Erosion of religious liberty

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  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 29, 2013 7:18 a.m.

    To "mark" in other words, you have nothing and are relying on the fact taht most people are too lazy to bother to disprove you. I looked up some of the rubuttals, and they can only argue against his methods or specific scenes where Ben Stein portrays himself as a lecturer, when he was not.

    The interesting thing is that the supposed rebuttals that you think disprove him, don't disprove the science behind Intelligent Design, just show some flaws in the methods used to make the documentary.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    July 26, 2013 12:33 p.m.

    Oh my gosh, Redshirt, I would not have room in 200 words (all that's left me) to lay out all the flaws in that movie. But there are many sites that will do that in detail for you, with the specific claims made in the movie.

    Quite frankly I don't want to take the time to research and corralate all the garbage in that movie for you. But again plenty of sites do just that.

    I rember sitting watching that movie absolutely aghast that there would be people that would actually buy into what it was pushing.

    But anyway, I notice you don't care to actually defend the claims that I was questioning in the first place. But that's okay. Why would you?

    Haha, someone that actully took that movie seriously. Too funny. Classic.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    July 26, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    See the wolves circling the believers, while laughing and claiming there is no such thing as wolves:

    “…religion in this country is in any meaningful way "under attack" just makes me laugh.”

    “…crying "WOLF!" yet again”

    “Just because you hold some idea as sacred doesn't mean that it shouldn't be ridiculed”

    “The penchant for whining about the loss of religious freedom by Christians is getting real old.”

    Just a small sample.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    July 26, 2013 8:05 a.m.

    Lots of funny stuff here but the head scratcher for me is Shazandra. She goes to extremes to show that Charles Darwin's original ideas are not now currently taught as facts and uses the advances in evolutionary biology to prove it, and then seems to jump to the conclusion that disproves evolution as a principle. It's like saying germs don't exist because we don't teach germ theory the way we did in 1910.

    What a silly statement that the big bang theory is wrong because it doesn't tell us where the stuff came from. The big bang theory wasn't meant to explain where the stuff came from however, current theories do tackle that quite well, and if you want a brain twister like that then who created God, and that God, and that God?

    Lastly the claims of religious tolerance in the original article are pure nonsense. Not being able to pray to Jesus comes from 2005 in the Iraq when we were blowing their country to smithereens. The sergeant disciplined for the sandwiches said on his invitation that the party was to support DOMA etc. etc. Have some integrity DN.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    July 26, 2013 7:45 a.m.

    To "mark" name the flaws. It was quite well thought out, more so than many of the liberal documentaries out there.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2013 8:49 p.m.

    Expelled: No Inteligence Allowed!? Is that the "documentry" you are talking about? The Ben Stein "documentry"?

    Oh, that's too funny. Yeah, I saw it when it was in theaters. You're kidding, right? You didn't see the problems, the blatant problems, with the arguments that movie was making? Tell me you saw the incredible flaws in logic in that movie.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2013 2:15 p.m.

    Perhaps, RedShirt, you don't understand the scientific method. Of course a scientist would say that intelligent design would be a viable alternative, just as the universe being on the back of a turtle would be, the only catch is you have to provide proof for it.

    But that's neither here nor there, the person I was responding to was claiming that eveloution is no longer an accepted theory at scientific institutes. In fact implying it has been laughed out of the room. I asked her to back her claim.

    Since you have become her de facto defender, do you care to provide any proof to back up her claim?

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    July 25, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    To "mark" watch the documentary "No Intelligence Allowed". That is a documentary where they compare Intelligent Design and Big Bang Theories. At the end, they ask one of the Big Bang scientists how things would have been created if their theories about the Big Bang were wrong. The irony of the documentary was listening to this scientist who mocks Intelligent Design, describe Intelligent Design as a viable alternate to the Big Bang.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    July 24, 2013 5:14 p.m.

    "My husband invites you to point out any unscientific statements in the Bible. "

    Oh my gosh, now that made me laugh. Whether or not your husband is a "rocket scientist", whatever that means.

    Good heavens, unscientific statements in the Bible. Where dies one start? Well how about right at page one, at the very first sentence. Something about a god creating the heavens and the earth that were shapeless, or something like that. Then there is creating man and then woman from mans rib. Or talking serpents. Or God creating the light and seperating the night and day before he created the sun and the stars. Or even God just SPEAKING and creating everything. The idea of God existing with no beginning or end. . . etc. My gosh, and we aren't even out of the creation myth.

    Now whatever you think if it (and I think it is absolutely beautiful poetry) whatever you think of it, one thing it's not is scientific.

    Goodness! Even the concept of a god is not scientific.

    - Your take on evolution is bizarre, to say the least. Care to back up your claim?

  • Turtles Run Missouri City, TX
    July 24, 2013 1:55 p.m.

    Religious freedoms are not being threatened in this nation. The opposite seems to be occurring around the nation. Religious conservatives are continuously pushing to include Intelligent Design (creationism) in school science programs, religious organizations are demanding that businesses they operate in the open market are exempt from laws that their secular competitors must adhere too, religion also is front in center in the fight for same sex marriage and women's reproductive health rights.

    Religion in the military needs to be restrained because of the amount of influence they have traditionally yielded in the services. The Air Force Academy controversies are a gauge to use when discussing the religious overreach within the military.

    To top it off many religious people (mainly christians) continuously whine about their rights being violated but feel not reservations on limiting the religious freedoms of other groups like Muslims when they choose to build Mosques around the nation or build a community center near the site of 9/11.

    The penchant for whining about the loss of religious freedom by Christians is getting real old.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    July 23, 2013 6:35 p.m.

    The DN is right in pointing out that there are encroachments into religious liberties. It is not necessary or even wise to wait until these encroachments become widely recognized by society. It is best to call attention to them when they can still be dealt with in a reasonable way.

    Those who criticize people of faith for "playing the victim card" are ignoring history--some of it recent history; some contemporary.

