Well said Mr. Bell. Your essay reminds of the founding principles of our
nation. Thank you for doing that.
"Principled opposition to California’s Proposition 8 brought
retaliation against donors and activists."--- It wasn't
"opposition" to Prop-8 by religious orgs, you supported Prop-8. Denying
others the legal benefits you enjoy; based on your religious beliefs, isn't
"principled", it is discriminatory. "Political
correctness says that opposing same-sex sexual relationships and marriage on
religious grounds is intolerant, bigoted and homophobic. "--- It
isn't "political correctness" to say that bigotry is bigotry. You
can oppose something all you want in your church; when you try to force others
to adhere to your beliefs by legislating them, then you are practicing
bigotry.Additionally you aren't "defending religious
freedom" by passing anti-marriage laws; you are violating someone elses
religious freedom when you prevent them from performing their own rites
legally."Nor is it an excuse..., for distortion "; --- You mean like distorting the truth about homosexuals? We're
not out to "get your children"; we're not the "boogey man"
you've made us out to be. You can't claim to be religious and then
turn around and vote away someone else's rights.
The problem with religion is that there seems to be such a weak correlation
between ethical behavior and religious enthusiasm.One of my devout
neighbors wouldn't dream of mowing his lawn on Sunday, but seems to have no
problem moving his SUV to my side of the street before an impending snow storm.
"Religion properly understood and practiced civilizes believers; it curbs
selfish impulses; it makes better people"False. Religion is a
human construct in which people's selfishness can be exhibited more fully
with the benefit of seeming noble or righteous. Even if the Hobby Lobby folks
spend more money or miss out on tax incentives in order to avoid the appearance
of supporting abortifacients, they have already positioned themselves as moral
crusaders which is arguably the whole point. There's very little incentive
in choosing the right unless an audience is present.
Agreed! If Hobby Lobby is as religious as they claim they are, then
why do they get all of their junk from China? Does god support Communism? Is
Communism consistent with the lessons taught in the New Testament? Is murdering
political dissenters encouraged by the Savior? Is abusing little children and
paying women pennies consistent with the principles of the gospel?If
Hobby Lobby really wants to be consistent then they must change their suppliers
immediately.Otherwise, they're just full of it.
Religious freedom means that you have an absolute right to live your religion.
It does not mean that you get to force everyone else in the country to live by
Greg, heres the thing. Religious people have an obligation to not hate, due to
their religious principles. Non religious people have no such obligation.
Therefore, if the hate is coming from the secular left, it is considered OK,
because there is no moral imperative to not hate. If religious people hate, it
violates the basic tenants of their moral position. Now. Would it be OK for a
religious person to hate Hitler? Certainly hating what he did would be OK, but
hate the person? I myself would admit that I hate Hitler the man and would not
feel any qualms about that even though I am a religious person. Maybe some
would say I'm wrong, but I believe hating evil is in fact a good thing.
And I find it hard to seperate the people who commit evil from the act itself.
I think every Nazi killed in WW11 was a good thing until the evil was stopped.
Today I think every terrorist killed is a good thing for the same reason. To
kill an enemy and yet say you love them, because God tells me to love them, is
to me, absurd.
It would be nice if our current president, didn't spend his time vilifying
anyone that opposes his agenda, stir and play the race card whenever he
can't rebuttal an argument, budgeted conservatively rather than talking
about it. That would go a long way in moving this country forward. Instead he
talks about his dislike of white people that have a religion and own a gun. Same
with Eric Holder. While at the same time they praise the Black Panther party for
showing up in military fatigue and batons, standing outside of election
locations. Praise the occupy movement and democrat controlled cities used tax
dollars to support them, while using the IRS to attack and intimidate anyone
conservative.Yes there are things that go the other way around. But,
when you control the "bully pulpit" you should at least control your own
crowd.Harry Reid supports the slaughter of millions of unborn
children using tax dollars. Calling it womens right to choose. Yet fundamentally
denies in most cases the woman made the choice to engage in an act to begin
with. Yet he complains about children being bombed. Does that make sense?
Just because you don't agree with someone does not mean you hate then. It
is the liberal media that handles most of the hating, conservatives are starting
to stand up for what they believe in and for some reason they call that hate.
Liberal Larry said, '...wouldn't dream of mowing his lawn on Sunday,
but seems to have no problem moving his SUV to my side of the street before an
impending snow storm."I'm puzzled by your analogy.
I'm not sure why your neighbor would move his SUV to your side of the
street in a snow storm or how that might benefit him or how it would burden you.
After all, it is 'the street', it's not your street or his
street, it is owned by the public.
My religous friends, neighbors and relatives are no better people than any
agnostics or aethist I know. The only difference is a lot think they are.
@U-tar;"Standing up for what you believe in"? If you
don't believe in something, YOU don't participate in it. If you
don't believe in drinking, you don't drink; but you don't prevent
others from drinking. If you don't believe in abortion, you don't
have one; but you don't prevent someone else from having one. If you
don't believe in marrying someone of your gender, you don't; but you
don't get to tell someone else they can't.You're NOT
"standing up for what you believe in"; you're attempting to force
others to live by your beliefs. There is a vast difference between the two.@ECR; the plow can now plow the neighbor's side of the street but
not Larry's. If not unethical, at least pretty selfish behavior.
"...they must speak and act consistent with the moral tenets they believe
in."Really? You are telling a free people that they "must
speak and act" a certain way? Sorry, this simple statement exposes the
author for what he is...the antithesis of anything "freedom".
