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RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, ANIMAL SACRIFICE, AND COMMUNITY MAINTENANCE: FROM HIALEAH TO THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT BY: LEWIS WINSTANLEY A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida in Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Dr. Sarah Hernandez Sarasota, Florida May 2013
ii MAINTENANCE: FROM HIALEAH TO THE SUPREME COURT Lewis Winstanley New College of Florida, 2013 ABSTRACT This objective of this thesis is to challenge the idea that secularization leads to a decline in religious authority through a content analysis of the United States Supreme Court case, Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah. I build my argument against Max Webers concern with expanding structures of rationality and Winnifred Fallers Sullivans claim that in the field of US law, relig ious freedom is impossible. As an example of resistance to secularization, I examined the construction of the church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye. I contextualize the churchs emergence in a history of Yoruban culture linked to an image of Santeria in Cuba. Fu rther, I argue that practitioners in the United States created a defendable community of Santeria, in Hialeah, in relation to routine ideas about the way humans should treat animals. Though initially the purpose of my content analysis was to see how Santer ia was established as a religion in the courts, I find that the argument focuses on whether or not the city had behaved in a neutral and generally applicable manner. Though on a surface level, this favors the secularization thesis, the successful defence o f animal sacrifice continues to allow everyday practitioners their freedom. Additionally, the defense of animal sacrifice required the Supreme Court to identify Santeria as a religion without any discussion of its form. Dr. Sarah Herna ndez Division of Social Sciences
iii Acknowledgements First and foremost, I would like to thank my adviser Sarah Hernandez. Sarah has been, for me and a number of my peers, a tireless bastion of strength and support. I have never met someone so wi lling to engage with difference patiently and honestly, without ever letting go of the ability to constructively criticize. Second, I would like to thank Heather White, who has been a constant force of encouragement. I owe most of my academic inspirations to classes Professor White has taught, and seek to model her unique integration of politics, social consciousness, and religion in my future everyday life. Third, I would like to thank David Brain for being on my thesis committee. I would also like to t hank Professors Uzi Baram, Maria Vesperi, and Susan Marks. All three Professors encouraged my growth as a student and as a person. All three made me seriously question a lot that I had taken for granted within such an expansive framework that I even felt s afe doing it. Further, I would like to thank my friends. Varvara, my conversations with you have been the highlight of my life, your passion for practiced sociology is an inspiration. Mar, your friendship through all the ups and downs has helped to keep m e grounded. I hope to keep on trading cooking tips with you. Felix Acua, your honesty and soft spoken confidence have been essential in this process, I hope to continue muddling through dense theoretical volumes with you well into the future. Peter Wolfe, I love you, thanks for being a bassline when I get stuck in solo. Nathan Wilson, from day one you have practiced an unmoving integrity which the whole world could learn from. Derek Schwabe Wharf, sharing music with you has been a joy, your discipline and devotion are cutting edge. Additionally; Tomas Laster, Leah Duncan, Nolan Ruark, Rebecca Bohrer, Eilis Ryan, and Alan Sachnowski have been incredibly insightful, constantly challenging my ideas with examples of their own. Finally, I want to thank my famil y. My Dad, my Mom, and my Sister have pushed me beyond the limits of my imagination. As a constant source of love and support, this thesis, and everything Ive accomplished in the last four years, would be nothing.
iv Table of Contents 1. Introduction A Chief James Billie and the Florida Panther B. The Impossibility of Religious Freedom: Sullivan and Marx C. Frame Analysis: Pedriana and Legal Master Frames 2. Literature Review A. Sociology of Religion B. Yoruban Culture C. Grounding Theory in a Practice D. Towards a Content Analysis 3. Content Analysis A. Basic Narrative B. The Responsibility of the State C. The Language of Religion D. The Form of Santeria E. The Conflict Over Sacrifice F. Connecting the Dots 4. Conclusion A. Results B. Feedback
1 1 Introduction Time passed. But I kept coming back to where Yellow Eyes lay. I could see nature at work. Small animals and buzzards ate his flesh. His body caved in on his bones. I could see the maggots moving under his fur. Soon there were only his bones. More time passed and eventually all that was left of my friend was his skull, bleached white by the sun and the weather. But none of this mattered. Hed been my friend. So the only monument that Id made for him was the feeling I had in my heart. James Billie (Degroot 1986) A Justice Department official said it was expected that Mr. Billie would argue that eating the panther had religious significance but that the department would dispute that argument. New York Times (Shabecoff 1987) Thes e quotes, in reference to the case of Chief James Billie and the Florida panther, reflect an important discussion for sociologists in the contemporary United States. This discussion hinges upon the question: given the dominance of secular institutions over everyday life, can religion remain a potent force for social organization? The point around which I build my argument is the Supreme Court case The Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye Inc. v. City of Hialeah (1993). I conduct a content analysis of the transcr ipt of the oral argument of the case, paying special attention to differences between the explanations of those on trial and those who judge. My specific research question is, how is Santeria constructed as a religion in the United States Supreme Court ca se Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc ? My research responds to a call by Nicholas Pedriana for sociologists to pay more attention to frame analysis; in particular, legal frames. Additionally, my thesis criticizes a bold claim by an esteemed scholar, Win nifred Fallers Sullivan. In her appropriately titled work, The Impossibility of
2 2 Religious Freedom she seems to suggest that because of its attachment to repressive institutions, the state undermines even the possibility of religious freedom. The case of Chief James Billie inspires my investigation of religious freedom. As a member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, he has been involved in a number of controversial moves toward the establishment of his tribal sovereignty. Aside from a legal battle over the ability of the tribe to control their gambling facilities in the way they see fit, the instance which resonates most strongly with my thesis involved his shooting of a Florida panther on the Seminole's Big Cypress Reservation in December 1983. The problems which Native Americans face in regards to sovereignty are two fold: autonomous tribes are subject to the United States government as legally structured groups and the autonomy of individuals is subject to neoliberal market pressures worsened by state pres sure that privileges the group over the individual (Biolsi 2001: 184). More clearly, Native Americans are subject to a process of erasure when the richness of the individual is reduced to a tribal identity and the richness of a tribes identity is narrowed to a legal status in relation to the United States government. In the case of Chief James Billie, the act of killing a panther challenged the ability of the state to decide who has sovereignty over animals. While at a federal level Florida panthers are an endangered and protected species, at a local and lived level the act of killing a panther is connected to religious rites of healing and community.
