Religious freedom more than an individual liberty


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  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 11, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    Nonsense. I do not accept your premise that you, either individually or collectively, have any greater insight into the mind of a supreme being than I do, and are therefore entitled to modify our society as you see fit. Humans have an innate sense of morality which serves us well and which has helped us define how our society should work, and America as a concept is based on individual rights and freedoms. We're reminded of that time and again in posts to this publication. To that end, I'm not willing to subjugate my personal rights to the whim of an individual or collective just because they claim to have god on their side. The bully is no longer welcome to free reign beyond the pulpit.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    July 11, 2013 1:53 p.m.

    Yes, religions have the right to set standards for their "communities." What are the boundaries of that community, however, is what creates the tensions we experience in our greater community. I would suggest that we keep the enforcement of our religious community standards within the walls of our church buildings and our own homes. I would even caution people to allow for some individual freedom within those areas.

    Religious freedom should never trump personal freedom. After all, according to what I have been taught, individual freedom is part of the eternal plan of happiness. We need to allow others to choose to follow or not on their own, and we all reap the consequences of our own actions. If personal freedom weren't so important, Lucifer would have been sent to be the eternal enforcer. Isn't that what many of us on these discussion boards have been taught?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 11, 2013 1:55 p.m.

    I think the Muslim Brotherhood made the same sorts of arguments when Morsi and his ilk (credit to RedShirt) were drafting their constitution.

    Here is what our foremost conservative Supreme Court Justice has said about such arguments:

    "To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself."

    July 11, 2013 2:16 p.m.

    The only ones "modifying" society are those who demand that their view, which is contrary to societal standards, be embraced by all. Some think it is easier to alter Truth than it is to alter themselves.

    Societies grow and strengthen based on the self-sacrifice of those in it. They collapse and fall based on the selfishness of those in it. Rome and Greece were built on great sacrifice and work; they fell when pleasure became the primary motivation for citizens. So it shall be with us today.

    Funny thing about atheists: They are usually the most angry, mean, and argumentative people around. This is because they are fighting the God-nature that is born in them. We are all children of a Loving God - it just takes some of us longer to realize it.....

  • Pendergast Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2013 2:33 p.m.

    I agree w/ Hutterite.

    This thread will now devolve in 5, 4,...

  • John20000 Cedar Hills, UT
    July 11, 2013 3:06 p.m.

    The human experience debate tends to polarize between the individual and the community. In other words, as the debate goes, some believe we are all individuals and others believe we are a community. I don't think either are correct. Certainly, we each have a separate body and personality, but we are attached in very real ways to others around us. We can make decisions for ourselves, but those decisions influence many others. Instead of the island (completely individual) or the borg (completely community), I like the analogy of the hand. A hand is different than the foot or elbow or ear like an individual, but it is part of (and can't exist without) the body as a whole entity. This is how I view the human experience as a part of the whole of human beings.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2013 3:37 p.m.

    The author is arguing that a "communal dimension of faith" must be protected, which sounds good until you think about what it entails.

    Does a "communal dimension of faith" permit a group of people to violate the civil rights of people not of your faith? Is religion a valid excuse for behaviors that otherwise are illegal? Does a group of people acting illegally with a religious motive excuse their behavior any more than individual person acting illegally out of religious motive?

    It sounds very much like you're asking for that, and that simply won't pass muster with the Constitution.

    You cannot engage in unethical and illegal behavior behind a cloak of religious piety and expect to get away with it.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    July 11, 2013 3:52 p.m.

    "The only ones "modifying" society are those who demand that their view, which is contrary to societal standards, be embraced by all."

    So lets see the majority of Americans twice voted for Obama and the majority of Americans support gay marriage, just two of the things the majority support and you are admittedly apposed too, maybe you should reflect a little on your own words.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 11, 2013 5:35 p.m.

    Let's see how false and misleading the rhetoric of the liberals really is.

    Obamacare requires God respecting businesses to provide insurance coverage that includes birth control pills. The "faith community" abhors preventing birth by edict of the government. The 1st Amendment protects us from a Congress that passes laws pertaining to the doctrine and covenants of an establishment of religion (Catholic Church), yet Obamacare pretends that the "faith community" are foreigners, not entitled to protection offered by the 1st Amendment even as Obama et al are bending over backwards to give some form of citizenship to aliens who entered this country illegally.

    The Federal Court in Denver told Utah to take down the monuments to fallen troopers, even though the faith community in Utah pointed out that the Federal government has no right to dictate anything to an establishment of religion nor does it have the right to proscribe religion in any way, i.e., the federal government is not allowed to keep us from worshiping, even if that worship involves visiting the monuments of fallen troopers. The federal government cannot rule for nor can it rule against religion without abridging the 1st Amendment.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 11, 2013 5:55 p.m.

