Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"God Told Me To Do It!"

In this article
It highlights one of the many aspects of religion that I am very interested in. Although I practice a mainstream religion that many people are aware of (stereotype) and have heard of I always wonder what it looks like from an outside view. It fascinates me to know that there are people they may believe that my religion is crazy, obsolete and or hypocritical, when in fact I see it as the complete opposite. I found this article and thought that it would be a great blog post because so many times the question of motivation arises. In other words why do some people persist on practicing a religion or aspects of that religion that may be harmful to others? Then again I guess what needs to be highlighted is that there is a possibility that the people whom the religion is law may not feel that they are causing any harm in the first place but on the contrary, feel that they are being loyal and good. The article above talks about the Holocaust, an event in history that we are for the most part familiar with and how the excuse “God told me to do it” plays into the whole ordeal. Although the article references Canadian law I felt it still appropriate in order to see the differences between the American culture and that of our neighbors to the north.
The article outlines a number of aspects that are significant to American law as well as Canadian law. One that I have found incredibly appealing since the mentioning of it in class is the use of drugs in religious ceremonies. A case that was decided in the mid to late 1980’s was one of the uses of peyote. Two men that worked (ironically) for a rehab clinic were drug tested and tested positive for peyote. The men that were both members of the Native American church claimed that they used the drug for ceremonial and ritualistic purposes. Although they lost their jobs and their case I was not personally in agreement with the result of the case. Call me Skalia, but I agree that the men should have been fired because when they were employed they agreed to the fact that they would be drug tested and therefore when they used peyote new that were disobeying the rules of their employer. The part that I am not in accordance with is that the state in which they lived in and their employer should never had had the regulation to begin with. Peyote has been used by the Native Americans for a long time and it is a proven fact that it is part of their religious doctrine.
Of course what is a blog post about Religion and the law without the mention of Polygamy and Bigamy? In reference to Polygamy I feel that The Principle was just a way for men to have their cake and eat it too. For one, when a person strongly believes that something is right, just, correct and true they shouldn’t have a reason to hide it much like the Mormons did not do in reference to Polygamy and The Principle when it was first heard of. It was not until years after the founding of the Church of Latter Day Saints that the revelation of The Principle surfaced. Canada took the stance that these actions degrade women and therefore they are not constitutional and prohibited by law. Where it gets messy is whether or not the country can honor the marriages when they took place in another country. I feel if you’re married in Vegas in a little white chapel by Elvis, you should be married only in Vegas.
In the end Canada as you can see has the same if not more problems of Religion and the Law as America. The fact that they are both strong and large nations I feel only makes the problem that much harder and worse. I feel that with seeing a little insight to the ordeal that Canada and the rest of the world for that matter has to endure we see the Religion and the Law is a topic that literally will never be solved or go away. I guess I shouldn’t phrase it as a problem, but it sure is problematic. From “The Principle,” to the new revolution of the “Green” religion, it is good to know that American isn’t the only one with Religion and Law on its agenda.

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