Why isn’t there a legal definition of religion?
I have always been curious of why the Supreme Court has made rulings based on arguments for or against religious Rights issues, yet there is no legal definition to define the parameters of what religion is or is not.
The Chicago Tribune article titled, Role of Christian school’s spurs debate, reports parents concerns about secular values being taught in public schools that differ from their religious values.
The Purpose of This Post
To propose a simple solution to provide a legal definition of religion in order to determine the differences between religious or political entities or issues. Issues that may drive anger, hatred, killing based on the absence of a legal definition to address contemporary times of our Nation.
Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. (Proverb 1:8)
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverb 18:21)
What’s My Point?
If anyone attempts to understand the legal definition of religion, I recommend you read the Cornell Law Review, Defining Religion in the First Amendment: A Functional Approach, in the Source Links below.
The law review is mind boggling in my opinion. What is needed instead of attempting to provide a legal definition of what religion is, we should just define what a religion is not to avoid discerning any interpretations of millions of pages of religious literature, word, verses, that exist.
I believe the best, simple, common sense way to define a legal definition of religion should have one primary legal requirement test.
Any entity may not be legally defined as a religion that condones, teaches, or requires a member to engage in any practices to kill or physically harm any living human being to comply with dogma or precept for a deity.
Any beliefs that do not concur with the above requirement will be considered political entities and not religious entities.
As for all the other sad foolish actions people may engage in, or believe, the actions must be judged in accordance to the Constitution same as any court rulings of the USA. That includes any IRS or SCOTUS existing tests for religious qualifications already established.
It would be an even greater folly to allow tax deductions or school vouchers for any religion that teaches or condones killing another human being or harming anyone for not being a member of any religion.
As for a minimum requirement for a religious school to qualify for school vouchers, I see no reason why the government should not have minimum guidelines of subject requirements to be taught and maintained in order to obtain school vouchers.
I am not a lawyer but believe the above simple qualifications can easily be reworded to any legal terms wording.
As for how to enforce this requirement would be simple. If someone makes a complaint and can prove a religious entity is teaching or promoting killing or harming a human being, the courts will decide the same as any other lawful complaint.
In the event of a court verdict of guilty of killing or harming a human being based on evidence of being taught by a person teaching or promoting the act for a religious belief, would be considered an accomplice and liable for the act including financial penalties or compensation to victims’ relatives or estate.
In My Opinion
In the USA, religious institutions are granted tax exemptions. A school choice, or school vouchers movement to return choice for parents to decide what moral values they believe to be in the best interests to teach their children instead of government morality choices.
It would be folly to allow an entity to teach or promote killing another human being to be eligible to obtain taxpayer funds.
It would be impossible a task and a travesty absent a legal definition of religion to hat enables any school to teach in the name of religion that killing a human being would be rewarded by a deity.
In other words, it is time to define religion vs. a political entity.
Read the Source Links below which includes an interesting debate on this subject in two Citizen Tom blog and the comments.
Who should be responsible to choose what moral values should be taught to their children, parents or government?
If you could afford to send your children to a private religious school because of school vouchers, would you?
Do you agree with the above King Solomon proverb, that a tongue has the power of life or death based on the history of past religious wars?
Regards and good will blogging.
Cornell Law Review
Citizen Tom Posts