Increasingly, giving 'full reign' to Americas' religious groups
has meant giving them the green light to break the law with the expectation we
ignore it because they are a religious group. No, it's not OK to force
someone to marry their uncle or to practice hatred as a community. Religious
freedom can only exist in the framework of individual freedom that supercedes
it. We must be given our rights as humans before we're given our rights as
I love hypocrisy."Our religious freedom is more than freedom to
worship, the Constitution guarantees it..."."Your Civil
rights aren't important and even though the Constitution guarantees, WE
don't care."There are far more scriptural references to
hypocrisy in the Bible than pretty much any other sin.
The bottom line is very simple. While peope have the Constitutional right to
belive and worship as they choose, religions do not have the right to impose
their dogma and practices on people. Sadly some religions are trying to do that
imposition now (the Catholics' fight against contraception for example).
That must not be allowed.
Thank you for the well timed article. Your observation that government is
overtly trying to nudge aside the efforts of faith based organizations in
providing social services within their communities, in exchange for a washington
based social service system devoid of freedoms and respect for religious
conscience, is a frightening phenomenon that will ultimately limit religious
freedom and drive us ever closer to the socialistic, "distribute the
wealth" society that our current administration sees to "aspire" to.
If they are successful, and I pray they are not, they will remove the incentive
for hard working members of society to pursue the "american dream" and
replace it instead with a soviet style nightmare.
We are allowed to practice our religion in our homes and on the Sabbath, but no
other times. Health care workers are increasing forced to sign contracts that
they will participate in abortions, sell Plan B medications, perform sex change
operations and other actions that may be against their moral beliefs. The U of U
forced those in theater to perform and act in productions that were morally
offensive. Employers demand Sunday work in non-essential services. Religious
liberty involves more than just believing, it involves living ones religion.
Freedom of personal religious/non-religious conviction has become structural
bias against religion liberty.
Oh, please. When the Church showed up in New Orleans after Katrina, did the
government turn them away? Perhaps, in an ideal world, religious organizations
and private charities would be sufficient to provide all the necessary help, but
in this world they aren't. Good government helps to close the gap.The problem comes when "religious liberty" becomes an excuse to
deny rights and discriminate based on nothing more than "because God says
so." If you personally dislike gay marriage or abortion, that's your
right and you can live your life accordingly. Just don't try to rewrite
the law so the rest of us have to obey you.
re: Fibonacci What about those of us who are suspicious of all large
organizations (secular or faith based)? Do we have access to the American Dream
or is are Pursuit of Happiness denied? re: KJB1"Perhaps, in an ideal world, religious organizations and private charities
would be sufficient to provide all the necessary help, but in this world they
aren't. Good government helps to close the gap."I could not
have said it better. Government should exist to provide the tools/methods to
help the disengranchised. Not to unjustly punish the ambitious or raise the
whiners up/*The problem comes when "religious liberty"
becomes an excuse to deny rights and discriminate based on nothing more than
"because God says so*True. It reminds me of part of the song
Games People Play covered by Tesla and many others.
Really, desnews? Religious freedom is under attack because of health care
reform? Let's not confuse religious freedom with religious popularity.
The truth is that if we had a national single payer health system there would be
no religious conflict because religious entitys like the Catholic Church
wouldn't have any responsibility for paying insurance premiums paying for
medical services that their religious dogma opposes. This DN editorial is just
another politically motivated "be afraid, be very afraid" of the big bad
federal government diatribe. It smacks terribly of right wing conservative
Republican bias.Why am I not surprised?
Religious practice in a House of Worship are totally acceptable - but when
religious practices intrude in the public square then Religious Liberty as many
would like to define it, is no longer applicable.
You argue the constitution affords the freedom of religions to provide care
services, but "an expanding secular state imprudently tries to take on more
and more responsibility for health, welfare and education, the demands of state
administration are increasingly conflicting with vibrant faith-based
ideals."--but along with the freedom of religious practice, Americans are
afforded the freedom FROM religious practice. You ignore the ability of secular
ideals to be as vibrant as faith-based ones.Your article is based on
the premise that aid by religious organizations are able to provide the best
services for their patients based on "institutional conscience," but
some religious medical institutions are actively showing an unwillingness to
accommodate "personal conscience" by refusing to provide some medical
services the patient may feel are in their interest. Contraception, in this
case. Secular services provide access to important medical services all
Americans deserve the freedom of choice to pursue, without facing motives of
religious predominance. But the Obama compromise was an attempt to provide
religious institutions their sovereignty. Your argument is paramount
to claiming that that "individual 'religious' freedoms" should
trump individual freedoms, regardless of religion. This, too, stands directly in
the face of the first amendment.
Freedom of religion is very important - and I have no problem with people acting
in accordance with their religious beliefs....I do not, however,
believe that my boss should have the right to use my wages and benefits to force
his or her religious viewpoint on me - I do not believe that paying
tuition to an institution of higher education gives them the right to dictate my
personal life -I do not believe an employee of a public or private
institution should have the right to interfere with my medical care because of
their religious beliefs - I do not believe that an individual who
chooses to enter the public realm by opening a business should have the right to
force their religious beliefs on society through the denial of services - And above all, I do not believe that your inability to force me to
comply with your religious beliefs is a violation of your religious freedom. I
have the same right to religious freedom as you have - you cannot ensure your
religious freedom at the violation of mine.
If a religious organization takes tax dollars or receives similar benefit can
they do whatever they want with it, or do they have to follow the same laws that
the rest of society has to follow. This seems to be the disconnect in this
argument that is routinely put forth by conservatives.
The argument for religious liberty always relies on the assumption that religion
does no harm. But for all the good we can cite about religious organizations,
the fact is that religions do damage all around the world each and every day.
They deny children education (biology/evolution), they maim helpless children
(circumcision), deny preventative health care (contraception), marginalize
entire groups (homosexuals), denigrate women (burqa requirement), and broadly
pit us against each other - just to name a few things.Likewise,
religions want us to believe that they are the exclusive bearer and keeper of
all good and moral things. Sorry Deseret News, belief in a god is not a
requirement for caring for the "sick, caring for the poor, counseling the
poor in spirit, educating the rising generation and promoting integrity in
society." All of this might be achieved more easily without religion because
religion itself is what often prevents these things from happening.
“has excluded religious considerations from important
deliberations.”Religion nearly always has a seat at the table.
Religion doesn't just belong to the leaders of religious organizations it
belongs to the followers of religious institutions. For example, the head of
Health and Human Services, Kathleen Seibelius is a Catholic. The problem is
more that religious leaders want to be the only ones occupying the seats at the
table. The Obama Administration, seeking to find areas of compromise, has
modified its requirements, though not enough to satisfy all Catholic leaders.Government represents the interests of diverse groups and respecting the
principal of equality. In December 2000, the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission ruled that companies that provided prescription drugs to their
employees but didn't provide birth control were in violation of Title VII
of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prevents discrimination on the basis of sex.
Catholic hospitals and universities serve and employ non-Catholics. The Catholic Church is to be commended for the good work they do,
administering service to all, not just adherents, as some groups do. But their
private-govt. partnerships will require compromise at times.
Owl.No one is forced to do any thing. People do things according to
the perceived consequences of their options. And make their own choice. No adult American is forced to be an American.
Sometimes religious liberty goes too far. Adults have the right to practice a
religion within reason. Parents don't have . the right to irreversibly
mutilate their children's bodies. I am referring to forcible female and
If a religious organization owns a commercial business operating in the public
square, should it be exempt from civil law that governs the operation of
Are religious freedoms more important than personal freedoms?Should
a person be free to do bad things if those things are legal?
It's strange how the extreme left here would deny freedom, liberty and
rights to certain individuals and groups and businesses simply based
on what those individuals and groups and businesses may believe.And
then proclaim that is freedom.The fact is,There is every
right for the religious to express their religion in public square.The is nothing constitution that limits the people and their religions and
their businesses, nor their communities and states.it is government
that must not interfere. or abridge in any way.That is freedom."I may disagree with what you say (or believe, your morals,
religion, your ideology, your values, etc,)but I will defend right
to say it (in the public square)"Does the left believe this or
not?All peoples (and their beliefs, religion creeds, ideologies and
their organizations and businesses an so forth) must be welcomed in
the public square.what you may get or benefit from the government is
irrelevant, it is government that is limited not the people. Freedom
means that people and their business may do things that you do not like.But you have the same freedom as well.