The premise that religion exists independent of the human mind is where belief
goes wrong for me. All this does is conveniently remove it from responsibility.
Any harm done in the name of one's religion can simply be dismissed as
"improper understanding and practice" on the individual's part. It
also creates the room for the claim of "the one, true religion," which
of course never causes any disagreements or conflict.Religion can be
beneficial for some, but it certainly is not required to live a principled,
virtuous, and self-sacrificing life. It is only required to live a religious
life.BTW, "we were mentioned first so that means we're the
most important" sounds a little juvenile to my ears. It's also a
fatuous claim. I imagine someone facing criminal prosecution finds Amendments
4, 5, 6 and 8 pretty important, too.
As a defender of religious freedom, I do walk the walk. That's why I rail
against any dilution of my rights by such actions as giving them to inanimate
Some people would punch a "religious person" in the nose and then expect
that person to turn the other cheek. That's exactly what Obama did when he
told Nuns that they had to pay for contraceptives. That's what Obama did
when he told Hobby Lobby that they had to pay for abortifacients. Should we refrain from telling others that Obama is breaking the law by
writing legislation just because we are Christians? Stating, "Obama is a
crook" is different from stating, "Obama is writing and signing
legislation into law, which is not authorized by the Constituion; therefore,
Obama is a crook". Both statements would be correct, but the first statement
could be considered a personal attack while the second statement could be seen
as a simple statement of facts followed by a conclusion that Obama is a
crook.Elder Oaks served as a justice on the Utah Supreme Court.
Surely no one would suggest that he not find someone guilty because a Christian
should not judge.Some posters delight in personally attacking other
posters. Some of those who do that even claim church affiliation. What should
@Mike Richardsre: "Some posters delight in personally attacking other
posters. Some of those who do that even claim church affiliation. What should be
done?"I am one of those who "claims church affiliation"
(note: I am fully affiliated in every way) and has been concerned by the tone of
your comments, though I hope I have never personally attacked you. What should be done? Live our religion. Welcome people to join us instead of
pushing people way. Turn the other cheek. Show true compassion--meaning being
willing to suffer together with those who suffer. Follow the tenets explained in
this article. Be magnanimous.Assume the best about people. Do unto
others as you would have them do unto you. Give equal importance and respect to
another person's feelings and experiences as your own. Listen
to and accept other people's feelings. Don't tell other people what
they do or do not feel. Don't ridicule or shame them for their feelings.
Accept that you do not have a right or responsibility to control another
person.Those are things I learned at church that have helped me
engage in more meaningful and productive conversations.
It's time to impeach Justice Roberts. All he is is a shrill for corporate
welfare.Corporations are not people, no matter how much loud the
Liberal LarryFurthermore, if your neighbor parked his SUV on your
side of the street during a snowstorm, it would be towed away before the snow
plow came thru. In any case, like ECR, I don't get your point.FTHow do you know that your religious friends are not better than
the non-religious. Your not being judgemental now, are you?HutteriteYeah, all those inanimate corportations being run by all
those inanimate people.
Hear hear, excellent essay by Greg Bell. Two thumbs up!
SCfan says:"I find it hard to seperate the people who commit
evil from the act itself."--- And right there is your problem.
You look at a gay couple and all you see is "the evil act itself" (sex).
Just a note, our love is no more evil than your love and if you'd stop
thinking about the sex act every time you see a gay couple, you just might start
to realize that.@Mike Richards:"Some people would
punch a "secular person" in the nose and then expect that person to not
punch back. That's exactly what the religious people did with Prop-8 and
Amendment-3. They "punched" us in the nose and expected us to just lie
down and bleed silently.
"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and
evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes
religion. " Slavery, wars, women as property, Flds.......I have watched members of my own family, good people, with good hearts,
lose their minds since Obama was elected (twice!)and the fight for marriage
equality came to my state. I have been 'exed' from my own family for
even supporting SSM,(except for my crazy Aunt Peaches, love ya!) which really
only served to confirm my opinion on religion in general.
@Tiago,Again you claim that my posts upset you. This time you cite
"tone" as the reason. As I stated before, I am not a diplomat. I
don't believe in trying to pretend that something isn't wrong, just to
be politically correct.If my posts upset you, don't read them.
They are clearly marked with my name. There is absolutely no reason for you to
be upset, just skip over them.When we look at the Master and the way
that He confronted problems, He did not "beat around the bush". He
braided a whip and drove the money changers out of the temple. Did he lose His
temper? Of course not. He knew exactly what they were doing and He knew
exactly what He should do.There is no reason that anyone should bow
to PC pressure when society mocks eternal truths. A real Christian stands as a
witness of Christ and of Christ's doctrine at all times and in all places,
even if those to whom he addresses his comments don't like the message or
the tone of the message.Meek means teachable, not cowardliness.
"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike
your Christ."~ Mahatma Gandhi
I was opposed to the Iraq War, for reasons of conscience.Yet I was
forced to pay for that war, to subsidize the deaths of many, many innocent
Iraqis, and too many of my fellow Americans.I presume in the future
I won't have to pay for wars I disagree with, morally. It may
take litigation that reinforced by the Supreme Court, but freedom of conscience
is a fundamental to our nation.
@SCfan"Furthermore, if your neighbor parked his SUV on your side of
the street during a snowstorm, it would be towed away before the snow plow came
thru"Um no, if Larry lives in SLC it wouldn't be. There are to
many area's that rely on street parking, so you are allowed to park on the
street, even during a snowstorm, unlike many of the suburbs of SLC.
