Thursday, 5 September 2013

Creativity is a Religion

 Creativity was recognized as a Religion by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Peterson v. Wilmur Communications (205 F.Supp.2d 1014) (2002).

Creativity is a "Religion" under Title VII

" The court has no quarrel with defendant's subjective characterization of the plaintiff's belief system. However, as discussed previously, Title VII protects against discrimination on the basis of religion, regardless of the court's or any one else's opinion of the religion at issue. Plaintiff has shown that Creativity functions as religion in his life; thus, Creativity is for him a religion regardless of whether it espouses goodness or ill."

"To be sure, Creativity shares some of the white supremacist beliefs of the KKK and the National Socialist White People's Party. However, the fact that plaintiff's beliefs can be characterized as political does not mean they are not also religious."

"Rather, the EEOC regulation means that "religion" under Title VII includes belief systems which espouse notions of morality and ethics and supply a means from distinguishing right from wrong. Creativity has these characteristics. Creativity teaches that followers should live their lives according to what will best foster the advancement of white people and the denigration of all others. This precept, although simplistic and repugnant to the notions of equality that undergird the very non-discrimination statute at issue, is a means for determining right from wrong."

"Nonetheless, a test has emerged to determine whether beliefs are a religion for purposes of Title VII. Rather than define religion according to its content, the test requires courts take a functional approach and ask whether a belief "functions as" religion in the life of the individual before the court." and stating that they supply the test for determining what is a "religion" under Title VII) Stated another way, the court should find beliefs to be a religion if they "occupy the same place in the life of the [individual] as an orthodox belief in God holds in the life of one clearly qualified." To satisfy this test, the plaintiff must show that the belief at issue is "`sincerely held'" and "`religious' in [his or her] own scheme of things." In evaluating whether a belief meets this test, courts must give "`great weight'" to the plaintiff's own characterization of his or her beliefs as religious."

"To be a religion under this test, a belief system need not have a concept of a God, supreme being, or afterlife,(finding religious the ethical beliefs of an atheist who did not believe in an afterlife), or derive from any outside source. Purely "moral and ethical beliefs" can be religious "so long as they are held with the strength of religious convictions."

"Courts ... are not free to reject beliefs because they consider them incomprehensible."). So long as the belief is sincerely held and is religious in the plaintiffs scheme of things, the belief is religious regardless of whether it is "acceptable, logical, consistent, or comprehensible to others."

ADELMAN, District Judge.


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