    Those who think that religious people must entirely restrain their beliefs whenever they enter the public sphere are, to put it as kindly as possible, incorrect. I have every right to let my religious beliefs govern the way I vote and the public policies I choose to support or oppose. Frankly, I sense some hypocrisy from those who want to promote their own personal (either religious or not) beliefs while circumscribing mine.

    I don't think that the conflict of ideas that results from my free, open, and even perhaps dogmatic adherence to my religion is bad for America in any way.

    I personally believe the societies that move to restrict religious practice and open expression do not function as well as societies that foster sincere belief.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    July 23, 2013 5:40 p.m.

    RedWings writes:
    "Science usually talks in "theories" - theory of evolution, big bang theory. Those theories require FAITH - faith in the underlying assumptions and in the inferences from them. Not unlike FAITH in God....

    Of course, science pointedly does not rest on faith, it rests on knowledge. "Faith" is believing in something you cannot prove with facts. "Science" is observing things proven by facts. You "know in your heart" that there is a God, but you know via physical proof that there is evolution.
    It is a common trick to twist words, as in "Evolution is only a theory", when we are dealing with science and proven theories. A more open mind sees that the Bible, when placed in the context of people's understanding in Ancient Times, is confirmed by science.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    July 23, 2013 5:33 p.m.

    Passing off "Intelligent Design" as science means trying to bully schools into teaching the nonsense, which not only hurts the other people's kids, but makes the USA a laughing stock. If one simply applies intelligence to the Bible, one can find that the creation stories were written for the understanding of ancient peoples. What in the world is wrong with recognizing "God created x on day y" is a lovely simplified version of the truth, and does not negate the truth?
    It is possible to believe that God put everything in motion and let it do as it was meant to do, in the same way He might create people, who live the lives they choose, good or bad, without God being their puppet master.

    And then there is the conceit that one's being a "Christian" gives him the right to put down others, tell others they are not going to heaven, block the rights of others, etc.

    And even more.... the idea that people who want to believe otherwise are "forcing their values on religious people". This is dishonesty, plain and simple. You want the world your way or else.

    July 23, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    "Science" and "religion" look at two completely different things. Science is concerned with explaining the natural world and what we observe around us. Religion is concerned with greater questions, such as how we were created, etc. They are not mutually exclusive, but comparing the two is not as easy as some would lead us to believe. Scholars much smarter than I have explained this very well (Henry Emerson Fosdick is one who comes to mind).

    Science usually talks in "theories" - theory of evolution, big bang theory. Those theories require FAITH - faith in the underlying assumptions and in the inferences from them. Not unlike FAITH in God....

    I read recently of a study that has determined that dinosaurs were mammals. In my lifetime, dinosaurs have been reptiles, birds, and now mammals! We also used to have another "planet" when I was a kid (Pluto).

    So much for "certainty" and "infallability" in science.....

  • tennerifa Orem, UT
    July 23, 2013 1:15 a.m.

    I have had a question that I am seriously hoping someone can answer for me. Just why is it that religious folks want their displays of religious devotion public? Just what is the advantage to posting public displays of the 10 Commandments in courthouses, cross memorials on public land, or prayer in public school, as opposed to those same displays in their homes and churches? Do they think these public displays will garner them more "exaltation" in the afterlife?
    Here is my reason for not wanting these religious displays public: when you erect a religious display on public property, you are forcing me to sponsor, at least partially, your religious opinion, which I do not share. As part owner of that public place I do not agree to having religious displays there.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    July 22, 2013 10:44 p.m.

    Moliter Manus- Darwin is NOT respected in the nation's "most respected schools" just because you say so. My Zoology, Physiology, Microbiology, Astronomy and Biology courses were in the 70's at BYU and CSUN (SFVSC then). Back then they drooled over him. Enter the 80's-90's and university texts have changed; (very few high school texts are updated amazingly...) When did you take your last Science course?

    Try that on someone unacquainted with aerospace engineering and astro-physics. Current university courses reflect the truth about CD's utter failing of any proof of macroevolution or inter-species transition. Punctuated equilibrium is a gaff. The Big Bang touts a beginning, but does not answer where "the stuff" originated, does it?

    And seriously: A lesser light? Try reading an Interlinear and see the original Hebrew, (which I've taught for over 23 years.)
    (BTW: An ark is not an arc.)

    If you are going to make claims, be specific about which universities and science departments. Do your homework and join the current level of discussion. Being accurate with what science cannot answer is atleast the honest thing to do.

  • MoliterManus SLC, UT
    July 22, 2013 9:08 p.m.


    I'm not sure which institutes of higher learning you have frequented, but I can assure you that Darwin's theory of evolution is still very respected at the nation's most respected schools.

    As for unscientific statements in the Bible, where does one even begin:

    The moon as a lesser light
    The sky as a solid
    An arc capable of containing two of every species on Earth, plus adequate nutrition for those species for a period of forty days

  • Jemezblue Albuquerque, NM
    July 22, 2013 6:56 p.m.

    What is really missing from society is really a Huge lack of tolerance on All Sides. And it is more and more looking like a lack of tolerance from those who want freedom From religion. If you let the any other religions have their freedom of religion, such as praying 5 times a day, or catering to their different eating habits, then give me and those who believe as I the same freedom, respect and tolerance.

    Please don't ridicule me for living the way I want, which happens to include Christianity and its doctrine, and I will afford you the same.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    July 22, 2013 6:21 p.m.

    Get off the Ranch and if you're not near a university, google Biblical evidence and scientific compatability...

    Watch a few documentaries on the Science channel and you'll soon discover the astronomical scientists and astro-physicists are continually changing/updating/redefining cosmology and deep space "theories". Just a few years ago they didn't know that every galaxy has (atleast) one black hole. But you have to be reading current science to know exactly how outdated Mr. Darwin is and how his theory is disrespected on modern campuses today.

    My husband invites you to point out any unscientific statements in the Bible. He is a rocket scientist with three Master's degrees and finishing a PhD currently. He finds atheists rare in his field. Well-educated humans have a way of ultimately recognizing unrepeatable theories vs. Intelligent Design. The faith part is a totally separate category.

