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Soothsaying court battle useless waste

By BOB ANDERSON

The Livingston Parish Council recently remained silent on an issue of religious freedom when council members failed to repeal an ordinance they enacted last year prohibiting soothsaying. At the time they approved the ordinance, some council members might have been able to claim they didn’t realize they were treading on the spiritual practices of others. After some Wiccans protested and even filed suit in federal court over the ordinance, the council can no longer make such a claim. Even if no council members agree with the nature-based religion, it is a religion that has been recognized by the courts.

When public bodies cave in to pressure from one religion and make laws that outlaw the practice of another religion, they threaten all religions. Times and popular theologies change as do the makeup of councils and the populace that elects them. In this case, the Parish Council’s ordinance is so poorly written that discerning readers would realize it threatens not only the practices of Wiccans. Any faith that includes prophesy and collects offerings should scrutinize the ordinance voted into law by the Parish Council last year. Predictions by ministers that the end of the world is near or that certain actions by individuals will bring the wrath of God certainly could be considered soothsaying. Those ministers may be breaking the council’s ordinance. Should they be handcuffed and taken to jail when they pass the collection plate?

Read the original article at: The Advocate

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