Comments about ‘Letter: Religious intolerance’

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Published: Tuesday, March 25 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Tyler D
Meridian, ID

Ah yes, the always faithful “secularism is a religion” argument.

Couple of points – first, you do realize the Constitution is a wholly secular document, don’t you David?

Second, being secular simply means not being religious. To equate those two is a contradiction in terms (i.e., it violates the logical law of non-contradiction).

Think about it this way – if we label a collection of beliefs (say, in santa claus, the tooth fairy, and the easter bunny) as fantasies, would you say that someone who does NOT believe in those things is somehow still practicing a fantasy?

Or would it make any sense to say that because you do not practice astrology, you are a believer in non-astrology?

When the government passes laws that are purely secular, they are doing precisely what the Founders intended. If you prefer a government do otherwise, there’s a whole bunch of countries in the middle eastern part of the world you may want to check out.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Mike Richards: "Once, we held higher beliefs. Once, we, as a nation, believed in God. Once, we knew how sacred life was. Once, we knew that government was instituted to protect all life:"
Except for slaves and all other ethnic groups, Women and Children, Native Americans, Mother Nature etc...
So you mean white anglo saxon christians, right?

"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.
--Not in the Constitution Mike, but penned the same time and by the same folks who believed in the above and "Manifest Destiny"

"The 1st Commandment clearly states: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." The government believes differently.
Please explain what this means since our government is us and we them.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Mike -- that is an out right lie!
The Government does not believe in abortion.

The Government believes in a right to Privacy.
(or at least did before Bush trampled it with his Patriot Act)

It is also reflected in the original Utah Motto: "Mind your own business!"

If the Government "forces" your wife to have an abortion -- call me.
If the Government "forces" your daughter-in-law to take birth control -- call me.

You have no problem letting a Business tell your wife, daughter and others what sorts of healthcare options a Doctor has at his desecration to use to heal?

I'm against Psychotropic medications and drugs containing alcohol in them.
I feel they are violating the Word of Wisdom.

Do you see me out whining and pitching a fit over MY Religious rights being in jeopardy by Obamacare for that?

Businesses [and individuals] need to mind their own BUSINESS.

American Fork, UT

Just how is it that hobby lobby has a religious right to 'dispense' a particular kind of contraceptive, or not? They're definitely overstepping their bounds, and make the best argument for a single payer health care system yet. After all, as the first lady pointed out, the inherent dignity accrues to every person on earth; she doesn't mention craft stores among those having power to overturn those rights or somehow to act as health providers. As for federal judges, they're just protecting individuals' freedom from tyrannical states, like Utah. And why do we even have a 'national prayer breakfast'? We are living in a world, and society, of individual rights. Among those rights, individually, is freedom of religion. Individually. Collectively, the nation can be united under the constitution and live without fear for what we believe in. Or fear of, or subjection to what anyone else believes in.

Steve C. Warren

Let's see, the government says Hobby Lobby must fund health coverage that includes the option of contraceptives, something that its owners oppose. And the government required me to pay taxes to fund the Iraq War, something I opposed. It doesn't force Hobby Lobby owners to use contraceptives nor did it force me to go to war. Still, I was legally required by law to pay taxes that funded the war and Hobby Lobby is required by law to fund health coverage that includes the option of contraceptives.

Imagine the chaos if everyone with a different belief gets to tell government "I refuse to pay for this or that."

Eagle Mountain, UT

@ Darrel. You have it backwards. The constitution gives Hobby Lobby owners the right to practice THEIR religion, without being forced to practice your religion."Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". These two clauses make up what are called the "Religion Clauses" of the First Amendment.


The owners can practice their religion. No one is forcing them to take contraceptives. But they cannot force their religion on me. My church has made no authoritative declaration against their use.

Those that work in retail often do so because they do not possess another , more valuable skill. As such, they often lack the bargaining power to only work for a company that will provide them with the care they need.

