Why is now the time to discuss a non-issue? If there is a problem, what is it?
No answers here.
Lane Myer"Explain to me about being free FROM religion is
wrong"It depends on how you define freedom FROM: if you mean the right
to not believe - you have that right already; if you merely do not want to be
expected to tolerate other people’s religious views when they cross your
path, as you demand that they tolerate yours - then you are merely intolerant.
Demanding intolerance while failing to offer it is WRONGYou have no
freedom FROM Jews; no freedom FROM Muslims; no freedom FROM Christians - they
exist - learn to tolerate them if you expect them to tolerate you
@The Skeptical ChymistIt's been so long since you posted your
comment about my comment, I'm afraid you may not get around to reading this
response. Anyway, you're right. I agree entirely with your point of view.
In my original post, I was just being satirical (or trying to).Best
@O'Really --"Blacks way back when couldn't simply go
to a different lunch counter."Of course they could. There were
black businesses as well as white ones, black restrooms as well as white ones,
black schools as well as white ones. Those blacks could have gone to any
business that welcomed them.But separate is not equal. And
discrimination isn't okay, and it isn't Constitutional.@banderson --"without God, what keeps me from taking from my
neighbor anything I want that I deem as 'ethical'to do?""Ethics" are not random desires that flit through your head. Ethics
are rational systems of thought, carefully constructed using those pesky facts
and logic that you despise so much, which help in leading us towards the most
desirable actions. If you can rationally tell us why it might be desirable to
take something from your neighbor -- for instance, perhaps your neighbor has a
girl tied up in his basement -- then, indeed, it might be ethical to take that
girl away from him. Otherwise, not.I'll repeat: why is your
religion different than anyone else's? Many religious people support gay
marriage. Why does your God get to win over theirs?
To Contrarius & 1Aggie: My point has been validated again. Both agree that
you really don't stand for anything but what you deem as
'ethical' or 'moral', which as you say, is according to your
'facts' and 'logic', which you also declare as the wonderful
thing about it all. Wow, without God, what keeps me from taking from my
neighbor anything I want that I deem as 'ethical'to do? I'm
certain that all the men and women that worked in the death camps of Germany
thought they were doing a lot of 'ethical' work. Who was to say that
they weren't? They had families, they thought the future looked great, they
loved their children, and went to church on Sunday. How is anything extreme when
there is not an 'ethic' that says otherwise? Whose Ethics? Yours? No
thanks? Check out all the 'ethical' people in the inner city of
Detroit right now. Ethics isn't quite working there on a whole is it? No,
without God anything is acceptable! No rational thought can justify otherwise!
God's laws and wisdom never change. Ethical actions are tied to individual
choice, hardly condusive to a stable society.
Reasonable Person and amazondoc...If I were turned away from the florist
shop because she didn't want to do a Mormon wedding, I'd take my
business somewhere else. Gays really need to grow a thicker skin if they are
going to be "out" in the community. Not everyone is ever going to accept
or even like them a little bit. That's life. The florist is being made an
example of to FORCE this lifestyle down the throats of anyone who dare to
publically disagree with it. You two sit back and smugly say it has everything
to do with discrimination of Blacks and the likes. No it doesn't. It is
nothing like that at all. Blacks way back when couldn't simply go to a
different lunch counter.They literally had no options. But gays have the freedom
to do their business elsewhere. Sure they could find a gay-friendly florist.
This is nothing more than a public lynching of a person trying to live her
@coltakashi --"The Attorney General of Washington is prosecuting
a florist in my city who declined to take on the job of creating special floral
arrangements for the same sex marriage of two gay men who were her customers for
nine years. She does not hste Gay men but declines to have her name associated
with a same sex marriage due to her religious convictions. "One
more time --Private businesses have not been legally allowed to
discriminate since the days of the lunch counter sit-ins. This is nothing new.
This same florist would not be allowed to refuse black people, either, even if
her religion believed in "white supremacy". And hey, she also
couldn't legally refuse Mormons, even if she believed that the LDS church
was an evil cult.Some people are upset right now simply because our
long-standing Constitutional protections against discrimination are being
applied to a group of people that many would still like to discriminate
against.Well, that's just too bad.Constitutional
protections, within the limits of Federal and state laws, apply to EVERYONE --
not just to people that you happen to like.
