to Ranch"Odin doesn't need "prophets", he speaks
directly to each of his creations."And he has those Ravens as
To Mike R (4 nights ago)...2 thoughts. 1) The use/context of the
word 'We' reminds of post is eerily reminiscent of a Monarch speaking.
2) Him? Again context. Now, Dom Deluise in Cannonball Run comes to mind.
@ArizonaMormon"Will private religious institutions such as BYU
which maintain the right to hire in accordance with LDS beliefs run into
trouble?"Only if they want to cash in on lucrative government
contracts to deliver services on behalf of the government.
I’m sorry, but I’m really feeling embarrassed for
“Conservatives.”Here we have a former Senatorial
candidate, obviously with further political aspirations, citing his hereditary
Mormon qualifications for office. Apparently Liljenquist believes Utahns
consider one’s Mormon genealogy more important than the character and
ability of the candidate.Appealing to feelings of victimhood is
such an overdone “Conservative” tactic, isn’t it? Conservative
Politicians, especially on the national level, absolutely EXCEL at whining, but
they just can’t seem to get around to actually doing anything worthwhile
for America.And here is Liljenquist running true to form. Yes Dan,
Mormons have been persecuted. But they have also persecuted others.
Nobody's perfect. Senator Mike Lee and Michael Leavitt both bear the
surnames of ancestors who personally participated in the Mountain Meadows
Massacre.The only reason religious persecution hasn’t been
worse in this nation is because of the Separation of Church and State, which
“ Conservatives” have now renamed “the Government’s War
on Religion.”Come on Dan . . . Do you think you
“Conservatives” can take a break from the perpetual Pity Party and
actually do something worthwhile for America?
ArizonaMormon says:"Religious groups have an interest in hiring
according to their beliefs for jobs outside of strictly religiois roles. For
example, professors at BYU."Then do it with your own money and
not federal money. Fine and dandy. But when you use money from taxpayers, why
should you be allowed to discriminate?"The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints stands for the religious freedom of all."Is that why they have worked so diligently to violate the religious
rights of LGBT citizens?
Abeille says: "Ranch writes:"Mormons would do
well to ... stop violating the religious freedom of others."Please, enlighten us. Tell me, what RELIGIOUS freedoms are us Mormons
violating in others?"Well, Abeille, Proposition 8 and Amendment
3 violates the RELIGIOUS freedom of several religious groups to perform legal
same-sex marriages for one.@J Thompson;Odin is my
creator, not Christ or his "father" (such confusion, father-son
all-in-one)."Christ told us, "if you love me, keep my
commandments". ""Do unto others" was a commandment
buddy."Latter-day prophets told us ..."Odin
doesn't need "prophets", he speaks directly to each of his
creations.Mike Richards says:"As I see it, you and
others who believe in same-sex marriage and want the force of government to
provide that to you are in direct conflict with God who defined marriage as
being between a man and a woman."Odin did NO SUCH THING!!"When a religion holds marriage as a sacred ordinance that God
Himself defined and ordained,..."Why should your god have any
more legal precedence than my god?
For an example of how religious freedom is under attack, look to President
Obama's executive order preventing government contractors from
discriminating against members of the LGBT community in hiring. The idea behind
it is a noble one, but the law is troubling because it does not contain a
religious exemption. Will private religious institutions such as BYU which
maintain the right to hire in accordance with LDS beliefs run into trouble? It
could be argued that they contract with thefederal government because they
participate in federal student financial aid programs. Will BYU students be
prevented from receiving Pell Grants?Even more troubling is the fact
that several major gay rights groups have now pulled their support from ENDA, a
law that I support, because it contains a broad religious exemption (which was
originally supported, by the way, by Congressman Barney Frank.)Religious groups have an interest in hiring according to their beliefs for
jobs outside of strictly religiois roles. For example, professors at BYU.
A lot of people on here are claiming that Mormons are restricting the religious
freedom of others. Could someome please be more specific?The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stands for the religious freedom of all.
Re: Mocking and intoleranceMocking, a/k/a free speech, is found in
the same Amendment as freedom of religion. This is what allows believers to
mock each other's religions - or the lack of belief of nonbelievers - and
vice-versa. But the mocking doesn't prevent anyone from attending church
(or not).To those arguing from the authority of "God/Jesus
said": Until you can prove you're right, your take is merely one
believer's opinion among many. And pointing to your scriptures
doesn't help you because other believers who disagree are relying on the
same ones.I'm as confident that God isn't real as I am
that Zeus isn't real. That's the most I can say. Believers in gods
can't do any better than this and remain honest. So try crafting an
argument that can stand under its own authority rather than propping it up on an
authority you can't truthfully claim to have. This is likely to garner
less mockery. Criticism, on the other hand, can't be avoided. Free speech
practically guarantees it. Thank goodness.
