Political Wrinkles  

Go Back   Political Wrinkles > Political Forums > Civil Rights & Abortion
Register FAQDonate PW Store PW Trivia Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Civil Rights & Abortion Discuss Margaret Doughty, Atheist Seeking U.S. Citizenship, Told To Join Church Or Be Denied at the Political Forums; Margaret Doughty, an atheist and permanent U.S. resident for more than 30 years,was told by immigration authorities this month that ...

Reply
 
Share LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-20-2013, 02:31 PM
foundit66's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: California
Gender: Male
Posts: 25,619
Thanks: 10,112
Thanked 15,307 Times in 9,279 Posts
Post Margaret Doughty, Atheist Seeking U.S. Citizenship, Told To Join Church Or Be Denied

Quote:
Margaret Doughty, an atheist and permanent U.S. resident for more than 30 years,was told by immigration authorities this month that she has until Friday to officially join a church that forbids violence or her application for naturalized citizenship will be rejected.

Doughty received the ultimatum after stating on her application that she objected to the pledge to bear arms in defense of the nation due to her moral opposition to war. According to a letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services by the American Humanist Association on Doughty's behalf, officials responded by telling her that she needed to prove that her status as a conscientious objector was due to religious beliefs. They reportedly told her she'd need to document that she was "a member in good standing" of a nonviolent religious organization or be denied citizenship at her June 21 hearing. A note “on official church stationary [sic]" would suffice, they said.

Here's how Doughty explained her refusal to sign the pledge:
“I am sure the law would never require a 64 year-old woman like myself to bear arms, but if I am required to answer this question, I cannot lie. I must be honest. The truth is that I would not be willing to bear arms. Since my youth I have had a firm, fixed and sincere objection to participation in war in any form or in the bearing of arms. I deeply and sincerely believe that it is not moral or ethical to take another person’s life, and my lifelong spiritual/religious beliefs impose on me a duty of conscience not to contribute to warfare by taking up arms ... my beliefs are as strong and deeply held as those who possess traditional religious beliefs and who believe in God ... I want to make clear, however, that I am willing to perform work of national importance under civilian direction or to perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States if and when required by the law to do so.”
Doughty's reasoning is perfectly valid, atheist groups have argued in response to the rejection threat. The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to Citizenship and Immigration Services, calling the government request "illegal and unconstitutional."

"It is shocking that USCIS officers would not be aware that a nonreligious yet deeply held belief would be sufficient to attain this exemption," Andrew L. Seidel, a staff attorney at Freedom From Religion Foundation, wrote after laying out a list of Supreme Court tests that suggest a rejection would be unusual and improper. "This is a longstanding part of our law and every USCIS officer should receive training on this exemption ... Either the officers in Houston are inept, or they are deliberately discriminating against nonreligious applicants for naturalization."

The American Humanist Association later followed suit, urging the agency to back down or face litigation.
Margaret Doughty, Atheist Seeking U.S. Citizenship, Told To Join Church Or Be Denied

This epitomizes a point I've been making for some time.
A belief that is proclaimed religious in basis deserves no more exemption status under the law than a belief that is proclaimed moral in basis.
If a proclaimed religious refusal to serve in the military to defend our country due to beliefs in non-violence is sufficient, then also a moral (non-religious) refusal to serve in the military to defend our country due to beliefs in non-violence should be sufficient.

The case above demonstrates the significance of claiming an importance to the distinction (in addition to the variety of examples I have previously put forth)
__________________
“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”
~Abraham Lincoln
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to foundit66 For This Useful Post:
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-20-2013, 03:17 PM
saltwn's Avatar
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Esto perpetua
Posts: 81,838
Thanks: 55,605
Thanked 26,347 Times in 18,865 Posts
Send a message via AIM to saltwn Send a message via MSN to saltwn Send a message via Yahoo to saltwn
Default Re: Margaret Doughty, Atheist Seeking U.S. Citizenship, Told To Join Church Or Be Den

Well she'll say the pledge or not come in. Historically many have been asked to give allegiance in the form of a stated pledge. Why should she be any different?
She wants to join. That should give anyone a clue she doesn't get to dictate the conditions of being accepted.
__________________
"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
- Albert Camus
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 06-20-2013, 03:24 PM
lurch907's Avatar
Scholar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Alaska, the greatest place on earth.
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,824
Thanks: 1,050
Thanked 3,357 Times in 1,868 Posts
Default Re: Margaret Doughty, Atheist Seeking U.S. Citizenship, Told To Join Church Or Be Den

