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Messages - Leaf2001br

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Current Law Students / Re: Abortion
« on: April 24, 2006, 10:44:56 PM »
50 years ago an interracial married couple had no legal rights.
There's always a "way around it" if "it" is bad law...In any tradition.

Anyway, I'm not sure I follow you.  If a child's property rights don't have any legal effects until emancipation or majority anyway, why would a legislature ever have to make some kind of distinction about the property rights of an unborn fetus?  How is this a stalemate?  And what is the connection to abortion?

Ok study break...

Thanks deltau,
that is about as direct an answer as I could have hoped for.  Your reasoning is very sound and thanks for not dodging the difficult questions.  I only wish that everyone took such a pragmatic approach to balancing these issues. A couple of thoughts in response...

I would just add that, as I'm sure you realize, the Court did not endorse homosexual sodomy in Lawrence or broaden anyone's rights to privacy, etc.  It simply ruled on the equal protection issue where the law did not target sodomy itself as a societal concern, only sodomy by some.  Regardless where I stood on any issue, I would take comfort in the Court's ability to treat the law so mechanically.  I don't see this case as any kind of liberal expansion of social ideology at all, just a soundly structural interpretation of the Constitution.

As far as sodomy still being technically the "law" in many states, I think it's also fair to point out that the Mississippi legislature abolished slavery about 7 or 8 years ago.

You also raise a policy argument (which in itself is very refreshing) about 2 men likely having a greater combined income.  Perhaps, but this still fails to acknowledge the union of two women, nor does it address the fact that many heterosexual couples also have greater combined incomes than others.  I have to admit, it seems that your belief that gay men are predisposed to skipping rope and avoiding sports doesn't seem consistent with them being just as agressive in a career context as other men.  I would be tempted to dismiss both extremes as social stereotypes.  Nevertheless, if the policy interest is to prevent some couples from having greater incomes than others, this could be regulated without consideration of sexual orientation.  Tax laws could be adjusted rather painlessly to account for such discrepancies  so I don't quite see this as a firm policy justification, especially since this marginal advantage could arguably be offsetting a bit of a sociel underdog status anyway.  These secondary considerations aside, the real issue is this: If not allowing two people to marry is indeed a denial of personal rights, the government interest would have to be a compelling one to pass constitutional muster, not just a beneficial one.

I also notice in your point about nature that you believe sexual orientation to be a conscious decision and not a natural disposition.  Until a more concrete scientific explanation arises, I can certainly respect you in your differing beliefs.  Yet I cannot find a logical way to reach this conclusion myself.  Gay people undoubtedly live a very difficult life that most of us can never understand.  Often having to live in secrecy, they are ridiculed, threatened with violence, socially oppressed, alienated from their families and are generally less able to participate everyday as openly as heterosexuals.  While a guy can "whale" on his ladyfriend to his heart's content, gay couples are widely thought of as subhuman for being intimate in the same way (I would personally be disgusted by a fat heterosexual couple "whaling" on each other, but I don't see this as a justification for treating them differently in public).  They also as we know are not entitled to the same rights.  That millions of people would "choose" this fate just for kicks is something I have a hard time accepting.   It would also seem that there would be a lot more switching back and forth going on.  I imagine some of this goes on for young people like the one you described who must be very scared and confused about who they are but once they have become oriented, most do not switch.  I believe the reality of it that many try to resist it in a state of denial for as long as they can, not wanting to bring pain to themselves, their families, etc.

To be honest I didn't actually intend this to be a particularized discussion about same-sex marriages (In fact I moved this thread off of the same-sex thread), but more about the balancing of religious views and civics in a broader sense.  I am curious for instance, if religion continues to absorb blows from science, for example an identifiable neurological phenomenon explaining homosexuality, do the religious explanations about the big picture continue to retreat issue by issue, as they have for hundreds of years?  At the risk of treading on dangerous ground, it seems the "potential" issue of decreasing practical relevance of organized religion is a real issue over the last decades/century.  In fact I would think the American everyman knew almost nothing about Hindus or Buddhists 100 years ago.  Today on the other hand, the planet is starting to feel rather small and crowded. I just want to know how a person of faith copes with doubt, if they indeed have any at all.  And if not, where they find that level of faith.  It just isn't something I can answer for myself or read up on.

