religion?

    We don't have to guess. We live in such as society. We have drifted very far from God since the Supreme Court Ruling prohibiting prayer in school. When you can't teach people morality in school they actually begin to support gay marriage, abortion, premarital sex and the like.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    April 5, 2011 10:05 a.m.

    Mormon thinker: Your example of gay marriage is interesting. The efforts of many religions are aimed at maintaining marriage in accordance with the age old definition and inherent moral standard it upholds. Your statement saying; religion claims exclusive ownership of rights that are not theirs to begin with. Then they claim their rights are violated if those rights are shared with others. Despite the influence of religion, some government entities have said gay marriage is legal, religion did not make that public policy but rather government decides to create a pseudo definition and call it public policy. In other situations the exercise of religious speech has influenced the people who in-turn influence the enacting of laws that preserve and protect the very definition of marriage. Government is to be prohibited from restricting and influencing that which is contrary to the free exercise of religion.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    April 5, 2011 10:02 a.m.

    Mormon thinker: Mr. Young is not making those arguments but rather describes them as; three broad arguments critics are using to limit religious freedom in America. His entire discussion is how religious freedoms are slowly being curtailed. Certainly limiting the religious freedoms intended by the founders erodes the very most basic of rights for which this country was founded. Religion is not to be established by government nor is government to limit the free exercise thereof. While religion does not make public policy it is intended to be free to influence it

  • gramma b Orem, UT
    April 5, 2011 9:53 a.m.

    The ACLU is anti-religious and Leftist. It wasn't that long ago that the ACLU in Utah attacked the Mormon church because the State's position on abortion was too close to the Church's position. The ACLU's argument was, fundamentally, that religious people should not be able to vote their conscience on any moral issue, because that was "establishment" of religion. Then, not long after, the ACLU invoked the Fair Housing Act to try to undo BYU's housing segregation rules. This was a private arrangement, entered into voluntarily by students and housing providers alike, based on religious principles, and the ACLU tried to bring the force of federal law down to prevent it. All Mormons would do by joining the ACLU is contribute to an organization whose leaders would love nothing better than to destroy the Mormon church.

  • Old Scarecrow Brigham City, UT
    April 5, 2011 9:51 a.m.

    Mr. Young accurately identified the tactics being used to erode religion's position in U.S. society. It wasn't his purpose, apparently, to defend religion's position in this speech. I would like to hear his thoughts on that subject.
    Many comments, if not most, oppose a religious "position" in society. The commentors are willing to overlook and detract from the firm foundation that religious belief contributed to this so-called young nation. When you completely remove the possibility of God from your belief set, you become a sail in the winds of the philosophies of men, which blow in all directions at once if you listen closely enough. The result will be the sure decline of the American nation, as there will be no compass by which to measure direction except money, the ultimate governing principle of the world in the absence of God. I prefer to follow God, side by side with His often weak and confused disciples, than to leave the future of this nation and the world to the rule of money, and the principles of self-preservation and hedonism.

  • Voice of Reason Layton, UT
    April 5, 2011 9:44 a.m.


    Yes, the world can be a complicated place, but in this case you're complicating it more than needed in order to support your desired view.

    In reality, moral relativism simply means a philosophy that rejects objective truth on issues of morality. You take mere disagreements on what is moral to mean that there is no "independently true" morality. Of course in reality there is objective moral truth, but you (or I) may not know it in certain cases. Not knowing something right now doesn't magically make it disappear from reality, and doesn't magically make it unknowable.

    Just because you are only capable of seeing, or admit to seeing, grey does not mean that the colors black and white do not exist...that's really a form of intellectual arrogance. Just because you can't see something doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    There is moral black and white, Esquire, and I would argue that at least on moral issues, there is no such thing as grey...only issues perceived as grey from a lack of knowledge or understanding.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    April 5, 2011 9:40 a.m.

    As a mormon living in Utah, I often forget that our tribe is a small minority disliked by many in the United States. Mr. Young is correct that we should affiliate with others who support the individual freedoms contained in the bill of rights. The ACLU is not a communist organization. It represents those seeking the protection of the Constitution, usually unpopular minorities. We too are unpopular and need the protective freedoms contained in the bill of rights.

  • mormon thinker Orem, UT
    April 5, 2011 9:37 a.m.

    @michaelitos 8:31 AM You just illustrated my point. If gays can be married, that does not stop you from being married. Sharing rights with others takes nothing away from you. Your religious right does not include the right to deny other people their right just so you can be exclusive in that right. Allowing others to be good, thereby removing an exclusive right right to goodness, does not stop you from being good.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 9:31 a.m.


    Propaganda much?

    I like how this gives the arguments against religion...

    but dosen't counter them.

    i.e. I'm 'for' religion, but I can't seem to be able to defend them from 'others.'

