Comments about ‘In our opinion: Timing is right for the appointment of an ambassador for international religious freedom’

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Published: Thursday, July 31 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Here, UT

"What counts is his dedication to religious liberty and the rights of conscience ..."

--- Why hide behind nice words: "rights of conscience". Say what you REALLY mean. "Right to discriminate in public."

"the passage of the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which strengthens the First Amendment and keeps the federal government from infringing on the exercise of religion."

--- You mean like passing laws which prohibit *some* religions from performing legal same-gender weddings? Isn't that an infringement on someone's religion?

I'm really tired of so-called "religious" people reading the First Amendment as a get-out-of-jail-free card when it comes to the law and obedience to it.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The government of the United States of America should not be telling the world how to run their religions. If the current interpretation of the Constitution is that our president cannot interfere in American religion in America, where in the world is the justification for interfering in the religious affairs of other nations?

Should we not allow the same freedom of religion in other nations as in America? Why do we have the right to impose our notion of freedom of religion on other nations?

Could it be the commercial business aspects of religion that wants our government to use our military in the same manner as with normal business activities?

clearfield, UT

Unfortunately for you Ranch, the First Amendment is not a one way street, as you seem to want it to be.

salt lake city, UT

I just don't see all this persuction the DN and the right wing keep telling us about. Our neighborhood ward still is enjoying it's tax free status and the parking lot is full every Sunday. What am I not seeing?

Houston, TX

@Ranch - I really think that we should be able to discriminate vocally in public. If someone wants to tell me they look down on me for my religion, they should have that right. This happens every day with LDS missionaries, and they don't go to court over it. Of course, this freedom of expression doesn't include violence, loss of property, etc.

This whole idea of enforcing political correctness by law is a degeneration of our constitutional right to freedom of speech. I may not agree with vocally castigating a religion, race, or group, but I will fight to the death for their right to say it.

Hayden, ID

What is he supposed to do, scold all the religious bigots both at home and abroad?

Here, UT

SCfan says:
"Unfortunately for you Ranch, the First Amendment is not a one way street, as you seem to want it to be."

--- Unfortunately for YOU, the First Amendment protects religious beliefs that you disagree with.


There is a world of difference between someone "telling you they look down on you", and their actually refusing to hire you, or do business with you or firing you or evicting you or voting on whether you can marry simply because you are different. Your freedom of speech does NOT include the right to discriminate against someone. All it does is gives you the freedom to speak your piece.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Ultra Bob

Re "The government of the United States of America should not be telling the world how to run their religions"...

Where did the article say "the government of the United States should tell the world how to run their religions"... or anything like that???

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

He appointed a non-christian, how dare he doesn't he know America is a Christian Nation?
Why didn't congress hold up this appointment for several years of vetting?
So is he going to be a referee between religious groups or an interpreter between religion and government?

Provo, UT

What many conservatives refuse to see is that the wall of separation between church and state is actually a protective wall for all religions.

We have learned through painful experience that if this wall is dissolved that one religion will gain more power over the others and goodbye to freedom of religion.

So if you really love religious freedom, you will do everything possible to maintain this wall between church and state.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

‘In our opinion: In an important sign, the Obama administration appoints ambassador for religious freedom’


I can already guess what the "Obama-haters" knee-jerk, automatic response to this will be...

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

The Rabbi David N. Saperstein would know what it is to have people heap insults on him because of his religion. He would be uniquely qualified to speak for religious tolerance. He would know that government CANNOT and MUST NOT dictate religious doctrine nor listen to those who would demand that government force religions to change any doctrine or even traditions.

Religion is a way of life for billions of people. It is not a suit that we put on before going to our place of worship. It molds us. It reminds us that we are one family. It gives us a foundation to know that there are boundaries that must never be moved to accommodate those who mock religion.

Having an ambassador of religion should remind those in government that we worship God, not government and that we turn to God for answers, not to government.

clearfield, UT


Clearly you are missing the points being made by others. But I do have to ask you this question that I think deserves an answer. Just which religious beliefs is it that you think I disagree with? Or are you saying that, for instance, same sex marriage is a religious belief? You aren't trying to claim that are you?

