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Religious Liberty now allows some to be Above the Law

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posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 06:10 AM
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originally posted by: mOjOm




I still have a problem with the HL and RFRA Ruling because of the Religious nature of it since it doesn't include Non-Religious people's beliefs too. That and the very broad way it can be applied. But that is more of an argument for a different topic.


Yes really the judge didn't have to bring up HL here. Its poorly applied.

As far as testimony in the state can compel no one to testify unless, as in the situation you mentioned above with the mob, they have a case against a member and use testimony to barter a better deal. Other than that.

Another thing....we don't have all the info on this case to make a good assessment of anything. Facts are being hidden on purpose or out of laziness which makes real good fodder for a thread like this on social media.

We really need to know precisely what questions were being asked, what objection specifically did the witness have ect.
edit on 29-9-2014 by Logarock because: n




posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 06:11 AM
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And to think that back when Kennedy was running for president the biggest concern was that electing a catholic would put the country under the pope's control!! Yep we've come a long way baby!! Just not in the right direction!

Okay here is another case that just didn't support the person's rights to practice his religion even when he wasn't in our country!




Abu Ghaith argued his role was a purely religious one, aimed at encouraging all Muslims to rise up against their oppressors.
www.bbc.com...


You could argue that this case didn't even belong in civil criminal court system and I would tend to agree.. But it was, which probably indicates pretty well just how little concern our gov't really cares about what is legal or not and more concerned with popular opinion!
But, isn't a preacher in the US basically free to preach the words that he believes God is leading him to say in his church? And don't his words sometimes lead some among his congregation to do bad things like oh I don't know blow up abortion clinics not to mention the ever growing spirit within the christian communities comes close to rebellion?

This guy was preaching halfway around the world words that he felt God was leading him to say! Seems to me that there is a bit a favoritism going on or maybe it's more like I fist stated they are more concerned with popular opinion than they are the integrity of the laws.



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 06:41 AM
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a reply to: dawnstar

Are you comparing kids picking pecans with kids strapping on suicide vests?



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 07:19 AM
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a reply to: Logarock

just wondering where the line is drawn and well who get's to decide??
would forcing young girls to marry someone be within that line?
what about denying some employment opportunities based on sex?
obviously removing birth control from insurance is acceptable although that in itself could possibly cause the death of someone!

the example I brought up shouldn't have even been in my opinion since in order to break a law of a country one has to commit the act in that country I do believe. but since the general opinion of the people were accepting to the idea well who cares about laws right??

and I would consider arab kids strapping on bombs to americans blowing up abortion clinics!




edit on 29-9-2014 by dawnstar because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 07:32 AM
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a reply to: dawnstar

A problem here is trying to hinge all these issues and issues you just mentioned on one point or area of the law. This case falls under agricultural labor laws, children picking pecans and the laws pertaining to that. Considering the wide berth agricultural labor laws are given across the board, farmers in general, migrant works taking children in the fields with them, ect its going to be hard to isolate these folks for religious reasons in the area of agricultural child labor laws. Asking questions about religion here, and we don't really know what they were, are irrelevant and out the state purview simply because the question concerns agricultural child labor laws. They have a case based on that or they don't.



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 07:38 AM
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a reply to: Logarock

and you are assuming that they were only picking pecans..
there could be more involved and I would suggest that forcing a young girl to be a wife would also violate labor laws although I can see how most would disagree with that. But there is alot of domestic labor involved in being a wife!



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 08:40 AM
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originally posted by: dawnstar
a reply to: Logarock

and you are assuming that they were only picking pecans..
there could be more involved and I would suggest that forcing a young girl to be a wife would also violate labor laws although I can see how most would disagree with that. But there is alot of domestic labor involved in being a wife!




The case about the young wives was dealt with according to the laws dealing with that issue.

Again the scant amount of information available about the pecan picking just lends to the sort of responses you produce. There are good historical reasons why agricultural labor falls under a subheading as far as labor laws go. The judges HL position was really unnecessary here. There are young folk all over the country that take off from school during harvest time.

