In Utah, religion is truly an all-or-nothing proposition

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  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    March 30, 2012 5:42 a.m.

    @Mountain man:
    "Its just that all the liberals I know are atheists and seem to have the need to attack religious people as being naive or duped."
    If they feel a need to attack anyone from another culture as being naive or duped, how liberal is that? Tolerance for other viewpoints is part of being liberal.

  • donburi South Jordan, UT
    March 29, 2012 4:40 p.m.

    In Utah, religion is truly an all-or-nothing proposition

    Huh? Truly all-or-nothing means only two categories. It should be titled "close to all-or-nothing". The 15% are being disregarded in order to make a sensational headline.

  • L Central, Utah
    March 29, 2012 3:43 p.m.

    A problem I have encountered with surveys as well as having a common understanding of definations is the question of truthfulness of answers.

    Some people I know have given the expected answers rather than the "truth". Since a person regularly goes to church, he may reply that yes he always prays.

    Has anyone else obsererved situations like this? Have you ever given an expected answer which is not completely true?

  • Ukraine Sandy, UT
    March 29, 2012 2:22 p.m.

    I agree with the sentiment that Utah's polarity is because the LDS religion expects more of adherents than most and therefore tends to irritate or alienate people who prefer more moderate religiosity. "It's either true or it isn't" is more emphasized among Mormons than other religions. This has side effects, but it's probably necessary for a minority religion to preserve it's distinctness.

    Truthseeker, I agree there's been increasing correlation since the 70s, spurred by more emphasis on expansion. It's difficult to transplant all aspects of a religion so there tends to be more emphasis and repetition of the basics. I haven't seen Coke become a bigger issue though, I would suggest the opposite. I also feel like leaders are still accessible; not everyone knows a 70 anymore but anyone can write letters and leaders travel more than ever. Local leaders also communicate more easily now.

    Finally, DesNews isn't "ultra-conservative". The market dictates that it differentiate itself from the SLTrib, but it's pretty moderate and still left of Utah's political epicenter. Folks at Fox or National Review, or the Atlantic or WSJ, would have to look left to find DesNews.

  • Rita52 ANN ARBOR, MI
    March 29, 2012 12:50 p.m.

    @LDSliberal. What makes you think Christ said anything about moderation in "all things"? The Christ I know told His followers to "take up your cross and follow Me", that because some were "lukewarm" (i.e. moderate) in their faith, He would "spew them out of [his] mouth". He does not want moderate followers; He wants disciples who are willing to give up everything for Him, so that He can give them all that He has. We are not commanded to be moderate in our lives, but fully committed, fully faithful, fully engaged in His work. We are to give our all, not just the parts we feel like giving, and in return, He gives us the opportunity to be like Him--kings and queens, priests and priestesses, rulers over thrones, dominions and powers. You can't get that by being "moderate". It's not "all or nothing at all", but "you reap what you sow"; you get back exactly in proportion to what you have worked for.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    March 29, 2012 10:35 a.m.

    I consider myself spiritual, but not religious. I see religion as one person or one group's view on God or a higher power that many follow. You can still be spiritual, believe in a higher power (God), your definition and at the same time, not be religious.

    Once I realized that the LDS church was indeed, no different than other religions in their claim for divinity, I was devastated and quite upset and sad - all at once! I invested nearly 40 years in this self-proclaimed, only true church on the face of the earth. I consider myself to be attached to no religion and will be just fine with my own view on God without having some man or group tell me what is "true."

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2012 9:20 a.m.

    "It's so sad how they try to justify their decison NOT to endure to the end."

    Most of the time people leave it's because they don't believe in it or believe something else more which isn't a foreign concept because any convert to the LDS church was in that same position and I have a feeling you consider their decision to not "endure to the end" in their old church perfectly okay.So you know, you can criticize me for leaving the LDS church if you want, but I left because I didn't believe in the Book of Mormon or the idea that Joseph Smith was a prophet, so if you want to go after me, you have to go after converts TO the LDS church too. That is... assuming you're consistnt.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    March 29, 2012 8:16 a.m.

    Mountainman: Jesus was a liberal.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    March 29, 2012 7:39 a.m.

