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Join the discussion: Is there a war on religion?

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  • Ceasar Carriere, MS
    Sept. 30, 2014 10:39 a.m.

    This is a case of overly-active, dramatic "freedom fighters", who feel the need to rebel against an invisible concept in the shadow of the truth that there IS no war on religion.

  • mtf1953 Berkeley, CA
    June 13, 2014 1:55 p.m.

    Most of the discussion about the "war on religion" seems to come from Christians who often don't recognize that there are many "minority" religions in the US (I would include non-believers in this group for the sake of discussion) The majority Christian religions don't know how often members of a minority religion are asked to bend to the will of the religious will of the majority.

    From my perspective, as a Jew, I find it absolutely hilarious when Chistrians start talking about the war on religion, the war on Christmas, or the persecution they feel. I'd much rather work on Christmas and get my holiday on Yom Kippur.

    I love this country and one of its greatest cultural victories was the establishment of freedom of religion. While we always have to be vigilant, there is no war on religion in this country. Maybe some bickering, but certainly no war.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    June 5, 2014 4:19 p.m.

    There is no threat to the fabric of our society! Isn't it interesting how religious leaders pass the buck. They put the blame on all the people who have chosen to ignore all the fear based teachings! People are tired of hell and condemnation and they are getting wiser! Just because some old man stands up there on a pulpit and tells me I will go to hell, doesn't make it true! These last ten years I have seen from religion is hate and fear and condemnation and people spending a huge amount of their time condemning people! Religion always has to condemn! People see it more. They say that what they do to gays comes from God! Guess what, that isn't working anymore! People look at their siblings, nephews, nieces, moms, dads and they see a gay person! They know this person, most of the time, from birth! You honestly think that they believe what is taught about us? You wonder why people are backing off? Without true love for each other, religion means nothing! There are a lot of religious leaders that should be looking at themselves!

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 2, 2014 2:46 p.m.

    @AmkaProblemka: Here's the problem with your problem analysis, and with this article.

    Yours is not the only religion. Yours is not the only truth. Yours are not the only ethics.

    In fact, there are other religions. Mine, for example, puts much more direct emphasis on Peace, Equality, Community, Simplicity and Integrity than many others. We eschew hierarchy, believing that only the individual experience of the Light is important, especially when in group worship. We value Continuing Revelation and believe it is true and directly experienced by the Meeting.

    Other denominations have denounced us as heretics and apostates. There is nothing holy about your religion if it is intolerant towards others who seek the same Spirit and do so in peace.

    As for atheists, I gladly accept as Friend anyone who believes they must do right and treat their neighbors well simply because it is right and NOT because some religion commands them to. I am certain God loves these of His children best, as they do His bidding in the world, expecting nothing of Him in return and not plaguing Him with entreaties.

  • use the noodle Casa Grande, AZ
    June 2, 2014 4:38 a.m.

    As long as religion contains truth, even when the answer is to admit not knowing something, there can be no reason against it.

    If it doesn't have truth in it, well then..... why would you follow it anyway?

  • AmkaProblemka South Jordan, UT
    June 1, 2014 10:12 p.m.

    New Atheism has indeed declared war on religion, which is why we are seeing so many anti-religious comments on here. Their weapons are mockery, ambush (check out what Richard Dawkins and a talk show did to Brandon Flowers - notice also how very little Dawkins understands the LDS religion), and claims that religious people are delusional and ignorant - all the while they remain ignorant about many of the logical reasons many intelligent and very educated people have for believing in God.

    When such a movement has made it clear that they want to irradicate religion, then yes - there is a war on religion.

    When religious institutions (catholic medical clinics) and private businesses are forced to participate in events and acts which they deem unrighteous, then churches are not all that far behind. When judges can overrule what kind of behavior a large majority of a society wants, without good scientific evidence that said behavior is harmless to the future of that society, and the judge makes claims against the majority religion of that society, then yes - there is a war on religion.

  • AerilusMaximus Berryville, VA
    May 31, 2014 7:23 p.m.

    @ Stormwalker

    "Religion uses "God said" (and variations) to support traditions of oppression and bigotry. Convincing followers of religion to treat others well is difficult indeed."

    Your post is a perfect example of stereotyping.

    Religion is just a way of thinking just as Science is. There a plenty of thoughtless people out there. Religion doesn't have a monopoly on thoughtless people. There are plenty of people who follow and do whatever their favorite celebrity, athlete, political leader, etc.

    With that being said...does that not happen with people who follow "science" as well? I am sure there are PLENTY of people that follow science almost as blindly as some religious people.

    There are plenty of people who are "scientists" but couldn't explain to you even how most science works. They just follow science because "science says" it is correct even though it may just be an educated guess.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    May 31, 2014 1:38 p.m.

