Religious liberty being fought on the state level

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  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    the truth (another oxymoron),

    "Are only nonreligious groups allowed to impose their views?"

    I don't see anywhere in the country where non-believers are requiring their employees to have abortions, take abortifacient drugs, consume alcohol, or otherwise abide by the non-believing employer's "values".

    Do you? If not, then your objections are completely empty.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 6:53 p.m.

    What difference does religion make when imposing views on others?

    Free speech is all about the right to profess your views or beliefs, no matter the source of those views or beliefs.

    Part of that right is for the convincing or influencing of others, which includes trying to make law.

    Everyone has the right to publically express their beliefs and views whether religious or not.

    There is a public aspect of religion and exercising it a protected right.

    And everyone has the right to assemble and associate and live in like-minded communities cites and states.

    There was NEVER any intention by the founding fathers to make every state, city, and community exactly alike. That's not freedom.

    So the government dictating what views and expression can be allowed on PUBLIC property is violation religious rights and liberties.

    The government dictating how religious people's groups, organizations must spend money or how they must act, is a deprivation religious liberty.

    In light of all this the cries of "imposing views" are quite silly. Are only nonreligious groups allowed to impose their views? Is there a litmus test for who can impose views?

    Freedom of speech, religion, assembly says otherwise.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 5:51 p.m.

    Religious freedom... what an oxymoron. Religion is the antithesis of "freedom" and everybody knows it. Religion is all about authority, commandments, "blind" faith, obedience (the "first law of heaven"), and ostracizing and marginalizing those who don't jump on the religious bandwagon and confess they "see" the Emperor's New Clothes, too. Now the religious want to force their employees to abide by their religious beliefs, and if that isn't bad enough, they hide this ideological wolf in the sheep's clothing of "religious freedom".

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 12:26 p.m.

    Apropos the topic of states and religious liberty, the PBS Independent Lens program is showing "The Revisionaries" on January 28. The film screened last week in SLC. It is about the Texas State Board of Education and how certain members of the board are trying to shoehorn religious instruction into the state curriculum. The Texas SBOE actions are important nationally because Texas buys textbooks in huge quantities on a schedule. Because of this purchasing power, the official Texas state curriculum has a disproportionate influence on the content that textbook publishers put in their books. Although the film has a definite point of view, the filmmaker comes from a conservative religious tradition and treats the religious activists with a remarkable evenhandedness and affection.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Jan. 16, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    Freedom of religion guarantees no entitlement for public funding of endeavors a religious organization undertakes. President Bush's faith-based initiatives which President Obama has chosen to continue. They were rightly opposed by the LDS Church which all too well understood the implications that a church accepting public funds might be required to have it financial books open for public inspection.

    The HHS mandate was meant for insurance carriers which is an irregular role for a church to undertake, not that a church can't invest in such an undertaking if it so chooses for the welfare of its members. But it must be understood that freedom of religion does not grant any religious organization a special dispensation from the rule of law.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 16, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    how exactly do you have freedom of religion if you do not protect people from using the force of government to impose their religious views on others? Do you understand why people left england in the first place. the close ties of a religion and government prevented them from practicing their religious beliefs. It may be painful at times to watch people do things you have strong religious view son but not being able to impose your religious views on others is not restricting your rights, it is protecting theirs.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    "Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law."

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 9:28 a.m.

    @ John H.: You mean things like, "I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshipped by many who think themselves Christians."

    Or perhaps, "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State."

    Or, "History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes."

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    Shultz: "It's a mentality about the role of church and state that says if they want to form an organization that serves the homeless, they will be required to do things that violate the tenets of their faith."

    Not exactly. Shultz leaves out an important qualification. Private religious organizations are perfectly free to do anything they want to serve the homeless. They can require aid recipients to sit through sermons, recite the Rosary, pray to Mecca, whatever, as a condition of receiving aid-- provided they use their own funds. It's only when the organizations take federal funds that the restrictions kick in, which is appropriate. My tax dollars should not be paying a minister to spread the gospel, eveen if he is spreading it to homeless people over dinner.

  • IMAN Marlborough, MA
    Jan. 16, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    EVERY DAY is religious freedom day in the great and secular United States of America!

  • JohnH Cedar City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    The First Amendment protections against establishment of religion and guaranteeing free exercise were designed to protect religion from government, not to protect government from religion. Don't like hearing that from me? Read what Thomas Jefferson had to say.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Jan. 16, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    "This is not religious liberty being curtailed. Nowhere is the Government telling people they can or cannot join a church or believe in anything they want. "

    What you have said is that government is not curtailing anyone's right of free association. Freedom of religion is your right to practice and to live according to your religious beliefs and that is being curtailed.

  • Dektol Powell, OH
    Jan. 16, 2013 7:05 a.m.

    This is not religious liberty being curtailed. Nowhere is the Government telling people they can or cannot join a church or believe in anything they want.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2013 5:51 a.m.

    Your freedom of religion is the same thread that keeps others free from your religion. Put the scissors away.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2013 1:21 a.m.

    No, that's still a matter of forcing your beliefs on your employees. Why don't these people ever get it? Practice your religion, be faithful, just don't think you have the right to make anyone else practice your religion.

    Should a religion that doesn't believe in going to the Dr be able to not cover any worker's compensation claims after being hurt on the job? I think not.