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Comments about ‘What is sacred? Respecting the spiritual beliefs and commitments of others’

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Published: Friday, Dec. 2 2011 12:29 p.m. MST

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Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

All these plea's for respect for religion...

what about respect for the lack thereof?

Respect is a two way street. You cannot GET respect BEFORE, you GIVE respect.

I try to respect my Mormon friends. We may believe different things, but we create an atmosphere where we can DISCUSS those differences, and hopefully, both learn and still part ways as...

friends.

Today:

*'Religious lobbying is changing political focus' - By Mercedes White, Deseret News - 11/21/11

'Number of lobbies has grown from 40 to over 200'

I would be hard pressed to say that religion does not have, respect.

Reaction?

*'Gays greatest threat to America, Buttars says' - By Aaron Falk - DSnews - 02/19/09

*'GOP state legislator: Homosexuality worse than terrorism' - By David Ferguson - Talking Points Memo - 09/10/11

*'Debate Crowd Booed Gay Soldier' - By Byron Wolf - ABC News - 09/23/11

Indignation
Insults
and Scorn.

These people do NOT represent my Mormon friends!

But as an outsider, I can do very little to prevent the respect given.

Only those who are part of, inside, can call out and demand respect to be given from THEMSELVES. Set the example, for....

a 2 party discourse of respect.

VocalLocal
Salt Lake, UT

I agree that we should respect each other's right to believe different things. However I also think we should have the willingness to openly discuss differences in beliefs and not act like we are being persecuted when someone offers respectful criticism of those beliefs.

Kami
Bountiful, Utah

"Oh that's nice," her closest friend stammered, then turned quickly away.
"In my church we don't believe in wearing crosses," another friend said flatly.
"If your big brother was shot and killed, would you wear the bullet around your neck?" another girl asked.
By the end of the day, Angela felt embarrassed and alienated.
"I understand that different people believe different things," she said to her parents that night. "But nobody asked me about what I believe, or why the necklace means so much to me. It was like I was supposed to feel bad for wearing something that reminds me of my faith."

Who is teaching these children to treat their friends this way? Is this how Christ would have acted? And when these children grow up they will wonder why "outsiders" don't like their religion ....

aumacoma
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Dang, Pagan, you beat me to it so I'll just tell you a story that happened to me this week. A Catholic friend of mine and I were email debating the Pope's recent hateful comments about homosexuality and I said to him that what the Pope said was a lie and anti-Christ as the Christ that I know of and I said some truthful, albeit unflattering, things about the Pope. He responded by saying that the first sign of anything vile about the Pope, he will delete the email, end of discussion. So apparently it is just fine for the Pope (or any religion that does so) to say vile things about homosexuals and no one should be allowed to respond to that. Religions might say they respect other points of views but some of their actions say otherwise.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

We as Latter-day Saints seem to quick to see the negative side of the cross. I think we need to try to understand why some people have a deep reverence for the cross, and be less quick to attack and speak against its use.

The cross may not be something that we use, but we need to not turn other people using it into an attack on them and their religion.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'Religions might say they respect other points of views but some of their actions say otherwise.' - aumacoma | 2:09 p.m. Dec. 2, 2011

And for those persons, respect might never come.
They use the banner of 'respect' to only foster supporting points of view. Claiming that any differeing points of view are 'dis-respect' that they are not allowing thier 'religious freedom.'

When I point OUT some of the harmful things some say, many claim I 'hate' them. Or, said religion.

Rather than holding them, accountable for their actions.

To me, there IS a difference.

Anything I say? I try VERY hard to BE respectful, about.

Because the ONLY thing we have control over, is ourselves and how we handle, situations.

Not others.

As exampled by:

'I think we (Latter-day Saints) need to try to understand why some people have a deep reverence for the cross, and be less quick to attack and speak against its use.' - John Pack Lambert of Michigan | 2:11 p.m. Dec. 2, 2011

Thank you.

Kami
Bountiful, Utah

@Pagan, I've noticed a trend among some people to use the term "hater" when they feel that anything about the religious organization they are a member of is being challenged. And I can tell you that I have NEVER heard any general authority in the LDS church use that term to describe non-members of the church. Quite to the contrary, the general authorities are constantly reminding us to be tolerant of the beliefs of others (there is obviously a need for these reminders). For me, once someone goes down that road its time to stop trying to have a meaningful discussion as they are already showing unrighteous judgment and will at that point no longer be able to see any logic in the other person's perspective. They somehow seem to think that labelling others as "haters" is some sort of acceptable way to deflect the position of the other person, when in fact most third parties should be able to recognize that the one using the term "hater" is the one using a logical fallacy.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

@ Pagan.. I hope some day you will learn that disagreement does not equal hate! Using that word to describe someone with whom you have a disagreement is simply an effort to redefine and denigrate that person, much like Hitler tried to redefine Jewish persons. The consequences and history speak for themselves! Dangerous ground to tread on calling other people names like, "haters". Please think about it, at least!

Kami
Bountiful, Utah

Mountanman | 5:05 p.m. Dec. 2, 2011
Hayden, ID
@ Pagan.. I hope some day you will learn that disagreement does not equal hate! Using that word to describe someone with whom you have a disagreement is simply an effort to redefine and denigrate that person, much like Hitler tried to redefine Jewish persons. The consequences and history speak for themselves! Dangerous ground to tread on calling other people names like, "haters". Please think about it, at least!

@Mountanman, Thank you and I agree. Oh and if you re-read Pagan's post, he was saying that OTHERS accuse him of hating.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

We need to bring the level of public discourse away from what is sacred. Let's focus on what's important. What's common. What's necessary. None of those things are, collectively, religion.

