Study details instances of hostility toward religion

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  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2012 9:24 a.m.

    So 80% of the alleged anti-religious hostility is directed at Jews and Muslims. Of the remaining 20%, some portion must be for Bahais, Hindus, Santeria, and other non-Christian faiths. That puts the so-called "War on Christmas" and other purported assaults on Christian hegemony in the U.S. in perspective. Maybe 10-15% of the cases, but almost of the airtime from the likes of Bill O'Reilly. And somehow the report has the chutzpah to give moral parity to the mass murder of Sikhs and the censoring of Kum Bay Yah.

    The article does not say whether the report explores the identities of the perpetrators of the hostility. Given that 80% or more is directed at non-Christians, it is likely that the perpetrators are mostly Christian (in name if not practice). Opposition to the Murfreesboro, TN, mosque and the "Ground Zero" mosque was predominantly Christian. The Florida minister who burned the Koran was Christian. Perhaps Christians should try some introspection and see how they are living up to the tenets of their faith.

  • Searching . . . Orem, UT
    Aug. 21, 2012 10:50 p.m.

    A voice of Reason,

    Members of the LDS church claim to know that a 14-year-old boy conversed with God and that through him His religion would be again restored to the Earth. To claim to know is a claim of objectivity. As thus, it should have the ability to be proven or dis-proven. Implicit in story is that all other existing religion were then, and are now, false. That could be offensive to members of other religions, and they might also see it as hateful.

    My point: 1)Religious experiences are almost always subjective. 2) To claim knowledge that such a subjective experience is proof of truth is raising the experience to an objective level and therefore should have consistent, reproducible or concrete proof. 3) Claiming that a subjective experience proves truth is a lie, no matter how strong the belief might be. Peaceful discourse is possible when we realize that we are comparing beliefs and not trying to convert the other to our own position.

    Aug. 21, 2012 9:57 p.m.

    the problem is that you assume because that someone does not just blindly accept your subjective experience as truth but instead looks at and presents objective realities to challenge your views then we are attacking you. We get to have different opinions and express our counter views to your argument and even not adopt your view as our own without you being a victim and attacked.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2012 4:39 p.m.

    Searching . . .,

    First, if members were saying "I don't have a testimony, but Joseph Smith saw this" that would be a claim without any subjective substance. But to claim that "I prayed to God and received a personal witness and testimony for myself" is a subjective experience. The LDS Church doesn't teach "Here's what happened now follow and obey blindly!", but instead for people to learn for themselves.

    I don't preach that other religions are wrong, just that my experiences are real. That is not inherently or charged as an offensive statement.

    However, your comment (intentionally or not) is a red herring.

    My complaint is with those who attack religion on the grounds that "without objective proof, I won't listen". The problem: 1) religious experiences often are subjective and 2) such a criticism relies on the idea that any subjective experiences have no merit (a dangerous doctrine incompatible with peaceful discourse).

    My primary claim remains unchallenged- that the explicit voting rights protected in the constitution should not be abridged! -lest all human equality at it's core be destroyed. The constitution was designed to protect expressing ideas; this nation has steered away from that doctrine.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 21, 2012 2:36 p.m.

    I don't regard the Liberty Institute or the Family Research Council as reliable sources of information. They are fanatical conservative advocacy groups who imagine hostility towards religion where there is none. Whether it's the HHS mandate on contraception for insurance carriers or the prohibition of prayer in the public schools, the ten commandments in a courtroom, etc., these groups invariably see it as yet one more attack on religion.

    The fact is that Federal, state, and local government are required to follow a policy of strict neutrality on matters of faith. These right-wing groups don't like that.

  • Searching . . . Orem, UT
    Aug. 21, 2012 1:42 p.m.

    A voice of reason: "But those who oppose religious possibility, and therefore any possibility not subjective to their own experience- those are the people I cannot understand. The same would deny a subjective experience of a 14 year old boy from New York. To deny the subjective I can only assume is accomplished through hate. I can actually understand why people can hate, I just don't understand how people feed it and live an entire life worshiping the doctrine, the lie."

    If I understand your reasoning here, it seems to me that it goes both ways. I can see that a person insisting that a 14-year-old's subjective experience is false could be construed as hateful. The first person is imposing an objective filter on the 14-year-old's belief. However, is it not the same when the 14-year-old or his followers claim that the experience was true, and thus making the claim objective rather than subjective. Then is it not hateful to others' subjective beliefs? If I construe the debate correctly, most irreligious people are fine with others' subjective beliefs as long as they remain subjective.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2012 10:35 a.m.

    The moment you see the words "Family Research Council" attached to any study, you can instantly disregard it. This group isn't known for the integrity of their "research".

    Not letting a kid sing "Kum Ba Yah" at a publically sponsered children's program is "hostility towards religion" and included in a report along with the Sikh Temple Shooting? What an absolute, nonsense-filled joke.

    Christians want to be able to avoid everything they find offensive, and yet, be able to offend others freely. Groups like the Family Research Council want to make it illegal for a person to privately watch porn at home, but force everyone to view their 10 Commandments displays and Christmas nativity pageants.

    I'm absolutely hostile to being forced to participate in religion, just as Christians are hostile to pornography. That's why the courts in this country have decided that a publicly funded forum is inappropriate for both.

    Hostility is fine. Violence is not. And Hostility does not equal violence. Christians are just mad that they can't bully people the way they were able to in the past. They know that with more freedoms, religion will continue to bleed members.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 21, 2012 9:54 a.m.

    A voice of Reason said:
    However, there is a problem when people think religion is somehow imposing views just for expressing or voting them into law.

    Expressing is absolutely protected, however you are no longer "Expressing" when you vote to remove someone else's freedoms to fit your religious beliefs. Express all you want, but don't pretend that your vote isn't a physical attack against someone else's belief's because then you involving laws prohibiting their freedom.

    Logic and religion as it's been presented thus far are not compatible.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Aug. 21, 2012 9:21 a.m.

    A Voice of Reason,

    Unlike xscribe, I do not respect religious faith. I do take issue with irrational belief as it impacts all of us. Let's take one of the most obvious examples: homophobia. Human history has not been kind to gays, and this has mostly been because of irrational religious group-think. In the course of human history it is only now that gays are finally defending themselves. Likewise, we atheists are finally gaining the numbers, strength, and courage to say "stop the nonsense!" With all the incredible knowledge we have today, it is simply not right to teach the virgin birth, etc. I advocate sticking to the truth, and have a problem with those who do not.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2012 8:55 a.m.


    I'm glad to hear that you respect beliefs. However, there is a problem when people think religion is somehow imposing views just for expressing or voting them into law.

    1) Voting isn't imposing, it's voting. We agree to vote together and our constitution protects my vote. There are no conditions on my vote and to create such a condition would destroy freedom. I don't vote according to your conditions nor should you to my own. We agree to a bill of rights and our votes are bound by that, nothing else.

    2) Relativism. I have pointed out the problems with relativist arguments and how "you can't legislate morality" arguments just aren't rational. The greatest philosophical teachers from Socrates to Michael Sandel have all asked their students to explain the dilemna behind relativism and to this day it still has not happened.

    I'll be happy to hear your arguments or anyone else's, but where my arguments come from do not discount them- that is ad hominem and logically fallacious. Every legal decision has a moral impact, your votes are no more or less exempt from that than my own, religious or not.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Aug. 21, 2012 8:16 a.m.

    @AVoice of Reason: I don't believe there are too many who actually hate or even fight religion. I respect everyone's beliefs, oh. gasp, even the Muslims, but I believe religion should be a personal and private relationship with your creator, not fighting to have your beliefs imposed upon others, including schools. There truly is no reason for that!

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2012 6:22 a.m.

    What's more interesting to me is how whenever the Deseret News publishes an article like this, the same people are the first to respond on here. I can see why religion would by hypersensitive in a world that is growing critical of religion, but to be hypersensitive when others examine criticism and hostility to religion- to then only turn around and jump all over it with even MORE critical comments... I could call this irony incredible, but truthfully this is something I have come to expect from those fighting religion.

    I've always understood agnostics. They make at least an amount of sense to me. To doubt but understand and recognize possibility is only congruous with our ability to reason. But those who oppose religious possibility, and therefore any possibility not subjective to their own experience- those are the people I cannot understand. The same would deny a subjective experience of a 14 year old boy from New York. To deny the subjective I can only assume is accomplished through hate. I can actually understand why people can hate, I just don't understand how people feed it and live an entire life worshiping the doctrine, the lie.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Aug. 20, 2012 10:24 p.m.

    Let's make a detailed report about the hostilities of religion against those it disagrees with.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 20, 2012 9:23 p.m.

    So 80% of the crimes where against either Jewish people or muslim people meaning that all the other religions which goes well beyond just Christian accounts for 20%. violence and oppression are always wrong regardless, however, I would hope that these two conservative CHristian groups would focus on actual violence against religious groups and not using the suffering of others to justify their politics agenda when it comes to healthcare.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2012 8:48 p.m.


    Whatever gave you the idea that they haven't already?

    When the anti-religious reference arguments such as "My God says your wrong", they ought to do more looking in a mirror before boasting their claims. The anti-religious try to force their opinion into law without any regard for the democratic process while they try to convince courts that they are somehow entitled to what others posses (recognition, property, governing, etc).

    In America today there practically is a religious war already going- it's called liberals vs conservatives, east vs west, and anything else we can divide over. There are those who feel they are entitled to govern others, and those who believe in freedom, democracy, and living by agreements favorable or not to their beliefs. People accuse LDS Church members and members of other faiths of trying to legislate their morality. Yet if I were trying to legislate my actual beliefs, I would be voting the LDS moral paradigm literally into law (even being gay would be considered lawfully wrong).

    The real threat isn't religion, it's those who say 'we shouldn't listen to arguments from THAT crowd or that don't follow OUR logic'.

  • Brathor Erda, UT
    Aug. 20, 2012 8:27 p.m.

    Dear conservatives: Criticism is not the the same as censorship.

  • George Bronx, NY
    Aug. 20, 2012 7:49 p.m.

    How is my refusing to practice or live by the dictates of your religion an attack upon your religion freedom?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 20, 2012 6:56 p.m.

    Whenever I see an article like this, I keep thinking gay people should organise themselves as a religion.