@Mike Richards 7:18 a.m. Oct. 21, 2013:"Freedom from religion is
a concept that does not come from God or from godliness. To be free from
religion means that you reject God, your creator, and all that He has done for
you."Get this and get this right. This is only YOUR OPINION. And
many people and gods would argue that it is entirely incorrect.
Can someone please enlighten me as to how religion is being threatened by the
government? Churches are threatened by their own congregation leaving
though.Prayer does not belong in a city council meeting. It belongs
in the family and in the church.Religious faith does not belong in
the decision for one's health care. This is why the government has stepped
in and said that they must cover contraceptives. A company such as Hobby Lobby
is being forced to offer coverage for contraception but they are not being
forced to encourage the use of and they are not being restricted from
encouraging the avoidance of contraception. It is not right for a company to
restrict health care based off religious belief though.Spend 20
minutes doing a little reading at reputable sources about the American Family
Association and you will find a lot of the reason why they are considered a hate
group. The AFA is the reason people are beginning to leave organized
religion.Offer choice and truth, lead by example and focus on the
what is truly good. This is too hard these days so the focus is
skewed on calling an anti-whatever movement a pro-whatever.
@ Mike Richards"There is no 'establishment clause' in
the Constitution."Absurd, especially since you immediately
contradict yourself when you turn around and discuss the very thing you claim
does not exist. The Establishment Clause is a very well-defined subject in
law."'An establishment' means just what it says, an
already existing religion."Your interpretation is too narrow and
is not supported in any jurisprudence. "An establishment" is a noun
referring to some existing, established thing, such as a church. But "an
establishment" is a noun also referring to an act or instance of creating,
or establishing, something new. The choice of the indefinite article
"an" signals that Congress is forbidden to respect ANY (not just one)
establishment of religion (whether that is a fixed church in existence or an act
of creating a new church). This is not some progressive, "communist,"
reading (misused political terminology aside); this is a well-settled, common
sense, plain reading of the text.Your other comments about God are,
respectfully, irrelevant to the discussion at hand. We're talking about
religious freedom and the law, not your personal theology. How to interpret the
law has nothing to do with your beliefs about God.
And which side of the political spectrum didn't want Muslims to have
cultural center in New York, keeps claiming America is a
"Christian" nation, and the GOP vaguely stand for "God's
Mike Richards; I still don't agree with, or that matter completely follow
your "article" argument. Using the article "the" simply means
that they are referencing a specific and known noun "free exercise".
First of all I doubt they believed that free exercise of religion
allowed someone to disregard laws. Remember things like burning witch's
wasn't that far in their past. So the use of the definite the means they
undoubtedly accepted some restrictions on "free exercise" or what
qualified as religion (I would bet on the later).Secondly, laws such
as health care laws don't force you personally to use contraceptives. You
can believe and act as you choose personally regarding contraceptives. Your
actions only become an issue as your actions deny others their free choice.
Lightbearer,You have not done your homework, choosing, probably, to
cherry-pick those things that Madison and Jefferson wrote that agree with your
viewpoint. What the important point is, is that the Constitution is the Law, not
the cherry-picked writings of any who brought forth the Constitution. The words
laid on paper govern us, not the arguments made before or after that
Constitution was written.The founders knew how to use English. They
were not illiterate. They knew the difference between an idefinite article and a
definite article.You can easily see for yourself if you Google
"define: indefinite article".Religious freedom is a gift
from God. Freedom from religion is a concept that does not come from God or from
godliness. To be free from religion means that you reject God, your creator, and
all that He has done for you. That is your right, but that "right" comes
with the most dire of consequences - to be separated from Light and the Bearer
of that light for all eternity.
@Gildas --in re: the stenographerDo you think an
evaluation is worse than being fired?Also, this brings up a recent
case in Russia. Yup, the country that's currently touting its Christian
faith while it represses the freedom of speech of homosexuals.Well,
they've got a protester there (not gay) in prison for more than a year
already -- just for protesting. And they've just sentenced him to forced
psychiatric treatment. They claim he's "unable to realize the
"public danger of his actions" due to a "chronic mental
disorder.""Where's his freedom of speech?And btw, that stenographer didn't just make a "conspicuous religious
profession". Among her rants were the following:"He will not
be mocked. He will not be mocked. Don't touch me. He will not be
mocked," "The greatest deception here is not 'one nation under
God.' It never was. Had it been, it would not have been." "The
Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons. They go against
God." "You cannot serve two masters. Praise be to God, Lord Jesus
Christ."-- all while she advanced on and took over the
Speaker's podium.Does that sound particularly sane to you?
Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.We don't have an established church and Congress will never, I
suspect,ever try to promote an established church, so I skipped that part. Some
nations have an established church: the Catholic Church in Spain, the
Presbyterian Church in Scotland, the Anglican Church in England, both the
Catholic and Luteran churches in Germany, but no state church in the USA.I think there is an atheistical hostility to Christianity arising in
government and a desire to erode religious liberty beginning with the denial of
free speech.An example of this is forcing a stenographer in the
House of Representatives to have a psychiatric evaluation after making a
conspicuous religous profession publicly. I would have understood if she had
been fired because she was creating a disturbance outside of her professional
privileges but to treat her as insane is just the kind of reaction you saw in
the atheist USSR back in the day.I think that the view of the
universe sans intelligent design is mad but I am against humiliating atheists
with psychiatric evaluations and denial of free speech.
@the truth – “Your interpretation is based on a modern
"progressive" (read communist), not the original interpretation or
intent.”One of the benefits of media like Fox and AM Talk
Radio is they are unintentionally sharpening the public’s ability to
recognize obfuscations, sophomoric tactics, bad arguments and logical fallacies.
Your comments employ at least two of these and perhaps all four
– first, loosen up the audience with a cheap ad hominem and then go on to
make an argument that would make then 1st Amendment views of none other than
Antonin Scalia “communist.”For anyone interested, please
read Scalia’s opinion in Employment Division v Smith – and in that
case the defendant’s action were not even impacting anyone else - or the
full texts of the snippets Lightbearer has posted; the words of the Founders
– esp. Madison (hint: he thought chaplains in the military violated the
establishment clause).@Furry1993 – “It's best to
just ignore them…”I try except when ignoring can too
easily look like defeat. But thanks for your comments… and
everyone else who is helping to poke some much needed holes in these faux
If Foxnews says it then it must be true!
@Furry1993@TylerD 9:58 a.m. Oct. 20, 2013@Lightbearer 1:19 p.m. Oct.
20, 2013Your interpretation is based on a modern
"progressive" (read communist), not the original interpretation or
intent.And more importantly completely ignores the very first words,
"Congress shall make no law respecting..."NOT
"establishing" a religion!But "respecting" AN
establishment.They dis not want an officially recognized religious
establishment being favored over others.And that limit was aimed at
congress NOT the people nor their business.The modern progressive
interpretation is wrong. And is only being used to be hostile toward religion
and the religious, something the founders did not practice, and to silence and
render religious people as second class citizens especially in regards to the
public square.Quite the opposite of the original intent.Religions people and religion are equally entitled to the public square, as
the non-religious and non-religions.
Counter Intelligence, the fight is what does "free exercise thereof"
mean. I don't think it means you can break existing law by forcing your
belief on others. It does mean that you are allowed to believe pretty much
anything you want and act on those beliefs as long as you don't violate
other laws. For instance, regardless of your beliefs you would not be allowed to
practice human sacrifice, and regardless of the law you are not required to
abort a badly deformed fetus. Therefore it doesn't matter
whether you believe contraception amounts to abortion, or the killing of a baby.
The law says other wise and you are not allowed to deny someone that specific
right. If you don't agree with the law don't participate
in voluntary activities that obligate you to the law. It's as simple as
Religious liberty has NEVER been threatened in the US.The Dnews is upset
that they can't claim religion as a reason to prevent gays from enjoying
the same civil rights that straight people can enjoy.That isn't a
loss of liberty, that is a victory for civil rights.It gets embarrassing
to read between the lines and see that you just want to prevent the civil rights
of other, disguised as "religious freedom".
Bryan Jonathan Fischer, the Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family
Association (AFA), said this about Mormons..."One evidence that
[the Founding Fathers] were not dealing ... they weren't even intending to
deal with non-Christian religions is what they did with Mormonism in the latter
part of the nineteenth century. Mormonism - they call themselves by the name of
Christ, but it is not an orthodox Christian network of churches, it just is
not."He went on to say...."The Mormon Church, by
the way, has never denounced the practice of polygamy. It has not. What it did
in 1890, if you go back to the Doctrines and Covenants, what the Mormon Church
did is they advised - it wasn't even an order - they advised the members of
the LDS Church to obey the law which said one man, one woman, period. So my
guess is that if those that are trying to legalize polygamy "So
sure DN.... go ahead and use this organization as your poster child for
religious freedom. And this was all said in the context of why they were upset
that Mitt Romney was to speak right before him at the Values Voter Summit.
