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                            Supreme Court And Peyote (Articles) 

                The following 13 messages,  retrieved from PeaceNet, discuss the
          recent Supreme Court ruling  permitting states to prohibit sacramental
          use of peyote.
             
                Supreme Court Continues Chipping Away At Citizen's 1st Amendment
          Rights, Part 1.
            
                Excerpts fromthe following articledetailing the April17th ruling
          by the US  Supreme Court which decided that Native  Americans could no
          longer use peyote in their religious practices:
             
                  "For all practical purposes,a majority of the SupremeCourt has
          eliminated  the Free Exercise clause  of the First  Amendment from our
          Bill  of Rights,"  said  American Jewish  Congress Executive  Director
          Henry Siegman.
             
                "The court's decision in the peyote case can have the  most far-
          reaching consequences  for all religions, but  primarily for religious
          minorities," continued  Siegman. "It is precisely  such minorities the
          Bill of Rights sought to protect,  for it is they who are particularly
          vulnerable to the depredations of momentary and localized majorities."
             
                  Dr.Robert L. Maddox, executive directorof Americans United for
          Separation of Church and State,  said the "Smith" ruling is  cause for
          concern...
             
                "We  are concerned," he continued, "that this ruling will have a
          negative effect on minority religions. Mainstream faiths will probably
          have  little  difficulty getting  the  exemptions  they need;  smaller
          groups with less political influence will  have a tougher time of  it.
          That is unfortunate. Religious freedom should  not be left to the whim
          of state and federal lawmakers.

                "No one wants anarchy in the name of religion," headded, "but do
          we really want more  and more government regulation of  religion? What
          bothers  us  most is  the movement  away  from individual  liberty and
          toward statism--whatever the government wants, goes."
             [2]
                The following article appeared in the June 1990 issue of "Church
          and State", a publication of Americans United for Separation of Church
          and State, 8120 Fenton St., Silver Spring, MD, 20910, and is reprinted
          here w/permission.
             


                                                                            1726
          

          The Day 'Sherbert' Melted 
          by Rob Boston 
             
             
                  Discarding A 27-Year-Old Test For Religious Liberty Cases, The
          Supreme Court  Says  Government  May  Restrict  Religiously  Motivated
          Conduct
             
                Alfred Smithconsiders himselfapolitical; he's noteven registered
          to vote. But, in light of what the Supreme Court did April 17, the 70-
          year-old Oregonian is ready to jump into politics in a big way.
             
                The highcourt ruled 6-3 thatday that Native Americansdo not have
          a constitutional right to  use the drug peyote during  their religious
          ceremonies. Smith, one  of the  plaintiffs who helped  bring the  case
          before  the nation's highest court, is angry  enough to take his fight
          to the polls.
             
                "I'm encouraging all peopleto register and vote thisyear," Smith
          said. "This  is the time for it.  I have never voted  before because I
          don't care to  condone the system, but  I have made a stand  here with
          this case."
             
                The  political route Smith proposes  may be one  many members of
          minority  religions are forced  to take in  the future, thanks  to the
          Supreme Court's decision  in the "Employment Division v.  Smith" case.
          The justices' ruling marks an abrupt shift in free exercise jurisprud-
          ence, granting government broad new powers over religious practices.
             
                What makes the "Smith"decision so significant is thatin reaching
          it  five justices voted to abandon the court's doctrine of "compelling
          state interest,"  a move with far-reaching  implications for religious
          liberty.
             
                In a nutshell, the 27-year-old doctrine says that the government
          can restrict religious freedom only when it proves there is a compell-
          ing interest to do so and  that there is no less intrusive alternative
          available to achieve the  state's goals. The judicial rule grew out of
          the  1963  "Sherbert v.  Verner" decision  and  is usually  called the
          "Sherbert" Test.
             
