Exactly, let's take another look at Waco, Texas. A guy made a religous group of about 100
people, stockpiling guns, food, ammo, and water, for an apoctolyptic setting which he believed would happen. He said he was the "sinful Jesus" so on judgement day he would know all the sinful things people had to go through. He taught he was sumpreme ruler (not much different then the pope imo). Time went on, and no apparent reason other then complete suspicion that they were turning legal weapons into illegal fully automatic
weapons and that he was inopropriately messing with young children. There was no evidence whatsoever and what do you know, what happens?
No, the local police didnt check it out, not even someone like the FBI, although neither had a reason or imo a legal right to invade, the ATF of all people invaded his "fort" which was actually his church builidng. And the gunfighting started. You all know the story probably, and thats the jist of it, the cult fell apart pretty much, im not to sure what heppened to him, i think he went to a mental institution? Eh anyways...
Now im not saying i believe his teachings by any means, but, if that can happen then it can just as easily happen to Christianity or any other religous group. Your probably thinking, no way, he was a small "cult" and that could never happen. Well if the ATF can do that and not have any charges against them, then what would stop the government? such as FBI.
Although this is different than the small prohibiting of things such as palm reading, it could be the beggining of another Waco situation, going farther, and stretching out to "mainstream" religion, if you can call it that.
"oh but they are just doing it because it's a scam" Well was this so-called "cult" of Waco a scam? For some people out there doing palm readings and such, they truly believe they are real and true.
See, I understand government intervention if a religous group were posing a threat to themselves or others. For example, take the Heaven's Gate group back in 1997. Granted, I don't think anyone realized what the group was planning, but still, intervention could have possibly prevented the mass suicides.
Now, I'm not taking a side on the Waco, Texas issue. I think there's a lot we don't know on both sides, and it's a shame something like that had to happen. What made it even worse is the fact that children were involved, and some of the dead weren't even five years old.
However, a religion that uses palm reading and other practices hardly warrants government intervention. Unless you're getting your palm read by a knife-wielding maniac, there's really nothing to be worried about. Yes, the belief system might be off-beat and some predictions/scripture may be wrong, but what religion doesn't face those same issues?
The article I had posted a page or two back was dated earlier this week, and it implied that the ordinance had just recently passed. That right there seems to just slap the Constitution in the face. Nothing is wrong with the practice of Wicca; in fact, the Wiccan Rede itself says "An it harm none do what ye will." How is this any different from the Christian teachings of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you?" And those Christian teachings are what some of these city governments are basing their laws on.
Hypocritical. If the government wants to tell me what currency to use or how fast I can drive, then fine. I'll obey. But don't you dare tell me what my religious beliefs are "supposed" to be. I don't care if they're mainstream or not, just stay the hell away from individual rights.
A proposal to repeal the Livingston Parish ordinance outlawing soothsaying died in silence last night before the Parish Council.
The council ignored the recommendation of its attorney, Blayne Honeycutt, who had advised council members to repeal the ordinance in the face of a Wiccan minister's federal lawsuit, which Honeycutt said the parish probably will lose.
A Wiccan woman asked the council to repeal the ordinance, which she said makes unlawful a practice of a recognized religion.
When the council failed to act on his recommendation, Honeycutt advised council members to hire an attorney who specializes in such matters to handle the case.
At a previous council meeting Honeycutt advised the council to repeal the ordinance, saying he was unaware of soothsaying or fortune telling presenting a problem in the parish.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court Middle District of Louisiana, seeks to have the ordinance declared unconstitutional, seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting the parish from enforcing the ordinance and asks the court to assess damages.
I don't have the verbatim of the actual law/ordinance, but I'm sure it can be found somewhere.
States may make whatever laws they like as they do not interfere with the Constitution. Even religious laws can be made as long they do not interfere with the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses of the First Amendment. And don't get me wrong; states have often drafted laws that were challenged in a federal court because someone felt those clauses were ineed violated.
I agree with you here, that state laws can not violate the Constitution. However, I have a problem with state goverments attempting to do it anyway, citing small loopholes (if any) in the Constitution itself.
