Native American Church members fight harassment by authorities over peyote use

[Read the post]


ONAC, kick their asses.

It is just so petty. The morality police descend on nations that are sovereign (pinky swear, fingers crossed) and punish people for not obeying laws that don’t apply to them.

I need a unicorn chaser.


How’s this?


I don’t get it. This entire deal is the reason why RFRA was passed, and RFRA still is a law in force. That’s why it’s somehow okay for Hobby Lobby to be exempted from the laws all the other non-religious corporations are required to follow.

So… I’m confused. If they’re going to be using RFRA to break the law in the corporate world, they damn well better use it as intended in the world of actual human beings who have rights and bodies and such.

Fucking pigs.


You think the RFRA is there to protect minorities? That’s rich!

But I’m pretty sure the Supreme Court heard a case about peyote decades ago, and ruled for the Indians. The cops just haven’t got the message - then again, they haven’t been briefed on the Bill of Rights, either.


Actually the exact point of enacting RFRA, the catalyzing force for RFRA was that specific case where Native Americans wanted to use peyote but were being hassled by the cops. The Supreme court ruled against them, and then the dominionists in congress decided that allowing religious people to have a different set of laws than the rest of us was a good idea, so they passed RFRA.

This is publicly available information.


Obviously not to me. Thanks!

1 Like

I’ve tossed back a few, so keep in mind I’ve oversimplified, and also may have gotten the SCOTUS ruling wrong, but during the Hobby Lobby case NPR did several pieces on RFRA and specifically pointed out the Native American peyote case as the initial factor in getting RFRA passed.

1 Like

Here’s the relevant Wiki:


The idea that “religious practices” should be above the law that applies to other people does not become any less wrong when the law itself is questionable or wrong.

“I believe that it allows me to commune with supernatural spirits” is not a better reason to do something than “I like how it makes me feel.”

As an atheist I cannot tell the difference between “I’m religious, therefore this law should not apply to me” and “I’m white, therefore this law should not apply to me”. Of course, the people who want this particular exception happen to be a disadvantaged minority, but they are part of a majority of people who hold the opinion that “it’s better to believe in something supernatural than in nothing”.

… which raises some interesting philosophical questions:

When an unjust law is unjustly applied, should I demand that the unjust law be applied justly, or should I cheer every instance where the law is not applied?
(Note that this question applies both to the RFRA, which I definitely consider unjust, and to overly strict anti-drug laws.)


I know this is pure pure fantasy but I propose that a Native co-op government is the only legitimate government possible in the occupied territories. The UN should de-certify the United States entity in the procedure used to transfer the security council and all other seats from Taiwan to the PRC or from the USSR to Russia. I am am guessing that the natives holding the keys(per the NPT) to the ICBMs on their land would deter the settler nation from oppressing them.
Alas a pipe dream, but modern white morality believes that history, land ownership, and national borders began ex nihilo around 1945.
Fuck the occupation, fuck some white settler written, judged, and enforced law; free all occupied Native (American) Land.


Second one. An unjust law shouldn’t be enforced at all. and supporting exceptions only helps prove how stupid applying the law at all is.


1933, actually. Restitution of goods robbed by the Nazis is a thing. (Though some people here in Austria would prefer to set it at 1945).

But, while a Native-Ruled America might bring some welcome and interesting change to world politics, your mode of thinking feels dangerous. Let me apply it to some other areas of the planet:

  • Jewish immigration in Israel was controversial from the beginning. The founding of the state of Israel took place without Palestinian consent. Is a Palestinian-ruled one-state solution the only way to go?

  • Most of the land in many parts of Europe used to belong to noble families. Some of their wealth was nationalized (“stolen”). Does Austria owe restitution to the Habsburg family?

  • What about illegal immigration? Will great-grandchildren of illegal immigrants be deported, or do we just get to exclude them from the political process? Or does it only count when the “settler nation” forms the majority and commits genocide?

  • Do we need to deport Hungary from Europe?

Oy, I want to write a paper on all of these.

I can try one, unfortunately it flies in the face of two colonialist, moral interventionist, black and white narrative against indifferent to hated brown people.
The Jews were ethnically cleansed, never absorbed, and wished to return to their conquered land. In well recorded history it was the Europeans as Imperial Rome who cleansed and resettled the holy land, then the Islamic expansion movement converted some and settled others, crusades, and jihads which in stages either converted, settled on, or drove off the very ancient inhabitants and opposing settlers. Which is why I find it very rich how the US(settler colonists) and Europeans(crusader colonizers) as well as Arabia, Babylon, Egypt, and Persia, all ones responsible at various points for the continuing problem and the long history of ethnic cleansing and genocide try to dictate how Jews, long Muslim Jews converted to Islam, Bedouin, Druze, and Arab settlement of cleansed land going back(as well as kings appointed prizes by the UK) should divide that part of the middle east. Of course some of this history goes back to the bronze and iron ages but Europe never in nearly 2000 years tried to absorb long ethnic cleansed eternal refugee Jews (who properly absorbed would have forever been dissolved in European and Middle East culture forgetting their lost home) as citizens but rather sought to eliminate them, from the 20s onward somewhat better absorbed Jewish refugees were driven from the Arab middle east in anti Zionist pograms. I find that in the university middle east conflict classes I took there were Israelis and Palestinians who could talk when given space, and hateful Americans and other Arabs who encouraged their side to go kill and die in battle like a fucking cock fight. People worldwide love the war and fucking hate Jews and Palestinians, I suspect it is simple old antisemitism, I can only assume the Palestinians are counted as just more filthy Jews to most people including way too many Arabs. The solution is impossible as long as outside parties are pissy about their own interests or loss of face. How can the Palestinian diaspora be resettled or a peace made when every foreign asshat they meet tells them that violence is the only way to peace? Similar outside influence assholery fucked up beautiful Lebanon and the nice things Muslims, Druze, Christians, and even a few Jews had there. I guess the problem is now burning much of the Middle East and North Africa as the instigating parties watch the burning bodies with sick amusement.
This is a difficult conversation to have, most people have already chosen a bird in this entertaining cock fight and would rather see the sharpest razors applied to their bird’s feet than to accept that cockfighting is wrong. There are legitimate reasons why the inhabitants should all be able to live in peace either under one unity government or an either-or bi-national state while having a national entity to see to Jewish survival in a world who despises the small weak refugee other and presumably other Arab nations would step up to protect Arabs including Palestinians…

