It’s isn’t any shock that the theocratic majority on the nation’s Excessive Court docket was panting to radically alter the legislation of the land elevating non secular liberty to a license to flout the legal guidelines of the land.
In a comparatively quiet ruling, the conservatives being directed by handmaiden Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court docket bestowed “most favored nation” standing on non secular People who wish to be exempted from any legislation the federal government already exempts different entities or people from adhering to. As Mark Joseph Stern noted over at Slate, the Excessive Court docket “broke its personal guidelines to radically redefine non secular liberty.”
To say that Mr. Stern’s comment is an understatement is itself understating the horrible precedent the faith conservatives on the Supreme Court docket simply enacted. That precedent offers “the trustworthy” final energy over the legislation of the land and by extension the folks.
Within the Nineteen Nineties the Supreme Court docket, in Employment Division v. Smith, interpreted the free train clause of the First Modification as not permitting “non secular exemptions to legal guidelines that don’t discriminate towards faith.” Sounds apropos for a secular democracy like America – proper? However America can now not think about itself a secular democracy: not with a non secular Supreme Court docket within the picture of Iran’s Supreme Council setting the legislation of the land to favor a declining minority of non secular fanatics.
Previous to final Friday’s ruling sans oral arguments and really minimal briefs in what is called a shadow docket, the Court docket modified the legislation of the land in a four-page ruling that redefined non secular liberty.
The idea of non secular liberty modified immediately with the theocrats’ ruling In Tandon v. Newsome when the theocratic majority successfully overturned Smith by establishing a brand new rule in accordance to what’s often called the “most favored nation” idea. And like six previous times, the non secular Court docket dominated that the trustworthy have the non secular liberty to flout any legal guidelines, together with public well being mandates, as a result of they’re non secular and revel in “most favored nation” standing.
Beneath the brand new non secular doctrine governing America, “any secular exemption to a legislation robotically creates a non secular exemption.” Going ahead, that one theocratic ruling “vastly expanded the federal government’s obligation to supply non secular lodging to numerous rules” in the brand new theocratic America.
Think about the implications for People not in thrall of this new definition of non secular liberty giving blanket exemptions to any legislation for faith’s sake.
For instance, police are exempt from prohibitions on carrying loaded firearms in courtrooms, eating places, public faculties and many others. Nonetheless, beneath the brand new definition of “non secular liberty,” anybody can declare a non secular exemption to deliver their loaded firearms right into a courtroom, public or personal college, the White Home, on a home passenger jet or america Capitol.
Church buildings are exempt from paying all method of taxes and members of the clergy obtain particular exemptions on paying their fair proportion of taxes like each different working American. Now, anybody can declare a non secular exemption and inform the Inner Income Service to sod off as a result of they’re non secular.
Political Motion Committees (PACs) and darkish cash teams are exempt from marketing campaign donation limits and reporting to the FEC. In keeping with the theocrats on the Excessive Court docket, any American can now cite faith and donate any quantity they please.
Throughout America legislation enforcement officers are usually exempt from prosecution once they shoot and kill unarmed African People. Now that exemption applies to any racist assassin in the event that they declare they’re exempt in response to the conservatives on the Supreme Court docket.
Use your creativeness and there are myriad legal guidelines and rules the trustworthy can declare they’re exempt from adhering to in the event that they declare it’s their non secular liberty.
Mr Stern spoke to College of Texas College of Regulation Professor Steve Vladeck and Lewis and Clarke Regulation College Professor Jim Oleske who defined exactly how a lot energy the theocrats on the Supreme Court docket simply handed over to the non secular. Professor Oleske stated:
“Smith says the free train clause of the first Modification protects towards the federal government focusing on non secular observe for disfavored therapy, however doesn’t grant a proper to exemptions from basic legislation. Virtually instantly after Smith, there have been efforts to learn into it a broader ‘most favored nation’ idea that stated: Any time the federal government grants an exemption to a legislation, it has an obligation to grant a non secular exemption, too, until the federal government meets strict scrutiny. However that was not the legislation of the land till Friday night time.”
Professor Vladeck chimed in thus:
“Friday night time was the seventh time this time period that the Supreme Court docket has issued an emergency injunction pending attraction. All seven have been in COVID free-exercise circumstances…. Those that like these choices are getting more and more comfy with the courtroom flouting and defying its personal inside requirements and guidelines for this type of aid just because they just like the consequence. Within the course of, they assault critics for being insufficiently delicate to non secular liberty. And that’s a preposterous declare.”
This horrendous ruling portends a world of dangerous outcomes for America in addition to the rule of legislation the place it as soon as appeared that no particular person was above the legislation. And, it’s noteworthy that the trustworthy won’t be beholden to observe legal guidelines if they’ll discover some group or entity that’s exempt from stated legislation.
Spiritual liberty, the liberty to worship as one sees match with out authorities interference, is all properly and good, however now non secular liberty means being exempt from most legal guidelines and rules simply by claiming faith. That is dangerous and few People are conscious simply how dangerous it is going to get.
Audio engineer and teacher for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of ladies, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of faith and significantly, freedom of NO faith.
Born within the South, raised within the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.