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Freedom of religion under increasing attack, LDS leader says

Elder Oaks describes threats, says church members must step up

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  • Oh, come on
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:10 p.m.

    Corporate Religion is bringing this one up again?

    No one's threatening your right to exercise your religion. What many people are against, however, are members of one religion PUSHING your religion on others.

    We don't care if you are Scientologist, Moonies, Muslim, Buddhists, Catholics, LDS, Baptists, Methodists. Keep it to yourself unless we ask!

    Let's make a deal:
    You have the freedom to practice your religion.
    We have the freedom to avoid your religion.
    Don't forget that we're taxpayers and citizens, too.

  • oh no
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:10 p.m.

    i know what you mean everytime i am in class with these guys...they give a narrow look of kill the messenger ..whenever i call them what they are!! hypocrits!!

  • Joe Moe
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:13 p.m.

    Watch for two things now:

    1) People to blatantly defy the counsel he just offered: "Be wise in one's political participation, including the framing of arguments and positions in respectful ways."

    2) People on both sides of this debate to offer knee-jerk reactions. This message, given by a respected scholar of law and a current world-wide religious leader, defies quick analysis by either someone in agreement or someone in opposition.

  • observing
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:15 p.m.

    I may not quote this correctly, but it has been said that the only thing that needs to happen for evil men (and/or women) to take over is for good men (and/or women) to not stand up for what they believe. Democracy only works if it works for EVERYONE and that certainly should include those of us who believe in God and sustain, uphold and live His commandments. Elder Oaks is our modern day Moroni, and we can listen to him and follow him, or we can repeat the history of those who fought against God in the Book of Mormon.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:18 p.m.

    Methinks this is a preface to forthcoming verdict by investigative authorities into LDS illegal political activities in California.

  • Agreed, but
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:18 p.m.

    I agree with this, but its not religious freedom that is dying but religion itself. And I, for one, am glad. Because of religion, througout history, there has been more death, war, torture, hate, intolerence, racism, elitism, and hurt than any other single reason. The world and society will be so much happer and better when the human race rises above the need to answer every unanwerable question, find morality within themselves, and abandon the human scourge and addiction named religion. I think we are starting on that path.

  • Learn from our mistakes
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:19 p.m.

    I would say today's backlash against "Christians" in this country began with the infusing of religion and politics via the Moral Majority in the early 1980's. Nothing turns people away from religion faster that the judgmentalism and "holier than thou" we've seen associated with the religious right movement in their quest for power.

    The pro-Prop 8 was negative, fear-mongering and in some instances less than truthful/accurate. Not to say that the anti-Prop 8 played it better. But, as an LDS person I expect higher standards for churches who claim the moral high ground. How one fights is as important as what one fights for. I was really disappointed and knew our church would pay a price for being associated with such a campaign.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:20 p.m.

    What about tax-free religious organizations that participateg in political activities? Not everyone in this nation is a christian. To impose christian beliefs upon non-christians could also be considered a form of attack.

  • Levi
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:20 p.m.

    Keep it coming! Love this!

  • Memitt
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:21 p.m.

    It is not the freedom of religion that is under attack, it is the validity of religion that is being questioned. In today's world of improved communications and learning the false preachers can no longer so easily pull the wool over the innocents eyes and make a handsome living amd social position doing it. People are smarter today and they will be much smarter tomorrow, God be willing.

  • Whoa
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:21 p.m.

    What a convoluted and disturbing manifesto of bigotry. He manages to attack gays, atheists, and - well - anyone non-Christian all while rambling about our "Christian Constitution." And, of course, since there's only one true church ... um, okay, I don't know how to deal with that bit of irony. I'll grant him his freedom of speech and religion, and then I'll call it what it is: CREEPY.

  • freedom FROM religion
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:22 p.m.

    so he wants full religious freedom, but other freedoms should suffer if they are not in accordance with his church's views?

    he states "Christian principles of human worth and dignity made possible the Constitution's formation more than 200 years ago, and only those principles in the hearts of a majority of a diverse American population can sustain the Constitution today".

    It is safe to say that this person, and his church, want laws based on the bible and BOM.

    He also states "we cannot lose the influence of Christianity in the public square without seriously jeopardizing our freedoms".

    for some reason, he believes that christianity is the answer. It is not christianity that provides freedom. it is that we can all follow our own paths. yet this man would have us all become christians, and have laws based on his idea of christianity.

    he complains about "the intimidation of those with religious-based views from influencing or making state or federal laws" but that is because he wants the laws to be based on his religion!!

    Freedom of religion is also freedom FROM religion. Once he understands that, we can have an actual discussion...

  • Well said Elder Oaks!
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:24 p.m.

    Gotta love this man! Not only a righteous man chosen to be an Apostle, but one well versed in law who can explain how religion and public policy can and should coexist. I had never thought of some of his points, and yet they are so clear. Well said!

  • Thank you
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:24 p.m.

    Great words from a great legal mind. Thanks.

  • I_get_it_now
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:26 p.m.

    I remember reading in the Bible that there would be many false prophets, and to believe in the one and only true Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Savior of Man, Son of God, who died so that I may live. I used to get upset over LDS using my Lord and Savior's name in their "religion", however now that I've remembered this fact, it no longer bothers me. Their "christian" values belong to another "christ" - not Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Whew. Glad I got THAT one figured out!

  • I agree
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:27 p.m.

    freedom of religion and speech go hand in hand and if you want to fight for gays to have the ability to marry you need to still be tolerant of others opinions as well, even if they are different. Any rejection of that is lowering the power of the freedom of speech that would get you that very goal.

  • Thick with irony
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:28 p.m.

    This article reads like a bad joke. Where is the acknowledgment that by saying the United States must be run by Christian principles, that atheists should stop speaking out about their beliefs, etc. etc., Elder Oaks is limiting his view of religious freedom to "the freedom to practice Judeo-Christian religion in the way I interpret to be correct"?

    As to Prop 8, legalizing CIVIL recognition of gay marriage does not and would not require any religion to recognize it from a doctrinal standpoint (just as civil recognition of a marriage performed in a courthouse, cathedral or mosque does not require the LDS church to recognize it as being on par with a Temple marriage). However, giving state recognition to certain religiously performed marriages (i.e., a Temple marriage) while ignoring religiously performed marriages (i.e., an Episcopal same-sex marriage) *does* constitute government giving one religious tradition more freedom than another.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:29 p.m.

    It's true. There is growing hostility and intimidation. I've felt it both in public and private conversations. Religion is being pushed out by many and they think they are doing society a favor.

    Morality has long been rooted in religion, the absence of religion will only increase the relative-morality that is ultimately a trend downward. It means more divorce, more children born out of wedlock, more troubled teens, more drug and alcohol abuse, more violence and crime. This is the trend and to say otherwise is dishonesty.

  • Molli
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:32 p.m.

    He is concerned about laws "prohibiting discrimination in employment circumstances against people with unpopular religious beliefs or practices"?

    What in the world???? I'm a member of the church and the above statement makes me sick to my stomach. In other words, LDS employers in Utah ought to be able to continue to get away with giving preferential treatment to LDS members in their hiring and promoting practices!! I've seen enough of this. And now give them an excuse ... oh we are just trying to surround ourselves with people who don't have "unpopular" religious beliefs!

    One of the principles this nation was founded on was to be able to enjoy ALL of the benefits of citizenship no matter what one's religious belief is. Now Elder Oaks seems to be saying that we should have the right to step away from this principle and discriminate as an employer based on religious beliefs? Did I read this wrong?

  • otis
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:39 p.m.

    "Oh, come on" - you have never believed in something that you didn't tell someone else about it, then???

    Taking your stance, no business anywhere would ever succeed.

    And if your ideology had been applied to Christianity in the early days, just look at all the good that would never have happened.

    How about you just learn to politely say you're not interested? No one's forcing anything on you, but they have every right to be telling people what they believe.

  • Henry Drummond
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:40 p.m.

    I've always liked and admired Dallin Oaks and respect his opinion. I fear however that he is confusing religious popularity with religious freedom. You have every right to your religious views but demanding that I don't criticize them violates my own religious freedom. There are many people who resent Mormons appearing on their door step and teaching things that include the doctrine that their current church isn't divinely authorized to perform baptisms. Its your right to proclaim that, but its my right to disagree.

  • Well said Elder Oaks
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:41 p.m.

    Voting on the basis of your religious beliefs does not make you un-American as some would say. Contrary to popular belief the words "separation of church and state" do not exist in the Constitution or its amendments. Laws are created because we believe certain things are wrong and other things are right. Our voting patterns as to right and wrong can be informed by our religious beliefs without violating the Constitution.

    In disagreeing with certain practices there is still room for love and respect. Let decisions be made by the people either directly as was done in California or through the elected representatives. Let the protections of the Constitution remain. It is not Constitutional to have courts interpreting new rights and laws that do not exist in the Constitution or in statutes. But they should always strike down legislation that is contrary to the Constitution.

  • oh dallin
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:42 p.m.

    so smart, yet willing to carry the water of fear.

    good grief. No one is cutting back on freedom of religion. But people are questioning whether Mormons are Christians, well, outside of Utah that is.

    Dallin, you are so smart and yet you carry the water of fear. I thought you were better than that.
    Apparently you have to pay the piper.

  • Thanks
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:43 p.m.

    Thanks Elder Oaks! Great talk, I'll have to save this for future reference.

  • Just a dad
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:44 p.m.

    Gosh, so much love ...

  • The Mrs.
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:45 p.m.

    I appreciate the insight Dallin H. Oaks gave. My family suffered some of the retaliation as spoken in his comments . . . only because we support traditional marriage. We are kind towards people of ALL faiths and circumstances. We do expect the freedom to worship how we may and not have to be harrassed because of it - still a believer of the faith!

  • A Believer's Response
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:46 p.m.

    Very interesting comments....so I ask, where is the line? Can we not say the Pledge of Allegiance anymore because it refers to God? Can we not print "In God we Trust" on our currency because it "infringes" on those who don't realize the very pretenses this nation was founded upon?

    The reason that Religion is being attacked is because people have recently began to question practices that have been embraced for generations. Whether it be the definition of marriage, saying prayers in school, or printing references to God on or currency. Non-religious people are moving the line and freaking out when believers rightfully push back. You view it as us PUSHING our religious views on you, we view it as you PUSHING your anti-religious beliefs on us. Don't get all whiny when we take a stance. If you don't stand for something, then you'll fall for anything! So don't go blaming us for speaking up.

  • Mike in Texas
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:46 p.m.

    I fail to see where there is any effort or political will to waive or weaken the establishment clause. The issues and concerns that Elder Oaks raises seem to me be entirely tangential and incidental. Now, if it were up to me sir, I would tax churches as we do for any other business or corporation. Now, if government was contemplating a radical proposal like that somewhere in the political landscape, I could see why he might have reason to complain. But employment rights, issues relating to marriage laws? Me thinks, that thou doth protest (way) too much sir!

  • Re: Oh, come on
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:46 p.m.

    We do not push our religion on any man, woman or child. We proclaim it to those who will listen. All you have to say to the missionaries at your door is leave and they will. You don't even have to open your door and they will leave after ringing twice to see if anyone is home.

    Proclaiming beliefs is not pushing anyone. You do have the freedom to avoid our religion.

  • Get over yourself idiots
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:50 p.m.

    RE:oh no

    "i know what you mean everytime i am in class with these guys...they give a narrow look of kill the messenger ..whenever i call them what they are!! hypocrits!!:

    If you don't like other people exercising their rights then plug your ears because people will continue to do so. If you don't want to be civil then don't expect religious people to be civil.

    I say this as an atheist and a liberal who has had it with morons thinking someone exercising their constitutional rights is somehow unconstitutional.

    The right to speak, express one's opinions and vote based on those opinions is fundamental.

    You can call other people hypocrites but it only proves that you are a moron. Oaks is correct when he states: "insist on the constitutional right and duty to exercise one's religion, to vote one's conscience on public issues, and to participate in elections and debates."

    He was also correct in saying that "incidents of violence and intimidation "are not so much anti-religious as anti-democratic."

    Religious people have the same right to vote as you and I so get over yourself.

  • Good Article
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:50 p.m.

    This is a good message; although extremely biased. I wish I had a dollar every time I was discriminated against by Mormons, because I am Catholic. Not being apart of the Mormon religion has always been a limiting factor in promotions, and work details. The irony, is that our country was not founded on the LDS view of Christianity, but was founded on the Catholic view of Christianity. Maybe the good Elder should include all the facts, not just the ones he wishes to manipulate...

  • To: Oh, come on
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:51 p.m.

    Who is to say it isn't the religion of homosexuality that is "PUSHING 'their' religion on others"? In fact I think that is exactly what is occuring. Elder Oaks mentioned that the current laws (and yes Prop 8 had a predecessor that was law that the court overturned causing Prop 8 to have to be passed for essentially the second time) are what were being defended against those trying to change it. The actions of those defeated in terms of vandalism and "outing" those who supported Prop 8 is simply a thuggish voter intimidation tactic. It is pretty clear that the democratic process worked and those who lost resorted to name calling, voter intimidation and are trying to change the discourse in order to overturn established law. Basically, your argument is weak that Christians are forcing something on you, when it is clearly the same from the other point of view that you are trying to force your religious (or lack thereof) beliefs onto them. Get over the disparaging of beliefs already, it is rather pathetic.

  • Keep it up...
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:52 p.m.

    ... you're making Oaks's point for him. Ironic to see all the anti-religious bigotry being spewed here today. The truth hurts, huh?

  • Notbrochuckschro
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:56 p.m.

    That's rich - Coming from the apostle in the middle of theocratic Zion.

  • Time to Push Back
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:57 p.m.

    It is religion that has been attacking others' rights for centuries. Even Senator Reid, who is LDS, has stated that the LDS church abused its power by pushing Proposition H8 in California.

  • Oh-Oh
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:57 p.m.

    Contributions and attendance must be both be down. If religion gave people anything more than anti gay scare tactics and right wing politics these days, maybe there wouldn't be such an exodus.

  • Your votes based on stupidity
    Oct. 13, 2009 3:58 p.m.

    freedom FROM religion

    "Freedom of religion is also freedom FROM religion. Once he understands that, we can have an actual discussion..."

    So once he agrees with you then you will condescend to allow him and those who agree with him to take part in the democratic process? Once he gets to the point where he worships your opinion on how he will practice his religion (he can do it at home, in his church but you FORBID him to practice it in the public square) then you will condescend to have a discussion with him.

    Why don't you write him a letter stating "you can vote as long as your don't vote based on your religious opinions but you will not forbid me from voting based on my stupid opinions, scientific opinions or atheistic opinions. Freedom of religion is what I define it as and if you believe that your religion requires you to vote based on your belief then you are FORBIDDEN to vote."

    Such fascist, totaltarian, and anti-democratic attitudes are rejected by anyone with any sense including those of us who are atheist and liberal but let's vote on whether you can vote.

  • sheep1
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:01 p.m.

    His point is that all people have a right to an opinion, and when it comes to politics, they have a right to vote that opinion. Was it not a "VOTE" that was cast in CA for or against prop 8? Yes, and we have the right and obligation to vote. On the other hand, your retaliation mentality, to coerce and intimidate those who voted different they you is what he is talking about.

    Oh, no; I hope no "Mormon" is "pushing" their religion on you. If they think enough of you to offer you one of their most precious gifts, you must be nicer than your comments indicate.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:01 p.m.

    He is a good and righteous man, his words are to the point of what is right.

  • Jeremy
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:02 p.m.

    Religion is under attack?

    Where? Who is denying others to practice religion as they would?

    With all due respect to Oaks, all preople should have freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, including freedom of religion, but I also agree, this is precedent to the ongoing debacle.

  • I used my "Constitutional
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:05 p.m.

    Right" to leave religion all together. You guys have so many fairy tales and misinformation that it's really sad. The founing fathers wanted people to be able to be free of religions like yours that encompass their whole lives and discourages freedoms. You have this twisted...as usual.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:06 p.m.

    Nonsense!
    This is more evidence that the LDS organization is not a religion at all but a political movement.

  • Stop acting like a baby
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:06 p.m.

    RE:Molli

    "One of the principles this nation was founded on was to be able to enjoy ALL of the benefits of citizenship no matter what one's religious belief is. Now Elder Oaks seems to be saying that we should have the right to step away from this principle and discriminate as an employer based on religious beliefs? Did I read this wrong?"

    I'm not Mormon but I will answer for him since its clear that you are to stupid to understand what he was saying. No employer should be forced to hire a person because you don't have a right to the "free association of another." You have no more right to force an employer to hire you then you do to force me to be your friend.

    They don't need to give a reason for not being your friend, employing you or associating with you.

    Freedom of association is a fundamental right and so is the right to tell you to take a hike because you are ugly, stupid or a Democrat (I've been fired because I'm a liberal but I'm not crying). So get over yourself.

  • Blinders On
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:07 p.m.

    Oaks is a bright guy, but he has blinders on when it comes to the Constitution and the LDS Church. The Constitution guarantees Mormons the right to speak out and to practice their religion (as long as it doesn't break the law, like polygamy), but the Constitution does not guarantee the Mormon or any other religion the right to force others to adhere to their beliefs. Surely Oaks knows that many of the Founding Fathers were not practicing Christians at all, but deists and agnostics. Religion is all well and good, but the State has no place in endorsing one religion--or indeed, ANY religion or its practices.

  • Question
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:07 p.m.

    "Any such effort to have governments invade religion to override religious doctrines or practices should be resisted by all believers."

    So, what about religious practices you don't believe in - such as polygamy or human sacrifice? Or, for that matter, religions that do recognize and perform same-sex marriages?

    I have no problem with you having your freedom of religion - I just don't think it should be able to infringe on mine.

    There are obviously times when it is just for the government to prohibit certain types of religious practice. There are also obviously times when the government can authorize or promote things that are against religious doctrines - such as requirements to seek medical care when a child's life is in danger even if the parents don't accept modern medical practices.

    This balancing act is not an attack on religion - it is a balancing act. And sometimes things will be approved by the government that religions don't agree with and vice-versa.

  • Re: Agreed but (3:18PM)
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:08 p.m.

    I must disagree with your assertion that Religon has caused war, racism, hate, and intolerance. A reading of 20th century history reveals that the godless world has not fared any better. Tyrants and philosophers adopted godless hegelian and nietzschean ideals which in turn justified fascism and nazism. A godless world isn't any better. If we really want to make the world a better place, we should take James' council and take care of the poor and needy. After all, that is pure religion. I think you will find that whenever man makes himself the center of his being, be it in the religious world or the agnostic, he always finds a twisted way to glorify himself, and that glorification often leads to the humiliation and suffering of many others. I would suggest reading The Rebel by Camus. It is a wonderful book which I think you would enjoy.

  • Wow!
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:10 p.m.

    "He underscored recent changes in religious devotion nationally, including a rising intolerance of Christianity, the rejection of God's existence or authority, the growing hostility of atheism and the intimidation of those with religious-based views from influencing or making state or federal laws"

    Does this sound like anything we've seen lately? Oh wait this comment board.

  • re -- I agree | 3:27 p.m
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:12 p.m.

    ["freedom of religion and speech go hand in hand and if you want to fight for gays to have the ability to marry you need to still be tolerant of others opinions as well, even if they are different. Any rejection of that is lowering the power of the freedom of speech that would get you that very goal."]

    speech and laws are two entirely different things. you can shout at the top of your lungs that you don't want gays to marry, but to create laws based on your religious princilples (of which gay marriage is one) then you are in fact TAKING AWAY freedoms, not protecting them.

  • Try intimidating me. I dare you!
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:13 p.m.

    RE:Henry Drummond

    "I fear however that he is confusing religious popularity with religious freedom. You have every right to your religious views but demanding that I don't criticize them violates my own religious freedom."

    There's a difference between criticizing a person's opinion and harassing and intimidating people for exercising their constitutional rights.

    "There are many people who resent Mormons appearing on their door step and teaching things that include the doctrine that their current church isn't divinely authorized to perform baptisms. Its your right to proclaim that, but its my right to disagree."

    If you don't like it then ask them to leave but Oaks isn't complaining about people refusing to listen to Mormon Missionaries instead he's simply pointing out that it is anti-democratic to attack and intimidate people for exercising their right to vote.

    That obtaining a list of voters based on how they voted and what causes they supported and going after them for doing so is anti-democratic and that only nice people wouldn't punch you in the face and beat the living daylights out of you for harassing them for how they voted.

  • Steven
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:13 p.m.

    I understand how people feel about their faith. But leave me and those that don't believe in your rules and regulations alone and go after your own church members. If you don't believe in something like same sex marriage then good for you. All that is being asked is legal recognition of marriage for everyone, not the recognition to get married in your temples. There's a difference. If you say "freedom of religion" than I say "freedom from religion" so that your realm of influence doesn't encompass me.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:14 p.m.

    The Church is in full assault mode. The tipping point must be staring the leadership in the face.

  • Clark Larsen
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:15 p.m.

    Harry Drummond - It's refreshing to read a civil, well thought out opinion, even if I disagree with some of it.

    The concern that many leaders and members of the LDS Church have is simply this. Will religious people in this country, whether they be LDS, Baptist, Catholic, etc.,ever face a situation where simply speaking against same-sex marriage or homosexual acts ever result in arrest and imprisonment?

    I will gladly defend the rights of all those I disagree with, but when we reach a point where the courts and lawmakers of the land say, "Freedom of expression is granted to person A, but not person B," then NO ONE WINS!

  • PointsProven
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:16 p.m.

    Well did Elder Oaks speak of the increasing hostility from atheists...you can see it splashed all over this page already. Fortunately for us the atheists are still a tiny little minority...a loud one, but still...a small one. The more they attack Christianity the more of us who used to remain silent will speak up and they, like Amalickiah, will realize they're hopelessly outnumbered. I believe in the American people...and majority of us still remember on what principles this country was founded and that those are the same principles that will keep us safe and secure in the future. You'll see...all Christian people of this nation will begin to come forth in spite of the threats and hatefulness of those who don't believe. They are Americans after all and like us, they will enter the struggle for their freedom.

  • to -- otis | 3:39 p.m.
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:16 p.m.

    ["No one's forcing anything on you, but they have every right to be telling people what they believe."]

    no one forcing anything on others? tell that to gays in california, after you forced your moral beliefs onto them via law...

  • JT
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:18 p.m.

    Ah, message boards. The most reliable place on Earth to find hatred. If it makes you feel better to type anger here rather than smashing in the windows of the nearest church, go ahead and spew.

  • No problem
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:19 p.m.

    I have no problem with religious people voting based on their beliefs - I also have no problem with non-religious people voting based on their worldview.

    What I do have a problem with is when someone says the law should be a certain way based on their religion and then saying that my questioning that belief is an attack on them or their religion.

    You can believe whatever you want - you cannot, however, force me to believe that way and you cannot pass laws based on nothing other than your interpretation of the Bible - to do so is promoting that "type[] of national church[]" which he speaks against. When making laws, there must be a reason beyond "My God said so." Otherwise all kinds of behaviors would be allowed or prohibited that would infringe on someone's beliefs.

  • tigerlily
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:22 p.m.

    to anon:: there were no illegal activities done by the church in California

  • Obama-religion
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:23 p.m.

    After Obama-care passes along with all the other thousand government controlled programs, OBama will then turn his attention to a government approved religion which will most likely have it's foundation on atheism. Those who practice something other than the approved religion will be taxed ...just like health care. Get used to it people. Remember in the Obama world there is only ONE controlling umbrella for EVERYTHING and that is the Fed Govt.

  • to - The Mrs. | 3:45 p.m
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:24 p.m.

    ["My family suffered some of the retaliation as spoken in his comments . . . only because we support traditional marriage"]

    and how did you support traditional marriage? by contributing to the prop 8 campaign, even though you don't even live in California?

    that is forcing your morals onto others.

  • tigerlily
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:24 p.m.

    Again Anon:: It was members of the church that took part in those activities in california not the church itself. And there was nothing illegal about it.

  • Intimidation is wrong
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:24 p.m.

    RE:Jeremy

    "Religion is under attack?

    Where? Who is denying others to practice religion as they would?"

    When you target people based on how they voted and go after religious organizations for being involved in the democratic process you deny others the right to practice their religion as they see fit without intimidation, harassment and fear that in doing so their families could be harmed.

    Mere protests are one thing but when you target a group of people and individuals for retaliation you cross the line. There is a reason we have a secret ballot in this country and it would be bad if we have to overturn public financial disclosure laws because thugs continue to use such lists to intimidate people into not donating to causes when doing so is necessary for winning elections.

    No one should be afraid that donating money to an issue they agree with will result in thugs showing up outside their business and making their children cry.

    The definition of terrorism is to intimidate people into not participating in the democratic process or doing so in a certain way. It is because I am an atheist and liberal that I denounce your sickening opinion.

  • re: I used my "Constitutional
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:25 p.m.

    So the LDS church discourages freedoms huh? Wow, news to me. So you mean if I tell someone "if you jump off that cliff you're going to fall" I'm discouraging freedom?

    The audacity of some people discouraging all my freedoms.

  • Re: Molli
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:25 p.m.

    Please work on your reading comprehension. As you do, you will see that Elder Oaks was talking about protecting ALL people with even the most unpopular religious beliefs from being discriminated against. He is for protecting everyone's religious rights--even if they aren't LDS.

  • Larsen
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:25 p.m.

    Jeremy - There are many individuals who have started petitions, blogs and social network groups demanding the LDS Church be stripped of its tax-exempt status, simply because of its position on same-sex marriage.

    The irony, and for that matter the hypocrisy, is that no one seems to be demanding that churches which have supported same-sex marriage be stripped of their tax-exempt status.

    Barack Obama's former church in Chicago still has its tax-exempt status, even after Father Pflager's nasty sermon aimed at Hillary Clinton.

    If we as a nation decide that same churches should be punished for speaking out on issues, while other churches are not, freedom of religion in this country is GONE!

  • As far as Prop 8 goes...
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:26 p.m.

    I really don't care that the LDS Church spoke out against same-sex marriage. They have every right to do that - they have every right to urge their members to vote for it and every right to urge donations for it.

    I would have been surprised if the LDS Church did not speak out in favor of Prop 8.

    What surprised and disappointed me was their promotion of the blatant lies surrounding the same-sex marriage debate. The fact that they could not stick to the truth and use it in the debate on same-sex marriage reduced the stature of the LDS Church in my eyes and has led me to believe they have no valid reason to oppose same-sex marriage as a civil institution.

    You want to defend the term "marriage" - fine, do so - but don't lie to do it. If the only reason to defend the term "marriage" is a bunch of lies, maybe it is not worth defending after all.

  • TO -- Re: Oh, come on | 3:46 pm
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:27 p.m.

    ["We do not push our religion on any man, woman or child. We proclaim it to those who will listen."]

    when you spent millions in california when it 's not even your state, then you DID push your religion onto others. what don't you understand?

  • Support Religious Intolerance
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:27 p.m.

    I agree with Elder Oaks that no one should ever feel physically or financially threatened for the honest expression of their opinion. However I also feel that religion should stop feeling entitled to protection from public criticism under the guise of religious tolerance. Religion, like all ideas, should be publicly open to ridicule, criticism and insults.

  • To Mike In Texas
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:30 p.m.

    I agree with you completely. I also do not think that contributions to religious organizations should be tax deductible. I do NOT deduct the tithing that I pay for that reason.

  • Critics are fools
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:31 p.m.

    This man is one of the greatest legal minds you will find! Those of you who criticize him and what he has to say, DO NOT get it...good luck! He is right and knows his material. It would be wise to study what he said and do some homework.

  • Watch Out
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:31 p.m.

    Interesting comments by Elder Oaks and Senator Reid. Last time an english professor at BYU disageed with the brethren on the marriage ammendment for the constitution he got his walking papers. Would the same happen to the Speaker of the U.S. Senate? The Saints usually try to avoid negative publicity. Me thinks Oaks got a little carried away on this one.

  • The pledge
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:32 p.m.

    The "under god" portion of the pledge is a RECENT addition...a response to the cold war. So, yes we could say the pledge without the words "under god." My father in law was raised doing so....until the change.

  • re -- To: Oh, come on | 3:51 p.m
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:34 p.m.

    ["Who is to say it isn't the religion of homosexuality that is "PUSHING 'their' religion on others"? In fact I think that is exactly what is occuring"]

    except what they do has nothing to do with you. but what you do, forcing them to comply with your religious view via laws, is forcing your religion onto them.

    can you see the difference? they don't impact you at all. you impact their lives greatly. so who is imposing on who?

  • Sober Reality
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:35 p.m.

    "And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days."

  • @a Believer's Response
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:35 p.m.

    Stop reading the stupid chain e-mails you get.

    The Pledge still has "under God" and my children, who've lived on both coasts said it at the beginning of each day in school.

    "In God We Trust" remains on our coins. A chain e-mail says otherwise but it is FALSE. According to a Congressional Act in 2005 it is on the edge of the new $1 coin. Type in snopes (dot com) into your browser and "dollar coin" in search to find the facts.

  • tigerlily::
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:36 p.m.

    I_get_it_now:: There is one Jesus Christ, Savior, and one Son of God. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints in his church. Established by Christ when he was on the earth and restored by Joseph Smith

  • Florien Wineriter
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:41 p.m.

    If marriage is a religious ritual and our constitution says governments can maked no law regarding religion then only religions should conduct marriage ceremonies. Civil unions should be conducted by secular citizens and not subject to religious dogma.

  • seesall
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:41 p.m.

    Elder Oaks is the greatest man in the world, if not the universe.

  • Hope
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:42 p.m.

    Good article Elder Dallin H. Oaks! What is this world coming to? Evil is running rampant in America, starting with the corruption in Washington.This is where the evil is seeping out from! The very constitution of the USA is under attack and people need to wake up! We are living in the times when it was said "When good becomes evil and evil becomes good, know that we are living in the end times! It is time for all Christians to take a stand before it is too late and we lose the right to our religious beliefs. Yes, LDS members are Christians also! We have to stand for something or we will fall for anything! Good song lyrics and so true. The wrath of God will be poured out amongst us sooner than we know. May God bless us all; we are going to need it!!!

  • Sunny2Day
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:44 p.m.

    "The founing fathers wanted people to be able to be free of religions like yours that encompass their whole lives and discourages freedoms."

    Where on earth did you come up with that? Our constitution was based on religious principals. The founding fathers were all very religious people. You do have the right to leave religion all together but I also have the right to live my religion. Don't forget it was not JUST the LDS members who were fighting for Prop 8 in California. The Catholic Church publicly thanked our church for what they did. Christian religion is under attack. If the gay marriage laws are passed then it won't be long before we'll be outlawed as a church because we won't accept the law of the land -- gay marriages. You are so wrong if you think gay marriages only affect those participating. It is time for one of our leaders to speak out so strongly! Good job Elder Oaks!

  • tigerlily
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:44 p.m.

    Blinders On:: The constitution gurantees everyone the right to practice whatever religion they want.

  • PointsProven
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:44 p.m.

    @ Agreed but...

    "Because of religion, througout history, there has been more death, war, torture, hate, intolerence, racism, elitism, and hurt than any other single reason."

    Power has always been the single reason for all the wrongs you list above...not religion. Religion has sometimes been used by evil men as a tool of manipulation to gain power, but...I think the atheists have done their share.

    Hitler - started a "World War" and murdered 6 million Jews.

    Mussolini - fascist/atheist

    Stalin - murderd tens of millions in political purging.

    Mao Tse-tung - political purges killed tens of millions

    Cambodia Genocide: 2 million killed...religion banned.

    Rwandan Genocide

    Wars and conquests of the Huns

    ...I mean...the list goes on and on. Any attempt to blame religion for all the worlds woes is futile. There are adequate subjects among the atheists for which we could choose as contributors. However, if one actually lives Christianity...there is no better way to save the world. Love your neighbor, serve one another, be honest, don't kill, steal, or cheat. Is this not the way to peace and prosperity? I think so.

  • Don
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:44 p.m.

    To Good Article 320PM. ??? Catholic Christianity in the establishment of America? Sorry but that's a incorrect assumption. The Pilgrims and first settlers to America from Europe were Puritan/Protestants and this was the case from 1603-1840! They were fleeing the State Churches of England, France, German areas etc.! Catholic migration did not come to America until the 1840's with the arrival of the Irish and my grandmother!
    As far as this Mormon Elders words(I am from California) I was appalled to see the Gay community committing violence, intolerance and property destruction while claiming their rights were being denied! It too is a fact that religious intolerance has increased in this country as had the restriction of other rights protected by the Bill of Rights!
    Those who usurp these rights do so with malice in their hearts to gain control over others in one form or fashion! Too much power in Government or one political party allows a balance to be lost that threatens our security as a Nation! Our Nation has prospered best with a Republican President(Reagan)and democrat congress, or a Democrat President(Clinton) and republican congress! Why? Checking each's power! Unlike Now!

  • Not Rational!
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:44 p.m.

    Believing that getting rid of religon solves morale conflict in the world is stupidity. That is like saying getting rid of women will solve rape crimes!

  • I think its the other way around
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:45 p.m.

    "The free exercise of religion – as protected by the United States Constitution – is under attack, an LDS leader says"
    ______________________

    I guess I really don't see it, at least not in the United States. Where are missionaries forbidden, where are people prohibiting anyone from attending church? Where aren't people getting hired because of religion?

    I think religion itself is a barrier sometimes to freedom. It places un-necessary guilt on people for doing normal things. If one is a member of some religions, one can't be with their wife very often because they are made to feel guilty for using protection. Either that or a person is not free to not have the guilt, and for what? Religion places un-necessary guilt on people.

  • Re Molli comment at 4:25
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:45 p.m.

    I agree with Molli's interpretation. Before you accuse someone of having reading comprehension problems you might want to look at the 3 fingers that are pointing back at you. The part of Elder Oak's speech that Molli quoted is VERY VERY CLEAR. You cannot say that you are trying to protect everyone's religious beliefs and in the same breath state that employer's ought to be able to discriminate AGAINST a religious belief.

  • Better than the Trib
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:45 p.m.

    As contentious as this comment board is, it is still way more balanced than the anti-Mormon stance on the Salt Lake Trib's comment board. I'd encourage everyone to read the summary of Elder Oaks' speech in the newsroom section of the LDS site, which also includes a link to the full text of the speech.

    It's not too hard to imagine the intimidation that Oaks speaks of when reading some of the comments on this and other boards. For the LDS out there, please note the advice that Oaks gives about compassion and respect for those who have a differing view, even when they revile against you.

    I think it is important to note that Oaks was speaking to a group of college students and trying to impress upon them that this is a battle they will face in the upcoming years. The real threat isn't gay marriage but the loss of religious freedom when Mormons and others are prohibited from preaching the tenets of their faith.

  • Lesson Learned
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:46 p.m.

    Things didn't quite work out in California like they do in Utah for you, do they? If you can't stand the heat, stay out of other folk's kitchens.

  • Janet
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:46 p.m.

    Joseph Smith was tarred, feathered, hounded, jailed, and murdered. The Mormons could find no peace until they fled to the wilderness of Utah. Over the years, the church has grown in spite of antipathy from all quarters. In 2008, more than 50% of those polled nationwide said they would never vote for a Mormon, something they would say only about Mormons and Muslims. Because our church encouraged the passage of Prop 8 (with the Catholics and evangelicals far outspending and outvoting LDS in California on that issue), Mormons were blacklisted in Hollywood, and our temples were picketed and their grounds desecrated. Less than 2% of the U.S. population identifies as LDS, and that includes less active or observant members -- and even Harry Reid! We're greatly outnumbered by most "minorities," so why the big fuss when one of our apostles says we need to stand up for freedom of religion? I think it's because those who hate us (including people who keep me from ever wanting to live in Utah) won't be happy until every last Mormon is silenced. That's a really good reason to listen to Elder Oaks.

  • Patchman
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:46 p.m.

    Always interesting to see all the people who dislike the LDS church reading these articles...

    Why don't you guys go re-read the Constitution instead of these articles?

    I will live my life and you live yours. I won't force my lifestyle down your throat and you don't force your lifestyle down mine. If your activities disgust me then I don't want to see them - OK?

    If I vote to keep marriage between a man and a woman and I win then so be it. If you vote to change the meaning of marriage and you win - and I can no longer do anything about it - then so be it.

  • Re: Support Religious Intoleranc
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:47 p.m.

    By your thinking then, non-religious ideas should also be open to public ridicule, criticism and insults. Funny how this works!

  • re -- sheep1 | 4:01 p.m.
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:48 p.m.

    ["His point is that all people have a right to an opinion, and when it comes to politics, they have a right to vote that opinion. Was it not a "VOTE" that was cast in CA for or against prop 8?"]

    no - it was not a vote that you cast. it was a large sum of money you cast. so you bought the state temporarily. good one. incredibly un-democratic, but very religious.

  • This is why I hate blogs...
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:50 p.m.

    Frankly, people online can say just about anything. If you have issues with your Mormon brothers I insist you take the issue up with them directly. If they offend then talk with them about their behavior.

    Just hate it when it is so easy to hide on the web without accountability.

  • Re:As far as Prop 8 goes
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:50 p.m.

    AMEN!

    My sentiments exactly! I started out a supporter of Prop 8 but ended up not voting for Prop 8.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:50 p.m.

    tigerlily...you are being a bit disingenuous. There is an ongoing investigation into the LDS church that is in the 10-11? month. Sure, nothing illegal has been reported as of yet, but you simply are not familiar with the investigation if you think no wrongdoing will be found and prosecuted.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:51 p.m.

    to -- Your votes based on stupidity | 3:58 p.m.

    ["Freedom of religion is what I define it as and if you believe that your religion requires you to vote based on your belief then you are FORBIDDEN to vote.""]

    who's talking about oting rights? we're talking about a religion forcing itself onto others and getting laws passed in other states by spending a ton of money and buying votes.

    if you're ok with that then you should be mormon, not atheist...

  • Matthew
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:51 p.m.

    To all:
    So if my religous beliefs say one thing, and your religous beliefs say another opposite thing; what action could government take without infringing on someone's religion? The key to that one is that the action must not be based on promoting or infringing on either religion. It can only be premised on what is good governance of society. The libertarian default would be for government to stay out of it all together. But what if you aren't a rigid libertarian? There would result a debate of what is best for society. Each individual's conclusion will obviously be based on their experiences, opinions and beliefs. In a democracy the out come would be according to a majority. Every law limits each of us in some small measure in some small way. The question that society must answer is: Do the societal benefits far out weight those losses of freedom? Sometimes the answer seems obvious, for example laws against murder. Sometimes they are much tougher, for example zoning laws limiting where a church (or bar) can be built. Many of you seem to see issues in black and white. But you chose which, based on what?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:55 p.m.

    to -- Stop acting like a baby | 4:06 p.m

    ["I'm not Mormon but I will answer for him since its clear that you are to stupid to understand what he was saying. No employer should be forced to hire a person because you don't have a right to the "free association of another." You have no more right to force an employer to hire you then you do to force me to be your friend"]

    how can you be so slow that you have his entire argument backwards? it's not that he want the right to discriminate - he DOESN'T want discrimination in the workplace based on religion. are you really that slow?

  • I don't see it
    Oct. 13, 2009 4:58 p.m.

    I think America is more free today than its ever been in its history.

    There is no slavery and Jim Crow not around anymore. There are recently passed laws forbidding religious discrimination in the work place. LDS can now worship without having mobs attack them.

    Specifically, where/how is freedom of religion under attack more so than in times past?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:01 p.m.

    I saw a picture from a person on facebook who is involved in the so called "equality" movement...and it was of a poster of what to say if entered into an argument with people opposing their views...it said to to call them Bigots! Hahahha! I think I will stick with Elder Oaks on this one and go about these discussions in a peaceful manner. You can use your freedom of speech however you want...People that want solutions should go about it in a peaceful manner. Thanks Elder Oaks for representing the thoughts and feelings of MILLIONS! Well said!

  • If you hate freedom then say so
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:02 p.m.

    RE:TO -- Re: Oh, come on | 3:46 pm

    "when you spent millions in california when it 's not even your state, then you DID push your religion onto others. what don't you understand?"

    The majority of donations came from California residents with only a small number coming from other states but that's there right.

    Let's not forget that people who opposed Prop. 8 donated from as far away as Europe and that the largest donation of a Utah resident in support of Prop. 8 was given as a result of the largest non-California donation by Bruce Bastian who is a Utah resident who opposed Prop. 8.

    Until there is a law that bans these individuals and groups from donating to pro-gay causes in other states then those who hold the opposite view have the same right to do so. Utahns donated $3.7 million dollars of which $2 million was Bruce Bastian's donation to oppose Prop. 8 and his former partner's donation of $1 million to offset Bastian's donation.

    It's time for you to get used to our democratic process.

  • Charles
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:03 p.m.

    Preach on Elder Oaks; an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ!

    Those who have ears to hear, eyes to see and hearts to feel will learn from and understand your message.

