The Instigator
Impact94
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
BillionBrainCells
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Fugitives should be allowed Legal Sanctuary in Churches (United States)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/10/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 476 times Debate No: 66746
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

Impact94

Pro

In the United States, fugitives should be allowed legal sanctury in churches (I would argue internationally/interfaith but this mass inclusion would become too complicated).

First round is for acceptance and a brief mention of the arguer's stance
Second round is for posting organized arguments
Third round is for negative cross examinations
Fourth round is for rebuttals
Fifth round is for responses to those rebuttals.

- - -

Brief mention:
True Christianity as a religion is about love and mercy; concepts which have been warped and corrupted in much of its denominations today, yet are still being preserved amongst others. The church's ability to provide legal sanctuary is a historically honored tradition and an agapically motivated practice which is embedded in western culture. People affiliated with the Christian religion should have a protected right to excercise legal sanctuary in their churches - in this case, within the United States - in accordance to the first amendment right of freedom of religious practice. Churches practicing sanctuary ministry today - despite currently illegal in the United States - do not harm the local community, and instead create a place of refuge and an opportunity for positive change.

Now over to con; I anticipate having this debate.
BillionBrainCells

Con

No way. That would create a huge hazard to public safety and society overall. This would also allow priest to molest any child they want and face no legal repercussion as long as they just stay at the church. I could theoretically poison the eucharist and have everyone dead by the end of mass.. and by your logical remain in the church forever without getting in any trouble.. If I'm armed and poisoned everyone police would not be able to do anything (couldn't either way) but EMT's would not be able to recover the bodies because it would not be safe to do so.

I assume church is any place of worship for any religion? Or just catholicism.. I hope equality is displayed here.
Debate Round No. 1
Impact94

Pro

Impact94 forfeited this round.
BillionBrainCells

Con

BillionBrainCells forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Impact94

Pro

Thank you for accepting con and I apologize for the forfeited round. Again just for clarity, this debate concerns Christian churches.

1. Historical Tradition

As I'd briefly mentioned in Round 1, the right of the Christian church to providing legal sanctuary to fugitives is a historical tradition. In the historical anthology provided by the Christian Bible and the Jewish Torah, the concept of legal sanctuary dates back to a b.c.e. practice where those who accidentally took the life of another human being would be given sanctuary in locations known as 'cities of refuge'. "Four major passages in the Old Testament describe the right of asylum and the sanctuary provided by a city of refuge (Exodus 21:12-14; Numbers 35:1-34; Deuteronomy 19:1-13; Joshua 20:1-9 ). A literal translation of the Hebrew phrase means “a city of intaking.” This right of asylum was offered before the settlement of the Promised Land, but was available only to one charged with accidental manslaughter." [1]. It may even be traced to John 8:3-11 involving the story of protection given to a woman who would have otherwise been stoned to death for committing adultery. Fast forward to fourth century c.e., and the concept of legal sanctuary was extended to fugitive status in general. "In eighth-century England, criminals could escape the death penalty or other violent punishment by retreating to churches and paying a fine. If a crook didn't have enough money, he might be given the opportunity to flee the area or become a servant of the church." [2]

Despite the english king's order to end the process of legal sanctuary in churches in the sixteenth century, the sentiment of legal sanctuary in churches still lingers on today. The climactic scene in The Hunchback of Notre Dame where quasimodo claims sanctuary over esmeralda is one pop culture example of contemporary sympathy for legal asylum in the church. Happening in real life, Churches in Ferguson Missouri during the Ferguson protests offered 'safe spaces' where protestors could stay, have food and coffee, and be in a place where they - theoretically - could not be harmed by local militarized police forces. Many other churches still have pushed for the right to offer legal sanctuary to illegal immigrants, and continue to practice offering a place of sanctuary anyway despite an unsympathetic legislative system.

2. 1st. Amendment Protection of Legal Sanctuary

For many Christians, legal sanctuary of fugitives - at varying degrees from person to person - can be seen as a protected right by the first amendment of the U.S. constitution, which states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"[3]. Christians may feel prosecuted by their inability to express their religion in the way they believe to express it, on account of their personal motivation to love their neighbor as themselves.

The first amendment already protects activities which would otherwise be illegal, such as protection of members of the Native American church members' ability to consume peyote ceremonially. Therefore, it would not be too far off to imagine that Christian churches, too, should have the protected ability to offer sanctuary to various fugitives of their choosing.

3. Right to Asylum in Participating Churches would Not Harm the Community

As per the tradition, "an asylum seeker was to confess sins, surrender weapons, and be placed under the supervision of the head of the church or abbey where they had fled."[4]

If you're a fugitive and you take five steps out of the very church which is offering you sanctuary, then you are no longer protected by the church, and, you are immediately subject to arrest and prosecution. In the case of this happening where churches are allowed to provide legal sanctuary, to each fugitive his/her own, but, it is unlikely that the fugitive in question would feel very motivated to leave the premises of the church. Furthermore, participating churches can be zoned, or can zone themselves, in such a way which would allow for maximum protection of nearby communities.
Furthermore, the fugitive would be unarmed as per the tradition of sanctuary. Without any form of weapon, it would be more difficult for the fugitive in question to be of any threat. Church members would be capable of considering the providing of sanctuary to the fugitive in question according to their beliefs as per their first amendment rights. The fugitive in question would also be under the 'supervision of the head of the church', who would be responsible for the protection of, and the protection from, the fugitive.

4. Seperation of Church and State

The seperation of church and state is a U.S. recognized right. In many court cases where more radical christians have attempted to interfere with state-run institutions, the seperation of church and state has been upheld and has successfully kept seven-day creationism out of state-run high school biology classes.
In the same way, government institutions interfere with churches feeling motivated to provide legal sanctuary to, in today's cases, illegal immigrants. In this way, the state attempts to legislatively force christian churches to act on the beliefs of the state, in the same way that the church has at times attempted to force the state to act on the beliefs of the church. In order to preserve the seperation of church and state, the church needs to be seperated from public high schools and the state needs to be seperated from church affairs, as long as a crime against human rights is taking place, such as torture or human sacrifice, etc. This argument goes back to my second argument as well.



1-http://www.studylight.org...
2-http://www.slate.com...
3-http://constitution.findlaw.com...
4-http://en.wikipedia.org...

BillionBrainCells

Con

BillionBrainCells forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Impact94

Pro

Impact94 forfeited this round.
BillionBrainCells

Con

BillionBrainCells forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Impact94

Pro

Impact94 forfeited this round.
BillionBrainCells

Con

BillionBrainCells forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Impact94 2 years ago
Impact94
Well, judging by the fact that BillionBrainCells' account is no longer active, I guess I'll win this debate by forfeit. again. *headdesk*
Posted by Impact94 2 years ago
Impact94
Woops, correction to my fourth argument: as long as a crime against human rights is NOT taking place.
Posted by Impact94 2 years ago
Impact94
Ok BillionBrainCells, go for it; I'll need to post for Round 2 a little later though because of things though.
Posted by BillionBrainCells 2 years ago
BillionBrainCells
Change your age and rank criteria.. I'd love to debate this.
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