Confronted by power, Christ instead chose the truth. Will we do likewise?

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  • Coach Biff Lehi, UT
    April 23, 2014 4:16 p.m.

    Gary O,

    The Constitution merely enumerates our rights. They already exist. And if you summarily dismiss the DOI, then you are not a patriot, nor do you have even the most basic understanding of how the Constitution of the United States came about.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    April 22, 2014 5:33 p.m.

    @Craig Clark

    None of that changes that he has the most in-depth knowledge and study of original sources.

    Which he quotes and uses in his history writings.

    Again the exceedingly silly complaint against him by other historians is that doesn't quote modern historians in his works he only uses ORIGINAL sources.

    Having a religious background doesn't disqualify or mean you are not well read and knowledgeable, or not capable of doing research.

    Even religious people are capable of reading original documents and understanding them, of reading and researching history,

    He has culled through more original sources and documents than any one.

    A religious or conservative background does not mean you do not have knowledge and truth.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2014 3:44 p.m.

    Being gay, I think that I know what it is to be demeaned and degraded! None of these things have changed! Part of the problem comes from arrogant people who have, not only put themselves as the people who decide what faith is, but they also have the arrogance of deciding who believes in God and who does not! For example, to be a good Christian, you must believe that being gay is wrong! Then, of course, if it is wrong, you wouldn't see a gay person as having a belief in God!
    Jesus Christ isn't someone that a certain group of people own! Gay people worship him also and our beliefs are as strong as anyone!
    People want to control. They always have and always will. So, when you see such things as same sex marriage, it doesn't mean the end of faith or the worship of God! Open your eyes and you will see it is as strong as ever! Get over yourselves! You are not the only ones who follow God!

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 22, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    the truth,

    "....David Barton is one of the most credible sources there is. He has a greater in-depth knowledge of ORIGIBNAL sources than anyone."

    David Barton is an evangelical Christian minister advancing the premise that the founder’s intent was to create a Christian nation. The only ones who find his argument convincing are fellow Christians who want to believe that is so.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    April 21, 2014 8:55 p.m.

    @Karen R.

    David Barton is one of the most credible sources there is.

    He has a greater in-depth knowledge of ORIGIBNAL sources than anyone.

    The silly complaint against him is that he doesn't quote contemporary sources. As if contemporary source have a better understanding of what the original sources intended. .

    Thomas Jefferson was most definitely NOT a deist.
    A deist has a very specific meaning.
    Deists believe in a watchmaker God, meaning a God the built the universe then left it to run by itself.

    Jefferson did not believe that, but believed in providence, in a God that does intervene in the affairs of men,

    Jefferson was not a deist.

    Separation of Church and state is a modern progressive notion and a wrong one.

    Has nothing to with the what the founders intended. Study of how they practiced the first amendment is far from it.

    Under Jefferson, congress published the Koran and the two biblical-based works of Jefferson, and that's just a taste of how a founder practiced the first amendment

    Does that sound like someone who beloved in separating the church from state, or just separating the state from church?

    April 21, 2014 5:43 p.m.

    Amendment I: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free excercise thereof;..." Congress cannot make any law that prohibits the free excercise of religion. Again, Congress therefore cannot legally make any law that prohibits the free excercise of religion. The Constitution is a contract with Amendments that change, limit or clarify the contract, with Amendment IX being the supreme governing law/clause, The Interpretation Clause of the Constitution, which is supported by self evident truths found within the Declaration Of Independence. All members of the three branches of government, all state legislators and all federal employees take an Oath to comply with the Constitutional mandate to be bound by Oath to support this Constitution as required by Article VI. Article VII contains the words "Our Lord" referring to the Christ and the Christian calendar. Any honest contract attorney could examine the Constitution and then tell you that taking an Oath to support the Constitution is also taking an Oath to support "Our Lord" since the content of Article VII includes "Our Lord."

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 21, 2014 4:39 p.m.

    To "donn" so you agree with me that Jesus never said that a group must do things to be saved as a group, but he told groups what they must do to be saved as individuals.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 21, 2014 4:35 p.m.

