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  1. #1
    Impish and Mercurial Rolyo85's Avatar
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    Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    I know the instinctive response to (hopefully) most people here would be "YES", but gay marriage is not the only secular issue that churches fight tooth and nail. I recently read an article in Time (it's also on their site, but requires subscription) about how ever since Roe v. Wade, abortion has been losing battle after battle. And when we get down to it, abortion, just like gay marriage - and I guess the death sentence too, though I would hesitate to put it in that group - are cases that secular and religious views differ drastically on.

    Gay marriage is the most clear cut of all of course - legally it could ONLY benefit society and it hurts no one. But abortion is just as clear cut if we take religion out of it - with the proper time-frames given, biologically speaking it is simply NOT murder. I remember Kulindahr making a great argument about the different approaches to the subject, I hope he could find and repost it.

    So, what do you think? Are there cases where religious consideration SHOULD be allowed to influence secular decisions, or should the separation of church and state be absolute in all matters?

    Btw, feel free to add other fields. Gay marriage and abortion were just the first that came to mind.
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    I would argue that it should only be considered if said law would violate an individual's religious liberty.

    The Founding Fathers never intended for the separation to be absolute, but they also never intended for the religion of others to influence the law for all.

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    Impish and Mercurial Rolyo85's Avatar
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Yes, but "not violating an individual's religious liberty" becomes murky when hate groups use it to oppose laws against bullying at schools. Those douchenozzles that shove gay kids in dumpsters are, after all, simply expressing their religious views.
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Only if they want to forego their tax exempt status should they have a say in government. That is my belief between government and religion.

    You will be shocked to learn how many "non-profit" organizations are tax-free. The NFL and many "for-profit" programs [the biggest being private schools/colleges] are not taxed at all. Particularly in Boston, this is a huge burden on the local government especially with the Police/Fire departments. This is where my standing that federal student loans should only be given to students that attend public colleges and not private ones.

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    Impish and Mercurial Rolyo85's Avatar
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    The problem is many of the people voicing these strong religious opinions are NOT representatives of churches. But they still use Religion as an argument for this or that secular decision.
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
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    CE&P Secret Police xbuzzerx's Avatar
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by JB3 View Post
    I would argue that it should only be considered if said law would violate an individual's religious liberty.

    The Founding Fathers never intended for the separation to be absolute, but they also never intended for the religion of others to influence the law for all.
    Agreed. Taking Rolyo's response into account, I'd narrow it down and say only in regards to when individual religious liberty pertains to personal belief and personal practice... excluding the people who would (and do) say things like not being able to force prayer in schools or whatever is "oppressing their belief."

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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Under no conditions should religion ever have any say in what, after all, is supposed to be a secular government.

    maxpowr9-I like where you're coming from, but I'd rather they just gtfo because the churches themselves don't spread vitriol...just people.

    EDIT: I'd also like to ban prayer, religious symbols etc. in public places. France has some laws along those lines...like no cross necklaces in school, burqa bans etc.
    Last edited by mightbe; January 12th, 2013 at 06:22 PM.

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    Impish and Mercurial Rolyo85's Avatar
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by xbuzzerx View Post
    Agreed. Taking Rolyo's response into account, I'd narrow it down and say only in regards to when individual religious liberty pertains to personal belief and personal practice... excluding the people who would (and do) say things like not being able to force prayer in schools or whatever is "oppressing their belief."
    This.

    And as far as abortion goes, I believe there should be a very strict, cold and SCIENTIFIC approach to it, because otherwise it all gets obliterated by definitions of "life" that mostly hang on "but it will one day be so..."
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    JUB Addict maxpowr9's Avatar
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    ^That's why I prefer the term "anti-choice" which I see has caught on in the 'liberal media' instead of "pro-life". The reason I like the prior term is that it basically says: 'I wouldn't personally get an abortion but I leave that choice up to other people'.

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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by xbuzzerx View Post
    Agreed. Taking Rolyo's response into account, I'd narrow it down and say only in regards to when individual religious liberty pertains to personal belief and personal practice... excluding the people who would (and do) say things like not being able to force prayer in schools or whatever is "oppressing their belief."
    I would agree. I was attempting to formulate a similar statement to narrow it, but couldn't come up with the words at the time.

