In England, Catholics used their freedom of religion to burn Protestants in the
PUBLIC SQUARE! Early Americans came here to be able to freely believe the way
they felt best. Then these same people took their new found freedom of religion
to hang people they believed to be witches, in the PUBLIC SQUARE! Early
Americans, among others, also used their freedom of religion to use the PUBLIC
SQUARE to auction off human beings as slaves! To exercise their freedom of
religion, the people of Missouri tarred and feathered Mormons, ran them out of
their homes, and persecuted them! All in the PUBLIC SQUARE! There was a time
when people were put to death, in the PUBLIC SQUARE, for translating the Bible
into English and just fort being caught reading the Bible! Only the priests were
allowed to read it!I do believe that we should respect religious freedom,
but please, don't tell me that it is acceptable to discriminate . Something
is not right when people feel that they need to pass laws that allow people to
discriminate! We should already have learned where this can lead!
@Ranch"We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who
abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will
one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration
of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the
calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets." (The Family: A
Proclamation to the World)This is the reason Sodom and Gomorrah were
destroyed. Homosexuality is disintegrating the family, and if our country
continues in the direction we are heading, the same thing will happen to us.
I grew up in Tooele in the 50's and 60's and Joe had a sign in his
Barber Shop that said "We reserve the right to refuse service to
anyone". So if Joe didn't want to cut your hair you went across the
street. See, Joe wasn't the only barber in town or the only shoe repair,
dry cleaners or car dealer. I'd much rather get my services from someone
who will give them willingly rather than begrudgingly. You don't want my
business someone out there does.
"What if a photographer was asked to take pictures of an interracial
marriage. Should this person be able to refuse because it is against their
religion."Of course they should be able to refuse. They should
be able to refuse service to GLBTs, straight people, racial minorities, racial
majorities, short people, fat people, rich WASPS, poor atheists, you, me, your
children, my children, anyone at all. And then the rest of should be able
refuse them our dollars and run them out of business.Should GLBT
photographers be able to refuse service to straight couples? Should Jewish
photographers be able to refuse service to Aryan nutjobs? Should black
photographers be able to refuse service to KKK grand wizards? Of course they
should. Any private business should be able to refuse service to anyone. 100%
of the businesses in my town should be able to refuse me service.The
majority of commentators here seem to disagree but I think we are capable of
sorting all of this out without the help of our government. The Civil Rights
Movement wasn't won by the signing of the Civil Rights Act. It was won,
and is still being fought, by decent human beings everywhere.
The author of this opinion piece make the all too common error of conflating
religion and morality.they are two separate issues.One
can be highly religious and extremely immoral.and also, one cam be
highly moral, yet hold no formal religious beliefs (or even be an atheist).stop trying to jam the two concepts together.
"Religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are
mixed together."- James Madison
"It's not about 'gay rights'. Just look at the intimidation,
bullying, and lieing that goes into it. Gays have more 'rights' and
more support than any other social group in the entire nation."If you really believe that, I would suggest you try living in our world for
just a week. Be brave enough to let everyone know you are gay. Don't be
afraid. I think you will soon discover how much you misunderstand the
discrimination we experience.
@Coach Biff;Perhaps you should go read your bible again, and this
time, put it INTO CONTEXT. The bible's prohibition was on ritualistic
same-sex relations (i.e., temple prostitutes). It says nothing about loving
same-sex couples.Lot (a man who offered the mob his nubile daughters
to be subjected to gang-rape) was not a "righteous" man! He's not
the sort of guy you should be using in your examples. Additoinally, S&G
were "rained down with fire", not because of homosexuality but due to
greed, inhospitality and such. If you're going to use Zeke as your go-to
guy, use the whole thing: 16:49 “‘Now this was the sin of your
sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they
did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things
before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. "Those who "abide by Christian principles" would do well to follow
Jesus' commandment to treat others they way you want to be treated and love
thy neighbor as thyself.
@Coach Biff "Homosexuality, to those who abide by Christian principles, is
indeed dire sin, " But what if homosexuality is inborn? The gay men I have
known assert this, and they should know.
Ranch,You need to read your Bible again. If you are going to quote
the Savior then you must abide by the principles set forth in the scriptures not
just pick and choose what you think it says. He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah
for egregious sexual sin including homosexuality. (hint: Lot was instructed to
present the angels to the crowd that they might "know" them Genesis 19)
Homosexuality, to those who abide by Christian principles, is indeed dire sin,
as is any form of extra-marital sex. If you don't believe that it is sin
then so be it. But don't tell me that homosexuality isn't sin while
quoting Christ. He's the same being, according to the Bible, who rained
fire on those two cities.
You'd think that Mormons of all people would remember the Reynolds v US
ruling, which found that religious beliefs can never be used as an excuse to
violate a generally applicable law.What Arizona was trying to do was
clearly unconstitutional and would have been enjoined and struck down at first
challenge. It never would have been allowed to go into effect.
re: "Take the debate about whether a state may continue to define marriage
as between a man and woman. Principles of federalism give states sovereign power
in marriage laws. In cases of dispute, states debate and change laws as their
people see fit. But our nation is ill-served when federal judges impose a
definition of marriage — one that is not sanctioned by the Constitution
— on states like Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia and Texas."What
is stated above is only partially correct. States do indeed have sovereign
powers over marriage laws, except for one tiny often over looked fine print in
the US Constitution: State laws defining and regulating marriage MUST also
respect the constitutional rights of persons, see, e.g., Loving v. Virginia, 388
U. S. 1 (1967); but, SUBJECT to those guarantees, “regulation of domestic
relations” is “an area that has long been regarded as a virtually
exclusive province of the States.” -Windsor v. United States (2014).
As a person of religious conviction who seeks to live it at all times and
places, I support the secular state. Mutual respect, equal treatment,
accommodation, and protection are doctrines of the secular state. It has bought
us considerable peace over the past two centuries. Our founding fathers had
sufficient memories of the horrors of the sectarian non secular states from
which they or their ancestors fled. They established the secular state because
they appreciated its value in a way that many of today's religionists
don't. Unless you travel to one of the many countries controlled by
religionists or where there is sectarian strife, it's hard to understand
just how abusive people "freely exercising their religion" can be. You can exercise your conscience without being a jerk, and if you want to
operate a business, you should be prepared to do it in compliance with the laws
where you conduct your business. Freedom of religious exercise is not license to
be a law unto yourself.
