November 27, 2022

Three Weird Religious Laws You Won’t Believe Are Still on the Books

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Every religion has its own rules and laws. That’s kind of their point, to let people know right actions from wrong. What you might be interested to learn, though, is that there are also religious laws all throughout the United States’ law books, too.

Here are just a few such religious legal statutes our legislative history research was able to dig up.

Don’t Disrupt Services!

Prayer time is a time meant for solemn reflection on how one can do better and be a better person in the future, not a time for fun and games. This is why Mississippi has a legal state that allows private citizens to arrest anyone who might disturb a church service, and why Alabama has a legal statute making it illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church.

Watch Your Bodily Functions!

Certain bodily functions are often considered rude, but in some places, they’re considered illegal if done in church. Omaha has a legal statute making it illegal to sneeze or burp during a service, while New York City has a law that makes it illegal to pass gas with the intention of causing a disturbance in church.

Pray For the Sick.

While the previously mentioned legal statutes were obviously created in the country’s early days with rather antiquated — but understandable — legislative intent, this next legal statute is a bit more weird. In Indiana, it’s a Class D felony to intentionally fail to provide support to a person’s dependent child. However, if that person provides medical treatment to the child through the power of prayer, he or she will not be guilty of a felony. So although it might seem strange to some to create religious legal statutes nowadays, this just goes to show that there are many communities out there who still take their faith very seriously.

Who would have thought that there so many odd laws out there? If you’ve ever found a weird legal statute when doing your own law research, feel free to share in the comments.

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