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Massachusetts evangelical college is about to find out

Published: Tuesday, July 15 2014 8:00 a.m. MDT

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slcdenizen
Murray, UT

Faith-based moral standards? Women are burned with acid and stoned to death under the same "moral" banner in other countries. Why would these 15th century education requests deserve a second thought? Society's train is moving at a steady pace, either jump on or get lost.

MaxPower
Eagle Mountain, UT

One can be moral and areligious.

One can be immoral and religious.

Some of the worst deeds in history have been done in the name of Faith Based Morals. The Crusdades, The Inquisition, Mountain Meadow Massacre, Waco just to name a few.

If we simply do unto others as we would have others do unto us (admittedly a New Testament teaching, but not necessarily a faith based moral, just good common sense from the Master) then the ills of society would disappear.

Bob A. Bohey
Marlborough, MA

What happens? Absolutely nothing changes. The world keeps on going on as it has since man first walked upright. Period.

mhenshaw
Leesburg, VA

>>Why would these 15th century education requests deserve a second thought?

Because if the government can compel a private religious institution to act contrary to its members' beliefs, then religious freedom--all freedom of belief, in fact--is threatened. You're free to think what you want about others' religious beliefs; but a government that can compel private religious groups to violate their own beliefs could trample anyone's freedoms (including yours) if they ever became unpopular with the majority.

I don't know whether Gordon College takes public money. If so, it should have to abide by the public nondiscrimination standards. Any group taking money from the public sphere should have to abide by public standards; but an entirely private religious institution, taking no public money, should be free to admit and employ only those who adhere to their teachings.

>>Some of the worst deeds in history have been done in the name of Faith Based Morals.

And some have been done in the name of other pursuits and philosophies entirely disconnected from religion. The fact that some religious people act immorally isn't a sound justification for condemning religion writ large.

Kindred
Mesa, AZ

Here we have another example (among many) of reasonable religious views being made out as ridiculous by closed-minded media and politicians. From the article, the stance of the school is that they will not hire someone whose activities, not proclivities or identity, are at odds with the school's teachings about living a moral way of life. This position is held by any institution. No business, government entity, or charitable organization would reasonably be expected to hire someone whose activities are in direct opposition to the principles on which the organization is built. It seems there is only a problem when those principles are religious. Most honest people of faith understand that all of us have desires that are not in line with the teachings of their religion. It is whether we act on those desires, not the desires themselves, that makes us moral or amoral.

By the way, it is ridiculous to point an accusing finger at religion because a tiny fraction of its members perpetrated a crime. These crimes do not condemn religion, they condemn humanity.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Abandoning faith based moral standards is arguably an improvement. This is evident in the number of religious ortganisations seeking the right to officially endorse bigotry and discrimination.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

"What happens when society rejects a faith-based moral standard?"
______________________________

My response to this latest emotionally-charged Deseret News leading headline is that a diverse society not under obligation to adhere to moral standards that are faith-based. It is however under obligation to protect all citizens from discriminatory practice. The larger question that begs and answer here is why a president of an evangelical Christian college would sign a letter claiming religious liberty protection from Federal anti-discrimination policy.

Jamescmeyer
Midwest City, USA, OK

If God, science, and personal observation all tell me one thing, and people who stopped reading this sentence when I said the word "God" want to try and force me to support otherwise, said people aren't terribly convincing.

Furry1993
Ogden, UT

This has nothing to do with "religious liberty" and everything to do with prejudice, bigotry and discrimination. Truly sad.

Furry1993
Ogden, UT

"What happens when society rejects a faith-based moral standard?" Not a darned thing, either good or bad. Except, of course that religious dogma and practices aren't imposed on people who don't agree with them and/or don't follow them.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

So, the executive order in question would state that companies that choose to bid for contracts from the Federal Government and get paid by taxpayer money must not discriminate against those taxpayers in their hiring practices.

If companies want to be allowed to discriminate, they can simply choose not to bid on federal contracts.

No one is forcing anyone to do anything.

Those who claim a higher ground based on "faith-based moral standard[s]" should not be seeking super-citizenship and an exclusion from the laws that everyone else is expected to follow.