@Counter Intelligence: Your straw man argument is weak. No one is preventing
anyone from exercising their religious freedoms from under their own vine and
fig tree. It's when people try to exercise their freedoms under the vines
and trees of others that do not share their views where religious persecution
rears it's ugly head. In America it's typically so called Christians
who persecute others.
@TylerD 9:58 a.m. Oct. 20, 2013@Lightbearer 1:19 p.m. Oct. 20, 2013Unfortunately some people believe that all they have to do is peruse the
constitution to be able to understand what it says and means, and how it works
without having studied it and without really understanding it. Also
unfortunately, several with that mindset post on this site. I have asked them
on occasion what law school they attended and/or where they studied the
Constitution with a competent instructor, but had my questions "blown
off" without an answer. They just ending up posting things that are pure
fiction, while seeming to be authorities on a subject about which they have no
knowledge. It's best to just ignore them, let them have their own circle
party, and post the real, truthful answer without giving them the satisfaction
of a reply. Your comments are correct, and correctly interpret the
Constitution. Good job.
5th tryThe So. Poverty Law Center classified the American Family
Assoc. as a "hate" group when the AFA named Bryan Fischer as its
Director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy. According to the SPLC, Bryan Fischer has made incendiary statements against
gay people. Other sources report Bryan Fischer has made incendiary statements
about Native Americans, Pres. Obama and others. In 2012,
Mormonvoices, associated with FAIR(LDS), and reported in Deseret News, an
article titled "The Top Ten Anti-Mormon Statements of 2011,"
included a statement by Bryan Fischer about the LDS Church.
So... pretty sure all three "examples" of religious liberty lost cited
by the DesNews have nothing to do with religious liberty or practicing
one's faith freely but everything to do with people of religion utilizing
the channels of formal government to further their religious beliefs: 1)
preaching in the military, 2) a US ambassador, and 3) town council meetings.
DewNews, coming from someone who is LDS, please stop the
victimization. Religion has no place in government and government has no place
in religion. Never in my life have I ever been precluded, at any level, from
practicing my faith in the United States; however, you do members of our faith a
great disservice when you trump up false claims of persecution. It undermines
your legitimacy should any actual issue arise.
Re: "'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion ...' 'An establishment' means just what it says, an
already existing religion. The words are not 'the establishment' which
would mean what those who have twisted the words of the 1st Admendment wish that
it said."So which "existing religion" did James Madison
have in mind when, expressing his objections to the appointment of chaplains to
Congress, he wrote:"The Constitution of the U.S. forbids
everything like an establishment of a national religion."Thomas
Jefferson thought it was inappropriate for the President even to RECOMMEND a day
of fasting and prayer, citing the Constitution's provision "that no law
shall be made respecting the establishment, or free exercise, of
religion."Madison also wrote:"Strongly guarded
as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the
United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be
illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history."So according to Madison, the "Father of the Constitution," who
certainly knew what the intent of the Bill of Rights was, the Constitution
"strongly guards" the separation between religion and government.
I think that everyone's commitment to religious freedom is manifest in
their respect and tolerance of other religious views. Wiccans, pagan, Mormon,
Baptist, Catholic, Hindu, Moslem, atheist, Buddhist. One of these is acceptable
to most people who read this. What about the rest?
re: Mike Richards"What we really need, world wide, is freedom
from government interference in religion."Because those darn
secular moderates in the near East are ruining it for the rest of us. ROFL. re: Tyler DAgreed. The whole crux of the 1st Amendment as
was explained to me yrs ago. Your freedom ends when it endangers others i.e. you
have the right to scream fire; you just can't do it in a crowded theater.
Jefferson's wall is meant to prevent both sides from
"influencing" the other not just to stop Gov't encroachment.
There is no infringement to pray in private, with family and sectarian settings.
Jesus condemned the man who prayed loudly in public, praise the man who prayed
privately and said those who pray to be seen by others will get no reward.
Prayer at public and political gatherings is imposing a particular religious
belief on a CAPTIVE and DIVERSE audience, and it could be said it is infringing
on their religious freedom.
You can do better Deseret News! Supporting a good point with questionable news
sources, in this case Fox News, delegitimizes an otherwise good point. Too bad.
Religion needs to be de entrenched from the military because the military is an
environment where individual freedom really doesn't exist. There is a
heirarchy which must be followed that religion too easily takes advantage of.
