Half of Americans worry about their own religious freedom

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  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Feb. 6, 2013 4:02 p.m.

    Kind of hard to disprove something that never existed in the first place. Jesus? Probably. God? No.

  • Capella Bakersfield, CA
    Jan. 30, 2013 10:58 p.m.

    Literal Biblists read the Hebrew in context, so E=MC2 is actually a great theory. If Einstein was correct, Energy and Mass were created on Day 1. The planetary "stuff" was made into planets on Day 4.

    "Light"/Or (Hebrew) was created and separated on Day 1.
    Atmospheric and stellar "Heavens"/Shamayim on Day 2, and the waters were separated.
    Dry land and oceans, Earth's/Eretz watering system and vegetation were on Day 3.
    "Lights"/Maor are created from the existing Light= sun, moon, stars, planets, on Day 4.

    Isaiah 60:19 and Revelation 22:5 both state that there will be no sun in the future Kingdom, but "the LORD God will be your Everlasting Light".

    "In Him (Jesus Christ) was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. And the Light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it." (John 1:4,5)

    Unless man is indwelt by the Light, born spiritually, he cannot understand it. That is pure Biblical Christianity. All else is guessing.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 10:17 p.m.

    I need to mention that there are a lot of Super Boll Fans that watch the game religiously. Religion is what you do religiously. It called free agency, personal choices. It's my choice to exercise, and eat healthy, I can't make that choice for any one but me. Nor can I make any choice for any one to smoke, drink or eat grease, high fructose corn and lots of carbs and vegetate. All the words in the world don't mean any thing, It's what you do.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 8:15 p.m.

    at Tyler D 17:00 on 1/30 ---

    The hate is a by product of being motivated by fear & guilt. Are you surprised?

  • Pendergast Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 8:12 p.m.

    Hutterite & Mukkake on page 1 have it pretty much nailed.

    Per TOO...

    How exactly does that differ from any religion when they get an opposing opinion?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 30, 2013 5:00 p.m.

    @Shazandra (and I’m guessing Capella) – “No help needed for those who read Genesis 1:3- Light was created on Day 1, earth on Day 3.”

    Actually you have it backwards…

    From the NIV Bible -
    1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

    By the way, you never did answer either of my original questions.

    I’ve reached my comment limit, so no doubt you’ll get the last (and based on your previous comments) dubious word.

    Best to you… and as Luke said to his father “let go of your hate.”

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    Jan. 30, 2013 3:40 p.m.

    No help needed for those who read Genesis 1:3- Light was created on Day 1, earth on Day 3.

    Why not read the conversions of atheist physists and scientists who set about to disprove the Bible, realizing they had never read it correctly? There are a plethora of them, who debate the silliness of the Hawkings, etc.

    My husband is a rocket scientist and works with the premier scholars on his field, 80% of whom are Judeo-Christian Bible believers.

    You failed Genesis chapter 1. Go back and chronolize the order of God's Word. Only fool's think this book was written by shepherds in any age.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 30, 2013 1:59 p.m.


    Please notice what I did not ask – I did not ask “name a scientific explanation that has been supplanted by a better scientific explanation.” That happens all the time and is what we expect from rigorous and robust science.

    As to your question about disproving something found in the Bible, if you have not found anything I’ll simply suggest you’re not trying very hard. A quick Google search will provide a laundry list of false assertions. If you need help getting started, here’s perhaps the earliest.

    Genesis 1 states the Earth was created before the stars (i.e., light), which we now know is impossible.

    And that is just the first of many errors in the creation story. It works much better though if you take it metaphorically.

    I’ll readily admit that science is in its infancy and we’ve likely barely scratched the surface of what we can learn and know about the universe. But the question remains, are you going to gain (objective) knowledge about the universe through science and reason, or by referring to a sacred book written by shepherds in the Iron Age?

  • Capella Bakersfield, CA
    Jan. 30, 2013 12:08 p.m.

    "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God'". The "scientific" explanations of the moment are fleeting. Astronomy being a prime example of theoretical changes initiated by baffling conundrums just within the past short decade, eg. Black Holes.

    Meridian must have a lack of text books or Internet access not to be able to answer the last two questions ad infinitum. How sad to be hooked on theories that disprove themselves every day, and none that have disproved a single Biblical event, including Creation itself.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 30, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    @Chemist and atl134

    Thank you both for your educational comments. If people would clearly grasp these distinctions, we might finally relegate ideas like Creationism and Intelligent Design to the same dustbin of pseudo-science now occupied by Astrology and Alchemy.

    As someone said commenting on another article, “religion is about subjective truth”… it tells us nothing about the objective world and attempting to do so, in my view, only speeds its demise. Not convinced? Ask yourself the following questions:

    1.Name a fact about the natural (objective) world in which a scientific explanation was later supplanted by a religious explanation.

    2.Name a fact about the natural world in which a religious explanation was later supplanted by a scientific one.

    Are the answers not obvious?

  • Chemist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 10:47 a.m.


