Of Pharisees and Lawyers Or And it is Easier for Heaven and Earth to Pass, Than One Tittle of the Law to Fail. (Luke 16.17)

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GRIN Verlag, 2007 - 21 pages
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Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,0, Free University of Berlin (John-F.-Kennedy-Institut), course: American Religion, Politics and Law, 5 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The following essay will deal with religion, law and politics in the USA. Because it is a broad topic, I will concentrate on the discourse about accommodation, or separation of state and church in America, with a focus on Stephen L. Carter - a distinguished law professor at Yale University. My thesis is that although Carter claims to be a separatist, his contradictory and biased arguments in most of his books indicate his accommodationist position. His methods are the dichotomization of church and state; his claim that society victimizes religion (his strange comparison of the Civil Rights movement and the Anti-Abortion movement); his assertion that religious people are oppressed by the majority (which according to him is religious), the Supreme Court, and American politics. Carter further maintains that religion is trivialized and privatized. His biased view on law is visible in the cases he discusses (predominantly separatist cases). His suggestive and popular style, as well as his constant references to God's will and his opinion that the Bible justifies almost everything, makes his argumentation nearly untouchable. Finally, I will show that Carter clearly holds God above the state and thus, his claim as a separatist cannot be maintained.

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Methods of Argumentation and Their Contradictions
Carter and the Supreme Court
Carters manipulation techniques

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Page 12 - It may fairly be said that leaving accommodation to the political process will place at a relative disadvantage those religious practices that are not widely engaged in; but that unavoidable consequence of democratic government must be preferred to a system in which each conscience is a law unto itself or in which judges weigh the social importance of all laws against the centrality of all religious beliefs.
Page 4 - Carter's definition emphasizes "group worship" while including the cognitive and conscience elements we observed earlier: "When I refer to religion, I will have in mind a tradition of group worship (as against individual metaphysics) that presupposes the existence of a sentience beyond the human and capable of acting outside the observed principles and limits of natural science, and further, a tradition that makes demands of some kind on its...
Page 14 - God," who is wroth against faithlessness, whether toward Me, or toward men. He breaks the third commandment: "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain," for he swears he has not committed adultery, but he did so. He is the cause of profanation of the Sabbath, the consecration of which God commands in the fourth commandment, because in his illegal relation he generates descendants who will perform priestly duties in the Temple on the Sabbath...
Page 4 - That is the reason that the state will always try to domesticate religion: to avoid being subverted.
Page 16 - So (the reader may demand) what is wrong with compromise? Nothing, if one is a politician. But, potentially, everything if one is a...
Page 14 - [...] even when the cause is wrong, we should not overlook the heroism of those willing to be punished for their belief in rightness.
Page 7 - some of the many ways in which our culture has come to belittle religious devotion, to humiliate believers, and even if indirectly, to discourage religion as a serious activity.

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