    Outstanding!

  • 5 Questions
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:09 p.m.

    In response to Elder Oaks opinions, I offer a question responding to his "...five points...".

    Rush Limbaugh/Sean Hannity and Clones speak with love, always showing patience, understanding and compassion towards adversaries?

    Have you ever walked into

  • I support Elder Oaks!
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:14 p.m.

    The truth hurts people. Bash religion all you want, but show me any LDS church leaders who make a ton of money serving in the LDS church. Their time and efforts are selfless acts of their time and energy. I am also disappointed in members of the LDS faith who say 'shame on you Elder Oaks', but you have the right to speak your opinion. I will take a stand for religion if it means my life. All of you that say Religion has only done bad obviously don't know all of the good that comes from Religion. The bad is caused by humans-beings who are corrupt and evil, not God. In the LDS faith as well as other faiths, we don't proclaim to be perfect people, but we strive to do our best.

  • Move to a dictatorship
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:15 p.m.

    RE:re -- To: Oh, come on | 3:51 p.m

    "except what they do has nothing to do with you. but what you do, forcing them to comply with your religious view via laws, is forcing your religion onto them."

    Legal marriage has everything to do with those who make the laws. What gay people do in the privacy of their bedrooms or houses is their business but the majority decides what the law is and that includes marriage laws.

    "can you see the difference? they don't impact you at all. you impact their lives greatly. so who is imposing on who?"

    You have got to be kidding? Now the majority voting and making laws is wrong? Not having a law that you want is not an imposition on someone.

    If you want the law to include gay marriage then vote like everyone else but the majority makes the law and if the law violates the minority's rights then it can be nullified but not changed by the courts. Gay marriage still requires voting

    If you can't see that then something is wrong with you? Now learn about how our country works or move to a dictatorship.

  • to -- PointsProven | 4:16 p.m
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:16 p.m.

    ["You'll see...all Christian people of this nation will begin to come forth in spite of the threats and hatefulness of those who don't believe. They are Americans after all and like us, they will enter the struggle for their freedom"]

    see - even this poster feels like christians are right and everyone else is wrong...

    why do you all consider "christian" to be good and "non-christian" to be bad? perhaps it is because you think "christian" and you think "to act like Christ" - and acting like Christ a prson can't really go wrong... but non-christians don't think that way. we think of "christian" as "religion". It's not a way to be, it's an organization telling people what to do.

    perhaps all the "christians" need to realize that just because some people don't have the same beliefs doesn't make them bad people!!

  • Ryan
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:17 p.m.

    Wow, this is just the example of my seminary teacher telling us about people calling good evil and evil good. The freedom of religion is a good thing, but people are attacking it, some people go as far to call it "freedom from religion." Remember Romans 1:16, saying don't be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Don't be afraid to stand up for ourselves. Why else would our youth theme this year is "Be Thou and Example"? I have has experience of people questioning my beliefs, trying to make me lose faith, but I ignored them, and they got bored asking me those questions and stopped there. I would like others to do the same. If anything, consult with the scriptures, prayer and the For Strength of Youth Pamphlet. I don't understand why people say "You deserve this." We have that freedom for a reason. A main reason why people come to America is because we have so many freedoms, so why should they come over, expecting a freedom of religion, but to find it repealed? If this really happens, then I think this is the beginning of a slow transformation to a Communist government.

  • re -- tigerlily | 4:22 p.m
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:18 p.m.

    ["to anon:: there were no illegal activities done by the church in California"]

    sorry - I meant unamerican...

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:19 p.m.

    There are videos of people with NO on prop 8 had vandalism on their homes

  • good better best
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:20 p.m.

    To those of you who are bashing the Mormon people in Utah, its true that there are members who are off track. They however don't represent the belief system of the LDS church. Elder Oaks is seeking to promote the strength of the Constitution by encouraging a peaceful discourse and resolution to disputes, which is the foundation to our progressive society. I would just invite anyone who has been offended by an LDS person to exercise forgiveness and join with the LDS in good causes.

  • to -- tigerlily | 4:24 p.m
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:21 p.m.

    ["Again Anon:: It was members of the church that took part in those activities in california not the church itself. And there was nothing illegal about it"]

    members of the church were told to contribute as much as they could, even though they didn't even live in the state.

    maybe not illegal, but definitely unamerican. and certainly very "mormon".

  • Re: Agreed but
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:22 p.m.

    Have you ever heard of a place called Nazi Germany? How about Soviet Russia or Maoist China? These guys think the same way you do and convinced people that religon was a bad thing. Mass Murder quickly followed. This has happened in every case and your being convinced by those same enemies of freedom that just happen to be in the whitehouse and in other positions in our government, that religon is a bad thing. America is quickly becoming a communist nation without the majority of the sheeple knowing that it's even happening.

  • Wonderful words
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:25 p.m.

    Glad someone articulate with common sense is speaking out on the constitution and freedom of speech and religion. I enjoyed his insights and totally agree. I have gay family members who are happy to be without trying to push their believes on others and we don't try to push our believes on them. We just accept what is and support each other in family things. That is where the love and respect comes in and since the majority of people still believe in marriage between a man and a woman, it is not a matter of freedom of speech or religion to change it. Well said Elder Oaks!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:25 p.m.

    I think Dallin Oaks and Harry Ried should have a debate! I would pay to see it!

  • to -- Larsen | 4:25 p.m
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:27 p.m.

    ["There are many individuals who have started petitions, blogs and social network groups demanding the LDS Church be stripped of its tax-exempt status, simply because of its position on same-sex marriage"]

    and the church shouldn't have tax-exempt status if it is going to involve itself in political affairs, like telling all its constituants to contribute to an out-of-state campaign. it's one thing to tell people to vote one way - that only applies to the voters in that state. anything beyond that borders on election-rigging...

  • leibniz488
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:32 p.m.

    The constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion...

  • Charles
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:35 p.m.

    @No problem: I agree with your argument. However, if you are for homosexual marriage then you are forcing your belief on me the same way you say I'm forcing my religion on you in supporting Prop 8. What's the difference?

    Why does your support for homosexual marriage trump my vote against it? My argument against homosexual marriage isn't just because of my religious beliefs though but it really wouldn't matter if it was since you are making your stance based on your beliefs, whatever they may be and from whatever source you get them.

    Everyone votes based on their belief system; whatever it is. In our system, whoever has the most votes wins.

    Again, great preaching Elder Oaks. Let those who have ears to hear, hear; those with eyes to see, see; those with open hearts be touched with the Spirit to know we are in an eternal fight with evil.

    It's time to raise our Title of Liberty and fight for and defend our freedoms!

  • Frank Castle
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:36 p.m.

    Its okay for; 1) the religious right to have a major impact in certain administrations or 2) to essentially live up to the perception that Utah is a theocracy thanks to our wise learned Elders in the State legislature.

    Heaven forbid (Pun intended?) that Organized Religion be more forcing policy (secular or otherwise) down our throats rather than saving our souls if we so choose.

    As Garrison Keillor once quipped, "Christians make a better repressed minority than repressive majority."

  • Cougar Blue
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:38 p.m.

    Come on, Brother Oaks, get a grip. The fact is that if you don't toe the far right religious dogmas, you are considered lower than scum. I couldn't disagree with you more.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:43 p.m.

    re - If you hate freedom then say so | 5:02 p.m

    ["The majority of donations came from California residents with only a small number coming from other states but that's there right"]

    not true.

    ["Let's not forget that people who opposed Prop. 8 donated from as far away as Europe"]

    and they were mormon. coincidence? i don't think so...

    gay marriage has nothing to do with you, yet your church spends millions restricting people's rights.

    fortunately, we have 3 branches of gov't to ensure the majority can't force their morals onto a minority... so it won't be long before the issue will be resolved...

  • Stop being stupid
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:44 p.m.

    RE:Anonymous | 4:51 p.m.

    "who's talking about oting rights? we're talking about a religion forcing itself onto others and getting laws passed in other states by spending a ton of money and buying votes."

    How did they force themselves onto others and get laws passed? Laws are passed because of how people vote and people, regardless of the nature of their opinions, have a right to vote based on their own opinions.

    There are three major types of laws. Those which prohibit, those that permit and those that promote. Marriage laws fall under the "permit" and "promote" categories. The majority doesn't even need to have marriage laws at all and if current marriage laws are unconstitutional then NO ONE CAN MARRY until the majority enacts a new law. A minority and/or court can't nullify current law and replace it with a different law that goes beyond what current law does.

    That is unconstitutional since only the majority has that right and authority.

    "if you're ok with that then you should be mormon, not atheist..."

    Why would I be Mormon just because I support our Constitution, freedoms, liberties and democratic process?

  • Dylan
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:45 p.m.

    I'm rather sick of listening to anti-religious individuals blame religion for all the evils in the world. How many people were murdered under Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, the Khmer Rouge in the name of whatever non-religious dogma they preached? The past 100 years don't support the pacifism and tolerance of secularism.

  • Get A Clue Dallin Oaks
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:45 p.m.

    Who is stopping any religious person from practicing their faith ? NOBODY . Stop playing the victim card . We live in a society that does not require a person to believe in God . We live in a society that also enjoys more religious freedom than any nation on Earth.To compare some of the criticism the LDS Church has taken in the wake of the Prop 8 vote to what black people endured during the civil rights struggle is not only laughable but highly offensive too. When have any LDS members been chased down and murdered by the KKK? When have any LDS churches been burned to the ground ? When have any LDS people been intimidated and not allowed to vote . Yes Mr Oaks, GET A CLUE and stop talking nonsense.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:49 p.m.

    to - Move to a dictatorship | 5:15 p.m

    ["If you want the law to include gay marriage then vote like everyone else but the majority makes the law and if the law violates the minority's rights then it can be nullified but not changed by the courts. Gay marriage still requires voting"]

    and the courts will overturn it - you know it and I know it... so why fight it?

    perhaps the middle east would be more to your liking for religious laws...

  • Breathe people...
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:53 p.m.

    Many here are correct we are reaching a tipping point. The reality on the ground now is people in many municipalities are losing their jobs for standing up for traditional values. Churches are being sued because they will not open their facilities up to those they disagree with. Traditional religious based community centers that provide vital services are being shut down. Christian nurses and physicians are being forced to participate in abortions. This is the reality in our country today. There was nothing criminal in the LDS churches participation in CA. with Prop 8. There were other churches involved as well inside and outside the sacred boundaries of the Republic of California. The problem many Christians face is the blatant revision of history. Thank God the Founding Fathers were most definitely influenced by the divine. This is our national heritage. We as religious individuals must stand for traditional values or we will fall. Religion elevates man to God not the other way around.

    Harry Reid is NOT an official speaker for the LDS Church. He is a member who has not been called and set apart to speak on church direction. As such he should tread lightly.

  • to -- Ryan | 5:17 p.m
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:53 p.m.

    ["The freedom of religion is a good thing, but people are attacking it, some people go as far to call it "freedom from religion"]

    i'm the one that said "freedom from religion"... how is that an attack on your religion? you can do whatever you want in your church (within reason). You can raise your kids to believe whatever you want. you can pray and worship whomever you want.

    some of us are not religious. we do not want the rules in your books put into law. that is freedom from religion.

    how is that bad? and how is that an attack on your religion?

  • No to 8 supporters in Europe can
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:53 p.m.


    to -- tigerlily | 4:24 p.m | 5:21 p.m. Oct. 13, 2009

    "members of the church were told to contribute as much as they could, even though they didn't even live in the state.

    maybe not illegal, but definitely unamerican. and certainly very "mormon"."

    When did donating to political causes that you support become un-American? When did asking for money or telling people to donate money become un-American?

    Or is it just religious people who choose to donate to political causes they agree with who are being un-American?

    Because the majority of the money raised in the Prop. 8 initiative was by those who opposed it.

    I am really glad to know that donating to Obama's campaign makes me un-American and that those who asked for such donations were un-American. I am glad that my donations to the Democratic Party are un-American.

    I love how people label those who choose to exercise their constitutional rights as un-American. These traitors should know better. They should know that they should stay home, not vote and not donate to causes that pro-gay marriage people from Europe are donating to oppose.

  • California Writer
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:53 p.m.

    Well said, Elder Oakes. Perfect and true!

  • Love?
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:54 p.m.

    I see very little love in these comments. I have several things I feel I need to discuss. First, people seem to think that the church members in California originally came from Utah. Mormons, after being forced out of Missouri came to the west, and settled in the west, not just Utah. They settles in Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, Nevada, and (believe it or not) California, as well as other nearby states. I'm a church member from Alaska, but I have never been to Utah. The Sutter's Mill Gold Rush was actually started by Mormons. Secondly, Mormons banned polygamy well over 100 years ago. The FLDS, who aren't Mormons, still do. Thirdly, how are we, as Christians supposed to express our beliefs on ANY topic without people calling it "hate speech." Our country has freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but we can't do both at the same time??? We are not forcing our beliefs down anyone's throat. Everyone has the right to choose, I choose to follow the teachings of the LDS Church, you don't so be it. I'm not forcing you to join, that would be entirely your decision.

  • re -- leibniz488 | 5:32 p.m
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:56 p.m.

    ["The constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion..."]

    it's the same thing.

  • Cali Martin
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:57 p.m.

    Gotta love this man! Not only a righteous man chosen to be an Apostle, but one well versed in law who can explain how religion and public policy can and should coexist. I had never thought of some of his points, and yet they are so clear. Well said! I totally agree!!

  • Thanks for the Article
    Oct. 13, 2009 5:59 p.m.

    Thanks Elder Oaks for those great words. This country the United States of America was founded on Christian beleifs and came about with the help of God. People can beleive however they want. They have that choice. But no one can deny that this country was founded apon Christan Principles. Christian principles are found all over the Constitution. This country was established because of Providence or God as many Founding Fathers have been known to express.

  • Vote to change the law then
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:02 p.m.

    RE:to -- Larsen | 4:25 p.m

    "and the church shouldn't have tax-exempt status if it is going to involve itself in political affairs, like telling all its constituants to contribute to an out-of-state campaign. it's one thing to tell people to vote one way - that only applies to the voters in that state. anything beyond that borders on election-rigging..."

    Then the Human Rights Campaign of California (HRCC) should not have tax-exempt status either because they told supporters to donate to oppose Prop. 8 and you can add the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to the list of current tax-exempt groups and organizations that shouldn't have tax-exempt status based on your ignorant argument.

    The tax-exempt law also allows churches and other tax exempt groups and organizations to be involved in the democratic process. To prohibit such groups from doing so based solely on them being religious violates the First Amendment. Religious groups or organizations shouldn't be treated any differently then other non-religious organizations who are also tax-exempt such as the ACLU.

    If you don't like that then vote to change the law.

  • Brian
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:09 p.m.

    Welcome to the last days. Freedom of speech is also clearly under attack. Elder Oaks and anyone else that stands up to the homosexuals in this country had better be prepared for intimidation tactics that are clearly aimed at silencing all opposition.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:09 p.m.

    I was really hoping that Elder Oaks would expand on the legal argument surrounding his statement. I hope he does in the future. I just don't understand how a gay couple getting married threatens the marriage I have with my spouse. -Or that my children may have with theirs in the future. But I'll be patient and continue to exercise faith. Which in this case may seem totally irrational, but that is the nature of faith. I don't have to sacrifice my ability to think critically, but I do need to recognize my limitations. But for now, I'm afraid I can't actively support legislation that bans gay marriage. I have to follow the dictates of my own conscience and sit this one out.

  • Amazed
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:11 p.m.

    I'm truly amazed at the lack of understanding, compassion and tolerance found here. On the one hand you have people attacking the LDS faith because the members of that faith are acting upon their beliefs and on the other hand you have members of the LDS Church attacking those who ask to be treated equally under the law because they have a different view of religion. I've seen many comments about Christian values are what made this country and how everyone but gays, atheists and liberals believe in that. I have to ask, what about the Jews, the Muslims, the Hindus, the Pagans, the Buddhist, are their values less valuable? What of the Christian Churches that accept gays and perform gay weddings? Are they less Christian?
    I think people need to step back and seriously think about what they are saying and doing. Having been denied work and having been fired because of my beliefs, I would say that those who think that doesn't happen, think again.
    Stop the hate and be considerate of one another.

  • @ Ryan
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:12 p.m.

    I have a question for you: You state, "The freedom of religion is a good thing, but people are attacking it, some people go as far to call it "freedom from religion.""

    If you do not have freedom FROM my religion, how can you have freedom OF your religion?

    Perhaps my religion states that women should not cut their hair, does that mean it should be illegal for women to get haircuts - even though your religion does not have that prohibition? There is often discussion of the levels of modesty promoted by the LDS Church, does that mean all clothing should - by law - be made to LDS standards?

    Freedom FROM religion is the idea that laws should not be passed merely because they are supported by a particular religion - or even by many religions. It does not mean that there should be no religion.

  • Rick in California
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:13 p.m.

    To those in Utah who feel that religion is not under attack,I beg to differ. Come to California and see for yourselves. Even thou I have gay friends and they understand that my support for proposition 8 had nothing to do with their lifestyle and everything to do with the defense of traditional marriage, I was harrased, my signs in my property were vandalized and my business was boycotted, to those that were against prop 8 I had no right to voice my opinion.I applaud what Elder Oaks said, and as the scripture say's; As for me and my House we will serve the Lord.

  • Stop lying
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:14 p.m.

    RE:Anonymous | 5:43 p.m.

    "not true."

    $30,849,175 was donated by California residents to oppose Prop. 8 while $13,254,350 was raised by No to Prop 8 from outside of California for a total of $44,103,525 raised to oppose it.

    Compare this to the $27,541,866 million raised from donations by California residents and $11,224,394 from outside of California.

    1,041 people from Utah donated (in support and opposition) while 82,232 people from California (support and opposition) donated. So how is my statement "not true?"

    "and they were mormon. coincidence? i don't think so..."

    They OPPOSED Prop. 8 which means they donated to support gay marriage. I doubt very much that they were Mormon.

    "gay marriage has nothing to do with you, yet your church spends millions restricting people's rights."

    It's not MY CHURCH. I am an atheist and liberal so where do you get your lies from?

    "fortunately, we have 3 branches of gov't to ensure the majority can't force their morals onto a minority..."

    This is a democratic republic which means that all three branches are subordinate to the majority.

  • You are anti-democratic
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:18 p.m.

    to -- Ryan | 5:17 p.m

    "i'm the one that said "freedom from religion"... how is that an attack on your religion? you can do whatever you want in your church (within reason). You can raise your kids to believe whatever you want. you can pray and worship whomever you want."

    I'm sure they are grateful to have your permission to practice their religion where you dictate but as someone who believes in liberty, freedom and our Constitution I oppose such ignorant claims that religious people can be excluded from the public square or be prevented from voting based on their opinions solely because their political opinions are religious in nature while those whose opinions aren't religious in nature are able to vote on laws that affect those who are religious.

    "some of us are not religious. we do not want the rules in your books put into law. that is freedom from religion."

    Then vote like everyone else but don't say "if your opinion is religious then I forbid you from voting."

    "how is that bad?"

    It's anti-democratic and even liberals and atheists who love freedom and liberty can see that.

  • @ Breathe people...
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:19 p.m.

    Those are some pretty serious claims, do you have any factual examples to back them up? Or just anecdotes?

  • just like Paul of old
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:19 p.m.

    Paul of New Testament was so smart in the law and yet simple enough to call sin what it is: sin. Some day gay marriage will be in most places, but the bored people of the earth will then move onto something else, whatever that is, always pushing envelope, always trying to be loud and new. The Spirit (and obedience) giveth life as Paul told the Romans.

  • You Utahans are a strange bunch
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:29 p.m.

    I am lost as to what in the world the majority of these comments are all about... It seems to be a great address given to inspire equality and fairness. The comments however are twisting this into some strange who knows what. I have no idea why so many people seem to disagree with the first amendment of freedom of religion. From my perspective, great address, let freedom ring whether it be speech, religion, or whatever. To whoever thinks that having gay marriage people force religions to recognize their marriage as valid is freedom, I can't see any freedom in that. They can have a civil union if that is what they are after.

  • Gary
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:33 p.m.

    To agreed. I hear this all the time about more killings,war etc because of religion. It's true,and sadly, that there have been a lot of that. Non religious have caused more killings and war etc than have religions. I think if you study that out rather than listening to people who don't really know you'll find religion is not responsible for more than non religion. Dictators, power hungry people are the leaders in this area. We should be grateful for a democracy which allows for our freedoms. One last comment to 'Oh come on". No one is pushing beliefs onto anyone. It probably happens in isolated cases but certainly isn't the norm (except in your mind)

  • Ban stupid people from voting?
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:35 p.m.

    RE: @ Ryan

    "Freedom FROM religion is the idea that laws should not be passed merely because they are supported by a particular religion - or even by many religions. It does not mean that there should be no religion."

    You don't have the right to not have laws "passed merely because they are supported by a particular religion" since those who belong to those religions have the same right to vote as you do. If you can't see that saying "I allow you to vote as long as the reason you are voting isn't religious" is wrong and tyrannical then you are seriously screwed up.

    Your example about hair cuts is stupid because we can't compare laws that PROHIBIT something to laws that require GOVERNMENT ACTION. Marriage requires ACTION on the part of government and the majority decides what IT'S government will do. Now if the minority wanted government to provide women with a haircut then the majority can vote to do otherwise.

    The right to vote based on your opinion whether it is religious or stupid like yours is a constitutional right and you can't prohibit those with religious opinions from voting.

  • Henry
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:35 p.m.

    This man is brilliant and courageous. I stand with Elder Oaks.

  • Freedom and right of choice
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:37 p.m.

    means allowing people to choose not to believe, if they so choose. Keep in mind, Americans are the most religious people in the world, meaning a higher percentage of Americans believe in God or affiliate themselves with a particular religion or attend church on a regular basis than any other country. Churches in the U.S. enjoy special privileges not available in many other nations around the world, including exemption from federal, state and local taxes. There may be a few people who call themselves "non-believers, but the U.S. Government has no plans to change the special protections afforded U.S. based churches.

  • Larsen
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:37 p.m.

    Anonymous 5:49 makes the argument which many people say again and again.

    People should just give up the fight on same-sex marriage, because sooner or later the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in favor of same-sex marriage.

    Okay, and how did you come to that conclusion? And why does the judiciary have to have the final say on everything? Should we just abolish the legislative and executive branches of government?

    Perhaps LDS people should just stop going to church, because sooner or later the Supreme Court will rule that LDS worship services are unconstitutional.

    Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, no more ridiculous than a Supreme court which has said simulated child porn is protected under the 1st Amendment, while a moment of silence before a high school graduation ceremony is not.

    No more ridiculous than a Supreme Court which barely ruled 5-4 in allowing 2nd Amendment rights to resident of Washington DC, while at the same time, giving lawyers to members of Al-Qaeda.

    And no more ridiculous than a Supreme Court which more and more makes rulings based on European law than based on the U.S. Constitution. Judge Kennedy even said as much.

  • You are anti-democratic
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:42 p.m.

    RE:re -- leibniz488 | 5:32 p.m

    ["The constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion..."]

    it's the same thing."

    It's not the same thing. Freedom of religion also means that a person must be free to vote based on their beliefs regardless of whether their religion forms their opinions. Your definition of "freedom from religion" is basically an attempt to prevent religious people from voting or having a say in the laws of their country.

    How about this? Your opinion is stupid therefore let's prevent stupid people from voting based on stupid opinions? Or will we ban those who want to repeal the Constitution from the right to vote?

    If people who are stupid, anarchists or who want to change our form of government and repeal the U.S. Constitution are allowed to vote based on those opinions then religious people also have the right to vote based on their opinions.

    If religious people or anti-Constitutionalists prevail then they have a right to do so.

    A minority doesn't have the right to force the majority to live under a Constitution it doesn't agree with or prevent religious people from voting.

  • Ghandi
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:42 p.m.

    THE CONSTITUTION GIVES ME FREEDOM FROM RELIGION.

    Too many believers go to church on Sunday and then act like the anti-Christ Monday through Saturday.

    "To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest. I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Ghandi

  • rw
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:44 p.m.

    Besides the fact that more money from outside California went to anti-prop 8, as far as I could tell from the donors list, every donation from outside the country went to anti-prop 8. To be fair, those who wish to accuse pro-prop 8 Utahns of meddling must do the same to those in other states and abroad who contributed to defeat prop 8. But such accusations would still be unfair as these actions and donations are democratic rights.

    It is not the meddling, on either side, that threatens democracy. It is the vitriol that keeps us from talking civilly to each other. There are solutions to all of our problems and we will only find them by listening to each other and working together.

  • oracle
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:45 p.m.

    Elder Oaks is a wise and inspired prophet. I appreciate his guidance and encouragement. We will do better.

  • Michael
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:47 p.m.

    Elder Oaks would never stop anyone from expressing their views. The point is that his view must be respected on the same level, not degenerated to be inferior.

    The protests were antidemocratic, not anti religious.

    Yes, these are strong words, but the persecution was equally strong.

  • BobP
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:55 p.m.

    If you attack my LDS church, you attack me.

    Many here spew forth the ridiculous belief the Freedom of Religion as it is set forth in the Constitution is the same as freedom from religion are historically illiterate and just a little stupid.

    Obama and his socialist ideas are not acceptable as law.

  • Clark Larsen
    Oct. 13, 2009 6:56 p.m.

    rw 6:44 - I CAN NOT AGREE WITH YOU MORE. It's one thing to disagree with someone on an issue like same-sex marriage. It's quite another when you resort to name calling, nasty cheap shots and down right slander in order to get your point across.

    I'm not a hypocrite. On occasion I've been mean with my words. But I've learned such comments do NOTHING to promote my idea or convice anyone to my way of thinking.

    Civility is the way to go, but sadly it's simply going away.

  • Dear Ban stupid people...
    Oct. 13, 2009 7:22 p.m.

    You are partially right - haircuts are not a good example because the government does not give (or deny) benefits to people depending on whether or not they have their haircut. They do, however, with marriage - which is what makes marriage a civil institution as opposed to a religious institution.

    Banning same-sex marriage is a law that prohibits government action based on someone's religious beliefs.

    At no point in my question to Ryan did I state anything about not voting based on your beliefs - I stated laws must be passed for reasons other than religious beliefs. Now, you can call me stupid all you want, but last time I looked, except for the occasional initiative or constitutional amendment, most voting involves electing people - not passing laws. The people you elect pass laws, but very seldom are those laws based on religious preferences - and when there is no reason but religion to pass a law, those laws are often found to be in violation of the Constitution.

  • There could be a Civil War
    Oct. 13, 2009 7:29 p.m.

    Oaks was also right when he said "There are civil rights involved in this -- the right to speak your mind, to participate in the election, but you don't have a civil right to win an election or retaliate against those who prevail."

    Marriage is not a civil right and never will be. This is true whether you support or oppose gay marriage.

    Our laws define what marriage is and as such it is the right of the majority to decide and define that institution inasmuch as it relates to action on the part of government. This is hard for many to accept because they are opposed to the right of the people to vote and participate in the democratic process.

    He also said "As such, these incidents of 'violence and intimidation' are not so much anti-religious as anti-democratic," and "In their effect they are like well-known and widely condemned voter-intimidation of blacks in the South that produced corrective federal civil-rights legislation."

    Voter intimidation should not be tolerated. If people feel that voting will result in being targeted then they are more likely to resort to the use of force to defend their rights.

  • Prayer in schools
    Oct. 13, 2009 7:42 p.m.

    A great many people seem to think banning prayer in schools is an attack on religion. Many of these same people use this ban on prayer as a reason why freedom from religion is not part of freedom of religion.

    So let me ask you: Whose prayers do we do in school? How can we allow prayer in school and not infringe on someone's freedom of religion? It is all well and good to say, "The majority of Utahns are LDS, so we should have LDS prayers," but that is imposing your LDS beliefs on those who are not LDS. It is, in effect, Governmental establishment of a religion (or a religious practice at least). This is in violation of the Constitution.

    And how about in areas where LDS is a minority religion - do you want your children forced to pray in a manner inconsistent (or possibly even in violation) of your religious beliefs?

    People must be free FROM the practice/trappings of your religion in order to be free TO practice their religion.

  • ANON
    Oct. 13, 2009 7:44 p.m.

    The amount of money and good provided by churches far exceed what would come from taxes. Gov't would certainly squander and waste the money if they had it.

  • ATTACK
    Oct. 13, 2009 7:46 p.m.

    6:55

    "...If you attack my LDS Church, you attack me...".

    You seem to have ignored Elder Oaks points:

    "...Speak with love, always showing patience,

    understanding, and compassion towards adversaries...".

    "...Be wise in one's political participation,

    including the framing of arguments and positions in

    respctful ways...".


  • RE:Clark Larsen
    Oct. 13, 2009 7:47 p.m.

    "Civility is the way to go, but sadly it's simply going away."

    I agree with this but you have to understand why it's going away. There are people who are resorting to the methods of intimidation, retaliation, and denying the majority the right to vote.

    They don't even attempt to persuade the majority of their point of view instead they choose to throw a temper tantrum if they lose an election and target individuals as a result of their participation in the democratic process.

    Then they take it a step further and seek to have the Courts overturn the will of the majority even when the law isn't prohibitive in nature and have the courts not only nullify the current law but also replace it with one that was never voted on by the people.

    If marriage law in California was unconstitutional then the Courts have the authority to nullify that law but they don't have a right to replace it with a new law or a previous law without a vote of the majority. If it is unconstitutional then it ceases to exist but an unelected boy doesn't get to write law

  • @Brian 6:09
    Oct. 13, 2009 7:55 p.m.

    "Welcome to the last days. Freedom of speech is also clearly under attack. Elder Oaks and anyone else that stands up to the homosexuals in this country had better be prepared for intimidation tactics that are clearly aimed at silencing all opposition."

    Brian, why do you feel like you need to stand up to the homosexuals? What are they doing to you?

  • Try stopping me from voting
    Oct. 13, 2009 8:13 p.m.

    @Brian 6:09

    "Brian, why do you feel like you need to stand up to the homosexuals? What are they doing to you?"

    That's obvious! Even those of us who support same-sex marriage and who see the tactics being used by many of those who support same-sex marriage understand the reason why so many people are fed up with it.

    Intimidation because of people's participation in the democratic process is never appropriate. I can bet you that if Mormons or others who oppose gay marriage were to get a list of opponents of Prop. 8 and target them for intimidation tactics then you would be outraged.

    Not only do these ACTIVISTS use intimidation when targeting individual voters they seek to use the courts to overturn the will of the majority of voters and don't even attempt to persuade them to their point of view.

    At some point people get fed up with that. It's condescending to think that people are only allowed to vote when these people agree with them. Voting is one of our most cherished rights and most of us are even willing to die to defend it.

  • AZ
    Oct. 13, 2009 8:15 p.m.

    We will see who is standing on the right side of Christ and who is not??????

  • Savage Sam
    Oct. 13, 2009 8:25 p.m.

    Well said Elder Oaks! The LDS church is by far the most tolerant Christian organization I have ever found. They don't shrink from the debate and they don't try to exclude anyone else from it. Intolerance has caused more wars than adherence to the teachings of Jesus Christ ever could.

  • Infringe?
    Oct. 13, 2009 8:28 p.m.

    Some may think its ok to steal. The 10 commandments state otherwise. If I vote for a law that prohibits stealing and you like to steal, am I infringing on your rights? As citizens of our country, we have a responsibility to vote for the greater good. If our religious views, parents, friends, books we read, life experiences, or otherwise cause us to view something a certain way, then that is reality for us and we should vote according to our conscience. That isn't forcing religion on someone, it is standing up for what one believes in. You developed your views through a variety of sources and so did I. Discussion about what is right and wrong will help clarify our points and hopefully help us understand one another more than we do today.

  • a voice
    Oct. 13, 2009 8:40 p.m.

    Well for everyone who doesn't care what the LDS church has to say when they come knocking at your door, say "No thank you". Then get over it! It is like a children's fundraiser, you can say no and move on with your life instead of obsess over this Christian religion. The definition of a Christian is someone who believes in CHRIST! The Mormon church is called The Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. You can not say LDS people aren't Christian if it even says they are in the name of the church.
    Mormons are kind, caring, and always willing to help everyone. They live healthy and successful lives and love God, Jesus Christ, and their religion. This church does nothing but greatness! You all should be happy the leaders of this church are standing up for the Freedom of Religion. They aren't just doing this for themselves. No, they are doing it for everyone who believes in something or has a religion!

    Learn to love and accept thy neighbor.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 8:52 p.m.

    I love how Elder Oaks put this. I have had to face people bashing me because I'm LDS and my Bishop told me that the best thing to do is answer with silence, as did Christ when faced before Pilot. It's sad that people don't want to see that we have the same rights as every other person in the country.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 9:02 p.m.

    Atheists are right, and have every right, to challenge the validity of religious belief or doctrine. How does that threaten your freedom to believe?

  • Why are you anti-mormons
    Oct. 13, 2009 9:06 p.m.

    Why do you visit this website to tear down the church every chance you get? Your hatred is beyond belief. If you don't like religion, fine; but please respect other's right to believe what they want. But when you take the step to criticize, tear down, and try to destroy the church, you are not showing any respect to another's right to believe what they want. You don't want us to preach religion, but look at the evil you are preaching. Think about it. You want the right to tear down what you want, but don't want the church to preach its doctrine which it has a right to do. Seems a little inconsistent on your part.

  • Atlanta
    Oct. 13, 2009 9:08 p.m.

    I'm amazed by the consistent irony and hypocrisy in the "Gay and Lesbian" stream of logic...and become even more amazed when they label the LDS church as nothing more than hypocrites. Comment after comment from Pro-Prop 8 individuals on this discussion board only reinforces the exact reason Elder Oaks gave this talk!

    Let's assume that Prop 8 passed and the conservative moment marched on the homes of gays, threatened their businesses, and in some instances, their own families. Let's assume that this same movement took it upon themselves to stand outside of gay bars and strip clubs to intimidate those who entered and then threw rocks through their building windows after the lights were turned out. Certainly their would be an outpouring of left wing media crying foul and identifying the clear violation of freedom of speech. Yet this is exactly what happened to members of the LDS church when they exercised their constitutional rights to free speech and freedom of religion.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 9:16 p.m.

    Following the teachings of God and my Savior gives me freedom. They love all of us. Our society is slowly (so slowly, we don't realize it) becoming corrupt. If we all did our part to support ourselves, love and help one another, and to be honest, the government would not have to be involved in our lives as much.

  • Last I checked...
    Oct. 13, 2009 9:26 p.m.

    I was still free to be a Taoist/Deist.

    However, there are many who belong to this states dominant sect who won't or can't accept, comprehend, or tolerate any deviation from the norm.

    Its ironic when any religious beliver (Muslim, Evangelical, Mormon, etc...) have real issues w/ compassion and tolerance and want everyone to march blindly along.

    I guess Free Agency is just for Professional Sports?

  • Amy Sherk
    Oct. 13, 2009 9:29 p.m.

    I was taught as a child there would come a time when the church would come under attack and I would have take a stand for what I believe. I know to listen to the Prophet and heed his counsel. So grateful to have leaders to guide me and even more grateful for my own revelation of what is right. I am so very thankful for my strength and my testimony.

  • Moss in Wash
    Oct. 13, 2009 9:31 p.m.

    Wow. I know why many of the liberal newspapers are going out of business, readers are turning to the Deseret News in masses. I for one love to read the Deseret News. Thank goodness for all the good counsel we receive regularly from LDS Church Leaders.

  • @Re: Clark Larsen
    Oct. 13, 2009 9:31 p.m.

    The California Supreme court DIDN'T create a new law. They said the law banning gay marriage was in violation of the California Constitution and was therefore voided. If the BAN of gay marriage was no longer legally enforceable, then it allowed FOR gay marriage without making a new law.

  • Las Vegas
    Oct. 13, 2009 9:34 p.m.

    Congratulations Deseret News for allowing freedom of speech, as it pertains to opposing opinions, on your web site. Also, I want to thank Elder Oaks for such a terrific article. I love how you worded our right and freedom to practice our religion and defend it appropriately. I feel like I've gained some important tools that will help me as I converse with a variety of people about my beliefs. I also agree that in the end we can choose to be civil and agree to disagree.

  • RICK
    Oct. 13, 2009 9:35 p.m.

    Some of these comments remind me of nashing of teeth. Oh the advisery is alive and upset.

  • Amy
    Oct. 13, 2009 9:37 p.m.

    I would pose the idea that all people fully read Elder Oaks address prior to making a statement. Everything he said is pure, powerful truth!

  • @ Infringe
    Oct. 13, 2009 9:45 p.m.

    Stealing has a victim - you are causing a harm in the world. You have rights, but so does everyone else. Your rights do not and cannot extend to the taking away of someone else's rights or causing someone else harm. (Which is basically the removal of a right because people have a right to be free from harm.) Regardless of whether or not something is in the 10 Commandments, the majority of the laws in this country are based on protecting people from harms that may be caused by others' actions. (And, just as a side note, many religions that do not believe in the 10 Commandments, believe that it is wrong to steal.)

    It is hard to argue that absent a harm in the world there should be a law prohibiting (or endorsing) something - even if that prohibition (or endorsement) is based on someone's religious beliefs and especially if, by acting to support the religious beliefs of one group, you are infringing upon the religious beliefs of another group.

  • Jana Lantor
    Oct. 13, 2009 9:47 p.m.

    So, the sifting begins-- as is clearly evident after reading so many of the postings above. The words of the apostles are being spoken more plainly and clearly than ever before. It is time to choose a side and stand firm for what is right.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 9:48 p.m.

    re: Anonymous | 9:16 p.m. Oct. 13, 2009

    Slowly becoming corrupt? It is IMO.

    I will agree about if we all did our part...

    However, If we truly did get our own house in order then show true charity & compassion we would not need ANY Large organization to be involved in our lives for long anyway.

  • @ Why are you anti-Mormons
    Oct. 13, 2009 9:52 p.m.

    Why do you assume everything is an attack upon you and your church?

    Many of the comments on this thread simply ask for what Elder Oaks is asking - the freedom to practice our religions (or lack thereof) free of interference from those who believe differently from us.

    And the comments in response are that we are attacking you and should just go away.

    When we ask you to offer us the same respect you want us to offer you, that is not attacking you - it is merely asking for reciprocity.

  • B. Russell
    Oct. 13, 2009 9:54 p.m.

    Mr.Oaks advances the false idea that the COTUS was established by the LDS "Lord" (D&C 101:80). This is an obvious distortion that amounts to hijacking the Constitution and the history of this country.

    The "principle of popular sovereignty" to which Oaks refers was NOT about independence from a "king" per se, but about independence from the presumed and alleged source of the AUTHORITY of kings.

    This is why Jefferson (and others) borrowed directly from John Locke's "Two Treatises on Government: In the Former, The False Principles and Foundation of Sir Robert Filmer, And His Followers, are Detected and Overthrown. The Latter is an Essay concerning The True Original, Extent, and End of Civil-Government."

    The "False Principles" of Sir Robert Filmer were those published in Filmer's "Patriarcha", which was a defense of the "Divine Right of Kings".

    In other words, this Constitution was not about independence from KINGS, it was about independence from the RELIGIOUS AUTHORITY ("divine right") of Kings!

    "Popular sovereignty" replaces "divine authority" as the source of authority of governments!

    Now the LDS Church claims they have that same, tyrannical "divine right" and "authority" the Constitution overthrew 200yrs ago!

  • @ Atlanta
    Oct. 13, 2009 9:57 p.m.

    If the media didn't cover the attacks, how do you know they occurred?

    What the media didn't cover (or you did not pay attention to) was leaders in the LGBT movement condemning the violence. Yes, the protests were supported. They were covered in the media, as were the counter-protests. But the violence was condemned.

    You have the freedom of speech - you do not have freedom of consequences or freedom from disagreement. Protests are part of freedom of religion, and churches other than LDS were protested.

  • To Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 9:59 p.m.

    There is a BIG difference between an Atheist questioning religion and a gay rights activist vandalizing a church or discriminating against someone by firing them from a job because they believe in a religion. Voicing your opinion is one thing, acting out with violence is something completely different.

  • Questions
    Oct. 13, 2009 10:02 p.m.

    Our missionaries are all over the world preaching the Gospel even in "socialist" countries and we continue to build temples as well.

    Perhaps "socialism" is a threat to the Church because as we know, more converts come from those who are poor. "Socialist" countries have fewer poor--and a larger middle class.

    What "freedom of religion" issues have arisen in Massachusetts, Iowa and other states who now have legalized same-sex marriage?

  • Doug G
    Oct. 13, 2009 10:04 p.m.

    For too long religion has gotten a free pass. Now, as it becomes a political instrument, it's time to reign it in with its' own freedom. Welcome to the world; you're not the only players on the stage.

  • Lee
    Oct. 13, 2009 10:07 p.m.