    "If a believer demands that I, as a nonbeliever, observe his taboos in the public domain, he is not asking for my respect, but for my submission." Flemming Rose

    I have no problem with believers bringing their beliefs into the public sphere - but why am I also not permitted that opportunity? Why do believers, including my boss, get to tell me I have to act in accordance with their beliefs?

    A "robust public recognition of religious freedom" must account for the multitude of beliefs and belief systems and not assign higher values to the beliefs of one individual over the beliefs of another.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    July 11, 2013 11:39 p.m.

    I wonder how utahns would react if the Muslim Brotherhood or heck, just southern baptists, were running our state?

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2013 7:39 a.m.

    the pc bullies hate religion: wow that's a surprize

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 12, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    The purpose of religion is to define and teach proper behavior. Freedom of religion is not freedom to behave badly! And there is the rub, isn't it? Who defines "bad" (or good) behavior? Either God defines proper behavior or no one does and that society will collapse in chaos, lawlessness and violence. History is full of examples! Yes, even in America! As Cecil D. Demille said, "We don't break God's commandments, we break ourselves against them".

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 12, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    An individual’s freedom is not compatible with the freedom of the group. If the group is given freedom, freedom is taken from the individual.

    An example would be the church business that does not want of provide health insurance covering birth control. The church is claiming that they should have religions freedom for the operation of their business.

    However their business employs non church members who would like to have such insurance.

    The non-believer of the church’s belief is therefore forced to give up the freedom to have the birth control insurance in order to have the employment

    American law requires business operations to not discriminate on the basis of religious belief.

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    July 12, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    Re: "Either God defines proper behavior or no one does ..."

    Did you ever stop to consider the possibility that there is no God, and that the "divine laws" you regard as the be-all and end-all of proper behavior are the inventions of men? And if these laws are the inventions of men, why does that make them worthless? Because they're "only" something men agreed on, rather than something decreed by a supernatural being?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 12, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    Religious freedom does not give you the right to trample the rights of others. There are numerous religions and not a single one of them is perfect. Not even the local one.

    I should be free to worship, or not, as I see fit without the interference of ANY other religion.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 12, 2013 11:16 a.m.

    “Christians and other adherents of the major religious traditions live out their respective faiths in community. These communities inevitably set standards for membership, including expectations for faith and standards for life and conduct within the community...."

    Out of their own mouths, they indict themselves when they say things like that. Then they can't fathom why some people regard religion as an organized menace to society.

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 12, 2013 12:34 p.m.


    If it is God who defines proper behavior, then whose God? And how do we know God's definitions? Are we to accept what is written in scriptures, which were written by men, supposedly writing down God's commands? Why should we accept one set of writings and reject another? Even more problematic - why do we reject some of God's definitions about proper behavior (like the stoning of non-virgins, or of men who lie with men) but accept others from the same scriptural source?

    We reject these things because we humans have a higher sense of justice than that written in the "scriptures". Morality and ethics do not come from religion. They are independent of religion, and have existed ever since humans became a social species. The mere fact that no one today is willing to stand by the "moral actions" commanded by their scriptures is evidence that morality and ethics do not come from religion. I suppose one could say that the fundamentalist Islamists do stand by the moral commandments of their scriptures. However, that is the very reason why we reject them as barbarians.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 12, 2013 7:05 p.m.

    @ Chymist. Which God? Hint: the God that inspired the constitution of the United States. All others are irrelevant.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    July 12, 2013 7:53 p.m.

    @ Mountanman: So, the God who supposedly inspired the Constitution to not contain any references to God and to state that there would not be a religious test for public office, and who inspired the First and Fourteenth Amendments which prohibit the government from respecting (favoring) one religious group over another or interfering with free exercise of religion, now wants us to ignore that inspired writing and have a state sponsored (favored) religion?

    Yeah - that makes perfect sense.

  • Pendergast Salt Lake City, UT
    July 13, 2013 10:01 a.m.

    I predicted this thread would devolve; I was right.

    to Mountanman July 12th

    Funny. I heard all the kinks in the Constitution were worked out over beer at a tavern.

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    July 13, 2013 7:10 p.m.


    "Funny thing about atheists: They are usually the most angry, mean, and argumentative people around."
    In my experience, the same thing could be said about "Christians." Especially the majority Christian religion here in Utah. I know quite a few atheists and find them to be friendly, well reasoned, and great people. I would rather be associated with them than with many self proclaimed "Christians" I k now.