@GD: Free their minds from what? Religion does far more to limit the minds of
sheeple than free their minds.
coltakashiNo one is forcing the woman to "love" gay marriage, but
she could be a REAL Christian and treat everyone with the love she expects to
receive from others.What's going to happen is that she, by refusing
the following the anti-discrimination laws of Washington State, has decided to
throw away what she worked hard for. WHAT IF that florist refused
to marry YOU, because she didn't believe in your religion? Or what if she
didn't like the color of your skin? Or maybe she doesn't like your
political party. Is THAT OK with you, coltakashi? Why not? You choose
your religion. You don't choose your sexuality.Throughout my
life, I have been related and friendly with gay people. I didn't know
they were gay, at first...but I came to realize that they were good and decent
people, moreso than those who wanted to discriminate against them. My first
crush? Gay, years later. My high school gym teacher? A lesbian. Once one realizes, like Senator Rod Strickland of Ohio, that you have a gay
person in your family, you suddenly step back from the hate.
Religion is not under attack.HOWEVER, there is a large profit motive by
corporate religions and right-wing media, in pretending that it is so.Many in Utah disrespect others and call them "gentiles", but then come
to us for money for your functions.If religion was truly under
attack, you'd all lose your gigantic tax-exempt status (which the rest of
us taxpayers are forced to subsidize locally and federally). We subsidize
your property, we subsidize your income, we subsidize your "nonprofit"
status even though it's obvious that billions of dollars are available for
the construction of huge shopping centers.Please. Worship as you
wish.Just don't force anyone else to agree and PLEASE loosen the laws
so that Jews can buy cars on Sunday.
The Attorney General of Washington is prosecuting a florist in my city who
declined to take on the job of creating special floral arrangements for the same
sex marriage of two gay men who were her customers for nine years. She does not
hste Gay men but declines to have her name associated with a same sex marriage
due to her religious convictions. The couple could easily get flower
arrangements elsewhere but they decided they want to punish her for withholding
her affection. What impirtant right is the Attorney General vindicating here?
Has he ever prosecuted a tradesman who declined to participate in a Mormon
wedding reception? This is religious persecution to force people to love gay
@ bandersonI am a faithful person, but your comment "Without
'faith' in God, there is no purpose, other than surviving from day to
day" is way over the top in my view.I can imagine an atheist
whose sole purpose is to make the world a better place for his children and
grandchildren. What is wrong with that purpose? How is storing up riches or
other benefits for oneself in heaven a better purpose than making the world a
better place for one's grandchildren?
@banderson --"What if I don't believe in Aristotle,
Socrates, and your brand of religion ('ethics')?"You
don't have to "believe" in them. Blind belief is anathema to
rational thought, after all. However, you would benefit greatly by
**learning** from them.That's the wonderful thing about
rational thought. You can decide for yourself based on facts and logic, rather
than having beliefs spoonfed to you. That's one of the things that
distinguishes rational thought from religion."Yours is the
ethics that allows abortion, sex without restraint, only collective freedoms,
and absolute government control"Don't assume that you know
anything about my personal ethics. You know that old saw about making
assumptions, right? ;-)"How is your 'ethics' any
different than anybody else's 'ethic's?"You'll have to be much more specific before I can answer that question.
But we can turn it around and ask -- how is your religion different than anybody
else's religion? There are many religions out there, and they
often disagree on important issues -- including gay marriage. There are plenty
of religious people who SUPPORT gay marriage. What would you say to them? Why
should your God win over theirs?
contrarius: Thank you for validated my very point. What if I don't believe
in Aristotle, Socrates, and your brand of religion ('ethics')? What is
ethics without a bias toward 'ethical' thinking. Again, yours is a
religion of relativism that has faith in 'ethics' as a foundation for
something, I don't know what, but certainly isn't valuable to me.
Hitler, Stalin, and Ghenghis Kahn had 'ethics' too (After all,in
Hitler's case, the trains did arrive on time). Yours is the ethics that
allows abortion, sex without restraint, only collective freedoms, and absolute
government control, hardly 'ethical' in my mind. If you say that is a
farce, how do you reason such? If there is no God, everything is acceptable.
'Ethics' is meaningless, just another word to strap your own version
of morality on the backs of those who have a different idea. Give it up! If you
are to stand by your position, then you must be consistent. How is your
'ethics' any different than anybody else's 'ethic's?
Counter IntelligenceExplain to me about being free FROM religion is
wrong when there are those who would like parts of Sharia law enforced in some
parts of this country. If the majority of the people were to vote for that, do
you think it would be constitutional?
The purpose of religion is to free the minds of men and women.
@LiberalEastCoastMemberHow ironic is it that those who have misused
political correctness as a sledgehammer to get their way in the political sphere
now cry fowl now that those they hammer, dare talk back.
