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Letter: Religious intolerance

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  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    March 25, 2014 6:11 a.m.

    David believes that corporations are people.

    Does hobby lobby also have the right to bear arms?

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2014 6:19 a.m.

    Which religion should government promote?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    March 25, 2014 6:24 a.m.

    It seems the author of this letter, David Wood, has forgotten the meaning of "religious freedom" of the Constitution; Marriage, David, is not only something YOUR religion gets to practice, but the FREEDOM to marry LGBT couples is ALSO a "religious freedom" and there are MANY religions that believe it is perfectly okay. Imposing your religious beliefs on others who believe differently, certainly qualifies as a violation of the religious beliefs of others.

    Additionally corporations are NOT PEOPLE and have absolutely NO BELIEFS religious or otherwise. The owners of businesses do not get to determine the actions of their employees, which would constitute a violation of the religious freedom of the employees.

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 25, 2014 6:25 a.m.

    Hobby Lobby is not an individual. It does not have personal rights.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 25, 2014 6:43 a.m.

    Oh, where to start, where to start…

    Is the Ghestapo showing up at Sacrament Meeting?
    Can Missionaries Proselyte?
    Can we build and attend Church and Temples?

    This hyperbole from the Chicken Little's on the Right astound me.

    For crying out loud -- Hobby Lobby is a BUSINESS – Not a Religion!

    And what if a certain religion you may not agree with FAVORS Same Sex Marriage?, – Do you still support THEIR Constitutional rights to perform SSM?

    The truth is that those who complain about secularism ARE often the narrow-minded and are discriminating.

    We are living in a day that individual rights, religious rights are not tolerated by those who claim to be the most religious.

    I also hope that the nation can be united under the Constitution and that all of us can live without fear for what we believe in.

    I also look forward to having this letter writer’s 110% support of an Islamic Cultural Center in New York City, and a 7’ statue of Bophamet at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

    BTW -- When the semi-annual LDS General Conference can no longer be broadcast, streamed, or printed -- call me.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    March 25, 2014 6:58 a.m.

    "Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood have to go to court to defend their religious right to avoid dispensing particular kinds of contraceptives."

    And isn't it wonderful that differences of opinion can be settled in court rather than on the battle field. That is the blessing of the Constitution.

    "Federal judges have overturned states’ rights in deciding what marriage is."

    Federal judges also overturned states rights in choosing who can attend certain schools depending on the color of their skin. Was that a bad thing?

    "If religion and those that support religion do not comply with secularism they are labeled as narrow minded, bigots, and discriminators."

    They are only labeled that way by other narrow minded bigots. My experience is that when I stand up for what I believe in most people applaud my convictions rather than call me names. Regardless of what others say, stand firm in what you believe and never believe that might is greater than right. As long as people of faith live by the precepts of their religion without joining in with name calling and accusations, our religious freedom will not be lost. Courage in your convictions will always be the right choice.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 25, 2014 7:23 a.m.

    People own businesses and therefore the people who own business have the rights, duh!

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    March 25, 2014 7:26 a.m.

    Hobby Lobby is NOT being required to "dispense" birth control or anything else that violates the leadership's religious beliefs. They are being required to provide health insurance that meets a minimum, national standard for everyone that includes birth control coverage.

    To take it to the other extreme, should I as an employer be able to demand that my employees ONLY get coverage for birth control and refuse to pay for insurance that covers pregnancy and child birth?

    Conservatives love to scream about not putting government in between you and your doctor or government making personal decisions for you, but then love to shove their religion or their corporation in your personal decisions.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    March 25, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    The author acknowledges that the government is forbidden from favoring one religion over another and then complains that it is secular in nature. What is government supposed to be if it is to remain religiously neutral?

    I maintain that what some believers are decrying is really loss of privilege, not loss of freedom. Religion, particularly of the Christian persuasion, has long enjoyed privileges of status and influence in this country that were always in violation of our Constitution. They just never got challenged...until knowledge and information began making significant inroads on religions' truth claims. More and more now, it is not enough to say that one's belief is religious. A demonstration of the validity of the belief is now being required as well. When this cannot be demonstrated, the privilege is lost. As it should be.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    March 25, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    Liberals demand that we keep religion out of their government but love to put their government in other people's religion and that is what this issue is all about; forcing government into other people's religious beliefs.

  • Hugh1 Denver, CO
    March 25, 2014 7:45 a.m.

    Ever hear the expression, 'The devil made me do it?' In the upside down logic of this letter titled, "Religious Intolerance," it's not the devil, it's 'God made me do.' I will agree to your version of 'religious freedom' the same day that you agree that I can deny you employment because of your religion - and healthcare. Sound like a deal?

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    March 25, 2014 7:45 a.m.

    Why do people that don't think God exists or don't think he cares one way or the other get to enforce there morals on people but religious people can't? Double standard there.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 25, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    higv
    Dietrich, ID
    Why do people that don't think God exists or don't think he cares one way or the other get to enforce there morals on people but religious people can't? Double standard there.

    7:45 a.m. March 25, 2014

    ===========

    My God told me his plan would be to allow Free Agency.
    There would be good things, and bad things --
    but we would be free to choose for ourselves.

    Another stood up and said his plan was better than God's.
    He said there would be no Choice by the indiviual,
    that everyone would do what he told them,
    and that he would only choose good things for them.

    My God said NO.

    I say Freedom to Choose.
    and keep businesses out of peoples's lives,
    and Don't allow Businesses to hide and coward behind Religious Freedom.

    Hobby Lobby is a Business - not a religion.

    Contraception aside --
    This will could set a very nasty precidence if Hobby Lobby wins.

    There will be no telling what other "rights" Businesses will have over real people,
    ironically --
    using their new found "Constitutional Rights" as "people" and
    Religion as their new weapon of choice.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    March 25, 2014 8:13 a.m.

    fas·cism [ fá shìzzəm ]
    "1.dictatorial movement: any movement, ideology, or attitude that favors dictatorial government, centralized control of private enterprise, repression of all opposition, and extreme nationalism."
    Sounds like the left to me of which their war on religion is a part.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 25, 2014 8:14 a.m.

    So, how can one say Hobby Lobby should be given license to practice their religion, and in the same breath decry Sharia Law?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 25, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    When the government violates the Constitution by requiring us to buy insurance, why wouldn't it violate the Constitution by establishing a State religion? The government believes in abortion, why wouldn't it have as doctrine of that "religion" to prohibit birth or to destroy life before the baby is born?

    Once, we held higher beliefs. Once, we, as a nation, believed in God. Once, we knew how sacred life was. Once, we knew that government was instituted to protect all life:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"

    Now, the government tells us to pay to stop new life; that they will fine us if we don't pay for contraceptives; that they will fine us if we don't accept their religion of abortion on demand.

    The 1st Commandment clearly states: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." The government believes differently.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    March 25, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    Thid Barker 8:13 a.m.:

    A lot of religious conservatives want to rewrite the law to force others to live by their beliefs (i.e. the demand for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.)

