滕彪文集
[主页]->[独立中文笔会]->[滕彪文集]->[The Supremacy of the Constitution, and Freedom of Religion]
滕彪文集
·一个反动分子的自白
·强烈要求释放丁红芬等公民、立即取缔黑监狱的呼吁书
·The Confessions of a Reactionary
·浦志强 滕彪: 王天成诉周叶中案代理词
·选择维权是一种必然/德国之声
·A courageous Chinese lawyer urges his country to follow its own laws
·警方建议起诉许志永,意见书似“公民范本”
·对《集会游行示威法》提起违宪审查的公开建议书
·对《集会游行示威法》提起违宪审查的公开建议书
·滕彪访谈录:在“反动”的道路上越走越远
·因家暴杀夫被核准死刑 学界联名呼吁“刀下留人”
·川妇因反抗家暴面临死刑 各界紧急呼吁刀下留人
·Activist’s Death Questioned as U.N. Considers Chinese Rights Report
·Tales of an unjust justice
·打虎不是反腐
·What Is a “Legal Education Center” in China
·曹雅学:谁是许志永—— 与滕彪博士的访谈
·高层有人倒行逆施 民间却在不断成长
·让我们记住作恶的法官
·China’s growing human rights movement can claim many accomplishments
·總有一種花將會開遍中華大地/郭宏治
·不要忘记为争取​自由而失去自由的人们
·Testimony at CECC Hearing on China’s Crackdown on Rights Advocates
·Tiananmen at 25: China's next revolution may already be underway
·宗教自由普度共识
·"Purdue Consensus on Religious Freedom"
·Beijing urged to respect religious freedom amid ‘anti-church’ crackd
·“中共难容宗教对意识形态的消解”
·非常规威慑
·许志永自由中国公民梦不碎
·滕彪维园演讲
·Speech during the June 4th Vigil in Victoria Park in Hong Kong
·坦克辗压下的中国
·呂秉權﹕滕彪赤子心「死諫」香港
·【林忌评论】大陆没民主 香港没普选?
·曾志豪:滕彪都站出來,你呢?
·June 2014: Remembering Tiananmen: The View from Hong Kong
·The Strength to Save Oneself
·讓北京知道 要甚麼樣的未來/苹果日报
·否認屠殺的言論自由?
·Beyond Stability Maintenance-From Surveillance to Elimination/Teng bia
·从稳控模式到扫荡模式
·為自由,免於恐懼越絕壑——記滕彪談中國維權路
·就律协点名维权律师“无照”执业 滕彪答德国之声记者问
·法官如何爱国?
·滕彪给全国律协的公开信
·郑州十君子公民声援团募款倡议书
·Politics of the Death Penalty in China
·What sustains Chinese truth-tellers
·在人权灾难面前不应沉默
·From Stability Maintenance to Wiping Out/Teng biao
·自由不是一個禮物,而是一個任務
·抱薪救火的严打政策
·习近平要回到文革吗?
·中国宪法的结构性缺陷
·25 years later, Tiananmen cause is still costly
·A Chinese activist: Out of prison but not free
·中国人权有进步吗?
·Activist lawyer vows to keep fighting for human rights
·高智晟:走出监狱却没有自由
·VOA时事大家谈:维权/维稳
·和平香港行動呼籲
·沉默的吶喊
·Head Off a Tiananmen Massacre in Hong Kong/Yang jianli,Teng Biao,Hu ji
·滕彪被中国政法大学除名 因参与新公民运动
· Ilham Tohti should get the Nobel peace prize, not life in prison
·受难的伊力哈木
·香港人不会接受一个假选举
· Chinese activist scholar Teng Biao on how Occupy Central affects main
·大陆法律人关于支持港人真普选和释放大陆声援公民的声明
·« Révolution des parapluies » contre Pékin / Teng biao
·We Stand With You
·从占领中环到伞花革命
·不可承受的革命之重
·中国维权运动的历史和现状
·Don’t Get Too Excited About the Investigation of Zhou Yongkang
·Sensing subversion, China throws the book at kids' libraries
·China’s Unstoppable Lawyers: An Interview With Teng Biao
·专访滕彪:中国那些百折不回的律师们/纽约书评
·法治還是匪治
·努力实现匪治
·Hongkong: the Unbearable Weight of the Revolution
·Courts are told what decision to make in important cases
·RISKY BUSINESS fighting for Human Rights in China
·藏族、維吾爾族、南(内)蒙古族以及漢族活動人士的聯合聲明
·A STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY FROM A TIBETAN, UYGHUR, SOUTHERN MONGOLIAN,
·The Supremacy of the Constitution, and Freedom of Religion
·如果有人倾听你对 昨夜梦境的复述(诗四首)
·China’s Empty Promise of Rule by Law
·Sensing subversion, China throws the book at kids' libraries
·VOA时事大家谈:中国司法不独立,如何进行司法改革?
·VOA时事大家谈:通奸女官员被“游街”:罪有应得还是侵犯人权?
·滕彪:中共“依法治国”的画皮
·What will this crackdown on activists do to China’s nascent civil soc
·浦志强、滕彪:李保华诉周国平名誉权纠纷案代理词
·The most dangerous job in law
·关于撤销《黑龙江省垦区条例》的建议
·Selective Blindness over China and Huamn Rights
·中共体制是一个不定时的炸弹/VOA
·滕彪在伦敦闹市被打劫
·「西方學者自我審查問題嚴重」/BBC
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The Supremacy of the Constitution, and Freedom of Religion

The Supremacy of the Constitution, and Freedom of Religion
   -- Joint Defence Plea in the Case of Wang Bo, Wang Xinzhong and Liu Shuqin
   
   By Li Heping, Teng Biao, et. al.
   

