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Comments about ‘Half of Americans worry about their own religious freedom’

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Published: Tuesday, Jan. 29 2013 12:40 p.m. MST

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Turtles Run
Missouri City, TX

I often find it ironic that "evangelicals" are most concerned about religious freedoms when it is they that seek to discriminate against the faith of others. When a Mosque is being proposed to built anywhere they are the first to protest its construction. When someone is describing other religions as cults (ex: Catholic or LDS) you can pretty count on that person being an "evangelical".

It is hard to take "evangelicals" serious on religious freedom when they seek to deny it to others.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Evangelical religion is doing its' level best to use the bully pulpit to push itself and its' agenda onto the public stage, and every time it encounters resistance, or even law, it claims religious freedom is at risk, even as it seeks to restrict freedom of others.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

Religion in today's corporate world has less to do about a God and being and doing good: church and religion today is more about business (money) and politics with power over others.

louie
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Evangelicals tend to push the envelope of religious freedom towards political activism. and of course they do it while getting tax deduction for their contributing members under the veil of "non-profit" status for their organization.

Mukkake
Salt Lake City, UT

The name "evangelical" says it all. Their religion involves injecting their beliefs into ever interaction, conversation, and setting. Anything less is oppression to them.

Zona Zone
Mesa, AZ

See the first six comments as reasons why evangelicals are legitimately worried about their freedom of religion being taken away. The comments essential serve justify treating evangelicals' religious freedom less than that of other Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. This freedom should be thought of as speech. If you want freedom of speech, then you must allow someone to speak out vehemently against the things you hold dear. If you want freedom of religion, then you must allow someone to worship how or what they may, even when it inconveniences you or even when their religious beliefs and practices bother you--yes, even when they say things that get your blood boiling. The evangelicals' alleged "misuse" is no reason to injure their rights to the first freedom, for Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

TOO
Sanpete, UT

I couldn't agree more with a few of the above comments. It's amazing how evangelicals call for tolerance when I'm considered the devil in their eyes.

donn
layton, UT

RE: Hutterite,Evangelical religion is doing its' level best to use the bully pulpit to push itself and its' agenda onto the public stage. Which bothers you the most?

Tradditional Judeo-Christian values like: Honor your father and your mother, “You shall not murder.“You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal.“ “You shall not(lie) bear false witness against your neighbor. “‘And you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.“You shall not covet. And or,

The Evangelical(euangelion)or Gospel, “ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”(John 3:16)

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

What religious freedom is being threatened? The freedom to deny civil rights to minorities who think differently than evangelicals?
Bigotry based on religion is far worse.

jttheawesome
Scranton, PA

My goodness, there's a lot of "anti-evangelical" rhetoric in here! As an Evangelical Christian, trained for the ministry, I may shock them all when I say: You're absolutely right - but only to a certain degree. The above comments seem to be gross generalizations about all Evangelicals, when in fact these statements are true of only a small but vocal minority. Do we want to be able to teach Intelligent Design alongside of other theories of evolution? Yes.(Darwinism, BTW, is still ONLY a theory, as any reputable scientist will attest) Unfortunately, some of the so-called mega-churches seen on TV surely do seem to be money magnets. However, the great majority of we evangelicals attend much smaller, community-minded churches seeking to do good in our little corner of the world. As for those politically active, anti-everything evangelicals (Westwood Baptist Church comes to mind),they are an embarrassment to Christianity; again, they do not at all represent the huge majority of Evangelical Christians, who seek only to follow the Savior's admonishment: "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." (Matthew 15:12)

1covey
Salt Lake City, UT

Strange, I thought almost every one knew about religious philanthropies, besides the Salvation Army, which is a church by the way. One must also remember that occasions like Christmas and Easter developed into customs over more than two centuries in this country; and it is hard for people to see these customs get the heave-ho. So, have a little patience.
After all, we don't mind people bringing their customs with them from their homelands. It's what America does. On another front, while we still have problems with toleration and civil discourse, usually, shouting matches is about as bad as it gets, anymore. One cannot say that about some that are coming into our country,lately. Sometimes there are conflicts between some religions' practices and the laws of our State/Federal governments. As we see a growing diversity, we may see more of these issues.

patrick76henry
Lynchburg, VA

As active Mormons who attend an Liberty University, we have had some of the most positive experiences among Evangelicals. We have never been discriminated against and in fact have had just the opposite experience. Many of the comments above display ignorance and antagonism. How about a little more civil interfaith dialogue in place of hostility to a religious group with many of the same values we hold together. Even though there is the occasional unfriendly, just as there are in any groups, our experience being surrounded by Evangelicals on a daily basis has been an overwhelming positive experience.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

It is hypocritical to claim discrimination when you do the same. Jesus had nothing good to say about the hypocrite.

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

@jttheawesome

while I admit to having very strong feelings about evangelicals (or any religious people for that matter) that seek through e force of law to make others live their beliefs I think your comment is very important. In our civil discourse we must avoid gross over generalizations and avoid spiteful comments that harm those that seek peace. thank you.

patrick76henry
Lynchburg, VA

RanchHand, what is the discrimination you are referring? The article is about religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution and not individual preferences of some Evangelicals. The same concern is echoed by other religious groups, and which Elder Oaks has recently spoken.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@jttheawesome
"Darwinism, BTW, is still ONLY a theory, as any reputable scientist will attest)"

Yes, but the definition of theory means something different in the field of science. Specifically, to quote the National Academy of Sciences a scientific theory is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment."

That's why scientists are so insistant about it despite calling it a theory. When they use the word they mean it in a different way than the more common usage of it to mean a guess or idea.

Fern RL
LAYTON, UT

I think the main reason we are not all on the same page is that we are all speaking a different language.

I believe that we can and should have some core values that we can all stand for as Americans whether or not we are atheistic, follow an organized religion, or something else. The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights, and other documents of national importance contain expressions of values which we can all accept--basically: "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

None of that means that anyone else has a right to dictate our values or in any way force compliance to anything other than allowing others the same freedoms. Unfortunately, it is usually government that has the power to force compliance to things that are not for the overall good of the country.

worf
Mcallen, TX

I remember a few years ago, while visiting in Spanish Fork. A Baptist minister talked to me about the dangers of being a Mormon, and missionaries were being sent to call Utahans to repentance. Cult, and devils were used to describe the local people. I have seen similar people at the Manti pageant with the same rhetoric.

This didn't look like religious freedom to me, but a bitter demeanor.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

I guess it’s a sign of the times that when any group that feels itself being marginalized they end up playing the “victim” card. The irony here though is that mythic religion has been totally dominant for centuries, and now when humanity is beginning to wake up and reject their worldview, the religious folks are freaking out. Hopefully someday (if they don't destroy humanity first with their lust for an apocalypse), mythic religion will become about as important to future generations as magic is to us.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

I will remind readers of the following:

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on the earth, but is at the present limited to an ecclesiastical kingdom. During the millennial era, the kingdom of God will be both political and ecclesiastical, and will have worldwide jurisdiction in political realms when the Lord has made 'a full end of all nations' (D&C 87: 6)." (LDS Bible Dictionary).

Doctrine and Covenants 87:6 says this "end to all nations" will be accomplished through war and bloodshed:

"And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed...shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;"

What happens to the nonbelievers?

D&C 1:14 declares:

"...the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants (the Mormon leaders), neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles (the Mormon leaders), shall be cut off from among the people;"

That doesn't look like religious freedom to me.

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