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Religious freedom under increasing pressure around the world, latest Pew report finds

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  • Mormon for Ron Paul SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 25, 2014 11:59 p.m.

    I love this sentence,
    "That is not true of other dominant religions, where it is more common for the dominant religion to align with the state to the detriment of religious minorities and schismatics within their own faith."

    It seems The State of Utah does not understand this Irony.

    Render unto Ceaser. We make mammon enforce the laws of God. the laws of God become corrupted and the corrupt laws corrupt our society to be violent and judgmental, instead of using the spirit of Christ to persuade, we use guns to enforce. Gays cant drink at the well of tax breaks and stewardship rights because they are unclean. anyone that says otherwise is a heretic.

    If you personally believe the rhetoric about defining marriage as one man and one woman, and are a Mormon I plead that you prayerfully study D&C134:4,9

  • Before Adam SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 25, 2014 11:57 p.m.

    Many of my faith (Mormons) Believe that Marriage should be legally defined by government. It is hard to study church history, the new testament and prayerfully ask what the lord would have me do. then when receiving such revelation when I know to be true is opposed to the popular view. It is hard to disagree with the policy of the church in this matter... even if my view is based on doctrine and not the opinions of current apostles. This is one of the problems with living in Utah. This not only a problem with me but non Mormons that live in Utah, they call the religious legislation for what it is, unchristian.

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 2:24 p.m.

    To RedWings:

    I am all for Mormons and other religious people sharing their faith with me. I am also cool with missionaries knocking on my door. But when I try to spread my beliefs (that all religion is man made) with my family and friends they seem to get annoyed that I am trying to share that with them. It has to go both ways.

    When people try and talk to me or show me things about the Mormon church I always say "I will listen to what you have to say if you will listen to what I have to say". They usually say never mind. They don't want to hear opposing view points.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    Jan. 17, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    To "Ranch" but isn't that what the gays are doing with all of their gay marriage lawsuits? They are trying to force those that do not believe in gay marriage to accept gay marriage.

    As for the 10th Ammendment, you are wrong. It tells the states that if there is nothing said about something in the Constitution, then it is up to the state to decide how to handle it. Since there is nothing in the Constitution about marriage, then it is up to the states or the people to decide. We decided, now a judge has decided that the 10th ammendment doesn't mean anything.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 7:44 a.m.

    @Phillip M Hotchkiss;

    I criticize you and your religions because you/they are trying to force others to live by your beliefs. When you stop, I'll stop. You reap what you sow.

    @illuminated;

    You say: "The 10th amendment grants states to believe what they want to believe, that's why it's okay for Utah to define marriage between a man and a woman, because they should have the right to believe what they want to believe. "

    The 10th amendment doesn't say what you think it says. It says that states have authority over what is NOT PROHIBITED them. Guess what, discrimination against US citizens is prohibited the states. You don't get to define terms such that they purposely discriminate against certain US citizens you don't like.

    @RedWings;

    Good for you and your life. I'm glad you're in a better place than you wee. My life, on the other hand has been immeasurably better since I left "the church".

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 5:33 p.m.

    @ tsquared
    "I don't understand why a growing number of people think that only values and beleifs obtained from non-religious sources are valid and should therefore be forced upon people but values and beleifs obtained from religious sources are never valid and should be eliminated completely from public life".

    I believe this statement is a straw man argument that completely misrepresents reality. In reality, very few, if any, people believe that values obtained from religious sources are "never valid". The debate should be to what extent one person' or group's values (whether rooted in religion or not) should be used as a basis to persecute or restrict the freedom of others.

  • Simple Truths Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 3:46 p.m.

    Ten steps to destroying religious freedom:
    1. Followers of one faith decide to use the power of their numbers or wealth to increase their earthly influence.
    2. That faith begins to influence government. If you don’t follow that faith, you are at a disadvantage at every point of civic contact.
    3. Civic leaders and religious leaders begin to overlap.
    4. The church becomes a path to power subjecting church leadership to political intrigue.
    5. Practices that were once unique to the dominant faith become mandatory and enforceable by law whether you believe in those practices or not.
    6. Religious practices loose efficacy because they are no longer expressions of faith; they are mandates.
    7. The dominant church is corrupted by power as it becomes a branch of government and its workings become about power not spirituality.
    8. In effort to keep and hold now corrupted power, the church suppresses any who speak against it and punish heresy with civic power. They can imprison, seize property, and kill any who contradict the establishment.
    9. Spiritual minorities either within the church or from another faith rise up against the oppression and corruption and seize power for themselves.
    10. Repeat.

  • tsquared State College, PA
    Jan. 16, 2014 12:13 p.m.

    Any law (laws force people to live a certain way) that is passed comes from someone's ideas of values or beleifs, whether or not those values or beleifs were obtained from a religious source or otherwise. I don't understand why a growing number of people think that only values and beleifs obtained from non-religious sources are valid and should therefore be forced upon people but values and beleifs obtained from religious sources are never valid and should be eliminated completely from public life.

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 16, 2014 11:59 a.m.

