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Why should we do more than just tolerate religion?

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  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 12:15 a.m.

    "This cannot be done without allowing religious ideas into the public square and even the business world. "

    There's a difference between say... Chik-fil-A not opening Sundays (perfectly fine to do even if it was slightly frustrating for me because I seemed to only ever be near one and have an ill-timed hankering for it on Sundays) and a hypothetical law to require all restaurants in a state to be closed on Sundays.

    As for the birth control mandate, I'd rather see single payer anyway and once gov't provides insurance instead of the employer then nobody has to worry about what employers care about.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 3:39 a.m.

    I believe the basic concepts of this article, but, unfortunately, too many are trying to use the religious views of the majority to trample the rights of those in the minority. I value the good that religion brings to a society, but we need to honestly look at the harm it causes others when we favor one religious belief over that of others.

    People believe religious freedom is under attack because it's becoming more difficult for individuals to unfairly discriminate against minorities in the name of religious and moral convictions. It's honestly hard to look inside ourselves and see if we are truly a fair-minded and loving person when we choose not to do business with a person based on characteristics of which we don't approve. It's hard to admit that we may be bigoted. Let's not use religion nor the lack of religion as an excuse for treating others in less than a civil way.

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 3:52 a.m.

    I am all for religious people putting their faith and testimony in the public square. It is just hard when every debate and argument ends with "well my God told me this is the truth and that is the end of the discussion". There is no more debate or argument because how do you debate their God (not to mention the fact that everyone's God seems to disagree with each other's "God").

    When it comes to religious freedom what is going to stop people form creating a religion as a justification to do whatever they want? If you want to smoke pot legally in Utah, start a religion that says it is required. Want to get out of jury duty, say it is against your "religion". Do you want to stop paying taxes, just say your God does not allow it. Since when does religious freedom give you the excuse to do anything you want to?

    It seems to me that people who have always had all the power are starting to get scared because other people (gays, atheists, minorities) are starting to be treated equal in our country.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 5:53 a.m.

    Truth is relativity. It's the books you read and the people your with. belief is only what you can count on or depend on. Religion is what you do religiously.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 6:20 a.m.

    I suppose if the United States hadn't just spent 12 years, 5,000 dead, 75,000 wounded, and $3 Trillion to beat Religion OUT of Governments, Jay might have a point...

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 6:35 a.m.

    If the secular side of society, with all of it's "open minded" thought, really is "open minded" then they should embrace that their are people of faith. Part of that faith, is the feeling or desire to share their faith with others. This should be embraced and discussed. For the person of faith, they need to be respectful of other faiths and people of no faith, but freely discuss ask questions etc.

    Now if someone is going to be belligerent, rude, then there is no place for that on either side. However, if a secular or a person of faith knocked on my door and wanted to share their thoughts. I probably wouldn't care to talk to either of them, but, I would be respectful and decline the offer.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Jan. 16, 2014 7:07 a.m.

    To put religion into perspective, may I briefly explain the very core by which I understand the world and all things: God exists, He is our Heavenly Father, Jesus is the Christ. Joseph Smith was a prophet, and I've seen through my entire life that those who live by the Gospel are better off than those who don't. It's not an opinion or an experiment; it's a proven truth, by all degree of understanding I bear. If I decide that following the commandments is inconvenient, or that I don't agree with the Church, or whatever else, they're no less true.

    That said, I -do- have the choice to follow the commandments. If, as a small child I'm told not to touch the stove, it'd be a good idea to heed it. I can disobay and touch the stove; I can even insist that the stove is not hot, or that there is no stove at all, but it would not change the result of touching the stove.

    There are a lot of people touching the stove, genuinely wondering why they suffer burns, and ridiculing people who choose not to touch the stove.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Jan. 16, 2014 7:22 a.m.

    Criticism is not persecution.

    Freedom of speech does not prohibit scrutiny of one’s ideas and beliefs. It practically guarantees it.

    Anyone bringing their ideas and beliefs into the public square should expect to play by the same set of rules. No one’s beliefs are more special than any other, no matter how special they may feel to you.

    At a business level, a baker of Religion A should no more be allowed to refuse service to a gay couple than a photographer of Religion B should be allowed to refuse service to people who believe that LGBTs are inherently immoral or “aberrations.” This is religious freedom being practiced in the public sphere.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 16, 2014 7:33 a.m.