Mike in Cedar City"The constitution guarantees freedom of religion,
but it also guarantees freedom from religion."NO - it
emphatically does not: It guarantees non-establishment and non-interference and
freedom of speech - not one of those items gives anyone the right to silence, or
be free from, religion - you can choose not to participate in any religion but
you cannot be guaranteed freedom FROM religion any more than anyone can be
guaranteed freedom FROM atheism or freedom FROM Judism, etc. They exist - deal
with it: You don’t have to join but you do have to tolerate.If
you mean the freedom not to believe – that is an entirely different matter
– yes; you have that
@bandersonI am a pWithout 'faith' in God, there is no purpose,
other than surviving from day to day
"I am tolerant and anyone who diagrees is a bigot"As soon as
those who think there is no threat to religous liberty comprehend the duplicity
of that statement - the sooner they will realize why they are viewed by many as
being the consumate perpetrators
@bandersen --""families are important, marriage is
important, babies are welcome, education is dependent on knowledge of things as
they were, are, and are to come"Yes, absolutely! And every
single person who supports gay marriage would probably agree with you on every
one of these points."Remove God from the equation, anything is
acceptable"This is absolutely NOT true."Those
who believe otherwise have no rational basis for disagreement"I
would strongly advise you to do at least a little bit of reading in the field of
Ethics before you make such an outlandish claim. It is, indeed, very
very possible to act from very practical moral/ethical systems that do not refer
to God in any way.Here's a few good moral philosophers for you
to start with:Socrates and Aristotle -- virtue ethicsJohn
Rawls -- the social contract, justice as fairness, the liberty principleJeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill -- utilitarianism/consequentialism --
doing that which produces desired resultsKant -- deontology, acting from
duty, the good willI hope these will help you in your search for
greater moral understanding.(And Thank God this country isn't a
One of the problems I am seeing from the religious commenters is that they do
not realize that there are at least two kinds of morals. There are the morals
that span a wide range of religious and secular belief, such as the golden rule.
I'll call those kinds of morals "Ethics." The second kind of
morals are imposed by a particular set of beliefs with no basis other than
tradition, religious texts and the words of religious leaders, such as the Word
of Wisdom. I'll call these morals "Standards."With a
secular government, such as we have, it is improper to expect the laws of the
land to impose a particular religion's set of Standards, but it is
reasonable to expect that Ethics be enforced. For example, it is not reasonable
to expect the government to enforce the Jewish Standard of not eating shrimp,
but it is reasonable for the government to have laws against murder. Some
things, like abortion, are in a gray area so it is reasonable to be on both
sides of the issue. Same-sex marriage is not in a gray area, it is clearly a
moral Standard with no proven harm.
@Steve C. WarrenAt first I thought your comment was sarcastic. You
comment about how in Utah county, religious freedom thrives. Then you go on to
say that in exercising their religious freedom, the voters there have mandated
that all businesses must close on Sunday. Does it not strike you as an odd use
of language to claim that requiring a business to be closed on a particular day
is an example of a thriving freedom? The voters certainly had plenty of freedom
before this law was enacted - they could shop on Sunday or not. So did the
businesses - they could stay open on Sunday or not. By passing this law, both
the shoppers and the business have had their freedom reduced. This
strikes me as exemplary of the attitude that religious freedom is when one
religion has the opportunity to impose its rules and regulations on everyone.
It is a good example of Orwellian reversal, as in "Freedom is slavery".
Joe Blow and others: To say or even imply that this is about someone being
'miffed' or 'paranoid' about religious freedom is quite
ludicrous. This is about those who have watched on the sidelines as the
athiests, the amoral, and the immoral have proudly moved out of the shadows.
So, here are the self-evident truths: families are important, marriage is
important, babies are welcome, education is dependent on knowledge of things as
they were, are, and are to come, and that God exists and has THE plan of
happiness. Remove God from the equation, anything is acceptable, hardly
something I want for anyone,let alone my children. Those who believe otherwise
have no rational basis for disagreement, for to disagree is to exercise faith in
humanity, which doesn't have a very good record for civility. Actually,
exercising 'faith' in anything is a non-sequitor. Without
'faith' in God, there is no purpose, other than surviving from day to
day. To say you have purpose without God has no more validity than a an injured
moose asking for civility to a hungry pack of wolves.
