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Discussion Starter #1
The Constitution promises us the right to free exercise of religion. What does that mean?

Declaring an act part of my religion doesn't get me past the law. Lots of religions say adherents should kill non-believers, but you aren't free to exercise that part of your religion(and IMO you shouldn't be).

I remember Scalia saying during one of the peyote cases that it meant the law couldn't ban something if the only reason to ban it was to prevent the exercise of religion, and gave the hypothetical example that the govt. couldn't ban genuflecting. That is fine, I don't want the govt. banning stuff just to prevent exercise of religion, but can the govt. arbitrarily ban things that aren't part of a religion? Can they ban doing pushups?

I have a lot more to say but will give someone else a turn, maybe they will say it better than I would have.
 

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They used to do it all the time.

That’s also why they were asking legislators of my state to allow sharia law.

They put it to a vote of the people and sharia law was banned by constitutional amendment.

They also banned polygyny, which is a practice of many religions.

So it seems to only apply to unapproved religions.

Both of the previous prevent exercise if those religious beliefs.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They used to do it all the time.
I don't understand, who used to do what?
That’s also why they were asking legislators of my state to allow sharia law.

They put it to a vote of the people and sharia law was banned by constitutional amendment.
I'm not sure what was banned. If the amendment just said sharia(traditional Islamic law) doesn't have the power of govt. law, I don't consider that infringing on religious freedom. It seems unnecessary, but oh well. OTOH if it says individuals can't elect to have an Islamic official mediate their dispute, that does sound like infringement and sounds out of line.
They also banned polygyny, which is a practice of many religions.
There are a lot of things that are part of some religion but the govt. has some reason to prohibit. I realize people feel differently about marriage, but the govt. winds up mediating divorces and polygamy makes those more complicated. So it isn't clear to me if the motivation is to crap on unapproved religions or not.
So it seems to only apply to unapproved religions.

Both of the previous prevent exercise if those religious beliefs.
What do you think it should mean? Should it only apply to things the govt. has no interest in?
 

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I don't understand, who used to do what?

I'm not sure what was banned. If the amendment just said sharia(traditional Islamic law) doesn't have the power of govt. law, I don't consider that infringing on religious freedom. It seems unnecessary, but oh well. OTOH if it says individuals can't elect to have an Islamic official mediate their dispute, that does sound like infringement and sounds out of line.
There are a lot of things that are part of some religion but the govt. has some reason to prohibit. I realize people feel differently about marriage, but the govt. winds up mediating divorces and polygamy makes those more complicated. So it isn't clear to me if the motivation is to crap on unapproved religions or not.

What do you think it should mean? Should it only apply to things the govt. has no interest in?
No they banned sharia law period.
They had asked to be able to rule themselves by their own laws.


I can see this will get much deeper down the rabbit hole than I feel I have to time.
I respectfully bow out of this one. :)
 
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"A ban on sharia law is legislation which prohibits the application or implementation of Islamic law (Sharia) in courts in any civil (non-religious) jurisdiction. In the United States, various states have "banned Sharia law," or passed some kind of ballot measure that "prohibits the states courts from considering foreign, international or religious law." As of 2014 these include Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee.In Canada, Sharia law is explicitly banned in Quebec, upheld by a unanimous vote against it in 2005 by the National Assembly, while the province of Ontario allows family law disputes to be arbitrated only under Ontario law."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ban_on_sharia_law
 

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The Constitution promises us the right to free exercise of religion. What does that mean?
.
It's like this the Constitution say right to free exercise, so the government can not or is not to choose a form of religion you must abide by. So you can not be mandated what you must believe.
 
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Even Emporer Theodocious allowed all religions to be practiced when he made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire with the Edict of Thessalonica in 380 AD. His only condition was that any religion could practice what they wanted as long as they did not harm others.

Parts of Sharia law harms others. Honor killings, female genital mutilation, murder of infidels etc.

People have gotten so blinded with politically correctness that they have lost their common sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's like this the Constitution say right to free exercise, so the government can not or is not to choose a form of religion you must abide by. So you can not be mandated what you must believe.
The Constitution does say the govt. cannot prohibit religions or choose one for us, but neither of those say it can't prohibit the wearing of yarmulkes or fasting on Yom Kippur.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Even Emporer Theodocious allowed all religions to be practiced when he made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire with the Edict of Thessalonica in 380 AD. His only condition was that any religion could practice what they wanted as long as they did not harm others.

Parts of Sharia law harms others. Honor killings, female genital mutilation, murder of infidels etc.

People have gotten so blinded with politically correctness that they have lost their common sense.
Who has been blinded?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
No they banned sharia law period.
prohibits the states courts from considering foreign, international or religious law.
Those sound different.

A law stating religion X doesn't hold sway in govt. courts to me sounds like "It is illegal to murder Sally Jones". It should be, but the law is unnecessary since it's already illegal to murder anyone.
 

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Declaring an act part of my religion doesn't get me past the law. Lots of religions say adherents should kill non-believers, but you aren't free to exercise that part of your religion(and IMO you shouldn't be).

I remember Scalia saying during one of the peyote cases that it meant the law couldn't ban something if the only reason to ban it was to prevent the exercise of religion, and gave the hypothetical example that the govt. couldn't ban genuflecting. That is fine, I don't want the govt. banning stuff just to prevent exercise of religion, but can the govt. arbitrarily ban things that aren't part of a religion? Can they ban doing pushups?

I have a lot more to say but will give someone else a turn, maybe they will say it better than I would have.
But the government does try to enforce morality, dealing with religion. This is a two-edged sword. It just depends if a person likes it one way but not the other, then it becomes obtrusive. The gov calls it by a different name and so they say they do it for the good of society.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
But the government does try to enforce morality, dealing with religion. This is a two-edged sword. It just depends if a person likes it one way but not the other, then it becomes obtrusive. The gov calls it by a different name and so they say they do it for the good of society.
What morals in particular do you feel govt. tries to enforce?
 

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or passed some kind of ballot measure that "prohibits the states courts from considering foreign, international or religious law."
A simple, straightforward approach that I agree with 110%
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Semitism and Racism and to be politically correct.
In the USA it's perfectly legal to be racist and/or anti-semitic.

Not sure which "politicially incorrect" behaviors you think are illegal.

What I was hoping this thread would produce is a discussion of is what the free exercise clause actually says, and how well the govt lives up to what it says.
 

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Succinctly, freedom of religion would entail one being able to worship their God in the way that they so desire, so long as that desire does not conversely infringe upon the religious rights of others or does not lead to any form of denial, coercion or infringement of their religious rights or beliefs!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Succinctly, freedom of religion would entail one being able to worship their God in the way that they so desire, so long as that desire does not conversely infringe upon the religious rights of others or does not lead to any form of denial, coercion or infringement of their religious rights or beliefs!
That's kind of the spirit of it, but I think their free exercise would need to not infringe upon any rights of others, not just upon their religious rights.

SCOTUS has ruled that laws may prohibit the use of drugs even though they are used in religious rituals, but I don't think such use infringes on anyone's rights.
 

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I would like to think that the parts of religious practice that are banned / illegal are those that runner counter to principles that our country upholds.

That would include honor killings and polygamy, among other things.

I guess the irony about polygamy is that a majority white religion practices polygamy in the US, illegally when done so, and in Mexico. don't know what their laws are. We should also remember that a polygamous society is disadvantageous to men; that is, poor men. It's been pointed out that Boko Haram's recruitment tool was to promise a bride for each of their members.

Some western societies are now cracking down on face covering. I agree that countries should. Having lived in France, one will notice how it works very hard to erase religious differences when in public. While women could still cover their hair, I never saw a covered face.

I think covering a face nomalizes the fundamental differences in the freedom one sex gets over another. Even more importantly, parents want to be know what their child's teacher / doctor / coach / parent of their child's friend looks like. I think that is fair.
 

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It means a right to believe in and practice whatever rituals are associated with that belief as long as it does not cause harm and/or nuisance to the larger society as well as create sedition against the very government that protects ones right to believe.

I get that this does not always apply and that if one is outside the major Christian religions, individuals may experience restrictions in some areas. We don’t always get it right, but it is the job of courts to protect the rights of the minority voice.


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