Comments about ‘In our opinion: Religious liberty is more than freedom of worship’

Return to article »

Published: Sunday, Oct. 7 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
American Fork, UT

Increasingly, giving 'full reign' to Americas' religious groups has meant giving them the green light to break the law with the expectation we ignore it because they are a religious group. No, it's not OK to force someone to marry their uncle or to practice hatred as a community. Religious freedom can only exist in the framework of individual freedom that supercedes it. We must be given our rights as humans before we're given our rights as a mob.

Huntsville, UT

I love hypocrisy.

"Our religious freedom is more than freedom to worship, the Constitution guarantees it...".

"Your Civil rights aren't important and even though the Constitution guarantees, WE don't care."

There are far more scriptural references to hypocrisy in the Bible than pretty much any other sin.

Ogden, UT

The bottom line is very simple. While peope have the Constitutional right to belive and worship as they choose, religions do not have the right to impose their dogma and practices on people. Sadly some religions are trying to do that imposition now (the Catholics' fight against contraception for example). That must not be allowed.

Centerville, UT

Thank you for the well timed article. Your observation that government is overtly trying to nudge aside the efforts of faith based organizations in providing social services within their communities, in exchange for a washington based social service system devoid of freedoms and respect for religious conscience, is a frightening phenomenon that will ultimately limit religious freedom and drive us ever closer to the socialistic, "distribute the wealth" society that our current administration sees to "aspire" to. If they are successful, and I pray they are not, they will remove the incentive for hard working members of society to pursue the "american dream" and replace it instead with a soviet style nightmare.

Salt Lake City, UT

We are allowed to practice our religion in our homes and on the Sabbath, but no other times. Health care workers are increasing forced to sign contracts that they will participate in abortions, sell Plan B medications, perform sex change operations and other actions that may be against their moral beliefs. The U of U forced those in theater to perform and act in productions that were morally offensive. Employers demand Sunday work in non-essential services. Religious liberty involves more than just believing, it involves living ones religion. Freedom of personal religious/non-religious conviction has become structural bias against religion liberty.

Eugene, OR

Oh, please. When the Church showed up in New Orleans after Katrina, did the government turn them away? Perhaps, in an ideal world, religious organizations and private charities would be sufficient to provide all the necessary help, but in this world they aren't. Good government helps to close the gap.

The problem comes when "religious liberty" becomes an excuse to deny rights and discriminate based on nothing more than "because God says so." If you personally dislike gay marriage or abortion, that's your right and you can live your life accordingly. Just don't try to rewrite the law so the rest of us have to obey you.

Mister J

re: Fibonacci

What about those of us who are suspicious of all large organizations (secular or faith based)? Do we have access to the American Dream or is are Pursuit of Happiness denied?

re: KJB1

"Perhaps, in an ideal world, religious organizations and private charities would be sufficient to provide all the necessary help, but in this world they aren't. Good government helps to close the gap."

I could not have said it better. Government should exist to provide the tools/methods to help the disengranchised. Not to unjustly punish the ambitious or raise the whiners up/

*The problem comes when "religious liberty" becomes an excuse to deny rights and discriminate based on nothing more than "because God says so*

True. It reminds me of part of the song Games People Play covered by Tesla and many others.

South Jordan, UT

Really, desnews? Religious freedom is under attack because of health care reform? Let's not confuse religious freedom with religious popularity.

Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

The truth is that if we had a national single payer health system there would be no religious conflict because religious entitys like the Catholic Church wouldn't have any responsibility for paying insurance premiums paying for medical services that their religious dogma opposes. This DN editorial is just another politically motivated "be afraid, be very afraid" of the big bad federal government diatribe. It smacks terribly of right wing conservative Republican bias.

Why am I not surprised?

Alexandria, VA

Religious practice in a House of Worship are totally acceptable - but when religious practices intrude in the public square then Religious Liberty as many would like to define it, is no longer applicable.


You argue the constitution affords the freedom of religions to provide care services, but "an expanding secular state imprudently tries to take on more and more responsibility for health, welfare and education, the demands of state administration are increasingly conflicting with vibrant faith-based ideals."--but along with the freedom of religious practice, Americans are afforded the freedom FROM religious practice. You ignore the ability of secular ideals to be as vibrant as faith-based ones.