    As atl134 said, in science the word "theory" does not mean a mere speculation. It is instead an explanation that is able to subsume a large variety of facts into a coherent whole, allowing them to be understood. In science, theories are useful because they allow us to make predictions about what to expect in new circumstances. Theories are always subject to revision in the light of new facts, because that is the scientific way of progress.

    There are many scientific theories that you would probably not describe as "ONLY a theory, as any reputable scientist will attest." These include:

    The germ theory of disease
    Newton's theory of universal gravitation
    The atomic theory
    The kinetic theory of gases
    Einstein's theories of special and general relativity
    Quantum mechanics
    The theory of plate tectonics

    The theory of evolution fits very cleanly into this list of scientific theories by providing a unified explanation for a long list of detailed observations. Any reputable scientist will attest that it is a theory, but "only" a theory in the same way the the germ theory or the atomic theory is "only a theory".

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    Jan. 30, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    How lovely the first 8 comments were, generalizing their hatred and prejudice against all evangelicals. How unethical not to specify which groups had offended. But this is a democracy afterall, and it doesn't ensure accuracy.

    Where are the Mormons with any historical perspective here? I am 7th generation (former) LDS, and we've complained about persecution and interference with our rights to practice our religion since 1830.. The Manifesto didn't stop the next 4 prophets from keeping their covenant of Celestial Marriage, nor did any priesthood change take place until 1978. That was the original pioneer spirit, but it is almost totally muted today. Only the FLDS have any serious legitimate complaints in this area today.

    As an evangelical, I feel no threats to the practice of my religion and do not understand all the whining and grand-standing of those who do. I listen carefully to their concerns, but simply do not see them. That may be my perspective because I evangelize and do ministry in Third World countries where true bigotry and imprisonment flourishes...

    All the "haters" here need to find another venue to complain on, and allow civil discourse.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 10:01 a.m.

    To me religion is what you do religiously. My manners and my daily rue teen. My free agency is something that I think is under attack. If I want to smoke, drink booze or eat potato chips is my choice. My free agency to decide if I want to be a couch potato or a healthy guy is my choice. I believe in the supernatural But My choice, the things that I should decide for my self are being interfered with greatly. Freedom of religion is a lot more than which church I have to belong to, or what that group of people wants.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 9:58 a.m.

    I will remind readers of the following:

    "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on the earth, but is at the present limited to an ecclesiastical kingdom. During the millennial era, the kingdom of God will be both political and ecclesiastical, and will have worldwide jurisdiction in political realms when the Lord has made 'a full end of all nations' (D&C 87: 6)." (LDS Bible Dictionary).

    Doctrine and Covenants 87:6 says this "end to all nations" will be accomplished through war and bloodshed:

    "And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed...shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;"

    What happens to the nonbelievers?

    D&C 1:14 declares:

    "...the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants (the Mormon leaders), neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles (the Mormon leaders), shall be cut off from among the people;"

    That doesn't look like religious freedom to me.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 30, 2013 9:28 a.m.

    I guess it’s a sign of the times that when any group that feels itself being marginalized they end up playing the “victim” card. The irony here though is that mythic religion has been totally dominant for centuries, and now when humanity is beginning to wake up and reject their worldview, the religious folks are freaking out. Hopefully someday (if they don't destroy humanity first with their lust for an apocalypse), mythic religion will become about as important to future generations as magic is to us.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 30, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    I remember a few years ago, while visiting in Spanish Fork. A Baptist minister talked to me about the dangers of being a Mormon, and missionaries were being sent to call Utahans to repentance. Cult, and devils were used to describe the local people. I have seen similar people at the Manti pageant with the same rhetoric.

    This didn't look like religious freedom to me, but a bitter demeanor.

  • Fern RL LAYTON, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 6:55 a.m.

    I think the main reason we are not all on the same page is that we are all speaking a different language.

    I believe that we can and should have some core values that we can all stand for as Americans whether or not we are atheistic, follow an organized religion, or something else. The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights, and other documents of national importance contain expressions of values which we can all accept--basically: "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

    None of that means that anyone else has a right to dictate our values or in any way force compliance to anything other than allowing others the same freedoms. Unfortunately, it is usually government that has the power to force compliance to things that are not for the overall good of the country.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 10:56 p.m.

    "Darwinism, BTW, is still ONLY a theory, as any reputable scientist will attest)"

    Yes, but the definition of theory means something different in the field of science. Specifically, to quote the National Academy of Sciences a scientific theory is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment."

    That's why scientists are so insistant about it despite calling it a theory. When they use the word they mean it in a different way than the more common usage of it to mean a guess or idea.

  • patrick76henry Lynchburg, VA
    Jan. 29, 2013 10:08 p.m.

    RanchHand, what is the discrimination you are referring? The article is about religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution and not individual preferences of some Evangelicals. The same concern is echoed by other religious groups, and which Elder Oaks has recently spoken.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 9:29 p.m.


    while I admit to having very strong feelings about evangelicals (or any religious people for that matter) that seek through e force of law to make others live their beliefs I think your comment is very important. In our civil discourse we must avoid gross over generalizations and avoid spiteful comments that harm those that seek peace. thank you.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 9:06 p.m.

