Constitutional Rights Foundation
THE FOUNDATION FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS Winter 2000 saw the implementation of the Bill of Rights (17:1) Tolerance for Different Religious Beliefs BRIA 17:1 Home|Should Students Have the Right to Lead Prayers at Public School Events?|The Persecution of the Mormons|Luther Sparks the Protestant Reformation|The Persecution of the Mormons|Luther Sparks the Protestant Reformation A great amount of persecution was experienced by the newly founded Mormon faith throughout the nineteenth century.
A vision of God and Jesus, which Smith subsequently characterized as a vision of God and Jesus, appeared to Joseph Smith in 1820, telling him that he would be the means of rebuilding the real Christian Church.
Smith has since died.
It was in 1830 that he released The Book of Mormon, which he thought to be the newly revealed word of God, and was titled after an ancient prophet.
- After a few years, Smith changed the name of the organization to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
- During the nineteenth century, the Church received a large number of converts.
- When the members of the Church gathered to construct their “Kingdom of God,” others grew skeptical, scared, antagonistic, and in some cases violent toward them.
- It also brought them into conflict with the federal government over the connection between the church and the state, as well as the Church’s practice of polygamy, which lasted for years.
- When Smith intended to collect several hundred faithful to create the “Kingdom of God,” Young and his family relocated to Kirtland, Ohio, in 1833, Young and his family joined him.
- As a result of Christian beliefs about the first 12 apostles of Christ, Young and the other missionaries were sent forth throughout the world.
- After following Joseph Smith to Missouri, where he had already built a minor colony, the bulk of Church members, including Brigham Young, relocated to the state during the winter of 1837-38.
Mob violence erupted once more after Smith and the others from Ohio joined the Missouri colonists, this time in response to worries of bloc voting and “takeover.” Violence between Church members and other settlers grew increasingly violent, prompting Missouri Governor George McGovern to give the following order: “The Mormons must be handled as enemies and destroyed or expelled from the state if necessary for the public welfare.” The Mormon leaders, including Joseph Smith, were held captive as hostages until the colonists were forced to leave the state.
- During the winter and spring of 1838-39, Brigham Young planned an evacuation over the Mississippi River to Illinois in order to avoid being arrested by the authorities.
- The Mormons founded a new “Kingdom of God,” which they named Nauvoo, which means “beautiful place” in the English language.
- It was granted a liberal charter by the state assembly, which allowed it to have its own judicial system and militia, which was dubbed the Nauvoo Legion, as well as its own police force.
- Thousands of immigrants from Britain came to Nauvoo as a consequence of Brigham Young’s missionary activity there.
- Despite the fact that polygamy (a husband marrying more than one woman) was not widely practiced among Joseph Smith’s followers, he founded his conviction in it on revelations from God, which were backed up by scriptural instances.
- As a result, the administration of Nauvoo took on the characteristics of a theocracy, i.e., a combined church and state.
- It was the Mormon habit of voting in elections as a group, under the guidance of Joseph Smith, that they particularly despised.
This melding of religion and politics in Illinois enraged the general populace much more than it already was.
Smith was accused of establishing himself as king by a dissident journal in Nauvoo.
Smith and many others were arrested and charged with instigating a disturbance by state authorities.
However, the militia turned into a lynch mob and shot Smith to death in his detention cell on June 27, 1844, according to historical records.
However, shortly after, vigilantes began setting fire to the homes and fields of the Mormon settlers in a concerted effort to drive them from the state.
In the next year, they led a historic migration of 16,000 Mormons to the Great Salt Lake Valley in the western wilderness, which they named after themselves.
The Council of Fifty continued to serve as the legislative body.
Sensing a threat from the Church, the United States Congress denied Deseret statehood and instead designated it as a U.S.
Brigham Young was designated as the territory governor by President Millard Fillmore.
In addition, the candidates for the new territory legislature were all chosen by Church leaders as well.
Brigham Young stated that he would not resign from his position as governor if the president did not nominate him to a second term, which contributed to this image.
After his tenure as territorial governor expired in 1854, Young was not re-appointed to the position.
However, relations between the federal government and the Church had deteriorated to such a point that President Buchanan became convinced that a state of rebellion existed in Utah.
Brigham Young, while still serving as governor and with the persecutions in Missouri and Illinois fresh in his memory, proclaimed martial law in Utah.
When the army marched into Utah territory, Young ordered the total evacuation of the city of Salt Lake City and the surrounding area.
Until June 1858, when the church leaders agreed to surrender to federal authority in exchange for the army’s agreeing to camp outside of Salt Lake City and not hurt the people, the situation remained deadlocked.
Mormon Polygamy is being attacked.
