Religious freedom means economic growth, study says

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  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    June 7, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    re: Lagomorph

    "There is a huge, huge difference between the very serious religious freedom assaults in developing Middle Eastern and African countries and the paltry alleged religious infringements in the US"


    {paltry alleged religious infringements} eloquently sums up the state of RF in the US.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    June 4, 2014 11:46 p.m.

    Isn't just easier to say that those countries in which religious orthodoxy is a stated goal (think most Islamic countries) also have strictly controlled political cultures? Be it religion or government, dissent is not tolerated. Freedom of the individual is a distant concept.

    This philosophy of control naturally extends itself to the commercial sector. And then the greed of the authoritarians comes into play. It should be noted that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is a very wealthy organization, and its mission is to protect the Islamic Republic of Iran from any apostasy.

    Curiously, our American fundamentalist Christians happily insist that those who do not heed their orthodox view of things must be crushed. Curiously, most fundamentalist Christians are Republicans or Tea Party folks.

    If the country were run by the likes of Pat Robertson (also a Republican), et al, I imagine we would very soon come to look like Iran. And soon after our economy would surely fail as does Iran's.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    June 4, 2014 12:43 p.m.

    Sorry Lagomorph and Quaker, but no religion is prohibited from performing same-sex marriages, so those religions are not having their religious rights infringed.

    The fact that the state does not recognize them, is also not an infringment. Since the performance of same-sex marriage by your religions was never previously recognized by the state, "I still have no idea in what way you think you are being oppressed. No one is asking your churches to do anything new or change anything."

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    June 4, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    @Cats, Worse yet: are the too powerful, too rich and too big to fail, or go to jail, who receive social welfare and demand a work force of slave labor. Where do they get their riches from if not from those they oppress. There needs to be a better distribution of wealth for the maintance of the nation .
    It is a matter of justice and survival, and that is why Jesus was a liberal socialist.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    June 4, 2014 8:01 a.m.

    Dear McClark:

    The fact is, the comparison between Warren Buffet's taxes and his secretary is so bogus. Buffet doesn't pay taxes on ordinary income. His taxes are paid on capital gains. Her income is taxed as ordinary income which is at a higher marginal rate. It is comparing apples to oranges. If Buffet wants to give his secretary a break, he can start paying her in stock and let her make capital gains.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    June 3, 2014 9:42 p.m.


    Why would liberals want to tank a system if the system has to be working well in order to generate the revenue to spend on the things we want? That makes no sense at all.

    That is a great question!

    I agree that it makes no sense, but I see liberals in office crushing business with regulations, and the liberal masses are cheering and calling for more to be done to thwart businesses.

    Perhaps you liberals, who seek to punish successful businesses, can explain why you do it, because truly I see you do it, against all better judgement. It is like you are shooting your own foot off.

    Why do you do it?

  • AerilusMaximus Berryville, VA
    June 3, 2014 8:47 p.m.

    @ Lagomorph

    It is the idea of many liberals (some conservatives too) to push away or stomp on religious think in general. It just creates too many problems with their humanist / secular agenda.

    From what I gather from this article when you crush or stomp on this type of thinking through force in one way or another it effects your economy.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2014 3:58 p.m.

    @ Chris B Many of the 1% pay a smaller percentage of their income than we do. Warren Buffet's secretary pays a higher tax rate then he does.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2014 2:38 p.m.

    Why would liberals want to tank a system if the system has to be working well in order to generate the revenue to spend on the things we want? That makes no sense at all.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2014 1:50 p.m.

    mcclark - Many of the 1% people pay millions in taxes - you and I only pay a few thousand in income tax.

    And yet you and I and the 1% people all use about the same government resources. Barack doesn't start spending more money the more money the 1% make.

    So GASP if you're asking the rich to pay even more(when they're already paying for much of what you and I use) yes that's asking for their money(GASP)

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2014 12:56 p.m.

