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Stuart Reid: Translations of religious tolerance in society

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  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    It all depends on who gets to define morality! I am tired of people calling me an immoral person because I am gay. As a matter of fact, I don't think it is morally right for people to condone the things done to us, but they do. So, go ahead and stand up for your moral issues and we will stand up for ours. It is not immoral to be gay and I am not immoral to have a same sex marriage. Thank you, but we also get a say in who we are! You don't get to degrade us so easily! We do not choose to be gay, so guess what, God had something to do with it! It doesn't take a lot to realize that. Seriously, some people have a great deal of nerve thinking that they get to decide who God is and what He wants for all of us! I, for one, feel that I am right where God wants me to be and, yes, we should defend our belief in God! I will!

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    July 29, 2014 3:12 p.m.

    Religious liberty is not at risk. The only religious practices being spoken against and challenged are those where people try to force OTHERS to abide by THEIR religius practices and beliefs.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 29, 2014 10:55 a.m.

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

    I am baffled by this statement and others. I don't understand the whole concept of mandated obedience to Gods laws. Perhaps I bought the whole Primary story that this earth was set up so that we could prove that we would "choose" to do right, not be forced or coerced to do right. What is the whole point of free agency and choosing right if those options are taken from the table. Salvation through restricted choice I thought was the other plan. That man earns salvation through free exercise of right, of his own free will, not by the coercion.

    Yes, when one actions impact another's ability to exercise their freedom of choice, it is the rightful place of government to mediate and intervene. But man must prove himself through his own faith, his own choices... otherwise nothing has been proven, to anyone less alone God.

  • skrekk Dane, WI
    July 27, 2014 3:41 p.m.

    It's a bit frightening that Utah has so many legislators like Senator Reid who don't understand what either the Equal Protection clause or the Establishment clause require, and who seek to use the secular state to impose upon everyone the sharia laws of their particular sect.

    Equally shameful that Reid thinks he deserves special rights which he wants denied to the Americans he disapproves of.

  • Bubble SLC, UT
    July 26, 2014 6:38 p.m.

    I wonder if Stuart Reid (and the posters who support him) is upset and offended that individuals with deeply held convictions were recently fired or forced to resign as police officers due to their membership in the KKK?

    I wonder if he and his supporters are upset that Warren Jeffs is in jail for practicing his "deeply held religious beliefs"?

    Do these individuals support Muslims living Sharia law here in the US, or do they agree with Oklahoma that laws should be passed limiting that?

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    July 26, 2014 3:08 p.m.

    to ThornBirds earlier today...

    I'm sorry were you talking Utah & byu fans?

  • Pendergast Salt Lake City, UT
    July 26, 2014 3:02 p.m.

    re: Mike Richards

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

    As the central tenet of Deism states, "God gave us Reason not religion."

    So, as for my morality/ethics, I'll take what is reasonable based on what I've learned from my experiences.

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    July 26, 2014 11:57 a.m.

    Stuart Reid: Wow, great op-ed! “Tolerance” these days is unfairly a one-way street, and leads to standards going lower and lower. This country will have its strength restored only if we (including our leaders) once again become a moral and religious people, both inwardly and outwardly.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 26, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    the truth says:

    "We the people do have the right and obligation to help make our laws, both locally and nationally."

    --- As long as you don't violate the US Constitution or the rights of others.

    "And in our country those with majority representation do get to make the laws."

    --- Not true. Again as long as your laws don't violate the Constitution or the rights of others.

    "IF you don't like the laws in one place then exercise your freedom to live with those that share your views on laws."

    --- Rather, if you don't like the Constitution and want a theocracy, may I suggest YOU be the one to move? Iran would be nice, maybe.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 26, 2014 10:18 a.m.

    Born in Bountiful says:

    "Thank you Stuart for having the courage to take a stand in a day and age when taking a stand in and of itself is discouraged. I applaud you for your tenacity and strength of conviction."

    --- BiB;

    WE are taking a stand. We are standing against bigotry and discrmination. We will not sit any longer and watch as people use their "religious conviction" to violate the civil rights of other Americans. No more and never again.

    @RRSJD;

    Separate is never equal.

    @Mike Richards;

    "Are you willing to seek input from the 1st Presidency? "

    I do not seek cousel from frauds & charlatans.

    "Religious tolerance requires that all be allowed to speak..."

    --- Religious tolerance does NOT require that we allow you to violate (vote on) the rights of others though.

    "Most people ..."

