Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Court Says Sun Worshipping Atheism Is Not A "Religion"

In Copple v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, (CA App., March 24, 2015), a California appeals court affirmed a trial court decision holding that Sun Worshipping Atheism is not a "religion" for purposes of California's Fair Employment and Housing Act.  Plaintiff Marshel Copple who had been hired as a correctional officer claimed that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s requirement that he work overtime violated a tenet of his belief system that he sleep at least eight hours per day.  He sued for religious discrimination and harassment, failure to accommodate religious practices, retaliation based on his religion, and constructive discharge for his religious practices. The court held that Sun Worshipping Atheism, which Copple created and of which he is the only member does not address fundamental and ultimate questions. Instead it merely deals with living a healthy lifestyle. Raw Story last week reported on the decision.