Being tarred and feathered,imprisoned, run out at gun point,fields burned, Extermination orders,Johnson's Army, Edmunds Tucker Act, Get real!You all are truly mocking the
LDS Pioneers with your "we're being Religiously Persecuted" whining
and crying today...
@Mike Richards 9:25 a.m. July 24, 2014...Today,
our religion is mocked. Our worship of God is mocked. Our insistence of making
marriage the sacred ceremony and ordinance that God provided to us is mocked.
None of that is true, and none of that is happening. Nobody is
contesting the right of people to belong to any religion, to worship as they
choose, or to allow a particular religion to set its own standards for marriage
(except, of course, the denial of the right of religions that allow the practice
to perform same-sex marriages). The only thing that IS happening is the
refusal of a lot of people to allow religions to impose, though laws, their
dictates on a secular country and their attempts, contrary to the provisions of
the US Constitution, to turn that secular country into a theocracy. That must
never happen -- we do NOT heed a Christian form of talibanic rule to take over
I'm sure what religious freedom we've lost. I go to the church I want
when I want. Sometimes I don't go and the government doesn't seem to
mind. Now as far as back in the olden days, religious groups like the Mormons
were forced out place to place and the GOVERNMENT not only did nothing to
protect their rights but was directly the agent preventing it. I think actual
freedom of religion has progressed in this country, not regressed.
Shaun,I wonder if you mind me sticking my nose into your business?
Mothers care for their children. They would do almost anything to keep their
children safe. They "mother" their children. That means that they
watch them. They watch them. They watch them. They warn them about potential
danger. They teach them that a stove or an iron will harm them if touched.
They "mother" them when the children are too innocent to know that there
are real dangers in the world. They don't do those things to keep their
children from experiencing life. They do those things so that their children
will be strong and healthy enough to enjoy a full and long life.You
told us that you didn't believe that our living prophets were really
prophets. I'm not going to try to convince you that they are prophets.
The only thing that matters to me is that God knows that they are His prophets.
Just as I love my children, God loves his children. He wants us to live long
and happy lives. His prophets tell us how to do that. I hope you'll listen
@Mike Richards"if I've read your post correctly, if I and other
members of the LDS faith do not accept your ideas about religion, do you have
the right to persecute us?"You have definitely read it
incorrectly. If you're referring to my comment to J Thompson that was
expressing my opinion as to what the motives for the persecution were, not any
statement of approval of the persecution."Where is the tolerance
that you demand from us when you have no tolerance towards Christ's
doctrine as revealed by His prophets? "I support gender equality
but wouldn't support a law that forced churches to have female
clergy/priesthood. I'm not sure what sorts of things you're expecting
as a display of tolerance. Considering the later questions you seem to want me
to not disagree with beliefs that generalize certain family types as
inferior."should anyone mock that doctrine?"Actually, I believe that God only recognizes marriage between a man and a
woman so I'm not mocking it at all. I just also believe that since
there's no convincingly constitutional reason to ban same-sex marriage,
then it should be allowed.
@mike richards. Again I do not believe Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson,
James E. Faust, Boyd K. Packer, L. Tom Perry, David B. Haight, Russell M.
Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, M. Russell Ballard, Joseph B. Wirthlin, Richard G.
Scott, Robert D. Hales, Jeffery R. Holland, and Henry B. Eyring are prophets of
God. I respect your right to believe in and have faith that those
men are prophets of God. I believe that all people should be free to choose how
they live.If two people of the same sex want to get married they
should be able to. They are not hurting anyone, as many would claim and as a
matter of law, marriage is a contract not a religious event. Are you
only for freedom when it aligns with your religious convictions?
@L WhitePeople can have different interpretations for a same
Scripture quote. In the past, some believed Bible supports slavery, some argued
against; some believed Bible supports segregation, some argued against... they
all quoted from the same Bible.The reason for such disagreement is
not because like you said, some people "disagree with the Script", it is
because they disagree with each others' biblical interpretation.
