Q&A: Religious freedom ambassador says these countries worry him the most

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  • mrjj69 bountiful, UT
    Oct. 16, 2018 11:45 p.m.

    the country i worry about religious freedoms is this one. the good ol' USA

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Oct. 16, 2018 12:44 p.m.

    @Light and Liberty;

    "Are you referring to the LDS church's stand on same-sex marriage?"

    -- Perhaps he is. Your church is ACTIVELY working to deny religious freedom to LGBT citizens and the Churches that support SSM. If your church doesn't want to approve SSM in their church, fine, but they have absolutely NO RIGHT to violate the civil rights and religious rights of LGBT people by violating their right to marry in the civil arena (or the religious arena where their churches support it). "1000's of years of custom" - for some variations, you completely ignore the FACT that SSM was practiced 1000's of years ago by others.

    Keep your religion out of government.

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 16, 2018 9:15 a.m.

    My opinions:

    I believe the freedom of thought is one of the most important things we can stand for. My wish is for all of humanity to have this freedom. I believe the USA can nudge countries in that direction.

    I believe the freedom of religion falls under that umbrella and must be defended...

    I believe religion itself and all religious* thinking is poison to the human mind must be challenged using better ideas, pointing out the fallacies used by religion, and shown to be the fraud that it is. But that religion must never be denied by the force of laws. It should die the indignant death of all bad ideas. By ridicule, laughter, and the constant pointing out that the emperor has no clothes.

    *Includes magical/spiritual hokum.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    Oct. 15, 2018 4:50 p.m.

    skeptic - Phoenix, AZ
    ---
    The world problem is not freedom of religion it is freedom from religion that needs protected.
    ---

    The irony of having a 'freedom of religion' ambassador, from a country, which often couches religious practice in language that would seem to be 'nonreligious'.

    While Prohibition was repealed, there are a number of places where it still illegal to sell alcohol, based on predominantly religious considerations, despite a secondary appeal to the social ills of excessive drinking.

    Then there are laws governing business activities on Sunday, specifically, justified by some as 'well everyone needs a day off'. Yet, the choice of Sunday is based on a particular religion's standard holy day. This of course affects believers in in other holy days in a negative way.

    And of course in the present time the LGBT community is the target of religious based views masquerading as secular law. Other than the rule of fiat, there is almost no non religious argument for disenfranchising those who are LGBT, or not providing various state recognized relationships.

    One famous man said, "Remove the beam from your own eye, before removing the speck from another's."(paraphrased).

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Oct. 15, 2018 2:34 p.m.

    The superficial veneer of tolerance and "unity" that this so-called ambassador is spreading over these divisive religious issues almost seems dangerous. It hides a deep ambition for power and dominion that most religions aspire to impose on the world. These aspirations are scriptural, articulated repeatedly in the sacred books to which adherents look for inspiration and guidance for their world-views.

    Most religions and religious leaders are smart enough to know they will not "convert" the world to their beliefs, which would then set the stage for a world population of believers to "elect" them into positions of political and ecclesiastical power. For example, Mormonism, one of the fastest growing religions in the US, has taken almost 200 years to get membership to 16 million. But the world population grows by (net) 76.1 million each year!

    Instead, they aspire for their churches to obtain wealth, power, and notoriety in the hope that someday they will achieve critical mass, "go viral", and "take over the world". The wealthy and powerful of various religions and political groups are more closely affiliated with one another than they are with their "pawn" members!

  • Light and Liberty St George, UT
    Oct. 15, 2018 2:28 p.m.

    Delasale: "Religious freedom is not the freedom to broadly discriminate based on race or gender despite what some religious leaders would have you believe, and we should strongly oppose this type of activity in whatever form it takes." Could you be more specific? Are you referring to the LDS church's stand on same-sex marriage? If so, how is that discriminatory? This is their religious belief, actually supported by thousands of years of custom, etc., regardless of religious belief. If you want to call that discriminatory, where does it end? Depending on who is in power, do we imprison gays or anyone entering a same sex marriage or a religion that believes that same-sex marriage is wrong? If it isn't obvious, then having someone willing to put someone in prison for holding to their religious beliefs is scary, as opposed to allowing someone to enter into a same-sex marriage even if there are those who express a religious opinion opposing such.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Oct. 15, 2018 12:53 p.m.

    @UteMiguel - Go Utes, CA
    Oct. 15, 2018 12:14 p.m.
    To the people who say this role is unnecessary, look at the lack of religious freedoms in some countries, such as China and North Korea. Billions of people living under oppression."

    Yeah, and what is our Religious Ambassador going to do about it? Nothing. They don't care about what we think of their religious policies. But wait. Trump is chummy with both N.Korea and China's leaders. If they value Trump, he could place a couple of phone calls and change their policy tomorrow. Right? This Ambassador department is a yuge waste of tax dollars.

  • delasalle Sandy, UT
    Oct. 15, 2018 12:38 p.m.

    There are two types of religious freedom, the type that people fight for in the US, which is largely unnecessary and already guaranteed and really just a way for the religious to discriminate against those with differing beliefs, and the type that people hope for in many countries around the world where freedom to worship is prohibited. I'm all for supporting the latter but we need to be careful about conflating the two because they are very different and sometimes funds allocated for one cause can find their way to supporting another. Religious freedom is not the freedom to broadly discriminate based on race or gender despite what some religious leaders would have you believe, and we should strongly oppose this type of activity in whatever form it takes.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Oct. 15, 2018 12:14 p.m.

    To the people who say this role is unnecessary, look at the lack of religious freedoms in some countries, such as China and North Korea. Billions of people living under oppression. Don’t just dismiss it as unimportant.
    And please don’t conflate it with the US debate about separation of church and state. We should all be grateful we are allowed to have such a debate.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 15, 2018 12:05 p.m.

    The biggest threat is when religious people feel that just because someone believes differently than they do, it becomes a so-called threat.
    Giving certain segments of society the same civil right isn't a threat to anyone's religion but that's how the religious people push it.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Oct. 15, 2018 11:23 a.m.

    How about we just keep religion out of government? How about we stop meddling in other countries religions and what they do? The way some religions, in the US, treat gay people and their kids, we sure aren't a beacon to other countries. We don't need a "religious freedom ambassador".

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 15, 2018 11:05 a.m.

    The world problem is not freedom of religion it is freedom from religion that needs protected. Especially freedom from the politics of organized religion and the exploits of the large international corporate churches that dull the senses of man, dampen his spirit and purloin his purse.