Author Topic: Judicial Repeal of the 1st Amendment?  (Read 2921 times)

LCMS87

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Re: Judicial Repeal of the 1st Amendment?
« Reply #30 on: July 06, 2016, 11:28:24 AM »
From the post at The Federalist: 

          The guidelines state: “if [a business or organization] offers some services, facilities, or goods to the
          general public, it will be treated as a public accommodation”

The thinking here follows the rationale in the HHS mandate promulgated a few years ago by the current administration under the Affordable Care Act, which essentially asserted that an organization doesn't have the enumerated free exercise rights of a religious organization if it serves the public.  The HHS mandate seemed to make an exception for a public worship service.  The so-called Iowa Civil Rights Commission seems not to.  Of course, Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, a food pantry operated by a congregation, allowing the congregations facilities to be used by a 4-H group, Cub Scouts, or for a Red Cross blood drive all would seem to run afoul of the regulations if non-members are served. 

Note well that the guideline says, "offers some services."  Any of these things offered to the general public causes the organization to be treated as a public accommodation even if it's only a small part of the organization's activities.  And as a public accommodation, no free exercise rights remain.

Steverem

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Re: Judicial Repeal of the 1st Amendment?
« Reply #31 on: July 06, 2016, 11:44:44 AM »
A church has already filed a lawsuit against the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. If the commission is indeed attempting to enforce the "rules" in the brochure on churches, the church has an excellent case and I hope that they win. Churches, who operate without state funds, cannot be told by the state what can be said within those churches.
It would seem clear that while the provisos of the Civil Rights Commission sometimes apply to churches, they do not always apply. This needs clarification.

You have long said that if there ever came a time where churches and religious organizations were forced to behave contrary to their stated and long-held beliefs, you would lead the charge in fighting against such First Amendment violations (although you were on record as not thinking such a movement was eminent, and lampooned those who raised a warning as being paranoid and over-reactionary). Now as we move inexorably toward being a nation that no longer values freedom of religion as an inalienable right, I hope to see you manning the ramparts, fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with those whose ideas you might not share, but whose freedom you treasure.  Remember, "First they came for the Fundamentalists ..."

Charles Austin

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Re: Judicial Repeal of the 1st Amendment?
« Reply #32 on: July 06, 2016, 05:05:54 PM »
Well, I'm a little too decrepit to "lead a charge," but you have already heard me say it seems the Iowa Civil Rights Commission has reached too far. (When did all those radical, anti-religion, non-church folk get into my home state?)
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, Nw York and New Jersey. LCA and LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired, living in Minneapolis.

John_Hannah

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Re: Judicial Repeal of the 1st Amendment?
« Reply #33 on: July 06, 2016, 05:56:57 PM »
Well, I'm a little too decrepit to "lead a charge," but you have already heard me say it seems the Iowa Civil Rights Commission has reached too far. (When did all those radical, anti-religion, non-church folk get into my home state?)

That's what I, too, would like to know!  Born and raised in Hampton.

I predict that it will die a quick and painless death.   ;D

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Matt Hummel

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Re: Judicial Repeal of the 1st Amendment?
« Reply #34 on: July 06, 2016, 07:11:15 PM »
Well, I'm a little too decrepit to "lead a charge," but you have already heard me say it seems the Iowa Civil Rights Commission has reached too far. (When did all those radical, anti-religion, non-church folk get into my home state?)

That's what I, too, would like to know!  Born and raised in Hampton.

I predict that it will die a quick and painless death.   ;D

Peace, JOHN

John- your lips to God's ear. But I recall people telling me not to be hysterical when I predicted actions of this nature as a logical and necessary outcome of the project to construct a tower of sexual Babel. Cardinal George seems to have it about right.
Matt Hummel


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Terry W Culler

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Re: Judicial Repeal of the 1st Amendment?
« Reply #35 on: July 06, 2016, 08:14:03 PM »
This isn't Canada and this overreach will go nowhere
"No particular Church has ... a right to existence, except as it believes itself the most perfect from of Christianity, the form which of right, should and will be universal."
Charles Porterfield Krauth

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Judicial Repeal of the 1st Amendment?
« Reply #36 on: July 07, 2016, 08:40:30 PM »

Dan Fienen

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Re: Judicial Repeal of the 1st Amendment?
« Reply #37 on: July 08, 2016, 10:30:22 AM »
Will the rules promulgated by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission have the results that have been feared, e.g. treat worship services as public accommodation and censor sermons?  Likely not.  It is not altogether clear that the Commission actually had that extremity in mind and even if so, it likely would not survive judicial review.  However with the activist trends in the judiciary these days one should not be sanguine. 

