I'm trying to connect the dots in Keith's trial, and something isn't
making sense. The jury finds that Keith "interferes" with
Scientologists' excercise of religion[sic]. Yet, what particular
exercise was interfered with? Were Scientologists unable to perform
particular religious practices? If so, which ones? (this is rather
shocking, since the only religious practice of Scientology [auditing] is
performed at ASHO, not at Hemet.)
It seems, in order to show that Keith was interfering with religious
practice, the prosecution must 1) show a religious practice, and 2) show
that it was being interfered with (and not merely inconvenienced). The
key here is in balancing Keith's 1st Amendment free speech rights
against the Scientologists' 1st Amendment religious[sic] rights. My
understanding is that discussion of Scientology religious[sic] practices
were forbidden by the judge. How can a jury convict someone of
interference if they don't know what was being interfered with?
I also have a problem with the constitutionality of the California law.
Did the prosecution ever offer evidence of RELIGIOUS[sic] practices ?
Also, the government is not allowed pass judgment on what is (or is not)
a religious practice. If the prosecutor offers evidence of a religious
practice, then is the government recognizing (and implicitly approving)
that practice, and therefore making an establishment of religion? The
law seems unenforcable from this standpoint. The dilemma is that the
government cannot protect a class unless they can define that class, yet
they are not allowed to define the class. Further, if secular behavior
(like riding in a van) is treated as protected behavior, then ANY
behavior can become protected behavior. A rather worrisome development.
The law itself may be unconstitutional because it removes equal access
under the law. For example, if my religion requires me to stay at least
100' away from anyone who is 'unclean' (or a Suppressive Person, or the
bogeyman, or whatever), then is someone's mere presence interfering with
my religion? For this reason, this California law is very disturbing -
not because of Keith particularly, but because all non-religious
behavior has suddenly taken a back seat.
Maybe everyone needs a church whose primary religious practice is
preaching against evil (in Cof$). Apparently, since we are allowed to
decide what we do for religious practice, our lay ministers can carry a
Perry Scott Founder Church of the First Amendment Co$ Escapee