Re: Scientologists request dismissal in Headley case Nope. The law covers groups and how those groups employ people, which is different than the personal exercise of religion. This is the distinction I think is missing from the first amendment. Look at how freedom of speech (at a personal level) doesn’t cover the press (the group level), and had to be explicitly stated. Note the distinction above. But, and this goes to why your reasoning and that of current precedent is ad-hoc, this clearly does not apply to all laws. Why not? Because the first amendment does not imply what you claim. No, I distinguished between personal belief and GROUP operations. This is why you mischaracterised what I wrote. Note how in the first amendment the press had to specifically mentioned because it wasn’t covered under mere freedom of speech. The fact that murder laws, traffic laws, etc. apply while only a subsection of others do not would seem to indicate to me that there is a lot of ad-hoc reasoning going on here, and arguments surrounding the ministerial exception simply do not follow from the first amendment as written. To take a concrete example, I don’t think anyone would doubt the last rites as a genuine religious ritual. Having to obey traffic laws such as the speed limit directly interferes with a priest’s ability to administer this sacrament (the patient has a greater chance of being dead before they can administer it). Why is there no exception for this law like with the labour laws? The truth is that there is constitutional justification for this difference. If there is I would love to hear it. Because so far it seems to me that the first amendment is being misread in an attempt to justify a perceived ideal of how things should be. I should also note that ‘religion’ can mean ‘a body of beliefs and practices’ or it can mean ‘a group of people practicing a common body of beliefs and practices’. If the first amendment is read solely in light of the first definition here then a distinction needs to be drawn between a person and a group. Under this a person can live in self-imposed poverty, but a group entity cannot demand poverty of people who work for them. Does my reading of this make sense? Because the alternative reading, as favoured by the courts, is both inconsistent (traffic v labour example) and undesirable (it legally raises groups professing to be religious above non-religious groups, and would in its extreme reading allow religious groups to commit crimes like murder and the like).