Some of the so called attacks on religion come as a response to zealots, who
mistake license to denigrate, abuse, and marginalize others as religious
freedom. From an earlier Deseret article I quote: “Religious freedom is as
much a duty as it is a right. Religious freedom and civility depend upon each
other and form a mutual obligation founded on the inherent dignity of each
person..." Many zealots are abusive and coercive. They would rather
accomplish by force of law what they can’t by persuasion and good example.
They bring about reactions [sometimes from governments, obliged to protect all
citizens] that are then deemed attacks on religion.
@ulvegaard;Living your conscience doesn't mean you discriminate
and refuse service to those who you disagree with. It means you don't do
the thing you don't believe in (i.e., you don't marry someone of the
same sex). Photographing a same-sex wedding, providing the flowers for it or
the cake does not violate your conscience. The only violation would be if you
were to actually do the thing you believe is wrong yourself. Do Mormons serve
alcohol when working in a restaurant that serves alcohol? Yes, they serve it
but they don't drink it. This is exactly the same scenario.@Tators;Did you stop to think that the reason the comments you
disagree with are the most popular because, perhaps it's because they
support equality and it's the right thing to do? And, how did you know
those throwing eggs at you were gay? We're they wearing signs? Anyway,
which is worse, having a few eggs throw at you or having your civil rights voted
While visiting California a few years ago, I had gay people throwing eggs and
spitting on my car windows while trying to drive into a church parking lot...
not knowing what my personal stand was on proposition 8, but just because of my
religion in general. Ever since then, it's been difficult for me to feel
that gays just want to be treated equally. Try living the golden rule before
becoming too preachy about rights. Good is as good does.
What a sad commentary on our society that the most liberal, anti-religion
comments on this article are the most popular. Unbelievable!
Several here seem to want to claim that this is all about religion trying to
force it's beliefs on others. Some go so far as to claim that religion is
the basis for wars and discontent.Catholics aren't trying to
force people of other faiths not to use birth control, they simply don't
want to be forced to pay for it - either for themselves or others.Muslims didn't fly planes into the Trade Center towers, people did who
happened to be Muslims. And over time, granted, many violent individuals have
tried to justify their actions with their religion - even Hitler at one time
claimed his Lutheran faith prompted his actions against Jews.What we
are concerned about is a growing sense that government will not support the
principals of religious freedom - and the evidence seems to be growing.
We're not trying to claim a right to be fanatics, we simply wish to live by
our conscience in a world determined to hand out privileges to random groups
without responsible expectations.
I want to give a thoughtful comment. Religous freedom should belong to all
peopla including gay people. a lot of people expext to have certain rights,
while they deny others the same. The funny thing is that they are denying people
their rights based on their religous beliefs and when somebody says something,
they scream that their religoue freedom is being taken away. Religous freedom
most certainly should not give someone the right to discriminate against me!In
Utah, a good way to decide if something is right is to substitute Mormon for the
word gay. If it isn't right to do it to a Mormon, don't come out and
say that it is ok to do it to a gay person! There was a time when Christian
Americans somehow felt that owning another human being was morally right! you
know they were going to church and somehow incorporating slavery into an
accepted practice within their faith! Discrimination is wrong and has nothing to
do with God
elarueAmen!Those crying out in defense of religious
freedom are guilty of mistakenly substituting "freedom" for
Okay, this is exactly what I was afraid of - that this whole "religious
freedom" was not about actual religious freedom, but about right wingers
strategizing to make themselves look like they're the victims of religious
oppression so that they can commit religious oppression against others.
Seriously? Health care reform? The contraception mandate? Religious liberty
is about letting individuals follow their own conscience, not about letting your
employer's conscience overrule your own. This is why liberalism is the
true defense of religious liberty, and conservativism is the enemy of it.
@happy2bhere;We get your point but you're not getting ours. We
don't necessarily want to have a bigot cater our functions, but the point
is that it shouldn't even be an issue. We shouldn't have to go from
place to place to place to find a provider when they're everywhere we turn.
If they can't serve everyone, they shouldn't be in business.@county mom;Your neighbor sounds like a real gem of extremely low
quality; however, they're not violating your religious freedom as
you're still able to attend the church of your choice, right? We also have
religious freedom; and that means if our religion allows same-sex marriage, we
should be able to practice same-sex marriage, right?
Religious freedom is respect for anothers belief in GOD as he or she understand
it. Yes wars are fought over religion and have been since Adam and Eve lands
given people persecuted, many murdered in the name of religion. Holy wars, the
dark ages, inquisition all of these different times in history showed the
intolerance to religious beliefs, We as LDS people believe in defending and
protecting the rights of all denominations, Now I am saying all of course their
are bigots in all religions and those that say one thing and do another, however
for the most part the LDS people I know are very much for religious freedom and
would back such. One gets so tired of the spin masters and their lies and
stories, go back and read history instead of talking about what the spin masters
are putting out, learn to allow all to worship how they wish and you worship the
way you feel is right for you.
county mom,That might have been me "waving" at you.But it is an expression of a deeply held religious belief of mine, so nobody
can infringe on my religious freedom!Right?
What I find offensive and what truly disappoints me in this LDS fight for
religious freedom is knowing that Gay people are not included in their plans! I
have always said that it is a religious issue. Just because we are gay does not
mean that we don't have religion also! The LDS people should not be able to
use their faith to trample on my religious freedom and my right to live my life
the way I feel God intended it to be!There are many who don't believe in
Temple Marriage, but they don't get to stop you from performing them! The
same rights apply to all. If a gay person decides not to help a Mormon in their
business transaction, guess what, that Mormon can stand up against that
discrimination. As a matter of fact, Mormons stand up all of the time for their
right! So, what is wrong with a gay person standing up for his or her rights?
What is wrong with asking to be treated like a human being? Why? Why do you
people never acknowledge anything we have to say about ourselves?
My right to religious freedom does not infringe upon your right.Except
last year at Christmas time I had a person stand in front of my home with a sign
with vulgar language on it protesting my nativity. She was on my property! This "neighbor" is most unhospitable even rude when I drive past her
home on Sundays to go to church, she waves with one finger. Believe it or
not, I have a right to religious freedom!!!
When you say religious liberty, do you really mean the legal authority to
discriminate against someone in a public setting? Or do you mean the ability to
practice as you desire in a private setting?
Happy here, the point I guess you all kind of miss (my fault) is that you
can't legislate the mind of a person. If they want to be bigots then that
is their right. Agree? And if they want to display that bigotry, that is their
right. Agree? I'd much rather know that a resturant hated me because of
something so that I would not go in to it. Otherwise who knows what could be
put in my food. Getting rid of bigotry with legislation is like trying to get
rid of rats with legislation. Never happen. It is a part of the human
condition and always will be. I for one would rather see the white hoods and
burning crosses than live with deception. Better to know your who your enemy
is. In my opinion anyway.
To "cpafred" I would contend that my ward has purchased more gasoline
than the local Wendy's. I know for a fact that they paid for the gas for
the scouts to go to camp, along with the YM, and other YM groups going to high
advendure camp this past summer. Then there are some of the weekday activities
that have required the adult leadership to purchase gas, which is then
reimbursed.There are many businesses that do not pay for roads
because the business itself does not use them. For example, if I own a
Wendy's franchise, I benefit greatly from the roads, but I do little to
nothing to directly pay for them. I would have several food service vendors
(not owned by Wendy's) make deliveries each week. My total fuel bill is
nothing.As for paying a "fair" tax, how do you define that?
