218

Is the Church gearing up for a long culture war?

LDS Church Apostle Dallin Oaks’ speech last week at BYU/Idaho was the strongest statement the church has made on a political issue since its stand against the Equal Rights Amendment. It seems to me that the LDS Church sees a long culture war developing over issues such as gay marriage and wants to make sure the world — as well as church members — are aware that its position on values issues will not change.

We editorialized about the speech on Tuesday.

In the editorial we noted that Oaks urged members of the church to be respectful when defending church teachings or debating topics such as gay marriage. But he also said this in regards to atheism: “Atheism has always been hostile to religion, such as in its arguments that freedom of or for religion should include freedom from religion. Atheism’s threat rises as its proponents grow in numbers and aggressiveness.”

Clearly Oaks sees so-called militant atheism as a catalyst for secular efforts to delegitimize religious arguments from public policy debates.

He worries that religious freedom of speech, guaranteed by the First Amendment, is under attack. I think that is the crux of Oaks’ concern, more than just a rehashing of the church’s position against gay marriage and subsequent harassment. Oaks, and by extension the LDS Church, are worried that faith, as an argument, will be deconstructed out of the Constitution in years ahead. That will lead, as mentioned, to religious arguments being derided or disqualified from public debate.

Read the rest of this story at standard.net
Comments and feedback can be sent to feedback@ldsliving.com