ZONING AGAINST CHRISTIANITY
mnewsom at LAW.HOWARD.EDU
Mon Sep 30 17:42:20 PDT 2002
This is not much of an answer, but recall the treatment of Native American religion at the hands of the Court. Lyng, if I have the right case, comes to mind. Some religions cannot prevail if to do so is to subordinate religions that the Court is (a) more familiar with, (b) more comfortable with, or (c) some combination of the two. Justice O'Connor wrote, in effect, that she was exasperated by the claim of the Native Americans who sought to prevent the construction of a road through land that they considered sacred because the Government owned the land. (How the Government came to own it, of course, is something over which we need not linger.) Congress weighed in and tried to strike a somewhat different balance. But I leave it to others on this listserv to take it from here.
The Spiritualists occupy a position not too unlike the Native Americans in the earlier case.
----- Original Message -----
From: Robert Justin Lipkin
To: RELIGIONLAW at listserv.ucla.edu
Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 11:27 AM
Subject: Re: ZONING AGAINST CHRISTIANITY
In a message dated 9/30/2002 11:03:58 AM Eastern Daylight Time, davideguinn at HOTMAIL.COM writes:
My only question is how anyone could seriously think they
could discriminate in this way in the first place after Lukimi.
As I understand it, Lukumi involves a secular (perhaps with some traditional religious support) attack on a minority religion. This case is a conflict between two religions. As such, it represents one of (conceivably) many conflicts between religions with conflicting practices. In these cases, any choice the government makes will favor a particular religion or group of religions and disfavor others--though the public rationale (or court decision) might not explicitly say so. Indeed, in this case, couldn't one argue that practicing the spiritualist's religion requires protecting "cosmic harmony" and therefore permitting other religions is an attack on the spiritualists or at least is unequal (and unfair?) treatment of the spiritualists because it disallows "cosmic harmony"? I ask list members, who I'm sure have forgotten more than I'll ever know in this area, what principle can resolve conflicts between conflicting practic! es between religions. And if there is such a principle won't it require an "overlapping consensus" of religions which might exist in the United States, but certainly doesn't exist throughout the world?
Widener University School of Law
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