I can't speak for the laws passed in Canada but, as a Mormon in the United
States, my religious liberty has not been negatively affected in any way, shape,
or form. In fact, if I cut to the chase, this entire article is not a complaint
about Americans not being able to worship by the dictates of their conscience;
rather this is overt whining that Christians are losing the ability to dictate
what others do (ie marriage, contraception, etc...).
"Over the past few years, the federal government has inserted itself into
areas that previously were almost exclusively matters of faith."Its is also equally true that people of faith have inserted their beliefs into
"areas that previously were almost exclusively matters of" politics.
People of my faith do so even though the scriptures admonish it is unjust to
"mingle religious influence with civil government."It would
be one thing if people of faith had used their Christian beliefs to lift and
strengthen civil discourse. Rather we people of faith have used our sacred
beliefs as a club to beat people who saw the world differently around the head.
And now that the political sands are shifting and our majority is slipping away
we're astounded that those who were previously beaten want to take said
club out of our hands.The whole cry for religious freedom would be
incredulous if it weren't so disingenuous.
"yet increasingly, large numbers of religious people find themselves under
fire here from all quarters as they attempt to follow their consciences and
freely worship whatever and however they choose."Stop playing
the crybaby victim. It's getting tiresome.All you (a
church-owned newspaper) are doing is bemoaning the fact that the the world finds
it increasingly difficult to accommodate your increasingly authoritarian,
oppressive, and decidedly unconstitutional impulses.Religion has for
far too long demanded, and been given, unquestioning obedience to its cruel and
irrational behaviors, while demanding to be not only tax-exempt, but also immune
from laws requiring tax-exempt organizations to at least provide accountability
and transparency for their finances.When people demand that
religions obey constitutional protections relating to individual liberties and
equal treatment under the rule of law, that's not an "attack" on
you, that's reality telling you that you can no longer expect to hide your
cruelty behind a no-questions-asked mask of religious privilege.You
are no where even remotely close to losing genuine religious liberty. When the
government tells you that you may not attend the church of your choice, then you
can try this editorial again.
I agree. The Latter-Day Saints have suffered great hardship and deprivation,
driven out of state after state to beyond the borders of this nation as it was
then. In one of our hymns (For The Strength of the Hills) the
inter-mountain west is referred to as "freedom's last abode". Although we have already "apostatized from much of the
Constitution", surely religious freedom for latter-day saints and all
faiths, Christian and otherwise, must be the rallying cause for the preservation
and perpetuation of that which is the most valuable and the core of all
freedoms, for the inter-mountain region and the whole of the United States of
Here's the thing with the supposed attacks on religion here in the US - why
should my boss get to dictate his religious beliefs to me? Why does my boss get
to have any influence whatsoever in my personal life or any say in how the
compensation for my job is used?Yes - my boss should have
protections for his religious beliefs - but not to the extent that my religious
beliefs are not equally valued.
Left unchecked, religion is a greater threat to individual freedoms than
government. This is about wanting to let religion interfere in things such as
contraception or gay marriage, not about truly granting Muslims religious
freedom in America. People are recognising that religion is harmful and divisive
and that ones' relationship with whatever they conceive god to be is
personal, not public.
The issue is not just about one aspect of the 1st Amendment in the Bill of
Rights but also about the 2nd, 4th, and other amendments that ensure that we can
be 'safe' and 'protected' as citizens in these United States
of America. We have become a police state in many respects and The Patriot Act
has allowed government to infringe our rights which are not to be infringed
upon. Socialism and communism have inundated our society and one of the first
things to go is organized religion unless it's the state religion. Giving
up certain liberties makes one less free. The problem now is how do we reverse
the damage already inflicted upon the us.
Currently in America we, as American citizens, have some control over which of
our many governments will rule and control us. Options include our national
government with its many sub governments, our religion and or philosophy,
occupational preference, associations, unions, clubs and dozens of other aspects
of life. The important thing to realize is that ordinary people
will be controlled if they live together in a civilized society. There is no
such thing as individual freedom for members of the society except perhaps those
at the very top.Our Constitution prohibits government from
establishing a church religion and prohibiting the freedom of other churches.
Of special note is the absence of any prohibition that would prevent churches
from interfering with government. Further, nothing in the Constitution
guarantees freedom of religion for the individual.
