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Continuing Education Coursework

Law and the Church

Laws change, and we must be aware of those changes. To that end, each Priest must complete a small subset of the original Law and the Church questions, revisiting ground covered in the Clergy Training Program, to ensure that the Priest is aware of how law changes may have affected his or her practice.

  1. Revisit the general laws of your locality, state, and nation and report on any changes to these laws as they affect Neopagan clergy in your area, or how they affect the way you serve the folk.

    Local laws have not changed much in the past several years since I completed my work in the CTP. There are no local or state laws that would conflict with my duties, implicitly or explicitly. The language reads very straightforward and makes no particular bones about the denominations or religion of the "minister", only indicating that he or she must be "licensed" or "ordained". The only mention of "fortune telling" in the local code indicates where it is permitted to be set up as a commercial business.

    In my original answer, I stated that I thought that this might change in the election in 2006, but it did not: all laws on the local (and national level) remain similar and have no deeper effect on local practice.

  2. Revisit any mandatory reporting laws you are subject to, and provide a summary of changes since your last review.

    In the state of Ohio, there is no provision for not reporting crimes, "except when the disclosure of the information is in violation of a sacred trust." Since ADF Priests do not have the sacramental requirements of other priesthoods, there is nothing in the law that prevents us from reporting child, elder, or domestic abuse (§ 2317.02 O.R.C.), or from reporting the origin of gunshot or burn wounds (§ 2921.22 O.R.C.).

  3. Revisit any counseling laws you are subject to, and provide a summary of changes since your last review.

    The state does not require any sort of pastoral counseling license, nor does the law deal much with counseling in general outside of the legal realm. It should be noted that the giving of legal or medical advice is specifically not allowed unless one has been certified for that, but this is of a different sort.

    Divination would be a form of pastoral counseling, but it is also not regulated by the state.

  4. If you indicated in your last submission (or your original Law and the Church submission, if this is your first time taking Continuing Education in Law and the Church) that there were issues with a law seeming unfair, unjust, or out of place, or any laws that prohibited you from performing certain functions as other religious functionaries, revisit them and indicate whether they have changed.

    My original answer was: "None seem out of place or unjust. They actually remind me that the laws are, quite simply, there to protect us, even the IRS laws. At this point, there is no need to change the existing laws to make them more correct or fair."

    These laws have not changed, and I do not expect them to change. I have seen other areas managing to get local fortune telling articles overturned, and similar items, so things in other parts of the US are going in the right direction.

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