I do most of the house work around my home and I am a male. My wife has a good job and it requires a lot of hours. I work part time, do most of the cooking, looking after the kids, diapers, ect. Would like a bit more respect but don't consider myself to be under duress off any sort. The religious tradition that I come out of scorns what I do but I don't consider it any of their business anyway.



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 09:33 AM
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So how would you feel if your boss decided that women really shouldn't be working based on his religious beliefs of course and let her go??




“It is not for the Court to ‘inquir[e] into the theological merit of the belief in question,” Sam wrote. “‘The determination of what is a ‘religious’ belief or practice is more often than not a difficult and delicate task …. However, the resolution of that question is not to turn upon a judicial perception of the particular belief or practice in question; religious beliefs need not be acceptable, logical, consistent, or comprehensible to others in order to merit First Amendment protection.”


the beliefs need not be acceptable,logical, consistent, or comprehensible to others in order to merit first ammendment protection...

wonder if this could be used to proclaim our gov't's monetary policy unconstitutional after all they are putting us all into debt along with our children to the point we will never get out of it!!
it's my belief that I should only spend what I have and not borrow money today that I know I cannot pay back tomorrow!
according to this guy my example with bin laden's son in law while it's inacceptable and illogical for the guy to preach "kill the americans" halfway around the world away from us but his religious rights should have been protected regardless.
just goes to show you that regardless of what they say, they are gonna pick and chose which beliefs should be protected regardless of what this judge says. And how they chose more than likely will be determined by popular opinion which is well and good unless of course society goes crazy (it has many times in the past) and people start getting hurt.





edit on 29-9-2014 by dawnstar because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 12:10 PM
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originally posted by: semperfortis
a reply to: mOjOm

It is very clear when you read the entire thing and not focus on what you want to believe, or more accurately what you have bolded..

The courts have to consider the totality and NO they can not question your beliefs.. But they can and will compel testimony when the fundamentals of the particular religion show no substantive reasoning for withholding..


This isn't a focus on "what I believe". What is written there hasn't changed meaning simply by me making parts of it bold. What's written is written and it was the court who wrote it, not me. When read in it's entirety it still says the same thing and seems clear to me, just as you said yourself, "They can not question your beliefs."

Let's look again at what it says:

It is not for the Court to “inquire into the theological merit of the belief in question”.
Hobby Lobby, 723 F.3d at 1137.

“The determination of what is a ‘religious’ belief or practice is more often than not a difficult and delicate task ....However, the resolution of that question is not to turn upon a judicial perception of the particular belief or practice in
question; religious beliefs need not be acceptable, logical, consistent, or comprehensible to others in order to merit First Amendment protection.” Thomas v. Review Bd. of Indiana Employment Security Div., 450 U.S. 707, 714 (1981).

The Court’s “only task is to determine whether the claimant’s belief is sincere, and if so, whether the government has applied substantial pressure on the claimant to violate that belief.” Hobby Lobby, 723 F.3d at 1137.


How are those statements not clearly saying that it is not the courts duty to judge whether or not the "Religious Belief" is valid???

It is saying so right there in that first statement citing "Hobby Lobby, 723 F.3d at 1137". It's not my belief that made that statement, those are the words of the court.


Also you do know you are quoting a district court decision and NOT a SCOTUS?


Yes, because this particular case hasn't gone through the SCOTUS but it does site the ruling by the SCOTUS as it pertains to the HL decision for it's reasoning here. I would assume that if this case went before the SCOTUS on appeal that the SCOTUS would continue to have the same opinion in this case as it previously held in the HL case.

Are you suggesting that the SCOTUS would go against it's own earlier decision???
edit on 29-9-2014 by mOjOm because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 12:14 PM
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a reply to: mOjOm

See my earlier post






posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 12:24 PM
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originally posted by: Logarock

Yes really the judge didn't have to bring up HL here. Its poorly applied.