                Inthe recent peyote case the court rejected the "Sherbert" stan-
          dard in  favor of  a much narrower  test, holding that  government may
          offer religiously  based exemptions from generally  applicable laws if
          it chooses, but it is under no constitutional obligation to do so.
             
                Wrote Justice Antonin Scaliafor the majority, "We havenever held
          that an individual's religious beliefs excuse him from compliance with
          an  otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that  the State is free to
          regulate."

                Scalia went on to  say that applying the doctrine  of compelling
          state  interest in the peyote  dispute and similar  cases would create
          "a  private right to ignore generally applicable laws [which would be]
          a  constitutional  anomaly." Rigorous  application  of the  "Sherbert"
          approach, he said, would be "courting anarchy."
             


                                                                            1727
          


                Later in the opinion, Scalia admitted that the ruling will force
          minority  religious  groups to  seek  relief from  oppressive  laws by
          lobbying elected officials, and some may fail in their efforts. But he
          excused this as unavoidable. "It may fairly be said," observed Scalia,
          "that leaving accommodation to  the political process will place  at a
          relative disadvantage  those religious  practices that are  not widely
          engaged in; but that  unavoidable consequence of democratic government
          must be preferred to a  system in which each conscience is  a law unto
          itself  or in  which judges  weigh the  social importance of  all laws
          against the centrality of all religious beliefs."
             
                The  court majority  acknowledged that judicial  exemptions from
          neutral laws have  sometimes been granted for  religious reasons. But,
          Scalia argued, such exemptions have generally been granted in conjunc-
          tion with another constitutional right--such as free speech. He called
          these examples  "hybrids" and  implied they are  special cases.  Other
          than that, said Scalia,  the only legal disputes where  the "Sherbert"
          analysis has  been applied consistently and  usefully are unemployment
          compensation rulings, such as the line of  decisions approving jobless
          benefits for  workers who  are fired  for refusing  to  work on  their
          sabbath.

                Ironically the  "Smith" case involved just  such an unemployment
          controversy.  It started  in 1984  when Smith,  a Klamath  Indian, and
          another man,  Galen W. Black, a non-Indian, were fired from their jobs
          as  drug counselors after the agency they  worked for learned the pair
          had  used the  drug peyote  during ceremonies  in the  Native American
          Church.

                The Council on Alcoholand Drug Abuse Prevention Treatment(ADAPT)
          had a policy stating that  all employees must be drug free.  Smith and
          Black thought  an exemption would be  made for their religious  use of
          peyote, a mild hallucinogen derived from some cactus plants, but ADAPT
          officials saw things differently: Both men were dismissed.

                  When Smithand Black subsequently appliedfor unemployment bene-
          fits, they  were  turned down.  Officials  with the  state  Employment
          Dvision said the  two had been fired for misconduct  and therefore did
          not qualify. The duo took the case to the courts.
             
                Fouryears later the OregonSupreme Court ruledthat the ceremonial
          use of peyote is permissible under  state law and is even protected by
          the  First Amendment. The Supreme Court's recent action overturns that
          decision.
             
                The "Smith" majority drew upon  a somewhat unusual alignment  of
          justices. Scalia, Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justices Anthony
          Kennedy  and Byron  R. White  were predictable  allies. All  four have
          argued  for a  narrower  reading of  the  First Amendment's  religious
          liberty clauses.
              
                Justice John Paul Stevens, however, provided the key fifth vote.
          Stevens, often  thought of  as a member  of the court's  liberal wing,
          favors a strict separationist reading of the Establishment Clause, but
          has argued  in past cases  for a  less expansive reading  of the  Free
          Exercise Clause.
             


                                                                            1728
             

                Justice Sandra Day O'Connor concurredin the "Smith" outcome, but
          wrote  a separate dissent that accused  the majority of going too far.
          "Although I  agree with the result  the Court reaches in  this case, I
          cannot join  its opinion,"  asserted O'Connor.  "In  my view,  today's
          holding dramatically departs from well-settled First Amendment jurisp-
          rudence, appears unnecessary to resolve the question presented, and is
          incompatible with our  Nation's fundamental  commitment to  individual
          religious  liberty." The free exercise of religion, O'Connor added, is
          a  "preferred constitutional activity,"  entitled to "heightened judi-
          cial scrutiny." The "Sherbert" Test, she continued, has worked well to
          "strike  sensible balances  between  religious liberty  and  competing
          state interests."

