Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Religious Freedom?

This last weekend was General Conference for the Mormon faith. Every 6 months the prophet, apostles, and other major leaders in the faith speak directly to the members of the 15 million member religion. While I don't care what they believe in, because they have that right, I get upset that they try to control politically what they can.

They act as if anyone saying what they say is wrong is taking away their religious freedom, but is that what is really happening?

Let's start out by looking at the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

No one is telling them how and what they can worship. No one is going into their church houses and temples and taking them over, but living here in Utah you would think they are doing that to anyone that does not believe as they do.

Again they came out against SSM, big surprise there. Was anyone shocked? Even a little? While at the same time they claim they are not persuading the congress here to do as they say, but only as they see fit for the people in the state. While most of the people in the political offices in Utah are Mormon why would they feel the need to do differently than what their leaders tell them? I have rarely seen a Mormon politician vote for something contrary to their religion, even though they are elected to represent ALL citizens.

The leaders of the Mormon/LDS faith fought long and hard in the back rooms over Prop 8 yet claim they had no direct hand in it. They asked members to donate money and volunteer all they could to make sure the side they wanted to win won. Now if that is not an indication of anything why would they not be doing the same thing for what is happening in Utah now? Even though the public is split 50/50 for legalizing SSM.

Not only are they fighting SSM, but they also fought to make sure our liquor laws didn't change here in Utah. Elder D. Todd Christofferson from The Quorum of the 12 Apostles urged law makers to not change the laws. He said what we have now works so why change it? Which when you really look at the numbers he presented were completely skewed and taken out of context. They even made one of those fancy YouTube videos with the white-board drawings.

So why, with a faith that claims agency is the greatest gift of god, which I have written about previously, fights to make sure things go the way they want when their doctrine is the opposite?

Taken directly from their scripture: D&C 134: We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.

While their scripture says otherwise they are hiding behind the First Amendment when anyone speaks against them. There were a few sermons given during General Conference that leaders came out and said they are being attacked and the wicked are fighting their religion. Some have even said before their rights are being taken away.

I ask again, what religious rights are being taken away? If you want to be taken seriously people are going to contradict you. It's how the world works. The day your real religious rights are being taken away I will be by your side protesting. So why not live and let live.

You do preach the gospel of agency and love. Being able to be with that one person you love is what it all boils down to, isn't it?

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