Spiritual Experience

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Have you ever felt like you were paralyzed while falling asleep? Have you ever felt a hand grasp you or experienced levitating over your bed ? How about a strange tingling sensation that began covering your body? Certain people at some point in life’s journey have experienced such spiritual contact. Most people can recall having an out of body experience or some other unexplainable event. A common occurrence is having a strong sensation that someone is standing at the foot of your bed or even seeing someone there. Also, feeling a hand grab you, the “touch of a velvet glove” or a thick dark liquid like substance covering your body. If you have had such visitations you are either ready to take it further or real scared or both!

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Particular spirits work with specific people, it is the mission of these spirits to help those who have the potential of attaining Immortality through the dream world. These spirits have a symbiotic relationship with humans that can be enhanced by training us to enter their realms. In other words this whole religious idea of attaining heaven and immortality is part of the creators plan for human’s potential. When one has the potential for such work, the spirit of the earth and other immortals will test the prospective apprentice. This can happen through having flying dreams, lucid dreams and other indescribable phenomenon.

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A big issue people have with this theory is the question of why fear plays a part of this process. Fear is seen as a negative force and generally as a natural warning of danger. Fear is also a necessary defense mechanism, one that is needed in order to survive on the other side. In the same way that danger exists in this world, dangers and predatory forces exist on the path to the other worlds. It is common for the spirits to stop working with an apprentice who becomes fearless. A soul traveler with out a healthy sense of fear has no survival value on the other side. The spirits will not train someone who has no sense of fear. It is crucial for a student of astral travel to be able to detect danger.

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Japan’s Ainu Bear Ceremony

This issue presents a contradiction in the minds of many spiritual seekers. The perception of good and evil is confused with other things. The only true force of evil in the universe is human ignorance. Then there are things that are harmful to us, things that are bad for us. Cats are bad for mice, this does not mean that cats are evil. Some natural beings and animals are harmful to us here in this world, likewise in the other realms some beings may seek to devour us. These beings are no different than earthly predators. These beings are the same as animals and are otherwise innocent. Sharks that eat people are not evil, they are hungry and it is useful for us to fear them.There is no organized force of evil other than the ignorance of mankind.

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I think the concept of good and evil came about among the mystics and magicians of the past. It was a code of conduct for retaining and cultivating spiritual energy, something that is essential for lucid dreaming and out of body travel. One can easily see that the earths’ population of people desperately needs a code of ethical conduct, this has nothing to do with the ancient art of spiritual assention and it’s do’s and don’t’s.

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One of the greatest spiritual tests that can confront a prospective immortal is if you are shown some thing so wonderful, like a physical teleportation through a dream, will you seek to duplicate the experience? Oftentimes things are done to us to make us seek, call it inspiration. A person can be taken out of their body and shown how to fly. Such an experience is comparable to a baby having a dream of walking. We learn to walk in this life, walking is a useful tool after you have past through the veil of this world, flying is even more useful. Everything we learn in this life can be thought of as tools for the afterlife.

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Far more valuable than flying or sensing danger is the act of sustaining a lucid dream and maintaining the dream. The art of sustaining the energy of a dream is the cornerstone of physical immortality. In order to preform such a task one needs perceptual energy otherwise known as detachment, will, motivation, a sense of purpose and unshakable determination. In the early stages of dream work a person is usually tested to see if they know weather or not they are dreaming. To be aware that you are dreaming is the first step of consciously dreaming.

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This is a type of dream you are experiencing now. To put the same attention to your sleeping dreams as your awake life is paramount to walking into another dimension. The problem arises in the dream world is that we tend to return to this world, or wake up. The significance of sustaining and maintaining a dream is that you could conceivably do so indefinitely. Another facet of this process is the concept of blending the dream world with the awake world. If you can fly in a lucid dream, you can conceivably merge the dream world with the awake world and fly here. This is the key to magic, the miraculous.

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For thousands of years people have been known to be able to preform miraculous deeds, turning into animals, flying across the sky on a broom or on a flying carpet. Oftentimes these acts were performed with the aid of mind altering substances. Things that meld the dream and reality together in such a way that they are indistinguishable from “reality”. Perception is what we sustain our life’s reality with. We “are” because we are aware. It is perception which upholds this reality as well as the dream. If you put your attention on science and it’s reductionist assumptions you will likewise fall into it’s limitations.

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Obviously any substance which acts upon the human body in such a way is of little use to those who seek to survive beyond the physical body. Such substances have served ancient seekers and modern alike to break through perceptual boundary’s. Such things are counterproductive when they become indispensable and can damage one’s ability to sustain a dream’s energy. Controlled substances use dream energy, they are catalysts for our existing energy, not sources of energy. Your ability to naturally sustain awareness in a dream depends largely upon the amount of potential energy given to you through your parents act of conception during copulation. The key to proper spiritual cultivation is a sense of aspiration, an uplifting sense of beauty and celestial spender. To seek to emulate the heavens, symmetry and order. In essence this is the act of forming alliances with the divine, making friends of angels.

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This process is no different from how you make good friends here on earth. By showing charity, having faith, by always having hope, being strong, by practicing moderation, being just and by being a balanced person. What impresses angelic beings the most is to aspire to the point of defying the boundaries of this reality. It’s impressive when someone wins an Olympic medal, a lot of people will be attracted to you for such an achievement. Similarly, in the spiritual realm, a meditation feat of Olympic proportions will impress the gods and goddesses and may enlist their help. Meditation, austerity and self sacrifice can be seen as as a way of proving yourself more than the means to go beyond this reality. A magician who walks through walls does so with the help of spirits. A yogi mystic who can levitate does not do so under his own steam, these things are done with the help of friends.

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It is of utmost importance to avoid being judgmental. We should discern by having healthy boundaries. We should not be in judgement of anyone practicing magic of any form, for at this point in human history, it is far better for a person to overcome the limitations of reason than to remain in the darkness and ignorance of the mundane. As was mentioned earlier in this article, true evil is the dismal ignorance of mankind and the disbelief that we possess a spirit. It is they who are lost. Witchcraft and sorcery can no longer be classified as unproductive. Especially if it may lead to some form of liberation no matter how crude, such things are on the brink of extinction! It seems we are on the verge of becoming a race of atheistic zombies.

What tools does an atheist have for the afterlife? There is the knowledge of walking, of moving about and that is real important. It seems that most atheists stay put after their demise. This results in metaphysical entropy, the breaking down of the soul and the losing of ones will. With out the will, the soul becomes a ghost, a spiritual zombie, such beings, without receiving attention, will eventually stop moving entirely.

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If you experience a shockingly vivid experience in dreams or between dreams, take full advantage the moment! If some force grabs you in the night let it take you. Don’t feel shame in your fear of the unknown, bask in it. Strive with all your might to overcome the fate of the unbeliever. Reach out to god, to rise above the limitations of the profane and fly to the heavenly realms.

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Children

Children are sacred and are exempt from all religious rules and dogma. No one should put ever put religion or spirituality before children. Contrary to a lot of faiths, we should strive to see the divine through the children and never compromise their comfort for our spiritual indulgence. Children should contribute to religion through their example of connection to nature and with their innocent spirit. We the adults have much to learn from the spontaneity and honesty of kids, especially in terms of the unknown realms of the spirit.

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Children should not be forced to endure any kind of indoctrination or molestation of any kind. Kids should not be taught about religion of any kind, they should be entertained through stories and songs. They should be taught about nature, plants and animals, the natural world. Especially in the city it is important to talk about nature and how, for thousands of years, people lived. If a kid asks you what you believe then you should tell them. If they reply in some coy or irreverent way, consider their wisdom carefully. The children’s reaction to dogma may provide valuable clues to the truths of the spiritual path.

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Have fun with kids and don’t impose any belief structure upon any of them. It is our job as parents to protect their sanctity and to learn from them. If we indoctrinate them into a faith they may never have the chance to accept a better path when it does come along. Teach them to keep an open mind while at the same time questioning authority. They should rely on their own impressions of divinity from within their own hearts. It is more valuable that they be inquisitive than faithful. It is better for them to freely doubt than to blindly trust and that goes for us adults as well.

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Warn the children of danger, tell them the difference between the divine and human traditions. In terms of spirituality tell them to rely upon natures’ instruction rather than peoples instruction. You can explain why things are done a certain way but do not suppose that any book or persons teaching is above the creations’ wisdom. Do not assume that your child shares your spiritual tendency. Not every one is destined to walk the Red Road (spiritual path), but know that all our interactions with children is a divinely guided test. They are here to remind us of the truth and innocence that is inherent in the creation, especially before we, as adults, judge and label it.

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Our church is dedicated to to the free minds of our children. If they think what we do is silly, then we should find out why, they may be able to enlighten us! Too many children miss out on being kids because their parents were too busy with religious obligations. An adults’ belief in no holidays should not be imposed upon their children. Kids should not have to wait in the car while their parents preach from door to door. As spiritual people we must understand that the children are a divine blessing to us and we should never compromise their attention or safety for our spiritual practice. If you have children of your own, you have been bestowed with a divine mission. Children are the spiritual path of parents. Do not neglect the path that the creation has given you, instead, celebrate them as the keys to your spiritual affluence.

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The young ones are closer to the other side just as the elders are. they have a sacred perspective and sacred position in life. Some old habits and attitudes fall away from a person when he or she becomes the elder and wisdom is born. With the child no old habits or patterns are really there, so we can see another type of wisdom known as innocence. In our way of life the child and elder both are exempt of ritual protocol and rules. If the elders or children begin to express discomfort in ceremony we fix the problem, even if we have to skip that part of the ritual.ccsCCS

In Indigenous Culture there exists many different denominations, things are done a little bit differently everywhere. We are child oriented. At a community feast, some feed the leaders and elders first, we feed the children first. If a baby decides to crawl across the altar, we let them, It is a sacred and profound act to us. If an elders’ speech goes unheard because a baby is crying loudly, we will contemplate the deeper significance of this. The divinitory meanings, omens and divine humor that children add to the ceremonies overrides that of the leaders in a purely magical way. Children are pure magic and even in seemingly irreverent acts, they always bring spirituality into better focus.

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Ritual abuse is a serious problem in all cultures. It should be our responsibility as mature adults to grant them the dignity of freedom of choice in spiritual matters. In Indigenous American culture we must rely upon nature for direction, not books. It is important that we get instruction from spiritually advanced teachers, but trust above them what your divine parents show you. Your Mother Earth and Father Sky know much about what is right for you than any spiritual leader. A spiritual leader with integrity will give you the freedom to see the truth for your self and should be mature enough to know that you may receive a different message. In these ways we hear our elders and consider what they say, but do not assume that they are the absolute truth.kids!

NATIVE AMERICAN CHURCH – Higher Court Rulings

NATIVE AMERICAN CHURCH – Higher Court Rulings 

 

CENTRO ESPIRITA BENEFICENTE UNIAO DO VEGETAL (UDV) v. UNITED STATES – Unanimous Ruling, November 1, 2005

“The Supreme Court heard oral arguments November 1, 2005, and issued its opinion February 21, 2006, finding that the Government failed to meet its burden under RFRA that barring the substance served a compelling government interest.”

“The court also disagreed with the government’s central argument that the uniform application of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) does not allow for exceptions for the substance in this case, as Native Americans  are given exceptions to use Peyote, another Schedule I substance

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STATE OF UTAH SUPREME COURT UNANIMOUS RULING, June 22, 2004 – State of Utah v. James W. Mooney, aka James W.B.E. Mooney, Linda T. Mooney, and Oklevueha Earthwalks Native American Church of Utah, Inc.,  

“2 We therefore rule that the exemption is available to all members of the Native American Church

“We hold that the federal Religious Peyote Exemption found at 21 C.F.R. 1307.31 has been incorporated into the Utah Controlled Substances Act” 

“On its face, the federal regulation does not restrict the exemption to members of federally recognized tribes. We therefore rule that the exemption is available to all members of the Native American Church

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UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL OFFICE – Memorandum to the Drug Enforcement Administration – 12/07/2000  

“Our research has identified no religious organizations, other than the NAC, which would qualify for the exemption under these or similar procedural and substantive requirements.  It seems unlikely, therefore, that in practice the peyote exemption need be expanded beyond an exemption for the NAC.” 

“If, however, a group does appear which can establish that it is a bona fide religion in which the actual use of peyote is central to established religious beliefs, practices, dogmas, or rituals, your agency is obligated to accord it the exemption under the current statutory scheme.”

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UNITED STATES TENTH FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS UNANIMOUS RULING, May 10, 1990 – United States v Robert Boyll
 
Nowhere is it even suggested that the exemption applies only to Indian members of the Native American Church.  Had the intention been to exclude non-Indian members, as the United States argues, the language of the exemption would have so clearly provided.  Indeed, the federal peyote exemption makes no reference whatsoever to a racial exclusion”  
“The District Court, Burciaga, Chief Judge, held that: (1) permitting Indians’ non-drug use of peyote in bona fide religious ceremonies of Native American church, but prohibiting such use by non-Indians, would violate free exercise and equal protection clauses; (2) compelling interest test applied to free exercise challenge to prosecution of non-Indian member, and (3) prosecution would violate free exercise clause. Motions granted..

 

 

CONSEQUENCES FOR VIOLATING THE CIVIL LIBERTIES OF FUEGO SAGRADO DE ITZACHILATLAN OF COLORADO NATIVE AMERICAN CHURCH OR IT’S MEMBERS.

CONSEQUENCES FOR VIOLATING THE CIVIL LIBERTIES OF Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado NATIVE AMERICAN CHURCH or it’s MEMBERs.

 

F.S.I.C. Corp official Seal

F.S.I.C. Corp official Seal

Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement Officers, Mayors, Council persons, Judges, Nursing Home Proprietors, Security Guards, etc. The named bearer of a FUEGO SAGRADO DE ITZACHILATLAN OF COLORADO Member has specific rights under the Titles below. Violation of those rights carries penalties as described. We honor you in your efforts to enforce Constitutional Law and offer this in a desire to help you in your responsibilities to do so.

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 241
This statute makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person of any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same).

It further makes it unlawful for two or more persons to go in disguise on the highway or on the premises of another with the intent to prevent or hinder his/her free exercise or enjoyment of any rights so secured. 

Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to ten years, or both; and if death results, or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years, or for life, or may be sentenced to death.


Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law
Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242
This statute makes it a crime for any person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom to willfully deprive or cause to be deprived from any person those rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution and laws of the U.S.

This law further prohibits a person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation or custom to willfully subject or cause to be subjected any person to different punishments, pains, or penalties, than those prescribed for punishment of citizens on account of such person being an alien or by reason of his/her color or race. 

Acts under “color of any law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the bounds or limits of their lawful authority, but also acts done without and beyond the bounds of their lawful authority; provided that, in order for unlawful acts of any official to be done under “color of any law,” the unlawful acts must be done while such official is purporting or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. This definition includes, in addition to law enforcement officials, individuals such as Mayors, Council persons, Judges, Nursing Home Proprietors, Security Guards, etc., persons who are bound by laws, statutes ordinances, or customs.

Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to one year, or both, and if bodily injury results or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire shall be fined or imprisoned up to ten years or both, and if death results, or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

18 USC CHAPTER 13 – CIVIL RIGHTS

CITE-    18 USC CHAPTER 13 – CIVIL RIGHTS                            01/03/2012 (112-90) –

EXPCITE-    TITLE 18 – CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE    PART I – CRIMES

CHAPTER 13 – CIVIL RIGHTS -HEAD-

CHAPTER 13 – CIVIL RIGHTS                      -MISC1-    Sec.

241.        Conspiracy against rights.

242.        Deprivation of rights under color of law.

243.        Exclusion of jurors on account of race or color.

244.        Discrimination against person wearing uniform of armed                 forces.

245.        Federally protected activities.

246.        Deprivation of relief benefits.

247.        Damage to religious property; obstruction of persons                 in the free exercise of religious beliefs.

248.        Freedom of access to clinic entrances.

249.        Hate crime acts.

AMENDMENTS

2009 – Pub. L. 111-84, div. E, Sec. 4707(b), Oct. 28, 2009, 123    Stat. 2841, added item 249.

1994 – Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, Sec. 330023(a)(1), Sept.    13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2150, substituted “Freedom of access to clinic    entrances” for “Blocking access to reproductive health services” in    item 248.      Pub. L. 103-259, Sec. 4, May 26, 1994, 108 Stat. 697, added item    248.

1988 – Pub. L. 100-690, title VII, Sec. 7018(b)(2), Nov. 18,    1988, 102 Stat. 4396, struck out “of citizens” after “rights” in    item 241.      Pub. L. 100-346, Sec. 3, June 24, 1988, 102 Stat. 645, added item    247.

1976 – Pub. L. 94-453, Sec. 4(b), Oct. 2, 1976, 90 Stat. 1517,    added item 246.      1968 – Pub. L. 90-284, title I, Sec. 102, Apr. 11, 1968, 82 Stat.    75, added item 245. -End-   -CITE-

18 USC Sec. 241                                             01/03/2012 (112-90) –

EXPCITE-    TITLE 18 – CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE    PART I – CRIMES

CHAPTER 13 – CIVIL RIGHTS -HEAD-    Sec. 241. Conspiracy against rights -STATUTE-      If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or    intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth,    Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any    right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of    the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the    premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured – They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in    violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life,    or both, or may be sentenced to death. -SOURCE-    (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 696; Pub. L. 90-284, title I,    Sec. 103(a), Apr. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 75; Pub. L. 100-690, title    VII, Sec. 7018(a), (b)(1), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4396; Pub. L.    103-322, title VI, Sec. 60006(a), title XXXII, Secs. 320103(a),    320201(a), title XXXIII, Sec. 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108    Stat. 1970, 2109, 2113, 2147; Pub. L. 104-294, title VI, Secs.    604(b)(14)(A), 607(a), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3507, 3511.)  -MISC1-                       HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES                         Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Sec. 51 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch.    321, Sec. 19, 35 Stat. 1092).      Clause making conspirator ineligible to hold office was omitted    as incongruous because it attaches ineligibility to hold office to    a person who may be a private citizen and who was convicted of    conspiracy to violate a specific statute. There seems to be no    reason for imposing such a penalty in the case of one individual    crime, in view of the fact that other crimes do not carry such a    severe consequence. The experience of the Department of Justice is    that this unusual penalty has been an obstacle to successful    prosecutions for violations of the act.      Mandatory punishment provision was rephrased in the alternative.      Minor changes in phraseology were made.                                 AMENDMENTS                                  1996 – Pub. L. 104-294, Sec. 607(a), substituted “any State,    Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District” for “any State,    Territory, or District” in first par.      Pub. L. 104-294, Sec. 604(b)(14)(A), repealed Pub. L. 103-322,    Sec. 320103(a)(1). See 1994 Amendment note below.      1994 – Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330016(1)(L), substituted “They    shall be fined under this title” for “They shall be fined not more    than $10,000″ in third par.      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 320201(a), substituted “person in any    State” for “inhabitant of any State” in first par.      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 320103(a)(2)-(4), in third par.,    substituted “results from the acts committed in violation of this    section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap,    aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual    abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title    or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both” for    “results, they shall be subject to imprisonment for any term of    years or for life”.      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 320103(a)(1), which provided for amendment    identical to Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330016(1)(L), above, was    repealed by Pub. L. 104-294, Sec. 604(b)(14)(A).      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 60006(a), substituted “, or may be    sentenced to death.” for period at end of third par.      1988 – Pub. L. 100-690 struck out “of citizens” after “rights” in    section catchline and substituted “inhabitant of any State,    Territory, or District” for “citizen” in text.      1968 – Pub. L. 90-284 increased limitation on fines from $5,000    to $10,000 and provided for imprisonment for any term of years or    for life when death results.                      EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1996 AMENDMENT                       Amendment by section 604(b)(14)(A) of Pub. L. 104-294 effective    Sept. 13, 1994, see section 604(d) of Pub. L. 104-294, set out as a    note under section 13 of this title.                        SHORT TITLE OF 1996 AMENDMENT                         Pub. L. 104-155, Sec. 1, July 3, 1996, 110 Stat. 1392, provided    that: “This Act [amending section 247 of this title and section    10602 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, enacting    provisions set out as a note under section 247 of this title, and    amending provisions set out as a note under section 534 of Title    28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure] may be cited as the ‘Church    Arson Prevention Act of 1996′.” -End-   -CITE-    18 USC Sec. 242                                             01/03/2012 (112-90) -EXPCITE-    TITLE 18 – CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE    PART I – CRIMES    CHAPTER 13 – CIVIL RIGHTS -HEAD-    Sec. 242. Deprivation of rights under color of law -STATUTE-      Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation,    or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory,    Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any    rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the    Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different    punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being    an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed    for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or    imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury    results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if    such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a    dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this    title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death    results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if    such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated    sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or    an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned    for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to    death. -SOURCE-    (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 696; Pub. L. 90-284, title I,    Sec. 103(b), Apr. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 75; Pub. L. 100-690, title    VII, Sec. 7019, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4396; Pub. L. 103-322,    title VI, Sec. 60006(b), title XXXII, Secs. 320103(b), 320201(b),    title XXXIII, Sec. 330016(1)(H), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1970,    2109, 2113, 2147; Pub. L. 104-294, title VI, Secs. 604(b)(14)(B),    607(a), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3507, 3511.)  -MISC1-                       HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES                         Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Sec. 52 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch.    321, Sec. 20, 35 Stat. 1092).      Reference to persons causing or procuring was omitted as    unnecessary in view of definition of “principal” in section 2 of    this title.      A minor change was made in phraseology.                                 AMENDMENTS                                  1996 – Pub. L. 104-294, Sec. 607(a), substituted “any State,    Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District” for “any State,    Territory, or District”.      Pub. L. 104-294, Sec. 604(b)(14)(B), repealed Pub. L. 103-322,    Sec. 320103(b)(1). See 1994 Amendment note below.      1994 – Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330016(1)(H), substituted “shall be    fined under this title” for “shall be fined not more than $1,000″    after “citizens,”.      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 320201(b), substituted “any person in any    State” for “any inhabitant of any State” and “on account of such    person” for “on account of such inhabitant”.      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 320103(b)(2)-(5), substituted “bodily    injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section    or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use    of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under    this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if    death results from the acts committed in violation of this section    or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap,    aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual    abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or    imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both” for “bodily    injury results shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not    more than ten years, or both; and if death results shall be subject    to imprisonment for any term of years or for life”.      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 320103(b)(1), which provided for amendment    identical to Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330016(1)(H), above, was    repealed by Pub. L. 104-294, Sec. 604(b)(14)(B).      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 60006(b), inserted before period at end “,    or may be sentenced to death”.      1988 – Pub. L. 100-690 inserted “and if bodily injury results    shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten    years, or both;” after “or both;”.      1968 – Pub. L. 90-284 provided for imprisonment for any term of    years or for life when death results.                      EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1996 AMENDMENT                       Amendment by section 604(b)(14)(B) of Pub. L. 104-294 effective    Sept. 13, 1994, see section 604(d) of Pub. L. 104-294, set out as a    note under section 13 of this title. -End-   -CITE-    18 USC Sec. 243                                             01/03/2012 (112-90) -EXPCITE-    TITLE 18 – CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE    PART I – CRIMES    CHAPTER 13 – CIVIL RIGHTS -HEAD-    Sec. 243. Exclusion of jurors on account of race or color -STATUTE-      No citizen possessing all other qualifications which are or may    be prescribed by law shall be disqualified for service as grand or    petit juror in any court of the United States, or of any State on    account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude; and    whoever, being an officer or other person charged with any duty in    the selection or summoning of jurors, excludes or fails to summon    any citizen for such cause, shall be fined not more than $5,000. -SOURCE-    (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 696.)  -MISC1-                       HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES                         Based on section 44 of title 8, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Aliens and    Nationality (Mar. 1, 1875, ch. 114, Sec. 4, 18 Stat. 336).      Words “be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and” were deleted as    unnecessary in view of definition of misdemeanor in section 1 of    this title.      Words “on conviction thereof” were omitted as unnecessary, since    punishment follows only after conviction.      Minimum punishment provisions were omitted. (See reviser’s note    under section 203 of this title.)      Minor changes in phraseology were made. -End-   -CITE-    18 USC Sec. 244                                             01/03/2012 (112-90) -EXPCITE-    TITLE 18 – CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE    PART I – CRIMES    CHAPTER 13 – CIVIL RIGHTS -HEAD-    Sec. 244. Discrimination against person wearing uniform of armed      forces -STATUTE-      Whoever, being a proprietor, manager, or employee of a theater or    other public place of entertainment or amusement in the District of    Columbia, or in any Territory, or Possession of the United States,    causes any person wearing the uniform of any of the armed forces of    the United States to be discriminated against because of that    uniform, shall be fined under this title. -SOURCE-    (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 697; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, Sec.    5, 63 Stat. 90; Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, Sec. 330016(1)(G),    Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)  -MISC1-                       HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES                                                     1948 ACT                                   Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Sec. 523 (Mar. 1, 1911, ch.    187, 36 Stat. 963; Aug. 24, 1912, ch. 387, Sec. 1, 37 Stat. 512;    Jan. 28, 1915, ch. 20, Sec. 1, 38 Stat. 800).      Words “guilty of a misdemeanor”, following “shall be”, were    omitted as unnecessary in view of definition of “misdemeanor” in    section 1 of this title. (See reviser’s note under section 212 of    this title.)      Changes were made in phraseology.                                  1949 ACT                                   This section [section 5] substitutes, in section 244 of title 18,    U.S.C., “any of the armed forces of the United States” for the    enumeration of specific branches and thereby includes the Air    Force, formerly part of the Army. This clarification is necessary    because of the establishment of the Air Force as a separate branch    of the Armed Forces by the act of July 26, 1947.                                 AMENDMENTS                                  1994 – Pub. L. 103-322 substituted “fined under this title” for    “fined not more than $500″.      1949 – Act May 24, 1949, substituted “any of the armed forces of    the United States” for enumeration of the specific branches. -End-   -CITE-    18 USC Sec. 245                                             01/03/2012 (112-90) -EXPCITE-    TITLE 18 – CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE    PART I – CRIMES    CHAPTER 13 – CIVIL RIGHTS -HEAD-    Sec. 245. Federally protected activities -STATUTE-      (a)(1) Nothing in this section shall be construed as indicating    an intent on the part of Congress to prevent any State, any    possession or Commonwealth of the United States, or the District of    Columbia, from exercising jurisdiction over any offense over which    it would have jurisdiction in the absence of this section, nor    shall anything in this section be construed as depriving State and    local law enforcement authorities of responsibility for prosecuting    acts that may be violations of this section and that are violations    of State and local law. No prosecution of any offense described in    this section shall be undertaken by the United States except upon    the certification in writing of the Attorney General, the Deputy    Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General, or any Assistant    Attorney General specially designated by the Attorney General that    in his judgment a prosecution by the United States is in the public    interest and necessary to secure substantial justice, which    function of certification may not be delegated.      (2) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the    authority of Federal officers, or a Federal grand jury, to    investigate possible violations of this section.      (b) Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, by force    or threat of force willfully injures, intimidates or interferes    with, or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with –         (1) any person because he is or has been, or in order to      intimidate such person or any other person or any class of      persons from –           (A) voting or qualifying to vote, qualifying or campaigning        as a candidate for elective office, or qualifying or acting as        a poll watcher, or any legally authorized election official, in        any primary, special, or general election;          (B) participating in or enjoying any benefit, service,        privilege, program, facility, or activity provided or        administered by the United States;          (C) applying for or enjoying employment, or any perquisite        thereof, by any agency of the United States;          (D) serving, or attending upon any court in connection with        possible service, as a grand or petit juror in any court of the        United States;          (E) participating in or enjoying the benefits of any program        or activity receiving Federal financial assistance; or         (2) any person because of his race, color, religion or national      origin and because he is or has been –           (A) enrolling in or attending any public school or public        college;          (B) participating in or enjoying any benefit, service,        privilege, program, facility or activity provided or        administered by any State or subdivision thereof;          (C) applying for or enjoying employment, or any perquisite        thereof, by any private employer or any agency of any State or        subdivision thereof, or joining or using the services or        advantages of any labor organization, hiring hall, or        employment agency;          (D) serving, or attending upon any court of any State in        connection with possible service, as a grand or petit juror;          (E) traveling in or using any facility of interstate        commerce, or using any vehicle, terminal, or facility of any        common carrier by motor, rail, water, or air;          (F) enjoying the goods, services, facilities, privileges,        advantages, or accommodations of any inn, hotel, motel, or        other establishment which provides lodging to transient guests,        or of any restaurant, cafeteria, lunchroom, lunch counter, soda        fountain, or other facility which serves the public and which        is principally engaged in selling food or beverages for        consumption on the premises, or of any gasoline station, or of        any motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena,        stadium, or any other place of exhibition or entertainment        which serves the public, or of any other establishment which        serves the public and (i) which is located within the premises        of any of the aforesaid establishments or within the premises        of which is physically located any of the aforesaid        establishments, and (ii) which holds itself out as serving        patrons of such establishments; or         (3) during or incident to a riot or civil disorder, any person      engaged in a business in commerce or affecting commerce,      including, but not limited to, any person engaged in a business      which sells or offers for sale to interstate travelers a      substantial portion of the articles, commodities, or services      which it sells or where a substantial portion of the articles or      commodities which it sells or offers for sale have moved in      commerce; or        (4) any person because he is or has been, or in order to      intimidate such person or any other person or any class of      persons from –           (A) participating, without discrimination on account of race,        color, religion or national origin, in any of the benefits or        activities described in subparagraphs (1)(A) through (1)(E) or        subparagraphs (2)(A) through (2)(F); or          (B) affording another person or class of persons opportunity        or protection to so participate; or         (5) any citizen because he is or has been, or in order to      intimidate such citizen or any other citizen from lawfully aiding      or encouraging other persons to participate, without      discrimination on account of race, color, religion or national      origin, in any of the benefits or activities described in      subparagraphs (1)(A) through (1)(E) or subparagraphs (2)(A)      through (2)(F), or participating lawfully in speech or peaceful      assembly opposing any denial of the opportunity to so participate      –      shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than one    year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed    in violation of this section or if such acts include the use,    attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives,    or fire shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more    than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts    committed in violation of this section or if such acts include    kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an    attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill,    shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years    or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death. As used in this    section, the term “participating lawfully in speech or peaceful    assembly” shall not mean the aiding, abetting, or inciting of other    persons to riot or to commit any act of physical violence upon any    individual or against any real or personal property in furtherance    of a riot. Nothing in subparagraph (2)(F) or (4)(A) of this    subsection shall apply to the proprietor of any establishment which    provides lodging to transient guests, or to any employee acting on    behalf of such proprietor, with respect to the enjoyment of the    goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or    accommodations of such establishment if such establishment is    located within a building which contains not more than five rooms    for rent or hire and which is actually occupied by the proprietor    as his residence.      (c) Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to deter any    law enforcement officer from lawfully carrying out the duties of    his office; and no law enforcement officer shall be considered to    be in violation of this section for lawfully carrying out the    duties of his office or lawfully enforcing ordinances and laws of    the United States, the District of Columbia, any of the several    States, or any political subdivision of a State. For purposes of    the preceding sentence, the term “law enforcement officer” means    any officer of the United States, the District of Columbia, a    State, or political subdivision of a State, who is empowered by law    to conduct investigations of, or make arrests because of, offenses    against the United States, the District of Columbia, a State, or a    political subdivision of a State.      (d) For purposes of this section, the term “State” includes a    State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any    commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States. -SOURCE-    (Added Pub. L. 90-284, title I, Sec. 101(a), Apr. 11, 1968, 82    Stat. 73; amended Pub. L. 100-690, title VII, Sec. 7020(a), Nov.    18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4396; Pub. L. 101-647, title XII, Sec. 1205(b),    Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4830; Pub. L. 103-322, title VI, Sec.    60006(c), title XXXII, Sec. 320103(c), title XXXIII, Sec.    330016(1)(H), (L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1971, 2109, 2147; Pub.    L. 104-294, title VI, Sec. 604(b)(14)(C), (37), Oct. 11, 1996, 110    Stat. 3507, 3509.)  -MISC1-                                AMENDMENTS                                  1996 – Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104-294 amended Pub. L. 103-322, Sec.    320103(c). See 1994 Amendment notes below.      1994 – Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330016(1)(L),    substituted “shall be fined under this title” for “shall be fined    not more than $10,000″ before “, or imprisoned not more than ten    years” in concluding provisions.      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330016(1)(H), substituted “shall be fined    under this title” for “shall be fined not more than $1,000″ before    “, or imprisoned not more than one year” in concluding provisions.      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 320103(c)(4)-(6), in concluding provisions,    inserted “from the acts committed in violation of this section or    if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated    sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an    attempt to kill,” after “death results” and substituted “shall be    fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for    life, or both” for “shall be subject to imprisonment for any term    of years or for life”.      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 320103(c)(3), which provided for amendment    identical to Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330016(1)(L), above, was    repealed by Pub. L. 104-294, Sec. 604(b)(14)(C).      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 320103(c)(2), as amended by Pub. L. 104-    294, Sec. 604(b)(37), inserted “from the acts committed in    violation of this section or if such acts include the use,    attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives,    or fire” after “bodily injury results” in concluding provisions.      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 320103(c)(1), which provided for amendment    identical to Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330016(1)(H), above, was    repealed by Pub. L. 104-294, Sec. 604(b)(14)(C).      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 60006(c), in concluding provisions,    inserted “, or may be sentenced to death” before “. As used in this    section”.      1990 – Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 101-647 added subsec. (d).      1988 – Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 100-690 substituted “, the Deputy”    for “or the Deputy” and inserted “, the Associate Attorney General,    or any Assistant Attorney General specially designated by the    Attorney General” after “Deputy Attorney General”.                      EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1996 AMENDMENT                       Amendment by Pub. L. 104-294 effective Sept. 13, 1994, see    section 604(d) of Pub. L. 104-294, set out as a note under section    13 of this title.                                FAIR HOUSING                                 Section 101(b) of Pub. L. 90-284 provided that: “Nothing    contained in this section [enacting this section] shall apply to or    affect activities under title VIII of this Act [sections 3601 to    3619 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare].”     RIOTS OR CIVIL DISTURBANCES, SUPPRESSION AND RESTORATION OF LAW AND      ORDER; ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF               MILITARY SERVICE NOT SUBJECT TO THIS SECTION      Section 101(c) of Pub. L. 90-284 provided that: “The provisions    of this section [enacting this section] shall not apply to acts or    omissions on the part of law enforcement officers, members of the    National Guard, as defined in section 101(9) of title 10, United    States Code, members of the organized militia of any State or the    District of Columbia, not covered by such section 101(9), or    members of the Armed Forces of the United States, who are engaged    in suppressing a riot or civil disturbance or restoring law and    order during a riot or civil disturbance.” -End-   -CITE-    18 USC Sec. 246                                             01/03/2012 (112-90) -EXPCITE-    TITLE 18 – CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE    PART I – CRIMES    CHAPTER 13 – CIVIL RIGHTS -HEAD-    Sec. 246. Deprivation of relief benefits -STATUTE-      Whoever directly or indirectly deprives, attempts to deprive, or    threatens to deprive any person of any employment, position, work,    compensation, or other benefit provided for or made possible in    whole or in part by any Act of Congress appropriating funds for    work relief or relief purposes, on account of political    affiliation, race, color, sex, religion, or national origin, shall    be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than one year, or    both. -SOURCE-    (Added Pub. L. 94-453, Sec. 4(a), Oct. 2, 1976, 90 Stat. 1517;    amended Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, Sec. 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13,    1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)  -MISC1-                                AMENDMENTS                                  1994 – Pub. L. 103-322 substituted “fined under this title” for    “fined not more than $10,000″. -End-   -CITE-    18 USC Sec. 247                                             01/03/2012 (112-90) -EXPCITE-    TITLE 18 – CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE    PART I – CRIMES    CHAPTER 13 – CIVIL RIGHTS -HEAD-    Sec. 247. Damage to religious property; obstruction of persons in      the free exercise of religious beliefs -STATUTE-      (a) Whoever, in any of the circumstances referred to in    subsection (b) of this section –         (1) intentionally defaces, damages, or destroys any religious      real property, because of the religious character of that      property, or attempts to do so; or        (2) intentionally obstructs, by force or threat of force, any      person in the enjoyment of that person’s free exercise of      religious beliefs, or attempts to do so;     shall be punished as provided in subsection (d).      (b) The circumstances referred to in subsection (a) are that the    offense is in or affects interstate or foreign commerce.      (c) Whoever intentionally defaces, damages, or destroys any    religious real property because of the race, color, or ethnic    characteristics of any individual associated with that religious    property, or attempts to do so, shall be punished as provided in    subsection (d).      (d) The punishment for a violation of subsection (a) of this    section shall be –         (1) if death results from acts committed in violation of this      section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to      kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit      aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, a fine in      accordance with this title and imprisonment for any term of years      or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death;        (2) if bodily injury results to any person, including any      public safety officer performing duties as a direct or proximate      result of conduct prohibited by this section, and the violation      is by means of fire or an explosive, a fine under this title or      imprisonment for not more that 40 years, or both;        (3) if bodily injury to any person, including any public safety      officer performing duties as a direct or proximate result of      conduct prohibited by this section, results from the acts      committed in violation of this section or if such acts include      the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon,      explosives, or fire, a fine in accordance with this title and      imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both; and        (4) in any other case, a fine in accordance with this title and      imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.       (e) No prosecution of any offense described in this section shall    be undertaken by the United States except upon the certification in    writing of the Attorney General or his designee that in his    judgment a prosecution by the United States is in the public    interest and necessary to secure substantial justice.      (f) As used in this section, the term “religious real property”    means any church, synagogue, mosque, religious cemetery, or other    religious real property, including fixtures or religious objects    contained within a place of religious worship.      (g) No person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for any    noncapital offense under this section unless the indictment is    found or the information is instituted not later than 7 years after    the date on which the offense was committed. -SOURCE-    (Added Pub. L. 100-346, Sec. 1, June 24, 1988, 102 Stat. 644;    amended Pub. L. 103-322, title VI, Sec. 60006(d), title XXXII, Sec.    320103(d), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1971, 2110; Pub. L. 104-155,    Sec. 3, July 3, 1996, 110 Stat. 1392; Pub. L. 104-294, title VI,    Secs. 601(c)(3), 605(r), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3499, 3511; Pub.    L. 107-273, div. B, title IV, Sec. 4002(c)(1), (e)(4), Nov. 2,    2002, 116 Stat. 1808, 1810.)  -MISC1-                                AMENDMENTS                                  2002 – Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 107-273, Sec. 4002(c)(1), repealed    amendment by Pub. L. 107-273, Sec. 605(r). See 1996 Amendment note    below.      Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 107-273, Sec. 4002(e)(4), made technical    correction to directory language of Pub. L. 104-294, Sec.    601(c)(3). See 1996 Amendment note below.      1996 – Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104-155, Sec. 3(1), substituted    “subsection (d)” for “subsection (c) of this section” in concluding    provisions.      Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104-155, Sec. 3(3), added subsec. (b) and    struck out former subsec. (b) which read as follows: “The    circumstances referred to in subsection (a) are that –         “(1) in committing the offense, the defendant travels in      interstate or foreign commerce, or uses a facility or      instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce in interstate      or foreign commerce; and        “(2) in the case of an offense under subsection (a)(1), the      loss resulting from the defacement, damage, or destruction is      more than $10,000.”      Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104-155, Sec. 3(2), added subsec. (c).    Former subsec. (c) redesignated (d).      Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 104-294, Sec. 605(r), which directed the    substitution of “certification” for “notification” in subsec. (d),    was repealed by Pub. L. 107-273, Sec. 4002(c)(1).      Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 104-155, Sec. 3(2), redesignated subsec. (c)    as (d). Former subsec. (d) redesignated (e).      Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 104-155, Sec. 3(4)(C), added par. (2).    Former par. (2) redesignated (3).      Subsec. (d)(3). Pub. L. 104-155, Sec. 3(4)(A), (B), redesignated    par. (2) as (3), inserted “to any person, including any public    safety officer performing duties as a direct or proximate result of    conduct prohibited by this section,” after “bodily injury” and    substituted “20 years” for “ten years”. Former par. (3)    redesignated (4).      Subsec. (d)(4). Pub. L. 104-155, Sec. 3(4)(B), redesignated par.    (3) as (4).      Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 104-294, Sec. 601(c)(3), as amended by Pub.    L. 107-273, Sec. 4002(e)(4), substituted “certification” for    “notification”.      Pub. L. 104-155, Sec. 3(2), redesignated subsec. (d) as (e).    Former subsec. (e) redesignated (f).      Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 104-155, Sec. 3(2), (5), redesignated    subsec. (e) as (f), inserted “, including fixtures or religious    objects contained within a place of religious worship” before the    period, and substituted “religious real property” for “religious    property” in two places.      Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 104-155, Sec. 3(6), added subsec. (g).      1994 – Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 320103(d)(1),    inserted “from acts committed in violation of this section or if    such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated    sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an    attempt to kill” after “death results”.      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 60006(d), inserted “, or may be sentenced    to death” after “or both”.      Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 320103(d)(2), struck out    “serious” before “bodily” and inserted “from the acts committed in    violation of this section or if such acts include the use,    attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives,    or fire” after “injury results”.      Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 320103(d)(3), amended subsec.    (e) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (e) read as follows: “As    used in this section –         “(1) the term ‘religious real property’ means any church,      synagogue, mosque, religious cemetery, or other religious real      property; and        “(2) the term ‘serious bodily injury’ means bodily injury that      involves a substantial risk of death, unconsciousness, extreme      physical pain, protracted and obvious disfigurement, or      protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member,      organ, or mental faculty.”                      EFFECTIVE DATE OF 2002 AMENDMENT                       Pub. L. 107-273, div. B, title IV, Sec. 4002(c)(1), Nov. 2, 2002,    116 Stat. 1808, provided that the amendment made by section    4002(c)(1) is effective Oct. 11, 1996.      Pub. L. 107-273, div. B, title IV, Sec. 4002(e)(4), Nov. 2, 2002,    116 Stat. 1810, provided that the amendment made by section    4002(e)(4) is effective Oct. 11, 1996.                           CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS                            Section 2 of Pub. L. 104-155 provided that: “The Congress finds    the following:        “(1) The incidence of arson or other destruction or vandalism      of places of religious worship, and the incidence of violent      interference with an individual’s lawful exercise or attempted      exercise of the right of religious freedom at a place of      religious worship pose a serious national problem.        “(2) The incidence of arson of places of religious worship has      recently increased, especially in the context of places of      religious worship that serve predominantly African-American      congregations.        “(3) Changes in Federal law are necessary to deal properly with      this problem.        “(4) Although local jurisdictions have attempted to respond to      the challenges posed by such acts of destruction or damage to      religious property, the problem is sufficiently serious,      widespread, and interstate in scope to warrant Federal      intervention to assist State and local jurisdictions.        “(5) Congress has authority, pursuant to the Commerce Clause of      the Constitution, to make acts of destruction or damage to      religious property a violation of Federal law.        “(6) Congress has authority, pursuant to section 2 of the 13th      amendment to the Constitution, to make actions of private      citizens motivated by race, color, or ethnicity that interfere      with the ability of citizens to hold or use religious property      without fear of attack, violations of Federal criminal law.” -End-   -CITE-    18 USC Sec. 248                                             01/03/2012 (112-90) -EXPCITE-    TITLE 18 – CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE    PART I – CRIMES    CHAPTER 13 – CIVIL RIGHTS -HEAD-    Sec. 248. Freedom of access to clinic entrances -STATUTE-      (a) Prohibited Activities. – Whoever –         (1) by force or threat of force or by physical obstruction,      intentionally injures, intimidates or interferes with or attempts      to injure, intimidate or interfere with any person because that      person is or has been, or in order to intimidate such person or      any other person or any class of persons from, obtaining or      providing reproductive health services;        (2) by force or threat of force or by physical obstruction,      intentionally injures, intimidates or interferes with or attempts      to injure, intimidate or interfere with any person lawfully      exercising or seeking to exercise the First Amendment right of      religious freedom at a place of religious worship; or        (3) intentionally damages or destroys the property of a      facility, or attempts to do so, because such facility provides      reproductive health services, or intentionally damages or      destroys the property of a place of religious worship,     shall be subject to the penalties provided in subsection (b) and    the civil remedies provided in subsection (c), except that a parent    or legal guardian of a minor shall not be subject to any penalties    or civil remedies under this section for such activities insofar as    they are directed exclusively at that minor.      (b) Penalties. – Whoever violates this section shall –         (1) in the case of a first offense, be fined in accordance with      this title, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and        (2) in the case of a second or subsequent offense after a prior      conviction under this section, be fined in accordance with this      title, or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both;     except that for an offense involving exclusively a nonviolent    physical obstruction, the fine shall be not more than $10,000 and    the length of imprisonment shall be not more than six months, or    both, for the first offense; and the fine shall, notwithstanding    section 3571, be not more than $25,000 and the length of    imprisonment shall be not more than 18 months, or both, for a    subsequent offense; and except that if bodily injury results, the    length of imprisonment shall be not more than 10 years, and if    death results, it shall be for any term of years or for life.      (c) Civil Remedies. –         (1) Right of action. –           (A) In general. – Any person aggrieved by reason of the        conduct prohibited by subsection (a) may commence a civil        action for the relief set forth in subparagraph (B), except        that such an action may be brought under subsection (a)(1) only        by a person involved in providing or seeking to provide, or        obtaining or seeking to obtain, services in a facility that        provides reproductive health services, and such an action may        be brought under subsection (a)(2) only by a person lawfully        exercising or seeking to exercise the First Amendment right of        religious freedom at a place of religious worship or by the        entity that owns or operates such place of religious worship.          (B) Relief. – In any action under subparagraph (A), the court        may award appropriate relief, including temporary, preliminary        or permanent injunctive relief and compensatory and punitive        damages, as well as the costs of suit and reasonable fees for        attorneys and expert witnesses. With respect to compensatory        damages, the plaintiff may elect, at any time prior to the        rendering of final judgment, to recover, in lieu of actual        damages, an award of statutory damages in the amount of $5,000        per violation.         (2) Action by attorney general of the united states. –           (A) In general. – If the Attorney General of the United        States has reasonable cause to believe that any person or group        of persons is being, has been, or may be injured by conduct        constituting a violation of this section, the Attorney General        may commence a civil action in any appropriate United States        District Court.          (B) Relief. – In any action under subparagraph (A), the court        may award appropriate relief, including temporary, preliminary        or permanent injunctive relief, and compensatory damages to        persons aggrieved as described in paragraph (1)(B). The court,        to vindicate the public interest, may also assess a civil        penalty against each respondent –             (i) in an amount not exceeding $10,000 for a nonviolent          physical obstruction and $15,000 for other first violations;          and            (ii) in an amount not exceeding $15,000 for a nonviolent          physical obstruction and $25,000 for any other subsequent          violation.         (3) Actions by state attorneys general. –           (A) In general. – If the Attorney General of a State has        reasonable cause to believe that any person or group of persons        is being, has been, or may be injured by conduct constituting a        violation of this section, such Attorney General may commence a        civil action in the name of such State, as parens patriae on        behalf of natural persons residing in such State, in any        appropriate United States District Court.          (B) Relief. – In any action under subparagraph (A), the court        may award appropriate relief, including temporary, preliminary        or permanent injunctive relief, compensatory damages, and civil        penalties as described in paragraph (2)(B).       (d) Rules of Construction. – Nothing in this section shall be    construed –         (1) to prohibit any expressive conduct (including peaceful      picketing or other peaceful demonstration) protected from legal      prohibition by the First Amendment to the Constitution;        (2) to create new remedies for interference with activities      protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of the      First Amendment to the Constitution, occurring outside a      facility, regardless of the point of view expressed, or to limit      any existing legal remedies for such interference;        (3) to provide exclusive criminal penalties or civil remedies      with respect to the conduct prohibited by this section, or to      preempt State or local laws that may provide such penalties or      remedies; or        (4) to interfere with the enforcement of State or local laws      regulating the performance of abortions or other reproductive      health services.       (e) Definitions. – As used in this section:        (1) Facility. – The term “facility” includes a hospital,      clinic, physician’s office, or other facility that provides      reproductive health services, and includes the building or      structure in which the facility is located.        (2) Interfere with. – The term “interfere with” means to      restrict a person’s freedom of movement.        (3) Intimidate. – The term “intimidate” means to place a person      in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm to him- or herself or      to another.        (4) Physical obstruction. – The term “physical obstruction”      means rendering impassable ingress to or egress from a facility      that provides reproductive health services or to or from a place      of religious worship, or rendering passage to or from such a      facility or place of religious worship unreasonably difficult or      hazardous.        (5) Reproductive health services. – The term “reproductive      health services” means reproductive health services provided in a      hospital, clinic, physician’s office, or other facility, and      includes medical, surgical, counselling or referral services      relating to the human reproductive system, including services      relating to pregnancy or the termination of a pregnancy.        (6) State. – The term “State” includes a State of the United      States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth,      territory, or possession of the United States. -SOURCE-    (Added Pub. L. 103-259, Sec. 3, May 26, 1994, 108 Stat. 694;    amended Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, Sec. 330023(a)(2), (3),    Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2150.)  -MISC1-                                AMENDMENTS                                  1994 – Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330023(a)(2), amended section    catchline generally. Prior to amendment, catchline read as follows:    “Sec. 248 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances.”      Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330023(a)(3), in concluding    provisions, inserted “, notwithstanding section 3571,” before “be    not more than $25,000″.                      EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1994 AMENDMENT                       Section 330023(b) of Pub. L. 103-322 provided that: “The    amendments made by this subsection (a) [amending this section]    shall take effect on the date of enactment of the Freedom of Access    to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994 [May 26, 1994].”                               EFFECTIVE DATE                                Section 6 of Pub. L. 103-259 provided that: “This Act [see Short    Title note below] takes effect on the date of the enactment of this    Act [May 26, 1994], and shall apply only with respect to conduct    occurring on or after such date.”                                 SHORT TITLE                                  Section 1 of Pub. L. 103-259 provided that: “This Act [enacting    this section and provisions set out as notes under this section]    may be cited as the ‘Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of    1994′.”                         SEVERABILITY OF PROVISIONS                          Section 5 of Pub. L. 103-259 provided that: “If any provision of    this Act [see Short Title note above], an amendment made by this    Act, or the application of such provision or amendment to any    person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional, the    remainder of this Act, the amendments made by this Act, and the    application of the provisions of such to any other person or    circumstance shall not be affected thereby.”                     CONGRESSIONAL STATEMENT OF PURPOSE                      Section 2 of Pub. L. 103-259 provided that: “Pursuant to the    affirmative power of Congress to enact this legislation under    section 8 of article I of the Constitution, as well as under    section 5 of the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution, it is    the purpose of this Act [see Short Title note above] to protect and    promote the public safety and health and activities affecting    interstate commerce by establishing Federal criminal penalties and    civil remedies for certain violent, threatening, obstructive and    destructive conduct that is intended to injure, intimidate or    interfere with persons seeking to obtain or provide reproductive    health services.” -End-   -CITE-    18 USC Sec. 249                                             01/03/2012 (112-90) -EXPCITE-    TITLE 18 – CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE    PART I – CRIMES    CHAPTER 13 – CIVIL RIGHTS -HEAD-    Sec. 249. Hate crime acts -STATUTE-      (a) In General. –         (1) Offenses involving actual or perceived race, color,      religion, or national origin. – Whoever, whether or not acting      under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person      or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an      explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury      to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color,      religion, or national origin of any person –           (A) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in        accordance with this title, or both; and          (B) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life,        fined in accordance with this title, or both, if –             (i) death results from the offense; or            (ii) the offense includes kidnapping or an attempt to          kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit          aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.         (2) Offenses involving actual or perceived religion, national      origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or      disability. –           (A) In general. – Whoever, whether or not acting under color        of law, in any circumstance described in subparagraph (B) or        paragraph (3), willfully causes bodily injury to any person or,        through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an        explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury        to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion,        national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity,        or disability of any person –             (i) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in          accordance with this title, or both; and            (ii) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life,          fined in accordance with this title, or both, if –               (I) death results from the offense; or              (II) the offense includes kidnapping or an attempt to            kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit            aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.           (B) Circumstances described. – For purposes of subparagraph        (A), the circumstances described in this subparagraph are that –                     (i) the conduct described in subparagraph (A) occurs during          the course of, or as the result of, the travel of the          defendant or the victim –               (I) across a State line or national border; or              (II) using a channel, facility, or instrumentality of            interstate or foreign commerce;             (ii) the defendant uses a channel, facility, or          instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce in          connection with the conduct described in subparagraph (A);            (iii) in connection with the conduct described in          subparagraph (A), the defendant employs a firearm, dangerous          weapon, explosive or incendiary device, or other weapon that          has traveled in interstate or foreign commerce; or            (iv) the conduct described in subparagraph (A) –               (I) interferes with commercial or other economic activity            in which the victim is engaged at the time of the conduct;            or              (II) otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce.         (3) Offenses occurring in the special maritime or territorial      jurisdiction of the united states. – Whoever, within the special      maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the United States,      engages in conduct described in paragraph (1) or in paragraph      (2)(A) (without regard to whether that conduct occurred in a      circumstance described in paragraph (2)(B)) shall be subject to      the same penalties as prescribed in those paragraphs.        (4) Guidelines. – All prosecutions conducted by the United      States under this section shall be undertaken pursuant to      guidelines issued by the Attorney General, or the designee of the      Attorney General, to be included in the United States Attorneys’      Manual that shall establish neutral and objective criteria for      determining whether a crime was committed because of the actual      or perceived status of any person.       (b) Certification Requirement. –         (1) In general. – No prosecution of any offense described in      this subsection may be undertaken by the United States, except      under the certification in writing of the Attorney General, or a      designee, that –           (A) the State does not have jurisdiction;          (B) the State has requested that the Federal Government        assume jurisdiction;          (C) the verdict or sentence obtained pursuant to State        charges left demonstratively unvindicated the Federal interest        in eradicating bias-motivated violence; or          (D) a prosecution by the United States is in the public        interest and necessary to secure substantial justice.         (2) Rule of construction. – Nothing in this subsection shall be      construed to limit the authority of Federal officers, or a      Federal grand jury, to investigate possible violations of this      section.       (c) Definitions. – In this section –         (1) the term “bodily injury” has the meaning given such term in      section 1365(h)(4) of this title, but does not include solely      emotional or psychological harm to the victim;        (2) the term “explosive or incendiary device” has the meaning      given such term in section 232 of this title;        (3) the term “firearm” has the meaning given such term in      section 921(a) of this title;        (4) the term “gender identity” means actual or perceived gender-      related characteristics; and        (5) the term “State” includes the District of Columbia, Puerto      Rico, and any other territory or possession of the United States.       (d) Statute of Limitations. –         (1) Offenses not resulting in death. – Except as provided in      paragraph (2), no person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished      for any offense under this section unless the indictment for such      offense is found, or the information for such offense is      instituted, not later than 7 years after the date on which the      offense was committed.        (2) Death resulting offenses. – An indictment or information      alleging that an offense under this section resulted in death may      be found or instituted at any time without limitation. -SOURCE-    (Added and amended Pub. L. 111-84, div. E, Secs. 4707(a), 4711,    Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2838, 2842.)  -MISC1-                                AMENDMENTS                                  2009 – Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 111-84, Sec. 4711, added par. (4).                                SEVERABILITY                                 Pub. L. 111-84, div. E, Sec. 4709, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2841,    provided that: “If any provision of this division [enacting this    section and section 1389 of this title and sections 3716 and 3716a    of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, amending this section,    enacting provisions set out as notes under this section and section    3716 of Title 42, and amending provisions set out as a note under    section 534 and provisions listed in a table relating to sentencing    guidelines set out under section 994 of Title 28, Judiciary and    Judicial Procedure], an amendment made by this division, or the    application of such provision or amendment to any person or    circumstance is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this    division, the amendments made by this division, and the application    of the provisions of such to any person or circumstance shall not    be affected thereby.”                            RULE OF CONSTRUCTION                             Pub. L. 111-84, div. E, Sec. 4710, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2841,    provided that: “For purposes of construing this division [see    Severability note above] and the amendments made by this division    the following shall apply:        “(1) In general. – Nothing in this division shall be construed      to allow a court, in any criminal trial for an offense described      under this division or an amendment made by this division, in the      absence of a stipulation by the parties, to admit evidence of      speech, beliefs, association, group membership, or expressive      conduct unless that evidence is relevant and admissible under the      Federal Rules of Evidence. Nothing in this division is intended      to affect the existing rules of evidence.        “(2) Violent acts. – This division applies to violent acts      motivated by actual or perceived race, color, religion, national      origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or      disability of a victim.        “(3) Construction and application. – Nothing in this division,      or an amendment made by this division, shall be construed or      applied in a manner that infringes any rights under the first      amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Nor shall      anything in this division, or an amendment made by this division,      be construed or applied in a manner that substantially burdens a      person’s exercise of religion (regardless of whether compelled      by, or central to, a system of religious belief), speech,      expression, or association, unless the Government demonstrates      that application of the burden to the person is in furtherance of      a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive      means of furthering that compelling governmental interest, if      such exercise of religion, speech, expression, or association was      not intended to –           “(A) plan or prepare for an act of physical violence; or          “(B) incite an imminent act of physical violence against        another.        “(4) Free expression. – Nothing in this division shall be      construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s      expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or      solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating or      espousing such beliefs.        “(5) First amendment. – Nothing in this division, or an      amendment made by this division, shall be construed to diminish      any rights under the first amendment to the Constitution of the      United States.        “(6) Constitutional protections. – Nothing in this division      shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected      speech, expressive conduct or activities (regardless of whether      compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief),      including the exercise of religion protected by the first      amendment to the Constitution of the United States and peaceful      picketing or demonstration. The Constitution of the United States      does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of      planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of      violence.”                                  FINDINGS                                   Pub. L. 111-84, div. E, Sec. 4702, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2835,    provided that: “Congress makes the following findings:        “(1) The incidence of violence motivated by the actual or      perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual      orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim poses a      serious national problem.        “(2) Such violence disrupts the tranquility and safety of      communities and is deeply divisive.        “(3) State and local authorities are now and will continue to      be responsible for prosecuting the overwhelming majority of      violent crimes in the United States, including violent crimes      motivated by bias. These authorities can carry out their      responsibilities more effectively with greater Federal      assistance.        “(4) Existing Federal law is inadequate to address this      problem.        “(5) A prominent characteristic of a violent crime motivated by      bias is that it devastates not just the actual victim and the      family and friends of the victim, but frequently savages the      community sharing the traits that caused the victim to be      selected.        “(6) Such violence substantially affects interstate commerce in      many ways, including the following:          “(A) The movement of members of targeted groups is impeded,        and members of such groups are forced to move across State        lines to escape the incidence or risk of such violence.          “(B) Members of targeted groups are prevented from purchasing        goods and services, obtaining or sustaining employment, or        participating in other commercial activity.          “(C) Perpetrators cross State lines to commit such violence.          “(D) Channels, facilities, and instrumentalities of        interstate commerce are used to facilitate the commission of        such violence.          “(E) Such violence is committed using articles that have        traveled in interstate commerce.        “(7) For generations, the institutions of slavery and      involuntary servitude were defined by the race, color, and      ancestry of those held in bondage. Slavery and involuntary      servitude were enforced, both prior to and after the adoption of      the 13th amendment to the Constitution of the United States,      through widespread public and private violence directed at      persons because of their race, color, or ancestry, or perceived      race, color, or ancestry. Accordingly, eliminating racially      motivated violence is an important means of eliminating, to the      extent possible, the badges, incidents, and relics of slavery and      involuntary servitude.        “(8) Both at the time when the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments      to the Constitution of the United States were adopted, and      continuing to date, members of certain religious and national      origin groups were and are perceived to be distinct ‘races’.      Thus, in order to eliminate, to the extent possible, the badges,      incidents, and relics of slavery, it is necessary to prohibit      assaults on the basis of real or perceived religions or national      origins, at least to the extent such religions or national      origins were regarded as races at the time of the adoption of the      13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution of the United      States.        “(9) Federal jurisdiction over certain violent crimes motivated      by bias enables Federal, State, and local authorities to work      together as partners in the investigation and prosecution of such      crimes.        “(10) The problem of crimes motivated by bias is sufficiently      serious, widespread, and interstate in nature as to warrant      Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian      tribes.”      [For definitions of “State” and “local” used in section 4702 of    Pub. L. 111-84, set out above, see section 4703(b) of Pub. L. 111-    84, set out as a note under section 3716 of Title 42, The Public    Health and Welfare.] -End-

