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Comments about ‘Secretary of State John Kerry says religious freedom 'is a birthright of every human being'’

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Published: Wednesday, May 22 2013 1:30 p.m. MDT

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Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The greatest threat to freedom of religion comes from religions themselves. Not only does a religion seek control over it’s own members, it seeks to extend it’s membership to all.

It is the desire for extending it’s control over others that drives much of the talk of freedom of religion and with the great power and influence of religions and churches, politicians will naturally ally themselves with their cause.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

I agree with Mr. Kerry. And, wow, is my idea of what true religion is different than yours. We're going to have some fun!

bandersen
Saint George, UT

Jesus invited all to come to Him, without compulsion, without retribution, without anger. He sent His chosen leaders to do likewise. Whoever thinks that that core principle has changed within any religion, is either ignorant of religious history, or has an ax to grind, neither of which is very dignified.

Thinkin\' Man
Rexburg, ID

I hope Mr. Kerry will start pressuring countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, and other Muslim countries to allow full religious freedom. It's ridiculous how America picks and chooses which human rights we're outraged by.

Midway
Salt Lake City, UT

@Ultra Bob

"The greatest threat to freedom of religion comes from religions themselves. Not only does a religion seek control over it’s own members, it seeks to extend it’s membership to all."
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Sigh.

I can choose to be faithful, active, and make religion the most important thing in my life. Or I can leave my religion any time. I can choose to not come. I can choose to not participate. Or I can choose somewhere in between. I can do this easily. Many, many people come and go in a church.

It is funny how so many religion-haters are telling us that religion is "controlling" their membership, yet so many of these religion-haters tell us that is the reason they left religion. Obviously there is a contradiction there - if religion is controlling things, yet they were able to freely leave, then obviously religion isn't controlling things.

Personally, I think the "control" is from the critics who lie, exaggerate, etc. Which is why I don't value opinions of critics of religion very much.

Claudio
Springville, Ut

Re: bandersen

"Jesus invited all to come to Him, without compulsion, without retribution, without anger. He sent His chosen leaders to do likewise. Whoever thinks that that core principle has changed within any religion, is either ignorant of religious history, or has an ax to grind, neither of which is very dignified."

So those people who follow religions that have no acknowledgment of Jesus are "ignorant" or otherwise "undignified?"

And so shines the problem Ultra Bob delineated.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@bandersen – “Jesus invited all to come to Him, without compulsion, without retribution, without anger.”

And what does the Bible tell us will happen to those who chose otherwise or worse, believe another path is the way to God, Nirvana, Brahman, The Tao, etc.?

Claudio
Springville, Ut

Re: Thinkin\' Man

While I agree with your sentiment, I am sure those countries would reply that they will comply as soon as we stop trying to prevent the construction of mosques in our neighborhoods or profile Arab Americans trying to board a flight. We are hardly the beacon of religious freedom we think ourselves.

Andy
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I'm fairly surprised by this forceful position in favor of religious freedom from the administration. Does his boss know about this statement? Will it be followed by funded policy initiatives?

Hasn't our government worked to marginalize religions to reduce their influence on society?

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The fact that I do not believe religion does not mean that I hate religion. I appreciate the good that religion gives people as an enrichment and purpose. The only requirement for receiving that good is to believe.

Being controlled by a force outside ourselves is being controlled whether it is voluntary or mandatory. And if you accept the good of religion you must also accept the control. Generally religions of God are able to control a person’s life to a much greater extent than mere governments of men.

The reasons given for the control are hard for some us to accept and so we look at other possible motives that the outside force wants to control us. When I look at a church/religion I see a business operation. I see an organization that has a product to sell and a desire for a monopoly.

My vision is simply the product of my imagination and I appreciate the freedom of religion to believe and to openly say what I believe. But I do not want to take that away from anyone else.

Johnny Moser
Thayne, WY

China's constitution includes "the freedom of religious belief". Sounds pretty great but it isn't quite "religious freedom".

the truth
Holladay, UT

Ultra Bob,

You have accurately described the far left,

they seek to control everyone, and their personal lives, their, businesses, their schools, and their children, the local community, their lands, their cars, and so and so on.