    There is some profound wisdom in the words of this man. Thank you for sharing your views, Elder Oaks.

    However, the "other side" has some very important views, which must be considered.

    This is all about rights and the debate of such God given rights. No one side is totally wrong or totally right. It is wrong, however, to treat anyone as less than human just because of their views-Mormon or Gay. Have we forgotten that we are all human beings, we are all in this human experience together, we are all part of one big family? If you were stranded on a deserted Island, you'd be happy for any human being to keep you company and be your friend regardless of their veiws or beliefs. First and foremost we are human beings.

    It is also interesting that any organization that allies itself with power and force eventually becomes corrupt. It has happened over and over throughout all generations of time. I am not centering out religions but any organization.

    Let's remember, there are truths everywhere....lets look for them and all celebrate our sameness as well as diversity.

  • Well said, Dallin Oaks!
    Oct. 13, 2009 10:16 p.m.

    Very well articulated, Elder Oaks!

  • S.Barrett
    Oct. 13, 2009 10:19 p.m.

    Pray for peace. thank you lord for the atonement.

  • Jeremy Roberts
    Oct. 13, 2009 10:21 p.m.

    I support Elder Oaks 100%!!!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 10:21 p.m.

    To 9:59,

    Nobody is trying to defend or justify vandalism. Your comment is irrelevant. Try to keep up, please.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 13, 2009 10:21 p.m.

    This seems like it's all posturing around prop 8. There doesn't seem to be any other religious/constitutional issue where this talk is even remotly relevant.

  • NUMBER 5
    Oct. 13, 2009 10:22 p.m.

    "...Be careful never to support or act upon the idea that a person must subscribe to some particular set of religious beliefs in order to qualify for public office...".

    Given that quote as a guideline, how is it that it is nearly impossible for a DEMOCRAT to be elected in UTAH?

    Given that quote as a guideline, how is it that UTAH almost always votes overwhelmingly for one political party?

  • Secularism is wonderful
    Oct. 13, 2009 10:24 p.m.

    Isn't secularism wonderful? You can attack religions and call yourself tolerant!

  • mark
    Oct. 13, 2009 10:25 p.m.

    There could be a civil war bleats:

    "Marriage is not a civil right and never will be. This is true whether you support or oppose gay marriage.

    Our laws define what marriage is and as such it is the right of the majority to decide and define that institution inasmuch as it relates to action on the part of government. This is hard for many to accept because they are opposed to the right of the people to vote and participate in the democratic process."

    Actually it is probably hard for many to accept because it is not true.

  • Bill
    Oct. 13, 2009 10:45 p.m.

    Elder Oakes is a renowned lawyer in his own right and a Constitutional lawyer.

    Also in regards to the US Constitution being of divine origin. It is and will always be one inspired by God through common ordinary men. Some were learned men and some weren't. The founding fathers didn't want a religion based on the CHURCH of ENGLAND, or the CATHOLIC church in France, Italy or other places. Most were from a sect that was highly discriminated against in the Old World and thus came here for religious freedom. If we had failed to win the Revolutionary War we would have been under the Church of England which by the way was Catholic long before it became a protestant religion. Protestant being against the Catholic or Roman Church.

    Today that religion is definitely under attack by many groups across this nation, atheists, some Muslims, other Christians. There will come a time soon when only the Church of Christ will be here and the Church of Satan (or those who follow only the precepts of MAN). Whether same-sex marriage is finally legalized across this country or not, the LDS Church and its members will stand firm against.

  • re: Number 5
    Oct. 13, 2009 10:45 p.m.

    Republicanism isn't a religion... it's a set of principles.

    I think that Elder Oaks said don't vote for somebody based on their religion... he didn't say anything about political party.

  • WHOA...
    Oct. 13, 2009 10:49 p.m.

    ... look at picture three... THAT'S ME!!!
    (I'm the guy with the blue back-pack. You have a nice view of the back of my head!)

  • "The First Amendment's
    Oct. 13, 2009 10:57 p.m.

    establishment clause did not require government neutrality between religion and irreligion nor did it prohibit the Federal Government from providing nondiscriminatory aid to religion. There is simply no historical foundation for the proposition that the Framers intended to build a 'wall of separation' between government and religion..."

    William H. Rehnquist, Chief Justice, US Supreme Court
    Wallace v Jaffree, 1985

  • Hero of Canton
    Oct. 13, 2009 11:09 p.m.

    There is no such thing as the 'separation of church and state' found anywhere in the Constitution. It speaks about no 'state sanctioned' religion but no where in there does it say that there must be a separation between the two.

  • Re: to all you nay sayers
    Oct. 13, 2009 11:14 p.m.

    Do you really believe your drivel? Tell me what is more true than the Comments in the article.

    The history of the country has been messy, but it has always been saved by it's righteous base. Not the by the Ney sayers of a riotous crowd.

    The laws of the land are based on the majority. Only the majority can inforce the laws that protect us all. With out them, you will get anarchy. Changing the laws to benifit the few, at the cost of the majority, will only breed hate and distrust.

    If we loose our righteous majority, we will loose our freedom.

    Freedom has a price, and if you want it, then you must protect it from the few that would destroy it.

  • Believer of Christ
    Oct. 13, 2009 11:16 p.m.

    When all is said and done every man, women, child will fall to their knees and confess that He is the Christ. He suffered for you and me. God is real. He created us and we will meet him face to face.

  • He's Right
    Oct. 13, 2009 11:18 p.m.

    It may not seem apparent now, but as the years go on, the religious in this nation WILL be singled out and persecuted. There will come a day when what was viewed as 'mainstream' religion and moral values will not be tolerated. Wait for it. It won't matter if you are a Mormon, Catholic, Protestant, or Jew. The intense opposition is coming and soon.

  • B Russ @ 9:54,
    Oct. 13, 2009 11:25 p.m.

    You have it backwords. Because your rights are based on divine authority and natural law, you have those rights regardless of your religion or lack thereof. The divine nature of those rights makes them permanent. Certainly, our founding fathers borrowed extensively from Locke, but the formative principle they took from Locke was the principle of natural law--that moral law comes from a divine authority, not from government. Our founding fathers came from a variety of religious backgrounds but they were united in the idea that the creator was the source of their reason and their rights. (See the Declaration of Independence.) In other words, "Divine Authority" was, in the minds of the founding fathers, inseparably connected with natural law, upon which all rights are based.

  • Religion culpret
    Oct. 13, 2009 11:31 p.m.

    History shows us that Religion has caused one war after another.
    If people could just keep their spirituality or Not keep their spirituality within themselves, our lives could be so different.
    Just because you are of "The True Church" does not mean you have the answers. Just because you go to a certain building every Sunday does not mean you are better than others.
    If you do not want to participate in organized religion, it does not mean that you will be a criminal, abuse your family, be a substance or child abuser. It does not mean that you do not treat people with respect. It does not mean that LDS should "feel sorry for you".

  • Mark M
    Oct. 13, 2009 11:37 p.m.

    Not surprisingly many of the comments on this forum support the reason Elder Oaks made the remarks he did. It's as if some people think that because a religious group supports an opposing view those people should simply shut their mouths and disappear from the public debate, as if only one point of view is allowed, their own. Freedom allows for religious and non-religious people to express their points of view without fear of injury. My friends living in the Bay Area have described to me nothing less than bigotry by the opposition to proposition 8. Why is it that so many think that only those in favor of same sex marriage should be allowed to voice their opinion, as if this is a one sided debate and anyone who opposes such unions is bigoted? The argument "You are wrong because you oppose my point of view" is weak at best. I personally do not want my children in elementary school being taught that homosexual, bisexual, and trans-sexual relationships are of equal value to heterosexual, monogamous relationships like my friends' children are being taught in the Bay Area. Enough is enough!

  • RE: @ Infringe
    Oct. 13, 2009 11:37 p.m.

    If one person does drugs behind closed doors, is there a victim? If someone chooses to take their own life, is there a victim?

    Just because someone wants to do something that doesn't immediately affect someone else doesn't mean its morally acceptable.

    My point is that we all develop our unique point of view by a variety of factors. If your mentors were mostly atheist and mine were mostly religious, then I can understand why we might not agree on moral issues. You should respectfully stand up for what you believe and I should respectfully stand up for what I believe. We shouldn't harass one another or tear each other down but rather share our points. I believe that we should stick with the traditional definition of marriage. Marriage doesn't discriminate. A straight or gay man can marry a straight or gay woman. There is no discrimination based on sexual preference. I don't believe that a homosexual relationship will ever be equal to a heterosexual relationship. A man and a woman can procreate but two of the same gender cannot. There is clearly a reason for that.

  • just a little fact
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:02 a.m.

    o.k. here is the most basic of thoughts....I believe in the Lord, I am so grateful for his sacrifice, but He did that for our free will. Mistake or not...we get to choose how to live regardless of it being wrong or right.... You cannot keep one belief in tact completely without taking free will from others....If there is a way to let all people have free will and everyone can also feel like their religion is pure, then that is fine...otherwise everyone must be allowed to do what is it they want..even if it means getting married to a same sex partner legally

  • Cheri
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:03 a.m.

    You know, It doesnt matter what religion you belong to or question, the answers come from our Heavenly Father, and if you want them you only need to have faith in your creator and pray and ask for your answers, then have the patience to listen to your heart, not the words of man. We are the ones being taught here, if we listen. I have lived by this creed, and feel very educated and blessed. Living a life as an example of a higher intelligence, even divine intellect makes you a better person. Seek your purpose, stop living in fear. Choose the Right thing to do always.

  • BBH
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:12 a.m.

    Um, we have separation of church and state in this nation. Exercise your own religion as you choose (without letting it bleed into the govenment please)! Hello! Get with it!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:15 a.m.

    All this talk about gay marrage and how it is a governmental right should look at history and understand that before the government married people churches did. It was invented by god and religion not by government, and has been slowly erroded esp the last 40 yrs. If you truely believe in the seperation of church and state anyone that is married should have to go through a church, and not be gay. I have no problem with a cival union, that has the same rights as a religious marrage but call it that. anything else would be stealing from religion read the bill of rights ammentment 1

  • Jefferson 1779
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:16 a.m.

    "[N]o man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities."

    1779 = Thomas Jefferson
    Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom

  • @Molli
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:12 a.m.

    Yes, you read it wrong...

  • gi-me a break
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:21 a.m.

    Oh, come on writes

    > We don't care if you are Scientologist, Moonies, Muslim, Buddhists, Catholics, LDS, Baptists, Methodists. Keep it to yourself unless we ask! <

    then offers
    > Let's make a deal:
    You have the freedom to practice your religion.
    We have the freedom to avoid your religion.
    Don't forget that we're taxpayers and citizens, too. <

    IIf I'm understanding correctly the "deal" being offered is, We may keep our religion but must have our freedom of speech restricted. My counteroffer is that you may have your moral and political beliefs, but you must restrict yourself by not speaking about or promoting them. Any takers?

  • shawilli
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:26 a.m.

    I would suggest that prehaps the church needs to issue a statement to the media and explain our views and concerns that we have as a church on the current issues of the day. The church is going to have to become much more involved on political issues if it wants people to listen. The current health care bill is allowing funding for abortion, the Catholic Conference of Bishops has taken a firm stand against such. I am curious where are the Mormons on this issue? the church has decided to keep silent on this important moral issue. The news ought to be screaming that the Mormon Church has also issued a statement against the health care funding of abortion and joins with the Catholic Bishops Conference in their opposition to this important moral matter, and yet there is nothing but deafining silence. The church itself needs to be much more politically active on the front lines of the hot political issues of the day and not just demand that it's members be out on the front line.

  • faithful
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:40 a.m.

    No true Latter-day saint would openly condemn an apostle of the Lord. They do so at their own foolish peril. Elder Oaks has no need to apologize.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:44 a.m.

    wow...I bet so many Mormons are so ashamed now.

  • johntvalentine
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:38 a.m.

    My personal feelings on religious freedom. As long as one person, obeys the law of the land. As long as one person, lives the rule of America's, beloved CONSTITUTION. As long as one person, does not practice the rape of a little girl or boy. As long as a person, does not not kill the guard while trying to rob the bank. As long as a person shows great respect for America's beloved flag,allows prayer in America's schools,leave "IN GOD WE TRUST" on America's dollar,etc and acts like a civilized human being. My wonderful dad, taught me there are two kinds of human beings on this beautiful earth. A civilized human being and a inhuman being, that act's worse than an animal, that will always return to eat it's own vomit. This is not about freedom of religion. It is about, some person acting worse than an degrading savage foameing out the mouth practicing animal. Don't you agree !!! A word to the wise is sufficient.

  • Darin
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:06 a.m.

    Be honest, Mr. Oaks! What is under attack is the "freedom" to lie, to discriminate, and to have a special place at the table of governance "just because". There are higher values than religion.

  • Silva
    Oct. 14, 2009 5:51 a.m.

    The Church needs to clean up their own act, stop worry about others, and return to following their own teachings including the articles of faith (12).

    Telling people things change on one hand to justify your actions, and then tell them Gods law is absolute, falls on deaf ears.

    Keep your own house clean and pure, and set an example for the world.

  • Alan M.
    Oct. 14, 2009 6:14 a.m.

    Any law passed that protects freedom without taking freedoms from others is constitutional. If it takes freedom away from someone, it's unconstitutional. Elder Oaks understands that. He is trying to help others to see that. The freedoms you would like to take from others will be taken from you, eventually.

  • Butch
    Oct. 14, 2009 6:17 a.m.

    Elder Oaks is absolutely brilliant in every sense of the word. He has a true love for all people. As concerns Senator Reid, I am hoping that he, as an active member of the Church, did not really speak out against the Church on its position as concerns Prop 8. If he did, respectfully, my response would be simply that maybe it is time for Senator Reid to find a religion that more fully fits his values. Frankly, I would respect him more for leaving the Church rather than continuing to take positions contrary to the same. I am tired of having to try to explain his words.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 6:39 a.m.

    So many want to see the demise of "religion". Truly, what they really want is to see the demise of a belief in God. It is no fun to be held accountable by God's law. They want the freedom to live their lives without having a nagging conscience to remind them of their wrongdoing. They think if they can just wipe the slate clean of any commandments or laws, they will have nothing to remind them of their iniquities. Truth is, God already wrote the laws of man. Stop balking and start living them and you'll find your lives will be much happier and the guilt and anger you feel against those who already live them will subside. You can't stand to have someone remind you that ultimately, God has the last judgment and say-not you. He is the one in control--not you. Trying to rewrite the Bible and morality may work for you in this life--but the consequences will follow you into the next life. Oh, excuse me, I forgot...that is only a fantasy--time will tell--choose your path--just whose side are you on anyway? God's influence encompasses everyone.

  • CharlieBrown2292
    Oct. 14, 2009 6:54 a.m.

    Someone here affirms that "legalizing CIVIL recognition of gay marriage does not and would not require any religion to recognize it from a doctrinal standpoint." Yet, we already see that Priests are being sued for teaching boys to avoid engaging into homosexual experiments, photographers are being sued for refusing to take pictures of gay marriages, and Doctors are being sued for refusing to perform in-vitro fertilizations on behalf of gay couples...in addition, what your neighbor does DOES affect your life and that of your family, and we would rather not allow dangerous experiments of the marriage institution, when it has proven its validity over thousands of years.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:00 a.m.

    While I empathize and agree in many respects, the other side is that one person's religion is not another person's religion. The comments made inherently mingle church and state. We can't say that action by the government which, in essence, is more neutral in regards to the exercise of religion, is undermining religion as practiced by some or even most. I admire the speaker and have had opportunities to speak with him many times over the years, but he mingles church and state. It is understandable from his perspective, but not from the perspective of others.

  • attack on religion
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:00 a.m.

    If there is an attack on religion, it is an internal one.

    Christians are the ones who are denying the divinity of the 10 Commandments: "It is okay for us to have them in parks - they are not religious in nature, they are historical!"

    Christians are the ones who are arguing that the cross is "merely a historical marker - there is nothing religious about it!"

    Christians are the ones tearing up scriptural quotes and leaving the pieces to be trampled during football games.

    Mormons are telling other Mormons, "You are not a TRUE Mormon - you should just leave!" (reference the 2:40 a.m. comment)

    These comments have a lot of references to the Constitution hanging by a thread but no reference to the apostasy that will come from within.

    Christians have much more to fear from fellow Christians then from anyone else!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:03 a.m.

    The comments on this article are revealing. A clear indicator of how some people have been taught in history or better yet, not taught.

    Seems we are repeating history and will continue. It's the nature of civilization to repeat what it has not learned from.

  • Moved to Maryland
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:06 a.m.

    While attending the Hill Cumorah Pageant this summer I learned that MANY of the anti-mormon protesters were paid temps. I wonder how many of them are paid to scour the Deseret News for anything they can find to write anti-mormon comments about. I wonder if they are paid like factory workers used to be paid, like each nasty comment is worth $1.00 or some ridiculous thing like that.

  • We need look no further...
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:13 a.m.

    than many of the comments in this thread as evidence of what he was talking about. He never said the US constitution should force Christianity or any particular religion on people. Just that it should protect the rights to practice religion without public prejudice and bigotry.

    Seems to me that currently in this country it is taboo and politically incorrect to dare say anything that could be in any way construed as deragatory towards gays, minorities, or any other group but certain religious groups (excepting Jews)are free targets.

    We need look no further than our last Presidential election and the over the top reaction to the Prop 8 verdict last year (public intimidation, vandalism, and disrespectful behavior on private church grounds) as evidence of what I'm referring to. The true hypocrisy of our PC country and progressivism is the guarantee of civil rights and free speech for all except those that they don't share an agenda with.

    Some of you venting on here about what Oaks said need to take a chill pill and actually try to understand what he said. Just because many of you hate Mormons doesn't mean religious freedom isn't Constitutional.

  • Atlanta Cont'd
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:20 a.m.


    The story behind the story here is the reality of law suits THAT WOULD INEVITABLY RESULT with the passage of Prop 8 against religious institutions. Look at MA! Churches are now being sued for not conducting gay marriage because, by law, marriage is now legally recognized as a man and a man or a woman and a woman in that state! Do you see where this is going? And you are surprised by this opposition G&L community? The recent media stirrings of the Man/Boy community for their rights isn't going to help your cause either. Unfortunately, that will be a conversation and a battle my children might have to fight if we continue on this downward trend. But that is where we are headed. Think I'm crazy? Thirty years ago this conversation would have been unimaginable.

  • JB
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:24 a.m.

    freedom FROM religion (3:22 p.m. Oct. 13, 2009) said: "It is not christianity that provides freedom. it is that we can all follow our own paths."

    You're not thinking it through. Clearly, one is free to choose no religion. However, to say that freedom consists in following our own "path" is to imply that we cannot be free unless we are allowed to do whatever we want with no legal consequences to ourselves for so doing. Wasn't the man who kidnapped and repeatedly raped Elizabeth Smart following his own "path"? How about Jeffrey Dahmer - wasn't he simply following his own "path"? I'm not saying you think that rapists, murderers, and the like should be free to do whatever they want. I use them as examples to show that the issue is not that we should be free to follow our own paths. Rather, the issue is what "paths" (behaviors and actions are much better words) are we as a society going to allow?

  • Cats
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:27 a.m.

    I am so deeply saddened by the viciousness of the remarks made on these blogs against an apostle of God. Elder Oaks is a great and brilliant man who speaks the truth. When I see the hatred and misguidedness of these people, it becomes clear that there may be little time left for our civilization.

  • Hey anonymous...
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:28 a.m.

    I know you'd like to think we're all ashamed but most of us dont' subscribe to the liberal progressive movement in this country that preaches civil rights, tolerance, and free speech for all except those they don't share an agenda with.

    I have no problems with protecting civil rights of gay couples through civil unions but I do resent the attempt to hijack the institution of marriage and redefining it to suit a very small minority group's needs.

    Contrary to what many of you say, allowing same sex marriage has ramifications beyond just symbolism. Among other things, it would open the inevitable door to the government to take away the right of religiously affiliated adoption agencies to choose what couples they adopt to (goodbye LDS and other church sponsored social services) and force marriages via lawsuits unwillingly in their churches.

    This is the point Oaks is trying to make. Movements such as these will ultimately infringe on the rights of churches to run their churches and affiliated organizations as they see fit. My sister adopted 2 children through LDS social services. I would hate to see such organziations closed to due government intervention.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:36 a.m.

    I'm not clear. Is he saying he opposes "laws governing marriage and adoption, laws regulating activities of church-related organizations in furthering their religious missions, and laws prohibiting discrimination in employment circumstances against people with unpopular religious beliefs or practices." Does he want to allow discrimination in employment situations? Does he want church related organizations to operate unfettered? If so, he is dead wrong. He would want government to protect what he wants to the detriment of others. This is the essence of a state establishment of religion. I need to find the full text and not a press summary.

  • utahboni
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:43 a.m.

    The reason our founding fathers separated religion from state is that they knew that if one man is not free to follow his religious beliefs, then no man is free to do so. When you deny someone else the right to live their life according to their beliefs, then someone will do the same to you. You reap what you sow. What goes around comes around.

    When they decided to get involved in national politics, the LDS church either didn't know or forgot that most of the country views them as a cult. When you put yourself out there, you should anticipate that you are going to receive push back. You simply cannot expect to get away with using politics to try to force others to live by your beliefs with no repercussions.

  • Joe Blow to Butch
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:48 a.m.

    "As concerns Senator Reid, I am hoping that he, as an active member of the Church, did not really speak out against the Church on its position as concerns Prop 8. If he did, respectfully, my response would be simply that maybe it is time for Senator Reid to find a religion that more fully fits his values."
    This is why you get the "sheep" label. Isnt Reid allowed to have his opinion? Isn't it understandable that and LDS could see it differently? So he thinks the LDS leadership got it wrong. Big deal. You are saying that he should accept lock stock and barrel everthing the leadership says. Hence - sheep

  • Yes, religion is under attack!!!
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:48 a.m.

    You must have your head in the sand to think that religion is not under attack. All you have to do is turn the TV on for two seconds to see how traditional values that have sustained society are being torn down.

  • Nice try!
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:49 a.m.

    Mormons are like the Colorado Rockies...they think they're better than they actually are.

    Lia

  • SAME
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:58 a.m.

    10:45 PM

    In Utah, isn't religion and political party the same thing?

    In Utah, REPUBLICANISM is the APPROVED SECULAR RELIGION.

  • Publius
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:09 a.m.

    I am a Mormon but I am saddened by Elder Oaks' clumsy and irresponsible sermon. First off, it's not clear that LDS religious beliefs are under assault. If so, how? Second, if the church enters the public square (ie., the Prop. 8 debate) it leaves itself and its members open for critical rejoinder. Third, the country was not built on the principles of Christianity--that's an assertion that is non-falsifiable (and untrue). Fourth, there's some hubris at play when he says that Christian principles will protect the 1st amendment. This presupposes that Jews, Muslims, atheists and secular humanists do not have values worth emulating. I am troubled by this speech. Substitute religious freedom for communism and it reminds me of the paranoid, knee-jerk reactions that Brother Benson use to preach during the 1960s and '70s.

  • A trace of sanity
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:16 a.m.

    The adage that your freedom ends at my nose, seems too often lost. As a member of the LDS church, I believe that we are given agency and the responsibility for our own actions. I do not believe that someone making choices I disagree with are somehow not entitled to their choice. I think we get into a semantic quagmire when we place the word marriage above the equal protection of all citizens to the same benefits of that citizenship. I choose a heterosexual lifestyle as my choice and married accordingly for the legal benefits and responsibilities that entails. For those that choose a gay lifestyle have the same right to any benefit legally that I possess. Their choice in no way diminishes my faith or my agency, and whether you call it free speech or freedom of choice all citizens are entitled to THEIR agency.

  • LDS Convert's 2 Cents
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:19 a.m.

    This talk really saddens me. As a practicing Mormon, I fear it will continue to divide us against other religions, non-religions, and people of good will. And we wonder why the media and other institutions pick on us: because with talks like this we give them fodder. I long for the day when my church will not be so spiteful and divisive. There are people of all faiths and no faiths out there who have good principles. It's wrong to suggest that only Mormons (or Christians) will uphold the Constitution in order for religious freedom to thrive. Brother Oaks, we expect better from you.

    PS: As a new convert to the Church, I will get throttled by my non-LDS family and friends for this. The worst part about it is, it can be avoided if our church leaders practices a bit more restraint and exercised better judgement.

  • to SAME
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:27 a.m.

    and all others of same small mindedness!

    Then MOVE! Bet we could even round up some men to help you pack up!

    I find it interesting that people move here for the "family atmosphere" and then try to change it to be like anywhere else.

  • Ernest T. Bass
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:27 a.m.

    The right wing and LDS have brought this on them selves.
    Two humans seeking certain legal rights is NOT an moral issue.

  • Cats
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:29 a.m.

    To Publius: If you are LDS it's clear that it is in name only

  • To Cats
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:30 a.m.

    How blindly you follow. The man made insensitive statements, likening this perceived oppression to that which the blacks suffered. Just because he is mormon doesn't excuse him from being civil.
    Just because he is mormon in no way makes him right.
    Rox

  • nancy
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:32 a.m.

    I admire the courage Elder Oaks has to give this message - knowing the contraversy it has. I believe and fully support every word that was spoken. And I will follow the inspired counsel!

  • Lia strikes again!
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:34 a.m.

    Nice. In a nutshell, you are absolutely correct.

    Carli

  • Lamar Williams
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:36 a.m.

    Many responders seem to forget that I as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has the right to vote and react according to my beliefs. If that is contrary to theirs, so be it. I will always stand for what I believe. A majority of the citizens in the State of Utah are LDS and they vote a similar way do to their beliefs being similar. The outcome is obvious and yet many of the non LDS would have us not have the same rights as they have. If I remember right, a majority vote rules in a Democratic Democracy. I have lived in many other parts of the country and a different majority ruled there. I did not stomp and scream about the difference between miy beliefs and the majority. I followed my beliefs, voted them and then lived by the majority rule. I would suggest that those who want the minority to rule, look for another county to live in. There are many countries that are based on thier beliefs, choose one.

  • Pagan
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:39 a.m.

    Freedome of religion under attack huh?

    Funny, I still see people going to church.

    They're church. Not mine.

    Someone's religious belief's should not dictate another's life.

    Or would someone like to argue women should still be handled like property?

  • Elder Oaks
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:40 a.m.

    Great talk. And as for me and my family we will follow the Lord and his Apostles.

  • To Cats
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:40 a.m.

    There were only 12 Apostles.
    Oaks is a businessman in a suit.
    Anna

  • crystal clear
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:41 a.m.

    What a great talk. Everyone should read it. He clearly defines the battle lines and what is at stake.

    RE; Steven- we're protecting society, not just religion.

  • Dan
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:43 a.m.

    Those in opposition to traditional marriage have their responses, and I have mine.
    Traditional marriage has been the bedrock of society for thousands of years. It has stood the test of time. To allow it to be reduced brining moral decay in our society is frightning. I will oppose this effort.

  • prophets
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:43 a.m.

    Thank you Elder Oaks (a prophet, seer and revelator). Let's listen to him before the crowd on this message board.

  • heathjh
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:43 a.m.

    There is nothing wrong with boycotting a business because of a political contribution they made. Mormons and other religions have boycotted businesses before because of advertisements they didn't agree with. My Mormon mother refused to buy Kraft products because they are owned by Philipp Morris (tobacco).

    I don't agree with hate crimes no matter what side is doing it.

    This all has to do with peoples rights. How would you like it if someone told you that temple marriage wasn't a valid marriage? They are not asking that you agree with same sex marriage they are asking for the same rights that you possess. Just like I don’t agree with your temple marriage but you have that right. Be careful what you ask for. We could become like England. There must be a government official at all weddings. So mormons in those areas have to have a civil marriage first before they can go to the temple.
    continued........

  • Mike
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:49 a.m.

    Hey Publius, Bro. Benson was right.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:51 a.m.

    Elder Oaks comments about not using religion as a criteria on who we vote for have several implications. One is that we should be willing to vote for people who are Muslims, and not assume that such would disqualify someone from office.

  • Cataryna
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:54 a.m.

    "it is critical that we protect everyone's freedom of speech and the equally important freedom to stand for religious beliefs"

    This sentence should read "It is critical to protect freedom of speech and equally critical to protect your freedom to practice YOUR religion." It however is NOT critical to protect your right to force others to practice your religious views. Violations of civil rights occur when you force others to abide by YOUR religious beliefs which is what the passing of Prop 8 did.

  • xscribe
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:55 a.m.

    Freedom of religion is a joke. If it hasn't already been said, what we need is freedom from religion. Anyone care to tell me more than a couple wars that weren't based on some religious connotation? Those who want freedom of religion want to force it upon others. You can practice your religion in any manner you like in private (unless you're Native American, and we all know what the government did about their religion). Why the need to take it public. I keep hear the phrase "personal relationship with God." Why don't you keep it just that: Personal!

  • Joe Blow
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:56 a.m.

    The Majority does mostly rule, but the minority needs some protection. The MAJORITY didnt want blacks on the bus or in the restaurants.
    I find it curious about the WAR ON RELIGION. Please someone tell me how "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" would allow christian prayer in school without allowing all other flavors of prayer. There's the rub.

  • Pagan
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:56 a.m.

    Let me put this another way.

    I am a religious leader. A leader for a religion based out of Utah. I am going to speak at a college created by this religion at a different state, about an issue my religion created at yet ANOTEHR state and try to make the case how my religion is under attack from a group that dosen't adhere to my religion.

  • Shaun McC
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:58 a.m.

    I keep hearing the phrase "taking away my right to have a same-sex marriage". You can't take away something that has never existed. Those saying this are using false argument - incorrectly stating that something already exists in order to defend it. It does not exist and you must prove that it is not harmful and that it is desirable to society in order for that society to make such a influential change. Those who oppose same-sex marriage are defending the status-quo (that which now exists). They are not taking anything away from you. So far you have not proven your point to the satisfaction of a majority of society. Using derision and threats to convince others does not make your case more logical or compelling - it simply invites others to join in using your tactics.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:00 a.m.

    When people like Scott Eckern are forced out of their job because they followed the counsel of their religious leaders, I think this constitutes a cut on religious freedom.
    When people who falsely claim that Latter-day Saints practice polygamy bring suits to stop the building of an LDS Chapel in Pennsylvania.
    Then there was the attempt in Connecticut to disolve the Catholic Church, and then to penalize it for having spoken against this oppressive measure "without properly registering as a lobbyist".
    Religious freedom is under attack in many places.

  • Dan
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:02 a.m.

    Mr. Oaks is quickly gaining on Mr. Packer as my least favorite human being.
    I would hardly call what is happening to the church 'religious persecution'. It is more like the world is simply calling out bigotry when it sees it.
    Sure, they have the right to be bigots, but that doesn't excuse them from criticism.
    If the church doesn't like how it is being treated, perhaps they should consider how they themselves have been treating others.

  • Apostle Paul
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:03 a.m.

    Boy did the Apostle Paul ever prophecy the truth about our day in 1 Tim 3:1-5!

    1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
    2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
    3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
    4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
    5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

  • Emilia
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:05 a.m.

    I just want to follow the advise of the leaders of our church.
    "Do what is right and let the consecuence follow"

  • good
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:06 a.m.

    "The real issue in the Proposition 8 debate – an issue that will not go away in years to come and for whose resolution it is critical that we protect everyone's freedom of speech and the equally important freedom to stand for religious beliefs – is whether the opponents of Proposition 8 should be allowed to change the vital institution of marriage itself."

  • Lake Effect
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:09 a.m.

    Message to Mike in Texas: Explanation of what you said you fail to see: Traditional marriage is a product of ancient religion. It has always been protected by the state for obvious reasons, which are: religious freedom and continuation of the race. Gay marriage is a union created by the STATE, having nothing to do with religion. If sanctioned by the state, it threatens to supplant all religion, as it essentially becomes THE "STATE RELIGION," so to speak, and everyone would be FORCED to live with it. No more right of association, no more freedom of speech, no more freedom of religion. Gays could not be excommunicated or disciplined by ecclesiastical leaders; you couldn't preach or SAY that gay is sin, and that gay is NOT something that someone IS...it's something that someone DOES; and you couldn't take your children out of school as they are being taught that gay relationships are an acceptable alternative. This is like trying to mix oil and water. You can't do it. But it would be the state law, and traditional marriage, and religious beliefs, and freedom could not stand under it.

  • S2
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:09 a.m.

    @agreed - This thrown-off statement about religion being the root of all evil and suffering is so automatic from the secularists.

    Tell me that the crusades, Arab-Israeli conflicts, Tibet vs China, Hundred Years' War, Inquisition and all the rest REALLY caused the deaths of more people than 1) Joe Stalin in 1930s-40s Russia, 2) Mao and China 1940-1976, 3) Pol Pot, Cambodia, 4) Adolph Hitler, 5)Rwandan tribal massacres, 6) Black Death of Europe, 7)the worldwide flu of 1917-18 era, and so on? Tell me that Ghengis Khan, Alexander, Xerxes, and the Roman Empire under various Caesar's had anything to do with religion and subjugation in the name of Diety? They may have some carried religious symbols with them, but Pol Pot, Joe, Adolph, Mao and the rest were not speaking and rallying people in the name of any Gods.

    C'mon, that is a typically uneducated, pat, defenseless thrown off phrase that should be tucked away and never surface again by anyone with secondary schooling and the integrity to think before spewing.

  • Jack
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:09 a.m.

    I applaud everything Elder Oaks said!

  • I agree with many of the
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:13 a.m.

    comments on this board, such as freedon from religion. Quit trying to force your beliefs on to others and maybe they will not respond negatively. You want freedom of religion and want to be able to express your beliefs, well did you ever think that is what others want also, you do not want us to impose our beliefs and life style upon you and we ask the same. Which means butting out of certain politics, the LDS church should not have gotten involved in something that others were fighting for, they did so people fought right back, what did you expect! When you learn to leave others to their lives they will leave you to yours! Not everyone wants to be told by the church how to vote and live, especially form people that are so judgemental. PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH!!!

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:14 a.m.

    To the 4:12 commentator,
    Marriage has been defined as the union of a man and a woman since long before the foundation of the United States.
    This is inherent in the definition of marriage, and in its current functions as a social institution.
    It is not those who are defending it who are making new laws.
    On a corallary issue, does the fact that people religiously oppose smoking prevent them from making laws that regulate where it can be done?

  • Pinocchio
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:18 a.m.

    The best thing for anyone to do is mind their own business and stay out of the business of others.

    Have a good day of worth, value and nose out.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:19 a.m.

    To the 4:24 commentator,
    I am almost 100% sure the person who you responded to DOES live in California. Your assumption that she does not, has no merit, and considering she felt the retalition and hate it is much more likely to assume that she does.
    The nature of comment boards like this is people all over the United States, and even all over the world will comment.

  • BobP
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:22 a.m.

    I would like to remind all those who find LDS influence in Utah intrusive to them. The LDS settled the place in 1847 after being driven from several states. In 1847 Utah was part of Mexico and became part of the US two years later.

    We settled it, we developed it, we are still the majority of the population. Get used to it. We will allows you to practice your faith, or lack of faith. We will NOT willingly you allow you to attack us or subvert our children.

  • So True
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:25 a.m.

    Amazing how so many get offended when people hold true to long standing beliefs. If your civil rights were being trampled on in the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90's, where have you been? Why are you all just standing up now when you claim that your rights were being trampled for so long? Maybe you never had the right to begin with? And now you are trying to make everyone believe you have been persecuded for so long. Perhaps the founding fathers didn't have you in mind when they created rights for the institution of marriage? Actually I am positive they did not.

  • CP
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:26 a.m.

    I totally agree with Elder Oaks. When members came out against same sex marriage in CA they even came to Utah and protested in front of the SL Temple. I also know that other religions are against it as well and joined with the members of the LDS Church to fight for the passing of Prop. 8 in CA and they were not attacked as the LDS Church was and still is. I can tell just by reading some of the comments posted.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:27 a.m.

    re: Doug G | 10:04 p.m. Oct. 13, 2009

    Exactly.

    If Organized Religion wants to shape political policy and influence behavior the other 6 days of the week then maybe just maybe the alleged threats and attacks they perceive are backlash.

    Its funny how events, things, people, sistuations compensate (i.e. evolve). For example, After 8 yrs of W, things swung to the left. You don't have to like it, you just have to accept it.

  • Carrie
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:27 a.m.

    I am glad for Elder Oaks statements. It would be interesting to read the whole speech. It is a thought provoking address that would be worth studying in greater detail.

  • Anon
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:28 a.m.

    You can't have it both ways. The State cannot sanction both traditional marriage and gay marriage at the same time. If it protects and enforces acceptance of gay marriage, then it has to punish resistors. In that case, resistors have lost their Constitutional rights of religion, free speech, and right of association. Can't be more plain.

  • Government stay out of marriage
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:30 a.m.

    I think that government should not be involved with marriage, period! Yes, government should be involved with equal rights among people, but it should not call its involvement "marriage". Marriage is a social contract between people and should not be regulated by law, and tax advantages should not be given to married people. If I believe marriage should only be practiced between people of opposite gender, fine; I can join people who have similar views. If I believe marriage should be practiced among people of the same gender, fine; I can join people who have similar views. If I don't believe in any form of marriage, fine; I can join people who have similar views. If I believe marriage should allow more than one wife (or more than one husband), fine; I can join people who have similar views.

    What should government be involved with? Things like inheritance, property ownership, abuse, work opportunities, civil rights, opportunities for education, and similar things. But, not marriage. Marriage is a social tradition, and government should leave social traditions to social groups and to our individual choices.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:32 a.m.

    To Don,
    There were actually many Catholics in the United States at the time of the Declaration of Independence, and at least one of the signers of that document and I believe also one of the signers of the Constitution was Catholic.
    Irish Cathoics had been coming since the 1820s. On the other hand, you assessment is essentially corret. Detroit had many French-Candian Catholics when Michigan became a state but they were already outnumbered by the Protestants and shrinking in number.
    Much of the Catholic-Protestant animosity that existed well into the 20th Century was a result of the massive influx with the Potato famine, yet the anti-Catholic riots in Philadelphia and Boston happened a few years before the Potato famine, so the connection is not what some think.
    The Irish potato famine began in 1845, yet Joseph Smith's statements about how the same forces that would deprive Latter-day Saints of rights would also hurt Catholics and others was all the more meaningful because in the early 1840s mobs were buring down Catholic Churches in Philadelphia.
    I myself have Irish Catholic ancestors who came to the United States before 1790.

  • Spot on
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:36 a.m.

    He has a solid arguement, which is why there is so much debate and dissagreement.

    I was in the Bay Area(San Francisco) for the last 5 years and I can speak first hand that religion is under attack and my freedom to practice without retaliation is alive and well. One Prop 8 sign is all it took to get almost the entire neighborhood to turn on me and my family. I see these posts of intolerance well I was front and center.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:38 a.m.

    Shaun McC | 8:58 a.m. Oct. 14, 2009
    "I keep hearing the phrase "taking away my right to have a same-sex marriage". You can't take away something that has never existed. Those saying this are using false argument - incorrectly stating that something already exists in order to defend it."

    Were gays marrying in California before Prop 8? Yes. Did the passage of prop 8 take away that privilege? Yes. That is where they are coming from. OK?

    Please read the Iowa State Supreme Courts decision on Gay marriage. It will open your eyes to the legal reasons for gay marriage and answers all of your questions. Really!

  • Pagan
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:40 a.m.

    'You can't take away something that has never existed.'

    Wrong.

    6 states now allow gay marriage. It does exist. To say otherwise is foolish.

    Also, 5years after MA allowed gay marriage this state has the lowest divorce rate...in the united states.

    For those who claim that 5years is not enough time, I ask you this, what is the divorce rate for marriage as it was before?

    50%? 40? Almost half?

    Yeah, that's a GREAT thing to defend.

    Sarcasim off. Marriage has always changed. If you think otherwise, you must be one of those people who think only white people can marry and you can sell your wife and daughter.

    Keep up

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:40 a.m.

    To Cataryna: You don't understand. The passage of Prop 8 would mean that everyone would be forced to accept the state institution of gay marriage, even when it goes against their personal beliefs. It is those personal beliefs that are under attack. No one should have to accept gay marriage by force. Freedom of conscience is what has always been protected. It is also called freedom of religion. With the passage of Prop 8, that freedom would no long be protected. Resistors of the gay agenda would be punished, and ONLY gays would have the right of free speech, the right of association, and the right to put forth their personal beliefs. You can't sanction both. It won't work. It's impossible!

  • mel
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:40 a.m.

