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books about Religious Freedom
Abortion Rights as Religious Freedom
Peter S. Wenz
Temple University Press, 1992
Library of Congress HQ767.2.W46 1992 | Dewey Decimal 363.460973
"This excellent books is bound to stir debate on the abortion issue and to occupy a rather distinctive position."
--R.G. Frey, Bowling Green State University
With the current composition of the Supreme Court and recent challenges to Roe v. Wade, Peter S. Wenz's new approach to the ethical, moral, and legal issues related to a woman's right to elective abortion may turn the tide in this debate. He argues that the Supreme Court reached the right decision in Roe v. Wade but for the wrong reasons. Wenz contends that a woman's right to terminated her pregnancy should be based, not on her constitutional right to privacy, but on the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom, a basis for freedom of choice that is not subject to the legal criticisms advanced against Roe. At least up to the 20th week of a pregnancy, one's belief whether a human fetus is a human person or not is a religious decision. He maintains that because questions about the moral status of a fetus are religious, it follows that anti-abortion legislation, to the extent that it is predicated on such "inherently religious beliefs," is unconstitutional.
In this timely and topical book, Wenz also examines related cases that deal with government intervention in an individual's procreative life, the regulation of contraceptives, and other legislation that is either applied to or imposed upon select groups of people (e.g., homosexuals, drug addicts). He builds a concrete argument that could replace Roe v. Wade.
"In this important study of abortion and the Constitiution, legal philosopher Peter Wenz contends that Roe v. Wade was wrongly argued but well conlcuded. Wenz presents a substantial review of Supreme Court decisions on abortion, then critically exposes flaws, including the privacy justification for abortion as well as the trimester scheme.
--Religious Studies Review
"In this major work, Peter Wenz has analyzed the relation of the Constitution's religion clauses to the abortion controversy. His principal contribution is to shift the argument from the right of privacy (invoked, he believes, unsuccessfully in Roe v. Wade) to the Establishment Clause. The Court's concern in Roe was whether the statute unduly burdened a fundamental right. But tested by the Establishment Clause, statutes may violate the Constitution by implicitly endorsing a religious belief, namely, the personhood of the unborn. Wenz concludes that the Establishment Clause permits abortions prior to the twenty-first week of pregnancy."
--C. Herman Prichett, Professor of Political Science Emeritus, University of California, Santa Barbara
"This is an original and scholarly exposition of the view that abortion rights fall under the religion clauses of the First Amendment. The view defended is an important alternative to the privacy defense upon which the Roe v. Wade decision was based and should help to expand the ethical and constitutional debate about abortion rights."
--Mary Anne Warren, Associate Professor of Philosophy, San Francisco State University, and author of Gendercide: The Implications of Sex Selection
Roe v. Wade under Attack â€¢ Individual Rights and Majority Rule â€¢ Constitutional Interpretation â€¢ Preview of Chapters
1. The Derivation of Roe v. Wade
Economic Substantive Due Process â€¢ Due Process and the Family â€¢ Contraception and Privacy in Griswold v. Connecticut â€¢ Contraception and Privacy in Eisenstadt v. Baird â€¢ Blackmun's Privacy Rationale in Roe v. Wade â€¢ Stewart's Due Process Rationale in Roe v. Wade â€¢ Tribe on Substantive Due Process â€¢ Conclusion
2. Potentiality and Viability
The Roe v. Wade Decision â€¢ The Concept of Viability in Abortion Cases â€¢ Dividing the Gestational Continuum â€¢ The Genetic Approach to Personhood â€¢ Viability versus Similarity to Newborns â€¢ Two Consequentialist Arguments â€¢ Feminism and Viability â€¢ Conclusion
3. The Evolution of "Religion"
Religion in the Abortion Debate â€¢ The Original Understanding of the Religion Clauses â€¢ The Evolution of Religion Clause Doctrine â€¢ Incorporation of the Religion Clauses â€¢ From Belief to Practice â€¢ Alleviating Indirect Burdens on Religious Practice â€¢ Expanding the Meaning of "Religion" â€¢ The Original Understanding View â€¢ Bork: Conservative or Moderate? â€¢ Conflicts between the Religion Clauses â€¢ The Elusive Meaning of "Religion" â€¢ Conclusion
