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Elder Oaks describes threats, says church members must step up

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 14 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Oh, come on

Corporate Religion is bringing this one up again?

No one's threatening your right to exercise your religion. What many people are against, however, are members of one religion PUSHING your religion on others.

We don't care if you are Scientologist, Moonies, Muslim, Buddhists, Catholics, LDS, Baptists, Methodists. Keep it to yourself unless we ask!

Let's make a deal:
You have the freedom to practice your religion.
We have the freedom to avoid your religion.
Don't forget that we're taxpayers and citizens, too.

oh no

i know what you mean everytime i am in class with these guys...they give a narrow look of kill the messenger ..whenever i call them what they are!! hypocrits!!

Joe Moe

Watch for two things now:

1) People to blatantly defy the counsel he just offered: "Be wise in one's political participation, including the framing of arguments and positions in respectful ways."

2) People on both sides of this debate to offer knee-jerk reactions. This message, given by a respected scholar of law and a current world-wide religious leader, defies quick analysis by either someone in agreement or someone in opposition.

observing

I may not quote this correctly, but it has been said that the only thing that needs to happen for evil men (and/or women) to take over is for good men (and/or women) to not stand up for what they believe. Democracy only works if it works for EVERYONE and that certainly should include those of us who believe in God and sustain, uphold and live His commandments. Elder Oaks is our modern day Moroni, and we can listen to him and follow him, or we can repeat the history of those who fought against God in the Book of Mormon.

Anonymous

Methinks this is a preface to forthcoming verdict by investigative authorities into LDS illegal political activities in California.

Agreed, but

I agree with this, but its not religious freedom that is dying but religion itself. And I, for one, am glad. Because of religion, througout history, there has been more death, war, torture, hate, intolerence, racism, elitism, and hurt than any other single reason. The world and society will be so much happer and better when the human race rises above the need to answer every unanwerable question, find morality within themselves, and abandon the human scourge and addiction named religion. I think we are starting on that path.

Learn from our mistakes

I would say today's backlash against "Christians" in this country began with the infusing of religion and politics via the Moral Majority in the early 1980's. Nothing turns people away from religion faster that the judgmentalism and "holier than thou" we've seen associated with the religious right movement in their quest for power.

The pro-Prop 8 was negative, fear-mongering and in some instances less than truthful/accurate. Not to say that the anti-Prop 8 played it better. But, as an LDS person I expect higher standards for churches who claim the moral high ground. How one fights is as important as what one fights for. I was really disappointed and knew our church would pay a price for being associated with such a campaign.

Anonymous

What about tax-free religious organizations that participateg in political activities? Not everyone in this nation is a christian. To impose christian beliefs upon non-christians could also be considered a form of attack.

Levi

Keep it coming! Love this!

Memitt

It is not the freedom of religion that is under attack, it is the validity of religion that is being questioned. In today's world of improved communications and learning the false preachers can no longer so easily pull the wool over the innocents eyes and make a handsome living amd social position doing it. People are smarter today and they will be much smarter tomorrow, God be willing.

Whoa

What a convoluted and disturbing manifesto of bigotry. He manages to attack gays, atheists, and - well - anyone non-Christian all while rambling about our "Christian Constitution." And, of course, since there's only one true church ... um, okay, I don't know how to deal with that bit of irony. I'll grant him his freedom of speech and religion, and then I'll call it what it is: CREEPY.

freedom FROM religion

so he wants full religious freedom, but other freedoms should suffer if they are not in accordance with his church's views?

he states "Christian principles of human worth and dignity made possible the Constitution's formation more than 200 years ago, and only those principles in the hearts of a majority of a diverse American population can sustain the Constitution today".

It is safe to say that this person, and his church, want laws based on the bible and BOM.

He also states "we cannot lose the influence of Christianity in the public square without seriously jeopardizing our freedoms".

for some reason, he believes that christianity is the answer. It is not christianity that provides freedom. it is that we can all follow our own paths. yet this man would have us all become christians, and have laws based on his idea of christianity.

he complains about "the intimidation of those with religious-based views from influencing or making state or federal laws" but that is because he wants the laws to be based on his religion!!

Freedom of religion is also freedom FROM religion. Once he understands that, we can have an actual discussion...

Well said Elder Oaks!

Gotta love this man! Not only a righteous man chosen to be an Apostle, but one well versed in law who can explain how religion and public policy can and should coexist. I had never thought of some of his points, and yet they are so clear. Well said!

Thank you

Great words from a great legal mind. Thanks.

I_get_it_now

I remember reading in the Bible that there would be many false prophets, and to believe in the one and only true Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Savior of Man, Son of God, who died so that I may live. I used to get upset over LDS using my Lord and Savior's name in their "religion", however now that I've remembered this fact, it no longer bothers me. Their "christian" values belong to another "christ" - not Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Whew. Glad I got THAT one figured out!

I agree

freedom of religion and speech go hand in hand and if you want to fight for gays to have the ability to marry you need to still be tolerant of others opinions as well, even if they are different. Any rejection of that is lowering the power of the freedom of speech that would get you that very goal.

Thick with irony

This article reads like a bad joke. Where is the acknowledgment that by saying the United States must be run by Christian principles, that atheists should stop speaking out about their beliefs, etc. etc., Elder Oaks is limiting his view of religious freedom to "the freedom to practice Judeo-Christian religion in the way I interpret to be correct"?

As to Prop 8, legalizing CIVIL recognition of gay marriage does not and would not require any religion to recognize it from a doctrinal standpoint (just as civil recognition of a marriage performed in a courthouse, cathedral or mosque does not require the LDS church to recognize it as being on par with a Temple marriage). However, giving state recognition to certain religiously performed marriages (i.e., a Temple marriage) while ignoring religiously performed marriages (i.e., an Episcopal same-sex marriage) *does* constitute government giving one religious tradition more freedom than another.

Anonymous

It's true. There is growing hostility and intimidation. I've felt it both in public and private conversations. Religion is being pushed out by many and they think they are doing society a favor.

Morality has long been rooted in religion, the absence of religion will only increase the relative-morality that is ultimately a trend downward. It means more divorce, more children born out of wedlock, more troubled teens, more drug and alcohol abuse, more violence and crime. This is the trend and to say otherwise is dishonesty.

Molli

He is concerned about laws "prohibiting discrimination in employment circumstances against people with unpopular religious beliefs or practices"?

What in the world???? I'm a member of the church and the above statement makes me sick to my stomach. In other words, LDS employers in Utah ought to be able to continue to get away with giving preferential treatment to LDS members in their hiring and promoting practices!! I've seen enough of this. And now give them an excuse ... oh we are just trying to surround ourselves with people who don't have "unpopular" religious beliefs!

One of the principles this nation was founded on was to be able to enjoy ALL of the benefits of citizenship no matter what one's religious belief is. Now Elder Oaks seems to be saying that we should have the right to step away from this principle and discriminate as an employer based on religious beliefs? Did I read this wrong?

otis

"Oh, come on" - you have never believed in something that you didn't tell someone else about it, then???

Taking your stance, no business anywhere would ever succeed.

And if your ideology had been applied to Christianity in the early days, just look at all the good that would never have happened.

How about you just learn to politely say you're not interested? No one's forcing anything on you, but they have every right to be telling people what they believe.

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