President Donald Trump wants to add a citizenship question to the census. What about a question on religion?

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  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    April 23, 2019 1:59 p.m.

    Often overlooked.

    It is the case that many permanent residents of this country who are here legally are not citizens.

  • American First Merced, CA
    April 23, 2019 12:35 p.m.

    The question wreaks of demagoguery, whether somebody is a citizen or not is a completely fair question...it's asked on tax returns, driver license applications, firearms applications, credit card applications, etc, etc, etc....The government does not need to know are has no interest in knowing peoples religion. This is a very transparent attempt to agitate the public about President Trumps refugee policies.

  • There You Go Again St George, UT
    April 23, 2019 12:25 p.m.

    President Donald Trump?

    Not for long.

    Citizenship/Religion?

    Americans have lived in a country for over 200 years without either question on the census.

    Why change?

    The republican currently occupying the WH is simply tryng to appease his base.

    With the election coming up in 2020, he will need all the voter suppression he can muster to scare people into not voting or simply voting for him.

    With regard to religion, the questions the government can ask/follow up with are endless.

    If the religion question is added, do we get to pick from a menu or can we make something up?

    If the religion question is added, I propose one germane addendum.

    If you are religious, are you now or have you ever been or will you continue to be a hypocrite.

    Imagine a whole new republican government watchdog entity can be started that will prosecute you if they find out you fib.

    Perfect.

    Fire trump 2020.

  • shamrock Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2019 8:28 a.m.

    @Neanderthal wrote: "It would be wise to know the extent of that religion in the US in order to cautiously plan ahead. Just sayin'."

    Thanks, Neanderthal, for demonstrating exactly how the religion question could be abused to deprive Americans of their rights.

  • Neanderthal Springville, UT
    April 14, 2019 11:47 p.m.

    "What about a question on religion?"

    Might not be a bad idea. There is a religion in the world today that would like to take over the world and has made significant inroads into Europe. It would be wise to know the extent of that religion in the US in order to cautiously plan ahead. Just sayin'.

  • IcemanCometh SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 14, 2019 10:11 p.m.

    @RealDJT - If you are not a citizen, and it leads to your apprehension, that is "gathering criminal evidence", not "abuse".

    Read the Constitution - most notably the 4th Amendment about self incrimination. CBP and other law enforcement agencies can gather criminal evidence all they want. However, they nor the Census Bureau can force someone to answer a question that would be incriminating.

    Regardless of one's stance on immigration or religion (or lack there of). The census must follow the the Constitutional requirements which to count people equally.

  • Furry1993 MSC, UT
    April 14, 2019 8:58 a.m.

    @TheRealDJT - April 13, 2019 12:58 p.m.
    I don't see how a citizenship question could conceivably be "abused".

    If you are not a citizen, and it leads to your apprehension, that is "gathering criminal evidence", not "abuse".

    ---------------------

    Under your hypothetical it would be a violation of the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and, therefore, un-Constitutional.

  • MK52 Arlington, VA
    April 13, 2019 9:19 p.m.

    The Constitution determines how many people live in a district or how the district is apportioned. This is so each area can have money for things like roads and infrastructure. The highways dont know if people are legal. If everyone in America flushed the toilet at the same time during Super Bowl Sunday half time, would the plumbing hold up? That's all the federal government needs to know for the census. The other information, like number of people coming into the country or staying illegally is something else, and other methods of finding them must be used. And considering how low regular voting turnout is, maybe there should be a citizenship question, and a requirement to vote!

  • TheRealDJT Sandy, UT
    April 13, 2019 12:58 p.m.

    I don't see how a citizenship question could conceivably be "abused".

    If you are not a citizen, and it leads to your apprehension, that is "gathering criminal evidence", not "abuse".

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    April 12, 2019 11:14 a.m.

    >>That 3/5 part was concerning slaves. Should we count the descendants of slaves as 3/5 of a person?

    Given that all sections of the original Constitution pertaining to slavery were superseded by the 13th and 14th Amendments, no.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    April 12, 2019 9:18 a.m.

    If President Trump actually wants/wanted a question on religion, he probably should have started the ball rolling on that three years ago instead of having Ross lie to congress about where the citizenship question was coming from.

  • Cougalum St. George, UT
    April 12, 2019 2:36 a.m.

    NefiT: No, illegal aliens do not have any right to representation. Only citizens have a right to representation. Regardless of their ethnicity, longevity or religion, all citizens have a right to representation but citizenship status is the requirement. The primary purpose for the census is to determine the number and location of citizens. No one has a valid expectation that they will not be asked their citizen status in the census. No one.

