Oppression & Need for Bill of Rights. Oppression is oldest story of mankind ... man’s inhumanity to man. There are many causes such as tyranny by all powerful dictators and mobs seeking to get or maintain power or things of value or ethnic strife.
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Oppression & Need for Bill of Rights • Oppression is oldest story of mankind ... man’s inhumanity to man. There are many causes such as tyranny by all powerful dictators and mobs seeking to get or maintain power or things of value or ethnic strife. • Religious hate has been one of the major motivations for oppression. • Oppression was the motivation for the US Constitution’s authors to provide 1st time legal protections. • The following are only a few examples to illustrate why law is needed to regulate human behavior. You can Google for detailed information.
Oppression & Bill of Rights • Mexican torture. China repression & cultural revolution mass murders, Tinemen Square, Falong Gong, Tibet & Dalai Lama. Rwanda massacre of 1 million in 100 days. Uganda Lord’s Resistance Army rein of terror. Cambodian Killing Fields. Guatemala nuns. Peru. Nazi mass murders “Final Solution.” Stalin & Lenin mass murders. English trials by ordeal (oil & water). State sponsored assassination of political opponents in country & use against leaders in other countries. Afghanistan death to all who advocate Christianity. 2002 Bush order authorizing CIA interrogation techniques that “stop short of inflicting pain that will cause organ failure or death.” Violating international law means our enemies feel legally justified to do the same to American captured military personnel. • Salem witch trials of 150 accused & 16 hanged including Rebecca Nurse. Crucible play about it but symbolic of 1950’s. Puritans murder Quakers. Slavery. Nazis. Arian “Christian” Brotherhood. • Dallas Islamic cab driver Said who murdered daughters who dated non Muslims (called honor killings).
KATSINA, Nigeria (2003) - Islamic court sentenced to death AminaLawal by stoning for accusation she committed adultery, the first woman to be stoned to death since adopting strict Islamic law, or Shariah, in 1999. AminaLawal in March 2003 with her daughter Wasila. Saudi Arabia (2007), a teen girl was kidnapped & gang raped by 7 guys and she was convicted for “violating the book of God & the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad,” due to her meeting with an unmarried man when they both were kidnapped. She was sentenced to 90 lashes but when she appealed her sentence was increased to 6 months in prison and 200 lashes from a leather whip. The guys were sentenced from 2 to 9 years in prison for the charge of kidnapping only. The judge said if it was in his power he would sentence her to death. Saudi Arabia (2008) the Supreme Court ruled permissible to kill leaders of TV stations who broadcast “immoralities” which is vague and subject to interpretation by those who object. Shariah
Oppression & Bill of Rights • Vatican fights other religions for 5 centuries. 30 Years War. • Holy Wars. Crusades. • 9/2000: Vatican declares Protestants, Jews, Muslims, & Hindus deficient in God’s eyes. • 9/2006: The Pope began a speech by quoting a 14th-century Byzantine emperor, Manuel II Paleologus. • "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached. • “ 7/2007 Pope states: “Protestants aren’t real religions.” • Wars have been started for less.
Religious bigotry • Catholics in the founding era were very much treated like the atheists of today. Our Founding Fathers literally hated the Catholics. Samuel Adams, for instance, wrote that "much more is to be dreaded from the growth of popery in America, than from the Stamp Act or any other acts destructive of civil rights." John Jay, the nation's first chief justice, attempted to have the right to the free exercise of religion open to all "except the professors of the religion of the Church of Rome." And when the Quebec Act was passed in support of the (Catholic) government in neighboring Canada, the Continental Congress wrote in protest to the people of Britain, complaining that Catholicism was "a religion that has deluged your island in blood, and dispersed impiety, bigotry, persecution, murder and rebellion through every part of the world."
Oppression & Bill of Rights • 2002: Falwell condemns Mohammed as terrorist; Islamic cleric condemns Falwell to death. Falwell & Robertson jointly said: “911 was God’s punishment for America’s sins – caused by pagans, abortionists, ACLU & People for American Way.” • Pat Robertson said Islam religion of devil & president of a country should be assassinated. • Franklin Graham said Islam evil religion & Bush invites to inaug to give prayer. • Benny Hinn seeks “Holy Ghost machine gun” to destroy religious enemies. (See on You Tube) • 2007: A newly arrived British elementary teacher in Khartoum, Sudan convicted of insulting Muslims & inciting religious hatred by allowing her students to name a teddy bear “Mohammed” --- sentenced to 40 lashes of a whip. Muhammad is a common name among Muslim men, but giving the name of Islam's founder to an animal is seen as insulting by many Muslims. Sudan men rioted with machetes demanding that she be put to death!
Iranian Oppression & Islamic Revolution • In Iran 1950s-1979, Shah Reza Pahlavi, ally against USSR, sets up SAVAK managed by CIA, including all levels of daily operation. SAVAK's torture methods include electric shock, whipping, beating, inserting broken glass and pouring boiling water into the rectum, attaching weights to testicles, & extraction of teeth & nails.
