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Rick Warren: Religious liberty the civil rights issue of the next decade

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  • Melanna Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 2, 2012 11:30 p.m.

    Here is how freedom works: You are free to own a gun - you are not free to use that gun to take away my rights. You are free to have a religion, you are not free to use that religion to take away my rights.

    My decision to own a sword instead if a gun is not an infringement on your freedom to own a gun, nor does it undermine your decision to own a gun. My decision to engage in behavior

  • Melanna Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 3, 2012 5:36 a.m.

    (Continued) not supported or condoned by your religion is not an infringement of your right to not engage in that behavior nor does it undermine your right not to engage in that behavior.

    As an employer, you do not have the right to force you employees to own a gun, nor do you have the right to prohibit them from owning one. As an employer, you do not have the right to force your religious beliefs and practices on your employees, nor do you have the right to prohibit them from using their wages or benefits for products or practices supported by their religious beliefs.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 6:56 a.m.

    Religious liberty gives you the right to worship as you wish, it never ever ever gave you the right to impose your beliefs on others.

    That is the problem with the "religious right" these days, if they can't impose their "values" on everyone else, they feel they're under attack.

    The Civil Rights issues of the next decade are going to be GLBT rights, Women's rights to determine how their bodies are used, and the rights of Americans to earn a living wage.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Dec. 3, 2012 9:05 a.m.

    @RanchHand

    And likewise, the problem with the "atheist left" these days is that if they can't impose their "values" on everyone else, they feel they're under attack.

    If you open your eyes you'll see it goes both ways.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Dec. 3, 2012 9:38 a.m.

    I see this over and over again. If I refuse to allow someone who is black or jewish or Mormon to rent an apartment from me that is illegal discrimination. Why should I be given an exception if I claim my prejudice is rooting in my religious belief? That isn't religious liberty.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Dec. 3, 2012 9:49 a.m.

    RanchHand and Melanna,

    Religion includes values. Voters of whatever stripe are free to act on their values, whatever they may be.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Dec. 3, 2012 11:01 a.m.

    @ Twin Lights
    You wrote: "Religion includes values. Voters of whatever stripe are free to act on their values, whatever they may be."

    I agree 100% with you.

    The law requires that every employer provides Health Care to his/her employees, the whole package. It should be up to the employee if he or she uses certain items in that Health Plan, according to his/her values, whatever they may be.

    The law doesn't impose on anyone to use contraception. What the law requires that everyone has access to the same benefits in order to decide according to their personal values. That is freedom.

    Abortions in the U.S. have declined 5% in the last couple of years, the trend will continue. Why are we having less abortions? Because more people are using "more effective" methods of contraception.

    Th religious right loves feeling victimized when people stop listening to their tired litany.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 3, 2012 11:59 a.m.

    @ Twin Lights: Of course people vote according to their values - but some things, such as the rights of others, should never be up for a vote. Just because my religion disagrees with a right you have that does not give me the right to demand the opportunity to vote away your right and then claim that my inability to vote away your right infringes on my religious freedom.

    We are a pluralistic nation. Many people have beliefs that others do not share. This multiplicity of beliefs is not a threat to your freedom to believe and worship as you wish. If the only argument you can present against the actions of another is that those actions conflict with your religious beliefs, than there is no societal harm and no reason to restrict the other's right to engage in that action.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 2:08 p.m.

    @Baccus0902

    "The law requires that every employer provides Health Care to his/her employees, the whole package. It should be up to the employee if he or she uses certain items in that Health Plan, according to his/her values, whatever they may be."

    -----

    It should be up to the employer to decide whether or not to offer such health care. If an employee wants health care, he/she can go to an employer that offers it. If an employee wants health care with a contraceptive plan, he/she can go to an employer who offers it.

    I wouldn't expect a Catholic bookstore to sell Mormon books. Nor would I expect a gay/lesbian store to sell Mormon paraphernalia. That is not much different that forcing an employer to offer health care against the employer's wishes.

    That is how America should work - and used to work before the left's anti-freedom influence.

  • Turtles Run Missouri City, TX
    Dec. 3, 2012 3:28 p.m.

    Utes Fan

    No, if religious institution wish to participate in activities in the mainstream marketplace then they must abide by the rules that others must as well. For example we do not allow producers of religious theme foods such as Halal to escape food safety rules. The same thing should apply to businesses that participate in the general marketplace.

    If a religious institution such as a church is forced to provide care that goes against their beliefs then I would be with you. But the ACA grants waivers like these to religious organizations. Schools and hospitals affiliated with religion are not religious organizations.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 6:39 p.m.

    @Turtles Run

    Following food safety regulations is entirely different than the government dictating what foods you must buy and sell.

    The latter is what is happening not the former.

    It seems the the left can handle true freedom, they want everyone else's freedom managed and controlled and regulated.