3 3 Winnifred Fallers Sullivan claims that religious freedom as an ideal is an essentially modernist idea, asso ciated with the rise of the modern nation state, the development of an international market, and the growth of printing and literacy (Sullivan 2005: 7). Because of this, religious freedom has been stunted in its construction as a private privilege, only re ally referring to religious practices which agree with an entextualized and modern outlook on the world. As such, true religion, and religion which is given legal freedom, is only free insofar as it is private, voluntary, individual, textual, and believe d. On the other hand, folk religion, or public, coercive, communal, oral, and enacted religion is seen as false and in need of strict regulation (Sullivan 2005: 8). Her argument makes my case interesting. Though she writes from the 2000s about religious fr eedom being impossible, the example of Chief James Billie and the Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. seem to show that even a radically public and coercive practice of animal sacrifice can defy the secular exceptions of a state. In 1987, in reaction to the establishment of a church of Santeria, the City of Hialeah passed an ordinance expressly banning this practice. In apparent opposition to Sullivans argument, the practitioners of animal sacrifice were granted their rites of sacrifice. However, it was made clear that, had the City of Hialeah been more cautious, had it taken the time to pass a law banning the practice of animal sacrifice in a neutral and generally applicable way, the Supreme Court would have sided with the city (U.S. Supreme Court 1993). Overall, this case seems to resist and reflect pieces of Sullivan's argument. Under this, religious freedom is exposed as a conflicted state of affairs; its possibility or
4 4 impossibility seems to depend upon the particular circumstances in which it is depl oyed. However, both the case of Chief James Billie and the case of the Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. show how categorizing a local and lived practice of power over animals as an expression of religious freedom can be a successful strategy for defen ding both individual and group identities. Situating my thesis within a broader and more traditional framework, the problematization of religious involvement in social interaction exists in the work of Karl Marx --who is considered a founding father of the discipline of sociology. As a conflict theorist primarily interested in class struggle in a material world, Marx sees religious structures in the abstract as distractions from the true human struggle. For instance, On the Jewish Question deals specifica lly with the relationship between religion and a Christian state. The picture he paints is one in which individuals are blocked from the superstructure of man's species being on a number of levels. Two giant blocks are the blocks of religion and politics. A further, and more immediate block would be that of an individual sense of consciousness. Thus, in attempting to emancipate herself and enter a species being consciousness a human must work towards individual, religious, and political emancipation. Howeve r, because neither political nor religious emancipation is necessarily related to human emancipation, a tangle of all three confronts individuals with a conflict of interest. The individual must choose which path of emancipation to take, not knowing if fre edom in one area will result in the loss of freedom in another. Marx appears to advocate the ignorance of religious struggle in order to better deal with issues of class. In relation to
5 5 Sullivan, Marx expands the conflict over religious freedom to broader issues connected to human and political emancipation. To help resolve this conflict, Nicholas Pedriana offers the technique of frame analysis. Pedriana suggests that the process through which movements mobilize 'symbols, claims, and even identities in the pursuit of activism' is generally known as framing (McAdam and Snow 1997: 372). He argues that legal frames are not on equal footing with other types of frames. Instead, law and legal symbols are 'master frames' with a theoretical power and importance that goes well beyond the casespecific frames unique to a given social movement (McAdam and Snow 1997: 374). He articulates the importance of frame analysis in sociology when he says that law has not as yet been systematically incorporated into social mo vement theory generally (McAdam and Snow 1997: 373). He shows how sociologists can attempt to come to terms with messy intersections of religion, politics, and everyday practice. The concept of frame analysis, the importance of legal frames, and the impor tance of legal frame analysis for sociology, allow me to connect the academic ideas that religion is unnecessary or impossible, especially when it comes to politics, to the lived experience of practitioners of animal sacrifice which crystallized in the United States Supreme Court battle between a church of Santeria and the city of Hialeah. My hypothesis is that religious freedom is an interesting feature of United States law, which, if used as a point of social organization, can further the steps of a margi nalized sector of United Statesian society towards both political and individual emancipation.
6 6 Though informed by these theoretical insights, I do not wish to be restricted by them. Further, I do not want to find in my content analysis only that which I a lready know. In producing a professional content analysis I am performing a privileged role, because of this I intend to let the transcript of the oral argument of The Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye Inc., vs The City of Hialeah make its own points, contex tualized in research on the culture which initiated it. In this way, I intend to make the transcription a point from which to inductively reason connections between the case and the broader argument about whether religion represents a strong force for soci al organization. My content analysis is qualitative. I look for themes in how the participants describe the religiosity of what is on trial. Because there is an obvious inequality of power between the judges and the judged, I compare and contrast the theme s found in the words of the justices and the defense. I use a grounded theoretical perspective, which gives me space to reformulate my questions and theories according to what appears in the text of the cases oral argument transcript. Literature Review An important discussion within sociology of religion is whether religion retains a central role in social organization or if it has been relegated to oblivion in the age of science. In this chapter I address the character of this debate. In order to make a case illustrating the continuing significance of religion in social organization, it is necessary to gain a better understanding of Yoruban religion in both Nigeria and Cuba. With this knowledge the reader will be better positioned to comprehend the appearance of Santeria in Hialeah, Florida and its subsequent entrance into the
7 7 legal system of the United States. In conclusion, I will discuss the theoretical framework that pushes me to ask how was Santeria presented in the oral argument of the Supreme Cour t case Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah ? Sociology of Religion Max Weber, a classical sociologist who lived from 18641920, attaches the struggle for religious, political, and human emancipation to the problem of bureaucracy. His fears of this iron cage are expressed nicely when he writes, the fate of our times is ch aracterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the 'disenchantment of the world.' (2008: 17). In this he also expresses an implication of his thesis, that religion and magic would become increasingly unimportant as modern, rational, capitalist, bureaucratic structures of power become increasingly widespread. This view is not found in sociology alone, but in the realm of Western intellectualism generally. Stark and Bainbridge (1985) claim that at least since the enlightenment, mo st Western intellectuals have anticipated the death of religion. Outside of the ivory tower, however, this is not a forgone conclusion. Sullivans (2005) idea that modernization necessarily leads to secularization, and therefore state repression of religi on, has been problematized. In fact, movements towards modernization, faced with deep rooted traditions and creating the conditions for charismatic resistance, have often lead to extreme movements of counter secularization, or religious resurgence (Berger 1999: 23); (Scott 2009: 283).
8 8 Contemporary sociologists have challenged classical sociologys disenchantment along two main lines, globalization and civil religion, both of which apply to the topic of my thesis. Typically globalization has been framed as a process of economic and political recalibration. However, as an entanglement, globalization and its studies interact with and absorb movements of religion. Studies such as these seek to uncover the religious character of globalization, open out establ ished boundaries which define what counts as religious, explore the role of institutionalized religion in the context of globalization, and the importance of place when it comes to socialized interpretations of religious experiences (Beyer and Beaman 2007: 3). The other path of academic religious revival relates to but often seems to contradict the logic of globalization. Civil religion refers to religious processes incorporated into the nation state and to modes of analysis which perceive various elements of the nation state through a religious lens. Robert Bellah (1967: 1) develops the current form of the concept in Civil Religion in America. He claims that, while some have argued that Christianity is the national faith, and others that church and synag ogue celebrate only the generalized religion of "the American Way of Life," few have realized that there actually exists alongside of and rather clearly differentiated from the churches an elaborate and well institutionalized civil religion in America. H e takes the term from Rousseau and uses it to focus on the religious motivations for civil society. One example is found in the religious rhetoric found in the United States constitution such as: the existence of god, the life to come, the reward of v irtue and the punishment of
9 9 vice, and the exclusion of religious intolerance (4). This avenue of religious resurgence, is also present in religious conflict that comes under the eye of the state. Typically, in religious conflicts of the United States, the minoritarian voice is labeled a "cult." Lawrence Foster connects the streams of globalization and civil religion when he claims that what are commonly labeled cults actually represent either new religions that have developed out of older, more establ ished groups in America, or, alternative religious traditions that originated in other parts of the world...and are only "new" as imports into the United States (Bellah and Greenspahn 1987: 189). Thus, sociology has revived classical disenchantment unde r the categories of globalization and civil religion. In conversation, all of these fields indicate a politicization of religion. Weber represents a historical movement which attempts to privilege a secularized, scientific and rational, compartmentalizatio n of the world over and against the magical or religious forces and motivations which appear to infect it. Studies of both globalization and civil religion show that whether or not religion or science govern stability, religion matters insofar as religious identity affects a groups access to resources, status, or ability to participate in civil society. This connects to Marxs theories about mans alienation from his species being. Marx sees individual, political, and religious consciousness as products of the social forces which surround them, static distributions of private property distort this essence by establishing specialized realms of consciousness production. If religions are objectively constructed as particular and private identities, and as identities which affect the identifiers
10 10 access to material resources, religious identification in a secular state orders the religious identity into a corner from which it is denied equal participation in the construction of the world. To pursue clarity from t his theory, I chose to focus on a particular legal intersection of religion, civil society, and globalization. As a necessary backdrop to this intersection, I ground my idea that religion represents a powerful force of social organization in the context of Yoruban culture in the African Diaspora. Yoruban Culture Yoruban culture in Nigeria, before the disaster of colonial European history, is described as urban centered (Sandoval 2006: 7). As a stark contrast to enlightened or modern understandings, the culture was based on the group rather than on the individual. Though a person may perform a character or personality, the identity of the group always superseded the identity of the individual. Leadership in Yoruban society was not static, but determined by an expressed mastery of the culturally constructed values of command, character, and composure, considered to be core foundations in urban life. To describe Yoruban religious life in relation to assumed Western binaries, the sacred and the profane, l iving and dead; are not separate realms, they are engaged in an active flow. These supernatural forces, energy, or ashe are seen to control the world and are manifest in earthly things such as rocks, rivers, volcanoes, plants, animals and people. Control over these powers is available through magical, or ritual, activity, designed to bring non human energy into the human world. These practices are engaged in on the basis of several assumptions: like produces like, opposite
11 11 produces opposite, and obje cts are always connected to the people who possess them. Ashe is also described in similar terms used in connection with JudeoChristian reflections on God, or Olodumare (Murphy 1993: 78). God, or ashe is found in an array of forms which people can approach according to three categories: values, power, or order. Murphy describes the values approach as consisting of the belief that a persons soul is the summation of all the supernatural forces working on her. These forces represent a persons character, I wa and are integrated in a persons ori or head. The values approach means a devotion to development of the head. The power approach refers to practices devoted to channeling the nonhuman powers, named orichas into human life. Ogun, a hot power associated with the mineral iron; Oshun, a cool power associated with water; Shango, known for bravery, swift justice, and sorcery; and Obatala, dressed in white and known for serenity; are four out of hundreds of manifestations of ashe sought out by practitioners (1114). The third approach, conceived by Murphy, is the order approach. In this approach, practitioners take ten fifteen years to become babalawos in an attempt to divine the will of God, Oloduma re (16). Patterns in chaotic events, such as the fall of palm nuts or cowrie shells, are seen as representing solutions to problem causing patterns in human life (16 17). Numbers are important and refer to specific poems associated with problems that have previously been solved, communicated to practitioners through ritual sacrifices to specific orichas during an extensive period of initiation into the babalawo level (20).