                Justices Harry A. Blackmun, William  J. Brennan Jr. and Thurgood
          Marshall indicated  agreement with  O'Connor's opinion, although  they
          said  they  would have  gone further  and  upheld the  Native American
          Church  members' claim. The  court's liberal wing  criticized the maj-
          ority for "mischaracterizing this  Court's precedents" and engaging in
          a  "wholesale  overturning  of  settled law  concerning  the  Religion
          Clauses of our Constitution."

                Wrote Blackmun, "One hopes that the Court is aware of the conse-
          quences, and  that its result is not a product of over-reaction to the
          serious problems the country's drug crisis has generated."
             
                The  justice insisted that ritual peyote use by Native Americans
          could be tolerated  without jeopardizing the nation's campaign to curb
          drug abuse. He  noted that  the federal government  allowed the  Roman
          Catholic Church to employ sacramental  wine at masses during  Prohibi-
          tion.

                  Said Blackmun, "Ido notbelieve the Foundersthought theirdearly
          bought freedom from religious persecution a 'luxury,' but an essential
          element  of liberty--and  they  could not  have thought  religious in-
          tolerance 'unavoidable,' for they drafted the Religion Clauses precis-
          ely in order to avoid that intolerance."

                Even though the case dealt with the sensitive issue of drug use,
          several  religious organizations  had sided  with the  Native American
          Church members, most notably the American Jewish Congress, which filed
          a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Smith and Black.

                "For all practical purposes, a majority of the Supreme Court has
          eliminated  the Free Exercise clause  of the First  Amendment from our
          Bill of Rights," said AJC Executive Director Henry Siegman.

                "The court's decision in the peyote case can have the most  far-
          reaching consequences for all religions, but primarily for   religious
          minorities," continued  Siegman. "It is precisely  such minorities the
          Bill of  Rights sought to protect, for it is they who are particularly
          vulnerable to the depredations of momentary and localized majorities."

                Three  weeks after the  decision the AJC  and an extraordinarily
          diverse  coalition of  religious and  civil liberties  groups  filed a
          petition for  rehearing before the  Supreme Court. The  petition urged
          the justices to hear the case again so the organizations will have the
          opportunity to address their  free exercise concerns in friend-of-the-
          court briefs.


                                                                            1729
             

                Groups joining the  AJC include: the Baptist  Joint Committee on
          Public  Affairs, the National  Council of  Churches, the  National As-
          sociation of  Evangelicals, People  for  the American  Way, the  Pres-
          byterian  Church  U.S.A.,  the  American Civil  Liberties  Union,  the
          Christian Legal Society, the American Jewish Committee, the Unitarian-
          Universalist  Association, the  General Conference of  the Seventh-day
          Adventist Church, the Worldwide Church of God and the Lutheran Church,
          Missouri  Synod. Americans United  for Separation of  Church and State
          also signed the petition.

                Attorney OliverS. Thomas of theBaptist Joint Committee saidit is
          important that religious  and civil liberties  groups have the  oppor-
          tunity  to express  their  views to  the  court. He  said the  court's
          abandonment of the "Sherbert" Test could have a wide impact.

                "Taxation ofchurch assets, regulationof church schoolsand child-
          care centers, zoning and other land-use questions are all areas of the
          law  where we've  relied upon  the compelling  state interest  test to
          provide  churches with  exemptions,"  Thomas told  the Baptist  Press.
          "With a stroke of his  pen, Justice Scalia has overturned 27  years of
          legal precedent and  made the 'first  liberty' a constitutional  step-
          child."

