Comments about ‘Religious lobbying is changing political focus’

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Number of lobbies has grown from 40 to over 200

Published: Monday, Nov. 21 2011 11:22 p.m. MST

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ClarkKent
Bountiful, Utah

I think that for the most part, people who support religions affecting politics are in support because they want the religion they are affiliated with to have the right to continue "as is". However, if those individuals were to be in a situation where another religion that is polar opposite finds a great deal of funding and becomes a powerful lobbyist, I think you will see a whole new perspective on whether or not religions should have a voice in politics.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

J-TX says:
"So here is the solution: Outlaw lobbying on capitol hill. All lobbying. Big Oil, Religion, ACLU, Teachers' Unions, AMA, Banking, PETA, All Lobbying. It's just one more step we need to take to take back our country. Let individual citizens call, write and email, so Congress knows what we really want and need."

---

That is actually a good idea. You do have them every once in a while.

Mike in Texas says:
"... or maybe it's just a marriage of cynical political convenience."

---
Tee hee hee. Per a variety of changes to various state constitutions re-defining the word "marriage", you can no longer call such a union "marriage". ;}

@Hawkeye79 & The Skeptical Chymist;

The problem is that laws favoring beliefs of a specific religion automatically infringe on the freedom of religion of other religions with different beliefs.

very concerned
Sandy, UT

UltraBob states: States, businesses, religions, and unions of all sorts, combine their members strength to seek special privileges and concessions from the government to enhance their ability to enslave and rob the general population. In this way religious organizations are no different from other commercial businesses. All are anti-democracy and anti-people.

I strongly disagree. That is quite a cynical, negative assertion, that religions are out to enslave and rob the general population. Most religions espouse healthy, positive conduct that leads to peace among people.

Judeo-Christian values have been the mainstay of our nation and it's laws and have facilitated the growth of the greatest nation in history. The ultimate form of influence is the vote, at least in this country. Whether it be a group, organization, or individual, trying to influence the government according to one's own conscience IS one of those inviolable rights protected by the constitution.

However, I will agree that some lobbies have overstepped their bounds and are scary given their financial power and influence. But that is not a good enough reason to outlaw lobbying. It is, however, a good enough reason to regulate it.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

...and our political discourse has never been more fractious. Punt the church out of the legislature.

xscribe
Colorado Springs, CO

Yes, let's mandate the US as a Christian nation! While we're at it, let's mandate which religion we "have" to choose also. And then let's ship the nonbelievers out of here along with the illegal aliens!

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'Religiuous lobbying is changing political focus' - Title

while previously:

*'Bishops say government eroding religious liberty' - By Rachel Zoll - AP - Published by DSNews - 11/14/11

The claims of this BISHOP (religious office) that religious liberty is 'under threat' is now so abusurd it goes beyond humor and should not be...

pittyed.

When we see, example, after example of people using thier RELIGION...as a weapon.

Jazz Cop
San Francisco, CA

unless u have the power to make lions cow at your feet, and can throw on a robe and walk through fire; anyone who would complain about religion lobbying as a diversion to equality in social policy is really saying that the diversity they hold as ideal turns out to be the exclusion and approbation of the historical value of christianity and the role it had in the foundation of our counrty, and the formation of it's values, which were 'at least' christian, as much as they were ethical.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

RanchHand,

I am by no means Rich. I could use more money right now. However, I have willingly given money to my religion why? Because I wanted them to spend it on helping others. Whether that's through a lobbyist or not is irrelevant. Whether you agree on what defines 'helping' is irrelevant.

What is relevant is that I am a free citizen of a free country and I freely chose to endorse what I want to with what is mine.

So aside from being well within my rights to do so, I argue that how I spend my money is not subject to the criticism of others. That what belongs to me is spent best HOW I see fit. So while you may think it would be better spent elsewhere. I got news for you. No one ever listens to how their neighbor thinks they should spend their money. We listen to how WE believe our resources are best focused. That is our right, and criticism of our choices produces nothing. One could argue that you or I on this board could spend our time better also, by helping those in need. Yet we're still on here. Interesting thought.

lds4gaymarriage
Salt Lake City, UT

The 1st Amendment allows all to petition government so lobbying is a constitutional right for all. Religions are no different than the NAACP or NRA in wanting to shape society so there is no way to stop religions from lobbying government nor should there be. They have a right to petition government.

Christianity isnt under attack. Its just no longer granted special privileges. No prayer in school or Bible reading. This isnt an attack, but simply avoiding government promotion of religion. If schools try to teach about Islam or other beliefs while denying Christianity equal treatment, they need to be stopped.

Being a Libertarian, I believe that laws should only be instituted to punish actions that objectively harm to person, property or rights of another. Laws involving other actions that dont objectively harm others should be eschewed even though religious groups often promote them. Such laws often involve vice (gambling, prostitution, shopping on Sunday, etc). Vice is not crime. It may be a sin per ones SUBJECTIVE morals, but not crime.

Christian religions must also obey 1 Cor. 10:29 which condemns using subjective morality to justify outlawing the rights of others.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Wayne Rout
"Liberal Democrats have nothing but contempt for religious people."

I'm pretty sure the majority of liberal democrats are religious.

"If you are a Christian in this country, you have almost no rights."

As a Christian myself I find this notion silly.

