Comments about ‘At UVU, Elder Oaks sees hope despite 'alarming' religious liberty trends’

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Published: Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:00 p.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, Utah

Loss of unfair religious dominance is not the same thing as religious persecution.

Kearns, UT

I am hoping that this fear of losing religious freedom will prompt many of us to become more Christlike. Wouldn't that be great?

Los Gatos, CA

I support Elder Oakes as an apostle of the Lord, and he may be experiencing some religious persecution for him to continually make these allegations about religious freedoms being endangered. From my experience, I've never felt freer to worship according to the dictates of my own conscience. I am a believing practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I believe that the first ammendment is alive and well.

Wasatch Front, UT

If this campus lecture was sponsored by UVU's Center for Constitutional Studies, WHY (according to one of the photo captions) did Matt Holland (president) give the introduction of the guest speaker?

Traditionally, the speaker intro in an event of this type would more commonly (and appropriately) be given by the Director of the hosting entity (i.e., the Center for Constitutional Studies), or --even better-- by the Studentbody President, Student Senate Chair, Studentbody Academic VP, etc. etc.

IMO, the president at UVU is over-exposed, and should defer the "spotlight" to more of his studentbody leaders and/or faculty and administration colleagues.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "kla795" by celebrating events like Christmas it used to unite the community around a common belief. You have not explained why putting up a nativity on the lawn of City Hall or in a park is bad.

At Christmas I have seen Jewish menorahs put up, and I have no problem with it. I don't know if there is a Muslim holliday during that time, but what is the problem with the city putting out something to recognize them in the community? You sound like you have a problem with it.

If religious observance on government property is so wrong, what about the Easter celebration that will go on at the White House this weekend?

clearfield, UT

Many of you did just what Elder Oaks was warning of. Calling people who disagree with you bigots or racists. Thereby shutting down any civilized conversation about those disagreements. Well, I guess I should thank you all for making Elder Oaks point valid.

clearfield, UT

Redshirt 1701

Or having the President, any President, address a group of religous people as most Presidents do. Or having religous leaders, like President Uchtdorf and others visit in the White House to talk of public policy issues. What many on the left (mostly) seem to think is that there is, and was intended, a "wall of seperation" between religion (church) and government (state). That wall is in their immagination or dreams, because it clearly is NOT in our current U.S. Constitution. Thomas Jefferson wanted it in, but was overruled. So we have a neutrality clause that basically says Congress will stay out of religion altogether. What the secular left want is for religion to stay out of public policy all together. Not going to happen. Get used to it Gary Obama, and others.

Virginia Beach, VA

Hey SC Fantasy – I told you the O stands for Observant . And when debating against weak right wing arguments, it stands for Overpowering.

The wall of separation exists in spite of would be theocrats who try to push their beliefs at the expense of everyone else.

“ . . . Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...”

In other words, your religion CANNOT promote its agenda at the expense of the American people.

Get used to it.

Queen Creek, AZ

Regarding the office of priesthood: My uncle recently emailed me several articles on an LDS missionary brutally murdered in Georgia because of the overall fear of Mormonism in its infancy. The community incorrectly surmised that all women converts were being shipped off to Utah in a mass exodus for polygamous relationships. John Standing was shot over 18 times in the neck and head; his companion pleaded for his life and was spared. I tell you that to tell you this: Had black men been freely offered the priesthood at that time, and had been encouraged to become missionaries, I can tell you that the John Standing incident would have been dozens, if not hundreds of murders. My opinion is that the Lord mercifully spared those people of color that horrible fate of having to knock on white doors, most likely staring at the barrel of racism. He gave his blessing once our society advanced to the point making all men equal under the law.

The men in that "brigade" were never charged for their crime in this life.

Queen Creek, AZ

As to Elder Oak's comments: He is correct in his opinions of the growing animosity toward people of faith. Whether it's attempts to weed out any public displays of armed service men and women of religious beliefs, or David Silverman leading his army of atheists to remove yet another war memorial cross, the evidence can't be ignored any longer. The church's position on gay marriage continues to be a highly contested point in Deseret News stories, and I continue to notice far more criticism of the church than support thereof.