Iranian oppression • Apostasy (departure from Islamic faith) is punishable by death! • After 1979 revolution, Ruhollah Khomeini’s Iran’s hooded judges summarily tried Dr. Parsa, no defense atty, stuffed her in a sack & executed her. • Khomeini expelled all women from gov’t like Judge Shirin Ebadi who won Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.
Iran despotism 1979-present • To implement Islamic law, K created vice squads to look for moral offenses, raiding private homes searching for alcohol, music, playing cards, mixed parties, even arresting teen age boys & girls for walking together in public. Stone to death adulteress. • In Islamic court it takes 2 women to equal testimony of 1 man. • Saudi Arabia: secret trials, torture, stone to death adulteress, amputate hand for stealing loaf of bread, & religious police enforcement of Islamic law. Illegal for women to drive & to get medical treatment all females must get a male guardian’s permission. Most al-Qaeda extremists come from here.
Iran despotism 1979-present • 11/12/02: Iranian court sentenced a popular history professor, Hashem Aghajari, to hang for questioning Islam & rule of hard-line clerics. In speech he said “Muslims should not blindly follow leaders like monkeys.” • Air bushed out Dega’s ballerina’s; forbids women to go in public without covering all but hands & chador for face.
Freedom of religion • The Constitution is superior to religions. Religions are not independent of law, thus they each must comply with the law or suffer consequences. • There are many good religions (and local sub divisions such as churches, mosques and synagogues and their leaders) that comply with the law and are not useful in teaching government regulation and the law. • Thus I will illustrate many that have violated the law to teach what religions can & cannot do, and why need a Bill of Rights to protect us from government and each other. The purpose is not to spot light your religion but to teach the law.
Freedom of Religion? • “… the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others …” So, “Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.” • Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom enacted 1/16/1786 by the Virginia General Assembly. • http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/42.htm • http://www.firstfreedom.org/religiousfree/vastatute.html
Jefferson & Madison • Jefferson & Madison (Virginia) both argued that religious beliefs should be solely matters of individual conscience and completely immune from interference from the state. Religious beliefs would be wholly voluntary. It was a reaction to the Church of England being the “only official” state religion & the tyrannical restrictions that policy imposed. • Yet today many politicians, demigods, as then, use religion as a political tool and as a weapon against political enemies to enact public policy based on their own religious beliefs. It works because many of us are uninformed, impressionable, uneducated, and even ignorant. Even some otherwise educated & intelligent people are susceptible to such messages due to personal bias. The Constitution’s purpose then is to be a check both against the tyrant and the majority when it behaves as a tyrant. See Americans United for Separation of Church & State at www.au.org
Arguments for Religious Freedom • From the Holy Roman Empire to the Church of England - history indicates that when church and state are linked, all individual freedoms are in jeopardy. • If government is merely an arm of God what power of government is not justified? • What could happen to religious minorities if government and religion were linked? • Not a problem today? Iran & others? Conservative religious far right zealots, who claim monopoly on God (“unless you are a member of my religion, accept my beliefs and my God, attend my church, and study my sacred text, you cannot be a moral person!) Gee, do you know Americans who believe the same and vote that way? American Nazis’ condemnation of Jews and minorities? Many other frightening examples here at home.
Arguments for Religious Freedom • Many of the founding fathers believed that the spiritual purity and sanctity of religion would be ruined if it mixed with the worldly realm of politics. • “If religion becomes part of the government, Madison said, it results in pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both superstition, bigotry and persecution.” • Can you name certain modern televangelists, as examples, who claim the only true path to salvation and quickly condemn other religions and elected officials who disagree? What if they had the power to govern and to change laws? • Religion must not be coerced, but voluntary. Not right of any civil or ecclesiastical power to compel conformity to any religious creed.
$65 Billion in Taxes to Bush Faith Based Funding • Tax dollars come from all religions & those of no beliefs. • Steven Goldsmith, Bush White House Office of Faith Grants • Goldsmith: “If a group requires you to pray before a meal, you should pray.” He acknowledges there are no studies to show that faith based programs work better. • Chuck Colson prison ministry successful but will only hire Christians, and will refuse federal $ to avoid hiring others. Catholic Charities leery for same reason. Pat Robertson worried about strings, & does not want religions with which he disagrees to get federal $$$. • Americans for Separation of Church & State worry when one seeks help he/she will be subject to religious indoctrination. • Religious organizations do not conduct criminal background checks of priests & staff providers. • Should we pass law requiring to protect against ex-cons, wanted felons & perverts? Require psychological tests? Anyone can be a preacher. • Should we create a gov’t agency to audit churches receiving tax money to prevent mismanagement and theft of public money?
Zelman v Simmons-Harris 2002 • Supreme Court in 5/4 decision stated that governments can give public tax money to parents to allow them to send their children to religious schools. • Justice Souter dissented stating that to do so is to force citizens to subsidize faiths they do not agree with their tax money and corrupts religion by making it dependent on government.
