It is amazing how so many people start talking about their religious freedom and
it would never even occur to them that the same religious freedom belongs to us!
I didn't stop believing in God because I am gay and my belief in God is not
any less important because others don't seem to think it exists! God is not
something that is owned. He is the God of us all and we all have the right to
worship him including me, the gay man! Why do people have such a need to degrade
others. We have a right to stand up and we don't have to accept the
degrading role that so called good Christians seem to throw on us! we are good
people and we come from good families and is pathetic to watch others insist
that we are anything less than they are!
When a rainbow flag is flown in a military installation while a chaplain's
tent can't put a cross on the door, it's difficult to convince any
reasonable person that freedom of religion isn't under attack.When socialized medical reform takes taxpayer and business owner dollars to
pay for immoral things and same-sex couples are leveraging ultimatums against
Catholic orphanages, it's difficult to convince any reasonable person that
freedom of religion isn't under attack.
mcbillay - No employer has ever dictated what health care their employees can
have. NEVER!Go buy any health care you want. Your employer
won't stand in your way.I want to be your employee, and then
demand that YOU BUY ME the car I want!
@Lagomorph --"Have you ever not put a family photo in your
workplace because it would betray your heterosexuality?Have you ever
removed your wedding ring because people would know you were straight?Have you ever not taken your spouse to a social function because he/she is of
the opposite sex?I suspect you have never done these things because
there is no penalty for being straight in today's society. You never have
to fear losing a job or housing or friends or getting beaten because you
accidentally gave a clue about your sexual orientation."Wonderful post!When straight people actually have to refrain from
holding their spouse's hand in public for fear of getting straight-bashed,
THEN they may have a point about straight pride.When straight people
can actually get fired for merely saying "I'm going to the movies with
my wife", THEN they may have a point about straight pride.Until
then, they have no point at all.
Ranch, you missed the part about furry taking the bait.You want all
H(omosexual)TB people to come out of the closet so you have room to stuff all
the religious people into that closet. If being in the closet was so bad, why
would you want to stuff your fellow man into it? That's hypocritical part.
This is an article about religious freedom, how it has been protected and how it
is threatened with destruction.BTW children hold hands. It
isn't sexual or objectionable. Eating each other's face (and many
other things that would get my post denied), that is sexual, and repulsive in
public no matter what kind of couple it is, (no prejudice, no hypocrisy, just
equality). Wouldn't be caught dead at Mardi-gras. I don't worship any
kind of sexuality, or attend any type of festivals/shows celebrating it. People can get arrested for having sex in public. Sex is a private
matter.People cannot be arrested for praying in public. The Constitution
protects the free exercise of religion, and free speech. 226 years have shaped
the laws and they are as they should be.
Badgerbadger: "But I do wonder, have you ever marched in a heterosexual
pride parade or participated in a heterosexual pride festival to get the press
to promote heterosexuality?"No. Because heterosexuality is the
dominant paradigm and enjoys the privilege of hegemony. It has no need to
promote pride in itself because it owns pride. EVERY day is straight pride day.
It is promoted in every movie, sitcom, billboard, Cialis ad, school, and
church. Everywhere you look is the message "straight is good."
Straight needs no festival.On the other hand...Have you
ever not put a family photo in your workplace because it would betray your
heterosexuality?Have you ever removed your wedding ring because
people would know you were straight?Have you ever not taken your
spouse to a social function because he/she is of the opposite sex?I
suspect you have never done these things because there is no penalty for being
straight in today's society. You never have to fear losing a job or
housing or friends or getting beaten because you accidentally gave a clue about
your sexual orientation.
