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At BYU, George Will decries 'decadent democracy,' worries with LDS about religious liberty

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  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 7:33 p.m.

    My religious right to trample on the civil rights of others is being infringed upon! Oh what am I to do?

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 7:44 p.m.

    For the aged who think they are immune from the coming fall, you need to think of your children and grandchildren.

    For the young who are on the gravy train, hating anyone who has more than you, and coveting everything anyone else has is coming back to bite us all.

    Well stated George. Too bad the liberal colleges don't invite him to speak to their students.

  • Daniel Leifker San Francisco, CA
    Oct. 22, 2013 8:51 p.m.

    Lucky BYU. I've been reading and watching George Will for over three decades. His observations and insights never fail to entertain and enrich.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Oct. 23, 2013 1:45 a.m.

    DN included the remarks about religious liberty in the headline, as they appear after the main story, in response to questions.
    Let me reply:

    Most Americans of good conscience, believers in God, feel that a woman who must work for a catholic owned hospital or an evangelical owned business (not a church) to support their families must be provided with contraception. In fact, it is conservative to save the public the costs of birthing and educating unplanned, unwanted children. Cold hearted individuals say "let them work elsewhere", but catholic owned hospitals are ubiquitous.

    Ditto the idea that "Christians" have free rein to not hire or sell to Gay people, although they may have 10 times as many drunken, adulterous or divorced customers.

    Back to what Will said, the financial crunch and debt that hurts us all came from the totally unnecessary Iraq war, and messing up Afghanistan, in the Bush (conservative) administration, not to mention over 500,000 people DEAD, more hurt and maimed.

    Now, "conservatives" pretend that President Obama adding to the Bush debt to help the poor and struggling and to build jobs is devilish socialism.

    How is it Christian to not help the poor?

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    Oct. 23, 2013 5:19 a.m.

    BYU has standards based on the Church that sponsors it. George Will looks at life from a moral perspective. The current administration does not. It is all about world socialism and political correctness. My Catholic Church has unfortunately joined in an evident attempt to destroy the capitalism that George Will and BYU so eloquently support.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 6:11 a.m.

    @Ernest T. Bass

    Please, explain your comment further. Are you talking about how the left continues to attack churches which disagree with their secular political agenda? In that case, I agree.

    Are you talking about how so-called civil liberties groups continue to fight hard at stripping away the tax-exempt status of churches which discuss any conservative political matter, while at the same time, totally ignoring other churches which engage and lobby on behalf of liberal political causes? In that case, I agree with you.

  • mtnight BILLINGS, MT
    Oct. 23, 2013 6:38 a.m.

    Was that a typo -- only 2,245 in the audience in a 21,000-seat venue? If that's a correct number, there may be a message there. I'm just not sure what it is.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Oct. 23, 2013 6:42 a.m.

    A very mixed presentation…

    On the one hand he’s right about our current “national agreement” to charge current consumption on the credit card and he’s also right to call that a moral issue.

    He’s also right about the vexing family problem – all the studies I’ve seen clearly show that among intact families, we do not have a major poverty problem in this country.

    But he’s dead wrong about the faux problem of religious liberty and he bemoans then constitutional reality that has always been a part of our country and has been affirmed by numerous SC decisions.

    Does he really believe that Antonin Scalia was wrong when writing for the majority in Employment Division v Smith explaining why the Court held that the First Amendment's protection of the "free exercise" of religion does not allow a person to use a religious motivation as a reason not to obey generally applicable laws said, "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?"

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 7:49 a.m.

    One of the most respected political pundits and observers states the obvious, something the liberals will still assail as mean spirited, rigid, and Tea party centric philosophy. All this coming from a man by his own admission is not a man of 'faith'. It can't get more plain than this, but I'm sure the progressives will find a reason to state that Will has been co-opted by the extremists who want--what--let me see--fiscal responsibility!

  • JD Jones Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 7:50 a.m.

    The real issue is that religious authorities want the freedom to control individuals and limit their freedom, regardless of whether or not you are Catholic. If you are a nurse working for one of their hospitals, for example, (there are so many examples) they want to deny insurance coverage for nurse to get birth control. This is freedom? It's clearly not. It's just another example of how religion tries to control people in a self-religious and ridiculous manner. What happened to individual freedom?

    Take a look at history. Religious institutions have been at the forefront of denying freedom to individuals. Religious folks start complaining they're freedom is being attacked when they are prevented from controlling the lives of other people.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    I agree with George Will on the decline of the American family being at the root of our economic and social problems. I'll help him out with the cause of the decline, too. In my opinion, it has a great deal to do with our increasing materialism (over the past 50 or 60 years) that has driven mothers out of the home and into the workplace, thereby driving children into daycare centers where the foundation of their character is formed. Of course it isn't working well. Practically every family can avoid this simply living more modestly. My parents survived the depression just fine with far less than the poorest among us.

    And yes, I believe that religious - and moral - motivation is a reasonable motivation to not obey "generally applicable laws", given that those "generally applicable laws" appear to have been specifically designed to violate the conscience of the religiously motivated.

  • Terry Marasco Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    The fundamental problem with religion as Will and Santorum see it is that they consider it correct for religious organizations to act like the Crusaders imposing their beliefs on others. Theirs is an Imposition just like the Inquisition. The Originalists (taking the US Constitution literally with out flexibility) are hypercritical when it comes to religion - the value of separation of Church and State is lost on them and an inconvenience to their arguments.