Pastors Joshua & Caleb Thompson • Fundamentalist pastors of Capitol City Baptist Church in Austin. • Convicted for July 2002 beating of a Bible studies students in church with large tree branch. Hit child over 100 times to “educate him about the Lord.” • Joshua got 26 years of injury to children and 20 for aggravated assault. • Caleb got 14 years for each. • Beat one victim so badly he had kidney failure
Freedom of religion? • Rev. Jim Jones & deacons murdered some 900 in congregation seeking spiritual help & solution of life problems. • Religious cult waiting for space ship commits mass suicide. • Japanese religious cult delivers gas & mass death on subway. • Increased reports of clergy & priest child abuse cases, then discover clergyman knew he had HIV; now is not just rape/pedophilia but is attempted murder or murder of a child. • The Family International Church, (Children of God), deviant sect on the far right evangelical edge founded as "Teens for Christ" by self proclaimed Prophet David Brandt Berg, who bases his cult religion on pedophilia and prostitution. • Dallas TV ministry convicted of prayer $$ scam. • Arian Christian Nations • Moonie cult • Scientology cult • David Koresh cult • Louis Farakan • Pat Robertson “prayed” for God to turn a hurricane to save his state; claimed credit when it shifted. (It then destroyed the people of New England). Robertson & Falwell said 9/11 attacks were “God’s punishment” for America supporting abortion & homosexuality! • Christian evangelical fundamentalist who “believe” the earth was created at a specific time on a specific day 6,000 years ago are in contradiction of scientific fact that it is several billions year old. Beliefs influence public policy.
Polygamy illegal • Even though once practiced by Morman religion. • One Utah man with many wives had 30 children. • Some left marriage, collect welfare, man refuses to pay support. • Took 5th grader out of school and got her pregnant by 8th. • Married (2) 13 yr old wives even though law states must be 16 with parent’s consent. • Rape & incest & molestation of children. Women are taught they must submit to males. • Mormon Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, (white supremacist, anti-govt, male dominated). • Warren Jeffs cult (self proclaimed “prophet & god on earth” to 10,000 followers in Utah & El Dorado, Texas Yearn for Zion Ranch) • Convicted accomplice to rape, incest with a minor. 13 year old girls forced to breed to grandpas. • “Forfeit after life if disobey church leader; must have 3 or more wives to enter heaven; women must repent & give mind, soul & body to husbands.” Rules with iron criminal fist – including murder. Jeffs owns county on Nevada/AZ border & El Dorado, TX, (YFZ Ranch – Yearn for Zion) including some in government, like police. Boys often abandoned victims & expelled for disobeying rules not to listen to music or TV but basic problem is not being enough women in FDLS to go around (too much competition for old grandpas breeding with 13 yr old girls). They have a bed in the “temple” sanctuary where old men initiate young girls. They home school & fail to teach adequate education & life skills. They do not possess marriage or birth certificates. Slave labor, incest, don’t trust outside world. Prevent members from leaving.
Establishment clause • Pastor Ted Haggard, head of a 14,000 member church in Colorado Springs & president of 30 million member National Association of Evangelicals.
When violate criminal & civil law, can churches/ministers be convicted & punished? Yes. Televangelists Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Bishop Long, Creflo Dollar all accused of flaunting wealth & enriching selves with million dollar salaries, mansions with $23,000 toilet, Rolls Royce cars, private jets, for profit businesses, obscenely costly designer clothes, jewelry & grooming and cosmetic surgery, cash gifts, $24,000/night hotel rooms, and lavish world vacations at expense of donors & gov’t grants. Jim Baker embezzled millions – convicted felon. Imagine how many hungry could be fed. Many have religious beliefs that center on fake faith healing, anti-gov’t beliefs, paranoia, abuse, and even criminal activity, like at the Jones’ People’s Temple or Berg’s Family International Church (Children of God), or snake handlers. Dave McKay’s “Jesus Christians’ cult or the kidney cult due to giving up body parts. Charges of kidnapping & leather whipping members after trials of members & outsiders, wife swapping & dumpster diving. Should these types be given special tax exempt status to enrich selves at expense of others? Congress has right to give special status to a church/religion and can take it away and courts can punish for any violation of man made law. Service to community or fleecing the sheep?
Catholicism in history • During the middle ages there was central thought control by the Pope (political position viewed higher than any other on earth speaking in the name of Jesus Christ), who insisted there be uniformity in beliefs with a penalty of death for those who disagreed. Corrupt selling of salvation.
Catholicism in history • The church exterminated or persecuted any who disagreed (heresy) with its teachings, such as Martin Luther and his Protestant Reformation, purging of universities, medical science is the work of the devil, use of violent torture to get to “truth,” frightening executions (beheadings, burnings, boiling alive in mix of oil, tar & turpentine in public) to terrify population to obtain absolute thought control. Executed on opinions, & burning of prohibited books (justified by church until 1966). • 1600: Vatican tortures Giordano Bruno, philosopher, who argued that earth not center of the universe & there are worlds & universes beyond number. After 7 year trial, Church Inquisition executioners stripped, gagged, and burned him in a Rome square. Did same to the genius Galileo, who saved his life by recanting his “heresy.”