In the United States if you do something as a part of your religious sacrament, you cannot, by law, be forced to stop doing that, even if that action is illegal. On every level, even the federal level, this is enforced.
This is how certain Native American tribes are allowed to trip peyote consistently.
For “religious ceremonies.” I say they just wan to trip some good peyote myself.
In come 19 year old Isaac Gerson and his new church, the Missionary Kopimistsamfundet – The Missionary Church of Kopimism, they worship in their own unique way as well. One familiar to many teenagers of today (as well as some of the craftier adults), they share and download illegal information. Movies, games, music, books, and anything else they can get their grubby little mits on.
They’re information pirates. And piracy is bad.
But not if you start a religion based on it.
For those thinking this is some kind of late April Fool’s joke, think again.
In late 2010 the church applied to the authorities to be accepted as an official religion. That application was denied at the end of March on the basis that although the church is indeed a community, its meetings did not constitute ‘worship’. Undeterred, the church founders have requested a meeting to find out what is required in order to gain official acceptance. They certainly aren’t giving in.
“Throughout history, various groups around the world have been persecuted by oppressors. They have since taken refuge in religion with a desire for a peaceful coexistence. Without threats and harassment,” the church explain.
“In our belief, communication is sacred. Communication needs to be respected. It is a direct sin to monitor and eavesdrop on people. Absolute secrecy is holy in the Church of Kopimism.”
The church has its own set of axioms, most of which revolve around free access to knowledge and the sharing of information. They include:
# Reproduction of information is ethically right.
# The flow of information is ethically right.
# Remix Spirit is a sacred kind of copying.
# Copying or remixing information conveyed by another person is an act of respect.
The church is also acutely against DRM and other methods of protecting or hiding code.
“To appropriate software (to keep source code hidden from others), is comparable to slavery, and should be banned,” they declare.
Perhaps predictably the church use the ‘Kopimi’ logo (a pyramid with the letter K inside) as their official symbol and hold CTRL+C and CTRL+V as sacred.
Joining the church seems fairly easy too. All you have to do is agree that everything should be copied and information should be free in line with the axioms above, then load the church’s website so that the ‘kopimi’ logo refreshes (or indeed draw it, or copy it in any way) and you’re in. Potential followers can request more information by using the online form here.
Sound worse than the Christians to me.
I say burn them all at the stake and let the pagans rule the day, but what do I know.
Not a whole lot apparently.