Consider the girl who joins her high school drama club hoping to feel like she
has some place to belong. Imagine her club schedules a practice on Saturday
morning, and when she arrives at school the club is listening to LDS General
Conference instead of rehearsing. Whose religious liberty was violated? It happened yesterday in our valley?
the truth, you have a point, but if the Church advocates laws that restricts the
peaceful/benign activities of others, then the Church shouldn't be
surprised when others then feel free to limit the things the Church can do. The
Church can't have it both ways.
Hutterite: Advocating religious freedom is not advocating religious tyranny,
just the idea that religious viewpoints should have a place in the public
debate, rather than being confined to houses of worship.KJB1: Big
difference between “personal dislike of gay marriage or abortion”
and defending the right to life for unborn children and traditional marriage
based on long-standing moral principles and thousands of years of human
experience. Religious liberty is simply the right to invoke morally relevant
ideas and principles in public debate. Religious arguments have just as much
right to be heard as irreligious, secular or atheistic arguments. And doing so
does not violate anyone else’s right to their opinion.Schwa: Yes
religious freedom is under attack through provisions in the Affordable Care act.
Google the HobbyLobby case for one example.Mike: Single payer would
not eliminate the freedom of religion issue because taxpayers with religious
views against abortion would be forced to help fund it.Student: With many
providers in the health services arena, how is the fact that some providers do
not wish to provide services that violate their conscience depriving someone
else the right to services?
Excellent article. Many, including those making comments about this article see
no problem in hindering religious freedom. When secular government power
overextends itself to hinder the freedom of the individual to exercise his or
her religion it has gone to far. The fascist argument that government should be
allowed to control this freedom due to extreme cases where abuses are done in
the name of religion is patently unAmerican. It is the historically used excuse
of tyrants to justify their oppression.
@LibertyInLaw1. "Advocating religious freedom is not advocating
religious tyranny, just the idea that religious viewpoints should have a place
in the public debate."Religious viewpoints currently shape
public debate through the religious backgrounds and views of our duly elected
representatives. The view put forward by the Deseret News, the Taliban, and
others, that religions should have a seat at the table alongside with our
elected officials and their appointees, will thankfully never be our system.2. "Single payer would not eliminate the freedom of religion issue
because taxpayers with religious views against abortion would be forced to help
fund it."The idea that freedom (of religion in this case) is
somehow being violated if taxpayers with views against it are forced to help
fund it is equally preposterous in our representative government system. I am
(religiously) against about a million things my tax dollars currently support,
so using your logic, my freedom is continually violated. Nice try.
LibertyinLaw"Religious liberty is simply the right to invoke morally
relevant ideas and principles in public debate. Religious arguments have just as
much right to be heard as irreligious, secular or atheistic arguments."KJKUsing religious beliefs to formulate secular law is contrary to
the Bible & D&C. Your attitude got polygamy outlawed 125 years ago. It
gets Christians killed in Egypt, it keeps women out of school in Afghanistan,
etc... Your ideas are great if your religion is in the majority, but stinks if
you are in the minority. We LDS love to talk about persecutions against us, yet
you seem to be promoting religious beliefs to justify persecuting others.Say it ain't so.
@ the truth "It's strange how the extreme left here would deny
freedom, liberty and rights to certain individuals and groups and businessessimply based on what those individuals and groups and businesses may
believe."Do you mean like certain rights that are being denied
to the LGBT community? Or how about those individuals who would like to purchase
alcohol on sunday?Many businesses and individuals have their rights
violated on a daily basis, often times in the name of religion.
When the editorial writers state one thing and the moderators permit only
opposing points of view to appear, what are we to believe about the Deseret
News. It is clearly a house divided. Until management acts like management and
cleans house, weekend. moderators will continue to let those who oppose the
owners of the Deseret News have predominant voice - even during a General
Conference when policy is set.Religious freedom is defined by the
Constitution, not by moderators and not by a small fringe group that is
politically active.We are a nation of moral and upright citizens who
know right from wrong. A very small group would tell us that we are wrong. The
editorial board disagrees. The owners disagree.