    Show me an example of how people are forced to use birth control against their will...

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 25, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    @ Thid Barker, some would say your definition of fascism could apply to organized religions.... It is certainly NOT what our government is pursuing, despite the rhetoric of the right wing.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 25, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    @ Darrel. You have it backwards. The constitution gives Hobby Lobby owners the right to practice THEIR religion, without being forced to practice your religion."Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". These two clauses make up what are called the "Religion Clauses" of the First Amendment.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 25, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    Very eloquently put Karen and also correct.

    Religious intolerance, is taught by religion.
    The opposite of intolerance is understanding, not just tolerating another group.

    Mountanman said: "People own businesses and therefore the people who own business have the rights, duh!"

    While the idea that "the people who own business have the rights" should be the republican motto... No. They have the privilege to operate a business, under specific conditions, for which they petition the local or national government for permit or license to do so, and agree to certain rules of safety or conduct.

    Religion is a belief, and your personal right, that is all.
    It does not grant you special rights over others who don't share your "beliefs"

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    March 25, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    Ah yes, the always faithful “secularism is a religion” argument.

    Couple of points – first, you do realize the Constitution is a wholly secular document, don’t you David?

    Second, being secular simply means not being religious. To equate those two is a contradiction in terms (i.e., it violates the logical law of non-contradiction).

    Think about it this way – if we label a collection of beliefs (say, in santa claus, the tooth fairy, and the easter bunny) as fantasies, would you say that someone who does NOT believe in those things is somehow still practicing a fantasy?

    Or would it make any sense to say that because you do not practice astrology, you are a believer in non-astrology?

    When the government passes laws that are purely secular, they are doing precisely what the Founders intended. If you prefer a government do otherwise, there’s a whole bunch of countries in the middle eastern part of the world you may want to check out.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 25, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    Mike Richards: "Once, we held higher beliefs. Once, we, as a nation, believed in God. Once, we knew how sacred life was. Once, we knew that government was instituted to protect all life:"
    Except for slaves and all other ethnic groups, Women and Children, Native Americans, Mother Nature etc...
    So you mean white anglo saxon christians, right?

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
    --Not in the Constitution Mike, but penned the same time and by the same folks who believed in the above and "Manifest Destiny"

    "The 1st Commandment clearly states: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." The government believes differently.
    Please explain what this means since our government is us and we them.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 25, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    Mike -- that is an out right lie!
    The Government does not believe in abortion.

    The Government believes in a right to Privacy.
    (or at least did before Bush trampled it with his Patriot Act)

    It is also reflected in the original Utah Motto: "Mind your own business!"

    If the Government "forces" your wife to have an abortion -- call me.
    If the Government "forces" your daughter-in-law to take birth control -- call me.

    Yet,
    You have no problem letting a Business tell your wife, daughter and others what sorts of healthcare options a Doctor has at his desecration to use to heal?

    I'm against Psychotropic medications and drugs containing alcohol in them.
    I feel they are violating the Word of Wisdom.

    Do you see me out whining and pitching a fit over MY Religious rights being in jeopardy by Obamacare for that?

    IMHO –
    Businesses [and individuals] need to mind their own BUSINESS.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 25, 2014 9:09 a.m.

    Just how is it that hobby lobby has a religious right to 'dispense' a particular kind of contraceptive, or not? They're definitely overstepping their bounds, and make the best argument for a single payer health care system yet. After all, as the first lady pointed out, the inherent dignity accrues to every person on earth; she doesn't mention craft stores among those having power to overturn those rights or somehow to act as health providers. As for federal judges, they're just protecting individuals' freedom from tyrannical states, like Utah. And why do we even have a 'national prayer breakfast'? We are living in a world, and society, of individual rights. Among those rights, individually, is freedom of religion. Individually. Collectively, the nation can be united under the constitution and live without fear for what we believe in. Or fear of, or subjection to what anyone else believes in.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    March 25, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    Let's see, the government says Hobby Lobby must fund health coverage that includes the option of contraceptives, something that its owners oppose. And the government required me to pay taxes to fund the Iraq War, something I opposed. It doesn't force Hobby Lobby owners to use contraceptives nor did it force me to go to war. Still, I was legally required by law to pay taxes that funded the war and Hobby Lobby is required by law to fund health coverage that includes the option of contraceptives.

    Imagine the chaos if everyone with a different belief gets to tell government "I refuse to pay for this or that."

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 25, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    @Mountanman
    @ Darrel. You have it backwards. The constitution gives Hobby Lobby owners the right to practice THEIR religion, without being forced to practice your religion."Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". These two clauses make up what are called the "Religion Clauses" of the First Amendment.

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

    The owners can practice their religion. No one is forcing them to take contraceptives. But they cannot force their religion on me. My church has made no authoritative declaration against their use.

    Those that work in retail often do so because they do not possess another , more valuable skill. As such, they often lack the bargaining power to only work for a company that will provide them with the care they need.

    To argue that a business owner (in this case a corporation, so he no personal assets at stake) can impose his religious views on me, an employee is the same thing as saying that should allow Sharia Law. After all, it is religious freedom; an absolute right. Or are there to be reasonable restrictions placed on it?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 25, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    The words "Separation of Church and State", are not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. The words, "Congress shall make no Law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" In other words, Congress cannot establish a state church like England has.

    These words,from the First Amendment, have been contorted every which possible to restrict religion. If the owners of Hobby Lobby don't want to pay for the contraception mandate due to their religious beliefs, and they wholly own the company, according to the First Amendment, that is their right.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 25, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    I shouldn't have to pay for contraception because my wife and I are past the traditional child bearing age. I also should have to pay for the maternity care mandate because it is physically impossible for us to have babies again. Prior to Obama Care I could drop maternity care from my insurance, no problem. Cost goes down. Since the advent of Obama Care, I have to pay for it. It costs me more for stuff I don't need. Kind of ironic since Obama Care was supposed to lower insurance costs.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    Those who say secularism is a religion need to look up the definition of religion. Religion is subscribing to beliefs based on a deity, deities, the divine, faith, and, or, the supernatural. Secularism does not fit any of those descriptions.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 25, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    Missing is that if a business offers its services to the entire public, it is a public accommodation. As such, it is not a religious activity and thus may not discriminate. To take any other approach would mean chaos in our socieity and a loss of our freedom as Americans.

    @ Flashback, go back to the concept of "We the people". We have a joint responsiblity for the overall good of our society. You argument is like those who say "I don't have lots of kids so why should I have to pay property taxes." It's about the common good. And as for Obamacare, overall it has helped, despite the propaganda from the GOP (which still has nothing to offer after four years.).

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 25, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    Not interested in Hobby Lobby, that's a red-herring.

    I'm concerned with the concept of "religious intolerance" in general.