4. The Definition of "Religion"
The Adjectival Sense of Religion â€¢ Religious Beliefs Independent of Organized Religions â€¢ Religious Belief as Fundamental to Organized Religion â€¢ Secular Beliefs Related to Material Reality â€¢ Secular Beliefs Related to Social Interaction â€¢ Secular Facts versus Secular Values â€¢ The Court's Characterizations of Secular Beliefs â€¢ Secular (Nonreligious) Belief â€¢ The Epistemological Standard for Distinguishing Religious from Secular Belief â€¢ Judicial Examples of Religious Beliefs â€¢ General Characteristics of Religious Beliefs â€¢ Summary
5. "Religion" in Court
The Epistemological Standard Applied â€¢ Cults and Crazies â€¢ Secular Religions â€¢ Tensions between the Religion Clauses â€¢ The Unitary Definition of "Religion"
6. Fetal Personhood as Religious Belief
Anti-Contraception Laws and the Establishment Clause â€¢ Belief in the Existence of God â€¢ Belief in the Personhood of Young Fetuses â€¢ Distinguishing Religious from Secular Determinations of Fetal Personhood â€¢ Religious versus Secular Uncertainty â€¢ Environmental Preservation and Animal Protection versus Fetal Value â€¢ Greenawalt's Argument â€¢ The Reach of Secular Considerations â€¢ Secular versus Religious Matters â€¢ Conclusion
7. The Regulation of Abortion
The Trimester Framework and Its Exceptions â€¢ O'Connor's Objections to the Trimester Framework â€¢ Superiority of the Establishment Clause Approach to the Trimester Framework â€¢ Required Efforts to Save the Fetus â€¢ The Neutrality Principle â€¢ Appropriate Judicial Skepticism â€¢ Undue Burdens and Unconstitutional Endorsements â€¢ Conclusion
8. Abortion and Others
Public Funding of Abortion â€¢ The Establishment Clause Approach to Public Funding â€¢ The Court's Funding Rationale â€¢ The Court's Inconsistent Rationale â€¢ Publicly Funded Family Planning Clinics â€¢ Spousal Consent â€¢ The Court's Flawed Parental Consent Rationale â€¢ Information Requirements â€¢ Spousal and Parental Consent â€¢ The Establishment Clause Approach: Medical Dimension â€¢ The Establishment Clause Approach: Religious Dimension â€¢ Implications of the Establishment Clause Approach â€¢ The Court's Inconsistency â€¢ Equivalent Results â€¢ Parental Notification â€¢ Conclusion
Justice Scalia's View â€¢ The Fundamental Flaw in Roe â€¢ The Rationale for the Establishment Clause Approach â€¢ Advantages of the Establishment Clause Approach
Glossary of Terms
Annotated Table of Cases
About the Author(s):
Peter S. Wenz is Professor of Philosophy and Legal Studies at Sangamon State University.
An Argument for Same-Sex Marriage: Religious Freedom, Sexual Freedom, and Public Expressions of Civic Equality
Emily R. Gill
Georgetown University Press, 2015
Library of Congress HQ1034.U5G55 2012 | Dewey Decimal 306.848
The relationship between religious belief and sexuality as personal attributes exhibits some provocative comparisons. Despite the nonestablishment of religion in the United States and the constitutional guarantee of free exercise, Christianity functions as the religious and moral standard in America. Ethical views that do not fit within this consensus often go unrecognized as moral values. Similarly, in the realm of sexual orientation, heterosexuality is seen as the yardstick by which sexual practices are measured. The notion that "alternative" sexual practices like homosexuality could possess ethical significance is often overlooked or ignored.
In her new book, An Argument for Same-Sex Marriage, political scientist Emily Gill draws an extended comparison between religious belief and sexuality, both central components of one’s personal identity. Using the religion clause of the First Amendment as a foundation, Gill contends that, just as US law and policy ensure that citizens may express religious beliefs as they see fit, it should also ensure that citizens may marry as they see fit. Civil marriage, according to Gill, is a public institution, and the exclusion of some couples from a state institution is a public expression of civic inequality.
An Argument for Same-Sex Marriage is a passionate and timely treatment of the various arguments for and against same-sex marriage and how those arguments reflect our collective sense of morality and civic equality. It will appeal to readers who have an interest in gay and lesbian studies, political theory, constitutional law, and the role of religion in the contemporary United States.
