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Old 06-30-2020, 01:35 PM   #1
Original Position
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Religious liberty in America

From the WaPo:

Quote:
A divided Supreme Court on Tuesday said that states that provide assistance to private schools may not exclude religious ones, a major victory for those who want to see religious institutions play a more robust role in “school choice.”

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for a conservative majority in the 5-to-4 ruling, said the Montana Supreme Court was wrong to strike down a tuition assistance program passed by the legislature, It allowed tax incentives for scholarships to private schools, including religious ones, but the state court said that ran afoul of a state constitution provision forbidding public funds from going to religious institutions.

The U.S. Constitution’s protection of religious freedom prevails, he said.

“A state need not subsidize private education,” Roberts wrote. “But once a state decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”

The court’s four most consistent conservatives joined his opinion, while the court’s four liberals dissented.
I tend to be sympathetic to the conservative position on this issue on policy and legal grounds, although I haven't looked at this case closely. However, while I think there are broad social trends towards secularization that should concern conservatives, current legal protection for religious liberty in the US are strong, so I struggle to understand on charitable grounds why it as the political priority so much of the GOP seems to view it as.

To me, this seems more likely a political response to the loss by religious conservatives on same-sex marriage (not at heart a religious liberty issue imo). And here, while Obergefell was the coup de grace, the real failure of Christians was culturally, where they failed to persuade people (including young Christians) that their views on homosexuality weren't capricious and cruel towards undeserving victims. And a Republican president that struggles to communicate the cultural cues that would portray him as a heartfelt Christian will have a strong incentive to emphasize his role as a (legal) defender of the faith.
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:02 PM   #2
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Re: Religious liberty in America

I think at this point it's hard to distinguish between what is a White Evangelical position, and what is a White Conservative position. The two camps are now so enmeshed I don't know that we can sift out religious considerations from the overall Conservative agenda. I believe that White middle America at large now feels the need to protect what they view as the traditional 'American' way of life; and Christianity is but one aspect of that.

More to your point, I think you are totally correct that religious freedoms are not in any palpable danger currently. Black Evangelicals clearly do not feel their religious liberties are being threatened, and neither do the Catholics. Of course these are vast over-simplifications I am making, but Catholics are generally split in their support, while Black Evangelicals are overwhelmingly voting D. Furthermore, White Evangelicals, rather than Christians as a whole, are drivers of Islamaphobia in this country. Therefore I am of the mind that what we are seeing is a reaction to a perceived threat to the White Judeo-Christian cultural identity, rather than Evangelicals feeling their individual religious freedoms are actually under attack.

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tan...-vote-for-him/

https://www.newsweek.com/white-evang...-shows-1433592
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:49 PM   #3
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Re: Religious liberty in America

if you are going to give money to private schools, of course you have to give it to parochial schools as well, the original decision is beyond stupid

if a state decides not to give aid to any private schools, fine.
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Old 07-31-2020, 06:37 PM   #4
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Re: Religious liberty in America

I had intended to post the link to the SCOTUS decision a while ago, but never got around to it:

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinion...-1195_g314.pdf

I didn't do a deep reading of it.
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:48 PM   #5
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Re: Religious liberty in America

It's pretty much as Mets summarized. The Court held that denying religious schools state funding (ostensibly due to the Establishment clause), while funding all other private schools, on the sole basis of their being religious institutions, is a violation of the Free Exercise clause.

I think it was a fair decision.
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:52 PM   #6
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Re: Religious liberty in America

Quote:
Originally Posted by metsandfinsfan View Post
if you are going to give money to private schools, of course you have to give it to parochial schools as well, the original decision is beyond stupid

if a state decides not to give aid to any private schools, fine.
Hello mets. I don't remember if we like each other or not -- it's been a long time. Regardless, I an in absolute agreement with this post.

If a private school is properly credentialed, then it is a school. If a state chooses to give money to private schools, then it must be to ALL private schools.

I don't care if it's all girl, all boy, all gay, Jewish, Islamic, Christian, etc. If it is a credentialed private school, it must be treated equally with ANY private school.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:37 PM   #7
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Re: Religious liberty in America

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Originally Posted by RoundGuy View Post
Hello mets. I don't remember if we like each other or not -- it's been a long time. Regardless, I an in absolute agreement with this post.



If a private school is properly credentialed, then it is a school. If a state chooses to give money to private schools, then it must be to ALL private schools.



