By C. Barner-Barry
This booklet explores the criminal bias within the usa opposed to Paganism and different non-Christian religions. regardless of being essentially the most religiously varied nations on the earth, the U.S. felony approach constructed while the inhabitants used to be predominantly Christian. equipped into the legislations is the tacit assumption that each one religions and non secular practices resemble Christianity. utilizing the Pagans as a case examine, Barner-Barry indicates how their stories show that either the legislation affecting nondominant religions and the judiciary that translates this legislation are considerably biased in prefer of the dominant faith, Christianity. This creates felony difficulties, in addition to difficulties of intolerance, for religions with considerably various practices. specific recognition is given to a sequence of ultimate courtroom judgements reading the liberty of faith Clause by way of neutrality and reading the institution Clause loosely and its effect on nondominant religions within the US.
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Additional info for Contemporary Paganism: Minority Religions in a Majoritarian America
S. 520). This case involved the Santeria religious practice of sacrificing animals at some rituals. When a group of followers of Santeria began the process of building a religious worship center in Hialeah, the city council held an emergency public session and passed a group of resolutions and ordinances the effect of which was to prevent the ritual killing of animals—with certain exceptions that limited the effect of the law to Santeria and exempted, for example, kosher butchering (Karst, 1994, 342).
This law was, however, struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional in 1997 in Borne v. Flores (117 S. Ct. 2157). The Court held that Congress had trespassed on the Supreme Court’s power to interpret the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. This left the Smith interpretation of the Free Exercise Clause intact as the law of the land—at least with regard to state court cases presenting a Fourteenth Amendment free exercise issue. Several circuit courts have held that RFRA is constitutional when applied to non-Fourteenth amendment cases involving federal entities, such as federal prisons and federal territories, as well as federal bankruptcy laws.
As Stephen M. ” For him, the current situation amounts to the “de facto establishment of Christianity” (1997, 267). Facially neutral laws, no matter how much damage they do to an adherent’s ability to worship freely and to have their religiously motivated values respected (Note 1987a, 610; Note, 1987b, 1637–1739), are virtually untouchable under the current interpretation of the free exercise clause. Whether the free speech clause or other constitutional doctrines will give them adequate protection remains to be seen.
Contemporary Paganism: Minority Religions in a Majoritarian America by C. Barner-Barry