  • the longview North Salt Lake, UT
    July 22, 2013 5:03 p.m.

    "Without religion in the public square, rights degenerate quickly into opinions open for debate and restriction."

    Really? Was religion necessary to define the bill of rights? I would argue the opposite. With religion in the public square, defining rights quickly degenerates into whose particular "faith" you subscribe to. Reason and logic defer to tradition and dogma.

  • tanderson83 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 22, 2013 5:03 p.m.

    Freedom of religion doesn't always mean freedom to get your way. That's something the writers of this article seem to forget.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 22, 2013 2:40 p.m.


    There is a long list of prominent scientists who were also quite religious (starting with the father of physics - Newton). I have known many folks who are religious and make their living practicing science.

    I am okay with scientific inquiry. But ridicule has never been a scientific technique. I cannot see how you can square respect and ridicule. They are incompatible (far more incompatible than science and religion have ever been).

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    July 22, 2013 1:38 p.m.


    What complete and utter nonsense. That book you reference has more inconsistencies, more discrepancies and more evil (accepts and promotes genocide for one thing) than practically any other book ever written.

    As for Darwin's theory being discredited, dream on, dream on.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 22, 2013 12:36 p.m.


    You are right. It’s just that when words have so many meanings I sometimes think the wrong one.

    I still think that the First Amendment does nothing for the individual person so far as freedom of religion is concerned.

    I still believe that this nation like all other nations was put together by businessmen for businessmen.

    I believe that churches are the same as any other business operation.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    July 22, 2013 12:22 p.m.

    That is an excellent definition of scientific method, Candide. And it is exactly why Mr. Darwin's theory is such and has subsequently been thoroughly debunked by true academics. Too many gaping holes, silly unrepeatable innuendos and conjectures. And yet it remains in public text books decades later.

    There is only one ancient document that has never shown to be incongruous with modern science, biology, cosmology or astrophysics. It placed the sun at the center of our galaxy long before Copernicus and goes way beyond Darwin's surmises about the origin of the species. It has 40 authors and was written over a 1500 year period. It has been ridiculed and derided for creating a group "that didn't exist", yet in the early 1980s the 17th archeological layer revealed evidence for the Hittite civilization. They laughed about a man being able to live in a whale's belly, yet one did in the mid-20th century, and biologists wrote about it in The Reader's Digest.

    There's plenty more evidence. You just have to look it up.

  • Candide Salt Lake City, UT
    July 22, 2013 11:28 a.m.

    I hold that it is impossible to be a scientific person and to also take the tenets of your religion on faith. Science and faith are complete opposites. In science you must follow the scientific method of observation, experimentation, and duplication of results through peer review. This produces evidence to back up any theories or claims. Faith is accepting that for which there is no evidence.

    It really surprises me that so many people take their core beliefs on faith. People compare cell phone plans, buy a car or house, track sports teams, or plan a trip with more attention to detail and research than they do thinking about whether or not their religion, or any religion for that matter, is plausible.

    I do not disrespect religion. Religion is a set of ideas that should be held to the same standard as other ideas. Just because you hold some idea as sacred doesn't mean that it shouldn't be ridiculed or subject to scientific scrutiny.

    "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
    Carl Sagan

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    July 22, 2013 9:50 a.m.


    I couldn't care less about your religious beliefs, but you're welcome to them. You are NOT welcome to use them to deny rights to others. Period. If you would LIVE your religious beliefs yourself, and stop trying to force those who aren't of your faith to follow them, then you wouldn't have the "people who hate religion" (we don't hate religion, we hate what you do with it), trying to "marginalize it out of society". If you oppose gay marriages, live your religion and don't have one yourself. If you oppose abortion, live your religion and don't have one yourself. Stop pushing your religion on others and you'll immediately notice a decrease in the animosity you feel towards you.


    When religions actively work to violate the rights of others, they are harming those others. Who would Jesus discriminate against?

  • Born that Way Layton, UT
    July 22, 2013 6:38 a.m.

    The disrespect for religion in our society saddens me. Proving another man's religion wrong does nothing for the beliefs I hold. I may be the most scientific or rational person on earth and I still cling to those tenets based on faith.

    The new religion of secular humanism is very intolerant of any form of public religious expression.

    I wish all religions had more opportunity to express themselves and what makes their religion most attractive to them to the public, but much of our society has decided that such expressions won't benefit us, and even trump up the ridiculous notion that such expressions are harmful to others.

    Sadly, they shortchange themselves in exchange for a numb conscience.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    July 22, 2013 6:37 a.m.

    It is fascinating the number of "tolerant" people who spasm with indignation when religious groups attempt to influence popular culture, while simultaneously accusing those same religions of playing the victim card when pop culture forces its value onto the religious. Hypocrites

    It is humorous the number of "liberal" Mormons who question their own faith (which is healthy) bit never pop culture (which is not healthy) Naïve

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 22, 2013 6:32 a.m.

    @truth, educate me. Can you please enumerate what religious freedoms you believe we have lost as compared to those enjoyed by those who lived 100, or 200 years ago.... or in the times of the founding fathers? What religious liberty has been taken away, how are we not able to express our religious beliefs now, that generations before us were able to.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    July 22, 2013 2:13 a.m.

    One more thing -- about our country being founded on religious principles:

    ACTUALLY, the USA was founded on universal principles of freedom, fairness, opportunity, and good will which happened to be taught to many of the founding fathers via their religion.

    "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is in the Bible, but some version of it is in most religions. It is also a principle that shows good character, even if one subscribes to NO religion.
    ----- just one example.

    Government, at least in 49 States, works without specific reference to religion.

    And PS -- the Commandment about false witness was smashed into a thousand pieces in 2008, in an attempt by religious people to pass a law. Would Jesus prefer that the wrong was addressed?

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    July 21, 2013 11:40 p.m.

    I see the DNews is crying "WOLF!" yet again. The persecution card would hold much more value if those claiming persecution also wouldn't persecute others.

