Interesting religious accommodation claim
maule at LAW.VILLANOVA.EDU
Wed Jan 23 17:42:38 PST 2002
>>> robertmw at MINDSPRING.COM 01/23/02 05:04PM >>> writes:
I agree with David that bowing has no religious significance (and I agree
with the result), but I wonder whether that ends the inquiry. I'm also not
sure that just because those who bow find no religious significance to
bowing, that the plaintiffs lack standing to challenge the practice if it,
indeed, violates their sincerely held religious beliefs. Is there no
"reasonable accommodation" inquiry under Title II? Or is the judge correct
that specific class-based animus is required?
Isn't the question whether the bowing is an integral part of the activity? Not that a person whose religious beliefs forbid imbibing alcoholic beverages would want to join a wine and cheese tasting club, but if such a person did, could they demand to be permitted to judge without drinking, merely instead relying on the wine's qualities of color, smell, clarity, etc? Is the wine drinking somehow a more integral part of the wine and cheese club competitions than bowing is of martial arts?
The fact that the drinking of wine has no religious significance to the other club members surely cannot be a factor. All sorts of cases exist in which the aggrieved party was asked to do something that had religious significance for that party but not for the people requesting or insisting that it be done. Not that the requisite state action exists (I think), but remember the case of the NBA player whose religious beliefs compelled him to refuse to say (or stand during) the pledge of allegiance before games?
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