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Rising hostility against religion worldwide

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  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Aug. 27, 2011 6:38 a.m.

    "Pew found that Christians were harassed in 130 countries, Muslims in 117 countries and Jews in 75 countries"

    Thats a lot of countries harassing the religious.

    For all of its statistics, the article failed to point out how much of the "hostility against religion" is actually coming from religious people.

    How many of these "harassers" are doing so in the name of religion?
    My guess is that it is MOST.

  • dave Park City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 7:39 a.m.

    Since moving to Utah 27 years ago I have become almost anti-religion. Being harassed by the local majority church both in legislation and culture has really made me think twice about the usefulness of religion.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Aug. 27, 2011 8:02 a.m.

    Dave,

    I can relate. I lived in Utah for about 10 years.

    I found most to be good, caring, well-intentioned people.

    I did find the people fairly uncompromising and judgmental of others. I assume it was because most only associate with other LDS and they have little need to accept that others may have different views.

    A neighbor of mine actually came up and chastised me for mowing my lawn on Sunday. I had someone berate me for having a glass of wine with my diner in a nice restaurant.
    Some would not attend my wedding if alcohol was to be served.

    It is one thing to live by your morals. It is quite another to try to impose your morals on others.

    I have found that the LDS outside of Utah are much more accepting. Probably by necessity.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Aug. 27, 2011 8:15 a.m.

    Another day, another chance for the DN to play the victim...

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    Most people would be just fine with religion if would mind it's own business and let everyone else live in peace.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Aug. 27, 2011 9:36 a.m.

    Many decent non-LDS people become so weary of being told that the way that they live is just not the correct way.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 9:39 a.m.

    Religion empowers everyone to say that they're right and everybody else is wrong. Of course that's going to breed discord. It's what divides us most.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Aug. 27, 2011 10:16 a.m.

    @JoeBlow
    As a convert to the LDS faith since 1995, and living in California, I have come to the conclusion that what both you and Dave have dealt with is more of the Utah mentality, rather than the true intent of the LDS church. Even my wife, as well as myself, find it rather nauseating, for instance, to endure comments about how my artistic daughter dresses in church, or how I opt to visit my non-LDS family on Sunday, where alcoholic beverages are served, (when it's the only time I get to see them), etc. Most of those comments come from Utah transplants. (However, not all are that way, by any means.)
    I and my family have had to endure and forgive quite a few back-handed insults, over the years.
    But I refuse to let that preclude my from the weekly associations with my loved ones in the church and from keeping me from going back. That far outweighs the judgmental inconveniences.
    The "us vs them" mentality on both sides of spectrum in the Utah area needs to chill.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 27, 2011 10:34 a.m.

    With the increased access to knowledge and information more people are seeing the hipocracy of organized religion that has much to do with politics and less to do with a god. More believers worship their church religion than their supposed god. Mormons worship mormonism, Catholics worship catholicism, Muslims worship Islamism and they all have antipathy for their each others believe with the lack of common love for their professed common god. It is no wonder that thinking people are fed up with organized religion, it is mostly another big corporate business enterprise marketing expensive pie in the sky to gullible good people.

  • Ghost Writer GILBERT, AZ
    Aug. 27, 2011 11:04 a.m.

    To all the downtrodden in Utah who are experiencing so much "hostility" at the hands of the oppressive majority . . . I'm not sure if someone expressing an opinion different from your own counts as "hostility" or even harrassment. I'm currently teaching a class on Holocaust Literature -- I believe that those who have experienced true religious persecution would be amused, if not offended, by your complaints.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Aug. 27, 2011 11:07 a.m.

    @skeptic
    Religion needs to be organized. Since when is it supposed to be disorganized.
    If a religion is true, should it not, for instance, organize its adherents to marshal their resources for the good. This is done time and time again, with relief aid, to those not even of there faith.
    I find it funny that the critics who often use the anti-organized religion mantra, but find it to be just fine to organize against it.
    I believe the powers from below would like to have religion disorganized.

  • Bubble SLC, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 11:10 a.m.

