Gary Johnson: Clarifying my views on religious freedom, Mormons
Gary Johnson clarifies his views on religious freedom and his intention on the example he gave several days ago.
It’s pretty clear that Johnson has a great deal of respect for Latter-Day Saints, and the utmost reverence for religious freedom.
There have also been times in our history when religion has been invoked to justify serious harm. In years past, opponents of interracial marriage, desegregation and other efforts to protect civil rights too often cited scripture and religion in making their arguments.
To be blunt, certain politicians have twisted religious liberty and used it as a tool to discriminate.
Thus, in response to a question thrown at me while walking down a street (in the rain), I expressed my reservations rather emphatically — and cited the experience of Mormons as a case-in-point where religious persecution resulted in violent episodes right here in America.
My point was that even a respected, peaceful people experienced tragic harm in the name of religion and was, in fact, persecuted by the government itself by politicians who opposed their beliefs and practices.
I am well aware of the painful history of government interference with Mormons and the practice of their faith.
In part because of this unique history, I believe Utah has found an appropriate balance in a religious freedom law that serves as an example to the rest of the country that non-discrimination and religious freedom are not opposing forces, but can instead go hand in hand.