In many states it is illegal for anyone to claim to know the future, in NY I believe you cannot read tarot cards or be an 1-800 line fortune reader without saying at the end of each session “for entertainment purposes only”. So certain we are that people who claim to know the future in general (yet cannot ever predict catastrophies like 9/11) or claim to be able to zero in on a specific person’s future miles away on the telephone (yet can’t ever see any lotto numbers) are frauds.
But the clergy, who pretend to know if and when the world will end and what will happen after your death, remain exempt from these laws. People like Pat Robertson pretend that god tells them about future events like tsunamis, terrorist attacks and the like (which consistently fail to materialize when he says they will) are free to go on bullshitting people.
Now I’m not suggesting we ban religion or anything.
But I do think that after every sermon televangelists at the very least should have to say “for entertainment purposes only.”