 

Our legal status

F.S.I.C. Corp official Seal

 Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado corp, Native American Church is a Colorado nonprofit corporation. We are a Place of worship and spiritual healing. As a nonprofit religious corporation we are not organized for the private gain of any person and do not charge for services. Everything that we do is done for the improvement of the quality of life and spiritual well being of all who are willing to embrace the Culture of Itzachilatlan. We are organized exclusively for religious, spiritual, and educational purposes.

Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado corp. is an affiliate of The Native American Church. We are the largest denomination of the Indigenous American Religion in history. We have 28,000 members in the Americas and representatives in over 52 countries. As a Native American Church we are registered with the D.E.A. Our Road Man at this time is Chris Long who was ordained in 2006 by Aurelio Diaz Tekpankalli.

  • Entity identification conformation#9154675.
  • IRS E.I.N#1430870870-6249
  • D.E.A.#A0021.

Unfortunately The Native American Church is highly judged and persecuted. As a federally protected Religion, legal penalties are severe for interfering with our ceremonies. Below are some helpful links regarding our legal status.

We also are members of Crestone Spiritual Alliance and La Familia del Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlán and Fundación Cultural Camino Rojo. The Singing Stone is the name of our drum group, (a sub-committee of our Church) which sings at many Sun Dances. As a Church we have the following attributes:

 

⊕ CONSEQUENCES FOR VIOLATING THE CIVIL LIBERTIES OF FUEGO SAGRADO DE ITZACHILATLAN OF COLORADO NATIVE AMERICAN CHURCH OR IT’S MEMBERS.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

U.N.

 

Adopted by General Assembly Resolution 61/295 on 13 September 2007

 

The General Assembly,

 

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and good faith in the fulfilment of the obligations assumed by States in accordance with the Charter,

 

Affirming that indigenous peoples are equal to all other peoples, while recognizing the right of all peoples to be different, to consider themselves different, and to be respected as such,

 

Affirming also that all peoples contribute to the diversity and richness of civilizations and cultures, which constitute the common heritage of humankind,

 

Affirming further that all doctrines, policies and practices based on or advocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin or racial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences are racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and socially unjust,

 

Reaffirming that indigenous peoples, in the exercise of their rights, should be free from discrimination of any kind,

 

Concerned that indigenous peoples have suffered from historic injustices as a result of, inter alia, their colonization and dispossession of their lands, territories and resources, thus preventing them from exercising, in particular, their right to development in accordance with their own needs and interests,

 

Recognizing the urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights of indigenous peoples which derive from their political, economic and social structures and from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies, especially their rights to their lands, territories and resources,

 

Recognizing also the urgent need to respect and promote the rights of indigenous peoples affirmed in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements with States,

 

Welcoming the fact that indigenous peoples are organizing themselves for political, economic, social and cultural enhancement and in order to bring to an end all forms of discrimination and oppression wherever they occur,

 

Convinced that control by indigenous peoples over developments affecting them and their lands, territories and resources will enable them to maintain and strengthen their institutions, cultures and traditions, and to promote their development in accordance with their aspirations and needs,

 

Recognizing that respect for indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contributes to sustainable and equitable development and proper management of the environment,

Emphasizing the contribution of the demilitarization of the lands and territories of indigenous peoples to peace, economic and social progress and development, understanding and friendly relations among nations and peoples of the world,

 

Recognizing in particular the right of indigenous families and communities to retain shared responsibility for the upbringing, training, education and well-being of their children, consistent with the rights of the child,

 

Considering that the rights affirmed in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements between States and indigenous peoples are, in some situations, matters of international concern, interest, responsibility and character,

 

Considering also that treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements, and the relationship they represent, are the basis for a strengthened partnership between indigenous peoples and States,

 

Acknowledging that the Charter of the United Nations, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

(2) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,2 as well as the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,

(3) affirm the fundamental importance of the right to self-determination of all peoples, by virtue of which they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development,

 

Bearing in mind that nothing in this Declaration may be used to deny any peoples their right to self-determination, exercised in conformity with international law,

 

Convinced that the recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples in this Declaration will enhance harmonious and cooperative relations between the State and indigenous peoples, based on principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, non-discrimination and good faith,

 

Encouraging States to comply with and effectively implement all their obligations as they apply to indigenous peoples under international instruments, in particular those related to human rights, in consultation and cooperation with the peoples concerned,

 

Emphasizing that the United Nations has an important and continuing role to play in promoting and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples,

 

Believing that this Declaration is a further important step forward for the recognition, promotion and protection of the rights and freedoms of indigenous peoples and in the development of relevant activities of the United Nations system in this field,

 

Recognizing and reaffirming that indigenous individuals are entitled without discrimination to all human rights recognized in international law, and that indigenous peoples possess collective rights which are indispensable for their existence, well-being and integral development as peoples,

Recognizing that the situation of indigenous peoples varies from region to region and from country to country and that the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical and cultural backgrounds should be taken into consideration,

 

Solemnly proclaims the following United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a standard of achievement to be pursued in a spirit of partnership and mutual respect:

 

Article 1

Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights(4) and international human rights law.

 

Article 2

Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin or identity.

 

Article 3

Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

 

Article 4

Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions.

 

Article 5

Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State.

 

Article 6

Every indigenous individual has the right to a nationality.

 

Article 7

  1. Indigenous individuals have the rights to life, physical and mental integrity, liberty and security of person.
  2. Indigenous peoples have the collective right to live in freedom, peace and security as distinct peoples and shall not be subjected to any act of genocide or any other act of violence, including forcibly removing children of the group to another group.

 

Article 8

  1. Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.
  2. States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for:

(a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities;

(b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources;

(c) Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights;

(d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration;

(e) Any form of propaganda designed to promote or incite racial or ethnic discrimination directed against them.

 

Article 9

Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right to belong to an indigenous community or nation, in accordance with the traditions and customs of the community or nation concerned. No discrimination of any kind may arise from the exercise of such a right.

 

Article 10

Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories. No relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation and, where possible, with the option of return.

 

Article 11

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to practise and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites, artefacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts and literature.
  2. States shall provide redress through effective mechanisms, which may include restitution, developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples, with respect to their cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property taken without their free, prior and informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs.

 

Article 12

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to manifest, practise, develop and teach their spiritual and religious traditions, customs and ceremonies; the right to maintain, protect, and have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites; the right to the use and control of their ceremonial objects; and the right to the repatriation of their human remains.
  2. States shall seek to enable the access and/or repatriation of ceremonial objects and human remains in their possession through fair, transparent and effective mechanisms developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples concerned.

 

Article 13

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.
  2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected and also to ensure that indigenous peoples can understand and be understood in political, legal and administrative proceedings, where necessary through the provision of interpretation or by other appropriate means.

 

Article 14

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.
  2. Indigenous individuals, particularly children, have the right to all levels and forms of education of the State without discrimination.
  3. States shall, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, take effective measures, in order for indigenous individuals, particularly children, including those living outside their communities, to have access, when possible, to an education in their own culture and provided in their own language.

 

Article 15

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the dignity and diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories and aspirations which shall be appropriately reflected in education and public information.
  2. States shall take effective measures, in consultation and cooperation with the indigenous peoples concerned, to combat prejudice and eliminate discrimination and to promote tolerance, understanding and good relations among indigenous peoples and all other segments of society.

 

Article 16

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish their own media in their own languages and to have access to all forms of non-indigenous media without discrimination.
  2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that State-owned media duly reflect indigenous cultural diversity. States, without prejudice to ensuring full freedom of expression, should encourage privately owned media to adequately reflect indigenous cultural diversity.

 

Article 17

  1. Indigenous individuals and peoples have the right to enjoy fully all rights established under applicable international and domestic labour law.
  2. States shall in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples take specific measures to protect indigenous children from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development, taking into account their special vulnerability and the importance of education for their empowerment.
  3. Indigenous individuals have the right not to be subjected to any discriminatory conditions of labour and, inter alia, employment or salary.

 

Article 18

Indigenous peoples have the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by themselves in accordance with their own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous decision-making institutions.

 

Article 19

States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.

 

Article 20

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and develop their political, economic and social systems or institutions, to be secure in the enjoyment of their own means of subsistence and development, and to engage freely in all their traditional and other economic activities.
  2. Indigenous peoples deprived of their means of subsistence and development are entitled to just and fair redress.

 

Article 21

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right, without discrimination, to the improvement of their economic and social conditions, including, inter alia, in the areas of education, employment, vocational training and retraining, housing, sanitation, health and social security.
  2. States shall take effective measures and, where appropriate, special measures to ensure continuing improvement of their economic and social conditions. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities.

 

Article 22

  1. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities in the implementation of this Declaration.
  2. States shall take measures, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, to ensure that indigenous women and children enjoy the full protection and guarantees against all forms of violence and discrimination.

 

Article 23

Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for exercising their right to development.

In particular, indigenous peoples have the right to be actively involved in developing and determining health, housing and other economic and social programmes affecting them and, as far as possible, to administer such programmes through their own institutions.

 

Article 24

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to their traditional medicines and to maintain their health practices, including the conservation of their vital medicinal plants, animals and minerals.

Indigenous individuals also have the right to access, without any discrimination, to all social and health services.

  1. Indigenous individuals have an equal right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. States shall take the necessary steps with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of this right.

 

Article 25

Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard.

 

Article 26

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.
  2. Indigenous peoples have the right to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use, as well as those which they have otherwise acquired.
  3. States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories and resources. Such recognition shall be conducted with due respect to the customs, traditions and land tenure systems of the indigenous peoples concerned.

 

Article 27

States shall establish and implement, in conjunction with indigenous peoples concerned, a fair, independent, impartial, open and transparent process, giving due recognition to indigenous peoples’

laws, traditions, customs and land tenure systems, to recognize and adjudicate the rights of indigenous peoples pertaining to their lands, territories and resources, including those which were traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used.

Indigenous peoples shall have the right to participate in this process.

 

Article 28

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to redress, by means that can include restitution or, when this is not possible, just, fair and equitable compensation, for the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used, and which have been confiscated, taken, occupied, used or damaged without their free, prior and informed consent.
  2. Unless otherwise freely agreed upon by the peoples concerned, compensation shall take the form of lands, territories and resources equal in quality, size and legal status or of monetary compensation or other appropriate redress.

 

Article 29

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources. States shall establish and implement assistance programmes for indigenous peoples for such conservation and protection, without discrimination.
  2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent.
  3. States shall also take effective measures to ensure, as needed, that programmes for monitoring, maintaining and restoring the health of indigenous peoples, as developed and implemented by the peoples affected by such materials, are duly implemented.

 

Article 30

  1. Military activities shall not take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples, unless justified by a relevant public interest or otherwise freely agreed with or requested by the indigenous peoples concerned.
  2. States shall undertake effective consultations with the indigenous peoples concerned, through appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions, prior to using their lands or territories for military activities.

 

Article 31

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies and cultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports and traditional games and visual and performing arts.

They also have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.

  1. In conjunction with indigenous peoples, States shall take effective measures to recognize and protect the exercise of these rights.

 

Article 32

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources.
  2. States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.
  3. States shall provide effective mechanisms for just and fair redress for any such activities, and appropriate measures shall be taken to mitigate adverse environmental, economic, social, cultural or spiritual impact.

 

Article 33

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine their own identity or membership in accordance with their customs and traditions. This does not impair the right of indigenous individuals to obtain citizenship of the States in which they live.
  2. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine the structures and to select the membership of their institutions in accordance with their own procedures.

 

Article 34

Indigenous peoples have the right to promote, develop and maintain their institutional structures and their distinctive customs, spirituality, traditions, procedures, practices and, in the cases where they exist, juridical systems or customs, in accordance with international human rights standards.

 

Article 35

Indigenous peoples have the right to determine the responsibilities of individuals to their communities.

 

Article 36

  1. Indigenous peoples, in particular those divided by international borders, have the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, including activities for spiritual, cultural, political, economic and social purposes, with their own members as well as other peoples across borders.
  2. States, in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, shall take effective measures to facilitate the exercise and ensure the implementation of this right.

 

Article 37

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements concluded with States or their successors and to have States honour and respect such treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.
  2. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as diminishing or eliminating the rights of indigenous peoples contained in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.

 

Article 38

States in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, shall take the appropriate measures, including legislative measures, to achieve the ends of this Declaration.

 

Article 39

Indigenous peoples have the right to have access to financial and technical assistance from States and through international cooperation, for the enjoyment of the rights contained in this Declaration.

 

Article 40

Indigenous peoples have the right to access to and prompt decision through just and fair procedures for the resolution of conflicts and disputes with States or other parties, as well as to effective remedies for all infringements of their individual and collective rights. Such a decision shall give due consideration to the customs, traditions, rules and legal systems of the indigenous peoples concerned and international human rights.

 

Article 41

The organs and specialized agencies of the United Nations system and other intergovernmental organizations shall contribute to the full realization of the provisions of this Declaration through the mobilization, inter alia, of financial cooperation and technical assistance. Ways and means of ensuring participation of indigenous peoples on issues affecting them shall be established.

 

Article 42

The United Nations, its bodies, including the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and specialized agencies, including at the country level, and States shall promote respect for and full application of the provisions of this Declaration and follow up the effectiveness of this Declaration.

 

Article 43

The rights recognized herein constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world.

 

Article 44

All the rights and freedoms recognized herein are equally guaranteed to male and female indigenous individuals.

 

Article 45

Nothing in this Declaration may be construed as diminishing or extinguishing the rights indigenous peoples have now or may acquire in the future.

 

Article 46

  1. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, people, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act contrary to the Charter of the United Nations or construed as authorizing or encouraging any action which would dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States.
  2. In the exercise of the rights enunciated in the present Declaration, human rights and fundamental freedoms of all shall be respected. The exercise of the rights set forth in this Declaration shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law and in accordance with international human rights obligations.

Any such limitations shall be non-discriminatory and strictly necessary solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for meeting the just and most compelling requirements of a democratic society.

  1. The provisions set forth in this Declaration shall be interpreted in accordance with the principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, equality, non-discrimination, good governance and good faith.

 

 

 

(2) See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.

 

(3) A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.

 

(4) Resolution 217 A (III).

Six Degrees of Separation to World Peace

 

 

First Amendment of the Bill of Rights

First Amendment of the Bill of Rights

Congressional Seal

______________________

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances

______________________

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. See U.S. Const. amend. I 



Freedom of expression consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press, and assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the implied rights of association and belief. The Supreme Court interprets the extent of the protection afforded to these rights. The Court as applying to the entire federal government even though it is only expressly applicable to Congress has interpreted the First Amendment. Furthermore, the Court has interpreted, the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as protecting the rights in the First Amendment from interference by state governments.  See U.S. Const. amend. XIV.

U.S.A.

DEA Code of Regulations

DEA Code of Regulations

The listing of peyote as a controlled substance in Schedule I, does not apply to the non drug use of peyote in bona fide religious ceremonies of the Native American Church, and members of the Native American Church

 

TITLE 21 – FOOD AND DRUGS
CHAPTER II – DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
PART 1307 – MISCELLANEOUS
1307.31 – Native American Church.
The listing of peyote as a controlled substance in Schedule I, does not apply to the non drug use of peyote in bona fide religious ceremonies of the Native American Church, and members of the Native American Church so using peyote are exempt from registration. Any person who manufactures peyote for or distributes peyote to the Native American Church, however, is required to obtain registration annually and to comply with all other requirements of law.

Dept. of Justice

SPIRITUAL ADVISERS

SPIRITUAL ADVISERS

Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Corp. Native American Church will also have a directive position known as Spiritual Adviser. The Spiritual Advisers duties will be to oversee rituals and ceremonies with the utmost highest reverence, integrity, and diligence in accordance with tradition of how they received the altars and authority to conduct said ceremonies. Spiritual Advisers will not be part of (unless they are Officers, members, and or Directive Council) administrative duties, governing, and or day-to-day maintenance of the Corporation. Spiritual advisers are those who fulfill all requirements and prerequisites as laid out below, and are also appointed by the Directive Council and have a good standing with all officers and members as understood below.

Spiritual advisers can be members, Officers, and or Directive Council, but being any of the latter does not necessarily mean being a spiritual adviser. Being a Spiritual Adviser is a privilege and requires strenuous prerequisites and community approval. There will be categories of Spiritual Advisers according to the different requirements and ceremonies listed, also there will be levels within each category which will define how much authority is granted to perform the functions of the spiritual adviser and preside over or within ceremonies.

1. General Functions, responsibilities, and privileges of Spiritual Advisers.

  • a) Spiritual leadership and guidance
  • b) Prophesying
  • c) Healing and protecting
  • d) Conducting and facilitating ceremonies
  • e) Working positions and performing duties within ceremony
  • f) Being an example of spiritual life and living in a sacred manner
  • g) Representing F.S.I. of Colorado N.A.C. corp

2. General Qualifications and Requirements of Being a spiritual adviser.

  • a) Walking the Red Road in a sacred way: as the Spirits, the white buffalo calf woman, the ceremonies, and the sacred teachings have defined it for us, passed through the ages by medicine people, chiefs, wise ones, and our ancestors.
  • b) By living and exemplifying the sacred virtues; including the Lakota 4 sacred virtues humility, compassion, humor, and courage, and the 7 arrows of the sacred fire, Faith, Hope, Charity, justice, temperance, prudence, and Fortitude.
  • c) Carrying a Cannupa; which is received in a good way, by vision quest, marriage, Hunka, inheritance, and or by receiving as a gift from an elder or medicine person.
  • d) Doing vision quest annually; praying and fasting alone in the woods for the benefit of oneself and more importantly for the benefit of all living beings. To be in connection with Tunkasila and the spirits.
  • e) To be in good standing with the community, members, officers, and directive council. To help the community and to be of service to it. To understand the functioning of ceremonial life and to not over step boundaries, comforts, and roles of leadership within the community and positions of spiritual advisers.
  • f) Being appointed by the directive council and most importantly being ordained and or officially recognized by the Chief Spiritual adviser and the other spiritual advisers, to have formally offered tobacco or opagi* the Chief Spiritual Adviser for those specific purposes.

3. Categories and levels of Spiritual Advisers, Specific ceremonies and levels of initiation. (School for ministerial preparation)

a) Chief Spiritual Adviser. The officially ordained Spiritual Leader and medicine person of F.S.I. of Colorado N.A.C. corp. Performing and leading all functions listed above as well as fulfilling all requirements listed above, and having completed and performed all the requirements and functions as listed below

b) The Inipi, The Sweat Lodge.

  • 1st level is attending regularly the Sweat Lodge.
  • 2nd learning songs and singing with the lead of the water pourer.
  • 3rd Participating and actively helping the group before, during, and after the ceremony.
  • 4th Helping gather wood and supplies for the ceremony.
  • 5th Receiving the stones inside the Sweat Lodge.
  • 6th Tending the fire and carrying in stones during the Sweat Lodge.
  • 7th Being a regular fire tender and learning from the water pourer for an extended period of time, as seen fit by the pourer, about the purposes, protocols, songs and designs of the Sweat Lodge.
  • 8th Building and constructing a lodge or participating in the act of.
  • 9th Understanding and fulfilling the commitments of what it means and takes to pour lodge, complete 4 years of vision quest, completing 4 years of Sun Dance, carry a Cannupa, and or be recognized as qualified by the Chief Spiritual Adviser or medicine person.
  • 10th Receive official ordination and the ceremony of having water poured over the hands to pour lodge by the Chief spiritual adviser or another qualified medicine person and have community support to be seen as a leader of the ceremony.

c) Vision Quest/ Hanbleceya.