    @Badger I am a liberal, I am all for religious freedom. But imposing your religion on other people is not religious freedom for those having it imposed on them. And GASP I'm 62 and have worked since I was 16. I don't want any of your money, I would just like to treat the less fortunate among us the way Jesus said we should. I would like all that are able to have a job, one that pays enough to live on. I am willing to pay my taxes without complaint, seems like the wealthy ought to be willing to do the same.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 3, 2014 12:11 p.m.

    This organization has an axe to grind and they're perfectly happy to edit their data and their presentation to hone its edge. As noted by TheWraith, above, they obscure the source of their data and aren't publishing the full results so the reader can see it for themselves and draw different conclusions.

    As Lagomorph notes, the Marriage Equality movement is NOT an antireligious one. MY religion benefits. Friends General Council sees the love in every couple that wishes to commit to each other and to God in the care of their Meeting as worthy of witness and celebration, whether they be straight or gay. Our religion is being liberated from state-sanctioned oppression when the laws are changed to allow us to conduct all the marriages we feel are worthy, and not just some of them.

    You see religious oppression. We see religious freedom. Meanwhile, I still have no idea in what way you think you are being oppressed. No one is asking your churches to do anything new or change anything.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    June 3, 2014 10:59 a.m.

    The article doesn't state which countries were looked at but gives the impression that they compared European and American nations with Muslim controlled nations in the Middle East. Well of course the European ones will come out better but I don't think it's because they allow more religious freedom. European countries aren't even very religious anymore and are way more secular. I think what the study really shows is that letting a religion take over a government is a good way to destroy your country. Nations with a strong history of separation of church and state fare much better.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    June 3, 2014 9:43 a.m.

    It is no mistake that harsh religious persecution exists in other countries, far more than the United States currently faces.

    For now.

    Centralized power, held by a few, has been working more vehemently over the past few years than ever before in forcing a standard of irreligion on people; demanding that religious thoughts and ideas be confined to private life and churches, then mocking anything to do with said churches.

    Ignoring the increasing bigotry against religion in the "developed" world because -worse- persecution exists elsewhere is not a sound conclusion; you still wave around rainbow flags, don't you?

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    There is a huge, huge difference between the very serious religious freedom assaults in developing Middle Eastern and African countries and the paltry alleged religious infringements in the US. No one in the US is being imprisoned or executed for worshiping the wrong deity or getting an education (if female). Religious institutions in the US still enjoy tax exemptions, social esteem, and other privileges. A wedding cake baker not wanting to cater a lesbian wedding is a long way from Meriam Yehya Ibrahim sitting in a Khartoum prison or Malala Yousefai getting shot on a schoolbus. The DesNews does its readership a great disservice by implying moral equivalence. (And why has this paper refused to concede that laws preventing clergy from performing same-sex marriages when their faith allows is an infringement on their religious liberty?)

    The mechanism linking economic productivity and religious freedom seems clear. Cultures that use religion to keep their science and technology in the Middle Ages and half their workforce veiled are never going to compete in an industrial economy. OTOH, refusing to bake a wedding cake reduces the GDP while being required to bake it raises GDP.

  • slcdenizen Murray, UT
    June 3, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    It's not the religious freedom aspect that propels business success, it's the secondary or tertiary value placed on one's religious "team". Religious "freedom" should be re-termed religious "indifference". That's the ticket.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    June 3, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    If religious freedom is good for business, that explains why liberals are opposed to religious freedom. They don't want to help businesses. They don't want people to work or even have a job. They just want to hurt the successful and make them pay to liberal pockets socialist pockets for being successful.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    June 3, 2014 7:30 a.m.

    A quick Google search of the RFBF turned up the article below. You say tomato I say tomato.

    The bogus gospel of free trade and free religion
    Al Jazeera America-May 19, 2014
    The Maryland-based Religious Freedom and Business Foundation (RFBF), a lobbying group that promotes “respect for freedom of religion or ...

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 3, 2014 6:06 a.m.

    Isn't this article really saying that extremely religious countries with significant religious control fare worse than their less religious counterparts when it comes to economic growth?

    When I hear "religious freedom" in America, it usually means the right of the Christian religion to
    have free rein to do what it wants, where it wants.