                The Rutherford  Institute, a  conservative legal aid  group that
          frequently litigates  free exercises cases,  was also dismayed  by the
          ruling. Said Institute President  John W. Whitehead in a  press state-
          ment, "Justice Scalia's  opinion rejects the notion that free exercise
          of religion  is a preferred  right. Rather,  in most situations  it is
          valid only when coupled with another constitutional right.

                "Armed  with this opinion, a state may draft a law that violates
          religious liberty,  claim it  is `religiously  neutral' and  those af-
          fected by it may have no recourse under the Constitution."

                Constitutional scholars wereparticularly amazed that themajority
          in the peyote case  relied heavily on "Minersville School  District v.
          Gobitis," a  1940 Supreme Court  decision that said  Jehovah's Witness
          children  in  public schools  could be  forced  to say  the  Pledge of
          Allegiance.  "Gobitis" was  overturned three years  later in  the "Ba-
          rnette" decision and has been roundly criticized ever  since as one of
          the court's biggest mistakes.
             
                    Observed Douglas Laycock, law professor at the University of
          Texas, "The court  repeatedly quotes "Gobitis" without noting  that it
          was  overruled in "Barnette," and  without noting that  it triggered a
          nationwide outburst  of violence  against Jehovah' s  Witnesses. Until
          the opinion in this case, "Gobitis" was thoroughly discredited."

                But not all courtwatchers were chagrined by the ruling. Jules B.
          Gerard, a constitutional law professor at Washington University in St.
          Louis, told Religious News Service  there has been a lot of  overreac-
          tion. Gerard  said the decision  "overturns very  little" and  accused
          those who have protested it of "hysterical talk."

                Bruce Fein,  a conservative  constitutional  scholar, went  even
          further,  applauding the ruling in a column in "The Washington Times."
          Fein  wrote, "It  is both counter-intuitive  and contrary  to American
          political experience to suppose the "Smith" ruling portends an epitaph
          for  religious tolerance  and  accommodation  in generally  applicable


                                                                            1730
          

          legislative enactments. And  when religion must yield  to secular law,
          the former continues to prosper."
             
                Fein went on to saythat religions can drop fundamentaltenets and
          still survive, pointing out that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-
          day  Saints  (the  Mormons) in  1890  dumped  its  support for  plural
          marriage after the  Supreme Court  refused to allow  the practice  for
          religious reasons.
             
                  Conservative columnist  George Will also was  pleased with the
          "Smith" decision.  "A central purpose of  America's political arrange-
          ments is the subordination of religion to the political order, meaning
          the primacy  of democracy,"  he observed.  "The  Founders, like  Locke
          before  them, wished to tame and domesticate religious passions of the
          sort that convulsed Europe....Hence, religion is  to be perfectly free
          as  long as it is perfectly private--mere  belief--but it must bend to
          the political will (law) as regards conduct."
             
                However, Dr.  Robert L. Maddox, executive  director of Americans
          United  for Separation of Church and State, said the "Smith" ruling is
          cause for concern.
             
                "If a majority ofthe justices did not believe theNative American
          Church members  had a valid  claim, they could  have rejected  them by
          relying on  the doctrine of  compelling state interest,"  said Maddox.
          "But  a majority chose to  go much further,  effectively weakening the
          protection the court has extended to religious free exercise.

                "We  are concerned," he continued, "that this ruling will have a
          negative effect on minority religions. Mainstream faiths will probably
          have  little  difficulty getting  the  exemptions  they need;  smaller
          groups with less political influence will  have a tougher time of  it.
          That is unfortunate. Religious freedom should  not be left to the whim
          of state and federal lawmakers.
             
                "No one wants anarchy in the name of religion," he added, "but d
          we really want more  and more government regulation of  religion? What
          bothers  us  most is  the movement  away  from individual  liberty and
          toward statism--whatever the government wants, goes."
             
