Mormon Elder Oaks calls for balance in disputes of religious freedom.

Tuesday was a significant day as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made a comment though a top leader that greater civility, tolerance and balance are required while safeguarding religious freedom. The comment also added that Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk, had erred when she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, who belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was addressing a recent conference in California and said that there should not be any type of hostility between government and religion. He said that laws of the governments should aim for protecting the religious organizations and believers. The religious community should also appreciate this and abstain from treating government officials and laws as if they are their bitter enemies.

Oaks also said that all those people who are either hostile or skeptical about the believers “should recognize the reality—borne out by experience—that religious principles and teachings and their organizations are here to stay and can help create the conditions in which public laws and government institutions and their citizens can flourish.”

Though Elder Oaks did not refer to Kim Davis directly, he made an obvious reference to the county clerk of Kentucky. Elder Oaks said that it is a responsibility of public officials to support local laws and the constitution and that “A county clerk’s recent invoking of religious reasons to justify refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples” is in violation of this rule.

When government authorities refuse to enforce a law based on their personal beliefs, rather than the laws of the land, it is a significant violation. “Government officials must not apply these duties selectively according to their personal preferences — whatever their source,” he said.

It also proves that the case of Davis is exposing the nuisances that exist among the crowd supporting religious liberty. There are some strong advocates of religious freedom who said that Davis had not done the right thing by not only refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and also by restricting her staff so that the latter could not issue licenses too.

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