Restrictions on religion rise across the globe, including in the U.S.

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  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 5:40 a.m.

    Just because the First Amendment promotes freedom of religion, doesn't mean there has been freedom of religion in practice.

    The record of the United States is horrendous in persecutions of new religions, from the persecution of Roger Williams's group that led to his flight to Rhode Island, the notorious persections of Mormons in Ohio, Illinois and Missouri, and even the burning alive of Branch Davidian children in more recent years in the federal attacks in Waco, Texas.

    The problem seems to be that, while freedom of religion is "guaranteed" under the Bill of Rights, in practice that "guarantee" has historically not been enforced or protected. Public schools also have effectively banned hymns and prayers and I wonder if there are any Bibles in our public school libraries.

    If things are getting worse still as the article suggests then we are in real trouble.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Sept. 27, 2012 4:39 p.m.

    Just because we don't prostrate ourselves in front of your alters doesn't mean we want to restrict your religion. Live and let live. You stay out of my life and I'll stay out of yours.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2012 10:47 a.m.

    It is sad that we can not learn to care and respect each other. You mention restriction. How far should somebody be able to go with their religous beliefs. Being a gay person, it effects every single day of my life! Should religion be able to dictate laws against certain people. Because somebody has a belief that I am evil, makes it alright for them to What? In some religions, I would be put to death. I just want to say how sad it is that we do not love each other. I love God and I am thankful for having been raised Mormon. I don't know how long I have wishd to share my beliefs. One tiny little restriction, I am gay! I do have my belief in God and nobody will ever take it away, but many of you who moan about your religous freedom look at me as if I don't even have a beliref. What do I know? I can say one thing, I feel more appreciation for others and we let things destroy the love we could have towards each other. Sometimes we need those restrictions!

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2012 9:21 a.m.

    "Isn't having Utah Legislators make laws based on their personal religious beliefs and not those of their constituents restricting those of the non-mormon faith?"

    And you do not think this happens in reverse?

    Take for example Alcohol: There are more secular reasons for restricting alcohol than there are tobacco. New York requires warning labels on bottles. Boston bans happy hour, etc. Do you really believe that popular culture does not impose its viewpoint onto non-drinkers, who are often shunned as ex-alcoholics or religious fanatics by "tolerant" people. Utah was one of the last states to get good anti-smoking laws precisely because of "the Mormon" issue: Which harmed us all.

    Last time I checked, all "non-Mormons" do not think alike as you assume and many Mormons and non-Mormons have a LOT of shared values.

    Can you name any state or municipality where the elected officials didn't reflect the values of the voters? (Gays in San Francisco, Baptists in Texas, etc.)

    The "I am a victim of the Mormons" card gets tiring. (So i will mirror it back with my own I am a victim of the victims schtick)

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 11:59 p.m.

    I believe that is about the time that our President was going around the world with his message that the United States had done many things wrong. He hasn't not mended fences with his tactics and has led to more intolerance in all settings, political, social, economic, integrity, honesty and just showing leadership.

    To have a President going around on vacations including his wife's friends spending money he hasn't even budgeted seems like a sin. Money isn't going out of style, it is gone. He blames everything bad in his administration on the prior President. However, the Congress has been a big part of his problems as they aren't minding the financial store. They are the ones that approve budgets and have the purse strings. They have been negligent to ensure the Secretary of the Treasury pays his own taxes. That wouldn't cure all the problems, but it is hard to believe the President would even nominate a person that didn't pay his taxes fully.

    The Federal Reserve has been negligent in the part of the deal, also. They are trying to make deals to make the economy look well when not well.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Sept. 20, 2012 7:22 p.m.

    Non-believer: I don't live in Utah but as you are quite well aware of the main religious faith in Utah is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. With the state as a whole around 70% of this faith don't you think that the constituents are members of that religion for the main part. It is awfully funny that no one is citing any problems with Massachusetts where the main religion is Catholic or across the south where most are Baptists.

