I think a definite case could be made demonstrating those that don't value
religious freedom and religious diversity are those least aware of religions in
general. Ignorance breeds contempt. It is sadly chilling how many
now equate the first amendment right of the free exercise of religion as the
right to not ever encounter religion... which is, ironically, the complete
opposite intent. I love the idea of all religions respectfully
communicating and sharing the public discourse... sadly to those who want to
foil this idea, they bring up extremes like the pastafarians, or satanism, or
some religion based upon the destruction of religious freedom (like atheism) as
though that should be the norm, when their very intent has nothing to do with
mutual respect. Of course all the above goes without saying,
because many of the comments in this thread demonstrate these things.
Can I say that without love, none of it means anything! Sometimes religious
freedom is used to hurt and even destroy others.
bandersenSaint George, UT"Christians will make our economy work
best"...That's funny -- The Chairman of the Federal
Reserve has been dominated by Jews for most of the last 100 years.Eugene MeyerArthur F. BurnsAlan GreenspanBen BernakeJanet YellenWith a side note of Utah's own Marriner Stoddard
Eccles being Chairman of the Board from 1934-1951 -- who was a Mormon and a
Hi Bandersen –Thanks for reaching out.
“Christians will make our economy work best, not government . .
.”Really?So, in your mind, no one but Christians
should occupy positions of economic control? Is that why the economy
went out of control during the GW era? It was Alan Greenspan’s fault, the
head of the Fed? Sure, blame it on the Jewish guy. That’s kind of a
knee-jerk reaction in Conservative circles isn't it?The bigotry
inherent in American “Conservatism” is not so subtle at times, is
I hear a repeated theme over and over by non-believers, agnostics and
atheists...religion is a net negative and I also hear the more people die at the
hands of the religious than by non-believers, agnostics and atheists, oh to the
contrary. Here is the list of atheists and at the very least agnostic at best
(most non-believers) Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Pol pot, Hitler shall I go
on?....before I hear the crusades...not even close...Muslim extremists...not
...even close.So if your going to make claim, do your home work. The
best argument for those who want to paint religion in a bad light...at time
misguided, to conservative, to many zealots sprinkled in with a few bad apples
that at times did horrendous things on a small scale.
re: cjb 5/3 3:46pAll organized religions use fear & guilt to
control & manipulate.
"No one can be strongly Christian and strongly "Conservative" at the
same time." I guess you wanted a response,so a laugh was a welcome respite
from such infantile statements. No need to sugar coat your disdain for what is a
pretty large swath of America. Christians understand that in order for the
message of the gospel to flourish,including the guarantee of religious freedom,
the other guranteed freedoms we enjoy in this country must also exist, including
the right to own private property. Those who confuse Captialism with
Christianity are ignorant. Those who confuse Socialism with Christianity are
dangerous. Christians will make our economy work best, not government, as is the
case for those who believe government is God. Whatever a "Conservative
Christian" means, I am not sure. I am sure, however, that those who believe
that government is God have a misunderstanding about God. You seem to fall into
Pops - "God would not have given us - or our ancestors -
liberty if we had not the moral fiber to live as free men without succumbing to
the lure of materialism . . ."Really? Then why are there so many
greed-is-good Republican materialists around who claim to be freedom loving
patriots?Are you telling me that Ayn Rand Right Wingers are not the
strong, brave, free souls they pretend to be?I agree that
Christianity is at odds with excessive materialism, greed, and hubris, and it is
therefore at odds with the American Republican Party.No one can be
strongly Christian and strongly "Conservative" at the same time.
Pops: "those who are abandoning God are, as one might expect, falling
victim to the lure of materialism-it's all around us.A lot of people blame
this on the failure of Capitalism; rather, it is a failure of us, the people, to
stay focused on God." I am sure there are many who either will disregard
this clear expression, or continue their own abandonment of God while continuing
to blame Capitalism, or not understand it at all, which is even more dangerous!
@GaryO:Based on your quotation of Reagan, I would have to conclude
that he did, in fact, characterize religion as a necessary counterweight to
freedom. He did not say we are religious because we believe liberty is a gift
from God; he said that we desire to share liberty because it is a gift from God.
Our being religious necessarily preceded the gift of liberty. God would not have
given us - or our ancestors - liberty if we had not the moral fiber to live as
free men without succumbing to the lure of materialism, as prosperity is the
natural consequence of the combination of true religiosity and liberty. Those
who are abandoning God are, as one might expect, falling victim to the lure of
materialism - it's all around us. A lot of people blame this on a supposed
failure of capitalism; rather, it is the failure of us, the people, to stay
focused on God.The Soviet Union collapsed because it was based on
I liked the editorial except for the part quoting Ronald Reagan, arguably the
worst American President of the 20th century.I read the speech, and
I didn’t see where “He called religion a necessary counterweight to
freedom’s tendency to make people ‘selfish and
materialistic.’”This is what Reagan actually said:
"Freedom, it has been said, makes people selfish and materialistic, but
Americans are one of the most religious peoples on Earth. Because they know that
liberty, just as life itself, is not earned but a gift from God, they seek to
share that gift with the world."????So . . .
freedom (i.e. liberty) makes people selfish, but Americans are religious because
they know that liberty (i.e. freedom) is not earned but a gift from God, and we
want to share that selfishness-inspiring freedom/liberty with the world.Uh huhSo God gives us the gift that makes us selfish, and we
just want to share it with everybody huh?Reagan's words
apparently baffled the Soviets so much that they just completely gave up, the
Berlin Wall came down, and Communism dissolved in Europe.