    There always seems to be a need for a demon in the lives of many. Some have chosen religion to be that demon. They demonize those who believe in God. They demonize those who pray in public. They demonize those who invite others to be kind, to be charitable, to be Christlike. They demonize those who teach their children to respect and honor our Creator.

    As Americans, they have the right to demonize, but why would they feel inclined to demonize? What is their motivation? Why are they so intimidated when others express thanks to the Creator who gave us life and who bestowed on us our liberties? Do they think that government gave us life? Do they think that our liberties come from government? Or, do they believe in the law of the jungle? Are they always looking for the biggest stick?

    Respect for God is the basis for civility and for civilization; otherwise, we would all become slaves to whoever had the biggest stick.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 16, 2014 7:48 a.m.

    The current court case over prayer focuses on the fact that the prayers offered most frequently represent one religious philosophy to the exclusion of others. If prayers are going to be allowed, they should be inclusive of all religious philosophies. A news story from last year mentioned an atheist "prayer" that was offered in a different state and the very negative reactions towards it. So much for respect for others' views....

    As for the birth control question: What it really comes down to is the question of whether your employer can use his or her religious beliefs to control your private life and medical decisions? Insurance is a benefit offered to attract and retain good employees. It is often offered as part of the full compensation in lieu of higher wages. Does your employer have the right to place limits on how your compensation for the job you have done can be utilized? Would it be fair to require employers who place limitations on insurance coverage to pay the employee more money?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 16, 2014 8:01 a.m.

    "The First Amendment allows for the free exercise; of religion. This cannot be done without allowing religious ideas into the public square and even the business world.

    So says you Mr. Evensen. I would disagree that once again while your religious beliefs may inform your opinions, morals, and personal standards, and you are free to personally exercise those beliefs, once you enter the public square your beliefs do not trump my rights.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 8:06 a.m.

    The purpose of religion is the enslavement of the minds of people. The reason for that purpose is to garner the wealth and control of its members.

    Churches are the largest and richest corporations in the world. Churches are the most controlling governments in the lives of their members.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    Ah, the liberal paradise: where praying to God is forbidden, and you are punished if you don't pray to Marx or Obama. Remember the story of Daniel and the Lions Den? The government put up a statute of the King, and demanded that everyone worship the statute. If you disagreed, you were put to death.

    Sure sounds like today, where the liberals insist that you worship the great god Government (and many want to worship Obama personally), and at the same time punish you if you do not want to worship Government and their moral standards.
    Today's modern liberalism IS a religion; and they are doing their best to stamp out what they perceive is a threat: Christians.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    Some would have us believe that they own the public square. Some would even go so far as to tell us what we can and cannot say in "their" public square. Excuse me, but "public" means open to everyone. "Free speech" means everyone, not just a "free speech bigot" or a "religious bigot" who thinks that he owns the public square and that he has the right to restrict speech in "his" public square.

    The 1st Amendment restricts government from interfering with an establishment of religion. The 1st Amendment also guarantees that anyone can use his right to speak freely in public, even if that speech is a prayer. Those whose bloods boils with religious bigotry may disagree. They have that right, after all, those of us who believe, as did the founding fathers, that our Creator endowed us with liberty would never try to restrict a fewllow citizen from exercising his God-given liberties, especially in the public square.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 8:51 a.m.

    The united states isn't facing a religion crisis. Religion is facing a religion crisis. It's had it's way for too long, and people are pushing back. It's gotten away with too much by saying either it gets to overstep it's bounds in the public square by definition or it will claim to be oppressed. As for employers not wanting to make contraception available to their employees or they will feel marginalised, sorry about their luck. It's none of their business, and the best argument there is for a single payer health care system. It's disingenuous to keep playing the victim card. People want their rights, and the old reality is going to have to change.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 16, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    Jay, exactly which religious people in the USA are being "persecuted"? Where and by whom? If by persecution you mean criticism in the public square, you're off base. Let me remind you of a little thing called the 1st Amendment. If you mean violence, show us where this is happening. Such a thing is against the law in every jurisdiction I know of in this country.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:23 a.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah
    There always seems to be a need for a demon in the lives of many.

    ============

    And to some of the "religous" here,
    The demons are the:

    atheists,
    un-believers,
    infadels,
    liberals,
    democrats,
    tree-huggers,
    illegal immigrants,
    gays,
    and
    Non-Mormons,
    and even fellow Mormons.