@ LibertyInLaw: Okay - let's look at the Hobby Lobby case.Individuals who work for Hobby Lobby (or any other business for that matter)
are compensated for the work they perform. This compensation takes place in the
form of wages and benefits. When an employer offers health insurance as a
benefit, it is most usually offered in lieu of additional or higher wages.
Additionally, the employee has to directly pay a portion of the cost of the
benefit out of their wages.Offering insurance as a benefit to
employees provides a benefit to the employer in the form of lower taxes, a more
favorable rating as a place of employment, and very frequently lower employment
costs.The employees are not getting this benefit for free - it is
part of their compensation for the work they are doing.The owner of
Hobby Lobby wants to use his employees wages and benefits to force his religious
perspective on them by telling them that they cannot use their employment
compensation to buy something he religiously opposes.And he is
claiming - and you are supporting the claim - that his inability to control his
employees' healthcare choices is a violation of his religious freedom.Really?
@ Mike Richards: You are absolutely right - we are moral and upright citizens
who know right from wrong. So why should you get to force your religious
beliefs on me instead of allowing me my own religious beliefs?Just
because my beliefs are different from yours, does not mean you are right and I
am wrong. And your inability to use your job or your business to
force me to adhere to your religious teachings, is not a violation of your
we have a choice of whom we work for; we don't have a choice of
Obama's declaration that the religious organization who employs us is
required to pay for abortions and contraception.1st Amendment
freedoms have been breached. Liberals don't care. They want to force
religious organizations to pay for abortions and contraception - against the 1st
To Mike Richards 1:16 p.m. Oct. 8, 2012we have a choice of whom we
work for; we don't have a choice of Obama's declaration that the
religious organization who employs us is required to pay for abortions and
contraception.1st Amendment freedoms have been breached. Liberals
don't care. They want to force religious organizations to pay for abortions
and contraception - against the 1st Amendment.--------------------Your attempt to promote a Big Lie assertion
does not make it true . . . and it isn't. No business, religious or
otherwise, is required to fund abortion. Plan B medication is contraception,
and NOT abortion since it doesn't terminate a pregnancy. Contraception, of
anyt kind, is NOT abortion -- it prevents pregnancy, not terminates it. Establishments of religion are exempt from the requirement to provide
contraception. Businesses owned by religions are also exempt -- the
contraception mandate is for their insurance companies, without cost to the
religion-owned businesses. The First Amendment is not in any way implicated.
The only thing that is being prevented is the attempt by the
religion to impose its dogma and practices on society through government action
-- something that IS a violation of the First Amendment.
Wow, as I read the comments (particularly on the first page), I almost
don't recognize myself. One side tells me I'm a member of the
Taliban; I mutilate children; I kill people; my religious rights aren't
really violated, or if they are, they deserve to be. Another side tells me that
I must vote Republican or give up my religion.I grant that in a
pluralistic society there will always be a certain amount of friction over my
rights vs. your rights, and the best resolution to that friction is often
compromise. I even accept that some of that compromise may be that I keep some
aspects of some things that I hold very dear away from the public sphere.But, though I am NOT a Republican, I believe in the Constitutional
guarantees of freedom of religion (there is no guarantee to "freedom from
religion" in the Constitution, but I will concede that the Constitution
allows for dissent from religion), and I perceive that there has been a marked
shift away from religious tolerance in the past few decades. If there is any
doubt of that, just read some of the comments above.
@mike richarsds good and moral people do not feel the need to publically
proclaim their morality nor do they do not feel the need to impose that morality
on others through the force of law becuase the know it is not their right to
take away anothers right to choose and they certainly do not use of lies and
deception to soil the names of others. Perhps you should spend some time setting
the example through your own behaviors.
@ Jeff: Freedom from religion is a very important component of freedom of
religion - if you are not free from the religions of others, you cannot have the
freedom of your beliefs.Mormons do not believe in drinking alcohol.