    Additionally there was no acknowledgement of religions doctrine of intolerance at the soft end to hate at the far end. This inhumane fervor innate in many extreme religious beliefs (certain Christian evangelicals and certain Muslim sects) is and has been a destructive force throughout history. The Inquisitionists are now the Impositionists, the latest permutation, somewhat of a euphemism but just as dangerous.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    re: JD Jones 7:50a today

    Exactly.

    "History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government" - Thomas Jefferson

  • cpafred SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    What liberal columnist or author of equal stature has BYU scheduled to appear on campus? I mean it is supposed to be a learning institution isn't it?

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    @ JD Jones If you are a nurse working for one of their hospitals, for example, (there are so many examples) they want to deny insurance coverage for nurse to get birth control. This is freedom? It's clearly not. I don't see anywhere where birth control is prohibited. Just that those who concientiously object, don't want to have to pay for it. There are many forms of birth control that are available over the counter at a nominal fee. they work, and are quite easily affordable. Is this not an option, for someone to pay for their own birth control? What a novel idea!

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Oct. 23, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    @cpafred:
    "What liberal columnist or author of equal stature has BYU scheduled to appear on campus? I mean it is supposed to be a learning institution isn't it?"

    If you define 'liberal' as fascists who want to get into people's lives, who think that they can create a utopia by making everyone toe their party line, you are right, they haven't scheduled any. If, on the other hand, you define liberals as speaking for the weak, questioning the current paradigms, wanting to find a way to fight poverty, then they scheduled George Will. He talked there yesterday. Sorry you missed it.

    I think that it is time to recognize that the polarity of American politics has flipped.

  • LP Grad, BYU Alum Provo, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    Oh please...

    Religious groups only want to impose their will on others, they only cry when their right to control other groups is impinged, blah, blah, blah.

    Religious groups of course have the right to refuse contraception if they disagree. That's not controlling anyone's decisions, because the market will correct itself. No one forces anyone to work anywhere. If a woman wants abortifacients and her company refuses to provide her some, she has the right to switch jobs. If I want weekends off from work but those are not provided, I can go work somewhere else. Since when is establishing a rule like this "controlling" or "limiting others' freedom"? That's exactly the mindset of entitlement that Will was decrying in his speech.

    The fact is that corporations are entitled to First Amendment rights. They have the right to free speech, as Citizens United made clear. They have the right to assemble and they have the right to the press. Why shouldn't corporations also have the right to practice religion as their CEOs envision if those companies, like Hobby Lobby or Chick Fil-A, were founded "for the glory of God"?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    So many of Will's underlying premises are erroneous and flawed. To accept them without question and then run with them is intellectually dishonest. But, he gives the message his audience wants to hear. The bunker, unwarranted defensive mentality of the religious right wing is actually quite toxic and self-serving. I certainly don't see Christ or Joseph Smith as part of the current environement of religious paranoia.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    to LP Grad, BYU Alum

    A business institution founded for the glory of God? Really?

    Hopefully, I'm not the only one who thinks that sounds silly.

    If you are not in business to provide a service and make $ then you got faulty vocational advice somewhere along the line or mistook Divinity school for an MBA program.

  • Ironmomo Southern, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    Careful there Shimlau....you're talking about the Nurse taking personal responsibility for his/her actions and consequences.

    What happened to individual freedom? Better question is 'What happened to personal responsibility?'

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 23, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    Re:LPGradBYUAlum

    NO abortifacients are included in the mandated health coverage.

    The fact is, the Catholic Hospital Association finds the accomodations made by HHS acceptable.
    The other fact is, many Catholic hospitals covered birth control coverage for their employees prior to Obamacare. I know it firsthand. I worked at a Catholic hospital for 12 yrs.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    I listened to Will's forum address. He hit a few nails on the head, but totally missed others.

    Is the welfare state totally out of control, as he insists? Is government suffocating the private sector? Government expenditures, including Social Security and Medicare, are projected to be lower in the next three years, as a percentage of GDP, than they were on average during Reagan's eight years. Meanwhile, our tax revenues are lower than they have been since 1950. And corporate profits are at record levels.

    Will complained that the very wealthy pay most of the income tax, but he doesn't explain why. It is because the corporate system is designed to create a great divide, with most of the wealth going to the top and most of the workers being considered an expense to be minimized. Will even called the wealthy the most productive segment of society. Rather, they reap huge rewards that other productive workers create.

    He blames our growing inequality on out-of-wedlock births. Certainly that us a factor, but the bigger factor is the corporate system that employs fewer Americans, pays them as little as possible, and removes benefits where possible.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    To continue, Will's address was a very one-sided look at our society and government. He set up a straw-man argument around a quote from Obama that he took out of context ("You didn't build that") and then gave several examples of creative success without pointing out that none of those successes would have been possible if not for the environment and infrastructure created by our form of government.

    He was right that we want what government can provide, but we don't want to pay for it. The solution, since conservatives can't really come up with any feasible plan to balance the budget with spending cuts alone, is to increase tax rates and close loopholes until we can increase revenues to sustainable levels.

    Of course, the real issue is what is causing the inequality, and it is not just out-of-wedlock births. We the people grant corporate charters. In the beginning, these businesses were created to serve public purposes, not just generate private profit. We need to remember that they exist because we allow them to, and we need to remind them what their responsibility to society is.

  • bullet56 Olympia, WA
    Oct. 23, 2013 10:41 a.m.

