The First Amendment to the Constitution states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
The Supreme Court has ruled that states as well cannot pass laws that violate the 1st Amendment.
On Nov. 2, Okalhoma voters passed SQ755 (similar to our propositions) by a vote of 70 to 30 percent. The slogan of "Save Our State" was used by supporters for the law which would require Oklahoma courts to "rely on federal and state law when deciding cases" and "forbids courts from considering or using" either international law or Islamic religious law, known as Sharia, which the amendment defined as being based on the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed.
A Federal judge has issued a permanant injunction (stop) against the law that you can read about in this article. Sharia law is used in many muslim countries and many of its aspects violate federal and state laws. Politicians in Oklahoma are upset by the ruling and many claims are being made by both sides of the issue. The U.S. Supreme Court could eventually hear the case.
The questions are:
Can religion currently be used as an excuse to break laws that by themselves do not discrimnate against religions? (for example: polygamy, drug use, rape)
Can states pass laws that target a particular religion?
What was the purpose of this law in Oklahoma? Was it necessary to pass? Are you surprised that voters passed it?
Do you believe the law violates the first amendment and why?
If the law is not a violation, what kind of precedent does it create for other states?
Post your responses by 8:00AM Friday