@procuradorfiscal --"In other words, LGBT activists are pushing
this deranged interpretation of their brave new world of gender-indentity
discrimination law, such that it punishes ONLY religious people, and benefits
ONLY the LGBT community."Nooooooooooope. I dunno how you got
there, but you're completely wrong.In fact, as I quoted above,
"U.S. federal law protects employees from discrimination or harassment based
on sex, race, age, disability, color, creed, national origin, religion, or
sexual orientation. " Those protected groups INCLUDE religions, in case you
missed it the first time.The KKK is not a religion -- it's a
political group.The Family Conference is also not a religion --
it's a political group.Smokers are not a religion --
they're addicts.And please remember that many many religious
people, including quite a few Christian denominations, SUPPORT gay marriage.Now, if you asked me whether a gay business owner should serve a
Southern Baptist customer -- well, sure, of course he should.But
that's not what you asked.
Badgerbadger says:"My religious convictions shape who I am and
are exhibited in the way I live every day, including the time I am at work/in
public. I would never hold a job that required me to check my religion at the
door. To be asked to mask the religion in my life is a violation of my
constitutional right to freely exercise my religion." And yet
you tell homosexuals to check their "sexuality" at the door when they
leave their homes (violating our constitutional rights as well) so that they
don't offend you when you see us holding hands or whatever it is that
offends you about us.Heterosexual parades? Have you ever witnessed Mardi
Gras?To use your own words: "O ye intolerant hypocrite".
Badger -- I have never been told I lack worth because I'm straight or that
I was deserving of discrimination because I'm straight; therefore I see no
nee for affirming my worth through a pride festival, and the press already
promotes heterosexuality. Your comment is without value or purpose.Nobody is being asked to "leave their religion at the door" -- they
are always free to believe what they want and worship as they choose (and hold
whatever animus they choose for whatever reason). The only thing they are being
asked to do is treat everyone equally in the public marketplace. They are being
asked to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's -- in other words,
to refrain from unreasonable discrimination. The arguments you try to make are
those used against mixed race marriages, which were negated and held
unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in Loving v Virginia. As a person of
faith, I have no problem treating ALL by brothers and sisters in a manner free
of prejudice. It's said that others don't do the same.
Counter Intelligence - you are in great form on this thread!!! Too bad your
allotted posts are gone. I would have loved to see more, although I am glad to
see you abide by the posting rules, unlike many other posters here.Furry1993 - Thank you for taking the bait. Yes people do exhibit who they are
in public, just by being who they are. This article is about an effort by some
to require those who are religious to pretend they are not when in public. My
religious convictions shape who I am and are exhibited in the way I live every
day, including the time I am at work/in public. I would never hold a job that
required me to check my religion at the door. To be asked to mask the religion
in my life is a violation of my constitutional right to freely exercise my
religion. But I do wonder, have you ever marched in a heterosexual
pride parade or participated in a heterosexual pride festival to get the press
to promote heterosexuality?I haven't either.
ToBadgerbadger 4:55 p.m. Nov. 18, 2013I am a "straight"
woman in her 60s. I have been married for over 44 years to an equally
"straight" man who is now in his 70s. And guess what -- we parade our
sexuality around all the time -- when we hold hands in public, or sit walk with
our arms around each other, or lovingly (not get-a-room) kiss in public, or when
we have our family's picture on our desks at work. We parade around the
fact that we enjoy sexual intimacy with each other when we talk about the fact
that we have two children and have had four pregnancies that self-terminated in
the second trimester. We do not keep, or hide, our sexuality in our bedroom.
And NOBODY has ever demanded that we hide our sexuality from the world. I see no reason to deny people who happen to be homosexual the right to
do in public the things that are totally acceptable when people who happen to be
heterosexual do them in public.
To those who think religion should be only allowed behind closed doors, look in
the mirror. Do you keep your anti-religion behind your closed doors or do you
spit it in other people's faces? (hint: it is the latter)With
regard to homosexuality, do you keep it in the bedroom? Hardly! You parade your
sexuality around, literally, while demanding that religious people hide any
semblance of who they are from your sight.I realize it is a Biblical
word, but oh ye intolerant hypocrites!
