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When Religious Rights Clash With Secular Law

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This is a s/o of the thread that talks about the rabbis passing on herpes to babies after circumcision.

We have freedom to practice religion in America, which is protected by First Amendment.  That's how important it is, it comes first.

We also, though, have other freedoms and rights and responsibilities according to the Constitution.

So my question is, when those come in conflict, where do we draw the line to say that religious freedom must be abridged in order to keep other rights and responsibilities?

Example:

Would we allow a religion that requires blood sacrifice to do so, even though it would be murder?

What about religions that refuse medical treatment, ending in the death of a child?

In the case in the other thread, when does the state step in and say "no" to a religious practice that in this case can potentially cause brain injury and death?

What say you?  Where is the line?

by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 8:08 AM
Replies (41-46):
LindaClement
by Linda on Apr. 8, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Does that include the kids in diapers up to 12?

Quoting 12hellokitty:



Quoting romalove:


Quoting mikiemom:

 Harm, mental physical or emotional harm. I guess that is subjective. but if someone is seriously injured or killed because of a religious practice that religious practice should not be legal. Remember the inquistion or burning witches. I think if it causes relatively serious damage to ones emotional, physical or mental health.

I don't mind questions

Quoting romalove:


Quoting mikiemom:

When harm comes to another person that is where we draw the line

Can you quantify harm?

Does it have to be great or small?

Does it have to be physical?  What about mental or emotional?

Don't you love a lot of questions?  :-)



That's why we have to talk about where to draw the lines.

I personally think having to put your mouth on a baby's penis, with or without herpes, crosses a decency line.

But I don't get to make that call.


 Personally I agree and I also think women who breastfeed children past diaper age crosses a decency line as well. 


romalove
by Roma on Apr. 8, 2013 at 1:22 PM


Quoting 12hellokitty:



Quoting romalove:

This is a s/o of the thread that talks about the rabbis passing on herpes to babies after circumcision.

We have freedom to practice religion in America, which is protected by First Amendment.  That's how important it is, it comes first.

We also, though, have other freedoms and rights and responsibilities according to the Constitution.

So my question is, when those come in conflict, where do we draw the line to say that religious freedom must be abridged in order to keep other rights and responsibilities?

Example:

Would we allow a religion that requires blood sacrifice to do so, even though it would be murder?

What about religions that refuse medical treatment, ending in the death of a child?

In the case in the other thread, when does the state step in and say "no" to a religious practice that in this case can potentially cause brain injury and death?

What say you?  Where is the line?


 Why are you asking hypothetical questions regarding responsibility directed towards religious freedom, when just last week a judge asked a representative from Planned Parenthood what responsibility they have when in the process of aborting a baby the baby is delivered alive.  

 So your questions are not exclusive of religion, as many think a woman has the right to refuse medical treatment for babies they don't want to be inconvenienced to care for.  Many parents make harmful medical decisions based on secular reasons.   

As for drawing the line it would need to be on a case by case situation as it is in the medical community.  You need to keep in mind medical science will never be perfect and there are by far more cases of children being harmed based on wrong decisions made by those in the medical field. 

I'm asking the questions I choose to ask.

If you have questions you'd like to ask, go ahead and make a thread, just as I did.

This isn't about abortion and this isn't about whether or not secular reasons can cause harm.

This is about, when religious rights are in conflict with secular law, where one begins and ends.

Suzy_Sunshine
by Silver Member on Apr. 8, 2013 at 1:31 PM

I believe the line is the rule of law. When someone commits and illegal act for any reason, religious or not, law enforcement should intervene. 


Healthystart30
by Silver Member on Apr. 8, 2013 at 2:18 PM
When it comes to children they should have a right to bodily integrity regardless of the parents religion. Parents should not be allowed to deny their children medical care only based on their religion.
There is religious freedom in this country, that doesn't give people the right to harm or abuse their children or others based on their religious believes! If it would, we would be the biggest hypocrites on this planet.
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autodidact
by Platinum Member on Apr. 8, 2013 at 6:16 PM


it's a complex question. 

on the one hand it's easy to say that it's nuts and abusive to let a kid die from something straightforward as appendicitis, and that the court should override the parents and save the child. 

it's a lot harder in cases where recommended treatment poses risks of its own, and the outcome is not as guaranteed. 

Quoting punky3175:

I think it's (technically) 'my rights end where yours start' or 'my rights end when they risk the health/life of someone else.' We learned t when I went through training for my current job but that was 5 years ago so I can't remember.

Having said that, it's really difficult to tell a parent how they should raise their child especially when it comes to religion vs science/medicine. As horrible as it sounds (as I read in the other thread) if a parent hears about the risks involved in certain practices and still choose to put their child at risk, that decisions is their's and their's alone. They will be the ones who will watch their child suffer if it ends up being the wrong decision.

Once that child is old enough to decide for themselves then the parents should have no say.






TruthSeeker.
by Milami on Apr. 8, 2013 at 8:23 PM
1 mom liked this

 It's not black or white and it's a tough call. I think our laws have to be followed regardless of what religion we practice.

 You cannot allow a 14 yr old to marry and engage in forceable sex to an 80 yr old man.(LDS sect in Utah) That would be child abuse.

 I believe the practice of sucking a baby's penis should be viewed as sexual abuse regardless of what the Jewish religion calls it. Oral sex with an infant is against the law. Period.

 I'm not sure how JW's get by with allowing their child to die instead of receive life saving blood. That seems like child endangerment or neglect and we have laws regarding child endangerment.

 The same with not giving insulin to a diabetic child. That is neglect. Whether you believe praying the diabetes away is the answer, it's still neglect and child endangerment.

 The line does become grey in many areas, particularly those where medications are involved. IMO.

 Good post Roma. I look forward to reading all of the replies.

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