    Doesn't this just show that religion and religiosity is divisive, and the more religious you consider yourself to be, the more divisive you likely are?

    Why is that a good thing?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    March 29, 2012 6:44 a.m.

    Being religious and being spiritual are NOT synonymous.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    March 29, 2012 6:34 a.m.

    The religiosity of Utah isn't just about Mormons. Sure, they inspire it, because Mormonism is a religion that sticks out--it isn't intended to be swept aside, because of the significant truths that Mormons must accept in order to practice their religion. One biggie: That God still talks with people today, to individuals and to prophets. This inspires everyone around them. This study, It's about all religions in the state. People here are more religious, because religion matters to the people here. I lived in Italy for two years, there were thousands of amazing churches completely empty. They would do almost anything to instill the religious ferver that Utah enjoys. In Utah, the Catholics are more catholic, the Baptists more baptists, and the Mormons more mormon. And that's a great thing.

  • InspectorC Kaysville, UT
    March 29, 2012 6:32 a.m.

    TRUTHSEEKER from "San Louie" @ 3:39 pm said:
    "It is a farce that ... ultra-conservative Deseret News ... uses most of its page space endorsing conservative candidates, issues, religion and opinions."

    Dude: "HELLOoooo!"

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    March 29, 2012 4:13 a.m.

    It's amazing how many people insert their own emotional problems into their definition of "religious" and their feelings about religion. It's so sad how they try to justify their decison NOT to endure to the end.

  • Swedish reader Stockholm, Sweden
    March 29, 2012 3:11 a.m.

    As I understand the article, it only points out that religion plays a major part in the life of many people in Utah. As to why that is, maybe it would be correct to state that it is because a large percentage of Utahns are LDS, and that the LDS church is a church requiring a higher degree of participation that churches where people are hired to run services, administer programs etc. In Europe we have small wards, so membership is a very active matter. I've reaped so many benefits of being called to do things I haven't previously done - I know I can learn things I haven't previously known, which gives me confidence in my professional life when a new challenge or technique comes along. I do understand, though, that sometimes it might seem like an all-or-nothing proposition, and that if you're not up to "all" you might choose "nothing". That is not a good situation, but it isn't a reason to put the bar at "nothing" or "next to nothing" for everyone, either.

  • bobosmom small town, Nebraska
    March 29, 2012 12:05 a.m.

    Where I live there are lots of different religions and they have something good to offer. I being Lds and the only one at work have had interesting questions asked of me. My coworker said the Lds church has different beliefs, do you accept them all and I said yes. Shes Baptist but I always find her refreshing to talk to. Nebraska only made it average but there are lots of ppl that go to church here.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 28, 2012 6:12 p.m.

    So you either buy the entire package, or you're out. No room to ponder or dissent. It's polarised, like american politics these days.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    March 28, 2012 6:04 p.m.

    40% of all Americans are very religious and attend church almost every week.

    Right-On America, this makes me very happy.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2012 4:46 p.m.

    "This is really going to irritate liberals!"

    Why? I'm a liberal Christian. The idea of people going to church certainly doesn't bother me.

    "I work with liberals who believe in Charles Darwin and Al Gore, not Jesus!"

    I believe in Jesus, think evolution has certainly been a process that occurs (yes, even humans evolved), and there's quite convincing evidence that humans are having an influence on the climate. You make it sound like these things are mutually exclusive.

    @Navajo Hogan
    "That is the way it was with myself, and all the other exMormons I know."

    Guess I have to break that stereotype too since I'm exmormon but certainly still Christian.

  • ludwig GREENVILLE, SC
    March 28, 2012 4:24 p.m.

    This explains why we have so many problems with getting people obey the civil and human rights of others because they vote only their narrow mindedness and religion and forget that Church and State are absolutely separate.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    March 28, 2012 4:09 p.m.


    As a lifelong member it seems like you've uncovered a lot of the truth you seek.

  • Kith Huntington Beach, CA
    March 28, 2012 3:43 p.m.

    Lvalfre, how does one be a liberal conservative? I'm not being critical I'm genuinly curious.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 28, 2012 3:39 p.m.