    Isn't that right? Bro. Richards

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    Re: ". . . too many are trying to use the religious views of the majority to trample the rights of those in the minority."

    No one is actually doing that. In fact, it's actually quite the opposite, today.

    LGBT activists are playing the religion card, hoping to shame people into unthinking and illegal submission to their scary brave new LGBT world. Goofy, iconoclastic atheists, secularists, and phony new-age religionists are playing the same hand to try and force real religion into the closet, insisting real people, whose faith informs their every action, should be prohibited from referring to the source of their goodness and decency in public. Liberals and libertines play the same card in sad, vain attempts to feel good about doing bad, advancing an agenda, particularly in the military, that can only benefit amoral Americans, and hurt the Nation.

    Think about those you know.

    The most religious people are also the most caring, inclusive, decent, honest, and charitable. The irreligious tend to be just the opposite -- grasping, grating, disingenuous, elitist.

    Why would any rational individual support an agenda of turning the world over to them?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:37 a.m.

    I'll remember this silly article the next time I go to General Conference at Temple Square as see the "religous" attacking the religous,
    and chuckle to myself when observing the jack-booted Government Police Force that's there protecting my right to attend.

    BTW - the only Government attacking religion --
    was George W Bush and Cheney and their $3 Trllion Crusade in desert.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:43 a.m.

    LDS Liberal

    Did it ever occur to you that some of the demons of LIBERALS are:

    religious
    believers
    conservatives
    Republicans
    capitalists
    rich people
    legal immigrants
    straights
    Mormons
    and even fellow Mormons?

    Isn't that right? LDS Liberal

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:43 a.m.

    "....the American Founders considered religious engagement in shaping the public morality essential to ordered liberty and the success of their experiment in self-government.”
    ______________________________

    That’s the type of dishonest history we get from the Heritage Foundation. An individual citizen has the right to participate in self-government without regard to affiliation or belief but the Founders intended no specific role for religion.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    Re: "Churches are the largest and richest corporations in the world."

    I'd love to see your proof of that. Richer than Microsoft? Exxon? General Electric? JP Morgan? Berkshire Hathaway? Wal-Mart? Gaz-Prom? Apple?

    Not likely.

    And, even if one or two churches might otherwise make it into the Fortune 500, what do they do with the money members voluntarily entrust to them?

    How about religious and humanitarian relief to billions of people throughout the world? None of the Fortune 500 does that.

    Sounds like there may be some ax to grind here. Makes you wonder which church rule the writer ran afoul of, and why he's now desperately trying to justify his self-imposed alienation.

  • Larry Chandler CEDAR CITY, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    One commentator said: "God exists, He is our Heavenly Father, Jesus is the Christ. Joseph Smith was a prophet, and I've seen through my entire life that those who live by the Gospel are better off than those who don't. It's not an opinion or an experiment; it's a proven truth"

    No. It is not a "proven" truth. It is your truth. And you have the right to express it as well as believe it. But you do not have the right to insist others accept this as their truth or to take away their rights and their freedoms because it is in conflict with your truth.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    "religion is merely a choice. You can't choose your skin color, but you can choose your church."

    However, for some, Jews as an example, it is more than just a religion, it is a cultural identity. And people are looked upon as being born Jewish just as much as people are born of a particular ethnicity. We all realize (I hope) that being anti Jewish is wrong. Also, being born Muslim is pretty much the same, a cultural identity. It is also considered wrong to be anti Muslim. Interesting that, some would hold Christians in disdain for being Christian, whereas they would never consider being anti Muslim, or anti Jewish. That, to them would be bigoted.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    happy2bhere
    clearfield, UT
    LDS Liberal

    Did it ever occur to you that some of the demons of LIBERALS are:

    ======

    Did it ever occur to you that some LIBERALS are in fact very RELIGOUS?
    or
    that some Conservaatives are not religous at all?

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 10:49 a.m.

    LDS Liberal

    That may be true, but most any study will show that liberals are much more inclined to be secular, non religious or even anti religious, here in America.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    Procuradorfiscal

    As far as I know, business corporations openly display their financial status. Churches do not. I've heard it said that the Pope is the richest man in the world, but with no way of knowing it may not be true. No one outside the church hierarchy knows what they do with their money.

    In many cities around the world the biggest, most elaborate, visually imposing structures and buildings are churches. During and after the commercial wars between nations the churches and their religious control over people remains unchanged and unaffected.

    Churches have no regard for the borders of nations. And they cry for government help if other nations do not treat them with high regard.

