Toward Collaboration: A Perspective from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Von G. Keetch, Toward Collaboration: A Perspective from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Chapter 14 in Religious Freedom, LGBT Rights and the Prospects for Common Ground(William N. Eskridge & Robin Fretwell Wilson 2018)
6 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2019 Last revised: 20 Mar 2019
Date Written: 2018
This chapter will discuss a path for resolving conflicts between religious freedom and LGBT rights from the perspective of an LDS leader. Moral agency is a basic principle of the Mormon faith. It means the ability to choose right from wrong, act for ourselves, and accept personal accountability. Freedom of conscience allows people to exercise moral agency in matters of faith. Religious freedom embraces not only the right to worship, but also to speak and act consistent with faith. A Mormon approach to tensions over LGBT rights seeks to maximize freedom where possible. It is important to understand that the freedom of religious people to form faith communities is essential. Also key are the differences between shared space and religious space. Shared space requires mutual respect toleration, and compromise. But society should respect religious spaces as zones where religious people can govern themselves by standards that reflect their core beliefs. Pluralism, or “fairness for all,” is a potent solution to the tensions between religious and secular worldviews. Fundamental disagreements can persist among intelligent, informed people of good will. The answer is to build patterns of mutual respect that allow all Americans to live by their core beliefs.
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