Americans' views on protecting religious freedom vary by faith, poll says

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  • OneHumanFamily Provo, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 6:29 a.m.

    Can we please call out the term "religious freedom" for what it is? The term has become synonymous with the right to discriminate against gay people.

    It is sad that terms such as "religious freedom", "pro-family", "family values", etc. now all have negative connotations.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Jan. 2, 2016 1:25 p.m.

    I'm a Christian (LDS) and have been a Christian all my life. I strongly believe in protecting religious freedom. It is, however, necessary to define what religious freedom really is.

    Religious freedom is the right to believe as a person chooses, to worship when, where (and if) the person chooses, to preach or discuss in a non-disruptive way the person's beliefs, to pay tithes and offerings, etc. Churches are free to establish dogma and rites, and to decide who can access them. People are also free to socialize as they choose and with whom they choose.

    Religious freedom does NOT include (all pertaining to civil, secular commerce and society):
    The right to be free from dissent, criticism or condemnation for the positions the person espouses.
    The right to impose religious beliefs and dogma as law.
    The right to deny products or services available through a secular business to one group of people based on the fact that the business owners' religion condemns their particular "sin", given that the products or services are available to all other "sinners".

    Religious liberty is not in peril. Prejudicial discrimination and bigotry are the matters being challenged. Rightly so.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 1, 2016 1:46 p.m.

    "This story really misses the fact that the far left in this country has become a soft form of Islamic Jihad: trying to exalt Islam over everything else. "

    Why would the article claim that when the story is about a poll where Democrats had higher levels of support for religious freedom of Christians than Muslims?

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 31, 2015 10:15 a.m.

    This does not surprise me one bit, all you have to do is read fact free comments like the one from Uncle Fester. Its funny that I, an atheist believe in freedom for all religions, while people calling them selves Christian do not.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Dec. 31, 2015 9:40 a.m.

    @Jimbo Low --

    "no Christians do not object to gay marriage because if affects our marriage"

    Of course they do -- or, at least, many of them try do.

    We have constantly heard the bogus arguments that SSM will increase divorce rates amongst OSM, or that SSM will somehow make heterosexual men less willing to stick with their children for some unfathomable reason.

    And that LDS luminary, Orson Scott Card, said "They steal from me what I treasure most" and "They are wolves in sheep's clothing, preaching meekness while attempting to devour the flock" -- as though SSMs were directly stealing his marriage away!

    "they object by being sued, bullied, harrassed because they don't accept gay marriage."

    Nobody cares whether you personally "accept" gay marriage. But your lack of acceptance is NOT an excuse to break the law.

    @Vanceone --

    "Notably, this is only applied to Christians."

    Yet again, Vance -- nonsense.

    The same principles apply to ALL religions. Religious freedom doesn't exist unless ALL religions are equally free.

    PLEASE -- more facts, less fantasy.

  • Uncle_Fester Niskayuna, NY
    Dec. 31, 2015 8:45 a.m.

    The free practice of religion is guaranteed under the constitution. That said, if that free practice includes doctrinal ideas like those found in Sharia law which are at odds with our Constitution and the laws promulgated under it, then that religious law must take a back seat. It seems beyond question that protection of any religion which rejects the notion of freedom of religion of other religions as guaranteed by the First Amendment is not so much as religion as a political system. The Constitution and Christianity are not suicide pacts and Islam is not a religion like any other. It comes with rejection of our laws, freedoms and values.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Dec. 30, 2015 7:53 p.m.

    There are two pillars to individual religious freedom.

    The first is to be free of coercion. No one should be forced to obey purely religious dictates. Without a right in law to ignore religion, or interpret it as you wish, you have no rights at all.

    The second is to not be prevented from freely adopting and holding a religious practice, should you choose to do so. Whether you are born into a religion courtesy of your family, or adopt one out of your own conscience, no one should be able to prosecute or persecute you for being of the wrong persuasion. Words like "heresy" and "apostasy" should be no part of criminal or civil law.

    For a secular, civil society to function and survive, all members must agree to abide by common laws and treat each other equally, regardless of faith. These laws should be impartial towards religion, neither recognizing nor restricting any beliefs or practices that do not impact or restrict the rights of others.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Dec. 30, 2015 2:42 p.m.

    Ah yes. And yet, on these very pages, we have progressive leftist after progressive leftist ranting about how churches need to be taxed, and how they should be forbidden from speaking out on "political matters" which is defined as "anything the left wants to politicize." We have posts literally too numerous to count saying that the 1st Amendment goes away when you own a business or go to work.

    Notably, this is only applied to Christians. The very same people who say Christian morality should be silenced advocate unlimited, unvetted Muslim immigration and for Muslim accommodations.

    This story really misses the fact that the far left in this country has become a soft form of Islamic Jihad: trying to exalt Islam over everything else.

    Let alone the cries of "Greater Muslim hate crimes!" Like the burned Mosque in Houston, which was held up as example one of "Christian, white bigotry!?" The one where they just arrested a faithful member of the Mosque for doing it, to claim victimhood status?

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Dec. 30, 2015 2:34 p.m.

    @ Mad Hatter,

    As a Christian, I agree with you. What many "Christians" also want is freedom for themselves while oppressing those whose religious beliefs are different. Many "Christians" still believe they and their "God" is better than others.

  • Jimbo Low PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Dec. 30, 2015 2:28 p.m.

    @MadHatter:
    "objecting to gay marriage with the idea that a gay marriage directly affects their marriage."
    Actually--no Christians do not object to gay marriage because if affects our marriage; they object by being sued, bullied, harrassed because they don't accept gay marriage.
    Go ahead and live how you wish Mad Hatter--just don't use the "in your face" approach to getting your way on the issues on which we disagree. I think Christians politely leave your doorstep when you decline their invitation--they don't sue you and hang out on your doorstep with their mob until you submit (Kim Davis ring any bells?).

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 30, 2015 2:21 p.m.

    Americans place a higher priority on preserving the religious freedom of Christians than for other faith groups, ranking Muslims as the least deserving of the protections. But it can't work that way. Religion is religion is religion. It's all or nothing, otherwise there is no such thing as religious freedom and you're left to frame it as discrimination or a state endorsed religion or something like that. Religion is whatever a faithful person says it is, and freedom is a worthless concept unless extended to all. That's why it's so dangerous to extend it to any.

  • Mad Hatter Provo, UT
    Dec. 30, 2015 2:07 p.m.

    Christian groups in this country are obsessed with the myth of Christian persecution. They cite such unsubstantiated claims as a "War on Christmas", being "forced" to do business with those who they deem "sinful" (while wanting to participate fully in the marketplace), and objecting to gay marriage with the idea that a gay marriage directly affects their marriage. And the major concern to victimized Christians is that if others reject their evangelical, in-your-face approach to "find Jesus", they consider this an overt attack on Christianity and themselves.

    Christianity, in all its permutations, is far from becoming the minority religion these groups complain about. It remains dominant and will remain dominant for the foreseeable future. There is no threat. There is no attempt to discredit and diminish. The only issue is that many who are victimized by the Christian culture wars is that many people who say they are "Christian" don't act very Christian.