Native Americans have traditionally come up short, getting the s**** end of the stick from the Federal government for several hundred years. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has given it to them again, this time literally.
The court ruled that using treated wastewater on the San Francisco Peaks in Arizona to make artificial snow does not violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and overturned a previous ruling that would have protected the mountain that is sacred to at least 13 Indian tribes.
These dunderheads wrote this in the majority: “The only effect of the proposed upgrades is on the Plaintiffs’ subjective, emotional religious experience.”
Okay so let’s start spraying treated wastewater on the National Cathedral to clean it! Maybe we should mandate that those upscale ski resorts in Aspen should use refined sewage to make their snow so that the rich can zip down the trails! Maybe the next time the Pope shows up he can get out a hose and use some treated effluent, blessed as it comes out of the nozzle, to wet down the adoring throng!
But the real issue is religious freedom. The site has been sacred to Native Americans not for just a few hundred years but for a few thousand. The judges ruling that the tribe “cannot dictate the decisions that government makes in managing ‘what is, after all, its land.’, is a bull. It was the Indians land long before the government ever showed up to commit our own little genocide.
The tribes will appeal, probably to the U.S. Supreme Court, but considering the make up of that what is now a less than august body, their chances are not very good and you know what will continue to be sprayed on the San Francisco Peaks.