    When religious people are intolerant of those who aren't religious (or practice a different religion)... that's wrong. When non-religious people are intolerant of people who are religious... that's wrong. And that's what this is about (not Hobby Lobby).

    ====

    The Preamble of the Constitution sets out the origin, scope and purpose of the Constitution.

    Pay special attention to the actions/verbs they used.

    FORM a more perfect Union,
    ESTABLISH Justice,
    INSURE domestic Tranquility,
    PROVIDE for the common defense,
    PROMOTE the general Welfare,
    SECURE the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity"...

    IMO it's clear the Government does not GIVE us our liberty or any inalienable rights. These rights are natural and exist even if we didn't have a Federal Government in Washington.

    The government in Washington exists to SECURE them for us, and to PROTECT them for us. not to TAKE them from us... or limit them.

    Free exercise of religion is one of these rights. Government should SECURE that for us, not prevent it.

    Free contraception is not a "right".

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 25, 2014 10:08 a.m.

    Steve C. Warren
    WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Let's see, the government says Hobby Lobby must fund health coverage that includes the option of contraceptives, something that its owners oppose. And the government required me to pay taxes to fund the Iraq War, something I opposed. It doesn't force Hobby Lobby owners to use contraceptives nor did it force me to go to war. Still, I was legally required by law to pay taxes that funded the war and Hobby Lobby is required by law to fund health coverage that includes the option of contraceptives.

    Imagine the chaos if everyone with a different belief gets to tell government "I refuse to pay for this or that."

    9:16 a.m. March 25, 2014

    ==========

    Steven makes and EXCELLENT arguement here!

    I wish I had 25 likes and a flashing Gold Star for this one.

    Thanks!

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    Hobby Lobby has no right to choose for people what it's owner's believe. An employee can choose birth control or choose not to participate in it. This is the problem with this issue...what IS and what is NOT religion. Birth control for women is NOT a religion. Obviously, some women may
    CHOOSE to participate or not with birth control due to their religion, but that is nobody's business but theirs.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    March 25, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    Flashback 9:36 a.m.:

    And I don't have any need for treatment of age-related ailments like arthritis or heart disease, yet the payments I make to my insurance company are still used to cover those who do. That's how insurance works.

  • RAB Bountiful, UT
    March 25, 2014 10:32 a.m.

    Denying rights to a corporation is just a clever way of denying rights to the people who have the audacity to run a corporation. No one is being forced to work for or do business with that corporation. Therefore a corporation cannot deny its employees or its customers their religious freedoms. If you don’t like a company’s values, don’t work there. Don't use their products. But don't presume the right to demand that they run things your way.

    The government’s role is to tolerate differing views—not to approve of one religious view while rejecting another. The only position the government should have regarding gay marriage is to not punish those who do it. But the minute that our government rewards gays for marrying, the government has taken a side. The government will have established that the millions who religiously oppose gay intimacy are wrong and are to be ignored and disrespected.

  • anotherview SLO, CA
    March 25, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    Hobby Lobby is just making the case for moving away from employer-based insurance to single-payer.

    It will be interesting to see what the Court decides. On the one hand, this court has sided with corporations on many issues and is considered to be very "corporate-friendly." On the other hand there Scalia wrote in Employment Division v Smith:

    "Conscientious scruples have not, in the course of the long struggle for religious toleration, relieved the individual from obedience to a general law not aimed at the promotion or restriction of religious beliefs. The mere possession of religious convictions which contradict the relevant concerns of a political society does not relieve the citizen from the discharge of political responsibilities.

    Subsequent decisions have consistently held that the right of free exercise does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a valid and neutral law of general applicability on the ground that the law proscribes (or prescribes) conduct that his religion prescribes (or proscribes)."

    Lastly, if this were an issue involving something basic to men's health, there would be no debate about access and coverage.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 25, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    RE: one vote... "Which religion should government promote"?

    Did anybody say ANY religion should be promoted by the Government?

    Total strawman...
    and the second comment on the topic!

    At least give somebody time to say what you ASSUME they are thinking!

    ===

    Fact is.. Religious people don't think the government should PROMOTE any religion... just stay out of the way.

    ===

    I do not want my religion promoted by the Federal Government. I do not expect them to promote any religion. Just don't make laws that require me to violate my religious beliefs!

    I don't care if a person of a different religion gives the prayer at a public meeting I am attending... It's happened hundreds of times... it doesn't offend me. But do not PROHIBIT prayer of any kind under the pretense of protecting me from hearing someone of another religion praying. It doesn't bother me. I don't think it bothers any religious person. They like their liberty, they like that others have that same liberty.

    The only people prayer at public meetings offends... is liberal leftists (not religious people, even if they aren't of the same faith).

  • RAB Bountiful, UT
    March 25, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    @airnaut
    We elect government officials to run the military. It is their responsibility to determine when war is necessary. If we don't like their reasoning, we don't vote for them. Regardless, we are obligated, via taxes, to support the military's actions whether we agree with their decisions or not.

    We do NOT however, elect government officials to run our businesses. When government makes laws that attempt to run our businesses, we are fools to not push back.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    March 25, 2014 10:56 a.m.

    David, funny thing about religious liberty in the United States. It protects your right to decide what religion you will practice and how and when you will practice it. What it doesn’t do is allow you to force your religion on anyone outside of yourself. Utah’s amendment 3 is an example of “you” attempting to force your religion on others. Hobby Lobby’s claim is not about protecting the religious freedom of the owners; they have that. What Hobby Lobby wants is the “right” to force their religious beliefs and views on to their employees. Hopefully the SCOTUS will see that and rule appropriately.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 25, 2014 11:05 a.m.

    I see 2 entirely separate things happening here.
    2 different relationships going on...

    1. Business/Employer/Employee
    2. Healthcare/Doctor/Patient

    Hobby Lobby is NOT giving any prescriptions to any of it's Employees!
    Rather -- it is dictating an entirely different and separate business [Healthcare] on how they can or can not operate.

    For Hobby Lobby to tell a Doctor what he/she can prescribe,
    Is like a Doctor telling Hobby Lobby what they can or can’t sell for Scrapbooking.
    A Doctor might object to scissors or glue and site his Hippocratic oath.

    It's really that simple.

    And ironically --
    "Religious Freedom" being used by this business is the sledge hammer destroying "Religion" for actual citizens.

    So long as you conservatives keep saying "Businesses ARE people" and protect via the Constitution,
    and so long as they are intertwined like that --

    So, When a business looses [and they will] Religious Freedom -- so will the REAL people!

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    @RAB
    "Therefore a corporation cannot deny its employees or its customers their religious freedoms. If you don’t like a company’s values, don’t work there."

    That's not much different than imposing Sharia law on a state or nation and saying if you don't like the state or country's values, don't live there.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    March 25, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    What's happened in West Jordan? The writer says nobody has any religious rights left! Out here in Bountiful the Catholics held a big spaghetti dinner for the whole town, the Lutherans and Baptists meet across the street from each other, the Mormon parking lot is full, and there are no gov't thugs in sight anywhere! If the churches are shuttered and religious people's mouths are duct-taped in West Jordan, we should all be very alarmed....

