Possible Supreme Court Nominees-- orthodoxy
Hamilton02 at aol.com
Hamilton02 at aol.com
Sun May 3 15:45:11 PDT 2009
Greg's post and the exchanges leading from Rob's original posting
illustrate one of the core problems with discourse regarding religion in the United
States in the academy, and, frankly, in the Church. There is an
unfortunate tendency to claim orthodoxy -- which hides actual discrepancies in the
doctrine -- in both canon law and constitutional law. If anyone should be
bucking claims to orthodoxy it should be academics.
With respect to canon law-- it is open to various interpretations, and
there can be legitimate debate over issues like the denial of communion.
Moreover, the Church is not simply a private religious institution, but also a
sovereign that exercises political power using millions of dollars
worldwide. It is legitimate and appropriate for there to be a public debate from
outside the Church about whether refusal of communion to public officials is
appropriate. Robert's comment took one position that is held by many
Catholics, as has been pointed out. In fact, criticism of the Church can be
good for the Church as it is for every institution.
With respect to constitutional law, elites equally attempt to impose
orthodoxy in arenas where there is legitimate debate. There is no better
example of that than the academic response to Employment Div. v. Smith. I have
just been through all of the commentary following Smith and academic opinions
were expressed as orthodox truth, which covered up and falsified the fact
that there were competing threads in the doctrine. Those expressions of
orthodoxy were picked up by those who do not specialize in the arena and
repeated. Not the brightest moment in the history of the legal academy.
The Church hierarchy can claim hegemony over a particular interpretation,
but that does not mean that religion scholars cannot or should not discuss
both the interpretation and the claim to hegemony.
Marci A. Hamilton
Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
**************The Average US Credit Score is 692. See Yours in Just 2 Easy
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Conlawprof