Comparing and Contrasting Yoder with GinsburgAt face value, the cases of Yoder and Ginsburg appear quite different to me.
Afterall, one deals with an Amish parent who took her children out of highschool for religiousreasons and the other case deals with a Luncheonette owner who sold a 16 year old boyquestionable materials. While each case deals on its own with differing state laws andstatutes, they come together in the effort to answer the question; how much authority doesthe state possess over other peoples children?The decisions in Yoder and Ginsburg are quite conflicting. Regarding Yoder, thecourt decides that if your religion conflicts with your highschool, then you dont have togo.
This generally puts religion before education. In Ginsburg the State comes outvictorious and presents itself as the end all authority over what kind of material a child of16 can see or read. This decision paints the state as having supreme authority overparents, yet in Yoder the parents are the authority over the State and the Board ofEssentially in Yoder, the child is the victor in a sense. The state hands over itsauthority to the parents and loses the upper hand. In this case the child is the victorespecially because she did not want to go to school. In the Ginsburg decision, a minor isdeemed still a minor when it comes to obscenity, and the state holds on to their authority.
The point is, that when we are dealing with something as important as school andsomething as nonconsequential as incredibly soft pornography, the court allows a child tonot look at either at a book or a Playboy. It seems almost incredulous to me at least. ICan it be said, then, that religion comes first over education? Isnt our countryfounded on the separation of church and state? The Yoder decision clearly combines thetwo, and allows an Amish parent to pull her children from highschool, although the lawclearly states that you must attend school until 16 years of age. Are those Amish childrennow considered adults because they dont have to obey the statute? My question is, arentall minors still minors, whether Amish or not? Just like the law, the answers to these questions can range in an incredibly largeway.
Interpretation of the statutes differs in each person or judge who read them. So, Idont how to even answer my own questions. What I do know though, is that I believethat the state should not be able to dictate differing laws and opinions about what childrencan and cannot do on the basis of religion. Bibliography: