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LINK US law and religious freedom

US Law and Religion. A great read from Columbia Law School.

MizJ 7 Oct 7

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Excellent paper. Thanks for posting. Although I don't consider myself a Satanist, I find it interesting how the Satanic Temple's legal status as a church has enabled it to test the legal boundaries of religion in the U.S. - in unexpected and provocative ways.

Federal Appeals Court Axes Satanic Temple Abortion Lawsuit (boo on this court!)

Satanic Temple threatens lawsuit if ‘In God We Trust’ appears on new Mississippi flag


Bigger picture: we don't really have ANY rights since the government in power can suspend or remove them at will. Ask the Japanese US citizens who were rounded up and placed in concentration camps during WW II how much Constitutional protection they had. Enter a US military base - Constitution doesn't apply. Want to avoid unwarranted search & seizure? Don't try to get on an airplane. The preamble talks about our inalienable rights of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Got that? Life - what about capital punishment or sending troops to kill civilians overseas? Liberty - Think of all the things you can't do. Every law is passed to prevent someone from doing something. If no one was doing that action, no law would be needed. Happiness? Even when my pursuit of happiness risks only me, it is often illegal - building codes, drug laws, lifestyle choices.

Don't get me wrong - I absolutely believe that laws are essential for a functioning civilization and do not support living in anarchy. However, we have no inalienable rights. We have no regular vanilla rights, either. We are protected (endangered) by what is currently in vogue with whatever government is in charge.

Rights listed in our Constitution cannot be suspended or removed. That requires a Constitutional Amendment, and that is hard to do.

Japanese internments during WW2 were unconstitutional, however since it did not go to court, no ruling was ever made.

Searches prior to boarding aircraft are nor unreasonable, hence not unconstitutional.

Your other illustrations make no sense.

@Alienbeing The Constitution is what rights we think we have, but those rights are ignored or suspended when the government thinks it has good reason to do so. Which I agree with BTW - like freedom of speech doesn't allow you to yell "File!" in crowded theater to cause a panic. My point is that NO rights are absolutely guaranteed. Even your right to life can be denied if you're convicted of a serious enough crime.
Japanese internment happened even though it was unconstitutional; my point exactly - they still happened, rights were ignored. TSA search has been ruled probably unconstitutional but allowed for public safety. That only 0.01% of travelers are a threat does not provide basis for the TSA search being warranted.

@David_ver_3 Rights in the Constitution are not what we think we have, they are what we actually have. Certainly one can be denied a Right(s) but that does not negate their existence, it only means the Right(s) was or were denied. The Right can be enforced through legal action.

Our Government cannot ignore or suspend a Right, Sine Rights are Constitutionally guaranteed, the only way to get rid of that Right is via a Constitutional Amendment. Rights ARE guaranteed to the extent any one Right is eliminated via Constitutional Amendment which is a very long and involved process, this very unlikely to happen.

Your illustration of Japanese citizen Rights is a perfect example of the fact that while a Right can be denied, it is not done away with. The U.S. Federal Government later paid reparations for the action. Actually had anyone sued to block internment at the time it was done, who knows what ruling the Courts would have made.

@Alienbeing I think we basically agree; don't need to tussle over semantics. When dealing with the rights we HAVE and the rights as ENFORCED, I'm reminded of the saying:

Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.

@David_ver_3 I don't think we agree as the difference is not semantic. Rights exist, if you are denied a right, due process will correct that. You can be denied a right, but that in no way infers the right does not exist.

I don't see how your last sentence applies to the subject.

@Alienbeing If you have a right and that right is denied, it pretty much doesn't matter whether or not you have the right; it didn't protect you. Whether the right is denied illegally and dealt with in due process, or whether your right was temporarily suspended because the government made that decision, still the same - at the time you needed the right to protect you it didn't.

EVERY right comes from the government. The Constitution is a document created by the government. All the laws meant to protect us come from the government. Anything the government gives you, the government can take away. While it is difficult for our government to change the Bill of RIghts, it is pretty easy for the government to figure out temporary denials or work-arounds. Rights are fragile.

