Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Put the Crystal Ball Down and Come Out with Your Hands Up...

Last month, new age practitioners breathed a sigh of relief in Vermont. A 1966 ban on fortunetelling was lifted in the town of St. Johnsbury on August 21st. Among the many acts deemed illegal by the former law were tarot reading, palmistry, and even feng shui.

Many communities across the country, from Oklahoma to Washington, D.C. to Florida, have similar laws on the books in an effort to prevent fraud. Arguably, these could also be considered infringements of freedom of religion in many cases.

Last year, Livingston Parish in Louisiana officially outlawed fortunetelling. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania discovered a forgotten law and cracked down on tarot readers, crystal gazers, astrologers, and psychics, closing businesses across the city.

Yet Scientology, with its belief in alien beings forming humanity and returning to earth one day, remains protected by religious freedom.

We may all have our opinions of different practices, but everything from psychics to ghosts to voodoo is a part of our culture: our human makeup. If Ebay can sell a grilled cheese Virgin Mary effigy for thousands of dollars, is there really anything inherently wrong with someone asking for a few bucks for a palm reading?

It may not last as long, but there's no worry of mold from it killing you...


Anonymous said...

I say let things be and let people practice and believe as they wish. And quit going after every stinking little law possible just because one person doesn't agree.

Jeanne said...

Loved the post. People are so narrowminded!
And Ken Did you change the resolution of the blog or something? It seems easier for these old eyes to read. And, forgive the Short Term Memory loss, is that a new pic of yourself?
I'm a little wonked out. Finally finished the first draft of the wip that's overdue; had to scramble to fill in on my Blog cause my guest went missing and I haven't had much sleep lately!
Hope your writing is going better than mine!

Cullan Hudson said...

It's a long-held tradition in the ancient Gypsy culture, for example, to pay silver or gold (money) for the reading of one's fortune. So, it could be argued that such attempts are bigoted and racist.