I think what some non-religious groups and the current administration want is
not *freedom of religion* but *freedom FROM religion*. They can have *freedom
FROM religion* but not freedom from the consequences of that choice. Although I
most strongly disagree with the desirability of “freedom FROM religion*, I
recognize it as a philosophy that I cannot deny to others. But it is not
literally what the Founding Fathers were talking about.However, I
have a right to VOTE my conscience as much as the next guy. This is not FORCING
my opinion on others. It is democracy. There have always been opposing views
as to what public policy is conducive to societal and individual health and
happiness. I believe my way and you, yours. I think this dichotomy/argument
may always be so. I believe each of us has a right to vote for those principles
that we feel will help society, and I speak forward for your right to do the
same. I suppose we will see at some point in the future who was correct.
This country was built on the bedrock of Judeo-Christian values. That does NOT
mean that anyone forced or pushed these values on everyone else. It DOES mean
that founders, pioneers, and the average citizen, for the most part, acted out
of strong religious beliefs .The first amendment is quite clear.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . " As written, it's a
fairly simple concept. Nowadays there are so many holes, complications, and
restrictions in this simple law/concept that I am convinced government (at least
the current administration) doesn't understand it.
@SLC gal;Likewise, religious interference in the lives of Americans
who don't adhere to certain creeds (Prop-8, Amendment-3 for example) shows
that religion has no respect for the government or the Constitution for that
CI: "You answered that yourself: Yes, Stalin and Mao were atheist
fundamentalists..."That's nonsense. Stalin and Mao were,
first and foremost, totalitarian egomaniacs, exactly as Hitler was. Their
feelings one way or the other about religion was not what made them mass
murderers.Hitler spoke frequently of his religious beliefs. In Mein
Kampf, he made many references to his Catholic upbringing and his belief that he
was doing God's work. What do you think "Gott Mitt Uns" (God With
Us) on all those Nazi belt buckles was supposed to mean?Mao and
Stalin, old-school Communist tyrants, and Hitler, an old-school Fascist, each
recognized that to achieve total control over the masses they had to create de
facto religions around themselves and, like all hard-line religions, they
demanded absolute obedience and did not tolerate dissent.Atheists
welcome dissent, but also expect that for dissent be credible it has to be based
on testable, objective evidence. An untestable, however popular and deeply held,
belief is not a credible dissent.To atheists, objective truth
matters more than feelings, dogma and personality. The same cannot be said for
religion; hence the clash between religion and secular government.
Freedom and RESPECT go hand in hand. The govt. needs to respect the rights of
different churches to honor their beliefs. Likewise the churches need to respect
the govt's right to uphold liberty for all (forcing Catholics to include
birth control in their health plans is a clear sign that respect is lacking on
the govt. side. If employees honestly feel that strongly that their use of birth
control should be covered, why on earth are they working for the Catholic
Church? They're free to choose other employment...)
RE: Ranch,Organized religion isn't part of the problem, it is the
problem?In the summer of 1969, while guarding airplanes at NKP
Thailand, we were told that a missionary supply caravan was going through our
area heading into the mountains to feed Montagnards in Laos..I was amazed,
we were an armed Air Force light infantry and we were under mortar attack but
yet the missionaries proceeded. I heard years later most were (4 ) Catholic nuns
which the Viet Cong hung, after abusing them, They hated roman Catholics.
Actually, Catholics are not being forced to pay for the morning after pills or
contraception. Catholic owned businesses which receive public funds are being
required to offer these things. If Catholic charities don't want to play
by the rules then they shouldn't receive public funds. End of story.
@Counter Intelligence"Actually, that form of reactionary black/white
thinking is the problem"Says someone who is trying to argue that
atheism is a cause of mass slaughters...
"The two greatest murderers of the 20th century were atheist fundamentalists
seeking to eliminate the opium of the masses - Stalin and Mao each killed more
than Hitler"Do you seriously believe that their atrocities were
primarily due to their atheism? You don't think that an oppressive,
authoritarian, obedience-obsessed, dissent-crushing personality cult had
something to do with their atrocities?I would even argue that Stalin
and Mao _were_ religious, and that in each of their cases their religion was a
devotion to the absolute power they demanded for themselves.So when
you think about obedience-obsessed, authoritarian, dissent-crushing personality
cults, do you really think those descriptions apply to atheists more than to
religions?Who is detonating bombs in public markets and demanding
jail terms for the crime of blasphemy - atheists, or religionists?
