Sometimes, I despair at the insidious behaviors of people who are allegedly interested in the good of others. Today, that despair is trumping my desire to show you pretty pictures of lace in progress. Even though this is a knitting blog, sometimes, threats to our civil rights become more important. (Okay, I'm likely to come back later with knitting stuff, but this morning... I have to spread this word).
Evidently, in California, there is a case pending before the Federal Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit wherein someone has made the following "legal" argument:
" [C]ertain “traditional” faiths are first tier faiths and that those faiths were meant to have equal rights and protections under the United States Constitution, but that all of the other faiths were second tier faiths, and were not meant to have the same equal rights and protections under the United States Constitution as the first tier faiths.”
This case in which a chaplain of a minority faith is seeking to require the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation should hire a paid chaplain for members of his faith (he now serves as an unpaid statewide correctional chaplain) since they hire paid chaplains for five other "major" faiths (Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, and Native American). The case is before the 9th Circuit because a California District Court ruled that since his faith (and thus that of the prisoners to whom he ministers) is not one of the "first tier" faiths, and thus is not entitled to equal rights and protections, the chaplain doesn't even have standing to sue (and though it's not said yet, the prisoners aren't entitled to see chaplains in their faith).
Regardless of what your faith is, it should alarm you that a Federal Court is even considering the question of whether one faith gets the protections of the Constitution while another faith does not. The constitution does not say anything about which faiths it protects. Nor does it say that some faiths are excluded from protection. It's not Jews this time, but this reminds me eerily of the way Jews went from slightly different citizens to endangered and hunted to massacred in Hitler's Germany. Can this really be happening in America?
If you're interested in more information, you can go to places like these: