Comments about ‘Atheists plan Salt Lake convention’

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Published: Sunday, Oct. 27 2013 10:05 p.m. MDT

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Poplar Grove, UT

Being a non mormon who has met and worked with many high ranking LDS church officials i'll say that those individuals really are good guys, who love everyone and at least in person, don't seem to discriminate against non belivers. However, I had a totally different experience when my job forced a brief(thanfully) move to Utah County. I had neighbors who wouldn't talk to me after they found out I wasn't mormon, wouldn't let me kid play with there kids, and me and my wife(then girlfriend) were basically ostracised and left out of everything that was going on. I find the rank and file mormon, especially in mormon dominated areas, are much more rude and exclusive than the leadership of the Mormon Church itself.

Houston, TX

The atheists are welcome anywhere. I was just thinking that the scriptures don't include many stories of people who do not believe in deity, although they do speak of anti-Christs.

I doubt that it is possible to KNOW that there is no God, but I'm sure there are plenty of people who BELIEVE they believe in no God. That belief has to be a very lonely feeling.

no comment
New Orleans, LA

Welcome atheists!

We Mormons support your beliefs, as stated by our founder, Joseph Smith Jr.:
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

Please have lots of fun and spend lots of money at Utah hotels and restaurants.

Salt Lake City, US, UT

I honestly find the Atheist movement to be a waste of time and a poor way to go about achieving respect between those of different (or no) faith.

That said, I'm a bit appalled that no one in the comments section here realizes that the LDS church is indeed over-stepping its bounds in regards to the laws passed in this state. An overwhelming majority of our State Legislature are practicing Mormons. Those legislators willfully admit that they ask the church for permission to support or oppose laws in the state. That's a problem!

Some of these laws are bad for our state. Laws like the "Zion Curtain", or certain drinking laws do nothing to keep our communities safer, yet hurt our local economies by restricting the growth of business, and by dampening the number or tourists willing to visit our state.

Other policies are problematic also. Regardless of us not being the only state to restrict them, Gay Rights are abysmal here. We all know which religious majority is responsible for that in Utah. The LDS church should have its non-profit status revoked for its political actions related to Gay Rights in California.

Hockey Fan
Miles City, MT

@ Scientist:

"The believers protest too much, methinks."

More than the atheists? Both groups are passionate and outspoken in their beliefs--about equally so, I opine.

Saint George, UT

When athiests feel insecure they cling to athiesm and free speech!

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

For those who think that religion should keep completely out of politics, I present the First Amendment to the US Constitution:

"Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof..."

You will note that this is a restriction on Congress not religion.
Also note that the same amendment guarantees our right to free speech. Churches can do almost anything they want. Government can't. (according to the constitution).

Some folks have this reversed.

Provo, UT

Atheism, like Mormonism declare and insist it has the one true view on the universe. Both have dogmatic positions.

I agree with Chris B on this one. Come to SLC and Utah and spend your money this year and each and every year!

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@gmlewis – “I doubt that it is possible to KNOW that there is no God, but I'm sure there are plenty of people who BELIEVE they believe in no God

What you’re describing is the difference between a “gnostic” atheist and an agnostic atheist. I know very few agnostics/atheists who fall into the former camp, so for the vast majority belief does come into the equation.

Rather, they simply see no evidence for a divine being that interferes in the natural world and takes a personal interest in our lives and by contrast see lots of counter evidence (that it is a man-made explanation for what we didn’t and don’t yet know).

And I would suggest that you too are well aware of what this point of view (agnostic atheism) feels like because I’m guessing as a rational member of the 21st century this is precisely your point of view with respect to Zeus, Baal, Odin and all the rest of the “supreme beings” (except one in your case) humans have conceived of since recorded history.

Does your non-belief in Zeus cause you any loneliness or anxiety?

Kaysville, UT

The sample size they have that there is no God is 1 over infinity. So when one of them travels clear across the universe and back and doesn't find anything. Then maybe I'll consider listening to them.

We're floating on a speck of dust in the middle of an infinite universe that has existed for some 2.3 billion years and yet people "know" that there is no God? How interesting.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY


An interesting comment. Thank you. We (the LDS) would all do well to emulate our leaders more.

And I hope you find better acceptance.

Salt Lake City, UT

@BYU Fan in DC
"I have yet to meet an atheist who was scared to come out about it."