    It is no surprise that our grand children or new immigrants will have a bill to pay for the the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I have been paying for the SSI payments of others for over 40 years now, and it is my turn to receive. That is not an "entitlement". I helped pay for my fathers wars, and military hardware we have never used, the Marshall plan and the rebuilding after WWII. America has always been and will be a debtor nation. Since we were founded, we have run a debt. The Nation is not in trouble of going broke when we have so many mega rich people living great lives here. It is a matter of equity and sharing. Loaves and fishes.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    @cpafred "What liberal columnist or author of equal stature has BYU scheduled to appear on campus?" Is Harry Reid to far right for you. He spoke. Helen Thomas spoke. Numerous other liberals. Just get on line and search the forum speaker archives.

  • just-commenting Logan, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:01 a.m.

    Will has correctly stated a problem, which is spending more than is taken in, but oversimplifies the blame. It is the so called "conservatives" who refuse to allow the government to collect the money needed to pay for what the people want. If the GOP was committed to invading a sovereign country to cram democracy (they they do not want) down their throats, spending a trillion dollars and thousands of American lives, there should have been an immediate tax increase to pay for it. Likewise, if we feel that education or caring for the poor is important, we need to pay for it, not borrow. Otherwise we might want to redirect money that is now being lavished on prosperous corporations, such as oil companies, to education and other programs that benefit the population at large.

  • Craig Coleman Genola, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    BYU schedules speakers who have a diversity of views about the world. Off the top of my head I can think of a few souls with liberal political philosophies who have addressed the BYU student body, including former white house correspondent Helen Thomas, Senator Joseph Lieberman and Senator Harry Reid.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:06 a.m.

    George Will is wrong about the dysfunction in Washington. Bill Moyers did a great show on PBS recently that discussed the motivation political behind gridlock -- money. Give a lobbyist a problem and they can sell their services. Solve problems and no one gets rich.

    Will also shows his blind eye to the conservative unfunded wars and the decline of the middle class, due to the outsourcing of American jobs and the outsourcing of big investor profits.

    We are deeply entrenched in the pride cycle. "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." ... "The profit of the earth is for all, the king himself is served by the field."

    Capitalism teaches that greed is good, but the public goods of capitalism, mainly competition, has all but ceased as more companies merge and press their political advantage in opposition to the voice of the people.

    And if we are persecuted for our faith, many churches in America will lead the way. As my former faith stated, when they embraced same-gender marriage, "The family is a social institution, this side of heaven." My children's piano teacher is a protestant church youth leader, who lives with her boyfriend.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    You know we live in a day and age where things are really messed. All one needs to do is look around and see that the time is at hand when the Lord Jesus Christ will return. When exactly is a matter of opinion. That said there are many who do not want the religious to speak in the public square but to keep it silent. There are those who cry discrimination at every turn yet there is no discrimination. There are those who feel they are entitled to something even though for some it was their own hard work that guaranteed some of the gifts given them. Social Security and other programs are socialistic but were necessary at a time. Now many feel they are entitled to it even though they never paid a dime into it. It is going broke as are other areas.
    Some even wants us to believe we should have stayed out of Afaghanstain and Iraq. Yet, for others it was a necessary evil. George Will spoke the truth and unfortunately the truth hurts the liberals/socialist of this country the most. Those against him are socialist.

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:17 a.m.

    Good ol' George.
    One of the many traveling shows raking in the big fees for his story of religious persecution, the in topic of the 2013 Righties.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    The problem I have with the pundits of business and religion is that they tell their listeners every thing they want to hear except the truth.

    Like in telling us that the problems of the Black race is because of the family disintegration as if it was the root cause. When the actual truth is that the root cause of 99% of the problems in society is the economic oppression created by businessmen.

    Like in telling religious people that democracy is “decadent democracy”, when he knows full well that religious people oppose democracy. There is no such thing as a democratic religion.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    I am a big George Will fan; however, we all can't write and read articles for a living, is he prepared to work for a corporation, move to North Dakota, and live outside the Washington beltway? Doubt it. He makes a living off of talking about government. What would be his profession without government? When he says government does most things wrong, is he talking of our military men and women? Was Mr. Will ever in military? Would his desire for private enterprise have saved the day in the 2008 great Recession? Sorry. I love his passion for baseball, and I love his love of words, yet he is a part of the east coast that doesn't think divorce is that bad a thing, nor having a career before marriage. He is brutally honest though with himself and society.

  • teeoh Anytown, KY
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:29 a.m.

    @Bob K

    “How is it Christian to not help the poor?”

    Government handouts and entitlements do not help the poor. They enslave them.

    @JD Jones

    “What happened to individual freedom?”

    Please tell us of any religious employers that want to prevent any person from purchasing contraceptives.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    Some comments above insinuate that religions and religious institutions throughout history "have been at the forefront of denying freedom to individuals."

    Oh really?

    Yeah, the Crusades and Inquistion were bad. But during those same Middle Ages and the Renaissance, religions were developing the university system and establishing hospitals throughout Europe. The Christian Church sponsored the arts (cathedrals, sculpture, painting, music) that still inspire our souls today.

    During the American Revolution, American churches were often responsible for promoting the ideals of Liberty. During the early 19th century abolitionism found a home in American churches. Suffrage? Women's religious organizations supported that movement (including the LDS Relief Society). The Civil Rights Movement? Need I mention that the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was an ordained pastor and that black congregations engaged society in a peaceful way that secularists have rarely mastered? How about Gandhi? Hardly a secularist! Just about every successful "liberal" change was carried to fruition by religionists. The Left's abandonment of religion in the last few decades was foolish.