I apologize for the long comment, if find such mostly unwanted by either standard narrative but today I cracked, dont decide to hate Dobby as a reflex. I have done reconciliation work in the area. You have to understand this conflict as tribal feuds where both sides are right from a POV spiced with both good and bad feelings, feuds, hospitality, kindness, charity, insults, acceptance, misunderstandings, debts, realism, fear, and then with outside actors bribing, arming, nudging , shaming, promising, and strong arming. This topic is exhausting to debate, especially online, which is why I so rarely do this.


Is this a case of religious exemption? Or does it concern, primarily, First Nation People’s treaties giving them the power to follow their cultural dictates without persecution from an invading government with which they have formed said treaties?

I was under the impression that they wouldn’t have to appeal to a religious exemption law because of their rights enshrined in the treaties the American People represented by their government have formed with them. Which may amount to a religious exemption but is based more in a bundle of rights enshrined in treaties concerning cultural sovereignty…?


It shows :smile:.

My main point was that most of the time, you to divide history into “historical facts that are still relevant” and “old grievances that no one should care about any more”. And if you put the cutoff point too far into the past, then you have an excuse for committing great injustices against people who “came afterwards”. Or does anyone actually think that Hungary should be deported as a whole, because the Hungarian tribes came as invaders?

Likewise, transferring power in the US to a “Native American government” now would amount to nothing less than declaring millions of people of non-native heritage to be second class citizens. Which would be racism of the worst kind.

Picking the right cutoff point is the hard part of the problem. Deploring that there is a cutoff point, and that past injustice can no longer be corrected, gets us nowhere.

I can’t respond in detail to your “paper” about Israel/Palestine, but I feel it is a lot closer to “mainstream” opinions where I live (Austria) than you seem to think. There is a lot of anger in what you write, but I don’t quite know who it’s directed at. People around here do hold various opinions on various aspects of the conflict, but I don’t find any evidence here that “People worldwide love the war and fucking hate Jews and Palestinians”. In fact, the most extreme and war-mongering statements about the conflict that I have heard in Austria come from Austrians of Jewish and Palestinian heritage.

No, it would not be racism of the worst kind. That already happened.

The united States government, through a number of policies, broke virtually every treaty with the native American nations they entered in to.

Except where we used treaties to kick them off their land. Manifest destiny and American Exceptionalism, and all that.

The U.S. Government used treaties as one means to displace Indians from their tribal lands, a mechanism that was strengthened with the Removal Act of 1830. In cases where this failed, the government sometimes violated both treaties and Supreme Court rulings to facilitate the spread of European Americans westward across the continent.

This isn’t even a debatable point. By our own laws we murdered, subjegated, and stole nations–yes, nations–after we “pinky swore” we wouldn’t. It is a textbook example of Might Makes Right.

So the few gains these nations have made, even if they appear peculiar to others (like peyote), shouldn’t be re-trampled. And yes, I would support tribes that want to be completely sovereign.

However, the Cherokees in the state of Georgia, fought their removal in the federal Supreme Court. They thought they had won when Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that the Cherokees were a “domestic dependent nation” that could not be forced by the state of Georgia to give up its land against its will. Unfortunately, President Jackson and the state of Georgia ignored the decision and moved the Native Americans to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. The Cherokees refer to their trip as “The Trail of Tears.”


The category “racism of the worst kind” definitely applies to more than one event from actual history, and the genocide against the Native Americans is definitely on the list.

I did not mean to downplay the past crimes, which I was already aware of.

I was responding to a hypothetical scenario where control of the United States is turned over to a “native government”. Which means vesting the power in a minority group defined by race or heritage. Goodbye democracy, hello apartheid. That would be racism of the worst kind, which can not be justified by a genocide a century earlier.

Now I know that Native Americans have neither the power nor the inclination to actually do something like that, and instead are still at the receiving end of racism (both structural and the old-fashioned “direct” kind of racism). But that doesn’t change my hypothetical response to a hypothetical situation.

My main point was, not all past injustices can be undone without causing more injustice, so people should be careful what they wish for.

I certainly agree with that.

A strange byproduct of all the shenanigans over the past centuries (and really up until very recent times) are Reservations. A sane argument could be made to give sovereign autonomy to these areas if they desire it. Perhaps I missed something, but I don’t think anyone is seriously advocating tearing down the three branches of federal government (well, except for Trump supporters).