    Over my lifelong membership in the Church I've seen an ever increasing rigidity creeping in. In some ways it resembles the Pharisees focus on the "rules" rather than the gospel. One superficial example is the ubiquitous white shirts worn by the majority of men on Sundays. Another example is the idea that Coca-Cola goes against the Word of Wisdom. The extreme correlation is another example. It is a farce that the Church is politically neutral considering its ownership of ultra-conservative Deseret News which uses most of its page space endorsing conservative candidates, issues, religion and opinions.

    Aside from its stance on abortion, contraception and same-sex marriage, the Catholic Church and its members are actually more moderate than the LDS Church. For example, it views poverty and hunger as a moral issue that needs to be addressed and recognizes a govt.-church partnership to accomplish those ends. Many in the LDS church view govt. as antithetical to that goal.

    Finally, there seems to be a thicker wall between LDS members and the top leadership. How can leaders keep in touch with the needs and issues that arise when nothing from lay members can penetrate "the wall?"

  • Jack D. Campbell CONCORD, CA
    March 28, 2012 1:51 p.m.

    I Like the word spiritual more than religious!

  • Melanna Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 28, 2012 1:49 p.m.

    How interesting that on an article about how religious people are the first comment is so judgmental and divisive.

    Is this a showing of that supposed religiousness? If it is, I am surprised that so many people would claim a relationship to it.

  • Navajo Hogan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2012 1:44 p.m.

    Well, when you come to find out the religion you gave your all too is false, you tend give up any religion entirely.

    That is the way it was with myself, and all the other exMormons I know. Hence the all-or-nothing proposition we have in Utah.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 28, 2012 1:24 p.m.


    funny I don't see any attacks, maybe some baiting on your part but no attacks. I am curious just now many "liberals" hang around Hayden, ID though.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    March 28, 2012 1:23 p.m.

    This makes a lot of sense to me. In Utah there's a high percentage that are religious. The non-religious are many times made up of ex-Mormons. Ex-Mormons tend to really give up on religion once they realize their church is (in their opinion) false .... after giving that high a level of time, money, and commitment to an organization it's hard to fathom doing it with any other religion again. For some I think it puts bitterness in them towards religion for the rest of their lives.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    March 28, 2012 1:15 p.m.

    Hayden, ID
    Its just that all the liberals I know are atheists and seem to have the need to attack religious people as being naive or duped. I work with liberals who believe in Charles Darwin and Al Gore, not Jesus!"

    Thanks for pointing that out Mountanman I commend you for it. Most people on here throw vast generalizations about liberals, left wingers, right wingers, atheists, etc. It's nice to see you say that the liberals "YOU KNOW" are like this as opposed to claiming they all are. I'm sick of being called a left winging, liberal atheist. I'm a liberal, and probably atheist at this point, but very conservative. VERY conservative. I'm also not a democrat (WOW!). So the stereotypes and generalizations don't hold water.

    Nice word choice .... LOVE IT!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 28, 2012 1:07 p.m.

    I wonder how the Gallup people quantified "Religiosity" or what they think constitutes being "religious"?

    I don't think being religious means the same thing to all people. To some it just means having something you believe in, or going to church. That's not my definition.

    I don't think anybody should take great pride in their religiosity. Pride is antithesis of what Christ taught. Like the Ace-of-base "Ravine" song teaches... "Have you heard what she learned? Like humility - you only win when you lose".

    So if we're going to get in a boasting match about who's more religious... remember, you only win that contest if you lose.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 28, 2012 12:30 p.m.

    Its just that all the liberals I know are atheists and seem to have the need to attack religious people as being naive or duped. I work with liberals who believe in Charles Darwin and Al Gore, not Jesus!

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    March 28, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    I see a lot of these type of studies, and a lot of it is based on what criteria you choose to measure. For example, what constitutes an "active member" of the LDS Church? Is attending Church at Christmas and Easter enough? How about one meeting a month, is that enough? Do you need to have a Church job and a Temple Recommend? The totals will shift dramatically depending on what you choose to measure.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 28, 2012 11:13 a.m.

    Hayden, ID
    This is really going to irritate liberals!

    How is that?
    I’m Liberal, and Very Religious.

    But in all Honesty, you really should make a fair comparison –
    Most of the Muslim World is “Very Religious”, and also happens to be the least Free.