Lasvegaspam
Henderson, NV

Hutterite, to people who are believers in God and in his purposes for our lives, I can assure you that religion already tops the important list for them. For folks like you for whom it does not what is your problem with respecting others priorities; especially since we believers are in the majority in the USA?

J.M.
Lehi, UT

I didn't read the entire article yet, but wanted to say that the story of Angela is a sad one. As a Utah Mormon I'd like to apologize. I'm one LDS who is disappointed that we don't use the cross more (of course we know what some would say about that!!) and I think all LDS should rejoice in seeing someone wearing one to school (maybe even if it's Madonna etc).

My oldest daughter (preteen)came to me a few weeks ago and asked if I knew my shirt had a cross on it.... (perhaps she didn't notice the skull or?? : )) I explained that I did know and that the cross was not only a symbol of the tree of knowledge and death, but also of life (to pagans and Christians). I'm guessing that her ideas came from people asking why LDS don't use crosses, or accusing us of not being Christian because they aren't on our Churches, and then Primary teachers etc explain that we celebrate the living Christ, but perhaps they explain this in the wrong way... I don't know.... but it's one of those things that make me cringe a little...

DonO
Draper, UT

I am personally pleased with the tenor of the responses to this article. Understanding and respect, not mere tolerance, will further peace and brotherhood/sisterhood in this tumultuous world. Narrow-mindedness, a trait that far too many possess, foments meaningless labels ("hater", "cult", etc.), childish name-calling and worse.

As the lyrics to the old song say, "Let there be peace...and let it begin with me."

cymrul
West Valley City, UT

I've had hateful things said to me by members of the LDS faith while I was still an active temple going member. There is NO room for individuality in the LDS faith. You have to conform in EVERY way or you are setting yourself up as a target. The best thing I ever did was leave it.

sharrona
layton, UT

Re: JM said, and then Primary teachers etc explain that we celebrate the living Christ, but perhaps they explain this in the wrong way... I don't know.... but it's one of those things that make me cringe a little...

Theology of the Cross. The cross is the center of the Christian faith. The haunting image of the crucified Christ is the crucible in which are thinking about God is forged. Martin Luther expresses the centrally of the cross in a series statements such as The cross alone is our theology. The cross puts everything to the test,Luther draws a now famous distinction between the theology of glory who seeks God apart from Jesus Christ and the theologian of the cross ,who know God is revealed in and through the cross.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.(1cor 1:18)

Serenity
Manti, UT

@Sharrona, "Theology of the Cross. The cross is the center of the Christian faith. The haunting image of the crucified Christ is the crucible in which are thinking about God is forged."

I respect Martin Luther. He was a brave man who faced the powerful church which had gone very much astray at the time. But, excuse my LDS way of thinking, isn't Christ the center of Christian faith?

The Romans crucified our Savior, which was the eternal plan for Him to die and overcome death and sin. But a cross itself is an instrument of torture and the killing of criminals by a slow, torturous death. Thousands of people were put to death by crucifixion. Each was a gory, extremely painful death. Why should we remember our Savior by this unspeakably cruel death and have that etched into our minds?

I would rather know my Savior as the resurrected Christ, the same Christ who now dwells with His Father in the eternal worlds, the same Christ who loves us individually and cares deeply for us. It is because of Him we are saved, and only through Him can we have eternal life and salvation.

Kevin
Surrey, BC

to:cymrul | 9:25 a.m. Dec. 3, 2011

I feel sorrow that your time as an LDS member was not a better experience. I have been a member for over 40 years and I have not felt the "conformity" pressure as you might have. Free Agency is a wonderful principle and Christ never forced anyone to do anything. However, that does not mean there are not natural consequences for personal choices. Yes, I wear a suit, white shirt, modest tie etc every Sunday, not because that is what is generally expect, but because I feel good doing it. We have ward members wear all sorts of clothes to church and come from all sorts of backgrounds but they are welcome and not "judged" out of activity.

Of course there are more expectations and standards with more responsibility. For example, the bishop cannot show up to church with green punk hair and a nose ring wearing ripped blue jeans. In the LDS church Christ sets the standards and we choose to follow them or not. That does not mean all extremes will be tolerated.

HappyLDSUte
PROVO, UT

@Serenity
I was thinking the same thing. To add on that, 1 Cor. 1:18 must be looked at a little deeper, I think. It's not saying- "For the message of the CROSS is foolishness to those..." Rather, it's- "For the MESSAGE of the cross..." Not the cross itself. That message could be symbolized by the cross, but I think a better way to symbolize that message is how we act towards others. I do respect the decision of my fellow Christians to wear the cross, because I believe it is not an inherently bad thing. I personally don't wear one, because I believe the Lord has asked me to outwardly express my faith through another way-
"34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall ALL MEN KNOW that ye are MY DISCIPLES, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:34-35)
In the end if you're a LDS Christian, Historical Christian, Catholic, or anything else, you can either believe in those words, or say that your own religion asks you to do similarly.

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

Hey Kev,
Try living here in Utah for awhile, and then we can talk about it. Everyone knows things are very different outside of this state. "LDS Church lady" is a different breed here.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@serenity

A lot of churches use the empty cross which is a symbol of his ressurection. The crucifix is more of a symbol of his sacrifice for our sins.

@HappyLDSUte
"Not the cross itself. That message could be symbolized by the cross, but I think a better way to symbolize that message is how we act towards others. I do respect the decision of my fellow Christians to wear the cross, because I believe it is not an inherently bad thing. I personally don't wear one, because I believe the Lord has asked me to outwardly express my faith through another way"

This isn't a perfect comparison because they aren't outward, but to a lot of people wearing the cross is similar to how the LDS treat wearing the garment.

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