Santeria Animal Sacrifice Can Continue

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Santeria Animal Sacrifice Can Continue

By Micha J. Stone.

A US federal court will allow a Santeria priest to resume animal sacrifices as part of his religious practice. The ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court's ruling barring the priest from sacrificing animals, in particular, goats.

Euless, Texas city officials had attempted to ban the sacrifices, claiming the practice raised public health concerns and violated slaughterhouse and animal cruelty ordinances. Jose Merced, a Santeria priest and Puerto Rico native, challenged the ban in federal court as a restriction on his constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.

Reports claim sacrifices are performed in a humane manner, utilizing a method that is approved as humane by federal statute. Most of the animal meat is consumed in a ceremonial dinner.

The idea of animal sacrifice is repugnant. The absurdity of religious superstition cannot be overstated. Is animal sacrifice any more ludicrous than ceremonial cannibalism?

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