"Political correctness says that opposing same-sex sexual relationships and
marriage on religious grounds is intolerant, bigoted and homophobic."Perhaps if you didn't dismiss the majority of Americans who support
same-sex marriage as merely being motivated by political correctness, you might
better understand this issue. "Sneering disrespect"? Indeed.
But the source of that disrespect goes both ways, as you've illustrated
It does not matter how lovingly the religious speak, if they do not agree with
the progressives their words will be characterized as hateful.
@Mike RichardsWhen we look at the Master and the way that He confronted
problems........Mike, huge problem here. You aren't even close to Jesus. So
you don't get to do things the way he did. Unless you are claiming that
you're Jesus. Then i'm pretty sure your bishop would want to have a
conversation with you.
After reading this LTE, and then reading many of the comments, I am struck by
how many who defend conservative religious traditions fail to pay any attention
to the message of this LTE.Which only proves the point that many
(not all) religiously conservative people are predisposed to intolerance as
defined by Webster (Tolerance: "willingness to accept feelings, habits, or
beliefs that are different from your own: the ability to accept, experience, or
survive something harmful or unpleasant". Intolerance being the
opposite).No one advocates that a person be legally obliged to marry
someone of the same gender. Advocates for SSM ask that their faith or lack
thereof guide the decision of same sex couples to pursue legal marriage. This
is the opposite position of opponents to SSM. Those religiously conservative
refuse to admit that another faith tradition or lack of faith tradition might be
as religiously valid is is theirs, and that in a secular society such things as
SSM must be permitted if we are to avoid theocracy. This position
by the religiously conservative is, by very definition is intolerance. And it
is a very short step indeed from intolerance to bigotry.
To go along with if you don't believe in abortion don't have one, if
you don't believe in gay marriage don't participate.That's what Hobby Lobby is saying. They don't believe in abortion in
most cases and don't want to participate in paying their employees
abortions also known as the "day after pill". If they don't believe
in it, then don't force them to pay for it. Right?If you
don't believe in gay marriage, then why should your children be forced to
accept it at school?The left argues that values shouldn't be
forced on them. But, when they force their values on others, it's
acceptable. Sounds hypocritical to me.
This is a good article. Well done! I stopped listening to
conservative talk show hosts because they offered the same thing as the liberal
ones, contention and devisiveness. Their points are lost in their name calling
and broad sweeping generalizations. You CAN disagree and be
Christ-like. Many people mistake respect or kindness for weakness and therefore
become shrill when championing their cause. On the other hand, some mistake
disagreement with disrespect and turn to name calling to defend their position.
Ranch HandWhere did you get that? Here I'm talking about
Hitler, evil, killing, and you somehow make a case that I'm saying sex is
evil? Perhaps you and the 4 other very misinformed people who like your post
should re-read what I said. My point had absolutely NOTHING to do with sex or
homosexuality. It was about far more important things than that. Like war and
killing bad people. Yes, believe it or not, the gay and lesbian agenda is not
the most important thing facing this country today. In fact I'd put it at
about number 27 on the list. Talk about projection. I sure am learning a lot
today about the illogical thinking of todays liberals.
NoodlekaboddleI didn't know that. Sure glad I live in the
'burbs.Now, you say that Mike Richards does not get to do
things the way Jesus did because he is not Jesus? Do I understand you
correctly? Are you serious? What then does Jesus mean when he asks us to
"Come Follow Me"? From everything I understand about the gospels, doing
as Jesus would do is exactly what we should be doing, and the time we should
visit our Bishop is when we have strayed far from that. You don't agree?
Maybe you are the one that needs a visit. And yes, Mike is not Jesus, but you
can't say he is not close to Jesus. He may in fact have a very close
relationship with Him. But you certainly can't be the judge. Unless of
course you happen to be his Bishop.
@ Tiago - Excellent comments, as usual. I also have tried to not
directly attacked another poster. If I have, I apologize.Mr.
Bell's essay is well done. Too many use religion as a basis for their
political beliefs without understanding the principles that underlie it.Christ told us that following in His steps would not be easy. To live
as He lived while others around us mock and jeer is a challenge. The great and
spacious building is filling up, and it is hard to not attack back sometimes.
But we will be blessed for following His example....
"For example, the Christian God forbids his adherents from hating anyone,
including their enemies."Can I get chapter and verse on that?For some nuance on the point, see Psalm 139:21-22: "Do I not hate
those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I
hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies."The
problem I have here is that left-liberals define "hate" as nearly any
opposition to their doctrines. If you are not left-liberal, then by definition,
you're a "hater." For the same reason I don't play Vegas
games with the odds in the house's favor, I don't play rigged
I believe in taking the moral high ground. In my book, that means being at
higher elevation than the enemy. Since the enemy has no fidelity to truth and
honor whatsoever, that's not a terribly high bar to clear. All
I have to do is keep my standards higher than the Left's, distorting,
ad-homineming, and kneecapping less than they do. I can do that without
breaking a sweat.
@Liberal Ted"If you don't believe in gay marriage, then why
should your children be forced to accept it at school?"All the
schools ask on the matter is that children learn that different types of
families exist and that kids not throw out homophobic slurs or bully kids who
are LGBT or have same-sex parents. Is that really that much to ask?