12 12 In its process of globalization, Yoruban culture was subject to strict scrutiny and harsh repression. Still, showing how religion and globalization intersect, it was able to survive the process in religious institutions called cabildos Evidence is found of the Yoruban influence everywhere in Cuban music, dance, and religion (Murphy 1993: 23). Although Cuba was a colony, and the official religion of the colony was Catholicism, Yoruban culture survived in Catholic institutions called cabildos Cabildos were religious brotherhoods of black slaves, primarily of the same ethnic background o r region (Sandoval 2006: 52). In these institutions, otherwise enslaved people were able to recreationally pursue dance, music, and other disciplines brought to the New World in memories and dreams. However, colonial power dictated that these institutions be organized according to Catholic saints, under the tutelage of a Catholic priest. The priests occupation involved learning the language of the slaves and fostering the development of Catholicism among them (4152). Syncretism was the result of this imb alance of power. Syncretism expresses any mixture of seemingly dissonant beliefs or traditions. In this particular case, Yoruban culture was publicly expressed and performed through a Catholic symbolic framework. Murphy writes the saints provided symbols behind which the orichas could live on; yet, by limiting the forms of expression to a Catholic frame, these Saints should be seen as privileged overcodes for the Yoruban voices operating within (1993: 114). As power in Cuba shifted from the church to the state these institutions eventually disintegrated. An increasing dependence on techniques of scientific management, applied to sugar production, increased the rate at which
13 13 slaves were worked and replaced, destabilizing the cabildo tradition. Further, the state situated itself as secular, which proved particularly problematic in the 1970s. Ernesto Pichardo writes, the seventies marked a period of discrimination and restrictive religious freedoms. If a person claimed to be a religioso, he or she could not hold any government job. Religion was now against the interest of the Atheist State. Our people again found themselves hiding and facing the dangers to continue worshipping the orishas. (1998). Since the Cuban revolution of 1959, Cubans of all backgrounds have left the country as political exiles, which has encouraged an emergence of Yoruban culture in the United States. Thus, this description of Yoruban culture situates my study within my discussion of the sociology of religion. Beginning in Nigeria, we c an see that Yoruban culture was subject to processes of globalization. Further, in Cuba, an interaction between globalization and civil religion begins to occur. Elements of Yoruban culture were institutionally protected as religious practices under coloni al administration. The extension of Yoruban culture into the United States continues this process of culture becoming religion becoming politics. Grounding Theory in a Practice The entrance of Yoruban culture into the United States speaks more strongly to issues of civil religion. From its inception, this culture has been formed in relation to social and economic pressures preexistent in its location of emergence. If we analyze the contours of Yoruban arrival at the level of the urban environment we see th at ritual animal sacrifice played a role in the construction of the community of Santeria in Hialeah. It provided the point around which the city was moved to
14 14 react defensively against an amalgamation of immigrant waves. This caused an identification of th e practitioners of Santeria in relation to the dominant groups in the area. This, in turn. provided a basis for collective action from the new community of Santeria. To show how this happened I will draw from a model of ritual provided by Catherine Bell in her book Ritual Theory Ritual Practice and a critique of community by Gerald Suttles. Gerald Suttles (1972) critiques assumptions about community that he sees in academic and folk understandings of the term in his book, The Social Construction of Communi ties Suttles argument is made in response to a perceived error on the part of sociologists to clearly define community based on an assumption of a warped interpretation of a concept developed by the scholars Park and Burgess. He writes that: "As i read Pa rk and Burgess, they meant to emphasize the way in which urban residential groups are not the planned or artificial contrivance of anyone but develop out of many independent personal decisions based on moral, political, ecological, and economic considerati ons" (8). He shows how this idea was picked up and developed into an idea of a "natural community" that is universal, based on a primordial solidarity, and based off of sentimental or emotional values. He claims that "the term natural was apparently picked up and taken to mean a type of residential solidarity which was universal because it was uninfluenced by culture or administration" (8). Further he claims that using the word natural leaves an impression of a primordial social solidarity which existed apart from social convention in somewhat the same way as the social categories of male and female, young and old, are presently defined in
15 15 popular discussion" (8) Because our models of the the world shape it, and, an error in our models will mean errors in our construction of the world. Specifically, he claims that: "To a large extent the folk models we have for urban communities have become the operating bases for both the urban planner and the citizen selecting a place to live. Our technical, sociological mo dels of the urban community are drawn largely from these folk images and have added to their diffusion and acceptance as realistic or "scientific" portraits. Both kinds of cognitive maps can become self fulfilling prophecies which help tailor the urban lan dscape into a more discrete and stereotypic pattern" (4) In addition, this assumption has taken attention away from analysis of what he perceives to be the structural, and unnatural, nature of community. He attempts to replace the notion of a "natural com munity" with an analysis of "how people use territory, residence, distance, space, and movement, to build up collective representations which have communicative value" (7). He argues that community is not something that can simply be taken for granted, it is in fact a social construction. Further, he argues that communities are not formed from within but through interactions with external forces. He asserts that, rather than being the product of a grassroots sense of solidarity, community is created from t he outside in response to the need for a cognitive map of the city, separate from its physical structure, that tells a person where or where not to go. He claims that: "cities inevitably bring together populations that are too large and composed of too man y conflicting elements for their residents to find cultural solutions to the problems of social control. The result seems to be a partitioning of the city into several village like areas where the actual groupings of people are of more manageable proportio ns" (29) He conceives of these "village like" areas as defended territory. He writes that the preeminent characteristics of the defended neighborhood, then, are structural rather than sentimental or associational. Perhaps the most important of these
16 16 structural elements is the identity of the neighborhood itself" (35). Because the identity is created and not inherent, the identity is not necessarily based on shared characteristics of the members of that community. Instead, the identity of a community i s based on that which distinguishes it from surrounding communities. He writes that: "residential groups are defined in contradistinction to one another. In other words, residential groups gain their identity by their most apparent differences from one ano ther...Residential identities, then, are embedded in a contrastive structure in which each neighborhood is known primarily as a counterpart to some others, and relative differences are probably more important than any single and widely shared social characteristic" (51) Essentially this boils down to mean that "community identification can be conceived of as a broad dialogue that gravitates toward collective representations which have credence to both residents and nonresidents alike" (52). In reports of the conflict over ritual animal sacrifice in Hialeah, Florida; almost everybody assumes that the Santeria community brought about the ritual animal sacrifice. Alternatively, there is no mainstream newspaper which claims the reverse, that ritual animal sacrifice brought about the Santeria community. However, I agree with Suttles and argue that in fact the Santeria community is constructed, not inherent, and that ritual animal sacrifice played a large role in this creation. The model of ritual that I will us e to make this argument is the one provided by Catherine Bell in Ritual Theory Ritual Practice. Her model of ritual focuses on the act itself. She defines practice as a nonsynthetic and irreducible term for human activity. Further she draws on four chara cteristics of practice for the use of academics. Specifically she highlights that practice is (1) situational; (2)
