Augustine on The First Amendment, Freedom Riders and Passage of the Voting Rights Act

Jonathan C. Augustine (Louisiana Workforce Commission) has posted The Theology of Civil Disobedience: The First Amendment, Freedom Riders and Passage of the Voting Rights Act. The abstract follows.

In 2011, usage of the term “civil disobedience” resurged in the American lexicon for at least two reasons: (1) there was widespread civil protest in Egypt; and (2) America observed the fiftieth anniversary of the now-celebrated Freedom Rides. Both reasons demonstrate the continued relevance of the twentieth century American Civil Rights Movement (“the Movement”).

American media widely covered Egyptian citizens’ nonviolent acts of civil disobedience as Egyptians peacefully protested governmental corruption in demanding free and fair elections. Further, since 2011 marked the golden anniversary of the Freedom Rides in the United States, Americans were reminded of the nonviolent civil disobedience undertaken by an interdenominational movement of clergy and laity, undergirded by a Judeo-Christian suffering servant theology. Dissident adherents literally sacrificed themselves for the democratic cause in which they believed. Read more

Larson on Indigenous Peoples’ Religious Rights Claims to Water Resources

Rhett Larson (Arizona State U. College of Law ) has posted Holy Water and Human Rights: Indigenous Peoples’ Religious Rights Claims to Water Resources. The abstract follows.

Water, perhaps more than any other natural resource, has profound religious meaning: in ceremonial uses, as a spiritual symbol, and as an object of worship. The scarcity of legal scholarship regarding the nexus between religious rights and water law is therefore curious. This paper examines that nexus and its implications in the context of indigenous peoples and international law. The international human right to water has developed as an implicit right necessary to securing jurisprudentially underdeveloped positive rights explicitly provided for under international human rights covenants, such as the right to a standard of living, but can also be built upon the foundation of broadly accepted, jurisprudentially mature civil rights, like the freedom of religion. Grounding the human right to water on such a foundation has important implications for indigenous peoples’ religious-rights-based claims to water resources. The stability of such claims depends upon effective frameworks within which international tribunals can adjudicate such claims. Ultimately, this Article evaluates the development of the international human right to water, discusses the nexus of that right with religious rights in the context of indigenous peoples’ water-resource claims, and proposes frameworks for evaluating those claims. The formulation and interpretation of water law requires greater consideration of the cultural meaning of water to promote cooperation within the watershed and to protect natural and cultural resources.