    Other than that my real ax to grind is that as a liberal American I want to believe as I choose based on what I see in the world. Religious people and their churches are the real opponents of freedom of religion.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 16, 2014 11:08 a.m.

    There are those who claim to be active in their religion when almost every comment they post attacks members of the church they attend. There are even those who claim to have been endowed with great knowledge, not routinely accessible to everyone, who belittle that knowledge and the covenants that they have made.

    Religion is not the culprit. The misunderstanding and the misapplication of religion is the culprit. Religious bigots presume that they, like the pharisee in the parable, can thank God that he has made them "special" and that he has chosen to overlook their faults because of his greater love for them because of their "membership" while they point a finger at the "tax collector". They belittle the tax collector who attended that same temple and bowed his head before God and implored, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner".

    When enemies to religion are found both inside and outside of religion, soon only God will be able to separate his sheep from the goats, his wheat from the tares; but, he knows the hearts of all, whether they see themselves as a proud pharisee or as a humble tax collector.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 16, 2014 11:14 a.m.

    First Jay, thanks for referencing my “Rorschach-like missive” in your opening paragraph… flattered.

    “The United States is facing a crisis of sorts over religion.”

    Regarding this quote, people like me (non-religious) are concerned for a couple reasons. One, our country has a long history of keeping religion and civic participation separate. Heck, the country was chartered on our ability to do precisely that – i.e., the arguments of religious zealots in the 18th century (that we were creating a “godless constitution”) did not carry the day and few would argue that we are not better off for it today.

    Had God (or god forbid) Protestant Christianity been enshrined in our founding documents (with the likely implication that many of the States would have kept their state religions, which most had prior to 1787), there would be no Mormon Church today. It would have been stamped out in its infancy.

    The 2nd reason is that we look at the countries around the world who have become largely agnostic/atheist, and we simply see better, happy, more flourishing societies, especially when compared to the most religious countries.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Jan. 16, 2014 11:45 a.m.

    How do people not see the hypocrisy? I'm told at my door, on the street, and on billboards that I'm going to suffer eternal punishment, etc. But what happens when an atheist group puts up a billboard? It becomes national news. When a group put one up on a highway into Manhattan, Fox News railed against it. Likewise, when the atheist convention in Salt Lake wanted to promote their event, they had a great deal of difficulty finding a company willing to display it. These message boards were filled with statements like "If you want to be atheist, fine, but keep it to yourself and quit trying to shove it in our faces."

    When was the last time an atheist harassed you at your home, or disrupted you on your way to work? I fully support their right to do so (though it's annoying), but it's amazing how many of them can't see the other side. If I tell someone telling me I'm going to be tortured for eternity that their beliefs are utterly ridiculous, suddenly I'm "persecuting" them.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 12:01 p.m.

    I sometimes wonder whether some people really think that there is a "separation" clause in the Constitution that forces government to separate itself from religion. Some of the posts today imply that such a clause exists. Unfortunately for them, that clause does not exist. The language is very clear and is understandable to all who care to read it: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

    There is no prohibition about government involvement with religion. It can promote religion. It can endorse religion. It CANNOT make laws respecting "an establishment" of religion; i.e., it cannot dictate to any established church what that church's doctrine or covenants must be. It cannot tell a church what "sacraments" that church must offer. It cannot tell a church that it must provide contraceptives to its employees when the doctrine of that church forbid contraceptives. It cannot tell us how to pray or when to pray or even to pray, but it can endorse prayer and it can endorse God.

    We are free to worship God with or without government endorsement.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Jan. 16, 2014 12:10 p.m.

    @Ultra Bob

    "Religious people and their churches are the real opponents of freedom of religion."

    My sentiments exactly. In the SSM issue, a ruling that civil laws prohibiting SSM are unconstitutional will actually PRESERVE religious liberty because some religions are not anti-SSM. Are their positions on the issue to be considered inferior - and by acts of civil governments, which have no business weighing in on religious beliefs?

    I disagree with the author that Americans are "confused" about religion's place in the nation right now. I think Americans are seeing quite clearly the place religion has been allowed to assume and we are beginning to speak up and push back.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Jan. 16, 2014 12:21 p.m.

    There is no crisis over religion here. Most Americans know there are places in the world where people are sometimes killed in name of religion. Belligerent religious voices trying to promote the myth that religion in America is coming under siege do not represent the view of average Americans who know better, be they religious or not.

