Comments about ‘In our opinion: Court should stand up for religion in public square’

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Published: Tuesday, Oct. 8 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"The town's policy allows anyone who asks to give a prayer to be accommodated."

If by "accommodated", they mean, treated just like every other request to give a prayer"
and if the "town's policy" is actually followed, then I see no issue at all.

Ranch
Here, UT

Sorry, but public meetings are secular, not religious. They shouldn't be starting with a prayer. If you must pray about the meeting, do it at home before you go.

gmlewis
Houston, TX

I'll bet all of those prayers were offered in English. The opponents might as well sue that other languages be accommodated.

I thought the article was wise in comparing listening to prayers with listening to council members that you don't happen to agree with. Tolerance of "the different" is a virtue.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

"This case gives the court an opportunity to resoundingly reaffirm religion's place in the public square, something sorely needed.". Sorely needed? God needs you to openly display your loyalty before she will grant your wishes/prayers? Or God has such a short attention span that it needs you to pray every half hour or so to remember what you're asking for?

I'm actually not being snarky, I really don't understand it. Listen to the prayers offered in public. Really, and I mean seriously, how often do you need to ask God to bless you with wisdom and the ability to do what is right before it's just your responsibility?

a bit of reality
Shawnee Mission, KS

The irony to this is that Jesus didn't stand up for praying in public--he said people who do so already get their of appearing pious--true prayer should happen in the closet.

Counter Intelligence
Salt Lake City, UT

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and religion; those who think that one does not apply to the other, are a threat to basic human rights.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Rights accrue to individuals first and foremost. Religion, on the other hand, is often contrary to individual rights. It needs to be curtailed.

Maudine
SLC, UT

All religions should be equally welcome in the public square - or equally unwelcome.

Many comments on stories in this paper have shown that there are those who think the only religion that should be accepted in the public square is Christianity.

A Legislator who offered a secular/atheist prayer in Arizona was deeply criticized and several religious individuals decided it didn't count as a prayer and had a do-over the next day.

As long as some groups are marginalized, there will be controversy over prayers.

Of course, I really liked the comment in the story about listening as others pray. Anyone who has attended the opening session of the Legislature in Utah knows the Legislators are too busy shaking hands and making deals to listen to the prayer.

Contrariuserer
mid-state, TN

Can you just imagine if somebody dared to offer a Muslim prayer before one of these meetings? There would be huge outcries about terrorists and Sharia law.

"Freedom of religion" only applies if you're a conservative Christian.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

Curious if this would the opinion of DN if, say, in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane, a public official wanted to hold a prayer vigil on the Senate floor to Poseidon.

After all it (the ocean) is his domain...

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If a commercial business operation created an imaginary product that could not be seen, or heard or felt is any way to prove its existence, would we not expect our government to protect the unwary and unprotected citizens from its clutches?

Such is not the case with the product we know as religion and the business operation of churches. Religions and their churches are the mega giants of the world and dwarf mere political governments in size and power. And in the case of America is able to prevent the people’s government from interfering in their affairs.

Aside from their dogma and imaginary product churches are simply business operations and have the same goals as other commercial business corporations. That of garnishing all the power and wealth they can.

While the product of religion is beneficial to the lives of people in many cases and the public display of their advertising is harmless it is well to note that more people have been murdered, enslaved and oppressed under the banners of religion than for any other reason

FatherOfFour
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

I have lived in countries where religion is in the public square. I experienced it in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. That does not need to be the case here.

Steve C. Warren
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

The Deseret News wrote: "It is difficult to understand how a prayer . . . could be considered as establishing a religion."

Whenever anyone writes on this subject and says establishing "a" religion, it is quite clear that they do not have a strong grasp of the First Amendment. The First Amendment says "an establishment of religion," not an establishment of "a" religion. Big difference.

An establishment of religion is prayer or any other religious exercise. An establishment of "a" religion is permitting only one religion or one religious tradition (such as Christianity) to participate.

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

The US government has no right to shut religion out of the public square. The govt. can only ensure that all religions have access to the public square. This is guaranteed by the US Constitution.

End of discussion.

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

@Contrariuswiser:
"Can you just imagine if somebody dared to offer a Muslim prayer before one of these meetings? There would be huge outcries about terrorists and Sharia law.

"Freedom of religion" only applies if you're a conservative Christian."

I think that you are extrapolating and in doing so your prejudices are poking out.

The ironic thing is that by suppressing Christianity in the name of suppressing religion, cultural diversity is also being suppressed. It would be really cool to have a Christian prayer one meeting, a Moslem prayer the next, a Hindu prayer the next, a Wiccan prayer the next and maybe something related to "Queer Spirituality" in another meeting. It would broaden the horizons of a lot of people.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

There seems to be confusion between what "religious freedom in the public square", and religion as part of a government event. They are not the same thing. Not even close.

Religious express in the public square is doing just fine.... religion and its practice within government meetings is what is really being debated.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

IMO the government should not PROMOTE any specific religion, but they should PROTECT the right of every citizen to worship any way they want to the hilt.

Religion has so many benefits to individuals, families, and society in general, that government should see a religious and moral citezenry as a HUGE benefit to the country and the government (not as something that should be allowed to be infringed, limited, or regulated by ANY group (including the government).

All religions I know teach obedience to the law (of the land and their diety)... which is a point of synergy for government and churches. All religions teach charity (which is another synergy). They teach to love your fellow man and help them (instead of digging a pit for your neighbor or coveting his stuff)... which is a life philosophy government and law enforcement should be glad to have around.

Contrariuserer
mid-state, TN

@Tekaka --

"I think that you are extrapolating and in doing so your prejudices are poking out."

And I think that you're ignoring what the article actually says.

" It would be really cool to have a Christian prayer one meeting, a Moslem prayer the next, a Hindu prayer the next, a Wiccan prayer the next"

This is **exactly** what the lawsuit is about. Read the article. The plaintiffs are complaining because THE PRAYERS ARE ALMOST ALWAYS CHRISTIAN.

"Two residents of Greece sued, alleging the practice amounted to the establishment of a religion because from 1999 to June 2010, all but four of these prayers were offered by Christians."

As I said -- "Freedom of religion" only applies if you're a conservative Christian.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

The ironic thing here is that Congress opens up each session with a prayer, often given by the Federally employed Chaplain. If it is good enough for Congress, why isn't it good enough for our city councils?

To "Contrariuserer" As the article pointed out, the prayers were offered by the local church leaders. In other words, they chose people that represented the community, and the fact that they did have some that were not offered by Christians only shows that they did have representation that was probably proportional to the number of non-Christians in their community.

Tell us what religion was being established by having Christians from different religions offer prayers. (FYI Christianity is not a religion, it is a classification for many religions)

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Which one?

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