I've been thinking about this one a lot lately, because I encounter a lot
of returned Mexican Mennonites from time to time, everywhere from walmart in
Taber, Alberta to walmart in Phoenix. Aside from the fact that many of them seem
to be mixed up in drug cartels, the reason they left for mexico in the first
place was to avoid service in the second world war, for 'religious'
reasons. I do not look upon this act with favour, nor upon their return from
their 65 year mexican vacation. It may be something of a generalisation, but to
me their religious objections may have been real at the time but now just seem
like an excuse of convenience and avoidance.
Religions have been trying to force their individual beliefs upon Americans
since the Reagan years. When a "religion" is engaged in
commerce, it should be treated as any other business and not be privy to the
protections of "religion."Our Constitution was set up as the
standard for ALL Americans and that means the "equal opportunity" clause
should not be challenged by religious dogma.Just as religious people
have the freedom to practice their religious beliefs, as granted by the
Constitution, the people not of their belief system have the right to
"Freedom from religion" in our government.
LagomorphSalt Lake City, UTAgreed.Blue Ribbon
Winner - Best arguement.
Mike RichardsSouth Jordan, UtahMarriage is a sacred religious
covenant. Government has no authority to define marriage. That definition
belongs to God and to God alone.8:30 a.m. Nov. 17, 2013========If that be the case - Mike - Then Government should
have nothing to do with marriage at all.No "legally and lawfully
wedded".And if 2 gay want to get married, They can go down
to any little white church along the Vegas strip and call it good?
It's nice to see the DesNews taking a more nuanced approach in their
ongoing reporting and editorializing on religious liberty conflicts. Drawing on
other faith traditions (like Quaker conscientious objectors) shows an evolving
awareness of the breadth of the issue and is a refreshing change from their
previous litany of Hobby Lobby and wedding cake bakers. Invoking conscientious
objectors also works as a clever rhetorical move by hinting at a moral
equivalence of homophobes with a cause dear to liberals.However,
completely ignored once again by the DesNews are the many religious faiths that
embrace same sex marriage who are prohibited by the government from the free
exercise of their religious beliefs. Until this paper stands with those
churches and fights as vigorously for their right to perform gay marriages in
states where prohibited as it does for other faiths not to where allowed, then
all of its talk of religious liberty is only self-serving posturing. If the
paper genuinely stands for religious liberty and freedom of conscience for all,
it must stand with and defend all faiths and their practices, no matter how
repugnant or unpopular they may be.
Re: "Your hypothetical customers -- a Family Symposium, smokers, the KKK --
are not members of protected groups. Therefore, anti-discrimination laws do not
apply to them."In other words, LGBT activists are pushing this
deranged interpretation of their brave new world of gender-indentity
discrimination law, such that it punishes ONLY religious people, and benefits
ONLY the LGBT community.Hmmmmm.Well, at least
you're honest enough to admit the direction you're heading in this war
@procuradorfiscal --These are interesting questions. In order to
answer them, however, you have to look a bit more deeply into the issues of
legally proscribed discrimination and protected groups.From
wikipedia: "A protected group is a group of people qualified for special
protection by a law, policy, or similar authority. In the United States, the
term is frequently used in connection with employees and employment.U.S. federal law protects employees from discrimination or harassment based on
sex, race, age, disability, color, creed, national origin, religion, or sexual
orientation. Many state laws also give certain protected groups special
protection against harassment and discrimination, as do many employer
policies."A group becomes "protected" for several
reasons -- they constitute a minority or disadvantaged underclass of some sort,
they have historically been discriminated against by the majority, and so on.
Section 5 of the 14th Amendment gives the government the Constitutional right to
protect such groups against the tyranny of the majority.Your
hypothetical customers -- a Family Symposium, smokers, the KKK -- are not
members of protected groups. Therefore, anti-discrimination laws do not apply to
them. Nonetheless, in a *moral* sense you present an interesting
Just curious -- Why was I blasted and getting pasted DAILY by
conservatives for defending Muslims seeking to build an Islamic Cultural Center
in New York?And where the Deseret News back then?
