Comments about ‘Rising hostility against religion worldwide’

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Published: Saturday, Aug. 27 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Miami Area, Fl

"Pew found that Christians were harassed in 130 countries, Muslims in 117 countries and Jews in 75 countries"

Thats a lot of countries harassing the religious.

For all of its statistics, the article failed to point out how much of the "hostility against religion" is actually coming from religious people.

How many of these "harassers" are doing so in the name of religion?
My guess is that it is MOST.

Park City, UT

Since moving to Utah 27 years ago I have become almost anti-religion. Being harassed by the local majority church both in legislation and culture has really made me think twice about the usefulness of religion.

Miami Area, Fl


I can relate. I lived in Utah for about 10 years.

I found most to be good, caring, well-intentioned people.

I did find the people fairly uncompromising and judgmental of others. I assume it was because most only associate with other LDS and they have little need to accept that others may have different views.

A neighbor of mine actually came up and chastised me for mowing my lawn on Sunday. I had someone berate me for having a glass of wine with my diner in a nice restaurant.
Some would not attend my wedding if alcohol was to be served.

It is one thing to live by your morals. It is quite another to try to impose your morals on others.

I have found that the LDS outside of Utah are much more accepting. Probably by necessity.

Eugene, OR

Another day, another chance for the DN to play the victim...


Most people would be just fine with religion if would mind it's own business and let everyone else live in peace.

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

Many decent non-LDS people become so weary of being told that the way that they live is just not the correct way.

American Fork, UT

Religion empowers everyone to say that they're right and everybody else is wrong. Of course that's going to breed discord. It's what divides us most.

Glendora, CA

As a convert to the LDS faith since 1995, and living in California, I have come to the conclusion that what both you and Dave have dealt with is more of the Utah mentality, rather than the true intent of the LDS church. Even my wife, as well as myself, find it rather nauseating, for instance, to endure comments about how my artistic daughter dresses in church, or how I opt to visit my non-LDS family on Sunday, where alcoholic beverages are served, (when it's the only time I get to see them), etc. Most of those comments come from Utah transplants. (However, not all are that way, by any means.)
I and my family have had to endure and forgive quite a few back-handed insults, over the years.
But I refuse to let that preclude my from the weekly associations with my loved ones in the church and from keeping me from going back. That far outweighs the judgmental inconveniences.
The "us vs them" mentality on both sides of spectrum in the Utah area needs to chill.

Phoenix, AZ

With the increased access to knowledge and information more people are seeing the hipocracy of organized religion that has much to do with politics and less to do with a god. More believers worship their church religion than their supposed god. Mormons worship mormonism, Catholics worship catholicism, Muslims worship Islamism and they all have antipathy for their each others believe with the lack of common love for their professed common god. It is no wonder that thinking people are fed up with organized religion, it is mostly another big corporate business enterprise marketing expensive pie in the sky to gullible good people.

Ghost Writer

To all the downtrodden in Utah who are experiencing so much "hostility" at the hands of the oppressive majority . . . I'm not sure if someone expressing an opinion different from your own counts as "hostility" or even harrassment. I'm currently teaching a class on Holocaust Literature -- I believe that those who have experienced true religious persecution would be amused, if not offended, by your complaints.

Glendora, CA

Religion needs to be organized. Since when is it supposed to be disorganized.
If a religion is true, should it not, for instance, organize its adherents to marshal their resources for the good. This is done time and time again, with relief aid, to those not even of there faith.
I find it funny that the critics who often use the anti-organized religion mantra, but find it to be just fine to organize against it.
I believe the powers from below would like to have religion disorganized.


This really shouldn't surprise anyone - all you have to do is look at the mainstream American attitude towards Islam to see the hostility towards religions other than ones own.

Religion is under attack not from the atheists, but from the religious.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I'm sure Muslims in America and
Warren Jeffs and the FLDS Church can relate to this article.

As one who's ancestors left America because of Religious intolerence -- I would have thought we - of ALL people - would be some of the most sympathic to others same plight.

Dave, JoeBlow:
I lived in Seattle for 22 years.
The intolerance of others is definetly a Utah thing, not a Mormon thing.

What more proof do we need than having the LDS church creating a huge Public Relations gig right now called; "I'm a Mormon".

The whole premise is to get as far away as possible from the whole "middle-age White Guy, Utahn Native, Republican, with 6 kids" stero-type image.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

An Atheist believes that only empirical evidence is verifiable and anything else is false. An Agnostic believes that there may be more than empirical evidence, but it couldn't be verified, etc.

Some believe that empirical evidence is unreliable because of imperfect human observation, or because empiricism cannot be metaphysically verified, making such evidence definitively weak. Catholicism rests here, with the only reliable source of anything valid coming from an ancestral account of others who claim to have observed reliable events, whether physical or otherwise.

Some believe that empiricism is all in the mind, a dream, or some sort of 'matrix'.

LDS theology concludes with the belief that empirical evidence is valid, God is physical, all spirit is matter, etc... that the observation of one empirical event does not negate the possibility or probability of one unobserved.

