Sponsoring Religion as History -Reply
Marie A. Failinger
mfailing at PIPER.HAMLINE.EDU
Fri Dec 12 10:55:18 PST 1997
So far as I could tell when I was living in Indiana, the majority culture
does not recognize the Establishment Clause (although this may have
changed in 15 years). . . my (attempted ironic) point was
meant to suggest that regular people might better understand what is at
stake if the tactic used by the lawyers was to show how various religious
and non-religious people are potentially disadvantaged by the selection of
onereligion's document as a "freedom document", rather than to directly
attack an isolated document as being an establishment violation (even if
it theoretically is.) It thus
seemed an easier challenge than to get into a social and legal argument
about whether some traditional document is "cultural" or "religious," as
in the creche cases.
Marie A. Failinger
Hamline University School of Law
mfailing at piper.hamline.edu
On Thu, 11 Dec 1997, Rob Weinberg wrote:
> At 11:15 AM 12/11/97 -0600, "Marie A. Failinger"
> <mfailing at PIPER.HAMLINE.EDU> wrote:
> It's not really a question of discrimination between religions, but of
> promoting religion *at all,* regardless of denominational "preferences."
> Discrimination between religions partakes of content-based discrimination
> that is probably more appropriately analyzed under the free speech clause
> and attendant time, place and manner restrictions, at least the recent
> cases tend to suggest so. It is true, it is often helpful to illustrate the
> establishment clause problems by pointing out that the ten commandments
> that's on display may not, in fact, be the same one all religions subscribe
> to. So that preference for one religion's version illustrates the
> "establishment" of endorsement or promotion of that religion to the
> exclusion of others. But that's just proof that the items in controversy
> are, indeed, religious icons that do not otherwise have an articulated
> secular purpose.
> It's really no answer to establishment clause claims that accomodating
> *all* other religions will make the practice consitutional. For the
> government is still promoting religion, even if it accomodates all
> denominations possible.
> Rob Weinberg, Montgomery, AL
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