Reynolds V United States Case Study

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Case Name: Reynolds v. United States Essential Facts: • District Court of Utah is charging George Reynolds with bigamy. • George is the member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints, which is commonly known as the Mormon Church. • George received permission from the church to practice polygamy. However, if he does not follow the churches’ rules, then he would receive eternal punishment in hell. • In the constitution the word religion has not been defined. Therefore, there can be multiple different religious beliefs in the U.S • The government cannot interfere with all religious beliefs and viewpoints. Yet, they have some authority to interfere with certain practices that does not abide the law. Legal Issue: Can a person who…show more content…
• Every person has the right to have their own religious belief. • There should be a separation between the church and state. The Application of the Law to the Facts: • The word religion is not defined in the constitution. Therefore, people are allowed to have many beliefs. • In this case, Mr. Reynolds was following the rules of his religion because he was believing that it was a way to please his god. • Mr. Reynold has the right to have his own belief, but once he committed the act of bigamy he broke the law. • In 1786 Jefferson wrote a bill for the Establishment of Religious Freedom, which basically says that there should be a separation of church and state. • The U.S government says that giving certain rights to a specific religion is wrong. • The laws of the land must apply to everyone because it can allow peace and have exclusive control of the territories. Religious Studies and Public Policy Questions: 1) Why does the U.S government decide not to define the word religion in the constitution? 2) How come some religious followers still continue to break certain laws? Shouldn’t they be educated about the laws of the land they live
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