Comments about ‘In our opinion: Human Rights Campaign dead wrong in concerns about religion’

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Published: Friday, Jan. 24 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Salt Lake City, UT

HRC said that "Schaerr’s entire motivation for taking this anti-equality case is to impose a certain religious viewpoint on all Utahns – and that’s wrong. When you become an attorney, you take an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, not any particular religious doctrine.”

I agree that this is a very stupid thing for HRC to say. How does HRC know that such is Schaerr's "entire motivation?"

All of us need to get past this notion that open speech must be circumscribed by special rules. If any speech is not libelous it should be OK. I'm for free and open and inclusive discussion. If somebody wants to defend a course of action based on religious dogma (or any other sort of dogma), that's fine with me. But those advancing religious doctrine as defense for certain actions need to understand that this debate is occurring in a secular space, so every view can be attacked - nothing is off-limits in this arena.

Let the fight(s) begin!

Salt Lake City, UT

If a majority supported Sharia law would that be okay? No, because that'd violate the first amendment. Secularism in gov't protects religious freedom. It's not wrong to have a law that you support due to motivation by faith, but you need a non-religious reason to back it (and you need it to be constitutional). For instance, murder fundamentally violates the right to life and causes direct harm to people. You don't need a religious reason to ban it though of course religions oppose it. What this attorney needs to do if he wants to win is figure out how to make a case that there's a reason to ban same-sex marriage other than a religious one. I don't see it.

Far East USA, SC

I dont get it.

I read the article and it seems like both sides are doing what is commonly done by both sides. They are getting ready for battle, pushing their sides agenda.

Then the article concludes that

"Threatening lawyers out of defending [the law] is both shortsighted and wrong," Slate legal correspondent Dahlia Lithwick wrote at the time of HRC’s actions."

What was contained in the article hardly approaches "Threatening Lawyers"

This is a big case with big ramifications. This is the preseason.

Here, UT

You are welcome to practice your religious beliefs. You are not welcome to force others to practice your religious beliefs. Denying marriage to LGBT couples and saying "you have the same right to marry someone of the opposite sex", is attempting to force them to adhere to your beliefs.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

The powerful purposes that drive each of us to act should be founded on the purpose of life itself. We were endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights. Those rights are our foundation. The right to life, the right to liberty and the right to pursue our dreams are fundamental to our very being here on earth. We have the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness.

We have the right to defend against those who would diminish those unalienable rights. We have the right to promote our Creator's definition of "family", of "marriage", of "goodness" and of "wholesomeness".

Who would disparage those "rights"? Who is their leader? What is their purpose? Why would they claim a "right" to deny life through abortion? Why would they claim a "right" to restrict liberty by claiming that liberty is a right given us from government, not from God? Why would they claim a "right" to transfer wealth from those who work hard in pursuing their dreams to those who work hard at avoiding responsibility? Who promotes that "doctrine"?

clearfield, UT

It used to be that the homosexuals were the ones being forced to hide "in the closet". Now, not only are they "out", but the same liberal element now wants religious people to go into a closet. All in the name of tolerance. Interesting. The BOM sure saw these days coming.

Salt Lake City, UT

Yes, we as a society are increasingly scrutinizing Bronze Age dogma through the lens of real-world evidence, humane compassion, and a commitment to honesty, equality and justice through the application of reason.

And increasingly, the more carefully we examine Bronze Age dogma and its influence on our laws, the less we like what we discover.

Good. There is yet hope for our species.

Counter Intelligence
Salt Lake City, UT

I am homosexual: HRC represents me in much the same way NOW represents women or the Klan represents white people - mostly they are an embarrassment.

Salt Lake City, UT

Good job DN Editorial Board. Thank you once again for exposing the spurious agenda of the "Human Rights Campaign (HRC)" which unceasingly strives to exclude the conservative or religious point of view from the public dialogue. The HRC along with the at large gay community continues to want to deny citizens rights to freedom of expression.

We citizens of Utah will not be silenced by your intimidation tactics. If anything, your tactics have emboldened us to stand up for morality and decency and to protect our children from influences that are an affront to our Christian heritage.

We seek not to deny the legitimate rights and concerns of the minority, but the majority have rights too - including the right to express our views on immorality and indecency and what our Christian point of view is!

You might try to legislate immorality - but you cannot. Immorality and indecency will never cease to be an affront to logic and intellectual analysis. Trying to force others to accept such behavior by judicial fiat will never result in desired acceptance.

salt lake city, utah

There is a vast difference between your ability to express your religious beliefs, and laws, public policies, etc. founded "solely" on those religious beliefs. The latter would in fact be the establishment of religion.

In your hearts you all know this, because one, it's why you want to establish such policies (Gods will), and two you fight hard against others when they wish to do the same (Sharia law).

The fact is we have progressed to the point in our society that laws and policies based solely on religious beliefs will not prevail. You can talk on and on all you want about this being a religious and even a Christian nation but..in reality the public square is secular and only those religious beliefs that are supported by secular principles of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness will prevail.

Church member
North Salt Lake, UT

To Mike Richards:

The problem with your life philosophy is that everyone "knows" that their church is right. I know you know you are right. But so do the FLDS, scientology, and Muslims.