@2 bits;"Moral" doesn't mean religious. @MikeRichards;Nobody is telling you what you "must"
believe; we're telling you that YOU can't tell US what we
"must" believe (or do) either.@Mark l (& Arizona1);Please show me where Jesus said "Thou shalt not participate in a gay
wedding".@There You Go Again;You're saying you
want to force Evangelical Christians to vote for Romney? What makes you think
they didn't get out and vote for Obama instead, but that they "stayed
home"?@marxist;Might I suggest that justice delayed
is justice denied?@2 bits;Yet you will legislate your
morals and deny us the rights you posess (hypocrisy).@Coach Biff;Homosexuality is NOT a sin (bigotry is).
I have yet to have evidence that the LBGT community is attacking religion. They
are attacking, as is their right the use of religion to discriminate and deny
rights. There has not been one lawsuit in Arizona that has been filed against a
business for discrimination against the LBGT community. Not one, yet this crazy
law was put into force. The DN editorial writers need to do more research
before putting this kind of editorial out there without examining the real
“The largest mystery is why so many people are falling prey to the siren
song of the secularists.”The siren song is knowledge.BTW, we are all born secularists. For most, religion gets imposed so early
that we never realize this. But the truth remains: we are all born
nonbelievers.@ 2 bits: Atheism is a lack of a belief in a god. One
belief does not a “set” or “collection” make.
If you want to have your freedom of your moral code you will have to let
everyone else have theirs. Christians will simply not have the convenience of
the majority in the future and really we should making precedent for the future
when we are a minority as we believe will happen.
In an earlier remark I mentioned the work of Karl Polanyi "The Great
Transformation," which needs to be read. It is mostly about the rise of the
self-regulating market in the 19th century. But more than that it is about
social change and the problems which it can create. Having studied Polanyi I
understand that a change which is perfectly constitutional, as seen by either
the right or the left, can nevertheless be disastrous in the longer term. The Arizona bill was a travesty as pertains to the constitution, but the
opponents of it may be ushering in a regime which may be just as much a
travesty, only in social change terms. Same sex marriage may be a disaster long
term, even though its advocates mean well. I'm only glad SSM
is not something I have to call.
J Thompson.When a businessman, even one known as The Little Sisters,
seeks to operate a business operation within the sphere of our government(s),
he, they, should abide by the laws that regulate and control business. The
First Amendment has no application to business law. The lawsuit
about the Star Transport is not about religious freedom, they were not fired for
their religious belief, they were fired for their action of refusing to do the
Fredrick Sampson.Private Rights: Rights that are exchanged between
private individuals and apply only to those individuals and have no effect on
the general public. Public Rights: Rights that are specified,
listed, enforced and secured by a government and apply generally to the entire
body of the society, group or collective who made the government. Private individuals may own and operate a business operation within the sphere
of a government only so long as the businessman abides by the rules and
regulations specified by the government. Business as an institution is a wholly
owned prerogative of the people, who have the right and authority to make the
rules regarding business. It is a take it or leave it option for the
businessman. No one is forced to operate a business operation.As
for the terrorist, business law would not be allowed to legalize something that
is forbidden by other laws of our nation.
It seems that we're talking about two different subjects today. One
subject is whether Government can force us to provide insurance so that others
can have birth control, extending even to forcing "The Little Sisters"
to comply unless they specifically "opt out" by signing papers that
exempt "The Little Sisters". That requirement is in total violation of
the 1st Amendment. There is no argument for government having authority to
change the doctrine of an establishment of religion. The other
subject is whether a private business owner can be compelled to serve anyone.
Obama answered that question on June 2, 2013, when he instructed the EEOC to sue
Star Transport, Inc."Star Transport, Inc., a trucking company
based in Morton, Ill., violated federal law by failing to accommodate two
employees because of their religion, Islam, and discharging them, the U.S. Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.The lawsuit alleged that Star Transport refused to provide two employees
with an accommodation of their religious beliefs when it terminated their
employment because they refused to deliver alcohol."Both
subjects show that we are free from government intervention.
@Kalindra, @Furry1993, @Open Minded MormonHow is a baker declining to bake
a cake denying someone a freedom? How is an employer declining to provide
contraception denying someone a freedom?How is a baker being forced
to bake a cake that he objects to not “imposing beliefs on others?”
How is an employer forced to provide contraceptives not “imposing beliefs
on others?”We need to balance rights to practice religion with
siloSandy, UTYou wrote: "Mike, by now you should realize
that hyperbole does the opposite of what you intend. It undermines any
legitimate points you may make and reduces any credibility you may feign to
possess in your future posts.Not once, ever, has Obama
'advocated leaving babies to die'."Do you mean this
statement made in 2001 by Barack H. Obama when he was a State Senator in
Illinois? "On March 30, 2001, Obama was the only Illinois
senator who rose to speak against a bill that would have protected babies who
survived late term labor-induced abortion. Obama rose to object that if the bill
passed, and a nine-month-old fetus survived a late-term labor-induced abortion
was deemed to be a person who had a right to live, then the law would
"forbid abortions to take place." Obama further explained the equal
protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not allow somebody to kill a
child, so if the law deemed a child who survived a late-term labor-induced
abortion had a right to live, "then this would be an anti-abortion
So the headline got me thinking, since when do we have the right to tramble
others down as we "exercise?"
I find it hard to believe how many comments here assert that the AZ bill, or
even the Hobby Lobby case, is about religion trying to “impose its morals
upon others.”If a baker feels that it is morally wrong for
them to contribute to a ceremony, how are they imposing their morals on others
by declining to bake a cake?If the baker is compelled by threat of
law suit to bake a cake for a ceremony that he morally objects to, isn’t
the baker the one having his rights taken by others?If someone
doesn’t want to bake a cake for you then ask someone else. Don’t
impose your morals on them by suing them and legally compelling them to bake you
I’m a dyed-in-the-wool opponent of unsigned editorials that enable zealots
to conduct holy moral crusades against phantom antagonists. Where is the risk to
personal reputation for a Deseret News staffer, or even a New York Times
editorialist who pens an inflammatory epistle from behind a cloak of
anonymity?If this menacing government bogeyman really exists, show
us the hard evidence. All I see presented in this editorial is a standard litany
of legal cases and controversies that don’t come close to a compelling
case for a conspiracy to crush religious liberty in America. Of
course we’re always going to have with us litigation and Constitutional
challenges. We are, after all, a nation of laws. Let’s not go overboard in
how we react. If our leading dailies can’t even practice understatement,
how can we possibly expect the general public to temper its language?