  • 1st level attending and supporting vision quest.
  • 2nd tending the fire, supporting in the kitchen, helping with childcare, helping with the Sweat Lodge and or supporting and helping with any of the recognized duties of the community in the ceremony of vision quest.
  • 3rd Supporting 4 vision quests, and or for 4 years.
  • 4th Opagi* the Chief Spiritual Adviser to ‘go on the hill’ and fast and pray in nature.
  • 5th to make the commitment of 4 years of vision quest and to fulfill that commitment.
  • 6th to help others with fulfilling their commitment and to support the Chief Spiritual Adviser with different roles in running and making happen the vision quest.
  • 7th In preparation to lead a vision quest, to complete 4 years of Vision quest, to Sun Dance or Dream dance 4 years, to lead and pour lodge, and to be specifically trained by the chief Spiritual Adviser to lead.
  • 8th To be officially seen as qualified by the Chief spiritual adviser and other spiritual advisers, to be in good standing with the community, and to have official ordination of leading the Vision Quest ceremony.

d) Sun Dance.

  • 1st level attending and supporting the Sun Dance.
  • 2nd support for 4 years and assist the sun dance camp with help in various ways or
  • 3rd to support in the kitchen and or tend the fire and help with formal duties for 4 years or to learn the songs and sing on the drum for 4 years.
  • 4th after completing roles of support and or from a vision or prompt from a medicine person making the formal commitment to dance for 4 years.
  • 5th to gather supplies and medicines, going on vision quest, and then Sun dancing.
  • 6th Completing your 4 years of dancing.
  • 7th Becoming a dance leader under the direction of the Chief Spiritual Adviser and helping with official leadership roles of the Sun Dance for 4 years.
  • 8th being specifically trained to be a sun dance chief by the Chief Spiritual Adviser or recognized medicine person and sun dance chief.
  • 9th Being officially ordained by the Chief Spiritual Adviser and Sun Dance Chief, being in good standing with the community and then being A Sun Dance Chief.

e) Yuwipi.

  • 1st level is attending the ceremony.
  • 2nd is attending regularly and helping support the ceremony.
  • 3rd actively helping with all the duties to make ceremony happen, gathering wood for the Sweat Lodge, food gathering and preparation, and helping with the set up of the ceremony.
  • 4th learning the songs.
  • 5th Singing at a ceremony.
  • 6th keeping the altar and helping the Yuwipi person with maintenance and set up of altar.
  • 7th doing vision quest 4 years, carrying a Cannupa, and receiving help from Yuwipi spirits.
  • 8th Becoming a water pourer for Sweat Lodge.
  • 9th receiving a song for the Yuwipi altar.
  • 10th leading a lowanpi/ yuwipi and being the person in the middle as ordained by the Chief Spiritual Adviser and or another recognized medicine person.

f) Dream Dance.

  • 1st level join the dream society.
  • 2nd Attending or supporting the Dream dance.
  • 3rd Dancing, tending the Fire, Singing or supporting in the many ways to make ceremony happen for 4 years and formally opagi/ offer tobacco to Dream Dance Chief.
  • 4th Perform Function as a leader of the Dream Dance for 4 years.
  • 5th Be trained By Dream Dance Chief and Chief Spiritual Adviser to lead and receive pipe for the Dream Dance.
  • 6th Be Officially Ordained and qualified by Chief Spiritual Adviser and Chief of Dream Dance to be a Dream Dance Chief, and to be recognized by the other spiritual Advisers and be in good standing with the community to lead.

g) Peyote Ceremony.

  • 1st level is to attend ceremonies.
  • 2nd is to regularly attend and support ceremonies.
  • 3rd is to learn songs and to sing as prayer in the ceremony.
  • 4th to actively participate in helping with the set up and gathering of supplies, food, and equipment necessary for the ceremony.
  • 5th To be recognized by the Roadman to work an officer position in the ceremony.
  • 6th to work the position of the Door for 1-4 years or as seen fit by the Roadman.
  • 7th To work in the position of Fire Keeper for 1-4 years or seen fit by the Roadman.
  • 8th To work in the position of Drummer for 1-4 years or as seen fit by the Roadman.
  • 9th To work in the position of Cedar Person for 1-4 years or as seen fit by the Roadman.
  • 10th To Lead Ceremony under the custodial protection of the Roadman for 1-4 years or as seen fit by the Roadman.
  • 11th Having done all the positions and meeting the qualifications and being officially recognized by the Chief Roadman and Chief Spiritual Adviser, and being in good standing with the community and all Spiritual Advisers, officially being Ordained as a Peyote Road person.

h) Ayahuaskero/ Ayahuaskara.

  • 1st Level is attending the ceremony.
  • 2nd attending regularly and supporting the ceremony.
  • 3rd learning songs.
  • 4th singing with permission in Ceremony.
  • 5th Helping with set up of the altar and helping the Ayahuaskero/a with duties and functions within the ceremony.
  • 6th helping with guidance keeping the altar for 4 years.
  • 7th To receive and participate in administering and brewing of the medicine, with permission of the Ayahuaskero/a.
  • 8th being officially recognized by the Ayahuaskero/a and Chief Spiritual Adviser as qualified and by being in good standing with the community, and then being officially ordained as an Ayahuaskero/a for the Ayahuaska medicine.

* Opagi, To offer the pipe or tobacco formally.

Spiritual Preservation

♥ Click this link To learn about Religions for the Earth.

also visit www.centerforearthethics.org         

What is the reason for spiritual preservation? In this modern age spirituality is being threatened by the quickly spreading scourge of over rationalization and disbelief. These times not only represent the mentality that goes along with the peak of the industrial age but also the Taming and domestication of the human spirit. With quantum physics in mind one can easily see where our culture is heading. We are actually cutting ourselves off from magic.  With the collective awareness of humankind being focused like a lens, it has caused us to lose sight of the bigger picture. Scientific process is good but it has become a shortsighted and insensitive act. Over intellectualization have dumbed down our emotional intelligence and have left the symbolical mind inaccessible.

This is not just speculation but scientific fact. The art of Anthropology came into being because of the changes in behavioral modifications of Industrialized culture. It is always interesting as well as alarming when a non-domestic peoples are able to perceive things that domesticated people cannot. What is most alarming is that people are not using the same parts of the brain that they used to. Imagination is failing quickly among the children and it has been found that we even hear things differently. Wild animals cannot interpret digital audio recordings like modern humans.

Aldous Huxley’s brave new world is upon us and few can even see it coming. Most people are so excited to have new comforts and luxuries that they don’t care about at what expense. Like domesticated animals, we are becoming more analytical and not necessarily more intelligent. The analytical mind is practically synonymous with sociopathic dysfunction. We all know the difference between a wild mouse and a caged lab mouse, also how the behavior of the buffalo is in stark contrast to domestic cattle. We all know what happens to a wild animal when you cage it, it becomes necrotic, a condition that does not exist in the wild.

We all know about the delicate balance of nature as well as the human mind, what is to become of a species who has lost touch with the symbolical mind. What will happen to mankind with no sense of magic and no ability to assume or imagine anything outside of “rational” boundary’s. The very act of spiritual expression depends on all of these factors, but this is just one of numerous concerns for our possible future.

We owe a great dept to the profound foresight of our ancestors, not just intellectually but through their hopes and dreams for us now. In the same way that people would make sacrifices for rain and abundant crops, they would pray for the availability of food and water for the coming generations. This and many other practices have dramatically ceased. much of our fate relied upon the projections of our ancestors, all of a sudden it is all seen as foolish superstition. Wild attributes can return quickly and intuition is a very powerful force but lets look at what is happening to peoples sense of family and humanity.

The most detrimental thing to spirituality is the domestication of mankind, not just from a mental point of view, but from a physical point of view. It is always interesting to observe a person who has never ventured far from the side walk, while traipsing through the Forrest. It can be very difficult for a city person to move through the brush on uneven ground. In the same way it can be difficult to maneuver spiritually for the closed minded individual. What I mean is the act of non-physical movement.

My greatest concern for the future of religion is our disconnection from nature. I should also add that domesticated religion seems to have no use for nature and is inherently academic. Imagine if you will having to ark weld on the moon to pay your oxygen bills. What would it be like for someone to have robotic implanted body parts to improve ones work skills. These things are not much different than the present. Will mankind manifest an industrial horror for the future. If we proceed without religious freedom and and without a sense of magic we will create a miserable existence for the future.

Regardless of the advent of science, people need the awe and mystery of the spiritual. Magic is hardwired into our system, we need it along with spontaneity and imagination. Humans and all animals thrive with a certain types of stresses and fail under perfected conditions. We had a person ask us if they could take breaks from a Peyote Ceremony because the fire was smoky. I said no, the smoke is part of the experience. If we were to eliminate the fire we would take it’s power away and begin the domestication process. Some scientists surmise that humans may have become intelligent because of the stresses of smoky fires.

We have the opportunity to create a wonderful new world, lets not de-claw the human race in the process. Why are corporations training people to stand in lines? out of convenience? We should reward originality and unpredictably and we should have in mind a holistic and ecological approach to technology. Laws should protect human rights ,freedom of conscience and assembly from domestication!

 

 

The Spirit

 

 

 

THE SPIRIT

Fossilized footprint

Fossilized footprint

The term “Spirit” is used in many ways in the English language. When you hear it you may think of the life force responsible for giving the body life. You may think of a supernatural being, a ghost or of one’s disposition, being spirited or having “team spirit”. All of these can be attributed to the the same thing, if we could call it a thing. It is Interesting that there is a word for something that is formless and intangible. Often times the thought of the spirit or the spiritual is seen as being in the realm of fantasy, a fictitious imaginary “thing”. The reason for disbelief in the spirit is simply because it cannot be sensed, detected or measured.

Scientists may detect and measure subatomic particles but they cannot detect the formless. A clairvoyant may sense a ghost but cannot sense the formless (a ghost has form). It could be said that the spirit is an essence but that description is still insufficient. The Elders say that for everything visible, there is also an invisible counterpart but this is not in reference to the spirit. This is in reference to the soul. Everything has an ethereal form as well as a physical form, even modern science can attest to that. The Elders tell us of the soul, the old belief that the soul has many parts that do many different things.

Unlike contemporary christian belief, we understand the soul as having four distinct parts. One can be compared to your reflection, another can be compared to your reflection mirrored within the pupil of your eye, yet another aspect of your soul can be seen as being like your shadow. The fourth part of the soul can be thought of as a mirror or a reflective surface. None of these aspects of the soul are in reference to the spirit but this fourth part does describe the location of the Spirit. The Spirit is the reflection of God upon the mirror of the soul.

Many people don’t know the difference between the Spirit and the soul. The body has the soul as it’s ethereal counterpart.The soul is not what gives us life, the soul is like the body. The body is an organic machine made of atoms, molecules and cells. Similarly, the soul is a machine made of sub-atomic particles, a super computer far more complex and stable than the body. What animates the soul and body is the spirit.

Everything has an unseen counterpart every grain of sand gives off and takes in trillions of subatomic particles every second (according to science). You could say that everything is alive in some form or another. Once I asked a famous medicine man if he believed in extraterrestrial life, visitors from outer space. He said, sure there are about 1000 meteorites that enter our atmosphere every day, the Stone Nations visit us all the time. That’s true, in fact, the Earth acquires about 100 tons of rock per day on average!

The Elders tell us that all things are filled with Spirit and that everything has a Spirit. The Spirit is inexhaustible immeasurable and it has no form. All of us know these things with out knowing how we know them. We all know that everything came from the spirit, that it is the origin of everything. People who believe in the Spirit see it as the ultimate truth. We all seem to agree that it is indestructible and everlasting, we also know that there is but one Spirit. One Spirit that reflects upon all of our souls and gives each one of us life. The spirit could be said to be the fuel of our soul, that which animates us.

Life can be said to be a dance between positive and negative, light and shadow, day and night. all substance seems to be held together by the positive and negative attraction of atoms, everything that science knows is about these Ones and Zeros that compose everything. The unknown factor is the spirit, like dusk and dawn it stands between the day and night. Skanskan, the Creator, is the movement from one moment to the next, the dance of time. There is not really just this duality, there is a function of 3 elements at play here and one of them is invisible and formless! This spiritual element is not time, it stands between time, it allows one moment to lead to another. There is no real way to speak of the Spirit and yet we somehow can speak of it, part of the understanding of it is intuitive.

We say that we are all related, Mitaku Oyasin, My relations, all of them. It is true that all humans have but one common mother, even science will attest to this but that is not what is meant by Mitakuye Oyasin. In essence this statement means that we are related to all that there is and not just because we are made out of one substance but because we all share the same Spirit. We are body, soul and spirit, only three steps away from the source of all. Why then do we seek outside of our selves to find the spiritual?

We all instinctively know the truth. We know that the center of the universe is within us and that the whole cosmos is reflected within every cell of our bodies. Likewise we all know that each one of us carry’s a secret within, a divine mystery, the secret of the spirit. Not everything should be known to us but it is true that although you have your own body and soul, we all share the same spirit and therefore, we are each other.

One spirit fuels and touches each experience through all of us, through everything, until eternity has been fulfilled. Then something even more interesting happens. After infinity it reviews everything from another perspective, without time, space or any point of perspective, without a vantage point! This is happening now, somehow the Spirit is everywhere and somewhere else at the same time, deifying time, space. It is outside of math and logic, science cannot prove it nor disprove it. It has no gender, no shape, no color. It is in equal measure every where, even nowhere, in the void, within nothingness.

There is the age old question, why are we here? We are contributing to eternity, we are reaching the totality of all possibilities, that place in the future when everything has been done or at least imagined. This place at the end of time when omnipotence is reached. What is greater than omnipotence but to forget and savor the flavor of the moment?

 

 

Native American Spirituality

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During the Industrial Revolution Native American Culture was persecuted to the point of near extinction. Unknown to most scholars, American Indians would have suffered total genocide had it not been for Christian protests, Theologians, Religious lobbyists and Lawyers. It was public outrage that saved the American Indian, not our prowess on the battlefield.

In the 1890’s, James Mooney, an anthropologist from the Smithsonian Institution, attended Peyote meetings among the Kiowa and the Tarahumara. Finally, in 1918, after testifying in favor of American Indians at Congressional hearings, Mooney advised various tribes to obtain a legal charter to protect their religious freedom. With Mooney’s help, the Native American Church was officially incorporated in 1918. Today it is the most widespread Native  American religion in the world.

When most people think of Indigenous American Spiritual practices they think of the The Sun Dance, Vision Quest and Sweat Lodge. These ceremonials are gaining in popularity but are actually very rare. Very few Sun Dances exist, with around only 300 annual Dances. For the Native American Church on the other hand, there are probably a minimum of 300 Ceremonies every weekend in North America. That sounds like a lot, and compared to The Lakota Sun Dance and Sweat Lodge, it is. For the most part, Indigenous Spirituality is very rare.

Most Native Americans are Christian. There are indigenous spiritual traditions in the United States, The majority of them are very small groups and are very secretive. The Hopi spiritual tradition is literally held together by a handful of people.These great traditions are dwindling because the younger generations are not willing to take part in them and because the elders are not willing to share them outside of their own tribes.

Indigenous Spirituality is wrought with problematic issues. Like most spiritual organizations, many people are attracted to them for the wrong reasons. There are many people who Sun Dance who are alcoholic and have other addictions. There are Native American Church members of 20 years who are not genuinely spiritual. This is an issue in many spiritual paths. On a positive note, Native Traditions have served to attract people from all walks of life to make major changes in there lives and taught many to pray and behave themselves in a spiritual manner when they would not do so otherwise.

The beauty of the Red Road and it’s spiritual journey rests in it’s ability to empower the individual. The seeker is to find his or her’s own answers through a direct connection with the divine. Not to say that there are no intermediaries or leaders, there are. Seekers must push forward on their own steam and make real and personal sacrifices for the spiritual connection. No one can do that for you, your spirituality rests upon you alone and that is a truly universal truth.

No matter what sacrifices you have made, how many dances you have completed, how many ceremonies you have attended, the fact remains that your connection is within you and is dependent only upon your personal effort. Spirituality is an internal process. You may have the great fortune of sharing and celebrating that expression with others within a group, but the genuine connection always occurs within.

At some point the light of spiritual awakening dawns within. At this point one may become aware that others are not sincere and may be involved for selfish reasons. This is an inherent problem in all spirituality everywhere and is all too evident in Native America. Spirituality is a process, so it is very important not to be in a place of judgement.  A path may have attracted someone with the romanticism of Native heritage or the allure of ancient mystic practices. Medicines like Peyote and Ayahuasca attract many people, some are beckoned by narcotic curiosity alone. Whatever the case may be, at some point the seeker is faced with the inevitable spiritual dilemma of one’s own divine connection.

Most American Indian Spiritual leaders hold other spiritual paths in the highest regard and are not in judgement of race. In this day and age it is of utmost importance for all religions to have respect for one another and to learn from one another as well. It is crucial now for us to see the bigger picture, far above our cultural influence and personal opinions is the bigger picture. What is the Center of the Universe’s view on Native Spirituality as opposed to anything else? What does God think about what kind of spiritual group you are a part of? what is important to our Mother Earth in terms of how we pray?

In Indigenous American spiritually we say that “there is no wrong or right way to pray” and “don’t make someone wrong for praying”. When involved in the task of spirituality it is important to keep a clear and unhindered perspective. beyond every thing you think you know, there is the reality of your connection to the divine. It is essential to strip your self of illusions about spirituality, to lay bare and honest ones intentions on the path.

Indigenous spirituality does this very well, but, for the spiritual seeker we advise you to learn everything you can about spirituality. Keep your mind as open as you can. All spiritual paths should lead to the same place and most of them may have some piece of the puzzle. Tolerance between the worlds’ religions may be the key for all of us to having a better relationship with the divine. Try for a moment to disregard the human concept of god and imagine Gods’ perspective of the whole issue.

There should be less emphasis on form and more emphasis on function. Having a pipe (Canupa) means nothing without being on the other end of it with a prayer. Whatever path you follow, others will criticize you for that and if we are to reach world peace , the criticisms need to come to an end. Tolerance, respect and love are what the spiritual paths teach and even an atheist will agree that these things are great. If you are on the Red Road don’t forget why you do what you do.

The Sacred

 

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We live in a world of rapid change, of changing priorities and changes in our perception. Have we as humans recorded this change, Have we measured the the passage of our perceptual change? How much has the light of knowledge dawned and to what degree have the shadows receded? We know there has been a change in the world around us, so what of the change within us? What is the spiritual significance of this change in our lives, for spiritual people?

For the spiritual seeker there is a clear distinction of what is sacred and that which is mundane. Our beliefs and our experience determine the degree and the extents of the boundary of the sacred. It is our perception of the sacred that defines the world around us, not only for the spiritual seeker, but for us all. The way we feel about things, our opinions and our perception paint the world around us. Perception is everything to us and it determines the quality of our life.

To our forefathers and mothers, the world around them was traced with certain dividing lines. There were places of great holiness according to the stories of old. There have always been those geological wonders that inspire in humankind a sense of divinity. Places, that according to the creation stories were blessed from some  divine event. Likewise, in the desolate waste land there exists a not so sacred place, perhaps a place of danger that is to be avoided. Perhaps a place condemned by myth.

For untold thousands of years we have lived with this precept of that which is sacred and that which is profane. In the minds of all of our ancestors were the dividing lines of varying degrees of sacredness, of sacred space. The ancestors listened to the teachings of the elders of the sacred center, Hocoka Wakan. Like the top of the sacred mountain. Not just the mountain that is sacred, but its’ summit. That pristine untouched place, pure and undefiled by man.

The lesson of the medicine wheel is one of sacred space and in it’s center is that neutral ground, the origin of all. From every place in the wheel the center remains, the scenery changes and our awareness of the center changes yet it is still the center. This central point represents the first place, the creators’ first perception, its’ first vantage point. I am here! This is the time before time and it deals with space, the center of the universe!

In all ceremonies you will find such a space, hallowed ground upon the altar, maybe even too divine to touch, like the sacred mountains’ peak! One can locate such places easily, even to the untrained eye looking within the center of the Sweat Lodge or out to the center of the Sun Dance. The elders tell us of the wisdom of walking with sacred foot steps from this center into the rest of our lives. Every foot step taken in humility and respect in a sacred way upon our holy mother earth. Here we define the limits of sacred space, push the boundaries of divinity with our own respect and love for Mother Earth.

In the Creation stories emerge all that there is from the center and then space is measured and divided as the body of the divine mother, made out of the very primordial essence of the Creator. So here we have that level of sacredness that pervades all space, with every thing as sacred and not merely by virtue of its’ origin but also by virtue of its existence. It is sacred because it is, because it is not void. Void, then, could represent the mundane, the boring, even with the understanding that these are special too. There is this sense then, that a cursed place of wondering ghosts and wicked spirits is within the realm of this holy creation even though it is profane and cursed.

Here we venture into the realm of consecration, the act of forgiving a place. This is the idea of lifting a curse on a broken space, of filling the void of desolation with love and the acknowledgement if its divine origins. In the act of forming the altar of soil we consecrate it and by showing its center with the placement of the staff or blessed object we affirm the center of the universe and the origins of all space. Making a place a physical representation of the creation stories, redeeming a mundane place by acknowledging it as part of the goddess’s body.

With our minds we cast the divisions of sacred places even into modern day. The most non-spiritually focused person will still have that special warmth for ones place of birth. Affinity for ones childhood home and places of play are sacred within the mind of desacralized man. De-sacralized : to have removed the aura of sacredness from; secularize. For those with no concept of holiness, some things are still definitely special and for them, and therefore, sacred.

Within all creation myth is that sacred point of beginning which is marked by the center. From that center something very special happens, Movement! Like the center of the Aztec calendar we can see the central glyph of Ollin, motion, the Lakota God, Skanskan. This speaks of movement that came from stillness and stagnation, time that elapsed after timelessness. Just as form came from the void, motion came to the stagnant.

Here we have another thing that can be measured and perceived. Like space, it is the quality of our perception that determines the relativity of time. If you are waiting in vain for a very late friend, that time spent can be downright nasty, not sacred! Finally when the point of meeting with your friend and joy begins, time quickens and is savored as sacred in every cherished movement.

In essence, the act of ceremony is the re-enactment of the creation stories. The religious rite is now enacting the dawn of time and space. In the Sweat Lodge, Yuwipi, Sun Dance and every spiritual rite in every sane and sacred tradition one can find this division of sacred time and space. For the ancestors, the beginning of time was a holy time and the act of ceremony transformed the mundane time into sacred time, The consecration of time!

Our ancestors had a lot of sacred time. The four sacred divisions of the day and night, the dawn of light being the beginning of time and a space between time. The midday when the shadows are smallest and mark the apex of the sun, then dusk in its calmness and rest, also a space between time. Then midnight ( some say 2 or 4) when all is at rest and the Eagle is said to take a drink of water and the Mole ascends to feel the air. As it is with space, in the big picture we can see that all time could be seen as sacred by virtue of it not being non-movement.

For the Spiritual, time is a sacred movement of Great Mystery from beginning to end, from the time of the creators first awareness until the very fulfillment of that awareness all the way into omnipotence! From the first motion until that point that every thing that could have been done, moved and realized has been done. So the ancestors listened to the wisdom of the storyteller account that each passing moment in this life is to be lived in respect and honor and that each transition from one moment into the next is a sacred dance of the divine.

To modern man time is limited and not as vast as it was for his ancestors. It is measured by its limit and not by its infinity. For him time is running out and he is waiting, waiting for that place in time that, to him , is sacred. We live in a time where special time exists in leisure, after work. For our ancestors work was sacred, ritual drama and thought were seen as sacred acts and not as mundane things. To the original ancestors, leisure was more mundane than the hunt and the work.

Rather than speculating through the lens of our myopic spiritual opinions, let us look at what can be measured and counted with scientific processes. The elders speak of vast expanses of space and time as being sacred, The Sacred Mountains. Now they are seen more as national resources and places of leisure rather than the breasts of Mother Earth. Time can be counted for the domestic human in terms of seconds, minutes and hours rather than by experiences.

For industrialized humans, all time is mundane until those special moments finally arrive. Now the sacred has become the weekend, the party and for him the only true rituals are weddings and funerals. Most of the time is in passing now and in wait for something not boring. Such sacred events such as giving birth have been reduced to a medical procedure. The holiest of holy, in women’s time, the menses or moon-time is seen with shame and embarrassment, especially the first Moon-Time. Time is slipping away for the domestic human, and yet it is a dance for the aboriginal. Time always seems to be running out for those attempting to not be late and for Industrial man, death awaits him to mark the end.

Lets look at the modern spiritual seeker and domestic man on the timely path of salvation and redemption. Here we can easy measure that sacred time has been scheduled as a day of the week and sacred space has been confined to the inside of a church building! Even for the religious, the sacred has receded, it has been extracted from within the home. The personal shrine within the home and hearth and has been placed behind lock and key under the charge of a “spiritual middle man” who will intercede with God on you behalf. The spiritual path has devolved into an academic pursuit rather than being measured in terms of experience alone.

At the center of spirituality as well as life it’s self is our perception and our perception determines what we are aware of. Like all domesticated animals, we are focusing on our thought rather then our emotions. domestication is where neurosis are born and the mind prods and judges the feelings (which is the reverse for the untamed). The intellect is over shadowing bodily awareness and it can be proven scientifically. At the expense of our direct instinct we seem to be trading our knowing-ness for reflection, thinking about things.

Our modern cultures’  pursuit of intelligence may cost us our symbolical mind altogether. The symbolical mind has receded into our subconscious with the increase of language, meaning that we think more and more with words and less and less with symbols. This allows humans to be more intellectual at the expense of our ability to directly perceive things. This is scientific fact. What people are not measuring scientifically (anthropologically), are the changes in spiritual experience among domestic culture.

We now live in a world where the earth itself is seen as profane and something to be harnessed and dominated. With our perception we paint the world around us and as we open our minds to rationalization we can also be seen as closing our our minds to the Spiritual. The spirit is outside of math, measurement and logic. The spiritual defies the mind just as the void defies form. The Sacred is becoming superstition and collectively the human race is shutting itself off from non-rational possibilities. “Miracles” are quickly becoming “impossibilities”.

It is up to us to keep the dream alive and who knows what fate awaits our kind? Do not rely too heavily upon the mind. Many wonderful things are coming from the organization of human affairs, let’s not cast ourselves into the mundane in the process. Hold on to the magic unbridled, release everything you think you know and deify the unnatural ways though which you have been conditioned. Arrive alive in sacred space and time. Here and now, everywhere and forever! Shine as brightly as you can.

Show Father sky and Mother Earth your urgency, live life aloud and rise above your petty comfort zones. Resist being comforted into a state of complacency, refuse being lulled away into the suckling comforts of domesticated inertia. Fight and overcome what is rightfully yours as humans, for the wildness and unpredictable spirit untamed. Reclaim what you really want of your selves, feel the power of Nature and the timeless connection to the very center of all that is. You are an Immortal being, fearless and impervious to everything on this earth.

Claw through your thin domestic veneer and be who you were always meant to be. Come alive and face the storm with abandon. Show some backbone in your life and roar aloud! Be bold and real, stop cradling your precious internal dialog and false self image. Go beyond all that and break through to your savage, real and animal connection to your Mother Earth.

Aho Mitaku Oyasin!

 

SPIRIT HELPERS

SPIRIT HELPERS

With a basic understanding of Comparative Religion, it is easy to see that spiritual traditions are all fundamentally the same. Especially with respect to the major deities. No matter your tradition, you focus upon the center of the universe and the source of all life. All religions and spiritual paths inherently celebrate the same thing really. Aside from the obvious creator/creatrix, there are the spirit helpers, Angels, messengers, immortals (saints) and spiritual intermediaries.logo FSICC,9

A Spiritual Helper can be several things. First and foremost is the idea that one of the major deities of the creation stories is presiding over you and helping you. Secondly, there are the Messengers, those beings who carry our prayers to the Major Deities / Gods and Goddesses so that they might hear them and eventually answer them.

The messengers are Divine beings. Regardless of your tradition and what you think you know, these Divine beings can be many things, Angelic beings (Wakinyan), Fairies (canotila) and Little People (Wiwila). All of these messengers have a few things in common. They were all created to work for the Gods and Goddesses (Collectively known as Wakan Kin), and do not procreate as we do.

Then, lastly, there are the Spirit helpers in the form of Immortals. Immortals are many different beings. These are the saints, or mortals who have attained special power by fortifying their souls. In most Indigenous traditions, these can be humans, animals and other mortal beings that have transcended their limitations. These are the Spirit Helpers that make one tradition different from another. This type of spirit helper is what makes a tradition different than no tradition. and this is what I want to talk about here.

Some descriptions of Native American saints are wrongly labeled as ghosts. What is known as the Ghost Nations, can be more accurately described as Immortals. This concept is not limited to humans and can be an animal, plant or other being that has attained enlightenment. For example, a great bear of the forest may somehow be granted power for some brave selfless act and thereby attain sainthood.

In all of this is the idea that some Immortals are better than others to have as Spiritual Helpers. Immortals are important and unique in that they can tell you things and help you as a friend. The eagle can see where the buffalo are and show you how to find them. The Human immortal can speak and give advice.

In the Lakota language, all of these Spirit helpers, as well as any divine beings, are known as Tunkasila. Roughly translated this means grandfather, but the term is applied in a genderless way. When someone says “Wakan Tanka, Tunkasila”, it can be understood as Creator, Spirit helper. A female Immortal would still be referred to as Tunkasila because the spirit world is somewhat more genderless than the physical realms. Tunkasila are the ancestors, whether they be the gods, Goddesses, gnomes, fairies, stones, trees or whatever.

In Native American traditions people speak of animal totems. This has to do with family ties to the animal nations. It is believed that far in the past most humans and animals could change their species. Humans could transform themselves into animals and animals could become humans. There are still a few individuals that can do this. This is known as shape shifting. As the story goes, humans and animals intermarried creating ancestral inter-species relations.

Ones’ animal totem has to do with an ancestral link with a particular animal. most people can see, when looking at a family, what animal is more prevalent. You can tell which parent past on the animal of their family to their children. The bear is a very prevalent family totem among all humans. This is so because bears came from humans. In the same way that it is believed that humans came from primates, we believe that bears come from people. That is why many tribes won’t eat Bear meat, it is considered cannibalism. Likewise, a medicine woman who works with the buffalo or has a strong family connection to the buffalo, will not eat buffalo meat.

A healer may have an ancestral link to the Elk nation, yet may have a “ghost” Spirit Helper of the mountain lion (for example). Inherently  a totem animal is a spirit helper of sorts, in that there is a connection to another nation, as relatives.

All beings are created in the image and likeness of the creator, on earth as it is in heaven, as above, so below. That’s true for everything and every event we experience. In Lakota philosophy this is known as Gapemini. For every visible/physical thing there is an invisible/ethereal counterpart. Likewise, for the creator to make the trees, it would have first had something like a tree within itself (for example). So, all trees have an over-soul, an angelic being “Tree” after which all trees were modeled.

There then is a messenger or angelic being representing of all forms of life in the universe. In the Lakota belief there are then 405 angels. That is why we make 405 tobacco prayer ties for the Hanbleceya (Vision Quest Ceremony).This is to address them all, perhaps only one or two of them will come to hear our prayers, but they are all invited. It is interesting to note that in European Christian lore, the Angels started to be depicted as humans (and as males), when in the original biblical descriptions, they are combined animal forms and never depicted as people.

Whatever the case may be, there are many types of helpful spirits. what I am wanting to focus on are the spirits that make one altar more effective than another. The reason why ancient traditions are more effective than domestic, contemporary traditions, is because they have more seniority and more validity with the founders of the universe.

People of our modern culture have difficulty understanding this concept. Those who do experiment with different spiritual paths, usually settle for something more tame and comfortable. These times are forging a whole new era of simplified, domestic religious systems. The problem with this is purely metaphysical and has little to do with doctrine or philosophy. It has to do with who you know and what kind of connections you have (spiritually).

Suppose you wanted a job as an executive for a large business. You would have to get credentials, get the right kind of education. The person hiring you would have to actually like you, You couldn’t just act like a jerk and expect to get the job. You would have to show that you have the skills to communicate by communicating in the right way. Suppose you got the job, you would have to learn who is who and fit into the pecking order And it would be of utmost importance to go through the proper channels.

As it is in the spiritual world, Just like anything else, it is all about who you know, the friends you make and your ability to forge and maintain good relations. A medicine man may gain a few Spirit helpers in his lifetime. This is within the context that he has a 26 thousand year old tradition backing him up. A tradition that forms a collective of Spiritual immortals that could not be achieved in any other way.

When someone just starts a new religion it will not have the power that an ancient tradition has. Most people in our culture would never even know the difference. In Indigenous Traditions, miraculous events are commonplace. Contemporary traditions scoff at this, claiming that it is the work of evil spirits. Some of the most powerful traditions of this earth have been massacred under this pretext.

When a ceremony is about to begin some of the The spirit Helpers are signaled by the activity itself, others are called from far away with songs. It is said that we were given intelligence and a voice originally for the communication with spirits. Some how we are so busy talking to ourselves or each other that we barely notice the spirits nowadays. All animals may use their voices to speak to one another, but if you pay close attention, you can catch them in the act of calling out to the very center of the universe, praying.

The Messengers or Angelic Beings are likewise specially attuned to the human voice. They were designed to hear us, to help us, as part of our birthright. An audio recording of Incantations to a spirit will not conjure that spirit, only the true voice will do that. If you have been praying for something and it has not come to pass, perhaps you haven’t spoken your prayer out loud. Many spirits may be able to read your mind, but not necessarily the messengers meant to carry your prayers.

It is interesting to notice, if you pay close attention to a spirit that is listening to a person’s prayer. notice what happens when the normal speech of the prayer breaks into a shaky crying voice. The spirit reacts with great urgency! Perhaps this is why in some spiritual traditions, prayers are recited, purposefully, in a shaky, weeping tone.

 Many spirits recognize any rite as being a ritual, especially by the presence of fire and water,  fire and water are part of what forms a doorway for spiritual beings. Just to make up a ritual one may attract attention but that is not always a good thing.  When a leader of an ancient tradition of any kind presides over a ceremony, he or she calls a group of spirits specific to that tradition.  To lead a made up ceremony may call upon one’s individual spirit or ones own ancestors.  When calling ancestors you should be aware of many things, as an example, when they show up, they may be angered by the breaking of some family taboo.  It may be something long forgotten by you in the present.

For example, if you have family ties to the Deer Nation, and your family was forbidden to eat deer for thousands of years, but somehow lost that ancestral vow, you could be in quite a fix when that spirit shows up. If your ancestors made any agreement with the spirits you would have to remedy that in the present, after all, you are here on behalf of your ancestors and therefore have somewhat of a responsibility to them.

Some spirits of one tradition may not jibe with the spirits of another.  In most all religions and systems of magic, it is understood that whatever you offer you attract. If you offer alcohol, you will attract spirits that like that stuff. Don’t offer Buffalo kidney to a vegetarian Hindu goddess! this represents what we call the mixing of medicines.

In the Voodoo tradition,  for instance, you will notice altars of conflicting deities are kept separate and not crossed. Different and even enemy forces of nature my be honored by one person, yet their altars are not lumped together like some new-age mishmash. These things are subtle to us, but very important to them.

When someone becomes a Medicine Man or Woman it is because they are initiated in a true tradition, regardless of anything else.  Whatever the case, a position like that exists because a group of spirits are assigned to a person by another person according to that tradition.  By merely understanding Native American spirituality by itself one may not  necessarily enlist the help of those spirits. There has to be an unbroken line of tradition making the connection.

As an example, from the Catholic tradition one can see then, the emergence of the Protestant faith. This is an interesting example because the protestants actually cut themselves off from the Catholic saints. Aside from God, the other major deities and the Angels, the protestants basically had to start from scratch. Over time they gained Spirit Helpers.

Keep in mind that there really is no wrong or right way to pray. The creation herself is the body of the goddess. No one goes unheard. We are all inherently connected to the source of all that is. No matter what wrongs we commit we are all inextricably connected to the creator. We are made out of the very substance of god and cannot even escape our divinity if we tried. It is a reality that we, as beings, can offend the spirits in the same way we could offend each other and even ourselves. Part of any Indigenous tradition relies upon the adherence to ancestral vows.

Nevertheless, though beings may take many forms and many bodies, we have one spirit. There is one force fueling all perception and that is the one thing beyond math and comprehension. The fabric of the universe is woven with one thread! Each one of us, and everything, has a direct connection to Wakan Tanka.

What makes a Tradition powerful is it’s collective of spiritual Helpers, particularly the immortals. Spirituality is the same with anything else. There is a structure and order to all things. When we are born, we work hard to learn to move. We learn slowly to stand, walk, Talk and everything else. the same thing goes with the spiritual path. We can’t just walk right after being born. In the spiritual life is no different.

A true spiritual tradition is characterized by it’s saints or Immortals. When a person claims to have spiritual power outside of a traditional context it is actually very rare.  There are many who take up a priest like position alone, like the new-age shaman or the solitary practitioner among neo-paganism.  The problem here lies in the issue that one person cannot enlist the help of enough spirits to form a group of spirits that characterize a true tradition.  The spirits of Native American spirituality in general are a culmination of thousands of lifetimes of spiritual work, sometimes more.

Being a Medicine Man or Woman is not dependent on what you know or how you behave.  Those factors do determine how long you keep that power.  Like many indigenous paths, a two way communication with the spirits is inherent.  This allows everyone to be informed directly rather than from written or oral instruction.  As you can imagine all this could be very dangerous without a traditional connection to a living lineage.

What does enlist the help of spiritual forces regardless of anything are the making of offerings.  A personal sacrifice, changing your behavior, leaving behind your ugly old ways or putting water out for your ancestors.  This is something that anyone can do and is probably the best thing to do to form spiritual alliances.

Powwow Songs

 

Saguache Powwow Songs

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PowWow

 

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Native American Church Songs

 

 

 

 

In bloom

What we Believe

PETA WAKANPETA WAKAN

VISION STATEMENT

 TO BE A COMMUNITY WHICH AUTHENTICALLY PROMOTES AND SUSTAINS: TRADITIONAL INDIGENOUS AMERICAN RITUALS AND CEREMONIES; AWARENESS OF AND PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD LAND AND WATER STEWARDSHIP; HARMONIOUS LIVING WITH ALL BEINGS AND NATURE THROUGH A SELF-SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY. OUR VISION IS TO SUSTAIN, ADMINISTER, PROTECT, FACILITATE, SPREAD, EDUCATE, EXERCISE AND EXPRESS TO AND FOR ALL PEOPLES THE INDIGENOUS AND ABORIGINAL RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES, WAYS OF SPIRITUAL EXPRESSION, AND WAYS OF LIVING IN HARMONY WITH THE EARTH, EACH OTHER, AND GOD, WAKAN TANKA.

Feb 2015 MIAMI-PUERTO RICO 300

 

 

MISSION STATEMENT

OUR MISSION IS TO PROVIDE AUTHENTIC TRADITIONAL INDIGENOUS CEREMONIES AND RITUALS. OUR COMMUNITY WILL BE ORGANIZED FOR THE EXPRESSION OF INDIGENOUS SPIRITUALITY AND TO PROVIDE RELIGIOUS, SPIRITUAL AND EDUCATIONAL SERVICES FOR ALL PEOPLES WILLING TO LIVE IN A SACRED WAY.

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PURPOSE STATEMENT

 WE PRESERVE INDIGENOUS CEREMONY AND RITUAL, BECAUSE IT IS AN ENDANGERED SPIRITUAL PRACTICE.  WE WANT TO HELP HUMANKIND BY PROMOTING AND ENSURING THE SANCTITY OF THESE TRADITIONS BECAUSE WE BELIEVE THEY ARE IMPORTANT FOR OURSELVES, FUTURE GENERATIONS, AND FOR THE SPIRIT; FOR THE HEALTH OF HUMANITY AND OUR PLANET. WE PROMOTE ACTIVITIES THAT NOURISH, STIMULATE, AND FURTHER DEVELOP HUMAN CREATIVITY THROUGH SPIRITUAL EXPRESSION, CULTURAL IDENTITY, CULTURAL ART, AND HISTORICAL CONSCIOUSNESS, AS WELL AS TO PROMOTE UNIFICATION OF ALL CULTURAL RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL WORKERS. WE HELP BY TEACHING PRAYER TECHNOLOGIES AND OFFERING WORKSHOPS, CLASSES, RETREATS AND OUTREACH PROGRAMS. WE ARE A LIVING EXAMPLE OF A HARMONIOUS AND SELF-SUSTAINING COMMUNITY.