How do you quantify "fair"? If you say they must pay something, how
much, $1, $100,000, what is "fair"?
@happy2bhere;What do you do when no stores will sell you their
product? Do you go to the next town? Or the next? Or the next after that?Your argument is exactly the same one used by whites in the South:
Blacks should have a separate fountain, the water's from the same source,
after all. They should eat at separate establishments, because well, whites are
superior, after all, and the Bible says that God cursed them, so our religious
values tell us that we can't share lunch counters with them. If
they're not happy to go find another lunch counter than mine, well,
they'll just have to suck it up, right?That sir, is bigotry.
It is the same bigotry whether you're talking about blacks, jews, muslims,
mormons, gays or what-have you. Business should absolutely not be able to
discriminate in that manner. Their business is to provide a product or service,
it is not to judge their customer's worthiness or morality.
@RedShirtWhat a ridiculous response. How many gallons of gas has your
ward bought this year.I did not single out churches (I said 503(c)
should be revised). Please read more carefully before you respond.Of course businesses should not be allowed to avoid paying a fair tax, but
that is not the topic here. @HappyPicture your little
daughter or granddaughter coming to you in tears claiming that the corner store
sold all her little friends ice cream cones, but wouldn't sell her one
because she's a Mormon. How would you feel about that? I guess in your
mind Rosa Parks should've stayed at the back of the bus and not complained
(but rather reveled in the knowledge each day that the bus company is operated
OwenHave you considered that knowing a persons bigotry may be better
than not knowing it. If a business hated, say Mormons, I'd like to know
that so that I can decide whether or not to spend money there. If I saw a
business that said no Jews or Muslims allowed, I'd also not spend money
there. I wouldn't worry about the right of some organization to have and
display their biases. If they want to live like that, fine. That should be
their right. If we don't want to support them, fine, that's our right
To "cpafred" they do pay for roads. When a church buys gasoline, they
pay the state and federal gas taxes.Why single out Churches for not
paying property taxes or income taxes to fund police, fire, and the military?
Non-Profit organizations like the Red Cross, and United Way can qualify for the
same tax exempt status.Churches are required to pay taxes for any
for-profit activities and properties.What about businesses that
don't make a profit, or else are really good at using the tax code to pay
no taxes. They don't pay for police, fire, or military, is that something
that should be allowed?
@Kirk R GravesYour first argument that the fire dept., police, etc are not
serving an organization but are serving the citizens (so Churches shouldn't
have to pay) was wrong because there are a lot of organizations of citizens who
do pay. Your second "purpose" argument is better.But you say,
"In essence, the only purpose for the legal entity of a church to exist, is
to create a place for the shared resources (money) to be pooled." which
makes no sense because lots of non-incorporated groups (like my pinochle club)
pool their money in banks, under the mattresses of their leader, etc.Churches are formed (in a particular manner, complying with IRS Sec 503(c),
and carefully put up firewalls between their "charitable" and
"noncharitable" activities) SOLELY to preserve a tax deduction for their
contributors and avoid paying tax on their profits, if any.People who do
not like that (and perhaps think some churches are dangeroulsy close to
violating their charitable purposes) make cogent arguments in my mind and I
think we should all lobby our representatives to carefully review and revise
Sec. 503(c) to curb abuses and require public reporting.@RedShirt -
police , fire, roads, military.
Also, the First Amendment doesn't say anything about whether churches
should be taxed or not. In fact, one could argue that by not taxing them,
it's a violation of the First Amendment. As long as everyone is taxed
equally or exempted under the same rules, there would be no conflict. But
churches enjoy a benefit that no other non-profit organization enjoys. All other
non-profits must publish financial statements that show how their money is spent
and they give up part of their first amendment rights. By just declaring an
organization as a religion it automatically becomes exempt of these
requirements. Who is to say what is and what isn't a valid religion? If I
declare my spirituality comes from myself and decide I should be considered a
religion, should I not get the same benefits? The point is the government still
ends up having to decide what is and what isn't a valid religion. If
churches followed the same rules as every other non-profit, there wouldn't
be an issue.
To "DanO" waht services do churches get for free?Churches
pay for electricity, water, gas, telephone, internet, and garbage service.Tell us specifically what churches get for free.
Kirk, you're skirting the issues. Churches still consume services in
addition to those its members would normally use. Why should they get them for
Dano. While I understand why you see that a business and a church are the same,
there are many examples where they seem to be, in the eyes of the law they are 2
different things.A business is a for-profit entity. It is established for
the purpose of creating revenue and it is actually in partnership with the state
in doing so (when you incorporate a business there is legalese that makes the
state a partner in the business, which gives them power to tax and regulate the
business).A religious organization is supposed to be a not-for-profit
entity. It is established as a way for like-minded people to share resources in
promoting or practicing their faith. In essence, the only purpose for the legal
entity of a church to exist, is to create a place for the shared resources
(money) to be pooled. These are 2 very different legal purposes and the
core reason for the difference comes directly from the 1st Amendment.
@Kirk R Graves – “The US was built up on a foundation of
Judeo-Christian values.”First a correction – I meant to
say “WOULDN’T stand a chance” although that was probably
obvious.Second, for the sake of clarity let’s go with your
definition of secular and drop the humanist part (because I don’t
recognize any of your humanist characterizations).The Founders of
our country was informed by the values of Jerusalem (admittedly) and Athens
(more so Athens as the basis for the Enlightenment), but they modeled the
country on the Roman Republic. Further, we have the unique
distinction of having the first purely secular governing charter in history
– no mention of God in the Constitution and only a passing reference to
“our creator” in the Declaration - and our creator is open to
interpretation and certainly doesn’t imply God (of Abraham) or Jesus.We The People created this nation… that sounds pretty secular (no
mention of higher power) to me.And be careful not to confuse
absolute morals with objective morals – the former do not exist whereas
the later do.Reached comment limit…
TylerD"In a country founded on secular humanists values (like ours) he
would stand a chance"This is such a ridiculous statement that at
first I laughed, until I realized how pervasive this belief is becoming. To make that statement is to either completely ignore US history, or to
have a thorough misunderstanding of Secular Humanism. The US was
built up on a foundation of Judeo-Christian values. I am not claiming it was
built up to be a Judeo-Christian nation, but that the culture and values of the
population at the time and the principles incorporated into our founding
documents were clearly Judeo-Christian.Secular Humanism is a
militarily atheistic worldview. There is no place for any sort of higher power,
man is nothing but a chemical process. There are no moral absolutes and no
basis for natural law. All of this is contrary to the worldview of nearly every
one of the men and women of the 1700. The idea of Darwinian Evolution (the
basis for Secular Humanism) didn’t even exist at that time.There is a Massive difference between a secular country (separation of Church
and State) and a Secular Humanist country (actively atheistic).
