Comments about ‘Greg Bell: Defenders of religious freedom need to walk the walk’

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Published: Friday, July 18 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Burke, VA

Well said Mr. Bell. Your essay reminds of the founding principles of our nation. Thank you for doing that.

Here, UT

"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.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

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.

Michael Hunt
Murray, UT

"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.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT


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.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

clearfield, UT

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.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

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?

Woodland Hills, UT

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.

Burke, VA

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.

salt lake city, UT

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.

Here, UT


"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.

Healthy Skeptic
Saratoga Springs, UT

"...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".

Karen R.
Houston, TX

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.

American Fork, UT

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 corporations.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

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 be done?

Seattle, WA

@Mike Richards
re: "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.

Atlas Smashed
Santa Monica, CA

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 right screams.

clearfield, UT

Liberal Larry

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. In any case, like ECR, I don't get your point.


How do you know that your religious friends are not better than the non-religious. Your not being judgemental now, are you?


Yeah, all those inanimate corportations being run by all those inanimate people.


Hear hear, excellent essay by Greg Bell. Two thumbs up!

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