I don't care if it's all girl, all boy, all gay, Jewish, Islamic, Christian, etc. If it is a credentialed private school, it must be treated equally with ANY private school.
+1
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:17 PM   #8
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Re: Religious liberty in America

Home schooling is the way to go.
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:09 PM   #9
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Re: Religious liberty in America

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Originally Posted by Zeno View Post
Home schooling is the way to go.
+1
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:00 PM   #10
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Re: Religious liberty in America

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundGuy View Post
Hello mets. I don't remember if we like each other or not -- it's been a long time. Regardless, I an in absolute agreement with this post.

If a private school is properly credentialed, then it is a school. If a state chooses to give money to private schools, then it must be to ALL private schools.

I don't care if it's all girl, all boy, all gay, Jewish, Islamic, Christian, etc. If it is a credentialed private school, it must be treated equally with ANY private school.
im pretty sure we got along, but i have apparantly made some enemies

but hai!
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:01 PM   #11
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Re: Religious liberty in America

the fact that this is 5-4 shows how bad the liberal judges are

the conservative judges side with the liberal judges when things are obv wrong, but i dont get how the 4 judges vote against this
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:30 PM   #12
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Re: Religious liberty in America

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeno View Post
Home schooling is the way to go.
I purposely left out home schooling, and purposely mentioned "credentialed".

When it comes to the state subsidizing home schooling, that opens up a can of worms I'm not currently willing to munch on.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:48 PM   #13
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Re: Religious liberty in America

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Originally Posted by metsandfinsfan View Post
i dont get how the 4 judges vote against this
You can read the dissents from the link.
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Old 08-04-2020, 04:54 PM   #14
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Re: Religious liberty in America

Quote:
Originally Posted by EADGBE View Post
I think at this point it's hard to distinguish between what is a White Evangelical position, and what is a White Conservative position. The two camps are now so enmeshed I don't know that we can sift out religious considerations from the overall Conservative agenda. I believe that White middle America at large now feels the need to protect what they view as the traditional 'American' way of life; and Christianity is but one aspect of that.
I agree that white evangelical Christians are increasingly likely to identify as conservative and be part of the largely white GOP "conservative" political coalition (in 2007 50% identified as conservative, in 2014 56% did so). I disagree that their positions have diffused into a broader cultural conservatism within the GOP coalition. My sense is that Trump and his faction of trolls aren't personally very exercised by the standard concerns of evangelicals like stopping abortion or promoting traditional family values, but rather they are interested in promoting American nationalism. The evangelicals I know are quite aware that Trump is not one of them, even if they are mostly happy with his leadership of their party.

However, the big mistake to avoid here imo is to think that evangelicalism is mostly about the political positions associated with conservatives. For most evangelicals, especially those in whom it has its biggest impact, the most important impact on their lives are things like: going to church every week, praying and meditating on spiritual topics, reading the Bible and devotional material, living according to Christian morality and ways of life, believing Christian theology about God, the world, and other people, associating with other Christians, talking with God, and so on. Relatively speaking, the impact of being a political conservative on a person's life is small.

Quote:
More to your point, I think you are totally correct that religious freedoms are not in any palpable danger currently. Black Evangelicals clearly do not feel their religious liberties are being threatened, and neither do the Catholics. Of course these are vast over-simplifications I am making, but Catholics are generally split in their support, while Black Evangelicals are overwhelmingly voting D. Furthermore, White Evangelicals, rather than Christians as a whole, are drivers of Islamaphobia in this country. Therefore I am of the mind that what we are seeing is a reaction to a perceived threat to the White Judeo-Christian cultural identity, rather than Evangelicals feeling their individual religious freedoms are actually under attack.

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tan...-vote-for-him/

https://www.newsweek.com/white-evang...-shows-1433592
You're wrong to claim that Catholics do not think their religious liberties in the US are being threatened. For instance, Catholic hospitals and aid organizations have been in litigation for years over whether they are required to abide by the contraceptive mandate in the ACA. I'm not sure about black evangelicals, but I wouldn't assume they don't from them supporting Democratic politicians.
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Old 08-04-2020, 05:05 PM   #15
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Re: Religious liberty in America

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundGuy View Post
I purposely left out home schooling, and purposely mentioned "credentialed".

When it comes to the state subsidizing home schooling, that opens up a can of worms I'm not currently willing to munch on.
I'm okay with state-subsidized funds for homeschooling if done properly. For instance, homeschoolers in California can register with dedicated charter schools that provide funds for tutoring and classes for homeschooled kids. I see little evidence that homeschooled kids get on average a worse education than kids that go to school (disclaimer: I was mostly homeschooled).
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:42 PM   #16
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Re: Religious liberty in America

Not taking the bait OP. (get it? can of worms, bait...)

