Religious groups may lose political influence as religiously unaffiliated voters gain power

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  • jasonhardy salt lake city, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 8:43 p.m.

    Hey Tyler, and others,

    It's not intuitive, but the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment halts the government from entanglement with religion. Look up cases involving the Lemon test.

    Of course, the IRS requires religious corporations to refrain from some political activity, but 1) the 1st A is supreme and 2) the rules aren't enforced very well.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 2:03 p.m.

    @SCfan – “Have you ever considered that "secularism" and politics don't mix.”

    Secularism joined with the freedom of religion in the constitution is what makes Sharia Law illegal. It removes the ability of a religious group to impose their rules on other people.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 23, 2014 10:26 a.m.

    @SCfan – “Have you ever considered that "secularism" and politics don't mix.”

    Seems to have worked pretty well for us, given the fact that the Constitution was the world’s first wholly secular government charter, and when contrasted with prior centuries of non-secular governments (and modern day theocracies).

    But perhaps you mean something different by “secular” than what the Founders meant... if so, please elaborate.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 8:45 a.m.

    The Scientist

    "True religion" has had truth that works for a lot longer than latter day philosophys with their secular values. Many of which don't work and can end up enslaving rather than providing liberty. Communism for example. Notice I said "true" religion. I do agree with you, (if that is your point) that a lot of religion in this world today does cause a lot of bad things. I won't name names, but I think we both know what I am taking about.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    Ranch and Henry Drummond

    Have you ever considered that "secularism" and politics don't mix. They corrupt each other? Well, that statement carries as much weight as the one you made and Henry agreed with.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 5:52 a.m.

    Religion is not officially being denied a voice in the public square. Religion is losing influence because more and more citizens are recognizing the irrationality and corruption of religion, and the fact that religion is ideologically opposed to truth and liberty.

    Religion is marginalizing itself.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 6:18 p.m.

    Actually the religious and religions MUST have a voice in the public square or the first amendment means nothing.

    Denying any voice is wrong.

    When you start picking groups and persons who can participate in the public square where does it end? no where good.

    The constitution protects and welcomes all voices in the public square.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    Jan. 22, 2014 3:13 p.m.

    Which group of "religiously unaffiliated voters" should we fear the most, and why?

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Jan. 22, 2014 11:11 a.m.

    I believe your observation is right on the mark. It seems to be a lesson that every generation has to learn though.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    Meanwhile, here in Utah the legislature just got their marching orders on alcohol from their masters.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 10:42 a.m.

    Denmark (Church of Denmark), Greece (Church of Greece), Malta (Roman Catholic Church) and England in the UK (Church of England). Until recently the Church of Sweden was the state church of Sweden.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 9:26 a.m.

    Religion is, sadly, allowed to be given a wide berth in electoral politics. However, it is not owed such a berth, and the fact that people are wising up to the problems it causes and marginalising it to it's rightful place.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 22, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    “The First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees wide berth for religion to play a role in politics.”

    I’m at a loss trying to understand how someone reads the 1st amendment and concludes this. It’s like their neural pathways that process logic are all wired backwards.
    The only place in the Constitution where the political role of religion is mentioned is Article VI and it simply affirms that religion has NO political role.

    “Religiously unaffiliated voters are strongly Democratic in national elections,”

    I suspect if the Republican Party ever stops making religion a litmus test for political office, including the most shameless red meat pandering by opportunistic politicians (e.g., Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, etc.) this demographic will begin the shift.

    “Politicians will need to become increasingly adept at sincerely playing to several crowds rather than their bases.”

    Exactly! But along with the tail wagging the dog dynamic religion injects into politics, gerrymandering has gone a long way to making sure politicians (running for House seats) don’t have to do this.


    You forgot to mention Sweden, Denmark, Australia, Canada, Norway, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, France, etc…

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Jan. 22, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    @Vanceone: Fear mongering alert!

    "I look forward to the great day of Atheistic government! It worked so well for the Russians under Stalin, the Chinese under Mao, the Cambodians under Pol Pot, the Germans under Hitler, Italians under Mussolini, the North Koreans, the Cubans.... "

    What did all of those examples above lack the U.S.A. has?
    1. a secular representative republic
    2. a well written and time tested constitution as the basis of law
    3. a government that is segregated in to branches to create a system of checks and balances

    Just to name a few. We now return you to your regularly scheduled episode of the fun filled fantasy show "The Sky is Falling".

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 22, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    We should keep the dictates of corrupt religion out of politics and the public square. We should acknowledge the unknowable, embrace uncertainty and think for ourselves.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Jan. 22, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    "The First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees wide berth for religion to play a role in politics."

    The Constitution lends itself easily to misreading into it all sorts of things that aren't there. An intended role for religion is one of them. The fear some religious people have that they are being disenfranchised by changing demographics misses the point of one man, one vote. As a voting citizen, I wield no more influence than any other voter and no less.

    Being a part of a voting bloc is a choice. The Constitution is silent on the matter. What a person does with his vote is up to him. That's my America and I wouldn't change it.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    I look forward to the great day of Atheistic government! It worked so well for the Russians under Stalin, the Chinese under Mao, the Cambodians under Pol Pot, the Germans under Hitler, Italians under Mussolini, the North Koreans, the Cubans....

    Because it's not like these people are not worshiping a God, they are. It's called the God of Government. Just look at the media worshipping Obama--in many cases literally. And just look at how tolerant and loving Democratic politicians are. Why, just this past week Governor Cuomo of New York explicitly stated how people who disagree with him shouldn't be considered "New Yorkers."

    If that's what getting rid of Religion does, we certainly should send out the missionaries.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Jan. 22, 2014 8:01 a.m.

    This is great news for those that truly hold dear the ideals of this great and secular representative republic. Soon this nation will be a nation of freedom and equality for all.I thank the founding fathers for their great foresight and wisdom in creating the Constitution. They saw the dangers of religion left unchecked. It's taken several hundred years to get it correct but the forces of freedom and equality are prevailing.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Jan. 22, 2014 7:56 a.m.

    Good! It's about time.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 7:26 a.m.

    Let us citizens who have religious faith use our influence in the public square. Following is an example of where our influence is needed:

    FARMINGTON, Utah — The Alliance Defense Fund sent a letter Friday to the Davis School District in support of its policy that requires parental consent before children can check out a homosexual advocacy book titled “In Our Mothers’ House” from elementary school libraries. The American Civil Liberties Union contacted the district and demanded that it allow children to access the book without the knowledge of their parents.

    “Public schools should not surrender to ACLU intimidation when it asks them to expose children to sexual content without parental knowledge,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Parents, not the ACLU, should decide whether young children have access to this type of propaganda, which is obviously aimed at re-educating children regarding the nature of the family. The law clearly upholds the right and duty of schools to protect children and respect the role of their parents.”

    Citizens of Utah, let us in a civil way take a stand in defence of our constitutional rights to require that schools respect the role of parents with our children in elementary schools.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Jan. 22, 2014 7:24 a.m.

    The schism of the anti-Mormon segment of religious voters in this country failed to coalesce behind Romney. Now, all religious Americans are losing more influence. Fences need to be mended amongst them. The Protestant/Catholic conservatives didn't rally like they did in the past, during the last 2 elections.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 6:42 a.m.

    Religion and politics don't mix. They corrupt one another.