    @LovelyDeseret: "The problem with religion in general is that it doesn't respond to knee jerk reactions and isn't easily manipulated."

    True. The religious will pound on their collection of Bronze Age Tribal Myths and proclaim that God said slavery is okay, God said women should not vote, God said segregation is good, God said go to war, God said traditional marriage, God said no welfare, God said capitalism, God said this is a Christian nation...

    Religion uses "God said" (and variations) to support traditions of oppression and bigotry. Convincing followers of religion to treat others well is difficult indeed.

    Meanwhile, if I want to manipulate the religious all I have to do is claim some group is waging a "war" on some religious tradition, or claim that some group is a threat to "traditional families" and I can get donations and votes on the flimsiest of manufactured evidence. If needed, I can add some boilerplate about "God's judgement" and then pull the puppet strings and count the cash.

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    May 30, 2014 7:31 p.m.

    @ tennerifa

    Well now that you bring it up there are a number of religions that believe that Saturday is the Sabbath.

    @LDS liberal

    "Unions gave you Sundays off, as well as Saturdays -- that's who!"

    Yeah and who do you think they got the idea from in the first place?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 30, 2014 4:47 p.m.

    greatbam22

    andrews afb, MD

    If you claim yourself to be a Scientist or that Religion offers you nothing..

    Have you ever thanked a religious person for your Sundays off?

    Why else do you think you have it off?

    If the United States were purely capitalist it wouldn't make sense to have a day of the week off. That day off could be used for making money! Especially during growing seasons!
    3:27 p.m. May 30, 2014

    =========

    Unions gave you Sundays off, as well as Saturdays -- that's who!

    And pensions, retirements, 401Ks, Sick Leave, Vacation, Workman's comp, Health, Dental, Life Insurance, 40 hour work weeks, overtime pay, child labor laws, and Health and Safety laws at work -- 100% 'socialist" UNIONS!

  • tennerifa Orem, UT
    May 30, 2014 3:44 p.m.

    greatbam22:
    Who should I also be thanking for Saturdays off?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 30, 2014 3:34 p.m.

    @tennerifa
    Orem, UT

    Just why do religious people want to inject their religion into the public arena,

    =======

    Great point --

    If Relious people get to inject religion in the public square/arena,
    What's to keep non-religous people from injecting secularism into the relious square/arena?

    Jesus said -- those who live by the sword, shall die by the sword,
    With what met or measure you judge, is how you in turn shall be judged,
    What goes around, comes around.
    = Karma

    If we want to keep Government out of Religion,
    we must keep Religion out of the Government.

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    May 30, 2014 3:27 p.m.

    If you claim yourself to be a Scientist or that Religion offers you nothing..

    Have you ever thanked a religious person for your Sundays off?

    Why else do you think you have it off?

    If the United States were purely capitalist it wouldn't make sense to have a day of the week off. That day off could be used for making money! Especially during growing seasons!

  • tennerifa Orem, UT
    May 30, 2014 2:59 p.m.

    Of course there is no war on religion, that`s simply laughable. Where there is a war, actually skirmish is a better word, is on religious folks trying to impose it on others. No one is trying to keep believers from believing whatever they want. The problem that (at least) I have is when someone wants to impose their religion, usually through force of law, on me. Keep it in your homes and churches, and everything will be fine.
    When you attempt to inject your religion into the public arena, you are subtly forcing me to participate in your private religious traditions. As part owner of the public arena, I object to being forced to participate.
    Perhaps someone can answer this question for me, as I haven`t had an answer yet. Just why do religious people want to inject their religion into the public arena, do they hope to garner more brownie points in the afterlife? I have never understood the attraction of public display of religion, as opposed to a private display.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 30, 2014 10:22 a.m.

    Who shutdown the Islamic cultural Center in New York City?

    Government or Religous conservatives?

    Yes - there is a War on Religion,
    but
    It's not "the Government" who is the enemy,
    it is Religous Conservatives themselves who are trampling Religous Freeoms and the Constitution.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    May 30, 2014 6:26 a.m.

    @SLC guy;

    The problem is that your comments make it seem that ONLY the religious do those things. The fact is that you do not need religion to feel and act in ways that are beneficial.

    Just my observation.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 30, 2014 5:21 a.m.

    A War on religion? That's interesting phraseology.

    And maybe that's the case. "Conservatives" have been fighting true Christianity for many years.

    After all, Jesus was, is, and always will be a Liberal.

    And Rush Limbaugh has condemned the Pope on more than one occasion for sounding like a Marxist.

    Soooooo . . . yes, there IS a war on religion . . . and that war is being conducted by American "Conservatives."

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    May 30, 2014 12:24 a.m.