Midwest City, USA, OK

FT, please engage in more of the events going on not only around the world, but in our own nation. People are intimidated, bullied, even dismissed from educational and vocational pursuits on the basis of not supporting social positions on the basis of religion. At times even I at work am attacked personally and my work-related efforts-all unrelated to my beliefs,-enigrated on the basis of my religion.

As for the appointment of this person as "ambassador for religion"? Given it's on social matters that those in developed countries are most fervently attacked on the basis of religion, it's to be expected that someone to push those social matters under the banner of religion would be put in place, paired with inevitable taunting by some of you.

Here, UT

Mike Richards says:

"Religion is a way of life for billions of people. It is not a suit that we put on before going to our place of worship."

--- I can point out hundreds of local people who show me otherwise when they put on their "Sunday suit" and worship, then go about the rest of the week not living their religious beliefs.


Yes, it is a religious belief of many religions that SSM is valid, just as it is for OSM. If you don't believe in it, don't practice it, but when you try to prevent other religions from practicing it you violate their religious freedom. NC's ban on SSM includes a fine for ANY religion that performs an SSM

clearfield, UT


The ssm has been determined to come under the equal protection clause, not the religious freedom of the First Amendment. It would be an interesting argument though.

_ _ _ Liberal

I'm not reading any "knee Jerk" Obama hating here. Apparantly yours is the only knee that jerked. In it's usual hating on Conservatives and Republicans way.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

I think that Ranch misunderstands the entire concept of personal responsibility vs government duty. The 1st Amendment prohibits government from interfering with religion, including both the "establishments of religion" and those who practice their religion. Government cannot require that we accept any religious doctrine.

Personal responsibility requires that we stand as witnesses for Christ at all times and in all places regardless of public opinion or the propaganda machine of the 1.6% who demand that we accept as normal and moral their sexual practices, even if they claim that those practices are their religious doctrine.

Christ has never told anyone to accept the sin, only to show respect and kindness towards the sinner.

The ambassador of religion, if he does his job well, will make those points clear.

Here, UT

Mike Richards says:

"Government cannot require that we accept any religious doctrine."

--- Then why are you legislating your beliefs into law? You're thusly using the government to require others to accept YOUR religious doctrine".

"Personal responsibility requires that we stand as witnesses for Christ at all times ... the propaganda machine of the 1.6% who demand... even if they claim that those practices are their religious doctrine."

--- So, you're saying you DO NOT really believe or follow the First Amendment except as it applies to YOUR religion. Got it.

"Christ has never told anyone to accept the sin, only to show respect and kindness towards the sinner."

--- Who are you to judge us as "sinners"? Refusing to do business with us, voting on our right to marry whom we choose, WANTING to discriminate against us is not "kindness", Mike, no matter how you look at it.

Salt Lake City, UT

" Religious Freedom " does not have the same meaning for everyone. Here in Utah, for example, it is very one sided. The main religion here wants freedom to act upon their beliefs concerning same sex marriage. The problem with this comes because by passing laws against same sex marriage, they are infringing upon the religious freedom of gay people! That is why we have courts. In my opinion, religious freedom should have been a part of the lawsuits. We all know that most of the state's arguments are based upon Mormon religious beliefs. They have a right to believe whatever they want, but should not have the right to pass laws that harm others and that take away their freedom, including religous freedom! Gay people should not be forced into living their lives according to the beliefs of others. In order to pass laws against same sex marriage, they must prove harm done to others, and they have not been able to do it! Religious freedom gives me the right to not believe what Mormons have to say about gay people! It gives me the right to live my belief that God did create gay people!

Tooele, UT

Re: "I just don't see all this persuction [sic] the DN and the right wing keep telling us about."

No doubt.

Liberals just don't see religions persuction, or persecution, either, for that matter. They're not looking. They're too busy suggesting that the first Amendment's guarantee of American "freedom of religion" should be re-written in liberal newspeak. That is should really be read as, "complete isolation from seeing, hearing about, or in any way perceiving that real people disagree with me or [gasp] believe in God."

But, there is real religious persecution going on in the world. Not just in Africa and the Mid-East, where people are daily assaulted, burned out of their homes, driven from their countries, and beheaded.

What you're not seeing is the misery of millions affected by religious persecution, and the fact that there are too many in liberal America -- with many more coming across Obama's open borders every day -- who would love nothing more than to bring the same thing here.

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