A Christian Fundamentalist who suspects Social Security numbers are the “mark of the beast” cannot sue for religious discrimination after he lost an internship over his beliefs, a federal court ruled.
Donald Yeager, of Austintown, Ohio, was accepted in 2012 as an intern at FirstEnergy in western Pennsylvania, but he eventually lost the position because the company would not process his application without a Social Security number, reported the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
He believes that the government-issued, nine-digit identification numbers are foretold in the Book of Revelations and associated with the Antichrist, and he renounced his Social Security number at 18.
U.S. law refers to Social Security numbers in a statute numbered 666 – which is commonly understood as the biblical “mark of the beast.”
The Internal Revenue Service by law requires employers to provide their employees’ Social Security numbers for tax purposes, although they may still hire workers without one but must fill out additional paperwork.
Yeager sued the company last year, claiming that FirstEnergy had discriminated against him due to his religion.
FirstEnergy argued that case law had established that employers do not have to accommodate religious objections to Social Security numbers, and a federal judge agreed.
U.S. District Judge James Gwin found that FirstEnergy and the employee would face possible IRS penalties if they did not follow the law on Social Security numbers.
The 6th District Court of Appeals upheld the previous ruling, finding that an employee’s Social Security number is a “requirement imposed by law” rather than an “employment requirement.”