    LovelyDeseret,

    Outside of the religiously dominated area of Gilbert, AZ, we say it a bit differently:

    "There is no freedom of thought and words without complete freedom FROM religion."

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    May 30, 2014 12:01 a.m.

    There is a war on religion in the same sense that the Thirteen Colonies fought a war against the tyranny of the (religious) British Crown!

    That same fight for freedom from the oppression of religious authority continues to this day, and it will not end until the shackles of superstition and "faithful" ignorance are abolished once and for all.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    May 29, 2014 10:30 p.m.

    The problem with religion in general is that it doesn't respond to knee jerk reactions and isn't easily manipulated. Thus the media and the ADHD can't jump from one radical point of view to another and easily have all the religious groups keep up with it.
    Get rid of religion and we will have to jump through hoops dictated by our government, popular culture, and or Hollywood.

    There is no freedom of thought and words without complete freedom of religion.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    May 29, 2014 10:16 p.m.

    A war on religion? Try a sustained attack on religious freedom waged by the religious.

    In my lifetime certain types of believers have been relentless in their efforts to impose their beliefs about abortion, homosexuality/SSM, and creationism onto the rest of us. They have drafted propositions, amendments, acts, regulations, and policies that served to codify their religious beliefs into law and they have spent their tax-free "charitable contributions" on political campaigns to get these laws passed at all levels of government.

    And all while being the first to wail, "We're being attacked!" when their transgressions are challenged.

    Fortunately, others - believers and nonbelievers alike - recognize that it is the religious in our society that pose the biggest threat to religious freedom and we are now starting to make some real headway against these trespasses on our liberty. Keep up the good fight, everyone.

    A word of advice to those who believe a war is being waged against them: The only way to win this kind of war is to make sure your "enemies" don't lose.

  • AerilusMaximus Berryville, VA
    May 29, 2014 9:57 p.m.

    "It is neither. Rather, we are finally beginning to treat religious ideas the same as every other (i.e., consideration without our pre-frontal lobes shut off by awe and blind submission)."

    You are right except that it will be detrimental to our country. I can attest that science has caused much more problems than it has solved.

    One example is all the chemicals in our foods. Thank you science for that!

    Thank you science for further survellience improvements and more effective ways to kill people!

    I am sure science has done a bunch of great things but I just want to mention the ones they often leave out.

  • AerilusMaximus Berryville, VA
    May 29, 2014 9:46 p.m.

    34 ¶Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
    35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. (New Testament, Acts, Chapter 10)

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 29, 2014 8:53 p.m.

    Mr. Richards, please provide something concrete and real that establishes and back up your statement "If you disagree with Obama's favoritism towards Islam"

    In what ways has Obama shown favoritism to Islam.... I am sure your source of information has a long list of examples. Why don't you share those with us... please.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 29, 2014 6:16 p.m.

    "The Citibank guy had experience bringing Citibank to the brink of failure. Some of us don't think that be viewed as a positive thing."

    You may want to check the business record of a GW Bush. While I did vote for the guy the first time, it would be hard to conclude that he had a successful private business career prior to his public sector jobs

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    May 29, 2014 4:45 p.m.

    Owen -

    Perhaps Mike just forgot the word 'successful' as in successful businessmen. The Citibank guy had experience bringing Citibank to the brink of failure. Some of us don't think that be viewed as a positive thing.

    You have to realize that getting government money for bailouts, or so you can run a failing business longer on the tax payer's bill (Solyndra, etc.)before it finally fails, is not conservative's definition of successful or a businessman. We call them snakes, swindlers, predators, thieves, con artists, etc.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    May 29, 2014 4:29 p.m.

    re: Mr. Richards.
    Today: "I don't lie."
    Two days ago: "Look at the present administration in Washington. With millions of people unemployed, there is no one with extensive business experience serving at a cabinet level position."

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    May 29, 2014 4:14 p.m.

    “Liberals were more likely to exaggerate their religious attendance than conservatives. Liberals attend services less frequently than conservatives do. Yet their desire to be thought more religiously observant than they actually are is greater.”

    All True!

    Liberals are deceptive, (AKA liars) and want you to think they have religious values, when they don't.

    “Why does this matter? Because it’s more evidence that the claim that liberals are waging a ‘war on religion’ is absurd.”

    False!

    Why would that preclude them from waging war on religion? It doesn't.

    If religion is made out to be an evil, they can claim superiority for being who they are instead of having to lie about it to make them look good.

    Besides, their own guy just established that they are liars, so when they say there is not war on religion, why would we believe them?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 29, 2014 3:57 p.m.

    re: LDS Liberal,

    It appears that you have started with the objective desired and then worked backward to prove that your objective is correct. I learned in my first science class that doing things the way you have done them is incorrect and that it will produce misleading results.