    This really shouldn't surprise anyone - all you have to do is look at the mainstream American attitude towards Islam to see the hostility towards religions other than ones own.

    Religion is under attack not from the atheists, but from the religious.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 11:20 a.m.

    I'm sure Muslims in America and
    Warren Jeffs and the FLDS Church can relate to this article.

    As one who's ancestors left America because of Religious intolerence -- I would have thought we - of ALL people - would be some of the most sympathic to others same plight.

    Dave, JoeBlow:
    I lived in Seattle for 22 years.
    The intolerance of others is definetly a Utah thing, not a Mormon thing.

    What more proof do we need than having the LDS church creating a huge Public Relations gig right now called; "I'm a Mormon".

    The whole premise is to get as far away as possible from the whole "middle-age White Guy, Utahn Native, Republican, with 6 kids" stero-type image.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 11:56 a.m.

    An Atheist believes that only empirical evidence is verifiable and anything else is false. An Agnostic believes that there may be more than empirical evidence, but it couldn't be verified, etc.

    Some believe that empirical evidence is unreliable because of imperfect human observation, or because empiricism cannot be metaphysically verified, making such evidence definitively weak. Catholicism rests here, with the only reliable source of anything valid coming from an ancestral account of others who claim to have observed reliable events, whether physical or otherwise.

    Some believe that empiricism is all in the mind, a dream, or some sort of 'matrix'.

    LDS theology concludes with the belief that empirical evidence is valid, God is physical, all spirit is matter, etc... that the observation of one empirical event does not negate the possibility or probability of one unobserved.

    Everyone "believes" in something. The danger is the belief of destruction. When people try to silence another belief. Religion has nothing to do with it. A crusade to remove freedom to believe can come from anyone, religious, irreligious, atheist, catholic, or mormon.

    ---

    This is why the freedom to believe or worship anything you desire is the most essential factor in preserving peace.

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 12:12 p.m.

    The headline of this story is incredibly misleading: "Rising Hostility Against Religion Worldwide."

    There's hardly any hostility against *religion* in the world. Maybe a relatively few atheists and agnostics, but they limit their hostility to speech, not physical violence.

    The real hostility is by religious people against *other* religious people. Religion itself is doing just "fine."

    It makes one wonder if religion is ultimately more poisonous than nourishing, when we see the results of believing that "ours is the only true way."

    I'm reminded of the wonderful line: "Every day, more and more people are leaving the churches . . . and returning to God." Would that it were so! Imagine what peace there'd be in the world.

    In any case, I suggest your headline should be: "Rising Hostility Worldwide Against People Who Believe Differently."

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 27, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    @morpunkt
    Thank you for your reply, but pehaps you are not understanting the interpretation or common use of the meaning of organized religion as an incorporated political business institution.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 12:17 p.m.

    Is freedom being threatened? Yes!

    I don't believe in forcing my views on others. If someone wants to get married, they can. I and my religion have no problem with this. But there are certain forms of marriage I won't endorse, that is my right.

    I will not endorse or promote homosexuality as acceptable in belief or practice. BUT I will defend to the death their right to disagree. So where is my problem? I'm free to believe and practice heterosexual marriage. They are free to believe and practice their own form. Polygamists are free to believe and practice their own.

    But what we recognize as acceptable and endorse by the state doesn't have anything to do with what we believe and practice in our private belief system or religion.

    No one is forcing gays. Everyone EQUALLY voted on what the state endorses. Privately practiced marriage is their own business and our 'state endorsement' vote didn't take away their freedom to PRIVATELY practice. However, when gays try to remove my freedom to vote by validating only their view, freedom is most certainly threatened.

    Voting is democratic and FREE. This is "by the people", not just by the gays.

  • speed66 Heber City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 12:32 p.m.

    Great comments on this article.

    I couldn't help but chuckle at the reference to Smith's comments about the invisible pressures of religion - "in some cultures defying parents would make someone an outcast" - doesn't that sound uncomfortably like many in the LDS faith? The number of gay children that are ostracized is reprehensible. The LDS church declared war against an entire community and orchestrated a campaign against Prop8 and were not forthright about their role...still haven't been. Invisible pressures?