Never mind. Not going there.
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:30 PM   #17
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Re: Religious liberty in America

Quote:
Originally Posted by Original Position View Post
I agree that white evangelical Christians are increasingly likely to identify as conservative and be part of the largely white GOP "conservative" political coalition (in 2007 50% identified as conservative, in 2014 56% did so). I disagree that their positions have diffused into a broader cultural conservatism within the GOP coalition. My sense is that Trump and his faction of trolls aren't personally very exercised by the standard concerns of evangelicals like stopping abortion or promoting traditional family values, but rather they are interested in promoting American nationalism. The evangelicals I know are quite aware that Trump is not one of them, even if they are mostly happy with his leadership of their party.
My point is not that the White Evangelicals are in a coalition with the GOP trolls, it is that they are the GOP trolls. They constitute a very significant part of the electorate and they are now voting almost exclusively R.

Also, the data you provide appears to be not for white evangelicals, but all evangelicals, which includes the predominantly liberal black evangelicals. I am also pretty sure that if the % is changed to include the 'lean' R's, the number skyrockets. At any rate, at the end of the day, I don't think it really matters what they self-identify as, as much as it matters who they are actually voting for. Do you agree?

Some Numbers

• White Evangelicals voted Trump 80-16 in 2016.

Source

• June of this year: 82% of White Evangelicals still voting for Trump

Source

• White Evangelicals less likely to report income >$150k [note: I believe the vast majority have a total household income < $100k] or possess a Bachelors or higher, while they are more likely to be older (which is the core Trump demographic).

Source


No Distinct Political Positions

• White Evangelicals R's have no disparate political positions as a group with which we can make any meaningful distinctions between them and the non-evangelical R's.

Quote:
For example, overall and not specific to issues, 83% of non-evangelical Republicans are predicted to prefer the Republican Party compared to 85% for evangelical Republicans. Differences were statistically insignificant for healthcare, the economy, immigration and gun control.
Ibid

• Case in point: despite the bible teaching us to be kind and welcoming to immigrants, White Evangelicals choose to conveniently ignore that teaching and subscribe to the overall GOP anti-immigration hysteria.

Source


Thus,

I am forced to conclude that the White Evangelicals and the Trumpers are one and the same. Trump won by making a naked appeal to traditional White cultural values and nostalgia, and there is no mistaking that this nation was founded in Christian values and White hegemony. The message has clearly resonated with White Evangelicals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Original Position View Post
However, the big mistake to avoid here imo is to think that evangelicalism is mostly about the political positions associated with conservatives. For most evangelicals, especially those in whom it has its biggest impact, the most important impact on their lives are things like: going to church every week, praying and meditating on spiritual topics, reading the Bible and devotional material, living according to Christian morality and ways of life, believing Christian theology about God, the world, and other people, associating with other Christians, talking with God, and so on. Relatively speaking, the impact of being a political conservative on a person's life is small.
The impact may be small on a personal level, and I think I agree there, however they are in perfect alignment with the current iteration of the GOP, so again I don't think any meaningful distinctions can be made in the aggregate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Original Position View Post
You're wrong to claim that Catholics do not think their religious liberties in the US are being threatened. For instance, Catholic hospitals and aid organizations have been in litigation for years over whether they are required to abide by the contraceptive mandate in the ACA. I'm not sure about black evangelicals, but I wouldn't assume they don't from them supporting Democratic politicians.
You make a good counter-point with the Catholics. My overall point is that the GOP/White Evangelical alliance is more about a white cultural identity struggle, rather than a fight for religious liberties. This is just my opinion, and I very well may be completely wrong.

You also may very well be correct on your original point that this is just an overall Christian response to the same-sex marriage loss. However, there is still a difference between White Evangelicals and other Christians on these (ostensibly) religious issues and I think it can still be shown that one the whole these issues seem to concern White Evangelicals more than other Christian groups.

Quote:
Asked about significant restrictions on abortion — making it illegal except in cases of rape, incest or to threats to a mother’s life — 37 percent of all Americans responded in support, according to the poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Those abortion limits drew 39 percent support from white mainline Protestants, 33 percent support from nonwhite Protestants and 45 percent support from Catholics, but 67 percent support from white evangelical Protestants.

A similar divide emerged over whether the government should bar discrimination against people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in workplaces, housing or schools. About 6 in 10 Catholics, white mainline Protestants and nonwhite Protestants supported those protections, compared with about a third of white evangelical Protestants.