    Secularists/atheists have little to point to as far as cultural or humanitarian achievements. Unless of course, you appreciate the "humanitarian" efforts of Lenin, Stalin and Mao.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    To "cpafred" the problem is that there is not a liberal author or coumnist that can match Georg Will's stature. The liberals are all seriously lacking.

    You are forgetting that BYU did have Harry Reid there a few years ago.

    To "just-commenting" you inadvertently hit onto part of the problem. People are pushing government to give into their wants, not needs. For example, a cell phone is a want, not a need. Government should not be proving for our wants, and should reduce their size to those duties specified in the Constutition.

    To "Kent C. DeForrest" it is more than just taxes that are suffocating US businesses. The regulations that they have to comply with are also destroying businesses. Several CEO's have commented that under today's regulations they never would have been able to have the success that they were able to achieve when there were fewer regulations.

    You are wrong about the corporate system. It is designed to spread the wealth around. What good does it do a corporation to have products that nobody can afford? Even U2's Bono knows that capitalism is best for lifting people out of poverty.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Oct. 23, 2013 12:11 p.m.

    @Oatmeal – “Secularists/atheists have little to point to as far as cultural or humanitarian achievements.”

    A nice polemic but leaves out a lot of factual history.

    First, most of the values that brought Europe out of the Dark Ages were fought tooth & nail by the Catholic and later Protestant churches. When religion dominated the scene it spent 500 hundred years burning non-believers at the stake.

    The Founders (Deists mostly) created our Republic by blending the values of the Enlightenment with the ancient models of Rome & Greece. That people discussed these values on Sunday is a testament to their genius and not to Religion leading the cause.

    Abolition… please. Yes, some abolitionists were religious but they used to get trounced on a regular basis in debates with their Southern counterparts who could quote Bible chapter & verse all day long in support of their “peculiar institution.”

    Lenin, Stalin & Mao are complete red herrings – better to look to Scandinavia, Japan, Canada, Denmark, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, etc… as models of secular societies in action.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 12:19 p.m.

    cpafred "What liberal columnist or author of equal stature has BYU scheduled to appear on campus? I mean it is supposed to be a learning institution isn't it?"

    #1 - Liberal columnists and authors of equal stature charge too much
    #2 - They can't get the crowds to the Marriott Center

    However, liberal speakers of lesser stature do speak at BYU. You just need to look it up.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 12:29 p.m.

    I find it fascinating that a university named in honor of a pioneer who was clearly a devout socialist has become a bastion in defense of the capitalism Brigham Young despised so much.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 12:31 p.m.

    @ bullet56 "It is no surprise that our grand children or new immigrants will have a bill to pay for the the Iraq and Afghanistan wars."

    I hope you are wrong. If so, this infuriates me to no end. Viet Nam is the only war in the last century we were not reimbursed, because we lost. Japan and Germany were forced to reimburse the wars. France and South Korea reimbursed the US for liberation.

    Afghanistan is broke, but I wonder, has this Administration followed through with a payment plan from Iraq?

  • Shelama SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 12:33 p.m.

    George Will: "We've seen family disintegration inflicted by disease, famine, war. "This time it has happened during domestic tranquility in the United States. I can't explain it."

    Actually, George can explain a good portion of it and it's pretty much only political correctness that dissuades him. Which is a little bit odd, since in the past he's been more open and forward in addressing it in public.

  • esodije ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    Oct. 23, 2013 1:11 p.m.

    At least Will is optimistic about the future of the US, which is more than I can say for myself. I think it's insane to pretend that a country living way beyond its means by incurring astronomical amounts of debt is any different from an individual or family doing the same thing; there will be a day of reckoning, and it isn't going to be pretty. Worse, we've gotten to the point where the Federal Reserve "buys" ~70% of new US Treasury debt instruments. In what material way is the Fed distinguishable from the government that spends all that money?

  • Edd_Doerr Silver Spring, MD
    Oct. 23, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    George Will's pompous pontifications are mostly hot air. He blorts about shrinking government, yet he wants to expand government to tax all Americans to support sectarian and other private schools, something that Utah voters overwhelmingly rejected in 1998 ans 2007. And Santorum wants to expand government so that it can deny women religious liberty and freedom of conscience on reproductive matters. Both Will and Santorum are dedicated enemies of the religious freedom and church-state separation enshrined in the Utah constitution. -- Edd Doerr, President, Americans for Religious Liberty

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 2:07 p.m.

    Redshirt,

    Look at the statistics. Stories from a few CEOs make me cry. Corporations have never had it so good, nor have their executives.

    At the outset, capitalism was indeed intended to break the monopoly of the aristocratic class and spread wealth around a bit. But today's capitalism is dysfunctional in this regard. By giving in to corporate demands (particularly the demand to declare corporations "persons," which happened finally in the late 1800s), we have merely created a new aristocratic class that is becoming increasingly removed from the commoner with each passing year. Again, look at the statistics, not what the conservative talk-radio voices say. To see where our system of corporate capitalism is taking us, all we have to do is look at the numbers and follow their trajectory. Even the CEOs wouldn't like the picture the numbers present, because their policies are slowly killing off their customers. Growing inequality is hard to justify, no matter which side of the great political divide you occupy.

  • Lew Scannon Provo, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 2:13 p.m.

    Eliyahu,

    Great comment. In one of Brigham's "Orders of Enoch," Orderville, the people owned no private property, lived in dormatories, and ate their meals together in a common cafeteria.