  • Thinkin\' Man Rexburg, ID
    March 25, 2014 11:28 a.m.

    The sooner we officially define "atheism" and "secularism" as religions, the better. If a religion is a system of beliefs, they certainly fit.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 25, 2014 11:29 a.m.

    No one is forced to use contraceptives, yet Hobby Lobby is forced to fund the use of contraceptives. That is a violation of their right to run their business and to practice their religion as they wish. Nothing in business licensing forces a business to pay for a product that it does not want and does not believe is good; but, the government has decided that IT will decide what is good for us and that IT will force us (businessmen) to fund what IT thinks is good for us.

    Where in the Constitution did the people give government that power? It's not there. Section 8 of Article I lists the only things for which the federal government can require us to pay for through taxes. Contraceptives are not on that list. Insurance is not on that list. Nothing that Obama is trying to do with ObamaCare is on that list.

    The only question that is valid is whether the government has the right to require businesses to use their money to provide anything that is not on that list of 17 enumerated duties that the people have assigned to Congress.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    2 bits: "I don't care if a person of a different religion gives the prayer at a public meeting I am attending..."

    ----------------

    So, you would not be offended by a Wiccan praying to her Goddess, or a Satanist praying to the devil? Really? Those are religions that are practiced here in the US.

    I just can't see you sitting there smiling as a Satanist calls on the devil to attend a meeting and influence the thoughts and actions of the people attending there. Have you thought of that?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 25, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    @Darrel 9:17,
    Hobby Lobby is not forcing their religion on you...

    #1... you don't work for them, so what they do has absolutely no affect on you.

    #2... even IF you worked for them... You can buy your own contraceptives, can't you?

    ===

    Contraceptives aren't expensive. People used to buy them with their own money all the time. Every drug store has them, no prescription required, just a little cash. I don't see why now it's your employer's obligation to provide them to you for free.

    ===

    IMO we should end this attitude that everything we want for our health MUST be provided by our employer (or insurance).

    Some of it you're going to have to do (and maybe even pay for) YOURSELF.

    They can't exercise for us. They can't feed us the right foods. They can't control our lifestyle. They should not be expected to pay for every decision we make.

    Some things we may have to do for ourselves. Buying our own contraceptives may just be one of those things...

    ===

    Free contraceptives is not an inalienable right.

    ===

    HL will probably loose the case. No problem here.

    The topic is "religious tolerance"... not insurance.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    March 25, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    Remember when providing health insurance for employees was a choice, not the government? Remember when an employer could decide to pay for the employee's insurance but the employee would have to pay for his family's coverage?

    So long as liberals keep saying businesses are not made up of individuals who are people and state controls and determines what a business can or can not due, then we have the totalitarian socialist society where the state controls the means of production and what is produced.

    A corporation is simply a legal means for a group of people to operate as a business. A business license is simply a legal means to collect fees (taxes) from those who operate as a business. A license to due business does not provide the means by which the state can dictate how or what a business does. It does not cover harmful or dangerous materials. Handling dangerous materials is handled by separate permits. Attempts to dis-associate the individuals from the business they own is to take away their freedom as individuals in the name of the state.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    March 25, 2014 11:54 a.m.

    @airnaut, "I wish I had 25 likes and a flashing Gold Star for this one." all you need is ninteen more screen names.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    March 25, 2014 12:07 p.m.

    Mr West, Imposing your religious beliefs on others is really what this is about. There is nothing forcing Hobby Lobby employees into using contraceptives if they so choose. What better way to prevent abortions than to prevent pregnancy? All this whining for ways not to comply to the ACA could be avoided with a single payer healthcare system.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    March 25, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    @Thinkin\' Man – “The sooner we officially define "atheism" and "secularism" as religions, the better. If a religion is a system of beliefs, they certainly fit.”

    Do you believe in Zeus?

    No… then please explain how your non-belief in Zeus is actually a “system of beliefs.”

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    Mike Richards

    South Jordan, Utah

    No one is forced to use contraceptives, yet Hobby Lobby is forced to fund the use of contraceptives.
    ---------------

    No, they are not being forced to fund contraceptives.

    They have other options, including paying $2000 per employee and not having healthcare. Give the other money that is saved to the employees to pay for their OWN healthcare. They would not lose any money and would be able to keep their religious beliefs.

    It is not all or nothing. They just want their own way...not keeping their beliefs and working within the law. I wonder why?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 25, 2014 12:12 p.m.

    Kristallnacht, also referred to as the Night of Broken Glass, or Reichskristallnacht was a program against Jews.
    German authorities looked on without intervening.

    The name Kristallnacht comes from the shards of broken glass that littered the streets after Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and synagogues had their windows smashed.

    =======

    THAT is State sponsored bigotry, intolerance, and loss of religous Freedom.

    Providing equal access to a woman's healthcare by a BUSINESS is not even in the same league -- not by a trillion miles.

    This is what I mean when I say the uber-far-right-wing is no longer even playing in the same ball field....

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 25, 2014 12:13 p.m.

    Open Minded Mormon, LDS Liberal, airnaut,

    You wrote: "Mike -- that is an out right lie!
    The Government does not believe in abortion."

    When was Roe v Wade overturned? Is abortion against the law? Since when? Government believes in abortion. It promotes abortion by requiring Hobby Lobby and EVERY OTHER BUSINESS in America to fund abortifacients. It believes in prohibiting life by requiring every business in America to fund contraceptives.

    You also stated that the government believes in the right to privacy? Which government were you referring to? Certainly not the Federal government that records all email and all cell phone conversations, or do you exclude cell phone and email from "privacy"?

    The government has encroached on our liberties. We have the right to practice our religion without the government telling us which doctrines we can practice. You have read that, haven't you? "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the FREE EXERCISE thereof;"

    Memorize it. We have the right to PRACTICE our religion without government interference. Belief in the sanctity of life is fundamental to many religions.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 25, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    Thinkin\' Man said: "The sooner we officially define "atheism" and "secularism" as religions, the better. If a religion is a system of beliefs, they certainly fit."

    A thinking man would realize that "atheism" and "secularism" are a religion, like not collecting stamps is a hobby.

    LDS liberal nailed it. It's about Hobby Lobby trying to control your healthcare, and doctors businesses using religion as a tool.

    jsf said: "all you need is ninteen more screen names." The new justification for why few agree with the neocons on these pages, like the imaginary voter fraud the republicans keep talking about.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 25, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    jsf 11:54 a.m.,
    That was hilarious... I've often thought the same thing. LOL.

    ===

    Lane Myer 11:32 a.m.,
    I would not have a problem if a Wiccan was invited to give a prayer at a meeting. My best friend's daughter in law is a Wiccan and she gives prayers at family dinners and such all the time. Doesn't hurt anybody. Why would I not smile? I'm glad they have the same freedom I have... why would I be upset?

