Law and Religion: Refusing Medical Care and Vaccinations for Religious Reasons

Most religions believe in the power of faith and prayer to comfort and heal the sick. For most of these sects, religious healing accompanies conventional medical care. A few of these sects rely exclusively on religious healing. They oppose medical care. They put their trust in God. To rely on human medical treatment is to … Continue reading Law and Religion: Refusing Medical Care and Vaccinations for Religious Reasons

Swearing Oaths on the Bible – Tradition and the Law

In 2007, Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota was sworn in as the first Muslim member of Congress.  During the oath, instead of using the Bible, he placed his hand on Thomas Jefferson’s 1734 translation of the Koran. This created a firestorm of criticism from conservative Christians.  When Representative Rashida Talib of Michigan took her oath … Continue reading Swearing Oaths on the Bible – Tradition and the Law

“Extreme Spite” — The Man Who Willfully Spent 19 Years in an Israeli Prison Rather Than Agree to Divorce

“Spite”: "deliberately trying to hurt someone, even when there is nothing to gain, and even when it involves harm to self." Ultra-Orthodox Wedding Orthodox Wedding In 1986, a Jewish couple were married in an orthodox ceremony is Israel. They were married for nine years, and they had four children together. Marriage Nightmare The husband was … Continue reading “Extreme Spite” — The Man Who Willfully Spent 19 Years in an Israeli Prison Rather Than Agree to Divorce

Lord Baltimore: George & Cecil Calvert – “Early American Heroes of Religious Liberty” (Pt 5/5)

The foundation of religious freedom in America was laid over 150 years before the Bill of Rights.  The Lords Baltimore were major architects of that foundation. George Calvert, First Lord Baltimore George Calvert (1580-1632) was the first Lord and Baron Baltimore. He was a very successful member of the British cabinet and parliament.  But then, … Continue reading Lord Baltimore: George & Cecil Calvert – “Early American Heroes of Religious Liberty” (Pt 5/5)

William Penn -“Early American Heroes of Religious Liberty” (Pt 4/5)

William Penn, along with Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson, and George and Cecil Calvert are the great architects of religious freedom in America. Because of Quaker Oats, Pennzoil, and the State of Pennsylvania, William Penn is the most famous of these early advocates of religious liberty. "Quakers" William Penn (1644-1718) became a "Quaker" while enrolled in … Continue reading William Penn -“Early American Heroes of Religious Liberty” (Pt 4/5)

Anne Hutchinson -“Early American Heroes of Religious Liberty” (Pt 3/5)

Over 150 fifty years before the Bill of Rights, heroic men and women laid the foundation of religious freedom in America. These include Lord Baltimore Cecil Calvert, Roger Williams, William Penn, and Anne Hutchinson. Anne was one of the first American woman heroes. She was intelligent, independent, and strong. Unfortunately, these qualities in a woman … Continue reading Anne Hutchinson -“Early American Heroes of Religious Liberty” (Pt 3/5)

Roger Williams -“Early American Heroes of Religious Liberty” (Pt 2/5)

Concept of "Separation of Church and State" Roger Williams Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) is given credit for the phrase and concept of “separation of church and state.” That credit is largely misplaced. The person most responsible for “separation of church and state,” is Roger Williams (1601-1684). Roger Williams made a "monumental contribution. . .  to the cause … Continue reading Roger Williams -“Early American Heroes of Religious Liberty” (Pt 2/5)

Religion in Colonial America: “Early Heroes of Religious Liberty” (Pt 1/5)

Unbelievably, after 400 years, freedom of religion is still controversial in America. In the beginning, religious issues permeated colonial America. Members of various sects immigrated to the New World seeking a safe haven for worship.  Some of these religions flourished, some stagnated, some evolved, some fragmented, and some failed. Colonial Denominations Calvinists dominated early Massachusetts.  … Continue reading Religion in Colonial America: “Early Heroes of Religious Liberty” (Pt 1/5)

“So Help Me God”

When I think of the petition “So help me God,” I am reminded of the phrases: “God helps those who help themselves.” “God helps those who cannot help themselves.”“God help those who get caught helping themselves.” Presidential Oath Prior to the inauguration of President Obama, an atheist filed a lawsuit to prevent Chief Justice Roberts from … Continue reading “So Help Me God”

Suing Satan and “The Devil Made Me Do It” Defense

"God told me to do it" In some cases of religious civil disobedience or religious illegal activity the perpetrators claim they should not be held accountable because they were acting on behalf of God.   "The devil made me do it" Sometimes, perpetrators of illegal conduct claim they should not be held liable because they … Continue reading Suing Satan and “The Devil Made Me Do It” Defense