@ Mike Don't worry. As always, there is a double standard
involved with the left. The "tone" of your comments are unacceptable
because they disagree. Their "tone" is ok however. You should consider
it a badge of honor. Basically the opinion piece supports the
idea of two standards for society. If you claim to be religious, you can just
sit down shut up and keep your ideas to yourself. Be happy and thankful when
your told to shut up and participate with the degenerating of society that goes
on around you, and just pretend it doesn't effect you or your family. Sorry, but I don't need anyone to explain my religion to me and
how to act. None of us would agree about it anyway. Besides I would only act
perfect, if I were perfect, so again I don't really care how you judge me.
Tone this! If you are going to force me and my family to be
exposed to your gayness, or your inability to be honest or not be a thief, or
deny anyone their rights to act on their religious beliefs, then you will get
resistance from me.
ECR,In cold weather, snowy states, it is typically known as a
"Snowplow".Does that make easier for you to understand now?
@SC Fan"How do you know that your religious friends are not better
than the non-religious. Your not being judgemental now, are you?"To answer your question, yes I am being judgemental. There is certainly
nothing wrong with that. As an old man living with many different people of
religon and those who are not, I have found the agnostics and aetheist to be
more tolerant and respectful of others. Many religous people tend to think of
themselves and their values as superior. I would put a lot of Mormons I have
known as the most self righteous of the religous people I have encountered. That
has not stopped me from becoming friends with those or disassociating from many
who are my relatives. It's just an observation or in your words a judgement
from my life expeience.
@LiberalTed;HobbyLobby doesn't believe anything. It's a
corporation not a human."If you don't believe in gay
marriage, then why should your children be forced to accept it at
school?"If one doesn't believe in religion, why should
their children be required to pray in school? Conservatives are trying to bring
prayer back. Nobody is "forcing" you to have a same-gender
marriage? If they were, your argument could be taken seriously; since they
aren't you can't.@jeanie ;Show me how voting
away my rights displays "respect or kindness". I'm interested how
that works.@SCfan;Reread my comment; including your own
words which I quoted. If I'm wrong, then why not support marriage
equality? Brian Fisher's remarked the other day: "Who
wants to think about gay s.e.x. when they go out to eat a burger";
referencing BK's support of LGBT. Many on the DN reference the act when
they comment against marriage equality. If you're not one who sees the act
when you see a gay, I apologize.@RedWings;People
wouldn't "mock/jeer" if Christians acted like Christ.
Liberal Ted Re Comment @ 7:20I'm just curious. After you make
a statement do you go back and find out if it's fact or not or do you just
run with it?Just a suggestion, maybe you should have another Diet
Coke before you post in the morning. You seemed a little groggy today.
@Mike Richards"Some people would punch a "religious person" in
the nose and then expect that person to turn the other cheek."Not true. The truth is you routinely "punch" those who do not believe
as you do in the nose and then DEMAND that they "turn the other cheek".
"That's exactly what Obama did when he told Nuns that they
had to pay for contraceptives. "And this is dishonest. Neither
Obama nor the congress EVER told any nuns they had to pay for contraception."Should we refrain from telling others that Obama is breaking the
law by writing legislation just because we are Christians? "Yes
but because it's misleading, disingenuous, and deceitful. The
simple truth is your religious rights are only absolute in their application to
YOU. You have NO religious right to impose your religion on me through the force
of law. An even simpler truth is defending the rights of ALL Americans is not an
attack on YOU or your religion and the cloth of martyrdom claimed by so many is
Defenders of religious liberty would gain credibility if they would defend all
infringements on religious liberty, even those that are against their own
religious tenets. That would show a commitment to the principle and not just
self-interest. The ACLU has often defended the first amendment rights of people
and causes it finds repugnant (Nazis marching in predominantly Jewish Skokie, IL
is the standard example). How about this paper standing up for the North
Carolina clergy who are suing that state for their right to perform same sex
wedding ceremonies in accordance with the dictates of their faith? That would
be a good start. Sauce for the goose...
There's a lot of talk about conservatism being equivalent to religiosity.
It's not. I have friends who are Mormon and are liberal. I have friends
who are Jewish and are liberal. I have friends who are Catholic and are
liberal. Etc, etc. Some of them think God is ok with same sex marriage and
would treat the prohibitions against homosexuality in a way similar to the way
we all currently treat the passages that tell us to stone sassy kids or
adulterers. Some think same sex marriage is not ok, but also believe that there
are lots of things they don't think are ok that aren't prohibited by
law. For those whose churches teach that gay marriage is acceptable, it is the
conservatives that are denying them the right to practice their religion.
I agree that religious people should walk the walk. That hasn't been the
case regarding SSM, especially Prop. 8. The Bible (1 Cor. 10:29) has Paul
condemning the idea that one group can limit/restrict the rights of others
based/justified on the religious/moral beliefs of the former. D&C 1134:4
talks about those who let their religious beliefs prompt them to infringe upon
the rights and liberties of others. Despite the above, LDS and other Christians
did exactly that. They let their religious beliefs regarding SSM prompt them to
infringe upon the rights of gays (at least in California re Prop. 8) to marry.
Uzzah in the old testament likewise knew not to steady the ark but
did it anyway because he perhaps believed that God would forgive him not walking
the walk of obedience in order to do something good. He was wrong. He rejected
the idea behind the concept that obedience is better than sacrifice (obedience
is better than any good that comes from disobedience).regarding
Prop.8 at least, too many Christians ignored the scriptures. IOW, they
didn't walk the walk.
