Still have to play the victim, don't you?Just because fewer
people are willing to sit back and let you be the sole arbiter of what is
"moral" doesn't mean your liberty is being eroded. Just because
your beliefs and biases can't be written into laws that the rest of us have
to follow doesn't mean you're being persecuted. If you don't
believe in something like abortion and gay marriage, don't get one. To
quote Joseph Smith, teach us proper principles and let us govern ourselves.
I just don't follow the tortured logic of these monthly "religious
freedom" editorials. I'm a life-long true believer in the organization
that owns this paper, but this constant refrain rings hollow. Who's freedom
is being restricted. As long as you are not infringing on the rights of, or
taking money from your fellow citizens, you are free to worship however you like
in this country.
We should be aware however that religion is de facto subsidized by government in
that religious establishments receive a host of government services, e.g. fire,
police, sanitation, water, sewage, for which they do not pay. I don't
completely disagree with what you say, but religion is clearly cut a lot of
slack. I don't see much of a threat to religious liberty viewed from this
While I agree that religious freedom is under attack and those who seek to
exercise their religion openly will find increasing hostility and public
disfavor, "calls to arms" such as this article might inspire a few but
are a stretch. Certainly your appeal isn't to the type of person who views
you as a perpetual victim or to those secular humanists who see all religion as
misleading and deceptive. Which troops are you trying to rally? And what do you
want them to do? And aren't these the "last days" where prophecy
declares even the elect will be deceived? Should we really expect that when the
shackles of religion on public behavior and opinion have been cast aside and the
pursuit of the gratification of one's desires becomes the top priority--an
unfortunate consequence of greater freedom for all--that religious persecution
won't follow? Of course it will and the rhetoric has already ramped up.
(e.g.- It's vogue now to refer to anyone opposed to gay marriage as a
bigot.) Your efforts should be in preparing folks as to how to cope with the
coming changes, because coming they are...as has been prophesied.
The basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and
St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don't think we emphasize that
enough these days. If we don't have a proper fundamental moral background,
we will finally end up with a government which does not believe in the rights
for anybody except the State! - Harry S Truman Statesmen...may plan
and speculate for liberty, but it is Christianity and morality alone, which can
establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only
foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue. - John Adams The
spirit of man is more important than mere physical strength, and the spiritual
fiber of a nation than its wealth. - Dwight D. Eisenhower And can
liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm
basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the
gift of God? - Thomas Jefferson
I think there are far more religious individuals in the US who consider the
taxes they pay to support invasions, occupations, assassinations, wars against
popular uprisings, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and clandestine
development of technologies of global surveillance and control to be utterly
against the teachings of their gods and prophets than the small number of
business owners who are offended over contributions to insurance coverage that
gives employees choices that the owners already have. The attacks on their
"freedom of religion" have been going on for much longer than the
risible "oppression" that you have invented for this opinion piece. The
writer of this editorial has not thought through its logic or implications.
There is a difference between personal religious freedom and the power of
churches and others institutions to impose their will on others. This has been
something that this paper does not seem to comprehend. Mormons, of all religious
groups, should understand the importance of protecting the rights of the
minority. Unfortunately, as it has become big and powerful, the institution now
puts its own interests first, expecting government to support its interests.
Think it through and stop playing the martyr role. KJB1 is correct.
KJB1. I fear you have totally missed the point. Its not governing ourselves as a
nation or as believers that is the problem. The problem lies in other people
dictating and interfering with the free practice of religion. Hawn's mill,
the Missouri eviction eidetic from the then governor and Nauvoo expulsion by
mobs ring a bell with you? Could it be that the "new mob" is already
forming under the banner of taxpayer funded abortions, forced birth control and
yes, the repeal of legitimate election results? Who is being forced to accept
who's beliefs? Who is playing the victim?
This editorial is as silly a fantasy pity-party as I've ever seen.Google searches of each instance of "repression" this editorial
describes reveals a vastly different perspective.Most of the claimed
"repression" of religious freedom are unattributed anecdotes, and are
unworthy of inclusion in this editors.Some, like the removal of a
painting from an Idaho Air Force Base, are easy enough to look up online. The
painting in question was removed from a public dining hall. That's no place
for a religious work of art, and it's removal was completely
appropriate.That's not an example of a loss of religious
freedom, it's an example of common sense being applied.
Always with the victim card! Let me tell you about the discrimination,
exclusion, the ostracizing, the whispers, the gang-like bullying that occurs
daily in Utah schools. I'm talking about religious bigots and the arrogant
self-righteousness of a majority and the scars they leave on those perceived to
be "less worthy". Good luck to all the decent non-majority kids in
Utah schools.Freedom of religion will never be at stake in this
nation, play the victim all you want, what is at stake in Utah is the
I'd genuinely like to hear suggestions on how the federal government should
handle freedom of religion cases. The current policy of the U.S. Supreme Court
is to not give religious people or organizations any special treatment unless
the government's law or policy is specifically aimed at discouraging or
encouraging a religion or non-religion. One of the reasons the Court chose this
way of deciding 1st amendment cases is because it's a really easy way to
decide cases. How would the editors of the Deseret News change the Court's
current test? (and I'm not being sarcastic or cynical - I'm really
interested in 1st amendment issues).Also, the 1st amendment only
guarantees freedom of religion from government intrusion. There is no freedom
of religion issue when private people like the media, the public, and
individuals are antagonistic toward religion, except where those views become
law.I'm glad the DN is calling attention to this issue.
I'd also like to hear how they would address it.
