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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Mormons vs. anti-gay religionists' defense of 'religious liberty'

LDS Mormons are commendably treating others as they wish to be treated -- for example, in reference to the recent case of county clerks refusing to issue marriages licenses to same-sex couples to defend their "religious liberty," a Mormon leader, and former U.S. Supreme Court clerk, made a very interesting proclamation:

". . .Mormon leader Dallin H. Oaks declared. . . religionists should not seek a veto over all non-discrimination laws that offend their religion, and the proponents of non-discrimination should not seek a veto over all assertions of religious freedom. . . . The Mormons chose Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that guides The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to give the speech . . . a former Utah Supreme Court judge who also once served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren on the U.S. Supreme Court, church officials said. . . The "fairness for all" approach now advocated by the Mormons is essential to protecting religious liberties in an open society where different religions co-exist, Oaks asserted. This question isn't academic, but personal, he added: His great-grandfather served time in a territorial prison for breaking a federal law intended to punish him for his religious beliefs, and his wife's great-great-grandfather was murdered by an anti-Mormon mob." (Quoted from Brady McCombs, Associated Press, "Mormon leader: Avoid 'culture war' on gays," Gazette-Times, Oct. 21, 2015, p. B9)

The words used by the Mormon leader Dallin H. Oaks, religionism and religionists, defined as those who follow a religion with piety and excessive religious ardor or zeal, are very apt words for describeing the county clerks who refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses based on their religious beliefs. I had never heard either of these two words before reading the Mormon's statement above, but I quickly found out that both words had been around forever and I would like to research their deeper meaning in the future. For example, I learned that the common Republican slur of Democrats being "socialists" is countered by Democrats smearing Republicans as being fascists, defined as somebody holding extreme right-wing views, similar to the "Fascism" seen during the rise of Hitler's Nazi Party in Germany, which eerily supported conservative values nearly identical to those held by Christian Republicans in the U.S. Unfortunately, after World War II the word "fascism" has been redefined by most dictionaries to be a dictator like Hitler, but this is not the historical meaning or complete etymology of the word.

In related news, the Mormon's LDS Church decided to continue supporting Mormon Boy Scouts, despite the Church's earlier discord over the acceptance of gay Boy Scout leaders. Corvallis has a large Mormon population and the stereotypical Mormon Boy Scouts have always had a large presence in local charity drives.

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