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Switch to Forum Live View Are some faiths more "equal" under the law than others?
5 years ago  ::  Feb 01, 2010 - 12:32AM #1
Summer813
Posts: 325

Is your faith about to be demoted?


From the material linked:


Is your faith first-tier or second-tier?


A case currently before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in  California could establish that some faiths are indeed more equal than  others–and that minority faiths are not entitled to First-Amendment  protection.


In a previous post, I wrote about Patrick McCollum and his suit to gain equal standing for Pagan chaplains in the  California prison system. Currently, only chaplains who represent one of  five faiths–Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim or Native American–can  have staff positions and the full access that affords in the system.


A new amicus brief was filed this week by a group called Wallbuilders, Inc. The  Wallbuilders brief calls on the court to state that the First Amendment  itself does not cover Paganism. Or really, anything but Christianity or  some other monotheistic faiths.



What do you think? Does the First Amendment cover all religions, or only Christianity? Or Christianity and other monotheistic faiths, but not others? What do you think the intentions of the Founding Fathers were with regard to which faiths ought to be covered, and how do you think the First Amendment should be interpreted today? And what do you think about there being prison chaplains at all?

Shared pain is lessened, shared joy increased. Thus do we refute entropy. - Mike Callahan, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 01, 2010 - 5:45PM #2
dblad
Posts: 1,729

Feb 1, 2010 -- 12:32AM, Summer813 wrote:


Is your faith about to be demoted?


From the material linked:


Is your faith first-tier or second-tier?


A case currently before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California could establish that some faiths are indeed more equal than others–and that minority faiths are not entitled to First-Amendment protection.


In a previous post, I wrote about Patrick McCollum and his suit to gain equal standing for Pagan chaplains in the California prison system. Currently, only chaplains who represent one of five faiths–Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim or Native American–can have staff positions and the full access that affords in the system.


A new amicus brief was filed this week by a group called Wallbuilders, Inc. The Wallbuilders brief calls on the court to state that the First Amendment itself does not cover Paganism. Or really, anything but Christianity or some other monotheistic faiths.



What do you think? Does the First Amendment cover all religions, or only Christianity? Or Christianity and other monotheistic faiths, but not others? What do you think the intentions of the Founding Fathers were with regard to which faiths ought to be covered, and how do you think the First Amendment should be interpreted today? And what do you think about there being prison chaplains at all?




I agree that the First Amendment really just covers Chrisitanity and other monotheistic faiths. Probably the founding Fathers could not have thought of the diverse so called faiths in America today...


What is the definition of Religion?.. I understand that even atheist are trying to start a church.


What is the definition of church? When two or more are gathered in the name of something?




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5 years ago  ::  Feb 01, 2010 - 6:43PM #3
Summer813
Posts: 325

Feb 1, 2010 -- 5:45PM, dblad wrote:


I agree that the First Amendment really just covers Chrisitanity and other monotheistic faiths. Probably the founding Fathers could not have thought of the diverse so called faiths in America today...



Well the problems with this view are that 1) the First Amendment does not specify which religions it applies to, nor does it mention any specific class of religions; and 2) we know that the Founders were most certainly aware of the existence of religions other than Christianity, including non-monotheistic faiths. For example, we know that Jefferson was aware of Hinduism, as he mentions it in his writings. Presumably, they would - being worldly and educated men - also have known about Buddhism and possibly some of the other faiths of the Indian subcontinent and of Asia. Whether they envisioned there ever being as diverse a range of faiths present among American citizens doesn't really enter into what the language of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause says. I think that if they had meant for it to only cover Christianity, or only monotheism, they'd have made that explicit in the wording. They were pretty explicit about all manner of other things, after all.


What is the definition of Religion?



This seems pretty straightforward to me. Note that it does not confine the word to Christianity nor to monotheism. But my guess is that you already knew that.


I understand that even atheist are trying to start a church.



What difference would it make if they did? The Unitarian-Universalist church (born of the same Unitarian faith held by several of the Founding Fathers themselves) does not require a belief in any deity for membership, and in fact has a great many atheist and agnostic members. Likewise, there are other religions which are either nontheistic or not inherently theistic. Buddhism is one of them. A religion is merely a system of beliefs about the physical and spiritual world, conduct, morality, and social organization, which may or may not include belief in a deity or deities.


What is the definition of church? When two or more are gathered in the name of something?



For that to matter, the word "church" would have to appear somewhere in the language of the amendment in question. It does not; therefore, its definition is of no importance in this matter. You yourself argue that other monotheistic religions are included under the umbrella of First Amendment protections even if non-monotheistic faiths are not; however, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism (three monotheistic faiths I can name off the top of my head) do not have churches. They have synagogues, temples, mosques, masjids, and gurdwaras.

Shared pain is lessened, shared joy increased. Thus do we refute entropy. - Mike Callahan, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2010 - 12:02AM #4
Gwyddion9
Posts: 320

What do I think? I think that there are some conservative Christian groups that are doing all in their power to make the U.S. a theocracy. They are attempting, in this case, to say who should be allowed 1st amendment rights and protections, basically creating a second class citizenery. There is a push to rewrite history placing a great push on Christianity, attempting to make the U.S. a 'Christian Nation'.  Listening to these groups complain about shaira laws in Muslim countries being pushed on non-Muslims (Christians) yet, I think they'd gladly do the same thing in the U.S. if they could. I also think they are doing all in their power to destory the separation of Church and State in hopes of combining the two, in favor of their bliefs, of course.