    While they are totally free to dictate to the masses and do as they please.

    IF you want contraception and abortions pay for them yourselves.

    You have no right to demand that of others.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Dec. 3, 2012 6:59 p.m.

    @ Utes Fan
    You wrote: "It should be up to the employer to decide whether or not to offer such health care. If an employee wants health care, he/she can go to an employer that offers it. If an employee wants health care with a contraceptive plan, he/she can go to an employer who offers it."

    Oh my dear Utes Fan, do you know how childish your comment sound? Let's talk about changing the definition of job, let's talk about changing the definition of the relationship between an employer and employee. Your concept would take us back to the times of indentured servants.

    The citizens of the U.S.A. have never enjoyed as much freedom as today,and yes, you are 100% correct,it is thanks to the left and all of those who are able to look beyond their personal selfish interest.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Dec. 3, 2012 8:11 p.m.

    Kalindra,

    I understand and (I think that I) agree. But what rights are we talking about that are being taken from you?

    Baccus0902

    First, I don’t feel victimized (not that you necessarily directed that at me, but just to be clear). Second, I actually think it is fine for insurance to provide for birth control. But the tricky part with a religious employer such as the Catholic Church is that if they (hopefully) pony up part of the cost of the insurance, they can reasonably have the thought that they are helping to pay for folks using contraception – something to which they are diametrically opposed.

    It is not a matter of whether I agree with them, but given that it is repugnant to them, should they be forced to provide it OR give up insuring their employees (a likely worse outcome)?

    BTW, I don’t pretend to know the answer. I see both sides. The point of my prior post was simpler. That to expect religious folks not to vote their values is foolish. Religion is ALL about values and voting follows folks values whatever they may be.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 4:43 a.m.

    Who in America can't worship as they please?

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 5:40 a.m.

    The religious right
    The atheist left

    The white right
    The diverse left

    The male right
    The female left

    The "moral" right
    The "immoral" left

    The way such divisive notions polarize and distort is not useful to anyone, and in case you didn't notice, lost the election.

    Diversity, inclusion, equality, fairness, and openness will always trump arrogant claims to moral superiority, elitism, exclusion (of the 47%), and imposition of "values" onto those who don't share the same beliefs.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 6:55 a.m.

    @BraveSirRobin;

    It isn't an imposition of values to require you to tolerate people with values other than your own. It is an imposition of values to vote to require others to adhere to your own. If you aren't being forced into a same-sex marriage, if you aren't being forced to take contraceptives, if you aren't being forced to have an abortion, then those values are not being imposed upon you. You can tolerate them in others, but you aren't required to do them yourself. That is not an "imposition".

    @TwinLights;

    The non-religious also have values. They may or may not be the same as your own, but they are still values. To imply otherwise is arrogant and dismissive of other people. You simply assume that your values are the only correct values. Judge not lest ye be judged; you really can't know for certain until you end up at the judgement seat.

    I believe that bigotry and discrimination are not actually "values".

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Dec. 4, 2012 7:38 a.m.

    Ranch,

    I think both my posts indicated that all kinds of folks have values. I have no doubt that non-religious have values. I did not think I implied otherwise. Rather I was simply noting that because religions (of all types) include values it would be naive to suppose that religious folks will not vote according to their values. Nothing more.

    I try not to assume my values are the only correct ones. Over a lifetime, I do feel those I have adopted have meaning and permanence but I have friends and family with different values and I try to respect them and their values. Honestly, I think you were reading too much into my post.

    As for the judgement seat. No worries. Only one will exercise judgement. I will gladly leave that task to him.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Dec. 4, 2012 6:14 p.m.

    @ Twin Lights

    You wrote: "I try not to assume my values are the only correct ones. Over a lifetime, I do feel those I have adopted have meaning and permanence but I have friends and family with different values and I try to respect them and their values".

    My friend, I think we all are on the same boat. Some people just seem to have more difficulties in accepting that "their truth" is not necessarily somebody else's truth.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 11:06 p.m.

    @Baccus0902

    "Oh my dear Utes Fan, do you know how childish your comment sound? Your concept would take us back to the times of indentured servants."

    "it is thanks to the left and all of those who are able to look beyond their personal selfish interest."

    -------------
    Childish? Selfish? I know several employers who are looking to scale back employees from full-time to part-time or lay off employees to be able to afford the forced health care requirement.

    You might want to dispense with the labels, get back to common sense, study basic economics, and come back with intelligent arguments. Here I will help you with some logic that is taught in Junior High school: if an employer has a certain amount of revenue and suddenly that revenue decreases due to increased costs such as forced health care, then that employer must cut back on expenses. Since payroll is usually the biggest expense for small or medium sized businesses, they will most likely have to layoff or cut employees to part-time in order to afford the additional expenses due to being forced to cover health care.

