Comments about ‘At BYU, George Will decries 'decadent democracy,' worries with LDS about religious liberty’

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Published: Tuesday, Oct. 22 2013 6:20 p.m. MDT

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NO abortifacients are included in the mandated health coverage.

The fact is, the Catholic Hospital Association finds the accomodations made by HHS acceptable.
The other fact is, many Catholic hospitals covered birth control coverage for their employees prior to Obamacare. I know it firsthand. I worked at a Catholic hospital for 12 yrs.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

I listened to Will's forum address. He hit a few nails on the head, but totally missed others.

Is the welfare state totally out of control, as he insists? Is government suffocating the private sector? Government expenditures, including Social Security and Medicare, are projected to be lower in the next three years, as a percentage of GDP, than they were on average during Reagan's eight years. Meanwhile, our tax revenues are lower than they have been since 1950. And corporate profits are at record levels.

Will complained that the very wealthy pay most of the income tax, but he doesn't explain why. It is because the corporate system is designed to create a great divide, with most of the wealth going to the top and most of the workers being considered an expense to be minimized. Will even called the wealthy the most productive segment of society. Rather, they reap huge rewards that other productive workers create.

He blames our growing inequality on out-of-wedlock births. Certainly that us a factor, but the bigger factor is the corporate system that employs fewer Americans, pays them as little as possible, and removes benefits where possible.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

To continue, Will's address was a very one-sided look at our society and government. He set up a straw-man argument around a quote from Obama that he took out of context ("You didn't build that") and then gave several examples of creative success without pointing out that none of those successes would have been possible if not for the environment and infrastructure created by our form of government.

He was right that we want what government can provide, but we don't want to pay for it. The solution, since conservatives can't really come up with any feasible plan to balance the budget with spending cuts alone, is to increase tax rates and close loopholes until we can increase revenues to sustainable levels.

Of course, the real issue is what is causing the inequality, and it is not just out-of-wedlock births. We the people grant corporate charters. In the beginning, these businesses were created to serve public purposes, not just generate private profit. We need to remember that they exist because we allow them to, and we need to remind them what their responsibility to society is.

Olympia, WA

It is no surprise that our grand children or new immigrants will have a bill to pay for the the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I have been paying for the SSI payments of others for over 40 years now, and it is my turn to receive. That is not an "entitlement". I helped pay for my fathers wars, and military hardware we have never used, the Marshall plan and the rebuilding after WWII. America has always been and will be a debtor nation. Since we were founded, we have run a debt. The Nation is not in trouble of going broke when we have so many mega rich people living great lives here. It is a matter of equity and sharing. Loaves and fishes.

Centerville, UT

@cpafred "What liberal columnist or author of equal stature has BYU scheduled to appear on campus?" Is Harry Reid to far right for you. He spoke. Helen Thomas spoke. Numerous other liberals. Just get on line and search the forum speaker archives.

Logan, UT

Will has correctly stated a problem, which is spending more than is taken in, but oversimplifies the blame. It is the so called "conservatives" who refuse to allow the government to collect the money needed to pay for what the people want. If the GOP was committed to invading a sovereign country to cram democracy (they they do not want) down their throats, spending a trillion dollars and thousands of American lives, there should have been an immediate tax increase to pay for it. Likewise, if we feel that education or caring for the poor is important, we need to pay for it, not borrow. Otherwise we might want to redirect money that is now being lavished on prosperous corporations, such as oil companies, to education and other programs that benefit the population at large.

Craig Coleman
Genola, UT

BYU schedules speakers who have a diversity of views about the world. Off the top of my head I can think of a few souls with liberal political philosophies who have addressed the BYU student body, including former white house correspondent Helen Thomas, Senator Joseph Lieberman and Senator Harry Reid.

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

George Will is wrong about the dysfunction in Washington. Bill Moyers did a great show on PBS recently that discussed the motivation political behind gridlock -- money. Give a lobbyist a problem and they can sell their services. Solve problems and no one gets rich.

Will also shows his blind eye to the conservative unfunded wars and the decline of the middle class, due to the outsourcing of American jobs and the outsourcing of big investor profits.

We are deeply entrenched in the pride cycle. "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." ... "The profit of the earth is for all, the king himself is served by the field."

Capitalism teaches that greed is good, but the public goods of capitalism, mainly competition, has all but ceased as more companies merge and press their political advantage in opposition to the voice of the people.

And if we are persecuted for our faith, many churches in America will lead the way. As my former faith stated, when they embraced same-gender marriage, "The family is a social institution, this side of heaven." My children's piano teacher is a protestant church youth leader, who lives with her boyfriend.

Maryville, MO

You know we live in a day and age where things are really messed. All one needs to do is look around and see that the time is at hand when the Lord Jesus Christ will return. When exactly is a matter of opinion. That said there are many who do not want the religious to speak in the public square but to keep it silent. There are those who cry discrimination at every turn yet there is no discrimination. There are those who feel they are entitled to something even though for some it was their own hard work that guaranteed some of the gifts given them. Social Security and other programs are socialistic but were necessary at a time. Now many feel they are entitled to it even though they never paid a dime into it. It is going broke as are other areas.
Some even wants us to believe we should have stayed out of Afaghanstain and Iraq. Yet, for others it was a necessary evil. George Will spoke the truth and unfortunately the truth hurts the liberals/socialist of this country the most. Those against him are socialist.

