Tag Archives: barak obama

U.S. News: DADT Repealed! DREAM Act defeated.

This weekend in the U.S., many of us celebrated the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” the statute that allowed individuals to be discharged from the military for being openly gay. For many, this represents a Presidential promise made by Bill Clinton, that is finally being fulfilled.

Although this is some evidence that President Obama’s sometimes  subtle political techniques,  seem to be working, those supporting the repeal should still be concerned that there is currently no timeline for the process of implementation.

Some might ask, what about our troops, how is this affecting their ability to function on the battlefield. The Marines for one intend to do just what they have always done, they intend to follow orders and to lead the way, but don’t take my word for it. In spite of his own personal opinions regarding the repeal, here’s what General James F. Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps had to say in the New York Times article entitled A How-To Guide for a New Military “the Marine Corps will step out smartly to faithfully implement this new policy.”

While this progressive move by the U.S. government, distinguishes our culture of human rights from that of countries like Uganda, where being openly gay is illegal, the U.S. Senate giveth and the U.S. Senate taketh away.

From NPR, See:

Library Highlights : Law & Religion

Law and Religion: National, International, and Comparative Perspectives

W. Cole Durham, Jr., Brett G. Scharffs

K3258 .D874 2010

From the Publisher: Law and Religion: National, International, and Comparative Law Perspectives, features: U.S. materials that include the major Free Exercise and Establishment Clause cases that teachers of law and religion courses are accustomed to teaching; [...]cases cover issues such as the right to register religious associations, headscarves, kosher foods, exemptions from church taxes, conscientious objection, proselytizing, religious oaths, church autonomy, religious education, and conflicts arising between religious freedom and other human rights (e.g., women’s rights, rights of indigenous peoples, sexual minorities, and children’s rights); Islamic, Christian, and Jewish perspectives on freedom of religion, touching on defamation of religion, the Danish Mohammed cartoon controversy, the constitutions of Iraq, religious political parties in Turkey, and the definition of being Jewish for rights of citizenship in Israel.

Fundamentalism in American Religion and Law: Obama’s Challenge to Patriarchy’s Threat to Democracy

David A. J. Richards

KF4552 .R53 2010

From the Publisher: Why, from Reagan to George Bush, have fundamentalists in religion and in law (originalists) exercised such political power and influence in the United States? Why has the Republican Party forged an ideology of judicial appointments (originalism) hostile to abortion and gay rights? Why and how did Barack Obama distinguish himself among Democratic candidates not only by his opposition to the Iraq war but by his opposition to originalism? This book argues that fundamentalism in both religion and law threatens democratic values and draws its appeal from a patriarchal psychology still alive in our personal and political lives and at threat from the constitutional developments since the 1960s. The argument analyzes this psychology (based on traumatic loss in intimate life) and resistance to it (based on the love of equals). Obama’s resistance to originalism arises from his developmental history as a democratic, as opposed to patriarchal, man who resists the patriarchal demands on men and women that originalism enforces – in particular, the patriarchal love laws that tell people who and how and how much they may love.

The Religious Left and Church-State Relations

Steven H. Shiffrin

KF4783 .S56 2009

From the Publisher: In The Religious Left and Church-State Relations, Shiffrin argues that the religious left, not the secular left, is best equipped to lead the battle against the religious right on questions of church and state in America today. Explaining that the chosen rhetoric of secular liberals is poorly equipped to argue against religious conservatives, Shiffrin shows that all progressives, religious and secular, must appeal to broader values promoting religious liberty. He demonstrates that the separation of church and state serves to protect religions from political manipulation while tight connections between church and state compromise the integrity of religious institutions. Shiffrin discusses the pluralistic foundations of the religion clauses in the First Amendment and asserts that the clauses cannot be confined to the protection of liberty, equality, or equal liberty. He explores the constitutional framework of religious liberalism, applying it to controversial examples, including the Pledge of  Allegiance, the government’s use of religious symbols, the teaching of evolution in public schools, and school vouchers. Shiffrin examines how the approaches of secular liberalism toward church-state relations have been misguided philosophically and politically, and he illustrates why theological arguments hold an important democratic position–not in courtrooms or halls of government, but in the public dialogue.

Freedom From Religion: Rights and National Security

Amos N. Guiora

K3258 .G85 2009

From the Publisher: Although many books on terrorism and religious extremism have been published in the years since 9/11, none of them written by Western authors call for the curtailment of religious freedom and freedom of expression for the sake of greater security. Rather, those terror-related debates have addressed what other civil liberties should be honored. Issues like torture, domestic surveillance, and unlawful detentions have dominated the literature in this area, but few, if any, major scholars have questioned the vast allowances made by Western nations for the freedoms of religion and speech. Freedom from Religion challenges the almost sacrosanct inviolability of these two civil liberties. By drawing the connection between politically-correct tolerance of extremist speech and the rise of terrorist activity, this book sets the context for its unique proposal that governments should introduce new limits on religious practice within their borders. To demonstrate the wisdom of this course, the author presents the disparate policies and security circumstances of five countries: the U.S., the UK, the Netherlands, Turkey, and Israel.

God in the Courtroom: Religion’s Role at Trial

Brian H. Bornstein and Monica K. Miller

KF8700 .B67 2009

From the Publisher: While the concept of “God in the Courtroom” evokes a few grand images, there are numerous, often subtle, ways in which religion and law intersect. For example, religious beliefs might influence the decisions of legal decision makers, such as judges and jurors. Attorneys might rely on religion, both in the way they approach their professional practice generally and in specific trial tactics (e.g., using a scriptural rationale in arguing for a particular trial outcome). This book reviews legal developments and behavioral science research concerning the effects of religion on legal practice, decision- making processes of various legal actors, and trial outcomes. Chapters address jury selection and bias, attorneys’ use of religion in legal movements, judges’ religious beliefs and its role in their appointment, and the treatment of religious figures or institutions as litigants in court. By drawing from various research sources, the authors effectively explore the range of ways in which religion affects the actions of all of the major participants at trial: jurors, judges, attorneys, and litigants.

Holy Writ: Interpretation in Law and Religion

edited by Arie-Jan Kwak

K3165 .H654 2009

From the Publisher: It has often been remarked that law and religion have much in common. One of the most conspicuous elements is that both law and religion frequently refer to a text that has authority over the members of a community. In the case of religion this text is deemed to be ‘holy’, in the case of law, some, such as the American constitution, are widely held as ‘sacred’. In both examples, priests and judges exert a duty to tell the community what the founding document has to say about contemporary problems. This therefore involves an element of interpretation of the relevant authoritative texts and this book focuses on such methods of interpretation in the fields of law and religion. As its starting point, scholars from different disciplines discuss the textualist approach presented here by American Supreme Court Judge and academic scholar, Justice Antonin Scalia, not only from the perspective of law but also from that of theology. The result is a lively discussion which presents a range of diverse perspectives and arguments with regard to interpretation in law and religion.