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 12:21 p.m.

    Let's see. You are free to practice your religion in your home, in your car, with your family, by yourself, at your place of worship, on top of a mountain, out in the desert, in the middle of a casino, while grocery shopping, walking your dog, eating at a restaurant, while taking a final exam, while watching the Jazz.

    You are even free to practice your religion on public property - as long as you do it quietly and without disrupting others. Onless that disruption is the purpose, What exactly is the problem?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 12:36 p.m.

    the Democrat party already is doing more... they want to simply squash religion out....starting with Little Sisters of the Poor.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 16, 2014 12:39 p.m.

    J Thompson, please check out the legal definition of "an establishment of religion." It means a state church. Amendment 1 prohibits Congress from creating a state religion. By promoting ANY religion over others, Congress would be by implication "establishing" a religion. That means the Federal gov't (and now state gov'ts under the 14th Amendment) are prohibited from promoting one religious belief over another.

  • Mike W Syracuse, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 1:18 p.m.

    "And yet many believers will tell you that few things in life are as deep-seated or personal as religious conviction"

    Funny, when missionaries come to my door badgering me about the church, they're not keeping it very "personal". When lawmakers make laws, that often deny equal rights, based on their totally unprovable religious views, that doesn't seem very "personal" either.

    I have no problem with those who truly keep their religion personal, but around here, that's precious few who really fit that description.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 1:20 p.m.

    Just more editorial drivel trying to make the case that businesses with certain "values" can dictate access to medical care. This article would have been interesting if it hadn't been boiled down to access to oral contraceptives at the end.

    Again, to all of you that don't know about oral contraceptives: they are used for all sorts of things, from abnormal bleeding to control of endometriosis pain. Yeah, people use them to prevent unwanted pregnancy too, but all you need to do is talk to a gynecologist to find out that there are scores of other indications as well. Are we not allowed oral contraceptives for these other indications as well? And how can Hobby Lobby or anyone else but you and your doctor make that determination? Anyone wanting to disallow OCPs carte blanche for "moral reasons" is by definition uninformed and ignorant. Including the writer of this article.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 1:57 p.m.

    LDS Liberal: I found your comment perilously true! Perhaps you have read Spencer W. Kimball's statement on war, none of which made a dent in LDS thinking, except perhaps yours: "We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel, ships, planes, missiles, fortifications and depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we become anti-enemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan's counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior's teaching:

    Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.(Matt. 5:45)

    Amen! There, we have something in common! Awesome!

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 16, 2014 2:01 p.m.

    @J Thompson – “There is no prohibition about government involvement with religion. It can promote religion. It can endorse religion. It CANNOT make laws respecting "an establishment" of religion; i.e., it cannot dictate to any established church what that church's doctrine or covenants must be.”

    I know of no legal scholar (the “scholars” at places like Liberty and Bob Jones University notwithstanding) who would agree with you on this.

    First, in order to even begin to go down the road you’re taking the clause would have to say “an establishment of ‘A’ religion.” It does not and for reasons obvious to anyone familiar with the writings of founders like Jefferson and Madison – they in no way wanted even the perception that government was favoring one religion over another.

    And establishment of religion means endorsing, promoting or codifying ANY religion dogma, theological or moral. In the case of religious morality, the courts have found them to be constitutional only when they can stand on their own merits divorced from religious belief.

    BTW, Madison thought pastors in military were unconstitutional – a position not captured in any way by your interpretation.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 2:10 p.m.

    "He was implying that religion is merely a choice, or as others have put it, you can’t pick your skin color, but you can pick your church.
    "And yet many believers will tell you that few things in life are as deep-seated or personal as religious conviction. To many people, their faith is more than just a hereditary fact (my dad, his dad, etc., belonged to this church, and so do I); it is more than just belonging to a social club; it involves the convincing power of some sort of life-changing spiritual experience."

    No matter how deeply you feel it, religion is a choice - which is why many churches have missionary branches and why all churches have conversion protocols.

    This is not to say it is not an important choice or that it doesn't play a very powerful role in your life and other decisions, but it is a choice.

    And when you ask society to respect your right to make that choice and to live your life accordingly, you need to realize there is a corresponding responsibility on you to respect others for their choices and allow them to live their lives accordingly.

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 2:49 p.m.

    Re: Mike Richards
    "Religious bigots presume that they, like the pharisee in the parable, can thank God that he has made them "special" and that he has chosen to overlook their faults because of his greater love for them because of their "membership" while they point a finger at the "tax collector".