  • reriding Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2019 6:31 p.m.

    Furry,

    I hope that "We The People" has posted a demonstration of Poe's Law.

    Your response is well taken, in either case.

  • Furry1993 MSC, UT
    April 11, 2019 6:02 p.m.

    @WeThePeople - April 11, 2019 1:05 p.m.
    A religion question would be very useful. It would help us understand which areas have loyal American's living there, and which areas are suspect.

    The FBI could then target their efforts on the people who are more likely to harm America. That will Make America Great Again.
    -----

    You realize, don't you, that despite what the far right extremist authoritarians want to try to claim and what they want to con people into thinking, the religion (if any) to which person belongs has absolutely ho bearing on whether the person is a "loyal American" or is a "person who is more likely to harm America." You have to look no further for proof of that than to the people who assert rabid Christianity but at the same time are trying to tear down the Constitutional protections held by ALL people to the extent that those provisions protect people who believe and act differently from them. By trying to deny the same Constitutional protections to everyone, they are turning themselves into people who are more likely to harm America and the Constitution which protects us all.

  • Justin M Roseville, CA
    April 11, 2019 5:55 p.m.

    Perhaps a question about religion is a way to gauge the resistance to First Amendment violations/legal changes.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    April 11, 2019 5:19 p.m.

    A few thoughts.

    1-There is no doubt the census contains many questions that are invasive to our privacy and go beyond the constitutionally authorized/mandated census for purposes of allocating representation (and before the 16th amd, allocating federal tax burden among the several States). There can also be little doubt that the census is a very cost effective way to gather a lot of very useful data.

    I propose a compromise: The census should have two parts. The first is legally mandated and asks about number of persons living at the address and any other constitutionally appropriate questions (citizenship or other legal status may or may not be permissible). The 2nd part is optional, detaches from the 1st part for anonymity, and asks about other useful things like religious affilliation, number of toilets, etc.

    2-I do not know whether the issue of citizen vs legal resident vs illegal alien has ever been adjudicated for congressional allocation. I can see it going either way. But which way it goes has some interesting ramifications I will discuss in my next post.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 11, 2019 3:30 p.m.

    NeifyT
    Subject to the laws while they’re here? How about since they and their liberal supporters feel they should NOT be subject to immigration laws, liberals should also admit they have no right to any representation in government?

    They have no right to such anyway, but that would just strengthen the case against them.

    They can still respond to the census if they want to be counted.

  • RRB SLC, UT
    April 11, 2019 2:22 p.m.

    America has a right to know who is here illegally. Many people are here legally on visas, and the census asks them the question. Why just eliminate the illegal population?

  • Rubydo Provo, UT
    April 11, 2019 1:46 p.m.

    The people opposed to the citizenship question on the census are democrat controlled states like California with higher concentrations of non citizens where they can capitalize on their sanctuary cities and stack more democrats into the house and senate to further their control of the government. Floating the religious question into the debate is only something that the democrats and liberal news media would exploit for talking points and race baiting propaganda. Non citizens can’t vote legally in the US which is one of the reasons they don’t deserve representation.

  • Furry1993 MSC, UT
    April 11, 2019 1:30 p.m.

    Both of those questions would get a "none of your business" answer from me. My religion has no bearing on any issue that a census would answer. The issue of citizenship does not impact anything that a census answers -- namely, how the population of the United States (regardless whether that population is citizen or not) is spread among the various states and territories that are part of this country. "NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS" is the proper answer to those inquiries.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2019 1:20 p.m.

    Neither question is pertinent to the purpose of the Census. (Even illegal aliens need to have representation in government, as they are still subject to the laws of the United States so long as they are here.)

    And as for religion; the government has no right (nor any need) to ask a person's religion. In fact, there is nothing good that can come from knowing the religious makeup of individuals.

    For taxation (and exemption); it is fine to have churches fill out information such as attendance records; when their congregations were established; etc. But NONE of that information should be tied to individuals (a.k.a Personally Identifiable Information). And the census clearly has Personally Identifiable Information at its very heart.

    The only questions that should be on the census is the names and ages of the people living in a residence (or on the streets, or anywhere else). As the purpose is to identify ALL people who are subject to US laws (hence need representation in congress).

    There is a time and place for other polling other demographics... but the US Census is not the time and place for anything beyond a population count.