Kirk R Graves, using your logic, you could then say businesses don't need
to pay property taxes, because the people they serve already pay taxes. What
you're saying is we're not subsidizing the church itself, but rather
its members who somehow require extra roads, fire and police protection of their
churches. Either way, non-churchgoers as subsidizing someone. Churches pay for
other services they use. They don't get free water or electricity (anymore,
since St George stopped paying the temple's electric bill). Why should they
get other services for free just because those services are provided by the
government?And Badger, treating others the way you would want to be
treated is not a phrase exclusive to religious people. Most people would
consider it common sense, not some great wisdom that only exists because of
religion. And you didn't even bother to refute Ranch's actual
As far as I am concerned, this article caters to the fears among the religious
Americans, urging them to see enemies behind every bush.50 years
ago, there were not evangelicals in every military base, giving the best
assignments to each other, preaching in the barracks, and so forth.40
years ago, women gained the right to make the painful choice of abortion, which
some religious people want to take away -- another example of trying to make
religion law.Only 5 years ago, a catholic bishop who had moved to
California instilled fear in Utah mormons, causing them to wage a campaign for
Prop 8 that was not only a political action, but blew to pieces the Commandment
"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor". (I was in
California, I was subjected to the fear tactics and lies of the commercials, so
kindly do not tell me I am wrong)People who believe differently
deserve freedom from your religion, from my religion, from any religion, if they
do not want it.No one is trying to damage your religion. You
do not have a right to tell your beliefs to those who do not ask.
I personally believe organized religion is the problem. People who are not
religious, but are spiritual have more christ-like interactions with others.
They love and accept all without condition more than those in churches do.
Religion spends its money and time trying to fight against equal rights for
others who are "different" than they are rather than spend that money on
feeding the poor and aiding the homeless. (In fact most homeless people in Sale
Lake City are gay people who were chucked out of their religious homes)There is a reason why religion is on the decline. Religious people are doing
it all by themselves. There is no "gay agenda" or anything like that.
Its all them.
John Pack. I can't wait to hear you howl when you win this argument and
end up with signs in shops across the Bible Belt that read: No Mormons Allowed.
We reserve the right to refuse service to those who worship differently than us.
If a person feels that doing something will violate their religion, they do not
have to justify the whys to you. Freedom of religion means they can do what they
choose.The examples about Unitarians are hogwash and the same with
Quakers. If the government tried to force Quakers to serve in war, then we would
object. If the government tried to tax Catholics to pay for contraception, we
would not claim anyone's religious liberty was endangered. Religious
liberty does not mean that people can perform any marriage they want, it means
that the government should not force them to perform or support marriages they
object to.The test of religious liberty is allowing things people
object to. The fact that so many people here think that private individuals
should be forced to fund things they religiously object to is very disturbing.
Wedding cakes are an act of proactively affirming a relationship. If someone
refuses to bake cakes for couples marrying in the temple because they disagree
with such ceremonies, I would have zero problem with that.The
refusal is to make a cake that would proactively endorse a same-gender marriage.
People religiously object to the marriage. To think the government can force
people to affirm what they religiously object to is wrong.
Anyone who fails to see attacks is blind. If the government can fine you because
you refuse to participate in something that you sincerely feel is a desecration
of an act you thing should be treated with respect, than clearly religious
freedom is threatened.The government should not have the ability to
force people to fund procedures they disagree with. This is all the more
egregious because if Obama and friends were really serious about the importance
of free birth control they would directly fund it with tax dollars, which would
not be a violation of religious freedom. But no, that would not have worked, so
they try to force others to do so, even religious schools, religious employers
and the like.
The affordable care act issue would not be as insidious if it was as mentioned
here. The act itself does not require birth control to be provided, that is
actually a mandate made by the secretary of Health and Human Services later on.
Additionally, there are lots of people who are exempted, the Obama
administration is just fighting tooth and nail to prevent people from being
exempted because they sincerely object to it. One does not check
their religious freedom when they start a business.
Badger,Unfortunately that is the MO of most of the extreme left on
these boards. They decry what they refer to as religion meddling in government
and then use the same heavy hand to attempt to accomplish their version of
morality. The half truths and out and out lies on these comment board are
astounding. I have no idea how I am protecting someone by forcing someone else
to service them in some fashion. If someone refuses to make me a cake, because
I have blue eyes or have an attraction to llamas so be it. I'll find a
different baker. However, I really don't believe that is their ultimate
aim. I really do believe that their goal is to eradicate religion from the
public sphere completely or make churches bend to their particular narrative.
RanchHandIt is a position of weakness to denounce religion and then
quote a religious teaching as counsel to others.
American Patriot says:' It's time to drop antiquated
thinking ..."Antiquated thinking like the bible is true and god
is gonna gitcha if you don't do x, y and z? Couldn't agree more.Religious rights do not give you the right to use your religion as a
reason to discrminate. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
DanOGenerally, when people claim that churches are subsidized by
taxpayers, they are referring to roads, fire, police, etc... There are
services which exist to serve the people in that area, not the churches. In
effect, those services are serving the citizen members of the religious
organization receiving the tax-exemption, not the organization itself. So, when
a fire occurs at a mosque, the fire service is serving the citizen members of
the mosque when they respond, not the mosque itself (remember that a religious
organization is not a citizen, but it represents a group of citizens who have
joined together for purposes of faith).As for the other part, churches
receiving state funds, I am for the most part opposed to that. It puts the
church under the control of the state, which we should not allow.
Re:VSTAs atl134, Ranch and others have pointed out, the Constitution
doesn't protect shirtless or shoeless people. The only case I can imagine
a patron having a potential lawsuit involving apparel would be with, say, a
Muslim woman being refused service because she was wearing a hijab--a
requirement of her religion. No shirt, no shoes, no service policies generally
apply to all--black/white, young/old, gay/not, religious/atheist.
I feel it is time for the LDS Church to allow its members to openly discuss our
liberties in church - over the pulpit. Our freedoms are eroding by the day and
the guidelines state that we can't discuss politics inside the buildings.
Our personal and religious freedoms are intertwined with politics and there is
no way around that matter any longer. It's time to drop antiquated
thinking and start taking a very active, in-church approach to this matter or we
are just going to have member-sheeple as usual.
Religious Liberty? Does that include freedom for Muslims to worship how they
wish in the US? Are they allowed to build extravagant buildings wherever they
may? No. As a US citizen living abroad I see other countries that are actually
free and actually practice what they preach from the pulpit treat their
citizens. Paying higher taxes so lower income and the disadvantaged have a
reasonable standard of living is wonderful to see and is actually good
economics. The American dream is only available in the US if you're in a
middle class white family who are Christian.
americanalatina13: "People have the right to ABSOLUTE religious freedom
24/7/365." [emphasis added]The problem comes when equally valid
rights conflict. There are no easy resolutions. There are few absolutes, if
any. There is the line about "your right to swing your fist stops when it
hits my nose." What is the religious liberty equivalent? Your right to
practice your faith stops when...My problem with the current wave of
religious liberty frenzy is its singular and selective focus on a very few
narrow issues (the contraception mandate in ACA, businesses withholding services
from LGBT couples). It ignores many other church/state conflicts. This
indifference to the big picture leads me to believe that religious liberty is a
smokescreen or a dog whistle hiding some other agenda.All of the
following are practices observed by various faith communities that are
restricted by the government in some way, yet how often do these groups speak in
support of their rights?- same sex marriage- polygamy- female
circumcision- animal sacrifice- objection to war- sacramental
wine for minors- objection to graven images (e.g. photo IDs)- kosher
or halal dietary laws- Saturday Sabbath observationSee? No
easy answers. No absolutes.