First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; Early on I thought those words applied to individuals, but I now see the error
of my ways because the word “establishment” in use here is a noun
and not a verb. As a verb it would prevent the national government
from specifying a particular religion and religious practices. As a noun it
means that the national government may not do any thing to control or limit the
actions of an organized religion. It today’s world it is
perfectly clear that the organized religions want government by religion. They
want public prayers, religious advertising in the public square and business
operations that further the cause of their religion. Some of us
would like to have the right to believe differently than the established
organizations of religion. To keep that right it is necessary that religious
organizations no be allowed free exercise of their beliefs. Religion should not be a part or government or business that has financial
power over people. Government should pay the wages for those involved in
Re: KJB1Thank goodness millions of Americans disagree with you. You
must attack and twist the beliefs of others and impugn their motives to support
your points.As the article pointed out there is no question there is
an open hostility to religion in certain quarters of society and it is growing.
There is both open and subtle persecution in a nation that proclaims itself the
bastion of religious freedom.It's a basic fact that all laws
are moral and have their original basis in biblical and moral principles. If you
don't understand that, go to law school. People of faith
don't have to write their "beliefs and biases" into laws because
they are already there. You can continue to bang your head ahead the
truth and just continue to spin your wheels and get nowhere.In the
meantime please refrain from taking cheap shots at people of faith. We will go
on defending our constitutional right to exercise our religious convictions both
private and public.
There are many who would destroy an individual's right to worship as he
pleased. There are many who would destroy an establishment of religion's
right to write its own doctrine and perform its covenant ordinances. What those
people forget is that the people retain all rights except those that are
specifically allocated to government. Even without the 1st Amendment, the
people and the churches run by those people have the right to worship as they
choose, not as the government dictates. The founding fathers were
wise and cautious. They had seen how governments in Europe had controlled of
religion. They ensured that no such thing would happen in America by making
religion and religious worship the first item addressed in the Bill of
Rights.Foolish people think that situational ethics can dictate
laws. They assume that they know the consequences of all things. Corrupt
politicians and corrupt judges try to change our rights. We must be
vigilant. The Deseret News is doing its duty to inform us of those corrupt
politicians and of those corrupt judges. Hopefully, we're intelligent
enough to read and to understand.
Oh, but how would DN fill up its pages were it not for the "war on
religion?""The administration, however, has imposed
requirements as part of the Affordable Care Act that would take away rights of
conscience in regard to certain medical procedures religious employers would
have to offer employees as part of their health coverage."Yet,In a split with U.S. bishops, a trade group for Catholic hospitals
said it can accept the Obama's administration latest compromise on birth
control coverage by religious employers."We are pleased that our
members now have an accommodation that will not require them to contract,
provide, pay or refer for contraceptive coverage," said the Catholic Health
Freedom accrues to individuals before religion. If religion wants to participate
in the larger society, then it has to accept that individuals have rights on
which it cannot infringe, and that their having those rights is not persecution.
Otherwise, it can sit in the corner and say 'woe is me'.
The article includes another example of how Obama fails to implement a law he
does not agree with. The Executive branch, if you sustain the Constitution, is
required by the Constitution to implement laws duly passed by the Congress. So,
any of you who dislike the growing attacks on religious liberty and who voted
for Obama or for democrat office holders who support him, can blame yourselves.
Those who believe the 1st amendment goes too far (13% per the article) are as
much of the problem as Obama and his appointees. The fact that he got re-elected
shows how much the populace has changed as well as their ignorance about the
Constitution and/or their disregard for it. Knowledge is power and unfortunately
so is ignorance.
The problem is when others want laws that restrict my ability to practice my
beliefs. To me many in this country simply want to believe what they want to
believe. To me many think there are no moral values that we need to follow and
that whatever my selfish wants are is simply how I conduct my life. We need to
return to the Christian values of our ancestors.
If you thought gun control brought out a bunch of anger people, wait till the
first amendment is hammered further. It will be the end of this country.
The outrage about "infractions" of religious liberty comes from people
who are losing the ability to force their religion on others.An
example is the Idaho AFB removing the painting, "Blessed are the
Peacemakers," because of "its Biblical reference." A few actual
facts will show that this painting should never have been put on display in the
cafeteria on base.The painting (which can easily be found with a
Google image search) shows an Air Force Officer in the foreground with a
crusader in the background holding the flag of the crusades. As the flag folds,
it morphs into the American flag. The implication is that the Air Force is the
modern version of the Crusades, fighting for Christianity against the Muslims, a
truly despicable idea in a country that is founded on a principle of religious
freedom and which has people of all faiths in the Air Force.The
painting was objected to by a group of about 20 airmen, most of whom were
Christian. They contacted the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which
contacted the Pentagon, and the painting was removed. Contrary to what this
article states, removal of the painting increased the religious freedom on the
@KJB1:I respectfully disagree with your comment "If you
don't believe in something like abortion and gay marriage, don't get
one." That is not the issue being discussed in this article.
Since you bring up Joseph Smith, remember that he also taught "...we do not
believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship
to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private
devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control
conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the
soul." It is morally wrong for anyone or any institution to force me to
"bind my conscience" and require me to fall in line with beliefs or
practices which I do not hold, as it is also morally wrong for anyone or any
institution to force you to "bind your conscience" to follow my beliefs.
And yet I don't see any governmental force keeping me from going to church
today. I don't see police forces blocking me from entering my church
buildings. Nobody has come and told me to take down my religious quote hanging
in the living room. My individual religious freedoms are still intact. I will
see you in 3.5 hours--I'm going to church now!
