Religious liberty emerges as sensitive political issue

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  • Quagthistle Utica, KS
    Sept. 22, 2012 10:16 p.m.

    We'll never get single payer because people scream about it being socialism (and somehow socialsm is supposed to be the ultimate evil). As for the contraceptives, the problem is much more complex than mere religious liberty. Contraceptives are prescribed for a lot of medical issues that have nothing to do with innappropriate behavior. Besides, there's a provision (annoucned by Obama, I listened to it myself a couple months ago) that allows employers to opt out of such coverage if all their employees share their beliefs. It's not right to force your beliefs on your employees if they don't share them, after all. Even some Catholics dissagree about contraceptives (from what I've heard). It would be like Mormons boycotting taxes because we don't want tax money to be used to buy coffee (such as in government buildings, schools, or through food stamps). We have no right to do that, and freedom of religion doesn't give us that right. We do, however, have the right not to buy coffee ourselves, just as Catholics can still refuse to use contraceptives if they feel their religion warrants such. They just can't deny them to others.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 22, 2012 2:02 p.m.

    Churches and organized religions, beyond their unproven dogma, are simply business organizations. They have a product to sell and will use every trick in the book, every fear of people, every strategy and every opportunity to advertise and promote their product.

    They can’t even guarantee or prove any of their claims but the need for their product is so strong that their customers cannot refrain from buying. Having this power over people gives the churches unlimited power which in most cases becomes greed. Greed turns to war, and so the religions are at way with each other and every other commercial entity.

    In America a truce of sorts is in place enforced by our government and the Constitution. However, the chains that bind the religions, are weakening while the power and greed of churches grows ever larger.

    Individuals can only exempt themselves from civil law by choosing to be American or not. Churches are claiming the right to be exempt from civil law by their own beliefs. If we allow Churches to have greater power than our federal government, individual freedom of religion will cease to exist.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Sept. 22, 2012 1:51 p.m.

    This is a perfect example of why we need a one-payer system. What a one-payer system in place, people wouldn't be able to (erroneously) claim that their "rights" and "religious liberty" were being imposed on when elements of valid preventative medicine with which they disagreed were covered by insurance for which they pay premiums (which are paid into an insurance pool and cover a wide variety of matters). Also, a Church and any businesses it owns (which are NOT religious establishments) would not be ble to impose its theology and dogma on the country by denying their employees insurance for elements of valid preventative care. That would be a win-win system.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Sept. 22, 2012 1:37 p.m.

    Glad to see it is considered "reason" to place religious belief on par with dreams (nightmares?) and similar random cerebral activity.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 22, 2012 1:28 p.m.

    Religious freedom for individuals cannot exist if there is unlimited freedom of religion for churches and their other business organizations. Beyond their words of freedom for people lies the specter of total enslavement to their beliefs. Such has been the case for the entire history of the human world.

    Religious freedom, for the individual, is the ability of that individual to believe what his own senses tell him about the world and not necessarily what others may tell him. If he would give his mind over to others he looses his religious freedom.

    Whatever the individual believes, whether his own or that which is imposed upon him, it is his personal right to act in the manner he wishes.

    If however, he should choose to join with others in close association, like being an American citizen, he may be forced to limit his freedom of religion to be acceptable to the group. His ability to make that choice is the freedom of religion guaranteed by our Constitution. No one is forced to be an American.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Sept. 22, 2012 12:50 p.m.

    Church and State issues have always been difficult to balance. If a religious institution takes tax dollars to provide public services can they still apply religious standards in how they spend the money? When religious institutions are told they must follow the same laws as everyone else taking public money they complain that this is a "war on religion."

    I somehow doubt this newspaper would consider it an act of religious liberty if someone refused to provide public services for a Latter-day Saint because they believe Mormons are not Christians. I suspect one would question how providing housing, food, or any other public service violated their religious beliefs. But when we put Gays into the mix, suddenly it becomes a different story.

    We all live a world where there is a public sphere and a provide sphere. I think the key to religious liberty is understanding the difference and respecting it.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 22, 2012 11:11 a.m.

    From the article-

    "counter-intuitive to make campus organizations open their membership and leadership positions to anyone and everyone, even when potential members philosophically disagree with the core values and beliefs of the organization." Still, he said, "as someone who strongly believes in limited government, I think it is inappropriate for government to mandate the policies of a private institution."


    This is an admirable statement.

    Obama argued that 'religious opinions don't count if they aren't objective'. The logic is dangerous. He's really arguing that "unless religions agree with me their opinions don't count". Consider an atheist saying "Joseph Smith didn't see God cause he can't recreate the event now". This is as logically sound as saying that my dreams didn't exist last night because I can't provide them to you now. The danger is when anti-religious leap from a simple disagreement to 'your opinion shouldn't be because I don't believe you'.

    That may seem irrelevant but consider this- some would place conditions on the vote. Prop 8 is the perfect example of that. Creating voting conditions really mean "you must agree with me", then freedom is destroyed.

  • Millsap fan Taylorsville, UT
    Sept. 22, 2012 9:34 a.m.

    Government crossed the line with the contraception issue for Catholics. Many more lines of liberty will be crossed if obamacare isn't altered.