@bandersen – “The 'boogeyman' are not the defenders of
religious liberty, it is the defenders of Mao, Stalin, Hitler,
Lenin…”There‘s a lot of confusion on these forums
when it comes to freedom & liberty, especially when the conversation
degenerates into calling the non-religious among us supporters of tyrants like
Stalin & Hitler.First, most secular humanists are against all
forms of irrationality, dogmatism and any “ism” where the freedom of
the moral & rational individual is given over to any “higher
power” whether that higher power is the head of state, a prophet, or Santa
Claus (or any other fictitious big guy with a white beard). For a
secular humanist, the tyrants mentioned above are at least as bad as any
religious fanatic because they employ many of the same tactics to gain power as
religion has done for centuries. Stalin could only come to power in
a country that for hundreds of years had been drugged by ecclesiastical
authority and subservience to power. In a country founded on secular humanists
values (like ours) he would stand a chance… unless the populous rejects
those values en masse.
Kirk R Graves, but what of us who are non-religious whose property taxes then
subsidize the services that churches receive? If the power to tax is the power
to destroy, shouldn't the other group covered under the same Amendment be
afforded that right? Why do we tax the press? Yes, tax exemptions for churches
is indeed a special privilege and as you said yourself, they don't even
have to justify that they do provide the community with services in return. In
fact, many churches receive taxpayer money through "faith-based
initiatives." Whatever happened to "Give unto Caesar that which is
Caesar's?" Churches in many locations are buying up huge amounts of
land. They have an advantage over other buyers because they won't have to
pay taxes on it, so they can afford to buy more land. This starves communities
of tax revenues. How is this equitable to the rest of the community?
The hypocrisy of the religious zealots is evident. Some claim that making a cake
for a same sex couple violates their religion.OK. Show us where
there is a commandment to wit: "Thou shalt not make cakes or pastries or
anything like unto it for those who believe differently than you"?Show us where in the Bible it says "Thou shalt not employ people who do
not believe the same as you, and if you do, then thou shalt not allow them to
have health care that includes coverage for things you find offensive".Too many religious zealots are violating their own religions, by adding
extra "commandments", rules and laws that are NOT supported by
scripture, by history, nor by common sense.Religious freedom is not
the issue. Religious bigotry is!
People have the right to absolute religious freedom 24/7/365.When a
state mandates that a person must participate in something that is against that
person's religious beliefs (forced sale of abortion drugs or forced
participation in a homosexual 'marriage' for example) then the state
is declaring what 'is' and what 'is not' that
individual's religious beliefs.This is far beyond the silly
catch phrase of 'don't like homosexual marriages, don't have
one' and is actually 'can't participate in a same-sex marriage,
well, tough! You will be forced to participate or you will lose the right to
earn a living or the right to own a business.'America was
founded on the basis of life, liberty and property. People came here for
religious freedoms. "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment
of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"Congress
and state legislatures (and the courts through the 13th A) are mandating that
people no longer have the right to personal religious liberty and must now
choose between making a living or going to jail for a failure to follow the
state's definition of valid religious ideas.
BadgerMan,I agree with your sentiment, but that isn't actually why
churches get tax exempt status. The constitution define the relationship which
the state has with religion. Which is that the state is to remain "Hands
off" in regards to religion. the tax exemption that religious
organizations receive is not a "benefit" because of the good they do.
It is inherent in the relationship they have with the state.To argue
otherwise is to start down a road where religions have to prove they do some
good before the state will leave them alone.along the same vein, some seem
to imply that the tax exempt status is some sort of special privilege afforded
to religious organizations. This is not the case. Tax exemption is how we
fulfill the requirements of the 1st amendment. If the state could tax religion,
they also have the power to control the behavior of religion.
RedShirt and all of those who decry freedom of religion because they hate
religions -Do you really understand what you're saying? When
there was no freedom of religion, Atheists were killed during the inquisition.
Are you suggesting Atheists take the same tactic? How would you enforce your
limits on religion? How would that make you better than the religion you decry?
To whom it may concern:Since most of you are probably regular readers on
the DN website, and have contributed to similar discussions(or slugfests, as is
unfortunately usually the case), you've probably seen this and previous
comments of mine. I'm taking a break from this comment war here, because I
have shared what I know and believe on this post, and on others, and there is
nothing else for me to say. So thank you, so long, farewell, and sayonara.
I have noticed some, claiming to be members of the LDS Church, either accusing
or insinuating that the Church is playing politics, or pandering to "right
wing conservative" groups. You might want to check your own agenda before
you accuse the Brethren of having one. I'm not suggesting that to have
experienced disappointment when a Church position is at odds with your own is
equivalent to apostasy. What I am suggesting is that you do some soul searching
(Lord, is it I?) before you dismiss their statements as politics. Has a
statement by the Brethren ever chaffed me? Sure, but in those rare cases,
I've either been able to find my own error, or I've let it go and left
it to the Lord. Anyway, why should anonymous, unresponsible, LDS
posters who fancy themselves as more-open-minded-than-thou have more weight than
to the Brethren who, like Elder Oaks, consistently promote religious liberty and
warn against threats to it. To me, these kinds of comments suggest to me
someone who is a political activist with a LDS membership number, rather than a
Latter-day Saint with a political leaning.
Churches do communities great amounts of service. That is why churches get tax
exempt status. Those suggesting that churches should lose the tax exemption
should look at the facts. That money that is exempted, that you think should
fill the public coffers, wouldn't do a hundredth of the good it does in the
hands of a church.Many thanks to all the anti-religious commentors.
You show just the kind of prejudice, and 'my feelings are more important
than your first amendment rights', kind of thinking that is spreading
through certain sectors of this country. YOu are the reason there needs to be a
defense of religious liberty coalition.
I am worried about being able to express my religion if things continue the way
they have been going. I am a bonafied minister for the First Church of Atheism.
Here is the problem. If I am not given the freedom to express my religion then I
am going to have to start celebrating Christmas and Easter and Passover and
Ramadan just so I can comply with NOT expressing my belief in nothing. By me not
expressing a belief in something, I ironically express my belief in nothing,
which people want to be illegal, so I HAVE TO express a belief in something to
avoid expressing my belief in nothing. Hmmm. What to do? what to do? The stupid
corners we paint ourselves into...
Ignorance of history is no excuse for supporting lies, including the lie that
'religions' are responsible for anything but preserving liberty and
life. The 'boogeyman' are not the defenders of religious liberty, it
is the defenders of Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Lenin, and a host of other progressive
'democrats' who believe that religious liberty supporters are a bunch
of Tea party extremists that will put all athiests in prison, after being drawn
and quartered and put under the guillotine. Talk about a pathetic
misunderstanding of history, if history is even considered before making such
imbecilic and ignorant statements.
Defending religious liberty while simulaniously insinuating that lack of
religion is due to a moral problem with the individual that rejects the dogma of
your own particular religion.