The author(s) of this editorial assert:"Without religion in the
public square, rights degenerate quickly into opinions open for debate and
restriction."We hear these kinds of assertions repeatedly from
the religious zealots, but there are never any facts to back it up.Christianity does not now, and has never in the past, owned the copyright or
held the patent on morality, much less the foundations of civilizations.Others assert:"The basis of our Bill of Rights comes
from the teachings we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St.
Paul."Do tell! Where in Exodus or Matthew or Isaiah or the
epistles of Paul is there anything common with the Bill of Rights? And where in
the Bill of Rights are these scriptures referenced?Nowhere.You can quote Jefferson, Adams, Truman, or Eisenhower until you are BYU blue
in the face, but you cannot explain why NONE of those quotes or ideas ever found
their way into the official Founding documents that are the law of this land!Stop hijacking American history, and stop trying to turn this country
into a "Christian Nation"!Non-believers and non-Christians
are Americans, too!
Check out some of the very old periodicals from the time of the Civil War.Southerners were positive "The End" was near. Their rights and
God's good graces towards Slavery(as it was ok in the Bible) had them
utterly convinced that America was doomed.The "End is near for
America" folks have been around for a LONG time, and likely will continue to
share their eternal message.
There are no established religions or churches in the United States, though some
of the colonies once had them. An established religion or church is one
"recognized by the government as the national church or religion" (The
New Oxford American Dictionary). The United States has no national church or
religion. One purpose of the first amendment is to prevent the establishment (or
establishing) of any church or religion, that is, to prevent any church or
religion from becoming the national church or religion of the United States.Freedom of religion is not something that applies only to Christians. As
Jefferson in his Autobiography (or Memoir) wrote of the Virginia Statute for
Religious Freedom, which disestablished the Church of England in Virginia, it
was meant to include all within "the mantle of its protection, the Jew and
the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every
@byufootballrocks "It's a basic fact that all laws are moral and have
their original basis in biblical and moral principles." Keep in mind much
of our morality and ethics originated in Greek civilization, not biblical.
When your church starts to pay _more_ in taxes on its income than other
enterprises, then we can talk about persecution.I'll set the
bar even lower - how about just having religions file IRS form 990's like
every other tax-free entity? Every other type of non-profit organization that
claims tax-exempt status at least provides public accountability and
transparency to demonstrate that they are indeed worthy of tax-exempt status.
Until then (and I'm not holding my breath) the notion that
religion in this country is in any meaningful way "under attack" just
makes me laugh.
There is a group of American atheists who are erecting monuments in public
places where the 10 Commandments are also located. The first monument was
erected in Florida, they claim to have 50 more on the way, to be distributed
around the nation.The text on the monument says:"An
atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An
atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An atheist
strives for involvement in life, and not escape into death. He wants disease
conquered, poverty banished, war eliminated."Regardless of any
debate the text may provoke, the religionists' commitment to the 1st
Amendment will be tested by these monuments. There was hostile opposition to
this monument by local Evangelical Christians in Florida.How will
this be received in Salt Lake? Or Pleasant Grove?
Re: "'... it is Christianity and morality alone, which can establish
the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.' - John
Adams."Adams wrote "religion," not
"Christianity":"... it is religion and morality alone,
which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand"
(letter to Zabdiel Adams, June 21, 1776).
Wow! A new definition for the word establishment, “An
established religion or church is one "recognized by the government as the
national church or religion".To know the meaning of the First
Amendment you need to envision who and why there was a demand for amendments to
the Constitution as a condition for approval. Many of the colonial
governments were in fact religious governments; their goal was to prevent the
national government from interfering with their power and authority. For the most part all of the amendments of the Bill of Rights are simply the
normal give and take of political negotiation. I am amazed that the three words
“or the people” got tacked onto the end of the Tenth Amendment.
I attend church regularly but I think this attack on religion is a bit
overplayed. As long as the government doesn't take away my right to
worship nor promote any religion over the other, I'm okay. I think
we're far from this actually so this attack on religion seems a bit
"The problem lies in other people dictating and interfering with the free
practice of religion. "I love statements like this. Our
ancestors must be rolling over in their graves listening to us whine about how
hard we have it, how we struggle to maintain our ability to follow our faith.
To people who were chased from their homes, had their places of worship
literally brought to the ground, to people who suffered being tarred and
feathers.... for them to listen to us cry about how hard we have it. I would love to know exactly how many members of any faith lost their lives in
this country trying to observe their religion? I wonder how many people today
have been bared from purchasing land, from gaining employment... who have
literally had to move thousands of miles away, just to observe their religion in
peace.We have become an amazingly soft and spoiled people.... who
don't respect the real sacrifices our ancestors make so that we might enjoy
the rights we have today.
How many here suffer the persecution of their religious beliefs and infringement
of their free speech when trying to post certain unpleasant facts about the LDS
Church on this DN site?I do frequently. I complain to the editors,
show my original posts that violate none of their post rules, and still some
power-wielding editor rejects my post on a whim.I can't quote
my pioneer Grandmother here? She said the saints "would never have suffered
such persecution" had they obeyed all the civil laws of the communities in
which they lived (back east). I say, the LDS Church would see real persecution
again should they reinstate polygamy and all-white priesthood. But that is so
defammatory that my opinion is suppressed. What post rule does that violate?We all know the answer to that. And it will be the downfall of modern
Mormonism, as is quickly changes to a more tolerant organization, lest it die
off from renrewed persecution from legit members within.
@10CCBountiful, UTThere is a group of American atheists who
are erecting monuments in public placesThe text on the monument says:"An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a
church. An atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said.
An atheist strives for involvement in life, and not escape into death. He wants
disease conquered, poverty banished, war eliminated."========
Wowzers!Sounds like the atheists believe more in what
Christ taught than the Christians do.