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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by mightbe View Post
    Under no conditions should religion ever have any say in what, after all, is supposed to be a secular government.

    maxpowr9-I like where you're coming from, but I'd rather they just gtfo because the churches themselves don't spread vitriol...just people.

    EDIT: I'd also like to ban prayer, religious symbols etc. in public places. France has some laws along those lines...like no cross necklaces in school, burqa bans etc.
    That would violate an individual's right to free expression, so no go. France is also remarkably intolerant, so that's not the best example to use.

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    auribus teneo lupum Stardreamer's Avatar
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolyo85 View Post
    This.

    And as far as abortion goes, I believe there should be a very strict, cold and SCIENTIFIC approach to it, because otherwise it all gets obliterated by definitions of "life" that mostly hang on "but it will one day be so..."
    Prof. Singer's idea of euthanizing deformed and disabled babies before they become 'sentient' around 1 - 2 years of age in order to prevent the drain on the parents and societies resources such children represent would be a very strict COLD and SCIENTIFIC approach. Think of it as a retro-active abortion. I prefer a little humanity in the decision process as well as science.
    Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right. H. L. Mencken US editor (1880 - 1956)

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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by JB3 View Post
    That would violate an individual's right to free expression, so no go. France is also remarkably intolerant, so that's not the best example to use.
    My point is not to follow what France has done to the point they have, where it steps on toes, but I don't believe a cross, or nativity scene, or copy of the ten commandments has any place in a public building. I think prayer should be done in private, or at the very least silently.

    I'm pointing to France to say that some have gone further, meaning it's not wholly unreasonable to at least move in that direction by enforcing a total ban in public buildings (I know I said places before, I should've said buildings). At the moment, many (especially in rural areas) have taken the current laws to mean "all non-Christian" symbols are prohibited. I'd like to see that mentality changed.

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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by mightbe View Post
    My point is not to follow what France has done to the point they have, where it steps on toes, but I don't believe a cross, or nativity scene, or copy of the ten commandments has any place in a public building. I think prayer should be done in private, or at the very least silently.
    That's your opinion. One that is, thankfully, expressly forbidden from being enforced by our constitution.

    I'm pointing to France to say that some have gone further, meaning it's not wholly unreasonable to at least move in that direction by enforcing a total ban in public buildings (I know I said places before, I should've said buildings). At the moment, many (especially in rural areas) have taken the current laws to mean "all non-Christian" symbols are prohibited. I'd like to see that mentality changed.
    You shouldn't point to France at all. It is one of the most racially and religiously intolerant places in all of western civilization. You, nor anyone else, in the United States has the right to tell someone they cannot pray in public or wear clothing necessitated by their religion.

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    Impish and Mercurial Rolyo85's Avatar
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stardreamer View Post
    Prof. Singer's idea of euthanizing deformed and disabled babies before they become 'sentient' around 1 - 2 years of age in order to prevent the drain on the parents and societies resources such children represent would be a very strict COLD and SCIENTIFIC approach. Think of it as a retro-active abortion. I prefer a little humanity in the decision process as well as science.
    Not in the least. That is not COLD and SCIENTIFIC, or rather, it is, but it's also murder, since you have a living human being, however deformed or disabled. I don't consider it retroactive abortion any more than I consider any other murder to be so. However, you do NOT have a living human being in the first trimester of pregnancy. And where we need to show more than a little humanity is when we consider the mother who carries the fetus.
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
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    auribus teneo lupum Stardreamer's Avatar
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolyo85 View Post
    Not in the least. That is not COLD and SCIENTIFIC, or rather, it is, but it's also murder, since you have a living human being, however deformed or disabled. I don't consider it retroactive abortion any more than I consider any other murder to be so. However, you do NOT have a living human being in the first trimester of pregnancy. And where we need to show more than a little humanity is when we consider the mother who carries the fetus.
    Glad to see you agree.
    Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right. H. L. Mencken US editor (1880 - 1956)

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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by JB3 View Post
    That's your opinion. One that is, thankfully, expressly forbidden from being enforced by our constitution.

    You shouldn't point to France at all. It is one of the most racially and religiously intolerant places in all of western civilization. You, nor anyone else, in the United States has the right to tell someone they cannot pray in public or wear clothing necessitated by their religion.
    I think there may have been a disconnect. Religious symbols, like a cross on a wall, or a nativity scene on public property have been determined to be unconstitutional on grounds that it makes it appear to a religion that's endorsed by the government. That is what is not being duly enforced.

