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Published: Wednesday, Oct. 12 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

We'll see how religious leaders react when faced with the first Islamic candidate, or the first Hindu candidate. Would an atheist candidate be supported in his attempt to express his own personal religious beliefs.

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

When Jesus walked the earth He organized a church. The Jews said it was a cult. 2,000 years later we still call it Christianity.

If Jesus walked the earth today many Christians would reject His message. And yes, Jesus would agree with the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding elective abortions.

fanUVU
Orem, UT

Excellent, well reasoned editorial. All religions should be extended the courtesy of tolerance, absent malicious actions and intents to harm others.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

"...deep suspicion of religion and religiously motivated people."

--- With very good reason!

"To religious people, religion matters."

--- Why can't they just practice it then? By forcing their views on others, they are really taking away the religious freedom of those who believe differently.

"Americans have every right to base their political choices on their religious views, and any suggestion otherwise is an affront to the First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom."

--- Again, when your political choice puts your beliefs over the beliefs of others, you are taking away the religious freedom of others. What about the guarantee of religious freedom for them?

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

@Rifleman;

Jesus NEVER established a church. Never.

"Christians" were simply another sect of Judaism - they attended synagog not "church".

It wasn't until many, many years after Christs death, when Christians abandoned the dietary laws and other religious requirements (circumcision, for example) that the Jews finally said "beat it, you're not Jews"!

Read up on it, there are some very good (and well respected) books on the subject.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Rifleman | 5:53 a.m. Oct. 12, 2011
Salt Lake City, Utah

If Jesus walked the earth today many Christians would reject His message.

=================

Agreed.

That's because He and his entire message clearly prove he was a bleeding heart Liberal.

a bit of reality
Shawnee Mission, KS

In summary, the mainstream (liberal) media is good because it defended the LDS Church against a baseless attack, but it's bad because it has an "aggressive posture toward religion in general." And Pastor Jeffress is bad because he thinks Mormonism is a cult, but hes good to say and think its a cult because this is "a genuine and deeply-held religious viewpoint" which deserves deference for the mere fact that it is a religious viewpoint rather than a secular one.

Id suggest that Pastor Jeffress' bigotry is rooted in his religious convictions--the genuineness, depth, and religiousness of those convictions notwithstanding. That being the case, why should the root of his bigotry deserve a pass merely because it is "religious"?

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

@ RanchHand. How and where has religion been forced on you? Details please! Or is it just your silly rebellion temper tantrum?

Shimlau
SAINT GEORGE, UT

@RanchHand, Jesus did organize a church, it was after his resurrection, that he sent his apostles into all the world. Peter saw in a vision (read Acts) that the "gentiles" (read this as not Jews) were to be welcomed into the church and was sent to preach the gospel to them. I hardly think that Peter was "many years after Christ's death." and might I add, resurrection.

OHBU
Columbus, OH

Why do you find it so surprising that the mainstream media defended the church against being called a "cult." They've been very respectful of the church for many years (btw, Slate isn't exactly a very popular mainstream source). It seems every time a major show on Mormonism is going to be done (like the interview with Hinkley, etc), Mormons are always "surprised" it was respectful. The world is not out to get you.

@Mountainman: I think Ranchhand might be referencing the way religiously-motivated public policy affects non-religious people (such as the liquor laws in Utah, the Hays productions code for film that lasted much of the century, etc).

@Counter Intelligence: Most oppressive regimes: Communists (atheists), Nazis (professed Christians, protestant primarily), Iran, Saudi Arabia, Taliban (religious fundamentalist Islam), Milosevic (Orthodox Christian). Many others, such as Rwanda, Sudan, etc. were carried out by religious people, though not for religious reasons. In short, your characterization of "most" oppressive regimes being atheist is patently false and absurd.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Let's use some deductive reasoning.....

1. The U.S. Constitution article VI states: "no religious Test shall ever be required as Qualification for federal office"

2. The Republicans are making a huge religous test against Mitt Romney for his Mormonism.

3. Therefore, Republicans are trampling the U.S. Constitution.

Boo the umpire, but I call 'em as I sees 'em.
I think for myself.

DSB
Cedar Hills, UT

To RanchHand - I'm wondering, do you ever vote? I ask, because every time you do, you are making a political choice that puts your beliefs over the beliefs of others.

And, I'm with Mountanman in calling you out about how religion has been forced on you. Also, how would you correct any societal norms that may be founded on a faith-based worldview of the majority, without "forcing your beliefs" on the rest of us?

Furthermore, Jesus called and set apart 12 Apostles, as well as 70's that he sent out as missionaries to spread his own religious construct based on the fulfillment of the Mosaic Law and salvation through his teachings and atonement. He called Peter to lead that group of believers after his resurrection. They were certainly not called to spread the traditional and established Jewish religion.

