Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What Are Our Rights (and Limitations) Today?

Despite limitation placed on religious people, the Supreme Court has found only the following seven practices to be a violation of the establishment clause:

  1. State-directed and required on-premises religious training,
  2. State-directed and required prayer,
  3. State-directed and required Bible reading,
  4. State-directed and required posting of the Ten Commandments,
  5. State-directed and authorized "periods of silence" for meditation and voluntary prayer,
  6. State-directed and required teaching of scientific creationism,
  7. State-directed prayer by a clergyman at public school graduation ceremonies.
It has been said that "the Supreme Court reads the newspapers," which means that if people are upset about issues and are creating awareness of their opinions through litigation or other means, the justices will notice and it may affect their future decisions. The ACLU also reads the newspapers. According the book cited previously about the ACLU, they have in the past modified their policies because of fear of overwhelming public opposition.

Finally, we all need to know what our rights are. We need to understand some of the ways that the Supreme Court's decisions have been inadvertently misapplied by local officials. We need to question actions that seem contrary to the law and our constitutional rights. Even though while the Supreme Court has limited rights of religious people, perhaps contrary to the framer's intentions, we need to understand that religious rights are not as limited as many believe.

1 comment:

adude said...

And, through the Kitzmiller decision, a superintendent reading a four-paragraph statement (two of which explain why evolution will be taught and tested) mentioning a reference book which may be a touch Creationist is an excessive entanglement. Mention was stre-e-etched to reach "teaching" and a mostly generic Creator was stre-e-etched to imply religion. But most of all a four-paragraph statement where your boring ol' superintendent comes in to offer you the opportunity to read another text book, to normal, average high-school students is stre-e-tched to be called an "enticement".