Religion or Ideology – Argument Against Constitutional Protection

UI – Part 552 – Religion or Ideology – Argument Against Constitutional Protection

What constitutes a religion for the purposes of inclusion under the Freedom of Religion protection offered by the United States Constitution?  

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, together with that Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause, form the constitutional right of freedom of religion. The relevant constitutional text is: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”.  The Supreme Court in Reynolds v. United States (1878) considered certain ‘practices’ that a religion, or so-called ‘religion,’ may engage in. The issue then was polygamy.  The decision was a practical one that limited what may be defined as a ‘religion,’ such as one involving human sacrifice. The Court said: “Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious beliefs and opinions, they may with practices.”  Thus, although religious exercise is generally protected under the First Amendment, this does not prevent the government from passing neutral laws that incidentally impact certain religious practices.  When a ‘practice’ is a crime, then it is not protected. 

Consider for just a second the term ‘crime.’  Making a list we have murder, polygamy, hate (when acted upon), stealing, harming others, FGM, the use of drugs (illegal drugs), certainly beheading, adultery (more civil than criminal), human sacrifice, animal sacrifice, and honor killing.  Question: If a so-called ‘religion’ is engaged in any such practices, certainly if ritualistic, but as a general rule, is it protected by the Constitution? I would think clearly it is not. 

The ‘compelling interest’ provisions, or language, is what requires significant analysis.   It is difficult to find a clear definition of ‘compelling interest’ that places protections over people as a whole and not just specific interests.  


Consider the “Christianization”of Turkey, even the idea of it, and see what Erdogan does. He arrests the minister. Converting Muslims, even proselytizing in an area where a Muslim may overhear the speaker, is to be punished. No freedom of speech, forget freedom of religion, then there is no Freedom.  

In a free nation, a nation whose constitution’s focus is freedom, an ideology or religion should not be protected if its actions are focused on suppressing freedom. An ideology  should not be protected that cages its occupants under the threat and punishment of death for seeking a different path, limiting its followers to only one way of thinking, which finds freedom anathema, is openly prejudiced against gays (believing and advocating they be killed), resists, to the call for fighting, non-ideological members, and even openly stresses resistance against the State, its Constitution. 

Freedom of Religion does not (should not) permit suppression and submission to an ideology that is counter to the ideals of the master document of law of the land. When the potential exists for Islamic police to walk community streets seeking violators to the laws of the idology, parents that kill their children when disobedient [such as marrying for love instead of the choice of the father (or parents)], regulating dress and grooming, and require vigilantes kill those who leave (death, even punishment, for apostasy), even oppose, the ideology, then it is not a religion subject to any protections.


Islam fits that description and does not deserve protections under the Freedom of Religion clause of the U.S. Constitution.

When you consider all the elements of Islam they are mostly criminal, crimes committed against those who at any time refer to themselves as Muslim. This includes those born into the ideology, or cultural, and those they may have converted. Once a Muslim they are imprisoned, made captive, of the ideology with wardens all around as watch-persons. The watch-persons are alert to defectors or those causing shame, those disobedient to dress or grooming codes and those willfully disobeying Muhammad and Allah. Men/women (humans) are the overseers and the ones that punish or execute for Allah. Constitutional law does not apply. Other religions leave God to decide.

Grace and Peace

2 thoughts on “Religion or Ideology – Argument Against Constitutional Protection

  1. Go gettem’ Tom! Lately, in my apologetics I read and watch some of my old favorites: Russell Moore, Religious Liberties and Ethic Commission Albert Mohler’s *Briefing * for Christian Worldview Scott Oliphant, *Covenantal Apologetics*

    I’m hoping that one day you will consider a “Best Of Tom Balderston” with the issues categorized. I think a volume like that would be very useful.


    On Wed, Nov 7, 2018 at 9:03 AM Wake Up! Wake Up! wrote:

    > ThomasB posted: “UI – Part 552 – Religion or Ideology – Argument Against > Constitutional Protection What constitutes a religion for the purposes of > inclusion under the Freedom of Religion protection offered by the United > States Constitution? The Establishment Clause of” >


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