Comments about ‘Letter: A case for religion’

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Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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American Fork, UT

Religion is the one thing that will cause and enable otherwise moral people to do evil. Suicide bombings, oppression of women, it's all faith based. It is often necessary to eschew religion in order to live to a higher standard.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I don't expect anybody else to live by the same standards I do, but just as I am expected to be tolerant of those who don't share my moral code... I expect them to be tolerant of me and how I choose to live my life.

Don't tell me I must accept the gay lifestyle as "Normal", and I won't insist that you adopt MY standards.

If we can do that.... we don't have a problem.

Eagle Mountain, UT

Religion certainly can be a tool used for good.

However, many, many terrible and horrific deeds have been carried out in the name of "God" Some of the worst thing humanity has done has been under the banner of religion.

Religion certainly can and does add meaning to a lot of people's lives but to say those without it are not good people is a fallacy.

Salt Lake City, UT

One would find that if you look at all 50 states instead of the cherrypicked two I did that there's basically no correlation between religion (or lack thereof) and crime rates. My point is not to claim that atheists are more moral but that religion doesn't really correlate to crime.

Everett, 00

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Don't tell me I must accept the gay lifestyle as "Normal", and I won't insist that you adopt MY standards.

If we can do that.... we don't have a problem.

9:55 a.m. Jan. 15, 2014


Let's apply the golden rule, and test your comment;

Then don't tell others they must accept the MORMON lifestyle as "Normal".
and don't insist that they adopt YOUR standards.

If we can do that.... we don't have a problem.

See how that works?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Good point, but I think you misunderstood what I was saying. To clarify... I don't expect anybody who doesn't want to, to accept my lifestyle, but they need to be tolerant of it. And I think I do the same for the GLBT community. I don't care what they do. But quit trying to push their agenda on me by Government mandate and legislation!

Springville, UT

I know of no one who is saying you may not have your religion. What I think we stand for in this country is that others are free to make choices different from yours.

South Jordan, UT

Three quick points:
- The LDS church does not pass laws. The LDS church does not "force" anybody to do anything. Like the LGBT community, they enter the public discourse and advocate for what they believe in. The problem is that many people seem unable to differentiate between advocacy and force. And don't try to force me away from the bargaining table or the exchange of ideas. If they only way you can win is silence the opposition, you lack a good argument.

- We should define religion. The root for religion is the same as for ligament. Simply it is to bind or connect. Ligaments bind muscle to bone. Religion is designed to bind men to God. That is not a bad thing. Those that use religion for nefarious purposes are not bound to God but to power, greed, lust or some other non-religious idol.

- All our laws are moral laws. Whether they are insider trading or traffic laws, they are designed to enable people to interact with each other in a moral way. What purpose would there be for a law if it did not do that?

Murray, UT

@Mike Richards - You are misinterpreting the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. It explicitly instructs that Congress will not make any law that establishes or promotes religion. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.." It really cannot be any more clear.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

Another confusing letter (or writer) that mistakenly believes religion & morality is synonymous. Religion did not give us morality – it hijacked morality.

Human beings learned to cooperate and show sympathy & compassion tens of thousands of years before religion was invented, for the simple fact that if we didn’t we wouldn’t be here now. Interpersonal conflict, not to mention more powerful predators, would have long ago ended our species without our innate moral sentiments.

And the irony of the “fear of getting caught” comment should not be lost – it makes me think that religious people (who see the world this way) should definitely stay religious because perhaps their fear of eternal damnation - and please explain how this fear is fundamentally different - is the only thing keep them in check… sad indeed!

@Thid Barker – “If we eliminate religion, life loses all meaning!”


You mean your day to day life has no meaning including raising children (who will be here after your “lights go out”) and generally trying to leave the world a better place? That means nothing to you?

I’m speechless…

South Jordan, UT

mcdugall: So instead of just saying it is clear, why don't you explain exactly what it means.
- Does religion mean Christianity as a whole or individual denominations like Baptists, Presbyterians, or Methodists?
- Is this restriction on Congress only? Do state legislatures have the right to make establishment laws?

Bear in mind these facts:
- When the Constitution was passed, most of the new states did have a "state religion."
- The constitution of every state includes reference to diety.
- For almost two centuries, nearly every act of Congress was rooted in Christian doctrine and belief.

So, since it is so clear to you despite being unclear to clergy, judiciary, and scholars since its inception, please explain it to us. And please don't belabor us with your opinion on the matter but a clear, irrefutable, and conclusive statement is what we need in our country today.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Thid Barker – “If we eliminate religion, life loses all meaning!”

And even if this were true, how do you know your religion has the correct story (hint: unless you’re God, you don’t, period.)?

What if, for example, the Hindus actually have it right – and they have been receiving revelations and having profound spiritual experiences “verifying” the truth of their religion for literally thousands of years – and we return to the Earth countless times (reincarnation) taking on different bodies and personalities each time.

In that case, yes the lights do indeed go out on you as an individual, but surely the endless cycle of returning here 3 or 4 generations later to reap what the former you (and prior generations) have sown is profoundly meaningful.

