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The Religious Empire: Public Enemy No. 1

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The wars in Gaza, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere have their root cause in the religious establishment. Likewise the war that rages around the globe against gays and lesbians has its roots in the religious establishment. We may look at symptoms of the empire as root causes for any conflict such as Hamas sending rockets into Israel or the Taliban fight against the UN or shiite/sunis placed IEDs blowing up American troops, but those are not root causes, mere symptoms.

I recently exchanged email with a coder in Bangladesh who informed me he could not work on developing a website concerning protection for gays and lesbians for me. Not only is homosexuality banned in Bangladesh but apparently also thought and discussion about it. Homo-sexuality in Bangladesh or anywhere in the world is not of itself a root cause for governments to limit, restrict or ban such life style; it is the inherent power of the religious establishment!

We can discuss all of the problems of the world as extensively and completely as we wish but we will never get to the bottom (root) of the real issue until we are willing to take on the religious empire.

In 1887, the US Supreme court without argument or invited discussion declared by fiat that corporations were to be considered as persons under the constitution the same as naturally born citizens with all the rights and immunities afforded the natural born.

Prior to that time the same court held that the constitutional prohibition against the Congress (and by the 14th Amendment state legislatures), making laws respecting an establishment of religion applied to courts as well. Hence courts turn their back on religious injustice.

In both cases, it would be absurd to think that a great deal of lobbying had not taken place privately with the court for it to enact such Orwellian doctrines. As a result, corporations have trampled on the rights of US citizens and courts have invalidated just causes for action by plaintiffs against religious organizations. Often there is little if any distinction between the two entities.


U.S. common law has its roots in English common law and with it the court of Chancery with its legal notions of equity which often infringes upon of the claimed rights of churches so that rights claimed by the citizenry as against the church are considered. For American courts to curtail equity at the door of the church is an abomination that needs to be dealt with.

As an example, in Vancouver, Washington in April 1976 I was summoned before a Stake President's Court (an inferior Mormon Church court) for priesthood insubordination (I had ordained a black man). At issue was my membership in the church. Upon arriving at the time and place designated, I filed with the head of that court, Orson Arnold, a complaint in the Melchezedek Priesthood Court of the church alleging illegal and criminal conduct on the part of leaders the church as against the interests of members of the church formerly held in trust by the church president as trustee-in-trust. I told Mr. Arnold that under church court rules he must immediately terminate the trial and submit the complaint to the church leaders. Further, that it would be inequitable of him to proceed to remove my membership, thus my standing to sue, prior to the time that the church leaders stood trial on the charges of my complaint. [Church history recorded a similar trial held against church founder, Joseph Smith, Jr.]

Mr. Arnold threw the papers to the floor and ordered me to sit down. I reiterated my position at which point several members of the court attempted to place their hands on me to force me to sit down. I asked which of them wanted a lawsuit for false arrest. At that point they backed off and I left. Shortly after returning home a letter of excommunication previously prepared was served upon me. I took the position then and still do that any action by the local church court was illegal and inequitable so that in truth and fact the letter of excommunication was null and void.

In administrative law, all avenues of appeal must be exhausted before one can file a case in a court of law seeking redress. I filed a notice of trial de novo with the presidency of the church which was denied. [A trial de novo means a complete and new trial without consideration of the results of the first inferior trial. It is a matter of right from inferior civil courts to superior civil courts. It was also a matter of right within the legal procedure rules of the church court at the time.] Since the invalid act of the inferior court was left to stand in the view of the presidency of the church it remains invalid to this day.

Later I attempted to raise the issue of that standing within the purview of a civil court and was left hanging with the issue being non justiciable by a civil court under the establishment clause. As a result, the church (in a generic sense) can get away with crimes and violations committed within its own protected paradigm.

Many such cases both in and out of the Mormon Church were brought to my attention as an attorney with a request from the victims for redress but sadly I was not able to help them because of the procedures I have cited. However as I write this one case comes to mind in which I feel I would be remiss if I didn't tell about it.

A medical doctor with years of practice and good standing within the Mormon Church wrote me a letter of appeal to help him. Both he and his wife had been excommunicated from the church a short while after they had relocated from Phoenix, AZ to Bountiful, UT [A Salt Lake City suburb]. Living in a densely populated Mormon community, the taint of excommunication was a financial disaster to him and he didn't deserve it [Mormons need church leaders authority to socialize with excommunicants without risk of excommunication themselves. My own nephew sought permission from his Stake president to communicate with me, his uncle, in order to prepare for a family reunion!]

The doctor's offense to the church was that he had allowed himself to be used as a medical examiner in viewing the body of John Singer as it was lying in a mortuary in Salt Lake City. The deceased, it appeared, had died from a shotgun blast in the back. !

John Singer's picture had recently appeared on the front page of Newsweek magazine and a featured article about him discussed his fight with the state of Utah over the issue of his doing home education of his children. John was an excommunicated Mormon of the polygamous faction which was an embarrassment to the mainstream Mormon Church particularly after the publicity of the Newsweek article.

Apparently shortly before his death, Singer had gone down to his mail box on the highway and was confronted by Utah State/County law officers who attempted to serve papers on him regarding the legal fight he had ongoing with the state. As he turned to walk away one of the officers fired a shotgun blast at him killing him instantly.

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Retired Designer-Builder formerly practicing Attorney at Law.

Credentials include ordaining a Black man to priesthood in the LDS Church leading to a public struggle with the church yielding and ordaining Black men about 2 years (more...)
 

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It's appalling to see how history repeats itse... by Sister Begonia on Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 9:07:22 AM
Religion has been the basis for many wars, even be... by Peter Wedlund on Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 10:07:41 AM
And, violating your human rights is what religion ... by Roger on Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 10:22:28 AM
I would have to agree. I have some personal experi... by Starla Immak on Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 2:02:06 PM
A person that does not believe in freedom of relig... by Gallaher on Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 11:38:10 PM