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Texas High Court Says Exorcism Claims Entangle Court in Religious Dispute

In Pleasant Glade Assembly of God v. Schubert, (TX Sup. Ct., June 27, 2008), in a 6-3 decision, the Texas Supreme Court yesterday rejected a lower court’s award of damages to young woman for false imprisonment and assault by the senior pastor, youth minister and several members of an Assembly of Gods Church. The lawsuit grew out of psychological injuries suffered by then 17-year old Laura Schubert from a “laying of hands” on her to exorcise demonic forces from her. The court held that deciding the case would unconstitutionally entangle it in matters of church doctrine. the majority said:

We do not mean to imply that “under the cloak of religion, persons may, with impunity,” commit intentional torts upon their religious adherents…. Moreover, religious practices that threaten the public’s health, safety, or general welfare cannot be tolerated as protected religious belief…. But religious practices that might offend the rights or sensibilities of a non-believer outside the church are entitled to greater latitude when applied to an adherent within the church….

Read the original article at: Religion Clause

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