                The decision  has already  had a  practical consequence  for one
          minority  faith. Just six days after the "Smith" ruling, the justices,
          by a  7-2 vote,  ordered the Minnesota  Supreme Court to  reconsider a
          recent decision it made exempting an Amish group from complying with a
          highway safety law.

                Members of theOld Order Amish had protesteda state law requiring
          them to display orange safety triangles on their horse-drawn  buggies.
          The Amish said  the bright  symbols violated their  belief in a  plain
          lifestyle. The  Minnesota high court  agreed in  1989, but now  may be
          forced to reverse the "State v. Hershberger" decision  in light of the
          "Smith" ruling.
             
                In Eugene, Ore.,  meanwhile, Al Smith has  no more faith  in the
          courts. After  joining about 100 people  in a protest of  the decision
          that bears  his name at a Eugene federal building April 20, Smith told
          reporters  he  is  backing  proposed legislation  suggested  by  state
          representative Jim


                                                                            1731
             

                Edmunson of Eugene thatwould allow Native Americans touse peyote
          in religious rituals in Oregon. If that fails, Smith  said, the Oregon
          Supreme Court  could decide Native American peyote  use is permissible
          under the state constitution.
             
                Smith told"Church & State" heis also working withNative American
          groups  in the  United States  that are  considering filing  a protest
          before the International  Court of Justice (commonly called  the World
          Court) in The Hague, Netherlands.
             
                "The UnitedStates is saying theoriginal people of thisland can't
          worship," Smith told Church & State. "We  were worshipping a long time
          before the white man ever set foot on this turtle island. 

                "The issue  is not dead, by no means," continued Smith. "I'm not
          giving up; I have committed no crime. It's not  a crime to pray in the
          old way."
             
                KOYAANISQATSI ko.yan.nis.qatsi(from theHopi Language) n.1. crazy
          life.  2.life in turmoil. 3. life out of balance. 4. life disintegrat-
          ing. 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.

             __________________
            
                Excerpts from the following article analyzing the effects the US
          Supreme Court  ruling on the Native American Church's use of peyote as
          being illegal:
             --------------------------------
            
                  Native American churchmembers stripped oftheir rights underthe
          Constitution are now subject to the will of the legislative  branch of
          our  state and federal governments.  Not an enviable  place for Indian
          people;  as  a distinct  racial  and religious  minority  Indians have
          always had an uphill  struggle in the halls of Congress  and elsewhere
          to have their rights recognized and respected.
             
                  The legislativebranch ofany governmentis anexceedingly unusual
          place for individuals  to look  to have their  rights under the  First
          Amendment vindicated. Courts are traditionally looked to as protectors
          of these rights, against  majoritarian legislatures. Justice O'Connor,
          in  a separate  concurring  opinion which  joined  the result  of  the
          majority but sharply criticized  its method, reasoned that  "the First
          Amendment  was  enacted precisely  to  protect  those whose  religious
          practices  are not  shared  by the  majority and  may  be viewed  with
          hostility."

                As a result of "Smith," minority religions,  in Justice Scalia's
          opinion, may be at a disadvantage in the political arena. But that is,
          in his  estimation, "an unavoidable consequence  of democratic govern-
          ment," preferable  to "a system in which each conscience is a law unto
          itself." Justice Scalia had  to strain to defend his  decision, citing
          the need to prevent "anarchy" in our democratic society. Indian

                people simply want to be left alone in our societyto worship the
          god of their choice. Is that  asking too much? The Court's decision in
          "Smith" strips Indians of their pride and integrity, and makes many of
          them criminals in  the eyes of  the law. Only  history will judge  the
          Court's decision in "Smith;" but for now the remote specter of anarchy
          may very well have been the preferred choice.