Let me try this one more time. I must have explained my point poorly when I
addressed the commenter from Texas.When I quote scripture and you
disagree with that scripture, are you disagreeing with me, with the scripture or
with the author of the scripture? I think that your disagreement is with the
author of the scripture, not with me. I would not argue with you if you quoted
someone and I didn't agree with the quote. I would automatically know that
my disagreement was with the author of that quote.One of my favorite
scriptures is in Amos where Amos tells us that God will do nothing before first
telling His prophet. I can accept that. Can you?
@L White"Will you drive me out of Utah?"No one will
drive you out of Utah. We live in America, where people have religious freedom.
You can certainly believe your way of bible interpretation; and other believers
can have different interpretation too. Just because people have
different theology from you, does not mean they disagree with God. They just
disagree with you.
Well, I just keep getting drawn back to this thread. Someone from Sugarland,
Texas has told us that when I (or you) quote someone that the argument is
between between me and the person who does not accept that quote. Do I see
someone blaming the messenger here? When God chooses His Prophet, do we vote on
that selection or do we choose to sustain or reject God's choice.
Everytime I've raised my hand to sustain a Prophet of God, I've also
committed to listen to and to obey whatever that Prophet said when He addressed
the Chruch. When President Hinckley gave us "The Family: A
Proclamation to the World", I accepted that proclamation as the word of God.
I know that He will hold all people who had opportunity to hear or read that
Proclamation responsible to live the principles taught, just as He holds
everyone who has access to a Bible to be responsible for His teachings.Our pioneer ancestors did that and they were driven out of Nauvoo because they
believed in Christ. I believe in Christ. Will you drive me out of Utah?
@Mike RichardsI don’t think Shaun is arguing with God, s/he is
arguing with you. Even if you believe God is no your side, no one can tell. Only
one thing is sure: you are not God, nor the agent of God.Those
southern Baptists, southern Methodists who believed segregation is God’s
will, slavery is God’s plan back in 1800s, those Christians who believed
black and white marriage was ungodly, unnatural, even if they believed God is on
their side, well, they were wrong.
Schnee, if I've read your post correctly, if I and other members of the LDS
faith do not accept your ideas about religion, do you have the right to
persecute us? Where is the tolerance that you demand from us when you have no
tolerance towards Christ's doctrine as revealed by His prophets? That is the root of religious tolerance. Tolerance has to go both ways. When
a religion holds marriage as a sacred ordinance that God Himself defined and
ordained, should anyone mock that doctrine? Isn't that religious
intolerance?When a religion holds the family sacred with a father
and a mother at the head of that family, is it okay with you to mock that
doctrine?When a prophet of God is given a history of the people who
lived in the Americas, is that religious book something to mock, even when
Christ told us that there would be mockers in the latter-days?When a
nation believes that all rights come from our Creator, is it proper to mock the
Creator?The pioneers were driven from the United States by people
who had no religious tolerance.
@Mike Richards"As I see it, you and others who believe in same-sex
marriage and want the force of government to provide that to you are in direct
conflict with God"When did God ever tell us to impose the
Christian equivalent of Sharia law? "You are in direct conflict
with Gordon B. Hinckley"'Members should feel free to
disagree on the issue without fear of sanction.' - Elder Whitney Clayton of
the Seventy (in charge of the Prop 8 involvement by the church). "Your argument is with God, not with man. "For someone to
be arguing with God, they have to A: believe in God, and B: believe that the
position you state is God's position regarding marriage in civil law.
Otherwise, they're just arguing with you. @J Thompson"That is why "Mormons" were persecuted 150 years ago"The Book of Mormon, polygamy, and the communal wave overwhelming towns that
didn't care for and feared possible change (think something similar to
those protesters against those illegal immigrant kids who fear they'll lead
to a decline in their towns) had more to do it than notions on biblical
Marco Rubio said it best for those people against traditional marriage
supporters, “This intolerance in the name of tolerance is
Some of the comments about religion were the subject of discussion for our
pioneer ancestors. Some wondered whether all people would be saved by the
atonement of Christ. Some churches taught that all would be saved while others
taught that only some would be saved. What would we have done if we found
conflicting opinions? Perhaps we would have searched the Bible. Matthew
clearly taught that only a few would be "saved". (Matthew 25.41 and 46)
Latter-day prophets told us that ALL will be resurrected but only
those who keep Christ's commandments and repent of all sins will be
candidates to receive His atonement. They teach that Christ's atonement is
infinite but that Christ, himself, restricts His atonement's application to
those who love him enough to be as little children, quick to repent, quick to
learn of Him and quick to keep His commandments.That is why
"Mormons" were persecuted 150 years ago and that is why many heap
ridicule on "Mormons" today. "Mormons" aren't swayed by
popular opinion or by concepts taught by those who "shop" religions.
