The Dearborn, Michigan area is home to one of the largest Muslim populations in the United States, so this can’t be blamed on some small-town cops ignorant of the law. Of course, since that “law” is actually the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantee of freedom of religion, even that is not much of [...]
|By: Peter Van Buren Wednesday January 28, 2015 9:00 am|
|By: Peter Van Buren Monday December 8, 2014 9:00 am|
Let’s see, got my Bible right here… a lot of stuff in this thing about tolerance, loving each other, specifically love they neighbor. Hmm. They must be using a different version in Georgia, where a small town has used some odd twists on traffic laws to violate the First Amendment’s right to practice one’s religion [...]
|By: Peterr Saturday May 3, 2014 9:05 am|
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore — he of the 10 Commandments monument fame — appears to be possibly following in the footsteps of the LA Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling, as a recording of his speech to a group of Alabama clergy is becoming widely available. It seems Moore thinks the first amendment only applies to some people — you know, the Christians that founded this place. In listening to Moore’s speech, I couldn’t help but think of the disgraced-and-banned-for-life-but-still-the-owner-for-at-least-a-while-longer of the LA Clippers, Donald Sterling. Both Moore and Sterling exhibit the same sense of arrogance and entitlement, and the views of both Moore and Sterling were not some secret thing that just emerged. Both Moore and Sterling operate in a sheltered and rarified world — Moore atop the Supreme Court of Alabama, and Sterling amongst the 30 owners of the NBA teams — and seem to think that this insulated world allows them free reign to hold their narrowminded views with little accountability to anyone.
Hearing each of them put his bigotry front and center with no apologies, it’s hard NOT to connect the two. So I did . . .
|By: Peterr Saturday March 9, 2013 9:00 am|
Once upon a time, the USCCB produced a pastoral statement on domestic violence that opened with this sentence: “As pastors of the Catholic Church in the United States, we state as clearly and strongly as we can that violence against women, inside or outside the home, is never justified.” Among other things, the statement takes on those who would misuse scripture to justify domestic violence, and calls on the church to keep in mind three things: the safety of the victim (and any children in the home), accountability for the perpetrator, and either restoring the relationship or mourning its loss.
Once upon a time, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops supported the Violence Against Women Act. This is not that time. Not any more . . .
|By: Peterr Friday April 13, 2012 10:38 am|
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is trying to play the martyr once more. This time, they are trying to claim the mantle of James Madison and Martin Luther King Jr. as they self-righteously hold themselves up as the defenders of religious liberty. If the bishops were truly honest and transparent about what they are doing, however, there’d be a revision of Dante’s sign hanging over the door to every bishop’s office and over the entrances to far too many catholic churches: “Abandon all independent thinking, ye who enter here”.
Sorry, your eminences, but the answer is no.
|By: Peterr Saturday March 3, 2012 9:00 am|
Mitt Romney’s got a problem, when the discussion turns to opposing the mandate to provide contraception on the grounds of religious freedom. In the first Supreme Court case on the free exercise of religion clause of the First Amendment, Reynolds v US [98 U.S. 145 (1879)], George Reynolds argued that his religious beliefs should give him the freedom to ignore a law that is binding on others who don’t hold those beliefs. Reynolds lost, as have others who have tried to make that argument since then.
But what was the law that Reynolds broke? The law prohibiting polygamy.
The more that folks like the Catholic bishops and Roy Blunt want to talk about contraception, the more likely it is that folks will be looking at George Reynolds and his two wives.
And the last thing Romney wants to do is for people to start to talk about polygamy.
|By: Scarecrow Monday February 27, 2012 6:15 am|
When Rick Santorum repeated his view that Kennedy’s promise to honor separation of church and state makes him want to throw up, he’s telling us that he wants to puke on a critical piece of the U.S. Constitution. And it’s not just any part; it’s the very first “freedom” mentioned in the Bill of Rights.
|By: Peterr Saturday February 11, 2012 9:00 am|
While some are calling yesterday’s change of policy with regard to contraception coverage a win-win for both the Catholic church and the Obama administration, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops does not see this as a win. Instead, they see it as one small little step, and they are pressing for much, much more.
The first amendment’s protection of religious liberty is not a license for religious organizations or individuals to disregard any law or regulation they don’t like. If the White House wants to end this fight, that’s the argument they’re going to have to make to the public. Instead, they have allowed the USCCB to set the terms of the debate, and the USCCB is quite happy to continue doing so.
This isn’t over, folks. Not by a long shot.
|By: Peterr Saturday January 14, 2012 9:04 am|
Ah, the confusion that reigns when folks talk about church and state . . . SCOTUS rules in favor of religious freedom on one day, and the next day — the very next day! — religious conservatives come out screaming about the threat to religious freedom.
No one could have anticipated . . .