If Hobby Lobby loses, it won't be a blow against freedom of religion. What
it will be is a blow against people being inconvienced because of the religion
of their employer.
"Obama goes further. He advocates leaving babies to die who survive a
blotched partial-birth abortion."Mike, by now you should realize
that hyperbole does the opposite of what you intend. It undermines any
legitimate points you may make and reduces any credibility you may feign to
possess in your future posts.Not once, ever, has Obama
'advocated leaving babies to die'.
As the Deseret News points out: "In all of these controversies, those
motivated by religious convictions are being pressured to leave the public
square — to put their religious convictions out of sight, sequestered from
public debate about vital moral issues".Men and Women with
religious and moral convictions will not "leave the public square" as
the gay community would like us to. As the liberal/gay groupls have pushed us
for the last 30 years to abdicate our religious freedoms and rights, I predict
people of morals and religious convictions will now begin our own "moral
revolution" for the next 30 years to re-assert our rights. We will not be
silenced! We will respect the rights of others, but we will not be silenced!
I'm proud that I might temporarily be "on the wrong side of
history" ss the gays like to say, but at the end of the day I want to be on
God's side of history.
How is it that the government is deciding how we should treat each other? Why is
the government deciding how we should behave? We, as a society, have lost our
ability to govern ourselves. Morality has declined to catastrophic levels
because we cannot seem to control our thoughts, our emotions, our feelings. We
are on the road to justifying all behaviors immoral and heinous as "ok"
because we don't have any sense of identity & hold no accountability
for our choices. We want someone else to be responsible for every wrong that
befalls us. This isn't what makes America, or any nation for that matter,
great. What makes America great is that it was founded upon true principles.
Truth cannot be altered, it cannot be destroyed, forgotten or ignored. Truth is
truth and until we realize that, we are condemning ourselves to certain
hardships above our ability to currently comprehend. A thought that comes to
mind is one from prophet-historian, Mormon, who said, "O ye fair ones, how
could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye
have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you!"(Mormon
Ford DeTreese,Your comment about Government not allowing murder was
particularly poignant, since it is the government who is willing allow a mother
to decide unilaterally that she can destroy the life within her with the consent
of the father, without a hearing for the unborn child that she is carrying,
without consideration of the impact that loss will have on society. Obama goes
further. He advocates leaving babies to die who survive a blotched
partial-birth abortion. Does the State (meaning the government) have the right
to allow its citizens to destroy innocent life? Can the State require that
destruction, which it does when it requires funding of morning-after
contraceptives as part of ObamaCare. I agree that the State has the
right and the duty to outlaw murder. Fortunately, I think that you exposed the
underbelly of the dragon that has no concern for the most innocent of all, those
who are still in the womb nor for those who would be conceived if it did not
REQUIRE contraception to be furnished as part of ObamaCare.
Twin Lights"Religion is certainly not just doing what you are told no
matter what is right. Christ and many of his followers often went against what
they were told by larger society (and often endangered themselves by so
doing)."I could agree if you had a more recent example of his
followers going against their leaders, when they were wrong, but I haven't
noticed that happen much since the master walked beside them. The new pope is
setting a good example, time will tell.
I thought freedom of religion is being able to practice your beliefs in your
personal, private life and not various kinds of public displays and being able
to discriminate against others whose beliefs or practices offend you. I remember
Jesus praising private religious practices and condemning public displays of
piety. We seem to forget that part of the First Amendment is government not
establishing religion (which has consistently been interpreted, even by the
Founding Fathers, as separation of church and state). Absolute freedom of
religion cannot exist without it, as there is infringement of others'
beliefs if we allow one religious belief system to dominate the public and
You are talking about banishing religion from public square! You, who won't
even consider the religous freedom of gay people! You believe that you can
define marriage in a religous manner. So can we! I believe, and I am not just
saying this, that God is happy to see me with my partner. He would be happy to
see me get married. I have a religous belief that God knows exactly why He
created us the way he did! My religous beliefs are that God did not intend that
some of his children degrade and devalue his other children! You see, I believe
that I am a child of God and that God would give me my religous freedom as well.
You think that God would come down and tell Mormons that their religous
freedom will be honored and deny gay people that same freedom? Too bad if you
don't like gay people. That is your hate. That is your homophobia! Your
religous freedom doesn't give you a right to deny me my freedom! No way!
You expect us to bow down and agree with the degrading things that are said and
done to us! Think again!
This is the new McCarthyism. No different than the anti-communist movement of
the 1950s. LGBT supporters in particular do not want to see anything or hear
anything opposing their viewpoint and they are using the courts to enforce it.
Think of every egregious government abuse against those suspected of having
communist sympathies and we are seeing it now in even greater measure.
The writer of this opinion piece states that “our nation is ill-served
when federal judges impose a definition of marriage - one that is not sanctioned
by the Constitution - on states like Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, and
Texas.”But the U.S. Supreme Court did exactly that in a 1967,
in Loving Vs. Virginia. The state of Virginia, and other states, had banned
interracial marriage. The Supreme Court found that the ban violated the Due
Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of
the Constitution, and overturned it. Similar bans in other states,
consequently, were overturned as well.The judges in the recent
same-sex marriage cases in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Texas cases have also
cited the Fourteenth Amendment as a reason to overturn the bans. If
the above states prevail in their bans on same-sex marriage, then the
protections of the 14th Amendment wouldn’t mean much, would they?Judges have also cited the lack of a compelling reason to prevent same-sex
couples from marrying.
I think somebody needs to study more about civil rights! Sit down and watch a
few documentaries about Martin Luthar King! Our country finally decided to make
it illegal to deny people their human rights. It was decided that if you are
open for service to the public, then you you are open for equal service to all.
Why don't you finish telling the world what you mean when you talk about
religous freedom? You are not just talking about a belief that it is wrong to be
gay! You are talking about a religous belief that you can discriminate against
gay people! You are talking about denying people their rights,simply because you
believe that they shouldn't have them! You are talking about treating gay
people as if they are infereior to others!Gay people have the religous
freedom to believe they can marry! Gay people have a religous belief that they
should be treated like human beings! Gay people have the religous freedom to
believe in God and to believe that God created them just as He wanted them to
be! Religous freedom should be for everyone, right?
