August 19, 2017

Maine House Fearful of Lawsuits Passes Bill to Allow “Religious” People to Forego Wearing Blaze Orange

The Maine House has passed, 120-27, LD 426 that provides anyone who cannot wear bright colored clothing while firearms hunting for deer, to discard it and instead wear some kind of red clothing – some kind because what that red is has not been determined.

Many other things in the bill, whose sponsor was quoted as saying, “I feel that failure to do so will almost certainly lead to a legal confrontation between the state of Maine and this group of Amish people”…, were not spelled out and leaves wide open many issues, some of which could be potentially serious.

If the Senate passes and the Governor signs this bill, it appears anyone can hunt deer with firearms and forego wearing blaze orange and replace it with red. If questioned simply tell the warden it’s for religious reasons. Who is going to prove one way or another. Does this bill clearly point out that you have to be an active member of a recognized “religious” order or sect to qualify? And now wouldn’t that open up a can of worms!

And what about liability. Yes, Maine law states that a hunter is responsible to know his target before shooting. But what if there is an accident anyway. Is the shooter exempt from liability because, unlike all other hunters, a “religious” hunter isn’t wearing the required hunter orange?

So, what does this say about the years of process and development of Maine hunter safety rules. Do we toss those out the window because of a “religious” belief? If blaze orange is a public safety issue then it is a public safety issue…period.

If Maine is passing this bill, partly due to the fear of lawsuits brought on by the Amish, then is it that they have no fear of a lawsuit brought on by everyone else who feels reverse discrimination?

But what I find of interest, and I suppose a point that nobody wants to speak of (out of fear of a lawsuit for bigotry and/or religious persecution), is that the Amish state that their religion forbids them to wear bright-colored clothing because it draws attention unto them. Really? So is it the bright clothing that is the issue or the fact that attention is being brought on them somehow?

If it’s about the attention, then one could argue that they certainly draw more attention on themselves simply by living a lifestyle that causes people to stop and stare, and sometimes worse than that. And if that isn’t enough, I know when I am out in the woods hunting, and wearing blaze orange because it is REQUIRED by law (and now I will be treated differently) there’s nobody around in the woods that would give a damn what I’m wearing.

In short, none of this makes much sense at all. It just all sounds like a bunch of crap, rooted in the fear of some sort of lawsuit, to go overboard with “religious” tolerance. Which brings me to another point. If it’s the attention they are trying to avoid, what kind of attention have they already brought on themselves by pushing this law and what more attention, probably national, would they bring on themselves if they filed a lawsuit?

I call BS!

Personally I don’t care. I really don’t. Under certain circumstances I would like to be able to hunt without blaze orange. Now, I guess I can because I just found “religion.”

 

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Again Amish Seeking Special Interest Hunting Privileges

A proposed Maine bill, LD 426, would provide an exception for the Amish, who claim they are opposed to wearing bright-colored clothing, to wear “red” while hunting instead of the required hunter or blaze orange.

“SUMMARY – This bill allows a hunter whose religion prohibits the wearing of hunter orange to instead wear red. It also directs the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to amend its rules to reflect this exemption.”

Questions that need to be answered:

1. This proposed bill does not allow for the definition of “religion” nor does it specifically exempt the Amish from wearing hunter orange. Any “religious” group would be exempt. What can of worms is this going to create? What other groups will seek preferential treatment or exemptions from Maine laws.

2. By allowing an exemption to special interest groups, which any “religious” group is, setting of such a precedent could have far reaching future problems. Has this been thought through completely?

3. According to testimony by a member of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, who support the passage of LD 426, it was stated that this bill would, provides visibility for a hunter and a choice for persons who have a religious opposition to wearing orange.” [emphasis added]. An interesting perspective, when the overwhelming majority of hunters are required, by law, to wear the blaze orange, evidently if you are religious, the increased visibility is not necessary? In addition, it was also stated that if Amish (religious) people took their children hunting, it would be left up to the parents as to whether or not they needed to be seen. Clearly this is a double standard. I understand the so-called “religious” aspect, although it appears that the Amish prohibition against wearing bright clothing is not practiced or enforced universally. Last time I checked it was a legal REQUIREMENT that hunters wear blaze orange. Isn’t this a public safety issue and not one of fashion? Which brings us now to the next question.

4. If all “non-religious” hunters who wear blaze orange are in the woods hunting with “religious” hunters wearing, instead, red, even though the law states that a hunter must know his/her target, is the legal onus and liability now placed doubly so on the “non-religious” hunter to learn to recognize a “religious” hunter not wearing blaze? What is the difference in exempting all hunters and giving them the choice, over allotting this privilege to a religious person? Should this bill proposal exempt “non-religious” hunters from liability for “accidentally” shooting a “religious” hunter because he was allowed to not follow the same rules of safety?

Perhaps it is time for the “religious” people to lobby God and ask Him for an exemption to a seemingly silly requirement. For by Grace are you saved, by Faith, not according to the color of the clothes you wear.

However, last night god spoke to me directly and instructed me to never wear hunter orange. I must now lobby the government for a preferentially treatment law. How can the State deny me or anyone else who makes such a claim, from being granted this exemption?

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