    ===

    For the last time... this isn't about getting the government to promote MY religion, or ANY religion. It's about getting them OUT of my practice of my religion!

    I used public meetings as an example. But I really don't care if there is a prayer in any public meeting or not. But the Government should not PROHIBIT it.

    I think prayer is mostly done in private, but if somebody (ANYBODY) WANTS to pray in public... LET THEM!

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    March 25, 2014 12:24 p.m.

    To "The Real Maverick" yes, Hobby Lobby does have the right to bear arms. If they wanted, they can have armed security officers.

    To "airnaut" you are confusing. First you say that you believe in Agency, then you argue that Hobby Lobby should be forced to do something it doesn't want to. Well, which is it? Do we give the owners of Hobby Lobby agency, or do we force them?

    To "Happy Valley Heretic" what about the intolerance of the anti-thiests and secularists that are highly offended at the mere sight of something religious? Aren't they teaching intolerance too?

    To "Tyler D" actually secularism is a religion. A religion is defined as a set of beliefs adhered to by faith. Since Athiests cannot see the entire universe, they rely on faith that God does not exist, and hold to their beliefs based on that faith.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" you should study history more. Over the past 150 years the government in the US has not only forced abortions but also forced or misinformed people and sterilized them.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 25, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    @2bits

    #2... even IF you worked for them... You can buy your own contraceptives, can't you?

    =======

    The point isn't contraceptives. The point is healthcare, and does someone else's religion have the right to block me from said care; whether it's contraception, blood transfusion or anti-depressants. If healthcare is a right (and I maintain it is) then you, my pastor, my spouse or even the President have no right to say what can and cannot happen between me and my doctor. Period. Doesn't matter if it's contraception or him giving me a third kidney.

    What the owner of Hobby Lobby is allowed to do is preach, and advocate against the use of contraception. He can believe it to be a sin, and can even preach so. That right is not being taken away.

    If religious freedom is absolute, then why can't someone practice Sharia Law? Why can't Warren Jeffs marry several teenage girls? Why was my church deprived of its right to practice polygamy?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    March 25, 2014 12:44 p.m.

    I recall a commenter on another thread on this issue made the point that Hobby Lobby buys many of its products from China, where abortion is government sponsored and readily available upon request. Yet, while HL does this voluntarily - no one requires them to buy products from China - the owners don't seem the least bit troubled that their money is almost certainly being used to support abortion there. So why the self-righteous cries here?

    I think this is an excellent - and revealing - point. My thanks to the person who made it. I wish I had been able to track it down in order to give you the credit you're due.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2014 12:50 p.m.

    Redshirt: "To "Tyler D" actually secularism is a religion. A religion is defined as a set of beliefs adhered to by faith. Since Athiests cannot see the entire universe, they rely on faith that God does not exist, and hold to their beliefs based on that faith."

    -----------

    Please tell me that you know the difference between atheism and secularism! The Constitution is a secular document. Does that mean that the fathers of our country were Atheists? Do you not believe in our constitution because it does not talk about God?

    Is Agnosticism a religion? Are you not an atheist too? Do you believe in Jupiter? Juno? Venus? How about Thor? Maybe atheists just don't believe in one more God than you do, right?

    Hobby Lobby is NOT being forced to do anything they don't want to. They have other alternatives that they do not want to take. They just want their cake and to tell everyone working for them how to eat it too.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    March 25, 2014 12:53 p.m.

    "If religion and those that support religion do not comply with secularism they are labeled as narrow minded, bigots, and discriminators."
    And if I tell people i'm an atheist a certain percentage of them will assume I am an amoral person, because if I don't have the fear of going to hell than it's not possible that I could be a good person. People are allowed to think whatever they want about you, it's not the governments job to make people stop calling you names. If society in general has a shifting viewpoint you'll either have to change what you believe or get used to being a minority in that belief. I mean, we haven't banned the KKK or Westboro Baptist Church, even though their views are more despicable than the average religion. It isn't fun when the rest of society disagrees with you, but it doesn't mean you get to force them to believe what you believe.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    March 25, 2014 1:06 p.m.

    You said: "Since Athiests cannot see the entire universe, they rely on faith that God does not exist, and hold to their beliefs based on that faith."

    Now that's some funny stuff. First, as an atheist, I can see and experience the entire universe. I just have to look into a cloudless night sky to see it, or marvel at its wonders when I watch my tulips come into full bloom. Second, I don't need to have faith to understand the universe. I don't need faith that the sun will rise tomorrow. I know with certainty that, barring a catastrophe that will destroy us all anyways, the sun will rise tomorrow and the next day, and the day after that. I know that so long as I water my gardens; provide adequate nutrients and care, that there is a very high probability that my tulips will grow this year and next year, and likely the year after that. No faith required.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    March 25, 2014 1:44 p.m.

    to Mountanman

    Agreed except when businesses infringe on the personal beliefs of others (their employees included).

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    March 25, 2014 1:47 p.m.

    To "Lane Myer" sorry, I guess I had to spell it out to you. Human Secularism, which is more than just secularism.

    Agnosticism is a religion too.

    Please tell us that you actually know what a religion is, and not just what some liberal has told you qualifies as a religion.

    To "my_two_cents_worth" how do you know that God does not exist? Do you have irrefutable evidence that he does not exist? If you do not have evidence that God does not exist, then you rely on faith that God does not exist.

    Actually, you do need faith to understand the universe. Any time a scientist makes a new discovery they have to have faith that their theory is correct. No scientist has a perfect knowledge of the outcome of their experiment or study until it is complete.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    March 25, 2014 1:53 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701 – “… actually secularism is a religion. A religion is defined as a set of beliefs adhered to by faith.”

    Please see my earlier Zeus comment (and provide an answer with respect to your own non-belief in Zeus) because you’re still not connecting the dots here.

    And just to clarify, most atheists I know are fairly agnostic when it comes to the creative force behind the Universe. They tend to be open to possibilities and generally believe we should follow the evidence. They just don’t see good evidence to believe that creative force is the god depicted in the Bronze Age writings of a middle eastern desert tribe.

    And for those watching from the bleachers, this is the new tact of religious believers. They know deep down that faith is what you’re left with when you lack sufficient evidence for something, so in order to discredit atheism/agnosticism they desperately need to establish it as a faith – and apparently violating the logical law of non-contradiction does not trouble them in the least.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 25, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    Hypothetical question for the right-wingers...

    I believe in God and the power of prayer.

    Using this silly "logic",
    Can I use MY religous convictions and tell my employees they lack suficient faith,
    and expect them to pray their way healthy,
    and tell the Government my BUSINESS is protected because of MY religous beliefs?

    Because they way I see it --
    The right-wing will snap a Single-Payer Healthcare System across the nation so fast Ted Cruz and Mike Lee will never have time to Shutdown the Government.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    March 25, 2014 2:12 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701

    You asked: “how do you know that God does not exist?”