    Great talk and great reporting by the desnews. The trib did not give his whole speech the coverage it deserves. thank the heavens above for living prophets and apostles.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:41 a.m.

    to the 4:45 commentator,
    Elder Oaks clearly expressed the view that discriminating against someone based on their religion is wrong.
    Molli than accused him of having expressed the opposite.
    The fact that some Latter-day Saints refuse to higher people of other religions is not the fault of Elder Oaks.
    We must also remember that religion organizations, including Church schools, have a right to higher or fire based on religion. This is why I support Kent Jordan's ruling in favor of the Catholic school in Delaware fireing an employee for openly expressing support of Planned Parenthood. Religious Schools seek to convey a message to their students, and they have every right to control the content of their message. This is especially true with teachers who part of their duty is to conduct religious services. This was brought up in another court case. The question should be does probiding religious devotionals ever become part of the teachers duty, not is it their primary duty as some courts have tried to make it.

  • wow
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:44 a.m.

    The posts on here do a great job of proving Oaks correct
    The Consitution guarantees freedom of religion (religous plurality) not freedom from religion (atheism as the defacto national religion)
    those who complain of Mormons pushing their religon onto society obviously have no comprehension of their own behaviour (when Utah proposed anti-smoking laws Mormons were labeled intolerant - When West Hollywood banned smoking in apartment buildings they were labeled progressive)

    Oaks rocks

    BTW I am a non-LDS homosexual man who is disgusted with the bully tactics and hypocrisy of the gay community.

  • Re: Nice Try
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:45 a.m.

    That was a great comment and so true, and I totally agree!!!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:46 a.m.

    To Cats Anna: Silly! You think God can't call more apostles? What about Matthias who was called to fill the vacancy left by Judas?

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:47 a.m.

    The clearest violation of the principal Elder Oaks enunciated is where law forbids some religious believers from holding some jobs.
    In Oregon and Pennsylvania (and I think Nebraska, but I am not sure which is the third state) the law specifically bans the wearing of religious clothing by teachers.
    Since male Sikhs always wear Turbans, and female Sikhs must wear white if they are believers, they are excluded from employment. The issue of the white gard is so not obviously religious that some might question it being used as a reason to fire, but it was actually used as such in Oregon in the early 1980s and the action was supported by the courts.
    Oregon recently passed a law granting rights to wear religious attire to employees, but specifically exempting public school employees from such protections.
    In Pennsylvania there was a case where a Muslim teacher was fired for wearing a head sarf. In reality this makes no more sense than firing an endowed Latter-day Saint teacher because she never wears sleevless blouses. In both cases their covering of parts of their body is motivated by religious belief, but the head scarf is not a religious emblem.

  • SomeGuy
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:48 a.m.

    It is refreshing to hear an LDS authority speak clearly on this issue. Many people have lost their jobs and been threatened, harassed, and intimidated because of their religious views on the subject of same-sex marriage.
    Should same-sex marriage be legalized, anyone who opposes it will face loss of employment, fines, and incarceration. Children will be taught that it's OK in our public schools, and parents will not have the option to object.
    Thank you Elder Oaks for having the courage to speak plainly on the subject.

  • Think! Man!
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:52 a.m.

    To: Oh Come On: Can you not see? If the state sanctions gay marriage, then it becomes the "state religion," as it will squash all freedom of conscience to resist it. Resistors will be punished. The homosexual lifestyle will be the only protected lifestyle. It will be forced on everyone. You cannot sanction both traditional marriage and gay marriage under the same laws. It is impossible. You have to bury freedom of conscience, the right of association, and freedom of speech, in order to do it. Goodbye freedom.

  • silent majority
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:52 a.m.

    if you dont like the mormons talking about there religion in utah or wherever then leave. ask them to please change the subject. but dont tell us we are wrong to take offense to the anti-religion attitude out there. thanks!

  • Religion101
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:59 a.m.

    It is very interesting how those that are against religion in general are the ones that "tend" to be living in a way that a "religion" would frown upon. Very interesting is it not? Religion is the best thing that can happen to any one person or people. It is the glue that makes a society interact with each other in a healthy relationship. God is the ultimate judge and those that do not want to feel guilty for the sins that they commit cry out "there is no God, let us do whatever we want and not worry about any consequences". This is why we have so many issues in our country today. By believing in God and trying to do what God would approve of our society becomes better. It is obvious that the laws of man cannot do this for us, we have to govern ourselves and the set of laws that have worked throughout time are the 10 commandments. God is and will always be, no matter what "man" wants to believe.

  • re: xscribe
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:03 a.m.

    Sure: The Gulf war of 1991, Vietnam, Russian satelite invasions, the Korean war, WWII, WWI, the Spanish-American war, the Civil War, the War of 1812, The American Revolution, the French Revolution, etc. etc. etc.

    Bottom line- secularist groups have murdered far more people than religious groups. If we lose religion, we lose a force that is hugely responsible for human civility.

  • Flabergasted
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:05 a.m.

    Wow - great debate between the religion haters and the religion lovers. I imagine that if we could look back 200, 500, 1000 years that this would be the same debate.

    I have an idea, let's split the continent in two sections and put the pro religious people on one half and the against on the other half and build a 30 foot wall. Then in 10 years the religious people can move back into the other half since all the non-religious folks will have killed everyone off and no one will be left.

  • Freedom
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:06 a.m.

    A list of people who donated money for the passage of Prop 8, and how much they donated, was posted on the internet. My brother-in-law, and all other persons at his employment in California, Mormon or not, who donated to Prop 8, were laid off immediately after it passed. (Unfortunately they have no way to prove this in a court of law. The excuse given for the lay-offs was that the company had decided to "outsource," though the result is that the company has floundered since.)

  • TheWiz
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:08 a.m.

    John-Pack-Lambert @ 9 AM is right--when people make a stand for their beliefs and are ousted out of their jobs, then there is an attack on religious freedom.

    While the LDS members largely funded the Prop. 8 funding, it was still ultimately the vote of the people that won out. I believe that only about 2% of voters were LDS; the outcome was decided by about 5%.

    I think that the main problem with this is that same-sex marraiges will inevitably involve children and children's right to have an adoptive mother and a father as their parents, or lack thereof. This whole Prop. 8 thing boils down to being capable of having children; if you decide to become openly gay, then you should accept that you aren't planning on having--and raising--your own children. What ever happened to accepting the consequences of your decisions? I just don't think that gays can and should have it both ways. I'm fine with civil unions, but, please, keep marraige out of it.

    Anyways, this backlash against religion is unwarranted; I hear of no vandalism or violence from the Yes-on-8 side. Remember, 2% < 5%.

  • Jay
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:08 a.m.

    Sounds like a good old fashion battle over which group is entitled to the coveted status of victim.

    Hey dido-heads, it's preposterous to compare the "plight" of modern day Mormons with what blacks experienced during the civil rights era. Ironically, said rights were vehemently opposed by the LDS Church (on much the same grounds being used now against affording certain rights to gays). Come on, this argument over the definition of marriage is a pretext? What, were all suddenly linguistic advocates? It's about withholding certain rights from a growing segment of the population you just don't approve of. Extending gays the same basic rights we all enjoy does not threaten any of us.

  • Go BobP!
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:10 a.m.

    Yeah - what he said.

  • sll
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:10 a.m.

    Amazing spin, Mr. Taylor. I didn't even recognize this as the same talk being discussed in the Tribune and other places. Wow. Where's the part where Mormons are being denied civil rights like the blacks in the civil rights movement? Didn't dare include that??

  • re: oh come on
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:11 a.m.

    Couldn't the same be said of gay and lesbian couples forcing society to accept their behavior that it does not agree with. I don't recall the LDS people beating down your door to baptize you. I do recall a little while ago members of the gay and lesbian community throwing a tantrum for not getting their way. Apparently vandalizing religous property and persecuting their neighbors isn't "forcing" the issue....interesting.

  • @BobP
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:12 a.m.

    for HItler my friend? your poorly written comment is the nastiest type of rhetoric and a clear lens into the true heart of you as a person.

  • BYZoob-Idaho
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:19 a.m.

    I don't care what's right or what makes good sense. A General Authority had spoken. My thinking had been done FOR me. I'm just going to blindly follow the leadership of members of my church. They can do no wrong. My church even said so.

  • silly arguments from 9:40 am
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:19 a.m.

    so should we require all women to wear burkas since not doing so is offensive to many muslims? YOu have every right to express your opinions and would continue to be able to if prop 8 had passed. The idea that if someone refuses to live your religious tenants is a direct violation of your free speech is just absurd. I happen to find the Christian faith highly offensive so I think you are violating my free speech because you exist, its just absurd

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:23 a.m.

    To the 5:21 commentator,
    The letter from the First Presidency was ONLY read in congregations in California.
    Even when the Church contemplated organizaing people in Utah, which it did not do, it was planning to organize California citizens who were studying out of state.
    While it is true that people from others states contributed, the no on 8ers from New York outnumbered in size of donations in comparison the Yes on 8ers from New York more than any other group.
    Just because someone is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints it does not mean they have no right to act as a citizen of the state in which they live.
    Scott Eckern was clearly a California resident.

  • Good Talk
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:24 a.m.

    Thanks goes to Elder Oaks. What a great talk.

  • GET OUT when you can
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:25 a.m.

    Some of the rhetoric I’m hearing from SLC LDS leaders recently is TRULY FRIGHTENING.
    Elder Holland saying that it is proof the BoM was true or the church was true because Joseph and Hyrum gave up their life for it!!!! WHAT? First of all, they didn’t “give up” their lives, after coming back from trying to run away from answering their critics they were killed in a jail while trying to fight back. I’d fight back too, but that doesn’t mean they gave up their life. Joseph also ran away from Kirtland to avoid the angry saints he left destitute there.
    This idea that something is true because you’re willing to die for it is nonsense. That’s exactly what militant Islam is doing in their Jihad against America. And that is what is frightening here.
    We see, thru Prop 8, that SLC has all power over faithful LDS temple goers. They (the Church leaders) say “jump”, the people say “how high.” They say, “holy war”, the people say, “when”. They say, “kill yourself for your religion”, the people say, “how much do I drink.”

  • Liberty
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:25 a.m.

    The reason believers everywhere are so riled up about this gay marriage movement is because it threatens to kill the very existence of traditional marriage, freedom of conscience, free speech, freedom to teach our kids the curriculum and religion of our choice, and the right of association, among other things. Are those who are pushing this movement really BLIND to this fact? Or are they trying to snowball everyone into accepting it without understanding what it will mean? Gay marriage in America means the end of the U.S. Constitution. If you can't see that, then go find someone who can explain it to you. You can't sanction gay marriage and traditional marriage under the same laws, just like you can't sanction abortion and NO abortion at the same time; it's like trying to sanction good and evil at the same time, or like trying to sanction truth and lies at the same time. How can you do it? Oil and water don't mix. It's impossible.

  • JafarD
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:29 a.m.

    The former Soviet Union's failed experiment was a religious free (or at least religious forced underground) society. Since we were able to observed the "peacefull bliss" of that society absent (open) religion, I find it difficult to see any improvement resulting from a religious-less American society. Quite the contrary, I believe as discussed in the BOM that it is the religious and religion that keeps (the) US in a generally stable and successful venture. It is interesting how quickly citizens of the former USSR turned in relative mass to religion once the opportunity to do so returned. One would think that the masses had some collective intelligence in that decision.

  • Pagan
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:29 a.m.

    'No one should have to accept gay marriage by force.'

    Ok, this one is kind of funny.

    I ask anyone willing, to please present a case of someone being FORCED to accept gay marriage.

    You can still hate gay marriage. Heck, you would STILL have every right to NOT participate in it! You can protest, picket, write letters, burn crosses, etc.

    No one is asking you to BE gay when gay marriage passes...more.

    For those against gay marriage, I have a simple solution for you.

    Please, don't have a gay marriage if you do not support one.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:31 a.m.

    John Pack Lambert | 9:14 a.m. Oct. 14, 2009
    To the 4:12 commentator,
    "Marriage has been defined as the union of a man and a woman since long before the foundation of the United States."

    Why are all the states having to write new legislation stating that marriage is between a man and a woman? Obviously, the DEFINATION was NOT in place before the foundation of the US.

  • Don
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:31 a.m.

    I'm so grateful that God is judge and not some of the hatemongers who happen to be His children. Be very careful people of the words you use, of the judgments you make, and of the accusations you accuse others by...they will stand with you or against you at the last day. If you rail against the annointed of God, you will be held responsible.

  • You guys are funny!
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:32 a.m.

    You want to be left alone, and counsel Elder Oaks to concentrate on "his own church". I guess in pointing out that this speech was given to a Mormon audience, in a Mormon university, in a Mormon devotional meeting I am pointing to the obvious. Others have praised Elder Oaks legal mind and yet decry his ability to reason and think through an issue. Yet more have taken another opportunity to fire blanks at the LDS Church, just for the sake of trying to do it.

    Oh well, enjoy.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:32 a.m.

    Correction for Cataryna: I mean the OVERTURNING of Prop 8 would mean...

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:35 a.m.

    Oh Come On(1st post): "What many people are against, however, are members of one religion PUSHING your religion on others."

    I have served as a "full-time" missionary and several ward/stake missions. In none of those experiences did I every "push" my religion on others. I DID invite people to listen to my message. I got told NO alot. When told NO, I moved on. I suppose there are some who are pushy but most of us only invite. We don't push.

    If invitations are pushy, then I ask that all businesses who participate in phone solitations, television/radio advertising, mailings or anyother unrequested intrusion into my home and mind cease at once (including your business if you are involved in such).

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:35 a.m.

    BobP | 9:22 a.m. Oct. 14, 2009
    "I would like to remind all those who find LDS influence in Utah intrusive to them. The LDS settled the place in 1847 after being driven from several states. In 1847 Utah was part of Mexico and became part of the US two years later.

    We settled it, we developed it, we are still the majority of the population. Get used to it."

    So you will be fine when you are not the majority any longer and we pass laws to restrict your rights?




    " We will allows you to practice your faith, or lack of faith. We will NOT willingly you allow you to attack us or subvert our children."



    YOU do not allow me to practice my faith. Our US Constitution and Utah State constitution allows me my freedoms. YOU no longer own this state. Utah is a part of the United States.

    Get off your high horse, Bob and understand what it means to be a citizen.

  • joyce
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:38 a.m.

    I think Elder Oaks made his point valid after reading these comments, some of them anyway. freedom of religion endangered? Sounds like it from what I've read. Elder Oaks is a representative of the LDS Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) speaking to BYU students in a church-owned college. He's an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are not a believer, fine. If you are, why are you criticizing an Apostle of the Lord?

  • TO -- John Pack Lambert 9:47 am
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:39 a.m.

    ["The clearest violation of the principal Elder Oaks enunciated is where law forbids some religious believers from holding some jobs.
    In Oregon and Pennsylvania (and I think Nebraska, but I am not sure which is the third state) the law specifically bans the wearing of religious clothing by teachers."]

    we don't want religion of any kind in schools because the children are impressionable. How many turban-wearing muslim teachers do you have in your SLC school system? probably none - you want all the kids to be mormon.

    religion has NO place in schools. School is a place of learning, and we don't want them learning religion from you... that's understandable, right?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:43 a.m.

    To Cataryna: You don't understand. The failure of Prop 8 would mean that everyone would be forced to accept the state institution of gay marriage, even when it goes against their personal beliefs. It is those personal beliefs that are under attack. No one should have to accept gay marriage by force. Freedom of conscience is what has always been protected. It is also called freedom of religion. With the failure of Prop 8, that freedom would no longer be protected. Resistors of the gay agenda would be punished, and ONLY gays would have the right of free speech, the right of association, and the right to put forth their personal beliefs. You can't sanction both. It won't work! It's impossible!

  • to -- Lake Effect | 9:09 a.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:44 a.m.

    ["Traditional marriage is a product of ancient religion. It has always been protected by the state for obvious reasons, which are: religious freedom and continuation of the race"]

    where did you come up with that crazy notion? Mariage started out as a contract between families, and was handled by trade or monetary compensation. or it was used to join two trribes as a political meaneuver. It didn't become a religious ceremony until centuries after that...

    marriage is a social contract, not a religious ceremony.

  • Pagan
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:45 a.m.

    '...God is and will always be...'

    Oh yeah? Prove it.

    I take no issue with people believing in God. I encourage it.

    I DO take issue when people can't come up with any viable, legitimate reason against something and fall back on a belief vs. any fact.

    And there is zero fact to support gay people are bad. Inasmuch as there is zero fact to support straight people are bad too.

    And if you've ever gone through puberty, you have a sexual orientation.

    Being unable to communicate with God except for self-proclaimed prophets makes those arguments against god kind of one-sided, don't you think?

    Might as well claim Harry Potter's against gay marriage.

    Dumbledore is gay, by the way. The author, Jk Rowling, said as much.

    When coming to a reason for or against something, do me a favor.

    Think for yourself.

  • to -- wow | 9:44 a.m.
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:46 a.m.

    ["The posts on here do a great job of proving Oaks correct
    The Consitution guarantees freedom of religion (religous plurality) not freedom from religion (atheism as the defacto national religion)"]

    freedom from religion is not "atheism as the defacto national religion". Freedom from religion means no religion should be forced on anyone.

  • Sorry Bobp
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:47 a.m.

    This state is as much mine as it is yours.
    I have exactly as much right to any of it as do you.
    You get no special favors.
    You did nothing to settle this state.
    I might be a pagan, wicken, agnostic.

    Deal with it. Too bad for you.

    Mike

  • oh brother,
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:50 a.m.

    religion under attack?

    Don't they ever tire of this?

    Does it really increase tithing?

    Let it go, already.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:50 a.m.

    Think! Man! | 9:52 a.m. Oct. 14, 2009
    "To: Oh Come On: Can you not see? If the state sanctions gay marriage, then it becomes the "state religion," as it will squash all freedom of conscience to resist it. Resistors will be punished. The homosexual lifestyle will be the only protected lifestyle. It will be forced on everyone. You cannot sanction both traditional marriage and gay marriage under the same laws. It is impossible. You have to bury freedom of conscience, the right of association, and freedom of speech, in order to do it. Goodbye freedom."

    Just like it has in Massachusetts! Oh, wait. It hasn't! Both traditional marriage and gay marriage are sanctioned under the same laws! There is no great depriving of freedom. LDS members still believe that homosexuality is a sin and still attend the temple in Boston. Gays are marrying and NO ONE CARES!


    Isn't America great?


    (quit fear-mongering man, the truth speaks louder than you do.)

  • Very troublesome
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:50 a.m.

    After reading the majority of these comments, it's very clear why this society is in a free fall with the ground approaching even more rapidly than before. The LDS Church has never forced it's doctrine on people, never suggested taking freedom away from non-believers, never denied anyone's right to express their own beliefs. You are all free to be open and consider the message or reject it. Time will tell which position is really valid.

  • think about it
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:51 a.m.

    TO -- Government stay out of marriage | 9:30 a.m.

    ["I think that government should not be involved with marriage, period! Yes, government should be involved with equal rights among people, but it should not call its involvement "marriage". Marriage is a social contract between people and should not be regulated by law"]

    you stated it perfectly - marriage is a social contract. but you got all the rest wrong.

    contracts are by nature governed by law, contract law, which is defined by the gov't. So it makes perfect sense for marriage to be a gov't function.

    I think churches and religion should stay out of the marriage business. You can have all your ceremonies, but call it "sealed" or some other religious thing...

    marriage is a contract between two consenting adults, approved by the gov't... not by a church...

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:51 a.m.

    To Steven: You don't understand. If "freedom from religion" is what comes from your personal voice of conscience, so be it. You are free to adhere to that idea, and it is guaranteed by your first amendment rights. But by your statement, you are unwittingly implying that OTHERS should not be allowed their first amendment right to freedom of conscience. Gay marriage would destroy many of your first amendment rights. You would be forced to accept the new "State Religion," which would be the enforcement of gay marriage on all of society. By your comments it is YOU who are forcing others to give up freedom of religion. Asking for "legal recognition of marriage for everyone" is asking the State to force gay marriage on everyone. Resistors would be punished.

  • Pushy Mormons
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:51 a.m.

    They are not doing their image any favors being bad neighbors.

    They are not as much a religion as they are a corporate and political machine.

    They are being very Un Christian.

    They are correct when they call themselves "a peculier people". Indeed.

    May

  • re - Anonymous | 9:40 a.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:56 a.m.

    ["The passage of Prop 8 would mean that everyone would be forced to accept the state institution of gay marriage, even when it goes against their personal beliefs. It is those personal beliefs that are under attack. No one should have to accept gay marriage by force."]

    forced to accept gay marriage? in what way? would you have to marry someone of the same sex? how would ANYTHING be forced on you personally?

    marriage is a contract, approved by the gov't. If you are allowed to marry, so should anyone else. what makes you so special that you have more rights than others? (blacks used to ask whites this same question...)

  • How interesting....
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:00 a.m.

    Religious groups control a minority by donating millions of dollars to limit their rights and then when they are confronted on this they switch it around and claim they are under "attack"! Sorry people, you don't fool us anymore. If you don't like something...don't do it. If you don't like a behavior....don't participate. But please stop sticking your beliefs on others! Or else you are going to feel what it's like for them....this is called Karma and it's happening to you!

  • Pusey
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:02 a.m.

    The LDS church is welcome to let it's people worship what,where and how they may. It also must accept the fact that people with other views are going to respond. It is interesting since the death of Gordon B Hinckley, the LDS church has become much more aggressive in it's approach to social issues. Hinckley seems to have been more a peace maker than the current leaders.
    Why any gay person or friends or family of gay people would want anything to do with the LDS church is a mystery.
    To gay people I would say, move on. Let the LDS church do what it will. Fight them when they step out of the pulpit and into politics but understand you will never change their views. There is no place for the "exception" in the Mormon church.

  • Constitution 101
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:02 a.m.

    " Religion is the best thing that can happen to any one person or people. It is the glue that makes a society interact with each other in a healthy relationship...It is obvious that the laws of man cannot do this for us, we have to govern ourselves and the set of laws that have worked throughout time are the 10 commandments."

    You want our laws to reflect the 10 commandments? Do you really want our country to become a theocracy? Why are you against our constitution? Why would you want to put only some peoples beliefs as laws?

    I do not understand. What is the matter with freedom to choose?

  • does this fit your plan?
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:04 a.m.

    what if gays make their own religion. and want to marry. wouldn't that fall under freedom of religion? wouldn't the state (or the majority) telling them they couldn't marry be a type of violation of the 1st amendment?

    and to "Religion101 | 9:59 a.m"

    a person does not need to believe in God to be a good person.

    ["Religion is the best thing that can happen to any one person or people. It is the glue that makes a society interact with each other in a healthy relationship"]

    Religion was created to use fear (of the future or afterlife) to get people to comply with social rules. Some good (10 commandments), some bad (old testament child sacrifice, etc), some just down-right stupid (no meat on fridays, no shellfish, no polyblend). Religion had it's place when there was little or no rule of law. Now we have rule of law and no need for religion.

    that does NOT mean we have no need of God. That means simply we have no need of religion as a force of social control....

  • separate but not equal
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:06 a.m.

    so as a restaurant owner should I be allowed to not serve anyone I perceive to be gay? As a store owner should I be allowed to not let a gay person shop in my store? As a theater owner is it alright for me to force gays to enter through the back door and only sit in the balcony? As a tax payer is it alright for me to force the city to install a separate water fountain for gay people so my tax dollars do not go towards sustaining their lifestyle? How can we make sure I do not accidentally serve a gay person? Perhaps we can force them to wear pink triangles so we do not accidently mix with them. Before you just dismiss this is crazy explain to me why and where we draw the line who decides and explain how it is different then what you propose

  • TO -- Think! Man! | 9:52 a.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:07 a.m.

    ["Can you not see? If the state sanctions gay marriage, then it becomes the "state religion," as it will squash all freedom of conscience to resist it. Resistors will be punished. The homosexual lifestyle will be the only protected lifestyle. It will be forced on everyone. You cannot sanction both traditional marriage and gay marriage under the same laws. It is impossible. You have to bury freedom of conscience, the right of association, and freedom of speech, in order to do it. Goodbye freedom"]

    wow. now that's about the craziest disertation I've seen yet. not one thing you spoke is true. Marriage is marriage - doesn't matter who is getting married. no freedoms need change.

    gay marriage would become the state religion? what planet are you on? I'd laugh, but you're actually kind of scary thinking so bizarrely...

  • re - Anonymous | 9:40 a.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:09 a.m.

    ["You don't understand. The passage of Prop 8 would mean that everyone would be forced to accept the state institution of gay marriage, even when it goes against their personal beliefs. It is those personal beliefs that are under attack. No one should have to accept gay marriage by force"]

    you would only have to accept gay marriage if you wanted to marry someone of the same sex. if you want to marry someone of the opposite sex, then you must accept hetero marriage.

    you don't have to marry a gay person if you don't want to... you do understand that, right?

  • To the Wiz
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:10 a.m.

    "I think that the main problem with this is that same-sex marraiges will inevitably involve children and children's right to have an adoptive mother and a father as their parents, or lack thereof. This whole Prop. 8 thing boils down to being capable of having children; if you decide to become openly gay, then you should accept that you aren't planning on having--and raising--your own children."

    Gay marriage has absolutely NOTHING to do with gays raising children. Prop 8 was purely about gays continuing to marry in CA.

    It is illegal for a public adoption agency in CA to discriminate against gays. Did you know that? Gays will have children (ivf, surrogates) and adopt children whether or not they are married. Right now, it is estimated that 90 million children are being raised by gays!



    All your blocking gay marriage does is not allow these children to be raised in the security of having their parents married. So much for caring about the children!

  • re - Religion101 | 9:59 a.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:11 a.m.

    ["It is obvious that the laws of man cannot do this for us, we have to govern ourselves and the set of laws that have worked throughout time are the 10 commandments."]

    the ten commandments don't say anything about gay marriage. most gays follow the ten commandments.. so why are you against gay marriage??

  • TO -- re: xscribe | 10:03 a.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:14 a.m.

    ["Bottom line- secularist groups have murdered far more people than religious groups. If we lose religion, we lose a force that is hugely responsible for human civility"]

    no one wants religion to go away. in fact, most gays are religious people. but when your VERSION of religion prevents a group of people from enjoying the same rights you have, then clearer minds must step in. and expect the courts to do just that...

  • @Freedom
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:15 a.m.

    Donor's names are a matter of public record.

    Was the business located in the Bay area? Probably the owner feared backlash against the business?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:17 a.m.

    ["I have an idea, let's split the continent in two sections and put the pro religious people on one half and the against on the other half and build a 30 foot wall. Then in 10 years the religious people can move back into the other half since all the non-religious folks will have killed everyone off and no one will be left"]

    you give religion way too much credit. and in fact, based on history, I'd say the non-religious side would have more murder and mayhem, but the religious side would have had more war... so I'd wager the non-religious side would have more people standing in 10 years.. (although I'll admit those mormons can pump out some kids and replenish the religion population pretty quickly...)

  • Question to the believers
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:19 a.m.

    After reading the article, and hopefully you found and read the entire speech, did you study it out in your mind first and seek confirmation of the truth of the words, or did you, instead, choose to blindly follow the words and post your words of support on here?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:19 a.m.

    Please everyone. Understand that criticism of what you say and do is not limiting your freedom to believe and act and speak any way you want.

    You took on gay marriage. You have been criticized for it. Stand up for your beliefs but don't act the martyr for the criticism. Just know that not everyone agrees and some, because they feel that they are being treated as second class citizens, will disagree profusely.

    The persecution complex is getting old.

  • re - Freedom | 10:06 a.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:19 a.m.

    ["A list of people who donated money for the passage of Prop 8, and how much they donated, was posted on the internet. My brother-in-law, and all other persons at his employment in California, Mormon or not, who donated to Prop 8, were laid off immediately after it passed"]

    sounds more like your brother-in-law likes to se conspiracy where there is none. lots of stories like that - very very few of them true.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:21 a.m.

    Another interesting thing about this is that part of it is caused by the hatred of religious people themselves. I am a minrotiy and a Mormon minority, I've recieved far more hatred for being a follower of Jesus Christ as a Mormon in Utah than I ever have for my skin and hair. It's sad to see that even those calling themselves Christian are truly full of hatred, sometimes even more than the atheists. In all the many thousands of LDS that I personally know, have gone to Church with etc, I have only ONCE heard anything bad said about another religion, and this was from a convert commenting on a former Church. On the other hand, in all the other many Churches I have visited I only remember one that didn't teach hatred against LDS. And in all the public institutions, from Grade School up to the U there was this anti-religious undertone, even though religion is what has made this country great, religion offered to others, but by principle, never forced on anyone, because it can't be. Religion is a matter of the heart, while atheism can simply remove all information.

  • Seen but not heard
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:26 a.m.

    After being here for 50 years, after leaving my home state of Calif, I can see both sides of this issue.
    However, I have witnessed plenty of non-LDS people being fired(Utah has made it so people can be fired "Just Because").
    These professional individuals were let go because the LDS owners and management felt that they did not measure up to "LDS Standards". They, however, were highly trained, good at their job and good people.
    Sometimes I think it would be best if the LDS conducted their religion like their brothers and sisters of the FLDS Church, quietly and in the shadows.

  • Response to below mssg
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:28 a.m.

    TO -- John Pack Lambert 9:47 am | 10:39 a.m. Oct. 14, 2009
    ["The clearest violation of the principal Elder Oaks enunciated is where law forbids some religious believers from holding some jobs.
    In Oregon and Pennsylvania (and I think Nebraska, but I am not sure which is the third state) the law specifically bans the wearing of religious clothing by teachers."]

    If you believe that religion has NO place in schools, should teachers and other school employees be allowed to take religious holidays off? Would that not be impressionable upon the students?

  • re - TheWiz | 10:08 a.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:28 a.m.

    ["I just don't think that gays can and should have it both ways. I'm fine with civil unions, but, please, keep marraige out of it."]

    ??? Marriage IS a civil union. you can't get married without state (civil) approval. it is NOT a religious ceremony. so why does religion insist on getting involved? because they find it morally wrong. but being gay is legal - and so therefore gay marriage (civil union, whatever) should be legal.

    ["I think that the main problem with this is that same-sex marraiges will inevitably involve children and children's right to have an adoptive mother and a father as their parents, or lack thereof."]

    children have no such right. and a child just wants someone to take care of them and love them and protect them as they grow up. Anyone can do that. why do you insist on turning the raising of children into a issue? are you afraid they will become gay?

    kids want parents. they don't care if they are of opposite or same sex. the issue is the other kids teasing them - and that is strictly the fault of the bigoted upbringing (by religious parents).

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:29 a.m.

    Those who claim there is no discrimination against religion are woefully unifirmed.
    One case in point is the attempt to turn a former Catholic convent into a Synagogue. People came out in droves to oppose this saying things like "I don't want to live by a synagogue". Yet they were willing to live by a convent. Even worse, when it was going to be sold to an Eastern Orthodox Church these people did not protest, it was only when it was going to be turned into a Jewish religious site they protested and fought it, got the town council to oppose it, and then it went to court.
    before the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act was passed there were many communities across the nation that had banned the building of any new religious buildings in their borders. Since then, the balance has come back onto the side of religion, but it still is often a long and drawn out battle to build buildings, at times marked by governments rezoning land after a religious group buys it with the intent to build on it.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:31 a.m.

    to -- re: oh come on | 10:11 a.m

    ["Couldn't the same be said of gay and lesbian couples forcing society to accept their behavior that it does not agree with."]

    what are you being forced to accept? who is making you get married to a gay person?

    we want to know - we will certainly stand up for your right to not have to get married to a gay person...

  • kenny
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:32 a.m.

    Marriage between man and woman is a surpreme doctrine of the LDS church.When society drifts away from this standard of marriage as we seem to have done, then people like Elder Oaks will rise up and defend the traditional marriage.You can choose to follow Elder Oaks or not.I think if the Lord came down today to govern, He would say to all people "continue to make your personal choices concerning what marriage is or is not as mans agency to choose for themselves will never be denied."There is not a good Latter Day Saint today who could,can or should try to force their beliefs on ANYONE.If they do then they are denying the choice they made in the pre-existence. It was the Lords plan to allow man his choice. It was Satans plan to force all men to heaven and take the glory upon himself.Latter Day Saints are only sharing what they know to be true, NOT demanding that you comply.

  • Tucsongramma
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:37 a.m.

    Kudos to the person who has to read all these comments before allowing them to be posted. It must try your patience. Keep up the good work.

  • Rob
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:39 a.m.

    I agree with the churches stand whole hardley and the church would not be doing its job if it stands back and does not voice its opinion and to guide the members in the right way.

  • U can vote unless U believe.....
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:41 a.m.

    RE:Anonymous | 10:35 a.m.

    "So you will be fine when you are not the majority any longer and we pass laws to restrict your rights?"

    I would hope the Mormons would be able to recognize that if they aren't in the majority any longer then the majority still has the right to make laws which aren't prohibitive or in nature or deny due process or equal protection under the law.

    Give some examples of the hypothetical laws that you are proposing.

    "We will allows you to practice your faith, or lack of faith. We will NOT willingly you allow you to attack us or subvert our children."

    I am sure they are grateful that YOU WILL ALLOW THEM TO DO WHAT YOU ARE OKAY WITH THEM DOING BUT EVERYTHING THAT YOU FORBID THEM TO DO is somehow different.

    "YOU do not allow me to practice my faith. Our US Constitution and Utah State constitution allows me my freedoms. YOU no longer own this state. Utah is a part of the United States."

    You mean like the freedom to allow the majority to think it makes the law unless the real rulers veto it.

  • TO -- Liberty | 10:25 a.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:43 a.m.

    ["The reason believers everywhere are so riled up about this gay marriage movement is because it threatens to kill the very existence of traditional marriage, freedom of conscience, free speech, freedom to teach our kids the curriculum and religion of our choice, and the right of association, among other things"]

    agreed. that is what they THINK. but they are wrong. it doesn't do any of those things. if they were forced to get married to a gay person, then they would be correct, but no one is trying to force anyone to get married to a gay person.

    and you will still be free to teach your children that gays are of the devil - but schools won't because being gay is legal. you will still be free to speak out that gays are of the devil - no one is stopping the KKK from saying things about blacks - it's no different - so free speech remains intact... no one controls your conscience except you so no danger there... no one is forcing you to associate with gays, they know you don't like them...

    so exactly how are your rights being diminished?

  • Cosmo
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:43 a.m.

    The gentleman is spot on historically, legally, and theologically. Wail all you wish, it changes nothing.

  • Free to marry whomever I want
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:43 a.m.

    If we do away with the definition of marriage or change it to go along with a minorities belief of what it should be then we open up pandoras box. Well if a man can marry a man and a woman a woman because it is what they belive in, then any belief could be upheld. If I belive that i should be able to marry a man and a woman or 3 men or 3 women or a sheep or a goat then I should be allowed to do it and if you don't let me then you are a biggot and a hate monger. You have you civil unions- leave marriage alone!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:43 a.m.

    "The failure of Prop 8 would mean that everyone would be forced to accept the state institution of gay marriage, even when it goes against their personal beliefs. It is those personal beliefs that are under attack. No one should have to accept gay marriage by force."

    That is like saying that everyone is forced to accept drinking because the state has made it legal!

    Do you mean to tell me that all the saints in Ma are not allowed to believe that homosexuality is a sin?

    Your personal beliefs are secure. You can believe what you want. You just want to enforce your beliefs on others, right?

  • Ute in Philadelphia
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:44 a.m.

    I'm a Pennsylvanian. I don't know anything about any legislation forbidding the adornment of religious apparel by teachers in our public schools. But then again, I'm not an educator.

    Can religious folks still wear their "Quest for Perfection" T-shirts?

    (*snicker*)

  • Pagan
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:45 a.m.

    'My brother-in-law, and all other persons at his employment in California, Mormon or not, who donated to Prop 8, were laid off immediately after it passed.'

    That is unfortunate, however, I bet all of them can (and still can) marry.

    Also, if we want to get into discrimination, let's talk Don't Ask, Don't Tell. 13k troops, gone. Average, 2 per day, discharged, fired for orientation. Not job performance.

    Let's talk David Bell, who was beaten due to the IDEA he took children. Not because he was found Not Guilty of any crime. His partner needed 3 surgeries to fix his right eye socket.

    Don't want to be the bad guy? Don't donate millions on a civil rights issue. Oh, and it is one. Don't be tax excempt AND a political issue.

    Don't want to be viewed as the bad guy? Don't be one.

  • RE:TO -- Think! Man! | 9:52 a.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:46 a.m.

    "gay marriage would become the state religion? what planet are you on? I'd laugh, but you're actually kind of scary thinking so bizarrely..."

    While he isn't being very articulate in what he is saying it doesn't change the fact that every single religion or individual who wishes to marry would be forced to agree that its not a sin or wrong to take part in an institution that promotes what they deem a sin.

    It would essentially force those who disagree with gay marriage to choose between their marriage and being part of something that promotes what they believe is wrong. This creates an orthodoxy in which all religions are free to participate in the institution of marriage if they agree with what it does but which would deny those who feel that it is a sin to take part in ANYTHING that promotes a sin including marriage.

    So 100% of the people who would marry would share this orthodox view of marriage:

    a) it is not a sin and gays should marry; or
    b) it is not a sin to be party to promoting sin.

    By the way I am an atheist.

  • kenny
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:48 a.m.

    Elder Oaks has a calling as an apostle of the Lord to declare his witness to ALL mankind.You can choose to accept him as an apostle and follow his teachings or choose to believe he is not and go your own way.If you choose not to follow Elder Oaks then YOU declare to YOUR world what YOU believe is correct and forget about what the mormons teach as the truth.

  • TO - Anonymous | 10:43 a.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:48 a.m.

    ["You don't understand. The failure of Prop 8 would mean that everyone would be forced to accept the state institution of gay marriage, even when it goes against their personal beliefs. It is those personal beliefs that are under attack."]

    sounds just like what you all said about interracial marriages. do you know how many whites used that same argument to make blacks sit at the back of the bus and use separate restrooms? or weren't allowed to eat in many restaraunts?

    do you even realize how you sound?

  • VBfriend
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:50 a.m.

    Actions do have consequences. If you lead an attack on a group of people using propaganda and outright lies, don't expect to escape unscathed. You have persecuted your own people for years with everything from telling them they are sick to trying to cure them. Then you work with your enemies to persecute a small part of the population. Making sure that the sinners don't have a chance to make their relationships legal.

    I am still a member of the church, but am very disturbed that the church still does not live up to its promises (That said they will not oppose domestic partnerships/ civil unions). They are now involved in Washington State in trying to kill a bill to allow domestic partnerships. Please stop claiming to be the persucuted, when you lead the forces to persecute others.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:53 a.m.


    Does this fit the plan?
    If polygamists had their own religion would they be allowed to marry? No. Fundamentalist Mormon marriages have already been banned, as were Mormon marriages. We don't take away anyone's right to anything, we only vote and encourage others to uphold the laws of the land that are already in place. Our rights have been taken, our property taken, our prophets murdered, just as they were in Jesus' day. It is not just the atheists who are taking away freedoms of religion, but religious people, socialists, activists, the ACLU, etc.

  • heathjh
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:55 a.m.

    If you want to know what traditional marriage is then I suggest you look up this article from the seattle pi. It is called- 'traditional' marriage has changed a lot.

    "..through most of human history and in most cultures the most widely accepted tradition of marriage has been polygamy -- one man and multiple women."

    "In some societies, traditional marriage meant one woman wedded to several men. In others, a woman could take another woman as a "female husband." "

    "Most traditional marriages were concerned with property and wealth, not love or ...."

    "Most of the "traditions" we associate with marriage are in fact comparatively new. "


    So saying that traditional marriage is between one man and one woman isn't necessarily so.

    Where did Adam and Eve's offspring come from? Afterall they only had 2 sons. What about all the other stories in the bible about marriage?

    I don't think I would want to go back to what used to be tradition. Norms and what is socially acceptable is constantly changing. And it is obviously not clear what God has meant by acceptable marriage.

  • re - Anonymous | 10:51 a.m.
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:56 a.m.

    ["Gay marriage would destroy many of your first amendment rights. You would be forced to accept the new "State Religion," which would be the enforcement of gay marriage on all of society."]

    wow. that's about the craziest thing I've read on here. forced to accept new state religion - gay marriage? since when does a social contract between two people become a state religion? and how does that force anything on all of society?

    if you don't want to marry a gay person, then don't. who is forcing you to? tell us, we'll make sure that you don't have to get married to a gay person. I promise!

  • Marriage isn't a 2party contract
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:58 a.m.

    RE:think about it

    "marriage is a contract between two consenting adults, approved by the gov't... not by a church..."

    Marriage is not a two-way contract. That is a false premise! Instead it is a three-way contract. The two people who are choosing to get married agree to do X, Y, and Z for each other and A, B and C for the state while the state agrees to do D, E and F for the two people and G, H, and I for any children born into the family.

    This means the majority is agreeing to do certain things and therefore has the right to decide the terms of the contract. People are free to choose to enter that contract or not on those terms but they don't have the right to change those terms unless they are in the majority.