Allowing same sex couples to marry does not post a threat to religious freedom -
it does not infringe upon the rights of believers to worship as they see fit, to
proclaim their morality, to believe as they wish to believe. Believers can
refuse to invite gay people to their barbecues and churc potlucks.The question is whether or not businesses can legally discriminate. The
longstanding answer is (generally) no. Businesses are public accommodations -
open to and serving the general public. As long as the customer is not asking
the business to break the law, they can't legally refuse to provide their
good or service to the customer on the basis of race, religion, national origin,
physical or mental ability, gender and increasingly, sexual orientation. A
lesbian deli owner can't refuse to sell someone a sandwich because
they're an evangelical Christian. To me, it's a question
of asking business owners to make business decisions based on purely business
reasons. If my check clears, why should you care about my race, religion,
sexual orientation, national origin or physical ability?
Re: ". . . the law says you can't discriminate against customers of a
certain genre just 'because'."So, a friend who is LGBT
and who owns a T-shirt silk-screening business can, and should, be forced by the
government to make T-shirts for an upcoming Traditional Family Symposium, in
which traditionalists will discuss ways to maintain marriage laws in their
traditional form?Or another who owns a court reporting business
should be forced by government bureaucrats to take a stenotype transcript of
their proceedings?How about my friend, a cancer survivor, who owns a
catering business? Should government be enabled to force her into catering a
cigar aficionado smoke-in?Or, how about forcing a holocaust survivor
or family member to cater a KKK rally?I suspect our liberal and
libertine friends would balk at all these. And, it should be noted that note of
these cases involve government enacting a law "prohibiting the free
exercise" of religion, as is the case with laws requiring religious-owned
business to participate in LGBT ceremonies and observances.
The Constitution guarantees religious freedom for churches not individuals. The only words about religious freedom are those found in the First
Amendment:“Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise
thereof;”…The words “establishment of
religion” can be taken two ways. First as a existing church itself and
second as an official government religion. In either case the word
“thereof” in the second part of the phrase, is taken to relate to
the subject of the first part. The second part must be taken to be “or
prohibiting the free exercise of an establishment of religion”. Therefore no protection for the individual person’s freedom of religion.
If we are to have Constitutional freedom of religion for individuals, we must
amend the Constitution by public referendum.
Re: "You have the right to your beliefs - you do not have the right to
punish those whose beliefs are different than yours."Apparently,
however, disingenuous LGBT activists and callow liberals are OK with those whose
beliefs differ from ours punishing US.That's the real problem,
here. LGBT have always had the same rights as anyone else. But, unsatisfied with
that, they now seek "rights" that place them in a special, privileged
position, from which they can hurl, not just insults, but lawsuits and
bureaucratic decrees, as well, against those of us that don't share their
belief in what, for all but the tiniest fraction of human history, has been
recognized as evil, frivolous, or counterproductive.In this brave
new liberal world: Punishing them for their beliefs? Bad. Them punishing us for
our beliefs? Good.That's great bizzarro-world logic.
I just want to know WHY I was hammered and blasted DAILY on these DN comment
boards for defending the rights of Muslims to build an Islamic Cultural Center
in New York -- by "fellow" uber-conservatives Mormons?
There's a new book out that speaks directly to this squabble. I've
only begun to read it but the premise is clear. The book is "Moral
Tribes". It's premise is that we have evolved with moral principles to
solve the problems of cooperation. However, the original evolution of morals
was to solve problems in small groups, even between families. Unfortunately we
haven't evolved beyond that ability but our problems and particularly our
societal problems have gotten much bigger and more complicated. The
authors thought is that we have to consciously develop new moral principles that
encompass the needs of whole societies not just the few we know and care about.
In other words "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"
needs to somehow include all religions, non believers straight, gay, fortunate
and unfortunate. Unfortunately as soon as you say "all rights
are granted by God" or the government (society) does not grant rights that
meta moral conversation is dead. You've shrunk back into your small group
and denied the last 300 years of history.