17 17 strategic; (3) embedded in a misrecognition of what it is in fact doing; and (4) able to reproduce or reconfigure a vision of the order of power in the world, or what I will call 'redemptive hegemony'" (81) Her model is useful to me for several reasons. The first reason is that she takes into account the context in which ritual occurs. This is important as I argue that the reason that animal sa crifice became the discussion point around which the Santeria community was created is the cultural context in which it was performed. Another use for her model is to show how ritual animal sacrifice became the point around which the Santeria community was created. Taking into account the situation in which it occurred, it was an activity that reproduced model of order in the universe. In a narrow sense, the act of sacrificing animals puts the person conducting that sacrifice in a position of power over the life and death of the animals. The misrecognition of what animal sacrifice was in fact doing, can tentatively be located at the crossroads between this act and the community that surrounded it. Because the idea that a person had the right of life and death over animals differed from the dominant models of order in the community, it contributed to a systematic reformulation of universal order in Hialeah, Florida. In the article "Race, Place and the Bounds of Humanity", Glen Elder, Jennifer Wolch, and Jody Emel claim that: "Norms of animal practice are not consistent or universal. Codes for harmful animal practices are heavily dependent on immediate context. The critical dimensions of context include animal species, human actor(s), rationale for and metho ds of harm, and site of action involved in the practice. Because animal practices emerge over time as part of highly variable cultural landscapes, place is also implicated. When distinct, placebased animal practices are suddenly inserted into new locales by immigrants, conflict erupts. Newcomers violating or transgressing the established cultural boundary between people and animals become branded as savage, primitive, or uncivilized, and risk dehumanization by virtue of their association with particular an imal practices" (184)
18 18 Immigrants to Miami would have been faced with a culture that completely rejected at home animal sacrifice. Elder, Wolch, and Emel claim that: "In mainstream U.S. culture, people are expected to dote on pet puppies in their homes, la vishing them with toys, treats, and attention. They are not supposed to kill their pets unless they are "properly" killed by veterinarians or euthanasia technicians" (186) Even people that eat meat in the US are not supposed to actually be involved with t he hunting or killing of that meat. Hunting is even seen as something of a hobby, an activity pursued in times of leisure. From personal experience, I would say that people rarely buy the whole animal that was killed -opting instead to purchase individua l pieces of multiple animals (a pack of chicken wings or ground beef for example). However, in cultures that are not so alienated from the source of their food it is far more acceptable to kill it yourself. If anything, it makes more sense that in these cu ltures people would prefer to do the killing themselves -at least then the person knows for a fact that it was killed in the appropriate way. Raul Canizares, an academic trained in the US and also a practitioner of Santeria, puts it nicely in his book Wa lking With The Night ; he writes: "in these cultures, the empathetic relationship between humans and animals -characterized by affection and respect, telepathic communication, deification of animals as messengers of the divine, and actual killings for sac rifice and food -defines their actions and their place in the universe" (86) This quote also represents elements of what Bell calls the "redemptive hegemony" represented by ritual. The ritual killing of animals represents an order of the universe that i s reproduced in every killing of an animal. However, bringing the discussion back to the situational aspect of ritual, the main idea is that ritual sacrifice in Hialeah, Florida was performed in a context in which the dominant social groups would see anima l sacrifice as "savage, primitive, or uncivilized.
19 19 An important aspect of the situation in which the act of ritual animal sacrifice was performed is that practitioners of Santeria were not participants in a centralized religious institution before the es tablishment of the Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. Due to the historical association of orisha traditions with marginalized groups, practitioners typically kept the fact that they were practitioners very secret. Canizares writes that: "despite Santeria's integration into Cuban society, the majority of Cuban santeros still adhere to the long standing customs of not talking candidly to outsiders, of cloaking their faith with Catholic trappings. Traditionally, even family members did not know that their own relatives were active in Santeria" (26) If the level of secrecy regarding the practice of this faith was so high that even family members were not trusted it does not make logical sense that Santeria was a community in as clear a way as it seems to be des cribed. The evidence suggests that the practice of Santeria can vary significantly from one practitioner to another. For instance, there are practitioners who would claim that animal sacrifice is not a necessary component of the religion and there are thos e who claim that it is central. Further, it seems that although originally the Santeria religion was specifically that of the Yoruba people of Nigeria, it is practiced in the US by people from a variety of class, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. Suttles cla ims that: "the roots of the defended neighborhood appear to lie in what Wirth saw as the defining characteristics of the city: its large population, its density, its diversity, its tolerance for individual variability, and the declining significance of primary control along with the increasing significance of formal procedures of social control. Implicit in Wirth's statement was the view that the city is too variegated and heterogeneous to provide a single normative order which is shared consensually and is sufficient to maintain order (29) According to him, people create these cognitive maps of defended neighborhoods to avoid conflict and decrease anonymity. Miami, as a large city, has all of the
20 20 listed characteristics of a city. Thus, if Suttles is c orrect, it had all that was required to necessitate defended neighborhoods. The reason that Hialeah became one of these defended communities is because the specific activity of ritual animal sacrifice was perceived to be threatening by the dominant social groups in Miami. Thus, those engaged in the practice of ritual animal sacrifice needed an area where they could be distant from those who would judge and police their actions. Those who were not, needed this activity to be located in a definite area so tha t they would not risk coming into contact with those who did. In other words, the practice of animal sacrifice occurred in the city's zone of indiscernibility, coming from Cuba in the form of decoded and deterritorialized flows. This necessitated a process of recoding by the city, and ultimately the state. Suttles claims that: "Although the defended neighborhood does not always seem to arise from preexisting cohesive groupings, it may itself create cohesive groupings. The defensive measures of these neighb orhoods, of course, generally call for some level of concerted action and thus a certain degree of social cohesion" (35) This was the case in Hialeah. The community of Santeria was created as a means to defend the neighborhood against the danger perceived in the sacrifice of animals. However, in creating this community a horizontal segment was created that could then be vertically stratified by the State. In her book, Worldview, the Orichas, amd Santeria: Africa to Cuba and Beyond Mercedes Cros Sandoval describes the initial contact between practitioners of Santeria and the outside world: "With increasing appearances of sacrificed animals in rivers, by railroad tracks, at intersections, by sacred trees, and in other places in Miami and elsewhere, some alarmed residents have contacted the Humane Society. Others have called the local police to denounce the practices of Santeria. The interactions between the police and santeros
21 21 have also brought frequent, though not positive, visibility to Santeria because the press has been eager to cover these esoteric practices and inform the public about them" (332) Here the previously blurry community of Santeria begins to be concretely realized. Just as Suttles would have predicted, it is not what one would call a grass roots effort. People that are not affiliated with Santeria at all are labeling the area as under threat by Santeria. Even from the quote above it can be discerned that the response of the dominant groups in the city was so negative that those who did pract ice ritual animal sacrifice had to act collectively in order for the practice not to be squashed out completely. A decisive act in the establishment of a community of Santeria and its location was the decision of Ernesto Pichardo to establish a church of Santeria in Hialeah. The explicit justification for the establishment of this church was that he wanted to defend the practice of ritual animal sacrifice by bringing Santeria more into the public eye. An article from the Los Angeles Times describes what mo tivated Pichardo: "His friends' parents, he said, shunned him for joining what they considered a cult. At an early ritual, he remembers worshipers feared being arrested for their animal sacrifices. 'I said, 'Arrested for what?' Pichardo recalls. 'You've go t to be kidding!'" (Fausset) The speedy and emotional reaction of the city of Hialeah caused it to break away from the hegemonic apparatus of the State. This left the city open to another wave of legislation from a higher power. The city council called for an emergency meeting that we have already discussed, from which they issued a ban on all animal sacrifice in the City of Hialeah. This represents a breaking of resonance with the State apparatus as the State apparatus specifically articulates protection of the freedom of religion. By breaking ranks with the State, the city ordered the