BoringGuy
Holladay, UT

You're welcome to your moral and religious standards. Just please quit trying to impose them on others. A lot of us aren't interested.

Nancy L.V.
Las Vegas, NV

If God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, what makes us think that Man can go around God's back and legislate morality? The First Amendment says: "... the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion." If anything there has been a breach in the “free exercise of religion” or religion is under attack! This leaves religion no other option but to file law suits to exercise what has been legally protected for hundreds of years under the U.S. Constitution!!!

mhenshaw
Leesburg, VA

>>You're welcome to your moral and religious standards. Just please quit trying to impose them on others. A lot of us aren't interested.

That argument is common, pithy, and false. Gordon College isn't forcing a moral standard on anyone; quite the opposite, it's the school's opponents who are trying to impose their moral standard on the school.

Every BYU grad is familiar with this exact situation -- the same arguments have been hashed and rehashed for decades regarding the BYU Honor Code. If you don't like the Code, don't attend the school. Once you choose to attend and are required to follow the Code, don't complain that someone is forcing a moral standard on you. The obligation to live the standard was the consequence of the choice you to made to be there despite thousands of reasonable alternatives. If the obligation is distasteful, make a different choice.

Andrew
American Fork, UT

Not sure how folks think there is no connection between secularization of society and moral decay. Divorce, murder, out of wedlock births, infidelity, violence, drug use, robbery, abortions, incarcerations, property crimes. All of these result from lack of faith in God and keeping the commandments. Each has increased significantly for the last two centuries accelerating since the 1960s. Seems like we need more religion not less religion. Let's not get confused about what is good and what is bad. Sorry if some of you have been wronged by religion in the past or some religious people; but let's not miss the mark on what is really happening.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Nancy L.V.,

“...The First Amendment says: "... the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion."
______________________________

You’re being either sloppy or slightly creative in your ‘quotation’ of the First Amendment. Let’s take a look at the precise wording which reads as follows.

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

I take that to mean only what it says. It prohibits a law specifically respecting an ESTABLISHMENT of religion or the free exercise thereof. It says nothing about religion not being bound by the same laws that are applicable to one and all, both the religious and the non-religious.

The First Amendment was never intended to give religion a special dispensation from the rule of law. But that’s the way it’s being twisted and misrepresented by today’s right wing religious zealots.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@ Andrew: Sorry, the facts do not back up your assertion. All those things have actually been decreasing recently.

@ Nancy: No one is being prohibited from practicing their religion, they are merely being required to be responsible for the consequences of their decisions - including following the laws governing the operation of a business they may choose to have.

nonceleb
Salt Lake City, UT

The assumption is that faith-based morality is superior. Asian cultures influenced by Shintoism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism (all of which do not adhere to a personal, rule-dictating God) have less social violence and crime, and a more orderly society than Christian-based Western Civilizations. These cultures have proven you do not need a belief in a God to be a moral society. In fact the Muslim world, which is God-intoxicated and faith-based morality is enforced with a vengeance, is the most violent, oppressive, and chaotic part of the world. As for those who say we need even more religion, the extremism and intransigence of religious fundamentalism (which is growing faster, while moderate Protestantism is declining) contributes to many turning away from religion altogether. In both religion and secular humanism, moderation is far more effective in fostering a civil society.

A Guy With A Brain
Enid, OK

Wow. Based on the majority of these comments, the blind are out in force today.

Aurelius maximus
Berryville, VA

@ slcdenizen

Ever heard of a fallacy because you just used one when you said this :

"Faith-based moral standards? Women are burned with acid and stoned to death under the same "moral" banner in other countries. Why would these 15th century education requests deserve a second thought? Society's train is moving at a steady pace, either jump on or get lost."

It is known as : False Analogy: The fallacy of incorrectly comparing one thing to another in order to draw a false conclusion. E.g., "Just like an alley cat needs to prowl, a normal human being can’t be tied down to one single lover."

Comparing people what people in one religious country to us and what we are doing in our country is ridiculous.

What I understand from this article is that religious folks are just asking to continue to live the way they have been living according to their faith.

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