"Mormons" believe Christ and they believe in Christ.
RE; Mike Richards -"Just like in Israel, where the Jews only wanted to
live where they could raise their families and worship their God, the Saints
left the United States and came to a place that no one else wanted."Ahem. - Tell that to the indigenous peoples of this state (which was part of
Mexico at the time).
Thank heavens, we are blessed not to live in a theocracy. The Koran is not the
law of the land, the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita are not the
law of the land, the Tripitaka is not the law of the land, the Torah and the
Talmud are not the law of the land, the Bible is not the law of the land, the
Book of Mormon, the Doctrine & Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and
"The Family: A Proclaimation to the World" are not the law of the land.
In fact, not a single religious text, scripture, or holy book is the law of the
land, so no matter how a certain god or gods allegedly define sin, or marriage,
or what they allegedly proclaim to be divine truth or divine law, has no bearing
on the laws of our republic.Even if "The Family: A Proclamation
to the World" were signed by Jesus himself, it would still have zero legal
relevance. Jesus said that his kingdom was not of this world, but apparently
some believers can't follow his teachings unless everyone is compelled to
follow them by force of the civil law.
@J Thompson,I am sorry, but I was taught that Christ's
atonement is universal, infinite, and unconditional. He atoned for everybody;
not just those who think they are living a more worthy life than the rest. The atonement is the act of uniting that which has be separated or
estranged. Some of us wind up more distant than others due to a variety of
reasons. Unfortunately, too many are pushed away because of the attitudes of
others; people who make them believe there is no place for them within
Christ's gospel. The good news is the atonement bridges the gap and works
equally for all. The important aspect of all of this is that Christ
will not compel any of us to follow him. He gave us an invitation, but He wants
us to follow Him willingly--not by force of law. That's why religious
freedom is so important; we wind up doing things because we want to, not because
the law compels us to do it.
My, but things are changing. Dan wrote about the sacrifice his ancestors made
to leave a society that oppressed their religious views. They joined the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah where they could live their
religion without worldly opposition.Now, those who have come to Utah
to protest against that Church and Christ's doctrine are telling us that we
have to "love" them and that we have to "respect" them.I disagree. We love all people because we are all of God's family. We
do not respect the actions of all people. If a counterfeiter moved in next door
and started passing his counterfeit money around town, would we be compelled to
"respect" him? We know that counterfeit money destroys the value of the
dollar, and that if it is not stopped, it could destroy a nation. Why should we allow counterfeit morality to co-exist with real morality? If
counterfeit morality is not stopped, real morality will have no value and a
nation will be led astray.No respect is owed to those who
counterfeit Christ's doctrines. The Mormon Pioneers understood that
principle. Do we?
@Mike RichardsGentiles see your relationship with God and not only respect
it but fight to defend it. The issue those of us have, who love our country and
respect our constitution, is when your relationship with God dictates how one
has to live.I've been married 25 years, raised a family and support
my community. From what I gather, we live similar lives but where we differ is
the respect we show of how others live theirs.
It appears that those who expect those of us who love Christ to love the works
of those who oppose Christ. That can't be done. We all know the oldest
line ever used, "if you loved me, you would sleep with me". That
"line" has nothing to do with love and everything to do with lust. Now
some are using the line, "if you loved me as a brother or as a sister, you
would stop resisting us as we change the meaning of marriage and of family".
That is not love. That has nothing to do with love.Christ told us,
"if you love me, keep my commandments". That is love for Christ, of
Christ and of the things that He has done for us. If we love our
brothers and sisters, we will share with them Christ's doctrine. We will
tell them of the love He has for each of us, including His willingness to suffer
an unimaginable torture as He atoned for our mistakes - on condition that we
follow Him and keep His commandments.Love exists only within the
sphere that Christ defined. Anything else is counterfeit.
"[The LDS] Church has felt the bitter sting of persecution and
marginalization early in our history. Therefore, we of all people should be
willing to speak out against unkindness toward those who are attracted to others
of the same sex. Each Latter-day Saint family and individual should carefully
consider whether their attitudes and actions toward others properly reflect
Jesus Christ's second great commandment to love one another."Official LDS Church Press Release, Oct 2010It's too bad there
are members of the LDS faith who aren't even aware of this press release
statement. This call for kindness should be extended to everyone.