Speaking of which... I need to get back to the books.

Deltau, while we may not agree on every point, I applaud you for being practical instead of emotional in negotiating where your beliefs conflict with others.  The world would be a better place if more people could relate to each other in this way.

But a little joke:
All this time we thought the Red Sox were cursed.  Turns out they just sucked for 85 years! 

Okay, okay, just kidding.  I don't want to offend anyone's religious beliefs or worse yet, angry Red Sox fans!

Current Law Students / Re: Is Georgetown a good school in states?
« on: April 23, 2006, 10:45:01 AM »
Ugly colors.  Stupid mascot.  High rate of excorcisms.  And international development??  There's probably not even a single multinational treaty being drafted within 500 yards of that school!   What, you couldn't get into Yale?  At least they know why their mascot is a bulldog.   You really haven't thought this through at all have you?

Current Law Students / Re: Do these disqualify me from taking the bar?
« on: April 23, 2006, 10:33:08 AM »
"Alcoholism is a disease.  But it's the only disease you get yelled at for having...

'Goddammit Otto!! YOU'RE AN ALCOHOLIC!!'

'Goddammit Otto!! YOU HAVE LUPUS!!'

...One of those just doen't sound right."

-Mitch Hedberg

Current Law Students / Re: What can I do with a finance degree and JD?
« on: April 23, 2006, 10:25:45 AM »
I don't really think your undergraduate degree is of much significance unless it's something really unique, or it taught you to speak fluent German or something like that.  Not to say that you might not find it useful, but I don't think employers are looking for a particular JD/UG combo. It will only be useful if you decide to apply it somehow yourself. 

But I don't doubt that what you learned with the finance degree will be helpful at times.

Current Law Students / Re: Psycho Professor
« on: April 23, 2006, 10:19:22 AM »
I don't think it's unreasonable to find that *&^% annoying.

Well giving up all religion is an incredible leap that I don't really see as realistic.  Religion still plays a role in even the most advanced societies today.  It plays an even greater role in less developed countries, which still make up a majority of mankind.  Eliminating religion "cold turkey" if you will, is something people just aren't ever going to be ready for, and is proabably likely to elicit backlash.  However I do think that beginning with the more developed developed societies, a decrease in the relevance of religion is a possibility.  I think that it already goes without saying that most people are less religious than they were 100 or even 50 years ago.

I think what is really important to realize though is that religion is ultimately a personal experience.  It is institutionalized religion that I see as problematic.  There is no reason why anyone should be entitled to their own personal philosophical beliefs.  What tends to frighten me is the recent reversal in repect for secular government in certain places, no where moreso than in the United States, although there is a strong minority fundamentalist movement in many Muslim nations like Pakistan as well, though it seems nowhere near strong enough to result in a religious revolution like the one in Iran in 1979(?).  In fact, the Islamic government in Iran may even be losing support as most obsevers see a generational disconnect with the younger generation which seems much more interested in secular freedoms and individuality than fundamental Islamic tradition.  Remember, up until the 1970's Iran was one of the most progressive Muslim states in the world.  If it weren't for the meddling of the U.S. and western nations, things might have been quite different.  However, as is true anywhere, young people are not the ones in power.

The step I think needs to be taken is a reduction in in the importance of religion in government.  This may seem like an obvious statement, yet many Americans do not embrace this view, including at times the current administration who has openly admitted to relying on the Christian faith and prayer in deciding where and how to commit our fighting men and women.  Surely people of faith can understand why this is so frightening for others who don't share the same faith, not to mention the soldiers who don't.
Solution: a secular compromise?
Perhaps a prohibition on religion-specific campaign platforms for politicians would be helpful.  Just as the Constitution does not allow religion-specific icons in government buildings, maybe they should not be allowed in government campaign ads either.  This would allow voters to make decisions based on empirical solution oriented platforms and not vague ideas of faith.  A similar prohibition on religion-specific lobbies might be an efficient means to this end as well (Admittedly, I am not a big fan of lobbies in general).  This does not mean that voters could not continue to support candidates who are pro-life, or anti-same-sex marriages, or even for that matter, strongly religious.  It simply means that the justification for these views would be based in moral and practical beliefs, as opposed to Christian beliefs, for example.  Voters may very well continue to make decisions because they are Christian, but not because the candidate is Christian, if you follow me.  All the voter knows is that they share similar moral beliefs.  I understand the reality of this and that most people will know what the candidate's faith is, but they wouldn't be able to advertise that as an issue.  Just like you know what a candidate's ethnicity is, but it would not be healthy for them to campaign on the isolated fact of their race.  It would also free up candidates to be competitive on platforms such as pro-life/anti-war or pro-life/pro-environment.  I would think both of these examples would be appealing to true Christians, but they are currently unrealistic options as long as religion remains intermingled with party politics. 

