…law of entheogenic churches…
After reading the Soul Quest denial letter, I decided to conduct this in-depth scholarly analysis of the legal definition of religion under the First Amendment, considering the scientific research, the newly established archeological evidence, and the relevant case law. The Soul Quest denial letter leaves no doubt in my mind, and the mind of other competent attorneys in this space, that the government is going to attack these non-lineage entheogen-based religions on both “religious” and “sincerity” grounds.
The right to religious belief is absolute. As citizens we are free to harbor and espouse any religious view we like. However, when it comes to religious exercises, the right is not absolute. The First Amendment demonstrates a specific solicitude for religion because religious ideas are in many ways more important than other ideas… they are… ultimate concerns. As such, they are to be carefully guarded from governmental interference, and never converted into official government doctrine. A religion is not generally confined to one question or one moral teaching; it has a broader scope. It lays claim to an ultimate and comprehensive “truth.” If they are pressed as divine law or a part of a comprehensive belief-system that presents them as “truth,” they might well rise to the religious level. Another element to consider when ascertaining whether a set of ideas should be classified as a religion is any formal, external, or surface signs that may be analogized to accepted religion… such signs might include… propogation. Of course, a religion may exist without any of these signs, so they are not determinative, at least by their absence, in resolving a question of definition. But they can be helpful in supporting a conclusion of religious status given the important role such ceremonies play in religious life.
Original Article (The Law of Entheogenic Churches (Volume II):
The definition of religion under the first amendment
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