    And doesn't school-sponsored, graduation credit earning Seminary put invisible pressures on many kids?

    Religion is one of the leading causes of conflict and death in the world and while our pluralistic view in the US has insulated us to a large extent, the US still has doctors killed by religious zealots, crazy demonstrations at the funerals of fallen heroes and loons who burn religious texts for publicity only.

    Where is the discussion of our political leaders and "news" outlets - Fox specifically - that lead an insurgence against Muslims, mosques and Muslim leaders. For far too many, it's okay if it is directed at "the other guys".

    Most of this religion vs religion. It's about Power and Control...not about philosophy.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 12:47 p.m.

    Just because I believe that my invisible inscrutable sky daddy is better than your invisible inscrutable sky daddy, you get all critical towards me.

    Stop picking on me for my beliefs!

    I tell you that I believe in magic and spirits and angels and an all-loving and omnipotent god who answers my prayers about the weather being nice for my outdoor wedding reception but who lets millions of children die of disease and starvation each year - and you roll your eyes at me and tell me I don't have a firm grip on reality?

    Don't you see how offensive that is to me?

    I pick and choose which bits of science to believe so I can function in the 21st Century and still hold on to a bunch of Bronze Age beliefs about the universe, and you criticize me for it?

    What's with that?

    I pick and choose which of the Bible's/Koran's Bronze Age instructions to follow - so I won't go to jail for killing rape victims, disrespectful teens and people who work on Sunday - and you tell me I'm an irrational bundle of delusions and cognitive dissonance ?

    Help! I'm being repressed!

  • Mary E Petty Sandy, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 1:06 p.m.

    The tension between good and evil will always be here, until He comes again. As a world-wide traveler, I have experienced religious tolerance, intolerance and judgment at home and abroad. But, for me, these are but tutorials and tests in my commitment to follow Him to individually make a difference.

    Transplanted from Chicago via California to Utah, I view the Beehive State through this lens: Utah, a microcosm of the greater world.

    How I love coming home to Utah and my mountains; where we can enjoy a summer get away in Park City or trips to 5 national parks and 7 national monuments or take an adventure with the grandkiddies to 43 state parks for $75, and experience the handiwork of God. And how I enjoy my Muslim, Mormon, Protestant, Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Buddhist, Scientologist, Hindus, religious, irreligious, Atheist, Agnostic, Humanist, Liberal, Conservative, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Tea Party, Independent, College educated, high school graduate,drop-out, honest, dishonest, gay,straight, accepting, not, boy, girl, old, young, rich, poor,employed, unemployed, neighbors, friends, and family. All are part and parcel of my tutoring to be a kind and loving person. There will always be another test.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Aug. 27, 2011 1:11 p.m.

    A voice of Reason 12:17 p.m.

    Choosing to disagree personally with gay marriage is one thing. Rewriting the law so that others are unable to make a choice at all is something else.

    How would you like it if we took a vote and decided that your marriage was invalid? Would you just roll over and accept it?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 2:58 p.m.

    "Pew found that Christians were harassed in 130 countries, Muslims in 117 countries and Jews in 75 countries"

    I wonder how many atheists are harrassed in since they're the demographic that US voters are least willing to vote for (even homosexuals have lower "unwilling to vote for" numbers).

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 3:07 p.m.

    I, for instance, get harrassed in my native land (USA) for my religious preference (atheism).

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 5:36 p.m.

    KJB1,

    "Rewriting the law so that others are unable to make a choice at all"

    Freedom = private exercise and belief unmolested. However, what government promotes, endorses, or 'legitimizes' is up to the people.

    No one is taking away the choice to get married. We're preserving our choice not to give it legal endorsement or validation. They can still get married privately, just like polygamists can. People can freely believe and practice according to their own dictates. If we stopped polygamists from even living under the same roof, etc. then yes, we would be forcing them. Why is it that liberals seem to think they are forced when others don't agree with them? I'm not forcing anyone when I say "I don't like it and I won't give them a legal certificate" because they can still do it all they want.

