3 key takeaways from this week's first-of-its-kind State Department religious freedom event

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  • mtf1953 Honolulu, HI
    Aug. 5, 2018 2:17 a.m.

    I’m afraid it appears to me, a Jew, that our country is moving in a direction to favor Christianity over other religious beliefs. While our president, Fox News, and much of the Republican Party continues to taut the fanciful “war on Christianity” as the major freedom of religion issue. Meanwhile, anti-Jewish and anti-Moslem acts have been on a steady increase since Trump’s election. While we may be tempted to believe that this was a great event, I’m more interested in watching to see if this administration can really defend all aspects of our First Amendment and all Americans. So far, I don’t see it.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Aug. 3, 2018 9:18 p.m.

    Seven countries, and yes they are mostly Muslim countries, have no capability to screen high risk individuals who travel to the U.S.A. Makes sense to deny entry until they can be vetted.

    Enough with the left lies that this was/is a Muslim ban.

    Every reference to Muslims by Pres. Trump clearly relates to Islamic jihadist radicals. Enough with the left lies!

  • Tyler D Prescott, AZ
    July 31, 2018 9:10 a.m.

    The jailed “anti-Muslim activist” in question appears to be Tommy Robinson. I don’t know much about him, but the contempt of court charges that sent him to prison seem to be based on violations of free speech we take for granted in this country.

    If true, we are right to lobby on his behalf.

    What really disturbs me though is the undercurrent of intolerance coming out of this “religious freedom” conference. If the Robinson case is any indication, the “freedom” many of these religious leaders want is the freedom FROM any criticism of their religious beliefs no matter how anti-social and abhorrent.

    That is not freedom… it’s theocracy.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    July 31, 2018 7:59 a.m.

    Since religion is only what what you do religiously. Please and thank you would be a nice thing to start. Have some manners, being polite, concideret. Ya learn a few things through the years in the school of hard knocks. Religion isn't a building or a club ya join. Your body is God's temple an if you are a believer in Jesus Christ ( ya count on an depend on) you are a part of His church. Nobody is perfect. Compassion and gratitude makes the world go round. But by the grace of God go I.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    July 31, 2018 6:09 a.m.

    The story doesn't mention if nonbelievers were represented at this event, or even invited. Does anyone know?

    @ NoNames

    "No one has demanded this. We have asserted a right to refuse to bake a cake for an **event** we find offensive."

    So all this time we've been wrong to deny bakers the right to refuse to bake a cake for mixed marriage events?

    We need to protect the right to believe whatever we wish and to act on it, with the limit that it doesn't harm another or infringe on another's rights. But IMO, belief of a religious nature does not merit special treatment. Absent proof to support it, all beliefs are nothing more than opinion. The fact that a belief is religious in nature doesn't change this. In fact, it makes it more likely that the belief is based in unsupported supposition.

    Those against gay marriage have been unable to back up their beliefs about it with evidence-based fact. You can still believe what you wish, but without this evidence, it strikes me as ethically questionable to ask gay couples to accept less-than-equal status in deference to your opinion.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 30, 2018 11:03 a.m.

    The first 2 comments in this thread, Bloodhound and GrainOfSalt are an example of what LGBT people have to face every single day of their lives. We can add several others to the list of problematics as well. You are the problem, not the "LGBT lifestyle". We are perfect just the way we are and there is nothing "against the right" about it!

    @Justiciaparatodos;

    We understand you perfectly, having grown up in religious families. We also understand how you try to turn the bigotry you hold for us around so that you become the victim rather than those you've victimized.

    @pbunny;

    What real changes have you seen? They're still preaching the same old nonsense from the pulpit.

    @Elsleuith;

    The thoughts of a fictional entity are irrelevant.

    @clarkfran;

    I would lay odds that your sexuality is not kept private. Everybody you know knows that you are straight, am I wrong?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 30, 2018 10:30 a.m.

    RE: countryvoice3.” Civility starts with honesty; honest about what the other side says, does, and wants, rather than making strawman attacks”

    “Love your neighbor as yourself test”, Where you see *Love, insert your name[ countryvoice3 ]and see .

    *Love is patient and kind;*love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It((Love)does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong doing, but rejoices with the truth.

    *Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. * Love never fails. —1 Cor 13:4-8) .
    *Agape love is delight in the object of love.

    Jesus did not mean sexual love. Nor does it refer to close friendship or brotherly love, for which the Greek word philia is used

  • countryvoice3 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2018 7:48 a.m.

    No Names..."@Thomas Thompson: "Religious freedom IS a good thing. I do wish, however, we could have a civil discussion"

    Civility starts with honesty; honest about what the other side says, does, and wants, rather than making strawman attacks.

    "a baker must have the religious freedom to refuse to bake a cake for people whose "lifestyle" he disagrees with"

    I think you just missed the chance for civility No Names. A discussion would be the exchange of ideas about what the issues actually are. You accuse the other of dishonesty and then go on to parse the difference between a lifestyle event and event.

    The discussion of such differences would be valuable, but to call your opponent dishonest because they maybe don't see the difference between a lifestyle event and event, or just haven't thought of it sours the discussion from the start.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 29, 2018 2:29 p.m.

    There is freedom of religion in this country. It say differently is silly. I didn't even go to church today and nobody minded. The government didn't show up at my door. Next week I may go to the church of my choice. I can pray (or not pray) in my own home.

  • Jvkswm Rochester, NY
    July 29, 2018 1:15 p.m.