Your article is based on the premise that aid by religious organizations are able to provide the best services for their patients based on "institutional conscience," but some religious medical institutions are actively showing an unwillingness to accommodate "personal conscience" by refusing to provide some medical services the patient may feel are in their interest. Contraception, in this case. Secular services provide access to important medical services all Americans deserve the freedom of choice to pursue, without facing motives of religious predominance. But the Obama compromise was an attempt to provide religious institutions their sovereignty.

Your argument is paramount to claiming that that "individual 'religious' freedoms" should trump individual freedoms, regardless of religion. This, too, stands directly in the face of the first amendment.

Bronx, NY

Freedom of religion is very important - and I have no problem with people acting in accordance with their religious beliefs....

I do not, however, believe that my boss should have the right to use my wages and benefits to force his or her religious viewpoint on me -

I do not believe that paying tuition to an institution of higher education gives them the right to dictate my personal life -

I do not believe an employee of a public or private institution should have the right to interfere with my medical care because of their religious beliefs -

I do not believe that an individual who chooses to enter the public realm by opening a business should have the right to force their religious beliefs on society through the denial of services -

And above all, I do not believe that your inability to force me to comply with your religious beliefs is a violation of your religious freedom. I have the same right to religious freedom as you have - you cannot ensure your religious freedom at the violation of mine.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

If a religious organization takes tax dollars or receives similar benefit can they do whatever they want with it, or do they have to follow the same laws that the rest of society has to follow. This seems to be the disconnect in this argument that is routinely put forth by conservatives.

Castle Valley, Utah

The argument for religious liberty always relies on the assumption that religion does no harm. But for all the good we can cite about religious organizations, the fact is that religions do damage all around the world each and every day. They deny children education (biology/evolution), they maim helpless children (circumcision), deny preventative health care (contraception), marginalize entire groups (homosexuals), denigrate women (burqa requirement), and broadly pit us against each other - just to name a few things.

Likewise, religions want us to believe that they are the exclusive bearer and keeper of all good and moral things. Sorry Deseret News, belief in a god is not a requirement for caring for the "sick, caring for the poor, counseling the poor in spirit, educating the rising generation and promoting integrity in society." All of this might be achieved more easily without religion because religion itself is what often prevents these things from happening.


“has excluded religious considerations from important deliberations.”

Religion nearly always has a seat at the table. Religion doesn't just belong to the leaders of religious organizations it belongs to the followers of religious institutions. For example, the head of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Seibelius is a Catholic. The problem is more that religious leaders want to be the only ones occupying the seats at the table. The Obama Administration, seeking to find areas of compromise, has modified its requirements, though not enough to satisfy all Catholic leaders.

Government represents the interests of diverse groups and respecting the principal of equality. In December 2000, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that companies that provided prescription drugs to their employees but didn't provide birth control were in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prevents discrimination on the basis of sex. Catholic hospitals and universities serve and employ non-Catholics.

The Catholic Church is to be commended for the good work they do, administering service to all, not just adherents, as some groups do. But their private-govt. partnerships will require compromise at times.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT


No one is forced to do any thing. People do things according to the perceived consequences of their options. And make their own choice.

No adult American is forced to be an American.

Bountiful, UT

Sometimes religious liberty goes too far. Adults have the right to practice a religion within reason. Parents don't have . the right to irreversibly mutilate their children's bodies. I am referring to forcible female and male circumcision.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If a religious organization owns a commercial business operating in the public square, should it be exempt from civil law that governs the operation of commercial business.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Are religious freedoms more important than personal freedoms?

Should a person be free to do bad things if those things are legal?

the truth
Holladay, UT

It's strange how the extreme left here would deny freedom, liberty and rights to certain individuals and groups and businesses

simply based on what those individuals and groups and businesses may believe.

And then proclaim that is freedom.

The fact is,

There is every right for the religious to express their religion in public square.

The is nothing constitution that limits the people and their religions and their businesses, nor their communities and states.

it is government that must not interfere. or abridge in any way.

That is freedom.

"I may disagree with what you say (or believe, your morals, religion, your ideology, your values, etc,)

but I will defend right to say it (in the public square)"

Does the left believe this or not?

All peoples (and their beliefs, religion creeds, ideologies and their organizations and businesses an so forth)

must be welcomed in the public square.

what you may get or benefit from the government is irrelevant, it is government that is limited not the people.

Freedom means that people and their business may do things that you do not like.

But you have the same freedom as well.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments