Randall Krause filed a lawsuit against the Tulsa County Library Commission. Evidently, the Commission maintains a recycling program and, according to Krause, it constitutes an undue burden on the Free Exercise of his environmentalism. Learn what criteria the court uses to decide what constitutes a religion at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.
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A Federal Court in Oklahoma has ruled that despite the religious ardor of some of its adherents, Environmentalism is not a religion.
Randall Krause filed a lawsuit against the Tulsa County Library Commission. Evidently, the Commission maintains a recycling program and according to Krause, it constitutes an undue burden on the free exercise of his “Environmentalism”.
Krause alleged that the Commission had placed “fake recycling bins” throughout town, victimizing him and other adherents to Environmentalism.
Well, the judge didn’t buy the argument.
Dismissing the case, the court explained that Krauss had failed to establish that his Environmentalism was anything more than personal preferences and secular believes without foundation in any religion. And, even if it were, the “fake recycling bins” placed around town did not amount to a course of law meriting protection by the First Amendment.
Determining what is religion is difficult for any court. But, as the Supreme Court has explained, religious beliefs need not be acceptable, logical, consistent, or comprehensible to others in order to merit First Amendment protection.
But the court does require beliefs to be rooted in a religion in order to trigger protection under the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment.
For now, at least in Tulsa, Environmentalism does not constitute a valid religion. But it leaves me with one nagging question: Is a “fake recycling bin” just a trash can?
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