A law can be thought of as a rule that is enforced by an organization or person, and whose purpose is to regulate social behavior. It is, however, hard to find a one-size-fits-all law that pleases everyone who has to follow it. Religious denominations have historically sought some exemption from generally applicable laws, and in many parts of the world, those exemptions have been granted. However, the bases on which these groups seek exemptions are questionable, and such immunities might not be the best foundation for sound political theory. Hence, religious groups should not be granted exemptions from laws unless these exemptions pose no burden on society.
Brian Leiter’s Why Tolerate Religion? questions traditional beliefs about religion, and claims that there is no “moral reason to single out matters of religious conscience for special legal consideration and solicitude” (Leiter ix). Leiter does not claim that the freedom of practicing religion should not be protected, however, he believes that exemption claims based on secular beliefs deserve equal consideration as those based on religious ones (Leiter 64). Later, he explains how secular exemptions from law obstruct social welfare, and hence favors granting only those exemptions, religious or otherwise, that do not harm society (Leiter 100).
One of the major reasons why religious groups are granted freedom from following certain laws is that religion is often considered a special form of association. In “What is so Special About Religion?”, Sonu Bedi argues that exempting religious groups from a law is justified only if religion is thought of as a non-voluntary, rigid and indisputable. Bedi argues that if religion is considere...
... middle of paper ...
..., nowhere has it been mentioned that “free exercise” implies such exemptions, and the very meaning of “free exercise” has been questioned since. Also, free exercise cannot mean that one can use their religion to harm another - for instance, consider the Islamic Sharia law situation mentioned earlier.
States contemplating granting special provisions to religions must keep in mind the effect that these provisions can have on society. By allowing religious groups to claim exemptions while making laws strict for secular unions, states are effectively placing religions on a pedestal that they do not deserve. In contrast, if they allow any union, religious or otherwise, to claim exemptions, legal systems would implode and we would relapse into an anarchic society. States wanting to promote diversity and encourage minorities must look for better ways to do so.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Controversy over religious freedom has long been an issue in the United States of America. The beginning of religious freedom in the United States started with the ratification of the Constitution which provided a provision that the government would not involve itself with any religion. However, the Constitution is not at all the only source for legislation/decisions on what religious freedoms entail in the United States of America. Over the years, the United States Supreme Court has had great influence over the amount of religious freedom in this country.... [tags: United States, Supreme Court of the United States]
1467 words (4.2 pages)
- selective listening, ignoring a person’s tones or body mannerism, and interrupting repeatedly (Jourdain, 2004). The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta reports that worldwide in 2013 they reported 194,139 cases of those 122,000 died. The two families who returned from Disneyland with the infectious souvenir appear to be members of a religious community whose adherents say that vaccination goes against their faith, reported the CBC. But every major world religion supports vaccination to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases, and this group’s religious objection has put not only their own community’s children in danger but also the children of other Canadians (Haelle, 2015).... [tags: Vaccine, Vaccination, Rubella, Conflict]
1847 words (5.3 pages)
- An Abused Privilege Taxes are mandatory, not optional contributions, appointed by legislature in order to regulate government finance, control inflation, and reduce the gap between rich and poor. The first church tax exemption can be dated back to 306-337 AD when the emperor of Rome granted the Christian Church a complete exemption from taxation (Gutu 1). United States churches first received federal income tax exemption in 1894 which provided tax exemptions to “corporations, association, or companies organized solely for charitable, educational, or religious purposes.... [tags: Tax, Tax exemption, Taxation in the United States]
1477 words (4.2 pages)
- School Vaccination Exemption There are three types of school vaccination exemptions that are used in the United States. However, not all states allow each type. The original purpose of having exemptions to the school vaccination requirement was to allow individuals who are either unable to receive vaccinations for medical purposes or do not want the vaccination as it goes against their religious belief11. This way these individuals could still attend public school. Exemptions eventually grew to also encompass parents who did not have a medical or religious reason not to vaccinate their child but instead, they have personal or philosophical reasons why they are against the use of some or all... [tags: Vaccine, Vaccination, Vaccination schedule]
1321 words (3.8 pages)
- A total of 19 states allow religious and philosophical exemptions when it comes to vital vaccinations (Frankel). If the number of unvaccinated children rises steadily each year, so will the outbreaks of deadly diseases. Parents are more concerned about the side effects of the shots instead of the fatal outcome if their child were to get infected with the disease (Bruni). The measles virus can infect 90% of people that are exposed to it if they do not have their necessary immunizations (Bruni). These health waivers seem to be the modern day fad; 68% of parents at a Santa Monica preschool choose to file personal-belief exemptions for their young children (Bruni).... [tags: Vaccine, Vaccination, Infectious disease]
1006 words (2.9 pages)
- Health care is a major global issue that affects millions of people every day. In this paper I am going to review an important health care topic that includes childhood immunizations and religious exemption policies. Immunizations are one of the most cost-effective public health achievements that protect both individuals and the community as a whole. Vaccinated individuals help the community by creating what is called herd immunity for those who cannot be vaccinated due to age or current health conditions get some protection because the spread of contagious disease is contained.... [tags: Vaccination, Vaccine, Vaccination schedule]
1146 words (3.3 pages)
- Are same-sex marriages different from heterosexual marriages. In the formal definition marriage "is a faithful everlasting union between one man and one woman, joined as husband and wife in a partnership to become one." Due to this definition "same-sex marriage" is not even a real marriage. In fact, it denies the primary purpose of marriage, which is the procreation of a child. In same-sex marriage, it is not possible for two men or two women to reproduce without a third party. Due to the fact that man needs woman and woman needs man.... [tags: homosexuality, morality, religious views]
886 words (2.5 pages)
- Picture this. A man walks into a classroom and shoots someone dead. Is this a sin. Now picture this. A man bursts into a class room running. “Don’t shoot” the man yells. As he says this a police officer runs in after him and shoots him. Is this a sin. Does the circumstance matter. Both involved someone you didn’t know anything about getting killed. In order to answer these questions you have to know what sin is. Sin according to Webster’s dictionary is “an offense against religious or moral law”.... [tags: KILL, Human, Morality, Thought]
1658 words (4.7 pages)
- Before Columbus landed in the West Indies in 1492, The Spanish Inquisition made it known to anyone within Spain’s domain of influence that if a person was not of the Catholic religion, they were to be punished severely and sometimes even fatally. This influence would undoubtedly be brought over to the Americas a century later, as the colonization of the New World would begin by then. While it was very essential for the Spanish (as well as the Portuguese) to improve their economy by using the resources they found in Latin America, it seemed to a number of them as if that was the only reason for being there, or the main reason at the very least.... [tags: Religious History ]
1904 words (5.4 pages)
- There are three categories of foreign income that are exempted from the Singapore tax. People should learn about this information, so they can know their tax status. Three foreign income categories that are exempted from tax are foreign dividend, foreign profits, and also foreign sourced service income. Several Important Conditions for Getting the Tax Exemption: According to Section 13(9) of the Income Tax Act in Singapore, the tax exemption can be approved when three conditions are met. There are three different conditions that people have to consider when they want to apply for this tax exemption.... [tags: foreign, income, incentive]
609 words (1.7 pages)
- The United States Of America 's Auto Industry
- Exothermic Reaction Of Endothermic Reaction Jacksonville Florida
- Hemophilia Is A Common Type Of Hemophilia
- Satan Is A Fallen Angel
- How Much Power Is Necessary For The Police Force Of Control Free Slaves And Enforce Jim Crow Laws
- The Tempest By William Shakespeare