Since when is bigotry a religious freedom? I get that the Old Testament was full
of bigotry, misogyny and other problems but as a society, haven't we moved
beyond the myth and lore of bronze aged humans? I certainly hope we have.
The same people claiming their religious freedom is threatened are the same
people who would do anything to take away the freedom of Muslims.How did
the so called Christians at Fox respond when Muslims (using free market
capitalism) purchased a building on lower Manhattan to have a Mosque?
It is wonderful that the early Latter Day Saints are still afforded the respect
they deserve for their stoic fortitude in the face of adversity. However, I must note the tragic irony of this periodical starting off with a
tribute to the early Saints' hardships. Indeed, the fact that my ancestors
were put in such dire circumstances, not by evil atheists or liberals, but by
Christian religious zealots who were willing to utilize the mechanisms of
government to impose their will on a religious minority appears to be completely
lost on conservatives. In countless cases of religious persecution, it is the
religious minority being marginalized by the majority; it is religious influence
permeating the halls of Congress, the Courts, etc... to force their personal
moral convictions onto others. This is what makes my Church's most recent
forays into political fodder so desperately disappointing - the oppressed now
seek to become the oppressors. I'm sorry but my personal
religious convictions have no place in the public square and neither do yours.
@ marxist: I' sorry, but you forgot all of the things that religions and
churches do for the government. Organizing youth activities and help groups
individuals that ordinarily could not afford them, delivering meals and services
to the aged and visiting the sick, seeing the those of their membership
don't go hungry, gathering food and emergency supplies for times of
disaster whether caused by nature or man and distributing them, providing
personnel and a literal army of man power when needed, providing meeting houses
for shelter when needed, and many more that I don't have time to list.
Maybe the government owes religion a little more... viewed from this
@byufootballrocks'It's a basic fact that all laws are
moral and have their original basis in biblical and moral principles'Yes all those laws that allowed people to be kept as slaves, required
schools to be segregated along with public accommodations, didn't allow
people of certain ethnicities to marry, that took the land of indigenous
peoples....... Yes all those moral laws. You aren't a bad person if you
don't have religious beliefs and the history of morality is much older than
I love this part too...."An Army master sergeant may face
discipline just for serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at a promotion party, simply
because of the religious convictions of the owner of that fast-food
chain."And yet several military bases have Chick-fil-A's on
base.... so one has to wonder the authors sources. The military actually has
Chick-Fil-As on base.... and yet some one was disciplined because of serving
these.I don't think so. If it sounds to good to be true... or
too bad to be true.... it probably isn't.
Like many others, I'm struggling to find much sense and reasoning in this
editorial. Between the carefully placed reference to Nazis, and the unattributed
(and probably incomplete) anecdote about the master Sargent disciplined for
serving Chick-fil-A, this editorial doesn't cut it for me. That said, the
state of public opinion on the first amendment is concerning, if not new. Rather
than play victim and sulk in the corner -- in the tone of this editorial --
let's find more conciliatory and inclusive ways to reach out to others
about our beliefs and cherished freedoms.Do people view certain
Christians as extremists? Let's show them that we are not. Do some people
believe religion is "divisive and threatening, and associated with bigotry
and dogmatism rather than reason"? Let's prove them wrong. There is
cause for concern, but it's time to take ownership of the problem rather
than lamenting "there is no place left for believers to flee."
Re: "Wow! A new definition for the word establishment ..."The definition is not a new one, but an old one, the one the Framers had in
mind, and one still used today.Oxford English Dictionary:establish: 7. "From the 16th century often used with reference to
ecclesiastical ceremonies or organization, and to the recognized national church
or its religion ..." "Established Church: The Church as by
law established in any country, as the public or state-recognized form of
religion....So State Church." The earliest example given for this usage is
1660.establishment: 2. c. "Now usually, the conferring on a
particular religious body the position of a state church." The earliest
given example for this sense is from 1662-1663.As Leonard W. Levy
writes in "Origins of the Bill of Rights": "The classic
establishment of religion denoted a legal union between a state and a particular
church that benefited from numerous privileges not shared by other churches or
by the nonchurched or unbelievers. An uncontested and uncontestable fact that
stands out from the establishment clause is that the United States cannot
constitutionally enact any law preferring one church over others in any manner
whatever" (p. 79).
Despite your view on organized religion, it is a sad day when people want to
destroy our freedoms because they don't agree with a religion.To you liberals that complain about organized religion, you do realize that
with the freedom of religion it is an all or nothing type of freedom. Either we
allow religion both personal and organized or we don't.If you
think that government subsidizes religion, you are wrong. It is the opposite
that is going on. Religions are subsidizing the government through their
welfare programs, and through the benefits of organized religion. Thanks to
religion, you still have people getting married, which lifts people out of
poverty, thus saving the government welfare programs. In many cases the land
around churches becomes more valuable, which also benefits government.
IMVHO this editorial opinion is so far off base that it merits no counter
argument. But alas, it is only an opinion.
Sorry, but if you wish to eradicate the notion that some religions make up their
version of rights and try to enforce them on others, you need to stop running
pieces like this.As for military chaplains: if they are giving a
non-denominational service, they insult and exclude any Jews, Muslims, Hindus in
the room by adding "in Jesus' name"There is a widespread
problem of religious banners in barracks, of officers giving the better
assignments to those who attend chapel, of soldiers trying to preach and convert
day and night, etc, etc. There is NO problem of allowing worship that does not
infringe on others.If you want freedom OF religion, you must allow freedom
FROM religion.Currently, there is a nonsense idea going around that
telling people YOUR version of what your religion says about them, without being
asked, is Christian. Jesus weeps at that thought.
to: KJB1, Owen, & Blue My theory? The blowback to the unending
boy who cried wolf tactics fuel & justify the persection complex.To Mike RWhy should any of us be vigilant? We have you to filter
& interpret what it all means.
