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Does Greenhouse seriously believe that America is on the cusp of a theocracy? She shows no sensitivity to either the realities of federalism or the generally accommodating view of religion regnant at the founding.That religion has a firm grip on public policy in this country? Fake news about the extent of religion’s political power in America? Propaganda concerning the meaning and history of the Establishment Clause? Most perniciously, she seems to think that the Establishment Clause requires there be no sanctuary for persons of faith, but rather compels them to obey generally applicable laws of secular justification.
Would it allow for the provision of basic public services to religious organizations, even if the taxpayer makes no use of, or has no use for, that organization?
Must the Establishment Clause be used in the most restrictive ways possible, to insure the complete absence of religion in public life?
Does she honestly believe that a proper reading of the Establishment Clause, either in historical construction or in case law, results in the “high wall” of separation she clearly favors?
In any case, the dismissive claim that “God’s will cannot be a constitutional justification for a law that erases an individual right” has little to do with any serious understanding of the Establishment Clause.
Neither, for that matter, can the Greenhouse’s essay serves as a reminder that the law cannot function when individuals or groups see reality in such radically divergent ways. To begin with, stating that the Establishment Clause doesn’t justify referring to God’s will to deny rights is a straw man.
Commitment to the rule of law requires commitment to Constitutional principles, but under such serious disagreement about those principles the rule of law will devolve into mere coercion. She gives no indication of understanding the clause’s relationship to state establishments at the time of ratification, nor any sense of its relationship to the Free Exercise Clause.
highlight a common (mis)understanding concerning the politics of abortion, and in the process reveal much about the state of political disagreement, particularly as it involves the role of the Constitution in public life.
the Library of America’s release of the works of Wendell Berry.
Absent is any notion of a public or a common good, or a serious discussion about how insurance plans actually operate in terms of the management of risk pools.
Should all persons buying into an insurance plan be required to cover risks they’re not inclined to, whatever the reason? Why would it be the case that only secular persons might be victims of coercion?