Faking Liberties: Religious Freedom in American-Occupied Japan
Jolyon Baraka Thomas
University of Chicago Press, 2019
Library of Congress KNX2472.T48 2019 | Dewey Decimal 323.442095209044
Religious freedom is a founding tenet of the United States, and it has frequently been used to justify policies towards other nations. Such was the case in 1945 when Americans occupied Japan following World War II. Though the Japanese constitution had guaranteed freedom of religion since 1889, the United States declared that protection faulty, and when the occupation ended in 1952, they claimed to have successfully replaced it with “real” religious freedom.
Through a fresh analysis of pre-war Japanese law, Jolyon Baraka Thomas demonstrates that the occupiers’ triumphant narrative obscured salient Japanese political debates about religious freedom. Indeed, Thomas reveals that American occupiers also vehemently disagreed about the topic. By reconstructing these vibrant debates, Faking Liberties unsettles any notion of American authorship and imposition of religious freedom. Instead, Thomas shows that, during the Occupation, a dialogue about freedom of religion ensued that constructed a new global set of political norms that continue to form policies today.
The First Liberty: America's Foundation in Religious Freedom, Expanded and Updated
William Lee Miller
Georgetown University Press, 2003
Library of Congress BR516.M543 2003 | Dewey Decimal 323.4420973
At a time when the concept of religion-based politics has taken on new and sometimes ominous tones—even within the United States—it is not only right, but also urgently necessary that William Lee Miller revisit his profound exploration of the place of religious liberty and church and state in America. For this revised edition of The First Liberty, Miller has written a pointed new introduction, discussing how religious liberty has taken on deeper dimensions in a post-9/11 world. With new material on recent Supreme Court cases involving church-state relations and a new concluding chapter on America's religious and political landscape, this volume is an eloquent and thorough interpretation of how religious faith and political freedom have blended and fused to form part of our collective history-and most importantly, how each concept must respect the boundaries of the other.
Though many claim the United States to be a "Christian Nation," Miller provides a fascinatingly vivid account of the philosophical skirmishes and political machinations that led to the "wall of separation" between church and state. That famous phrase is Jefferson's, though it does not appear in the Declaration of Independence nor in the Constitution. But Miller follows this seminal idea from three great standard-bearers of religious liberty: Jefferson, Madison, and Roger Williams. Jefferson, who wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, the precursor of the First Amendment of the Constitution; James Madison, who was politically responsible for Virginia's acceptance of religious liberty and who, a few years later, helped draft the Bill of Rights; and the even earlier figure, the radical dissenter Roger Williams, who propounded the idea of religious freedom not as a rational secularist but out of a deeply held spiritual faith.
Miller re-creates the fierce and vibrant debate among the founding fathers over the means of establishing public virtue in the absence of established religion—a debate that still reverberates in today's passionate arguments about civil rights, school prayer, abortion, Christmas crèches, conscientious objection during warfare—and demonstrates how the right to hold any religious belief has dynamically shaped American political life.
Politics of Religious Freedom
Edited by Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Saba Mahmood, and Peter G. Danchin
University of Chicago Press, 2015
Library of Congress BL65.P7P64235 2015 | Dewey Decimal 323.442
In a remarkably short period of time, the realization of religious freedom has achieved broad consensus as an indispensable condition for peace. Faced with widespread reports of religious persecution, public and private actors around the world have responded with laws and policies designed to promote freedom of religion. But what precisely is being promoted? What are the cultural and epistemological assumptions underlying this response, and what forms of politics are enabled in the process?
The fruits of the three-year Politics of Religious Freedom research project, the contributions to this volume unsettle the assumption—ubiquitous in policy circles—that religious freedom is a singular achievement, an easily understood state of affairs, and that the problem lies in its incomplete accomplishment. Taking a global perspective, the more than two dozen contributors delineate the different conceptions of religious freedom predominant in the world today, as well as their histories and social and political contexts. Together, the contributions make clear that the reasons for persecution are more varied and complex than is widely acknowledged, and that the indiscriminate promotion of a single legal and cultural tool meant to address conflict across a wide variety of cultures can have the perverse effect of exacerbating the problems that plague the communities cited as falling short.
