Topics: The latest on Libya and what Obama’s supporters (and we) can learn from it. Two different stories involving freedom of association issues — can they be reconciled? Israel’s new missile defense system. A judge’s rejection of Google’s settlement offer in the Google Books case. And, Duran Duran’s Simon LeBon and his disappointing tweets. (But see my latest post on post-podcast developments with respect to this last.)
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Thanks to all who participated live in this week’s webcast. Use the comments portion of this post to leave comments on this week’s webcast, and to suggest topics for next week. Also, don’t forget to “Like” the show’s page on Facebook (link on the right-hand side of this web page >>>>> ).
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4 responses to “Don’t Let It Go…Unheard #6 available for download; sign up for #7”
I think this week’s webinar was great — informative and upbeat — perhaps your recent watching of Duran Duran gave it more pep 🙂
I think your assessment of the right of association is correct — that a private organization can choose arbiters as to how to how to run the organization, so long as the by-laws of the organization do not become the statute laws of the land. I think this is an important distinction. And this applies to personal decisions as to who to have as a roommate. I mean, imagine what it would do to one’s sense of life if one was forced by law to have a roommate one couldn’t stand, and of not even being able to choose who that roommate was according to your personal standards! Likewise, if one was forced to have someone in an organization one couldn’t stand or who was a detriment to that organization. It’s the same principle. But the line does have to be drawn at association versus law.
As an example, the recent troubles the Catholic Church was having with homosexual pedophile priests. The Catholic Church would have loved to have handled that strictly as an in-house procedure; however, the individual rights of the children were violated, and so that had to come under the jurisdiction of American Law. Likewise for a mosque. Islam recommends and sanctions stoning of adulterers, especially of woman adulterers. Regardless of the right of association to have a mosque, US Law could not sanction the stoning of an adulterer on the grounds of the mosque — such an action would violate US Law and would put the woman’s life in danger,which an organization would have no right to do. So, it would be creeping Sharia Law if a US Judge condoned stoning for offenders of Islamic Law.
I think you covered everything well, but I’m not exactly sure how to state the difference, except to say it is by-laws versus Statute Law enforced by the government.
Thanks, Thomas. Yes, Duran Duran music can put one in a good mood.
With respect to the mosque arbitration case, there was one loose end that I wanted to tie up, so your comment gives me good occasion to do that.
I do think that, in the normal case, one can go ahead and enforce the private arbitration agreements made by the parties in their contract, so long as these are not violative of the rights of either party. (Of course, we could ask whether anyone choosing a religiously-sanctioned procedure for arbitration on the basis of faith is acting rationally, but I’d rather not go there and instead just have the judge evaluate whether the procedure chosen by the parties violates the rights of either of them.) And of course, as I discussed in the show (and made the point a little more clear and forceful thanks to a contribution from Daniel), the judge should be very careful to state that he is not recognizing Sharia, or anything in the Koran, as law. So far as I know, parties can set up arbitration procedures of their choosing, and a judge’s enforcing them doesn’t mean they are recognized as law that would apply to anyone other than those two parties. If I am wrong in that, then obviously I would change my position.
Here’s where it gets interesting though: I mentioned on the show the desire to reconcile this position with my position on the Ground Zero Mosque. We already spent a lot of time on this topic, so I went on to another, but here’s what I had in mind: If we reached the state where we thought that any use of the Koran or Sharia in legal proceedings, even if only for the limited purpose outlined above, would be a symbolic victory for those whose goal it is to govern our country with an ideology inimical to rights, then I would agree that we should not allow it. Perhaps this is what so many had in mind when they were outraged upon learning of this story last week?
I was concerned about the ruling because I didn’t quite understand the details. I think what you outline is acceptable, but my concern is that modern American judges do not hold individual rights as their standard,and some judge might make a ruling aiming for what you are talking about, but because he doesn’t have the principle could wind up making Sharia Law a precedent when it comes to settling disputes involving a Muslim. This would definitely be unacceptable, so we will have to keep our eye out for that.
(sorry for the duplicate post, I didn’t realize I didn’t hit the reply button earlier).
Agreed, people could object to my position because (1) they think there is no chance it would be implemented in a proper, principled manner, or (2) they think this is one of the things we need to do in order to eliminate the threat of Sharia law.