St.George, Utah

Good ol' George.
One of the many traveling shows raking in the big fees for his story of religious persecution, the in topic of the 2013 Righties.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The problem I have with the pundits of business and religion is that they tell their listeners every thing they want to hear except the truth.

Like in telling us that the problems of the Black race is because of the family disintegration as if it was the root cause. When the actual truth is that the root cause of 99% of the problems in society is the economic oppression created by businessmen.

Like in telling religious people that democracy is “decadent democracy”, when he knows full well that religious people oppose democracy. There is no such thing as a democratic religion.

Brigham City, UT

I am a big George Will fan; however, we all can't write and read articles for a living, is he prepared to work for a corporation, move to North Dakota, and live outside the Washington beltway? Doubt it. He makes a living off of talking about government. What would be his profession without government? When he says government does most things wrong, is he talking of our military men and women? Was Mr. Will ever in military? Would his desire for private enterprise have saved the day in the 2008 great Recession? Sorry. I love his passion for baseball, and I love his love of words, yet he is a part of the east coast that doesn't think divorce is that bad a thing, nor having a career before marriage. He is brutally honest though with himself and society.

Anytown, KY

@Bob K

“How is it Christian to not help the poor?”

Government handouts and entitlements do not help the poor. They enslave them.

@JD Jones

“What happened to individual freedom?”

Please tell us of any religious employers that want to prevent any person from purchasing contraceptives.

Woods Cross, UT

Some comments above insinuate that religions and religious institutions throughout history "have been at the forefront of denying freedom to individuals."

Oh really?

Yeah, the Crusades and Inquistion were bad. But during those same Middle Ages and the Renaissance, religions were developing the university system and establishing hospitals throughout Europe. The Christian Church sponsored the arts (cathedrals, sculpture, painting, music) that still inspire our souls today.

During the American Revolution, American churches were often responsible for promoting the ideals of Liberty. During the early 19th century abolitionism found a home in American churches. Suffrage? Women's religious organizations supported that movement (including the LDS Relief Society). The Civil Rights Movement? Need I mention that the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was an ordained pastor and that black congregations engaged society in a peaceful way that secularists have rarely mastered? How about Gandhi? Hardly a secularist! Just about every successful "liberal" change was carried to fruition by religionists. The Left's abandonment of religion in the last few decades was foolish.

Secularists/atheists have little to point to as far as cultural or humanitarian achievements. Unless of course, you appreciate the "humanitarian" efforts of Lenin, Stalin and Mao.

Cambridge, MA

To "cpafred" the problem is that there is not a liberal author or coumnist that can match Georg Will's stature. The liberals are all seriously lacking.

You are forgetting that BYU did have Harry Reid there a few years ago.

To "just-commenting" you inadvertently hit onto part of the problem. People are pushing government to give into their wants, not needs. For example, a cell phone is a want, not a need. Government should not be proving for our wants, and should reduce their size to those duties specified in the Constutition.

To "Kent C. DeForrest" it is more than just taxes that are suffocating US businesses. The regulations that they have to comply with are also destroying businesses. Several CEO's have commented that under today's regulations they never would have been able to have the success that they were able to achieve when there were fewer regulations.

You are wrong about the corporate system. It is designed to spread the wealth around. What good does it do a corporation to have products that nobody can afford? Even U2's Bono knows that capitalism is best for lifting people out of poverty.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Oatmeal – “Secularists/atheists have little to point to as far as cultural or humanitarian achievements.”

A nice polemic but leaves out a lot of factual history.

First, most of the values that brought Europe out of the Dark Ages were fought tooth & nail by the Catholic and later Protestant churches. When religion dominated the scene it spent 500 hundred years burning non-believers at the stake.

The Founders (Deists mostly) created our Republic by blending the values of the Enlightenment with the ancient models of Rome & Greece. That people discussed these values on Sunday is a testament to their genius and not to Religion leading the cause.

Abolition… please. Yes, some abolitionists were religious but they used to get trounced on a regular basis in debates with their Southern counterparts who could quote Bible chapter & verse all day long in support of their “peculiar institution.”

Lenin, Stalin & Mao are complete red herrings – better to look to Scandinavia, Japan, Canada, Denmark, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, etc… as models of secular societies in action.

Cowboy Dude

cpafred "What liberal columnist or author of equal stature has BYU scheduled to appear on campus? I mean it is supposed to be a learning institution isn't it?"

#1 - Liberal columnists and authors of equal stature charge too much
#2 - They can't get the crowds to the Marriott Center

However, liberal speakers of lesser stature do speak at BYU. You just need to look it up.

Pleasant Grove, UT

I find it fascinating that a university named in honor of a pioneer who was clearly a devout socialist has become a bastion in defense of the capitalism Brigham Young despised so much.

Bluffdale, UT

@ bullet56 "It is no surprise that our grand children or new immigrants will have a bill to pay for the the Iraq and Afghanistan wars."

I hope you are wrong. If so, this infuriates me to no end. Viet Nam is the only war in the last century we were not reimbursed, because we lost. Japan and Germany were forced to reimburse the wars. France and South Korea reimbursed the US for liberation.

Afghanistan is broke, but I wonder, has this Administration followed through with a payment plan from Iraq?


George Will: "We've seen family disintegration inflicted by disease, famine, war. "This time it has happened during domestic tranquility in the United States. I can't explain it."

Actually, George can explain a good portion of it and it's pretty much only political correctness that dissuades him. Which is a little bit odd, since in the past he's been more open and forward in addressing it in public.

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