    The appropriateness of gay marriage is not at issue since that is left up to the voters to decide and I hope they do choose to grant gay marriage but if the majority does make that choice they will be violating the First Amendment rights of people who believe gay marriage is sinful.

  • kenny
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:59 a.m.

    In the past 50 years I have never been asked to force mormonism onto anyone. It has always been to live it,teach by example and share it with those who are willing to listen.As a missionary for the church that is what we did.

    Man is free to make correct decissions and free to make wrong ones as well.

    You decide which one YOU will do.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:59 a.m.

    to the 8:09 ommentator,
    So participating in a political discourse makes you liable to have buildings vandalized and justifies people at rallies calling for the "bombing of Mormon Temples in California"?

  • If you want to know what it is..
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:00 p.m.

    like to be persecuted religiously just join the LDS church then leave the church you may be surprised at all of the persecution you will receive from its own members that preach to not persecute.

    Not only is important to be able to practice freedom of religion but it is important to be able to practice freedom FROM religion. Most importantly we need to look at Humanity's freedom.

  • Lynn
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:00 p.m.

    Wow, this is 2 Nephi chapter 28. People today have fallen hook line and sinker into Satan's trap! Read it for your self!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:00 p.m.

    Wow, more than 340 comments. If that doesn't prove the the speaker's point, I don't what does.

  • Bandersen
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:04 p.m.

    All those who profess that Christianity is not the basis of laws governing human behavior are seriously lacking in understanding and thought. I defy any athiest or agnostic to define honesty, kindness, virtue, etc. without Christian principles. It's the light of Christ that defines good and bad, right and wrong,etc., not an army of struggling, confused, and dissolutioned individuals bent on redefining those eternal vereties.

  • Please use some common sense
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:04 p.m.

    RE:re - Anonymous | 9:40 a.m

    "you would only have to accept gay marriage if you wanted to marry someone of the same sex. if you want to marry someone of the opposite sex, then you must accept hetero marriage."

    You are building a straw man argument. His point is clear: "that if gay marriage exists then the choice to enter an institution that promotes or recognizes gay marriage is to also recognize and promote gay marriage therefore those who do so will agree with gay marriage or at minimum believe that it is not a sin to take part in something that promotes a sin."

    "you don't have to marry a gay person if you don't want to... you do understand that, right?"

    But if he chooses to marry then he has to agree with you that it is not sinful to be part of something that promotes what he considers a sin therefore his religious beliefs must conform to a certain boundary which would be established by law. The state is a party to every marriage. Would you have him have a priest who marries gays marry him or a state who does so?

  • Just Today
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:05 p.m.

    A 62 year old gay man died in London after being beaten, a gay man in New York is comatose from a beating, and there are countless more assaults against gays that never make headlines. These are real crimes against people chosen simply because they are gay. Remind me again, just how many Mormons died or were beaten within an inch of their lives for their religious beliefs today?

    For all of his education and legal experience, Dallin Oaks doesn't understand why gay people feel marginalized by his rhetoric, or incensed at the LDS Church for targeting gay people and their relationships for eradication? And he plays the victim card? Wow!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:07 p.m.

    There are no coincidences.
    I believe Harry Reid and the LDS elders KNOW massive amounts of donations to National Organization of Marriage and against Maine and WA state ballot initiatives is about to be publicly revealed.
    When has Reid ever publicly told LDS what they shouldn't be doing?
    The absurd analogy of elder Oaks to Black Civil Rights oppression, which they know will adamantly anger EVERY Black Civil Rights leader...isn't an accident.
    Utah residents Mormon and non Mormon should realize the backlash after prop 8 (after the fact), will seem minor if LDS again is secretly funneling money into additional states Human Rights issues.
    LGBTs and our straight allies SEE everything you do, we knew within days of emails sent to Illinois.
    You've had fair warning the BOYCOTTS of every Utah product and tourism including Sundance is going to be repeated...but HARSHER.

  • Jim
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:12 p.m.

    The church once received persecution for practicing strange marital behaviors such as Polygamy and Polyandry and even persecution for restraint on Black persons. They know what it is like to be persecuted for being different. So why are they persecuting others today that practice differently (i.e gays). Polygamy could be just a strange and unholy in much of humanity's eyes as being gay. I believe it is wrong to persecute against the polygamists just as it is wrong to persecute against gays.

  • It's not sinful to promote sin?
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:13 p.m.

    RE:TO -- re: xscribe | 10:03 a.m

    "no one wants religion to go away. in fact, most gays are religious people. but when your VERSION of religion prevents a group of people from enjoying the same rights you have, then clearer minds must step in. and expect the courts to do just that.."

    What you want to do is impose your religious terms on others. Replace the word "state" with a Priest and then say "you will still have a right to have a priest who also performs gay marriages marry you if you choose but you won't be forced to marry a gay person."

    Under your orthodox view gays, those who believe homosexuality isn't sinful or those who don't consider it a sin to be be part of something that promotes or recognizes a sin would be able to get married but those who don't fall into one of those three categories would be denied marriage unless they conform their religious beliefs to the new religious orthodoxy of the state.

    It is your view of religion which would be imposed by you and the courts and only those who agree will get married.

  • Sneaky Jimmy
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:14 p.m.

    to the wiz,

    Although your sentiments are honorable I don't think one third of the population are children being raised by "Gays".

  • lol
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:17 p.m.

    re: Seen but not heard | 11:26 a.m.
    You have seen people being fired because they were not LDS - interesting; because I have seen the exact opposite

    I am not LDS

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:18 p.m.

    To the 10:03 commentator,
    We could add the French and Indian War, the Franco-Prussian War, the Crimean War, the colonial conquests of Africa and Asia, the Boer War, the Boxer Rebellion and keep going.
    Although Christians were slaughtered ruthlessly in the Boxer Rebellion, even Chinese Christians, it was about Chinese versus Western culture, it was not religious.
    The 100 years war has been erroneously described as brought by religion. Both sides were Catholic. It was no more a religious war than the struggle between the French Catholic Bourbons and the Austrian Catholic Haspburgs for the control of Spain. Do you think the war of the Triple alliance where Catholic Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil went and beat up on Catholic Paraguay was in any way religious?
    Darfur is a conflict involving Muslims slaughtering Muslims with no religious differences. The Arab revolt against the Ottomon Turks during World War I involved Sunni Muslims killing Sunni Muslims.
    Israel was founded by secularist Jews who had rejected the need to wait for the Messiah to redeem Israel. The Palestinians were at least 20% Christian, and initially the most vocal opponants of Israel were Chritians.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:21 p.m.

    To Jay at 10:28,
    You are WRONG. The First Presidency issued a statement in 1963 in SUPPORT of the Civil Rights Act.

  • joyce
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:22 p.m.

    To Pagan: read articles like a father being arrested for protesting the way his child was being taught in school about his religious beliefs; a child who had a pencil with the word "Jesus" on it was put on suspension. A lone cross in a remote part of the Mojave is covered up. Separation of church and state is not in the constitution. Can't teach creationism in school. It's not about just be able to attend church. it's about government dictating how we believe. Gays who think we should be tolerant aren't tolerant of us. Who is tolerant to who?

  • MetricWrench
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:23 p.m.

    The vitriol coming from those oppossed to this man's words is not surprising. Where is the understanding? I understand that majority rules, what else is there to understand?

  • Like it or don't get married?
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:24 p.m.

    RE:to -- wow | 9:44 a.m.

    "freedom from religion is not "atheism as the defacto national religion". Freedom from religion means no religion should be forced on anyone."

    But you want to force your religious beliefs onto others and establish an orthodoxy that only those who agree with your view would able to marry since they would have to change their religious beliefs to conform to the minimum requirements outlined by the state.

    Current law allows homosexuals and heterosexuals; those who believe homosexuality is a sin and those who don't; those who believe it is a sin to take part in anything that promotes or recognizes sin and those who don't the same opportunity to marry but changes in the law to allow gay marriage would essentially require an orthodox view which requires at minimum that your religious beliefs must allow you to have an institution that conducts gay marriages authorize your marriage otherwise you can't marry.

    Would you expect a person to get married in a church whose priests conducts gay marriages?

    Why or why not?

    Now ask "would you expect a person to get married by a government that conducts gay marriages?"

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:26 p.m.

    to the 10:40 commentator,
    Let us focus first on headscarves. You obviously know no Msulims if you think most wear burkhas.
    If the Muslims could get enough people to pass laws requiring women to have their hair covered in public, than it would be acceptable.
    They have a right to seek such laws. If they can get enough support to have them passed, more power to them.
    Of course, the analogy to marriage is quite stupid. Homosexual actions are legal, there is no law against men and men or women and women having sex with eachother. The question is are we going to continue to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman or will we switch to genderless marriage.
    So the head scarf issue involves requiring an action, while the marriage issue involves the proactive government endorsement of a relationship.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:26 p.m.

    I applaud Elder Oaks for his courage and conviction to defend the attacks on religion. These attack have existed through out history. a little over 2000 years ago the attacks lead to death of the center piece of many religions today. Even with the threats and the violence committed against him he held to truths that are unchangable, but which the world keeps trying to change.

  • Well done Oaks!
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:26 p.m.

    I totally agree! Oaks has so eloquently stated what many of us have been witnessing!

    If the gays/lesbians really only wanted to have insurance and death benefits they would be the FIRST to stand up and say, "We want to be recognized as a union. We do NOT want our lifestyle and choices to be taught and/or forced on you or your children, be it in schools or courts of law during lawsuits." Instead they reject any suggested titles and insist they be given the "same" rights. Funny, in all my years in school never once was I taught specifically about a husband/wife relationship. Yet, they want the "same" rights.

    When most people are turned down by a pastor, bishop etc. to marry them, they simply find someone else to do it. Not gays/lesbians. They sue.

    Don't be fooled! They are attempting to take the same approach as in other states i.e. legal union then lawsuits, forced education etc. Now those states will never get the law reversed!

    You've got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything!

  • Joe
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:28 p.m.

    All these posts are wonderful testimony that he is saying the truth. So many people hate me just because I’m LDS. Because the FLDS are religious no one cares that prop 8 took their “right” to marry. But gays can break the law and hate all day long. Communists can force atheism on their people and murder tens of millions in the name of liberalism and no one takes note, but if a religious person does it you never hear the end. The ACLU has filed lawsuits to prevent LDS from free speech, political activism, etc, apparently simply because we are a religious group, but you can say anything and almost do anything you want to LDS, on our property, vandalize, threaten, shoot out windows, terrorize with imitation anthrax, etc, and it is argued that we deserve it, that it’s just a protest, free speech, etc. They restricted reading of pioneer journals with religious content on the Mormon trail but you can scream all sorts of hateful religious things to Mormons who are simply trying to go to conference on their own property because this is free hate speech AGAINST religion. The sad list goes on.

  • To: Seen but not heard
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:28 p.m.

    Run and hide, but I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:29 p.m.

    Some say things like that Elder Oaks comparison of boycotts to stop donations to boycotts to stop voting is unacceptable, or that his comparison of firing people for donating to firing people for voting is off base.
    THIS IS FALSE, and I think it should be obvious. He did not say it was the same, but similar. What else do you call vandalizing buildings, boycotting people out of jobs and parking hate vans in front of homes than violence and intimidation.
    If you believe the theories behind hate crimes laws, than these were egregious hate crimes, and more so than most because they had the clear intent of scaring people out of participation in the political process.

  • wow
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:29 p.m.

    re: to -- wow | 9:44 a.m. | 10:46 a.m. Oct. 14, 2009
    "freedom from religion is not "atheism as the defacto national religion". Freedom from religion means no religion should be forced on anyone."

    Nice try - but that is not how secular fundamentalists work.
    I agree that no religion should be forced onto anyone (thatis pluralism) - but I also argue that no non-religous ideology should be forced on anyone. Attmepts to silence religous speech in the public realm are a threat to both freedom of speech and religous freedom/pluralism and defacto establish atheism /non religion as the national ideology.
    Religous people have the right to freedom of speech too (radical concept for the freedom from religion crowd)
    Atheist ideologues (Marx, Stalin, Mao) have an even worse track record than relgious people in terms of violent regimes. So secular fundamentalists have no moral high ground to be silencing religous people.

    BTW The constitution guarantees religous freedom - not freedom from religion - the fact that there are so many people who cannot tell the difference is what is truly frightening.

  • Anna
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:32 p.m.

    Only Ron Paul has the fair and constitutional answer to this problem Elder Oaks brings up. While I sympathize completely with Elder Oaks (and Elder Russell) on this important moral issue, I do not agree with giving government the power to define marriage. It is a double edged sword that will hurt everyone in the end. Marriage was here before our country was and was defined and authorized by religion. It was a completely religious institution. It should stay that way.
    AS far as defining marriage goes, that is up to the religion, not government. PLEASE see what Dr. Ron Paul says on this. It will stop all this crazy contention.

  • Stay The Course
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:32 p.m.

    Elder Oaks speaks the truth:

    Religious expression and freedom of speech, and particularly as it pertains to the exercise of Christianity, IS under attack here in the U.S. and throughout the world, with the pro-homosexual and far-left/liberal crowds leading the assult here in America.

    It is so clear you have to close your eyes not to see it.

    May God bless those of all religious denominations who still love and resepct Him.

    Dan Maloy
    Enid, OK

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:33 p.m.

    I think the founding Fathers of America, who were very christian would roll over in thier graves watching what America is turning into. Maybe this group should sue thier ancestors because they prayed while writing the declaration of independance and intermingled christianity or the cause of Christ with everything. This nation was founded upon Jesus Christ. It is shameful.

    Patrick Henry a ratifier of the Constitution said: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here." (The Trumpet Voice of Freedom: Patrick Henry of Virginia, p. iii. )

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:34 p.m.

    To the 10:31 commentator,
    No, you do not understand the laws.
    There have been clear laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
    The new laws come about for two reasons. The first is to avoid having to recognize same-gender marriages contracted in other localities. The other is to make the law part of the constitution so that it is harder for courts to overturn it and they have less options. A third reason that played out in states like California in Prop 22, but has been absent in most other states, is to prevent the legislature from doing what the people do not want.
    This is partly a result of California's egregiously large state senate distrcts. The districts are so large that it takes huge amounts of money to run, and corporate interests instead of the people of the district are served. California should follow the example of NEw Hampshire and have a lower house with over 400 members, and maybe 200 in its state senate. Then the people would have a voice.

  • to Seen but not heard
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:36 p.m.

    I understand how you feel. As a mormon working for a non LDS CEO, I had seen very well trained lds people applying for jobs but being discriminated because they graduated with honors at... BYU. I've also seen many lds workers fired just because. And I live and work in Utah. Discrimination is a huge issue in this country: non-lds vs lds, blacks vs whites, straight vs gays, men vs women. It's like people can't really learn how to handle differences.

    On top of that, I am just afraid for America. This is a blessed land as long as we don't forget God. And I am afraif, we are forgetting him. For how long we will enjoy our good luck and freedom?

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:38 p.m.

    Things are bad in Massachusetts. Parents are currently suing to have the right to exclude thier children from pro-gay indoctrination in kindergarten, and the ACLU is arguing that they should have no such right.
    Bringing up issues of sex-change to eight year olds is a procedder in some schools, and complaining about it gets the parent a cold shoulder.
    Catholic Social Services had to end their involvement in adoption and many magistrates have been fired for refusing to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples even though there were others at the offices who could have done so.
    There is no respect being shown for the rights to practice their religion of government employees.

  • lines
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:40 p.m.

    So, let's assume that religious individuals should not have to act contrary to their religious beliefs in their employment - Christians employed in fertility clinics don't have to assist same-sex couples, Christian photographers don't have to take pictures of gay weddings, etc., etc., etc.

    Does that mean that, as an employer in one of those situations, I can choose not to hire the Christian?

    If you are Christian, and as a Christian will not do all the requirements of your job, can I refuse to hire you or is that religious discrimination?

  • Seeker of Truth
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:41 p.m.

    is there a God? If so, there must be a "truth" regarding him. Is God white? Black? Female? Does he care about you? Does he love you, and want to help you back to live with him again?

    If there is a God, there is a "truth", and if there is a truth, there must be some way for him to communicate it to us.

    So how does he do that? And how can you know the truth?

    Certainly not by listening to other "people". How can any other human being tell me any truth about God? Only He can tell me. And if he really is there, and he really does care, then doesn't it make sense that he would create a way to tell me the truth, when I finally am ready to come to him and ask?

    All of us are like little children, bickering and arguing about something that could be easily cleared up if we just went to our parent and asked, and then trusted in the answer.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:41 p.m.

    The LDS church isn't forcing anyone to believe, listen to or join thier church. They believe strongly in helping others see things they might not have known entirely before. They believe in free agency and in the ability to use it for your betterment or for worse. I can't believe so many people think they can't say no to the LDS church. If you are that guilt stricken, then maybe you should listen to that little voice that is saying that there may be truth there.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:43 p.m.

    I have taught in several school districts, such as Redford Union, Mt. Clemens, Chippewa Valley, L'Anse Cruse and Fitzgerald. I have never taught in Salt Lake City schools so I have no connection with them.
    Muslims DO NOT wear turbans as a religious symbol. They wear turbans to protect their head in the desert or because of cultural norms. So you could not fire a Muslim for wearing a turban.
    As I said, Sikh men do wear turbans as a religious symbol.
    If you do not want the teaching of religion in school you have a right to say so, but what right have you to exclude religious people from being teachers. That is discrimination against them based on their religion, and an obvious violation of the first admendment. If you want a proactively humanistic atheist school, set up a private school on that model. The public schools must grant people equal chance of employment without consideration of religion.

  • wow
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:43 p.m.

    re: xscribe | 8:55 a.m. Oct. 14, 2009
    "Freedom of religion is a joke. If it hasn't already been said, what we need is freedom from religion."

    re: I agree with many of the | 9:13 a.m. Oct. 14, 2009
    "comments on this board, such as freedon from religion."

    You people scare me
    The consitution guarantees freedom of religion (pluralism) not silencing religion (freedom from religion). Religous people have the same right to freedom of speech as everyone else - even if you dont like that speech. Your demands to silence religion merely validates Oaks general theme -freedom of religion is under fire from people people who think they are tolerant but are in reality grossly intolerant.

    Please read the First Amendment

  • re - John Pack Lambert 11:29 am
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:44 p.m.

    the same thing happens when walmart comes to town... is that an attack on capitalism?

    your post makes no sense

  • Reminds Me of Esau
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:44 p.m.

    Wow, lots of lost people on this message board....

    Pottage, anyone?....

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:48 p.m.

    to -- U can vote unless U believe..... | 11:41 a.m

    ["I would hope the Mormons would be able to recognize that if they aren't in the majority any longer then the majority still has the right to make laws which aren't prohibitive or in nature or deny due process or equal protection under the law"]

    and yet anti-gay marriage laws do exactly that - they deny due process or equal protection. they are prohibitive.

    per your statement, even mormons would recognize that the law is wrong.

    so why don't they?

  • Joe
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:48 p.m.

    All this anti-Mormon propaganda, which has been proved wrong, but is repeated over and over, is supportive. Even people calling themselves “Christian” think there is no need to be kind, turn the other cheek, etc. Our world is becoming more and more hateful, especially homosexuals and “Christian” anti-Mormons, and others. When I went to the “U” it was admitted that I was given a bad grade on a philosophy paper because I quoted Joseph Smith (who gives the only possible solution to the problem of evil). First day, in one class, the instructor says, “so, who are the Mormons? Raise your hands,” and I was singled out for ridicule throughout the class. I was not to say anything positive about religion, but was required to write papers showing what was wrong with religion. But it’s not just religion under attack here in Utah, it is specifically a united attack against Mormons. Everything you do as a LDS is spun into something. If any of my 3 gay or bi Foreman fire LDS, it’s ok, but for LDS firing others.

  • Two-faced
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:49 p.m.

    When I left the LDS church at 35, some 12 years ago, they wouldn't have it. I was beseiged by calls, and visits from the bishop and others. They wouldn't let go. When I gave them my reasons, they tried to shoot them all down.

    They had not a leg to stand on, of course, but I was "attacked" just as the church claims IT is being attacked.

    Best move I ever made.

    I am now a TRUE Christian.

    Alan M.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:51 p.m.

    re: You guys are funny! | 10:32 a.m. Oct. 14, 2009

    //and counsel Elder Oaks to concentrate on "his own church". I guess in pointing out that this speech was given to a Mormon audience, in a Mormon university, in a Mormon devotional meeting I am pointing to the obvious.//

    But, it was in 2 public forums (the aforementioned school) & The DN (print and website) which makes it fair game for comment from the masses be they pro or con, haters or true believers.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:53 p.m.

    to -- RE:TO -- Think! Man! | 9:52 a.m | 11:46 a.m

    ["While he isn't being very articulate in what he is saying it doesn't change the fact that every single religion or individual who wishes to marry would be forced to agree that its not a sin or wrong to take part in an institution that promotes what they deem a sin."]

    that's like saying that every time you dirve, you are partaking in an institution that promotes sin (since it's a sin to drink and drive...)

  • Joe Staker
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:54 p.m.

    I don't know who edits these, but I have written a few comments that you won't post. Perhaps it is because i noted the ACLU attempt to prevent Church members from religious speech on the Mormon trail, at MArtins Cove on the sections leased by the Church. If you don't know about this there used to be a paper by an ACLU attorney justifying it, because she felt there was "misinformation" given and someone needed to be held "responsible" for the deaths of those pioneers. Apparently she knew nothing about what really happened and the decision they made on their own to go against counsel etc. but is it her place to take away our right to talk about it???? I don't intend for this to be posted but you can, but i want to understand why you post so many of these things and not others.

  • JS
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:54 p.m.

    @Get A Clue Dallin Oaks....
    Where have you been the last hundred years?????
    The Mormon were persecuted and killed by the KKK a lot of the persecuters that killed Mormons were KKK members

    Not only were chaples burned and distroyed but so were temples

    The Mormons were not allowed to vote!

    AND they also had a governor say it was alright to kill any Mormon they came across.....

    LEARN HISTORY .....

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 12:57 p.m.

    re: John Pack Lambert | 12:18 p.m. Oct. 14, 2009

    Organized religion has been pushing the envelope at least since Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire as a way to control the masses.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:00 p.m.

    To the 11:28 commentator,
    I believe religion has a place in schools. I think there is a way the history of religions could be studied in schools that would add to better understnading and less hatred.
    People like me who have worked as substitute teachers inherently advocate allowing teachers to take off any days they like, it gives us more work.
    The fact of the matter is that most schools allow teachers a certain number of personal days, and if they chose to take them for religious holidays that is their inherent right.
    I pointed out these laws as egregious ciolations of the first admendment. I have little hope of the courts overturning them in the post Employment Division v. Smith era, and with them having support of the ACLU. However, I will continue to speak up for the rights of the Sikhs until they are granted the same rights accorded to other religious believers.

  • To Well done Oaks
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:03 p.m.

    You said, "When most people are turned down by a pastor, bishop etc. to marry them, they simply find someone else to do it. Not gays/lesbians. They sue."

    I, personally, do not suppport gay marriage; however, the problem with your statement is that gays can't fall into your "most people" group and simply find someone else to marry them. If the law does not allow them to marry, they can't find anyone to legally marry them. You seem to be saying that gays are litigious -- I'm not sure that is the case.

  • legislating morality
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:14 p.m.

    Law and morality cannot be separated ... all laws are based on somebody's idea of what is good or bad, desirable or undesirable, and hence, morality. The only question, is whose morality is to be legislated.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:14 p.m.

    Freedom FROM religion is implicitly implied...otherwise there is NO FREEDOM.
    If Americans are told you HAVE to pick from this list of recognised religions....where's the freedom?

  • Observer from teh East
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:19 p.m.

    I can see a lot of uneducated and unsophisticated folks have come out of the woodwork or their caves. Some of these comments are totally out of line as far as making over blown assupmtions for al of humanity. Especially the person talking about what chilren want - I was a kid once and I'm sure I'd rather have a mom and a dad NOT 2 of EACH. Shissh - how out of touch are some of you folks. Get oput of the mountains and see how messed up the world is becasue of some of the reasons noted in his lecture. It is scary how far removed some folks are from searching for the truth - it is all of our's (humanity's) responsibility.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:20 p.m.

    13th article of Faith charges Mormons to be HONEST

    "13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."
    The Ten Commandments forbid Bearing False Witness.

    Being gay isn't listed in the Ten commandments.

  • Pagan
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:32 p.m.

    '...It's not about just be able to attend church. it's about government dictating how we believe. Gays who think we should be tolerant aren't tolerant of us. Who is tolerant to who?'

    @ joyce - Well done. You were able to present your argument without involving God. Well done.

    However, your argument sounds like a 'Gov vs. Religion' theme.

    While I understand that, I have to say what it has to do with gay marriage?

    Goverment is designed to be a 'check and balance' so that the majority does not impede on the rights of the minority.

    Example: Unlike some of the 'purges' I've heard in Africa, no one is killing mormons because they are...mormon.

    Joyce, I ask you this: Why should a gay person adhere to the LDS church when it does not adhere it's own moral code to gay people?

    Example: Marriage, job security, inheritance, etc.

    Or rather, why should a straight person have these rights and not a gay person? God said?

    Please

    Have faith, but if god really loves all of us, why would I use that love to hate myself?

  • burner
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:33 p.m.

    31 Yea, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him. Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God; then shall they confess, who live without God in the world, that the judgment of an everlasting punishment is just upon them; and they shall quake, and tremble, and shrink beneath the glance of his eall-searching eye.

  • RE: Oh Come On
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:39 p.m.

    The next time you go to Disneyland see how sweet and wonderful is the way the Gays treat you. Imposing on your space, trying to impress your children, openly making out in front of your children and trying to impose their way of life on others.

    These poor individuals have given in to the Animal in Man. As a great person once stated, "The works of the flesh are manifest as these: “… Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, Lasciviousness, “Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, “Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like."



  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:41 p.m.

    John Pack Lambert | 11:59 a.m. Oct. 14, 2009
    to the 8:09 ommentator,
    "So participating in a political discourse makes you liable to have buildings vandalized and justifies people at rallies calling for the "bombing of Mormon Temples in California"? "

    Absolutely NOT! Vandalism and threats are not part of the civil discussion that should take place. I have no problem with marches and protests. They are as American as the Boston Tea Party, but anything that terrorizes a group should be out of bounds.

    I apoligize for those few acts that were not part of presenting our legimate feelings. If I could kick those people out of the "gay family" I would - at least until they could grow up, but I have no such power. You will just have to accept my apology and know that we are trying to educate others to keeping their protest to be non-violent and their speech to non-threatening.

  • Abe Lincoln
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:42 p.m.

    Agreed, but | 3:18 p.m. Oct. 13, 2009
    yeah, your right, to hell with the religious. they just fgave us liberty, security, and well, just about everything that is good. your idea that the world would be a better place without religion is as flawed as your understanding of the consitution. civilizations have tried living without religion and you know what the all found out? it doesn't work!one needs not look further then the french revolution to see the perfect example of this. they revolted agaisnt thier government, then blamed religion for their problems. do you know what happened next? aside from the reign of terror (and you should look it up if you don't know what it is) they adopted napoleon as their emperor and we all know how great that was. before you start finding flaws in religion remember: the lack of religion is a religion in itslef, and it's the most violent, intolerant, least logical of all.

  • Hansen
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:48 p.m.

    There is so much under attach right now, and everyone is afraid to even think about it. Everything will turn out ok but we had better hang on for the long hard ride.

  • Abe Lincoln
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:50 p.m.

    to: re - TheWiz | 10:08 a.m
    "being gay is legal - and so therefore gay marriage (civil union, whatever) should be legal."
    it is also legal to live a polygamous lifestyle even though the relationship is not recognized as marriage. should we allow polygamy just because it is not illegal to live with more then one woman and sleep with all of them and raise children? you have very bad understanding as to what marriage is.
    as for your comment on children, what are you afraid of? is it because you know that children are not born gay and you want the gays to raise as much as possible to make more gays? so the truth finally comes out. the only intolerant ones in this whole issue are the gays, who are trying all they can to manipulate the children because they can't stand the fact that they can't have them. gays already have the right to marry. any man can marry any woman regadless if one or both are gay. no one asks your sexual orientation when you gat a marriage license. there is no discrmiation.

  • to MetricWrench
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:51 p.m.

    "I understand that majority rules, what else is there to understand? "

    How about the constitution? Majority rules is not true. Everyone is given equal treatment under the law and the majority CANNOT take that away unless we pass an amendment revoking the 14th amendment to the constitution.

    We do not live in a democracy. We live in a republic and the constitution is the supreme law. No matter what laws you pass, it must come up against the constitution.

    Read it.

  • larry
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:53 p.m.

    Well thank goodness it looks like we can all agree, we don't want a government that promotes religion nor do we want a government that promotes athiesm. We want the goverment to be neutral.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 1:55 p.m.

    [Would you expect a person to get married in a church whose priests conducts gay marriages?

    Why or why not?

    Now ask "would you expect a person to get married by a government that conducts gay marriages?" ]

    Please...are you telling me that all the saints in Massachusetts are not getting married in the Boston temple because that state allows gay marriage?

    How about Canada? No one marrying in the Alberta temple?

    Ridiculous.


    That is like saying that you cannot have a soda at a restaurant that serves liquor because you would then be supporting drinking.

    Silly. It just isn't true.

  • Monsieur le prof
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:05 p.m.

    It's obvious that people either don't know anything about world happenings, didn't read the story carefully, or are seeing the truth through lenses clouded by bigotry and hate. Elder Oaks is a brilliant man and has merely stated the obvious. Here in Geneva, the UN has a massive NGO working hard to protect human and religious rights throughout the world.
    A majority of the world doesn't live under a democracy, nor have the rights you and I enjoy on a daily basis. It makes me sick to see people spew hate, jealousy, ignorance, and petty differences on a forum which should be one of civility and intellectual honesty. It's obvious that some are merely thin-skinned religion haters, with less tolerance than those they attack. It must be a sad life.
    (One person even said that America was founded on a Catholic theology! The Calvinists and Puritans who came here would surely be surprised by that show of ignorance!)

  • Mormons Today/ Jews 33 A.D.
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:05 p.m.

    The Constitution contains a prohibition against "an establishment of religion," intended to prohibit a government-established church

    ------

    And we see what happened then and there....

  • @Good Article | 3:50 p.m. Oct. 1
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:06 p.m.

    Good Article | 3:50 p.m. Oct. 13, 2009
    "The irony, is that our country was not founded on the LDS view of Christianity, but was founded on the Catholic view of Christianity."

    Where did you learn your U.S. History? It was the Protestant religions that were the predominate belief of the founding fathers (if they did religion- some were Deists). Catholics may have founded Central and South America (or Vatican), but the Spanish and Portuguese did not found the United States. In fact, JFK had to get over the Catholic bias in his day.

  • Joyce A. Westenskow
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:06 p.m.

    Truth is truth, it doesn't change. I hope we are wise enough to recognize it, embrace it , live it, and defend it. The Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is perfect and so true.People are not perfect,but the Gospel is. We are so blessed to have this solid truth that doesn't change with every wind of thought, to help us imperfect people learn and do better. This talk is wise counsel. We need to do our part.

  • @Intimidation is wrong
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:11 p.m.

    Sorry, we do not have a secret ballot. It is a matter of public record.

  • to: Marriage isn't a 2party C
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:17 p.m.

    thank you. i was trying to find the right terms to describe it. i agree 100%

  • Freedom of speech and religion
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:24 p.m.

    goes BOTH ways. Elder Oaks references Prop 8 in California. Being involved in that,as a Californian, I found those on the opposite side of the question (No on 8) to be intolerant of my position/opinion on same-sex marriage because I have a religious foundation for my opinion. It was as though having a religious belief was not an acceptable reason for opposing same-sex marriage. My opinion is based on my faith. I appreciate Elder Oaks pointing out that separation of Church and State is not to remove morals or high values from the public square, but rather to prevent the State from 'owning' the church as has been and is prevalent in Europe..where religion is 'dead' and secularism is prevalent. Marriage is also highly diminished. We can and should learn from the past & modern condition in Europe...not to repeat it! That is where our Founding Fathers came from and the reason the established the Consitution, which BTW, is an inspired document. This precious document grants and guarantees rights that were missing in the lives of those who pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to establish it for our benefit. We must maintain it!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:26 p.m.

    TO --- RE:TO - Think! Man! | 9:52 a.m | 11:46 a.m

    ["every single religion or individual who wishes to marry would be forced to agree that its not a sin or wrong to take part in an institution that promotes what they deem a sin."]

    so what you are saying is that these people think that by gays getting married, then anyone else that wants to get married must agre that gays can marry? they think that by gays getting married, that means that the "intisitution" of marriage promotes a gay lifestyle?

    wow. never ever thought about it that way. who comes up with this stuff?

    bad guys (sinners) file tax returns. so should these people not file tax returns since it is an institution that "promotes sin"? baby-mamas colect state benefits - so should these people refuse to accept state benefits? bad people retire and collect social security - so should these people refuse it?

    I'm trying to understand how gay marriage "promotes sin". do you think if there's no gay marriage then gays will stop being gay? and isn't it gay that is a sin, not marriage? marriage actually stops sin (out_of_wedlock sex...)

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:32 p.m.

    TO -- Like it or don't get married? | 12:24 p.m

    ["Current law allows homosexuals and heterosexuals; those who believe homosexuality is a sin and those who don't; those who believe it is a sin to take part in anything that promotes or recognizes sin and those who don't the same opportunity to marry"]

    not true. gays cannot marry.

    ["changes in the law to allow gay marriage would essentially require an orthodox view which requires at minimum that your religious beliefs must allow you to have an institution that conducts gay marriages authorize your marriage otherwise you can't marry"]

    an "institution"? do you mean the state? no one said you have to get married at city hall. you can go to your church or whereever. alcohol is allowed but you don't have to have it in your church.

    if you think that gays marrying means you must agree with it or partake in it somehow, that's just not true.

    and if people don't want to get married simply because people they don't like are getting married, that's stupid. Did all mormons stop getting married when interracial marriages were approved?

  • L. Bert Errien
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:33 p.m.

    re: Stay The Course | 12:32 p.m. Oct. 14, 2009

    You know, Dan. I am one annoyed Deist.

    There is more than enough blame to be distributed equally among for both the Militant Gay/Far Left coalition on one side and Organized religion/social conservatives on the other.

    Would America be better off w/o either or both faction? Who knows? That is the subject for another debate.

    I just hope both sides keep whining and playing the victim card as loudly as possible so I know who to avoid.

  • bigT
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:33 p.m.

    This is a violent world. Religion is here to stay. Freedom and Religion is struggle; we can level threats at one another or committ gross acts at will. Evil is assaulting the moorings of freedom & religion...gays are devouring our children...gangs are engorging themsleves on drugs & fight against authority...you're about to be swept off America and another people will migrate here. You forget your GOD who protected you from your enemy. I will not miss ALL of you. Your society is corrupt & you will not prevail unless u listen to good men like this prophet. We are waiting in the wings. Seventy percent of my society's median age is 7-13 years of age. We wait for your cities to fall and we will rebuild America. You build yourselves up for evil and you will fail...we are gaining...we are Native American...a hardy breed...we are waiting.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:35 p.m.

    TO --- RE:TO -- Think! Man! | 9:52 a.m | 11:46 a.m

    ["It would essentially force those who disagree with gay marriage to choose between their marriage and being part of something that promotes what they believe is wrong."]

    for the 100th time.... Gay marriage does not PROMOTE anything. not any more than alcohol being legal PROMOTES drinking. It simply ALLOWS it, just as gay marriage simply ALLOWS gays to marry.

    where do you get this "promotes" bit from? tell them to use their head.

  • to -- Anonymous | 11:53 a.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:38 p.m.

    ["It is not just the atheists who are taking away freedoms of religion, but religious people, socialists, activists, the ACLU, etc."]

    and mormons...

  • bob marley
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:38 p.m.

    me thinks that someone is trying to mask their hippocrasy...ou yeh!

  • Porter Rockwell
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:39 p.m.

    I am from California and nowhere do I hear more vitriol about the LDS Church than from the comment sections of these Utah papers...these digital insurgents only serve to sharpen the contrast between diamonds and rust.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:41 p.m.

    re: Anonymous | 12:33 p.m. Oct. 14, 2009

    //I think the founding Fathers of America, who were very christian would roll over in thier graves watching what America is turning into.//

    Some were very Christian. Others not so much. Jefferson, Franklin & G Washington in the latter category.

    I agree that all are probably rolling in their graves at how the nation has devolved.

    The nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles & values but the US is not a Christian Nation.... refer to Article 11 of the Barbary Treaty of 1796.

  • the internet did it
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:43 p.m.

    utah leads the nation in online porn and san juan county leads utah...so does that equal a threat to religion ...are they to answer no ...why? good ol' freedom of choice for everyone!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:43 p.m.

    Seriously... if you can't take the heat, shouldn't you leave the kitchen?

  • J
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:44 p.m.

    The reason there is a rising intolerance of Christianity is because the Christians have become so intolerant. When Churches get involved in politics, they will have to take what they are dishing out.

  • wow
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:45 p.m.

    re: Two-faced | 12:49 p.m. Oct. 14, 2009

    I also left the LDS chirch at age 25 and they also questioned my reasons becasue they didnt want me to leave: how does that constitutie an attack?
    Since then most Mormons have been continued to be very kind to me

    Conversly I am homosexual and I am constantly berated by the gay community because I dont conform to a narrow ideological orthodoxy.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:45 p.m.

    TO -- Marriage isn't a 2party contract | 11:58 a.m

    ["Marriage is not a two-way contract. That is a false premise! Instead it is a three-way contract. The two people who are choosing to get married agree to do X, Y, and Z for each other and A, B and C for the state while the state agrees to do D, E and F for the two people and G, H, and I for any children born into the family.

    This means the majority is agreeing to do certain things and therefore has the right to decide the terms of the contract."]


    ovviously you've never seen a marriage certificate. none of what you said is true. it is a contract between two consenting adults.

    besides, mormons have a ton of kids, that we all end up paying for. so would it be ok if we put in a law limiting the number of children you can have? or how many you can use as a tax deduction, etc? same thing as what you are saying..

  • i like this
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:47 p.m.

    the christians just a fighting over god but not the children.always stoning one another. a house devided will not stand.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:51 p.m.

    Love thy neighbor as thyself.. but feel free to take away the civil rights of the gay community and expect nothing to happen to you in return.

    Pllllltttttt...

  • pls think before you post
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:51 p.m.

    TO - Please use some common sense | 12:04 p.m

    ["But if he chooses to marry then he has to agree with you that it is not sinful to be part of something that promotes what he considers a sin"]

    gay marriage promotes sin? how? how does marriage promote gay marriage? in fact, how does marriage promote marriage? it doesn't. your argument is seriously flawed. that's like saying that driving promotes drunk driving, therefore unless you are for drunk driving then you shouldn't drive. and by driving, you are promoting and approving of drunk driving...

    how on earth do you think you are making any sense whatsoever?

  • You are a condescending voter
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:51 p.m.

    Anonymous | 12:48 p.m. Oct. 14, 2009

    ["I would hope the Mormons would be able to recognize that if they aren't in the majority any longer then the majority still has the right to make laws which aren't prohibitive or in nature or deny due process or equal protection under the law"]

    "and yet anti-gay marriage laws do exactly that - they deny due process or equal protection. they are prohibitive."

    How do they deny due process and equal protection of the law? Equal protection of the law means that if the law says that two people of the opposite sex can marry then it applies to gays, straight or any other group nor does current law deny gays marriage if they choose to marry a person of the opposite sex. Lack of inclusion doesn't equate to it being prohibitive.

    "per your statement, even mormons would recognize that the law is wrong."

    Don't twist what I have said so you can build a straw man argument to make yourself feel like you are intelligent and right because I won't put up with it.

    "so why don't they?"

    Don't twist equal protection.

  • Pagan
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:56 p.m.

    '...and they shall quake, and tremble, and shrink beneath the glance of his eall-searching eye.'

    Thanks Burner. I really want to know, was that a 'Lord of the Rings' refference? No, really!

    I love all these bible quotes. As if that added relevance to the argument.

    If I quote 'Green eggs and Ham' would that support slavery?

    Please

    These 'morals' and belief's are no more under attack than a religious person's body.

    You might as well say my 'feelings' are being hurt seeing a gay couple holding hands.

    Due grow up.

    For those who think discrimination does NOT exist against the gay community, I just have one question...

    can you get married?

    I cannot.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:57 p.m.

    The LDS Participation in the Prop 8 fight was neither illegal, immoral, based on hate, nor inappropriate, however, the oft repeated claims that it was are a great example of the intimidation tactics that Elder Oaks was referring to.

    If you yell loud enough that it was illegal, maybe someone will believe you. You may even get a liberal court to agree, but in the long run there will be no question that the LDS participation is legal and appropriate. To say otherwise is an attack on freedom of religion as Elder oaks said so well.

