RE: Theos-World Re: The US Constitution - A Midsummer Nights Dream
Mar 26, 2008 07:13 AM
by kolad beth
"only two religions operating in the west, christianity and protestanism. Salem showed that religious beliefs were strictly christian beliefs." This is unclear. Protestantism is a form of Christianity; the pilgrims were Puritans who had been oppressed by another Protestant sect, the Church of England. The idea was that in this country , the state would not adopt an 'official' religion as England had, which then had the power to oppress unofficial sects. They were all Protestant forms of Christianity. Most of the Catholics settled in Maryland ( Mary- land) as Protestants couldn't tolerate Catholics, the 'other' form of Christianity. Hope this clears it up a bit! Many Americans are even unaware of this, (just as many British were unaware that US is a former colony, in a survey done in England a few years ago)!
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> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2008 21:58:12 -0700
> Subject: Re: Theos-World Re: The US Constitution - A Midsummer Nights Dream
> Richard, people in glass houses, should not throw stones as the old saying goes. I am not an American and I am totally unfamiliar with your constitution, but I was referrring to Free Speech not the freedom of religious beliefs. The freedom of religious beliefs were made at a time when there was only two religions operating in the west, christianity and protestanism. Salem showed that religious beliefs were strictly christian beliefs.
> For the record, I do not support China's actions in Tibet, as much as I do not support the horrors perpetrated by the christian settlers on the American Indians. But there is no hypocricy with the Chinese, they do not hide behind a constitution that is constantly set up as the ideal and at the same time flagrantly crushes those ideals.
> 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.
> After World War I, several cases involving laws limiting speech came before the Supreme Court. The Espionage Act of 1917 imposed a maximum sentence of twenty years for anyone who caused or attempted to cause "insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty in the military or naval forces of the United States." Under the Act, over two thousand prosecutions were commenced. For instance, one filmmaker was sentenced to ten years imprisonment because his portrayal of British soldiers in a movie about the American Revolution impugned the good faith of an American ally, the United Kingdom. The Sedition Act of 1918 went even further, criminalizing "disloyal," "scurrilous" or "abusive" language against the government.
> in 1968, the Court upheld a law prohibiting the mutilation of draft cards in United States v. O'Brien 391 U.S. 367 (1968). The Court ruled that protesters could not burn draft cards because doing so would interfere with the "smooth and efficient functioning" of the draft system. Then again, in 1971, the court found that a person could not be punished for wearing, in the corridors of the Los Angeles county Courthouse, a jacket reading "Fuck the Draft," Cohen v. California (403 U.S. 15).
> In 1969, the Supreme Court ruled that free speech rights extended to students in school while deciding Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969). The case involved several students who were punished for wearing black arm-bands to protest the Vietnam War. The Supreme Court ruled that the school could not restrict symbolic speech that did not cause undue interruptions of school activities. Justice Abe Fortas wrote, "schools may not be enclaves of totalitarianism. School officials do not possess absolute authority over their students. Students...are possessed of fundamental rights which the State must respect, just as they themselves must respect their obligations to the State." The decision was arguably overruled, or at least undermined, by Bethel School District v. Fraser 478 U.S. 675 (1986), in which the Court held a student could be punished for his speech before a public assembly.
> Also in 1969, the Court decided the landmark Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969) , which overruled Whitney v. California 274 U.S. 357 (1927), a case in which a woman was imprisoned for aiding the Communist Party. Brandenburg effectively swept away Dennis as well, casting the right to speak freely of violent action and revolution in broad terms: "[Our] decisions have fashioned the principle that the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action." Some claim that Brandenburg essentially sets forth a reworded "clear and present danger" test, but the accuracy of such statements is hard to judge. The Court has never heard or decided a case involving seditious speech since Brandenburg was handed down.
> The federal government and the states have long been permitted to restrict obscenity or pornography. While obscenity generally has no protection under the First Amendment, pornography is subject to little regulation. The exact definition of obscenity and pornography, however, has changed over time.
> When it decided Rosen v. United States in 1896, the Supreme Court adopted the same obscenity standard as had been articulated in a famous British case, Regina v. Hicklin. The Hicklin standard defined material as obscene if it tended "to deprave or corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences, and into whose hands a publication of this sort may fall." In 1957, the Court ruled in Roth v. United States that the Hicklin test was inappropriate. Instead, the Roth test for obscenity was "whether to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest."
> In 1964 Justice Potter Stewart, in Jacobellis v. Ohio, famously stated that, although he could not precisely define pornography, "I know it when I see it."
> Richard Semock
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