    Hey Coach Biff –

    “God is the author of our rights, therefore they are unalienable whether by fiat or vote?”

    No not necessarily.

    God, by definition, is the author of all things.

    But more directly, the Constitution is the source of our Civil Rights.

    Obviously, not all rights are inalienable.

    By the way, the Declaration of Independence is NOT the preeminent law of the land.

    The Constitution is.

    The DOI is not even a law. It's a list of reasons why the nascent United States deserved to separate from Great Britain.

  • donn layton, UT
    April 21, 2014 4:21 p.m.

    Re: RedShirt, He never told a group that the group had to do something in order to be saved?
    (Jesus)” Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that Believeth…. shall be Saved; but he that believeth Not shall be damned.."( Mark 16:15-16)

    “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved… Acts 16:30-31 (NIV)

    This is why those who do respond to Christ in faith, respond in obedience to His call to be baptized (Mark 16:16). Those in Acts 16:30-34 were immediately immersed in Christ (Acts 16:33)

    RE: Craig Clark, “The tension in Matthew”. True, Mt 25:31-46: The sheep on Jesus’ right hand are blessed by God the Father. The goats on Jesus’ left hand are cursed with eternal hell-fire, “prepared for the devil and his angels”. And,

    (John 8:58-59)… before Abraham was,I AM.” Then they took up stones to throw at Him The’ Jewish listeners understood Jesus' claim to be God, and picked up stones to throw at him..

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 21, 2014 3:41 p.m.

    To "Craig Clark" I don't know where you get your information from, but all of the leading bible scholars I found discuss how the majority of the Pharasees were at odds against Jesus becuase they did not want to lose their power.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2014 3:16 p.m.

    "Socialism has a long history of oppression and making people, rich and poor alike, be miserable. Just ask my friends in Venezuela."

    Have any friends in Germany, Sweden, Australia, Canada, or Denmark?

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 21, 2014 1:41 p.m.

    LDS Liberal and RedShirt,

    The Pharisees have been much maligned in popular Christian belief due to internal Jewish discord in the 1st century. Jesus and the Pharisees actually had much in common with each other. But by the time the gospels were being written, their respective successors were taking divergent paths and the antagonisms left marks on the formative years for both. The tensions are very evident in Matthew.

    The most famous Pharisee of all was Saul of Tarsus. Another prominent New Testament Pharisee was Nicodemus who was sympathetic to Jesus if not in fact a follower.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    April 21, 2014 1:37 p.m.

    @Mike Richards: "The less one knows about Christ, the more that person uses Christ to support their favorite "sin" or political cause."

    The same, of course, can be said about religious groups and individuals that use Christ to support their pet doctrine or belief system, all the while claiming they have to one truly truthful truth. Of course, what follows from that is that whatever opinion or position they hold on any subject is the truest truthful truth.

    The more I know about religion and those who claim to speak for Christ, the less I want religion involved in public discourse or secular laws.

    @bandersen: ..."already been proven in history as leading to the death and abuse of hundreds of millions"

    An honest look at history will show that theocracy has done the same - from the Israelites claiming God told them to kill everyone as they conquered on forward, history is replete by blood-and-horror being ordered by god and gods to justify killing individuals and nations. Central authority scares me, regardless if it is backed by god or Karl Marx.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    April 21, 2014 1:19 p.m.


    Thank you for proving Conservatives/Republicans will abolish Social Security, Medicare. the GI Bill, Civil Rights Legislation, Home Mortgage Tax Deduction, Public Schools...all examples of ...redistribution legislation...once they return to power.

    If they don't abolish these things they will become the hypocrites you mock.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 21, 2014 12:45 p.m.

    To "Screwdriver" actually Christ did preach personal responsibility. He never told a group that the group had to do something inorder to be saved. He always spoke about what each person had to do to enter the Kingdom of God.

    To "LDS Liberal" actually the Pharasees saw Jesus as a disruptor to their power over the people. They didn't like having somebody tell the common man that they can be saved without the help of the leaders. They professed to be Jews, yet as you pointed out, had little to no understanding of the religion they claimed membership in. They used the scriptures as a way of maintaining power and hated it when people did things on their own.

