Wednesday, November 12, 2014

GODLESS WEDNESDAY: Federal Judge Declares Secular Humanism A Religion

This is interesting news that seems perfect for Godless Wednesday. Think Progress reports that a federal judge has ruled that secular humanism must be considered a religion, and that its adherents must be granted the same special rights that the state offers to religious people.
On Thursday, October 30, Senior District Judge Ancer Haggerty issued a ruling on American Humanist Association v. United States, a case that was brought by the American Humanist Association (AHA) and Jason Holden, a federal prisoner. Holden pushed for the lawsuit because he wanted Humanism — which the AHA defines as “an ethical and life-affirming philosophy free of belief in any gods and other supernatural forces” — recognized as a religion so that his prison would allow for the creation of a Humanist study group. Haggerty sided with the plaintiffs in his decision, citing existing legal precedent and arguing that denying Humanists the same rights as groups such as Christianity would be highly suspect under the Establishment Clause in the U.S. Constitution, which declares that Congress “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” 
“The court finds that Secular Humanism is a religion for Establishment Clause purposes,” the ruling read.

This is an excellent deelopment. Although I do not support the privileged position religion is granted in our society, if that is the situation we have to deal with right now then I support other belief systems like Pastafarianism, secular humanism or even agnosticism be treated like religion as well, if it means that their adherents will receive the same special treatment other religions like Christianity currently receive.

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