    --- The Constution's guarantee of equality applies to ALL People Mike, regardless what "most people" want.

    J Thompson says:

    "It seems that freedom of speech extends to all citizens of the United States. As far as I've read there is no exclusion of "religious speech"."

    --- Similarly, JT, equality under the law applies to ALL citizens of the US, there is no exclusion of LGBT citizens.

  • ThornBirds St.George, UT
    July 26, 2014 10:13 a.m.

    Let's get to the nitty gritty in the least amount of words possible.
    Religious folks are happy believing as they do, enjoying their church attendance.
    Those who do not chose to bring religion in their lives, appear quite content to live as they are.
    For some reason, rather than live and let live, these two parts of society chose to annoy each other.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 26, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    Mike, J, and L --

    I know you are all "friends", so this is to all of you...

    When were you attacked by angry mobs,
    tarred & feathered,
    imprisoned,
    run of of the US,
    church property confiscated and dis-incorporated [Edmunds Tucker Act]?

    You SAY the LDS is under attack,
    but by so doing -- you ignore and negate everything our pioneer ancestors endured,
    and yet -- through it all --
    THEY never once played the "woe is me", "I'm the martyr", Victim Card.
    Not ONCE!

    They just went about living their religion - peaceably -
    Live and Let Live, Too each his own --

    In fact THIS very Newspaper used to run Brigham Young's official motto for the Territory across the Title and Header on the Front Page --

    "Mind Your Own Business!"

    Indeed, wise words to live by...even today.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    July 25, 2014 10:13 p.m.

    This is about organizations taking tax-payer dollars and acting as contractors for the the government. Yet they want to spend the money according to their own rules. If an organization run by Evangelicals concluded that Mormons are not Christians and therefore refused to hire them, I suspect the author would not be in favor it. Why then should we allow people to discriminate against some who happens to be Gay?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 25, 2014 7:08 p.m.

    the truth.

    The Federal government is everyone. And it only takes a majority of the everyone to tell everyone how then can act.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    July 25, 2014 6:32 p.m.

    Everyone has the right to influence the making of law for their own communities and states.

    Which includes the religious.

    @Baccus0902

    I don't know about making religion into law, that seems like extreme hyperbole to me.

    We the people do have the right and obligation to help make our laws, both locally and nationally.

    And we don't have put our beliefs and conscience to the side to do it. Our laws are built on our collective consciences and beliefs.

    And in our country those with majority representation do get to make the laws.

    The only real bone of contention is when does that rise to unconstitutionality? The courts will eventually decide.

    But blue laws and other so-called religious based laws are NOT necessarily unconstitutional. The courts have given great latitude to local communities and the states.

    IF you don't like the laws in one place then exercise your freedom to live with those that share your views on laws.

    And let those that want laws to live with the laws they want in their community or state live in peace.

    That is how our system was supposed to work. Not the federal government dictating to everyone.

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    July 25, 2014 5:46 p.m.

    Should orthodox Jews inscribe into U.S. law what all Americans can and can’t do from sunset Friday until sunset Saturday?

    Should the Amish community get to dictate what equipment you, businesses or government are allowed to use?

    Should Mennonites codify clothing requirements for everyone into law?

    Should fundamentalist Muslims dictate what happens to your child's hand when he's caught stealing a candy bar from the corner store?

    Religious freedom is the freedom to believe, teach and live anything you like -- as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others.

    Jews: free to live their Sabbath laws. Amish: free to foreswear mechanical and technological devices. Mennonites: free to choose clothing according to their beliefs. But none of them are allowed to force those beliefs or behaviors on others.

    (The Muslims are not allowed to cut off even their own child's hand for theft -- even if that is their sincerely held religious belief -- because it violates the right of the child.)

    Freedom of religion isn’t possible without freedom from religion.

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    July 25, 2014 5:39 p.m.

    I find it interesting that many of the major advances in society have come in spite of opposition from the majority of churches.

    Abolition. Suffrage. Civil rights.

    All were ferociously fought by majority churches because they supposedly go against God's law/word/will. But given time, the churches seem to come around and say, "Yeah, we supported that all along." Had we listened to the churches in the first place, progress would never have been made.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    July 25, 2014 4:43 p.m.

    I don't get it, I really don't. Please help me to understand.

    According to LDS doctrine in the council in heaven there were two options. Satan forced obedience or Jesus free agency to follow God's commandments.

    It seems to me that when you try to make your religion the law of the land you would be following Satan's plan, forced obedience.