22 22 practice of ritual animal sacrifice into a corner to be defended. The Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. served to reinforce the idea that practitioners of Santeria were one community and created a visible entity which was vulnerable to overcoding by the State. Thus, a congregation of Santeria practitioners, headed by Ernesto Pichardo, established a church of Santeria in Hialeah, the Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. in 1987. Newspapers jumped on the sensationalism fermented in a frantically exclusive community reaction characterized by racialized accusations of satanism, moral and public health violations, as well as prophecies of the imminent end of the world (Palmie 1996). Ultimately, this reaction pushed the city to pass three ordinances banning animal sacrifices in the city, animal slaughter except for slaughterhouses, and the possession of animals for sacrifice (Burgos and Harrison 1987). Alden Tarte, a city lawyer, ex pressed some of the citys concerns when he claimed, its repulsive to the morals of a community and a violation of health codes, what was alright 400 years ago doesnt make it alright now. (Burgos and Harrison 1987). In this quote, community is a highly politicized term, clearly not extended to the practitioners of animal sacrifice. This quote also expresses the curious ideology typically isolated to European s, that history is the domain of the powerful and the progressive (Wolf 1982). This progressive attitude coupled with power is presented again in the reference to health codes used to isolate and degrade practitioners of animal sacrifice. Councilman Salvatore DAngelo added that Jesus Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for us. Theres no need to sac rifice anything else, exposing the
23 23 supposedly secular states alignment with a narrow religious tradition. The congregation responded by suing for damages, claiming that the city had violated their First Amendment rights. Jorge Duarte, an ACLU lawyer clai med that people have been doing it [sacrificing animals] for hundreds of years, there are hundreds of thousands of them out there, and they wont stop their practices regardless of what this court does (Williams 1989). The case was pushed up to the level of the United States Supreme Court after a district judge ruled the bans constitutional, and claimed that the city officials could not be tried as individuals but only as members of the city council. The church experienced financial difficulties in the co urse of its legal battles, and was forced to relocate. Eventually, however, at the Supreme Court level, the bans were overturned as unconstitutional and Santeria was inscribed into United States law. While animal rights activists were shocked at the result, Pichardo and his congregation celebrated their victory for religious freedom. Towards a Content Analysis Thus, the example of Hialeahs community of Santeria challenges Webers vision of the iron cage of bureaucracy. Whereas Weber feared that the spread of bureaucracy would relegate magic and religion to oblivion, here the spread of religion has rendered the bureaucratic institutions incompetent and meaningless. This brief overview shows how both the city and the state, though initially resistant to a re ligious practice, were only able to temporarily resist its incorporation because of the legal protection of religious freedom. This indicates the continuing significance of religion in social life; showing how globalization
24 24 in conversation with the state, has constructed religious freedom as a specialized sphere in which marginalized social actors can move towards different visions of political, individual, and religious emancipation. The court case I analyze next illustrates the way the state through local laws and the court system -relates to religion and adds detail to my argument that religion continues to matter in the organization of society.
25 25 Content Analysis When I began my analysis of the oral argument I expected to find a detailed account of what Santeria was, why it was a religion, and from there the justification for overturning the ordinances produced by the city. However, the results of my content analysis show that very little effort was put towards construc ting Santeria as a religion. The focus of the Justices and the lawyers was not geared toward the possibilities for religious freedom. Instead, they were stuck on the issue of whether or not the city had behaved in a neutral and generally applicable fashio n. Despite their secular focus, a history of legislation guaranteeing equal protection for established religions forced the Supreme Court to side with the religiously organized side of the debate. To build this discussion, I imported the transcript of the oral argument into a word processing program. I read through the trial transcript one time without taking notes --to familiarize myself with it. I began reading the transcript for a second time, underlining parts of the text which I found important. I calle d these identifications codes. Further, I assigned these codes the name of the person who spoke them. If the codes were produced in conversation (between more than one identifiable participant) I recorded the names of all involved. After I coded and attach ed names to codes I focused on transforming these codes into broader and more abstract categories. To do this, I qualified why I identified a code as important or of concern. I was able to narrow these qualifications to one word or a phrase which absorbed multiple codes and which served as categories. I then condensed these categories into themes. These themes frame my discussion,
26 26 which is a series of extrapolations on the themes making use of the words which served as categories. Basic Narrative The argu ment begins with the introduction of Mr. Laycock, the lawyer defending the Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc., and an initial construction of his complaint. He opens with a summary, focusing upon what he sees to be the basic offense of the ordinances of the city of Hialeah --that they depict a religious act as unnecessary The Justices then engage in something of an interrogation, probing Mr. Laycock for further details which confirm his claim that the citys ordinances isolate and prohibit a religious el ement and that this is something that they as a court should be upset about. As previously mentioned, the bulk of the oral argument has to do, not with defending Santeria as a religion, but assessing whether or not the city of Hialeah behaved in a neutral and generally applicable manner. Included in this assessment are: references to previous legislation, specifications of the word sacrifice a discussion of necessity, and an analysis of discrimination split between facial and intentional discrimination on the levels of intent, action, and ends. When Mr. Laycock has had his say, Mr. Garrett is brought into the limelight. Mr. Garrett is the lawyer representing the city; he opens by emphatically encouraging the court towards a factual consideration of what t he city of Hialeah was facing in the summer of 1987. He states that the city was facing a situation in which thousands of animal sacrifices were being performed in private residences. The only way, he argues circularly, that the city could hope to contend with the threats of disease and cruelty they saw as inherent
27 27 in the practice of ritual sacrifice was to pass a total prohibition on ritual sacrifice. Then the Justices interrogate Mr. Garrett. They follow a wild line of reasoning that branches off in many directions --often hypothetical. However, eventually they extract information from Mr. Garrett implying the ordinances passed by the city of Hialeah were discriminatory and illegitimate. The proceedings end with a rebuttal by Mr. Laycock who concludes that, No human activity has never a mistake, and the city ordinances single out religion--requiring of it absolute perfection -and this makes them illegitimate. In order to develop a more nuanced understanding of the courts proceedings, and in order to answ er my research question, I find it necessary to explicate certain terms in relation to broad themes tying the terms together: the responsibility of the state, the language of religion, and constructing santeria. The Responsibility of the State One of the first problems pursued by the Justices was to what extent the suit brought against the city interacted with the policies of the state and exactly how responsible the state was for the actions of the city. Loosely, they discussed the states responsibility to protect religious freedom and minority religions To pull out the details of this theme it is important to keep in mind the separate spheres of power situationally involved. For this case, the spheres of power can be separated into state, city, church, and person. The Justices followed a deductive line of reasoning, first figuring out whether or not the suit brought by the church would challenge legislation made at the state level. To determine whether or not a state law was being challenged they request the verdict of the Attorney General. They
28 28 then reference the case Renee v. Geary (1991), particularly focusing on the term redressability The function of the term redressability is to determine whether the p etitioners have a legal standing to claim injury. In this particular case, the Justices were concerned that the ordinances being challenged were in line with the States statute. If this were the case, the State would also be held responsible for the injur ies done to religion if these injuries were proven. Mr. Laycock addresses this and makes clear that the focus of his clients is solely on the ordinances passed by the city. However, he shows that he is prepared to argue against the use of the State statute to prohibit his clients practice of ritual sacrifice. Thus, the term redressability was called upon to specify the sphere of power responsible for the claimed injuries. The city was singled out as solely responsible. Mr. Laycock complains that the ordina nces and the rulings of the lower courts deemed ritual sacrifice, and therefore the religion of his clients, unnecessary To make this point he situates ritual sacrifice as central to the religion of Santeria. Additionally, he presents examples of practi ces of killing animals which were not included in the prohibitions. To show that discounting a religious practice because it is unnecessary is discriminatory he relies a lot on previous decisions of the court, references the content and situation of the ci ty ordinances, and advocates an interpretation of Employment Division v. Smith favoring the protectionist elements of the decision for minority religions. Beyond Renee v. Geary (1991) and Employment Division v. Smith (1990), the previous decisions raised w ere: Washington v. Davis (1976) ; Personnel Administrator of Massachusetts v. Feeney (1979) ; and Reynolds v. United States (1878).
