Tearoom Tyranny: Protected speech or anarchy?

Three members of the small Piecemakers religious sect were convicted this weeks of multiple misdemeanor counts for refusing to let health inspectors into their tearooom/craft shop. The leader of the group - a feisty 85-year-old camouflage-clad grandmother - says that the law of God is greater than any law of man. She says that the laws of man have "sucked the substance right out of our country." One Deputy D.A. who knows the case says that he thinks that this isn't necessarily a case of religious persecution, but of a group refusing health inspectors because they know they'd have to pay huge fines. While the Piecemakers group is hardly mainstream, it helps further the debate over what privileges religious groups should or should not have in contemporary society.

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