29th September 2007
Read it. In most states there is a crime called “unauthorized practice of law”, which comes of someone who doesn’t have the requisite legal training, and who hasn’t passed the bar exam and been licensed, acting like an attorney — advising people for pay and sometimes even attempting to represent them in legal proceedings. The basis for this crime is that people who aren’t trained as lawyers, and who haven’t demonstrated that they’re competent to act as attorneys, will do more harm than good, just like someone who hasn’t gone to medical school or been licensed as a physician trying to act like a doctor.
There ought to be an equivalent concept of “unauthorized practice of religion”, for people who have read a book or two and think that they’re now completely conversant with what a religion teaches and ought to practice. (Hm, wait a minute — that describes most Protestants….)