    I'm not at all saying we should prohibit what people may wear! I'm saying that I want that. I assumed it would be apparent that what France has done is not a proper course of action. I point to France to say that are misguided in their attempts and are pushing the limit. Is it wrong to point out the wrong-doer? What France has tried to do is entirely eliminate any trace of religion in public/civil life. Not totally a bad idea on its own and if it's controlled, but in the process they've stepped on toes, stabbed in the back and lost all credibility. They've betrayed their people.

    In comparison to the atrocity to expression they've done, it can hardly be considered unreasonable to at least back up what's on our books, which is totally benign. France crossed the line. Us at least making it to our own mark that we drew in the sand is not crossing a very distant line. THAT is what I meant.

    That much is not unreasonable. It IS, on the other hand, unreasonable to tell what people what they can and cannot do in regards to lawful expression. The total ban I spoke of was referring to symbols placed on public property (that includes all government buildings), not personal dress or attire. That is what is written in our laws, but only written. What's the point to a law if it's not enforced?

    Also, I never said to ban prayer in public. I said I think that it should be a private affair, and on religious reasoning; after all, isn't it supposed to be a personal relationship with God? It's supposed to be sanctimonious and intimate, making it somewhat unsuitable to just be paraded about. In that way, it's more of an insult to the very institution of sacred prayer. Flashing it about disrespectfully is a disgrace. Now, I think that is wrong to do so, but nothing can stop people from abusing that right.

    Are we on the same page now?

    I'll take the fall for the miscommunication. The previous posts were just jotted down in a hurry, and for my lack of clarity I apologize.
    Last edited by opinterph; January 13th, 2013 at 08:18 PM. Reason: late edit

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    PerScientiam AdJustitiam bankside's Avatar
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    I don't think it is appropriate to ban religious expression in public; only the public funding of it.

    So a Christmas Tree can go up in the town square - if the churchgoers pay for it. A Menorah can go up in the town square - if the synagogue pays for it. Public land can be used by the public.

    What is not appropriate is for the public to be asked to pay for it. Or for the public to be asked to experience it in the course of their necessary transactions. I don't care who pays for the crucifix; it doesn't belong in the office where people are required to go to pay their taxes or attend their classes even if it is a gift to the city.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    I don't think it is appropriate to ban religious expression in public; only the public funding of it.

    So a Christmas Tree can go up in the town square - if the churchgoers pay for it. A Menorah can go up in the town square - if the synagogue pays for it. Public land can be used by the public.

    What is not appropriate is for the public to be asked to pay for it. Or for the public to be asked to experience it in the course of their necessary transactions. I don't care who pays for the crucifix; it doesn't belong in the office where people are required to go to pay their taxes or attend their classes even if it is a gift to the city.
    I agree on all counts. However, I wouldn't advocate the removal of things that have been there for decades either.

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    CE&P Secret Police xbuzzerx's Avatar
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    I don't think it is appropriate to ban religious expression in public; only the public funding of it.

    So a Christmas Tree can go up in the town square - if the churchgoers pay for it. A Menorah can go up in the town square - if the synagogue pays for it. Public land can be used by the public.

    What is not appropriate is for the public to be asked to pay for it. Or for the public to be asked to experience it in the course of their necessary transactions. I don't care who pays for the crucifix; it doesn't belong in the office where people are required to go to pay their taxes or attend their classes even if it is a gift to the city.
    I agree also. This is fair and it's inclusive.

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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by xbuzzerx View Post
    Agreed. Taking Rolyo's response into account, I'd narrow it down and say only in regards to when individual religious liberty pertains to personal belief and personal practice... excluding the people who would (and do) say things like not being able to force prayer in schools or whatever is "oppressing their belief."
    This is where I would think it should land.

  22. #22
    JockBoy87
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Religious people have a right to conscience in private. Public business, even religious ones, should obey non discrimination law.

  23. #23
    auribus teneo lupum Stardreamer's Avatar
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    I don't think it is appropriate to ban religious expression in public; only the public funding of it.

    So a Christmas Tree can go up in the town square - if the churchgoers pay for it. A Menorah can go up in the town square - if the synagogue pays for it. Public land can be used by the public.