    Nothing in the UCMJ says that a master sergeant would be prosecuted if he/she served Chik-fil-a at a party. Like wise with the ending a prayer with "in Jesus' name." What the military has banned is the forceful coercion of religious beliefs imposed on subordinates.

  • abtrumpet Provo, UT
    July 21, 2013 9:41 p.m.

    I can't remember who said it, but one of you said that " my beliefs have no business in the public square, " or something along those lines. What you fail to realize is that those beliefs are needed in the public square, or else you will end up with small factions controlling your government. I've never once heard an atheist who thought that his beliefs don't belong in the public square. If you don't speak up, who will? The truth is that there are people who hate religion with a passion and they would love nothing more than to marginalize it out of society. These people are certainly speaking up. Are they not just as much, if not more of bigots than the religious folk out there who don't want things like gay marriage and abortion shoved down their throats? My voice is equally as important as yours, no matter your prejudice toward me because of my religion.

  • mornixuur Layton, UT
    July 21, 2013 9:15 p.m.

    "An Army master sergeant may face discipline just for serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at a promotion party..."

    Weasel words at their finest. No supporting evidence is given to show how that might happen, if it has ever happened, or if such charges might stick.

    Just someone trying to play of their own sense of vctimization by claiming something "may" happen.

    I "may" fly, if i flap my arms hard enough, but past evidence plus general rules of physics say otherwise. But that can't stop me from the using a weaselly phrase to claim it could happen.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    July 21, 2013 8:43 p.m.

    This editorial, with all its flawed logic, did produce a miracle: I finally agree with Mountanman about something. He is perfectly correct that Hawn's Mill is spelled with a "w" and not a "u." This misspelling has been the norm for decades. The question is, however, did Mman spell it right on purpose, or was this just a happy accident? My money's on the latter.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 21, 2013 8:27 p.m.

    LDS Liberal.

    Nice sentiment. But (as others have pointed out), the religious build the church AND the hospital. The same with prayer. It is prayer and deeds, not prayer or deeds. It is the religious who are the most tireless supporters of life and resist early death. It is the religious who have assembled the non-profit organizations that fight disease and poverty. And, though there are religious on both sides of the political divide, most anti-war movements have religious folks at their core.

  • Barb Wire USA, UT
    July 21, 2013 8:02 p.m.

    @ embarrassed Utahn!, you hit the nail on the head with everything you said. I am not part of the religious majority in Utah anymore just because of the true statements you made in your post. I lived in Nevada most of my life and never seen anything like what I have seen with the same religion in Utah. It's like night and day. Arrogance and self righteousness certainly abounds with the religious majority in Utah and we less worthy need not apply.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 21, 2013 7:54 p.m.

    From Ted's Head says:

    "While I agree that religious freedom is under attack and those who seek to exercise their religion openly will find increasing hostility and public disfavor, "calls to arms" such as this article..."


    "Call to arms" tells me that you are at war with everyone else who doesn't feel the way you do. It's no wonder you're finding fewer and fewer adherents willing to subsume their identities to your religions.

    Mountanman says:

    "KJB1. I fear you have totally missed the point. Its not governing ourselves as a nation or as believers that is the problem. The problem lies in other people dictating and interfering with the free practice of religion."


    Absolutely not. The problem lies in religious people, using their religious fictions, dictating and interfering in the freedom and liberty of other Americans who believe differently.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    July 21, 2013 7:53 p.m.

    Freedom of conscience is an individual's freedom to live according to their moral values. It is not about how they pray or not pray or what rituals they do in their church. It is freedom of conscience and that is being threatened. Ghost Writer hits the nail on the head.

    With regards to the comments that atheists think that building a hospital is better than building a church. I am curious if any atheist groups run hospitals, charities, etc? At the same time, I read between the lines that atheists mean that people who believe in God don't believe in building hospitals, caring for the sick, etc. If so, then there attacks on professions of certain religious beliefs are based on their prejudices that they exhibit by twisting the first amendment.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2013 6:33 p.m.

    I recognize the wonderful things religion does in exchange for its tax free existence. I have received much consideration from my fellow ward members for example. I merely wished to make the point that religion's tax free status shows that religious freedom is not under any great threat.

  • Ghost Writer GILBERT, AZ
    July 21, 2013 6:29 p.m.

    I'm always a little nonplussed when I hear the constant mantra that somehow church's have been "forcing their religion on others." Want to see examples of force? Photographers being sued successfully because they don't want to shoot gay weddings; motels being sued because they express their preference that lesbians not stay in their establishments. Florists sued for not providing flowers for gay weddings. Who's cramming whose beliefs down whose throat?

  • byufootballrocks Herndon, VA
    July 21, 2013 6:13 p.m.

    When I said "All laws are moral and have their basis in biblical and moral principles" I meant that in the context of this discussion.

    Our basic laws - Against murder, theft, assault, lying under oath, etc. had their origin in biblical principles.

    Again, quit impugning motives. It's a signal that you haven't got a single legitimate argument left.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    July 21, 2013 6:03 p.m.

    BrentBot using a Jefferson quote to validate religious freedom. Interesting; Jefferson was no fan/proponent/supporter of religion.

    Thanks to LDSLiberal for pointing the "oddity"of 10cc's post.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    July 21, 2013 5:55 p.m.

    Let's bottom line it.

    Religious people are Americans too. They are not second class citizens.

    Religious people do not have to check their religion and faith at the door to the public square.

    Religious people have every right and equal right to express themselves publically in the public square, which includes artwork and have their views heard in the making of lawm especially their community

    Our government is neither secular or non-secular but for all people which include religious people.

    in our system religious people can vote those they want represent them and make law.

    that is not oppression but how the system works,

    you have the freedom to live in city or state that shares your value and not have dictatorial minority tell what to do.

    that is how the system works

    Without the the declaration that rights come from God we can see the left, the progressives and the secularists wanting use the power of the federal government to dictate rights and make law governing our every behavior including being in your marriage.