    With the railway on the way, Brigham knew capitalism was on his doorstep, so in 1868 he launched an anticapitalist editorial campaign in the Deseret News and established ZCMI, Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution, his attempt to undercut the profits of the merchants in Zion and prevent the economic inequality that he preached against constantly.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 2:19 p.m.

    George has become a carny barker for all things republican...

    His gig as a fox news entertainer proves that fact.

    Sad.

    On a brighter note...

    He did write an informative book about baseball: Men at Work...

    He also wrote an interesting read titled Restoration (published in 1992) regarding Congress and use of term limits as a possible solution for what ailed the country then and continues to plague us today.

  • JD Jones Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    @Shimlau, you wrote, " I don't see anywhere where birth control is prohibited. Just that those who concientiously object, don't want to have to pay for it. There are many forms of birth control that are available over the counter at a nominal fee. they work, and are quite easily affordable. Is this not an option, for someone to pay for their own birth control? What a novel idea!"

    So where do we draw the line? Should a religion have the right to deny health insurance for any reason? What if they decide that woman simply don't deserve any health care based on the religious belief that all woman shall not have insurance? It's irrational to refuse insurance coverage for birth control based on a belief system your employees don't share.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Oct. 23, 2013 2:28 p.m.

    @Bob K:

    "How is it Christian to not help the poor?" Nice try, but failed.

    First - How do you define "Poor"?? There are plenty of "poor" people being enriched by government handouts. Fraud is rampant when it comes to government handouts/entitlements.

    Second - How do you define "help"?? You don't "help" anyone by creating generational dependence of government assistance where there is no (NONE, NADA) accountability. What you DO create is a dependent nanny state under our current system.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Oct. 23, 2013 2:37 p.m.

    @Ultra Bob -

    "...the actual truth is that the root cause of 99% of the problems in society is the economic oppression created by businessmen ...."

    Really?? How many poor "businessmen" have ever employed you?

  • esodije ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    Oct. 23, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    At least Will is optimistic about the future of the US, which is more than I can say for myself. I think it's insane to pretend that a country living way beyond its means by incurring astronomical amounts of debt is any different from an individual or family doing the same thing; there will be a day of reckoning, and it isn't going to be pretty. Worse, we've gotten to the point where the Federal Reserve "buys" ~70% of new US Treasury debt instruments. In what material way is the Fed distinguishable from the government that spends all that money?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Oct. 23, 2013 2:44 p.m.

    I find all this chatter a bit amusing. For example, people act like this is all new.. never seen before. And yet, in 2006, the last debt owed for wwII was finally paid off - some 61 years after incurred. The fledgling states borrowed money from France and the Dutch bankers to fund the revolutionary war.... and took decades to pay it off. Utah was acquired from Mexico to retire debt that Mexico had to the United States.

    So lets stop with the revisionist history here. In one of the biggest redistribution of wealth, the Home Stead Act, people were given government lands in the promise they would turn the land productive. Millions of acres, which the US government had to borrow money to buy, were given away...

    So this cherry picking of historical facts to make profound, but untrue statements, just shows how absolutely ignorant some of these constitutionalist are of their own countries history.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Oct. 23, 2013 2:54 p.m.

    I am willing to bet good money that no-one here has ever directly experienced the United States government suppressing their religious freedom. This is all Chicken Little stuff.

    Honestly, I'd be interested to hear a reply . . has anyone here wanted to engage in some religious practice on their own time and their own dime and been thwarted by the horrible, horrible liberals who are apparently out to get you?

  • cpafred SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 3:02 p.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi

    "If you define 'liberal' as fascists who want to get into people's lives, who think that they can create a utopia by making everyone toe their party line..."

    I hope you're kidding. How about Van Jones or somebody like him? As a liberal member of the Church, I am tired of my tithing dollars supporting a pathetic string of right wing personalities speaking at BYU.

    As for your comment regarding the polarity of American politics 'flipping', thanks for the good laugh. Perhaps you have been away too long, but we have these thing called "polls" in America, and the right-wingers are not doing too well in them. We also have this thing called a president and he is a Democrat (recently reelected) and a thing called the senate (containing a majority of Democrats). I suspect something has "flipped", but it's not the polarity of American politics.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Oct. 23, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    "....the consensus is we should have a large, generous, omnipresent, omniprovident welfare state and not pay for it. Everyone's agreed on this...."
    ______________________________

    I know of no one who advocates that even though the far right insists that’s what we’re doing. But facts are no deterrent to dishonesty when the business at hand is perpetuating myths about the left for the right wing to feed on. That’s unworthy of George Will.

    The wit and clarity that once gave Will’s perspectives a rebellious edge has withered with age. His columns are now routine caustic polemics that make you want to cry remembering when he was a font of refinement worthy of his erstwhile mentor William F. Buckley who seemed to grow old gracefully.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Oct. 23, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    Shimlau
    SAINT GEORGE, UT
    @ JD Jones If you are a nurse working for one of their hospitals, for example, (there are so many examples) they want to deny insurance coverage for nurse to get birth control. This is freedom? It's clearly not. I don't see anywhere where birth control is prohibited. Just that those who concientiously object, don't want to have to pay for it. There are many forms of birth control that are available over the counter at a nominal fee. they work, and are quite easily affordable. Is this not an option, for someone to pay for their own birth control? What a novel idea!

    Sorry, but this is not very American or very Christian!

