"...[T]he diminishment of spiritual fulfillment – serious though it may be – is not a 'substantial burden' on the free exercise of religion." (9th Circuit Court of Appeals)
What do you suppose the reaction would be if someone wanted to pour treated sewage onto the steps of a Catholic church, a Protestant mega-church, or a consecrated cemetery? Outrage, perhaps?
Well, but those actions would be offensive to actual spiritual beliefs of, um, you know, like, actual religions. As opposed to spraying treated sewage onto a mountainside sacred to Native Americans. That, by contrast, results only in "mere 'damaged spiritual feelings.'" It's like, not the same, dude.
I am just so angry about this.
I don't ordinarily get too bent out of shape by the jostling and shoving that often results from our attempts, as a society, to find a way to live with creating a truly pluralistic society. Wish me a Merry Christmas or a Happy Kwanzaa, even in August, and I just wish the same back at you. But this kind of transparent rationalizing over religion, pretending that a legal decision is being based on constitutional considerations when, in fact, it's simply privileging the dominant religions (and money, oh, most especially money) in this country at the expense of the minority and earth-based religions gets me quite hot and bothered.
Go. Read about it for yourself--either at The Wild Hunt, where I first found it, at the Save the Peaks Coalition page on the decision, or (for the truly strong of stomach) download and read the 9th Circuit decision for yourself.
Apparently, when it's sprayed on some people's sacred spaces, shit don't stink.