    Is that the kind of America you want?
    Utah-liban? or Hayden [Aryan Nation], Idaho?

    BTW - The Lord says there should be Moderation is all things –
    This article clearly points out that once again, Utah is Extremist... and the Brethren keep warning against ALL facets of Extremism.

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    March 28, 2012 11:09 a.m.

    @Lundyman, I agree with your thesis. At least in Southern California. There is continuing pressure to be not be a nominal saint but rather a devout member. That is to be a full tithe payer and go to the Temple several times a week, even if one has to take vacation days to do so. My current bishop had me even attend a Temple preparation class. The class instructor, a former bishop, talked about the blessings one recieves from Temple Worship but wouldn't say what they were. Towards the end of the class it was "this is what the Lord requires of you".

    Another interesting issue are the classes on Provident living, where on the handouts, the budget sheets say we are supposed to pay our tithing first thing. I had the temerity to ask if we should not pay our temporal bills if we are short. The quorem president was not pleased with my question. When some of us are supporting two households it becomes an important issue. and it is embarassing to have to explain oneself in front of the quorem.

  • Emily Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2012 10:53 a.m.

    Those are interesting points, yankees27. I grew up attending the LDS church, and although I am no longer a member I have many relatives and friends who are LDS. I very occasionally attend meetings for missionary homecomings or baby blessings, and when you look around a good chunk of the audience is usually asleep or doing other things like playing a game with a child or fiddling with a phone. I've heard plenty of jokes about people falling asleep on the stand or sitting in such a way to try to hide sleeping. If it doesn't interest you and you're not truly participating in the meeting, why bother?

  • yankees27 Heber, Utah
    March 28, 2012 10:43 a.m.

    I don't know about anyone else, but in my little part of the world, if you aren't going to church every Sunday you aren't considered "Religious" at all. I'm a part timer, actually I would make a better Catholic since I only attend a couple times a year, like Easter and Christmas, but most in the ward consider me a non-member because I'm not there every week. I actually asked for a calling, I told the Bishop I would love to be the Homeland Security Director for our ward, he said he had not heard of that calling. I told him I would love to stay home on Sundays and watch out for the members houses while they are away. He didn't accept. Oh well, at least I'm trying. I've never understood why some think that attendance every Sunday makes you a better person than those that make their own choice whether to attend or not. I'm constantly hearing friends or family state they don't like church, when I ask why they go, they say because they "have to" That is pretty sad that anyone feels that way.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 28, 2012 10:35 a.m.

    To Mountanman: I don't think you know many liberals. I personally don't know a single liberal who objects to anyone else being religious. I even know many religious liberals.

  • Lundyman heber, UT
    March 28, 2012 10:16 a.m.

    The reason for this is the culture and teachings of the LDS church. After 29 years of church membership, I can well verify that church practices STRONGLY discourage being "semi-religious." It's either total dedication or you aren't living up to the expectations of the Lord. I think this is good, in that it strengthens the Church, but the downside is feelings of personal disappointment suffered by individuals and the weight of persistent social pressure.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2012 10:15 a.m.

    My favorite part of this is that whoever made the Gallup Report stated that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was "the most religious group in America today."

    I don't know that studies trying to prove 'who is more religious' won't come off as boasting to some- but if it shows to anyone that we are genuine believers to some extent, then I would argue that some good does come out of these studies. There are some religious trying to only make money, some who don't even know what they believe, and so on. I'm not saying the LDS Church is exclusively the only one made up of a decent set of people. But that genuine certainly would describe the LDS Church. One can find good people in many faiths without doubt. But if looking at the LDS Church, anyone will find a true 'devoutness' among the general membership that certainly would do more to help someone understand the LDS Church, rather than misunderstand as the general masses often do.

  • bikeboy Boise, ID
    March 28, 2012 10:07 a.m.

    Dear Utah:

    Don't get cocky about how religious you are!

    But seriously, the religion I share in common with so many Utahns has blessed my life. It's one of the few things I feel I can totally depend on in these crazy times.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 28, 2012 10:05 a.m.

    why? there is nothing shocking about this. the only thing even remotely shocking is that slightly more people did not claim to be very religious.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 28, 2012 8:58 a.m.

    This is really going to irritate liberals!