Uchtdorf stated (paraphrased) that God is perfect, but works through imperfect beings. If the church falters or realizes that a better path can be blazed to accepting and loving all without the need to pass judgment, so be it. But prop 8 was supported ~75% in the black male vote, as opposed to 49% of white males (src=Coulter, Mugged). And while Mozilla CEO "resigned", I'm sure the options were about the same as what Willie Robertson faced on DDynasty. I will cast my vote when it is on the ballot according to my conscience and what I believe to be right and true.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

I trust that Dallin Oaks knows there is no nation that provides greater protections for free speech and worship than does this one. But his remarks were addressed to an audience that rallies to cries of victimhood. That’s become their signature defense and Elder Oaks seemed to be playing to it.

On the news, I hear grievants smearing adversaries with cliché epithets like racist, socialist, sexist, or worse. If there is any crisis in free speech in this country, it’s in the lack of calmness and coherence.

Old But Not Stupid
Moorpark, CA

Karen R.
Houston, TX

"If nonbelievers were to become the majority in America, nothing about our Constitution would need to be changed. It is already based in secular reasoning. All belief systems, including religious ones, would continue to have its protection."

How can you believe there will be any "protection" after observing the selective and arbitrary upholding of the constitution by the current regime in Washington?

Also you must not be aware that in the current environment it is chic to denigrate Christianity, but it's "death to you" if you blaspheme the Muslim faith? And the government's executive branch does nothing.

Your correct that the document does not need to be changed; but the founding fathers always postulated fair and honorable citizens (i.e., not corrupt professionals) would hold our high government offices.

the truth
Holladay, UT


Actually religion CAN promote its agenda.
That is the whole point of the first amendment.

They have every right to promote their views in the public square, just like any other person or group.

At the expense of the American people? Ye bet, as much any other person or group can.

It is by hearing those views and by voting by our representation that law is made.
All laws created are at the expense of the American people, we just hope by our system the best laws are created, and if not, they can be changed later by our system or ruled by unconstitutional if found so by the judicial branch.

Any group can push views their on the American people if they can get the support of the majority representation (and unfortunately through judicial activism), whether left or right, gay, or even the religious.


Benicia, CA

I must add to the conversation that although the members of the LDS church worked actively to support Prop 8, the majority of voters who supported it were not LDS.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

As always Elder Oaks has made a very well-thought-out and timely argument. What people seem to forget is that the civil rights movement was religiously motivated, and carried on the religious fervor of its participants.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

I hope there will soon be a way to view this on youtube.

Nottingham, MD

Please remember that this is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is not the church of, name your president from Joseph Smith to Thomas S Monson. Jesus Christ and only Jesus Christ can or will make major changes such as with the priesthood being given to all worthy males.
I had concerns about the black and the priesthood. At one of many bishopric and clerk training sessions an apostle, I can not recall, asked for questions at the end of his presentation. The first one was regarding the black and the priesthood. A great change came over that apostle, he replied this was discussed in our weekly meeting just yesterday. As you know President McKay loves all people. He said the Lord is the head of our church. End of discussion for that meeting. I have never before nor after felt quite as strong about hearing the Truth spoken.

San Diego, CA

If something is a sin, don't sin. Nobody will make you sin, hopefully in America. That is a long way from trying to make everyone else not sin as you see it, which is what SSM is all about. If you don't like it, don't do it. Otherwise it has zero impact on you.

Pooh Bear
Saint Louis, MO

Will Elder Oaks' talk be available verbatim - would like to read the whole thing.

Ogden, UT

Oaks is acting as a de facto attorney, arguing a case in the court of public opinion. He is selecting, construing and misconstruing factoids in a way that will best fit the argument he is trying to make, and to heck with the full, factual FACTS in existence. Nothing surprising there -- that's what attorneys do when they are acting as advocates for a client or an issue.

For the record -- I am a person of deep and abiding faith. I am deeply religious (LDS). There is no threat to my religious liberty or the practice of my religion. They have not been threatened or impaired in any way, nor has their been any threat or impairment to or of the religious rights or liberty of anyone else in the country. The only "threat" is to the ability of religious organizations and people to impose their beliefs and belief systems on the country and its people, and especially on those who believe differently from them. In other words, a "threat" to their attempt to have the government create an unconstitutional establishment of their religion on the country.

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