When Churches build and occupy the visual public world they are advertising
their religion. Many churches use the cross mounted at a high point to tell the
world where they are and what they espouse. Other churches use different
architectural forms and figures to advertise. My brother told me that in Saudi
Arabia they could hold church meetings only on the American compound in a stark
building with no words or symbols on the outside. Because Americans
were led to believe that individuals had religious freedom the wearing of
religious garb and symbols has mostly been acceptable. But the external visual
and sonic things that people do for their religion is simply advertising. While we frown on religious advertising on and attached to public
property we allow and accept the visual advertising and sometimes the auditory
and always the advertising of every sort on a persons appearance.
I agree with this editorial. The thing I like about the Deseret News editorial
board is that they are a beacon of liberalism in a state that could have lean
too far to the right.
This claim of loss of religious freedom is nothing more than a red herring
argument put forward to make political hay. It is nothing less than a covert
way to promote right wing political views under the guise of protecting first
amendment rights. Permitting same sex marriage does not infringe on views that
such unions are inherently immoral, nor does it require that religious group
sanction or perform such unions. Likewise, requiring religious employers to
provide insurance that has contraceptive coverage does not infringe on religious
rights because employers are not required to offer health insurance in the first
place. But all this could be avoided entirely if we just would adopt a single
payer system where employers would not be involved at all.Perhaps
the greater condemnation should come to those who argue that government services
to the poor and elderly are "counterfeits of the Lord's plan" Like
Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Chips, Food stamps, Welfare to single
mothers..etc. This attack on Government should really stop DMN. That is where
the real threat to freedom is to be found.
Nobody is being denied the right to believe o worship the way they choose.
Nobody is being forced to do things that go against what they believe (for
example, nobody is being forced to use contraception if they choose not to).
Religious liberty and religious freedom is not being attacked in the United
States in any way.The only thing that is being contested is the
"right" of religious organizations and their adherents to impose their
religious views on society and demand that society lie in accordance with those
religious views (and deny people's civil rights of those rights operate
opposite to the views of religious and their adherents).
How will more religious liberty preserve the middle class? Answers please.
"...large numbers of religious people find themselves under fire here from
all quarters as they attempt to follow their consciences and freely worship
whatever and however they choose."-- Worshiping whatever and
however you choose does NOT give you authorization to violate the law. It does
NOT give you authorization to stick up "No served here" signs. As long as religious people continue to attack non-religious people, you
can bet we're going to fight back. Just because you can't have your
way any/every time these days, it doesn't mean it's persecution. Religious freedom also does not give business owners the right to force
their workers to follow the religious beliefs of the owners.
The Deseret News editorial is right.Those who claim that
nobody's religious liberties are being infringed don't get out
enough.Those who claim religious people are just whining, or are
trying to give a covert political message ought to fess up to their own
political message.Those who think religious people deserve to have
their rights restricted are dangerously close to becoming like those in history
who killed people for their religious beliefs.I do not think this is
a liberal/conservative question. It is a human rights question.
Let's say the Evangelical Christian owner of an apartment building decides
that "Mormons are not Christian" and refuses to rent to a Latter-day
Saint couple. Is it a violation of religious liberty if the
government enforces anti-discrimination laws and says the Evangelicals have to
rent to the Mormons?If the Deseret News ever got its way, I
don't think the majority of their faithful readers would like the result.
Please stop complaining about the erosion of Religious Liberty - as other
posters have stated - you are free to worship wherever you wish. But - you are
not free to impose your religious views on me or anyone else explicitly or
We enjoy much religious freedom in the U.S. When we put broad
public protections in place for discrimination based on religious principles are
we not opening pandora's box? Could not a Muslim shopkeeper
discriminate against women? Or a Mormon waitress working in a
restaurant could refuse to serve alcoholic drinks? a Mormon cashier refuse to
sell cigarettes? A Jehovah's witness refuse to rent to a Mormon? Businesses have long been able to dictate the attire of their employees.
Some dress policies are dictate by health and safety codes. For example,
jewelry is often prohibited in healthcare settings in order to limit potential
sources of bacteria where direct pt. contact is required. Schools are allowed
to prohibits hats and clothing denoting gang affiliation. I
sometimes wonder if God shakes his head about the trivial matters we engage and
debate. It is not our outward appearance, our material belongings upon which we
will be judged. We will be judged by the content of our characters, how we
treated one another. I'm looking for religious leaders that focus on that.
US citizens are being jailed, sued, and face loss of employment for adhering to
their religious beliefs, primarily for their religious views on homosexuality. I
fear that as our society's morals continues to degrade, those who practice
their religious beliefs will face continuing persecution both by individuals and
by the State.