Government should have NO legislation regarding who PRIVATE businesses are to
serve. That's the point of private businesses. PUBLIC businesses are
another matter - and this includes hospitals, and other businesses in the public
sector.==============What is the difference between a
private business, and a public one? What would make a privately owned hospital
(like IHC) public but a guy who makes cakes for weddings (open to the public)
Mike Richards: "We are His children who have the sacred duty to never
restrict His children from being born. If we engage in sex, we are inviting
children into our lives."Take that, old people. Take that, you
long-married people who have only 3 or 4 children.
Arizona1"In what direction is this nation going if a photographer is
"forced" to participate in something that she finds morally
offensive?"So why can't a business owner provide a
different reason to not participate? Let's use your example of the
photographer. Why can't the photographer tell the custoomer they are
already booked for that day? No body would be the wiser. As far as not wanting
to lie, wouldn't the god who disproves of homosexuality approve of and
forgive a small lie in order to ensure eternal salvation?
Ranch,The Savior also told the woman caught in adultery to "Go
thy way and sin no more". He didn't excuse her actions. It is the
same with homosexuality. Love the sinner, detest the sin.
The issue here is PRIVATE vs PUBLIC rights. If the business is a private
business, those running the business should have the right to serve whomever
they please - and to refuse service to anyone they please.Government
should have NO legislation regarding who PRIVATE businesses are to serve.
That's the point of private businesses. PUBLIC businesses are another
matter - and this includes hospitals, and other businesses in the public sector.
There should be no fear of not getting treated at a hospital - because this has
nothing to do with private rights.Are we really going to force
PRIVATE businesses to serve everyone - regardless of the circumstance? This is
the destruction of freedom! What if a known terrorist were to ask a private
programmer to write destructive code? Does that mean that the programmer has to
comply, because he has to server *everyone*?!Please don't
forget that most of the businesses being targeted have served and continue to
serve LGBTs. They are simply asking not to be forced to participate in
*ACTIVITIES* that go against their moral beliefs. PLEASE - separate the
individual from the act! The baker served and continues to serve gays.
2 bits"Legislating your morals offends me. And insisting only YOUR
morals belong in the public square offends me."Yet it is
acceptable for the LDS church (or other religions)to legislate their morals to
others? They legislate through the pulpit (albeit through "press
releases"), specifically concerning liquor laws, abortion laws, etc.
Happy Valley Heretic,Atheism may not specifically be a religion but
the way some practice it bears many hallmarks of a religion. I don’t
believe in a lot of things. But I do not spend any of my money or time to get
together with like-minded non-believers, put up signs promoting my non-beliefs,
or spend time in public booths advocating my non-beliefs. So yes, for some and
in some ways, it does bear a resemblance to religion.Morality is
certainly doing what is right (whether you are told to or not). Religion is
certainly not just doing what you are told no matter what is right. Christ and
many of his followers often went against what they were told by larger society
(and often endangered themselves by so doing).
Happy Valley Heretic:re•li•gionnoun4. a
cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faithSeems that atheism and environmentalism could fit this definition. Words mean
On the other hand, might I suggest that social change may be going too fast,
particularly as regards SSM? We don't know much yet about the consequences
of SSM. I am wary of it.The late Karl Polanyi ("The Great
Transformation") described how the landed aristocracy of Britain came to the
aid of the increasingly displaced rural folk by slowing down the
industrialization of labor. He makes a valid point thus - sometimes various
interests help out by slowing the pace of change, which pace can be destructive.
In other words, wariness of change is not necessarily irrational. Is the LDS Church performing this function. They may be.
Mike,Your argument doesn't hold water. Many things are sacred
to religions, but that doesn't mean government can't legislate for or
against them. Take murder, for instance. Most religions consider this a
"religious doctrine," a "thou shalt not," if you will But for
reasons entirely separate from any religion's view of the matter,
legislation against murder is considered constitutional within certain
parameters. Anything that is, for good reason, deemed a detriment to society or
to justice, can be legislated against. Your views on this issue of contraception
are too simplistic and too overtly religious to hold up in a court of law.
mcclark,Your morals don't offend me. For the most part we share the
same morals (so you can get off that high horse).Legislating your
morals offends me. And insisting only YOUR morals belong in the public square
offends me.We always see the left pointing at the religious-right
saying, "You can't legislate morality"... as the left legislates
their OWN morals be law.We are told we can't expose OUR
religious beliefs (or what we think is "moral") in the public square...
while the left tells us everything they are legislating is their moral duty.That's what I'm talking about. Not what's moral (or
not). But that one side is trying to legislate THEIR morals into law (hint...
and it' not the right).===Heretic,Nice try.
This is the definition "Religion" in wikipedia..."Religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and
world views that relate humanity to an order of existence"....Read the whole thing. It takes pages (not your narrow-minded definition).DictionaryDotCom... "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature,
and purpose of the universe, ... often containing a MORAL CODE governing the
conduct of human affairs".hmmm...
This article is just dancing around the actual problem. We have allowed this
country to adopt Secular Humanism or Athiesm or even Anti-thiesm as a state
religion. The Constitution only says that there cannot be a state religion.
What that means is that as long as we don't declare or by defacto declare
one religion to be the official religion that is permissable. No,
"Christianity" is not a religion, but is a type of religion. Just look
at the different religious groups.To "Open Minded Mormon"
nice ploys, but the Satanic statue isn't being funded or built by an actual
religious group. It is a proposed project, and hasn't been rejected at
Why is it when someone is America uses the word "religion" what it means
is, my own personal christian beliefs?
In what direction is this nation going if a photographer is "forced" to
participate in something that she finds morally offensive? What happens when
pornography becomes even more acceptable than it already is and the courts tell
photographers that if they want to avoid fines, they have to take such pictures
regardless of their moral convictions? Where will the encroachments on the
"free exercise of religion" end?The photographer in the New
Mexico case was right in refusing events that conflicted with her beliefs as
long as she was willing to provide the individuals individuals involved with
service for other events that were not morally offensive to her. As a wise
person recently said, the free exercise of religion granted by the Constitution
is not merely the right to worship God.
Mormons don't believe in alcohol and Mormon businesses are not forced to
sell alcohol - although many do across the country anyway. Many of those
businesses owned by All kinds of Christians are open on Sunday as well. They
could start with some other areas if they really wanted to seem sincere in
living their religions. Some Mormon owned hotels serve alcohol and
pornography channels yet they are NOT forced to. This recent desperation to
exclude certain types of PEOPLE from their business lives seems to me a
desperate bigoted act. The bill here in Arizona is just plain hateful, these
people are not that religious.
This is the real question. What "rights" get trumped when they violate
someone else's "rights"? How do we decide?We have
freedom of speech, but, I should also be able to go to my home, place of worship
etc without people screaming at me or shoving pictures of aborted fetuses in my
face. Panhandlers have a right to beg and harass us, but, why can't my
right to walk peacefully down the sidewalk be protected?This debate
is along the same line. When can someone exercise their religion and not be
forced to go against it by a government and in this instance, why can't
gays go into any store and not be denied services?The veto is a good
idea. What they need to do is to find some kind of balance, where a person
won't be criminally charge for not offering condoms to employees, go
against their religious beliefs; but, still protect the rights of others.I think the number of stores that would deny gays based solely on that;
would be minimal in this country. But, a store is still private and they have
the right to refuse service to anyone, anytime...
Let me put it too you this way -- If the Government required a
company to provide a coffee maker, Does that infringe or trample OUR LDS
religous rights?Of course it doesn't.Anyone can see
that.The same applies to Healthcare policies providing
contraception.This whole discussion is silly and moot.
@ 2 bits I am an Atheist, my personal morals call for treating all people with
dignity and respect. I am sorry my morals offend you.
re·li·gionnoun1.the belief in and worship of a
superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.No mention
of your moral definition?Atheism - No God, nope that doesn't
fit. Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.Environmentalism -based in science and facts, Nope no superhuman influence
there either.Being anti something does in no way make it a religion,
besides the war on war would be a stupid slogan.You are incorrect
about morals being the basis for religion.Morality is doing what is
right no matter what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told no
matter what is right.
And what about Religions which CHOOSE to perform Gay marriages?Aren't
you squelching and banning their expression of Religous Freedom?It's Karma -- Religion is full of it.What goes around,
comes around.With your own judgement, ye are judged.Do unto others,
as you would have them done unto you....If you want to protect your
religion, you must be just as willing to protect anothers.
@Kent C. Deforrest"...Let's say, just for sake of argument,
that a Mormon family in Mesa, AZ, goes to its favorite restaurant, and a couple
of the kids are wearing silly LDS T-shirts. The owner of the restaurant is an
Evangelical Christian who believes Mormonism is an evil cult. He refuses to seat
them and ushers them out the door. This, as I understand it, would be perfectly
legal under the proposed Arizona law...".The owner then excuses
her behavior on the basis of free exercise of religion...Speaking of
free exercise of religion...For the sake of argument...Evangelical Christians who believe Mormonism is an evil cult stayed home in
sufficient numbers to aid Mitt Romney in losing a very winnable Presidential
Election.The ultimate in refusing to seat someone as well as not
letting them in the door let alone ushering them out?
This editorial is stunningly wrong. Nowhere in my reading of the teachings of
Christ do I read that we should discriminate against others we deem sinners.
And that is what the AZ bill would have done, institutionalize discrimination by
those who are offering goods and services to the general public, a non-religious
activity. It is wrong, dead wrong to allow this. And please stop
misrepresenting the NM action, where there was already on the books a law
prohibiting such behavior and which was the reason for the legal action there.
This editorial reminds me of the comments made by Christ when he referenced
those who say, Lord, Lord, yet their hearts were far from him. It reflects an
interpretation of Christianity that is not Christian. I am appalled by this
editorial. Enough with moaning about religious freedom when this isn't
really about religious freedom.
Another Chicken Little "the sky is falling" editorial. This just plays
further into the "last days" scenario perpetuated by the LDS church,
fosters their religious teachings. So I'm curious DNews, if a person
belongs to a Chritian Identity religion, you find it acceptable to not provide
a service or product to raicial minorities or non-Christians, specifiaclly Jews,
balcks, Hspanics, mutliracial people? What if I religious conscience
believes the LDS church and its faithful are nothing more than a misguided cult
and brainwashed fools? Can I then refuse service to you and your fellow members?
Based, of course on my religious convictions.
Again... Define "Religion"...Atheism is a moral framework...
it's a religion. And they want THEIR morals legislated and forced on
others by the courts and the government (removing crosses, no nativity, no
Christmas carols allowed, no ten commandments display allowed, etc).Environmentalism is based on moral standards (God told us to care for this
earth)... it's religion (and radical environmentalists want to legislate
their morals and environmental standards on everybody else).The
anti-war movement is a moral thing (and I think Christ would have been right
there with them, it could be seen as a religious thing). It belongs in the
public square, doesn't it?Define "religion" before we
get too far into this.Isn't it any moral framework? (Not just
morals taught at churches)So why is it OK for the left to legislate
THEIR morals... but not anybody else??
If a Christian can be forced by government to participate in a same sex wedding,
something against his belief, than an atheist anti-circumsion activist can be
forced to participate in a Jewish ceremony. Government should not be forcing
behavior. Rights exist before government.
Ford DeTreese,Thank you for your comment. Your comment shows
exactly why we have the 1st Amendment. It shows exactly why government cannot
legislate religion. It shows why we cannot let Obama, or anyone else, tell us
what we MUST believe. Contraception is a religious doctrine for many religions.
Conception is a sacred for many religions. Birth control is a religious
doctrine for many religions. Government is forbidden to legislate ANYTHING that
concerns an establishment of religion.If I were to use the word
"an establishment" like many who disagree with me, that would mean that
the government is "establishing a secular religion" when it mandates
that religious organizations and religious people fund birth control. If I use
"an establishment" as it is written, the government cannot mandate a
church or any part of a church to fund birth control, even indirectly. If I were Muslim and fired because I refused to distribute alcoholic
beverages, Obama would require that I be rehired (he's already done that,
Star Transport, Inc. 2013) because the refusal to handle alcolholic beverages is
protected (according to Obama) by religion.
Separation of Church and State. It came written down to us from those
influential Constitutional individuals.We learned that back in school
history class in the olden days.Is it not being taught any longer? Could that be the problem here?
"Grant to Congress and the Courts the power to define the rights of
conscience ,and the limit beyond which faith shall not be carried into action,
and religious liberty is practically at an end. The battles for religious
freedom which have been so nobly fought in the generations past, and which have
been gained by the sacrifice of so much precious blook, will, so far as we are
concerned, have been fought in vain."George Q. Cannon:
Consitutional Government and Politics, 1879, Review 39, cited on page 539 of
Gospel Truth, Discourses and Writings of George Q. Cannon1974, 1987, Deseret
Kent C. DeForrestProvo, UTI haven't read the text of the
legislation that Gov. Brewer vetoed, but if news reports are accurate, every
Mormon should oppose such laws.========== Agreed -- This was as bad as Jim Crow laws, and Gov. Boggs' Extermination
Order.Seems the uber-cons want to take us right back to 1776.It's as thoguh their ideological purity completely ignores the
Civil Rights Movenment, the Civil War and [I hate to do this, but history has
been recorded] the Nuremberg Laws of discrimination in Nazi Germany...
HutteriteAre you trying to say that secular voices are NOT also
trying to impose themselves in the public square?And I might add that some
of the craziest ideas and agendas I've seen in the world come from the
left. The non-religious left. You guys have no monopoly on common sense.
Mike Richards: "God is our Father. We are His children who have the sacred
duty to never restrict His children from being born. If we engage in sex, we are
inviting children into our lives. The religious doctrine of being a spirit son
or daughter of God is fundamental." These are your personal LDS religious
beliefs. I happen to share them, but they have no place in a discussion of
Constitutional law. That would be privileging one religious view over others, or
over none at all. You can't have it both ways, Mike. The Constitution is a
secular document. It declares itself such by refusing to favor one religion over
another or over atheism.
I haven't read the text of the legislation that Gov. Brewer vetoed, but if
news reports are accurate, every Mormon should oppose such laws. Let's say,
just for sake of argument, that a Mormon family in Mesa, AZ, goes to its
favorite restaurant, and a couple of the kids are wearing silly LDS T-shirts.
The owner of the restaurant is an Evangelical Christian who believes Mormonism
is an evil cult. He refuses to seat them and ushers them out the door. This, as
I understand it, would be perfectly legal under the proposed Arizona law.What's next, Jewish-only drinking fountains, separate restrooms for
Muslims, back-of-the-bus seats for Baptists? This is not as black-and-white an
idea as those on both sides seem to think. It is very complicated, and writing
simplistic laws is not the solution.
The Klu Klux Klan membership should be rising since they too agree, that its a
religious right to treat other men as inferior or sinners and justify it with
there scriptures as they berate and denigrate their fellowman.This
is the company you keep when you use your religion to hurt others.People are very confused about Individual rights vs. business rights.
Businesses are a Privilege granted by permit and license that must comply with
certain rules. Your business has no baptism record.Religions are at
their essence "my imaginary friend said" that's fine for those who
wish to participate, but we can't go around establishing laws on "my
imaginary friend believes this" we need to work in reality with facts and
actual people. Religion doesn't have a corner on moral, ethical behavior,
or the "perfect" social model, and they've had a lot of time to
work on it.
It's not about "gay rights". Just look at the intimidation,
bullying, and lieing that goes into it. Gays have more "rights" and
more support than any other social group in the entire nation.It's about attacking the rights of those who don't think the same
way they do. It's about forcing others to support something that is
twisted, with tolerance and open-mindedness to hypocritically shouted that one
can't even hear themself think anymore. People demanding that we hear the
cries of homosexuals while themselves drowning out our own cries.
There is no attack on religon in this society. But there is a strong movement
to equally protect all citizens with no preference regarding race, religon or
creed. What seems to bother some is that society (supported by polling) and the
courts (supported by rulings) no longer endorse a communities right to
discriminate based upon religous beliefs.
@ Mike Richards, You are free to your religous beliefs.You are NOT
free to impose your beliefs on others.J ThompsonThe argument
from Obama and those who agree with him is that the State has the right to force
everyone to provide contraception; that the State has the right to prohibit
life; that the State has the right to destroy life in the womb. [Interesting, since "providing" contraception is far, FAR different
than "forcing" someone to use them. Ironic and even more
hypocritical - the State does not prohibit life, the State
does not destroy life in the womb. Those choices are made by a
Woman, her Dotor, family and/or God - period.and yet here you are
insisting that The STATE maintain and continue to use Firing Squards, Gas
Chambers and Lethal Injections.BTW -- Speaking of Life....I'm thankful you aaren't able to my mother or my wife and their
doctors what they could or could not do, let alone be in the hospital as
our Family prayed and then asked life-support be pulled on my 29 year old
brother.Brigham Young once said the Utah State motto is: "Mind
Your Own Business". follow the Prophet.]
How many times have you seen liberal folks post things like "Fixing
pollution is a MORAL issue", "removing the amendment on same-sex
marriage is a MORAL issue", "Minimum wage is a MORAL issue",
"addressing poverty is a MORAL issue", "ending war is a a MORAL
issue", "increasing taxes on the rich is a MORAL issue", etc, etc,
etc... Seems everything they want is a "MORAL issue". But then if a
Conservative brings up their Christian religious morals in the public square...
they flip out.Seems only THEIR "moral issues" belong in the
Freedom is not free. Freedom for one comes only from the loss of freedom of
another.If churches and organized religions are give more freedom,
the religious freedom of individuals is going to be less.
Point to Mr. Ehat; "I could have added that the institution of marriage does
not exist to ensure dignity for any person or relationship. It's central,
core goals are much more profound: to make sure as best as possible that each
child have both a father and a mother, "That is absolutely not
true. Marriage has, and has always had many purposes. For most of history
it's primary purpose was either economic or political. In modern times
it's purpose is to commit two people together for emotional purposes.
Those emotions may or may not include children. That's why the
rest of your sophistry is meaningless because to deny same sex marriage is
simply to deny two people the right to enter into a legal commitment to one
A church is a business, it has a product to sell and like other business
operations, it will use every opportunity to advertise its product and every
competitive advantage it can get from government. Business exists
to serve the public. The product of a church and its religious dogma is hope
and comfort against the greatest fear that exists in all life. The fear of
death. Because the fear of death is so universal, appealing to both rich and
poor, strong and weak, churches have been able to garner special privileges and
status even though their product is mostly imaginary. The track
record for churches and religion in control of government is bad. More people
have been enslaved, killed, murdered and generally oppressed by forces under
religious banners than for any other reason. If we are to live peacefully
within a nation of many religions, religious organizations must not be allowed
to control government. Either directly or indirectly through economic means.
The argument from Obama and those who agree with him is that the State has the
right to force everyone to provide contraception; that the State has the right
to prohibit life; that the State has the right to destroy life in the womb.
Their core argument is that no one has the right to life!Is there
anything more fundamental to our happiness than life itself? When the
government tells us that it can force us to pay for contraceptions, that
government has lost its nobility. It has become a pawn of the adversary to
destroy the body so that the Sons and Daughters of God cannot come to earth and
enjoy the experience of mortality.Those who cloak this as
discrimination are absolutely correct. The Government is discriminating against
those of us who believe in God. They are discriminating against those who
believe that God is the Father of our Spirits. They are discriminating against
those who believe that the 1st Amendment prohibits government from interfering
with the practice of religion.When death and destruction are the
goal, nothing else matters to government.
The problem is, religion isn't content to exist in the public square. By
definition, it wants to impose itself in the public square, and upon those in
that square. It does so hypocritically, too, because when we say religion around
here by no means do we mean all religions. The problem is, given the plethora of
religions out there, and some of the crazy stuff they do, it's hard to say
any of them have much basis in or claim to reality of any kind. And that's
what we need in the square, a focus on what's real, provable, important
(not self important) and not on fabrications. Otherwise, you'd better be
prepared to allow the satanists to build their monument.
What if a photographer was asked to take pictures of an interracial marriage.
what about it? Yes they should be able to make that choice. It is a personal
service choice. We have the case of a California resturant owned by a gay
proprietor, that this week put up pictures of people they will not serve because
of the owners beliefs about those people. In the past he denied service to any
hetro brides having bachelorette parties at his business based on sexual
preference. Where is the LGBT out cry about unconstitutional discrimination.
There is none, nor should there be against individuals being required or forced
to serve peoples actions they feel are immoral. By standards promoted here a
Jewish photographer would be required to take group pictures of a neo-nazie
group. A black baker would be required to bake a birthday cake for a KKK
gathering and include discriminatory language on the cake requested by the
offensive group.What is being promoted is not anti-discrimination,
but forced acceptance of actions you disagree with.
There is no such thing as an absolute right in our society. Our social contract
with each in forming a government limits, to some extent, every right. We have an inalienable right to life; but under some circumstances, we have
determined that right can be forfeited and administer a death penalty.We have a right to religion, and to practice it as we see fit; but we cannot
infringe upon other's rights. I cannot claim my neighbor's property
to be a sacred site and force him to forfeit his claim on his home. I cannot
cause harm to another in the name of free exercise of religion. Religious expression can only be protected, if all forms, to include the
decision not to participate, are included. If my religion preaches against the
consumption of alcohol, and my neighbor's includes alcohol in its rituals
neither can expect the force of law to enforce what they deem to be acceptable.
We are still free to practice our religion, according to our
conscience, as long as no to society, or another individual, can be shown in a
court of law.
Define "Religion".You should not be imposing your religious
beliefs on anybody else in the public square, but you should still live your
religious beliefs (even in the public square).===IMO...
Environmentalism is "Religion" for some people. It is their
"religious belief".So... you should not be imposing your
Environmentalism beliefs upon others in the public square... legislating that
everybody adopt YOUR level of radicalism on Environmentalism, etc.The radical-left has no problem pushing and legislating that everybody adopt
THEIR moral standards (Environmentalism, atheism, redefining marriage, and many
other things the left pushes down our throats). Why not legislate other
standards of Morality?? (I'm being felicitous of course)===Obama Worship is elevated to the level of "Religion" with some
people. Should we prohibit any mention of Obama and their constant Obama
worship from the public square?===LGBT community is
trying to legislate THEIR version of "Morality" into law. Should that
be banned?===Atheism is "Religion" to some.===It's not just Christian "Religion" that
belongs in our life, but not in legislation.The Left brings their morals
to the public square and tries to legislate them all the time.
Banishing religious freedom of speech from the public square. Regardless of the
issue, that is what the secular left in America really wants. They want the
religious people to go into a closet like the homosexuals once were. Or at most
keep it in a church. But the only religion I know of that does not want its
people to take part in public debate and exercise power in politics is the
Jehovah Witnesses. Otherwise, all other citizens, religious or secular have
the same standing to put forth views. Dangerous in a democracy to forget that.
If anyone believes the United States of America is somehow immune to tyranny,
you are very naive. Want to know when that tyranny has arrived? The first sign
will be when there is no opposition debate to be heard. Many of you liberals
see yourselves as being very tolerant. Are you really? From what I see in the
news and read here, it doesn't seem like it.
"...secularists insist that religious beliefs and viewpoints be made
private."No, they insist that "because God said so"
isn't a valid reason to restrict the personal choices of others.
There's a big difference.
People of religious faith often cannot see how freedom of religion in secular
affairs can easily become anti-freedom for others (which is understandable).Here's an example that might help religionists see how freedom of
religion can easily turn into anti-freedom for others:In some muslim
sects, those who do not ascribe to the belief of Mohammed as the last prophet,
and Allah as the one and only god, are viewed as "Infidels". As we saw
12 and half years ago, in some interpretations of Islam, it is desirable to
destroy Infidels as a means to one's own salvation.Is it an
expression of religious freedom for extreme groups to begin preparing for what
they see as an ultimate war of good vs evil by privately tracking information on
others? Would you rather see federal judges deciding that
compilations of lists of "infidels" is a protected expression of
religious freedom, or have them striking down bans on same sex marriage?This is an extreme illustration for example, but at what point does
freedom of religion in the public square begin to seriously erode the freedom
and rights of others?
At some point exercising one constitutional right will start to infringe on
someones else's rights. We abridge free speech by banning someone shouting
"fire" in a crowded theater, and we modify someone's
"right" to smoke when others are subjected to their second had smoke.These court cases are more nuanced than the editorial writer recognizes.
We have every right to restrict free expression of religion when it starts to
infringe on other people's rights to marry, gain access to healthcare, and
to seek employment.There is a big difference between one's
right to practice religion and their "right" to impose their religious
beliefs on others!
The government's prohibition to legislate religion is the first part of the
1st Amendment. It was the first thought on the minds of our forefathers when
they put absolute guarantees in the Constitution, fearing that corrupt
politicians would turn and twist the limits placed on them by the people until
some would think that rights come from government and not from God."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."It
is self-evident that God, not government gave us freedom. Government's
purpose is to protect those rights.There is nothing more fundamental
in life than the right to NOT restrict conception. God is our Father. We are
His children who have the sacred duty to never restrict His children from being
born. If we engage in sex, we are inviting children into our lives. The
religious doctrine of being a spirit son or daughter of God is fundamental. It is government's duty to protect life and to promote life, not to
prohibit it or to abort it.
The problem with this bill is how can it be right or legal to discriminate
against one group and not another. Repealing the civil rights act would have to
be repealed because if you should have a right to discriminate against one group
you should have the right to discriminate against anybody.What if a
photographer was asked to take pictures of an interracial marriage. Should this
person be able to refuse because it is against their religion.