    1-- Suppose Maria works in the kitchen of a hospital for minimum wage, has 3 kids. Will she buy shoes for the kids or birth control pills? Should she have to chose?
    2-- Suppose Maria's sister is in another town where the hospital is not catholic and gets the free contraception: is this equality?
    3-- Suppose you actually priced over-the-counter birth control instead of imagining how cheap it is? Guess what, condoms are expensive, and men do not like them.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 3:43 p.m.

    Razzle2

    Germany in no way paid for all the damage of WWII. The US paid to for humanitarian aid in Germany after the war, and helped rebuild.

    The other liberal dream posts are equally ridiculous, but too numerous to address them all. But they wouldn't read them anyway, with their heads in the sand.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Oct. 23, 2013 3:43 p.m.

    Why is it that conservative churches and commentators who don't like certain policies always demonize and demagogue by suggesting that certain unfavored policies and individuals are all about destroying freedom of religion? It is simply balderdash,(Some of you will probably have to look up that old word)contrived to excite a religious right wing base to politically oppose the policies in question. Simply, put you are being used. There is no threat to religious freedom, families, marriage, etc. If you want to find a real threat to freedom, you might want to look at the impact of political money on our used-to-be democracy. This kind of an argument is couched in fear, and is made to distract you from what is really going on.

  • slcjimmy SLC, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    @ Badger Badger and to the many others ..."Liberal Colleges" or if you prefer Universities such as Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Stanford, Duke, Wake Forest, etc. (Purely assumption on my part that I assume these would qualify in your mind as "liberal") or as the rest of the country outside of Utah and Texas would cassify as freethinking have actually had Mr Will speak numerous times. The difference is however unlike the controlled learning environment at "colleges" such as byu, Liberty, Bob Jones, Baylor, smu, etc, students and faculty realize that speeches given are purely political opinion. Noticed the word "opinion" used not "fact" Highly recommend you grasp this concept before posting anymore unintelligent nonsense, especially in a such a public forum. Consider this a recommendation from myself and the many others that attended "liberal" Universities.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 4:02 p.m.

    To "Eliyahu" you are wrong about Brigham Young being a socialist.

    This is what Brigham Young had to say about socialism " We heard Brother Taylor’s exposition of what is called Socialism this morning. What can they do? Live on each other and beg. It is a poor, unwise and very imbecile people who cannot take care of themselves." Source: President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 14, p. 21. 1870.

    To "Kent C. DeForrest" the disfunction that you see is what happens when politicians push for socialism or fascism and try to use government to controll businesses. For example, the two most hated industries are banking and health insurance. The two most regulated industries are banking and health insurance. Is it any coincidence that the industries that frustrate people the most are also the same ones being micromanaged by the government? In health insurance, the cost of insurance would not be so high, if it wasn't for government adding to the cost of insurance through state and federal mandates.

    If that isn't enough, look back at history to when capitalism was functioning better and also look at the amount of regulation they had. Less regulation=better capitalism.

  • BigAlvin COLORADO SPRINGS, CO
    Oct. 23, 2013 4:44 p.m.

    That makes at least two of us who feels old, because as a student I saw/listened to George Will when he visited BYU the first time. It was definitely not the 80's, best guess is 1979, and definitely no earlier than '78. One thing that hasn't changed: I was envious of his intellect and insight then and still am.

  • slcjimmy SLC, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 5:03 p.m.

    @ UtahBlueDevil...Well stated post! Isn't it amazing what a "liberal" education can provide?

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 5:29 p.m.

    @SlopJ30

    If one sees very bad weather coming and makes preparations to protect their family and property from the storm, are they being foolish? Would it be wiser for one to wait until the storm hits before doing anything to protect family and property?

    I think something you and I would probably agree on is that in some aspects, so called "religious freedom" is not really was the U.S. Constitution intended. For example, legal wrangling over school prayer and displays of the Ten Commandments at courthouses or other government buildings is actually doing a disservice to the true issue of freedom of religion.

    On the other hand however, there is a growing movement of activists who would like nothing more than to wipe the U.S. free and clear of all religious freedom. These activists don't have a leg to stand on now, but those of us who are religious are not going to sit back and wait until the courts and voters start ruling in their favor.

    We are getting ready to protect our rights from the storms which are creeping up on us.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 5:48 p.m.

    @SlopJ30

    One storm which is already at our doors is the ever growing double standard in those who preach and even shout about the so-called “separation of church and state,” stating that churches such as the LDS, Catholic and Southern Baptist churches have no right whatsoever in engaging in political matters, or else face government or legal sanction.

    Yet when more liberal leaning churches, such as the Unitarian Church and United Methodist Church engage in political causes such as passing Obamacare, supporting tighter environmental laws or ending the death penalty, the people who were shouting about separation of church and state before suddenly go very quiet. This includes the ACLU and the organization Americans United for the Separation of Church and State lead by Barry Lynn.

    Lynn’s group has continually gone after churches and church leaders which in any way state a conservative political position while at the same time they have consistently ignored liberal churches or church leaders who are often even more political than their conservative counterparts.

    Some say liberal churches are promoting the greater good, but who then gets to decide what that specifically means?

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 5:53 p.m.

    @Mike in Cedar City

    You said "Why is it that conservative churches and commentators who don't like certain policies always demonize and demagogue by suggesting that certain unfavored policies and individuals are all about destroying freedom of religion? It is simply balderdash..."

    And yet, anyone who dares criticize President Obama is automatically labeled as a racist.