Convictions, on the other hand, were difficult to obtain since there were few marriage documents available and because a wife could not testify against her husband under the laws of Utah territory law.
In 1879, two years after Brigham Young’s death, the United States Supreme Court was asked to decide whether the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion protected the practice of polygamy.
The justices established a distinction between religious belief and religious action.
Both men had a significant role in the passage of the United States Constitution.
The court went on to say: “Due to the fact that it comes from a well-known leader of those who support the measure, it may be seen nearly as an authoritative proclamation of the extent and impact of the change that has been achieved.
The court’s unanimous decision came to the conclusion that the practice was not protected by the First Amendment.
Other effects of these laws were also observed.
A defendant’s reputation was used to achieve a conviction for polygamy, and this was approved by the court.
They removed women’s right to vote from the ballot box (which had been established in 1870 by the Utah territorial legislature).
It is estimated that in total over 1,000 men were convicted, fined, and imprisoned for having been married to more than one wife.
The president of the Mormon Church issued a “Manifesto” in 1890, urging the Latter-Day Saints “to refrain from contracting any marriage prohibited by the law of the land,” which was subsequently repealed.
This, combined with assurances that the church and the state were separate, was ultimately successful in removing congressional objections to statehood, resulting in Utah’s admission as the 45th state to the Union in 1896. For the purpose of discussion and writing
- What were some of the difficulties that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints faced throughout the nineteenth century? What do you suppose caused them to run into these difficulties? What is the definition of a theocracy? What methods did the Church of Latter-day Saints use to build theocracies in Nauvoo and the Territory of Utah are discussed below. Consider if you believe that theocracies are a good or a poor concept for the United States. Why do you believe Congress was correct to abolish polygamy in the Utah territory, or do you believe this was a violation of the First Amendment’s right to freedom of religion in the territory? Explain
Some of the challenges that members of the Church of Latter-day Saints faced during the nineteenth century are listed below. 1. What do you believe caused them to have these difficulties? Theocracy is defined as a government based on religious beliefs. Theocracies were established in Nauvoo and the Territory of Utah by the Church of Latter-day Saints in a variety of methods. Consider if theocracies in the United States are a good or a poor concept. Because of this, do you believe Congress was correct to abolish polygamy in the Utah territory, or do you believe this was a violation of the First Amendment’s right to freedom of religion in the territory?
Peace and Violence among 19th-Century Latter-day Saints
Many people in the nineteenth century unfairly stereotyped the Latter-day Saints as a violent group of individuals. Nonetheless, the great majority of Latter-day Saints, both in the nineteenth century and today, lived in peace with their neighbors and families and worked to bring about peace in their neighborhoods and neighborhoods. The calm and order that existed in Mormon villages in Utah, as well as elsewhere, was frequently noticed by travelers in the nineteenth century. 44However, the activities of a small number of Latter-day Saints resulted in death and injury, strained community relations, and a negative public picture of Mormons as a peaceful people.
- “The faith of Jesus Christ that we profess abhors the cold-blooded massacre of men, women, and children,” said Elder Henry B.
- Indeed, it is a proponent of reconciliation and forgiveness.
- Elder Russell M.
- What does the Lord expect of us as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints now that we are adults?
- In our own lives, we should’seek after the things that promote peace.’ “We should take personal responsibility for bringing about peace.” 47
In polygamous communities, deep roots of distrust shape vaccine hesitancy
As soon as the COVID-19 epidemic broke out, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often known as the Mormon church or the LDS church, followed government instructions to safeguard members of their religious group. The church shuttered its temples and asked its followers to dress in disguise on March 25, 2020. Government and religious leaders hailed immunization, which church President Russell M. Nelson, a former surgeon, described as a “literal blessing.” He and other top membersreceived vaccines, encouraging other church members to follow their example.
For this reason, many fundamentalists have refused to receive the vaccination and are seeking alternate treatments, including the controversial use of Ivermectin, a medicine frequently recommended to treat intestinal parasites.
There is a great deal of cynicism regarding the role of the government in the health of their families, and these attitudes are sometimes based on disinformation or conspiracy theories.
As a study of Mormon fundamentalism, I’ve witnessed firsthand how fundamentalists’ anxieties are based on a hatred of the outside world.
Fundamentalist organizations, on the other hand, continue to hold the government in high regard. Many people continue to engage in polygamy, and the fear of being reported to law authorities prevents them from seeking out resources like as health treatment.
Joseph Smith, the founder of the LDS church, preached that God has a body and that people’s own bodies are precious gifts that would aid them on their journey to eternal life in the kingdom of God. In light of the theological significance of human bodies, his adherents thought that they deserved special attention — and many 19th-century church members were wary of medical authority, since anti-Mormon sentiment was spreading at the time. During the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848, for example, George B.
