"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Today's Must-Read

This struck a chord. The headline nails it:

Why does Hobby Lobby have more rights than a sacred mountain?

The lead-in:

In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has solidified the concept of corporate personhood. Following rulings in such cases as Hobby Lobby and Citizens United, U.S. law has established that companies are, like people, entitled to certain rights and protections.

But that’s not the only instance of extending legal rights to nonhuman entities. New Zealand took a radically different approach in 2014 with the Te Urewera Act which granted an 821-square-mile forest the legal status of a person. The forest is sacred to the TÅ«hoe people, an indigenous group of the Maori. For them Te Urewera is an ancient and ancestral homeland that breathes life into their culture. The forest is also a living ancestor. The Te Urewera Act concludes that “Te Urewera has an identity in and of itself,” and thus must be its own entity with “all the rights, powers, duties, and liabilities of a legal person.” Te Urewera holds title to itself.

Mount Taylor, NM
The article goes on to discuss Mount Taylor in New Mexico, which the Zuni and the Navajo consider a holy place equivalent to -- as the article notes -- the Vatican.

The idea of a corporation as a person is really nothing more than a legal fiction created so that the law has some way to deal with that sort of entity; to grant a legal fiction the rights of natural person is, to put it bluntly, ridiculous, but I suppose it's only to be expected when our Supreme Court is peopled by corporatists.

At any rate, as a card-carrying Pagan, I find the attitude toward the natural world expressed by traditional peoples much more in tune with my own attitudes, and I see no reason why a sacred mountain can't have the same rights as a corporation.

Read the whole thing.

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