IMO it's not just poorly applied, it actually seems like it's invalid since the HL ruling was for Corporations not Individual people. I understand why the RFRA applies and realize that HL decision is an extension to that, but it is an extension that shouldn't be applied in this case as this man isn't a For Profit Corporation.

Then again I'm not a lawyer so I could be mistaken. In either case, the ruling could still be made in this case only using the RFRA anyway so I guess in the end it doesn't matter since not applying HL here wouldn't change the ruling anyhow.


Another thing....we don't have all the info on this case to make a good assessment of anything. Facts are being hidden on purpose or out of laziness which makes real good fodder for a thread like this on social media.

We really need to know precisely what questions were being asked, what objection specifically did the witness have ect.


Yah, I tried to find out exactly what was being asked and exactly why giving testimony was against his beliefs but couldn't find any clear statements to exactly what was said. They just give a general overview. Apparently there was at least enough information for them to suggest that the answers they were looking for could be found other ways so we'll see what happens there. If they don't find the information anywhere else I imagine this guy will be right back in court again being asked again, only at that time he may not have an out.



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 12:29 PM
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originally posted by: semperfortis
a reply to: mOjOm

See my earlier post



I did, but I don't see how it changes anything other than it seems like it's really up to the Judge whether or not they want evidence to show how valid the claim is about the "Religious Belief" being used.

But there is nothing making them determine the validity of it nor to question if it is a belief that is consistent within the religion. It just kind of leaves both options available.

Unless I've missed something, which is possible too.



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 10:56 PM
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originally posted by: mOjOm
By loop-hole I mean a way for someone to get around having to follow the law. In this case being allowed to withhold testimony without penalty even though the testimony being asked for doesn't infringe on the Right of Self Incrimination.


This is based on the assumption that the State doesn't have to provide evidence to compel a witness; i.e, they can prove that the person has vital information that the State can prove. In such cases, I believe that the bar is met and a witness or other person summoned to the Court of Law, can be compelled under threat of penalty. That said, one cannot be forced to speak if they are willing to face the consequences.


For example, let's say you were asking someone within a criminal organization, or even non criminal organization for information about the activities of either the organization itself or some of it's members which are illegal...if the state has no power to compel him to testify about these activities, even if the state can prove the need for that information, just by him saying doing so burdens his Religious Beliefs, then nobody would ever be in a position to provide testimony about an alleged crime.


See above. If the State has evidence that would compel a witness, I believe that the State has the power to 'punish' said person for failing to testify; but again, one cannot be forced if they do not mind the punishment.


It seems to me there are some situations where the State might have to compel someone to speak against their will, as long as the state can prove the information is vital in their duty to do what we created it for. Does that make sense???


It does make sense. In relation to this case, the State failed to even provide a valid reason to compel the testimony. The defendant successfully used the Court's own precedents and won.



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 11:29 PM
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originally posted by: mOjOm
I did, but I don't see how it changes anything other than it seems like it's really up to the Judge whether or not they want evidence to show how valid the claim is about the "Religious Belief" being used.


In short, as the Court has said, it isn't their job to determine the validity of a religion nor the beliefs they hold. It is also not within their scope to 'pick and choose' if we may, who doesn't have such protections and who does based on said religious claims.


But there is nothing making them determine the validity of it nor to question if it is a belief that is consistent within the religion. It just kind of leaves both options available.

Unless I've missed something, which is possible too.


As the Court cites,

“Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability ....”


This though, I believe should answer your question: From the ruling I linked back on Page 3 of this thread:
Emphasis is mine to highlight the answer to your question I believe.


Petitioner challenges Mr. Steed’s belief asserting that he has “failed to make any showing that his alleged belief in secrecy about church matters is ‘sincerely held’ or that it is rooted in deep religious conviction.”...It is not for the Court to “inquir[e] into the theological merit of the belief in question”. Hobby Lobby, 723 F.3d at 1137. “The determination of what is a ‘religious’ belief or practice is more often than not a difficult and delicate task .... However, the resolution of that question is not to turn upon a judicial perception of the particular belief or practice in question; religious beliefs need not be acceptable, logical, consistent, or comprehensible to others in order to merit First Amendment protection.” Thomas v. Review Bd. of Indiana Employment Security Div., 450 U.S. 707, 714 (1981).


