Published: Thursday, July 24 2014 8:12 a.m. MDT
" 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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
"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.
@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.
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
Hey cousin! The Wilcox are my ancestors too! I love these stories and the faith
that these wonderful people had. Thanks for sharing them.
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.
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?
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.
@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
@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
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!"
@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.
@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.
@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.
@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.
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