Maybe you know better than the Apostle Paul, who clearly believed Jesus established a religion when he taught to the Ephesians that Jesus gave some apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to perfect the Saints and for the work of the ministry.

I don't know - sounds like a religion to me.

Timj
South Jordan, UT

I never thought I'd see the DN criticize someone for defending the LDS church.

As a member of the church, I'm grateful for MSNBC, CNN, Slate, and other mainstream media outlets that criticize Jeffress for his bigotry and defend the LDS church. I just wish Fox News would join in, but I guess they're too worried about what much of their base (conservatives in the South) would think of that.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "LDS Liberal | 9:38 a.m." actually you are 100% wrong.

Yes the constitution states that there cannot be a religious test for Federal office.

Some have interpreted what is going on in the GOP as a religious test.

The problem is that the GOP can impose whatever test they want for their canidate because a canidate is NOT a Federal Office. Or was there a change, and just being a canidate was a Federal Office?

isrred
Logan, UT

"but we ask that this courtesy extend to all expressions of heartfelt belief"

Does that include defending Muslims when they want to build a Mosque?

Does that include Atheists when they want to live their lives free of organized religion?

Does that include gays and lesbians when they want to marry the person they love?

What the DNews continually denies is that other people have "heartfelt beliefs" that directly contradict their own heartfelt beliefs, but I have not seen the DNews editorial board stand up for the heart-felt beliefs of those they disagree with.

Stand on principle at all times or you have nothing to stand on at all, Dnews.

OHBU
Columbus, OH

@CounterIntelligence: While I agree with your point that religion is too often scapegoated, your original statement was clearly intended to give the impression that there is some inherent link between atheism (not fundamentalist atheism...that statement is nonsensical) and oppression. I also take exception to your categorization of oppression. Number of dead does not indicate the level of oppression. Stalin killed roughly 20 million people (though exact numbers are impossible. That's almost 2% of the population. In Rwanda almost 20% were killed. Also note, Stalin didn't primarily kill for religious purposes, but political. In fact, the Orthodox Church survived throughout his reign with many priests openly practicing their religion. Stalin's hero was Ivan Grozny...an Orthodox Saint. He even commissioned major movies from Sergei Eisenstein glorifying both Ivan Grozny and Alexander Nevsky. Both are saints and both movies openly portrayed religion.

PS - It's "opiate" not "opium."

DSB
Cedar Hills, UT

To Timj - I've seen the media, including Fox News, defend and allow mockery of Mormons. On Fox, Ann Coulter said how "lovely" Mormons are, then listed several out-of-context and blatantly untrue beliefs we supposedly have, clearly attempting to make our belief system look lunatic. We're apparently lovely, just like mindless Stepford wives. On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow allowed Bill Maher to rant at length in the most despicable manner about things we hold most sacred, as well as half-truths and outright lies about us.

The overall tone seems to be "Sure, LDS beliefs are laughably ridiculous to any rational person, but they have every constitutional right to believe them, so don't let their foolishness influence your vote!" Thanks, I guess. Their defense of us often seems more like passive-aggressive marginalization.

For example, as an LDS member for over 50 years, holding various teaching and leadership positions in the church, this campaign season is the very first time in my life that I heard "Mormons get their own planet when they die." I suppose it's better entertainment for Maher and Coulter to offer up this misleading caricature, rather than engage in an honest discussion of eternal progression.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Nevertheless, at his famous talk at BYU, Ezra Taft Benson stated full out that the Church can tell members how to think politically. Is this the general view in this culture, and if so how should it affect voters considering Romney's (and to a lesser extent) Huntsman's candidacy?

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

@Mountainman & DSB;

Examples.

(1) Utah's liquor laws.
(2) Utah's Amendment 3.
(3) DOMA
(4) California's Prop-8.
(5) North Dakotas new Anti-abortion laws.
(6) Utah's new ultrasound pre-abortion laws.
(7) Was it Alabama trying to pass anti-Sharia/Muslim just laws this last year?

Just to name a few.

@DSB;

I do vote, but I NEVER vote to disenfranchise anyone. My beliefs do not include forcing others to live the way I want them to.

@CounterIntelligence;

The Jews wiped out an entire nation if you believe the bible to be true, and at God's command. They were obviously not athiests. How many do you think the "body count" was for that religious pogrom?

DSB
Cedar Hills, UT

To RanchHand - many, many areas of the country have bizarre liquor laws, many more perplexing than our own. The repetitive citation of this in our culture, as if we are somehow unique in having idiosyncratic liquor laws, speaks much more to your own provincialism than it does to the culture of our peculiar laws.

Regarding your votes, if you vote to uphold abortion rights, or to give homosexuals the right to marriage, you are in fact voting to impose your values over those who don't want their society to legalize such things. I didn't say anything about anyone being disenfranchised, because everyone has a vote. We just don't all get our way, but every vote you or I cast is a vote to impose our beliefs on people who vote otherwise.

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