Why would a Christian refuse service on religious grounds?Jesus
said, "In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for
this fulfills the law and the prophets."What does "fulfills
the law and the prophets" mean?"This principle of action and
mode of life is ... the sum of all Bible teaching," says the Pulpit
Commentary.The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary calls it "all
Scripture in a nutshell."Barnes' Notes on the Bible says it
is "the sum or substance of the Old Testament" and "a summary
expression of all that the law required."If the rule "treat
others as you would want them to treat you" is "the sum of all Bible
teaching," how better for a Christian to exercise his freedom of religion
than by actually following it, instead of finding excuses not to?To
quote Barnes again: "This command has been usually called the
'Saviour's golden rule' ... All that you 'expect' or
'desire' of others in similar circumstances, do to them. Act not from
selfishness or injustice, but put yourself in the place of the other, and ask
what you would expect of him. This would make you impartial, candid, and
In the Constitution of 1812 in Spain, which was said to be the first Spanish
constitution released, said this constitution that the Catholic Church was the
only religion of the state, and did not allow any other, when the great great
grandfather of my children not Elder Edward Stevenson could preach in Spain, was
persecution, and thus has been all this time in Spain, until it came the
Constitution of the Spanish Republic in February 1931 that allowed freedom of
religion, that caused inconvenience to the Catholic Church, and support the blow
of a State and a 40-year dictatorship where the dictator Franco blessed, when
the Church was permitted in Spain, some members who wanted to marry fuerón
forced marriages in the Catholic Church, because there was no civil, do not
understand why the defense of religious freedom that is sponsored, because some
religions they want control and power, as we live here in Spain, excuse my bad
I joined the Facebook group because I agree with the principle as stated on the
site--that religious freedom is key and that we all have an obligation to be
sure it is preserved. I do worry that the majority of people rallying around the
cause are far more concerned with protecting their own religious rights (or the
religious rights of those who are similar to them) and not really willing or
prepared to protect those of others, especially those in religions outside the
mainstream. Will my fellow Mormons stand behind religious polygamists seeking
the right to legally practice their faith? Even if it results in their being
tarred as polygamist sympathizers and a consequent fall in conversion rates? To
the extent that this movement contains people willing to sacrifice for
others' religious freedoms, I'm interested in continuing to be
associated with them. If it turns out that most people joined the movement for
primarily self-serving reasons, then I'm out.
@VST – “What about the phrase posted by some businesses that state
“No shirts, no shoes, no service?” Is that considered
unconstitutional?”That has nothing to do with discrimination
but is simply about a patron’s real-time behavior within a business
establishment.If a gay person wants a table at your restaurant and
is not wearing a shirt, or wishes to engage in a gay makeout session, the
business owner has every right to ask them to leave.If that same
person is being civil and behaving like every other customer, and the business
owner says to him “you cannot eat at my place because I think you’re
gay,” that is discrimination.See the difference? Allowing discrimination for anything other than real-time behavior &
decorum (and if business owners were stupid enough to run their enterprise based
on prejudice rather than profit… which 99.99% are not) would create a
country so fragmented it would make the Balkans look like the Borg.
To "atl134" so then you admit that discrimination is allowed, as long as
you discrimnate in favor of a protected group.For example, when
seeking government contracts you can use discrimination in your favor if you
have a minority owner, female owner, or veteran status. Even within the
minority owner category you can use discrimination in your favor by having an
eskimo own your business instead of a black or latino.The government
discriminates, but they do it in a way that promotes one group over all others.
Is that good? If discriminating to promote one group over all others is good,
then why is discriminating against a group bad?
Those who will not learn from (Prop 8) history are doomed to repeat it. This bogus battle is bound to backfire. Again.
@Coach BiffNew Hampshire has the lowest crime rate and the highest rate of
atheists. That wouldn't be accurate if your thinking was correct. @VST"What about the phrase posted by some businesses that state
“No shirts, no shoes, no service?” Is that considered
unconstitutional?"No, because the shirtless isn't a
protected class. These lawsuits are happening in states in which sexual
orientation is a protected class (or the lawsuit is to try and make the court
address whether it should be one). By the way, it goes both ways, if someone
refused to serve a heterosexual or a white person on the basis of sexual
orientation or skin color they would be protected as well... it's just
well... as a white straight male Christian I can't really think of any time
I've ever faced any discrimination so it just doesn't really ever come
@wwookie;Exactly HOW does baking a cake, providing flowers for,
photographing a same sex marriage "go against one's religion"? Is
the baker getting same-sex married? Is the florist getting same-sex married?
Is the photographer getting same-sex married? Is the religous organization
taking the contraceptive? No? Then they ARE NOT going against their religious
beliefs.By not "doing unto others as you would have them do unto
you", you ARE going against your religious beliefs.Catholic
Charities was using TAX money to run. LGBT couples ARE citizens and
taxpayers.@VST;"No shirt/shoes/service" can
easily be rectified by donning said attire.
Wall street bankers who profit from Marxist theology by having the government
own and control everything and everybody are USING the 'gay'community
among others to subvert our free society .Once the government has taken
away all individual rights guaranteed under the constitution by the subversion
of a Christian nations morality.. the government then takes total control and
'gay rights' will be the first thing terminated.**from
history of socialist/Marxist governments of world.
Well, lessee... Churches enjoy various tax exemptions. One federal holiday is
overtly Christian and two others have religious undertones (as does a state
holiday). It is career suicide for a politician not to conclude an address with
"God bless America." The list goes on. Yet religious liberty is
apparently at risk because of a wedding cake and insurance policies. The
current fuss strikes me as more about religion losing hegemony than liberty.
Its privileged status is eroding and it now has to compete with other
philosophies and ideas. Attaining equality is tough on those who start out as
"more equal."The case for loss of religious liberty would be
more compelling if those making the case were less selective in their examples.
All reflect a right wing point of view. Why do they not ever mention (let alone
defend) the Quakers required to pay for war through their federal income taxes
or the Unitarians prevented by law from performing same sex marriages? By only
tacking right they betray a partisan agenda where advocacy of genuine religious
liberty is not the actual goal.
Dear LDS Church: Which is it? Tolerance/Gay Scouts? Or standing for
@ Ranch and so many others -We all understand that businesses are
not people.What you are sayin in essence is that businesses must now
direct their employees to go against their religion. This is something new in
the history of this country, and ironic because this country was founded bacause
of the desire by its founders to protect religious freedom. Catholic
charities had to stop their adoption services in Massachusetts because they were
being ordered to provide adoption services to same-sex couples. Now there are
more kids in foster homes in Massachusetts. That wasn´t a good thing for
the state, society or even the same-sex couples, yet the backward minded
activists see that as a victory. Why? where has rationale gone?A
Georgia wellness counselor was fired because she referred the case of a same-sex
individual to another counselor.]How about the bed&breakfast
owners in Illinois who were sued because their employees would not work for and
support a gay union ceremony.Your silly arguments about tiny points
that we all know (eg. businesses aren´t people) show a lack of
understanding and a myopic viewpoint.
If people think that religious liberties are not threatened by the homosexual
lobby, they are probably wrong. With the federal repeal of DOMA we've
stepped onto a slippery slope. The homosexual lobby will continue pressing their
cause until they've made every religion conform to their ways. Case in
point: recently California banned same-sex attraction therapy. Well now that
creates problems for a LDS bishop who counsels a young boy on how to overcome
thoughts on same-sex attraction, doesn't it?
Re:cy1951"I am concerned about my Church's continuing alliance
with what can only be described as the Christian Conservative Right,"Amen"Did we not learn anything from the debacle that was
Proposition 8 in California?"AmenApparently not.We
did not learn that "Chirstian" political campaigns involve very
misleading (at best), lies (at worst) tactics to demonize a groups of people.
The same tactics have been employed against LDS people, and now we are setting
aside good judgment and caution to join" the club."