  • Iron Bowl?
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:58 p.m.

    Wow! This thread is almost as popular as some dealing with a certain college football (played locally) game in Nov.

  • No its not so stop being stupid
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:59 p.m.

    RE:Anonymous | 12:53 p.m.

    "that's like saying that every time you dirve, you are partaking in an institution that promotes sin (since it's a sin to drink and drive...)"

    Don't be absurd. If the state promoted drinking and driving then you would have a point but you don't since the state doesn't promote drunk driving.

    The state recognizing and promoting gay marriage is promoting and recognizing something. The state does not promote or recognize drunk driving. So you can twist what I have said so you can continue to feel that you are right, intelligent and that everyone who doesn't agree with you including liberals and atheists are wrong.

    It is clear that there is no hope of convincing you of anything so let the voting begin but if you dare violate the rights of others and have those voters who agree with you overturn the fundamental right to vote then there may need to be a revolution and even though I support gay marriage I will gladly join those who oppose the bigoted, totalitarian and anti-democratic belief that this isn't a matter of voting on POSITIVE law.

  • get a clue - no promotion
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:59 p.m.

    TO - It's not sinful to promote sin? | 12:13 p.m

    ["What you want to do is impose your religious terms on others. Replace the word "state" with a Priest and then say "you will still have a right to have a priest who also performs gay marriages marry you if you choose but you won't be forced to marry a gay person.""]

    if you don't want a PRIEST that performs agy marriages to marry you, then go to a different priest. you pick your doctors based on their stance on abortion. you pick your counselors based on their views. you get to choose who you will follow. why would you think you have to get married by a gay-marrying priest?

  • what r u talking about?
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:02 p.m.

    re - It's not sinful to promote sin? | 12:13 p.m

    ["Under your orthodox view gays, those who believe homosexuality isn't sinful or those who don't consider it a sin to be be part of something that promotes or recognizes a sin would be able to get married but those who don't fall into one of those three categories would be denied marriage unless they conform their religious beliefs to the new religious orthodoxy of the state."]

    anyone would be able to marry any other unrelated person. how does that force anyone to change any of their beliefs? gays marrying will "taint" marriage? that's stupid. if someone thinks that way, it's probably better they stay away from marriage anyway, or at least not have any kids...

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:04 p.m.

    After reading the majority of the hateful comments on this message string, I wonder.. Do Mormons really feel this way towards the gay community? Are Mormons really playing the victim card here? This behavior certainly is not Christ-like.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:04 p.m.

    to == It's not sinful to promote sin? | 12:13 p.m

    ["It is your view of religion which would be imposed by you and the courts and only those who agree will get married"]

    if they don't want to get married, then they won't - but they will ahve the right to. just because they don't want to is not my problem.. its theirs.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:09 p.m.

    re - Like it or don't get married? | 12:24 p.m

    ["But you want to force your religious beliefs onto others and establish an orthodoxy that only those who agree with your view would able to marry since they would have to change their religious beliefs to conform to the minimum requirements outlined by the state."]

    no. anyone could get married - straight or gay. no one needs to change their beliefs. they can all get married.

    not sure why that is inclear to you. gay marriage doesn't narrow the scope of marriage - it widens it.

  • @ Two faced
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:13 p.m.

    God Bless you. Same story here, but mine is still underway. They refuse to let you go easily. It's a scary group.

    Good luck.

    Joan

  • TO - wow | 12:29 p.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:15 p.m.

    ["BTW The constitution guarantees religous freedom - not freedom from religion - the fact that there are so many people who cannot tell the difference is what is truly frightening"]

    there is no difference. you are misinterreting "freedom from religion". and the gov't agrees with my definition, not yours. otherwise we wouldn't have all the laws keeping religion out of schools, etc...

    ["Attmepts to silence religous speech in the public realm are a threat to both freedom of speech and religous freedom/pluralism and defacto establish atheism /non religion as the national ideology"]

    no one is trrying to silence religious speech. you are AGAIN misinterpreting "freedom from religion".

    ["Atheist ideologues (Marx, Stalin, Mao) have an even worse track record than relgious people in terms of violent regimes"]

    atheism is a religion. this is about freedom from religion. second post that you misinterpreted "freedom from religion." nice try, but still wrong.

  • Sarah Nichole
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:17 p.m.

    I don't have the time or the energy to sift through nine pages of comments, but I agree with Elder Oaks. He's right. Those of us who vote according to our religious beliefs has just as much right to vote in an election as anybody else. If you are not religious, you have the right to vote according to your conscience however you choose. Why should it be any different for those of us whose consciences were partially formed by religion?

    As members of the United States, we are given the right to vote for whatever person or piece of legislation we wish, for whatever reasons we wish. We don't have to explain ourselves in the voting booth, and the ballots don't ask for our religious persuasion while we vote.

    If you want to vote according to your conscience without backlash for those votes, then you have to allow us the same privilege. You don't have to like the outcome of those votes, but it is illegal to prevent us from casting them in the first place, and it is wrong to attack people and their property because of the outcome of the election.

  • TO -- Anna | 12:32 p.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:18 p.m.

    ["Marriage was here before our country was and was defined and authorized by religion. It was a completely religious institution. It should stay that way"]

    that is completely untrue. marriage was a monetary contract and a way to bring tribes together.

    I strongly suggest you study the history of marriage. if you want marriage to be brought back the way it was originally, you're in for a real shock...

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:20 p.m.

    "Especially the person talking about what chilren want - I was a kid once and I'm sure I'd rather have a mom and a dad NOT 2 of EACH. "

    Every child probably wants and mom and a dad UNLESS the dad is abusing them or the mom is neglecting them or doing drugs is more important than feeding and taking care of them.

    Then, they might just be happy to be wanted and loved and cared for by a loving gay couple.


    Not all children are wanted and loved by their biological parents. Thank goodness for all those who will take the time, effort and money to love these children.

  • to Dishonest Abe
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:26 p.m.

    "is it because you know that children are not born gay and you want the gays to raise as much as possible to make more gays? so the truth finally comes out. the only intolerant ones in this whole issue are the gays, who are trying all they can to manipulate the children because they can't stand the fact that they can't have them."


    Boy, oh boy. You just spout things and have not even looked up one fact.

    Who is raising gays? Is it gay couples? No. It is heterosexual couples. I'd say 98% of gay people come from heterosexual homes.


    If you want to know the percentage of gay children that have been raised in gay homes, it is the SAME as those raised in heterosexual homes - about 5%!

    Homosexuality is not taught. It just is. Ask the mother of a gay person. I'll bet they knew their child was gay before the child did. My mom did and she admitted it to me.

  • TO - wow | 12:43 p.m.
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:29 p.m.

    ["The consitution guarantees freedom of religion (pluralism) not silencing religion (freedom from religion)."]

    your definition of "freedom from religion" is wrong. freedom from religion is exactly why we don't have prayer in school. that has been stated to you numerous times. try to get over your confusion. do you finally get it now?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:34 p.m.

    re - Observer from teh East | 1:19 p.m

    ["I was a kid once and I'm sure I'd rather have a mom and a dad NOT 2 of EACH. Shissh "]

    but you'd rather have two moms and no dad than no body that loved you at all. that's a fact, not conjecture...

  • to -- Abe Lincoln | 1:42 p.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:39 p.m.

    ["yeah, your right, to hell with the religious. they just fgave us liberty, security, and well, just about everything that is good"]

    huh? i missed that. when did religion do that? you are confusing religion with a sense of right and wrong. and you seem to think that religion gave us right vs wrong. one ned look no further than the old testament to see that isn't true.

  • Comments
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:42 p.m.

    Most of these comments are like passing bad gas...just a lot of stinky air.

  • to - Abe Lincoln | 1:50 p.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:42 p.m.

    ["as for your comment on children, what are you afraid of? is it because you know that children are not born gay and you want the gays to raise as much as possible to make more gays? so the truth finally comes out"]

    that's ridiculous. are you just another unthinking fear-monger?

    ["any man can marry any woman regadless if one or both are gay. no one asks your sexual orientation when you gat a marriage license. there is no discrmiation"]

    oldest (and most nonsensical) argument against gay marriage... and you still can't see the fallacy in it? how sad for you.

  • Dixie
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:42 p.m.

    This is a great commentary on what is happening right now , under our very noses, and anyone that thinks that the fall of religious freedom in America won't bring down the down fall of this country is walking on very dagerous ground.

  • to - Monsieur le prof | 2:05 p.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:45 p.m.

    ["It's obvious that some are merely thin-skinned religion haters, with less tolerance than those they attack. It must be a sad life."]

    and some are gay and freedom haters. it must be a sad life...

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:52 p.m.

    to -- Freedom of speech and religion | 2:24 p.m

    ["Being involved in that,as a Californian, I found those on the opposite side of the question (No on 8) to be intolerant of my position/opinion on same-sex marriage because I have a religious foundation for my opinion"]

    so you would have no problem with people voting to restrict your rights because they don't like you - is that correct? so per your opinion, if enough whites said so, we could reinact slavery, right?

    what you said is you don't like people being intolorant of you simply because you force your religion onto them... and you don't get that?

    the gay marriage issue is NOT about right and wrong - it is about rights versus denied rights. you believe it is ok to withhold rights from people because you don't like them. that is a patently wrong position. can't you see that?

    all you people wonder why gays are upset. it's because you have rights but you refuse to give those same rights to people simply because YOU DON'T LIKE THEM. and you still don't understand why they are upset?

  • Tom in CA
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:54 p.m.

    To all the Prop 8 whiners:

    It was the Black, Chinese, Hispanic, and Catholic voters who brought about the passage of the Proposition. Yet the Mormons got the "blame".

    I am not fooled by your AGENDA. Yes, your AGENDA. O, Ye hyprocrites.

  • to - bigT | 2:33 p.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 3:59 p.m.

    ["Evil is assaulting the moorings of freedom & religion...gays are devouring our children"]

    do you understand the difference between pedophiles and gays?

    ["gangs are engorging themsleves on drugs & fight against authority"]

    gangs have been around for thousands of years...

    ["You forget your GOD who protected you from your enemy. I will not miss ALL of you"]

    God loves gays. why don't you?

    ["Seventy percent of my society's median age is 7-13 years of age. We wait for your cities to fall and we will rebuild America"]

    and most of them will grow up to understand that gays are the same as everyone else, and should have the same rights.

    you are in for a rude awakening if you think gay bashing will become more rampant. once all the zealots and bigots die off (and they ar really old already) then things will settle down nicely.

    ["we are Native American...a hardy breed...we are waiting."]

    3%-4% of your people are gay. are you going to trample their rights too?

  • think a little first
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:05 p.m.

    to -- You are a condescending voter | 2:51 p.m

    ["How do they deny due process and equal protection of the law? Equal protection of the law means that if the law says that two people of the opposite sex can marry then it applies to gays, straight or any other group nor does current law deny gays marriage if they choose to marry a person of the opposite sex. Lack of inclusion doesn't equate to it being prohibitive"]

    how many times are you going to use that faulty argument? that's like prohibiting the mormon religion but saying no rights are witheld because there are other religions they can join.

    extremely faulty argument - hopefully you will realize that and we won't have to keep reading it - it just makes you look slow.

  • Pagan
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:06 p.m.

    'You don't have to like the outcome of those votes, but it is illegal to prevent us from casting them in the first place, and it is wrong to attack people and their property because of the outcome of the election.'

    I agree with some of this.

    It IS against the law to prevent a group from voting on something. It IS against the law to attack someone.

    HOWEVER, if your going to 'stand for something' be prepared to be shot down.

    I will never attack a person or property for they're view on my life.

    I WILL demand to know why I should CHANGE my life for that persons view.

    These 'attacks' are just that. An attempt to villify the opposing side to religion to make it seem like the victim.

    But really, I should not change my life due to your faith. Since you have the right to practice your faith, why am I not allowed to practice my life in peace?

    If you want to use faith, fine, but be prepared when someone says 'but that's not based on anything REAL.'

  • do you not think first?
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:12 p.m.

    to - No its not so stop being stupid | 2:59 p.m

    ["Don't be absurd. If the state promoted drinking and driving then you would have a point but you don't since the state doesn't promote drunk driving"]

    the state doesn't promote marriage either.

    ["The state recognizing and promoting gay marriage is promoting and recognizing something."]

    don't be stupid. the state isn't promoting anything. allowing and promoting are two different things. use the dictionary.

    ["so let the voting begin but if you dare violate the rights of others..."]

    current laws on gays marrying violate the rights of gays. so you're going to do what?

    you seem to be misinterpreting rights and law. constitutionally, no laws can violate the rights of others, and everyone has equal rights.

  • Condescending
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:13 p.m.

    This is so easy a Caveman can do it.

  • wow
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:21 p.m.

    re: TO - wow | 12:29 p.m | 3:15 p.m. Oct. 14, 2009
    "you are misinterreting "freedom from religion". and the gov't agrees with my definition, not yours. otherwise we wouldn't have all the laws keeping religion out of schools, etc..."

    I have no problem with a menora in a park - you do. I find your interpretation to be a threat to religous pluralism. The courts often make stupid decisions that dont stand up to time.

    "no one is trrying to silence religious speech. you are AGAIN misinterpreting "freedom from religion"."

    You just want to silence it any where you can hear it huh. I dont buy it - religious speech has as much right to exist in the public realm as other speech. I dont care if you dont like it.

    atheism is a religion. this is about freedom from religion. second post that you misinterpreted "freedom from religion." nice try, but still wrong.
    No I just disagree with your interpretation and find it to be nothing more than a cheap method of silencing anyone who you disagree with - which is not some noble goal.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:21 p.m.

    Dixie | 3:42 p.m. Oct. 14, 2009
    "This is a great commentary on what is happening right now , under our very noses, and anyone that thinks that the fall of religious freedom in America won't bring down the down fall of this country is walking on very dagerous ground."

    Dixie, what religious freedom have you lost? Even if gay marriage becomes the law of the land, can you worship and believe as you want to?

    Aren't you exaggerating? The first amendment is still the law of the land (unless it was replaced by the 10 commandments).

  • To Tom in Ca
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:25 p.m.

    Tom in CA | 3:54 p.m. Oct. 14, 2009
    To all the Prop 8 whiners:

    It was the Black, Chinese, Hispanic, and Catholic voters who brought about the passage of the Proposition. Yet the Mormons got the "blame".


    Tom, we all know elections are won with time and money.

    Mormons gave about 40% of the money and 80% of the time. The LDS church was the face of Prop 8 in Ca. That is why you are getting the lion's share of the blame.

  • truth can hurt
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:31 p.m.

    The wicked taketh the truth to be hard! Thanks for your wise counsel Elder Oaks, we need it more than ever!!

  • First time to comment
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:34 p.m.

    This is my first time reading this comment board, and my first time to post a comment. I've read all of the comments, and I just want to say that no matter your opinion, I love all of you. Thank you for expressing your opinions. And may God continue to bless this wonderful country that allows such freedom of expression. Carry on!

  • Abe Lincoln
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:35 p.m.

    to all posters
    to: 3:42 pm
    it is not fear. a year ago if you were to mention that gays wanted to promote homosexuality to children, you would've been laughed at. now, gays are openly saying that they want to do it. marriage, is a man and a woman, before you say it is not true, you should look it up. gays can marry just like i said. there is no discrmination. the fact that you have a sibling doesn't mean you can't marry, it just means you can't marry your sibling.

    to: dishonest Abe
    she probably didn't know anything. she saw something to make her think that matbe you were gay and then treated you accordingly. hence, you were probably not born gay, someone thought you were and so they allowed it.

    to: 3:39
    they did that when the Founding Fathers fought the revolution. their sole justification for shedding thier bretheren's blood was because the british were taking away rights no man could take because they were given by God. one needs not look further the the Declaration to know that. and by the way, it jefferson who wrote that.

  • RE: Anonymous | 4:21 p.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:35 p.m.

    When you use the POWER of government

    to deny a religion to have an adoption agency,

    or force a doctor to perform abotions,.

    tell a community what they can or can't have in their schools,

    then you ARE DENYING religious freedom, and freedom in general

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:47 p.m.

    In 1991 a Muslim teacher was fired in Pennsylvania for wearing a head scarf. The case went to court and her firing was upheld.
    That law is still in place. There was an article that spoke about this and related issues in the Deseret News if I remember correctly on or about September 5th.

  • coolman
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:48 p.m.

    I AM A FOLLOWER OF GOD BUT BEWARE WE COULD HAVE ANOTHER CIVIL WAR BECAUSE OF WICKED PEOPLE. HOWEVER ANYONE CAN CHOOSE WHAT RELIGION THEY WANT TO! I AM GLAD MY RELIGION IS NOT MORMONISM BECAUSE THEY FORCE PEOPLE WHAT TO BELIEVE AND THEREFORE GET OUT OF THE WAY TO OTHER PEOPLE'S BELIEFS BEFORE YOU PREACH SOMETHING THAT CHRISTIANS DON'T KNOW! WE WERE FOUNDED BY THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN GOD! THERE ARE SOME WHO AREN'T CHRISTIANS WHY CONDEMN THEM WHEN THEY DON'T KNOW WHO CHRIST IS?

  • re: Pagan @ 2:56
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:50 p.m.

    What's keeping you from getting married? Do you live in America? Are you under the age of 18? Are you not severely mentally handicapped? If so, you have as much of a right to get married as anyone else here.

    Congratulations for the good news!!!

  • Proposition 8
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:53 p.m.

    Mormons have the right to vote with their consciences the same way any christian, muslim, atheist, or gay citizen does. If Mormon's couldn't vote according to their conscience on so called "moral" matters, then it would be wrong for anyone else to do so. Gays and atheists are now taking the position that their definition of right and wrong under civil rights laws is entitled to special protections that the christian's definition of right and wrong is not entitled to. A gay person can vote in accordance with their belief and its democracy in action, but apparently if a mormon does so it's "jamming religion down our throats."

    At the end of the day we cannot escape the fact that every law, regulation, statute and city ordinance is just a result of the people's collective moral views. Every law, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is legislation based on some concept of right and wrong. It's just a question of who's version of morality should be adopted, which is why we have a vote.

  • re: Anonymous @ 4:21
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:54 p.m.

    "Dixie, what religious freedom have you lost? Even if gay marriage becomes the law of the land, can you worship and believe as you want to?"

    No. If homosexual marriage becomes legal, and I believe that homosexual behavior is a sin and I promote that idea, I could potentially be prosecuted for it. That is a loss of religious freedom that I now enjoy.

  • Annie
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:55 p.m.

    I don't have the time to read all the comments here. I am saddened by many that I have read.

    Thank you Elder Oaks for speaking the truth. Unfortunately, there are those who can only wail and gnash their teeth.

    I just say, keep on gnashing. I believe many religious people have tried to remain patient and go forward in their lives, even when many things they consider sacred have been ridiculed and demeaned. I don't believe they will remain quiet any longer.

  • Tom in CA
    Oct. 14, 2009 5:09 p.m.

    Re: "To Tom in CA" @4:25pm


    Oh, I see now.

    BTW - Mormons account for 2% of CA population. Less than half are "active". So a fraction of 1% was able to decide the issue. Go figure.

  • Excellent
    Oct. 14, 2009 5:12 p.m.

    Great talk from Dallin Oaks! Note that he makes several strong points but one of his main issues is that intimidation by whatever means against any group of people to voice and vote their opinions is wrong and contrary to our Constitution. If you are gay, and though angry that you cannot marry, you must allow all people to exercise their rights. The only civil liberties issue here is the right to vote and voice opinion. Mormons continue to quote God in saying that homosexuality is a sin and heterosexuality outside of marriage is as well. Mormons have every right to voice and vote according to those beliefs without the threat of intimidation.

  • BYU-Idaho Student
    Oct. 14, 2009 5:14 p.m.

    Elder Oaks is an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. I was at the devotional at BYU-Idaho. The words he speaks are true. Members of the LDS church have the right to say that gay marriage is wrong. People are attacking the LDS church because of it. I voted yes to Prop 8, because I am an American, and I have the right too.

  • Read the full article
    Oct. 14, 2009 5:17 p.m.

    Did some of you quit reading before you got to the end of the article? Did you miss this statement, "Elder Oaks offered five points of counsel:

    Speak with love and show patience, understanding and compassion to those with differing viewpoints. "

    Luv you all!

  • BobP
    Oct. 14, 2009 5:22 p.m.

    I recieved two complimentary comments is my little message telling ther people the the LDS people are still in control.

    I received three attacks"
    @BobP 10:12
    Anonymous 10:35
    Sorry BobP !047

    They all said that I was avery bad boy for being confrontational. One said I dind't settle Utah, well one branch of the Family came in 1847 (thrid company), and the other with the Martin Handcart company.

    I will repeat, that anyone who does not like the quiet way the LDS church exerts its power and the predominantly LDS population runs the State, should get used to it.

    We will not hinder the basic rights NOR will we allow then to hinder ours.

  • to - wow | 4:21 p.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 5:23 p.m.

    ["I have no problem with a menora in a park - you do"]

    don't know what a menora is, but it sounds like fun. why would I be against it? free speech made this country what it is today.

    ["You just want to silence it any where you can hear it huh"]

    why would I want to silence your free speech? I'm all for free speech. or is that the same thing as "don't teach my kids your idea of religion and right/wrong"? then yes, I want to silence it, just as you want to "silence gays" by ensuring your children are prejudiced against them.

    ["No I just disagree with your interpretation and find it to be nothing more than a cheap method of silencing anyone who you disagree with - which is not some noble goal."]

    all anyone wants is for laws to not be based on somebody elses idea of mystic beings. would you want laws based on wican's beliefs?

    and my definition of freedom from religion is the same as the gov'ts. so I guess they and I are all wrong but you are right...

    you certainly think highly of yourself...

  • to -- wow | 4:21 p.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 5:26 p.m.

    you couldn't misinterpret "freedom from religion" any worse if you tried. you have it totally backwards, as has been explained numerous times. but if you're justy too slow to get it, then there's no point in continuing to explain it...

  • huh?
    Oct. 14, 2009 5:33 p.m.

    to wow | 4:21 p.m.

    no one wants to silence anyone. gays just want to get married. how is that forcing silence in anyone? why do you keep saying about silencing people. freedom from religion means not having religion as the basis of law. if you don't like freedom from religion, I believe saudi arabia bases their laws on religion...

  • discriminatory
    Oct. 14, 2009 5:38 p.m.

    TO - RE: Anonymous | 4:21 p.m | 4:35 p.m

    ["When you use the POWER of government
    to deny a religion to have an adoption agency,
    or force a doctor to perform abotions,.
    tell a community what they can or can't have in their schools,
    then you ARE DENYING religious freedom, and freedom in general"]

    if an adoption agency will only serve certain people, it is discriminatory. Discrimination is illegal. Using your logic, whites should be able to deny service to blacks. So what is to stop this adoption agency from only placing kids in mormon households? (which actually probably happens in Utah already).

    I guess the bigger question is - are you saying you disagree with the anti-discrimination laws? or do you just want them to apply to people that you like?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 5:51 p.m.

    TO -- re: Pagan @ 2:56 | 4:50 p.m

    ["What's keeping you from getting married? Do you live in America? Are you under the age of 18? Are you not severely mentally handicapped? If so, you have as much of a right to get married as anyone else here."]

    so if a law was passed saying you could only practice the Jewish religion, you would be ok with that, right? what's your argument against it? you can still practice a religion. It may not be the one you want, but you can still do it...

    that's pretty much what you are saying to gays, right? so... at this point, can you see how idiotic you sound? or are you still confused?

  • to - Proposition 8 | 4:53 p.m
    Oct. 14, 2009 6:00 p.m.

    ["Mormons have the right to vote with their consciences the same way any christian, muslim, atheist, or gay citizen does. If Mormon's couldn't vote according to their conscience on so called "moral" matters, then it would be wrong for anyone else to do so."]

    certainly. everyone agrees with you.

    what you are failing to see is THIS SHOULDN'T EVEN BE UP FOR A VOTE!! do we vote on whether to give blacks rights or women rights? do we vote on whether to give anyone the same rights as the majority? no. the constitution specifically states everyone will have the same rights. the vote took away the rights of a group of people.

    no vote should have even taken place. so an illegal election occurs, religious po=eople throw a bunch of money at it to get their views imposed onto others, and you wonder what all the hubub is about?

  • To discriminatory
    Oct. 14, 2009 6:03 p.m.

    A private adoption agency may discriminate in any way that it chooses. It is the GOVERNMENT which may not discriminate. The reason that discrimination laws apply to some adoption agencies is because the agencies receive government funding of some sort. When the government provides funding to private enterprise, it can't allow the private enterprise to discriminate -- because that is an indirect way of allowing the government to discriminate.

    The LDS church does not receive government funding (unlike many other churches). It therefore may lawfully discriminate in any way that it chooses. There was a Catholic adoption agency in the East all over the news sometime ago that had to shut down its doors because it refused to allow gays to adopt. What wasn't mentioned in many of the articles was that the Catholic church made a choice: it didn't want to give up government funding and therefore had to shut its adoption agency doors. It could have turned away government funding and continued to operate.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 6:04 p.m.

    to -- re: Anonymous @ 4:21 | 4:54 p.m

    ["No. If homosexual marriage becomes legal, and I believe that homosexual behavior is a sin and I promote that idea, I could potentially be prosecuted for it. That is a loss of religious freedom that I now enjoy."]

    you can still preach that homosexuality is a sin. gay marriage would not change that. only if you say that your congregation should go out and harm gays would you be in violation of the law. that's the law now, and it wouldn't change with gay marriage.

    so - again - what religious freedom have you lost? Even if gay marriage becomes the law of the land, can you worship and believe as you want to?

  • re - Tom in CA | 5:09 p.m.
    Oct. 14, 2009 6:06 p.m.

    ["Mormons account for 2% of CA population. Less than half are "active". So a fraction of 1% was able to decide the issue. Go figure."]

    no - it was the influx of funds to promote a disceteful campaign convincing people that their world would fall apart was what did it. go figure..

  • wow
    Oct. 14, 2009 6:12 p.m.

    re: huh? | 5:33 p.m. Oct. 14, 2009
    "no one wants to silence anyone. gays just want to get married. how is that forcing silence in anyone? why do you keep saying about silencing people. freedom from religion means not having religion as the basis of law. if you don't like freedom from religion, I believe saudi arabia bases their laws on religion... "

    I am talking about about attempt to bully religous speech into silence (but of course only some religous speech - MLK is OK - sarcasm)

    Most of our laws have some religious basis and can be traced back to the ten comandments (thou shall not kill, steal, etc)
    I am not talking about establishing a national religion so your Saudi Arabia reference is off-point and inflamitory - I am talking about not doing the exact opposite and silencing religion simply becasue it is inconvenient for you - that is merely the mirror image of a religous regime. It has been tried before and it has failed before.
    The "freedom from religion" crowd is nothing more than a religous regime in reverse. Tolerance and pluralism lie between the extremes.

  • RE -- To discriminatory | 6:03
    Oct. 14, 2009 6:12 p.m.

    ["The LDS church does not receive government funding (unlike many other churches). It therefore may lawfully discriminate in any way that it chooses."]

    agreed. which begs the point - if the church can discriminate, why does it care if gays get married? it wouldn't impact the church at all. they would still have every right to discriminate against gays. answer - because they believe gay is a sin and they don't want sinners to have the same rights as they have. because they are special and the only true church.

  • Get Real
    Oct. 14, 2009 6:42 p.m.

    I really tire of the hijacking of morality and law by the religious synchretists. You all keep making completely absurd claims such as "Most of our laws have some religious basis and can be traced back to the ten comandments (thou shall not kill, steal, etc)"

    Excuse me? Are you trying to tell me that before the Ten Commandments came down from Sinai, nobody obeyed that "law" of morality? Everybody was just running around killing, committing adultery, stealing, bearing false witness, and on and on?

    Give me a break!

    Moses did not invent morality. The fictitious character Mormons call Adam (or Michael) did not invent morality. Without any religion at all, countless human beings lived moral lives in peace for millenia!

    You religious people do not own morality. You did not invent it. You are just trying to steal it and hijack it and turn it into a social club and a business!

    But the world is filled with good, moral people who have no use for YOUR brand of extremist morality. We will not bow to your fictitious gods!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 6:44 p.m.

    You have got to be kidding, Elder Oaks. Comparing the backlash against the church to the plight of African Americans pre Civil Rights?

    Worst. Analogy. Ever.

    Both offensive to African Americans to say nothing of how nonsensical the comparison is.

  • question
    Oct. 14, 2009 6:44 p.m.

    Why does Oaks make the argument that gays cannot use the civil rights analogy when in fact leaders of the Mormon Church have used the analogy in their favor?

    You can't have it both ways.

    If people make the argument that on the one hand, that Mormons have not instigated violence against gays, and therefore, the analogy is flawed.

    In the next breath, Church leaders are eager to use the analogy that the Mormon Church has been essentially sent "to the back of the bus" implying a direct analogy to civil rights sentiments.

    What violence have gays instigated against the Mormon church the likes of the civil rights era, to use Oaks own argument?

    On the other hand, if the Mormon church uses the argument, we have used the freedom of the democratic process.

    Exactly. So have gays.

  • To: Brian on pg. 4
    Oct. 14, 2009 6:49 p.m.

    PLEASE to not pretend to be a supporter of same-sex marriage.

    Furthermore, PLEASE do not lump all the 'homosexuals' into the category of activist vandals. And I won't lump all the Mormons into the ignorant bigots category. K?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 6:52 p.m.

    Atheism is, by definition, NOT a religion because it is not a belief. It is the ABSENCE of a belief in god.

    Please, religious children, try to educate yourselves before you write such banality.

  • Smigman
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:07 p.m.

    In the United States you are free to believe whatever you like, even if that belief is demonstrably inacurate ("e.g. there is a spaceship in the tail of the Hale-Bop comet). I am equally free to challenge that belief, or ANY other belief that you express. I can ridicule it, claim it is false, and even claim it is wrong, immoral and dangerous. You are, nevertheless, free to go on believing it.

    This is a problem?

    Oaks' argument is deeply flawed in its egotism. He feels his "side" is losing the battle of ideas and so he wants to change the rules of the game. Liberty does not work that way sir.



  • Seattle Guy
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:26 p.m.


    Freedom of religion under attack? You bet! Just look at all the hate from the anti-Mormons on all of the comment boards, that's proof enough. Oaks knows the law better than anti-Mormon nut jobs. He's a former Utah Supreme Court Member. He was considered by Regan for the U.S. Supreme Court; he know his stuff.
    What is interesting is that anti-Mormons will change the subject to Mormon rather than focusing on the issue of gay marriage itself. Tax the Church? I love how every anti-Mormon is an expert accountant. The LDS Church does pay millions in taxes for the business that they have. They do not pay taxes on Tithing or Offerings. The fact that Gay are freaking out and threatening people, vandalizing churches shows their true colors.

  • To: Pagan
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:29 p.m.

    "But really, I should not change my life due to your faith. Since you have the right to practice your faith, why am I not allowed to practice my life in peace?"

    Whoever said you had to change anything? Not us, certainly. We don't care who you date, we don't care what you and your significant other do between you, we don't care if you decide to commit to one another. What we ARE saying is that you don't have the right to call that committment a marriage, because it isn't one.

  • Worst Person in the World?
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:35 p.m.

    Well.. looks like Elder Oaks just won the bronze award on tonight's "Worst Person in the World" on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann for his comments on this subject.

  • Re: comment at 6:00 p.m.
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:41 p.m.

    "do we vote on whether to give blacks rights or women rights? do we vote on whether to give anyone the same rights as the majority? no."

    Um...actually yes, we did. The Civil Rights Act was passed by a vote in Congress, and the ERA was up for passage, but wasn't ratified in enough states to be passed. Before those, there were many laws up for vote in many states and nationwide for each issue that came up for vote.

    As a society, we are allowed to vote for whatever laws we wish to deem appropriate. Some of them are laws you may not agree with. If your side has the required majority to pass the laws, good for you, it passes. If not, it doesn't pass. Nothing is preventing you from trying again as many times as you wish. But we have the right to determine what is acceptable in our society and what is not, and right now, homosexual marriage is not acceptable to the clear majority of people in this country.

  • To: re - Tom in CA
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:43 p.m.

    "no - it was the influx of funds to promote a disceteful campaign convincing people that their world would fall apart was what did it. go figure.."

    What you fail to acknowledge is that the No on 8 side, the side you supported, raised more than 10 million more dollars for their campaign than the Yes side did. And it came from all over the country, just like you're so upset over the Mormons doing.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:50 p.m.

    President Washington was a baptized Episcopalian. How deeply he followed this set of beliefs I do not know, but he was officially a member of that Church.

  • randy
    Oct. 14, 2009 7:59 p.m.

    I am stepping up, as a member of the church, I donate to pro-gay rights groups, because I believe in section 134 of the D&C. we have no right to restrict free expressions of others in the realm of secular civil government. I will defend the church in their right to not perform on sanction gay marriages within the church. But outside of the church, we need to promote healthy lifestyles, which I do believe includes marriage, for all adults.

  • Freedom of religion
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:34 p.m.

    Our forefathers came to America largely to practise their various religions without interference, not freedom to behave badly or freedom from religion! How the definition of freedom has changed! If you want freedom from religion, try Cuba or China! Communists are notoriasly intolerant of religion!
    Isn't secularism wonderful? You can attack religions and call yourself tolerant!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:36 p.m.

    Sad news Utah. It looks like Prop 8 will once again have its day in California court, but this time it will be shielded from the influence of "tax-exempt" religious organizations.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 8:44 p.m.

    It's the end of the world as we know it.

  • Carol P. Warnick
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:12 p.m.

    Freedom of speech in this country means being able to express your ideas and beliefs without be persecuted or maligned because of it. Elder Oaks was speaking to all people not just The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint (LDS Church). He is concerned about what is happening to our country. Everyones freedom is being threatened. If one church or one people's beliefs are being suppressed we all suffer. This is America. We have the greatest Constitution in the world. It was established that we might enjoy these freedoms. We need to put all bias aside and try to work together to safeguard these freedoms. It's time we united for the good of this country.

  • CHALLENGE
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:15 p.m.

    Have any of you actually read the entire text of the devotional?

    There are over 500 comments regarding Elder Oaks Devotional talk at BYU-Idaho. I have read all the comments. Many of the comments appear to be a response to some other comment.

    When I read the text of the address, I am impressed by the reasoned, thoughtful, hopeful analysis presented by Elder Oaks.

    When I read the comments, I find very few to be reasoned, thoughtful or hopeful.

    With regard to Keith Olberman's nightly "award", I will fight to my last breath for his freedom of speech.

    In the text of his devotional address Elder Oaks wrote:

    "...we must speak with love, always showing patience, understanding and compassion toward our adversaries. We are under command to love our neighbor, to forgive all men, to do good to them who despitefully use us, and to conduct our teaching in mildness and meekness...we must not be surprised when our positions are ridiculed and we are persecuted and reviled...".

    It is too easy for me to replicate the satire of Keith Olberman.

    I'm going to work on following Elder Oaks recommendations.

    I never been afraid of a challenge.


  • Rex in AZ
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:21 p.m.

    It is amazing how politically charged everyones comments are on this article. Whether they are for or against Brother Oaks comments, he was simply attempting to inpire people to show up no matter what faith they are inspired by. To stand up for morals and fight for the American way! High Morals should transcend politics. Keeping our Constituion in tact is as American as you can get. Morals are timeless. Some people believe they can rid themselves of what gives them a consciences, but as a History buff I will tell you History has proven repeatedly that when morals are perverted and thrown to the wayside, it has proven the demise of every such perverted society. Egyptians, Romans, Mayans, Greeks, and yes even the USA if it doesn't wise up soon, and hear the call of a Captain like Elder Oaks. RAN

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:26 p.m.

    I am a member of the Church. Still, I am ashamed that there are so many (evidenced by the comments on this blog) Mormons that have a deeply rooted hostility towards human beings that have differing beliefs. I don't know where this came from-it certainly isn't a Christ like attitude. Yet it exists. And we expect the world to accept our young missionaries and treat them with respect? Something is wrong with this picture. People have a right to their beliefs-it's called free agency. Elder Oaks was merely expressing his views. It's OK to have a different opinion. It's dangerous to allow others to think for you. I am equally ashamed with the gay people who vandalize Mormon church property or treat their fellow Mormons badly-this is terrible and breeds a feeling of intollerance. Come on people.....let's all get along and respect one another.

  • hybridbeing
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:41 p.m.

    In this country there is a thing called Separation of Church and State. Laws cannot dictate church practices (unless they kill people), and Churches cannot dictate Laws. So when it comes to things like proposition 8, vote with your heart and conscience. But VOTE! You know every every hate monger will be out driving all their friends to vote, so get all your friends out there to vote too!

  • Comprehension skills
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:04 p.m.

    Wow, so many posting here didn't understand Oaks' point. The vote against prop 8 was a vote to leave the constitution alone so that churches could worship as they always have and not be constitutionally forced to accept homosexuality as not a sin. And yes, there were a lot of intimidation tactics by the gay activists, the likes of which have not ben seen since the anti-black tactics: Hundreds of churches vandalized (akin to cross burning) Business and voter hit-lists distributed with an aim to put them out of business or ruin reputations---all because of the way they voted in a democratic Country. These tactics directly impacted thousands of individuals and cost them a lot of personal income. Imagine if any other group in America were attacked this way for exercising their constitutional right to vote? Regardless of the personal belief, we have an obligation as citizens to protect the constituion, otherwise we become as Rome: mired in debauchery, torn by militant political factions and eventually looted by barbarians until our soul only exists in the history books.

  • Justin
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:21 p.m.

    Really all that is being said here by a wise man is to stand up for your beleifs. Whether you are mormon or whatever other religion you choose (or don't choose) to be a part of. Democrats and republicans do all things based on their "beliefs" because they think them to be right! Freedom of religion and freedom of speech go hand in hand, as do all of the ammendments. Retaliation against anyone that stands up for their beleifs with any form of violence is anti-american. Isn't that the point he is trying to get accross?

  • michaelm
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:25 p.m.

    Wow! Great talk, great article, and oh by the way let me stand with Elder oaks. Far too many people of morals, ethics, and religion have been quite and passive far too long. Like teenagers who loose it when parents finally take a stand against bad behavior because they are unaccustomed to being challenged or corrected. It is high time that good people of all religions stand up and speak out regardless of what they believe.

    For those who bother to study there is much going on in our country, at the UN and elsewhere to crush traditional values and family oriented beliefs. It's happened before throughout history and the after effects are always the same. For those smart enough to know history you understand, for those who are too lazy or too blind, well you will get what you want, only just like in the past what you think you want will not be what you thought you were getting and it will be too late. It's not enough to always be accepting of others who continue to destroy our core constitutional beliefs. If we don't stand up now it will cost much more later.

  • Lompoc
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:37 p.m.

    Dallin H. Oaks was not comparing the fall-out of the prop 8 results on Mormons to all of the outrageous inhumane acts committed against mid 20th century blacks in the South. But the focus of his comparison centered on the “chilling effect” any intimidation has on voting, whether in the form of burning crosses or boycotting business the “effect” is the same.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 14, 2009 10:49 p.m.

    Lets cut to the chase, it is the LDS church that is being attacked. There are enemies around us. Evil will continue to attack the lords one true church here on earth. We are in sad times but we will continue with the lords work despite the hostility.

  • To Coolman
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:10 p.m.

    As a lifelong Mormon, who has served in leadership positions, I can testify that your assertions are incorrect. Mormonism doesn't "force" anyone to believe anything. If you believe what Mormonism teaches, you are free to join. If you do not believe, you are free not to join. If you did believe, and change your mind, you are free to remove yourself from the Church.

    Mormonism, Islam, Judaism and every religion have a set of core beliefs. To become a member of any faith, you must make some kind of public statement that you agree with and will follow its teachings, such as baptism, bar mitzvah, first communion, etc. None of these ceremonies or ordinances are compulsory.

    Your posts are designed to portray Mormonism as some kind of brain-washing cult of extremists who force their followers to believe certain things and behave certain ways or face some kind of retaliation. Lying about opposing viewpoints reveals you as a hatemonger who is more intent on mocking Mormonism than in engaging in intelligent debate about the issues.

  • To many ant-LDS
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:18 p.m.

    Mormonism always teaches its' core doctrines. Latter Day Saint citizens have been encouraged for my entire lifetime to study the issues, the candidates, to follow their conscience and to exercise their rights to vote and sustain our democratic system.

    I have never been told which party to vote for, which candidates to support, or how to vote on a specific issue or proposition. No one has ever asked me after an election how I voted. That is between me, my conscience and God.

    Encouragement is given by local leaders in some cases to support causes that are in harmony with LDS teachings, but no one ever "checked up" to see what I did.

    I have never come across any kind of statistic or reporting mechanism to monitor or attempt to control my votes. In interviews with leaders to determine eligibility to enter temples, no one has asked me if I was a certain party member to determine my worthiness.

