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In our opinion: Religious liberty is more than freedom of worship

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  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 7, 2012 12:59 a.m.

    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 a mob.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Oct. 7, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    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.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Oct. 7, 2012 9:17 a.m.

    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.

  • Fibonacci Centerville, UT
    Oct. 7, 2012 10:07 a.m.

    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.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 7, 2012 10:43 a.m.

    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.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Oct. 7, 2012 10:45 a.m.

    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.

  • Mister J SLC, UT
    Oct. 7, 2012 11:20 a.m.

    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.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 7, 2012 11:53 a.m.

    Really, desnews? Religious freedom is under attack because of health care reform? Let's not confuse religious freedom with religious popularity.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Oct. 7, 2012 12:10 p.m.

    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?

  • TA1 Alexandria, VA
    Oct. 7, 2012 12:18 p.m.

    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.

  • StudentofReason SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 7, 2012 12:44 p.m.

    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.

  • George Bronx, NY
    Oct. 7, 2012 12:52 p.m.

    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.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Oct. 7, 2012 1:12 p.m.

    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.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Oct. 7, 2012 2:05 p.m.

    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.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 7, 2012 3:30 p.m.

    “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.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 7, 2012 5:20 p.m.

    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.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 7, 2012 5:23 p.m.

    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 male circumcision.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 7, 2012 5:31 p.m.

    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 commercial business.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 7, 2012 5:36 p.m.

    Are religious freedoms more important than personal freedoms?

    Should a person be free to do bad things if those things are legal?

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Oct. 7, 2012 6:33 p.m.

    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.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Oct. 7, 2012 6:53 p.m.

    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?

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 7, 2012 9:15 p.m.

    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.

  • LibertyInLaw Provo, UT
    Oct. 7, 2012 9:49 p.m.

    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?

  • WestGranger West Valley City, Utah
    Oct. 7, 2012 10:23 p.m.

    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.

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 7, 2012 10:32 p.m.

    @LibertyInLaw
    1. "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.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 7, 2012 10:58 p.m.

    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."

    KJK
    Using 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.

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Oct. 8, 2012 1:44 a.m.

    @ the truth
    "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."

    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.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Oct. 8, 2012 11:57 a.m.

    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.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 8, 2012 12:11 p.m.

    @ 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?

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 8, 2012 12:16 p.m.

    @ 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 religious freedom.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Oct. 8, 2012 1:16 p.m.

    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 Amendment.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Oct. 8, 2012 1:58 p.m.

    To Mike Richards 1:16 p.m. Oct. 8, 2012

    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 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.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Oct. 8, 2012 4:24 p.m.

    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.

  • Phranc SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 8, 2012 5:14 p.m.

    @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.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 8, 2012 7:08 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 8, 2012 9:19 p.m.

    @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.

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 8, 2012 9:32 p.m.

    @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.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Oct. 8, 2012 11:46 p.m.

    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.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Oct. 9, 2012 11:59 a.m.

    @ 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.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 12:17 p.m.

    To Mike Richards 11:59 a.m. Oct. 9, 2012

    Once 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.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 12:51 p.m.

    @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.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 1:38 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 3:26 p.m.

    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.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 4:10 p.m.

    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.

  • Dr H LAYTON, UT
    Oct. 30, 2012 6:04 p.m.

    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.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 8:36 p.m.

    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 children.