    Anyone who dare criticize Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat female is automatically labeled a sexist is engaged on the so-called "War on women."

    Cuts both ways, my friend.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 23, 2013 6:17 p.m.

    re:RedShirtMIT
    "To "cpafred" the problem is that there is not a liberal author or coumnist that can match Georg Will's stature. The liberals are all seriously lacking."

    Here's a list of liberals easily on par with George Will:
    1. Bill Moyers
    2. Robert Reich
    3. Paul Krugman
    4. Katrina vanden Heuvel
    5. Ezra Klein
    6. Arianna Huffington
    7. Markos Moulitsas Zuniga
    8. Rachel Maddow
    9. Jared Bernstein

    to name but a few.

    Other interesting guests (R and D)would be:
    Van Jones
    Jim Wallis
    David Frum
    Mickey Edwards
    Michael Smerconish

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 6:35 p.m.

    Tom in CA.

    With a very few exceptions all of my employers were multi-millionaires and owners of the corporation that I worked for. The jobs I had allowed me to see the work that the executives did and why they were doing it. I learned that the purpose of the corporation was to make the executives rich and powerful. And it was the obligation of other management to see that the purpose was accomplished. And it didn’t really matter how they did it so long as upper management kept their hand clean.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 7:07 p.m.

    ClarkHippo.

    The greatest foes of religious freedom are the organized religions themselves. For their believers, there is no such thing as freedom of religion. And for those who live under religious government, there is no religious freedom even if they don’t believe it.

    Your use of the word “anyone” spoils your political argument by making your words suspect of being a lie. There are probably some people who dare to criticize President Obama just for his policies.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 7:33 p.m.

    I'm not sure what America would look like without corporations. Perhaps something like North Korea or Cuba, or the old Soviet Union, where the people pretend to work and the government pretends to pay them.

    Someone asked, "What's wrong with taking care of the poor?" The correct answer is "Absolutely nothing, as long as it is done voluntarily." When compulsion is added to the equation, the moral content of the action is removed; or worse, it is inverted, resulting in a sense of entitlement on the part of those who covet the property of others.

    The problem we have is there are too many people riding in the government-goodies wagon and too few pulling it. I'm not worried about corporations because I can choose which I will work for and do business with. The government-goodies wagon is compulsory, and that's why it's so bad. Perhaps we should only allow people to vote if they are net "contributors" to the federal government - otherwise we tend to vote to use government as a vehicle to take the property of those who have earned it and "redistribute" it to those who have not.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 10:42 p.m.

    Will is right - sadly about the decay of America. America has actually been in decay mode since the 1960's but the rate of decay is now nearly vertical. We have been hearing for years the impact of the welfare state on our children and grandchildren but now we are finally starting to see the results. The continuing army of freeloaders feeding off the hard work and taxes of the few. The Santa Claus party handing out freebees by the sled full and the ignorant masses thinking the gravy train will just keep on roll'in. The wells will soon begin to dry up and then what? Where do we get the trillions to fund the gigantic appetite of Obamacare? You can only tax people so much. Feels like we are headed into the head wall of a category 5 hurricane...but there is always the calm before the storm to lull people into a sense of false security. If you are LDS - follow the prophet and take care of your family best you can....and maybe time to take a break from the news for a while and just enjoy whats left of a beautiful fall.

  • Mont Pugmire Fairview, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 3:48 a.m.

    The Marriott Center holds 20,000. The mere fact that it was only 10% full when one of the greatest newsmen of our time was speaking is indicative that the "what's in it for me" society that re-elected Obama is alive and well among even our youth in the Church. Here in South America (serving as a missionary) observing on a daily basis the failure of these socialistic societies gives me great concern about our 'free' America. Elder Pugmire

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    Pops.

    Why do you think voluntary help to the poor is better than involuntary help from their family, their society, their government? Does it taste different? Is it warmer? Does it last longer? Does it do any thing to solve the problem? The answer to all these questions is a simple no.

    Poverty is the consequence of the economic game of uncontrolled Capitalism. In any endeavor where there are big winners there will be big losers.

    If voluntarism is so good, why don’t we have voluntary police, voluntary fire, and voluntary highways?

    Charity is a business and just like all businesses they don’t want competition from the government.

  • cpafred SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    @jsf

    " Is Harry Reid to far right for you. He spoke. Helen Thomas spoke. Numerous other liberals."

    The claim that numerous liberals have visited is simply false. Some of the conservatives include Dick Cheney, Condaleezza Rice, John Roberts, Arthur Brooks, Richard D. Land, Albert Mohler, George Will, and Peggy Noonan. What liberals from past presidential cabinets have been invited to counter Dick Cheney and Condaleezza Rice? Who is coming this year to offset George Will and Peggy Noonan?

    Please name the "numerous liberals" you claim to have spoken.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Oct. 24, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    @ ClarkHippo

    I'll say it again . . this is "Chicken Little" stuff. The weather analogy is embarrassingly simplistic. A more apt one would read something like this:

    If grandma's gout was acting up and she saw it as a sign that a twister was a-comin' despite clear skies, would you make preparations to protect their family and property from the storm, or would it be wiser to let the twister a-come and then scramble for the storm shelter?

    People invent false future crises to galvanize current political action. The alleged movements to eliminate religion may exist for all I know, but if so they are confined to the fringe and do not demand my attention. There are any number of fringe groups supporting all kinds of fringey stuff at any given time. Are we going to take action to "protect" ourselves from every hint of a whiff of a whisper of the Next Horrible Thing to come?