Let's bottom line it.Religious people are Americans too. They
are not second class citizens.Religious people do not have to check
their religion and faith at the door to the public square.Religious
people have every right and equal right to express themselves publically in
the public square, which includes artwork and have their views heard in the
making of lawm especially their communityOur government is neither
secular or non-secular but for all people which include religious people.in our system religious people can vote those they want represent them
and make law.that is not oppression but how the system works,you have the freedom to live in city or state that shares your value and
not have dictatorial minority tell what to do.that is how the system
worksWithout the the declaration that rights come from God we can
see the left, the progressives and the secularists wanting use the power of
the federal government to dictate rights and make law governing our every
behavior including being in your marriage.To paraphrase a founding
father: Our constitution is wholly inadequate for governing the godless and the
BrentBot using a Jefferson quote to validate religious freedom. Interesting;
Jefferson was no fan/proponent/supporter of religion.Thanks to
LDSLiberal for pointing the "oddity"of 10cc's post.
When I said "All laws are moral and have their basis in biblical and moral
principles" I meant that in the context of this discussion.Our
basic laws - Against murder, theft, assault, lying under oath, etc. had their
origin in biblical principles. Again, quit impugning motives.
It's a signal that you haven't got a single legitimate argument left.
I'm always a little nonplussed when I hear the constant mantra that somehow
church's have been "forcing their religion on others." Want to see
examples of force? Photographers being sued successfully because they don't
want to shoot gay weddings; motels being sued because they express their
preference that lesbians not stay in their establishments. Florists sued for not
providing flowers for gay weddings. Who's cramming whose beliefs down whose
I recognize the wonderful things religion does in exchange for its tax free
existence. I have received much consideration from my fellow ward members for
example. I merely wished to make the point that religion's tax free status
shows that religious freedom is not under any great threat.
Freedom of conscience is an individual's freedom to live according to their
moral values. It is not about how they pray or not pray or what rituals they do
in their church. It is freedom of conscience and that is being threatened.
Ghost Writer hits the nail on the head.With regards to the comments
that atheists think that building a hospital is better than building a church.
I am curious if any atheist groups run hospitals, charities, etc? At the same
time, I read between the lines that atheists mean that people who believe in God
don't believe in building hospitals, caring for the sick, etc. If so, then
there attacks on professions of certain religious beliefs are based on their
prejudices that they exhibit by twisting the first amendment.
From Ted's Head says:"While I agree that religious freedom
is under attack and those who seek to exercise their religion openly will find
increasing hostility and public disfavor, "calls to arms" such as this
article..."---"Call to arms" tells me that
you are at war with everyone else who doesn't feel the way you do.
It's no wonder you're finding fewer and fewer adherents willing to
subsume their identities to your religions.Mountanman says:"KJB1. I fear you have totally missed the point. Its not governing
ourselves as a nation or as believers that is the problem. The problem lies in
other people dictating and interfering with the free practice of
religion."---Absolutely not. The problem lies in
religious people, using their religious fictions, dictating and interfering in
the freedom and liberty of other Americans who believe differently.
@ embarrassed Utahn!, you hit the nail on the head with everything you said. I
am not part of the religious majority in Utah anymore just because of the true
statements you made in your post. I lived in Nevada most of my life and never
seen anything like what I have seen with the same religion in Utah. It's
like night and day. Arrogance and self righteousness certainly abounds with the
religious majority in Utah and we less worthy need not apply.
LDS Liberal.Nice sentiment. But (as others have pointed out), the
religious build the church AND the hospital. The same with prayer. It is
prayer and deeds, not prayer or deeds. It is the religious who are the most
tireless supporters of life and resist early death. It is the religious who
have assembled the non-profit organizations that fight disease and poverty.
And, though there are religious on both sides of the political divide, most
anti-war movements have religious folks at their core.
This editorial, with all its flawed logic, did produce a miracle: I finally
agree with Mountanman about something. He is perfectly correct that Hawn's
Mill is spelled with a "w" and not a "u." This misspelling has
been the norm for decades. The question is, however, did Mman spell it right on
purpose, or was this just a happy accident? My money's on the latter.
"An Army master sergeant may face discipline just for serving Chick-fil-A
sandwiches at a promotion party..."Weasel words at their finest.
No supporting evidence is given to show how that might happen, if it has ever
happened, or if such charges might stick.Just someone trying to play
of their own sense of vctimization by claiming something "may" happen.
I "may" fly, if i flap my arms hard enough, but past
evidence plus general rules of physics say otherwise. But that can't stop
me from the using a weaselly phrase to claim it could happen.
I can't remember who said it, but one of you said that " my beliefs
have no business in the public square, " or something along those lines.
What you fail to realize is that those beliefs are needed in the public square,
or else you will end up with small factions controlling your government.
I've never once heard an atheist who thought that his beliefs don't
belong in the public square. If you don't speak up, who will? The truth is
that there are people who hate religion with a passion and they would love
nothing more than to marginalize it out of society. These people are certainly
speaking up. Are they not just as much, if not more of bigots than the religious
folk out there who don't want things like gay marriage and abortion shoved
down their throats? My voice is equally as important as yours, no matter your
prejudice toward me because of my religion.