From The American Prospect:I have to pay taxes? Sorry, I'm a
Hindu, so I think taxes are an abomination unto the Lord. Sure, there's no
justification for that position in any Hindu text, but the Bible says nothing
about contraception either, and Christians are getting an exemption for that, so
I decided that Hinduism forbids tax paying. You caught me breaking into my
neighbor's garage and stealing his nice new 18-volt cordless drill? Well,
I'm a Buddhist, and I believe that private property is an impediment to
enlightenment, so what's his is mine. The zoning laws in my neighborhood
forbid retail establishments? Sorry, I'm a member of the Church of the
Homemade Energy Bar, which mandates that all adherents sell energy bars out of
their homes, so the zoning rules don't apply to me.
Re: Gilda"The Latter-Day Saints have suffered great hardship and
deprivation..." The Latter day Saints have also caused great hardship and
deprivation for others. There isn't a great erosion of
religious liberty as those and the DNews and their masters complain about.
People of all faiths are still allowed to worship according to their conscience,
within reason. Nothing has changed.
Benefits are just that, benefits. Your employer (before Obamacare) voluntarily
offered health insurance as an extra incentive to get the best employees and a
retention strategy to keep them (among other reasons). They could, and did, set
the conditions of the benefits. And, to me it seems that it is the
secular left who has intruded on the conservative right's time-honored and
society-treasured values that have existed by and large in the country since
it's beginning. For instance, till about the last 10-20 years, society and
religion have recognized the sanctity of heterosexual marriage. Another
example. Till 1973, society and religious groups were in harmony about
opposition to abortion. To those who tell us that we have nothing
to worry about, I can see obvious repercussions from the current trend. If
religious institutions do not accept the world's newest political
correctnesses, the government could easily levy sanctions, take away tax-exempt
status, sue, etc. All for having stood up for divine doctrines. Morals are
decaying and laws are becoming corrupted.
It is clear from the First Amendment that the Founding Fathers knew that
religious freedom from government interference needed to be written and included
in the constitution. In other words, needed protection. The British government
had denied them such freedoms. The First Amendment reads, *Congress shall make
no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise
thereof . . .* It couldn't be much clearer than that.One
problem is that some people would like to claim constitutional freedom to be
gay, have an abortion, etc. but forget the part of the constitution that
protects religious freedoms.Cruelty? Yes, there has been some abuse
in the name of religion during the history of the world, but just as often there
has been (at least in this country) persecution and religious discrimination
AGAINST religion. I do not see The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day-saints getting authoritarian or domineering. They are holding firm
to values that are under unrelenting, insidious attack. I have observed them
for decades showing a great amount of restraint and good Christian patience
under the increasing pressure of those who would like to take away religious
rights given time and opportunity.
One of the Articles of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints
states that we believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and in
obeying honoring and sustaining the law. Another one states that we claim the
privelige of worshiping God according to the dictates of our own conscience and
allow all men the same privelige, to worship how, where, or what they may. I
see these as innately true principles that should guide a discussion on
religious freedoms.One thing to add though is that oftentimes the
laws of the land and morals of society fall short of divine standards. We, as
members, try to adhere to the higher laws that our church teaches us and, as
directed by the Savior in scripture, try to convince others to follow God's
laws, but we are instructed to do so in harmony with the articles above.
Although no one is perfect, we as members are instructed to spread the message
without coercion or force, but with love and charity for our fellow man,
respecting free will.
"Stop playing the crybaby victim. It's getting tiresome.""Left unchecked, _________ is a greater threat to individual freedoms than
government." "People are recognizing(spelling corrected) that
________ is/are harmful and divisive..." Try putting your own
race in those 3 statements.Try putting a gender, either men or women
those statements. Then switch.Try putting a your sexual orientation
in any of those statements. I bet you can see the hate, intolerance,
and discriminating attitudes when you put those groups in there. Most of you
would be screaming up a storm if that were said of your gender, or race, or
sexual orientation.But when it comes down to it, most of the deniers
of religious discrimination are not ignorant of it, they are perpetrators of it.
The greatest gift our Creator gave us is moral agency. He allowed us to choose
whether we would accept the responsibilities of receiving a mortal body. He
allows us to use that body to create or to destroy life. He cautions us of the
inevitable consequences of making poor choices; but, He leaves each choice to
us.Some people think that they can preach godlessness to the world
and that their teachings do not constitute a religion. They fail to recognize
who it is that they worship when they preach godlessness, but they demand that
we do no talk about God or about His doctrine. They believe in censoring
religion. They believe in having control over who talks about God and what is
said about God.I think that that is exactly what this editorial is
all about. We are free to talk about God in America. No one is forced by God
or by Government to worship nor can anyone prohibit religious worship. Every person on this earth is in the same human family with the same
Creator at its head. All mankind must be allowed to worship as they please
without government interference.
