Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What Is "Free Exercise Of Religion"?

It appears that the essential limit to the Federal Government's (And that of the States via the 14th Amendment) to interference with religious-based behavior (Not thoughts or ideas which, even if expressed, are beyond such interference to this time) is the question: Does the government, for the People, have a "compelling state interest" in so interfering?

During the next four years, this matter may become front-and-center in this very divided nation. We the People, our elected representatives and the courts should be prepared to determine if our governments have an "compelling state interest" to:
1. Compel hospitals, doctors, pharmacists and other like institutions and persons
to act against their religion-based consciences to perform or enable abortion,
distribute birth-control drugs or services, teach anything positive about those actions
in our public or private schools or other places;
2. Take away the tax-exempt status of any religious organization for directly addressing,
including from pulpits and in publications, the perceived moral standing of political
parties, officials, or candidate for office or their positions on public issues
(Remembering that the power to tax is the power to destroy);
3. Punish individuals or corporations for withholding services or goods on the
same basis;
4.Take away, probably by small increments, the Natural Law Right (As a religious
belief) of persons to defend themselves and other innocent persons from
criminal attacks and to have ready means (Modern fire arms and ammunition) to do
in the usual lack of such a police or military presence or unwillingness to instantly
provide such protection (Remember that tyrants such as Hitler, Stalin and the
Muslim rulers of various lands all did so before moving on to great crimes);
5. Use some form of "fairness doctrine" to drive off the airways religious programs
and those commentators who support religious life and the unfettered place of
religion in public forums;
6. Establish Atheism as the State Religion (Yes, it is a religion as it is based on the
"theological" premise that there is no God nor gods; And, has been ruled a religion
by the USA's Seventh Circuit Court Of Appeals);
7. Take away from parents and guardians the right to avoid public schools by
home schooling, use of private schools and other means.
8. Attack Christianity and Christians by placing other religions in the public schools
and forums (eg Mandatory practice of Muslim religious rites in California schools,
without prior notice to parents and without giving other religions an equal place;
New York City's placement of Muslim and Jewish symbols in public places while
excluding Christian symbols in the same locations); And,
9. And, no doubt, many other, defining and dividing issues.

You and all citizens should remember the history of some of these issues (So as not to be condemned to repeat prior errors) and that some of them resulted in revolt, revolution, the trial and execution of chiefs-of-state and other officials and the overturning of governments.

Now, how will our elect officials act and editors comment on these issue?

1 comment:

Deuke said...

Very well written...the argument is sound; the sentiments and principles expounded are rational and do have influence. How much is to be determined yet...right?

As a newspaper editor, I'd want to print this piece. Unfortunately, my newspaper is still in the funding process; i.e., we're still looking for funding!

If it's okay with you, I'd like to put the piece on my site, or at least link to it.

As for your argument, which in my opinion, leaves little room for solution-oriented discussion, I'd ask, what do you want the populace to do?

I have written dozens of articles about "empathy." We have cajoled any who would listen, to vote; to express themselves in public forum, only to discover that unless the issues have an affect personally, there is not much in the way of action.

We keep writing though!

Deuke Eukel
Deuke Productions LTD.