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A lot to be taught in ongoing circumstances with hashish church and one other Christian baker — GetReligion

The connecting hyperlink within the podcast is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 — or RFRA for brief. This was an important piece of liberal (within the outdated sense of the phrase) church-state legislation backed by a stunningly broad coalition of spiritual and authorized teams in the course of the Invoice Clinton administration. Attempt to think about: There have been solely three “nay” votes within the U.S. Senate. Would that occur now? Clearly, the reply is “nay.’

As of late, many reporters act as if “RFRA” was some sort of soiled, four-letter time period that can not be spoken in elite newsrooms. If you would like some additional information on this syndrome, click on right here (“Covering a so-called ‘religious liberty’ story? Dig into religious liberty history”) or right here (“Religious Left returns to RFRA: Washington Post explores a crucial Florida abortion showdown”).

The secret is that RFRA doesn’t assure a victory for residents who declare that their First Modification rights have been violated. RFRA states that individuals have a proper to argue that case and that — following some pointers which have developed through the years — courts need to take these arguments critically.

So let’s begin with this Faith Information Service headline: “Shuttered cannabis church takes fight to reopen to California Supreme Court.” Right here’s the overture:

A hashish church in Southern California — which was shut down by the county of San Bernardino over accusations it was illegally functioning as a dispensary — is taking its battle to reopen to the state Supreme Courtroom, arguing that it makes use of hashish for non secular therapeutic.

After the case was dismissed by a decrease courtroom, legal professional Matthew Pappas petitioned the California Supreme Courtroom on Thursday (Oct. 20) on behalf of April Elizabeth Mancini, a minister of the church. …

Jah Therapeutic Kemetic Temple of the Divine Church, which has its major place of worship in Massive Bear, California, claims it’s Christian and “believes that the aromatic cane ingredient of the holy anointing oil described in Exodus 30:22 is hashish,” in keeping with the petition.

The church is a part of the Sacramental Life Church buildings, a company with an ecclesiastic type of authorities led by a board of ministers. It had a central place of worship, ordained ministers, common Sunday providers and “a definite type of non secular apply, literature about its beliefs and books of scripture.” …

So what’s going on right here, by way of this church making a RFRA declare? I’d level readers to 2 strong clues on this RNS report. First there may be this:

[The church] acquired a discover of violation and later a quotation at a earlier location after a code enforcement officer “noticed a gross sales room contained in the church” for hashish, in keeping with The San Bernardino Solar. It was additionally raided by San Bernardino sheriff authorities after residents complained about its current location. Authorities discovered jars full of hashish and cannabis-infused drinks and edibles, the information company reported.

For many years, courts have jumped into points of religion, worship, drugs, and so forth., when there are problems with (1) revenue, (2) fraud or (3) clear threats to life and well being. On this case, it seems that authorities are wanting on the SALE of hashish.

Then there may be this significant passage:

The [church’s] petition argues that the county has by no means had an issue with church buildings that bless wine or ayahuasca as sacraments, but “it has persistently and often surveilled, entered-into, and interfered with the JAH church ensuing within the Church’s closure,” the petition reads.

That might be an fascinating argument and, if it reaches the U.S. Supreme Courtroom, church-state specialists might be pondering this historic variations between the sacramental use of hashish and, properly, peyote (think centuries of Native American rituals). Have there been some other Christian our bodies up to now which have shared this hashish church’s biblical interpretations after which its rituals? Historical past issues.

Then there was an article at The Hill with this headline: “California baker wins case over same-sex wedding cake.” Right here’s the essential church-state materials:

Kern County Superior Courtroom Choose J. Eric Bradshaw ruled that California’s Division of Truthful Housing and Employment failed to point out Tastries Bakery proprietor Cathy Miller violated the state’s Unruh Civil Rights Act by deliberately discriminating in opposition to the couple.

Miller had refused to make a customized cake for Mireya and Eileen Rodriguez-Del Rio in 2017 for his or her wedding ceremony and referred them to a different bakery, courtroom filings present.

The decide dominated that baking the customized cake falls underneath “creative expression,” so Miller’s First Modification protections to free speech supersede the state’s curiosity.

The phrase “customized” is essential. Additionally, did Miller refuse to promote the couple different truffles that had been already on show?

That may be an important query to ask, because it was within the circumstances involving baker Jack Phillips (“Colorado fine-tunes legal campaign against Masterpiece Cakeshop owner”). One other essential level: I’d guess the financial institution that Choose Bradshaw additionally famous that Mireya and Eileen Rodriguez-Del Rio had loads of different choices, by way of discovering a baker who would symbolize their beliefs artistically in a particular cake.

Lastly, let me flip the RFRA arguments round, in a (lately tweaked) parable that I’ve shared a number of occasions right here at GetReligion. The inserted italics mark essential points that are likely to floor in these sorts of circumstances.

… For example that there’s a businessman in Indianapolis who runs a catering firm. He’s an overtly homosexual Episcopalian and, on the coronary heart of his religion (and the religion articulated by his church) is a honest perception that homosexuality is a present of God and a pure a part of God’s good creation. This enterprise proprietor has lengthy served all kinds of purchasers, together with a close-by Pentecostal church that’s predominantly African-American.

Then, someday, the leaders of this church ask him to cater a significant occasion — the upcoming regional convention of the Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays. He declines, saying this is able to violate all the pieces he stands for as a liberal Christian. He notes that they’ve dozens of different catering choices of their metropolis and, whereas he has willingly served them up to now, it’s his honest perception that it might be flawed to take action on this particular case.

When it comes to the federal government forcing artists to precise views that aren’t their very own, do that wrinkle that I supplied throughout “Crossroads” this week.

What if, slightly than a homosexual Episcopal catering firm proprietor, we had been coping with the proprietor of an organization that created t-shirts, web sites or another content-rich type of media? What if the ex-gay Pentecostals demanded that this Episcopalian create shirts or on-line supplies that backed their trigger?

Wait, a website creator being forced to violate his or her conscience?

Maintain that thought. It’s time to attend for one more main U.S. Supreme Courtroom choice (or one other case through which the justices punt). These tales will not be going to go away till there may be one other clarifying ruling (or a number of rulings).

Benefit from the podcast and, please, pass it along to others.

FIRST IMAGE: Display screen shot from protection by ABC Information Channel KERO. Click here for the full report posted on YouTube.

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