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Court Says Atheism is a Religion

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  • Chris Ashcraft
    Center for Law and Policy http://www.afa.net/clp/ReleaseDetail.asp?id=102 Press Release Court Says Atheism is a Religion Contact: Kathryn Hooks, 662-844-5036
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 22 1:25 PM
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      Center for Law and Policy
      http://www.afa.net/clp/ReleaseDetail.asp?id=102

      Press Release

      Court Says Atheism is a Religion

      Contact: Kathryn Hooks, 662-844-5036
      American Family Association
      P.O. Drawer 2440
      Tupelo, MS 38803
      1-662-680-3886

      For Immediate Release: 8/19/2005

      Chicago, IL - A federal court of appeals has ruled in favor of an inmate who claimed that
      Wisconsin prison officials violated his rights under the Establishment Clause of the First
      Amendment because they refused to allow him to create a study group for atheists.

      The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that prison officials erred because they ?did not treat
      atheism as a ?religion.?? ?Atheism,? said the court, ?is [the inmate?s] religion, and the group
      that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a
      supreme being.?

      Brian Fahling, senior trial attorney for the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy,
      described the court?s ruling as ?a sort of Alice in Wonderland jurisprudence.? ?Up is down, and
      atheism, the antithesis of religion, is religion,? stated Fahling.

      The Supreme Court has said that a religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a
      supreme being. In the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, the Court described ?secular humanism? as a
      religion. Fahling pointed to today?s ruling as ?further evidence of the incoherence Establishment
      Clause jurisprudence.? ?It is difficult not to be somewhat jaundiced about our courts,? continued
      Fahling, ?when they take clauses especially designed to protect religion from the state and turn
      them on their head by giving protective cover to a belief system, that, by every known definition
      other than the courts? is not a religion, while simultaneously declaring public expressions of
      true religious faith to be prohibited.?


      Christopher W. Ashcraft
      Northwest Creation Network
      http://nwcreation.net
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