29 29 Mr. Laycock situates ritual sacrifice as central to Santeria when he claims that the ordinances were enacted for the express purpose of preventing the central rituals of this faith. He extends this and connects this prevention to a violation of First Amendment rights by saying When you suppress the central ritual, I think you suppress the religion. He adds weight to this accusation when he informs the Justices that his clients do not represent the totality of Santeria and that there are, in fact, a number of religions who practice ritual sacrifice in the area. To show that the religious element is the particular target of the citys ordinances he raises other practices which have the same ends --defined as the death of an animal -which are not targeted in the ordinances. He offers the examples of slaughterhouses, hunting, mercy killings, and killing an animal in self defence. He submits that, had the city placed a ban on the killing of all animals he would have a harder time defending his clients. Additionally, he submits that had the city legislated against a more specific practice and refrained from using religiously loaded lan guage (i. e. ritual sacrifice) he would have had a harder time defending his clients. Washington v. Davis was a decision regarding equal protection over accusations of racial discrimination. The standard interpretation of the decision is that a practice wh ich has a racialized effect without a racialized intention is not necessarily unconstitutional. Mr. Laycock uses this case to claim that, if the ordinances are found to be discriminatory in their intent, this is discrimination that the court has shown that it plans to avoid. Personnel Administrator of Massachusetts v. Feeney was also a decision about equal protection. This time the
30 30 court decided that a piece of legislation, although it had an unequal impact on the basis of sex, was not necessarily unconstit utional if the language of the legislation was gender neutral. Mr. Laycock uses this decision to argue that if the citys ordinances were discriminatory in the language they used then this was a ripe threat which the Supreme Court is bound to protect aga inst. Smith s prominence has to do with the fact that this case created a standardized test of the neutrality and general applicability of government regulation of religion. Ultimately, Mr. Laycock interprets these cases on free exercise to mean that the city of Hialeah is out of line for suppressing a religious practice and not legislating on similar practices which do not include the religious element. Religious freedom was never defined in the trial, nor did it emerge as a priority of the Justices. Because of this, the injuries claimed by the Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. could be actualized only in reference to an imperfect performance on the part of the city in reference to the laws of the state. Mr. Garrett defends the city. He approaches the issue by emphatically appealing to the Justices to listen to the factual setting the city was facing. He attempts to frame ritual sacrifice as a legitimate and compelling reason for the city to intervene. Although he can be faulted for his reasoning --he connects these issues directly to sacrifices rituality -he does outline some responsibilities of the state/city, which are implicitly agreed upon by all involved. His defence constructs the city as responsible for issues of disease, cleanliness, and commu nity. Cleanliness can be broken down into issues of possession cruel treatment the location of sacrifice. He associates disease with improper means of
31 31 disposal the intensity of sacrifice, and again the location of sacrifice and disposal. Although he never directly discusses the issue of community, he seems to imply that the city is responsible for quieting any behavior which provokes fear or suspicion in any visible sector of said community. After making clear the city was facing a situation in which t ens of thousands of animals, according to the district court findings, were being sacrificed in the area of South Florida, he tackles the issue of cleanliness. He says that the problem begins as soon as animals are possessed for the purposes of ritual sac rifice. He seems to believe that, inevitably, when an animal is held for the purposes of sacrifice it is subject to cruel treatment in the form of torture. He does not specify the meaning of torture. He claims that the city is unable to regulate the ritualized possession of these animals because the botanicas and farms involved are too active and move their goods to fast. In this way, he seems to situate sacrifice as a static spectacle which can effectively be regulated. At one point he seems to make out that the reason ritualized possession counts as inhumane treatment is that the animals are not possessed for the purposes of consumption as food. Location plays a large role in his defence. He sees botanicas and farms in Hialeah as suspicious because they ar e underground and unregulated. Further, he posits as inherently cruel the killing of large numbers of animals in private residences as opposed to regulated and publicly accessible slaughterhouses. He makes prominent an imagination of a bloodflooded 6x10 kitchen, where large numbers of animals are sacrificed. He shows that he cannot
32 32 conceive of any way that this could all be done in a sanitary condition. He also suggests that the method of killing used in ritual sacrifice is cruel. Connecting to his presentation of cleanliness, Mr. Garrett goes on to deplore the potential for disease in relation to both the act of sacrifice and the act of disposal He says that a large number of animals sacrificed in a private residence represents a human health hazard. He claims that decapitations and pots of blood all contribute to this evil. Further, there are greater problems in the process of disposal Because sacrifices are conducted in private residences, there are animal parts and blood in pri vate residences. He does not consider that the people living in those residences might have an interest in cleaning up after the sacrifice. All he sees is that blood and animal parts in a residential area can attract rats. These rats have the potential to bring fleas. Fleas carry disease. He sees as more problematic that the blood and the parts are sometimes disposed of in public space. Which makes this problem of disease a threat to the whole community. Although he never defines community, Mr. Garrett use s the idea of community to situate ritual sacrifice as the particular problem -not cleanliness or disease. He seems to assume that the practitioners of Santeria are not a part of the community he is attached to; in fact, the practitioners seem to be the co mmunitys main enemy. He presents an image of dead goats left in Sewell Park as oppositional to the communitys principles of pain and ideals of health by situating the practice of ritual sacrifice as a vehicle of torture and disease, he positions himself as the defender of the communitys sovereignty, of which local ritualized sacrifice represents an aberration.
33 33 Overall, the responsibility of the state is framed in reference to spheres of power in a hierarchy. The state is at the top, looking down at the city, which is looking down at a church through the lens of individual practitioners. The issue of redressability pinpoints the city as responsible for discrimination against the religion of Santeria, represented by a church. Assuming that the city is in t he wrong, Mr. Laycock strategically deploys previous decisions by the state which grant it the power to right the wrongs of the city according to rulings on equal protection neutrality and general applicability To affirm the religiosity of ritual sacrif ice he claims that it is the central practice of Santeria as represented by the Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. In a losing defence, Mr. Garrett presents some further, potential, responsibilities of the state: upholding cleanliness, resisting disease and protecting community. The Language of Religion Ultimately, in reference to the responsibility of the state, the Justices were forced to decide whether a local threat of disease, cleanliness, and an upheaval of community standards outweighed their universal obligation to equal protection of religious an d secular practices, intentions, and ends. As a result a great deal of effort was spent in a comparative analysis of the loaded language used in the city ordinances compared with alternative, secularized, drafts which the city could have adopted. The key t erms to focus on are: ritual sacrifice, necessary and discrimination Mr. Laycocks argument stems from the idea that the state is supposed to offer the same protection to religious phenomena as it does to phenomena of a secular nature. From there he show s how the ordinances, in using
34 34 religious terminology (i. e. ritual sacrifice) unfairly target a religious practice. To emphasize this point, the Justices lead him to show how this wording represents underinclusiveness as the compelling interests of dealin g with disease, cleanliness, and community were not considered in relation to secular activities and were applied to religious activities. The main point of offense is that the citys ordinances and the rulings of lower courts in the state system judged the ritualized practice of sacrifice as unnecessary The implication is that killing animals outside of a religious system of obligation is necessary. Combining the use of language with the limits of underinclusiveness, Mr. Laycock shows how the city is guil ty of discrimination against the religion of Santeria by putting a prophylactic prohibition on the religion to make an incremental reduction in the secular problems of health and community. Specifically, he claims that the ordinances do not forbid killing, they forbid sacrifice...all the prohibitions depend in part upon an analysis of the purposes or motives of the actor, and when the analysis is complete, the religious motive is always forbidden The assumption he claims that the city and lower courts m ade is that sacrifice is unnecessary Because, he argues, sacrifice is a central ritual in the religion of Santeria as practiced by the Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. to prove that sacrifice is unnecessary the city and the state would need to prove that Santeria was a false religion. This would be a heresy trial which the state would want to avoid. When the justices ask Mr. Laycock whether or not zoning is at issue, which he believes is a red herring, he is able to flip their questions to show how the city dismissed the possibility of zoned sacrifices
35 35 because they use the word sacrifice to distinguish the religious act of sacrifice from the secular act of slaughter In fact, the ordinances use the word sacrifice to designate killing of animals, not for the primary purpose of food consumption, as unnecessary Under Smith Mr. Laycock argues that the state is not enabled to determine whether or not a religious act is necessary or unnecessary. He does admit that the city could have legislated against all killings of animals, but they did not. The city of Hialeah allows private residents to trap mice and rats, hunters to hunt, and slaughterhouses to slaughter; however, the city of Hialeah, in ordinances 87 52, 8771, and 8772, disallows the killing of animals in ritualized sacrifice. The compelling interest s given (protection from disease, community standards), are not applied equally to secularized killings of animals, which Justice Souter prods Mr. Laycock to declare represents underinclusiveness with a vengeance. Although not explicitly mentioned, secularization seems to imply a regulatable visibility to the state. When it comes to killing animals, secularization seems to imply that the animals be killed primarily for consumption as food. Littered thr oughout the argument is a discussion of what exactly the ordinances ban in terms of intent, action, and ends. Although on their face, the ordinances appear to ban an act, Mr. Laycock makes clear that it is not so much the act of sacrifice which is prohibit ed but the act with a religious intent. He shows this by comparing the act of ritual sacrifice with similar acts which are not regulated. The action of killing animals is practiced by slaughterhouses, exterminators, pet owners and hunters. All of these act ions have the same ends --dead animals. Thus, he argues, the only difference between sacrifice and these other modes of killing
36 36 is the religious intent. Which is discriminatory and a violation of his clients First Amendment rights, particularly in light of Smith Mr. Garretts discussion of possession clarifies Mr. Laycocks points. Mr. Garrett tries to show the rationale behind the citys choice to ordinate against sacrifice rather than disposal or disease. His thoughts seem to situate possession in terms of the object of ownership and the spheres of power which are enabled to possess. When the object of possessing animals is food consumption it is ok. However, when the object of possession is towards sustaining a religious life or a deity, the city sees t his as inherently wrong. Although there are side problems of dirt and disease, he argues that these problems only begin the instant an animal is possessed for the purposes of sacrifice. He attempts to associate the possession of animals for the purpose of sacrifice as evil by associating it with malicious magic, witchcraft, and satanism. Because of this, the construction of Santeria in the oral argument is made in contrast with a neutral and generally applicable state and the negative associations with evil and witchcraft. The Form of Santeria As I have hopefully shown, the bulk of the oral argument had little to do with establishing Santeria as a religion. What little information is given is given to show how the state is not being neutral or generally applicable, and to prove that Santeria is not evil. The key elements of the construction of Santeria include: its identification as a minority religion, its association with the church, the centralization of ritual sacrifice, and its connection to other r eligious groups.