@cy1951I couldn't agree more with your comments. And I would
add that cozying up to far-right groups also risks alienating a percentage of
current members who can see these groups for what they are. We know that
leaders are fallable, and this does not feel right.
The new way to rally your troops (followers, believers) is to wage war against
something that doesn't exist is to create a boogie man that doesn't
exist and then insist we all join in on trying to defeat the made up boogie man.
I hear all of these silly anecdotal issues that threaten "religious
freedom" but where is the hard evidence that suggest religious freedom is
under some sort of secular attack? Making church owned for profit businesses
pay for insurance the covers... heaven forbid, birth control? Oh my! Call in
the troops, we're under attack by the liberal bureaucrats in Washington!
Yet it's perfectly ok to push for legislation that forces all citizens to
abide by the moral creeds of a religion? And those of the LDS faith, careful
what you wish for, you may run the gambit in Utah, but when you are
discriminated against in the Bible Belt and elsewhere under the guise of
"religious freedom" maybe you'll think twice about your stance on
@Red Shirt "The facts are the world is becoming less religious and more
spiritual, more respectful of others and vastly safer than it ever was under
religious political rule."Really? Do explain. Where do you live?
@michael.jensen369;It is NOT the purpose of a business owner to
judge the morals or worthiness of his/her customers. If you don't want to
provide the service your business provides to *some* customers, for whatever
reason, then you have no business being in business. The law states that you
can not discriminate based on various criteria. If you refuse to obey the law,
then you make the choice to accept the punishment for that disobedience.How would you like to be required to go from business to business to
business to business to business to find one that would provide you the services
they offered everyone else? That is exactly what bigotry is.
Coach Biff: "The left isn't interested in freedom for the individual,
they want unfettered power to enforce their version of morality."Baloney.You're only being told to _stop_ trying to impose
your irrational Bronze Age beliefs on the 21st century.If you feel
the need to worship your god by privately performing whatever rituals your
religion requires, that's your affair, but you may _not_ expect your
rituals and prejudices to be given the force of law in our country.
"But religious business owners have found themselves unprotected and in some
cases in violation of local ordinances that ban discrimination based on sexual
orientation."--Businesses are NOT people. They have
NO religion. They ARE require to OBEY the law.Next thing you know,
"religious" business owners are going to want to discriminate against
blacks based on their "religious beliefs".Here's the
MAJOR religious commandment given these "religious" people by the man
they claim is the son of god. "Do unto others as would have them do unto
you".Religious liberty does not give you the right to
discrminate outside your home or church.
Why must I sell my wares to anyone who wants them? And don't give me any
"discrimination" malarkey. We all discriminate. If I choose to
discriminate, the market will take care of my business by attrition or it
won't. The left isn't interested in freedom for the individual, they
want unfettered power to enforce their version of morality. They have failed to
this point in the democratic forum, but they have always been able to use the
now corrupt court system as their bully pulpit. And, Amen, to the posters on
this board who have pointed out the lies told about religion being the greatest
killers in history. You can't even touch the numbers attributed to Mao,
Stalin, Pol Pot, etc. ad nauseum. The fact is, the irreligious have been
responsible for more murder and misery than any of the religions of today or
yesterday. Read a history book for heavens sake.
I had hoped to see the Church less aligned with outside right wing groups.
Clearly that is not going to happen.
I suspect this move by the Church will, in the long run, do more harm to their
main goal (growing membership) than good as they continue to be more and more
associated with right-wing politics than with anything Jesus taught.But hey, far be it from me to defend any religious organization… so (LDS
Church) keep digging.
I can see a great deal of abuse being OK because it's part of the freedom
to hold to your religious convictions. It's interesting that Baptists were
early on since they used Relgious theology to back the use of slaves in the 18th
and 19th centuries. They weren't alone of course the Methodists also strong
in the south, did the same. There are over 30 scriptures in the Old and New
Testament which advocate the practice of slavery, over 20 where God approves and
advocates genecide. I don't think I want to give any group the right to do
those things just because they claim God told them to. If you follow the Bible
you know that mental illness is nothing but devil posession, that birth defects
are a result of sinful parents and homosexuals should be punished for their
"sins". It appears that by picking and choosing which ones to believe
the gays got stuck with old superstition that still holds. Why not simply be
honest and tell the Fed you're not going to take their interference anymore
while forsaking the tax deduction for contributions?
I am concerned about my Church's continuing alliance with what can only be
described as the Christian Conservative Right, while at the same time trying to
"Hasten The Work" -- that is, increase membership and convert baptisms
-- through greater missionary effort. By alligning itself with increasingly
politically conservative groups and taking their positions on matters that many
people believe are just as much political as they are moral issues, the Church
is eliminating huge chunks of North American population who are not politically
conservative and are "turned off" by such narrow political viewpoints.
Did we not learn anything from the debacle that was Proposition 8 in California?
Where any one who thinks gay rights is a civil rights question -- at least 40%
of the population -- will likely never have interest in the church when
missionaries or members approach them. What is the cost to potential church
growth of choosing to stand with conservatively aligned groups on issues like
this one -- "religious liberty" is a buzz word for conservatives
rallying against ObamaCare, and that is political, not religious. We need to
focus on reaching out to everyone if we truly want to "grow the church."
This movement to "preserve religious freedom" is just a diversionary
label that conservative religious groups coalesce around to get at public
policies that they do not agree with. There is no threat to religious freedom
inherent in permitting same sex marriage. There is no real threat to religious
freedom in expanding medical coverages to include more people. What
conservative religious groups are really worried about, including the LDS
Church, is a growing realization that these institutions are the real
"takers" in the economic sense, and that growing awakening might well
represent a public policy threat to the privileged status they enjoy with regard
to taxation and other economic factors.
Religious freedom isn't under attack. The right of religions, however, to
impose themselves on society and require people to live according to their
tenets is being challenged. Rightly so.In the bakery case -- By
obtaining a business license, this bakery agreed to abide by all regulations,
including regulations concerning discrimination, that had been or were in the
future enacted. When they obtained the business license, there was a regulation
providing that discrimination based on sexual orientation as illegal. By
obtaining their business license, they agreed that they would not discriminate
based on sexual orientation.Part of their business was to bake and
provide wedding cakes. Since they provided cakes for receptions for
"straight" marriages, they legally could not discriminate by refusing to
provide cakes for receptions for "gay" marriages. That is de facto
discrimination based on sexual orientation, and consequently illegal. AND it is
contrary to the assurances they gave when they got their business license that
they would adhere to the law. If they didn't want to provide
wedding cakes at gay marriages, all they had to do was stop providing wedding
case. There are lot more things a bakery can do an make money.