To argue that a business owner (in this case a corporation, so he no personal assets at stake) can impose his religious views on me, an employee is the same thing as saying that should allow Sharia Law. After all, it is religious freedom; an absolute right. Or are there to be reasonable restrictions placed on it?

Kearns, UT

The words "Separation of Church and State", are not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. The words, "Congress shall make no Law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" In other words, Congress cannot establish a state church like England has.

These words,from the First Amendment, have been contorted every which possible to restrict religion. If the owners of Hobby Lobby don't want to pay for the contraception mandate due to their religious beliefs, and they wholly own the company, according to the First Amendment, that is their right.

Kearns, UT

I shouldn't have to pay for contraception because my wife and I are past the traditional child bearing age. I also should have to pay for the maternity care mandate because it is physically impossible for us to have babies again. Prior to Obama Care I could drop maternity care from my insurance, no problem. Cost goes down. Since the advent of Obama Care, I have to pay for it. It costs me more for stuff I don't need. Kind of ironic since Obama Care was supposed to lower insurance costs.

Salt Lake City, UT

Those who say secularism is a religion need to look up the definition of religion. Religion is subscribing to beliefs based on a deity, deities, the divine, faith, and, or, the supernatural. Secularism does not fit any of those descriptions.

Springville, UT

Missing is that if a business offers its services to the entire public, it is a public accommodation. As such, it is not a religious activity and thus may not discriminate. To take any other approach would mean chaos in our socieity and a loss of our freedom as Americans.

@ Flashback, go back to the concept of "We the people". We have a joint responsiblity for the overall good of our society. You argument is like those who say "I don't have lots of kids so why should I have to pay property taxes." It's about the common good. And as for Obamacare, overall it has helped, despite the propaganda from the GOP (which still has nothing to offer after four years.).

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Not interested in Hobby Lobby, that's a red-herring.

I'm concerned with the concept of "religious intolerance" in general.

When religious people are intolerant of those who aren't religious (or practice a different religion)... that's wrong. When non-religious people are intolerant of people who are religious... that's wrong. And that's what this is about (not Hobby Lobby).


The Preamble of the Constitution sets out the origin, scope and purpose of the Constitution.

Pay special attention to the actions/verbs they used.

FORM a more perfect Union,
INSURE domestic Tranquility,
PROVIDE for the common defense,
PROMOTE the general Welfare,
SECURE the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity"...

IMO it's clear the Government does not GIVE us our liberty or any inalienable rights. These rights are natural and exist even if we didn't have a Federal Government in Washington.

The government in Washington exists to SECURE them for us, and to PROTECT them for us. not to TAKE them from us... or limit them.

Free exercise of religion is one of these rights. Government should SECURE that for us, not prevent it.

Free contraception is not a "right".

Everett, 00

Steve C. Warren
Let's see, the government says Hobby Lobby must fund health coverage that includes the option of contraceptives, something that its owners oppose. And the government required me to pay taxes to fund the Iraq War, something I opposed. It doesn't force Hobby Lobby owners to use contraceptives nor did it force me to go to war. Still, I was legally required by law to pay taxes that funded the war and Hobby Lobby is required by law to fund health coverage that includes the option of contraceptives.

Imagine the chaos if everyone with a different belief gets to tell government "I refuse to pay for this or that."

9:16 a.m. March 25, 2014


Steven makes and EXCELLENT arguement here!

I wish I had 25 likes and a flashing Gold Star for this one.


Salt Lake City, UT

Hobby Lobby has no right to choose for people what it's owner's believe. An employee can choose birth control or choose not to participate in it. This is the problem with this issue...what IS and what is NOT religion. Birth control for women is NOT a religion. Obviously, some women may
CHOOSE to participate or not with birth control due to their religion, but that is nobody's business but theirs.

Eugene, OR

Flashback 9:36 a.m.:

And I don't have any need for treatment of age-related ailments like arthritis or heart disease, yet the payments I make to my insurance company are still used to cover those who do. That's how insurance works.

