The Horrors of Sharia (aka Khristian Fundamentalist) Law
Khristian (As opposed to “Christian,” which they ain’t!) fundamentalist churches and their Regressive todies love to rail against Sharia Law. However, if you take a look at the laws they have, or would like to have, enacted, it’s hard to tell the difference.
Enter, Stage (Far) Right: Alabama
So far, one thing that Sharia Law countries have that we don’t is “religious police.” In fundamentalist Alabama, at least, it seems that’s about to change.
Briarwood claims they need their own police to protect their congregation and students. Of course, the church is already served by the sheriff’s departments of two counties, Jefferson and Shelby.
Needless to say, not everyone likes the idea.
In a memo to Salon, regarding the matter, the Alabama ACLU wrote,
…allocating any quintessential governmental power to a religious institution plainly violates the Establishment Clause.
Kansas University Constitutional Law Professor, Richard E. Levy, stated.
It’s making the church take the role of the government. I would expect that if the law is enacted it would not be very long before it is challenged.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State’s Alex Luchenitser asked,
What if a mosque asked for its own police force? Would the legislature treat a mosque the same way they treat an evangelical megachurch?
What About The 1st Amendment And ‘Separation Of Church & State?’
Whatever happened to “separation of church and state,” you might ask? Well, according to fundamentalist psuedo-historians like David Barton, there ain’t no such thing. In his book, “God In Schools,” he had this to say:
The Current application of the ‘separation of church and state’ metaphor actually represents a relatively recent concept rather than the enforcement of a long-standing constitutional principle.
I think he may be referring to Everson v. Board of Education. With Barton, it’s really hard to figure out sometimes, as so many of his statements qualify as “alternative facts.” In a ruling on the 1947 case, the Supreme Court stated,
The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.
As for that pesky old Constitution, lets check out what it has to say,
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. – 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
As you may notice, this is one of those parts of the Constitution that religious and political troglodytes love to cherry pick. (Just ask any real political journalist.) However, it states the case right out in front: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”
Plain and simple, that means that the government make any religion any part of government functions (as police are) or discriminate against any religion. (Even if the religion is Islam.)
Been Here Before!
Just a few examples:
- (1700) New York and Massachusetts solved their Catholic conundrum by kicking out any Catholics in their jurisdictions.
- (1701) North Carolina passed the Vestry Act, making Anglicanism its official religion.
- (1708) Connecticut passed their 1st statute that allowed “full liberty of worship” to Anglicans and Baptists.
- (1771) The State of Virginia jailed 50 Baptists worshipers for preaching the Gospel contrary to the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.
- (1774) Massachusetts Baptists were put in jail for not paying taxes to support the Congregational Church.
SB 193 didn’t get signed into law, but knowing how the right-wing thinks(?), they’ll try it again. If it ever passs, it’s guaranteed court challenges. Normally, it wouldn’t get passed the first one, but we’re talking Alabama and the VERY conservative 11th Federal Court of Appeals, so it’ll probably end up at SCOTUS. After the lowjinks of the last couple of years, and two new right-wingers on the bench, it may prevail.
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