Some calling themselves the “Vikings” pricked their tongues with razor blades, drawing blood that ran down their chins and chests. They said they could not reveal the esoteric secrets that govern their traditions.
His lawyer tells the Wall Street Journal why he choose to represent the priest in court.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a district court’s ruling, paving the way for a Santeria priest in Euless to resume goat sacrifices as part of religious ceremonies.
Euless’ attorney, William “Mick” McKamie, said he plans to file a motion for a rehearing. City officials have said animal sacrifices jeopardize public health and violate Euless’ slaughterhouse and animal-cruelty ordinances.
A Santeria priest who sued a Texas city for denying him permission to sacrifice a goat as part of a religious ceremony asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to let him resume the ritual in his home.
“In 1993 the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously found unconstitutional a city ban on killing ‘an animal in a public or private ritual or ceremony not for the primary purpose of food consumption.’ We are pretty sure the Constitution still applies in Texas,” says Eric Rassbach, of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
The account of a woman recovering from critical injuries she said were inflicted by members of an occult group may be difficult to unravel because it doesn’t match the typical methods used by such groups, an expert in cult activities said Wednesday.
Meanwhile, police investigators released little new information about the case but cult experts and police documents raise some questions about the woman’s account.
Michelle Rene Wood, 42, of Palm Coast was found covered in blood with both eyes swollen shut early Monday, according to a St. Johns County sheriff’s report. A rope was tied around her right wrist and a bungee cord around her left ankle, the report states.
A nationally recognized Santeria priest has engaged an attorney in his battle with Coral Gables, Florida, after police there interrupted a ceremony with animal sacrifices at a home last summer.
“The issue of Santeria and animal sacrifice has already been decided by the United States Supreme Court. I’m pretty sure the Constitution of the United States still applies in Euless, Texas.”
At the end of the one-day trial, U.S. District Judge John McBryde said Euless was protecting the public’s health by banning animal slaughtering in the city limits but that Merced could do the rituals elsewhere.