    I don’t know that God does not exist. However, since no clear evidence of any god has been found or presented, I find the existence of your god (or anyone else’s god) to be highly improbable. Now, should you or anyone else present logical and verifiable evidence of god, I'll gladly change my position.

    You proclaimed: “Any time a scientist makes a new discovery they have to have faith that their theory is correct.”

    Spoken like someone who has no concept of the scientific method or how science answers questions. Scientists, unlike religionists, readily accept that change will happen as our body of knowledge increases.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2014 2:16 p.m.

    Do you know the difference between beliefs and religion? Can a person have beliefs and not have a religion? If I believe that 1+1=2, does that make me religious? I think you are going to say yes, because you believe that a person (Agnostic) who just has questions without any answers belongs to a religion!

    Religion: 1)The service and worship of God or the supernatural 2)devotion to a religious faith 3) an organized system of faith and worship -a personal set of religious beliefs and practices - 4)Cause, principle, or belief held with faith and ardor.


    Agnosticism does not fit any of these descriptions. They are not ardorous in their ideas but simply question the beliefs of those who are ardorous (both atheists and believers).

    Scientists always want others to prove their theory again and again in case it is wrong - thus adding to knowledge. So far, the theory of gravity has not been proven wrong. So far 1+1=2. They do NOT have to have faith that their theory is correct, but are seeking more knowledge through trying new theories all the time - sometimes the exact opposite of what they were trying to prove earlier. Faith does not play a role.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 25, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    Finding Truth 101
    -----------------

    Scientific Method:

    Formulation of a question
    Hypothesis
    Prediction
    Testing
    Analysis

    Religious Method

    Formulation of a question -
    [What Church is True, The barges are Dark Inside]

    Hypothesis -
    [If I ask God, He will answer me].

    Prediction
    [I know with sufficent Faith, God will hear and answer my prayer].

    Testing
    [The burning bossom, Gift of the Holy Ghost, pay tithing, etc.]

    Analysis
    [Witness & bear Testimony that you KNOW something is true.]

    ========

    "...and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts"...

    Same thing --
    That settles it,
    God is a Scientist.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2014 3:17 p.m.

    If a woman wants to have a legal drug, it should be her decision and hers alone. Hobby Lobby should appreciate that they don't bear any personal responsibility in allowing their insurer to provide a drug to one of their employees. The employee bears entire responsibility including the wrath of God if there be such.

    Actually the Hobby Lobby position demonstrates the magical thinking which prevails in fundamentalist religion - that if one even comes in contact with a particular forbidden drug or object that person gets tainted. Hobby Lobby's position is absurd as is that of writer and the Deseret News.

  • ljeppson Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2014 3:22 p.m.

    It should be appreciated that contraceptives including those choking Hobby Lobby are prescribed for a variety of women's conditions, not just contraception. Some of these conditions are life-threatening. But if the drugs are prescribed for contraception, so what? They are legal for such purposes and Hobby Lobby's objections are the worse sort of "religious intolerance," and are part of the GOP war on women.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    March 25, 2014 3:30 p.m.

    So glad that an employer thinks they get to decide what is said and prescribed between a medical professional and an employee is any of their business.

    When you are in your next job interview, make sure to ask your employer what religion they are so you can determine whether or not you can comply their religion's medical views.

    That's what employment will come down to. Religious compatibility. Sounds American to me.

  • ljeppson Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2014 3:58 p.m.

    No one has a right to stand between a woman and her physician, no one!

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 25, 2014 5:20 p.m.

    The Supreme Court has heard the arguments. According to USA Today, "While the justices were predictably divided along ideological lines, it appeared that a majority of them did not want to force for-profit corporations to offer health plans that include birth control methods they claim cause abortions."

    Other reports claim that it appears that the court will rule 7 to 2 against the government, meaning that religious freedom is alive and well in America. Of course, the Court will not tell us their decision until June, but unless political pressure is used, Hobby Lobby will prevail.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    March 25, 2014 5:46 p.m.

    You are confusing religious tolerance with the perceived right to discriminate against others for their religious beliefs (or lack thereof). That is not the same thing.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    March 25, 2014 6:10 p.m.

    If Hobby Lobby also refused to cover Viagra, maybe I'd take them seriously.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    March 25, 2014 6:53 p.m.

    to my_two_cents_worth

    Using Reason, common sense, & understanding science; Kudos!

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    March 25, 2014 6:57 p.m.

    Did anyone else notice how the difference between how the letter started and ended? What happened in the interim; did the author go listen to A.M. talk radio for some pithy talking points?

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    March 25, 2014 7:29 p.m.

    @Airnnaut where is the word free agency found in the scriptures? How did Lucifer say he was going to save us all? Was it force or the Protestant doctrine of believe no matter what you do? Dallin H Oaks in talking about abortion rights said we must be for the right choice. Laws are here for a reason including moral laws. It was God who gave us laws. Wants us mortals to make laws of morality for the benefit of his children. Since he only gives commandments for our benefit. That is why we need to speak up for the right moral choices in the legislative body.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    March 25, 2014 7:38 p.m.

    LDS Liberal I am left speechless by your comment.

    In actual science you need actual evidence not "feelings" like a "burning in the bosom". The evidence must be empirical and I can't examine your "feelings". You may counter that I could experience my own burning but this fails as well when see that billions of people have "feelings" just as strongly about a different religion. Or those like me who sincerely asked and felt no feelings. In actual science a hypotheses gets with this vast amount of conflicting results it is rejected.

    Also in science a valid theory has to make predictions that actually come true. In religion people I know have prayed and prayed for something and it didn't happen. Instead of being told that the hypotheses has now been proven wrong they were told "well it's not was god wanted". In science you don't get that luxury, if the predictions are wrong the hypotheses is rejected.

    Using your logic it has now been scientifically proven that god doesn't exist. I'm not sure that's what you were looking for

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    March 25, 2014 7:41 p.m.

    Not to mention a scientific theory must be falsifiable. This means that now matter how well established a theory might be if new evidence comes to light that proves the theory wrong then that theory is rejected or modified according to the new evidence. In my experience no religion has as one it's founding principles the idea that it is falsifiable. In fact they are exactly the opposite, they all claim to be the one and only true church.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2014 8:30 p.m.

    Hey Mike, remember how distressed you were when the Supremes ruled against your beliefs on gay marriage? You thought that those cases were slam dunks too. Why not just wait until June and you can see what they think on this issue and then you can do a victory dance or denounce activist judges and government that doesn't agree with your reading of the Constitution.

  • Cole Thomas Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2014 9:09 p.m.

    Health insurance is part of the compensation package for employment, just like a paycheck. An employer has no more right to prevent an employee from using their insurance to cover contraception than it does to prevent the employee from spending their paycheck on alcohol and R rated films.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    March 25, 2014 9:15 p.m.