    The 'gay religion' is currently exercising their freedom to worship/believe what they want and exercise/practice those beliefs. What the state endorses is an entirely separate issue. If the state doesn't give certificates recognizing baptisms for the dead, then the LDS Church's freedoms are not infringed. According to liberal logic, it would be. See the problem?

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Aug. 27, 2011 6:18 p.m.

    A voice of Reason 5:36 p.m.

    You don't have to agree with gay marriage. You can dislike it all you want, but using the law to disenfrancise millions of people based on nothing more than "God thinks gay people are gross" is a huge injustice. Getting married "privately" (whatever that means) still deprives them of hundreds of legal rights that heterosexuals like us get to take for granted when we we enter into unions with the people that we love. The Supreme Court has already ruled that "separate but equal" is a misnomer.

    Again, I have to ask: What if the majority of people decided that YOUR marriage wasn't worth "legal endorsement or validation"? How would you react?

  • Ranch HUNTSVILLE, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 7:19 p.m.

    It isn't hard to understand the reasons behind hostility towards religion.

    Religions condone blowing up innocent people in the name of "god".

    Religions condone stripping individual liberty in the name of "religious liberty".

    Religions condone bigotry and discrimination against other religions - the "my god is the only god" syndrome.

    Religion is a corruption of spirituality.

  • Ranch HUNTSVILLE, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 7:41 p.m.

    @Voice;

    Freedom is threatened when we VOTE to take away another citizen's rights.

    Period.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 8:06 p.m.

    KJB1,

    1- Benefits of marriage are a separate issue. Unions could be given the same benefits and that's if they even should exist or even should be given those benefits. We are equal in the vote, not in what government may dish out to people. Entitlement and right to be free are different. They are free to act, not to force my support.

    2- "God condemns it" is not the only argument. In fact, it's not an argument I use. I'm arguing that because I don't support it, it shouldn't happen (religion being irrelevant). Basically 100% democratic. I believe that if the people don't want it, it shouldn't happen. WE form our government, we rule our government. The government does not rule us. So far, I don't believe you really disagree with this (or many others). Where I believe we disagree is more relating to the post from "Ranch".

    Ranch,

    How are we taking away rights? I don't support stopping gays from doing anything. 10 couples - 1 is gay - we vote no - they are still gay, nothing changed. - the ONLY thing "no" applies to is group recognition and support.

    Freedom is a right, endorsement isn't. Please address that point.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Aug. 27, 2011 8:19 p.m.

    There are some incorrect notions that have been thrown into this forum that I think ought to be pointed out.

    1. "Thinking people don't believe in religion." Not true. Very many religious people have higher degrees, use logic in their lives, accept science as it shows what is true, and read/understand widely.

    2. "Religion is responsible for most of the violence in the world." Not true. The most deaths by violence in the 20th Century were caused by governments that were officially atheist or anti-religious. While I agree that there are many deaths in the name of religion, most of those are actually a result of someone's NOT following the religion, but using the name of the religion for political ends. (The deaths, therefore, are political, not religious. There would be fewer deaths by violence if people actually followed the tenets of the world's religions.)

    3. "Mormons are complainers who don't understand persecution." Learn the true history.

    4. "Mormons don't know what it's like to have their marriages legislated against." Learn the history.

    5. "Mormons are hiding something (especially about Prop 8)." Difficult to do when there is so much public documentation about this new religion.

  • Ranch HUNTSVILLE, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 8:49 p.m.

    @Voice;

    9 wolves, 1 sheep.

    Which one is dinner.

    GLBT couples pay taxes just like heterosexual couples do. If GLBT couples aren't to be given the same legal protections, from government, that accrue through marriage, then neither should heterosexual couples.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Aug. 27, 2011 9:01 p.m.

    A voice of Reason 8:06 p.m.