    To paraphrase a founding father: Our constitution is wholly inadequate for governing the godless and the immoral.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2013 5:54 p.m.

    to: KJB1, Owen, & Blue

    My theory? The blowback to the unending boy who cried wolf tactics fuel & justify the persection complex.

    To Mike R

    Why should any of us be vigilant? We have you to filter & interpret what it all means.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    July 21, 2013 5:30 p.m.

    Sorry, but if you wish to eradicate the notion that some religions make up their version of rights and try to enforce them on others, you need to stop running pieces like this.
    As for military chaplains: if they are giving a non-denominational service, they insult and exclude any Jews, Muslims, Hindus in the room by adding "in Jesus' name"
    There is a widespread problem of religious banners in barracks, of officers giving the better assignments to those who attend chapel, of soldiers trying to preach and convert day and night, etc, etc. There is NO problem of allowing worship that does not infringe on others.
    If you want freedom OF religion, you must allow freedom FROM religion.
    Currently, there is a nonsense idea going around that telling people YOUR version of what your religion says about them, without being asked, is Christian. Jesus weeps at that thought.

  • IMAN Marlborough, MA
    July 21, 2013 5:09 p.m.

    IMVHO this editorial opinion is so far off base that it merits no counter argument. But alas, it is only an opinion.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 21, 2013 4:23 p.m.

    Despite your view on organized religion, it is a sad day when people want to destroy our freedoms because they don't agree with a religion.

    To you liberals that complain about organized religion, you do realize that with the freedom of religion it is an all or nothing type of freedom. Either we allow religion both personal and organized or we don't.

    If you think that government subsidizes religion, you are wrong. It is the opposite that is going on. Religions are subsidizing the government through their welfare programs, and through the benefits of organized religion. Thanks to religion, you still have people getting married, which lifts people out of poverty, thus saving the government welfare programs. In many cases the land around churches becomes more valuable, which also benefits government.

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    July 21, 2013 4:23 p.m.

    Re: "Wow! A new definition for the word establishment ..."

    The definition is not a new one, but an old one, the one the Framers had in mind, and one still used today.

    Oxford English Dictionary:

    establish: 7. "From the 16th century often used with reference to ecclesiastical ceremonies or organization, and to the recognized national church or its religion ..."

    "Established Church: The Church as by law established in any country, as the public or state-recognized form of religion....So State Church." The earliest example given for this usage is 1660.

    establishment: 2. c. "Now usually, the conferring on a particular religious body the position of a state church." The earliest given example for this sense is from 1662-1663.

    As Leonard W. Levy writes in "Origins of the Bill of Rights": "The classic establishment of religion denoted a legal union between a state and a particular church that benefited from numerous privileges not shared by other churches or by the nonchurched or unbelievers. An uncontested and uncontestable fact that stands out from the establishment clause is that the United States cannot constitutionally enact any law preferring one church over others in any manner whatever" (p. 79).

  • D.T. Sandy, UT
    July 21, 2013 4:12 p.m.

    Like many others, I'm struggling to find much sense and reasoning in this editorial. Between the carefully placed reference to Nazis, and the unattributed (and probably incomplete) anecdote about the master Sargent disciplined for serving Chick-fil-A, this editorial doesn't cut it for me. That said, the state of public opinion on the first amendment is concerning, if not new. Rather than play victim and sulk in the corner -- in the tone of this editorial -- let's find more conciliatory and inclusive ways to reach out to others about our beliefs and cherished freedoms.

    Do people view certain Christians as extremists? Let's show them that we are not. Do some people believe religion is "divisive and threatening, and associated with bigotry and dogmatism rather than reason"? Let's prove them wrong. There is cause for concern, but it's time to take ownership of the problem rather than lamenting "there is no place left for believers to flee."

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 21, 2013 4:05 p.m.

    I love this part too....

    "An Army master sergeant may face discipline just for serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at a promotion party, simply because of the religious convictions of the owner of that fast-food chain."

    And yet several military bases have Chick-fil-A's on base.... so one has to wonder the authors sources. The military actually has Chick-Fil-As on base.... and yet some one was disciplined because of serving these.

    I don't think so. If it sounds to good to be true... or too bad to be true.... it probably isn't.

  • PTM ,
    July 21, 2013 3:34 p.m.


    'It's a basic fact that all laws are moral and have their original basis in biblical and moral principles'

    Yes all those laws that allowed people to be kept as slaves, required schools to be segregated along with public accommodations, didn't allow people of certain ethnicities to marry, that took the land of indigenous peoples....... Yes all those moral laws. You aren't a bad person if you don't have religious beliefs and the history of morality is much older than the Bible.

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    July 21, 2013 3:26 p.m.

    @ marxist: I' sorry, but you forgot all of the things that religions and churches do for the government. Organizing youth activities and help groups individuals that ordinarily could not afford them, delivering meals and services to the aged and visiting the sick, seeing the those of their membership don't go hungry, gathering food and emergency supplies for times of disaster whether caused by nature or man and distributing them, providing personnel and a literal army of man power when needed, providing meeting houses for shelter when needed, and many more that I don't have time to list. Maybe the government owes religion a little more... viewed from this perspective.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    July 21, 2013 2:49 p.m.

    It is wonderful that the early Latter Day Saints are still afforded the respect they deserve for their stoic fortitude in the face of adversity.

    However, I must note the tragic irony of this periodical starting off with a tribute to the early Saints' hardships. Indeed, the fact that my ancestors were put in such dire circumstances, not by evil atheists or liberals, but by Christian religious zealots who were willing to utilize the mechanisms of government to impose their will on a religious minority appears to be completely lost on conservatives. In countless cases of religious persecution, it is the religious minority being marginalized by the majority; it is religious influence permeating the halls of Congress, the Courts, etc... to force their personal moral convictions onto others. This is what makes my Church's most recent forays into political fodder so desperately disappointing - the oppressed now seek to become the oppressors.

    I'm sorry but my personal religious convictions have no place in the public square and neither do yours.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 21, 2013 2:39 p.m.

    The same people claiming their religious freedom is threatened are the same people who would do anything to take away the freedom of Muslims.
    How did the so called Christians at Fox respond when Muslims (using free market capitalism) purchased a building on lower Manhattan to have a Mosque?

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 21, 2013 2:29 p.m.

    Since when is bigotry a religious freedom? I get that the Old Testament was full of bigotry, misogyny and other problems but as a society, haven't we moved beyond the myth and lore of bronze aged humans? I certainly hope we have.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 21, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    Bountiful, UT

    There is a group of American atheists who are erecting monuments in public places
    The text on the monument says:

    "An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life, and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty banished, war eliminated."



    Sounds like the atheists believe more in what Christ taught than the Christians do.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    July 21, 2013 2:09 p.m.

    How many here suffer the persecution of their religious beliefs and infringement of their free speech when trying to post certain unpleasant facts about the LDS Church on this DN site?

    I do frequently. I complain to the editors, show my original posts that violate none of their post rules, and still some power-wielding editor rejects my post on a whim.

    I can't quote my pioneer Grandmother here? She said the saints "would never have suffered such persecution" had they obeyed all the civil laws of the communities in which they lived (back east). I say, the LDS Church would see real persecution again should they reinstate polygamy and all-white priesthood. But that is so defammatory that my opinion is suppressed. What post rule does that violate?

    We all know the answer to that. And it will be the downfall of modern Mormonism, as is quickly changes to a more tolerant organization, lest it die off from renrewed persecution from legit members within.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 21, 2013 1:48 p.m.

    "The problem lies in other people dictating and interfering with the free practice of religion. "

    I love statements like this. Our ancestors must be rolling over in their graves listening to us whine about how hard we have it, how we struggle to maintain our ability to follow our faith. To people who were chased from their homes, had their places of worship literally brought to the ground, to people who suffered being tarred and feathers.... for them to listen to us cry about how hard we have it.

    I would love to know exactly how many members of any faith lost their lives in this country trying to observe their religion? I wonder how many people today have been bared from purchasing land, from gaining employment... who have literally had to move thousands of miles away, just to observe their religion in peace.

    We have become an amazingly soft and spoiled people.... who don't respect the real sacrifices our ancestors make so that we might enjoy the rights we have today.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 21, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    I attend church regularly but I think this attack on religion is a bit overplayed. As long as the government doesn't take away my right to worship nor promote any religion over the other, I'm okay. I think we're far from this actually so this attack on religion seems a bit exaggerated.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 21, 2013 1:21 p.m.

    Wow! A new definition for the word establishment,

    “An established religion or church is one "recognized by the government as the national church or religion".

    To know the meaning of the First Amendment you need to envision who and why there was a demand for amendments to the Constitution as a condition for approval.

    Many of the colonial governments were in fact religious governments; their goal was to prevent the national government from interfering with their power and authority.

    For the most part all of the amendments of the Bill of Rights are simply the normal give and take of political negotiation. I am amazed that the three words “or the people” got tacked onto the end of the Tenth Amendment.

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    July 21, 2013 1:11 p.m.

    Re: "'... it is Christianity and morality alone, which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.' - John Adams."

    Adams wrote "religion," not "Christianity":

    "... it is religion and morality alone, which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand" (letter to Zabdiel Adams, June 21, 1776).

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    July 21, 2013 12:55 p.m.

    There is a group of American atheists who are erecting monuments in public places where the 10 Commandments are also located. The first monument was erected in Florida, they claim to have 50 more on the way, to be distributed around the nation.

    The text on the monument says:

    "An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life, and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty banished, war eliminated."

    Regardless of any debate the text may provoke, the religionists' commitment to the 1st Amendment will be tested by these monuments. There was hostile opposition to this monument by local Evangelical Christians in Florida.

    How will this be received in Salt Lake? Or Pleasant Grove?

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2013 12:53 p.m.

    When your church starts to pay _more_ in taxes on its income than other enterprises, then we can talk about persecution.

    I'll set the bar even lower - how about just having religions file IRS form 990's like every other tax-free entity? Every other type of non-profit organization that claims tax-exempt status at least provides public accountability and transparency to demonstrate that they are indeed worthy of tax-exempt status.

    Until then (and I'm not holding my breath) the notion that religion in this country is in any meaningful way "under attack" just makes me laugh.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    @byufootballrocks "It's a basic fact that all laws are moral and have their original basis in biblical and moral principles." Keep in mind much of our morality and ethics originated in Greek civilization, not biblical.

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    July 21, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    There are no established religions or churches in the United States, though some of the colonies once had them. An established religion or church is one "recognized by the government as the national church or religion" (The New Oxford American Dictionary). The United States has no national church or religion. One purpose of the first amendment is to prevent the establishment (or establishing) of any church or religion, that is, to prevent any church or religion from becoming the national church or religion of the United States.

    Freedom of religion is not something that applies only to Christians. As Jefferson in his Autobiography (or Memoir) wrote of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which disestablished the Church of England in Virginia, it was meant to include all within "the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination."

  • ThornBirds St.George, Utah
    July 21, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    Check out some of the very old periodicals from the time of the Civil War.
    Southerners were positive "The End" was near. Their rights and God's good graces towards Slavery(as it was ok in the Bible) had them utterly convinced that America was doomed.
    The "End is near for America" folks have been around for a LONG time, and likely will continue to share their eternal message.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    July 21, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    The author(s) of this editorial assert:

    "Without religion in the public square, rights degenerate quickly into opinions open for debate and restriction."

    We hear these kinds of assertions repeatedly from the religious zealots, but there are never any facts to back it up.

    Christianity does not now, and has never in the past, owned the copyright or held the patent on morality, much less the foundations of civilizations.

    Others assert:

    "The basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul."

    Do tell! Where in Exodus or Matthew or Isaiah or the epistles of Paul is there anything common with the Bill of Rights? And where in the Bill of Rights are these scriptures referenced?