    "Some may become over-zealous in sharing such a message. I have found though, that even if they do it is based out of love and concern for their fellow man."

    So when as Islamic terrorist detonates a bomb, killing hundreds of innocent people, we should chalk that up to him being over-zealous in sharing his message out of his concern for his fellow man?

  • Simple Truths Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    Everything I read in this article points to the biggest oppressor of religious freedom is other religions.

    Citizens of our nation, and nations who have adopted separation of church and state ideals are able to foster their personal faith and express it as they wish.

    The cycle of oppression goes around and around: One conservative religious group takes civil power and uses it to further their cause, oppressing other groups. The oppressed groups eventually rise up and take that civil power for themselves as the old group becomes corrupted by governmental power. Then, the new groups becomes the oppressors until they stagnate and are replaced by a new group. Around and around and around they go.

    I'm so proud and thankful to be an American where our system of separation allows every person and faith community to cultivate and grow their beliefs without being tainted by the lure of governmental power.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 11:51 a.m.

    @GZE

    You said - "You have no problem with making derogatory remarks or laws targeting Islam or Hinduism or Shinto. The only religious people you are concerned about are either Christians or Jews."

    What laws have been passed here in the U.S. against the religious groups you mentioned. As for derogatory comments, are you seriously going to tell me that Christians in this country are never targeted with derogatory comments? Are you seriously going to tell me that journalists, bloggers, political activists and comedians never insult or mock Christians?

    You said - "I am Pagan. None of you have a problem making fun of my religion. You don't understand my religion; you don't even believe it's a "real" religion. If you want my respect, respect me."

    Okay, tell me about your religion. I'm curious to listen.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 11:44 a.m.

    @The Taxman

    I totally agree with your first comment. In fact, when Christian conservatives in this country continually fight over issues like displays of the Ten Commandments at court houses, they're actually doing a disservice to the concept of freedom of religion. Those who are genuinely concerned about freedom of religion should spend more time supporting their fellow believers in other nations that do not enjoy the freedoms we do here in the USA.

    As for your second comment, I would say you are partly correct. Yes, religious people are indeed persecuting other religious people in many nations. However in other countries such as China and North Korea it is still the state and the state alone which is responsible for religious oppression.

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 11:34 a.m.

    Hutterite:

    Sorry, but when one finds something that changes their life for the better, they want to share it.

    My life has changed for the better in so many ways since I returned to the Church. I am kinder, more patient, better to my family. All of that because I accepted Christ. Peace resides in my heart like never before.

    Some may become over-zealous in sharing such a message. I have found though, that even if they do it is based out of love and concern for their fellow man.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    dw1156
    Salt Lake City, UT

    "Is it possible the worst enemy of religion is religion?" Marxist countries are no better at protecting religious freedom. Rigid ideology that does not respect individual agency, religious or not, is the problem.

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 16, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    Unfortunately I have a job and must work, so I do not have time to read the full study today. But the takeaways from this article seem to be:

    1) The right-wing ideologues in this country who claim that religious freedom is decreasing here are wrong. This study shows that religious freedom is unchanged in the Americas. Time to knock off the rhetoric here.
    2) it seems abundantly clear that the genesis of most religious intolerance and persecution today is religion itself (not the absence of religion). Religious people are persecuting people of other religions or other factions of the same religion. Even state-sponsored persecution is the result of one religion entrenching itself in a government. Very ironic.

  • dw1156 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 7:33 p.m.

    I’m not surprised by the content of this article, but I’m somewhat baffled by how to interpret it. Here we have one example after another of at least one religion hindering the freedoms of another religion. Is it possible the worst enemy of religion is religion?

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Jan. 15, 2014 3:23 p.m.

    Sheesh, the report is concerned with people being killed, and the comments predictably break down into the usual debate over who's worse: secularists or religionists. The stuff that's happening around the world makes our debates here look petty. Can't we at least agree that people are entitled to worship (or not) according to their own choices, and should never be subjected to some of the vile things cited in the report?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 3:16 p.m.

    To "Hutterite" unfortunately the worst religions are Athiesm and Secular Humanism. They are currently the most vocal and forceful in pushing their beliefs onto the nation.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 1:46 p.m.

    @Vanceone
    "who insist that Christian churches should not be allowed to influence or even speak up about topics, ever. They are curiously silent about Islam, though."

    It applies to Islam too but since the majority of the nation is Christian, that's where the influence strong enough to change laws comes from. Also, they can speak up however they want, but the laws must have a secular reasoning to be constitutional.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 1:37 p.m.

    Religion isn't just the victim; it's the cause. It is never content to be kept to itself, nor to an individual, or a group of individuals.

  • illuminated St George, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    @Ranch

    "Believe whatever you want. Express whatever you want. Just don't try to force others who do not believe as you do to live by your beliefs."

    But you just did yourself. Why can't I force someone to believe what I believe? By telling me that, you're pushing your values on me. Most Muslim countries believe it's perfectly okay to force someone to be Muslim.