Not sure why you love one controller but hate the other.

-
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I find it odd that Kerry speaks a birthright of religious freedom,

yet the Obama administration doesn't recognize the religious freedom a German family wants send them back Germany where their children will be taken away from them and forced a secular education on them.

But the left are always hypocrites, say one thing while doing another.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

Electronics is the new religion, ask any eight year old with an ipad;or anyone on Facebook. The old time religion is dying, too many dictators and charlatans. People have lost fear and interest.

bandersen
Saint George, UT

Tyler: That's an easy question. Jesus said he was 'the way, the truth, and light!' His was the only way. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is the Christ, the only one capable to redeem man from the fall of Adam till the end of times. That being said, the Christian religion believes that all men, from the aboriginal pigmy in Africa to the man sitting next to God Himself, is capable of learning and coming to Christ one step at a time. All the great religions and people of the world are susceptible to His light and knowledge, including those you mentioned. All will eventually come to Christ.

bandersen
Saint George, UT

Skeptic: Your wrong! Old time religion is anything but dying! The values, whether in an organized format, or by itself, is not dying. P.S. In my neighborhood and in my family I see anything but fear and charlatans. My kids know what is real and what isn't, whether an ipad or a book. The real truth urges them on to more, not less!

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@bandersen

You do realize that most of the followers of the other religions of the world are just as certain as you are that someday “all will know that Allah is God” or that “Brahman (God) and Atman (us) are one” or that any of hundreds of precepts particular to one’s own religion is the “true path” that all will come to know… someday.

Curious… why would God allow such a diversity of religions if only one of them was the true religion? And does it ever strike you just how lucky you were to be born into a family/culture that just happened to have “the truth?” I mean it’s fantastic that you “hit the celestial lottery” but it sure is a shame for the billions born into Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or other families that they have to spend so much of their time being immersed in false teachings through no apparent fault of their own.
God’s ways are indeed mysterious…

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

bandersen:
"Jesus invited all to come to Him, without compulsion, without retribution, without anger.
He sent His chosen leaders to do likewise. "

...and during the inquisition his chosen representatives invited all to come to him or die being tortured in Christs name.
There was also this incident in southern Utah near a meadow where people were just doing the lords work.
To long ago? How about Christ's representative - Fred Phelps Sr. of the Westboro Baptist Church?

Core values intact?

Christ taught many good things, to bad so many who claim to represent him don't/didn't really listen.

Personally, I think that many religious folks lie, exaggerate, etc.
Which is why I don't value opinions of religion folks very much.

SCfan
clearfield, UT

Claudio

We in the U.S. are not even close to any kind of oppression against Muslims or anyone else compared to the Muslim countries in the Middle-East. Get some perspective please.

brokenclay
Chandler, AZ

It's striking to me that all but one of the countries mentioned (Burma) are either Islamic or Atheist. Those who trumpet the benevolence and even-handedness of the irreligious, while maligning the intolerance of the religious, are far too short-sighted in forgetting the 20th century scourge of Communism. Own up to your philosophies. Any atheist who isn't a nihilist has his head in the sand.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@brokenclay – “Any atheist who isn't a nihilist has his head in the sand.”

What an amazingly ill informed comment… and I wonder if you are aware of how many non-believers throughout history you have insulted? From Socrates to Shakespeare to some of the Founding Fathers to the majority of today’s scientists, to the growing number of people today who can no longer buy the legion of superstitious silliness an even immorality (disguised as piety) found in the sacred books of religion.

And please realize that Atheist is simply a word we use to describe people who don’t believe things on bad or no evidence (i.e., are not disposed to take things on faith).

The fact that we have a word for this is strange in and of itself, since we don’t have words for non-astrologers are non-alchemists.

And to say an atheist is by definition a communist or Maoist or any other “ist” is a total non-sequitur. All those so-called philosophies were steeped in dogmatism and irrationality, except they were directed towards a person or ideology rather than religion (as was typical).

They were the antithesis of secular humanism…

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