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In our opinion: Federal contracting executive order needs provisions protecting religious freedom

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  • Bob K Davis, CA
    July 31, 2014 2:47 a.m.

    A-- the President only had to issue the order after giving up on Congress to pass a fair piece of legislation.

    B-- this quote from a GW Bush order, by the DN is heinous " faith-based contractors may restrict hiring to members of their own faith."
    ---Taxpayer money should never go to groups that only hire their own faith.

    C-- what is the DN doing by printing a ridiculous fear-based, gay-baiting quote: “The problem with their executive order is that it paves the way for the next one, which could withhold the tax-exempt status or broadcast status or broadcast licenses for the religious organizations holding biblical believes with which the administration disagrees.”

    Do you really have such animus toward President Obama that you believe he would withhold broadcast licences for religious groups, no matter how nutty and far out they are?

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    July 31, 2014 5:01 a.m.

    "Pastor Robert Jeffress of Dallas’ First Baptist Church told Fox News his fears of where lies the next battlefield: “The problem with their executive order is that it paves the way for the next one, which could withhold the tax-exempt status or broadcast status or broadcast licenses for the religious organizations holding biblical believes with which the administration disagrees.”

    Ah, the slippery slope again. No matter that this nonsense has been going around the internet for at least twelve years so far, with dire warnings about the end of the republic. It's still being used to rally the masses whose attention span is as long as the sound bite.

    And did he really say "believes", not "beliefs"?

    The Deseret News operates in the bubble that is Utah. You have forgotten that many of the evangelical Christians in this country loathe Mormons and will not hire them if they have a legal right to not do so.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    July 31, 2014 7:16 a.m.

    Malarkey. Baloney. Nonsense.

    Discrimination is wrong, no matter what cloth your wrap it in.

    If the fundamentalists are so set on ridding themselves of the burden of dealing with "sinners" on the payroll of a government contract, then why don't they start with those who violate one of the Ten Commandments. Do you really think that is going to happen? No (you know the bad word) way.

    Fundamentalists want only one thing. The power to demand that the majority of us accept their "values" and put them into law. That works out real well in Iran doesn't it (sarcasm intended).

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 31, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    Who would your god discriminate against?

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    July 31, 2014 7:57 a.m.

    Why should "faith-based" entities get a loophole to be able to discriminate against LGBT citizens protected by the order, but you're not advocating that anybody else get a loophole to be able to discriminate on the basis of religion which is also protected in the order?

    Why? Because you're hypocrites.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    July 31, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    This is troubling. Running a business is not a religious activity. Employers should not impose their religious beliefs on people they hire. Your position is about the imposition of religious beliefs of the people in power over the people with little or no power. This isn't religious freedom at all. I wonder if you would change your tune if you were in the minority.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    July 31, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    Religous discrimination is discrimination. A strong, American leader would always take a stand against discrimination no matter how one tries to disguise it.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 31, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    Religion is blatantly standing before us and saying it wants to discriminate. The president, and the government, are right to oppose this.

  • OneWifeOnly San Diego, CA
    July 31, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    I wish the article had provided a real example. I'm confused about what types of jobs this actually affects. A quote from the article: “With a recent executive order, President Obama prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in the hiring of those working under federal contract without clearly including protections for the free exercise of religion.”

    What does religion have to do with government contracts? What is a faith-based government contractor do? Why does our government need to hire religious contractors? What type of job exists that is a federal contract and which also requires a specific religion—and which religion?

    I’m not being snarky…I really can not get my brain around this problem. Perhaps someone can clarify.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    July 31, 2014 9:29 a.m.

    @FT 8:09 a.m. July 31, 2014

    Religous discrimination is discrimination. A strong, American leader would always take a stand against discrimination no matter how one tries to disguise it.

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

    Since it is the religions that are trying to claim the right to discriminate, even when they take federal funds (part of which being contributed by the people against whom they wish to discriminate) it is entirely proper that there is no "religious exception" in the ban on distrimination included in this executive order.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 31, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    The President has no authority to legislate. Article 1, Section 1: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."

    It's time that the Court sent Obama the message that he needs to hear. He is not a king. He cannot dictate policy or legislate anything. He job is to enforce laws passed by Congress.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    July 31, 2014 9:37 a.m.

    It's real simple DNews. If faith-based entities desire to dine at Caesar's table and on Caesar's dime they must do do so under Caesar's rules. Jesus was pretty clear about that.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    July 31, 2014 9:41 a.m.

    FT

    You are right. Religious discrimination is still discrimination.