    HL is not forcing any religion on any employees. All the indignant posters are not being forced by HL. Those of us who are religious respect that you believe differently, and don't require you to believe as we do. We just ask that you, in return respect that we believe differently than you, and not expect us to change to your beliefs.

    Is that really so hard, to just respect us and let us practice our religion? You can eat, drink, and be merry, all you want, but on your own dime and your own time. You can play in the mire, but I shouldn't be required to jump in with you. You have your choice, and I have mine.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 25, 2014 9:33 p.m.

    While the world is brief, random, indifferent, and cruel, Karl Marx did a nice job of expressing the world and human reaction to it's reality.

    " Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people."

    The problem is when "the people" treat it as a reality not a consolation.

    Conservatisim and it's religious partners are dragging America into an abyss of ignorance, intolerance, and mediocrity. The American dream is being suffocated in a blanket of spiritless ignorance.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    March 25, 2014 10:28 p.m.

    @2 bits: The only people prayer at public meetings offends... is liberal leftists (not religious people, even if they aren't of the same faith).

    >>>>
    When you say "aren't of the same faith" do you mean go to different Christian denominations that teach essentially the same thing until you get into the nitty-gritty of deep doctrine?

    Or do you mean you would be comfortable in a meeting being opened by a Wiccan and closed by an Islamic prayer?

    Because if you are saying the latter, my experience is that most Christians are not that opened minded and they will claim all manner if a prayer is offered that does not close "in the name of Jesus," let alone a prayer offered by a believer of a different faith path.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2014 10:35 p.m.

    Chris 24/7: What if the employers are Muslims? We have those folks too, right? They want prayers several times a day? OK or not?? What if Fred Phelps (Westboro Baptist Church) owned Hobby Lobby and said that no one could be homosexual and work for his money making enterprise? Ok or not?

    Finally, since when does the Constitution allow religions to decide science? They say some contraceptives are ok and some are not because they are abortifacient even when the jury is not in on the issue?? The last time religion got into science, Galileo went to prison and it didn't turn out too well.

    Respect goes two ways my friend. If you expect respect, you need to be willing to give it as well.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    March 25, 2014 10:44 p.m.

    Christian 24-7:

    The fact that you consider adults being able to choose when they have children as "playing in the mire" is a huge part of why this is such a problem.

  • WestGranger West Valley City, Utah
    March 26, 2014 1:11 a.m.

    Wow, it's sadly amazing just how many people don't feel that religious freedom is important. It shouldn't matter if you are religious or not. Once we apathetically let someone else's right slip away, sooner or later it will hit home to us.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    March 26, 2014 7:57 a.m.

    Twisting/spinning words and mocking are quite the opposite of respect.

    Is that really so hard, to just respect us and let us practice our religion?

    Apparently, for many of the anti-religious, it is.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 26, 2014 8:02 a.m.

    "Wow, it's sadly amazing just how many people don't feel that religious freedom is important. It shouldn't matter if you are religious or not"

    The question here is not whether religious freedom is important or not, it's "what is religious freedom"?

    Does it mean you can force me to live by your beliefs because I'm employed by you? Does it mean any activity even if prohibited by another law is ok if linked to a religious belief. So drop the martyr complex. You are free to carry around any notion you want in your head.

    You are also "free" to associate with others who think as you do. The question today is how free are you to make me live by your beliefs when my association with you is not one of like mind but employment.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    March 26, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    to Christian 24-7

    Your combo of the persecution complex and my way or the highway mindset is not only tiresome but stunningly typical of a "true believer" regardless of sect.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    March 26, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    This controversy is not really about religious freedom. It is about finding another way to attack the Affordable Care Act. If this were a religious freedom issue there is a simple solution. Let those employees of Hobby Lobby that need contraceptive coverage pay a predetermined contraceptive premium cost for that medical service as a employee payroll deduction for health care. And, let them pay it with funds not subject to income taxes. Under this approach, the cost of contraception is born by the employee not the employer.

  • Pendergast Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    I agree with what Stormwalker said yesterday a.m.

    Further, christians aren't as tolerant as Christian 24/7 would like us to believe... Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, & the Albigensian Crusades

  • RAB Bountiful, UT
    March 26, 2014 11:21 a.m.

    It is sad that so many people are willing to abandon one right after another to the whims of the government.

    That being said however, Hobby Lobby is really in a no-win situation. The fact is, if their employees buy contraceptives, they either got it with a paycheck provided by Hobby Lobby or they got it with health care provided by Hobby Lobby. Either way, Hobby Lobby made their contraceptive purchase possible.

    The real issue is why anyone should not have to buy their own contraceptives. People are going hungry in this world and we are worried about buying everybody's contraceptives. It is insane.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    March 26, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    @ Mike in Cedar City

    "This controversy is not really about religious freedom. It is about finding another way to attack the Affordable Care Act."

    Yes, I think you're right. This is really a backdoor maneuver disguised as "religious freedom."

    @ RAB

    Re: the question of paying for one's own contraceptives, I believe the rationale is that this is a public health issue. It is in everyone's best interest to promote contraceptive use because of its many health benefits.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2014 5:07 p.m.

    "We believe in the inherent dignity of every human being — dignity that no earthly power can take away. And central to that dignity is freedom of religion — the right of every person to practice their faith how they choose … and to do this free from persecution and fear."

    David, Freedom of religion includes all of us, including gay people! When we fight for the right to marry, it is a long battle that all gay people have had to gain some dignity! It is a way of making our lives better and we should have the right to live our beliefs that we can be married and have families! Nobody is taking away your right to believe it is wrong! Go ahead and believe whatever you want, but freedom of religion does not give you the right to deny us the right to live our lives in dignity! Is that really hard to understand?

    I do not have to accept the degradation that your beliefs impose on me! Some of you have been heaping a lot of judgment on others. You are talking about dignity while you judge and put down a lot of good people around you!

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    March 26, 2014 5:19 p.m.

    @ RAB
    " The real issue is why anyone should not have to buy their own contraceptives. People are going hungry in this world and we are worried about buying everybody's contraceptives. It is insane."

    RAB how many less hungry people would be in the world if their parents would have had access to contraceptives?

    Good parents, reponsible parents are going to bring to the world only the number of children they think they can support.

    You see, different to most species. We humans don't have a season to reproduce. For us sexuality is not only for reproduction but also for pleasure and as the consummation of love.
    Therefore, we need contraceptives. Is in the best of interest of society to have healthy parents able to sustain their own families.

    Hobby Lobby and all organizations including churches (IMHO)should pay for full health coverage. The employees should have the freedom of agency to use contraceptives or not. It should be their decision not their employers.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2014 8:49 p.m.

    Mike Richards: When the government violates the Constitution by requiring us to buy insurance, why wouldn't it violate the Constitution by establishing a State religion?

    The government is not supporting a state religion, what it is doing is keeping your religion out of the state.

