Natural Law and Life

Natural Law What is Law?
Natural Law is a broad and often misapplied term tossed around various schools of philosophy, science, history, theology, and law. Indeed, Immanuel Kant reminded us, ‘What is law?’ may be said to be about as embarrassing to the jurist as the well-know question What is Truth? is to the logician.

Law, in its generic sense, is a body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by controlling authority, and having binding legal force. That which must be obeyed and followed by citizens subject to sanctions or legal consequences is a law (Blacks Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, p. 884).
Jurisprudence is the philosophy of law and how the law developed.

Natural Law is a moral theory of jurisprudence, which maintains that law should be based on morality and ethics. Natural Law holds that the law is based on whats correct. Natural Law is discovered by humans through the use of reason and choosing between good and evil. Therefore, Natural Law finds its power in discovering certain universal standards in morality and ethics.

Natural Law and Life. Randall Niles views the Moral Law applicable to all of us, including murder, theft, lying, and cheating. In the case of homicide (“the unjustified killing of another human being”), we all agree that it’s wrong, we just disagree on the definitions, such as “justification” and “human being.”

This video examines the different treatment of fetal homicide across Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, and Civil Law throughout the United States. Why the different definitions in Roe v Wade, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and various Wrongful Death Acts in certain states?

Please visit http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/natural-law.htm for more information on Natural Law and Life issues. Also, please visit http://www.RandallNiles.com for more videos covering issues of Natural Law, Philosophy, Christianity, the Miracle of Life, and Abortion.

Duration : 0:8:16

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Abolish Religious Exemptions from the Law? (Part 2)

In the United States and other countries, religious institutions have traditionally enjoyed a privileged position, i.e., they have been granted exemptions from compliance with certain laws (including, without limitation, laws against discrimination in employment and laws requiring the payment of taxes). Is it appropriate or even useful for religion to have this privileged status?

Links:

1. Wisconsin Supreme Court’s use of the “ministerial exception” to dismiss an age discrimination case against a Catholic school system

http://www.wicourts.gov/sc/opinion/DisplayDocument.pdf?content=pdf&seqNo=38088

2. New York Court of Appeals decision in Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany v. Serio

http://www.law.cornell.edu/nyctap/I06_0127.htm

3. California Supreme Court’s decision in Catholic Charities of Sacramento v. Superior Court (Unfortunately, I can’t find a generally accessible URL for this decision. The citation is 85 P.3d 67 (2004).)

4. Jonathan Turley’s Op-Ed piece entitled “When it comes to religious groups, who’s really facing discrimination?”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/16/AR2010041602027.html

5. Employment Division v. Smith

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0494_0872_ZO.html

6. Bob Jones University v. United States

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0461_0574_ZO.html

7. New York Times article on the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association case

8. Part 1 of this video series

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5TBxCfnFiw

Duration : 0:9:56

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Abolish Religious Exemptions from the Law? (Part 1)

In the United States and other countries, religious institutions have traditionally enjoyed a privileged position, i.e., they have been granted exemptions from compliance with certain laws (including, without limitation, laws against discrimination in employment and laws requiring the payment of taxes). Is it appropriate or even useful for religion to have this privileged status?

Links:

1. Regarding Christian Legal Society v. Martinez–

–the decision of the federal district court in favor of the law school

http://www.alliancealert.org/2006/20060417.pdf

–the decision of the 9th Circuit affirming the trial court’s ruling

http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/08-1371_ca9.pdf

–SCOTUS WIKI’s entry on the case (lots of information and material)

http://www.scotuswiki.com/index.php?title=Christian_Legal_Society_v._Martinez

2. Archbishop Donald Wuerl’s talk entitled “Religious Freedom and Marriage”

3. Washington D.C.’s marriage equality and nondiscrimination law and related material

http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/lims/legislation.aspx?LegNo=B18-0482&Description=RELIGIOUS-FREEDOM-AND-CIVIL-MARRIAGE-EQUALITY-AMENDMENT-ACT-OF-2009.&ID=23204

http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/images/00001/20100409103713.pdf

4. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm

5. McClure v. The Salvation Army (the first federal appeals court decision to recognize a “ministerial exception” to Title VII)

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=7674766003352112619&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr

6. Part 2 of this video series

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GHVxMDRx6o

Duration : 0:10:29

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