    So why do conservative religionists attempt to codify into law their prejudices? Many mainstream religions accept women as leaders, gay marriage and a host of other hot button issues. Yet the fundamentalist crowd insist that these "liberal" religions have to follow their rules and enshrine discrimination into the law.

    You can not have your cake and eat it too

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    July 31, 2014 9:57 a.m.

    @Mike Richards,

    Issuing orders to the federal agencies over which he is the CEO is not legislating, it is directing and he has constitutional authority to do so (Article 2, Section 1, clause 1).

    I must note, however, how strangely silent the religious right was when George W. Bush was issuing his 291 executive orders and his 700+ signing statements.

  • Understands Math Lacey, WA
    July 31, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    The Deseret News is actually quoting Robert Jeffress? Seriously? I'm thinking that whoever wrote this piece didn't run that particular name by the DN Religion Editor.

    The DN quoting Robert Jeffress is like Ebony magazine quoting David Duke. Laughing in disbelief here.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    July 31, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    @ Mike: Executive orders are issued by the President to give instruction to departments which are part of the executive branch, and therefore under his purview as the head of the executive branch per the Constitution, or when Congress has delegated legislative power to the executive branch.

    George Washington issued 8 executive orders, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued 3,522, Ronald Reagan issued 381, George W. Bush issued 291, and Barack Obama has issued 183 as of 7/20/2014.

    The Constitutionality of specific executive orders can be (and have been) challenged in Court. It is possible this one will also be challenged - not on the grounds that Ovama did not have authority to issue it, but on the grounds that it violates RFRA.

  • chiksika Hyrum, UT
    July 31, 2014 10:58 a.m.

    The feds should get out of the construction business. Then we'd only need to be concerned with corruption in state capitols.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 31, 2014 11:53 a.m.

    I guess I'm not getting all this restrictions on Freedom of Religion stuff. I worship when I want and where I want. I don't feel any pressure by the government to be of any religion, go to church, not go to church etc. I pray in my own home anytime I want. I associate with other members of my own faith in public whenever I want. Not getting the paranoia...

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 31, 2014 2:44 p.m.

    Have we become a nation of illiterates who can no longer read and understand English?

    Obama ADDED legislation. He decided that he would determine who could receive business from the Federal Government. That authority resides in Congress, not in the executive branch. The President cannot legislate. He can only enforce laws passed by Congress. Any 1st year lawyer could explain that to you. Any judge could clearly see that Obama wrote legislation. He does not have that authority.

    If Congress restricted government contracts to only those approved by Obama, Congress would have clearly stated that fact. Congress did not legislate any law requiring anything about "sexual discrimination". Obama legislated. Period.

  • Bendana 99352, WA
    July 31, 2014 3:33 p.m.

    “That is a mainstream view, that Mormonism is a cult,” Jeffress told reporters here. “Every true, born again follower of Christ ought to embrace a Christian over a non-Christian.”

    Seriously? The DN thinks anything this man has to say is worth quoting and repeating in their editorials?

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 31, 2014 4:11 p.m.

    @ Mike: From the article, "The order amends a 1965 order by President Lyndon Johnson prohibiting some forms of discrimination by federal contractors."

    I suggest you read the Administrative Procedures Act of 1946.

    Congress delegated some power to the executive office, including setting rules for federal contracts, and this falls within that.

    You should also read United States Code Titles 10, 31, 40, and 41. The Code of Federal Regulations is also extremely helpful.

    If Obama's order is illegal, so is the original 1965 order and the 2002 order signed by Bush allowing faith-based contractors to restrict hiring to members of their own faith.

    This executive order is not being challenged as unconstitutional because it was issued - it is being challenged as not providing enough leeway for religious entities to restrict hiring practices. Your arguments are red-herrings.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    July 31, 2014 4:31 p.m.

    The GOP has been taken over not by conservatives but by fascists who are using religion to promote their agenda. Our economic decline over the past few decades has given them new converts and a surge in money.

    They do not compromise.
    They do not negotiate.
    They do not want democracy or free thinkers.

    They merely dictate and others follow.

    That is what's happening here. From the war in Iraq to "christianize" Iraq, to gay marriage bans, to teaching creationism instead of evolution, or to allow corporations to dictate to women their religious beliefs.

    It's scary, because this is not at all what free thinking democracies are all about.

    Those like Mikey Richards may celebrate and cheer lead rulings like Hobby Lobby today. But what about tomorrow? Will he celebrate another fascist ruling that takes away his freedom? Will women offer him the same "condolences" that he has given to them?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 31, 2014 5:09 p.m.

