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Hist 110-04 Intro. to American Civilizations Week 2 Notes

by: Jamie Bacher

Hist 110-04 Intro. to American Civilizations Week 2 Notes Hist 110-04

Marketplace > Montclair State University > History > Hist 110-04 > Hist 110 04 Intro to American Civilizations Week 2 Notes
Jamie Bacher

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About this Document

Notes for the second week of class.
Introduction to American Civilization
Neal Dougherty
Class Notes
notes, history, introtoamericancivilizations, american, Civilizations, Civ, Introduction, week2, Jehovah, witness, courtcases
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jamie Bacher on Monday September 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Hist 110-04 at Montclair State University taught by Neal Dougherty in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 32 views. For similar materials see Introduction to American Civilization in History at Montclair State University.


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Date Created: 09/26/16
09/15/2016 Week 2 Prof. Neal Dougherty Introduction to American Civilizations Homework: Define “religion” in 7 words­ what is valid and what is not valid from the perspective of a supreme court  judge. Notes: Many people use freedom of speech and freedom of religion as a way to get out of legal trouble­  people are able to get away with something illegal by saying it goes according to their religion. Example of freedom of speech/religion:  ● Everyone has the right to choose whether or not they want to say the pledge of  allegiance. ● The right to NOT take a dissection class because of the belief that life is sacred. Example of a failed attempt at using religion as an excuse for illegal actions:  NAMBLA ( North American Man Boy Love Association) Tried to say it was their “religion” to  be with young boys. However, this is obviously not correct and therefore did not pass in court. Example of how some attempt to twist the system: In prison there was a case in which a vegan needed special meals, the prison originally did not  want to provide these meals. However, they did have other religious meals available : islamic,  kosher, jane and rastafarian meals.  The prison lost their case, because if they are giving one religion special treatment, they must  give ALL religions special treatment, not pick and choose the ones which they want to cater to. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting free  exercise thereof” The downfall?  Picky eaters can twist these rules to say they need special “religious” meals.   ● Similarly, examples such as the “Pastafarian” religion, which now consists of a  whole church,bible, the flying spaghetti monster, etc. Does this mean a religion can be tailored to whatever people want? Not necessarily, because the 1st and 14th amendments specify the definition of a religion, this  way they can help narrow down whether people are lying (trying to use religion as a way to get  out of certain punishments, or illegal action) or not. Next we begin the court cases (remember them in chronological order)  Seminal cases of the 1st amendment Cantwell vs Connecticut­1940 ● Cantwell­ Religious man who goes door to door proselytizing (Preaching)  ● He is a Jehovah's witness. ● He was playing a sound amplifying device, such as a record player, (Blasting anti­ catholic music) ● Waspy­ was the cultural zeitgeist of 1940 ● Police charge him with breaching the peace and solicitation without a permit ● Defense: he is practicing his religion (congress states you can exercise your religion) ● Case goes to supreme court *This takes place in the World War 2 era­ there was lots of propaganda ● Did the solicitation statute that required him to go door to door improperly interfere with  the first amendment? ● Does the town have a right to require a permit? ● The town had the obligation to keep the streets peaceful, however there were no  restrictions based on religious grounds. ● ● The court decided that they could require a permit, however could not refuse to give him  a permit.  ● Cantwell won because of the freedom of speech, but the town was able to require a  permit. Minersville (P.A.) vs. Gobitis­1940 Gobitis­ Jehovah's Witness children.  They said that they owe their allegiance to God, not to idols such as the flag. They will not pray  to vain idols, only God. At this point in time there was no “Under God” in the pledge of allegiance ●  (1954 (approx) is when it became part of the pledge) ● The knights of Columbus are responsible for incorporating “Under God” ● National Unity was the basis of National Security ● In 1940 everyone HAD to say the pledge of allegiance (There was not yet a  “religious card”) ● Court decided 8­1 that the children HAD to say the pledge (because there was not  a religious card at this point in time) *Class Conversation: Centralia, P.A, has been on fire since 1960, due to a coal mine. Cox vs. New Hampshire­ 1941 ● Jehovahs witnesses were assembled at a church. ● Some were handing out leaflets on the street, marching down the sidewalk with  signs and telling people to attend their meeting. ● The state has the duty to maintain peaceful and pacific streets. ● The paraders were charged with parading without a permit. ● The case went to the supreme court ○ *What must happen for a case to go to the supreme court? ● They choose which ones are  “important” ● Must get a “cert” ­ Writ of Certiorari ● Then, they decided to hear the case Defense said: Their 14th amendment rights have been violated ● The 14th amendment states that : All rights applicable under federal law are  applicable in all states (this cannot be avoided)  ● The STATE can't take away FEDERAL law. ● This means the 1st amendment is forced on them. ● People have the right to safe passage Court decided: There will be no interference with their practice of religion, but they may not  obstruct the passage in the streets.  Standing­ Means to be affected in some way by the case ● Ex. Why are there no windows in the classroom? ○ If there were windows, and an accident were to happen outside,  you could try to sue for “emotional distress”. This probably wouldn’t work, BUT  ○ What if guts or a body part were to land on you? You could sue for injury, or being affected by the case.  ● Remember, people don’t sue to win the case, they simply sue for money. Jones vs. Opelika I ­ 1942 ● Jones is selling Jehovah’s Witness books without a permit ● Says he is on a mission from God, and does not need a permit. ● The state says that you NEED a permit for money making activities.­ final. Jones vs. Opelika II ­ 1943 ● Selling books again, however this time, he isn’t actually “selling” the books: ● He is exchanging them for donations. **Distribution is the same, (Selling, giving) . For example if you have a drug on you, it doesn't  matter if you are selling it or giving it to someone, it is the same thing. ● Court Decided: It is evangelism, he is NOT selling goods. If they did not allow  this, then the church would be unable to pass around the plate for donations during the  service.  


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