@Counter Intelligence;Fighting against bigotry, even when it comes
from religion, is not taking away your religious freedom. We are fighting the
bigotry of the religious. The fact that you start a business means you agree to
operate within the law; and the law says you can't discriminate against
customers of a certain genre just "because". If your religion is
telling you that bigotry is okay, than I suggest you find yourself a better
religion because the one telling to that bigotry is okay is not a very good
It is a real shame, then, that Michael Otterson of the LDS Church's Public
Affairs Department would read, in purported behalf of the Church, a statement of
support for an ordinance in Salt Lake City that would in fact strip religious
PEOPLE of some of their private property and business rights of discrimination
relative to their religious beliefs.Should have stuck to what was
right instead of trying to win the praise of the world.
"so let me repeat: Religious freedom is not a negotiable item; it is a
constitutional guarantee"Yeah, that's not true.
@ CI: "Religious freedom is not a negotiable item; it is a constitutional
guarantee"Child marriages, polygamy, human sacrifice, child
abuse and neglect, female genital mutilation, spousal abuse. We
place many limits on religious freedom - limits you support and agree with. Are
you suggesting these limits should be removed?
intervention "perhaps there is a reason you feel the need to set
such a tome"Yes there is; the most intolerant people I have
experienced in my life are those that think they are tolerant because they
perpetrate in the name of rescuing victims.therefore if my tone made
perps uncomfortable - good
@CII have to wonder if you stopped to think that your first comment may
set the tone for the way other respond? perhaps there is a reason you feel the
need to set such a tome.
spring streetWell comments by Hutterite, Ultra Bob, Pagan,
RanchHand, Apocalypse please, pragmatistferlife, nonceleb, Marxist and yourself
would seem to indicate that a preemptive strike was downright prophetic. And I did make a case for religious liberty - you were just were too
busy feigning offence (aka I know you are but what am I) to grasp it - so let
me repeat: Religious freedom is not a negotiable item; it is a constitutional
guaranteeNothing else really needs to be said about it
Your 'conscience'…? Stops, at my life.
Focus on your OWN actions before trying to dictate the actions, of others.
sorry that should be preemptive
@CI So how exactly did your comment stand up for religious freedom, al I
see is a primitive strike to try to squelch anyone that may disagree with you by
claiming they are attacking the DN and in the process make the DN out to be a
victim. If you have a valid case to make for religious freedom why don't
you do the DN a favor and just make it.
I'm sure that the Deseret News Editorial board is completely happy to allow
Evangelicals to hang "No Mormons Served Here" signs in their windows.Bigotry, which is what this OP Ed promotes, harms people. You are not
allowed to use your religion to harm others; that's why the government
reserves the right to reign in religious excesses.Additionally, how
much do you want to bet that these "conscientious objectors" to same-sex
marriage and serving LGBT couples enjoy R rated moves that promote sex out of
wedlock? How many of them watch TV and have nothing to say about all the
pre-marital sex on these shows? That is what is called "hypocrisy", and
I'm sure that these so-called "Christians" have read the passages
in the bible where Jesus (as well as the OT) have nothing but condemnation for
spring streetThose who fight for religious freedom are only victims
if they allow those who seek to deny religious freedom to get away with being
perpetrators*. Saying NO to a perpetrator is the antithesis of
being a victim.Although I do realize that it must be very
frustrating for the left to have someone mock their game (but not my
problem)(* a category that includes passive/aggressive politicos who
perpetrate in the name of victims)
The extreme left posting here once again show they have no understanding of the
1st amendment, and what freedom of religion and speech and assembly is ands
means. If you deny religious people and religious groups access to
the public square , a public voice in the affairs of this country, then you
might as well tear up the first amendment. @pragmatistferlifeWould care to show any example where you "rights" have been
impacted?The government does NOT "lawfully grant rights".So, I take it your right to your beliefs and ideologies ends when it
impacts my "lawfully granted rights"?
