In Religious Arbitration, Scripture Is the Rule of Law
While searching for info on religious tribunals in the U.S. for a page I created earlier, I came across the following New York Times article from November. I decided I’d do a quick page on it since it may be of interest to some of you, especially those who have to deal with friends or family members who are convinced there’s some sort of uniquely malevolent stealth jihad being carried out by Muslims in America who seek to destroy the Constitution and replace it with Shariah.
It’s the third in a three-part series of articles on law called “Beware the Fine Print.” It’s a bit long, but well worth the read if you have a little time to spare.
A few months before he took a toxic mix of drugs and died on a stranger’s couch, Nicklaus Ellison wrote a letter to his little sister. […]
For generations, religious tribunals have been used in the United States to settle family disputes and spiritual debates.But when his family sued Teen Challenge in 2012 hoping to uncover what had happened, they quickly hit a wall. When he was admitted to the program, at age 20, Mr. Ellison signed a contract that prevented him and his family from taking the Christian group to court.
Instead, his claim had to be resolved through a mediation or arbitration process that would be bound not by state or federal law, but by the Bible. “The Holy Scripture shall be the supreme authority,” the rules of the proceedings state.
For generations, religious tribunals have been used in the United States to settle family disputes and spiritual debates. But through arbitration, religion is being used to sort out secular problems like claims of financial fraud and wrongful death.
Customers who buy bamboo floors from Higuera Hardwoods in Washington State must take any dispute before a Christian arbitrator, according to the company’s website. Carolina Cabin Rentals, which rents high-end vacation properties in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, tells its customers that disputes may be resolved according to biblical principles. The same goes for contestants in a fishing tournament in Hawaii.
Religious arbitration clauses, including the one used by Teen Challenge, have often proved impervious to legal challenges. […]
Additionally, the New York Law School Law Review published several articles about Shariah in its 2012/13 | Volume 57 | Number 2 issue, including one titled Jewish Law Courts in America: Lessons Offered to Sharia Courts by the Beth Din of America Precedent, which I’ve embedded below for your convenience.