@John C. C.Actually, John, the problem is that Religion has inserted
itself more and more into our civil life. If religion were to refrain from
trying to legislate the lives of those who don't believe, or follow a
different creed, there'd be far fewer problems over the religious freedom
issue.Religions are creating multi-billion dollar businesses in the
civil arena. Religion itself has become big-business; wasn't it Jesus who
threw the money changers out of the temple? The temples have become the money
changers.There are many religious American Citizens who are being
denied their freedom of religion by the very group out there protesting that
"religion is under attack".Organized religion isn't
part of the problem, it is the problem.
per Counter Intelligence 12:28 p.m. June 26, 2012"It is truly
ironic how the perpetrators of imposing their beliefs onto religion,
passive/aggressively portray themselves as the victims of religion"Its a catch 22 IMO. Specifically, the true believers playing the persecution
card every time there is blow back when they are the aggressor.
One reason government is bound to clash more and more with religious beliefs is
that government is becoming more involved in minor details of our lives. We
must keep government influence limited to the central needs of society and let
local and self government (as in religious self-control) take over much of those
What often gets overlooked by people demanding religiouis 'freedom' is
that religion is personal. It is not an overlay of government. As a result, no
one religion gets to trump another, because freedom for one is freedom for all,
or it's a lie.
Why won't the DN Moderators print my comment pointing out the hypocrisy of
these religious fanatics?They want their own religious freedom but
are doing their best to restrict the religious freedom of others.
The "supression of religion" in the early 20th Century Mexico was a
reaction to almost 400 years of awful, all pervasive religious oppression of
that people by the Spanish and Mexican Catholic Church. Without the
"anti-religon" bend of the Revolution the people of Mexico would still
be living in the Dark Ages. The Christeros were, for the most part, ignorant
peasants terrified into reaction by priests and overlords. This movie is
revisionist history worthy of a Glen Beck.
re: Ultra Bob 8:47 a.m. June 26, 2012"To keep government out of
religion, we must keep religion out of government."Agreed. The
Wall that Jefferson mentioned in his letter to the Danbury Baptists is an apt
analogy.Jefferson's Wall should greatly restrict if not
eliminate "travel" in both directions.
The issue here is whether or not personal religious beliefs can be used to
defend the use of public funding for discriminatory behavior towards others who
don't share in those religious beliefs. That's it. It's not more
complicated than that.Me telling you that your religion does not
give you the right to use public funds to enforce your religion on others is not
persecution.But you think it is because religion just loves a good
More people have been controlled, oppressed, enslaved, and killed in the cause
for religion than against religion. Stories like the Cristero War
possibly happened, but for every story of people suppression of religion, there
would be millions of stories of religion suppression of people. I
believe freedom of belief for individuals is a good thing. I believe churches
should have the freedom to espouse their religion within the minds of people.
I do not believe that churches should have the freedom to ignore,
refuse or break the American civil laws that regulate and establish this nation.
If a church chooses to leave the notion of religion of it’s
leaders and members, and enter the secular world of business, it must follow and
abide the civil laws that regulate and control business operations in the United
States. Ownership and operation of a business by a church is not different than
ownership by any other private means. Religious peace exists only
because we have a strong national government that enforces it. Remove that and
religious wars will exist in America. To keep government out of
religion, we must keep religion out of government.
If the Deseret News editorial staff really cared about religious freedom they
would realize that there is more to the idea that freedom of religion. Properly
understood, religious freedom is the union of three unique concepts: 1) freedom
of religion 2) freedom from religion 3) freedom in religion. However, every
"religious freedom" piece the DesNews offers only focuses on freedom of
religion. If religious freedom were actually important to conservatives they
would realize that they cannot consistently call for their own religious freedom
yet force religious tenants on the non-religious. Somehow this concept gets
termed "appealing to the lowest common denominator" as if their own
position is the only vantage point with any moral relevance. This is both
prideful and hypocritical. If we want to have a national discussion on
religious freedom, then let us do so. What I can't stand is the term being
misused ignorantly as a naive catch phrase.