"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."I like this article of faith. If
only we could live up to what it says.
The honoring of religion and churches has not come about because of the good
that religion and churches do, but rather by the political power that religions
and churches have over the governments of people. If the work in
building a new nation was inspired by God, why did the founding fathers do it in
secrete. To me the Bill of Rights was driven by the greed and
corruption of the governments of the colonies many of whom were church
controlled. It has been my observation that when people do the work of god,
they tend to shout it our. The lack of concern for the individuals welfare in
the Bill of Rights tells me that the motivation changed from the Declaration of
Independence. I believe that religious, church, charity, and all
such do not deserve the special accommodations that they claim.
"... untold consequences for children." Children are already being
raised by gay couples. Would not being recognized as a LEGAL family actually
result in positive consequences for their children?Property tax
exemption protects "entanglements" which could endanger religious
freedom? The exemption is the trade-off for religion not imposing itself on the
democratic political system - separation of church and state.The
exemption helps to reduce "government expenditures"? It dramatically
reduces tax revenues which causes smaller state budgets and larger federal
deficits. Reduction in government expenditures is due to the need to cut
spending because of a lack of this revenue source more than it is churches
having more money for charity. If churches were taxed it would actually
encourage more tax-exempt charity. "... to live according to
one's conscience" does not mean you can impose your belief system on
others and discriminate against them. You can still practice your beliefs
unrestrained in your own personal life - which is what really matters. There is so much flawed logic in this article.
I'm always reminded of an old adage. Your right to swing your fist ends
where my nose begins. Your right to religious freedom ends when it impacts my
lawfully granted rights.
So I have to wonder do those of you that agree with the DN and if the DN itself
likes the fact that "counter intelligence," always places you in the box
of being a victim?
Pacifists are not forced to serve in combat roles in the military - they are,
however, required to serve and work with individuals who have and currently do
serve in combat roles, in spite of the fact that combat violates their religious
principles.There is no reason to treat those who oppose same-sex
marriage any differently than we treat those who oppose war and killing - they
can choose not to participate in it for themselves, they can teach their
children that it is wrong and against their beliefs, but they cannot act out
against those who hold a different viewpoint.You have the right to
your beliefs - you do not have the right to punish those whose beliefs are
different than yours.
People of faith are not being denied their right to conscience. As individuals.
But rights apply first to individuals, and people are recognising that religion
no longer has the right to try to interfere with that process. Religions'
desire to oppress others will have to take short shrift in favour of rights to
those it wishes to oppress. That's ok, it's just religion after all.
It doesn't have to like gay marriage, even though there really isn't
anything to dislike about it.
A man's religion is between God and himself; it is not between the man and
the State on any level of government. The Declaration of Independence declares:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that
among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."The
founding fathers knew that government did not grant rights to us, but that our
Creator gave us unalienable rights; then, to guarantee the right to worship as
we pleased, without government dictating to us how we should worship or what our
doctrine and covenants should be, the founding fathers added this to the
Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"Government
cannot dictate to us individually how we are to worship or how we are to perform
religious covenants. Government cannot dictate to an establishment of religion
its doctrine or how it is to perform its covenants. Marriage is a sacred
religious covenant. Government has no authority to define marriage. That
definition belongs to God and to God alone.
Please don't be prejudiced toward us, when we are prejudiced toward others.
The DN will certainly get posts from the standard politically correct crowd
arguing that "they are tolerant and anyone who disagrees is a bigot":
while remaining oblivious to the fact that such arguments merely prove that they
are wrong on both counts. Religious freedom is not a negotiable item; it
is a constitutional guarantee.
Contemporary capitalism has advanced a widening gap between the super wealthy
and the working class. This should be of some concern to you. What impact
might the kind of religious liberty you advocate have on this widening gap and
its potential to shred society?