- He administered mercury chloride and arsenic on a regular basis, both of which were routine remedies at the time, but which provoked controversy among the troops.
- Death.” Early LDS leaders issued a warning against the use of “poisonous medications.” Brigham Young, the second president of the Mormon Church, advised his congregation to use alternative medicines in order to keep them away from medical specialists they did not trust.
- Fundamentalist communities were even more isolated around the turn of the twentieth century, when the LDS church began supporting judicial prosecution of polygamy and excommunicating members who engaged in the practice.
- Former members of one organization say that, during the Cold War, their late leader advised followers that a bitter concoction known as “green drink” might be used to protect the bodies of the most righteous from nuclear fallout, according to their memories.
- Conflicts with the government over polygamy continue to have an impact on fundamentalist organizations’ mistrust of government officials today.
As a result of my own investigation within these fundamentalist groups, I’ve witnessed firsthand the usage of comfrey – and even had it prescribed to me for a cold. During a whooping cough outbreak in Nevada in 2018, I was conducting research in a rural polygamous community in the state. Many members considered vaccines to be dangerous and were hesitant to visit hospitals for fear of being reported to the authorities, according to the survey. Women went to their kitchens and produced a bitter drink called “anti-plague,” which was a dark brown liquid composed mostly of comfrey, as instructed by their leader, an alternative medicine practitioner who was revered as a prophet.
Many fundamentalist families, on the other hand, believe that government meddling is more dangerous than the herb.
As a result of the parliamentary hearings forSB102, a measure voted into law in 2020 that essentially decriminalized polygamy in Utah after years of debate, this became a key subject of discussion.
Since the passage of the legislation, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of families seeking assistance from community and government agencies.
By the end of 2020, the number had risen to 1,098 people in total. Researchers will be monitoring attentively to observe how decriminalization impacts fundamentalist communities’ health.
A billionaire and the tech industry are trying to shape LGBTQ rights in deeply Mormon Utah
Oaks is the next in line to become the leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has 16.8 million members throughout the world and is known as the Mormon Church. At the University of Virginia, he extolled the merits of religious liberty and the necessity of LGBTQ nondiscrimination legislation, such as the groundbreaking bill that LDS leaders, politicians, and LGBTQ activists worked together to achieve in 2015, which was hailed as a victory. It is referred to as the “Utah compromise” since it prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ individuals in housing and employment while allowing for religious exemptions.
- Much to Williams’ surprise, Oaks then proceeded to quote Williams in a good light.
- Despite the fact that they both contributed to the compromise, the two have never met.
- In the meanwhile, Utah is the only state with such legislation in place, and efforts to duplicate it on a national scale have so far proven in vain.
- According to them, there are significant gaps in the state’s safeguards for LGBTQ persons, and that religious freedom provisions, which were critical in winning support from conservatives for the compromise, were already well established in the state.
- Williams continues to believe in the need of working with legislators and Mormon leaders, just as he did six years ago.
While start-ups were already sprouting between Salt Lake City and Provo prior to the agreement, analysts believe the legislation — as well as the lack of measures such as a prohibition on gender-affirming health care or bathroom regulations — has helped Utah remain competitive in the battle for top-tier employees.
- On arrival at the penthouse apartment, Williams was welcomed by Jeff T.
- Green has a net worth of around $5.7 billion, making him one of the wealthiest Mormons in the country.
- During their two-hour talk, they shared anecdotes about their Mormon missionary experiences.
- And he was curious about what Equality Utah could do with greater funding.
- It was overturned in 2017 when the state of Utah repealed its “No Promo Homo” rule, which outlawed discussion of LGBTQ problems in schools.
- In addition, the Mormon governor has declared June to be Pride Month.
- The compromise was also an acknowledgment of the changes that were already taking place in Utah, which is now the state with the fastest growth in the country.
Salt Lake City elected its first openly homosexual mayor the following year, and the LGBTQ community currently constitutes the majority of the city council.
According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, Mormons make up over 86 percent of the state legislature, whereas approximately 60 percent of Utahns identify as Mormon, according to the most recent data available from the LDS Church (LDS Church).
How far are they willing to go to get what they want?
If a Mormon cake baker refuses to offer services for a same-sex wedding, he or she is legally prohibited from doing so.
President of the State Senate, J.
Adams, who is a member of the LDS faith, said his support for the bill was motivated by a scriptural passage in which Jesus spoke about the necessity of loving one’s neighbor as oneself.