    It's like consent in marriage. YOU believe that consent is a requirement for marriage, why should someone else have to believe that? Don't force your beliefs, ANY BELIEFS, on someone else. Your moral line is different from someone else's.

    I'm playing devil's advocate here, but you get my point. The 10th amendment grants states to believe what they want to believe, that's why it's okay for Utah to define marriage between a man and a woman, because they should have the right to believe what they want to believe. Don't force them into following your definition of marriage, that only "consent" is required for marriage.

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 1:04 p.m.

    A person can worship anything or anyone they want to in there house, church, or temple. No one is trying to stop you. Just don't force your beliefs and your version of God on to anyone else. Just because your God tells you one thing doesn't mean that my God is going to agree with you.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 12:38 p.m.

    Vanceone;

    Believe whatever you want. Express whatever you want. Just don't try to force others who do not believe as you do to live by your beliefs.

  • Phillip M Hotchkiss Malta, Mt
    Jan. 15, 2014 12:33 p.m.

    Stand for something,or sit down and watch as others get abused for having religion of some sort. I disagree with Ranch i think the biggest oppresor of religion , is ones who have none.i see people like him degrading ones who believe more then i do say a Catholic critizing a Mormon. We need to respect ones even if it not what we feel is correct

  • Daniel L. Murray, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 12:04 p.m.

    I think this demonstrates how closely religion and politics are intertwined. Not always for the better, and not always for the worse. Allowing free and open debate on both is what I think has made the Americas, especially the US what it is today. On the other side, if political debate is silenced, religious debate is also and vice versa. I don't think it is possible to have one without the other. "Absolute power will corrupt absolutely" - I don't think there are vary many of us on this earth in which that phrase doesn't apply. It is great that we are at a time and place where we must win converts (both religious and political) by open and public debate. It saves us from ourselves.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 15, 2014 12:01 p.m.

    To "Maudine" so what you want is for governments to adopt the state religion of Athiesm or Secular Humanism. Either way, you have a state religion that forces non-athiests to worship as the athiests proscribe.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Jan. 15, 2014 11:44 a.m.

    @gmlewis: I respectfully disagree. The examples in the article still demonstrate at least one religion forcing it's beliefs on those who do not share the same belief system. In some cases threating the existence of those who do not share their belief. This is the inherent problem with all religions, especially those that proclaim they are the only true religion and why in America NO religion should be given a pass if it attempts to sway, create or otherwise mingle in secular governmental policies.

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 9:03 a.m.

    It appears when most of your read "Religious Freedom," you automatically think of Christians being persecuted and demeaned. You have no problem with making derogatory remarks or laws targeting Islam or Hinduism or Shinto. The only religious people you are concerned about are either Christians or Jews.

    I am Pagan. None of you have a problem making fun of my religion. You don't understand my religion; you don't even believe it's a "real" religion.

    If you want my respect, respect me.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Jan. 15, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    @Bob - Most of the examples of religious perspecution given in the article involve cases where the religious minority is just trying to survive. The article noted that the situation in the Americas is far different from the religious conflicts in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

    To some people, the very existence of a religion is deemed as overreaching into the public arena. They will not be content until the religion is vanquished.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    It would seem that the biggest oppressor of religions is other religions.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    Look, liberals hate Christianity, just as any other competing faith does. Liberals worship the God of Government, and a whole lot worship Obama in particular. Just ask Barbara Walters, who called him "the Messiah" just a couple of weeks ago.

    Listen to the liberals here on DN, who insist that Christian churches should not be allowed to influence or even speak up about topics, ever. They are curiously silent about Islam, though.

  • Piper Scio, OR
    Jan. 15, 2014 8:04 a.m.

    Why we give Pakistan even a dime of foreign aid to prop them up is beyond me.

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    Jan. 15, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    These are the situations that the Founding Fathers were concerned about happening and that is why they added the "Establishment Clause" to prevent the Government from being the designated religion of the Nation.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Jan. 15, 2014 6:44 a.m.

    Liberals demand we keep religion out of their government but they have NO problem forcing their government onto and into religion! This article and the study referenced accurately points out examples.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 5:05 a.m.

    Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Who doesn't want that. Religion is what you do religiously. What would I die for?

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Jan. 15, 2014 4:57 a.m.

    A more accurate headline, IMVHO, would be: Religions across the world are feeling back lash from their over reaching into political and public policies and trying to force their beliefs on others.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Jan. 14, 2014 10:27 p.m.

    Good.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 9:58 p.m.

    "...There is no concept of separation of church and state in Islamic tradition...".

    Only in Islamic tradition?

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 9:55 p.m.

    There often seems to be a divide here in America between those who think there should be a separation of church and state and those who think that separation should not exist.

    As one who supports the separation, I do it from a standpoint informed by many of the issues found in the Pew study.

    When religion and government are too closely intertwined, it results not only in religion controlling the government, but in government controlling religion.

    When we carve out legal exceptions based on religion, the right of individuals to fully practice their religion is infringed.

    Whether laws are based on Sharia, Christianity, Judaism, or Buddhism, some one is going to get shut out and have their right to worship limited.