Ultra Bob wrote: >The American experiment of allowing all
religions to believe and act as they wanted, worked well for churches in the
beginning.< No they didn't. Salem witch trails were not
good. Driving the LDS people from the US wasn't good. The KKK was not
good. The fact that a Catholic was not elected until 1961 was not particularly
good. >Populations were small and distances were great.<
As if this had anything to do with why things work or don't
work. Please study history. Populations were small and distances were great
when Genghis Kahn roamed the steppes too, but it doesn't raise the value of
his pillage, rape and excess. >However the American
experiment of allowing people to believe and do as they please, is
anti-theoretical to the purpose of religion and is demeaned through the
propaganda of morality.<Polish up your linguistic skills. Try
"antithetical." But either way, your logic crashes with "propaganda
of morality." If morality could somehow propagandize itself (it cannot), it
begs questions about your own brand of morality (or the lack thereof) and the
dime-store propaganda you press in your posts.
@Ultra Bob writes:>The purpose of religion is to enslave the
minds of men and women,<Not so. The etymology of the word
"religion" has the same root as ligament. Ligaments help your knee
allow your leg to move as you walk. To call this "slavery" is gross
misuse of the term. It is willing cooperation. Slavery is not. Religious ties
enable people at different places in their lives and understanding to relate
with and serve each other. > the reason for religion is to
garner the wealth and efforts of it's members<Any group
working together harnesses the wealth that efforts of its members. Just so,
your foot assists your head in getting where it wants to go. One wonders how it
assists you if it is in your mouth. But, to each his own.>Success in the religion cause is counted in the number of
members.<"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the
Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to
keep himself unspotted from the world." James 1:24The number of
adherents is immaterial. Truth is what matters. One man and God is a majority.
@SlopJ30I couldn't agree with you more. Unfortunately, in my Ward,
the paranoid talk doesn't just take place between Sunday School and
Elders' Quorum meetings, it pervades our meetings too. I guess there's
nothing like an outside perceived threat (even an imaginary one) to stir up and
"unify" a group of authoritarian followers.
Yes, we do need a conversation about religious liberty, especially about such
important issues as the campaigns in Congress and the states to divert public
funds to religious private schools through vouchers or tax-code vouchers (which
Utah voters twice defeated by landslide margins); the ongoing efforts to weaken
women's religious freedom and rights of conscience on reproductive
matters; and the increasing attempts to undermine the religious neutrality of
our public schools. One excellent stimulus for discussion is Randall
Balmer's book First Freedom: The Fight for Religious Liberty, published in
2012 by Covenant Communications in American Fork, Utah. -- Edd Doerr, President,
Americans for Religious Liberty
There is no religious liberty because it is a war of propaganda with no basis
for verification or accountability. Real issues like: the history of Mormonism
from Monotheism to Cosmic Henotheism is swept under the rug and never debated
for thought and choice of believe and religion liberty.
People often mistake morality with sexual chastity. The two are completely
seperate ideas.Religious freedom means I am just as free to practice
your religion as I am to not practice your religion.There is nothing
to keep me from going to Church this Sunday with my family. There is nothing
prohibiting me praying with them this evening. No one is forcing me into a same
sex relationship, or to participate in an abortion. My religious rights are
just as intact now as they were the day I was born.The problem with
using religion to encode law is, whose do we choose? My beliefs are just as
sacred to me as an Islamists are to them, so why should mine be given priority
before the law?There are no absolute beliefs. If that were the
case, I would expect to see hordes of people petitioning for Warren Jeffs'
release, after all he was just doing what he felt God told him.
It's hysterical to me that, after (presumably) reading an article that
pointed out how the religious tend to act the victim frequently with very little
reason, so many of you post to complain of being victimized. Yes, it's a
secular plot to ruin religion. Of course it is.To my chagrin, I find
myself surrounded by family members who feel the same way. Whenever they start
ranting gibberish about an assault on religous liberty -- typically using very
rare, one-off examples to illustrate their point -- I hold my tongue as long as
I can before asking, very camly "What exactly do you want to do that
you're being prevented from doing?"The answer is always
"well, nothing right now . . but just you wait!" It's all
theoretical, "slippery-slope" paranoia based on emotion and groupthink.
But, hey, it makes for a rousing conversation between Sunday School and
Elders' Quorum meetings, don't it? It sure makes for entertaining
Perhaps such a discussion could start by defining the term "religious
liberty." Freedom of religion is certainly part of it but
isn't freedom from religion important too?Mike Leavitt may be
surprised to discover that the voice of religion was softest after the American
Revolution. Church membership hit an all time low in 1800. It is far higher
today. In addition, the history of the Early Republic was one of the dismantling
of established churches and curbing their power over government. Giving special
exemptions to religious groups from obeying the law of the land was the furthest
thing from the minds of those who wrote the Bill of Rights.The
tricky part of the Constitution is balancing all those rights we have voted
ourselves. We can't talk about religious liberty in a vacuum.
