Mormon Social Responsibility: Marshaling the Business Community in Defending Religious Freedoms.
Update: Keynote speaker (and University of Utah president) Michael Young brought this surprising bit of advice:
Mormons ought to be “among the most passionate civil libertarians in the world” to preserve religious freedoms.
“We all ought to be members of the ACLU,” Young said Monday in a question-and-answer session after addressing the LDS International Society at Brigham Young University during a conference on the erosion of religious liberties.
“Im always struck,” he said, “by the extent to which freedom of religion is so profoundly connected to other civil liberties.”
As Mormons find allies among civil libertarians, Young said, “we would need to carry our half of the burden, which means we need to be better champions of civil rights more broadly and human rights more broadly.”
“We need to do this very much for the right reasons,” he added, “not just to save the world for Mormon missionaries, as laudable and important as that is.”
It’s interesting that the keynote speaker is the President at the U of U. I’m certainly interested in what he might have to say about “the erosion of religious liberties.”
Yeah, I posted this mostly because I’d also be curious to hear what this group has to say on the announced topic. There’s no way I can attend, but if the remarks are published, it’ll be interesting to revisit this next month.
It sounds to me like an attempt to formulate plausible after-the-fact explanations for the obvious reality that the LDS church is not faring well internationally (or domestically, for that matter). Just as obviously, it can’t be admitted that there’s any problem with the product or with the crew tasked to sell it (the GAs), so it becomes an exercise in describing some external bugaboo, e.g., assigning blame to a loss of religious freedom to explain LDS failures.
So, I get that they think the trend of increased acceptance of gay marriage is somehow an “erosion of religious liberties” in the US at least — but what are they talking about “globally” and “abroad”? Is this about Switzerland?
Could be. Naturally, I assumed this conference was organized in response to my January 24 post here at MSP, but now that you mention it, it’s entirely possible that your Switzerland post was the catalyst. 😉
In all seriousness, I’d love to find someone to return and report on this event. For any aspiring reporters who might be reading, a dinner for two at your favorite Provo eatery is yours if you’ve got the time and the chops to turn in a worthy write-up.
Just a follow-up with the The Salt Lake Tribune headline from this conference:
University of Utah President Michael Young: Mormons should join ACLU