Monday, September 3, 2012

Dressing like a priest

We know you're not a real monk!
Father Ted Crilly, Pastor Rev. Jonathan Clunas and Monk had better beware: they and other fake clergy can face up to a year in jail.

According to Code of Alabama Section 13A-14-4:
"Whoever, being in a public place, fraudulently pretends by garb or outward array to be a minister of any religion, or nun, priest, rabbi or other member of the clergy, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500.00 or confinement in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment."
God (and Alabama) forbid your kid wants to dress up as a Buddhist monk for Halloween. If Freddy Four Fingers had pulled off his diamond heist in Birmingham instead of London, he would have faced an additional charge.

The Vatican's Most Wanted
While the law is designed to prevent con artists from bilking the faithful out of their hard-earned money, the event of a satirist running afoul of such a law has happened. Don Novello, also known as Saturday Night Live's Father Guido Sarducci, was arrested in the Vatican City State and charged with impersonating a priest in 1981. He was later released when it was clear that he was not actually trying to pass himself off as a priest.

Now I know what you're thinking, and the answer is no. Alabama's favorite daughter, Mother Angelica, is not breaking the law. She really is a Franciscan nun. (Keep her in your prayers. She's been suffering from strokes for over a decade.)

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