Florida State Exemptions

Your rights to practice the tenants, expressions including indigenous traditional religious therapeutics which are sacred to our Native American Indigenous Church Tribal Organization.

1. The establishment clause: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof… (First Amendment of the US constitution) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Establishment_Clause

2. AIRFA (American Indian Freedom of Religion Act): “protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent right of freedom to believe, express and exercise the traditional religions of the American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiians, including but not limited to access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonials and traditional rites.”  Also protects Native religion expressions of Native American Churches.

3. RLUIPA: AIRFA was amended by the passage of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized persons Act: Which states “No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation in a manner that imposes a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person, including a religious assembly or institution, unless the government demonstrates that imposition of the burden on that person, assembly, or institution…”

4. 42 USC Chapter 21- Religious Freedom Restoration Act: 42 USC CHAPTER 21B – RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION
(a) Findings
The Congress finds that—
(1) the framers of the Constitution, recognizing free exercise of religion as an unalienable right, secured its protection in the First Amendment to the Constitution;
(2) laws “neutral” toward religion may burden religious exercise as surely as laws intended to interfere with religious exercise;
(3) governments should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification;

5. No Law shall be made in an attempt to prohibit the practice of a Religion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Lukumi_Babalu_Aye_v._City_of_Hialeah
A Florida Supreme Court decision which in decision for the Church stated ““religious beliefs need not be acceptable, logical, consistent or comprehensible to others in order to merit First Amendment protection”.”

6. The Court should not put someone’s faith on trial

7. The Court Shall not rule on Doctrine

8. A Privately held organization can reject a Law on a religious basis

The State of Florida and the state of Florida Department of Health/ Massage Board are mandated to follow the US Code and Supreme court president as well.

9. Florida’s Religious Freedom: Title XLIV Civil Rights:   “Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1998”, 761.03 Free exercise of religion protected.(http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0761/0761.html)
(1) The government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except that government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person:

The use of touching (Anointing, Chirothesia, Counseling, Religious Therapeutics) for healing and exchange of love and compassion is common practice as a religious expression in all religions. Some religions express their healing mission with more or less sophistication and elegance than others. The fact that we express our healing touch with sophistication and elegance does not make it less “religious”.

The State of Florida Massage Therapy Board nor the State of Florida Department of Health do not have the legal authority to define our sacred anointing, Chirothesia, Religious Therapeutics, i.e. SomaVeda Integrated Traditional Therapies: Indigenous Thai Yoga as “Massage Therapy” as defined by Florida Statute.

Technically your not asking for a statutory exemption to the massage law as you were not doing anything legally defined as Massage Therapy nor proposing to do massage therapy!

Florida State Medical Board Exemptions

2)(f) Is a rabbi, priest, minister, or member of the clergy of any religious denomination or sect when engaging in activities which are within the scope of the performance of his or her regular or specialized ministerial duties and for which no separate charge is made, or when such activities are performed, with or without charge, for or under the auspices or sponsorship, individually or in conjunction with others, of an established and legally cognizable church, denomination, or sect, and when the person rendering service remains accountable to the established authority thereof.
State Medical Practice: Title XXXII chapter 458 “Medical Practice “Section 458.303 Provisions not applicable to other practitioner; exceptions, etc.  (e) Any person furnishing   medical assistance in case of an emergency.  (f) The domestic administration of recognized family remedies.  (g) The practice of the religious tenets of any church in this state.
Florida State Massage Board Exemptions

480.034 Exemptions.—

(1)  Nothing in this act shall modify or repeal any provision of chapters 458-464, inclusive, or of chapter 476, chapter 477, or chapter 486.
(2)  Athletic trainers employed by or on behalf of a professional athletic team performing or training within this state shall be exempt from the provisions of this act.
(3) The state and its political subdivisions are exempt from the registration requirements of this act.
(4)  An exemption granted is effective to the extent that an exempted person’s practice or profession overlaps with the practice of massage.
History.—s. 4, ch. 78-436; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 12, 13, ch. 85-280; s. 1, ch. 87-267; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 150, ch. 97-264.
Penalties for Infringing or depriving rights

Conspiracy against rights: Title 18 U.S. Code § 241
If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; …

Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law
Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242
This statute makes it a crime for any person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom to willfully deprive or cause to be deprived from any person those rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution and laws of the U.S. This law further prohibits a person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation or custom to willfully subject or cause to be subjected any person to different punishments, pains, or penalties, than those prescribed for punishment of citizens on account of such person being an alien or by reason of his/her color or race. Acts under “color of any law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the bounds or limits of their lawful authority, but also acts done without and beyond the bounds of their lawful authority; provided that, in order for unlawful acts of any official to be done under “color of any law,” the unlawful acts must be done while such official is purporting or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. This definition includes, in addition to law enforcement officials, individuals such as Mayors, Council persons, Judges, Nursing Home Proprietors, Security Guards, etc., persons who are bound by laws, statutes ordinances, or customs.

Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to one year, or both, and if bodily injury results or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire shall be fined or imprisoned up to ten years or both, and if death results, or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

NAIC OPINION:  For NAIC specific application see that the Massage Law is clearly under the provisions of the State Medical Board: State Medical Practice Statute Title XXXII chapter 458 “Medical Practice “Section 458.303, (g) which clearly states “The practice of the religious tenets of any church in this state”.
The above provided information is not intended as legal advise and is furnished to assist NAIC Members to make informed decisions about their exercise of religious freedoms guaranteed under Federal and State Code and Law.