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Freedoms and Rights

I’ve never been a preachy person, I believe what I believe and don’t mind sharing that if someone wants to know about it, but I don’t try to judge others by what I believe or by what they believe.

The recent legalized discrimination bill HB99 is simply a way to judge a group of people by someone else’s religion. We have laws in our country to prosecute people who assault, abuse, or illegally use others. In most parts of our country these laws work just fine, in Utah, there are some who feel the need to persecute others because they don’t believe the same way they do, so they create laws to legalize their discrimination of people who don’t believe the same exact way they do.

Recently Utah Representative Mike Noel said, “They’ve hijacked my religion and I actually resent that.” This is the man who sponsored the HB99 bill, exhibiting his prejudice against others who believe differently than he does, even though, they believe the same way as Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church.

It appears that he thinks his religion is a tool to judge others by and that others don’t have a right to believe anything else than what he believes. Our Constitution states, in the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

When asked what he believed, Joseph Smith wrote 13 Articles of Faith, in the eleventh one he wrote, “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” Think what you want about Joseph Smith, and I’ll think what I want. But, I believe vehemently in our constitutional right to have a belief system of our own choosing and conscience, and in respecting the rights of others to have that same right.

There’s no pretense here, I believe that everyone, (consenting adults), has the right to believe what they choose. I believe everyone, (consenting adults), has the right to choose how they want to live their lives, raise their families, and whom they will love. I also believe that no one has the right to discriminate against them for those choices… It’s my hope that when my books get published, a more favorable light can be shown on this lifestyle and the people who live it.

These men, Theral Ray Dockstader and Virgel Y. Jessop along with many others were charged as felons in 1944, and put in prison for doing nothing more than being a husband and father. They were living their religion, each had more than one wife, all of whom they loved and took care of, along with the children that love brought into the world. They never hurt anyone, or robbed a bank, or even broke any laws, except the ones put in place by those who were discriminating against them because of their religion.