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Published: Thursday, Oct. 27 2011 10:21 a.m. MDT

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Northern
Logan, UT

That's good, since it is freedom "of" religion, and not freedom "from" religion.

And again no-where in the constitution does it say seperation of church and state.

Having said that don't wear it on your sleave, and just be good examples.

Anti-mo's and haters red alert, attack formation =)

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

This article - while mentioning Joseph Smith's candidacy - should have also noted that he ran as a Liberal at the time.

Hi s"official" platform wanted a stronger Federal Government,
Extended Presidential Powers,
Freeing the Slaves - a Liberal "Northern" answer, and even compensating the Slave-owners from the Federal Government,
Forming a National Bank,
Expanding from Sea to Sea, - only with the Native Americans consent.
Freedom of Religion protected - [which would mean the Muslims too].

Not to mention -
Tolerance to everyone,
Inclusion of everyone,
Environmentalism and love of the earth,
Socialism - United Order,
Womens Rights (prior to Womens Suffrage),
Universal Welfare Programs,
Free Speech,
Free Religion (who, where, what they may)
Sustaining Vote

Liberal concepts then -- Liberal concepts now.

Jeff Elhardt
Salt Lake City, Utah

Belief unites legitimate legislation, spurning hatred inviting togetherness.

ClarkKent
Bountiful, Utah

I think it would be foolish for Romney to make any attempt to educate American voters about Mormonism. Once he opens up that can of worms he is going to have to answer ALL questions; not just the "easy" ones. Obviously questions about some of the history within the church will be very difficult to answer, and those will be the questions that those who disagree with the Mormon practices will ask.

Joggle
Clearfield, UT

@Northern

Too often conservatives seem to have a flawed understanding of what freedom FROM religion really entails and fail to realize that freedom from religion is crucial to religious liberty in general. It is evident that a person misunderstands the concept of freedom from religion when they say that promotion of the idea is part of an effort to eliminate religion from the public square, secularize, or to deny religious believers a voice in politics. None of this follows from a belief that people have a right to be free from religion. Freedom from religion is not a demand that one never encounter religion, religious believers, or religious ideas at all. Freedom from religion isn't a demand that religious beliefs never be expressed, but rather that they not be endorsed by the government; it's not a demand that religious believers never voice an opinion, but rather that they not have a privileged status in public debates; it's not a demand that religious values never have any public impact, but but rather that no laws be based on religious doctrines without the existence of a secular purpose and basis.

Disagreeing doesn't equal attack and name calling does not promote reasonable dialogue!

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Northern
"That's good, since it is freedom "of" religion, and not freedom "from" religion."

To quote a late 80s sitcom's theme song, you can't have one without the other. A large part of you or I being able to practice our religion is us not having other religions imposed on us.

Anti Bush-Obama
Washington, DC

ldsliberal

"This article while mentioning Joseph Smiths candidacy should've also noted he ran as a liberal at the time"

Please quit trying to using the gospel of love to try and convert us to your anti-american communistic version of liberalism. If the founders had this mindset, we would have never had the guts to break free from the oppresive taxation or the british.

I think people in those days would be more libertarian than liberal but that's just my opinion, I'm not going to pretend I know their minds and make up their political allegiance.

Mr. Bean
Tucson, AZ

"Mix of politics, religion is here to stay"

Nothing wrong with that. It started, I think, with the election of Catholic and Democrat John Kennedy. Many were afraid he would be directed by Rome's Pope. Didn't happen. Likewise Romney will not be directed by his church leaders.

m.g. scott
LAYTON, UT

@ Joggle

The problem with the liberal secular left these days is that they don't take the seemingly tolerant point of view you do. Examples. The attacks on traditional religious displays (which never hurt anyone that I've ever heard). The mocking of religion coming from popular culture on the public airwaves. Government paying an artist thru the National Endowment of the Arts to create anti-religious art, such as the famous crucifix in urine. The liberals say that that is a proper use of tax money. However if anyone were to attempt a pro-religion work of art at taxpayer expense, the left would scream about seperation of church and state. Government should no more pay for pro-religion than they should pay for anti-religion. This is why many on the conservative/religious side see the public religious debate as one sided, and are fighting back.