Somewhere there may be a document with words quoted from George Washington, but
the authors do not mention where that is and how it was validated. Not that I
think the authors might lie to us, it’s only that the wide variations in
the story that religions give us would seems to indicate that some may be lying.
The seemingly insatiable need for churches and religions to
advertise their product above all other concerns does not bode well for the
truth of their message. In business, if you have a really good product,
word-of-mouth alone will bring people to your door. If your product is less
than perfect, you advertise.
pragmatistferlifeYour assumption that Washington would approve of
forcing religious people to violate their faith in order to get a business
license is precisely why religious liberty is threatened. The law
is:"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof;". Any other law in violation of that
law is an unconstitutional law. The HHS mandate prevents the free exercise of
religion, it doesn't matter whether the intolerant left likes it or not.
@Mike Richards – “"Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"
"An establishment" means just what it says, an already existing
religion.”You’re wrong Mike… if it meant what you
think it would have read “establishment of ‘a’
religion.”Like so many writings of our founders writings, the
message “freedom FROM religion” underwrites all the sentiments
involved in allowing everyone to be as religious (or not) as they wish to be.
But one person’s religion stops where another’s liberty
(not to mention a constitutionally passed law) begins as constitutional scholars
& Supreme Court Justices (e.g., Scalia in Employment Division v Smith) have
affirmed for over 200 years.
Now seriously, do you think that George Washington would understand the killing
of millions of babies in America? He would have to be educated that some of
these were unavoidable, and that others were choices made in desperation.
However, he would be shocked to hear that many were choices of convenience.
I'm sure it would be a struggle for him to comprehend how any parent would
choose that route for convenience. Of course, he would be
surprised to find that there is a law that would force employers to support
those choices, whether unavoidable, desperation, or convenience. He would be
too steeped in the concept of freedom.
Coupla molehills; don't see much mountain.
Religions have changes on many issues already. Inter-racial marriage was seen as
a problem in the 60's that churches wanted no part of. So will
churches accept gay marriage 50 years from now? Some churches already do. I
imagine many more will in 50 years.Marriage is about the spirit not
It is really quite humorous to see those who keep thinking that President Obama
somehow doesn't rule exactly how he intended, as if some sort of
'clarification' is surely coming. How naive can people be!
There is no "establishment clause" in the Constitution. The
"establishment clause" is made of whole cloth by those who want to
impose sanctions agaisnt our freedom to worship. The first part of the 1st
Amendment states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;""An
establishment" means just what it says, an already existing religion. The
words are not "the establishment" which would mean what those who have
twisted the words of the 1st Admendment wish that it said. We are
free to worship the God of our choice and to follow or not follow the doctrine
that He has revealed to us. The government cannot change the tenets of our
religions nor can it impose on us sanctions that would keep us from being
obedient to our God. What we really need, world wide, is freedom
from government interference in religion.God gave us agency.
Government tries to remove that agency. Those who remove a gift given by God
will answer for their actions and bear the total responsibility for their
actions. They would enslave us to their godless ideas.
Seriously? a single soldier reported by Fox News (no I don't believe a
word they say), a religious ambassador resigns, and a Supreme Court case and
once again we have a "headline" about the poor religiously down trodden.
My bet if, George Washington knew that an employer was breaking the
law by denying an employee benefits because of their personal religious beliefs,
he would side with the Obama administration.
From the article:"Will Inboden notes that the nation cannot
adequately counter radical jihadi groups without a strategy 'of which
religious freedom must be an integral part.'"Agreed. We
must show that the US is not the enemy of Islam or of any religion. That we
welcome and celebrate all religions (or even the lack thereof). That we are a
true pluralistic society where each can do as Washington so eloquently wrote.
Those were wise words from George Washington that the article quoted. Now if
those that wish to push their religious agenda on others would just heed them
and "sit in safety under their own vine and fig tree" as they so freely
can do, then this country can move forward from the straw man argument of
religious persecution and on the real work of removing the bigotry that exists
towards minorities and same sex couples.
"No doubt some of the recent claims have been overstated. But some are true,
lending to an atmosphere of suspicion and fear."I can't
believe I just read that. This is an admission that the Deseret News is trumping
up the claims, and that some of them are false. I guess that's OK as long
as it promotes the atmosphere of suspicion and fear that seems to be the goal of
the Deseret News' incessant campaign promoting "religious
liberty."You might want to read a little about the American
Family Association and decide for yourself if it's a "mainstream"
Well written. Need I say more?