    You can quote Jefferson, Adams, Truman, or Eisenhower until you are BYU blue in the face, but you cannot explain why NONE of those quotes or ideas ever found their way into the official Founding documents that are the law of this land!

    Stop hijacking American history, and stop trying to turn this country into a "Christian Nation"!

    Non-believers and non-Christians are Americans, too!

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    July 21, 2013 10:32 a.m.

    And yet I don't see any governmental force keeping me from going to church today. I don't see police forces blocking me from entering my church buildings. Nobody has come and told me to take down my religious quote hanging in the living room. My individual religious freedoms are still intact. I will see you in 3.5 hours--I'm going to church now!

  • mikron2dlmj Tooele, UT
    July 21, 2013 9:37 a.m.


    I respectfully disagree with your comment "If you don't believe in something like abortion and gay marriage, don't get one."

    That is not the issue being discussed in this article. Since you bring up Joseph Smith, remember that he also taught "...we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul." It is morally wrong for anyone or any institution to force me to "bind my conscience" and require me to fall in line with beliefs or practices which I do not hold, as it is also morally wrong for anyone or any institution to force you to "bind your conscience" to follow my beliefs.

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 21, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    The outrage about "infractions" of religious liberty comes from people who are losing the ability to force their religion on others.

    An example is the Idaho AFB removing the painting, "Blessed are the Peacemakers," because of "its Biblical reference." A few actual facts will show that this painting should never have been put on display in the cafeteria on base.

    The painting (which can easily be found with a Google image search) shows an Air Force Officer in the foreground with a crusader in the background holding the flag of the crusades. As the flag folds, it morphs into the American flag. The implication is that the Air Force is the modern version of the Crusades, fighting for Christianity against the Muslims, a truly despicable idea in a country that is founded on a principle of religious freedom and which has people of all faiths in the Air Force.

    The painting was objected to by a group of about 20 airmen, most of whom were Christian. They contacted the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which contacted the Pentagon, and the painting was removed. Contrary to what this article states, removal of the painting increased the religious freedom on the base.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    July 21, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    If you thought gun control brought out a bunch of anger people, wait till the first amendment is hammered further. It will be the end of this country.

  • Meadow Lark Mark IDAHO FALLS, ID
    July 21, 2013 8:56 a.m.

    The problem is when others want laws that restrict my ability to practice my beliefs. To me many in this country simply want to believe what they want to believe. To me many think there are no moral values that we need to follow and that whatever my selfish wants are is simply how I conduct my life. We need to return to the Christian values of our ancestors.

  • Informed Voter South Jordan, UT
    July 21, 2013 8:45 a.m.

    The article includes another example of how Obama fails to implement a law he does not agree with. The Executive branch, if you sustain the Constitution, is required by the Constitution to implement laws duly passed by the Congress. So, any of you who dislike the growing attacks on religious liberty and who voted for Obama or for democrat office holders who support him, can blame yourselves. Those who believe the 1st amendment goes too far (13% per the article) are as much of the problem as Obama and his appointees. The fact that he got re-elected shows how much the populace has changed as well as their ignorance about the Constitution and/or their disregard for it. Knowledge is power and unfortunately so is ignorance.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 21, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    Freedom accrues to individuals before religion. If religion wants to participate in the larger society, then it has to accept that individuals have rights on which it cannot infringe, and that their having those rights is not persecution. Otherwise, it can sit in the corner and say 'woe is me'.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 21, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    Oh, but how would DN fill up its pages were it not for the "war on religion?"

    "The administration, however, has imposed requirements as part of the Affordable Care Act that would take away rights of conscience in regard to certain medical procedures religious employers would have to offer employees as part of their health coverage."

    In a split with U.S. bishops, a trade group for Catholic hospitals said it can accept the Obama's administration latest compromise on birth control coverage by religious employers.

    "We are pleased that our members now have an accommodation that will not require them to contract, provide, pay or refer for contraceptive coverage," said the Catholic Health Association.
    (July 2013)

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 21, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    There are many who would destroy an individual's right to worship as he pleased. There are many who would destroy an establishment of religion's right to write its own doctrine and perform its covenant ordinances. What those people forget is that the people retain all rights except those that are specifically allocated to government. Even without the 1st Amendment, the people and the churches run by those people have the right to worship as they choose, not as the government dictates.

    The founding fathers were wise and cautious. They had seen how governments in Europe had controlled of religion. They ensured that no such thing would happen in America by making religion and religious worship the first item addressed in the Bill of Rights.

    Foolish people think that situational ethics can dictate laws. They assume that they know the consequences of all things. Corrupt politicians and corrupt judges try to change our rights.

    We must be vigilant. The Deseret News is doing its duty to inform us of those corrupt politicians and of those corrupt judges. Hopefully, we're intelligent enough to read and to understand.

  • byufootballrocks Herndon, VA
    July 21, 2013 8:05 a.m.

    Re: KJB1

    Thank goodness millions of Americans disagree with you. You must attack and twist the beliefs of others and impugn their motives to support your points.

    As the article pointed out there is no question there is an open hostility to religion in certain quarters of society and it is growing. There is both open and subtle persecution in a nation that proclaims itself the bastion of religious freedom.

    It's a basic fact that all laws are moral and have their original basis in biblical and moral principles. If you don't understand that, go to law school.

    People of faith don't have to write their "beliefs and biases" into laws because they are already there.

    You can continue to bang your head ahead the truth and just continue to spin your wheels and get nowhere.

    In the meantime please refrain from taking cheap shots at people of faith. We will go on defending our constitutional right to exercise our religious convictions both private and public.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 21, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    First Amendment:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

    Early on I thought those words applied to individuals, but I now see the error of my ways because the word “establishment” in use here is a noun and not a verb.

    As a verb it would prevent the national government from specifying a particular religion and religious practices. As a noun it means that the national government may not do any thing to control or limit the actions of an organized religion.

    It today’s world it is perfectly clear that the organized religions want government by religion. They want public prayers, religious advertising in the public square and business operations that further the cause of their religion.

