It said that in "one persons mind" , so it is protected that way.<quoted text>
What the courts have said is not that atheism is religion, but that atheism is entitled to First Amendment protection equivalent to the protection given to religion. It is only in that sense that the parallel has been made.
With a little intellectual dishonesty, these court holdings have been twisted by those with an agenda.
Whether it actually was in that persons mind is debatable, but the "court" defined it was . It's a loose definition, which means religion is nothing more than an importance "in the mind of the beholder".