  • WestGranger West Valley City, Utah
    April 21, 2014 11:22 a.m.

    @Hutterite Jesus Christ actually followed through with acts that helped people. Socialism does not.Socialism has a long history of oppression and making people, rich and poor alike, be miserable. Just ask my friends in Venezuela. It's an oil rich nation and after 15 years of socialism the people are standing in long lines for food, there is heavy censorship, repression of any political opposition, 25,000 murders a year and hostile attacks on unarmed protesters. Equal misery for all. Typical socialism.

  • donn layton, UT
    April 21, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    RE:LDS Liberal, difficult time separating Church and state, look what they did to Jesus.True,

    John 19:15 Pilate says: “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests(church) answered.

    Pilate(state) was mocking Jesus with the sign. Verse,19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the Cross. It read: Jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” Because,

    Jeremiah 23:“I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, “a King” who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior).

    When he returns the "King of Kings and Lord of Lords(Revelation)

  • Coach Biff Lehi, UT
    April 21, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    Gary O,

    What, in your mind, does "Endowed by their Creator ...unalienable rights" mean? God is the author of our rights, therefore they are unalienable whether by fiat or vote. This is the great check on government intrusion in our lives. Why the new liberal left doesn't understand this is beyond me.

  • Shelama SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 21, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    Jesus taught by parable.

    Some of his parables were self-referential and some were about power.

    Some were about both.

    Such as the self-referential parable ending with Luke 19:27: "Bring here these enemies of mine, who did not want me to rule over them, and slaughter them in my presence!"

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 21, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    The Pharisee's [1st century conservatives] also had a difficult time seperating Church and State.

    and look what they did to Jesus.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 21, 2014 8:39 a.m.

    "....current threats to banish God from public life, if successful, would leave us without truth and subject to the whims of earthly power...."

    Freedom of thought is the operative value here. Government hasn’t the power to banish God and, with all due respect to Dwight Eisenhower, it hasn't the right to promote faith, much less favor any belief system above others. The only proper role of Government in this country with respect to belief is one of strict neutrality.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    April 21, 2014 7:56 a.m.

    @ Jamescmeyer

    If the U.S. was a Christian nation in the sense that you mean it, it would be a theocracy. I trust that you will agree that it is not a theocracy.

    What CAN be said is that, throughout U.S. history, the majority of U.S. citizens have been adherents of some form of Christian-based religion.

    What can also be said is that the Constitution is the foundational law of the land, that it was written by a collection of theists, deists, and agnostics, and that their thinking was influenced by the Enlightenment, their respective religious beliefs (or lack thereof), and their personal experiences.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    April 21, 2014 7:19 a.m.

    People often argue that the United States is not a "Christian" country; these people don't study history. Rather than study the words of those who have come before us in making this nation-and all Christian nations-successful, they dismiss them as whatever they will and enforce their own non-Christian or even anti-Christian ways, consistantly bringing failure with it.

    People often argue that a Christian foundation is not necessary to promote freedom and morality. Though their individual arguments may genuinely seem valid to them, they don't look around at the nations of the world, nor do they compare America today with America in the past, else they'd see, in a big-picture sense, how essential it really is.

    When I was a child, I cried "Hosanna!" because people told me to. Now I cry "Hosanna!" despite people telling me -not- to, because I know what it means.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 21, 2014 7:18 a.m.

    “The ‘separation of church and state’ is found nowhere in the Constitution?”

    Those exact words are not found in the Constitution, but it is in the Constitution nevertheless.

    And David Barton doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Jefferson’s was a deist, like other prominent Founders, and nothing indicates that “Jefferson believed that God, not government, was the Author and Source of our rights.”

    The founders believed in the power of government to give us good governance. That is why they created the Constitution and our government.

    Do you really want religion in government? Which religion? A government of Christian Evangelicals might decree that the Mormon Church is a dangerous cult and its members are treasonous. Would you like that?