There is only one question a Christian need ask: " What think ye of
Christ?" Those of us who have been baptized and confirmed a member of His
church will have no problem answering that question. We will not twist His
statements for our own political purposes. We will not "use" Him to
convince others that they should embrace doctrines foreign to His purposes. We
will not be used as "meek" drones to promote anything that redefines
marriage or that redefines the family. We will stand with Him as those who
oppose Him tell us that we should embrace practices that God declared to be an
abomination. Those who support those practices will denounce us. They will
pretend that they have accepted Christ as their master even as they stomp all
over His doctrine. Being a Christian does not require that we abandon
"For those whose churches teach that gay marriage is acceptable, it is the
conservatives that are denying them the right to practice their
religion."No.No conservative is telling a liberal
church that it can't hold a marriage ceremony for two men, two women, three
ducks, or any combination thereof. It's their business, and their right to
practice whatever religion they choose. The issue is *state*
recognition of the arrangement. Whatever you think of the merits, that's a
separate question.Be precise.
"Certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act, Roe v. Wade, and the rapid
legalization of same-sex marriage by courts and legislatures have pushed
religious freedom proponents to the center of the public square. It feels to
many that religions, and the religious, are under attack."Religions are not under attack. What is under attack is the notion that
religion can dictate what is "right" to those who don't follow any
religious tenet, or even those who don't follow the same religious tenet.
Being a somewhat religious person, I couldn't care less if two
men get married. Neither should those who are "pro family". Nor could I
care if some person terminates an unwanted pregnancy. Once again, that situation
is nobody's business except the woman's and maybe the bay's
father. The Affordable Care Act doesn't force any body to violate any
religious code more than any other law in the country. I am forced to pay for
things that "violate" my religious code every day. It seems that some
people feel persecuted simply because those whom they persecute are no longer
willing to be persecuted.
The purpose of religion is to enslave the minds of men, women and children. The
reason for such enslavement is the same as any other giant business
organization, the control of the wealth of the world. None the less, its
product, the hope for a better and never ending life, is the most valuable
product in the world of human beings. If enslavement is too harsh
a word, perhaps we should simply call it control. It is the desire of religion
to control the lives of people from the instant of conception to the very last
rights of death. Religious control often has good effects, it helps people live
together in peace. But sometimes the control seems to go too far. For the most
part sin is the natural, built in, parts of being human. Sex is probably number
@TheProudDuck"No conservative is telling a liberal church that it
can't hold a marriage ceremony for two men, two women, three ducks, or any
combination thereof. It's their business, and their right to practice
whatever religion they choose. "Actually that is against the law
in North Carolina and some other states (I think it's even a misdemeanor in
Utah). Texas tried but failed recently to pass a law criminalizing it. Whether
these states enforce those laws is a different matter of course.
@ Liberal Ted"If you don't believe in gay marriage, then
why should your children be forced to accept it at school?"I
don't believe in the LDS religion, yet my kids are forced to accept it at
school. Especially since LDS kids get "free time" to attend seminary
during school hours. My kids don't get "free time" to attend
religious instruction "off campus" during school hours.
@Hahahaha"If you are going to force me and my family to be
exposed to your gayness, or your inability to be honest or not be a thief, or
deny anyone their rights to act on their religious beliefs, then you will get
resistance from me."Yet you and other "religious" people
have no problem exposing others to your religiousness and some even deny myself
and others our right to act according to our religious beliefs. So does that
mean you should expect and accept resistance from me when I see LDS people
around? After all, I don't believe in the LDS church.
Ranch,I think we need to agree to disagree. You champion same sex
marriage, I don't. We both have our reasons. In other discussions with you
I have gotten the clear message that, for you, there is no acceptable reason for
someone to be against SSM. I think further discussion on this topic ends there.
However, if we were neighbors and you needed to borrow some eggs or
have us watch your pets while you were gone on a trip, I'd be happy to
@Ranch,Let's look at your argument from the other side. From your
previous posts, I understand that you are in favor of same-sex marriage, and
Prop 8 wasn't your favorite ballot measure. OK, so while you complain
about being "forced" to do something, and accusing the LDS church of
trying to force their beliefs on others; aren't you doing the same? By
accusing others of "Hate" for not jumping on your bandwagon and leading
the parade for what you espouse, aren't you doing the same thing you accuse
others of doing to you? I know that this may surprise you, but lots of folks
just don't want to enthusiastically embrace your position. It doesn't
mean there is hatred involved, or the boogy-man is coming or anything else. We
just don't endorse your position. We don't want it forced upon us and
we don't "hate" you. We just don't want it.So,
try to understand that other don't hate you when we disagree, we just
@Mike Richards"We will not twist His statements for our own
political purposes."But you do, all the time, just look at
California Proposition 8 and Utah Amendment 3.
@Jack,"We don't want it forced upon us "And
what on earth is granting same sex couples the rights and benefits of marriage
forcing on you? What impact on you will occur with same sex marriage that is so
horrible you must continue to fight to force gay and lesbians to live as second
@Mike RichardsSouth Jordan, UtahSome posters delight in
personally attacking other posters. Some of those who do that even claim church
affiliation. What should be done?8:27 a.m. July 18, 2014[I
delight in calling others on their "holier-than-thou” attitudes and
hypocrisy. Jesus did the same thing to the Pharisees who should have known
better.]---@Mike RichardsSouth Jordan, UtahHe braided a whip and drove the money changers out of the temple. [Jesus did not whip the homosexuals, adulterers, prostitutes, lepers,
blind, or sick -- like 'some' who claim Church affiliation do when
they verbally attack these folks.In Fact, Jesus had dinner with
them, walked and talked with them, healed and blessed them, FORGAVE them, lived
with them, and LOVED them.FYI - The money changers were working in
the Temple, they must've been "members", and they obviously were
Capitalists, and were taking advantage of others.]Do us a favor --
Do what Greg Bell suggested in this wonderful article and WALK the
WALK,Walk the Talk.
