Freedom of Religion Trumps Secular Attitudes

1st Amendment US Constitution guarantee of Freedom of Religion

Yesterday I wrote about the people in San Francisco that wish to make it illegal to perform a circumcision of any male under the age of 18 within the city limits. In the end, I oppose their efforts on the grounds that it will run contrary of constitutional guarantees of the free practice of religion. Jews and Muslims are two groups that find religious significance and group cohesion through the ancient practice of cutting the foreskin of their male adherents.  To deny them this practice would cut to the core…

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Male Circumcision | On The Chopping Block?

The City of San Francisco has a small group led by Lloyd Schofield who is trying to put a measure on the November 2011 ballot to ban circumcision within the city limits. His claim is that it is similar enough to the 1996 U.S. Federal ban on female genital mutilation that it warrants being criminalized. He proposes that any person found guilty of the cutting of male genitalia be fined up to $1,000 and/or imprisoned for up to a year in jail. The proposed measure does allow for the procedure…

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Equal Protection vs. Freedom of Religion

We the People - Constitution

Recently, Dallin H. Oaks, a high ranking Elder of the Mormon Church spoke at Chapman University School of Law on February 4 2011. In his speech he made the observation that; “Religious teachings and religious organizations are valuable and important to our free society and therefore deserving of special legal protection.” He claims this “special protection” in the first Amendment, in the clause: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; On the surface this is a simple argument. The first clause…

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