    If Trump actually cared about people's freedoms, he would be condemning the anti-Jewish and anti-Christian persecutions in the regions of the Arab world, Africa and Asia. Christians are being slaughtered in Nigeria, Syria, Oman, - in countries such as Iran, Gaza, and Saudi Arabia those who convert to Christianity can be killed. BTW: rights are for every one, even those who do not profess a religion. Religion cannot be used as a justification for persecuting others. Read Alma 1.21.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    July 29, 2018 12:57 p.m.

    "ute alumni - Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2018 6:19 a.m.
    Some look at the sun and say it doesn’t shine. Anti religious posters will experience the light someday even if they don’t acknowledge it."

    It is arrogant, silly superstitious threats like that that makes religion so distasteful and oppressive. That is contrary to the spirit of religious freedom!

  • ute alumni Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2018 6:19 a.m.

    Some look at the sun and say it doesn’t shine. Anti religious posters will experience the light someday even if they don’t acknowledge it.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 28, 2018 9:28 p.m.

    The problem with religion isn't the fundamentalists. It's the fundamentals. Religion almost always seeks to favour its'' own and marginalise others at its' fundamental.
    Freedom must accrue to people. Not institutions. Not religions. People first.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    July 28, 2018 6:22 p.m.

    Te Sylvia33: a 2 minute search on the internet would show you clips of Trump saying stuff like this: "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

    Please note the phrase “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims” and not radical Islamic extremists.

    5 minutes of looking and you will find about a dozen other similar quotes. Or maybe when Trump is caught on camera saying crazy things it is just more fake news?

  • Sylvia33 Hyrum, UT
    July 28, 2018 4:54 p.m.

    I have not seen the president talk against Muslims. Radical Islamic Extremists yes.

  • mightymite , 00
    July 28, 2018 3:05 p.m.

    Trump perceives religious freedom is good if you are a very conservative Protestant —-anything else not so much. We can have these dog and pony shows but in the end the administrations words and actions speak for themselves. How did this great country fall into this?

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    July 28, 2018 2:26 p.m.

    @Thomas Thompson: "Religious freedom IS a good thing. I do wish, however, we could have a civil discussion"

    Civility starts with honesty; honest about what the other side says, does, and wants, rather than making strawman attacks.

    "a baker must have the religious freedom to refuse to bake a cake for people whose "lifestyle" he disagrees with"

    No one has demanded this. We have asserted a right to refuse to bake a cake for an **event** we find offensive. A homosexual marriage is an event. So is an NRA fundraising, a GOP cottage meeting, a Mormon outreach effort.

    Every artisan who has refused to participate in homosexual weddings has a history of providing non-wedding services to homosexual couples without regard to sexuality. Marriages send a message. That is why civil unions were not good enough.

    Events and messages, not people.

    "an emergency room physician to refuse service to those whose deeply felt cultural identities are abhorrent to him."

    And who has suggested this ever be permissible for any non-elective procedure? Note, elective abortions are elective and nobody should be required to participate in nor fund them. Life saving abortions are another matter entirely.

  • Bloodhound Provo, UT
    July 28, 2018 2:01 p.m.

    I greatly appreciate what the Trump administration is doing for religious freedom. Unlike the Obama administration, President Trump's administration isn't trying to force secular humanism down our throats.

  • Hank Pym Draper, UT
    July 28, 2018 1:54 p.m.

    re HSTucker:

    "...We need to remain vigilant of those who deliberately use sophistry to deceive."

    Like those who use the label "Fake news"?

  • vern001 Castle Rock, CO
    July 28, 2018 1:44 p.m.

    As the article points out, it is very hard to take the administration seriously when our president speaks so abhorrently about Muslims. Religious freedom isn't just for white Christians.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    July 28, 2018 1:43 p.m.

    It is odd that the administration that came up with the Muslim ban, is also the first to have a religious freedom summit, where they discuss overcoming religious persecution from around the world.

    Did they discuss how denying people from Muslim countries entry into the US just because of their religion is a perfect example of religious persecution?

  • HSTucker Salt Lake City, UT
    July 28, 2018 1:27 p.m.

    "Moving forward, government leaders will need to show that they understand what it means to guarantee religious freedom for all."

    There was really no need to undermine a good article about an extremely positive development with this criticism. Pointing out a failure to be perfect is straight out of the pages of Rules for Radicals:

    "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules."

    Here's the truth that grown-ups understand: everything is imperfect in some way. The measure of success is never perfection. We need to remain vigilant of those who deliberately use sophistry to deceive.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    July 28, 2018 12:18 p.m.

    Trump and his cronies only seem to want "religious freedom" to apply to certain religions they approve of. Here's a news flash for most Utahn's. Evangelicals would love to restrict religious freedoms for mormons.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    July 28, 2018 11:57 a.m.

    Well over 1/4 US citizens is not religious.

    When we get 1/4 of Congress, Administrative personnel, SCOTUS and other leadership to be openly non-religious, then the religious hypocrites can be taken seriously when they talk of "religious freedom".

  • AC_68 Provo, UT
    July 28, 2018 10:17 a.m.

    "In the end, around 80 countries were represented at the event. And there were leaders from almost every religion you could think of, Grim said.
    LDS ?

  • Thomas Thompson Salt Lake City, UT
    July 28, 2018 10:14 a.m.

    Religious freedom IS a good thing. I do wish, however, we could have a civil discussion about the limits of that freedom, if any. It is one thing to insist that a baker must have the religious freedom to refuse to bake a cake for people whose "lifestyle" he disagrees with; it is quite another thing for an emergency room physician to refuse service to those whose deeply felt cultural identities are abhorrent to him. This is an issue that is not going to go away with the Supreme Court's decision in the cake case.