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Paganism, religion and human rights | Law & Religion UK
Sep 03, Scarlet Blu rated it really liked it Shelves: Certainly written by a lawyer Overall, the book won't substitute for a good lawyer, but it's a good starting point for anyone who may find themselves involved in legal issues where their religion might come into play Mar 17, Mariah marked it as to-read Shelves: Acquired from Roseville Half-Price Books.
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Stephanie rated it liked it Jan 11, Annette Peterson rated it liked it Feb 16, Karla Rabel rated it it was amazing Mar 26, Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc. What should be patently obvious here is that courts can and do routinely determine what is, and what is not, a religion for purposes of the First Amendment.
Courts which have specifically considered Wicca have found it to be deserving of First Amendment protection. The hallmark federal case is Dettmer v.
The state courts have taken a similar position: Ravenwood Church of Wicca, Ga. The United States Supreme Court has specifically recognized the validity of another alternative religious tradition, which is arguably Pagan: Santeria, which is an amalgamation of traditional African nature religions practiced by the Yoruban people and some elements of Roman Catholicism. City of Hialeah, U. Therein, the United States Supreme Court asserted: It should be noted that the courts which have considered Wicca have used that term synonymously with Witchcraft.
Thus far, in most legal cases, no distinction between the two has been made. The United States military courts have upheld the rights of Wiccans and have found Wicca to be a bona fide religion meritorious of First Amendment protections: Judge Wiss, who wrote the concurring opinon in that case, stated: It is is acknowledged as such by the Army. A Handbook for Chaplains April Further, it is acknowledged as such in courts of law.
This issue has been well litigated, and the rights of Wiccans to wear the pentacle as an emblem of their faith is well settled. Wiccans have successfully sued employers for Title VII discrimination. Family Health Management, Inc.
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The most recent case is Robert Hurston v. Henderson, Postmaster General, U. If, however, you find yourself in a position where you believe that you have been or are being discriminated against based on your religious beliefs, you should procure the counsel of an attorney licensed to practice law in your state and from the jurisdiction in which you live. Representing yourself pro se is risky business.
Paganism, religion and human rights
Pagan communities have been known to raise funds to pay attorney fees, and many lawyers will take a good case which has the potential for a favorable jury verdict on a contingent basis. However, there are time limitations regarding the length of time you have to litigate potential claims based on religious discrimination and if you wait too long, you will lose your opportunity for a day in court.
Do not sit around too long bemoaning your fate because you are losing precious time. As lawyers would say: Regarding religion and child custody, the basis for determining where a child is placed in a divorce proceeding is governed by state law.
Issues of law and religion in the United Kingdom – with occasional forays further afield
Each state has its own set of statutes setting forth the factors to be considered in a child custody matter. However, the majority of states utilize a standard known as "the best interests of the child" in determining how to place a child when there is a dispute between the parents. The language of the particular statute will govern but in many cases, religion will be considered if an actual threat or a perceived threat to the welfare of the child through the religion of a parent can be found.
Other states have statutes broadly phrased in terms of morality such that religion could be considered as a factor within the language of the statute. However, it should be noted that to remove a child from a home or a parent based solely upon religion is unconstitutional: Pater, 63 Ohio St. If you have an attorney, then you are the source of education. Prepare a list of resources such as books and websites and insist that your attorney read these before you go into court.
Once in court, understand that the judge in the court in which you are appearing is, more or less, omnipotent. Your attorney must be prepared to make sufficient legal objections if proof you would like to enter is refused by the Judge.