By C. Barner-Barry
This booklet explores the felony bias within the usa opposed to Paganism and different non-Christian religions. regardless of being probably the most religiously diversified international locations on the planet, the U.S. felony procedure built while 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 exhibits how their stories display that either the legislation 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 varied practices. certain cognizance is given to a sequence of best courtroom judgements reading the liberty of faith Clause when it comes to neutrality and examining the institution Clause loosely and its impression on nondominant religions within the US.
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Additional info for Contemporary Paganism: Minority Religions in a Majoritarian America
Citing a 1992 Florida case, Traylor v. State (596 So. 2d 957) the court stated: “In interpreting the scope of constitutional rights, this Court has stated that in any state the historical and legal context / 21 issue, the federal constitution represents the ‘floor’ for basic freedoms, and the state constitution represents the ‘ceiling’ ” (2004 Fla. LEXIS 1449, 18). Its conclusion was that “The FRFRA expands the scope of religious protection beyond the conduct considered protected by cases from the United States Supreme Court .
Even before the Smith case, Oregon had a policy of not enforcing its drug law with regard to peyote use. In fact, in 1990, the year the Smith case was decided, 23 states and the federal government exempted the religious use of peyote from their drug laws. Subsequently, Congress also amended the American Indian Religious Freedom Act to protect the sacramental use of peyote in all 50 states. In fact, the federal government licensed its production and importation (McConnell, 1990a, 1109,1113; The Washington Post, April 23, 2003).
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.