    You wrote: "I'd sure appreciate you writing to the Deseret News and ask them to resend your letter posted only 2 days ago.."

    You have the process backwards. If you care to check with the Deseret News, you'll find that what you wrote is absolutely untrue. What that means to me is that you have jumped to conclusions in all of your posts and that everything that you write is suspect.

    If you disagree with Obama's favoritism towards Islam, perhaps you should open your newspaper and read what is printed, not what you wish was printed. He required that Muslims be allowed NOT to transport beer, because it was against their religion, but he insisted that Catholic nuns provide birth control and abortion information to those who work for them. Google it. I don't lie.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    May 29, 2014 3:03 p.m.

    @2 bits
    I agree with your last post. I, too, was scared that the rights of the parents were taken away on such flimsy evidence (an anonymous phone call) and the buses were ready to go and load up the children. I remember thinking that it would set a dangerous precedent if it was allowed to go through. Thankfully, the courts saw through it and put a stop to it.

    Often times, too often, we let emotion take over and we stop to think rationally. It often takes just only a few "buzzwords". As evidenced in this forum, say "Polygamy" and people will immediately jump to "Underage marriage" and will not listen to reason.

    There have been what I would deem to be very reasonable restrictions placed on our Freedom of Religion, and most involve when harm could come to others.

    A sticky situation is the case is the Schaibles family in PA. They believed in faith based healing had a child die of pneumonia and then several years later the exact same thing happened to the same parents. Does the state step in to protect the kids and violate the beliefs of the parents?

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    May 29, 2014 2:55 p.m.

    2 bits

    In response to your first post, I hope you're right. We've had enough war this last decade.

  • SLC guy Salt Lake City, UT
    May 29, 2014 2:37 p.m.

    @Blue
    No need to make an argument where there is none. We both clearly agree on what "real world solutions" are. Like you I hold these views because I know they are "the right thing to do". I also happen to belong to a group that promotes these views. I fail to understand why you would be so opposed to a group of like-minded people.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    May 29, 2014 2:07 p.m.

    SLC Guy: "Religious people tend to value family, education, and service to community. Religions offer recovery programs for people struggling with debilitating drug and alcohol addictions, they encourage people to lend a hand to those in need. They teach people to obey the law, and be civil in their dialog with those apposed to their views."

    Atheists feel the same way. So what's your point?

    You think religion holds the patent on loving your family, love of learning, love of your fellow man, or love of community? You absolutely do not.

    Moreover, I love those things because I know that devoting my energies to my family and community is right thing to do - the best way to ensure that my love for my children and other people on this planet amounts to more than good intentions. Religion talks the talk, but it's actual human beings who walk the walk.

    Best of all, I don't need religion's elaborate system of threats and bribes to motivate me.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 29, 2014 1:36 p.m.

    @ordinaryfolks

    Do some research on the topic.

    Google "Rozita Swinton" or "FLDS Raid" (Wikipedia) go to "April 2008 raid" section.

    In the raid... they took 462 children into State custody, but after DNA testing found zero under age mothers.

    Quote from Wikipedia...
    "Authorities believed the children "had been abused or were at immediate risk of future abuse," a state spokesman said... A religious scholar later testified in court that he does not think sexual activity occurs in the temples of FLDS sects... CPS officials conceded that there was no evidence that the children were abused, and evidence later presented in a custody hearing suggested that teenage boys were not physically or sexually abused"....

    Not all FLDS people engage in under age marriage (some do, but some non-FLDS Americans do also)... yet all on the ranch had their children taken, and their homes taken, because somebody else (of the same religion) committed a crime.

    Point being... People have been forced from their homes because of their religion.

    All people on the ranch didn't commit crimes... but all were driven from their homes (because of their religious beliefs and other's crimes).

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 29, 2014 1:25 p.m.

    @2 Bits.... then don't try to marry off your underage daughters to middle aged men. There is a huge difference between religious freedom and prosecution for illegal behavior.

    From your requested google search we have...

    "Under Texas law, law enforcement can try to seize property that was used to commit or facilitate certain criminal conduct." "Evidence seized during the raid was used to indict and convict 12 men — including the cult’s leader, Warren Jeffs — for crimes including child sexual assault, bigamy and performing an illegal marriage."

    Religious freedom and expression does not mean you are allowed to engage in criminal behavior.... lets not confuse issues here.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    May 29, 2014 1:11 p.m.

    Thid Barker: "Lagomorph: Very poor analogy. Everyone is well served by the military, even conscientious objectors because it keeps them free to be objectors... Nothing is served by being forced to pay for birth control and abortions except extreme selfishness resulting in the termination of the life of an unborn human being!"