The fact that it is legal to drink alcohol so that those who have no religious
sanction against it can partake, does not violate the religious freedom of
Mormons. However, if we codify as law the LDS prohibition on drinking, there is
an infringement on the religious freedoms of others by making them adhere to a
set of beliefs they do not hold.Some will argue that there is no
harm in prohibiting alcohol, as no religion actually requires its consumption -
and forcing everyone to live to a "more moral" standard is not a bad
thing. But where do we draw the line? Technically, Afghanistan has
freedom of religion - but, in certain parts of Afghanistan, even Hindu women
must wear a burqa. Passing laws forcing you to adhere to behaviors
promoted by my religion - even behaviors your religion is neutral on - forces
you, at least to a minor extent, to practice my religion. You have no true
freedom of religion.
@Really???I think you make a very interesting point. It is the same false
argument made by nearly everyone on the anti-religion side of this debate.Your faulty logic is that by expressing their religious liberty, the group
listening to the broadcast was in some way infringing on the rights of the girl
who didn't want to listen. She still had the power to a) walk away b)
listen to something else c) ignore it. I find it sad that the rest of the
group chose to listen to the broadcast in lieu of practicing (since that is what
they were supposed to be doing there), as it wasted the time of those who had
come to practice. But it did NOT violate anyone's religious liberty.
@Kalindra - "The owner of Hobby Lobby wants to use his employees wages and
benefits to force his religious perspective on them by telling them that they
cannot use their employment compensation to buy something he religiously
opposes."This statement assumes 2 things. The first is that the
only provider of employment is Hobby Lobby. The second is that the only way the
employee can get health care is by purchasing the company group health policy.
Since neither of these things are true, your argument is false.The
employee is not denied any freedoms, or access to any care they wish to receive.
In fact, your original statement is key to the argument. The group policy
provided by the employer is a "Benefit", and therefore optional. It
only becomes part of their compensation package if they accept it. If the
employee doesn't like some aspect of it, they can either refuse the job
offer, or get insurance through another source.I happen to have a
private health policy, and pay for most of my health-care out of pocket. It
works fine for me and would for anyone else as well.
Mike Richards,I seriously doubt that the Deseret News is censoring
comments in support the paper's own opinion. More likely, I guess, is that
rational arguments surface to face irrational opinions, and it isn't the
fault of the Deseret News that so few commenters are willing to take on the
arguments against the paper's opinion as they are expressed in this forum.
@ Furry1993,The 1st Amendment states: "Congress
shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof;"Congress is prohibited from telling the
Catholic Church that it must provide abortions or contraceptives. Their is NO
exception based on YOUR premise that the Catholic Church received funds from the
government to partially pay for some of the services offered by that Church.The Catholic Church does not support abortions. It's doctrine
tells us that it is opposed to abortions. It's doctrine also states that
it is against anything that interferes with conception. If Obama, or his
minions, or his appointees, or his hirelings, or his community organizers force
the Catholic Church to pay for abortions or for contraceptives FOR ANY REASON,
they have breached the 1st Amendment.ANY RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION is
exempt from government dictates, according to the 1st Amendment. If you want to
argue that the 1st Amendment is meaningless, then tell us exactly why you even
have the right to speak, since that is part of that same amendment.
To Mike Richards 11:59 a.m. Oct. 9, 2012Once again you show you
don't understand either the Constitution or this issue. Nobody is telling
the Catholic Church that it must provide abortions or contraceptives. NOBODY.
Establishments of religion (edifices of worship) are exempt. Businesses owned
by religions, which are NOT establishments of religion, still don't have to
pay for abortions or contraceptives. Insurance companies, which are NOT
establishments of religion, bear the responsibility and the cost of providing
basic preventative health care including contraception (just like they do for
any other preventative health care including but not limited to pap smears,
mamograms, etc., etc., etc.). Since estabishments of religion (edifices of
worship) are not impacted, the First Amendment is not implicated. NO First
Amendment rights are implicated. Period.
@Furry1993,You have claimed, over and over, to be an expert on the
Constitution, but it looks like you're playing word games. The
Constitution does not state "edifice" of religion, it states,
"establishment" of religion. Your entire argument is bogus. The
Catholic Church is an "establishment" of religion. It is world-wide.