    I remember when the LDS church believed in persuasion, love, humility, being subject to government, etc. as all other nice Christians. What happened?

    Now some religious people gets tantrums because some people don't want to follow the precepts of their church. I agree with Karen R. they resent the loss of privilege and the power of mass manipulation.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    @J Thompson
    " Do missionaries "impose" themselves on you when they knock on your door?"

    Only in the hypothetical if they were to refuse to take no for an answer or refuse to leave someone's property.

    "Do they "impose" on others when they use FaceBook or other social media to express their testimonies? "

    Nope, by imposition I meant through attempting to create laws to enforce their personal religious rules on others .

    "The fact that your belief differs from mine is not a crime, but inferring that the LDS Church is in the business of running other religions out of town is false, misleading and an attempt to vilify the LDS Church, at least in my opinion."

    I challenged one individual's belief that one particular faith's views of morality should be considered the basis for a "moral" society and that laws should be based on that. I made no inference that that's an LDS belief nor that it's something they are doing, I only highlighted an example where the LDS were victims of that. My apologies for any lack of clarity in my initial comment.

  • MtnDewer Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2014 3:12 p.m.

    "Re: the use of "Creator" in the Declaration of Independence: "Creator" is a pretty generic term. It doesn't point to any one belief system and it doesn't necessarily mean a god or being of any kind."

    My Creator was my mother, with a little help from my Dad!

  • L White Springville, UT
    July 25, 2014 3:03 p.m.

    I almost missed this opinion piece, but one of my friends suggested it to me. My, but there are a lot of people telling us that they would be tolerant if we just agreed with them. That made me chuckle.

    One poster told us that we wanted proof that Christ had ever spoken against same-sex sex, but then he told us that he didn't want any of Christ's words from the Old Testament to be used.

    I wonder what Christ thinks of that kind of stipulation? When I read John chapter 8, I think I can understand just what Christ must of felt when he clearly told the people in the Synagogue that He was I AM. Of course we all know that He used that title when he talked with Moses.

    Do we only accept from the Bible what we want to find? I "hunger and thirst" for the word of God, even when it means that I need to change. I welcome instruction from the Lord. I respect it. I would never constain the Lord to only tell me what I wanted to hear.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    July 25, 2014 2:37 p.m.

    Well, this went off the rails pretty quickly, didn't it?

    IMO, religious privilege is being challenged, not religious freedom. What reactions like this author's are suggesting is that, when you're part of the dominant majority, it's hard to tell the difference between the two.

    Re: the use of "Creator" in the Declaration of Independence: "Creator" is a pretty generic term. It doesn't point to any one belief system and it doesn't necessarily mean a god or being of any kind.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 25, 2014 2:24 p.m.

    @Schnee,

    "Imposing" is an interesting word, especially when it is used where religion is concerned. Do missionaries "impose" themselves on you when they knock on your door? Do they "impose" on others when they use FaceBook or other social media to express their testimonies?

    It seems that freedom of speech extends to all citizens of the United States. As far as I've read there is no exclusion of "religious speech".

    Has the LDS Church "mobbed" you? I haven't read about that, even in the "other" Salt Lake newspaper. Do the prophets, seers and revelators of the LDS Church preach violence? I have most of the Conference addresses saved on my iPad and I don't remember reading of anyone telling us to commit violence.

    The fact that your belief differs from mine is not a crime, but inferring that the LDS Church is in the business of running other religions out of town is false, misleading and an attempt to vilify the LDS Church, at least in my opinion.

    Wouldn't it be better to show some tolerance towards the LDS Church and its members?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    The raging debate over freedom of religion can be better seen from an understanding of the contest between organized religion and government. Organized religion and government are competitors! Life at present in the United States is a fearsome experience. Unemployment, declining real wage, and unstable marriages create a stew of human suffering. Organized religion says come to us for relief. We will help you materially, but more important we know the meaning of life more or less exclusively. But there is a heavy price to pay for the supplicant - obedience to religious dogma.

    Socialists say much of fear people experience is material insecurity. BTW, many abortions are performed because women with shaky marriages are afraid of becoming the stereotypical poor single mother. Socialists say we need to cooperate, often through government. Socialists advocate for Tobin's guaranteed annual income, or reforms like it. Socialism can take much of the terror out of life.

    So religion wants government suppressed. Socialists want government expanded to deal with unemployment, health care, and a deteriorating environment.

    May the better man (or segment, ideology, whatever) win!

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    July 25, 2014 2:08 p.m.