    Sounds a lot like some members of a religion or two based here in Utah. Many religions have members who believe they are more special than others. Atheists also. So what exactly makes these particular people or religions "special"? Does the LDS prophet have the only communication with God? Why can't the Pope have communication with God? Why not the UAB? Why not Muslims,or Jews?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 16, 2014 3:04 p.m.

    One only needs to remember the:

    Taliban,
    Inqusition,
    Crusades,
    Salem witch trials,
    Ancient Israel,
    Ancient Nephites,

    I'm right, and my God told my Government so...

    FYI -- Hitler said the same sort of things...

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 3:38 p.m.

    Cavetroll asked a significant question. The answer is simple. Do what a prophet of God does and ask God. Christ answered that question in 1820, so now you have to ask God if He has given that answer, if so, to whom, and if so, why should He repeat Himself? Unless you're willing to forsake everything in exchange for an answer, He mostly likely won't burden you with an answer. God holds us responsible for the answers he gives us. Curiosity is not sufficient reason. He clearly told us that we must have no others Gods before Him. If we don't believe that, why would He waste breath on giving answers? Isn't He capable of knowing when someone is just shopping for answers and when someone is sincere?

    ---

    Ask a teacher what "An enstablishment" means. Then ask that teacher what "the establishment" means. Don't bother asking a lawyer, they'll find the answer that their customer wants to hear. Maybe it would be good to ask George Washington about God and religion. Maybe it would be good to read his inaugural address. Maybe he earned the right to tell us about God.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 16, 2014 3:53 p.m.

    I would just like to ask the "religion" victims here a couple quick and easy questions...

    Did you support Muslims trying to build an Islamic Cultural Center in New York or did you oppose it?

    Do you NOW support a Satanic group's plan for a 7-foot-tall statue of Satan at the Oklahoma State Capitol or do you oppose them?

    That should be easy enough to sift true Religous Freedom supporters from the the Bigots.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 3:57 p.m.

    Re: "Why can't the Pope have communication with God? Why not the UAB? Why not Muslims,or Jews?"

    God loves all His children. He welcomes communication with them all -- the Pope, UAB [University of Alabama, Birmingham? Universal Accreditation Board? Armenians?], Muslims, Jews. Even atheists and liberals. They communicate with Him. He communicates with them.

    But, when He speaks to the world, He has always done so through His prophets. That's His rule, not ours. I suspect it has to do with avoiding confusion, but He may have many other reasons, as well.

    He's a LOT smarter that me. And you.

    Point being, He doesn't need a lot of advice from us on how He should run the universe, nor does He need to explain His every move to us.

    Every time we try to take on His role, we make a mess of it. He's not only a lot smarter than us, He's a lot better and more experienced at it than we are, and has a lot more information available to Him than we do.

    But make no mistake -- He's happy to communicate with us.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 4:08 p.m.

    Remember a couple of years ago when citizens in Kansas and other states were passing amendments to their state constitutions prohibiting the implementation of Sharia Law?

    Combining a couple of thought threads from the past couple of weeks:

    -If the people of some township or city - say, Dearborn, Michigan, which has a large muslim community - decided they wanted to implement Sharia Law, and it was popularly decided, wouldn't this just be an example of Democracy in action? (The same type of democracy that the D-News says is being squashed by federal courts that overturn prohibition on same sex marriage)

    -If the citizens of the State of Michigan amended their constitution to prohibit any township or city from implementing Sharia Law, wouldn't this also be an example of the religious being persecuted?

    When you put the shoe on the other foot, and it really looks like a scuba diving flipper... maybe it's not really a shoe to begin with.

  • Ferretdancer Bellaire, MI
    Jan. 16, 2014 5:11 p.m.

    Os Guinness argues that the way forward for the world lies in promoting freedom of religion and belief for people of all faiths. He sets out a vision of a civil and cosmopolitan global public square, and how it can be established by championing the freedom of the soul; the inviolable freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Freedom of thought and freedom of conscience.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 16, 2014 5:14 p.m.

    As a long term reader of comments, it has become fairly easy to guess what some posters will say before reading their posts. Some, like Roland K is respectful of others. He states his opinion, but not at the expense of those who disagree. To me, he is a gentleman and someone whom I enjoying reading. Others come to the forum with a point to prove but without having done their homework. I fall into that camp from time to time, thinking perhaps that I know the answer without checking to verify that what I think is completely factual. Those of us who do that are easily corrected by those who have done their homework. A third group tries to pick a fight.

