Trippin’ For God
The Church of the Holy Light of the Queen in Ashland Oregon has won the right to drink an “hallucinogenic tea” as part of it’s ceremony. It’s brewed from the ayahuasca plant, which contains DMT.
Is this giving churches special status? There are, after all, real honest medical issues that can be aided with the use of illegal drugs (like glaucoma and recovery from cancer treatment), and they are not given a complete write off (the federal enforcement of medical marijuana may be changing, though).
The only mention of religion in the Constitution are both contained in one sentence in the First Amendment. They are referred to as the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
By asking the members of a religion to obey the laws of the United States, are we “prohibiting” their free exercise of religion?
The church argued it’s case under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which is a law passed in 1993 that, for the most part, only reinforces the Free Exercise Clause.
I really don’t see how a judge can rule that your organization has the right to break the law simply because of a religious claim, especially since it does not work for scientifically proven medical issues. The religious institution doesn’t need to prove a thing, that, for instance, the drug aids them in achieving a spiritual perspective, they only need to make a claim and, because they are a church, it’s protected. It’s silly.
And it’s not an age old religion. It’s a syncretism of Christianity and South American shamanism known as Santo Daime, and was founded in 1930. So, pick the religion of your choice, then find a religion that takes the drug of your choice, and presto, new religion with all the touble free drug use you want.
That being said … how does one become a member of this church?