    Here is the conservative argument: My religion teaches that homosexuality is wrong. Therefore laws should be passed that enforce my religious beliefs. If these laws are not passed or are struck down as being unconstitutional, then my religious freedoms have been violated. Ok, fine for you. But have you ever (I mean EVER) looked at anything from anyone else's point of view? What about people whose religions do not teach that homosexuality is wrong? Why does your religion trump theirs? What about people who do not believe in any religion? Why does your religion trump their beliefs? In other words, why do you think YOU should control other people's behavior? Please, if you don't believe in same sex marriage, DO NOT marry someone of your gender. But leave other people alone to follow their own conscience when their behavior affects no one else.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    July 25, 2014 1:51 p.m.

    I have absolutely no problem with religion being in the public square - but those who bring it there must realize that it is subject to the same scrutiny as every other idea and that "because my God said so" is not an unquestionable, valid reason for restricting the rights of others.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 25, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    Ranch,

    Are we discussing religious tolerance or are we discussing same-sex marriage? I think that we're discussing religious tolerance. Is our government tolerant of the LDS Church. Obama has sought input from the 1st Presidency. Are you willing to seek input from the 1st Presidency? Would you welcome their statements in your home? Would you welcome a member of that Presidency to assist you as you contemplate man's purpose on earth?

    Religious tolerance requires that all be allowed to speak and that we respect their right to present their views. We don't have to agree. We don't have to promote them or their viewpoint. We might even decide to actively debate their points, but can we claim discrimination if they refuse to accept our points?

    Most people in Utah accept the fact that Christ is the Creator. Most people who read the Declaration of Independence understand that all rights come from our Creator. Logic follows that Christ has the right to define all moral issues. Shouldn't we all tolerate Christ's status?

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    July 25, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands.

  • RRSJD Central Point, OR
    July 25, 2014 1:07 p.m.

    It is somehow interesting in this thread of comments to find so many who are quick to state that religion has failed in teaching norms, morals, and standards, and that accounts for the sorry state of our society morally. Gay marriage is frequently raised. It appears to me that these arguments put the cart before the horse. The secularism pushed by the media, the liberal progressives and the far left have set the "if it feels good do it" tone. Religion struggles to teach better to its young, but it is an uphill battle. Most Christians would accept gay relationships if the name "marriage" which has a clear heterosexual definition attached to it for centuries was not used to describe those relationships. All this provides a slippery slope, what about polygamy, polyandry, relationships with animals, incest, etc? Are those now something government should sanction? Or should government simply get out of the marriage business entirely, and leave that to religion/individuals/other organizations.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2014 1:02 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards And who decides what the true teachings of Christ really are? And which church represents his true beliefs? I challenge you to find where Jesus said anything about same-sex attraction. There is no reference to it in any of the four Gospels. And do not give me this line that Jesus was the Jehovah of the Old Testament and thus revealed to Moses (and there is no real evidence that Moses wrote "the Books of Moses," which first started being written about 925 BCE) his condemnation in Leviticus. A vast majority of Christians outright reject Jesus being Jehovah, and reputable Bible scholars well-trained in the Hebrew language and translations do not accept that either.

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    July 25, 2014 12:58 p.m.

    But, said he, notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord.

    Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord.

    Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2014 12:54 p.m.

    @Mike Richards
    " 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."

    And when you try to impose your version of that belief on others, that's the sort of thinking that, when taken to an extreme level, gets violent mobs chasing minority faiths out of town.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2014 12:48 p.m.

    @Sal
    "Our school children need to be taught the importance of preserving Christian morals"

    Establishing a state religion in public school teaching is unconstitutional.

  • Born in Bountiful Provo, Utah
    July 25, 2014 12:47 p.m.

    Thank you Stuart for having the courage to take a stand in a day and age when taking a stand in and of itself is discouraged. I applaud you for your tenacity and strength of conviction.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 25, 2014 12:31 p.m.

    "..., the judiciary now feels at leave to rule that advancing morality in the law is “animus” or hostility towards others and therefore unconstitutional."

    --- Your "morality" has nothing to do with it. It IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL to not treat all citizens equally. Don't you get it?

    ---Who says your "morality" (desire to discriminate) is even moral? Morality, Stuart is very relative. I find your "morality" to be quite immoral actually.

    "At all cost, we must prevent that, even if it means others may be offended by it. "

    --- Sorry, Stuart, why not you and your religious conscience be the ones "offended" instead of LGBT citizens?