    The government and the supposed "liberal judges" are enforcing the Constitution. The only violation is the status quo has gotten away with not following the Constitution. That includes the insertion of religious beliefs into it denying all citizens of their constitutional liberties.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    March 27, 2014 7:13 a.m.

    This quantity of discussion genuinely confuses me. Every sentence in the article is accurate, and if there were any doubt, plenty of people here have personally andi ronically demonstrated it.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    @Ranch
    "but the FREEDOM to marry LGBT couples is ALSO a "religious freedom" and there are MANY religions that believe it is perfectly okay. Imposing your religious beliefs on others who believe differently, certainly qualifies as a violation of the religious beliefs of others."

    -------
    Nobody is trying to stop any religion from performing a gay or other marriage. That is NOT the issue. The issue is what the government recognizes, and do the people of the nation and the individual states have the right to determine which marriages the government recognizes. Any church or private entity may perform a gay marriage, even if it is not recognized by that government. Also, for example, nobody is stopping the LDS Church from performing marriage sealings to deceased people even though the government doesn't recognize them as legal marriages. Even the early Mormons who were polygamists didn't ask the government to recognize polygamous marriages - they only wanted the government to leave them alone.

    The issue isn't the right for gays to get married. The issue is government recognition of certain marriages, and the right of the people to determine what the government recognizes and how and what benefits are offered.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    March 27, 2014 11:51 a.m.

    @Utes Fan;

    Does the government recognize your marriage? Yes? Then it should recognize ours - equal protection of the laws.

    You, however, have passed laws requiring the government to refuse to recognize our marriages. That *is* forcing your religion on us.

  • Mamamama Salt lake city, UT
    March 27, 2014 5:13 p.m.

    Would Hobby Lobby provide financial assistance to the women denied birth control after these unplanned precious babies are born? I doubt it.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2014 6:27 p.m.

    @Ranch

    "You, however, have passed laws requiring the government to refuse to recognize our marriages. That *is* forcing your religion on us."
    --------

    Your argument here fails given that there are people who oppose recognition of gay marriage for non-religious reasons.

    Besides, supporting something because of my religious conscience is a perfectly legal right. Unless you believe that my right to freedom of conscience should be taken away? Then you will have to argue why a totalitarian, mind-controlling government is good for us. Good luck with that.

  • ender2155 Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 27, 2014 11:25 p.m.

    This letter had little to do with the real issues. Is Hobby Lobby being forced to provide contraceptives on company property? No, and that decision should be up to a woman (or couple's) discretion. Not all of their employees share their religious beliefs, so why should it be ok that a company gets to make decisions for all their employees? As far as same-sex marriage goes, the judicial decisions are not forcing churches to go against their beliefs and marry couples they choose not to. How is legal recognition of a civil contract an infringement on religious freedom? Gay and lesbian couples aren't breaking down the doors of churches demanding to be married; my husband and I had a small ceremony overseen by a minister of a belief that accepts our union. We didn't demand that either a catholic or Protestant church solemnize our union, and no couples here have.

  • Pendergast Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    to Utes Fan last night...

    Ranch has it right. Equal protection under the law

    Do U realize how ironic and your 2nd paragraph is?

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    March 28, 2014 9:14 a.m.

    Karen R. & Mike in Cedar City

    The Pope, Pope Francis, has spoken to President Obama about his concerns regarding freedom of religion and its violation in the ACA. Is Pope Francis just trying to repeal the ACA? Is he just trying to throw egg on Obama's face?

    Pope Francis cares nothing about parties and politics. He cares about people, and he says the ACA violates a basic right, the right to freely practice religion.

    Is Pope Francis just a petty partisan?

    Good luck selling that one!

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 11:27 a.m.

    @Pendergast

    "Ranch has it right. Equal protection under the law"
    ---------
    And yet, so many who favor gay marriage are opposed to alternative marriages such as polygamy, polyandry, etc. Yes... so-called "equal protection" that denies people the freedom of conscience to disagree (you know... just sue that photographer, baker etc!) Do you see how ironic YOUR statement is?

    No irony at all in my stand, but fact. Government recognition of marriage does not deny marriage to couples - it just says the govt. doesn't recognize. Nobody is proposing that police and swat teams show up to gay marriages - they can still take place. But the militant gay marriage lobby DOES propose that those who refuse to cater to their gay marriage be sued and FORCED by law to conform.

    Again... re-evaluate the irony of YOUR position.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    March 28, 2014 12:38 p.m.

    To "Ranch" ok, lets explore this further. If marriage is now the union of 2 people that love eachother, are you prepared to recognize all marriages?

    That means that if 1 man and 3 women wanted to be married, you will recognize it. It also means that if 2 men and 5 women wanted to be married they could be. If just 4 women thought that they wanted to be married, you would recognize that. Unless you specifically define marriage as being between 1 man and 1 woman, you open the legal door for virtually any type of union people want.

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    March 28, 2014 5:07 p.m.

    Personally, I hope that Jesus Christ comes soon and takes care of the foolish among us.

    We must soldier on until that occurs but I'm hoping that happens "sooner" rather than "later". Too many takers, not enough makers, too much selfishness and absolutely foolish choices by the majority of those in power in just about every area of American society today.

    How long, Lord, how long?....

  • Sqweebie Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2014 12:13 a.m.

    as an active LDS I have to say the employees have the right to choose whether or not they want to use birth control. Hobby Lobby isn't the place dispensing the pill but rather the pharmacist is. Let your employees follow their own concious and stop playing the bully on the playground. Some women need the pill for medical reasons besides avoiding pregnancy such as painful periods, fibroids, endometriosis to name a few. For some it could be that a form of birth control is needed as getting pregnant during an illness can be dangerous.

  • shesaidohkay Utopia, UT
    March 29, 2014 4:01 p.m.

    Isn't the best way to prevent an abortion preventing the pregnancy? I am against abortion so as a (reasonable person I hope)I am 100% for BIRTH CONTROL! Assuming these posters are adults- I would like to hear from the non-celibates who have less than 12 kids how they are managing that????

    PS- someone else posted the fact that birth control can be purchased over the counter- true but not effective control. The most effective over the counter requires the participation of the man involved.... If men became pregnant this whole conversation would change dramatically.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    March 29, 2014 8:05 p.m.

    @Utes Fan: Government recognition of marriage does not deny marriage to couples - it just says the govt. doesn't recognize.

    That is the point. I don't care if your church recognizes my marriage to my husband. I do care about the IRS recognizing it, and the Ohio Department of Revenue, as well as local hospitals and other health providers. I care about inheritance and joint property we are building together. I care about some 1,400 hundred laws and rules that govern and protect relationships that have nothing to do with your church or religious beliefs.

    In fact, religious recognition is so low on the list it does not appear on the list. Personally, I think this discussion would be so much easier if we did as other countries and separated "marriage," performed by a clerk or magistrate at a court house, from any religious ceremony done in a house of worship.

    The former is important for my relationship, the latter is not needed or wanted.