    Kalindra,

    With all due respect, the Constitution is still the Supreme Law of the Land. There is no amendment that allows the Executive Branch to legislate. Congress is the ONLY branch of government that has authority to legislate. An Executive order, in this case, is legislation. It ADDS to the law. That is legislation. Obama has added to and taken away from the law, at his discretion, anything that he has wanted.

    He failed to implement ObamaCare, even though that was his signature "legislation". Even though more than 50% of the people have always be against ObamaCare, neither he nor the Democrats in Congress have paid any attention to the people. They ramrodded that bill through Congress, he signed it and then he refused to implement those provisions which would defeat any Democrat running for office this year.

    You may think that the President can write legislation, but the Supreme Law of the Land says otherwise. "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 31, 2014 6:17 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards: If Congress passes legislation allowing the Executive Branch to do something, then it becomes Constitutional for the Executive Branch to do that.

    Every President since George Washington has issued executive orders and many Presidents have used those executive orders to do the exact same thing Obama has done - and this has been upheld by the Supreme Court as Constitutional.

    It really is very simple - even if you don't like it.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 31, 2014 7:55 p.m.

    The federal government should not be used to give special religious consideration for church owned businesses. Religion should stand or fall on its own merit. If religions choose to own and operate businesses, that's OK, but they should accept and abide all laws that pertain to business.

  • skrekk Dane, WI
    July 31, 2014 10:24 p.m.

    @Understands Math "The DN quoting Robert Jeffress is like Ebony magazine quoting David Duke."

    Funny you should mention that, given that it's only recently that the views about Ebony magazine held by the DN and Southern Baptists like Robert Jeffress have differed much from those held by David Duke.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    July 31, 2014 10:44 p.m.

    [third try]

    @The Real Maverick

    Actually it is facism that taken over the left, libewral facism.

    They are the ones wanting to dictate to everyone and every business, to control all from a central federal authority.

    Take away religious freedoms and rights from those who oppose and do want to ascribed to leftist doctrines.

    It is the right that is crying out wanting to exercise their freedoms and rights, and their conscience.

    It is Obama and his minions, others of the far left doing the dictating. from school bake sales, and school lunches, to dictating what light bulb you can use what energy source you must use, forcing leftist propaganda to be taught in local schools, to dictating to bakers and enslaving them to gays wishes, to dictating how the religious must act in the public square.

    It is not facism on the right to speak out and help make laws by constitutional means.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    July 31, 2014 10:46 p.m.

    @The Real Maverick

    Actually it is facism that taken over the left, liberal/progressive facism.

    They are the ones wanting to dictate to everyone and every business, to control all from a central federal authority.

    Take away religious freedoms and rights from those who oppose and do not want to ascribed to leftist doctrines.

    It is the right that is crying out wanting to exercise their freedoms and rights, and their conscience.

    It is Obama and his minions, others of the far left doing the dictating. from school bake sales, and school lunches, to dictating what light bulb you can use what energy source you must use, forcing leftist propaganda to be taught in local schools, to dictating to bakers and enslaving them to gays wishes, to dictating how the religious must act in the public square.

    It is not facism on the right to speak out and help make laws by constitutional means.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Aug. 1, 2014 6:36 a.m.

    So, in summary, the DN is joining with the far right religions in saying "We want those federal contracts to pay for our expenses when we do this charity (!) work. But we want these workers to be gay and / or heathen-free".

    Well, that's what Jesus would say, wouldn't he?

    I wonder how they plan to treat hurricane victims who are gay. Will they give them food, shelter, money? Or will they "politely decline" and refer them to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee workers, who are two states away?

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Aug. 1, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    I'm afraid you're conflating "protection" with "the right to discriminate."

    Everyone is already protected in their right to believe, to hold a religion, to belong to a congregation, to worship. No one is jailed for apostasy in America, or heresy, or sacrilege. No one's religious texts, instruments, or icons are seized and destroyed by the government, as the Lapps' were in Sweden. No one is hung for proselytizing their faith, as Quakers were in colonial Massachusetts.

    Religious rights are already protected in the United States. Fully. For everyone.

    However, this doesn't give anyone a right to discriminate in civil life on religious grounds against anyone else. Quite the contrary. They have rights, too.

