Published: Thursday, Oct. 10 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
The Rights in the Bill of Rights are individual liberties. The First Amendment
is about individual religious liberty, not about the right of religion to demand
adherents. Congress cannot pass laws that prevent individuals from practicing
their religions (unless that practice creates a harm, such as child marriage or
denying necessary healthcare) nor can Congress pass laws that favor (respect)
the beliefs of one or more religions over those of other religions. You and your religion may define something as a sin, but that is not
sufficient reason to pass a law prohibiting that thing. And what is
with all the vague references to the topic? If you are going to write an
editorial calling others to action, at least have the courage of your own
convictions to state the issue clearly instead of just hinting around it.
Senator Stuart Reid has summarized my own observations over the last 6 decades.
When I was a boy, we tried to adhere to the Ten Commandments. When I was a
teenager, I was surrounded by teens who were not so committed to them. When I
was a young adult, the Ten Commandments were openly flouted. Twenty years ago, I
found that many people couldn't identify many of the Ten Commandments. Now
the teens of today ask "What are the Ten Commandments?" Satan has done his work well. Those of us who have made covenants to obey the
Lord and teach His Gospel must be urgently engaged in the work.
Is it time for we the people to form a ten million person protest in D.C.?
@Bubba RoyceTo protest what? This article is so vague that I have
no idea what he is trying to say. Does his "sexual stratagem" mean the
strategy of homosexuals, birth control pills, divorce, scantily-clad women,
polygamy, short skirts, Victoria's Secret ads, condoms in grocery stores,
movies, tv shows, or what exactly?
Religion wants to control everyone else. They want to tell everyone what they
can and can't do in this life. Seems like they don't believe in
Gmlewis:I would imagine almost everyone could identify some of the
main teachings of Jesus: forgiveness and mercy. Likewise, no churches today
emphasize the Abrahamic Law and the uncompromising edicts found in Leviticous,
and other parts of the Old Testament. Stoning people to death for wearing two
types of fabric? Really?Even Jesus left much of the Old Testament
in the past, when he stopped the crowd from stoning the adulteress to death,
clearly and disruptingly upending the morality that prevailed to that point.As we've seen on issues of race, interracial marriage and other
topics in ourrecent past, maybe Jesus' implicit message of changing
historic understandings is the right one.
Translation: I can't use the law to force my standards on other people and
that's not fair!
Re: "The First Amendment is about individual religious liberty, not about
the right of religion to demand adherents."Agreed. And, of
course, that comment has absolutely nothing to do with the arguments laid out in
Mr. Reid's opinion piece. The comment is standard liberal sophistry that
has, sadly, become accepted as liberal thought.When confronted with
arguments they can't win, liberals change the subject, disingenuously
asserting that the discussion is about something it's not. They'll
inject some irrelevant, but hard-to-refute, party-line talking point, then
triumphantly raise a fist and declare victory. Real people walk away, shaking
our heads in disbelief.Of course the First Amendment is about
personal religious liberty. And the article is about the loss of it to liberal
attacks. Obviously, no American religion demands adherents.But that
obviously won't stop liberals from asserting as much.Our only
demand is the God-given right, identified and guaranteed in the Constitution, to
freely exercise our religion in our own way, free from government intrusion.But, then, that's a hateful concept to liberals.
Articles like this always make me think, “Gee, I wonder if people are ever
going to grow tired of others pushing their emotional buttons (most frequently,
Fear) and start thinking for themselves?”And in the case of
this article, we can easily dismiss its false premise by simply citing the
following:Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Japan, New
Zealand, Finland, Australia, etc…Religion and Morality are NOT
synonymous and losing one does not imply the loss of the other, as these and
other mostly agnostic (and very pleasant) countries clearly demonstrate.
Those so called God given sacred rights are mine, not religions'. Religion
is very happy to steamroll over my rights, and proves it all the time. This is
about the loss of individual freedom to religious attack.
Re: "Religion is very happy to steamroll over my rights, and proves it all
the time."Thanks for proving my point.
The latest liberal thinking is that religious influence should be removed from
the "public square". Meaning, political debates should exclude religious
beliefs, and people should not use their religious beliefs when voting.Nothing could be more non-American than that. A person running for political
office has every right to bring his/her religious beliefs into the debate. A
person listening to the political debate has every right to hear a religious
idea should one be presented. A person voting has every right to vote according
to his/her religious beliefs. A news organization has every right to print
opinions that reflect religious beliefs. And political representatives have
every right to vote on proposed laws based on their religious beliefs. The US government has no right to limit or stop the influence of religion in
the "public square". The government can only allow all religious ideas
from all religions to be presented. It is shocking that so many want
to move to a dictatorial, non-freedom based government where these rights are
limited, or taken away, as so many of the liberals desire.