It is not an "edifice". It is an "establishment". The
Constitution protects the Catholic Church from the government of the United
States, regardless of your twisting of the words.
@ EDM,Do you have any idea how hollow your argument is?The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been authorized by Jesus
Christ to represent Him world wide. The President and Prophet of that Church
represents Christ to all the world. The Deseret News is owned and operated by
that Church. That Church and its employees have the obligation to disseminate
the pure doctrine of Christ. Christ has instructed his Prophets to
speak against same-sex intercourse (which he has, if you follow Conference
talks). Those who own and operate the Deseret News have the obligation to NOT
promote homosexual activity no matter how vocal the 2.5% are.Any
moderator, week-end or otherwise, who rejects the doctrines of the Master who
directs his Church through the Prophet, who is the owner of the Deseret News, is
directly violating the doctrine of Christ. That concept is simple,
but there are many who reject Christ, including some of the moderators who
reject comments that support Christ's pure and simple doctrines.Religious "freedom" requires that we stand with the Master who gives
us "religion". The "evil one" tells us to reject that doctrine.
To J Thompson 12:51 p.m. Oct. 9, 2012@Furry1993,You have
claimed, over and over, to be an expert on the Constitution, but it looks like
you're playing word games. The Constitution does not state
"edifice" of religion, it states, "establishment" of religion.
Your entire argument is bogus. The Catholic Church is an "establishment"
of religion. It is world-wide. It is not an "edifice". It is an
"establishment". The Constitution protects the Catholic Church from the
government of the United States, regardless of your twisting of the words.----------------I was trying to simplify the explanation
since an explanation using legal-level language was not understood.Yes, the Catholic Church, to the extent that it is an establishment of
religion -- a worship entity -- is protected under the First Amendment. BUT
businesses owned by the Catholic Church are NOT establishments of religion (they
are involved with business and not involved with worship) -- they are business
entities regardless who owns them. Therefore they do NOT have First Amendment
protection. It's a simple and easily-understood concept; too bad people
try to make it more difficult.
Furry,You misrepresented the facts so thoroughly that it is
unconscionable. The GOVERNMENT preys on the Catholic Church. The GOVERNMENT
uses the hospitals and schools of the Catholic Church to defray its own costs of
caring for the poor and the destitute. The GOVERNMENT leeches off the charity
of the Catholic Church instead of paying its own way.You do not have
the right to redefine what "establishment of religion" means. The
government does not have that right. The Catholic Church is world-wide. It is
not a creation of the U.S. Government. Its acts of benevolence extend to people
throughout this entire world, yet YOU want to tell us that unless the Catholic
Church becomes a subset of the U.S. Government, that it cannot and must not be
allowed to help the poor.Have you ever stopped to think what would
happen to the poor if the Catholic Church simply told the U.S. Government to
take a hike and to care for its own? How many MILLIONS of people would be left
destitute?Please, get off your high horse long enough to allow an
"establishment of religion" to help the destitute.
It's interesting how the anti-religious here talk about churches trying to
force their beliefs on others, but somehow can't see how they themselves
are doing the same thing. No churches are trying to get laws or regulations
passed that force others to do anything. They offer, as private religious
institutions, or businesses with religious convictions, employment or
health/social services for those who freely choose to accept them. If someone
adamantly wants an employer or health care provider who provides contraception,
he or she is free to choose among a broad range of providers who do so. I
challenge anyone to demonstrate convincingly that anyone is having unwanted
babies because he or she was simply unable access contraception because he or
she couldn't find any employers or health care providers willing to do so.
No, this is not about making contraception accessible. It is rather about
anti-religious or left-wing ideologues using governmental power to pressure
religious organizations and businesses to abandon their supposedly old-fashioned
and restrictive positions. Talk about forcing beliefs on others.
When the religious liberty of one person hurts an other person. It is rightly
curtailed.A few years ago, a church got an electronic set of bells
to toll on Sunday. Problem is, the church used this system to play religious
music during much of the week. They wouldn't stop voluntarily. They had to
be sued.Forcible or under age female circumcision is one area where
freedom of religion is rightfully curtailed. Male circumcision is another.While Jehovas witness have a right to refuse a blood transfusion, they
don't have a right to let their children die by withholding this from their