People forget any movement for equality in history never stops when the original
objective is achieved. Rather, a line is crossed where equality becomes at
least a shade of removing freedom from opposing viewpoints.The
movements of today contrary to traditional religious values constantly claim
injustice, unfairness, and a need to "balance" society, that greater
privilege and protection is not extended any more to religion than any other
ideology. But, just as history clearly shows religious discrimination against
unbelievers and different faiths, so too, religious people of today can make the
reverse case.When majority groups become a shrunken minority that
once was, the need to "dominate" the other side soon becomes apparent in
the new majority. Many religious groups of yesteryear are now experiencing a
decline of membership and loss of popular consensus to become a minority, just
as those groups not popular then, now have majority power and influence.How will the new majority act any different with respecting
non-believers of their ideology than religious hypocrites having greater power
historically? Power of worldly groups always becomes unrighteous dominion over
others eventually, so why are so many convinced secularism won't follow
There's a recent BBC report about elderly gay patients in nursing homes in
the U.K. being denied treatment or being otherwise given less than adequate
support by care staff who have religious or other objections to
"homosexuality." It is apparently a pretty widespread problem. And it is one of the reasons that gay people tend to be wary of those
who say "just find another provider, one who wants to serve you."Isn't always possible. And, well, it shouldn't ever be
Re:Michaeljensen369The Supreme Court has struck down discriminatory
laws. States have also enacted laws against discrimination which the Supreme
Court has upheld. In states which have such laws, businesses that refuse
service are breaking the law. So, no, businesses do not have an unfettered
right to refuse service to anybody for any reason.When a business is
breaking the law, people have a right to redress. Religious groups and
religious people have organized boycotts against various businesses and
practices. They've even fought to have state constitutions changed to
prohibit activities they don't agree with so lets not pretend that
religious people simply turn the other cheek and go on with their lives. Peacemaking, looking for common ground, loving thy neighbor, not
judging, I thought that is what the Gospel is about. Do people
really believe God is going to condem them because they baked a wedding cake for
a gay couple?
OK, I recognize the importance of freedom of religion, but what about freedom
within religion? Isn't that just as important?
I looked at the new Facebook page of the LDS Church "Support Religious
Freedom." What a mass of confusion. As stated, "Religious Freedom is the
right to think, express, and act upon what you deeply believe." Yet there is
not one example given, nor can I, as an active member of the sponsoring church,
think of one example of any American not being able to think, lawfully express
or act on what they deeply believe - unless they've tried to use public
resources to do so. Seems such a strange position for a Constitution-loving
Growing chorus? Look at the two "partner" websites listed in the
article, should have frightened anyone who is looking a for a more balanced
"chorus" of left & right combined. Who's head of the Faith
& Freedom Coalition? Mr. Ralph Reed. The list of folks, more references to
Bush-Cheney & Liberty University than ever seen before. With voices like
this as our friends, do you think the other side is going to join up on the same
stage with the politicized folks cited?? Then click on the other link-Mr.
William Kristol is one of the organization's policy advisors? With friends
like these, who needs enemies? Are we playing embattled Church victim, where
everyone's out to bring us down (like so many other conservative whines we
hear these days)? Or are we going to lead by doing the right thing first
instead of playing catch-up 40 years later? I am so sorry (as an active member)
to say that in the long history of critical 20th century issues, Church
leadership never led by example-were always playing catch-up with civil rights,
labor, cold war fear, anti-communism hysteria. Always making friends with the
wrong side. Is it again?
Re: atl134 The German Nazis/Hitler were not Christian or any other
religion. In fact Hitler executed many Christians ministers. He used religion
in a pagan sort of way. And in all his monstrous activities he never claimed he
was doing in the name of Christ. That in contrast to a certain religion of
today that do much evil in the name of their god.
@michael.jenson369The Nazi regime wasn't atheist.
Religious liberty to the Moslems means circumcising girls involuntarily.
Religious liberty to the Jews means circumcising boys involuntarily.Both of these religious liberty is are improper and ought not be
The DN frequently publishes this type of article.Haven't noticed
people being upset that their Church is being picked on. Here in St.
George, on Sunday, the streets are quiet, as is a great portion of the city,
similar to the rest of the state of Utah. Many of the Utah populace spend a good
portion of their day in Church. Some things never change, it appears.Funny, there are so many people EVERYWHERE who can make a good cake.One
has to wonder what is frightening these folks.
I looked at the new Facebook page of the LDS Church "Support Religious
Freedom." What a great resource and teacher of LDS beliefs. As stated,
"Religious Freedom is the right to think, express, and act upon what you
deeply believe." This simple concept is so important in this day and age
for the continuation of any faith. Regardless of which religion you belong to,
or what belief you follow...this is a great source of information to let all
know why we need religious freedom and what matters about it. I look forward to
following this subject on Facebook.
@LinguistI appreciate your comment, but most of all, I appreciate your
being civil in this discussion. I have had a lot of bad experiences with people
with similar opinions to yours, who are just absolutely terrible, mean and
bigoted when I express my beliefs. So thank you for being civil. I think that
the points that you raised takes this issue into the realms of business law. As
far as I know, it has always been the right of any business to refuse service to
any potential customer. And, as far as I know, that "right" has never
been struck down by the Supreme Court. Another thing is....there's probably
more than one bakery shop in the area where they live.... why not find another
one? If a business or organization slanders the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day Saints, do I pull out my signs and my wrath and go parade in front of
their establishment?(I don't know if that is actually what happened in this
case, but you get the idea.) Nope. Life goes on, conflict is part of it, people
believe what they believe, and I just roll with the punches.
The ignorance voiced hear is astounding. To have anyone conclude that the
Mormon church takes away agency or is forcing people to live a certain way is
truly juvenile, ignorant, and patronizing. To think in this day of
enlightenment that religion is viewed as anything but as a preserver of liberty
and life is laughable beyond compare. To think that someone actually can
express it without thinking that there ignorance, bigotry, and blindness
isn't exposed is a mystery.
Religion is looking to soothe its' discriminatory conscience, and will deal
victim card after victim card to do it.
@redshirt007You forget that terrible atrocities have been done in the
name(or at least by their proponents)enforced atheism. I'm not denying what
you said about the atrocities that have been committed in the name of religion.
But I think Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union are two examples of enforced
atheism, where atheism is the state religion. And they aren't exactly
stellar examples of championing human rights, or peace, or respect, or safety,
or spirituality. The fact is, extremism is the enemy here. Not religion.
Extremism is irrespective of religion, whether it be a theistic or atheistic
one. And, if you search, you can find loads of studies that suggest a highly
positive relationship between religiosity and civic-mindedness, donations to
charity, and good citizenship. That's not a guarantee(because nobody is
perfect; we are all affected by this "human condition" of ours), but it
is most certainly much more likely. If you dig around on the Pew Forum's
website, you'll find plenty of correct info.
@michael.jensen369My apologies-- you are quite right that she did
not "kick out" anyone. She did, however, refuse to provide them with a
service that she provided to other paying customers.She didn't
actually kick out the gay couple, but she did say that she didn't approve
or recognize them as marrying, and therefore would not provide a service to
them.Honestly, while I think she has the right to disapprove and
even to tell them so (as rude as that may be), I don't believe the
marketplace should be off-limits to someone willing to pay for a service being
offered.Imagine a Christian baker not willing to bake a cake for a
Jewish couple because their religion denies the divinity of Jesus. Imagine the
Jewish baker refusing to bake a cake for a Christian couple because they worship
a man as a god. Imagine a Protestant refusing to bake a cake for a Mormon
couple...well, you get the idea.Eventually, you have the Balkans:
each bakery set up for one particular sect? The trouble with that scheme, of
course, is that only certain sects will have no trouble finding cakes. Peace.
