Comments about ‘Stuart Reid: Translations of religious tolerance in society’

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Published: Friday, July 25 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

"Nor should toleration translate into weakening the resolve or compromise the effort to contend for the free exercise of religion against the forces trying to rob religion and people of religious conscience from their full access to the public square."

Well who is trying to do what? Organized religion occupies a privileged and powerful position in American life - for one thing its properties are not taxed and most government services are provided to it free of charge. Is anyone trying to end that privilege? No.

Is anyone trying to keep people from going to church or in other ways to participate in their religion? No.

Is religion being restricted from the "public square?" Today's public square is the internet and organized religion is well represented there. So the answer here is again no.

In return for all of this slack, what does some of organized religion want? They want to interfere in the employer/employee relationship, granting "religious" employers special privileges in their dealings with their employees.

Also, religions are not accorded equal respect. Some Native American religions require the use of peyote. This they are not allowed to do. Freedom of religion?

Salt Lake City, UT

Yes, Adams and Washington were founders, but they were not involved in the far more rigorous process of drafting the constitution and codifying the relationship between the freedoms of individual citizens and the roles, responsibilities and conduct of their government.

Moreover, it would be helpful if Sen. Reid could offer less hand-wringing and hyperbole (the bit about Obama and "special sexual rights" is a beauty) and instead offer some specifics as to exactly what freedoms he thinks he's losing,when basic constitutional rights are applied uniformly to all citizens.

Eugene, OR

And yet another person who thinks that "religious freedom" means forcing other people to live by his beliefs. What else is new?

Provo, UT

"When you say "radical right" today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party, and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye."

- Barry Goldwater

How strange is it that Barry would be considered a liberal today?

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

The writer seems to be is saying that if we take away the "rights" of religions to control us we are actually restricting freedom of religion?

Good luck persuading the Supreme Court we should restrict SSM, with that line of reasoning.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

As Mr. Reid quoted Washington and Adams:

"George Washington explained in his 1796 farewell address that: “Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.”

"John Adams proclaimed: “It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.” He further stated: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Yet the current administration pits religion against secular humanism. It requires anyone who would do business in the United States to accept ITS secular doctrine of paying 100% of the costs to keep children from being born. No person who worships God and God's doctrines would accept that humanistic doctrine. It is abhorrent to those who respect God's directive to multiply and replenish the earth.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Individual Rights should trump religious rights. After all, individuals pay taxes.

Eagle Mountain, UT

No one is trying to impede you from going to Sacrament meeting.

No one is trying to forbid Family Home Evening.

No one is demanding unlimited access to our Temples, or trying to eliminate those sacred ordinances.

No one is trying to force us to change our doctrine.

What they are trying to do is keep us from imposing those doctrines from being codified into law. If we allow one Church to do so, then forbidding our Church to practice according to the dictates of our conscious may be next. We do have some unpopular doctrines (all of which I unabashedly support and believe).

If we want people to abide by our precepts, we must 1) Teach and preach them with the Spirit and convince people they are correct principles. 2) Live them ourselves in our hearts, thought and deed and not just for show so our neighbors think we are righteous. 3)Teach and preach them with the Spirit and convince people they are correct principles and finally 4) Teach and preach them with the Spirit and convince people they are correct principles.

Burke, VA

I certainly hope that Mr. Reid feels better now that he has rationalized his feelings with an eloquent essay.

"President Obama has no compunction issuing an executive order extending special sexual rights to some while disrespecting religious rights of others."

It would also be nice if Mr. Reid had the courage to simply state that he is talking about same gender marriage. All President Obama and the Judiciary have done is attempt to prevent others from imposing their religious beliefs on those that reject them. There have been no religious liberties lost by allowing same sex marriage. You may continue to feel that it is morally wrong without denying others the right to practice it. You can go on living your religion, in this country anyway, without denying the rights of others to reject your religious principles.

The last 40 years have proven that the church - name any one you want to - has failed in doing their job, to teach the principles to live by the believe are correct, and now wants the government to help them do that. Ironic, isn't it. No one has lost their religious rights, they have only lost the ability to deny others their rights.

J Thompson

Government has no "rights" to give to the people of this nation. The Declaration of Independence clearly tells us that all "rights" came from our Creator. Those who claim that government gives us rights are mistaken.

There is no war between religion and government. The battle is between God and ungodliness. That battle started long before this earth was created and will continued until every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is the Savior, the Redeemer, and the Creator. He is the member of Deity who bestowed "rights" on us.

No wonder those who oppose God would tell us to disregard our Creator. They know that if they acknowledge a Creator, they would have to acknowledge His creation, which includes them. They assign to government the supreme role in their lives. They bow before the government. They give government the right to tell us which freedoms we can enjoy and which freedoms government will remove "for our own good".

Religion reminds us that God is our Creator, not government. Religion reminds us that we control government and that government was created to serve us, not to rule over us.