    It is hypocritical to claim discrimination when you do the same. Jesus had nothing good to say about the hypocrite.

  • patrick76henry Lynchburg, VA
    Jan. 29, 2013 8:33 p.m.

    As active Mormons who attend an Liberty University, we have had some of the most positive experiences among Evangelicals. We have never been discriminated against and in fact have had just the opposite experience. Many of the comments above display ignorance and antagonism. How about a little more civil interfaith dialogue in place of hostility to a religious group with many of the same values we hold together. Even though there is the occasional unfriendly, just as there are in any groups, our experience being surrounded by Evangelicals on a daily basis has been an overwhelming positive experience.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 6:14 p.m.

    Strange, I thought almost every one knew about religious philanthropies, besides the Salvation Army, which is a church by the way. One must also remember that occasions like Christmas and Easter developed into customs over more than two centuries in this country; and it is hard for people to see these customs get the heave-ho. So, have a little patience.
    After all, we don't mind people bringing their customs with them from their homelands. It's what America does. On another front, while we still have problems with toleration and civil discourse, usually, shouting matches is about as bad as it gets, anymore. One cannot say that about some that are coming into our country,lately. Sometimes there are conflicts between some religions' practices and the laws of our State/Federal governments. As we see a growing diversity, we may see more of these issues.

  • jttheawesome Scranton, PA
    Jan. 29, 2013 6:12 p.m.

    My goodness, there's a lot of "anti-evangelical" rhetoric in here! As an Evangelical Christian, trained for the ministry, I may shock them all when I say: You're absolutely right - but only to a certain degree. The above comments seem to be gross generalizations about all Evangelicals, when in fact these statements are true of only a small but vocal minority. Do we want to be able to teach Intelligent Design alongside of other theories of evolution? Yes.(Darwinism, BTW, is still ONLY a theory, as any reputable scientist will attest) Unfortunately, some of the so-called mega-churches seen on TV surely do seem to be money magnets. However, the great majority of we evangelicals attend much smaller, community-minded churches seeking to do good in our little corner of the world. As for those politically active, anti-everything evangelicals (Westwood Baptist Church comes to mind),they are an embarrassment to Christianity; again, they do not at all represent the huge majority of Evangelical Christians, who seek only to follow the Savior's admonishment: "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." (Matthew 15:12)

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 6:10 p.m.

    What religious freedom is being threatened? The freedom to deny civil rights to minorities who think differently than evangelicals?
    Bigotry based on religion is far worse.

  • donn layton, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 5:54 p.m.

    RE: Hutterite,Evangelical religion is doing its' level best to use the bully pulpit to push itself and its' agenda onto the public stage. Which bothers you the most?

    Tradditional Judeo-Christian values like: Honor your father and your mother, “You shall not murder.“You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal.“ “You shall not(lie) bear false witness against your neighbor. “‘And you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.“You shall not covet. And or,

    The Evangelical(euangelion)or Gospel, “ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”(John 3:16)

  • TOO Sanpete, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 5:20 p.m.

    I couldn't agree more with a few of the above comments. It's amazing how evangelicals call for tolerance when I'm considered the devil in their eyes.

  • Zona Zone Mesa, AZ
    Jan. 29, 2013 5:05 p.m.

    See the first six comments as reasons why evangelicals are legitimately worried about their freedom of religion being taken away. The comments essential serve justify treating evangelicals' religious freedom less than that of other Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. This freedom should be thought of as speech. If you want freedom of speech, then you must allow someone to speak out vehemently against the things you hold dear. If you want freedom of religion, then you must allow someone to worship how or what they may, even when it inconveniences you or even when their religious beliefs and practices bother you--yes, even when they say things that get your blood boiling. The evangelicals' alleged "misuse" is no reason to injure their rights to the first freedom, for Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 4:49 p.m.

    The name "evangelical" says it all. Their religion involves injecting their beliefs into ever interaction, conversation, and setting. Anything less is oppression to them.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 4:41 p.m.

    Evangelicals tend to push the envelope of religious freedom towards political activism. and of course they do it while getting tax deduction for their contributing members under the veil of "non-profit" status for their organization.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 29, 2013 3:48 p.m.

    Religion in today's corporate world has less to do about a God and being and doing good: church and religion today is more about business (money) and politics with power over others.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 2:39 p.m.

    Evangelical religion is doing its' level best to use the bully pulpit to push itself and its' agenda onto the public stage, and every time it encounters resistance, or even law, it claims religious freedom is at risk, even as it seeks to restrict freedom of others.

  • Turtles Run Missouri City, TX
    Jan. 29, 2013 2:26 p.m.

    I often find it ironic that "evangelicals" are most concerned about religious freedoms when it is they that seek to discriminate against the faith of others. When a Mosque is being proposed to built anywhere they are the first to protest its construction. When someone is describing other religions as cults (ex: Catholic or LDS) you can pretty count on that person being an "evangelical".

    It is hard to take "evangelicals" serious on religious freedom when they seek to deny it to others.