These groups complain about how the country is at war with Christianity but truth be told, I think THEY'RE at war with the U.S. trying to make a theocracy in their image and and according to their beliefs. Honestly, I wonder at times if its going to get bloody. Roeder murdered Dr. Tiller for god. I can see it happening again as 'justification' is all a part of the game.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. Dr. Seuss


Let My Worship be within the heart that rejoiceth, for behold: all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. Charge of the Goddess
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2010 - 2:23PM #5
dblad
Posts: 1,729

Feb 1, 2010 -- 5:45PM, dblad wrote:


Feb 1, 2010 -- 12:32AM, Summer813 wrote:


Is your faith about to be demoted?


From the material linked:


Is your faith first-tier or second-tier?


A case currently before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California could establish that some faiths are indeed more equal than others–and that minority faiths are not entitled to First-Amendment protection.


In a previous post, I wrote about Patrick McCollum and his suit to gain equal standing for Pagan chaplains in the California prison system. Currently, only chaplains who represent one of five faiths–Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim or Native American–can have staff positions and the full access that affords in the system.


A new amicus brief was filed this week by a group called Wallbuilders, Inc. The Wallbuilders brief calls on the court to state that the First Amendment itself does not cover Paganism. Or really, anything but Christianity or some other monotheistic faiths.



What do you think? Does the First Amendment cover all religions, or only Christianity? Or Christianity and other monotheistic faiths, but not others? What do you think the intentions of the Founding Fathers were with regard to which faiths ought to be covered, and how do you think the First Amendment should be interpreted today? And what do you think about there being prison chaplains at all?




I agree that the First Amendment really just covers Chrisitanity and other monotheistic faiths. Probably the founding Fathers could not have thought of the diverse so called faiths in America today...


What is the definition of Religion?.. I understand that even atheist are trying to start a church.


What is the definition of church? When two or more are gathered in the name of something?




In this my first post regarding this subject, I stated what I think WILL happen; not what I think SHOULD happen.


And Summer, the definition of Religion you posted probably would not pass muster in the courts.




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5 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2010 - 2:34PM #6
dblad
Posts: 1,729

One law which attempts to define a religion is:



The Civil rights Act of 1964 states "To be a bona fide religious belief entitled to protection under either the First Amendment or Title VII, a belief must be sincerely held, and within the believer's own scheme of things religious." (USCA Const. Amend 1: Civil Rights Act 1964 701 et seq., 717 as amended 42 USCA 2000-16)


 

Wiccan and other Neopagan groups have been recognized by governments in the US and Canada and given tax exempt status. Wiccan priests and priestesses have been given access to penitentiaries in both countries, and the privilege of performing handfastings/marriages. On 2001-MAR-15, the list of religious preferences in the U.S. Air Force Personnel Data System (MilMod) was augmented to include: Dianic Wicca, Druidism, Gardnerian Wicca, Pagan, Seax Wicca, Shamanism, and Wicca.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2010 - 3:07PM #7
Summer813
Posts: 325

Feb 2, 2010 -- 2:34PM, dblad wrote:



One law which attempts to define a religion is:



The Civil rights Act of 1964 states "To be a bona fide religious belief entitled to protection under either the First Amendment or Title VII, a belief must be sincerely held, and within the believer's own scheme of things religious." (USCA Const. Amend 1: Civil Rights Act 1964 701 et seq., 717 as amended 42 USCA 2000-16)


 

Wiccan and other Neopagan groups have been recognized by governments in the US and Canada and given tax exempt status. Wiccan priests and priestesses have been given access to penitentiaries in both countries, and the privilege of performing handfastings/marriages. On 2001-MAR-15, the list of religious preferences in the U.S. Air Force Personnel Data System (MilMod) was augmented to include: Dianic Wicca, Druidism, Gardnerian Wicca, Pagan, Seax Wicca, Shamanism, and Wicca.



Then you've answered the question right there, haven't you? Clearly, the First Amendment doe NOT apply only to Christianity and other monotheistic faiths. Which is rather at odds with what you said earlier...

Shared pain is lessened, shared joy increased. Thus do we refute entropy. - Mike Callahan, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2010 - 4:42PM #8
dblad
Posts: 1,729

Feb 2, 2010 -- 3:07PM, Summer813 wrote:


Feb 2, 2010 -- 2:34PM, dblad wrote:



One law which attempts to define a religion is:



The Civil rights Act of 1964 states "To be a bona fide religious belief entitled to protection under either the First Amendment or Title VII, a belief must be sincerely held, and within the believer's own scheme of things religious." (USCA Const. Amend 1: Civil Rights Act 1964 701 et seq., 717 as amended 42 USCA 2000-16)


 

Wiccan and other Neopagan groups have been recognized by governments in the US and Canada and given tax exempt status. Wiccan priests and priestesses have been given access to penitentiaries in both countries, and the privilege of performing handfastings/marriages. On 2001-MAR-15, the list of religious preferences in the U.S. Air Force Personnel Data System (MilMod) was augmented to include: Dianic Wicca, Druidism, Gardnerian Wicca, Pagan, Seax Wicca, Shamanism, and Wicca.



Then you've answered the question right there, haven't you? Clearly, the First Amendment doe NOT apply only to Christianity and other monotheistic faiths. Which is rather at odds with what you said earlier...




I guess you'll just have to read my post a little closer.




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5 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2010 - 6:18PM #9
Summer813
Posts: 325

That's what it says, in plain English. If you mean for it to say something else, then you might try rephrasing for clarity.

Shared pain is lessened, shared joy increased. Thus do we refute entropy. - Mike Callahan, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2010 - 7:58PM #10
dblad
Posts: 1,729

Feb 2, 2010 -- 6:18PM, Summer813 wrote:


That's what it says, in plain English. If you mean for it to say something else, then you might try rephrasing for clarity.




I'll do that Summer... just for you.




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