    Based on published casualty estimates and demographic data, I estimate that about a dozen innocent preborn babies were killed in the Shock and Awe phase of the Iraq invasion that you and I were compelled by the government to subsidize with our taxes. Do you share complicity in the termination of the lives of these unborn human beings? You were forced to pay for them.

    The law distinguishes between direct and indirect faith conflicts. It releases Quakers (and others) from military service (i.e. from directly engaging in actions contrary to their faith) as conscientious objectors. However, it does not release them from indirectly paying for actions contrary to their faith through taxation. They are still forced to pay for things they disapprove of. Same applies to Hobby Lobby and its insurance premiums.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    May 29, 2014 1:10 p.m.

    There is no war on religion.

    People are allowed to believe as they wish, and to join and be a part of any church they wish, or none altogether. That has not changed.

    The perceived war is when there are differences in belief. The LDS Church has taken a very firm stance opposing SSM. Other churches have taken equally firm stances in support of SSM. Who is to say what church wins the day? Are one's beliefs any less sacred to them than mine to me?

    That is precisely why our laws cannot be based solely on one's interpretation of religion; and still claim to have Freedom of Religion. It cannot go both ways. You either have a free religious society based on secular laws, or a State run church on whom the State can base their laws. There really is no other option.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 29, 2014 12:29 p.m.

    Mike Richards

    Your statement that says that those who turn away from god will not be blessed financially is one of the most blatant lies I have ever heard.

    There are so many people on this planet that are godless, and they have a ton of money. There are also so many people on the planet that have full faith in god and are destitute. Faith in god does not equal money or success in any way, shape, or form. To argue that it does is pure baloney.

    Belief in god is not necessary for anybody to have morals and treat each other well either. Many religious folks try to treat each other well because they fear the consequences if they don't. People that don't believe in god treat each other well because it is simply the right thing to do.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 29, 2014 12:15 p.m.

    @SLC guy – “Not everything that works can be empirically proven with our current understanding.”

    Never said it can (yet) – only that claiming it is the work of Zeus (or any other god) has been demonstrated time and again to be a consistently losing strategy.

    Interesting too that you cite the anti-slavery message of Exodus, since in subsequent books it is clear the Israelites kept slaves (how’s that for a bit of God commanded moral relativism?). In fact the Bible is so supportive of slavery that Southern preachers in the mid-1800’s used to regularly trounce their Northern counterparts in debates on slavery.

    As for the “voice” that tells us not to murder, steal, etc., that is our own conscience and has been with us since we learned to walk upright – actually earlier based on the many studies that have been done showing the presence of our moral precursors in animals (primates, elephants, mole rats, etc.).

    And just to be clear, my animosity is only towards bad ideas. If living a religious life makes someone a better person, I have no problem with it.

  • Pendergast Salt Lake City, UT
    May 29, 2014 12:11 p.m.

    to SLC guy

    I was using an example (1 of many) of silly theatrics used to tell us what to do.

    to Schnee

    Its obvious he has never read the 'Bonobo & the atheist' where it stats that religious moral imperatives are johnny come lately as a compliment to our instincts for cooperation and empathy.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 29, 2014 12:08 p.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah
    Although Obama has openly been hostile towards religion, except Islam, the real problem is with the people.

    ========

    One of your most offensive lines yet.

    BTW --
    I'd sure appreciate you writing to the Deseret News and ask them to resend your letter posted only 2 days ago. [ref. Explore openly].
    and I quote -- "So many times they only want to hear from others who support their point of view."

    Trying living by your own words.

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    May 29, 2014 12:08 p.m.

    When people of faith see other people in society don't respect their beliefs, they tend to go ape.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    May 29, 2014 11:57 a.m.

    Two Bits
    Is it possible that the FLDS had it problems because of child abuse? That their religious leaders condoned, sanctioned and actively supported abuse?
    Did not someone go to jail for this?
    You confuse freedom of religion with crime.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 29, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    @SLC guy
    "The voice that tells us not to murder, steal, or cheat should be extinguished?"

    If someone needs God to tell you not to murder, steal, or cheat for you to figure that out, they have way bigger problems than any perceived war on religion.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 29, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    Depends on "who's" religion we are talking about...

    Christians deaths by our Government - ZERO
    Jewish deaths by our Government - Zero
    Buddahist deaths by our Government - Zero
    Muslims deaths by our Government - 400,000

    So - yes, In a sense I can agree there's a War on Religion --
    The problem is, the right-wing can not see they are the perpetuators of it,
    and not the victims of it.

  • SLC guy Salt Lake City, UT
    May 29, 2014 11:24 a.m.

    @ Blue "growing realization that they have nothing useful to contribute to real-world problem solving"

    Religious people tend to value family, education, and service to community. Religions offer recovery programs for people struggling with debilitating drug and alcohol addictions, they encourage people to lend a hand to those in need. They teach people to obey the law, and be civil in their dialog with those apposed to their views.