  • WeThePeople Sandy, UT
    April 11, 2019 1:05 p.m.

    A religion question would be very useful. It would help us understand which areas have loyal American's living there, and which areas are suspect.

    The FBI could then target their efforts on the people who are more likely to harm America. That will Make America Great Again.

  • BJMoose Syracuse, UT
    April 11, 2019 1:01 p.m.

    How about no to both questions.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 11, 2019 12:59 p.m.

    Your religion has nothing to do with whether or not you are here legally, but citizenship automatically says you are.

    Pelukas
    That 3/5 part was concerning slaves. Should we count the descendants of slaves as 3/5 of a person?

  • Yuge Opportunity Here Mapleton, UT
    April 11, 2019 12:57 p.m.

    When I read the headline, my first thought was that Trump wants to ask us about religion.

    That's not even on the table, but the seed was planted. Was it an innocent editorial mistake, or another anti-Trump hit job? You can never tell these days.

    And the reporter suggests that the citizenship question is "new." Not true. The naturalization question was on the census up to 1950.

    But of course, that little fact doesn't have the narrative punch of calling Trump's idea "new."

    Can't you guys just let the president govern?

  • Lets check the facts Santa Fe, NM
    April 11, 2019 12:57 p.m.

    The constitution of the US states: "We the People of the United States..." Every reference to People in the constitution then refers to people of the United States. Sounds like a citizen to me. Seems appropriate to know how many and who they are.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    April 11, 2019 12:30 p.m.

    Just ask "Are you an atheist". Check the box for yes. They won't mind answering and you can assume that the rest are religious.

  • Eponymous Eggplant Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2019 11:59 a.m.

    "Fine. How about if we also ask “do you practice what you preach?”

    I’m sure trump’s answer to that would be I’m the greatest Christian that ever walked the face of the earth! The greatest!"

    Just curious: Are you his Bishop? If not, what qualifies you to pass judgment on his religious observance? Follow-up question: how does your comment pertain in any way to the census?

  • Cougalum St. George, UT
    April 11, 2019 11:51 a.m.

    Its not just money being spent in the states, it’s also how many congressional seats are distributed. By not considering citizen status, the states with more illegal aliens get more political power. With the trend toward increasing illegal aliens, now at an alarming 100,000 per month, states like California will become more dominant than they already are. Democrats will continue their push to obtain more power by giving illegal aliens the right to vote. The Democratic Party position is about power and not about privacy or not offending people. Power. Only power.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2019 11:45 a.m.

    @Count Rushmore
    "Congressional apportionment pertains to voters, and thus citizenship is relevant"

    Allocation is done based on the total amount of people living in the area, not the count of voters so citizenship actually does not matter for that.

  • JSB , 00
    April 11, 2019 11:38 a.m.

    Religious status is not relevant. But citizenship status is very important. People that don't want citizenship status mentioned are trying to hide something.

  • Weston Jurney West Jordan, UT
    April 11, 2019 11:35 a.m.

    What the proposed citizenship question and a religion question would have in common?

    Enormous potential for abuse.

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2019 11:26 a.m.

    Fine. How about if we also ask “do you practice what you preach?”

    I’m sure trump’s answer to that would be I’m the greatest Christian that ever walked the face of the earth! The greatest!

  • Pelukas Bingham, UT
    April 11, 2019 11:14 a.m.

    "...Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which
    may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be
    determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to
    Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other
    Persons..." The US constitution clearly states that ALL PERSONS should be counted. The only ones excluded (by the constitution) are the so called "...Indians not taxed...". Additionaly if only pertains to voters, whgat about kids, should not be counted, what about voters that do not vote?, what about citizens that do not register to vote.

    Let's follow the contitution and count everybody, no questions asked.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    April 11, 2019 9:51 a.m.

    While I really wouldn't object to a question about religion on the census, I would still have to recognize that there is no honest comparison of a religious question and an immigration status question.
    All have a right to free expression of religion.
    There is no right to be in the USA illegally. Illegals are criminals by virtue of their being here at all. If a census question would aid in apprehending them, then that is a good thing.
    If you are here legally, there should be no problem. Right ?

  • Count Rushmore Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2019 9:52 a.m.

    Hmmm. What is the purpose of the census? It "affects congressional apportionment and federal funding for 10 years." Congressional apportionment pertains to voters, and thus citizenship is relevant, not religious affiliation.

    There are lots of things that might be nice to know. That doesn't mean researchers get to use government power to compel people to answer them.