again presented her application to the Army for officership on or about April 15, 1965. She finished four years of college, going two years to San Angelo Junior College, and finished the remainder of her work at North Texas State University in Denton, Texas, receiving a bachelor of science in elementary education. She received a teacher's certificate from the State of Georgia and is presently engaged in teaching school with the Newton County Education Department in Newton County, Georgia.
Mrs. McClure entered The Salvation Army Officers' Training School in September of 1965. She studied the Bible and doctrine, bookkeeping, and Orders and Regulations for officers. Courses in music, band, songsters, education, religious education, publicity and public relations were also taught, as were certain elective courses, such as creative writing. She was first sent into the field to serve as a Salvation Army Officer (Cadet Lieutenant) in June, 1966; her first assignment was at Camp Hoblitzele in Texas. In August of 1966 she was assigned to Little Rock, Arkansas as Commanding Officer of the Little Rock Citadel Corps. She served in Little Rock from August, 1966, to May, 1967. She was next assigned as Commanding Officer of the Corps at Pascagoula, Mississippi, from June, 1967, to January, 1968. She next served as the Casework Supervisor in the Georgia Division in Atlanta, Georgia, from February 1, 1968, through October, 1969. Her final assignment in The Salvation Army was as a secretary in the Public Relations Department of the Southern Territorial Headquarters. The plaintiff, Mrs. McClure, regarded herself as a minister of the Gospel and as performing a religious function for the church at all times.
While serving as Commanding Officer of the Citadel Corps in Little Rock, Mrs. McClure was in charge of all senior and young people's character building programs. She also had charge of corps finances for local purposes and territorial appeals. She was responsible for the sale of The Salvation Army literature and was responsible for the weekly and monthly reports that had to be sent to Divisional Headquarters. She was authorized to perform all of the religious ceremonies of The Salvation Army, including the swearing-in of soldiers, the dedicating of babies, conducting all religious services, conducting marriages, and officiating at funerals. She swore in one member at Little Rock. She next served as the Commanding Officer of the Pascagoula, Mississippi Corps. Her functions as a minister were the same in Pascagoula as at Little Rock, except that they were enlarged somewhat because of her responsibility for all of the welfare and public relations and fund-raising programs. She conducted the Sunday School and a morning worship service on Sunday. She had a Bible class on Sunday afternoon for teenagers who were Corps Cadets. She also held a worship service on Sunday evening and a prayer meeting on Wednesday nights. In addition to these services, Mrs. McClure had interviews with applicants for emergency welfare assistance. There were also continual calls from county and state welfare agencies asking the Salvation Army to participate in various community services.
Mrs. McClure requested in September of 1967, while in Pascagoula, to be relieved from corps work because she did not feel that she could handle all the work that had to be conducted. She requested staff duty.
Mrs. McClure's superior officer as Casework Supervisor in Atlanta, Georgia, was Major James Childs, who was the administrator of the Welfare Department. Mrs. McClure's duty in this position was to coordinate the Emergency Welfare Service for the Metropolitan Area of Atlanta through the Welfare Department and emergency welfare service and family welfare service.
While working as Casework Supervisor, Mrs. McClure estimated that she spent four hours a week in corps activities: an hour for teaching Sunday School class, an hour for work in Bible class, an hour for band practice, and an hour for song practice. She attended services at the Temple Corps on Seminole Avenue in Atlanta on Sunday mornings as a member of the Temple Corps. She also volunteered to be a Sunday School teacher at the Temple Corps.
In her last assignment in the Southern Territorial Headquarters, Mrs. McClure worked primarily as a secretary in the Public Relations Department.
Mrs. McClure felt that she was the spiritual leader of both the congregations in Little Rock and Pascagoula while serving as the Corps commander of these respective corps. While serving as Casework Supervisor in the Georgia Division at Atlanta, she conducted prayer services with the people that she was visiting and assisting, and she felt that these religious activities were an important part of her casework ministry. While serving in her last assignment in the Public Relations Department at Territorial Headquarters, she would engage in a prayer service known to her as a "knee drill prayer meeting." Mrs. McClure considered herself as performing a religious function for The Salvation Army, even while sitting behind a typewriter merely typing a letter. She was serving as a commissioned officer and as an ordained minister of the Salvation Army in her final job assignment in the Public Relations Department of the Southern Territorial Headquarters.
Mrs. McClure's officership with The Salvation Army terminated on July 19, 1970.
II. ISSUES AND OPINION
Thus, the issues brought to a head are two. First, is The Salvation Army a religion, and second, were the activities performed by Mrs. McClure of a religious nature?
The Salvation Army has always been known as a charitable body, but the question of its being a religion has rarely arisen.
The rights guaranteed under the First Amendment of our Constitution are inalienable and personal. But the question of what is a religion as interpreted by the law has remained hazy throughout this country's existence. There have been various definitions for different purposes such as the test for a conscientious objector.
Without strict guidelines, nevertheless, this Court is of the opinion that The Salvation Army is a religion regardless of its lack of traditional houses of worship. The Salvation Army has been referred to as a body which practices religion. This was in a strong dissenting opinion in Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 64 S. Ct. 438, 88 L. Ed. 645, (1944).
But, more to home, The Salvation Army is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of Georgia formed for the purpose of the location of a church in Fulton County and for the purpose of promoting the cause of Christian religion, charity and education in other localities, in and out of Georgia.
The Supreme Court of Georgia has likewise held The Salvation Army to be a religion. In Bennett v. City of LaGrange, 153 Ga. 428, 433, 112 S.E. 482 (1922) it ruled:
"A religious sect or denomination is one having a common system of faith. State v. Township 9, 7 Ohio St. 58. The term 'church' is one of very comprehensive signification, and imports an organization for religious purposes, for the public worship of God . . . The Salvation Army is a benevolent and religious institution. It is likewise a church on wheels. It has the custody and control of all the temporalities and property belonging to The Salvation Army in the United States, and the revenues therefrom. It administers these revenues in accordance with its discipline, rules, and usages. Its entire receipts, revenues, and emoluments are devoted exclusively to its benevolent and philanthropic purposes, with the exception of a moderate and reasonable compensation to those conducting and managing its affairs. Its work is primarily directed to the spiritual, moral, and physical reformation of the working classes, to the reclamation of the vicious, criminal, dissolute, and degraded, to visitation among the poor, lowly, and sick; and to the preaching of the gospel and the dissemination of Christian truth by means of open-air and indoor meetings. So it preaches the gospel. It disseminates Christian truth. It is a church, a sect, and a religious institution."
See also Salvation Army v. United States, D.C. N.Y. 1956, 138 F. Supp. 914. Moreover, the plaintiff seems to have no issue with the Army's reference to itself as a religion.
We then come to the issue requiring a balance of duties by religious bodies to secular laws and the rights guaranteed by The First Amendment and granted under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-1.
To decide whether the duties which a member of a religious group performs fall within the category of "religious activities" under § 2000e-1, is not an easy matter.
Nevertheless, to aid in deciding what is or is not religious activity, the Court looks to U.S. v. Kuch, 288 F. Supp. 439 (D.C. Dist. of Col., 1968) wherein the Court held on pages 443-444:
"The dividing line between what is, and what is not, a religion is difficult to draw. The Supreme Court has given little guidance. Indeed, the Court appears to have avoided the problem with studied frequency in recent years. Obviously this question is a matter of delicacy and courts must be ever careful not to permit their own moral and ethical standards to determine the religious implications of beliefs and practices of others. Religions now accepted were persecuted, unpopular and condemned at their inception."