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STATEMENT OF FAITH

MITAKUYE OYASIN/ALL OUR RELATIONS

 WE BELIEVE THAT WE ARE ALL RELATED.  WE ARE ALL SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD, REGARDLESS OF RACE, CREED, COLOR, AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION.  WE ARE ALL RELATED TO EACH OTHER AS HUMANS. WE ARE ALL RELATED TO THE ANIMALS, THE TWO LEGGED, FOUR LEGGED, WINGED, AND ALL CREATION. WE ARE ALL IN TURN RELATED TO THE EARTH, SKY, AND ALL THAT THERE IS AND THAT WE COME FROM THE STARS.  AS INTELLIGENT BEINGS, WE ARE OBLIGATED TO ACT RESPONSIBLY AS STEWARDS OF ALL CREATION.

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WAKAN TANKA/GOD

 WE BELIEVE IN THE ONE GOD, THE GREAT MYSTERY, WAKAN TANKA.  AS EVERYTHING HE IS FOUR DIVISIBLE BY FOUR AND AGAIN DIVISIBLE INTO THE SIXTEEN GREAT POWERS OF THE UNIVERSE: CHIEF GOD, GREAT SPIRIT, CREATOR, EXECUTIVE, STONE, EARTH, SKY, SUN, THUNDER BEINGS, BEAUTIFUL ONE, WIND, MOON, BUFFALO, BEAR, FOUR WINDS, AND WHIRLWIND. THE SIXTEEN EACH DIVISIBLE BY FOUR INFINITELY INTO ALL THERE IS, KNOWN, UNKNOWN AND UNKNOWABLE.

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CHANUNPA/SACRED PIPE

 WE BELIEVE IN OUR PRAYERS, IN THE POWER OF THE SACRED PIPE, AND THE WHITE BUFFALO CALF MAIDEN WHO BROUGHT THE PIPE TO THE EARTH FOR ALL IT’S PEOPLE.  WE BELIEVE IN HER TEACHINGS, HER BLESSING POWER AND THE PROMISE OF HER RETURN.

Sweat Lodge

INIPI WAKAN/SWEAT LODGE

 WE BELIEVE IN THE PURIFYING AND CLEANSING POWER OF THE SWEAT LODGE CEREMONY, THE SACRIFICE MADE BY THE STONE NATION, THE TUNKASILA (SPIRITS), AND BY ALL THE PARTICIPANTS. WE BELIEVE IN PRAYING WITHIN THIS MOTHER’S WOMB FOR SOBRIETY, CLARITY, GUIDANCE, AND HEALTH.

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HANBLECEYA/VISION QUEST

 WE BELIEVE THAT THE EVERLASTING WORD OF GOD IS SPOKEN FROM EVERY PART OF DIVINE CREATION, THAT THROUGH NATURE AND THE SACRIFICE OF THE VISION QUEST RITE THE GREAT MYSTERY SPEAKS TO US ALL DIRECTLY WITHOUT EXCEPTIONS, INTERMEDIARIES, OR INTERPRETERS.

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YUWIPI – LOWANPI/NIGHT SING

 WE BELIEVE IN THE NIGHT SING, THE POWER OF INYAN/STONE, THE MIRACULOUS HEALING POWER OF THE ANCESTORS AND THE SACRED SONGS. WE BELIEVE IN THE WIWILA/LITTLE PEOPLE, ANIMAL SPIRITS, AND THE VARIOUS OTHER TUNKASILA/SPIRITS. WE BELIEVE IN THE EMPTINESS OF THE MEDICINE MAN/WOMAN AS A HOLLOW BONE FOR THE SPIRITS’ WORK.

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WIYANG WACIPI/SUN DANCE

 WE BELIEVE IN THE ANNUAL SUNDANCE, THE PIPE, THE SACRIFICE OF THE SACRED COTTONWOOD TREE, THE POWER OF THE SUN, AND THE ETERNAL FLAME.  WE BELIEVE THAT THE SACRIFICES OF THE DANCERS, SINGERS, AND SUPPORTERS BENEFITS AND PURIFIES ALL THE PEOPLE.

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ALL NIGHT PRAYER VIGILS/TIPI MEETINGS 

WE BELIEVE IN THE SACRED FIRE, THE HOLY WATER, THE SACRED INSTRUMENTS, THE HALF MOON ALTAR, AND THEIR BLESSINGS.  WE BELIEVE IN THE SACRAMENTAL USE AND THE HEALING POWER OF THE PLANT NATIONS.  WE BELIEVE THAT OUR PRAYERS ARE HEARD AND ATTENDED TO. WE BELIEVE THAT WE WILL BE JUDGED, HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR OUR ACTIONS IN THE AFTERLIFE, AND IN THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.

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CALENDAR

 WE BELIEVE IN THE NATURAL RHYTHMS OF DAY AND NIGHT, THE FLOW OF THE SEASONS, THE MOVEMENT OF THE STARS, AND THE EXULTATION OF THESE OCCASIONS THROUGH ANY INDIGENOUS TRADITION OF THE EARTH.  WE CELEBRATE IN SACRALIZING THE ACT OF SONG, DANCE, RITUAL DRAMA, AND CEREMONIAL EXPRESSION.  WE BELIEVE THAT THE TIMES SHOULD BE KEPT, HONORED, RECKONED, AND OBSERVED.  WE BELIEVE IN THE SACRED HOOP AND THE CONTINUITY OF LIFE.

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TIOSPAYE/SPIRITUAL FAMILY

 WE BELIEVE IN FAMILY, EXTENDED FAMILY, ADOPTED FAMILY, AND OUR SPIRITUAL FAMILY. WE BELIEVE IN HOLDING REGULAR MEETINGS TO GOVERN, REWARD, AND DISCIPLINE OUR GROUP IN A HUMANE ABORIGINAL MANNER. WE RESPECT, HONOR AND ARE OBLIGATED TO CARE FOR OUR ELDERS AS WELL AS OUR MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN NEED. WE HONOR THE DECEASED THROUGH FUNERARY RITES BY MAKING OFFERINGS, PRAYERS AND CARING FOR SOULS.

PETA WAKANPETA WAKAN

CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

Fuego Sagrdo de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Corp. Native American Church (Sacred Fire of Itzachilatlan of Colorado Corp. Native American Church) CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

Article I

Fuego Sagrdo de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church (hereby referred to as F.S.I.C.N.A.C.)

VISION STATEMENT: To be a community which authentically promotes and sustains: traditional Indigenous American rituals and ceremonies; awareness of and practical knowledge of good land and water stewardship; harmonious living with all beings and nature through a self-sustainable community. Our vision is to sustain, administer, protect, facilitate, spread, educate, exercise and express to and for all peoples the indigenous and aboriginal religious ceremonies, ways of spiritual expression, and ways of living in harmony with the earth, each other, and God, Wakan Tanka.

Article II

MISSION STATEMENT: Our mission is to provide authentic traditional indigenous ceremonies and rituals. Our community will be organized for the expression of indigenous spirituality and to provide religious, spiritual and educational services for all peoples willing to live in a sacred way.

PURPOSE STATEMENT: We preserve indigenous ceremony and ritual, because it is an endangered spiritual practice. We want to help humankind by promoting and ensuring the sanctity of these traditions because we believe they are important for ourselves, future generations, and for the spirit; for the health of humanity and our planet. We promote activities that nourish, stimulate, and further develop human creativity through spiritual expression, cultural identity, cultural art, and historical consciousness, as well as to promote unification of all cultural religious and spiritual workers. We help by teaching prayer technologies and offering workshops, classes, retreats and outreach programs. We are a living example of a harmonious, self-sustaining community and fellowship.

Article III

STATEMENT OF FAITH:

Mitakuye Oyasin/All Our Relations

We believe that we are all related. We are all sons and daughters of God, regardless of race, creed, color, and sexual orientation. We are all related to each other as humans. We are all related to the animals, the two legged, four legged, winged, and all Creation. We are all in turn related to the earth, sky, and all that there is and that we come from the stars. As intelligent beings, we are obligated to act responsibly as stewards of all Creation.

Wakan Tanka/God

We believe in the one God, the Great Mystery, Wakan Tanka. As everything He is four divisible by four and again divisible into the sixteen great powers of the universe: Chief God, Great Spirit, Creator, Executive, Stone, Earth, Sky, Sun, Thunder Beings, Beautiful One, Wind, Moon, Buffalo, Bear, Four Winds, and Whirlwind. The sixteen each divisible by four infinitely into all there is, known, unknown and unknowable.

Chanunpa/Sacred Pipe

We believe in our prayers, in the power of the sacred pipe, and the White Buffalo Calf Maiden who brought the pipe to the earth for all it’s people. We believe in Her teachings, Her blessing power and the promise of Her return.

Inipi Wakan/Sweat Lodge

We believe in the purifying and cleansing power of the sweat lodge ceremony, the sacrifice made by the Stone Nation, the Tunkasila (spirits), and by all the participants. We believe in praying within this mother’s womb for sobriety, clarity, guidance, and health. Hanbleceya/Vision Quest We believe that the everlasting word of God is spoken from every part of Divine Creation, that through nature and the sacrifice of the Vision Quest Rite the Great Mystery speaks to us all directly without exceptions, intermediaries, or interpreters.

Yuwipi – Lowanpi/Night Sing

We believe in the night sing, the power of Inyan/Stone, the miraculous healing power of the ancestors and the sacred songs. We believe in the Wiwila/Little People, animal spirits, and the various other Tunkasila/Spirits. We believe in the emptiness of the Medicine Man/Woman as a hollow bone for the spirits’ work.

Wiyang Wacipi/Sun Dance

We believe in the annual Sundance, the pipe, the sacrifice of the sacred cottonwood tree, the power of the sun, and the eternal flame. We believe that the sacrifices of the dancers, singers, and supporters benefits and purifies all the people.

All Night Prayer Vigils/Tipi Meetings

We believe in the sacred fire, the holy water, the sacred instruments, the half moon altar, and their blessings. We believe in the sacramental use and the healing power of the plant nations. We believe that our prayers are heard and attended to. We believe that we will be judged, held accountable for our actions in the afterlife, and in the forgiveness of sins.

Calendar

We believe in the natural rhythms of day and night, the flow of the seasons, the movement of the stars, and the exultation of these occasions through any indigenous tradition of the earth. We celebrate in sacralizing the act of song, dance, ritual drama, and ceremonial expression. We believe that the times should be kept, honored, reckoned, and observed. We believe in the sacred hoop and the continuity of life.

Tiospaye/Spiritual Family

We believe in family, extended family, adopted family, and our spiritual family. We believe in holding regular meetings to govern, reward, and discipline our group in a humane aboriginal manner. We respect, honor and are obligated to care for our elders as well as our men, women and children in need. We honor the deceased through funerary rites by making offerings, prayers and caring for souls.

Article IV

COMMUNITY RESIDENT COVENANT: As tiospaye community participants of F.S.I.C.N.A.C. we are expected to:

1. Attend regular council meetings.

2. Participate in prescribed ceremonies and be willing to grow spiritually.

3. Do our share of work.

4. Refrain from alcohol, recreational drugs, pornography, foul language, use of firearms, television, or radio on the premises.

5. Refrain from excessive talking, visitation or inappropriate behavior.

6. Refrain from inviting others to live on the premises without council approval.

7. Be an active or honorary member in good standing.

Article V

GROUP COVENANT: As a member of F.S.I.C.N.A.C. I commit myself to The Great Mystery and to the other members to:

1. Protect the unity of my church by: o acting in love toward other members o refusing to gossip o respecting the statement of faith

2. Share in the responsibility of my church by:

  • praying
  • being involved
  • doing my share of work

3. Support the integrity of my church by:

  • attending faithfully
  • walking the Red Road
  • following the Vision Statement and Mission Statement

4. Reconciliation and Restoration

  • Be willing to change and grow spiritually
  • Bring any trouble before the Council Meeting
  • Be willing to receive counseling and correction

Article VI

MEMBERSHIP: There are four types of membership:Honorary, Beneficiary, Active, and General. Each level of membership has its own qualifications and privileges. Dismissal from any level of membership and restoration of membership or reconciliation are at the discretion of the Directive Council. Refer to Articles of Incorporation Article 7

Naming of Directive Council.

A. Honorary

1. Qualifications

  • -Dedicated life to F.S.I.C.N.A.C.
  • -Regular participation in ceremonies
  • -Access and use of facilities
  • -Actively help with positive growth of F.S.I.C.N.A.C.
  • -Demonstrate leadership
  • -Regular spiritual practice
  • -Agree with Statement of Faith
  • -18 years or older

2. Privileges

  • -Live on the land full or part time
  • -Voice on the council
  • -Taking care of others
  • -Share community food, supplies, and work
  • -Serve on committees and boards
  • -Contribute to and receive quarterly newsletter
  • -Notification of smaller, private ceremonies
  • -Protection to attend ceremonies and privilege to sponsor private ceremonies
  • -Have access to our international network

B. Beneficiary

1. Qualifications

  • -$1,000 or more yearly donation
  • -18 years or older

2. Privileges

  • -Short term stays on land
  • -Access and use of facilities
  • -Voice on council
  • -Quarterly newsletter
  • -Protection to attend ceremonies and privilege to sponsor private ceremonies
  • -Have access to our international network

C. Active

1. Qualifications

  • -$200 recommended donation a year
  • -Be on committees
  • -Screening and interview process
  • -Agree with Statement of Faith
  • -Regular participation at ceremonies
  • -Regular spiritual practice
  • -Committed to and actively help the spiritual growth of others
  • -18 years or older

2. Privileges

  • -Live on the land full or part time with a 3 month trial period
  • -Access and use of facilities
  • -Voice on the council
  • -Taking care of others
  • -Share community food, supplies and work
  • -Serve on committees and boards
  • -Contribute to and receive quarterly newsletter
  • -Notification of smaller, private ceremonies
  • -Protection to attend ceremonies and privilege to sponsor private ceremonies
  • -Have access to our international network

D. General

1. Qualifications

  • -$100 recommended donation yearly
  • -Attend a ceremony
  • -Donate at ceremonies
  • -Agree with Statement of Faith
  • -18 years or older

2. Privileges

  • -Short term stays on land
  • -Access and use of facilities
  • -Voice on the council
  • -Serve on committee
  • -Receive quarterly newsletter
  • -Protection to attend ceremonies and privilege to sponsor private ceremonies
  • -Have access to our international network Article VII F.S.I.C.N.A.C.

COUNCIL MEETINGS

A. Community: All participants have a voice although all authority in the community is vested in the deciding population known as the Governing Council. The following items of business shall be brought to the Council Meetings.

Selection of members and community residents

Budget

Projects

Community jobs

Discipline

Schedule

Use of property

B. Fiscal Year: Fiscal year of F.S.I.C.N.A.C. shall be January 1 through December 31.

C. Council Meetings: There shall be regular weekly meetings of the community for ceremonies, prayer, teaching, learning, support, inspiration and conducting business. At least annually the Governing Council and all members shall be called together to set major goals.

D. Emergency Meetings: Emergency meetings may be called at any time by any Governing Council.

E. Quorum: A quorum of the Governing Council shall be 80%. F. Voting: Voting on the selection of Members/Officers, changing the Articles of Incorporation / Bylaws or buying or selling property will be limited to the Directive Council.

Article VIII

SPIRITUAL ADVISERS: F.S.I.C.N.A.C. will also have a directive position known as Spiritual Adviser. The Spiritual Advisor’s duties will be to oversee rituals and ceremonies with the upmost highest reverence, integrity, and diligence in accordance with tradition of how they received the altars and authority to conduct said ceremonies. Spiritual Advisors will not be part of (unless they are Officers, members, and or Directive Council) administrative duties, governing, and or day-to-day maintenance of the Corporation. Spiritual advisors are those who fulfill all requirements and prerequisites as laid out below, and are also appointed by the Directive Council and have a good standing with all officers and members as understood below. Spiritual advisors can be members, Officers, and or Directive Council, but being any of the latter does not necessarily mean being a spiritual advisor. Being a Spiritual Advisor is a privilege and requires strenuous prerequisites and community approval. There will be categories of Spiritual Advisors according to the different requirements and ceremonies listed, also there will be levels within each category which will define how much authority is granted to perform the functions of the spiritual advisor and preside over or within ceremonies.

1. General Functions, responsibilities, and privileges of Spiritual Advisors. a) Spiritual leadership and guidance

b) Prophesying

c) Healing and protecting

d) Conducting and facilitating ceremonies

e) Working positions and performing duties within ceremony

f) Being an example of spiritual life and living in a sacred manner

g) Representing F.S.I. C. N.A.C.

2. General Qualifications and Requirements of Being a spiritual advisor

a) Walking the Red Road in a sacred way: as the Spirits, the white buffalo calf woman, the ceremonies, and the sacred teachings have defined it for us, passed through the ages by medicine people, chiefs, wise ones, and our ancestors.

b) By living and exemplifying the sacred virtues; including the Lakota 4 sacred virtues humility, compassion, humor, and courage, and the 7 arrows of the sacred fire, Faith, Hope, Charity, justice, temperance, prudence, and Fortitude.

c) Carrying a Canupa; which is received in a good way, by vision quest, marriage, Hunka, inheritance, and or by receiving as a gift from an elder or medicine person.

d) Doing vision quest annually; praying and fasting alone in the woods for the benefit of oneself and more importantly for the benefit of all living beings. To be in connection with tunkasila and the spirits.

e) To be in good standing with the community, members, officers, and directive council. To help the community and to be of service to it. To understand the functioning of ceremonial life and to not over step boundaries, comforts, and roles of leadership within the community and positions of spiritual advisors.

f) Being appointed by the directive council and most importantly being ordained and or officially recognized by the Chief Spiritual advisor and the other spiritual advisors, to have formally offered tobacco or opagi the Chief Spiritual Advisor for those specific purposes.

3. For a detailed description on categories and Types of Spiritual Advisors see attached appendix to the bylaws.

Article IX

CHURCH OFFICERS: Any two or more offices may be held by the same Person, except the offices of President and Secretary.

A. President: The president is a servant whose privilege it is to serve F.S.I.C.N.A.C. as a leader. The President shall:

  • -Compile and present the agenda for each meeting
  • -Preside over Council Meeting and other meetings
  • -Keep the Spiritual Advisors informed
  • -Be responsible for public relations

1. Term: The President is not limited by a term of office.

2. Nomination: Nominations for President shall be given to the Directive Council at a Council Meeting at least a week before the Annual Council Meeting. Any candidate for President should be an Active/Honorary Member in good standing.

3. Selection: The President will be selected at the annual meeting by the Directive Council or whenever necessary. B.Vice President: The Vice President is a servant whose privilege it is to serve F.S.I.C.N.A.C. by handling the Church’s Organization.

The Vice President shall:

  • -Manage all officers and/or committees
  • -Fill in for the President in his/her absence
  • -Assign tasks to officers and/or committees
  • -Deposit all church monies and oversee Treasurer activities
  • -Notify Treasurer of amount and designation of each deposit
  • -Oversee the management of property and/or residents of property

1. Term: The Vice President is not limited by a term of office

2. Nomination: Nomination for Vice President shall be given to the Directive Council at a Council Meeting at least a week before the Annual Council Meeting. Any candidate for Vice President should be an Active/Honorary member in good standing.

C. Treasurer: The Treasurer is a servant whose privilege is to serve F.S.I.C.N.A.C. by caring for the finances of the church in maintaining the church books.

The Treasurer shall:

  • -Receive all church monies, Count monies, Record monies
  • -Pay the bills
  • -Keep and present an accurate record of transactions
  • -Present an annual report
  • -Prepare and file reports for Federal, State and County taxes
  • -Maintain given records According to state law, the treasurer shall not receive or deposit any church monies.

1. Term: The Treasurer is not limited by a term of office.

2. Nomination: Nominations for Treasurer shall be given to the Directive Council at a Council meeting at least a week before the Annual Council Meeting. Any candidate for Treasurer should be an Honorary/Active Member in good standing.

3. Selection: The Treasurer will be selected at the Annual Council Meeting by the Directive Council or whenever necessary.

D. Secretary: Secretary is a servant whose privilege is to serve F.S.I.C.N.A.C by maintaining the church records.

The Secretary shall:

  • -Keep minutes of all council meetings
  • -Keep records of membership
  • -Maintain historical records

1. Term the Secretary is not limited by a term of office

2. Nomination: Nomination for Secretary shall be given to the Directive Council at a Council Meeting at least a week before the Annual CouncilMeeting. Any candidate for Secretary should be an Honorary/Active Member in good standing.

Article X

STANDING COMMITTEES: A member of a standing committee must be a member in good standing of F.S.I.C.N.A.C. The chairperson shall be chosen by each standing committee from among its members. Committees may bring decisions to the Governing Council for affirmation or a vote as they deem it necessary. The Standing Committees of F.S.I.C.N.A.C. may include, but not be limited to:

  1.  Ceremonial
  2.  Communal
  3.  Kitchen
  4.  Security
  5.  Shop
  6.  Educational/childcare
  7.  Woman’s
  8.  Men’s
  9.  Song/Language
  10.  Retreat
  11.  Fundraising

Article XI

INDEMNIFICATION: The Directive Council shall have and may exercise the power to indemnify any director, officer, employee, fiduciary, or agent or former director, officer, fiduciary, or agent of the Corporations, and the Personal Representatives of all such persons, against expenses actually and necessarily incurred in connection with the defense of any suit, action or proceeding, in which such person is made a party by reason of being or having been such director, officer, employee, fiduciary, or agent. Expenses actually and necessarily incurred shall be deemed to include the costs to such person of reasonable settlement made with the consent of the Corporation. Such indemnification, if approved by the Directive Council, shall not be deemed exclusive of any other rights to which such person may be entitled, under this Constitution, by agreement, by vote of the Directive Council, or otherwise. The extent of the Corporation’s power to indemnify the above-enumerated persons shall be as defined by Section 7-22-101.5 of the Colorado Revised Statues, which incorporates by reference Sections 7-109-101 to 1-109-110 and Section 7-108-402.2 of the Colorado revised Statues. Notwithstanding the above, nothing contained in this article, or elsewhere in this Constitution, or in the Articles of Incorporation, shall be construed to require the Directive Council to indemnify any director, officer, employee, fiduciary, or agent nor to grant to any such person a right of indemnification.

Article XII

ACQUISITION AND DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY

1. Real Estate. Any council meeting at which decisions are to be made to buy, sell or encumber the real estate or approve new construction on the property will be announced, and the nature of the business publicized at all regular meetings for two weeks prior to the meeting and the resident members shall be notified of said meeting by e-mail not less than ten (10) days before the meeting. Such decisions regarding the real property shall be approved by a vote of the Directive Council.

2. Organic Division. Should any unfortunate conditions arise which would bring division in the membership of this church, the property shall belong to the members who abide by this constitution. Should there be a question as to who is abiding by this constitution, a board of arbitration shall be appointed by the Directive Council, the association or convention with which the Church is affiliated at the time of division to determine which party of the division is following the constitution.

3. Dissolution and Disposition of Property. In the event of dissolution of the Corporation, the property and assets thereof remaining after providing for all obligations shall be distributed pursuant to the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act at Article 134.11

Article XIII

AMENDMENTS: These articles or rules or order may be altered, amended or stricken out at any regular council meeting provided that copies of the amendment have been presented in writing to the membership and duly publicized at Church meetings for a period of at least two weeks prior to such meeting, and provided further that such change shall not conflict with the articles of incorporation of the Church.

Article XIV

ORGANIZATIONS: No organization shall be formed or considered a part of church activities until it is approved by the Directive Council/Governing Council. Approved organizations must confer with a designated honorary member or officer from time to time regarding their objectives and plans. No organization shall incur financial obligations for the Church to pay, outside budgeted funds or special organization treasury, without the approval of the Directive Council/Governing Council. Each organization shall prepare a program and financial report of the annual meeting of the Church.

Article XV

ORDAINING, LICENSING, AND COMMISSIONING

1. Ordination. The church shall have the authority to ordain a member who has proven himself/herself to the Directive Council/Spiritual Advisors and having formally offered tobacco. The ordination process shall follow the recognized procedures of the F.S.I.C.N.A.C.

2. Licensing. The Directive Council shall have the authority to license a member of the Church who has demonstrated prolonged, consistent, and active ceremonial participation and/or having formally offered tobacco to carry out those spiritual functions and duties as approved by the Directive Council/Chief Spiritual Advisor. The license granted by the Directive Council/Spiritual Advisors may be ongoing and may be for a specified term. The Chief Spiritual Advisor may revoke this license at any time with or without cause.

3. Commissioning. F.S.I.C.N.A.C. will not commission anyone for any work to be done for the Church.

Article XVI

WAVIER OF NOTICE CONTRACTS: F.S.I.C.N.A.C. will not authorize any officer or officers, official or officials, agent or agents of the Church to enter into any contract for the Church. Whenever any notice is required to be given under the provisions of the State of Colorado Nonprofit Corporation Act or under the provisions of the Articles of Incorporation or the Constitution of the Corporation, a wavier thereof in writing signed by the person or persons entitled to such notice, whether before or after the time stated therein, shall be deemed equivalent to the giving of such notice.

May Building Project

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May Building Project

FOR MANY YEARS, WE AS A COMMUNITY HAVE PLANNED TO CREATE A PLACE FOR CEREMONY. MUCH PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE AND OUR POTENTIAL IS SO TREMENDOUS. OUR PLAN TO CREATE A FOUNDATION FOR THE PRESERVATION OF NATIVE AMERICAN SPIRITUAL CULTURE AND TRADITIONS HAS EXPERIENCED A LOT OF RESISTANCE THROUGH THE YEARS. WE HAVE BEEN PEACEFULLY PERFORMING CEREMONIES IN THIS AREA FOR TWENTY YEARS AND HAVE FINALLY REACHED THE POINT OF HAVING A HOME FOR OUR WAY OF LIFE. IT IS IRONIC, THAT IN AN AREA KNOWN FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE WORLD’S SPIRITUAL TRADITIONS, THE INDIGENOUS WAYS OF THIS LAND HAVE BEEN CONSISTENTLY REPRESSED. THE SAN LUIS VALLEY HAS FOR SOME 12 THOUSAND YEARS, BEEN A SAFE HAVEN OF THE VERY CEREMONIES WE AIM TO PROTECT. FROM THE SPANISH OPPRESSION TO THE EARLY SETTLERS AND MINERS A HUNDRED YEARS AGO AND NOW INTO THE PRESENT DAY, THE CULTURE OF THIS LAND HAS BEEN BRUSHED ASIDE TO MAKE ROOM FOR FOREIGN, INVASIVE CULTURES. ONE THING SHOULD REMAIN TRUE AND THAT IS THAT EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO THE FREE EXPRESSION OF THEIR RELIGION. AS A FEDERAL RIGHT.

 

SUNP0048

 

July 2014 058July 2014 060July 2014 061July 2014 062

 WE ARE MEETING WITH THE POA ON THE 20TH ABOUT OUR DENIED BUILDING EXTENSION AND ARE SUBMITTING OUR CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT WITH THE COUNTY THIS MONTH AND ARE HOPING FOR POSITIVE RESULTS.

03007292013_1243

OVER THE YEARS WE HAVE MET WITH A LOT OF RESISTANCE AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO PERSEVERE WITH JOY AND FAITH. ONE OF OUR GREATEST CHALLENGES WAS WHEN OUR BUILDING CONTRACTOR, JIM HAULMAN, ABANDONED OUR PROJECT IN NOVEMBER 2013, WHICH COST US SOMEWHERE AROUND $40,000. NO MATTER WHAT, WE WILL ALWAYS PROTECT OUR FREEDOM OF RELIGIOUS EXPRESSION. WE WILL CONTINUE TO STAND UP FOR OUR RIGHTS AND WE ARE COMMITTED TO PRESERVING AND SPREADING INDIGENOUS AMERICAN SPIRITUAL CULTURE.

teepee we used for the peyote ceremony

WHAT WE ARE PROPOSING TO DO WOULD BE A GREAT BOON TO SAGUACHE COUNTY AS WELL AS BENEFITING LOCAL REALTY AND LAND VALUE. OUR COMMUNITY ATTRACTS PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD. LOCAL BUSINESS’S AND PLACES OF LODGING BENEFIT DRAMATICALLY. PROPERTIES ADJACENT TO OURS AND IN THE AREA WILL ALSO HAVE A BRIGHT FUTURE, NOT TO MENTION ALL THE OTHER PROPERTIES THAT ARE CURRENTLY OWNED BY OUR CONGREGATION. THE ORIGINAL INHABITANTS OF OUR AREA, THE UTE TRIBE, WILL BENEFIT SIGNIFICANTLY FROM OUR LOCAL POWWOW. MANY LOCAL NATIVE AMERICAN GROUPS WILL BENEFIT FROM OUR GOURD DANCE AS WELL AS FROM ALL OUR OTHER CEREMONIAL EVENTS. HOPEFULLY PREJUDICE AND RACIAL ANIMOSITIES WILL COME TO AN END AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND IDENTITY WILL BE CELEBRATED.

 

Jamestown, America's first Property Owners Association.

Jamestown, America’s first Property Owners Association.

“In a time when the Ocean is being poisoned, radiation is contaminating our earth, food is being genetically altered to be a pesticide and war has become technologically streamlined. People and other animals are dying of cancer for no apparent reason. We live in a place where there is little hope and yet people will try to stamp out our little church, just because they can. like the people before them, destroying the indigenous to make room for the domestic. In times like these you would think people would feel shame for smashing the dreams and hopes of others. You would think people would exercise kindness and act with dignity.

That is our job, to help the aggrieved, to act with kindness and patience. It is for us to pray for the those who need help and forgive those who are filled with spite. While winds of doom blow stronger, we should hold to the dream of a better world.  Despite the wrongs and injustice of others, we can learn to forgive and allow our selves to be shaped by nature, rather than shaping nature. We could stand in this storm and shake our fists in anger at the storm, or we can occupy our time with love, truth and dignity. Never forget the injustices, but also never let them control your heart. As spiritual citizens it is also our job and obligation to uphold Religious freedom for ourselves as well as for the future generations.”

Aho Mitakuye Oyasin.

Click here to read about the POA and the FHA

Sorry sir, this part of the forest is not zoned for religious use

Sorry sir, this part of the forest is not zoned for religious use

Click here to read: The Department of Justice Newsletter: Religious Freedom in Focus Newsletters

TO READ THE FAIR HOUSING ACT CLICK HERE!

 

 

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South East Corner of building

South East Corner of building

Well Truck

Well Truck

Well Truck

A view from the arbor

A view from the arbor

Building site 2013

Building site 2013

Planing the well

Building site

Building site

Eastern View from Building site

View from Building site

teepee we used for the peyote ceremony

POA/HOA and the Fair Housing Act

stock-illustration-13883777-american-eagle-early-woodblock-illustrations

 

Federal Law Prohibits Housing Discrimination

The Fair Housing Act prohibits anyone from refusing to sell or rent housing to a possible buyer or tenant based on that person’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This act also prohibits housing discrimination based on family status. A seller or landlord cannot refuse to sell or rent to a buyer or renter who is a parent or guardian of a person under the age of 18.

An HOA’s regulations often give the board of directors the right to approve new buyers or renters. Because an HOA must follow the rules of the Fair Housing Act, an HOA board cannot reject a new resident based on the person’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or familial status.

The federal Fair Housing Act and Fair Housing Amendments Act (42 U.S. Code §§ 3601-3619, 3631) prohibit landlords from choosing tenants on the basis of a group characteristic such as race, religion, ethnic background, sex, familial status or disablity.

Sorry sir, this part of the forest is not zoned for religious use

Sorry sir, this part of the forest is not zoned for religious use

“It shall be unlawful to discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race,color, religion , sex, familial status, or national origin 42 U.S.C. 3604(b)”

The FHA applies to:
♠ Direct providers of housing;
♠ Entities and associations that set terms and conditions for housing; and
♠ Entities and associations that provide services and facilities in connection with housing

Courts have held that the FHA Applies to Community
Associations — including POA’s HOA’s and Condo Associations.
♠ Community Associations set rules and covenants that apply to homeowners.
♠ Community Associations provide services or facilities in connection with housing.

♠ Thus, Community Associations are “housing providers” under the FHA.

Flag-banner-Patriotic-GraphicsFairy2

♥ Block v. Frischholz, 587 F.3d 771 (7thCir 2009)Plaintiff, an orthodox Jew, sued Condominium Association and Board president for religious discrimination because Board refused to allow
him to have a religious display on his exterior door.

♥ The FHA Applies to Community Associations cont.Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence, Inc. v.
Key Colony No. 4 Condominium Assoc., 510 F. Supp. 2d 1003 (S.D. Fla. 2007)Plaintiff sued HOA and HOA board members under FHA and Florida housing laws claiming that occupancy restrictions and rules for pool and clubhouse discriminated against families with children.

♥ The FHA Applies to Community Associations Savanna Club Worship Service, Inc. v. Savanna Club
Homeowners’ Association, 456 F. Supp. 2d 1223 (S.D. Fla. 2005)Owners of a religious club sued HOA and board members because the HOA prohibited religious services in common areas
Note: The Court dismissed the Plaintiff’s claims because the HOA applied its restrictions in a neutral manner. The Court recognized, however, that HOA’s are governed by the FHA since they control and regulate certain property rights, such as use of common areas and facilities.

Antique-Patriotic-Eagle-Image-GraphicsFairy

Community Associations:
Restrictive Covenants
♠ Courts across the country have allowed lawsuits to proceed based on discriminatory covenant enforcement.
♠ Racially-restrictive covenants were a major reason for the implementation of the FHA in 1968.
♠ Currently, race, religion, and national origin are major areas of enforcement and risk for
Community Associations.

Community Associations:
Restrictive Covenants cont.Tokh v. Water Tower Court Home Owner Association, 327 Fed. Appx. 630 (7
thCir. 2009).In Tokh, a member of an HOA sued his HOA and its Management Company for national origin and race discrimination after being fined for enlarging a patio in violation of the HOA’s covenants.

Jamestown, America's first Property Owners Association.
Jamestown, America’s first Property Owners Association.

Potential FHA violations
♠ HOA allows religious groups to use a community chapel facility but not non-religious groups
♠ Condominium Association waives fee for Boy Scouts of America to use community room for free but charges other groups
♠ Community pool establishes “adult swim” hours
♠ Community Association-controlled golf course restricts men from playing on Tuesday mornings

stock-illustration-15495289-early-american-advertising-antique-woodblock-illustrations

Civil Violations
♦ Civil Penalties include fines of up to $10,000 for a violation of the FHA and up to $74,000 for multiple
violations
♦ Injunctive and equitable relief to stop and change practices and policies that violate the FHA
♦ Payment of Court costs and attorneys’ fees to the Government
♦ Individual penalties and liability for board members and other individuals!!

Criminal Penalties
♦ Violations of the FHA that involve threats, intimidation, or violence can also lead to criminal fines and imprisonment.

stock-illustration-13883965-american-eagle-early-woodblock-illustrations (1)

How can a renter file a discrimination complaint?

A POA-HOA member who thinks that an HOA has broken a federal fair housing law should contact a local office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the agency that enforces the Fair Housing Act, or check the HUD website at www.hud.gov. (POA-HOA members must file the complaint within one year of the alleged discriminatory act.)

HUD will provide a complaint form (POA-HOA members can fill the form out online) and will investigate and decide whether there is reasonable cause to believe that the fair housing law has been broken. If the answer is yes, HUD will typically appoint a mediator to negotiate with the HOA and reach a settlement (called a “conciliation”). If a settlement is later broken, HUD will recommend that the Attorney General file a lawsuit.

If the discrimination is a violation of a state fair housing law, the tenant may file a complaint with the state agency in charge of enforcing the law. In California, for example, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing enforces the state’s two fair housing laws.

Also, instead of filing a complaint with HUD or a state agency, tenants may file lawsuits directly in federal or state court. If a state or federal court or housing agency finds that discrimination has taken place, a tenant may be awarded damages, including any higher rent paid as a result of being turned down, an order directing the landlord to offer the rental to the tenant, and compensation for humiliation or emotional distress.

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To read The Fair Housing Act Click here!

The Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act

Sec. 800. [42 U.S.C. 3601 note] Short Title
This title may be cited as the “Fair Housing Act”.
Sec. 801. [42 U.S.C. 3601] Declaration of Policy
It is the policy of the United States to provide, within constitutional limitations, for fair housing throughout the United States.
Sec. 802. [42 U.S.C. 3602] Definitions
As used in this subchapter–

    (a) “Secretary” means the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

 

    (b) “Dwelling” means any building, structure, or portion thereof which is occupied as, or designed or intended for occupancy as, a residence by one or more families, and any vacant land which is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location thereon of any such building, structure, or portion thereof.

 

    (c) “Family” includes a single individual.

 

    (d) “Person” includes one or more individuals, corporations, partnerships, associations, labor organizations, legal representatives, mutual companies, joint-stock companies, trusts, unincorporated organizations, trustees, trustees in cases under title 11 [of the United States Code], receivers, and fiduciaries.

 

    (e) “To rent” includes to lease, to sublease, to let and otherwise to grant for a consideration the right to occupy premises not owned by the occupant.

 

    (f) “Discriminatory housing practice” means an act that is unlawful under section 804, 805, 806, or 818 of this title.

 

    (g) “State” means any of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any of the territories and possessions of the United States.

 

    (h) “Handicap” means, with respect to a person–

 

    (1) a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities,

 

    (2) a record of having such an impairment, or

 

    (3) being regarded as having such an impairment, but such term does not include current, illegal use of or addiction to a controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)).

 

    (i) “Aggrieved person” includes any person who–

 

    (1) claims to have been injured by a discriminatory housing practice; or

 

    (2) believes that such person will be injured by a discriminatory housing practice that is about to occur.

 

    (j) “Complainant” means the person (including the Secretary) who files a complaint under section 810.

 

    (k) “Familial status” means one or more individuals (who have not attained the age of 18 years) being domiciled with–

 

    (1) a parent or another person having legal custody of such individual or individuals; or

 

    (2) the designee of such parent or other person having such custody, with the written permission of such parent or other person.

 

    The protections afforded against discrimination on the basis of familial status shall apply to any person who is pregnant or is in the process of securing legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years.

 

    (l) “Conciliation” means the attempted resolution of issues raised by a complaint, or by the investigation of such complaint, through informal negotiations involving the aggrieved person, the respondent, and the Secretary.

 

    (m) “Conciliation agreement” means a written agreement setting forth the resolution of the issues in conciliation.

 

    (n) “Respondent” means–

 

    (1) the person or other entity accused in a complaint of an unfair housing practice; and

 

    (2) any other person or entity identified in the course of investigation and notified as required with respect to respondents so identified under section 810(a).

 

    (o) “Prevailing party” has the same meaning as such term has in section 722 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (42 U.S.C. 1988).

[42 U.S.C. 3602 note] Neither the term “individual with handicaps” nor the term “handicap” shall apply to an individual solely because that individual is a transvestite.
Sec. 803. [42 U.S.C. 3603] Effective dates of certain prohibitions

    (a) Subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section and section 807 of this title, the prohibitions against discrimination in the sale or rental of housing set forth in section 804 of this title shall apply:

 

    (1) Upon enactment of this subchapter, to–

 

    (A) dwellings owned or operated by the Federal Government;

 

    (B) dwellings provided in whole or in part with the aid of loans, advances, grants, or contributions made by the Federal Government, under agreements entered into after November 20, 1962, unless payment due thereon has been made in full prior to April 11, 1968;

 

    (C) dwellings provided in whole or in part by loans insured, guaranteed, or otherwise secured by the credit of the Federal Government, under agreements entered into after November 20, 1962, unless payment thereon has been made in full prior to April 11, 1968:

Provided

    , That nothing contained in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of this subsection shall be applicable to dwellings solely by virtue of the fact that they are subject to mortgages held by an FDIC or FSLIC institution; and

 

    (D) dwellings provided by the development or the redevelopment of real property purchased, rented, or otherwise obtained from a State or local public agency receiving Federal financial assistance for slum clearance or urban renewal with respect to such real property under loan or grant contracts entered into after November 20, 1962.

