Comments about ‘Religious tensions play out in inauguration’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 21 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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raybies
Layton, UT

Who teaches honesty?

I know government punishes the liar, but the lesson there is "Don't get caught."

We're creating a nation of thieves and liars if we don't at least admit that many virtues require supernatural faith to expect most to adhere to it.

What motives does a man have to be kind, or share his wealth with the downtroddden?

Government takes a man's means, but there's no charity in it, because of compulsion. Yet, in this country millions give billions every year of their own free will to causes that matter motivated solely due to good will.

Who will teach good?

Government teaches what is popular, what is acceptable by consensus, but good comes by inspiration not committees. Good requires sacrifice and fortitude of spirit, and compassion in the face of incomplete understanding.

Justice? Patience? Mercy? Faith? Hope? Grace? Kindness? Service? Holiness? Decency? Self-discipline? Tolerance? Morality and so forth? All require a nod toward the Divine--toward a desire that reaches beyond.

(Isaiah 5:13) Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst

Bob A. Bohey
Marlborough, MA

Much ado about nothing IMVHO.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

As a direct rebuttal against the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, newly elected President Thomas Jefferson reminded the country what I remind everyone today:

"And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions.

"But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We are all Republicans. We are all [Democrats]. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it."

The only danger to American freedom is the abandonment of reason, for then error of opinion runs amok and we return to the dark and bloody days when religiously-appointed and sustained tyrants ruled the earth.

Incite Full
Layton, UT

So gays, now that you are free of oppression, and have power, what will you do with it?

non believer
PARK CITY, UT

To SS

Oh how wrong you are that America was built on Christian values

"The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..." Our founding Fathers 1797!

It is amazing how misinformed so many of our citizens truly are!

RedWings
CLEARFIELD, UT

To explain my comment from yesterday:

Government is in my religion when they establish a protected class and then punish a church for not supporting that class. Gay marriage laws have turned homosexuality into a protected status, then states threaten to remove tax-exempt status or punish individuals for running their business by their Christian values.

The Bible is clear that homosexuality is sin. Believing the Bible does not make me a bigot. It is telling that the Bible never changes, but society does.

I have gay friends. Sexual preference is not a determining factor in our friendships. We just don't talk about it. We are all Children of God, and He loves us all the same. Even those who deny His existence.

This whole problem goes away if government sanctions civil unions, and churches perform marriages. That is probably too easy a solution for a society that just wants to argue.

And BTW - I voted for Obama. The threat of seeing the poor die in the streets under a Pres Romney was more scary to me than a president who supports gay marriage.

We CAN all get along, it just takes a little work.....

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@RedWings – “The Bible is clear that homosexuality is sin.”

I liked most of what you wrote… it sounded thoughtful and reasonable and not at all like much of the knee jerk hate speech we so often see on this topic.

But I would ask that you reflect on what you wrote above. I think you’ll find that where the Bible condemns homosexuality is also in the same book that condemns a laundry list of actions that no one today believes raises any moral dilemma (e.g., eating shell fish or wearing certain cloth).

And this is also the same book that requires you to stone people for all sorts of offenses – working on Sunday, being a non-virgin on your wedding night, worshipping other Gods (sorry Hindus).

So the question is, why are some religious folks today focusing solely on this one issue when they have clearly (and rightly) discarded most of the other directions found in books like Leviticus and Deuteronomy?

Rural sport fan
DUCHESNE, UT

no fit...most people in Utah probably think a man can pray anywhere he is at, that it does NOT require a special person to do it for them, and God that will hear them regardless.

Oddly enough, in the predominant Utah religion, lay people are saying the prayers and running things on a daily basis. I am not certain anyone in Utah, that belongs to that church, is upset with a lay person giving the prayer at the inauguration. If they are, they probably need to reconsider their position, and simply be thankful a prayer was said, at all.

Those that think Obama is not a socialist need to learn what socialism is...because he is absolutely doing things in a socialist way. And I doubt that Obama loves this country, if he did, he wouldn't be consistently doing things that divide us. His wife is on record saying quite the opposite of herself, as well. I think Obama loves power, as do far too many politicians, and that leads to doing things that benefit the people you owe, instead of benefiting the country.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The purpose of religion is to enslave the minds of men. The reason for religion is to control the efforts and wealth of people by playing on the most primary drive of all life, the drive to survive. The fear of death is the greatest and most universal weakness of all human beings and it provides the avenue to get inside a persons head.

Religion is good, it gives a person the calm determination to do good. But beyond the individual religion has a terrible reputation. In all of history there is little to show the good that religion has done for civilization and the general welfare of people, but there are mountains of evidence of the harm.

The actions of religions betray their true nature. If they were truly the voice of God and had a path to everlasting life they would have no need to advertise and thrust their cause in our faces. Yet they do so with their public displays of jewelry, clothing, mannerisms, buildings and insistence that others follow their lead.

It is their great power that we must fear and prevent them from taking over the government.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

I think Lennay Kekau should have given the prayer. That would have solved the problem.

RedWings
CLEARFIELD, UT

Tyler D:

Thanks you for your comment.

First, there are many New Testament scriptures which condemn homosexuality: Romans 1:27, 1 Cor 6:9, 1 Tim 1:10, Jude 1:7. I believe that the power of procreation are meant only to be used by one man and one woman in the bonds of marriage.