Bountiful, UT

Denying rights to a corporation is just a clever way of denying rights to the people who have the audacity to run a corporation. No one is being forced to work for or do business with that corporation. Therefore a corporation cannot deny its employees or its customers their religious freedoms. If you don’t like a company’s values, don’t work there. Don't use their products. But don't presume the right to demand that they run things your way.

The government’s role is to tolerate differing views—not to approve of one religious view while rejecting another. The only position the government should have regarding gay marriage is to not punish those who do it. But the minute that our government rewards gays for marrying, the government has taken a side. The government will have established that the millions who religiously oppose gay intimacy are wrong and are to be ignored and disrespected.


Hobby Lobby is just making the case for moving away from employer-based insurance to single-payer.

It will be interesting to see what the Court decides. On the one hand, this court has sided with corporations on many issues and is considered to be very "corporate-friendly." On the other hand there Scalia wrote in Employment Division v Smith:

"Conscientious scruples have not, in the course of the long struggle for religious toleration, relieved the individual from obedience to a general law not aimed at the promotion or restriction of religious beliefs. The mere possession of religious convictions which contradict the relevant concerns of a political society does not relieve the citizen from the discharge of political responsibilities.

Subsequent decisions have consistently held that the right of free exercise does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a valid and neutral law of general applicability on the ground that the law proscribes (or prescribes) conduct that his religion prescribes (or proscribes)."

Lastly, if this were an issue involving something basic to men's health, there would be no debate about access and coverage.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

RE: one vote... "Which religion should government promote"?

Did anybody say ANY religion should be promoted by the Government?

Total strawman...
and the second comment on the topic!

At least give somebody time to say what you ASSUME they are thinking!


Fact is.. Religious people don't think the government should PROMOTE any religion... just stay out of the way.


I do not want my religion promoted by the Federal Government. I do not expect them to promote any religion. Just don't make laws that require me to violate my religious beliefs!

I don't care if a person of a different religion gives the prayer at a public meeting I am attending... It's happened hundreds of times... it doesn't offend me. But do not PROHIBIT prayer of any kind under the pretense of protecting me from hearing someone of another religion praying. It doesn't bother me. I don't think it bothers any religious person. They like their liberty, they like that others have that same liberty.

The only people prayer at public meetings offends... is liberal leftists (not religious people, even if they aren't of the same faith).

Bountiful, UT

We elect government officials to run the military. It is their responsibility to determine when war is necessary. If we don't like their reasoning, we don't vote for them. Regardless, we are obligated, via taxes, to support the military's actions whether we agree with their decisions or not.

We do NOT however, elect government officials to run our businesses. When government makes laws that attempt to run our businesses, we are fools to not push back.

university place, WA

David, funny thing about religious liberty in the United States. It protects your right to decide what religion you will practice and how and when you will practice it. What it doesn’t do is allow you to force your religion on anyone outside of yourself. Utah’s amendment 3 is an example of “you” attempting to force your religion on others. Hobby Lobby’s claim is not about protecting the religious freedom of the owners; they have that. What Hobby Lobby wants is the “right” to force their religious beliefs and views on to their employees. Hopefully the SCOTUS will see that and rule appropriately.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I see 2 entirely separate things happening here.
2 different relationships going on...

1. Business/Employer/Employee
2. Healthcare/Doctor/Patient

Hobby Lobby is NOT giving any prescriptions to any of it's Employees!
Rather -- it is dictating an entirely different and separate business [Healthcare] on how they can or can not operate.

For Hobby Lobby to tell a Doctor what he/she can prescribe,
Is like a Doctor telling Hobby Lobby what they can or can’t sell for Scrapbooking.
A Doctor might object to scissors or glue and site his Hippocratic oath.

It's really that simple.

And ironically --
"Religious Freedom" being used by this business is the sledge hammer destroying "Religion" for actual citizens.

So long as you conservatives keep saying "Businesses ARE people" and protect via the Constitution,
and so long as they are intertwined like that --

So, When a business looses [and they will] Religious Freedom -- so will the REAL people!

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