It's fairly common among children whose parents are religious. Less common among adults.

salt lake city, utah

" I'm sure there are plenty of people who BELIEVE they believe in no God. That belief has to be a very lonely feeling." Actually it's exactly the opposite. Not believing in God is lonely, there are no Atheists in fox holes, God is necessary for moral direction, all religious myths.

Atheists lead very full and happy lives. Comfort comes from many places. Just because one looks at the complexity and vastness of life and the universe and doesn't see a man in a white beard (maybe, maybe not literally), doesn't mean one doesn't see beauty and experience joy and hope. To believe otherwise is uninformed.

Greeley, CO

So those of us that are LDS should just practice our religion in secret? We shouldn't proclaim our beliefs? We should hide? We should not fight what we perceive to be social ills/sins? We should not let what we believe is correct cloud our judgment/voting? Hmm, a very interesting point of view - turn it around and see if you should hold yourself to that same line of "logic". Just because your beliefs don't fall within an identifiable "religion" do you not make the same choices every single day as most members of churches do? Do you not speak out against things you believe are social ills? Do you not let your beliefs cloud your judgment/voting? Do you keep all things you believe to yourself?

Burke, VA

Noodlekaboodle - As a practicing Mormon I found the same thing when I lived in Utah. I always felt stuck in the middle. There were so many Momrons who had forgotten that we were once a persecuted people and they seem to have incorporated that attitude of the majority into their daily practices.

On the other hand, there were many non-Mormons that I worked with. Many of them had come to college in Utah (the U of U) because of the availability of outdoors sports, especially skiing. They had found work in the city after graduation and seemed to be permanently planted there. Except they spent an unhealthy amount of time complaining about the big bad Mormon church and its dominance on their lives with things such as liquor laws and Sunday closings. But when I asked them where they thinking of moving they would say, "Oh, I'd never leave here. I love it here.."

It was confusing. The community I live in now is not dominated by any one religion and I am a better Mormon than I was when I lived among them.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Jim E
Your numbers are off a bit. I current estimate for the age of the universe is 13.8 billion years, and there is no evidence that it is infinite. I find it interesting that anyone could believe in any god having never examined even an infinitesimal amount of that vast cosmos.

“Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Trabuco Canyon, CA

To my Atheist friends........Thank God you are wrong!

Salt Lake City, UT

Everyone, and every group, wants their fifteen minutes of fame, and so it goes.

Sometimes it appears that we, as LDS, are not friendly to people we don't know. So maybe we can work on being neighborly. Sometimes, speaking personally, I am put off by people who seem to have prejudged me and my culture before getting to know me as a person. The unfriendly street goes two ways.

I do recall President Hinckley saying something to the effect: "They can leave the Church but they can't leave it alone." As there might be one or two ex-LDS in the convention population this phrase may support that statement.

Come, spend money, enjoy the sights, play nice, share, and when it's over, drive safely home. If you have come merely to poke fun, to taunt, or to be obnoxious, perhaps you will understand if some of us do our best to ignore the boorish behavior.

Economically speaking, Y'all come back soon!


My dear Atheist friends, Come and have fun! Bring your skis. Go out to eat. Take the tour of Temple Square and the Beehive House or whatever interests you. We welcome everyone here to the Best State in the Nation and you will love it! Just don't come with an attitude of "we're going to change those stupid Mormons" because you won't.

Spanish Fork, Ut

If I was an atheist, what would I care about? Would I care that others had a belief in a supreme being or in an afterlife? Nope. Would I care that there were churches in my community and nation? No. Would I be bothered that people made a claim that we are "a God-fearing country". Not at all. Would I try and convince others of my atheist viewpoint? Absolutely not. If there is no God and no afterlife, none of it matters. What do I care what Christians believe? Since virtually every law and social norm can trace its roots to Judeo Christian mores, I find it absolutely fascinating that the atheist or non religious community get so bent out of shape when they feel the religious community influences what the laws and social norms are but yet, they willingly follow and even support other laws and norms that also have Judeo Christian origins. No God - no morals. Everything is man made. No devil - no evil. No consequences, no rewards. Nothing to hope for, nothing to fear other than the loss of everything. I wouldn't spend 5 seconds worrying about the Mormons but please come spend your money.

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