Post Script:

To answer your questions though regard this whole topic, I will do my best. If the State is allowed to pick and choose which religion (in which the State does not recognize any such religion as valid or invalid by definition of the First and Ninth Amendment), it would be able to decide to prosecute or deny any group based on a whim. The Hobby Lobby case, built upon the Thomas case, re-affirms the 'separation of Church and State' in regards to State influence.

We could discuss that if we here on ATS decided to have a Church of Conspiracy, and the tenants we believed were sacred, the Court, in its current standing would not and cannot question those beliefs.


edit on 3-10-2014 by ownbestenemy because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 12:26 AM
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originally posted by: dawnstar
So how would you feel if your boss decided that women really shouldn't be working based on his religious beliefs of course and let her go??


That question has been answered in cases already though. Generally Courts have upheld both sides of this argument (in the example you present). On one hand, they recognize the age old signage we are used to seeing -- "...reserve the Right to refuse service", but on the other hand, they have recognized States' laws that have made such reservation illegal; such as denying service to a gay patron.

In my view, it isn't a question for the Courts, but rather for the market and therefor, society and actors upon that market to decide via commerce. In essence, if an employer wants to limit their potential workforce based upon a belief of theirs that prohibits women from working at their place of employment, I say let them. It opens doors for a competitor to provide the same service, but with a much wider berth for employment to swoop in and snag up some talent.



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 06:29 AM
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a reply to: ownbestenemy

well what's good for the goose is good for the gander I guess..
all those women who you wouldn't mind if they were fired for being a women could open up businesses and decide it was against their religious beliefs to employ people with religous beiefs.

so much for life liberty and the happiness I guess
you don't have that right if you are a women! matter of fact you don't have any constitutional rights since they never passed the ERA..
and now the religious amoung us have found a way to bypass the laws against discrimination that the gov't said the ERA wasn't necessary because well they had all these great laws because of their constitutional right to religious freedom!! It's pretty danged sickening when they give those rights to corporations while they have continually denied them to women for decades!
obviously you don't realize just how much clout the religious have in some areas of the country. Women are usually the ones that prepare the families meals and tend to the little ones. It's gonna be mainly her that those little ones will come crying to when they are hungry and well it's just as much her religious belief that she does what is necessary to obtain the food as it is any business' that the women's place is in the home!
oh well that case hasn't come up yet but I imagine it will. when it does I hope those feminists decide that it's against their beliefs to hire men!
I don't have to justify my beliefs in a court, they could be whatever and make little or no sense whatsoever! They are my beliefs and I can use them to discriminate any way I want!!! Let the fun begin!! Red heads look out! my religion says that you are hot tempered and prone to violence and have no place in our society! (don't know why I always chose the red heads?? probably because it's the most insane idea that I can come up with) But anyhow my religion tells me to punch you in the stomach where ever I see you!! (don't worry my bones aren't that strong they will probably break before I cause you any pain and considering there are other religions out there who think god wants them to stone some people well you are getting off easy!)

Ya know it's IS against my belief to go into debt- even if it's to make our dear gov't happy! if the only way we could afford the healthcare is to beg borrow and steal to live then I guess that healthcare isn't needed nor the insurance that the gov't thinks I need to have! I've decided to live without that heallthcare because of it's unaffordability before obamacare came into existance it's still unaffordable and I want my exemption also!
let's see how the courts view that one!



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 03:54 PM
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originally posted by: ownbestenemy

We could discuss that if we here on ATS decided to have a Church of Conspiracy, and the tenants we believed were sacred, the Court, in its current standing would not and cannot question those beliefs.



Oh hell ya!!! We should get right on this!!! It might be the only thing that protects us all when we dragged before the man during the "Big Round Up & Culling of the Herd".




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