Divining the Law

This is an interesting case:

In Moore-King v. County of Chesterfield Virginia, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112205 (ED VA, Sept. 30, 2011), a Virginia federal district court rejected  constitutional challenges to Chesterfield County, Virginia’s regulation of the business of fortune telling. Patricia Moore-King, a “spiritual counselor” who operated under the name of “Psychic Sophie” claimed that the county’s zoning, business license tax and fortune teller permit ordinances violate her free exercise of religion, free speech and equal protection rights. The court held that plaintiff’s predictions and counseling services are inherently deceptive commercial speech, and that the regulation of them is reasonably drawn. The court rejected plaintiff’s free exercise and RLUIPA claims, finding that she is not engaged in religious practices. It also rejected her equal protection claims.

Where I live, the understanding is that my status as an ordained minister allows me to do readings as such a religious service. On one hand I see how one could argue that extra protections need to be in place for divinations. On the other hand, why should I need to hide behind religion to do a damn tarot spread? This sets a nasty precedent to target pagans doing readings, divinations, and healing services to be targeted as frauds.

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