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

    Get used to it.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    April 21, 2014 6:13 a.m.


    David Barton is not a credible source. His 2012 book on Jefferson was withdrawn from sale by its(Christian) publisher because of its numerous factual errors. He does what many Christian apologists do: Rather than following the evidence where it leads, he starts from a conclusion that serves his agenda and then cherry-picks and distorts facts and information to support it.

  • Lbone Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2014 3:09 p.m.

    To Gary O. and others: The "separation of church and state" is found nowhere in the Constitution. Careful study of the writings of the likes of Thomas Jefferson indicate, were, according to David Barton, supportive of the notion that government was not infringe upon public religious activities:

    "...Jefferson believed that God, not government, was the Author and Source of our rights and that the government, therefore, was to be prevented from interference with those rights. Very simply, the "fence" of the Webster letter and the "wall" of the Danbury letter were not to limit religious activities in public; rather they were to limit the power of the government to prohibit or interfere with those expressions."

    Two very key principles derived from this statement and others are that 1) God is the source of our rights -- not government; 2) government should not and cannot suppress public religious expression.

  • Gregorio Norco, CA
    April 20, 2014 3:08 p.m.

    Teachings of Christ always taught the burden of debt is as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest and that the proper role of governments is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things. So then all things created by God, therefore upon Him all mankind are equally dependent, and to Him they are equally responsible. As a religious leader said," The duties and responsibilities of our citizenship depends upon our accepting and demonstrating God's government.The choice before is plain, Christ or chaos, conviction or compromise, discipline or disintegration."(Peter Marshall, The Rebirth of America, Page 205, 1986, Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation.)

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    April 20, 2014 2:48 p.m.

    I think it is wrong to label Jesus Christ as a Liberal and a progressive because he was neither. Nor was he a conservative but was the only begotten son of the Father in the flesh. In the end the Government will be upon his shoulders and all knees shall bow and all tongues confess he is the Christ, the living Son of God. To make it otherwise is wrong and misleading. By the way there is no Constitutional mandate separating Church and State. Reread the words of Thomas Jefferson and you will find just the opposite of today's Liberal secularism. When laws embodied by man follows the laws and commandments of God, societies prosper greatly and enthusiastically where there are no poor among them.

    This is where when the Gospel of Jesus Christ is followed to its entire extent and all live under its rule then all shall be as one. That is the Gospel and contention shall not be part of this Government when Christ shall rule it all his glory.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    April 20, 2014 12:47 p.m.

    A Roman Senator known as Pliny the Younger wrote a letter to Emperor Trajan in 101 AD that I believe would be appropriate for your readers on this Sunday. It contains the earliest known description of we have of Christian worship. Pliny says the Christians

    "were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing an antiphonal hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so."

    (Pliny, Letters 10.96)

    Happy Easter

  • Pendergast Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    to Cats

    But, its okay when the right use religion for their own selfish end? You know Terry Schiavo, Faith based initiatives, etc...

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 20, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    Agreed with noted correction --

    Jesus was not crucified by the power of the State or the Government - i.e., ROMANS.
    At his trial, the Romans found [Pilate] found him innocent.

    He was convicted and crucified by the Pharisee's for blasphemy --
    and they evoked the Jewish tradition of using the Scape Goat [also prophesied by the Law of Moses] to seal his fate.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    April 20, 2014 11:07 a.m.

    Hutterite and Marxist: You couldn't be more confused about the teachings of Christ. He absolutely is not a Socialist and he certainly is not a Communist, however that conclusion is drawn! When Christ is in charge, a lot will change for the better, but there will be no welfare, no abortions, no adultery, no dishonesty, no support of anything remotely immoral, unwise, or unjust! liberty will reign, peace will be present, and His laws under His government will prevail. Until then, man's counterfeit, inspired by Satan, Socialism, will be presented as a method to achieve dominion, control, and abuse! Man's best chance to help humanity is not by communal equality, something that has already been proven in history as leading to the death and abuse of hundreds of millions of God's children, but through the support of those unalienable Rights of man guaranteed in the United States Constitution, liberated in a free market system that has nothing to do with Socialistic thought! Socialism and Communism are anti-God at there core and must be shown to be so at every turn, including exposing those who support them!

