LDS apostle says religious freedom is under attack (link
And damnit, Pharyngula
, aka PZ Meyers, beat me to this, but I'm doing my rant without reading his...should be interesting to compare afterward.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke out in a spew of logical fallacies about the problems the Christian churches are facing for trampling other people's rights. One of the items at the center of the brain vomit is anger over Proposition 8 in California. Another one is the evils of atheism.
Let's go for a ride! I'd like to say I am in no way ensuring the continued functionality of anyone's irony-meters from here on out.
The following excerpts are from the speech
found in a link in the article.
In this time of the Internet, what we say in one place is instantly put before a wider audience, including many to whom we do not intend to speak. That complicates my task, so I ask your understanding as I speak to a very diverse audience.
Huh, so if we were just speaking to believers he could just say whatever sh*t he wants. Well, fail point 1 for thinking no one would catch that obvious admittance.
In 1833, when almost all people in the world were still ruled by kings or tyrants, few could see how the infant United States Constitution could be divinely designed “for the rights and protection of all flesh.”
Except, you know, people living in the USA and the people that designed the nation to do just that. Of the citizens living in the USA, of course, were the founders of his
tax write off
Truly, this nation’s most important export is its constitution, whose great principles stand as a model “for the rights and protection of all flesh.”
I couldn't agree more.
On the vital human right of religious freedom, however, many constitutions fall short of the protections that are needed, so we are grateful that the United States government seeks to encourage religious freedom all over the world.[ii]
Wow, look at that! He loves the separation of church and state and our secular republic! What's that? You think he's using this as a lead-in to bullsh*t? Well, we'll just have to keep going.
Along with many other religious people, we affirm that God is the ultimate source of power...sovereign power does not come from the divine right of a king...
Wait, how does that work? If the king has divine power, then it comes from God, the ULTIMATE source. How could you possibly reject that and not be a hypocritical bastard?
This principle of sovereignty in the people explains the meaning of God’s revelation that He established the Constitution of the United States “that every man may act . . . according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:78)
Oh, we are so keeping that Covenant verse in mind for later!
In other words, the most desirable condition for the effective exercise of God-given moral agency is a condition of maximum freedom and responsibility — the opposite of slavery or political oppression. With freedom we can be accountable for our own actions and cannot blame our conditions on our bondage to another.
You'll want to keep this in mind too.
But in a nation with citizens of many different religious beliefs, the right of some to act upon their religious principles must be qualified by the government’s responsibility to protect the health and safety of all. Otherwise, for example, the government could not protect its citizens’ person or property from neighbors whose intentions include taking human life or stealing in circumstances rationalized on the basis of their religious beliefs.
You know, like one group taking away marriage rights of another. Er, wait...
Here are just a few examples of current controversial public issues that involve this conflict: laws governing marriage and adoption; laws regulating the activities of church-related organizations like BYU-Idaho in furtherance of their religious missions — activities such as who they will serve or employ; and laws prohibiting discrimination in employment or work conditions against persons with unpopular religious beliefs or practices.
Aw, they are sad they don't get to discriminate based on religious beliefs...BYU-Idaho must take public funds then, otherwise they could discriminate all they want. If they do discriminate, then what are the complaining about? Oh, that's right, people are criticizing them for it! That darn First Amendment must be a one-way street...
Surely the First Amendment guarantee of free exercise of religion was intended to grant more freedom to religious action than to other kinds of action. Treating actions based on religious belief the same as actions based on other systems of belief should not be enough to satisfy the special place of religion in the United States Constitution.
What? Seriously? Maybe we have different first amendments...
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...
Well, if the government can't make laws respecting religion, then how is that giving it special rights? Me thinks he hasn't read the Constitution.
Among the most threatening collisions in the United States today are (1) the rising strength of those who seek to silence religious voices in public debates, and (2) perceived conflicts between religious freedom and the popular appeal of newly alleged civil rights.
Well, as for point (1), I only know of other religions trying to do that. And as for (2), damn straight there is a conflict between my and my friends' civil rights and the religious actions taken by many others.
Atheism has always been hostile to religion, such as in its arguments that freedom of or for religion should include freedom from religion.
Wow, yes atheism is hostile because it argues it should be allowed to exist. Shame on you all for being so hostile by not dying!
And atheism’s spokesmen are aggressive, as recent publications show.
I've never heard of this book, and nearly all the arguments put forward by it are fallacious. Is this a brilliant strawman or what?
Such forces — atheists and others — would intimidate persons with religious-based points of view from influencing or making the laws of their state or nation...For three decades people of faith have watched a systematic and very effective effort waged in the courts and the media to drive them from the public square and to delegitimize their participation in politics as somehow threatening.
Ah, yes, intimidation by enforcement of the law. How diabolical! By making sure the First amendment he loves so much is upheld, we are attacking religion! Bwahahaha!
For example, a prominent gay-rights spokesman gave this explanation for his objection to our Church’s position on California’s Proposition 8:
“I’m not intending it to harm the religion. I think they do wonderful things. Nicest people. . . . My single goal is to get them out of the same-sex marriage business and back to helping hurricane victims.”[xii]
Aside from the obvious fact that this objection would deny free speech as well as religious freedom to members of our Church and its coalition partners, there are other reasons why the public square must be open to religious ideas and religious persons. As Richard John Neuhaus said many years ago, “In a democracy that is free and robust, an opinion is no more disqualified for being ‘religious’ than for being atheistic, or psychoanalytic, or Marxist, or just plain dumb.”[xiii]
Did you follow that? By someone speaking out against their stance, their freedom of religious expression is denied. So, not making a church or its members do something is denying them their free speech and free religion, but not letting gays marry is not denying their freedom of expression and pursuit of happiness? Wow.
I want to go on with this speech, but I think I may vomit if I do. The rest rails against gay marriage as a threat to "traditional Judeo-Christian" marriage that has been in place for thousands of years (obvious bullsh*t, open the Bible or a history book.) Additionally, he argues that Prop 8 had nothing to do with civil rights. Apparently the equal protection amendment was not handed down by the sky daddy.
Oh, and he ends with
First, we must speak with love, always showing patience, understanding and compassion toward our adversaries.
Yeah, just chew on it.