Through this process religion would still be tolerated, but it would encourage religion to remain personal, which it should be.  I believe this would help to downplay religious tensions and at least somewhat reduce the effect of people voting blindly based on religious affiliation alone instead of on specific issues.  I am sure that most people of faith would not want those of another faith imposing it on them.  When you impose on government, you impose on us all. 

I am curious to hear what issues anyone of faith might have with such an implementation.  Do you feel it is fair?  Would you consider it an imposition on your rights, or simply a protection of the rights of others?  What kind of effects do you think it would have on voting patterns?

Current Law Students / Re: Law School Confidential Property Hypo
« on: April 21, 2006, 10:59:40 PM »
Yes Symphony, the French Code Civil in the Roman tradition is alive an well in Louisiana, though we are officially a mixed jurisdiction.  As a U.S. state, some common law has crept in, but the Civil Code is always given primary consideration regarding interpersonal civil relationships (Property, Obligations, Tort, etc.).  The exception is criminal law.  When the U.S. annexed Louisiana, they compromised with the distraught Louisianians by allowing the Civil Code to remain, but they weren't entirely trusting of French and Spanish speakers and drew the line at a criminal code that wasn't in English.

You may feel surprise, but our government has stronger power than US government. It plays a so important role that it almost can do everything it wants, including good things and bad things.  I also wonder if the government can find the truth.

Sadly, the current custodians of our own government have already begun the process of steering it in this direction.  Historically, this kind of momentum towards increasingly concentrated power, nationalism, and unaccountability has been irreversible.  Unfortunatly, there is little we can do but hope for a regime change before history continues its perfect record.

Also very busy studying, but I think nate is hitting on the more narrow issues I think are more interesting, although the broader background on the general relationships between religion and government are certainly not irrelevant. 
I feel like many people (at least in this country) use the politically untouchable sanctity of religion for credibility in reinforcing only the values they choose to believe in, while disregarding the stance of their religion on views they personally disagree with, or at least are indifferent about.  Isn't this a bit underhanded?  If you are truly "pro-life" because you subscribe to the teachings of Jesus, (not to pick on Christians in particular) can you really decide that certain people need to die in order to preserve your nation's supremacy?  Or can you face your faith about supporting slashed taxes while children down the street from you go hungry?  Am I the only one who notices that the politicians who cultivate support from a religious base do not mention religion (or even morality) when it comes to taxing (or rather not taxing) the disposable income of the wealthiest society in the world?

As lala said, Jesus did not advocate avoiding Caesar's taxes.  Would he also endorse Caesar in his military invasions?  Can you truly use religion as an authority for only those values that fit conveniently in your lavishly wealthy lifestyle? (by human standards that is, unless you prefer not to count *all* humans).  Isn't there something in the Bible about casting the first stone, etc? 

I have really tried, but I just can't seem to understand the message.  I have heard the phrase "What would would Jesus do?".  But I don't think I have ever seen anyone who says this actually do what Jesus would do.

Of course I assume all religions have similar incongruities, which is why I believe religion itself is an outdated concept that counters human cooperation.  Is there something I am missing here?  Is it evil to think about trying another approach for everyone's benefit?  Should a single religion dictate whether same-sex couples may marry, whether stem cells should be used to cure disease, whether planes should be crashed into buildings, or what should be taught to children in a public school?  Am I going to burn in the center of the earth for asking these questions?

All opinions welcome.

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