Comments about ‘In our opinion: Religious freedom is the key to harnessing the positive social role of faith’

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Published: Saturday, May 3 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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American Fork, UT

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.

Bountiful, UT

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.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

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!

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

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.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

@ 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 watching.

Salt Lake City, UT

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.

The Wraith
Kaysville, UT

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.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

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 entanglements.

Saint George, UT

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 challenge!

Murray, UT

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.

Bountiful, UT

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.

Bountiful, UT

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.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

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.

Ogden, UT

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.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

Huntsville, UT


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.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.


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 anyone else's.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

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