The owner of a tequila bar in England is trying to register his establishment as a religion in hopes of complying with regulations to keep his business operational during the pandemic.
James Aspell, the owner of 400 Rabbits, admitted his stunt was primarily aimed at raising awareness of the plight of the bar industry in England. Nottingham, where 400 Rabbits operates, is currently designated as a Level 3 area by the UK government, meaning it can only remain open to take out or deliver.
But Aspell told Fox News he is challenging the rules, wondering why other establishments – like a nearby Christmas market – are still allowed to operate below the same level.
“The unfairly targeted approach, which could last for months, will lead to the permanent closure of many reception places without the proper support from the government, which does not appear to be forthcoming,” wrote Aspell, who admitted that the idea was primarily “ironic,” in a statement shared with Fox News.
“The government said we should adapt and so we sent out an application for listing as a place of worship for the Church of the 400 Rabbits which, if granted, would allow us to remain open at all levels according to the new government. orientation. ”
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To this end, the 400 rabbits Facebook page has since been renamed “The Church of the 400 Rabbits”. One of his messages also shows that Aspell filed his registration by mail.
“With places of worship allowed to open at all levels, we thought that f – it starts a religion! reads the caption of this message. “It can’t be that hard! Launch of “The Church of the 400 Rabbits” from the green light! ”
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On its website, 400 Rabbits are also trying to develop a “congregation,” apparently in an attempt to gain credibility as a recognized religion. The website, however, seems to make it clear that Aspell’s efforts are largely ironic, despite the real concerns behind them.
“Join us as we begin our journey to answer none of life’s big questions,” the website read, before adding that the main deity of his church will be a “mezcal rabbit”.
The site further described its “place of worship” as “a place where you can drink mezcal without having to order a cut-out dinner next door, a place where you are not kicked out on the cold heartless night to. 10 p.m., a place where you can get away from gyms, supermarkets, stores, beauty salons, massage parlors, cinemas, theaters, gyms, Christmas markets, schools, universities, betting shops and literally everywhere else that will be allowed to remain open while pubs and bars will remain closed. ”
The bar also claims that its request for the 1855 law to register places of worship was officially submitted to the registrar’s office, by the BBC.
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Aspell, meanwhile, says he will not challenge government orders to reopen for an in-person dinner, but will wait until the Nottingham restrictions are lifted.
“The main reason is to highlight the ridiculousness of the rules themselves,” he told the BBC.