Comments about ‘Why should we do more than just tolerate religion?’

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Published: Thursday, Jan. 16 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Salt Lake City, UT

"This cannot be done without allowing religious ideas into the public square and even the business world. "

There's a difference between say... Chik-fil-A not opening Sundays (perfectly fine to do even if it was slightly frustrating for me because I seemed to only ever be near one and have an ill-timed hankering for it on Sundays) and a hypothetical law to require all restaurants in a state to be closed on Sundays.

As for the birth control mandate, I'd rather see single payer anyway and once gov't provides insurance instead of the employer then nobody has to worry about what employers care about.

Kearns, UT

I believe the basic concepts of this article, but, unfortunately, too many are trying to use the religious views of the majority to trample the rights of those in the minority. I value the good that religion brings to a society, but we need to honestly look at the harm it causes others when we favor one religious belief over that of others.

People believe religious freedom is under attack because it's becoming more difficult for individuals to unfairly discriminate against minorities in the name of religious and moral convictions. It's honestly hard to look inside ourselves and see if we are truly a fair-minded and loving person when we choose not to do business with a person based on characteristics of which we don't approve. It's hard to admit that we may be bigoted. Let's not use religion nor the lack of religion as an excuse for treating others in less than a civil way.

Church member
North Salt Lake, UT

I am all for religious people putting their faith and testimony in the public square. It is just hard when every debate and argument ends with "well my God told me this is the truth and that is the end of the discussion". There is no more debate or argument because how do you debate their God (not to mention the fact that everyone's God seems to disagree with each other's "God").

When it comes to religious freedom what is going to stop people form creating a religion as a justification to do whatever they want? If you want to smoke pot legally in Utah, start a religion that says it is required. Want to get out of jury duty, say it is against your "religion". Do you want to stop paying taxes, just say your God does not allow it. Since when does religious freedom give you the excuse to do anything you want to?

It seems to me that people who have always had all the power are starting to get scared because other people (gays, atheists, minorities) are starting to be treated equal in our country.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Truth is relativity. It's the books you read and the people your with. belief is only what you can count on or depend on. Religion is what you do religiously.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I suppose if the United States hadn't just spent 12 years, 5,000 dead, 75,000 wounded, and $3 Trillion to beat Religion OUT of Governments, Jay might have a point...

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

If the secular side of society, with all of it's "open minded" thought, really is "open minded" then they should embrace that their are people of faith. Part of that faith, is the feeling or desire to share their faith with others. This should be embraced and discussed. For the person of faith, they need to be respectful of other faiths and people of no faith, but freely discuss ask questions etc.

Now if someone is going to be belligerent, rude, then there is no place for that on either side. However, if a secular or a person of faith knocked on my door and wanted to share their thoughts. I probably wouldn't care to talk to either of them, but, I would be respectful and decline the offer.

Midwest City, USA, OK

To put religion into perspective, may I briefly explain the very core by which I understand the world and all things: God exists, He is our Heavenly Father, Jesus is the Christ. Joseph Smith was a prophet, and I've seen through my entire life that those who live by the Gospel are better off than those who don't. It's not an opinion or an experiment; it's a proven truth, by all degree of understanding I bear. If I decide that following the commandments is inconvenient, or that I don't agree with the Church, or whatever else, they're no less true.

That said, I -do- have the choice to follow the commandments. If, as a small child I'm told not to touch the stove, it'd be a good idea to heed it. I can disobay and touch the stove; I can even insist that the stove is not hot, or that there is no stove at all, but it would not change the result of touching the stove.

There are a lot of people touching the stove, genuinely wondering why they suffer burns, and ridiculing people who choose not to touch the stove.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

Criticism is not persecution.

Freedom of speech does not prohibit scrutiny of one’s ideas and beliefs. It practically guarantees it.

Anyone bringing their ideas and beliefs into the public square should expect to play by the same set of rules. No one’s beliefs are more special than any other, no matter how special they may feel to you.

At a business level, a baker of Religion A should no more be allowed to refuse service to a gay couple than a photographer of Religion B should be allowed to refuse service to people who believe that LGBTs are inherently immoral or “aberrations.” This is religious freedom being practiced in the public sphere.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

There always seems to be a need for a demon in the lives of many. Some have chosen religion to be that demon. They demonize those who believe in God. They demonize those who pray in public. They demonize those who invite others to be kind, to be charitable, to be Christlike. They demonize those who teach their children to respect and honor our Creator.

As Americans, they have the right to demonize, but why would they feel inclined to demonize? What is their motivation? Why are they so intimidated when others express thanks to the Creator who gave us life and who bestowed on us our liberties? Do they think that government gave us life? Do they think that our liberties come from government? Or, do they believe in the law of the jungle? Are they always looking for the biggest stick?

Respect for God is the basis for civility and for civilization; otherwise, we would all become slaves to whoever had the biggest stick.

