CHURCH JURISPRUDENCE: PROTECTIONS & EXEMPTIONS
Health sovereignty is generally considered to be the exercise of a secular state's sovereign power to protect and promote health and provide health services. A sovereign state is classically defined as a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty and police power over its citizens. Few people realize that there is also the ecclesiastical state, a form of religious government in which the official policy is to be governed by divine guidance from officials who are pursuant to the doctrine of Christ as a religious Order. Thus became the doctrine – separation of Church and State. We invoke protections for our Church, Religion, Culture, traditional medicines and foods, and members in general under international laws, protection of human rights, and preservation of a cultural heritage. These are assured in international and common laws.
THE sacred religious Orders were a millennium long lineage of a tradition of monks, physicians and nurses (Hospitaller’s) who lived apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion and worship- that of medical care for the poor and needy, and defense of the Christian culture and faith. This thousand-year period of holiness mentioned in Revelation 20, during which Jesus and his faithful followers are to rule on earth continues into the 21st century. This Order is a modern continuance and is composed of initiates (laity), communicants, \ postulants, members of vocation, and ordained clergy. Members strive to achieve a common purpose through formally dedicating their life to God's medicines and Christ's gospel to help and heal.
This active, Sacred Medical Order is the last such organization, carrying on the work of monastic medicine known as today’s nature cure, and we wish to have it preserved for the benefit of future generations as well as serve a lasting memory of a movement that contributed significantly to the Renaissance of today's modern medicine. This heritage included languages, transcription, folk tales, ceremonies, modalities, etc. about traditional medicine, and all the medical and nursing skills that were handed down from generation to generation including surgery and ambulatory care in Christendom. These traditions and practices reflect the spirit of members and communities of the Hospitaller’s from Europe to the Americas, to the Philippines. Yet this intangible heritage is at great risk as the natural and spiritual heritage must be preserved to the world for future posterity.
Heritage and History
When Christ sent out the twelve disciples on their first missionary tour, He bade them, "As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." Matthew 10:7, 8.
The United Kingdom is the home of the Magna Carta, one of the foundations for the world’s understanding of rights, including religious rights. Tracing the heritage of religious liberty takes us back more than 800 years to Magna Carta in 1215. At that time, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland were separate nations; it was long before Great Britain was created, let alone the United Kingdom.
There are TEN fundamental aspects of freedom of religion
Freedom to read the Bible in public (achieved 1537)
Freedom to interpret the Bible without government interference (achieved 1559)
Freedom of worship (achieved 1689)
Freedom to choose, or change your faith or belief (achieved 1689)
Freedom to preach and try to convince others of the truth of your beliefs (achieved 1812)
Freedom to build churches and other places of worship (achieved 1812), and
Freedom from being required to affirm a particular worldview or set of beliefs in order to hold a public sector job or stand for election, work in professions such as teaching and law, or study at university (achieved by the repeal of various Test Acts between 1719 and 1888)
Freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance. It also includes the freedom to change one's religion or beliefs.
In the United States, a religious freedom bill is a bill that allows those with religious objections to certain activities (like vaccinations) to act in accordance with their beliefs without being punished by the government for doing so. Proponents commonly refer to such proposals as religious liberty or conscience protection. [On Jan. 18, 2018, the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the creation of a new division within its existing Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The new division is called the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division. It was created to enforce federal laws related to "conscience and religious freedom." That same day, Indiana University law professor Steve Sanders criticized the new approach as having "the potential to impede access to care, insult the dignity of patients, and allow religious beliefs to override mainstream medical science.”]
State Religious Freedom Restoration Acts are state laws based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a federal law that was passed almost unanimously by the U.S. Congress in 1993 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The laws mandate that religious liberty of individuals can only be limited by the "least restrictive means of furthering a compelling government interest”.
The American Indian Religious Freedom Act, required policies of all governmental agencies to eliminate interference with the free exercise of not only Native American religion, but all religions, based on the First Amendment, and to accommodate access to and use of religious sites (churches, clinics, sacred grounds) to the extent that the use is practicable and is consistent with an agency's essential functions. These rights include, but are not limited to, access to sacred sites, freedom to worship through ceremonial and traditional rites, and use and possession of objects considered sacred.
Herbalists' Charter of Henry VIII
When the American Colonies declared their independence as Sovereign States, in July, 1776, they each adopted the Laws of England as the Common Law of the State. Among the Laws of England so adopted is the Herbalists' Charter, an Act of Henry the Eighth (in the 33rd Year of his reign - 1542 and adopted thereafter by Parliament: Statutes at Large 34&35 Henry VIII. C8. A Bill that Persons, being no common Surgeons, may minister Medicines, notwithstanding the Statute). It is astonishing to note that many of the issues confronting alternative practitioners today are the same issues that the Act of Parliament addressed.
Updated Discussion of the Charter
In Neo-Calvinism, sphere sovereignty (Dutch: souvereiniteit in eigen kring) is the concept that each sphere (or sector) of life has its own distinct responsibilities and authority or competence, and stands equal to other spheres of life. Sphere sovereignty involves the idea of an all encompassing created order, designed and governed by God. This created order includes societal communities (such as those for purposes of education, worship, civil justice, agriculture, economy and labor, marriage and family, artistic expression, etc.), their historical development, and their abiding norms. The principle of sphere sovereignty seeks to affirm and respect creational boundaries, and historical differentiation.
Sphere sovereignty implies that no one area of life or societal community is sovereign over another. Each sphere has its own created integrity. Neo-Calvinists hold that since God created everything “after its own kind,” diversity must be acknowledged and appreciated. For instance, the different God-given norms for family life and economic life should be recognized, such that a family does not properly function like a business. Similarly, neither faith-institutions (e.g. churches) nor an institution of civil justice (i.e. the state) should seek totalitarian control, or any regulation of human activity outside their limited competence, respectively.
First Amendment to the United States Constitution (1791)
The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
1. Everyone has the right to education.
2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the General Assembly on Thursday, 13 September 2007
Christianity was indigenous to Christendom (Europe)
Article 24: Right to health
Indigenous peoples have the right to use traditional medicines and health practices that they find suitable. They have the right to access health care and social services (i.e., get prenatal care, go to the doctor or social worker or get help with food and housing) without discrimination. Indigenous individuals have the same right to health as everyone else, and governments will take the necessary steps to realize this right.
Article 25: Spiritual relationship with traditional land and resources
Indigenous peoples have the right to their special and important spiritual relationship with their lands, waters and resources and to pass these rights to future generations.
SMOCH is a church and its clergy are members of a Religious Order, the Hospitaller's of St. John.
Established in Nevis, Ecuador, State of Florida, Curacao, and Puerto Rico.
- Msgr. Prof. [Dr. of Med.] Charles McWilliams: Allie Litterer