Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Podcast on the Nones and Religious Liberty Pressure Points

Mark Movsesian and I have a new podcast discussing the problem of the Nones for law and religion. Fifty years ago, in Wisconsin v. Yoder, the Supreme Court famously dismissed the idea that a solitary seeker–the Court gave the 19th Century Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau as an example–could qualify as a “religion” for constitutional purposes. “Religion,” the Court explained, means a communal activity, not a purely personal quest. Mark argues in his new paper, The New Thoreaus, that recent demographic changes in America have made this question an urgent one. Perhaps 66 million Americans today are unaffiliated believers–people who, like Thoreau, reject organized religion and follow their own, idiosyncratic spiritual paths–and more and more of them seek “religious” exemptions, including in the context of recent vaccine mandates. Mark examines some of these cases and argues that Yoder‘s dicta was basically correct: although religion cannot be an exclusively collective activity, the existence of a religious community is a crucial factor in the definition of religion for legal purposes. Listen in!

https://mirrorofjustice.blogs.com/mirrorofjustice/2022/09/podcast-on-the-nones-and-religious-liberty-pressure-points.html

DeGirolami, Marc | Permalink