As to the last line, it was an analogy. Try this:
Rights are what you expect, reality is what you get.

IMO there's no need to continue this thread. We have different takes on rights; neither of us will change the other's mind, and that's fine.

@David_ver_3 In your first sentence you are confusing the existence of a Right with its enforcement. It DOES matter the Right actually exists, because of it did not, first you should not expect it, and more important you can't demand it. It is not the same at all. If the Right didn't exist you would first have to establish that it should exist before your could even seek redress.

Your second paragraph strongly hints you don't know why there is a Constitution or what it actually says. Our Constitution gives the Government the right to exist and then limits what Government can do. It ends by saying (in general terms) that those permissions not give to the government are reserved for the States or the People. This stops government overreach. Rights ar eanything except fragile.To eliminate a right Government would have to amend the Constitution. That is VERY hard to do. It requires both the House of Representatives to pass a new Amendment nullifying what is in question and both bodies must pass it by a 66% majority. Then the President must sing it, then 66% of the individual States must approve it. Can you imagine the elimination of a Right passing all those challenges?

It is not an issue of different "takes" it is an issue of you really have no idea of what you allege, as proven above.


And I might add: Ruin the lives of gay teens with conversion therapy? Sure. Traumatize youngsters with scenes of eternal Hell? Yup - sounds good. Kill protesters who are, in your opinion, immoral? Yeah, they were trouble makers. Kill doctors and moms because of abortion while simultaneously demanding the death penalty as punishment? Inconsistent, but approved anyway. Religious freedom that supports government's own purposes is legal, religious freedoms contrary to government wishes are banned.


Religious freedom only goes as far as the ruling government allows. Your religion includes animal sacrifice? Nope, not allowed. Allow minors to drink wine during communion? Nope. Have multiple wives? Cancel that. Practice witchcraft? Banned.


US law is what the fight is about, Pence made it clear he doesn't approve of anyone holding Christians accountable for their bull shit.
Under Trump everyone will get along fine if we all just bend the knee.
Trump has to be voted out, it doesn't look like COVID-19 will do what we needed it to do, too bad.


Religion and morality just do not go together. Just read the bible and see how immoral god is.


Only in Murica we want our sky daddy delusions taught in our schools. After all, people came here coz their mean old king would not let them worship god. None of that is even true!

I call him Sky King. lol


This document needs to be be spread broadly.


It's a good read, but under it all, completely maddening that we spend so much time over mythologies that have yet to be proved.
I mean, if we can have a Muslim travel ban, why don't we have a travel ban on Christians too? Oh, cause this is Murica and we be a Christian nation....ugh....

Well sure if certain sects were responsible for increasing levels of terrorism, sure. Have we seen widedpread terrorism in US recenlty?

@Flowerwall Most of the terrorism in the US comes from right wing white so called Christians.

@Jolanta Please list as many specific instances as you can. Why do feel the need to label "white"? Is there an exact reasin for it?

@Jolanta It's interesting how wikipedia page makes no mention of recent events in US even though it says "In the United States a common definition of terrorism is the systematic or threatened use of violence in order to create a general climate of fear to intimidate a population or government and thereby effect political, religious, or ideological change." In India there is discussion of how mob violence should labeled as terrorism. It is spoken of as "murder of law". In the US it's just what we do? It's okay?


Absolutely no mention of recent mob violence. It's making me think I'm being lied to. How about you?

@Flowerwall The history of the Christian religion and all its many offshoots (Catholicism, etc) are literally soaked in blood. SOAKED IN IT. And they incite bigotry and violence to this very day. So it's kinda like the old "pot-kettle", ya know!

@Freespirit64 Sure, I understand. I'm not here to misrepresent facts from history, the way our government is currently misrepresenting the mass civil unrest that feels an awful lot like terrorism in present day. Suspects tied to international terror involved in MN mass unrest and no mention of this in updated lists on terrorism in US? It's LIES, PURE LIES.

It also feels like journalists are not doing their part to examune this. Given the timing, the proximity of election, wouldn't it be important to discuss? Do we even know how widespread it is?

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