In the case U.S. v. David Meyers, No. 95-8079, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth District, September 6, 1996, the judges ruled that Meyers Church of Marijuana was not legally a religion and used a set of highly biased tests that were specifically designed to establish Chrisianity as the only legal religion in the U.S. and specifically prohibit the free exercise of all other religions.
The judges stated in their decision:
There is no dispute that Meyers beliefs are sincerely held and that they are substantially burdened by 21 U.S.C. 841 and 846 and 18 U.S.C. 2. The issue is whether his sincerely held beliefs are religious beliefs, rather than a philosophy or way of life.
There is substantial agreement throughout the archaeological, historical, and religious communities that Am Khent Kemeticism and other forms of ancient Egyptian belief are in fact religion, possibly the oldest religion still being practiced.
From The Handy Religion Answer Book, by John Renard (a Roman Catholic), 2002, Visible Ink Press:
Religion was the very core of ancient Egyptian culture (3500 BCE950 BCE). It permeated every aspect of life, including art, medicine, and science. Egyptians believed that the gods [sic] had created Egypt as an oasis of order and inherent good amidst the forces of chaos that constantly threatened to overwhelm them. Justice, morality, and beauty called Maat by the Egyptians consisted of behavior in accordance with that tradition.
The Egyptian religion featured many deities, some strange but with human features, others clearly non-human, but all responsible for every aspect of life, from birth to death.
The judges continued in their decision to outline a list of tests:
Keeping in mind that the threshold for establishing the religious nature of his beliefs is low, the court considered the following factors:
- Ultimate Ideas
- Metaphysical Beliefs
- Moral or Ethical System
- Comprehensiveness of Beliefs
- Accoutrements of Religion
- Founder, Propher, or Teacher
- Important Writings
- Gathering Places
- Keepers of Knowledge
- Ceremonies and Rituals
- Structure or Organization
- Diet or Fasting
- Appearance and Clothing