Selma has lifted its unconstitutional ban on fortune tellers. The city also is taking steps to regulate how fortune telling businesses operate.
The Selma City Council accomplished both things at an emotion-packed meeting Monday night. A standing-room-only crowd listened as speakers voiced two different views of fortune telling.
A majority of speakers opposed it on religious grounds. “These fortune telling people are not of God,” said Nancy Flores, one of 11 opposition speakers.
Bakersfield attorney Dennis Beaver said the same U.S. Constitution that guarantees freedom of religion for Christians also guarantees freedom of speech and separation of church and state.
“There is a degree of hysteria and fear that’s unwarranted,” Beaver said of the fortune telling issue.
Tip: CFI’s Morning Heresy
This story had a weird flavor to it – a different look at psychics/fortune telling based on religious issues, not fraud. Actually, in no place was “psychic” mentioned! That suggests that this community thinks of things very differently. In 1979 it was discovered that there was a town ordinance banning fortune telling, including palm reading. But in 1985, that ordinance became unconstitutional because of a California Supreme Court ruling that said it was a restriction on free speech. I’m guessing that the original ordinance might have been religious-based as well – that fortune telling is of the devil. But, there could be other reasons.
There was also no mention of the fact that fortune telling doesn’t work. Palm reading is nonsense. Why not get out the crystal ball while you’re at it… Anyway, the city will do a criminal background check on fortune tellers seeking a city business license and said that a civil fraud charge or criminal record may disqualify applicants. That might keep the businesses a bit more respectable and “for entertainment purposes only”.
Here’s a funny thing… the poll on the page asks: Should a fortune teller be allowed to operate in Selma? And the only choices are:
Yes, I want to know my future.
No, it is against my religious beliefs.
Maybe, I won’t use it, but others might.
Oh dear, they haven’t been reading the news much have they…