But I believe the intention of the law then was really to protect consumers more than to discriminate. If I wanted to be a palm reader, I doubt I would need a degree in palm reading. I could just come out of nowhere and claim to be a professional palm reader and charge people whatever I wanted for such a service.
In their effort to protect consumers, they probably did end up discriminating against people. The way I read into that law was that those types of practices were prohibited, even in a private setting. The wording of the law also led me to believe that those practices were only allowed to be used for entertainment purposes, since it specifically stated that amateurs were exempt.
I think you may be overgeneralizing this a bit.
Probably, but debate has never been a strong point of mine. Lol.
LOL You're all good. I'm not trying to go after you or anything. I'm just making sure we understand one another.
Understood, haha. You're very good at this, and it's given me a bit to think about today.
Bah, Americans. You always think there's omething special about the founding fo your country
Heh, I can't help it. I love European/early-American history, focusing on the history of colonies in particular.
It's not that it would be hypocritical if the United States were to restrict a religious practice, it's that it would be unconstitutional (as you do go on to say). But I'm not sure you have carefully read the law. The may makes an exception for all those practices mentioned as long as "the amateur practice of phrenology, palmistry, fortune-telling or clairvoyance in connection with school or church socials, provided such socials are held in school or church buildings."
The reason I find laws like that hypocritical (and maybe that was the wrong word to use) is because America was founded on certain beliefs and freedoms, yet state governments are taking it upon themselves to tell people what they may or may not do as far as religious beliefs are concerned. It's like saying that you're allowed to like any color you want, except you can only choose been blue and green (not the greatest example, but I'm not a very good debater, so bear with me, lol). Maybe 'too restrictive' was the phrase I was looking for.
I don't think the law was meant to mock those who practice such things. It was more likely drafted to protect people from preying on others with phoney practicies. Even if phrenology or fortune telling had any merits to it, the problem is that anyone can claim to be able to feel the bumps on your head (as phrenologists did) or proclaim your fortune.
Again, I probably didn't use a good word to describe what I'd meant by 'mocking.' I'm just imagining a school carnival or fund-raiser that has someone 'reading fortunes' for money, which may anger someone who seriously believes themselves to be psychic and practices as such. Myself, I don't actually believe in any of it, but there are people who take it quite seriously.
I have no doubt that the law was put into place to help protect people from phonies. There's rarely a day that goes by even now that you don't hear about an elderly person being swindled by a 'door-to-door fortune teller/psychic.' It's sad, really, but for every fake, there's someone who actively practices such beliefs.
This post mostly has to do with this part of your topic:
What are your thoughts and views on this? Do you think its right? Do you think its wrong? Do you think the Government has any right what-so-ever to outlaw any religion or any practice?
In my opinion, a law such as that should never have been allowed to become a law in the first place. I find it extremely hypocritical for a state or federal government, especially in the United States, to tell someone how they may or may not worship.
That former law you quoted was, I believe, very unconstitutional and also seemed as if it were mocking those who do practice those beliefs (i.e., you may only do such things for fun in certain places).
Maybe it's just me, but I feel as though a law like that just slaps the Constitution in the face. Nearly everyone knows that America was founded by those fleeing religious persecution in Europe, and even Thomas Jefferson said:
No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.
Yoinked from Wikipedia, Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.
It's sad that even after the Revolution and such, groups in America were still persecuted for their religious practices. The major ones that come to mind right now are the violence against Mormons back in the 1840s, as well as intolerance of Islamic religions in the United States now (it's not to the point of 'religious persecution,' so to speak, but rather just an intolerance by some loud people, if that makes any sense).
Though, in regards to the rest of your post, I'll have to agree with Siaynoq in terms of certain laws being outdated.
There's a law here in Michigan that states that you can not swear in front of women or children, yet it's done every day (and I do plenty myself). Probably ten years ago or so, a man had tipped his boat while in a river and, out of frustration, swore. A woman on shore overheard it and sued him, citing this law. Now, I'm not sure what ever came of it, but I do know the law came into question. I don't think it's been removed, but this is just backing up Siaynoq's point that dated laws are rarely enfoced.