Shaun,As I see it, you and others who believe in same-sex marriage
and want the force of government to provide that to you are in direct conflict
with God who defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. You are in
direct conflict with Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson, James E. Faust, Boyd
K. Packer, L. Tom Perry, David B. Haight, Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, M.
Russell Ballard, Joseph B. Wirthlin, Richard G. Scott, Robert D. Hales, Jeffery
R. Holland, and Henry B. Eyring, Christ's prophets when "The Family: A
Proclamation to the World" was given to the entire world. Among those
prophets were two University Presidents, one Utah State Supreme Court Justice,
one heart surgeon, a nuclear physicist and others who were renowned in their
fields of expertise. Those are not men who would be easily fooled into signing
a document without knowing personally the author of that document who is Jesus
Christ. Your argument is with God, not with man. You are telling us
that your definition is correct and that God is incorrect. I'll side with God.
@the TruthYou have the protected right to worship as you please.
Your religious rights, however, ARE NOT absolute. You do not have a protected
religious right to restrict the rights of others. Your religious right DOES NOT
permit you to impose your belief system on others through the force of law.
Demanding you respect MY rights in no way restricts your religious rights. Drop
the martyrdom act.
@mike richards. I do not have an issue with your relationship with god. I and
many other people have an issue when people impose their faith on to others to
restrict their freedom and liberties.On the the flip side churches
should not have to accept or marry anyone if they do not want to.
@truth No matter how much you try to spin it as long as you are
using your religion as a weapon to take way others rights you are the aggressor
not the victim.
@truthWe have all been over this so many time with you, no matter
how you try to twist it no one has taken away your right to express yourself in
the public square, people have however started to push back against people
forcing others to live by their religious dictates by passing laws limiting the
freedoms of others based on nothing more then religious dogma.
Shaun,You and I have each become exactly what we want to be. We
have each used our time, our talents and our desires to follow whomever we
wish.Every pioneer who left familiar faces, familiar towns, familiar
jobs to forge a place here in the West became exactly the person that he wanted
to become. Those pioneers came here with little food, without jobs, without
homes to worship God. That was what drove them here. That is what drives most
of the people in Utah. We love God. We worship Him. We serve Him. We invite
His spirit into our homes. We teach our children of Him. We forge our lives
around His doctrine. We do not apologize for our love of Him and of our devotion
to Him.I'll let Brother Clayton tell why:"We'll find the place which God for us prepared,Far away in the
West,Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid;There the Saints
will be blessed.We'll make the air with music ring,Shout
praises to our God and King;Above the rest these words we'll
tell--All is well! All is well!"
@Irony GuyNobody maybe asking that (though that is questionable),They are surely asking (demanding) the religious to stop practicing and
exercising your religion in the public square.Something that is
wholly unconstitutional and a violation of every liberty and freedom we
cherish.Are the atheist and and secularists and socialists and the
communists, and all others who believe in something non-religious or religions
or belief systems you do like, are you going to ask they leave their beliefs
and conscience at the door of their homes as well?Our founding
fathers welcomed all beliefs systems in public square so the best laws could be
debated and the best ides win out.The religious have just much right
as any group to influence the making of law in this country, and live their
beliefs publically.You have the right to not like it and complain
all want and try to influence law making, but not hurt the
religious, or take their rights and livelihoods away,but that is
@mike richards. If Mormons want respect and not to be mocked by others in the
community then they need to let people of other faiths and especially people of
no faith live their lives.Joseph Smith is not a prophet to many
people but a lot of people in this state forget that. You may say
that we heathens are rejecting God by us supporting individual liberties like
gay marriage, drinking, smoking, and so on but it is our right to be able to
Thanks, Dan, for reminding everyone of the sacrifice that thousands made to
emigrate to Utah. My ancestors sacrificed all that they had to come to
"Zion" to worship their God without having religious bigots interfere.
We have become accustomed to living in a place where we can serve
God without interference from others. Sure there are small groups who want to
overturn everything that the 13th Article of Faith stands for so that they can
worship each other, but that has been going on since recorded history. There
have always been those who have had nothing but contempt for God. God still
loves them. They are still his children. He still sends Prophets to warn them
and missionaries to teach them, but, now, just as in ancient times, they are
mostly past hearing.We celebrate a holiday that honors those who
sacrificed so that we could worship God in His prescribed way, following His
prescribed doctrine, no matter what the rest of the world thinks and no matter
how many detractors try to divert us from His religion.