@ procurador: Perhaps before criticizing comments, you should read the
article.From the first paragraph, "...a radical, sexual
stratagem, which is victoriously marching on religion’s defense of moral
standards. Now it is marshaling forces against rights of religion and religious
conscience across the nation. The question is, can it be stopped or will
religion lose its God-given, sacred rights memorialized in the First Amendment
of the United States’ Constitution."The entirety of Mr.
Reid's piece is about the rights of religion - not the rights of the
individual. Kalindra's comment has everything to do with the article being
discussed. Your attack on her - and liberals in general -
exemplifies the off-topic, throw in a red herring because you can't argue
the point comment of which you accuse her.You really should read the
article before you accuse others of not understanding it.
What nonsense! "A virtuous society cannot exist without the faith of a
religiously free people." Have you ever heard such a ridiculous,
self-aggrandizing and offensive statement? I have never observed religious
people to be any more virtuous than atheists. They simply proclaim that they
are, very loudly.Secondly, what Mr. Reid wishes is the ability to
enforce his religious views through government edict. What about the rights of
the Unitarians to marry same-sex couples? Shouldn't they have the
religious freedom to do so?Mr. Reid stands for family rights, he
says. So do I. But I will not denigrate the family just because the couple at
the head of it are of the same sex. Their children deserve to have their family
recognized as such, and provided with the same governmental blessings that are
provided to Mr. Reid's family.As with most people who exclaim
vociferously about the decline of religious freedom,Mr. Reid is mostly
concerned with his reduced ability to limit other peoples freedomaccording
to his own religious views. He is not really concerned with freedom atall.
The new morality is an old immorality that's been whitewashed.
Living in fear of the grand conspiracy....
A few questions for the Senator -- what happened 60 years ago, i.e., in 1953,
that gave rise to this monstrous "sexual stratagem" you fear so much? I
checked Google for that year . . . Was it the death of Stalin? The coronation of
Queen Elizabeth? The academy award for that titillating film "Roman
Holiday"? Just what was it that happened "six decades ago" that
turned the world into a sexual nightmare?
We live in a time of unprecedented wealth, luxuries, freedoms, conveniences, and
so forth. People can freely choose to mock, persecute, and tear
down the very fabric of our nation that was built upon faith in God, moral
principles, and freedom. Sure, that day was far from perfect and the idea of
the Constitution did not exactly ensure liberty for all people. Mormons know
this very well actually.All of us have lost touch with both the
simplicity and trials of yesteryear. This was a time of humbly placing faith
and trust in God for very survival sakes. This mindset is where the
world's attractions became swallowed up in a far grander eternal
perspective of immortal glory. The world cannot see such a perspective today
and this notion is considered the blind hope of foolishness in make-believe
things.But, what if this life is the consolation prize of a
probationary existence and decisions made here have eternal implications? For
all those who doubt God and the truth about events in the world today that were
referenced in this article, they will one day see things as they really exist.
Until then, we must preserve freedom of worship.
The late Carl Sagan liked to say "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary
evidence."Senator Reid's editorial is filled with
extraordinary claims but no evidence. This editorial alleges a six-decade long
conspiracy which the senator names a "radical, sexual stratagem." He
provides no details of this alleged stratagem. Who is behind it? How have they
sustained it all these decades? Who is currently coordinating the efforts?
It's a conspiracy without conspirators.Since the alleged
"sexual stratagem" lacks evidence to support it, the Senator's
other claims are deeply suspect. There are more likely scenarios
than a nefarious decades long "stratagem" by a nameless cabal of
faceless conspirators. As for example, society is simply changing and with that
change more and more people identify as religious "nones"; those persons
are willing to challenge the cultural supremacy of religious claims, to question
the validity of the policies supported on the basis of "my religion says
so." Claiming "my religion says so" is no longer a
persuasive argument in the public square, which may distress the faithful, but
is not an attack on religion or the rights of religious persons.
@glendenbg"Senator Reid's editorial is filled with
extraordinary claims but no evidence."Perhaps due to limits in
the length of the article. Personally, I see plenty of evidence that lack of
morals is causing many problems in society."Claiming "my
religion says so" is no longer a persuasive argument in the public
square"Claims of "bigotry" and "H8" etc. for
opposing views are certainly not persuasive arguments neither, and these claims
ARE attacks on religious persons.
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