    When discussing religion, those like Rowland K. are automatic winners. Those who are teachable can become winners if they are, in fact, teachable. Those who try to pick a fight can't possibly win because they admit that their point of view is not supportable.

    Everything God says and does is supportable. God's true religion, when fully understood, is fully supportable. True religion teaches us to become as He is.

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 16, 2014 6:34 p.m.

    Religion poisons everything it touches.

  • Ferretdancer Bellaire, MI
    Jan. 16, 2014 7:04 p.m.

    "Os Guinness argues that the way forward for the world lies in promoting freedom of religion and belief for people of all faiths. He sets out a vision of a civil and cosmopolitan global public square, and how it can be established by championing the freedom of the soul—the inviolable freedom of thought, conscience and religion." Freedom of conscience (should you be blessed with one) is freedom of thought which is freedom of religion or non-religion. Religion and non-religion are equivalent to each other.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:44 p.m.

    I agree! Let's ban religion! So we can at last have an enlightened society like Stalin's Russia!

    Oh, wait. Hmmm. Maybe Mao's China! Argh! Pol Pot? Fidel Castro? North Korea?

    Hmm. Maybe a life without religion wouldn't be a panacea.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 10:08 p.m.

    Vanceone: None of the atheists like to think about your enlightened thoughts; It is much easier to live in the lap of freedom and wealth created by that liberty and take pot shots at the courageous souls who defend it! It is nice to know the truth even when the deniers temporarily vie for a viewpoint-at least until the clock starts winding down on their no so clever views!

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Jan. 17, 2014 4:50 a.m.

    @Ultra Bob:
    "The purpose of religion is the enslavement of the minds of people. The reason for that purpose is to garner the wealth and control of its members. "

    It cuts both ways. I have seen atheists use moral relativism to disarm those with whom they disagree. "There is no morality so don't push your morality on others." Then the moment someone does something that they disagree with they suddenly want to put all sorts of requirements and restrictions on them. In effect, they are saying, "Your morality is relative, but mine is absolute."

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 17, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    @Vanceone – “Let's ban religion! So we can at last have an enlightened society like Stalin's Russia! Oh, wait. Hmmm. Maybe Mao's China! Argh! Pol Pot? Fidel Castro? North Korea?”

    Or Sweden or Canada or Denmark or Japan or New Zealand or Norway or Germany or Australia or… the list goes on and gets bigger all the time.

    All present day countries that are largely agnostic/atheistic because their citizens shed their religious beliefs & superstitions, not at the point of a gun like in your sad but fortunately anomalous examples, but naturally through logic & reason and just growing up.

    “Imagine all the people…”

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 8:59 a.m.

    Tekakaromatagi

    I don't really understand what it is that you are saying but it is probably true.

    I see the push by the religious people to be ever so much stronger that the efforts of non-believers to push back. I guess religious people justify their one sided agenda because much of the push back that they receive comes from the natural man and the nature of the world itself. The wants and needs of the current life are often deemed more important than the imaginary world after death.

    Whether or not God exists, religions and their churches are man made organizations that have seem to fit my description. The mere diversity of their story's indicates that they cannot all be true. But they could all be false.

    The favoritism showed to religious organizations by our government is misplaced effort. Churches should be regarded as business organizations and subject to the regulation of all other business organizations.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Jan. 17, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    Ultra Bob,

    "....The favoritism showed to religious organizations by our government is misplaced effort. Churches should be regarded as business organizations and subject to the regulation of all other business organizations."
    ______________________________

    All things being equal, the HHS mandate position being staked out by Catholic and other religiously affiliated employers at first glances strikes me as untenable. They too know it is questionable, even as they invoke freedom of religion as their exemption from that specific provision of the law. I don’t know if the courts will side with them but the basic premise of their last ditch defense is not as rock solid as they are insisting it is.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    We don't tollerat religion. We tolerate people. And we should tolerate people regardless of their religious beliefs (as long as they don't think their religious beliefs give them the right and the obligation to blow up people they see as "infadels" for having a different faith.

    Religion is an inanimate thing. It doesn't care if we "tolerate" it. It is what is is whether you tolerate it or not. People are what we need to be tolerant of.

    And we should tolerate PEOPLE (regardless of their religious beliefs).

