"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.
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.
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.
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
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...
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mike RichardsSouth Jordan, UtahThere 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?
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?
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.
LDS LiberalDid it ever occur to you that some of the demons of
LIBERALS are:religiousbelieversconservativesRepublicanscapitalistsrich peoplelegal immigrantsstraightsMormonsand even fellow Mormons?Isn't
that right? LDS Liberal
"....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.
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.
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.
"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.
happy2bhereclearfield, UTLDS LiberalDid 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?orthat some Conservaatives are not religous at all?
LDS LiberalThat 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.
ProcuradorfiscalAs 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
@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.
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.
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?
the Democrat party already is doing more... they want to simply squash religion
out....starting with Little Sisters of the Poor.
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.
"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.
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.
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!
@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.
"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.
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?
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...
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Religion poisons everything it touches.
"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.
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.
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!
@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."
@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
TekakaromatagiI 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.
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
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.
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).
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?
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.
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.
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.
@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.
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.
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!