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

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  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Aug. 1, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    @J Thompson
    SPRINGVILLE, UT

    Did Christ recant? Did He ever tell us to embrace sin if it meant that we could keep our lives? Did he ever renounce His mission to declare that we needed to repent, to accept Him and to receive His ordinances?

    [Did Christ ever author, sponsor, or push to codify the Law of Moses, His Law or any other Religious Laws into ROMAN Laws?
    Please Preach all you want, call people to repentance -- but stop trying to codify Religious law into State Laws.]

    He gave His life rather than submitting to sin.
    [Um, He gave his life as a Ransom for OUR sins -- it had nothing to do with submitting to sin].

    @J Thompson
    "We are not Christ. We don't have the authority to forgive"
    [Then we most certainly don't have the authority to Judge others, either.]

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    @gmlewis,

    Nobody has gone to court because people have said they believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman. People have gone to court, however, because we have created laws making the belief into law. You have the right to say whatever you want. Creating laws based on those beliefs can be taken to court, however, to help us determine whether or not they violate someone's constitutional rights.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 1, 2014 7:19 a.m.

    "J Thompson, As more than 2/3 of the population of the world do not believe in the divinity of Christ, it would probably be a good idea for the ambassador not to mention him at all."

    Exactly incorrect... at just about every level. The right answer is that he should respect all belief systems - even those that don't mirror his own. It doesn't mean he has to abandon his own, hardly. It simply means he should pursue all avenues that guarantee all the right to follow the precepts of their faith. And specifically in doing, do not deny anyone else their right to follow their beliefs.

    This concept that religious freedom is freedom from religion, that we should all keep our religions in a box, hidden from view is the antithesis of the founding principle of this nation. You have no right to impose your religion on others, but neither do you have the right to tell someone they can't practice their religion either.

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 31, 2014 10:04 p.m.

    J Thompson, As more than 2/3 of the population of the world do not believe in the divinity of Christ, it would probably be a good idea for the ambassador not to mention him at all.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 31, 2014 7:10 p.m.

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

    ..

    "the need for the United States to take a firm leadership role has never been greater"

    "The vacancy was beginning to speak as loudly as any nomination might, signaling to the world that religious persecution might not be a top concern"

    "Saperstein seems well-qualified. He holds liberal positions on some recent domestic issues involving religion, but the issues with which his new post will deal are far more stark and clear-cut, and on these he appears to be solid and capable"

    "Saperstein’s efforts were instrumental in 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. He knows how to gather influence and use it"

    "Millions of oppressed believers worldwide are hoping for U.S. support"

    Religious persecution is the competition between religions, only in America has religions been tolerant of each other. The trouble in Iraq is between the religions, they would only come together if an outsider tries to come in.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    July 31, 2014 6:27 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal
    @LDS Liberal

    In this country we the people, including religious get speak out and help make the laws

    we are not subject to kings here.

    Here the religious get to help make the laws.

    Do you sustain your local lawmakers and state law makers?

    and in "in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."?

    Or just the laws made by leftists?

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2014 4:33 p.m.

    @J Thompson
    "We are not Christ. We don't have the authority to forgive"

    That means we lack the authority to throw stones too.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 31, 2014 4:10 p.m.

    UtahBlueDevil,

    Although you and I agree on "judging", you seem to have left off a very important part of the directive that Christ gave to the woman. We don't know why she was committing adultery. We don't know the circumstances of her life. We don't know who suggested that she engage in adultery. All we know is that she was caught in the very act. Those in authority would have stoned her, under the law. Christ knew everything about her. He knew her circumstances. He knew why she was committing adultery. He judged her and then commanded her to "sin no more". She was found to have committed a sin. He and He alone had the authority to forgive sins. He forgave her ON CONDITION that she sin no more.

    We are not Christ. We don't have the authority to forgive, but we have the responsibility to keep sacred things sacred. There is nothing more sacred on this earth than the family unit and the sacred nature of marriage.

    An ambassador of religion would never require that we abandon our religious views to accept the opposite of "marriage" as part of our culture.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 31, 2014 3:46 p.m.

    @FT

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

    That's because you are intentionally blind.

    The article wasn't about Utah, or the LDS Church. It was about religious persecution around the world.

    If you are seriously uninformed about the religious persecution (and I mean people being killed for their religion) around the world... just let me know, and I'll tell you about it, or at least show you where you can read about it.

    The recent conflict between Israel and Hamas is resulting in LOTS of attacks on Jewish people in their places of worship around the world. Coptic Christians have been killed in mass in many places in the Middle East. Muslims have been attacked and killed for their religion (I saw video of a group of truck drivers shot on the spot for not knowing the proper way to pray when stopped by a group of ISIS soldiers in Iraq).

    If you really don't know about these abuses... you need to read more than MotherJones and Huffington Post. Read some current events. It's happening, whether you acknowledge it or not!

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 31, 2014 3:31 p.m.

    BTW.... this has what to do with Gay issues? Are you kidding me? Does that fraction have to try to hijack every thread about religion into their own personal quest to have people change their faith to accommodate their own beliefs. There are literally hundreds of religions out there, each and every one of them operating in pretty much total freedom. Rather than try to change a faiths core beliefs, join one that represents your beliefs. There are plenty out there that will let you be gay, and Christian. Stop try to change other peoples religions to match your own belief system.

    Now may sound odd coming from someone who thinks ultimately on a legal equal protection of the law basis that gay marriage will ultimately be the rule of the land. There is no doubt in my mind that is the courts feel abortion is a "right to choose" activity, they will equally protect ones right to marry whom they will.

