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US Supreme Court

Definition of religion condensed from the Law Encyclopedia:

“To determine whether an action of the federal or state government infringes upon a person's right to freedom of religion, the court must decide what qualifies as religion or religious activities for purposes of the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has interpreted religion to mean a sincere and meaningful belief that occupies in the life of its possessor a place parallel to the place held by God in the lives of other persons. The religion or religious concept need not include belief in the existence of God or a supreme being to be within the scope of the First Amendment……....the Supreme Court must look to the sincerity of a person's beliefs to help decide if those beliefs constitute a religion that deserves constitutional protection. ………In addition, a belief does not need to be stated in traditional terms to fall within First Amendment protection. …..… The revolutionary philosophy encompassed the principle that the interests of society are best served if individuals are free to form their own opinions and beliefs…..…The Supreme Court has deliberately avoided establishing an exact or a narrow definition of religion because freedom of religion is a dynamic guarantee that was written in a manner to ensure flexibility and responsiveness to the passage of time and the development of the United States"


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