That said, I understand that others do not share my belief. We all have our Agency, or freed to choose our actions. For me to restrict that in others is to go against God. Christ loved the sinners but hated the sin. As His follower, I should be expected to do no less.

I have no animosity toward anyone for their choices. I do not fear gay people; I have had many friends and associates that are gay. I do not love them less because of this. And I am not saying that homosexuality is a "choice".

However, I cannot say I follow Jesus if I do not have the integrity to try to follow His commandments and doctrines.....

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@RedWings

Again, thoughtful comments…

My point was simply that if one takes the entire Bible as the literal word of God (vs. the writings of Bronze Age men doing their best in their own time & culture) and is going to follow it to the letter, it would be very easy to slip into hypocrisy if one were to pick and choose which directions apply to our world today and which do not.

And if you’re not going to pick & choose, wouldn’t that require that you do not eat shell fish, do not wear blended fabrics, and stone your neighbor when you see him mowing his lawn on Sunday (at the very least glare at him menacingly)?

Perhaps the answer lies in what Paul said – “the letter kills but the Spirit gives life.” And perhaps we should be mindful that the folks Jesus consistently called out were the hypocrites and the ones following the letter of the law without love in their hearts.

But it sounds like you know this already and so I applaud you for it… best to you.

Free Agency
Salt Lake City, UT

@RedWings

"Government is in my religion when they establish a protected class and then punish a church for not supporting that class."

Could you be more specific on that? How in any way is the government threatening to punish a church for not supporting gays?

Do you mean that, if churches get involved in trying to defeat gay rights legislation, they're threatened with losing their tax-exempt status? But that would only be fair, since gays pay taxes and churches don't.

Do you mean the constantly-claimed threat by churches that the government will force them to perform gay marriages, even if that goes against those churches' beliefs?

It's been specified in every piece of gay marriage legislation that I'm aware of, that any church which can't accept gay marriage will be exempt from performing them.

Why, anyway, would gays want to celebrate their love in a church which condemns that love? Maybe a few ultra-activists would demand that "on principle," but I doubt it could ever be implemented.

So could you please tell us how government is trying to get your church to support gays?

RedWings
CLEARFIELD, UT

Tyler - Thank you again for your comments. I am enjoying our conversation.

My understanding on the Old Testament requirements is that they were part of the Law of Moses and specifically for the Israelites. That Law was fulfilled with the sacrifice by Jesus on the cross. Now there is a new covenant. Since more recent scripture speaks of homosexuality as sin, as do the modern-day prophets of my church, I follow those teachings.

We are absolutely on the same page when it comes to the "letter" of the law. There is hypocrisy everywhere, and it is the one thing Jesus spoke most forcefully about. As his follower, I should strive to do the same. I hope my comments convey that feeling. I am sure some members of my church would think I am condemned because I vote Democratic and do not unquestioningly follow a certain talk-show host (Mr Beck specifically).

Thanks again for you comments....all the best to you as well.

donn
layton, UT

RE: Tyler D, The Bible condemns homosexuality is also in the same book that condemns a laundry list of actions that no one today believes raises any moral dilemma (e.g., eating shell fish or wearing certain cloth?
The O. T. requirements is that they were part of the Law of Moses and specifically for the Israelites. That Law was fulfilled with the sacrifice by Jesus on the cross The ceremonial was fulfilled .
But not the Moral Law: The moral laws, , relate to justice and judgment and are often translated as "ordinances." And are to be based on God's holy nature. As such, the ordinances are holy, just, and unchanging. Their purpose is to promote the welfare of those who obey. The value of the laws is considered obvious by reason and common sense. The moral law encompasses regulations on justice, respect, and sexual conduct, and includes the Ten Commandments. It also includes penalties for failure to obey the ordinances. Moral law does not point people to Christ; it merely illuminates the fallen state of all mankind.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@donn

To my ear, those sound like equivocations handed down by bookish theologians.

Regarding the Old Testament I only heard snippets growing up, but when I read it as an adult I was honestly horrified at the level of barbarism. I saw only glimpses of the God Jesus talked about… instead Yahweh struck me as a vain, jealous, wrathful tribal god who sanctioned rape, killing, slavery and a whole host of other cruelties.

It’s interesting to me that large segments of early Christians (e.g., Marcion, Gnostics, etc…) wanted to jettison the OT altogether. I wonder if Christianity would be better served had that decision been made.

At the very least we would not be forced to do the mental gymnastics necessary to reconcile the tribal god Yahweh to the universal God of brotherly love.

donn
layton, UT

Tyler D, the mental gymnastics necessary to reconcile the tribal god Yahweh to the universal God of brotherly (philia)love.
The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love(*agape ,not eros love) your neighbor as yourself.” *Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore *love is the fulfillment of the law.(Romans 13: 9-10)

When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn't he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? God has every right to exercise his judgment and his power, but he also has the right to be very patient with those who are the objects of his judgment and are fit only for destruction..(Romans (9:21-22 NLT).

The seven feasts in Lev 23 that were given to Israel: Significance 1. Seasonal 2. Memorial of God’s dealing with the Herews. 3. Prophetic symbolism of God , all fulfilled in Christ, Passover, Yom Kippur.

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