 

    (2) After December 31, 1968, to all dwellings covered by paragraph (1) and to all other dwellings except as exempted by subsection (b) of this section.

 

    (b)Nothing in section 804 of this title (other than subsection (c)) shall apply to–

 

    (1) any

single-family house

    sold or rented by an owner:

Provided

    , That such private individual owner does not own more than three such single-family houses at any one time:

Provided further

    , That in the case of the sale of any such single-family house by a private individual owner not residing in such house at the time of such sale or who was not the most recent resident of such house prior to such sale, the exemption granted by this subsection shall apply only with respect to one such sale within any twenty-four month period:

Provided further

    , That such bona fide private individual owner does not own any interest in, nor is there owned or reserved on his behalf, under any express or voluntary agreement, title to or any right to all or a portion of the proceeds from the sale or rental of, more than three such single-family houses at any one time:

Provided further

    , That after December 31, 1969, the sale or rental of any such single-family house shall be excepted from the application of this subchapter only if such house is sold or rented (A) without the use in any manner of the sales or rental facilities or the sales or rental services of any real estate broker, agent, or salesman, or of such facilities or services of any person in the business of selling or renting dwellings, or of any employee or agent of any such broker, agent, salesman, or person and (B) without the publication, posting or mailing, after notice, of any advertisement or written notice in violation of section 804(c) of this title; but nothing in this proviso shall prohibit the use of attorneys, escrow agents, abstractors, title companies, and other such professional assistance as necessary to perfect or transfer the title, or

 

    (2)

rooms or units

    in dwellings containing living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than four families living independently of each other, if the owner actually maintains and occupies one of such living quarters as his residence.

 

    (c)For the purposes of subsection (b) of this section, a person shall be deemed to be in the business of selling or renting dwellings if–

 

    (1) he has, within the preceding twelve months, participated as principal in three or more transactions involving the sale or rental of any dwelling or any interest therein, or

 

    (2) he has, within the preceding twelve months, participated as agent, other than in the sale of his own personal residence in providing sales or rental facilities or sales or rental services in two or more transactions involving the sale or rental of any dwelling or any interest therein, or

 

    (3) he is the owner of any dwelling designed or intended for occupancy by, or occupied by, five or more families.

Sec. 804. [42 U.S.C. 3604] Discrimination in sale or rental of housing and other prohibited practices
As made applicable by section 803 of this title and except as exempted by sections 803(b) and 807 of this title, it shall be unlawful–

    (a) To refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin.

 

    (b) To discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin.

 

    (c) To make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination.

 

    (d) To represent to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin that any dwelling is not available for inspection, sale, or rental when such dwelling is in fact so available.

 

    (e) For profit, to induce or attempt to induce any person to sell or rent any dwelling by representations regarding the entry or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons of a particular race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

 

    (f)
    (1) To discriminate in the sale or rental, or to otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any buyer or renter because of a handicap of–

 

    (A) that buyer or renter,

 

    (B) a person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is so sold, rented, or made available; or

 

    (C) any person associated with that buyer or renter.

 

    (2) To discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with such dwelling, because of a handicap of–

 

    (A) that person; or

 

    (B) a person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is so sold, rented, or made available; or

 

    (C) any person associated with that person.

 

    (3) For purposes of this subsection, discrimination includes–

 

    (A) a refusal to permit, at the expense of the handicapped person, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by such person if such modifications may be necessary to afford such person full enjoyment of the premises, except that, in the case of a rental, the landlord may where it is reasonable to do so condition permission for a modification on the renter agreeing to restore the interior of the premises to the condition that existed before the modification, reasonable wear and tear excepted.

 

    (B) a refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford such person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling; or

 

    (C) in connection with the design and construction of covered multifamily dwellings for first occupancy after the date that is 30 months after the date of enactment of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, a failure to design and construct those dwelling in such a manner that–

 

    (i) the public use and common use portions of such dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons;

 

    (ii) all the doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises within such dwellings are sufficiently wide to allow passage by handicapped persons in wheelchairs; and

 

    (iii) all premises within such dwellings contain the following features of adaptive design:

 

    (I) an accessible route into and through the dwelling;

 

    (II) light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations;

 

    (III) reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and

 

    (IV) usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.

 

    (4) Compliance with the appropriate requirements of the American National Standard for buildings and facilities providing accessibility and usability for physically handicapped people (commonly cited as “ANSI A117.1″) suffices to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (3)(C)(iii).

 

    (5)

 

    (A) If a State or unit of general local government has incorporated into its laws the requirements set forth in paragraph (3)(C), compliance with such laws shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of that paragraph.

 

    (B) A State or unit of general local government may review and approve newly constructed covered multifamily dwellings for the purpose of making determinations as to whether the design and construction requirements of paragraph (3)(C) are met.

 

    (C) The Secretary shall encourage, but may not require, States and units of local government to include in their existing procedures for the review and approval of newly constructed covered multifamily dwellings, determinations as to whether the design and construction of such dwellings are consistent with paragraph (3)(C), and shall provide technical assistance to States and units of local government and other persons to implement the requirements of paragraph (3)(C).

 

    (D) Nothing in this title shall be construed to require the Secretary to review or approve the plans, designs or construction of all covered multifamily dwellings, to determine whether the design and construction of such dwellings are consistent with the requirements of paragraph 3(C).

 

    (6)

 

    (A) Nothing in paragraph (5) shall be construed to affect the authority and responsibility of the Secretary or a State or local public agency certified pursuant to section 810(f)(3) of this Act to receive and process complaints or otherwise engage in enforcement activities under this title.

 

    (B) Determinations by a State or a unit of general local government under paragraphs (5)(A) and (B) shall not be conclusive in enforcement proceedings under this title.

 

    (7) As used in this subsection, the term “covered multifamily dwellings” means–

 

    (A) buildings consisting of 4 or more units if such buildings have one or more elevators; and

 

    (B) ground floor units in other buildings consisting of 4 or more units.

 

    (8) Nothing in this title shall be construed to invalidate or limit any law of a State or political subdivision of a State, or other jurisdiction in which this title shall be effective, that requires dwellings to be designed and constructed in a manner that affords handicapped persons greater access than is required by this title.

 

    (9) Nothing in this subsection requires that a dwelling be made available to an individual whose tenancy would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals or whose tenancy would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others.

Sec. 805. [42 U.S.C. 3605] Discrimination in Residential Real Estate-Related Transactions

    (a) In General.–It shall be unlawful for any person or other entity whose business includes engaging in residential real estate-related transactions to discriminate against any person in making available such a transaction, or in the terms or conditions of such a transaction, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

 

    (b) Definition.–As used in this section, the term “residential real estate-related transaction” means any of the following:

 

    (1) The making or purchasing of loans or providing other financial assistance–

 

    (A) for purchasing, constructing, improving, repairing, or maintaining a dwelling; or

 

    (B) secured by residential real estate.

 

    (2) The selling, brokering, or appraising of residential real property.

 

    (c) Appraisal Exemption.–Nothing in this title prohibits a person engaged in the business of furnishing appraisals of real property to take into consideration factors other than race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, or familial status.

Sec. 806. [42 U.S.C. 3606] Discrimination in provision of brokerage services
After December 31, 1968, it shall be unlawful to deny any person access to or membership or participation in any multiple-listing service, real estate brokers’ organization or other service, organization, or facility relating to the business of selling or renting dwellings, or to discriminate against him in the terms or conditions of such access, membership, or participation, on account of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
Sec. 807. [42 U.S.C. 3607] Religious organization or privateclub exemption

    (a) Nothing in this subchapter shall prohibit a religious organization, association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society, from limiting the sale, rental or occupancy of dwellings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose to persons of the same religion, or from giving preference to such persons, unless membership in such religion is restricted on account of race, color, or national origin. Nor shall anything in this subchapter prohibit a private club not in fact open to the public, which as an incident to its primary purpose or purposes provides lodgings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose, from limiting the rental or occupancy of such lodgings to its members or from giving preference to its members.

 

    (b)
    (1) Nothing in this title limits the applicability of any reasonable local, State, or Federal restrictions regarding the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling. Nor does any provision in this title regarding familial status apply with respect to housing for older persons.

 

    (2) As used in this section “

housing

    for older persons” means housing –

 

    (A) provided under any State or Federal program that the Secretary determines is specifically designed and operated to assist elderly persons (as defined in the State or Federal program); or

 

    (B) intended for, and solely occupied by, persons 62 years of age or older; or

 

    (C) intended and operated for occupancy by persons 55 years of age or older, and–

 

    (i) at least 80 percent of the occupied units are occupied by at least one person who is 55 years of age or older;

 

    (ii) the housing facility or community publishes and adheres to policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent required under this subparagraph; and

 

    (iii) the housing facility or community complies with rules issued by the Secretary for

verification

    of occupancy, which shall–

 

    (I) provide for verification by reliable surveys and affidavits; and

 

    (II) include examples of the types of policies and procedures relevant to a determination of compliance with the requirement of clause (ii). Such surveys and affidavits shall be admissible in administrative and judicial proceedings for the purposes of such verification.

 

    (3) Housing shall not fail to meet the requirements for housing for older persons by reason of:

 

    (A) persons residing in such housing as of the date of enactment of this Act who do not meet the age requirements of subsections (2)(B) or (C):

Provided

    , That new occupants of such housing meet the age requirements of sections (2)(B) or (C); or

 

    (B) unoccupied units:

Provided

    , That such units are reserved for occupancy by persons who meet the age requirements of subsections (2)(B) or (C).

 

    (4) Nothing in this title prohibits conduct against a person because such person has been convicted by any court of competent jurisdiction of the illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802).

 

    (5)
    (A) A person shall not be held personally liable for monetary damages for a violation of this title if such person reasonably relied, in good faith, on the application of the exemption under this subsection relating to housing for older persons.

 

    (B) For the purposes of this paragraph, a person may only show good faith reliance on the application of the exemption by showing that–

 

    (i) such person has no actual knowledge that the facility or community is not, or will not be, eligible for such exemption; and

 

    (ii) the facility or community has stated formally, in writing, that the facility or community complies with the requirements for such exemption.

Sec. 808. [42 U.S.C. 3608] Administration

    (a) Authority and responsibility

 

    The authority and responsibility for administering this Act shall be in the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

 

    (b) Assistant Secretary

 

    The Department of Housing and Urban Development shall be provided an additional Assistant Secretary.

 

    (c) Delegation of authority; appointment of administrative law judges; location of conciliation meetings; administrative review

 

    The Secretary may delegate any of his functions, duties and power to employees of the Department of Housing and Urban Development or to boards of such employees, including functions, duties, and powers with respect to investigating, conciliating, hearing, determining, ordering, certifying, reporting, or otherwise acting as to any work, business, or matter under this subchapter. The person to whom such delegations are made with respect to hearing functions, duties, and powers shall be appointed and shall serve in the Department of Housing and Urban Development in compliance with sections 3105, 3344, 5372, and 7521 of title 5 [of the United States Code]. Insofar as possible, conciliation meetings shall be held in the cities or other localities where the discriminatory housing practices allegedly occurred. The Secretary shall by rule prescribe such rights of appeal from the decisions of his administrative law judges to other administrative law judges or to other officers in the Department, to boards of officers or to himself, as shall be appropriate and in accordance with law.

 

    (d) Cooperation of Secretary and executive departments and agencies in administration of housing and urban development programs and activities to further fair housing purposes

 

    All executive departments and agencies shall administer their programs and activities relating to housing and urban development (including any Federal agency having regulatory or supervisory authority over financial institutions) in a manner affirmatively to further the purposes of this subchapter and shall cooperate with the Secretary to further such purposes.

 

    (e) Functions of Secretary

 

    The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall–

 

    (1) make studies with respect to the nature and extent of discriminatory housing practices in representative communities, urban, suburban, and rural, throughout the United States;

 

    (2) publish and disseminate reports, recommendations, and information derived from such studies, including an annual report to the Congress–

 

    (A) specifying the nature and extent of progress made nationally in eliminating discriminatory housing practices and furthering the purposes of this title, obstacles remaining to achieving equal housing opportunity, and recommendations for further legislative or executive action; and

 

    (B) containing tabulations of the number of instances (and the reasons therefor) in the preceding year in which–

 

    (i) investigations are not completed as required by section 810(a)(1)(B);

 

    (ii) determinations are not made within the time specified in section 810(g); and

 

    (iii) hearings are not commenced or findings and conclusions are not made as required by section 812(g);

 

    (3) cooperate with and render technical assistance to Federal, State, local, and other public or private agencies, organizations, and institutions which are formulating or carrying on programs to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices;

 

    (4) cooperate with and render such technical and other assistance to the Community Relations Service as may be appropriate to further its activities in preventing or eliminating discriminatory housing practices;

 

    (5) administer the programs and activities relating to housing and urban development in a manner affirmatively to further the policies of this subchapter; and

 

    (6) annually report to the Congress, and make available to the public, data on the race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, and family characteristics of persons and households who are applicants for, participants in, or beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries of, programs administered by the Department to the extent such characteristics are within the coverage of the provisions of law and Executive orders referred to in subsection (f) which apply to such programs (and in order to develop the data to be included and made available to the public under this subsection, the Secretary shall, without regard to any other provision of law, collect such information relating to those characteristics as the Secretary determines to be necessary or appropriate).

 

    (f) The provisions of law and Executive orders to which subsection (e)(6) applies are–

 

    (1) title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;

 

    (2) title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968;

 

    (3) section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973;

 

    (4) the Age Discrimination Act of 1975;

 

    (5) the Equal Credit Opportunity Act;

 

    (6) section 1978 of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1982);

 

    (7) section 8(a) of the Small Business Act;

 

    (8) section 527 of the National Housing Act;

 

    (9) section 109 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974;

 

    (10) section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968;

 

    (11) Executive Orders 11063, 11246, 11625, 12250, 12259, and 12432; and

 

    (12) any other provision of law which the Secretary specifies by publication in the Federal Register for the purpose of this subsection.

Sec. 808a. [42 U.S.C. 3608a] Collection of certain data

    (a) In general

 

    To assess the extent of compliance with Federal fair housing requirements (including the requirements established under title VI of Public Law 88-352 [42 U.S.C.A. {2000d et seq.] and title VIII of Public Law 90-284 [42 U.S.C.A. {3601 et seq.]), the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and the Secretary of Agriculture shall each collect, not less than annually, data on the racial and ethnic characteristics of persons eligible for, assisted, or otherwise benefiting under each community development, housing assistance, and mortgage and loan insurance and guarantee program administered by such Secretary. Such data shall be collected on a building by building basis if the Secretary involved determines such collection to be appropriate.

 

    (b) Reports to Congress

 

    The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and the Secretary of Agriculture shall each include in the annual report of such Secretary to the Congress a summary and evaluation of the data collected by such Secretary under subsection (a) of this section during the preceding year.

Sec. 809. [42 U.S.C. 3609] Education and conciliation; conferences and consultations; reports
Immediately after April 11, 1968, the Secretary shall commence such educational and conciliatory activities as in his judgment will further the purposes of this subchapter. He shall call conferences of persons in the housing industry and other interested parties to acquaint them with the provisions of this subchapter and his suggested means of implementing it, and shall endeavor with their advice to work out programs of voluntary compliance and of enforcement. He may pay per diem, travel, and transportation expenses for persons attending such conferences as provided in section 5703 of Title 5. He shall consult with State and local officials and other interested parties to learn the extent, if any, to which housing discrimination exists in their State or locality, and whether and how State or local enforcement programs might be utilized to combat such discrimination in connection with or in place of, the Secretary’s enforcement of this subchapter. The Secretary shall issue reports on such conferences and consultations as he deems appropriate.
Sec. 810. [42 U.S.C. 3610] Administrative Enforcement; Preliminary Matters

    (a) Complaints and Answers. –
    (1)
    (A)

 

    (i) An aggrieved person may, not later than

one year

    after an alleged discriminatory housing practice has occurred or terminated, file a complaint with the Secretary alleging such discriminatory housing practice. The Secretary, on the Secretary’s own initiative, may also file such a complaint.

 

    (ii) Such complaints shall be in writing and shall contain such information and be in such form as the Secretary requires.

 

    (iii) The Secretary may also investigate housing practices to determine whether a complaint should be brought under this section.

 

    (B) Upon the filing of such a complaint–

 

    (i) the Secretary shall serve notice upon the aggrieved person acknowledging such filing and advising the aggrieved person of the time limits and choice of forums provided under this title;

 

    (ii) the Secretary shall, not later than 10 days after such filing or the identification of an additional respondent under paragraph (2), serve on the respondent a notice identifying the alleged discriminatory housing practice and advising such respondent of the procedural rights and obligations of respondents under this title, together with a copy of the original complaint;

 

    (iii) each respondent may file, not later than 10 days after receipt of notice from the Secretary, an answer to such complaint; and

 

    (iv) the Secretary shall make an investigation of the alleged discriminatory housing practice and complete such investigation within

100 days

    after the filing of the complaint (or, when the Secretary takes further action under subsection (f)(2) with respect to a complaint, within 100 days after the commencement of such further action), unless it is impracticable to do so.

 

    (C) If the Secretary is unable to complete the investigation within 100 days after the filing of the complaint (or, when the Secretary takes further action under subsection (f)(2) with respect to a complaint, within 100 days after the commencement of such further action), the Secretary shall notify the complainant and respondent in writing of the reasons for not doing so.

 

    (D) Complaints and answers shall be under oath or affirmation, and may be reasonably and fairly amended at any time.

 

    (2)
    (A) A person who is not named as a respondent in a complaint, but who is identified as a respondent in the course of investigation, may be joined as an additional or substitute respondent upon written notice, under paragraph (1), to such person, from the Secretary.

 

    (B) Such notice, in addition to meeting the requirements of paragraph (1), shall explain the basis for the Secretary’s belief that the person to whom the notice is addressed is properly joined as a respondent.

 

    (b) Investigative Report and Conciliation. –
    (1) During the period beginning with the filing of such complaint and ending with the filing of a charge or a dismissal by the Secretary, the Secretary shall, to the extent feasible, engage in conciliation with respect to such complaint.

 

    (2) A conciliation agreement arising out of such conciliation shall be an agreement between the respondent and the complainant, and shall be subject to approval by the Secretary.

 

    (3) A conciliation agreement may provide for binding arbitration of the dispute arising from the complaint. Any such arbitration that results from a conciliation agreement may award appropriate relief, including monetary relief.

 

    (4) Each conciliation agreement shall be made public unless the complainant and respondent otherwise agree and the Secretary determines that disclosure is not required to further the purposes of this title.

 

    (5)
    (A) At the end of each investigation under this section, the Secretary shall prepare a final investigative report containing–

 

    (i) the names and dates of contacts with witnesses;

 

    (ii) a summary and the dates of correspondence and other contacts with the aggrieved person and the respondent;

 

    (iii) a summary description of other pertinent records;

 

    (iv) a summary of witness statements; and

 

    (v) answers to interrogatories.

 

    (B) A final report under this paragraph may be amended if additional evidence is later discovered.

 

    (c) Failure to Comply With Conciliation Agreement. — Whenever the Secretary has reasonable cause to believe that a respondent has

breach

    ed a conciliation agreement, the Secretary shall refer the matter to the Attorney General with a recommendation that a civil action be filed under section 814 for the enforcement of such agreement.

 

    (d) Prohibitions and Requirements With Respect to

Disclosure

    of Information. –
    (1) Nothing said or done in the course of conciliation under this title may be made public or used as evidence in a subsequent proceeding under this title without the written consent of the persons concerned.

 

    (2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the Secretary shall make available to the aggrieved person and the respondent, at any time, upon request following completion of the Secretary’s investigation, information derived from an investigation and any final investigative report relating to that investigation.

 

    (e)

Prompt Judicial Action

    . –
    (1) If the Secretary concludes at any time following the filing of a complaint that prompt judicial action is necessary to carry out the purposes of this title, the Secretary may authorize a civil action for appropriate temporary or preliminary relief pending final disposition of the complaint under this section. Upon receipt of such authorization, the Attorney General shall promptly commence and maintain such an action. Any temporary restraining order or other order granting preliminary or temporary relief shall be issued in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The commencement of a civil action under this subsection does not affect the initiation or continuation of administrative proceedings under this section and section 812 of this title.

 

    (2) Whenever the Secretary has reason to believe that a basis may exist for the commencement of proceedings against any respondent under section 814(a) and 814(c) or for proceedings by any governmental licensing or supervisory authorities, the Secretary shall transmit the information upon which such belief is based to the Attorney General, or to such authorities, as the case may be.

 

    (f) Referral for State or Local Proceedings. –
    (1) Whenever a complaint alleges a discriminatory housing practice–

 

    (A) within the jurisdiction of a State or local public agency; and

 

    (B) as to which such agency has been certified by the Secretary under this subsection; the Secretary shall refer such complaint to that certified agency before taking any action with respect to such complaint.

 

    (2) Except with the consent of such certified agency, the Secretary, after that referral is made, shall take no further action with respect to such complaint unless–

 

    (A) the certified agency has failed to commence proceedings with respect to the complaint before the end of the 30th day after the date of such referral;

 

    (B) the certified agency, having so commenced such proceedings, fails to carry forward such proceedings with reasonable promptness; or

 

    (C) the Secretary determines that the certified agency no longer qualifies for certification under this subsection with respect to the relevant jurisdiction.

 

    (3)
    (A) The Secretary may certify an agency under this subsection only if the Secretary determines that–

 

    (i) the substantive rights protected by such agency in the jurisdiction with respect to which certification is to be made;

 

    (ii) the procedures followed by such agency;

 

    (iii) the remedies available to such agency; and

 

    (iv) the availability of judicial review of such agency’s action;

 

    are substantially equivalent to those created by and under this title.

 

    (B) Before making such certification, the Secretary shall take into account the current practices and past performance, if any, of such agency.

 

    (4) During the period which begins on the date of the enactment of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 and ends 40 months after such date, each agency certified (including an agency certified for interim referrals pursuant to 24 CFR 115.11, unless such agency is subsequently denied recognition under 24 CFR 115.7) for the purposes of this title on the day before such date shall for the purposes of this subsection be considered certified under this subsection with respect to those matters for which such agency was certified on that date. If the Secretary determines in an individual case that an agency has not been able to meet the certification requirements within this 40-month period due to exceptional circumstances, such as the infrequency of legislative sessions in that jurisdiction, the Secretary may extend such period by not more than 8 months.

 

    (5) Not less frequently than every 5 years, the Secretary shall determine whether each agency certified under this subsection continues to qualify for certification. The Secretary shall take appropriate action with respect to any agency not so qualifying.

 

    (g) Reasonable Cause Determination and Effect. –

 

    (1) The Secretary shall, within 100 days after the filing of the complaint (or, when the Secretary takes further action under subsection (f)(2) with respect to a complaint, within 100 days after the commencement of such further action), determine based on the facts whether reasonable cause exists to believe that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur, unless it is impracticable to do so, or unless the Secretary has approved a conciliation agreement with respect to the complaint. If the Secretary is unable to make the determination within 100 days after the filing of the complaint (or, when the Secretary takes further action under subsection (f)(2) with respect to a complaint, within 100 days after the commencement of such further action), the Secretary shall notify the complainant and respondent in writing of the reasons for not doing so.

 

    (2)

 

    (A) If the Secretary determines that reasonable cause exists to believe that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur, the Secretary shall, except as provided in subparagraph (C), immediately issue a charge on behalf of the aggrieved person, for further proceedings under section 812.

 

    (B) Such charge–

 

    (i) shall consist of a short and plain statement of the facts upon which the Secretary has found reasonable cause to believe that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur;

 

    (ii) shall be based on the final investigative report; and

 

    (iii) need not be limited to the facts or grounds alleged in the complaint filed under section 810(a).

 

    (C) If the Secretary determines that the matter involves the legality of any State or local

zoning

    or other land use law or ordinance, the Secretary shall immediately refer the matter to the Attorney General for appropriate action under section 814, instead of issuing such charge.

 

    (3) If the Secretary determines that no reasonable cause exists to believe that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur, the Secretary shall promptly dismiss the complaint. The Secretary shall make public disclosure of each such dismissal.

 

    (4) The Secretary may

not issue a charge

    under this section regarding an alleged discriminatory housing practice after the beginning of the trial of a civil action commenced by the aggrieved party under an Act of Congress or a State law, seeking relief with respect to that discriminatory housing practice.

 

    (h) Service of Copies of Charge. — After the Secretary issues a charge under this section, the Secretary shall cause a copy thereof, together with information as to how to make an election under section 812(a) and the effect of such an election, to be served–

 

    (1) on each respondent named in such charge, together with a notice of opportunity for a hearing at a time and place specified in the notice, unless that election is made; and

 

    (2) on each aggrieved person on whose behalf the complaint was filed.

Sec. 811. [42 U.S.C. 3611] Subpoenas; Giving of Evidence

    (a) In General. — The Secretary may, in accordance with this subsection, issue subpoenas and order discovery in aid of investigations and hearings under this title. Such subpoenas and discovery may be ordered to the same extent and subject to the same limitations as would apply if the subpoenas or discovery were ordered or served in aid of a civil action in the United States district court for the district in which the investigation is taking place.

 

    (b) Witness Fees. — Witnesses summoned by a subpoena under this title shall be entitled to same witness and mileage fees as witnesses in proceedings in United States district courts. Fees payable to a witness summoned by a subpoena issued at the request of a party shall be paid by that party or, where a party is unable to pay the fees, by the Secretary.

 

    (c) Criminal Penalties. –

 

    (1) Any person who willfully fails or neglects to attend and testify or to answer any lawful inquiry or to produce records, documents, or other evidence, if it is in such person’s power to do so, in obedience to the subpoena or other lawful order under subsection (a), shall be fined not more than $100,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

 

    (2) Any person who, with intent thereby to mislead another person in any proceeding under this title–

 

    (A) makes or causes to be made any false entry or statement of fact in any report, account, record, or other document produced pursuant to subpoena or other lawful order under subsection (a);

 

    (B) willfully neglects or fails to make or to cause to be made full, true, and correct entries in such reports, accounts, records, or other documents; or

 

    (C) willfully mutilates, alters, or by any other means falsifies any documentary evidence;

 

    shall be fined not more than $100,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

Sec. 812. [42 U.S.C. 3612] Enforcement by Secretary

    (a)

Election

    of Judicial Determination. — When a charge is filed under section 810, a complainant, a respondent, or an aggrieved person on whose behalf the complaint was filed, may elect to have the claims asserted in that charge decided in a civil action under subsection (o) in lieu of a hearing under subsection (b). The election must be made not later than 20 days after the receipt by the electing person of service under section 810(h) or, in the case of the Secretary, not later than 20 days after such service. The person making such election shall give notice of doing so to the Secretary and to all other complainants and respondents to whom the charge relates.

 

    (b) Administrative Law Judge Hearing in Absence of Election. — If an election is not made under subsection (a) with respect to a charge filed under section 810, the Secretary shall provide an opportunity for a hearing on the record with respect to a charge issued under section 810. The Secretary shall delegate the conduct of a hearing under this section to an administrative law judge appointed under section 3105 of title 5, United States Code. The administrative law judge shall conduct the hearing at a place in the vicinity in which the discriminatory housing practice is alleged to have occurred or to be about to occur.

 

    (c) Rights of Parties. — At a hearing under this section, each party may appear in person, be represented by counsel, present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and obtain the issuance of subpoenas under section 811. Any aggrieved person may intervene as a party in the proceeding. The Federal Rules of Evidence apply to the presentation of evidence in such hearing as they would in a civil action in a United States district court.

 

    (d) Expedited Discovery and Hearing. –

 

    (1) Discovery in administrative proceedings under this section shall be conducted as expeditiously and inexpensively as possible, consistent with the need of all parties to obtain relevant evidence.

 

    (2) A hearing under this section shall be conducted as expeditiously and inexpensively as possible, consistent with the needs and rights of the parties to obtain a fair hearing and a complete record.

 

    (3) The Secretary shall, not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, issue rules to implement this subsection.

 

    (e) Resolution of Charge. — Any resolution of a charge before a final order under this section shall require the consent of the aggrieved person on whose behalf the charge is issued.

 

    (f) Effect of

Trial

    of Civil Action on Administrative Proceedings. — An administrative law judge may not continue administrative proceedings under this section regarding any alleged discriminatory housing practice after the beginning of the trial of a civil action commenced by the aggrieved party under an Act of Congress or a State law, seeking relief with respect to that discriminatory housing practice.

 

    (g) Hearings, Findings and Conclusions, and Order. — (

 

    (1) The administrative law judge shall commence the hearing under this section no later than 120 days following the issuance of the charge, unless it is impracticable to do so. If the administrative law judge is unable to commence the hearing within 120 days after the issuance of the charge, the administrative law judge shall notify the Secretary, the aggrieved person on whose behalf the charge was filed, and the respondent, in writing of the reasons for not doing so.

 

    (2) The administrative law judge shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law within 60 days after the end of the hearing under this section, unless it is impracticable to do so. If the administrative law judge is unable to make findings of fact and conclusions of law within such period, or any succeeding 60-day period thereafter, the administrative law judge shall notify the Secretary, the aggrieved person on whose behalf the charge was filed, and the respondent, in writing of the reasons for not doing so.

 

    (3) If the administrative law judge finds that a respondent has engaged or is about to engage in a discriminatory housing practice, such administrative law judge shall promptly issue an order for such relief as may be appropriate, which may include actual damages suffered by the aggrieved person and injunctive or other equitable relief. Such order may, to vindicate the public interest, assess a

civil penalty

    against the respondent–

 

    (A) in an amount not exceeding $11,000 if the respondent has not been adjudged to have committed any prior discriminatory housing practice;

 

    (B) in an amount not exceeding $27,500 if the respondent has been adjudged to have committed one other discriminatory housing practice during the 5-year period ending on the date of the filing of this charge; and

 

    (C) in an amount not exceeding $55,000 if the respondent has been adjudged to have committed 2 or more discriminatory housing practices during the 7-year period ending on the date of the filing of this charge;

 

    except that if the acts constituting the discriminatory housing practice that is the object of the charge are committed by the same natural person who has been previously adjudged to have committed acts constituting a discriminatory housing practice, then the civil penalties set forth in subparagraphs (B) and (C) may be imposed without regard to the period of time within which any subsequent discriminatory housing practice occurred.

 

    (4) No such order shall affect any contract, sale, encumbrance, or lease consummated before the issuance of such order and involving a

bona fide purchaser

    , encumbrancer, or tenant without actual notice of the charge filed under this title.

 

    (5) In the case of an order with respect to a discriminatory housing practice that occurred in the course of a business subject to a licensing or regulation by a governmental agency, the Secretary shall, not later than 30 days after the date of the issuance of such order (or, if such order is judicially reviewed, 30 days after such order is in substance affirmed upon such review)–

 

    (A) send copies of the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and the order, to that governmental agency; and

 

    (B) recommend to that governmental agency appropriate disciplinary action (including, where appropriate, the suspension or revocation of the license of the respondent).

 

    (6) In the case of an order against a respondent against whom another order was issued within the preceding 5 years under this section, the Secretary shall send a copy of each such order to the Attorney General.

 

    (7) If the administrative law judge finds that the respondent has not engaged or is not about to engage in a discriminatory housing practice, as the case may be, such administrative law judge shall enter an order dismissing the charge. The Secretary shall make public disclosure of each such dismissal.

 

    (h) Review by Secretary; Service of Final Order. –

 

    (1) The Secretary may review any finding, conclusion, or order issued under subsection (g). Such review shall be completed not later than 30 days after the finding, conclusion, or order is so issued; otherwise the finding, conclusion, or order becomes final.

 

    (2) The Secretary shall cause the findings of fact and conclusions of law made with respect to any final order for relief under this section, together with a copy of such order, to be served on each aggrieved person and each respondent in the proceeding.

 

    (i) Judicial Review. –

 

    (1) Any party aggrieved by a final order for relief under this section granting or denying in whole or in part the relief sought may obtain a review of such order under chapter 158 of title 28, United States Code.

 

    (2) Notwithstanding such chapter, venue of the proceeding shall be in the judicial circuit in which the discriminatory housing practice is alleged to have occurred, and filing of the petition for review shall be not later than 30 days after the order is entered.

 

    (j) Court

Enforcement of Administrative Order

    Upon Petition by Secretary. –

 

    (1) The Secretary may petition any United States court of appeals for the circuit in which the discriminatory housing practice is alleged to have occurred or in which any respondent resides or transacts business for the enforcement of the order of the administrative law judge and for appropriate temporary relief or restraining order, by filing in such court a written petition praying that such order be enforced and for appropriate temporary relief or restraining order.

 

    (2) The Secretary shall file in court with the petition the record in the proceeding. A copy of such petition shall be forthwith transmitted by the clerk of the court to the parties to the proceeding before the administrative law judge.

 

    (k) Relief Which May Be Granted. –

 

    (1) Upon the filing of a petition under subsection (i) or (j), the court may–

 

    (A) grant to the petitioner, or any other party, such temporary relief, restraining order, or other order as the court deems just and proper;

 

    (B) affirm, modify, or set aside, in whole or in part, the order, or remand the order for further proceedings; and

 

    (C) enforce such order to the extent that such order is affirmed or modified.

 

    (2) Any party to the proceeding before the administrative law judge may intervene in the court of appeals.

 

    (3) No objection not made before the administrative law judge shall be considered by the court, unless the failure or neglect to urge such objection is excused because of extraordinary circumstances.

 

    (l) Enforcement Decree in Absence of Petition for Review. — If no petition for review is filed under subsection (i) before the expiration of 45 days after the date the administrative law judge’s order is entered, the administrative law judge’s findings of fact and order shall be conclusive in connection with any petition for enforcement–

 

    (1) which is filed by the Secretary under subsection (j) after the end of such day; or

 

    (2) under subsection (m).

 

    (m) Court Enforcement of Administrative Order Upon Petition of Any Person Entitled to Relief. — If before the expiration of 60 days after the date the administrative law judge’s order is entered, no petition for review has been filed under subsection (i), and the Secretary has not sought enforcement of the order under subsection (j), any person entitled to relief under the order may petition for a decree enforcing the order in the United States court of appeals for the circuit in which the discriminatory housing practice is alleged to have occurred.

 

    (n) Entry of Decree. — The clerk of the court of appeals in which a petition for enforcement is filed under subsection (1) or (m) shall forthwith enter a decree enforcing the order and shall transmit a copy of such decree to the Secretary, the respondent named in the petition, and to any other parties to the proceeding before the administrative law judge.

 

    (o) Civil Action for Enforcement When Election Is Made for Such Civil Action. –

 

    (1) If an election is made under subsection (a), the Secretary shall authorize, and not later than 30 days after the election is made the Attorney General shall commence and maintain, a civil action on behalf of the aggrieved person in a United States district court seeking relief under this subsection. Venue for such civil action shall be determined under chapter 87 of title 28, United States Code.

 

    (2)

Any

    aggrieved person with respect to the issues to be determined in a civil action under this subsection may intervene as of right in that civil action.

 

    (3) In a civil action under this subsection, if the court finds that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur, the court may grant as relief any relief which a court could grant with respect to such discriminatory housing practice in a civil action under section 813. Any relief so granted that would accrue to an aggrieved person in a civil action commenced by that aggrieved person under section 813 shall also accrue to that aggrieved person in a civil action under this subsection. If monetary relief is sought for the benefit of an aggrieved person who does not intervene in the civil action, the court shall not award such relief if that aggrieved person has not complied with discovery orders entered by the court.

 

    (p) Attorney’s Fees. — In any administrative proceeding brought under this section, or any court proceeding arising therefrom, or any civil action under section 812, the administrative law judge or the court, as the case may be, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney’s fee and costs. The United States shall be liable for such fees and costs to the extent provided by section 504 of title 5, United States Code, or by section 2412 of title 28, United States Code.

Sec. 813. [42 U.S.C. 3613] Enforcement by Private Persons

    (a) Civil Action. –

 

    (1)

 

    (A) An aggrieved person may commence a civil action in an appropriate United States district court or State court not later than

2 years

    after the occurrence or the termination of an alleged discriminatory housing practice, or the breach of a conciliation agreement entered into under this title, whichever occurs last, to obtain appropriate relief with respect to such discriminatory housing practice or breach.

(B)

    The computation of such 2-year period shall not include any time during which an administrative proceeding under this title was pending with respect to a complaint or charge under this title based upon such discriminatory housing practice. This subparagraph does not apply to actions arising from a breach of a conciliation agreement.

 

    (2) An aggrieved person may commence a civil action under this subsection whether or not a complaint has been filed under section 810(a) and without regard to the status of any such complaint, but if the Secretary or a State or local agency has obtained a conciliation agreement with the consent of an aggrieved person, no action may be filed under this subsection by such aggrieved person with respect to the alleged discriminatory housing practice which forms the basis for such complaint except for the purpose of enforcing the terms of such an agreement.

 

    (3) An aggrieved person

may not commence

    a civil action under this subsection with respect to an alleged discriminatory housing practice which forms the basis of a charge issued by the Secretary if an administrative law judge has commenced a hearing on the record under this title with respect to such charge.

 

    (b) Appointment of Attorney by Court. — Upon application by a person alleging a discriminatory housing practice or a person against whom such a practice is alleged, the court may–

 

    (1) appoint an attorney for such person; or

 

    (2) authorize the commencement or continuation of a civil action under subsection (a) without the payment of fees, costs, or security, if in the opinion of the court such person is financially unable to bear the costs of such action.

 

    (c) Relief Which May Be Granted. –

 

    (1) In a civil action under subsection (a), if the court finds that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur, the court may award to the plaintiff actual and punitive damages, and subject to subsection (d), may grant as relief, as the court deems appropriate, any permanent or temporary injunction, temporary restraining order, or other order (including an order enjoining the defendant from engaging in such practice or ordering such affirmative action as may be appropriate).

 

    (2) In a civil action under subsection (a), the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney’s fee and costs. The United States shall be liable for such fees and costs to the same extent as a private person.

 

    (d) Effect on Certain Sales, Encumbrances, and Rentals. — Relief granted under this section shall not affect any contract, sale, encumbrance, or lease consummated before the granting of such relief and involving a

bona fide purchaser

    , encumbrancer, or tenant, without actual notice of the filing of a complaint with the Secretary or civil action under this title.

 

    (e)

Intervention

    by Attorney General. — Upon timely application, the Attorney General may intervene in such civil action, if the Attorney General certifies that the case is of general public importance. Upon such intervention the Attorney General may obtain such relief as would be available to the Attorney General under section 814(e) in a civil action to which such section applies.

Sec. 814. [42 U.S.C. 3614] Enforcement by the Attorney General

    (a) Pattern or Practice Cases. — Whenever the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that any person or group of persons is engaged in a pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of any of the rights granted by this title, or that any group of persons has been denied any of the rights granted by this title and such denial raises an issue of general public importance, the Attorney General may commence a civil action in any appropriate United States district court.

 

    (b) On Referral of Discriminatory Housing Practice or Conciliation Agreement for Enforcement. –

 

    (1)

 

    (A) The Attorney General may commence a civil action in any appropriate United States district court for appropriate relief with respect to a discriminatory housing practice referred to the Attorney General by the Secretary under section 810(g).

 

    (B) A civil action under this paragraph may be commenced not later than the expiration of

18 months

    after the date of the occurrence or the termination of the alleged discriminatory housing practice.

 

    (2)

 

    (A) The Attorney General may commence a civil action in any appropriate United States district court for appropriate relief with respect to

breach

    of a conciliation agreement referred to the Attorney General by the Secretary under section 810(c).

 

    (B) A civil action may be commenced under this paragraph not later than the expiration of 90 days after the referral of the alleged breach under section 810(c).

 

    (c) Enforcement of Subpoenas. — The Attorney General, on behalf of the Secretary, or other party at whose request a subpoena is issued, under this title, may enforce such subpoena in appropriate proceedings in the United States district court for the district in which the person to whom the subpoena was addressed resides, was served, or transacts business.