@WisCoug --"a Methodist group owned a boardwalk pavilion in
Ocean Grove, NJ used in weddings who lost their tax exempt status"This one has been addressed already. The property was designated for
**public** use. Legally, therefore, they had no right to discriminate."a florist who refused to do wedding flowers for a same-sex
marriage."Private businesses have not been legally allowed to
discriminate since the days of the lunch counter sit-ins. This is nothing
new."church-houses and religious leaders, as far as I know, have
never been forced to perform a marriage against their religious beliefs."RIght. "Religious freedom" means the right to practice your own
religion WITHIN YOUR RELIGION. It does **not** mean imposing your religious
beliefs on everyone around you.Anti-discrimination laws have been
around for decades. People are only upset now because anti-discrimination
principles are being applied to a group of people that many would still like to
discriminate against. Well, tough. Our US Constitution says NO discrimination --
and that applies, within the limits of the Constitution and federal and state
laws, to EVERYONE -- whether you happen to like them or not.
It's good that this conference on religious freedom was held in Utah
County, where religious freedom thrives. In Highland, for example, voters last
fall exercised their religious freedom by mandating that all businesses must
close on Sunday. And Utah County communities also exercise their religious
freedom by beginning City Council meetings with prayer, usually of the Mormon
variety. Those who don't like this practice are free to quit complaining
about it, or, if it really bothers them, to move somewhere else. No one is
stopping them. It's a free country.
@1aggie @RBB- Suing someone, and actually winning that lawsuit, are two
different things. Specifically name cases that have been won by pro nets
of gay marriage.I can't think of any situation where a
religious group was forced to perform a marriage, but there was the case in NJ
where a Methodist group owned a boardwalk pavilion in Ocean Grove, NJ used in
weddings who lost their tax exempt status for that property after refusing to
allow a gay marriage to be performed there.There is the current case
in Washington ongoing of the state against a florist who refused to do wedding
flowers for a same-sex marriage. An injunction has been filed and the florist
would be required to pay $2,000 per violation.There is a similar
case in front of Oregon's Attorney General to potentially act against a
baker who refused to make a wedding cake for similar reasons (both of these
states have legalized gay marriage AND passed anti-discrimination laws to
protect the LGBT community).All that said, church-houses and
religious leaders, as far as I know, have never been forced to perform a
marriage against their religious beliefs.
I agree that we should not use society to force our religious views on others.
However, freedom has to be a two way street. There is no law which prevents a
church from marrying two men or two women. (A polygamous marriage is illegal)
Utah and (currently) the Federal Government simply do not recognize the gay
marriage. Nothing is stopping a gay couple from living together or traveling to
a state which allows for such unions.My biggest concern with the gay
marriage debate is that many people view "freedom" as getting what they
want - even to the point of forcing other people to participate. I think that
shrimp is the best food on the planet and I am a big fan of ham and cheese
sandwiches. Do I have the right to require that all convenience stores sell
shrimp and ham and cheese sandwiches - even if they are run by Muslims or Jews?
Do I have the right to insist on a Jewish owned business be open on Saturday for
my shopping convenience? Freedom would say I can by Shrimp on Saturday at any
store that is open and sells such delicacies. Freedom is a two-way street.
@JBQ --"and the efforts to make everyone essentially equal.
"Wait -- I thought it was our US Constitution that did that. You
know, "all men are created equal"?? Now the Constitution is supposed to
be some sort of Vast Left Wing Conspiracy?? Really???
Is there any institution which is cut more slack than religion? Religious
leaders are not questioned as to the rationality of thie views, moreover,
religions get government services provided for FREE! I hardly think religious
liberty is threatend.
@Linus"if the Gay community insists on preemptive capture of
religion's sacred sacraments and reduces them to secular license, it will
be hard for the adherents of each commitment to co-exist."Marriage is already a secular institution, that's what happened when the
gov't got involved with it. @RBB"Churches have been
sued for not allowing gay weddings on their property."Maybe that
church shouldn't have registered that property as for public use with the
tax benefits that entailed. Besides... that was New Jersey, a state without
Losing your ability to use your personal system of magical beliefs, even if
it's popular with your neighbors, to opress people who don't believe
in your brand of magic, or in magic at all, is not a repression of your rights.
