Let the man kill his goats in peace!

In America you hear a lot of talk about why religious freedoms are important, and people should have a right to practice their faith as they see fit. Usually when someone says this, it’s their particular rights that are being infringed, often by other religious folks who find certain cultures and practices to be both alien and disturbing. Here is an interesting article about a Texas man named Jose Merced who believes in a very unpopular religion called Santeria, and his rituals includes the live slaughter of goats, turtles, lambs and birds (dozens of them at once) in his home. The whole thing is a bloody mess, although it seems like this guy at leasts eats everything he kills (so there’s not too much waste).

It appears his Texan neighbors aren’t too happy with his slaughterfest, and the city is trying all kinds of tactics to prevent him from doing this within city limits. Mr. Merced fought back, citing his Constitutional right to practice his religion as he sees fit. Besides, he says, Texas isn’t exactly the safest state for animals; people regularly hunt and fish, and no one is bugging them.

I find the slaughter of animals to be a disgusting remnant of a more primitive time, but I eat meat, so who the hell am I to judge? I love it when Christians are faced with the reality of what “freedom of religion” really means. Is it surprising most people actually don’t really believe all religious customs should be respected and allowed? I’m inclined to agree with them many should not, but at the same time, how do you distinguish which ones should and shouldn’t be allowed? Here’s an idea: educate people so they stop thinking cutting the throats of small animals to appease an angry and jealous god is a huge waste of time, energy, and is utterly senseless. Once you’re done with that, also teach them that the belief in God was a way for our ignorant ancestors to explain the forces of nature in a way they could understand. If you’re not willing to do that just yet, I suggest you let that crazy bastard kill and eat all the damn goats he wants!

(props to James for another great find)

Comments (5)

  • avatar


    Don’t these BuyBull thumpers EVER read their on book.
    They sacrificed animal by the heards!!!!
    Yes it is stupid. So what! These same animals are killed routinely for food. So killing a few more for his silly religion is no big thing.
    Hell if its done right he could have the entire ‘hood over for BBQ.

  • avatar


    I think christians tend to have a different view on what “freedom of religion” means (specifically the right-wing extremists).

    Most intellegent people would say:

    Freedom of religion means you can believe in whatever you want and practice any religion you wish.

    The right wing people would say:

    Freedom of the religion means you can love jesus and worship god without persecution.

    Bit sad, isnt it?

  • avatar

    The Mother

    The Christians are even more upset about Santeria, not just because of the animal sacrifice, but because of the magical connotations. Santeria is often equated with Voodoo, and so devil worship. Because it’s just easier to lump all those unsavory ideas together into one, big, Satanic mess.

    So it doesn’t surprise me that they’re going after this man. But they’re using the animal cruelty as an excuse, not as their reason.

  • avatar


    The word on Canada’s take on freedom of religion, straight from my constitutional law summary!

    Section 2(a) of the Charter protects the freedom to engage in practices that one sincerely believes are required by one’s religious of conscientious beliefs (Anselem). The individualized component adds an equality dimension to freedom of religion. The guiding principle is harm based (“harm principle”), meaning freedom to practice religious, so long as no harm is done to others others (Big M Drugmart).

    “Freedom” of religion has two aspects: 1) absence of coercion and constraint, e.g. freedom from religion, and 2) right to manifest beliefs and practices, e.g. freedom to religion (Big M Drugmart)

    As with other Charter rights and freedoms, the freedom to engage in religious practices is not absolute. Governments may limit religious practices if they can demonstrate they are pursuing pressing and substantial objectives in a manner justified by the Oakes test.

    Put another way, governments pursuant to the Charter (and governments and private actors pursuant to human rights legislation), have an obligation to accommodate religious practices up to the point of undue hardship.

    A sincere belief in a particular practice is all that is required for protection under the Charter. The belief or practice has to be connected somehow with one’s religion that calls for a particular line of conduct. Credibility and consistency of practice must be demonstrated to prove sincerity (Syndicat Northcrest v. Amselem).

    The crus of freedom of religion in Canada is that it’s an individual, subjuctivized right – no need for tenets or precepts to be objectively recognized by experts, since state inquiry into such things is highly inappropriate. Rather, courts are well equipped through testimony, evidence, and cross-examination to vet a claimant’s credibility regarding their religious practices.


    And if you think this is unfair to atheists, note that s. 2(a) of the Charter is actually “Freedom of Religion and Conscience”. Re: that bit on conscience…

    Though almost all attention on s. 2(a) is on “religion”, freedom of “conscience” is also very much a protected Charter right. The rationale is that if the Charter was going to protect religious believers, then religious non-believers should also be protected via their “conscience”.

  • avatar


    Freedom of religion… To Christians: “Freedom for Christianity to trample on you other satanic practices!” 😛

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