@1Observer - Cottonwood Heights, UT The influence comes from
personally held beliefs of elected officials, not lobbying by any church on
issues.Then why the need for Marty Stephens?
DEA Schedule One Controlled Subtance Act, illegal to possesse, distribute, or
sell marijuana in the United States. The Obama administration AG Holder gave a
green light in 2009 by instructing the US Attorneys to not enforce the law, so 2
dozen states approved it. The FDA's 2015 report states there is no medical
use for this narcotic. Look up '2015 Department of Health & Human
Services letter to The Honorable Chuck Rosenberg Acting Administrator Drug
Enforcement Administration U.S. Department of Justice concerning a request to
change the Schedule One Controlled Substance Act status of marijuana' on
I wonder if Anderson would have sued M. L. King for "violating the
seperation of Church and state" as a religious leader advocating for the
Civil Rights Law. For that matter, would he have sued Hugh B. Brown for doing
the same thing and putting the full weight of the First Prresidency behind the
passage of the Civil Rights Law?
The rules banning Churches from endorsing candidates are a clear violation of
free speech. Beyond that, they are clearly violated by many groups, most notably
many predominantly African-American Churches that regularly implicitly endorse
candidates.That said, I continue to support the policy of The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-sday Saints to not endorse political parties, planks,
or specific candidates. I also support the Church's policy of not directly
seeking to influence the votes of Church members who serve in public office on
legislation and not ever even considering disciplining members for votes. The
latter is much different than the response of the Catholic Church, or at least
parts of the Catholic Church structure to policy votes by Catholics who are
legislators.My view is that religions are best off not endorsing
specific candidates, but that limiting the right to do so is a violation of free
Considering the compromise involved not pulling out all the stops to try and
defeat Prop 2, suing against the compromise is a sign of how intransient on such
matters Ross Anderson is. One way to make sure Anderson does not
stand in the way of good governance is for the legislature and the governor to
present the compromise back to the voters. I think this would have a high chance
of passing. Although since I feel legislatures should do their job and not pass
it to the masses who elect them to work our the fine points of policy, I really
do not like the approach. However if that is what is needed for the more
positive policy to be implemented than that is what we should do.
I stand with and live by Article 1 Sec 4 the Utah constitution:
"there shall be no union of church and state, nor shall any church dominate
the state or interfere with its functions."But I submit there is
no part of the Utah Constitution that prevents any church or any like minded
profit or non profit 501 (c)(3), union, association, organization, committee,
group, fraternity, neighborhood from joining, assisting, cooperating with, or
supporting a coalition of civic minded citizen such as the Utah Patients
Coalition campaign and the Libertas Institute think tank and advocacy group on
the pro-Proposition 2 side, and the Utah Medical Association and The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And any story that doctors or
priesthood leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ were secretly meeting with
state legislators and stuffing $100 bills in their back pockets to influence
their actions is patently silly.
drugs should be regulated federally.. Or not at all.
When it comes to the welfare and health of the land and people of all religions
the church has every right to challenge the judgement of incompetent
legislators, citizens on drugs, and those who have the intention of interfering
with peace and law and order and rule of law. The church is not
advocating religious liberties or religious ideology on this issue, I applaud
them for having the guts to stand up and act in the defense of citizens who do
not understand the ramifications of what this drug law is. The majority of those
who want this law are not citizens. I am against the legalization of crimes for
drug abuse and increased deaths, chaos, and unsafe streets in our cities and
neighborhoods. I will stand my ground and if it comes to my personal
protection of property or life I will have no doubt I will have no problem
putting suicidal attackers to death to protect my property or my families lives.
I have already been victimized and police have done nothing and my lively hood
and life will not suffer anymore losses I can protect. Police cannot protect us
from this kind of lawless society anymore and we are bound by our rights and
liberties to protect and serve ourselves.
Rocky says the church violates Article I, Section 4 of the Utah Constitution,
which states, in part, that "there shall be no union of church and state,
nor shall any church dominate the state or interfere with its functions."Why has Rocky and so many people today so unread and uneducated about
the Utah and US Constitution? Why do high schools and colleges fail to teach
the basics of the constitutions we live under?This is not dominating
the state nor is it interfering with its functions. Our founding fathers (and
framers of the Utah constitution also) never intended that the church should be
quieted from taking a stand on moral issues and issues that affect the quality
of lives.People so misunderstand what "separation" of church
and state is all about. And what a pity when they can google almost anything
these days. But ya gotta wanna know the truth and check what sources the
information is coming from.
For everyone against the Church lobbying for specific legislation, are you
against all lobbying groups proposing legislation or being involved in creating
specific laws? That is where a lot of legislation comes from. Do you
oppose the Sierra Club trying to influence environmental laws or the alcohol
industry with regards to DUI levels or other liquor laws in the state? Did you
oppose the Outdoor Retailers association trying to influence land issues in
Utah? Or do you just oppose the Church because it is the Church and so many
Utah citizens are members of it? I suspect most who attack the Church
trying to influence laws probably don't feel the same way when it is
organizations they support trying to pass legislation they also support.
It's not about the church influencing the law of the land, it's about
haters gonna hate.
This isn’t about Rocky wanting attention, it’s about the church
influencing the law of the land
Rocky Anderson just wants another fifteen minutes of fame by threatening The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with another lawsuit. The truth is
very simple, the first amendment to the U. S. Constitution allows freedom of
religion and not freedom from religion. Therefore, the Church has just as much
right to lobby the State legislature on what is considers a moral issue in
working out a compromise to a controversial issue. Would Rocky Anderson threaten
to sue the Utah Pride Center regarding a piece of legislation that they wanted.
I don't think so! Years ago, the ACLU was asked about The Church of Jesus
Christ and their lobbying efforts. The ACLU said that the Church had just as
much right to lobby the legislature as any other group. Rocky, what is sauce
for the goose, is sauce for the gander. The Church of Jesus Christ needs to
continue to speak out on what is considers moral issues affecting the community.
Threats of intimidation should not be used to silence a differing idea or
Any one think elected policies can't be changed? Think marriage between a
man and woman. Didn't matter what the vote was. First overturned in
California by one gay judge. Find the right judge and prop 2 can be
overturned as it is a violation of federal constitutional law.A
warning, one single pothead runs into my car while under the influence, with
standing I think I could sue to get prop 2 overridden.
It's a little bit about Church and State, a little bit about ego, a little
bit about getting high, and a little bit about getting relief. But Rocky,
it's a LOT about creating another quasi governmental entity that the
Goodfellas can profit from and plunder. We'll call it UPOT. Like its big
brothers and sisters, as in Utah's League of Cities and Towns, Utah Capital
Investment, URS, UCA, LPP, Medicaid, GOED, DABC, UTA, USTAR et.
al., we believe UPOT is poised like a bottomless tar pit that swallows
taxpayer's dollars and renders up "juicy" residuals to Utah's
Goodfellas and the legislative Gang that can't shoot straight. All one
has to do is read Utah Legislative Auditor General reports. s/The Ole'
Oh Rocky Anderson wants to sue the church? In other breaking news the sky is
blue, fire burns, and the sun will rise in the east and set in the west. Prop 2
is not about patients or medicine. If it was, there wouldn't be a need for
people to have 6 marijuana plants in their home for "personal use".
I'm a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
and I voted against the bill. No one in the Church told me how to vote.
Oh Rocky, nobody is coming after your weed, relax
The same person who sued to stop the Legacy Highway and it cost taxpayers of
Utah, millions of dollars?
Many also voted against the proposition on the basis of expecting the compromise
proposal through the legislature. The yes side was heavily leading in polling
before the compromise proposal came about so it's not necessarily the case
that the compromise proposal tilted things towards the yes side, it
could've easily been the reverse.Also, churches can weigh in
however they want on pieces of legislation. They can't endorse specific
politicians in races so you'll never see them endorse Mitt Romney, for
instance. Granted, there's limited enforcement of the provisions against
it, especially with Trump taking steps towards even less enforcement of it, so
I'm not even sure much would happen even if they did, but they seem
interested in sticking to the law on that matter (and also just might not be
interested in doing that even if it were totally fine, it's not like the
church makes endorsements of particular politicians in other countries that
might not have such limits). Of course, if the thing being pushed is
unconstitutional, then the courts have a duty to strike down that provision and
that's not a violation of freedom of religion.
@jcler2006 - the Reynolds decision applies to a religious practice that violated
federal law, not the right of a church to engage in public discourse on social
matters. Given the unanimous SCOTUS ruling in 2006 in Gonzales v O Centro
Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal allowing the import and use of peyote for
religious purposes, I’m not sure Reynolds would be decided the same way
today.@Here - unless you have been in the legislature or closely
involved in the legislature I don’t think you are qualified to know the
depth of influence or involvement of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints on Utah politics. It is much less than most people think. The influence
comes from personally held beliefs of elected officials, not lobbying by any
church on issues. Unless you expect every elected official to leave their
personal beliefs and biases at the door of the statehouse then those beliefs and
biases will always affect their decisions no matter their faith or lack thereof.
