The Church of Body Modification
LoAndEd at AOL.COM
LoAndEd at AOL.COM
Tue Oct 29 14:01:07 PST 2002
Sorry, Prof. Idleman. I had not understood that your expectation of constitutional concerns was based on the assumption that the courts might *decline* to deem the Church of Body Modification a "religion" for T7 purposes. I agree that if that were the outcome, it would raise a serious Free Exercise question.
But I'm still not entirely clear on exactly what the argument might be in support of the view that the Church is *not* a religion. But cf. US v. Meyers, 95 F.2d 1475, 1482-84 (CTA10 1996) (holding that the Church of Marijuana is not a "religion" for RFRA purposes). Am I missing something?
Scott Idleman writes:
1. Demonstration of sincerity does not demonstrate that one's belief or
belief system is religious. Whether the Church of Body Modification
(CBM) is a "religion" for Title VII (or First Amendment) purposes
remains to be seen. To the extent that the EEOC's generous definitional
approach is principled or coherent, and to the extent that this approach
would encompass CBM, then I suppose there's not much of a concern after
all. However, I'm not sure of the first premise (the EEOC may be
generous precisely because it has a very difficult time drawing
defensible lines), and we'll simply have to wait for the district court
to decide the second.
2. To the extent that the district court decides that the CBM is not a
religion for Title VII purposes, such a ruling would indeed raise
"concerns about the constitutionally permissible scope of Title VII."
Marty seems to infer that I think the claim should be rejected and
problems would arise if it were accommodated. But there is no
indication of my view in my post, other than to reference the well-known
fact that courts and executive officials, among others, have long
struggled with the question of defining religion, in large part because
of constitutional concerns.
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