I see the DNews is crying "WOLF!" yet again. The persecution card would
hold much more value if those claiming persecution also wouldn't persecute
others. Nothing in the UCMJ says that a master sergeant would be
prosecuted if he/she served Chik-fil-a at a party. Like wise with the ending a
prayer with "in Jesus' name." What the military has banned is the
forceful coercion of religious beliefs imposed on subordinates.
One more thing -- about our country being founded on religious principles:ACTUALLY, the USA was founded on universal principles of freedom,
fairness, opportunity, and good will which happened to be taught to many of the
founding fathers via their religion."Do unto others as you would
have them do unto you" is in the Bible, but some version of it is in most
religions. It is also a principle that shows good character, even if one
subscribes to NO religion.----- just one example.Government,
at least in 49 States, works without specific reference to religion.And PS -- the Commandment about false witness was smashed into a thousand
pieces in 2008, in an attempt by religious people to pass a law. Would Jesus
prefer that the wrong was addressed?
@truth, educate me. Can you please enumerate what religious freedoms you
believe we have lost as compared to those enjoyed by those who lived 100, or 200
years ago.... or in the times of the founding fathers? What religious liberty
has been taken away, how are we not able to express our religious beliefs now,
that generations before us were able to.
It is fascinating the number of "tolerant" people who spasm with
indignation when religious groups attempt to influence popular culture, while
simultaneously accusing those same religions of playing the victim card when pop
culture forces its value onto the religious. HypocritesIt is
humorous the number of "liberal" Mormons who question their own faith
(which is healthy) bit never pop culture (which is not healthy) Naïve
The disrespect for religion in our society saddens me. Proving another
man's religion wrong does nothing for the beliefs I hold. I may be the most
scientific or rational person on earth and I still cling to those tenets based
on faith. The new religion of secular humanism is very intolerant of
any form of public religious expression.I wish all religions had
more opportunity to express themselves and what makes their religion most
attractive to them to the public, but much of our society has decided that such
expressions won't benefit us, and even trump up the ridiculous notion that
such expressions are harmful to others. Sadly, they shortchange
themselves in exchange for a numb conscience.
@abtrumpet;I couldn't care less about your religious beliefs,
but you're welcome to them. You are NOT welcome to use them to deny rights
to others. Period. If you would LIVE your religious beliefs yourself, and stop
trying to force those who aren't of your faith to follow them, then you
wouldn't have the "people who hate religion" (we don't hate
religion, we hate what you do with it), trying to "marginalize it out of
society". If you oppose gay marriages, live your religion and don't
have one yourself. If you oppose abortion, live your religion and don't
have one yourself. Stop pushing your religion on others and you'll
immediately notice a decrease in the animosity you feel towards you.@BTW;When religions actively work to violate the rights of others,
they are harming those others. Who would Jesus discriminate against?
I hold that it is impossible to be a scientific person and to also take the
tenets of your religion on faith. Science and faith are complete opposites. In
science you must follow the scientific method of observation, experimentation,
and duplication of results through peer review. This produces evidence to back
up any theories or claims. Faith is accepting that for which there is no
evidence.It really surprises me that so many people take their core
beliefs on faith. People compare cell phone plans, buy a car or house, track
sports teams, or plan a trip with more attention to detail and research than
they do thinking about whether or not their religion, or any religion for that
matter, is plausible.I do not disrespect religion. Religion is a set
of ideas that should be held to the same standard as other ideas. Just because
you hold some idea as sacred doesn't mean that it shouldn't be
ridiculed or subject to scientific scrutiny."Extraordinary
claims require extraordinary evidence." Carl Sagan
That is an excellent definition of scientific method, Candide. And it is
exactly why Mr. Darwin's theory is such and has subsequently been
thoroughly debunked by true academics. Too many gaping holes, silly
unrepeatable innuendos and conjectures. And yet it remains in public text books
decades later.There is only one ancient document that has never
shown to be incongruous with modern science, biology, cosmology or astrophysics.
It placed the sun at the center of our galaxy long before Copernicus and goes
way beyond Darwin's surmises about the origin of the species. It has 40
authors and was written over a 1500 year period. It has been ridiculed and
derided for creating a group "that didn't exist", yet in the early
1980s the 17th archeological layer revealed evidence for the Hittite
civilization. They laughed about a man being able to live in a whale's
belly, yet one did in the mid-20th century, and biologists wrote about it in The
Reader's Digest.There's plenty more evidence. You just
have to look it up.
Lightbearer. You are right. It’s just that when words have
so many meanings I sometimes think the wrong one. I still think
that the First Amendment does nothing for the individual person so far as
freedom of religion is concerned. I still believe that this nation
like all other nations was put together by businessmen for businessmen. I believe that churches are the same as any other business operation.
@Shazandra;What complete and utter nonsense. That book you
reference has more inconsistencies, more discrepancies and more evil (accepts
and promotes genocide for one thing) than practically any other book ever
written.As for Darwin's theory being discredited, dream on,
Candide,There is a long list of prominent scientists who were also
quite religious (starting with the father of physics - Newton). I have known
many folks who are religious and make their living practicing science. I am okay with scientific inquiry. But ridicule has never been a
scientific technique. I cannot see how you can square respect and ridicule.
They are incompatible (far more incompatible than science and religion have ever
Freedom of religion doesn't always mean freedom to get your way.
That's something the writers of this article seem to forget.
"Without religion in the public square, rights degenerate quickly into
opinions open for debate and restriction."Really? Was religion
necessary to define the bill of rights? I would argue the opposite. With
religion in the public square, defining rights quickly degenerates into whose
particular "faith" you subscribe to. Reason and logic defer to
tradition and dogma.