    @Mike Richards;

    "None can deviate from His doctrine and still claim to be a Christian church. "

    The US government is NOT a religion, it is not "Christian" and you have no right to impose your Christ on anyone else via the law.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 25, 2014 12:27 p.m.

    Religion and people of religious conscience certainly get their full access to the public square. But that's it. It isn't entitled to special privilege there, and can expect no special treatment. In many cases, it may even be dismissed in that square as hokum. Superstition.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    July 25, 2014 12:21 p.m.

    @ Ranch

    Please allow me to add to you statement:
    "You're trying to deny LGBT citizens "their full access to the public square"; which is quite hypocritical when you complain about losing your own." Particularly when you are in a position of power in a state that is controlled by people who thinks just like you do.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 25, 2014 12:07 p.m.

    "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."

    So why then, Stuart, is it okay for the "religous and people of religious conscience" to work to deny LGBT couples "their full access to the public square"? Why?

    That's exactly what you're doing by fighting against marriage equality and to allow discrimination in the "public square" against LGBT citizens, Stuart. You're trying to deny LGBT citizens "their full access to the public square"; which is quite hypocritical when you complain about losing your own.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 25, 2014 12:04 p.m.

    Do we insist that God favor us or should we be much more concerned that we favor God?

    Lincoln said, "The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be wrong. God can not be for and against the same thing at the same time."

    I believe that it is our sacred duty to learn the will of God and when we have learned it and have had that new knowledge acknowledged and confirmed by the Holy Ghost, that we are duty bound to live in accordance with that knowledge. I also believe that those who search the scriptures and uses those scriptures to undermine the purposes of Christ, that that person will not be assisted by the Holy Ghost to understand Christ's doctrine.

    John told us, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

    Maybe we had all better get busy and get on with that task.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    July 25, 2014 12:01 p.m.

    Mr. Reid, allow me to refer you to Barry Goldwater:
    "But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.
    I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in "A," "B," "C" and "D." Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?"

    I think most reasonable citizens, Christian, Muslims or Atheist would agree with Mr. Goldwater.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 25, 2014 11:50 a.m.

    I believe that organized religion is the greatest and most effective fraud ever imposed upon the human race. It appeals to the strongest desire that is inborn in every one of us and does not have to prove itself or even produce its promised product. It performs its task of control of others better than any other method found. And it is very profitable.

    Believers have a peace of mind not available to the non-believers that may cool the passions of people and therefore benefit many other people both believers and non-believers. Aside from the profitability, the believers can easily be instilled with a desire to share their beliefs especially with the non-believers or wrong believers. The competition for believers often has been very bloody.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2014 11:40 a.m.

    You know religions tend to disagree. This will become more evident if Islam grows in the United States. In Europe where Islam is a much bigger presence, they have come to appreciate the separation between the state and religion.

    I have no doubt that the world's fastest growing religion, Islam, will become much more prevalent in the United States. Things will get really interesting.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 25, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    The first Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    The sad fact is that there is no reference to an individuals right to have his own personal religion and act accordingly. The words "establishment of religion", whether taken to mean a building, a government action or an organized religious entity, do not refer to an individual citizen.

    The words " or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" because of the word "thereof" refers back to the "establishment of religion" and does not empower the individual.

    If we want individuals to have freedom of religion, we will have to amend the Constitution to make it so.

    Besides that, we have many laws that limit and prevent the free exercise of religion by churches or individuals. Our legally created civil laws in effect amend the Constitution.

  • Bendana 99352, WA
    July 25, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    "As a member of the committee, I voted against the legislation because I believe that homosexual activity is immoral," Reid said, acknowledging that his decision was discriminatory.

    So, Mr. Reid can discriminate in the name of "religious liberty" and if we find that attitude despicable, we are the ones being 'intolerant'. Interesting.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    July 25, 2014 10:51 a.m.

    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.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    July 25, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    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.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    July 25, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    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!

  • UtahDemocrat Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2014 10:11 a.m.

    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.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    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.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    July 25, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    "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.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    July 25, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    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."

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 25, 2014 9:23 a.m.

    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.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2014 8:51 a.m.

    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.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    July 25, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    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.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 25, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    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.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    July 25, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    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.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 25, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    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.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    July 25, 2014 8:00 a.m.

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

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 25, 2014 7:52 a.m.

    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.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    July 25, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    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.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    July 25, 2014 7:34 a.m.

    "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?

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    July 25, 2014 7:29 a.m.

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

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2014 7:26 a.m.

    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.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2014 2:30 a.m.

    "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?