Earth & Conservation

When Does The US Legally Recognize A Religion?

The First Amendment upholds our freedom of religion, but when does the Supreme Court legally recognize and protect our beliefs and practices as an actual 'religion'? Can it even make that distinction, and if so, how? Tara Long takes a hard look at how the First Amendment instructs what the US government can and can't say about religion.

Read More:
What constitutes a church under federal laws?
http://www.legalzoom.com/taxes/other-tax-topics/what-constitutes-church-under
"Most churches are easy to recognize when we see them -- a congregation hall, rows of pews, probably a steeple. But what constitutes a church in the eyes of the IRS?"

AMENDMENT 622 RATIFIED
http://www.legislature.state.al.us/codeofalabama/constitution/1901/ca-170364.htm
"Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment."

United States v. Seeger - 380 U.S. 163 (1965)
https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/380/163/case.html#173
"The test might be stated in these words: a sincere and meaningful belief which occupies in the life of its possessor a place parallel to that filled by the God of those admittedly qualifying for the exemption comes within the statutory definition."

WELSH v. UNITED STATES
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol;=398&invol;=333
"CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT"

FIRST AMENDMENT: AN OVERVIEW
http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/first_amendment
"The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference."