9/11: The wages of Free Exercise?
conlawprof at YAHOO.COM
Thu Oct 25 08:51:49 PDT 2001
It seems to me that Marci's argument (if indeed this
is her argument) that the WTC attack demonstrates why
free exercise should not protect religious conduct is
similar to Jerry Falwell's attempt to blame the WTC
attack on the ACLU and secular humanists.
I can imagine a not-very-sophisticated 1L arguing
that, if we protect religious liberty, the Bin Laden's
of the world will be able to destroy and murder with
impunity. And what would any of us say to that
innocent 1L? We would say exactly what we say when one
of students says "but if we protect free exercise
doesn't that mean that human sacrifice will be
protected?" We would remind the student that the state
clearly has a compelling interest in protecting
persons and property against terrorist attacks (as
well as against human sacrifice). Now perhaps a
*voluntary* human sacrifice raises some interesting
questions, but religiously-motivated mass murder of
innocent victims does not. It is an easy case. No one
seriously believes that Bin Laden has a free exercise
claim with respect to his conduct or a free speech
claim with respect to any speech that he expressed in
planning the WTC attack.
Does anyone think my analysis is incorrect?
Cheers, Rick Duncan
"Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm."
--President George W. Bush (quoting John Page)
"When the Round Table is broken every man must follow Galahad or Mordred; middle things are gone." -C.S. Lewis
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