In fact from the standpoint of ethics and stewardship, I would assert this to be a far better way to get us to learn the lessons of love and caring than the Christian story of “we come here once and then leave it behind for the eternal barcalounger or torture chamber.”

That sounds about as consequence-less (from Earth's pov) as it gets…

Sandy, UT

Jeff, I respect that you have your religious beliefs but remember that they are your religious beliefs. Remember that no two Mormons, Catholics, Muslims or any other religion have the same exact religious beliefs. Beliefs are interpretations and nothing exemplifies this more than the recent confession from the predominate faith about their history with race. No one is forcing anyone to use birth control or enter a same sex marriage. As I understand it a key tenant of all religion is treat others as you would like to be treated, respectively. So please, don't scold me when I interpret the Constitution, Bible or all the Mormon literature differently than you. My faith is personal and mine. It's up to you to get your own, or not.


"But quit trying to push their agenda on me by Government mandate and legislation!" Then why can't I buy a bottle of wine on Sunday? Why can't i buy any alcohol in some cities on Sunday. Why can't I buy a car on Sunday?

"The LDS church does not pass laws." Not directly, but you can't expect me to believe they in some way or another don't inlfuence most laws in this state.

Mike Richards
"There are those who want to force us to be godly. Force is not a trait of godliness." Does this group include you? You seem to be more than willing to force others to lead your acceptable lifestyle.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"
Of course Congress can. However, using your logic, since my religion believes human sacrifice is an essential part of worship, can I offer you as a sacrifice to my gods?Of course not.

"As me me and my house, I will serve the Lord. Lord Vader, that is."

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

If you need religion to tell you that stealing is wrong or lying is immoral than you really do need religion!
Christ gave us the golden rule, that was the only law he taught, the simplicity of this concept is to difficult for many to follow, because they need justifications hidden in the complexity of religions to treat others poorly with prejudice or animosity. Religions are like political parties, vying for supporters by using the us vs them like am radio.

Nope religion, isn't the the key to good behavior.

Poplar Grove, UT

"For almost two centuries, nearly every act of Congress was rooted in Christian doctrine and belief."
At first I thought this wasn't correct, then I started thinking back on what the 1st two centuries of America looked like, and you might be on to something.
Slavery, yup, that's ok in the bible
Treating women as subhuman and a mans property, yep that's in the bible as well
Christians believing that they are morally superior to the native people of a land, and slaughtering them to take the land for themselves, yep that's in the bible too.
Yes sir, many fine christian values were reflected in this countries history.....

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

RE: "Why can't I buy a car on Sunday"?

That's a good point. I don't care if you buy a car on Sunday. But should I be required to WORK on Sunday so you can buy a car on Sunday?

I think that is the reason for it. Not just to prevent you from buying a car on Sunday (or to force you to comply to a moral code).

You realise that for you to buy your car on Sunday... a lot of people have to work on Sunday... right? So are you not forcing them to violate their standards and accept YOUR morality, so you can buy your car?

Doesn't seem like a big sacrifice (not being able to buy a car absolutely any time you want to).


You have a good point on alchol. I don't understand those laws. You should be able to get your alchohol any time or place you want (IMO). Those laws are changing gradually though.

South Jordan, UT

cavetroll: Convincing you is not high on my list of priorities. What you choose to believe or not believe evidently has very little in common with reality and there's nothing I can do about that. Your comment completely ignores the point of my post which is that all of us should be able to advocate for their point of view in political discourse. In fact, I would suggest that organizations that support SSM have had a greater "indirect" effect on laws that the church has. Why are you not up in arms about them? Simply because you share their perspective. Pretty lame thought processes in my mind.

Tyler D: "(hint: unless you’re God, you don’t, period.)" demonstrates a pretty closed mind. It implies that because YOU haven't had spiritual confirmations, nobody can. The fact is that God can and does reveal things to man constantly. If you aren't on the bandwagon, that's no reason to assume it's empty. Unless you think you are God. Maybe you do and maybe you don't but the people in the world are not limited to your experiences.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Happy Valley Heretic,
If you need a government law telling you (or forcing you) to wear your seatbelt or your motorcycle helmet before you can see it is the right thing to do... then you really DO need government, and more government regulations.

Politicos are like Political parites, vying for supporters by using the us vs them like am radio.

Nope government, isn't the the key to good behavior.

Houston, TX

Lots of comments have suggested that the author is trying to force folks into religion or into obedience to higher laws. I didn't see anything in his suggestions that included force.

Some comments defend athiests as high-minded, moral individuals, citing obedience to civil laws. Would they also affirm that most atheists are 100% faithful to their spouses and children? Do they repent when they fall short of that ideal? If so, then what is the nature of the influence that leads them to that change?

Religious folks are also prone to attitudes and actions that hurt the family. However, they have an influence that urges them to repent and change. For Christians, this is recognized as the Light of Christ.

Repentence and subsequent obedience is the key to a happy life, now and forever.

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