    It isn't selfish or childish, it is raw reality.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 6:32 a.m.

    Healthcare coverage (insurance) in America is unique in the way it is provided by employers as a part of compensation. Few industrialized countries do that.

    But as a form of compensation, health insurance coverage is like other compensation such as a paycheck, a 401K, stock options, tuition reimbursement, etc.

    So, consider how absurd it would be for an employer to claim the right, in the name of "religious freedom", to force their employees to refrain from spending their paychecks on alcohol, tea, or tobacco - because the EMPLOYER doesn't "believe in it" for arbitrary "religious reasons"!

    How absurd for an employer to presume to govern how an employee allocates the 401K funds - forbidding employees from taking out a loan against 401K funds to buy a boat for the lake on Sundays - because the EMPLOYER believes in keeping the sabbath "holy".

    Stop trying to force others to abide by your religious beliefs, and then crying "religious freedom is being attacked" when you are not allowed to do it!

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Dec. 5, 2012 6:39 a.m.

    @Utes Fan
    What you describe is as you wrote "raw reality". However, if employers were allowed to use that as an excuse, then we wouldn't have vacations, Social Security, FICA, and other benefits that we as society have decided all human beings need in order to maintain a decent standard of living.

    I don't know anyone in the planet who is free of medical needs. We as a nation are evolving into a more just society. Of course it has a price tag, everything does.

    The article is not about economics, is about freedom. We live in a democracy. Therefore, freedom for the majority and all should be our goal.

    Entrepreneurs also have the choice of going into business of their own or not. I can assure you that there are plenty of people who are not afraid and know that Health Care is fair and they could manage it. Many of them are sitting this one out for now, until their "selfish interest" tells them if they can get away without providing Health Insurance or that is not an option. Once is decided and there is no choice businesses will adapt.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 7:28 a.m.

    Who in America is being oppressed by religion?

    We have a nasty habit in our country of dismissing any topic in public discussion that has any association with religious values.

    Just because an argument has religious association doesn't mean it should be ignored. That's lazy and self-destructive thinking.

  • Tandrews Petersburg, VA
    Dec. 5, 2012 10:10 a.m.

    I think that as a business owner if I have a problem with providing services to customers or employees that are against my religious convictions, I should have the right to do so. If my employee wants coverage for abortions or contraception, then they should have the option to pay for it. I shouldn't be forced to pay it for them.

    In this manner my religious convictions and theirs are both protected.

    Secondly, as a person of faith who is also a business owner I shouldn't have to be subjected to public demonization because I contribute or support causes that support my beliefs.

    Just as someone who does not belong to a religious group does not wish to have religion shoved down their throat, neither should I when it comes to secular rhetoric. If people of varying faiths wish to have an open dialogue of understanding and shared beliefs, than that is one thing. But stop using bully tactics because I don't agree with you.

    You can disagree with a person and their decisions and still love them on both sides of the table.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Dec. 5, 2012 11:44 a.m.

    Is there no issue left that hairsplitting over what's politically correct doesn't obfuscate the issue itself? Absolutely not, and I think that's a sign that freedom of religion is stronger than it ever has been. So let Rick Warren and others continue their ridiculous rants about how much trouble we're in.

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 2:05 p.m.

    As a gay non-Christian who's in favor of the right to abortion (though I wish people would perrsonally reconsider, in most cases, having them), I'm totally supportive of any religion's right not to have to violate its beliefs in the public arena. For example, not having to issue contraceptives or else lose Federal funding. And not having to perform gay marriages or else lose such funding too.

    But these religions also need to reciprocate that respect, by not trying to impose their beliefs on others, via political activism to, e.g., keep gay from getting married. (Didn't Rick Santorum, a devout Catholic, also want to make contraceptives illegal for everyone? Or did I get that wrong?)

    When the Pope calls homosexuality disordered and his church acts accordingly in political activities, as do other religions, they're doing exactly what they don't want done to them: trying to force their one beliefs on others.

    There's a preventative for that and every religion knows it well: it's called the Golden Rule.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2012 3:50 p.m.

    As long as the Westboro Baptist Church can still have judges rule in their favor to do the nonsense they do... I'm not concerned about religious freedom being under attack. Ever notice that roughly 530-535ish of the 538 members in the House and Senate belong to one religion or another?

  • Balstrome Durban, 00
    Dec. 11, 2012 2:44 p.m.

    Christian Privileges for Holidays & Holy Days:

    * Many stores take the Christian sabbath into account
    * Most Christians don’t have to work on their holiest days
    * Christians can assume they will see TV specials and hear music related to their holidays
    * Christians can erect Christian holiday displays without fearing vandalism
    * Christians expect to be greeted with references to their holidays (Merry Christmas)
    * Christians can ignore and be ignorant of other religions’ holidays
    * School events will probably address Christian holidays