    Some of us would like to have the right to believe differently than the established organizations of religion. To keep that right it is necessary that religious organizations no be allowed free exercise of their beliefs.

    Religion should not be a part or government or business that has financial power over people. Government should pay the wages for those involved in selling religion.

  • Michael Roche Provo, UT
    July 21, 2013 7:39 a.m.

    I'd genuinely like to hear suggestions on how the federal government should handle freedom of religion cases. The current policy of the U.S. Supreme Court is to not give religious people or organizations any special treatment unless the government's law or policy is specifically aimed at discouraging or encouraging a religion or non-religion. One of the reasons the Court chose this way of deciding 1st amendment cases is because it's a really easy way to decide cases. How would the editors of the Deseret News change the Court's current test? (and I'm not being sarcastic or cynical - I'm really interested in 1st amendment issues).

    Also, the 1st amendment only guarantees freedom of religion from government intrusion. There is no freedom of religion issue when private people like the media, the public, and individuals are antagonistic toward religion, except where those views become law.

    I'm glad the DN is calling attention to this issue. I'd also like to hear how they would address it.

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2013 7:28 a.m.

    Always with the victim card! Let me tell you about the discrimination, exclusion, the ostracizing, the whispers, the gang-like bullying that occurs daily in Utah schools. I'm talking about religious bigots and the arrogant self-righteousness of a majority and the scars they leave on those perceived to be "less worthy". Good luck to all the decent non-majority kids in Utah schools.

    Freedom of religion will never be at stake in this nation, play the victim all you want, what is at stake in Utah is the Freedom-to-not-be-religious.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2013 7:24 a.m.

    This editorial is as silly a fantasy pity-party as I've ever seen.

    Google searches of each instance of "repression" this editorial describes reveals a vastly different perspective.

    Most of the claimed "repression" of religious freedom are unattributed anecdotes, and are unworthy of inclusion in this editors.

    Some, like the removal of a painting from an Idaho Air Force Base, are easy enough to look up online. The painting in question was removed from a public dining hall. That's no place for a religious work of art, and it's removal was completely appropriate.

    That's not an example of a loss of religious freedom, it's an example of common sense being applied.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 21, 2013 7:05 a.m.

    KJB1. I fear you have totally missed the point. Its not governing ourselves as a nation or as believers that is the problem. The problem lies in other people dictating and interfering with the free practice of religion. Hawn's mill, the Missouri eviction eidetic from the then governor and Nauvoo expulsion by mobs ring a bell with you? Could it be that the "new mob" is already forming under the banner of taxpayer funded abortions, forced birth control and yes, the repeal of legitimate election results? Who is being forced to accept who's beliefs? Who is playing the victim?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    July 21, 2013 6:46 a.m.

    There is a difference between personal religious freedom and the power of churches and others institutions to impose their will on others. This has been something that this paper does not seem to comprehend. Mormons, of all religious groups, should understand the importance of protecting the rights of the minority. Unfortunately, as it has become big and powerful, the institution now puts its own interests first, expecting government to support its interests. Think it through and stop playing the martyr role. KJB1 is correct.

  • TimBehrend Auckland NZ, 00
    July 21, 2013 5:51 a.m.

    I think there are far more religious individuals in the US who consider the taxes they pay to support invasions, occupations, assassinations, wars against popular uprisings, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and clandestine development of technologies of global surveillance and control to be utterly against the teachings of their gods and prophets than the small number of business owners who are offended over contributions to insurance coverage that gives employees choices that the owners already have. The attacks on their "freedom of religion" have been going on for much longer than the risible "oppression" that you have invented for this opinion piece. The writer of this editorial has not thought through its logic or implications.

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2013 5:37 a.m.

    The basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don't think we emphasize that enough these days. If we don't have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a government which does not believe in the rights for anybody except the State! - Harry S Truman

    Statesmen...may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is Christianity and morality alone, which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue. - John Adams

    The spirit of man is more important than mere physical strength, and the spiritual fiber of a nation than its wealth. - Dwight D. Eisenhower

    And can liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? - Thomas Jefferson

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    July 21, 2013 4:38 a.m.

    While I agree that religious freedom is under attack and those who seek to exercise their religion openly will find increasing hostility and public disfavor, "calls to arms" such as this article might inspire a few but are a stretch. Certainly your appeal isn't to the type of person who views you as a perpetual victim or to those secular humanists who see all religion as misleading and deceptive. Which troops are you trying to rally? And what do you want them to do? And aren't these the "last days" where prophecy declares even the elect will be deceived? Should we really expect that when the shackles of religion on public behavior and opinion have been cast aside and the pursuit of the gratification of one's desires becomes the top priority--an unfortunate consequence of greater freedom for all--that religious persecution won't follow? Of course it will and the rhetoric has already ramped up. (e.g.- It's vogue now to refer to anyone opposed to gay marriage as a bigot.) Your efforts should be in preparing folks as to how to cope with the coming changes, because coming they has been prophesied.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2013 2:09 a.m.

    We should be aware however that religion is de facto subsidized by government in that religious establishments receive a host of government services, e.g. fire, police, sanitation, water, sewage, for which they do not pay. I don't completely disagree with what you say, but religion is clearly cut a lot of slack. I don't see much of a threat to religious liberty viewed from this perspective.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    July 21, 2013 1:17 a.m.

    I just don't follow the tortured logic of these monthly "religious freedom" editorials. I'm a life-long true believer in the organization that owns this paper, but this constant refrain rings hollow. Who's freedom is being restricted. As long as you are not infringing on the rights of, or taking money from your fellow citizens, you are free to worship however you like in this country.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    July 21, 2013 12:34 a.m.

    Still have to play the victim, don't you?

    Just because fewer people are willing to sit back and let you be the sole arbiter of what is "moral" doesn't mean your liberty is being eroded. Just because your beliefs and biases can't be written into laws that the rest of us have to follow doesn't mean you're being persecuted. If you don't believe in something like abortion and gay marriage, don't get one. To quote Joseph Smith, teach us proper principles and let us govern ourselves.