                                                                            1732
          


                                                                            1733
          

             ------------------------

                The following article appearedin the Spring 1990 issueof "Native
          American  Rights  Fund  Legal Review",  a  publication  of  the Native
          American Rights Fund,
                1506 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302, andis reprinted here w/permis-
          sion.
             ------------------------
             
          Supreme Court Deals Devastating Blow to Native American Church 

          by Steve Moore 
             
             
                On Tuesday, April 17,1990, the United States SupremeCourt struck
          a gut wrenching blow to the  religious lives of many of this country's
          Native Americans,  in a decision which invites the return to an era of
          religious  persecution one  would  hope a  presumably enlightened  and
          tolerant society such as ours had  left behind. In the case of "Oregon
          Department  of Employment  v. Alfred  Smith," Justice  Antonin Scalia,
          writing  for a five member  majority, and describing  the First Amend-
          ment's Free Exercise Clause as little more than a "negative protection
          accorded to religious belief," held that a member of a religious faith
          may  not challenge under the free  exercise clause of the First Amend-
          ment  to  the  United  States Constitution  a  legislature's  criminal
          enactment of otherwise general application which produces infringement
          on  a particular religious practice. In the "Smith" case this amounted
          to a  challenge to the constitutionality  of an Oregon drug  law which
          the Court Interpreted as a general criminal prohibition on all uses of
          the drug peyote, considered  by Indian members of the  Native American
          Church as an essential sacrament, the physical embodiment of the Great
          Spirit.
             
                The Native  American Church,  which claims over  250,000 members
          nationwide, and additional Indian  practitioners in Canada and Mexico,
          and  which can be traced  back archaeologically several thousand years
          in North America,  was not absolutely destroyed  or driven underground
          by the Court's action. The Court did not go so far as to rule that any
          state  or  federal law  exempting  the religious,  sacramental  use of
          peyote was an unconstitutional establishment of religion, at the other
          end of the  religion clauses of  the First Amendment.  In the  Court's
          terms,  a  peyote exemption,  while  constitutionally  *permitted*, is
          neither constitutionally  *required* or  *prohibited*. A kind  of con-
          stitutional limbo-land for the Native American Church and its members.

                In real terms the decision leaves the fate ofthe peyote religion
          to the whim of majoritarian  legislatures and Congress. Eleven  states
          currently have  exemptions on the statute books  protecting the relig-
          ion;  another twelve tie their exemption to a federal Drug Enforcement
          Agency  regulation which  rests on  questionable foundation  since the
          decision. A small handful of states,  notably California and Nebraska,
          in which are  located some of  the largest Indian and  Native American
          Church populations,  have based  their protection on  court decisions.
          The  others,  and the  federal  government through  Congress,  have no
          statutory or  common   law protection.  Indian reservation  lands will
          provide some  safe  haven from  possible prosecution,  given the  par-
          ticular  Public Law 280 configuration in any given state, but problems
          of transportation  of the sacrament  into Indian country  through "il-
          legal" territory will reduce peyote  ceremonies to complex and danger-
          ous liaisons.


                                                                            1734
             

                Native American church members strippedof their rights under the
          Constitution are now subject to the will of the  legislative branch of
          our  state and federal governments.  Not an enviable  place for Indian
          people;  as a  distinct  racial and  religious  minority Indians  have
          always  had an uphill struggle in the  halls of Congress and elsewhere
          to have their rights recognized and respected.
             
                The legislative branchof any government is anexceedingly unusual
          place for  individuals to look  to have their  rights under the  First
          Amendment vindicated. Courts are traditionally looked to as protectors
          of these rights, against majoritarian legislatures. Justice  O'Connor,
          in  a separate  concurring  opinion which  joined  the result  of  the
          majority but sharply criticized  its method, reasoned that "the  First
          Amendment  was  enacted precisely  to  protect  those whose  religious
          practices are  not shared  by  the majority  and  may be  viewed  with
          hostility."