 

    (d) Relief Which May Be Granted in Civil Actions Under Subsections (a) and (b). –

 

    (1) In a civil action under subsection (a) or (b), the court–

 

    (A) may award such preventive relief, including a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order against the person responsible for a violation of this title as is necessary to assure the full enjoyment of the rights granted by this title;

 

    (B) may award such other relief as the court deems appropriate, including monetary damages to persons aggrieved; and

 

    (C) may, to vindicate the public interest, assess a

civil penalty

    against the respondent–

 

    (i) in an amount not exceeding $55,000, for a first violation; and

 

    (ii) in an amount not exceeding $110,000, for any subsequent violation.

 

    (2) In a civil action under this section, the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney’s fee and costs. The United States shall be liable for such fees and costs to the extent provided by section 2412 of title 28, United States Code.

 

    (e)

Intervention

    in Civil Actions. — Upon timely application, any person may intervene in a civil action commenced by the Attorney General under subsection (a) or (b) which involves an alleged discriminatory housing practice with respect to which such person is an aggrieved person or a conciliation agreement to which such person is a party. The court may grant such appropriate relief to any such intervening party as is authorized to be granted to a plaintiff in a civil action under section 813.

Sec. 814a. Incentives for Self-Testing and Self-Correction

    (a) Privileged Information. –

 

    (1) Conditions For Privilege. — A report or result of a self-test (as that term is defined by regulation of the Secretary) shall be considered to be privileged under paragraph (2) if any person-

 

    (A) conducts, or authorizes an independent third party to conduct, a self- test of any aspect of a residential real estate related lending transaction of that person, or any part of that transaction, in order to determine the level or effectiveness of compliance with this title by that person; and

 

    (B) has identified any possible violation of this title by that person and has taken, or is taking, appropriate corrective action to address any such possible violation.

 

    (2) Privileged Self-Test. — If a person meets the conditions specified in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1) with respect to a self-test described in that paragraph, any report or results of that self-test-

 

    (A) shall be privileged; and

 

    (B) may not be obtained or used by any applicant, department, or agency in any –

 

    (i) proceeding or civil action in which one or more violations of this title are alleged; or

 

    (ii) examination or investigation relating to compliance with this title.

 

    (b) Results of Self-Testing. –

 

    (1) In General. — No provision of this section may be construed to prevent an aggrieved person, complainant, department, or agency from obtaining or using a report or results of any self-test in any proceeding or civil action in which a violation of this title is alleged, or in any examination or investigation of compliance with this title if –

 

    (A) the person to whom the self-test relates or any person with lawful access to the report or the results –

 

    (i) voluntarily releases or discloses all, or any part of, the report or results to the aggrieved person, complainant, department, or agency, or to the general public; or

 

    (ii) refers to or describes the report or results as a defense to charges of violations of this title against the person to whom the self-test relates; or

 

    (B) the report or results are sought in conjunction with an adjudication or admission of a violation of this title for the sole purpose of determining an appropriate penalty or remedy.

 

    (2) Disclosure for Determination of Penalty or Remedy. — Any report or results of a self-test that are disclosed for the purpose specified in paragraph (1)(B) –

 

    (A) shall be used only for the particular proceeding in which the adjudication or admission referred to in paragraph (1)(B) is made; and

 

    (B) may not be used in any other action or proceeding.

 

    (c) Adjudication. — An aggrieved person, complainant, department, or agency that challenges a privilege asserted under this section may seek a determination of the existence and application of that privilege in –

 

    (1) a court of competent jurisdiction; or

 

    (2) an administrative law proceeding with appropriate jurisdiction.

 

    (2) Regulations. –

 

    (A) In General. — Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, in consultation with the Board and after providing notice and an opportunity for public comment, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall prescribe final regulations to implement section 814A of the Fair Housing Act, as added by this section.

 

    (B) Self-Test. –

 

    (i) Definition. — The regulations prescribed by the Secretary under subparagraph (A) shall include a definition of the term “self-test” for purposes of section 814A of the Fair Housing Act, as added by this section.

 

    (ii) Requirement for Self-Test. — The regulations prescribed by the Secretary under subparagraph (A) shall specify that a self-test shall be sufficiently extensive to constitute a determination of the level and effectiveness of the compliance by a person engaged in residential real estate related lending activities with the Fair Housing Act.

 

    (iii) Substantial Similarity to Certain Equal Credit Opportunity Act Regulations. — The regulations prescribed under subparagraph (A) shall be substantially similar to the regulations prescribed by the Board to carry out section 704A of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, as added by this section.

 

    (C) Applicability. –

 

    (1) In General. — Except as provided in paragraph (2), the privilege provided for in section 704a of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act or section 814a of the Fair Housing Act (as those sections are added by this section) shall apply to a self-test (as that term is defined pursuant to the regulations prescribed under subsection (a)(2) or (b)(2) of this section, as appropriate) conducted before, on, or after the effective date of the regulations prescribed under subsection (a)(2) or (b)(2), as appropriate.

 

    (2) Exception. — The privilege referred to in paragraph (1) does not apply to such a self-test conducted before the effective date of the regulations prescribed under subsection (a) or (b), as appropriate, if –

 

    (A) before that effective date, a complaint against the creditor or person engaged in residential real estate related lending activities (as the case may be) was –

 

    (i) formally filed in any court of competent jurisdiction; or

 

    (ii) the subject of an ongoing administrative law proceeding;

 

    (B) in the case of section 704a of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the creditor has waived the privilege pursuant to subsection (b)(1)(A)(i) of that section; or

 

    (C) in the case of section 814a of the Fair Housing Act, the person engaged in residential real estate related lending activities has waived the privilege pursuant to subsection (b)(1)(A)(i) of that section.

Sec. 815. [42 U.S.C. 3614a] Rules to Implement Title
The Secretary may make rules (including rules for the collection, maintenance, and analysis of appropriate data) to carry out this title. The Secretary shall give public notice and opportunity for comment with respect to all rules made under this section.
Sec. 816. [42 U.S.C. 3615] Effect on State laws
Nothing in this subchapter shall be constructed to invalidate or limit any law of a State or political subdivision of a State, or of any other jurisdiction in which this subchapter shall be effective, that grants, guarantees, or protects the same rights as are granted by this subchapter; but any law of a State, a political subdivision, or other such jurisdiction that purports to require or permit any action that would be a discriminatory housing practice under this subchapter shall to that extent be invalid.
Sec. 817. [42 U.S.C. 3616] Cooperation with State and local agencies administering fair housing laws; utilization of services and personnel; reimbursement; written agreements; publication in
Federal Register
The Secretary may cooperate with State and local agencies charged with the administration of State and local fair housing laws and, with the consent of such agencies, utilize the services of such agencies and their employees and, notwithstanding any other provision of law, may reimburse such agencies and their employees for services rendered to assist him in carrying out this subchapter. In furtherance of such cooperative efforts, the Secretary may enter into written agreements with such State or local agencies. All agreements and terminations thereof shall be published in the Federal Register.
Sec. 818. [42 U.S.C. 3617] Interference, coercion, or intimidation; enforcement by civil action
It shall be unlawful to coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of his having exercised or enjoyed, or on account of his having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or protected by section 803, 804, 805, or 806 of this title.
Sec. 819. [42 U.S.C. 3618] Authorization of appropriations
There are hereby authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.
Sec. 820. [42 U.S.C. 3619] Separability of provisions
If any provision of this subchapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of the subchapter and the application of the provision to other persons not similarly situated or to other circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
(Sec. 12 of 1988 Act). [42 U.S.C. 3601 note] Disclaimer of Preemptive Effect on Other Acts
Nothing in the Fair Housing Act as amended by this Act limits any right, procedure, or remedy available under the Constitution or any other Act of the Congress not so amended.
(Sec. 13 of 1988 Act). [42 U.S.C. 3601 note] Effective Date and Initial Rulemaking

    (a) Effective Date. — This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect on the 180th day beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act.

 

    (b) Initial Rulemaking. — In consultation with other appropriate Federal agencies, the Secretary shall, not later than the 180th day after the date of the enactment of this Act, issue rules to implement title VIII as amended by this Act. The Secretary shall give public notice and opportunity for comment with respect to such rules.

(Sec. 14 of 1988 Act). [42 U.S.C. 3601 note] Separability of Provisions
If any provision of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of the Act and the application of the provision to other persons not similarly situated or to other circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
Section 901. (Title IX As Amended) [42 U.S.C. 3631] Violations; bodily injury; death; penalties
Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, by force or threat of force willfully injures, intimidates or interferes with, or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with–

    (a) any person because of his race, color, religion, sex, handicap (as such term is defined in section 802 of this Act), familial status (as such term is defined in section 802 of this Act), or national origin and because he is or has been selling, purchasing, renting, financing occupying, or contracting or negotiating for the sale, purchase, rental, financing or occupation of any dwelling, or applying for or participating in any service, organization, or facility relating to the business of selling or renting dwellings; or

 

    (b) any person because he is or has been, or in order to intimidate such person or any other person or any class of persons from–

 

    (1) participating, without discrimination on account of race, color, religion, sex, handicap (as such term is defined in section 802 of this Act), familial status (as such term is defined in section 802 of this Act), or national origin, in any of the activities, services, organizations or facilities described in subsection(a) of this section; or

 

    (2) affording another person or class of persons opportunity or protection so to participate; or

 

    (c) any citizen because he is or has been, or in order to discourage such citizen or any other citizen from lawfully aiding or encouraging other persons to participate, without discrimination on account of race, color, religion, sex, handicap (as such term is defined in section 802 of this Act), familial status (as such term is defined in section 802 of this Act), or national origin, in any of the activities, services, organizations or facilities described in subsection (a) of this section, or participating lawfully in speech or peaceful assembly opposing any denial of the opportunity to so participate–

 

    shall be fined not more than $1,000, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results shall be fined not more than $10,000, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results shall be subject to imprisonment for any term of years or for life.

 

Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA)

Antique-Patriotic-Eagle-Image-GraphicsFairy

 

Among other privileges, RLUIPA allows religious groups to work around local zoning codes to construct what they need. All across the nation, religious groups are challenging local residential zoning regulations to build churches, synagogues, soup kitchens, daycare centers, schools and other structures associated with their Spiritual and Religious Organizations.

4

U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
A Guide To Federal Religious Land Use Protections
The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA)
protects religious institutions from unduly burdensome or discriminatory land use regulations. The law was passed unanimously by Congress in 2000, after hearings in which Congress found that houses of worship, particularly those of minority religions and start-up churches, were
disproportionately affected, and in fact often were actively discriminated against, by local land use decisions. Congress also found that, as a whole, religious institutions were treated worse than comparable secular institutions. Congress further found that zoning authorities frequently
were placing excessive burdens on the ability of congregations to exercise their faiths in violation of the Constitution.
In response, Congress enacted RLUIPA. This new law provides a number of important protections for the religious freedom of persons, houses of worship, and religious schools. The full text of RLUIPA is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/housing/housing_rluipa.htm. Below is a summary of the law’s key provisions, with illustrations of the types of cases that may violate the law.

dcefb60ac1556dbfa563ceae2f87fe3f⊕ RLUIPA prevents infringement of religious exercise.
Land use regulations frequently can impede the ability of churches or other religious institutions to carry out their mission of serving the religious needs of their members. Section 2(a) of RLUIPA thus bars zoning restrictions that impose a “substantial burden” on the religious exercise of a person or institution, unless the government can show that it has a “compelling interest” for imposing the restriction and that the restriction is the least restrictive way for the government to further that interest.
Minor costs or inconveniences imposed on religious institutions are insufficient to trigger RLUIPA’s protections. The burden must be “substantial.” And, likewise, once the institution has shown a substantial burden on its religious exercise, the government must show not merely
that it has a rational reason for imposing the restriction, but must show that the reason is “compelling.” stock-illustration-15495289-early-american-advertising-antique-woodblock-illustrations

A church applies for a variance to build a modest addition to its building for Sunday school classes. Despite the church demonstrating that the addition is critical to carrying out its religious mission, that there is adequate space on the lot, and that there would be a negligible impact on traffic and congestion in the area, the city denies the variance.
A Jewish congregation that has been meeting in various rented spaces that have proven inadequate for the religious needs of its growing membership purchases land and seeks to build a synagogue. The town council denies the permit, and the only reason given is “we have enough houses of worship in this town already, and want more businesses.”
Because the religious organizations in these cases have demonstrated a substantial burden on their religious exercise, and the justification offered by the city in both cases is not compelling, these cases likely would be violations of RLUIPA, assuming certain jurisdictional requirements
of the statute are met.

stock-illustration-13883965-american-eagle-early-woodblock-illustrations (1)
⊕ Religious institutions must be treated as well as comparable secular institutions.
Section 2(b)(1) of RLUIPA provides that religious assemblies and institutions must be treated at least as well as nonreligious assemblies and institutions. This is known as the “equal terms” provision of RLUIPA.
A mosque leases space in a storefront, but zoning officials deny an occupancy permit since houses of worship are forbidden in that zone. However, fraternal organizations, meeting halls, and place of assembly are all permitted as of right in the same zone. Because the statute on its face favors non-religious places of assembly over religious assemblies, this example would be a violation of 2(b)(1).
⊕ RLUIPA bars discrimination among religions.
Section 2(b)(2) of RLUIPA bars discrimination “against any assembly or institution on the basis of religion or religious denomination.”
A Hindu congregation is denied a building permit despite meeting all of the requirements for height, setback, and parking required by the zoning code. The zoning administrator is overheard making a disparaging remark about Hindus. If it were proven that the permit was denied because the applicants were Hindu, this would
constitute a violation of 2(b)(2).
⊕ Zoning ordinances may not totally exclude religious assemblies.
Section 2(b)(3)(A) of RLUIPA provides: “No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation that totally excludes religious assemblies from a jurisdiction.”
A town, seeking to preserve tax revenues, enacts a law that no new churches or other houses of worship will be permitted.
Such total exclusions of religious assemblies are explicitly forbidden by section 2(b)(3)(A).
⊕ RLUIPA forbids laws that unreasonably limit houses of worship.

Section 2(b)(3)(B) of RLUIPA provides: “No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation that unreasonably limits religious assemblies, institutions, or structures within a jurisdiction.”

A city has no zones that permit houses of worship. The only way a church may be built is by having an individual parcel rezoned, a process which in that city takes several years and is extremely expensive. This zoning scheme, if proven to be an unreasonable limitation on houses of worship, would constitute a violation of section 2(b)(3)(B).

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Enforcement of RLUIPA Rights
Religious institutions and individuals whose rights under RLUIPA are violated may bring a private civil action for injunctive relief and damages. The Department of Justice also can investigate alleged RLUIPA violations and bring a lawsuit to enforce the statute. The Department can obtain injunctive, but not monetary, relief. If you believe that your rights under RLUIPA may have been violated and you wish to file a complaint or find out more information about the law, you may write to:

Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530

or call the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section at

(800) 896-7743. Further information about
RLUIPA is available at the Section website at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/housing/index.html.
Information about the Civil Rights Division’s religious liberties initiative, the First Freedom
Project, is available at www.FirstFreedom.gov. You also may call the Special Counsel for
Religious Discrimination at (202) 353-8622.

stock-illustration-13883777-american-eagle-early-woodblock-illustrations

42 U.S. Code Chapter 21C

§ 2000cc. Protection of land use as religious exercise

(a) Substantial burdens

(1) General rule

No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation in a manner that imposes a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person, including a religious assembly or institution, unless the government demonstrates that imposition of the burden on that person, assembly, or institution—
(A) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and
(B) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
(2) Scope of application

This subsection applies in any case in which—
(A) the substantial burden is imposed in a program or activity that receives Federal financial assistance, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability;
(B) the substantial burden affects, or removal of that substantial burden would affect, commerce with foreign nations, among the several States, or with Indian tribes, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability; or
(C) the substantial burden is imposed in the implementation of a land use regulation or system of land use regulations, under which a government makes, or has in place formal or informal procedures or practices that permit the government to make, individualized assessments of the proposed uses for the property involved.

(b) Discrimination and exclusion

(1) Equal terms

No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation in a manner that treats a religious assembly or institution on less than equal terms with a nonreligious assembly or institution.

(2) Nondiscrimination

No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation that discriminates against any assembly or institution on the basis of religion or religious denomination.

(3) Exclusions and limits

No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation that—

(A) totally excludes religious assemblies from a jurisdiction; or

(B) unreasonably limits religious assemblies, institutions, or structures within a jurisdiction.

Source

(Pub. L. 106–274, § 2,Sept. 22, 2000, 114 Stat. 803.)

Short Title

Pub. L. 106–274, § 1,Sept. 22, 2000, 114 Stat. 803, provided that: “This Act [enacting this chapter and amending sections 1988, 2000bb–2 and 2000bb–3 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000’ ”.

 stock-illustration-13883777-american-eagle-early-woodblock-illustrations

§ 2000cc-1. Protection of religious exercise of institutionalized persons

(a) General rule

No government shall impose a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person residing in or confined to an institution, as defined in section 1997 of this title, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless the government demonstrates that imposition of the burden on that person—
(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and
(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

(b) Scope of application

This section applies in any case in which—

(1) the substantial burden is imposed in a program or activity that receives Federal financial assistance; or

(2) the substantial burden affects, or removal of that substantial burden would affect, commerce with foreign nations, among the several States, or with Indian tribes.

 

Source

(Pub. L. 106–274, § 3,Sept. 22, 2000, 114 Stat. 804.)

 Antique-Patriotic-Eagle-Image-GraphicsFairy

§ 2000cc-2. Judicial relief

(a) Cause of action

A person may assert a violation of this chapter as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government. Standing to assert a claim or defense under this section shall be governed by the general rules of standing under article III of the Constitution.

(b) Burden of persuasion

If a plaintiff produces prima facie evidence to support a claim alleging a violation of the Free Exercise Clause or a violation of section 2000cc of this title, the government shall bear the burden of persuasion on any element of the claim, except that the plaintiff shall bear the burden of persuasion on whether the law (including a regulation) or government practice that is challenged by the claim substantially burdens the plaintiff’s exercise of religion.

(c) Full faith and credit

Adjudication of a claim of a violation of section 2000cc of this title in a non-Federal forum shall not be entitled to full faith and credit in a Federal court unless the claimant had a full and fair adjudication of that claim in the non-Federal forum.

(d) Omitted

(e) Prisoners

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to amend or repeal the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (including provisions of law amended by that Act).

(f) Authority of United States to enforce this chapter

The United States may bring an action for injunctive or declaratory relief to enforce compliance with this chapter. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to deny, impair, or otherwise affect any right or authority of the Attorney General, the United States, or any agency, officer, or employee of the United States, acting under any law other than this subsection, to institute or intervene in any proceeding.

(g) Limitation

If the only jurisdictional basis for applying a provision of this chapter is a claim that a substantial burden by a government on religious exercise affects, or that removal of that substantial burden would affect, commerce with foreign nations, among the several States, or with Indian tribes, the provision shall not apply if the government demonstrates that all substantial burdens on, or the removal of all substantial burdens from, similar religious exercise throughout the Nation would not lead in the aggregate to a substantial effect on commerce with foreign nations, among the several States, or with Indian tribes.

 

Source

(Pub. L. 106–274, § 4,Sept. 22, 2000, 114 Stat. 804.)

References in Text
This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 106–274, Sept. 22, 2000, 114 Stat. 803, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 2000cc of this title and Tables.
The Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, referred to in subsec. (e), is Pub. L. 104–134, title I, § 101(a) [title VIII], Apr. 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 1321, 1321–66, as amended. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1996 Amendment note set out under section 3601 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, and Tables.
Codification
Section is comprised of section 4 ofPub. L. 106–274. Subsec. (d) ofsection 4 of Pub. L. 106–274amended section 1988 (b) of this title.

 

Jamestown, America's first Property Owners Association.

Jamestown, America’s first Property Owners Association.

§ 2000cc-3. Rules of construction

(a) Religious belief unaffected

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize any government to burden any religious belief.

(b) Religious exercise not regulated

Nothing in this chapter shall create any basis for restricting or burdening religious exercise or for claims against a religious organization including any religiously affiliated school or university, not acting under color of law.

(c) Claims to funding unaffected

Nothing in this chapter shall create or preclude a right of any religious organization to receive funding or other assistance from a government, or of any person to receive government funding for a religious activity, but this chapter may require a government to incur expenses in its own operations to avoid imposing a substantial burden on religious exercise.

(d) Other authority to impose conditions on funding unaffected

Nothing in this chapter shall—
(1) authorize a government to regulate or affect, directly or indirectly, the activities or policies of a person other than a government as a condition of receiving funding or other assistance; or
(2) restrict any authority that may exist under other law to so regulate or affect, except as provided in this chapter.

(e) Governmental discretion in alleviating burdens on religious exercise

A government may avoid the preemptive force of any provision of this chapter by changing the policy or practice that results in a substantial burden on religious exercise, by retaining the policy or practice and exempting the substantially burdened religious exercise, by providing exemptions from the policy or practice for applications that substantially burden religious exercise, or by any other means that eliminates the substantial burden.

(f) Effect on other law

With respect to a claim brought under this chapter, proof that a substantial burden on a person’s religious exercise affects, or removal of that burden would affect, commerce with foreign nations, among the several States, or with Indian tribes, shall not establish any inference or presumption that Congress intends that any religious exercise is, or is not, subject to any law other than this chapter.

(g) Broad construction

This chapter shall be construed in favor of a broad protection of religious exercise, to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of this chapter and the Constitution.

(h) No preemption or repeal

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to preempt State law, or repeal Federal law, that is equally as protective of religious exercise as, or more protective of religious exercise than, this chapter.

(i) Severability

If any provision of this chapter or of an amendment made by this chapter, or any application of such provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this chapter, the amendments made by this chapter, and the application of the provision to any other person or circumstance shall not be affected.

Source

(Pub. L. 106–274, § 5,Sept. 22, 2000, 114 Stat. 805.)

References in Text
This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 106–274, Sept. 22, 2000, 114 Stat. 803, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 2000cc of this title and Tables.

 

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 § 2000cc-4. Establishment Clause unaffected

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to affect, interpret, or in any way address that portion of the first amendment to the Constitution prohibiting laws respecting an establishment of religion (referred to in this section as the “Establishment Clause”). Granting government funding, benefits, or exemptions, to the extent permissible under the Establishment Clause, shall not constitute a violation of this chapter. In this section, the term “granting”, used with respect to government funding, benefits, or exemptions, does not include the denial of government funding, benefits, or exemptions.

Source

(Pub. L. 106–274, § 6,Sept. 22, 2000, 114 Stat. 806.)

References in Text

 

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 106–274, Sept. 22, 2000, 114 Stat. 803, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 2000cc of this title and Tables.
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§ 2000cc-5. Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) Claimant

The term “claimant” means a person raising a claim or defense under this chapter.

(2) Demonstrates

The term “demonstrates” means meets the burdens of going forward with the evidence and of persuasion.

(3) Free Exercise Clause

The term “Free Exercise Clause” means that portion of the first amendment to the Constitution that proscribes laws prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

(4) Government

The term “government”—
(A) means—

(i) a State, county, municipality, or other governmental entity created under the authority of a State;
(ii) any branch, department, agency, instrumentality, or official of an entity listed in clause (i); and
(iii) any other person acting under color of State law; and
(B) for the purposes of sections 2000cc–2 (b) and 2000cc–3 of this title, includes the United States, a branch, department, agency, instrumentality, or official of the United States, and any other person acting under color of Federal law.

(5) Land use regulation

The term “land use regulation” means a zoning or landmarking law, or the application of such a law, that limits or restricts a claimant’s use or development of land (including a structure affixed to land), if the claimant has an ownership, leasehold, easement, servitude, or other property interest in the regulated land or a contract or option to acquire such an interest.

(6) Program or activity

The term “program or activity” means all of the operations of any entity as described in paragraph (1) or (2) of section 2000d–4a of this title.

(7) Religious exercise

(A) In general

The term “religious exercise” includes any exercise of religion, whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief.

(B) Rule

The use, building, or conversion of real property for the purpose of religious exercise shall be considered to be religious exercise of the person or entity that uses or intends to use the property for that purpose.

Source

(Pub. L. 106–274, § 8,Sept. 22, 2000, 114 Stat. 806.)

References in Text
This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 106–274, Sept. 22, 2000, 114 Stat. 803, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 2000cc of this title and Tables.

How some controversial cases wound up.

An unrecognized tribe and its eagle feathers

He was a Native American with eagle feathers at a religious gathering of tribes. But not in the eyes of the feds.

In 2006, Robert Soto and Michael Russell attended an American Indian powwow while in possession of eagle feathers, in violation of the federal Eagle Protection Act, which outlaws the killing of bald and golden eagles and even picking their feathers off the ground.

Soto, a Lipan Apache, asserted he was participating in an Indian religious ceremony. The feathers are sacred to Native Americans.

Lipan Apache Robert Soto saw his eagle feathers seized by U.S. agents. He cited a religious freedom law and eventually won their return, but he is still fighting the government on possible future seizures.

But a federal Fish and Wildlife Service agent found his tribe wasn’t federally recognized, and Soto surrendered his feathers. Russell, who is married to Soto’s sister, isn’t American Indian and agreed to pay a fine, according to court papers and the America Bar Association Journal.

Soto, however, petitioned the federal Interior Department to return his feathers. The feds said no, because he wasn’t from a recognized tribe.

Soto and Russell sued the federal government, but a federal district court ruled in favor of the government, rejecting the two men’s First Amendment assertions and their claims under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the same 1993 statute that Indiana legislators used in developing their new state law.

But last August, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s decision and sent the case back to that court after finding the government’s action would violate the federal RFRA.

On March 10, the federal government returned the eagle feathers to Soto. But the legal war isn’t over.

The federal government still maintains it can criminally prosecute Soto and his congregants, so Soto is seeking a preliminary injunction, claiming the feds are violating the federal RFRA, said Luke Goodrich, Soto’s attorney who’s with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

A tea called hoasca

A tea used by a Brazilian faith is to them like wine used by Catholics at communion, but U.S. agents considered the brew an illegal drug.

The religious organization O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal uses a sacramental tea called hoasca, made from two plants native to the Amazon that contains dimethyltryptamine, a hallucinogen, in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.

Hoasca is a sacred tea for the religious group O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal. The beverage is made from plants native to the Amazon and contains an illegal drug, a hallucinogen.

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The religion is a Christian spiritist faith that originated in Brazil and includes Amazonian and indigenous spiritual traditions.

About 140 members of the church live in the United States and use the tea in a sacred communion.

In May 1999, U.S. Customs agents entered the church headquarters in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and seized all of its hoasca.

The church became alarmed and cited how the federal government allows an exception for American Indians to use another illegal drug, peyote, in their religious ceremonies.

In fact, the federal RFRA was designed partly to protect the Native Americans’ use of peyote, said CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

“They were a legitimate religion, and this was a legitimate ritual of the religion, and Congress wanted to make sure it was protected,” Toobin said of peyote and the 1993 law.

The Uniao do Vegetal, which means “the union of the plants,” cited that federal law in suing the federal government.

“The government has never explained why it has accommodated The Native American Church’s use of peyote (which contains mescaline, also a controlled substance) but cannot accommodate the UDV’s use of hoasca,” the church said in a statement.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the church’s favor, saying the federal government failed to show a compelling interest to ban the substance for religious use.

“The peyote exception also fatally undermines the government’s broader contention that the Controlled Substances Act establishes a closed regulatory system that admits of no exceptions under RFRA,” the court ruling said.

The IRS employee and Sikh knife

Recently baptized in the Sikh faith, Kawal Tagore went to her job with the IRS in Houston in 2005 carrying a new religious item: a 9-inch kirpan, a small ceremonial sword that resembles a knife but has an edge that is blunted or curved.

Tagore needed to carry the kirpan at all times as a mandatory article of faith.

But the federal government banned her from the building, citing the kirpan as a “dangerous weapon” with a more than 3-inch blade, and she was later fired from her accounting job because she refused to keep the kirpan out of the workplace.

Tagore sued the government under the federal law.

Attorneys for IRS employee Kawal Tagore, a Sikh, argued that her symbolic kirpan wasn't any more dangerous than other objects allowed into a federal building.

Tagore cited how the government allowed the public to enter the federal building with more threatening objects: real 2.5-inch blade knives and metal canes, said her attorneys with the Newar Law Firm and the Becket Fund. Also, federal employees inside the building were allowed to use box cutters and cake knives.

In November, the federal government agreed to settle the case shortly after the start of Tagore’s trial.

The settlement included no admission of wrongdoing, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

Tagore’s attorneys described the settlement as “a groundbreaking policy allowing Sikhs and other religious minorities to wear religious symbols and attire in federal buildings,” they said in a statement.

Religious Freedom Restoration Act

 

 

Religious Freedom Restoration Act


103RD CONGRESS
1ST SESSION

H.R. 1308

To Protect the free exercise of religion.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 11, 1993

[co-sponsors]
Mr. MCKEON, and Mr. GALLO introduced the following bill, which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

A BILL
To protect the free exercise of religion.
Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993″.

SEC. 2. CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS AND DECLARATION OF PURPOSES.

(a) FINDINGS.–The Congress finds
(1) the framers of the American Constitution, recognizing free exercise of religion as an unalienable right, secured its protection in the First Amendment to the Constitution;

 

(2) laws “neutral” toward religion may substantially burden religious exercise as surely as laws intended to interfere with religious exercise;

 

(3) governments should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification;

 

(4) in Employment Division of Oregon v. Smith the Supreme Court virtually eliminated the requirement that the government justify burdens on religious exercise imposed by laws naeutral toward religion; and

 

(5) the compelling interest test as set forth in Sherbert v. Verner and Wisconsin v. Yoder is a workable test for striking sensible balances between religious liberty and competing governmental interests.

 

(b) PURPOSES. — The purposes of this Act are –

 

(1) to restore the compelling interest test as set forth in Federal court cases before Employment Division of Oregon v. Smith and to guarantee its application in all cases where free exercise of religion is substantially burdened; and

 

(2) to provide a claim or defense to persons whose religious exercise is substantially burdened by government.


SEC. 3. FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION PROTECTED.

 

(a) IN GENERAL. — Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in subsection (b).

 

(b) EXCEPTION. — Government may burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person –

 

(1) furthers a compelling governmental interest; and

 

(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

 

(c) JUDICIAL RELIEF. — A person whose religious exercise has been substantially burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government. Standing to assert a claim or defense under this section shall be governed by the general rules of standing under article III of the Constitution.

 

SEC. 4. ATTORNEY FEES.

 

(a) JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS. — Section 722 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (42 U.S.C. 1988) is amended by inserting “the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993,” before “or title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964″.

 

(b) ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS. — Section 504(b)(1)(C) of title 5, United States Code, is amended –

 

(1) by striding “and” at the end of clause (ii);

 

(2) by striking the semicolon at the end of clause (iii) and inserting “; and”; and

 

(3) by inserting “(iv) the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993″ after clause (iii).


SEC. 5 DEFINITIONS.

 

As used in this Act –

 

(1) the term “government” includes a branch, department, agency, instrumentality, and official (or other person acting under color of law) of the United States, a State, or a subdivision of a State;

 

(2) the term “State” includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and each territory and possession of the United States;

 

(3) the term “demonstrates” means meets the burdens of going forward with the evidence and of persuasion; and

 

(4) the term “exercise of religion” means exercise of religion under the first article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

 

SEC. 6. APPLICABILITY.

 

(a) IN GENERAL. — This Act applies to all Federal and State law, and the implementation of that law, whether statutory or otherwise, and whether adopted before or after the enactment of this Act.

 

(b) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION. — Federal statutory law adopted after the date of the enactment of this Act is subject to this Act unless such law explicitly excludes such application by reference to this Act.

 

(c) RELIGIOUS BELIEF UNAFFECTED. — Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize any government to substantially burden any religious belief.


SEC. 7. ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE UNAFFECTED.

 

(a) IN GENERAL. — Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect, interpret, or in any way address that portion of the First Amendment prohibiting laws respecting the establishment of religion. Granting government funding, benefits, or exemptions, to the extent permissible under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, shall not constitute a violation of this Act.

 

(b) DEFINITION. — As used in this section, the term “granting government funding, benefits, or exemptions” does not include a denial of government funding, benefits, or exemptions.
———————————————————————————————————

1. The use of Schedule I as a Religious Sacrament:  Gonzales v. O Centro Espírita Beneficente União do Vegetal (2006)), .

Federal Law Prohibits Housing Discrimination

The Fair Housing Act prohibits anyone from refusing to sell or rent housing to a possible buyer or tenant based on that person’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This act also prohibits housing discrimination based on family status. A seller or landlord cannot refuse to sell or rent to a buyer or renter who is a parent or guardian of a person under the age of 18.

An HOA’s regulations often give the board of directors the right to approve new buyers or renters. Because an HOA must follow the rules of the Fair Housing Act, an HOA board cannot reject a new resident based on the person’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or familial status.

The federal Fair Housing Act and Fair Housing Amendments Act (42 U.S. Code §§ 3601-3619, 3631) prohibit landlords from choosing tenants on the basis of a group characteristic such as race, religion, ethnic background, sex, familial status or disablity.

“It shall be unlawful to discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race,color, religion , sex, familial status, or national origin 42 U.S.C. 3604(b)”

The FHA applies to:
• Direct providers of housing;
• Entities and associations that set terms and
conditions for housing; and
• Entities and associations that provide services
and facilities in connection with housing

Courts have held that the FHA Applies to Community
Associations — including HOA’s and Condo Associations.
 Community Associations set rules and covenants that apply to
homeowners.
 Community Associations provide services or facilities in
connection with housing.
 Thus, Community Associations are “housing providers” under
the FHA.

Block v. Frischholz, 587 F.3d 771 (7thCir 2009)
Plaintiff, an orthodox Jew, sued Condominium
Association and Board president for religious
discrimination because Board refused to allow
him to have a religious display on his exterior
door.

The FHA Applies to
Community Associations cont.
Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence, Inc. v.
Key Colony No. 4 Condominium Assoc., 510 F.
Supp. 2d 1003 (S.D. Fla. 2007)
Plaintiff sued HOA and HOA board members
under FHA and Florida housing laws claiming
that occupancy restrictions and rules for pool
and clubhouse discriminated against families
with children.

The FHA Applies to Community
Associations
Savanna Club Worship Service, Inc. v. Savanna Club
Homeowners’ Association, 456 F. Supp. 2d 1223
(S.D. Fla. 2005)
Owners of a religious club sued HOA and board
members because the HOA prohibited religious
services in common areas
Note: The Court dismissed the Plaintiff’s claims because the
HOA applied its restrictions in a neutral manner. The Court
recognized, however, that HOA’s are governed by the FHA since
they control and regulate certain property rights, such as use of
common areas and facilities.

Community Associations:
Restrictive Covenants
 Courts across the country have allowed lawsuits
to proceed based on discriminatory covenant
enforcement.
 Racially-restrictive covenants were a major reason
for the implementation of the FHA in 1968.
 Currently, race, religion, and national origin are
major areas of enforcement and risk for
Community Associations.

♥Community Associations:
Restrictive Covenants cont.
Tokh v. Water Tower Court Home Owner
Association, 327 Fed. Appx. 630 (7
th
Cir. 2009).
In Tokh, a member of an HOA sued his HOA and
its Management Company for national origin and
race discrimination after being fined for enlarging
a patio in violation of the HOA’s covenants.

Potential FHA violations
 HOA allows religious groups to use a community
chapel facility but not non-religious groups
 Condominium Association waives fee for
Boy Scouts of America to use community room
for free but charges other groups
 Community pool establishes “adult swim” hours
 Community Association-controlled golf course
restricts men from playing on Tuesday mornings

Civil Violations
• Civil Penalties include fines of up to $10,000 for a
violation of the FHA and up to $74,000 for multiple
violations
• Injunctive and equitable relief to stop and change
practices and policies that violate the FHA
• Payment of Court costs and attorneys’ fees to the
Government
• Individual penalties and liability for board members
and other individuals!!

Criminal Penalties
 Violations of the FHA that involve threats,
intimidation, or violence can also lead to
criminal fines and imprisonment.

How can a renter file a discrimination complaint?

A tenant who thinks that a landlord has broken a federal fair housing law should contact a local office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the agency that enforces the Fair Housing Act, or check the HUD website at www.hud.gov. (A tenant must file the complaint within one year of the alleged discriminatory act.)

HUD will provide a complaint form (tenants can fill the form out online) and will investigate and decide whether there is reasonable cause to believe that the fair housing law has been broken. If the answer is yes, HUD will typically appoint a mediator to negotiate with the landlord and reach a settlement (called a “conciliation”). If a settlement is later broken, HUD will recommend that the Attorney General file a lawsuit.

If the discrimination is a violation of a state fair housing law, the tenant may file a complaint with the state agency in charge of enforcing the law. In California, for example, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing enforces the state’s two fair housing laws.

Also, instead of filing a complaint with HUD or a state agency, tenants may file lawsuits directly in federal or state court. If a state or federal court or housing agency finds that discrimination has taken place, a tenant may be awarded damages, including any higher rent paid as a result of being turned down, an order directing the landlord to offer the rental to the tenant, and compensation for humiliation or emotional distress.

 

substantial burden

  1. The government’s compelling someone to do something that violates his religious beliefs, or prohibiting someone from doing something that is mandated by his religious beliefs.
  2. The government’s denying someone a tax exemption or unemployment compensation unless he does something that violates his religious beliefs, or refrains from something that is mandated by his religious beliefs.
  3. As to state and federal constitutional regimes, it’s not clear whether the above also applies when the objector’s conduct is merely motivated by his religious beliefs (e.g., the objector thinks it’s a religiously valuable thing for him to stay home on the Sabbath, rather than a religious commandment) and not actually mandated by those beliefs. The federal RFRA, many state RFRAs, and RLUIPA expressly apply to “any exercise of religion, whether or not compelled by … a system of religious belief.”
  4. The beliefs need not be longstanding, central to the claimant’s religious beliefs, internally consistent, consistent with any written scripture, or reasonable from the judge’s perspective. They need only be sincere.

 

Map of which states are covered by state RFRAs or by state constitutional exemption regimes:

 

 

 

Freedom of Religion

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Freedom of Religion

Click this link to read what the United Nations says about Religious Freedom!

Article 18 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

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You have two Freedoms
granted by the First Amendment regarding Religion!

The First Amendment contains two clauses about the Freedom of Religion. The first part is known as the Establishment Clause, and the second as the Free Exercise Clause.

The Establishment Clause prohibits the government from passing laws that will establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. The courts have interpreted the establishment clause to accomplish the separation of church and state.

The Free Exercise Clause prohibits the government from interfering with a person’s practice of his or her religion. However, religious actions and rituals can be limited by civil and federal laws.

Religious freedom is an absolute right, and includes the right to practice any religion of one’s choice, or no religion at all, and to do this without government control.

From the 1st Amendment:

 ”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

 Legal and public foundation

The United States Constitution addresses the issue of religion in two places: in the First Amendment, and the Article VI prohibition on religious tests as a condition for holding public office. The First Amendment prohibits the federal government from making a law “respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” This provision was later expanded to state and local governments, through the Incorporation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

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 Colonial precedent

Freedom of religion was first applied as a principle in the founding of the colony of Maryland,also founded by the Catholic Lord Baltimore, in 1634.Fifteen years later (1649), the first enactment of religious liberty, the Maryland Toleration Act, drafted by Lord Baltimore, provided: “No person or persons…shall from henceforth be any waies troubled, molested or discountenanced for or in respect of his or her religion nor in the free exercise thereof.” The Maryland Toleration Act was repealed with the assistance of Protestant assemblymen and a new law barring Catholics from openly practicing their religion was passed. In 1657, Lord Baltimore regained control after making a deal with the colony’s Protestants, and in 1658 the Act was again passed by the colonial assembly. This time, it would last more than thirty years, until 1692, when after Maryland’s Protestant Revolution of 1689, freedom of religion was again rescinded. In addition in 1704, an Act was passed “to prevent the growth of Popery in this Province”, preventing Catholics from holding political office. Full religious toleration would not be restored in Maryland until the American Revolution, when Maryland’s Charles Carroll of Carrollton signed the American Declaration of Independence.

 The First Amendment

In the United States, the religious civil liberties are guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The “Establishment Clause,” stating that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” is generally read to prohibit the Federal government from establishing a national church (“religion”) or excessively involving itself in religion, particularly to the benefit of one religion over another. Following the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and through the doctrine of incorporation, this restriction is held to be applicable to state governments as well.