    I realize that I have only been a member of the LDS church for about 37 years, so perhaps my experience in the church is not sufficient yet to encounter all of these alleged mind and vote control techniques...

  • tigerlily
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:20 p.m.

    Hey Anon:: All people are free to have as many children as they want. and it is legal to use everyone as a tax deduction

  • The real truth
    Oct. 14, 2009 11:57 p.m.

    “to create laws based on your religious principles (of which gay marriage is one) then you are in fact TAKING AWAY freedoms, not protecting them.”

    Churches have not created laws to strip “freedoms" from any person or group. Same-sex marriage is NOT a constitutionally-guaranteed right.

    During the Prop 8 fight, Christian churches legally joined together to stand up for their beliefs on this question. A new law was proposed and churches campaigned in favor of it, as is our right. It was and remains your right to campaign in favor of your own beliefs.

    Each citizen of California voted according to his or her own conscience. The will of the majority of the people was not in favor continuing to permit same-sex marriage. Prop 8 became a law through this tried and true process designed by our founding fathers.

    The violent retaliation against churches and property, harassing individuals and boycotting businesses who opposed you and the repeated lawsuits, expose you as undemocratic individuals who will resort to any means to intimidate your opponents into silence and force your belief system on the majority.

    Who is taking away freedoms here?

  • Benjamin
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:06 a.m.

    "Well Said Elder Oaks" Sorry to burst your bubble but the founders of our great nation (though very much inspired) were also of a diverse background and knew full well how religion can be very dangerous to society if given full reign. Therefore they placed a solid wall of separation (IN THE CONSTITUTION) to protect freedom to worship as your conscience dictates as long as you do not impose your will on others or harm others in that practice. Heaven knows Joseph Smith & the early Latter-day Saints respected that separation deeply and even with that they still were treated severely by many in the nation who did not believe in their specific Christian view. Were it not for our constitution they likely would not have stood a chance. The modern LDS Church does not deal with anything close to what it did in its early history. Elder Oaks needs to keep in mind the distant past of LDS polygamy (another form of marriage) & the doctrine of the LDS Church about black people of African descent prior to 1978. What did LDS leaders have to say about civil rights leaders during the 1960s? Think about it.

  • Former
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:13 a.m.

    Take away peoples rights and you will see them react. The church did this in california and has still not recovered. Shame on you and the decline in membership has truly proven you have went down the wrong road.

  • Life long Member disappointed
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:44 a.m.

    While I find the errosion of faith and respect for faith in this country deeply troubling, I am equally troubled by the growing political radicalism on either side. Disrespect for religion cannot be returned with disrespect for no religion. I believe the best parts of this message could have been stated in a way that led to better relations and solutions with those whom we respect but disagree ("adversaries" if you must). Whereas this will be recieved by many I know as more of a war cry and validation of radical right - libertarian, anti-government political views. I feel sick!! I would write my views to the church but there is no way for me to contact them so I must post them publically and hope somebody is listening.

  • Re: Former
    Oct. 15, 2009 1:11 a.m.

    Say "Shame on you" to the words of an Apostle of Jesus Christ, and those words will come back against you.
    Be careful the road you choose to go down.

  • to Former
    Oct. 15, 2009 1:14 a.m.

    LDS church did not take away anyone's rights! How many times do we have to point this out?

    Here are the facts, spelled out for you:

    1) A law was proposed and named Prop 8.
    2) People, groups and churches campaigned for and against Prop 8.
    3) Democratic election occurred
    4) Prop 8 passed and became law outlawing same-sex marraige.

    LDS church campaigned and voted for the side of this issue as they felt compelled by their beliefs and conscience.

    Pro same-sex marriage individuals campaigned and voted for the side of this issue as they felt compelled by their beliefs and conscience.

    Both sides of this debate exercised their freedom of speech.

    The 95% of Californians who are not LDS voted their conscience.

    The election outcome was not in favor of same-sex marriage by a free election, according to the laws governing elections in the state of California so it became binding by the sovereign will of the people.

    How exactly did the LDS Church take away anyone's rights?

    By the way, the Church is still growing:
    Membership

    2009: 13,508,509
    2008: 13,193,999 = 314,510 new members!

    What's that prove?

  • Civil Rights
    Oct. 15, 2009 4:08 a.m.

    I am surprised that the civil Rights organizations aren't up in arms over this speech.

  • @ Benjamin
    Oct. 15, 2009 5:00 a.m.

    Show us, sir, where exactly in the constitution religion is mentioned and show the "solid wall of seperation". Not that I don't agree that one or any religion should reign...not my point at all...it is just when you make absurb statements as fact you should be able to back them up. By the way you won't be able to find a seperation in the Constitution...dude, do your homework first!

    Next time you try to "school" an expert on the constitution...THINK!

  • Re: Former
    Oct. 15, 2009 5:34 a.m.

    There hasn't been a noticeable decline in membership at all over the past year. On the contrary, in many missions around the country, and particularly in California, the missionaries have reported a greater interest in the church since Prop 8.

  • VBfriend
    Oct. 15, 2009 6:07 a.m.

    I really do believe in voting your conscience also. However, when you really were not bothered by gay marriage till you were instructed over the pulpit of your ward, I really do have a problem. The position on prop 8 hurt the gay people in the church deeply. The gays outside the church were understandibly livid. You do talk about gays being a small group but there are more gays than mormons in the country.

    Imagine the following scenario: One of the states that have legalized gay marriage, sees that marriages performed in their state are not recognized when the people move to Utah. They decide that marriages performed in LDS Temples will not be recognized in their state. On a vacation your family visits the state, and your spouse is critically injured. You rush to the hospital and they will not allow you past the reception area unless you are family. The try to contact the spouses family, but none can be found and the spouse dies. They died alone in a hospital room. The church made new friends (Ones that hate you and feel you are a cult). See how they stand by you now!

  • RERE:Gays to Porn
    Oct. 15, 2009 6:39 a.m.

    In support of Elder Oaks haters are shotgunning everything they have. I have homosexual family members whom I love and admire. Jesus taught me love. I also have smoker family members. There is a gene discovered which makes some more likely to addict to nicotine. As much as they love cigarettes, I still wouldn’t marry the people I love to nicotine. Marriage is legal enforcement of homosexuality, God gave us all feelings that homosexual behavior, anger, drug use, murder, etc are unhealthy and wrong. There’s no other way to know, however, for those denying feelings, there are multiple unmentioned studies indicating homosexuality, OVERALL, is unhealthy, as are children raised in those relationships (yes, there are exceptions). I know of no scientific evidence that polygamy is unhealthy, just feelings and BOM, yet, out of love, most AMERICANS support banning these marriages. This does not make us bigots, we have attacked, vandalized, etc, NO ONE.
    Conservative States are high in INTERNET porn because, unlike Vegas, it isn’t available EVERYWHERE else here.
    There’s no proof that the BOM, Abraham, etc, are false. Look at my DesNews posts on BOM genetics, etc, if you dare, little yappers. Joe

  • Freedom
    Oct. 15, 2009 7:19 a.m.


    I think this was meant to be a discussion of how the religious, especially LDS, are fired from jobs, discriminated against, hated, vandalized, sued, criticized, even beaten, etc, just for voting, being politically active, or even speaking. Homosexuals have all those rights and protections, and more. This has been turned into just another loud protest for gay “rights” but the First Amendment prevents Congress from making laws prohibiting the “free exercise of religion,” etc. Whose constitutional rights are being violated? Society makes moral laws together, no smoking in public, no groping in public, no children on alcohol, no polygamy, no married cousins, etc. Everyone can argue that these are their rights, they are not. Nor is homosexual marriage, it is unhealthy for society. My children should be able to walk down the street and not be forcefully exposed to naked men, sexually kissing men, etc. This is not freedom “from” homosexuality but, unlike the religious, homosexuals have usurped the right to religiously preach their beliefs and "way" in schools, and expose in plazas, etc. Do what you want privately, but public places should be G rated. Free religion is not free sexuality, you're all smart enough to know this.

  • I must comment
    Oct. 15, 2009 7:52 a.m.

    re: Anonymous @ 4:21 | 4:54 p.m. Oct. 14, 2009
    ["Dixie, what religious freedom have you lost? Even if gay marriage becomes the law of the land, can you worship and believe as you want to?"

    No. If homosexual marriage becomes legal, and I believe that homosexual behavior is a sin and I promote that idea, I could potentially be prosecuted for it. That is a loss of religious freedom that I now enjoy. ]


    So, since drinking alcohol is legal in Utah, you are promoting that behavior?

    Get real people.

    I certainly do not promote the LDS church's religious rites, but, they too are legal and I will do nothing to stop you from practicing them.

    PS. Homosexuality is NOT illegal anywhere in the US. You must be promoting that behavior by your logic?

  • To VBfriend
    Oct. 15, 2009 7:53 a.m.

    "However, when you really were not bothered by gay marriage till you were instructed over the pulpit of your ward, I really do have a problem."

    What makes you think we weren't bothered by it? The LDS church has campaigned against gay marriage in nearly every state in which it's been put up to vote, and the leadership has been speaking out against it since the early-to-mid-'90s. In Utah, we passed a state amendment against gay marriage years ago. This isn't exactly something that just popped up out of the blue, it's something we've been actively fighting against for more than a decade.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 7:54 a.m.

    "Disrespect for religion cannot be returned with disrespect for no religion. "

    I wish I could underline this statement. I totally agree.

    We are just like those that we are condemning, maybe worse because of our judging!

  • @ to former
    Oct. 15, 2009 7:59 a.m.

    to Former | 1:14 a.m. Oct. 15, 2009
    "LDS church did not take away anyone's rights! How many times do we have to point this out?"

    Did gays have the right to marry in CA before the Church worked so hard to pass prop 8? Yes.

    Did prop 8 pass with 40% of the money and 80% of the volunteer time coming from church members? Yes.

    Do gays still have that right? No.

    Was a right taken away by Prop 8? Yes.


    What say you?

  • Dear joe
    Oct. 15, 2009 8:03 a.m.

    "there are multiple unmentioned studies indicating homosexuality, OVERALL, is unhealthy, as are children raised in those relationships (yes, there are exceptions). "

    Hey joe, name me one scientific study done by a reputable (not religious based) group. Especially the children studies. All my research states differently. I would like to read a contradictory study.

    Thanks.

  • David in Michigan
    Oct. 15, 2009 8:18 a.m.

    @VBfriend | 6:07 a.m. Oct. 15, 2009

    “Imagine the following scenario: One of the states that have legalized gay marriage, sees that marriages performed in their state are not recognized when the people move to Utah. They decide that marriages performed in LDS Temples will not be recognized in their state. On a vacation your family visits the state, and your spouse is critically injured. You rush to the hospital and they will not allow you past the reception area unless you are family. The [sic] try to contact the spouses [sic] family, but none can be found and the spouse dies. They [sic] died [sic] alone in a hospital room.“

    Your scenario proposes an additional question to be added in the emergency room to the query regarding insurance: Is your marriage recognized in this state? There are several solutions to this problem, some of which should be carried out before visiting your hypothetical state: 1) Lie and say yes (I don’t recommend this). 2) Get a civil marriage or a domestic partnership to go along with the temple marriage. The former is common practice in Europe. 3) Give your spouse medical power of attorney.

  • Pagan
    Oct. 15, 2009 8:24 a.m.

    'Whoever said you had to change anything? Not us, certainly. We don't care who you date, we don't care what you and your significant other do between you...'

    That is obviously a lie.

    If people 'didn't care' what a gay couple did, then why do they activly campaign against gay marriage?

    I thought they didn't care?

    And if they DO care, one has to ask 'why?'

    Why would a straight couple worry about what a gay couple is doing unless it DIRECTLY affects they're lives.

    The only thing gay marriage will do is bring down the 50% divorce rate.

    5yrs after passing gay marriage, MA is proof.

  • An analogy
    Oct. 15, 2009 8:26 a.m.

    The "gay" rights movement is like this:

    A group forms of people who loves to speed on the freeway. In order to be happy, they have to drive at least 100 MPH. They are so vocal about it and claim it is in their genes (without any scientific evidence) so much that other people begin to sympathize with them. Others join them because they're either curious or they've always been unsure of their feelings about driving the posted speed limit. Ultimately, this creates chaos and mayhem on the highways as the few insistent speeders attempt to weave through normal traffic.

    The problems with their arguments are: they are looking for special treatment from the law because they already have the same rights as everyone else, and they choose their behavior- it is not innate.

    The obvious public response to the speeders (and people who practice homosexuality) should be: we shouldn't have to change our laws just to make you happy, especially because your behavior is not good for society.

  • wow
    Oct. 15, 2009 8:29 a.m.

    re: to -- wow | 4:21 p.m | 5:26 p.m.
    "you couldn't misinterpret "freedom from religion" any worse if you tried. you have it totally backwards, as has been explained numerous times. but if you're justy too slow to get it, then there's no point in continuing to explain it..."

    How typical of PC passive/aggression: I disagree therfore I must be "slow". I understand you perfectly. Freedom FROM religion is not the same thing as freedom OF religion. The latter allows for diversity, tolerance and pluralism, the former is merely a mirror image of a religous theocracy espoused by those who try to hide their censorship and intolerance behind a faux noble front. I hear you and I think your ideology is a threat to personal freedom.

  • wow
    Oct. 15, 2009 8:45 a.m.

    re:Anonymous | 12:18 p.m. Oct. 14, 2009
    @wow
    "YOU aren't gay, WE don't call ourselves the clinical term homosexual....EVER
    Only those who hate us so much they purposely call us what we don't call ourselves say homosexual.
    The minute I see homosexual in a post, I know where it comes from.....how obvious can you liars be?"

    Yes I am homosexual - I do not the term gay because I dont want to associted with the kind of hate and hypocrisy that permeates gay politics.

    How dare you call me a liar simply because I dont conform to mind numbing dogma - you, and other gay fundamentalists, scare me far more than any religious zealot.

  • OC
    Oct. 15, 2009 8:59 a.m.

    "2009: 13,508,509
    2008: 13,193,999 = 314,510 new members!

    What's that prove? "

    It proves that 13 million people have children who turn 8. It doesn't prove that the church is undergoing any real growth.

  • @Freedom
    Oct. 15, 2009 8:59 a.m.

    FYI It is not against the law for homosexuals to hold hands or kiss in public and allowing gays to marry isn't going to change that. Public nudity is not legal. Same-sex marriage isn't going to change that either.

    It isn't illegal for gay people to date and have sex. So why do we want to stop gay people from making a legal monogomous committment to each other?

    The real threat to families and marriage is promiscuity. Heterosexuals have excelled in this area. Why aren't we enacting laws to make promiscuity illegal?

    What do you teach your children about kids whose parents are gay? Do you teach them to avoid these children?

  • Joe
    Oct. 15, 2009 9:07 a.m.

    There are so many, a fraction sample:
    Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1999; 56 (10) 867-874;
    Am J Psych. 2003; 160 (3), p. 541-546.
    Distress and Depression in Men Who Have Sex With Men: Am J Psychiatry. 2004; 161:278-285.
    Prevalence of disorders, psychological distress among lesbian, gay, bisexual. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2003; 71 :53-61.
    “Domestic Violence Among Homosexual Partners” Psychological Reports. 2003, 93, 410-416.
    International Journal of Epidemiology. 1997; 26:657-61.
    The Longevity of Homosexuals: Before and After the AIDS Epidemic. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying. 1994; 29 (3) 249-72.
    Sexual Orientation and Mental and Physical Health Status: Findings From a Dutch Population Survey. Am J Public Health. Jun 2006; 96: 1119 -1125.
    Xiridou M et al. homosexual men in Amsterdam . AIDS. 2003; 17: 1029-38.
    Bell AP, Weinberg MS. Homosexualities. New York 1978
    Adoption by Same-Sex Parents. (letter) Pediatrics. 2002; 109: 1193-4.
    Easton A et al, “Adolescent Same-Sex : Implications for Smoking,” Am J Public Health. Mar 2008; 98: 462 — 467.
    “Risk Comparison ,” Youth Society. Mar 2007; 38(3): 267 — 284.
    Adolescent Same-Sex Attractions: Implications for Substance Abuse,” Am J Public Health. Feb 2002; 92: 198

  • Vince
    Oct. 15, 2009 9:16 a.m.

    You wrote,

    "there are multiple unmentioned studies indicating homosexuality, OVERALL, is unhealthy, as are children raised in those relationships"

    Where are you getting your studies?

    Please cite.

    Promiscuity, gay or heterosexual, is unhealthy, not being gay or straight.

    And on the subject of children, children are always carried into this argument - as if the outmost care and concern for them was genuine was at stake when it comes to gay relationships.

    Children fare just as well in two parent gay households than in two parent heterosexual households. There is a wealth of information regarding this issue, decades old.

    Despite this research, people still want to throw the children and their gay parents into the debate as if two parent heterosexual households were better.

    Please explain how children would fare better if gay parents would not sometimes adopt some of these children or if the law banned same-sex parenting. Are you suggeting that foster care for these children is better.

    Your comments are unkind.

  • Joe again
    Oct. 15, 2009 9:17 a.m.

    There is a lot of suppressed information out there, and what I posted above is only a little . I hope I’m not sued for posting that. There are really hundreds and hundreds of studies. But I didn’t gather this information myself and don't want to take credit for it, I want to contact the person who did and maybe, if you really want the truth, I can hook you up with him, he wrote an article that was never published, of course, because we really don't want the truth on this. All moral laws are passed based on our feelings of what is right and wrong (including murder, there's no proof that it's really wrong, only that we feel it is so, we feel the Bible laws, etc are right when theyn say so etc.) But, as I said, there are studies also, but as you point out, a lot depends on who does the studies. They don't dare teach anymore that twin studies have shown that homosexuals are, at least most of the time (more than 50%) make a choice to be that way and are not forced by genetics.

  • Vince
    Oct. 15, 2009 9:20 a.m.

    Same-sex parenting

    Further,

    I quote,

    A ban on gay and lesbian individuals being allowed to foster could displace 9,000 to 14,000 children if pursued nationally.

    Such a national ban on GLB foster care could cost from $87 to $130 million. The costs to individual states could range from $100,000 to $27 million.

    SOURCE:
    Adoption and Foster Care by Lesbian and Gay Parents in the United States Author(s): Gary Gates, Lee M.V. Badgett, Jennifer Ehrle Macomber, Kate Chambers with the Urban Institute.

    and

    "Almost three decades of peer reviewed scientific research has uncovered no difference between the children of same-gender parents and the children of opposite-gender parents in health and development. Indeed, every major organization devoted to child health and welfare in this country agrees that the children of same-gender couples are just as likely to be healthy and well-adjusted as the children of opposite-gender couples. The American Psychological Association found that “There is no scientific evidence that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation: Lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children.”

    (cont)

  • Pagan
    Oct. 15, 2009 9:31 a.m.

    '...you, and other gay fundamentalists, scare me far more than any religious zealot.'

    Perhaps that is because religious zelots are not attacking your ability to marry?

    IF gay fundamentalists were attacking a persons right to marry, then I could understand the resentment. However gay people are working to change the 'idea' of marriage. And that, has happened many times in history.

    Or has inter-racial marriage stopped yet?

    Oh, as for the speed comparison, if I was going 100mph I would be going above and BEYOND what the speed limit is for others.

    A good comparison would be gay people 1) They have the right to marry and 2) want to marry into polygamy. A form of marriage not widely accepted in America. (And yet still practiced in Utah)

    Gay men and women can only marry in 6 out of 50 states at this time.

    So a proper comparison is that we own a car on the side of the freeway we cannot drive.

    So, the issue is not about the very same act, but who does it.

    They call it 'driving while black' in some places.

    This would be 'married while gay.'

    Get over it.

  • Vince
    Oct. 15, 2009 9:35 a.m.

    Re Former

    This is what was wrong with the Church's involvement with Proposition.

    Suppose the Church had not gotten involved with Prop and that indeed as you say, the voters of California had 'voted their conscience.'

    Back track the history of Prop 8,

    Prop 8 was run on a campaign of false premises. The whole can be can seen even to this day when you look up protectmarriage website.

    Church members contributed to a campaign based on false premises.

    True, while the proposition itself read a simple "Only a marriage between a man and woman is valid in the State of California" the campaign had a lot more background and had reasons built on unfounded defenses.

    The notion of "unwanted consequences," "what's best for the children," "look what will happen" are all hypothetical intangibles.

    What's more, when that campaign was run under those pretenses by a people who hold dear to the tenet of "we believe in being honest, true" - it falls on its face.

    Now then, never underestimate the power campaign money for any vote. Presidential elections, are to a great degree, fueled by money, not always ethical principles.

  • Sin
    Oct. 15, 2009 9:38 a.m.

    Stop your sinful behavior. Repent of your wrongdoing. Stop your war on marriage. There is no freedom in sin.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 9:42 a.m.

    Everyone needs to remember that homosexuality is NOT ILLEGAL anywhere in the United States.

    Banning gay marriage is not going to stop homosexual behavior. Do not be deluded into thinking that you are voting to limit sin.

    The US Supreme Court has made this clear. They are allowed to do anything in public that a heterosexual couple can do. If you take action against them, (and they are not on private property), YOU are at fault and do not understand our laws.

    No matter how much you may not agree with their lives, they have a right to live them.

    What does banning gay marriage accomplish? Merely not allowing law-abiding citizens the same rights and privileges you enjoy.

    Good luck with that. That is just about as un-American as it gets.

  • D iz M
    Oct. 15, 2009 9:54 a.m.

    re: Mormons Today/ Jews 33 A.D. | 2:05 p.m. Oct. 14, 2009

    We had the religious status quo whine to the Government to get rid of a problem they IMO did not want to deal with.

  • To @Freedom
    Oct. 15, 2009 9:58 a.m.

    You said:

    The real threat to families and marriage is promiscuity. Heterosexuals have excelled in this area.

    I'm not gay, but I believe that you are right.

  • Re: Anon 7:59 and 8:59
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:01 a.m.

    Actually, adultery is illegal. Promiscuity is more prevalent among homosexuals. Public nudity and sodomy are still illegal in SOME places, and public making out should be illegal for all, yet gays/homosexuals seem to feel public exhibitionism and groping are their right. When a “liberal” friend of mine asked two gays to “get a room” at the tax-funded Pride celebration in SLC, he was attacked (no, not a right) for his joke. To “What say You,” as I understand it certain people thought they were above the law in CA, so 08 clarified, but even if I’m mistaken, many things have been temporarily allowed, such as marijuana, child porn, LSD, and laws were passed taking away “rights” to use. These laws were not passed by LDS. The money and time we donated did not force anyone any more than the millions spent by homosexual activists forced anyone to vote a certain way. We, LDS, have taken no rights, we have only been politically active. We should not be terrorized for this. Religious people, just as well as homosexuals, should have the right to vote and campaign without being fired or attacked. The FIRST Amendment guarantees free religious exercise.

  • The Deuce
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:04 a.m.

    While not a member of the LDS faith, I do live in California and have to listen to this discussion more than is needed. I am not sure of the point that VBfriend is trying to make. It seems to me that the LDS Church has made their position on gay/lesbian marriage clear. How did that shock any of the gays in the LDS Church that VBfriend refers to? Was this a new revelation? Was this not a clear understanding in the LDS community? I am not LDS and I understand their position, how do members say they don't? Second, if there are questions regarding the validity of marriages performed in the LDS temple, the couple simply has the marriage performed in a civil setting first and then attends their temple afterwards. This is not a problem and would satisfy the law in any state. Therefore, your argument is worthless. This seems very random to me and I have to live in the middle of this issue each day and I understand it. If this is about rights then grant both civil unions and domestic partnerships the leagal rights needed. End of issue. Any comments?

  • Black
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:08 a.m.

    I wonder if Oaks realizes that it was the LDS church that fueled the fire of persecution against the blacks during the civil-rights struggle. So how can he compare the persecutions of the Mormon church by the gay rights activists to the persecution of blacks during the civil rights era? In no way is the gay rights activists doing anything to limit the civil rights of Mormons. In fact it is the other way around. If they could get away with it the Mormons would love to deny the most basic constitutional freedom of free speech to the LGBT community.

  • Re: OC
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:08 a.m.

    Fortunately, you're wrong. In our General Conference last week, they discussed the stats. One third of the new membership came from children, the other two thirds were from converts to the church. Nice try, though!

  • @joe again
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:15 a.m.

    "They don't dare teach anymore that twin studies have shown that homosexuals are, at least most of the time (more than 50%) make a choice to be that way and are not forced by genetics."

    Joe, if I were you, I would not quote those studies about twins. Especially since one of them studies twins that were raised apart and 2 out of 3 of them were both gay.

    It is actually 52% of identical twins that are both gay. That is a very high percentage which actually leads one to believe that there IS a genetic or prenatal reason for homosexuality.

    Do you realize that only 33% of identical twins both have type 1 diabetes - a definate genetical disease. Both have the gene, but it is only triggered 1/3 of the time. The same may be true for gayness (is that a word?).


    Look up "penetrance of the allele" of a gene. It will help you understand this a little better.

  • Pagan
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:19 a.m.

    'They don't dare teach anymore that twin studies have shown that homosexuals are, at least most of the time (more than 50%) make a choice to be that way and are not forced by genetics.'

    That is because they never HAVE taught that sexuality is a choice.

    I am a 30yr old gay man. I have more vested interest in sexuality studies than any heterosexual as being straight is 'ok', to find out if sexuality is a choice.

    It is not. How do I know that? Well, 1) My personal experience. 2) Every study I have found is inconclusive.

    Also, I can present my sources instead on relying on blatant lies. 'They' is not a source.

    Nothing proves sexuality is a choice? Want to prove me wrong? Change yours.

  • Pagan
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:23 a.m.

    'There is no freedom in sin.'

    There is also no freedom in being celibate until marriage...and then having marriage taken away.

    That's if I believed what I do is a sin to begin with.

    Some believe eating shellfish is a sin.

    Want to stop sin? Love thy neighbor.

  • wow
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:24 a.m.

    re: Pagan | 9:31 a.m.
    "'...you, and other gay fundamentalists, scare me far more than any religious zealot.'
    Perhaps that is because religious zelots are not attacking your ability to marry?"

    What they are doing is questioning a 5000 year old definition of marraige. The rest of your post does not make any sense. Gay funadamentaist DO attack and silence any point of view that does not conform to their narrow agenda. For example: I know several ex-gays - yet they are not supposed to exist according to gay fundamentaism.
    I think gay sponsred efforts to silence religous speech are a threat to personal liberty.
    I have little respect for those who claim that gay marraige is no diffferent than interracial marraige (the difference is fairly obvious)
    As soon as gay marraige advocates start pushing for legalizing polygamy I will have give them some credence - in the mean time I just think most are rather duplicitous.
    As a homosexual man - gay fundamentaits embarass me just as much as Fred Phelps embarrasses the relgious community.

  • TO -- RERE:Gays to Porn | 6:39
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:25 a.m.

    ["Marriage is legal enforcement of homosexuality"]

    what? how do you ever come to that conclusion? that's like saying a drivers license is legal enforcement of drunk driving...

    ["God gave us all feelings that homosexual behavior, anger, drug use, murder, etc are unhealthy and wrong"]

    so... you put murderers and gays in the same category?

    the problem with you is obvious. hopefully someday you will see it...

  • Joe
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:26 a.m.

    RE:8:03 anon.
    Maybe they aren’t going to post the list of “Scientific” non-religious studies from all over the world that I pasted in comments. I had to cut most of the hundreds of studies, but it is out there if ANYONE wants a huge list of studies from places like Amsterdam, etc, on the tragedy that homosexuality is, and the growing non-genetic cultural prevalence of homosexuality, and the damage it does to children raised in it, and to society at large, it is available. Post contact info and I’ll get some truth to you if I can. Keep in mind, as I said, that I have homosexual family members that I really love, and I try to love all people, but you should know that it isn't good for you, and it shouldn't be encouraged or legally enforced.

    And, to "PAGAN" the hater, who spends his/her days posting hate all over thE Des News. The person you are ripping on is a homosexual. He just doesn't hate like you do, that's why you scare him. Have a nice day though, we love you in spite of your hate.

  • re - An analogy | 8:26 a.m.
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:30 a.m.

    ["A group forms of people who loves to speed on the freeway. In order to be happy, they have to drive at least 100 MPH"]

    really really lame analogy. Driving 100 puts others in danger. who is put in danger with gay marriage?

  • TO -- An analogy | 8:26 a.m
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:34 a.m.

    ["The problems with their arguments are: they are looking for special treatment from the law because they already have the same rights as everyone else, and they choose their behavior- it is not innate"]

    gays don't have the same rights - they cannot marry and you can.

    oh - wait - are you using the tired old "they can marry the opposite sex" line? so if your religion was outlawed you would be ok with that? no? why not? there are other religions you could join.

    same analogy - no difference. you want to choose your religion - gays want to choose their spouse. no one is harmed by gay marriage, so do'nt use your "what about sisters, animals, etc" marriage line. it's been beaten down already.

  • Bill
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:34 a.m.

    To Vince: We know that you are a member of the Church who is treading a fine line between apostatizing and opinion. You only speak up when it comes to same-sex marriage which you as a member of the Church know is not eternally feasible, as God has defined marriage between man and woman. No other definition is warranted or authorized. The Lord's annointed came our with "THE FAMILY, A PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD" in 1995 which basically states the Church's stance on same-sex marriage. What many fail to realize is that the Church would not go against a civil union but they will fight for a redefinition of marriage. This has been done in EVERY STATE where is has been placed before the voters. members of the Church have been asked in such states of Massachusetts, Vermont, Iowa and the others who have had this done via the legislature and courts to write to their own legislatures and state their disapproval. I stand with an apostle of God who is higher than any scientist or legislature. He states emphatically as do all of the 15 Apostels on Earth the definition of marriage.

  • Michael Staker, M.D.
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:37 a.m.

    "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

    I served 7 years active duty, U.S. Army, with 14 years total Army.

    I am grateful for the opportunity to serve my country, to PROTECT and DEFEND the Unites States Constitution from those who are trying to destroy religious freedom--likely many of whom have written comments on this post.

    I am also grateful for my training and certification as a medical doctor, and my understanding that gives as far as comments on this post...

    I respect everyone, and allow them to believe in whatever they want to believe in--but I also appreciate those who uphold the United States Constitution, and Freedom of Religion. PLEASE REMEMBER, THESE FREEDOMS WERE WON--AND HAVE MAINTAINED--BY THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD, BY YOUR FELLOW AMERICANS, AND YOUR FATHERS AND MOTHERS!!!

    Please do not allow these freedoms to be taken away because of rhetoric.

  • to - wow | 8:29 a.m.
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:40 a.m.

    ["How typical of PC passive/aggression: I disagree therfore I must be "slow". I understand you perfectly. Freedom FROM religion is not the same thing as freedom OF religion. The latter allows for diversity, tolerance and pluralism, the former is merely a mirror image of a religous theocracy espoused by those who try to hide their censorship and intolerance behind a faux noble front. I hear you and I think your ideology is a threat to personal freedom"]

    ok, "wow". I'll grant that we have entirely different definitions of "freedom from religion". but your definition means censorship and mine means the ability to not have to live my life based on other people's morals. so while your definition scares you, mine shouldn't. and no - I'm not gay nor homosexual. I just think that just because some zealots decide they don't like a group of people, that doesn't give them the right to impose their idea of morality onto them - ie - freedom from religion.

    perhaps I should have said "freedom from zealots". :)

  • Informed Reader
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:41 a.m.

    Suggest you go to the SL Trib website and see what the real world is saying about Dallin Oaks self-pity speach... Of course you won't find it here on the Mormon Pravda site.

  • to -- Freedom | 7:19 a.m
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:46 a.m.

    ["My children should be able to walk down the street and not be forcefully exposed to naked men, sexually kissing men, etc"]

    if you see naked men on the street, call 911 and have them arrested for indecent exposure. If you have a problem with people kissing, don't know what to tell you. or is it just two men kissing that bothers you? (by the way, I think two guys kissing is nasty - but it's legal so I got over it. have you? and does two women kissing bother you as much?)

    ["Do what you want privately, but public places should be G rated. Free religion is not free sexuality, you're all smart enough to know this."]

    why do you think that gay marriage is about sex? gays can have sex without marriage. and marriage has very little to do with sex. if you think marriage is about sex, then you've never been married - or at least not in a long marriage anyway.

  • Response to Anonymous 9:42 Post
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:54 a.m.

    I think that one of the underlying reasons that many churches want to ban gay marriage is because they don't want to be forced to have to marry gays in their church (if that goes against their religious beliefs). If they are receiving any government benefits, they would be forced to give equal treatment to hetero and homo sexuals when they perform marriages. It is not only the LDS church that is supporting the notion that marriage should only be between a man and a woman; many churches support this.

  • to -- Joe again | 9:17 a.m
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:56 a.m.

    ["All moral laws are passed based on our feelings of what is right and wrong (including murder, there's no proof that it's really wrong, only that we feel it is so, we feel the Bible laws, etc are right when theyn say so etc"]

    no proof murder is wrong? the proof that murder is wrong is the fact that someone died!! murder harms others - that's why it's wrong - and that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the bible. Everyone knew murder was wrong way before the bible or any of that. not really sure what you're thinking here, dude.

    ["he wrote an article that was never published, of course, because we really don't want the truth on this"]

    if such a study existed, showing gay marriage harms others and gays raising children was bad, then finding a publisher would be easy - the mormon church would love to publish something like that.

    for whatever reason, you seem to think that you saying these things somehow makes them true. but we are not nearly as gullible as your church members.

    murder is obviously wrong. why is gay marriage wrong?

  • Joe RE:Vince
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:57 a.m.


    Hope they post mine. I know many people who have been trying to adopt for years and have not been able to. These children should be sent to heterosexual homes. Your SINGLE study on foster care doesn’t seem to discuss health and adjustment of these Foster children, but obviously Foster Care is something homosexuals are allowed to do without being legally married, so it shouldn’t be an issue, but so far they haven’t posted your source for the “peer reviewed studies” which you claim disagree with the studies that I tried to post, which are not propaganda put out by any group but are a long list in reputable Journals etc, and have found the opposite from what you claim the APA found. Again, as I noted above, and as anon noted, gays don't seem to trust sources that disagree, and there are many studies disagreeing. I'll keep an open mind and could easily be convinced that homosexuals take care of their children's physical needs, because some homosexuals I know and worked with in Mental Settings are good at this, however, they and their "children," in general, are not well adjusted mentally, spiritually etc.

  • To Anon
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:59 a.m.

    Please cite the law where you mention that adultery is illegal. I don't support adultery, but I know of no such laws unless you are talking about some ancient law that is no longer enforced, but the legislatures don't want to spend tax dollars in arguing about taking the law off the books.

  • Pagan
    Oct. 15, 2009 11:07 a.m.

    'We, LDS, have taken no rights...'

    Wrong.

    Before Prop 8 same-sex marriage was legal. After Prop 8 was passed it is now against the law.

    While the LDS church was not alone in this campaign it does need to acknowledge it's role.

    Religion took away the rights of American citizens.

    This is a fact. Not my opinion. Please look it up on any website about this issue.

    A opinion would be 'Promiscuity is more prevalent among homosexuals' as homosexuals, on average, do not have the ability to have any monogomus relationship legally recognized.

    Or, in laymans terms, if gays can't get married, why are they promiscuis?

  • RE:Vince
    Oct. 15, 2009 11:15 a.m.

    Vince, you are making assumptions and accusations about the dishonesty of Mormons but I don’t know where you have proven that Elder Oaks has lied, or that "the Church" lied, or that Freedom of religion is not being attacked. All moral laws are made by these sorts of feeling based arguments, including the ban on polygamy, cousins marrying etc. Or, even, on the off topic issue of gay activism, homosexuals misrepresented much in the prop 08 campaign, including Mormon missionaries blasting into their homes and going through their stuff and tearing up their property etc. And were they attacked for their political activism? Do homosexuals have a First Amendment right to vote, campaign, donate, and otherwise be politically active without being fired from their jobs, sued, vandalized, terrorized etc, etc, etc? All should have the right to be politically active, you hate us and apparently don’t want us to have that right. We support your right to blast us, even in an LDS paper, you are allowed to speak. Yet, somehow, you seem to feel it is wrong for us to speak, vote, donate…… This is the topic.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 11:20 a.m.

    "Public nudity and sodomy are still illegal in SOME places,"

    All anti-sodomy laws were declared unconstitutional by Lawrence v. Texas.

    Homosexuality is legal EVERYWHERE in the United States.

  • What say you...
    Oct. 15, 2009 11:25 a.m.

    "We should not be terrorized for this."

    I absolutely agree. You should never be terrorized nor have anything vandalized. That is illegal and should be punished.

    I do not believe that criticism of your time, money and votes is terrorism. It is your right to express yourself in word and deed. It is their right to express themselves through protests, boycotts and words. This is what America is all about.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 11:27 a.m.

    TO -- Re: Anon 7:59 and 8:59 | 10:01 a.m.

    ["Actually, adultery is illegal"]

    where is adultery illegal?

    ["Public nudity and sodomy are still illegal in SOME places"]

    where is sodomy illegal?

    just because you wish it was so does not make it so.


    what does any of that have to do with gay marriage? you are giving history lessons (poorly I might add) when the real issue is - if you have the right to marry the person of your choice, why don't gays have the same right? answer - because you don't like them. why did interracial couples not have the right to marry for so long? again - because you didn't like them...

    see a trend?

  • Joe
    Oct. 15, 2009 11:32 a.m.

    Vince, hope they post it this time, there are so many more, but one you can google is this one which discusses the misinformation by APA you cited: Adoption by Same-Sex Parents. (letter) Pediatrics. 2002; 109: 1193-4

    Distress in Men Who Have Sex With Men: Am J Psychiatry. 2004; 161:278-285.
    Prevalence of disorders, psychological distress among lesbian, gay, bisexual. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2003; 71 :53-61.
    Domestic Violence Among Homosexual Partners” Psychological Reports. 2003, 93, 410-416.
    International Journal of Epidemiology. 1997; 26:657-61.
    The Longevity of Homosexuals: Before and After the AIDS Epidemic. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying. 1994; 29 (3) 249-72.
    Sexual Orientation and Mental and Physical Health Status: Dutch Population Survey. Am J Public Health. Jun 2006; 96: 1119 -1125.
    Homosexual men in Amsterdam . AIDS. 2003; 17: 1029-38.
    Bell AP, Weinberg MS. Homosexualities. New York 1978
    Easton A et al, “Adolescent Same-Sex : Implications for Smoking,” Am J Public Health. Mar 2008; 98: 462 — 467.
    “Risk Comparison ,” Youth Society. Mar 2007; 38(3): 267 — 284.
    Adolescent Same-Sex Attractions: Implications for Substance Use and Abuse,” Am J Public Health. Feb 2002; 92: 198 - 202.

  • to -- The Deuce | 10:04 a.m.
    Oct. 15, 2009 11:32 a.m.

    ["if there are questions regarding the validity of marriages performed in the LDS temple, the couple simply has the marriage performed in a civil setting first and then attends their temple afterwards. This is not a problem and would satisfy the law in any state. Therefore, your argument is worthless. This seems very random to me and I have to live in the middle of this issue each day and I understand it. If this is about rights then grant both civil unions and domestic partnerships the leagal rights needed. End of issue. Any comments?"]

    yes. if that's true, why can't gays get married "in a civil setting"? calling it "domestic partnerships" is just a way of seperating gays from everyone else. why should that have to be?

    why can't everyone get married - or as you call it - a "civil union"?

  • Pagan
    Oct. 15, 2009 11:40 a.m.

    Directed at wow | 10:24 a.m

    Ok. Marriage, as it stands now, changed in 1967. (Loving vs. Virginia) To allow interacila marriage. So the current definition of marriage has only been around 42yrs. Not 5000.

    The Gay community defends itself from religious groups. If you view that as an 'attack' so be it. We don't call your marriage an abomination. We question the logic of these attacks. Not the ability.

    Also, if your a gay man, why do you say 'they' when talking about gay activist's? Aren't you gay? And why would you be against rights you might get?

    Also, by saying there are 'obvious' differences between interacial marriage and gay marriage is to make claim they are different.

    Just like the arguments against interacial marriage.

    Both are monogomus agreements between two people. Being gay does not make you less of a person.

    Oh and polygamy's not a gay thing.

    It's a Utah thing.

  • TO -- wow | 10:24 a.m
    Oct. 15, 2009 11:41 a.m.

    ["What they are doing is questioning a 5000 year old definition of marraige"]

    5000 years ago, parents sold their daughter for money, or for land, power, or to join with another family. only recently has that definition changed.

    now marriage is supposed to be about who you love. so the definition of mariage is VERY different today than it was. In fact, the current definition points toward gay marriage being ok, since they love each other, thereby meeting the current definition.

    do you REALLY want to go back to the 5000 year old definition of marriage?

