Jewish Journal

Top Mormon Elder says religious freedom under attack

by Brad A. Greenberg

February 7, 2011 | 7:49 am

Dallin H. Oaks used to be present of BYU, taught law at University of Chicago and was a member of the Utah Supreme Court. He spoke at Chapman University last week and warned that religious freedom is on the fritz. From the LAT:

“It was apparent 25 years ago, and it is undeniable today,” he said.


Oaks’ concerns, he said, are not specific to Mormonism and apply equally to other faiths. “It is easy to believe,” he said, “that there is an informal conspiracy of correctness to scrub out references to God and the influence of religion in the founding and preservation of our nation.”

Oaks’ speech received a standing ovation from his audience of about 800 law students, lawyers and others at Chapman’s Memorial Hall. He clearly was tapping into a concern of many Americans: A 2008 Pew survey found that the country was almost evenly divided on the question of whether religious influence on government was increasing or decreasing. Among those who saw it decreasing, the majority said it was a bad trend.

The LAT then goes on to challenge Oaks’ perspective. And I would agree that it’s not so hard to be religious in this country. But I wouldn’t turn to the, um, slightly partial folks at the Freedom From Religion Foundation to see if what Oaks was saying was accurate.

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