"Principled support for California’s Proposition 8 brought retaliation
against donors and activists.""Principled" support that
involved demonization, lies and fear-mongering. As an LDS member,
having served in several different bishoprics, I was not in favor of legalizing
same-sex marriage--until I saw the campaign and the tactics used to defeat Prop
8. It made me sick, shocked and embarrassed that the Church I belonged to would
sign-on to such a disgusting campaign. The Church is capable of producing nice
"ads" and "commercials" to get their point across but this was
not that. No doubt, the kind of "feel-good" ads wouldn't have been
as effective as the fear-mondering/demonization type ads that were used in
defeating Prop 8, but they would've been more in line with the Gospel. Religion has become the ends instead of the means to an end. I've
learned that whether one is religious or not has very little to do with the
content of one's character. Some of the most Christ-like people I've
met have no religious affiliation at all, while some of the most mean-spirited,
dishonest, judgemental people I know are devout followers.
re:Jack"We don't want it forced upon us and we don't
"hate" you. We just don't want it."Don't want
it? Fine. You don't have to marry someone of the same sex.
The fact that my gay neighbors are married has had no impact on my
life whatsoever. I treat them with the same courtesy, kindness and respect that
I do everybody else. Soon, this won't be an issue when
same-sex marriage becomes legal in most/all states and people see there really
is no boogey-man afterall. Life will go on, and once again some religious
institutions will find themselves on the wrong side of history......
The religious conservative in their comments seem to believe they are being
accused of hatred for their abhorrence of all things gay.Well, when
you tell people they are going to hell, when you deny them personal dignity in
the conduct of their personal affairs, when you accuse them of sinful behavior,
when you assume they can not raise adjusted children, when you lump them
together with child molesters, when you seek to have their personal liberties
be circumscribed, when you expel them from your church, when you fire them from
their jobs, and when quote a few Biblical text calling for all kinds of
barbarisms...well I think you got the point.Demonizing people thusly
is not a particularly loving attitude. Very few conservative religionists vary
from the above enumerated "party line". Is it a wonder that most of us
find these religiously based opinions to be a form of intolerance or worse,
bigotry? And if you truly believe that stuff, you should be proud to be known
as intolerant or bigoted at worst. Making a victim of yourself for holding
intolerant or bigoted views is rather childish. Own it or discard it, make a
The Proud Duck -- Ok, how's this: Conservative politicians are denying
those believers who support same sex marriage the right to practice their
religion. Not sure how that is different from what I said before, but you are
correct, it's state action I'm talking about.
Mike Richards -- No one is asking you to embrace gay marriage. I completely and
totally support you in not marrying another man. I also support you in not
drinking alcohol, not smoking tobacco, not having an adulterous relationship,
keeping the Sabbath holy, paying your tithing, etc. However, I can't
imagine that you would think that there should be laws requiring or prohibiting
citizens from those actions. YOU do not have to do anything or support anything
other than what you want to do and support. However you should not (and in most
cases I assume do not) believe you can dictate to others that THEY must live
your religious beliefs. Promote your religious beliefs? Yes, please do. Tell
the world. But do not require others to live your beliefs by force of law.
Wonder, if you need state action to practice your religion, you're doing it
wrong. Read the Establishment Clause.
RE: Mike Richards "Obama is a crook" is different from stating,
"Obama is writing and signing legislation into law, which is not authorized
by the Constituion; therefore, Obama is a crook". Both statements would be
correct, but the first statement could be considered a personal attack while the
second statement could be seen as a simple statement of facts followed by a
conclusion that Obama is a crook.Wrong- both statements are opinions."Some posters delight in personally attacking other posters. Some of those
who do that even claim church affiliation. What should be done?"I
think you answered your own question.
Despite what many have indicated, standing up for one’s beliefs does
involve limiting others’ ability to engage in certain behavior. Indeed,
democracy allows the majority to “force others to live by [the
majority's] beliefs”—we vote for laws according to our moral
viewpoint, whatever that may be, and the majority’s viewpoint becomes law.
