How will we know when “religious freedom” laws go too far?
Maybe when a guy whose cockfighting ring is shut down by state authorities claims he has a religious right to let roosters fight each other to the death (or close to it). That’s what Rev. Lloyd Plumbar, founder of “Holy Fight Ministries,” is doing in Louisiana.
According to a new lawsuit, Plumbar claims he was driving to one of his weekly “services” on April 29 when officers from the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested him on “several counts of the misdemeanor criminal charge of cockfighting.”
But because Plumbar believes in Genesis 1:26, where God says man has “dominion” over the “fowl of the air,” he says this is a violation of his religious liberty:
Holy Fight Ministries and its congregation hold the sincere religious belief that cockfighting represents that while they strive for CHRIST, they have a necessary symbolic physical manifestation, an epiphany through the fighting cock, a religious mandate of the struggle between good and evil, a struggle for life or death for the Salvation of the soul, and thus cockfighting is an integral and essential part of their religious faith.
In case you’re wondering, there’s not much information online about this church other than the fact that it was formed in 2016. We don’t know how many members it has or what their tenets are. But it’s hard to see how this wins in court. Religious freedom is generally not an acceptable defense when there’s harm or death involved.
On a side note, the name “Lloyd Plumbar” also appears on this 2011 petition to legalize cockfighting throughout the U.S. The petition defends the cruel sport by saying, “Legalizing cockfighting would bring in billions of much needed tax dollors!!” Thankfully, that petition didn’t get anywhere.
Cockfighting is banned in every state. Louisiana was the final one to ban it, in 2008.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Scott for the link)