Get off the Ranch and if you're not near a university, google Biblical
evidence and scientific compatability...Watch a few documentaries on
the Science channel and you'll soon discover the astronomical scientists
and astro-physicists are continually changing/updating/redefining cosmology and
deep space "theories". Just a few years ago they didn't know that
every galaxy has (atleast) one black hole. But you have to be reading current
science to know exactly how outdated Mr. Darwin is and how his theory is
disrespected on modern campuses today.My husband invites you to
point out any unscientific statements in the Bible. He is a rocket scientist
with three Master's degrees and finishing a PhD currently. He finds
atheists rare in his field. Well-educated humans have a way of ultimately
recognizing unrepeatable theories vs. Intelligent Design. The faith part is a
totally separate category.
What is really missing from society is really a Huge lack of tolerance on All
Sides. And it is more and more looking like a lack of tolerance from those who
want freedom From religion. If you let the any other religions have their
freedom of religion, such as praying 5 times a day, or catering to their
different eating habits, then give me and those who believe as I the same
freedom, respect and tolerance. Please don't ridicule me for
living the way I want, which happens to include Christianity and its doctrine,
and I will afford you the same.
ShazandraI'm not sure which institutes of higher learning you
have frequented, but I can assure you that Darwin's theory of evolution is
still very respected at the nation's most respected schools. As for unscientific statements in the Bible, where does one even begin:The moon as a lesser lightThe sky as a solidAn arc capable
of containing two of every species on Earth, plus adequate nutrition for those
species for a period of forty days
Moliter Manus- Darwin is NOT respected in the nation's "most respected
schools" just because you say so. My Zoology, Physiology, Microbiology,
Astronomy and Biology courses were in the 70's at BYU and CSUN (SFVSC
then). Back then they drooled over him. Enter the 80's-90's and
university texts have changed; (very few high school texts are updated
amazingly...) When did you take your last Science course? Try that
on someone unacquainted with aerospace engineering and astro-physics. Current
university courses reflect the truth about CD's utter failing of any proof
of macroevolution or inter-species transition. Punctuated equilibrium is a
gaff. The Big Bang touts a beginning, but does not answer where "the
stuff" originated, does it?And seriously: A lesser light? Try
reading an Interlinear and see the original Hebrew, (which I've taught for
over 23 years.)(BTW: An ark is not an arc.)If you are going to
make claims, be specific about which universities and science departments. Do
your homework and join the current level of discussion. Being accurate with
what science cannot answer is atleast the honest thing to do.
I have had a question that I am seriously hoping someone can answer for me.
Just why is it that religious folks want their displays of religious devotion
public? Just what is the advantage to posting public displays of the 10
Commandments in courthouses, cross memorials on public land, or prayer in public
school, as opposed to those same displays in their homes and churches? Do they
think these public displays will garner them more "exaltation" in the
afterlife?Here is my reason for not wanting these religious displays
public: when you erect a religious display on public property, you are forcing
me to sponsor, at least partially, your religious opinion, which I do not share.
As part owner of that public place I do not agree to having religious displays
"Science" and "religion" look at two completely different
things. Science is concerned with explaining the natural world and what we
observe around us. Religion is concerned with greater questions, such as how we
were created, etc. They are not mutually exclusive, but comparing the two is not
as easy as some would lead us to believe. Scholars much smarter than I have
explained this very well (Henry Emerson Fosdick is one who comes to mind).Science usually talks in "theories" - theory of evolution, big
bang theory. Those theories require FAITH - faith in the underlying assumptions
and in the inferences from them. Not unlike FAITH in God....I read
recently of a study that has determined that dinosaurs were mammals. In my
lifetime, dinosaurs have been reptiles, birds, and now mammals! We also used to
have another "planet" when I was a kid (Pluto).So much for
"certainty" and "infallability" in science.....
Passing off "Intelligent Design" as science means trying to bully
schools into teaching the nonsense, which not only hurts the other people's
kids, but makes the USA a laughing stock. If one simply applies intelligence to
the Bible, one can find that the creation stories were written for the
understanding of ancient peoples. What in the world is wrong with recognizing
"God created x on day y" is a lovely simplified version of the truth,
and does not negate the truth?It is possible to believe that God put
everything in motion and let it do as it was meant to do, in the same way He
might create people, who live the lives they choose, good or bad, without God
being their puppet master.And then there is the conceit that
one's being a "Christian" gives him the right to put down others,
tell others they are not going to heaven, block the rights of others, etc.And even more.... the idea that people who want to believe otherwise are
"forcing their values on religious people". This is dishonesty, plain
and simple. You want the world your way or else.
RedWings writes:"Science usually talks in "theories" - theory
of evolution, big bang theory. Those theories require FAITH - faith in the
underlying assumptions and in the inferences from them. Not unlike FAITH in
God....Of course, science pointedly does not rest on faith, it rests
on knowledge. "Faith" is believing in something you cannot prove with
facts. "Science" is observing things proven by facts. You "know in
your heart" that there is a God, but you know via physical proof that there
is evolution.It is a common trick to twist words, as in "Evolution is
only a theory", when we are dealing with science and proven theories. A more
open mind sees that the Bible, when placed in the context of people's
understanding in Ancient Times, is confirmed by science.