    I am a firm believer in # 2: ARGUMENT 2: RELIGION IS GOOD, BUT A PRIVATE AFFAIR.

    You have EVERY right to your belief. It is yours. And it ends with you. To try to invade MY life with YOUR very much belief, WITHOUT my consent, is not supportable.

    Otherwise, why aren't YOU following MY belief as well?

    This, is a double standard.

    I 'should' believe as you do, but you 'shouldn't' adhere to my beliefs.

    michaelitos | 8:31 a.m., claims that:

    'Homosexuality is immoral.'

    And yet, the moderator is probably offended if I say:

    'Mormons are immoral.'

    Same insult. Different minority.

    And yet only one is every questioned in public discourse.

    And it's NOT the homosexual insult.

    Actively working to infringe your religious belief's on unwilling others is not 'justification'....

    it is oppression.

  • zero_limits_33 Eagle mountain, UT
    April 5, 2011 9:29 a.m.

    @voice of reason
    Policies are not rejected because religious people support them, that would be absurd. Policies ate rejected when the sole grounds for the policy are religious in nature. For example, if the sole reason to suppress homosexuals is a couple versus in the bible, it does not hold much weight. Policies need to be based on secular reasoning , rationality, and truth. I would love to hear your secular arguments against homosexuality. I have been following the topic for a while and would be suprised if you could come up with any legitimate reason.

  • Gentile brookings, SD
    April 5, 2011 9:28 a.m.

    To the Rock: the ACLU is a communist organization...
    Seriously? Well, cancel my membership!

    Good grief.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    April 5, 2011 9:22 a.m.

    Is it moral relativism to have supported polygamy, yet oppose gay marriage? Some call both immoral. And to "Voice of Reason", the selective acceptance of the pursuit of human rights and freedom, is that also moral relativism? It is a complicated world, isn't it? Not always black and white, even though many seek comfort in looking at it that way.

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 9:22 a.m.

    Very interesting article Dr. Young. Suppose we apply the concern to some potential real local situation. Lets say you are the owner of several small Christian book and health retail stores in SLC, Salt Lake County, Logan Utah, and an expanding internet based sales site nationally. The stores are provide products and services for and to conservative christians with very traditional values. Your administrative assistant who has worked for you for several years appearing each as a conservative young woman arrives back to work after a 2 week vacation as a young man living in a relationship with a young woman that has been a sales clerk in one of your stores. So, should you have the freedom to exercise your religious principles and what is best for your business and transfer the personnel to different roles in the company or even provide them with a generous severence?

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 9:20 a.m.

    Those who have an interest in religion, its influence, and ultimately, its freedom should become intimately familiar with the following Harvard Law publication:

    "Or For Poorer? How Same-Sex Marriage Threatens Religious Liberty".

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    April 5, 2011 9:17 a.m.

    Overall, Young is correct. But he would have been better off couching his ideas explicitly within the framework of the 1st Amendment.

    When most religious people speak of "religion", they convolute the issues by failing to distinguish between religion as personal belief, and religion as a corporate institution or social movement.

    They are not the same thing, but they are related.

    The 1st Amendment protects individuals' rights to freely "exercise" their personal beliefs, so long as that does not interfere with others' rights.

    It also protects individuals' rights to freely speak about their beliefs (including anonymous speech). Religious speech is easily classified as "Commercial Speech": speech done on behalf of a company or individual for the purpose of making a profit. Unlike political speech, the Supreme Court does not afford commercial speech full protection under the First Amendment.

    When individuals who share personal beliefs get together and organize, then the 1st Amendment provides limited protections: their limited rights to freely associate, peaceably assemble, publish their beliefs (freedom of the Press), and petition the government for "redress of grievances".

    To avoid religious mob-rule, these rights are limited by how much they infringe on the rights of others.

  • Sutton Cedar City, UT
    April 5, 2011 9:17 a.m.

    Religious freedom should be on the defensive...

    We have a crazy Florida pastor who's burning Qurans, we have Muslims in Afghanistan killin' people, We have Jews in Israel tearin' down people's houses in the Gaza strip and taking "Gods" land, we have Mike Huckabee stating that Americans should be forced, by gunpoint no less, to convert to Christianity, this man may be a presidential contender...

    Sorry, but Religion should be regulated...

  • peacemaker Provo, UT
    April 5, 2011 9:16 a.m.

    The communist government of Laos has taken to heart President Young's recommendation for the protection of religion. They have a functioning body whole purpose just that. Included in their stated purpose is the regulation of religion. I suppose it will be the next recommendation of President Young that we initiate a body in this country that sees to it that religion is deprived of the same rights as communists so whole heartedly enforce through persecution and jail for those who violate their "regulation" laws.

  • Voice of Reason Layton, UT
    April 5, 2011 9:03 a.m.

    I think you're going to see Pres. Young very quickly come out and clarify his comments, which obviously were made in an off-the-cuff way and focused on how the ACLU has defended the LDS Church at times, which is true. But that hardly means he supports other ACLU efforts - my strong suspicion is that he was talking about supporting the ACLU in its support of the LDS Church, NOT in every ACLU cause.

    And of course religions should not be able to make policy, but neither can we reject a policy merely because religions support it. For example, there are of course strong religious arguments across all major faiths against homosexuality and gay marriage...but that hardly means we should just accept gay marriage because religions oppose it, any more than we'd abandon laws against murder simply because there's a religious argument against murder. There are many reasons to oppose government-endorsed gay marriage that have nothing to do with religion.

  • Mona Beaverton, OR
    April 5, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    Thank you Forrest, I agree.

    Atl134 (2:24 a.m.), one reason America stands out from other countries is that our laws are based on Christian principles, yet our government is not a theocracy. The Muslim majority countries you refer to are theocracies, which leads to serious repression and persecution. Some Muslim majority countries, such as Syria, are not theocracies. Yes, they happen to be ruled by an iron-fisted dictator but religion is not mandated.

  • sports fan Provo, UT
    April 5, 2011 8:50 a.m.

    the 1st amendment is to keep government away from religion, not religion away from government. Historically governments have infringed on the rights of the people to worship as they will. A democracy has never been dominated by a single religious body, but the morals taught by the various sects are a great boon to the sovereignty of communities, states and countrys.
    Leaver religion alone, do people not see that we will 'tolerate' ourselves to poverty, degradation and a fallen government? Religion might be the only thing holding us up.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    April 5, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    He is right.

  • Sutton Cedar City, UT
    April 5, 2011 8:38 a.m.

    Shoving your religion into others peoples lives isn't a, "religious right"...

    Some people cannot accept that their ideas have become irrelevant, that society moved on and is no longer interested in them. People sometimes interpret society's moving on as persecution because they lose the special position they once had, or thought they had, and they are not the center of attention...

  • michaelitos Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 8:31 a.m.

    @Mormon Thinker
    You ask how homosexual marriage affects me? To quote Brian Brown, "Marriage is a public good. If you change the definition of marriage, you dont just change it for the gay married couple down the street, you change it for everyone. If gay marriage is allowed, then the state is essentially saying that my views on marriage, and the majority of Americans views on marriage, are equivalent to discrimination It profoundly affects me if my children are taught in schools that my views on marriage are bigoted. It profoundly affects me if the church that Im part of is treated in the law as bigoted."

    Homosexuality is immoral. That is my religious belief, protected by the Constitution. I will demand that my government leave consenting adults in peace. I will likewise demand that my government NOT encourage nor reward homosexual coupling. That is the difference between liberty and license. Adults are free to live as they see fit. Society need not celebrate nor encourage.

    To me, that is the essence of religious liberty.

  • mormon thinker Orem, UT
    April 5, 2011 8:29 a.m.

    @Forrest 8:08 AM Religion is not exclusive in doing good. You don't have to have religion to have law and order. Nobody is advocating society without laws to protect the property and well-being of others. Certainly nobody is advocating incest as a good thing. You don't have to be religious to be a good, decent law-abiding citizen. You don't have to be religious to be a good parent.

  • CTguy30 Colchester, CT
    April 5, 2011 8:24 a.m.

    It's amazing to think of what this, relatively young, country has endured so far. From it's beiginning the American colonies were allowed to win a war that technically, very few supported, and let's face we were NOT supposed to win the Revolutionary War. Almost a century after that a devasting Civil war broke out. Wars like that usually divide nations quickly and swiftly. Somehow, we survived it and along with WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq...we and our principles still stand. From this country's very foundation, its basis has been sure, firm, immovable...we survived all this travesty, and the American society continues to turn away from that foundation, which many members of the LDS faith believe was inspired. I guess Americans are changing to want what the rest of the world has, INSTABILITY. Slowly were move toward change our nation's foundation. Good Luck.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    April 5, 2011 8:24 a.m.

    Mr. Young makes several excellent arguments and points.

    All religions are belief systems that happen to include a deity.
    There are other belief systems with no deity.

    Why should one belief system be denied access to the public square simply because that belief system includes God?

    What if there really is a God?

    I have read court opinions (no I am not an attorney) where the judge ruled against one party because (in part) their position was based upon the Biblical commandment, Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery.

    Thous shalt not kill, is also in the Bible.

    Sorry Mr. Young, the ACLU is a communist organization that actively seeks to destroy both our constitution and Christianity. Not going to support it.