CAAZFR
MESA, AZ

I find it fascinating that many people (esp. secularists) who don't want religion to play a role in modern society are the ones who keep bringing up the issue. It's kind of like they're saying "Let's not talk about religion in the public square so long as we can keep bringing up that certain candidates have a religious bent that must be discussed and explained."

On the other hand, many religionists (esp. evangelicals) who want religion to be involved in a candidate's make-up and mindset, only want that to be so if the candidate espouses (or pretends to espouse) that group's (esp. evalgelicals) particular mindset.

Neither of these approaches seems very rational to me. And ironically, LDS people of modern times have not, in the main, tried to insist that candidates hold fast to a precise LDS mindset. They may hope that the candidates have certain core moralistic attitudes. However, in my experience they are not vitrolic about declaring those feelings in the course of assessing and commenting on candidate qualifications during the electoral process.

als Atheist
Provo, UT

Well over 10% of Americans are non-believers (atheist, agnostic, etc.), and non-religiousness has been the fastest growing segment of the population for a decade or more (Gallup; Pew).

Just less than 2% of Americans are of the Jewish religion, which is about the same as the percent of Mormons.

There are 5 times more atheists/agnostics/nonbelievers in America than either Jews or Mormons.

Treated as a statistical group, atheists/agnostics/nonbelievers in America would be the third largest group, behind "Protestants" and "Catholics" (very general categories).

We non-religious are not proportionally represented in State and Federal Government, and that is not for lack of desire, interest, or qualification.

It is for two reasons:

1. because the religious demonize us and will not support or vote for a nonbeliever for public office;
2. because non-belief is not a principle around which a group can easily organize - i.e., there is not yet an atheist voting bloc.

But the rise of the so-called "New Atheism" is changing that. We are organizing. We are tired of believers hijacking the political process and distracting the discourse with "cultural wars" and narrow, religiously defined morality issues.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

The fact that 99 percent of Mormons proves the religion is not a cult?

Joggle
Clearfield, UT

@mg_scott

Many believe a person's spiritual beliefs are private and personal and those people don't raise the ire of the non-religious. However, there's a huge amount of pro-religious propaganda that permeates everyday life. From the seemingly innocuous "prayer calls", to pro-life bumper stickers, daily affirmations, religious billboards, churches every few blocks, "In God we trust" on every dollar bill, religious signs, the President mentioning God every so often, faith-based initiatives and more. It's rare to walk anywhere in public and not see some religious pronouncement. Imagine if the cause of non-belief were promoted to even one hundredth this degree? Believers would be outraged. Yet if an atheist (often liberal) decides to react to the overwhelming pro-religion propaganda that's in his face on a daily basis, he's labeled as a hater, anti, and so forth. If you promote your religious beliefs in a public space, it's only fair that people will fight back. Churches don't pay a fair share of taxes, if at all. This increases the overall tax burden for everybody else. Churches are the last institutions that need financial support from the government. I agree government shouldn't pay for_either anti-religious_or_pro-religious art.

Rocket Science
Brigham City, UT

The 1st amendment to the Constitution is very simple on the matter that Congress shall make no law establishing religion or restricting the free exercise thereof.

What should be important is to know what kind of values and ideals a persons espouses as well as the persons integrity to do what is right. That can often be hard to tell on a national stage.

I dont so much care about a persons religious beliefs as I do to know that their values a similar to mine and primarily will they do all in their power to ensure freedom and liberty. For me that generally means limited government. I consider President Regan to have been one of the best Presidents in our history but I could not tell you what religion he espoused and it did not/does not matter to me.

