Thursday, May 31, 2012
Or Could it Be to Focus Attention Away from the Pedophilia Scandal
Excellent analysis of the First Amendment scurfufal over providing reproductive services by Catholic agencies. Quote: "The first paragraph of the Complaint states that “[t]his lawsuit is about one of America’s most cherished freedoms: the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference.” By the end of the paragraph, the religious institutions and their attorneys have worked themselves up to making an even more grandiose claim: the claim that religious freedom is the “most fundamental of American rights.” Historians will tell you two things about such a claim. First, the “First Amendment” is not first because the Framers believed that rights to speech and religion were more fundamental than, say, the right to a jury trial or the right to avoid unreasonable searches and seizures, which were set out in subsequent amendments. To the contrary, historical accident made “the First Amendment” first, so the notion that the right to religious exercise is most fundamental because it is in the “first” amendment needs to be set aside early in this litigation. Second, the true innovation in the United States Bill of Rights was not contained in its protection of the free exercise of religion, as much as it was contained in the Establishment Clause, which instituted the then-novel concept of a separation between church and state. The Notre Dame complaint is part and parcel of the seemingly endless push by religious organizations and nonprofits in this era to obtain free exercise at the expense of separation."