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The “Free Exercise Clause” states that Congress cannot “prohibit the free exercise” of religious practices. The Supreme Court of the United States has consistently held, however, that the right to free exercise of religion is not absolute. For example, in the 19th century, some of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints traditionally practiced polygamy, yet in Reynolds v. United States (1879), the Supreme Court upheld the criminal conviction of one of these members under a federal law banning polygamy. The Court reasoned that to do otherwise would set precedent for a full range of religious beliefs including those as extreme as human sacrifice. The Court stated that “Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices.” For example, if one were part of a religion that believed in vampirism, the First Amendment would protect one’s belief in vampirism, but not the practice. Currently, peyote and ayahuasca are allowed by legal precedent if used in a religious ceremony.

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 The Fourteenth Amendment

The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the religious civil rights. Whereas the First Amendment secures the free exercise of religion, section one of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits discrimination, including on the basis of religion, by securing “the equal protection of the laws” for every person:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

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Religious tests

The affirmation or denial of specific religious beliefs had, in the past, been made into qualifications for public office; however, the United States Constitution states that the inauguration of a President may include an “affirmation” of the faithful execution of his duties rather than an “oath” to that effect — this provision was included in order to respect the religious prerogatives of the Quakers, a Protestant Christian denomination that declines the swearing of oaths. The U.S. Constitution also provides that “No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification of any Office or public Trust under the United States.” As of 2007, seven states have language included in their constitutions that requires state office-holders to have particular religious beliefs. These states are Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. Some of these beliefs (or oaths) were historically required of jurors and witnesses in court. Even though they are still on the books, these provisions have been rendered unenforceable by U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

Religious liberty has not prohibited states or the federal government from prohibiting or regulating certain behaviors; i.e. prostitution, gambling, alcohol and certain drugs, although some libertarians interpret religious freedom to extend to these behaviors. However, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that a right to privacy or a due process right does prevent the government from prohibiting adult access to birth control, pornography, and from outlawing sodomy between consenting adults and early trimester abortions.

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 The “wall of separation”

Thomas Jefferson wrote that the First Amendment erected a “wall of separation between church and state” likely borrowing the language from Roger Williams, founder of the First Baptist Church in America and the Colony of Rhode Island, who used the phrase in his 1644 book, The Bloody Tenent of Persecution. James Madison, often regarded as the “Father of the Bill of Rights”, also often wrote of the “perfect separation”, “line of separation”, “strongly guarded as is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States”, and “total separation of the church from the state”. Controversy rages in the United States between those who wish to restrict government involvement with religious institutions and remove religious references from government institutions and property, and those who wish to loosen such prohibitions. Advocates for stronger separation of church and state emphasize the plurality of faiths and non-faiths in the country, and what they see as broad guarantees of the federal Constitution. Their opponents emphasize what they see as the largely Christian heritage and history of the nation (often citing the references to “Nature’s God” and the “Creator” of men in the Declaration of Independence). Some more socially conservative Christian sects, such as the Christian Reconstructionist movement, oppose the concept of a “wall of separation” and prefer a closer relationship between church and state.

Problems also arise in U.S. public schools concerning the teaching and display of religious issues. In various counties, school choice and school vouchers have been put forward as solutions to accommodate variety in beliefs and freedom of religion, by allowing individual school boards to choose between a secular, religious or multi-faith vocation, and allowing parents free choice among these schools. Critics of American voucher programs claim that they take funds away from public schools, and that the amount of funds given by vouchers is not enough to help many middle and working class parents.

U.S. judges often ordered alcoholic defendants to attend Alcoholics Anonymous or face imprisonment. However, in 1999, a federal appeals court ruled this unconstitutional because the A.A. program relies on submission to a “Higher Power”.

Thomas Jefferson also played a large role in the formation of freedom of religion. He created the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which has since been incorporated into the Virginia State Constitution.

 Other statements

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 Unalienable rights

The United States of America was established on foundational principles by the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;

(based on Thomas Jefferson’s draft.)

 Religious institutions

In 1944, a joint committee of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America and the Foreign Missions Conference of North America, formulated a “Statement on Religious Liberty”

“Religious Liberty shall be interpreted to include freedom to worship according to conscience and to bring up children in the faith of their parents; freedom for the individual to change his religion; freedom to preach, educate, publish and carry on missionary activities; and freedom to organize with others, and to acquire and hold property, for these purposes.”

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 Freedom of religion restoration

Following increasing government involvement in religious matters, Congress passed the 1993 The Religious Freedom Restoration Act. A number of states then passed corresponding acts (e.g., Missouri passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act).

The situation of Native Americans in the United States has been problematic since the initial European colonization of the Americas. Aside from the general issues in the relations between Europeans and Native Americans, there has been a historic suppression of Native American religions as well as some current charges of religious discrimination against Native Americans by the U.S. government, that need to be considered.

With the practice of the Americanization of Native Americans, Native American children were sent to Christian boarding schools where they were forced to worship as Christians and traditional customs were banned. Until the Freedom of Religion Act 1978, “spiritual leaders [of Native Americans] ran the risk of jail sentences of up to 30 years for simply practicing their rituals.” The traditional indigenous Sun Dance was illegal from the 1880s (Canada) or 1904 (USA) to the 1980s.

Continuing charges of religious discrimination have largely centered on the eagle feather law, the use of ceremonial peyote, and the repatriation of Native American human remains and cultural and religious objectsPainted Buffalo Skull

Fort Laramie Treaty, 1868

 ARTICLE I.

From this day forward all war between the parties to this agreement shall for ever cease. The government of the United States desires peace, and its honor is hereby pledged to keep it. The Indians desire peace, and they now pledge their honor to maintain it.

If bad men among the whites, or among other people subject to If bad men among the Indians shall commit a wrong or depredation upon the person or property of nay one, white, black, or Indian, subject to the authority of the United States, and at peace therewith, the Indians herein named solemnly agree that they will, upon proof made to their agent, and notice by him, deliver up the wrongdoer to the United States, to be tried and punished according to its laws, and, in case they willfully refuse so to do, the person injured shall be reimbursed for his loss from the annuities, or other moneys due or to become due to them under this or other treaties made with the United States; and the President, on advising with the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, shall prescribe such rules and regulations for ascertaining damages under the provisions of this article as in his judgment may be proper, but no one sustaining loss while violating the provisions of this treaty, or the laws of the United States, shall be reimbursed therefor.

Indiginous Rights

  • The eagle feather law, which governs the possession and religious use of eagle feathers, was written with the intention to protect then dwindling eagle populations on one hand while still protecting traditional Native American spiritual and religious customs, to which the use of eagle feather is central, on the other hand. As a result, the possession of eagle feathers is restricted to ethnic Native Americans, a policy that is seen as controversial for several reasons.

  • Peyote, a spineless cactus found in the desert southwest and Mexico, is commonly used in certain traditions of Native American religion and spirituality, most notably in the Native American Church. Prior to the passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA) in 1978, and as amended in 1994, the religious use of peyote was not afforded legal protection. This resulted in the arrest of many Native Americans and non-Native Americans participating in traditional indigenous religion and spirituality.

  • Native Americans often hold strong personal and spiritual connections to their ancestors and often believe that their remains should rest undisturbed. This has often placed Native Americans at odds with archaeologists who have often dug on Native American burial grounds and other sites considered sacred, often removing artifacts and human remains – an act considered sacrilegious by many Native Americans. For years, Native American communities decried the removal of ancestral human remains and cultural and religious objects, charging that such activities are acts of genocide, religious persecution, and discrimination. Many Native Americans called on the government, museums, and private collectors for the return of remains and sensitive objects for reburial. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), which gained passage in 1990, established a means for Native Americans to request the return or “repatriation” of human remains and other sensitive cultural, religious, and funerary items held by federal agencies and federally assisted museums and institutions.

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In the event that your Indigenous spiritual practice is threatened by any organization or individual contact us. Also contact the applicable organizations below if needed. Remember!! you have rights, do not tolerate discrimination and don’t be pushed around!

Religious freedom organizations

Religious Freedom Web Sites

  • America Comments: A Web Magazine
  • First Amendment Cyber-Tribune
  • Liberal Constitutionalists
  • Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
  • The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
  • The Religious Freedom Page
    StudentsThe Singing Stone is not governed by or subject to any political organization or tribal government. As a newly defined denomination of Aboriginal American Spiritual practice, we reserve the right to practice our Religion with the freedom granted to us by the United States Constitution. We are sovereign from all other Indigenous Spiritual groups and individuals in the same way that the Protestant church has amnesty from Catholicism  We are committed to serve the public without discriminating against race, color, religion, or sexual orientation. We refuse to support any group or individual that intends on regulating or restricting the free flowing power of Divinity (or creating the illusion of that)!Morelia
    Terms and Conditions of Use : You browse this site at your own risk, The Singing Stone is not liable for any direct, incidental, consequential, indirect, or punitive damages arising out of your access to or use of this site or any information contained therein. Further, everything on the site is provided to you ‘as is’ without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchant ability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. The information we provide is not intended to be used by persons not involved in bona fied Indigenous traditions. Disclaimer: The information contained on this website has been prepared solely for the purpose of providing information to the visitors of the Site. This information is not intended to be advice on any particular matter.The Site has been carefully compiled by The Singing Stone, but no representation is made or warranty given (either express or implied) as to the completeness or accuracy of the information it contains. The Singing Stone and it’s affiliates’ are not liable for the information on this Site or for consequences of the use of the Site. We will not be liable for any direct or consequential damages arising from the use of the information contained in this Site.The Singing Stone is neither responsible nor liable for the consequences of any information provided as a result of the access to another website or product connected from this Site.No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the written prior permission of the publishers.

The American Indian Religious Freedom Act 1978

 

Congressional Seal

 The American Indian Religious Freedom Act 1978

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Public Law 95-341 95th Congress   Joint Resolution American Indian Religious Freedom.

Whereas the freedom of religion for all people is an inherent right, fundamental to the democratic structure of the United States and is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution;    Whereas the United States has traditionally rejected the concept of a government denying individuals the right to practice their religion, and as a result, has benefited from a rich variety of religious heritages in this country;   Whereas the religious practices of the American Indian (as well as Native Alaskan and Hawaiian) are an integral part of their culture, tradition, and heritage, such practices forming the basis of Indian identity and value systems;  Whereas the traditional American Indian religions as an integral part of Indian life, are indispensable and irreplaceable;  Whereas the lack of a clear, comprehensive, and consistent Federal policy has often resulted in the abridgment of religious freedom for traditional American Indians;  Whereas such religious infringements result from the lack of knowledge of the insensitive and inflexible enforcement of Federal policies and regulations premised on a variety of laws;  Whereas such laws were designed for such worthwhile purposes as conservation and preservation of natural species and resources but were never intended to relate to Indian religious practices and, there, were passed without consideration of their effect on traditional American Indian religions;  Whereas such laws and policies often deny American Indians access to sacred sites required in their religions, including cemeteries; Whereas such laws at times prohibit the use and possession of sacred objects necessary to the exercise of religious rites and ceremonies; Whereas traditional American Indian ceremonies have been intruded upon, interfered with, and in a few instances banned; Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled, That henceforth it shall be the policy of the United States to protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent right of freedom to believe, express, and exercise the traditional religions of the American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiians, including but not limited to access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonials and traditional rites.

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SEC. 2. The President shall direct that various Federal departments, agencies, and other instrumentalities responsible for the administering relevant laws to evaluate their policies and procedures in consultation with Native traditional religious leaders in order to determine appropriate changes necessary to protect and preserve Native American religious cultural rights and practices. Twelve months after approval of this resolution, the President shall report back to Congress the results of his evaluation, including any changes which were made in administrative policies and procedures, and any recommendations he may have for legislative action.

Approved August 11, 1978

 

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The American Indian Religious Freedom Act (commonly abbreviated to AIRFA) is a US federal law and a joint resolution of Congress that was passed in 1978. It was created to protect and preserve the traditional religious rights and cultural practices of American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts and Native Hawaiians.  These rights include, but are not limited to, access of sacred sites, repatriation of sacred objects held in museums, freedom to worship through ceremonial and traditional rites, including within prisons, and use and possession of objects considered sacred.  The Act required policies of all governmental agencies to eliminate interference with the free exercise of Native religion, based on the First Amendment, and to accommodate access to and use of religious sites to the extent that the use is practicable and is not inconsistent with an agency’s essential functions.  It also acknowledged the prior violation of that right.

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Congress enacted the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA) on August 11, 1978, enumerating a federal policy of protecting and preserving the ability of Native Americans to exercise their traditional religious beliefs — including access to traditional religious sites, use and possession of sacred objects and freedom to worship in traditional ways.  Many traditional religious sites are located on federal lands, and there had been a history of obstacles put in the way of Indians wishing to access those sites  to worship there unmolested.  To meet the ex-pressed ends, the Act directed federal agencies to adjust their policies so that their consultations with Native American Tribes encompassed the goals of AIRFA.

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Specifically, AIRFA states:

On and after August 11, 1978, it shall be the policy of the United States to protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent right of freedom to believe, express, and exercise the traditional religions of the American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiians, including but not limited to access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonials and traditional rites.

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For several years after its passage, Native American tribes, environmental organizations and related groups cited AIRFA in litigation in efforts to protect sacred sites, objects and corresponding religious worship.  Unfortunately, ten years after passage of the Act, the United States Supreme Court interpreted ARIFA’s loose language to be merely  a policy statement of the federal government and not judicially enforceable law.  In Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protection Association, the Court announced its belief that the Act “had no teeth in it” and determined that AIRFA did not allow a cause of action for Indians for protection of their religious sites from federal management decisions.

 

While limiting ARIFA’s force in the Lyng decision, the United States Supreme Court did not completely strip AIRFA of all enforcement power.  Instead, the Court’s opinion in Lyng and in subsequent opinions has created procedural requirements tied to the Act.  Specifically, AIRFA requires federal agencies to consider Indian religious concerns in agency actions that have the potential to affect an Indian religious practice or a spiritually significant Indian religious site.

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The fallout from AIRFA and the Lyng decision did create an environment ripe for some positive change.  In 1988, the American Indian Religious Freedom Coalition was formed, hoping to influence Congress to amend AIRFA to fix its limitations. No such amendments occurred at the time, but the American Indian Religious Freedom Coalition (AIRFC) did succeed in its efforts to protect Indian religious freedom by influencing other statutory changes.

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Most significantly, Congress, due to AIRFC’s influence, amended the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).    Enacted in 1992, the amendment allowed for “properties of traditional religious and cultural importance to an Indian tribe” to be eligible for inclusion as National Historic Properties.  In practice, this amendment has potentially allowed for more government-to-government consultation between the federal government and sovereign Indian tribes than any other piece of federal legislation.  The listing of tribal properties as culturally and/or historically significant triggers the federal government’s obligation to consult with tribes before undertaking any action that may affect those properties.

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 An important amendment to AIRFA did occur in 1994, following Congressional subcommittee hearings on the effectiveness of the Act.  Sections were added to AIRFA specifically allowing the ceremonial use of peyote for practitioners of “traditional Indian religions for which the sacramental use of peyote is integral to their practice.”

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The major criticism of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act was its inability to enforce its provisions, therefore its inability to provide religious freedom without condition. The act served as more of a joint resolution than an actual law. Its failure to protect certain sacred sites proved detrimental to Native American culture and religion as a whole.  The 1988 Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Association decision represented a unique convergence of religion, law, and land, and confirmed the American Indian Religious Freedom Act as a hollow excess of words

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Due to the criticism of the AIRFA and its inability to enforce the provisions it outlined in 1978.  On June 10, 1994 the House of Representatives, Committee on Natural resources and Subcommittee on Native American Affairs met to bring about H.R. 4155 in order to provide for the management of federal lands in a way that doesn’t frustrate the traditional religions and religious purposes of Native Americans.   Also,H.R. 4230 was set forth to amend the American Indian Religious Freedom Act to provide for the traditional use of peyote as sacrament in religious ceremonies.

Click here to see the AMERICAN INDIAN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1994

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Also consider the NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990) and ARPA (Archaeological Resources Protection Act 1979).

 

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Indian_Religious_Freedom_Act

and

[1]485 U.S. 439 (1988)

[2]16 U.S.C. 470 (1966)

  • Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protection Association, 485 U.S. 439 (1988).

 

  • American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA), 42 USC 1996 (1978) and amendments
  • National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), 16 USC 470 (1966)

American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments of 1994

American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments of 1994

Source

(Pub. L. 95–341, § 1,Aug. 11, 1978, 92 Stat. 469.)

Short Title of 1994 Amendment

 

Pub. L. 103–344, § 1,Oct. 6, 1994, 108 Stat. 3125, provided that: “This Act [enacting section 1996a of this title] may be cited as the ‘American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments of 1994’.”
Short Title

 

Pub. L. 95–341, as amended, which enacted this section, section 1996a of this title, and a provision set out as a note under this section, is popularly known as the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.
Federal Implementation of Protective and Preservation Functions Relating to Native American Religious Cultural Rights and Practices; Presidential Report to Congress

 

Pub. L. 95–341, § 2,Aug. 11, 1978, 92 Stat. 470, provided that the President direct the various Federal departments, agencies, and other instrumentalities responsible for administering relevant laws to evaluate their policies and procedures in consultation with native traditional religious leaders to determine changes necessary to preserve Native American religious cultural rights and practices and report to the Congress 12 months after Aug. 11, 1978.
Ex. Ord. No. 13007. Indian Sacred Sites

 

Ex. Ord. No. 13007, May 24, 1996, 61 F.R. 26771, provided:
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, in furtherance of Federal treaties, and in order to protect and preserve Indian religious practices, it is hereby ordered:
Section 1. Accommodation of Sacred Sites. (a) In managing Federal lands, each executive branch agency with statutory or administrative responsibility for the management of Federal lands shall, to the extent practicable, permitted by law, and not clearly inconsistent with essential agency functions, (1) accommodate access to and ceremonial use of Indian sacred sites by Indian religious practitioners and (2) avoid adversely affecting the physical integrity of such sacred sites. Where appropriate, agencies shall maintain the confidentiality of sacred sites.
(b) For purposes of this order:
(i) “Federal lands” means any land or interests in land owned by the United States, including leasehold interests held by the United States, except Indian trust lands;
(ii) “Indian tribe” means an Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, or community that the Secretary of the Interior acknowledges to exist as an Indian tribe pursuant to Public Law No. 103–454, 108 Stat. 4791 [see 25 U.S.C. 479a, 479a–1], and “Indian” refers to a member of such an Indian tribe; and
(iii) “Sacred site” means any specific, discrete, narrowly delineated location on Federal land that is identified by an Indian tribe, or Indian individual determined to be an appropriately authoritative representative of an Indian religion, as sacred by virtue of its established religious significance to, or ceremonial use by, an Indian religion; provided that the tribe or appropriately authoritative representative of an Indian religion has informed the agency of the existence of such a site.
Sec. 2. Procedures. (a) Each executive branch agency with statutory or administrative responsibility for the management of Federal lands shall, as appropriate, promptly implement procedures for the purposes of carrying out the provisions of section 1 of this order, including, where practicable and appropriate, procedures to ensure reasonable notice is provided of proposed actions or land management policies that may restrict future access to or ceremonial use of, or adversely affect the physical integrity of, sacred sites. In all actions pursuant to this section, agencies shall comply with the Executive memorandum of April 29, 1994, “Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments” [25 U.S.C. 450 note].
(b) Within 1 year of the effective date of this order, the head of each executive branch agency with statutory or administrative responsibility for the management of Federal lands shall report to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, on the implementation of this order. Such reports shall address, among other things, (i) any changes necessary to accommodate access to and ceremonial use of Indian sacred sites; (ii) any changes necessary to avoid adversely affecting the physical integrity of Indian sacred sites; and (iii) procedures implemented or proposed to facilitate consultation with appropriate Indian tribes and religious leaders and the expeditious resolution of disputes relating to agency action on Federal lands that may adversely affect access to, ceremonial use of, or the physical integrity of sacred sites.
Sec. 3. Nothing in this order shall be construed to require a taking of vested property interests. Nor shall this order be construed to impair enforceable rights to use of Federal lands that have been granted to third parties through final agency action. For purposes of this order, “agency action” has the same meaning as in the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 551 (13)).
Sec. 4. This order is intended only to improve the internal management of the executive branch and is not intended to, nor does it, create any right, benefit, or trust responsibility, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by any party against the United States, its agencies, officers, or any person.

William J. Clinton.

American Indian Religious Freedom Act

The American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA, Public Law 95-341), was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on August 12, 1978. President Carter defined the intention of AIRFA well when he stated at the signing ceremony

It is the fundamental right of every American, as guaranteed by the first amendment of the Constitution, to worship as he or she pleases. . . . This legislation sets forth the policy of the United States to protect and preserve the inherent right of American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiian people to believe, express, and exercise their traditional religions.

The Act was introduced in the Senate on December 15, 1977, by Senator James Abourezk (Democrat, South Dakota) and later in the House of Representatives by Representative James Udall (Democrat, New Mexico). The Senate held hearings on AIRFA but the House did not. Testimony in the Senate hearings came primarily from Native Americans and representatives of various government entities. AIRFA was considered and passed in the Senate on April 3, 1978, and in the House on July 18, 1978.President Carter and Secretary of Agriculture Bob Berglud were enthusiastic supporters of AIRFA, as were several senators and congresspersons. The Department of Justice expressed concerns about the effect of AIRFA on existing state and federal laws but was reassured by Representative Udall, who stated that it had “no teeth in it” and was not intended to override existing state laws. President Carter echoed this sentiment and stated that the “act is in no way intended to alter . . . or override existing laws.” With those concerns addressed, AIRFA passed with very little resistance in the House or Senate. Congress passed AIRFA with the intent of eliminating federal interference with the exercise of Native American religious traditions and to compel government agencies to consider AIRFA in the institution and administration of policies and procedures.

AIRFA is divided into two sections. The first section addresses the right of Native Americans to practice their traditional religions. The relevant language states:

Whereas, the freedom of religion for all people is an inherent right, fundamental to the democratic structure of the United States and is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution . . . Whereas traditional American Indian ceremonies have been intruded upon, interfered with, and in a few instances banned: Now therefore, be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that henceforth it shall be the policy of the United States to preserve for American Indians their inherent right of freedom to believe, express, and exercise the traditional religions . . . including but not limited to access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonial and traditional rites.

This section of AIRFA is important because it was the first federal legislation specifically addressing Native Americans’ inherent right to freedom of religion.

Section 2 requires that the president direct federal departments and agencies responsible for administering relevant laws to evaluate their policies and procedures in consultation with traditional Native religious leaders and report back to Congress with any recommended changes in one year’s time.

The AIRFA Report

The report committee formed to satisfy Section 2 of AIRFA was chaired by Secretary of the Interior Cecil B. Andrus. The report was submitted to Congress in August of 1979 and detailed the government’s overall failure to protect Native Americans’ religious freedoms. It stated that the failure had primarily stemmed from the “ignorance and misunderstanding on the part of the non-Indian” of Native American religions. The report called for the need for improvements in several areas, including access to sacred objects such as eagle feathers and peyote, access to sacred sites, protection of sacred sites, and the overall double standard in terms of the treatment of European-American versus Native American human remains. The response of government agencies and departments was sporadic and generally dismal. Because AIFRA lacked a clear interpretation of Congress’s intent, primarily due to the use of convoluted language on the lack of penalties for non-compliance, there was little incentive for government response.

The Suppression of Native American Religious Traditions

Native Americans have had their free practice of religion suppressed by every Western nation that sought to colonize the New World. Throughout history, suppressing Native religious practices has been a common practice of those seeking to subjugate a people. It was thought that through the denial of a people’s own culture, they would be easily assimilated into their suppressor’s culture. France, Britain, Spain, and the United States all suppressed Native Americans’ free practice of religion and supported, and often funded, efforts to convert Native Americans to Christianity. Freedom of religion has been the law of the land since the birth of the United States as a nation; however, this basic right, guaranteed to all by the Constitution, has repeatedly been denied to Native Americans.

It is ironic that the first Europeans who would become known as Americans settled here because they were fleeing religious persecution. The United States continued the policy of the earlier colonial governments by actively promoting Christianity to Native Americans. Christian missionaries were hired as Indian agents, tribal administrative control was often placed in the hands of religious denominations, and tribal-held land was repeatedly given away to organizations that promised to build religious schools or churches on it. In 1869, the Board of Indian Commissioners was established with the intended purpose of educating Native Americans in the principles of Christianity. In 1879, the Carlisle Indian Industrial School was established in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, by the U.S. government for the education of Native American children. The school’s director, Richard Pratt, stated that his goal was to “[k]ill the Indian and save the man.” The school punished children for wearing Native dress or speaking their own languages and forbade any practice of their Native religious traditions.

Interior Secretary Henry M. Teller holds the distinction of being the first U.S. government representative to order official restrictions on the practice of Native American religious customs. In an 1882 directive Teller ordered an end to all “heathenish dances and ceremonies” on reservations due to their “great hindrance to civilization.” In 1883, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Hiram Price codified the practice of officially restricting Native American religious freedom by creating the Indian Religious Crimes Code. In his 1883 annual report to the secretary of the interior, Price stated

there is no good reason why an Indian should be permitted to indulge in practices which are alike repugnant to common decency and morality; and the preservation of good order on the reservations demands that some active measures should be taken to discourage and, if possible, put a stop to the demoralizing influence of heathenish rites.

In 1892, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Thomas J. Morgan sought to further suppress Native religions by ordering penalties of up to six months in prison for those who repeatedly participated in religious dances or acted as medicine men.

The government’s attempts to suppress and in many instances outright ban Native American religious practices led to one of the bloodiest events in the history of the United States: the Massacre at Wounded Knee. To enforce the ban on the Ghost Dance in accordance with the Indian Religious Crimes Code, the Seventh Calvary was sent into the Lakota Sioux’s Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations to stop the dance and arrest the participants. General Armstrong Custer’s former unit, in response to a dispute over a firearm, attacked and killed approximately 150 Native American men, women, and children on December 29, 1890. Charges of killing innocents were brought against members of the Seventh Calvary, but all were later exonerated. The massacre marked the effective end of the Ghost Dance movement and, according to many historians, signified the end of the Indian Wars.

The Start of a Change in U.S. Policy

The shift toward acknowledging Native American religions, the government’s obligations to the tribes, and their rites as citizens of the United States began in 1933 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed John Collier as commissioner of Indian Affairs. Collier issued Bureau of Indian Affairs Circular 2970, “Indian Religious Freedom and Indian Culture,” on January 3, 1934. The circular was sent to all federal agencies and read in part “no interference with Indian religious life or ceremonial expression will hereafter be tolerated.” Collier also guided, with the support of President Roosevelt, the Indian Reorganization Act, commonly known as the Indian New Deal, through Congress. This act dramatically changed U.S. policy by allowing tribal self-government and consolidating individual land allotments back into tribal hands.

In the 1960s, partly in response to a nationwide wave of discontent and a trend toward active protesting of government policies, a renewed movement of Native American activism resulted in the passage of several acts, including AIRFA. Native Americans began to cooperate and organize a pan-Indian movement to push for change through political channels. While there is a long history of pan-Indian movements, many feel that this one had its roots in the forced boarding school programs and the Bureau of Indian Affairs relocation programs. Both programs brought Native Americans from several tribes together in situations in which their common hardships and interests led to increased inter-tribal communication and cooperation.

One of the first politically active Native American groups to form was the National Indian Youth Council (NIYC), created in 1961. NIYC participated in a series of protests calling for the recognition of treaty-granted fishing rights in the state of Washington. The American Indian Movement (AIM), the most vocal and well-known of the Native American activist groups, was formed in 1968 by George Mitchell and Dennis Banks in Minneapolis. AIM participated in the 1969 occupation of Alcatraz, the November 1972 occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs building in Washington, D.C., and the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee.

Largely in response to Native Americans’ well publicized calls for change, a large number of acts were passed by Congress in the late 1960s and 1970s: the Indian Civil Rights Act (PL90-284) in 1968; the Alaska Native Claims Act (PL92-208) in 1971; the Indian Education Act (PL92-318) in 1972; the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (PL93-638) in 1974; the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (PL94-437) in 1976; and the Indian Child Welfare Act (PL95-608) in 1978. The Archaeological Resources Protection Act (PL96-95) was passed in 1979 and prohibited the excavation, removal, defacing, or sale of human remains or burial items unless done in accordance with the law.

The increased public awareness of the Native American’s plight led to the creation of the American Indian Policy Review Commission in 1975. Consisting of three senators, three representatives, and five Indian commissioners, the commission oversaw thirty-three task forces reviewing Native American grievances and conditions. The final report was issued in May 1977 and concluded that the government had often interfered in and obstructed the efforts of Native Americans to practice their traditional religious customs. The report was instrumental in the struggle to convince Congress of the need for AIRFA.

Legislation Following AIRFA and AIRFA Amendments

Since 1978, a relatively steady progression of executive orders, memorandums, and legislation has addressed problems with AIRFA and clarified Congress’s intent to the courts. Issues such as access to sacred sites, the ceremonial use of peyote, the rights of Native American prisoners to practice their religions, and the repatriation of human remains and ceremonial objects have all been specifically addressed. The efforts made in addressing the issue of Native Americans’ free practice of religion have not satisfied all, but most would concur that there has been a significant amount of progress made in the nearly three decades since the passage of AIRFA.

President George H. W. Bush signed MAIA, the Museum of the American Indian Act (PL101-185) in 1989 and NAGPRA, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (PL101-601) in 1990. MAIA called for the creation of the Museum of the American Indian and the repatriation of 18,500 Native American remains held by the Smithsonian. NAGPRA calls for museums and federal agencies to return Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural importance to lineal descendents, affiliated tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations.

In 1993, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (PL103-141) was passed and signed into law by President William Jefferson Clinton. On signing the Act, President Clinton stated that it “reestablishes a standard that better protects all Americans of all faiths . . . in a way that I am convinced is far more consistent with the intent of the Founders of this nation.” In 1994, President Clinton issued a memorandum to every executive department and agency of the government, titled “Policy Concerning Distribution of Eagle Feathers for Native American Religious Purposes.” In his remarks to Native American and Native Alaskan tribal leaders, he said that the memorandum directed the agencies and departments to “cooperate with tribal governments to accommodate whenever possible the need for eagle feathers in the practice of Native American religions.”

The AIRFA amendments (PL103-344) were passed in 1994 to correct the inadequacies of the original Act. The 1978 version of AIRFA was seen by the courts as a policy for executive agencies and as such was not given extensive weight in court decisions. The courts have always distinguished between religious beliefs and religious practices. People are free to choose their religious beliefs, but practices have been repeatedly prohibited by the courts. Polygamy, human sacrifice, and religious customs such as those allowing rape as a penalty for a violation of religious code are all illegal based on the overriding good of the public and existing state and federal laws. In Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith (1990), the Supreme Court ruled that Oregon was within its legal right to fire a Native American employee for the use of peyote in a religious ceremony. The court failed to recognize the religious significance of the peyote use and instead viewed it as an illegal substance not protected under the First Amendment or AIRFA.

Many Native American groups and individuals pushed for amendments to AIRFA, which clarified the legality of peyote use for religious purposes and the distinction between its traditional use and use as a recreational drug. In the hearings held by the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs, the late Professor Vine Deloria testified that “We need to make clear that peyote is a sacramental plant used by American Indians in a sacramental way, going back long before the memory of man. Once that clarification is made, there is no possible way to link it to those other drugs.”

The amendments were considered and passed in the House of Representatives on August 8, 1994, and in the Senate on September 26, 1994. The amendments state that “Non-withstanding any other provision of law, the use, possession, or transportation of peyote by an Indian for bona fide traditional ceremonial purposes in connection with the practice of a traditional Indian religion is lawful, and shall not be prohibited by the United States or any state.” The amendment includes a list of several common sense exceptions and a section prohibiting discrimination based on a Native American’s use of peyote in a religious context.

On May 24, 1996, President Clinton issued Executive Order 13007, “Protection and Accommodation of Access to Indian Sacred Sites.” The order states that executive agencies and departments should “accommodate access to and ceremonial use of Indian sacred sites by Indian religious practitioners and avoid adversely affecting the physical integrity of such sacred sites. Where appropriate, agencies shall maintain the confidentiality of sacred sites.” It was issued largely in response to the Supreme Court ruling in the Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Association. The case resulted from the U.S. Forest Service’s desire to build a road near a Native American religious site. Several tribes were joined by various parties, including the state of California, in seeking a court order to bar the project under AIRFA. The Supreme Court, as stated by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, decided that “Whatever rights the Indians may have to use of the area those rights do not divest the Government of its right to use what is, after all, its land.”

The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (PL106-274) was signed into law in 2000 by President Clinton. The legislation guarantees access for Native Americans to religious sites located on government property. Section 2 regards the right of Native American prisoners to practice traditional religions. It states, “No government shall impose a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person residing in or confined to an institution, . . . even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless the government demonstrates that imposition of the burden on that person is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

Articles of Incorporation

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Articles of Incorporation

Of

Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp ( F.S.I.C. NAC corp)

(A Colorado Nonprofit Religious Corporation)

 

    Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, a Colorado nonprofit corporation under Colorado revised statutes, title 7, articles 121-137, as amended from time to time (the “Colorado revised nonprofit corporation act”), adopts the following articles of incorporation for such corporation.

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Article I

Name and Principle office

 

              The name of the corporation is Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado. The principle office of the corporation is 1074 Lariat trail, Crestone, Colorado, 81131.

 

Article II

Duration

 

              The period of its duration shall be perpetual.

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Article III

Purposes

 

This corporation is a nonprofit religious corporation and is not organized for the private gain of any person. It is organized under the Nonprofit Religious Corporation Law exclusively for religious, spiritual, and educational purposes. The specific purposes for which this corporation is organized is to be an official affiliate of the Native American Church of Itzachilatlan, recognized by the state of Illinois (file no. 86573429) and to cause and secure in principle and deed, the exercise and expression of aboriginal traditions and other indigenous American religious practices in accordance with the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, The American Indian Religious Freedom act (42 U.S. Code 1996), and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments of 1994 ( Public Law 103-344), and in accordance with  The American Indian Religious Freedom Act 21 U.S. Code 952, 953, and other pertinent laws; to carry out and perform religious and spiritual ceremonies that include but not exclusively limited to; the Name giving rite, burials, marriages, transport and use of peyote, all night prayer vigils with holy sacrament of peyote, sweat lodges, vision quest, coming of age ceremony, pipe ceremony, staff alliance ceremony, ayahuaska, tobacco, spiritual adoption, ceremonies of personal health, The Sundance, pow wows, community gatherings, ceremonial dances, and other rituals and ceremonies of aboriginal peoples of America with religious and cultural intent or passed via alliances with other organizations or churches. In accordance with spiritual aboriginal traditions and under the protection of The First Amendment of the United States Constitution, The American Indian Religious Freedom Act (42 U.S. Code 1996), The American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments of 1994 (Public Law 103-344) and in accordance with 21 U.S. Code 952, 953, and other pertinent laws; Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp in Colorado and its rituals have, as a holy sacrament, medicinal plants including but not limited to, Peyote, Ayahuaska, and tobacco. Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp’s objective is to safe keep, administer, protect, facilitate, spread, determine, educate, give full details of, exercise, and express to and for all peoples the indigenous and aboriginal religious ceremonies, ways of spiritual expression, and ways of living according to traditional values. Also its purpose is to promote activities that nourish, stimulate, and further development of human creativity through spiritual expression, cultural identity, cultural art, and historical consciousness, as well as to promote unification of all cultural religious and spiritual workers.

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ARTICLE IV

Inurnment, Dissolution, and Powers

 

  1. This corporation is organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, cultural, educational, spiritual, ceremonial, and scientific purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

 

  1. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the corporation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (1) by a corporation exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law) or (2) by a corporation contributions to which are deductible under Section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law). Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, this corporation shall not, except to an insubstantial degree, engage in any activities or exercise any powers that are not in furtherance of the purposes of this corporation.

 

  1. No part of the income or net earnings of the corporation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, any member, director or officer of the corporation or to any other private individual, except that (1) reasonable compensation may be paid for services rendered to or for the corporation affecting one or more of its purposes;(2) reimbursement may be made for any expenses incurred for the corporation by any officer, director, member, agent, or employee, or any other person or corporation pursuant to and upon authorization of the directive council (as defined in Article VII below); and (3) rebates of excess membership dues, fees, or common expense assessments may be made.

 

  1. In the event of dissolution of the corporation, the property and assets thereof remaining after providing for all obligations shall be distributed pursuant to the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act Article 134.

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ARTICLE V

THE RITUUALS

 

SECTION 1

All rituals and ceremonies of Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp are realized with sacred instruments, and include, but are not limited to, plants, bird feathers, animal skins, hides, rattles, drums, stones, staffs, pipes, and dress regalia.

 

SECTION 2

We believe ourselves legitimate and direct heirs to all original ancient indigenous practices, beliefs, and rituals. All rituals and ceremonies of Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp are directed with reverence towards our Mother Earth, Father Sun, and the great Creator represented by fire. Accompanying our rituals and ceremonies are sacred traditional songs passed down generations by indigenous peoples for the purpose of ceremonial use.

 

SECTION 3

All rituals of Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp are conducted and referred to by a sacred name and a collaborative of custodians whom have legitimate ordination to perform said ceremonies.

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ARCTICLE VI

MEMBERSHIPS AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 

SECTION 1

In accordance with Colorado Law, Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp is a non-membership Corporation without formal membership as the term is legally defined under Colorado Law.

 

SECTION 2

Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp will have, upon its inception, informal members separate and apart from definition of Formal membership as defined by the laws of Colorado. Members of Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp will be granted recognition as “informal members” as such by organization described in this section.

Informal membership does not give members any rights or privileges associated with operations, management, or legal affairs of Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, and therefore informal members will not participate in the act of voting.

 

SECTION 3

Informal members, therefore and further in this section and all sections, will be referred to as membership.

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SECTION 4

Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp membership, in accordance with, The American Indian Religious Freedom act (42 U.S. Code 1996), and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments of 1994 ( Public Law 103-344), and in accordance with  The American Indian Religious Freedom Act 21 U.S. Code 952, 953, and other pertinent laws, the rights and freedoms mentioned therein. Therefore granting members all rights and privileges contained therein.

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SECTION 5

There will exist then four types of members

 

SECTION 6

Beneficiary members: Are those who benefit by helping and collaborating with the activities of Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp.

 

SECTION 7

Active members: Those who meet or have met the requisites approved by Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp

 

SECTION 8

Honorary Members: Those who voluntarily show their support and are specially recognized by Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp

 

SECTION 9

General Members: Those who participate in a general manner and support the corporation in its activities.

 

SECTION 10

            General assembly: Made up of all, Founding, beneficiary, active and honorary members of Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp.

 

SECTION 11

Details of The Four types of members will be expounded upon in the corporations Bylaws

ARTICLE VII

NAMING OF DIRECTIVE COUNCIL

 

Let it be known and constituted that the Founding members hereby known as the Directive Council also for Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp is made up of the following persons as appointed by incorporating agent under the authority and supervision of Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp:

 

  1. Christopher Michael Long, 4266 Rambling way, Crestone, CO, 81131
  2. Andrea Marie Long, 4266 Rambling way, Crestone, CO, 81131
  3. Bruce Elaine Waltemyer, 1074 Lariat trail, Crestone, CO, 81131

 

The Directive Councils members form the core governing council of Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, these members will always retain all rights and privileges within the corporation as the founding leaders of Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, and they can only be removed from position by their own accord. Directive Council members constitute the main governing council and their actions and decisions surpass any decisions made by officers, advisors and or members when it comes to the highest benefit of the Corporation. Their term is indefinite and their positions are only replaced through the act of inheritance with the approval of the other founders.

 

 

ARTICLE VIII

OFFICERS

The Directive Council may appoint a President, one or more vice presidents, a secretary, a treasurer, and other such officers as the Directive Council believes will be in the best interest of the corporation (each an “officer”, collectively known as “Officers”). As provided in the by laws, any two or more offices may be held by the same person, except the President and the secretary. The Officers shall have such duties as may be prescribed to them in the Bylaws and shall serve at the direction and pleasure of the Directive Council.

