Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Dallin Oaks Speaks Out on Freedom For/From Religion

Dallin Oaks, a Mormon Apostle, spoke in Sacramento recently to judges and clergy about the fine line between civics and religion.

Oaks conceded that there must be a balance between religious freedom and civil liberties laws. There should be no "all or nothing", there should be no "us and them", and there should be no adversaries. Laws, he said, should reflect improvements and protections for both sides with opposing beliefs.

However, the apostle also said that elected officials should not insert personal beliefs to affect their decision making in their jobs. Giving the example of Kim Davis, the Kansas clerk that refused to issue same-sex licenses based on her beliefs, Oaks outlined that once the law is handed down from the highest officials, it is not appropriate to disobey. On the flip side, he criticized Obama and his Attorney General for not standing up for DOMA, based on personal secular beliefs against it.

Oaks mentioned that the decision handed down by SCOTUS legalizing same-sex marriage did not take extreme views and outlines that the First Amendment rights of religious people are still protected to declare their beliefs against the practice. So long as they do not prevent others who wish to have it.

The apostle says religious people are important to contribute to laws that will help government, civil law, and citizens flourish. He condemned the violations of free speech for religions, and asked anti-religious people to respect and honor a religious citizen's place in society.

The conflict between those who feel oppressed by religious intolerance, and those who feel their religious influence is being limited by government intervention has been the highlight of political topic as of late. Very controversial ideas: same-sex marriage, same-sex adoption, and abortion, have been given legal status, enraging conservatives that believe their principles should be enforced on all people.

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