It's just the application of justice and a small dose of
sanity.When I listen to the ridiculous complaints among Christians
that they're being represed, I can't help but think of Michael Palin
and his famous, "Help help! I'm being repressed!" scene from Holy
How ironic is it that those who have misused religion as a sledgehammer to get
their way in the political sphere now cry fowl that society seeks to limit those
Historically, the loss of religious liberties has not been at the hands of gay
groups. Other militant groups have created political influences whereby people
could not and in some countries cannot observe their religious liberty.Wherein are gay groups guilty of denying people to worship as they will?The right to marry - has been taken by religious groups and no
legislation has prevented religious organizations from marrying partners --- as
an example, the Catholic Church deserves its right to marry whom they will. The
Church marries, and further, places further stipulations on temple sealings.
How are these rights taken away by the government or by any other way?Bear in mind, further that marriages are state-sanctioned. If it were not so,
ministers, clergy, priests, etc. would not say "By the power vested in me by
the State of X, I declare you husband and wife..." The people obtain a
marriage license through the state, not the Church.That said, the
religious component of marriage remains intact.
My comment above (second comment) has a typo. Should read:
Without morality as the base, we will LOSE our freedoms and nation.
Gay marriage is only a smokescreen for a "hidden agena". As someone once
said, "it all depends on what the meaning of 'is' is". Even as
Mr. Clinton was elusive, there are forces at work to destroy religious
differences. This is all about national socialism and the efforts to make
everyone essentially equal. It is all about power and the redistribution of
wealth on a world stage. It would appear that the family and the children which
it protects are only in the way of a true world utopia.
America is actually becoming the Britain we sailed away from and had to fight a
bloody war on our own shores to liberate our people.As they say,
History repeats itself.
My religion tells me to force everyone to live by a code that is 4,000 years old
then I get angry when the so-called progressives want to live by a more up to
date code. My religious freedom should be protected from belief more recent than
"Religious freedom" mostly means freedom to discriminate. And the reason
it's become such an issue is because religions are feeling the pressure to
be more fair.
I don't think people even know what FREEDOM means anymore.All
the politically correct silliness has desensitized Americans.
Honesty, Integrity and being true to your faith is important in our relationship
with people and with governmental principles. This land had very few occupants
and was only visited a couple of times by Europeans in the first 1500 years of
our accounting. However, the people from Europe came here for a reason besides
expansion of territorial rights and privileges. The Founding Fathers had a plan
for our country and it was to have freedoms but also have the opportunity to
have faith in God without state religions. This last election on
both sides practiced religious bigotry and a bias against a person because of
religion. Some would rather have a person elected that would and has subverted
what Constitutional Law in the United States of America means. The law and
order of a country entails practicing the basic commandments of getting along
together, sort of like the 10 commandments and have it with a separation of
religion and government. That doesn't mean you have people without
religion in government. There is no state religion but the principles of God
have lived for millennia in people's lives that have freedoms. Despots
don't like religion/scriptures in people's lives.
When our forefathers signed the Constitution, they fully recognized the
importance of separating church and state, not because they feared government
would work against religion, but to protect government from religion. As you
will recall, religions had discriminated against one another in the past...i.e.
one state had a law that punished Quakers with death and, indeed, one Quaker was
executed under this law. However, I feel there is a difference between
governance regarding moral issues. Each elected official can and should use
their personal moral compass which was created over years through their
religious upbringing to make decisions. However, this should be done with
tolerance, understanding and compromise recognizing that individuals without a
specific religious affiliation also have their own moral compass that deserves
to be heard as well. I worked with Governor Leavitt for many years. He was a
marvelous listener, a trait lacking so often today, and a brilliant man who
assimilated information quickly to form sound decisions. His moral compass was
invariably fair, but firm and his voice is much needed in discussions of
governance today. I'm glad to see he is still involved.
Cats.You are absolutely right. If your meaning is the Faith-based
organizations using an imaginary set of beliefs to influence people. As knowledge of our world increases, all such will fade away as have the many
faiths that have gone before.
BloodhoundProvo, UTIf religious people will accept the secular
belief that there is no right or wrong, they will be permitted to have freedom
of religion. Otherwise, they will be harassed and shamed by the secularists into
changing their beliefs. No, I don't understand it either...==================Maybe if religious people will accept the belief
that their own beliefs should not be the law for everyone, without reasons, they
will not be harrassed. It all depends on which side of the tolerance topics you
listen to - tolerance can be a trap or that we should tolerate and love those
with different beliefs.
