Exactly, but what it was really saying is that a non religious person has the rights a religious person does to form a group. The only way to justify a simple basic human right was to cover non belief under the same law as belief.<quoted text>
I have read the judges' comments on that case. They were rather interesting.
The gist of the comments was that, in order to ensue **equal** application of the law, then non-belief must also be included under the "religion" umbrella.
It was the opinion of the judges that the law **must** be applied equally, or else stricken from the books, and the only way to do that, is to treat atheism as a kind of "religion", for the **purpose** of **equal** treatment under the law.
A legal fiction-- something our legal system does all the time.
The easiest example is "corporation"--- it's a legal fiction to pretend the company is a "corpus" or body-- it's not, of course, it's a collection of things/people/assets/etc.
But it's useful under the law to pretend a corporation is a person.
A legal fiction.
This is much the same way cocaine was included under the narcotics laws already in place, but we know cocaine isn't a narcotic, it was easy to define it a narcotic under existing law.
Another legal maneuvering or as you said legal fiction to cover something under existing laws.