Consider laws prohibiting murder, rape, child pornography, etc. Each of these
laws—and every law we enact—requires a moral judgment. So yes, I do
get to tell others what they cannot do.For this reason, our
government has checks and balances. The judicial branch is responsible for
ensuring that the majority does not tread on the minority’s fundamental
rights. And that’s where the real problem is—who decides what is a
fundamental right? Currently, courts believe they have unfettered power to
decide. I disagree. I believe the majority should decide whether inherently
moral issues—same-sex marriage, abortion, etc.—are a fundamental
right, while the court should decide inherently objective issues—race,
national origin, etc. The State of Utah decided through democratic process that
same-sex marriage is not a fundamental right. The Court should recognize that
Roland Kayser "Religious freedom means that you have an absolute
right to live your religion. It does not mean that you get to force everyone
else in the country to live by your religion."Exactly: therefore
those who demand government force a third party to provide products or services,
in violation of the third party's religious beliefs, and/or which the
government may facilitate without violating religious beliefs; then that person
is perpetrator NOT a victimIf a person believes that they (and
unions and associations ) have first amendment rights, but a family business
loses that right with business license - then that person is a perpetrator, NOT
a victim H0bbt Lobby critics ARE the very religiously intolerant
perpetrators that they claim to despise
While I generally agree with the opinion writer; the essay is inadequate and one
sided.1) The problem is not merely for the religious: secular zealots who
think they are tolerant merely because they are intolerant for all the
fashionable reasons embarrass their own cause. It is precisely why I have so
little regard for the illiberal left.2) The concerns of the religious are
not limited to the religious. I belong to no faith but do not want my tax money
bring squandered on misogynist, racist, abortion mills (planned
parenthood)either. I support Hobby Lobby's right to have a conscience,
regardless of the religious affiliation3) I am homosexual but those who
use bullying, intolerance, shaming and outright lies to promote the cause do NOT
represent me. I have a right to vigorously reject their hate in my name.Civil discussion is healthy but "Nice" has it limitationsIf I am being beat up by a thug in a dark alley - being "nice" is NOT
the healthy response.Politically correct bigots need to be vigorously
defended against, just like any other thug
ordinaryfolks "Demonizing people thusly is not a particularly
loving attitude. Very few conservative religionists vary from the above
enumerated "party line". Is it a wonder that most of us find these
religiously based opinions to be a form of intolerance or worse, bigotry? And if
you truly believe that stuff, you should be proud to be known as intolerant or
bigoted at worst. Making a victim of yourself for holding intolerant or bigoted
views is rather childish. Own it or discard it, make a choice."Interesting how rail against "conservatives" demonizing people then
proceeded to do exactly that.Which IS exactly the point of much of
the criticism of the politically correct left
The Proud Duck -- I don't need the state to help me practice my religion,
but I need the state to not prohibit me from practicing my religion.
(Figuratively speaking. My religion does not allow gay marriage. But for those
whose religions do encourage it as a way to make the family more stable.)
@G.S.Austin, TXI believe the majority should decide whether
inherently moral issues—same-sex marriage, abortion, etc.—are a
fundamental right...====== Um, Don't look
now, BUTThe Majority already DOES support Same-Sex Marriage, a
woman's right to choose, etc.in addition to banning assault
weapons, increasing taxes on the wealthy, Pres. Obama, etc....
"...Harry Reid supports the slaughter of millions of unborn children using
tax dollars. Calling it womens right to choose. Yet fundamentally denies in most
cases the woman made the choice to engage in an act to begin with. Yet he
complains about children being bombed. Does that make sense?...".Ronald Reagan signed into law an abortion bill that led to the murder of over
2,000,000 babies. Yet, no right-winger condems Ronald Reagan.Does
that make sense?
Mr. Bell, on so many levels, what you've written is pure rubbish. Not the
least of which was the prop 8 references. If the LDS church was arguing from
superior moral high ground why did it go to such great lengths to bkeep
it's involvement secret? Again rubbish!
"The issue is *state* recognition of the arrangement. Whatever you think of
the merits, that's a separate question."So, why then should
the state recognize the marriages of some religions and not those of others?
Please explain how that is fair.
I'm not sure what it means to be a defender of religious freedom. Does
this mean one is free from being forced to subscribe to religious beliefs as
imposed by others through a variety of means, especially political ones; or does
it mean to be free to force others to subscribe to your religious beliefs
through a variety of means, especially political ones?
@Mike Richards 8:27 a.m. July 18, 2014"Some people would punch a
"religious person" in the nose and then expect that person to turn the
other cheek. That's exactly what Obama did when he told Nuns that they had
to pay for contraceptives. That's what Obama did when he told Hobby Lobby
that they had to pay for abortifacients. "There is no truth in
your comments. The Poor Sisters had a way to avoi providing insurance for
contraceptives -- all they had to do is sign a statement. No
"abortifacients" were involved in the Hobby Lobby case, only
contraceptives to provide a pregnancy from starting."Some
posters delight in personally attacking other posters. Some of those who do that
even claim church affiliation. What should be done?"You must be
talking about yourself, because you were obviously looking in a mirror when you
made that comment. What should be done? Start being more Christlike, which you
haven't been doing to this point.
re:GSThere are many problems with your proposal.First,
there are wide-ranging opinions as to what is a moral issue and what one
considers to be immoral. Contraceptives use--not using contraceptives is
viewed as immoral by some, while others see contraceptive use as immoral. Race
was/is a moral issue for some. Interracial marriage was considered to be
immoral. Now, it is an "objective" issue? Other "moral" issues
might include blood transfusions, women covering up--wearing burkas, people
simply being homosexual (do you support housing discrimination based on sexual
orientation?). Fornication and adultery (why no laws against these acts?) are
considered to be immoral by many...and the list goes on and on. Secondly, Who will enforce such laws? The govt. So now, conservatives
are arguing for a more expansive role of govt. to include what happens in our
bedrooms and what happens between consenting adults. Thirdly,The U.S. Supreme Court is the final arbiter of whether laws violate the U.S.
Constitution of equal protection. Since 1888 the U.S. Supreme Court has
ruled 14 times that marriage is a fundamental right.
@LDS Liberal:"The Majority already DOES support Same-Sex
Marriage, a woman's right to choose, etc."Says who? Polls
of public opinion? There's never a guarantee that they're accurate.
Plus, which majority are you talking about? National, or at a state-level? The best evidence of what the majority supports or does not support is
an amendment to a constitution. There has been no federal amendment legalizing
same-sex marriage. In contrast, we all know that in Utah, the majority DID
decide that same-sex marriage is not a fundamental right, via a constitutional
amendment. And the same has occurred in a number of other states. Thus, at least
in those states, the majority DO NOT support same-sex marriage.
