Federalism and Liberty
psalaman at POP.UKY.EDU
Mon Jan 12 15:50:10 PST 1998
I'm not a trained theologian, but I'd like to play one on TV:
Marci Hamilton writes about religious accommodation of political
values. I must agree that, in geological time, religions will accommodate
prevailing political mores, or they will cease to exist. But I don't think
that offers much comfort to the person who sincerely believes that failing
to adhere to a particular religious practice prohibited by law will entail a
fall from grace. As Professor McConnell has pointed out, these kinds of
people often make very good citizens. Why, without a good reason, should we
force these people to choose between their faith and their polity?
Granted, I can see at least one theological responses to this. One
might argue that the deity put everything on this earth, including the
indifferent government, and that the deity expects religion to adapt to a
master plan. "I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of
the Lord in the land of the living." But this is ultimately tautological.
How does the government go about acquiring the power of fiat, and why isn't
that subject to the master plan as well?
Paul E. Salamanca
Assistant Professor of Law
University of Kentucky
College of Law
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