Second-class citizenship for those with deeply religious moral
whoooo26505 at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 27 12:59:20 PST 2006
What you are suggesting is that an epistemic qualification be placed upon views that survive the democratic ritual. If an epistemic qualification were required, a test would be administered for membership in Congress (or voting), not an election. Or perhaps a test for whether one is permitted to run (eliminating the inferior views). Elections are about passions and the desire to rule one another; they are not about epistemology. It is not that your "wall of separation" could not also be offered as a policy product -- John Kerry took that view about abortion, and he won an election while espousing it -- it is that the election is the ultimate basis of the entitlement, not the view. Many good ideas die at the ballot box and improper ones prevail. Such is the nature with the democratic ritual. There is no historical, constitutional or philosophic rationale that would allow a world view to survive the ritual but be disqualified because it takes the form of a religious a
priori. (Just as there is nothing that says Congressmen cannot contradict themselves, cannot hate, cannot have inconsistent views, cannot use ad hominem, cannot use sophistry, reason with fallacy, and so forth.)
The question is not whether "god views" can be legitimately espoused in Copngress, it is whether the passage of "religious views" by a religious political hegemony "respects an establishment" -- which something that the democratic ritual is not given power to do (without forming a super majority, at least).
Dr. Sean Wilson, Esq.
Penn State University
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----- Original Message ----
From: Howard Schweber <schweber at polisci.wisc.edu>
To: "Volokh, Eugene" <VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu>; conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
Sent: Monday, November 27, 2006 3:25:35 PM
Subject: Re: Second-class citizenship for those with deeply religious moral systems
If the answer to the broader question is "yes" then the question is whether religion is a special case or not. I and the First Amendment maintain that it is, based on historical experience, sociological and psychological significance, the totality of the worldviews involved, the intensity of identification, the assertions of authority, and a host of other elements.
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