You keep saying that everyone should just do what God tells us to do and that everyone should accept "wholesomeness". But your idea of what God wants and what is considered "wholesome" is different than what others believe.

I think what you are trying to say is that everyone should believe as you do.

Provo, UT

@Ranch: "You are welcome to practice your religious beliefs. You are not welcome to force others to practice your religious beliefs." Isn't that what the LGBT community is trying to do, force its secular religion down the throats of the Christians? Trying to force Christian photographers to film LGBT weddings against their religious rights? Trying to force Christian adoption centers to adopt to gay couples? Trying to force schools to teach their secular religion to kindergartners? Forcing schools to allow men into girls' locker rooms?

Murray, UT

The HRC wants those with an opposing view to have NO representation. They want them to forfeit, like they did in California and Virginia.

Our system allows both sides of any suit to have their own legal representatives. The HRC is trying to deny the citizens of the State of Utah their Constitutional right to counsel. The HRC seems to be confused about who is abusing people with its power.

Thank you DN for exposing the HRC.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Since homosexual conduct is associated with higher rates of sexual promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, mental illness, substance abuse, and domestic violence, it too qualifies as a behavior that is harmful to the people who engage in it and to society at large..... This is why, in the public policy arena, we will continue to oppose any policy or action that would celebrate or affirm homosexual conduct.

The model for a Christian response to homosexuals may be the story of the woman caught in adultery. When the crowd responded with violence, by gathering to stone her, Jesus said, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." Knowing that they were all sinners, the crowd melted away. But Jesus' words to the woman he saved were crucial. He did not say, "Go, for you have not sinned." Instead, he said, "Go and sin no more."

There is no contradiction between Christian compassion and a call for holy living. But the life which is holy (from a spiritual perspective) or even healthy (from a secular perspective) requires abstinence from homosexual conduct. We would do no one a favor if we ceased to proclaim that truth". From writings of Tony Perkins

Here, UT

Sal says:

"Isn't that what the LGBT community is trying to do, force its secular religion down the throats of the Christians? "

Nobody is trying to force you to marry someone of the same gender.

If you don't want to operate your business like a busines, you have no business being in business. If you won't service all customers, you have no business being in business. practice your religious beliefs yourself, do not expect a non-living entity (your business) to practice your beliefs as well since your business has no thoughts, ideas, religion or life of it's own.

Jesus never once told you to refuse to serve the "sinners"; he told you to judge not.

Far East USA, SC

This whole discussion is really about where you draw the line?

I believe it is hard to make the argument that a photographer should be forced to work a SSM wedding.

Much harder to make the argument about making a cake for a gay wedding.

The problem arises when you take this to more extreme situations.

While I do not believe that a Doctor should be forced to perform an abortion, should they be able to deny treatment to a gay man on religious grounds?

Can Walmart refuse to sell to admitted gays? Can the Quick lube guy refuse an oil change if he knows you are gay?

Where do we draw the line? The issue requires more thought than many want to give it.

I dont know the answer, but I understand that it is complicated.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

There is no "separation of church and state" clause in the Constitution. Read it for yourselves. Our right to be free from the Federal Government's control of an existing church's doctrine is guaranteed. It is the first clause of the 1st Amendment. Those who have passed 7th grade English know what "AN establishment" of religion means and they do not confuse it with "THE establishment" of religion. No matter how much those who oppose religion in our lives try, they cannot make their case by claiming "separation of church and state" as their argument. Anyone in government can talk about religion, can promote religion, can express his "testimony" about the God that he serves. That is allowed, not only because their is no prohibition against doing that, but also because we have the right, even government workers, to speak freely about God, about government and about the relationship that we should all have with our Creator.

Those who fight God and impose their warped view of the Constitutional and prohibit religion mock everything that America stands for.

Church member
North Salt Lake, UT

To Sal:

Do you really want to live in a country where businesses can choose not to serve Mormons because of their religion? Or blacks because of their skin color? Or gays because of their partner?

I sure don't.

If you are going to open your doors to the public, as a business, then you should be willing to serve anyone that comes in. Or find an employee who will.

Salt Lake City, UT

1. The fact that Mr. Schaerr felt motivated by his religious beliefs to quit his job and take up Utah's appeal in the Amendment 3 case is NOT the same thing as saying that he is seeking to impose his religious beliefs on other people. I imagine he will make a number of secular arguments, persuasive or not, in support of the State’s position. Let's wait to see what the State's brief says before we decide what arguments Schaerr and the State of Utah are putting forward. 2. If I were the State of Utah, the tone and content of Mr. Schaerr's departing email to his colleagues at his law firm would make me question his wisdom and judgment. I thought it was a very odd email to write, under the circumstances.

Charleston, WV

"Few can deny the central role religion and a belief in God has played, and continues to play, in the civic life of this nation."

Now THAT'S an awfully presumptuous statement. It's almost as though God Himself decided to meet with the editorial board before this column was written.

I just wish that GOD, in His wisdom and omnipotence, would be just a bit more media-savvy in this day and age. Maybe He can call a press conference. After all, we have countless religions, each with its own unique take on what God expects of us. Wouldn’t God be a little more effective in getting us to behave decently toward one another if He would just put together a website or a television channel or at the very least a 1-800 number? There is a wide variety of contemporary social and economic issues I sure would like to get His opinion on.

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