The differences between white evangelicals and other religious Americans, as well as the non-religious, were less stark on other policy issues examined in the poll. But its findings nonetheless point to an evangelical Protestant constituency that’s more firmly aligned with President Donald Trump’s agenda than other Americans of faith.
Source

Sorry for the protracted political derail, I guess I'm just a politard at heart. Feel free to delete if you feel my posts are inappropriate for this forum.
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Old 08-06-2020, 01:36 AM   #18
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Re: Religious liberty in America

Quote:
Originally Posted by EADGBE View Post
My point is not that the White Evangelicals are in a coalition with the GOP trolls, it is that they are the GOP trolls. They constitute a very significant part of the electorate and they are now voting almost exclusively R.

Also, the data you provide appears to be not for white evangelicals, but all evangelicals, which includes the predominantly liberal black evangelicals. I am also pretty sure that if the % is changed to include the 'lean' R's, the number skyrockets. At any rate, at the end of the day, I don't think it really matters what they self-identify as, as much as it matters who they are actually voting for. Do you agree?

Some Numbers

• White Evangelicals voted Trump 80-16 in 2016.

Source

• June of this year: 82% of White Evangelicals still voting for Trump

Source

• White Evangelicals less likely to report income >$150k [note: I believe the vast majority have a total household income < $100k] or possess a Bachelors or higher, while they are more likely to be older (which is the core Trump demographic).

Source


No Distinct Political Positions

• White Evangelicals R's have no disparate political positions as a group with which we can make any meaningful distinctions between them and the non-evangelical R's.



Ibid

• Case in point: despite the bible teaching us to be kind and welcoming to immigrants, White Evangelicals choose to conveniently ignore that teaching and subscribe to the overall GOP anti-immigration hysteria.

Source


Thus,

I am forced to conclude that the White Evangelicals and the Trumpers are one and the same. Trump won by making a naked appeal to traditional White cultural values and nostalgia, and there is no mistaking that this nation was founded in Christian values and White hegemony. The message has clearly resonated with White Evangelicals.



The impact may be small on a personal level, and I think I agree there, however they are in perfect alignment with the current iteration of the GOP, so again I don't think any meaningful distinctions can be made in the aggregate.



You make a good counter-point with the Catholics. My overall point is that the GOP/White Evangelical alliance is more about a white cultural identity struggle, rather than a fight for religious liberties. This is just my opinion, and I very well may be completely wrong.

You also may very well be correct on your original point that this is just an overall Christian response to the same-sex marriage loss. However, there is still a difference between White Evangelicals and other Christians on these (ostensibly) religious issues and I think it can still be shown that one the whole these issues seem to concern White Evangelicals more than other Christian groups.



Source

Sorry for the protracted political derail, I guess I'm just a politard at heart. Feel free to delete if you feel my posts are inappropriate for this forum.
Good stuff. Definitely NOT a derail! Keep up the good work!
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Old Yesterday, 07:02 PM   #19
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Re: Religious liberty in America

Long NYT piece on this topic yesterday. I think it's worth a read (mostly just interviews of Evangelicals). It's paywalled, hopefully y'all got some free articles left on the month.

Quote:
From the start it appeared an impossible contradiction. Evangelicals for years have defined themselves as the values voters, people who prized the Bible and sexual morality — and loving your neighbor as yourself — above all.

Donald Trump was the opposite. He bragged about assaulting women. He got divorced, twice. He built a career off gambling. He cozied up to bigots. He rarely went to church. He refused to ask for forgiveness.

It is a contradiction that has held for four years. They stood by him when he shut out Muslim refugees. When he separated children from their parents at the border. When he issued brash insults over social media. When he uttered falsehoods as if they were true. When he was impeached.

Theories, and rationalizations, abound:

That evangelical support was purely transactional.

That they saw him as their best chance in decades to end legalized abortion.

That the opportunity to nominate conservative justices to the Supreme Court was paramount.

That they hated Hillary Clinton, or felt torn to pick the lesser of two evils.

That they held their noses and voted, hoping he would advance their policy priorities and accomplish their goals.

But beneath all this, there is another explanation. One that is more raw and fundamental. Evangelicals did not support Mr. Trump in spite of who he is. They supported him because of who he is, and because of who they are. He is their protector, the bully who is on their side, the one who offered safety amid their fears that their country as they know it, and their place in it, is changing, and changing quickly. White straight married couples with children who go to church regularly are no longer the American mainstream. An entire way of life, one in which their values were dominant, could be headed for extinction. And Mr. Trump offered to restore them to power, as though they have not been in power all along.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/09/u...gtype=Homepage
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