Ranchhand: I like liberty and I know from whence it springs! If that is self
centered or arrogant, then may it always be the case, for without it the world
sinks into darkness and loses its sense of humanity! The tip of that darkness
springs from those who advocate an idea or philosophy that is antithetical to
liberty, family, and God! It must be defended in the public square as
vociferously as if it were right at my door, for given time, it will. Then, it
will be too late!
What is good religion and what is bad religion? Is God bad? Can God be bad?
Can God do bad things? If God is perfect (and He must be perfect to be God), He
cannot still be learning good from evil. If He chooses to do evil, He is not
God. Some people tell us that there is a difference between good
religion and bad religion. They fail to acknowledge that God gives perfect
instructions, but that God has given man the freedom to reject those perfect
instructions. Some even claim that "religion" requires them to do evil.
You can know automatically that they are using "religion" for their own
purposes and that they have rejected God in their lives to the point that they
mock Him and His doctrine.There is no separation between church and
state in the Constitution. The Federal Government is forbidden to make laws
pertaining to an establishment of religion. The goverment can't tell
religion what to do, what to think, or what to believe. It cannot tell citizens
to not pray. It cannot tell citizens to not proselyte. Government is
restrained, not religion.
I just wish that religion would be a little more careful with truth. There's no war on religion. There's no need to use business and
other non religion entities to further their cause.
LDS Liberal wrote: "There is NOTHING I am not being allowed to do."I suppose that's why the editorial is about protecting religious
freedom rather than trying to regain it. The latter is much more difficult to
accomplish than the former and usually requires bloodshed.Ultra Bob
wrote: "No other imaginary, unproven and improvable product could overcome
the intelligence of a human being."There is one tiny catch,
which is this: God has promised that he will reveal himself to those who seek
him and are willing to do what he asks them to do. I assure you that he is not
imaginary and not unproven, (I'm not sure about "improvable") as I
as well as millions of others witness of the truth of his existence. The problem
is that one can't prove it to someone else, one can only prove it to
one's self. God intentionally arranged it that way so that no man can say
they were compelled to believe or to not believe. It's a choice to seek God
or to not seek him, so your own eternal fate rests in your own hands and not
Religion is good for us, but given too much power in our society it strays from
its stated purpose of bringing peace to people and starts to use its control to
oppress them. All of history say that religion as a total government is bad for
people and civilization. I know of no examples of where religion has elevated
societies of mankind above the natural world. There are many examples of where
individuals have been elevated above the natural world but even then they are
ineffective for the whole.
The only reason that religion is so successful is that it plays upon the
greatest fear of life, which is fear of dying. No other imaginary, unproven and
improvable product could overcome the intelligence of a human being. But
religion has been given cart blanch to say and tell any thing it wishes without
question. But without it, life might not be so care free.
@cjb;What religion teaches and how it's adherents act are
usually two different things.@Mike Richards;One reason I
dislike religion so much is the mini-sermons from it's "special
adherents" (you, for instance). Not only are they boring as heck,
they're also self-centered and selfish. Just take a look at
banderson's comment above if you want an example of selfish - and arrogant.
Religion is the most controlling influence on the lives of human beings. Other
government entities tend to limit their control over their subjects mainly if
not only in the outward freedoms. Religion seeks to not only control the
outward expression of a person but the inner most thoughts and beliefs of the
individual as well.
Religious freedom exits, and is not in any way threatened in in the United
States. People can believe as they choose, worship as they choose, pray
privately whenever they choose, express their belies and opinions as they
choose, etc. And they can accept the consequences of their beliefs and words,
just like everyone else does. The only thing they can't do is attempt
legally to impose their religious beliefs on the country or to discriminate
against people in a manner contrary to the rules and requirements of established
law (the same is true for all of us).This article is a good advocate
for keeping strong the separation of church and state. Each has its own correct
area of operation. Don't mix and mingle their legal effects.
Religious freedom equally means religious responsibility. God told us to put Him
first in our lives. He gave us life. He gave us rules to live by. He wants us
to be happy and to make others happy; therefore, He gave us instructions that
lead to happiness. Too many people reject religion and God because
they don't want to be bothered with rules. They don't want
instructions. They could care less that their rejection of "godliness"
shows only that they are in rebellion against "holiness". They think
that agency gives them the freedom to do whatever they want whenever they want
however they want. Agency is nothing of the kind. Except for infants and
children, there is no such thing as agency without accountability. We are
responsible for every thought, for every desire, for every action and for every
inaction. We will fully account for our lives to Him who gave us breath.Freedom to worship means that we will account to God for how we
worshipped or how we refused to worship.