The list of qualifications for concientious objector status are specific and include a religious qualification as protected by the first amendment. There is no "I don't want to" exemption.
If she doesn't want to meet the requirments to be a citizen, she can just wait for the liberals to grant amnesty like everyone else.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to lurch907 For This Useful Post:
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 06-20-2013, 03:38 PM
saltwn's Avatar
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Esto perpetua
Posts: 81,838
Thanks: 55,605
Thanked 26,347 Times in 18,865 Posts
Send a message via AIM to saltwn Send a message via MSN to saltwn Send a message via Yahoo to saltwn
Default Re: Margaret Doughty, Atheist Seeking U.S. Citizenship, Told To Join Church Or Be Den

Quote:
Originally Posted by lurch907 View Post
The list of qualifications for concientious objector status are specific and include a religious qualification as protected by the first amendment. There is no "I don't want to" exemption.
If she doesn't want to meet the requirments to be a citizen, she can just wait for the liberals to grant amnesty like everyone else.
If you hadn't ended with the last I would have agreed, but thinking about it you are probably right in that she will be granted amnesty by PC bots and they will be bipartisan schmucks.
__________________
"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
- Albert Camus
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 06-20-2013, 03:45 PM
foundit66's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: California
Gender: Male
Posts: 25,619
Thanks: 10,112
Thanked 15,307 Times in 9,279 Posts
Post Re: Margaret Doughty, Atheist Seeking U.S. Citizenship, Told To Join Church Or Be Den

Quote:
Originally Posted by lurch907 View Post
The list of qualifications for concientious objector status are specific and include a religious qualification as protected by the first amendment. There is no "I don't want to" exemption.
If she doesn't want to meet the requirments to be a citizen, she can just wait for the liberals to grant amnesty like everyone else.
There is court precedent for what I'm talking about...
A 1971 United States Supreme Court decision, Gillette v. United States, broadened U.S. rules beyond religious belief but denied the inclusion of objections to specific wars as grounds for conscientious objection.[46]

Currently, the U.S. Selective Service System states, "Beliefs which qualify a registrant for conscientious objector status may be religious in nature, but don't have to be. Beliefs may be moral or ethical; however, a man's reasons for not wanting to participate in a war must not be based on politics, expediency, or self-interest. In general, the man's lifestyle prior to making his claim must reflect his current claims."[47]
Conscientious objector - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Also:
Conscientious Objection: Fact Sheet GI Rights Hotline: Military Discharges and Military Counseling
Clearly establishes that non-religious beliefs are potential valid justifications.

There is no good reason for why "conscientious objector" for religious beliefs is somehow superior to "conscientious objector" for beliefs other than religion.

Or, to phrase it another way, why don't we look at religious "conscientious objectors" and see them as "I don't want to" objectors?
__________________
“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”
~Abraham Lincoln
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to foundit66 For This Useful Post:
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 06-20-2013, 03:53 PM
saltwn's Avatar
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Esto perpetua
Posts: 81,838
Thanks: 55,605
Thanked 26,347 Times in 18,865 Posts
Send a message via AIM to saltwn Send a message via MSN to saltwn Send a message via Yahoo to saltwn
Default Re: Margaret Doughty, Atheist Seeking U.S. Citizenship, Told To Join Church Or Be Den

Quote:
Originally Posted by foundit66 View Post
There is court precedent for what I'm talking about...
A 1971 United States Supreme Court decision, Gillette v. United States, broadened U.S. rules beyond religious belief but denied the inclusion of objections to specific wars as grounds for conscientious objection.[46]

Currently, the U.S. Selective Service System states, "Beliefs which qualify a registrant for conscientious objector status may be religious in nature, but don't have to be. Beliefs may be moral or ethical; however, a man's reasons for not wanting to participate in a war must not be based on politics, expediency, or self-interest. In general, the man's lifestyle prior to making his claim must reflect his current claims."[47]
Conscientious objector - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Also:
Conscientious Objection: Fact Sheet GI Rights Hotline: Military Discharges and Military Counseling
Clearly establishes that non-religious beliefs are potential valid justifications.

There is no good reason for why "conscientious objector" for religious beliefs is somehow superior to "conscientious objector" for beliefs other than religion.

