Comments about ‘University of Utah President Michael K. Young says religious freedom on defensive’

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Published: Monday, April 4 2011 10:00 p.m. MDT

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plano, tx

Hes right.

Salt Lake City, UT

"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.

Springville, UT

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

Council Bluffs, IA

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.

brookings, SD

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.

mormon thinker
Orem, UT

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?

Springville, UT

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.

Salt Lake City, Utah

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.

silas brill
Heber, UT

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

Salt Lake City, UT

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?

Whittling Whistler
Lehi, UT

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.

Natchitoches, LA

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Boise, ID

If the Lord is God, follow him.

Old but good advice.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

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.

Colchester, CT

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.

mormon thinker
Orem, UT

@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.

Salt Lake City, UT

@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.

Cedar City, UT

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...

Jonathan Eddy
Payson, UT

He is right.

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