    But that does not mean everyones religion has to accommodate that belief system. Drinking, Smoking.... all legal... and I don't expect the Church to ever say it is ok to do. Religious law is not governmental law.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    July 31, 2014 3:25 p.m.

    "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."

    And all the while, this is a government position. That is rich.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    July 31, 2014 3:16 p.m.

    @profucdorfiscal
    "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."

    I see those think you write about as persecution, just as I see gays being slaughtered and persecuted in those same places you speak of. Putting "religon" in front of persuction does not make it any more special or tragic, it only draws in more support from people who otherwise may change the channel or just stick with Fox News.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 31, 2014 3:15 p.m.

    J Thompson - all you say is very true here, but Christ also said "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her" and then it goes on to say "Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.…"

    No name calling. No pronunciations of guilt. No raised voices. No judgement. If anyone had a right to judge during that situation, it was him. But today, we have a whole cast who have taken upon themselves keys and rights, the right of judging others, that the Savior himself choose not to use. Yes, he told the young lady to go, and sin no more. But he clearly indicated by his example that those who came to accuse her had no right to do so themselves.

    When we step into a position of judgement, we bring a whole cast of responsibility unto ourselves, that we will do so in a Christ like manner. That is not what I am seeing buy those who self proclaim themselves as being granted the right and responsibility to judge others.

    To your question.... yes.... we should do less. We are not called to be judges.

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    July 31, 2014 2:39 p.m.

    @procuradorfiscal
    According to your view LIBERALS have no religion and are seeking to remove GOD from our society?
    Liberals insure your right to have your religion and NOT have someone else's religion shoved down your throat. Liberals insure your fair treatment in a work place and society so people do not discriminate against you because of your religion. Liberals are about LIBERTY AND EQUALITY FOR ALL. I am sorry you have such a complete misunderstanding about LIBERALS.

    1978 I moved to Utah as a Conservative Republican, after 22 years of Utah Conservative mentality I left a LIBERAL.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 31, 2014 1:56 p.m.

    Some interesting arguments are being made today. It appears that some would have us believe that Christ gave In to the political pressure of His day. It appears that some believe that Christ abandoned His doctrine when he was beaten, crowned with thorns, made to carry His cross, nailed to that cross and speared in the side. Did Christ recant? Did He ever tell us to embrace sin if it meant that we could keep our lives? Did he ever renounce His mission to declare that we needed to repent, to accept Him and to receive His ordinances?

    Christ died rather than to accept the "politically correct" thing to do. He watched as Peter faltered. Christ did not recant, even as spikes were driven into His flesh.

    Make no mistake about it, Christ did not accept sin, He did not tolerate sin; He gave His life rather than submitting to sin.

    Should we do anything less?

    No ambassador to religion would allow governments to dictate to Christ which laws were valid. He would stand for freedom of religion over any government, just as Christ did.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2014 1:05 p.m.

    re: Mountanman this morning

    He'd be really busy (but enough about Utah)

    to Mike R earlier today

    1) Jefferson's Wall restricts traffic in both directions
    2) Article 11 Treaty of Triploi
    3) Jeebus also said, "Render unto Caesar..."

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2014 1:03 p.m.

    @procuradorfiscal
    "Doing what we can to discourage what we know to be a dangerous, destructive, desperately unhappy lifestyle is kindness, no matter how liberals and doctrinaire LGBT activists look at it"

    1. If someone called your faith dangerous, destructive and desperately unhappy lifestyle, would you consider that kind of them?
    2. Should someone with that belief work towards limiting the freedom of people who share your faith from living that "lifestyle"?

    I would hope not, since that'd be a trampling of equal protections and religious freedom. So why do it to gay people (yes there's less religious freedom there but the rest still exists)?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 31, 2014 12:23 p.m.

    Re: ". . . WANTING to discriminate against us is not "kindness", Mike, no matter how you look at it."

    Sure it is.

    Doing what we can to discourage what we know to be a dangerous, destructive, desperately unhappy lifestyle is kindness, no matter how liberals and doctrinaire LGBT activists look at it.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 31, 2014 12:13 p.m.

    Ranch,

    I'm not a member of any legislation. You know that. You know that you're accusing me of "legislating" when I am simply using my right as a disciple of Christ to speak against those who pervert His doctrine. You will never find me among those who accept unauthorized doctrine.

    You once proclaimed everything that Christ stood for as being true and necessary for "salvation", but now that you 'be decided to accept same-sex sex as your religion, you fight against those things that you once testified as being true. Christ has not changed. His doctrine has not changed. His rules and regulations have not changed. Who has changed?

    Paul changed when he became aware of his error. He became an advocate for Christ.

    Religion gives everyone the opportunity to reject anything that separates them from Christ. Shopping religions is not acceptable. Christ told us that He would spew false religions out of His mouth.

    An ambassador of religion would uphold all truth. Christ represents all truth. He is the "word".

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 31, 2014 12:01 p.m.

    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.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    " 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!

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 31, 2014 11:26 a.m.

    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.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 31, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    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.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    July 31, 2014 10:36 a.m.

    Ranch

    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.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 31, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    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.

    @SCfan;

    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

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    July 31, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    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.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    July 31, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    Ranch

    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?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 31, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    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.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 31, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    ‘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...

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    July 31, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    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.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    July 31, 2014 9:04 a.m.

    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?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 31, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    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???

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 31, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    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.

    @gmlewis;

    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.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 31, 2014 8:14 a.m.

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

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    July 31, 2014 8:14 a.m.

    @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.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    July 31, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    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?

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    July 31, 2014 7:49 a.m.

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

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 31, 2014 7:22 a.m.

    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?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 31, 2014 6:22 a.m.

    "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.