Things that Aren’t Religious Freedom

The right to be liked.
The right to be respected.
The right to be thought well of.
The right to be listened to.
The right to be heard.
The right to be agreed with.
The right not to be seen as weird.
The right not to be seen as discriminatory.
The right not to be seen as hateful.
The right not to be protested against.
The right to do and say unpopular things and be popular anyway.
The right to insult people and not hurt their feelings.
The right to exclude and not be considered exclusionary.
The right to hurt and not be seen as hurtful.
The right to tell people they are not wanted and wonder why they leave.
The right to avoid answering difficult questions.
The right to eat cake and not gain weight.
The right to speed to church and not get a ticket.
The right to drive around with bumper stickers and not get honked at.
The right to blow things up and not get burned.


  1. Apropos of nothing, Mike? 😉

  2. OId Man says:

    Things that are not LGBTQ Rights:
    The right to be liked.
    The right to be respected.
    The right to be thought well of.
    The right to be listened to.
    The right to be heard.
    The right to be agreed with.
    The right not to be seen as weird….

    I hope we all get it. The sword cuts both ways. Civility and negotiation is what produces workable long-term solutions. That is what the Church is calling for.

  3. Cynthia L. says:

    I think the folks in the church hierarchy who release statements like today’s statement see it as their job to vigorously advocate for their own narrow interests, and that’s “fair” in that it’s the of other groups to vigorously advocate for their narrow interests; and then we see who emerges from the battledome of the public square victorious.

    But they seem to have entirely, ENTIRELY lost sight of the fact that when we take the name of Christ upon us, it is our job to vigorously advocate for the most vulnerable, not trample over them in a stampede to preserve this or that little tax break or whatever. “Charity seeketh not her own” and all that….

  4. Kristine says:

    Thing is, Old Man, the LGBTQ+ community is not asking for any of those things.

  5. James Stone says:

    The lack of self-awareness in this post is amazing.

  6. Context?

  7. Thank you for this post, Michael.

  8. Mark Brown says:

    I know at least a dozen people whose sincerely held religious views insist upon racial discrimination. Does the first amendment and a commitment to religious freedom require that I respect their views and not think of them as them bigots? Am I being disrespectful of religious freedom if I work vigorously to thwart their goals by any legal means?

  9. JLM, it’s about the church releasing a statement today opposing the LGBT non-discrimination act (“Equality Act”) currently before Congress.

    The church supported a state-level non-discrimination act that explicitly protect church-owned enterprises, so that (e.g.) church businesses and church housing (think BYU apartments) could continue to discriminate against LGBT applicants.

    Now the church is opposing this national non-discrimination law since it doesn’t include the same exceptions. From today’s statement: “This includes the right of religious organizations and religious schools to establish faith-based employment and admissions standards and to preserve the religious nature of their activities and properties”

    I don’t have any inside access to deliberations in the church office building, but if that’s truly the basis of opposition to this law, this post seems like a non-sequitur.

  10. Aaron Brown says:

    How so, James Stone?

  11. Aaron Brown says:

    How so, James?

  12. Did the Church forget that the 1st Amendment exists or something? Aren’t the exceptions the Church is worried about already well-established in American jurisprudence?

  13. Exactly so, L-dG. *Actual* religious freedom is well protected by the constitution’s 1st Am and not in danger. The only thing at risk by changes in laws and prevailing culture are the kinds of things included in what seems to be the church’s fantasy definition of the word “religious freedom,” which are things like what’s in Mike’s post.

  14. Just trying to understand the law here. Would the church then not be allowed to not hire people that are not living church standards? As it is now, do you need to be a member in good standing to work at COB?

  15. Michael, this feels a little bit quick on the trigger. The battle ground for many “religious freedom” issues is schools. Not central religious practices, but church sponsored schools. So how about the right to kick someone out of school or refuse admittance because they are in a disfavored class? Or the right to fire a teacher because he gets married in a not approved way? Or the right to make your own academic standard or honor code rules and not have to explain or justify them? Or to teach the Proclamation on the Family in a way the reinforces gender and sexual orientation stereotypes? These are the kinds of things at stake, or that people worry are at stake, and they come very close to “not religious freedom” items on your list.

    I would draw the “church” line at a different place and exclude church-sponsored schools completely from the religious freedom discussion. But so long as we include schools I think we have to take these topics seriously.

    In other words, I can read the Church’s statement today as “leave us alone in how we run BYU” and when I read it that way the Church has a stake in the debate. It doesn’t matter that I’m nearly 100% on the other side of the issue. The Church belongs in the discussion.

  16. Gilgamesh says:

    In response to Cynthia L “Exactly so, L-dG. *Actual* religious freedom is well protected by the constitution’s 1st Am and not in danger.”

    LDS Church History shows that is not the case. The Edmunds-Tucker Act did, in fact, strip members of the church of their first amendment rights and proves that the constitution can be interpreted by the prevailing culture. Many Muslims would not have the same trust you have in the 1st Amendment, especially post 9/11. Human rights and religious rights unfortunately are fluid and tied to current political climate.

  17. Landon C. says:

    This article explains everything you need to know. Protect the children.

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