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!
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.
"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.
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.
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?
to ThornBirds earlier today...I'm sorry were you talking Utah
& byu fans?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
the truth.The Federal government is everyone. And it only takes a
majority of the everyone to tell everyone how then can act.
Everyone has the right to influence the making of law for their own communities
and states.Which includes the religious.@Baccus0902I 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.
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
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.
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.
@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
"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!
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.
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.
@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?
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!
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
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.
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?
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.
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
@ 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.
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.
@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
@Sal"Our school children need to be taught the importance of
preserving Christian morals"Establishing a state religion in
public school teaching is unconstitutional.
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.
"..., 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.
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.
@ RanchPlease 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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
"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.
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.
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,
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!
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
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.
"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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Individual Rights should trump religious rights. After all, individuals pay
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.
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.
"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 GoldwaterHow strange is it that Barry would be
considered a liberal today?
And yet another person who thinks that "religious freedom" means forcing
other people to live by his beliefs. What else is new?
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.
"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?