Is it paranoid to be concerned about those regulations and other laws that could have the effect of infringing religious freedom or burdening the free exercise of religion?  Absolutely not.  The world is not one vast conspiracy against us (unless you're a Clinton with a vast right wind conspiracy to contend with).  But just because everybody isn't out to get you, doesn't mean that nobody is.  There is a noticeable trend to narrow the scope for the free exercise of religion and restrict the exercise of religion when dealing in public.

These Iowa Civil Rights Commission rules were not promulgated by an extremist activist advocacy group but by a commission of the state government.  This makes it not a nuisance from an extremist group but an attempt by the government, with governmental powers, to enforce rules on churches.  That suggests that we need to keep an eye on governmental agencies so that these kinds of rules don't sneak up on us but are challenged.  Paranoia is not helpful, but rights are protected by vigilance.  We keep our rights by protecting them.  Some in our society feel that their rights and privileges are better protected if ours are not.

It has been observed for a long time that some would like to restrict religion from the public areas of life.  Elements of this go all the way back to the 50s and William F. Buckley Jr.'s God and Man at Yale and of course Richard John Neuhaus' The Naked Public Square in the 80's.  This movement has not waned but is finding its way in to government action as exemplified by the proposed HHS contraceptive mandates in the implementation of the ACA, the California Law that would penalize Christian colleges and universities for not restricting the religious nature of their schools to the training of professional church workers, and now these Iowa Civil Rights Commission rules that propose to subject public worship services (how many churches maintain member only worship services?) to commission scrutiny for content as a "public accommodation".  We do not need paranoia, but we do need vigilance and action when necessary.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

LCMS87

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Re: Judicial Repeal of the 1st Amendment?
« Reply #38 on: July 08, 2016, 11:40:54 AM »
Will the rules promulgated by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission have the results that have been feared, e.g. treat worship services as public accommodation and censor sermons?  Likely not.  It is not altogether clear that the Commission actually had that extremity in mind and even if so, it likely would not survive judicial review.  However with the activist trends in the judiciary these days one should not be sanguine. 

Is it paranoid to be concerned about those regulations and other laws that could have the effect of infringing religious freedom or burdening the free exercise of religion?  Absolutely not.  The world is not one vast conspiracy against us (unless you're a Clinton with a vast right wind conspiracy to contend with).  But just because everybody isn't out to get you, doesn't mean that nobody is.  There is a noticeable trend to narrow the scope for the free exercise of religion and restrict the exercise of religion when dealing in public.

These Iowa Civil Rights Commission rules were not promulgated by an extremist activist advocacy group but by a commission of the state government.  This makes it not a nuisance from an extremist group but an attempt by the government, with governmental powers, to enforce rules on churches.  That suggests that we need to keep an eye on governmental agencies so that these kinds of rules don't sneak up on us but are challenged.  Paranoia is not helpful, but rights are protected by vigilance.  We keep our rights by protecting them.  Some in our society feel that their rights and privileges are better protected if ours are not.

It has been observed for a long time that some would like to restrict religion from the public areas of life.  Elements of this go all the way back to the 50s and William F. Buckley Jr.'s God and Man at Yale and of course Richard John Neuhaus' The Naked Public Square in the 80's.  This movement has not waned but is finding its way in to government action as exemplified by the proposed HHS contraceptive mandates in the implementation of the ACA, the California Law that would penalize Christian colleges and universities for not restricting the religious nature of their schools to the training of professional church workers, and now these Iowa Civil Rights Commission rules that propose to subject public worship services (how many churches maintain member only worship services?) to commission scrutiny for content as a "public accommodation".  We do not need paranoia, but we do need vigilance and action when necessary.

To the highlighted sentence:  I heard a presentation on church and state recently that included a brief review of cases before the high court having implications on religious freedom.  I was surprised to learn that Supreme Court decisions over the past century reveal an expansive understanding of the non-establishment clause and a rather more narrow understanding of the free exercise clause.  That is to say, the court has tended to accept arguments that seemingly innocuous and non-preferential brushing up of the state against religious institutions transgresses the non-establishment clause.  On the other hand, it has tended to draw rather narrow limits around religious activity protected by the free exercise clause.  As comments by justices Alito and Thomas have noted, recent actions of the court--including the court declining to grant cert with regard to the pharmacists in Washington--are quite worrisome as to what they might portend.  They are not, however, a reversal of the way the court has handled questions of free exercise, merely a more extreme limitation than has previously been applied.

Mostly I believe it is important to recognize that what an ordinary reasonable believer understands the free exercise clause to mean is rather more expansive than Supreme Court decisions over a long period of time have taken it to mean.  While there are reasons to be concerned by recent actions, it's helpful to understand that free exercise has not been broadly understood and applied by the court for a long time.