37 37 Mr. Laycock opens his defense by stating this is a case about open discrimination against a minority religion. The main representative for this minority is his client, the Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc., which in seeking to publi cize itself brought the authority of the city down upon them. Santeria is presented as a faith, and he claims that ritual sacrifice is the central ritual of this faith. He portrays Santeria as polytheistic when he claims that believers in Santeria are directly commanded by the gods to sacrifice. The gods also direct practitioners on how to sacrifice and where and how to dispose of the sacrificed body. From the argument, it can be deduced that sacrifice in Santeria is sometimes done for consumption as food, sometimes not. Further, it can be ascertained that sacrifice is something of a spectacle; Mr. Garrett claims that the city sought to prohibit sacrifice rather than cruelty or improper disposal because sacrifice, the event, involved large numbers of people and animals outside. Justice Scalia clearly misunderstands Mr. Laycocks depiction, reducing the plural gods of Santeria to one universal God and referring to a group religion as an individuals reflection, when he asks, Do you mean whenever somebody says that God tells him it is necessary, that statute is invalid as applied to that person? The danger of reducing Santeria to a centralized ritual becomes apparent when, because of this, it is unceremoniously categorized as belonging to a family of animal s acrificing religions, such as Palo Mayombe. The danger of reductionism is emphasized in reference to Justice Stevens repetition of a lower courts finding that there's a lot of varieties of this religion. Some have more of
38 38 some customs and some have sl ightly different customs. Despite this, for the purposes of the trial, Santeria is reduced to one form. Overall, from the little information given about Santeria; one can say that it is a minority religion, that it involves sacrifice that these sacrific es are in reference to a number of gods, and that in reaction to repressive regulation it is able to situate sacrifice as ritual central to its faith. One could also say that it is liable to misinterpretation by non practitioners so much so that, although it is claimed to have a great deal of internal variety, it can be dismissed as one of many animal sacrificing religions. In particular, it seems that preconceived notions of what religion is (i. e. faith in one God, seeing religion as an individuals domain) can be blocks in understanding the practice of sacrifice within Santeria. The Conflict over Sacrifice Though the oral argument did not offer much in the way of constructing Santeria as a religion, it did show that sacrifice -as an act, a target, and a word--is contested and problematic. In fact, sacrifice seems to be the particular means by which Santeria distinguishes itself from the city, the state, and as a religion. In this section I present the different images of sacrifice offered by Mr. Laycock, the Justices, and Mr. Garrett. Mr. Laycock, it is important to remember, is invested in the case to defend the religious rights of his clients. Therefore, he is given the authority to offer a rendering of what sacrifice means to its everyday practiti oners As an everyday act in a system of religious understanding, sacrifice can be seen as something
39 39 valuable and something necessary The citys actions, then, are perceived as predatory and repressive. He identifies sacrifice as the central ritual of San teria (as expressed by the Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc.). He argues that the city uses the practice of sacrifice to discriminate against a minority religion. The main way this discrimination is enacted is through legislation forbidding the practice of sacrifice, which is not legally applicable to anyone but his clients who explicitly accept that what they are doing is sacrifice. His claim that they [the city] forbid sacrifice, and indeed these ordinances do not forbid any physical act as such. All these prohibitions depend upon an analysis of the purposes or motives of the actor shows that the use of the word sacrifice masks the citys intention to prevent the killing of animals with religious intent. He contests the idea promoted by the city and the Attorney General that sacrifice is unnecessary showing that the only reason they find it unnecessary is that they see Santeria as a false religion. According to him, to believers in Santeria, sacrifice is directly commanded by the gods in considerabl e detail on each occasion when it is required. Further, Mr. Laycock does specify that sacrifice results in the body of a dead animal. Once this is established he shows how the city is discriminatory by not caring to legislate against non religious practic es which have the same effect; such as hunting and the mercy killing of pets. He complicates the citys generalized view of sacrifice by admitting that though most of the people who intentionally sacrifice do not improperly dispose of the animal, there a re some who do.
