religion ques

broadcast “Religion and the Red, White and Blue 08 :…

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Respond to question-sets A & B and at least two other question-sets. PLEASE NOTE: For this module, you do not need to answer every question in a question-set; just be sure to give a substantial response to each question-set as a whole. (Minimum 250 words for original response as a whole.)

A) Respond to the broadcast “Religion and the Red, White and Blue 08.” What issues were discussed? Do you agree or disagree with the comments of Bill Moyers’ two guests, Melissa Rogers and Kathleen Hall Jamieson? Explain. Discuss the clips of Huckabee, Romney, and Kennedy in this context. In your opinion, what questions about a candidate’s religious views are appropriate to ask?

B) The Gaustad text chronicles an historical shift in the relationship of American religious life to the judicial court system in which, “American society was groping for some clear path that would yield a viable relationship between religion and public life.” Summarize this shift in relationship: What was it? When did it happen? What were the causes of this shift? In your assessment, did the completion of this shift occur in the past, or is the shift continuing to take place? Explain.

C) Our text describes the group known as Jehovah’s Witnesses as “having done more than any other to enlarge the understanding of what free exercise of conscience really means,” with regard to the Supreme Court’s determination of constitutional protection of religious freedom. What specific issues were introduced to the courts by this group? What was the general early reaction by the Supreme Court to these issues and what reasoning did it employ? What reasoning did the Court employ in its later decision regarding these issues?

D) The textbook discusses the ways in which Orthodox Jews and Seventh Day Adventists were instrumental in bringing to the Supreme Court issues related to historical “blue laws” restricting Sunday business activities and related matters. What principles determined the Court’s decision on this issue? Are there laws still in place within American society that continue to privilege the beliefs/customs of certain religious groups over others with regard to activities on Sundays or holidays?

E) What reasoning and principles were involved in the Supreme Court’s opinion regarding the issue of “conscientious objection” to compulsory military service? What relevance, if any, does the Supreme Court’s opinion regarding “conscientious objector status” have in contemporary times?

F) According to the Gaustad text, the decision by many Americans to withdraw their children from public schools due to religiously-based concerns is “One of the most visible results of the Supreme Court’s decisions of the last forty years.” What are some of the controversies related to this issue?

G) Traditional practices of the Native American Church involving peyote have constituted a pivot-point for controversy over the exercise of religious freedom. What are the issues involved in this controversy? How old is this controversy in the annals of American history? Where does this issue stand today? What seems to be at stake? Is the reasoning involved in these debates fundamentally different from, or similar to, the reasoning involved in other controversies covered in this chapter? Explain.

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