    A standard of truth, like the Bible, leads to consistence. Once you abandon a standard of truth you could end up allowing abortion, while prosecuting a man who kills an unborn child (kick or gun shot to pregnant woman's stomach)for murder.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    April 5, 2011 8:14 a.m.

    If the Lord is God, follow him.

    Old but good advice.

  • Mulder21 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 8:13 a.m.

    I have to agree with the three arguments in this article. Religion is a bane on society. Religion promotes unjust treatment of minorities and suppression of enlightenment and education. If you look at the history of the world, more than 90% of all wars, death, and destruction have been caused by religion. The best thing for this country would be to do away with religion. Religion is a disease on society.

  • Forrest Natchitoches, LA
    April 5, 2011 8:08 a.m.

    I've got to take issue with mormon thinker. Thank heaven for solid religious influences in our laws. Marriage has never just been about two consenting adults, or a husband and wife, its about a foundation for future generations. Each child is entitled to a father and a mother. Laws against incest also have in mind the interests of the unborn. Much of our criminal codes are founded upon Christian principles. I can't imagine raising children in a society without laws that encourage us to respect the property and well being of others. When we esteem others as ourselves, that is religion, folks.

  • Whittling Whistler Lehi, UT
    April 5, 2011 7:59 a.m.

    This problem is increasing.

    In times past Socialist science based governments worked within religions, but attacked specific religious groups. In Germany these also thought of themselves as humanitarian, environmentalist, vegetarians etc. But placed little value on the freedoms of others.

    Atheist governments are notorious for killing, imprisoning, and suppressing religious and other dissidents, and millions have died from Tibet to Cambodia.

    In America we sought to exterminate one religious group, and even now the ACLU and others continues to attack this religious group: taking rights to free speech, rights to own property, rights to be politically involved, etc.

    Our tax funded Universities allow any free speech against religion, but try speaking in favor of it. For example, when I was at the University of Utah, professors spent quarters trying to prove there was no God, often ridiculed religious beliefs, and singled out Mormons, regularly giving misinformation about LDS persons, which increased prejudices. Students who spoke out were admittedly discriminated against, given bad grades for quoting disliked religious persons etc

    Our Country was founded on principles of religious freedom because Founders knew it is vital for American survival. Those freedoms are increasingly being taken by certain "activists" and groups.

  • Sandy Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 7:59 a.m.

    Wow, interesting set of comments we have here so far. Excepting the reserved amst of Plano TX, no DN reader seems to agree much with Michael Young. What does it all mean?

  • silas brill Heber, UT
    April 5, 2011 7:37 a.m.

    Just because religion is losing in the arena of public opinion, it doesn't mean people are losing freedom.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 5, 2011 7:00 a.m.

    An interesting comment from a man who does not believe in the 2nd Amendment. And yes, the US Supreme Court has ruled that it applies to individual US citizens and not the states.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    April 5, 2011 6:54 a.m.

    Young makes some very good points, and his credibility is better not speaking as the representative of a religious organization. I tend to agree with his view on the ACLU. It fights for individual rights, even when that fight is unpopular. The LDS community, if it understands its own history, should appreciate that battle. I believe Joseph Smith would fully concur.

  • mormon thinker Orem, UT
    April 5, 2011 6:27 a.m.

    Is he serious? All of his arguments are true: religions are not exclusive in doing good. Religions do not have the right to decide public policy for everyone. Religion does negatively impact society in trying to withhold rights from others. Religion historically has tried to deny rights to women, blacks, and gays in the public arena. It comes to the same thing over and over: religions claim exclusive ownership of rights that are not theirs to begin with. Then they claim their rights are violated if those rights are shared with others. For example, how does gay marriage take away anyone else's right to be married?

  • Gentile brookings, SD
    April 5, 2011 6:21 a.m.

    But there is another side to the story. There is a strong religious movement in America to make me believe like others. I see it all the time on my tv. And even the GOP is having a religious litmus test for candidates in the upcoming primary; one reason why Romney cannot be elected in the primaries of the republican party. There is another side to the story, thank you very much.

  • camotim Council Bluffs, IA
    April 5, 2011 5:34 a.m.

    Those who claim religion is not special ignore the Constitutional provisions which make it special. If they want to eliminate its special treatment by government, then repeal or amend the 1st Amendment.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    April 5, 2011 5:26 a.m.

    Sure, we should all join the ACLU, an organization that somehow lands on the wrong side of most issues.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 2:24 a.m.

    "Religion should never be an allowable argument for any public policy or laws. "

    Well yeah it shouldn't. That's how some muslim majority countries get parts of sharia law implemented.

  • amst plano, tx
    April 5, 2011 12:10 a.m.

    Hes right.