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US appeal court declares that Freemasonry is a religion: CEN 10.19.07 p 6. October 18, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Freemasonry/Secret Societies.
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Freemasonry is a religion a California appeals court ruled on Oct 3, and its adherents must be given equal standing as other faiths under US law.  In a case involving the Los Angeles Scottish Rite Cathedral and the City of Los Angeles, the Seventh District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles held it could not distinguish between “the earnest pursuit of [Masonic] principles … from more widely acknowledged modes of religious exercise” such as Christianity or Judaism.

The Court was asked to hear the Freemasons appeal of a lower court’s ruling that the City of Los Angeles could regulate the use of the Masonic cathedral. The Scottish Rite Freemasons argued that while they were not a formal “religion”, their property should however be exempted from government regulation to the same degree that churches were exempted so as to allow them the free “religious exercise”.

They cited the US Federal law the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 in support of their contention, saying it prohibits a government from implementing a land use regulation in a way that “imposes a substantial burden” on one’s “religious exercise.”

The Court held that it could find “no decisions analyzing whether Masonic practices are sufficiently religious in nature to qualify for protection” under law.

However it used the test adopted by the courts in the case of the US v Meyers that presented a five-pronged test in defining whether a creed or belief was a “religious belief” and determined it was a religion.

“Although Freemasonry does not identify itself as a religion” the Court stated “it plainly fosters principles and practices that resemble religious exercise.”

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1. US appeal court declares that Freemasonry is a religion: CEN 10.19.07 p 6. - Freemason Hall Community - January 17, 2008

[...] US appeal court declares that Freemasonry is a religion: CEN 10.19.07 p 6. Freemasonry is a religion a California appeals court ruled on Oct 3, and its adherents must be given equal standing as other faiths under US law. In a case involving the Los Angeles Scottish Rite Cathedral and the City of Los Angeles, the Seventh District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles held it could not distinguish between the earnest pursuit of [Masonic] principles from more widely acknowledged modes of religious exercise such as Christianity or Judaism. The Court was asked to hear the Freemasons appeal of a lower courts ruling that the City of Los Angeles could regulate the use of the Masonic cathedral. The Scottish Rite Freemasons argued that while they were not a formal religion, their property should however be exempted from government regulation to the same degree that churches were exempted so as to allow them the free religious exercise. Read More [...]

2. Christian » Comment on US appeal court declares that Freemasonry is a religion … - January 17, 2008

[...] spirituality007 wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptUS appeal court declares that Freemasonry is a religion: CEN 10.19.07 p 6. Freemasonry is a religion a California appeals court ruled on Oct 3, and its adherents must be given equal standing as other faiths under US law. … [...]


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