Religion-only accommodation question
sjamar at law.howard.edu
Fri Apr 8 10:08:20 PDT 2005
From some perspectives, the only meaningful difference among Judaism,
Christianity, and Islam is when they stopped accepting new prophets--
Christianity with Jesus, Islam with Mohammed, Judaism (not stopped
yet). All look to Moses, all claim a belief in one god, all started in
the same part of the world, all are based on many of the same
principles and teachings of the same people, and so on. To a
polythiest or nature worshiper or a person from outside of the three
western religions they may seem to be the same in the respects most
important to that outsider.
But one would not really say that for nearly any demographic purpose
the adherents to the three traditions are adhering to the same religion.
So we need to establish our frame of reference with some care, I think,
when we speak of what is or what is not a religion, especially for
religious freedom and establishment purposes. And when we talk about
demographic matters, it depends on what we want to focus on. It is
meaningful to say that Christianity is the dominant religion in the
United States for some purposes, but not for others.
Prof. Steven D. Jamar vox: 202-806-8017
Howard University School of Law fax: 202-806-8567
2900 Van Ness Street NW mailto:sjamar at law.howard.edu
Washington, DC 20008 http://www.law.howard.edu/faculty/pages/jamar/
"Example is always more efficacious than precept."
Samuel Johnson, 1759
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