Freedom of religion… Just watch what you practice

Saturday, February 12th, 2005 @ 12:37 pm | Current Events

In one of his first acts as Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales is appealing to the Supreme Court to block a Brazilian church’s use of a hallucinogenic tea.

The O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal church of New Mexico uses hoasca tea as a sacramental brew in it’s religious practice. This practice is rooted in the practices of the aboriginal tribes of the Amazon basin, much like the Native American Church’s use of peyote.

A study published in a medical journal on the use of hoasca indicated generally positive effects in those who imbibed for sacramental purposes. Several lower court rulings have affirmed the group’s right to use hoasca for religious purposes.

I guess I don’t need to point out the hypocrisy of an administration that wraps itself in the cloak of religion, yet denies religious freedoms for small groups that engage in unconventional practices. If that isn’t what freedom of religion is all about, then I don’t know what is.

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