40 40 The Justices have no interest in the practice of sacrifice beyond any responsibility of the state As such, they end up looking very confused when they express their thoughts about sacrifice. Summarily, there is evidence that the Justices feel that sacrifice is evil that it is unnecessary and that it is inhumane For instance, when informed by Mr. Laycock that the citys ordinances ban the religious practice of sacrifice, Justice Souter simply wants to know what Mr. Laycocks argument wou ld be, consistent with Smith This expresses the role of the Justices in prioritizing the interests of the state over the interests of living people. Additionally, confronted with the idea that the city may have stepped out of bounds, Chief Justice Rehnquist implies his distaste when he calls sacrifice an evil three times. First, he attempts to justify the citys focus on sacrifice as opposed to cleanliness by suggesting the city could have banned sacrifice if it were the only evil they perceived to be in Hialeah. He repeats his assumption, haltingly, when he says even though thats the only evil occurring in the...and you say thats not so, but supposing the city council thought that was the only evil occurring in the City of Hialeah. This shows his prejudice as nobody else, not even Mr. Garrett, went so far as to associate sacrifice directly with evil. An indication that the Justices find sacrifice in Santeria to be unnecessary is found when they are presented with the idea that sometimes the sacrifi ce is not performed for consumption. Justice Scalia indicates that he sees sacrifice outside of consumption as unnecessary when he probes, you couldnt say you may kill animals for food but not for other purposes? Chief Justice Rehnquist situates religio us sacrifice as inhumane when he pushes, could the city council require
41 41 that all slaughter of animals within the city be done in a humane manner and define humane in a way that the result of which was to either prohibit or require the alteration of these sacrifices? Mr. Laycock is easily able to respond to this, because the state and city already have these laws. As he says, many of the killings that they permit are slower and less reliable, crueler than the method of sacrifice by slicing the carotid arteries. Mr. Garrett exposes the view of sacrifice held by the city. His argument, which seems a little crazy at times, shows the difference between an intimate and personal perspective on sacrifice and a distant regulatory perspective. Whereas sacrifice i s valued by its practitioners, it is seen as a social problem by the city. Although practitioners may be involved in the killing of as many as fifty animals, Mr. Garrett claims that what Hialeah was facing in the summer and fall of 1987 was a situation wh ere tens of thousands of animals, according to the district court findings, were being sacrificed in the area of South Florida. What is especially hard for the city to deal with is the crossing of public/private boundaries. Mr. Garrett deplores the fact t hat dead animals were being found in public places and sees this as a justification for the city to insert itself into the private world of Santeria. His argument does not recognize Mr. Laycocks contribution that Santeria should not be seen as one entit y or as a centrally directed entity. The field of Mr. Garretts confusion seems to stem from his inability to dissociate disease and cruel treatment from religious differences. For instance, he states that cruel treatment begins as soon as an animal is pos sessed for the purposes of sacrifice. He does not give any details as to what constitutes cruel treatment implying his
42 42 simple prejudice that because the animal is going to be sacrificed it will be treated cruelly. Additionally, he comes across as confused when he seems to argue that disease is an inherent part of sacrifice because these sacrifices are performed in private spaces. Basically, his depiction of sacrifice depends upon a demonization of its practitioners. Referring to the expert opinions of pa id professionals, his argument paints the practitioners of sacrifice as indifferent, unclean, cruel, and even unreasonably powerful. He claims this is an indifferent type of killing, this particular practice is engaged in by Satanists, by witchcraft, vo odoo, and enforcement is very difficult. Overall, the differences surrounding the word sacrifice can be framed in reference to the separated spheres of power involved in the dispute. For the church, and its practitioners, sacrifice is a necessary, local, manageable, and everyday activity. For the city, sacrifice is a social problem. Because of its decentered deployment, it is a particularly bothersome problem. For the state, sacrifice does not matter insofar as it is not something which can be easily, neutrally, or generally dealt with. It does matter to the state insofar as the city has made it a problem. Connecting the Dots This discussion covered five broad themes which I abstracted from categories in the process of coding for my content analysis. In reference to these themes I elaborated upon multiple terms, which I abstracted as categories, from codes created in the process of content analysis. The five themes I spoke to were: the basic narrative of the argument, the responsibility of the state the language of
43 43 religion the form of Santeria and the conflict over sacrifice The terms which I found key were: unnecessary neutral generally applicable, sacrifice, spheres of power previous court decisions which were cited, redressability possession cruel treatment location disposal equal protection, discrimination underinclusiveness compelling interests forbidden, heresy trial slaughter everyday practitioners and evil In retrospect, I can say that the basic narrative of the argument begi ns with Mr. Laycocks outline of the churchs complaint. This complaint is built from a vision of the responsibility of the state the form of Santeria, the language of religion and ultimately ends with a subjective claim within the conflict over sacrifi ce. The middle of the narrative involves Mr. Garretts attempted defense of the city. His defense is built on a dehumanization of the everyday practitioners of animal sacrifice, in which he depicts these practitioners and their acts as evil The narrative ends when the Justices laugh down Mr. Garretts defense and Mr. Laycock makes a victorious conclusion. The Responsibility of the State primarily relies on previous court decisions which were cited ; though, because the city represents the state, Mr. Garrett s defense seems to suggest some more localizable responsibilities. Previous court decisions cited were: Renee v. Geary (1991) Employment Division v. Smith (1990), Washington v. Davis (1976) ; Personnel Administrator of Massachusetts v. Feeney (1979) ; and Reynolds v. United States (1878). The issue of redressability allows the court to decide who is to blame if the violation of First Amendment rights were to be affirmed. Mr. Laycock uses this previous legislation to present the
44 44 Supreme Court with multiple w ays in which the city can be found guilty of discrimination and to argue further that the Supreme Court is supposed to offer equal protection to minority religions. Equal protection is defined in relation to a test of neutrality and general applicability w hich was developed in Employment Division v. Smith (1990). Though Mr. Garrett tried to defend an act of the state which was irresponsible; in the process, he suggests that the city is responsible for issues of cleanliness and community. The language of rel igion is what makes the city culpable, in Mr. Laycocks eyes. By specifically targeting ritual sacrifice as opposed to any other method of putting an animal to death, the city identifies its target as specifically religious practice. Given the context in which the legislation was passed, it is obvious that the city was targeting minoritarian religious practices --Santeria and Palo Mayombe included. In fact, Mr. Laycock makes a strong argument that the wording of the citys ordinances does not ban an act in and of itself but an act connected to a religious intent. Compared with kosher slaughter, hunting, mercy killings, etc., the act of sacrifice is no different --other than in its religious intent. Thus, by forbidding ritual sacrifice, the city steps into religious territory which Smiths requirements of neutrality, general applicability, and equal protection do not allow. The form of Santeria, then, never directly expressed, takes shape in relation to a citys passage of legislation which demonizes the practice of sacrifice. Though the Supreme Court is forced to overturn the citys ordinances, it did this because the church was able to offer resistance by identifying sacrifice as a central ritual of
45 45 their religion. To dispute this, the Supreme Court or the cit y would have to pursue a heresy trial which would be costly. Thus, the central point of the oral argument was the conflict over sacrifice In this conflict, the value of sacrifice seems to depend on the sphere of power viewing it. The city is revealed to be taking power over sacrifice as a secularized and social problem. The city sees the practice as unnecessary and even evil connecting it to issues of disease and community disorder. On the other hand, its everyday pra ctitioners attach religious meaning to the act, for them it is something to be valued. Because the practitioners of animal sacrifice situated their practice within a religious system, they pushed the Supreme Court into offering them protection. As a result religion can be seen as a central organizing principle for the practice of animal sacrifice which was able to influence its incorporation into secular institutions despite initial negative interpretations of the act.
46 46 Conclusion In conc lusion, this thesis explored a discussion within sociology as to whether religion can remain a force for social organization given the dominance of secular institutions in everyday life. The case of Chief James Billie and the Florida Panther inspired me to challenge Winnifred Fallers Sullivans bold claim that religious freedom was impossible, given the secular states unilateral support of traditional religious formations governed by Protestant Christian ideology. As an example of a religious formation whi ch challenged Sullivans judgment, I chose to analyze the successful extension of religious freedom to practitioners of animal sacrifice, because this practice was organized under the banner of religion. To contextualize this practice, I outlined an image of Yoruban culture in Nigeria. I then showed how this culture survived in Cuba, ending with a discussion of its emergence in the United States. By applying social theory to the reports of Santerias appearance, I was able to show how a community was organi zed around a ritualized difference. In my content analysis, I showed how this community, centering itself upon a religious practice, was able to overcome the prejudices of the secular institutions which surrounded it. This supports my theory that religion remains a powerful source of social organization. Feedback As a way of closing, I would like to tie my literature review and content analysis back to the issues I raised in my introduction. In conversation, Marx and Sullivan seem to portray religion, and the conflicts it embodies, as insignificant in relation to the power of secular institutions. Marx writes religion off as a distraction from
47 47 the more realistic struggle of class. Sullivan writes religion off by painting its freedom as an impossibility. How ever, both Chief James Billie and the community of Santeria in Hialeah show that the meaning of religion and religious freedoms are important and contested arenas. The success of these practitioners in protecting their freedom under the banner of religion shows that religion, connected to marginalized or discriminated against people, can be a strong category of defense for political and individual emancipation. This can be seen in the fact that by identifying the practice of animal sacrifice as religious, b oth Chief James Billie and the community of Santeria were able to overcome the class and political differences which would mark their practice as a taboo. Though I would like to end on a happy note, I think it is important to keep in mind the potential pr oblems of this organization. The first problem that I perceive in the connection of the religious flow of Santeria to the static object of the law is the confusion that some of the Justices had in distinguishing between the multiple gods motivating the pra ctice of animal sacrifice in Santeria and the one God which the state is officially organized under. This shows the limits of the law when it comes to the establishment of religious freedom in that, due to the historical weight of Protestant reflections on religion most of the Justices seem unable to understand religions which do not conform to that model. This leaves the arena of religious freedom somewhat ambiguous. Further, because of the situation of its emergence, animal sacrifice is situated as centra l to the practice of Santeria. Though this was important in light of repressive regulations, and for the the court case, this is a very narrow rendering of the place of sacrifice in Yoruban
48 48 culture and a hyper specific definition of Santeria. Practitioners and academics have offered very different opinions on the role of sacrifice in Santeria. The court case could unintentionally have added weight to an idea of Santeria which might not fit its reality.
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