That is what a representative government is all about. We vote for people
based on how their beliefs and opinions and attitudes align with our own.
It is just a matter of time for marijuana to be legal for recreational use in
Utah. Way to go Utah. We can look forward to an influx of California pot heads
who can now longer afford to live in CA.
Flashback - Kearns, UT---Far as I'm concerned, the Church can
stick their noses anywhere they feel like. Especially on an issue like this.---Well, so much for 'Freedom of Religion/Separation of
Church and State', which is not a freedom for religion, or a particular
religious group, to 'stick its nose' anywhere, especially in
government.I am almost daily astonished at the hypocrisy of
'believers', especially in Utah, when the pioneers came to the region
to escape areas where government was 'sticking its nose' into personal
affairs of Mormons at the time, based on the religious beliefs of those in
government at the time. The Supreme Court decision in Reynolds v US, carefully
worded the decision to avoid appearing to infringe on religion, but in essence,
did in fact infringe on religion, based on the religious beliefs of the
judges.The principle works both ways, the state should not regulate
religious expression, nor should religious beliefs dictate state policy.
When Rocky pays back the $100,000,000 he cost the state of Utah on the Legacy
Highway contract, then maybe we'll listen to this guy, otherwise he needs
to go away.
Most of the comments in here are happy with the result of the legislature
because their church was influential in drawing up the "compromise" even
before the public voted. Just a thought, what if it wasn't a
representative from your church drawing up the bill? How would you feel
then?Separation of Church & State!
@1Observer;People don't complain about other churches because
those other churches don't have the Utah Legislature in their back pocket.
@jskains - I agree, we're now stuck with a flawed law and we're hoping
that compromise will change it. Which makes me wonder why Mr Anderson is even
worried at this point, prop 2 passed (unfortunately, in my view) and that's
what will become law. Too many voted for it expecting the compromise to fix
things; Mr Anderson's lawsuit is premature.
The people, for once, have spoken! Leave Prop 2 alone!
Frozen Fractals is spot on. This is a standard law, like any other law it can be
modified by the legislature if it is not in the Constitution of the State or
Nation. Laws can be, and are changed after passage on a regular basis. As
for the Church, they have the same right as any other individual or organization
to give their opinion. It is not a violation of the law. It is also not against
the law for a legislator to be influenced by an outside organization, including
the Church. Rocky is only taking another opportunity to attack the Church
because of personal animosity towards it, nothing else.
The lawsuit is a red herring. If the lawsuit were to succeed and the compromise
bill scrapped, I know a lot of people who voted yes on Prop 2 becuase they knew
there would be a compromise. Otherwise they would have voted no. Who’s
to say the initiaitive would have passed without some pre-agreement about the
compromise? Should the people who were duped be able to sue because both sides
falsely promoted a compromise? The courts have consistently ruled
that religious institutions can voice their opinion on social and moral issues,
even in the political arena. I never hear anyone complaining when other
religions voice their opinions or invite politicians to speak in their churches.
Is it really fair to silence religious voices? Do they not have a right to
free speech? A church engaging in public discourse does not violate the
establishment clause in the Constitution.sgallen - the Governor
calls the legislature into a special session. No one else, at this time, has
the power to do that. Though that changed with the positive vote on the
consitutional amendment to allow the legislature to call themselves into a
Eldonp,The Church's statements that they are very much for
medical marijuana but against the proposition as it was then worded sounds
pretty non-partisan to me.
I wonder if Esquire Rocky gets a volume discount on his filing fees at the
courthouse??Reputable/credible attorneys don't necessarily call
the media at the same time they are doing their legal filing!
This isn't a constitutional amendment. There's nothing that stops the
legislature from just overriding it with a regular vote. If you have a problem
with the legislature doing things like that in response to ballot initiatives,
then vote them out next time.
"Far as I'm concerned, the Church can stick their noses anywhere they
feel like. Especially on an issue like this."And, from time to
time, they should come away with a bloodied nose, because anywhere they like may
not necessarily be anywhere they're welcome.
God Bless Rocky Anderson!