While I agree with his negative perceptions of religion, I also think religion
has its positives.It teaches to treat other as we would want to be
treated. It teaches to give to charity.How nice it would be if the
bad of religion were separated from the good of religion.
Here is perhaps some insight as to why some people have negative feelings on
religion.At work there was a discussion of religion. Some of the
people were sharing what religion they were. One young man described himself as
a recovering Catholic. When asked to elaborate, he said he was tired of the fear
and the control and was trying to free himself.
In a broader sense, religion plays the role of local institution that enables
people to become involved in their community. A successful church or religious
organization can be judged by how it provokes participation by it's
members. Growing up in the LDS faith there was rarely a week during my teenage
years that went by without some involvement with neighbors, many of whom
represented diverse ages, backgrounds, and life outlooks. It's this type of
community gathering that should be rewarded and encouraged. Unfortunately,
accompanying our current age of information is that the dogma from most
religions is being laid bare for scrutiny. So there's an increase of
people, disenchanted with the negative aspects of religion, who still have the
desire for community participation either grudgingly living more solitary lives
or reluctantly involving themselves more at work to compensate for the missing
component of neighborhood involvement. No, religion and faith aren't
inherently positive. Yes, the participatory element that accompanies local
community religions plays a crucial role in keeping people productive and
fulfilled. It takes a village to raise a child, and an adult happy.
Economic well being for as many as possible, if that is in fact the goal, can
only come about through Christianity's spread and acceptance. The Muslim
world as whole is woefully proof of its absence! Communism has centuries of
proof. Socialism is doing its darnedest to delude the masses into slavery and
tyranny. Some Capitalists are being deluded by its greedy, fascist complicity
with Government recently, looking backward toward the biggest delusion of all,
Socialism, and that delusion precipitated by envious, lazy, and immoral people
who no longer understand the truth that will make them free, both economically
and morally, Christianity! It is without doubt the biggest farce in the
world's history to even imply that religion has done anything but allowed
the greatest amount of freedom the world has ever known! I am now the
discriminated minority in society, which is ironic considering that I am one of
the few that is actually doing anything worthwhile, perpetuating children into
well adjusted, keenly aware human beings who forge ahead with faith despite the
countervailing philosophy that says to do just the opposite, including to
ironically ask the federal government to do more for them! Such is the
I think this editorial really makes the case for both religious diversity and
separation of Church and State. As the editorial notes, when those lines are
blurred, religion itself no longer has the moral influence it once had. The
influence of religious belief is strongest when it is free of other
I don't see how any real student of history can view religion as anything
but a net evil on the world. Yes religion can and has do good but it isn't
much and all of that good would have been done anyway even without religion.
People generally strive to treat each other better, take care of each other,
work to improve life. There are countless examples of that happening by people
who aren't religious so religion can't claim it wouldn't happen
without it. Then when you look at the evils religion has forced upon the world
it just totally overshadows anything good religion has ever done.Religious dogma teaches to kill those that don't believe they same way
you do or won't convert. It stagnates progress by trying to control
believers and discouraging independent thought. There is just no question that
all in all religion is one of the worst ideas humans have ever had.
Gay people are not feeling the love of many religions. When your religion wants
to discriminate against some people, and the law says you can't, then you
say your religious freedoms are violated.
@ 10CC"Were it not for their religious beliefs tugging at the
respective consciences of our leaders and the wealthy, it would be outright
economic warfare, all the time, with no moderation."I think
religion gets the credit for this when in many instances it is 1) we are
hardwired to do unto others because this is what best promotes survival and 2)
because we have laws to regulate what we also know to be true about human
nature: that we will do things we would not otherwise do if we think no one is
I'll believe that we want real religious freedom when Christians don't
protest a Muslim Rec Center being built in New York. Until then, I don't
put much faith in the sincerity of those who keep yelling "Religious
Freedom!"Why the double standard?Remember, religious
freedom means religious freedom for ALL religions, not just the ones we like.
While I can agree with the premise of this Deseret News Editorial Opinion -- I fail to see the complaint here in Utah?I can go to Church, the
Temple, pray, serve others...There is NOTHING I am not being allowed
to do.This editorial piece needs to be run in Iran or Syria, NOT
Utah.And as far as Utah is concerned, The lack of Religious
Freedom is more prevalent amongst those not of the LDS faith, The Editors
of this Newspaper need to be honest and acknowledge that!
I tell my atheist friends that religions play a net positive role in America.Given the incentives in our economic system and the essentially
Darwinistic nature of our economic behavior, religions offer a moderating
effect.Were it not for their religious beliefs tugging at the
respective consciences of our leaders and the wealthy, it would be outright
economic warfare, all the time, with no moderation.
That's fine, but if the satanists who want to build a statue in the state
capitol don't get a fair hearing, then your words are hollow.