  • keepamericafree salt lake, UT
    April 20, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    In response to some of the comments. Christ was NOT a socialist! Christ taught free will. That no one should be FORCED to do something. He taught that we should give unto others freely and by our own choosing. Forcing people was the devils plan.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 20, 2014 10:23 a.m.

    The less one knows about Christ, the more that person uses Christ to support their favorite "sin" or political cause. It has been said that if all that Christ has done, as the Creator, as the Son of God, as a member of the Godhead, were published, that this world would not be large enough to hold those volumes; yet, too many like to pigeon-hole him as a spokesman for their cause.

    He told us that His mission, during His mortal ministry, was not to rule as King. He taught simple principles, that, if followed, would bring an end to much of the misery of life. Some, even today, tell us that He was a Marxist, or a Communist, or whatever it is that they believe in. He was nothing of the kind. He, as the Son of God, was sent here to this earth to experience mortality and to perform the atonement that all creation might be perfected, on the condition that those who desired perfection would abandon their self-imposed rules and then follow His rules.

    He told the truth. Too many twist His words.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    April 20, 2014 10:17 a.m.

    I think that the most important thing in the world is life. The next thing would be for life to be self sufficient. Since I can't do it all by by self I have to count on and depend on others. But I don't have to use other peoples money when I'm a grown-up like when I was an adolescent. This is where Jesus comes in so we wont be blind and toothless.

    April 20, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    The huge difference between socialism and Christ's plan is quite clear. Democratic Socialism allows people to steal property from others through a gang style political process of majority voting for legalized theft. The Lord's plan was to allow everyone the freedom to choose to be charitable or not. Democratic Socialism confiscates free choice and eliminates the personal opportunity to exercise and receive the blessings of charity, by stealing the right to choose. Democratic socialism produces multiple victims: The tax collector becomes a thief, the government employees processing the redistribution become distributors of stolen property, the voters for redistribution legislation become conspirators/accessories to theft and the recipient becomes a receiver of stolen property. Charity blesses the giver, the receiver and all involved, whereas democratic socialism turns everyone involved into conspirators/supporters of an ugly, illegal, corrupt and dishonest counterfeit version of charity. Amendment V states that money cannot be taken for public use without just compensation, so democratic socialism is also a civil rights violation.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 20, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    I can agree with most of the author's opinions.

    Yes, the teachings of Jesus Christ should be taken to heart. From His teachings we can clearly see that Jesus was, is, and always will be a Liberal and a Progressive who looked favorably upon the Founders as they created a government "for the people," and not just for the Sadducees, and the Pharicees, and those who hold great wealth.

    Toward the end of the article though, I had to take exception to the contention that religion can rightfully insinuate itself into government. The "wall of separation" built by the founders should not be undermined. Patriotic and sensible Christians see wisdom in the Constitutional mandate separating church and state.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 20, 2014 7:32 a.m.

    Going through the list of christs' teachings, I can't help but think that, through todays' lens, he's a socialist through and through.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2014 12:25 a.m.

    " Can we call ourselves civilized, ... when we discount and demean the intentions of people of faith? " The answer is certainly no, especially if we discount or demean out of hand.

    I don't wish to detract from this beautiful editorial (with which I almost entirely agree). But I would like to make an observation, that being when people of faith use secular learning to make a point, they should not be summarily discounted. An example would be the Christian economist Henry George who tried to explain economic inequality as being the outcome of the private ownership of land. His work "Progress and Poverty" has never gotten the attention it deserves from the Christian church.

    An even better example would be Pope Francis who used some secular economic background to decry the inattention of the church to world poverty. He was, I think, called a Marxist by many for bringing up the matter. Let's be more reasonable and honest.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    April 20, 2014 12:04 a.m.

    It's always interesting to note that Christ's message was NOT one of strict personal responsibility but one one strict communal responsibility.