"I have to say, as someone who is not Christian, its hard for me to believe Christians are a persecuted people in America. God-willing, maybe one of you one day will even rise up and get to be president of this country - or maybe forty-four in a row. But, thats my point, is theyve taken this idea of no establishment as persecution, because they feel entitled, not to equal status, but to greater status."
Jon Stewart to Mike Huckabee on The Daily Show

JRJ
Pocatello, ID

So MIke in Texas: If the religious right has hijacked the Republican party, does that mean the atheistic left has hijacked the Democrat Party? Gotta be fair. Perhaps the lobbying should just disappear. Whoops, that would put another 'loophole' in things as all lobbying would then go farther underground and larger pieces of pie would be at stake. I think we're talking about a desire to have people of all faiths, political parties and other interests just be... wait for it....honest? Frankly, I think the majority of the country doesn't care a fig about anyone else. It's all me, me, me.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

@VoR:

Interesting thought indeed.

I don't have an issue with you donating to your church or even how your church uses those funds (though Christianity is supposedly about helping the poor and needy; actions/words, my friend).

I do have a problem when religions lobby for laws that INFRINGE ON THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS. Be they other religions, other citizens, other groups, whatnot.

When one religion gets a law enacted that restricts another religion's practices, that infringement violates the 1st Amendment. Anti-abortion, anti-glbt, anti-muslim, pro-SchoolPrayer laws violate the freedom of the individual AND other religions.

The first amendment does NOT grant religions the right to infringe on ANY other rights. The only right granted is the right to PRACTICE your religion in your own home and church w/o government interference. Yes, you can discuss it in public, but you may NOT force others to adhere to it. All this lobbying is intended to force their own version of morality or whatever into law. That is wrong.

Mike in Texas
Cedar City, Utah

JRJ

Well, I haven't heard of many Democrats attending conventions of atheists, or having atheists publicly support Democrats in their office seeking. Have you?

I have however, listed to Falwell, Roberts, and many other conservative preachers like the anti Mormon one from Dallas who supports Perry. And, there are other conservative religious groups that do not directly endorse one party over the other (perhaps concerned about the potential for tax consequences) but their membership still knows how to vote for the party. candidate, or issue they prefer.

ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington

Ms Molli,

While I appreciate you point of view, I am frustrated with the numberless people who feel that the LDS church in particular has weaseled their way in too much into the affairs of Utah. In 1847, the Salt Lake Basin was a wasteland, nothing would grow there - and no one wanted it. The westward migration was headed for the green and gold laden valleys of Oregon and California.

The Mormon people set down stakes in the Salt Lake Valley and converted it into a near garden spot, and now, all of a sudden, they considered to be meddling in the affairs of the area. My ancestors and those of many other people, paid a heavy price for their faith in building a home in a desolate wilderness, forgive us if what happens in the valley still matters very much to us.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

RanchHand,

"I do have a problem when religions lobby for laws that INFRINGE ON THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS."

Wow, I mean really- what statement could be more anti-democratic and against freedom than that?

You have a problem with my promoting my beliefs? But you said that it's only when I promote infringing rights... because, well... we ALL agree on what rights are now don't we? Even if we actually did, how much do we agree on how rights are best preserved and protected?

But no, by all means. If I lobby my OPINION vs your OPINION, you have a problem with it.

I'm sorry RanchHand, but that is self-evidently a hostile political stance. If you have a problem with my opinion, fine. I welcome that opinion. But if you have a problem with me lobbying, speaking out, or debating to support that opinion... then I would ask- why do you live in a democracy? Having a problem with an opinion is one thing. Having a problem with that opinion being successful in a democracy, is most certainly a destructive stance.

By all means, liberals understand rights. Because the conservative half of America is OBVIOUSLY wrong.

Really?

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Wayne Rout | 9:37 a.m. Nov. 22, 2011
El Paso, TX

Religious people have nothing but contempt for non-religious people. It is caused by their fear of being found out as preaching a false dogma. If you could find one shred of actual evidence of any of your gospel, we might consider changing our minds.

The only reason you have any religious freedom is because we have a government not associated and controlled by a particular religion. If the religion forces take over our government there will be no religious freedom and little personal freedom in America, like so many other nations in the world.

As a personal exercise, try to find one religious freedom that was lost in the history of America that did not provide a greater amount of freedom of religion in return.

Real Americans would like for every one to share the burden of freedom in America. Many of us resent the forced contribution to churches other than our own.

LDSareChristians
Anchorage, AK

IMAN posted: Simple solution. Pump money into lobbying and politics, lose tax exempt status.

Yeh, if YOU pump money into the same, you should lose your tax deductions.

LDSareChristians
Anchorage, AK

RanchHand posted: Do you really think God wants a PAC when all he really needs to do is wiggle his nose?

God is capable, but he won't, because of a higher principal called free agency.

LDSareChristians
Anchorage, AK

From the list at the PEW website, There is only one LDS lobbyist group.

Mission Statement

To build relationships with people in the public sphere whose influence and actions are relevant to the mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

m.g. scott
LAYTON, UT

Many of you (mostly on the left of course) seem to forget that in the same first amendment that provides for Congress staying out of religion by passing no laws respecting religion it also gives people (individules) the right to assemble(lobby as a group) and petititon government (lobbying). For what many of you want to happen you might as well be saying "throw out the whole first amendmen."

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