The DN is right in pointing out that there are encroachments into religious
liberties. It is not necessary or even wise to wait until these encroachments
become widely recognized by society. It is best to call attention to them when
they can still be dealt with in a reasonable way.Those who criticize
people of faith for "playing the victim card" are ignoring history--some
of it recent history; some contemporary.Those who think that
religious people must entirely restrain their beliefs whenever they enter the
public sphere are, to put it as kindly as possible, incorrect. I have every
right to let my religious beliefs govern the way I vote and the public policies
I choose to support or oppose. Frankly, I sense some hypocrisy from those who
want to promote their own personal (either religious or not) beliefs while
circumscribing mine.I don't think that the conflict of ideas
that results from my free, open, and even perhaps dogmatic adherence to my
religion is bad for America in any way.I personally believe the
societies that move to restrict religious practice and open expression do not
function as well as societies that foster sincere belief.
Religious freedoms are not being threatened in this nation. The opposite seems
to be occurring around the nation. Religious conservatives are continuously
pushing to include Intelligent Design (creationism) in school science programs,
religious organizations are demanding that businesses they operate in the open
market are exempt from laws that their secular competitors must adhere too,
religion also is front in center in the fight for same sex marriage and
women's reproductive health rights. Religion in the military
needs to be restrained because of the amount of influence they have
traditionally yielded in the services. The Air Force Academy controversies are
a gauge to use when discussing the religious overreach within the military.To top it off many religious people (mainly christians) continuously
whine about their rights being violated but feel not reservations on limiting
the religious freedoms of other groups like Muslims when they choose to build
Mosques around the nation or build a community center near the site of 9/11.The penchant for whining about the loss of religious freedom by
Christians is getting real old.
"My husband invites you to point out any unscientific statements in the
Bible. "Oh my gosh, now that made me laugh. Whether or not your
husband is a "rocket scientist", whatever that means. Good
heavens, unscientific statements in the Bible. Where dies one start? Well how
about right at page one, at the very first sentence. Something about a god
creating the heavens and the earth that were shapeless, or something like that.
Then there is creating man and then woman from mans rib. Or talking serpents. Or
God creating the light and seperating the night and day before he created the
sun and the stars. Or even God just SPEAKING and creating everything. The idea
of God existing with no beginning or end. . . etc. My gosh, and we aren't
even out of the creation myth. Now whatever you think if it (and I
think it is absolutely beautiful poetry) whatever you think of it, one thing
it's not is scientific. Goodness! Even the concept of a god is
not scientific. - Your take on evolution is bizarre, to say the
least. Care to back up your claim?
To "mark" watch the documentary "No Intelligence Allowed". That
is a documentary where they compare Intelligent Design and Big Bang Theories.
At the end, they ask one of the Big Bang scientists how things would have been
created if their theories about the Big Bang were wrong. The irony of the
documentary was listening to this scientist who mocks Intelligent Design,
describe Intelligent Design as a viable alternate to the Big Bang.
Perhaps, RedShirt, you don't understand the scientific method. Of course a
scientist would say that intelligent design would be a viable alternative, just
as the universe being on the back of a turtle would be, the only catch is you
have to provide proof for it. But that's neither here nor
there, the person I was responding to was claiming that eveloution is no longer
an accepted theory at scientific institutes. In fact implying it has been
laughed out of the room. I asked her to back her claim. Since you
have become her de facto defender, do you care to provide any proof to back up
Expelled: No Inteligence Allowed!? Is that the "documentry" you are
talking about? The Ben Stein "documentry"?Oh, that's
too funny. Yeah, I saw it when it was in theaters. You're kidding, right?
You didn't see the problems, the blatant problems, with the arguments that
movie was making? Tell me you saw the incredible flaws in logic in that movie.
To "mark" name the flaws. It was quite well thought out, more so than
many of the liberal documentaries out there.
Lots of funny stuff here but the head scratcher for me is Shazandra. She goes
to extremes to show that Charles Darwin's original ideas are not now
currently taught as facts and uses the advances in evolutionary biology to prove
it, and then seems to jump to the conclusion that disproves evolution as a
principle. It's like saying germs don't exist because we don't
teach germ theory the way we did in 1910. What a silly statement
that the big bang theory is wrong because it doesn't tell us where the
stuff came from. The big bang theory wasn't meant to explain where the
stuff came from however, current theories do tackle that quite well, and if you
want a brain twister like that then who created God, and that God, and that
God?Lastly the claims of religious tolerance in the original article
are pure nonsense. Not being able to pray to Jesus comes from 2005 in the Iraq
when we were blowing their country to smithereens. The sergeant disciplined for
the sandwiches said on his invitation that the party was to support DOMA etc.
etc. Have some integrity DN.
See the wolves circling the believers, while laughing and claiming there is no
such thing as wolves:“…religion in this country is in
any meaningful way "under attack" just makes me laugh.”“…crying "WOLF!" yet again”“Just
because you hold some idea as sacred doesn't mean that it shouldn't be
ridiculed”“The penchant for whining about the loss of
religious freedom by Christians is getting real old.”Just a
Oh my gosh, Redshirt, I would not have room in 200 words (all that's left
me) to lay out all the flaws in that movie. But there are many sites that will
do that in detail for you, with the specific claims made in the movie. Quite frankly I don't want to take the time to research and corralate all
the garbage in that movie for you. But again plenty of sites do just that. I rember sitting watching that movie absolutely aghast that there would
be people that would actually buy into what it was pushing. But
anyway, I notice you don't care to actually defend the claims that I was
questioning in the first place. But that's okay. Why would you? Haha, someone that actully took that movie seriously. Too funny. Classic.
To "mark" in other words, you have nothing and are relying on the fact
taht most people are too lazy to bother to disprove you. I looked up some of
the rubuttals, and they can only argue against his methods or specific scenes
where Ben Stein portrays himself as a lecturer, when he was not.The
interesting thing is that the supposed rebuttals that you think disprove him,
don't disprove the science behind Intelligent Design, just show some flaws
in the methods used to make the documentary.