                A  noted scholar of Indian law and philosopher, Felix Cohen, was
          quoted several decades  ago as  saying: "Like the  miner's canary  the
          Indian marks  the shifts from fresh air to poison gas in our political
          atmosphere; and our treatment of Indians, even more than our treatment
          of  other minorities,  reflects the  rise and  fall in  our democratic
          faith " Cohen's  words become  even more prophetic  after the  Court's
          decision in "Smith."  The "Smith"  decision may  perhaps portend  even
          greater persecution  for other  forms of Indian  religious expression.
          Examples  which come  to mind  include: the  wearing  of long  hair by
          Indian  students in public schools, and by Indian prisoners in federal
          and state prisons; missing school on a regular basis for cultural/rel-
          igious  ceremonial purposes; the taking of game by Indians out season,
          when not otherwise protected by treaty; burning wood to heat rocks for
          sweat- lodge ceremonies, when  burning is otherwise outlawed by  local
          ordinance during times of high pollution; and body piercing as part of
          the Sun Dance  ceremony. If  these forms of  religious expression  are
          otherwise prohibited by general criminal laws, the First  Amendment no
          longer  provides a basis from which to claim protection from religious
          infringement. As with peyote  use, reservation boundaries will provide
          a buffer  from the application of  state law, except  where Public Law
          280 legitimizes intrusion.
             
                As a  result of "Smith," minority religions, in Justice Scalia's
          opinion, may be at a disadvantage in the political arena. But that is,
          in his  estimation, "an unavoidable consequence  of democratic govern-
          ment," preferable to "a system in  which each conscience is a law unto
          itself." Justice Scalia had  to strain to defend his  decision, citing
          the need to prevent "anarchy" in our democratic society. Indian people
          simply  want to  be left alone  in our  society to worship  the god of
          their choice. Is that asking too much? The Court's decision in "Smith"
          strips  Indians of their pride and   integrity, and makes many of them
          criminals in the eyes of the  law. Only history will judge the Court's
          decision in  "Smith;" but for  now the  remote specter of  anarchy may
          very well have been the preferred choice.


                                                                            1735
          


          Statement From Pacific Northwest Church Leaders 
                           Who Support Indian Religious Rights 
             
            Re: Employment Division, State of Oregon v. Al Smith, Galen  Black,
          88-1213 
             -----------------
            
                  The recentU.S. Supreme Court decisionregarding the sacramental
          use  of peyote in Native  American religious rites  is unfortunate and
          deeply  disappointing. We  support the  right of  Native Americans  to
          practice their religion  as they  have for centuries.  We concur  with
          Justice  Harry Blackmun,  who  writing  for  the dissent,  called  the
          decision  a  "wholesale  overturning  of settled  law  concerning  the
          religious clauses  of our Constitution." The  decision jeopardizes the
          fundamental right of all citizens to exercise freedom of religion free
          from government  restraint.  We  will  continue to  work  with  Native
          Americans to help them protect their religious rights.
             
          The Most Rev. Raymond  G. Huthausen Archbishop of Seattle  Roman Cath-
          olic Archdiocese of Seattle

          The Right Rev. Vincent W. Warner, Bishop Episcopal Diocese of Olympia

          The  Most  Rev. Thomas  Murphy,  Coadjutor  Archbishop Roman  Catholic
          Archdiocese of Seattle

          The Rev.  John Boonstra, Executive Minister  Washington Association of
          Churches

          The Rev.  Calvin D. McConnell, Bishop United  Methodist Church Pacific
          NW Conference

          The  Rev.  W.  James Halfaker,  Conference  Minister  Washington-Idaho
          Conference United Church of Christ

          The  Rev.  Lowell  Knutson,  Bishop NW  Washington  Synod  Evangelical
          Lutheran Church In America

          The Rev. Dr.  William B.  Cate, President Director  Church Council  of
          Greater Seattle

          The  Rev.  Gaylord  Hasselblad,  Executive Minister  American  Baptist
          Churches of the Northwest

          These church leaders issued an apology to  Indians that was carried in
          the Winter 1988 NAF Legal Review


                                                                            1736


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