    If you don't understand the line between religion and civil society, you need to move to a country where they're one and the same. Unfortunately, in none of those countries would you, as a Mormon, or a Quaker, have any religious rights.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    Laura Bilington

    Here is something to consider. If someone did not want to hire me because I was a Mormon, I would not want to work for them anyway. And I'd rather they be free from any legal prosecution to express that attitude. And, I'd want to know that my employer did not like me because of my religion. Or sexual orientation for that matter. The last situation I'd want to be in is getting hired for a job by someone who secretly hates me because of religion, sexual preference, (whatever) because the law forces them to do so. Imagine how bad having a job like that would be for someone who does not even understand why it is bad. And that the people they work for secretly dispise them for some inane reason. I'm for more information from people and how they think, not less because the threat of the law makes people hide their predjudices. Better to let people like that expose themselves, which ultimately will happen, and let others deal with them (or not) accordingly.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Aug. 1, 2014 12:24 p.m.

    @the Truth,

    Um, fascism is a right-wing ideology that promotes a strong (read: dictatorial) central government that promotes nation and/or race over the individual. In a fascist society the central government would promote a "love your country or leave" mentality and mandate a tightly controlled social regimentation that would define marriage law so that the mixing of races would not be allowed and would probably frown on same sex marriage. The last, powerful, fascist regime, in order to protect their racial, sexual, and religious ideals, went so far as to send "inferior races," homosexuals, and those with questionable religious ideas to concentration camps. That regime, BTW, was placed in power by the majority and in compliance with the laws in place at the time.

    Communism and socialism are left-wing ideologies that promote a central government that owns and manages means of production, transportation, and property then allocates resources out to the members of society based on needs.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Aug. 1, 2014 12:40 p.m.

    happy2bhere, I somehow doubt that you'd be happy to give up a chance for a great job with a solid company because the current hiring manager (who you're not likely to be dealing with, anyway, once you're on the job) doesn't like Mormons. Most supervisors who don't like Mormons (or women or blacks or whatever) are not shy about their prejudices to people they consider "safe". If you were hired you on because your supervisor felt forced to take you, it's highly unlikely that no one would tip you off as to why he acted rudely toward you.

    Does this mean that the KKK would be forced to hire an otherwise qualified Jew? Yes. Would a Jew even apply there? Probably not.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Aug. 1, 2014 1:59 p.m.

    @happy2bhere

    " If someone did not want to hire me because I was a Mormon..."

    They would very likely be in violation of title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964--some exceptions apply--thereby subject to Federal Prosecution.

  • the greater truth Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 5:32 p.m.

    @my_two_cents_worth

    You obviously know nothing but what leftist elites and other leftist mouthpieces have taught you to believe about fascism.

    fascism is neither left or right and has noting to do with race.

    Hence any ideology can become fascist, and can exercise fascistic control.

    We here often see the left mandating and trying to mandate their socialistic, progressive and leftist views, and want everyone and every business to abide by their views, r be punished or deprived o frights.

    To try and pretend the left can't be or isn't fascistic is just silly and absurd.

    You must remember the there is no right in Europe that is equivalent to the right in america.

    Consequently it is wrong to make that assertion.

    The right in europe would be more closely align to the mid left. the socialistic left here, with communism the true left in Europe and the far left here,

    Our more center left or moderate left would be even more right than the European so-called right!

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    Aug. 1, 2014 8:38 p.m.

    the truth

    Nobody advocates that you should accept homosexuals into your religion. However, they ask that you operate in a society that says you may not use your religion to discriminate.

    I don't really know what your don't understand about this. No one is telling you it is illegal to believe what you will.

    I am sorry you find this offensive, but that is the price we pay to live in a free society.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    @my_two_cents_worth, Maudine, Kalindra

    Your analysis and discussion of the Constitution is entirely correct. That comes from the perspective of someone who actually studied the constitution, both its breadth and depth and not just the words on the surface, with competent professors, obtained a law degree and has been guided professionally by the Constitution for the last 27 years (I'm a lawyer). There are some here who think that just because they've read the Constitution, the know what it says and means. They prove themselves wrong every time they post about it. You, on the other hand, appear to get it right every time you post. Good job.

  • Demiurge San Diego, CA
    Aug. 2, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    I'm shaking my head in dismay at this editorial. That someone thinks they have a right to government contracts paid for by taxes and then can turn around and discriminate against others with those dollars is ludicrous. The only thing that would wake up this editorial board might be someone deciding that the Mormons are definitely against their religion and can't be hired or served.

  • the greater truth Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 2:24 p.m.

    @ordinaryfolks

    So you think you should be able to dictate how others must live thier religion publically?

    How is that separation?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 6:38 a.m.

    @the greater truth;

    So you think that someone should be able to discriminate against other citizens in the public square, whenever, whyever, however?

    How is that religious?

  • Lyn52 Saint George, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 7:50 a.m.

    People need to remember we are not a Christian nation. People have religious liberty, the right to believe as they choose.