Isn't it storage how some people cry for their own brand of religious
liberties but complain of others like the FLDS and Islam;and that is why all
religion should be barred from the public square.
Where was this letter 9and those who favor it] when Muslims tried to have a
Islamic Cultural center in New York?The Double Standard is
@skeptic*and that is why all religion should be barred from the public
square.* Does that mean no more missionaries allowed? Does it mean
that no church could take a public stand or make position statements? Does that
mean that no one could mention God. It already means no prayers. First, that
would be a real shame in that there never was a time when these things were
needed more. Second, these would be violations of the constitution.However, what I think is even more important, there is an even stronger need
for personal spirituality to accompany organized *religion*. Honesty,
integrity, faithfulness to one's spouse (of opposite gender), faith in a
loving God, and recognition of His expectations of us; things like that.
Regardless of what *religion* we belong to, these things are the common bedrock
of a healthy society!
I can guarantee that if religious freedom ever came under attack in any specific
way (such as churches being forced to perform gay marriages), I would be the
first to stand up and fight for your rights. Just as I have joined the fight for
individual freedom in general and government-recognized gay marriage
specifically. I also know that most would join me. We are not out to get you,
nor will we stand by and allow our individual freedoms to be trampled on in the
name of God.
With the American working class under attack as never before, with the
concentration of wealth at the top becoming ever greater, with my survival as a
senior citizen threatened by forces beyond my control, why should I get excited
over this issue?
Part of my religious freedom is taking away rights that I enjoy, and preventing
others from having those same rights. I'm grateful the Dnews is willing to
stand up for my freedoms when no one else will.
In reply to the "What if members of religion X refused to rent to
Mormons?" arguments:This seems to me to be a straw man argument.
The position of the LDS church as I understand it is that housing rights should
not be denied to people who are homosexual. The disagreement is only over
I don't understand how an employer saying that they don't want to pay
for someone's contraception infringes on their employee's rights. If
it is against an employer's religious beliefs they shouldn't be
required to pay for and support an employee's contraception. It
doesn't stop that person from purchasing it for themselves or for working
for their employer if they do use contraception. The employee has choices in
this situation that still allow them to choose to use contraception and stay at
their choice place of work. The employer on the other hand, ends up with no
choice but to support contraception if they want to stay open. I
personally don't believe using contraception is wrong. I do believe it is
wrong to force someone to support your use of contraception if that violates
their moral conscience based on the religion they worship. You are forcing them
to choose between their religion and keeping a business. To me its a live and
let live mentality.
There are two views of personal freedom. One that personal freedom is the goal
and that society and governments should have as their purpose the creation and
sustenance of such freedom. The second is that the goal is to have a fair and
just society and that personal freedom is one of the ways to accomplish fairness
and justice.The danger with the first idea is anarchy or at least a
high degree of confusion and disorganization. The problem with the second is
that most if not all policies and vehicles of fairness and justice will be
circumscribed in some respect. Very little will be absolute.I think
it's clear that the founding fathers intended to found a society that was
fair and just, not a society of absolutes.
Re:LukeNelson"The disagreement is only over marriage."Um, no.The disagreement is not only over marriage. The LDS
Presiding Bishop signed a statement earlier this year regarding the
contraceptive mandate in the ACA. The Church is taking the stance that we will
defend other church's stances under the banner of "religious
freedom." So, the question then becomes, is there a line to be
drawn in defense of religious freedom? Why shouldn't the FLDS be allowed
to practice polygamy? Or Muslims practice discrimination against women and
Jews? Or Christian Scientists deny life-saving medical treatment to minors? If the Church defends religious practices that it doesn't
hold--merely because another religion practices it--how can it draw a line?
rw123 says:"One problem is that some people would like to claim
constitutional freedom to be gay, have an abortion, etc. but forget the part of
the constitution that protects religious freedoms."---What about our religious freedom? That doesn't count because it
conflicts with your religious views?
@Mike Richards 9:01 p.m. Oct. 6, 2013Nobody is demanding that you
"do no talk about God or about His doctrine." You can talk all you
want. Nobody is trying to censor religion. Nobody is trying to control who
talks about God and what is said about God (except, maybe, you and those like
you). Nobody is trying to deny you the right to worship as you
choose. You are perfectly free to worship as you choose. You are just not free
to try to impose those beliefs legally on others.The only thing that
is being contested is your right to have the government establish your
perception of religion as the law of the land, contrary to the provisions of the
US Constitution. You are attempting to render unto God the things that are
Caesar's. And that is wrong.