    Your point is mute about Utah. The ones elected do support the major part of their constituents. You are just in the minority.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 6:44 p.m.

    @A Scientist

    The religious anf religious establishments do have a efvery right to a voice in the public square and, and have every right to speak up anf influence and try effect change.

    And livbe religion publically.

    It's called freedom of religion.

    and you have every to speak up and try effect change.

    Every idea, mora,l values, belief in God, should be heard in the public square

    and let the best of those win,

    In our republic those who can influence the most represenatives wins or infleence the most heartd with their values ides beliefs etc, wins,

    That how the system works.

    That is why America is pathcwrk quit, and not grey liberal blanket,

    We every should everyone live and have laws the character they want,
    ans you free to go live with those that share you values,
    beliefs, etc,

    but don't expect to live in an area that has strong population you disagree with and expect them to go along with you.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 5:10 p.m.

    Oh, No! Religious people's "freedoms" are being restricted -- their "freedoms" to...

    ...deny equality before the law to the marriages of others, not even of their faith

    ...deny the right of others who be able to attend a public school without having prayers and religious "commandments" shoved in their faces

    ...deny the right of others to have laws, decisions, and public policy based on reason, empirical evidence, and data rather than religious dogma and "divine" fiat that is not recognized as authoritative by anyone except the believers

    ...exclude nonbelievers (atheists and agnostics) from serving in political and public positions for no other reason than because they don't believe

    ...and the list could go on and on...

  • jttheawesome Scranton, PA
    Sept. 20, 2012 4:14 p.m.

    Here in the U.S, there have always been some restrictions on religion: Mormons were not allowed to practice polygamy, and in fact had to discontinue it in 1890 in order to gain Utah statehood; There was also the infamous extermination order against Mormons back in the 1800's; No religion can practice human sacrifice (or animal sacrifice, for that matter); Today, of course, restrictions particularily suited to caralling Christians are in vogue, especially in favor of Muslim; No prayer in schools or public places, no crosses allowed. I highly recommend the new film, "Last ounce of Courage" as it quite accurately portrays the dwindling of all our individual freedoms, not just religion.

  • non believer PARK CITY, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 1:07 p.m.

    Isn't having Utah Legislators make laws based on their personal religious beliefs and not those of their constituents restricting those of the non-mormon faith?

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Sept. 20, 2012 12:57 p.m.

    I would encourage everyone to read the report. You will find that the U. S. is very low on both the "Government Restriction" index and the "Social Hostility" index. The list of top ten offenders includes Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and Israel. It seems that one of the key metrics in determining "Government Restriction" is "Very High Government favoritism of religion." In the U. S. we constantly struggle with Church and State issues, but it is an essential element of true religious freedom.

    I have a close friend who belongs to a certain religious sect that is being heavily persecuted in the land of his birth. He came here to avoid being killed. For his safety I don't dare mention either the name of his religion or the country he came from. I know others from Africa and the Balkans who grew up running from town to town because of state sponsored religious violence. While its important to discuss potential threats to liberty here at home, I think from time to time we should stop and consider one important thing:

    We are very fortunate to live in the country we live in.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 12:34 p.m.

    Blue is right up to a point. But, when do you take your rights and trample on someone elses rights?

    I have a right to breath fresh air. My neighbor has a right to smoke. When his smoke is in my air, who should be protected? Who should decide that?

    I have a constitutional right to worship as I believe. Another person has a right to be gay. When does the gay right, over ride religions rights and force religions to change their beliefs?

    I have a right to wear a cross to work. Work has the right to have dress codes. Who decides?

    I have a right to free speech, even if you disagree with it. Yet politicians like to silence the opposition or to those who raise questions; and they have a right to not answer those questions. Who serves who?

    You have a right to make money. Do you have the right to take someone elses money? What if you use the government via taxes to take it. Does that make it right?