Religious Freedom and the Constitution
Christopher L. Eisgruber and Lawrence G. Sager
Harvard University Press, 2010
Library of Congress KF4783.E355 2007 | Dewey Decimal 342.730852
Religion has become a charged token in a politics of division. In disputes about faith-based social services, public money for religious schools, the Pledge of Allegiance, Ten Commandments monuments, the theory of evolution, and many other topics, angry contestation threatens to displace America's historic commitment to religious freedom. Part of the problem, the authors argue, is that constitutional analysis of religious freedom has been hobbled by the idea of "a wall of separation" between church and state. That metaphor has been understood to demand that religion be treated far better than other concerns in some contexts, and far worse in others. Sometimes it seems to insist on both contrary forms of treatment simultaneously. Missing has been concern for the fair and equal treatment of religion. In response, the authors offer an understanding of religious freedom called Equal Liberty.
Equal Liberty is guided by two principles. First, no one within the reach of the Constitution ought to be devalued on account of the spiritual foundation of their commitments. Second, all persons should enjoy broad rights of free speech, personal autonomy, associative freedom, and private property. Together, these principles are generous and fair to a wide range of religious beliefs and practices.
With Equal Liberty as their guide, the authors offer practical, moderate, and appealing terms for the settlement of many hot-button issues that have plunged religious freedom into controversy. Their book calls Americans back to the project of finding fair terms of cooperation for a religiously diverse people, and it offers a valuable set of tools for working toward that end.
Religious Freedom in an Egalitarian Age
Harvard University Press, 2017
Library of Congress KF4783.T43 2017 | Dewey Decimal 342.730852
Tensions between religious freedom and equality law are newly strained in America. As lawmakers work to protect LGBT citizens and women seeking reproductive freedom, religious traditionalists assert their right to dissent from what they see as a new liberal orthodoxy. Some religious advocates are going further and expressing skepticism that egalitarianism can be defended with reasons at all. Legal experts have not offered a satisfying response—until now.
Nelson Tebbe argues that these disputes, which are admittedly complex, nevertheless can be resolved without irrationality or arbitrariness. In Religious Freedom in an Egalitarian Age, he advances a method called social coherence, based on the way that people reason through moral problems in everyday life. Social coherence provides a way to reach justified conclusions in constitutional law, even in situations that pit multiple values against each other. Tebbe contends that reasons must play a role in the resolution of these conflicts, alongside interests and ideologies. Otherwise, the health of democratic constitutionalism could suffer.
Applying this method to a range of real-world cases, Tebbe offers a set of powerful principles for mediating between religion and equality law, and he shows how they can lead to workable solutions in areas ranging from employment discrimination and public accommodations to government officials and public funding. While social coherence does not guarantee outcomes that will please the liberal Left, it does point the way toward reasoned, nonarbitrary solutions to the current impasse.
Religious Freedom in Modern Russia
Randall A. Poole & Paul W. Werth
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018
Library of Congress BL980.R8R434 2018 | Dewey Decimal 200.947
The Tragedy of Religious Freedom
Marc O. DeGirolami
Harvard University Press, 2013
Library of Congress KF4783.D44 2013 | Dewey Decimal 342.730852
When it comes to questions of religion, legal scholars face a predicament. They often expect to resolve dilemmas according to general principles of equality, neutrality, or the separation of church and state. But such abstractions fail to do justice to the untidy welter of values at stake. Offering new views of how to understand and protect religious freedom in a democracy, The Tragedy of Religious Freedom challenges the idea that matters of law and religion should be referred to far-flung theories about the First Amendment. Examining a broad array of contemporary and more established Supreme Court rulings, Marc DeGirolami explains why conflicts implicating religious liberty are so emotionally fraught and deeply contested.
Twenty-first-century realities of pluralism have outrun how scholars think about religious freedom, DeGirolami asserts. Scholars have not been candid enough about the tragic nature of the conflicts over religious liberty—the clash of opposing interests and aspirations they entail, and the limits of human reason to resolve intractable differences. The Tragedy of Religious Freedom seeks to turn our attention from abstracted, absolute values to concrete, historical realities. Social history, characterized by the struggles of lawyers engaged in the details of irreducible conflicts, represents the most promising avenue to negotiate legal conflicts over religion. In this volume, DeGirolami offers an approach to understanding religious liberty that is neither rigidly systematic nor ad hoc, but a middle path grounded in a pluralistic and historically informed perspective.