None of this is about religious freedom.It's about religious
oppression.If Mr. Bell would just substitute the words
"religious oppression" for "religious freedom" in his diatribe,
then almost everyone could see how ridiculous it all is.Religious
oppression happens when a religion has the freedom to oppress others, and
that's exactly what Mr Bell and other so-called "Conservatives"
want.. . . And that's what they got when our
Right/Wrong-leaning Supreme Court succeeded in in bastardizing and subverting
America's long-held and very American principle of the Separation of Church
and State.“Defenders of religious oppression need to walk the
walk?’I don’t think so. It would be better for the
nation if "Conservative" religious zealots simply stopped subverting
Since corporations are legal constructs designed to limit the liability of
owners it seems improbable that they a) have free speech rights and b) have
religious beliefs. Certainly when guaranteeing freedom of speech, the Founding
Fathers did not conceive of businesses having equal rights with citizens.
Corporations don't practice any religion and while their owners
individually and corporately may to imbue these legal constructs with the
ability to discriminate against real people based on the supposed "religious
views" of a corporation is little different from those in the 50's who
wouldn't serve African Americans.
re: 1aggie"There are wide-ranging opinions as to what is a moral
issue and what one considers to be immoral."Exactly. That is why
the voters within a state should have the power to decide whether something is a
moral issue or not."Secondly, Who will enforce such
laws?"Yes, the government, but which government? Don't
forget principles of federalism. The state government will enforce the laws.
Conservatives have always resisted a larger centralized government, instead
preferring that a state be permitted to decide issues involving police powers.
So yes, a state government can, and often does regulate what goes on in
one's bedroom. As long as the state is regulating, and not the federal
government, such regulations should be permitted by majority vote."Since 1888 the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled 14 times that marriage is a
fundamental right."In Utah, marriage is between a man and a
woman. Between a man and a woman, yes, marriage is a fundamental right. But no,
I do not believe that same-sex marriage is deeply rooted in our nation's
history or implicit in the concept of ordered liberty (the test for whether
something is a fundamental right).
Ya know, I really have to congratulate DesNews and Mr Bell on inciting yet
another riot on this site, even if that wasn't the intention. Now if they
really desire to help mend bridges, for one thing STOP running this subject on
their site, it's only going to make (at least some) people more angry.
I've learned from personal experience that when discussion becomes a fight,
you can't have a civil conversation and people need to calm down until it
can be discussed again. When will that be? I doubt much mending can be done
until the issues is finally resolved and for some it never will be resolved.
The Civil war was discussed and to this very day there are people in the South
who say it was states rights and not about slavery and the North should have
left them alone. Just my two cents worth, carry on.
What happened to common sense and logic? All these cries about the loss of
religious freedoms. Which freedoms are those? The right to pray?The right to worship?The right to believe?The right to have
faith?Let me spell it out for you. Religious Freedom is the freedom
to continue to punish women for being sexual creatures, and this has been going
in since Eve. A long time ago, a few power-hungry men hijacked and
corrupted religion for their own benefit. They declared one of the most
pleasurable experiences on earth vile and dirty. Then they laid the blame on
women for causing them to feel those vile, dirty feelings. Why are we still
letting dead men run this country? On a positive note, we
aren't burned at the stake anymore so that's an improvement.
We've come a long way baby!
@Roland KayserLets us not forget the corollary:NON-Religious freedom means that you have an absolute(???) right to live your
secular views. It does not mean that you get to force everyone else in the
country to live by your secular views.Religious people are citizens
too, and equally so.
@Jack;How is an LGBT couple marrying forcing my beliefs on any
church? The fact that people drink alcohol doesn't force drinking on the
LDS Church, for instance. Accepting that others do not believe the way you do,
and act the way you do, is not "forcing" you to believe or act like
them. A gay couple getting married doesn't affect you or your belief in
the least. Much like drinking, you don't do it yet you know that others
do. Unless someone is forcing you to marry your own gender, it isn't being
"forced" onto you.You don't have to
"enthusiastically embrace" my position; but you can't force me to
adhere to (enthusiastically embrace) yours by legislating it into the law.@G.S.;We are a Constitutional Republic; majority does not
rule. The laws you mention involve harming others. A gay couple marrying does
you no harm. The Constitution says that you can't oppress a minority.
"You can't claim to be religious and then turn around and vote away
someone else's rights"First: Don't get the logical
connection between the first and second halves of this sentence...Second: "Rights" that never existed before can't be "voted
RanchHand..."How is an LGBT couple marrying forcing my beliefs on any
church? The fact that people drink alcohol doesn't force drinking on the
LDS Church, for instance."While I understand your comment, I
have to disagree just a bit here. While I think the majority if not 90 percent
of the Utah's LGBT community are more tolerant of the Church and others
viewpoints. They may not like it, but they remain respectful towards the
church.However, I have friends that live in California where Gay
Marriage is now legal. You say you are not forcing your beliefs on any church (I
also assume you mean other people as well. In California the LGBT community is
now forcing school systems to teach facets of the gay lifestyle. Whether or not
your personal religious beliefs goes against it. One of my friends have pulled
their kids out public education. They mind their kids, learning the issue about
gay marriage, but don't want their teachers indoctrinating them with the
belief that it is acceptable (based on their personal views).
@G.S."Thus, at least in those states, the majority DO NOT support
same-sex marriage."At the time those laws were passed. However,
there's been votes in states where same-sex marriage won (including Maine
which reversed their ballot measure from a few years prior) and there has
definitely been a shift over the past dozen years.