The time for discussion of religious liberty was 1492 when settlers came to
America to gain religious freedom that was denied them in the Old Country. That
was reemphasized with the Declaration of Independence and the subsequent Bill of
Rights. Recent generations have literally and figuratively trampled and stomped
upon Jesus and constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom and rights to the
point that if Hitler did it, which he did, our liberal do-gooders nanny-state
activists are actually doing it, and are bent on community, which is government,
ownership of our children. How did patriotic Constitution honoring America get
to this point without a public outcry so loud and persistent that politicians
would quake in their boots? The problem facing America now is that the cat is
out of the bag, the genie is out of the bottle, and America has unofficially but
become a de facto police-state. The guilty, even murderers get virtual slaps on
the wrist, while the religious based are punished more severely and held up to
contempt as being hateful when all they hate is the evil while they truly have
love and compassion for the evildoer.
The purpose of religion is to enslave the minds of men and women, the reason for
religion is to garner the wealth and efforts of it’s members. Success in
the religion cause is counted in the number of members. Because
there are so many religions, the competition for members is a fierce and
constant battle on all fronts. And like other ventures they use advertising,
missionaries and even government to accomplish their goals. The
American experiment of allowing all religions to believe and act as they wanted,
worked well for churches in the beginning. Populations were small and distances
were great. However the American experiment of allowing people to believe and
do as they please, is anti-theoretical to the purpose of religion and is
demeaned through the propaganda of morality. If we are to remain
free Americans with freedom of religion for all, we cannot allow the forces of
religion to free themselves from the chains that bind them.
Pluralism (inclusive of every belief except Christianity and Judaism) and
secular humanism (good without God) will be the death of this nation. When you
remove God and His Holy Scripture from the public square, you remove the
standard by which good is measured. Progressives on both sides of the aisle have
been hard at work for over a century in this country to replace the authority of
God with the authority of The State. RBB's comment above is right on
target. Utah has MANY so called Republican politicians who are in the
progressive camp so if you think Utah is immune to this, think again.
Christianity and Judaism are exclusive by definition and political jargon and
double-speak don't change that. Leavitt is a perfect example of one of
these progressive Republicans. His understanding of "religious liberty"
is limited by his own secular progressive world view and his own ego. I wonder
if he has one of those stupid "Coexist" bumper stickers on his car?
Religious liberty has been talked about since the beginning of our nation. My
question is, religious liberty for who? What about those who left England
seeking religious freedom in the new world, then denied it to others in their
new society? There are actually two key issues. One is the rights of the
minority. The other is the role of government. On the latter, many religions
want government protection for their activities. When the govenment supports
their views, they are happy, and when they don't, they complain about the
lack of religious freedom. In truth, they all want offical government sanction
and support for them and either not for others, or when others seek to end the
government support of religion. In some ways, we are no different than European
countries that are protected against outside influences (including churches from
the New World) by their governments. From what I see, churches in America
(including my own), want that here while at the same time are trying to get
their foot in the door elsewhere. Double standard.
Faith is under assault as never before in this country and it is accelerating.
If we succumb to it, there is not much time left for us.
If religious people will accept the secular belief that there is no right or
wrong, they will be permitted to have freedom of religion. Otherwise, they will
be harassed and shamed by the secularists into changing their beliefs. No, I
don't understand it either...
'Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard Law School and contributing writer
for New York Times Magazine, said we could approach this utopian level of
tolerance if “we could get beyond our background assumption that people
who have a different perspective than us are somehow oppressing us.”
'Noah Feldman hit the nail on the head. One way churches keep
their members motivated is through paranoia. I see the paranoid "it's
us against them" ("we are a peculiar people") attitude displayed at
my church all the time when in reality, nobody outside of the Church is thinking
about us or cares about us at all.@5 - What "hate" laws are
you talking about? Be specific.@RBB- Suing someone, and actually winning
that lawsuit, are two different things. Specifically name cases that have been
won by pro nets of gay marriage.I am not particularly in favor of
gay marriage, but I do not want to see the lies propagated during the Prposition
8 campaign resurrected and repeated here.
So, 4 out of 5 citizens have a religious affiliation. That 20% non affiliated
bunch does not sound like much of a threat to me. The constitution guarantees
freedom of religion, but it also guarantees freedom from religion. Both
concepts are valid in a free society. But this conversation seems to me to fall
in the classification "me thinks thou doth protest too much".
What many people fail to see is the real motives behind the current movement.
One motive is to force recognition and support of the lifestyle by religions.
First we have special laws passed called hate laws giving special consideration
to certain groups even bordering on the restriction of freedom of speech. Now
they push for government sanction for their lifestyle. Combine the two and you
have a basis for criminal prosecution for preaching against what most religions
have taught for millenia is immoral and socially destructive behavior. Could
this be the fulfillment of the prophecy of Heber C Kimball that "The time
will come when the government will stop the Saints from holding Meetings."