WillTheWolf
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Its here to stay as long as there are papers such as the Deseret News who put religion above everything else including the news. I believe that if you go to the midwest and ask people what they think & their opinion would be that religion didn't matter.

speed66
Heber City, UT

Religion and Politics here to stay. Is this breaking news?

It's always been the case when it suits an objective. It is typically disingenuous and always irrelevant but that has never stopped the political machines from using whatever works.

I contend that religion should be a non-issue...but so should looks, gender, race and hair color. But we live in the real world. Instead we get bible thumpers like Gingrich who is about as amoral as any candidate.

I can't help but believe that the DN wants to portray ol' Mitt as a victim. It might take the spotlight off his multiple positions on the same topic. The problem with Mitt is not his religion, it's his record and his integrity to the issues. He seems to many as if he is willing to say whatever it takes to whatever audience he is in front of.

In the end, Mitt wants to be president more than anyone wants him to be president and he's willing to say whatever it takes to get it done.

For those who don't think religion matters, consider if the candidate were a devout non-believer. Does that make a difference to you?

moniker lewinsky
Taylorsville, UT

The first openly atheist candidate to run for president has my vote. Republican, Democrat, John Birch, whatever. I don't care. It's incredibly difficult for me to respect anybody who insists in the existence of some magical deity without any evidence of proof. I was happy when Obama was elected. But give me an atheist president and then I will say we have progressed as a nation.

moniker lewinsky
Taylorsville, UT

Northern: How exactly do you expect freedom of religion to work independent of freedom from religion? Are you saying that a person is free to choose any religion at all but not free to abstain? The attitude seems to be basically one of: Just choose something. Christian. Jew. Muslim. Whatever. We can all get along if you subscribe to some sort of version of magical thinking. We can have a relationship of tolerance and mutual respect. But if you choose to reject magical thinking altogether, that is intolearable.
Really. I want to know. Since so many people seem gung ho on pointing out how the constitution (supposedly) grants freedom of religion but not from religion. What does that mean to you? It seems that you think the founders have decided that we are going to be a nation that forcedly purports religious ideals and those who disagree can just be politely silently without "ruining" things for everybody else. If you believe this, I suggest you read "The Statute Of Virginia For Religious Freedom" authored by Thomas Jefferson. Freedom of religion and freedom from religion go hand in hand. One cannot exist without the other.

eriskay
WHARTON, NJ

Rocket Science, Reagan took his mother's religion, that being Protestantism. Guess he knew he'd get further being a Protestant, and he did. I don't care what religion a candidate belongs to, as long as they keep it out of our politics. I've had it with the right-wingers of any religion. I don't want your religious biases interfering in government. I don't believe in religion, but that doesn't mean I can't respect those who do. As long as they stay the hell away from religion, while in office.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'Please quit trying to using the gospel of love to try and convert us to your anti-american communistic version of...' - Anti Bush-Obama | 12:37 p.m. Oct. 27, 2011

And this, is one result of religion as well.

Along with the good and helpful things religion promotes, there are many who use it as a weapon. To claim that they're belief is superior to any others...

and that it makes them 'better', than some.

On top of, the questions of Mitt Romney's faith, let's use some other examples.

*'Trump on Obama's Birth Certificate: 'Maybe It Says He's a Muslim' - Fox Nation - 03/30/11

At least people crtiticizing Mitt Romney's faith, are getting the title correct.

*'Rick Perry backer decries Mitt Romney, Mormons' - By Jamshid Ghazi Askar, Deseret News - 10/08/11

"(Robert) Jeffress described Romney's Mormon faith as a 'cult,' and said evangelicals had only one real option in the 2012 primaries. ... Asked by Politico if he believed Romney is a Christian, Jeffress answered: 'No.' "

While I believe Mormonism is based on Christian principles, and a christian faith, at least no one is calling Romney a Muslim.

And even then, it is a devisive claim....

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