Provo, UT

Bravo! Wonderful article. Our school children need to be taught the importance of preserving Christian morals for the continued success of the nation. God bless America? Only if we believe Him and not just believe in Him.

Salt Lake City, UT

And just who decides what is moral or immoral? If you impose your morality on others who do not share your belief are you not infringing on their freedom of conscience? There are many Christian faiths which do not condemn homosexuality and support the right of SSM - Unitarians, Disciples of Christ, Presbyterians, most branches of Lutherans and Episcopalians, and some Methodists. In a democracy there must be a broad consensus to legislate and enforce morality - such as murder and theft. Prohibition failed in part due to the lack of majority public support for it by the mid-1920s. With something as nebulous as same-sex attraction, there is not nearly enough public consensus, even among Christian faiths.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Yes, just who defines what is moral and what is immoral? Do churches? If they do, they are in opposition to He who should be their leader. No Church can define morality. No man can define morality. No government can define morality. Only the author of morality can define morality. The word "morality" comes from the Latin word "moralitas" which means "proper behavior".

Who can tell us what "proper behavior" is? Can we tell others what they must do? I don't think so. Only Christ, our Creator, and the author of morality can tell us the rules by which we MUST live IF we want to live with Him and with Our Father in Heaven forever. It is His rules of life that define "morality". Wise men and women will search His words, His life, and His teachings as given to us through His appointed Prophets to know how to live.

Christian churches exist to teach Christ's doctrine. None can deviate from His doctrine and still claim to be a Christian church.

Seeking a church that agrees with you is backwards, instead seek a church that agrees with Christ.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Joining the Battle of Quotations, Benjamin Franklin would say this to Mr. Reid:

“The faith you mention has doubtless its use in the world; I do not desire to see it diminished, nor would I endeavour to lessen it in any man. But I wish it were more productive of good works than I have generally seen it: I mean real good works, works of kindness, charity, mercy, and publick spirit."

university place, WA

"Nevertheless, calling for tolerance should never mean that those vigorously contending for religious freedom — the freedom necessary to secure the moral well-being of society, vital to the sustainability of the Republic — should shrink and withdraw to demonstrate they are nice."

This is a far as I got before I knew I was reading yet another diatribe that can be summed up simply as "the law of the land should be based on OUR (LDS) religious point of view and to do otherwise denies us our religious freedom and the rest of you be darned."

@Mike Richards,

John Adams also, in executing his constitutional duty as the country's chief executive officer, signed the treaty that declared, "...the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion," Your quote is his opinion. Mine represents his official position as servant of the people of the United States of America.

Salt Lake City, UT

I hope Sen. Reid takes his commitment to religious liberty truly to heart and introduces a bill in the next legislative session to strike Section 30-1-13 from the Utah Code. As nonceleb notes above, there are several churches in the state whose clergy would love to officiate same sex marriages in accordance with the dictates of their faiths and consciences, but they face felony charges if they do so. Could there be a clearer case of government interference in the free exercise of religion than that? The alleged, greatly attenuated religious infringements on Hobby Lobby and wedding cake bakers pale in comparison.

Salt Lake City, UT

John Adams also said "But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your legs and hands, and fly into your face and eyes."

Mr. Reid's diatribe seeks to incite a swarm, but he misses a few key truths: first, people, not religions, have inherent liberties. Second, President Obama's non-discrimination executive order does not grant "special sexual rights," but instead affirms the biblical principle that we should be known by our works, especially in the workplace. Third, the boundaries of religious liberty are appropriately drawn where one mans religious exercise affects the liberty of others. Mr. Reid misreads religious liberty as a license to impose his will on the actions of others who believe differently. That is not a call for freedom, but a bid to be king.

salt lake city, UT

The more you hear from those like the writer the more you realize that it is not religons that are being persecuted but instead being the persecuor. Christ would find no comfort or associate with those who have no tolerance or forgiveness 7 times over. The loud backlash being heard accross the country are from those Americans who love our country, and their religons and are saying we've had enough. Practice and live your religon but "Don't Tread on Me" or my neighbor!

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Sal said: " Our school children need to be taught the importance of preserving Christian morals for the continued success of the nation. God bless America?

God bless America? Is that a request? Is that a demand? Is that a suggestion?

Do you honestly think that God is sitting around picking out his favorites? Why would he do that? Why would God have a favorite country? And why would it be America out of all the countries? Because you have the most money? Because he likes our National Anthem? It’s delusional thinking!

America prays for God to destroy our enemies. Our enemies pray for God to destroy us. Somebody’s gonna be disappointed!

As I understood it God loves all his children.

Nationalist Slogan, Not religious.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

MR said: "Christian churches exist to teach Christ's doctrine. None can deviate from His doctrine and still claim to be a Christian church. "

Then why are there so many christian sects, many of whom would argue that the LDS church isn't christian.

...and once again America doesn't have a national Religion we have many, and non,e and we are free.

Please remember as Ralph Wigam noted "Your God is Wrong" and he carries as much weight in his argument as you, opinion.

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