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Sept. 20, 2012 12:32 p.m.

    alt134: For me no, democrats do not endorse terrorists but they do endorse taking religion out of the public square.

    blue and no fig in SG: Yea, it is okay for you to spout off on tolerence for your own agenda but it is wrong for those who are anti same sex marriage to be assualted, to be driven from their places of work and in some instances from their homes solely because they have contributed to a cause they firmly believe in.

    I don't believe in the same separation of church and state as others. I disagree with the Constitutional judges who have placed that upon us but I don't go around causing harm to those who do. It is my right as a citizen of this nation to stand on my beliefs and to use those beliefs in how I vote. That is why currently I could never vote for a democrat because of their party stance.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 12:26 p.m.


    "Acts of religious terrorism — such as the November 2009 shooting rampage that left 13 people dead at Fort Hood, Texas, or the infamous underwear bomber"

    Our beloved barack obama stated the fort hood shooting was a workplace violent act. Nothing about the shooters religion. Again with the underwear bomber, from our beloved fearless leader that personally led and killed osama, stated that it was a rogue lonely person that carried it out. Never mentioned religious radicules.

    Do i think democrats support terroism? I think the questions should be, what have democrats done to reduce terroism and help the US to be a leader in the world? Is releasing terroists from gitmo so they can kill our ambassadors a good idea? Is it good to go to fewer than 47% of your security briefings to play golf and hang out with jay-z when nations are warning you of attacks? Why is this president still funding the muslim brotherhood? Why are we giving money to nations that hate us? Why do we protect some innocent life in oil rich countries, but, not other innocent life?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 11:58 a.m.

    @Liberal Ted
    "This is the love and tolerance coming from the democrats."

    Considering the article said...

    "Acts of religious terrorism — such as the November 2009 shooting rampage that left 13 people dead at Fort Hood, Texas, or the infamous underwear bomber — were a key factor in the U.S. Social Hostilities Index, which rose from 2.0 as of mid-2009 to 3.4 as of mid-2010. The score moved the U.S. from the lower end of the moderate range of hostilities to the upper end of that range."

    ...I have to ask... do you think Democrats actually support terrorism, or did you just not bother to read?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 11:15 a.m.

    Blue summed it up nicely. What qualifies for religious restriction in the US is kind of pale compared to the rest of the world. Not being able to cure all the gays or tell everyone when and why to have sex is one thing; getting killed for your beliefs quite another.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 10:57 a.m.

    In many parts of the world, zealous members of a religion murdering people who don't subscribe to that religion solely because of their failure to believe what the murderers believe is indeed an act of religious oppression worthy of universal condemnation.

    But here in the US, stopping a church from violating the constitutionally protected civil rights of citizens who don't belong to that church is what now passes for a "restriction on religion."

    Apples & Oranges, folks.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 10:44 a.m.

    this is a part of the hope and change libs want. just think four more years of the doj suing states over everything, religion is one of those things.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Sept. 20, 2012 10:33 a.m.

    Cool your jets, DN.
    Everyone knows religious factions will be the cause of the war to end all wars.
    The waring in the Middle East will never end. America's imperialist Conservative politicians are ready to assist middle eastern nations in the terror and destruction war will create. Republicans have always worshiped the financial fortunes of wartime.
    These powerful elected legislators only pretend they care about the world's religious freedom. And.....unfortunately, they hold the cards for the rest of us.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 10:25 a.m.

    This is the love and tolerance coming from the democrats. See how it works? They will love and tolerate your beliefs as long as they are in line with what is on the demos party platform. Oh and open mindeness and other pointless terms that they hold dear, but, never practice.

  • kishkumen American Fork, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 10:15 a.m.

    Yeah, it needed to happen since religions were forcing their practices into politics and public places. If they hadn't tried to force their symbols, their religious texts, and their beliefs on to others then the restrictions would not have been required.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Sept. 20, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    I'm going to go ahead and assume that the result in the US has a lot more to do with efforts to stop Muslims from building a community center in New York or a mosque in Tennessee have a lot more to do with it than contraception. A bunch of Sikhs being killed also probably pushed up the hostilities index more than some fabricated war on Christmas.