Argumentative Essay On Sharkism

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Members of the Sharkism religion pray by facing and, at appropriate times, bowing to the fin of a Great White Shark. A fin that is displayed on the central altar of a Sharkism temple is embalmed and preserved according to Sharkism religious practices remains ritually pure for about a year. After the year has passed, the previous fin must be replaced by a new fin in the same manner. Due to the Great White Shark being an endangered animal species, the state of New Jersey had enacted a statute known as the Great White Shark Act. The statute made it a crime--punishable by a $5,000 fine and/or up to one year in prison--to purchase, sell, or possess a Great White Shark or any body part thereof. When the statute was enacted, few if any members of the state legislature were aware of the Sharkism religion because there are very few members in the United States. It was not until two years later that a local New Jersey prosecutor learned that there was a Sharkism temple within his jurisdiction. When the prosecutor requested that the temple not replace the fin on the altar once it’s ceremonial life ended, in order to enforce New Jersey’s Great White Shark Act, the temple’s high priest refused to comply and when the time came, he purchased,…show more content…
City of Hialeah (1993), the City of Hialeah authorized a few laws restricting animal sacrifice in order to prevent the Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye from establishing a center in the city because residents of the community did not want them there. The ordinances defined "sacrifice" as "to unnecessarily kill, torment, torture, or mutilate an animal in a public or private ritual or ceremony not for the primary purpose of food consumption". The laws did not prohibit other types of animal killing, such as fishing or exterminating vermin, for nonreligious reasons. The church filed suit in a U.S. district court asking that the laws be struck down as violations of the Free Exercise

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