I would like to know how the LDS Church has been negatively impacted by the
"war on religion?"Article:"A leader in the campaign has
been the Roman Catholic Church, which made religious liberty a top priority
after Congress in 2009 passed the Affordable Care Act, which the church said
violates its stand against birth control by requiring all employers to provide
contraceptives through health care insurance plans."Is the
Catholic Church at "war" with itself?"The National
Catholic Reporter first reported earlier this week that the Catholic Health
Association had issued a memo saying it can live with the Obama
administration's latest compromise on birth control coverage by religious
employers."We are pleased that our members now have an
accommodation that will not require them to contract, provide, pay or refer for
contraceptive coverage," said the CHA statement."(DeseretNews July
The posters here pretty much prove why the need to protect religious freedom
For example: "If you don't believe in birth control, don't
use it." A better question is: Simply because you want free birth control,
what gives you the right to expect the Catholic Church to pay for it? Those who
don't think there is an issue with religious freedom are merely the ones
most blind to itBTW: The most brutal despots of the twentieth
century were militantly secular and/or openly hostile to religion, therefore the
'blame religion for all the worlds problems' attitude is remarkably
myopic and represents a bigotry in its own right
About time they wake up.......religion is under attack and has been for
years......and to know it doesn't take divine guidance or
revelation...it's in every paper or blog site on the net!
This is not religious liberty. It is religious tyranny. If a person claims a
religious right to ignore a secular law, what's the point of any law? Can
someone simply claim their religion allows them to behave in a manner state or
federal law prohibits? Would religions have to be mainstream and therefore
licensed? If I claim the 10 commandments or any law are in opposition of my
faith, can I just simply do as I please?
@wwookie"Just need to compare 30 years ago to today. Many more
limitations to practicing your religion."Okay wwookie, please
name for us 5 limitations to practicing your religion today in the U.S.
(country) that did not exist in 1983.
I believe in the right to practice the religious principles of your own choice,
but I don't see these religious freedoms being threatened in any way. If
you don't believe in birth control, don't use it. If you believe that
homosexual relationships are wrong, don't participate in such activities.
Live your religion, but don't cry that your religious freedoms are being
when threatened when you can't force others to live according to your
Faith has been under attack for a very long time in this country.And
it's much mor than just faith, it's freedom as a whole. It is
progressively harder to live your religion and comply with the law of the land.
On the other hand, it has easier for others to infringe on your ability to
practice your faith and be protected by the law.Time to stand up and
have your voice heard was decades ago. Now we are in a very fast downhill
slide.Pretty soon we will have a country where your freedom is
choosing which church building you attend as long as what's preached has
been approved by the federal government.Just need to compare 30
years ago to today. Many more limitations to practicing your religion.
@Linguist,I'll cut and paste a comment I made recently about one of
the articles you mentioned: "After reading your comment, I did some research
about the article you mentioned. NBC, The Huffington Post, and even Media
Matters covered the same issue, and none of them had any quotes by the lesbian
women, or any gay-rights activists. I don't know the whole situation behind
the reporting, but that is what I found. I also found on the NBC video that the
owner stated that he has homosexuals come into his shop and buy stuff on almost
a weekly basis, and he said that he has nothing wrong with them being
homosexual, but that he simply does not support gay marriage. So there is a
dichotomy here." There is nothing that said that bakery owner "kicked
them out". He merely explained that he does not support gay marriage, and
would not bake a cake for that purpose. I can understand how it can be painful
and frustrating to be slandered or maligned about being gay. But that isn't
the situation in this case, according to the evidence that was available.
Looks like the posters above don't believe in religion.I for ONE say
thank you LDS church, and I embrace your stance.Thanks!
I wonder if my church takes this stance because they see Christians in general
as well as other religion's regressive members oppressing other's free
agency. Or, is it because they feel we are oppressed for not being allowed to
exercise our unrighteous judgment on others? This judgment ultimately
discriminates against and facilitates persecution and suffering of others. Worst
of all, it deprives others of their free agency to chose right or wrong. Very
un-Christian.(The Crusades, Salem which trials, KKK, Taliban all come to mind).
I'm sure love, tolerance and simply being a good example is what they are
shooting for. I wish they would be as outspoken and clear about loving our
neighbors, as opposed to judgment and pride as justification for bad behavior as
they are about drinking coffee. It's so confusing. One thing I am certain
of, refusing service to a gay person is as unconstitutional as refusing service
to a black person or a Mormon. It is most certainly not religious persecution.
It's simply un-American and un-Christian. Refusing a wedding cake to a
couple because their Mormon, is religious persecution.
This "vast coalition" will evaporate the moment the focus shifts away
from what this coalition opposes and turns towards what they affirmatively
believe.It's no surprise really that a group of authoritarians
object to the 21st Century. Organized religion has always been at war with
civilization's inevitable progress in science, art, ethics, law, etc. As
these areas advance it becomes increasingly difficult to defend the belief that
religion deserves the privileges and immunities it claims for itself.So, not surprisingly, when society finds it intolerable for sectarian
organizations to intrude themselves into secular government, the authoritarians
who are accustomed to unquestioning deference take offense.I'd
love to see a gathering of conservative Catholics, Mormons and Baptists get
together and engage in an open discussion of what they _do_ believe in, instead
of what they oppose. The educational and entertainment value would be
The louder the religious get, the louder non-believers will get. Your belief in
god gives you no more a privilege than does your belief in Santa Claus or
The thing in this country that really protects religions from government is that
1st Amendment part of .....government shall make no law respecting
religion.......... It's always referred to as the "seperation of
church and state". If however, some court and ultimately the Supreme Court
were to see it another way, (which is very possible depending upon the
political makeup of said court) then that seperation could be gone, and
religions would be subject to all kinds of federal law and taxes. Hope it
doesn't ever happen, but with courts these days, anything is possible.
I'm so grateful that my religious freedom is all about preventing others
from having the same rights that I enjoy.
I do not think religion or religions are in any danger in our great country.
And as a person of faith, I would be among the first to stand up to defend it if
it needed defending.I remember growing up, Jewish, and learning
early on that, while we were free to follow our faith, that did not mean that
schools would close on our holidays or that we didn't have to put money in
the parking meter on the Sabbath (when observant Jews are not to carry money on
their persons).The explanation was more complicated than the simple
observation that our religion was in the minority. Rather, it was the
recognition that laws, particularly those laws pertaining to the marketplace,
ought to be religiously neutral: anyone can buy, anyone can sell, anyone can do
business.As a gay person, I cringe when I read about bakers or
photographers demanding the right to kick out some customers because they
don't approve of them. While the target in these recent cases happen to be
gay couples, it is all too similar to laws restricted business on Sundays but
not on Saturdays-- a double whammy for my family.
I can see from the graphic why this cause isn't catching on. Most of these
are fairly vague or unsupported.
Hopefully, this chorus only grows, because we need to see that every action we
undertake is related to our personal religion, be it theist or not. Religious
liberty, and in particular public religious expression, is paramount to a
Organized religion as a whole has done a great disservice to the world so far.
They have taken tithes, offerings and time and have not solved even the most
basic of human problems.Religious leaders have blessed tanks but never stood in
front of them. Instead they have cultivated mistrust and bigotry throughout
their history and a ready excuse for many crimes that have been committed to
indigenous peoples all over the world. It seems to me there has been
an EXCESS of religious freedom that has trampled the lives and freedom of others
for too long. It's time for religion to take it's rightful place and
ONLY be in the hearts and caring hands of it's followers. But the shrink in
power is painful I suppose. The facts are the world is becoming less
religious and more spiritual, more respectful of others and vastly safer than it
ever was under religious political rule.