Salt Lake City, Utah

The current court case over prayer focuses on the fact that the prayers offered most frequently represent one religious philosophy to the exclusion of others. If prayers are going to be allowed, they should be inclusive of all religious philosophies. A news story from last year mentioned an atheist "prayer" that was offered in a different state and the very negative reactions towards it. So much for respect for others' views....

As for the birth control question: What it really comes down to is the question of whether your employer can use his or her religious beliefs to control your private life and medical decisions? Insurance is a benefit offered to attract and retain good employees. It is often offered as part of the full compensation in lieu of higher wages. Does your employer have the right to place limits on how your compensation for the job you have done can be utilized? Would it be fair to require employers who place limitations on insurance coverage to pay the employee more money?

salt lake city, utah

"The First Amendment allows for the free exercise; of religion. This cannot be done without allowing religious ideas into the public square and even the business world.

So says you Mr. Evensen. I would disagree that once again while your religious beliefs may inform your opinions, morals, and personal standards, and you are free to personally exercise those beliefs, once you enter the public square your beliefs do not trump my rights.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The purpose of religion is the enslavement of the minds of people. The reason for that purpose is to garner the wealth and control of its members.

Churches are the largest and richest corporations in the world. Churches are the most controlling governments in the lives of their members.

Provo, UT

Ah, the liberal paradise: where praying to God is forbidden, and you are punished if you don't pray to Marx or Obama. Remember the story of Daniel and the Lions Den? The government put up a statute of the King, and demanded that everyone worship the statute. If you disagreed, you were put to death.

Sure sounds like today, where the liberals insist that you worship the great god Government (and many want to worship Obama personally), and at the same time punish you if you do not want to worship Government and their moral standards.
Today's modern liberalism IS a religion; and they are doing their best to stamp out what they perceive is a threat: Christians.

J Thompson

Some would have us believe that they own the public square. Some would even go so far as to tell us what we can and cannot say in "their" public square. Excuse me, but "public" means open to everyone. "Free speech" means everyone, not just a "free speech bigot" or a "religious bigot" who thinks that he owns the public square and that he has the right to restrict speech in "his" public square.

The 1st Amendment restricts government from interfering with an establishment of religion. The 1st Amendment also guarantees that anyone can use his right to speak freely in public, even if that speech is a prayer. Those whose bloods boils with religious bigotry may disagree. They have that right, after all, those of us who believe, as did the founding fathers, that our Creator endowed us with liberty would never try to restrict a fewllow citizen from exercising his God-given liberties, especially in the public square.

American Fork, UT

The united states isn't facing a religion crisis. Religion is facing a religion crisis. It's had it's way for too long, and people are pushing back. It's gotten away with too much by saying either it gets to overstep it's bounds in the public square by definition or it will claim to be oppressed. As for employers not wanting to make contraception available to their employees or they will feel marginalised, sorry about their luck. It's none of their business, and the best argument there is for a single payer health care system. It's disingenuous to keep playing the victim card. People want their rights, and the old reality is going to have to change.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Jay, exactly which religious people in the USA are being "persecuted"? Where and by whom? If by persecution you mean criticism in the public square, you're off base. Let me remind you of a little thing called the 1st Amendment. If you mean violence, show us where this is happening. Such a thing is against the law in every jurisdiction I know of in this country.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah
There always seems to be a need for a demon in the lives of many.


And to some of the "religous" here,
The demons are the:

illegal immigrants,
and even fellow Mormons.

Isn't that right? Bro. Richards

Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . too many are trying to use the religious views of the majority to trample the rights of those in the minority."

No one is actually doing that. In fact, it's actually quite the opposite, today.

LGBT activists are playing the religion card, hoping to shame people into unthinking and illegal submission to their scary brave new LGBT world. Goofy, iconoclastic atheists, secularists, and phony new-age religionists are playing the same hand to try and force real religion into the closet, insisting real people, whose faith informs their every action, should be prohibited from referring to the source of their goodness and decency in public. Liberals and libertines play the same card in sad, vain attempts to feel good about doing bad, advancing an agenda, particularly in the military, that can only benefit amoral Americans, and hurt the Nation.

Think about those you know.

The most religious people are also the most caring, inclusive, decent, honest, and charitable. The irreligious tend to be just the opposite -- grasping, grating, disingenuous, elitist.

Why would any rational individual support an agenda of turning the world over to them?

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I'll remember this silly article the next time I go to General Conference at Temple Square as see the "religous" attacking the religous,
and chuckle to myself when observing the jack-booted Government Police Force that's there protecting my right to attend.

BTW - the only Government attacking religion --
was George W Bush and Cheney and their $3 Trllion Crusade in desert.

clearfield, UT

LDS Liberal

Did it ever occur to you that some of the demons of LIBERALS are:

rich people
legal immigrants
and even fellow Mormons?

Isn't that right? LDS Liberal

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