Flashback: "Far as I'm concerned, the Church can stick their noses
anywhere they feel like. Especially on an issue like this."Exactly the problem! The Mormon very-faithful would like nothing better than
to have The Church make all their political and social decisions for them.That's great for the Mormons (not really) and not so great for the
Although the LDS Church doesn't endorse parties or candidates, its official
site says this: " [We] Reserve the right as an institution to address, in a
nonpartisan way, issues that it believes have significant community or moral
consequences or that directly affect the interests of the Church."The problem is that it's impossible to address many issues in a
non-partisan way. Partisan means taking a side. It also means biased. Either
definition applies.Forget Rocky for a minute. The Church was
clearly involved in the ballot proposition in a partisan way. It's seeking
to "augment" the will of the people in a partisan way. And it is using
elected partisan officials to promote its interests. It has every right to do
this, of course, but not to call its efforts nonpartisan.It would
more accurate to eliminate "in a partisan way" from the official site.
Otherwise it's doublespeak that veers toward Newspeak.
Good old Rockie needs to move to California or colorado.
The question is who really initiated the special session? Was it Marty Stephens
or Greg Hughes? And did the compromise only proceed because of the blessing of
the church? What would have happened if the church said no? The discovery
process will answer these questions.
Rocky needs to find something else to do with his time. We already have him to
thank for the lowered speed limits on Legacy Highway, which are very
annoying.Far as I'm concerned, the Church can stick their noses
anywhere they feel like. Especially on an issue like this.
The major issue is it undermines the voting process. Prop 2 passed. If you
change to before it goes into law, it’s basocally a bait and switch. What
if this compromise isn’t what a voter wanted? Want to have more people
feel their vote doesn’t really count? This is how you get that.
Good ‘ole Rocky... never disappoints.
I agree, this bait and switch fraud is a fraud and the people have voted on one
version with no compromise to the original law proposed in the vote process. No
changes are allowed and no compromise changes after the fact and shut down this
fraudulent process forever.
Mr Anderson - there were many of us that changed our vote and voted for the bill
because of the compromise. If the people don’t want changes, they can
contact their elected representatives and let them know. If the Church is
exerting undue pressure on legislators (and you know they are always involved
on moral issues), shame on the legislators for caving to that pressure rather
than listening to their constituents. The voters should take care of that as
well. Don’t tie up the courts just to satisfy your personal disagreement
with the Church or elected representatives.
Just when you think you've heard the last of Rocky, like a moth to the
flame he sidles in when there's publicity to be had. Go away
already Rocky, this suit is frivolous and has no merit especially when the
proposition allowed for legislative measures to finalize it into law. This is
not a democracy, never has been from the framing of the constitution. It has
always been a Republic where we vote for representatives who's job it is to
understand the issues more than the layperson can or has time to understand. The agreements made by both sides were acceptable to both sides of this
issue by people who understand and have studied it far more than me. I want
people who honestly need an alternative to Benzos and Opiates to have access but
not at the expense of society at large. If I could TRADE MJ for opiates or ETOH
I would in a second, but unfortunately that isn't an option.
This isn't a valid lawsuit. There are no grounds to sue. This is a
temper tantrum. It's a PR stunt. It's not against the
law for a group you don't like to express a political opinion you
don't like. The First Amendment gives everyone, even churches, the right
to express opinions on ballot propositions. Religious speech can't be met
with government threats of more regulations, tax increases, or calls for courts
to silence specific religions entirely. A church speaking on a moral
issue is the opposite of illegal. It's a celebrated, fundamental part of
It's pure democracy vs. constitutional republic.In a pure
democracy all issues are resolved by a popular vote and the majority always
wins. Unfortunately, I do not have the knowledge, time, or resources to make
wise decisions in all matters of government. And sometimes the interests of the
minority need to be protected from the majority.To that end we hire
legislators, familiar with the issues, hopefully are smarter than us, with the
resources to seek out the information they need from constituents, libraries,
advocates, professionals, and leaders of all kinds to make those choices for us.
I do not expect or want them to vote the same way I would. I expect them to make
better choices. That is their job.So, with respect to the MJ issue,
a lot of people voted for it with the expectation that it had flaws, but was
better than doing nothing and they had been promised a fixit bill was in the
works. They expect the legislature to follow through on that promise.Stenquist's disingenuous position is that churches are allowed to
express their opinion, but the Legislature is not allowed to listen. That would
be "caving to pressure".
I guess Rocky doesn't realize, that though Prop 2 is the law of Utah now,
it is not engraven in stone with any more special status than any other law. He
probably does realizes it, just must like publicity. It is only the law of the
land until the legislative branch and executive branch pass laws after it, then
the newest law becomes the law of the land. Rocky's suit should be tossed
out. Makes no sense. Proposition 2 is not part of the Utah constitution - easy
to amend and change.
Go get 'em, Rocky! The so-called "compromise" is a violation of the
1st Amendment that undermines the voice of the people!