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Evening everyone

Me and a couple of friends have been joking about and making a cult out of one of our teachers at school, if the school authorities were to catch us, would we be breaking the law to be setting up a small cult about a teacher in the school bearing in mind said teacher has no clue this is happening? or is it perfectly legal to do so?

To me its a clash between it being interpreted as "disrespect" but also if they were to try and shut us down, couldnt we claim that they are being religously intolerant as none of us have any other existing religon, so we could claim this as a legitimate following

I am in the UK

Thank you for your time

I'm curious of the outcome

-Jessica

  • what country are you in? laws on such things could vary by country. – David Siegel Jan 22 at 22:26
  • I am in the uk, I shal edit my original post. Thank you. – Merhlim Jan 22 at 22:31
  • Is disrespect, in general, illegal in the UK? – George White Jan 22 at 23:07
  • Im not sure, I know we have freedom of speech laws, but with the recent Count Dankula situation I dont know where we stand – Merhlim Jan 22 at 23:27
  • You mean like that cult from the Middle East called Christianity? Or the one from India called Buddhism? – Dale M Jan 23 at 0:14
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It's not illegal. This is hard to prove, because it depends on there not being a law which would make it illegal and it is hard to prove a negative. However in this case I am pretty sure there is no such law.

However, your school is perfectly at liberty to forbid things which are not illegal (for example, it's not illegal to wear a bikini but I am sure you are not allowed to wear a bikini to school). In particular, they almost certainly forbid being disrespectful to members of staff (probably along with other pupils).

Now, if you actually had a genuine religious belief in the divinity or holiness of this teacher the Human Rights Act would come into play. The school would find it more difficult to forbid you expressing your beliefs (probably not impossible - the only rights which are absolute are the right not to be tortured, the right not to be enslaved, and the right not to be punished for something that was legal when you did it).

In practise though, if a bunch of school friends claimed to believe that a teacher was holy or divine their case would be laughed out of court. (Judges were teenagers once too, and they haven't forgotten what it was like.)

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    Exact activities the group undertakes could be legally problematic. If they engage in stalking activities they could run afoul of laws against that, for example. If they steal their property ("holy relics"), that's theft. Etc. – zibadawa timmy Jan 23 at 11:30
  • Yup, thanks, we arent trying to be creepy about it, more of a joke. Thank you for the response – Merhlim Jan 23 at 17:44
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    @Merhlim Yes, genuine religious beliefs are protected; jokes aren't. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Jan 23 at 21:06

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