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Does national security override the constitution?Freedom of religion vs National security.

“Religious Freedom, Terrorism, and National Security” Given to the Second Session of the Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom, Brussels
by Joseph K. Grieboski

Religious freedom is a principal reason for the success of the American republic. It is the "first freedom" of the American Bill of Rights, the first sixteen words of which – by guaranteeing free exercise and banning establishment – were designed to encourage the religious enterprise. The first amendment is based on the conviction that believers can and will do good things for themselves, their co-religionists, and their country, and that they should be encouraged to do so. Most important, however, the first amendment also protects the rights of those who choose not to believe. The American Founding Founders did not see religion as a "private matter" with no relationship to public policy. Rather, they saw religion and religious people as the cornerstone of democracy and representative of American vitality as a nation.

Religious liberty, in the full sense of the term, is the first human right. It is, therefore, a liberty that should not be confined to the private sphere only. The famous American clergyman John Witherspoon – the only cleric to sign the Declaration of Independence – stated in a May 1776 sermon what may be considered a philosophy of religious purpose in America: "It is in the man of piety and inward principle, that we may expect to find the uncorrupted patriot, the useful citizen, and the invincible soldier. God grant that in America true religion and civil liberty may be inseparable and that the unjust attempts to destroy the one, may in the issue tend to the support and establishment of both." By the same token, American foreign policy has always drawn on the impulses provided by the first amendment. Promoting religious freedom as a core element of our foreign policy is not only "being true to our character as a people," but also deeply rooted in America's security interests.

Answer Question

Asked by emilysmom1966 at 7:59 AM on Mar. 23, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 18 (6,228 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • Yup National security over rides the constitution. National security over rides ANY law when it comes to the safety of the whole of America, but only if were under attack I believe. Otherwise the Govt would be abusing this right all over the place.

    Answer by vbruno at 8:04 AM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • No, if the FF felt it should the Constitution would not say "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." What part of NO and prohibiting is so hard to understand?

    Answer by yourspecialkid at 8:26 AM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • If your religion calls for you to come blow up my country then YES national security should over ride freedom of religion.

    Answer by scout_mom at 8:33 AM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • Ditto Scout! Of course no American would consider such a valid religion. While there are always some who have warped ideas about most anything we do have total religious freedom in America.

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 9:20 AM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • No ones religion tells them to blow anyone up.
    Freedom always trumps security.

    Answer by adnilm at 10:02 AM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • I don't think any religion tells people to blow things up.I thinks it's the extremest. who use their own interpretation of religion., If you think about it, it is the same as the constitution being interpreted. It is only for some people and not for others. You cant blame an entire religion for a few extremist.


    Comment by emilysmom1966 (original poster) at 10:19 AM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • ITA with the last two comments -adnilm and OP :)

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 10:33 AM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • ITA? sorry I don;t recognize hat abbreviation or acronym.... explain.sorry.


    Comment by emilysmom1966 (original poster) at 10:38 AM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • ITA = I totally agree

    Answer by popzaroo at 11:05 AM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • thanks - I learned something new.

    Comment by emilysmom1966 (original poster) at 11:13 AM on Mar. 23, 2011

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