    I don't care if you are tolerant of my religion or not... as long as you are tolerant of ME... and allow me to believe and practice any faith I want (as long as I'm not harming you).

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Jan. 17, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    2 bits,

    "We don't tolerate religion. We tolerate people...."
    ______________________________

    Bulls eye!

    This article begins with the question, why should we do more than just tolerate religion? The question is provocative because it raises deeper questions such as: Can you really do more than just tolerate without favoring? How much should you tolerate from that which attempts to dominate?

    Here's a more challenging question. How do we all learn to tolerate each other while we’re energetically pursuing our own self interests?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 12:33 p.m.

    Craig Clark,

    Good question (How do we all learn to tolerate each other while we’re energetically pursuing our own self interests?)

    I don't think we need to not energetically pursue their own self interest. That's what Democracy is all about! If enough people share the same interest... they constitute the majority. But the harder question is... how do we prevent the majority from trampling the minority. That's a tougher question. I think Christ gave us the answer... but not every American believes what Christ taught us.

    Hint... Love one another.

    That's even BETTER than tolerating one another.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Jan. 17, 2014 1:50 p.m.

    I'm devout LDS. I believe religion has an equal voice as any other in the public sphere.

    But I'm stupefied at the notion that what I believe to be truth should be accepted unquestioningly by the rest of the public when it comes to matters of law and public policy. I have no right to compel others to view things through my religious framework, and I recognize that what I take as a matter of faith will be dismissed by those who feel differently. Having no small understanding of LDS history, I'm doubly perplexed that other members of my faith are so eager to demand that their faith-based views take priority over the views of others when so much of our history has been on the receiving end of such demands to comply with what others want.

    At the end of the day, God's instructions give way to human agency to choose our path, and I'm more than happy to discuss the scriptures that sustain that view. But in Sunday School, not the legislature or the courts.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 4:03 p.m.

    Some questions on some statements you attributed to those of the Mormon faith...

    ===

    Who said, "truth should be accepted unquestioningly"...?

    I didn't see anyone say that. I don't know any LDS person who believes that.

    ===

    Who said, " I have a right to compel others to view things through my religious framework"...?

    Didn't see anybody saying that.

    ===

    Who said, "members of your faith are so eager to demand that their faith-based views take priority over the views of others"...?

    Didn't see anybody say that. I don't believe that.

    ===

    A self identified LDS commenter did say, "God's instructions give way to human agency to choose our path"...

    I don't know any LDS person who actually believes that.

    God's instructions are constant. Our agency is to obey or not obey... but his will doesn't actually "give way" to accommodate whatever we decide to do.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Jan. 18, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    @2 bits,

    "I didn't see anyone say that. I don't know any LDS person who believes that."

    "Didn't see anybody saying that."

    If you haven't noticed the editorials, letters, and comments pushing a religious framework for general public policy, I don't know what to tell you.

    "I don't know any LDS person who actually believes that."

    Then meet me. The core of the Gospel in LDS theology is that we have agency, and that is one thing that God is unwilling to take or override even if it means we don't do He says. If you don't noticed that, I don't know what to tell you.

    But that's a discussion for Sunday School, not a substitute for public policy. I'll overlook your inference that I'm not LDS because I disagree with your worldview.

  • jcobabe Provo, UT
    Jan. 18, 2014 11:08 a.m.

    Intervention in minority religion is not always a bad thing. I suspect most rational minds would object to justifying ritual human sacrifice on a religious basis. In the most extreme cases, we would be remiss if we did nothing. Fortunately, almost all popular religious observance is of a more benign nature, and tolerance for diversity should be the general rule.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 4:20 p.m.

    How are Mormons being persecuted? Would somebody please explain this to me, because I can almost guess what got this article going. Mormons have the most power in this state. What they want dictates most of the laws that we have to obey. So, because some of us oppose the fact that we are being discriminated against, we are persecuting you? We are attacking your freedom of religion? Your freedom to practice your belief that you can deny others their rights? Guess what, that is an attack on my religion! There is a very good reason for the separation of church and state and I can't imagine that people would be so ignorant that they wouldn't understand this. Mormons are very comfortable with it at this time because it is their religion that determines most of the laws we have to live by. Can you imagine if the majority of people in Utah believed in a Pagan religion! What do you think, would it be fine if some other religion dictated the laws that Mormons would have to abide by? Well, it is to much to ask people to think about, isn't it!