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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Court Says Church Can Brew Hallucinogenic Tea

by USA Today, Mar 24, 2009.

"PORTLAND, Oregon. — A church in Ashland can import and brew a hallucinogenic tea for its religious services, under a federal court ruling issued March 19.

"Judge Owen M. Panner issued a permanent injunction that bars the federal government from penalizing or prohibiting the 'Church of the Holy Light of the Queen' from sacramental use of 'Daime' tea."

The suit was filed under the 'Religious Freedom Restoration Act'.

It is a 1993 United States federal law aimed at preventing laws which substantially burden a person's free exercise of their religion. The bill was introduced by Howard McKeon of California and Dean Gallo of New Jersey on March 11, 1993.

The law reinstated the Sherbert Test, mandating that strict scrutiny be used when determining if the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing religious freedom, has been violated. In this, the court must first determine whether the person has a claim involving a sincere religious belief, and whether the government action is a substantial burden on the person’s ability to act on that belief...


Selected reader comments
from the USA Today report :-

"Me thinks perchance the judge is overstepping his authority just a wee bit. Perhaps a little to much tea sampled as part of the research for the case."

"Yeah every day I see evidence of that. (Especially when I read these boards and I'm assuming the folks posting don't have any experience with hallucinogens.) If you haven't tried it don't knock it. But you will only experience 'god' while under the influence if you are expecting it.
Otherwise just like with LSD, peyote, mescaline, etc, you will have an experience that is reflective of your subconscious. No training is required. However having someone with you as a 'babysitter' is recommended."

" 'What happens to some people's minds when they go to law school?' I believe that if there are enough wrong interpretations of the Constitution, the U.S. will self destruct."

"How long do the effects last? Is it safe for them to drive motor vehicles after the services? If they are arrested for DUI will their 'puke' lawyer file another law suit?"

"The Brazilian 'Church of the Holy Light of the Queen' bible translators use a centuries old tradition of passing down Bible verses orally. Sadly, the 'telegraph principle' once again took hold, thereby explaining their scripture's entry for John 14:6 'no one comes to the Father except through tea'.


Byker Bob said...

This is a controversial topic. I know that Native Americans have a deep respect for visions obtained under carefully supervised ritual ingestion of peyote and other natural substances.

I have a difficult time accepting the validity of alleged experiences with God that were induced by artificial stimuli. I don't believe that God needs those things in order to communicate with us. Clearly, there are other ways. As one example, near death experiences are random, natural, involuntary, and I understand that they produce profound changes in the subject's comprehension and outlook on life.


Anonymous said...

I think some pertinent questions need to be asked here:

1. Is ingestion of the substance mandatory or optional? (Note that it can also be made mandatory through peer pressure or undue group coercion, which is wrong as well.)

2. Are children, the sick and the elderly (not to mention the mentally unstable to begin with) exempted from ingesting the substance? Or is the substance instead promulgated as a cure-all for these conditions? (Red flag right there if yes.)

3. Have physicians adequately observed the effects of ingesting the substance, and determined to the satisfaction of blood tests, etc., that ingestion of the substance has neither harmful short term effects (causing the recipients to harm themselves, or others, or act out in an unsafe manner because of stripped inhibitions), nor long-term effects (blood tests 24, 48, and 72 hours after ingestion of the substance, to determine how long the person is impaired), not to mention determining whether or not the substance is carcinogenic!!

Unfortunately, the article is quite thin on these points, which I hope the court satisfied adequately.