Shunning

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Shunning is the rejection of a person. It is usual in some religious groups to cut people off if they do not believe the beliefs or follow the rules of the group. It has been used in industrial action (strikes) and as a punishment in certain societies.

Religions which use or have used shunning[change | change source]

  • The Catholic Church, before the Code of Canon Law of 1983. The practice of inquisition is famous. Other religious and quasi-religious groups which use the practice are:
  • Amish.[1]
  • Jehova's Witnesses. Holden says that many keep affiliation out of fear of being shunned and losing contact with friends and family members.[2]
  • Church of Scientology. The Church of Scientology asks its members to quit all communication with Suppressive Persons (those whom the Church deems antagonistic to Scientology). The practice of shunning in Scientology is termed disconnection. In the United States, the Church has tried to argue in court that disconnection is a constitutionally protected religious practice. However, this argument was rejected because the pressure put on individual Scientologists to disconnect means it is not voluntary.[3]
  • Islam: apostasy in Islam (Arabic: ردة‎, riddah or ارتداد, irtidād) is for a Muslim to abandon Islam by word or deed.[4][5][6] It includes the act of converting to another religion or non-acceptance of faith,[7] by a person who was born in a Muslim family or who had previously accepted Islam.[8] Classical Islamic law called for execution, but how it should be punished is a matter of controversy: opinions of Islamic scholars differ on these questions.[8][9][10]

Tax implications[change | change source]

In many countries, religions get huge financial advantages by being recognised as religions. They are not taxed, or have much reduced taxes. In the United States, the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution prevents the US government and (through the Bill of Rights) the 50 state governments from imposing church taxes. In 1947, the US Supreme Court ruled that "No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion."[11] This explains why organisations such as Scientology wish to be classified as religions.

References[change | change source]

  1. Why do the Amish practice shunning?
  2. Holden, Andrew 2002. Jehovah's Witnesses: portrait of a contemporary religious movement. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-26610-9 (p250/270)
  3. California appellate court, 2nd district, 7th division, Wollersheim v. Church of Scientology of California, Civ. No. B023193 Cal. Super. (1986)
  4. Frank Griffel, Apostasy, in (Editor: Gerhard Bowering et al) The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought, ISBN 978-0691134840, pp. 40–41
  5. Diane Morgan (2009), Essential Islam: A Comprehensive Guide to Belief and Practice, ISBN 978-0313360251, pp. 182–83
  6. Ghali, Hebatallah (December 2006). "Rights of Muslim Converts to Christianity" (PhD Thesis). Department of Law, School of Humanities and Social Sciences. The American University in Cairo, Egypt. p. 2. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 September 2014. Whereas apostate (murtad) is the person who commits apostasy ('rtidad), that is the conscious abandonment of allegiance or ... renunciation of a religious faith or abandonment of a previous loyalty.
  7. "No God, not even Allah". The Economist. 24 November 2012. Archived from the original on 26 December 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Peters, Rudolph; Vries, Gert J. J. De (1976). "Apostasy in Islam". Die Welt des Islams. 17 (1/4): 1–25. doi:10.2307/1570336. JSTOR 1570336. By the murtadd or apostate is understood as the Moslem by birth or by conversion, who renounces his religion, irrespective of whether or not he subsequently embraces another faith
  9. Abdelhadi, Magdi (27 March 2006). "What Islam says on religious freedom". BBC News. Archived from the original on 11 February 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2009.
  10. Friedmann, Yohanan (2003). "Chapter 4: Apostasy". Tolerance and Coercion in Islam: Interfaith Relations in the Muslim Tradition. Cambridge University Press. pp. 121–59. ISBN 9781139440790.
  11. "Establishment of Religion". Justia. Archived from the original on July 3, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2018.