That First Amendment, that first entry of the Bill of Rights, begins with the
"Establishment Clause." Here is the text of it:"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" (This includes State and Local
government, btw.)As you see, there are two parts necessary to the
establishment of Freedom of Religion. The second part is that government cannot
prohibit the free exercise of religion. In order to make this possible,
however, the first part prohibits the government from implementing religion in
its laws. This is necessary. Failure to do so would be coercive and
restrictive of the free exercise of other religions. There can be
no Freedom of Religion if the government supports one over another. In fact,
there can be no Freedom of Conscience if the government endorses any religion at
all. (For an example of early American theocratic experiment, see "Boston
Martyrs.")Matters of conscience and spiritual practice are
matters for individuals, and for their churches, temples, synagogues, mosques,
meetings, longhouses or other congregations. It is not a matter for the public
From the editorial: "But some of the controversy [in Arizona] is inspired
by the fear that individuals and business owners will be required to respect a
conception of the good with which they disagree. 'The prototypical
scenario [the Arizona law] is meant to prevent is the case of the New Mexico
wedding photographer who was fined for declining to work a same-sex commitment
ceremony.'"This mischaracterizes the issues discussed. New
Mexico has a statute that bars discrimination in public accommodations against
certain protected classes -- photographers offering services to the public are
one such business, and LGBT are one such class. Arizona has its own public
accommodation statutes, but LGBT, unsurprisingly, are not included in the
protected classes (race, age, gender) In other words, an AZ court simply could
not come to the same conclusion that the NM court did (upholding fines imposed
on photog by NM Human Rights Bureau).The now-vetoed AZ bill created
a loophole under the guise of "religious freedom" that effectively
eliminated AZ's existing anti-discrimination laws (protecting race, age,
gender, religion). Arizona's efforts actually seem to debase religion:
state actors using "religion" as a profane weapon to achieve secular
States do not have the right to violate the Constitutional right to equal
protection of citizens of the USA. Religion does not give you the right to
discriminate against others in the public square.Jesus said love thy
neighbor, he never turned anyone away.
"But our nation is ill-served when federal judges impose a definition of
marriage — one that is not sanctioned by the Constitution — on
states like Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia and Texas."And what
"definition of marriage" IS sanctioned by the Constitution?Can someone point me to the section of the US Constitution that defines
marriage?I have long thought that the government should provide a
legal framework for a contract between two people. How about we call it a
"Union License" since people get all worked up about the term
"marriage"Then churches can choose to, or not choose to
"marry" people.NO church should ever be required to
"marry" people, or be prohibited from it either. So, while
your church may not marry a homosexual couple, another church is free to. Why
does a predominant religion get to define "marriage" for everyone?How does that infringe on anyone?
I don't recall the DN editors supporting the religous rights of Muslims
seeking to build an Islamic Cultural Center in New York, orThe Satanic Temple religion trying to erect a 7 foot statue of a Satanic
Baphomet, a goat-headed figure with horns, wings and a long beard that's
often used as a symbol of the occult. In the rendering, Satan is
sitting in a pentagram-adorned throne with smiling children next to him.In America -- we are to be equal under the Law.If you expect
public access for your religious views, you MUST allow that same
"equal" access to those with different views.Personally --
I'm good with it, so long as we are all treated fairly and equal.
Neither religion nor religious expression nor free exercise of religion has been
banned from the public square. The only thing being contested is the right to
impose religion on the public, contrary to the provisions of the First Amendment
to the US Constitution.
PART 2 OF 2:"But neither was the institution of marriage created
nor does it exist to provide respect, to confer honor, or to provide recognition
to anyone who enters into a marriage. The institution of marriage was neither
designed nor intended by society to eliminate unjust discrimination, to combat
hatred, or to remedy the results of persecution. While it is proper to argue
that gays and lesbians, who indeed are deserving of respect and equal treatment
in our civil laws, should enjoy all of the individual rights which the
Constitution and the laws exist to protect, that is not sufficient reason to
alter the institution of marriage."I could have added that the
institution of marriage does not exist to ensure dignity for any person or
relationship. It's central, core goals are much more profound: to make sure
as best as possible that each child have both a father and a mother, something
that only a man-woman marriage can supply.I might have spoken
differently had the state forced me to advocate a different position on behalf
of someone who demanded I do so.
PART 1 OF 2:I've been waiting for someone who wants same-sex
marriage to be the law everywhere to come to me and request that I write an
appellate brief for them, supporting their view. Shouldn't I be required to
do so? Just the day before yesterday I filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the
Tenth Circuit in the appeal from the decision of the federal district court in
Oklahoma striking down that state's law defining marriage as a one-man,
one-woman institution. I wrote:"The injustice of the
miscegenation statutes rejected by Loving [v. Virginia] is not at all the same
type of injustice gay and lesbian couples face today. What gays and lesbians
face today are lack of respect, lack of honor, and lack of recognition. They
face discrimination against them for their lifestyle, they face hatred, they
face unjust persecution, and whatever other forms of unfair treatment are
unjustly foisted upon them. These should all be (and are being) rightly
"In all of these controversies, those motivated by religious convictions are
being pressured to leave the public square — to put their religious
convictions out of sight, sequestered from public debate about vital moral
issues."No - in all of these controversies, individuals are
being told they cannot use their religious beliefs to deny rights and freedom to
others. You are free to practice your religion, you are free to
discuss your religion, you are free to try to convert others to your religion -
you have never been free to use your religion to harm others or force them to
live according to your religious dictates. That is what the First Amendment
Would it be oppression of the religious to get rid of Sharia law in a primarily
"The largest mystery is why so many people are falling prey to the siren
song of the secularists."Mystery? What mystery? There's no
mystery. The secularists make a far better, a far more convincing argument.For instance, look at this muddled mess of an editorial. Do you really
think you are going to convince anybody except the true believers?
As you no doubt know, Governor Brewer vetoed the Arizona measure. Had she
signed that measure here is my understanding of what would have ensued (absent a
court challenge):If a person declared openly or to himself that any
of the following violated his religion he could:deny a motel room to
anyone.not hire anyone.not sell something to anyone.not
provide a service to anyone.not medically treat anyone.not sell a
prescription to anyone.not provide insurance to anyone.as a public
employee not issue a driver's license to anyone.as a police officer
or fireman not render aid to anyone.and do all of the above within the law
simply by asserting religious freedom.Do I apprehend this correctly?
I may not fully understand the implications of the measure. If I don't
please correct me.