Post by Tim Post by Tim Browne
It must gall the hell out of those crotch sniffers to have to
use the legal system to seek equality with religionists.
Especially when that same system has declared atheism a religion.
The same system declared that corporations are individuals.
"Legal persons" for some uses. they can't vote in elections or
be made to serve on juries, but since their owners have rights,
including the right to peaceably assemble, those rights aren't
extinguished when people act in concert. The Dartmouth case is
nearly 2000 years old. It didn't start with Citizens United.
Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 17 U.S. 518 (1819)
Post by Tim
You're in a desperate situation when you have to let the courts decide what words mean so as to defend your belief in an invisible sky friend.
Tandy is hanging his hat on the following, most of which I
posted in a thread here 0n 26 Oct 2016;
United States Court of Appeals,Seventh Circuit.
James J. KAUFMAN, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Gary R. McCAUGHTRY, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Decided: August 19, 2005
People who aren't prisoners are allowed to join explicitly
atheist organizations, or religious ones - Unitarian Universalists,
Ethical Culture Society - which do not require belief in a deity.
In his pleading, Kaufman specifically mentioned "humanism."
While at Waupun, Kaufman submitted an official form titled “Request for
New Religious Practice,” in which he asked to form an inmate group
interested in humanism, atheism, and free speaking. The group would
work “[t]o stimulate and promote Freedom of Thought and inquiry
concerning religious beliefs, creeds, dogmas, tenets, rituals and
practices[, and to] educate and provide information concerning
religious beliefs, creeds, dogmas, tenets, rituals, and practices.”
See Kaufman v. McCaughtry, 2004 WL 257133, *4 (W.D.Wis. Feb.9, 2004).
Kaufman also submitted a list of atheist groups and literature. The
officials concluded that Kaufman's request was not motivated by
“religious” beliefs. Accordingly, rather than evaluating the
proposal under the state's relatively more flexible policy for new
religious groups, see Wis. Admin. Code § DOC 309.61, they considered
it under the procedure for forming a new inmate activity group, see
Wis. Admin. Code § DOC 309.365. Applying the latter standard, they
denied the request, stating that they were not forming new activity
groups at that time.
Further down, the court explains it is only considering atheism as
a religion in a "...specialized sense....."
But when the underlying principle has been examined in the crucible
of litigation, the Court has unambiguously concluded that the
individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment
embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all.
Indeed, Torcaso specifically included “Secular Humanism” as an
example of a religion. Id. at 495 n. 11, 81 S.Ct. 1680.
The humanists, secular or otherwise, have their own organization:
It is plain that, inmates who wanted to set up a bible study group,
perhaps supported by one of the chaplains serving the prison, or
a group studying another faith, would have privileges atheist
inmates would not have access to, unless they faked interest in
studying some religion.
For the record, IANAL. I was never even a naval officer tasked
with legal duties by his CO when no lawyer was available.
I do know how to use a search engine, and citing the name of the
case, and the opinion is extremely easy in this day and age.
Wikipedia has an article on the Torcaso case, which mooted any
state laws requiring a religious test for office.
So, he knows the "courts say atheism is a religion" is a distortion,
and continues to spread the canard for no good reason I can conceive of,
other than general trollishness.
Further down in that thread, I wrote:
Be that as it may, in a philosophical discussion, I'll be damned*
if I'm going to let lawyers decide what is, or isn't a religion.
Read the opinion I quoted. Search out the opinions from the
cases cited. It is plain that the courts only class atheism as
a religion for the purposes of defending non-believers right to
exercise their constitutional rights to either the free exercise of
religion, or, since the essence of freedom of such action is to
act or NOT act, to refrain from believing, worshiping, swearing
by a deity, praying, etc.
In what reading of the First Amendment does the government, legislature,
judiciary or executive, become the arbiter of what is or is not a
religion? Doesn't that defeat the whole purpose? [Note, we are not
discussing tax exemption, here.]
* Damned in only the metaphorical sense. You believers can judge
whether I will be truly damned or not, but you risk being damned
if you are a Christian and you try that: judge not lest ye be
judged, as the legends have it.
Mr Browne is aptly named, as he is so full of it his eyes are that color.