    Most of the Southern population once believed that keeping other people as slaves was a perfectly fine thing to do. Does that mean that the government should have let them? The majority of the people living in the American colonies didn't even initially support the struggle for independence from England. Should we have voted on that?

    And I notice that you still haven't answered my question. How would you react if the validity of your marriage could be decided by popular vote?

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 11:19 p.m.

    A voice of Reason
    Basically 100% democratic. I believe that if the people don't want it, it shouldn't happen.

    LDS4
    Kinda like when people used their votes to have anti polygamy laws passed 150 years ago. Kinda like the Saudis not allowing Christians to build churches. The people dont want it so the Christians dont get to build. The people didnt want it, so it shouldnt happen...right? Do you REALLY want to hang your hat on that logic?

    Democracy is 3 wolves and a sheep voting on what to eat for lunch. It's great if you are a wolf and lousy if you are a sheep. We LDS were the sheep 150 years ago and now many LDS have forgotten about that and now want to be the wolves. VOR, you should move out of the Inter-Mountain West where we LDS are the sheep and see that the tyranny of the majority DOES exist.

  • CougarKeith Roy, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 12:05 a.m.

    "Joe Blow & Dave", Being a CONVERT to the LDS Church, I understand where you are coming from. I am not from here, but moved here. The LDS "Culture" outside of Utah is much more accepting, as is preached by the prophets and apostles, to accept and love others for whom they are, not dislike and hate for what they are not. Here it is different because "Mowing the Lawn on Sunday" or other "Law Of Moses" type things are looked upon as "Should Not Do's", and the people here are Raised that way. They like the Pharasees and Sagisees that Jesus Condemned will be so condemned at the Judgement bar of Christ, for their lack of acceptance and understanding, and for their persecution of you and others. Even I & you for judging them if we know better. The thing to remember is, they may think they are better, but they are not, and they have been told so by a Prophet of God, any GOOD Latter-day Saint would smile and offer a salutation and be friendly. We don't believe in Child baptism, should I not have attended my cousin's newborn Christening in another Church? Well I did!!! God Bless!

  • sergio Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 28, 2011 9:09 a.m.

    %Blue 10:47

    You have a talent, I wish you luck, and I hope you find a venue for it to help others find reason in life. Maybe a job with the DN, they can really use some insightful logical writers.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 10:40 a.m.

    Why do we send "aid" to countries without religious freedom? In Iran 6500 bibles were confiscated. Nice place.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 29, 2011 7:55 p.m.

    "Choosing to disagree personally with gay marriage is one thing. Rewriting the law so that others are unable to make a choice at all is something else."

    You mean "re-re-writing" the law. We didn't need to re-write the law, until your judges re-wrote it first.

  • Ranch HUNTSVILLE, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 9:10 p.m.

    Actually Duck, the laws said nothing at all about same-sex marriage. It wasn't against any constitutions or laws until religious nuts decided to encode discrimination into our legal system.

    Until that time we could legally marry since there wasn't anything against it. It's just that most places wouldn't grant a license anyway. Then religions realized that they had overlooked something and you saw this plethora of constitutional amendments begin.

    That is when religious bigots began to rewrite the laws.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 30, 2011 11:02 a.m.

    Voice Of Reason: "How are we taking away rights? I don't support stopping gays from doing anything. 10 couples - 1 is gay - we vote no - they are still gay, nothing changed. - the ONLY thing "no" applies to is group recognition and support."

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

    The best answer for this is in the constitution. The 14th amendment states: "...No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States:..."

    So, if you get any rights or privileges, so should all the other people who are law-abiding, tax-paying citizens of this great nation.

    You may not like them or what they do, but they are Americans. Their rights and privileges are not up for a vote.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 6:57 a.m.

    Seeing how many gay-advocates have come onto this thread to claim victimhood of persecution, and this article is about religious persecution, I think we can safely say that the gay-lifestyle is a religion.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 31, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    @Raybies,

    If the gay-lifestyle is a religion, how do you explain all the gay Christians, Mormons, and those of other faiths?

    Gay is an orientation, not a religion.