    Whatever. It's kind of a club you guys have going, no more based on reality than a Tolkien fan gathering. I’ll let you worry for me. Fight the power, man.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    I understand that the Deseret News is always going to lean conservative, but all these articles about the so called threat to "religious liberty" are really getting excessive. It seems that even the regular readers are picking up on it.
    Times are changing and so are laws and we are not going backwards. It's never happened in the history of our country and it's not going to happen now.
    As a liberal, I will participate in the fight to make sure that the changes are fair. But they are not going to go away.
    People are not going to be denied their secular rights so that religious citizens can feel a smidge less threatened. That's not going to happen.
    So yes. Occasionally liberal judges are going to overstep. Just like we're used to seeing conservative judges overstep. We can work together to make sure that the laws are fair. I'm sure there will be occasions to do that. But we are not going to use oppression as a substitute for problem solving.

  • Rural sport fan DUCHESNE, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    The entire argument between right and left is pointless, as long as the left insists that "the government" is some actual entity, and not simply the representative bodies of we, the people; while also insisting the "the government" actually DID anything worthwhile on their own, until prodded out of their comfort zone and forced to do the will of the people. HIstory has shown repeatedly that large expensive governments end badly. And history repeats.

    Sadly, the will of the people in this age is utterly contemptible, morally skewed, and so filled with PC doublespeak as to make any meaningful discussion impossible.

    Condemning the religious right for "forcing" their views on people, while applauding the courts for doing the exact same thing is insane.

  • Hospitality SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    What lost thinking! Fact: A nurse does not need insurance to go buy a birth control pill. You don't need to kill religion in order to get a pill for her. You don't have to destroy liberty, or tax people to death. Just use the money in your pocket, dear nurse, if you want to buy a pill. Get rid of insurance, and we'll all be free, just as we were before.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Oct. 24, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    After reading most of the comments from anti religious people on here, I have learned something from them; Thou shalt have no other god than the government.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 24, 2013 12:19 p.m.

    @Mountanman

    "After reading most of the comments from anti religious people on here..."

    Just who are you judging to be "anti-religious"?

  • kaysvillecougar KAYSVILLE, UT
    Oct. 25, 2013 2:17 a.m.

    @ Ultra Bob, interesting take that "poverty is the consequence of the economic game of uncontrolled Capitalism." I didn't know North Korea was a capitalistic society, or maybe I underestimate their standard of living.

    In addition, help from people who love you is a tremendous motivating influence. It goes to the heart of human existence - relationships. I have been given things from the government, not bad, but when someone sacrifices for me, I feel accountable for their kindness and generosity, to go and do to others.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Oct. 25, 2013 7:40 a.m.

    @Ultra Bob, I don't understand your position. Are you saying that if I help my unemployed sister, that is somehow not voluntary? And yes, it does feel good, and impels one to embark on a path of doing greater good.

    Yes, we could have a government that rules with a iron fist and compels everyone to do what's right, feeding the poor, caring for the sick, and making sure that nobody has more than anyone else. However, attempts to accomplish that always end badly, with a select few wielding all the wealth and power and with the preponderance of the population having nothing. (The number of people starved to death by their own force-the-people-to-do-the-right-thing governments in the last 100 years makes Hitler look benevolent.) This approach doesn't work because humans are corruptible.

    We should prefer freedom. Freedom is not possible without morality. And morality and good works are prevented to the degree that people are economically enslaved and compelled to do the "right" thing.

  • Philippine Bonita Sammamish, WA
    Oct. 25, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    @Shimlau @Ironmomo Where's the "LOVE" button? Duh! Your insurance does not need to cover birth control in order for you to obtain it. Anyone can walk into a pharmacy and purchase birth control or have a prescription for it filled using money from their own pocket.
    Why should anyone have to pay for something that violates their values? Sadly, there are still plenty of places funded by public money and donations that dispense both birth control and death to fetuses.

  • Philippine Bonita Sammamish, WA
    Oct. 25, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    quoting Pops,"...The government-goodies wagon is compulsory, and that's why it's so bad. Perhaps we should only allow people to vote if they are net "contributors" to the federal government - otherwise we tend to vote to use government as a vehicle to take the property of those who have earned it and "redistribute" it to those who have not."

    Great idea! Starting with a voter ID law might be a start.

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Oct. 25, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    Article quote: "We used to run deficits to borrow for the future. We borrowed to win wars for the future, build roads, highways and airports for future generations. Today we borrow from the future, to finance OUR OWN current consumption. This is a fundamental immorality, if you will, burdening the unconsenting and unpresent future generations with the costs of OUR appetites." (caps added for emphasis)

    I would really love to hear a liberal defend that truth.

    No, seriously....

  • Max Stanley Chartrand Casa Grande, AZ
    Nov. 3, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    George Will's BYU Guest Lecture on the "Political Argument" was outstanding in every respect. From the precipitation, bungling, and prolongation of the Great Depression by an overwrought federal government that got nearly everything wrong to the ACA (ObamaCare) health reform law that tramples on freedom, economics, and rights, he outlines what is needed to undo the whole sordid mess: More limited government, more individual responsibility, and the re-institution of the American family. Most salient was his reciting a Winston Churchill quote that America gets things because it has exhausted all other alternatives. Dependency, learned helplessness, and pulling down the successful never lifted any man or woman, but securing them free enterprise, freedom to learn and grow and build on a level playing field, will lift everyone that wants to rise to their full potential.