Similar conflicts have already occurred in England.
Many commenters in this forum act as if gay marriage is the only infringement on
religious liberty associated with this issue. But what of the religious
denominations that endorse same-sex unions and are prevented by law from
solemnizing them? Isn't that also an assault on religious liberty?
It's a two-way street.There will always be some civil/secular
conflicts with religious liberty. Obviously, the law does not allow human
sacrifice even if some church wants to do it. Another story in today's
paper highlights the gender integration of a portion of the West Wall in
Jerusalem, a move by liberal Jews that is arousing the consternation of
conservative Jews and Muslims alike. This type of gender segregation offends
American sensibilities and would likely be prohibited in a public space. How
does a society thread the needle of individual rights and religious liberty?
The foolishness is absolutely astounding. Those who continue to act like
'morality' and 'religion' have nothing to do with law are
absolutely nuts. These very people will then show how hypocritical they are by
saying that 'Gay marriage' is O.K., but polygamy is not.
'Abortion' is O.K., but killing a fawn deer or owl warrants
imprisonment. Preaching that there is no such thing as 'right' and
'wrong', but having a different opinion about what constitutes
'marriage' is hate speech and deserves ostracism or imprisonment. The
list goes on and on. This isn't about getting over our
'homophobic' ideas, it is about acceptance that there is no evil or
good, and therefore no God as well. It is those that are persuaded by the
foolishness that I feel the most pity. No spine, no principles, and certainly
"Which is not to say that respect for religious freedom is exclusive to the
state of Utah, Griffin said."Indeed, not.Linus, the
state has held exclusive rights over what you consider a "sacred
sacrament" for a long time. A religious ceremony is meaningless in the eyes
of the law, however holy in the eyes of some citizens, unless it is accompanied
by the permission and authority of the state. Your bishop can marry because the
secular government says he can, not because of the authority of his (always his)
"priesthood". It was that way even before the most powerful religious
institution in Utah (then and now) changed its own most sacred sacraments about
120 years ago in order to become a US state in the first place.
Other than when LDS were forced to stop polygamy, I have never heard of a case
where religious freedom was curtailed inappropriately.I have heard
of cases where parents refused to get medical care for their children on
religious grounds and the law stepped in to ensure the kids got the care they
needed. This certainly was appropriate, while a parent or adult has the right to
refuse treatment for themselves, they don't have the right to withhold
needed care for their children.Every claim of abridgement of
religious freedom in my lifetime is really a case where religions try to force
others to abide by their restrictions and they are prevented from doing so, such
as the case where religion refuses to let children get the medical care they
The real problem is that people leverage "non-discrimination" laws to
prevent people from practicing their own religious beliefs. It is not enough
to have gay marriage, now we want the right to force people who disagree with
homosexual conduct to participate in the wedding. Churches have been sued for
not allowing gay weddings on their property. Bakers and florists have been sued
for not wanting to participate in gay weddings. Doctors have been sued for
refusing to do invitro fertilization for gay couples. It is not enough for them
to have the freedom to "marry" whoever they want, it is now about the
"freedom" to force those who disagree to participate.Likewise, it is not about women having access to contraceptives or abortion,
it is about being able to force employers to pay for it -regardless of whether
they believe that such conduct is a sin, or the ability to force nurses to
participate in abotions even if they believe killing the unborn is wrong. We
are no longer a free people. We are slaves to an agenda which contradicts the
teachings of Christianity, Judism and Islam. We are no more free than the
colonists in 1775.
Religion is not miffed because things aren't fair. They are
miffed because they are being forced to be MORE fair.They are
unhappy NOT because they cant do what they want on their own property. They are
unhappy because they are being restricted on what they can do in school and on
public property.And they equate that with "religious
freedom" being under attack.
Morality is the basis of Law. We don't want to get "beyond
morality" in either our laws or our elected officials. This is a fight for
the survival of our nation. Without morality as the base, we will love our
freedoms and nation. This is true of any nation. The fight is global. The
agenda of many of our national elected officials is to undermine traditional
Scripture-based morality on a global scale. It is time to stand up for the
values and moral principles that true freedom is based on.
Governor Leavitt said, "Gay marriage and religious freedom should
co-exist." While I agree with most of Governor Leavitt's stated
sentiments, I take issue with this one. I believe that religious freedom can
co-exist with Gay civil unions, but if the Gay community insists on preemptive
capture of religion's sacred sacraments and reduces them to secular
license, it will be hard for the adherents of each commitment to co-exist.