   We are the lawyers Li Heping and Li Xiongbing of the Beijing Globe (Gaobo Longhua) Law Firm, Zhang Lihui and Li Shunzhang of the Beijing Giant & Goal (Guogang) Law Firm, Teng Biao of the Beijing Huayi Law Firm, and Wu Hongwei of the Beijing Humane (Haiming) Law Firm. We were engaged by Ms. Han Lingrong to serve as defence counsel for Han Lingrong's granddaughter, Wang Fu, her son-in-law, Wang Xinzhong, and her daughter, Liu Shuqin. In view of the fact that we share the same client, and that the three defendants are three members of the same family and all are believers in Falun Gong; and given that, moreover, they have been charged and sentenced for the same crime under the same set of facts; and that the defence counsel all acknowledge the extreme importance of religious freedom to politics and morality and in maintaining human freedom and happiness; and in view of defence counsels' hope that consideration of the topic of religious freedom should be shifted from the dangerous and sensitive domains of religion and politics to a more circumspect and rational legal forum; and, moreover, in view of our conviction that the Republic's bank of justice will not be bankrupted by honouring its cheque of Constitutional rights, we submit the following joint defence plea:
   
   Part One: Reaffirming the universal principles involved in this case
   
   1) We reaffirm the universal principle of freedom of religion involved in this case
   
   Taken as a group, human beings are distinguished by society and culture; as individuals, human beings need psychological, emotional and mental solace and a spiritual life. Different living environments, historical opportunity, cultural nurturing and life experience have given rise to different forms of religious faith. We believe that religious freedom is in inalienable right of all human beings, and that it is an important factor in preserving human development and improvement of character. The right to religious beliefs is like the right to life: it is self-evident. The citizen's right to religious freedom was first affirmed in law in the year 313 AD under the Edict of Toleration (Edict of Milan) jointly signed by the Roman rulers Constantine the Great and Licinius I. This edict stipulated for the first time that all religious beliefs enjoyed the same freedom without discrimination. However, humanity underwent extremely arduous struggle and grievous sacrifice until religious freedom was finally established as a universal rule. In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly stipulated in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
   
   Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
   
   In November 1987, the UN General Assembly passed the "Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief," which states in part:
   
   No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have a religion or belief of his choice. Freedom to manifest one's religion or belief may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
   
   Article 36 of the PRC Constitution also explicitly safeguards religious freedom.
   
   Religious freedom undoubtedly encompasses three safeguards: First, the principle of religious freedom; that is, the object of a citizen's beliefs, the religion itself, has the right to exist and develop. Second, the principle of freedom of conscience; that is, every citizen is free to choose whether or not to believe in any particular religion, and has the freedom to practice religion or engage in religious activity in whatever form. Third, the principle of separation of church and state; no group, party, organisation or individual, including any religion, can use violence or any other rights-infringing means to interfere with the right of a religion to survive and develop, nor can violence or other rights-infringing means be used to interfere with a citizen's belief in any religion, his freedom to believe or not, or his freedom to practice religion in any form or to participate in religious activities. None of these three are indispensable or inseparable from the others. "Freedom of religious belief," "religious freedom," "freedom of conscience" -- these three phrases are interchangeable in everyday parlance.
   
   We believe that religious freedom means allowing each individual the freedom to choose among various forms of religious belief, whether a large, established religion or a relatively small and developing religion; whether an existing denomination or a newly-created belief system; whether atheistic, theistic, polytheistic or agnostic. Whether one believes in the "truth, virtue and tolerance" of Falun Gong, or in God or Allah, these beliefs, like those relating to Guan Gong or the Buddhist concept of Emptiness, fall under the religious freedom of which no one can be deprived. At the same time, a citizen's practicing of all forms of religion and participation in all kinds of religious activities is safeguarded within religious freedom; if a citizen is deprived of the freedom to practice religion or participate in religious activities, religious freedom is nothing more than empty words on paper.
   
   2) We reaffirm the principle of separation of church and state involved in this case
   
   In world history, in the benighted era before politics became civilised, a complex relationship existed between religion and state power. Some religions were established as orthodox, while others were disparaged as heresies or cults; some were established as state religions, while others suffered brutal suppression and bans; and some religions were simply merged into the ruling regime, with all other religions being exterminated. With the development of political civilisation, freedom of belief was ultimately established. The Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom drafted by Thomas Jefferson affirms the inalienable and God-given right to believe any religion without persecution, and asserts that allowing government power to extend into the religious domain will quickly lead to the forfeiture of all freedom of religion and conscience. Jefferson criticised the unification of church and state in history:
   
   The impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time.
   
   Jefferson proposed and perfected the theory of separation of church and state, and applied it to practical politics. The separation of church and state means that all religions are equal before the law, and that none are predominant over or subservient to others. It can be divided theoretically into two parts: First is the intrusion of the church into political power; any religion is forbidden to seize secular power through establishment as a state religion. Second is the intrusion of secular power into religion; rulers are forbidden to use the church to interfere in the religious freedom of the people, or to use religious beliefs to increase the political legitimacy and stability of the regime. The posing of the principle of separation of church and state represented a liberation of thought in human history. Its ultimate implementation established a dividing wall between politics and religion. It means that religious belief is a matter of individual choice and free will, that there is no crime in propagating religion, and that no power has the right to interfere in a voluntary act of faith. In the final analysis, it means that people have the freedom to believe in a "cult," or at the very least that they will not be deprived of their personal freedom because of this belief. It can be said that "cults" make up the majority in this world on the basis of the exclusivity of religious doctrines: every denomination and faith proclaims itself to be the one true faith, which by implication reduces the rest to "cults" or "heresies." In the eyes of an atheist, all beliefs in any kind of god are cults.

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