    What in your mind constitutes "real-world problem solving"?

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    May 29, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    I went to church this week. Gave a contribution. Taught a class. Had a nice conversation about religion on a plane last week. Went to lunch with my Adventist and atheist coworkers. Joshed each other's views a bit and had a good time. Religiously, I'm feeling free as a bird. No jackbooted thugs interfered with any of this. It's a great country. All the paranoids out there need to calm down and take a deep breath . . .

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    May 29, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    @UltraBOb
    Yes!!! This is the most frustrating part of this whole thing to me. Certain religions want to involve themselves on a political level, but want to be believed and followed without question. You can't be involved in politics and not be criticized. Once you try to impose your religion on the general population it becomes fair game for people to criticize and scrutinize, even if they find things the religious believers don't like.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 29, 2014 10:58 a.m.

    @UtahBlueDevil

    Re: "People are not being forced from their homes because of their faith"...

    Not so fast... The FLDS people were forced from their homes on at least 2 occasions recently. Google "Texas takes possession of FLDS cult’s ranch".

    1. When Texas rounded everybody up and separated them from their families and bused them away for questioning (based on the prank call from somebody in Denver posing as an under aged bride).

    2. Recently they confiscated everybody's property (whether they were involved in under aged marriages or not). Texas took possession of their homes, their land, their temple, and kicked them out.

    I don't support what the FLDS do, but I realize what happens to them... COULD happen to me.

    I don't want my home confiscated, my land confiscated, the temple confiscated. Obviously it CAN happen... it HAS happened. That means it could happen to other religions too.

    Again... not supporting under aged marriage. Just pointing out that people HAVE been driven from their homes (recently, not only in Illinois).

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 29, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    The weakness in religion in their over zealous desire to control people. If religion was to stay with their main argument of life after death, there would by little ammunition for the opposition to wage a war on religion.

    When religion takes on the mantle of control over the minute parts of human life, such as marriage, child bearing, politics and other natural world concerns, it opens itself up to dispute.

    It is this desire and need to control the lives of others that makes religion seem to be just another commercial organization of businessmen.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    May 29, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    This ridiculous notion that there is a war on religion is a not very well veiled attempt by conservative religionist to create a martyrdom for themselves. Phooey.

    The shock and the horror of another religious point of view for seeking to rid the country of homophobic views. Conservative religious views have held sway, and conservative religionists don't want another's religious views to interfere with their attitudes toward same sex marriage. Abortion rights are also under assault for this perceived slight.

    Now, no one is forcing you to get same sex marriage, go to a same sex marriage ceremony, or even go to a church that sanctifies same sex marriage. No one forces anyone to have an abortion.

    I suppose the concept of freedom of choice to believe or not in conservative religious doctrine is not a value of conservative religionists. This crowd seeks to impose their standards on an increasingly diverse thinking population. May as well model ourselves on Iran or any other Islam dominated country wherein Sharia law supersedes secular law as far as they are concerned.

  • SLC guy Salt Lake City, UT
    May 29, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    Some popular comments that show clear animosity to religion if not all out war:
    Tyler D: "Yak Blood"? Read the book "Brain Wars" written by a neurologist who explores the many unexplained phenomena in medicine. A clear defense of the human spirit. Not everything that works can be empirically proven with our current understanding.

    Happy Valley Heretic: in reference to religion "Keep it to yourself"

    Pendergast: "talking bush that needs to be extinguished" I suppose you are saying that the anti-slavery message given to Moses should also be extinguished, along with the clear moral guidelines given in the ten commandments. The voice that tells us not to murder, steal, or cheat should be extinguished?

    I might not have believed there was a war on religion until I read some of your comments.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 29, 2014 10:22 a.m.

    Yes, there is a war on religion. It has been going on for centuries. Although there has been billions of casualties on the people's side, all but the last few Gods have been disposed of.

    While the weapon of choice for religion is the basic fear of dying and being punished is present in every human, many of those fears have been explained away by the knowledge of the natural world. People no longer think that bad weather and failed crops are caused by angry Gods.

    On the people's side is the human brain. Our brain is constantly searching for answers to the unanswered questions. Knowledge of the world is the thing that knocks down Gods.

    Lest we destroy ourselves first, we will someday learn the secret of life and understand, if not control, death.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 29, 2014 10:18 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    "Although Obama has openly been hostile towards religion, except Islam"

    So many times people only want to hear from others who support their point of view. You can see it from how they parrot things that make no logical sense at all.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 29, 2014 10:16 a.m.