 

 

ARTICLE IX

SPIRITUAL ADVISORS

 

Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp will also have a directive position known as Spiritual Advisor. Spiritual advisors are those who fulfill all requirements and prerequisites as laid out in the Bylaws and are also appointed by the Directive Council and have a good standing with all officers and members as understood within the Bylaws. Spiritual advisors can be members, Officers, and or Directive Council, but being any of the latter does not necessarily mean being a spiritual advisor. Being a Spiritual Advisor is a privilege and requires strenuous prerequisites and community approval. The Spiritual Advisors duties will be to oversee rituals and ceremonies with the upmost highest reverence, integrity, and diligence in accordance with tradition of how they received the altars and authority to conduct said ceremonies. Spiritual Advisors will not be part of (unless they are Officers, members, and or Directive Council) administrative duties, governing, and or day-to-day maintenance of the Corporation. There will be classifications of types and duties of Spiritual advisors as written in the bylaws, but there will be one original Spiritual Advisor that leads all others and all others have to be approved of by the original Spiritual Advisor. The Bylaws will contain the components of what it means to be the original advisor and will lay the foundation and requirements for all others to become Spiritual advisors.

 

 

ARTICLE X

BYLAWS

 

The initial Bylaws of the Corporation shall be as adopted by the Directive Council. The Directive Council and the Corporations Officers shall have power to alter, amend, or repeal the Bylaws from time to time in force and adopt new Bylaws. The Bylaws from the Corporation may contain any provisions for the regulation or management of the affairs of the Corporation that are not inconsistent with the law or these articles of Incorporation, as these articles may from time to time be amended. However, no articles shall have the effect of giving any director or officer of the corporation any proprietary interest in the Corporation’s property or assets, whether during the term of the corporation’s existence or as an incident to its dissolution.

 

 

ARTICLE XI

PERSONAL LIABILITY

 

No member, Officer, Spiritual Advisor or Directive Council member of this Corporation shall be personally liable for the debts or obligations of this Corporation of any nature whatsoever, nor shall any of the property of the members, Officer, advisors, or Directors be subject to the payment of the debts or obligations of this corporation. Nor shall the Corporation be liable for the personal affairs or debts or obligations of any member, Officer, advisor, or director. The Corporation is solely responsible for anything done under the name of Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp (unless the Corporations named is used fraudulently) as approved and guided by the directive council. Indemnification will by addressed in the Bylaws. All participants in rituals and ceremonies will agree and consent to the Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp Waiver and release form, either through signing the contract or verbally agreeing to it or most importantly agree to it by the act of participation itself, as long as all participants will be made available copies of the Waiver and release form and will be provided the opportunity to object and or learn more about the Waiver and release form, also that it is clearly stated before the ceremonies that participating is an act agreeing to the Waiver and release Form which will be attached to the Bylaws. All members, officers, Advisors, and Directors will have to have signed a copy of the waiver and release form.

 

 

ARTICLE XII

INITIAL REGISTERED OFFICE AND AGENT

 

The initial registered office of the corporation shall be 1074 Lartiat trail, Crestone CO, 81131. The Initial registered agent at such office shall be, Bruce Elaine Waltemyer, PO 992, Crestone, CO, 81131.

ARTICLE XIII

AMENDMENT OF ARTICLES; CONFLICTS

These Articles of Incorporation may be amended from time to time in the manner set forth in the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act, provided always that such amendments are consistent with the terms and provisions of the Declaration.

  1. In the event of a conflict between the terms and provisions of these Articles and the terms and provisions of the Declaration, the terms and provisions of the Declaration shall govern and control.
  2. In the event of a conflict between the terms and provisions of these Articles and the terms and provisions of the Bylaws adopted by the Directive Council, the terms and provisions of these Articles shall govern and control.

ARTICLE XIV

INCORPORATOR

The name and address of the incorporator of the corporation is:

Christopher Michael Long, 4266 Rambling Way, PO 591, Crestone, CO, 81131.

ARTICLE XV

WRITTEN CONSENT OF INCORPORATING AGENT ADOPTING BYLAWS

 

I, the undersigned, am the person named as the Incorporating agent by Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp. The name and mailing address of the individual who cause this document to be delivered for filing, and to whom the Secretary of State may deliver notice if filing of this document is refused is; Christopher Michael Long, 4266 Rambling Way, PO 591, Crestone, CO, 81131.

 

Click here to read our BY-LAWS

033

Legal Notice: Terms of Use Agreement

In this agreement & disclaimer (“agreement”) “you” and “your” refer to each website visitor, “we”, us” and “our” refer to Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado, its contractors, agents, employees, officers, directors and affiliates. The Singing Stone provides this site and related services subject to your compliance with the terms and conditions set forth herein. Please read the following information carefully. Disclaimer: This site is provided as-is with no representations or warranties, either express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non infringement. You assume complete responsibility and risk for use of this site and any and all site-related services. Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado, its agents, representatives, and employees are neither responsible nor liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special, exemplary, punitive, or other damages arising out of or relating in any way to this site, site-related services and/or content or information contained within the site. Your sole remedy for dissatisfaction with the site or its services is to stop using the site and/or those services. Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado shall not be liable to you or your business for any incidental, consequential, special, or punitive damages or lost or imputed profits or royalties arising out of this agreement or any goods or services provided, whether for breach of warranty or any obligation arising therefrom or otherwise, whether liability is asserted in contract or tort (including negligence and strict product liability) and irrespective of whether you have been advised of the possibility of any such loss or damage. Each party hereby waives any claims that these exclusions deprive such party of an adequate remedy. You acknowledge that third party product and service providers advertise their products and services on The Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado web site. Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado forms “partnerships” or alliances with some of these vendors from time to time in order to facilitate the provision of these products and services to you. However, you acknowledge and agree that at no time is Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado making any representation or warranty regarding any third party’s products or services, nor will Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado be liable to you or any third party for any claims arising from or in connection with such third party products and services. You hereby disclaim and waive any rights and claims you may have against Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado with respect to third party products and services, to the maximum extent permitted by law. You understand and agree that any material and/or data downloaded or otherwise obtained through the use of the our services is done at your own discretion and risk and that you will be solely responsible for any damage to your computer system or loss of data that results from the download of such material and/or data. We make no warranty regarding any goods or services purchased or obtained or any transactions entered into with Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado no advice or information, whether oral or written, obtained by you from Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado shall create any warranty not expressly made herein. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion of certain warranties, so some of the above exclusions may not apply to you. Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado at its sole discretion may choose to change the terms, conditions, and operation of this web site at anytime. By using this service the user waives any rights or claims it may have against Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado.The content available through the site is the sole property of Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado or its licensors and is protected by copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property laws. Except as otherwise explicitly agreed in writing, Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado, -owned content received through the site may be downloaded, displayed, reformatted and printed for your personal, non-commercial use only. Content owned by Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado licensor’s may be subject to additional restrictions. You agree not to reproduce, retransmit, distribute, disseminate, sell, publish, broadcast or circulate the content received through the site to anyone, including but not limited to others in the same company or organization without Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado express prior written consent. This Site Is Not A Substitute For Professional Training. The materials posted on http://thesingingstone.com/ are provided for public informational purposes only, and do not constitute individualized advice. Your review of the posted materials does not establish any form of client relationship between you and Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado. You should consult a qualified professional to determine your current situation, and how it may apply to you. Dissatisfaction: In the event that you are not satisfied with this website, please contact us. In the meantime you may stop using it. Link Disclaimer: Links to other sites are provided only as a courtesy to The Singing Stone/Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado website visitors. These links do not constitute an endorsement of products, services or information provided by other sites. Further, the inclusion of links to other sites does not imply that the other sites have given permission for inclusion of these links, or that there is any relationship between Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado and the linked site. Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of others web sites. Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado hereby disclaims any representations or warranties expressed on any site other than our own. Copyright: All content within this site, including, but not limited to text, software, graphics, logos, icons, and images are the property of Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado except as provided herein, no portion of the materials on these pages may be reprinted or republished in any form without the express written permission of the firm. Permission is granted to print copies of informational articles for your own use and review, provided that source attributions and copyright notices are maintained.Trademark: We reserve all of our rights in the graphic image and text, any other images, our trade names and trademarks, and any intellectual property rights. The Singing Stone, Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado, trade names, trademarks, logos and service names and similar proprietary marks shall not be reprinted or displayed in any form without the express written permission of Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado. The unique trade dress of the site is also a service mark of Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado. Email Transmissions: When you send The Singing Stone/Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado an electronic mail transmission, the electronic mail transmission is not necessarily secure and is not encrypted. Accordingly, email transmissions are not necessarily protected from unauthorized access. Transmission of email is at your own risk. Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado cannot accept responsibility for your transmission of confidential information or any obligation with respect to that information not submitted over the secure server. Governing Law: By using this site, you submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state of Colorado and federal courts having jurisdiction in the state of Colorado, and you waive any jurisdictional, venue, or inconvenient forum objections to such courts. You agree that, if an agent for you (i.e., an internet service provider, employee, etc.) used our services on your behalf, you are nonetheless bound as a principal by all terms and conditions herein. Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp, of Crestone Colorado may modify these terms of use at any time by making such modification on this page. By using this site and/or any services related thereto, you agree that you have read, understand, and agree to the terms of use. Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church Corp ( F.S.I.C. NAC corp). (A Colorado Nonprofit Religious Corporation)
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Religious Rights

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 Religious Rights

If you are are experiencing Religious persecution click the links below to learn what to do about it.
  To read about the fair housing act and The Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

 Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA)

Click here to Read the American Indian Religious Freedom Act !

Click here to read The Universal Declaration of Human Rights!

The Office of International Religious Freedom has the mission of promoting religious freedom as a core objective of U.S. foreign policy. The office is headed by Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Suzan Johnson Cook. We monitor religious persecution and discrimination worldwide, recommend and implement policies in respective regions or countries, and develop programs to promote religious freedom

department_of_state.svgInternational Coalition for Religious Freedom  “is a non-profit, non-sectarian, educational organization dedicated to defending the religious freedom of all, regardless of creed, gender, or ethnic origin.

The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice,  created in 1957 by the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, works to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society. The Division enforces federal statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, familial status and national origin.

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The First Amendment Center, We support the First Amendment and build understanding of its core freedoms through education, information and entertainment.

Religious Tolerance, Ontario consultants on religious tolerance. An awesome site!

American Center for Law and Justice  (ACLJ) and its globally affiliated organizations are committed to ensuring the ongoing viability of freedom and liberty in the United States and around the world.

American Civil Liberties Union,The ACLU is our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.

CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions), CHANGING RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS IN A CHANGING WORLD.

CESNUR - center for studies on new religions

First Freedom Center , The mission of the First Freedom Center is to advance the fundamental human rights of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.

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The Leadership Conference,

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. 

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund

Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, The Research Institute of The ERLC represents an evangelical think tank that includes university and seminary presidents, academic deans, professors, lawyers, doctors, theologians, and other evangelical scholars.

The Freedom Forum On Line, The center serves as a forum for the study and exploration of free-expression issues, including freedom of speech, of the press and of religion, and the rights to assemble and to petition the government.

Liberty Counsel, Restoring the culture by advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the family.

People For the American Way, Our America respects diversity, nurtures creativity and combats hatred and bigotry.

 

The Rutherford Institute, Dedicated to the defense of civil liberties and human rights.

Religion Link, All of our writers have years of experience in the field of religion reporting. They are well versed in the many religions and issues that are covered in mainstream media.

USCIRF, is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission, the first of its kind in the world, that monitors the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.

Concerned Women for America, through its Board of Trustees has established Religious Liberty as one of its seven core issues on which we focus our efforts.

Liberty Institute, Unfortunately, religious liberty is under attack — in our churches, in our schools and in the public arena – like never before in American history.

American Religious Freedom, Protecting religious freedom for all Faiths.

La Piedra que Canta Afiliación

Afiliación

 Afiliación con la piedra que canta implica varias cosas. Primero y más importante es la protección bajo la Ley de Libertad Religiosa indio americano como miembro de La Iglesia Nativa Americana y / o profesional de buena fe de la tradición espiritual de América Indígena.

membership card back, spanish

membership card Spanish

Paso 1. Usted tendrá que llenar nuestra solicitud de adhesión (Abajo).

Paso 2. Haga una donación para la suscripción de Membership.

Miembro General Durante un año es de $ 100

Convertirse en un miembro de por vida por $ 1000

(EE.UU. Dólares Americanos)

  • Problemas? no hay dinero? Consulte con nosotros, somos muy flexibles.
  • Pregunta acerca de las tarifas de grupos, proteja a su grupo, Congregación y la familia.
  • 25% de descuento senior y veteranos.

Name (required)

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Le enviaremos su tarjeta por correo, Tendrá un ID #. En el caso de que alguien necesita para verificar su membresía (Ley con la observancia empleador, etc.), simplemente pídale que llame a nuestro número para verificar su membresía. También existe la opción en línea de verificación a través de nuestro sitio así. Háganos saber si usted quiere beneficios específicos tales como exenciones religiosas. Sólo tienes que escribir cualquier comentario o peticiones en la aplicación anterior.

Privilegios de los miembros:

  • La prueba de la membresía en EE.UU.
  • asistir a las ceremonias
  • Patrocinador ceremonias privadas.
  • Tener una voz en las reuniones del consejo.
  • Servir en los comités.
  • Recibir boletines trimestrales.**
  • Sea parte de nuestra red internacional.
  • Tener a corto plazo se mantiene en nuestros jardines comunitarios.
  • Tenga cuidado de los niños y los beneficios educativos.
  • Tienen descuentos miembros especiales.
  • Participar en retiros y clases *.
  • Tener acceso y el uso de nuestras instalaciones *.
  • tener una suscripción para los miembros de acceso en nuestro sitio web. **
  • Llega a ser elegible para asistir a ceremonias especiales *.
  • Llega a ser elegible para vivir como un residente de la comunidad *.
  • Llega a ser elegible para ocupar cargos directivos *.
  • Llega a ser elegible para las decisiones de cuidado de la salud y el entierro nativo*.

* Consulte con nosotros acerca de los requisitos de elegibilidad y restricciones.

** Para conectarse a nuestros miembros sólo suscripción de nuestro sitio web, utilice su dirección de correo electrónico como nombre de usuario e introduzca su Membresía ID # pase.

Tenemos cuatro diferentes niveles de membresía en función de participación. Al participar y estar más involucrados en las actividades, uno puede tener más privilegios y responsabilidades de nuestra comunidad. Uno puede incluso convertirse en un miembro mediante la participación solo. El registro puede ser concedida, prorrogado o levantado por la piedra que canta (The Singing Stone) en cualquier momento.

The Singing Stone Membership

Membership

Membership with The Singing Stone implies several things. First and foremost is Protection under The American Indian Religious Freedom Act as a member of The Native American Church and/or bona fide practitioner of Indigenous American spiritual Tradition.

membership cardmembership card back

Click here to read about The American Indian Religious Freedom Act!

Click here to read about our Freedom of Religion!

As a member you will have Special exempt status and be protected in the use of Sacraments, Instruments and Regalia.

Step 1. You will have to fill out our membership application (Below).

Step 2. Make a donation for subscription to Membership.

General Membership For one year is $100

Become a lifetime member for $1000

  • All Members are Protected under The American Indian Religious Freedom act, The First Amendment
    and The United Nations Article 18 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Ask about group rates, protect your group, Congregation and family.
  • Senior and veterans 25% discount. $75 for a General Membership.
  • Problems? no money? Check with us, we are very flexible.

 Be sure to give some form of ID# SS# DL# Passport# or student ID#.

 

Full Name and Birthdate (required)

Email Address(required)

Identification Number (required)

Full Mailing Address

 

We will send your card in the mail, It will have an I.D.#. In the event that anyone needs to verify your Membership (Law enforcement- Employer, etc.), simply have them call our number to verify your Membership. There is also the online option of verification through our site as well. Let us know If you want specific benefits such as Religious exemptions. Just type any comments or requests in the application above.

Membership Privileges:

  • Protection under The A.I.R.F.A.
  • Attend ceremonies
  • Sponsor private Ceremonies.
  • Have a voice at council meetings.
  • Serve on committees.
  • Receive quarterly newsletters.**
  • Be a part of our International network.
  • Have short term stays on our Community grounds.
  • Have Child care and Educational benefits.
  • Have special Member discounts.
  • Take part in retreats and classes*.
  • Have access and use of our facilities*.
  • Gain a subscription to members only access on our Website.**
  • Become eligible To attend special ceremonies*.
  • Become eligible to live as a community resident*.
  • Become eligible for Leadership roles*.
  • Become eligible for Health Care decisions and Native burial*.
 ⊕ CONSEQUENCES FOR VIOLATING THE CIVIL LIBERTIES OF FUEGO SAGRADO DE ITZACHILATLAN OF COLORADO NATIVE AMERICAN CHURCH OR IT’S MEMBERS.

 

Click here to get a copy of our waiver and release form.
 * Inquire with us about Eligibility Requirements and restrictions.

** To log on to our Members only subscription of our website, use your email address as your user name and enter your Membership I.D.# as the pass word.

We have four different levels of membership depending on your involvement with The Singing Stone. By participating and being more involved in activities, one can have more privileges and Responsibilities in our community. One can even become a member through participation alone. Membership can be granted, extended or terminated by The Singing Stone at any time.

 

Inipi Wakan

 Sweat Lodge

Inipi Wakan

Said to be the oldest rite, the Sweat Lodge Ceremony is one of purification. Individuals crawl to the left (ladies first) and clockwise to their spots. Hot lava rocks are heated outside of the lodge on a fire. They are then carried into a cloth covered willow frame hut to be placed into a pit. After the door is shut the inside of the lodge is pitch black with the exception of the red stones which we often refer to as the Grandmothers and Grandfathers.

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 Herbs such as cedar and sweetgrass are then placed on the stones to assist in the healing of the Ceremony. Hot steam envelopes the lodge as the leader pours water upon the glowing stones. The loud drum throbs steadily as the singers join in with the appropriate songs. Participants are encouraged to connect in their own prayer to Great Spirit (God) while focusing on what is needing attention at that particular time. When the time is right someone calls out, Aho Mitakuye Oyasin! or All of My Relations! The flap is then opened. We do this for 4 doors and then exit the lodge to enjoy a feast together.

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Fire          Sweat Lodge Preparatory Details                                                                                                     

The Singing Stone would like to warmly invite you back to the womb of the mother in our traditional Inipi or sacred sweat lodge ceremony.

sacred fire

Arriving 1/2 hour to 1 hour prior to the stated time for each inipi is suggested. By arriving early individuals become better acquainted and allows them time to make prayer ties. These ties are used in to project intentions (make prayers) before hand. Details like this may vary according to the situation or the intercessor. Lodges may last anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. Please bring a towel and a change of clothing if necessary. Women typically wear a long dress that covers the shoulders or a skirt and t-shirt. Men usually wear swim trunks. We would ask that women having their sacred menses or moon time to stay out of the lodge in order to maintain the energy in a flowing manner. Ladies on menses are welcome to stay in the house if they like. Please leave your pets at home and do not attend our Ceremonies intoxicated. We are happy to offer a clean, drug free environment.

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In our lineage it is tradition to offer tobacco to the person pouring water so we require everyone to bring this offering. We do not place a fee on Ceremonies. However, donations are what helps us to continue offering Native Teachings. We can always use donations of firewood, flat cedar leaf, sweetgrass, prayer tie material, and blankets. Monetary donations are the most needed. We look forward to joining in prayer to share with one another.

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Sun Dance Songs

Sun Dance Songs

Solicitar canción? Song Requests?

¿Preguntas? Questions?

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We will be adding additional songs when we get the chance.

Click to play songs:

Wanbli Gleska

Eca Wanbli Gleska wan,

U kta kehapi K’un,

Wana U welo, Wana U welo, Wana E yelo.

Eca Wanbli Gleska wan,

U kta kehapi K’un,

Wana U welo, Wana U welo, Wana E yelo.

A Spotted Eagle,                                                                                                                           

You said was coming,                                                                                                                          

He is coming now, He is coming now, He is here now.                                                                        

A Spotted Eagle,                                                                                                                             

You said was coming,                                                                                                                       

He is coming now, He is coming now, He is here now.

Un águila manchado,                                                                                                                           

usted dijo que vendría.                                                                                                                      

Él está viniendo ahora, Él está viniendo ahora, Él está aquí 

ahora.                                                  

 Un águila manchado,                                                                                                                           

usted dijo que vendría.                                                                                                                      

Él está viniendo ahora, Él está viniendo ahora, Él está aquí ahora.

Tunkasila

Tunkasila, wama yanka yo

Le miye ca nawajin yelo. 

Wama yanka yo

Le miye ca nawajin yelo.

Grandfather, behold me.

This is me, I am standing.

Behold me.

This is me, I am standing.

Abuelo, me miran.

Este soy yo, estoy de pie. 

Me miran.

Este soy yo, estoy de pie.

Black Tail Deer Song

Maka kic’un pi, maka kic’un pi, sinte sapela maka kic’in pi,

tuwa eheha wayelo, Maka kic’un pi, sinte sapela maka kic’un pi, tuwa eheha wayelo

They wear their earth, they wear their earth, black tail deer wear their earth.

Someone I have made say they wear their earth, black tail deer wear their earth.

Llevan su tierra, llevan su suciedad, venados de cola negras llevan su suciedad.
Alguien que he creado, dicen que llevan sus suciedad, venados de cola negras llevan su suciedad.

Black Tail Deer Song

Le miye ca tanin ya nawajin yelo, Le miye ca tanin ya nawajin yelo,

Sinte sapela le miye ca tanin ye nawajin yelo.

Le miye ca tanin ya nawajin yelo,

Sinte sapela le miye ca tanin ye nawajin yelo.

English

This is me visible I am standing, This is me visible I am standing,

The black tail deer, visible I am standing.

This is me visible I am standing,

The black tail deer, visible I am standing.

Espanol

Este soy yo, visible, aquí de pie. Este soy yo, visible, aquí  de pie.

Venado de cola negra, visible ante ti estoy de pie.

Este soy yo, visible aquí de pie

Venado de cola negra, visible ante ti estoy de pie.

 Prayer Song

Iwayeci namah’un ye, Iwayeci namah’un ye, Iwayeci namah’un ye, Iwayeci namah’un ye.

Makasitomniyan hoye, Iwayeci namah’un ye, Iwayeci namah’un ye, Iwayeci namah’un ye, Iwayeci namah’un ye.

English

Hear what I have to say, Hear what I have to say, Hear what I have to say, Hear what I have to say

All over the world a voice I send, Hear what I have to say, Hear what I have to say, Hear what I have to say, Hear what I have to say.

Espanol

Escucha lo que tengo que decir, escucha lo que tengo que decir, escucha lo que tengo que decir, escucha lo que tengo que decir

En todo el mundo una voz  envío, escucha lo que tengo que decir, escucha lo que tengo que decir, escucha lo que tengo que decir, escucha lo que tengo que decir.

 Dancing Song

Waci yau welo wayankiyeyo, Waci yau welo wayankiyeyo, Waci yau welo wayankiyeyo.

Inyan wasicun ca ,waci yau welo wayankiyeyo, Waci yau welo wayankiyeyo.

English

Take a look as I come dancing, Take a look as I come dancing, Take a look as I come dancing.

The white stone spirits, take a look as I come dancing, Take a look as I come dancing.

Espanol

Ven a mirar, que vengo bailando, Ven a mirar, que vengo bailando, Ven a mirar, que vengo bailando,

Los espíritus  de piedra blanca, ven a mirar, que vengo bailando, Ven a mirar, que vengo bailando.

Canupa song

Oyate wama yanka po.

Canupa wakan ca.

Yuha cewaki yelo.

Oyate yanipi kta ca.

Leca mu welo.

People take a look at me.

There is a pipe that is sacred

Therefore, i pray with it.

The people will live.

That is why i do this.

La gente toma un vistazo a mí.

Hay una pipa que es sagrado

Por lo tanto, yo rezo con ella.

Las personas vivirán.

Es por eso que hago esto.

Piercing Song 1 (vocable)

 Piercing Song 2 (vocable)

Sun Dance Vocable 1

Owl Song 1

Mother Earth/Bear

Spider Song 3

Kola wayanka  yo -he

Iktomi Oyate wan waniyankuyeyo -he

Siyotanka hot anin ya waniyankuyeyo -he

Friend take a look -he

A spider nation is coming to see you -he 

Blowing his eagle bone whistle he is coming to see you -he

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The Singing Stone

The Singing Stonelogo FSICC7

The Singing Stone is a Religious Organization dedicated to preserving Native American Spiritual Ceremonies and Culture. We do this through the practice of Indigenous Rites in a Traditional manner. By providing services to the public as a Sacred Community, we aim to help all those who may be interested in experiencing and learning about the Spiritual Lineages and philosophies of The Americas. Everyone will benefit from our project, our county, area businesses, Reality and our struggling Property owners association.

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Click here to Donate!

We Cry out for help, so that we may be able to have the facilities and Infrastructure needed to function as a Community of the Native American church. Donating to The Singing Stone will help us function as a Ceremonial Institute and a Spiritual Sanctuary for anyone seriously interested in being immersed in Aboriginal American culture.

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Our grounds will allow Spiritual Leaders and Elders from all over, to conduct a variety Traditional Ceremonies and Pre-Hispanic Rites throughout the year. With the appropriate Funding we will not only be able to Function as a Church and Community, but also create an Indigenous Burial Grounds.

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Help us now in our efforts to restore the Dignity of this Sacred Continent by securing a firm Foundation For the Generations to come. Help us serve the public in a way that can not only remind us of our Ancient American past, but also let us all take part in it. Donate to The Singing Stone, The sacred Fire of Itzachilatlan of Colorado (Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan Colorado Corp.) and The Native American Church.

 

 These Funds will serve to facilitate Vision Quest (hanbleceya), Traditional Song Practice, Sun Dance, Pow Wow (and many other dances) as well as Tipi Meetings, Yuwipi, Lowanpi and Sacred Pipe Ceremonies (Canupa).

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Our goal is also to serve as a Church, but also will be available for everyone in our area who will use it respectfully. We are involved with Veterans, Rehabilitation, Young Adults as well as a Teen Center, we care for the Elderly, and also deal with Interfaith Education.

WaldorfPowwow

Help us now and know that these precious American Traditions will stand strong and be supported in a time where Industrialization and domestication threaten them to Extinction. Donate to preserve the Integrity of Indigenous spiritual Traditions of this Continent for the Generations to come!

  •  Legal existence.
  •  Officially recognized creed and form of worship.
  •  Distinct ecclesiastical government.
  •  Code of doctrine and discipline.
  •  Distinct religious history.
  •  Organization of ordained ministers.
  •  Ordained ministers serving after completing a required course of study.
  •  Distinct Literature of its own.
  •  Membership not associated with any other church or denomination.
  •  Established places of worship.
  •  Regular congregations.
  •  Regular religious services.
  •  Schools for ministerial preparation.
  •  Schools and training for the youth.

Aho, Mitakuye Oyasin!

  We are a Colorado Religious Nonprofit, so you can make your tax deductible donations now!

Contact usContáctenos!

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Sweet Medicine

Contáctenos, Contact us:

 

Saguache

DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES

PETA WAKAN

DECLARACIÓN DE PRINCIPIOS DEL FUEGO SAGRADO DE ITZACHILATLAN

logo FSICC7

DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES OF SACRED FIRE OF ITZACHILATLAN

(From our southern Brothers and Sisters, translations pending)

Nosotros nos reconocemos como una nación y un pueblo originario que acepta y reconoce su conexión con el Gran Misterio. Reconocemos la existencia primaria de la Tierra, el Aire, el Agua y el Fuego como origen y fuente de la vida, nos reconocemos como dadores de la vida y como tales son nuestra primera y más cercana Familia.

We recognize as a nation and a people originally accepts and recognizes its connection to the Great Mystery. We recognize the primary existence of Earth, Air, Water and Fire as the origin and source of life, we recognize ourselves as givers of life and as such are our first and closest family.

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Reconocemos la relación con todos los seres y principios que devienen del mismo origen. Asumimos nuestro legítimo derecho como herederos y depositarios del saber originario, para practicar las enseñanzas e instrucciones contenidas en las tradiciones de nuestros Ancestros. Reconocemos en nuestra conciencia, el propósito de ser absolutamente todo lo que somos capaces de ser, y así realizar nuestro potencial como expresión viviente de la Creación.

We recognize the connection with all beings and principles become the same origin. We take our legitimate right as heirs and custodians of knowledge originates, to practice the teachings and instructions contained in the traditions of our ancestors. We recognize in our consciousness, in order to be absolutely everything that we can be, and realize our potential as a living expression of Creation.

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Reconocemos el mismo origen y la misma hermandad con todos lo seres de esta tierra, y somos conscientes de que las diferentes formas de credo no nos separan. No imponemos una doctrina o un credo sino la propia búsqueda del conocimiento y creencia. Proponemos así, espacios rituales para que cada uno tenga un encuentro consigo mismo y con lo sagrado, entendiendo lo sagrado como una experiencia y una relación personal.

We recognize the same origin and the same brotherhood with all beings of this earth, and we are aware that different forms of belief not separate us. We do not impose a doctrine or creed but the very pursuit of knowledge and belief. And propose ritual spaces for everyone to have a meeting with himself and the sacred, understanding the sacred as an experience and a personal relationship.

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Reconocemos el camino de las plantas sagradas como maestras de poder y de enseñanza, para usarlas como sacramento, buscando y respetando su manejo ritual y su forma ancestral como vehículo para alcanzar un estado de conciencia y sanidad, rechazando el uso irresponsable del poder de estas abuelas.

We recognize the path of sacred power plants as teachers and teaching, for use as a sacrament, seeking and respecting their ritual use and its ancestral form as a vehicle to reach a state of consciousness and healing, rejecting the irresponsible use of the power of these grandmothers.

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La Palabra como verbo creador y del Bien Decir, convoca el sueño del Gran Espíritu y exige su realización. Reconocemos el poder de la palabra como la expresión de la verdad de nuestro ser interior cuando la levantamos a las cuatro direcciones del Universo: Queremos ser lo que decimos que somos; queremos hacer lo que nos comprometemos; queremos caminar con el valor de nuestra palabra, con un compromiso de integridad con lo que a través de ella expresamos; por ello nuestro compromiso de usarla y sostenerla, haciendo de la Palabra una acción para nuestra vida.

The word as a verb, creator and Said Well, announces the dream of the Great Spirit and demands its realization. We recognize the power of speech and the expression of the truth of our inner being when got to the four directions of the universe: We want to be what we say we are; we do what we promise; we walk with the value of our word, with a commitment to integrity with which we express through it; hence our commitment to use and hold, making the word action in our lives.

tipi

Nuestro camino incluye a todas las personas, a todas las razas, naciones y pueblos de las cuatro direcciones de esta Tierra. Es nuestra decisión y deseo, existir en balance de armonía con todo lo existente, para así honrar nuestras relaciones, en el entendimiento de la unidad de la Gran Familia de la Vida.

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Our path includes all people, all races, nations and peoples of the four directions of the earth. It is our decision and desire, balance exist in harmony with all existence in order to honor our relationships, understanding of the unity of the Great Family of Life.

En este deseo y en este conocimiento formamos la organización espiritual ecuménica Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan, y declaramos nuestra disposición de hacerla una organización legal, con presencia y reconocimiento a nivel internacional.

Black and White sash

In this desire and this knowledge form the ecumenical spiritual organization Itzachilatlan Sacred Fire, and declare our willingness to make it a legal organization with presence and international recognition.

Nuestro compromiso para sostener estas formas significa un trabajo permanente para generar espacios y templos para juntar los distintos saberes originarios, dentro de sus propios diseños, para así extender y sembrar la alianza y el respeto a todas las culturas originarias como parte inherente a este Fuego.

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Our commitment to sustain these forms means a permanent job to generate spaces and temples to gather different knowledge originating within their own designs in order to expand and grow the partnership and respect for all cultures originating as an inherent part of this fire.

Creemos en la humildad, la voluntad, la sinceridad y la integridad como principios de la búsqueda del conocimiento, el que se siembra en el corazón como experiencia y vivencia de lo sagrado en la ritualidad. Estos principios permiten así tener una visión para caminar cada una de nuestras vidas.

Tipis

We believe in humility, willingness, honesty and integrity as principles of the pursuit of knowledge, which is sown in the heart as expertise and experience of the sacred in the ritual. These principles allow and have a vision to walk each of our lives.

Buscamos y trabajamos por la paz y la dignidad, así como en el rescate, sostenimiento y reactivación de los poderes ancestrales para ponerlos al servicio de la gente. Así, queremos llevar una voz en defensa de la Memoria, del cuidado de la heredad de los hijos; anhelamos poder vivir nuestra misión. La de cuidar toda la vida, la nuestra y la de todas las criaturas que habitan el planeta, gracias a la bondad y cuidado de los cuatro espíritus de la Sagrada Familia originaria: el Padre Fuego, la Madre Tierra y nuestros hermanos Agua y Aire.

Rainbow

We seek and work for peace and dignity, as well as in the rescue, maintenance and reactivation of ancestral powers to make them serve the people. So, we want to bring a voice in defense of Memory, care inheritance of the children; yearn to live our mission. The caring life, ours and all the creatures that inhabit the planet, thanks to the kindness and care of the four spirits of the Sagrada Familia original: Father Fire, Mother Earth and our brothers Water and Air.

Levantamos la conciencia y el espíritu para convocar a los espíritus protectores, para cuidar los rituales y el buen manejo de los instrumentos de las medicinas sagradas, para recuperar la memoria de cómo usarlas y cómo transmitir estas formas así como nos enseñaron nuestros abuelos.

elk

We raise awareness and spirit to summon the protective spirits, to care rituals and good management of the instruments of the sacred medicines to recover the memory of how to use them and how to convey this form, as well as our forefathers taught us.

Así queremos vivir nuestra vida, con el poder soñar nuestros sueños en la misma dirección de los Sueños de la Creación.

So we want to live our lives with the power to dream our dreams in the same direction Dream of Creation.

rainbow

Para el cumplimiento de estos Principios nuestros objetivos son:

To fulfill these principles our objectives are:

1. Propender por el desarrollo espiritual de las personas siguiendo las directrices del Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan.

1. To foster the spiritual development of people following the guidelines of the Sacred Fire of Itzachilatlan.

2. Preparar, desarrollar y conservar los espacios ceremoniales para hacer las ceremonias de Búsqueda de Visión, Danza del Sol y otros diseños que sean entregados por el Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan o por alianzas.

2. Prepare, develop and retain the ceremonial spaces for ceremonies Vision Quest, Sun Dance and other designs that are delivered by the Sacred Fire of Itzachilatlan or alliances.

3. Establecer alianzas y acuerdos de cooperación con pueblos indígenas, tradiciones espirituales o con entidades cuyo objeto social sea afín.

3. Establish alliances and cooperation with indigenous peoples, spiritual traditions or entities whose corporate purpose is affine.

4. Promover la conservación y defensa de los recursos naturales, su manejo y aprovechamiento.

4. Promote the conservation and protection of natural resources, their management and use.

5. Constituir áreas de reservas especiales y forestales en terrenos que adquiera la organización.

5. Establish special areas and forest reserves on land acquired by the organization.

6. Fortalecer los lazos de unión con las diferentes tradiciones espirituales y pueblos indígenas de la Madre Tierra.

6. Strengthen ties with the different spiritual traditions and indigenous peoples of Mother Earth.

7. Trabajar en la recuperación, conservación, aplicación y difusión del conocimiento de las diferentes formas de medicina ancestral.                                   

7. Work on recovery, conservation, application and dissemination of knowledge of the various forms of traditional medicine.

8. Organizar y realizar las ceremonias del Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan.

8. Organize and conduct the ceremonies of the Sacred Fire of Itzachilatlan.

9. Promover la conservación y protección n del patrimonio espiritual, ambiental, cultural a las generaciones futuras, en mejores condiciones de uso, conservación y conocimiento como base material superior para su bienestar.

9. Promote the conservation and protection of spiritual, environmental, cultural heritage to future generations in better conditions of use, conservation and knowledge as superior material basis for their welfare.

Meeting

Nota: Estos principios y objetivos han sido extraídos de varios de los documentos de constitución del Fuego Sagrado de Itzachilatlan en otros países. No es un documento acabado sino abierto a sugerencias.

Note: These principles and objectives are drawn from several of the incorporation documents of the Sacred Fire Itzachilatlan other countries. It is not a finished document but open to suggestions.

(This map is not current)

Cartel Jornada ITZACHILATLAN

 

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The Singing Stone Building Project

 For many years we have planned an Indigenous American Ceremonial Grounds and a Community Space that serves to preserve our native heritage. Finally we have reached the point when we have finished the exterior of the community building that we can all use to celebrate the divine. This temple will serve as a home, an office, as well as ceremonial space. At this point we have basically finished the exterior of the building. We have the water well in place as well as the plumbing. This is a steel building that measures 80 x 82 feet and it stands 20 feet tall.

 SUNP0048SUNP0054SUNP0034SUNP0047

With continued donations of materials, money and labor, we will forge ahead creating an interior that will spiritually nourish and bless many generations to come. This will house a 50 foot diameter space that will serve many groups in our area.

EVERYONE WILL BENEFIT FROM OUR PROJECT, OUR COUNTY, AREA BUSINESSES, REALITY AND OUR STRUGGLING PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION.

All members will benefit from this land and be able to enjoy the facilities!

We would like to ask for your donations. Please help us as it will benefit everyone including the generations to come! By donating, you can become an official member and receive a Native American Church membership card. We will have many gifts and privileges for our supporters so be sure to let us know what you have contributed.

 

The result will be a 50 foot diameter ceremonial space! Besides providing Community and a space for Indigenous American Ceremonial Events, this building will serve as a Preschool,  School, Teen center, Dance School and Yoga studio. We will host Holistic Fairs, Celebrations, Seminars and classes. In addition to all of this, we will be able to provide affordable space for other groups, individuals and teachers.

We will be needing donations for the following:

 Solar electrical inverter.

Solar panels.

Solar batteries.

Water pump. 

Hot water heaters

 Plumbing supplies.

 Spray Foam insulation

Commercial kitchen equipment.

Lumber, Sheetrock, Screws and building supplies.

Flooring.

The Singing Stone Community will be open to the public. We will be able to provide education in native spirituality and help the public through outreach. As soon as our infrastructure is in place, we can serve the people by having a regular schedule of Indigenous American Ceremonies and activities.

   ♦ Daily Prayer Circles

   ♦ Weekly Sweat Lodges and Song Ceremony

   ♦ Monthly All night prayer meetings

   ♦ Bi-annual Gourd Dances, Powwows, Yuwipi, and Vision Quests.

   ♦ Annual Sun Dance, Dream Dance and Star Dance (on the National Forest).

Dream Dance

PETA WAKAN   Dream Dance   PETA WAKAN

The Singing Stone inherited an ancient bundle in October of 2013. This bundle was found alongside Ghost Dance equipment and has not been opened or used for the past 120 years. After unwrapping the bundle during Vision Quest Ceremony, it was found to be a Dream Society Dance Bundle. Many ancient medicine bundles are being reopened nowadays because the time has come for these ways to be practiced again. With their mysteries being unraveled they are being put to use in the magical ways which they were intended. This particular bundle and the way that we received it has been truly miraculous. Now is the time for the reemergence of the Dream Society and it’s annual Dance.teepee we used for the peyote ceremony

 The Singing Stone,   Crestone, CO

conjurespirits@gmail.com   

  719-256-5307  

www.thesingingstone.com

 sep oct 2012 043

The Dream Dance is the initiation and entrance into the Dream Society. This celebration is an dance that happens four years in a row. Those wishing to dance would commit to dancing four nights. The Ceremony begins with a Sweat Lodge every evening and every morning with another Sweat Lodge. Dancers assemble around the sacred fire at dusk and dance four different intervals throughout the night.

Saguache

Preparations: Through our dreams we will know what animal or power we represent. As participants we may wear body paint and regalia according to our dreams. We do ask that everyone dancing wears shoes that they do not wear outside of Ceremonies such as moccasins or are barefoot. There are no strict guidelines for what to wear. The important thing is to follow the guidance from Spirit.

Black Bear