    What is not appropriate is for the public to be asked to pay for it. Or for the public to be asked to experience it in the course of their necessary transactions. I don't care who pays for the crucifix; it doesn't belong in the office where people are required to go to pay their taxes or attend their classes even if it is a gift to the city.
    That perfectly correct but also it has to be applied evenly. If the Wiccans want to put up some decoration next to the Christmas tree the government must allow it under the same conditions or allow nothing at all.
    Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right. H. L. Mencken US editor (1880 - 1956)

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    auribus teneo lupum Stardreamer's Avatar
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by JockBoy87 View Post
    Religious people have a right to conscience in private. Public business, even religious ones, should obey non discrimination law.
    Religious people have a perfect right to public square as everyone else.
    Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right. H. L. Mencken US editor (1880 - 1956)

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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by JB3 View Post
    I agree on all counts. However, I wouldn't advocate the removal of things that have been there for decades either.
    Centuries I'd agree with. Decades, I'm not so sure. I think it depends on the country/province/state/city.

    Clearly, very old religious symbols are part of a nation's history, going back to a time when countries did not respect freedom of religion and did not abide by a neutral stance. They still have historical value apart from the religious symbolism.

    In places where the government has demonstrated respect for religious freedom again and again, those old symbols can probably stay put. In places where governments are still a little clueless, then the crucifixes and angels and 10 commandments should probably be carefully chiselled off the sides of the buildings and put in a museum.

    There is one other exception: a public memorial to people who have lost their lives in service to their country should both be paid for by the country and reflect the beliefs of those who made the sacrifice.

    Here's an example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_T...morial_Chamber

    It is totally appropriate for the government to honour the memory of these fallen soldiers using religious symbols or ceremonies they would recognise and take comfort in. In Canada's case the soldiers who died in WWI and WWII were overwhelmingly Christian and this is reflected in the symbolism of the Memorial Chamber. However they were not exclusively Christian even then, and I would argue that Parliament ought to do some remodelling on behalf of those of other religions who have made the same sacrifice.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Impish and Mercurial Rolyo85's Avatar
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stardreamer View Post
    Religious people have a perfect right to public square as everyone else.
    True, but only in their capacity as private citizens. Not for public expression of their faith, unless they pay for it themselves.
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolyo85 View Post
    True, but only in their capacity as private citizens. Not for public expression of their faith, unless they pay for it themselves.
    Yeah that's really the crux of where controversy starts. Some small southern town puts up a huge nativity scene with public money and then says it should be there and Jewish or other symbols of faith shouldn't be because "this is a Christian country." That's always how it goes.

    So if they pay for it themselves, and the space is equally available to everyone else, then fine.

  28. #28
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    only with respect to freedom.

    I have a problem with religions trying to impose restrictions on others based on their views (eg: banning gay marriage because they view homosexuality as a sin), but I have no problem with, say, laws giving churches exemptions from having to perform gay marriages (I also have no problem with not requiring Catholic hospitals from providing contraception/abortions, as long as the employees are free to direct patients towards a source for those things)

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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    I am not. A Catholic hospital is HOSPITAL first, and Catholic second. It should follow absolutely all possible laws and regulations that all other hospitals follow. If the Catholic church can't abide by secular law when it provides secular services, it is free to close them down as it did with its orphanages in NY, when it became clear gays can adopt. Because while not providing contraception may seem innocent enough, what happens when it's a life or death situation that requires immediate response? Abortions for example CAN be a response to a serious health complication that needs to be performed immediately. And what happens when the only hospital in 40 miles is Catholic?
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    PerScientiam AdJustitiam bankside's Avatar
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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    I agree that churches don't have to perform marriages for gays…they don't have to do anything at all with respect to marriage or they can hold whatever ceremony they like at the same time that a couple is married by the state.

    I do have a problem with the idea of a Catholic hospital though. I'm not sure angioplasty was covered in the scriptures. And in any event, hospital services should be provided by the government.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: Should Religious Considerations Ever Be Part of Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolyo85 View Post
    True, but only in their capacity as private citizens. Not for public expression of their faith, unless they pay for it themselves.
    They should have no more and NO LESS access to the public square as any other group of citizens.
    Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right. H. L. Mencken US editor (1880 - 1956)

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