  • re -- wow | 10:24 a.m
    Oct. 15, 2009 11:47 a.m.

    ["I have little respect for those who claim that gay marraige is no diffferent than interracial marraige (the difference is fairly obvious)"]

    please explain. I don't see any difference at all. Races are born that way. So are gays, hermaphidites, transexuals, etc. so what is the difference?

    ["As soon as gay marraige advocates start pushing for legalizing polygamy I will have give them some credence - in the mean time I just think most are rather duplicitous"]

    how are polygamists born as polygamists? terrible analogy.

    ["As a homosexual man - gay fundamentaits embarass me just as much as Fred Phelps embarrasses the relgious community"]

    don't know Fred Phelps, but you certainly are not gay. and saying you are does not give your post more credence - it lowers it.

    or maybe you are one of the strange rare ones that actually chooses to be homosexual rather than born that way. no real gays choose to be gay. why would ANYONE choose to be ridiculed and denied rights on purpose?

  • Joe
    Oct. 15, 2009 11:48 a.m.

    To people commenting on my stuff without taking the time to read it: First, give me a logical non-feeling based argument that murder is wrong? Someone died? So you feel bad about that, so do I. It's a feeling. The Bible is God's word, but if you FEEL it is men's, then still homosexuality and murder are condemned by the feelings of those Biblical men thousands of years ago. There was a reason for that. We have science to back it up, if they would post it, but that doesn’t matter. Vince’s APA statement has been rebutted more than once in reputable Journals etc. As far as the naked comments, I will call 911, but naked is illegal here in America but not everywhere, is it a right? And it’s not just a simple peck that bothers me either, children should be able to walk the streets in American without being subjected to sexuality, violence, or ANYTHING that wouldn’t be shown to General Audiences, including homosexual behavior. It isn’t too much to ask.
    Also above, besides the law, marriage eliminates adultery, people wanting to be married should know this.

  • wow
    Oct. 15, 2009 11:48 a.m.

    re: to - wow | 8:29 a.m. | 10:40 a.m.
    "perhaps I should have said "freedom from zealots". :)"

    I agree
    Great: We found some common ground

    I guess our difference comes from the fact that I fear anti-religion zealots just as much (or more) than I fear religous ones - because they also impose their beliefs onto others (either directly or passively)
    I agree no-ones religous doctrine should be taught in public school (beyond comparative religion)- but I am more horrified that there are those that think we cant have relgous observance on public poperty (such as Americans United censoring a Messiah sing-in at a school in Holladay) - but we must accomodate the Folsum Street Fair.
    That seems grotesquly unfair to me.
    AND I belive that questioning the complete redefinition of marraige does not inherantly make one a zealot (just because some people disagree with that position).

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 11:51 a.m.

    Response to Anonymous 9:42 Post | 10:54 a.m. Oct. 15, 2009
    "I think that one of the underlying reasons that many churches want to ban gay marriage is because they don't want to be forced to have to marry gays in their church (if that goes against their religious beliefs). If they are receiving any government benefits, they would be forced to give equal treatment to hetero and homo sexuals when they perform marriages. It is not only the LDS church that is supporting the notion that marriage should only be between a man and a woman; many churches support this."


    If a church IS receiving government support, that if from taxes. Believe it or not, gays pay taxes. Lots of them since most of them do not have children.

    Why should a church receive tax money (some from gays) and then be able to discriminate against them?

    This is why the LDS church keeps itself totally separated from any government handouts. Good thinking!

  • Mase
    Oct. 15, 2009 11:51 a.m.

    The big flaw in the logic is that the church can still practice the exact same way if gay marriage is made legal. It is legal to drink coffee and yet the church is allowed to call a coffee drinker unworthy and not allow them to marry in the temple. I feel that is a right of a church to determine its rules for worthiness and what criteria is needed for a church marriage. Some people believe that god approves of gay marriage. What about their religious beliefs? The church can have absolutely no change done to it if gay marriage passes. But if it doesn't pass then religious beliefs of one church are controlling peoples lives that hold sacred other beliefs. I think the easiest way to look at it is go back 20-30 years and look at interracial marriage. Use the exact same arguments against gay marriage but replace the word gay with interracial and the fact that gay people can't have children with mixed race children. Keep in mind these were respected arguments back then.

  • to - Bill | 10:34 a.m
    Oct. 15, 2009 11:53 a.m.

    ["God has defined marriage between man and woman"]

    not true. never happened. just because your leaders told you that does not make it true.

    ["What many fail to realize is that the Church would not go against a civil union but they will fight for a redefinition of marriage"]

    the states and the fed gov't only recognize marriage, not "civil unions". when "civil unions" are recognized for everyone, and "marriage" simply means you went to some church to get "sealed, and all states and fed gov't issue only "civil union" licenses and not "marriage" licenses, then that will be fine. but when you want gays to have a different vehicle for being wed, that's the problem.

    just level the playing field. why is that so hard?

  • TO - Michael Staker, M.D. | 10:3
    Oct. 15, 2009 11:56 a.m.

    [" am grateful for the opportunity to serve my country, to PROTECT and DEFEND the Unites States Constitution... Please do not allow these freedoms to be taken away because of rhetoric"]

    thank you for serving. and thank you for agreeing that freedoms should not be taken away because of rhetoric. Gays lost the ability to marry in California because of false rhetoric from the mormon church. I'm sure gays appreciate your stance in favor of rights and gay marriage. thank you again.

  • burner
    Oct. 15, 2009 11:58 a.m.

    Leviticus 18, verse 22
    22: Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 11:59 a.m.

    On sodomy being illegal. No homosexuals are prosecuted for sodomy, that would be an outrage, but better tell the police, judges, etc, they are still prosecuting for “sodomy,” using the law in rape cases, child abuse etc. These guys haven’t yet been as successful in their campaigns to legalize. And blacks voted for 08 also. Homosexual marriage, child marriage, polygamy, etc, were all banned by 08, these are not racial issues. It doesn't do you well to try to turn homoSEXUALITY into a race issue.

  • Manom
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:02 p.m.

    "the most desirable condition for the effective exercise of GOD-GIVEN MORAL AGENCY is a condition of MAXIMUM FREEDOM and RESPONSIBILITY"

    ...couldn't have said it better myself. Why SHOULDN'T people be able to have maximum freedom to be able choose for themselves whether or not they want to become gay married? Shouldn't we ALL enjoy free agency? Regardless of whether or not YOU believe the outcome to be damnation or what not? How is that a threat to your religion? It's people choosing for themselves what's right for them. I'm unsure of the exact statistics, but I know that in areas where gay marriage had been legalized (if even for a short while), people that were against it were polled and asked whether or not they had since been effected PERSONALLY by people being gay married and the large majority said NO.

  • Abe Lincoln
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:07 p.m.

    to: TO -- wow | 10:24 a.m | 11:41 a.m.

    then please, tell me, why can't a man marry his sister? after all, that's just a stupid ancient law that prohibits these things. just because some things were bad 5000 years ago doesn't mean everything needs to be redefined. all of these arguments comp[aring gay marriage to interracial marrieage is irrelevant. if you want to call homosexuality a race, fine. than so is heterosexuality. when you use the argument of interracial, then you must realize thaty the correct comparison would be a gay man marryinng a staright woman. that would interracial if one's sexual orientation were a race. as for gays marrying gays, you already have that right. any man can marry any woman regardless of thier sexual orientation. no one asks whether one or both of the couple is gay or straight when they apply for a license. no rights are being denied. as for marrying who you love, if you love you sister, you still can't marry her. there are conditions that have to be met for the definition of marriage. that includes one man and one woman.

  • TO JOE
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:23 p.m.

    "To people commenting on my stuff without taking the time to read it: First, give me a logical non-feeling based argument that murder is wrong?"

    Joe, I know you understand this. Taking away anyone elses rights are wrong. The person you murdered had his right to live taken away. His right to choose to live. It is a very simple concept.

    As my mother told me: "your rights end where the other persons nose begins."

    Rights: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That pursuit of happiness is their own ideal - not yours.

    Marriage for a gay couple could actually be their pursuit of happiness. Isn't that interesting. And it does NOT take away anyone elses life, liberty or pursuit. It should be legal, shouldn't it?

  • Mase
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:24 p.m.

    The reason interracial marriage is brought up is that it was considered a sin at one point. Groups of people thought it was a danger to society and the foundation of America. People who look at gay marriage as not being a sin find the opposition to be as absurd as someone agains interracial marriage. Someone please tell me the actual effect on society if gay people can get married. They are already living together. Straight people won't magically have gay feelings if marriage is allowed. Religions can still teach what they think is right and children can be taught their parents morals. I really don't see what big difference it will have on society. And if god doesn't like it, then let him deal with it.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:25 p.m.

    Someone focused on the word “terrorized.” I knew a gay man who felt terrorized by boyscouts selling raffle tickets because the organization didn’t want boys in tents with girls, boys, or women who want them sexually. However, besides firing LDS from jobs, vandalizing, trespassing, desecrating sacred spaces, etc I’m sure the little old temple workers who were sent the imitation anthrax after 08 passed felt terrorized. Government officials were sent imitation anthrax after 9/11 called it an act of terror, didn’t they? I’m not saying I know who did all this, but when it happens to LDS no one cares. If LDS are politically active this is some sort of crime. You don’t need to hate us so much for it. We disagree with you, but agree with most of America, do you hate them also??

  • WOW!
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:28 p.m.

    what is this world coming to? we want to force the religions into the closet and diplay homnosexuality in public! do you really think that is the way to go?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:33 p.m.

    Abe Lincoln | 12:07 p.m. Oct. 15, 2009
    to: TO -- wow | 10:24 a.m | 11:41 a.m.

    "then please, tell me, why can't a man marry his sister? after all, that's just a stupid ancient law that prohibits these things."

    Because they have potential victims...their children! We are smart enough to know that any recessive defective gene has a much greater chance of displaying in the children of closely related parents.

    Look at the FLDS if you don't believe me!

  • Manom | 12:02 p.m. Oct. 15, 2009
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:37 p.m.

    Manom, I'd like to make a little comment to your post. There is no such thing as "free" agency. You will not find free agency mentioned in the scriptures. We most certainly have our agency, but in the end it is not free. We will be judged and we will pay the consequences for the wrong choices we made.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:37 p.m.

    "However, besides firing LDS from jobs, vandalizing, trespassing, desecrating sacred spaces, etc I’m sure the little old temple workers who were sent the imitation anthrax after 08 passed felt terrorized."

    I'm sure they did. If you point me to the gay person who sent it, I will make sure they are prosecuted.

    Oh, I forgot. We don't know who sent that stuff. We are merely assuming that it was a gay person. Right?

  • re: re - An analogy | 8:26 a.m.
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:39 p.m.

    "really really lame analogy. Driving 100 puts others in danger. who is put in danger with gay marriage?"

    Society. Homosexual marriage guarantees a slower growing population. Why is that harmful? Because our future depends on future generations (they will have to cover our reckless spending, defend us, support us when we're incapacitated, etc.). If there are fewer of them, our and their quality of life decreases.

  • re -- Joe | 11:48 a.m
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:43 p.m.

    ["First, give me a logical non-feeling based argument that murder is wrong"]

    murder imposes the will of one onto the will of another. that is wrong. a persons life was taken by another. that is wrong. no feelings involved. simply logic.

    murder is the most extreme denial of rights by one onto another. logically that is wrong to do.

  • Re: Informed Reader
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:44 p.m.

    "Suggest you go to the SL Trib website and see what the real world is saying about Dallin Oaks self-pity speach... Of course you won't find it here on the Mormon Pravda site."

    The real world? At the SL Trib? Oh, please. They don't allow anybody on that site unless they're frothing at the mouth! If you don't hate the LDS church with everything you have, and you don't criticize them every time a member breathes, you're hounded off the forums. That's hardly a fair and balanced look at what the rest of the world thinks of Elder Oaks's speech!

  • re: TO -- An analogy | 8:26 a.m
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:44 p.m.

    "same analogy - no difference. you want to choose your religion - gays want to choose their spouse. no one is harmed by gay marriage, so do'nt use your "what about sisters, animals, etc" marriage line. it's been beaten down already."

    Really? How has it been beaten down? How can people who practice homosexuality guarantee that if homosexual marriage is legalized, all other forms of marriage including bestiality, incest, polygamy, polyandry, etc. won't be allowed because of the homosexual marriage precedence? They're all consenting adults, right?

  • to -- wow | 11:48 a.m
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:47 p.m.

    ["AND I belive that questioning the complete redefinition of marraige does not inherantly make one a zealot (just because some people disagree with that position"]

    gays marrying is far from a redefinition of marriage. in fact, under the current definition (marrying for love) gay marriage fits the definition better than it ever has in history.

    i'm sure you know the old definition of marriage - buying/trading child brides for wealth, power, or to join tribes together. certainly gay marriage fits the current definition better than the old one...

  • Re: TO JOE
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:49 p.m.

    That's just it, the PURSUIT of happiness. You don't have the right to actually HAVE happiness, just to try to get it. You have the right to try to get this legislation passed, but you're not actually guaranteed the right to have it pass. Everybody gets to choose if they want to pass it or not, you can't force them into it because you don't have that right.

  • To Mase
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:52 p.m.

    I'd stop using the Civil Rights analogies if I were you guys. The minorities who actually had their civil rights oppressed until the '60s don't agree that it's the same thing at all. In fact, you anger them by even daring to suggest it. Why do you think they voted against you in record numbers? They don't think it's the same thing at all, and they're offended by the insinuaton that it is.

  • to -- Abe Lincoln | 12:07 p.m
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:58 p.m.

    ["then please, tell me, why can't a man marry his sister?"

    genetic deformaties - bad for the children. gays can't have kids so no issue there.

    ["when you use the argument of interracial, then you must realize thaty the correct comparison would be a gay man marryinng a staright woman. that would interracial if one's sexual orientation were a race"]

    do you sit at home all day trying to come up with analogies that make absolutely no sense?

    interracial marriages were illegal. people couldn't marry who they wanted to even though it affected no one but themselves. people are born into a race.

    gays want to marry - it affects no one but themselves. gays are born gay.

    that is why the comparison works.

  • Joe
    Oct. 15, 2009 12:59 p.m.

    My apologies to Vince in advance, but I just can’t resist. Since Vince has failed to Con-Vince us, I just want to try to return the subject to the actual Topic, which is the First Amendment right of religion to be politically active. Gay marriage isn’t what this is all about, we are hated every time we try to say almost anything, just because we are religious, which is opposite of what the First Amendment intended for America. Gays have the right to be married in several places, and throughout the process of letting STATES decide, there was no argument that gays should not be involved in politics that I know of, only that religious people should not, we’ve been sued etc. . We should be able to get along as humans and just accept the fact that we disagree, and if you really want to get married to another man, feel free to go somewhere where it is legal. You don’t need to hate on Mormons and blame us for all your woes, it only goes to prove that Elder Oaks is right. I have to get to work but leave an email or FB.

  • The difference between coffee...
    Oct. 15, 2009 1:05 p.m.

    and homosexual marriage:

    "It is legal to drink coffee and yet the church is allowed to call a coffee drinker unworthy and not allow them to marry in the temple."

    True, but coffee drinkers are not pushing for coffee drinker hate-crime legislation, even though they choose their behavior just like people who practice homosexuality. Our beloved congress passed hate crime legislation a few days ago to specifically benefit "homosexuals." This is dangerous for religions who condemn homosexual behavior because any speech seen to "aid and abet" a violent crime against a "homosexual" becomes illegal.

    Real world example: Some nut, who happens to be a member of a particular church that openly condemns homosexuality, commits a violent crime against a "homosexual." The church in question can be prosecuted along with the nut even though it really had absolutely nothing to do with the crime.

    Don't think this will happen? The proof is in the pudding. Look how hard the people who practice homosexuality are trying right now to fight groups that condemn homosexuality, like the Mormon Church, right now.

  • VBfriend
    Oct. 15, 2009 1:17 p.m.

    To the Deuce: A few things you should understand:
    1. Utah does not allow domestic partnerships or civil unions for gay couples.
    2. The church said they would not oppose them, but the legislature kills any bill before it can be voted on at the direction of the church. The church is active in trying to stop the domestic partnership bill in Washington state.
    Yes the church position has always been agains Gay marriage. The church feels that being gay is a sickness and can be cured. This does harm many gays because they are told to marry straight women to help them be cured. The prop eight battle was full of lies and half truths. I would be more than happy if there were the option for a civil union for gays in Utah.

  • Nature or Nuture?
    Oct. 15, 2009 1:20 p.m.

    Boston University psychiatrist Richard Pillard and Northwestern University psychologist J. Michael Bailey announced the results of their study of male twins. They found that, in identical twins, if one twin was gay, the other had about a 50 percent chance of also being gay. For fraternal twins, the rate was about 20 percent. Because identical twins share their entire genetic makeup while fraternal twins share about half, genes were believed to explain the difference. Most reputable studies find the rate of homosexuality in the general population to be 2 to 4 percent, rather than the popular "1 in 10" estimate.
    In 1993 came the biggest news: Dean Hamer's discovery of the "gay gene." In fact, Hamer, a Harvard-trained researcher at the National Cancer Institute, hadn't quite put it that boldly or imprecisely. He found that gay brothers shared a specific region of the X chromosome, called Xq28, at a higher rate than gay men shared with their straight brothers. Hamer and others suggested this finding would eventually transform our understanding of sexual orientation.
    Boston Globe 2005

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 1:23 p.m.

    @Former
    LGBTs in CA had the right to marry.
    LDS wrote prop 8 and got the signitures to get it on the ballot. You funded 4 of every 5 dollars for Yes on prop 8, and gave 180K in non monetary donations, yet declared 2K.
    LDS bragged election night THEY "protected" marriage in CA...I take you at your word.
    I suggest Mormons try attacking the families of Jewish people, or Latin@ people, or Asian people, or Black people.
    You would have a crater where your temples once stood.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 1:27 p.m.

    LDS you FAILED to "protect" marriage in CA, THOUSANDS of couples of gay and lesbians are legally married in CA, and will remain married as long as THEY CHOOSE, not you.

  • OC
    Oct. 15, 2009 1:28 p.m.

    "Fortunately, you're wrong. In our General Conference last week, they discussed the stats. One third of the new membership came from children, the other two thirds were from converts to the church. Nice try, though! "

    Ok. So what you are telling me is that a member missionary force of 13,000,000 plus members (the churchs numbers -not mine. I would put it at more like 4 million) has a conversion rate of under 2%? I don't call that very successful. Even Amway does better than that.

  • ChainSawHarry
    Oct. 15, 2009 1:32 p.m.

    The Sifting process that was prophesied, has commenced.

  • The Deuce
    Oct. 15, 2009 1:37 p.m.

    The conflict as I see it is with the definition of marriage. This is where the fight is. As I stated above, the long-held definition of marriage from both a legal, historical and religious point of view is defined for a man and a woman. A civil union or domestic partnership can be used for relationships that fall outside of this definition. They all can be equal under the law with the same rights and legal priviledges. They all can be recognized for what they are, not one above the other, but defining a deferent situation for the couples involved. This is where people have the problem. Simply drop the agenda to re-define marriage and get to the main issue of legal rights and this can be resolved in a minute. I am tired of hearing the same old excuse as I see this as pushing an agenda to shove things down peoples throats. Let's get on to more important things in the lives of poeple in our nation. This is too easy to resolve.

  • @The difference between
    Oct. 15, 2009 1:51 p.m.

    you stated: "Real world example: Some nut, who happens to be a member of a particular church that openly condemns homosexuality, commits a violent crime against a "homosexual." The church in question can be prosecuted along with the nut even though it really had absolutely nothing to do with the crime."

    Like when Bill O'Reilly called Dr. Tiller, "Tiller the baby killer?" Was O'Reilly prosecuted?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 1:55 p.m.

    Re: TO JOE | 12:49 p.m. Oct. 15, 2009
    "That's just it, the PURSUIT of happiness. You don't have the right to actually HAVE happiness, just to try to get it. You have the right to try to get this legislation passed, but you're not actually guaranteed the right to have it pass. Everybody gets to choose if they want to pass it or not, you can't force them into it because you don't have that right."

    Read the 14th amendment to the US constitution. It states that ALL CITIZENS need to be treated equally under the law. Not just those who we think are righteous. "Sinning" is not even close to a reason to deny law-abiding citizens the rights and privileges that you enjoy.

    Period.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 1:59 p.m.

    To Mase | 12:52 p.m. Oct. 15, 2009
    "I'd stop using the Civil Rights analogies if I were you guys. The minorities who actually had their civil rights oppressed until the '60s don't agree that it's the same thing at all. In fact, you anger them by even daring to suggest it."

    You are wrong:

    Coretta Scott King stated unequivocally that she supported gay rights.

    One of Martin L King Jr's most trusted advisors was an openly gay man.

    The Rev. Al Sharpton is behind the gay rights movement and thinks that it is a civil rights issue.



    Who specifically are YOU talking about?

  • RE: To Mase
    Oct. 15, 2009 2:00 p.m.

    Last I checked there are gay people of all races. It is true that some people don't like the comparison or interracial marriage, but it is simply made because it is/was considered a sin by some and is not by others. The arguments were very much the same. Basically it comes down to "I think it is bad and so you can't do it" People who voted in prop 8 based the desicion on religious views and not on their race.

    Also to "The difference between coffee.." There are protections for other religious views, but you can preach they are sinful and bad. You just can't preach to go out and beat them. As long as the church doesn't say that they should be beaten and hurt then I think you will be fine.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 2:10 p.m.

    "the First Amendment right of religion to be politically active. Gay marriage isn’t what this is all about, we are hated every time we try to say almost anything, just because we are religious, which is opposite of what the First Amendment intended for America."


    The first amendment did not say that religious people are exempt from criticism. Sorry. It merely stated that the government cannot make any law respecting an extablishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

    If you exert your political muscles, you are going to get criticized. Take it like a man and quit whining. You chose to accept the challenge of gay marriage, you need to accept the flak for that choice.

    I am not advocating anything illegal. Protests and boycotts are all part of the American experience. Terrorizing and vandalizing are not.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 2:14 p.m.

    " Our beloved congress passed hate crime legislation a few days ago to specifically benefit "homosexuals." This is dangerous for religions who condemn homosexual behavior because any speech seen to "aid and abet" a violent crime against a "homosexual" becomes illegal.

    Real world example: Some nut, who happens to be a member of a particular church that openly condemns homosexuality, commits a violent crime against a "homosexual." The church in question can be prosecuted along with the nut even though it really had absolutely nothing to do with the crime."


    The legislation passed said "sexual orientation." I hope you too have a sexual orientation. This covers all Americans.


    We have the strongest protections for churches in the world. As long as they are not taking government money, they are free to believe and act as discriminatory as they want to. Other countries have laws against hate speech. We do not. That is the difference.

    The constitution still is the final word in our country and the first amendment is part of that.

  • Is it legal? Is it sinful?
    Oct. 15, 2009 2:17 p.m.

    Can two women like each other? Can they like each other a LOT? Can they express their feelings for one another in words? Can they express their feelings for one another by giving gifts? Can they express their feelings by sharing activities together? Can they share their feelings by hugs and touch or even a kiss? Can they promise to always be there for one another? Can they share an apartment together? A car? A checking account? Can they work together to make the world a better place, like at a homeless shelter, or an orphanage? If they feel so inclined, can they try to help a specific orphan by giving him a home and security and love? Can they legally adopt the orphan? Can they call their little "team" a "family" without offending any of you superior religious people? Can they try to ensure the future of their "team" by providing for health and life insurance, college savings, retirement, ect?

    Then why can't they just make it simpler, the way opposite-sex couples do, and call their arrangement "marriage" and "family"?

    I cannot fathom a "god" who would think this scenario is a "SIN"!

  • Separate is Not Equal
    Oct. 15, 2009 2:21 p.m.

    To The Deuce,

    Decades of social, cultural, legal, and political experience in this country as well as others has proven that SEPARATE IS UNEQUAL!

    Please accept this profound lesson from history and LEARN from the past!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 2:30 p.m.

    "This is where the fight is. As I stated above, the long-held definition of marriage from both a legal, historical and religious point of view is defined for a man and a woman."

    Not if you are Quaker, Unitarian Universalist, Episcopalian, united Church of Christ, Angelicans, and even some Jewish sects. All accept gay marriage. Why are we fighting their right to act and believe according to the dictates of their own conscience?


    Historically, the woman belonged to the man. Do we also want to revert to that long-held defination? It was around a lot longer than our present day display of marriage.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 2:35 p.m.

    TO -- re: TO -- An analogy | 8:26 a.m | 12:44 p.m

    ["How can people who practice homosexuality guarantee that if homosexual marriage is legalized, all other forms of marriage including bestiality, incest, polygamy, polyandry, etc. won't be allowed because of the homosexual marriage precedence? They're all consenting adults, right?"]

    the same thing was said about interracial marriages. the EXACT same thing. so because you are afraid of extremes you don't want to allow anything?

    I'm seriously surprised alcohol is even legal in Utah - you're afraid then everyone would want to legalize heroin...

  • Bill
    Oct. 15, 2009 2:38 p.m.

    God ordained marriage of man and woman in the Garden of Eden. Since that time and until now that has been the definition handed down from Prophet to Prophet. Adam - Abraham - Noah - Moses - Jesus Christ - peter - Joseph Smith to Thomas S Monson. There has been no change in this definition. Some still say it is our leaders who are sustained as prophets, seers and revelators. Thomas S Monson is the Lord's mouthpiece here on Earth. When he speaks during general conference he is not only speaking to the General membership of the Church but to the entire world. Yes, the freedoms mentioned by Elder Oakes are being attacked. He is a well known lawyer and one of the most informed lawyers on the US Constitution in the United States.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and its members as a whole will continue to speak out against those things which threaten the family and the world.

    His mission as is that of all members of the First Presidency is to warn and to speak out. It is no different today that the world fails to hear the words of the Prophets just as they failed anciently.

  • to the deuce
    Oct. 15, 2009 2:40 p.m.

    "The conflict as I see it is with the definition of marriage. This is where the fight is. As I stated above, the long-held definition of marriage from both a legal, historical and religious point of view is defined for a man and a woman."

    Long before white man came to America, the Native Americans lived here. They too had gays, but unlike our western culture, they honored these men and women. They were call two spirits. They were given to be healers, warriors and medicine men and women. There was no shame attached to being gay.

    So it really depends on what culture you are taking your definations from, doesn't it?

    Quakers were one of the first religions to settle in America and they are one of the first religions to accept gay marriages.


    If you wish to keep the defination of marriage for those whom you deem "worthy" of this title, you are going to have to shut down vegas wedding chapels for those who are marrying on a whim (ala Ms Spears) and start really regulating those heterosexuals that are married and cheat and lie to their spouses.

  • re -- To Mase | 12:52 p.m
    Oct. 15, 2009 2:42 p.m.

    ["I'd stop using the Civil Rights analogies if I were you guys. The minorities who actually had their civil rights oppressed until the '60s don't agree that it's the same thing at all. In fact, you anger them by even daring to suggest it. Why do you think they voted against you in record numbers?"]

    they voted for prop 8 because while they understand civil rights, they are very religious. and if the bible had said they should remain at the back of the bus, most of them wouldn't have even wanted more rights. That is how much they value the teachings in the bible.

    they believe gay is a sin but black isn't. some believe black is a sin. both positions are ridiculous.

    blacks are born black. gays are born gay. most blacks do not believe gays are born gay.

    if they understood that gays have no choice but to be gay, they would have understood the issue better and voted differently.... except their priests told them how to vote and they do as their religious leaders tell them to - just like mormons.

  • TO -- Re: TO JOE | 12:49 p.m
    Oct. 15, 2009 2:46 p.m.

    ["That's just it, the PURSUIT of happiness. You don't have the right to actually HAVE happiness, just to try to get it. You have the right to try to get this legislation passed, but you're not actually guaranteed the right to have it pass. Everybody gets to choose if they want to pass it or not, you can't force them into it because you don't have that right."]

    so if all the whites (we're still a majority) decided we wanted to bring back slavery, then we could just all vote and if whites got enough votes then slavery would be legal? doesn't matter about the rights of the minority - all that matters is what the majority wants?

    I strongly suggest you take some civics classes and study constitution and the bill of rights. and maybe gain an understanding that making sure the majority DOESN'T force it's ideals onto a minority was one of the main goals of the founding fathers.

  • Remember
    Oct. 15, 2009 3:18 p.m.

    Please REMEMBER Elder Oaks advise in this discussion:

    Noting that the students he was addressing were among the generation that would face continuing challenges to religious freedom, Elder Oaks offered five points of counsel:

    1. Speak with love and show patience, understanding and compassion to those with differing viewpoints.
    2. Do not be deterred or coerced into silence by intimidation from opponents, insisting that churches and their members be able to speak out on issues without retaliation.
    3. Insist on the freedom to preach the doctrines of their faith.
    4. Be wise in political participation, remaining respectful of those who do not share their religious beliefs and contributing to reasonable discussion.
    Be careful to never support or act on the idea that a person must subscribe to a specific set of religious beliefs in order to qualify for public office.

    GREAT ADVICE FOR BOTH SIDES OF YOUR CURRENT DEBATE (WHICH, BTW, IS SLIGHTLY OFF HIS TOPIC)...

  • First Ammendment
    Oct. 15, 2009 3:22 p.m.

    Just so people don't go too far astray, let me review the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

    I THINK THAT WAS THE TOPIC OF ELDER OAK'S TALK...

    Some seem to be on another topic here. :-)

  • to -=- The Deuce | 1:37 p.m
    Oct. 15, 2009 3:23 p.m.

    ["The conflict as I see it is with the definition of marriage. This is where the fight is. As I stated above, the long-held definition of marriage from both a legal, historical and religious point of view is defined for a man and a woman. A civil union or domestic partnership can be used for relationships that fall outside of this definition. They all can be equal under the law with the same rights and legal priviledges."]

    you do realize this exact same argument was used about interracial marriages, and whites didn't want the term "marriage" used on something as bad for society as interracial marriages, right?

    what if we said lets get rid of "marriage" and everyone can have civil unions. would you and your bretheren be ok with that?

    you do realize that if civil unions were ok for everyone, everyone (including gays) would still use the term "maried", right?

    are you all really that worried about something a pathetic as a simple word? or do you just not want the same term for you as those nasty gay people use?

    if gays got "marriage" then would you want "civil union"?

  • Go America!
    Oct. 15, 2009 3:25 p.m.

    Professor Dinesh D’Souza reminds us:

    “The attempt to ground respect for equality on a purely secular basis ignores the vital contribution by Christianity to its spread. It is folly to believe that it could survive without the continuing aid of religious belief.”

    Elder Oaks teaches, "Religious values and political realities are so interlinked in the origin and perpetuation of this nation that we cannot lose the influence of Christianity in the public square without seriously jeopardizing our freedoms. I maintain that this is a political fact, well qualified for argument in the public square by religious people whose freedom to believe and act must always be protected by what is properly called our “First Freedom,” the free exercise of religion."

    I hope that FREEDOM is always protected!

    (That is for ALL religious people!).
    America is a GREAT COUNTRY!!! :-)

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 3:36 p.m.

    "God ordained marriage of man and woman in the Garden of Eden."

    If I remember correctly, God made woman and "gave" her to Adam. No mention of marriage. Merely that she belonged to Adam. Let's not go back to that practice, ok?

  • TO -- Bill | 2:38 p.m
    Oct. 15, 2009 3:48 p.m.

    ["God ordained marriage of man and woman in the Garden of Eden."]

    cute story. and frodo saved middle earth from the ring of power. and a guy made a boat big enough for 2 of every animal. and snakes could talk. (no need to mention gold plates and tophats...)

    ["Since that time and until now that has been the definition handed down from Prophet to Prophet. Adam - Abraham - Noah - Moses - Jesus Christ - peter - Joseph Smith to Thomas S Monson"]

    Jesus never said marriage was a man and a woman. and some of his friends were gay. there are two obscure references to homosexuality in the bible. don't you think if it was such a sin, more space would have been put to the issue?

    don't you think there were gays back during Jesus' time? and if it was such a "sin" don't you think Jesus would have preached at them and tried to "cure them?

    it seems obvious that Jesus knew that's just the way they are.

    ["Thomas S Monson is the Lord's mouthpiece here on Earth"]

    He's not my God's mouthpiece. My God is kind, just, and wants everyone to be equal.

  • re: TO - Bill
    Oct. 15, 2009 4:44 p.m.

    My comment is a response but it is actually for LDS who are losing courage in the face of the attacks Elder Oaks referred to:

    Comment at 3:48:

    My God is also kind, just, and wants everyone to return home to Him. This is why the Lord atoned for our sins. He taught that nothing unclean can enter heaven and it is only in repenting that we can be cleansed by the power of the Atonement so we can partake of His grace and return home. Incorruption cannot put on corruption. This is an eternal law. Knowing this, Christ has shown us the way to become clean.

    For this reason, God has given us prophets so that we can know His will. The Proclamation on the Family is divinely inspired but many know the truth because of the light of Christ that witnesses to the honest in heart.

    As many here have said, we have finally reached the time prophesied about; a day of division. Who is on the Lord's side? Jesus said that the luke warm will be spewed out of the mouth. The time for fence sitters is coming to an end.

  • lights out. game over.
    Oct. 15, 2009 5:07 p.m.

    re:Go America! | 3:25 p.m. Oct. 15, 2009

    {{Elder Oaks teaches, "Religious values and political realities are so interlinked in the origin and perpetuation of this nation that we cannot lose the influence of Christianity in the public square without seriously jeopardizing our freedoms.}}

    Only in the minds of Mormons & Evangelicals.

    In the front of the Sign by Raymond Khoury, he quotes Falwell or some televagelist calling the faithful to essentially be lobbyists then below that he put John 18:36

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 5:09 p.m.

    Intereesting how Elder Oaks riles up the base much knowing full well what would happen.

    Did he forget 3 Ne 11:29, 30?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 15, 2009 5:27 p.m.

    TO -- re: TO - Bill | 4:44 p.m

    ["He taught that nothing unclean can enter heaven and it is only in repenting that we can be cleansed by the power of the Atonement"]

    your position is that being gay is "unclean". you preach such - which is a direct afront to gay people. that is like preaching that blacks are unclean (which your church used to do). Neither is true, yet you persist in doing so, because it is your opinion.

    the KKK still preaches that blacks are unclean. everyone (except fools) knows that is not true.

    as gays gain more acceptance (as blacks had to wade through) they too will be considered just like everyone else. and those that still consider them "unclean" will be looked at the same as we look at the KKK.

    and right about then, your "prophets" will have "revelations" saying being gay is ok, and that they are born that way.

    so follow your "prophets". they will come around. it will just take a couple extra decades, just like it did for black civil rights versus your church's recognition.

    And there is only one God, and He created gays. Yet you ridicule them.

  • Vince
    Oct. 15, 2009 6:03 p.m.


    You wrote


    "Your single study"

    I don't believe you have read what I have been writing since November. Study after study after study.

    Example,

    "there is no reliable evidence that homosexual orientation per se impairs psychological functioning. Second, beliefs that lesbian and gay adults are not fit parents have no empirical foundation (Patterson, 2000, 2004a; Perrin, 2002). Lesbian and heterosexual women have not been found to differ markedly in their approaches to child rearing (Patterson, 2000; Tasker, 1999). Members of gay and lesbian couples with children have been found to divide the work involved in childcare evenly, and to be satisfied with their relationships with their partners (Patterson, 2000, 2004a). The results of some studies suggest that lesbian mothers' and gay fathers' parenting skills may be superior to those of matched heterosexual parents. There is no scientific basis for concluding that lesbian mothers or gay fathers are unfit parents on the basis of their sexual orientation (Armesto, 2002; Patterson, 2000; Tasker & Golombok, 1997). On the contrary, results of research suggest that lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children."

    Source: APA on-line

  • Vince
    Oct. 15, 2009 6:06 p.m.

    Joe RE:Vince | 10:57 a.m. Oct. 15, 2009

    further,

    In all fairness, heterosexual and gay couples at some time, would be denied parenting. Not all parents all fit parents.

    However, to say that gay parents are unfit parents is just not true or that some parents are better than others is self-serving and self-important.

    When I ask people to quote their sources, they do not. Time and time again. Typically, sources that say that gay parents are not as fit parents have a Christian fundamentalist bias and are written by conservative publications, not scientific sociological periodicals.


  • Vince
    Oct. 15, 2009 6:09 p.m.

    RE:Vince | 11:15 a.m. Oct. 15, 2009

    Clarification

    My comments were geared specifically toward the honesty in protectmarriage website, not the exact words of Elder Oaks. Subtle, but important difference.

  • Vince
    Oct. 15, 2009 6:40 p.m.

    Joe | 12:59 p.m. Oct. 15, 2009

    My comment was geared toward a specific commentator who make the issue about same-sex parenting.

    If my words irk some people, perhaps it is due to the fact that I know gay people. I know gay parents.

    I, myself am a gay dad.

    When people make comments such as "heterosexual parents are better" it is extremely troubling.

    Same-sex parenting is but one of the issues, I understand.

    And yes, discussions should be more civil.

    If you yourself will not be convinced, I am not exactly aiming that you will be - but that respect and comments that are simply not true will leave the place of civil exchange of ideas.

    I am myself happy as a gay man, as a gay Mormon.

    The opposite is true.

    When social pressure is put on gays to make them "hetero" it makes us unhappy. It drives to unbelievable tension and depression, the likes of which if you have not lived it, probably will not understand.

    Peace.

  • Oliver
    Oct. 15, 2009 6:40 p.m.

    Elder Oaks,

    How does gay marriage change religious doctrine? And what makes you think it will? Have you any tangible evidence for this wild assumption, or is it just an uncomfortable feeling you have?

    OK, I get it-- kids might be taught in school that there is something called "gay marriage". What's the harm in that? Parents still can teach them "the riht way" and the kids can make up their own mind about things like that, when they grow up.

    Other than that, what could happen? There will be no dramatic effect on society or religion whatsoever. Countries which allow gay marriage are a proof for that.

    The problem of declining interest in religion has other roots. I bet the Churche's call to spend money on the proposition 8 thing didn't spark more interest. On the contrary.

    Religion has the power to unite and heal. Why is it though that in so many cases it is used to devide and hurt?

  • D iz M
    Oct. 15, 2009 7:04 p.m.

    re: Oliver | 6:40 p.m. Oct. 15, 2009

    Agreed. Though, do you mean divide & hurt or divide and conquer?

    "Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." -- Denis Diderot

  • Good Job Oliver
    Oct. 15, 2009 7:09 p.m.

    I totally agree and "Freedom of Religion" is NOT under attack....it is freedoms of expression of traits within our SOULS that is under attack!

  • Free to Believe
    Oct. 15, 2009 7:35 p.m.

    A prophet, seer, and revelator has spoken words of forewarning and counsel. Based on many of the comments attacking this article, I believe Elder Oaks can rest his case.

  • Re: Anonymous | 1:59 p.m.
    Oct. 15, 2009 7:36 p.m.

    I'd imagine they're talking about the more than 70% of black voters in California who overwhelmingly voted in favor of Prop 8, and who have been very vocal about taking offense to the analogy.

    And just because somebody's advisor was gay doesn't mean they view the struggle for civil rights based on the color of their skin the same way they view the gay agenda for homosexual marriage.

  • To comment at 2:46 p.m.
    Oct. 15, 2009 7:43 p.m.

    I think you should be the one studying civics, my dear. It only matters if gay marriage is a constitutional right, which our federal supreme court has yet to agree with. In fact, our federal government says the opposite in the DOMA. While gays can at this time pursue happiness by initiating legislation, they are not guaranteed it by having that legislation pass. In this regard they are the same as everybody else in this country: if it's not guaranteed in the Constitution, it can be denied as a civil right. The 14th ammendment is a blanket ammendment, but it doesn't dictate which rights are constitutional and which aren't, and therefore, the people of this country (or their representatives in congress or on the supreme court) are able to decide what those rights entail.

  • Re: TO -- Bill
    Oct. 15, 2009 7:55 p.m.

    "Jesus never said marriage was a man and a woman. and some of his friends were gay."

    First, Matthew 19:4-6. Second, please show me the Bible verse where it states that Christ's friends were gay? Third, even if they were counted among the sinners He frequently ate with, do not forget that He never condoned their behavior, and He never encouraged them to give in to their temptations. Instead, He told them to go and sin no more. He loved them, but He did not agree with their behavior. He told them to repent and to stop that behavior.

  • To Anonymous | 5:09 p.m.
    Oct. 15, 2009 7:59 p.m.

    "Intereesting how Elder Oaks riles up the base much knowing full well what would happen. Did he forget 3 Ne 11:29, 30?"

    Telling the truth is not stirring up contention. It is telling the truth. How people react to the truth is what causes contention.

  • Anonymous