Ranch writes:"Mormons would do well to ... stop violating the
religious freedom of others."Please, enlighten us. Tell me, what
RELIGIOUS freedoms are us Mormons violating in others?
The thing about the whole 'pioneer' process and religious freedom,
from my perspective, is that the utah pioneers more or less found what they were
looking for. Inasmuch as there was pretty much no one left here to deny them
anything. Today, however, that is not the case. There are people seeking
religious freedom in Utah today that are also pioneers.
Hey cousin! The Wilcox are my ancestors too! I love these stories and the faith
that these wonderful people had. Thanks for sharing them.
RE: Jeanie "The study of science increases many people's belief in
God and distroys others, therefore it would seem religion has nothing to prove.
It is a human problem, not a religion one."Biology has been hard
on religion, as religion has had to retreat on matters of race, sexuality, and
the origins of life. Religion appears to be adapting, but maybe not fast
@jeanie;Religion doesn't tell you WHY, it only makes a guess as
to WHY. It's all speculation. At least with science things can be tested.
"The Utah Pioneers understood the true worth of religious liberty. While
they experienced religious persecution,..."--- And today their
descendents are involved in persecuting others. Such irony."While we should be respectful, kind and compassionate in our dealings
with others, we must not be ashamed, abashed or cowed in any way as we stand up
for the right to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience,
while allowing others to do the same."A key phrase here:
"while allowing others to do the same."Mormons would do well
to stop persecuting others and stop violating the religious freedom of others.
Some who demand freedom from religion or who tell us that they have found a new
religion which lets them live in a world without God, will never understand the
religious bigotry that killed the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum.
They will never understand the raid at Hawn's Mill where women and children
were molested and men killed. They will overlook the thuggery that was behind
driving the Saints from Nauvoo.Just like in Israel, where the Jews
only wanted to live where they could raise their families and worship their God,
the Saints left the United States and came to a place that no one else wanted.
But, just as soon as the desert blossomed, those who hated God saw that Utah was
a place that they wanted.Today, our religion is mocked. Our worship
of God is mocked. Our insistence of making marriage the sacred ceremony and
ordinance that God provided to us is mocked. History repeats.
Science is indifferent to religion. It cannot prove or disprove anything about
God and the origin of how we "became so much more advanced than other
species", if indeed we are brothers to the brutes. Science is
our best guesses of HOW things became the way they are. Religion tells us WHY.
The study of science increases many people's belief in God and
distroys others, therefore it would seem religion has nothing to prove. It is a
human problem, not a religion one.
Fleeing from religious persecution and allowing it when you are the power in
control is a common theme in history. Does that mean a true understanding of
religious freedom for all, or just for some? It's a fair question, perhaps
more useful than patting ourselves on the back.
I wonder how many of our pioneer ancestors would tell us to stop our whining and
realize that we do, in fact, have religious freedom. I wonder how many would be
appalled at our unwillingness to allow others the same religious freedom that we
claim to be losing. We have not lost any freedoms to worship according to our
own dictates; what we see happening is our ability to force others to live
according to our beliefs. To paraphrase a line from one of my
favorite books and movies in regards to religious freedom: "You keep using
that phrase. I don't think it means what you think it means."
Whence the paranoia, Dan? Nobody is asking anybody to give up their rights to
worship God according to conscience. You need to think this through very
carefully, as a little history shows. You weren't born yet in
1964 when the "Christian" Right made precisely the same "religious
freedom" arguments to justify denying blacks access to schools, colleges,
hotels, restaurants, highways, even hospitals. I remember it clearly. Which side
would you have been on in those days, Dan? Would you have been with Goldwater,
who voted against the Civil Rights Act because it would "violate the
religious conscience" of white people? No doubt you would have, as most Utah
Republicans were. That is a bitter memory.
" It seems, in the words of M.J. Sobran, that 'a religious conviction
is now a second-class conviction, expected to step deferentially to the back of
the bus, and not get uppity about it.' "From the time when
I was a kid in Utah (1950's) until now religion has taken a beating from
the sciences. There is just no getting around it. There's a great deal I
value from my boyhood in that period, but religion has been knocked back on its
heals. It's up to religion to recover.