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 planet, the U.S. criminal process constructed whilst the inhabitants was once predominantly Christian. equipped into the legislation 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 reports display that either the legislations affecting nondominant religions and the judiciary that translates this legislations are considerably biased in desire of the dominant faith, Christianity. This creates felony difficulties, in addition to difficulties of intolerance, for religions with considerably diversified practices. specified realization is given to a chain of best court docket judgements analyzing the liberty of faith Clause by way of neutrality and studying the institution Clause loosely and its effect on nondominant religions within the US.
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Additional resources for Contemporary Paganism Religions in a Majoritarian America
1595, 1610). She also called attention to the fact that the “history of our free exercise doctrine amply demonstrates the harsh impact majoritarian rule has had on unpopular the historical and legal context / 19 or emerging religious groups. . ” (110 S. Ct. 1595, 1613). In concurring with the majority’s result, Justice O’Connor used the Sherbert test and found the interest of Oregon in criminalizing the use of peyote compelling enough to trump the burden it placed on the Native Americans’ religious practice.
It covers a whole host of situations in which government officials have made decisions preventing or significantly limiting Native American religious practices. Those harmed can only appeal these decisions to a judiciary that finds their beliefs and practices largely incomprehensible because they are so different from those of the judges (Dussias, 1997). This leads to the second major problem faced by religious groups embracing a worldview different from that of Christians. Under the rationale used in the Lyng decision and found in many other interpretations of the Free Exercise Clause, these minority religions not only face uncomprehending, unsympathetic government officials and judges, they also lack the political power to protect themselves through the political process because—for now and into the foreseeable future—they lack the numbers and resources necessary to give the historical and legal context / 17 them an effective voice in the American vote-counting, money-oriented political process.
This move toward greater religious diversity via the immigration of adherents following non-Christian religions was supplemented by the rise of emerging religious movements during the 1960s and 1970s. Many grew out of an increased interest in alternative spirituality that accompanied the political and social upheavals of that period. Some have disappeared while others have flourished and are growing steadily. One of the latter, contemporary Paganism, is the case study used in this book. ” He adds: “Since 1970, religious change has accelerated in America, producing a situation in which existing conceptual models [for defining what is “religion”] have seemed increasingly inadequate” (50).
Contemporary Paganism Religions in a Majoritarian America by C. Barner-Barry