    There is no war on religion. Any criticism of religion has been the result of religious folks doing some pretty nutty things. This is a dispute that has no basis. And for people like the comment above, to say that "Obama has openly been hostile towards religion, except Islam,...", this is not only ludicrous, but I find it enormously offensive. Right wingers have waged a war on the President that goes beyond the pale. If they can't have their way, they use extreme language and tactics. It is the right wing waging war. Please, get a grip.

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    May 29, 2014 10:13 a.m.

    To answer the questions? Yes, there is a war/opposition toward religious freedom/beliefs both from our government and from those who assume they are the intelligent, sophisticated, wise.

  • Thid Barker Hayden, ID
    May 29, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    Lagomorph: Very poor analogy. Everyone is well served by the military, even conscientious objectors because it keeps them free to be objectors. Dictators do not allow conscientious objectors! Nothing is served by being forced to pay for birth control and abortions except extreme selfishness resulting in the termination of the life of an unborn human being!

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 29, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    "Although Obama has openly been hostile towards religion, except Islam, the real problem is with the people."

    One of the most bizarre and odd statements of the year. Talk about believe the stuff you have made up in your own mind. If your alluding to ACA, it impacts Muslims much more than even the most evangelical christian. And if you look at the people the Drone Wars has been targeted to... it is Muslim names that are on the RIP list - not Christians. Very delusional statement here Mike.... Your hate is overriding common sense here.

    Back to topic though... the war on Religion is one that has been going on for thousands of years. From casting Christians to the lions, the Catholic/Protestant wars, to the Nazi's genocide war on Jews.... this has been a common thread throughout the worlds history.

    No one today is being tar and feathered in this country. No one is being burned at the stake for being a heretic. People are not being forced from their homes because of their faith. To say we have it hard is it to make a mockery of the real sacrifices those who preceded us made.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    May 29, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    Believing yourself to be persecuted, regardless of any evidence, is a central theme of all authoritarian religions.

    The folks screaming the loudest about a "war on religion" are also the people most adamantly opposed to respecting other people's freedom to practice their own religions, or not adhere to any religion at all.

    To religious conservatives, the growing realization that they have nothing useful to contribute to real-world problem solving feels like persecution.

    You're not being persecuted. You're only being told that you have to treat people fairly, the same as everyone else.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 29, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    IMO The only way it would be considered a "war on religion" would be... IF new laws prevent you from living the covenants you have with your God. There are a few laws where people are concerned that this is the case, but at least we are working on these laws, and TRYING to make them more tolerant of people with covenants they need to keep.

    If the Government outright prevents you from living your religion (as it has in some leftist dominated countries in the past)... then there is a problem. We're not there, yet.

    It's not an all out "war on religion"... but I get the feeling it WOULD be... IF some of the posters here could have it their way.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    May 29, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    If there isn't a war on religion, maybe there should be. Religion is the root cause of most of history's war, murder, pain and suffering. All in the name of some god. Of course,the non-religious can also be bloodthirsty. Maoists and Marxists of the 40's and 50's come to mind. But when have you ever heard of an agnostic humanist ever murdering someone? That's right, you haven't.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 29, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    Those who keep trying to convince themselves that their religion is persecuted because the government won't give it the equivalent of "most favored nation" status are only fooling themselves. If you want to see what persecution is, try giving away bibles in North Korea. Try building a synagogue in Saudi Arabia. Go to Afghanistan as a missionary. In fact, please tell me of one single country with more overall religious freedom than the US. The only "right" that religious bodies are losing is the ability to control non-members through laws supporting the doctrines and beliefs of those bodies. Frankly, if a church needs the power of the State to enforce its beliefs, it's not a very good religion.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 29, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    No. Not here, anyway. Religion may be losing it's monopoly on the public soapbox to a larger world, but that's how it should be. It has a whole sleeve full of victim cards to play as this unfolds, but in the end it's going to have to justify it's own relevance instead of simply taking it by force. That's how things are here, mind you, and not everywhere. In many parts of the world, there isn't enough of a war on religion. The parties of 'god' are still causing incredible harm in many of the worlds' hotspots, and oppressing millions. With each successive generation, there is pushback on this, but we have a way to go.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    May 29, 2014 9:12 a.m.

    Mountanman said: "If you like your religion, you can't keep it, period!"

    Keep it to yourself and those who agree with you, proselytize where there aren't "no solicitation" signs, but don't force it on others (thru laws) who don't believe as you.
    Tell you what, You don't pray in my school, and I won't think in your church.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    May 29, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    Mountanman: "When the government forces people to fund contraception, abortion and sterilization, in violation of their deeply held religious convictions, you just lost your freedom of religion!"

    When the government forces people to fund weapons of mass destruction and wars in violation of their deeply held religious convictions (i.e. Quakers through federal taxation), you just lost your freedom of religion!

