Letter to the Editor: Silencing the opposition
Should LDS missionaries be allowed by law to enter your property, knock on your door all hours of the day and engage you in a conversation? Should they be able to do so even though most do not want to hear their message? Having been an LDS missionary and hearing the experiences of other LDS missionaries, I assure you most do not let missionaries in and flatly tell them they are not interested and some get down right upset about it.
Evangelizing is evangelizing and some religions have the idea that it is best to go to a large gathering of their potential converts and present their message. Representative Douglas Aagard, Republican (Kaysville) decided that after watching the actions of street preachers toward members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attending general conference last year " to look for a way to bring things in order." ( Deseret News 2-10-05) So enter House Bill 131 that "...Provides that knowingly approaching within eight feet of a person for the purpose of passing out literature, displaying an object, or engaging in protest or counseling without the other person's consent is a class B misdemeanor if the person is within 100 feet of an entrance door to a place of worship or health care facility (abortion clinic)."
Lines 13-18 in that bill also allows any passerby to sue the person or persons who pass out fliers, attempt to engage them in conversation, etc. Lines 19-21 and 24-25 of the bill destroys the inalienable right of Americans to free speech.
I personally don't foresee large numbers of LDS leaving their religion overnight so what are LDS legislators are so upset about? I hope some spark of their love of freedom of speech survives in them and will cause them to take a second look before they fearfully remove something as precious as freedom of speech.