A law has been passed in our government making it illegal to use Eagle feathers in the sacred ceremonies of the native americans. There is a hearing in federal court in McAllen Texas at 4:00 PM March 23rd concerning this situation. This petition is persuant to the case in mention, because we know how the white man is going to react. This law says that if the American Indians advertise the ceremony, it is no longer considered a sacred ceremony and therefore gives the government the right to come in and do as they please, confiscating sacred artifacts as being illegal. This would be the same as if the Catholic church advertised a special mass, such as Easter, or Christmas, and the government came in and confiscated their sencors, crosses, hymn books, misselettes, statues of Mary, Jesus, and all the saints because they are illegal artifacts. The Eagle Feathers, ceremonial pipes, rattles, drums, Kachina dolls, sand paintings, clothing apperral(which also have Eagle feathers and other feathers on them)staffs, coup sticks, ect. are all sacred artifacts to the American Indian, just as the statues, crosses, ect. are sacred to the Christian. Everyone is guarenteed freedom of religion by the constitution of the United States. This amendment does not state that only Christians, or only Muslims, or only Jews, you get the picture, all people means all. Where does the state of Texas get the idea that they can make an American Indian ceremony illegal, just because they advertise the event? Do not the Catholic church advertise their events, the Methodist their events, the Baptist their events, ect. Their events are not deemed illegal or deemed not a sacred event any longer just because they advertise it. Are you (the state of Texas) trying to say the American Indian does not have the same rights as the rest of the religious/spiritual organizations in this state? That constitutes outright discrimination against the American Indian and their sacred ceremonies. This law is absolutely contradictory to the Constitution of the United States and we demand that this law be removed, never to be able to be replaced, and all the Eagle Feathers and other artifacts that were confiscated be returned. Let it be known, we are not asking for any monetary financial gain, we only want our sacred artifacts back, and the government to do what is right.
We, the undersigned, hereby demand that the law making the use of Eagle feathers and other sacred artifacts of the American Indian illegal to be used in our sacred ceremonies be removed, not just repealed but entirely removed, and never allowed to be reinstated. The Constitution of the United States of America guarentees the inalienable right to the freedom of religion. The sacred ceremonies and rituals of the American Indian are our religion and as such, this law is in direct violation of the Constitution of the United States of America, and we therefore demand that it be removed entirely, and that all sacred artifacts that have been confiscated be returned to the American Indians. We also propose that we have just as much right to advertise our events as the rest of the religious/spiritual organizations do without them being determined as no longer being sacred simply because we advertised them. Do not the Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, ect. advertise their events?It does not make them any less sacred simply because they advertised them. We demand like consideration of our events. Thank you for taking the time to read our letter and taking consideration of this situation. We feel you will eradicate this situation, and restore peace between our peoples. Brother Falcon/Delbert Hathaway Elder, Clan of Falcon
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