Or, to phrase it another way, why don't we look at religious "conscientious objectors" and see them as "I don't want to" objectors?
She can register as a conscientious objector after she takes the pledge.
__________________
"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
- Albert Camus
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 06-20-2013, 04:13 PM
Idealogically Promiscuous's Avatar
Do I Look Like a Bitch?
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: West Hollywood, CA
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,087
Thanks: 4,153
Thanked 6,673 Times in 3,956 Posts
Default Re: Margaret Doughty, Atheist Seeking U.S. Citizenship, Told To Join Church Or Be Den

Quote:
Originally Posted by foundit66 View Post
Margaret Doughty, Atheist Seeking U.S. Citizenship, Told To Join Church Or Be Denied

This epitomizes a point I've been making for some time.
A belief that is proclaimed religious in basis deserves no more exemption status under the law than a belief that is proclaimed moral in basis.
If a proclaimed religious refusal to serve in the military to defend our country due to beliefs in non-violence is sufficient, then also a moral (non-religious) refusal to serve in the military to defend our country due to beliefs in non-violence should be sufficient.

The case above demonstrates the significance of claiming an importance to the distinction (in addition to the variety of examples I have previously put forth)
If I could point out something that destroys her argument for not taking the pledge...she states:

Quote:
and my lifelong spiritual/religious beliefs impose on me a duty of conscience not to contribute to warfare by taking up arms
So she either needs to demonstrate those religious beliefs or she lied.
__________________
Say "what" one mo' goddamned time. I dare ya. I double dog dare ya.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Idealogically Promiscuous For This Useful Post:
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 06-20-2013, 06:01 PM
lurch907's Avatar
Scholar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Alaska, the greatest place on earth.
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,824
Thanks: 1,050
Thanked 3,357 Times in 1,868 Posts
Default Re: Margaret Doughty, Atheist Seeking U.S. Citizenship, Told To Join Church Or Be Den

Quote:
Originally Posted by foundit66 View Post
There is court precedent for what I'm talking about...
A 1971 United States Supreme Court decision, Gillette v. United States, broadened U.S. rules beyond religious belief but denied the inclusion of objections to specific wars as grounds for conscientious objection.[46]

Currently, the U.S. Selective Service System states, "Beliefs which qualify a registrant for conscientious objector status may be religious in nature, but don't have to be. Beliefs may be moral or ethical; however, a man's reasons for not wanting to participate in a war must not be based on politics, expediency, or self-interest. In general, the man's lifestyle prior to making his claim must reflect his current claims."[47]
Conscientious objector - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Also:
Conscientious Objection: Fact Sheet GI Rights Hotline: Military Discharges and Military Counseling
Clearly establishes that non-religious beliefs are potential valid justifications.

There is no good reason for why "conscientious objector" for religious beliefs is somehow superior to "conscientious objector" for beliefs other than religion.

Or, to phrase it another way, why don't we look at religious "conscientious objectors" and see them as "I don't want to" objectors?
I suspect the difference lies in that she is taking a citizenship oath voluntarily, while the instances you sited refer to selective service and the draft which is certainly not voluntary.
I guess I just don't have a problem with it, if she doesn't like the requirements for citizenship then she doesn't have to sign.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to lurch907 For This Useful Post:
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 06-20-2013, 07:26 PM
cnredd's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Philadelphia
Gender: Male
Posts: 55,270
Thanks: 2,247
Thanked 35,583 Times in 20,376 Posts
Default Re: Margaret Doughty, Atheist Seeking U.S. Citizenship, Told To Join Church Or Be Den

Quote:
Originally Posted by Idealogically Promiscuous View Post
If I could point out something that destroys her argument for not taking the pledge...she states:

Quote:
and my lifelong spiritual/religious beliefs impose on me a duty of conscience not to contribute to warfare by taking up arms
So she either needs to demonstrate those religious beliefs or she lied.
Ya know?...I was wondering about the EXACT WORDS that were used and wondered if it made a difference...Looks like it did...
__________________
"You get the respect that you give" - cnredd
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 06-20-2013, 07:44 PM
saltwn's Avatar
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Esto perpetua
Posts: 81,838
Thanks: 55,605
Thanked 26,347 Times in 18,865 Posts
Send a message via AIM to saltwn Send a message via MSN to saltwn Send a message via Yahoo to saltwn
Default Re: Margaret Doughty, Atheist Seeking U.S. Citizenship, Told To Join Church Or Be Den

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

Hmmm...curious that she isn't objecting to the last word there. And I wonder if anyone has objections to the non military service part...
__________________
"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
- Albert Camus
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
atheist, church, citizenship, denied, doughty, join, margaret, seeking, told

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0