Everyone "believes" in something. The danger is the belief of destruction. When people try to silence another belief. Religion has nothing to do with it. A crusade to remove freedom to believe can come from anyone, religious, irreligious, atheist, catholic, or mormon.


This is why the freedom to believe or worship anything you desire is the most essential factor in preserving peace.

Free Agency
Salt Lake City, UT

The headline of this story is incredibly misleading: "Rising Hostility Against Religion Worldwide."

There's hardly any hostility against *religion* in the world. Maybe a relatively few atheists and agnostics, but they limit their hostility to speech, not physical violence.

The real hostility is by religious people against *other* religious people. Religion itself is doing just "fine."

It makes one wonder if religion is ultimately more poisonous than nourishing, when we see the results of believing that "ours is the only true way."

I'm reminded of the wonderful line: "Every day, more and more people are leaving the churches . . . and returning to God." Would that it were so! Imagine what peace there'd be in the world.

In any case, I suggest your headline should be: "Rising Hostility Worldwide Against People Who Believe Differently."

Phoenix, AZ

Thank you for your reply, but pehaps you are not understanting the interpretation or common use of the meaning of organized religion as an incorporated political business institution.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

Is freedom being threatened? Yes!

I don't believe in forcing my views on others. If someone wants to get married, they can. I and my religion have no problem with this. But there are certain forms of marriage I won't endorse, that is my right.

I will not endorse or promote homosexuality as acceptable in belief or practice. BUT I will defend to the death their right to disagree. So where is my problem? I'm free to believe and practice heterosexual marriage. They are free to believe and practice their own form. Polygamists are free to believe and practice their own.

But what we recognize as acceptable and endorse by the state doesn't have anything to do with what we believe and practice in our private belief system or religion.

No one is forcing gays. Everyone EQUALLY voted on what the state endorses. Privately practiced marriage is their own business and our 'state endorsement' vote didn't take away their freedom to PRIVATELY practice. However, when gays try to remove my freedom to vote by validating only their view, freedom is most certainly threatened.

Voting is democratic and FREE. This is "by the people", not just by the gays.

Heber City, UT

Great comments on this article.

I couldn't help but chuckle at the reference to Smith's comments about the invisible pressures of religion - "in some cultures defying parents would make someone an outcast" - doesn't that sound uncomfortably like many in the LDS faith? The number of gay children that are ostracized is reprehensible. The LDS church declared war against an entire community and orchestrated a campaign against Prop8 and were not forthright about their role...still haven't been. Invisible pressures?

And doesn't school-sponsored, graduation credit earning Seminary put invisible pressures on many kids?

Religion is one of the leading causes of conflict and death in the world and while our pluralistic view in the US has insulated us to a large extent, the US still has doctors killed by religious zealots, crazy demonstrations at the funerals of fallen heroes and loons who burn religious texts for publicity only.

Where is the discussion of our political leaders and "news" outlets - Fox specifically - that lead an insurgence against Muslims, mosques and Muslim leaders. For far too many, it's okay if it is directed at "the other guys".

Most of this religion vs religion. It's about Power and Control...not about philosophy.

Salt Lake City, UT

Just because I believe that my invisible inscrutable sky daddy is better than your invisible inscrutable sky daddy, you get all critical towards me.

Stop picking on me for my beliefs!

I tell you that I believe in magic and spirits and angels and an all-loving and omnipotent god who answers my prayers about the weather being nice for my outdoor wedding reception but who lets millions of children die of disease and starvation each year - and you roll your eyes at me and tell me I don't have a firm grip on reality?

Don't you see how offensive that is to me?

I pick and choose which bits of science to believe so I can function in the 21st Century and still hold on to a bunch of Bronze Age beliefs about the universe, and you criticize me for it?

What's with that?

I pick and choose which of the Bible's/Koran's Bronze Age instructions to follow - so I won't go to jail for killing rape victims, disrespectful teens and people who work on Sunday - and you tell me I'm an irrational bundle of delusions and cognitive dissonance ?

Help! I'm being repressed!

Mary E Petty
Sandy, UT

The tension between good and evil will always be here, until He comes again. As a world-wide traveler, I have experienced religious tolerance, intolerance and judgment at home and abroad. But, for me, these are but tutorials and tests in my commitment to follow Him to individually make a difference.

Transplanted from Chicago via California to Utah, I view the Beehive State through this lens: Utah, a microcosm of the greater world.

How I love coming home to Utah and my mountains; where we can enjoy a summer get away in Park City or trips to 5 national parks and 7 national monuments or take an adventure with the grandkiddies to 43 state parks for $75, and experience the handiwork of God. And how I enjoy my Muslim, Mormon, Protestant, Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Buddhist, Scientologist, Hindus, religious, irreligious, Atheist, Agnostic, Humanist, Liberal, Conservative, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Tea Party, Independent, College educated, high school graduate,drop-out, honest, dishonest, gay,straight, accepting, not, boy, girl, old, young, rich, poor,employed, unemployed, neighbors, friends, and family. All are part and parcel of my tutoring to be a kind and loving person. There will always be another test.

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