    You may rebut that tax dollars are fungible and pooled with other funds and no tax dollar paid by a Quaker can be traced to a weapon. The same can be said for Hobby Lobby's insurance premiums. No premium dollar can be traced to a particular contraceptive purchase.

    Contrast these very indirect connections between religious faith and government practice with a very direct interference in religion by the government: A few weeks ago this paper reported on United Church of Christ clergy in North Carolina facing jail time for performing same sex marriages. Is there a clearer form of the state infringing on religious beliefs than this?

    Tyler D is correct. The current fuss is less about a war on religion than religion losing its hegemony in society. No one cedes power easily or quietly.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 29, 2014 9:03 a.m.

    Religion perceives a "war on religion" because it appears religion will not always have the final say on policy. Otherwise, freedom of religion is absolutely intact.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    May 29, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    Very well said Tyler D.
    ...and might I ad that, I was always told that respect is earned.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 29, 2014 8:59 a.m.

    "most Americans believe claiming church attendance is a positive thing"

    To Funny. So, it did not say that they believe "church attendance" is a positive thing.
    Just that "Claiming church attendance" is.

    Possibly because those who don't go to church are judged by those that do.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    May 29, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    responding to Mike R from SJ

    “Although Obama has openly been hostile towards religion, except Islam,…”

    I guess capturing Saddam & killing Osama don’t count? Seriously, when?

    "...As history has shown,... In our parents or grandparents lifetime, we have seen that boom to bust cycle several times. “

    Whose history? I get it? God is calling the shots on Wall St & the Federal Reserve? Was Katrina also divine retribution for those who led ‘alternative’ lifestyles as well?

    “Government is prohibited from restricting religion.”

    Jefferson’s wall restricts ‘influence’ in both directions.

    “It's time that people stopped restricting religion from their own lives.”

    Or, people can put aside bronze age hokum, join the 21st century, & start acting like rational individuals.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 29, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    Whether or not there is a “war on religion” is a matter of perspective, and hopefully some of these points will provide some much needed perspective.

    It is important to realize that we do not respect people’s beliefs; rather we evaluate their reasons for believing what they do.

    If two different doctors prescribe two different treatments for your cancer (say, chemotherapy and drinking Yak blood), naturally you will want to see some evidence supporting the efficacy of each approach before deciding on a treatment plan.

    The same logic holds for every other area of our lives… except religion. Society gives religion an upfront respect that no other area of life is given.

    Because many people today are no longer willing to offer such uncritical deference to religious ideas (but instead want real world evidence supporting religious positions), religious people are apt to see this loss of deference as a diminishment of their rights or even persecution.

    It is neither. Rather, we are finally beginning to treat religious ideas the same as every other (i.e., consideration without our pre-frontal lobes shut off by awe and blind submission).

  • Pendergast Salt Lake City, UT
    May 29, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    re Happy Valley Heretic

    "Religion may be losing it's grip on the public, but there's no war against it."

    Agreed, but, don't tell that to the true believers... its even more incomprehensible than a talking bush that needs to be extinguished.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 29, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    IMO there's just as much a "war on religion"... as there is a "war on women", "war on the poor", "war on gays", "war on blacks", "war on Hispanics", "war on everything"...

    No... there is no "war on religion". Same goes for the dozen or so things Democrats keep pretending the right is at war with (to insure they get these group's votes).

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    May 29, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    First article of faith of liberalism; Thou shalt have no other God before the Government! Therefore, all other religions must give way (except Islam of course-lest they be offended)!

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    May 29, 2014 8:19 a.m.

    No. Wait which religion?
    The war is religion on religion as it has nearly always been.

    Religion may be losing it's grip on the public, but there's no war against it.
    The mysteries no longer hold sway in young minds, eager for answers.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    May 29, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    When the government forces people to fund contraception, abortion and sterilization, in violation of their deeply held religious convictions, you just lost your freedom of religion! If you like your religion, you can't keep it, period!

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 29, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    Although Obama has openly been hostile towards religion, except Islam, the real problem is with the people. People who have a profound love for God will worship God, knowing that He created this earth and all things on it. They will respect Him and His laws. They will change their lives to conform to His will.

    When people worship other gods, self, money, jobs, celebrity, or anything else that detracts their attention from God, they will be ambivalent towards Deity. As history has shown, when people are wealthy, healthy, and in pursuit of activities that take them away from reverence to God, He stops blessing them with wealth, health and the ability to pursue things that would destroy their true happiness. In our parents or grandparents lifetime, we have seen that boom to bust cycle several times.

    Slow learners learn from experience. The cure is to put God first, to care for each other willingly, without coercion, and to put away selfish desires.

    Government is prohibited from restricting religion. It's time that people stopped restricting religion from their own lives.