As Adams explained, “I recognized that I needed to live my faith rather than just preserve my religion.” A rising tide lifts all ships, and when you figure out a means to defend everyone’s rights, you discover that your own rights are protected alongside those of others.
Adams claims to have Williams’ phone number programmed into his cellphone’s speed dial.
According to him, in the six years after the law was established, no one has filed a complaint under the statute alleging housing or job discrimination on the basis of race or religion.
If that is the case, Adams says he would rely on the same technique that resulted in the compromise: “One of the objectives is to be able to have fair competition without discriminating against anyone.” According to Derek Kitchen, a Democratic state legislator, even the consideration of an anti-transgender measure would be a step backward for the state.
He is pleased with where Utah has progressed, but he would want to see Mormon politicians go even further and establish stronger anti-discrimination legislation for the state’s citizens.
The term for the start-up-rich area between Provo and Salt Lake City is “Silicon Slopes.” Many of the IT entrepreneurs are members of the Mormon faith and have attended BYU.
In spite of increased efforts by the church to affirm LGBTQ identities, it is not enough for the tech industry, which has zero tolerance for any form of prejudice.
“These are people who want to assimilate into larger America, and this isn’t the topic with which they want to be associated.” Josh James, the CEO of the software company Domo, is one of the tech industry leaders who has spoken out against anti-transgender legislation as well as anti-alcohol legislation.
- James has also erected LGBTQ-inclusive billboards and made charitable contributions totaling more than $1 million to LGBTQ-related causes.
- “Marriage between a man and a woman was instituted by God and is central to His plan for His children and the well-being of society,” according to the church, which also opposes same-sex marriage.
- Multiple LDS Church members have expressed dissatisfaction with what the Utah compromise has accomplished for homosexual Mormons, and some have called for a more aggressive approach to ending discrimination against gay Mormons.
- According to the book “Gay Rights and the Mormon Church,” a great deal has changed at the institution where, decades ago, “university sanctioned” electroshock therapy were administered on gay students.
Eventually, the practice was discontinued at BYU, and in 2016, the university’s authorities condemned “any therapy that subjected a person to harmful methods.” When a group of around 80 faculty and students convened in November for a session on how to help LGBTQ students and students of color, participants were encouraged to ask questions such as “what does the phrase “genderqueer” imply.” Calvin Burke, on the other hand, has been expelled from BYU due to the university’s treatment of LGBTQ students.
- After years of unpleasant encounters, the senior English major plans to transfer to another institution next semester.
- One of his professors encouraged him to seek help through conversion therapy.
- Burke has worked in the cafeteria and as a carpet cleaner, and his job security could have been jeopardized if he had chosen to be in a relationship instead of being single and unemployed.
- The professor expressed regret, but Burke was subjected to public death threats and other attacks from the DezNat social media movement, which includes members of the alt-right movement.
- In a statement, BYU stated that “although this problem was resolved internally, BYU does not discuss disciplinary matters publicly.” “I’m concerned for a lot of the students who are still at BYU who don’t have the support or the ability to find a different path,” Burke expressed concern for.
- As the sun began to fall behind the mountains, Green began to make preparations for submitting his formal resignation from the LDS Church on December 23, the anniversary of the founding of Mormonism and a significant day in the faith’s history.
- His brother, who works as an executive at Amazon; a cousin, who works as a vice president at U.S.
Green and his siblings grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, in a conservative Mormon family of five children, where he recalls his mother standing in line for food stamps and other government assistance.
The LDS Church received widespread criticism, including from some of its own members.
Green, who now resides in California but frequently goes to his home state of Utah to ski, now prefers to spend his Sundays researching charity rather than attending church services.
However, he considered Oaks’ speech the night before to be a significant step forward by LDS leaders.
“Does attempting diplomacy with the church really have any effect?” Green expressed himself.
“Whenever we get a win, I always make a big deal about it.” “The Mormon leadership is older than it has ever been, and change in the world is occurring at a quicker rate than it has ever been,” Green said.
As part of their tithing obligations, Mormons are supposed to pay one-tenth of their income to the LDS Church, and Williams claims that anytime the church does something that bothers the LGBTQ community, Equality Utah receives donations that he refers to as “gay tithing.” After one of the Twelve Apostles, Jeffery R.
“We’re delighted to accept your tithe,” Williams said to Green.
Eventually, he donated $600,000 to the group, the second largest one-time donation the organization had ever received.
There is a prevalent belief that we reached a great Utah compromise and somehow managed to make it work, but we haven’t managed to make it work yet.” “Green expressed himself.
“We can. We’ll get there.” correction The amount of money donated by Josh James to LGBTQ causes was incorrectly stated in an earlier version of this article. James has made a donation in excess of $1 million. The article has been updated to reflect this.