Have the lawful boundaries of the First Amendment Religious Rights ever been challenged?
In the Previous Post
I stated I would explain why it is now time, because of Islam terrorism and suicide bombers, for the Supreme Court to define religion in relation to the First Amendment and address whether Islam is a political or religious organization.
Excerpts of Supreme Court Legislative Decisions on Religious Duty vs. Actions
The Court considered whether Reynolds could use religious belief or duty as a defense. Reynolds had argued that as a Mormon, it was his religious duty as a male member of the church to practice polygamy if possible.
The Court recognized that under the First Amendment, the Congress cannot pass a law that prohibits the free exercise of religion. However it held that the law prohibiting bigamy did not meet that standard. The principle that a person could only be married singly, not plurally, existed since the times of King James I of England in English law, upon which United States law was based.
The Court investigated the history of religious freedom in the United States and quoted a letter from Thomas Jefferson in which he wrote that there was a distinction between religious belief and action that flowed from religious belief. The former “lies solely between man and his God,” therefore “the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions.” The court considered that if polygamy was allowed, someone might eventually argue that human sacrifice was a necessary part of their religion, and “to permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.” The Court believed the First Amendment forbade Congress from legislating against opinion, but allowed it to legislate against action.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverb 18:21)
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,…. Of witnesses, according to the testimony they bear; of judges, according to the sentence they pass; of teachers, according to the doctrine they preach; of all men, who, by their well or ill speaking, bring death or life to themselves and others. Some, by their tongues, by the too free use of them, or falsehood they utter, are the cause of death to themselves and others; and some, by their silence, or by their prudent speech and prevalent intercession, secure or obtain life for themselves and others; yea, judgment at the last day will proceed according to a man’s words, “By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned”,
What is My Point?
In my opinion, I believe many people do not have an understanding of the First Amendment. They can be persuaded by the power of the tongue to believe religious and political beliefs that may result in both death and life as explained in the above King Solomon Proverb.
What has polygamy to do with the subject of this post? Nothing. I am only giving examples to make a point that religion rights have legal boundaries in the First Amendment. The above examples are to prove that there are past legal precedents to impose limitations on any religion.
Both Religious and Political mantras may serve to bring about violent emotions and extremist behaviors.We just witnessed this week an example of how the shooter in the news firing at Congressional members in a baseball practice was motivated to terrorism by political reasons..
We have also witnessed the actions of the terrorist bombings on 9/11, Boston Bombings, Orlando, etc. Were this actions , motivated by “pure” lawful religious, or “pure” political reasons?
The existence of Radical Islamist Terrorism religious and/or political actions provides proof that “a substantial and compelling state interest exists” and it is now time for the Supreme Court to clarify the boundaries of the First Amendment
In My Next Post
I will explain why it is time for the Supreme Court to define the legal meanings of two entities, religion, and political.
Regards and goodwill blogging.
Post One HERE
Post Two HERE
Post Three HERE